Friday, March 21, 2014

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, March 21-27

Adam Meckler -- Quintet and Orchestra this week!
© Andrea Canter

The weekend gets off to a jazz-busy start, from Orchestra Hall and contemporary trumpet king Chris Botti's second night to little Jazz Central's Bridge series and local jazz trumpet monster Adam Meckler, with a rare performance with his Quintet.  Some hot vocals, sizzling guitars, inventive big bands and more fill out the coming week as we welcome a stubborn spring. Forget the forecast, come out and enjoy the music.

Big Gigs This Week

Adam Meckler
Friday, March 21. Contemporary jazz star Chris Botti finishes his two-night run at Orchestra Hall with some pretty impressive sidemen, including pianist Taylor Eigsti, bassist Richie Goods and drummer Billy Kilson. A couple miles north at Jazz Central, Twin Cities-based trumpet giant Adam Meckler cuts loose with his Quintet (Kevin Gastonguay, Zacc Harris, Graydon Peterson and Greg Schutte), part of the new Friday night "Bridge" series -- that invisible bridge between the late Artist Quarter and the many musicians who used to try out their new material in the safety of hard core jazz fans. And come hungry-- Vanessa has branched out beyond tacos at Jazz Central.

Brad Bellows
There's more top brass tonight, as the Brad Bellows/Donald Washington Quartet fills the Black Dog with creative sounds, to go with some good beer and fresh espresso. Valve trombone, bari sax-- it's bottoms up at the Dog! But if you are really in the mood for ballads and standards, you can do no better than Rhonda Laurie, performing tonight at Parma 8200. Reservations recommended if you want to be in the bar lounge!  And no matter where you start your evening, plan to come by the Dakota for Late Night with Courageous Endeavors -- one of the area's most sophisticated among bands of young lions, with Nelson Devereaux, Joe Strachan, Brian Courage and Miguel Hurtado. (If you heard Joe and Brian at Jazz Central last Monday, you know what can happen!)

Todd Clouser
Saturday, March 22. Jazz in a brewery? Not so strange, at least not in the Twin Cities. Harriet Brewing has been hosting modern jazz ensembles for the past year, and this afternoon (4-6 pm), catch two amazing string players-- Mexico-based Todd Clouser and local hero Chris Bates. And of course, enjoy a craft brew.  Later, Nachito Herrera makes his monthly pilgrimage to the Dakota, bringing along some Cuban fire. Recently, this amazing pianist was named Immigrant of Distinction for 2014 by the local chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Butch Thompson
Sunday, March 23. Two alums of Prairie Home Companion team up at the Dakota for an evening of musical fun -- stride piano star Butch Thompson joins folk/blues guitarist/songwriter Pat Donahue for a night as worthy of Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegone as any stage in New York. Reservations highly recommended.

Chris Olson
Monday, March 24. Seldom in the spotlight but always spot-on, guitarist Chris Olson is the Featured Artist on this Monday night series at Jazz Central, performing tonight with pianist Tanner Taylor and drummer Adrian Suarez. And to keep the guitar theme going into the wee hours, head over to Barbette for some late night carousing with Joel Shapira and Dean Magraw. Fans of jazz guitar--this is like the Olympics.

Mac Santiago
Tuesday, March 25. Big band fans-- you can't go wrong unless you can't make up your mind tonight! The Latin edge is on display at Jazz Central with the newly formed Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra, headed by Geoff Senn and Mac Santiago,  while the modern new music trends in big band composition will be on display at the Amsterdam for the monthly gig of the Adam Meckler Orchestra. The AMO will be heading into the recording studio the following weekend-- this is their last public warm-up. It's hard to imagine that there's anyone left to play in town tonight between the stellar casts of these two big bands!

Claudia Schmidt and Dean Magraw
Wednesday, March 26. Sometimes more jazz, sometimes more folk, always great music-- Claudia Schmidt returns to the Dakota with a bunch of fine friends including Dean Magraw, celebrating the release of New Whirled Order. Claudia says of her19th recording, 6th with Red House Records, "New Whirled Order is a collection of things I've been writing in the last couple years, and a collection of really amazing musicians...The result is a sparkling and powerful musical adventure. I am gleeful!" We will be gleeful as well.

Over at Jazz Central, a new ensemble headed by pianist/composer Dan Musselman focuses on improvised original music. The Dan Musselman Collective includes guitarist David Feily, bassist Andrew Bergmann, and drummer Zach Schmidt.

Reynold Philipsek
Thursday, March 27. It's Vocal Night at Jazz Central and a very special treat tonight as acclaimed and prolific guitarist/composer Reynold Philipsek gives us a good sampling of his vocal side, from standards to original tunes, accompanied by bassist Matt Senjem. Stick around for the second set as Maryann Sullivan adds her voice and some songs from Blossom Dearie. In St Paul, it's the monthly gig with the Talking Strings, a sublime trio with Pavel Janey, Gary Schulte and Dan Weston.

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 21. Irv Williams and Peter Schimke, happy hour at the Dakota; Todd Harper, solo piano at the Black Dog; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar (Saint Paul Hotel); Vic Volare Quintet at Hell's Kitchen

Saturday, March 22. Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar (Saint Paul Hotel); Bryan Nichols and James Buckley, dinner sets at the Icehouse; Rhizosphere at the Black Dog

Sunday, March 23. Robert Everest, brunch at Maria's Cafe; The Girls Reunion at Unity Christ Church (Golden Valley); Zacc Harris Trio at Riverview Wine Bar; Doug Little Quartet at Eat Street Social; Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra at Cinema Ballroom
Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra

Monday, March 24. Denny Malmberg and guest at Fireside Pizza; JT's Jazz Implosion featuring the Fall of the House of Usher at the Icehouse; Sophia Shorai at the Dakota

Tuesday, March 25. Cafe Accordion at Loring Pasta Bar; Rick Carlson at Cafe Maude

Wednesday, March 26. Zacc Harris Group at Hell's Kitchen; Denny Malmberg and guest at Fireside Pizza; Twin Cities Hot Club at Barbette

Thursday, March 27. Arne Fogel at Hell's Kitchen; Swingbeat Big Band at Wabasha Street Caves; Alicia Renee and Chris Lomheim at Christo's (Union Depot)

Coming Soon!

. March 28, Maud Hixson at Parma 8200

. March 28, Babatunde Lea Trio at Jazz Central

. 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 2, Chris Bates' Fall of the House of Usher at Jazz Central

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

. April 3, Lila Ammons and Axel

. 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 11, Catherine Russell at the Fairmont Opera House (Fairmont, MN)

. April 11, Jeremy Walker, CD Release (7 Psalms) at Bethel College

. 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 18, Ginger Commodore and Dennis Spears at the Dakota

. April 19, Bobby McFerrin at Orchestra Hall

. April 19, Jazz at Studio Z (TBA)

. April 21, José James at The Cedar

. April 21-22, Steve Tyrell at the Dakota

. 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 26-27, Victor Wooten 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 3-5, Iowa City Jazz Festival (Tom Harrell, Joe Lovano, Anat Cohen, Ingrid Jensen, Jared Gold)

. July 7-8, Bill Frisell Quartet (Greg Leisz, Tony Scherr and Kenny Wollesen) at the Dakota

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