Webster University is known for its strong jazz-studies department, as well as the always-interesting "Jazz at Webster" performance series, presented throughout the school year at Winifred Moore Auditorium, that spotlights talented local musicians, as well as members of the faculty, in concert settings. But this week local jazz fans will have the opportunity to catch almost a week's worth of jazz concerts at Webster -- and they're all free. The performances are being held in conjunction with the Jazz Combo Camp, held at the university July 17-21.
As the name implies, this camp is designed to teach young musicians the art of improvisation -- especially in small-group settings. The concert series, which actually kicked off Tuesday evening, continues nightly through Friday. Wednesday's performance features Dan Rubright and Rob Block on guitar, Jay Hungerford on bass and Kevin Gianino on drums. On Thursday, sax player Paul DeMarinis will perform in a trio setting with Dan Eubanks on bass and Jim Orso on drums. That show will feature DeMarinis' original music. And on Friday, the concerts conclude with performances by various combos of student musicians directed by faculty from the Webster U. Jazz Studies Department. It's certainly hard to beat the price, plus it's a fine opportunity to catch some of the best musicians in the area in some interesting combinations -- as well as to hear some up-and-coming young musicians testing their musical talent.