Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, August 30-September 5



Nancy Harms, CD release at the Dakota on September 4th

© Andrea Canter



Sometimes holiday weekends mean a dearth of live music opportunities. Sometimes just the opposite. This is one of those opposite weekends, as the Twin Cities jazz venues will be alive with cool sounds and (gratefully) cool air! And get some rest, too, because there’s a lot going on in the coming week for jazz fans!



Big Gigs This Week

Arne Fogel
Friday, August 30. Parma continues to offer high quality music on weekends, no cover, and a very reasonable casual Italian menu. Tonight, Arne Fogel takes over the bar/lounge to give you a laid back, swinging start to the holiday weekend. If you want to keep the night going, look no farther than Late Night at the Dakota, where tonight the Kevin Washington Quintet takes the stage with music guaranteed to keep you awake and engaged.



Patty Peterson
And it’s sold out but deserves mention here, the annual Last Days of Summer River Cruise sponsored by KBEM takes off on the Magnolia Blossom paddle boat, with a relaxing evening on the Mississippi from Crosby Park down to the Fort Snelling area and back. Patty Peterson sings in a rare trio configuration with Phil Aaron and Billy Franze, with proceeds going to support Jazz 88 projects. Next year, reserve early!



JazzMN Orchestra
Friday, August 30-Saturday, August 31. Now that the Adam Meckler Orchestra has a monthly slot at the Artists Quarter, will we see other big bands in the club? For sure. This weekend, the JazzMN Orchestra squeezes in for an intimate evening—and you might want to show up early since a few tables will be displaced by the saxophone section! Led by Doug Snapp through its fifteen-year history, JazzMN plays some classic big band repertoire with modern charts, and some 21st century music as well.  Opportunities to see a big band up close are rare – an extremely satisfying.



Zacc Harris
Saturday, August 31. Their long-running gig at Riverview Wine Bar ended rather suddenly last spring due to the bar’s licensing issues, but the Zacc Harris Trio lives on, tonight at the Loring Pasta Bar where guitarist Zacc, bassist Matt Peterson and drummer Pete Hennig jazz up the venue in style. Meanwhile, Parma again hosts an evening of pure post-bop delight with Saturday residents, the Benny Weinbeck Trio featuring Gordy Johnson and Phil Hey. Enjoy your jazz with a side of flatbread or calamari.



Sunday, September 1. Planning a picnic at one of the area’s lakeside parks? Check out the Capri Big Band at the Lake Harriet Bandshell (2 pm). Capri is directed by Faye Washington (yeah, Kevin’s mom) and features a generational mix of accomplished musicians playing an eclectic mix of arrangements. And it’s free! It’s also over early enough that you can enjoy Ginger Commodore and Dennis Spears at the Dakota in the early evening. Yes, they were just at the Dakota a few weeks ago – and now back by popular demand! You won’t find a more commanding pair of voices or a  more effective collaboration.
Faye Washington, Capri Big Band



Tuesday, September 3. It must be Guitar Night in the Twin Cities. At the Artists Quarter, the six-string marvels are back to back, with the Cory Wong Quartet opening with its weekly freebie, followed tonight by Zacc Harris and Friends. Not sure which friends will be on the stage but Zacc has so many worthy of the gig. You can’t lose no matter what.



Over at the Dakota, it is Foodie Night with Charmin and Shapira and Friends. One sweet songbird plus one virtuoso guitarist and a some very capable friends (Paul Harper, Tom Lewis and Nathan Norman) will keep you in a lingering holiday mood.



New CD from Nancy Harms
Wednesday, September 4.  When Nancy Harms left her native Minnesota for New York three years ago, it was the natural next step after her highly regarded debut album (In the Indigo). And it has proved to be a giant step, as Nancy now has performing credits at such venues as Birdland, Small’s, and Kitano; touring experience with Wycliffe Gordon; and releasing a new album (Dreams in Apartments) that should put her among the top new vocalists on the jazz planet. Nancy honors her roots by holding a CD Release Party at the Dakota tonight, two months before her New York release at Birdland. Welcome home, Nancy!



At the Artists Quarter, Miguel Hurtado and Friends turn up the heat. Figure “friends” include some of the new generation of inventive musicians that keep popping up wherever improvised music is welcomed. If you come early (7 pm) you can enjoy the revitalized ensemble led each week by Steve Kenny. Now known as Steve Kenny's Group 47, the quartet (at least for September) includes Kenny on trumpet, Will Kjeer on piano, Brian Courage on bass, and Alex Burgess on drums.



Dave King
Thursday, September 5. Dave King may have surprised a number of his fans when he released a trio album of standards a year ago. Of course there is not much standard about the music that comes from the collaboration among King, Bill Carrothers and Billy Peterson on I’ve Been Ringing You – the title coming from the one original track. And those who mostly know Peterson from his association with Steve Miller need to listen closely to this guy’s jazz chops. No wonder one of his lesser known gigs was with the late Bill Evans. The Dave King Trio plays for the first time at the Dakota tonight, a warm-up for their four-night residency later in the month at the Village Vanguard.



Speaking of Bill Evans, one of his disciples brings a trio into the Artists Quarter tonight. Pianist Chris Lomheim has other influences as well, but his tie to Evans is ever-apparent in his lyricism and delicate touch. Still, he is as likely to pull out a Monk or Horace Silver tune as an Evans favorite.
Chris Lomheim



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, August 30. Irv Willliams and Peter Schimke, happy hour at the Dakota followed by Viva Brasil



Saturday, August 31. Charmin & Shapira, Midtown Global Market (12:30 pm); Tim Patrick and His Blue-Eyed Band at the Medina Ballroom



Sunday, September 1. Nick Haas, Sunday Brunch at Famous Dave’s (Uptown); Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster Café; Robert Everest, brunch at Maria’s



Debbie Duncan
Monday, September 2. Debbie Duncan, brunch at Hell’s Kitchen; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; JT’s Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse; Southside Aces at Famous Dave’s (Uptown). (Note the Artists Quarter is closed for Labor Day)



Tuesday, September 3. Dean Magraw and Davu Seru at the Black Dog; Bill Simonsen Orchestra at Jazz Central; Café Accordion at Loring Pasta Bar



Wednesday, September 4. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Sue Oattes and the Wolverines Trio at Hell’s Kitchen; St Peter Street Stompers at the Red Stag; Lee Engele at Barbette; Davu Seru and Friends at the Black Dog



Thursday, September 5. Moonlight Serenaders at Wabasha Street Caves; Jon Pemberton at the Red Stag; Concrete and Grass Festival (opening night) with SPCO and Moore by Four at Mears Park; Larry McDonough Quartet at the Black Dog



Coming Soon!

. September 6, East Side at the Black Dog

. September 6-7, Concrete and Grass Festival at Mears Park

. September 6-7, Graydon Peterson Quartet CD Release at the Artists Quarter

. September 7, Dakota Combo Auditions at MacPhail Center for Music (12:30 – 4 pm)

. September 8, PipJazz Sundays featuring Pippi Ardennia at Landmark Center

. September 10, ETHEL Quartet at Macalester

. September 10, Brandon Wozniak at the Artists Quarter

. September 11, United Trumpet Summit (Randy Brecker, Jeremy Pelt) at the Dakota

. September 11, Mansur Scott and the Harlem Quartet at the Artists Quarter

. September 12, Phil Hey Quartet at the Artists Quarter

. September 13-14, Locally Damaging Winds at the Artists Quarter

. September 14, Selby Ave Jazz Festival (Milton and Selby Av)

. September 16, Doc Severinsen Big Band at the Dakota

. September 17, Phil Aaron Trio at the Artists Quarter

. September 18, JazzMN Orchestra Fundraiser at the Dakota

. September 18, Dave Brattain Quartet at the Artists Quarter

. September 19, Ravi Coltrane Quartet

. September 19, Dave Karr Quartet at the Artists Quarter

. September 19-29, “Belmont Hotel” at the Southern Theater (jazz vocals, dance featuring Katie Gearty)

. September 20-21, Diane Witherspoon at the Artists Quarter

. September 23-24, Bettye LaVette at the Dakota

. September 24, Adam Meckler Orchestra at the Artists Quarter

. September 26, Pete Whitman X-Tet at the Artists Quarter

. September 27, Lila Ammons CD Release at Hell’s Kitchen

. September 27-28, Red Planet at the Artists Quarter

. September 28-29, Prism (Dave Holland, Craig Taborn, Kevin Eubanks, Eric Harland) at the Dakota

. October 1, Billy Cobham Spectrum 40 at the Dakota

. October 2-3, Gary Burton Quartet at the Dakota

. October 3, Kneebody at the Artists Quarter

. October 5, JazzMN Orchestra with Kenny Drew, Jr at Hopkins HS Performing Arts Center

. October 5-6, Atlantis Quartet at the Artists Quarter

. October 11-12, Bill Carrothers at the Artists Quarter

. October 15-16, Ginger Baker Jazz Confusion at the Dakota

. October 18-19, CD Release, Cory Wong at the Artists Quarter

. October 26, Rhonda Laurie, Jazz @ St Barneys

. November 1, Erik Friedlander and Mitch Epstein at the Walker Art Center

. November 3, Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education Fundraiser featuring Lynne Arriale Trio at the Dakota

. November 10, PipJazz Youth All-Stars at Landmark Center

. November 12-13, José James at the Dakota

. November 16, Laura Caviani, Jazz @ St Barneys

. December 6, Reynold Philipsek CD release at 318 Café



The Dakota Combo holds auditions September 7th.























Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, August 23-29


After their AQ debut, Mountain King brings bass trio to Jazz Central


© Andrea Canter

It never fails, the weekend before a major holiday seems packed with community events, concerts, etc. – sort of like a warm-up to the holiday? And the forecast indicates this weekend will be a warm-up in more ways than one. Outdoor festivals continue, with the return of the Freedom Jazz Festival at a new location on Saturday; the Dave King Trucking Company returns to the Artists Quarter for two nights; there’s a farewell night at the Icehouse for Evan Montgomery as he heads off to Cal Arts; Ben Sidran brings his keys and stories to the Dakota; and new Mom and Dad, Tanner Taylor and Nichola Miller, appear together at Jazz Central to take us into the weekend. And of course this is just the tip of the jazz hill for the week.

Big Gigs This Week

Irv Williams
Friday, August 23. He just celebrated #94, so why not check out Happy Hour at the Dakota and give Irv Williams your birthday wishes? He’s still holding down the early evening gig with Peter Schimke and sometimes Billy Peterson. Can’t think of  a better way to end the work week!

Rhonda Laurie
Parma 8200 continues to bring swinging music to the west burbs, tonight featuring savvy vocalist Rhonda Laurie with Tanner Taylor and Tom Lewis. Summer seems to be a great time to visit Parma’s bar and lounge, as many patrons prefer to be outside on the patio, leaving a more quiet and intimate space for jazz and relaxing with the fine offerings from the menu. (Check out the cannoli.) And remember that every Saturday night, it’s the Benny Weinbeck Trio, usually with Gordy Johnson and Phil Hey.

Friday-Saturday, August 23-24. James Buckley and Bryan Nichols make for a very comfortable give and take among two of the area’s finest improvisers, at the Icehouse this weekend for the dinner sets. And at no cover, one of the best bargains in area music.

Dave King Trucking Company
At the Artists Quarter, the Dave King Trucking Company settles in for two nights of spontaneous fun and magical mayhem, with Dave’s steady pals Brandon Wozniak, Erik Fratzke and Adam Linz. The guys laid down tracks for a vinyl release, so expect to hear some previews as well as favorites and new tunes. All original stuff.

Saturday, August 24. For the past 15 years, with a few “skips,” the Freedom Jazz Festival has brought jazz, fun, education and a strong commitment to community to south Minneapolis. For the first 11 festivals, the excitement was centered around Minnehaha Falls Park. Now the vibe moves west to Martin Luther King Park, where the festival becomes part of the community celebration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech and the famed March on Washington. Festivities start at Sabathani Center at 11 am and proceed to the park where music kicks off at 1:15 pm, running til 7. Music this year includes the Capri Big Band, Minneapolis Jazz Workshop, Walker West, Kathleen Johnson and Best Kept Secret, and the Freedom Jazz All-Stars with Irv Williams. Free and family-friendly. There’s an open jam at the end.
Capri Big Band at FJF

Sunday, August 25. “Jazz in the Vineyard” continues at the Alexis Bailey Winery with afternoon wine tasting and jazz, today featuring a double horn treat with trumpeter Jon Pemberton and saxophonist Jimmie Wallace. So you can have your jazz and drink it, too!

Evan Montgomery
Monday, August 26. With more notice, I would probably include JT’s Jazz Implosion every week… tonight at the Icehouse, it’s a farewell shindig for guitarist Evan Montgomery, who heads off to grad school at Cal Arts, leaving a big hole in several bands. Two of those units will gig big on the Jazz Implosion calendar, back to back featuring the Evan Montgomery Quartet and Lulu’s Playground. Says Evan, “I thought it would be fitting to have one last show where I get to play with my favorite people…” Starting out, the quartet features Adam Meckler, Matt Peterson and Jay Epstein (“new tunes and some sweet covers”). The second round is the very quirky and very musical Lulu’s Playground with Meckler, Steven Hobert, and Cory Grossman (that’s guitar, trumpet, accordion and cello!), making “awesome and weird music.” Hopefully Evan will return to the Twin Cities after completing his program.

Adam Meckler directs his AMO
Tuesday, August 27. Not sure if Evan Montgomery will hang around long enough to join the Adam Meckler Orchestra one last time. But either way, the popular big band returns for its now-monthly gig at the Artists Quarter, following the weekly installment of the Cory Wong Quartet. After closing out a year or so of monthly shows at Jazz Central, the AMO began a similar residency last month at the AQ, and as expected, packed the house. The audience of this band—and their music-- seems to fill up whatever space they play in.  Catch some of the area’s top young musicians and always a few veterans as well when the AMO is on stage. Or in this case, on and off the stage. And you can count on some new tunes from composer/bandleader/trumpeter Adam Meckler.

Lucia Newell
Wednesday, August 28. Two weeks I heard the debut of Mountain King, three bassists out for fun and music, giving us plenty of both. Graydon Peterson, Jeremy Boettcher and Brian Courage play some originals and some truly original arrangements, this time at Jazz Central. Talk about getting up close and personal with a bass – or three. Over at the Artists Quarter, Lucia Newell makes a long-awaited return, bringing her unique brand of bossa and bebop.

Ben Sidran
Thursday, August 29. Pianist, writer, broadcaster Ben Sidran is back at the Dakota. The BBC said it well – “One of those rare characters celebrated as much for their intelligent pronouncements on jazz as their ability to play it.”  And talk about it. Ben Sidran is always an educational as well as musical experience.

Long-time musical collaborators, monster pianist Tanner Taylor and swinging singer Nichola Miller partner in other life arenas as well, now as parents of future jazz star Charlie. Parenthood has made it more complicated for them perform together, so take advantage of the opportunity tonight when Tanner and Nichola swing the paint off the walls at Jazz Central.
Nichola Miller

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. TCJS Jazz Notes lists gigs monthly. A few more gigs of note:

Friday, August 23. Todd Harper, solo piano, early set at the Black Dog; Vic Volare at Hell’s Kitchen; Maurice Jacox Trio at McCarron’s Pub

Saturday, August 24. Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; Jimmie Wallace at the Red Stag

Sunday, August 25. Robert Everest, brunch at Maria’s; Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra with Charmin Michelle at Cinema Ballroom

Monday, August 26. Maryann Sullivan at the Wine Market; Headspace at the Artists Quarter; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Mark Yannie at Jazz Central

Tuesday, August 27. Acme Jazz Company at the Shorewood; Zacc Harris at the Black Dog; Nova Big Band at Jazz Central; Jeff Lorber/Everette Harp/Shaun Labelle/Stokley Williams at the Dakota

Wednesday, August 28. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Steve Kenny and the Bastids, early show at the Artists Quarter; Jeff Lorber/Everette Harp/Shaun Labelle/Stokley Williams at the Dakota


Thursday, August 29. Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra at the State Fair Heritage Stage 3 shows, 10:30 am – 1:30 pm); Gypsy Mania at Hell’s Kitchen; Connie Dussl Trio at The Bean (Andover); Phil Hey Quartet at the Artists Quarter; Jon Pemberton at the Red Stag


  
 Coming Soon!
Nancy Harms
. August 30-31, JazzMN Orchestra at the Artists Quarter
. September 3, Charmin & Shapira and Friends at the Dakota
. September 4, Nancy Harms CD Release at the Dakota
. September 5, Dave King Trio at the Dakota
. September 5-7, Concrete and Grass Festival at Mears Park
. September 6-7, Graydon Peterson Quartet CD Release at the Artists Quarter
. September 7, Dakota Combo Auditions at MacPhail Center for Music (12:30 – 4 pm)
. September 8, PipJazz Sundays featuring Pippi Ardennia at Landmark Center
. September 10, ETHEL Quartet at Macalester
. September 11, Trumpet Summit (Randy Brecker, Jeremy Pelt) at the Dakota
. September 11, Mansur Scott and the Harlem Quartet at the Artists Quarter
. September 14, Selby Ave Jazz Festival (Milton and Selby Av)
. September 16, Doc Severinsen Big Band at the Dakota
. September 18, JazzMN Orchestra Fundraiser at the Dakota
. September 19, Ravi Coltrane Quartet
. September 19-29, “Belmont Hotel” at the Southern Theater (jazz vocals, dance featuring Katie Gearty)
. September 20-21, Diane Witherspoon at the Artists Quarter
. September 23-24, Bettye LaVette at the Dakota
. September 27, Lila Ammons CD Release at Hell’s Kitchen
. September 27-28, Red Planet at the Artists Quarter
. September 28-29, Prism (Dave Holland, Craig Taborn, Kevin Eubanks, Eric Harland) at the Dakota
. October 1, Billy Cobham Spectrum 40 at the Dakota
. October 2-3, Gary Burton at the Dakota
. October 3, Kneebody at the Artists Quarter
. October 5, JazzMN Orchestra with Kenny Drew, Jr at Hopkins HS Performing Arts Center
. October 5-6, Atlantis Quartet at the Artists Quarter
. October 11-12, Bill Carrothers at the Artists Quarter
. October 15-16, Ginger Baker Jazz Confusion at the Dakota
. October 18-19, CD Release, Cory Wong at the Artists Quarter
. November 1, Erik Friedlander and Mitch Epstein at the Walker Art Center
. November 3, Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education Fundraiser featuring Lynne Arriale Trio at the Dakota
. November 10, PipJazz Youth All-Stars at Landmark Center
. November 12-13, José James at the Dakota
. December 6, Reynold Philipsek CD release at 318 Café 

Concrete and Grass Returns to Mears Park, September 5-7





Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Marian, Thanks for Everything

Marian McPartland (Getty Images via Billboard)

© Andrea Canter



I just posted an obit for Marian McPartland, who passed away last night at age 95. But my thoughts about Marian are more personal than her interesting bio and extensive resume or 34-year catalog of Piano Jazz segments.



Marian was one of the reasons my father enjoyed jazz. And in turn, my father was (and still is) the primary reason I enjoy jazz today. He introduced me early on to Dixieland and swing recordings. And later he introduced me to his favorite pianists, Oscar Peterson and, most of all, Marian McPartland. When I came back to jazz, having gone through a Keith Jarrett phase in the early 70s followed by a hiatus of classical, New Age and folk music, it was largely through Marian McPartland.



When I turned 40 (let’s just say a couple decades ago), the CD was a relatively new medium and my parents gave me a “modern” system, complete with CD player. Of course I had no CDs yet. I remember my father and I headed out to Best Buy for some auxiliary equipment and ended up in the CD aisle, looking for the Jazz Section, which I’m sure was pretty limited. But there we found Marian McPartland’s Willow Creek and Other Ballads, which remains my favorite among her many sterling recordings. It’s solo piano, not her typical format (trio) and perhaps one of the more obscure among her Concord recordings of the past three decades. But it was an exquisite and pure introduction to McPartland, who could play anything with anyone (as proven by her interactions with her Piano Jazz guests) , but was most magnificent alone.



One of Marian’s favorite quotes was an early declaration by fellow Brit, critic Leonard Feather, who wrote: “Oh, she’ll never make it: she’s English, white and a woman.” Now, one of my favorite quotes about Marian comes from the liner note to Willow Creek, where (30 years later) Leonard Feather notes, “She is an exceptionally lyrical ballad performer, enriching and expanding the harmonic and melodic essence of every theme.” Not a bad outcome for a white Englishwoman.



Over the years I have accumulated more than 30 of Marian’s recordings (not counting her huge archive of Piano Jazz excerpts); I’ve also given a number of her CDs to my father to remind him of those nights in Chicago, probably at the 1960s edition of the Jazz Showcase. I had the fortune to see Marian perform live twice, about 12 years ago in Chicago at the Jazz Showcase and a couple years later at the Dakota in Minneapolis. I had planned a trip to Chicago around Marian’s appearance, not sure that I would ever have a better (or closer) opportunity. When she came out to greet the audience after her magnificent set, I told her that my father was a long-time fan (she smiled) and that I had come from Minneapolis to hear her perform. To which she replied, “I don’t believe you.” I guess she thought it was false flattery.



It wasn’t. I did. And I wish I had been able to make that (or a similar) journey more often.



Now, I’ll simply enjoy listening to Willow Creek and Other Ballads, and more, on my old fashioned CD player. If I ever get an I-Pod, this will be the first upload.



Thanks, Marian. RIP.


Friday, August 16, 2013

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, August 16-22



Jake Baldwin,  prime time slot at the Dakota on Monday
© Andrea Canter



Those “dog days” of summer might be back, but it’s the “cats” of live jazz that keep me going as we hurtle toward Labor Day Weekend.  This weekend brings Maud Hixson back to Parma, Chris Bates’ Red 5 back to the Artists Quarter, the Brad Bellows/Donald Washington Quartet back to the Black Dog, and the vocal duo of Ginger Commodore and Dennis Spears back to the Dakota. Veteran saxophonist Dave Brattain, never heard often enough, has back to back gigs as headliner early in the week, while young lion trumpeter Jake Baldwin gets his first prime time gig at the Dakota after pulling Late Night duties for the past few years.



Big Gigs This Week

Maud Hixson
Friday, August 16. Last month was my first evening at Parma in Bloomington, and it was a great introduction with the opportunity to enjoy Maud Hixson with Rick Carlson and Gordy Johnson as well as some mighty fine dinner options in the bar/lounge. With Maude’s always-expanding treasure chest of magical songs and her cohorts’ serious comping chops, tonight brings another chance to get acquainted with a cozy new venue or to just come back and try something new on the menu. And most likely on the set list.



Speaking of chops, you can hear a couple talented improvisers at the Black Dog when the Brad Bellows/Donald Washington Quartet to stir the musical pot. This is the ensemble’s home turf – and it is a small piece of real estate so come early, enjoy a pizza or one of the Dog’s great sandwiches and bar selections.



Chris Bates
Friday-Saturday, August 16-17. It was just about a year ago that Chris Bates’ Red 5 released its first recording (New Hope) to wide acclaim, and they have performed rather infrequently over the past year. Not surprising, given the band is filled with some of the busiest musicians on the planet, from bassist Bates and drummer/brother JT to the hornline of Zack Lozier, Brandon Wozniak and Chris Thomson. This weekend, Thomson was only available Saturday, so rising star Nelson Devereaux will ably fill in on Friday. What that really means is that you need to plan to come to the AQ both nights!



Dennis Spears
Saturday, August 17. Over 25 years ago, a vocal ensemble of stirring young voices was launched by pianist Sanford Moore. Dubbed Moore By Four, the group is still going strong although the singers individually have gone on to stellar careers of their own. It’s a treat when even a pair of MB4 voices come together these days, and Ginger Commodore and Dennis Spears are surely among the best vocal pairings in this or any other town. They bring their individual and collective charms to the Dakota for one volcanic Saturday night.


Jake Baldwin and Nelson Devereaux
Monday, August 19. He’s paid his dues, earned his degree, and pushed his horn through a big handful of Late Night at the Dakota gigs. Now trumpeter Jake Baldwin gets to bring his quintet to the Dakota stage in prime time. “I'm really excited to finally be playing at a time when most of the world is awake,” says Jake. Not that one could easily sleep through a Jake Baldwin set. The 2013 graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music and 2011 finalist in the International Trumpet Guild Competition has been performing around the Twin Cities since his days at Minnetonka High School, when he spent two years with the Dakota Combo and several youth-directed bands. His band on Monday night “is essentially Courageous Endeavors plus me,” he notes—Nelson Devereaux on saxes, Joe Strachan on piano, Brian Courage on bass and Miguel Hurtado on drums, all frequent cohorts in the past few years. Come early. Stay awake.



Dave Brattain
Down river at Jazz Central, saxophonist and high school band director Dave Brattain takes the lead with Tanner Taylor and Mac Santiago, trying out new music and inviting all-comers to jam after the first set. Just another night of unpredictable music at the musicians’gallery. And if you miss Dave tonight….



Will Kjeer
Tuesday, August 20. Dave Brattain gets little rest as he comes to the Artists Quarter tonight hot off his gig at Jazz Central. This newly, if accidentally, formed quartet brings together veterans Brattain and drummer Kenny Horst with young bass master Brian Courage and exceptional and exceptionally young pianist (16!), Will Kjeer. Will is fast becoming a veteran himself, handling the keys weekly for Steve Kenny and the Bastids and turning up at other gigs around town.



And back at Jazz Central, the heat will be turned up a few notches for the Doug Haining/Scott Agster Explosion on Big Band Night. The air conditioning will be running full blast to keep thing comfortable underground, and the 18 musicians spilling into the audience will keep things from getting too comfortable! Modern big band, as good as it gets in as intimate a space as humanly possible.



Pete Whitman
Wednesday, August 21. We usually catch Pete Whitman in his X-Tet or sideman duties with JazzMN or smaller ensembles, so it is a treat to enjoy him in a leading role with just a couple cohorts. Pete is in the catbird seat at Jazz Central tonight, and it promises to be a night of exciting modern jazz. Across town at the Artists Quarter, the brass-heavy Snowblind returns with new music and plenty of energy—Adam Rossmiller, Scott Agster, Shilad Sen, Graydon Peterson and Reid Kennedy.



Retro Swing Sisters
And if you have a yearning for some old-time swinging girl duos, check out the dance floor and expecially the music at the Eagles Club with Retro Swing Sisters, aka Maryann Sullivan and Rhonda Laurie. Recently on stages from the Landmark atrium to Jazz Central, Maryann and Rhonda have a growing book of the world’s most beloved tunes from (mostly) the Swing Era, which they deliver with charm, wit, and of course, a lot of classy swing, solo and together.



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. TCJS Jazz Notes lists gigs monthly. A few more gigs of note:



Friday, August 16. Irv Williams Trio, happy hour at the Dakota; Todd Harper, solo piano early evening at the Black Dog; Tanner Taylor and James Buckley, early evening at the Icehouse; Brio Brass in Sounds of MN, Ettinger Field (South St Paul)



Saturday, August 17. Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma; Tanner Taylor and James Buckley, early evening at the Icehouse; Lila Ammons Quintet at Honey; East Side at Hell’s Kitchen; Jon Pemberton Trio at Loring Pasta Bar



Jerry O'Hagan and Orchestra
Sunday, August 18. Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster Café; Robert Everest, brunch at Maria’s; Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra with Charmin Michelle at the Medina Ballroom (2 pm); The Steeles at the Dakota



Monday, August 19. Headspace at the Artists Quarter; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; JT’s Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse



Tuesday, August 20. Patty and the Buttons at Café Maude (Penn Av); Cory Wong Quartet, early show at the Artists Quarter



Wednesday, August 21. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Zacc Harris Trio at Café Maude (Penn Av); Wolverines Trio at Hell’s Kitchen; Midnight Serenaders at Centennial Lakes Amphitheater; Steve Kenny and the Bastids, early show at the Artists Quarter



Thursday, August 22. Patty and the Buttons at the Dakota; Connie and Herb at The Bean (Andover); Swingbeat Big Band at Wabasha Street Caves; Faye Lewis and Tanner Taylor at Jazz Central; Dave Karr Quartet at the Artists Quarter



Coming Soon

. August 23-24, Dave King Trucking Company at the Artists Quarter

. August 24, Freedom Jazz Festival, Martin Luther King Park

. August 27, Adam Meckler Orchestra at the Artists Quarter

. August 27-28, Jeff Lorber at the Dakota

. August 29, Ben Sidran at the Dakota

. August 29, Nichola Miller and Tanner Taylor at Jazz Central

. August 30-31, JazzMN Orchestra at the Artists Quarter

. September 4, Nancy Harms CD Release at the Dakota

. September 5, Dave King Trio at the Dakota

. September 6-7, Concrete and Grass Festival at Mears Park

. September 6-7, Graydon Peterson CD Release at the Artists Quarter

. September 7, Dakota Combo Auditions at MacPhail Center for Music (12:30 – 4 pm)

. September 10, ETHEL Quartet at Macalester

. September 11, Trumpet Summit (Randy Brecker, Jeremy Pelt) at the Dakota

. September 14, Selby Ave Jazz Festival (Milton and Selby Av)

. September 16, Doc Severinsen Big Band at the Dakota

. September 18, JazzMN Orchestra Fundraiser at the Dakota

. September 19, Ravi Coltrane Quartet

. September 19-29, “Belmont Hotel” at the Southern Theater (jazz vocals, dance featuring Katie Gearty)

. September 20-21, Diane Witherspoon at the Artists Quarter

. September 23-24, Bettye LaVette at the Dakota

. September 27, Lila Ammons CD Release at Hell’s Kitchen

. September 27-28, Red Planet at the Artists Quarter

. September 28-29, Prism (Dave Holland, Craig Taborn, Kevin Eubanks, Eric Harland) at the Dakota

. October 1, Billy Cobham Spectrum 40 at the Dakota

. October 2-3, Gary Burton at the Dakota

. October 15-16, Ginger Baker Jazz Confusion at the Dakota

. October 18-19, CD Release, Cory Wong at the Artists Quarter

. November 1, Erik Friedlander and Mitch Epstein at the Walker Art Center

. November 3, Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education Fundraiser featuring Lynne Arriale Trio at the Dakota

. November 12-13, José James at the Dakota

Capri Big Band headlines the Freedom Jazz Festival, August 24th at King Park