Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, March 4-10

We are pleased and flipped to celebrate Davis Wilson's 80th at the Black Dog, March 5

© Andrea Canter
A week of interesting jazz awaits us! We can hear Larry McDonough channel Chet Baker, the X-Tet in a concert setting, a rare gig from Sidewalk Café, some of the area's most serious improvisers at the Icehouse (Vector Families) and Khyber Pass (Le Percheron), Twenty Steps From Stardom star Lisa Fischer, trad piano wizard Butch Thompson at two different venues, and the owner of that Bösendorfer (Steven Anderson) performing on his own instrument in the Dunsmore Room. And there's a special 80th birthday celebration this week at the Black Dog.

Big Gigs This Week!
Katia Cardenas
Friday, March 4. Early evening music on both sides of the river -- Irv Williams and Steve Blons cover Happy Hour at the Dakota, James Buckley and Bryan Nichols hold down the dinner hours at the Icehouse,  while Todd Harper and Nathan Hanson (The Ordinary Mystics) celebrate waltzes, jazz style, at the Black Dog. And in Fridley at Crooners Lounge, a second night of happy hour for the duo of vocalist Katia Cardenas and pianist Javi Santiago-- with a cool back story: their fathers were pals and one-time bandmates back in California.

Larry McDonough
At Reverie (aka The Nicollet), Larry McDonough reprises his crowd-pleasing tribute to Chet Baker, with Larry handling the vocals and Steve Kenny serving as Chet's trumpet voice, along with the rest of the quintet--Richard Terrill on saxes, Greg Stinson on bass, Dean White on drums and Rosie McDonough on African percussion. First set is all Chet, second set features music in the style of Chet...meshed with the quirky style of Larry McDonough. (Catch Larry again on Saturday at St. Barneys; see below.)

At Vieux Carré, pianist Jeremy Walker opens, followed by the Crescent City influenced dancing rhythms of the Jazzland Wonderband, featuring some of the hottest young talents in town-- Nelson Devereaux, Keith Hilson, Cameron Kinghorn, Evan Clarke and Andres Crovetti. A lot of brass and a good dose of sass.

Eric Gravatt
At Jazz Central, "Masters Night" brings back drum titan Eric Kamau Gravatt and Source Code, with the Weather Report Alum overseeing the mayhem with Solomon Parham on trumpet, Chris Thomson on sax, Dean Magraw on guitar and Ron Evaniuk on bass. Stay late for a new ensemble of students and recent grads, Purple Funk Metropolis, led by saxophonist Andrew Tomten. This funky jam band plays improv-heavy covers and originals fusing hip-hop and jazz.

Richard Terrill, LMQ
Saturday, March 5. Larry McDonough again -- tonight with his quartet (LMQ) on the Jazz @St. Barney's series at St. Barnabas Lutheran Church in Plymouth. It's the second St. Barney's show in two weeks! Tonight, pianist/vocalist/composer Larry offers a retrospective of his recent shows and compositions, presenting some works from his tributes to Chet Baker and the Tony Bennett/Bill Evans partnership as well as tunes from recent recordings. Expect some odd time signatures, quirky originals, and sublime takes on standards.

Pete Whitman with the X-Tet
Since the Artists Quarter closed, we have had too few opportunities to hear Pete Whitman's X-Tet, but tonight a real treat-- the band in a concert hall setting at the Hopkins Center for the Arts. Band members have been writing -- there will be four world premieres of new works, along with band favorites and some jazz arrangements of classical works from Laura Caviani and David Milne.

Sophia Shorai
Spend Saturday night in Hell with Arne Fogel-- that's an evening at Hell's Kitchen with the Twin Cities answer to Bing and Frank. Or for the feminine side of song, head to Crooners Lounge for the always engaging Sophia Shorai.

There's some cool traditional jazz from our local Pigs Eye Jass Band at the Eagle's Club, complete with a large dance floor. You can also test your swing dance talents at 301 on Main (Minneapolis) with Retro Swing Sister, Maryann Sullivan and Rhonda Laurie, .

Davis Wilson
And who is turning 80? My Lords and Ladies, it's Davis Wilson! Come to the Black Dog for a party that will last all evening as Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog celebrates everyone's favorite jazz host with a band of AQ veterans-- Dave Brattain, Dean Magraw, Steve Kenny, Ted Olsen and Kenny Horst.

James Buckley
Sunday, March 6. Sunday brunch continues at the Aster Cafe with the one and only Patty and the Buttons swinging away. And going against the usual rockish grain at the Turf Club, try Sunday Brunch with the James Buckley Trio, featuring Bryan Nichols and Cory Healey.

Connie Evingson
Fitzgerald in St. Paul is an organization celebrating F. Scott Fitzgerald, generally with literary events, but this afternoon at the George Latimer (Central) Library in downtown St. Paul, "Music of the Jazz Age" will be presented by Connie Evingson with Dan Chouinard on piano and Chris Bates on bass, performing music of the 1920s including classic songs of Fats Waller, Hoagy Carmichael, Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin and more. Advance tickets require--and already reserved, but standing room only available on first come basis, so arrive well ahead of the 2 pm start! Also in the afternoon, South High Jazz II and Combo II perform a special gig at Jazz Central under the direction of Sarah Minette.

Andrew Walesch
In the Dunsmore Room at Crooners, it's the Andrew Walesch Trio (with Graydon Peterson and Jay Epstein) spinning tunes from the Great American Songbook-- a periodic reprise of the trio's former Sunday Brunch gigs. And at the Riverview Wine Bar, the Zacc Harris Trio continues one of the area's longest-running gigs.

Monday, March 7. The ever-creative Acme Jazz Company brings big band magic to Crooners Lounge, along with original charts and arrangements from Bob Parsons. In the Spotlight at Jazz Central, two generations of sax madness, Dave Brattain and Joe Mayo, get together to blow.

Lisa Fischer
At the Dakota, genre-defying Rolling Stones back-up veteran Lisa Fischer is out on her own with her Grand Baton, and this return visit promises to be at least as cool as the last (about six months ago). Lisa has one of those voices that transcends classification, and her recent collaborations with Billy Childs, YoYo Ma, and Gregory Porter suggest she is no longer "20 Feet From Stardom." She's here.

Dave King, Vector Families
JT's Implosion at the Icehouse features some local giants of jazz as Vector Families-- Dave King, Anthony Cox, Dean Granros and Brandon Wozniak.

Butch Thompson
Tuesday, March 8. There's fun and swing in the Dunsmore Room tonight with trad piano/clarinet powerhouse Butch Thompson and guitarist Pat Donahue. The duo brought the house down last fall in the Lounge, and now they bring their talents to the listener-friendliy Dunsmore Room. Butch already tested out the Bösendorfer last month, and an encore is surely in order.

Big Band Night at Jazz Central presents the monthly gig of the Cedar Avenue Big Band, one of the most popular and most busy in the Twin Cities, featuring an A-List of the metro's top jazzers.

At Vieux Carré, swing is in season with Radio Joe and the Jazzbos. Inspired by the 1930s Benny Goodman Quintet, the band plays vintage swing, boogie-woogie and jump blues as well as originals in those styles, making this a magnet for swing dancers. Radio Joe Demko is joined by Keith Boyles, Tony Guscetti and Bruce Wintervold.

Steven Anderson
Wednesday, March 9. Steven Anderson made an interesting loan to Crooners Lounge last December -- he loaned the venue a 9-foot Bösendorfer grand, on the condition that he could play it himself now and then. Known throughout the region and beyond for his eclectic repertoire, Anderson makes his Dunsmore Room debut solo on his piano, with two shows tonight. 

Chris Bates
At Jazz Central, it's the third and final installment of the Chris Bates Trio with Joe Strachan and Matt Buckner. In January and February, the trio held open rehearsals to test drive new compositions. Tonight, they present the results, which will soon be available as an EP.

Tuba Skinny
The Parkway Theater hosts the Twin Cities stop on the national tour of Tuba Skinny, a fun-filled trad band from New Orleans. Says their former accordionist, local hero Patrick Harison, "Amazing thing about the group is, just 8 years ago, everyone was just picking up their instruments and learning how to play the music... Now, in my opinion they are some of the worlds best interpreters of traditional jazz... Pretty amazing progress!" I caught this band in Detroit last fall -- fun and fabulous!

And I was just asked recently about the Parisota Hot Club. And they have a gig tonight at Schooner Tavern -- Robb Henry, Erin Livingston, Jim Chenoweth and Ben Kaplan put their own spin on hot club swing.

Vicky Mountain
Thursday, March 10. Vocal Jazz Night at Jazz Central brings back Vicky Mountain, with a new ensemble featuring pianist Mary Louise Knutson and guitarist David Martin. This trio ensures an evening of sublime song with a heavy dose of fun.

Adam Linz
Fun along with unpredictable sonic antics is guaranteed at Khyber Pass, where Adam Linz's Le Percheron is back in action. It's the trio version with Adam on bass, Levi Schwartzberg on vibes and Cory Healey on drums.

More Jazz!

Keep up with the live jazz scene in the Twin Cities. The most comprehensive live jazz calendar can be found at KBEM, with more listings at Rhythm and Grooves and Jazz Near You, and of course, here on the Lead Sheet. KBEM and KFAI radio host jazz programs regularly and provide daily notices of jazz gigs and concerts; you can find promos of area jazz on the Jazz Police website and Facebook page. The live edition of The Lead Sheet can be heard at 4:40 pm on Thursdays on KBEM, rebroadcast at 8:20 am on Fridays (note later time), and recent broadcasts archived at KBEM on Demand. Special guests on March 10 will be young bandleaders Cory Healey and Lars-Erik Larson, talking about their recent recording projects. Venues and artists are reminded to send gig information to KBEM ( and print media calendars.


Coming Soon! 

. March 11, MacPhail Jazz Ensemble/Steven Hobert and Dean Magraw, Friday Night Jazz at Reverie
. March 12, Bottomless Pit, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. March 13, JazzMN Orchestra with Tierney Sutton at the Hopkins High School Auditorium
. March 13, Dan Chouinard's Birthday Club with Ann Reed, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. March 13-14, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Irvin Mayfield at the Dakota
. March 15, Laura Caviani Trio in the Dunsmore Room, Crooners Lounge
. March 16, Pete Snell Trio at Lupine Brewery (Delano)
. March 16, Lila Ammons Trio, After Work Wednesdays at The Tangiers
. March 17, Adam Meckler Orchestra at Vieux Carré
. March 18, Stokely Williams at Walker West Music Academy  (Note date change!)
. March 18, Really Big Shoe, Friday Night Jazz at Reverie
. March 18, Mancrush Quartet CD release at Vieux Carré
. March 19, Zakir Hussain at Pantages Theater
. March 19, Ellen Lease/Pat Moriarty Quartet, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. March 20, Dan Chouinard's Birthday Club with Prudence Johnson, Dunmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. March 21, Patty Peterson Presents Tribute to Jeanne Arland Peterson, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. March 22, "The Girls in the Band," film screening and concert at TPT
. March 23, Geoffrey Keezer with Gillian Margo, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. March 24, Cory Healey's Beautiful Sunshine Band CD release at Vieux Carré
. March 25, Jeremy Walker's Boot Camp at Vieux Carré
. March 25, King/Fletcher/Woods, Friday Night Jazz at Reverie
. March 26, Steve Kenny Quartet, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. March 27, Dan Chouinard's Birthday Club with Maria Jette, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. March 28, In the Crook with Erin Schwab and Jay Fuchs, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. March 29, Billy Peterson and special guest, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. March 30, Connie Evingson, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. April 1-2, Dave King Trio with Bill Carrothers and Billy Peterson at Vieux Carré
. April 2, Maud Hixson salute to Doris Day, Bloomington Black Box Theater
. April 3-4, SF Jazz Collective at the Dakota
. April 8, Dakota Combo at Studio Z
. April 9, PipJazz at The Bedlam
. April 10-11, David Sanborn at the Dakota
. April 10, Joyce Lyons Sings Carmen McRae, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. April 12, Andres Prado with Mississippi, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. April 15, Atlantis Quartet at Walker West Music Academy
. April 18, Chick Corea and Bela Fleck at the Guthrie Theater
. April 19, Lizz Wright at the Dakota
. April 20, Peter Bernstein/Larry Goldings/Bill Stewart Organ Trio at the Dakota
. April 23, JazzMN Orchestra with Bob McChesney and Andy Martin at Hopkins High School Auditorium
. April 25, Nancy Harms with Jeremy Siskind, CD Release, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. April 26, John Raymond Quartet, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. April 28, Jazz in the Target Atrium at Orchestra Hall (Atrium Jazz Ensemble)
. April 29, Guitar Night with Julian Lage Trio at the Dakota
. April 30, International Jazz Day Festival with Brian Lynch at Jazz Central
. May 2, Bill Charlap Trio at the Dakota
. May 4, Tim Kliphuis and Sam Miltich at the Dakota
. May 6, Tony Bennett at the State Theater
. May 7, Steve Lehman Octet at the Walker Art Center
. June 5, Poncho Sanchez at the Dakota
. June 17, David Binney Quartet at Walker West
. June 17, Tord Gustavsen Trio at Mindekirken (Norwegian Lutheran Church)
. June 23-25, Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Mears Park
. July 1-3, Iowa City Jazz Festival

Dee Dee Bridgewater - at the Dakota with Irvin Mayfield, March 13-14