Friday, February 20, 2009

Peer Inspiration and Jazz Education

© Andrea Canter

A few years ago, master trumpeter and jazz educator Kelly Rossum suggested a partnership between the MacPhail Center for Music, where he heads the jazz program, and the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education. The result was the first edition of the Dakota Combo, a highly selective ensemble of the area’s most talented high school jazz musicians. After a successful first season culminating in a performance at the Dakota Jazz Club with guest artist Bobby Watson, the project expanded to a full school year in 2007-08. One of the added components was a day of school visits, in which the Combo presented music, invited students to jam, and talked about their inspirations and aspirations. While there would continue to be an annual student clinic with the guest artist, the school visits would put the Combo musicians in teaching roles.

“Teaching requires a musician to reevaluate her/his own playing and style,” explained Kelly. “By being involved with these clinics and master classes, the students will have an opportunity to share their own experiences and learn about other musicians’ paths through jazz. It’s a level of communication that can go beyond just listening to music; musicians (both young and old) can share their passion for the music.”

Last week, the musicians of the third edition of the Dakota Combo shared their passion for jazz with peers and younger students with a day of performing and interacting with band and music classes at Minnetonka High School (home school for Combo musicians Jake Baldwin and Cameron LeCrone), Sheridan K-8 Fine Arts and Ramsey K-8 Fine Arts, both in Minneapolis. At each school, the Combo offered a range of tunes, including arrangements of standards like “Cherokee” and “On Green Dolphin Street,” and at least as many original compositions. Original repertoire is a significant part of the Combo experience, and their forthcoming recording session (another new component of the program) will include only original music.

But the point of the school visits is to not only inspire by demonstrating this high level of skill but to provide some insight into the development of that talent. At Minnetonka, the question “Why do you play jazz?” elicited comments about the origins of their interests in jazz and favorite performers. Trumpeter Jake Baldwin found this to be a useful exercise. “Answering questions like ‘why do you play jazz?’ actually forced me to do quite a bit of introspection as to my personal motivations for playing this music.” Added tenor saxophonist Tony Pistilli, “The questions helped keep me honest, too. It's easy to never bother to think why you play jazz, or the instrument you do.”

The middle school students at both Sheridan and Ramsey were relentless in expressing curiosity: How old are you? What is the difference between the alto and tenor saxophone? How much time do you spend practicing? Where do you want to go to college? Do you just make up the music as you go along? Why don’t you sing? Why aren’t there any girls in your band? (A good question---of eighteen students who auditioned, only one young woman participated, now an alternate. For each of the first two editions of the Combo, there was a female on tenor sax.) And inevitably, someone asked Kelly Rossum, “Where do you go for your hair?” (FYI, that modified mohawk is produced by the Hair Police.)

Many in the audience were clearly not familiar with jazz. Some were clearly in awe of the talents of students their own age or not all that much older. Trumpeter Jake Baldwin, in his second year with the Combo, liked the opportunity to not only share his music but the broad sources that have inspired him. “When I was younger, the most important thing I was told is that inspirations can come from everywhere. I think it was really important for the students to hear that we don't just sit in a cave and listen to jazz all day. In fact, I listen to just as much rock and hip hop as I do jazz. I base a lot of my phrasing and lines off of Thom Yorke (the lead singer from Radiohead). Hopefully they will now be able to listen to the music they hear everyday in a new way.”

Drummer Camerone LeCrone noted that “what made this experience particularly unique was the fact that I was sharing it with a crowd that was generally younger and inexperienced with the kind of music that I was performing. It was rewarding to see it when one of the kids we were playing for genuinely seemed interested. I hope that by performing at least a few of the kids were inspired to pursue jazz music, whether it's performing or just listening and appreciating jazz.” Tony Pistilli added a similar perspective: “I kept on thinking that some of the kids we were playing for were going to be the next top high school jazz musicians. Who knows! They could have been inspired by our performance to go home and practice their butts off. ... I'd be ecstatic if I gave one of those kids the push they needed.”

And maybe for at least one young listener, this will prove to be that push, that “ahah” moment that might one day lead to an audition for the Dakota Combo. And one day, maybe not all that far away, one of those bright-eyed 6th graders might echo the sentiments of Jake Baldwin:

“Music is my dream and I plan on following it until I fall flat on my face. Even if it doesn't work out as a career I don't think I'll ever be able to put the horn down for good. The trumpet is as much a part of me as one of my limbs.”

Photos: (Top), Jake Baldwin blow on trumpet at Ramsey; Joe Strachan and cohorts answer some pithy questions from Sheridan middle school students; the Dakota Combo on stage at Sheridan. Photos by Andrea Canter.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Lead Sheet, February 20-26

© Andrea Canter

A weekend of too many delights: Kurt Elling, as inventive a vocalist as has walked the planet, brings his John Coltrane/Johnny Hartman project to Ted Mann, accompanied by tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts, the ETHEL string quartet, and his long-standing trio led by pianist extraordinaire Laurence Hobgood (February 20th). Not that Elling needs anyone in support, as he can sing with with finesse of Hartman or the soaring inventions of Coltrane. But Grammy-winner Watts will be a treat to hear in the perfectly-sized hall; an evening with Laurence Hobgood is guaranteed to keep your heart beating joyfully, and ETHEL is just too exciting to describe as a “string quartet.” They plug in and take off.

If Elling and company don’t take a long intermission, it might be possible to make most of the first night of the Artists Quarter’s annual Tribute to Bobby Peterson, with pianists Laura Caviani, Peter Schimke and rising talent Dan Musselman, backed by Chris Bates and Kenny Horst (2/20). The salute continues Saturday night (2/21) with Tanner Taylor, Phil Aaron and Chris Lomheim, while Adam Linz takes over the bass duties. It was my great misfortune to never hear the late Bobby Peterson, although it seems unlikely I could have missed him completely given his prolific run of performances in the 1990s up til his death in 2002. Most pianists who spent any time in Minnesota in the past two decades cite Peterson as a mentor or key influence. His Live at the AQ trio recording (with Horst and cousin Billy Peterson) is surely one of the best local productions of the Millenium. Check out the video of Bobby in tandem with Captain Jack McDuff on Jazz Police!

Bouncing between jazz and pop, the Manhattan Transfer manage to do justice to both, and they have been doing so for over 35 years. Three of the quartet date back to the beginning (Tim Hauser, Janis Siegel, Alan Paul) and “newbie” Cheryl Bentyne has been part of the team for over 25 years. The biggest reason to hear them this week (February 23-24) is the rare opportunity (if a pricey one) to hear them in a club setting, at the Dakota. If you have only heard MT at Orchestra Hall, you have not really heard them.

What’s better than free jazz? The cover, not the genre? The inventive trio Framework—Chris Olson, Chris Bates and Jay Epstein –offers an introduction to their brand new CD with a show at McNally Smith College in St. Paul on February 25th. Each of these musicians is as much fun to watch as to hear. You can see the wheels turning, the ideas flowing.

And get ready for next weekend—Bruce Henry returns for a show with his long-standing band at the Hopkins Center for the Arts on February 28th and Debbie Duncan takes over the Artists Quarter (February 27-28), perhaps a warmup for her March 7th gig with the great Kenny Werner Trio at the Dakota.

If you don’t see me, know I am in Boston but hardly jazz-deprived, taking in two nights at the Regatta Bar, with Freddy Cole and McCoy Tyner. I’ll be back in time to catch Joshua Redman (March 2-3), Claudia Schmidt (March 4) and Esperenza Spalding (March 5) at the Dakota; the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at Orchestra Hall (March 6-7); and of course I would not miss Kenny Werner (March 7th). But it will be a weekend of tough choices, with masterful pianist Frank Kimbrough at the U of M, playing with Gordy Johnson and Phil Hey on March 6th and with the U Jazz Ensemble I on March 7th. I am considering having myself cloned.

A note on the closing of the Times: Hopefully this is not a permanent state, as the Times was the third fulltime jazz club in the metro and one that loyally hired local musicians representing the best of our jazz community, from vocalists, trad and swing bands, Latin ensembles and Hot Club jazz.
Photos: (Top) The Manhattan Transfer performs at the Dakota (2/23-2/24); Tanner Taylor appears with the Bobby Peterson Tribute on 2/21; Kurt Elling salutes the John Coltrane/Johnny Hartman recording at Ted Man (2/20). Taylor and Elling photos by Andrea Canter.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Smile, It's Jazz!

© Andrea Canter

It was a good week in jazz, especially for trumpets. Friends gave me good reviews of Irvin Mayfield’s New Orleans Jazz Orchestra All Stars at Orchestra Hall. My own adventures included two doses of Denver-based trumpeter Ron Miles. First was his workshop at MacPhail, an informal discussion and demonstration in which he involved several of the students in the audience, who happen to be among the best high school jazz musicians in the area (Joe Strachan on piano, Cory Grindberg on bass, Isaac Zuckerman on drums—75% of the Isaac Zuckerman Quartet.) Miles noted the "beauty of the single line...even Bach!," shared his passion for improvisation ("Play like you don't know what will happen...make it a spontaneous conversastion"), and of course displayed his marvelous trumpeting. And that odd-looking horn! Miles explained that he had focused on cornet in recent years, and moved on to a specially designed horn from famed trumpet-maker David Monette, whose customers have included Irvin Mayfield and Kelly Rossum. Miles’ horn looks somewhat like a squashed flugelhorn but it sings like a tropical bird in flight (in the odd key of G).

The next night Miles was the guest artist for the always-adventurous Jazz Is Now “Nownet” ensemble, led by composer/pianist Jeremy Walker and a spawning ground for new compositions. For this night, two hot trumpets were featured—Miles and local hero (soon to be New Yorker) Kelly Rossum. But the full ensemble shined—Walker, saxmen Chris Thomson and Scott Fultz, bassist Anthony Cox and drummer Kevin Washington. Together they form what has to be one of the nation’s most formidable composer collectives.

Trumpets again were in the spotlight Saturday night when Nicholas Payton blew in to perform with the JazzMN Big Band, a very nice way to spend Valentine’s Day night. Payton even sang on his original tribute to New Orleans and traded bars with the JazzMN trumpet line—and in no way were the talents of Jeff Gottwig, Steve Strand, Dave Jensen or Adam Rossmiller (or briefly bandleader Doug Snapp!) diminished by Payton’s presence. This was a stellar horn quintet! And speaking of horn quintets, the first set of the evening reunited the Hornheads, an all brass ensemble of performers/ composers/ arrangers led by trombonist Michael Nelson, along with Dave and Kathy Jensen, Steve Strand and Kenni Holman. Nelson just returned from handling arrangements at the Grammy Awards. The word is out—great horns come from Minnesota.

But there were other examples of “top brass” aside from the trumpets. Friday night was a rare opportunity to hear sax specialist Pete Whitman in a small ensemble context when he brought his quartet to the Artists Quarter—with Peter Schimke, Jay Young and (again!) Kevin Washington. They opened with an abstract arrangement of “Footprints” and during the first set covered Pete’s composition “written for a beautiful woman” – partner Laura Caviani. Like a select few of the small ensembles in the Twin Cities—Phil Hey’s Quartet comes to mind—Whitman and crew exude collaboration, finesse, and inventive improvisation. It’s an artistry that has always marked Whitman’s larger band, the X-Tet, and one that is fully satisfying pared down to four voices.

Sunday was the annual Witness program of Vocalessence, the celebration of African-American history and culture set to music. The first half of the program featured a full orchestra and the choir, along with readings from Minneapolis middle school students and narration from T. Mychal Rambo. For the second half of the afternoon, Vocalessence welcomed the Billy Taylor Trio. A decade ago, Taylor wrote “Peaceful Warrior” in tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, performing with Vocalessence, so this was a reprise. Interesting, although Taylor mentioned that the composition was even more meaningful with the election of Barack Ombama, there was no mention of the first African American President throughout the entire Witness program.

“Peaceful Warrior” in three movements was the mainstay of Taylor’s trio performance. Despite a stroke that weakened his left hand in 2000, the 87-year-old Taylor played with sufficient swing and dexterity to enliven the melodies and support the soloing of his very accomplished cohorts, Chip Jackson on acoustic bass and Winard Harper on trapset. Harper, one of my favorite drummers to watch as well as hear, did not disappoint; to a degree he upstaged the leader with his smiling antics, flaying sticks and brushes like a graceful dancer and dramatically leaping spread-eagled to dampen the cymbals, all the while displaying a joyful grin. To Harper, playing drums is akin to running loose through a candy store. Sitting six rows from the stage precisely across from the drum kit, I too was a free soul in fantasy land.

I probably had a similar grin.
Photos: (Top), Ron Miles accompanied student drummer Isaac Zuckerman at his workshop at MacPhail; Miles soloed with the Jazz Is Now Nownet; Pete Whitman with Peter Schimke at the AQ. Photos by Andrea Canter.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The Lead Sheet, February 13-19

© Andrea Canter

Last week it was a fanfare of trumpets. Nicholas Payton finishes off the trumpet fest on Saturday (2/14), with the help of the great brass ensemble, The Hornheads, in the company of the best regional jazz band in the Midwest—the JazzMN Big Band. JzMnBB plays three or four concerts each season in the very spiffy setting of the Hopkins High School Performing Arts Center. (My high school performance “center” didn’t look anything like this! There’s even a concessions area.) Payton was a “young lion” who has continued to roar as he reaches his mid 30s, and this is a rare opportunity to see him locally in a big band context. (He will return in April with the Blue Note 70th Anniversary Septet at Orchestra Hall.) And the Hornheads? Locally damaging brass with Michael Nelson, Kenni Holman, Dave Jensen, Kathy Jensen and Steve Strand, this is also the core of the JzMnBB brass section.

One more horn of note, Pete Whitman brings in his quartet for one night at the Artists Quarter tonight (2/13). We see Pete in larger contexts regularly—with his X-Tet and with the JazzMN Big Band. The opportunities to hear this multi-talented reedman are far fewer. Tonight he’s on stage with Peter Schimke, Jay Young and Kevin Washington so you know the music will vary from sublime to volcanic and all points in-between.

Vocal jazz takes the spotlight in the coming week, starting with VocalEssence’s annual Witness program at the Ordway Sunday afternoon, featuring the great NEA Jazz Master pianist and educator, Dr. Billy Taylor. Taylor reprises his 1998 performance of his Peaceful Warrior, a tribute to Martin Luther King. Bill Clinton was President in 1998; with our nation’s first African American President, this performance is even more meaningful. Also making this a special occasion is the fact the Taylor officially retired from performing a few years ago, but apparently not completely as he will be on stage with his trio (Chip Jackson on bass and one of my favorite drummers, Winard Harper. Harper is a graceful acrobat with sticks.) For more on this event, see Pamela Espeland’s interview with Taylor in “Arts Arena” at

The 2008 Juno winner for best vocal album, Sophie Milman returns to the Dakota for two nights (February 16-17). Like her fellow Canadian Diana Krall, Milman is a skilled interpreter of standards whose cross-cultural background (a Russian immigrant who lived in Israel through much of her childhood before landing in Canada in her teens) adds a unique signature to her work and repertoire. She’s not yet at Krall’s level of improvisation, but she is only in her mid 20s.

Veteran of Bobby McFerrin’s Voicestra and head of vocal music at McNally Smith, Judi Donaghy releases her latest recording with the Wolverines Quartet (Swing On!). And they really do swing on! This one is produced by the Twin Cities Jazz Society. The release party scheduled for the 18th has been postponed--stay tuned! In the meantime, if you contact TCJS you can learn how to order the CD.

A few more nights of note---Saxman Gary Berg celebrates his 70th at the AQ on Wednesday (2/18); the Phil Hey Quartet move in on Thursday (2/19); Phil joins Gordy Johnson and Tanner Taylor as the Dakota Trio at the Dakota on the 18th.

And try to rest up for the following weekend, when Kurt Elling and his tribute to the Coltrane/Hartman partnership land at Ted Mann (2/20) and the annual Bobby Peterson Tribute fills two nights at the Artists Quarter (2/20 and 2/21)!
Photos: (From Top), Nicholas Payton (a couple years ago at the Iridium in New York); Sophie Milman at the Dakota in January 2008; Judi Donaghy (with the Wolverines in 2007). Photos by Andrea Canter.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Ann Hampton Callaway, Love At Last

© Andrea Canter

Perhaps expecting a slow Monday night, the Dakota Jazz Club sought to entice customers for the Ann Hampton Callaway show by guaranteeing a refund to anyone who was not satisfied with the performance. It's impossible to imagine that they received any such requests.
Callaway managed to upstage herself in Monday night’s first set. The first seventy minutes of pure vocal pleasures with her trio (pianist Ted Rosenthal, bassist Jay Leonhard, drummer Gordy Knudtson) already brought the audience to its feet to acknowledge one of the world’s most effective and dynamic purveyors of the Great American Songbook, one of jazz’s most charming interpreters of popular song from multiple eras. And she’s a great songwriter as well although she did not include any of her own compositions in the first set.

But after recounting the tales of love—from its shaky beginnings and ill-fated seductions (the devilish “Comes Love” and the beautiful Stevie Nix "Landslide") to the excitement of discovery (a riveting “Spain”) through the emotional rejoicing of “At Last,” Ann topped off the evening with her signature “in the moment” composition – asking for ten words from the audience from which she would quickly construct and perform a new song. Tonight she was in the mood for love and asked for words to help form a Minnesota love song. Some of our favorite vocabulary provided the foundation for her lyrics—lutefisk, mukluks, tater tots, hot dish, ice fishing, walleye, Lake Calhoun....and in honor of our new President, someone called out “Obama Mamma.” A minute or two of banter later (“stalling for time,” she said), we were treated to both a new composition and Ann’s ample chops on piano, with the added treat of her interplay with bassist Jay Leonhart. Much playfulness surrounded “mukluk” which served as a bass/vocal vamp and brought forth some hilarious efforts at rhyming. ‘Nuff said.

Ann Hampton Callaway’s new CD on Telarc, At Last, is a beautifully presented and sequenced set of “love songs for grownups,” surpassed only by the opportunity to hear her live, when she sings the songs directly to you, piercing your heart or tickling your funny bone, often at the same time.

She’s at the Dakota one more night (February 10th). Go. Then buy the CD.

Photos: Ann Hampton Callaway (with drummer Gordy Knudtson) at the Dakota on February 9th. (Photos by Andrea Canter.) CD review posted on JazzINK (

Sunday, February 8, 2009

John Raymond: Young Passion Runs Deep

© Andrea Canter

Careers in the performing arts tend to launch early. Ask a seasoned jazz star about his or her early days and you will likely hear about after-school bands, jazz camps, and “sitting in” with area pros. And when you have the opportunity to witness the rapid evolution of these talents, you begin to understand the passion that fuels artistry even before the vision is fully formed.
The John Raymond Project is the name of an ever-evolving ensemble propelled by trumpeter John Raymond, currently completing his degree at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire and looking to continue studies in New York. I first heard John, barely out of high school, perform with the early edition of Jeremy Walker’s Jazz Is Now! orchestra. A short time later, he invited me to the premiere of The John Raymond Project at Bryant Lake Bowl, where he had assembled some like-minded improvisers and composers from the jazz program at Eau Claire. Since then, he has not only starred with the college’s jazz bands but has been a frequent member of Nachito Herrera’s Cuban ensemble while continuing to refine and redirect the JRP.

This is a young man exploring as much of the music as possible as he discovers his own voice as performer and composer, never losing sight of his spiritual as well as musical journey, finding inspiration in his faith as well as his horn. Few college student musicians appear on the Dakota stage as bandleader, but John has had several such opportunities in the past couple years, including last week’s prime time gig with his latest edition of the JRP. “This is my ideal line-up,” he says, and it was a knock-out performance of original compositions and arrangements. Since the Bryant Lake Bowl debut, John’s music has grown layers, his book increasingly diverse from hard hitting bop attacks (including Freddie Hubbard’s “Thermo” and “Intrepid Fox”) to lyrical ballads with memorable melodies (such as his original “Poor Blind Man”). And his cohorts—recent UWEC grad Sean Carey on drums, fellow students Aaron Hedenstrom (saxes) and Andy Detra (bass), and 28-year-old “veteran” Tanner Taylor on piano—came together as if backed by a decade of collaboration.

Spending a night with the John Raymond Project isn’t just about musical talent, of which there is plenty. It’s about witnessing the joy of creation and sharing that joy. “The more I play and the more I think about my role as a performer and composer,” says John, “the more I genuinely want everyone who hears us to experience something deeper with my music.”

We do.

Photos: (top) John Raymond performed on February 5th at the Dakota; (bottom) The John Raymond Project at the Dakota (Tanner Taylor not pictured). Photos by Andrea Canter.

Friday, February 6, 2009

The Lead Sheet, February 6-12

Three world-class trumpeters from different parts of the Jazz Galaxy converge on Minneapolis on the same night, February 12th. Each appears at a top-notch venue. It’s almost embarrassing—are we trying to compete with New York? Actually two world-class trumpeters are on the same gig as part of MacPhail’s Jazz Thursdays series of performances in Antonello Hall. Ron Miles, Denver-based but internationally acclaimed, will be the guest composer/performer with the Jazz Is Now! Nownet, Jeremy Walker’s composers’ ensemble. Miles has particularly gained a reputation for composition and artistry through his associations with Bill Frisell and Matt Wilson, with whom he performed at the Dakota in 2006. He’ll be conducting a Master Class at MacPhail the night before, February 11th. Jazz Is Now also includes our locally-based trumpet master, Kelly Rossum. If you love modern trumpet jazz, you can’t miss at MacPhail.

If your tastes run more traditional, you can’t miss with the Minneapolis Mardi Gras at Orchestra Hall, led by New Orleans trumpeter and new Artistic Director for Jazz, Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra All-Stars. There’s more fun afoot with soul princess Irma Thomas and the Rebirth Brass Band on the program. This is the first of three opportunities to hear Mayfield at Orchestra Hall this year—so if you miss it to attend one of the other options, you will get another chance to hear his celebrations of Crescent City music.

Finally, if you are truly into genre-defying, boundary bending music, the Walker Art Center hosts veteran sound experimenter John Hassell and his assemblage of electronics and strings, energizing the trumpet in odd ways that yield some of the most majestic ambient sounds you can imagine short of space travel.

Before we get to Thursday, there are a few cool things in jazz this weekend and early into next week. The Atlantis Quartet returns to the Artists Quarter (Friday night) after a big crowd welcomed their debut there last month. Saturday night features three musicians who need no introduction---Tanner Taylor on piano, Billy Peterson on bass, Kenny Horst on drums. They just might swing themselves up the stairs and down the mall....if you see smoke, you’re in the right place. Or if you want to stay west of the river, Debbie Duncan and former Twin Cities resident, Adi Yeshaya, reunite for a smoldering Saturday night at the Dakota.

I will have to load up on caffeine this weekend because Late Night at the Dakota offers back to back sizzlers---The Rossum Electric Company (Kelly Rossum’s high tech electric band) on Friday and the Atlantis Quartet on Saturday. Ignition at 11:30 pm, acceleration til 2 am!

The Twin Cities Jazz Society celebrates 30 years of support and appreciation for our local jazz community, and the party is at the Dakota Sunday night, 5-9 pm. Of course the main event is music throughout the evening, with Mary Louise Knutson and a hot quartet (Graydon Peterson, Jay Epstein and Doug Haining) supporting the likes of Dave Karr, Irv Williams, Kelly Rossum, and a slew of the best voices in town. Lots of fun and the proceeds will support TCJS programs.

Speaking of fun, there is no better time to be had than a night with Ann Hampton Callaway. Her engaging banter and clever creations of songs in the moment might divert attention from the fact that she has one of the best voices, and highest interpretative powers, on the vocal jazz scene. Her new release, At Last, kills from start to finish as a cohesive tale of the elusiveness and ultimate power of love. She’s at the Dakota Monday and Tuesday.

More songs without the big cover charge are in the air this week—Nancy Harms Friday night at the Dakota County Steakhouse, Maud Hixson during Sunday brunch at the Times, Rhonda Laurie for a early Valentine’s Day evening on Wednesday at Cave Vin. Also on Wednesday, there’s a special CD release celebration at the Artists Quarter for Rachel Holder and Dan Musselman’s Save Your Love for Me, a truly bold and exciting voice/piano duet set.
And if you are into vocal jazz, the acclaimed Anita O'Day film is back in the metro, showing at Carmike Theaters in Moundsview and Apple Valley this weekend only! I missed the showing at the Lagoon and plan to head out to Apple Valley Saturday afternoon. Shows at 1:30 and 7:30 pm.

On the horizon—JzzMN Big Band with Nicholas Payton and The Hornheads (Feb 14), Valentine’s Day with Carole Martin at the AQ, Sophie Millman at the Dakota (Feb 16-17), Gary Berg’s 70th birthday party at the AQ (Feb 18).
Photos: (top) Ron Miles at the Dakota with Matt Wilson's Arts and Crafts in 2006; Rachel Holder and Dan Musselman prepare to release Save Your Love for Me. Photos by Andrea Canter.