Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, December 11-17

New York Voices, at the Dakota December 14-15
© Andrea Canter

Holiday themes prevail over much of the Twin Cities music scene as we count down to the end of the year, and jazz is no exception. Concerts and gigs featuring instrumental trios, vocal ensembles and more make the season bright, but so do CD release celebrations, new bands, old favorites and.. everything jazz.

Big Gigs This Week
Rio Nido (in the day)*
Friday, December 11. A long overdue reunion, the beloved classical jazz trio of the 70s and 80s, Rio Nido is back for two sets at the Dakota. From 1972-1986, Tim Sparks, Prudence Johnson and Tom Lieberman kept the music of the 30s and 40s alive and well before moving on to launch their own stellar solo careers. 

Eric Gravatt
Eric Gravatt returns to Jazz Central with Source Code, tonight featuring saxophonist Chris Thomson in the front line with trumpeter Solomon Parham, veteran Source Code bassist Ron Evaniuk, and of course Weather Report alum Gravatt on drums. They're followed by the student set and jam, this time featuring the Jax Blake Tricetet.

 At The Nicollet, prime time bandleader and trumpeter Bill Simenson breaks away from the big band format to assemble a star-bright quintet with saxophonist Nathan Hanson, guitarist Dave Martin, bassist Chris Bates and brother, drummer JT Bates. The monthly JazzINK Youth Showcase kicks off the evening with teen talents, the Mac Wilms Quartet.

Laura Caviani
Laura Caviani and her trio offer the first of two holiday shows this week, starting at Vieux Carré in St Paul with Gordy Johnson on bass and Joe Pulice on drums-- the same cast as her holiday release, Holly, Jolly and Jazzy. Laura brings at least one holiday show to the metro every winter, filled with originals and reinterpretations of seasonal standards. Andrew Foreman and Ben Abrahamson open the night with a string duo.

Arne Fogel
At Parma 8200, Arne Fogel celebrates the eve of Frank Sinatra's centennial birthday with Steve Pikal and Rick Carlson, including their renditions of "Fly Me To The Moon", "I've Got The World On A String", "The Tender Trap", "Our Love Is Here To Stay", "Wee Small Hours", and more. JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske have some holiday fun in the Lobby Bar at the Saint Paul Hotel (and again on Saturday).

Saturday, December 12. Need a midday break from shopping? At Midtown Global Market, Charmin Michelle and Joel Shapira make voice/guitar duo magic.
At Crooners Lounge, Andrew Walesch and his 9-piece orchestra reprise his recent centennial salutes to Frank Sinatra on Frank's actual birthday.
Jeff King
Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog hosts what unofficially is a Cadenza Music night, starting off with the Cadenza All-Stars (guitarists Eugene Monnig and Wayne Fisher, bassist Erik Fratzke, drummer Andres Crovetti and vocalist Paula Lammers)-- all current or former instructors at Cadenza Music. The "headline" sets celebrate the release of Jokers, the first recording of King Fletcher Woods-- Jeff King on sax, Charles Fletcher on bass and Eron Woods on drums. All but Fletcher teach at Cadenza.

JT Bates
And it's the second concert of the Jazz at Studio Z season, tonight featuring drummer JT Bates and his organ trio, Grain -- Kevin Gastonguay on B-3 and Zacc Harris on guitar. As with all JASZ evenings, things start off with a master class at 6 pm, tonight with JT and company addressing how they find the groove before taking the stage and proving they teach what they do.

Peter Kogan
Minnesota Orchestra timpanist Peter Kogan has been spreading his wings in jazz lately, now bringing his quartet to Vieux Carré (with Brian Grivna, Phil Aaron, and Anthony Cox), while Maurice Jacox brings cheer to the Normandy Kitchen and the Benny Weinbeck Trio holds their weekly summit at Parma 8200.

Charanga Tropical
Sunday, December 13. The first American band to play the International Danzon Festival in Havana (last summer), Doug Little's Charanga Tropical performs its monthly afternoon gig at the Icehouse. Also midafternoon, enjoy some big band holiday sounds with the Capri Big Band at Edinborough Park.

Another CD release, this time Fuzzy Math celebrates their second album, Pass the Guacamole, at the Icehouse. Referred to as the jazz band for people who don't like jazz, Mark Vandermyde, keys; Eric Graham, bass; Andrew Schwandt, sax; and Haralds Bondaris, drums should also appeal to those who do like jazz!

Monday, December 14. You can have lunch in Hell today-- Hell's Kitchen offers a lunch-time holiday show with the Jaztronauts, headed by saxophonist/vocalist Jason Weisman.

U of M Jazz Ensembles I and II present their winter concert at Ted Mann with guest artist, trombonist David Springfield.

Steven Hobert
What should be an enjoyable pairing, pianist Steven Hobert and trumpeter Adam Meckler take the spotlight at Jazz Central, while inventive saxophonist George Cartwright is on stage at the Icehouse for JT's Jazz Implosion. JT's electronic experiments add to the fun, along with bassist Josh Granowski and guitarist Andrew Broder.

New York Voices
Monday-Tuesday, December 14-15. Nothing says "holiday music" like multi-part vocal harmonies, and the New York Voices are arguably the best. Most recently in the Twin Cities with the JazzMN Orchestra (2014), the quartet of Peter Eldridge, Darmon Meador, Kim Nazarian and Laura Kinhan continue the artistry that has worked magic for the past 27 years, performing their holiday show over two nights at the Dakota.

And it's two consecutive nights in Hell with Charmin Michelle and Vic Volare!

Phil Aaron
Tuesday, December 15. Pianist Phil Aaron gets his due, performing with his trio on the Tuesday Instrumental Jazz Night at Crooners Lounge--before the series moves into the new Dunsmore Room next week.

KBEM holds its annual holiday party at Vieux Carré, but anyone can come in for the music which features the McNally Smith -affiliated Gerard Ahlgren Group followed by vocalist Katia Cardenas.

And it's Big Band Night at Jazz Central, with Doug Haining and Scott Agster's Explosion Big Band hitting the rafters tonight.

Charmin and Shapira
Wednesday, December 16. A fine night for song: Charmin and Shapira bring holiday cheer to "Holli-Jazzle" at Andrew Riverside Church in Minneapolis.   At Crooners, Denny Malmberg and Paula Lammers make it an accordion-vocal duo during Happy Hour, while Debbie Duncan brings her wit and song to the Dakota in prime time.

Laura Caviani
Thursday, December 17. Their second holiday gig of the week, the Laura Caviani Trio has the special honor of providing a preview of the new Dunsmore Room at Crooners, which officially opens on December 22. Formerly the Lakeside dining room, on two or three nights each week, the Dunsmore Room will feature instrumental or vocal music in an intimate space (seating for 80-90) intended for serious listening, with one of the world's most serious pianos on stage-- a 9-foot Bosendorfer. Join Laura, Gordy Johnson and Dave Schmalenberger for holiday music, dining specials, and a glorious new sound.

Larry McDonough
Another always-anticipated holiday show, Larry McDonough brings his quartet and guests to the Dakota, including daughter Rosie on African percussion. Count on Larry to not only make your season bright, but to put your ears on full alert with his odd meters.

A new venue in downtown Delano --the Bonde Bistro-- welcomes the Pete Snell Trio with Pete on sax, Lee Blaske on piano, and Jim Chenoweth on bass.  And if your tastes run smooth, you can't do better than an evening with pianist George Winston at Orchestra Hall.

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 7:20 am on Fridays. On December 17, special guest will be Patty Peterson, talking about the Peterson Family holiday show and more. Venues and artists are reminded to send information to online and print calendars (e.g.

Coming Soon!
. December 18 & 20, "Jingle Bell Doc," Doc Severinsen and the MN Orchestra at Orchestra Hall
. December 18, Peter Vircks Quartet at The Nicollet
. December 18, Maud Hixson Trio at Parma 8200
. December 18, Donald Washington Group at the Black Dog
. December 19, Ginger Commodore Holiday Show at Vieux Carré
. December 19, Headspace/Tall Tales at the Black Dog
. December 20, Peterson Family Christmas at the Dakota
. December 21, Phil Cook with Mike Lewis and JT Bates at the Icehouse
. December 21-22, Nachito Herrera and the Universals at the Dakota
. December 22, Connie Evingson "Hot Jazz" at Vieux Carré
. December 22, Dave King Trio (with Bill Carrothers and Billy Peterson) in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. December 26, Iron Chops/Framework at the Black Dog
. December 27, Big Band Christmas at Jazz@ St Barneys
. December 25-28, The Bad Plus at the Dakota
. December 28, JT Bates "Open Relationships" CD release at the Icehouse
. December 31, Artists Quarter New Year's Eve with Carole Martin at Hell's Kitchen
. December 31, New Year's Eve Dinner Show with Jazzland Wonderband at Vieux Carré
. December 31, Thomas Bruce/Maud Hixson/Benny Weinbeck Quartet, New Year's Eve Party at Parma 8200
. December 31, New Year's Eve Benefit for Feed My Starving Children with The Niskas at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church (Burnsville)
. January 5, Butch Thompson in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. January 7, Rachel Holder-Hennig "In the Crook" with Rick Carlson in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. January 8, Denny Malmberg Trio with Charmin Michelle at Parma 8200
. January 9, Andrew Walesch at Jazz @St Barneys
. January 10, Corky Siegel's Chamber Blues at the Dakota
. January 10, Dan Chouinard's "Birthday Club" series launches in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. January 12, Peter Kogan Quartet in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. January 17, John Penny CD release at the Icehouse
. January 19, Mary Louise Knutson Trio in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. January 22, Happy Apple 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 29, Maud Hixson at Parma 8200
. 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 20, Bill Frisell at the Dakota
. February 22, Ches Smith Trio with Craig Taborn at the Icehouse
. February 25, Rez Abassi with Rudresh Mahanthappa at Walker Art Center
. February 25, Jazz in the Target Atrium, Atrium Jazz Ensemble with Bryan Nichols at Orchestra Hall
. 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
. March 23, Geoffrey Keezer in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners
. April 23, JazzMN Orchestra with Bob McChesney and Andy Martin at Hopkins High School Auditorium
. April 28, Jazz in the Target Atrium at Orchestra Hall
. May 7, Steve Lehman Octet at the Walker Art Center

The Dave King Trio: Officially opening the Dunsmore Room at Crooners on December 22