Friday, June 26, 2015

Twin Cities Jazz Festival: Scenes and Sounds, Thursday (June 25)

Pippi Ardennia and PipJazz Band, Music at Mears

© Andrea Canter

·         Incredibly fine weather for a jazz festival, big puffy clouds, cooling breeze, perfect low 80s temperatures and plenty of sunshine. No excuses!

Music at Mears special festival Thursday night presented one of the brightest entertainers in the Twin Cities, Pippi Ardennia and her cast of PipJazz Youth. Her house band is something quite special as well -- with Peter Schimke on piano, Richard Johnson on keyboards, Jay Young on bass, Glenn Swanson on drums.  That's a New York-ready ensemble! First set treat-- young violinist Zosha Warpeha, home briefly from studies in New York at the New School.

Tim Kliphuis
·         Swinging at Heartland: Dutch violinist Tim Kliphuis joined forces with guitar ace Sam Miltich and the Clearwater Hot Club. There was some dancing in the aisles, probably a first at Heartland.

Dancing in Rice Park
Dancing in Rice Park was a given, with Salsa del Soul on stage and hundreds crowded on to the "dance floor" -- and you could hear the energy and the rhythms at least two blocks away.

Park Evans
With two regular members of Firebell fulfilling other obligations, guitarist Park Evans was the only member of the core band to play at the Black Dog, but the "subs" were up to the task-- Cody McKinney on bass and Greg Schutte on drums. This might be the start of a new band! Some of the region's finest modern jazz bands will be filling the schedule at the Black Dog all weekend. (And their iced chai is the most refreshing non-alcoholic drink in Lowertown.)

Francisco Mela
Next, a preview of the renovated space once occupied by the Artists Quarter in the Hamm Building, now run by the Dakota as Vieux Carré. Ready enough for some hot piano trio music hosted by Jon Weber, with Billy Peterson on bass and Francisco Mela on drums. That's as hot as any piano trio anywhere-- "Blue Moon," "Well You Needn't" and more.  Open jam session scheduled for later in the evening.

Sisters in song--Yolande, Patty and Debbie
Patty Peterson and Friends were cooking at the Amsterdam, and near the end of the last set, Yolande Bruce and Debbie Duncan were called to the stage. They had just finished a duet set at Arnellia's. Spontaneous combustion. Patty closed out the night with stellar "Shadow of Your Smile." Caught some of the live KBEM broadcast from The Bedlam as I drove away from downtown.

Maud, Arne and the Wolverines Trio
Personal tradition--end Jazz Night Out at Mancini's with Arne Fogel and Maud Hixson, with the Wolverines Trio (Rick Carlson, Steve Pikal, Jendeen Forberg). And what a way to end my night-- a spontaneous duet on "My Funny Valentine" in response to a request. Had never heard the verse but of course Maud knows it. The back and forth of the two voices was stunning.

 So much music, so little time. Missed a lot more than I heard. Good crowds everywhere I 
went. Looking forward to tough choices today and tonight with so much divese music.

Oops, gotta run, Nicholas Payton clinic at McNally Smith starts at 3!