Elsie Parker and The Poor People of Paris launches Jazz at Holmes series

Elsie Parker and The Poor People of Paris will launch the 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 Herve 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 Negre at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees helped introduce Parisian audiences to early American jazz.

The group consists of Parker (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 Chansons” as well as at French cultural organizations and events in Chicago, San Francisco and throughout St. Louis.

All Jazz at Holmes performances are free and open to the public and take place Thursdays at 8 p.m. in Holmes Lounge, unless otherwise noted.

Subsequent Jazz at Holmes concerts are:

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;

Aug. 14: Pianist Ptah Williams (outdoors in Brookings Quadrangle).

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.

Jazz at Holmes is sponsored by the 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.

For more information about the Jazz at Holmes series, call 862-0874 or e-mail staylor@wustl.edu.