Friday, February 22, 2013

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




Bill Frisell, free at Macalester

© Andrea Canter



Two of the world’s premiere guitarists happen to be in the Twin Cities at the same time…. At the same price. Free. Both Mike Stern and Bill Frisell turn up on college campuses this weekend, making this perhaps the best “free” jazz weekend of the year  outside of the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. But it is only the tip of the iceberg – and given the forecast, perhaps I mean that literally. This weekend also features multiple gigs with Estaire Godinez, a stellar Jazz at St Barney’s, yet another original show from Arne Fogel with songbird Maud Hixson, a reunion of Patty Peterson and Steve Cole with Patty’s “Friends” at the Dakota, and the inaugural “Off the Cuff” night of improvisation at the Aster Café.



Big Gigs This Week

Friday, February 22. One of the working legends of jazz guitar, Bill Frisell will be finishing up a short residency at Macalester with a solo performance in the new concert space at Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center. Funded through the Rivendell Foundation, this rare opportunity is free, with no advance reservations. Show up early (doors open at 7:30). While Frisell has been in town on a number of occasions in recent years (including his Dakota gig with the All We Are Saying tour last summer), when was the last time you saw him solo?



Mike Stern
Friday-Saturday, February 22-23. With support from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls “RADD Jazz Series”, Miles Davis alum, guitarist Mike Stern will perform two free concerts this weekend. Friday night finds him at the Falcon’s Nest at University Center for the “Jazz Club Cabaret,” showcasing Stern with a stellar ensemble of River Falls faculty-- David Milne (saxophone), Mary Louise Knutson (piano), Eric Graham (bass), and Craig Hara (drums). Come back for more on Saturday night as Stern is featured in the UWRF Jazz Ensemble Concert  in Abbott Concert Hall. Stern has been in the Twin Cities a few times in the past couple years, including a guest performance with the JazzMN Orchestra and a gig at the Dakota with the Miles tribute tour last spring featuring Jimmy Cobb, Buster Williams and Sonny Fortune. And he will be back in April with John Scofield’s Hollow Body Band. But this weekend, you get a good dose of Stern –and local standouts—for free.



Once upon a time, percussionist/vocalist/composer Estaire Godinez lived in the Twin Cities. Although based now in Los Angeles, Estaire formed a volcanic band during her Minnesota days, and that’s the band she’s recorded with (twice) and the band that she’ll reunite with at two venues this weekend. At the Artists Quarter Friday and Saturday, Estaire gathers Peter Schimke, Eric Leeds, Serge Akou and Patir Janic for her special blend of Latin, pop, Afro-Cuban and jazz. In between, she leads a formidable quartet for a fund-raising gig at the Museum of Russian Art (sold out) early Saturday evening, featuring Schimke, Billy Peterson and Irv Williams. Between those two venues, we should get a good sense of the wide range of Estaire’s talents.



Connie Evingson
Saturday, February 23. Four favorite vocalists perform on three area stages…. Pretty much at the same time. Tough choices must be made: The monthly Jazz @St. Barney’s series continues in Plymouth with Connie Evingson and a favorite partner, Mary Louise Knutson. Their repertoire for this casual evening will cover the full gamut of Connie’s songbook—from Peggy Lee to the Beatles, from samba to swing. In Bloomington, vocalist/ producer/impresario Arne Fogel teams with one of his favorite cohorts, Maud Hixson, for a night celebrating the songs written for and/or performed famously by Fred Astaire; and the back-up band is no back-up – the Rick Carlson Trio. And downtown, get ready for another night of jazz/R&B/pop favorites with singer/radio host Patty Peterson and Friends at the Dakota. Friends tonight include saxophonist Steve Cole, brother Ricky Peterson on B-3, nephew Jason DeLaire on keys, and frequent collaborators Billy Franze (bass) and Bobby Vandell (percussion).



Andrew Foreman
Sunday, February 24. Young bassist Andrew Foreman has been seen a lot around town, with the Max Corcoran Project, Trio Bossa Nova, and more. Now Foreman assumes the role of curator to bring a monthly program of improvised music to the classy Aster Café off Main Street in the Anthony Main district, dubbed Off the Cuff. The idea is put some of the most creative musicians (across genres) together and let the music go wherever…. “off the cuff.” Two sets tonight include spoken word artist Lisa Brimmer, popular singer/songwriter Alicia Steele, drummer Zach Schmidt, guitarist Ben Abrahamson, keyboardist Garret Neal, and Foreman.  Second set includes rapper Lizzon, vocalist/words artist Eric Mayson, hip-hop/jazz drummer Graham O’Brien, electronics and samples artist Big Cats, young keyboard sensation Joe Strachan, and Foreman. Sounds like a cauldron of ingredients ready to explode.



Joel Shapira and Charmin Michelle
Monday, February 25. Charmin (Michelle) and (Joel)Shapira and Friends –with the percussion lion Phil Hey filling in on drums—return to the Dakota for some swinging good fun. Over at Jazz Central, saxophonist Greg Keel takes some time out from teaching to remind us all that he has great performance chops.



Tuesday, February 26.  Another Tuesday night at the Artists Quarter with back-to-back guitar wizards, starting with the early show from Cory Wong and his quartet, and then moving into prime time with Dean Magraw “and Friends.”  The friends for the evening will be among the best and brightest—possibilities include Billy Peterson, Phil Aaron, Kenny Horst, Brandon Wozniak, Chris Bates…. At Jazz Central, Big Band Night features the young and the restless, the Adam Meckler Orchestra. Meckler always brings some new compositions to the band, which includes a cast ready to take on whatever Adam writes.



Valve (Brad) and Slide (Dave)
Wednesday, February 27. Two trombone masters collaborate as leaders of a hard boppin’ quintet. Valve (Brad Bellows) Meets Slide (Dave Graf) at the Artists Quarter for a night of boney fun. Come early and catch another bebop and beyond master of brass, trumpeter Steve Kenny and the Bastids.



Thursday, February 28. At the Dakota, an immensely talented quartet headed by vocalist Sophia Shorai takes the stage—with Bryan Nichols, Jeremy Boettcher and JT Bates. That’s a rhythm section any area vocalist would envy.



And at the Artists Quarter, it’s time for another reunion of the popular 90s ensemble, the Illicit Sextet. Their debut Chapter One is about to be surpassed by their long-awaited second recording, Chapter Eleven. Hear some previews tonight from Paul Harper, David Roos, Steve Kenny, Chris Lomheim, Tom Pieper and Nathan Norman.



More Jazz Every Night

Be sure to check live jazz calendars on Jazz Police and KBEM sites. A few more gigs of note:



Friday, February 22.  Second Annual Shirley Witherspoon Expo at the Dakota (11 am – 5 pm); Irv Williams and Peter Schimke, Happy Hour at the Dakota;  Sophia Shorai with dVRG, Ben Kelly + Alex Young at the Aster Café; Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Pirates of Possibilities followed by Gnarl at the Black Dog; Nachito Herrera at the Dakota followed by the Kevin Washington Quintet (Late Night); Ticket to Brasil, Faces Mears Park; Steve Hobert and Brian Courage, dinner set at the Icehouse



Saturday, February 23. Ticket to Brasil, Loring Pasta Bar; Phil Aaron and Jeremy Boettcher, dinner set at the Icehouse; Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma; U of M Jazz Festival, Ensemble I with Fred Sturm at the Ted Mann Concert Hall; Twin Cities Hot Club at the Red Stag



Charmin Michelle and the Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra
Sunday, February 24. Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster Café; Robert Everest, brunch at Maria’s Café; Charmin Michele with the Twin City Seven, Billie Holiday show at the First Unitarian Society of Minnesota; Zacc Harris Trio at the Riverview Wine Bar; Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra with Charmin Michelle at Cinema Ballroom



Monday, February 25. JT’s Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Headspace at the Artists Quarter; The Neighborhood Trio at Barbette; Laura Caviani, From Bach to Bop, at Gustavas Adolphus (St Peter)



Tuesday, February 26. Jack Brass Band at the Amsterdam; Café Accordion at the Loring Pasta Bar;



Graydon Peterson
Wednesday, February 27. John Devine at the Loring Pasta Bar; Debbie Duncan at the Dakota; Graydon Peterson Quartet at Jazz Central; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Vital Organ at Hell’s Kitchen



Thursday, February 28. Patrick Harison at the Icehouse; Dorothy Doring and Phil Mattson at Jazz Central; Rhonda Laurie at Barbette



Coming Soon!

. March 1-2, Chris Bates’ Red Five at the Artists Quarter

. March 3, Phil Grenadier with the Dakota Combo, MacPhail Faculty at Antonello Hall (MacPhail Center for Music)

. March 8, Bobby Commodore 60th Birthday Bash at the Dakota

. March 8-9, Dave King Trio at the Artists Quarter

. March 9, McCoy Tyner Quartet at the Hopkins Center for the Arts

. March 9, Randy Brecker with the JazzMN Orchestra at the Hopkins High School Performing Arts Center

. March 9, Fat Kid Wednesdays, Jazz at Studio Z

. March 10, Bruce Henry, PipJazz Sundays at Landmark Center

. March 11, Charles Lloyd Sky Trio at the Dakota

. March 13, Chris Bates Improv at Jazz Central

. March 16, Mimi Fox at Sundin Hall (Hamline University)

. March 19, SF Jazz Collective at the Dakota

. March 21, Nate Wooley at Walker Art Center (Free Thursdays)

. March 21, Phil Mattson Singers  with Richie Cole at the Artists Quarter

. March 22-23, Atlantis Quartet at the Artists Quarter

. March 24, Nova Jazz Orchestra at Studio Z
. March 29-30, Dave King Trucking Company at the Artists Quarter

. April 1, Bela Fleck and Chick Corea at the Dakota

. April 2-3, Madeleine Peyroux at the Dakota

. April 4-6, Eau Claire Jazz Festival, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus and beyond
. April 5-6, Billy Holloman at the Artists Quarter

· April 6, John Zorn 60th Birthday at Walker Art Center

. April 8-9, John Scofield Hollowbody Band with Mike Stern at the Dakota

. April 12, 2 Cellos at the Dakota

. 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 14, PipJazz Sundays with Gary Schulte and Zosha Warpeha

· April 15-16, Doc Severinsen Big Band at the Dakota
. April 19-20, David Hazeltine at the Artists Quarter

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

. April 21, Soul Café at Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church

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

· 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 Beautiful Dreamers Trio at the Dakota

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

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

. June 18-19, Reid Anderson at Music Space (SPCO), rescheduled from December

. June 27-29, Twin Cities Jazz Festival at Mears Park (featuring Cyrus Chestnut, Kenny Werner and more TBA!)

. July 5-7, Iowa City Jazz Festival (featuring Fred Hersch, Pharoah Sanders, Sachel Vasandani, Christian Scott, Lonnie Smith, JD Allen, Charlie Hunter)


Chris Bates leads Red 5 at the Artists Quarter, March 1-2


















Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Last Night at the Pizza Parlor


Delfeayo Marsalis, Denny Malmberg, Charmin Michelle and Mark Gross at Fireside

© Andrea Canter

Two nights each week (Mondays and Wednesdays), a neighborhood pizza joint just across the Minneapolis boundary in Richfield, MN presents one of the finest duos in regional jazz, Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg, billed as “Hot and Crusty.” (That’s Charmin “hot,” Denny “crusty?”) Fireside Pizza has hosted small jazz groups for many years, going back to the late Bobby Peterson. Soon-to-be-legendary young vocalist José James got his start gigging with his South High teacher—Denny Malmberg-- at Fireside; Charmin and Denny have been the regulars for a number of years now. Denny played mostly keyboards but now has pretty much settled on accordion – it fits a tighter space! Sometimes the band expands, adding bass and perhaps a horn, but that little corner of the room barely fits two. There’s a following from the neighborhood and a few loyal fans who drive in from far reaches of the metro area for a chance to have some of the best thin-crust pizza in town while enjoying the intimacy of the music. Pepperoni and Ellington?

Denny and Charmin at Fireside

Like many casual venues, you never know who might drop by and sit in. But last night we had a last-minute hint – Delfeayo Marsalis and his quintet were coming into town for a benefit event (at the Dakota Jazz Club) the following night. And one of the loyal Firesiders, who just happened to know Delfeayo, was planning to bring him over – sort of a chance to decompress the flight from New Orleans to frigid Minnesota.  We figured maybe he would sit-in on a tune or two.

Denny and Charmin were barely done with their opening song when Marsalis, with saxophonist Mark Gross, arrived. If they were tired from their flight, it didn’t matter. Coats came off, instruments assembled, and it was a quartet for the rest of the night. They rolled through the songbook, unfettered by expectations of club owners and a ticketed audience. Waitstaff jockeyed around the band delivering pizzas and beers; probably half the diners figured this was just another night with Denny and Charmin and a couple friends; a few caught on quickly and out came the I-phones.

Everyone cut loose at Fireside!
It wasn’t just another night, not for Fireside Pizza; not for a large handful of hard core jazz fans; not for Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg; and apparently not for Delfeayo Marsalis and Mark Gross. For all the times I have seen his band over the past ten years, I’ve never seen Delfeayo this loose, this exuberant… and I have never heard him more songful than on his second set opening solo, “What a Wonderful World.”

What a wonderful night. And the pizza was indeed “hot and crusty.”

The Delfeayo Marsalis Quintet entertains at the A Better Chance Foundation benefit at the Dakota tonight (February 19); see www.dakotacooks.com. You can enjoy Hot and Crusty with Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg every Monday and Wednesday night, 7-9 pm, no cover, at Fireside Pizza, 6736 Penn Avenue South in Richfield.



Thursday, February 14, 2013

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


Bill Carrothers, at the Artists Quarter honoring Bobby Peterson


© Andrea Canter

Extending Valentine’s Day into the weekend? There’s lots of options, some perhaps more romantic than others, depending on what revs up your heartbeat! Be it Tin Pan Alley or garage band grooves, it’s all happening here in the Twin Cities.

Big Gigs This Week
Friday, February 15. The Black Dog always hosts musicians who take an independent spin, regardless of genre, but Friday nights typically bring an installment of the Community Pool/Deep End series, curated by Nathan Hanson and Brian Roessler. Tonight Brad Bellows and Donald Washington front an inventive quartet. The space is small but the ideas are huge.

Joann Funk
If you missed a romantic evening on Valentine’s Day, or just want more, Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske turn their usual Friday night at the Lobby Bar of the St Paul Hotel into a special “Isn’t It Romantic,” with drummer Nathan Norman and special guest, vocalist Steve Marking. Marking joined Joanne for their Christmas show and is back by popular demand. Great standards from Gershwin and more.

Billy Peterson
Friday-Saturday, February 15-16. Honoring the late piano genius Bobby Peterson, another native genius returns to the Artists Quarter with a reprise of the famed After Hours Trio. At the core will be Bill Carrothers, highly acclaimed throughout Europe and now growing a much deserved reputation in the U.S. Whether delivering elegant and playful originals or turning covers inside out, Carrothers has the power to evoke tears, laughter and even confusion with a single phrase from a single instrument. And in the company of bassist Billy Peterson (Bobby’s cousin) and drummer Kenny Horst, the possibilities more than triple.

Katie Gearty
Friday-Sunday, February 15-17. After a Valentine’s Day opening, the Southern Theater’s jazz ballet, Lot of Living to Do, continues its run. Featuring great jazz tunes from the 30s, the show melds the vocal talents of  Katie Gearty and Jared Oxborough with the dancers of the ColliDe Theatrical Dance Company, directed and choreographed by Regina Peluso. The story is inspired by famed St. Paul madam, Nina Crawford, and portrays the struggles and hopes of three young women who are thrown into a life of prostitution during the 1930s. Katie gave us a tasty preview of the music last week at Jazz Central. Other local jazzers on stage include pianist Dan Musselman, bassist Graydon Peterson, and drummer Pete Hennig.

Robert Everest
This weekend marks the annual Carnaval Brasileiro at the Fine Line, three days of Brazilian music and culture. The host band, Beira Mar Brasil, is led by local guitar wizard Robert Everest, and will take you through a variety of traditional music and dance forms. There’s fun for the whole family, including a Sunday matinee—music, food, masks, and more. Rio is just down the street.

Ellen Lease
Saturday, February 16. About twice a year, we get treated to the unique melodies and harmonies of the Ellen Lease/Pat Moriarty Quintet. At Studio Z for one show, pianist Ellen and alto saxophonist Pat engage in some playful mayhem with tenor/soprano saxman Chris Thomson, bassist Jeff Bailey, and frequent cohort, drummer Phil Hey. Active in the 80s, Ellen and Pat revived the ensemble about five years ago, released a great recording (Chance, Love and Logic), and have found a revolving cast of characters that always works.

Todd Clouser
It’s a birthday party and CD release bash for Todd Clouser and his Minnesota edition of A Love Electric, going down at the Icehouse for the night owls (11 pm). A year ago, Todd made a commitment to release three recordings in a year, and this is number three (The Naked Beat), the most rock-influenced yet, intended as a “dance record.” It’s also guitarist/composer Todd’s recording debut as a vocalist. If you remember the ambient rock vocals of the late 60s and 70s, this will be familiar territory, sort of. But there’s significant jazz and funk elements, and with cohorts like Bryan Nichols, Adam Meckler, Chris Bates and Greg Schutte on stage, it’s going to be a real meltdown in South Minneapolis!

Monday, February 18. Pianist Phil Aaron and saxophonist Dave Brattain will swing hard and bop long at Jazz Central tonight. Aaron is one of the area’s busiest musicians, leading his own ensembles and backing just about everyone else, including anchoring the Phil Hey Quartet. Brattain is heard less often, keeping busy with a day job heading bands at Wayzata High School. But when he comes out to play, he plays as hard as anyone out there.

JT Bates
Heading south, it’s Monday so that means JT’s Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse. Often the line-up is announced (on Facebook) at the last minute, but you can be sure the ensemble of the evening, often with drummer and curator JT Bates at the helm, will feature the most adventuresome musicians in town.

Tuesday, February 19. Pairings of veterans and rising stars dominate Tuesday night. At Jazz Central, it’s the Explosion Big Band led by Twin Cities Seven’s sax pro Doug Haining and Snowblind/Jack Brass trombonist Scott Agster. Big band in a small space? The sound is really perfect, and it’s a much more personal experience that the usual big band gig.  At the Artists Quarter, the evening begins with a free early set from the Cory Wong Quartet, a band of some of the most skillful of the new generation. At 9, it’s another Tuesday night with Dean Magraw and Friends – the master guitarist has an amazing line-up of friends to draw from, so no matter what, it will be a great night. With Westside Tacos!

Delfeayo Marsalis
And what fundraiser would not benefit from the sleek trombone of Delfeayo Marsalis? Raising support for Edina’s A Better Chance (bringing disadvantaged students to one of the nation’s best high schools), the Marsalis Quintet will perform at the Dakota, featuring saxophonist Mark Gross, pianist Richard Johnson, and drummer Winard Harper. You might pay $75 to see this band at one of the nation’s top clubs or concert halls, so here’s a chance to spend no more and have it mean a lot more!  And enjoy one of the top jazz ensembles working today.

Wednesday, February 20. The “International Guitar Night” tour comes to the Dakota, with founder Brian Gore (a virtuosic, musical romantic who draws inspiration from literature and philosophy); Scottish jazzman Martin Taylor (whose collaborations include Jeff Beck, Diane Schuur and Gary Burton); dazzling Brazilian Guinga (known as Brazil’s leading songwriter); and Madagascar native Solorazza. Sounds like the whole world on six strings.

Zacc Harris
And there’s local guitar! Zacc Harris seems too young to be dubbed a “veteran” but far too experienced and accomplished to be considered a “rising” star. So just consider him a terrific guitarist, bandleader and composer who takes his trio out of its Sunday gigs in east Minneapolis to Café Maude on Penn – with Matt Peterson and Pete Hennig.

And you can never go wrong with Chris Lomheim and his Trio, tonight at the Artists Quarter. It might be sublime takes on Bill Evans’ canon or some ferocious bebop…. But it will be very cool.

Jana Nyberg
Thursday, February 21. For a fun time… and great swinging music…. Come to the Dakota tonight for the Jana Nyberg Group. On vocals and flute, Jana gets to the heart of the matter and stays there, trading off with one of the best of the younger generations of bands in town – with Adam Meckler on trumpet, Evan Montgomery on guitar, Matt Peterson on bass and Zach Schmidt on drums. Reserve – or join the KBEM Restaurant Tour which lands at the Dakota tonight. Across the river, it’s time for the nearly monthly gathering of the Pete Whitman X-Tet, ten of the area’s top musicians together for one hard-blowing night.

At Jazz Central, it’s Vocal Night, and tonight it’s a cross-generational pairing that is almost family: Singer Sue Oattes (formerly Tucker) teams up with pianist Tanner Taylor, her father’s former protégé in central Iowa where they both grew up. Maybe they were both raised on Oattes, but have forged their own individual music paths along the Minnesota jazz scene. Seems a lot of talent came north on I-35!

More Jazz Every Night
Be sure to check live jazz calendars on Jazz Police and KBEM sites. A few more gigs of note:

Pavel Janey and Lidia Berman, TTB
Friday, February 15. Irv Williams and Peter Schimke, happy hour at the Dakota; Classic Big Band and the Nostalgics at the KC Hall (Bloomington); Ticket to Brasil at Faces Mears Park; James Buckley and Bryan Nichols, dinner sets at the Icehouse

Saturday, February 16. Maurice Jacox and Bobby E at Eat Street Social (1 pm); Joanne Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma; Zacc Harris Trio at Loring Pasta Bar; Lila Ammons Jazz Quintet at Honey James Buckley and Bryan Nichols, dinner sets at the Icehouse

Sunday, February 17. Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster Café;  Robert Everest, brunch at Maria’s Café; Zacc Harris Trio at the Riverview Wine Bar; Charmin Michelle and the Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra at Cinema Ballroom

Monday, February 18. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Headspace at the Artists Quarter; Twin Cities Hot Club at Famous Dave’s (Uptown)

Tuesday, February 19. Jack Brass Band at the Amsterdam Bar; Patty and the Buttons at Café Maude (Penn Av)

Wednesday, February 20. Wolverines Trio at Hell’s Kitchen; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Steve Kenny and the Bastids, early set at the Artists Quarter; Moore by Four, Weyerhaeuser Auditorium at Landmark Center; Chris Olson at Jazz Central

Thursday, February 21. Beasley’s Big Band at Wabasha Street Caves; Robert Bell and Maud Hixson at Barbette; Sophia Shorai at the Aster Café

Coming Soon!
. February 22, Bill Frisell at Macalester (Janet Wallace Auditorium)
. February 22, Nachito Herrera at the Dakota
. Februrary 22, Kevin Washington Quintet at the Dakota (Late Night)
. February 22-23, Estaire Godinez at the Artists Quarter
. February 23, Patty Peterson at the Dakota
. February 23, Connie Evingson and Mary Louise Knutson, Jazz @ St. Barneys (St Barnabas Arts Center)
. February 27, Valve Meets Slide at the Artists Quarter
. March 1-2, Chris Bates’ Red Five at the Artists Quarter
. March 8, Bobby Commodore 60th Birthday Bash at the Dakota
. March 8-9, Dave King Trucking Company at the Artists Quarter
. March 9, McCoy Tyner Quartet at the Hopkins Center for the Arts
. March 9, Randy Brecker with the JazzMN Orchestra at the Hopkins High School Performing Arts Center
. March 9, Fat Kid Wednesdays, Jazz at Studio Z
. March 10, Bruce Henry, PipJazz Sundays at Landmark Center
. March 11, Charles Lloyd Sky Trio at the Dakota
. March 16, Mimi Fox at Sundin Hall (Hamline University)
. March 19, SF Jazz Collective at the Dakota
. March 21, Nate Wooley at Walker Art Center (Free Thursdays)
. March 22-23, Atlantis Quartet at the Artists Quarter
. March 24, Nova Jazz Orchestra at Studio Z
. April 1, Bela Fleck and Chick Corea at the Dakota
. April 2-3, Madeleine Peyroux at the Dakota
. April 4-6, Eau Claire Jazz Festival, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus and beyond
· April 6, John Zorn 60th Birthday at Walker Art Center
. April 8-9, John Scofield Hollowbody Band with Mike Stern at the Dakota
. April 12, 2 Cellos at the Dakota
. April 13, Charanga Tropicale at Studio Z
. April 13, Jeremy Walker’s Seven Psalms (world premiere) at Benson Great Hall (Bethel College)
. April 14, PipJazz Sundays with Gary Schulte and Zosha Warpeha
· April 15-16, Doc Severinsen Big Band at the Dakota
. April 21, Red Planet at Landmark Center (TCJS Jazz From J to Z)
· 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 11, Zacc Harris at Studio Z
. May 12, PipJazz Sundays with the Women in Jazz Ensemble
. May 19, Illicit Sextet at Jazz Central (TCJS Jazz From J to Z)
. June 9, PipJazz Sundays with John Penny, Will Kjeer
. June 18-19, Reid Anderson at Music Space (SPCO), rescheduled from December
. June 27-29, Twin Cities Jazz Festival at Mears Park
. July 5-7, Iowa City Jazz Festival

Bill Frisell performs solo, free concert on February 22nd at Macalester




Friday, February 8, 2013

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, February 8-14



Stacey Kent returns to the Dakota


© Andrea Canter



A busy weekend for jazz fans, special gigs for Valentine’s Day, and the Electric Fetus’ semi-annual music sale—plenty of options to keep your ears and toes warm in mid-February.



Big Gigs This Week

Reynold Philipsek and Matt Senjem
Friday, February 8. Although he suggested he was taking a vacation from recording, extraordinary guitarist/composer Reynold Philipsek is keeping his performing chops well honed. Tonight he takes the stage at one of his favorite haunts, the 318 Café in Wayzata, with solos and duets with frequent partner, bassist Matt Senjem. And with “some original material never before performed in public,” you have to wonder if another recording is just around the corner!




One of my favorites among local “world music” ensembles, Ticket to Brasil kicks up some tropical dust at Faces Mears Park. And with Carnaval just around the corner, you can be sure things will be as festive as they are musical. Any Brazilian rhythm your feet can handle, TTB will offer, led by guitar virtuoso Pavel Jany.



Taking things to more extremes, the Community Pool/Deep End series at the Black Dog lights up with an ensemble of veteran improvisers--Nathan Hanson, Erik Fratzke, Brian Roessler, Peter Leggett and Pete Hennig.



Bryan Nichols
Friday-Saturday, February 8-9. Bryan Nichols is back at the Artists Quarter with a new trio – although hardly new cohorts with bassist Chris Bates and his brother, drummer JT. Both have starred in various configurations with Nichols over the past four or five years, notably with the Zacc Harris Group and Kelly Rossum Quartet. Nichols is a master composer and improviser, and with the Bates brothers, anything can—and surely will—happen. Notes Bryan, the trio will be “playing new tunes by me and some by Chris and a bunch of other cool new repertoire that I picked (Henry Threadgill, Guillermo Klein, Andrew Hill, Charlie Parker, etc.). Should be a blast.”  After all, there will be three explosive blasting caps on stage.



Chris Thomson
Saturday, February 9. One of the bright additions to the Lowertown cultural scene has been the Jazz at Studio Z concert series. Now in its second year of funding, curated by guitarist Zacc Harris, each month (second Saturday) brings an exciting ensemble to the intimate space in the Northwestern Building, preceded by a free, open workshop presented by the musicians. Tonight, it’s also a brand new ensemble, led by Harris and saxophonist Chris Thomson as the Thomson-Harris Collective. The group will feature a rotating cast in the rhythm section. Joining the frontline for their maiden voyage will be two exciting young players, Brian Courage on bass and Miguel Hurtado on drums. Before the concert, Thomson will lead a free workshop on “Melody Matters Most: Navigating the Common Pitfalls of Jazz Improvisation.” Stick around for the show and see how the Collective navigates!



Another special gig in the west burbs, vocalist Joyce Lyons and pianist Phil Aaron take over at Three Crows in Delano. Joyce relocated here a few years ago and quickly made her mark as one of the area’s most swinging interpreters of standards repertoire; still we don’t hear her as often as we should. Worth the drive west, especially when Joyce is in such fine company as pianist Phil Aaron.



Patti Cathcart
Sunday, February 10. Longtime partners on and off stage, Tuck (Andress) and Patti (Cathcart) have endurance as well as talent. With merely two hands, ten fingers, and six strings, Tuck’s multi-part harmonies, wide arsenal of attack strategies, and elastic dexterity often conjure a trio or quartet accompaniment for Patti’s equally agile, elegantly down-home vocals. They return to the Dakota for just one night. Not a bad prelude to Valentine’s Day!


Monday, February 11. One of the top bone specialists in the region, Dave Graf lends his sliding talents to an eclectic array of ensembles, from the JazzMN Orchestra to Salsa del Soul, and of course Valve Meets Slide which he coleads with Brad Bellows. Tonight he shines in the spotlight at Jazz Central.


Dave Karr
Tuesday, February 12. He’s at the AQ just about monthly but never take Dave Karr for granted! He’s back with his quartet for some hard-hitting bebop, a few jokes, and plenty of soulful blowing. Around the corner at the Amsterdam Bar, celebrate Fat Tuesday with Jack Brass Band. There will be some Crescent City – inspired menu items but the main attraction is the musicianship and high energy of these brass specialists. Toss some beads and don your mask, it’s time for Mardi Gras with JBB.


Wednesday, February 13. Back by popular demand! Jeremy Walker’s Boot Camp returns to the Artists Quarter. Now with Brandon Wozniak on saxes, Chris Bates on bass, and young Miguel Hurtado on drums, pianist Walker leads the ensemble through his spacious compositions and collaborative arrangements, one of the brightest musical partnerships in town.



Phil Hey and Gordy Johnson
Wednesday-Thursday, February 13-14. What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with Britain’s top jazz singer, Stacey Kent,  and her “North American” Band, featuring husband Jim Tomlinson on sax and the Twin Cities’ best, Gordy Johnson on bass and Phil Hey on drums? The American expat has garnered high praise for her savvy approach to a wide ranging repertoire, prompting the French Minister of Culture, Christine Albanel to describe her “as a painter of sentiment, spellbinding, mixing sophistication and sentiment, a luminous and unique talent.” The Thursday show has an optional romantic dinner or cocktail package to complement the music.


Maud Hixson and Arne Fogel
Thursday, February 14. Is there a better way to spend Valentine’s Day than with superb songs and sublime accompaniment? A second show has been added at The Lexington, where Maud Hixson and Arne Fogel reprise their collaboration for the Lex’s 2012 opening jazz night. Support provided by Rick Carlson on piano and Matt Peterson on bass. Better make a reservation while you can. Less formal, more intimate, Jazz Central offers its own romance with vocalist Lila Ammons and pianist Phil Mattson. No dinner, no cocktail hour, just music up close and personal. And at the Artists Quarter, spend Valentine’s Day with a series of musical partners (“Music By Lovers”) --Billy Larson & Lisa Wenger; Phil & Tamara Jo Barnett; Joe and Roxy Cruz; Todd Olson & Chris Simonson.



Katie Gearty and Graydon Peterson
Tonight is the premiere performance of a unique collaboration at the Southern Theater, “Lot of Living to Do,” a ColliDe Theater production that brings together great jazz standards (sung by vocalists Katie Gearty and Jared Oxenborough) and live dance, telling the story of the struggles and hopes of three young women, set in the 1930s. Musical partners include Dan Musselman, Graydon Peterson and Pete Hennig. The show runs through the weekend. Look for the CD of the music!


More Music, All Week

Be sure to check live jazz calendars on Jazz Police and KBEM sites. A few more gigs of note:



Friday, February 8. Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Patty Peterson and Friends at Bunkers; Phil Aaron and Jeff Bailey, dinner set at the Icehouse; Sophia Shorai at Hell’s Kitchen



Saturday, February 9. Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Jon Pemberton at the Loring Pasta Bar; Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma; Jason Craft and Jeremy Boettcher, dinner set at the Icehouse



Robert Everest
 Sunday, February 10. Robert Everest at Maria’s Café (brunch); Patty and the Buttons at the Aster Café (brunch); Semi-Conductor Orchestra at Coffee Grounds (1-3 pm); Zacc Harris Trio at Riverview Wine Bar


Monday, February 11. Headspace at the Artists Quarter; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; JT’s Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse; Neighborhood Trio at Barbette



Tuesday, February 12. Cory Wong Quartet, early set at the Artists Quarter; Cedar Avenue Big Band at Jazz Central



Wednesday, February 13. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Bryan Nichols and James Buckley at Café Maude (Penn Av); Steve Kenny and the Bastids, early set at the Artists Quarter; Gypsy Mania at Hell’s Kitchen; John Paulson Big Band with the Hornheads, Page Theater at St Mary's University (Winona)



Coming Soon!

. February 15-16, Bill Carrothers at the Artists Quarter

. February 16, Lease/Moriarty Quintet at Studio Z

. February 16, Todd Clouser Love Electric CD Release at the Icehouse

. February 18, Phil Aaron and Dave Brattain at Jazz Central

. February 19, Explosion Big Band at Jazz Central

. February 20, International Guitar Night at the Dakota

. February 20, Chris Olson at Jazz Central

. February 21, X-tet at the Artists Quarter

. February 21, Sue Oatts and Tanner Taylor at Jazz Central

· February 22, Bill Frisell at Macalester (Janet Wallace Auditorium)

. February 22, Nachito Herrera at the Dakota

. Februrary 22, Kevin Washington Quintet at the Dakota (Late Night)

. February 22-23, Estaire Godinez at the Artists Quarter

. February 23, Patty Peterson at the Dakota

. February 23, Connie Evingson and Mary Louise Knutson, Jazz @ St. Barneys (St Barnabas Arts Center)

. February 27, Valve Meets Slide at the Artists Quarter

. March 8, Bobby Commodore 60th Birthday Bash at the Dakota

. March 8-9, Dave King Trio at the Artists Quarter

. March 9, McCoy Tyner Quartet at the Hopkins Center for the Arts

. March 9, Randy Brecker with the JazzMN Orchestra at the Hopkins High School Performing Arts Center

. March 9, Fat Kid Wednesdays, Jazz at Studio Z

. March 10, Bruce Henry, PipJazz Sundays at Landmark Center

. March 11, Charles Lloyd Sky Trio at the Dakota

. March 16, Mimi Fox at Sundin Hall (Hamline University)

. March 19, SF Jazz Collective at the Dakota

. March 22-23, Atlantis Quartet at the Artists Quarter
. March 29-30, Dave King Trucking Company at the Artists Quarter

. April 1, Bela Fleck and Chick Corea at the Dakota

. April 2-3, Madeleine Peyroux at the Dakota

. April 4-6, Eau Claire Jazz Festival, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire campus and beyond

· April 6, John Zorn 60th Birthday at Walker Art Center

. April 8-9, John Scofield Hollowbody Band with Mike Stern at the Dakota

. April 12, 2 Cellos at the Dakota

. April 13, Charanga Tropicale at Studio Z

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

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

· April 26, Craig Taborn at Walker Art Center

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

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

. June 18-19, Reid Anderson at Music Space (SPCO), rescheduled from December

. June 27-29, Twin Cities Jazz Festival at Mears Park

. July 5-7, Iowa City Jazz Festival (Iowa City, U of I Pentacrest)



Bill Carrothers returns to the Artists Quarter in tribute to Bobby Peterson, Feb 15-16