Jazz at Holmes presents free concerts during fall

Pianist Carolbeth True and trumpeter Randy Holmes will perform for the Jazz at Holmes Series from 8-10 p.m. tonight.

The series, launched more than a decade ago, features professional jazz musicians from around St. Louis and abroad performing in Holmes Lounge, Duncker Hall — a relaxed coffeehouse-style setting — most Thursday evenings throughout the fall and spring semesters.

“Local groups return again and again to play in our beautiful room with its wonderful, warm acoustics,” said series coordinator William Lenihan, director of jazz performance and instructor in guitar and jazz theory in the Department of Music in Arts Sciences.

“They remain impressed with the intense interest in jazz among Washington University students and how the popularity of Jazz at Holmes has grown over the years,” Lenihan said.

True, leader of The Carolbeth Trio, is a mainstay of the St. Louis jazz scene and can be heard on numerous CDs, including “Carolbeth Trio,” “True,” “New World Harmonica Jazz” (with Sandy Weltman) and “I’m All Smiles”(with Debby Lennon). In 2007, she received the St. Louis Arts Award for Excellence in the Arts, presented by the Arts & Education Council of Greater St. Louis.

True performs regularly with Holmes, a longtime adjunct faculty member at Webster University, as part of the latter’s jazz quintet Hard Bop Heritage. The group is dedicated to performing tributes to great jazz artists such as saxophonist John Coltrane and pianist Howard Silver.

The series will continue Sept. 27 with saxophonist Paul DeMarinis, followed by trombonist Brett Stamps (Oct. 4); guitarist Vince Varvel (Oct. 11); and pianist Reggie Thomas (Oct. 25).

Guitarist Steve Schenkel — a professor of music at Webster University, who earned a doctorate from Washington University in 1980 — will perform with his group Open Strings Nov. 1.

On Nov. 8, the series will feature Austrian jazz pianist Wolfgang Seligo, in a concert co-presented by the Austrian Consulate General of Chicago and the Austrian Society of St. Louis.

Saxophonist Dave Stone will perform Nov. 15, followed by Power Trio, a sax-viola-bass combo from Los Angeles, Nov. 29. Pianist Kim Portnoy — an associate professor of music at Webster University, who earned a master’s degree in composition from Washington University in 1981 — will perform Dec. 6.

The fall line-up will conclude Dec. 13 with guitarist Tom Byrne.

All concerts are free and open to the public. For more information, call 935-4841 or e-mail staylor@wustl.edu. To receive e-mail notices about future events, write to auschnei@wustl.edu.