Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, May 27-June 2



Dave Karr Quartet in the Dunsmore Room, May 31


© Andrea Canter

The Twin Cities Jazz Festival is now just four weeks away from its official opening at Mears Park, and it seems bands and performers all over the metro are warming up! The holiday weekend is generally on the slow side, but nevertheless, there's a diversity of jazz offerings from Minneapolis to St Paul and points beyond. Enjoy a family barbecue along the way!

Big Gigs This Week
Rick Carlson and Maud Hixson
Friday, May 27. Maud Hixson returns to Parma 8200 with Rick Carlson and Gordy Johnson, while some fortunate circumstances put New York saxophonist Ted Nash at Vieux Carré with pal Jeremy Walker as a free big act to open the evening.   

Paul Harper
Public Kitchen in Lowertown St Paul has been presenting some pretty cool jazz lately, including tonight's gig with the Paul Harper Chordless Quartet, featuring Harper on saxes, Steve Kenny on flumpet, Tom Lewis on bass, and young Matt Buckner on drums.

The quintet edition of President Flow flows musically at Jazz Central, with the double sax frontline of Joe Mayo and Peter Vircks, along with Park Evans on guitar, Josh Granowski on bass, Rick Nair on drums.

KBEM's annual Spring River Cruise on the Mississippi aboard the Magnolia Blossom takes place this evening with music from Patty Peterson and nephew Jason Peterson DeLaire -- possibly a few tickets remain! (See the KBEM website). Bryan Nichols and Brandon Wozniak "cruise" on dry land, dinner sets at the Icehouse.

Peter Vircks
Saturday, May 28. For Peter Vircks, one of the original Motion Poets, it's a long weekend as he brings his own quartet to the Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog series, with the Evan Benidt Trio opening, led by saxman Benidt, and it's another gig for Park Evans. It's also another Black Dog night in the temporary music space --what will be the greatly expanded cafe space off the new kitchen, and perhaps the last weekend before music moves back to its original, now enlarged space with a new full bar. Watch for a celebration of the renovations!

Alex Burgess
Also on Saturday, renegades from Group 47 and Dark Blue form part of the Alex Burgess Quartet, convening at Jazz Central. Drummer Alex enlists fellow Group 47 and Dark Blue artist, saxman Thomas Strommen, along with keyboard veteran Eric Graham and guitar monster, Dark Blue agent Dylan Nelson. Over at the Dakota, it's time for the almost monthly party with Nachito Herrera.

Arne Fogel
Sunday, May 29. Those of us old enough to remember Sergio Mendes and Brazil '66 and those young enough to wonder about the origins of popular Brazilian jazz will want to head to the Dakota for Mendes current touring show, a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the iconic band. It's also Dunsmore Room debut night for Minnesota's crooner, Arne Fogel, appearing with Dan Chouinard on The Birthday Club.

Levi Schwartzberg, Sound Skirmish
Monday, May 30. Some young turks burn up Jazz Central tonight when Sound Skirmish returns. Originating while all were still high schoolers, the band has a rapidly maturing line-up of Patrick Adkins (piano), Levi Schwartzberg (vibes), Drew Stinson (bass), and Ben Ehrlich (drums). Adkins (Lawrence Conservatory) and Ehrlich (U of North Texas) are in town on summer break, while Schwartzberg (U of M) and Stinson (McNally Smith) are heard often on the local scene.

Dave Karr
Tuesday, May 31. One of the early gigs in the Dunsmore Room, the Dave Karr Quartet returns on with energetic octogenarian Dave joined by Chris Lomheim, Keith Boyles, and Phil Hey. Mostly on the other end of the generation gap, Steve Kenny's Group 47 returns to action at Vieux Carré-- that's veteran Kenny on flumpet with relative youngsters Thomas Strommen (sax), Will Kjeer (piano), Adam Tucker (bass), and Alex Burgess (drums). Pianist Steven Hobert offers an opening solo set.

At the Dakota, enjoy Kate Lynch and her Most Excellent Fellows. Bassist/vocalist Kate was inspired by the Ink Spots' "Java Jive," and will offer a two-set evening "of songs that date twenty years before and after Java Jive."  Her "Fellows" are indeed excellent--Chris Beaty on guitar, Ken Chastain on drums, Greg Lewis on trumpet and Michael Nelson on trombone.

Wednesday, June 1. Usually on hand to host in the Dunsmore Room, singer/pianist Andrew Walesch is in the spotlight tonight with vocalist Jennifer Grimm.


Rodney Ruckus
Thursday, June 2. A relative newcomer on the local jazz scene, drummer Rodney Ruckus lives up to his name every time behind the trapset. He leads a trio for Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie, with Javi Santiago on piano and Ted Olsen on drums, following a young lions opening set headed by teen guitar sensation Adam Astrup.

More Jazz!

For even more listings of area jazz events, see the Live Jazz Calendar posted on the KBEM website, and see more detailed information at jazzpolice.com --online and on Facebook. And tune into the on-the-air edition of the Lead Sheet every Thursday at 4:40 pm, rebroadcast on Fridays at 8:20 am. My guest next week will be KFAI host and DJ Larry Englund, talking with me about the upcoming Iowa City Jazz Festival, just a 5-hour drive south over the Fourth of July weekend.

Coming Soon!

. June 3, Patty Peterson All-Stars with Steve Cole at the Dakota
. June 3, Eric Gravatt and Source Code/Edmund Catlin at Jazz Central
. June 3, Mancrush, Jazz at Studio Z
. June 4, Bruce Henry at the Dakota
. June 4, James Wallace Group/Bone Chance, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. June 5, Joe Lovano, Tribute to Gunther Schuller presented by Chamber Music Society of Minnesota at Sundin Hall (Hamline University)
. June 5, Poncho Sanchez at the Dakota
. June 6, Acme Jazz Company at Crooners Lounge
. June 6, Travis Anderson Trio at the Dakota
. June 7, Southside Aces at the Dakota
. June 7, Teri Roiger Quartet with John Menegon in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 7, Mary Louise Knutson/Paul Renz Trio at Vieux Carré
. June 7, Bill Simenson Orchestra at Jazz Central 
. June 8, Arturo Sandoval at the Dakota
. June 8, Patrick Harison/JT Bates Grain Trio at Vieux Carré
. June 9, Vicky Mountain at Jazz Central
. June 10, Jeremy Walker/Jay Young & the Lyric Factory, Vieux Carre'
. June 10, Debbie Duncan Quartet, Crooners Lounge
. June 10, Pete Emblom/Will Kjeer at Jazz Central
. June 11, Ginger Commodore Quartet at the Dakota
. June 12, Charanga Tropical at the Icehouse
. June 12, Claudia Schmitt and Dan Chouinard, Birthday Club, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 13, Maurice Jacox, Night of Nat King Cole, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 13, Luke Peterson Quartet at Jazz Central
. June 13, Pete Whitman X-Tet at the Dakota
. June 14, Travis Anderson Trio, Dunsmore Room, Crooners Lounge
. June 15, Judi Vinar and the Wolverines at Crooners Lounge
. June 16, What Would Monk Do, Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie
. June 17, David Binney Quartet at Walker West
. June 17, Dean Magraw and Marcus Wise/Edmund Catlin
. June 17, Ginger Commodore Quartet, Crooners Lounge
. June 17, Tord Gustavsen Trio at Mindekirken (Norwegian Lutheran Church)
. June 17, Wozniak-Harris Quartet at Vieux Carré
. June 17, Donald Washington Group at the Black Dog
. June 18, Jazz at Studio Z, Doug Little's Tres Mundos 
. June 18, Patty Peterson at Crooners Lounge
. June 18, Will Schmid Trio/Babatunde Lea Ensemble, Saturday Night Jazz at Black Dog
. June 18, Rosemount JazzBlast (Zacc Harris Trio, Jack Brass Band, more!) at Rosemount Central Park Amphitheater 
. June 18, Jay Young and the Lyric Factory at the Dakota
. June 19, Bradley Greenwald and Dan Chouinard, Birthday Club, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 20, JazzMN Orchestra at Chanhassen Dinner Theater
. June 20, Mike Malone at Jazz Central
. June 20, David Hazeltine and Eric Alexander, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 21, David Hazeltine/Eric Alexander Quartet, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 21, Connie Evingson and the Vieux Carré Hot Club at Vieux Carré
. June 22, David Hazeltine and Billy Peterson, CD Release in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 22, Katia Cardenas CD Release/Jazzoneando CD Release at the Icehouse
. June 23-25, Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Mears Park (Delfeayo Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis, Joey Alexander, Russell Malone, John Pizzarelli, Michael Franti & Spearhead)
. June 24, Nachito Herrera at the Dakota
. June 24, Patti Austin with the Duke Ellington Orchestra at Orchestra Hall
. June 26, Judi Vinar and Dan Chouinard, Birthday Club in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 27, Charmin Michelle and Rick Carlson in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 28, Twin Cities 7 With Maryann Sullivan at Crooners Lounge
. June 30, Marquis Hill Black-Tet with Makaya Craven at the Dakota
. June 30, Good Vibes Trio, Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie
. July 1-3, Iowa City Jazz Festival (Vijay Iyer Trio, Miguel Zenon, Poncho Sanchez, Allison Miller, David Berkman, Marquis Hill, Edmer Casteneda, Akiko Tsuruga, Phil Hey Quartet)
. July 5, Chick Corea, Christian McBride and Brian Blade at the Dakota
. July 7, Mindi Abair at the Dakota
. July 18, John Medeski, Todd Clouser and JT Bates at the Icehouse
. July 24, Rochester (MN) Jazz Festival
. August 8, Marcus Miller at the Dakota
. August 9-10, Estaire Godinez at the Dakota
. August 13, Rebirth Brass Band at the Dakota
. September 25-26, Brad Mehldau and Joshua Redman Duo at the Dakota

Joe Lovano -- June 5th at Sundin Hall

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, May 20-26



Bobby Lyle, in the Dunsmore Room May 24-25

 © Andrea Canter


I just returned from five days in New York, where I saw six shows at four venues. I need that overdose now and then, but I think we really have the ideal jazz scene here: lots of choices but seldom overwhelming, and the quality of the music is right up there with the Big Apple! We have some great music this week--- from former residents, a popular long-timer, an exciting solo piano CD release, and a fundraiser reunion of some former teen standouts.



Big Gigs This Week

Michael O'Brien
Friday, May 20. Now based in New York, former Twin Citian and bassist Michael O'Brien is still in town for a few more days, with three gigs this weekend. Tonight, he's the special guest of the Latin Jazz Quartet at Jazz Central -- the band is like a mini Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra with Geoff Senn (trumpet), Joe Strachan (piano), Mac Santiago (drums) and Babatunde Lea (Latin percussion).



Patty Peterson
In Crooner's Lounge, Patty Peterson and Friends are back for musical party night with special guest sister Linda, while dinner sets at the Icehouse feature the sublime piano-bass duo of Bryan Nichols and James Buckley. Saxophonist Donald Washington's Group is back at the Black Dog, and now features young trumpeter Ryan Nyther along with Dick Studer on bass and Kevin Washington on drums.  Pianist Steve Hobert is followed by vocalist Sophia Shorai at Vieux Carré


McNasty Brass
Friday-Sunday, May 20-22. It's the annual Art a Whirl in Northeast Minneapolis, the nation's largest open studio tour. You can find all sorts of arts and upscale crafts, but you can also hear a lot of music throughout the studio and gallery spaces, as well as area music venues -- including some jazz. Patty and the Buttons are on stage at the 331 Club (Saturday at noon); Bauhaus Brew Labs has a line-up including the McNasty Brass Band on Saturday; the Mississippi Hot Club is featured on Saturday at Grumpy's Bar; and just wander through the studio buildings and check their schedules for more.



Kelly Rossum
Saturday, May 21. Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog offers two more opportunities to enjoy Mike O'Brien before he returns to New York. On the opening set, he joins Joel Shapira's Convergence Trio with Eric Gravatt on drums, and then both Mike and Eric join another esteemed visitor, trumpeter Kelly Rossum, who leads a quartet with vibes master Dave Hagedorn.



Saturday options also include midday jazz at the Midtown Global Market with Charmin Michelle and Joel Shapira;  dinner sets with Patrick Harison at the Icehouse, the Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200, and JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar of the Saint Paul Hotel--this will be their last Saturday night for the season, resuming in September.



2015-16 Dakota Combo
Sunday, May 22.  Yes, Kelly Rossum is in town this weekend, and his primary agenda is to lead the Dakota Combo Alumni Big Band as their sponsor, the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education, celebrates ten years of the Combo program with a fundraising event at Vieux Carré. Kelly, who currently heads the jazz program at Christopher Newport University in Virginia, launched the metro-wide all-star high school Combo in fall 2006 via the DFJE's partnership with the MacPhail Center for Music. When he left the Twin Cities three years later, Adam Linz took over the leadership of the Combo. At the fundraiser you will hear a 20-piece band of Combo alums playing Rossum's original charts, as well as the annual spring performance of the current Dakota Combo. There's also some enticing silent and live auction items, raffle, and generally a good time for a good cause. (Tickets available at the door or through the Dakota and Vieux Carré websites.)



Rick Carlson and Maud Hixson
Also on Sunday, you can hear songbird Maud Hixson twice! In the afternoon, she joins hubby pianist Rick Carlson at St Albert the Great Church for "Songs Louis Sang" -- that's Louis Armstrong. And we'll finally hear Maud in the Dunsmore Room Sunday evening when she is the guest on Dan Chouinard's Birthday Club.



They're back in town for perhaps the fifth time in as many months-- the trombone-wielding young Potash Twins are again at the Icehouse (they have also been a the Dakota a few times this year).



Freddy Cole
Monday, May 23.  The Dakota brings back three-time Grammy nominated singer/ pianist Freddy Cole and his quartet. Freddy has generally shied away from comparisons with brother Nat, but now he's touring with a new album saluting "The King."



At Crooners, the Twin Cities 7 with Maryann Sullivan holds their monthly showdown in the lounge, while at the Icehouse, JT's Jazz Implosion features the mighty Graydon Peterson Quartet with Adam Meckler, Joe Strachan and Adrian Suarez.



Bryan Nichols
Tuesday, May 24.  At the Dakotait's the long-awaited solo piano release from Bryan Nichols, who can be as sublime and elegant as he is inventive and playful.  His Looking North is looking like a winner. Across the river at Vieux Carré, Mary Louise Knutson opens the evening on solo piano, followed by the monthly dose of Connie Evingson and her swinging hot club band. And for swinging Latin beats, check out Big Band night at Jazz Central with the Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra.



Billy Peterson
Tuesday-Wednesday, May 24-25.  In the Dunsmore Room it's a special homecoming for a favorite son, the great keyboardist Bobby Lyle. It's a rare occasion that he plays exclusively acoustic piano and in a duo setting at that-- here with old pal, bassist Billy Peterson.



Larry McDonough
Wednesday, May 25. Pianist/ vocalist Larry McDonough has been busy over the past year or so with his salutes to Chet Baker and Miles Davis -- two separate shows. Now he puts them together as "Born to Be Kind of Blue" at the Dakota tonight in adjoining sets.



Lucia Sarmiento
Thursday, May 26. Songbird and voice instructor Paula Lammers takes the spotlight on Vocal Jazz Night at Jazz Central, while young lioness, saxophonist Lucia Sarmiento, brings her band to Thursday Night at Reverie. Lucia has already headed an ensemble at the past two Twin Cities Jazz Festivals (and a third is coming up!), has played recently with Eric Gravatt's Source Code, and is finishing a degree at McNally Smith after studies in her native Peru and Argentina.



At Vieux Carré, Jason Weismann and the Q bring back some good old fashioned swing, Jason on sax and vocals with Phil Aaron on keys, Gordy Johnson on bass and Pete Hennig on drums. And for music for the far end of your ears, check out Embezzler (Paul Metzger, Adam Linz, JT Bates) at Khyber Pass.

More Jazz!
There are days when it does seem like the options are as overwhelming as in New York! See the Live Jazz Calendar posted on the KBEM website, and see more about jazz events at jazzpolice.com. --online and on Facebook. And tune into the on-the-air edition of the Lead Sheet every Thursday at 4:40 pm, rebroadcast on Fridays at 8:20 am. My guest next week will be guitarist/mandolinist/bassist and educator Joan Griffith, filling us in on her new "Talking About Jazz" show on KBEM.

Coming Soon!
. May 27, Maud Hixson at Parma 8200
. May 27, President Flow at Jazz Central
. May 28, Alex Burgess Quartet at Jazz Central
. May 28, Nachito Herrera at the Dakota
. May 28, Evan Benidt Triot/Peter Vircks Quartet at the Black Dog
. May 29, Sergio Mendes at the Dakota
. May 29, Arne Fogel with Dan Chouinard, The Birthday Club in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 30, Sound Skirmish at Jazz Central
. May 31, Dave Karr Quartet in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 1, Andrew Walesch and Jennifer Grimm in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 2, Javi Santiago Group, Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie
. June 3, Patty Peterson All-Stars with Steve Cole at the Dakota
. June 3, Eric Gravatt and Source Code/Edmund Catlin at Jazz Central
. June 4, Bruce Henry at the Dakota
. June 5, Joe Lovano, Tribute to Gunther Schuller presented by Chamber Music Society of Minnesota at Sundin Hall (Hamline University)
. June 5, Poncho Sanchez at the Dakota
. June 6, Acme Jazz Company at Crooners Lounge
. June 6, Travis Anderson Trio at the Dakota
. June 7, Southside Aces at the Dakota
. June 7, Teri Roiger Quartet with John Menegon in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 7, Bill Simenson Orchestra at Jazz Central 
. June 8, Arturo Sandoval at the Dakota
. June 10, Jay Young & the Lyric Factory, Vieux Carre'
. June 10, Debbie Duncan Quartet, Crooners Lounge
. June 10, Pete Emblom/Will Kjeer at Jazz Central
. June 12, Claudia Schmitt and Dan Chouinard, Birthday Club, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 13, Maurice Jacox, Night of Nat King Cole, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 13, Luke Peterson Quartet at Jazz Central
. June 14, Travis Anderson Trio, Dunsmore Room, Crooners Lounge
. June 15, Judi Vinar and the Wolverines at Crooners Lounge
. June 17, David Binney Quartet at Walker West
. June 17, Dean Magraw and Marcus Wise/Edmund Catlin
. June 17, Ginger Commodore Quartet, Crooners Lounge
. June 17, Tord Gustavsen Trio at Mindekirken (Norwegian Lutheran Church)
. June 18, Jazz at Studio Z, Doug Little's Tres Mundos 
. June 18, Patty Peterson at Crooners Lounge
. June 18, Rosemount JazzBlast (Zacc Harris Trio, Jack Brass Band, more!) at Rosemount Central Park Amphitheater 
. June 18, Jay Young and the Lyric Factory at the Dakota
. June 18, JazzINK Youth Showcase, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. June 19, Bradley Greenwald and Dan Chouinard, Birthday Club, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 20, JazzMN Orchestra at Chanhassen Dinner Theater
. June 20, Mike Malone at Jazz Central
. June 20, David Hazeltine and Eric Alexander, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 21, David Hazeltine/Eric Alexander Quartet, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 22, David Hazeltine and Billy Peterson, CD Release in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 23-25, Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Mears Park (Delfeayo Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis, Joey Alexander, Russell Malone, John Pizzarelli, Michael Franti & Spearhead)
. June 26, Judi Vinar and Dan Chouinard, Birthday Club in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 27, Charmin Michelle and Rick Carlson in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 28, Twin Cities 7 With Maryann Sullivan at Crooners Lounge
. June 30, Marquis Hill Black-Tet with Makaya Craven at the Dakota
. July 1-3, Iowa City Jazz Festival (Vijay Iyer Trio, Miguel Zenon, Poncho Sanchez, Allison Miller, David Berkman, Marquis Hill, Edmer Casteneda, Akiko Tsuruga, Phil Hey Quartet)
. July 5, Chick Corea, Christian McBride and Brian Blade at the Dakota
. July 7, Mindi Abair at the Dakota
. July 24, Rochester (MN) Jazz Festival
. August 8, Marcus Miller at the Dakota
. August 9-10, Estaire Godinez at the Dakota
. August 13, Rebirth Brass Band at the Dakota
. September 25-26, Brad Mehldau and Joshua Redman Duo at the Dakota

Dave Karr Quartet, in the Dunsmore Room May 31

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, May 13-19



Mary Louise Knutson Trio, in the Dunsmore Room May 17

© Andrea Canter

We're well into spring --or perhaps even summer--which means we are building momentum toward the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, about six weeks away! This week we can hear some favorite locals, veteran collaborators with new ensembles, a duo of internationally acclaimed artists who happen to live in the Twin Cities, former residents on leave from the East Coast, and an alumni band featuring one-time high school all-stars.

Big Gigs This Week
Nathan Hanson
Friday, May 13. Friday the 13th isn't always bad luck! At Walker West, the Eight O'Clock Jump series continues with a quintet assembled by saxophonist Nathan Hanson and long-time music partner, bassist Doan Brian Roessler. They've played together for more than 20 years, and now they add violinist Laura Harada, saxophonist Cole Pulice and drummer Christopher McGuire to present some challenging but accessible original music. 

Patty Peterson
More good luck at Parma 8200 where Arne Fogel reigns supreme with a trio including Rick Carlson on keys; at Hell's Kitchen where the quintet Axis Mundi melds world music with modern and traditional jazz; at Vieux Carre' where Charmin and Shapira and Friends provide plenty of swing, standards, bossas and more, following some sublime piano from Jeremy Walker. And it's a star-studded night at Bunkers where Patty Peterson and Friends welcome Mick Stirling and Ricky Peterson, along with more friends-- Billy Franze, Bobby Vandell, Joe Elliot, David Eiland and John Pinckaers.  

Dave King
Saturday, May 14. Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog presents two bands, starting out with the Steve Kenny Quartet. The veteran FLUMPET-eer brings arrangements and originals to the stage, accompanied by precocious vibraphonist Levi Schwartzberg, much in-demand bassist Ted Olsen, and rising star drummer Rodney Ruckus. They're followed by an incredible duo of Bad Plus and Happy Apple drummer Dave King and renowned saxophonist George Cartwright, whose credits include Curlew and Gloryland Ponycat.  

Yolande Bruce
One of the voices of Moore by Four, Yolande Bruce throws a birthday party at Crooners Lounge. And don't forget the Saturday night regulars-- Pavel Jany's Talking Strings at the Loring Pasta Bar, JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar at the St Paul Hotel, and the Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200.

Sunday, May 15. Starting a busy week in the Dunsmore Room, Maurice Jacox brings his Nat King Cole show to this intimate setting, with pianist Ron Seaman and and swinging guitar master Reuben Ristrom.

Erin Schwab
Monday, May 16. Versatile vocalist Erin Schwab is "In the Crook" of the Bosendorfer with pianist Jay Fuchs in the Dunsmore Room. In south Minneapolis, big band leader Bill Simenson whittles it down to a quintet for some fun and improv on JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse.

Charmin and Denny
If you miss the twice-weekly swing of vocalist Charmin Michelle and accordionist Denny Malmberg, you'll want to hit happy hour at least once this week (Monday-Friday) at Crooners Lounge, where the long-running duo at Fireside Pizza returns with their interpretations of standards and more.

Mary Louise Knutson Trio
Tuesday, May 17.  The Mary Louise Knutson Trio (with Gordy Johnson and Greg Schutte) returns to the Dunsmore Room, where her January trio gig garnered raves. And it's the first several gigs with New York-based, former Twin Cities bassist Michael O'Brien. He starts his gigging at Vieux Carre' with his Minnesota trio, Triage--with Chris Lomheim on piano and Jay Epstein on drums. (Michael will heard again over the coming weekend.) Across town at Jazz Central, it's big band night, and tonight the Explosion Big Band (led by Doug Haining and Scott Agster) takes their monthly spin through original arrangements and compositions.

Wednesday, May 18. Swinging songstress Judi Vinar takes over Crooners Lounge with the Wolverines.


Steve Kenny
Thursday, May 19. It's finally the official re-opening of Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie on its new night. Steve Kenny's series welcomes back the monthly JazzINK Youth Showcase, featuring Halcyon Daze, a high school ensemble led by drummer Sam Stroup of South High. They're followed by the large ensemble, Fall of the House of Usher (around 9 pm), performing world music improv and some spoken word, featuring Chris Cunningham (guitars), son Ivan Cunningham and Cole Pulice (saxes), Noah Ophoven-Baldwin (trumpet), Chris Bates (bass), Greg Schutte (drums), Adam Svec (vocals) and very special guest, Michelle Kinney (cello).  
 
Joel Shapira
 Gypsy guitar phenom Stephene Wremble is at Vieux Carré -- if any tickets remain; they were down to standing room. In any case, if you come for the early set, you can hear our own guitar phenom, Joel Shapira. For Vocal Jazz night at Jazz Central, a young trio features U of M student Jiselle McCollam with support from recent St. John's grads, Joe Twohy (piano) and Elliott Keane (drums).


More Jazz!
There seems to be an endless list of jazz activity around town. See the Live Jazz Calendar posted on the KBEM website, and see more about jazz events at jazzpolice.com. --online and on facebook. And tune into the on-the-air edition of the Lead Sheet every Thursday at 4:40 pm, rebroadcast on Fridays at 8:20 am. My guess on May 19 will be alumni of the Dakota Combo, celebrating the program's tenth anniversary with an alumni big band directed by former Twin Cities resident and past Jazz Coordinator at MacPhail Center for Music, Kelly Rossum (performance at the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education fundraiser on May 22 at Vieux Carré).

Coming Soon!
. May 20, Michael O'Brien Trio at Jazz Central
. May 20, Patty Peterson and Friends at Crooners Lounge
. May 21, Kelly Rossum Quartet with Michael O'Brien/Convergence Trio with Michael O'Brien at the Black Dog
. May 22, "Great Day in St Paul" -- photo for all local jazz artists at McNally Smith
. May 22, Dakota Combo Alumni Band, 2016 Combo Spring Concert, and fundraiser for Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education at Vieux Carre'
. May 22, Maud Hixson with Dan Chouinard, The Birthday Club in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 22, The Potash Twins at the Icehouse
. May 23, Freddy Cole at the Dakota
. May 23, Twin Cities 7 with Maryann Sullivan at Crooners Lounge
. May 23, Graydon Peterson Quartet, JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse
. May 24, Bryan Nichols solo CD release at the Dakota
. May 24-25, Bobby Lyle with Billy Peterson, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 26, Lucia Sarmiento Group, Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie
. May 26, Paula Lammers at Jazz Central
. May 28, Peter Vircks Quartet/Evan Benidt Quartet at the Black Dog
. May 28, Nachito Herrera at the Dakota
. May 29, Sergio Mendes at the Dakota
. May 29, Arne Fogel with Dan Chouinard, The Birthday Club in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 31, Dave Karr Quartet in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 2, Javi Santiago Group, Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie
. June 3, Patty Peterson All-Stars with Steve Cole at the Dakota
. June 4, Bruce Henry at the Dakota
. June 5, Joe Lovano, Tribute to Gunther Schuller presented by Chamber Music Society of Minnesota at Sundin Hall (Hamline University)
. June 5, Poncho Sanchez at the Dakota
. June 7, Teri Roiger and John Menegon in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge 
. June 8, Arturo Sandoval at the Dakota
. June 10, Jay Young & the Lyric Factory at Vieux Carre'
. June 17, David Binney Quartet at Walker West
. June 17, Tord Gustavsen Trio at Mindekirken (Norwegian Lutheran Church)
. June 18, Jazz at Studio Z, Doug Little's Tres Mundos 
. June 18, Rosemount JazzBlast (Zacc Harris Trio, Jack Brass Band, more!) at Rosemount Central Park Amphitheater 
. June 18, JazzINK Youth Showcase, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. June 20, JazzMN Orchestra at Chanhassen Dinner Theater
. June 21, David Hazeltine and Eric Alexander, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 22, David Hazeltine/Eric Alexander Quartet, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 23-25, Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Mears Park (Delfeayo Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis, Joey Alexander, Russell Malone, John Pizzarelli, Michael Franti & Spearhead)
. June 30, Marquis Hill Black-Tet with Makaya Craven at the Dakota
. July 1-3, Iowa City Jazz Festival (Vijay Iyer Trio, Miguel Zenon, Poncho Sanchez, Allison Miller, David Berkman, Marquis Hill, Edmer Casteneda, Akiko Tsuruga, Phil Hey Quartet)
. July 5, Chick Corea, Christian McBride and Brian Blade at the Dakota
. July 24, Rochester (MN) Jazz Festival
. August 8, Marcus Miller at the Dakota
. August 9-10, Estaire Godinez at the Dakota 

Bobby Lyle, in the Dunsmore Room May 24-25

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, May 6-12



Bill Charlap Trio, at the Dakota on May 11

© Andrea Canter

As we get closer and closer to the Twin Cities Jazz festival (June 23-25), we seem to be revving up the jazz engines with a strong slate of gigs and concerts in coming weeks. Some outstanding visitors as well as local heroes are on the schedule for early May!

BIG GIGS THIS WEEK

Marcus Wise
Friday, May 6. If you have never heard him live, plan to catch Tony Bennett at the State Theater this time. He's still winning Grammies! Over at Jazz Central will be the venue's first presentation of North Indian classical music, with local tabla master Marcus Wise joining forces with  one of America's top sarod artists, Bruce Hamm of San Francisco. Marcus and Bruce have performed together all over the country. Dinner sets at the Icehouse tonight will be presented by the piano/bass duo of Javi Santiago and Ted Olsen.

Nathan Hanson
Saturday, May 7. At the end of its fourth season, Jazz at Studio Z presents Phillip Greenlief. The critically acclaimed saxophonist and composer is known for his "post jazz" and experimental music innovations, and his partners at Studio Z include a home team of virtuosic improvisers-- saxophonist Nathan Hanson, bassist Chris Bates, and percussionist Davu Seru. The pre-concert master class (6 pm, free) will address compositional strategies for improvising musicians.

Steve Lehman Octet
At the Walker Art Center's McGuire Theater, the Steve Lehman Octet brings what the The New York Times described as "a blast of urban futurism at once hypnotic, kinetic and kaleidoscopic. And funky!" Lehman works across a wide range of experimental music idioms with the next generation of jazz greats-- Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet), Mark Shim (tenor sax), Tim Albright (trombone), José Davila (tuba), Charles Dingman (vibes), Drew Gress (bass) and Tyshawn Sorey (drums).

Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog opens with the River Falls-based Plus One Trio (really a quartet), with Nate Bauermeister on saxophones, Benjamin Allen on Trombone, Jason McLean on bass and Anthony Block on drums. Witch Hunt headlines in a tribute to Wayne Shorter's Speak No Evil album, featuring Joe Mayo on saxes, Steve Kenny on FLUMPET, Ted Godbout on piano, Ted Olsen on bass and Adam Nussbaum on drums-- a feisty combination of veteran and young generation artists.

Andrew Schwandt

And at Jazz Central, it's a fond farewell to saxophonist Andrew Schwandt, relocating away from the Twin Cities and the Minnesota Hard Bop Collective, which will feature Schwandt, trumpeter Ryan Nyther, pianist Javi Santiago, bassist Graydon Peterson and drummer Jessie Simon. At Crooners, vocalist Sophia Shorai brings her eclectic tastes to the Lounge.  And don't forget the regulars on Saturday nights-- Pavel Jany and Talking Strings at the Loring Pasta Bar, Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200, and JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar (til summer break) at the Saint Paul Hotel.

Ginger Commodore
Sunday, May 8. Give Mom a swinging Mother's Day brunch at the Dakota, courtesy of the Twin Cities Hot Club, led by Robert Bell. And you could just hang out for the rest of the day and catch Ginger Commodore with her offspring, drummer Brandon and daughter Ashley, and their red hot band MPLS, with guests vocalist Tonia Hughes and keyboard monster Brian Ziemniak. Or head out to Crooners, where Debbie Duncan and Rick Carlson entertain at brunch, with Dan Chouinard and Dane Stauffer in the Dunsmore Room in the evening for this installment of the May "Birthday Club."

Devin Drobka, Hanging Hearts
Sunday-Monday, May 8-9. Jazz Central hosts a rare Sunday gig with the Chicago-based Hanging Hearts, an experimental trio "dedicated to the fearless exploration of group improvisation." Featuring Chris Weller on tenor sax, Cole GeGenova on keys, and Devin Drobka on drums, the trio will jump over to the Icehouse on Monday to perform on JT's Jazz Implosion night. With Dave King heading production, the trio will record a new album next month. Their Monday set is preceded by the always edgy drum duo, Real Bulls--JT Bates and Dave King.

Dave Brattain
Monday, May 9. Two saxes are better than one! Thus it will be magical music when two tenor/soprano artists, Dave Brattain and Joe Mayo, get together for a blowing session, tonight at Jazz Central.

Monday-Tuesday, May 9-10. No matter how often pianist Davell Crawford is in town, it's a sell out. At the Dakota for the third time in about as many months, the New Orleans Delta king returns to honor Crescent City and his long-time mentor, the late Allen Toussaint.

Stu Katz (photo: Bob Fila)
Tuesday, May 10. One of the veterans of Chicago jazz, Stu Katz has over six decades of experience as a pianist and vibraphonist, performing with Gene Ammons, Kenny Burrell, Joey DeFrancesco, Dexter Gordon, Roy Haynes, Milt Jackson, James Moody, Zoot Sims, Sonny Stitt, and Phil Woods, among others.  In the Dunsmore Room, Stu will play a solo set followed by a second set with son Steve (bass and vocals) and Jay Epstein (drums).

And it's Big Band Tuesday -- the Nova Jazz Orchestra takes over the Minnesota Music Cafe, and the Cedar Ave Big Band takes over the basement in Jazz Central Studios, both monthly gigs for these ensembles.

Bill Charlap
Wednesday, May 11.  One of the most lauded pianists of his generation, the Bill Charlap  Trio with Peter Washington and Kenny Washington is often compared to the great trios of Bill Evans. Bill teamed up with Tony Bennett on the recording named (oddly) Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album at the 2016 Grammy Awards (The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern), and now the Bill Charlap Trio just received a 5-star review in Downbeat for their new release, Notes From New York). Reservations strongly recommended.

At Jazz Central, Chris Bates holds his monthly night of new music, bringing back his exciting work in progress, the Inventions and Dimensions Trio with Joe Strachan and Matt Buckner. Initially conceived as a short-term experiment, it's taking off with a life of its own "that deserves time to grow." 

Zacc Harris
Thursday, May 12. It's been a while since we have heard the Zacc Harris Group, probably because each musician has such a busy schedule-- getting these four improvisers in the same place at one time is a challenge-- Bryan Nichols (piano), Chris Bates (bass) and JT Bates (drums). Expect some new compositions!

More Jazz in Jazz Town!
You can find a lot more jazz this week! Live jazz calendar is posted on the KBEM website, and you can see more about jazz events at jazzpolice.com.  Tune into the live edition of The Lead Sheet on KBEM, Jazz 88.5, every Thursday at 4:40 pm, rebroadcast on Fridays at 8:20 am. Next week, my guest will be St Olaf College Jazz Director Dave Hagedorn, reporting on the jazz band's recent tour to Cuba. Artists, get your gig on the KBEM live jazz calendar -- send your information to Kevin Barnes at kbar264@aol.com

Coming Soon!
. May 13, Eight O'Clock Jump with Nathan Hanson/Doan Roessler Quintet at Walker West Music Academy
. May 13, Patty Peterson and Friends with Mick Stirling and Ricky Peterson at Bunkers
. May 14, Dave King/George Cartwright Duo and the Steve Kenny Quartet at the Black Dog
. May 14, Yolande Bruce, Birthday Bash at Crooners Lounge
. May 15, Maurice Jacox "Nat King Cole" in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 16, Erin Schwab with Jay Fuchs in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 16, Bill Simenson Quintet, JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse
. May 17, Mary Louise Knutson Trio in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 17, Michael O'Brien's Triage Trio at Vieux Carre'  
. May 18, Judi Vinar and the Wolverines at Crooners Lounge
. May 19, Fall of the House of Usher/Halcyon Daze (Jazzink Showcase) at Reverie
. May 20, Michael O'Brien Trio at Jazz Central
. May 20, Patty Peterson and Friends at Crooners Lounge
. May 21, Kelly Rossum Quartet with Michael O'Brien/Convergence Trio with Michael O'Brien at the Black Dog
. May 22, "Great Day in St Paul" -- photo for all local jazz artists at McNally Smith
. May 22, Dakota Combo Alumni Band, Spring Concert, and fundraiser for Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education at Vieux Carre'
. May 22, Maud Hixson with Dan Chouinard, The Birthday Club in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 23, Freddy Cole at the Dakota
. May 23, Graydon Peterson Quartet, JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse 
. May 24, Bryan Nichols solo CD release at the Dakota
. May 24-25, Bobby Lyle with Billy Peterson, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 26, Lucia Sarmiento Group, Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie
. May 26, Paula Lammers at Jazz Central
. May 28, Peter Vircks Quartet/Evan Benidt Quartet at the Black Dog
. May 28, Nachito Herrera at the Dakota
. May 29, Sergio Mendes at the Dakota
. May 29, Arne Fogel with Dan Chouinard, The Birthday Club in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 31, Dave Karr Quartet in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 2, Javi Santiago Group, Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie
. June 3, Patty Peterson All-Stars with Steve Cole at the Dakota
. June 4, Bruce Henry at the Dakota
. June 5, Poncho Sanchez at the Dakota
. June 5, Joe Lovano, Tribute to Gunther Schuller, presented by Chamber Music Society of Minnesota at Sundin Hall (Hamline University)
. June 7, Teri Roiger and John Menegon in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge 
. June 8, Arturo Sandoval at the Dakota
. June 10, Jay Young & the Lyric Factory at Vieux Carre'
. June 17, David Binney Quartet at Walker West
. June 17, Tord Gustavsen Trio at Mindekirken (Norwegian Lutheran Church)
. June 18, Jazz at Studio Z, Doug Little's Tres Mundos
. June 20, JazzMN Orchestra at Chanhassen Dinner Theater
. June 21, David Hazeltine and Eric Alexander, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 22, David Hazeltine/Eric Alexander Quartet, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 23-25, Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Mears Park (Delfeayo Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis, Joey Alexander, Russell Malone, John Pizzarelli, Michael Franti & Spearhead)
. June 30, Marquis Hill Black-Tet with Makaya Craven at the Dakota
. July 1-3, Iowa City Jazz Festival (Vijay Iyer Trio, Miguel Zenon, Poncho Sanchez, Allison Miller, David Berkman, Marquis Hill, Edmer Casteneda, Akiko Tsuruga, Phil Hey Quartet)
. July 5, Chick Corea, Christian McBride and Brian Blade at the Dakota
. July 24, Rochester (MN) Jazz Festival
. August 8, Marcus Miller at the Dakota
. August 9-10, Estaire Godinez at the Dakota

Mary Louise Knutson Trio