Friday, June 23, 2017

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, June 23-29

The 2017 Twin Cities Jazz Festival continues in St Paul

© Andrea Canter

It's the jazziest weekend of the year in the Twin Cities as we move into the final two days of the annual jazz festival, a couple post-fest gigs, and the screening of a documentary about the amazing musical life of one of our local veterans. And of course jazz never ends  -- there's always another gig.

Big Gigs This Week
Anat Cohen headlines tonight, June 23!
Friday-Saturday, June 23-24. There's no point in enumerating the hours of jazz on the stages of over two dozen venues participating in the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. The full schedule is online (with hard copies throughout the festival), and you can read "Day by Day" overviews on the Jazz Police website. Just a few strong recommendations:

·         Friday, 7:30 pm. The late pianist Bobby Peterson was a working local legend, not only as a performer but also as a teacher who greatly influenced the careers of many current A-listers. At Vieux Carre', a tribute to Bobby will fittingly include two of his most frequent cohorts, cousin Billy Peterson on bass and Kenny Horst on drums, as well as a young lion more than worthy of filling Bobby's bench at the piano, 20-year-old Will Kjeer

·         Friday, 8:30 pm.  Clarinet virtuoso Anat Cohen returns to the Twin Cities with her Brazilian ensemble, Choro Adventuroso, appearing on the Securian Main Stage at Mears Park. The Israeli-born, Berklee-trained, New York-based Cohen is as comfortable with choro and samba as she is with Benny Goodman.  She's a joy to hear and fun to watch.

·         Friday-Saturday, Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education Youth Showcase covers two days this year, with 8 bands of middle and high school and college level jazz students showing their talents and enthusiasm. On stage at the Starkey Hearing Technologies Stage at Union Depot, music starts at 4 pm Friday and 1 pm Saturday, ending with the annual Dakota Combo set at 5 pm Saturday. 
Youth rule at Union Depot!
·         Saturday, 6 pm. A favorite son returns -- keyboard great Bobby Lyle is back in his home territory, performing on the Main Stage. He's been back at the Dakota and Dunsmore Room but I think this will be his festival debut.
·         Saturday, 8:30 pm. Last year was the first Singers' Scat Off and it was so well received, we'll have another, this time on the indoor stage at TPT.

·         Saturday, 8:30 pm.  The frosting on a tall cake, the closing headline act on the Securian Main Stage at Mears Park brings together a living legend and a legend-in-the-making as NEA Jazz Master McCoy Tyner teams up --for the first time--with 21st century sax titan Joshua Redman. Tyner's rhythm section--bassist Gerald Cannon and festival Artistic Director, drummer Francisco Mela--is the best in the business.
McCoy Tyner

·         Saturday, 9 pm. Laura Caviani and her trio take the spotlight at Vieux Carre', as they will next week in Iowa City when they provide the Minnesota end of the Iowa-Minnesota festival exchange.

·         Saturday, 10/11:30 pm. Will Kjeer is having a busy festival, and his availability during his college break provides an opportunity to reunite with Steve Kenny's Group 47, playing their first gig of 2017 at the Black Dog to shut down the festival. What an ending!

The festival is in the spotlight but there's another option Friday and Saturday as the Django Festival All Stars return to the Dakota for two nights of Django-influenced hot club swing.

Reynold Philipsek
Sunday, June 25. One of the most prolific jazz artists in our midst is guitarist/composer Reynold Philipsek. Now he is the subject of a documentary film, A Life Well Played, screening this afternoon with live music from Reynold and friends at the Schneider Theater in Bloomington.

Another afternoon delight, Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson continue their summer months of great song with The Songs of the 30s at St Albert the Great church. And the jazz festival lingers with a post fest performance by violinist Ernest Bisong and his ensemble, at Walker West Music Academy, and a big band swinging affair with Beasley's Big Band at the Como Lakeside Pavilion.

Monday, June 26.  In the spotlight at Jazz Central, hear Ashen Fir, led by cellist Greg Byers with Jack Barrett on keys, Charlie Bruber on bass and Pete Quirsfeld on drums.

Tuesday-Wednesday, June 27-28. Pianist Richard Johnson spent a few years in the Twin Cities before taking on managing jazz clubs in the Middle East. The one-time pianist for both Wynton and Delfeayo Marsalis, Johnson returns to Minnesota for two nights in the Dunsmore Room, Tuesday with his trio and Wednesday with Debbie Duncan.

Brian Courage
Tuesday, June 28. It's normally Big Band Night at Jazz Central but tonight it's a special presentation of the Tributary Quintet, artists with connections to the Twin Cities and midwest (eg, Lawrence University) from a wider swath of the US-- Adam Meckler on trumpet, Aaron Hedenstrom on saxes, Greg Woodsbie on piano, Brian Courage on bass, and Derek Dreier on drums.

Wednesday, June 28. The Leigh Kamman Legacy Project's monthly series at the Black Dog Cafe continues with a broadcast of a Jazz Image radio hour from July of 1993, followed by another showing (by popular request) of the video Jazz Image Evolution: Leigh Kamman Through the Decades.

At Jazz Central, John Keston and Cody McKinney present: sound/simulacra : a monthly series which explores musical improvisation as a “faithful and intentionally distorted” representational process. Sound/simulacra will bring together some of the Twin Cities most unique voices to “recreate, distort, and create the hyperreal”. At the Public Kitchen, there's another opportunity to hear the Richard Kronick Quartet. 

Steven Hobert Quartet
Thursday, June 29. Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie will go on hiatus in August, pending Reverie's relocation, but not before hosting a performance by pianist Steven Hobert and his quartet (Pete Whitman, Yohannes Tona, LA Buckner). Events are scheduled through July and watch for news of a new location.

Larry McDonough
A big hit at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival last week and top pick of the Pioneer Press, the Larry McDonough Quintet reprises its AcoustElectric show at Day Block Brewing. This show pairs the music of Kind of Blue with Return to Forever, the acoustic set followed by the electronic set. But unlike the earlier shows at the Dakota, the Miles Davis trumpet part will transfer to Carol Bergquist on flute--original arrangements indeed. Other acoustic selections will be drawn from Larry's previous shows celebrating Bill Evans, Tony Bennett and Chet Baker.  The electric set pays homage to Return to Forever with some additional hits from Led Zeppelin, Spinal Tap, Sting and Prince.
American Reverie

Zacc Harris's American Reverie trio (with Matt Peterson and Cory Healey) had a very successful CD release last month, earning praise from City Pages as "a collection of smart contemporary jazz interpretations of folk standards...Harris’ eloquent guitar work highlights pointed commentary with a deft array of melodic abstractions, tempo shifts and harmonic changes."  They'll give us another chance to hear it live tonight at Vieux Carre'.   

Did you know the Bad Waitress on Nicollet has jazz every Thursday night? This week features the dazzling duo of Charmin and Shapira. Experimental music at Khyber Pass features Pat Moriarty, Ellen Lease and Noah Ophoven Baldwin, and at Jazz Central, Vocal Jazz Night presents Niny Salem, new on the Twin Cities jazz scene.

Coming Soon!
. June 30, Silverback Trio CD release, Bryant Lake Bowl 
. June 30, Michael Shults with Javi Santiago at Jazz Central
. June 30-July 2, Iowa City Jazz Festival with Donny McCaslin, Stacy Kent, The Cookers, Laura Caviani, John Raymond, Dakota Combo and more
. June 30, Yolande Bruce at Crooners Lounge
. July 1, Mauilotus: Marillyn Allysum Group at Jazz Central
. July 1, Babatunde Lea Quartet/ Drew Stinson Trio, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. July 1, Richard Kronick Quintet in the Mudd Room at Lucky 13
. July 1, Jay Young and the Lyric Factory at the Dakota
. July 1, Sheridan Zuther and Steven Hobert at NE Mpls Farmers Market (St Boniface parking lot)
. July 2, Oudyano (Steven Hobert and Issam Rafea) in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. July 3, Geoffrey Keezer solo piano in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge 
. July 4, Bill Simenson Orchestra at Jazz Central 
. July 4, St. Croix Jazz Orchestra with Andrew Walesch, Pioneer Park in Stillwater (fireworks follow)
. July 6, Acme Jazz Company with Arne Fogel at Crooners Lounge 
. July 6, Josh Granowski and Friends at the Bad Waitress (Nicollet) 
. July 6, "Pool Party" with JT Bates, Jacqueline Ultan and Chris Cunningham at Khyber Pass
. July 7, Illicit Sextet at Studio Z (All Originals)
. July 8, Good Vibes Trio/Cole Mahlum Quartet, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. July 10, Teri Roiger in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. July 11, Lila Ammons Duo at Midtown Farmers Market
. July 11, Cedar Avenue Big Band at Jazz Central
. July 12, Fuzzy Math at Jazz Central 
. July 12, Steven Hobert/Tony Balluff Big Three at Vieux Carre'
. July 13, Adam Astrup Group/KBT Trio, Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie
. July 13, George Cartwright and Davu Seru at Khyber Pass
. July 13, Joel Shapira/Jeremy Walker's Songtet at Vieux Carre'
. July 14, Glen David Andrews at the Dakota
. July 14, Connie Evingson, Jazz in the Lounge at the Minneapolis Woman's Club
. July 15, Tall Tales/Sam Miltich Trio, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. July 19, Capri Big Band at Minnehaha Falls Park bandshell
. July 20, Carmen Lundy at the Dakota
. July 20, Will Kjeer, Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie 
. July 21, Mary Louise Knutson Trio, pre-concert at Minnesota Orchestra Hall
. July 21-22, New Standards at the Dakota
. July 22, Juli Wood Quartet/Levi Schwartzberg Group, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. July 23, Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson, Music of the 40s at St Albert the Great (1 pm) 
. July 24, Medeski, Clouser and Bates at the Icehouse
. July 25, Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra at Jazz Central
. July 26-27, Pharoah Sanders at the Dakota
. July 27, Lila Ammons Quartet at Hell's Kitchen 
. July 27, Shifting Paradigms Recording Celebration, Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie
. July 28, TBA at Studio Z (All Originals)
. July 29, Chris Bates Red 5/Katia Cardenas, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. 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 12, Lila Ammons Duo at Midtown Farmers Market
. August 16, Ben Sidran at the Dakota
. August 20, Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson, Music of the 50s at St Albert the Great (1 pm)
. August 20-21, Lee Konitz with Dan Tepfer in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. 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
. September 12-13, Mike Stern Band at the Dakota
. September 18, The Yellowjackets at the Dakota
. September 22, Framework at Studio Z (All Originals)
. October 10-11, Chick Corea Sextet with Steve Gadd at the Dakota
. October 20, Mindy Abair at the Dakota
. October 26-27, Ramsey Lewis Quartet at the Dakota
. October 28-29, David Sanborn at the Dakota

The Iowa City Jazz Festival --June 30-July 2