Friday, January 30, 2015

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, January 30 - February 5



Chris Potter, Adam Rogers (Undergroud), at the Dakota February 2-3 POSTPONED DUE TO EAST COAST STORM

© Andrea Canter
Our January thaw is apparently over, but live jazz continues at a simmering level as we head into February. Steve Kenny continues to book jazz on Saturdays at the Black Dog (Dean Granros Quartet this weekend), and has just announced similar intentions for Fridays at The Nicollet in Minneapolis starting in March; What Would Monk Do surfaces at Jazz Central; Chris Potter brings his quartet to the Dakota after a long absences on that stage as a leader; Matt Otto comes to town and mixes it up with the Fantastic Merlins at the Icehouse; Dean Magraw is back in town and ready to co-host the First Tuesday gig with Davu Seru at the Black Dog, and of course there's more. NOTE: Potter snowed in in NYC, Feb 2 show postponed, check with the Dakota re Feb 3 show.

Big Gigs This Week
What Would Monk Do?
Friday, January 30. What Would Monk Do? As unpredictable as was the famed and eccentric composer/pianist, he most likely would have spent tonight at Jazz Central enjoying the interpretations of four Twin Cities veterans--Steve Kenny, Peter Schimke, Billy Peterson and Kenny Horst. On the "Bridge" series, what could be better than four of the old Artists Quarter's favorites collaborating to find new twists on Monk tunes as well as Monkish inspiration for some new compositions?

Chris Lomheim
The Icehouse continues to present some of the finest jazz in the Twin Cities, usually on Monday nights and weekends. Most weekends during dinner service, you can find a duo, usually bass with piano or guitar. Tonight, unwind with pianist Chris Lomheim and bassist James Buckley, two of the area's best, and enjoy some of the west metro's most creative (and tasty!) dinner and snack options, as well as a great drink list. (Come back tomorrow night when guitar wizard Tim Sparks joins Buckley).

Dean Granros
Saturday, January 31. Saturday Night at the Black Dog continues (as it will through 2015), tonight featuring veterans on both ends. The opening set highlights the too-seldom heard talents of saxophonist Dave Brattain and his quartet (Kevin Daley, Billy Peterson, Dave Schmalenberger), followed by the increasingly heard virtuosity and inventiveness of guitar master Dean Granros, returning with cohorts Zacc Harris, Chris Bates and Jay Epstein. Modern jazz just does not get better - or more accessible - than this, and the intimate space of the Black Dog focuses attention on every note.

It will be a soulful evening at the Dakota tonight when smooth-as-silk saxophonist Steve Cole returns with good friends Ricky, Paul and Patty Peterson. Expect an eclectic mix of jazz, R&B, gospel and pop.

Butch Thompson
In the west burbs, Jazz @ St Barneys continues its monthly-plus series of concerts with trad legend Butch Thompson leading a most swinging trio with clarinetist Tony Balluff and bassist Steve Pikal. If they can't get your toes tapping.... you might want to check with a podiatrist.

Pharoah Sanders
Want to hear a living legend in one of New York's hottest jazz spots without leaving town? Pillsbury House Theatre (partnering with KBEM radio) presents a live Jazz at Lincoln Center webcast of legendary jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, broadcast in HD at 8:30 p.m. utilizing Pillsbury House Theatre’s sound system for superior audio quality. Tickets are free but reservations are needed: Call 612-825-0459 or email info@pillsburyhousetheater.orgWatch for more of these live broadcasts --Pillsbury House is a JALC Micro Network partner this season.

David Berkman, Target Atrium
Or if you want to hear some red hot modern jazz without even leaving home tonight, tune into KBEM at 9 pm for the broadcast of the January 22 Jazz in the Target Atrium concert (Orchestra Hall), with New York-based pianist David Berkman collaborating with local heroes Brandon Wozniak, Anthony Cox and JT Bates.

Zach Schmidt
Monday, February 2. The Jazz Central spotlight tonight shines on drummer Zach Schmidt and his quartet featuring Park Evans, Ted Godbout and Andrew Foreman. Expect standards and new compositions from these formidable musicans. 

Kansas-based saxophonist Matt Otto comes to town, playing tonight on JT's Jazz Implosion series at the Icehouse. He's joined by a trio of insatiable improvisers, the Fantastic Merlins-- Nathan Hanson, Doan Brian Roessler and Pete Hennig. Otto is co-founder of the Los Angeles Jazz Collective and notably has performed with Anthony Wilson and Alan Ferber.

Chris Potter
Monday-Tuesday, February 2-3. THIS SHOW (2/2) POSTPONED DUE TO EAST COAST STORM. STEVE KENNY QUINTET AT THE DAKOTA 2/2.  It's been nearly a decade since ace saxophonist Chris Potter led an ensemble  in the Twin Cities -- his then-new Underground quartet performed here in 2006. Potter has returned a couple times with the Dave Holland Quintet, but still was long overdue here. Like the Holland band, Underground has gone through a few changes over the years, but still ranks as one of the most intriguing and effective ensembles in modern jazz. With bass now replacing keyboards, Potter's Underground will bring us four sets over two nights of original music, with tenorman Potter joined by his current touring band of Adam Rogers on guitar, Fima Ephron on bass, and Nate Smith on drums. Potter is also celebrating the late January release of his expanded Underground Orchestra's Invisible Cities (ECM).

Dean Magraw

Tuesday, February 3. Back from some road trips, guitar magician Dean Magraw is again co-hosting First Tuesdays at the Black Dog with masterful percussionist Davu Seru. Magnificent mayhem!

Wednesday, February 4. Anthony Cox flexes his creative muscle, bring back to Jazz Central Riotous N-- with guitarist John Penny and percussionist Davu Seru. It's new music night so anything can and will happen.
 
Thursday, February 5. Now into its second year, Vocal Jazz Night at Jazz Central brings in The Sound Doctors. A vocal a cappella quintet, the "doctors" include Dorian Chalmers, Dennis Curley, Greg Eiden, Geoff Thompson and Sheridan Zuther, with such credits as the Phil Mattson Singers, Shoop!, Five by Design, Pizazz Band and more. They'll perform original arrangements of jazz and pop standards. Nothing but good health from these docs!

Arne Fogel
Speaking of a sound doctor, there is none with a better cure rate than vocalist Arne Fogel, crooning his magic tonight at Hell's Kitchen!

More Jazz All Week!
Keep up with the live jazz scene in the Twin Cities -- check out calendars at Jazz Police, KBEM, Rhythm and Grooves and Jazz Near You, as well as here on the blog.  More jazz to tickle your ears:

Friday, January 30. Irv Williams and Steve Blons, happy hour at the Dakota; Todd Harper, happy hour at the Black Dog; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar, Saint Paul Hotel; Jason and the Q at Parma 8200; John Paulson with Swing, Inc. at Signatures (Winona, MN); Mississippi Hot Club at Bryant Lake Bowl; Connie Olson at the Cellar at Scusi

Saturday, January 31. Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; LaVelle Jazz Cats at Crooners Lounge; Tim Sparks and James Buckley, dinner sets at the Icehouse; Harrelson Trumpet Night at Jazz Central; Katia Cardenas at The Nicollet; Joel Shapira solo guitar at Ingredients Cafe'

Sunday, February 1. Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster; Zacc Harris Trio at Riverview Wine Bar

Monday, February 2. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; BZ3 Organ Trio at the Narrows Saloon; Benny Weinbeck Trio at Crooners Lounge

Tuesday, February 3. Cafe Accordion at Loring Pasta Bar; Bill Simonsen Orchestra at Jazz Central; Patrick Harison at Cafe Maude; Acme Jazz Company with Arne Fogel at Crooners Lounge; Patrice Michaels, "Jazz Meets Classical" at Macalester College, Mairs Hall; Beasley's Big Band at O'Gara's

Andrew Walesch
Wednesday, February 4. Connie Evingson's Jazz in the Lounge with Benny Weinbeck, Gordy Johnson and Dave Karr; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Wolverines Trio at Hell's Kitchen; New Music Night at Jazz Central; Jazz at the Tangiers; Andrew Walesch Quartet at Crooners Lounge

Thursday, February 5. John Paulson Trio, Noon at the Garden View Cafe at Mayo (Rochester, MN); John Devine and Friends at Loring Pasta Bar; Moonlight Serenaders at Wabasha Street Caves; Larry Dunsmore at Crooners Lounge

Coming Soon!
. February 7, Kenny Horst and Friends at the Black Dog (Opening - Jon Pemberton Trio)
. February 7-8, Bruce Henry, Legends series at the Capri
. February 9, Firebell at the Black Dog
. February 9, Solomon Parham at Jazz Central
. February 10, Sean McMahon and Adi Yeshaya, Live at 5 at McNally Smith
. February 12, Jack Brass Band at the Amsterdam
. February 13, The Assad Brothers with Romero Lubambo at the Dakota
. February 14, Paul Harper Quartet (Opening - Central Standard Time) at the Black Dog
. February 14, Maud Hixson, Rick Carlson "Bad for Each Other" at the Icehouse.
. February 15, Longfellow Concert and fundraiser, Laura Caviani, Pete Whitman and more (3 pm) at Christ Lutheran Church (Minneapolis)
.  February 17-18, David Sanborn at the Dakota
. February 21, Studio Z Winter Jazz Festival (Adam Meckler Orchestra, Endeavors, Atlantis Quartet, Mancrush, Nichols/Bates/Bates, Graydon Peterson Quartet)
. February 21, Glen David Andrews at the Dakota
. February 21, Good Vibes Trio at the Black Dog (Opening - Central Standard Time)
. February 21, U Wisconsin River Falls Jazz Ensemble with Donny McCaslin, William Abbot Concert Hall at UW-River Falls
. February 22, Lulu's Playground at Jazz Central (3 pm)
. February 25, Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn at O'Shaughnessy Auditorium
. February 28, U of M Jazz Festival with guest Pat Mallinger (evening concert)
. February 28, Zacc Harris Group at the Black Dog (Opening - Central Standard Time)
. February 28, Arne Fogel & Jennifer Eckes, “What The World Needs Now: The Songs of Burt Bacharach & Hal David” at the Bloomington Center for the Arts
. February 28, Minnesota State University Mankato Jazz Mavericks, with Mike Stern and Kenni Holmen in Halling Recital Hall, MSU Mankato
. March 3, Rene Marie at the Dakota
. March 6, Eric Gravatt and Dean Magraw at The Nicollet
. March 6, "Raisin’ Cane: A Harlem Renaissance Odyssey" with Jasmine Guy and the Avery Sharpe Trio at O'Shaughnessy Auditorium
. March 7, DD7 at the Black Dog (Opening - Charles Lincoln Group)
. March 9, David Sanchez Quartet at the Dakota
. March 10-11, Cassandra Wilson at the Dakota
. March 12, Jack DeJohnette at Walker Art Center, McGuire Theater
. March 13, Foreign Motion at The Nicollet
. March 13, Peter Vircks Quartet at Jazz Central
. March 14, Chris Botti at Orchestra Hall
. March 15, Jazz Mn Orchestra with Pete Christlieb at Hopkins High School Auditorium
. March 20, Jake Baldwin Quintet at The Nicollet
. March 23-24, Steve Tyrell at the Dakota
. March 25-26, Delfeayo Marsalis (Southern Gentleman) at the Dakota
. March 27, How Birds Work at The Nicollet
. March 29, Tierney Sutton and Mark Summer at the Dakota
. April 16, Anthony Cox and Jeremy Walker, "Rage of Achilles" at Orchestra Hall (Target Atrium)
. April 16, Bettye LaVette at the Dakota
. April 17, Ann Hampton Callaway at Orchestra Hall
. April 25, JazzMN Orchestra with Bob Mintzer at Hopkins High School Auditorium
. April 25-26, Irv Williams, Legends concert at The Capri
. May 2, Jason Moran and Robert Glasper at the Walker
. June 25-27, Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Mears Park and beyond
. July 2-4, Iowa City Jazz Festival (Charles Lloyd, Dave Douglas, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Julian Lage, Brian Charette, Atlantis Quartet, Becca Stevens, COLOSSUS)

Firebell comes to the Black Dog, February 9th

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, January 23-29




Leigh Kamman, 1922-2014
© Andrea Canter
The Saint Paul Winter Carnival is just getting underway. And it may seem like a winter jazz carnival in the Twin Cities this weekend, most notably with the celebration of the life of broadcaster/jazz wizard Leigh Kamman at the Saint Paul Hotel, just off the epicenter of the Carnival in Rice Park.  Also this weekend, the annual Winter Jazz Blast at McNally Smith  with special guest Ingrid Jensen and the Century College festival with special guest Steve Davis, who continues his Twin Cities run at the Icehouse on Monday. The Illicit Sextet returns to the Black Dog, Debbie Duncan and Gwen Matthews mix it up at the Dakota, and the Atlantis Quartet previews some new material at Jazz Central. And the heat continues well into the week as Dianne Reeves hits the Dakota and Maryann Sullivan celebrates a birthday at Jazz Central.

Big Gigs This Week
Atlantis Quartet
Friday, January 23. A busy Friday all around the metro. In Minneapolis, the Atlantis Quartet (Zacc Harris, Brandon Wozniak, Chris Bates, Pete Hennig) is featured on Jazz Central's "Bridge" series, showcasing their always-intriguing improvisations and previewing new works that will appear on their upcoming CD, recorded live at the Icehouse. After debuting at Chicago's Jazz Showcase recently, the band has signed on to appear on the main stage of the Iowa City Jazz Festival in July.

Maryann Sullivan
In St Paul, Maryann Sullivan's Corner Jazz brings swing, standards and a dash of sass to the Black Dog. And you can't imagine a more swinging line-up-- Reynold Philipsek on guitar, Jim Chenoweth on bass, and the Haining guys-- Doug on sax and son Trevor on drums. And note her birthday gig at Jazz Central on Thursday.  (Note to Maud Hixson fans-- that gig at Parma tonight is a private event that somehow got sent out as a public show.)

Doug Little
At the Dakota, Seven Steps to Havana returns after a long break. This globally inspired septet lead by Doug Little includes Cuban pianist Viviana Pintado and a cast of the best interpreters of Latin rhythms.  And stay up late -- Late Night at the Dakota features trombone master Steve Davis (Chick Corea's Origin, Jackie McLean, etc.) with improvising hip hop group Coloring Time. Davis is also in town for the Century College Jazz Festival and JT's Jazz Implosion -- see below.

Ingrid Jensen
Saturday, January 24. It's the third annual Winter Jazz Blast at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul. For most of the day, middle and high school jazz students participate in clinics and performances. The evening agenda includes a public concert featuring this year's guest artist, outstanding trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, along with McNally Smith ensembles (X-Tet, Hornheads Tribute and Fusion).

Nathan Norman, Illicit Sextet
Saturday Night at the Black Dog features the Illicit Sextet, popular in the 90s, dormant through most of the 00s, and reunited in 2009 at full tilt. Some of the most accomplished veterans in the Twin Cities, the band remains intact from its mid-90s edition, with Steve Kenny, Paul Harper, David Roos, Chris Lomheim, Tom Pieper and Nathan Norman. Expect some tunes from their Chapter Eleven release (2013) as well as some new material which will be part of the next CD, to be recorded this year. Opening set will feature young musicians from River Falls, Dark Blue.

Debbie Duncan
At the Dakota, two of the region's finest voices and entertainers team up -- Debbie Duncan and Gwen Matthews present "My Favorite Things" with support from Adi Yeshaya, piano;Tome Lewis, bass; Joe Pulice, drums; and Rich Manik, sax.

Sunday, January 25.  The 26th annual Century College Jazz Festival welcomes guest artist, trombone master Steve Davis, with public performances with the Century Jazz Ensemble at 3 and 8 pm. (Arrive early as Jana Nyberg will perform at pre-concert receptions at 2 and 7 pm.) Davis will hang out a while, turning up at the Icehouse tomorrow night (see below). 

Leigh Kamman
The biggest event of the weekend will take place at the Saint Paul Hotel (Grand Ballroom) as the Twin Cities jazz community comes together to honor the life and work of Leigh Kamman, the voice of jazz radio for more than 60 years. Kamman, who passed away in October, will be remembered through performances by a long list of area musicians (including Dean Magraw, Patty Peterson, Kenny Horst, Irv Williams, Conning Evingson and Butch Thompson), appearing in familiar and unfamiliar configurations. It's officially 4-8 pm but closing with a jam session that could go on much later. And there is an "after-party" in the lower level of the Hamm Building - -a familiar space that will soon hold a new club, designated for now as Room With a Vieux. Bassist Gary Raynor will lead a trio and guests to continue the celebration of Leigh Kamman well into the wee hours.

Phil Hey
Monday, January 26. There's a new band in town and they kick-off with two gigs today! Led by U of M trombonist Tom Ashworth, the Fireside Five Jazz Quintet boasts heavyweights Brian Grivna, Phil Aaron, Gordy Johnson and Phil Hey. They debut at 3:30 pm on campus at U of M Ultan Hall (West Bank), and then move across town to the Underground Music Cafe in St Paul for the evening.

At Jazz Central, the spotlight is on Dave Graf, resident trombone magician. We hear Dave often in larger ensembles like JazzMN and Salsa Del Soul, so this will be a much more intimate encounter with pianist Ted Godbout, bassist Graydon Peterson and drummer Mac Santiago.

Billed as the second annual Steve Davis Throwdown, the Icehouse hosts the masterful trombonist and Jackie McLean alum, who is making the most of his Twin Cities visit. Tonight he performs the first set with in a burning quintet with Bryan Nichols, piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and JT Bates, drums. The late set finds Davis co-leading the Steve and Jon Davis Bonkers Electrorchesta, promising a list of guest artists and no doubt, some electronic wizardry.

Dianne Reeves
Tuesday-Wednesday, January 27-28. When Dianne Reeves headlined the 2014 Twin Cities Jazz Festival, she demonstrated much more than her outstanding voice and creativity -- she showed us her flexibility and sense of humor as well. The band arrived without luggage (i.e., without wardrobe), and then had to made the quick move from Mears Park to the Amsterdam when rain washed out the festival stages. Unruffled, Reeves put on a memorable show for an overflowing audience. This week, she will hopefully have a much better travel experience and there is little chance of flooding at the Dakota. A multi-Grammy winner and nominee, Dianne's 2014 release, Beautiful Life, is up for another. The Dakota gig is an intimate one with just a trio-- Peter Martin on piano, Reginald Veal on bass and Terreon Gully on drums.

Jake Baldwin
Wednesday, January 28. Just a couple years out of the New England Conservatory, trumpeter Jake Baldwin brings a quintet to Jazz Central's weekly improvised music night. Jake came out of gate leading bands, writing new music, finding chairs in area big bands and just generally embedding himself in the Twin Cities jazz and improvised music scenes.

Thursday, January 29. The curator books herself tonight at Jazz Central! Join vocalist Maryann Sullivan and Corner Jazz for a swinging birthday party -- Maryann promises cake! (And two sets of foot-stomping music.)

More Jazz All Week!
Keep up with the live jazz scene in the Twin Cities -- check out calendars at Jazz Police, KBEM, Rhythm and Grooves and Jazz Near You, as well as here on the blog.  More jazz to tickle your ears:

Friday, January 23. Irv Williams and Steve Blons, happy hour at the Dakota; Todd Harper, happy hour at the Black Dog; Jake Hanson and James Buckley, dinner sets at the Icehouse; Vic Volare at Hell's Kitchen; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar, Saint Paul Hotel; Seven Cat Swing Band at Crooners Lounge

Saturday, January 24. Joel Shapira Trio at Hell's Kitchen; Katia Cardenas at Mattie's on Main; Jake Hanson and James Buckley, dinner sets at the Icehouse; Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar, Saint Paul Hotel; Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson  Trio alternating sets with the Twin Cities Hot Club at Patrick's Cabaret; Paula Lammers and Denny Malmberg at the Mason Jar; Gary LaRue Quartet at Crooners Lounge; Dean Brewington Trio at Loring Pasta Bar; Peter Ostroushko and Dean Magraw at Creek House; Jim Ten Bensel Trio at Ngon Bistro

Sunday, January 25. Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster Cafe; Zacc Harris Trio at the Riverview Wine Bar; Charmin Michelle and the Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra at Cinema Ballroom

Monday, January 26. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza;  BZ3 Organ Trio at The Narrows Saloon; Gary LaRue Quartet at Crooners Lounge

Tuesday, January 27. Firebell at Cafe Maude; Cafe Accordion at Loring Pasta Bar; Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra at Jazz Central; Jazz on the Prairie Big Band at Eden Prairie High School; Darren Saner Duo at Crooners Lounge

Wednesday, January 28. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Jake Hanson and James Buckley at Cafe Maude; JVP (Joey Van Phillips) Ensemble at The Cedar; Jazz at the Tangiers

Thursday, January 29. John Devine and Friends at Loring Pasta Bar; Viva Brazil at the Icehouse

Coming Soon!
. January 30, What Would Monk Do at Jazz Central
. January 31, Steve Cole with Patty Peterson and Friends at the Dakota
. January 31, Dave Brattain Quartet, Dean Granros Quartet at the Black Dog
. January 31, Butch Thompson, Jazz @St. Barneys
. January 31, Katia Cardenas at The Nicollet
. February 2, Jazz Implosion: Matt Otto with the Fantastic Merlins at the Icehouse
. February 2-3, Chris Potter Quartet at the Dakota
. February 3, Bill Simonsen Orchestra at Jazz Central
. February 3, Patrice Michaels, "Jazz Meets Classical" at Macalester College, Mairs Hall
. February 3, Dean Magraw and Davu Seru at the Black Dog
. February 4, Connie Evingson's Jazz in the Lounge with Benny Weinbeck, Gordy Johnson and Dave Karr
. February 7, Kenny Horst and Friends at the Black Dog (Opening - Jon Pemberton Trio)
. February 7-8, Bruce Henry, Legends series at the Capri
. February 9, Firebell at the Black Dog
. February 9, Solomon Parham at Jazz Central
. February 11, Mark Dresser, afternoon master class at Ferguson Hall, U of M, and evening concert at McNally Smith
. February 12, Jack Brass Band at the Amsterdam
. February 13, The Assad Brothers with Romero Lubambo at the Dakota
. February 14, Paul Harper Quartet (Opening - Central Standard Time) at the Black Dog
. February 14, Maud Hixson, Rick Carlson "Bad for Each Other" at the Icehouse
. February 17-18, David Sanborn at the Dakota
. February 21, Studio Z Winter Jazz Festival (Adam Meckler Orchestra, Endeavors, Atlantis Quartet, Mancrush, Nichols/Bates/Bates, Graydon Peterson Quartet)
. February 21, Glen David Andrews at the Dakota
. February 21, Good Vibes Trio at the Black Dog (Opening - Central Standard Time)
. February 25, Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn at O'Shaughnessy Auditorium
. February 28, U of M Jazz Festival with guest Pat Mallinger (evening concert)
. February 28, Zacc Harris Group at the Black Dog (Opening - Central Standard Time)
. February 28, Arne Fogel & Jennifer Eckes, “What The World Needs Now: The Songs of Burt Bacharach & Hal David” at the Bloomington Center for the Arts
. March 3, Rene Marie at the Dakota
. March 6, Eric Gravatt and Dean Magraw at The Nicollet
. March 6, "Raisin’ Cane: A Harlem Renaissance Odyssey" with Jasmine Guy and the Avery Sharpe Trio at O'Shaughnessy Auditorium
. March 7, DD7 at the Black Dog (Opening - Charles Lincoln Group)
. March 9, David Sanchez Quartet at the Dakota
. March 10-11, Cassandra Wilson at the Dakota
. March 12, Jack DeJohnette at Walker Art Center, McGuire Theater
. March 14, Chris Botti at Orchestra Hall
. March 15, Jazz Mn Orchestra with Pete Christlieb at Hopkins High School Auditorium
. March 23-24, Steve Tyrell at the Dakota
. March 25-26, Delfeayo Marsalis (Southern Gentleman) at the Dakota
. March 29, Tierney Sutton and Mark Summer at the Dakota
. April 16, Anthony Cox and Jeremy Walker, "Rage of Achilles" at Orchestra Hall (Target Atrium)
. April 16, Bettye LaVette at the Dakota
. April 17, Ann Hampton Callaway at Orchestra Hall
. April 25, JazzMN Orchestra with Bob Mintzer at Hopkins High School Auditorium
. April 25-26, Irv Williams, Legends concert at The Capri
. May 2, Jason Moran and Robert Glasper at the Walker
. June 25-27, Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Mears Park and beyond
. July 2-4, Iowa City Jazz Festival (Charles Lloyd, Dave Douglas, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Julian Lage, Brian Charette, Atlantis Quartet, Becca Stevens, COLOSSUS)

Chris Potter returns to the Dakota on Feb 2-3


Friday, January 16, 2015

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, January 16-22




South High grad Jose' James comes back to the Dakota and Billie Holiday, January 20-21
© Andrea Canter

There seems to be a South/Southeast Minneapolis Jazz Vortex tonight with top musicians performing at the Icehouse, Jazz Central and The Nicollet, all within about a three-mile radius. And there's more music if you spread out just a little bit farther. That's just one night. Over the weekend and into the coming week, we have such options as Arne and Maud saluting the centennials for Billie and Frank; a rare duo gig with Joan Griffith and Reuben Ristrom; another "pop-up" preview at the not-yet-really-open Vieux Carré, hosted by Debbie Duncan; the annual Minnesota Guitar Summit; a homecoming/birthday visit from José James (also saluting Billie Holiday), and the next installment of Jazz in the Target Atrium with New York pianist David Berkman. And if that was all the jazz for the week, this column would be done.



Big Gigs This Week

JT Bates
Friday, January 16. When Ayn Rand wrote the play Night of January 16th, I doubt she was thinking of a long list of jazz gigs like the one facing us tonight. At Jazz Central, JT Bates brings in Far Cry, described as a group that "will dig around unhomogenized places to find other melodies and shattered rhythms." And what else would we expect from JT, Paul Metzger, Josh Granowski and Noah Ophoven-Baldwin?  Stick around, the late set features a band assembled by young vibraphonist/pianist Levi Schwartzberg, with drummer Ben Oni and the even younger, still-in-high-school team of Aidan Sponheim, Peter Goggin and Charlie Lincoln -- followed by an open jam.



Steve Kenny
Or you do a little back and forth, starting at the Icehouse for the first dinner set with Zacc Harris and James Buckley on guitar and bass, then head to Jazz Central for the first set, then back to Nicollet Avenue for the Steve Kenny Quartet at The Nicollet. The revived Nicollet (now with beer and wine) is hosting more and more jazz these days, and tonight's band is one of the hottest to hit their stage yet-- Kenny on trumpet, Brandon Wozniak on sax, Chris Bates on bass and Babatunde Lea on drums/percussion.




Joyce Lyons
A newer venue in the metro, the Underground Cafe in Falcon Heights has presented some impressive music already, and tonight will host a quintet of veteran musicians supporting one of the area's finest, if less familiar vocalists. Joyce Lyons spent much of her career in New York before relocating ("for love") to the Twin Cities about 5 years ago. Interpreting the music of Carmen McRae, Joyce is backed by a long-standing support system featuring Zack Lozier, Phil Aaron, Graydon Peterson and Jay Epstein. The cover ($20) includes sandwich or pizza.



And the new epi-center of St Paul jazz, the Black Dog features the Donald Washington Trio tonight, with the veteran performer/educator on sax,  with fellow improvisers Doan Brian Roessler on bass and Davu Seru on drums.



Debbie Duncan
Friday-Saturday, January 16-17. In the second "pop-up" event of 2015, Vieux Carré (the forthcoming club in the old Artists Quarter space in the Hamm Building) features hostess Debbie Duncan and guest saxophonists (Pete Whitman Friday, Kenni Holmen Saturday) along with the cast from the adjacent Park Square Theater's The Color Purple. At some point the club will close for renovations, reopening later in the year, but in the meantime, enjoy live jazz again on Seventh Place.



Maud Hixson and Arne Fogel
Friday-Sunday, January 16-18. This show is nearly sold out--a few tickets remain for the Saturday night show only. And that seems to be the case whenever singers Arne Fogel and Maud Hixson share the stage. This weekend at the Bloomington Black Box Theater, it's Arne's production of "Holiday for Frank," a salute to the centennials of Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra, with music direction (and of course piano) from Rick Carlson.



Joan Griffith
Saturday, January 17. Guitarist Joan Griffith spends most of her time teaching and playing for shows at Orchestra Hall and the like, so it is a real treat when we have a chance to hear her in a small ensemble gig. Over in South Minneapolis (again!), the Hosmer Library hosts Joan in duo with the ever-stellar Reuben Ristrom, a perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon. 


Bottomless Pit



There will be ample time to rest up before heading to St Paul for Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog. Headliner this week is Bottomless Pit, which must be the description of the talent in this new quartet led by Joel Shapira-- with Pete Whitman, Tom Lewis and Eric Kamau Gravatt. Come early for the opening band (Jazz Front) and a chance to snare a table and pizza.


Rondi Charleston
For folks in the Red Wing area as well as fans "commuting" from the Twin Cities and nearby, the Sheldon Theater presents New York vocalist/songwriter Rondi Charleston and her touring band.  An award-winning television journalist who followed her muse into vocal jazz, Rondi is a talented and original storyteller whose concerts will take you on unexpected journeys.



Dean Granros, guitar master
Sunday, January 18. The annual Minnesota Guitar Summit will be held at Jazz Central (4-8 pm) featuring a long list of Twin Cities' favorites-- Joan Griffith, Dave Singley, Dean Granros, Reuben Ristrom, Zacc Harris, Chris Olson, Geoff Lecrone, Jon Wood, David Feily and Ben Abrahamson, with backing from Chris Bates and Mac Santiago. One guitarist not on the festival roster but instead heading his own band, Paul Renz performs at the Aster Cafe -- a short distance from Jazz Central so easy to make the festival last well into the evening.



Doug Little
Monday, January 19. Yesterday it was guitars, tonight flutes dominate the scene at Jazz Central, with a return of Flute Feature with Mark Yannie, Stan Scott, and special guest Doug Little. Their set list will include Sam Rivers, Lee Morgan, John Coltrane and Kurt Weill. 

Dave King, a "Real Bull"
Shift your focus to drums for a later evening blowout at the Icehouse. First set features two of the world's most inventive drummers head to head-- JT Bates and Dave King are "Real Bulls." Second set brings back PRB Street Gang with Anthony Cox, Dean Granros, Brandon Wozniak and King.



Jose' James
Tuesday-Wednesday, January 20-21. The story of "hometown boy makes good" continues with vocalist José James' homecoming and birthday celebration gig at the Dakota. Heading back to his jazz roots, José delves into the music of muse Billie Holiday, soon to be released on Blue Note. The South High grad seems to hit gold every time out, be it the music of Coltrane or his own brand of R&B/hip hop. This is one of the most powerful and inventive male voices in modern music.



David Berkman
Thursday, January 22. There was a lot of enthusiasm to greet the early December kick-off concert in the new Jazz in the Target Atrium series at Orchestra Hall. Curated by Jeremy Walker, the second concert features acclaimed New York pianist David Berkman, along with the local Atrium Jazz Ensemble of Brandon Wozniak, Anthony Cox and JT Bates. Berkman was in the Twin Cities a couple years ago for a fundraiser to support Jeremy Walker's battle with Lyme Disease but it's been a long while since we heard him lead an ensemble. Expect original compositions and inventive takes on standards.  And you can warm up your jazz piano ears by stopping by the Dakota earlier in the evening to hear the very swinging Travis Anderson Trio with Steve Pikal and Nathan Norman.



Gary Schulte
In St Paul, the Black Dog presents the Talking Strings Duo, two-thirds of the original trio, with guitarist Pavel Jany and violinist Gary Schulte. These musicians are true virtuosos, and they let their strings do the talking.




More Jazz All Week!

Keep up with the live jazz scene in the Twin Cities -- check out calendars at Jazz Police, KBEM, Rhythm and Grooves and Jazz Near You, as well as here on the blog.  More jazz to tickle your ears:



Friday, January 16. Todd Harper, solo piano happy hour at the Black Dog; Irv Williams and Steve Blons, happy hour at the Dakota; Thomas Bruce at Parma 8200; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar, St Paul Hotel; The Standards Quintet at Crooner's Lounge



Saturday, January 17. JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar, St Paul Hotel; Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; Charmin Michelle at the Grand Kabaret (New Ulm); Talking Strings at Loring Pasta Bar (first set, Pavel Jany solo guitar); Minnesota Jazz Orchestra at the Phipps Center for the Arts (Hudson, WI); Travis Anderson Trio at the Normandy Kitchen



Sunday, January 18. Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster Cafe; Charmin Michelle with the Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra at Cinema Ballroom; Zacc Harris Trio at the Riverview Wine Bar; Martin Luther King Concert with The Steeles at the Dakota



Monday, January 19. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; BZ3 Organ Trio at The Narrows Saloon; Don Strong at Crooner's Lounge



Tuesday, January 20. Patty and the Buttons at Cafe Maude; Explosion Big Band at Jazz Central; Acme Jazz Company with Arne Fogel at Crooner's Lounge; River City Jazz Orchestra at Minnesota Music Cafe



Wednesday, January 21. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Wolverines Trio at Hell's Kitchen; Zacc Harris Trio at Cafe Maude; McNally Smith College of Music Orchestra at Jazz Central; Jazz at the Tangiers; Don Strong at Crooners Lounge



Thursday, January 22. Jennifer Parker at Jazz Central; Swingbeat Big Band at Wabasha Street Caves



Coming Soon!

. January 23, Maryann Sullivan's Corner Jazz at the Black Dog

. January 23, Atlantis Quartet at Jazz Central

. January 23, Seven Steps to Havana (Doug Little) at the Dakota

. January 24, Winter Jazz Blast at McNally Smith, evening concert Ingrid Jensen at the History Theater

. January 24, Illicit Sextet at the Black Dog (opening--Dark Blue)

. January 24, Dean Brewington at Loring Pasta Bar

. January 25, Leigh Kamman Memorial Tribute at the Saint Paul Hotel (Grand Ballroom), 4-8 pm

. January 26, Steve Davis at the Icehouse

. January 27-28, Dianne Reeves at the Dakota

. January 29, Maryann Sullivan (birthday gig) at Jazz Central

. January 30, What Would Monk Do at Jazz Central

. January 31, Steve Cole with Patty Peterson and Friends at the Dakota

. January 31, Dave Brattain Quartet, Dean Granros Quartet at the Black Dog

. February 2, Jazz Implosion: Matt Otto with the Fantastic Merlins at the Icehouse

. February 2-3, Chris Potter Quartet at the Dakota

. February 3, Patrice Michaels, "Jazz Meets Classical" at Macalester College, Mairs Hall

. February 7, Kenny Horst and Friends at the Black Dog (Opening - Jon Pemberton Trio)

. February 7-8, Bruce Henry, Legends series at the Capri

. February 9, Firebell at the Black Dog

. February 9, Solomon Parham at Jazz Central

. February 13, The Assad Brothers with Romero Lubambo at the Dakota

. February 14, Paul Harper Quartet (Opening - Central Standard Time)
. February 14, Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson at the Icehouse
. February 14, The Girls at the Hopkins Center for the Arts

. February 17-18, David Sanborn at the Dakota

. February 21, Studio Z Winter Jazz Festival

. February 21, Good Vibes Trio at the Black Dog (Opening - Central Standard Time)

. February 28, U of M Jazz Festival with guest Pat Mallinger (evening concert)

. February 28, Zacc Harris Group at the Black Dog (Opening - Central Standard Time)

. February 28, Arne Fogel & Jennifer Eckes, “What The World Needs Now: The Songs of Burt Bacharach and Hal David” at the Bloomington Center for the Arts

. March 3, Rene Marie at the Dakota

. March 7, DD7 at the Black Dog (Opening - Charles Lincoln Group)

. March 9, David Sanchez Quartet at the Dakota

. March 12, Jack DeJohnette at Walker Art Center, McGuire Theater

. March 14, Chris Botti at Orchestra Hall

. March 15, Jazz Mn Orchestra with Pete Christlieb at Hopkins High School Auditorium

. March 23-24, Steve Tyrell at the Dakota

. March 25-26, Delfeayo Marsalis (Southern Gentleman) at the Dakota

. March 29, Tierney Sutton and Mark Summer at the Dakota

. April 16, Anthony Cox and Jeremy Walker, "Rage of Achilles" at Orchestra Hall (Target Atrium)

. April 16, Bettye LaVette at the Dakota

. April 17, Ann Hampton Callaway at Orchestra Hall
. April 18, The Manhattan Transfer at the Hopkins Center for the Arts

. April 25, JazzMN Orchestra with Bob Mintzer at Hopkins High School Auditorium

. April 25-26, Irv Williams, Legends concert at The Capri

. May 2, Jason Moran and Robert Glasper at the Walker

. June 25-27, Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Mears Park and beyond

. July 2-4, Iowa City Jazz Festival (Charles Lloyd, Dave Douglas, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Julian Lage, Brian Charette...)



Leigh Kamman (1922-2014) - Memorial Tribute at the Saint Paul Hotel, January 25