Friday, May 5, 2017

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, May 5-11

The Dakota Combo performs at Studio Z on Sunday, May 7

© Andrea Canter

This week we celebrate more "Minnesota Jazz Legends" as well as enjoying the music of some Twin Cities jazz "newbies," Latin jazzers, and a few distinguished visitors. And rumor has it that we will also enjoy spring!

Big Gigs This Week
Fuzzy Math*
Friday, May 5. Fuzzy Math, the group named by City Pages as "tops for people who are bored with jazz," makes its Jazz Central debut.  The band includes Mark Vandermyde on keys, Scott Fultz on sax, Curtis Lucky on trumpet, Eric Graham on bass, and Haralds Bondaris on drums, playing "serious music that does not take itself too seriously."

Debbie Duncan
At Vieux Carre', Jon Pemberton starts the evening on piano, followed by our grand diva, Debbie Duncan and her quartet. At the Icehouse, strings rule as Zacc Harris joins forces with James Buckley over the dinner hours; vocalist Lila Ammons is at the Hennepin Steam Room, and the Wolverines Big Band is on stage at the 301 on Main Event Center.

Eric Gravatt
Saturday, May 6. Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog has its usual double feature, this weekend leading off with D'Sievers, a Rochester-based quartet, followed by the titanic Source Code led by Eric Kamau Gravatt on drums, with Solomon Parham on trumpet, Dean Magraw on guitar, Dave Graf on trombone, and Ron Evaniuk on bass.

Dancing with Charanga Tropical
Looking for some hot Latin jazz and salsa-- I mean literally salsa? The Cedar and Charanga Tropical hosts Minnesota Salsa Fest featuring the 18-piece La Gran Charanga, an amalgam of Charanga Tropical, Salsabrosa, Salsa del Soul, Malamanya, Qband, Tropical Zone and more.

Travis Anderson
At St Barnabas in Plymouth, the Travis Anderson Trio performs on the Jazz at St Barneys series-- dazzling pianist Travis with Steve Pikal on bass and Nathan Norman on drums. This concert closes the 2016-17 season, taking a break until fall.

Maud Hixson
Maud Hixson sings with the Phil Aaron Trio at the 301 on Main Event Center; the Benny Weinbeck Trio performs in the lounge at Parma 8200; Jacob Hanson joins James Buckley in duo at the Icehouse.

Patty Peterson with 2016 "Elder" Dick Bortolussi
Sunday, May 7. This afternoon brings a new installment of the popular Minnesota Jazz Legends: The Elders series, sponsored by KBEM and hosted by Patty Peterson at the Minnesota History Center. The 2017 crew of "elders" includes Dean Brewington, Kenny Horst, Carei Thomas, Steve Blons, George Avaloz and Betty Palmer, with support provided by the Phil Aaron Trio. The music will be inspiring and the stories will be fascinating.

You can enjoy jazz legends on film at the Chanhassen Dinner Theater where archivist Bob DeFlores offers another afternoon of archival footage, this time looking at the Big Bands of the 20s-50s, including Rudy Vallee, the Dorsey Brothers, Woody Herman, Ozzie Nelson, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Ray Anthony, Artie Shaw and more.  

Lucia Newell
Also in the afternoon, Charanga Tropical brings its monthly heat to the Icehouse. In the evening, you can enjoy great music with Dan Chouinard and his "Birthday Club" guest, vocalist Lucia Newell, in the Dunsmore Room. They're raising funds for Global Rights for Women, a timely nonprofit with a serious mission.

Dakota Combo
At Studio Z, the Dakota Combo holds its annual spring concert featuring modern jazz from Minnesota's premier high school jazz combo directed by Adam Linz. These five outstanding musicians are all seniors, heading to college jazz programs and more. They have a heady repertoire ranging from Sonny Clark and Thelonious Monk to such contemporary wizards as Frank Kimbrough. Informal reception follows the music.

The Zacc Harris Trio performs in their usual Sunday night slot at the Riverview Wine Bar.

Levi Schwartzberg
Monday, May 8. Dakota Combo alum and vibraphonist Levi Schwartzberg leads a quartet at the Icehouse, including another Combo alum, pianist Patrick Adkins, along with bassist Drew Stinson and drummer Tariq Abelquader, followed by the reunion of Barnacle-- with Seattle guitarist Jason Goessl, local guitarist Park Evans, and Chris Bates and Greg Schutte on bass and drums.

Linda Peterson
At Crooners, pianist/vocalist Linda Peterson is back in Minnesota and starting a week of Happy Hour gigs, while in the Dunsmore Room, young New York piano sensation Glenn Zaleski performs -- he's an alum of the Brubeck Institute and New School, and a recent finalist for the Cole Porter Fellowship via the American Piano Competition.

Rio Nido
Tuesday, May 9.  the Dunsmore Room hosts a rescheduled gig with the popular trio Rio Nido (Tom Lieberman, Tim Sparks and Prudence Johnson). Major players on the local scene in the 70s and 80s, Rio Nido reunited about a year ago and are still major!

Chris Olson
At Vieux Carre', pianist Chris Lomheim is in solo mode early in the evening, followed by chanteuse Sophia Shorai. At the Dakota, drummer Bobby Commodore celebrates his day job retirement with the Ginger Commodore Quartet. Over at the Black Dog, it's the monthly Chris Olson Project with guests Cory Healey on drums and Kavyesh Kaviraj on keyboard joining the master guitarist. And Big Band Night at Jazz Central features the Cedar Avenue Big Band.

Wednesday, May 10.  Led by another master guitarist, the Zacc Harris Group performs on the Jazz at Studio Z series, featuring Bryan Nichols and the Bates brothers.

Held over from his Icehouse gig on Monday, Seattle's Jason Goessl teams up with Graydon Peterson and Adrian Suarez for some guitar trio magic at Jazz Central.

Steve Katz
And at Vieux Carre', it's raining "Katz and Dogs" -- the offbeat quintet headed by bassist Steve Katz, with Peter Vircks on sax, Matt Darling on trombone, Park Evans on guitar, and Ken Goldman on drums.

Keiko Matsui
Thursday, May 11. Contemporary piano star Keiko Matsui returns to the Dakota for the first of two nights, returning again on Sunday, May 14. And the trombone wielding Potash Twins perform a special concert at Adath Jeshuran Synagogue. Singer-songwriter Charlie Christenson is featured on vocal jazz night at Jazz Central. (Note - no Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie this week!)

Arne Fogel
More Jazz!
See the Twin Cities live jazz calendar posted on the KBEM website. 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. Next week, Andrea's guest will be vocalist and producer Arne Fogel. Artists, get your gig on the KBEM live jazz calendar -- send your information to Kevin Barnes at

Coming Soon!
. May 12, Steve Coleman's Five Elements, Walker Art Center
. May 13, Walker West Jazz Ensemble/Open Story at the Black Dog
. May 13, Travis Anderson Trio at the Normandy Kitchen
. May 14, Keiko Matsui at the Dakota
. May 15, Karrin Allyson at the Dakota
. May 15, Dave Graf at Jazz Central
. May 15-16, Dave King Trio in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 16, Steve Hobert and John Penny, early sets at Vieux Carre'
. May 16, Billy Martin at the Icehouse
. May 16, Explosion Big Band at Jazz Central
. May 16-17, Marcus Roberts Trio at the Dakota
. May 18, Kristin Lee Sargent with Ted Nash and Jeremy Walker at Vieux Carre'
. May 18, Vicky Mountain at Jazz Central
. May 18, Below Zero/Steve Kenny Quartet at Reverie
. May 18, Rare Medium at Whiskey Junction
. May 19, Phil Hey Quartet at Jazz Central
. May 20, Lease-Moriarty Quartet/Angelica Sanchez Trio at the Black Dog
. May 22, Peter Kogan Quintet at the Icehouse
. May 23, Maud Hixson, "Judy Garland: Muse and Musician" in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 25, Pete Hennig Trio at Reverie
. May 25, Will Schmid/Charlie Lincoln Quintet Presents the Music of Low at the Black Dog
. May 25, Dorothy Doring at Jazz Central
. May 26, Will Schmid/Greg Lewis Ensemble at Jazz Central
. May 27, Selby Brass Band/Park Evans Quintet at the Black Dog
. May 28, Regina Marie Williams "Nina Simone" at the Dakota
. May 31, Chris Potter "Dreamer is the Dream" Quartet at the Dakota
. June 1, Zacc Harris Group at Reverie
. June 3, TC Seven Swing Dance at 301 on Main
. June 3-8, Icehouse Fifth Anniversary Party
. June 8, Chris Bates Good Vibes Trio at Reverie
. June 5, Ottmar Liebert and Luna Negra at the Dakota
. June 19, Jane Bunnett and Macaque at the Dakota
. June 21, Christian Sands at the Dakota
. June 22-24, Twin Cities Jazz Festival (McCoy Tyner, Terence Blanchard, Anat Cohen, Bobby Lyle)
. June 23-24, Dorado Schmitt and Django All Stars at the Dakota
. June 30-July 2, Iowa City Jazz Festival with Donny McCaslin, Stacy Kent, The Cookers, Laura Caviani, John Raymond, Dakota Combo and more

Karrin Allyson, coming to the Dakota on May 15

*Photo from Black Dog website; all other photos © Andrea Canter