|Ramsey Lewis with Henry Johnson and Joshua Ramos|
© Andrea Canter
Finally, the weather is heating up, maybe drying out? Making the evenings perfect for getting out an enjoying live music. And the music is surely heating up as well, building up to our end-of-the-month Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Of course, any given weekend typically seems like a jazz festival around here. This weekend, KBEM brings yet another innovative project to local audiences, this time Destination Twin Cities with Butch Thompson and choreographer Sarah LaRose-Holland; the Atlantis Quartet returns to the Artists Quarter with tunes from their upcoming CD release; the edgy threesome Triose takes the Late Night slot at the Dakota; and Sidewalk Café opens the St Paul “Jazz in the Library” prelude to the festival. In the coming week, we welcome home Reid Anderson, this time without the Bad Plus as he collaborates with members of the SPCO on some new music; and for two nights, the Dakota hosts Ramsey Lewis and Dee Dee Bridgewater –together.
Big Gigs This Week
Friday, June 14. Bassist Jay Young is one of the best known sidemen in town, supporting such stars as Bruce Henry, Debbie Duncan, Ginger Commodore and more. But he’s taken on the role of bandleader a few times as well, usually with his Lyric Factory ensemble in tributes to Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind and Fire. It’s EWF that he salutes tonight at the Dakota, in his usual company with son Ian Young (also on bass), saxman Pete Whitman, pianist Thom West, drummer Kevin Washington, and a vocal trio of Judi Donaghy Vinar, Sarah Greer, and Katie Gearty.
Triosé is a three-way collaboration of some fast-rising stars, guitarist Vinnie Rose, bassist Jeremy Boettcher, and drummer Adrian Suarez, all graduates of the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s renowned jazz program. In the past year they have recorded covers and originals, live and in studio, keep steady gigs at Shanghai Bistro in Hudson and Eau Claire, and have been on stage at the Artists Quarter, Café Maude and tonight, the Dakota, on the Late Night shift.
At the Black Dog, an outstanding collaboration continues the Community Pool: Deep End series curated by Nathan Hanson and Brian Roesslar—as they bring in monster keyboardist Bryan Nichols for some inventive mayhem.
Friday-Saturday, June 14-15. Surely one of the most hip and inventive of local jazz ensembles, the Atlantis Quartet has built a large following over its seven-year run, no surprise given the engaging nature of their mostly original music and on-stage performance. Unquestionably modern and unerringly accessible, the AQ (Zacc Harris, Brandon Wozniak, Chris Bates, Pete Hennig) returns to the Artists Quarter this weekend, no doubt sharing some of the new tunes on their upcoming CD.
We’ve had the great fortune to enjoy some new productions from KBEM, fueled in part with Legacy funding—our tax dollars at work! This weekend, “Destination Twin Cities” features a collaboration between trad piano master Butch Thompson and choreographer Sarah LaRose-Holland and her Kinetic Evolution dance troupe, with three performances at the Lab Theater in the Minneapolis Warehouse district (Friday night, Saturday matinee and Saturday night). The gist of the show is the unique history of the Twin Cities, from Swede Hollow to 60s counter culture Minneapolis and more. Making a cameo appearance will be songbird Maud Hixson.
Sunday, June 16. A few years ago, the Twin Cities Jazz Festival and St Paul Library system forged a partnership to bring jazz to St Paul neighborhoods as a jump-start to the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. The first of three “Jazz in the Library” performances takes place this afternoon at the Central library in downtown St. Paul, featuring the swinging trio, Sidewalk Café. Hot off the release of a new CD (Crème Brulée), this band of string virtuosos (Gary Schulte on violin, Reynold Philipsek on guitar, Jeff Brueske on bass) will kick-off festival activities in joyful fashion.
Monday, June 17. Dean Magraw has been performing all over the area lately, but this will be an extra special evening when he headlines at Jazz Central, the underground studio known for presenting new artists and veterans in new configuration with new music. Plus it is perhaps the most intimate jazz space in the Upper Midwest!
Tuesday, June 18. The Artists Quarter has been saving Tuesday nights for the house timekeepers, Billy Peterson and Kenny Horst, in varying formats with inventive musicians. Tonight, one such artist, Brandon Wozniak, joins Billy and Kenny for a night of pure magic. Brandon is one of the most versatile jazzers in the region, and particularly creative when he’s given the space to cut loose.
Tuesday-Wednesday, June 18-19. Postponed due to the now-resolved SPCO lock-out, Bad Plus bassist Reid Anderson comes home for two nights of collaboration with members of the SPCO in the orchestra’s rehearsal space (408 St Peter, St Paul), part of the Liquid Music series. Reid’s first full-length work, The Rough Mixes, features SPCO violinists Steven Copes and Sunmi Chang and Mn Orchestra cellist Anthony Ross, as well as acclaimed jazz percussionist Jeff Ballard (Brad Mehldau Trio, Joshua Redman’s Elastic Band) and Anderson on electronics; video design by Brooklyn-based architect Cristina Guadalupe. Says Reid, “The meeting place of elements – a shoreline, for example – is always new, unstable, mysterious. And mystery is what I love most in music.”
Wednesday, June 19. The second Jazz in the Library gig features an early evening with the George Maurer Trio at the Merriam Park Library. Keyboardist, bandleader, composer and arranger George Maurer always brings in a crowd, and his arrangements are always savvy and dance-worthy.
|Dee Dee Bridgewater|
Wednesday-Thursday, June 19-20. Two of the most accomplished musicians in modern jazz get together on the stage of the Dakota – Ramsey Lewis and Dee Dee Bridgewater. Collaborators earlier in their careers, each has forged a signature jazz persona. Lewis is best known for hits like “The In Crowd,” “Hang On Sloopy” and “Wade In The Water”; his music has always had wide appeal with its tinges of gospel, soul and R&B. Dee Dee Bridgewater defines the word “entertainer” – winner of Broadway’s Tony Award, London’s Laurence Olivier Award, France’s Victoire de la Musiqe, and three Grammy Awards, as well as host of the award-winning NPR series, Jazz Set. Recent projects have included Red Earth (the music of Mali) and Eleanora Fagan (Billie Holiday).
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:
Friday, June 14. Irv Williams and Peter Schimke, Happy Hour at the Dakota; Arne Fogel at Parma; Lee Engele with Reynold Philipsek at The Wine Market; Todd Harper, early set at the Black Dog; Chris Lomheim and Gordy Johnson at the Icehouse; Firefly with Jello Slave, late set at the Icehouse
Saturday, June 15. Charmin and Shapira at Midtown Global Market (12:30 pm); JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Joel Shapira Trio at Loring Pasta Bar; Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma; Lila Ammons Quintet at Honey; Phil Aaron and Adam Wozniak at the Icehouse; Pavel Jany Trio in the Jazz Lounge, Hotel Ivy; St. Peter Street Stompers at the Red Stag
Sunday, June 16. Robert Everest, brunch at Maria’s Café; Zacc Harris Trio at Riverview Wine Bar; Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra with Charmin Michelle at Cinemal Ballroom
Monday, June 17. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Headspace at the Artists Quarter; Southside Big Band at Lake Harriet Bandshell; Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse (Santiago, Duke, Wozniak and Hurtado)
Tuesday, June 18. Patty and the Buttons at Café Maude (Penn Av); Cory Wong Quartet, early set at the Artists Quarter; Roseville Big Band at Frank Rog Amphitheater (Roseville); Café Accordion at Loring Pasta Bar; Explosion Big Band at Jazz Central
|Steve Kenny and the Bastids|
Wednesday, June 19. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Sister Swing (Rhonda Laurie and Maryann Sullivan) at the Eagles' Club; Zacc Harris Trio at Café Maude (Penn Av); Steve Kenny and the Bastids at the Artists Quarter, followed by the Doug McDonald Trio; Classic Big Band at Como Lakeside Pavillion; Larry McDonough at Three Crows (Delano); Graydon Peterson Quartet at Jazz Central
Thursday, June 20. Vinnie Rose at Adagio Pizza Factory; Pete Whitman X-Tet at the Artists Quarter; Beasley’s Big Band at Wabasha Street Caves; Vocal Night at Jazz Central; Rhonda Laurie at Barbette
. June 21, Maud Hixson at Parma
. June 21-22, Mississippi (Whitman, Schimke, Bailey, Washington) at the Artists Quarter
. June 23-24, David Murray Infinity Quartet with Macy Gray at the Dakota
. June 23, Ticket to Brasil at Lake Harriet Bandshell
. June 25, Adam Meckler Orchestra at Jazz Central
. June 26, Salsabrosa (Jazz in the Library), Riverview Library
. June 27-29, Twin Cities Jazz Festival with Cyrus Chestnut, Kenny Werner, Matt Slocum, Ariel Pocock, JazzMN Big Band, Jon Weber and more
. June 28, Ginger Commodore at the Dakota
. July 3, Lulu’s Playground at the Artists Quarter
. July 5-7, Iowa City Jazz Festival with Pharoah Sanders, Fred Hersch, Charlie Hunter, Christian Scott, Lonnie Smith and more
. July 8, Milo Fine Free Jazz Ensemble at Homewood Studios
. July 8-9, Pharoah Sanders at the Dakota
. July 13, St Croix Vineyards Jazz Festival in Stillwater (Atlantis Quartet, Patty Peterson and more)
. July 14, PipJazz Sundays with Louis Alemayehu at Landmark Center
. July 19, Maud Hixson at Parma
. July 23, Badi Assad at the Dakota
. July 25, Benefit for Jeremy Walker at the Dakota
. July 27, Dakota Street Fest (Nicollet Mall)
. August 17, Burnsville Art and All That Jazz Festival, Nicollet Commons Park (Burnsville)
|David Murray, coming to the Dakota, June 23-24|