Nobody swings harder than Willie Akins. For years, St. Louis audiences have been fortunate enough to have the tenor titan in their own backyard. When touring jazz musicians come into town…they want to hear Willie Akins. Recent years have seen Akins lend his artistry to the bandstands of Greg Osby and Kurt Elling.
Pianist Dave Venn is also a hometown legend, having began his professional music career as a tenor saxophonist, performing with the Jazz Central group and various other local bands. In the 1960s the St. Louis jazz scene was flourishing in places like Gaslight Square, The Playboy Club, and the DeBaliviere area. With more opportunities for pianists than saxophonists, Venn made the switch to piano. Venn has since accompanied countless renowned singers and instrumentalists who have performed in St. Louis. He is in demand both as a soloist and with his larger groups, regularly appearing at the top clubs, hotels, and concerts halls throughout the area. Venn has been named the “Best Local Pianist/Keyboardist” by the Riverfront Times and continues to be revered by St. Louis audiences.
style: straight-ahead jazz
Part of the stl250 Spotlight Series