Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, April 29-May 5

Julian Lage, at the Dakota Friday, April 29
© Andrea Canter

Jazz Appreciation Month ends this weekend, and there has been plenty to appreciate in the Twin Cities, culminating this weekend with the state's only registered "International Jazz Day" event, a fundraising mini-festival sponsored by Jazz Central Studios on Saturday. But there are more jazz events on Jazz Day as well as throughout the coming week, including a rare appearance by dazzling pianist Abdullah Ibrahim at the Dakota and the return "from exile" of jazz at Reverie, now on Thursdays.

Jazz This Week
Julian Lage
Friday, April 29. The Dakota periodically holds a "guitar night" of some sort, and tonight it's a star-studded double header, with the Julian Lage Trio back-to-back with Peter Lang and colleagues from Takoma Records days, Toulouse Engelhardt and Rick Ruskin. Lage has been playing professionally since pre-teen years and is now a 20-year veteran of acoustic and electric jazz guitar--and not yet 30. Lang and company were pioneers of the 70s fingerstyle era. A lot of guitar for one ticket. Hang out for the late show with Doug Little's Charanga Tropical, one of several gigs this week celebrating the band's "made in Cuba" recording.

Bryan Nichols
In the lounge at Crooners, Patty Peterson and her usual collection of "friends" give the weekend a jump-start, and at the Black Dog, Todd Harper's Piano Fridays feature a trio with bassist Jim Bierma and drummer Bill Stieger. Dinner sets at the Icehouse will be accompanied by pianist Bryan Nichols with bassist Matt Peterson. Pianist Jeremy Walker opens the night at Vieux Carré.

Brian Lynch
Saturday, April 30. It's the 5th annual International Jazz Day sponsored by UNESCO and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, and the gala concert this year is at the White House, broadcast live on ABC this evening. There's registered events all around the globe, including one in Minnesota! Jazz Central Studios is holding a mini-fest running all afternoon (1-6 pm), held at the A-Mill Artists Lofts in the old Pillsbury Mill complex on SE Main Street, along the river. For one ticket, hear the Doug Haining/Dave Graf Quintet, Javi Santiago Trio, Vinson Velaga Group, and the Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra featuring special guests, trumpeter Brian Lynch and visiting Peruvian guitarist Andres Prado. Lynch is a Grammy winner with a special fondness for Latin; Prado lived here for a while and taught at McNally Smith, and has been performing around the Twin Cities for the past two weeks. All proceeds go to supporting the nonprofit Jazz Central Studios.

Dennis Spears
Another big event --vocalist Dennis Spears celebrates the big 6-0 with a party at the Dakota. Not only is that a big exciting voice to enjoy, but we can also anticipate that Dennis has some special attire for the evening and a lot of cool friends coming on stage.

How Birds Work--Kenny Horst, Chris Bates
Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog features one of the too-rare appearances of the long-running quartet, How Birds Work, with Dean Granros, Peter Schimke and Kenny Horst joined by young lion bassist Ted Olsen. The early show presents a relatively new trio of veterans with two guitars-- Joel Shapira and David Martin join up with drummer Pete Hennig to form The Growlers. Sophia Shorai serenades at Hell's Kitchen, Bryan Nichols and Brandon Wozniak duke it out at the Icehouse (dinner sets),  and there's one more month of Saturdays in the Lobby Bar with JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske, before their annual summer break.

Dan Chouinard
Sunday, May 1. In their monthly afternoon slot at the Icehouse, Charanga Tropical is at it again, still celebrating their CD release and summer 2015 trip to Havana. Start a new month with the Birthday Club-- Dan Chouinard hosts vocalist Jennifer Grimm in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners, with songs associated with musicians and songwriters with May birthdays.  

Tim Kliphuis
Monday , May 2. In addition to another round of the Growlers at Jazz Central, there's more guitar as hot club magician Sam Miltich joins forces with Dutch violinist Tim Kliphuis at the Dakota -- same duo that dazzled at the 2015 jazz festival. At Crooners Lounge, the Acme Jazz Company holds their monthly big band night. Also in the lounge, pianist/vocalist Lori Dokken starts her week of Happy Hour gigs.

JT Bates
And for night owls, three major forces on the local jazz scene get together as the Regional Jazz Trio -- Anthony Cox, Mike Lewis and JT Bates burn the stage at the Icehouse for JT's Jazz Implosion. And this one will surely implode.

Tuesday, May 3. Big Band Tuesday at Jazz Central features the Bill Simenson Orchestra, while First Tuesday at the Black Dog brings together Dean Magraw and Davu Seru for some guitar/percussion hijinks.

At Vieux Carré, Chris Lomheim opens the night on solo piano, followed by Fuzzy Math, that quartet dubbed the "best jazz band for people who don't like jazz."

Butch Thompson
In the Dunsmore Room, it's another solo soiree with trad and stride pianist Butch Thompson, covering the full range of the Bosendorfer, probably offering a little clarinet as well, and of course his always entertaining commentary.

And at the Dakota, another opportunity to hear Andres Prado, tonight reunited with his Minnesota cohorts (Pete Whitman, Peter Schimke, Jeff Bailey, Kevin Washington) as Mississippi. This ensemble was a marvel two weeks ago in the Dunsmore Room, and likely will really cut loose in the larger club space.

Abdullah Ibrahim*
Wednesday, May 4. It's been at least a decade since South African piano master Abdullah Ibrahim has been in Minnesota. Tonight he brings his septet, Ekayah, to the Dakota for what will be an unforgettable evening of sublime piano and South African rhythms.

At Hell's Kitchen, you can enjoy the Wolverines Trio.

Davu Seru
Thursday, May 5. After a month in exile, Friday Night Jazz at Reverie returns-- on Thursdays! (At least for one night, returning for the grand opening on May 19.) The "soft opening" of the series features a formidable trio of Davu Seru, Chris Bates and Brandon Wozniak.  At Vieux Carré, Joel Shapira opens on solo guitar, followed by the intriguing ensemble, Rare Medium. And on Vocal Jazz Night at Jazz Central, Dorothy Doring will present what will surely be an eclectic set from her wide repertoire, from Ellington to pop favorites.

Steve Lehman Octet (photo: John Rogers)
There's a special event at the Walker Art Center. Renowned saxophonist Steve Lehman is in town with his octet, performing in the McGuire Theater on Saturday, but tonight join the award-winning composer and electronics wizard High Priest (aka HPrizm) on a walking tour of their favorite pieces in the Walker galleries, followed by a free live performance.

More Jazz!
The Twin Cities Live Jazz calendar is posted on the KBEM website, and you can see more about jazz events at  Tune into the live edition of The Lead Sheet on KBEM, Jazz 88.5, every Thursday at 4:40 pm, rebroadcast on Fridays at 8:20 am. My guest on May 5 will be Steve Katz, a sometimes-bassist in the area and son of Chicago piano legend Stu Katz; we'll be talking about Stu's upcoming gig in the Dunsmore Room. Artists, get your gig on the KBEM live jazz calendar -- send your information to Kevin Barnes at

Coming Soon!
. May 6, Tony Bennett at the State Theater
. May 6, Peter Kogan's Monsterful Wonderband at Vieux Carré
. May 6, Rio Nido at the Dakota
. May 7, Steve Lehman Octet at the Walker Art Center, McGuire Theater
. May 7, Jazz at Studio Z: Phillip Greenlief, Nathan Hanson, Chris Bates, Davu Seru
. May 7, Women in Jazz presented by Pippi Ardennia at The Bedlam
. May 7, Witch Hunt (Tribute to Wayne Shorter's Speak No Evil) and Plus One Trio at the Black Dog
. May 7, Milo Fine Trio at Studio Toile d'Angles
. May 8, Birthday Club with Dane Stauffer in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 9, Milo Fine (quintet) at Studio Toile d'Angles
. May 9-10, Davell Crawford at the Dakota
. May 10, Stu Katz and Friends in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 10, Anderson-Ponty Band at Ames Center
. May 11, Bill Charlap Trio at the Dakota (note date change!)
. May 11, Lila Ammons' Jazz Triangle at the Tangiers
. May 12, Debbie Duncan at Crooners Lounge
. May 13, Eight O'Clock Jump with Nathan Hanson/Doan Roessler Duo at Walker West Music Academy
. May 13, Patty Peterson and Friends with Mick Stirling and Ricky Peterson at Bunkers
. May 14, Dave King/George Cartwright Duo and the Steve Kenny Quartet at the Black Dog
. May 15, Maurice Jacox "Nat King Cole" in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 16, Erin Schwab in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 17, Mary Louise Knutson Trio in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 17, Michael O'Brien's Triage Trio at Vieux Carre'
. May 19, Fall of the House of Usher/Halcyon Daze (Jazzink Showcase) at Reverie
. May 20, Michael O'Brien Trio at Jazz Central
. May 20, Patty Peterson and Friends at Crooners Lounge
. May 21, Kelly Rossum Quartet with Michael O'Brien/Convergence Trio with Michael O'Brien at the Black Dog
. May 22, "Great Day in St Paul" -- photo for all local jazz artists at McNally Smith
. May 22, Dakota Combo Alumni Band, Spring Concert, and fundraiser for Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education at Vieux Carre'
. May 22, Maud Hixson with Dan Chouinard, The Birthday Club in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 23, Freddy Cole at the Dakota
. May 24-25, Bobby Lyle with Billy Peterson, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 26, Lucia Sarmiento Group, Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie
. May 28, Peter Vircks Quartet/Evan Benidt Quartet at the Black Dog
. May 29, Sergio Mendes at the Dakota
. May 29, Arne Fogel with Dan Chouinard, The Birthday Club in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 31, Dave Karr Quartet in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 2, Javi Santiago Group, Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie
. June 3, Patty Peterson All Stars with Steve Cole at the Dakota
. June 4, Bruce Henry at the Dakota
. 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)
. July 5, Chick Corea, Christian McBride and Brian Blade at the Dakota
. July 24, Rochester (MN) Jazz Festival

Bill Charlap - at the Dakota, May 11