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


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These days, it seems that our music is as diverse as our weather. And we will have to count on the music to provide the warmth this week! Some of our most creative artists are in the spotlight this week, as is as one of the most lauded jazz artists of the modern era, stopping in town on what he says will be his last tour.

Big Gigs This Week

Friday, March 10. Swinging be-bop will be cooking at Jazz Central when Doug Haining returns with the Cannonball Collective. Launched back at the old Artists Quarter, this ensemble pays tribute to alto sax legend Cannonball Adderley. Haining leads the way on sax, with Adam Meckler on trumpet, Ted Godbout on keys, Chris Bates on bass, and Jazz Central host Mac Santiago on drums.

At the Dakota, it's the second of two nights with the Victor Wooten Trio—the funky bassist teams up with saxophonist Bob Franceschini and drummer Dennis Chambers. Another team works the dinner hours at the Icehouse—Zacc Harris and James Buckley make it a double string night. More jazz—savvy singer Sophia Shorai at the Loring Pasta Bar. Friday-Saturday, March 10-11. At Vieux Carre', expect plenty of mayhem from Vector Families, led by internationally renowned drummer Dave King (Bad Plus, Happy Apple). He's in mighty fine company with saxophonist Brandon Wozniak, guitarist Dean Granros, and bassist Anthony Cox. There have been hints of a CD release! In the Lobby Bar at the Saint Paul Hotel, JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske continue their long-running duo. Saturday, March 11. The season's final installment of the Jazz at Studio Z concert series features the No Territory Band, led by drummer Davu Seru. His usual cohorts—Pat O'Keefe on clarinets, Nathan Hanson on saxophones, and Levi Schwartzberg on vibes—are joined by Noah Ophoven Baldwin on trumpet and Scott Fultz on baritone sax. The band plays Seru's original compositions, which allow plenty of space for each musician's interpretation. Davu leads a “master class" discussion about composition and improvisation an hour before showtime. Stay tuned for news of the annual Jazz at Studio Z Festival coming March 25th.

Over at the Black Dog, the Saturday Night Jazz series continues with a double bill, starting out with the Post Atomic Trio—that's David Hamilton on piano, John Croarkin on sax, and Derrin Pinto on drums, followed by Central Standard Time. Their fluid line-up this weekend includes Steve Kenny on Flumpet, Dave Brattain on saxophones, Javi Santiago on piano and Weather Report alum Eric Kamau Gravatt at the trapset.

A duo we enjoyed last month at Studio Z, Oudyano— Steven Hobert on piano with Issam Rafea on oud— play a rare Saturday at Jazz Central. The music is alternately sublime and wandering, always beautiful.

Kate Lynch and her Most Excellent Fellows bring their love for early 20th century music to the Aster Cafe— “four parts music, mixed with 1/5 part history, best served over heat." Bassist/vocalist Kate has a rotating cast of “excellent fellows" to back her repertoire, 1908-1951.

Lots of strings tonight: Talking Strings led by Pavel Janey holds their weekly get-together at Loring Pasta Bar; Tim Sparks joins James Buckley at the Icehouse, followed by another acoustic guitar summit, hosted by Elgin Foster with some favorite jazzers, Joel Shapira and Park Evans. And Normandy Kitchen hosts the always-entertaining and swinging Travis Anderson Trio, with Steve Pikal and Nathan Norman joining the high-energy pianist.

A relatively new site for music, Tin Fish at the Braemer Golf Course presents Mary Ann Sullivan and Corner Jazz (open to the public), while the Benny Weinbeck Trio holds its weekly party at Parma 8200.

Sunday, March 12. Brunch— Patty and the Buttons at the Aster, Robert Everest at Maria's. Later in the day, catch Charanga Tropical at the Icehouse (3 pm), the weekly B-3 Organ Jam at Jazz Central (3 pm), and evening gigs with the Parisota Hot Club at the Aster, Jennifer Grimmin the Dunsmore Room, and Zacc Harris Trio at the Riverview Wine Bar.

Monday, March 13. The Acme Jazz Company holds their monthly blowout with crooner Arne Fogel at Crooners Lounge, while youth are in the spotlight at Jazz Central, where U of M saxman Andrew Tomtenleads a trio followed by the weekly jam session.

Tuesday, March 14. The engaging voice and guitar collaboration of Charmin Michelle and Sam Miltich ignores the Steinway in the Dunsmore Room, with support from Chris Bates and Jay Epstein. Another engaging pair— Chris Olson (guitar, vocals) and Laura Caviani (piano, vocals) performs on Olson's “Project" night at the Black Dog.

Inventive vocalist Meredith Monk is on campus at St Olaf this week and tonight presents a free performance at the Lion's Pause Mane Stage on campus. On the “Tuesday Talks" series at the Minnesota History Center (10:30 am), it's another chance to hear Maud Hixson with Rick Carlson, performing the songs from her Listening for Your Song album, the songs referenced in the Betsy-Tacy books by Maud Hart Lovelace. Big Band Night at Jazz Central brings back the Explosion Big Band, led by Doug Haining and Scott Agster. Meanwhile, Chris Lomheim provides solo piano on the early show at Vieux Carre', and the Nova Jazz Orchestra offers original big band charts at the Minnesota Music Cafe.

Wednesday, March 15. Crooners Lounge hosts pianist/vocalist Andrew Walesch with saxophonist Dave Karr and special guest, guitar guru Dean Magraw—that's three generations of talent on one stage. Walesch and Karr—who could easily be grandpa and grandson—have a special chemistry that should only be further ignited by the presence of Magraw.

At the Dakota, on what he says is his last tour, vibes giant Gary Burton teams up with long-time duo partner, pianist Makoto Ozone. Their well titled 2002 album Virtuosi is still considered on of the classic jazz pairings, showing off their telepathic interplay on jazz standards as well as classical gems from Gershwin to Brahms.

The Black Dog hosts Aaron Kerr's monthly installment of Dissonent Creatures, while Pete Whitman will bring the Steven Hobert Quartet (with Pete, Yohannes Tona and LA Buckner) to his curatorial feature at Jazz Central.

Thursday, March 16. Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie presents the CD release for the Illicit Sextet. Launched about 30 years ago with a long hiatus into the new century, this ensemble returned with new energy about 7 years ago, and hasn't looked back. Boasting only original music from the musicians (Steve Kenny, Paul Harper, David Roos, Chris Lomheim, Tom Pieper and Nathan Norman), the band celebrates Addendum— the natural follow up to Chapter Oneand Chapter Eleven. Perhaps Preface comes next?

Midnight Love“ sounds more like a lounge bar band but actually it's a soul jazz ensemble centered around the vintage organ of Brian Ziemniak with the classic frontline of sax (Peter Vircks) and trombone (Matt Darlling) with bassist Patrick Nelson and drummer Greg Schutte, putting it all together at Vieux Carre'.

Khyber Pass Cafe's music night features Blood Quantum (Erik Fratzke and Tim Glenn), a “fractal doom for strings and percussion. Dissecting simultaneities within drone grids and folkloric electronics" and tonight adding guest guitarist and former area resident Luke Polipnick.

Thursday is Jazz Vocal Night at Jazz Central, and tonight former Milwaukean Suzanne Paris takes the stage with everything from pop to standards. For dancing fools, Beasley's Big Band hosts a swing dance at Wabasha Street Caves.

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