Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, September 4-10



 
Victor Wooten - coming to the Dakota September 7-8
© Andrea Canter
Labor Day Weekend traditionally marks the end of summer, but on the local jazz scene, the heat wave continues. A new Minnesota transplant celebrates his debut CD at Vieux Carré; a new band of local veterans launches at The Nicollet; an established ensemble celebrates Monk at the Black Dog; the Dave King Trucking Company "implodes" at the Icehouse; Jon Weber sticks around for two more gigs this weekend including another Jazz at the Jungle with Connie Evingson; Chicago's brilliant flautist Nicole Mitchell opens the new 8 O'Clock Jump series at Walker West; expat Minnesotan Michael O'Brien plays the first of his four Twin Cities evenings; Dave Karr brings his quartet to Crooners;Victor Wooten returns to the Dakota; and hot sax star Kamasi Washington hits the Icehouse at the end of the week. For starters.

Big Gigs This Week

Friday, September 4.  At post time there were still a few seats left for KBEM's Annual "Last Days of Summer" River Cruise on the Magnolia Blossom, taking off from Crosby Park, complete with live music from pianist Joe Strachan and vocalist Cameron Kinghorn. Enjoy these young lions along with food and a chance to help support KBEM.


Joel Shapira
Once in a while, Parma 8200 has an instrumental ensemble on a Friday night, and tonight it's sublime guitarist Joel Shapira's Trio with saxophonist Pete Whitman and bassist Tom Lewis.

Phil Aaron







In south Minneapolis, Friday Night Jazz at The Nicollet helps launch a new project-- the Phil Aaron/Zacc Harris Quartet with Matt Peterson and Jay Epstein. Technically a cross-generational ensemble, even the "youngsters" Matt and Zacc have at least a decade's worth of credentials and Harris probably has one of the longest list of working bands in the region.

Jon Weber
The encyclopedic sage of jazz piano Jon Weber arrived from New York earlier this week to perform with Connie Evingson at the Minneapolis Woman's Club. Tonight he brings his "Joplin to Jarrett" show to the Dakota to inform and entertain. (See Sunday below for his next gig!)

Andrew Schwandt
Saxophonist Andrew Schwandt moves into the leader position with his quartet at Jazz Central,doubling on tenor sax with Joe Mayo and featuring Pierre Lewis on piano. Eric Graham on bass and Batume on drums.

Katia Cardenas
Young vocalist Katia Cardenas continues to build a fan base across the metro, in part because she is as likely to sing Ella  as Sting. She returns to Vieux Carré tonight, where she had the club's grand opening gig in July.

Saturday, September 5. The State Fair will be jammed for its final weekend, and this afternoon you can hear Doug Haining's Twin Cities 7 with singer Maryann Sullivan (1-3 pm) at the Carousel Stage.


Jana Nyberg
Jana Nyberg is back in full swing after her "maternity leave," and brings a new quartet to her debut at Crooners' Lounge: Chris Lomheim on piano, Graydon Peterson on bass, and Pete James-Johnson on drums join singer/songwriter/flautist Jana."All jazz," she says.

Kenny Horst-- What Would Monk Do?
Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog features the always-popular What Would Monk Do, providing interpretations of the Monk repertoire as well as original compositions inspired by Monk. WWMD includes Steve Kenny on trumpet, Kenny Horst on drums, and original bassist Billy Peterson,home for a while after a summer of European gigs. Phil Aaron is filling in on piano for Peter Schimke who has a date with Prince. Come early for an opening set with some talented college students -- "VVG" (Very Very Groovy) with saxophonist Josh Johnson, vibraphonist/pianist Levi Schwartzberg, trumpeter/bassist DeCarlo Jackson, and drummer Ben Beyene.

Vieux Carré welcomes Texas transplant Adam Booker for a CD release party. The bassist is currently on faculty at the University of Minnesota Duluth, whose jazz director Ryan Frane serves as pianist on Booker's Unraveled Rival, released this week on the local Shifting Paradigm Records. The recording features a largely Texas crew, while the CD Release Party will be a Minnesota affair, with Frane, Pete Whitman, Zacc Harris and Pete Hennig on board.

John Penny
The Normandy Kitchen in downtown Minneapolis continues to expand its bookings, tonight offering the John Penny Trio. The versatile guitarist/vocalist/composer joins forces with the formidable pianist Thomas West and swinging drummer Nathan Norman.

For a swinging good time, check out vocalists Judi Vinar and Lori Dokken at the Townhouse Lounge in St. Paul.

Sunday, September 6. Jazz brunch options today include Andrew Walesch with Gordy Johnson and Jay Epstein at Crooners' Lounge; Patty and the Buttons at the Aster; and Robert Everest at Maria's.

Connie Evingson
Connie Evingson has been presenting Jazz at the Jungle (Theater) productions for the past few years, including a series with pianist Jon Weber that celebrated the Songbooks of Ella Fitzgerald. One of their first collaborations was a celebration of the songs of David Frishberg, and today (two shows) they reprise that production with Dave Karr and Gordy Johnson. "Fresh Frish" presents favorite Frishberg tunes with a fresh sound.

Nicole Mitchell*
The first of the 8 O'Clock Jump series at Walker West takes place tonight, and there may be no tickets left. Chicago-based flautist Nicole Mitchell is the founder of Black Earth Ensemble, Black Earth Strings, Ice Crystal and Sonic Projections, as well as a perennial poll-topper. She's at Walker West with her quartet.

Michael O'Brien
Monday, September 7. Former Twin Citian Michael O'Brien is a first-call bassist as well as bandleader and composer in New York. He's back this week with four gigs, starting tonight in Joel Shapira's Convergence Trio at the Black Dog, featuring Eric Gravatt on drums. (Michael appears in duo format next weekend at Vieux Carré and leading a quartet at The Nicollet.)

Dave King and Chris Speed
Another homecoming of sorts -- The Dave King Trucking Company, complete with New York saxophonist Chris Speed and (formerly local bassist) Chris Morrissey, brings new meaning to the "Jazz Implosion" series at the Icehouse tonight. King, Brandon Wozniak and Erik Fratzke round out the company.

Monday-Tuesday, September 7-8. Bassist, 5-time Grammy winner and a member of Bela Fleck's Flecktones, Victor Wooten returns for two nights, four sets at the Dakota. He's a three-time winner of Bassist of the Year from Bass Player Magazine, the only artist to win more than once.

Dave Karr
Tuesday, September 8. The Tuesday night instrumental jazz series hosts another top ensemble as the Dave Karr Quartet makes its Crooners' debut. Joining the 80-something sax legend will be long-time cohorts, Chris Lomheim on piano, Gordy Johnson on bass and Phil Hey on drums. Crooners is seeking to make this a night for serious music and serious listeners, but fortunately Dave Karr never takes himself too seriously!

Thomas Bruce
Another debut night, vocalist Thomas Bruce takes the stage for his first turn at Vieux Carré, backed by Phil Aaron and Steve Pikal. Tommy brings a Chet Baker-like vulnerability and elegance to his tunes, but with Phil and Steve on the bandstand, there will be some fun as well!

At the Black Dog, the monthly "Chris Olson Project" expands to the full Framework trio (with Chris Bates and Jay Epstein) plus special guest, vocalist Tony DeMarco.
Framework

For big band fans, look no farther than Jazz Central tonight, as the Cedar Avenue Big Band takes the stage for its monthly blowout. With more than 25 years together, the CABB is the real deal and features a who's who in Twin Cities jazz.

Judi Vinar
Wednesday, September 9. Tonight at Crooners', it's vocalist/songwriter Judi Vinar (Donaghy) with the Wolverines Trio (Rick Carlson, Steve Pikal, Jendeen Forberg) -- a band she has worked with for more than 20 years.

Kamasi Washington*
Thursday, September 10. Seems everywhere I turn lately, someone is talking about Kamasi Washington. The eclectic multi-instrumentalist makes his Icehouse debut tonight with his Dectet.  Washington has played with McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, Kenny Burrell, and George Duke while also working with  Lauryn Hill, Jeffrey Osborne, Mos Def, and Quincy Jones; more recently he has toured with Stanley Clarke, Harvey Mason and Chaka Khan. In his band “The Next Step,” Kamasi boasts two drummers, two bassists (upright and electric), piano and keyboards, three horns, and a vocalist. They just released a triple disc entitled The Epic. (Reservations recommended.)

At MacPhail's Antonello Hall, pianist/instructor Tom Pletscher performs a farewell concert with a powerhouse ensemble featuring Jim Bierma on bass, Phil Hey on drums, Greg Keel on sax, and Nathan Norman on drums. After more than two decades at MacPhail, Tom is relocating to Washington state.

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. KBEM and KFAI radio host jazz programs regularly and provide daily notices of jazz gigs and concerts. The live edition of The Lead Sheet can be heard at 4:40 pm on Thursdays on KBEM, excerpts rebroadcast at 7:40 am on Fridays. (Special guest September 3--Peter Leggett of Walker West, on the new jazz series with Nicole Mitchell and soon Ron Carter.) Venues and artists are reminded to send information to online and print calendars (e.g. tc@jazzpolice.com).


Coming Soon!
. September 11, Christian Scott and Stretch Music at the Dakota
. September 11, Ron Carter and Golden Striker Trio at Walker West Music Academy
. September 11, Michael O'Brien Trio at The Nicollet
. September 12, Selby Avenue Jazz Festival (Walter Chancellor, Salsa del Soul, Source Code)
. September 12, Peterson Family Tribute to Jeanne Arland Peterson at Vieux Carré
. September 12, Jon Pemberton's Tribute to Lee Morgan at the Black Dog
. September 13-14, Bill Carrothers Trio at Crooners Lounge
. September 15, Butch Thompson and Dean Magraw at Vieux Carré
. September 15, Tommy O'Donnell Trio at Crooners Lounge
. September 17, Patricia Barber at the Dakota
Patricia Barber
. September 18, Bryan Nichols (Chicago) Quartet at Vieux Carré
. September 18, Seru/Bates/Wozniak at The Nicollet
. September 19, Freedom Jazz Festival at Minnehaha Falls Park
. September 19, Laura Caviani and Dave Milne, Jazz at St Barneys
. September 19, Jay Young and Lyric Factory at the Dakota
. September 19, Paul Harper's Show and Tell at the Black Dog
. September 20, Clarice Assad at the Dakota
. September 22, Chris Lomheim Trio at Crooners Lounge
. September 22-23, Lizz Wright at the Dakota
. September 24, Adam Meckler Orchestra at Vieux Carré
. September 25, Javi Santiago Sextet at Vieux Carré
. September 25, Lucia Sarmiento Quartet at The Nicollet
. September 26, Patty Peterson and Friends with Steve Cole at the Dakota
. September 26, John Penny Trio followed by CD Release "Night Together" at the Black Dog
. September 29, Dave Graf Quartet at Crooners Lounge
. September 29, Red Planet at Vieux Carré
. October 4, Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra at the Dakota
. October 6, Butch Thompson at Crooners Lounge
. October 8, Jazz in the Target Atrium (Orchestra Hall), Atrium Jazz Ensemble with Wessell Anderson
. October 13, Phil Hey Quartet at Crooners Lounge
. October 16, JT Bates Organ Trio at Vieux Carré
. October 16, Yolande Bruce Group at Walker West Music Academy
. October 20, Laura Caviani Trio with Bob Bowman and Todd Straight at Crooners
. October 25, Benny Green Trio at the Dakota
. October 27, Jane Monheit at the Dakota
. November 13, Eric Gravatt and Source Code at Walker West Music Academy
. November 16, Regina Carter's Southern Comfort at the Dakota
. November 19, Jazz in the Target Atrium (Orchestra Hall), Atrium Jazz Ensemble
. November 22-23, Karrin Allyson at the Dakota
. December 2, Diane Schuur at the Dakota
. December 14-15, New York Voices Holiday show at the Dakota

Ron Carter - At Walker West Music Academy on September 11


* Photos by Andrea Canter except Nicole Mitchell and Kamasi Washington (from artist websites)
 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, August 28-September 3



Tanner Taylor, coming to Crooners Lounge on September 1

 © Andrea Canter
Summer might be waning but the jazz calendars are anything but. Outdoor music and festivals are winding down, but tickets are on sale for the new Eight O'Clock Jump Series at Walker West (starting September 6) and Crooners Lounge is jump-starting its new Tuesday Night series on September 1 with a long-overdue visit from Tanner Taylor. The coming weekend and week also feature a CD release at the Black Dog from trombonist and master educator Dean Sorenson, a series debut for No Room for Squares at The Nicollet, back to back nights at the Dakota with Tootie Heath and Terence Blanchard, Maud Hixson back at Parma 8200, music of all sorts on various stages at the Stage Fair..... and the beat goes on.

Big Gigs This Week
Friday, August 28. Heading out to the Fair? The swinging Parisota Hot Club (Robb Henry, Matt Senjem, Jay Epstein and Erin Livingstone) are on the stage at the Ramberg Senior Center for three sets starting at 10:30 am.

Maud Hixson
The patio might be nice this evening but come inside to the bar/lounge at Parma 8200 for songbird Maud Hixson and her intrepid trio with husband Rick Carlson on keys and one of his favorite partners, bassist Steve Pikal. Count on Maud to throw in a few curveballs -- forgotten songs or forgotten songwriters. Clever lyrics are always in her set list.

Bill Stieger
A favorite among local jazz hounds at the 2015 Twin Cities Jazz Festival, No Room for Squares is as old fashioned as it sounds-- this is good ol' bebop at its best, presented by a veteran crew who swing through the best of the era: Drummer Bill Stieger in the driver's seat, Jon Pemberton on trumpet, Jimmie Wallace on sax, Mikkel Romstad on piano and Adam Tucker on bass. They make their debut on the Friday Night Jazz at The Nicollet series.

Jeremy Walker
Start up north in Fridley at Crooners with Katia Cardenas singing her way through happy hour (and again tomorrow night), then head south to St. Paul for the double-header at Vieux Carré. The night kicks off in sublime mode with the Jeremy Walker/Jeff Brueske duo, then turns around and swings the night away with Patty and the Buttons. Come early and chill out, just long enough to energize your ears for some old time swing.

Javi Santiago
A little bit different tonight at Jazz Central: Hard core jazzers Javi Santiago (piano) and Miguel Hurtado (drums) join up with the funky soulful vocalist Taylor Johnson (aka Proper-T) for a new project, dubbed Murkury. The ensemble is described as "an experimental, jazz and electro-soul band."

Sam Miltich
Vocalist Charmin Michelle and guitarist Sam Miltich sound like a heavenly pairing, and tonight they bring their magic to "Take Love Easy," the music of Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass, at the Third Place Gallery in south Minneapolis. Normally this is not a music venue but a gallery run by photographer Wing Young Huie, but it will surely be an artful setting for these two musical treasures.

Dean Sorenson
Saturday, August 29.  Dean Sorenson has been long associated with the jazz program at the U of Minnesota, which he has directed for 15+ years, yielding some of the top young jazzers on the Twin Cities scene (aka, Joe Strachan, Nelson Devereaux, Adam Meckler). But Sorenson is also a well respected arranger, composer and trombonist, skills on full display in his Dean Sorenson Sextet. A band of Twin Cities heavyweights (David Milne, Steve Kenny, Chris Lomheim, Tom Lewis, Phil Hey), the sextet will celebrate its first recording (Colors of the Soul) on the Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog series tonight. The music soars with the colors and energy of a big band, yet still retains the intimate collaboration of a chamber ensemble. The opening act, appropriately, features a trio of Dean's past students -- Ryan Christianson (trombone), Matt McIntyre (bass) and Andres Crovetti (drums).

Patty Peterson
At the Dakota, Patty Peterson and Friends returns for a night of soulful jazz and R&B, with Paul Peterson, Billy Franze, Bobby Vandell, Sean Turner and Ronny Loew.

Sunday, August 30. Singer/songwriter and a great jazz interpreter, Barbara Meyer joins Imaginary Numbers ("cool jazz") for an afternoon of music at the Alexis Bailly Vineyard in Hastings, the closing act on the summer's jazz series.

Tootie Heath Trio*
Tonight the Dakota presents a real treat for jazz fans, with a trio led by the great drummer, Albert "Tootie" Heath, in the red hot company of Bad Plus pianist Ethan Iverson and bassist Ben Street. One of the famed Heath Brothers, Tootie's resume covers six decades and includes stints with the likes of John Coltrane. With his much younger cohorts Iverson and Street, Heath recently released Philadelphia Beat, a celebration of his home town.

Chris Thomson Quartet
Over at the Icehouse, there's an early evening show for singer-songwriter Paul Spring's vinyl release, with the Chris Thomson Quartet as the opening act. Saxophonist Thomson always engages a creative group, with his most recent quartet featuring accordionist Patrick Harison, bassist James Buckley and drummer, Dosh.

Explosion Big Band
Monday, August 31. If this is your night at the Fair, check out the AFL/CIO Pavilion at 5 pm for a free gig from the Doug Haining/Scott Agster Explosion Big Band (to be repeated tomorrow night). Another accomplished big band, the Acme Jazz Company, fills their monthly slot at Crooners Lounge.

Terence Blanchard
A major force in jazz trumpet and composition, Terence Blanchard returns to the Dakota with a new "plugged in" project, E-Collective, described as the intersection of jazz, R& B, funk, and fusion. The ensemble features outstanding young pianist Fabian Almazon who has been with Blanchard since 2007. The rest of the band includes guitarist Charles Altura (Chick Corea's Vigil), bassist Donald Ramsey (Dr. John, Irma Thomas), and drummer Oscar Seaton (Ramsey Lewis, Lee Ritenour).

James Buckley
Tonight's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse is essentially the James Buckley Trio + 1, with guitar wizard Jacob Hanson joining bassist Buckley, pianist Bryan Nichols and drummer/host, JT Bates. Their debut at Studio Z on the All Originals series last month was too good to be an isolated gig.

Tuesday, September 1. It's been about a year since piano monster Tanner Taylor pulled up his Minnesota stakes and returned to his native central Iowa. It's a brief return but a welcome one, and a perfect way to launch the new Tuesday Night instrumental series at Crooners Lounge. Joining Tanner will be Graydon Peterson and Jay Epstein, making it a triple play.

Maryann Sullivan
Making her Vieux Carré debut, vocalist Maryann Sullivan brings her Corner Jazz band to downtown St. Paul for an evening of old-fashioned swing and standards. Her band is a bit different from its usual tonight-- with Doug Haining at the State Fair, the sub on horn is son/trumpeter Preston Haining, visiting from southern California; Javi Santiago takes over the piano bench, with Steve Pikal on bass and older son Trevor Haining on drums.

It's First Tuesdays at the Black Dog, and tonight guitarist Joseph Damman sits in for Dean Magraw with Davu Seru handling percussion.

Robert Everest
Wednesday, September 2. Brazilian-style guitarist Robert Everest and his Expedition play today and tomorrow at the International Bazaar at the State Fair (3 sets starting at 10:45 am). 

Jon Weber
A very special Jazz in the Lounge at the Minneapolis Woman's Club tonight -- host vocalist Connie Evingson welcomes pianist Jon Weber along with frequent guest, saxophonist Dave Karr. (Jon is in town for his Sunday gig with Connie at the Jungle Theater.)

Rhonda Laurie
Thursday, September 3. Vocal Jazz night continues at Jazz Central, now curated by Sarah Greer. Tonight she hosts Vicky Mountain "and Friends"....and her friends are always fabulous-- Phil Aaron on piano and Jim Chenoweth on bass. And vocal jazz rules the evening at Crooners with the Rhonda Laurie Quartet.

Coming Soon!
. September 4, Joel Shapira Trio at Parma 8200
. September 4, Katia Cardenas at Vieux Carré
. September 4, Jon Weber at the Dakota
. September 4, Phil Aaron/Zacc Harris Quartet at The Nicollet
. September 5, Adam Booker Sextet CD Release at Vieux Carré
. September 5, Jana Nyberg Group at Crooners Lounge
. September 5, What Would Monk Do at the Black Dog
. September 6, Nichole Mitchell at Walker West Music Academy
. September 6, Connie Evingson with Jon Weber, Music of David Frishberg at the Jungle Theater
. September 7, Convergence Trio (Michael O'Brien, Joel Shapira, Eric Gravatt) at the Black Dog
. September 7, Dave King Trucking Company at the Icehouse
. September 7-8, Victor Wooten at the Dakota
. September 8, Dave Karr Quartet at Crooners Lounge
. September 9, Dean Magraw solo guitar, American Swedish Institute Ballroom Series
. September 10, Kamasi Washington at the Icehouse
. September 11, Christian Scott and Stretch Music at the Dakota
. September 11, Ron Carter and Golden Striker Trio at Walker West Music Academy
. September 11, Michael O'Brien Trio at The Nicollet
. September 12, Selby Avenue Jazz Festival (Walter Chancellor, Salsa del Soul, Source Code)
. September 12, Peterson Family Tribute to Jeanne Arland Peterson at Vieux Carré
. September 12, Jon Pemberton's Tribute to Lee Morgan at the Black Dog
. September 13-14, Bill Carrothers Trio at Crooners Lounge
. September 15, Butch Thompson and Dean Magraw at Vieux Carré
. September 15, Tommy O'Donnell Trio at Crooners Lounge
. September 17, Patricia Barber at the Dakota
. September 18, Bryan Nichols (Chicago) Quartet at Vieux Carré
. September 18, Seru/Bates/Wozniak at The Nicollet
. September 19, Freedom Jazz Festival at Minnehaha Falls Park
. September 19, Laura Caviani and Dave Milne, Jazz at St Barneys
. September 19, Jay Young and Lyric Factory at the Dakota
. September 19, Paul Harper's Show and Tell at the Black Dog
. September 20, Clarice Assad at the Dakota
. September 22, Chris Lomheim Trio at Crooners Lounge
. September 22-23, Lizz Wright at the Dakota
. September 24, Adam Meckler Orchestra at Vieux Carré
. September 25, Javi Santiago Sextet at Vieux Carré
. September 25, Lucia Sarmiento Quartet at The Nicollet
. September 26, Patty Peterson and Friends with Steve Cole at the Dakota
. September 26, John Penny Trio followed by CD Release "Night Together" at the Black Dog
. September 29, Dave Graf Quartet at Crooners Lounge
. September 29, Red Planet at Vieux Carré
. October 4, Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra at the Dakota
. October 8, Jazz in the Target Atrium (Orchestra Hall), Atrium Jazz Ensemble with Wessell Anderson
. October 13, Phil Hey Quartet at Crooners
. October 16, JT Bates Organ Trio at Vieux Carré
. October 16, Yolande Bruce Group at Walker West Music Academy
. October 20, Laura Caviani Trio with Bob Bowman and Todd Straight at Crooners
. October 25, Benny Green Trio at the Dakota
. November 13, Eric Gravatt and Source Code at Walker West Music Academy
. November 16, Regina Carter's Southern Comfort at the Dakota
. November 19, Jazz in the Target Atrium (Orchestra Hall), Atrium Jazz Ensemble
. November 22-23, Karrin Allyson at the Dakota
. December 2, Diane Schuur at the Dakota
. December 14-15, New York Voices Holiday show at the Dakota

The Dave King Trucking Company, at the Icehouse on September 7


*All photos by Andrea Canter except Tootie Heath Trio (courtesy Chicago Jazz Festival)





Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, August 20-27



 
Cyrus Chestnut at the Dakota, August 25
© Andrea Canter

Lots of special events on the jazz scene this week, from the final two nights of Adam Meckler Quintet's live recording sessions and the season finale of the All Originals Jazz Series to the jazz components of the Bridge Chamber Music Festival in Northfield, and a stellar line-up of visiting artists from Kansas City bassist Bob Bowman and former Minnesotan Nancy Harms to hard-swinging pianist Cyrus Chestnut and the Rabbi of jazz, Ben Sidran.

Big Gigs This Week
Friday, August 21. Start the evening with Irv Williams. Just a few days past his 96th birthday, Mr. Smooth continues to hold down Happy Hour at the Dakota every Friday.

Bob Bowman
Kansas City bassist Bob Bowman has been a frequent visitor lately, and he's back in town for a gig at Jazz Central, playing in a trio with pianist Dan Leahy and drummer Mac Santiago.

Across town at the Black Dog, saxophonist Donald Washington hosts his monthly meeting of improvisational minds, featuring a trio tonight with bassist Yohannes Tona and drummer/son Kevin Washington. Come down early for Todd Harper's Possibilities, with drummer Bill Stieger, bassist Mike Leipold,  trumpeter Todd Baer, saxophonist Chris Hagedorn, and of course Harper--pianist, composer, and "traffic director." 

 
Patty Peterson
In downtown St Paul, Vieux Carré presents the early show with the Zacc Harris Duo, while the swinging Southside Aces will turn up the heat a couple hours later.

In the north 'burbs, the ever-expanding palette of music at Crooners features Patty Peterson and Friends, and the friends tonight include pianist Sean Turner, bassist Billy Franze and drummer Bobby Vandell. Turner is playing more and more visibly these days, which is a very good thing for local jazz. Or head south to Bloomington for an evening at Parma 8200 with Arne Fogel, channeling Bing, Frank, and more.

David Milne
Further south in Northfield, its the Bridge Chamber Music Festival which spreads across venues over several days. Tonight's treat is offered by the piano/sax duo of Laura Caviani and Dave Milne at the Carleton College Concert Hall, performing "jazz impressions” of classical repertoire, featuring special arrangements of music by Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, Bill Dobbins, Claude Debussy, Manuel de Falla, Gabriel Faure, Carlos Guastavino, and Maurice Ravel. Definitely worth the 40-minute drive.

Adam Meckler
Friday-Saturday, August 21-22. On Thursday, the Adam Meckler Quintet launched an unusual three-night, three-venue live recording series of gigs at Studio Z, and this weekend they finish up at The Nicollet (Friday) and Black Dog (Saturday), each session sponsored by Steve Kenny's Illicit Productions. With Zacc Harris, Nelson Devereaux, Graydon Peterson and Greg Schutte filling out the ensemble, we'll hear all new compositions written with these artists in mind. And while the music intended for the album will be played each night, the nature of the set, and the additional tunes to fill out the set lists, will vary with the moment.

Zacc Harris
Saturday, August 22. The ever-creative Zacc Harris launches a new ensemble tonight at the Black Dog, opening for the Adam Meckler Quintet. Dubbed American Reverie, Zacc notes that "It won't always be trio, and the 'American' part is key, as we'll be doing all arrangements and re-imaginations of songs that evoke imagery of an America gone by," including "Tennessee Waltz," "Shenandoah," and "Be My Baby." It is a trio tonight with bassist Matt Peterson and drummer Lars-Erik Larson.

Jeremy Siskind Trio
In the wake of their superb new recording, Housewarming (BJU Records), the Jeremy Siskind Trio is on a Midwest tour that brings the band to Vieux Carré tonight. And this "housewarming" is also a homecoming for vocalist Nancy Harms, a Minnesota native who spent about five years charming vocal jazz fans in the Twin Cities before relocating to New York in 2010. Her star is on a fast rise in the Big Apple, in part due to her role in projects like Housewarming. Pianist Siskind is also a prolific composer who tends to set poetry to the music; rounding out the trio is multi-reed specialist Lucas Pino, with whom Nancy creates two-voice harmonies that sometimes leave the listener wondering what's human, what's reed.

Robert Everest
Brazilian-style guitarist Robert Everest brings samba outside at Powderhorn Park tonight, and Andrew Walesch brings his big band to Crooners for his salute to Frank Sinatra.

Sunday, August 23. Want a little jazz with Sunday brunch?  Most every Sunday, you can find good food and good music around the metro, from the soothing piano and vocals of Andrew Walesch at Crooners (with Gordy Johnson and Phil Hey) to the "New Orleans Traditional Jazz, Western Swing, Gypsy melodies, Ragtime piano blues, jug music and 1930′s popular song" melange of Patty and the Buttons at the Aster to the south of the border vibe of Robert Everest at Maria's Cafe.

Dave Hagedorn
Monday, August 24. Saxophonist Joe Mayo brings his quartet (Zacc Harris, guitar; Andrew Foreman, bass; Lars-Erik Larson, drums) to Jazz Central tonight, while down in Northfield, vibes master Dave Hagedorn "and friends" continue the jazz trend of the Bridge Chamber Music Festival at the Grand Event Center.  JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse tonight features a trio of innovative multi-instrumentalists-- Tom Reichert, Tim Glenn, and Atlanta artist Stephen Roach.

Cyrus Chestnut
Tuesday, August 25. Swinging pianist Cyrus Chestnut headlined the Twin Cities Jazz Festival two years ago, but it has been a very long time since he's played here in an appropriately intimate space like the Dakota. The Baltimore native is considered one of the most beloved ambassadors of jazz for his swinging and accessible style as well as his warm persona. His background includes two years with Betty Carter and appearing in Robert Altman's film, Kansas City. Joining Chestnut at the Dakota will be bassist Michael Hawkins and drummer Neal Smith.

Byan Nichols
At Vieux Carré tonight, modern jazz takes the stage as Nichols/Bates/Bates returns to St. Paul, having performed last month on the All Originals Jazz series at Studio Z. Pianist Bryan Nichols, bassist Chris Bates and drummer JT Bates will challenge listeners while remaining accessible, and pretty darn fun to watch as well as hear.

It's big band night at Jazz Central, and the Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra likes to refer to their fourth Tuesday gig as an "open rehearsal." This band features the metro's best, with Geoff Senn and Mac Santiago leading the likes of Pete Whitman, Doug Little, Dave Graf, Jeff Rinear, Pete Enblom, Jake Baldwin, Joe Strachan, Dave Martin and Graydon Peterson.

Joe Strachan
Wednesday, August 26. New music night at Jazz Central will feature young pianist Joe Strachan. Just two years out of the jazz program at the U of M, Joe has become a first-call musician, performing in a wide variety of contexts but often in the company of the finest of the new generation-- Jake Baldwin, Nelson Devereaux, Miguel Hurtado, Andrew Foreman, Lars-Erik Larson and more, as well as holding the piano chair for the Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra.

Tonight at the Black Dog, percussionist Davu Seru brings in a trio featuring visiting multi-instrumentalist Stephen Roach and local guitar wizard Tom Reichert.

Ben Sidran
Wednesday-Thursday, August 26-27. We always look forward to the return of pianist/composer/producer/you-name-it Ben Sidran, and he's back for two nights at the Dakota with his latest "jazz and philosophy" class, Blue Camu. It's a double family affair with son Leo on drums and long-time associates Billy (bass) and Ricky (keys) Peterson.

Mike Lewis
Thursday, August 27. The Bryan Nichols Quintet has been one of the most popular modern ensembles in the metro, but since saxophonist Mike Lewis relocated to the East Coast, their gigs have been few and far between. Tonight they reunite to close out the second summer All Originals Jazz Series at Studio Z. Joining pianist Bryan and saxophonist Mike will be Brandon Wozniak (sax), James Buckley (bass) and JT Bates (drums). All original compositions, of course.

Rhonda Laurie
At Jazz Central, vocal night features Melody Mendis, an eclectic talent who takes her listeners "on a journey into love and madness." Vocals also are on the menu tonight in the lounge at Public Kitchen in St. Paul, with Rhonda Laurie providing the songs and guitarist Reuben Ristrom providing the strings.

George Cartwright
The little avant garde series that keeps a low profile in St Paul continues on Thursday nights at Khyber Pass. But it's hard to consider George Cartwright and Dave King "low profile" within the jazz community! Khyber Pass brings some amazing music to its tiny space with help from curators Adam Linz, Paul Metzger and Davu Seru, and tonight George and Dave will no doubt blow the roof off... for a $5 cover. Run and grab a chair.

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. The live edition of The Lead Sheet can be heard at 4:40 pm on Thursdays on KBEM, excerpts rebroadcast at 7:40 am on Fridays. (Special guest August 27-- Dean Sorenson re his new CD!) Venues and artists are reminded to send information to online and print calendars (e.g. tc@jazzpolice.com)

Coming Soon!
. August 28, No Room for Squares at The Nicollet
. August 28, Maud Hixson at Parma 8200
. August 28, Jeremy Walker Duo/Patty and the Buttons at Vieux Carré
. August 29, Dean Sorenson Sextet, CD Release at the Black Dog
. August 29, Patty Peterson and Friends 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
. August 31, Explosion Big Band at Minnesota State Fair, AFL-CIO Labor Pavilion (5 pm)
. August 31, Acme Jazz Company at Crooners Lounge
. September 1, Explosion Big Band at Minnesota Stage Fair, AFL-CIO Labor Pavilion (5 pm)
. September 1, Tanner Taylor at Crooners Lounge
. September 1, Maryann Sullivan and Corner Jazz at Vieux Carré
. September 1, Dean Magraw and Davu Seru at the Black Dog
. September 1, Bill Simenson Orchestra at Jazz Central
. September 2-3, Robert Everest at the Minnesota State Fair, International Bazaar Stage
. September 3, Rhonda Laurie Quartet at Crooners Lounge
. September 3, Vicky Mountain at Jazz Central
. September 4, Last Days of Summer KBEM Cruise
. September 4, Joel Shapira Trio at Parma 8200
. September 4, Katia Cardenas at Vieux Carré
. September 5, Adam Booker Sextet CD Release at Vieux Carré
. September 6, Nichole Mitchell at Walker West Music Academy
. September 7, Shapira/O'Brien/Gravatt Trio at the Black Dog
. September 7-8, Victor Wooten at the Dakota
. September 8, Dave Karr Quartet at Crooners Lounge
. September 10, Kamasi Washington at the Icehouse
. September 11, Christian Scott and Stretch Music at the Dakota
. September 11, Ron Carter and Golden Striker Trio at Walker West Music Academy
. September 12, Selby Avenue Jazz Festival (Walter Chancellor, Salsa del Soul, Source Code)
. September 12, Peterson Family Tribute to Jeanne Arland Peterson at Vieux Carré
. September 13-14, Bill Carrothers Trio at Crooners Lounge
. September 15, Butch Thompson and Dean Magraw at Vieux Carré
. September 15, Tommy O'Donnell Trio at Crooners Lounge
. September 17, Patricia Barber at the Dakota
. September 18, Bryan Nichols (Chicago) Quartet at Vieux Carré
. September 19, Freedom Jazz Festival at Minnehaha Falls Park
. September 19, Laura Caviani and Dave Milne, Jazz at St Barneys
. September 19, Jay Young and Lyric Factory at the Dakota
. September 20, Clarice Assad at the Dakota
. September 22, Chris Lomheim Trio at Crooners Lounge
. September 22-23, Lizz Wright at the Dakota
. September 24, Adam Meckler Orchestra at Vieux Carré
. September 25, Javi Santiago Sextet at Vieux Carré
. September 26, Patty Peterson and Friends with Steve Cole at the Dakota
. September 29, Dave Graf Quartet at Crooners Lounge
. September 29, Red Planet at Vieux Carré
. October 4, Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra at the Dakota
. October 8, Jazz in the Target Atrium (Orchestra Hall), with Wessell Anderson
. October 13, Phil Hey Quartet at Crooners
. October 16, JT Bates Organ Trio at Vieux Carré
. October 16, Yolande Bruce Group at Walker West Music Academy
. October 20, Laura Caviani Trio with Bob Bowman and Todd Straight at Crooners
. October 25, Benny Green Trio at the Dakota
. November 13, Eric Gravatt and Source Code at Walker West Music Academy
. November 16, Regina Carter's Southern Comfort at the Dakota
. November 19, Jazz in the Target Atrium (Orchestra Hall), Atrium Jazz Ensemble
. November 22-23, Karrin Allyson at the Dakota
. December 2, Diane Schuur at the Dakota
. December 14-15, New York Voices Holiday show at the Dakota




Tanner Taylor visits at Crooners Lounge on September 1, starting the Tuesday Night Jazz series