Elsie Parker and The Poor People of Paris launch Jazz at Holmes series June 12

Elsie Parker and The Poor People of Paris will launch Washington University’s summer Jazz at Holmes series with a free performance at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 12.

The concert will feature French popular music and jazz, including works by Vanessa Paradis and Hervé Vilard. Also on the program will be music of French favorites Edith Piaf, Charles Aznavour, Charles Trenet and Michel Legrand. Parker also will tip her beret to Josephine Baker, the St. Louis native who performed locally with the Dixie Steppers before decamping for Paris in 1925, where her sensational turn in La Revue Nègre at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées helped introduce Parisian audiences early American jazz.

The Poor People of Paris consist of Paker (vocals, flute, clarinet and tenor saxophone) as well as Michael Carosello (keyboards), Wayne Coniglio (bass) and Alan Schilling (drums and percussion). The group has released three CDs to date and Parker also has appeared on the French TV program La Chance aux Chanson as well as at French cultural organizations and events in Chicago, San Francisco and throughout St. Louis.

The Jazz at Holmes series, launched in 1996, features relaxed, coffeehouse-style concerts with professional jazz musicians from around St. Louis and abroad throughout the academic year. All performances are free and open to the public and take place in Holmes Lounge from 8 to 10 p.m. Thursday evenings, unless otherwise noted. Holmes Lounge is located in Ridgley Hall, on the western side of Brookings Quadrangle. For more information, call (314) 862-0874 or email staylor@wustl.edu.

Subsequent concerts will include:

June 19
Pianist Curt Landes

July 10
Drummer Ben Thigpen and his group
perform music of Wayne Shorter

July 17
Guitarist Vincent Varvel

July 24
Drummer Miles Vandiver

Friday, Aug. 8
Trumpeter Randy Holmes and his sextet

August 14
Pianist Ptah Williams
(outdoors in Brookings Quadrangle)

Jazz at Holmes is sponsored by Washington University’s College of Arts & Sciences, Office of Residential Life, Student Union, University College and Summer School, Congress of the South 40, Office of Student Activities, New Student Orientation, Department of Music, Greek Life Office, Annika Rodriguez Scholars Program, Community Service Program, Event Services and Michael Cannon, executive vice chancellor and general counsel.


WHO: Elsie Parker and The Poor People of Paris

WHAT: Washington University’s Jazz at Holmes Series

WHEN: 8 to 10 p.m. Thursday, June 12

WHERE: Holmes Lounge, Ridgley Hall, located on the west side of Brookings Quadrangle, near the intersection of Brookings and Hoyt drives

COST: Free and open to the public

INFORMATION: (314) 862-0874 or staylor@wustl.edu