Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, March 25-31

Marcus Wise and Dean Magraw, at Jazz Central March 25

© Andrea Canter

Lots of jazz in store for this holiday weekend, some "homecoming" gigs from a favorite former resident, a favorite pairing returns to action at Jazz Central, while a heady quartet returns to action at Vieux Carré; and there's lots of action in the Dunsmore Room. 

Big Gigs This Week!

Friday, March 25. We haven't heard from the duo of guitarist Dean Magraw and tabla player Marcus Wise in a while, so their gig tonight at Jazz Central is a welcome treat. They're each capable of playing just about anything with anyone, but together is a magical pairing.

King Fletcher Woods
Friday Night Jazz at Reverie finishes its run as such, moving to Thursdays in May and "in exile" at other venues in April. The Friday finale tonight features the venue debut of King Fletcher Woods, which is not a member of royalty but the trio of Jeff King (saxes), Charles Fletcher (bass) and Eron Woods (drums) -- and that is a royal powerhouse.

Jeremy Walker
Vieux Carré brings back Jeremy Walker's ultra-cool quartet, Boot Camp, sporting the talents of Walker on piano, Brandon Wozniak on sax, Chris Bates on bass and Miguel Hurtado on drums. Jon Pemberton opens the night on solo piano. At Parma 8200, a break in Friday vocal jazz with the Joel Shapira Trio offering their sublime instrumental alternative.

Patty Peterson and Jason DeLaire
The stage is still smoldering in the Dunsmore Room after Patty Peterson's salute to her mom a few days ago, but she is just as likely to sear the floor (or ceiling) in the lounge at Crooners tonight, singing with her "Friends" -- nephew Jason Peterson DeLaire and pals Billy Franze and Bobby Vandell.

Brian Courage
For a few years, the Twin Cities was blessed with the talents of young bassist Brian Courage, a New York transplant via the jazz program at Lawrence Conservatory. Brian quickly became a first-call sideman, and ultimately bandleader with projects like Courageous Endeavors and Mountain King. He's returned to New York now but fortunately manages to return at least once a year. This weekend he's got a couple gigs, starting tonight at Public Kitchen with Park Evans and Greg Schutte.

And if you are in the vicinity of Northfield, check out the Contented Cow, where vocalist Paula Lammers and guitarist David Martin will be on the "bandstand."

Saturday, March 26. A second chance this weekend to hear Brian Courage, tonight leading a quartet exploring the music Ornette Coleman, Paul Motian and beyond on the Jazz at Studio Z concert series. With Bryan Nichols on piano, Brandon Wozniak on sax and Matt Buckner on drums, the quartet will also host a master class an hour before the concert, discussing the nature and influence of Coleman on his own and future generations of improvisers and composers.

Steve Kenny
Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog kicks off with John Devine and Bill Lang in a double sax, free jazz duel, followed by Steve Kenny's "young lions" quartet with Levi Schwartzberg on vibes, Ted Olsen on bass, and Rodney Ruckus on drums.

Jazz Central is more often staying open Saturday nights, and tonight the Ted Godbout Trio is the reason, with the expert pianist mixing it up with bassist Matt Peterson and drummer Zach Schmidt.

And a new music venue of sorts, Boom Brewing on Boom Island is hosting jazz (Boom Jazz, of course) on the last Saturday of the month, kicking off tonight with valve trombone master Brad Bellows.

Dan Chouinard
Sunday, March 27. Special Sunday Brunch at the Dakota brings in the swinging Crescent City sounds of the Southside Aces. In the Dunsmore Room at Crooners, Dan Chouinard's Birthday Club starts a four-night run at the venue. Dan's guest tonight is the sophisticated vocalist Maria Jette.

Charmin  & Shapira
Monday, March 28. Saxophonist Evan Benidt shines in the spotlight at Jazz Central, while the always swinging Charmin and Shapira and Friends (Charmin Michelle, Joel Shapira, Paul Harper, Tom Lewis and Nathan Norman) return to the Dakota.

In the Dunsmore Room, the monthly "In the Crook" features pianist Jay Fuchs at the Bosendorfer with sweet and sassy singer Erin Schwab in the crook.

JT's Jazz Implosion presents a rare double set from one band-- in this case the young guns of Pile Driver -- Jake Baldwin on trumpet, Ted Olsen on bass, and Matt Buckner on drums.

Billy Peterson
Tuesday, March 29. You might consider a nearby motel room to make it easier to catch this week's shows in the Dunsmore Room! Tonight, bassist Billy Peterson, hot off a gig with Dave King in Switzerland, is back on standard time and sharing the stage with multi-instrumentalist nephew Jason Peterson DeLaire. Jason is most likely to be on the piano bench, but his saxophone will surely be at hand and his vocals likely will be accompanied by Billy's bass-- but don't be surprised if Billy ends up at the Bosendorfer himself, having demonstrated his keyboard talents last week in the tribute to mom Jeanne Arland Peterson.

Joan Griffith (Swing Sisterhood BB)
One of the most unusual projects to hit the Jazz Central stage for Big Band Night, the Swing Sisterhood Big Band makes their major venue debut under the leadership of St. Thomas faculty Sarah Schmalenberger. Sarah notes that the band evolved from a group of "educators, freelancers, composers, and college students who began meeting one Sunday a month to read down charts. Their sessions have a clearly vibrant sound of enthusiasm for making music with other women, specifically those with a passion for jazz.  These musicians cheer the drummer, whoop for soloists, and high-five their section mates!" Section mates include Joan Griffith on bass and Jendeen Forberg on drums. Also unusual for Tuesday Big Band Night, there's an opening set from the Emergence Brass Band, which will play originals, fusion and classical works.

At Vieux Carré, Chris Lomheim opens on solo piano, followed by guitarist Paul Renz and his quartet.

Tanner Taylor
Wednesday, March 30. It's a very special night in the Dunsmore Room with songbird Connie Evingson, former Minnesotan Tanner Taylor, and longtime sax favorite Dave Karr. Pianist Tanner has played a few gigs here and there in the Twin Cities since relocating to Iowa about a year ago, and he's had plenty of good history with both Connie and Dave.  

Gary Schulte
At Jazz Central, new music night brings together three musicians who probably seem miles apart-- keyboard and percussion master Steve Kimmel, swinging violinist Gary Schulte, and genre-deyfing cellist Greg Byers. For sure, this will be a night of new music!

Thursday, March 31. Dubbed "electrified funkified jazz," the trombone-wielding Potash Twins return to the Dakota. Adeev and Ezra Potash were labeled by NPR as the "Twin Horns of Joy" for there prodigious talent as well entertaining performances.

Rachel Holder-Hennig, McNally Smith
Vocal Jazz Night at Jazz Central features the McNally Smith College of Music Vocal Jazz Showcase. Hosted by Jennifer Parker, Charlie Christenson, Rachel Holder Hennig and Shon Parker, with bassist Graydon Peterson and drummer Matt Edlund, the spotlight is turned onto the best and brightest vocal talents at MSCM.

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 guest on March 31 will be vocalist Maud Hixson, who stars in a new salute to Doris Day in the Schneider Theater in Bloomington on April 2. Venues and artists are reminded to send gig information to KBEM ( and print media calendars.


Coming Soon!

. April 1, Paul Harper Chordless Quartet, Friday Night Jazz at Public Kitchen

. April 1, Eric Kamau Gravatt and Source Code at Jazz Central

. 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, Dan Chouinard and Dennis Spears, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. April 3-4, SF Jazz Collective at the Dakota
. April 5, Larry McDonough Quintet, Tribute to Chet Baker in the Dunsmore Room, Crooners Lounge
. April 5, Bill Simenson Orchestra at Jazz Central
. April 5, Dean Magraw and Davu Seru at the Black Dog
. April 6, Wolverines Trio at Hell's Kitchen
. April 7, Lila Ammons and Quad at Jazz Central
. April 8, Dave Graf at Jazz Central
. April 8, Dakota Combo/NuSkein Ensemble, "Friday Night Jazz" at Studio Z
. April 8, PipJazz  (Pippi Ardennia, Jo Schad) at The Bedlam
. Apri 8, Ginger Commodore Quartet at Vieux Carre'
. 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 12, Dean Magraw and Butch Thompson at Vieux Carre'
. April 15, Atlantis Quartet at Walker West Music Academy
. April 15, Ancia Quartet/Rare Medium at Jazz Central
. 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 23, Jay Young and Lyric Factory, Tribute to Stevie Wonder at the Capri Theater 
. April 23, Adam Meckler Quintet CD Release at Vieux Carre'
. April 24, Lucia Newell and Phil Aaron, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. April 24, Soul Cafe' at Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church
. 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 3, Mary Louise Knutson Trio, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. 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
. May 24-25, Bobby Lyle with Billy Peterson, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. 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 20, JazzMN Orchestra at Chanhassen Dinner Theater
. June 21, David Hazeltine and Eric Alexander, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 22, David Hazeltine/Eric Alexander Quartet, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 23-25, Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Mears Park (Delfeayo Marsalis, Ellis Marsalis, Joey Alexander, Russell Malone, John Pizzarelli, Michael Franti & Spearhead)
. July 1-3, Iowa City Jazz Festival (Vijay Iyer Trio, Miguel Zenon, Poncho Sanchez, Allison Miller, David Berkman, Marquis Hill, Edmer Casteneda, Akiko Tsuruga, Phil Hey Quartet)

Courageous Endeavors Reunion - The Black Dog, April 2