|Karrin Allyson, coming to the Dakota November 22-23|
© Andrea Canter
Colder weather, darker days, holiday shopping--we are getting into Minnesota Winter mode. But we do not hibernate here-- we go out and enjoy live music! And we have plenty of options between now and Thanksgiving, with an ever-increasing number of "holiday" gigs appearing on the jazz calendar. This weekend, enjoy some favorite vocalists, local as well as internationally acclaimed honorary Minnesotan Karrin Allyson; some of our local legends take on the tunes and attitudes of Thelonious Monk; JazzMN Orchestra takes us on a tour of jazz from Jelly Roll to Snarky Puppy. Into the coming week, it's the Twin Cities debut of another international star, vocalist/composer/conceptualist Jen Shyu; energetic octogernarian Dave Karr takes the stage at Crooners; Jay Young leads with his piccolo bass at Jazz Central.....keep the jazz coming.
Big Gigs This Week
|Sarah M. Greer|
Friday, November 20. A vocalist known for her improvisation as well as teaching skills, Sarah M. Greer joins Peter Schimke, Anthony Cox, and Cory Healey for the "Masters" slot at Jazz Central Studios. On the other end of the experience spectrum, Friday Night Jazz at The Nicollet host the Minnesota Youth Jazz Bands I and II for a memorable evening of young talents, led by Phil Holm and David Mitchell.
More youthful energy is on stage at the Icehouse, as the McNasty Brass Band plays the first of the late night sets. Originating from a core of McNally Smith musicians, the band describes itself as "a reckless, ten-piece megazord of horns and drums."
At Vieux Carré, Jon Pemberton brings a quartet to the prime time slot, with Jon doubling on trumpet and piano, along with alto saxophonist Brad Holden, bassist Matt Peterson and drummer Mac Santiago. Brad is not heard as much as his talent deserves so this is a perfect opportunity to hear him along with his expert cohorts. Accordion star Dan Newton plays the early sets. Another accordion monster, Patrick Harison plays solo sets over the dinner hours at the Icehouse.
Crooners Lounge hosts its first Founders Day event with a nonstop line-up from Happy Hour to closing, including sets from Andrew Walesch, Debbie Duncan, and the finale with Davina and the Vagabonds. That's a lot of music -- and as always, no cover at Crooners.
And it's a Washington family night at The Black Dog, with the monthly Donald Washington ensemble, which tonight features the saxman's wife Faye on flute and cello, son Kevin on drums, and friend Dick Studer on bass.
If you are out in the New Ulm area, be sure to catch the Atlantis Quartet performing at the Grand Kabaret-- it's a free show!
Saturday, November 21. The second JazzMN Orchestra concert of the season--at the Hopkins High School Auditorium-- will take the audience on a journey through the history of jazz, from the days of Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong, through the Swing Era and early days of bebop, into the world of John Coltrane and the cool jazz movement, up through modern legends like Herbie Hancock, and finally the 21st century's new voices, including Snarky Puppy. This show focuses on the talents of the band along with guest vocalist, Debbie Duncan.
The Jazz @St. Barney's series continues at St. Barnabas Church in Plymouth with accomplished vocalist Joyce Lyons and her band--Phil Aaron, Graydon Peterson and Jay Epstein.
|Kenny Horst, WWMD|
Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog kicks off with up-and-coming sax star Evan Benidt and pals Ted Olsen and Lars-Erik Larson, followed by a veteran quartet exploring What Would Monk Do. WWMD launched at the Artists Quarter a few years ago, and now continues with a few gigs each year -- featuring Steve Kenny, Peter Schimke, Chris Bates and Kenny Horst. Their interpretations of Monk, as well as Monk-inspired originals, are as unique and entertaining as their namesake's compositions.
And if you prefer your Patty Peterson fix in the larger ensemble context, Patty and Friends take over the lounge at Crooners (with Sean Turner, Billy Franze and Bobby Vandell). And if you come early for Happy Hour, your treat will be a rare solo guitar performance from Reynold Philipsek.
Patrick Harison and James Buckley cover the dinner sets at the Icehouse; Maurice Jacox and trio performs at Normandy Kitchen; Robb Henry and Jim Plattes make guitar and violin duets at Merlin's Rest; Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; the Talking Strings provide the sound track at the Loring Pasta Bar; and JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske hold their weekly sessions at the Lobby Bar of the Saint Paul Hotel. Note that JoAnn and Jeff also perform in the Lobby Bar on Fridays through the holidays.
Sunday, November 22. Enjoy a jazz brunch with the usual suspects-- Patty and the Buttons at The Aster, Robert Everest at Maria's, the Andrew Walesch Trio at Crooners. Later, catch the Zacc Harris Trio at the Riverview Wine Bar or put on your dancing shoes and follow the Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra at Cinema Ballroom.
|Karrin Allyson, new CD*|
Sunday-Monday, November 22-23. Seems the holidays usually bring Karrin Allyson back to her adopted home in the Twin Cities and the Dakota. Last year she had a new holiday recording (Yuletide Hideaway), and now she has another new release, her first on Motema, celebrating Rodgers and Hammerstein on Many a New Day. The album features Kenny Barron and John Patitucci, but her touring trio includes stars in their own right--guitarist Ron Fleemans and bassist Larry Kohout; and as usual for her Dakota gigs, Karrin features local piano star Laura Caviani--when Karrin is not handling the keys herself. She'll be performing tunes from the new recording as well as some holiday fare and older favorites, and perhaps an original tune or two. It's always a celebration when Karrin is in town.
Monday, November 23. Whether the talent is local or imported, JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse is always worth the effort to find parking along Nicollet! Tonight JT has outdone himself, with three separate "solo" sets on the schedule. The first set marks the local debut of internationally acclaimed composer, vocalist, multi-instrumentalist Jen Shyu, performing her solo opera, Solo Rites: Seven Breaths. This work, composed and choreographed by Shyu, features her talents on vocals, dance, Taiwanese moon lute, piano, and the Korean gayageum. The New York Times described it as “songs that could remind you of ancient court music or Joni Mitchell,” a musical pilgrimage through Taiwan, East Timor, Indonesia, Vietnam, and South Korea. Two additional solo acts follow, with New York-based Jonah Parzen-Johnson (Bari sax and synthesizer) and JT Bates himself on solo percussion.
Joni Mitchell and Carole King are the subject matter for Lori Dokken and Friends at Crooners, while veteran sax titan Dave Brattain takes the "Spotlight" at Jazz Central.
Tuesday, November 24. Tuesday Instrumental Jazz Night at Crooners features the one and only Dave Karr and his quartet, featuring Chris Lomheim on piano. Given his busy schedule (including JazzMN Orchestra) and energetic saxophoning, it's hard to remember that Dave is in his mid-80s.
Also high energy is the Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra, performing on big band night at Jazz Central Studios. In St. Paul, Vieux Carré hosts "hot jazz" with vocalist Connie Evingson.
|Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg|
Wednesday, November 25. Start your holiday early at Crooners, where Happy Hour brings back Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg. If you're missing their long run at Fireside Pizza, consider this an upgrade-- a much bigger menu and more parking!
Take some time out from Thanksgiving preparations to stop at Jazz Central, where Jay Young pulls out his piccolo bass and heads an inventive ensemble with Pete Whitman, Gary Raynor and Jay Epstein. He dubs this band The Advisory Committee.
Thursday, November 26. A lot of venues are closed for the holiday, but not Crooners. Debbie Duncan performs in the lounge from Noon - 3 pm, and you can enjoy the music with or without a holiday dinner! Or after your feast, come out to Parma 8200 for an evening with Benny Weinbeck.
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 7:20 am on Fridays. (Special guest on November 19 -- --Jeremy Walker re the Jazz in the Target Atrium series; on November 25--a day early due to Thanksgiving--Steve Kenny talks about Group 47 and other upcoming events at the Black Dog and Nicollet.) Venues and artists are reminded to send information to online and print calendars (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org).
. November 27, The Gang Font at the Icehouse
. November 27, Paul Harper Chorless Quartet at The Nicollet
. November 27, Patty Peterson at Parma 8200
. November 28, Pat Mallinger Quartet at Vieux Carré
. November 28, Group 47/Dave King's Vector Families at the Black Dog
. November 28, Jazz at Studio Z, Peg Carrothers CD release
. November 30, Pat Martino Quartet at the Dakota
. December 1, Steven Hobert Quartet at Crooners Lounge
. December 2, Diane Schuur at the Dakota
. December 4, The Girls at the Dakota
. December 4, "Merry and Bright" with Charles Lazarus, Orchestra Hall
. December 4, Atlantis Quartet at The Nicollet
. December 4, Dean Magraw and Steven Hobert at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church
. December 5, Atlantis Quartet at the Black Dog
. December 5, Connie Evingson, Jazz @ St Barney's
. December 6, Capri Big Band at the Capri Theater
. December 8, Jamison Ross at the Dakota
. December 9-10, Ramsey Lewis Holiday Show at the Dakota
. December 12, Fletcher/King/Woods CD release at the Black Dog
. December 13, Fuzzy Math CD Release at the Icehouse
. December 14-15, New York Voices Holiday show at the Dakota
. December 16-17, Nachito Herrera and the Universals at the Dakota
. December 18 & 20, "Jingle Bell Doc," Doc Severinsen and the MN Orchestra at Orchestra Hall
. December 20, Peterson Family Christmas at the Dakota
. December 25-28, The Bad Plus at the Dakota
. December 27, Big Band Christmas at Jazz@ St Barneys
. December 31, Artists Quarter New Year's Eve with Carole Martin at Hell's Kitchen
. December 31, New Year's Eve Benefit for Feed My Starving Children with The Niskas at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church (Burnsville)
. January 9, Andrew Walesch at Jazz @St Barneys
. January 10, Corky Siegel's Chamber Blues at the Dakota
. January 17, John Penny CD release at the Icehouse
. January 23, Jeremy Walker's Seven Psalms at Orchestra Hall
. January 23, Rick Carlson and Steve Pikal at Jazz @St. Barneys
. January 31, Winter Jazz Festival at the Saint Paul Hotel, featuring the Cyrus Chestnut Trio
. February 2, Charles Lloyd Trio with Bill Frisell at the Dakota
. February 8-9, John Scofield and Joe Lovano at the Dakota
. February 20, Swing Sister (Maryann Sullivan and Rhonda Laurie) at Jazz @ St Barneys
. February 25, Rez Abassi with Rudresh Mahanthappa at Walker Art Center
. March 2-3, Brian Blade Fellowship at the Dakota
. March 5, Pete Whitman X-Tet at Hopkins Center for the Arts
. March 13, JazzMN Orchestra with Tierney Sutton at the Hopkins High School Auditorium
|Pat Mallinger,"home" at Vieux Carre' on November 28|
* All photos by Andrea Canter except Karrin Allyson CD cover and Jen Shyu (by Thitpol Kanteewong)