Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, January 31-February 6

Joel Shapira release "Inherence" with help from Dean Granros on Wednesday
© Andrea Canter

While the loss of the Artists Quarter still leaves many fans wondering where to get their jazz fix, the sheer number of venues help generate a good range of options most any day of the week. Some local veterans keep us on the "sunny side of the street" despite the windchills this week.

Big Gigs This Week

Irv Williams and Peter Schimke
Friday, January 31. If you have not had a recent opportunity to hear the cross-generation duo of Irv Williams and Peter Schimke at their happy hour gig at the Dakota, check it out tonight! Sometimes joined by Billy Peterson, there is no local duo with as much empathy and mutual admiration than Irv and Peter, as their recording Duo testifies. And when he is taking a weekend away from studies at Luther College, young saxman Joshua Jones is often on hand to sit-in -- like tonight. That makes this ensemble at least 3 generations wide.

Tommy Bruce
Tommy Bruce came to his calling as a jazz singer later than most, but he's made up for lost time. Not only does he claim a prime time gig at Parma tonight, the bar/lounge tables were reserved weeks ago. But come on the early side-- the bar seating is open and you can order off the very reasonable menu and have a good vantage point to see and hear Tommy take off on ballads and swinging standards in the general mode of Chet Baker.  With Rick Carlson and Gordy Johnson, no less.

Friday-Saturday, January 31-February 1. Always hosting something new and exciting, Studio Z presents the annual Keys Please concert this weekend. Now in its 12th season, pianist composers Carei Thomas, Todd Harper and Paul Cantrell bring new and old compositions to the stage, this time with special guest, flautist Julie Johnson who is know to defy all rules relevant to her instrument. Flue with loop pedals and beatboxing? Only at Studio Z.  

Dave Karr
Monday, February 3. JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse is always worthwhile, but the first Mondays gig is unique meeting of bebop vet Dave Karr and avant garde acolytes Adam Linz and host JT Bates. There's no mismatch here -- saxman Dave more than holds his own with the "youngsters."

Dean Magraw
Tuesday, February 4. Top-notch big band, the Bill Simonsen Orchestra, holds its monthly gig at Jazz Central, where the big ensembles can be observed and enjoyed up-close and personal (that is intimate, not loud!); across town at the Black Dog, in another intimate space, enjoy the first Tuesday offering from guitarist Dean Magraw and special guest, drummer Eric Kamau Gravatt, an inventive duo if there ever was one.

Dean Granros
Wednesday, February 5. Hard to imagine putting together a more vibrant pair of guitars than Joel Shapira and Dean Granros. Dean steps in to help Joel celebrate the release of Inherence, recorded with guitarist Jack Desalvo in New Jersey and paying homage to Wayne Shorter, along with a couple other covers and some new tunes from Desalvo and some spontaneous works with Shapira. Jack couldn't get to Minnesota for this celebration but try to imagine a better "sub" than Dean Granros? At the Black Dog where intimacy is the rule.

Mac Santiago
Thursday, February 6. A few weeks ago, The Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra launched a monthly series of open rehearsals for this new large ensemble headed by Geoff Senn and Mac Santiago. Hard to imagine a better space for experimentation and audience involvement than Jazz Central!

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, January 31. Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Patrick Harison and Keith Boyles, dinner sets at the Icehouse; Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra with Charmin Michelle at the Medina Ballroom; Dennis Spears at the Dakota; Eastside at Hell's Kitchen; Gypsy Mania at the Red Stag
Saturday, February 1. Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; Nick Haas Trio at Loring Pasta Bar
Sunday, February 2. Robert Everest, brunch at Maria's Cafe; Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra with Charmin Michelle at Cinema Ballroom; Zacc Harris Trio at Riverview Winebar; Doug Little Quartet at Eat Street Social

Monday, February 3. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Southside Aces at Famous Dave's (Uptown); Joe Mayo at Jazz Central

Tuesday, February 4. "Live at 5" with Scott Agster and faculty, student ensembles at McNally Smith; Cafe Accordion at Loring Pasta Bar; Beasley's Big Band at O'Gara's

Wednesday, February 5. Seven Half Trio at Tangiers; Charmin Michelle with Laura Caviani and Tom Lewis at the Dakota; Denny Malmberg and Paula Lammers at Fireside Pizza; Anthony Cox (improv night) at Jazz Central; Wolverines Trio at Hell's Kitchen; Patrick Harison at Cafe Maude; Gypsy Mania at Barbette

Thursday, February 6. Moonlight Serenaders with Lee Engele at Wabasha Street Caves

Coming Soon!

. February 7, Jazz Police Young Artists Showcase at Jazz Central (Southside Jazz Combo)

. February 7, Twin Cities Jazz Festival "Winter Jazz Break" at the St Paul Hotel (JoAnn Funk, Jon Weber)

. February 13, Kurt Elling at the Dakota

. February 15, Shifting Paradigm Records Launch Party at Studio Z (Fat Kid Wednesdays, Atlantis Quartet, Bryan Nichols Quintet, Zacc Harris Quartet, Graydon Peterson Quartet)

. February 15, Koplant No at the Icehouse

. February 16, Gregory Porter at the Dakota

. February 17, Illicit Sextet at the Icehouse

. February 18, Benje Danemann Quartet/Jana Nyberg Group 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 22, "The Envelope Please" with Arne Fogel and Maud Hixson, Bloomington Center for the Arts

. February 22-23, "Girl Talk" (Pippi Ardennia, Charmin Michelle) at the Capri Theater

. February 24-25, Terence Blanchard Quintet at the Dakota

. February 26, Bobby Watson and Horizon at the Dakota

. February 28, Jack Brass Band Mardi Gras at Schneider Theater, Bloomington Center for Arts

. March 2, Dave King Trucking Company at Antonello Hall, MacPhail Center for Music

. March 8, Jazz at Studio Z (TBA)

. March 9, Cecile McLorin Salvant at the Dakota

. March 16, JazzMN Orchestra with New York Voices (matinee) at Hopkins High School Auditorium

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

. April 5-6, Charmin and Shapira and Friends, Black Box Theater (Bloomington)

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

. April 9, Brad Mehldau Trio at the Walker

. April 9-10, Matt Slocum Trio CD release at Weyerhaeuser Auditorium of Landmark Center

. April 10, Delfeayo Marsalis at the Dakota

. April 19, Jazz at Studio Z (TBA)

. April 26, Miguel Zenon with the JazzMN Orchestra, Hopkins High School

. April 27, Jazz Noir with John Penny, live broadcast on KBEM from the Dakota

. April 27, Earth Day Concert, Dave Milne Octet at Lake Harriet Spiritual Community

. April 28, Joe Lovano Us Five at the Dakota

. May 3, PipJazz "Women in Jazz" workshop and concert at Maplewood Community Center

. May 10, Jazz at Studio Z (TBA)

. May 15, Jazz Thursdays with the Dakota Combo at MacPhail Center for Music

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

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

South High students "Southside Quintet" coming to Jazz Central, Feb 7