Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, July 4-10

Bill Frisell and his quartet return to the Dakota July 7-8
© Andrea Canter

Is there jazz after the jazz festival? More than ever, it seems. Basking in the post-festival glow, we can look forward to more festival music five hours south of the Twin Cities as the Iowa City Jazz Festival gets underway July 3 and continues through the 5th; Bill Frisell returns with his "Guitar in the Space Age"; Steve Kenny's new All Originals jazz series gets underway at Studio Z; bass sage Francois Rabbath comes to town for clinics and performance at McNally Smith; and former McNally faculty Kristin Sponcia is back in town for the summer, appearing on the Vocal Jazz showcase at Jazz Central. No  post-festival let down here!

Big Gigs This Week

Jazz and Fireworks in Iowa City
Thursday-Saturday, July 3-5. Still in a festival mood? Nothing is more festival than three days of world-class jazz over the 4th of July weekend, and the Iowa City Jazz Festival has been named on of the nation's ten best. Best of all for Twin Citians, it's about a 5-hour drive south, and if you get out well ahead of Thursday night rush hour, the drive is pretty easy. Thursday night, hear B-3 organ young lion Jared Gold and Afro-Cuban percussion wonder Pedrito Martinez (hot off a night at the Dakota). On Friday, headliners include Ingrid and Christine Jensen's Nordic Connect, based on compositions Ingrid wrote for Maria Schneider and featuring an all-star "sub" -- pianist Geoffrey Keezer, familiar to most Twin Citians as a favorite son from Eau Claire. Later in the evening hear trumpeter Etienne Charles' "Creole Soul" and living legend Joe Lovano's 2-drum ensemble, Us Five.   

Melissa Aldana
And if you like Francisco Mela behind one of those trapsets (and of course, you do!), he pops up again on Saturday with one of the hits of the Twin Cities festival, young sax phenom Melissa Aldana and Crash Trio.  Not much beyond young lion status herself, Anat Cohen and her accomplished quartet take the early evening slot,  and the festival closes trumpet master Tom Harrell's Colors of a Dream ensemble, a horn-heavy, double-double bass outfit with Jaeel Shaw, Wayne Escoffrey, Ugonna Okegwo, Johnathan Blake and Grammy-winner Esperanza Spalding. Consider this Fireworks, Part One. (Note - the usual venue for the main stage, the Pentacrest, is too soggy so the stage will be relocated to the intersection of Iowa Avenue and Dubuque Street. Check state road information regarding main streets that may be closed due to recent flooding.)

Maud Hixson and Arne Fogel
Friday, July 4. What could be better than music in the park with fireworks for the 4th? Come out to Excelsior Commons Park to hear the Wolverines Big Band with big voices -- Judi Donaghy Vinar, Arne Fogel and Maud Hixson, followed by the only public fireworks on Lake Minnetonka. There's also an air show and more -- you can make a day of it. (Rain date, July 5.)

Saturday, July 5. Keep your festival ears on, tonight Patty Peterson and Friends (Jason Peterson DeLaire, Paul Peterson, and Bobby Vandell) return to the Icehouse.

Ryan Christianson
Monday, July 7. A young trombone monster is on the loose at Jazz Central for Featured Artist Night. Freelancer Ryan Christianson began playing trombone at age 2 (!), and launched his pro career at age 13 with Dick King and the Classic Swing Band in Grand Forks, ND. Ryan is completing his degree in Trombone Performance and Music Education at the U of M, and recently was runner-up in the International Trombone Association's Carl Fontana Competition for young trombonists under age 22. Already at Jazz Central every month with the Bill Simenson Orchestra, Ryan will be in the spotlight tonight.

At the Icehouse, it's tenor sax sensation Jason Squinobal with an "imploding" quartet featuring Dave Hagedorn, Chris Bates and JT Bates. Director of Jazz at U of M Morris, Squinobal graduated from Berklee College of Music where he studied with George Garzone and Jerry Bergonzi, among others.

Bill Frisell
Monday-Tuesday, July 7-8Bill Frisell has been a frequent visitor in the past few years, with his Beautiful Dreamers, Lennon-McCartney, and Big Sur projects. Now he's back with his quartet (bassist Tony Scherr, drummer Kenny Wollesen, and frequent special guest lap steel ace Greg Liesz) to explore  "Guitar in the Space Age" at the Dakota. Looking back to his early influences, Frisell and company explore the the 50s-60s music of jazz icon Charlie Christian, rock pioneers Chuck Berry, Duane Eddy, Link Wray and The Wrecking Crew, surf music legends Dick Dale, The Ventures and The Astronauts, and country music stars Chet Atkins, Speedy West, Jimmy Bryant and Merle Travis.

Wednesday, July 9.    Led by bassist Kameron Markworth, Latvian Cat Circus scampers into Jazz Central, featuring keyboardist Kevin Gastonguay and drummer Lars-Erik Larson. Kameron is an active composer and bandleader who performs with the Adam Meckler Orchestra, Jana Nyberg Group, Zacc Harris, Slow Lois and more.

Illicit Sextet
Thursday, July 10. Tough choices in Saint Paul tonight, with legendary bassist Francois Rabbath at McNally Smith and the opening concert by The Ilicit Sextet on the All Originals series curated by Steve Kenny at Studio Z. Fortuantely Rabbath starts an hour earlier, meaning you could start there and finish at Studio Z. Kenny's series continues every Thursday night at Studio Z through mid-September, featuring bands that emphasize performance of original music. And at Jazz Central, former McNally Smith faculty Kristin Sponcia brings her keyboard and vocal talents back to town, after a year at the U of Miami and preparing for further graduate studies at the University of Illinois. But first, some fun on Vocal Jazz night!

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. Sorry -- jazz fest weekend precludes any further listings on the Lead Sheet!

Friday, July 4. Irv Williams Trio on the Patio at the Dakota; Debbie Duncan at Hell's Kitchen

Saturday, July 5. Joel Shapira at Hell's Kitchen; Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; Parisota Hot Club at Loring Pasta Bar; Pigs' Eye Jass Band at the Eagle's Club

Sunday, July 6. Robert Everest, brunch at Maria's; Maryann Sullivan "Corner Jazz" at All Saints Lutheran Church (Cottage Grove); Zacc Harris Trio at Riverview Wine Bar; T Collective at the Icehouse

Monday, July 7. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Southside Aces at at Famous Dave's (Uptown)

Tuesday, July 8. Bill Simenson Orchestra at Jazz Central; Cafe Accordion Orchestra at Loring Pasta Bar

Wednesday, July 9. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Wolverines Trio with Arne Fogel at Hell's Kitchen

Thursday, July 10. Jason Weisman at Hell's Kitchen; Alicia Renee and Chris Lomheim, Jazz @ Christos (Union Depot); Glen David Andrews at the Dakota; Twin Cities 7 with Charmin Michelle, "Music in the Park" (Hopkins)

Coming Soon!

. July 11, Steve Kenny Quartet at the Black Dog

. July 12, John Raymond, discussion and quartet performance at Jazz Central

. July 13, Retro Swing Sister, Nicollet Commons Park

. July 14, John Raymond Quartet at the Icehouse

. 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 19, Mobile Jazz Festival at Rice Park

. July 24, All Originals Jazz series, Zacc Harris Group at Studio Z

. July 25, Laura Caviani workshop at Schmitt Music (Edina) and trio concert at Jazz Central

. 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

John Raymond takes a break from New York for gigs at Jazz Central and the Icehouse in July