Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, March 28 - April 3



Babatunde Lea at Jazz Central Friday Night

© Andrea Canter

The weather experts say March came in like a Polar Bear and is going out like a Lion. Lions are always welcome in jazz! And there are plenty around in the coming week, from one of our newer resident percussion gurus to a pair of virtuosic trombonists to a good handful of modern improvisers, fleet-fingered guitarists, silver-tongued vocalists, and more. Maybe soon spring will jump up and we'll remember April!



Big Gigs This Week

Babatunde Lea
Friday, March 28. The Bridge Series at Jazz Central -- initiated to fill the gap left by the closing of the Artists Quarter--continues with the JC debut of percussion master Babatunde Lea. Relatively new to this area, Lea is a pioneer in applications of African rhythms to American jazz. At one time or another he played with Stan Getz, Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, Randy Weston, Van Morrison and, particularly, Oscar Brown, Jr, and counts Leon Thomas as a significant mentor. Tonight he mixes it up with two terrific string players, guitarist Zacc Harris and bassist Chris Bates.



Maud Hixson
For your vocal listening pleasures, look no further than Parma 8200 and the almost monthly gig with Maud Hixson and her swinging cohorts, Rick Carlson and Steve Pikal, who are going to warm up for their Jazz @St. Barneys show (see Saturday!).



Saturday, March 29. One of the best bargains for a concert-like jazz experience, the Jazz @ St. Barney's series brings top area jazz artists to the "stage" mostly monthly. Tonight, one of the longest-running instrumental duos, typically heard in supporting roles, takes the spotlight. Pianist Rick Carlson and bassist Steve Pikal swing hard no matter what the material, but expect them to draw from the books of Basie, Ellington and other great composers and bandleaders of the Swing Era. Don't be surprised if they make you laugh along the way.
Steve Pikal and Rick Carlson



Monday, March 31. A couple gigs featuring long-running partnerships: At the Dakota, Charmin & Shapira and Friends is a Foodie Night special featuring vocalist Charmin Michelle (just back from her annual tour of Spain) and guitarist Joel Shapira, with talented friends Paul Harper (sax), Tom Lewis (bass) and Nathan Norman (drums) and an evening of swing, bossas, ballads and more -- and no cover.   

Dave Graf
At Jazz Central, tonight's featured artists are dueling bonemen, Brad Bellows (valve) and Dave Graf (slide) -- the popular Valve Meets Slide ensemble. If one trombone is fun, imagine two!



So if Charmin Michelle is at the Dakota, who is performing with Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza? Check out Maryann Sullivan, a veggie special, and one of those meatballs. Songs, accordion and pepperoni? Sounds like a great way to start the week! And you can keep it going into the early morning at Barbette, where young Turk pianist Joe Strachan pairs up with bassist Josh Granowski. Late night menu, no cover. No kidding.



Eric Gravatt
Tuesday, April 1. Usually the first Tuesday at the Black Dog means Dean Magraw and Davu Seru, but tonight Eric Kamau Gravatt sits in at the trapset. The veteran of Weather Report and McCoy Tyner is seldom heard in such a sublime setting. Over at Jazz Central, you can take in one of the metro's finest large ensembles, the Bill Simenson Orchestra, featuring a stellar cast of the region's top big band artists.



Davu Seru
Wednesday, April 2. Wednesdays at Jazz Central are reserved for "new music" -- often so new it does not exist before the first note sounds. Tonight it's the TCOB Trio headed by percussion star Davu Seru. And if you want to hang out later, Barbette hosts savvy singer Rhonda Laurie and prolific composer/guitarist/vocalist Reynold Philipsek.



Joel Shapira
Thursday, April 3. It was supposed to be a return engagement of the Joel Shapira-Dean Granros duo, but Dean had to cancel so instead, Joel has assembled a hot trio with bassist Tom Lewis and drummer Haralds Bondaris tonight at the Black Dog. This will be just the second gig for this threesome and they are ready to burn!



Lila Ammons
Vocalist Lila Ammons comes by boogie woogie naturally, granddaughter of the great Albert Ammons. A few years ago she connected with Austrian boogie woogie pianist Axel Zwingenberger, and the two have toured throughout Europe. Axel is briefly in town and the duo will perform at Schmitt Music's intimate concert space (Southdale) for some "Hot Classic Blues & Foot-stomping Boogie Woogie."




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 28. Irv Williams and Peter Schimke, happy hour at the Dakota; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar (Saint Paul Hotel); Todd Harper, solo piano at the Black Dog; Bryan Nichols and James Buckley, dinner sets at the Icehouse; Patty Peterson and Friends at Bunkers



Saturday, March 29. 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; Kronick Quartet at the Black Dog; Jazz in the Dark at Zeke's Unchained Animal



Sunday, March 30. Mill City Hot Club, brunch at Hell's Kitchen; Robert Everest, brunch at Maria's; Century Jazz Ensemble at Jethro's Charhouse (Mahtomedi); Zacc Harris Trio at the Riverview Wine Bar;  Off the Cuff at the Aster Café; Doug Little Quartet at Eat Street Social



Monday, March 31. JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse



Tuesday, April 1. Cafe Accordion at the Loring Pasta Bar; Beasley's Big Band at O'Gara's



Wednesday, April 2. Jazz in the Lounge - Connie Evingson with Tanner Taylor and Dave Karr at the Woman's Club (Minneapolis); Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; the Wolverines at Hell's Kitchen; Patrick Harison at Cafe Maude; Foreman/Feily/Schmidt/Musselman at the Black Dog



Chris Lomheim
Thursday, April 3. Patty and the Buttons with Jack Klatt at the Dakota; Benny Weinbeck and Gordy Johnson at Pairings Food and Wine Bar; Moonlight Serenaders at Wabasha Street Caves; Alicia Renee and Chris Lomheim at Christo's (Union Depot); Jon Wood at Jazz Central;  Maurice Jacox with Bobby Ekstrand and Tom Wells at Dusty's



Coming Soon!

. April 4, Sound Skirmish (Young Artists Showcase) at Jazz Central
. April 4, Daniel Zamzow and Andrew Foreman Trio at Sweet 317

. April 5, Dakota Combo with PipJazz Live, Capri Theater

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

. April 7, Efrain Toro Percussion Workshop and Concert at Jazz Central, followed by the Tyler Anderson Quartet

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

. April 8, Cedar Ave Big Band at Jazz Central

. April 9, Brad Mehldau Trio at the Walker

. April 9, Fall of the House of Usher at Jazz Central

. 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 10, Jana Nyberg at Jazz Central

. 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 17, Christian McBride Quintet at Eden Prairie High School (fundraiser)

. 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 19, Steve Kenny Quartet at Sweet 317

. April 21, José James at The Cedar

. April 21-22, Steve Tyrell at the Dakota

. April 25, Tommy Bruce at Parma 8200
. April 25, Brass Messengers at Sweet 317

. 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 7, Julian Lage and Chris Eldridge at the Dakota

. May 10, Jazz at Studio Z (TBA)

. May 13, Jane Monheit at the Dakota

. 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 20, Adam Meckler Orchestra at Amsterdam Bar

. 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

Brad Mehldau - 2 nights at the Walker, April 8-9




















Tuesday, March 25, 2014

One World Consort Blends Jazz, Classical and Folk Traditions for "Mother Earth"


One World Consort at UW-River Falls

 © Andrea Canter

Earth Day is coming next month and at least one music ensemble plans to celebrate "Mother Earth" with a cross-cultural, cross-genre concert that seeks to "promote the preservation of Earth's natural resources and the indigenous music traditions of world cultures."

Dave Milne leads rehearsal
The April 27th concert at the Lake Harriet Spiritual Community in southwest Minneapolis was originally proposed by saxophonist/composer/educator David Milne for the Twin Cities Jazz Society's "Jazz From J to Z" concert season. Things didn't work out for the concert season, but the show must go on! Milne's been hard at work re-arranging Fred Sturm's "Mother Earth," a suite based on Sturm's own earlier work, Migrations: One World, Many Musics. Sturm, head of the jazz program at Lawrence Conservatory, based the suite on indigenous folk music from throughout the world, using ethnomusicological research, transcriptions of authentic field recordings, and subsequent arranging, orchestration, and in many cases “re-composition” of the original music.

Eric Graham
Milne, professor of music at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and acclaimed jazz artist and composer, pulled together the One World Consort, an amalgam of a jazz quartet (Milne on assorted reeds and whistles, Mary Louise Knutson on piano, Eric Graham on acoustic and electric bass, and Craig Hara on drums and percussion) and the classically inclined Four Voices String Quartet (Laurie Petruconis and Allison Ostrander on violins, Susan Janda on viola, and Rebecca Arons on cello). The Consort performed the American premiere of Mother Earth on Earth Day 2012 at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, and now is preparing to celebrate Earth Day 2014 at the April 27th concert.

Laurie Petruconis
The Consort held the first of two rehearsals on the River Falls campus last Sunday. Even in this "raw state," it was an evening of unforgettable music, bringing the essence of jazz, classical and folks traditions into one soaring suite of sounds, harmonious and dissonant, through-composed and improvised. You might hear something as familiar as a snippet of Bach, and as unfamiliar as Dave Milne's penny whistle an ocarina. See the One World Consort event page on Facebook and mark your calendar for April 27th (7:30 pm). It's what the world needs now.

Dave Milne and the Four Voices String Quartet, rehearsal in River Falls




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

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Preview: Harrell, Lovano, Cohen, Jensens Head 2014 Iowa City Jazz Festival




Jazz and Fireworks! The Iowa City Jazz Festival July 3-5
© Andrea Canter



Perennial favorites - North Corridor Big Band
It's one of my favorite jazz festivals, and not just because it's in my home town, and not just because it is free and only a 5-hour drive from the Twin Cities. The Iowa City Jazz Festival happens to be one of the gems of summer jazz -- a small-town feel, an historic college-campus venue, and some of the world's top artists converging over the Fourth of July weekend. And one of my favorite elements of the ICJF is that I don't need to fret over which band to hear -- there is one main stage with no competing music; in-between main stage acts, there are three small stages within a block, hosting high school, college and community ensembles while the Culinary Row, Beverage Garden, Artist Booths and FUN Zone are available for fun and fuel. (And of course there's the adjacent campus hangs offering additional options for air conditioned respites.)



The famed Pentacrest and main stage
The festival moves back a day this year, starting late afternoon Thursday (July 3), continuing mid-afternoon Friday (July 4) and culminating in Saturday's 8-hour finale and one of the best fireworks displays you'll see in this region. Coming the weekend following the (also free) Twin Cities Jazz Festival (June 26-28), this makes the Upper Midwest the early summer Mecca of Jazz.  



So who will you hear in Iowa City? There's a decided brass bias this year, with three amazing trumpeters and 4 outstanding saxophonists in a mix that also highlights some of the genre's top women bandleaders. Among the 10 main-stage bands:



·         Jared Gold Trio (7/3)- One of New York's most talked-about B-3 specialists, Gold's Trio usually includes acclaimed guitarist Dave Stryker and young upstart drummer McClenty Hunter

·         Pedrito Martinez Group (7/3). One of the most exciting Afro-Cuban ensembles of the past decade, the Pedrito Martinez Group has its roots planted firmly in the Afro-Cuban rumba tradition and in the bata rhythms and vocal chants of the music of Yoruba and Santeria.

Ingrid Jensen
·         Nordic Connect (7/34). Based on compositions she wrote for her work with Maria Schneider, trumpeter Ingrid Jensen now joins forces with sister saxophonist Christine Jensen to explore their Nordi Connection. For this tour, Geoffrey Keezer handles the piano. Cool music for a hot festival.

·         Etienne Charles (7/4). Trinidad native trumpeter Etienne Charles brings us "Creole Soul," his special amalgam of jazz, blues, soul, hip-hop, and gospel in a sextet format.

·        
Joe Lovano
Joe Lovano Us Five (7/4). One of the giants of modern jazz, Joe Lovano struck gold when he formed the two-drum quintet, Us Five. Esperanza Spalding brought the band a lot of attention early on, but now --usually with Peter Slavov on bass--the attention rightfully falls on the music, original compositions and blistering arrangements, with Francisco Mela and Otis Brown III doubling the fun on drums and pianist James Weidman.

·         Melissa Aldana and Crash Trio (7/5). Winner of the 2013 Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition at 24, Chilean native Melissa Aldana is already an accomplished bandleader and touring artist. She's the first female instrumental artist to take top honors in the history of the Monk competition.

·        
Anat Cohen
Anat Cohen Quartet (7/5). Since emigrating to the U.S. from Israel, clarinetist/saxophonist Anat Cohen has become one of the most lauded artists of her generation, from gracing the cover of Jazz Times to topping readers and critics polls repeatedly as "top clarinet". Her quartet has covered a wide swath of music from swing to tango to choro to original works.

·        
Tom Harrell
Tom Harrell's Colors of a Dream (7/5). Long considered one of the singular geniuses of modern jazz, trumpeter Tom Harrell closes the festival with his new sextet, Colors of a Dream, a horn-heavy outfit with Jaleel Shaw, Wayne Escoffery, Ugonna Okegwo, and Johnathan Blake. Consider this Fireworks, Part One.



Yes, this is all free. Think of it as the Chicago or Detroit Jazz Festival downsized to one stage. About a five-hour drive from the Twin Cities, Chicago, Omaha or St. Louis. Where Interstate 80 intersects Jazz. Full line-up and more information at http://www.summerofthearts.org/festival-menu/jazz-festival/



Jazz on a Summer Day

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); a.joy (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)