Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, September 18-24

Chris Lomheim Trio at Crooners' Lounge on September 22

© Andrea Canter
Stunning pianists are in the spotlight this week, as well as one of the area's longest-running jazz festivals, a new Monk-inspired project from Pete Whitman, and a good handful of area (and international) vocalists. And for aspiring jazz artists, the annual auditions for the Dakota Combo will be held Sunday afternoon.

Big Gigs This Week
Bryan Nichols
Friday, September 18. Last night at the Dakota, vocalist/pianist Patricia Barber was on stage with her current Chicago band of Kurt Schweitz (bass), Jon Deitemyer (drums), and Jim Gailloreto (saxophone). This trio hangs out another day in Minnesota, long enough to visit Vieux Carré with pal and top-flight pianist Bryan Nichols.

Donald Washington
The Black Dog presents the early show with pianist Todd Harper, then brings on the monthly gig with the always intriguing Donald Washington Trio, tonight featuring bassist Yohannes Tona and drummer/son Kevin Washington in company with bari/tenor saxophonist Donald.

Davu Seru
Over at The Nicollet, the Friday Night Jazz Series gets a boost with the music of three of the region's most exciting improvisers-- Davu Seru (percussion), Brandon Wozniak (saxophone) and Chris Bates (bass). Where it goes, where it ends, is anyone's guess, but you can count on an exciting ride.

Jazz Central has changed its Friday night format, offering a more eclectic line-up and starting later, at 8 pm. Tonight, young saxophonist Evan Benidt leads an ensemble (Joe Mayo, Javi Santiago, Greg Byers and Mac Santiago) through two sets of jazz, blues, and rock.

Patty Peterson
Bringing the finest area music to the north burbs, Crooners presents a night with Patty Peterson and Friends, which tonight include Jason Peterson DeLaire (keys, sax, vocals), Mark Weisberg (bass), and Bobby Vandell (drums). Often the band is somewhat larger, but the quartet format might be the best way to enjoy Patty's savvy delivery of a wide-range of great songs. On the south end of the metro, enjoy the stellar voice of Thomas Bruce in the relaxed setting of Parma 8200.
Ben Abrahamson
Guitar fans should check out three of the metro's finest young masters at the Public Kitchen late tonight -- Park Evans takes on steel-string; Thomas Nordlund adds electric, and Ben Abrahamson provides the flamenco flair.

Freedom Jazz Fest All-Stars
Saturday, September 19. Most every summer over the past 15 years, the Freedom Jazz Festival has been held in a Minneapolis park setting, bringing a wide range of contemporary and traditional jazz to a free, community-centered event. Held a little later this year, the festival returns to Minnehaha Falls Park, noon-6 pm, featuring perennial favorites McCrae Jazz Workshop, Walker West Jazz Band, and Capri Big Band along with the Tangents, a vocal showcase with Debbie Duncan, Yolande Bruce and Linda Sloan, Chip Minor and George Scott. Along the way, the festival will present its annual Sam Favors Award as well as arts, crafts, concessions, great food, and family fun.

Jazz in the Lobby Bar of the Saint Paul Hotel is back for its new season with pianist/vocalist JoAnn Funk and bassist Jeff Brueske entertaining with the songs of Peggy Lee, Blossom Dearie and more.

Paul Harper
Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog kicks off with the Zeb Cruickshank Quartet, featuring Zeb on guitar, Dan Musselman on piano, Brent Wallace on bass and Byron Johnson-Blanchard on drums. The "prime time" show features Paul Harper's Show and Tell, a modern bebop ensemble with Paul on sax, Mike Cramer on guitar, Charlie Riddle on bass and visiting drummer Sheila Earley. Show and Tell has proven to be a popular band over their recent appearances at The Nicollet and Black Dog.

Laura Caviani
Two area virtuoso performers, composers and educators come together to reconsider classical composers as well as classic jazz artists. Pianist Laura Caviani and saxophonist David Milne first performed their "Jazz Impressions" last month in Northfield at the Bridge Chamber Music Festival, and now bring their rearrangements of Debussy, Ravel, Corea, Brubeck, and more to the opening concert of the Jazz @ St. Barney's series at St. Barnabas Lutheran Church in Plymouth.

Jay Young
Jay Young's Lyric Factory returns to the Dakota with a follow-up to their recent "Bandwidth" show, highlighting the music of jazz and pop radio. It's Jay's usual suspects including son Ian on a second bass, pianist Thom West, drummer Kevin Washington, violinist Ernest Bisong, and a team of vocalists (Yolande Bruce, Linda Sloan and Heather McElrath).

Something--or rather someone-- a little different takes the stage at Crooners tonight. Bassist and vocalist Kate Lynch adds a jazz sensibility to a wide array of tunes, largely from the 30s and 40s, and she's joined by the aptly named Most Excellent Fellows-- guitarist Chris Beaty, drummer Ken Chastain, trumpeter Greg Lewis, and trombonist Michael Nelson.

Andrew Walesch
Sunday, September 20. If it's Sunday, it's time for jazz brunch, with the Andrew Walesch Trio (with Gordy Johnson and Jay Epstein) at Crooners; Patty and the Buttons at the Aster; Robert Everest at Maria's.  Close the day (and every Sunday night) at the Riverview Wine Bar with the Zacc Harris Trio.

The Dakota Combo
This afternoon is a special one for area high school jazz students with a serious interest in small ensemble performance. For the tenth year, MacPhail Center for Music and the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education join together to hold open auditions for the Dakota Combo, a metro-wide jazz band that provides scholarships for 5-8 talented young musicians (grades 9-12) to spend the school year studying with bassist/educator Adam Linz, performing at area venues including the Dakota, Black Dog, Nicollet and more; taking the Youth Stage at the Twin Cities and Iowa City Jazz Festivals each summer; visiting area schools and participating in clinics with nationally renowned musicians. Auditions are held today from 12:30 - 4 pm at MacPhail; no pre-registration required but interested students should review requirements posted on the DFJE website.

Tonight at the Dakota, Brazilian pianist/vocalist Clarice Assad returns for an evening of exquisite song-making.

Monday, September 21. Following their sold-out CD release at the Icehouse last month, the amazing young Potash Twins return to perform at the Dakota tonight. Still in college programs, the twin trombonists have played with Wynton Marsalis and Jon Batiste, at Jazz at Lincoln Center, South by Southwest, Birdland and beyond. Local guitarist Cory Wong describes their music as falling "someplace between Katy Perry and Miles Davis."

"Not that Paul Peterson" performs tonight on the weekly jam at Jazz Central. Not to be confused with St. Paul Peterson of the famed Peterson Family, this Paul is a saxophonist who studied at the U of M Duluth and is now making his way through the Twin Cities jazz scene, performing with hortZ, CC Septet, Nova Jazz Orchestra, and Century Big Band. His cohorts this evening include Larry McDonough on piano, John Hyvarinen on guitar, Greg Stinson on bass and Dean White on drums. 

JT Bates
Late night improv at the Icehouse features Nichols/Bates/Bates -- Bryan, Chris and JT having a lot of fun "performing compositions of all three members and generally navigating the music however they see fit at any given moment."

Chris Lomheim
Tuesday, September 22. It's a special "media night" at Crooners, with print and online media folks invited to check out the new Tuesday Night instrumental music series as well as the venue. And it's a perfect night for such an event, with the Chris Lomheim Trio (Gordy Johnson and Reid Kennedy) performing two sublime sets, largely drawn from Chris's 2014 recording of all-original music (Timelines) as well as newer material.

Mary Louise Knutson
At Vieux Carré, elegant pianist Mary Louise Knutson plays a couple solo sets early evening, followed by the swinging Parisota Hot Club and hot club chanteuse Connie Evingson.

Dubbed an "open rehearsal," the Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra takes over the Jazz Central space once per month, boasting a who's who band of veterans and up and coming artists, led by Geoff Senn and Mac Santiago.

Lizz Wright
Tuesday-Wednesday, September 22-23. It's been a few years since vocalist Lizz Wright visited the Twin Cities. Mixing jazz and soul, Wright has a remarkable instrument and several captivating recordings that capture it.

Pete Whitman
Wednesday, September 23. Pete Whitman launches another new project at Jazz Central tonight with "Rootie Tootie." Celebrating Monk and Ornette, the band includes two saxes--Whitman and Nathan Hanson, along with Steven Hobert on piano, Chris Bates on bass and Phil Hey on drums. Sounds like some rootin' tootin' jazz.

At Crooner's, Debbie Duncan returns for an evening of joyful song and a little mayhem.

Katia Cardenas
Thursday, September 24. Vocalist Katia Cardenas makes her debut at the Black Dog tonight, filling the club with her takes on jazz and R&B gems. At Khyber Pass, the Thursday Night gig is an LP release celebration for Paul Metzger's Improvisations on Modified Banjo. And up at Crooners, enjoy another swingfest with the Southside Aces.

Adam Meckler and the AMO
At Vieux Carré, the Adam Meckler Orchestra makes their venue debut, and their first public gig in a while as Meckler has been focused on recording his quintet. The AMO is a modern jazz orchestra in the tradition of Maria Schneider and Bob Brookmeyer, with a repertoire of original compositions and a stable of some of the finest jazz soloists in town.

More Jazz!
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. KBEM and KFAI radio host jazz programs regularly and provide daily notices of jazz gigs and concerts. The live edition of The Lead Sheet can be heard at 4:40 pm on Thursdays on KBEM, excerpts rebroadcast at 7:40 am on Fridays. (Special guest September 3--Peter Leggett of Walker West, on the new jazz series with Nicole Mitchell and soon Ron Carter.) Venues and artists are reminded to send information to online and print calendars (e.g.

Coming Soon!
. September 25, Javi Santiago Sextet at Vieux Carré
. September 25, Lucia Sarmiento Quartet at The Nicollet
. September 25, Anthony Cox at Jazz Central
. September 26, Patty Peterson and Friends with Steve Cole at the Dakota
. September 26, John Penny Trio followed by CD Release "A Night Together" at the Black Dog
. September 28, Larry McDonough 60th Birthday Celebration at the Dakota
. September 28, Classic B-3 Organ Trio at the Icehouse
. September 29, Dave Graf Quartet at Crooners Lounge
. September 29, Acme Jazz Company at Jazz Central
. September 29, Red Planet at Vieux Carré
. October 2, Pete Emblom Sextet at Jazz Central
. October 3, Wayne Bergeron and Andrew Walesch with JazzMN Orchestra at Hopkins High School Auditorium
. October 4, Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra at the Dakota
. October 6, Butch Thompson at Crooners Lounge
. October 8, Jazz in the Target Atrium (Orchestra Hall), Atrium Jazz Ensemble with Wessell Anderson
. October 13, Phil Hey Quartet at Crooners Lounge
. October 16, JT Bates Organ Trio at Vieux Carré
. October 16, Yolande Bruce Group at Walker West Music Academy
. October 20, Laura Caviani Trio with Bob Bowman and Todd Straight at Crooners
. October 25, Benny Green Trio at the Dakota
. October 26, Mike Sopko/Hamir Atwal/Martin Dosh at the Icehouse
. October 27, Jane Monheit at the Dakota
. November 1, Soul Cafe at the Hennepin Ave United Methodist Church
. November 9, Joey DeFrancesco at the Dakota
. November 10, Mary Louise Knutson Trio at Crooners Lounge
. November 13, Eric Gravatt and Source Code at Walker West Music Academy
. November 16, Regina Carter's Southern Comfort at the Dakota
. November 19, Jazz in the Target Atrium (Orchestra Hall), Atrium Jazz Ensemble
. November 21, Joyce Lyons, Jazz @ St. Barneys
. November 22-23, Karrin Allyson at the Dakota
. December 2, Diane Schuur at the Dakota
. December 14-15, New York Voices Holiday show at the Dakota

Red Planet - at Vieux Carre' on September 29