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)










Friday, July 10, 2015

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, July 10-16



Red Planet's orbit brings the trio to Studio Z on July 16

© Andrea Canter
 Whew, back to normal after two long weekends of jazz festivals. Although what is "normal" on the local jazz scene? There seem to be more and more options, even as some old favorites disappear. We mourn the decision to discontinue music at Fireside Pizza, another casualty of ASCAP/BMI licensing fees. Hopefully Denny Malmberg and Charmin Michelle will be able to continue their long-running (and marvelous) collaboration elsewhere. Maybe professional licensing organizations should consider the difference between music in a small venue such as a bar or pizza parlor versus Carnegie Hall or Birdland? Meanwhile, we still have plenty of those small venues as well as larger music spaces that are managing fees or hosting all-original music. This week we can enjoy the ongoing jazz series at Jazz Central, The Nicollet, Black Dog and Studio Z, the long-awaited opening of Vieux Carré in the old Artist Quarter space, the first Edina Jazz Festival, the St. Croix Vineyards Jazz Festival, a visiting saxophonist playing two venues, a too-rare appearance from one of our veteran guitar trios... and there's always more.

Big Gigs This Week
Irv Williams
Friday, July 10. Anytime Irv Williams is on the bandstand, it is a "big gig." Earlier in the week, Irv celebrated what he (again) asserts will be his final recording, Pinnacle. But he isn't retiring from the Happy Hour gigs at the Dakota, which this week features pianist Mary Louise Knutson.

Nelson Devereaux
Jazz Central offers a unique double-header. Leading off as part of the Bridge Series will be Milwaukolis, a blending of Twin Cities and Milwaukee musicians-- local powerhouse saxophonist Nelson Devereaux and his Milwaukee pals, Cody Steinmann on guitar and Paul Westfahl on drums. The compositions will come from the three musicians, drawing on modern inspirations such as hip-hop and rock.  The late show features a trio led by 17-year-old pianist Jordan Anderson, with his slightly older cohorts-- Charlie Lincoln on bass and Ben Ehrlich on drums. Jordan has been performing with area ensembles (Walker West, Dakota Combo, PipJazz) since he was 13, and will be leaving for Berklee College of Music summer program in Boston right after this gig.

Dean Granros
At The Nicollet, it is a return engagement for Dean Granros' Tall Tales, a double guitar quartet featuring Granros and Zacc Harris, along with Chris Bates and Jay Epstein. This band formed  less than a year ago and has quickly gained a substantial following as well as releasing what should be regarded as one of the year's top recordings. The repertoire includes original Granros tunes as well as nods to Mingus, Monk, Coleman and more.


Patty Peterson
For some outdoor family fun and terrific music, check out Kelly Park in Apple Valley, where their weekly music series presents Patty Peterson and Friends. It's free, it's a lovely suburban park, and you can't beat Patty and her friends for an evening of song. Another option--and no cover-- is an evening at Crooner's Lounge, where Judi (Donaghy) Vinar settles in with one of her favorite sources of support, the Wolverines Quartet (Rick Carlson, Steve Pikal, Jendeen Forberg and Doug Haining).

And if you happen to be near Bemidji, vocalist Charmin Michelle and guitar ace Sam Miltich are performing at Brigid's Cross Irish Pub. Things will be swinging in Bemidji tonight!


Saturday, July 11. It's a "soft opening" at Vieux Carré tonight as downtown St. Paul celebrates Bastille Day. There's music from 2 pm on the West 7th Place ped mall, with a special "preview" night at VC featuring Connie Evingson and the Parisota Hot Club. It's the old AQ space with a new "speakeasy" vibe.

There are at least two winery-based jazz festivals this weekend. The 3rd annual St. Croix Vineyards Wine and Jazz Festival takes place outside of Stillwater from noon til early evening with a first-class line-up: Javi Santiago Quartet, Noon; Andrew Walesch Trio Featuring Adam Meckler, 1:30; Kevin Washington Quartet, 3:00; and Doug Little's Seven Steps to Havana, 4:30. And across the border into Wisconsin, it is the first Jazz in July festival at the Dragonfly Winery in St. Croix Falls, featuring an afternoon with Patty Peterson and Friends.

Javi Santiago
Dinner sets at the Icehouse typically feature a pianist/bass or guitar/bass duo, and tonight the piano bench will be filled by young Turk Javi Santiago, joining forces with veteran bassist James Buckley. With no cover and a very inventive (and tasty) dinner menu, the Icehouse is often the jazz bargain of the weekend.

Laura Caviani
Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog is always a good bet, and tonight features the Black Dog debut of Laura Caviani and her trio.  It seems Laura has played everywhere but this is a first. And helping mark the occasion will be long-time cohorts Gordy Johnson on bass and Jay Epstein on drums. Count on some Monk as well as original music. And come early, the opening set features King/Fletcher/Woods, aka Jeff King, Charles Fletcher and Eron Woods, three veterans also making their Black Dog debut.

Will Schmid
Out in the west burbs, you can hear a youthful trio at the 318 Cafe. Minnetonka High School senior Will Schmid plays a cool guitar with pals Tyler Wagner on bass and Jesse Thorson on drums. The 318 is a cozy bar and cafe with a perfect vibe for a warm summer night. Like the music.

Once in a while there's a special Saturday gig at Jazz Central. Tonight, New York-based saxophonist Jacob Teichroew and his quartet make the first of two Twin Cities appearances, with trumpeter Adam Meckler joining in tonight. (Teichroew will be at the Icehouse Monday night.)

Chris Lomheim
Want a jazzy nightcap? Tonight (and every Saturday night during Sommerfest), pianist Chris Lomheim plays a solo set in the Target Atrium of Orchestra Hall. The Atrium is a superb setting for such music, and you can't beat the view of Peavy Plaza and Nicollet Mall. Or the sounds of Lomheim's solo piano.

Sunday, July 12. Yet another community jazz festival launches tonight, with the Edina Jazz Festival at Centennial Lakes Park. Taking place in the Maetzold Amphitheater and Hughes Pavilion, artists include vocalist Dan Ristrom, the New Orleans-style Midnight in Moscow, and (again!) vocalist Patty Peterson.

Monday, July 13. If you missed Jacob Teichroew at Jazz Central, you can hear the New York saxophonist and his band tonight via JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse. Jacob's music reflects the diversity of his mentors in classical music as well as jazz (he studied with Antonio Hart and Vijay Iyer). Sitting in with his quartet tonight will be locals Adam Meckler and Charlie Christenson.

Katia Cardenas
Tuesday, July 14. It's the public grand opening of the Dakota's new club, Vieux Carré, in the Hamm Building, downtown St. Paul, and the schedule calls for jazz every Tuesday and Friday featuring local standouts. And it is the look of the future tonight as the opening artist is young vocalist Katia Cardenas. Katia has already appeared at Jazz Central, the Dakota and other venues, rounding up a growing fan base with her wide-ranging repertoire -- she can cover Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, but also seems equally adept at modern folk/pop/blues. Joining her tonight for three sets will be a band of young monsters-- Kevin Gastonguay on keys, Ted Olsen on bass, and Zach Schmidt on drums. Notes Katia, "It will be an amazing night of live jazz, with a few fun r&b and blues tunes thrown in! We are so grateful to be a part of the future of this music institution."

Chris Olson
In Lowertown, it's the monthly Chris Olson Project at the Black Dog. Olson's guests tonight include bassist extraordinaire Chris Bates and young drum master Cory Healey, playing unique arrangements of rock classics by Jimi Hendrix, Neil Young, The BeeGees, Elvis Costello and more. Bates tried out some of this music at Jazz Central last month and the arrangements are ear-bending. And cool.

At the Dakota, Charmin and Shapira and Friends host a Foodie Night, meaning no cover to hear this polished and swinging ensemble.

Pete Whitman, X-tet
Wednesday, July 15.  Maybe the Pete Whitman X-Tet has found a new home! The X-Tet returns to Jazz Central on "new music night" after their stellar June gig. The band played nearly monthly at the Artists Quarter through 2013, and perhaps we can anticipate a similar regularity at Jazz Central? It's a unique ensemble with vibes and plenty of horn power, featuring the top musicians in the metro.

At Vieux Carré, enjoy favorites from A Prairie Home Companion as New Shoes (Gary Raynor, Rich Dworsky and Peter Johnson of Guy’s All-Star Shoe Band) continue opening week music.  

Red Planet
Thursday, July 16. Steve Kenny and Illicit Productions continue to reign as producers of local jazz series. The second summer season of All Originals at Studio Z continues tonight with Red Planet. Dean Magraw, Chris Bates and Jay Epstein have entertained with the trio's highly accomplished high-wire jazz for more than a decade, and the intimate studio setting of Studio Z is a perfect atmosphere for some of the most sophisticated modern music in the region.

At Vieux Carré, the new club is wasting no time booking the best of local jazz-- tonight the Chris Lomheim Trio takes the stage, with Gordy Johnson and Reid Kennedy backing the elegant pianist.

For vocal night at Jazz Central, check out Charlie Christenson, head of the Voice Department at McNally Smith. Charlie has worked with such stars as Theo Bleckmann and Kate McGarry, and peforms with the McNally Smith Faculty Vocal Quartet.

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 17, Zacc Harris and Chris Bates, early set at Vieux Carre'
. July 17, Jay Young's Lyric Factory, Top 10 Hits at the Dakota
. July 17, Kjeer, Horst and Friends at The Nicollet
. July 17, Dean Magraw and Steven Hobert at Jazz Central
. July 17, Arne Fogel at Parma 8200
. July 18, Joe Mayo Quartet at the Black Dog
. July 19, Midtown Global Market Music Festival
. July 20-21, Nachito Herrera and the Universals at the Dakota
. July 21, Jeremy Walker Trio at Vieux Carre'
. July 22, Steve Kenny's Group 47 at Vieux Carre'
. July 23, John Raymond Quartet at the Dakota
. July 23, Zack Lozier 3/Travis Anderson Trio at Vieux Carre'
. July 23, Nichols/Bates/Bates, All Originals at Studio Z
. 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 John Raymond, Atlantis Qt and more 
. 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, 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 at Vieux Carre'
. 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 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 22, Jeremy Siskind Trio with Nancy Harms at the Dakota
. August 25, Cyrus Chestnut Trio at the Dakota
. August 31, Terence Blanchard and E-Collective at the Dakota
. September 7-8, Victor Wooten at the Dakota
. September 22-23, Lizz Wright at the Dakota

 
 
John Raymond brings his quartet to the Dakota on July 23