Friday, November 29, 2013

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, November 29- December 5




© Andrea Canter



Tired of Thanksgiving leftovers? Fortunately, there's lots of fresh music coming our way this week, starting with a slam-bang weekend that includes a double homecoming at the Artists Quarter in prime time and a couple more at the Dakota on the late shift, and a Sunday musical fundraiser for one of the few jazz-friendly radio stations in the region. One of the premiere jazz organists returns to start off the week, and old (and not so old) friends open up the last month of music at the Artists Quarter. And smaller venues keep the jazz fires burning while an award-winning film about the women of jazz returns for a week of screenings.



Big Gigs This Week

Talking Strings at the Black Dog
Friday, November 29. It's quite a Friday night. Start early at the Black Dog for the Talking Strings, whose gigs are too far and few between. The Strings include violinist Gary Schulte, guitarist Pavel Janey, and bassist Dan Weston playing some of the most interesting music on the Black Dog stage-- and interesting music is the norm here!



For the second of his two late night stops this week, former Twin Citian John Raymond finds some new, like-minded cohorts for tonight's Late Night at the Dakota. The young trumpeter was in top form earlier in the week at the Icehouse with Bryan Nichols and the brothers Bates; now he turns up the heat with a chordless quartet, with Chris Thomson, James Buckley and JT Bates. Worth a sleepy Saturday. 
John Raymond

Speaking of the Icehouse, and also on a late night schedule, another option is the Atlantis Quartet. With Zacc Harris, Brandon Wozniak, Chris Bates and Pete Hennig, you won't have any trouble staying awake as the guys hold the Minneapolis celebration of their new CD, Expansion.



Pat Mallinger
Friday-Saturday, November 29-30. Over the past decade, two of the most popular visitors to the Artists Quarter have been Pat Mallinger and Bill Carrothers, each a Twin Cities native who relocated after stints at the University of North Texas. Saxophonist Pat has been based in Chicago where he is a fixture at the Green Mill; pianist Bill found more recognition in Europe where he continues to tour frequently from a home base in northern Michigan. But the holidays typically bring both musicians back to Minnesota, where they occasionally join together for an incendiary weekend. And as usual, they will be joined by Billy Peterson and Kenny Horst.  Expect fireworks.



Screening all week at St Anthony Main
Friday-Thursday, November 29-December 5. Back by popular demand, The Girls in the Band was a big hit at the 2012 Minneapolis-St Paul International Film Festival, and the documentary about the trials and tribulations of women instrumentalists in the male-dominated world of jazz returns for a week of screenings at the St Anthony Main Theater. Vintage clips include Melba Liston, Clora Bryant and the Sweethearts of Rhythm. Matinee and evening showings each day.



Saturday, November 30. Jazz keeps popping up in new places. Take a morning coffee break with Rhonda Laurie and Joel Shapira at the Even Break Gallery at 50th and Penn (Minneapolis). The songs will swing.



Jake Baldwin
Another reunion, this time on the Late Night schedule at the Dakota, brings together 4 young jazzers whose paths have criss-crossed as they've evolved into serious musicians. The "Baldwin Sisters" -- trumpeters Jake Baldwin and Noah Ophoven-Baldwin (no relation!) meet up with bassist Ted Olsen and drummer Cameron LeCrone. Jake recently returned to the Twin Cities after finishing his degree at New England Conservatory; Noah is finishing up his studies at the U of M, while Ted (Luther College) and Cam (Northwestern U) are in town for the holiday.  Expect an evening (and early morning) of the unexpected!



Jana Nyberg and Adam Meckler
Sunday, December 1. Although not limited to jazz, KFAI Radio's programming includes some serious jazz shows each week, including Larry Englund's Rhythm and Grooves and Janis Lane-Ewart's The Collective Eye. The nonprofit station holds a fundraiser at the Amsterdam Bar tonight featuring three groups of top brass-- Jana Nyberg and Adam Meckler, an ensemble led by Solomon Parham, and the Jack Brass Band. And for fans of small ensemble jazz, the Zacc Harris Trio returns to its weekly gig at the Riverview Wine Bar thanks to a change in zoning that now allows three musicians on stage at one time.



Joey D
Monday, December 2. Once a child prodigy, Joey DeFrancesco lived up to his early promise and then some, now regarded as top dog jazz organist and a favorite visitor to the Twin Cities. Tonight he's burning bright at the Dakota with his trio. Another top dog, this time octagenarian bebopper Dave Karr, swings his ax (or ax arsenal) as the featured artist for JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse.



Tuesday, December 3. "First Tuesday" options on both sides of the metro: Veteran improvisers Dean Magraw and Davu Seru continue their collaboration at the Black Dog, this month with special guests Louis Alemayehu (spoken word) and Dorene Waubanewquay Day (vocalist), while over in southwest Minneapolis, one of the hot young bands, Triosé (Vinnie Rose, Jeremy Boettcher and Adrian Suarez), brings its unique takes on jazz and pop to Cafe Maude.



Dakota Combo
Thursday, December 5. A double-header at the Artists Quarter features some of the area's youngest artists opening for one of the area's most revered veterans. At 7 pm, the final Young Artists Showcase at the AQ introduces the latest edition of the Dakota Combo, directed by Adam Linz, sponsored by the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education  in partnership with the MacPhail Center for Music. This septet of high school juniors and seniors will present some interesting arrangements and original compositions. Prime time, the Dean Granros Trio returns to the AQ. It's been a while since guitarist Granros took the stage here, and very likely it will be the last. Dean is one of the most inventive artists in the metro, and the AQ has long been "home."



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:



Irv Williams with Peter Schimke
Friday, November 29. Irv Williams and Peter Schimke, Happy Hour at the Dakota; Joel Shapira at Hell's Kitchen; Lee Engele at Parma 8200; James Buckley and Bryan Nichols, dinner sets at the Icehouse; St Peter Street Stompers at the Red Stag; Patty Peterson and Friends at School II; Words by Ira Gershwin at Park Square Theater (preview opening weekend)



Saturday, November 30. Mill City Hot Club at Harriet Brewing (3 pm); Nick Haas Trio at Loring Pasta Bar; Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Patrick Harison and James Buckley, dinner sets at the Icehouse; Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; Maryann Sullivan and Dave Martin at Mendoberri Cafe; George Maurer Group at the Dakota; Sambo Makti at Hell's Kitchen



Sunday, December 1. Robert Everest, brunch at Maria's; Patty and the Buttons at the Aster Cafe; Charmin & Shapira & Friends, opening set at the Dakota



Monday, December 2. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza



Tuesday, December 3. Cory Wong Quartet followed by Zacc Harris and Friends at the Artists Quarter; Cafe Accordion at the Loring Pasta Bar; Bill Simenson Orchestra at Jazz Central



Wednesday, December 4. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Steve Kenny's Group 47 followed by Park Evans, Brian Courage, Brandon Wozniak and Greg Schutte at the Artists Quarter; Frankhouse at Hell's Kitchen; Minnesota History Theater's Sample Night Live - Audience Favorites, including Lee Engele and Maud Hixson.



Thursday, December 5. Gypsy Mania at Hell's Kitchen



Coming Soon!

. December 6, Reynold Philipsek CD release at 318 Café

. December 6, Dennis Spears at the Dakota

. December 6-7, Happy Apple at the Artists Quarter

. December 7, Jana Nyberg Group CD Release at the Dakota

. December 8, AQ Fundraiser at the Artists Quarter

. December 8, Bill Frisell's Big Sur Quartet at The Cedar

. Decemver 8, Patty and the Buttons at the Dakota

. December 8, PipJazz Sundays with special guest Nicholas Carter

. December 10, Dean Magraw and Friends at the Artists Quarter

. December 11-12, Dave Karr Quartet at the Artists Quarter

. December 13, Laura Caviani holiday CD Release at the Artists Quarter

. December 14, Lucia Newell, Jazz at Studio Z

. December 14, Tuesday Night Band Reunion at the Artists Quarter

. December 15, Ginger Commodore and Robert Robinson Holiday Show at the Dakota

. December 16, Peter Kogan jazz ensemble at the Dakota

. December 17, Atlantis Quartet at the Dakota

. December 17, Bryan Nichols and Friends at the Artists Quarter

. December 19, "Merry and Bright" with Charles Lazarus at Wayzata Community Church

. December 19, Larry McDonough Quartet CD Release at the Artists Quarter

. December 19, George Maurer Holiday Show at the Dakota

. December 20-21, Eric Alexander and David Hazeltine at the Artists Quarter

. December 21, Maud Hixson and the Wolverines Trio, "Let It Snow" at Bloomington Center for the Arts, Schneider Theater

. December 21, Patty Peterson and Friends at the Dakota

. December 22-23, Karrin Allyson Holiday Show at the Dakota

. December 25, The Steeles at the Dakota

. December 26, Phil Hey Quartet at the Artists Quarter

. December 26-29, The Bad Plus at the Dakota (12/29 Rite of Spring)

. December 27-28, AQ Final Weekend Jam at the Artists Quarter

. December 31, Artists Quarter Final New Year's Eve Party with Carole Martin and Friends

. December 31, Dakota New Year's Eve Party with Davina and the Vagabonds

. January 3-4, Nachito Herrera With Strings at the Dakota

. January 11, Lee Engele, Jazz @ St. Barneys

. January 11, Adam Meckler Orchestra, Jazz at Studio Z

. February 13, Kurt Elling at the Dakota

. February 19-20, "Guitars of Passion" (Romero Lubambo, Stanley Jordan and Sharon Isbin) at the Dakota

. February 22, Connie Evingson, Jazz @ St. Barneys

. February 25-26, Terence Blanchard Quintet at the Dakota

. March 9, Cecile McLorin Salvant at the Dakota

. March 16, Pat Metheny Unity Group at the Fitzgerald Theater

. April 8, Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau at the Walker

. April 9, Brad Mehldau Trio at the Walker

. May 15-17, Ragamala Dance Company and Rudresh Mahanthappa at the Walker

. June 26-28, Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Mears Park (St Paul)















Thursday, November 21, 2013

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



© Andrea Canter



Phil Hey and his Quartet return to the Artists Quarter on Wednesday

Heading into the first round of "winter" holidays, the temperatures are heading down but the joy of jazz is definitely heading upward, starting with a lively weekend from fresh vocals to circus-like caricatures in paint and music, coasting into Thanksgiving with the welcome returns of a young native son making a name for himself on the New York scene and one of the region's most accomplished ensembles. From Lulu's Playground to Phil Hey's Quartet, and everything in-between, jazz is alive and well in the Twin Cities--something to be thankful for indeed.





Big Gigs This Week

Vicky Mountain
Friday, November 22. An outstanding vocalist and interpreter who hardly performs as often as we'd like, MacPhail instructor Vicky Mountain comes out to play with Chris Lomheim and Brian Courage at Parma 8200, a little gem of a venue in Bloomington that has the added value of a menu full of tasty Italian delights (don't pass up the chocolate cannoli).



Lulu's Playground
Friday-Saturday, November 22-23. Putting jazz and visual art together is not exactly a new pairing but putting Lulu's Playground together with Tim Nyberg is pure genius. Nyberg is a painter, illustrator, humorist, you name it who happens to be father to one of the area's most popular singer/songwriters (Jana Nyberg) and father-in-law to one of our busiest composers/bandleaders/trumpeters, Adam Meckler, one of the founding members of the quirky quartet Lulu's Playground. So it was perhaps inevitable that all these talents would come together with a "Sideshow" at the Artists Quarter. "Sideshow Suite" is Lulu's latest project, musical caricatures inspired by the painted characters of Tim Nyberg's freaky imagination and memories of State Fair sideshows of the 1960s. Hear the 17 musical vignettes played against Tim's projected images and the voice of the circus barker in this multi-media extravaganza.



U of Manitoba Jazz Faculty
Saturday, November 23. Over the past decade, a formidable jazz studies program has been building momentum in Winnipeg, at the University of Manitoba. Led by bassist Steve Kirby, the faculty boasts some strong performer/educators including trumpeter Derrick Gardner, saxophonist Jon Gordon and drummer Quincy Davis, among others. With a tuition reciprocity agreement with Minnesota, the other U of M offers an attractive education program for young MN jazzers. For the past few years, the Manitoba team has joined forces with Walker West to present a free workshop to high school students, followed by a concert featuring the Manitobans. The free workshop is aimed at 11th and 12th graders, held in the afternoon at the Progressive Baptist Church in St Paul, with a free, public concert following at 7 pm.
 
Off the Cuff with Lisa Brimmer and Andrew Foreman
Sunday, November 24. More improvised music at the Aster Cafe as "Off the Cuff" brings more  surprises to its monthly gig. "We don't know what this will sound like and we'd like you to be there for it!" says curator Andrew Foreman. This installment as usual features two different sets: Set One includes a double cello ensemble with Cory Grossman and Daniel Zamzow on cellos, along with Lisa Brimmer (Words) and Nathan Eliot (Mandola). Electronics take over in Set 2, with Big Cats (samples and electronics), Nelson Devereaux (flute and sax), Eric Mayson (keys) and Andrew Foreman (bass).



Atlantis Quartet
Monday, November 25. Although internationally acclaimed vocalist Roberta Gambarini postponed her two nights at the Dakota, the originally scheduled "opening" act from the Atlantis Quartet now take the whole night, and that's hardly a back-up plan. The instrumental wizards (Zacc Harris, Brandon Wozniak, Chris Bates and Pete Hennig) take on a new challenge with the addition of vocalist Katie Gearty.  Down the street (sort of) at Jazz Central, Tanner Taylor takes over for a night of the music of Vince Guaraldi.



John Raymond
Later at the Icehouse, JT's Jazz Implosion features one of New York's hottest young trumpeters, Minnesota native John Raymond, who mixes it up with Bryan Nichols and JT Bates (11 pm show only). John is hot off gigs at The Kitano and Boston's Theater Offensive, and he is always inspired and inspiring in front of a home town crowd.



Tuesday, November 26. Adam Meckler pops up again! It's his monthly Adam Meckler Orchestra gig at the Artists Quarter, and you have to get out and enjoy this sensational, youthful modern big band in a perfect venue while you can. There's always a new arrangement, new composition or two, one or two vocal numbers featuring Jana Nyberg, and one hot solo after another. Come early (7 pm) to hear another hot young commodity, guitarist Cory Wong, and his quartet in their usual weekly time slot. Tonight truly exemplifies the virtues of a musician-run jazz club.



Phil Hey
Wednesday, November 27. Another AQ double header starts off with veteran trumpeter Steve Kenny's Group 47, featuring three reasons to have faith in the future of jazz in Minnesota-- bassist Brian Courage, drummer Alex Burgess, and 17-year-old pianist Will Kjeer, along with one or more young (or not young!) cats sitting in. Prime time brings back the Phil Hey Quartet, Minnesota's answer to "What would the Modern Jazz Quartet sound like in 2013?"




More Gigs 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, November 22. Irv Williams and Peter Schimke, happy hour at the Dakota; Maryann Sullivan and Dave Martin at the Wine Market; St Olaf College Jazz I at Buntrock Commons (Northfield); Patty Peterson Big Band, opening for Bob Newhart at the State Theater; Casey O'Brien Trio at the Red Stag



Saturday, November 23. Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Nick Haas at Hell's Kitchen; Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; Rhizosphere at the Black Dog' Casey O'Brien Trio at the Red Stag; Linda Peterson at School II Bistro



Sunday, November 24. Robert Everest, brunch at Maria's; Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster; Gustavus Jazz Lab Band, matinee concert at Jussi Bjorling Hall, Gustavus College (St Peter);  Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra with Charmin Michelle at Cinema Ballroom



Charmin Michelle, Denny Malmberg and Friends
Monday, November 25. Headspace at the Artists Quarter; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza



Tuesday, November 26.  Sophia Shorai SS Quartet at the Dakota; Nova Jazz Orchestra at Jazz Central; Cafe Accordion at Loring Pasta Bar; "Beast" (Brian Courage, Josh Granowski, Tim Glenn) at the Black Dog



Wednesday, November 27. Wolverines Jazz Trio with Maud Hixson at Hell's Kitchen; Jazz Improv night at Jazz Central; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Linda Peterson at School II Bistro; John Devine at the Red Stag



Coming Soon!

. November 29, Atlantis Quartet at the Icehouse

. November 29-30, Pat Mallinger and the Bill Carrothers Trio at the Artists Quarter

. December 2, Joey DeFrancesco at the Dakota

. December 5, Dakota Combo at the Artists Quarter (Young Artists Showcase)

. December 6, Reynold Philipsek CD release at 318 Café

. December 6-7, Happy Apple at the Artists Quarter

. December 7, Jana Nyberg Group CD Release at the Dakota

. December 8, AQ Fundraiser at the Artists Quarter

. December 8, Bill Frisell's Big Sur Quartet at The Cedar

. December 8, PipJazz Sundays with special guest Nicholas Carter

. December 13, Laura Caviani holiday CD Release at the Artists Quarter

. December 14, Lucia Newell, Jazz at Studio Z

. December 14, Tuesday Night Band Reunion at the Artists Quarter

. December 15, Ginger Commodore and Robert Robinson Holiday Show at the Dakota

. December 16, Peter Kogan jazz ensemble at the Dakota

. December 17, Atlantis Quartet at the Dakota

. December 19, "Merry and Bright" with Charles Lazarus at Wayzata Community Church

. December 19, Larry McDonough Quartet CD Release at the Artists Quarter

. December 19, George Maurer Holiday Show at the Dakota

. December 20-21, Eric Alexander and David Hazeltine at the Artists Quarter

. December 21, Maud Hixson and the Wolverines Trio, "Let It Snow" at Bloomington Center for the Arts, Schneider Theater

. December 22-23, Karrin Allyson Holiday Show at the Dakota

. December 26-29, The Bad Plus at the Dakota (12/29 Rite of Spring)

. January 11, Lee Engele, Jazz @ St. Barneys

. January 11, Adam Meckler Orchestra, Jazz at Studio Z

. February 19-20, "Guitars of Passion" (Romero Lubambo, Stanley Jordan and Sharon Isbin) at the Dakota

. February 22, Connie Evingson, Jazz @ St. Barneys

. February 25-26, Terence Blanchard Quintet at the Dakota

. March 16, Pat Metheny Unity Group at the Fitzgerald Theater

. April 8, Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau at the Walker

. April 9, Brad Mehldau Trio at the Walker

. May 15-17, Ragamala Dance Company and Rudresh Mahanthappa at the Walker

. June 26-28, Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Mears Park (St Paul)


Note: Photo of University of Manitoba jazz faculty from university website.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

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




Lew Tabackin returns to the Artists Quarter, November 15-16
© Andrea Canter

Is jazz dead? Just check the listings for Saturday (November 16) alone, and you can easily answer that question for yourself. On one night, you can hear a tribute to one of the greatest pianists in jazz history (Oscar Peterson) presented by two of the most talented pianists in our midst (Tanner Taylor and Richard Johnson); you can hear yet another area piano titan (Laura Caviani) paired with an outstanding saxophonist (Pete Whitman) pay tribute to Monk and Ellington as well as presenting original works; you can hear world-renowned saxophonist/flautist Lew Tabackin; you can hear the best of "smooth jazz" as Steve Cole celebrates a new CD with the Petersons. And that's just part of the list for one night. And Saturday is just one night of seven for live jazz of all bents.



Big Gigs This Week

Doug Little
Friday, November 15. Doug Little's long-running Seven Steps to Havana returns to the Dakota, bringing along wide-ranging tropical rhythms and an ensemble that by itself could serve as global ambassadors. A native Californian who has spent significant time in Cuba and Brazil, saxophonist/flautist Little is an effective bandleader and composer, so any night with one of his bands is sure to keep your ears (and feet) happy.  Another saxman from an older generation, Donald Washington holds the stage at the Black Dog tonight, featuring a quartet with son Kevin on drums, Brian Roesslar on bass, and Eric Jacobson on tuba. Yes, tuba.



Lew Tabackin
Friday- Saturday, November 15-16. News that owner Kenny Horst plans to close the Artists Quarter at the end of the year has prompted a lot of hand wringing and high anxiety, but it has also prompted contacts with many of the national artists who helped build the club's reputation. One is tenor saxophonist/flautist Lew Tabackin, who returns to the AQ this weekend after a 6-7 year absence. Aside from his reputation as one of the more aggressive tenormen, Tabackin is held in high esteem for his gorgeous, ethereal flute.



Richard Johnson
Saturday, November 17. Oscar Peterson, who passed away about six years ago, was one of the true legends of his time, one of the most influential jazz pianists of the 20th century who continues to influence the music today. Two of his legacies are on top of the Twin Cities Jazz scene today, and will play back to back trio sets in Peterson's honor tonight as part of the Jazz at Studio Z series curated by Zacc Harris. Richard Johnson and Tanner Taylor also join forces to present a free workshop before the concert.



Laura Caviani
Another piano ace brings the Monk and Ellington songbooks to Jazz @ St Barneys at the St. Barnabas Lutheran Church in Plymouth. This monthly series just gets better every season, thanks to Jeff Whitmill's success in bringing the area's best chamber jazz artists to the burbs. Tonight hear Laura Caviani with saxophonist Pete Whitman as they present works of two of the genre's greatest composers along with some original compositions.



Over at the Dakota, it's contemporary jazz heaven as saxophonist Steve Cole meets up with long-time pals, The Petersons. They're celebrating Cole's new release, Pulse, described as “a 10-song set mixing R&B, contemporary jazz, gospel, blues and pop that he produced with fellow saxman David Mann. The new collection surveying Cole’s musical passions showcases the artist’s affinity for infectious melodies, a wall of horns, and soulful grooves." And adding to those grooves -- Patty, Ricky and Paul Peterson, along with Bill Steinway, Bobby Vandell and Billy Franze.

Steve Blons
Sunday, November 17. A personal favorite since I first heard the original trio at least 8 years ago, Soul Cafe makes few appearances these days, maybe twice per year, including this "Change of Season" gig at their home base, Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church. The core of this "jazz meets poetry" concept has been Laura Caviani, Brad Holden and Steve Blons (piano, alto sax, guitar) with frequent guest appearances from Lucia Newell, Pete Whitman and Daryl Boudreaux. For this performance, instrumentation has taken an interesting twist with trombonist Dave Graf replacing Caviani. Boudreaux will also be on hand to give the ensemble a more distinct pulse as the poetry readings reinforce the theme of change.

Fat Kid Wednesdays at the Icehouse
Monday, November 18. Mike Lewis is hanging around his old stomping grounds this week, and Fat Kid Wednesdays will make fat sounds on Monday as this week's installment of JT's Jazz Implosion. Adam Linz and JT Bates round out one of the most inventive ensembles in the region. But catch them when you can as Lewis is now based in North Carolina.

One of my favorite groups of improvisers, the Fantastic Merlins are back for a night at the Black Dog -- Brian Roessler, Pete Hennig and Nathan Hanson.

Tuesday, November 19. Led by Doug Haining and Scott Agster, the Explosion Big Band will, indeed, explode as Big Band Tuesday's featured ensemble at Jazz Central. Doug and Scott round up a who's who of Twin Cities jazz and cut loose on a wide-ranging playlist.

Chris Lomheim
Wednesday, November 20. It's maybe close to 20 years since I first was mezmerized by Chris Lomheim's elegant piano-- and he just gets more and more engaging. With his trio, Chris will take over Jazz Central tonight. Over at Cafe Maude in Southwest Minneapolis, the Zacc Harris Trio entertains diners and bar patrons. Original music typically dominates. And the kitchen brings out food that complements the originality of the music.

Thursday, November 21. If the AQ closes, even for a short time, will we be able to hear the Pete Whitman X-Tet? Somewhere, for sure, but more reason to get to the Artists Quarter tonight! The cast rotates to some degree but we can predict with high certainty that the ensemble led by Pete nearly monthly at the AQ will be unsurpassed by any other. Here or elsewhere.

Phil Mattson Singers
The Phil Mattson Singers, with some shifts in personnel, hold an infrequent gathering tonight at Jazz Central. Phil is a nationally acclaimed arranger for vocal ensembles, and you'll hear why.



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, November 15. Irv Williams and Peter Schimke, happy hour at the Dakota; Phil Aaron and James Buckley, dinner sets at the Icehouse; vocal night at Parma 8200; Lee Engele and Reynold Philipsek at the Wine Market (Mendota Heights)



Saturday, November 16. Charmin and Shapira at Midtown Global Market (12:30 pm); Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); East Side at Hell's Kitchen; John Devine at the Red Stag



Sunday, November 17. Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster Cafe; Robert Everest, brunch at Maria's; Cate Fierro CD release at the Dakota



Shilad Sen
Monday, November 18. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Headspace at the Artists Quarter; Tom Krochock and Shilad Sen at Jazz Central



Tuesday, November 19. Cory Wong Quartet followed by the Dave Brattain Quartet at the Artists Quarter



Wednesday, November 20. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Steve Kenny Group 47 followed by Miguel Hurtado and Friends at the Artists Quarter; Wolverines Trio at Hell's Kitchen; Robert Bell and Maud Hixson at Barbette



Thursday, November 21. Jazzland Wonderland at the Red Stag; Beasley's Big Band at Wabasha Street Caves



Coming Soon!

. November 22-23, Lulu's Playground CD Release at the Artists Quarter

. November 25-26, Roberta Gambarini at the Dakota

. November 26, Adam Meckler Orchestra at the Artists Quarter

. November 27, Phil Hey Quartet at the Artists Quarter

. November 29, Atlantis Quartet at the Icehouse

. November 29-30, Pat Mallinger and the Bill Carrothers Trio at the Artists Quarter

. December 2, Joey DeFrancesco at the Dakota

. December 5, Dakota Combo at the Artists Quarter (Young Artists Showcase)

. December 6, Reynold Philipsek CD release at 318 Café

. December 6-7, Happy Apple at the Artists Quarter

. December 7, Jana Nyberg Group CD Release at the Dakota

. December 8, AQ Fundraiser at the Artists Quarter

. December 8, Bill Frisell's Big Sur Quartet at The Cedar

. December 8, PipJazz Sundays with special guest Nicholas Carter

. December 13, Laura Caviani holiday CD Release at the Artists Quarter

. December 14, Lucia Newell, Jazz at Studio Z

. December 14, Tuesday Night Band Reunion at the Artists Quarter

. December 15, Ginger Commodore and Robert Robinson Holiday Show at the Dakota

. December 16, Peter Kogan jazz ensemble at the Dakota

. December 17, Atlantis Quartet at the Dakota

. December 19, "Merry and Bright" with Charles Lazarus at Wayzata Community Church

. December 19, Larry McDonough Quartet CD Release at the Artists Quarter

. December 19, George Maurer Holiday Show at the Dakota

. December 20-21, Eric Alexander and David Hazeltine at the Artists Quarter

. December 21, Maud Hixson and the Wolverines Trio, "Let It Snow" at Bloomington Center for the Arts, Schneider Theater

. December 22-23, Karrin Allyson Holiday Show at the Dakota

. December 26-29, The Bad Plus at the Dakota (12/29 Rite of Spring)

. January 11, Lee Engele, Jazz @ St. Barneys

. January 11, Adam Meckler Orchestra, Jazz at Studio Z

. February 19-20, "Guitars of Passion" (Romero Lubambo, Stanley Jordan and Sharon Isbin) at the Dakota

. February 22, Connie Evingson, Jazz @ St. Barneys

. February 25-26, Terence Blanchard Quintet at the Dakota

. March 16, Pat Metheny Unity Group at the Fitzgerald Theater

. April 8, Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau at the Walker

. April 9, Brad Mehldau Trio at the Walker

. May 15-17, Ragamala Dance Company and Rudresh Mahanthappa at the Walker

. June 26-28, Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Mears Park (St Paul)


Roberta Gambarini at the Dakota, November 25-26









Thursday, November 7, 2013

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




 
Roy Hargrove Returns to the Dakota
© Andrea Canter



With the Zeitgeist New Music Cabaret featuring some favorite jazz ensembles, a double header weekend with Bryan Nichols at the Artists Quarter, Allen Toussaint at the Dakota, PipJazz Youth All-Stars at Landmark Center, and the JazzMN salute to Tito Puente-- all this weekend, there's no excuse for staying home! And then there's the line-up for the coming week, which includes Dean Magraw, Valve Meets Slide and a relatively new ensemble with Laura Caviani and Pete Whitman at the Artists Quarter, Roy Hargrove at the Dakota..... The fall jazz season is in full swing!



Big Gigs This Week

Bryan Nichols
Friday, November 8. The first of two ensemble gigs this weekend, pianist/composer Bryan Nichols brings a new quartet to the Artists Quarter to celebrate Duke Ellington. Most often heard playing original works and arrangements of the likes of Jarrett, Coleman and others of a 21st century bent, this is a rare opportunity to hear Nichols interpret a 20th century giant. He's on stage with frequent partners Brandon Wozniak and James Buckley, along with area newcomer Cory Healy on drums.



Maud Hixson
For a relaxed evening of swinging vocals, check out Maud Hixson with Phil Aaron and Gordy Johnson at Parma 8200 in Bloomington, where you can enjoy first class music and a sure-to-please-all menu in the bar/lounge. Personally I can't think of a better way to end the week than with Maude and a plate of cannoli.



And tonight marks the first-ever Harrelson Trumpets Summit at Jazz Central Studios! The showcase brings in three top trumpeters --Mark Bobnick, Geoffrey West Senn, and Todd Tanji, performing with the "Jazz Central Trio" (Tanner Taylor, Mac Santiago, and a bassist -- I'll bet on Graydon Peterson).



Anthony Cox (Mother of Masks)
Friday-Sunday, November 8-10. The remainder of the Zeitgeist New Music Cabaret at Studio Z, which began on Thursday, promises many delights for fans of modern jazz and generally "new music." Friday night promises a student ensemble from Perpich, new music group the Renegade Ensemble, the always-intriguing Zeitgeist, and the Zacc Harris Quartet. On Saturday, catch the duo of Patrick Harison and Josh Granowski with accordion, bass and electronics; Zeitgeist, and Mother of Masks, featuring Louis Alemayehu, Mankwe Ndosi, Donald Washington, Anthony Cox and Davu Seru—-big-hearted stalwarts of the Twin Cities jazz, spoken word, and improvised music scene. And Sunday, the line-up includes the Adam Meckler Orchestra, Zeitgeist, and the Nathan Hanson Saxophone Choir. Each evening is $10---for three bands.



Rey Rivera (JazzMN)
Saturday, November 9. Where to go tonight? In Hopkins, the JazzMN Orchestra pays tribute to Latin percussion legend Tito Puente, focusing on the talents of our own Latin legend, Rey Rivera and vocalist Lucia Newell. This is a rare chance to hear Lucia fronting a big band, reprising her early career gigs in Rio and Mexico City. In downtown Minneapolis, a legend of New Orleans, pianist/composer/songwriter Allen Toussaint performs two sets at the Dakota. And in downtown St. Paul, Bryan Nichols returns with his Quintet for an evening of all original music, including some new works. Joining Nichols tonight will be his usual quintet with Brandon Wozniak and Mike Lewis on saxes, James Buckley on bass and JT Bates on drums. Nichols sadly notes that this is likely his last time leading bands at the current incarnation of the Artists Quarter before the lights go out at the end of 2013.



Steve Faison
Saturday-Sunday, November 9-10. Another in the Capri Theater's outstanding productions, Knights in Harlem celebrates the unsung baritones that fronted the Basie band. The Wolverines Trio (celebrating 40 years) backs Dennis Spears and Stephen Faison, who will bring us the songs of Joe Williams, Billy Eckstine, Johnny Hartman, and Arthur Prysock. (Saturday night and Sunday matinee!)







Will Kjeer
Sunday, November 10.  Every November for the past three season, the PipJazz Sundays series focuses on the talents of young jazz artists. Featured "PipJazz Youth All-Stars" performing with the PipJazz Experience band and Pippi Ardennia at Landmark Center include pianists Will Kjeer and Jo Schad, saxophonist DeVante Jackson, vibist Levi Schwartzberg and bassist Sam Worthington.



"Jazz at the Jungle" resumes at the Jungle Theater under the leadership of vocalist Connie Evingson. With a matinee and evening show, "Ellingtonia" brings the music of Duke Ellington to life as Connie sings backed by a lot of guys named Haining -- Doug Haining (alto sax), Preston Haining (trumpet),  and Trevor Haining (drums), along with Dave Karr (tenor sax), Tanner Taylor (piano), and Gordy Johnson (bass).  (Call for ticket availability as this show is nearly sold out.)
Connie Evingson



Eat Street Social brings more jazz to South Minneapolis, with weekly Sunday nights alternating between guitarist Zacc Harris and saxophonist Doug Little, each performing with a revolving cast. Tonight and every second and fourth Sunday belong to Zacc.



Monday, November 11. With Mike Lewis in town, it's time for Fat Kid Wednesdays at the Icehouse for this week's installment of Jazz Implosion. With pals Adam Linz and JT Bates-- have to catch this band whenever we can!

I started writing about pianist Joe Strachan when he was still a student at Northfield High School, winning the Schubert Club/Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education Jazz Piano Scholarship Competition and taking over the piano bench for the Dakota Combo. Since, he has held the piano chair for Jazz I at the U of M, graduating last spring, and now is a much sought-after keyboardist for a growing list of young area bandleaders like Jake Baldwin and Miguel Hurtado. He's in the spotlight tonight as the featured artist at Jazz Central.
Joe Strachan



Tuesday-Wednesday, November 12-13. Leading a long-running and exceptionally simpatico quintet, Roy Hargrove returns for two nights at the Dakota.  With horn partner Justin Robinson (alto) and distinguished young pianist Sullivan Fortner, Hargrove's band has been blowing some of the finest mainstream modern on today's jazz scene, and this marks a nearly annual gig at the Dakota.



Brad Bellows and Dave Graf
Wednesday, November 13. Time for Chris Bates' monthly improv night at Jazz Central, tonight with bassist Fred Bretschger of the SPCO. Across town at the Artists Quarter, it's a command performance by the double bone quintet, Valve Meets Slide, with Brad Bellow playing valve, Dave Graf playing slide, and both playing as only these great musicians can. Joyfully and artfully.



Five by Design
Thursday, November 14. Who are the Jesters of Passion? I asked Laura Caviani -- it's an ensemble that has performed infrequently and now is releasing a recording at the Artists Quarter. The band includes long-time colleagues Laura on piano, Pete Whitman (sax), Chris Olson (guitar), Gary Raynor (bass); and Dave Schmalenberger (drums). Can't find fault with that line-up. Over at Jazz Central, it's Vocal Night, and you can multiply that by five as Five By Design squeezes into the studio space to present a preview of their new recording, Live From the Ultra Lounge.



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, November 8. Irv Williams and Peter Schimke, happy hour at the Dakota; Rick Carlson and Brian Courage, dinner sets at the Icehouse; Acme Jazz Company, Chaska Community Theater; Classic Big Band, Bloomington K of C Hall; Sophia Shorai at Hell's Kitchen; Tommy and the Lieberman at the Aster Cafe; Ginger Commodore and Yolande Bruce at the Dakota



Saturday, November 9. Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; Tanner Taylor and Brian Courage, dinner sets at the Icehouse; Triose' at Shanghai Bistro (Hudson, WI)



Sunday, November 10. Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster Cafe; Robert Everest, brunch at Maria's; Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra with Charmin Michelle at Cinema Ballroom; Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson with Patty and the Buttons at the Dakota



Monday, November 11. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Headspace at the Artists Quarter; JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse; South High School Jazz I and II at South High Auditorium; Twin Cities Hot Club at Famous Dave's (Uptown)



Chris Olson
Tuesday, November 12. Chris Olson Project at the Black Dog; Cory Wong Quartet followed by Dean Magraw & Friends at the Artists Quarter; Cedar Av Big Band at Jazz Central; Jack Brass Band at the Amsterdam Bar



Wednesday, November 13. Steve Kenny's Group 47 followed by Valve Meets Slide at the Artists Quarter; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Wolverines Trio at Hell's Kitchen



Thursday, November 14. Connie and Herb at the Bean (Andover); Minnesota Jazz Orchestra at Wabasha Street Caves; Patrick Harison, early evening at the Icehouse



Coming Soon!

. November 15-16, Lew Tabackin at the Artists Quarter

. November 16, Laura Caviani and Pete Whitman, Jazz @ St Barneys (St Barnabas Arts Center)

. November 16, Richard Johnson and Tanner Taylor, Tribute to Oscar Peterson, Jazz at Studio Z

. November 16, Steve Cole CD Release with the Petersons at the Dakota

. November 17, Soul Cafe at Hennepin Av Methodist Church

. November 20, Zacc Harris Trio at Cafe Maude

. November 21, Pete Whitman X-Tet at the Artists Quarter

. November 22-23, Lulu's Playground CD Release at the Artists Quarter

. November 25-26, Roberta Gambarini at the Dakota

. November 26, Adam Meckler Orchestra at the Artists Quarter

. November 27, Phil Hey Quartet at the Artists Quarter

. November 29, Atlantis Quartet at the Icehouse

. November 29-30, Pat Mallinger and the Bill Carrothers Trio at the Artists Quarter

. December 2, Joey DeFrancesco at the Dakota

. December 5, Dakota Combo at the Artists Quarter (Young Artists Showcase)

. December 6, Reynold Philipsek CD release at 318 Café

. December 6-7, Happy Apple at the Artists Quarter

. December 7, Jana Nyberg Group CD Release at the Dakota

. December 8, Bill Frisell's Big Sur Quartet at The Cedar

. December 13, Laura Caviani holiday CD Release at the Artists Quarter

. December 14, Lucia Newell, Jazz at Studio Z
. December 14, Tuesday Night Band Reunion at the Artists Quarter

. December 19, "Merry and Bright" with Charles Lazarus at Wayzata Community Church
. December 19, Larry McDonough Holiday CD Release at the Artists Quarter
. December 20-21, Eric Alexander and David Hazeltine at the Artists Quarter

. December 21, Maud Hixson and the Wolverines Trio, "Let It Snow" at Bloomington Center for the Arts, Schneider Theater

. December 22-23, Karrin Allyson Holiday Show at the Dakota

. December 26-29, The Bad Plus at the Dakota (12/29 Rite of Spring)

. December 31, New Year's Eve Party at the Artists Quarter

. January 11, Lee Engele, Jazz @ St. Barneys

. January 11, Adam Meckler Orchestra, Jazz at Studio Z

. February 22, Connie Evingson, Jazz @ St. Barneys
. February 24-25, Terence Blanchard Quartet at the Dakota

. March 16, Pat Metheny Unity Group at the Fitzgerald Theater

. April 8, Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau at the Walker
. April 9, Brad Mehldau Trio at the Walker

Lew Tabackin Returns to the Artists Quarter, November 15-16