Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, April 5-11

John Scofield returns to the Dakota with Mike Stern, April 8-9
© Andrea Canter

Some of the excitement this weekend takes place across state lines as the annual Eau Claire Jazz Festival welcomes hometown hero Geoffrey Keezer and Brazilian trumpeter Claudio Roditi, but there’s plenty of hot competition right here, with the multi-set 60th birthday party for avant garde leader John Zorn at the Walker, Happy Apple on a rare weekend gig at the Icehouse, and “the Legend” Billy Holloman back “home” at the Artists Quarter. And the week starts off with a double dose of guitar magic with John Scofield’s Hollow Body Band with special guest Mike Stern at the Dakota.

Big Gigs This Week

Billy Holloman
Friday-Saturday, April 5-6. For years, Billy Holloman led the Tuesday Night Band in its weekly residency at the Artists Quarter, a gig that became a natural hang for area students as well as B-3 organ fans. The gig continued without Holloman as “Downtown” Bill Brown took over the B-3, but finally the weekly schedule burned out and we eagerly await reunion nights. But this is a reunion on a grand scale as “the Legend” himself returns for a B-3 weekend.

Just to make your choices more difficult, this weekend is also the first local gig in a while for Happy Apple, as Mike Lewis, Erik Fratzke and Dave King are among the busiest musicians in town. Hosted by the very hip Icehouse, this show is definitely for night owls, starting at 11 pm….. which means you can come over after the first set at the AQ or wherever else. Or start your evening at the Icehouse with dinner hour sets from Phil Aaron and Gordy Johnson (Friday) or Bryan Nichols and Brandon Wozniak (Saturday) and just hang out for the late show. Happy Apple can take you just about anywhere on the sonic planet, so be ready with ears on full alert.
Mike Lewis

One of the longest running jazz festivals in the Midwest, the Eau Claire Jazz Festival gets underway with clinics and master classes Friday afternoon, with the first of two headliner concerts lauching at 7:30 at Memorial High School with an opening set from the Twin Cities-based, Eau Claire connected Triosé (Vinnie Rose, Jeremy Boettcher, Adrian Suarez). They will be followed by the headliners themselves, pianist and Eau Claire native Geoffrey Keezer and Brazilian trumpeter Claudio Roditi, both appearing with the award-winning UW-EC Jazz Ensemble I led by Robert Baca. A lot of current Twin Cities jazz artists are graduates of this program. Keezer will be performing in partnership with Eau Claire author Michael Perry on the new composition, "Old Guys Surrender the Jukebox." With Keezer on piano and the UW-EC Jazz Ensemble I playing the score, Perry will provide the narration for this work, written especially for the Eau Claire Jazz Festival. Keezer and Roditi will be back with Jazz I on Saturday night when the student ensemble Malonious Thunk opens the evening at 7 pm. There will be music up and down Barstow Street after hours both nights. Eau Claire is a mere 90 minutes from the heart of the Twin Cities.
Geoffrey Keezer

Saturday, April 6. Eclectic and innovative performer/composer/producer John Zorn turns 60 in 2013 and he’s bringing a traveling birthday party to the Walker (McGuire Theater) on Saturday. The festivities start with a “talk” at 3 pm, followed by three sets featuring various combinations of collaborators (at 4, 7 and 10 pm) that include Joey Baron, Marc Ribot, Kenny Wollesen, John Medeski and Erik Friedlander among illustrious others. And if you still have some energy left after the third set, you can go across the street to St. Mark’s and hear Zorn in a midnight organ recital.

James Buckley
Sunday, April 7. It’s just one big weekend at the Icehouse! Tonight, master trombonist Steve Davis makes a rare appearance in the Twin Cities, hanging with the James Buckley Trio and more. Davis built his reputation in bands led by Art Blakey and Jackie McLean; he was a member of Chick Corea’s Origin and has been a long-time member of One for All. He’s here for two sets at the Icehouse, the first with the James Buckley Trio, the second set more of a free-for-all with Steve’s cousin Jon and a variety of local luminaries.

John Raymond
Monday, April 8. New York-based trumpeter John Raymond is taking full advantage of his Midwest “vacation.” After a live recording with the band of fellow UW-EC grads, Triosé, at the Artists Quarter last week, and clinics at the Eau Claire Jazz Festival over the weekend, Raymond shares a double bill tonight with Fat Kid Wednesdays at the Icehouse, part of JT’s Jazz Implosion series. Fat Kids offer their inventive explorations in the first set; Raymond teams up with Bryan Nichols, Vinnie Rose, Jeremy Boettcher and Miguel Hurtado for round two. $7 cover for 8 top-notch musicians and two bands. Pretty cool!

Mike Stern
Monday-Tuesday, April 8-9. Guitar legend John Scofield has been coming to the Twin Cities frequently in the past few years, and each time he has another ensemble in tow, from his New Orleans-funky Piety Street Band to his ballads quartet and long-standing trio. Now Scofield returns to the Dakota with his new Hollow Body Band, assembled to help focus attention on the many sonic possibilities of acoustic guitar. In addition to stellar cohorts bassist Ben Street and drummer Bill Stewart, the band includes special guest, another guitar monster, Mike Stern.  Stern too has been in the Twin Cities recently, starring with the JazzMN Orchestra, Four Generations of Miles, and just a few weeks ago with the UW-River Falls ensemble. Can’t get too much from either of these great guitarists.

Wednesday, April 10. It’s the second Wednesday of the month, meaning another round of Chris Bates “Magica Improvisado” series at Jazz Central. The improvisational music series continues tonight with the Enormous Quartet, featuring Bates on bass, Chris Thomson on sax, Park Evans on guitar and Joey Van Phillips on drums. Anything can happen with this band.

Ben Wendel
Thursday, April 11. A rare weeknight of Jazz at Studio Z as Kneebody’s saxman Ben Wendel is in town, and joining up with some local gladiators—guitarist Zacc Harris, keyboardist Brian Ziemniak, bassist Graydon Peterson and drummer Pete Hennig. The Grammy-nominated Wendel also plays bassoon and piano, and is releasing an exciting duo recording with pianist Dan Tepfer on Sunnyside this spring. This is a great opportunity to hear one of the legends-in-the-making.

More Jazz Every Night

Be sure to check live jazz calendars on Jazz Police and KBEM sites. Also find a growing number of events on the Jazz Near You site, a service of All About Jazz. A few more gigs of note:

Maryann Sullivan
Friday, April 5. Irv Williams and Peter Schimke, happy hour at the Dakota; Ticket to Brasil at Faces Mears Park; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Harper/Leggett/Foreman Trio at the Black Dog; Maryann Sullivan at Parma; Paul Renz’s student ensembles Good Question, Night Owl Band and Caterwaul at the Riverview Café; Arne Fogel at Hell’s Kitchen

Saturday, April 6. JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma;  Soul Café at St. Barnabas Church (Plymouth); Ted Olsen and Joe  Strachan at Angelina’s Kitchen (Woodbury); Mill City Hot Club at Loring Pasta Bar

Sunday, April 7. Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster Café; Robert Everest, brunch at Maria’s Café; Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra with Charmin Michelle at Cinema Ballroom; Max Rabbe and the Pallster Orchester at the Dakota; Zacc Harris Trio at Riverview Wine Bar

Monday, April 8. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Headspace at the Artists Quarter; Neighborhood Trio at Barbette; Jon Pemberton at the Red Stag

Tuesday, April 9. Cory Wong Quartet followed by Dean Magraw and Friends at the Artists Quarter; Joel Shapira at Hell’s Kitchen; Chris Olson Project at the Black Dog; Cedar Avenue Big Band at Jazz Central; Jack Brass Band (warm up for New Orleans) at the Amsterdam Bar

Vicky Mountain
Wednesday, April 10. Vicky Mountain at Fireside Pizza; Patty and the Buttons at the Dakota; Steve Kenny and the Bastids followed by the Phil Aaron Trio at the Artists Quarter; Todd Clouser at Café Maude

Thursday, April 11. Minnesota Jazz Orchestra at Wabasha Street Caves; Marc Anderson and Friends at the Black Dog; John Devine at Barbette; Neighborhood Trio at the Red Stag; McNally Smith Night at the Artists Quarter; Sophia Shorai and Tanner Taylor at Jazz Central

Coming Soon!

. April 12, 2 Cellos at the Dakota

. April 12-13, Eric Gravatt and Source Code at the Artists Quarter

. April 13, Charanga Tropicale at Studio Z

. April 13, Jeremy Walker’s “Seven Psalms” (world premiere) at Benson Great Hall (Bethel College)

. April 13, Arne Fogel’s “We Love Our Pianos” with Connie Evingson and Nancy Harms at Hopkins Center for the Arts

. April 13-14, Rhonda Laurie’s “Happy Days Are Here Again” at the Black Box, Bloomington Center for the Arts

. April 14, PipJazz Sundays with Gary Schulte and Zosha Warpeha

. April 14, Paquito D’Rivera and the Assad Brothers at the Dakota

· April 15-16, Doc Severinsen Big Band at the Dakota

. April 16, Zacc Harris, Bill Brown and Kenny Horst at the Artists Quarter

. April 17, Graydon Peterson Quartet at the Artists Quarter

. April 17, Debbie Duncan at the Dakota

. April 18, Talking Strings at the Artists Quarter

. April 19-20, David Hazeltine at the Artists Quarter

. April 20, Francisco Mela at Antonello Hall (MacPhail Center for Music)

. April 20, Nachito Herrera at the Dakota

. April 21, Red Planet at Landmark Center (TCJS Jazz From J to Z)

. April 21, Soul Café at Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church

. April 22, Charmin & Shapira and Friends at the Dakota

. April 23, Molly Ringwald Quartet at the Dakota

. April 24, MacPhail Center for Music Annual Music Matters Luncheon (fundraiser) at Minneapolis Convention Center

. April 24, Denny Malmberg Quartet with Charmin Michelle, CD release at Fireside Pizza

· April 26, Craig Taborn at Walker Art Center

. April 27, Insurgent at Studio Z

. April 28, Diana Krall (Glad Ragdoll Tour) at the State Theater

. May 1-2, Bill Frisell’s Beautiful Dreamers Trio at the Dakota

. May 3-4, Bill Carrothers at the Artists Quarter

. May 11, Zacc Harris at Studio Z

. May 12, PipJazz Sundays with the Women in Jazz Ensemble

. May 15-16, Jane Monheit at the Dakota

. May 16, Dakota Combo at Antonello Hall (MacPhail Center for Music)

. May 18, Mary Louise Knutson Trio, Jazz @St. Barneys (St Barnabas Church)

. May 19, Illicit Sextet at Jazz Central (TCJS Jazz From J to Z)

. May 24-26, Eric Alexander at the Artists Quarter

. June 7, Reynold Philipsek CD Release at the 318 Café

. June 9, PipJazz Sundays with John Penny, Will Kjeer

. June 19-20, Ramsey Lewis Trio with Dee Dee Bridgewater at the Dakota

. June 27-29, Twin Cities Jazz Festival with Cyrus Chestnut, Kenny Werner, Matt Slocum, Ariel Pocock and more

. July 5-7, Iowa City Jazz Festival with Pharoah Sanders, Fred Hersch, Charlie Hunter, Lonnie Smith and more

Doc Severinsen Big Band with Mary Louise Knutson, at the Dakota April 15-16