Friday, March 14, 2014

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, March 14-20

Connie Evingson - back to back gigs this weekend

© Andrea Canter

Back to back gigs with one of the area's most notable singers; a long-overdue gig with one of the area's to pianists; and some new music from one of our most prolific composers get the weekend off to a flying start, followed by our popular regional jazz band with some pretty amazing guest vocalists from New York and a small theater show with one of the world's top guitarists. Plus exciting sets in small spaces from the Merlins, Fat Kids, Atlantis and more fill out the week.

Big Gigs This Week

Peter Schimke
Friday, March 14. Without the Artists Quarter, seems we don;t get to hear our favorites as often. But tonight, the Bridge Series at Jazz Central features piano giant Peter Schimke and friends (Brandon Wozniak, Zacc Harris, Graydon Peterson, and Pete Hennig), and that should truly melt the remaining ice. Also filling the air with jazzy warmth, Connie Evingson takes over the bar lounge at Parma 8200, with unequaled support from Tanner Taylor and Gordy Johnson. (And if you can;t catch Connie tonight, there's always tomorrow...)

Reynold Philipsek
Saturday, March 15. Second chance to hear Connie Evingson, this time as part of Jazz @ St. Barneys (St. Barnabas Lutheran Church in Plymouth) and in hot club mode with the Parisota Hot Club and special guest, Dave Karr, one of Connie's long-time cohorts. And in Excelsior at his favorite haunt, the 318 Cafe, guitarist/composer Reynold Philipsek brings some new tunes and old friends-- percussionist Michael Bissonnette and bassist Jeff Brueske. It's pretty cozy at the 318 (reservation recommended) and your cover includes your pick from Reynold's back catalog.

JazzMN Orchestra
Sunday, March 16. In a rare matinee, the JazzMN Orchestra welcomes the return of the New York Voices to the third season concert at the Hopkins High School Auditorium. NYV -- Darmon Meader,  Peter Eldridge, Laura Kinhan and Kim Nazarian--recently celebrated 25 years of performing around the world, and there's been few cast changes over their history. Often compared to the Manhattan Transfer, NYV shares with TMT tight harmonies and a highly compatible, entertaining musical persona.  This evening at the Fitzgerald Theater, a rare iconic jazz evening with Pat Metheny coming to town with his Unity Band (Chris Potter, Ben Williams, Antonio Sanchez) and perhaps his Orchestrion apparatus?

Joe Strachan
Monday, March 17. It's St. Patrick's Day, not known for jazz. If you want leprechauns and green beer, head to your favorite Irish pub. If you want jazz, head to your most consistent jazz venues. At Jazz Central, young pianist Joe Strachan takes the spotlight as the "Featured Artist," paying tribute to the great Sonny Clark. Joe is already a veteran, playing with the Dakota Combo and winning the Schubert Club/Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education Jazz Piano Competition in high school, taking over the piano bench for Jazz I during his tenure at the U of M, and now, just a year since graduation, churning up the keyboards with other young lions like Brian Courage who joins him tonight on bass. 

Lulu's Playground
Further south at the Icehouse, two awesome but very different bands play back to back, starting with Lulu's Playground (cello, accordion, guitar and trumpet!) and then Fat Kid Wednesdays... on Monday of course. It's rumored that Lulu's will give us an Irish reel.
And if you are willing to brave the St Paddy's Day madness of St. Paul, escape to the Black Dog tonight for a magical evening with the Fantastic Merlins (Nathan Hanson, Brian Roessler and Pete Hennig). And most likely the bar will have something green.

JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske
Tuesday, March 18. If you've enjoyed pianist/vocalist JoAnn Funk in duo or trio formats in the Saint Paul Hotel's Lobby Bar, you might have wondered how she's sound in a more acoustic-friendly setting like.... the Dakota Jazz Club? Here's your chance as JoAnn and trio cohorts Jeff Brueske and Nathan Norman take the "big stage" for Foodie Night, entertaining with their trademark arrangements of standards and ballads from Billie Holiday to Blossom Dearie and more.

Wednesday, March 19. At Jazz Central tonight, "Pete Whitman Presents...." some invigorating music with talented pals. Over at Cafe Maude, the Zacc Harris Trio (with Matt Peterson and Pete Hennig) keep diners and bar patrons on their toes.

Atlantis Quartet
Thursday, March 20. What does a French modernist painter and a jazz quartet have in common? Improvisation? In conjunction with the Matisse exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, "Music and Matisse" offers music in the galleries, and tonight the Atlantis Quartet performs a few sets during the early evening exhibition hours. No extra charge for the music. Expect this inventive foursome to have something special cooked up.

At Orchestra Hall, trumpet king Chris Botti starts his two-night gig with an 8-piece band that includes a dynamite rhythm team of Taylor Eigsti, Richie Goods and Billy Kilson. Botti will be playing some of the music from his latest release, Impressions. And despite his commercial appeal and success, Botti can play one hot jazz trumpet! (Second night tomorrow, March 21.)

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, March 14. Irv Williams and Peter Schimke, happy hour at the Dakota; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar (Saint Paul Hotel); Classic Big Band at KC Hall (Bloomington); (Adrianna Lehr and Robert Bell), Late Night at the Dakota

Joel Shapira
Saturday, March 15. Joel Shapira Trio at Loring Pasta Bar; Benny Weinbeck Trio at  Parma 8200; JoAnn Funk in the Lobby Bar (Saint Paul Hotel); Tim Patrick and his Blue-Eyed Band at the Medina Ballroom

Sunday, March 16. Robert Everest, brunch at Maria's Café; Dan Newton's Café Accordion Orchestra at the Dakota; Zacc Harris Trio at Riverview Wine Bar; Doug Little Quartet at Eat Street Social

Monday, March 17.  Denny Malmberg and special guest Paula Lammers at Fireside Pizza; Neighborhood Trio at Barbette

Tuesday, March 18. Explosion Big Band at Jazz Central; River City Jazz Orchestra at Minnesota Music Cafe

Wednesday, March 19. Wolverines Trio with Sue Oatts at Hell's Kitchen; Denny Malmberg and special guest at Fireside Pizza; Jazz Finest Big Band with Lila Ammons at Eagles Aerie Club

Thursday, March 20. Barbara Meyer & Liz Lupien (Vocal Night) followed by the Abacus Trio at Jazz Central; Beasley's Big Band at Wabasha Street Caves; Alicia Renee and Chris Lomheim at Christo's (Union Depot)

Coming Soon!

. March 21, Chris Botti at Orchestra Hall

. March 21, Rhonda Laurie at Parma 8200

. March 21, Brad Bellows and Donald Washington Quartet at the Black Dog

. March 21, Adam Meckler Quintet at Jazz Central

. March 21, Courageous Endeavors, Late Night at the Dakota

. March 22, Todd Clouser and Chris Bates at Harriet Brewing

. March 22, Nachito Herrera at the Dakota

. March 23, Pat Donahue and Butch Thompson at the Dakota

. March 24, Chris Olson at Jazz Central

. March 24, Joel Shapira and Dean Magraw at Barbette

. March 25, Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra at Jazz Central

. March 25, Adam Meckler Orchestra at the Amsterdam Bar

. March 26, Graydon Peterson at Jazz Central

. March 27, Arne Fogel at Hell's Kitchen

. March 28, Maud Hixson at Parma 8200

. March 29, Rick Carlson and Steve Pikal, Jazz @St Barney's (St Barnabas Church, Plymouth)

. March 31, Valve Meets Slide at Jazz Central

. April 1, Dean Magraw/Davu Seru at the Black Dog

. April 3, Dean Granros and Joel Shapira at the Black Dog

. April 5, Dakota Combo with PipJazz Live, Capri 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 with Phil Hey Quartet, Bryan Nichols and more at Weyerhaeuser Auditorium of Landmark Center

. April 10, Delfeayo Marsalis at the Dakota

. April 12, Doc Severinsen at Orchestra Hall

. April 13, Connie Evingson and Jon Weber, Jazz at the Jungle (Theater)

. April 14, Good Vibes Trio, CD Release at the Icehouse

. April 15, Poncho Sanchez at the Dakota

. April 18, Ramsey Lewis and John Pizzarelli at Orchestra Hall

. April 19, Bobby McFerrin at Orchestra Hall

. April 19, Jazz at Studio Z (TBA)

. April 21, José James at The Cedar

. 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's One World Consort 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

. May 19-20, Cassandra Wilson at the Dakota

. May 29, Bill Charlap Trio at the Dakota

. June 16-17, Maceo Parker at the Dakota

. June 18, Ginger Baker Jazz Confusion at the Dakota

. June 26-28, Twin Cities Jazz Festival (Dianne Reeves, Branford Marsalis and more), Mears Park (St Paul)

. July 7-8, Bill Frisell at the Dakota

Adam Meckler -- Quintet (March 21) and Orchestra (March 25)