Friday, June 2, 2017

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, June 2-8

Kenny Werner -- coming to Sundin Hall on June 4

© Andrea Canter

Happy June! June is a great month for Jazz in the Twin Cities, as it seems we always have a good share of CD celebrations, visiting artists, and of course three days of the Twin Cities Jazz Festival at the end of the month. Pre-fest activities start this week!

Big Gigs This Week
Friday, June 2. Vieux Carre' will host the CD release party for one of the area's youngest pro bands, Hoaxer. They recorded Crash Test at Creation Audio -- collegians Peter Goggin on alto sax, Will Kjeer on piano, Charlie Lincoln on bass, and Edmund Catlin on drums, playing all original works, to a large extent arranged on the spot at the recording session. Come early for a set or two with the Steve Kenny Trio featuring Ted Olsen and Pete James Johnson.

Rio Nido
The 70s star band Rio Nido returns to the Dakota, with Tom Lieberman, Prudence Johnson and Tim Sparks recreating the magic that made them one of the most popular area bands 4 decades ago. Magic is also in the air at Crooners as Judi Vinar sings with her favorite band, the Wolverines.

At Studio Z, Oudyano is back on stage--an engaging duo with Steven Hobert on piano and Issam Rafea on oud. And at Jazz Central, two veterans lead the band, with trombonist Pete Emblom joining the Bob Parsons Quartet.

James Buckley
Friday-Saturday, June 2-3. The five-year anniversary celebration is underway at the Icehouse, and no more appropriate action this weekend than the James Buckley Trio (with Bryan Nichols and JT Bates), Friday and Saturday. Buckley has been curating weekend dinner sets, and of course JT hosts the Monday Jazz Implosion.

Bill Stieger
Saturday, June 3. Things are jumping in Lowertown where First Friday means open studios--a mini-art crawl. And it's also Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog, this week presenting an opening set from the veterans of No Room for Squares, led by drummer Bill Stieger with Jimmie Wallace, Adam Tucker, and Mikkel Romstad. They're followed by another veteran band, Paul Harper's Show and Tell with Mike Cramer on guitar, Charlie Riddle on bass, Nathan Norman on drums, and of course Harper on saxes.

Joe Mayo
Up the street, Jazz at Studio Z closes the season with an Emerging Artists Showcase--and three bands, the Ted Olsen Quartet, Joe Mayo Quartet, and Thomas Nordlund Quartet. These are some of the area's busiest musicians of their generation, as both sidemen and bandleaders.

Boom Island Brewing is launching Saturday jazz with drummer Jesse Simon as Artistic Director. His Minnesota Hard Bop Collective will be featured along with "guest groups" through mid August. Tonight Jesse presents a trio with young hotshots, Jordan Anderson on piano and Tyler Wagner on bass.

Patty Peterson
Patty Peterson returns to Bunkers with friends and family, including brothers Paul and Ricky, nephew Jason Peterson DeLaire, and pals (almost family!) Billy Franze and Bobby Vandell, along with fellow vocalist Melanie Rosales.

Maryann Sullivan
Milo Fine's Studio Toile d'Angles hosts an inventive trio evening with Fine, Davu Seru and Paul Metzger. (See info about this venue at, while Nora Jones, returning to her jazz roots with her latest recording, takes the stage at Northrop Auditorium. And if you brave the crowds at the Edina Art Fair today, look for Maryann Sullivan and the Moneymakers--aka Corner Jazz.

Kenny Werner
Sunday, June 4. This afternoon brings one of the most revered pianists in modern jazz back to town -- Kenny Werner is the guest of the Chamber Music Society of Minnesota, performing in Sundin Hall at Hamline University. He's unveiling a new set of compositions dubbed "Third Stream", for string quartet and jazz piano trio, with help from local bass icon Anthony Cox and drummer Frederick Harris, who directs wind and jazz ensembles at MIT in Boston.

Katia Cardenas
Crooners Lounge has opened the patio for the season, and tonight you can enjoy vocalist Katia Cardenas with pianist Chris Lomheim, perfect partners for delights from the kitchen and bar.

Monday, June 5.  Arne Fogel puts the Croon in Crooners Lounge as he makes his monthly appearance with the Acme Jazz Company.

As usual, it's spotlight and jam night at Jazz Central, and this week the spotlight hits 20-year-old pianist Will Kjeer, home for the summer from studies at McGill University in Montreal. Will recently completed a stint with the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead Program, as well as the CD release with Hoaxer. Stick around for the weekly jam session.

The Dakota welcomes the return of multi-Grammy nominee, Nouveau Flameco guitarist Ottmar Liebert and Luna Negra.

JC Sanford
And at the Icehouse, 5th anniversary activities include the weekly Jazz Implosion, and JT Bates has lined up the JC Sanford Quartet with Zacc Harris and the Bates brothers playing JC's compositions.

Tuesday, June 6. Another CD release celebration, this one is at Jazz Central, with the Bill Simonsen Orchestra on stage and their new release--Big Alpaca.  When you assemble a band of the metro's best, you should end up with this recording-- all originals from Bill and terrific performances from the band.

It's First Tuesday at the Black Dog with Dean Magraw and Davu Seru, and big piano music rules at Vieux Carre', with Chris Lomheim opening solo for the Phil Aaron Trio--pianist Phil, bassist Gary Raynor, and drummer Jay Epstein. At Crooners, vocalist Kim Fragodt teams up with veteran pianist Benny Weinbeck for Happy Hour.

Wednesday, June 7. First Wednesdays typically find vocalist Connie Evingson at the Minneapolis Woman's Club, and tonight she's joined by frequent cohort Dave Karr on sax, with young swinger Andrew Walesch on piano.

Noah Ophoven-Baldwin
On the new music series, trumpeter Noah Ophoven Baldwin goes head-to-head with drummer JT Bates at Jazz Central; Vieux Carre' presents the Joel Shapira Trio in prime time.

Thursday, June 8. Enjoy the Adi Yehsaya Big Band in Crooners Lounge, the Chris Bates Good Vibes Trio (with Dave Hagedorn and Phil Hey) at Reverie, and the return of Jazz Alley on vocal night at Jazz Central. This ensemble grew out of the 2016 jazz fest "Scat Off", with Sarah M Greer, Maryann Sullivan and Katia Cardenas. Tonight they tackle the songs of Ella Fitzgerald. More vocal magic at Vieux Carre--the Sophia Shorai Trio is on stage.

The Twin Cities Jazz Festival pre-fest gets underway as the Twin Cities Hot Club performs at the Highland Park Library, one of several St Paul libraries to host a taste of jazz fest this month.

New venue--Seven Steakhouse Sushi Ultralounge Skybar in downtown Minneapolis has jazz every Thursday (7-10 pm) with the Steve Clarke Quartet, with Chris Lomheim alternating with Phil Aaron on piano, Tom Lewis on bass, and Haralds Bondaris on drums.

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. Tune in next week when Andrea's guest will be vocalist Connie Evingson with news of the upcoming Jazz at the Jungle season and a salute to Duke Ellington.

Coming Soon!
.  June 9, Patty Peterson and Family at Crooners Lounge
. June 9, Jack Courtright/Ben Ehrlich at Jazz Central
. June 9, Marbin/New Sound Underground at the Icehouse
. June 9, Jon Pemberton/Debbie Duncan at Vieux Carre'
. June 10, Doug Haining Tribute to Horace Silver/Jax Revel Group at the Black Dog
. June 10, Aaron Hedenstrom Trio at Boom Island Brewing
. June 10, Kate Lynch and her Most Excellent Fellows at Vieux Carre'
. June 11, Connie Evingson and Jon Weber, Jazz at the Jungle
. June 11, Charanga Tropical at the Icehouse (3 pm)
. June 11, Dennis Spears in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 12, Dave King Trucking Company/Hanging Hearts at the Icehouse
. June 13-14, Candy Dulfer at the Dakota
. June 13-14, Butch Thompson and Pat Donahue in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 14, Connie Evingson with Dave Karr, The Village at Mendota Heights (Twin Cities Jazz Festival)
. June 15, Wayne Horvitz Group at Reverie
. June 15, Seven Steps to Havana (Doug Little) at Arlington Hills Library (Twin Cities Jazz Festival)
. June 15, Lucia Newell with the Wolverines at Crooners Lounge
. June 17, How Birds Work/Simon Petrick Group at the Black Dog
. June 17, Tamberwood Ensemble, Cameron Kinghorn, Twin Cities Jazz Fest Preview Night at Hennepin Ave United Methodist Church (Kinghorn, 2 shows)
. June 17, Joel Shapira CD Release at Vieux Carre'
. June 18, Charanga Tropical at George Lattimer Central Library, St Paul(Twin Cities Jazz Festival)
. June 18, Nancy Harms in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. June 18, Dave Hagedorn Trio at Imminent Brewing opening event in Northfield
. June 19, Jane Bunnett and Macaque at the Dakota
. June 20, Jordan Anderson Group, Walker West (Twin Cities Jazz Festival
. June 21, Christian Sands at the Dakota
. June 21, Lee Engele, Merriman Park Library (Twin Cities Jazz Festival)
. June 22-24, Twin Cities Jazz Festival (McCoy Tyner with Joshua Redman, Terence Blanchard, Anat Cohen, Bobby Lyle, Emmet Cohen)
. June 23-24, Dorado Schmitt and Django All Stars at the Dakota
. June 25, Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson, Music of the 30s at St Albert the Great (1 pm)
. June 25, Reynold Philipsek Film Release, "A Life Well Played" at the Schneider Theater
. June 25, Ernest Bisong Group at Walker West (Twin Cities Jazz Festival)
. June 25, Beasley's Big Band at Como Lakeside Pavillion (Twin Cities Jazz Festival)
. June 29, Steven Hobert Quartet at Reverie
. June 30, Silverback Trio CD release, Bryant Lake Bowl
. June 30-July 2, Iowa City Jazz Festival with Donny McCaslin, Stacy Kent, The Cookers, Laura Caviani, John Raymond, Dakota Combo and more
. July 3, Geoffrey Keezer solo piano in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. July 7, Illicit Sextet at Studio Z (All Originals)
. July 10, Teri Roiger in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. July 14, Glen David Andrews at the Dakota
. July 23, Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson, Music of the 40s at St Albert the Great (1 pm)
. July 26-27, Pharoah Sanders at the Dakota
. July 28, Kenny Horst at Studio Z (All Originals)
. August 2, Kendra Shank in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. August 7, Chris Thomson Band with John Raymond at the Icehouse
. August 8, Cyrille Aimee at the Dakota
. August 8-9, Kevin Mahogany in the Dunmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. August 20, Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson, Music of the 50s at St Albert the Great (1 pm)
. August 24, Debbie Duncan Live Album Recording at the Dakota
. August 25, Jazz Word Jazz at Studio Z (All Originals)
. August 30, Dr Lonnie Smith at the Dakota
. October 10-11, Chick Corea Sextet with Steve Gadd at the Dakota