Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, January 15-21

© Andrea Canter

Irv Williams still blows at Happy Hour, every Friday at the Dakota

It's Winter Madness time, referring to both the weather and the music. This weekend finds "masters" at work -- at Jazz Central (Peter Schimke), the Black Dog (Donald Washington, Zacc Harris Group), Crooners Lounge (Judi Vinar), Studio Z (Mill City Hot Club), and continuing into next week as the Twin Cities Seven, Mary Louise Knutson (in the Dunsmore Room) and Arne Fogel all perform at Crooners, and the Explosion Big Band holds their monthly gig at Jazz Central. That's just for starters.

Big Gigs This Week
Donald Washington
Friday, January 15. Some fine choices for week-ending happy hour, with Irv Williams still blowing at the Dakota, Lori Dokken tinkling the keys at Crooners Lounge, and Todd Harper's Piano Fridays (this week with Nameless Quartet) at the Black Dog. Stick around at the Black Dog and enjoy the never-ending inventions of Donald Washington, with the bari/tenor titan mixing it up tonight with valve trombonist Brad Bellows, bassist Dick Studer and percussion master Davu Seru. 

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A high-energy monster at the piano, Peter Schimke seldom takes a leading role, so be sure to catch his gig (a trio with bassist Anthony Cox) at Jazz Central tonight, followed by the young masters of the Gustavus Jazztet.

Katia Cardenas
At Vieux Carré, the early sets feature Dan "Daddy Squeeze" Newton on accordion with virtuoso guitarist Pat Donahue, followed by rising talent, eclectic singer Katia Cardenas in a quartet with Ted Godbout, Graydon Peterson and Zach Schmidt.

Note that The Nicollet remains closed for renovations, re-opening next Friday with Friday Night Jazz at the Reverie-- new name for the venue and some other changes, but Friday remains jazz night!

Mill City Hot Club*
Saturday, January 16. Ever wondered what "hot club" music is all about? You can learn a lot about the gypsy jazz of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli at the pre-concert master class at Studio Z, presented by guitarist Dean Harrington and his Mill City Hot Club, which will perform on the Jazz at Studio Z series. Dean's usual ensemble includes Mark Kreitzer on the second guitar, Gary Schulte on violin and Matt Senjem on bass.

Zacc Harris
Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog welcomes the Midwest Saxophone Quartet as the opening band -- this is an ensemble of four young saxophonists who are increasingly visible around town-- Jared Jarvis - soprano sax, Evan Benidt - alto sax, Joe Mayo - tenor sax, and Gus Sandberg - bari sax. They warm up the stage for the Zacc Harris Group (Bryan Nichols, Chris Bates, JT Bates), with Zacc himself warming up for a string of gigs in London next week, including three nights at Ronnie Scott's, all with a trio of UK jazzers.

Judi Vinar
At Crooners Lounge, vocalist and renowned educator Judy Vinar (Donaghy)  appears with longstanding bandmates, the Wolverines (Rick Carlson, Steve Pikal, Jendeen Forberg), while Cuban dynamo Nachito Herrera holds his monthly night in Havana at the Dakota.

Sunday, January 17. Sunday morning at the Turf Club? It's a jazz brunch with Bryan Nichols, James Buckley and JT Bates providing the creative menu.

Debbie Duncan
Celebrating Martin Luther King, St. Joan of Arc Church in south Minneapolis presents "On My Way Home," with special guests Bruce Henry and Debbie Duncan with the SJA Choir.

Andrew Walesch
In the Dunsmore Room at Crooners, the Andrew Walesch Trio (Gordon Johnson, Jay Epstein) proves the music is "not just for brunch," putting their magical touch to Gershwin in a room designed for listening.

Note: John Penny's CD release, scheduled for today at the Icehouse, was postponed -- new date to be announced soon.

Maryann Sullivan and Doug Hainng
Monday, January 18. At Crooners Lounge, Doug Haining's Twin Cities Seven features vocalist Maryann Sullivan, while the Icehouse focuses the spotlight on innovative guitarist Park Evans, on the Jazz Implosion series.

Monday-Tuesday, January 18-19. Honoring the late Allen Toussaint, extraordinary pianist Davell Crawford comes to the Dakota for four sets over two nights. Toussaint was a mentor to young Crawford, who is now considered the heir apparent of the great pianist/songwriter.

Mary Louise Knutson
Tuesday, January 19. Last fall, pianist Mary Louise Knutson performed some knock-out sets in the lounge at Crooners, with trio cohorts Gordon Johnson (bass) and Phil Hey (drums). Now the trio is back, but this time will appear in the new Dunsmore Room, a superb listening room with one of the region's best pianos.

Bryan Nichols
A very different trio, pianist Bryan Nichols heads to Vieux Carré with Chris Bates and Lars-Erik Larson.  Bryan's hot off an inspired evening last weekend with the Bates/Nichols/Bates Trio and more fire can be expected with this configuration. And if fire is on your agenda, things will be ablaze at Jazz Central for Big Band Night, tonight featuring the aptly named Explosion Big Band, led by Doug Haining and Scott Agster.

Arne Fogel
Thursday, January 21. Giving substance to the venue name, vocalist, broadcaster, producer and all-around Sinatra and Crosby expert Arne Fogel appears in the lounge at Crooners, backed ably and sometimes hilariously by the Wolverines Trio (Rick Carlson, Steve Pikal, Jendeen Forberg).

Sarah M. Greer
Vocalist Sarah M. Greer is connected with several improvisational projects, including the Give Get Sistet, performing "Lift Every Voice" at Jazz Central tonight. This expandable improvisational a cappela women's ensemble will explore the contributions of African American women through songs from slavery to modern times, with "the words of some of America's most prolific activists and artists... to illuminate a side of American history that often goes unacknowledged and uncelebrated."

Gary Schulte
Vieux Carré focuses on strings tonight, starting with a solo set from guitar star Joel Shapira, leading into the frenzy of Gypsy Mania, with Glen Helgesen and Reynold Philipsek on guitars, Gary Schulte on violin, and Matt Senjem on bass (yes, that is half of the Mill City Hot Club!).

The avant garde music series at Khyber Pass continues with Munir Kahar and John Vance, melding synthesizer, voice and a variety of instruments "ancient and modern invocation, cyber and visceral tones, digital and analog bodies." Kahar and Jon Middleton play the second set "conjuring forgotten spirits from everyday objects."

More Jazz!
Keep up with the live jazz scene in the Twin Cities. The most comprehensive jazz calendars can be found at Jazz Police and KBEM, with more listings at 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 January 21 will be Mac Santiago, providing an update on the live music offerings at Jazz Central Studios. Venues and artists are reminded to send information to online and print calendars (e.g.

Coming Soon!

John Raymond, CD release at Vieux Carre' on January 23

. January 22, Debbie Duncan Quartet at Crooners Lounge
. January 22, JazzINK Youth Showcase (Will Schmid/Adam Astrup Guitar Duo) at Reverie (The Nicollet)
. January 22, Happy Apple at the Icehouse
. January 23, Jeremy Walker's Seven Psalms at Orchestra Hall
. January 23, McNally Smith Winter Jazz Blast with guest Kenni Holmen and the JazzMN Orchestra
. January 23, Hagedorn Student Ensemble/Chris Bates Good Vibes Trio, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. January 23, Rick Carlson and Steve Pikal at Jazz @St. Barneys
. January 23, John Raymond CD release at Vieux Carré
. January 23, Seven Steps to Havana at the Dakota
. January 24, Dan Chouinard's Birthday Club with Patty Peterson, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. January 25, Rick Carlson and Rachel Holder "In the Crook", Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. January 26, Dave Karr Quartet in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. January 27, Butch Thompson and Dean Magraw at Vieux Carré
. January 29, Maud Hixson at Parma 8200
. January 29, Peter Kogan's Monsterful Wonderband at Vieux Carré
. January 30, Jana Nyberg Group at Vieux Carré
. January 30, Nextet/Dave Karr Group, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. January 30-31, Century College Jazz Festival featuring Randy Brecker
. January 31, Winter Jazz Festival at the Saint Paul Hotel, featuring the Cyrus Chestnut Trio
. February 1, Acme Jazz Company at Crooners Lounge
. February 2, Charles Lloyd Trio with Bill Frisell at the Dakota
. February 8-9, John Scofield and Joe Lovano at the Dakota
. February 8-9, Mardi Gras with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band at Vieux Carré
. February 11, Mack Avenue Super Band at the Dakota
. February 13, Debbie Duncan and Dennis Spears at the Dakota
. February 13-14, Arne Fogel and Maud Hixson, "Crosby-Clooney Story" at the Capri Theater
. February 14, Charles Lazarus at Orchestra Hall
. February 14, Badi Assad, Valentine's Day Dinner/Cocktail shows at the Dakota
. February 14, Andrew Walesch and Debbie Duncan, Valentine's Day show in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. February 16, Bill Carrothers, solo piano in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. February 19, Bruce Henry at Crooners Lounge
. February 20, Retro Swing Sister (Maryann Sullivan and Rhonda Laurie) at Jazz @ St Barneys
. February 20, Bill Frisell "When You Wish Upon a Star" ensemble at the Dakota
. February 22, Ches Smith Trio with Craig Taborn at the Icehouse
. February 25, Rez Abassi with Vijay Iyer and Rudresh Mahanthappa at Walker Art Center
. February 25, Rebirth Brass Band at the Dakota
. February 25, Jazz in the Target Atrium, Atrium Jazz Ensemble with Bryan Nichols at Orchestra Hall
. February 27, Shifting Paradigm's Winter Jazz Fest at Studio Z
. 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 3-4, SF Jazz Collective at the Dakota
. April 18, Chick Core and Bela Fleck at the Guthrie Theater
. April 19, Lizz Wright at the Dakota
. 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
. June 23-25, Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Mears Park
. July 1-3, Iowa City Jazz Festival

* John Penny photo by Andrea Canter, composite courtesy of the Icehouse. Mill City Hot Club photo provided by the band. All other photos © Andrea Canter.

The Lead Sheet live is broacast on KBEM, 88.5 FM radio every Thursday at 4:40 pm.