Friday, May 20, 2016

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, May 20-26

Bobby Lyle, in the Dunsmore Room May 24-25

 © Andrea Canter

I just returned from five days in New York, where I saw six shows at four venues. I need that overdose now and then, but I think we really have the ideal jazz scene here: lots of choices but seldom overwhelming, and the quality of the music is right up there with the Big Apple! We have some great music this week--- from former residents, a popular long-timer, an exciting solo piano CD release, and a fundraiser reunion of some former teen standouts.

Big Gigs This Week

Michael O'Brien
Friday, May 20. Now based in New York, former Twin Citian and bassist Michael O'Brien is still in town for a few more days, with three gigs this weekend. Tonight, he's the special guest of the Latin Jazz Quartet at Jazz Central -- the band is like a mini Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra with Geoff Senn (trumpet), Joe Strachan (piano), Mac Santiago (drums) and Babatunde Lea (Latin percussion).

Patty Peterson
In Crooner's Lounge, Patty Peterson and Friends are back for musical party night with special guest sister Linda, while dinner sets at the Icehouse feature the sublime piano-bass duo of Bryan Nichols and James Buckley. Saxophonist Donald Washington's Group is back at the Black Dog, and now features young trumpeter Ryan Nyther along with Dick Studer on bass and Kevin Washington on drums.  Pianist Steve Hobert is followed by vocalist Sophia Shorai at Vieux Carré

McNasty Brass
Friday-Sunday, May 20-22. It's the annual Art a Whirl in Northeast Minneapolis, the nation's largest open studio tour. You can find all sorts of arts and upscale crafts, but you can also hear a lot of music throughout the studio and gallery spaces, as well as area music venues -- including some jazz. Patty and the Buttons are on stage at the 331 Club (Saturday at noon); Bauhaus Brew Labs has a line-up including the McNasty Brass Band on Saturday; the Mississippi Hot Club is featured on Saturday at Grumpy's Bar; and just wander through the studio buildings and check their schedules for more.

Kelly Rossum
Saturday, May 21. Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog offers two more opportunities to enjoy Mike O'Brien before he returns to New York. On the opening set, he joins Joel Shapira's Convergence Trio with Eric Gravatt on drums, and then both Mike and Eric join another esteemed visitor, trumpeter Kelly Rossum, who leads a quartet with vibes master Dave Hagedorn.

Saturday options also include midday jazz at the Midtown Global Market with Charmin Michelle and Joel Shapira;  dinner sets with Patrick Harison at the Icehouse, the Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200, and JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar of the Saint Paul Hotel--this will be their last Saturday night for the season, resuming in September.

2015-16 Dakota Combo
Sunday, May 22.  Yes, Kelly Rossum is in town this weekend, and his primary agenda is to lead the Dakota Combo Alumni Big Band as their sponsor, the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education, celebrates ten years of the Combo program with a fundraising event at Vieux Carré. Kelly, who currently heads the jazz program at Christopher Newport University in Virginia, launched the metro-wide all-star high school Combo in fall 2006 via the DFJE's partnership with the MacPhail Center for Music. When he left the Twin Cities three years later, Adam Linz took over the leadership of the Combo. At the fundraiser you will hear a 20-piece band of Combo alums playing Rossum's original charts, as well as the annual spring performance of the current Dakota Combo. There's also some enticing silent and live auction items, raffle, and generally a good time for a good cause. (Tickets available at the door or through the Dakota and Vieux Carré websites.)

Rick Carlson and Maud Hixson
Also on Sunday, you can hear songbird Maud Hixson twice! In the afternoon, she joins hubby pianist Rick Carlson at St Albert the Great Church for "Songs Louis Sang" -- that's Louis Armstrong. And we'll finally hear Maud in the Dunsmore Room Sunday evening when she is the guest on Dan Chouinard's Birthday Club.

They're back in town for perhaps the fifth time in as many months-- the trombone-wielding young Potash Twins are again at the Icehouse (they have also been a the Dakota a few times this year).

Freddy Cole
Monday, May 23.  The Dakota brings back three-time Grammy nominated singer/ pianist Freddy Cole and his quartet. Freddy has generally shied away from comparisons with brother Nat, but now he's touring with a new album saluting "The King."

At Crooners, the Twin Cities 7 with Maryann Sullivan holds their monthly showdown in the lounge, while at the Icehouse, JT's Jazz Implosion features the mighty Graydon Peterson Quartet with Adam Meckler, Joe Strachan and Adrian Suarez.

Bryan Nichols
Tuesday, May 24.  At the Dakotait's the long-awaited solo piano release from Bryan Nichols, who can be as sublime and elegant as he is inventive and playful.  His Looking North is looking like a winner. Across the river at Vieux Carré, Mary Louise Knutson opens the evening on solo piano, followed by the monthly dose of Connie Evingson and her swinging hot club band. And for swinging Latin beats, check out Big Band night at Jazz Central with the Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra.

Billy Peterson
Tuesday-Wednesday, May 24-25.  In the Dunsmore Room it's a special homecoming for a favorite son, the great keyboardist Bobby Lyle. It's a rare occasion that he plays exclusively acoustic piano and in a duo setting at that-- here with old pal, bassist Billy Peterson.

Larry McDonough
Wednesday, May 25. Pianist/ vocalist Larry McDonough has been busy over the past year or so with his salutes to Chet Baker and Miles Davis -- two separate shows. Now he puts them together as "Born to Be Kind of Blue" at the Dakota tonight in adjoining sets.

Lucia Sarmiento
Thursday, May 26. Songbird and voice instructor Paula Lammers takes the spotlight on Vocal Jazz Night at Jazz Central, while young lioness, saxophonist Lucia Sarmiento, brings her band to Thursday Night at Reverie. Lucia has already headed an ensemble at the past two Twin Cities Jazz Festivals (and a third is coming up!), has played recently with Eric Gravatt's Source Code, and is finishing a degree at McNally Smith after studies in her native Peru and Argentina.

At Vieux Carré, Jason Weismann and the Q bring back some good old fashioned swing, Jason on sax and vocals with Phil Aaron on keys, Gordy Johnson on bass and Pete Hennig on drums. And for music for the far end of your ears, check out Embezzler (Paul Metzger, Adam Linz, JT Bates) at Khyber Pass.

More Jazz!
There are days when it does seem like the options are as overwhelming as in New York! See the Live Jazz Calendar posted on the KBEM website, and see more about jazz events at --online and on Facebook. And tune into the on-the-air edition of the Lead Sheet every Thursday at 4:40 pm, rebroadcast on Fridays at 8:20 am. My guest next week will be guitarist/mandolinist/bassist and educator Joan Griffith, filling us in on her new "Talking About Jazz" show on KBEM.

Coming Soon!
. May 27, Maud Hixson at Parma 8200
. May 27, President Flow at Jazz Central
. May 28, Alex Burgess Quartet at Jazz Central
. May 28, Nachito Herrera at the Dakota
. May 28, Evan Benidt Triot/Peter Vircks 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 30, Sound Skirmish at Jazz Central
. May 31, Dave Karr Quartet in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 1, Andrew Walesch and Jennifer Grimm 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 3, Eric Gravatt and Source Code/Edmund Catlin at Jazz Central
. June 4, Bruce Henry at the Dakota
. June 5, Joe Lovano, Tribute to Gunther Schuller presented by Chamber Music Society of Minnesota at Sundin Hall (Hamline University)
. June 5, Poncho Sanchez at the Dakota
. June 6, Acme Jazz Company at Crooners Lounge
. June 6, Travis Anderson Trio at the Dakota
. June 7, Southside Aces at the Dakota
. June 7, Teri Roiger Quartet with John Menegon in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 7, Bill Simenson Orchestra at Jazz Central 
. June 8, Arturo Sandoval at the Dakota
. June 10, Jay Young & the Lyric Factory, Vieux Carre'
. June 10, Debbie Duncan Quartet, Crooners Lounge
. June 10, Pete Emblom/Will Kjeer at Jazz Central
. June 12, Claudia Schmitt and Dan Chouinard, Birthday Club, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 13, Maurice Jacox, Night of Nat King Cole, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 13, Luke Peterson Quartet at Jazz Central
. June 14, Travis Anderson Trio, Dunsmore Room, Crooners Lounge
. June 15, Judi Vinar and the Wolverines at Crooners Lounge
. June 17, David Binney Quartet at Walker West
. June 17, Dean Magraw and Marcus Wise/Edmund Catlin
. June 17, Ginger Commodore Quartet, Crooners Lounge
. June 17, Tord Gustavsen Trio at Mindekirken (Norwegian Lutheran Church)
. June 18, Jazz at Studio Z, Doug Little's Tres Mundos 
. June 18, Patty Peterson at Crooners Lounge
. June 18, Rosemount JazzBlast (Zacc Harris Trio, Jack Brass Band, more!) at Rosemount Central Park Amphitheater 
. June 18, Jay Young and the Lyric Factory at the Dakota
. June 18, JazzINK Youth Showcase, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. June 19, Bradley Greenwald and Dan Chouinard, Birthday Club, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 20, JazzMN Orchestra at Chanhassen Dinner Theater
. June 20, Mike Malone at Jazz Central
. June 20, David Hazeltine and Eric Alexander, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 21, David Hazeltine/Eric Alexander Quartet, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 22, David Hazeltine and Billy Peterson, CD Release in the 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)
. June 26, Judi Vinar and Dan Chouinard, Birthday Club in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 27, Charmin Michelle and Rick Carlson in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 28, Twin Cities 7 With Maryann Sullivan at Crooners Lounge
. June 30, Marquis Hill Black-Tet with Makaya Craven at the Dakota
. 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 7, Mindi Abair at the Dakota
. July 24, Rochester (MN) Jazz Festival
. August 8, Marcus Miller at the Dakota
. August 9-10, Estaire Godinez at the Dakota
. August 13, Rebirth Brass Band at the Dakota
. September 25-26, Brad Mehldau and Joshua Redman Duo at the Dakota

Dave Karr Quartet, in the Dunsmore Room May 31