Friday, March 27, 2015

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, March 27 - April 2



Young guns -- The Dakota Combo at the Black Dog, March 28

© Andrea Canter
It's always good to return to the Twin Cities and one of the nation's most vibrant (and accessible) jazz scenes. And there's lots for all local jazz fans to enjoy in the coming week -- some of our favorite veterans (and youngest stars) on stages from The Nicollet and Jazz Central across the river to the Black Dog as well as around the metro from Bloomington to Fridley; an impressive list of visitors from the Preservation Hall Jazz Band at Orchestra Hall to Tierney Sutton, Eliane Elias and Chris Potter all coming into the Dakota. And if you happen to be in London this weekend, don't miss a chance to hear our own Maud Hixson! That should be something for everyone, everywhere.

Big Gigs This Week
Phil Aaron
Friday, March 27. Longtime bandleader and favorite sideman Phil Aaron brings a quartet into Jazz Central for the weekly Bridge Series. The Chicago-born pianist spends his days scoring for film and television, and his nights tinkling the keys for a wide range of local projects, from vocalists like Lucia Newell to exciting ensembles like the Phil Hey Quartet and Tom Ashworth's new Fireside Five. He's joined tonight by Zacc Harris, Matt Peterson and Jay Epstein. Students from the acclaimed UW-Eau Claire Jazz program put on a jam for the late night show.

How Birds Work-- Horst and Bates
A favorite ensemble at the Artists Quarter for a decade, How Birds Work seldom flies these days but they land on the Friday Night Jazz at The Nicollet series tonight. Join Peter Schimke, Dean Granros, Chris Bates and Kenny Horst as they take flight, soaring with post bop wonders and original works.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band
At Orchestra Hall, the almost annual visit from the legendary Preservation Hall Jazz Band will appeal to fans of more traditional jazz as well as anyone who likes some foot-stomping, brass-heavy swinging fun. There's an open rehearsal at 6 pm requiring prior but free registration (contact Orchestra Hall).

Dakota Combo
Saturday, March 28. It's another double-header with young hotshots followed by veteran statesmen as Saturday Night at the Black Dog continues. Start out with the high school ensemble, the Dakota Combo, an octet of amazingly talented teens playing surprising covers and sophisticated original works. Directed by Adam Linz, the Combo boasts some of the busiest young artists in town-- you'll find Charlie Lincoln, Aidan Sponheim and Peter Goggin on the bandstand at Jazz Central and beyond. 

Dave Brattain
After a short break, the vets take over as the Daley-Brattain Report makes its Black Dog debut. In addition to guitarist Kevin Daley and saxophonist Dave Brattain, the Report includes bassist Bruce Heine and drummer Dave Stanoch. This is a new band but the musicians have earned their stripes many times over.

What will Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg do for the next few months while Fireside Pizza undergoes a face lift? Play elsewhere, of course! Tonight they bring in bassist Jim Chenoweth for a gig at the Mason Jar in Eagan. And stay tuned for more!

Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson
And attention any readers within driving distance of London, UK. Minnesota songbird Maud Hixson and pianist/husband Rick Carlson bring wits to the Brits! Making her debut at Crazy Coqs, Maude reprises her "Skyscraper Wits" show-- celebrating the songwriting "wits" of Mercer, Coward, Hart, Porter and more, along with a special appearance by UK star singer Claire Martin in a tribute to mutual friend, the late pianist Sir Richard Rodney Bennett. Housed within the Brasserie Zedel, Crazy Coqs is dubbed "London's most exquisite cabaret venue." Don't get too comfortable, Maude, we miss you back home.

Jana Nyberg and Adam Meckler
Sunday, March 29. There might not be a lot more opportunities to hear Jana Nyberg before she takes a little "maternity leave" so consider brunch at Hell's Kitchen today and enjoy the Jana Nyberg Group-- Adam Meckler, Thomas Nordlund, Matt Peterson and Andres Crovetti. Pop with a jazz sensibility, jazz with a pop sheen, and it's all musically and personally entertaining.

Tierney Sutton
The Dakota welcomes the return of another songbird, Tierney Sutton, in the fine company of Turtle Island Quartet cellist Mark Summer and French guitarist Serge Merlaud. After wowing the Dakota audience last summer, Sutton and Summer are back with the music of Joni Mitchell, Sutton even out-Joni-ing some of the original tunes which she covered on her 2014 release, After Blue.

Bob Bowman
Monday, March 30. It's a special bass night at Jazz Central, as local hero Doan Brian Roessler and Kansas City titan Bob Bowman share the Featured Artist spotlight. They will be supported by Peter Schimke on piano, Marc Anderson on percussion and Kansas-based saxophonist Matt Otto. Roessler is often heard in the company of Nathan Hanson, Davu Seru and other top improvising musicians; Bowman has long associations with pianist Laura Caviani and vocalist Karrin Allyson, and was in town a few months ago to perform with Laura and a short time later, with Allyson.

Jake Baldwin (Drones Band)
Another special night-- JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse features two sets presented by Six Families via a state arts grant, which means there is no cover tonight. First set --International Novelty Gamelan; second set--Drone Band's "Meditations on Hypnosis" with Jake Baldwin and Noah Ophoven-Baldwin on trumpets, Evan Clark on tuba, Cole Pulice on saxophone, Jim Pfeffer on bass and Cory Healey on drums.

Tuesday, March 31. Popular Brazilian pianist/vocalist Eliane Elias brings her trio to the Dakota in support of her latest recording, Made in Brazil-- set for official release today on Concord. Serving as producer, composer, lyricist, arranger, keyboardist and vocalist, Elias uncovers her Brazilian roots in exquisite fashion.

Pete Hennig (Atlantis Quartet)
Brazilian music also figures into a double header at the Icehouse tonight, with the instrumental band DIBIGODE offering rock/jazz/folk sounds blended with Brazilian rhythms. They're followed by all-American modern jazz artists, the Atlantis Quartet-- Zacc Harris, Brandon Wozniak, Chris Bates and Pete Hennig.

Adam Meckler Orchestra
Like the recent "good old days," the Adam Meckler Orchestra returns to Jazz Central for the open fifth Tuesday of the month. The AMO most recently performed at the 2015 Winter Jazz Festival at Studio Z. The space will be tighter at Jazz Central but the music will soar just as high.

Anthony Cox
Wednesday, April 1. Every first Wednesday, Anthony Cox brings his Continuum Series to Jazz Central. Tonight, he features Peter Schimke and Jay Epstein, as well as his own bass and cello, exploring the concept and possibilities of the trio format. Special guest Sarah Greer joins in on vocals.

Downtown at the Dakota, the Rebirth Brass Band returns with it unique brand of New Orleans funk. The first brass band to win a Grammy (2012 "Best Regional Roots Album"), RRB released Move Your Body last year and promises to inspire you to move yours!

Connie Evingson
Connie Evingson continues her monthly Jazz in the Lounge at the Minneapolis Woman's Club, but tonight she has a handful of guests-- Patty and the Buttons. A frequent collaborator with area and international hot club ensembles, Connie will be right at home with Patrick Harison's accordion and his swinging cohorts (Dean Harrington and Mark Kreitzer on guitars, Keith Boyles on bass, Tony Balluff on clarinet).

Chris Potter

Thursday, April 2. Barring blizzards or tsunamis, tonight is the long-awaited-rescheduled visit from the Chris Potter Underground Quartet, scheduled and rescheduled for early February at the Dakota only to be wiped out by one of the season's worst East Coast storms. They're blowing in from the West this time. Saxophonist Potter is one of the most lauded performers and composers of his generation; his quartet tonight will include guitarist Adam Rogers, bassist Fima Ephron and drummer Nate Smith.

More Jazz!
Keep up with the live jazz scene in the Twin Cities -- check out calendars at Jazz Police, KBEM, Rhythm and Grooves and Jazz Near You, as well as here on the blog.  More jazz to tickle your ears:

Friday, March 27. Todd Harper, happy hour at the Black Dog; Irv Williams and Steve Blons, happy hour at the Dakota; Connie Olson at Parma 8200; John Paulson with Swing, Inc. at Signatures (Winona); Jake Hanson and James Buckley, dinner sets at the Icehouse; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar (Saint Paul Hotel); Barbara Meyer at the Black Dog

Saturday, March 28. Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; JoAnn Funk in the Lobby Bar (Saint Paul Hotel); Tim Sparks and James Buckley, dinner sets at the Icehouse; Pavel Jany's Talking Strings at Loring Pasta Bar; Sidewalk Cafe at 318 Cafe

Sunday, March 29. Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster Cafe; Robert Everest, brunch at Maria's; Jazz Jam and Brunch at Crooners' Lounge; Joel Shapira solo guitar at the Black Dog (4 pm);  Zacc Harris Trio at Riverview Wine Bar; Century Jazz Ensemble at Jethro's Charhouse  (St Paul); St Cloud State University Jazz Buffet at Ruth Grant Recital Hall (St Cloud State U)
Joel Shapira

Monday, March 30. BZ3 Organ Trio at The Narrows Saloon


Tuesday, March 31. Jason Weismann, happy hour at Crooners Lounge; Cafe Accordion at Loring Pasta Bar; Joel Shapira at Underground Music Cafe'; Jacob Hanson and James Buckley at Cafe Maude

Wednesday, April 1. Connie Evingson with Patty and the Buttons at the Minneapolis Woman's Club; Andrew Walesch Quartet at Crooners Lounge; Zack Lozier Three at the 331 Club

Thursday, April 2. Acme Jazz Company at Crooners Lounge; Vocal Jazz Night at Jazz Central; Moonlight Serenaders at Wabasha Street Caves

Coming Soon!
. April 3, Mancrush at The Nicollet
. April 3, Maud Hixson at Parma 8200
. April 3, Dean Magraw and Steven Hobert at Jazz Central
. April 4, Pete Snell Trio/Steve Kenny Quartet at the Black Dog
. April 6, Davu Seru/Brandon Wozniak/Chris Bates at the Icehouse
. April 10, Patty Peterson at Parma 8200
. April 11, Solomon Parham Group/Paul Harper Show and Tell at the Black Dog
. April 11, Charanga Tropicale at Studio Z
. April 12, Anat Cohen Quartet at the Dakota
. April 13, Javi Santiago Trio at Crooners Lounge
. April 13, Chris Cunningham's Fall of the House of Usher at the Icehouse
. April 16, Anthony Cox and Jeremy Walker, "Rage of Achilles" at Orchestra Hall (Target Atrium)
. April 16, Bettye LaVette at the Dakota
. April 17, Javi Santiago Quartet at The Nicollet
. April 17, Ann Hampton Callaway at Orchestra Hall
. April 17, Thomas Bruce at Parma 8200
. April 17, Patty Peterson and Friends at the Dakota
. April 18, Jay Young's Lyric Factory at the Dakota
. April 18, Lucia Sarmiento Group/Reid Kennedy Trio at the Black Dog
. April 19, Chris Thomson Quartet CD Release at the Icehouse
. April 19, Soul Cafe at Hennepin Ave Methodist Church
. April 21, Eden Prairie High School Jazz Band with John Raymond at EPHS
. April 22, Danilo Perez at the Dakota
. April 24, Tuck and Patti at the Dakota
. April 24, Arne Fogel at Parma 8200
. April 24, Endeavors followed by the Dakota Combo at Jazz Central
. April 25, JazzMN Orchestra with Bob Mintzer at Hopkins l High School Auditorium
. April 25, Jon Wood CD Release/Mancrush at the Black Dog
. April 25-26, Irv Williams, Legends concert at The Capri
. April 26, KBEM's Jazz Noir at Vieux Carré
. April 26, Nellie McKay at the Dakota
. April 29-30, Madeleine Peyroux at the Dakota
. May 2, Jason Moran and Robert Glasper at the Walker
. May 8, Ron Miles with the Atrium Jazz Ensemble at Orchestra Hall (Target Atrium)
. May 9, PipJazz "Women in Jazz" -- afternoon workshop and evening concert at The Bedlam
. May 11, Tim Berne's Snake Oil at the Icehouse
. May 27-28, Rachelle Ferrell at the Dakota
. June 3, Steve Smith and Vital Information, NYC Edition at the Dakota
. June 22, Kurt Elling at the Dakota
. June 23, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue at the Cabooze
. June 23-24, Cecile McLorin Salvant at the Dakota
. June 25-27, Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Mears Park and beyond (Dr John, Potter/Holland/Louke/Harland Quartet, Francisco Mela with Nicholas Payton, Araya-Orta Quartet, Marquis Hill Blacktet)
. July 2-4, Iowa City Jazz Festival (Charles Lloyd, Dave Douglas, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Julian Lage, Brian Charette, Atlantis Quartet, Becca Stevens, COLOSSUS, Dakota Combo)


Anat Cohen returns to the Dakota on April 12






Friday, March 13, 2015

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, March 13-26



Denny Malmberg and Charmin Michelle-- Fireside Pizza closes soon for renovations!

© Andrea Canter
(Covering two weeks of great Twin Cities music.)

No matter when I plan to be out of town, I can be sure that I will miss some great jazz. March is no exception. This weekend we have some savvy visitors and stellar locals, from Arne Fogel at Parma, and What Would Monk Do at the Black Dog to younger trailblazers at Jazz Central (Peter Vircks) and The Nicollet (Foreign Motion) as well as Doug Little's Charanga Tropicale at 2 venues, to an annual visit from Chris Botti with the Minnesota Orchestra and a rare visit from Pete Christlieb with the JazzMN Orchestra, setting the stage for the next big weekend when Reynold Philipsek releases another CD (Jazz @ St Barneys), Dave Hagedorn brings his quartet to Jazz at Studio Z, and the Illicit Sextet bang it out at the Black Dog.

Big Gigs, Two Weeks
Arne Fogel
Friday, March 13. Who says Friday the 13th is unlucky? Not in the local jazz world. Sit back, relax with a glass of wine, some pasta or calamari, finish with a cannolli and let Arne Fogel entertain you at Parma 8200! While Arne sings (and informs), Chris Lomheim and Steve Pikal will keep the beat going and grand style.

On the Bridge Series at Jazz Central, hear saxophonist Peter Vircks, co-founder of the popular Moveable Feast and long-time associate of Nachito Herrera, Yohannes Tona and Kevin Washington. He brings in the same quartet that recorded the highly regarded What You Believe Is True, with keyboardist Brian Ziemniak, bassist Ron Evaniuk, and drummer Kevin Washington.

Cory Wong, Foreign Motion
About ten minutes from Jazz Central and starting enough later, Friday Night Jazz at the Nicollet features another stellar quartet, Foreign Motion. The band came together on a whim, but their debut recording (In Flight) and recent gigs indicate this will be a long-lasting, sophisticated ensemble that should draw its audience from a wide swath of fans of modern improvised music, from fusion fanciers to post-bop modernists. Led by accomplished guitarist Cory Wong, Foreign Motion includes Kevin Gastonguay, Yohannes Tona and Petar Janjic.

Charanga Tropicale
Friday-Saturday, March 13-14. Getting ready for their trip to Cuba in June, where they will be the first North American band to play the Festival of Danzon,  Doug Little's Charanga Tropicale holds a salsa fest this weekend at two venues. Friday they're at The Bedlam in St. Paul; Sunday they're on stage at The Cedar. The shows include numerous guests including Salsa del Soul and Salsabrosa.

Kenny Horst, WWMD
Saturday, March 14. What would have happened if eccentric genius Thelonious Monk had encountered four of the best Twin Cities jazzmen? Trumpeter Steve Kenny, pianist Peter Schimke, bassist Billy Peterson and drummer Kenny Horst first asked that question in 2010 at the Artists Quarter, and the quartet has gathered together more often over the past six months. Tonight, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog welcomes What Would Monk Do, with Chris Bates taking over for Peterson. The early set brings in rising local star trumpeter Noah Ophoven-Baldwin with pals Joe Strachan on keys and Miguel Hurtado on drums.

Jazz MN Orchestra
Sunday, March 15. The JazzMN Orchestra truly needs no guest artists given its own depth of talent. Nevertheless, Doug Snapp and company manage to find perfect guest artists that mesh well with the band. This afternoon, tenor sax titan Pete Christlieb joins JazzMN, along with guest vocalist Michele Denise Michaels. All the fun and music will be heard at JazzMN's home hall, the Hopkins High School Auditorium.

KFAI's Larry Englund
KFAI's annual fundraiser takes place in the not-really-open-yet Vieux Carré in the lower level of the Hamm Building, hosted by deejay Larry Englund and featuring three hot bands-- the Maurice Jacox Trio, Zack Lozier Trio, and New Sound Underground. The cover is a $10 donation but of course they will be happy to take more!

Monday, March 16. There's only two weeks left to hear Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza before the venue closes for a few months for renovations. So grab a pie and enjoy some swinging classics while you can. (Fireside is open through the end of the month; Charmin and Denny perform every Monday and Wednesday through this week and on March 23, Denny will have a guest on March 25.)

Tommy Bruce
Tommy Bruce launched his jazz singing career late but he's going strong, including tonight when he is on stage at Crooner's Lounge. There's a Chet Bakerish quality to his voice... perfect for happy hour or late into the night.

Tuesday, March 17. Big bands rule tonight! At Crooner's Lounge, the original charts of the Acme Jazz Company mesh with the vocals of Arne Fogel. At Jazz Central, it's the monthly installment of the Explosion Big Band, led by Doug Haining and Scott Agster. Both bands sport the area's top big band specialists.

Pete Whitman
Wednesday, March 18. Pete Whitman brings a new quintet into Jazz Central for "new music" night - and with this line-up, you can count on new and exciting sounds: Chris Lomheim on piano, Jay Young on bass, Dave Schmalenberger on drums and Chris Olson on guitar. Over in southwest Minneapolis, the Zacc Harris Trio livens up the evening at Cafe Maude.

Thursday, March 19.  The apple does not fall far.... Coming up from Iowa to sing at Jazz Central, Harmonic Convergence is based out of the School for Music Vocations, and the sextet is directed by a guy with a familiar name -- Lucas Mattson. Yep, Phil Mattson is his dad. So you know this will be a very classy vocal jazz affair.

Jake Baldwin
Friday, March 20. The Bridge Series at Jazz Central tonight welcomes "home" guitarist/composer Luke Polipnick, now based in Omaha. His trio this evening ensures creative music-making, with Adam Linz on bass and Cory Healey on drums. They're done in plenty of time to make it over to The Nicollet to hear the Jake Baldwin Quintet. He's one of the area's youngest bandleaders, but trumpeter Jake approaches the music like a veteran, as do his cohorts--saxophonist Nelson Devereaux, pianist Joe Strachan, bassist Ryan Hayes and drummer Lars-Erik Larson.

Anthony Cox
There's an explosive double-header at the Icehouse tonight-- and the late start (10 pm) means you can head a little south from The Nicollet or Jazz Central and make it in time. The first set at the Icehouse brings visitors Ben Goldberg (clarinet), Michael Coleman (piano) and Hamir Atwal (drums) performing as Invisible Guy, followed by a largely local quartet of Paul Metzger, Mike Lewis, Anthony Cox and JT Bates. In the first set, you’ll hear snatches of bebop, klezmer and modern jazz blended together by a trio that allows the melody to cut through to the truth, always leaving room for personal expression from three master improvisers, based in New York on now touring the Midwest. The second set similarly offers master improvisers traveling a path with unexpected and unplanned twists and turns.  This is a night for adventurous ears.

Over in St Paul, there are more adventures tonight as the Donald Washington Trio returns to the Black Dog. The ever-exciting saxophonist teams up with Doan Brian Rosseler and Davu Seru, long-standing collaborators.


“Together Again” with Debbie Duncan, Bruce Henry and Gwen Matthews will benefit We Care Performing Arts” – raising money to send lower income kids to a four-day summer music camp. Held at Lincoln School Auditorium in North Minneapolis, tickets $30 in advance or $35 at the door. Info at 612-529-8923.
And if you happen to be near New Ulm tonight, note the Atlantis Quartet takes their joyful mayhem on the road, appearing at the Grand Kabaret. Worth a drive.

Dave Hagedorn
Saturday, March 21. Abundant choices! Jazz at Studio Z returns with the Dave Hagedorn/Zacc Harris Quintet saluting the collaboration of Milt Jackson and Wes Montgomery. Joining the master vibraphonist and prolific guitarist will be pianist Bryan Nichols, bassist Chris Bates, and drummer Cory Healey. Dave leads an open workshop at 6:00 before the 7 pm concert. Come early and enjoy both. And stay late too -- a late show follows with percussionist Scotty Hory's Signs of New Vitality, a collection of pieces that celebrate the uplifting energy of travel. With guest artists Bethany Gonella and Trent Baarspul.


Steve Kenny, Illicit Sextet
Right around the corner, it's Saturday Night at the Black Dog, with the Illicit Sextet headlining the action -- Steve Kenny, Paul Harper, Dave Roos, Chris Lomheim, Tom Pieper, and Nathan Norman playing all-original music. The opening band is a trio of Jeff King, Charles Fletcher and Eron Woods.

Reynold Philipsek
Jazz @St. Barneys (St Barnabas Church) has been putting great jazz on stage in Plymouth for a long time, and tonight's show serves as the CD release for an artist who has been putting out recordings for a long time -- guitarist Reynold Philipsek. One of the region's most prolific composers as well as a busy performer, Reynold will release Quintessence, a set of mostly solo versions of new and older tunes. For this concert, Reynold places the first set solo, then brings on pals Michael Bissonnette and Matt Senjem for some trio magic.

Francisco Mela
It was billed as Nachito Herrerra and Friends at the Dakota tonight, but there's an extra special friend coming. Newly appointed Artistic Director and amazing drummer Francisco Mela is back in town for the weekend, and will join Nachito and other friends for a Cuban jazz party. (Mela and his new ensemble headline the festival on June 27th with guest Nicholas Payton.)

Zacc Harris
Monday, March 23. JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse tonight features the Zacc Harris Quartet--guitarist Zacc with pals Bryan Nichols, Chris Bates and JT Bates. This late evening series is always a winner and tonight is as good as it gets.

Steve Tyrell
Monday-Tuesday, March 23-24. The Dakota welcomes the return of jazzy/pop vocalist, producer and Grammy winner Steve Tyrell. His hits like “The Way You Look Tonight,” “The Simple Life,” “Crush on You” and “The Sunny Side of the Street” could make lovers of enemies. His new That Lovin' Feeling celebrates what he calls the Great American Songbook 2 --rock era classics by legendary songwriters. If Sinatra was still with us, he'd be singing these songs.

Levi Schwartzberg
Wednesday, March 25. Although usually dominated by veterans, the Wednesday night "new music" series at Jazz Central also has featured "new musicians" -- some of the young and new-on-the-scene artists who are providing some of the most exciting jazz in the area. Tonight the bandstand will be turned over to such an ensemble led by keyboard/vibraphone monster Levi Schwartzberg, in his first year at the U of M. His band includes high school seniors Aidan Sponheim on trumpet, Peter Goggin on sax, and Charlie Lincoln on bass, and recent Roosevelt grad Ben Oni on drums. The future of jazz shines in their music.

Reminder-- this is probably the last night to hear Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg (or anyone else) at Fireside Pizza til renovations are completed in June! 


Delfeayo Marsalis
Wednesday-Thursday, March 25-26. This was supposed to be two nights at the Dakota with the Last Southern Gentleman tour, the father-son project of Delfeayo and Ellis Marsalis. That's still the case for Wednesday night, but Ellis apparently had something else to do and will be replaced by NOLA pianist Davell Crawford on Thursday night. The tour is in support of the same-named recording, the first performing project of trombonist Delfeayo paired with dad, pianist Ellis. How this works without Ellis is anyone's guess, but for certain there will be lots of virtuosic music both nights.

Thursday, March 26. The masterful strings of Pavel Janey and Gary Schulte are on display tonight at the Black Dog. 


Sarah Greer
In what might seem to be a more unusual pairing, vocalists Sarah Greer and Maryann Sullivan team up at Jazz Central for a night of songs "From Classic to Contemporary," moving from the likes of Peggy Lee and BIllie Holiday through The Beatles, Cyndy Lauper and some of Sarah's originals.

More Jazz!
Keep up with the live jazz scene in the Twin Cities -- check out calendars at Jazz Police, KBEM, Rhythm and Grooves and Jazz Near You, as well as here on the blog.  More jazz to tickle your ears:

Friday, March 13. Irv Williams and Steve Blons, happy hour at the Dakota; Todd Harper and Aaron Kerr, happy hour at the Black Dog; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar, Saint Paul Hotel; Katia Cardenas Birthday Bash at Mattie's on Main; Bobby Commodore Birthday Party with Ashley Commodore, Late Night at the Dakota; Andrew Walesch and 7 Cats Swing Band at Crooner's Lounge; Tim Sparks and Marcus Wise, dinner sets at the Icehouse; Kronick Quintet at Golden's Deli; Charmin Michelle/Denny Malmberg/Ray Siegel at the Cellar at Scusi; Glen Helgesen and Gary Schulte at 318 Cafe

Saturday, March 14. JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar, Saint Paul Hotel; Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; Andrew Walesch and 7 Cats Swing Band at Crooner's Lounge; Bryan Nichols and James Buckley, dinner sets at the Icehouse

Sunday, March 15. Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster; Robert Everest, brunch at Maria's; Larry Dunsmore, Jazz Brunch at Crooner's Lounge; Zacc Harris Trio at the Riverview Wine Bar; Cafe Accordion Quartet at the Tapestry Folkdance Center

Monday, March 16. Joe Mayo at Jazz Central; Sofia Rei at the Dakota; BZ3 Trio at The Narrows Saloon; JT Bates B-3 Organ Trio with Kevin Gastonguay and Zacc Harris at the Icehouse

Tuesday, March 17. Mia Dorr, happy hour at Crooner's Lounge; Cafe Accordion at Loring Pasta Bar; Patty and the Buttons at Cafe Maude; River City Jazz Orchestra at Minnesota Music Cafe

Wednesday, March 18. Debbie Duncan Quartet at Crooners Lounge; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; John Devine and Friends at Loring Pasta Bar; Bossa Jazz Quartet (Daniel Williams, Samuel De Moraes Altamir Coehlho and Kent Mortimer) at the Tangiers
Thursday, March 19. Big Band Swing Night at Wabasha Street Caves


Friday, March 20. Irv Williams and Steve Blons, happy hour at the Dakota; Todd Harper, happy hour at the Black Dog; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar, Saint Paul Hotel; Vicky Mountain at Parma 8200; Mia Dorr and the Debbie Duncan Quartet at Crooners Lounge; John Paulson with Swing, Inc. at Signatures (Winona); Bryan Nichols and James Buckley, dinner sets at the Icehouse; Randy Sabien and the Fiddlehead Band with Pat Donahue and Judi Vinar at The Cedar; Jazz Crew (student jam) at Jazz Central (late set)

Saturday, March 21. Charmin & Shapira at Midtown Global Market (12:30 pm); JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar, Saint Paul Hotel; Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; Maurice Jacox Trio at Normandy Kitchen; Kronick Quintet at NOLA Bistro (Osseo)

Sunday, March 22. Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster; Robert Everest, brunch at Maria's; Larry Dunsmore, jazz brunch at Crooners Lounge; Zacc Harris Trio at Riverview Wine Bar; Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra with Charmin Michelle at Cinema Ballroom

Monday, March 23. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; B3 Organ Trio at the Narrows Saloon; Scott Agster at Jazz Central

Tuesday, March 24. Cafe Accordion at Loring Pasta Bar; McNally Smith Live at 5 with Dave Stanoch at McNally Smith College of Music; Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra at Jazz Central

Wednesday, March 25. Charmin Michelle and Bill Duna at The Marsh; Denny Malmberg and guest, last gig at Fireside Pizza til June!

Tom Ashworth (Fireside Five)
Thursday, March 26. Arne Fogel at Hell's Kitchen; Swingbeat Big Band at Wabasha Street Caves; Fireside Five and Friends at Underground Music Café; JT Bates at Khyber Pass Cafe'

Coming Soon!
. March 27, How Birds Work at The Nicollet
. March 27, Phil Aaron Quartet at Jazz Central
. March 27, Connie Olson at Parma 8200 
. March 28, Charmin Michelle, Denny Malmberg and Jim Chenoweth at the Mason Jar
. March 28, Dakota Combo followed by Daley/Brattain Report at the Black Dog
. March 28, Sidewalk Cafe at the 318 Cafe'
. March 29, Joel Shapira solo guitar at the Black Dog
. March 29, Tierney Sutton and Mark Summer at the Dakota
. March 30, Doan Brian Roessler with Bob Bowman and Matt Otto at Jazz Central
. March 31, Eliane Elias Trio at the Dakota
. March 31, Adam Meckler Orchestra at Jazz Central
. April 1, Rebirth Brass Band at the Dakota
. April 1, Schimke/Epstein/Cox at Jazz Central
. April 2, Chris Potter Quartet at the Dakota
. April 3, Mancrush at The Nicollet
. April 3, Dean Magraw and Steven Hobert at Jazz Central
. April 4, Pete Snell Trio/Steve Kenny Quartet at the Black Dog
. April 5, Connie Evingson with Jon Weber, Jazz at the Jungle (Theater)
. April 11, Solomon Parham Group/Paul Harper Show and Tell at the Black Dog
. April 12, Anat Cohen Quartet at the Dakota
. April 16, Anthony Cox and Jeremy Walker, "Rage of Achilles" at Orchestra Hall (Target Atrium)
. April 16, Bettye LaVette at the Dakota
. April 17, Ann Hampton Callaway at Orchestra Hall
. April 17, Patty Peterson and Friends at the Dakota
. April 18, Jay Young's Lyric Factory at the Dakota
. April 18, Lucia Sarmiento Group/Reid Kennedy Trio at the Black Dog
. April 19, Chris Thomson Quartet CD Release at the Icehouse
. April 19, Soul Cafe at Hennepin Ave Methodist Church
. April 21, Eden Prairie High School Jazz Band with John Raymond at EPHS
. April 22, Danilo Perez at the Dakota
. April 24, Tuck and Patti at the Dakota
. April 24, Endeavors followed by the Dakota Combo at Jazz Central
. April 25, JazzMN Orchestra with Bob Mintzer at Hopkins l High School Auditorium
. April 25, Jon Wood CD Release/Mancrush at the Black Dog
. April 25-26, Irv Williams, Legends concert at The Capri
. April 26, KBEM's Jazz Noir at Vieux Carré
. April 26, Nellie McKay at the Dakota
. April 29-30, Madeleine Peyroux at the Dakota
. May 2, Jason Moran and Robert Glasper at the Walker
. May 8, Ron Miles with the Atrium Jazz Ensemble at Orchestra Hall (Target Atrium)
. May 9, PipJazz "Women in Jazz" -- afternoon workshop and evening concert at The Bedlam
. May 11, Tim Berne's Snake Oil at the Icehouse
. May 27-28, Rachelle Ferrell at the Dakota
. June 3, Steve Smith and Vital Information, NYC Edition at the Dakota
. June 22, Kurt Elling at the Dakota
. June 23-24, Cecile McLorin Salvant at the Dakota
. June 25-27, Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Mears Park and beyond (Dr John, Potter/Holland/Louke/Harland Quartet, Francisco Mela with Nicholas Payton, Araya-Orta Quartet with Othello Mollineaux, Marquis Hill Blacktet)
. July 2-4, Iowa City Jazz Festival (Charles Lloyd, Dave Douglas, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Julian Lage, Brian Charette, Atlantis Quartet, Becca Stevens, COLOSSUS, Dakota Combo)


 
Chris Potter Quartet -- Rescheduled for April 2 at the Dakota! And he will be at the 2015 Twin Cities Jazz Festival in June.



Friday, March 6, 2015

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, March 6-12



Jack Dejohnette leads a band with AACM alums at The Walker (March 12)

© Andrea Canter
It's a weekend of local heroes followed by a week of visiting legends and legends-in-the-making, from JT Bates' Organ Trio, Eric Gravatt and Dean Magraw launching a new weekly jazz series and Anthony Cox and pals in a live recording gig to visits from David Sanchez, Cassandra Wilson, and an ensemble with Jack DeJohnette and Roscoe Mitchell. Be still, my ears!

Big Gigs This Week
Eric Gravatt and Dean Magraw
Friday, March 6. If one weekly series is good, another is even better. That was the thinking of Steve Kenny, whose Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog has proven to be a welcome addition to the area jazz scene. So why not bring a similar series to Minneapolis? Tonight he starts Friday Night Jazz at The Nicollet, bringing such heady music as tonight's Eric Gravatt/Dean Magraw Duo to the relaunched coffee shop (now serving wine and beer) on the corner of Nicollet and Franklin. The idea is to start at 8:30 pm (that's jazz time) and encourage folks to come over from Jazz Central's 7:30 pm "Bridge" Series for a nightcap. Hard to imagine a better opening draw than Gravatt and Magraw, whose Fire on the Nile was one of the best jazz releases of 2014.

JT Bates
And indeed, start the evening earlier at Jazz Central with JT Bates' B-3 Organ Trio, a melding of the drummer's sonic antics with the guitartistry of Zacc Harris and the B-3 magic of Kevin Gastonguay. These three musicians can easily shake the basement walls on Central Av.

Avery Sharpe
One of the unsung heroes of jazz bass, Avery Sharpe and his trio are on the road with dancer/singer/actress Jasmine Guy to celebrate the Harlem Renaissance in the multi-media production of Raisin' Cane: A Harlem Renaissance Oddysey, on stage tonight at O'Shaughnessy Auditorium.  It's a rare opportunity for Minnesotans to see these artists.

Nothing beats a relaxing Friday evening than a few hours at Parma 8200 with vocalist Maud Hixson  and her trio (with Rick Carlson and Gordy Johnson), maybe some pasta and a cannolli? Help Maud warm up for her London gig at the end of the month!

Andrew Walesch
Friday-Saturday, March 6-7. Young crooner and bandleader Andrew Walesch celebrates one of his muses at the Chanhassen Dinner Theater (Fireside Stage) this weekend with "100 Years of Sinatra." Old Blue-Eyes would have hit the century mark, and thanks to a new generation of singers like Walesch, his legacy continues in live performance. For this production, Andrew brings in his big band to take a tour through Sinatra's career and most beloved songs. Tickets remain for Friday night only.

Anthony Cox (DD7)
Saturday, March 7. At the Black Dog, the youngest local stars will open tonight for one of the most star-studded area bands. At 7 pm, check out the talent in the Charles Lincoln Group. This sextet is led by bassist (South High senior) Charlie Lincoln, who has made quite a name for himself playing with Eric Gravatt, Central Standard Time and his own ensembles, as well as nabbing "youth" titles for innovative music and songwriting via Zeitgeist. Charlie's band includes U of M freshman Levi Schwartzberg on Rhodes, high schoolers Peter Goggin on sax, Aidan Sponheim on trumpet, and Sam Stroup on electronics, and St Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists grad Joey Hayes on drums. The headline band tonight, DD7, brings together acclaimed veterans Anthony Cox on bass, Mike Lewis, Brandon Wozniak, and Steve Kenny on horns and JT Bates on drums, along with the trappings for a live recording. Come early and stay put.

Hugh Masekela
One of the faces of global jazz, South African flugelhornist Hugh Masekela is touring with vocalist Vusi Mahlasela (known in South Africa as "The Voice") in a musical celebration of "20 years of Freedom." We've heard both in shows at the Dakota, but tonight they perform together at The Ordway.

Zack Lozier
Sunday, March 8. There's a relatively new club in a relatively overlooked neighborhood of Falcon Heights -- the Underground Music Cafe. The former coffee shop still looks like a coffee shop, but there's a stage and decent sound system and some of our jazz veterans are turning up and building a following. Tonight, enjoy the Zack Lozier Trio, featuring a trumpeter who spans the gamut of jazz (and beyond), from NOLA to avant garde. His mainstream chops likely will rule tonight.

David Sanchez
Monday, March 9. David Sanchez was last in town a few years ago when he was touring with Kenny Barron, but the Latin Grammy-winning tenor saxophonist returns to the Dakota now with his own quartet and new project, Bamboula. Tracing the history of West African rhythms (Yuba, Calinda, Sika) from points of origin to the Caribbean and New Orleans, Bamboula reflects the origins and soul of jazz itself. The Sanchez quartet includes three of today's most sought-after jazzers, Luis Perdomo on piano, Ricky Rodriguez on bass and Obed Calvaire on drums.

Joan Griffith
Jazz Central shines its "spotlight" on an esteemed veteran performer and educator, guitar/mandolin specialist Joan Griffith. Joan brings along a crew of her talented students and we can expect originals and arrangements of her favorite Brazilian composers.

Tuesday, March 10. In Minneapolis, savvy singer Vicky Mountain takes the stage at The Nicollet. Covers, original songs, and even a scat attack?

Cassandra Wilson*
Tuesday-Wednesday, March 10-11. There are few voices in jazz as distinctive and distinguished as Cassandra Wilson, who returns to the Dakota less than a year since her last visit. This tour celebrates the 100th birthday of Billie Holiday, and like some of her contemporaries, Wilson is releasing a tribute recording. And no doubt, Wilson's interpretations will be unique and wholly Cassandra.

Jay Epstein
Two different venues but the same duo! Long-time collaborators Chris Bates and Jay Epstein duke it out for the first time as a duo, first at the Black Dog on Tuesday and then at Jazz Central on Wednesday for Bates' monthly night of new music. Dubbing themselves Wood and Bronze, "anything can happen," and probably will.

Jack DeJohnette
Thursday, March 12. Keeping with its tradition of bringing some of the most revered purveyors of modern jazz to town, the Walker Art Center presents drum legend Jack DeJohnette with three of the genre's  true pioneers of free jazz-- Roscoe Mitchell, Muhal Richard Abrams and Henry Threadgill. Yes, all on the same stage (McGuire Theater) at the same time, these magicians of jazz pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of Chicago's Academy for the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM). Mitchell, Abrams and Threadgill are among the AACM's alums. The quintet is completed by bassist Larry Gray.

More Jazz!
Keep up with the live jazz scene in the Twin Cities -- check out calendars at Jazz Police, KBEM, Rhythm and Grooves and Jazz Near You, as well as here on the blog.  More jazz to tickle your ears:

Friday, March 6. Irv Williams and Steve Blons, Happy Hour at the Dakota; Todd Harper, happy hour at the Black Dog; Bryan Nichols and James Buckley, dinner sets at the Icehouse; Patty Peterson Trio at Crooner's Lounge; John Paulson with Swing, Inc. at Signatures (Winona); JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar (Saint Paul Hotel)

Saturday, March 7. Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; Talking Strings Trio at Loring Pasta Bar; Pig's Eye Jass Band at Eagle's Club; Sophia Shorai at Hell's Kitchen; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar (Saint Paul Hotel); Debbie Duncan Quartet at Crooner's Lounge; Caprice Saxophone Quartet at Studio Z

Sunday, March 8. Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster Cafe; Robert Everest, brunch at Maria's; Fuzzy Math at the Black Dog; Zacc Harris Trio at Riverview Wine Bar

Reuben Ristrom at Fireside Pizza
Monday, March 9. Charmin Michelle and special guest Reuben Ristrom at Fireside Pizza; Dean Granros Party with '58 Belvedere and Tall Tales (Dean Granros, Zacc Harris, Chris Bates, Jay Epstein) at the Icehouse; BZ3 Organ Trio at The Narrows Saloon; Vinnie Rose Trio at Crooners' Lounge

Tuesday, March 10. Cafe Accordion at Loring Pasta Bar; Cedar Avenue Big Band at Jazz Central; Nova Jazz Orchestra at Minnesota Music Cafe; Salsabrosa at Crooners' Lounge

Wednesday, March 11. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Matra at the Black Dog; Andrew Walesch Quartet at Crooners' Lounge

Thursday, March 12. Gypsy Mania at Hell's Kitchen; Shoop at Jazz Central; Big Band Swing Night with the Minnesota Jazz Orchestra at Wabasha Street Caves; Embezzler at Khyber Pass Cafe

Coming Soon!
. March 13, Foreign Motion at The Nicollet
. March 13, Peter Vircks Quartet at Jazz Central
. March 13, Charanga Tropicale "Two Nights in Cuba" at The Bedlam
. March 14, Chris Botti at Orchestra Hall
. March 14, Noah Ophoven-Baldwin Quartet followed by What Would Monk Do at the Black Dog
. March 14, Charanga Tropicale "Two Nights in Cuba" at The Cedar Cultural Center
. March 15, Jazz Mn Orchestra with Pete Christlieb at Hopkins High School Auditorium
. March 16, Joe Mayo at Jazz Central
. March 17, Explosion Big Band at Jazz Central
. March 20, Invisible Guy (Ben Goldberg and more) at the Icehouse
. March 20, Luke Polopnik Trio at Jazz Central
. March 20, Jake Baldwin Quintet at The Nicollet
. March 21, Nachito Herrera and Francisco Mela at the Dakota
. March 21, Reynold Philipsek, Jazz @ St Barneys
. March 21, The Illicit Sextet at the Black Dog
. March 23-24, Steve Tyrell at the Dakota
. March 25-26, Delfeayo Marsalis (Southern Gentleman) at the Dakota
. March 27, How Birds Work at The Nicollet
. March 27, Phil Aaron Quartet at Jazz Central
. March 28, Dakota Combo followed by Daley/Brattain Report at the Black Dog
. March 29, Tierney Sutton and Mark Summer at the Dakota
. March 29, Joel Shapira solo guitar at the Black Dog
. March 31, Eliane Elias Trio at the Dakota
. April 1, Rebirth Brass Band at the Dakota
. April 2, Chris Potter Quartet at the Dakota
. April 3, Mancrush at The Nicollet
. April 12, Anat Cohen Quartet at the Dakota
. April 16, Anthony Cox and Jeremy Walker, "Rage of Achilles" at Orchestra Hall (Target Atrium)
. April 16, Bettye LaVette at the Dakota
. April 17, Ann Hampton Callaway at Orchestra Hall
. April 17, Patty Peterson and Friends at the Dakota
. April 18, Jay Young's Lyric Factory at the Dakota
. April 19, Chris Thomson Quartet CD Release at the Icehouse
. April 19, Soul Cafe at Hennepin Ave Methodist Church
. April 21, Eden Prairie High School Jazz Band with John Raymond at EPHS
. April 22, Danilo Perez at the Dakota
. April 24, Tuck and Patti at the Dakota
. April 24, Endeavors followed by the Dakota Combo at Jazz Central
. April 25, JazzMN Orchestra with Bob Mintzer at Hopkins l High School Auditorium
. April 25-26, Irv Williams, Legends concert at The Capri
. April 26, KBEM's Jazz Noir (TBN)
. April 26, Nellie McKay at the Dakota
. April 29-30, Madeleine Peyroux at the Dakota
. May 2, Jason Moran and Robert Glasper at the Walker
. May 8, Ron Miles with the Atrium Jazz Ensemble at Orchestra Hall (Target Atrium)
. May 9, PipJazz "Women in Jazz" -- afternoon workshop and evening concert at The Bedlam
. May 11, Tim Berne's Snake Oil at the Icehouse
. May 27-28, Rachelle Ferrell at the Dakota
. June 3, Steve Smith and Vital Information, NYC Edition at the Dakota
. June 22, Kurt Elling at the Dakota
. June 25-27, Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Mears Park and beyond (Dr John, Potter/Holland/Louke/Harland Quartet, Francisco Mela's Jazz Machine with Nicholas Payton, Araya-Orta Quartet, Marquis Hill Blacket)
. July 2-4, Iowa City Jazz Festival (Charles Lloyd, Dave Douglas, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Julian Lage, Brian Charette, Atlantis Quartet, Becca Stevens, COLOSSUS, Dakota Combo)

* Cassandra Wilson press photo by Andreas Schulz


Foreign Motion at the Nicollet, March 13