|James Carter returns to the Dakota, June 22|
© Andrea Canter
Get ready! The 2014 Twin Cities Jazz Festival is coming in just a few days! And there's some serious jazz and fun activities this weekend as we gear up for the biggest jazz event in the Upper Midwest! A favorite brass ensemble celebrates a CD release at the Icehouse; one of the kings of modern jazz brings his organ trio to the Dakota; two festival favorites team up to celebrate the Ella songbooks at The Jungle; a young favorite son returns for a pre-festival gig at Jazz Central; one of the most unique singers and entertainers in the genre stops at the Dakota; the third of three "Jazz in the Library" concerts sells Latin rhythms via Tres Mundos; the Jazz Central All-Stars join forces with Debbie Duncan to usher in the festival from a stage in Highland Village; and the annual Jazz Night Out on Thursday (starting way before dark) offers a full and festive kickoff for an unforgettable weekend.
Big Gigs/Festival Events
Friday, June 20. The Bridge Series at Jazz Central continues to present the talents that drew fans to the Artists Quarter. Tonight, saxophonist Tyler Anderson leads a trio with University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire connections-- bassist Jeremy Boettcher and drummer Adrian Suarez. Anderson released his first recording while still a UW-EC student, and following graduation headed out to North Carolina for a year of studies with Branford Marsalis. Marsalis was sufficiently impressed to invite Tyler to join him on a recent Midwest tour. The late set tonight is the monthly Jazz Crew hosted by South High jazzers and jammers.
At the Dakota, Cuban keyboard monster Nachito Herrera returns to solo format, presenting his acclaimed Music of the Americas show featuring compositions from Piazzola, Jobim, Lecuona and more. And over in Saint Paul, the Donald Washington Quartet expands to a Sextet at the Black Dog - with Donald (tenor, bari sax), Faye Washington (flute, piccolo and cello), Bill Lang (sax), Eric Jacobson (tuba), Doan Brian Roessler (bass), and Kevin Washington (drums). Should be twice as much fun and this band is stacked with talent -- even among those who are not named Washington!
Saturday, June 21. Great improvisers rule in Saint Paul while Minneapolis hosts some of our most popular (and entertaining) bands. At Studio Z, an "Improvisation Encounter" features free improvisation with McKnight Visiting Composer Jin Hi Kim on komungo (Korean zither) interacting with some of the most respected players of the Twin Cities improvised music scene, including Pat O’Keefe and Nathan Hanson (winds), Scott Miller and Steve Goldstein (electronics), and Dean Granros (guitar). One block over at the Black Dog, percussionist Davu Seru and eclectic keyboardist deVon Gray put their wide-ranging musical talents together for an evening of unpredictable delights.
|Jack Brass Band|
Sunday, June 22. Imagine culling through the eight volumes of the Ella Fitzgerald Songbooks for favorites of favorites? Vocalist Connie Evingson and pianist Jon Weber did just that, and have put together "The Best of" in two performances at the Jungle Theater (matinee and evening), with support from the elegant Gordy Johnson on bass. (Jon of course is sticking around for multiple performances throughout the festival in the coming week.) Another pair of favorites, especially among local swing dancers, Retro Swing Sister (Maryann Sullivan and Rhonda Laurie) begins a Swing Sunday residency at the Richfield American Legion (5-7 pm). This pair of vocalists joined together about two years ago, sharing their affinity for the great swinging tunes of the 20s-40s. So bring your dancing shoes!
Anytime James Carter comes to town, it's a must-see. Tonight he returns to the Dakota for two sets with his famed organ trio, with long-time cohorts and fellow Detroiters Gerard Gibbs on B-3 and Leonard King (now a Twin Cities resident) on drums. Carter is master of anything with a reed, particularly bari, tenor and soprano.... but he's no slouch on flute or bass clarinet either, and he usually travels with at least three of his horns.
Monday, June 23. In yet another preview of Jazz Festival talents, young Javi Santiago comes home to Jazz Central Studios as tonight's "Featured Artist." A Twin Cities native, pianist Javi was playing the festival as a young teen, starred with the South High jazz ensembles, Minnesota Youth Jazz Band and Dakota Combo, spent two years at the Dave Brubeck Institute and earned his degree at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in Manhattan. Now a Big Apple performer, composer, producer, arranger and educator, Javi will perform at two venues during the festival and conduct a clinic. At Jazz Central, we'll likely see dad Mac Santiago backing Javi on drums.
Tuesday, June 24. A unique and entertaining singer who covers nearly the totality of 20th century song, Grammy-winner Diane Schuur returns to the Dakota for one night. She'll be celebrating the release (this month) of I Remember You (With Love to Stan and Frank), already getting rave reviews. At Jazz Central, put some Latin in your swing with the Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra, a new band of young and veteran artists playing modern big band charts from south of the border.
Over at the Icehouse, instead of young lions we have Raging Bulls -- drum innovators JT Bates and Dave King dueling for this week's installment of JT's Jazz Implosion.
Wednesday, June 25. Now the festival is so close you can hear it! The last of the Jazz in the Library concerts starts off the night at the Arlington Hills Library, music courtesy of Doug Little's Tres Mundos (with pianist Viviana Pintado and conguero Eliezar Freitas-Santos); in Highland Village (Saint Paul), the Jazz Central All-Stars (sextet) join forces with vocalist Debbie Duncan to get everyone in a festival frame of mind. This sextet is otherwise performing only in towns of Greater Minnesota this summer, touring with support from Jefferson Lines and the Twin Cities Jazz Festival.
|Jazz Central All Stars|
Thursday, June 26. The festival's official kickoff, Jazz Night Out, expands to midday and afternoon music throughout Lowertown Saint Paul and along the new Green Line (University Avenue). Start out at the Daily Diner at 11:30 am with the Kevin Washington Quartet followed by Ginger COmmodore, or at Big Daddy's with the Butanes at 1:30 pm. The HealthPartners Main Stage at Mears Park opens at 6 pm with Foreign Motion followed by the Atlantis Quartet; there's a full night of music at the Amsterdam from 5 pm, at the Black Dog from 6 pm, at Studio Z from 5 pm with the first presentation of new commissioned works from Zacc Harris, Steve Kenny, Chris Bates and Davu Seru, followed by the first of three nights of jazz piano (Rick Carlson, Butch Thompson and Jon Weber). At Rice Park, the festival co-sponsors a swing dance with the Capri Big Band -- come early for a dance lesson! And that's a small part of it all-- find music throughout the area at two dozen venues. Festival schedule online!
More Jazz Every Night
Keep up with the live jazz scene in the Twin Cities -- check out calendars at Jazz Police, KBEM, Rhythm and Grooves as well as here on the blog. Some additional gigs of interest this week:
Friday, June 20. Irv Williams Trio, happy hour at the Dakota; Connie Olson at Parma 8200; Bryan Nichols and James Buckley, dinner sets at the Icehouse; Vic Volare at Hell's Kitchen
Saturday, June 21. Rick Carlson, brunch at the Icehouse; Charmin & Shapria, Midtown Global Market (12:30 pm); Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; Jon Pemberton Trio at Loring Pasta Bar; Tim Patrick Trio at Hell's Kitchen
Sunday, June 22. Paula Lammers and the Mary Louise Knutson Trio at Como Lakeside Pavilion (3 pm); Zacc Harris Trio at Riverview Wine Bar; Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra with Charmin Michelle at Cinema Ballroom
Monday, June 23. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Brio Brass at Como Lakeside Pavilion; Tommy and the Lieberman at the Dakota
Tuesday, June 24. Rick Carlson at Cafe Maude; Zacc Harris at the Black Dog
Wednesday, June 25. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Reid Kennedy Trio at Jazz Central; Wolverines Trio at Hell's Kitchen
Thursday, June 26. Barbara Bjork and Vicky Mountain at Jazz Central; Jazz at Christo's with Alicia Renee and Chris Lomheim
. June 27-28, Twin Cities Jazz Festival at Mears Park and other Saint Paul locations
. June 27, Joe Krown Trio at the Dakota
. June 30, Craig Handy at the Dakota
. July 1, Bill Simenson Orchestra at Jazz Central
. July 1, Nels Cline and Julian Lage at the Dakota
. July 2, Pedrito Martinez at the Dakota
. July 3-5, Iowa City Jazz Festival (Tom Harrell, Joe Lovano Us Five, Anat Cohen Quartet, Ingrid Jensen Nordic with Geoffrey Keezer, Jared Gold, Pedrito Martinez)
. July 7-8, Bill Frisell Quartet (Greg Leisz, Tony Scherr and Kenny Wollesen) at the Dakota
. July 10, All Originals Jazz series, The Illicit Sextet at Studio Z
. July 10. Kristin Sponcia at Jazz Central
. July 17, All Originals Jazz series, Courageous Endeavors at Studio Z
, July 17, Jazz Central All-Stars, St. James Memorial Park Band Shell (St. James, MN)
. July 24, All Originals Jazz series, Zacc Harris Group at Studio Z
. July 25, Laura Caviani workshop and trio concert at Schmitt Music (Edina)
. July 28, Steve Kenny Group 47, LP release at the Icehouse
. July 31, All Originals Jazz series, Red Planet at Studio Z
. July 31, Judi Donaghy Vinar and Rick Carlson at Jazz Central
. August 7, All Originals Jazz series, Mississippi at Studio Z
. August 14, All Originals Jazz series, Chris Lomheim Trio at Studio Z
. August 29, Reynold Philipsek, live documentary taping at 318 Cafe
. September 11, Adam Meckler Orchestra at Studio Z
. September 13, John Raymond, Jazz at Studio Z
. September 14, Selby Avenue Jazz Festival (Selby and Milton Av, Saint Paul)
. September 16, Meshell Ndgeocello at the Dakota
. September 17, Nellie McKay and the Turtle Island Quartet at the Dakota
. September 25, The Cookers at the Dakota
. September 29-30, Larry Coryell/Victor Bailey/Lenny White at the Dakota
. October 18-20, Herb Alpert and Lani Hall at the Dakota
|Branford Marsalis and his quartet headline Friday Night, June 27 at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival (Mears Park)|