Monday, July 31, 2017

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, August 2017



Dan Tepfer and Lee Konitz, in the Dunsmore Room August 20-21


© Andrea Canter

Note: Continuing the new monthly format, remember to look for updates at least once per week, in the Calendar section but also under Big Gigs.

Call August the Month of the Vocalist, with some heady talent visiting (Kendra Shank, Cyrille Aimee, Kevin Mahogany) as well as one of our veterans--Debbie Duncan-- recording a long-overdue live outing. Or call August the Month of Legends, with several visitors who deserve such status, including long-awaited returns of Lee Konitz and Dr, Lonnie Smith, and even an longer-awaited visit from Bob Rockwell. Or call it Month of Iconic Bands as Illicit Sextet, Happy Apple, and youthful Hoaxer all strut their stuff in August. Or just call it another great month of Jazz in the Twin Cities!

Big Gigs This Month
Sophia Shorai
Tuesday, August 1. First Tuesday -- The Bill Simenson Orchestra is on the floor at Jazz Central; Dean Magraw pairs up with Eric Gravatt at the Black Dog.  At Crooners' Lounge, enjoy an evening with savvy vocalist Sophia Shorai with sublime backing from Rick Carlson and Steve Pikal.

At the Dakota, Cuban jazz monsters and Grammy nominee Tiempo Libre return in the smaller configuration dubbed the Bohemia Quartet, with Jorge Gomez, Xavier Mili, Leandro Gonzalez and Fabian Alvarez. And at Vieux Carre', the night begins with solo piano from Chris Lomheim.

Kendra Shank
Wednesday, August 2. It's been seven years since vocalist Kendra Shank came to town, and in the interim she's been busy releasing outstanding duo recordings with guitars John Stowell (New York Conversations, 2014) and almost-hometown pianist Geoffrey Keezer (Half Moon, 2016). Now she returns to check out the intimate surroundings of the Dunsmore Room, celebrate the music of Half Moon, and interact with Phil Aaron and Gordy Johnson. Inventive yet always accessible, Kendra is one of the finest of modern-era singers, and still a "talent deserving wider recognition." Come early --beat the traffic and enjoy Arne Fogel and Lee Blaske for Happy Hour in the Lounge.

Chris Merz
Two visitors with Iowa connections at Jazz Central tonight-- saxophonist Chris Merz and pianist Jon Snell have been playing as a duo for a number of years. Merz heads jazz at the University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls) and was the leader of Christopher's Very Happy Band that hit the Sixth Street Stage of the Twin Cities Jazz Festival last month as part of the Minnesota-Iowa jazz exchange. Snell lived and performed in Cedar Falls and Iowa City before heading east for graduate studies at the Manhattan School of Music, and remains based in New York.

At Vieux Carre', Steven Hobert opens on solo piano, followed by the relatively new Selby Avenue Brass Band led by renowned jazz educator (and tubist) Tom Wells. And at the Minneapolis Woman's Club, First Wednesday means Connie Evingson in the Lounge with friends--Dave Karr and Andrew Walesch.

Wednesday-Thursday, August 2-3. The Dakota hosts Los Angeles-based Paris Chansons for two night. Recently featured on CBS News, the ensemble is known for original renditions of French favorites from Aznavour, Brel, Dassin, Piaf, Montand and such contemporary artists as Zaz.

Andrew Walesch
Thursday-Friday, August 3-4. Often the host, Andrew Walesch is on stage himself for two nights of Happy Hour at Crooners Lounge. He's a one-man band on piano and vocals.

Friday, August 4.  Two mighty string players open the evening at the Icehouse as visiting former resident Todd Clouser (guitar) and Icehouse 'house" bassist James Buckley join forces during the dinner hours.

Jeremy Walker opens the night, followed by Jay Young and the Lyric Factory with their reprise of their Michael Jackson/Stevie Wonder salute, Superstitous Thriller II.

Jordan Anderson
Jazz Central typically presents either Masters or Emerging Masters on Friday nights, and tonight the trio is both! Jordan Anderson Trio is led by emerging master pianist Jordan Anderson, currently studying with Benny Green at the University of Michigan and gigging all over the metro this summer. Bassist Charlie Lincoln has been a busy presence the past few summers during breaks from studies at the Berklee College of Music's Global Jazz Program; locally he's heard with Hoaxer and a long list of bands, and recently returned from a multi-city tour of Asia. Holding down the time is master drummer Jay Epstein, heard with Red Planet, Framework, Tall Tales and many other ensembles.

Saturday, August 5. Jazz in the afternoon at the Icehouse as Doug Little presents his annual "showcase" of students from his Twin Cities Jazz Workshop. A few years from now we will be hearing these teens on the "emerging masters" stages around town.

No Exit
Speaking of emerging masters, the emergents turn the schedule upside-down as Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog's double header tonight starts out with a veteran trio, The Growlers, in honor of the Lowertown Guitar Festival. Growlers include guitarists Joel Shapira and David Martin, with drummer Pete Hennig. The "headline" slot is filled by No Exit, a highly accomplished group of collegians led by drummer Luke Peterson (Northwestern U), with alto saxophonist Peter Goggin (U of Michigan), trombonist Jack Courtright (Eastman), vibraphonist Levi Schwartzberg (U of M), guitarist Adam Astrup (U of Northern Colorado), and bassist Charlie Lincoln (Berklee College of Music).


Debbie Duncan
At Vieux Carre', Debbie Duncan takes the stage, warming up for her live recording night later this month at the Dakota, while the Travis Anderson Trio serenades at the Normandy Kitchen. Boom Island Brewing's Boom Room Jazz features Open Story--Dean Magraw, Bryan Nichols and Jay Epstein.
  
And at the Town House Bar, enjoy a "C-Ella-bration" of Ella Fitzgerald's 100th birthday with delightful standards, exciting duets, and fun vocal improvisation, courtesy of Jazz Alley--the singing trio of Katia Cardenas, Sarah M. Greer and Maryann Sullivan, with Lori Dokken on keys.

Sunday, August 6. Early evening magic in Northfield! The JC Sanford Trio with Laura Caviani (piano) and Chris Bates (bass) joining the trombone master performs at Imminent Brewing.

Will Schmid
Monday, August 7. The Acme Jazz Company with Arne Fogel hits the stage at Crooners' for their monthly "party." At Jazz Central, the "spotlight" is on young guitarist Will Schmid and three fellow collegians, Patrick Adkins (piano), Charlie Lincoln (bass) and Jesse Thorson (drums).

John Raymond
JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse brings back area natives: John Raymond appears on trumpet with the Chris Thomson Quartet led by the local sax great--too seldom heard himself. Chris and JT Bates round out the foursome. We should be seeing more of Raymond now that he has relocated from New York to Indiana University. Second set: An even more rare appearance by area native bassist Michael Janisch and his Paradigm Shift with Zacc Harris and Brandon Wozniak.
Michael Janisch


Cyrille Aimee
Tuesday, August 8. Few vocalists of the 21st century have been on as steep a trajectory as French-Dominican star Cyrille Aimee. Winner of the Montreaux Jazz Fest vocal competition, she's known for her Django-influenced ensemble, although her repertoire is ever-expanding, as she will demonstrate tonight on her Dakota debut.

At Vieux Carre', young piano phenom Will Kjeer opens solo, followed by vocalist Sarah M. Greer, on stage for the rest of the evening. And the Black Dog hosts "Another Jazz Quintet," actually another young lions ensemble featuring some of the area's top collegians making the  most of their summer break--headed by guitarist Jackson Potter with Peter Goggin (sax), Jordan Anderson (piano), Alma Engebretson (bass), and Edmund Catlin (drums).

Kevin Mahgogany
Tuesday-Wednesday, August 8-9. It's been a number of years since star vocalist Kevin Mahogany visited the Twin Cities, and he makes up for the lapse with two nights in the Dunsmore Room with support provided by Mary Louise Knutson and friends.

Wednesday, August 9. For his monthly improv night at Jazz Central, Chris Bates brings forth Astrologer's Blood: Chris Bates - electric bass and effects ; John Keston - keyboards and synths; Randy Kramer - drums and percussion; Shon Troth - lap steel guitar and effects. Hang on tight!

Thursday, August 10. I first encountered Adam Linz as an opening solo act for Happy Apple at the Cedar, maybe 15 years ago? Here's an opportunity to hear the mature bassist alone (with just his bass and subvocalizations) at Khyber Pass, followed by the duo of Anne LaBerge (flute) and Nathan Hanson (sax).

Jana Nyberg
Friday, August 11. The Jana Nyberg 5 debuts in the Dunsmore Room, and they have a new CD to celebrate!  At Vieux Carre', enjoy the exciting rhythms of the Babatunde Lea Quintet with the master percussionist, Zacc Harris (guitar), Matt Trice (sax), Will Kjeer (piano), and Ted Olsen (bass).
Babatunde Lea


The Masters Series at Jazz Central brings five to the stage--No Room for Squares is a band of veterans, with the usual line-up including Jon Pemberton, Jimmie Wallace, Mikkel Romstad, Adam Tucker, and Bill Stieger.

Will Schmid
Saturday, August 12. Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog kicks off with the Will Schmid Quartet , hot off their Jazz Central gig, followed by the intrepid Illicit Sextet.
  
Michael Janisch
A rare Saturday night in the Dunsmore Room: London-based, Wisconsin native bassist Michael Janisch is in town (see August 7 above) with some of our best--Brandon Wozniak on tenor, Jake Baldwin on trumpet, Zacc Harris on guitar and Pete Hennig on drums. Janisch was on stage at the 2015 Twin Cities Jazz Festival with his London trio, Cloudmakers, and has toured and recorded recently with his sextet, Paradigm Shift.

Legendary jazz drummer Eric Kamau Gravatt, who has played with McCoy Tyner, Joe Henderson, Weather Report, Byard Lancaster, and Dom Um Romão will be sharing his musical life experience with the Boom Room at Boom Island Brewing..
 

Illicit Sextet
Sunday, August 13. Trumpeter Warren Vache' kicks off a star-studded week in the Dunsmore Room. Down in Rochester, it's the second annual Rochester City Jazz Festival, with the Jana Nyberg 5 and Illicit Sextet headlining the evening at the Rochester Civic Theater.

Irv Williams
At the Dakota, it's yet another birthday party for Irv Williams, this one is #98! Irv's frequent partners at Happy Hour, Billy Peterson and Steve Blons, will be on hand.

Monday, August 14. At Jazz Central, something billed as the Latin Jazz Combo, which likely has at least one musician named Santiago. Over at the Black Dog, a national act with local talents: Bassist Lindsey Horner comes to town to play with guitarist pal Chris Cunningham and like-minded drummer Greg Schutte. And JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse features a double CD release for Jeremy Ylvisaker with Mike Lewis and JT himself, followed by the high-energy of Mancrush, led by drummer Lars-Erik Larson.

Bob Rockwell at the AQ
Monday-Tuesday, August 14-15. The Dunsmore Room hosts two nights with former Minnesota resident, Copenhagan-based saxophonist Bob Rockwell and New York pianist David Hazeltine; they're joined by former cohorts at the Artists Quarter, Billy Peterson on bass and Kenny Horst on drums.

Joyce Lyons
Tuesday, August 15. Chris Lomheim opens solo, followed by the Phil Aaron Aaron Trio with vocalist Joyce Lyons, at Vieux Carre'.



Phil Aaron
Wednesday, August 16. Local piano hero Phil Aaron pays homage to one of his muses, Bill Evans, tonight in the Dunsmore Room. At the Dakota, pianist/storyteller/vocalist/writer/producer/all-around Renaissance Man Ben Sidran returns for an evening of music, philosophy, and fun.

At Vieux Carre', swinging fun is on the agenda, with Rick Carlson opening solo piano, followed by Butch Thompson and Dean Magraw.

Thursday, August 17. "Getting Sentimental"-- new cabaret dinner series at the Nicollet Island Inn features a trio of jazzy voices--Vicky Mountain, Dorothy Doring, Connie Dussl with Joey Clarke on keys. Tickets include dinner. More focus on vocals at Jazz Central as pianist (and sometimes vocalist) Laura Caviani joins forces with vocalist Linda Alvarado. At the American Swedish Institute, it's an injection of Cuban music as Charanga Tropical and salsa dancing provide a festive evening.

Hoaxer
Friday, August 18. After their stellar CD release gig earlier this summer, the amazing young guns of Hoaxer repeat at Vieux Carre' --Will Kjeer, Peter Goggin, Charlie Lincoln and Edmund Catlin.


Joe Dyson, Bridge Trio
Jazz Central hosts the visiting Bridge Trio, three rising star artists who cut their teeth in New Orleans with Donald Harrison--pianist Conun Pappas, bassist Max Moran (Christian Scott), and drummer Joe Dyson (Dr. Lonnie Smith, Nicholas Payton). Dyson was in town with Payton at the 2017 Winter Jazz Fest.

Choro Borealis
At the Black Dog, get your Brazilian rhythms fix as Choro Borealis (Robert Everest, Pat O'Keefe, Tim O'Keefe) takes the stage.

Friday-Saturday, August 18-19. One of the summer's best-kept jazz secrets has been the Williamsburg Room at the recently renovated Lexington in St Paul. Some of the area's top jazz ensembles have been on the bandstand, but finally The Lex is posting their music calendar. The Peter Schimke Trio captivates diners tonight -- and most likely Kenny Horst will man the trapset with Chris Bates on bass.


Happy Apple
Saturday, August 19. Steve Kenny has been working on this booking for quite a while and finally Happy Apple (Mike Lewis, Eric Fratzke, Dave King) will be on the Black Dog bandstand! Only the young would be brave enough to open for Happy Apple-- the quintet SPACE (Will Schmid, Charlie Lincoln, Patrick Adkins, Alma Engebretson, Luke Peterson).

Dave Hagedorn, Phil Hey Quartet
Another esteemed band of veterans takes the band stand at Boom Island Brewing at the Phil Hey Quartet fills airspace in the Boom Jazz Room. And one of our beloved veteran vocalists, Patty Peterson, joins "Friends" at Bunkers. Soon to be a seasoned veteran, vocalist/pianist Andrew Walesch performs for diners and dancers at the Normandy Kitchen.

Doug Little
Sunday, August 20. An afternoon delight--Rick Carlson and Maud Hixson celebrate great songs of the 50s at St Albert the Great Church . Doug Little celebrates his birthday by bringing Charanga Tropical to The Cedar, opening for drummer Tito Puente, Jr. who is on his first-ever tour of Minnesota.

Lee Konitz
Sunday-Monday, August 20-21. The Dunsmore Room is booking more and more national artists, and for two nights, international stars as working legend saxophonist Lee Konitz comes to Fridley with extraordinary pianist Dan Tepfer. It's been about a decade since Konitz came to the Twin Cities.

John Penny
 Monday, August 21. JT's Jazz Implosion welcomes a special edition of the Steven Hobert Quartet, featuring guest guitarist John Penny. Hobert on keys with Pete Whitman (sax), Yohannes Tona (bass) and Arthur LA Buckner (drums). "A night full of originals and covers by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, John Coltrane."  

At the Dakota, three of the funniest jazz giants you will see around town, the Travis Anderson Trio (with Travis on keys, Steve Pikal on bass, Nathan Norman on drums) hold attention at the Dakota.

Tuesday, August 22. Young guitarist Will Schmid has been back in town only about a month this summer but it seems he has played a year's worth of gigs, often as leader. Tonight he brings a quartet to the Black Dog featuring Jake Baldwin on trumpet, Graydon Peterson on bass, and Jesse Thorson on drums. And you can get your dose of Latin tonight as the Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra takes their monthly slot at Jazz Central.

Larry McDonough Quartet
Wednesday August 23. Good music deserves repeating, and tonight Larry McDonough and his quartet reprise his toast to Bill Evans & Tony Bennett, "You Must Believe in Spring," at the Warming House. Unlike the originals, Larry plays both parts!
 
Thursday, August 24. Her recordings have been few and far between, and this one is long overdue-- Debbie Duncan records live tonight at the Dakota. Over at the Lexington, Benny Weinbeck and Gordy Johnson will hang in the Williamsburg Room.

At the Green Lantern, check out KTB-- Kjeer, Tucker, Burgess (aka 2/3 of Group 47), their last gig til Will Kjeer is back for winter break.

Nathan Hanson
Friday, August 25. "All Originals Jazz" at Studio Z hosts one of the more unusual projects tonight-- Jazz Word Jazz, a night of poets and spoken word artists along with improvised music from  a talented jazz ensemble dubbed MILTD41--Chris Bates, Will Jenson, Steve Kenny, Nathan Hanson and Greg Schutte.

We don't often hear a salute to the great Roberta Flack, making this night in the Dunsmore Room with Ginger Commodore extra special. Ginger's velvety voice seems particularly well suited to this music, and she will be accompanied by her GC Quartet.

 Friday-Saturday, August 25-26. Enjoy old St Paul ambience and new Twin Cities jazz with the Jake Baldwin Trio in the Williamsburg Room at the Lex.
Friday-Sunday, August 25-27. Three nights of improvisation at the Southern Theater features Black Magnesia curated by Joe Horton. Each night addresses a different aspect of improvisation and a different combination of artists--Joe Horton, Anthony Cox, Cory Healey, DeVon Gray, Chris Cunningham, Pat O'Keefe, Dave King, James Buckley, Trever Hagen, Andrew Broder, Graham O'Brien, Mankwe Ndosi, Heather Barringer, Sarah Porwell-Lee, Joey Van Phllips, Ernest Bisong, Peter Schimke and Josh Clausen.
Steve Kenny

Saturday, August 26. At the Black Dog, the JazzINK Youth Showcase presents the BCA Trio, followed by Steve Kenny's Quintet (Kenny, Nelson Devereaux, Levi Schwartzberg, Ted Olsen, Miguel Hurtado).


The MN Hard Bop Collective returns to the Boom Room Jazz at Boom Island Brewing Co, with pianist Javi Santiago and visiting bassist Shigefumi Tomita, Professor of Jazz Performance & Pedagogy at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. 

Jazz Central hosts an evening of reading of new works by local artists of the Twin Cities Jazz Composers Workshop--Adam Meckler, Aaron Hedenstrom, JC Sanford, David Stamps, Asuka Kakitani.

Sunday, August 27. The Dunsmore Room offers a taste of New Orleans with saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer Aurora Nealand and pianist Tom McDermott.  I had a chance to hear McDermott in a house concert a few years ago-- this will be a high energy night!


Aaron Hedenstrom
Tuesday, August 29. A fifth Monday brings the Aaron Hedenstrom Orchestra to Big Band Night at Jazz Central.
 
Dr. Lonnie Smith
Wednesday, August 30. It's been a long time since Dr. Lonnie Smith performed his B-3 magic at the Dakota. Now the new NEA Jazz Master is back for one glorious night!

Coming Soon!
. August 17, SongSister (Dorothy Doring, Connie Dussl, Vicky Mountaing), Cabaret Dinner Night at Nicollet Island Inn (sold out)
. August 17, Charanga Tropical at the American Swedish Institute
. August 17, Repeat Offender at Khyber Pass
. August 17, TLA Trio (Hagedorn, Clement, Hanson) at Imminent Brewing, Northfield 
. August 17, Laura Caviani and Linda Alvarado at Jazz Central
. August 18, Jeremy Walker/Hoaxer at Vieux Carre'
. August 18, Hagedorn/Clement Duo at Tanzenwald Brewing, Northfield 
. August 18, Bridge Trio at Jazz Central 
. August 18, Choro Borealist at the Black Dog
. August 19, SPACE/Happy Apple at the Black Dog
. August 19, Patty Peterson with Family and Friends at Bunkers
. August 19, Phil Hey Quartet at Boom Island Brewing 
. August 19, Maryann and the Moneymakers at Tin Fish, Braemer Golf Course 
. August 19, Andrew Walesch at Normandy Kitchen 
. August 19, Lee Engele at Underground Music Cafe
. August 20, Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson, Music of the 50s at St Albert the Great (1 pm)
. August 20, Charanga Tropical/Tito Puente, Jr. at The Cedar
. August 20-21, Lee Konitz with Dan Tepfer in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. August 21, BCA Trio at Jazz Central Studios
. August 21, Travis Anderson Trio at the Dakota
. August 21, Steven Hobert Quartet with John Penny at the Icehouse (Jazz Implosion)
. August 22, Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra at Jazz Central Studios'
. August 22, Will Kjeer/Maryann and the Moneymakers at Vieux Carre' 
. August 22, Will Schmid Group at the Black Dog 
. August 23, Minnesota Hard Bop Collective at Heritage Park (Twin Cities Mobile Jazz Project)
. August 23, John Keston/Cody McKinney "Sound Simulacra" with Mike Hodnick (KindOhm) at Jazz Central 
. August 23, KTB Trio at the Green Lantern
. August 24, Debbie Duncan Live Album Recording at the Dakota
. August 25, Jazz Word Jazz at Studio Z (All Originals)
. August 25, Ginger Commodore tribute to Roberta Flack, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. August 25, Bob Fantuazzo at Riverview Wine Bar
. August 25, Will Kjeer with Shigefumi Tomita and Jesse Simon at Jazz Central Studios 
. August  25, John Penny (solo) at Stem
. August 26, BCA Trio/Steve Kenny Quintet at the Black Dog
. August 26, Nachito Herrera at the Dakota 
. August 26, Minnesota Hard Bop Collective at Boom Island Brewing 
. August 26, Jazz Composers Workshop, readings at Jazz Central
. August 27, Aurora Neeland and Tom McDermott in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. August 29, Aaron Hedenstrom Big Band at Jazz Central
. August 30, Dr Lonnie Smith at the Dakota
. September 1, Henry Butler's Jambalya Band at the Dakota
. September 1, KBEM River Cruise 
. September 6, Connie Evingson, Jazz in the Lounge at the Minneapolis Woman's Club
. September 9, Kate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows at the Aster
. September 12, Red Planet with Bill Carrothers in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. September 12-13, Mike Stern Band at the Dakota
. September 14, John Raymond's Real Feels at Vieux Carre'
. September 18, The Yellowjackets at the Dakota
. September 19, Arne Fogel and Maud Hixson in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. September 19, Curtis Stiegers at the Dakota
. September 19, Matthew Stevens at Vieux Carre'
. September 20, Tomeka Reid at Jazz Central
. September 22, Framework at Studio Z (All Originals)
. September 22-23, Mary Louise Knutson Trio in the Williamsburg Room, The Lexington
. September 23-24, Twin Cities Cabaret Artists Network Cabaret Fest at Bryant Lake Bowl
. September 24, GoGo Penguin at the Dakota 
. September 24, Evan Christopher in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. September 24, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at Orchestra Hall 
. September 25, "Is That All There Is" (Music of Peggy Lee), New Standards, Catherine Russell and Nellie McKay at the Guthrie
. September 28, Mary Louise Knutson Trion in the Williamsburg Room, The Lexington
. September 29, The Bad Plus + Bill Frisell, McGuire Theater at Walker Art Center
. September 30-Oct 1,  "Bacharach…All Saxed Up" (Cookie Coleman and Patty Peterson with Kathy Jensen), Legends at the Capri Theater
. October 4-5, Savion Glover and Marcus Gilmore at the Dakota
. October 6, Jazz Women All Stars at the Dakota
. October 10-11, Chick Corea Sextet with Steve Gadd at the Dakota
. October 14, Laura Caviani Trio with Karrin Allyson at Hopkins Center for the Arts
. October 15, Joey Alexander at the Dakota
. October 16, Erin Bode at the Dakota
. October 19, Wycliffe Gordon in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. October 19, Arturo Sandoval at the Dakota
. October 20, Mindy Abair at the Dakota
. October 20, JazzMN Orchestra with Wycliff Gordon at Ordway
. October 26-27, Ramsey Lewis Quartet at the Dakota
. October 28-29, David Sanborn at the Dakota
. November 11-12, Patty Peterson "Memories: The Music of Barbra Streisand" at Chanhassan Dinner Theater 
. November 12, Catherine Russell at the Dakota 
. November 15, Kandace Springs at the Dakota
. December 1-2, Earl Klugh at the Dakota
. December 3-4, Brad Mehldau Trio at the Dakota
. December 6, Joey DeFrancesco at the Dakota
. December 20-23, The Bad Plus at the Dakota

Mike Stern Band, coming to the Dakota September 12-13

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, July 2017



Pharoah Sanders, coming to the Dakota July 25-26

© Andrea Canter


Ed. note:  The Lead Sheet transitions to a monthly post with frequent updates. Rather than posting a new "sheet" weekly, JazzINK will publish an overview of gigs for the coming month on or before the first of each month, with at least weekly updating as new gigs and concerts are announced. The Coming Soon listing, now dubbed Lead Sheet Calendar, will have ongoing updates, and the text of the Lead Sheet will periodically add more detailed information as well. Please note that the weekly KBEM broadcast of The Lead Sheet will continue through July only.


June certainly ended with a flurry of notes as the 2017 Twin Cities Jazz Festival wrapped up last weekend. But there isn't really any down time in local jazz, and just a few hours away, another fine weekend festival takes place at the start of July -- the Iowa City Jazz Festival. And it's a holiday weekend making for some festive jazz in area clubs and venues, including a visit from Geoffrey Keezer in the Dunsmore Room.  Other highlights coming in July-- Teri Roiger at the Dunsmore Room, Carmen Lunday at the Dakota, the return of the All Originals summer series at Studio Z... and more.

Big Gigs This Month

Iowa City Jazz Festival
Friday-Sunday, June 30-July 2. An easy five-hour drive south, the Iowa City Jazz Festival is one of the nation's finest small festivals. The 2017 line-up includes innovative pianist Kris Davis, sublime vocalist Stacy Kent, all-star band The Cookers, our own Laura Caviani and her trio, as well as  favorite son trumpeter John Raymond with his Real Feels trio, and the masterful saxophonist Donny McCaslin, among others. And we have some of our most promising youth in Iowa City as well, with the Dakota Combo on the Youth Stage and the Adam Astrup Quartet on the college stage-- note Adam and Simon Petrick are also in the Dakota Combo so they have a busy weekend. This is a totally free festival and we always have a solid contingent of Twin Citians there. (Festival exchange artists this year are Laura Caviani and the Dakota Combo going south; Chris Merz and his Christopher's Very Happy Band traveled north to the Twin Cities fest last weekend.)

For more of the Lead Sheet, click here to read the rest on the Jazz Police site! 

Friday, June 23, 2017

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, June 23-29



The 2017 Twin Cities Jazz Festival continues in St Paulhttps://www.google.com/intl/en/options/

© Andrea Canter

It's the jazziest weekend of the year in the Twin Cities as we move into the final two days of the annual jazz festival, a couple post-fest gigs, and the screening of a documentary about the amazing musical life of one of our local veterans. And of course jazz never ends  -- there's always another gig.

Big Gigs This Week
Anat Cohen headlines tonight, June 23!
Friday-Saturday, June 23-24. There's no point in enumerating the hours of jazz on the stages of over two dozen venues participating in the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. The full schedule is online (with hard copies throughout the festival), and you can read "Day by Day" overviews on the Jazz Police website. Just a few strong recommendations:

·         Friday, 7:30 pm. The late pianist Bobby Peterson was a working local legend, not only as a performer but also as a teacher who greatly influenced the careers of many current A-listers. At Vieux Carre', a tribute to Bobby will fittingly include two of his most frequent cohorts, cousin Billy Peterson on bass and Kenny Horst on drums, as well as a young lion more than worthy of filling Bobby's bench at the piano, 20-year-old Will Kjeer

·         Friday, 8:30 pm.  Clarinet virtuoso Anat Cohen returns to the Twin Cities with her Brazilian ensemble, Choro Adventuroso, appearing on the Securian Main Stage at Mears Park. The Israeli-born, Berklee-trained, New York-based Cohen is as comfortable with choro and samba as she is with Benny Goodman.  She's a joy to hear and fun to watch.

·         Friday-Saturday, Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education Youth Showcase covers two days this year, with 8 bands of middle and high school and college level jazz students showing their talents and enthusiasm. On stage at the Starkey Hearing Technologies Stage at Union Depot, music starts at 4 pm Friday and 1 pm Saturday, ending with the annual Dakota Combo set at 5 pm Saturday. 
Youth rule at Union Depot!
·         Saturday, 6 pm. A favorite son returns -- keyboard great Bobby Lyle is back in his home territory, performing on the Main Stage. He's been back at the Dakota and Dunsmore Room but I think this will be his festival debut.
·         Saturday, 8:30 pm. Last year was the first Singers' Scat Off and it was so well received, we'll have another, this time on the indoor stage at TPT.

·         Saturday, 8:30 pm.  The frosting on a tall cake, the closing headline act on the Securian Main Stage at Mears Park brings together a living legend and a legend-in-the-making as NEA Jazz Master McCoy Tyner teams up --for the first time--with 21st century sax titan Joshua Redman. Tyner's rhythm section--bassist Gerald Cannon and festival Artistic Director, drummer Francisco Mela--is the best in the business.
McCoy Tyner

·         Saturday, 9 pm. Laura Caviani and her trio take the spotlight at Vieux Carre', as they will next week in Iowa City when they provide the Minnesota end of the Iowa-Minnesota festival exchange.

·         Saturday, 10/11:30 pm. Will Kjeer is having a busy festival, and his availability during his college break provides an opportunity to reunite with Steve Kenny's Group 47, playing their first gig of 2017 at the Black Dog to shut down the festival. What an ending!

The festival is in the spotlight but there's another option Friday and Saturday as the Django Festival All Stars return to the Dakota for two nights of Django-influenced hot club swing.

Reynold Philipsek
Sunday, June 25. One of the most prolific jazz artists in our midst is guitarist/composer Reynold Philipsek. Now he is the subject of a documentary film, A Life Well Played, screening this afternoon with live music from Reynold and friends at the Schneider Theater in Bloomington.

Another afternoon delight, Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson continue their summer months of great song with The Songs of the 30s at St Albert the Great church. And the jazz festival lingers with a post fest performance by violinist Ernest Bisong and his ensemble, at Walker West Music Academy, and a big band swinging affair with Beasley's Big Band at the Como Lakeside Pavilion.

Monday, June 26.  In the spotlight at Jazz Central, hear Ashen Fir, led by cellist Greg Byers with Jack Barrett on keys, Charlie Bruber on bass and Pete Quirsfeld on drums.

Tuesday-Wednesday, June 27-28. Pianist Richard Johnson spent a few years in the Twin Cities before taking on managing jazz clubs in the Middle East. The one-time pianist for both Wynton and Delfeayo Marsalis, Johnson returns to Minnesota for two nights in the Dunsmore Room, Tuesday with his trio and Wednesday with Debbie Duncan.

Brian Courage
Tuesday, June 28. It's normally Big Band Night at Jazz Central but tonight it's a special presentation of the Tributary Quintet, artists with connections to the Twin Cities and midwest (eg, Lawrence University) from a wider swath of the US-- Adam Meckler on trumpet, Aaron Hedenstrom on saxes, Greg Woodsbie on piano, Brian Courage on bass, and Derek Dreier on drums.

Wednesday, June 28. The Leigh Kamman Legacy Project's monthly series at the Black Dog Cafe continues with a broadcast of a Jazz Image radio hour from July of 1993, followed by another showing (by popular request) of the video Jazz Image Evolution: Leigh Kamman Through the Decades.

At Jazz Central, John Keston and Cody McKinney present: sound/simulacra : a monthly series which explores musical improvisation as a “faithful and intentionally distorted” representational process. Sound/simulacra will bring together some of the Twin Cities most unique voices to “recreate, distort, and create the hyperreal”. At the Public Kitchen, there's another opportunity to hear the Richard Kronick Quartet. 

Steven Hobert Quartet
Thursday, June 29. Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie will go on hiatus in August, pending Reverie's relocation, but not before hosting a performance by pianist Steven Hobert and his quartet (Pete Whitman, Yohannes Tona, LA Buckner). Events are scheduled through July and watch for news of a new location.


Larry McDonough
A big hit at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival last week and top pick of the Pioneer Press, the Larry McDonough Quintet reprises its AcoustElectric show at Day Block Brewing. This show pairs the music of Kind of Blue with Return to Forever, the acoustic set followed by the electronic set. But unlike the earlier shows at the Dakota, the Miles Davis trumpet part will transfer to Carol Bergquist on flute--original arrangements indeed. Other acoustic selections will be drawn from Larry's previous shows celebrating Bill Evans, Tony Bennett and Chet Baker.  The electric set pays homage to Return to Forever with some additional hits from Led Zeppelin, Spinal Tap, Sting and Prince.
American Reverie

Zacc Harris's American Reverie trio (with Matt Peterson and Cory Healey) had a very successful CD release last month, earning praise from City Pages as "a collection of smart contemporary jazz interpretations of folk standards...Harris’ eloquent guitar work highlights pointed commentary with a deft array of melodic abstractions, tempo shifts and harmonic changes."  They'll give us another chance to hear it live tonight at Vieux Carre'.   

Did you know the Bad Waitress on Nicollet has jazz every Thursday night? This week features the dazzling duo of Charmin and Shapira. Experimental music at Khyber Pass features Pat Moriarty, Ellen Lease and Noah Ophoven Baldwin, and at Jazz Central, Vocal Jazz Night presents Niny Salem, new on the Twin Cities jazz scene.


Coming Soon!
. June 30, Silverback Trio CD release, Bryant Lake Bowl 
. June 30, Michael Shults with Javi Santiago at Jazz Central
. June 30-July 2, Iowa City Jazz Festival with Donny McCaslin, Stacy Kent, The Cookers, Laura Caviani, John Raymond, Dakota Combo and more
. June 30, Yolande Bruce at Crooners Lounge
. July 1, Mauilotus: Marillyn Allysum Group at Jazz Central
. July 1, Babatunde Lea Quartet/ Drew Stinson Trio, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. July 1, Richard Kronick Quintet in the Mudd Room at Lucky 13
. July 1, Jay Young and the Lyric Factory at the Dakota
. July 1, Sheridan Zuther and Steven Hobert at NE Mpls Farmers Market (St Boniface parking lot)
. July 2, Oudyano (Steven Hobert and Issam Rafea) in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. July 3, Geoffrey Keezer solo piano in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge 
. July 4, Bill Simenson Orchestra at Jazz Central 
. July 4, St. Croix Jazz Orchestra with Andrew Walesch, Pioneer Park in Stillwater (fireworks follow)
. July 6, Acme Jazz Company with Arne Fogel at Crooners Lounge 
. July 6, Josh Granowski and Friends at the Bad Waitress (Nicollet) 
. July 6, "Pool Party" with JT Bates, Jacqueline Ultan and Chris Cunningham at Khyber Pass
. July 7, Illicit Sextet at Studio Z (All Originals)
. July 8, Good Vibes Trio/Cole Mahlum Quartet, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. July 10, Teri Roiger in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. July 11, Lila Ammons Duo at Midtown Farmers Market
. July 11, Cedar Avenue Big Band at Jazz Central
. July 12, Fuzzy Math at Jazz Central 
. July 12, Steven Hobert/Tony Balluff Big Three at Vieux Carre'
. July 13, Adam Astrup Group/KBT Trio, Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie
. July 13, George Cartwright and Davu Seru at Khyber Pass
. July 13, Joel Shapira/Jeremy Walker's Songtet at Vieux Carre'
. July 14, Glen David Andrews at the Dakota
. July 14, Connie Evingson, Jazz in the Lounge at the Minneapolis Woman's Club
. July 15, Tall Tales/Sam Miltich Trio, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. July 19, Capri Big Band at Minnehaha Falls Park bandshell
. July 20, Carmen Lundy at the Dakota
. July 20, Will Kjeer, Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie 
. July 21, Mary Louise Knutson Trio, pre-concert at Minnesota Orchestra Hall
. July 21-22, New Standards at the Dakota
. July 22, Juli Wood Quartet/Levi Schwartzberg Group, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. July 23, Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson, Music of the 40s at St Albert the Great (1 pm) 
. July 24, Medeski, Clouser and Bates at the Icehouse
. July 25, Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra at Jazz Central
. July 26-27, Pharoah Sanders at the Dakota
. July 27, Lila Ammons Quartet at Hell's Kitchen 
. July 27, Shifting Paradigms Recording Celebration, Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie
. July 28, TBA at Studio Z (All Originals)
. July 29, Chris Bates Red 5/Katia Cardenas, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. August 2, Kendra Shank in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. August 7, Chris Thomson Band with John Raymond at the Icehouse
. August 8, Cyrille Aimee at the Dakota
. August 8-9, Kevin Mahogany in the Dunmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. August 12, Lila Ammons Duo at Midtown Farmers Market
. August 16, Ben Sidran at the Dakota
. August 20, Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson, Music of the 50s at St Albert the Great (1 pm)
. August 20-21, Lee Konitz with Dan Tepfer in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. August 24, Debbie Duncan Live Album Recording at the Dakota
. August 25, Jazz Word Jazz at Studio Z (All Originals)
. August 30, Dr Lonnie Smith at the Dakota
. September 12-13, Mike Stern Band at the Dakota
. September 18, The Yellowjackets at the Dakota
. September 22, Framework at Studio Z (All Originals)
. October 10-11, Chick Corea Sextet with Steve Gadd at the Dakota
. October 20, Mindy Abair at the Dakota
. October 26-27, Ramsey Lewis Quartet at the Dakota
. October 28-29, David Sanborn at the Dakota


The Iowa City Jazz Festival --June 30-July 2