Cruising the club schedule this week, I decided Ellis’s appearance was a great time to honor our town’s own keyboard kings. We’ve got a pack of ivory elites to enjoy. By all means check out Mr. Marsalis at the Folly, after (or before) you’ve logged some time in these enivirons:
Majestic Steakhouse (8th and Central): Craig Smith tickles the keys tonight (Monday) 5:30 to 8. Jump jazz and stride master Bram Wijnands fills the same slot Tuesday (more on Bram down the list). Rich Hill checks in Wednesday. Bram is back Thursday and they both work the room Friday. Andrew Oulette rounds out the bill on Saturday and Sunday. That’s alot of piano playing.
Cafe Trio (4558 Main) The brilliant, intense Michael Pagan is featured Tuesday 6-9; Tim Whitmer’s lighter touch picks things up on Thursday. Friday and Saturday at the Trio, of course, belong to Alice Jenkins, 7:30-10:30.
Jardines (six doors up Main) helps explain where Bram W goes on hump day– he’s got his band here Wednesday from 5:30 to 8:30. And look who checks in Thursday– Michael Pagan with songstress Millie Edwards 5:30-7:30 (the on the way home from work for a drink slot). But the best is yet to come: The always vivacious, often breathtaking Julia Othmer headlines 2 shows Friday– 7 and 9:30 (Julia returns Sunday at 7 for a third soon-to-be-sold-out show–better hurry up and get those pre-Val Day tix). Rounding out the weekend is another of Beena’s favs, Mark Lowrey, working two shows Saturday with the estimable Shay Estes and multi-instrumentalist Mark Southerland.
Here and there: Mr. Lowery ventures out the to the wilds of 119th and Roe tonight from 6 to10 at Sullivan’s (Greg Richter plays the same gig on Wednesday). Tim Whitmer hits Accurso‘s at 50th and Main on Tuesday at 6. Chaz at the Raphael on the Plaza hosts Max Groove Wednesday from 6 to 10. Friday night Skies atop of the Hyatt gets even higher off the sounds of pianist Charles Williams (7:30 to 11:30). The Blue Room welcomes Mr. Williams to its 88s Saturday from 8:30-12:30; Elder Statesman Luqman Hamza will lend his dulcet tones to that proceeding. And Professor Joe Cartwright entertains the fine dining crowd at West Chase Grille (119th and Roe) Sunday from 5:30 to 8:30 with Duck Warner. He’ll be fresh from a little shut eye following his Saturday midnight gig at the Downtown Marriott on 12th Street Jump, live on 89.3FM KCUR, featuring the music of Harold Arlen with special guest Ervin Brown.
Next time junior asks you to recommend a line of work, tell him piano tuner. We’re gonna need several this week.