Friday, January 27, 2017

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, January 27 - February 2

Winter Jazz Fest, January 28-29

© Andrea Canter

It might not last but it is nice to see some sunshine as I write this! And we have a lot of sunny music coming our way this weekend with the return of the Twin Cities Winter Jazz Festival in St Paul, along with a variety of our great local artists and visitors gigging into next week. Also a shout out to my parents (age 94 and 95) celebrating their 71st anniversary on January 27, who are fully responsible for my love of music.

Big Gigs This Week

Peter Kogan
Friday, January 27. Vieux Carre' presents Peter Kogan's smokin' Monsterful Wonderband.  The retired Minnesota Orchestra timpanist has turned to jazz in a big way, playing with big talents --Pete Whitman (sax), Adam Rossmiller (trumpet), Scott Agster (trombone), Chris Olson (guitar), Phil Aaron (piano), and Gary Raynor (bass).

Steve Cole*
Over at the Dakota, another big talent-- contemporary jazz king, saxophonist Steve Cole and his Superband, with local pals Patty Peterson on vocals and Ricky Peterson on keys. And the Ordway presents outstanding vocalist Somi -- known as the modern-day Miriam Makeba. Born in the U.S. of East African immigrant parents, she's immersed herself in the music of her homeland and effectively blends jazz, soul and African rhythms.

Jeremy Walker
Jeremy Walker starts out the night at Vieux Carre', followed by the always swinging Southside Aces, while duo partners Bryan Nichols and James Buckley work some magic during the dinner sets at the Icehouse.

Rodney Ruckus
Saturday, January 28. Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog collaborates with the festival, and the usual double header features an opening set from guitarist Tommy Bentz and his quartet (Steve Kenny on FLUMPET™, Jason McLean on bass, Alex Burgess on drums), followed by the "Welcome Home" show from drummer Rodney Ruckus and his trio with Javi Santiago on piano and Greg Byers on electric cello. The Ruckus just returned from a tour of the Midwest and West Coast.

Sarah M. Greer, Jazz Alley
Another collaborating festival venue is Golden's Deli in Lowertown, bringing back the vocal ensemble Jazz Alley-- Katia Cardenas, Sarah M Greer and Maryann Sullivan. These songbirds came together at the 2016 Twin Cities Jazz Festival "Scat Off" and soon formed a trio playing "in the alley" for Saturday brunch at Goldens and have been on hiatus since the patio closed for the season.

Jon Weber
Jon Weber and Friends finish the night at Vieux Carre' with the official Winter Fest jam. It's become tradition for pianist/encyclopedic scholar Weber to host festival jams during the summer jazz festivals, and looks like this tradition will now have a winter edition.

Bruce Henry
Across town at the Dakota, another welcome back gig-- Chicago vocalist Bruce Henry brings to his former home stage a wide-ranging baritone and penchant for beboppish interpretations, and always a topnotch band. 

Jesse Simon, B3Q
And at Jazz Central, the Minnesota Hard Bop Collective features B3Q, a Hammond B-3 quartet with Abebi Stafford on organ, Cole Mahlum on guitar, Evan Benidt on tenor sax and Collective leader Jesse Simon on drums. The band performs some rarely heard repertoire from the likes of Wes Montgomery, Dexter Gordon and Hank Mobley. 

James Buckley
At the Icehouse, enjoy dinner with some sophisticated duets from Patrick Harison on accordion and James Buckley on bass. Or relax in the lounge at Parma 8200 with the weekly gathering of the Benny Weinbeck Trio (with Gordy Johnson and Phil Hey).

And in River Falls, an exciting opportunity to hear the Costa Rican sax and percussion ensemble SONSAX! Hosted by UW-River Falls, the band performs tonight in Abbott Concert Hall on campus.

Dakota Combo
Saturday-Sunday, January 28-29.  Saturday is Winter Fest kickoff on the TPT stage featuring some never-seen classic jazz film clips from Bob DeFlores' archives and interviews from Leigh Kamman's Jazz Image archives, part of the Leigh Kamman Legacy Project.  The fest is in full swing Sunday across 4 stages at the Saint Paul Hotel, with the Dakota Combo, Sam Rosenstone, Jon Weber and Patty Peterson's Jazz Women All Stars on the ballroom Main Stage; John Penny followed by Andrew Walesch with Dave Karr on the Summit Room Stage; Peter Kogan's Monsterful Wonderband and the Ted Olsen ensemble on the M Street Cafe Stage; and JoAnn Funk Trio in the Lobby Bar. 

Nicholas Payton
Headliner Nicholas Payton and his Afro-Caribbean Mixtape (ACM) wrap it up the Ballroom at 7 pm. In addition to his well-deserved reputation as one of the genre's top trumpeters and composers, Payton of late has added keyboards and vocals to much of his work, and brings ACM's debut recording to St. Paul prior to its public release in two weeks.  There's also two great sets of jazz on the Winter Carnival's Treasure Island Entertainment Stage (outdoors) in Rice Park during Sunday afternoon, featuring the Walker West Jazz Ensemble followed by the McNasty Brass.  The forecast suggests it will be a good afternoon to explore Rice Park in between the indoor sets at the hotel. (Complete festival schedule and ticket information at

Tuck and Patti
Sunday, January 29. Not all the music is at the Winter Jazz Fest today. At the Dakota, enjoy the return of the great guitar and vocal duo, Tuck and Patti.  Guitarist Tuck Andress is a virtuoso performer whose sleight-of-hand is simply mesmerizing; vocalist Patti Cathcart puts a gospel spin on her incredible voice, but is also the writer and arranger for this partnership of nearly 40 years, on and off stage.

Erin Schwab
In the Dunsmore Room, Erin Schwab joins Dan Chouinard for The Birthday Club, followed by the weekly gig with vocalist/entertainer Jennifer Grimm.

Monday, January 30.  This week's installment of Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse is a CD release show for Twin Cities native Matty Harris's Double Septet--what he describes as "psychodelic chamber jazz."  Expect Harris to wield at least four reeds.

Nellie McKay
Monday-Wednesday, January 30-February 1. Monday starts a three-night run at the Dakota for always entertaining Nellie McKay -- vocalist, pianist, ukulele specialist and comedienne. She's bringing her show "A Girl Named Bill", about Billy Tipton, a little known mid-20th century bandleader who was assumed to be a man until his death, when it was discovered that he was really a woman. Nellie assembles music from Jelly Roll Morton, Oko Ono, Cindy Walker, and her own compositions, covering the theme of living with secrets.

Chris Lomheim
Tuesday, January 31. Chris Lomheim opens on solo piano followed by JT Bates and his Grain trio (Kevin Gastonguay on B-3, Zacc Harris on guitar) at Vieux Carre', while the Aaron Hedenstrom Orchestra fills the 5th Tuesday slot for Big Band Night at Jazz Central.

Zack Lozier
Wednesday, February 1. A new group dubbed SPAT is on stage at Jazz Central, with some young guns -- Andrew Tomten (sax), Patrick Adkins (piano), Drew Stinson (bass), and Tarek Abdelqader (drums). At Vieux Carre', trumpeter Zack Lozier shines with his trio (a rotating cast of pianists and bassists) .

Dean Magraw, Chris Bates (Red Planet)
Thursday, February 2. Their appearances are too few and far between these days - Red Planet, the long-running trio of Dean Magraw, Chris Bates and Jay Epstein, brings their unique brand of jazz telepathy to Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie.

The trombone-wielding Potash Twins return to the Dakota, and the Jacob Hanson Trio debuts at Crooners Lounge, with versatile guitarist Jacob mixing it up with brother Jeremy on drums and James Buckley on bass.

Davu Seru
Khyber Pass Cafe again brings a slam-bang improvising ensemble into the tiny cafe space. Suffer the Children brings together Anthony Cox, Davu Seru and Bryan Nichols. No suffering on the part of the avant garde audience!

Jana Nyberg
More Jazz!
See the Live jazz calendar posted on the KBEM website, and see more about jazz events at --online and on facebook. Tune into the live edition of The Lead Sheet on KBEM 88.5 fm every Thursday at 4:40 pm, rebroadcast on Fridays at 8:20 am. Andrea's guest on February 2 will be vocalist Jana Nyberg.

Coming Soon!
. February 3, Jana Nyberg Group at Vieux Carre'
. February 3-4, Davell Crawford at the Dakota
. February 4, DeJohnette, Coltrane and Garrison at Hopkins Center for the Arts
. February 4, Atlantis Quartet/Ben Allison Trio, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. February 4, Kim Fragodt with Benny Weinbeck, Jazz @ St Barneys (St Barnabas Lutheran Church)
. February 5, Bob DeFlores' Legends of Jazz Part 2 (film) at Chanhassan Dinner Theater
. February 5, Dan Chouinard's Birthday Club with Ann Reed in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. February 6, Bruce Barth Trio, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. February 8, Claudia Schmidt with Dean Magraw and Bryan Nichols in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners
. February 9, Phil Hey Quartet, Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie
. February 9, Rachel Holder and the Wolverines at Crooners Lounge
. February 9, Katia Cardenas at Jazz Central Studios
. February 10, Great American Songbook with Hilary Kole and Tony DeSare, Minnesota Orchestra
. February 11, UW-Eau Claire Night, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. February 11, Debbie Duncan at Crooners Lounge
. February 13, Maceo Parker at the Dakota
. February 13, Acme Jazz Company at Crooners Lounge
. February 15, Ambrose Akinmisure and Kool Aid, Liquid Music at the Amsterdam Bar
. February 16, Maria Schneider Orchestra at O'Shaughnessy
. February 16, Ruckus Trio, Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie
. February 17, Jazz in the Target Atrium, "Money Jungle" at Orchestra Hall
. February 17-18, UW-River Falls Jazz Festival featuring Alan Ferber, Falcon's Nest and Abbott Concert Hall
. February 18, What Would Monk Do, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. February 19, Kaki King at the Dakota
. February 19, Patty Peterson in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. February 20, MVP Quartet (Bobby Watson) at the Dakota
. February 20, Mary Louise Knutson Trio in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. February 21, MVP Quartet (Bobby Watson) at Vieux Carre'
. February 21-22, Aaron Diehl Presents Cecile McLorin Salvant and Adam Birnbaum at the Dakota
. February 22, Thomasina Petrus at Crooners Lounge
. February 23, American Reverie, Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie
. February 25, Julian Manzara Quartet/Minnesota Hard Bop Collective, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. February 25, Julian Lage Trio at Hopkins Center for the Arts
. February 25, John Scofield "Country for Old Men" Quartet at the Dakota
. February 28, Mardi Gras with Patty and the Buttons at Crooners Lounge
. March 1, Phil Hey & Pat Moriarty Duo at Jazz Central Studios
. March 5, JazzMN Orchestra at Hopkins High School Auditorium
. March 6-7, Bob Dorough in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. March 8, Monty Alexander Trio at the Dakota
. March 9-10, Victor Wooten Trio at the Dakota
. March 15, Gary Burton and Makato Ozone at the Dakota
. March 18, Liquid Vinyl (JazzINK Youth Showcase) at the Black Dog
. March 18, Judi Vinar, Jazz @ St Barneys (St Barnabas Lutheran Church)
. March 18-19. Northside Celebration at Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church 
. March 19, Brian Lynch Quartet in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. March 20-21, Emmet Cohen Trio at Jazz Central Studios
. March 27-28, David Sanborn at the Dakota
. March 28, Madeleine Peyroux and Rickie Lee Jones, Ames Center
. April 5-6, Stacy Kent at the Dakota
. April 8, JazzMN Orchestra with Maria Schneider, Hopkins High School Auditorium
. April 9, John Pizzarelli at the Dakota
. April 15, Fred Hersch Trio, University of Iowa Hancher Auditorium (Iowa City)
. April 22, Gypsy Mania, Jazz @ St Barneys (St Barnabas Lutheran Church)
. April 23, Sheila Jordan in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. April 25, Bill Frisell Quartet at Hopkins Center for the Arts
. April 28, Jazz in the Target Atrium, "When Duke Met Coltrane" at Orchestra Hall
. April 29, Bill Charlap Trio at the Dakota
. May 3, Regina Carter at the Dakota
. May 6, Travis Anderson Trio, Jazz @ St Barneys (St Barnabas Lutheran Church)
. May 12, Steve Coleman Five Elements, Walker Art Center

Ben Allison and his trio perform at the Black Dog on February 4