Friday, April 24, 2015

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, April 24-30




© Andrea Canter
The Saint Paul Art Crawl will bring extra crowds to Lowertown this weekend; jazz in the neighborhood and nearby will keep the artful vibe going long after dark.  Jazz and the return of our spring weather will add to the warming trend throughout the metro as well, with weekend visits from Tuck & Patti, Bob Mintzer and Nellie McKay; the third installment of the KBEM Jazz Noir radio show providing a sneak preview of Vieux Carré; a true "Legends" concert at the Capri with Irv Williams and Debbie Duncan; another local legend (Jimmie Wallace) at The Nicollet; nights of young and even younger lions at Jazz Central and the Black Dog; and local celebrations of International Jazz Day (April 30).

Big Gigs This Week
Tuck & Patti
Friday, April 24.  Together performing (as well as life partners) for three decades, the vocal/guitar jazz duo Tuck (Andress) and Patti (Cathcart) met at an audition in Las Vegas, began performing as a duo in California in 1981, and now have fifteen albums and a world of fans to their credit. With Tuck on guitar and Patti as vocalist/composer/arranger, the pair have forged a partnership unequaled in modern music, applying a simple formula: Says Tuck, “Patti writes and arranges; I am just the orchestra.” With his six strings, Tuck indeed conjures a symphony. The duo returns to the Dakota for one night.

Jake Baldwin, Nelson Devereaux (Endeavors)
Young and younger--that's the line-up tonight at Jazz Central as Endeavors hits at 7 on the Bridge Series, followed by the Dakota Combo at about 9:30. Actually the Dakota Combo has ties to both bands. About two years ago, a band of young emerging talents dubbed themselves Courageous Endeavors and quickly became one of the most exciting on the Twin Cities jazz scene, and released their debut CD, Prototype, in summer 2014.  The band (Nelson Devereaux, Joe Strachan, Brian Courage and Miguel Hurtado) went on hiatus when Courage moved to New York last fall, but now has reformed as simply Endeavors, with bassist Ryan Hayes replacing Courage and adding another horn, trumpeter Jake Baldwin.  

Dakota Combo
In their high school days, Baldwin and Strachan played together in the Dakota Combo, an audition-only ensemble of the region's top high school jazz artists, and a collaboration among the MacPhail Center for Music and Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education. The 9th edition of the Dakota Combo performs their annual spring gig tonight, showcasing chops as performers and composers under the direction of Adam Linz.

Jimmie Wallace
Steve Kenny's Friday Night Jazz at The Nicollet welcomes one of the living legends of Twin Cities jazz when saxophonist James (Jimmie) Wallace takes the bandstand with his veteran team of Kenny on FLUMPET™, Ron Evaniuk on bass, and Alden Akeda on drums. "Jimmy-apolis" still plays around town with the Capri Big Band and Cornbread Harris, as well bringing his own bands into such spots as the Red Stag.

Jon Wood
Saturday, April 25. At the Black Dog, the Saturday Night Jazz series boasts a "young lions" night of its own. Music kicks off at 7 with a celebration of three recordings from young guitar master Jon Wood. Whether playing at Jazz Central or in a Minnesota Guitar Society sponsored master class, Jon's diverse mix of classical, jazz, and pop music (along with an occasional pinch of Latin, blue grass, blues, and R & B, and flamenco) appeals to diverse audiences. His three recordings include his original jazz compositions (Far From Home), a solo classical guitar album (Chitarra Sonata), and a live album of Jon's band "Iron Chops" (Iron Chops Live at Jazz Central). Helping him celebrate at the Black Dog will be his Iron Chops ensemble, featuring Dave Brattain (tenor and soprano sax), Javi Santiago (piano), Graydon Peterson (bass), and Dave Schmalenberger (drums).

Lars-Erik Larson (Mancrush)
In the prime time slot, Mancrush returns with leader Lars-Erik Larson (drums) and cohorts Brandon Wozniak (sax), Zacc Harris (guitar) and Bryan Nichols (piano). With rapidly growing audience from the Black Dog to Icehouse, Mancrush plays everything from folk tunes to Bartok, as well as Larson's eclectic original compositions.

Katia Cardenas
Continuing the theme of young talents, the intriguing duo of Katia Cardenas and Joe Strachan perform at a new venue for music, Public Kitchen across from Mears Park in St Paul. Vocalist Katia has only been hitting the local stages for the past year or so, but is building her audience fast with her appealing blend of the great songbooks' repertoire and more contemporary fare. Pianist Joe Strachan is largely known for his contributions to such modern jazz projects as Endeavors, Jake Baldwin's quartets, the Adam Meckler Orchestra, etc, and promises to offer exciting accompaniment to Katia's vocals. As for the Public Kitchen-- this elegant Lowertown space is worth a visit for the kitchen alone.

JazzMN Orchestra
Veterans take over in Hopkins as the JazzMN Orchestra closes out its season with a very special guest, Yellowjackets saxman Bob Mintzer. Minnesota's answer to the Village Vanguard Orchestra, JazzMN will feature music from Mintzer's current project, the "Bob Mintzer R & Big Band," including the works of Sly Stone, the Isley Brothers, Sam & Dave, and James Brown. In the guest vocalist slot, Patty Peterson makes a welcome return to JazzMN, paying tribute to recently departed jazz giants Clark Terry, Buddy DeFranco and Lew Soloff.


Irv Williams
Saturday-Sunday, April 25-26. The popular Legends Series continues at the Capri Theater this weekend, with a Saturday evening and Sunday matinee performance of "Saxy Smooth," featuring two favorite living legends of Minnesota jazz, saxophonist Irv Williams and vocalist Debbie Duncan.  Notes Capri Artistic Director for the Legends series, Dennis Spears, “Irv Williams is not only a Minnesota legend.  He is known nationally and internationally as ‘Mister Smooth.’ One toot from his horn and you will know why.  Paired with Debbie Duncan on vocals, this will be one saxy treat!” Adding to fun the will be Irv's happy hour partner Steve Blons (guitar) along with Jay Young (bass) and Nathan Norman (drums). Call it "Saxy, Smooth, and Sassy!"

Sunday, April 26. Been wanting a peak at the new Hamm Building space, Vieux Carré? Tonight you can get a preview as well as enjoy the third installment of the KBEM project Jazz Noir. An original radio drama series complete with live voice actors and musicians in front of a live audience, it's just like in the early days of radio. For this third episode, Morning Follows Night, playwrights Christina Ham, Dominic Orlando and Josh Wilder were commissioned to explore the rich Minneapolis jazz club scene between 1946 and 1956. The playwrights collaborated with composers/jazz musicians Chris Bates, Steven Hobert and Solomon Parham, who perform their original jazz music score for the drama. Shows at 5 and 8 pm, with the later show broadcast live on KBEM 88.5 fm.

Nellie Mckay
And she's hard to classify, but who cares? Singer, pianost, ukulele player, songwriter, comedienne -- Nellie McKay can wear all those hats simultaneously, whether channeling Doris Day or tackling modern pop. She's back at the Dakota for one night of musical fun.

Doug Haining
Monday, April 27. Multi-reed expert Doug Haining is so often leading the band--Explosion Big Band, Twin Cities 7--that we seldom get a chance to enjoy hearing him in the spotlight. On the Featured Artist series at Jazz Central, Doug gets to shine, be it on tenor or alto sax, clarinet or flute. Or maybe all of the above. 

Over at the Icehouse (which coincidentally gets underway about the time Jazz Central cools off), JT's Jazz Implosion implodes with the energy of Brandon Wozniak, Bryan Nichols, and JT Bates himself.

Paul Renz
Tuesday, April 28. Veteran guitarist Paul Renz brings his quartet to a new venue when he takes the stage at Crooners Lounge. One of the busiest jazz educators in town, Renz spends less time on the bandstand but will be heard more in coming weeks. His musical partner in the quartet is renowned flautist Anders Bostrom, an old pal from Berklee College of Music days who appears on several of Paul's recordings.


Ben Abrahamson
Wednesday, April 29. There are few musicians in town with the eclectic resume of young guitarist, Ben Abrahamson, who fills the "new music" slot at Jazz Central tonight with two other guitar talents -- Park Evans and Nick Champeau-- as the Acoustic Trio. There should be a hearty dose of flamenco and Brazilian beats. 

At The Nicollet, the eclectic FireFly Forest project from Steven Hobert (accordion) takes the stage, with Sarah Larsson (vocals, French Horn, percussion), Kathleen Hobert (voals, tap dance, percussion), Kevin Row (bass), Jeff Schraw (percussion), Nathan Eliot (guitar) and Natalie Locke (percussion). Not sure how they will all fit on that stage but it will be a musical feast.

Madeleine Peyroux
Wednesday-Thursday, April 29-30. Her career has progressed in a bit of a jagged fashion but vocalist Madeleine Peyroux has released some highly praised albums lately. She's back at the Dakota in time to celebrate International Jazz Day and some swinging songs.

Thursday, April 30 -- International Jazz Day! Sponsored by UNESCO, this is a global celebration. In Minnesota, IJD events have been registered by the Dakota (Madeleine Peyroux), Jazz Central (Debbie Duncan), and the Black Dog (TBA). The Dakota is offering a special opportunity to view a live webcast of the IJD official global concert in Paris, with Tony Bennett, Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder and more, with a package including lunch with Peyroux or just a viewing ticket of the broadcast which is set for 11:30 am. See the Dakota website for more info and tickets.

Debbie Duncan
This might be the first time Debbie Duncan has performed at Jazz Central, and you could not ask for a better show to honor International Jazz Day than Minnesota's "First Lady of Song." Debbie had a chance to sit in with the Delfeayo Marsalis band at the Dakota last month and she fit the music as if it had been arranged just for her.  You know it will be a night of not only great vocal jazz but crack-up entertainment as well.

More Jazz!
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-Sunday, April 24-26. Zeitgeist Early Music Festival at Studio Z

Friday, April 24. Irv Williams and Steve Blons, Happy Hour at the Dakota; Todd Harper, happy hour at the Black Dog; The Riverside Trio at Crooners' Lounge; John Paulson with Swing, Inc. at Signatures (Winona); Arne Fogel 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); Charmin Michelle with the Ray Siegl Trio at Scusi; Optimum Trajectory at the Underground Music Cafe

Milo Fine
Saturday, April 25. Debbie Duncan, brunch at Hell's Kitchen; Davu Seru with Milo Fine at Schmidt Artists Lofts (noon); Charmin & Shapira at Midtown Global Market (12:30 pm);  Augsburg Jazz Ensembles at Famous Dave's Uptown (4 pm); GST at Hell's Kitchen; Talking Strings at Loring Pasta Bar; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar (Saint Paul Hotel); Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; Julius Collins and Ginger Commodore at the Dakota; Paula Lammers Trio at the Mason Jar; Southside Aces at Eagles Aerie Club; Sheridan Zuther at Crooners' Lounge; John Penny  Trio at Scratch Bar and Grill; Trent Baarspul Trio, late set at Public Kitchen

Sunday, April 26. Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster; Robert Everest, brunch at Maria's; Jazz Brunch at Crooners' Lounge; Joel Shapira, solo guitar at the Black Dog (3 pm); Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra with Charmin Michelle at Cinema Ballroom; Zacc Harris Trio at Riverview Wine Bar

Monday, April 27. Maurice Jacox Trio at Crooners Lounge

Tuesday, April 28. Cafe Accordion at Loring Pasta Bar; Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra at Jazz Central; Northwestern University (MN) spring jazz concert at Marantha Hall, Northwestern University; Eric Leeds and Paul Peterson at the Icehouse

Wednesday, April 29. Andrew Walesch Quartet at Crooners Lounge; North Hennepin Community College Jazz Band, spring concert at NHCC Fine Arts Building; Parisota Hot Club at The Tangiers; The Neighborhood Jazz Trio at Barbette

Thursday, April 30. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Jazz I with Jamey Simmons at Gantner Concert Hall, UW-EC; Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra with Charmin Michelle at Wabasha Street Caves; Mia Dorr at Crooners Lounge

Coming Soon!
. May 1, Patty Peterson with Steve Cole, Ricky Peterson at the Icehouse
. May 1, Framework at The Nicollet
. May 2, Jason Moran and Robert Glasper at the Walker
. May 2, Adam Kohlker with the Good Vibes Trio at Jazz Central
. May 2, Dave Brattain Quartet/DD7 at the Black Dog
. May 8, Ron Miles with the Atrium Jazz Ensemble at Orchestra Hall (Target Atrium)
. May 8, Presidential Flow (Mayo, Brattain, Nair, Evans, Granowski) at The Nicollet
. May 9, Joe Mayo/Cory Healey's Beautiful Sunshine Band at the Black Dog
. May 10, Soul Cafe' at Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church
. May 11, Tim Berne's Snake Oil at the Icehouse
. May 15, Minnesota Youth Jazz Band at The Nicollet
. May 16, Headspace followed by the Paul Renz Quartet at the Black Dog
. May 22, Chris Lomheim Trio at The Nicollet
. May 23, Central Standard Time followed by Firebell at the Black Dog
. May 27-28, Rachelle Ferrell at the Dakota
. May 29, Bottomless Pit at The Nicollet
. May 30, Dave Martin Trio followed by the Atlantis Quartet at the Black Dog
. June 2, Tim Reis Rolling Stones Project at the Dakota
. June 3, Steve Smith and Vital Information, NYC Edition at the Dakota
. June 5, Paul Harper's Show and Tell at The Nicollet
. June 6, Lulu's Playground followed by The Five at the Black Dog
. June 12, Tommy Bentz Quartet at The Nicollet
. June 13, Will Schmid Trio followed by the Graydon Peterson Quartet
. June 16, Ticket to Brazil, Jazz in the Library at SunRay Library (St Paul)
. June 17, Good Vibes Trio, Jazz in the Library at Hamline Library (St Paul)
. June 19, The Dakota Combo followed by Dean Granros' Tall Tales at The Nicollet
. June 20, John Penny/Jay Epstein Duo followed by the Phil Hey Quartet at the Black Dog
. June 21, Francisco Mela Trio, Jazz in the Library at St Paul Central Library
. June 22, Kurt Elling at the Dakota
. June 23-24, Cecile McLorin Salvant at the Dakota
. June 25-27, Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Mears Park and beyond (Dr John, Potter/Holland/Louke/Harland Quartet, Francisco Mela with Nicholas Payton, Araya-Orta Quartet, Marquis Hill Blacktet)
. June 28, John Pizzarelli at the Dakota
. June 30-July 1, Charles Lloyd Quartet at the Dakota
. July 2-4, Iowa City Jazz Festival (Charles Lloyd, Dave Douglas, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Julian Lage, Brian Charette, Atlantis Quartet, Becca Stevens, COLOSSUS, Dakota Combo)
. August 7, George Brooks/ Larry Coryell and Bombay Jazz, Studio Z


Jason Moran joins Robert Glasper at the Walker, May 2nd