Jazz great Stan Kenton, pictured here with Eddie Safranski on bass, will be the focus of a tribute concert given by the St. Louis Jazz Orchestra March 6 at the Touhill. (Photo courtesy of the William P. Gottlieb Collection/Library of Congress)

Innovative, sometimes controversial and unquestionably influential, Stan Kenton made an inimitable mark on big band jazz. As The New York Times noted, “Mr. Kenton was the last major jazz band leader to emerge from the Big Band Era of 1934-45, and his was one of only a handful of bands that survived when that era came to an end.”

The spring concert by the St. Louis Jazz Orchestra pays a special tribute to Stan Kenton, marking what would be his 100th birthday. In addition to performing some of the big band classics, the St. Louis Jazz Orchestra will perform Kenton classics “Intermission Riff,” “Stompin’ at the Savoy,” “Here’s That Rainy Day” and “Artistry In Rhythm.” The concert will begin at 7 p.m. March 6 at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

Eight years and countless touring miles since it formed, the St. Louis Jazz Orchestra swings into the E. Desmond and Mary Ann Lee Theater cabaret to claim the Touhill as a new home. Under the direction of bassist and educator Jim Widner, the director of jazz studies at UMSL, the orchestra brings together some of the finest jazz artists in the St. Louis Metropolitan area.

The Cheshire is sponsoring the concert.

Tickets for the St. Louis Jazz Orchestra concert are $20 per person or tables can be purchased from $46 to $92 for a table. Visit touhill.org or call 314-516-4949 to order tickets

Ryan Heinz

Ryan Heinz