Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, April 29-May 5



 
Julian Lage, at the Dakota Friday, April 29
© Andrea Canter

Jazz Appreciation Month ends this weekend, and there has been plenty to appreciate in the Twin Cities, culminating this weekend with the state's only registered "International Jazz Day" event, a fundraising mini-festival sponsored by Jazz Central Studios on Saturday. But there are more jazz events on Jazz Day as well as throughout the coming week, including a rare appearance by dazzling pianist Abdullah Ibrahim at the Dakota and the return "from exile" of jazz at Reverie, now on Thursdays.



Jazz This Week
Julian Lage
Friday, April 29. The Dakota periodically holds a "guitar night" of some sort, and tonight it's a star-studded double header, with the Julian Lage Trio back-to-back with Peter Lang and colleagues from Takoma Records days, Toulouse Engelhardt and Rick Ruskin. Lage has been playing professionally since pre-teen years and is now a 20-year veteran of acoustic and electric jazz guitar--and not yet 30. Lang and company were pioneers of the 70s fingerstyle era. A lot of guitar for one ticket. Hang out for the late show with Doug Little's Charanga Tropical, one of several gigs this week celebrating the band's "made in Cuba" recording.

Bryan Nichols
In the lounge at Crooners, Patty Peterson and her usual collection of "friends" give the weekend a jump-start, and at the Black Dog, Todd Harper's Piano Fridays feature a trio with bassist Jim Bierma and drummer Bill Stieger. Dinner sets at the Icehouse will be accompanied by pianist Bryan Nichols with bassist Matt Peterson. Pianist Jeremy Walker opens the night at Vieux Carré.

Brian Lynch
Saturday, April 30. It's the 5th annual International Jazz Day sponsored by UNESCO and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, and the gala concert this year is at the White House, broadcast live on ABC this evening. There's registered events all around the globe, including one in Minnesota! Jazz Central Studios is holding a mini-fest running all afternoon (1-6 pm), held at the A-Mill Artists Lofts in the old Pillsbury Mill complex on SE Main Street, along the river. For one ticket, hear the Doug Haining/Dave Graf Quintet, Javi Santiago Trio, Vinson Velaga Group, and the Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra featuring special guests, trumpeter Brian Lynch and visiting Peruvian guitarist Andres Prado. Lynch is a Grammy winner with a special fondness for Latin; Prado lived here for a while and taught at McNally Smith, and has been performing around the Twin Cities for the past two weeks. All proceeds go to supporting the nonprofit Jazz Central Studios.

Dennis Spears
Another big event --vocalist Dennis Spears celebrates the big 6-0 with a party at the Dakota. Not only is that a big exciting voice to enjoy, but we can also anticipate that Dennis has some special attire for the evening and a lot of cool friends coming on stage.

How Birds Work--Kenny Horst, Chris Bates
Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog features one of the too-rare appearances of the long-running quartet, How Birds Work, with Dean Granros, Peter Schimke and Kenny Horst joined by young lion bassist Ted Olsen. The early show presents a relatively new trio of veterans with two guitars-- Joel Shapira and David Martin join up with drummer Pete Hennig to form The Growlers. Sophia Shorai serenades at Hell's Kitchen, Bryan Nichols and Brandon Wozniak duke it out at the Icehouse (dinner sets),  and there's one more month of Saturdays in the Lobby Bar with JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske, before their annual summer break.

Dan Chouinard
Sunday, May 1. In their monthly afternoon slot at the Icehouse, Charanga Tropical is at it again, still celebrating their CD release and summer 2015 trip to Havana. Start a new month with the Birthday Club-- Dan Chouinard hosts vocalist Jennifer Grimm in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners, with songs associated with musicians and songwriters with May birthdays.  

Tim Kliphuis
Monday , May 2. In addition to another round of the Growlers at Jazz Central, there's more guitar as hot club magician Sam Miltich joins forces with Dutch violinist Tim Kliphuis at the Dakota -- same duo that dazzled at the 2015 jazz festival. At Crooners Lounge, the Acme Jazz Company holds their monthly big band night. Also in the lounge, pianist/vocalist Lori Dokken starts her week of Happy Hour gigs.

JT Bates
And for night owls, three major forces on the local jazz scene get together as the Regional Jazz Trio -- Anthony Cox, Mike Lewis and JT Bates burn the stage at the Icehouse for JT's Jazz Implosion. And this one will surely implode.

Tuesday, May 3. Big Band Tuesday at Jazz Central features the Bill Simenson Orchestra, while First Tuesday at the Black Dog brings together Dean Magraw and Davu Seru for some guitar/percussion hijinks.

At Vieux Carré, Chris Lomheim opens the night on solo piano, followed by Fuzzy Math, that quartet dubbed the "best jazz band for people who don't like jazz."

Butch Thompson
In the Dunsmore Room, it's another solo soiree with trad and stride pianist Butch Thompson, covering the full range of the Bosendorfer, probably offering a little clarinet as well, and of course his always entertaining commentary.

And at the Dakota, another opportunity to hear Andres Prado, tonight reunited with his Minnesota cohorts (Pete Whitman, Peter Schimke, Jeff Bailey, Kevin Washington) as Mississippi. This ensemble was a marvel two weeks ago in the Dunsmore Room, and likely will really cut loose in the larger club space.

Abdullah Ibrahim*
Wednesday, May 4. It's been at least a decade since South African piano master Abdullah Ibrahim has been in Minnesota. Tonight he brings his septet, Ekayah, to the Dakota for what will be an unforgettable evening of sublime piano and South African rhythms.

At Hell's Kitchen, you can enjoy the Wolverines Trio.

Davu Seru
Thursday, May 5. After a month in exile, Friday Night Jazz at Reverie returns-- on Thursdays! (At least for one night, returning for the grand opening on May 19.) The "soft opening" of the series features a formidable trio of Davu Seru, Chris Bates and Brandon Wozniak.  At Vieux Carré, Joel Shapira opens on solo guitar, followed by the intriguing ensemble, Rare Medium. And on Vocal Jazz Night at Jazz Central, Dorothy Doring will present what will surely be an eclectic set from her wide repertoire, from Ellington to pop favorites.

Steve Lehman Octet (photo: John Rogers)
There's a special event at the Walker Art Center. Renowned saxophonist Steve Lehman is in town with his octet, performing in the McGuire Theater on Saturday, but tonight join the award-winning composer and electronics wizard High Priest (aka HPrizm) on a walking tour of their favorite pieces in the Walker galleries, followed by a free live performance.



More Jazz!
The Twin Cities 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. My guest on May 5 will be Steve Katz, a sometimes-bassist in the area and son of Chicago piano legend Stu Katz; we'll be talking about Stu's upcoming gig in the Dunsmore Room. Artists, get your gig on the KBEM live jazz calendar -- send your information to Kevin Barnes at kbar264@aol.com

Coming Soon!
. May 6, Tony Bennett at the State Theater
. May 6, Peter Kogan's Monsterful Wonderband at Vieux Carré
. May 6, Rio Nido at the Dakota
. May 7, Steve Lehman Octet at the Walker Art Center, McGuire Theater
. May 7, Jazz at Studio Z: Phillip Greenlief, Nathan Hanson, Chris Bates, Davu Seru
. May 7, Women in Jazz presented by Pippi Ardennia at The Bedlam
. May 7, Witch Hunt (Tribute to Wayne Shorter's Speak No Evil) and Plus One Trio at the Black Dog
. May 8, Birthday Club with Dane Stauffer in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 9-10, Davell Crawford at the Dakota
. May 10, Stu Katz and Friends in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 10, Anderson-Ponty Band at Ames Center
. May 11, Bill Charlap Trio at the Dakota (note date change!)
. May 11, Lila Ammons' Jazz Triangle at the Tangiers
. May 12, Debbie Duncan at Crooners Lounge
. May 13, Eight O'Clock Jump with Nathan Hanson/Doan Roessler Duo 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 15, Maurice Jacox "Nat King Cole" in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 16, Erin Schwab in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 17, Mary Louise Knutson Trio in the Dunsmore Room 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 24-25, Bobby Lyle with Billy Peterson, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 26, Lucia Sarmiento Group, Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie
. May 28, Peter Vircks Quartet/Evan Benidt 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 31, Dave Karr Quartet in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 2, Javi Santiago Group, Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie
. June 5, Poncho Sanchez at the Dakota
. June 17, David Binney Quartet at Walker West
. June 17, Tord Gustavsen Trio at Mindekirken (Norwegian Lutheran Church)
. 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)
. 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

Bill Charlap - at the Dakota, May 11

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, April 22-28



Adam Meckler Quintet, CD release at Vieux Carre' on April 23


© Andrea Canter



A salute to our jazz elders highlights the weekend, while welcome visits from veteran and up-and-coming artists keep jazz in high gear all week.

Jazz This Week

Mac Santiago
Friday, April 22They call the trio at Jazz Central tonight "Father Son Pancake Breakfast,"  and there really is a father and son team-- pianist Javi Santiago and drummer, dad Mac Santiago, along with world class bassist Anthony Cox. Caterer Vanessa will be there with some dinner treats, but it's unlikely she's bringing pancakes.  And you can swing all night at Vieux Carré, with Dan Newton and his accordion starting off the evening, followed by the South Side Aces and their own brand of New Orleans music.

Debbie Duncan
The very cool duo of Bryan Nichols and Zacc Harris play for dinner hours at the Icehouse, while Debbie Duncan returns to Hell's Kitchen for a sweet and sassy evening. Ace pianist/composer Steven Hobert and Syrian oud player Issam Rafea play the first of two shows this weekend, tonight a Powderhorn house concert at 3346 17th Ave S. Minneapolis (see Steven's website for more information). At Parma 8200, a relative newcomer to local gigging, vocalist Kim Fragodt and her trio will entertain in the lounge.



Saturday, April 23. The afternoon music series at Hosmer Library in south Minneapolis brings the second opportunity to hear Steven Hobert and Issam Rafea, in a free concert.



Javi Santiago
On Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog,  Javi Santiago turns up again, this time leading an inventive trio including Dan Carpel on bass and Miguel Hurtado on drums, following an opening set from keyboardist Steve Kimmel's trio with Margo Breivik on bass and Trevor Haining on drums. 

Adam Meckler
At Vieux Carre', there's a rare prime time double header. Jack Lion is a trio from my home town of Iowa City, with keyboards, bass, percussion and electronics coming together in an opening set before they turn it over to the Adam Meckler Quintet's CD release. Recorded live in three venues last August, the result --Wander--is both edgy and sublime, as one would expect of Meckler's original compositions and arrangements.


JazzMN Orchestra
It's the season finale for the JazzMN Orchestra at the Hopkins High School Auditorium, where they're putting their guests "Slide by Slide"-- that's two trombones who top the LA jazz scene, Andy Martin and Bob McChesney. Andy and Bob will play with the big band throughout the program, and vocalist Charmin Michelle joins in on a couple of tunes. 



JoAnn Funk
JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske have another month of Saturdays in the Lobby Bar of the Saint Paul Hotel before their summer break, and the Benny Weinbeck Trio continues its Saturdays in the lounge at Parma 8200. In Osseo, the funky jazz of the Kronick Quintet rocks the house at the NOLA Bistro.



Jay Young
Saturday-Sunday, April 23-24. At the Capri Theater, get reacquainted with the music of Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder as interpreted by bassist Jay Young and The Lyric Factory, with Ian Young, Scott Fultz, Kevin Washington, Eric Gravatt, Ernest Bisong, and vocalists Yolande Bruce, Heather McElrather and Linda Sloan. They perform two shows of "Superstitious Thriller".



Legend, Dave Karr
Sunday, April 24. Patty and the Buttons continue their weekly swing brunch at the Aster. And this afternoon, celebrate some local jazz history with some of the legendary elders of the Twin Cities jazz scene, in a show sponsored by KBEM and hosted by Patty Peterson at the Minnesota History Center theater. Elders in the spotlight include saxman Dave Karr, jazz and gospel vocalist Tom Tipton, bassist Clyde Anderson, pianist and singer Nancy Lovegren Lewandoski, and drummer Dick Bortolussi. And If you can't hear it live, a segment will be recorded for later broadcast, and include elders Herb Pilhofer and Jimmy Hamilton.



Lucia Newell
Sunday evening, legends in the making --vocalist Lucia Newell and pianist Phil Aaron are "in the crook" of the piano in the Dunsmore Room, with music covering some originals, some Brazilian, and perhaps some surprises. Off Loring Park in the Hennepin Ave Methodist Church, Soul Cafe welcomes Syrian oud master Issam Rafea, who joins the core trio of Steve Blons, Brad Holden and Steven Hobert. The music and poetry will address the theme, "Body and Soul" (so we can guess at least one tune on the setlist).

Another event in Lowertown, the weekly installment of Solomon's Sessions at the Bedlam, led by trumpeter Solomon Parham. But this one is special--it's also a celebration of Solomon's graduation after completing his Master's Degree program at McNally Smith!

Monday, April 25. The cliché "small town girl makes good" could not be more apt in describing New York-based vocalist and former Twin Citian, Nancy Harms. The Big Apple is a long way from Nancy's home town of Clara City, MN, and Nancy has come a long way since her first gigs on our jazz scene. Her third recording, Ellington at Night, grew out of a handful of shows starting in New York's Metropolitan Room with her frequent piano partner, Jeremy Siskind, with production shared with mentor Arne Fogel. After releasing the CD to a sold-out crowd at Dizzy's Club Coca Cola, she has been on tour, working her way to tonight's Minnesota release party at the Dunsmore Room with Siskind and local pals Gordy Johnson and Jay Epstein. First show is sold out  but tickets remain (at the moment) for the 9 pm show. Yes, you have heard plenty of Ellington, but no, you probably have not heard some of the obscure tunes on this recording, and Nancy's approach is fresh and original.



A drummer as well as social activist on the New York scene now based in the Twin Cities, Vinson Valega makes his Jazz Central debut tonight, followed by the usual Monday Night Jam -- everyone welcome.



JT Bates
City Pages just named drummer JT Bates as the area's "Jazz Artist of the Year," in no small way due to his curatorial talents in running the Jazz Implosion series for the past two decades, first at the Clown Lounge and over recent years at the Icehouse. Tonight, he teams up with guitarist Jeremy Ylvisaker for an opening set before bringing on Lars-Erik Larson's Mancrush, unofficially the Minneapolis release of their Authentic Midwestern.


Manhattan Transfer
Monday-Tuesday, April 25-26. The Dakota welcomes back the prototype jazz vocal ensemble, the Manhattan Transfer. This will be the band's first visit with Trist Curliss, and without founder Tim Hauser, who passed away in 2014.  




John Raymond
Tuesday, April 26. New York-based trumpeter John Raymond is back in town to play with local pals in the Dunsmore Room; Bryan Nichols is on piano, JT Bates on drums. (John turns up again on Thursday -- see below.)




Arne Fogel
Wednesday, April 27. The Crooner at Crooners! Arne Fogel sings with his trio in the lounge at Crooners. At Vieux Carré, it's time for New Shoes -- former members of Prairie Home Companion's "Guy's All-Star Shoe Band," Richard Kriehn (fiddle and mandolin), Gary Raynor (bass), Joe Savage (pedal steel guitar) and Peter Johnson (drums).




Jeremy Walker
Thursday, April 28. The second season of Jeremy Walker's Jazz in the Target Atrium closes at Orchestra Hall with "Wild Midwest," new compositions by Jeremy and Bryan Nichols performed by various configurations of the Atrium Jazz Ensemble, with Jeremy and Bryan joined by John Raymond on trumpet, Chris Thomson and Brandon Wozniak on saxes, Jeff Bailey on bass and JT Bates on drums.

More Jazz!
The Twin Cities 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. This is Jazz Appreciation Month and April 30th is International Jazz Day. My guest next week on The Lead Sheet is Mac Santiago, talking about the Jazz Central Jazz Day celebration and fundraiser, which will feature four bands, with guest trumpeter Brian Lynch performing with the Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra. Artists, get your gig on the KBEM live jazz calendar -- send your information to Kevin Barnes at kbar264@aol.com

Special Note to Twin Cities Jazz Musicians
Remember the photo hanging at the Artists Quarter, a local version of the famed A Great Day in Harlem photo of New York jazz musicians? It's been about 25 years! The Twin Cities Jazz Festival is organizing a new photo shoot to capture the diversity of the local jazz scene in 2016, to be made into a poster for sale to raise funds for the festival. All professional Twin Cities jazz musicians--any age, any instrument, vocalists included--are invited to be part of this photo. Just show up at 12:30 pm on Sunday, May 22, in the auditorium at McNally Smith College of Music! Questions can be directed to me at canterjazz@aol.com

Coming Soon!
. April 29, Guitar Night with Julian Lage Trio at the Dakota
. April 30, Jazz Central's International Jazz Day Festival with Brian Lynch at Pillsbury A Lofts
. April 30, How Birds Work/The Growlers, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. May 2, Sam Miltich and Tim Kliphuis at the Dakota (note date change!)
. May 4, Abdullah Ibrahim at the Dakota
. May 5, Golden Circle Trio, Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie
. May 6, Tony Bennett at the State Theater
. May 7, Steve Lehman Octet at the Walker Art Center
. May 10, Stu Katz and Friends in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 11, Bill Charlap Trio at the Dakota (note date change!)
. May 17, Mary Louise Knutson Trio, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 19, Fall of the House of Usher/Halcyon Daze, Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie
. 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, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 23, Freddy Cole 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 29, Arne Fogel with Dan Chouinard, The Birthday Club, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 31, Dave Karr Quartet, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 2, Javi Santiago Group, Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie
. June 5, Poncho Sanchez at the Dakota
. June 17, David Binney Quartet at Walker West
. June 17, Tord Gustavsen Trio at Mindekirken (Norwegian Lutheran Church)
. 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)
. 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

Celebrate International Jazz Day with Brian Lynch, Jazz Central Jazz Fest at A-Mill, April 30



Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, April 15-21



Lizz Wright
© Andrea Canter

Some times it seems "special" events come in clusters. This weekend is one such merger. Tough choices but I'd rather have such dilemmas rather than a dearth of possibilities.

Gigs This Week
Friday, April 15. About three years ago, KBEM radio sponsored an unusual performance melding jazz and Native American flutes and drums, paying homage to the cultural heritage of such well known jazz figures as Miles Davis, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Pettiford and more. The program was led by jazz and Native American flute specialist Bobb Fantauzzo, who teamed up with Native American vocalist/percussionist Lyz Jaakola and members of Fantauzzo's JazZen trio. Back again in Sundin Hall at Hamline University with the support of a state arts board grant to KBEM, Fantauzzo and Jaakola take another look at "Weaving of Traditions," this time in the company of local jazz artists Anthony Cox, Mac Santiago, Javi Santiago and special guest, Irv Williams. 
Bobb Fantauzzo

Atlantis Quartet
Walker West Music Academy is deep into its first season of monthly Eight O'Clock Jump concerts. On stage tonight will be the always-inventive Atlantis Quartet with Zacc Harris, Brandon Wozniak, Chris Bates and Pete Hennig-- a group of such in-demand musicians that it is quite a challenge to get the quartet in one place at one time. Limited tickets remain-- reserve online or plan to arrive early!

Joan Hutton
Friday Night Jazz in Exile has one more gig before taking a short break and reconvening as Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie. Tonight at Jazz Central, curator Steve Kenny has a special double header, starting out with the eclectic Ancia Saxophone Quartet, followed by the equally eclectic jazz/fusion/funk amalgam known as Rare Medium.  Ancia sports four saxes from bari to soprano, with tenorman David Milne the most familiar to jazz audiences. Altoist Joan Hutton is the common denominator of the evening, performing with both bands.

Debbie Duncan
At Vieux Carré, pianist Jeremy Walker (and likely a guest) warms up the stage for a CD Pre-Release show with young vocalist Katia Cardenas and cohorts Ted Godbout, piano; Andrew Foreman, bass; and Zach Schmidt, drums. And it's a veteran vocalist who will entertain with song and sass at Crooners Lounge, where Debbie Duncan and her quartet will be the center of attention.

Maryann Sullivan
On Friday nights, it's rare that Parma 8200 presents more than a duo or trio, but tonight, vocalist Mary Ann Sullivan brings her Corner Jazz ensemble to the lounge, with Phil Aaron on piano, Graydon Peterson on bass, and son Trevor Haining on drums. Family ties also help define the music at the Black Dog, where Donald Washington heads a trio with bassist Dick Studer and son Kevin Washington on drums. They're not related but pianist Bryan Nichols and bassist Jeffrey Bailey have a natural affinity for improvisation which they demonstrate during dinner sets at the Icehouse.

Saturday, April 16. Start your day swinging-- the Mill City Hot Club, led by guitarist Dean Harrington, entertains during brunch at Hell's Kitchen.

Ryan Nyther and Jabari Powell
Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog brings in two bands as always, but this unusual doubleheader features two debuts -- the Free Range Jazz Quartet is a newly assembled group with veteran Anthony Cox mixing it up with three young guns, Jabari Powell, Ryan Nyther, and Rodney Ruckus. And the Rochester, MN-based D'Sievers Quartet, led by trombone master John Sievers, makes their Black Dog debut as the opening act. 

Charmin Michelle
Bryan Nichols is back on stage at the Icehouse, tonight with bassist Cody McKinney; Benny Weinbeck and his trio hold their weekly seance at Parma 8200, while JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske bring their weekly duo magic to the Lobby Bar at the Saint Paul Hotel. And more vocal magic at The Normandy Kitchen tonight as Charmin Michelle teams up with "Friends" Joel Shapira, Tom Lewis and Nathan Norman.

Connie Evingson
Sunday, April 17. Although she has skillfully headed projects as diverse as The Beatles, David Frishberg and Ella Fitzgerald, vocalist Connie Evingson may be best known for her albums and gigs celebrating gypsy jazz and the hot club music of Django Reinhardt and his contemporaries. With "Gypsy in My Soul," Connie returns to the hot club era with two shows at the Jungle Theater and cohorts Patrick Harison, Dean Harrington, Mark Kreitzer, Josh Granowski, and special guest Dave Karr.

Thomasina Petrus
Another vocalist particularly know for her portrayal of Billie Holiday, Thomasina Petrus makes her Dunsmore Room debut with host Dan Chouinard on this week's installment of The Birthday Club, celebrating singers and songwriters with April birthdays.

Bela Fleck and Chick Corea
Monday, April 18. Sponsored by the Dakota but taking place at the Guthrie Theater, two legends ---Chick Corea and Bela Fleck-- return to the Twin Cities for a night of sublime duos. They first paired up locally at the Dakota about two years ago, perhaps one of the first collaborations of piano and banjo, and a very memorable one at that.

JAWS--Jordan Anderson/Will Schmid Quartet
On the opposite end of the experience spectrum, the Jazz Central featured artists tonight are the young guns of JAWS -- the Jordan Anderson-Will Schmid Quartet. Recently on their first JAWS gig at the Black Dog, the quartet proved their readiness for prime time despite an average age of perhaps 20: Pianist and high school senior Jordan Anderson is heading to the U of Michigan in the fall for studies with the great Benny Green; guitarist and high school senior Will Schmid will meld music and physics at Case Western Reserve in Cleveland; their cohorts include McNally Smith student bassist Drew Stinson and drummer, Roosevelt High grad Ben Beyene.

Cory Healey
JT's Jazz Implosion tonight features Cory Healey's Beautiful Sunshine Band, hot off their St Paul CD release of Beautiful Sunshine, and ready for more, with drummer Healey joined by Jake Baldwin, Brandon Wozniak, Zacc Harris, and Erik Fratzke.

Irv Williams
Tuesday, April 19. Tonight is a special debut at the Dunsmore Room as 96-year-old Irv Williams brings his still-soulful tenor sax to the stage with Dave Graf, Phil Aaron, and Gordy Johnson on the Tuesday Night Instrumental jazz series.

At the Dakota, a singer hard to classify but so easy to listen to, the soulful Lizz Wright returns with music from her latest recording, Freedom and Surrender.

Steven Hobert
At Vieux Carré, wide-ranging pianist/composer Steven Hobert opens the evening, followed by the swinging Mill City Hot Club, while more explosive swing is in the offing at Jazz Central, with the Explosion Big Band led by Doug Haining and Scott Agster.

Bill Stewart
Wednesday, April 20. The Dakota hosts a star-studded organ trio featuring Larry Goldings on organ, Peter Bernstein on guitar and Bill Stewart on drums. Each is an accomplished performer, composer and bandleader in his own right; together they are likely to leave scorch marks on the club stage and singe anyone in the first rows.

Nathan Hanson
Jazz Central's improv night brings together two generations and four inventive minds as saxophonist Nathan Hanson leads a quartet with young trumpeter Noah Ophoven-Baldwin and veterans Erik Fratzke (bass) and Davu Seru (percussion) playing music from Carla Bley, Jamaladeen Tacuma and original as well as spontaneously composed works.

Judi Vinar
In the Dunsmore Room, jazz diva Judi Vinar salutes her favorite "Swinger Songwriters" with the always swinging Wolverines Trio. Expect tunes by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Nat King Cole, Abbey Lincoln, Nina Simone, Mel Torme, Diana Krall, Harry Connick Jr., and Sarah Vaughan.

Andrew Walesch
Thursday, April 21. At Crooners in the lounge, singer/pianist Andrew Walesch reprises his salute to Frank Sinatra wit his ten-piece big band, while at Jazz Central, the focus is south of the border as vocalist Karen Page (Bossa Jazz) and pianist Karen Pieper cover bossas from Jobim to Mendes as well as original tunes.

More Jazz!
See the full Lead Sheet at jazzink.com. 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 is Arne Fogel, talking not about his own vocal jazz but about the new CD from former Minnesota resident Nancy Harms (Ellington at Night), just released at Dizzy's in New York and set for the Minnesota release in the Dunsmore Room on April 25; Arne served as co-producer. Artists, get your gig on the KBEM live jazz calendar -- send your information to Kevin Barnes at kbar264@aol.com

Coming Soon!
. April 22, Kim Fragodt Trio at Parma 8200
. April 23, Steven Hobert and Issam Rafea (piano and oud) at Hosmer Library (2 pm)
. April 23, JazzMN Orchestra with Bob McChesney and Andy Martin at Hopkins High School Auditorium
. April 23, Jay Young and Lyric Factory, "Superstitious Thriller"--Tribute to Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson at the Capri Theater 
. April 23, Adam Meckler Quintet CD Release at Vieux Carre'
. April 24, Minnesota Jazz Legends, hosted by Patty Peterson, at the Minnesota History Center
. April 24, Lucia Newell and Phil Aaron, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. April 24, Soul Cafe' with special guest Issam Rafea (oud) at Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church
. April 25, Nancy Harms with Jeremy Siskind Trio, CD Release, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. April 26, John Raymond Quartet, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. April 28, Jazz in the Target Atrium at Orchestra Hall (Atrium Jazz Ensemble)
. April 29, Guitar Night with Julian Lage Trio at the Dakota
. April 30, Jazz Central's International Jazz Day Festival with Brian Lynch at Pillsbury A Lofts
. May 2, Sam Miltich and Tim Kliphuis at the Dakota (note date change!)
. May 4, Abdullah Ibrahim at the Dakota
. May 5, Golden Circle Trio, Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie
. May 6, Tony Bennett at the State Theater
. May 7, Steve Lehman Octet at the Walker Art Center
. May 10, Stu Katz and Friends in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 11, Bill Charlap Trio at the Dakota (note date change!)
. May 17, Mary Louise Knutson Trio, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 23, Freddy Cole at the Dakota
. May 24-25, Bobby Lyle with Billy Peterson, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 5, Poncho Sanchez at the Dakota
. June 17, David Binney Quartet at Walker West
. June 17, Tord Gustavsen Trio at Mindekirken (Norwegian Lutheran Church)
. 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)
. 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 24, Rochester (MN) Jazz Festival

Nancy Harms, Ellington at Night MN CD Release in the Dunsmore Room, April 25