Friday, May 31, 2013

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, May 31-June 6



 
Pat Moriarty and Phil Hey Reunite at the Artists Quarter, June 5th

© Andrea Canter



Patios are open, lilacs have bloomed, our first summer storms have thundered through. It’s time for outdoor band concerts, neighborhood festivals, and always, more music.



Big Gigs This Week

Nichola  Miller
Friday, May 31. After taking a maternity break, Nichola Miller is back on stage, swinging and sassy as ever. I caught her “return” gig at Hells’ Kitchen Wednesday night, and now she’s back for another night in Hell, this time with partner Tanner Taylor.  Baby Charlie might sing before he can talk!



Friday-Sunday, May 31-June 2. Sometimes our internationally acclaimed jazz bands are more often on the road than here at home. And a band like Happy Apple has to coordinate 3 globe-trotting musicians’ schedules. The stars align this weekend, however, with Mike Lewis, Erik Fratzke and Dave King together on the Artists Quarter stage for three nights. King is just back from a European tour with the Bad Plus, but he’ll nevertheless be at full throttle.
Mike Lewis of Happy Apple



Monday, June 3. Need a midday break? The always-fun and always savvy Adam Meckler Orchestra performs in Rice Park (St Paul) at noon. You can find something tasty from one of the food trucks or nearby cafés, and hopefully it will be one of our rare dry days! Tonight, Jazz Central continues to promote new and veteran musicians, this time putting the spotlight on young Will Kjeer. Will has another year of high school ahead of him, but a number of first-class gigs behind him, including at the Artists Quarter where he currently holds the piano chair for Steve Kenny and the Bastids. You gotta hear this guy.



Zacc Harris
Tuesday, June 4. Busy jazz day! If it’s the first Tuesday of the month, then it’s Dean Magraw and Davu Seru at the Black Dog. This guitar/percussion duo has been holding intimate conversation at the Black Dog for the past year plus. Down the street at the Artists Quarter, it the first of three consecutive Tuesdays with Billy Peterson and Kenny Horst creating trio magic with one of the area’s finest – tonight with guitarist Zacc Harris. (Watch for Bryan Nichols and Brandon Wozniak in the following weeks.)



It’s big band night at Jazz Central, tonight featuring the Bill Simonsen Big Band. Trumpeter Simonsen may have one of the most eclectic resumes in the Twin Cities –from studying and leading bands in Norway to playing locally with the Wolverines Classic Jazz Orchestra, JazzMN Orchestra and Cedar Ave Big Band, from leading a band for the North Stars hockey team to backing such notables as Cab Calloway, Joan Rivers, Mitzi Gaynor, the Temptations, and the Four Tops. As Tom Surowicz noted in the Strib, Bill’s big band may be the best the you’ve never heard!



Vinnie Rose, Triose'
Café Maude on Penn Avenue continues to offer live music, including jazz, at least two nights per week. Tonight, it’s Triosé, the hip relatively new trio with Vinnie Rose, Jeremy Boettcher and Adrian Suarez. Nice to have the guys right in the heart of the city – you can usually catch them at one or another Shanghai Bistro on weekends.



Jana Nyberg
Wednesday, June 5. Another midday diversion – Maryann Sullivan and Rhonda Laurie team up as Sisters Swing over the lunch hour at Landmark Center.

And it’s a busy night in the Cities. The Jana Nyberg Group celebrates “Foodie Night” at the Dakota with their enticing takes on jazz classics, some pop covers, and some original music from vocalist/ flautist Jana.  Pianist Mike Vasich makes a guest appearance. Over at Jazz Central, the Illicit Sextet reprises their recent CD release gig, blowing tunes from Chapter Eleven. All original music!

Across the river at the Artists Quarter, free-improvising Pat Moriarty and Phil Hey recreate their 1970s duo collaboration, sandwiching  a duet set in between two sets of “Round Trip” with Chris Thomson and Tom Lewis, a recreation of their Ornette Coleman repertory band of the late 70s-early 80s.



Thursday, June 6.  It’s Vocal Night at Jazz Central, tonight featuring two swinging soulmates, vocalist Vicky Mountain and pianist Tanner Taylor.  At the Artists Quarter, Vicky’s usual pianist Chris Lomheim brings his trio to the stage – his instrumental gigs don’t come often enough!


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, May 31. Todd Harper at the Black Dog; Nachito Herrera at the Dakota followed by the Kevin Washington Quartet (Late Night)



Saturday, June 1. Jazz on the Prairie Big Band at Round Lake Park (Eden Prairie);  Paul Harper Trio at the Loring Pasta Bar; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma



Sunday, June 2. Robert Everest, brunch at Maria’s Café;  Zacc Harris Trio at the Riverview Wine Bar; Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra with Charmin Michelle at Cinema Ballroom



Denny Malmberg
Monday, June 3. Southside Aces at Famous Dave’s (Uptown); Paula Lammers and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Southside Big Band at Centennial Lakes; BBB Jazz Orchestra at Lake Harriet Bandshell; Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse with Bryan Nichols, Brian Courage, Jay Epstein and Park Evans; Tommy and the Liebermen at the Dakota; Russ Peterson Big Band with Charmin Michelle at the Old Log Theater



Tuesday, June 4. Cory Wong Quartet, early show at the Artists Quarter; Beasley’s Big Band at O’Gara’s



Wednesday, June 5. Connie Evingson with Dave Karr and Tanner Taylor, "Jazz in the Lounge" at the Minneapolis Woman's Club; Steve Kenny and the Bastids, early show at the Artists Quarter; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson at Three Crows (Delano)



Thursday, June 6. Rebirth Brass Band at the Dakota; Moonlight Serenaders at Wabasha Street Caves



Coming Soon!

. June 7, Sidewalk Café,  CD Release at the 318 Café

. June 7, Nicole Henry at the Dakota

. June 8, JazZen, “Weaving of Traditions” at Sundin Hall (Hamline University)
. June 8, Jazz at Studio Z, Young Lions (3 bands)
. June 8, Jake Baldwin and Courageous Endeavors, Late Night at the Dakota

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

. June 9, Dan Musselman CD Release at McNally Smith

. June 9, Connie Evingson and Jon Weber (Music of Dave Frishberg) at the Jungle Theater

. June 11, Hugh Masekela and Larry Willis at the Dakota

. June 13, Albare at the Dakota

. June 16, Sidewalk Café (Jazz in the Library), St Paul Central Library

. June 18-19, Reid Anderson, Liquid Music at 408 (SPCO)

. June 19, George Maurer Group (Jazz in the Library), Merriam Park Library

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

. June 23-24, David Murray Infinity Quartet with Macy Gray at the Dakota

. 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

. 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 14, PipJazz Sundays with Louis Alemayehu at Landmark Center

. July 23, Badi Assad at the Dakota

. July 27, Dakota Street Fest (Nicollet Mall)




Hugh Masekela returns to the Dakota on June 11th with pianist Larry Willis



















Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Jazz Face: Mulgrew Miller, 1955-2013




© Andrea Canter



I first encountered pianist Mulgrew Miller at a performance of the Contemporary Piano Ensemble at O’Shaughnessy Auditorium in St. Paul, probably around 1993 given the ensemble’s touring history and my limited memory. The ensemble was a unique collaboration of five jazz pianists ranging from a 20-something-year-old Geoffrey Keezer to veteran Harold Mabern, with Miller, James Williams and Donald Brown holding the “mid-career” chairs as performances featured four pianos going at any given moment, the pianists playing “musical piano benches.” Their repertoire was built around the under-appreciated works of Memphis pianist Phineas Newborn, and thus introduced me to this rip-roaring swinging artist whose name I had never heard before.



I’ve been a fan of these pianists ever since, although the Contemporary Piano Ensemble disappeared soon after. Mabern continues a long-standing association with saxophonist Eric Alexander and One for All; Williams led the jazz program at William Paterson and recorded some outstanding music before his untimely death in 2004; Brown continues to compose and perform pretty much under the radar; and Keezer has gone on to be one of today’s busiest and most lauded performers, arrangers and recording artists.



And Mulgrew Miller. Some of my favorite piano trio recordings are the double-volume sets of the Mulgrew Miller Trio, recorded live at Yoshi’s and Kennedy Center on MaxJazz in the past decade; I had the opportunity to see him with his trio (Ivan Taylor on bass and Rodney Green on drums) at the Dakota in 2006 and when he headlined at the 2010 Detroit Jazz Festival, appearing in several configurations including with his students at William Paterson University, where he succeeded friend James Williams as the Director of Jazz Studies in 2006.



Miller combined a lot of the elements that I have long admired in the “mainstream” pianists who were/are still active in the early 21st century—Oscar Peterson and McCoy Tyner in particular. He could swing hard but always elegantly, always with respect for the melody.



Miller died today at age 57 following a stroke. He leaves behind a legacy of students, compositions, recordings…. And fans.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, May 24-30





Maud Hixson sings the songs of Mickey Leonard
© Andrea Canter

Memorial Day Weekend is sort of the kickoff to summer – even if the weather doesn’t always cooperate. But one thing’s for sure—there will be plenty of hot music, from the return of the Bryan Nichols Quintet at the Artists Quarter to shows from Joe Krown and Patty Peterson at the Dakota, a new installment of Off the Cuff at the Aster Café, and more coming midweek with Maud Hixson’s much anticipated CD release at the Dakota and the monthly edition of Pete Whitman’s X-Tet at the AQ. And there’s a lot more.



Big Gigs This Week

Bryan Nichols., Mike Lewis, Brandon Wozniak
Friday-Saturday, May 24-25. It’s been a few months since Bryan Nichols brought his stellar quintet into the Artists Quarter, and a holiday weekend seems perfect for this reunion. With

the two sax frontline of Mike Lewis and Brandon Wozniak, the quintet features two of the most inventive horn players in the region, with Brandon typically on tenor and Mike switching between tenor and soprano. But the horns are only part of the story, as the rhythm section boasts more innovators in bassist James Buckley and drummer JT Bates… and of course Bryan Nichols himself.



Over at the Icehouse, the early dinner show presents two generations of magic when ace pianist Phil Aaron and young bass sensation Brian Courage get together. It’s a relaxing way to start the evening, and early enough to make it a double-header by heading to the Dakota, Artists Quarter or elsewhere for a nightcap.



Patty Peterson
Saturday, May 25. It’s always a holiday when Patty Peterson and Friends show up at the Dakota. One of Minnesota’s favorite singers and radio personalities, Patty comes to the stage tonight with some of her favorite “Friends,” with guitarist Billy Franze, keyboardist Tommy Barbarella, drummer Bobby Vandell, saxophonist Steve Cole, and brothers Paul (bass) and Ricky (B-3). Expect some samples of Patty’s latest recording, The Very Thought of You.



Graham O'Brien, Off the Cuff
Sunday, May 26. A few months ago, young bassist Andrew Foreman launched a new series of eclectic improvised music at the Aster Café, dubbed Off the Cuff. This will be the fourth installment, and features two quartets, each featuring two drummer. Set one includes Pete Hennig and Davu Seru, with guitarist Karl Koopman; set two includes Peter Leggett and Graham O’Brien on drums, with saxophonist Max Corcoran; Foreman handles the bass in both sets. The Aster is a pleasant St. Anthony Main venue with some good eats to supplement the music. And with Off the Cuff, the music is always a surprise.



Adam Meckler Orchestra
Tuesday, May 28. If it is Tuesday, it must be Big Band night at Jazz Central, and this week’s gig is the Adam Meckler Orchestra. With some of the best of a new generation of jazz performer, the orchestra generally covers original music written especially for this band. Enjoy big band up close, but not quite in your face and surprisingly not overpowering your ears despite the close quarters of the studio.



Tuesday Night Band-- On Tuesday night!
And for 15 years, Tuesday meant the Tuesday Night Band and B-3 Organ Night at the Artists Quarter. Although they disbanded more than a year ago, TNB reunites once in a while, and rarely on a Tuesday night! Downtown Bill Brown, Billy Franze and Kenny Horst can still bring it to the stage, set fire to it, and fan the flames of organcentric bop. These three veterans follow young upstarts—the Cory Wong Quartet, which plays for no cover every Tuesday at 7 pm.



Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson
Wednesday, May 29. Maud Hixson started out just over a decade ago, singing at area clubs and then with the Wolverines and Arne Fogel. Along came a grant from the Minnesota Arts Board to attend the Yale Cabaret Conference, and her musical direction expanded as she discovered the songs of Michael Leonard. A few trips back to New York put her in the company of pianist/arranger Tex Arnold, bassist Steve Laspina, and cornetist Warren Vache, and on the stage singing mostly obscure songs by Leonard. The plan to record an all-Leonard tribute became a reality with a successful Kickstarter campaign, and now Maud will hold her Minnesota release celebration tonight at the Dakota with her local team headed by husband Rick Carlson with Gordy Johnson and Phil Hey. It’s the first all –Leonard recording and the first time some of these tunes have appeared on any recording. Best of all – Don’t Let a Good Thing Get Away is one wholly satisfying recording. Hear it live tonight.

Phil Mattson
Phil Mattson has become a household name in local vocal music, leading his Phil Mattson Singers and providing piano accompaniment for a long list of area vocalists--which only makes sense given his extensive background as vocal coach, choir director, choral music arranger, and director of a number of national vocal events. But his piano chops are seldom on display in a leading role. Tonight at the Artists Quarter, he shows his stuff with quartet of heavy hitters--saxophonist Dale Mendenhall, bassist Tom Lewis, and drummer Nathan Norman.



Thursday, May 30. Where are all the jazz musicians tonight? Ten of the best are at the Artists Quarter for the nearly monthly reunion of the Pete Whitman X-Tet. And it is one of the true steals in local entertainment -- $8 for ten artists of the highest caliber? That’s less than one dollar per musician! Don’t put this off til next month!



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, May 24. Peter Schimke and Irv Williams, happy hour at the Dakota; Maud Hixson Trio at Parma; Erin Schwab at Hell’s Kitchein; Joe Krown Trio at the Dakota; Todd Harper Birthday Bash followed by Rhizosphere at the Black Dog; Triosé at Shanghai Bistro (Hudson, WI)



Saturday, May 25. Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel)



Jerry O'Hagan with Charmin Michelle
Sunday, May 26. Zacc Harris Trio at the Riverview Wine Bar; Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra with Charmin Michelle at Cinema Ballroom



Monday, May 27. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Zack Lozier at Jazz Central; JT’s Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse (Artists Quarter closed)



Tuesday, May 28. Cory Wong Quartet, early show at the Artists Quarter



Wednesday, May 29. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Steve Kenny and the Bastids (no cover) followed by the Phil Mattson Quartet at the Artists Quarter; Wolverines at Hell’s Kitchen; Ted Olsen, Joe Mayo and Miguel Hurtado at Jazz Central



Thursday, May 30. Trio Bossa Nova at the Black Dog



Coming Soon!

. May 31, Talking Strings at the Black Dog

. May 31- June 1, Happy Apple at the Artists Quarter

. June 6, Rebirth Brass Band at the Dakota

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

. June 7, Nicole Henry at the Dakota

. June 8, JazZen, “Weaving of Traditions” at Sundin Hall (Hamline University)

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

. June 9, Dan Musselman CD Release at McNally Smith

. June 11, Hugh Masekela and Larry Willis at the Dakota

. June 13, Albare at the Dakota

. June 16, Sidewalk Café (Jazz in the Library), St Paul Central Library

. June 18-19, Reid Anderson, Liquid Music at 408 (SPCO)

. June 19, George Maurer Group (Jazz in the Library), Merriam Park Library

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

. June 23-24, David Murray Infinity Quartet with Macy Gray at the Dakota

. 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

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

. July 8, Milo Fine Free Jazz Ensemble at Homewood Studios

. July 14, PipJazz Sundays with Barbara LeShoure at Landmark Center

. July 23, Badi Assad at the Dakota

. July 27, Dakota Street Fest (Nicollet Mall)


 
Mike Lewis, at the Artists Quarter with Bryan Nichols this weekend, with Happy Apple next weekend







Friday, May 17, 2013

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, May 17-23



Phil Hey - Birthday Party at the Dakota this weekend!


© Andrea Canter



Officially, this is Art-a-Whirl weekend in Northeast Minneapolis, but you might as well call it Jazz-a-Whirl in the Twin Cities. Now that spring seems to have settled in for good (meaning, til summer arrives in a few weeks), there’s no excuse to not get out and enjoy sunshine, flowers, and some cool gigs: A jazzy birthday at the AQ for one of our veteran drummers and bandleaders; a CD celebration for one of our longest (not continuously) running jazz collectives; a collaboration between one of our favorite songbirds and one of the most versatile hornmen in the metro…. And much more.



Big Gigs This Week

Brad Bellows
Friday, May 17. The Black Dog hosts brass partners Donald Washington and Brad Bellows, sax and trombone, and their popular quartet. Early arrival recommended given the small space and opportunity to enjoy some tasty bar food and a great beer selection. Come really early and enjoy Todd Harper on keys.



Friday-Saturday, May 17-18. Esteemed drummer and bandleader Phil Hey isn’t keeping his age a secret. It’s the big 6-0 for the veteran of Dewey Redman and Stacey Kent, as well as his own Phil Hey Quartet and Pete Whitman’s X-Tet. Come to the Artists Quarter this weekend as Phil and his long-running quartet take the club apart with some of the best post-bop magic to be found anywhere, anytime.



Mary Louise Knutson
Saturday, May 18. Too many options tonight. Jazz @ St. Barney’s (St. Barnabas Center for the Arts) closes its concert season in style with the Mary Louise Knutson Trio, featuring Chris Bates and Jay Epstein backing one of the most engaging pianists/composers in the region. Back recently from her second spring tour with the Doc Severinsen Big Band, Mary Louise is probably more than ready to work some trio magic, drawing from her highly successful In the Bubble and beyond.



At the Dakota, two favorites reunite for an evening of soulful, bluesy, jazzy music – Ginger Commodore and Dennis Spears make up half of Moore by Four, but as a duo they are equally dynamic and entertaining. Better make a reservation!



Dean Magraw
And over at the Riverview Wine Bar, Dean Magraw does a rare solo night. On his own, Dean is likely to cover much of the genre we call “music” – folk, blues, jazz, world rhythms, even a classical phrase or two, and often you’ll think he’s overdubbing himself. But really, it is just Dean and ten fingers. Magic fingers.



Illicit Sextet
Sunday, May 19. Twenty years ago, the Illicit Sextet released its debut recording, Chapter One. A long hiatus and many recessions later, the band has recorded again, dubbed Chapter Eleven, which they will celebrate at Jazz Central as part of the Jazz From J to Z concert season sponsored by the Twin Cities Jazz Society. Dedicated to original compositions before that became a popular mission for jazz bands, the ensemble—Steve Kenny, Paul Harper, David Roos, Chris Lomheim, Tom Pieper and Nathan Norman—sounds better than ever and their compositions soar. Remember, Jazz Central is a small space, great for sonic intimacy but plan to arrive early as there’s room for only about 50-60. (Doors at 6:30, show at 7 pm).



Martin Taylor
About two months ago, British jazz guitar giant Martin Taylor was in town with the International Guitar Night touring ensemble, and he was indeed a giant on the six-string. He’s back at the Dakota with Grammy winner/Paul McCartney’s lead guitarist Lawrence Juber for a night of acoustic ecstasy.



Monday, May 20. A new wrinkle in the hot club scene, the Parisota Trio features Parisota Hot club veteran guitarist Robb Henry with bassist Keith Boyles and drummer Jay Epstein. Expect the music to swing like mad.



Charles Lazarus
Tuesday, May 21. The Dakota hosts one of the month’s most anticipated collaborations, bringing together star vocalist Connie Evingson and genre-bending trumpeter Charles Lazarus and his quartet for an evening of “summer samba.” Both have covered Brazilian music, while Connie is well known for her turns at hot club swing, classic jazz standards, and the songs of the Beatles, Peggy Lee, and Dave Frishberg; Charles has been a part of the Minnesota Orchestra (remember them?) as well as leader of his own jazz ensembles, covering world-wide inspirations.



Snowblind
Wednesday, May 22. Brass is back! Snowblind returns to the Artists Quarter tonight, with the best of the younger generation of local jazzers—Adam Rossmiller, Scott Agster, Shilad Sen, Graydon Peterson and Reid Kennedy. Always smoldering arrangements and new compositions. Come early for Steve Kenny and the Bastids, featuring young Will Kjeer on piano, no cover at 7 pm.



Thursday, May 23. They don’t play that often but when they do… The Enormous Quartet (Chris Thomson, Chris Bates, Park Evans, Joey VanPhillips) will somehow squeeze into the “stage” area at Barbette, bringing some new spins to the music of the Flaming Lips, The Police, Charles Mingus, Kevin Drew, Arovane, Thom Yorke, Sting, and of course originals from the guys themselves.



Vicky Mountain
It’s one of those infrequent vocal nights at the Artists Quarter, with Vicky Mountain serving up a variety of standards and pop hits, all jazzified, with the Chris Lomheim Trio. Maybe Vicky will toss in some of the Jimmy VanHeusen tunes that were such a hit a few months ago at the Bloomington Black Box!



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, May 17. Peter Schimke and Irv Williams, Happy Hour at the Dakota; Chris Bates/Bryan Nichols at the Icehouse; Travis Anderson Trio at Parma; Nick Haas at Hell’s Kitchen; Zeitgeist and Flying Forms, Early Inspirations at Studio Z



Saturday, May 18. Jack Brass Band (11 am); Washburn HS Jazz Band (11:30 am), and Robert Everest's Choro Borealis (4 pm) at Judson Street Fest (Judson Church, Minneapolis); Jana Nyberg Group at Hell’s Kitchen; Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Twin Cities Cabaret Salon at Jazz Central; Bryan Nichols/Billy Peterson at the Icehouse; Viva Brasil at Loring Pasta Bar; Paul Renz and Anders Bostrom at Steeple Center (Rosemount); Zeitgeist and Flying Forms, Early Inspirations at Studio Z



MYJB
Sunday, May 19. Alicia Wiley, brunch at Hell’s Kitchen; Zeitgeist and Flying Forms, Early Inspirations at Studio Z (2 pm);  Minnesota Youth Jazz Bands at MacPhail (3 pm); Zacc Harris Trio at Riverview Wine Bar



Monday, May 20. Charmin Michele and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Phil Aaron Trio and Debbie Duncan, PPublBenefit for the Angel Foundation at the Dakota; Headspace at the Artists Quarter; Jazz Implosion (Nate Shaw, Chris and JT Bates) at the Icehouse



Tuesday, May 21. Southwest High School Jazz Bands at Lake Harriet Bandshell; Cory Wong Quartet followed by Dean Magraw and Friends at the Artists Quarter; Haining/Agster Explosion Big Band at Jazz Central; Patty and the Buttons at Café Maude (Penn Av); Café Accordion at the Loring Pasta Bar; Tuesday Salon at Studio Z



Wednesday, May 22. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza;  Hot Club of Cowtown at the Dakota



Thursday, May 23. Connie and Herb at The Bean (Andover); Casey O’Brien Trio at the Red Stag



Coming Soon!

. May 24, Joe Krowne Trio at the Dakota

. May 24, Rhizosphere at the Black Dog

. May 24-25, Bryan Nichols Quintet at the Artists Quarter

. May 25, Patty Peterson and Friends at the Dakota

. May 29, Maud Hixson CD Release at the Dakota

. May 30, Pete Whitman’s X-Tet at the Artists Quarter

. May 31, Talking Strings at the Black Dog

. May 31- June 1, Happy Apple at the Artists Quarter

. June 6, Rebirth Brass Band at the Dakota

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

. June 7, Nicole Henry at the Dakota

. June 8, JazZen, “Weaving of Traditions” at Sundin Hall (Hamline University)

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

. June 11, Hugh Masekela and Larry Willis at the Dakota

. June 13, Albare at the Dakota

. June 16, Sidewalk Café (Jazz in the Library), St Paul Central Library

. June 18-19, Reid Anderson, Liquid Music at 408 (SPCO)

. June 19, George Maurer Group (Jazz in the Library), Merriam Park Library

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

. June 23-24, David Murray Infinity Quartet with Macy Gray at the Dakota

. 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

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

. July 8, Milo Fine Free Jazz Ensemble at Homewood Studios

. July 23, Badi Assad at the Dakota

. July 27, Dakota Street Fest (Nicollet Mall)

Bryan Nichols Trio: Memorial Day Weekend at the Artists Quarter

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, May 10-16



The Dakota Combo, spring concert May 16th

© Andrea Canter



Mother’s Day this weekend – take mom out to hear some great jazz! (And if you’re a mom, hint that a cool jazz gig would make a perfect gift!) This week, visiting stars include a swinging saxman, favorite ex-resident bassist, and sultry songbird, while local heroes dominate spring offerings.



Big Gigs This Week

Jerry Weldon
Friday-Saturday, May 10-11. A favorite of the 2005 Twin Cities Jazz Festival, saxophonist Jerry Weldon returns to the Artists Quarter for some hard-swinging, soulful mayhem. Long associated with organ stars like Jack McDuff and Mel Rhyne, this weekend Weldon jams with Sean Turner, Billy Peterson and Kenny Horst.



Saturday, May 11.  In the last installment of Jazz at Studio Z for this season, curator Zacc Harris takes the stage himself in tribute to Wes Montgomery, with plenty of support from Bryan Nichols, JT Bates and more. The evening starts early (5 pm) with a free, hour-long workshop about Montgomery’s magic, followed at 7 pm with a couple of enlightening sets.

A last minute announcement -- two pianos, four hands, two monsters--- Tanner Taylor and Rick Carlson go piano to piano at the Icehouse. Wow. 




Laura Caviani
Way across town at the Hopkins Center for the Arts, pianist Laura Caviani presents “From Bach to Bop” with Chris Bates and Phil Hey, and special guests Dave Hagedorn, Adam Meckler and Dave Milne. Over the past year or so, Laura has been highlighting the works of classical composers, setting childhood favorites by Bach, Chopin, Schumann and more to jazz arrangements. In Hopkins, she presents a full show of re-arranged classical works.



Pippi Ardennia
Sunday, May 12. What better way to celebrate Mom than a concert in tribute to “Women in Jazz”? Pippi Ardennia hosts the May installment of PipJazz Sundays at Landmark Center, with very special guests, the “Women in Jazz” ensemble, an octet of musicians who recently presented a workshop, sponsored by PipJazz, Twin Cities Jazz Society and the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education, aimed at providing some motivation and role models to young women considering careers in jazz and music. The ensemble includes vocalists Pippi, Debbie Duncan and Patty Peterson, along with instrumental artists May Louise Knutson, Joan Griffith, Kari Musil, Sheila Early and Zosha Warpeha. In addition to the PipJazz House Band, young vocalist (13-year-old) Emily Albert-Stauning will be featured.  And another gift—any mom accompanied by a son or daughter (any age) will receive a free ticket. With a 4 pm start, the concert should end in plenty of time to take Mom to dinner!



If Mom is more of a big band fan, take her to hear the Capri Big Band this evening at the Como Park Pavillion. This long-standing band of Twin Cities musicians, led by Fay Washington, will swing and bop through engaging charts in the idyllic setting of Como Lake.



Sunday-Monday, May 12-13. On the contemporary jazz scene for nearly a quarter century, Fourplay has continued on the trajectory set by their Platinum first album, winning Grammies, topping Billboard charts, and wowing audiences with their “elegant, seamless, contemporary jazz with a light sexy groove…firing on all cylinders” (All Music). The quartet –founders Bob James, Nathan East and Harvey Mason plus “newcomer” Chuck Loeb--settles in for two nights at the Dakota.



Atlantis Quartet
Monday, May 13. JT’s Jazz Implosion continues strong at the Icehouse, and tonight it’s the hip and high-flying Atlantis Quartet. With Zacc Harris, Brandon Wozniak, Chris Bates and Pete Hennig, this foursome continues to play some of the most imaginative original music in town. They follow the similarly hip Luke Polopnik Trio.



Tuesday, May 14. We don’t hear Framework often enough, probably because guitarist Chris Olson, bassist Chris Bates and drummer Jay Epstein are otherwise engaged in music making. So tonight at the Black Dog is special as the trio comes together for some inventive mischief.



Michael O'Brien
Wednesday, May 15. A few months ago, Jeremy Walker and Kelly Rossum joined forces for one evening, and as luck would have it, it was an evening when bassist Michael O’Brien was in town. Now Michael is back and leading a trio at the Artists Quarter in celebration of his new recording, Tunes I Like To Play. For sure, these are tunes we like to hear!



Wednesday-Thursday, May 15-16. Also celebrating a new release, supernova vocalist Jane Monheit returns to the Dakota for two nights of song. Straddling jazz and pop for much of her career,  her new Heart of the Matter covers material that defines her so well—Ivan Lins, Buffy St Marie, Randy Newman, Hoagy Carmichael, and even, Jane Monheit.



Dakota Combo
Thursday, May 16. Closing out a year of rehearsals, clinics and performances, the young lions of the Dakota Combo perform their annual spring gig in Antonello Hall at MacPhail. This year, the Combo is an octet featuring three horns, violin, vibes and rhythm section, and it’s a relatively young group with only two graduating seniors. Directed by Adam Linz, the Combo has already hit the stages at the Artists Quarter and Landmark Center, and will perform over the summer at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Iowa City Jazz Festival and Burnsville Art and All That Jazz. Their repertoire runs from Ornette Coleman to Thad Jones, along with some original compositions. This concert is free, and a perfect way to inspire young musicians as well as much older jazz fans.



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:



Vicky Mountain
Friday, May 10. Irv Williams and Peter Schimke, Happy Hour at the Dakota; Sophia Shorai at Hell’s Kitchen; Jimmie Wallace Duo at the Red Stag; Vicky Mountain at Parma; Chris Bates and Bryan Nichols, dinner sets at the Icehouse; Classic Big Band at the KC Hall (Bloomington); Barbara Meyer and Phil Mattson (Harold Arlen show) at Jazz Central; Vic Volare and the Lounge Lizards at Champion Ballroom



Saturday, May 11. Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Fantastic Fifty Merlins--Nathan Hanson 50th Birthday celebration (with a large and highly inventive cast of musicians) at the Black Dog; Mark Bloom at the 318 Café



Sunday, May 12. Alicia Wiley, brunch at Hell’s Kitchen; Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster Café; Southside Aces, Mother's Day Brunch at the Dakota; Jerry O’Hagen’s Orchestra with Charmin Michelle at Cinema Ballroom; Zacc Harris Trio at the Riverview Wine Bar



Monday, May 13. BB Big Band at Lake Harriet Bandshell; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Headspace at the Artists Quarter; Twin Cities Hot Club at Famous Dave’s (Uptown); Vinnie Rose at Jazz Central



Dave Karr
Tuesday, May 14. Cory Wong Quartet followed by Dean Magraw and Friends at the Artists Quarter; Vital Organ at Hell’s Kitchen; Cedar Avenue Big Band at Jazz Central; Jack Brass Band at Amsterdam Bar; Yohannes Tona Group at the Icehouse



Wednesday, May 15. Sue Oattes with the Wolverines Trio at Hell’s Kitchen; Zacc Harris Trio at Café Maude (Penn Av); Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Steve Kenny and the Bastids followed by Triage with Michael O’Brien at the Artists Quarter; Pete Whitman and friends at Jazz Central



Thursday, May 16. Dave Karr Quartet at the Artists Quarter; Beasley’s Big Band at Wabasha Street Caves; Casey O’Brien Trio at the Red Stag



Coming Soon!



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

. May 18, Ginger Commodore and Dennis Spears at the Dakota

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

. May 19, Martin Taylor and Lawrence Juber at the Dakota

. May 22, Snowblind at the Artists Quarter

. May 23, Vicky Mountain and the Chris Lomheim Trio at the Artists Quarter

. May 24, Joe Krowne Trio at the Dakota

. May 24, Rhizosphere at the Black Dog

. May 24-25, Bryan Nichols Quintet at the Artists Quarter

. May 25, Patty Peterson and Friends at the Dakota

. May 29, Maud Hixson CD Release at the Dakota

. May 30, Pete Whitman’s X-Tet at the Artists Quarter

. May 31, Talking Strings at the Black Dog

. May 31- June 1, Happy Apple at the Artists Quarter

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

. June 7, Nicole Henry at the Dakota

. June 8, JazZen, “Weaving of Traditions” at Sundin Hall (Hamline University)

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

. June 11, Hugh Masekela at the Dakota

. June 16, Sidewalk Café’ (Jazz in the Library), St Paul Central Library

. June 18-19, Reid Anderson at 408 (SPCO)

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

. June 23-24, David Murray Infinity Quartet with Macy Gray at the Dakota

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

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

. July 11, Badi Assad at the Dakota

Illicit Sextet, CD Party at Jazz Central on May 19th