|Leigh Kamman, 1922-2014|
© Andrea Canter
The Saint Paul Winter Carnival is just getting underway. And it may seem like a winter jazz carnival in the Twin Cities this weekend, most notably with the celebration of the life of broadcaster/jazz wizard Leigh Kamman at the Saint Paul Hotel, just off the epicenter of the Carnival in Rice Park. Also this weekend, the annual Winter Jazz Blast at McNally Smith with special guest Ingrid Jensen and the Century College festival with special guest Steve Davis, who continues his Twin Cities run at the Icehouse on Monday. The Illicit Sextet returns to the Black Dog, Debbie Duncan and Gwen Matthews mix it up at the Dakota, and the Atlantis Quartet previews some new material at Jazz Central. And the heat continues well into the week as Dianne Reeves hits the Dakota and Maryann Sullivan celebrates a birthday at Jazz Central.
Big Gigs This Week
Friday, January 23. A busy Friday all around the metro. In Minneapolis, the Atlantis Quartet (Zacc Harris, Brandon Wozniak, Chris Bates, Pete Hennig) is featured on Jazz Central's "Bridge" series, showcasing their always-intriguing improvisations and previewing new works that will appear on their upcoming CD, recorded live at the Icehouse. After debuting at Chicago's Jazz Showcase recently, the band has signed on to appear on the main stage of the Iowa City Jazz Festival in July.
In St Paul, Maryann Sullivan's Corner Jazz brings swing, standards and a dash of sass to the Black Dog. And you can't imagine a more swinging line-up-- Reynold Philipsek on guitar, Jim Chenoweth on bass, and the Haining guys-- Doug on sax and son Trevor on drums. And note her birthday gig at Jazz Central on Thursday. (Note to Maud Hixson fans-- that gig at Parma tonight is a private event that somehow got sent out as a public show.)
At the Dakota, Seven Steps to Havana returns after a long break. This globally inspired septet lead by Doug Little includes Cuban pianist Viviana Pintado and a cast of the best interpreters of Latin rhythms. And stay up late -- Late Night at the Dakota features trombone master Steve Davis (Chick Corea's Origin, Jackie McLean, etc.) with improvising hip hop group Coloring Time. Davis is also in town for the Century College Jazz Festival and JT's Jazz Implosion -- see below.
Saturday, January 24. It's the third annual Winter Jazz Blast at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul. For most of the day, middle and high school jazz students participate in clinics and performances. The evening agenda includes a public concert featuring this year's guest artist, outstanding trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, along with McNally Smith ensembles (X-Tet, Hornheads Tribute and Fusion).
|Nathan Norman, Illicit Sextet|
Saturday Night at the Black Dog features the Illicit Sextet, popular in the 90s, dormant through most of the 00s, and reunited in 2009 at full tilt. Some of the most accomplished veterans in the Twin Cities, the band remains intact from its mid-90s edition, with Steve Kenny, Paul Harper, David Roos, Chris Lomheim, Tom Pieper and Nathan Norman. Expect some tunes from their Chapter Eleven release (2013) as well as some new material which will be part of the next CD, to be recorded this year. Opening set will feature young musicians from River Falls, Dark Blue.
At the Dakota, two of the region's finest voices and entertainers team up -- Debbie Duncan and Gwen Matthews present "My Favorite Things" with support from Adi Yeshaya, piano;Tome Lewis, bass; Joe Pulice, drums; and Rich Manik, sax.
Sunday, January 25. The 26th annual Century College Jazz Festival welcomes guest artist, trombone master Steve Davis, with public performances with the Century Jazz Ensemble at 3 and 8 pm. (Arrive early as Jana Nyberg will perform at pre-concert receptions at 2 and 7 pm.) Davis will hang out a while, turning up at the Icehouse tomorrow night (see below).
The biggest event of the weekend will take place at the Saint Paul Hotel (Grand Ballroom) as the Twin Cities jazz community comes together to honor the life and work of Leigh Kamman, the voice of jazz radio for more than 60 years. Kamman, who passed away in October, will be remembered through performances by a long list of area musicians (including Dean Magraw, Patty Peterson, Kenny Horst, Irv Williams, Conning Evingson and Butch Thompson), appearing in familiar and unfamiliar configurations. It's officially 4-8 pm but closing with a jam session that could go on much later. And there is an "after-party" in the lower level of the Hamm Building - -a familiar space that will soon hold a new club, designated for now as Room With a Vieux. Bassist Gary Raynor will lead a trio and guests to continue the celebration of Leigh Kamman well into the wee hours.
Monday, January 26. There's a new band in town and they kick-off with two gigs today! Led by U of M trombonist Tom Ashworth, the Fireside Five Jazz Quintet boasts heavyweights Brian Grivna, Phil Aaron, Gordy Johnson and Phil Hey. They debut at 3:30 pm on campus at U of M Ultan Hall (West Bank), and then move across town to the Underground Music Cafe in St Paul for the evening.
At Jazz Central, the spotlight is on Dave Graf, resident trombone magician. We hear Dave often in larger ensembles like JazzMN and Salsa Del Soul, so this will be a much more intimate encounter with pianist Ted Godbout, bassist Graydon Peterson and drummer Mac Santiago.
Billed as the second annual Steve Davis Throwdown, the Icehouse hosts the masterful trombonist and Jackie McLean alum, who is making the most of his Twin Cities visit. Tonight he performs the first set with in a burning quintet with Bryan Nichols, piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and JT Bates, drums. The late set finds Davis co-leading the Steve and Jon Davis Bonkers Electrorchesta, promising a list of guest artists and no doubt, some electronic wizardry.
Tuesday-Wednesday, January 27-28. When Dianne Reeves headlined the 2014 Twin Cities Jazz Festival, she demonstrated much more than her outstanding voice and creativity -- she showed us her flexibility and sense of humor as well. The band arrived without luggage (i.e., without wardrobe), and then had to made the quick move from Mears Park to the Amsterdam when rain washed out the festival stages. Unruffled, Reeves put on a memorable show for an overflowing audience. This week, she will hopefully have a much better travel experience and there is little chance of flooding at the Dakota. A multi-Grammy winner and nominee, Dianne's 2014 release, Beautiful Life, is up for another. The Dakota gig is an intimate one with just a trio-- Peter Martin on piano, Reginald Veal on bass and Terreon Gully on drums.
Wednesday, January 28. Just a couple years out of the New England Conservatory, trumpeter Jake Baldwin brings a quintet to Jazz Central's weekly improvised music night. Jake came out of gate leading bands, writing new music, finding chairs in area big bands and just generally embedding himself in the Twin Cities jazz and improvised music scenes.
Thursday, January 29. The curator books herself tonight at Jazz Central! Join vocalist Maryann Sullivan and Corner Jazz for a swinging birthday party -- Maryann promises cake! (And two sets of foot-stomping music.)
More Jazz All Week!
Keep up with the live jazz scene in the Twin Cities -- check out calendars at Jazz Police, KBEM, Rhythm and Grooves and Jazz Near You, as well as here on the blog. More jazz to tickle your ears:
Friday, January 23. Irv Williams and Steve Blons, happy hour at the Dakota; Todd Harper, happy hour at the Black Dog; Jake Hanson and James Buckley, dinner sets at the Icehouse; Vic Volare at Hell's Kitchen; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar, Saint Paul Hotel; Seven Cat Swing Band at Crooners Lounge
Saturday, January 24. Joel Shapira Trio at Hell's Kitchen; Katia Cardenas at Mattie's on Main; Jake Hanson and James Buckley, dinner sets at the Icehouse; Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar, Saint Paul Hotel; Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson Trio alternating sets with the Twin Cities Hot Club at Patrick's Cabaret; Paula Lammers and Denny Malmberg at the Mason Jar; Gary LaRue Quartet at Crooners Lounge; Dean Brewington Trio at Loring Pasta Bar; Peter Ostroushko and Dean Magraw at Creek House; Jim Ten Bensel Trio at Ngon Bistro
Sunday, January 25. Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster Cafe; Zacc Harris Trio at the Riverview Wine Bar; Charmin Michelle and the Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra at Cinema Ballroom
Monday, January 26. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; BZ3 Organ Trio at The Narrows Saloon; Gary LaRue Quartet at Crooners Lounge
Tuesday, January 27. Firebell at Cafe Maude; Cafe Accordion at Loring Pasta Bar; Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra at Jazz Central; Jazz on the Prairie Big Band at Eden Prairie High School; Darren Saner Duo at Crooners Lounge
Wednesday, January 28. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Jake Hanson and James Buckley at Cafe Maude; JVP (Joey Van Phillips) Ensemble at The Cedar; Jazz at the Tangiers
Thursday, January 29. John Devine and Friends at Loring Pasta Bar; Viva Brazil at the Icehouse
. January 30, What Would Monk Do at Jazz Central
. January 31, Steve Cole with Patty Peterson and Friends at the Dakota
. January 31, Dave Brattain Quartet, Dean Granros Quartet at the Black Dog
. January 31, Butch Thompson, Jazz @St. Barneys
. January 31, Katia Cardenas at The Nicollet
. February 2, Jazz Implosion: Matt Otto with the Fantastic Merlins at the Icehouse
. February 2-3, Chris Potter Quartet at the Dakota
. February 3, Bill Simonsen Orchestra at Jazz Central
. February 3, Patrice Michaels, "Jazz Meets Classical" at Macalester College, Mairs Hall
. February 3, Dean Magraw and Davu Seru at the Black Dog
. February 4, Connie Evingson's Jazz in the Lounge with Benny Weinbeck, Gordy Johnson and Dave Karr
. February 7, Kenny Horst and Friends at the Black Dog (Opening - Jon Pemberton Trio)
. February 7-8, Bruce Henry, Legends series at the Capri
. February 9, Firebell at the Black Dog
. February 9, Solomon Parham at Jazz Central
. February 11, Mark Dresser, afternoon master class at Ferguson Hall, U of M, and evening concert at McNally Smith
. February 11, Mark Dresser, afternoon master class at Ferguson Hall, U of M, and evening concert at McNally Smith
. February 12, Jack Brass Band at the Amsterdam
. February 13, The Assad Brothers with Romero Lubambo at the Dakota
. February 14, Paul Harper Quartet (Opening - Central Standard Time) at the Black Dog
. February 14, Maud Hixson, Rick Carlson "Bad for Each Other" at the Icehouse
. February 17-18, David Sanborn at the Dakota
. February 21, Studio Z Winter Jazz Festival (Adam Meckler Orchestra, Endeavors, Atlantis Quartet, Mancrush, Nichols/Bates/Bates, Graydon Peterson Quartet)
. February 21, Glen David Andrews at the Dakota
. February 21, Good Vibes Trio at the Black Dog (Opening - Central Standard Time)
. February 25, Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn at O'Shaughnessy Auditorium
. February 28, U of M Jazz Festival with guest Pat Mallinger (evening concert)
. February 28, Zacc Harris Group at the Black Dog (Opening - Central Standard Time)
. February 28, Arne Fogel & Jennifer Eckes, “What The World Needs Now: The Songs of Burt Bacharach & Hal David” at the Bloomington Center for the Arts
. March 3, Rene Marie at the Dakota
. March 6, Eric Gravatt and Dean Magraw at The Nicollet
. March 6, "Raisin’ Cane: A Harlem Renaissance Odyssey" with Jasmine Guy and the Avery Sharpe Trio at O'Shaughnessy Auditorium
. March 7, DD7 at the Black Dog (Opening - Charles Lincoln Group)
. March 9, David Sanchez Quartet at the Dakota
. March 10-11, Cassandra Wilson at the Dakota
. March 12, Jack DeJohnette at Walker Art Center, McGuire Theater
. March 14, Chris Botti at Orchestra Hall
. March 15, Jazz Mn Orchestra with Pete Christlieb at Hopkins High School Auditorium
. March 23-24, Steve Tyrell at the Dakota
. March 25-26, Delfeayo Marsalis (Southern Gentleman) at the Dakota
. March 29, Tierney Sutton and Mark Summer at the Dakota
. April 16, Anthony Cox and Jeremy Walker, "Rage of Achilles" at Orchestra Hall (Target Atrium)
. April 16, Bettye LaVette at the Dakota
. April 17, Ann Hampton Callaway at Orchestra Hall
. April 25, JazzMN Orchestra with Bob Mintzer at Hopkins High School Auditorium
. April 25-26, Irv Williams, Legends concert at The Capri
. May 2, Jason Moran and Robert Glasper at the Walker
. June 25-27, Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Mears Park and beyond
. July 2-4, Iowa City Jazz Festival (Charles Lloyd, Dave Douglas, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Julian Lage, Brian Charette, Atlantis Quartet, Becca Stevens, COLOSSUS)
|Chris Potter returns to the Dakota on Feb 2-3|