Friday, December 12, 2014

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, December 12-18


Roberta Gambarini with Justin Robinson at the Dakota, returning December 15-16

© Andrea Canter
As we get closer to the holidays, the options for live music keep growing. This week, for instance, you can hear one of the finest jazz quintets on the local scene in a too-rare live gig; welcome home (if briefly) one of our most popular, swinging pianists; enjoy productions of holiday brass and holiday songs from top local talents; hear two nights from an internationally acclaimed vocalist dubbed by legends as the "next big thing;" hear in an intimate space one of the region's most exciting big bands; and in an even more intimate space, hear improvised soloing from one of our most exciting purveyors of modern saxophone.

Big Gigs This Week
Tanner Taylor
Friday, December 12. Local vocalists and instrumentalists as well as jazz fans were disappointed when pianist Tanner Taylor relocated to his native Iowa a few months ago, we've all been eagerly awaiting a return visit. Tonight Taylor reunites with pals Graydon Peterson and Mac Santiago at his old stomping grounds, Jazz Central, for a night of swinging hijinks. Let's hope he makes these reunions a habit.

At the Black Dog, a new ensemble headed by JT Bates makes its debut. Basalt might sound like a great name for a rock band, but expect some hard-core improvising from drummer Bates, guitarist Jeremy Ylvisaker and bassist James Anton.

Connie Evingson
For a relaxing evening of music, wine and Italian fare, check out Parma 8200 tonight as Connie Evingson takes the bandstand with the enviable trio of Rick Carlson, Gary Raynor and Dave Karr.

Chris Bates
Saturday, December 13. Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog welcomes Chris Bates' Red 5, a high-energy ensemble performing original music, and not often enough. Since Bates launched Red 5 two years ago, the band has released one of the region's top recordings (New Hope) and played only a handful of gigs, perhaps due to the heavy schedules of these intrepid musicians-- Bates, brother JT, Brandon Wozniak, Chris Thomson and Zack Lozier. That's Double Bates + 3 Horns = Red 5. Come early, to get a table and to hear the opening band of young lions, Dark Blue, hot off their Jazz Central debut. (And why not go from Dark Blue to Red 5?)

Charlie Lincoln
Vocalist Pippi Ardennia not only knows how to sell a song (pretty much any song), she knows how to nurture young talent and put youth together with veterans to create a very entertaining show. The last concert of the PipJazz season features 17-year-old bassist Charlie Lincoln, a South High senior who lately has been heard around the Twin Cities with his own bands as well as with Eric Kamau Gravatt's Source Code. The concert will also celebrate the holidays as Pippi and her PipJazz Experience band joyfully fills the air at the Maplewood Community Center Theater.

Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson
Sunday, December 14. Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson have long contributed to the holiday tradition at the Heights Theater --screenings of White Christmas. Now they are creating another tradition, celebrating holiday music in conjunction with screenings of classic film clips from the library of Bob DeFlores, dubbed Let It Snow. Last year, with Dave Karr and the Wolverines Trio, they debuted the show in Bloomington; today the show travels north to the Capri Theater for a family-winning matinee.

Charles Lazarus
If you missed last Thursday's Merry and Bright, Charles Lazarus' "brassy Christmas" show at the Wayzata Community Church, you have another opportunity tonight. With Lazarus' jazz ensemble, horns from the Minnesota Orchestra, and special guests Bruce Henry and Tonia Hughes, this is another can't-miss holiday tradition for anyone who finds joy in horns and voice.

John Scofield
At First Avenue, Medeski, Scofield, Martin and Wood bring together not only an iconic funk/jazz trio and one of the most revered guitarists in jazz, but also a unique blend of the rhythms of Africa, Brazil and the Caribbean, taking off from their recent album Juice.  Notes
Scofield, "This is our version of different African-based forms...Or, at least, that’s what we started with…eventually we said, ‘This is the outline, but we can do whatever the hell we want.’”

And if you happen to be in the LA area this weekend, Minnesota's own songbird/radio personality Patty Peterson, with family and friends, debuts at Catalina's tonight.

Monday, December 15. In the midst of the McNally Smith College of Music Emerging Artsts' week, tonight features the talented jazz students at The Amsterdam. Starting off at 8 pm and running the rest of the night, students pay tribute to the Hornheads, followed by sets from Jazz II, Afro-Latin Jazz, X-Tet and Advanced Jazz ensembles. (And it's all free.)

Kevin Gastonguay
At Jazz Central, outstanding young keyboardist Kevin Gastonguay is the featured artist for a B-3 evening, with saxophonist Clay Pufahl adding to the fun.

And for the night owls, JT's Jazz Implosion tonight at the Icehouse features Pal, a quartet headed by saxophonist George Cartwright, with turntablist/multi-instrumentalist Andrew Broder, bassist Josh Granowski and JT Bates himself on drums.


Jimmy Cobb
Monday-Tuesday, December 15-16. For the second time in 2014, internationally acclaimed vocalist Roberta Gambarini takes the stage at the Dakota, and she's bringing along some pretty impressive sidemen-- bassist Ray Drummond and drummer Jimmy Cobb, along with Roy Hargrove asssociates Justin Robinson on saxes and Sullivan Fortner on piano. The late Hank Jones partnered with Gambarini on a few projects before his death, and he proclaimed her the best vocalist to come along in fifty years. That might be an arguable statement, but Gambarini is certainly among the very best in jazz at the moment.

Adam Meckler Orchestra
Tuesday, December 16. When they started out at Jazz Central with a monthly gig, the Adam Meckler Orchestra started drawing so well that they had to find another, larger venue. So they moved to a monthly slot at the Artists Quarter, again drawing audiences that filled the room. When the AQ closed, they moved to the much larger Amsterdam, but missed the jazz club feel. Tonight they return to Jazz Central, filling the slot normally occupied by the Explosion Big Band, as EBB takes a break while key members play with holiday productions. The AMO, in its relatively short history, has won over new fans of big band music while also appealing to long-time fans of the Big Band era. They released their first recording, When Clouds Look Like This, a few months ago, and it stands as one of the top local releases of the year. Better arrive early-- Jazz Central has not expanded, but the appeal of the AMO reaches far and wide.

Charmin Michelle
Wednesday, December 17. We often take for granted the bands and musicians who have regular gigs, especially weekly hangs -- we know we can go next week and the next, and end up not getting there at all. Don't let that happen! Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg have been holding a duo gig twice weekly (Monday and Wednesday) at Fireside Pizza for the last five years or more, and if you have not been there lately, it's time! And it is probably the most unlikely venue for such swinging, elegant music from two of the metro's most skilled jazzers, Charmin with her command of the Great American Songbook and beyond, Denny with his unique talents on accordion and (occasionally) keyboards. And you never know when a special guest will drop in. Aside from the music, which is crammed into a corner of the restaurant below neon beer signs, wine bottles and a wide television screen, Fireside offers one of the best thin-crust pizzas in town and a family-friendly ambience of a neighborhood pizza joint. Which it is. Go back tonight and wonder why you don't go more often. (Tonight special guest-- Reuben Ristrom on guitar!)

Miguel Hurtado
At Jazz Central, a reunion of sorts and surely one of the best opportunities to enjoy young talents with roots in the Twin Cities. Drummer Miguel Hurtado  pulls together friends and former bandmates for an unforgettable night - -with Javier Santiago on piano, Ted Olson on bass, Jake Baldwin on trumpet, Nelson Devereaux on sax. Miguel and Javi were bandmates going back to middle school and South High days and both have played with Ted over the past few years.  And locally, Miguel, Jake and Nelson often find themselves together on Jazz Central and Dakota Late Night gigs.

Michael Lewis
Thursday, December 18. The Vocal Jazz showcase at Jazz Central heats up tonight with Five by Design vocalist Sheridan Zuther accompanied by Delfeayo Marsalis' pianist, Richard Johnson. On what might be the opposite end of the jazz spectrum in 2014, saxophonist/bassist/improviser Michael Lewis (Happy Apple, Fat Kid Wednesdays) goes solo in the little performance space of Khyber Pass.

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

Friday, December 12. Irv Williams and Steve Blons, happy hour, followed by the Ginger Commodore Quartet at the Dakota; Todd Harper, solo piano at the Black Dog; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar, Saint Paul Hotel; Charmin Michelle and the Twin Cities Jazz Imports at House of Pizza (Sartell, MM); Debbie Duncan at Mattie's on Main; College Night (North Central University Jazz Workshop), late set at Jazz Central

Saturday, December 13. Charmin and Shapira, noon at Midtown Global Market; Jon Pemberton Trio at Loring Pasta Bar; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar, Saint Paul Hotel; Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; Maryann Sullivan and Joel Shapira at SW Craft Bar (formerly Senor Wong); Kiss of Fire Cabaret and Holiday Burlesque Show at Mattie's on Main

Sunday, December 14. 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 the Riverview Wine Bar; Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra with Charmin Michelle at Cinema Ballroom

Monday, December 15. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Larry McDonough, early evening sets at the Icehouse
Larry McDonough

Tuesday, December 16. Patty and the Buttons at Cafe Maude; Cafe Accordion at Loring Pasta Bar; Vic Volare with Charmin Michelle, holiday show at Jax Cafe;

Wednesday, December 17. Zacc Harris Trio at Cafe Maude; Arne Fogel and the Wolverines Trio at Hell's Kitchen; George Maurer Holiday Show at the Dakota; River City Jazz Orchestra at Minnesota Music Cafe; Open Mic Jazz Night at the Imperial Room; Sound Atlas (original compositions from Byron Johnson-Blanchard, Brent Wallace, David Hirsch and Wes Ruelle) at the Black Dog; Parisota Hot Club at The Tangiers

Thursday, December 18.  Fuzzy Math at Hell's Kitchen; Lee Engele and Reynold Philipsek at the Mason Jar

Coming Soon!
. December 19, Barbara Meyer and Phil Mattson at the 318 Cafe
. December 19, Dean Granros Quartet at Jazz Central
. December 19 & 21, Doc Severinsen with the Minnesota Orchestra at Orchestra Hall
. December 20, Twin Cities Jazz Sampler at Jazz Central (Good Vibes Trio, Group 47, Atlantis Quartet)
. December 20, Peterson Family "Jam Before Christmas" at the Dakota
. December 21-22, Karrin Allyson Holiday Show at the Dakota
. December 22, Javier Santiago at Jazz Central
. December 23, Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra at Jazz Central
. December 25-28, The Bad Plus at the Dakota
. December 26, Good Vibes Trio at Jazz Central
. December 26, Jake Baldwin Quartet, Late Night at the Dakota
. December 27, Big Band Christmas, Jazz @ St Barneys at St Barnabas Lutheran Church
. December 27, Fat Kid Wednesdays at the Black Dog
. December 27, Aaron Hedenstrom CD Release, Jazz at Studio Z
. December 27, Laura Caviani and Bob Bowman at Jazz Central
. December 30, Vicky Mountain at The Nicollet
. December 31, Jazz Awards Night at Jazz Central
. January 3, Group 47 at the Black Dog
. January 9, Joel Shapira/Dean Granros CD Release at the Black Dog
. January 10, Bill Carrothers Trio, Jazz at Studio Z
. January 13, Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education Fundraiser at the Dakota
. January 17, Joan Griffith and Reuben Ristrom at Hosmer Library
. January 17, Bottomless Pit at the Black Dog
. January 20-21, Jose James at the Dakota
. January 22, David Berkman at Orchestra Hall (Target Atrium)
. January 23, Maryann Sullivan's Corner Jazz at the Black Dog
. January 24, Illicit Sextet at the Black Dog
. January 25, Leigh Kamman Memorial Tribute at the Saint Paul Hotel (Ballroom)
. January 25, Chris Potter Quartet at the Dakota
. January 27-28, Dianne Reeves at the Dakota
. January 31, Dave Brattain Quartet, Dean Granros Quartet at the Black Dog
. February 13, The Assad Brothers with Romero Lubambo at the Dakota
. March 9, David Sanchez Quartet at the Dakota
. March 12, Jack DeJohnette at Walker Art Center, McGuire Theater
. March 15, Jazz Mn Orchestra with Pete Christlieb at Hopkins High School Auditorium
. March 25-26, Delfeayo Marsalis (Southern Gentleman) at the Dakota
. March 29, Tierney Sutton and Mark Summer at the Dakota
. April 16, Anthony Cox and Jeremy Walker, "Rage of Achilles" at Orchestra Hall (Target Atrium)
. April 25, JazzMN Orchestra with Bob Mintzer at Hopkins High School Auditorium

Karrin Allyson returns to the Dakota, December 21-22




Friday, December 5, 2014

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



Kenny Horst, back at the trapset at Jazz Central, December 5th

© Andrea Canter

Memories of the Artists Quarter burn a bit brighter this weekend, as former AQ owner Kenny Horst and friends help "bridge" the gap in gigs since the club closed. But there are a lot of gigs this week at the venues that seem to be carrying the torch for live, high flying jazz in the Twin Cities, particularly Jazz Central, the Black Dog and Studio Z. Even though it's a week without a visiting national headliner, we generate our own legends here!



Big Gigs This Week

Kenny Horst
Friday, December 5. Kenny Horst may have considered retirement when he closed the Artists Quarter 11 months ago, but apparently that did not mean his drumming days were done.  He's appeared at Jazz Central, the Black Dog and The Nicollet over the past few months, and tonight he returns to Jazz Central on the Bridge Series with former AQ cohorts Brandon Wozniak, Zacc Harris and Chris Bates. Don't be surprised if Davis Wilson greets you at the door. And you can count on some treats from Vanessa.



Dave Karr
One of the tastiest duos in town, Dave Karr and Chris Lomheim come together at the Icehouse for dinner hour magic, while in Bloomington, Benny Weinbeck and his trio (Gordy Johnson and Phil Hey) move up to Friday night (this week only) for sublime music at Parma 8200. Both of these venues offer good values in bar/dining room fare that melds perfectly with the music.



Larry McDonough
And a holiday riddle: What do Christmas, Bill Evans, Dave Brubeck, John Coltrane, Ludwig van Beethoven, Mr. McGoo, Paul Simon, Ornette Coleman, Shakers, the Middle East, award-winning American poetry, and the art of international illustrator Eric Hanson have in common? Answer: The Larry McDonough Holiday CD, Angels, Kings, My Favorite Things, to be performed at The Nicollet tonight with Larry's quartet and some special guests, including Larry's daughter Rosie on African drums.



Saturday, December 6. Jazz @St Barneys presents two concerts this month, starting tonight with Dan Newton and his Cafe Accordion Orchestra, "a loungy, elclectic mix, full of French flare, Latin heat and Bohemian attitude."



Babatunde Lea
In St. Paul, you can walk fast and juggle the clock a bit but chances are you can make a double header, starting with Jazz at Studio Z and the Babatunde Lea Quintet. Master percussionist and educator Babatunde will host a master class in African rhythms at 5:30, followed by his ensemble concert at 7.  And what an ensemble-- Nelson Devereaux, Zacc Harris, Chris Bates and Phil Aaron. In theory the concert goes til 8:30-9 pm. Just hang on and follow Chris and Zacc over to the Black Dog for a scheduled 8:30 start with the Atlantis Quartet on the Saturday Night Jazz series. The Atlantis (with Brandon Wozniak, Zacc Harris and Pete Hennig) recently recorded a live CD at the Icehouse, and likely we will get some previews! If you choose to stay in one place, note the 7 pm opening band at the Black Dog, Central Standard Time, featuring some old pals from River Falls including Saturday Night curator Steve Kenny.



Atlantis Quartet
Sunday, December 7.  It's a busy weekend for the Atlantis Quartet. Tonight they appear with the MacJazz Big Band at Macalester (Maris Concert Hall), along with MacJazz guest artist Doug Little.  The bands will debut three big band arrangements of Atlantis tunes. MacJazz Band director Joan Griffith ensures that this is not just another college jazz band concert! (And it's free!)



Thomas Strommen
Monday, December 8. Just a few years ago, young tenor saxophonist Thomas Strommen was playing for the Wayzata High School band and Dakota Combo. Moving on to UW-River Falls for studies with David Milne, Thomas started Dark Blue, a quartet with pals from UW-RF. Now a college junior and long-standing member of Steve Kenny's Group 47, Thomas brings Dark Blue to Jazz Central as the Featured Artist of the week. He's joined by Dylan Nelson on guitar, Jason McLean on bass and Alex Burgess on drums.



Jana Nyberg
We didn't hear much from the Jana Nyberg Group this fall, with trumpeter Adam Meckler on the road, but the band is back at the Dakota for Foodie Night and a few sets of vocal finery, from the Great American Songbook to jazz arrangements of pop tunes to original songs.



Tuesday, December 9. At the recently revived The Nicollet, now with beer and wine to go with music and swing dancers, vocalist Maryann Sullivan returns with her Corner Jazz ensemble for a night of swinging oldies, standards and new discoveries.

Chris Olson
At the Black Dog, Chris Olson hosts Framework, featuring Olson on guitar, Chris Bates on bass and Jay Epstein on drums. This veteran trio is always worth the listen, from their own originals to inventive arrangements.



Chris Bates
Wednesday, December 10. One of the most interesting ensembles yet to grace the stage at Jazz Central, tonight Chris Bates has assembled a Bass Summit ("to have a Merry Bass-Mas in the Bass-Ment"). So far he has Casey O'Brien, Charles Fletcher, Chris Hunnicut and Brian Roessler, with support from JT Bates and Martin Dosh on drums.



Thursday, December 11. It's a vocal night like no other at Jazz Central, as Sarah Greer brings in an a cappella improv ensemble. She's gathered some of the most innovative voices in the metro, with Aimee K. Bryant, Mankwe Ndosi, Libby Turner Opanga and Alicia Steele. 

Charles Lazarus
Another unique talent, Minnesota Orchestra trumpeter Charles Lazarus is back with another holiday brass party, "Merry and Bright" at the Wayzata Community Church. And speaking of brass, the Jack Brass Band takes its monthly turn at the Amsterdam, and some holiday tunes are likely on the menu.



More Jazz This Week

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



Friday, December 5. Irv Willliams and Steve Blons, happy hour, followed by the Nachito Herrera Trio at the Dakota; Todd Harper, solo piano (happy hour) at the Black Dog; Tim Patrick and His Blue-Eyed Band at the Eagle's Aerie Club; Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar, Saint Paul Hotel; Patty Peterson and Friends at Bunkers; Classic Big Band and the Nostalgics at KC Hall (Bloomington); Jason Weissman Quartet at Crooners Lounge; RADD Jazz Holiday Swing Dance with Charmin Michelle at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (Falcon's Nest)



Saturday, December 6. Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar, Saint Paul Hotel; Jana Nyberg Group at Hell's Kitchen; Pig's Eye Jass Band at Eagle's Aerie Club; Mama Digdown's Brass Band and the Southside Aces at the Parkway Theater; Wind-Wood Trio with Paula Lammers at The Mason Jar; The Skruffians at Jazz Central; Katia Cardenas, Late Night at the Dakota



Sunday, December 7. Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster; Robert Everest, brunch at Maria's; Century Jazz Ensemble with Debbie O'Keefe (Holiday Show) at Century College; Zacc Harris Trio at Riverview Wine Bar



Monday, December 8. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse; Twin Cities Cabaret Network at  Nautilus Music Theater ("Rough Cuts"); Bookhouse Trio at Barbette



Tuesday, December 9. Cafe Accordion at Loring Pasta Bar; Cedar Avenue Big Band at Jazz Central; NOVA Jazz Orchestra at Minnesota Music Café



Lila Ammons
Wednesday, December 10. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Wolverines Trio with Judi Vinar at Hell's Kitchen; Patrick Harison at Cafe Maude; Lila Ammons Trio at The Tangiers; Matra at the Black Dog



Thursday, December 11. Minnesota Jazz Orchestra at Wabasha Street Caves; Connie and Herb at The Bean; Denny Malmberg Trio with Paula Lammers at the Mason Jar; Embezzler (Linz, Bates, Metzger) at Khyber Pass



Coming Soon!

. December 12, Connie Evingson with Rick Carlson at Parma 8200

. December 13, PipJazz Holiday Concert at Maplewood Community Center Theater

. December 13, Red 5 at the Black Dog

. December 14, Maud Hixson, Wolverines, Bob DeFlores films, "Let It Snow" at the Capri Theater

. December 14, Medeski, Scofield, Martin and Wood at First Avenue

. December 15, Larry McDonough Holiday Show at the Icehouse

. December 15-16, Roberta Gambarini at the Dakota

. December 16, Adam Meckler Orchestra at Jazz Central

. December 18, Mike Lewis solo at Khyber Pass

. December 19, Barbara Meyer and Phil Mattson at the 318 Cafe

. December 19 & 21, Doc Severinsen with the Minnesota Orchestra at Orchestra Hall

. December 20, Twin Cities Jazz Sampler at Jazz Central

. December 20, Peterson Family "Jam Before Christmas" at the Dakota

. December 21-22, Karrin Allyson Holiday Show at the Dakota

. December 25-28, The Bad Plus at the Dakota

. December 26, Good Vibes Trio at Jazz Central

. December 26, Jake Baldwin Quartet, Late Night at the Dakota

. December 27, Big Band Christmas, Jazz @ St Barneys at St Barnabas Lutheran Church

. December 27, Fat Kid Wednesdays at the Black Dog

. December 27, Aaron Hedenstrom CD Release, Jazz at Studio Z

. December 27, Laura Caviani and Bob Bowman at Jazz Central

. December 31, Jazz Awards Night at Jazz Central
. January 1, Seru/Roessler/Hanson at Khyber Pass

 

. January 3, Group 47 at the Black Dog

. January 9, Joel Shapira/Dean Granros CD Release at the Black Dog

. January 10, Bill Carrothers Trio, Jazz at Studio Z

. January 13, Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education Fundraiser at the Dakota

. January 17, Joan Griffith and Reuben Ristrom at Hosmer Library

. January 17, Bottomless Pit at the Black Dog

. January 20-21, Jose James at the Dakota

. January 22, David Berkman at Orchestra Hall (Target Atrium)

. January 23, Maryann Sullivan's Corner Jazz at the Black Dog

. January 24, Illicit Sextet at the Black Dog

. January 25, Leigh Kamman Memorial Tribute at the Saint Paul Hotel (Ballroom)

. January 25, Chris Potter Quartet at the Dakota

. January 27-28, Dianne Reeves at the Dakota

. January 31, Dave Brattain Quartet, Dean Granros Quartet at the Black Dog

. February 13, The Assad Brothers with Romero Lubambo at the Dakota

. March 9, David Sanchez Quartet at the Dakota

. March 12, Jack DeJohnette at Walker Art Center, McGuire Theater

. March 15, Jazz Mn Orchestra with Pete Christlieb at Hopkins High School Auditorium

. March 25-26, Delfeayo Marsalis (Southern Gentleman) at the Dakota

. March 29, Tierney Sutton and Mark Summer at the Dakota

. April 16, Anthony Cox and Jeremy Walker, "Rage of Achilles" at Orchestra Hall (Target Atrium)

. April 25, JazzMN Orchestra with Bob Mintzer at Hopkins High School Auditorium


The Adam Meckler Orchestra returns to Jazz Central, December 16

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, November 28-December 4



Cecile McLorin Salvant with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, December 2 at Orchestra Hal

© Andrea Canter

Star-bright visitors help usher in a month of holiday delights this week, while some local heavyweights kick off the weekend. Don't let Black Friday chaos keep you from enjoying some outstanding music!



Big Gigs This Week

Graydon peterson
Friday, November 28. Off the map for a while this fall, the Graydon Peterson Quartet roars back at Jazz Central tonight. Trumpeter Adam Meckler is back from his European tour with Youngblood Brass, adding his horn to the leader's basslines and dynamic contributions from guitarist Vinnie Rose and drummer Adrian Suarez. Original fare keeps your ears on edge.



At the Black Dog, Saturday Night Jazz takes a break and instead we have a jazz feast tonight with three creative "chefs"-- Steve Kenny, Chris Bates and Davu Seru. Pretty much anything can happen.



Dave King at the Icehouse
A multi-night "Dave King Take-Over" at the Icehouse has its jazziest set tonight with the Dave King Trucking Company filling any late-night gaps in entertainment. Brandon Wozniak, Erik Fratzke and Adam Linz play original compositions, with Dave's more punk-flavored Gang Font (with Fratzke, Bryan Nichols and Greg Norton) playing an even later set.  (Rock and roots bands Loves Cars and Red Daughters close out the Take Over tomorrow.)



Patty and the Buttons (press photo)
Saturday, November 29. It's hard to imagine more family fun at a jazz gig than the CD Release Party for Patty and the Buttons' latest, The Mercury Blues. The early afternoon celebration takes place at the historic Heights Theater, complete with the Wurlitzer organ, silent film clips, and a special appearance by Davina ("and the Vagabonds") Sowers and Zack Lozier. The new recording features a raft of originals and appealing vocals from accordion master Patrick Harison, along with a handful of early 20th century blues and swing covers.



Emerson Hunton
Perhaps as opposite as you can get in one day, drummer Emerson Hunton takes a brief break from studies at Oberlin to bring a band to Jazz Central, part of the bimonthly Jazz Police Young Artists Showcase. It's a band that truly merges Emerson's past local exploits and his current influences at Oberlin-- he's featuring two Oberlin pals, Noah Gershwin (guitar) and Nathan Rice (saxophones), along with young rising star trumpeter Jake Baldwin and former mentor, bassist Adam Linz. The set list includes original music from the musicians as well as some newly arranged covers.  Definitely from the 21st century.



Miguel Hurtado
Late Night at the Dakota will present the current version of what was originally Courageous Endeavors. But with the "Courageous" moniker outdated with Brian Courage's move to New York last fall, the remaining "Endeavors" (Miguel Hurtado, Nelson Devereaux and Joe Strachan) are updating -- so expect some surprises.



Sunday, November 30. Former Twin Cities resident now based in Omaha, Luke Polopnik is in town for a bit and will mix it up in a free improv trio at the Black Dog early this evening with the always inventive saxman George Cartwright and percussion/electronics wizard Tim Glenn.



Joey D
Monday, December 1. With his first holiday album released last month, B-3 prodigy-turned-legend Joey DeFrancesco returns to the Dakota for a night of seasonal gems, with guitarist Jeff Parker and drummer George Fludas filling out the trio. Likely Joey will pull out the trumpet for a couple tunes too.



Check out up-and-coming talents when the Minnesota Youth Jazz Band holds its fall show at Famous Dave's in Uptown, with a special appearance from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Jazz I ensemble opening for the high school stars. A number of UW-EC musicians got their start with MYJB. Bandleader/educator Dave Mitchell has helped launch many careers!



Corey Healy
At the Icehouse, Luke Polopnik celebrates a CD release as the duo Type Type with drummer Cory Healey and introduces local audiences to his Omaha-based organ trio with Mitch Town (B-3) and Dana Murray (drums); rounding out a triple-set "Jazz Implosion" is the quartet Mancrush (Lars-Erik Larsen, Zacc Harris, Brandon Woziak and Bryan Nichols).


Tuesday, December 2. It's First Tuesday which usually means it's Dean Magraw and Davu Seru at the Black Dog. Dean's on the road, so tonight Davu pairs up with flautist Faye Washington for what should prove to be a very interesting evening of flute/percussion adventures.



Wynton Marsalis
The holiday season gets a big boost as Orchestra Hall presents Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with special guest vocalist, Cecile McLorin Salvant. Wynton and JACLO are no strangers to Orchestra Hall, and each visit typically is a season highlight. But add to the mix the most celebrated vocalist of the past two years, one who captured Best Vocalist, Best Album and Best New Artist Awards from various critics' polls in 2013 and 2014, as well as winning the 2010 Thelonious Monk Vocal Competition at age 20. Salvant has incredible range both vocally and conceptually, enticing audiences with songs from Bessie Smith through Ella and her own originals that seem to spring out of a Betty Carter/Abbey Lincoln songbook. 
Jeremy Walker
Following this show, stick around for the inaugural Jazz in the Target Atrium event, curated by Jeremy Walker and tonight featuring several horns of JACLO (Ted Nash, Marcus Printup and Vincent Gardner) with Walker's "Bootet" (Anthony Cox, JT Bates).



Wednesday, December 3. It's beginning to be a monthly event on a Foodie Night: The Travis Anderson Trio swings again, hard, with bassist Steve Pikal and drummer Nathan Norman supporting a young master of swing and stride piano. Travis and friends will swing you into oblivion and have a lot of fun along the way. No cover -- it's Foodie Night!



Phil Mattson Singers
Thursday, December 4. The Phil Mattson Singers return to vocal night at Jazz Central, with a change or two in personnel but no change in their spot-on harmonies that recall the great vocal ensembles and feature a book of familiar and less familiar tunes. Phil himself lends orchestral accompaniment from a single piano.



At Khyber Pass, Thursday night music continues with the spotlight on percussionist Davu Seru. This is one of the most intimate settings for jazz in the Twin Cities -- and where else can you order Afghani chutneys and tea with your avant garde jazz?



More Jazz This Week!

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



Friday, November 28. Todd Harper at the Black Dog; Irv Williams and Steve Blons, happy hour at the Dakota; Tony London Trio at Parma 8200, Luke Polopnik and James Buckley, dinner sets at the Icehouse



Saturday, November 29. Maurice Jacox, brunch at Hell's Kitchen; Frankhouse at Hell's Kitchen; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (Saint Paul Hotel); Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; Nachito Herrera at the Dakota



Sunday, November 30. Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster Cafe; Zacc Harris Trio at Riverview Wine Bar



Monday, December 1. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Zack Lozier at Jazz Central
Denny Malmberg



Tuesday, December 2. Bill Simenson Orchestra at Jazz Central; Beasley's Big Band at O'Gara's



Wednesday, December 3. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Parisota Hot Club at The Tangiers; Connie Evingson with Adi Yeshaya and Gordy Johnson, Jazz in the Lounge at the Minneapolis Woman's Club; Three Loud Trio at Cafe Maude



Thursday, December 4. Moonlight Serenaders with Lee Engele at Wabasha Street Caves; Patrick Harison at Cafe Maude; Gypsy Mania at Hell's Kitchen; Katia Cardenas with Dave Martin at the Driftwood CharBar



Coming Soon!

. December 5-8, White Christmas with Maude Hixson and Rick Carlson at the Heights Theater

. December 5, Larry McDonald Holiday Show at The Nicollet

. December 6, Atlantis Quartet at the Black Dog

. December 6, Babatunde Lea Quintet, Jazz at Studio Z

. December 6, Dan Newton's Cafe Accordion, Jazz @ St Barney's at St Barnabas Lutheran Church

. December 6, Katia Cardenas Quartet, Late Night at the Dakota

. December 7, Century Jazz Ensemble Holiday Show at Century College

. December 8, Thomas Strommen at Jazz Central

. December 9, Maryann Sullivan and Corner Jazz at The Nicollet

. December 11, Charles Lazarus "Merry and Bright" at Wayzata Community Church

. December 12, Connie Evingson with Rick Carlson at Parma 8200

. December 13, PipJazz Holiday Concert at Maplewood Community Center Theater

. December 13, Red 5 at the Black Dog

. December 14, Maudi Hixson, Wolverines, Bob DeFlores films, "Let It Snow" at the Capri Theater

. December 14, Medeski, Scofield, Martin and Wood at First Avenue

. December 15, Larry McDonough Holiday Show at the Icehouse

. December 15-16, Roberta Gambarini at the Dakota

. December 16, Adam Meckler Orchestra at Jazz Central

. December 18, Mike Lewis solo at Khyber Pass

. December 19, Barbara Meyer and Phil Mattson at the 318 Cafe

. December 19 & 21, Doc Severinsen with the Minnesota Orchestra at Orchestra Hall

. December 20, Twin Cities Jazz Sampler at Jazz Central

. December 20, Peterson Family "Jam Before Christmas" at the Dakota

. December 21-22, Karrin Allyson Holiday Show at the Dakota

. December 25-28, The Bad Plus at the Dakota

. December 27, Big Band Christmas, Jazz @ St Barneys at St Barnabas Lutheran Church

. December 27, Fat Kid Wednesdays at the Black Dog

. December 27, Aaron Hedenstrom, Jazz at Studio Z

. December 27, Laura Caviani and Bob Bowman at Jazz Central

. December 31, Jazz Awards Night at Jazz Central

. January 9, Joel Shapira/Dean Granros CD Release at the Black Dog

. January 10, Bill Carrothers Trio, Jazz at Studio Z

. January 17, Joan Griffith and Reuben Ristrom at Hosmer Library

. January 20-21, Jose James at the Dakota

. January 22, David Berkman at Orchestra Hall (Target Atrium)

. January 25, Leigh Kamman Memorial Tribute at the Saint Paul Hotel (Ballroom)

. January 25, Chris Potter Quartet at the Dakota

. January 27-28, Dianne Reeves at the Dakota

. February 13, The Assad Brothers with Romero Lubambo at the Dakota

. March 9, David Sanchez Quartet at the Dakota

. March 12, Jack DeJohnette at Walker Art Center, McGuire Theater

. March 15, Jazz Mn Orchestra with Pete Christlieb at Hopkins High School Auditorium

. March 25-26, Delfeayo Marsalis (Southern Gentleman) at the Dakota

. March 29, Tierney Sutton and Mark Summer at the Dakota

. April 16, Anthony Cox and Jeremy Walker, "Rage of Achilles" at Orchestra Hall (Target Atrium)

. April 25, JazzMN Orchestra with Bob Mintzer at Hopkins High School Auditorium

. May 2, 2015, Jason Moran and Robert Glasper at Walker Art Center, McGuire Theater

. May 8, Ron Miles at Orchestra Hall, Target Atrium




Babatunde Lea brings his quartet to Jazz at Studio Z on December 6