Friday, January 8, 2010

The Lead Sheet --Twin Cities Jazz, January 8-14

© Andrea Canter

The “big” gigs of the coming week are essentially local – it’s a good time to get out and support your favorite area artists, to maintain and grow our “sustainable” art. One of the most interesting is off the beaten path—in downtown Hopkins at a coffeehouse/café, Munkabeans & Sunshine Café. An unlikely spot for a guitar/mandolin trio? Possibly the Twin Cities’ most eclectic guitarist, John Penny has been a frequent performer at Munkabeans, as well as appearing at such diverse venues as Mill City Coffee, Homewood Studios, the Artists Quarter, and various summer jazz festivals. Lately he has been experimenting with vocals and Brazilian styles, and particularly solo performance. So this is even off the beaten path for John, who joins Josh Pinkham, teen phenom who has quite a reputation on the bluegrass and mandolin circuits, and KBEM’s Kevin Barnes, who apparently plays a mean Doboro (a type of resonator guitar). Don’t let the deep freeze forecast scare you away from this one. And there is more tropical heat in Hopkins Saturday night, at the more conventional Hopkins Center for the Arts—Joan Griffith, Laura Caviani and friends reprise their Sambanova! recording, mostly original Brazilian style compositions for guitar and piano.

More predictable, but in a very good way, are two nights with our "First Lady of Song" Debbie Duncan at the Artists Quarter (1/8-9) and a bluesy weekend at the Dakota with Davina and the Vagabonds. Out in the west burbs, the Redstone Grill will be swinging hard with Maud Hixson and the Twin Cities Hot Club (1/8-9). Some great voices grace the Capri stage, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, as pianist/producer Sanford Moore presents “My First Loves” with Greta Ogelsby, Tonia Hughes Kendrick and Yolande Bruce.

More strong voices appear in special gigs this week—Jeff Jensen joins the Laura Caviani Trio at Crave in the Galleria (1/8); Sophia Shorai (piano and vocals) at Honey (1/9); Dorothy Doring with vocalist /drummer Donald Thomas at the Dakota (1/12) followed by sassy and swinging Nichola Miller (1/13); Arne Fogel sings out with the Wolverines at Hell’s Kitchen (1/13); and an annual treat, the (Minneapolis) South High Singers Showcase (with Charmin Michelle) on Thursday night (1/14). And as usual, you can find Charmin with Rick Carlson at Crave in St. Louis Park for Sunday brunch (1/10) and with Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza Mondays and Wednesdays (1/11 & 1/13).

As always, there’s plenty of modern sounds around town: Dean Granros at Café Maude (1/8); the Improvised Music Series at Homewood Studios, this week with Milo Fine, Dave Seru, John O’Brien and Stefan Kac (1/11); Jelloslave, Late Night at the Dakota (1/8) and at Barbette (1/11); Jazz at the Clown Lounge with Off the Map and Fat Kid Wednesdays (1/11) and the James Buckley Trio and Atlantis Quartet (1/12); Ingo Bethke at the Kitty Kat Club (1/12); How Birds Work (1/13) and the Phil Hey Quartet (1/14) at the AQ; the Dan Musselman Quartet at the Dakota (1/14). And don’t forget the “regulars” providing the best in instrumental jazz every week—Peter Schimke and Irv Williams for Happy Hour at the Dakota on Fridays; the Benny Weinbeck Trio at D’Amico Kitchens in the Chambers Hotel (Friday and Saturday nights); Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar of the St. Paul Hotel (Saturday nights and with KBEM’s Jazz After Work for happy hour on 1/14); the Zacc Harris Trio at the Riverview Wine Bar (Sunday nights); the Cory Wong Quartet followed by the Tuesday Night Band at the AQ (Tuesday nights).

Coming soon—Paul Renz Quintet at Honey (1/15); Robert Everest (1/15) and Patty Peterson (1/16) at the Dakota; the Kevin Washington Quartet at the AQ (1/15-16); the annual Roseville Jazz Blast and concert at Northwestern College (1/16); the Dakota’s Django Fest, starting with our local hot club bands (1/17), Dorado Schmitt’s All Stars (1/18-19) and Mark O’Connor’s Hot Swing Trio (1/20); Jon Weber (1/22) and the Illicit Sextet (1/23) at the AQ; Bryan Nichols Trio and Paul Renz Quintet at Antonello Hall at MacPhail (1/23); Roy Hargrove Quintet at the Dakota (1/24-25).

Photos: (Top to bottom) John Penny; Joan Griffith with Clea Galhano at the Sambanova CD Release Party; Ingo Bethke. (Photos by Andrea Canter)