Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, December 2017

Hoaxer at the Black Dog, December 30

© Andrea Canter

[The Lead Sheet is published monthly and updated weekly. Updated 12-24-17]

Our spring-like weather will probably fade into winter -- after all, it is winter in Minnesota! But falling temperatures (and perhaps the white stuff too) will be countered by rising heat from both local and visiting jazz artists as we count down 2017. This month we welcome such touring talents as Earl Klugh, Brad Mehldau, Benny Green, Joey DeFrancesco,  Bobby Lyle, Chris Speed, John Raymond, and of course, ending the year as well as the original configuration, The Bad Plus. From our local scene, Brandon Wozniak kicks off the month in a leading role; traditions like White Christmas at the Heights with  Maud and Rick and the Peterson Family "Jam Before Christmas" return;  Arne Fogel and Maud Hixson again reprise their "Crosby-Clooney Story"; Laura Caviani releases her second recording in two months; Andrew Walesch celebrates Sinatra; JazzMN swings in the holidays; and a long list of young guns do their best to make winter break a "Jazz Futures" blowout.

Big Gigs This Month
Brandon Wozniak
Friday, December 1. Everyone's favorite collaborator and sideman, we never see saxophonist Brandon Wozniak stepping out in front. So no surprise that when he leads a trio, it will be at one of the most cherished jazz venues in the Metro (the Dunsmore Room at Crooners) in the company of internationally acclaimed cohorts--bassist Anthony Cox and drummer JT Bates.

Jax Ravel
Young bassist Jax Ravel has been building his cred around town, leading a revolving cast of his "Gang" which plays on the Illicit Jazz Workshop schedule tonight at Jazz Central. His cohorts include some of our brightest young jazzers--Nelson Devereaux on saxes, Joe Strachan on piano, and Miguel Hurtado on drums.

Saturday , December 2. Another new jazz venue--the Chilkoot Cafe and Cycle Shop in Stillwater is offering some of the area's top artists on Saturday nights, tonight featuring JT Bates, Mike Lewis and Thomas Nordlund. The menu also features some of the most creative cuisine in the region so make it a dinner/jazz night.

Peter Kogan
Saturday Night at the Black Dog features former Minnesota Orchestra tympanist Peter Kogan and his "Monsterful Wonder Band," a hard boppin' septet that highlights Kogan's drum chops along with Geoff Senn, Pete Whitman and Scott Agster on horns, Chris Olson on guitar, Joe Strachan on piano, and Jeff Bailey on bass. The night opens with Le Voyage--Matt Trice and Donald Washington on sax, Dick Studer on bass, and Steve Hirsh on drums.

Jazz at St Barneys offers a trio of swingers-- Butch Thompson, Tony Balluff, and Steve Pikal.

Patty Peterson
Sunday, December 3.  Patty Peterson brings the holiday spirit to the Dunsmore Room with "A Season of Love," and you will love her supporting cast-- Sean Turner on keys and Tony Axtell on bass. No doubt there will be surprise guests!

Brad Mehldau
Sunday-Monday, December 3-4. There are few artists working today who have generated as much comment and praise as pianist Brad Mehldau. Performing solo and in interesting duo combinations over the past decade, it was "art of the trio" that first brought him international acclaim in the mid -late 90s, and generate a strong fistful of albums that set his career on star trajectory. The trio format is again Mehldau's most generative format, and with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard, he's back for two nights, four sets of trio magic at the Dakota.

Maryann Sullivan
Tuesday, December 5. Count on Maryann Sullivan to brighten your holidays with swinging favorites. She's at Vieux Carre' with her Moneymakers; pianist Steven Hobert plays the opening sets.   In the Dunsmore Room again, songsters Arne Fogel and Maud Hixson are back with another performance of The Crosby Clooney Story. Hear it for the first time or enjoy this partnership again.

Joey D
Wednesday, December 6. B-3 master Joey DeFrancesco is typically heard in trio format but he is touring with a quartet dubbed The People (with sax, bass and drums), and his 2017 recording, Project Freedom, just named a Grammy nominee in the Best Instrumental Jazz category. He's at the Dakota for one night, two sets.

Laura Caviani
About six weeks ago, Laura Caviani and her trio (Chris Bates, Dave Schmalenberger) celebrated the release of her Mysterious Thelonious tribute to Monk. Now Laura has a second album to celebrate, this one of original music dubbed Confluence, and the release party takes place tonight in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners.

Thursday, December 7. Khyber Pass might be pretty small as a music venue, but the music palette spreads far and wide. Tonight it's Music Formerly Known as Jazz: A Continuing Conversation with J. Otis Powell ?!, performed by Douglas Ewart, Pat O'Keefe and Steve Hirsh.

Eric Gravatt
Friday, December 8. Two veterans a few generations apart star tonight: On the Illicit Jazz Workshop schedule, one of the legends of jazz drumming, Eric Kamau Gravatt leads his long-running Source Code ensemble at Jazz Central. His line-up is a bit different than in recent years, with two saxes Dean Brewington and Aaron Kippola) joining trumpet master Solomon Parham and long-time cohort, bassist Ron Evaniuk.

In the late night slot in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge, 20-something Javi Santiago leads a trio--his usual cohorts are Ted Olsen and Miguel Hurtado. 
Rodney Ruckus

Saturday, December 9. What's all the ruckus? Ruckus--Rodney Ruckus--is back in town for a visit, and headlining the Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog night with touring partner Jonathan Greenstein on sax and local pals Javi Santiago on piano and Jax Ravel on bass. The opening set features vocalist Lila Ammons and her quartet (Ted Godbout, Tom Lewis, Nathan Norman).

If you are heading to Orchestra Hall, and even if you aren't, come by early for the pre-concert freebie with the Mary Louise Knutson Trio. You really don't have to stay for the orchestra concert--you can head on out for more jazz!  And just down the street at the Dakota, you can catch the great Cuban pianist Nachito Herrera and his ensemble, the Universals. Guaranteed to warm up the coldest Minnesota night!

Benny Green
Sunday-Monday, December 10-11. Benny Green has been a popular visitor to the Twin Cities for many years, going back to his days with Ray Brown. Now he has a new "home" on the road at the Dunsmore Room, where he helped launch the new Steinway in fall 2016. Benny returns for two nights, four sets of solo piano magic. 

Monday, December 11. Jazz Central provides one of the most consistent venues to hear up-and-coming jazz stars, and tonight the spotlight is on pianist/composer Patrick Adkins, currently studying at Lawrence Conservatory. 

Andrew Walesch
Tuesday, December 12. Congenial host at the Dunsmore Room, singer/pianist Andrew Walesch should be better known for his interpretations of Sinatra and leadership of his big band. Tonight Andrew honors Sinatra's 102nd birthday with the big band in the lounge at Crooners.

At Vieux Carre, Tony Balluff's Big Three salutes Fats Waller-- that's Balluff on clarinet, Mike Polad on piano, and Dave Michael on drums. Chris Lomheim opens the evening on solo piano.

Wednesday, December 13. The New Boundaries series at Jazz Central features Chris Bates' Acoustic Concussion--with Brad Holden on sax, Javi Santiago on piano, and JT Bates on drums playing the music of Ornette, Sam Rivers and more.

Thursday December 14. At Jazz Central, hear "Holiday in Harmony" as three of the area's top voices--Vicky Mountain, Dorothy Doring and Connie Dussl (aka Song Sister) --join pianist Phil Aaron for some seasonal magic.
At the Black Dog, another chance to hear pianist Patrick Adkins as he teams up with drummer Luke Peterson (Northwestern University), along with Taylor Wisgerhof  on saxes and Graydon Peterson on bass.

Larry McDonough
And more holiday mischief as the Larry McDonough Quartet brings their Twisted Holiday to Vieux Carre'. Joel Shapira opens on solo guitar.

Aaron Hedenstrom
Friday, December 15. Since returning to the Twin Cities after studies at UW-Eau Claire and earning is doctoral degree at the University of North Texas, saxophonist Aaron Hedenstrom has become a busy member of the local jazz scene. His Quartet performs at Jazz Central, part of the Illicit Jazz Workshop series curated by Steve Kenny. The band  this weekend includes Julian Manzara on guitar, Ted Olsen on bass, and Theo Harris on drums.

JC Sanford
Saturday, December 16.  A rare doubleheader that moves from the bar to the dining room at the Black Dog! The Steve Kenny Trio (with Kameron Markworth and Miguel Hurtado) opens the evening in the usual space, but the music moves into the larger dining room for the headliner sets with the Inatnas Orchestra making its debut. The 17-piece ensemble is led by trombonist JC Sanford and wife/conductor Asuka Kakitani, both recently relocated from New York where they were acclaimed bandleaders and composers. The band includes some of the best-known jazzers in the Twin Cities.

At Boom Island Brewing, the Minnesota Hard Bop Collective tackles the music of Elmo Hope, with Ted Godbout in the pianist's chair, along with Dave Brattain (saxes), Omar AbdulKarim (trumpet), Jeff Rinear (trombone), Charlie Lincoln (bass), and leader Jesse Simon (drums).

Bobby Lyle
Saturday-Sunday, December 16-17. One of the Twin Cities favorite sons, Bobby Lyle comes home for a weekend in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners. Adding to the holiday music will be Detroit guitarist Perry Hughes and our own drum legend, Joe Pulice.

Sunday-Monday, December 17-18. It wouldn't be the holidays without a Peterson Family Jam Before Christmas at the Dakota! The Monday night show was added after tickets sold out for the two shows on Sunday. Three generations of Petersons will make your spirits bright! 

Monday, December 18. JazzMN Orchestra celebrates the holidays at Chanhassan Dinner Theater. In addition to big band arrangements of holiday fare from Diana Krall, Gordon Goodwin, Harry Connick, Jr and more, the band joins local chanteuse Connie Evingson for even more holiday cheer.

Red Planet
More Monday madness-- Red Planet makes their monthly pilgrimage to the Black Dog, while in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners,it's a rare local appearance by New York multi-reed star Chris Speed . Speed's trio features bassist Chris Tordini and drummer/Minnesota miracle Dave King.   And at the Icehouse, it's "Early Implosion" as John Raymond is back in town, mixing it up with Chris Thomson, James Buckley and JT Bates--starting at 7:30.

Charmin Michelle and Sam Miltich
Tuesday, December 19. Crooners Lounge welcomes vocalist Charmin Michelle and frequent partner, guitarist Sam Miltich "and friends."  At the Dakota, the multi-talented George Maurer hosts his annual holiday bash.

The Bad Plus
Wednesday-Saturday, December 20-23. This year, the Bad Plus residency at the Dakota falls before Christmas. And it's a bittersweet series of gigs as this will be the final appearance of the original cast before pianist Ethan Iverson moves on, to be replaced by another outstanding pianoman, Orrin Evans.

Thursday, December 21. Vocal Night at Jazz Central, hosted by Sarah M. Greer, turns into a holiday party "Piano Bar" this evening with sing-a-longs, open mic, and more.

John Raymond
Friday, December 22. John Raymond comes home for the holidays and a night with his Standards Trio at Jazz Central. Adding their ultra cool punch will be Graydon Peterson and Phil Hey. And come early and spend a set with young Jerome Treadwell on sax at 7 pm.

Ted Olsen
Saturday, December 23. Young lions rule tonight as Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog features two bands. The Cole Mahlum Group opens the night, with Mahlum on guitar, Will Kjeer on piano, and the "old guys" Graydon Peterson on bass and Jesse Simon on drums. The headline set features the Ted Olsen Quartet, with the bassist supported by Aaron Hedenstrom on sax, Javi Santiago on piano and Miguel Hurtado on drums.

Tuesday, December 26.  Often heard over the dinner hours on weekends, Zacc Harris (guitar) and Bryan Nichols (piano) provide some duo magic midweek at the Icehouse. Over at Jazz Central, the Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra holds their monthly gathering.

Will Kjeer
Wednesday, December 27. Taking a break from studies at Cal Tech, pianist Will Kjeer leads a trio with his elders/role models--Billy Peterson and uncle Kenny Horst! Kevin Gastonguay opens on keys. 

At the Black Dog, the monthly Leigh Kamman Legacy Project features the "Life and Times of Eddie Berger" as well as Leigh's interviews with Ed and selections from his recordings. No cover--donations to the project welcome.

Luke Peterson, No Exit
Friday, December 29. More young lions on winter break bring their energy and creative spirits to Jazz Central tonight. On the Illicit Jazz Workshop series, it's the return of No Exit, led by drummer Luke Peterson. At 10 pm, another young drummer, Ben Ehrlich leads a trio.  The common denominator is bassist Charlie Lincoln.

Dean Granros
The veterans are getting their due as well-- Dean Granros' Tall Tales (Zacc Harris, Chris Bates, Jay Epstein) is featured in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge.  And the ever-popular New Standards celebrates the holidays at the Dakota.

Saturday, December 30. If it's college vacation time, you can expect at least one gig locally from Hoaxer--Peter Goggin, Will Kjeer, Charlie Lincoln and Edmund Catlin. Since the release of their first album (Crash Test), they've only raised the bar with more original compositions.They take over the headline slot for Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog. The opening set, in a bit of role reversal, features the veterans of DDT-- Dean Granros, Chris Bates and Tony Moreno.

The Leigh Kamman Legacy Project holds another program at Jazz Central, this one celebrating Leigh's interview with guitarist Tal Farlow, with local guitar guru Joel Shapira providing the live music. 

And at Boom Island Brewing, the Minnesota Hard Bop Collective returns to the Boom Room to celebrate the music of the late vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson. The sextet tonight includes the cross-generational collaboration of leader Jesse Simon (drums), Dave Brattain (saxes), Levi Schwartzberg (vibes), Jordan Anderson (piano), and Matt McIntyre (bass). No cover and great beer!

Charmin Michelle and Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra
Sunday, December 31. Remember when New Year's Eve meant a ballroom and dance orchestra? Still does--the Shakopee Ballroom hosts the Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra with Charmin Michelle. 

Steve Kenny
Another tradition has been the early New Year's Eve Party at the Black Dog, guaranteed fun and an early exit. This year, following the early party, Steve Kenny brings a special edition of Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog--on a Sunday night! The NY Eve band includes Dave Brattain,Steve Kenny, Will Kjeer, Charlie Lincoln, Pete James Johnson and "special guests."

More Jazz!
See the Live jazz calendar posted on the KBEM website, and see more about jazz events at --online and on facebook.

Coming Soon!
. December 26, Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra at Jazz Central 
. December 26, Chris Lomheim/Fuzzy Math at Vieux Carre'
. December 26, Zacc Harris and Bryan Nichols at the Icehouse
. December 26, Larry McDonough Quartet, "Festivus and Other Twisted Holidays" at Can Can Wonderland 
. December 26-27, Connie Evingson Holiday Show in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. December 27, Kevin Gastonguay/ Will Kjeer Trio with Billy Peterson and Kenny Horst at Vieux Carre'
. December 27, David Roos at the Icehouse 
. December 27, Sound/Simulacra at Jazz Central
. December 27, Rio Nido at the Dakota 
. December 28, Le Voyage at Khyber Pass
. December 28, Greg Schutte/Blair Krivanek/Jimmy Stoufer at Jazz Central
. December 28, The Skruffians at the Black Dog
. December 29, No Exit/Ben Ehrlich at Jazz Central 
. December 29, New Standards at the Dakota 
. December 29, Richard Kronick Trio at Urban Olive and Vine (Hudson)
. December 29, Dean Granros' Tall Tales in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge 
. December 29, Dan Newton/Southside Aces at Vieux Carre'
. December 30, Patty and the Buttons at Chilkoot Cafe (Stillwater)
. December 30, Leigh Kamman Legacy Project with Joel Shapira at Jazz Central
. December 30, Hoaxer/DDT at the Black Dog
. December 30, Minnesota Hard Bop Collective at Boom Island Brewing
. December 30, Debbie Duncan at Crooners Lounge 
. December 31, Katia Cardenas at the Beacon Public House (Graduate Minneapolis Hotel)
. December 31, Black Dog New Year's Eve party(early and late editions)
. December 31, Connie Evingson in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. December 31, Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra with Charmin Michelle at Shakopee Ballroom
. December 31, Southside Aces NY Eve Party at Vieux Carre'
. December 31, Vicky Mountain at Bonde Bistro (Delano)
. December 31, Richard Kronick Quartet at NOLA (Osseo)
. January 1, Julian Manzara at Jazz Central 
. January 2, Bill Simenson Orchestra at Jazz Central
. January 2, Jon Weber "History of the Piano" in the Dunsmore Room, Crooners Lounge
. January 2, Shrewd Mammals at the Underground Music Cafe'
. January 3, Rose Lewis and Friends at Jazz Central
. January 3, Kevin Gastonguay/Katia Cardenas at Vieux Carre' 
. January 3, Travis Anderson Trio with Connie Evingson at the Dakota
. January 4, Vicky Mountain with David Martin at Jazz Central
. January 4, Jon Pemberton, early show at Vieux Carre'
. January 4, Will Schmid Group at the Black Dog
. January 5, Illicit Jazz Workshop: Solomon Parham Quintet at Jazz Central
. January 5, Mississippi at the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. January 5-6, Rebirth Brass Band at the Dakota 
. January 6, Liquid Vinyl/ Group 47 at the Black Dog
. January 6, Joe Mayo Quartet at Boom Island Brewing
. January 6, Cornbread Harris Band with John Penny, brunch at the Icehouse
. January 7, Acme Jazz Company with Arne Fogel at Crooners Lounge
. January 9, Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson, "She Said/She Said" in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. January 9, JT Bates Grain Trio at Vieux Carre' 
. January 9, Cedar Ave Big Band at Jazz Central
. January 10, Framework at Jazz Central
. January 11, Mary Louise Knutson Trio in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge 
. January 11, Aja Parham Group at Jazz Central
. January 12, Joel Shapira Quartet at Jazz Central
. January 13, Kate Lynch and her Most Excellent Fellows at the Aster Cafe' 
. January 13, Song Sister (Vicky Mountain, Connie Dussl, Dorothy Doring) at Bethel Lutheran (3 pm)
. January 13-14, Bryan Nichols and Brandon Wozniak live recording in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners
. January 16-17, Roy Hargrove at the Dakota 
. January 21, Sam Miltich (Django Reinhardt Birthday) in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge 
. January 21-22, Roberta Gambarini with the Cyrus Chestnut Trio at the Dakota
. January 28, 2018 Twin Cities Winter Jazz Festival at Crooners Lounge 
. January 29-30, Davell Crawford at the Dakota
. February 23, Sergio Mendes at the Dakota 
. February 28, Donny McCaslin Group at the Dakota
. March 1, Delfeayo Marsalis and Uptown Jazz Orchestra at the Dakota
. March 7, 2018, Cecile McLorin Salvant at the Dakota
. March 8-11, Charles Lloyd 80th Birthday Celebration at the Dakota
. March 13, Melissa Aldana at Vieux Carre'
. March 13-14, Jose James at the Dakota 
. March 18, Jane Monheit at the Dakota

Jon Weber's "History of the Piano" in the Dunsmore Room on January 2

Thursday, November 2, 2017

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, November 2017

Pat Mallinger returns to St Paul-- Quartet at Vieux Carre' on November 25

© Andrea Canter

[Note: The Lead Sheet is posted monthly and updated weekly.]

November is not starting out in a gentle fashion, but perhaps that merely means there will be plenty of musical heat. A number of guest artists will add fuel to the fires-- Lizz Wright, Phil Markowitz and Zach Brock, Ann Hampton Callway, Catherine Russell, Stu Katz, Benny Benack, Pat Mallinger and more; ongoing local talent showcases at the Black Dog, Jazz Central, Dunsmore Room, Boom Island, and Vieux Carre' among others; and Thanksgiving vacation brings a reunion of Hoaxer.

Big Gigs This Month
Wednesday, November 1. I recall chatting with vocalist Joyce Lyons a few years ago about her interest in Carmen McRae. Now she's saluting McRae in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge, which undoubtedly will include some of the Monk tunes McRae recorded.

At Jazz Central, Jon Morgan's "New Boundaries" series features two generations of renegades-- Noah Ophoven-Baldwin on trumpet and Paul Metzger on guitar. And over at Vieux Carre', catch the Jon Pemberton Trio (Jon generally on piano) in prime time, with Kevin Gastonguay opening.

Larry McDonough
Thursday, November 2. After a successful CD release last month at the Dakota, Larry McDonough and his quartet hold a similar bash at Vieux Carre' in St Paul. Alice in Stonehenge brings together Larry's acoustic inventions in tributes to Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Tony Bennett, Chet Baker and more, along with his plugged in nods to the likes of Led Zepplin. Joel Shapria kicks of the evening with some tasty solo guitar.

Dean Granros
Friday, November 3. Jazz Central's Illicit Jazz Workshop presents guitar legend Dean Granros  and his '58 Belevedere ensemble---with Patrick Kuehn on bass and Dave Power on drums. Cory Healey's Beautiful Sunshine Band brings some summer heat to the Dunsmore Room, while the Django Festival All-Stars led by guitar phenom Dorado Schmitt return to the Dakota.

South High and KBEM host the annual JAM --Jazz Around Minneapolis, a day of workshops for city school jazz bands culminating in an evening of performances (free!).

Connie Evingson
Saturday, November 4. Twin Cities Jazz Composers’ Workshop (JC Sanford, Adam Meckler, Aaron Hedenstrom, Kari Musil, Dave Stamps, Asuka Kakitani) have joined forces to cultivate creative jazz composition for the large ensemble in the Twin Cities area.  In addition to regular reading sessions of new music, the group occasionally will hold master classes on composition and arranging topics--the first of these master classes will be held at 1pm in room 224 at McNally Smith College of Music. JC will present many examples of the historical uses of counterpoint in a large ensemble setting. Free and open to the public, students encouraged to attend, and the event will be live streamed on Facebook. 

In the evening at McNally Smith, it's a fundraiser for student scholarships ("Amplify the Future"), with music fromThe New Standards, Toki Wright, Adam Levy, Pippi Ardenia, Cory Wong, Vie Boheme and more .

The west burbs boast one of the longest-running jazz concert series in the metro-- Jazz @St. Barney's, curated by Jeff Whitmill, is into at least ten seasons of Saturday night music, now presented at least monthly, featuring the best and brightest in small chamber settings. Vocalist Connie Evingson is one of the most popular gigs, and tonight she's joined by Mary Louise Knutson on piano and frequent collaborator Dave Karr on sax.

Julian Manzara
Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog features a host of young lions and a veteran host: The opening set features the Julian Manzara Quartet, with the dazzling leader on guitar, along with Levi Schwartzberg (on keys here), Drew Stinson on bass and Tarek Abdelqader. In the prime time slot, Steve Kenny (Flumpet™) previews an upcoming recording session with his quartet--Schwartzberg again, on vibes, with Ted Olsen on bass and Miguel Hurtado on drums.

And celebrating Lee Morgan, the MN Hard Bop Collective gathers at Boom Island Brewing for a bopping tribute-- with Omar AbdulKarim on trumpet, Jeff Rinear on trombone, Chris Olson on guitar, Kameron Markworth on bass, and Jesse Simon on drums.

Lizz Wright
Sunday, November 5. Vocalist Lizz Wright brings her down-home African soul to the Dakota, while the Dunsmore Room presents a unique duo of pianist Phil Markowitz and violinist Zach Brock-- flying under the team name of Brockowitz. Markowitz has such stellar credentials as work with Chet Baker and Toots Thielemans, while Brock's resume includes Stanley Clarke and Snarky Puppy. Jazz meets West Africa, South America and the Balkans.   

Monday, November 6. It's been a while since we heard the Adam Meckler Orchestra. Tonight they're on stage for JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse, the AMO's debut in that venue. Leader Adam notes that the band will be 

"soft premiering a new commission. New music on the horizon!"

Bay area saxophonist Stephen Leguner brings his acclaimed SLUGish Ensemble to Jazz Central, anchored by local hero Javi Santiago on keys.

Dave Karr and Sam Miltich
Tuesday, November 7. A classic cross-generation duo pays tribute to the great Lester Young as guitarist Sam Miltich teams up with octogenarian saxman Dave Karr in the Dunsmore Room. At Vieux Carre', the event starts elegantly with pianist Chris Lomheim solo, followed by another of our titanic piano talents, Phil Aaron, with his trio and stunning vocalist Joyce Lyons, hot off a salute to Carmen McRae last week in the Dunsmore Room.  Joyce is a force--as a vocalist and entertainer.

Another dynamite duo, guitar genie Dean Magraw pairs with drum legend Eric Gravatt for First Tuesday at the Black Dog.

Ann Hampton Calloway
Wednesday, November 8. Speaking of entertainers, there is none more mezmerizing than vocalist (storyteller, comedienne, composer) Ann Hampton Calloway, returning tonight to the Dakota with her nod to the  "Ella Century." Expect great songs, lots of laughs, and (hopefully) an opportunity to participate in one of her instant compositions.

There's a new gun in town, guitarist/composer Cody Steinmann, a recent transplant from Milwaukee. Cody presents his new band, the Sightless Quartet, at Jazz Central, performing his new music composed for the band--Javi Santiago, Ted Olsen and Pete Hennig.

Thursday, November 9. Much anticipated screening of the Bill Evans documentary (Time Remembered) takes place tonight at the Heights Theater, with live music accompaniment from pianist (and Evans aficionado) Larry McDonough, along with a playback of Leigh Kamman's interview with Bill Evans.

Kamasi Washington band
At First Avenue, sax superstar Kamasi Washington will blow your mind, if not your ears. A powerhouse of talent, Washington is best enjoyed in an Olympic-size stadium, so be warned--bring ear plugs. His show at the Icehouse a while back was packed but few over 30 survived the volume. Probably perfect for the First Avenue crowd.

At Khyber Pass, ensemble Real Tree reconvenes-- that's

Michelle Kinney, Carley Olson, Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, Patrick Marschke, and Adam Zahller.

Maud Hixson
Friday, November 10. Armed with an Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota Arts Board, Maud Hixson presents a new big band show with the Wolverines Big Band at the Schneider Theater (Bloomington Center for the Arts), with all original new arrangements by Rick Carlson.  And armed with some new compositions, bassist Graydon Peterson brings his quartet

(Adam Meckler, trumpet; Joe Strachan, piano; and Adrian Suarez on drums) to the Dunsmore Room for the "late" night jazz series.

Omar AbdulKarim
At Jazz Central, the Illicit Jazz Workshop presents hot young trumpeter Omar AbdulKarim and his quartet. It's mostly veterans at Vieux Carre' when Jay Young returns with his Lyric Factory.

Saturday, November 11. Saxophonist/educator Michael Shults and his quartet (Aaron Hedenstrom, Javi Santiago, Chris Bates, Miguel Hurtado) fill the headline slot at the Black Dog (, following the very talented teens in the Roseville Area High School Jazz Ensemble, directed by Pat Moriarty.

And yet another foodie venue adds jazz! Chilkoot Cafe in Stillwater, better known for its adjacent bike shop and creative menu, has teamed up with JT Bates to curate Saturday night music. Tonight, catch a "power" trio with Dean Granros, Ryan Hayes and Dave Power. 

Patty Peterson
Saturday-Sunday, November 11-12. Patty Peterson presents the songs of one of her idols at Chanhassen Dinner Theater, “Memories - The Music of Barbra Streisand”. With the help of musical director and renowned pianist/arranger Sean Turner, Patty pays homage to one of the most iconic artists of all time, performing favorites from Streisand’s extensive library including “People,” “Guilty,” “Evergreen,” “On A Clear Day” and many more. Joining Patty and Sean will be special guests Mary Jane Alm, Aimée Lee, and Wayne Anthony Cullinan on vocals, Tony Axtell on Bass, Pete Hennig on drums and Phil Kadidlo on keyboards. Saturday already sold out, second show added for Sunday, dinner show or show only tickets.

Catherine Russell
Sunday, November 12. An embarrassment of riches in visiting artists tonight! Swinging soulful Catherine Russell returns to the Dakota, surely one of the best jazz vocal performers on the scene today. Two shows are on the schedule at the Dunsmore Room: The Harvey Diamond Quartet fills the matinee spot--led by East Coast pianist Diamond and featuring Twin Cities saxophonist Melissa Stoudt, while high energy pianist Emmet Cohen, a big hit last spring here and in the summer at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival,  returns with his trio for the evening. This show presents Emmet on piano with Russell Hall on bass and Evan Sherman on drums.  He takes on the B-3 tomorrow at Jazz Central (see below).

Emmet Cohen
Monday, November 13. It's Emmet Cohen, part 2 as the exciting keyboardist and his drummer Evan Sherman present a B-3 duo night. Another exciting keyboard master, Brian Ziemniak, brings his organ-centric BZ3 Trio to Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse.

In the Dunsmore Room, Moore by Four's Ginger Commodore and Dennis Spears present the ultimate vocal duo. Their pianist? Moore by Four leader Sanford Moore.

Maud Hixson
Tuesday, November 14. A big week for Maud Hixson. Just a few days after her big band gig with the Wolverines, Maud tackles the music of Irving Berlin in the Dunsmore Room. With Rick Carlson on piano, of course.

At the Black Dog, second Tuesday means a Chris Olson Project, and the guitarist's project this month is dubbed Deep Dish, featuring Pete Whitman on reeds and Jay Epstein on drums.

Pete Whitman, Mississippi
Wednesday, November 15It's all about Mississippi tonight! At Jazz Central, the veterans of the band Mississippi combine for some of the most engaging jazz collaborations this side of ... well, the Mississippi. Pete Whitman, Javi Santiago, Jeff Bailey and Kevin Washington are each masters of their instruments.

Later at the Icehouse, the Mississippi Hot Club celebrates an album release, "Swing Cities," and presents special guest Miss Myra and the Moonshiners. Originally an homage to French Gypsy Jazz, the MHC has become more adventurous, reflecting diverse influences.

At Vieux Carre' tonight, the popular duo of Butch Thompson (piano) and Dean Magraw (guitar) returns in prime time, following a solo piano set from the always dazzling Rick Carlson.

Maryann Sullivan
Thursday, November 16. Vocalist Maryann Sullivan salutes Fats Waller at Jazz Central, in a rare appearance with both sons, Trevor Haining on drums and, live from Los Angeles, Preston Haining on trumpet, along with daughter-in-law Amy Golden adding vocals. Ted Godbout provides the keyboard support, with Jim Chenoweth on bass.

Joan Hutton
Friday, November 17.  Illicit Jazz Workshop at Jazz Central presents saxophonist/composer Joan Hutton and her Joan Hutton Project, featuring Dave Milne (saxophones), Jesse Mueller (piano), Joan Griffith (bass) and Jendeen Forberg (drums).

The Atlantis Quartet is back in action, in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners for the Friday "late night" series.  Bruce Henry is back in town, in the lounge at Crooners, starting earlier so you can definitely catch at least parts of both shows. This is part of the third anniversary weekend for Crooners, celebrating one of the brightest additions to the metro jazz scene in years.

Red 5
Saturday, November 18. Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog welcomes back Chris Bates Red Five, now a septet featuring Chris Thomson and Pete Whitman on saxes, JC Sanford on trombone, Steve Kenny on trumpet, Davu Seru on drums, Thomas Nordlund on guitar, and of course the leader on bass. Come early for the monthly JazzINK Youth Showcase, featuring the high school jazzers of the Tamberwood Quartet--twins Harry (bass) and Charlie (sax) Menken, pianist August McKinney, and drummer Nick Adams.

The Boom Room at Boom Island Brewing keeps jazz booming every Saturday night, and tonight the Minnesota Hard Bop Collective presents a trio (Joe Mayo on sax, Ted Olsen on bass, Jesse Simon on drums) playing the music of Sonny Rollins' Tonight at the Villlage Vanguard.

Horn Hero Dave Karr
Sunday, November 19. Connie Evingson presents her new installment of Jazz at the Jungle (Theater), this time celebrating "Horn Heroes," the music of the great jazz horn players Gerry Mulligan, Dizzy Gillespie, Zoot Sims, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, Lester Young, Miles Davis and more. Her cohorts include Jon Weber on piano, Dave Karr on sax and  Chris Bates on bass.  

At the Dakota, the Brubeck Brothers return with a show honoring their father. Dan Brubeck, drums and Chris Brubeck, bass & trombone, join Mike DeMicco, guitar, and Chuck Lamb, piano in a straight-ahed quartet that appropriately also explores odd time signatures. All About Jazz wrote: "There’s really nothing out there that comes close to their unique brand of inventiveness.” 

At Jazz Central, a rare Sunday gig features the first of two local shows for young trumpeter/vocalist Benny Benack and his trio. He's best known for his roles in major big bands, including the Christian McBride Big Band, Mingus Big Band, Dizzy Gillespie All Stars, Jimmy Heath Big Band and Bobby Sanabria's Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra.

JT Bates
Monday, November 20.  The virtuoso trio Red Planet is back at the Black Dog for their monthly gig. Just knowing the trio will be on stage at least once per month is cause for celebration. In the Dunsmore Room, trumpeter/vocalist Benny Benack has another night in town, while JT Bates' Grain Trio, with Kevin Gastonguay on B-3, takes over Implosion night at the Icehouse. 

Tuesday, November 21. A week after their local debut in the Dunsmore Room, Boston-based pianist Harvey Diamond joins local saxophonist Melissa Stoudt at the Black Dog.

Stu Katz
Wednesday, November 22. Start the long holiday weekend with some fun at Vieux Carre', where Red Planet joins forces with Chicago veteran pianist Stu Katz.

The Leigh Kamman Legacy Project continues at the Black Dog with an evening devoted to Stan Kenton. Project President Brad Bellows notes, "We will be playing a great interview Leigh did with Stan in 1977 as well as interviews Leigh did on Kenton's band bus and back stage with members of the band after the gig at at the Prom Center.  They are very candid and informative and have never been heard before. We will also be playing the great Kenton record "West Side Story" (with arrangements by Johnny Richards) and other music from the early 1960's "Adventures" period.

Friday, November 24. They're back! The young guns of Hoaxer take over the Dunsmore Room for a Thanksgiving break gig. Their recent debut recording was a smash hit for Peter Goggin, Will Kjeer, Charlie Lincoln and Edmund Catlin, and their energy is infectious. 

Some young talents join veterans in Fall of the House of Usher at Jazz Central. Led by guitarist Chris Cunningham with son Ivan on saxes and wife Michelle Kinney on cello, this one goes way beyond family with Pat O'Keefe, Grey Byers, Noah Ophoven Baldwin, Greg Schutte, Adam Svec, Cole Pulice, Josh Johnson and Jared Jarvis fighting for space on the Jazz Central "stage".

Pat Mallinger
Saturday, November 25. Come down to Union Depot this afternoon and enjoy some local jazz favorites while raising funds for the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Proceeds from food and beverage sales go to the festival, while jazz fans can enjoy the sounds of Andrew Walesch, Gordy Johnson, Alicia Renee and some "surprise guests." Free event!

Minnesota native, Chicago resident saxophonist Pat Mallinger used to make a Thanksgiving weekend pilgrimage to the Artists Quarter. Now he keeps the tradition going at Vieux Carre'. Hear Pat with local pals Mary Louise Knutson, Gary Raynor and Phil Hey--tickets available in advance.

Will Kjeer (Central Standard Time)
At the Black Dog, again Thanksgiving vacation brings back some of our young stars. Opening the evening, Friends and Neighbors, a new trio with Peter Goggin, Charlie Lincoln and Luke Peterson, followed by Steve Kenny's Central Standard Time with Will Kjeer on keys and veterans Dave Brattain, Ron Evaniuk, and Eric Gravatt. 

Butch Thompson
Sunday, November 26. Trad jazz master Butch Thompson has entertained us with Jazz Originals weekly on KBEM radio for the past 25 years. And that's cause for celebration at Crooners this afternoon when Butch appears with the Southside Aces, not only to mark this anniversary, but to close out the show in grand style--yes,  Butch is retiring from Jazz Originals. 

Monday, November 27. They don't get together very often these days but Fat Kid Wednesdays (Michael Lewis, Adam Linz, JT Bates) have been raising sonic mayhem for about 25 years--since their days as teen wunderkind. At one time the "house band" at the Clown Lounge, they have frequently taken the stage at the Artists Quarter and Icehouse, where they gather tonight. 

Tuesday, November 28. If you need more than one good reason to hear Karrin Allyson at the Dakota tonight, here you go-- this gig is a fund raiser for the Leigh Kamman Legacy Project, committed to archiving and distributing the interviews and other radio gems of the late Leigh Kamman and his Jazz Image. Karrin's band is noteworthy on its own--Laura Caviani, Gordy Johnson and Phil Hey.

Piano heaven? Chris Lomheim opens solo, followed by the Bryan Nichols Trio with Chris Bates and Jay Epstein at Vieux Carre'.

Wednesday, November 29. Yet another "winter break" ensemble, this one led by pianist Patrick Adkins with Lawrence University cohort Aidan Sponheim on trumpet and local like-minded pals Levi Schwartzberg on vibes, Thomas Strommen on sax, Drew Stinson on bass, and Tarek Abdelquader on drums, filling the New Boundaries series slot at Jazz Central.

Thursday, November 30. An exceptional pair who can really swing-- vocalist Vicky Mountain teams up with guitarist Reuben Ristrom for Vocal Jazz Night at Jazz Central. Over at the Icehouse, it's Joey Van Phillips' Punchbowl project CD release--percussion and vocal hip-hop including a few mallet players, Heather Barringer, Dave Hadegorn, top area hip hoppers, and lots of percussion.

More Jazz!
See the Live jazz calendar posted on the KBEM website, and see more about jazz events at --online and on facebook.

Coming Soon!
. November 23, Benny Weinbeck/Gordy Johnson in the Williamsburg Room at The Lexington
. November 24, Hoaxer in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. November 24, Fall of the House of Usher at Jazz Central
. November 25, Pat Mallinger Quartet at Vieux Carre' 
. November 25, Central Standard Time/Friends and Neighbors at the Black Dog
. November 25, Benefit for Twin Cities Jazz Fest at Union Depot (free admission)
. November 25, Kronick Quintet in the Mudd Room
. November 26, Butch Thompson and Southside Aces, 25th Anniversary of "Jazz Originals" in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge 
. November 26, Charanga Tropical at Icehouse 
. November 27, J-P Douglas (septet) at Jazz Central
. November 28, Karrin Allyson, Leigh Kamman Legacy Project at the Dakota (fundraiser)
. November 28, Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra at Jazz Central
. November 28, Chris Lomheim/Bryan Nichols Trio at Vieux Carre'
. November 29, Patrick Adkins Sextet at Jazz Central 
. November 29, Kevin Gastonguay/Maud Hixson at Vieux Carre'
. November 30, Vicky Mountain and Reuben Ristrom at Jazz Central 
. November 30, Benny Weinbeck/Gordy Johnson in the Williamsburg Room at The Lexington
. November 30, Smashing Carp (George Cartwright) at Khyber Pass 
. November 30, Joey Van Phillips Punchbowl CD release at the Icehouse
. November 30-December 4, "White Christmas" at the Heights Theater with live music from Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson 
. December 1, Brandon Wozniak Trio (Anthony Cox and JT Bates) in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. December 1, Kronick Quintet at Public Kitchen
. December 1-2, Earl Klugh at the Dakota
. December 1, Jax Ravel Gang at Jazz Central
. December 2, JT Bates/Mike Lewis/Tom Nordlund at Chilkoot Cafe (Stillwater) 
. December 2, Peter Kogan's Monsterful Wonder Band/Le Voyage at the Black Dog
. December 2, Butch Thompson, Tony Balluff & Steve Pikal, Jazz at St Barneys (St Barnabas Church) 
. December 2, Maurice Jacox Trio at Normandy Kitchen
. December 2, Omar AbdulKarim Trio in the Williamsburg Room, The Lexington
. December 3, Patty Peterson "Season of Love" in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge 
. December 3, Katia Cardenas at Can Can Wonderland (Red Room)
. December 3, TLA at Imminent Brewing (Northfield)
. December 3-4, Brad Mehldau Trio at the Dakota
. December 4, Fuzzy Math at Jazz Central
. December 5, Beasley's Big Band at O'Gara's 
. December 5, Bill Simenson Orchestra at Jazz Central
. December 5, Maryann and the Moneymakers at Vieux Carre' 
. December 5, Arne Fogel, Maud Hixson, "The Crosby Clooney Story" in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners
. December 6, Joey DeFrancesco at the Dakota
. December 6, Laura Caviani Trio CD Release at Dunsmore Room
. December 6, Connie Evingson, Jazz in the Lounge at the Minneapolis Woman's Club
. December 6, Katia Cardenas at Vieux Carre' 
. December 6, Lila Ammons Quartet at the Black Dog
. December 6, Fake Fir at Icehouse
. December 6, George Cartwright's Smashing Carp at Jazz Central
. December 8, Eric Gravatt and Source Code at Jazz Central 
. December 8, Javi Santiago Trio in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. December 9, Mary Louise Knutson Trio at Orchestra Hall (pre-concert)  
. December 9, Ruckus Touring Group/Lila Ammons Quartet at the Black Dog
. December 9, Polopnik/Bates/Healey at Chilkoot Cafe (Stillwater)
. December 10-11, Benny Green in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. December 11, Patrick Adkins at Jazz Central
. December 12, Andrew Walesch "Sinatra's 102nd" at  Crooners Lounge
. December 12, Cedar Avenue Big Band at Jazz Central
. December 13, Chris Bates' Acoustic Concussion at Jazz Central
. December 14, Song Sister Trio, Holiday Show at Jazz Central
. December 15, Aaron Hedenstrom Quartet at Jazz Central
. December 15, Jazz Standards with Dorothy Doring at the Underground Music Cafe' 
. December 16, Parisota Hot Club at Chilkoot Cafe (Stillwater)
. December 16-17, Bobby Lyle in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge 
. December 16, Inatnas Orchestra (Asuka Kakatani/JC Sanford) at the Black Dog
. December 17, Peterson Family Jam Before Christmas at the Dakota
. December 18, JazzMN Big Band Swings in the Holidays with Connie Evingson at Chanhassan Dinner Theater
. December 18, Chris Speed Trio (with Dave King) in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. December 20-23, The Bad Plus at the Dakota (last tour with Ethan Iverson)
. December 21, Beasley's Big Band, Swing Night at Wabasha Street Caves
. December 22, John Raymond Standards Trio at Jazz Central
. December 23, Ted Olsen Quartet/ Cole Mahlum Group at the Black Dog
. December 21, Beasley's Big Band at O'Gara's
. December 29, No Exit at Jazz Central 
. December 29, Dean Granros' Tall Tales in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. December 30, Patty and the Buttons at Chilkoot Cafe (Stillwater)
. December 30, Hoaxer/DDT at the Black Dog
. March 7, 2018, Cecile McLorin Salvant at the Dakota
. March 8-11, Charles Lloyd 80th Birthday Celebration at the Dakota

Karrin Allyson, Benefit for the Leigh Kamman Legacy Project at the Dakota, November 28