Jazz at Holmes Summer Nights starts July 12

Saxophonist Willie Akins and the Miles Vandiver Quartet will launch Jazz at Holmes Summer Nights, a five-week series of free Thursday-evening jazz concerts, from 8-10 p.m. July 12.

The series features professional jazz musicians from St. Louis performing in a relaxed coffeehouse-style setting. Sponsors include the College of Arts & Sciences, the Department of Music and University College, both in Arts & Sciences, and Student Union.

Akins, a native of Webster Groves, Mo., released his first disc, the critically lauded “Alima,” on the Catalyst label in 1998 and today plays regularly at clubs and concert venues throughout the area.

The series will continue July 19 with pianist Curt Landes and the Vince Martin Quartet performing an urban mix of jazz and rhythm and blues. On July 26, Trumpeter Randy Holmes will lead his quartet in an evening of bebop and music of the 1960s. Vocalist Tony Viviano will join pianist Ptah Williams Aug. 2 for an evening emphasizing the music of Tony Bennett. The series concludes Aug. 9 with the Todd Mosby Group, which combines jazz with Indian fusion.

“Artists and their programs for this summer version of Jazz at Holmes were selected specifically to offer the public a diverse perspective on jazz,” says William Lenihan, director of jazz performance in the Department of Music.

All concerts are free and open to the public and take place in Holmes Lounge, Ridgley Hall, except for the Aug. 9 concert, which is in Brookings Quadrangle.

For more information, call 862-0874 or e-mail staylor@wustl.edu.