|Pete Whitman -- X-Tet and Quartet at Jazz Central|
Unofficially, the Twin Cities Jazz Festival gets underway in the coming week with the 5th annual Jazz in the Library series of pre-fest gigs in three Saint Paul community libraries. Both Saint Paul and Minneapolis turn up the heat a notch across assorted venues offering a broad array of that hard-to-define genre we call jazz. Surely that will put us in a festive mood, come rain or come shine.
The Lead Sheet will try something a little different this week-- with recent improvements in the Jazz Police online calendar, I'm trying out an expanded Big Gigs but eliminating the long list of additional gigs under More Jazz, instead providing the link to the Jazz Police calendar as well as several other sites listing area music. Seems redundant to spend the time collating another list that already exists. (Artists-- you can help ensure the Jazz Police calendar has your gig listed-- send info to firstname.lastname@example.org) I will continue to list Coming Soon but without any intent to be exhaustive -- again, see the Jazz Police calendar for upcoming events.
Big Gigs This Week
For Friday Night Jazz at The Nicollet, Steve Kenny presents (and joins) the Tommy Bentz Quartet. An eclectic musician who grew up in small-town Wisconsin and graduated from UW-Eau Claire, Tommy has played violin, oboe, saxophone, guitar, and bass. His original music--intense yet accessible-- blends southern jam style rock and acoustic singer-songwriter flair while reflecting his experience with jazz and classical performance. Tommy's quartet includes guitarist Jason McLean and drummer Alex Burgess, along with series curator, Steve on his custom-built flumpet™.
|Steve Roehm, New Standards|
|Doug Little, Charanga Tropical|
At the Dakota, the British contemporary jazz demons, Acoustic Alchemy, mix their magic potions over two sets: Greg Carmichael on nylon string guitar, Miles Gilderdale on steel string acoustic and electric guitars, Fred White on keyboards, and the powerhouse rhythm section of Greg Grainger on drums and brother Gary Grainger on bass.
|Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson|
Monday, June 15. They might swing you to death but you will sure have fun along the way! The Travis Anderson Trio is back for a Foodie Night at the Dakota. Oscar Peterson influenced pianist Travis Anderson keeps the party rolling with like-minded bassist Steve Pikal and drummer Nathan Norman, and typically a guest or two will show up before the evening ends.
Trombone master and jazz educator Jeff Rinear is in the spotlight at Jazz Central tonight. Jeff's long list of credits includes the Pete Whitman's Departure Point and X-Tet, JazzMN Big Band and The Butanes.
|Pavel Jany, Ticket to Brasil|
|Pete Whitman directs X-Tet|
|Dave Hagedorn, Good Vibes|
Apparently it is Pete Whitman Week at Jazz Central, as the saxophonist returns with his quartet. And what a quartet-- Chris Lomheim on piano, Gary Raynor on bass and Dave Schmalenberger on drums. If you count the members of the X-Tet, Pete will have brought 13 different and outstanding artists into Jazz Central within 24 hours.
Thursday, June 18. Last night it was poets, tonight Bobb Fantauzzo and his flute collection accompany young vocalist Katia Cardenas as part of the first-ever Kingfield Porch Fest, a multi-site evening of entertainment in the Kingfield neighborhood of South Minneapolis. Bobb and Katia will be on the porch at 4515 First Ave South. Meanwhile, veteran songstress Debbie Duncan captivates in Hell -- at Hell's Kitchen.
Noveau Flamenco guitarist Ottmar Liebert and his Luna Negra ensemble return to the Dakota, with ample documentation of their rise to the top of instrumental music charts and record sales.
More Jazz Near You!
Keep up with the live jazz scene in the Twin Cities. The most comprehensive jazz calendar can be found at Jazz Police, but you will also find jazz listings at KBEM, Rhythm and Grooves and Jazz Near You. Jazz Police also posts monthly calendars for jazz at The Dakota, The Nicollet, Jazz Central and the Black Dog, and these and other venues maintain calendars on their websites. KBEM and KFAI radio also host jazz programs regularly and provide daily notices of jazz gigs and concerts. Venues and artists are reminded to send information to online and print calendars.
More listings on the online sites above. Among the great gigs coming your way:
. June 19, The Dakota Combo followed by Dean Granros' Tall Tales at The Nicollet
. June 19, Bill Frisell Trio with Tony Scherr and Rudy Royston at the Dakota
. June 20, John Penny/Jay Epstein Duo followed by the Phil Hey Quartet at the Black Dog
. June 20, Adam Meckler Quintet; Doug Haining's Twin Cities 7 at Episcopal Homes/Iris Park (Twin Cities Jazz Fest - PreFest)
. June 21, Francisco Mela Trio with Mary Louise Knutson and Graydon Peterson, Jazz in the Library at St Paul Central Library
. June 21, St Peter Street Stompers; Southside Aces at Episcopal Homes/Iris Park (Twin Cities Jazz Festival Pre-Fest)
. June 22, Kurt Elling at the Dakota
. June 23, Master Class (free) with Francisco Mela and Jon Weber at Walker West
. June 23, Lila Ammons Quartet, Langford Chiropractic Outdoor Stage (Twin Cities Jazz Festival Pre-Fest)
. 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; see www.hotsummerjazz.com)
. June 27-July 1, Twin Cities Bass Camp with Francois Rabbath and Cloudmakers Trio at Bethel University
. June 28, John Pizzarelli Quartet at the Dakota
. June 29, Becca Stevens at the Dakota
. June 30, Francois Rabbath at Bethel University
. 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, Dakota Combo)
. July 5, Vinicius Cantauria at the Dakota
. July 12, Edina Jazz Fest at Centennial Lakes Park
. July 18, PipJazz at The Bedlam
. July 19, Midtown Global Market Music Festival
. July 23, John Raymond Quartet at the Dakota
. August 6, George Brooks with Larry Coryell and Bombay Jazz at the Dakota
. August 8, PipJazz at The Bedlam
. August 31, Terence Blanchard and E-Collective at the Dakota
. September 7-8, Victor Wooten at the Dakota
. September 22-23, Lizz Wright at the Dakota
|Francisco Mela, Artistic Director of the 2015 Twin Cities Jazz Festival|