September promises to be one of the hottest jazz months of the year in the Twin Cities, with visits from Eliane Elias, Mike Stern, John Raymond, the Yellow Jackets, Curtis Stiegers, Jay Clayton, Evan Christopher, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, the Bad Plus with Bill Frisell and more, as well as performances from local and regional artists including Red Planet with Bill Carrothers, cellist Tomeka Reid, Arne Fogel and Maud Hixson reprising the Crosby-Clooney Story, the Twin Cities Cabaret Artists Network's Cabaret Fest, the return of Snowblind, Bottomless Pit... and bottomless talents at a growing list of venues presenting jazz.
Big Gigs This Month
Friday, September 1. Grab your grits and beignets, pianist/vocalist Henry Butler brings his Jambalya Band to the Dakota. Notes All About Jazz, Butler is arguably the greatest living proponent of the classic New Orleans piano tradition...."
At Studio Z, Steve Kenny's All Originals" series presents the Joan Hutton Project. This ensemble—with leader Joan Hutton (alto and tenor sax, bass clarinet), David Milne (saxophones and flute), Joan Griffith (bass), Jesse Mueller (piano), and Jendeen Forberg (drums)—will perform original compositions from the leader as well as from other members of the band.
Saturday, September 2. Two bands known for pushing the sonic envelope are on the schedule for Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog: The John Devine Quartet opens, followed by the Cartwright, King, Granowski Trio— that's George on sax, Dave on drums, and Josh on bass.
At the Dakota, it's half of Moore By Four as Ginger Commodore and Dennis Spears go voice to voice. They've always been an elegant (and fun) duo.
Tuesday, September 5. Piano rules at Vieux Carre', with Steven Hobert opening the evening solo, followed by the always entertaining Travis Anderson Trio, with Steve Pikal on bass and Nathan Norman on drums. And it is First Tuesday, which means Davu Seruand Dean Magraw at the Black Dog, and the Bill Simenson Orchestra at Jazz Central.
Wednesday, September 6. Steven Hobert is on the bandstand at Jazz Central with his own quartet — Pete Whitman, Yohannes Tona, Arthur LA" Buckner. At the Minneapolis Woman's Club, first Wednesdays features Connie Evingson's Jazz in the Lounge," tonight featuring the revered vocalist with a TBA band, usually that includes saxophonist Dave Karr.
Thursday, September 7. Brazilian pianist, vocalist and composer Eliane Elias returns to the Dakota, while at Khyber Pass, the third Pool Party" random ensemble cuts loose with Davu Seru on percussion, Benjamin Mansavage Klein on tuba, and Laura Harada on violin.
Friday, September 8. The Master's series at Jazz Central features a septet led by saxmen Joe Mayo and Dave Brattain, and featuring trumpeter Geoff Senn. At Crooners Lounge, three of the best voices in the region— Bruce Henry, Debbie Duncan and Gwen Matthews.
Saturday, September 9. Until a few years ago, Snowblind was one of the most popular brass ensembles in the metro, featuring young stars on the rise. They've been pretty silent for a while, making their headline appearance on Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog a welcome event. And those young stars on the rise? They have risen to the top of the local jazz food chain— Adam Rossmiller, Scott Agster and Shilad Sen on horns, Graydon Peterson (bass) and Reid Kennedy (drums) holding it all together.
At the Aster, enjoy bassist/vocalist Kate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows for an evening of swinging fun.
Monday, September 11. Expect nothing but pure pleasure as vocalist Charmin Michelle joins guitarist Sam Miltich in the Dunsmore Room to present the music of Billie Holiday. Tuesday, September 12. After their successful CD release last spring, Red Planet and Bill Carrothers (Dean Magraw, Chris Bates, Jay Epstein) return to the Dunsmore Room for a few more exhilarating orbits.
Tuesday-Wednesday, September 12-13. Multi-Grammy nominee, fusion guitarist Mike Stern has been affiliated with Blood, Sweat and Tears, Miles Davis, David Sanborn, Michael Brecker and more. He's back at the Dakota with a fierce quartet featuring Randy Brecker, Tom Kennedy, and Dennis Chambers.
Thursday, September 14. Trumpeter John Raymond recently relocated from New York to Indiana University, which should mean more appearances in his home town. He's on tour with his blazing trio Real Feels (Gilad Hekselman and Colin Stranahan), stopping tonight at Vieux Carre'.
Tuesday, September 19. Arne Fogel and Maud Hixson are in the Dunsmore Room tonight to reprise one of their most popular shows, The Crosby-Clooney Story." Enjoy it again or for the first time in one of the most intimate music settings in the metro.
Wednesday, September 20. Considered a pioneer in jazz vocal innovation, Jay Clayton makes a rare appearance in the Twin Cities, in the Dunsmore Room with local favorite Phil Aaron manning the keys. Jay will be mining the gems of the Harry Warren Songbook." Reserve early as this show will likely fill up with area vocalists.
At Jazz Central, innovators from Chicago, cellist Tomeka Reid and saxophonist Nick Mazzarella perform in duo on the new music series curated by Jon Morgan.
Sunday, September 24. Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra return to Orchestra Hall (co-sponsored by the Dakota). Across the north Metro, popular clarinetist and New Orleans' ambassador Evan Christopher performs in the Dunsmore Room.
Monday, September 25. Is That All There Is" (Music of Peggy Lee) is presented at The Guthrie by local headliners The New Standards, along with renowned vocalists Catherine Russell and Nellie McKay.
Friday, September 29. There was lots of buzz a few months ago when The Bad Plus announced there would be a personnel change after more than 15 years—pianist Ethan Iverson would be leaving at the end of 2017, to be replaced by Orrin Evans. But before the transition, TBP will perform twice in the Twin Cities—their annual holiday show in late December, and this evening's special gig with guitarist Bill Frisellin the McGuire Theater at Walker Art Center, part of the Walker's always stunning Performance Series.
Saturday-Sunday, September 30-October 1. The Capri Legends Series presents Bacharach: All Saxed Up," featuring vocalists Patty Peterson and Cookie Coleman, along with saxy lady Kathy Jensen. It's always a treat to hear any of these artists, but Coleman has kept a low profile lately, and Kathy J is rarely heard outside of her stints with JazzMN and New Power Generation. (Saturday evening, Sunday matinee).