Thursday, February 4, 2016

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Jazz, February 5-11

John Scofield and Joe Lovano, at the Dakota February 8-9

© Andrea Canter

Winter Jazz Fest might be over, but it is obviously still winter, and hot jazz will keep us in a festive mood in the coming week. Masters reign across the metro this weekend, while stellar visitors and Mardi Gras celebrations highlight the week ahead.

Steven Hobert
Friday, February 5. An ensemble of area heavyweights makes its debut on the Friday Night Jazz at Reverie (aka The Nicollet) series. The Steven Hobert Quartet features an exciting group of Twin Cities musicians, with leader Hobert (piano) joined by wide-ranging bassist Yohannes Tona, nationally touring violinist Kip Jones, and up-and-coming drum sensation Arthur "LA" Buckner. This is perhaps one of the most eclectic quartets to ever perform on this jazz series!

Eric Gravatt
Jazz Central Studios hosts its Masters Series every Friday night, and no one better fits that description than Eric Kamau Gravatt. The former Weather Report drummer was already a legend in the 70s and has enjoyed a resurgence of his career over the past decade, particularly as leader of Source Code. He'll bring the band with four other local favorites-- Chris Thomson, Solomon Parham, Dean Magraw and Ron Evaniuk.

Dinner sets tonight at the Icehouse featured one of their favorite duos, guitarist Jacob Hanson and bassist James Buckley, while Todd Harper's Piano Fridays features sax innovator Nathan Hanson at the Black Dog.

Thomas Bruce
Although he came to his music career relatively late, Thomas Bruce was a quick study and is now a veteran vocalist with a bent toward Chet Baker. He's in the spotlight tonight at Parma 8200.

Start celebrating Mardi Gras a little early at Vieux Carré with the Bill Evans New Orleans Jazz Band. Enjoy a Sarzac before you start a second line march!

JoAnn Funk
Friday-Saturday, February 5-6. Hot off a Sunday night edition of Jazz in the Lobby Bar, pianist/vocalist JoAnn Funk and bassist Jeff Brueske keep the music flowing at the Saint Paul Hotel.

Saturday, February 6. Looking for some family fun with Mardi Gras flavor? The Jack Brass Band starts celebrating early this afternoon at Como Dockside. Expect some tunes from their new CD, For Your Soul.

Dean Sorenson
Long-time jazz educator, head of Jazz Studies at the University of Minnesota, renowned arranger for the Glenn Miller Orchestra and more, Dean Sorenson is also an accomplished trombonist and bandleader who is not heard on the bandstand often enough. His Dean Sorenson Sextet (with Steve Kenny, David Milne, Chris Lomheim, Tom Lewis, Phil Hey) returns to the scene of their August CD release on the Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog series. Come early and enjoy an opening set with the Nick Syman Quartet.

Saturday night regulars include the Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200 and the Talking Strings at the Loring Pasta Bar. Dinner sets tonight at the Icehouse feature accordionist extraordinaire, Patrick Harison.

And more New Orleans grooves with the Pigs Eye Jass Band's Mardi Gras Party at the Eagles' Aerie Club, where dancing isn't just allowed, it's expected. And tonight, there will also be beads and a Second Line parade through the hall.

Dean Magraw
Anyone living in southeast Minnesota or heading that way, guitarist Dean Magraw and long-time cohort, fiddler and mandolinist Peter Ostroushko will be at the Oak Center General Store in Lake City tonight -- a string extravaganza!

And Hell is the destination for a night with Arne Fogel and the Wolverines-- Hell's Kitchen, that is! Even Satan would love this show.

Sunday, February 7. Patty and the Buttons (aka Patrick Harison and friends) hold their usual brunch party at the Aster, while guitar guru Zacc Harris and his trio take their weekly spot in a tight corner of the Riverview Wine Bar.

Dan Chouinard's "Birthday Club" in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners features the multiple talents of singer/actor Dane Stauffer, an alum of Childrens' Theater and NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.

Irv Williams
Monday, February 8. No one belongs in the Spotlight Artist slot at Jazz Central more than 96-year-old sax legend Irv Williams. With pals Steve Blons, Billy Peterson and Dave Graf, this is likely to be the most mellow show you'll hear in this room! 

Big band fans will enjoy the monthly installment of the Acme Jazz Company at Crooners Lounge; the band should be warmed up from last weekend's opening gig at the Winter Jazz Festival.

Lovers of the local avant garde scene have options East and West tonight: Sax magician George Cartwright leads an ensemble at the Black Dog with Bill Horvitz on guitar and vocals, Doan Brian Roessler on bass, and Davu Seru on drums. 

And late night improvisation prevails at the Icehouse for JT's Jazz Implosion, featuring Six Families, three sets: 1) Michelle Kinney's Too Choose (Kinney, Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, Joe Peterson and Davu Seru); 2) Rice with Mark Engelmann and Toby Ramaswamy; and 3) Adam Zahller's Rillwands.
Scofield-Lovano Quartet
Monday-Tuesday, February 8-9. Just last week, the audience at the Dakota witnessed what has to be one of the most telepathic, sublime collaborations in modern jazz with Charles Lloyd and Bill Frisell, along with Lloyd's frequent partners, Reuben Rogers and Eric Harland. With the stage still smoldering from that  2 1/2 hour set, another, longer-standing partnership lands at the Dakota for two nights -- the John Scofield-Joe Lovano Quartet with ace cohorts Ben Street and Lewis Nash. The Scofield-Lovano pairing dates back to the early 90s, reuniting in 2008 after a 20-year gap, and now touring together again.They released Past Present last fall with Bill Stewart at the drumset.

A rare Monday night brings Mardi Gras to Vieux Carré with an equally rare national show from the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and the DDBB is back on Tuesday night for an even bigger celebration. These popular brass experts guarantee evenings of fun-- if you move fast to reserve your seats, another rarity at VC-- reservations! (Tuesday night sold out!)

Reuben Ristrom
Tuesday, February 9. Second Tuesday means the Cedar Avenue Big Band at Jazz Central, while Fat Tuesday puts Reuben Ristrom and Friends in the party-friendly lounge at Crooners in lieu of the usual instrumental jazz night in the Dunsmore Room.

And the Nova Jazz Orchestra holds its monthly bash at the Minnesota Music Cafe -- part of the club's Mardi Gras Night, with vocalist Tony DeMarco. More Mardi Gras madness at the Amsterdam Bar with the best of NOLA in the Twin Cities -- Jack Brass Band.

Wednesday, February 10.  It's the second of three installments of a new Chris Bates project at Jazz Central, working through new music with young talents, Ted Olsen on bass and Matt Buckner on drums.

Mary Louise Knutson
At Vieux Carré, pianist Mary Louise Knutson goes solo, just back from a winter tour with Doc Severinsen; she's followed by the eclectic magic of New Shoes-- the same ensemble that performed on Prairie Home Companion as Guy's All Star Shoe Band (Gary Raynor, Richard Kreihn, Joe Savage and Peter Johnson).

Gary Burton, Mack Av Superband
Thursday, February 11. Just how many jazz stars can you put on the Dakota stage in one band? The Mack Avenue Superband is an assemblage of the Detroit record label's top recording artists. In addition to performing together at every Detroit Jazz Festival, the band records a new album every year. This will be the Superband's debut performance in the Twin Cities. Led by acclaimed bassist Christian McBride and his trio (Christian Sands on piano and Carl Allen on drums), the Superband also includes vibes giant Gary Burton, trumpet king Sean Jones, and sax/flute titan Tia Fuller.

Adam Meckler Orchestra
At Vieux Carré, it's local superstars-- guitarist Joel Shapira opening for the young and restless Adam Meckler Orchestra, while the tiny music space at Khyber Pass will be filled with sound experiments from Adam Linz' Le Percheron, featuring vibes prodigy Levi Schwartzberg and young drum master Cory Healey.

Vocal Jazz Night at Jazz Central brings in a singer with a most appropriate (and real!) name -- Melody Mendis. A veteran of jazz and cabaret, Melody teams up with Tim Graham, Tom Lewis and Jon de Vaal for this 60s-themed show of jazz and light pop tunes.

More Jazz!
Keep up with the live jazz scene in the Twin Cities. The most comprehensive jazz calendar can be found at KBEM, with more listings at Rhythm and Grooves and Jazz Near You, and of course, here on the Lead Sheet. KBEM and KFAI radio host jazz programs regularly and provide daily notices of jazz gigs and concerts; you can find promos of area jazz on the Jazz Police website and Facebook page. The live edition of The Lead Sheet can be heard at 4:40 pm on Thursdays on KBEM, rebroadcast at 8:20 am on Fridays (note later time), and recent broadcasts archived at KBEM on Demand. Special guest on February 11 will be vibes master Dave Hagedorn, head of jazz ensembles at St. Olaf College, who will share news and a preview of the college jazz band's upcoming tour to Cuba. Venues and artists are reminded to send information to online and print calendars!

Coming Soon!
. February 12, Judi Vinar and the Wolverines at Crooners Lounge
. February 12, No Room for Squares, Friday Night Jazz at Reverie
. February 12-14, "Night of Wonder": Tribute to Stevie Wonder, Ginger Commodore and friends at Chanhassen Dinner Theater
. February 13, Butch Thompson master class and performance at MacPhail Center for Music, Antonello Hall
. February 13, Debbie Duncan and Dennis Spears at the Dakota
. February 13-14, Arne Fogel and Maud Hixson, "Crosby-Clooney Story" at the Capri Theater
. February 13, Carnival Brasileros at International Market Square
. February 13, MacPhail Spotlight Series, "Brazil" (Antonello Hall)
. February 13, Jazz Word Jazz Night, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. February 14, Charles Lazarus at Orchestra Hall
. February 14, Badi Assad, Valentine's Day Dinner/Cocktail shows at the Dakota
. February 14, Debbie Duncan, "Songs in the Key of Love" Valentine's Day show in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge, followed by Debbie in the Lounge
. February 14, Jazz at the Jungle, Connie Evingson with Jon Weber, Gordy Johnson and Dave Karr at the Jungle Theater (2 shows)
. February 15, Wayne Shorter's Speak No Evil performed by Jake Baldwin, Michael Shults, Ted Godbout, Chris Bates and Adam Nussbaum at the Icehouse
. February 15, Doug Haining's Twin Cities 7 with Maryann Sullivan at Crooners Lounge
. February 16, Bill Carrothers, solo piano in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. February 16-17, Davell Crawford Tribute to Allen Toussaint (Encore) at the Dakota
. February 18, Debbie Duncan Quartet at Crooners Lounge
. February 19, Bruce Henry at Crooners Lounge
. February 19, Graydon Peterson Quartet at Jazz Central
. February 19, JazzINK Youth Showcase, Paul Harper's Bardo Quartet, Friday Night Jazz at Reverie
. February 20, Retro Swing Sister (Maryann Sullivan and Rhonda Laurie) at Jazz @ St Barneys
. February 20, Bill Frisell "When You Wish Upon a Star" ensemble at the Dakota
. February 20, Solomon Parham/Steve Kenny band, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. February 20, Twin Cities Cabaret Artists Network Salon at Town House Bar
. February 21, St. Olaf College Jazz Ensemble, fundraiser for Cuba tour at Crooners Lounge
. February 21, Dan Chouinard's Birthday Club with Gwen Matthews, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. February 22, Dave Karr at Jazz Central
. February 22, Ches Smith Trio with Craig Taborn at the Icehouse
February 23, Dean Magraw and Steven Hobert, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. February 23, Connie Evingson at Vieux Carré
. February 24, Arne Fogel at Crooners Lounge
. February 25, Rez Abassi with Vijay Iyer and Rudresh Mahanthappa at Walker Art Center
. February 25, Rebirth Brass Band at the Dakota
. February 25, Jazz in the Target Atrium, Atrium Jazz Ensemble with Bryan Nichols at Orchestra Hall
. February 25, KBEM Jazz 88 Restaurant Tour at Parma 8200 featuring Benny Weinbeck
. February 26, Patty Peterson and Friends at Crooners Lounge
. February 26, Davu Seru Group, Friday Night Jazz at Reverie
. February 26, Augsburg College Jazz Ensemble with Bria Skonberg, Foss Center, Augsburg College
. February 27, Shifting Paradigm's Winter Jazz Fest at Studio Z
. February 27, Falls Five/Eric Gravatt & Source Code, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. February 28, Dan Chouinard's Birthday Club with Judi Vinar, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. February 29, "In the Crook," Rick Carlson with Dennis Spears, Dunsmore Room at Crooner's Lounge
. March 2-3, Brian Blade Fellowship at the Dakota
. March 5, Pete Whitman X-Tet at Hopkins Center for the Arts
. March 5, Larry McDonough Quartet, Jazz @St Barneys (St Barnabas Church)
. March 13, JazzMN Orchestra with Tierney Sutton at the Hopkins High School Auditorium
. March 19, Zakir Hussain at Pantages Theater
. March 23, Geoffrey Keezer with Gillian Margo, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. April 3-4, SF Jazz Collective at the Dakota
. April 10-11, David Sanborn at the Dakota
. April 18, Chick Corea and Bela Fleck at the Guthrie Theater
. April 19, Lizz Wright at the Dakota
. April 23, JazzMN Orchestra with Bob McChesney and Andy Martin at Hopkins High School Auditorium
. April 28, Jazz in the Target Atrium at Orchestra Hall
. May 6, Tony Bennett at the State Theater
. May 7, Steve Lehman Octet at the Walker Art Center
. June 23-25, Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Mears Park
. July 1-3, Iowa City Jazz Festival

Hear the live edition of the Lead Sheet on Jazz 88.5 FM, KBEM, Thursdays at 4:40 pm, rebroadcast on Fridays at 8:20 am! 

Debbie Duncan --Valentine's Day at Crooners Lounge

When Music Is the Magic


Charles Lloyd, Bill Frisell Quartet at the Dakota

© Andrea Canter

Charles Lloyd and Bill Frisell
Much of the Twin Cities metro area was simply closed on Tuesday night. While it was hardly the worst snowstorm in history--not even close, by midafternoon driving was treacherous and the forecast of blizzard conditions convinced many clubs and event centers to shut down for the night. The Pete Whitman X-Tet was pre-empted at Crooners; Chris Lomheim and Fuzzy Math were closed out at Vieux Carré;  Big Band Night became No Band Night at Jazz Central. But at the Dakota in downtown Minneapolis, the prevailing attitude was "the show must go on." Fortunately the musicians had arrived ahead of the storm. And it would have been a tragic loss to the sold-out crowd--most of whom made it to the show--had the club shut down a most eagerly anticipated night with Charles Lloyd and Bill Frisell, each a working legend in his own right. With bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland --frequent associates of Lloyd, this ensemble has been gaining momentum over the past two years, sometimes as a quartet, sometimes as a quintet ("Marvel"), adding pedal steel expert and longtime Frisell collaborator Greg Liesz.

Charles Lloyd
Neither Lloyd nor Frisell are strangers to the Twin Cities or the Dakota, as each tends to find his way here every year or two, and both brought strong shows to the Dakota in 2015. But put these icons together -- "spontaneous combustion" does not really convey the brightness of the sparks, the height of the soaring sky rockets, the intensity of the camaraderie, or the transcendence of the spirits. Four artists held the attention of 200+ listeners (and indeed, this was an audience of listeners!) for nearly two and a half hours of a single set, many of the tunes folding into each other as a grand jazz epic. Frisell and I are about the same 60-something and I can't imagine standing on stage that long, with or without performing. Lloyd is 77 and a leading force on every tune, mostly played this night on tenor, taking breaks only to yield the magic wand to his pals while sitting back, briefly, to urge them to higher and higher glory. Rogers and Harland are in their 40s, but in no way out-gunned their elders.

Bill Frisell and Reuben Rogers
The setlist itself --never announced--was drawn from the history of jazz and the global roots of all music, not at all unusual for either Lloyd or Frisell who are both geniuses of interpretation and reinvention. There were plenty of post-bop exchanges, as well as hints of Middle Eastern and European folk, country blues, Latin syncopation, spirituals and gospel, Americana and 60s pop, with unique takes on such familiar fare as "Shenendoah," "In My Room," "Abide With Me," and the stunning final encore, "You Are So Beautiful." Yes, a third encore (or was it four?). Neither the audience nor the band wanted to call it a night.

Eric Harland
Some highlights were as much visual as aural, particularly the interaction among pairs-- Lloyd and Frisell of course, eyeing each other and smiling throughout; the two stringmen, Frisell and Rogers, as if dueling with the utmost respect while each determined to reach Nirvana first. And Harland always driving the bus but eager to find each of his cohort's preferred highway.

In the end, sound is everything, and every sound contributed to the journey, solo or in tandem or in full ensemble harmony. And no one was happier with the results than the four musicians on stage. But those of us in the audience were close behind.

The storm was pretty much over by the end of the show and really was not all that memorable. We'll probably have a few more like it before the season ends in April. As for the musical experience this night at the Dakota, I only hope I have a few more like it ... period.  To quote Abbey Lincoln, "music is the magic of a secret world," and every once in a while, we stumble upon an ensemble that brings us into that world.

Final bows




Monday, February 1, 2016

Anthony and Michael Reverse Sam and Dave at Jazz Central (February 3)



© Andrea Canter
 
Anthony Cox

Once per month, renowned bassist/cellist Anthony Cox presents an evening of new music at Jazz Central Studios, and frequently he gets into the act himself.  Dubbing themselves the "Reverse of Sam and Dave Duo", Cox and pal, saxophonist/bassist Michael Lewis, will test the duo format at Jazz Central Studios, Wednesday February 3.

Anthony Cox
Growing up in suburban Minneapolis, Anthony Cox was not particularly interested in jazz as a teenage guitarist, preferring Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles to John Coltrane and Charles Mingus. But his parents played jazz records and soon a Mingus concert and listening to Return to Forever’s Stanley Clarke led him to switch to the bass. Anthony studied bass at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, then headed to New York, building a reputation that took him on tour with Stan Getz.  In the early 90s, he returned to the Twin Cities but his career has hardly been limited by his residence. Over the years, Cox has worked and/or recorded with Joe Lovano, Sam Rivers, Dewey Redman, Geri Allen, Arthur Blythe, and Uri Caine, playing upright acoustic, electric and Spanish acoustic bass and cello. With Bill Carrothers and Jay Epstein, he has performed and recorded as Easy Company. Recently, Anthony has appeared at the Icehouse, Dakota, Black Dog and Jazz Central, in addition to Jazz in the Target Atrium. He leads several ensembles including Happy Spirits and DD7.

Mike Lewis
Michael Lewis is best known around town and well beyond as one of the most creative sax players in modern music, lending his blowing skills to the acclaimed Happy Apple as well as FKW. Noted Richard Brody in The New Yorker, “Lewis’s dry, metallic tone on alto and tenor and the free melodic logic of his improvisations recalls the playing of Ornette Coleman…as well as the fragmentation of mid-sixties Sonny Rollins, the quizzical assertions of the great altoist John Tchicai, and even the visionary gospel rhapsodies of Albert Ayler… Lewis’s solos, digging from melody to wail, moving from a breathy, atonal whisper to a deep, swinging groove, have a vulnerable, confessional air.” Lewis has been increasingly visible in New York, performing at the Stone with Happy Apple as well as with FKW; and he appeared on David Letterman in connection with his 2009 tour with Andrew Bird, on which he played electric bass. He continues to lead a double life in music, playing bass with Bird, Dosh, Alpha Consumer and Red Start.

So what is the "reverse" of 60s-70s soul? Come down to Jazz Central and find out (8:30 pm).

Jazz Central Studios is a non-profit venue presenting jazz five nights per week, 407 SE Central Av, Minneapolis. Donations ($10) requested to support the musicians and the venue. Calendar and more online.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, January 29- February 4


© Andrea Canter

Cyrus Chestnut headlines the Winter Jazz Festival on January 31

Leave it to Minnesotans to find ways to celebrate winter, be it with ice sculptures, plunges into frozen lakes, or... jazz, of course. This weekend brings two jazz festivals, the annual event at Century College (this year boasting guest artist Randy Brecker) and the more intermittent bash, the Winter Jazz Festival sponsored by the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, held at the Saint Paul Hotel with the Cyrus Chestnut Trio in the headliner slot. And away from the festivals, there's the usual dose of great music throughout the metro, from local heroes like Dave Karr and Kenny Horst at the Black Dog to living legends Charles Lloyd and Bill Frisell, sharing the stage at the Dakota.

Big Gigs This Week

Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson
Friday, January 29. Maud Hixson has been performing more out of town than locally lately, but she's singing away the blues, the chills or whatever else ails you at Parma 8200 tonight, with her most able sidekicks, Rick Carlson on keys and Gordy Johnson on bass.


Joe Mayo
A double sax quartet dubbed Really Big Shoe debuts at Jazz Central, as Joe Mayo and Clay Pufahl take the "stage" with Ted Olsen on bass and Lars-Erik Larson on drums, playing mostly original music. Following their show, it's North Central University's "Collegiate Night," directed by Bobby Peterson protegé Peter Shu, with several sets ending with an open jam.


Dave Brattain
At The Nicollet (soon to be Reverie), Friday Night Jazz brings in da-ke-broo-da, that weirdly named quartet featuring some well-seasoned post-boppers -- Dave Brattain on sax, Kevin Daley on guitar, Bruce Heine on bass and Dave Stanoch on drums.


Peter Kogan
At Vieux Carré, Jeremy Walker opens the evening with solo piano, followed by Peter Kogan's Monsterful Wonderband, a septet of area titans under the leadership of the Minnesota Orchestra's retired principal timpanist who released Some Monsterful Wonderthing last year. The band includes Pete Whitman, Adam Meckler and Scott Agster on horns, with a rhythm section of Sean Turner, Chris Olsen, Jeff Bailey and of course Kogan.


One-man band Patrick Harison entertains over the dinner hours at the Icehouse; Irv Williams is back at the Dakota for Happy Hour; and Todd Harper's Piano Friday at the Black Dog features the piano/drum/bass trio with Eric Coursen and Keith Yanes.


Saturday, January 30. Kate Lynch and her Most Excellent Fellows take the lounge stage at Crooners. Bassist/vocalist Kate elevates the songs of the 30s and 40s, and her Fellows include Chris Beaty on guitar, Ken Chastain on drums and vocals, Greg Lewis on trumpet and flute, and Micheal Nelson on trombone.


Dave Karr
Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog presents a sterling double-header from some of the youngest to one of the oldest of our jazz artists. The 7 pm set features the Next-Tet, and you might see some familiar faces among these teens -- Jordan Anderson (piano), Alma Engebretson (bass) and Will Schmid (guitar) have appeared in other configurations at the Black Dog, Nicollet and Jazz Central in recent months, and drummer Luke Westermeyer has been building his reputation at Wayzata High School and beyond. Moving to the other end of the experience spectrum, the 8:30 show brings in the Dave Karr Group, with Steve Kenny, Billy Peterson and Kenny Horst.


Jana Nyberg Group
At Vieux Carré, the Jana Nyberg Group makes prime time fun, as the popular vocalist brings along pals Adam Meckler on trumpet, Thomas Nordlund on guitar, Matt Peterosn on bass, and Andres Crovetti on drums. Says Jana, "some righteous tunes in a super hip club!"


Benny Goodman is long gone but as long as Julian Bliss is around (and he's still in his 20s), the King of Swing won't be forgotten. The classically trained (and employed) clarinetist, who has been fascinated by Goodman since early childhood, brings his renowned septet to Orchestra Hall.


Randy Brecker
Saturday-Sunday, January 30-31. The annual Century College Jazz Festival returns for its 27th year this weekend with guest artist, trumpeter Randy Brecker. After the collegiate ensembles and adjudications, Saturday evening features Charmin and Shapira and Friends (Tom Lewis and Nathan Norman), followed by the Century College Jazz Ensemble with Brecker; the concert repeats on Sunday afternoon.


Cyrus Chestnut
Sunday, January 31.  The biggest jazz day of the winter season! The Winter Jazz Fest kicks off at noon with a clinic aimed at middle and high school students (free!) at McNally Smith, featuring festival headliner and dazzling pianist Cyrus Chestnut. The festival launches in full force at 2 pm at the Saint Paul Hotel, with music throughout the afternoon and early evening on three stages plus the Lobby Bar. Unlike the summer festival, this is a ticketed event with proceeds going to support the summer festival as well as the new Leigh Kamman Legacy Project. Top local jazzers are featured-- Acme Jazz Company, Patty Peterson with Dave Karr, Debbie Duncan with the Jazz Central All-Stars, the eclectic Ancia Saxophone Quartet, dueling trumpets from Solomon Parham and Steve Kenny, Lobby Bar stalwarts, the JoAnn Funk Trio, and the stars of tomorrow, the Dakota Combo and the Will Schmid/Adam Astrup Guitar Duo. The festival ends with the much-anticipated headliner set, the Cyrus Chestnut Trio with bassist Gerald Cannon (McCoy Tyner) and drummer and Twin Cities Jazz Festival Artistic Director, Francisco Mela (McCoy Tyner, Joe Lovano). The Lobby Bar also hosts a special (and sold-out) "afternoon tea" sponsored by the St. Paul Winter Carnival with long-running "tea" pianist Chris Lomheim.  Tickets online ($30) or at the door ($35), and a special student ticket ($10) is available.


Bryan Nichols
Vieux Carré hosts an "after party," with the festive talents of the Bryan Nichols Trio with Chris and JT Bates. Only two blocks away from the Saint Paul Hotel, this one seems like a no-brainer for festival patrons.


Dan Chouinard
If you're festivaled-out by early evening, consider a short ride north to the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge where Dan Chouinard hosts another installment of The Birthday Club-- featuring music from artists celebrating January birthdays  and the vocal talents of our local jazz community. Tonight, Dan welcomes Debbie Duncan as his partner for the evening; Debbie should be warmed up following her appearance at the Winter Jazz Fest. Shows in the Dunsmore Room have been running near full, so be sure to reserve ahead.



At the Dakota, Ginger Commodore and assorted friends -- e.g., Yolande Bruce, Tonia Hughes-Kendrick, Ash Smash and Dennis Spears, will pay tribute to the late Natalie Cole, backed by the best--Brian Ziemniak, Deevo Dee, Jay Young and Daryl Boudreaux.


And if you're in the vicinity of Mankato tonight, hear Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson perform some "classic jazz" at Halling Recital Hall on the Minnesota State-Mankato campus.


Andrew Schwandt

Monday, February 1. Saxophonist Andrew Schwandt takes the spotlight at Jazz Central, while the Acme Jazz Company fills the lounge at Crooners.  Tommy and the Lieberman entertain at The Dakota,  and the antics of JT's Jazz Implosion will bring the night owls in from the cold at the Icehouse-- this week featuring the Regional Jazz Trio, a rather benign name for an incendiary threesome of Bates, Anthony Cox and Michael Lewis.


  Tuesday, February 2. It's always an uplifting show when Charles Lloyd is in town, and for one night, he's sharing the Dakota stage with another jazz icon, guitarist Bill Frisell. Their cohorts are just a generation away from similar stature-- Lloyd's recent ensemble pals, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland. Both Lloyd and Frisell bring a folkloric, globally inspired meditation quality to their compositions and approach to melody and harmony, ensuring their collaboration will be thoughtful and inspiring.


X-Tet
They won't fit in the Dunsmore Room, so the Pete Whitman X-Tet will take over the lounge at Crooners for the Tuesday Instrumental Jazz Night. Instead of nearly ten feet of piano, they have ten artists of the highest caliber filling the space with original tunes and arrangements of post-bop masters.



 First Tuesday regulars-- the Bill Simenson Orchestra at Jazz Central, and Dean Magraw/Davu Seru at the Black Dog. And at Vieux Carré, Chris Lomheim offers a solo piano intro to the evening, followed by the "jazz band for people who don't like jazz," Fuzzy Math.


Thomas Bruce
Wednesday, February 3. In the lounge at Crooners, a modern day "crooner" Thomas Bruce takes the stage, putting his own spin on standards and ballads. In another lounge, First Wednesday means Connie Evingson and friends at the Minneapolis Woman's Club for "Jazz in the Lounge," this month featuring Sanford Moore and Dave Karr.


JoAnn Funk
On "loan" from the Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, singer/pianist JoAnn Funk brings her trio (Jeff Brueske, Nathan Norman) to the Dakota for a night of Blossom Dearie, Diana Krall, and more.


Thursday, February 4. Out west in Delano, a new venue, Bonde Bistro, features the veteran Pete Snell Trio, with Pete on sax, Lee Blaske on piano and Jim Chenoweth on bass.


On Thursday Vocal Jazz Night at Jazz Central, eclectic pianist Steven Hobert performs with Twin Cities Cabaret Artist Network member, vocalist Joey Babay, for an evening of stories in song.


Avant garde music series at Khyber Pass continues tonight with the off-the-edge sax-bass-drum trio of Nathan Hanson, James Buckley and George Marich.


More Jazz!

Keep up with the live jazz scene in the Twin Cities. The most comprehensive jazz calendars can be found at Jazz Police and KBEM, with more listings at Rhythm and Grooves and Jazz Near You. KBEM and KFAI radio host jazz programs regularly and provide daily notices of jazz gigs and concerts. The live edition of The Lead Sheet can be heard at 4:40 pm on Thursdays on KBEM, rebroadcast at 8:20 am on Fridays (note later time), and recent broadcasts archived at KBEM on Demand. Special guest on February 4 will be jazz hound Larry Englund, talking about the local jazz scene-- favorite venues and where to learn about local events. Venues and artists are reminded to send information to online and print calendars (e.g. tc@jazzpolice.com).


Coming Soon!
John Scofield/Joe Lovano Quartet, coming to the Dakota February 8-9
. February 5, Steven Hobert-Yohannes Tona Quartet, Friday Night Jazz at Reverie (aka The Nicollet)
. February 5, Eric Gravatt and Source Code at Jazz Central
. February 5, Thomas Bruce at Parma 8200
. February 5-6, Keys Please! (Carei Thomas, Todd Harper, Paul Cantrell with Heather Barringer) at Studio Z
. February 6, Dean Sorenson Sextet, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. February 7, Dan Chouinard's Birthday Club with Dane Stauffer, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. February 7, New Ruckus Composers Night at Studio Z
. February 8-9, John Scofield and Joe Lovano at the Dakota
. February 8-9, Mardi Gras Party with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band at Vieux Carré
. February 9, Mardi Gras Night at Crooners Lounge with Reuben Ristrom, Steve Pikal and friends
. February 10, Chris Bates with Ted Olsen and Matt Buckner at Jazz Central
. February 11, Mack Avenue Super Band at the Dakota
. February 11, Adam Meckler Orchestra at Vieux Carré
. February 12, Judi Vinar and the Wolverines at Crooners Lounge
. February 12, No Room for Squares, Friday Night Jazz at Reverie
. February 12-14, "Night of Wonder": Tribute to Stevie Wonder, Ginger Commodore and friends at Chanhassen Dinner Theater
. February 13, Debbie Duncan and Dennis Spears at the Dakota
. February 13-14, Arne Fogel and Maud Hixson, "Crosby-Clooney Story" at the Capri Theater
. February 13, Carnival Brasileros at International Market Square
. February 14, Charles Lazarus at Orchestra Hall
. February 14, Badi Assad, Valentine's Day Dinner/Cocktail shows at the Dakota
. February 14, Debbie Duncan, "Songs in the Key of Love" Valentine's Day show in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge, followed by Debbie in the Lounge
. February 14, Jazz at the Jungle, Connie Evingson with Jon Weber, Gordy Johnson and Dave Karr at the Jungle Theater (2 shows)
. February 15, Doug Haining's Twin Cities 7 with Maryann Sullivan at Crooners Lounge
. February 16, Bill Carrothers, solo piano in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. February 16-17, Davell Crawford Tribute to Allen Toussaint (Encore) at the Dakota
. February 18, Debbie Duncan Quartet at Crooners Lounge
. February 19, Bruce Henry at Crooners Lounge
. February 19, Graydon Peterson Quartet at Jazz Central
. February 19, JazzINK Youth Showcase, Paul Harper's Bardo Quartet, Friday Night Jazz at Reverie
. February 20, Retro Swing Sister (Maryann Sullivan and Rhonda Laurie) at Jazz @ St Barneys
. February 20, Bill Frisell "When You Wish Upon a Star" ensemble at the Dakota
. February 21, St. Olaf College Jazz Ensemble, fundraiser for Cuba tour at Crooners Lounge
. February 21, Dan Chouinard's Birthday Club with Gwen Matthews, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. February 22, Dave Karr at Jazz Central
. February 22, Ches Smith Trio with Craig Taborn at the Icehouse
February 23, Dean Magraw and Steven Hobert, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. February 23, Connie Evingson at Vieux Carré
. February 24, Arne Fogel at Crooners Lounge
. February 25, Rez Abassi with Vijay Iyer and Rudresh Mahanthappa at Walker Art Center
. February 25, Rebirth Brass Band at the Dakota
. February 25, Jazz in the Target Atrium, Atrium Jazz Ensemble with Bryan Nichols at Orchestra Hall
. February 26, Patty Peterson and Friends at Crooners Lounge
. February 26, Davu Seru Group, Friday Night Jazz at Reverie
. February 26, Jay Young and the Lyric Factory at Vieux Carre'
. February 26, Augsburg College Jazz Ensemble with Bria Skonberg, Foss Center, Augsburg College
. February 27, Shifting Paradigm's Winter Jazz Fest at Studio Z
. February 28, Dan Chouinard's Birthday Club with Judi Vinar, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. February 29, "In the Crook," Rick Carlson with Dennis Spears, Dunsmore Room at Crooner's Lounge
. March 2-3, Brian Blade Fellowship at the Dakota
. March 5, Pete Whitman X-Tet at Hopkins Center for the Arts
. March 5, Larry McDonough Quartet, Jazz @St Barneys (St Barnabas Church)
. March 13, JazzMN Orchestra with Tierney Sutton at the Hopkins High School Auditorium
. March 19, Zakir Hussain at Pantages Theater
. March 23, Geoffrey Keezer with Gillian Margo, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. April 3-4, SF Jazz Collective at the Dakota
. April 10-11, David Sanborn at the Dakota
. April 18, Chick Corea and Bela Fleck at the Guthrie Theater
. April 19, Lizz Wright at the Dakota
. April 23, JazzMN Orchestra with Bob McChesney and Andy Martin at Hopkins High School Auditorium
. April 28, Jazz in the Target Atrium at Orchestra Hall
. May 6, Tony Bennett at the State Theater
. May 7, Steve Lehman Octet at the Walker Art Center
. June 23-25, Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Mears Park
. July 1-3, Iowa City Jazz Festival

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