Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, July 31-August 6



Babatunde Lea bring his quintet to the Black Dog, August 1

© Andrea Canter
Brian Courage
The "Young Lions" and "Old Tigers" are at it again, gigging with and beside each other in another jazz-filled week. Two more opportunities to hear visiting bassist Brian Courage before he heads back to New York, including a reunion of Courageous Endeavors; even younger bassist Charlie Lincoln plays one of his last gigs before starting college studies in California; veteran percussionist/educator Babatunde Lea make a too-rare appearance leading his quartet; guitarist and fusion pioneer Larry Coryell returns to the Dakota with frequent collaborator George Brooks.



Big Gigs This Week
Joe Mayo
Friday, July 31. Triple bill at Jazz Central tonight, starting with the ensemble President Flow, led by young saxophonist Joe Mayo, Gen Xers Park Evans on guitar and Josh Granowski on bass, and veteran drummer Rick Nair on the 2-piece drum kit. As a lead in to the usual Jazz Crew jam, bassist Charlie Lincoln leads his quintet for one set, showing off the talents of recent high school grads-- Lincoln, saxophonist Peter Goggin, trumpeter Aiden Sponheim, keyboardist Levi Schwartzberg and drummer Joey Hays.

At The Nicollet, Rare Medium makes its series debut, featuring Jaim Zuber on guitar, Jesse Mueller on keys, Aaron McCabe on trumpet, Joan Hutton on sax, Joshua Stallings on bass and Ryan Johnson on drums. The band cites such divergent influences as Herbie Hancock, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Miles Davis and The Meters.

Whatever you do earlier, make a point of hitting Orchestra Hall at 10 pm (following the orchestra concert) for Peter Kogan's CD release in the Target Atrium. Principal timpanist for the orchestra, Kogan is also a jazz artist who has rounded up a top-flight ensemble for the recording and performance --Chuck Lazarus (trumpet), Scott Agster (trombone), Pete Whitman (sax), Sean Turner (piano), Cory Wong (guitar), and Brian Courage (bass). Lazarus, of course, is also a fellow member of the Minnesota Orchestra.

Jeremy Walker
At Vieux-Carré, start the evening early with the Jeremy Walker Duo --the entrepreneurial pianist and composer teaming up with another artist of substance, and stay on for the swinging fun of the Parisota Hot Club.

Patty Peterson (The Girls)
Friday-Saturday, July 31-August 1. In the last decade, one of the most popular vocal teams was The Girls, which at one time or another included Debbie Duncan, Lori Dokken, Erin Schwab, Judy Donaghy (Vinar), Patty Peterson and Rachel Holder. This weekend they reunite for two shows -- "A Diva Tribute"--at Chanhassan Dinner Theater. These are not simply great voices, these are great entertainers.

Babatunde Lea
Saturday, August 1. No ball game in Lowertown tonight, but fireworks prevail nevertheless. Saturday Night at the Black Dog leads off with veteran band led by saxophonist Joe Smith, with Dick Studer on bass and Kenny Horst on drums, followed by the series debut of the Babatunde Lea Quintet. Lea, who built his reputation playing with the likes of Stan Getz and Leon Thomas, spent several decades in the Bay Area before relocating to the Midwest, now in St. Paul.  A teacher and mentor as well as performer and composer, Lea has introduced local audiences to the "troponga"-- a kit melding African percussion and American jazz drumset. His cohorts tonight include Nelson Devereaux on sax, Zacc Harris on guitar, Phil Aaron on piano, and Chris Bates on bass.

Choro Borealis
A lot of bands are making their Vieux Carré debuts, and tonight its Choro Borealis, a trio led by 7-string guitar and global music specialist Robert Everest, with the O'Keefe brothers-- Pat on clarinet and bass clarinet, and Tim on mandolin and percussion. This is Brazilian music that goes beyond samba and bossa to the more complex and soaring rhythms of choro and more.

Chris Lomheim

Last of the Sommerfest Atrium Jazz gigs at Orchestra Hall following Somerfest concert (10 ish), with another round of solo piano from Chris Lomheim. We rarely get to hear him in this context, and his bass notes are such that you might swear there is an invisible bassist standing next to the piano. A very special summer treat. And it's free!
 
Sunday, August 2. Jazz brunch options--Patty and the Buttons bring swing to your mimosa at the Aster Cafe; Robert Everest puts some samba in your salsa at Maria's; and Maud Hixson will make the bubbles rise from your champagne at Crooners Lounge.  At the Dakota, smooth and soulful saxman Boney James plays two sets to cap off the 
weekend.

Later in the day, enjoy Woody Allen at the State Theater with his New Orleans jazz ensemble. No, not a movie-- real live jazz!  Allen plays a mean swinging clarinet.

Nelson Devereaux and Joe Strachan
Monday, August 3. Young and versatile trombonist Nick Syman takes the spotlight at Jazz Central. Later in the evening, young and versatile also describes the musicians of Courageous Endeavors, reuniting briefly with a gig at the Icehouse -- part of JT's Jazz Implosion series. Co-founder Brian Courage takes his rightful spot on bass, with the rest of the original band-- Nelson Devereaux, Joe Strachan and Miguel Hurtado. After Brian moved east, the band became Endeavors, but this is a now rare opportunity to hear the original group.

Arne Fogel
Tuesday, August 4. Officially this is National Night Out. Unofficially it's Twin Cities Big Band Night, with three of the area's veteran bands on three stages. At Crooners, enjoy dinner or lounge at the bar with the exciting charts of the Acme Jazz Company and Mr. Crooner himself, Arne Fogel. At Jazz Central, it's the monthly residency of the inventive Bill Simenson Orchestra, loaded with a who's who in metro jazz. And in St Paul, O'Gara's hosts the long-running monthly performance of Beasley's Big Band.

Connie Evingson
Wednesday, August 5. A perfect start to the evening? Songbird Connie Evingson, pianist Sanford Moore and saxophonist Dave Karr in the lounge at the Minneapolis Woman's Club. Sanford and Dave are both long-term cohorts of Connie, Sanford of course from the beginning of Moore by Four, Dave her frequent partner in the Jazz at the Jungle (Theater) series.

Over at Jazz Central, a new band with the intriguing name Elephant Crossing makes its debut, led by relative newcomer, pianist Ari Nahum. In his spare time, Ari is a resident in internal medicine at the U of M and a potter. His partners include Adam Meckler, Gus Sandberg, Ryan Hayes and Zach Schmidt.

Foodie Night at the Dakota features vocalist Maud Hixson in a new trio setting with guitarist Dave Singley and bassist Keith Boyles. With no cover, it's an amazing jazz bargain.

Katia Cardenas
Thursday, August 6.  A dazzling piano/guitar duo open the evening at Vieux Carré -- Dan Musselman and David Feily will be providing a lot more than background music for the dinner sets. And the singer who officially opened Vieux Carré a couple weeks ago, Katia Cardenas takes the spotlight at Jazz Central for vocal night.

Bombay Jazz with George Brooks
At the Dakota, guitar hero Larry Coryell returns with his Bombay Jazz project, featuring saxophonist George Brooks. East meets West, jazz meets traditional East Indian music.

Graydon Peterson
At Studio Z, the All Originals summer series continues with the Graydon Peterson Quartet-- with Adam Meckler, Joe Strachan and Adrian Suarez and a sheaf of original works.

More Jazz!
Keep up with the live jazz scene in the Twin Cities. The most comprehensive jazz calendar can be found at Jazz Police, but you will also find jazz listings at KBEM, Rhythm and Grooves and Jazz Near You. Jazz Police also posts monthly metro jazz highlights. KBEM and KFAI radio host jazz programs regularly and provide daily notices of jazz gigs and concerts. Venues and artists are reminded to send information to online and print calendars (e.g. tc@jazzpolice.com)

Coming Soon!
. August 7, Patty Peterson and Friends at the Icehouse
. August 7, Diana Krall at the State Theater
. August 7, Atlantis Quartet at Vieux Carre'
. August 10, Will Kjeer at Jazz Central
. August 11, Javi Santiago Trio at Vieux Carre'
. August 13, Michael Janisch Paradigm Shift Quartet at Studio Z
. August 14, Steve Kenny's Group 47 at The Nicollet
. August 15, Freedom Jazz Festival (Minneapolis, TBA)
. August 15, Larry McDonough Quartet/Will Kjeer Summer Band at the Black Dog
. August 20

, Adam Meckler Quintet Live Recording at Studio Z
. August 21, Bob Bowman at Jazz Central
. August 20-27, Bridge Chamber Music Festival, Northfield (Laura Caviani and Dave Milne on 8/21; Dave Hagedorn on 8/24)
. August 22, Jeremy Siskind Trio with Nancy Harms at Vieux Carré
. August 25, Cyrus Chestnut Trio at the Dakota
. August 28, No Room for Squares at The Nicollet
. August 30, Tootie Heath Trio with Ethan Iverson and Ben Street at the Dakota
. August 31, Terence Blanchard and E-Collective at the Dakota
. September 7-8, Victor Wooten at the Dakota
. September 11, Christian Scott and Stretch Music at the Dakota
. September 17, Patricia Barber at the Dakota
. September 22-23, Lizz Wright at the Dakota
. October 4, Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra at the Dakota
. October 25, Benny Green Trio at the Dakota
. November 16, Regina Carter's Southern Comfort at the Dakota


Michael Janisch leads Paradigm Shift at Studio Z, August 13




Thursday, July 23, 2015

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, July 24-30



Three-bass hit! Mountain King reunites at Jazz Central, July 29

 © Andrea Canter 
It seems like we have a jazz festival every weekend this summer -- if not an event so named, at least there are enough concerts and gigs to choose from that it seems like an endless celebration. This week we celebrate CD releases, homecomings and reunions; there's at least one "jazz festival" in the region, and Sommerfest brings jazz to the Target Atrium at Orchestra Hall in the midst of Aquatennial. You can enjoy music outdoors or indoors, rain or shine. And you can get an early glimpse of the Lead Sheet on Thursday afternoons, 4:40 pm on KBEM, aka Jazz 88.5.

Big Gigs This Week
Jeremy Walker in the Target Atrium
Friday, July 24. A new addition to Orchestra Hall's Sommerfest this year, weekends during the music festival include concerts in the Target Atrium before (at 6 pm) and after (at 10 pm) the regularly scheduled concert in the main hall. And jazz is a significant part of the schedule. Tonight, the Atrium Jazz Trio (usually Jeremy Walker, Anthony Cox, JT Bates) performs the late show. Particularly after dark, the Target Atrium brings a slice of Manhattan and Jazz at Lincoln Center to the Minneapple. (Note the solo performance by Chris Lomheim tomorrow at 10!)

Pete Whitman
 Jazz Central hosts Mississippi, a quartet that grew from the original Andres Prado Quintet that played the Artists Quarter some years ago when guitarist Prado spent a couple years here before returning to his native Peru. He left a fine ensemble to carry on his inventive interpretations of Coltrane, Coleman, and original works-- Pete Whitman, Peter Schimke, Jeffrey Bailey and Kevin Washington. 

Down a couples miles at The Nicollet, trumpeter Jon Pemberton leads a tribute to the great Lee Morgan. Jon used to hold these tributes more often, at the Artists Quarter, and his talented crew of popular veterans tonight includes Dave Brattain, Mikkel Romstad, Tom Lewis and Jay Epstein.

Ginger Commodore
Vocalist Ginger Commodore makes her Vieux Carré debut tonight with her long-standing quartet -- pianist Lee Blaske, bassist Mark Weisburg, and drummer Bobby Commodore, plus special guest, saxophonist Rich Manik. Ginger seems to be the essence of the new club--classy, accessible, a little sweet and a little sassy. Should be a perfect fit.

Maud Hixson with Rick Carlson
And tonight Parma 8200 hosts the monthly gig of the sublime Maud Hixson Trio, with songbird Maud, her husband Rick Carlson on piano, and Gordy Johnson on bass. You can be sure of several things whenever you hear Maud -- her voice will win you over before the first tune is done, she'll sing some songs you have heard before but maybe never really heard before, and she'll sing at least one (probably more) song you never heard before-- perhaps from an obscure songwriter or perhaps just an obscure tune from one of the famed writers of the Great American Songbook.

John Raymond
Saturday, July 25. This one is really dubbed a "jazz festival" -- in St. Croix Falls, WI, the Chateau St. Croix Winery encourages wine tasting in the midst of some great jazz, starting at noon with the John Raymond Group. Back in Minnesota briefly with a few gigs to celebrate his spring release, Foreign Territory, trumpet master John performed at the Dakota a couple nights ago with New York cohorts; today he teams up with old pals Bryan Nichols, Ted Olsen and Jay Epstein. Later in the afternoon, hear the samba sounds of Ticket to Brasil and the original music of the Atlantis Quartet. That's some pretty hefty jazz --all free, all outdoors.

And another music festival takes place this afternoon in Bloomington at Christ the King Church, with jazzers Creole Four, Irv Williams and Ginger Commodore performing.

Cory Healey
Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog has an abbreviated schedule tonight, with just one band playing two sets, starting at 7 pm due to the Lowertown Blues Festival. But the one band is a doozie, Cory Healey's Beautiful Sunshine Band. The music is sunny and mostly original compositions, played by a highly regarded crew-- saxophonist Brandon Wozniak, trumpeter Jake Baldwin, guitarist Zacc Harris, bassist Erik Fratzke, and drummer Healey. Note there is a home Saints game this evening too, so plan ahead to avoid parking and traffic snags.

Doug Little
Doug Little recently returned from Cuba where his Charanga Tropical band performed at Havana's Danson Festival; still in a Cuba frame of mind, Doug brings his globally connected Seven Steps to Havana ensemble to the Dakota for an evening of steamy Cuban rhythms and reconsiderations of jazz classics.

Another CD from Reynold Philipsek? It would seem too much to have a new release at least once per year...if they weren't so darn good. This time, with Quintessence, the guitarist/composer goes mostly solo with re-workings of earlier material and some new ones, including the one quartet track inspired by the upcoming documentary about his life and music. Celebrate with Reynold and pals Matt Senjem and Michael Bissonnette at the 318 Cafe in Excelsior. Your ticket ($12) includes the CD.

Andrew Walesch
Sunday, July 26. Crooners has music six nights per week plus Sunday jazz brunch. This week, young pianist/vocalist Andrew Walesch lives up to the venue name, with a fine quartet including Gordy Johnson, Jay Epstein and a guest horn player. Walesch listened well to the recordings of Frank Sinatra, but has also headed a big band.

Brian Courage
Monday, July 27. JT's Jazz Implosion offers the first of several opportunities to hear former Minnesota resident, bassist Brian Courage since he moved to New York a year ago. Tonight at the Icehouse, Brian joins the cast of the John Raymond Group, along with octogenarian saxman Dave Karr and drummer JT Bates. Raymond notes that this is his first time playing with Karr, something he (and we) are looking forward to.

Another visiting native son, guitarist Luke Polopnik, will be the featured artist at Jazz Central. The St. Paul native is now based in Omaha but gets back home now and then to play with old friends.

Maryann Sullivan and Corner Jazz
Tuesday, July 28. The Nicollet hosts another swing night with Maryann Sullivan's Corner Jazz ensemble (usually Doug Haining, Jim Chenoweth, Trevor Haining and perhaps a guitar and/or horn). Swing dancing is encouraged and usually a major component to the evening. 

Park Evans (Firebell)
At Vieux Carré, the edgy trio Firebell (Park Evans, Graydon Peterson, Jay Epstein) have the night to themselves, and the $5 cover should encourage a good turnout.

Jeremy Boettcher (Mountain King)
Wednesday, July 29. The acoustic bass trio Mountain King reunite tonight at Jazz Central in honor of Brian Courage's visit. With Graydon Peterson and Jeremy Boettcher, the trio will bring smiles or even downright grins to the faces of listeners and, if ears could smile, there would be plenty as well. Mountain King began about two years ago at the Artists Quarter and was already a popular act when the club closed at the end of that year. A few gigs at Jazz Central later, Courage left for New York and we have been awaiting his return ever since. As virtuosic as are these musicians, something about three acoustic basses just makes you smile, and the clever arrangements of standards as well as original tunes creates a perfect repertoire.

Vocalist Lila Ammons is on stage at Crooners with her trio (usually featuring Thom West on piano), and her takes on standards and more modern tunes are always stunning.

Kevin Daley (da-ka-broo-da)
Thursday, July 30. As band names go, dā-ke-brōō-dā is one of the oddest. But the music is original and highly listenable. This relatively new ensemble (Kevin Daley, Dave Brattain, Pooch Heinie, Dave Stanoch) brings their "all originals" to the summer Thursday night series, All Originals, at Studio Z in St. Paul. The series is in its second season, curated by Steve Kenny.

Charmin and Shapira
Not far away at the Black Dog, Charmin Michelle and Joel Shapira bring their classy duo to the stage, an ideal blending of voice and guitar that yields warm standards, bossas and more.

Zack Lozieer
And a few blocks west, Vieux Carré presents a double-header, starting with the no-cover dinner sets with the Zack Lozier Three, followed by the $5 cover set with Mississippi (see Friday above). It's a homecoming for Mississippi which played its first sets at the old Artists Quarter in this space. On the same stage.

More Jazz!
Keep up with the live jazz scene in the Twin Cities. The most comprehensive jazz calendar can be found at Jazz Police, but you will also find jazz listings at KBEM, Rhythm and Grooves and Jazz Near You. Jazz Police also posts monthly metro jazz highlights. KBEM and KFAI radio host jazz programs regularly and provide daily notices of jazz gigs and concerts. Venues and artists are reminded to send information to online and print calendars (e.g. tc@jazzpolice.com)

Coming Soon!
. July 31, Jeremy Walker Duo/Parisota Hot Club at Vieux Carre'
. July 31, The Girls ("A Diva Tribute") at Chanhassan Dinner Theater
. July 31, Peter Kogan Group CD Release, Target Atrium at Orchestra Hall (10 pm)
. August 1, Chris Lomheim solo, Target Atrium at Orchestra Hall (10 pm)
. August 3, Courageous Endeavors (the original band) at the Icehouse
. August 6, George Brooks with Larry Coryell and Bombay Jazz at the Dakota
. August 7, Patty Peterson and Friends at the Icehouse
. August 7, Atlantis Quartet at Vieux Carre'
. August 8, PipJazz at The Bedlam
. August 13, Michael Janisch Paradigm Shift Quartet at Studio Z
. August 15, Freedom Jazz Festival (Minneapolis, TBA)
. August 20, Adam Meckler Quintet Live Recording at Studio Z
. August 20-27, Bridge Chamber Music Festival, Northfield (Laura Caviani and Dave Milne on 8/21; Dave Hagedorn on 8/24)
. August 22, Jeremy Siskind Trio with Nancy Harms at Vieux Carré
. August 25, Cyrus Chestnut Trio at the Dakota
. August 30, Tootie Heath Trio with Ethan Iverson and Ben Street at the Dakota
. August 31, Terence Blanchard and E-Collective at the Dakota
. September 7-8, Victor Wooten at the Dakota
. September 11, Christian Scott and Stretch Music at the Dakota
. September 17, Patricia Barber at the Dakota
. September 22-23, Lizz Wright at the Dakota
. October 4, Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra at the Dakota
. October 25, Benny Green Trio at the Dakota
. November 16, Regina Carter's Southern Comfort at the Dakota

Courageous Endeavors Reunion-- Icehouse on August 3




Friday, July 17, 2015

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, July 17-23


John Raymond, Minnesota CD Release at the Dakota on July 23


© Andrea Canter

Chris Lomheim Trio at Vieux Carre' on July 16
Happy to report there is now another venue with significant jazz bookings to include in the Lead Sheet-- Vieux Carré opened earlier this week; the website is up and running, and the club calendar is pretty much filled for July with music five nights per week, jazz at least two of those nights and often more. Add those gigs to the regularly scheduled action at the Dakota, Jazz Central, The Nicollet, Black Dog, Parma 8200, Icehouse, The Tangiers, Crooners Lounge, Normandy Kitchen, and more, and it's hard to understand anyone asking, "How can I find jazz in the Twin Cities?" But I still get that question now and then.... so because not everyone gets their jazz news online, KBEM asked me to start bringing a few tips from The Lead Sheet into the studio every Thursday afternoon, around 4:40 pm for 5-10 minutes, starting Thursday, July 23. Some excerpts will be rebroadcast on Friday mornings.  Radio is still a viable means of communicating jazz news! Tune into KBEM (88.5 fm) every day; tune into KFAI (90.3 fm) often as well for daily music and a few jazz shows throughout the week. (Hear my friend Larry Englund's "Rhythm and Blues" every Saturday morning.) 

Of course I can mention more jazz right here. This week we can enjoy two generations of jazz artistry with young pianist Will Kjeer joining forces with his uncle, Kenny Horst, at The Nicollet; a new dazzling duo of Dean Magraw and Steven Hobert at Jazz Central; two nights with Nachito Herrera and a new collaboration at the Dakota; and a homecoming for trumpeter John Raymond, performing at the Dakota (Thursday) and hanging around til at least the following Monday (Icehouse).

Big Gigs This Week
Will Kjeer and Uncle Kenny Horst
Friday, July 17. Before he closed the Artists Quarter at the end of 2013, owner/drummer Kenny Horst had welcomed nephew Will Kjeer to the stage more than a few times, now and then with his trio and weekly for about six months as pianist for Steve Kenny's Group 47-- all while Will was still in high school. Now, after a post high school year at Interlochen and a couple months before he starts college studies at Cal Arts, Will has organized a "Summer Band" at The Nicollet with Uncle Kenny on drums. Keeping the cross-generational theme, Will's band also includes veteran saxman Dave Brattain and 18-year-old bassist Charlie Lincoln, himself heading to jazz studies in September, on the other coast at Berklee.

Steven Hobert and Dean Magraw
At Jazz Central, a relatively new partnership is on display with guitarist Dean Magraw and pianist Steven Hobert. The pairing debuted a few months ago, showcasing two of the area's most imaginative musicians. Dean and Steven are capable of magical mayhem in any context.

Arne Fogel
Parma 8200 continues its Friday nights of top area vocalists, and tonight it's crooner (and historian) Arne Fogel with frequent collaborators Steve Pikal and Rick Carlson, while other dinner music options tonight include a sublime duo of Dave Karr (sax) and Bryan Nichols (piano) at the Icehouse and the string half of the Atlantis Quartet, Zacc Harris (guitar) and Chris Bates (bass) at Vieux Carré.

Jazz at the Black Dog is not limited to Saturdays! As usual, Todd Harper hosts Piano Fridays during happy hours, tonight with saxophonist Chris Hagedorn, paving the way for the always surprising Donald Washington Trio (with Yohannes Tona and Mick LaBriola) later in the evening.

Jay Young
The Dakota hosts another night with Jay Young and the Lyric Factory, and tonight's theme is "Bandwith: A Tribute to 50 Years of Top Ten Hits." Bassist Jay and ensemble promise arrangements of classic to current hits by Miles Davis, Marvin Gaye, Pink Floyd, Chaka Khan, Prince, The Beatles, Sting, Aretha Franklin, Simply Red, Cheryl Lynn, Lizz Wright, and many more.

Saturday, July 18. If it's a summer weekend, there must be a music festival somewhere! This afternoon and evening, Midtown Global Market hosts its annual Music Festival, and you can hear some favorite jazz performers, including the vocals and guitar of the long-time duo Charmin Michelle and Joel Shapira and the youthful antics of the Levi Schwartzberg Quintet.

Joe Mayo
Saturday Night at the Black Dog presents a saxophonic evening! Leading off will be a free jazz duo of saxophonists John Devine and Bill Lang. These veterans are followed by a much younger gaggle of improvisers led by saxophonist Joe Mayo and his quartet--with Zacc Harris, Andrew Foreman and Lars-Erik Larson.  Wouldn't it be cool if Devine and Lang sat in?

Linda Peterson
Crooner's Lounge features pianist/vocalist Linda Peterson, who now makes her primary home in Minnesota after building her career in southern California. Sister of Patty, Billy, Paul and Ricky, there's likely to be at least one other Peterson on the bandstand.

Peter Schimke
Dinner sets at Vieux Carré tonight feature the Peter Schimke Duo... meaning there is another musician. A mystery at the moment. But as long as you can hear Peter's keyboards, you have a great band experience awaiting.

Maud Hixson
Sunday, July 19. Swinging jazz with brunch? At least two venues will oblige on Sundays. At the Aster Cafe, hear Patty and the Buttons, aka accordionist Patrick Harison and his swinging cronies (usually Tony Balluff, Keith Boyles, and Mark Kretizer). At Crooners Lounge, there's a weekly brunch, this week featuring Maud Hixson and the Wolverines Trio (Rick Carlson, Steve Pikal, Jendeen Forberg). Swing those eggs and screwdrivers!

Charmin Michelle
St. Albert the Great Church in south Minneapolis has hosted a series of Sunday afternoon jazz concerts this summer, and today's offering is Charmin Michelle, singing with support from saxophonist Kenni Holmen, pianist Bill Duna, bassist Kent Saunders and drummer Jay Epstein.

Brian Grivna
Monday, July 20. He doesn't take the spotlight often, but it's always a treat to hear saxophonist Brian Grivna, and tonight he is the featured artist at Jazz Central. Take advantage of the opportunity-- between gigs with JazzMN, touring pit orchestras and theaters, it's not every night we can hear Brian in a jazz club setting!

Rhonda Laurie
Fans of vocal jazz will enjoy tonight at Crooners, with the Rhonda Laurie Trio. Rhonda has a special fondness for the songs of the 30s and 40s, but also finds obscure gems from other eras to keep a listener on full alert. Her cohorts tonight are Rick Carlson and Steve Pikal, so you know the night will swing.




 
Davu Seri
JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse is always worth the late night, but tonight's show is among the most unusual of the series in recent memory. Featuring vocalist/spoken word artist Mankwe Ndosi, cellist Tomeka Reid,
bassist Silvia Bolognesi and percussionist Davu Seru, Body mEmOri "works in both structured and free improvisation to open imagination spaces and build interconnection with wisdoms of ancestry and the forces of nature...  the worlds of string, text, percussion and voice transport us through time and universes both cosmic and intimate." At the Icehouse the band will be joined by master improviser, saxophonist Nathan Hanson.
 

Nachito Herrera
Monday-Tuesday, July 20-21.  Hearing Nachito Herrera at the Dakota is nothing new -- the Cuban pianist has been burning down the stage for more than a decade. But for these two nights, celebrating the re-establishment of US-Cuba diplomatic relations, Herrera brings an all-star ensemble to his home venue, dubbed The Universals. The band features eclectic violinist Karen Briggs, Cuban drum star Raul Pineda, New York-based saxophonist Mike Phillips, and Senagalese bassist Cheikh Ndoye, pledging to take us "around the world in two nights."

Park Evans
Tuesday, July 21. Vieux Carré starts its second week with pianist/composer Jeremy Walker and his trio--sure to include two of the area's best on bass and drums. In Lowertown, imaginative guitarist Park Evans takes the bandstand at the Black Dog.

Two of the area's finest big bands are on call tonight, with the combustible Explosion Big Band, led by Doug Haining and Scott Agster, filling the chairs at Jazz Central, while "up north," the adventurous Acme Jazz Company is on the bandstand at Crooners Lounge. 

A special early set at Jazz Central tonight features a "young gun" from McNally Smith, saxophonist Lucia Sarmiento and her quintet. We've been hearing Lucia around town lately, particularly at the 2014 Twin Cities Jazz Fest on the Youth Stage and with Breaking Brass at the 2015 festival on the 6th Street Stage. Originally from Lima, Peru, Lucia studied there with Andres Prado, and came to McNally Smith by way of Buenos Ares. Among her cohorts is pianist Will Kjeer.

Group 47
Wednesday, July 22. It's always a treat, and an increasingly rare one, to hear Steve Kenny's Group 47. With pianist Will Kjeer at Interlochen most of the past year, and now heading to Cal Arts in September, the gigs will continue to be intermittent. The band reconvened to play one of the last sets of the Twin Cities Jazz Festival last month, and now they make their debut at Vieux Carré tonight: leader/flumpeter Steve Kenny, young lion tenor saxophonist Thomas Strommen, pianist Kjeer, bassist Adam Tucker, and drummer Alex Burgess. The repertoire is largely original music, including tunes from their 2014 LP, Straight to Vinyl

At Jazz Central, a new trio takes the bandstand for "new music night." The Adrian Peterson Ensemble (APE) isn't led by a new Peterson -- it's a collaboration of drummer Adrian Suarez, bassist Graydon Peterson and pianist Joe Strachan. New band, new music from established artists.

John Raymond
Thursday, July 23. When Twin Cities native trumpeter John Raymond released Foreign Territory this spring, he made a quantum leap forward in his already-burgeoning career. In part it was the company he kept--pianist Dan Tepfer, bassist Joe Martin and titanic drummer Billy Hart. In part it was his fresh approach to composition-- using jazz masters and masterpieces as points of inspiration, not imitation. John is as excited to bring this project home to the Dakota as we are to hear it. For his Midwest tour, he has Tepfer (a monster in his own right) on piano, Chris Tordini on bass (recently here with Becca Stevens), and young drummer Jay Sawyer who accompanied John to Eden Prairie High School last April. John notes that Chris and Jay "bring equally as much to the music as Joe and Billy did on the album."  (Note that John will also perform at the Chateau St. Croix Winery jazz fest Saturday, July 25, and with local pals (and visiting bassist Brian Courage) at the Icehouse on Monday, July 27.)

Bryan Nichols
Not all the fun takes place tonight in Minneapolis. Tonight's installment of the All Originals series at Studio Z features an awe-inspiring trio of Bryan Nichols, Chris Bates and JT Bates (aka Nichols/Bates/Bates). Put Nichols at Studio Z's sparkling Steinway, add the playfully inventive Bates brothers, and you're set for an evening that defines "all originals."

And a quick update-- jazz tonight a Khyber Pass features a trio of amazing credentials and sounds: Adam Linz, Paul Metzger and Phil Hey. And they start late enough that you can make at least some of the show after an earlier event. 

There's an enviable double header at Vieux Carré tonight, starting dinner hour with the swinging Zack Lozier Three in the unusual configuration of trumpet, bass and either guitar or piano; hang around for more traditional but no less playful or swinging, the Travis Anderson Trio.

More Jazz!
Keep up with the live jazz scene in the Twin Cities. The most comprehensive jazz calendar can be found at Jazz Police, but you will also find jazz listings at KBEM, Rhythm and Grooves and Jazz Near You. Jazz Police also posts monthly metro jazz highlights. KBEM and KFAI radio host jazz programs regularly and provide daily notices of jazz gigs and concerts. Venues and artists are reminded to send information to online and print calendars (e.g. tc@jazzpolice.com)

Coming Soon!
. July 24, Jon Pemberton Tribute to Lee Morgan at The Nicollet
. July 24, Zacc Harris & Javi Santiago/Ginger Commodore Quartet at Vieux Carre'
. July 24, Maud Hixson at Parma 8200
. July 25, Chateau St Croix Winery Jazz Fest (St Croix Falls) with the John Raymond Group, Ticket to Brasil and Atlantis Quartet 
. July 25, Christ the King Church Music Fest with Travis Anderson, Irv Williams and Ginger Commodore
. July 25, Cory Healey's Beautiful Sunshine Band at the Black Dog
. July 25, Peter Schimke Duo/Daddy Squeeze Band at Vieux Carre'
. July 25, Reynold Philipsek CD Release at 318 
. July 27, John Raymond (MN) Quartet with Dave Karr, Brian Courage at the Icehouse
. July 28, Corner Jazz (Maryann Sullivan) at The Nicollet
. July 29, Mountain King (Brian Courage, Graydon Peterson, Jeremy Boettcher) at Jazz Central
. July 30, dā-kə-bro̵̅o̅-dā, All Originals at Studio Z
. July 30, Zack Lozier 3/Mississippi at Vieux Carre'
. July 31, Jeremy Walker Duo/Parisota Hot Club at Vieux Carre'
. July 31, The Girls ("A Diva Tribute") at Chanhassan Dinner Theater
. July 31, Peter Kogan Group CD Release, Target Atrium at Orchestra Hall (10 pm)
. August 3, Courageous Endeavors (the original band) at the Icehouse
. August 6, George Brooks with Larry Coryell and Bombay Jazz at the Dakota
. August 7, Patty Peterson and Friends at the Icehouse
. August 7, Atlantis Quartet at Vieux Carre'
. August 8, PipJazz at The Bedlam
. August 13, Michael Janisch Paradigm Shift Quartet at Studio Z
. August 15, Freedom Jazz Festival (Minneapolis, TBA)
. August 20, Adam Meckler Quintet Live Recording at Studio Z
. August 20-27, Bridge Chamber Music Festival, Northfield (Laura Caviani and Dave Milne on 8/21; Dave Hagedorn on 8/24)
. August 22, Jeremy Siskind Trio with Nancy Harms at Vieux Carré
. August 25, Cyrus Chestnut Trio at the Dakota
. August 30, Tootie Heath Trio with Ethan Iverson and Ben Street at the Dakota
. August 31, Terence Blanchard and E-Collective at the Dakota
. September 7-8, Victor Wooten at the Dakota
. September 11, Christian Scott and Stretch Music at the Dakota
. September 17, Patricia Barber at the Dakota
. September 22-23, Lizz Wright at the Dakota
. October 4, Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra at the Dakota
. October 25, Benny Green Trio at the Dakota
. November 16, Regina Carter's Southern Comfort at the Dakota

He's back!  Brian Courage returns for a few gigs starting July 27th at the Icehouse (John Raymond QT)