|Jane Monheit returns to the Dakota, October 27|
© Andrea Canter
A new youth series, local veterans and some stellar visitors-- just another typical jazz week in the Twin Cities, full of difficult choices but you can't really go wrong here!
Friday, October 23. Friday Night Jazz at The Nicollet branches out in collaboration with JazzINK to present (monthly) an opening set from a prodigious ensemble of young talents. Tonight the Will Schmid New Quintet kicks off the JazzINK Youth Showcase, featuring guitarist Will (a senior at Minnetonka High School) and four good friends. Will already has enough gigging experience to have a "new" quintet!
|No Room for Squares|
After the 7 pm start, the "usual" Friday Night gig at 9 will feature No Room for Squares, a hard swinging bebop quintet featured at the 2015 Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Headed by drummer Bill Stieger, the band includes a who's who of local bop masters--Jon Pemberton, Jimmie Wallace, Mikkel Romstad and Adam Tucker.
A double-header at Jazz Central also boasts back to back bands -- young talents and slightly older talents, clear proof of the vitality and impending longevity of the local jazz scene. Start out with the Levi Schwartzberg Combo with the 4-mallet master and U of M student leading a band of like-minded hipsters (Thomas Strommen on sax, DeCarlo Jackson on trumpet, Drew Stinson on bass and Joey Hayes on drums).
In the late slot, it's BDP (aka Baldwin/Kinghorn) with the double trumpet threat of Jake Baldwin and Cameron Kinghorn, who splits his time between horn and vocals, along with Ted Godbout on keys, Andrew Foreman on bass and Andres Crovetti on drums.
At The Cedar, Zacc Harris and Chris Bates --the ultimate string duo--open for Jordanian vocalist Farah Siraj and her global quintet playing "Arabian Flamenco Jazz." In Bloomington, sultry Sophia Shorai serenades at Parma 8200. And Joel Shapira starts a busy weekend, tonight at the Public Kitchen.
|Greg Schutte (JelloSlave)|
Saturday, October 24. Hosmer Library in south Minneapolis has held a series of free afternoon concerts for a number of years, and there's always a few that appeal to jazz fans. Like this afternoon when the edgy JelloSlave ensemble performs its magic, with the amazing musicianship of cellists Michelle Kinney and Jacqueline Ultan, tabla expert Marc Anderson, and drummer Greg Schutte.
The Icehouse typically presents a jazz duo over the dinner hours on weekends, and tonight's offering is among the best-- Bryan Nichols on piano with Billy Peterson on bass. (And the food is pretty terrific as well!)
At the Black Dog, the Saturday Night Jazz Series again presents back-to-back local stars. The Joel Shapira Trio kicks off at 7 pm, with guitarist Joel and pals, bassist Tom Pieper and drummer Eric Gravatt. Pieper stays on stage for the prime time sets with the Illicit Sextet (Steve Kenny, Paul Harper, Chris Lomheim, Dave Roos and Nathan Norman), presenting music from a forthcoming recording. It will be their third album in 20 years, adding Chapter Thirteen to Chapter One and Chapter Eleven.
Vocalist Pippi Ardennia has long been a champion of jazz education and "learning by doing" -- putting young musicians on stage with veterans to "sink or swim," and of course they swim! Tonight Pippi celebrates her birthday with a fund-raising bash to benefit her PipJazz Foundation and the Bedlam Theater, at Bedlam with music from the Kronick Quintet and the latest crop of PipJazz All-Stars.
What might be the first-ever Minneapolis High School Jazz Festival brings together bands from four city schools--South, Southwest, Washburn and Roosevelt-- along with the JazzMN Orchestra, with a free evening concert at South High.
At Vieux Carré, bassist/vocalist Kate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows present popular songs from the first half of the 20th century, including works associated with Ella, Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Nat King Cole and Ethel Waters. And the "fellows" include Chris Beaty (guitar), Ken Chastain (drums and vocals), Greg Lewis (trumpet and flute) and Michael Nelson (trombone).
Benny Weinbeck continues his weekly gig at Parma 8200 (usually with Gordy Johnson and Phil Hey), while JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske keep their long-running Saturday night gig going in the Lobby Bar of the Saint Paul Hotel.
Sunday, October 25. The usual weekly jazz brunchers include the Andrew Walsesch Trio at Crooners, Patty and the Buttons at the Aster, and Robert Everest at Maria's. Late afternoon finds Joel Shapira-- again --at the Black Dog, this time playing a sublime solo guitar.
It's been a while since Oscar Peterson protegé and now-veteran swinger Benny Green has been in the Twin Cities, a fact that will be rectified with his trio gig at the Dakota tonight. Benny is in town for a jazz piano workshop and combo clinic, so he should be warmed up and ready to shower the Dakota stage with his trademark energy, keeping good company with bassist David Wong and drummer (no relation) Rodney Green. Benny was last at the Dakota with guitar legend Bucky Pizzarelli.
And it's Dance Time at Cinema Ballroom, where the Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra with vocalist Charmin Michelle recreate the golden age of ballroom dancing.
Monday, October 26. At Jazz Central, drummer Andres Crovetti takes the spotlight and leads the following jam session. He's often on stage with Adam Meckler, Jana Nyberg, Jake Baldwin and more.
JT's Jazz Implosion hosts one his favorite touring bands, the Glimpse Trio featuring locally-based drummer Martin Dosh along with San Francisco-based guitarist Mike Sopko and drummer Hamir Atwal. Hamir was last at Icehouse with the great clarinet player Ben Goldberg. Sure to be a high energy show.
Tuesday, October 27. It's an almost annual event to have vocalist Jane Monheit at the Dakota. A media sensation since her first recording, Monheit has matured into a sultry, sometimes sassy, pitch-perfect singer who sometimes stretches the definition of "jazz singer" (teetering on the pop boundary) but never loses her jazz sensibilities. Her recent tour has included music from her Hello Bluebird album (dedicated to Judy Garland) and songs from male singers and composers who have been sources of inspiration throughout her career.
There's another accomplished vocalist across town at Vieux Carré where Connie Evingson rules the stage, following some opening solo piano from the stunning Chris Lomheim. And even without a vocalist, the Benny Weinbeck Trio (with Gordy Johnson and Phil Hey) commands attention, tonight breaking away from their usual Saturday night gig to perform on the Tuesday Night Instrumental Jazz series at Crooners.
It's Big Band night at Jazz Central, and the Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra takes its turn in monthly rotation. The band blew the lid off Vieux Carré last week and now they are back "home" to lift the basement ceiling at JC.
If you are in the Duluth Area, saxophonist Kim Richmond guest stars with the UMD jazz ensemble.
Wednesday, October 28. Fresh off his duo with Peter Susag at the Black Dog, jazz cellist/composer Greg Byers comes to Jazz Central on "new music" night, and for sure, his music will be new. Few musicians play with such overt passion as Greg.
NOLA style traditionalists the Southside Aces bring their infectious enthusiasm to Crooners tonight, and you can be sure there will be a space cleared for dancing.
Thursday, October 29. By day she's a cracker-jack real estate agent, but come evening Emily Green turns to song, and tonight she could ask for no better company than husband Chris Lomheim as they take the stage for Vocal Jazz Night at Jazz Central.
Yet another gig--Joel Shapira plays the opening sets at Vieux Carré, then heads over to the Black Dog to join Charmin Michelle in their longstanding duo, Charmin and Shapira.
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 October 22-- Will Schmid re his quintet gig on the Youth Jazz Showcase on 10/23 at The Nicollet; October 29--Steve Blons re Soul Café.) Venues and artists are reminded to send information to online and print calendars (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org).
. October 30, Battle Cat at The Nicollet
. October 30, Ginger Commodore at Vieux Carré
. October 30, Hipster Farm Supply (Peter James Johnson, Javi Santiago) at Jazz Central
. October 31, How Birds Work at the Black Dog
. October 31, Patty and the Buttons at Vieux Carré
. November 1, Charanga Tropical at the Icehouse
. November 1, Soul Cafe at the Hennepin Ave United Methodist Church
. November 2, Real Bulls (JT Bates, Dave King) and Enormous Quartet at the Icehouse
. November 2, Acme Jazz Company at Crooners
. November 2, Travis Anderson Trio at the Dakota
. November 3, Dean Magraw and Davu Seru at the Black Dog
. November 3, Bill Simenson Orchestra at Jazz Central
. November 3, Mary Louise Knutson, Travis Anderson Trio at Vieux Carré
. November 5, Jon Pemberton, Southside Aces at Vieux Carré
. November 5, Jana Nyberg at Jazz Central
. November 5, Cornbread Harris Trio at the Black Dog
. November 6, Madeleine Peyroux at the Dakota
. November 6, Dan Newton, Jay Young's Lyric Factory at Vieux Carré
. November 7, Butch Thompson with Tony Balluff and Steve Pikal, Jazz @ St Barneys (St Barnabas Church)
. November 7, Steve Cole Band with Patty Peterson at the Dakota
. November 8, Paul Renz Quartet at the Dakota
. November 9, Joey DeFrancesco at the Dakota
. November 10, Mary Louise Knutson Trio at Crooners Lounge
. November 12, Andrew Walesch Big Band Salute to Frank Sinatra at the Dakota
. November 12-14, Zeitgeist New Music Cabaret at Studio Z
. November 13, Eric Gravatt and Source Code at Walker West Music Academy
. November 14, The Potash Twins at the Icehouse
. November 16, Regina Carter's Southern Comfort at the Dakota
. November 17, Adam Meckler Orchestra at Vieux Carré
. November 19, Jazz in the Target Atrium (Orchestra Hall), Atrium Jazz Ensemble + Ron Miles
. November 21, Joyce Lyons, Jazz @ St. Barneys
. November 21, JazzMN Orchestra at Hopkins High School Auditorium
. November 22-23, Karrin Allyson at the Dakota
. November 27, The Gang Font at the Icehouse
. November 30, Pat Martino Quartet at the Dakota
. December 2, Diane Schuur at the Dakota
. December 4, The Girls at the Dakota
. December 4, Atlantis Quartet at The Nicollet
. December 5, Atlantis Quartet at the Black Dog
. December 8, Jamison Ross at the Dakota
. December 9-10, Ramsey Lewis Holiday Show at the Dakota
. December 14-15, New York Voices Holiday show at the Dakota
. December 25-28, The Bad Plus at the Dakota
. January 23, Jeremy Walker's Seven Psalms at Orchestra Hall
. February 2, Charles Lloyd Trio with Bill Frisell at the Dakota
. February 8-9, John Scofield and Joe Lovano at the Dakota
. March 2-3, Brian Blade Fellowship at the Dakota
|How Birds Work - Coming to the Black Dog on October 31|
* All photos by Andrea Canter