Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, February 27-March 5

Rene Marie sings at the Dakota, March 3
© Andrea Canter
 Homegrown and imports, new artists and veterans dot the jazz scene this week. As we again try to pull ourselves out of the deep freeze, the music at least remains hot and vibrant.

Big Gigs This Week
Javi Santiago
Friday, February 27. New York-based pianist Javier Santiago has spent the last two months on extended vacation in his home town, Minneapolis, giving us a number of opportunities to hear his ever-evolving jazz magic and new compositions. Tonight he's featured on the Jazz Central "Bridge" series with Zacc Harris (guitar), Chris Bates (bass) and long-time cohort Miguel Hurtado (drums). Javi and Miguel were already collaborating as young teens with The Eggz. Maybe we'll hear some of the new music Javi just released on his EP, Year of the Horse. Catch him now before he heads back to New York. And stay for the late night college band feature, with students from the UW-Eau Claire with Jerod Krazynski.

Mary Louise Knutson
Mary Louise Knutson does double duty tonight. She'll start off with everyone's favorite nonagenarian saxophonist Irv Williams for a couple happy hour sets at the Dakota, then head north to Fridley to accompany "Minnesota's Perpetually Outstanding Performer" Debbie Duncan at Crooners' Lounge. Great music, great food-- a great evening.

On the other end of the metro, Connie Evingson serenades at Parma 8200 with support from ever-swinging Rick Carlson. Add a canolli and it's a perfect evening.

Pat Mallinger
Saturday, February 28. The University of Minnesota hosts its annual jazz festival on the West Bank Campus, with high school ensembles performing and participating in critiques and clinics throughout the day. Evening brings performances from the U of M jazz ensembles with special guest, St Paul native saxophonist Pat Mallinger, free, in the Ted Mann Concert Hall. Pat, based in Chicago where he leads his quartet and Sabertooth, has been a nearly annual performer in the Twin Cities --at the Artists Quarter. We haven't heard Pat since the AQ closed -- let's find him a new "home"!

Zacc Harris
Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog presents the Zacc Harris Group. One of many ensembles led by the tireless guitarist, the ZHG includes Bryan Nichols, Chris Bates and JT Bates-- the threesome who impressed last weekend at the Winter Jazz Festival at Studio Z. Opening will be Central Standard Time, a cross-generational band with Steve Kenny, David Roos, Sten Johnson, Charlie Lincoln and Alex Burgess. Best to arrive early, enjoy the first band and hopefully have a table for the rest of the night!

Around the corner at the Bedlam, jazzy/bluesy/soulful singer Pippi Ardennia creates her own sort of "bedlam."  This seems like a perfect match of performer and venue!

Arne Fogel
In Bloomington (Schneider Theater), prolific producer and performer Arne Fogel presents the songs of Burt Bacharach and Hal David with vocalist Jennifer Eckes. Arne has a long and distinguished track record of putting together pairs of composers/musicians with pairs of vocalists  - so we can anticipate nothing but pleasures from the pairs of Bacharach and David with Fogel and Eckes. Relive the 60s (or get acquainted) with tunes that helped stoke the careers of Dionne Warwick, Gene Pitney, Herb Albert, The Carpenters and more.

Monday, March 2. Minnesota native saxophonist Bob Parsons was a long-time New Yorker, arranging for the Brecker Brothers, Herbie Hancock and others, and recording with Dave Stryker. He's been back in town since '08, performing with the Acme Jazz Company. Tonight he's the featured artist at Jazz Central, a chance to play original compositions and arrangements.

Want to get a whiff of the future of jazz? The Minnesota Youth Jazz Bands, directed by David Mitchell, present their winter concert at Famous Dave's (Uptown). This is always a great way to spend the evening and be dazzled by big bands of talented teens.

Rene Marie
Tuesday, March 3. One of the most engaging singers in jazz today, Rene Marie returns to the Dakota for just one night. With her latest album (I Want to Be Evil: With Love to Eartha Kitt) garnering a 2015 Grammy nomination, Marie now sports ten albums and a history of high-spirited, even controversial projects and original songs. And a voice that is always compelling.

It's first Tuesday at the Black Dog -- and co-hosts Dean Magraw and Davu Seru will create their special blend of improvisational mayhem. And tonight, their special guest is spoken word artist J.Otis Powell.

Pedrito Martinez Group
Wednesday, March 4. Back by popular demand! A hit of last summer's Dakota line-up, the Pedrito Martinez Group returns with what Ben Ratliffe (New York Times) calls “complex, blenderized Africa-to-the-New-World funk." The Afro-Cuban ensemble will encourage swaying and foot-tapping with their rhythmic beats and vocals. Havana native Pedrito earned his stripes early, touring with Jane Bunnett's Spirits of Havana and winning the 1999 Thelonious Monk International Percussion Competition. He's since performed or recorded with a Who's Who of Latin Jazz, including Paquito D'Rivera, Eliane Elias, Steve Turre, Gonzalo Rubacalba and more.

Thomas Nordlund and Andrew Foreman
A double header on New Music night at Jazz Central that highlights "what's new" among the younger generation of improvisers. The night leads off with Chomsky, a quartet led by bassist Andrew Foreman, with trumpeter Jake Baldwin, guitarist Thomas Nordlund, and drummer Zach Schmidt. These guys recently starred at the Aster Cafe, playing original compositions that were heady yet accessible. The second set belongs to Nordlund, a warm-up to his upcoming CD release, with Thomas on baritone guitar, a second guitar courtesy of Ben Abrahamson, Kevin Gastonguay on keyboards and Lars-Erik Larson on drums.

Katia Cardenas
Thursday, March 5. Vocals, straight-up swing or way out there, everything happens tonight. Young Katia Cardenas whips up some tasty standards at Jazz Central Studios, while Travis Anderson's swinging piano trio (with Steve Pikal and Nathan Norman) treats patrons at the Dakota to a Foodie Night (no cover). In St Paul, the Thursday Night series at Khyber Pass welcomes Merciless Ghost, the inventive trio of George Cartwright, Josh Granowski and Davu Seru.

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, February 27. Todd Harper (happy hour) followed by the Chris Hagedorn Trio at the Black Dog; Patrick Harison and James Buckley, dinner sets at the Icehouse; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar (Saint Paul Hotel); John Paulson with Swing, Inc. at Signatures (Winona)

Mike Stern
Saturday, February 28. Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; Jake Hanson and James Buckley, dinner sets at the Icehouse; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar (Saint Paul Hotel); Pavel Jany's Talking Strings at the Loring Pasta Bar; Gary LaRue Quartet at Crooners' Lounge; Aaron Kerr's Dissonant Creatures at the Underground Music Cafe'; Minnesota State University Mankato Jazz Mavericks with special guests Mike Stern and Kenni Holmen at Halling Recital Hall (Mankato)

Sunday, March 1. Robert Everest, brunch at Maria's; Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster; Daddy Squeeze Newton at the 331 Club (3 pm); Zacc Harris Trio at the Riverview Wine Bar

Monday, March 2. Charmin Michelle and special guest Reuben Ristrom at Fireside Pizza; JT's Jazz Implosion with JT and Paul Metzger Duo at the Icehouse; BZ3 Organ Trio at The Narrows Saloon

Tuesday, March 3. Maryann Sullivan's Corner Jazz at The Nicollet; Bill Simenson's Orchestra at Jazz Central; Three Loud at Cafe Maude; Cafe Accordion at Loring Pasta Bar

Wednesday, March 4. Jazz in the Lounge: Connie Evingson with Benny Weinbeck, Dave Karr and Gordy Johnson and the Minneapolis Woman's Club; Charmin Michelle and special guest Reuben Ristrom at Fireside Pizza; Patrick Harison at Cafe Maude; Wolverines Jazz Trio at Hell's Kitchen; Maud Hixson and the Adi Yeshaya Trio at Crooners' Lounge; Lila Ammons Trio at The Tangiers

Thursday, March 5. Joel Shapira at Hell's Kitchen; Big Band Swing Night with the Moonlight Serenaders at Wabasha Street Caves; Vinnie Rose at Adagio Pizza Factory; Douglas Ewart at the Walker Art Center (free)

Coming Soon!
. 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 13, Foreign Motion at The Nicollet
. March 13, Peter Vircks Quartet at Jazz Central
. March 14, Chris Botti at Orchestra Hall
. March 15, Jazz Mn Orchestra with Pete Christlieb at Hopkins High School Auditorium
. March 20, Jake Baldwin Quintet at The Nicollet
. March 21, Dave Hagedorn Quintet, Jazz at Studio Z
. March 23-24, Steve Tyrell at the Dakota
. March 25-26, Delfeayo and Ellis Marsalis (Southern Gentlemen tour) at the Dakota
. March 27, How Birds Work at The Nicollet
. March 28, Dakota Combo at the Black Dog
. March 29, Tierney Sutton and Mark Summer at the Dakota
. March 31, Eliane Elias Trio at the Dakota
. April 1, Rebirth Brass Band at the Dakota
. April 2, Chris Potter Quartet at the Dakota
. April 12, Anat Cohen Quartet 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 22, Danilo Perez at the Dakota
. April 24, Tuck and Patti at the Dakota
. April 25, JazzMN Orchestra with Bob Mintzer at Hopkins l High School Auditorium
. April 25-26, Irv Williams, Legends concert at The Capri
. April 26, KBEM's Jazz Noir at the Dakota
. April 27, Omar Sosa at the Dakota
. April 29-30, Madeleine Peyroux at the Dakota
. May 2, Jason Moran and Robert Glasper at the Walker
. May 9, PipJazz "Women in Jazz" -- afternoon workshop and evening concert at The Bedlam
. June 3, Steve Smith and Vital Information, NYC Edition at the Dakota
. June 22, Kurt Elling at the Dakota
. 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, Dakota Combo

Eric Gravatt and Dean Magraw launch Friday Night Jazz at the Nicollet on March 6