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STL250 Celebration Continues With Musical Tribute

Jazz pianist and composer Peter Martin
Sarah Crowder

Music has been an important part of St. Louis’ past, from folk music of the city’s early settlers, to classical, ragtime, blues, jazz, R&B, rock ’n’ roll and hip-hop.

“250 Years of St. Louis Music: American Music at its Best” will celebrate many of those styles, in addition to St. Louis’ 250th anniversary, on Oct. 17 at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

“I’m but a speck among some luminaries from many different styles,” said jazz pianist and composer Peter Martin who will perform at the concert. “I was amazed when they first started talking about this and how much ground they wanted to cover, but I think we have a really good game plan on how we’re going to do this.”

In addition to Martin, jazz vocalist Denise Thimes, blues vocalist Kim Massie, blues guitarist Billy Peek and Alarm Will Sound, a 20-piece chamber orchestra, will perform.

“A big part of it is folks are encouraged to come early,” Martin said. “The concert’s at 8 (p.m.), but there’s going to be music flowing all over.”

Performances start at 6:30 in the Emerson Entrance, Kemper Atrium and Sheldon Art Galleries, and continue past 10 p.m. in the Sheldon Ballroom and St. Louis Spiering Room.

One of the last groups to perform will be ILLphonics, “kind of a hip-hop fusion group,” Martin said. “St. Louis has a great hip-hop tradition.”

Martin wrote a piece, which he says was heavily influenced by Miles Davis, that Alarm Will Sound will perform.

“The name of the tune — the composition, whatever you want to call it — is Miles Re-Vision,” Martin said. “It’s definitely influenced by Miles and kind of an homage to him, but he covered such a varied and great musical spectrum in playing during his career. This piece definitely has jazz elements. It has funk elements. It’s written for a contemporary classical group, Alarm Will Sound, but a very flexible group, so I really take it a number of directions.”

Related Event

“Jazz at the Bistro with David Sanborn”

  • When: 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Oct. 8-11, 2014
  • Where: Ferring Jazz Bistro, 3536 Washington Ave., St. Louis
  • More information

"250 Years of St. Louis Music: American Music at its Best"

  • When: 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 17
  • Where: Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Ave., St. Louis
  • More information

Peter Martin Music Live! duo with Anat Cohen

  • When: 8 p.m. Nov. 21, 2014
  • Where: Sheldon Concert Hall, 3647 Washington Ave., St. Louis
  • More information

“Cityscape” is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and sponsored in part by the Missouri Arts Council, the Regional Arts Commission, and the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis.