Thursday, March 10, 2016

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

Tierney Sutton -- Master Class (March 12), with JazzMN Orchestra (March 13)

© Andrea Canter
Have we really seen the last of winter? Maybe, but the nonstop jazz fest of winter 2016 keeps on rolling as we "spring" ahead this weekend, as young lions and inventive veterans fill club schedules, and we welcome visits from two of the finest vocalists in jazz.

Steven Hobert and Dean Magraw
Friday, March 11.  The monthly JazzINK Youth Showcase, on the Friday Night Jazz at Reverie schedule, features a young group from the MacPhail Center for Music (MacPhail Student Jazz Combo), led by renowned jazz educator Greg Keel. This ensemble of 8th and 9th graders warms up the stage for one of area's most creative duos, pianist Steven Hobert and guitarist Dean Magraw.

Bryan Nichols
At Vieux Carré tonight, it's a triple header: Jon Pemberton shows off his piano chops with the free early evening show, followed by a shared headline act, with the University of Minnesota Morris Jazz Ensemble leading off before joining the intrepid trio Bates-Nichols-Bates for a few tunes, then turning over the club to Chris, Bryan and JT to finish off the night with their special brand of creative magic. That's a lot of music for $8 (bring cash!).

Judi Vinar
Vocalist Judi Vinar returns to Crooners Lounge with the Wolverines, Arne Fogel croons at Parma with Mary Louise Knutson on keys, JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske are in the Lobby Bar of the Saint Paul Hotel (and again tomorrow), and Jazz Central Studios welcomes the Peter Schimke Trio, with the fiery pianist on stage with internationally renowned bassist Anthony Cox and rising star drummer Cory Healey.

Saturday, March 12. Local vocalists and vocal students have a rare opportunity to learn from the best-- Tierney Sutton, in town to perform tomorrow with the JazzMN Orchestra, leads a master class at Jazz Central Studios this morning. Register and info on the Jazz Central website!

Aaron Hedenstrom
There's a Saturday Night Special at Jazz Central Studios, as former resident and current U of North Texas doctoral candidate Aaron Hedenstrom is back in town for a bit, playing his sax tonight with old pals Javi Santiago (piano), Dan Carpel (bass) and Mac Santiago (drums).

Bottomless Pit
Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog brings back Bottomless Pit, a quartet of seasoned pros led by guitarist Joel Shapira. The band launched about a year ago at the Black Dog, bringing together Shapira, sax monster Pete Whitman, sublime bassist Tom Lewis, and Weather Report alum, drummer Eric Kamau Gravatt. Opening set features some of the most talented young artists in town-- the Will Schmid-Jordan Anderson Quartet, with guitarist Will and pianist Jordan joining bassist Drew Stinson and drummer Ben Beyene.

It's the last of the "Frozen Apple" concert series in Apple Valley, with Patty Peterson and Friends at the Valleyview Golf Course and Country Club, and it's free! Patty takes the stage with Bobby Vandell, Ronny Loew, Billy Franze, and Jason Peterson Delaire.

Thomas Strommen
More young talents play a late gig at Public Kitchen in St. Paul -- saxophonist Thomas Strommen, a veteran of Group 47 and his own Dark Blue, leads a quartet with Dylan Nelson guitar, Eric Graham on keys, and Alex Burgess on drums.

A couple pairings that seem odd at first glance. Gypsy jazz and pizza? Check out the Parisota Hot Club at Dulano's! And can you hear great jazz at a Vietnamese Restaurant? Apparently, at least at Ngon Bistro in St. Paul, where percussion master Davu Seru brings his trio (featuring bassist Chris Bates). Think of it as sonic pho.

Tierney Sutton
Sunday, March 13. An afternoon of virtuosic big band with one of the most revered jazz singers of the modern era awaits patrons of the JazzMN Orchestra, as Doug Snapp and his ensemble welcome Tierney Sutton. With a repertoire from bebop to Songbook, from Bill Evans to Joni Mitchell, Sutton makes every arrangement her own. Most often heard in small ensemble settings, it's a real treat to her Tierney in the company of one of the finest big bands in the region, and beyond. In JazzMN's home hall, the auditorium at Hopkins High School.

Doug Little, Charanga Tropical
Another afternoon option, the Cuban rhythms of Charanga Tropical, led by Doug Little, fill the air of the high ceiling bar and restaurant at the Icehouse for their monthly Sunday gig. And late afternoon at the Black Dog features Fuzzy Math-- a project led by pianist and composer Mark Vandermyde, with Andrew Schwandt on sax, Matt Peterson on bass and Haralds Bondaris on drums, playing originals and covers from an eclectic perspective.  Also late afternoon, what might be a cultural hodgepodge with Klezmerica performing at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in south Minneapolis?

In the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge, Dan Chouinard hosts another "Birthday Party," tonight with singer-songwriter-guitarist Ann Reed. Their songlist includes music of artists and composers with March birthdays, audience requests, and personal favorites. And like every Sunday evening, Solomon (Parham)'s Sessions provides an opportunity to jam with the trumpeter and his band, at The Bedlam in Lowertown St. Paul.

Dee Dee Bridgewater
Sunday-Monday, March 13-14. Three-time Grammy winning vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater is no stranger to the Twin Cities or the Dakota, having appeared here a number of times in the past decade. Now she returns to the Dakota for two nights with another familiar artist, former Director of Jazz for Minnesota Orchestra Hall, trumpeter Irvin Mayfield. Together they recently released Dee Dee's Feathers, a tribute to New Orleans described as "a fine-tuned program that travels from swanky supper club environs to swampy down-home dives to the rhythmic heart of the city—Congo Square. And in the act of balancing all of that out, Bridgewater and Mayfield manage to bring out the best qualities in this music—spunk, soul, polish, passion, and joie de vivre" (Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz).

Rodney Ruckus
Monday, March 14. Ever since drummer Rodney Ruckus broke onto the scene in the past year, he's been gaining fans with his no-holds-barred attack and joyful displays behind the trapset.  He's in the spotlight tonight at Jazz Central, pulling together some like-minded friends for a set before the weekly jam session.

In a "departure from out longstanding tradition of improvised duos," Nathan Hanson and Doan Roessler bring a larger project to JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse,  adding Laura Harada, Christopher McGuire and Cole Pulice, "premiering some new tunes from our not-quite-done-yet record." The second set brings together Luke Polipnick, Tim Glenn and Erik Fratzke.

Laura Caviani
Tuesday, March 15.  Pianist Chris Lomheim starts the night solo at Vieux Carré, followed by another sublime pianist, Bryan Nichols, with his trio, featuring bassist Cody McKinney and drummer Lars-Erik Larson. Another of our top-shelf pianists, Laura Caviani, makes a return to the Dunsmore Room (where she played the soft opening in December), joined by Chris Bates (bass) and Dave Schmalenberger (drums).

Big Band Night at Jazz Central brings in the Explosion Big Band headed by Doug Haining and Scott Agster.

Pete Snell with Tom Lewis
Wednesday, March 16. Jazz after work? The Tangiers features vocalist Lila Ammons and her trio, while the Lupine Brewery in Delano jazzes it up with the Pete Snell Trio. (Seems the plethora of new breweries and distilleries has opened more opportunities for live music!)

A new curator comes on board for the Wednesday night "New Music' projects at Jazz Central. Bassist Casey O'Brien presents Ensemble Eudaemonic with Ted Godbout, Davu Seru, Graham O'Brien, John C.S. Keston and Cody McKinney. 

Adam Meckler Orchestra
Thursday, March 17. Can you get green beer tonight at a NOLA-style club? Probably if it is in St. Paul! Find out at Vieux Carré tonight while enjoying the modern sounds of the Adam Meckler Orchestra, playing their monthly gig. As long as you are with the AMO, you are having a party.

Over at Jazz Central, a deviation from the usual Vocal Jazz Night brings the young guns of Dark Blue to the stage. Led by U of M saxophonist Thomas Strommen, Dark Blue features most of Strommen's Quartet, with Dylan Nelson on guitar, Alex Burgess on drums, and adding Jason McLean on bass.

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 17 will be Andrew Walesch with an exciting update on the music in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge. Venues and artists are reminded to send gig information to KBEM ( and print media calendars.


Coming Soon!

. 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 25, Park Evans/Brian Courage/Greg Schutte at Public Kitchen
. March 26, Steve Kenny Quartet, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. March 26, Jazz at Studio Z, "Ornette and Beyond" (Wozniak, Nichols, Courage, Buckner) at Studio Z
. 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 29, Brian Courage/Erik Fratzke Duo and George Cartwright Trio at Bryant Lake Bowl
. March 29, Swing Sisterhood Big Band at Jazz Central
. 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 Schneider Theater
. April 2, Courageous Endeavors, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. April 3-4, SF Jazz Collective at the Dakota
. April 8, Dakota Combo at Studio Z
. April 9, PipJazz  (Pippi Ardennia, Jo Schad) 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 15, Bob Fantauzzo, Lyz Jaakola, Javi Santiago, Anthony Cox, Irv Williams, "Weaving of Traditions" at Sundin Hall, Hamline University 
. April 17, MacJazz Spring Concert (directed by Joan Griffith), Mairs Concert Hall, Macalester College
. 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 25, Macalester Combos (directed by Pete Hennig), Mairs Concert Hall, Macalester College
. 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


Geoffrey Keezer in the Dunsmore Room, March 23