Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog Presents Youth Showcase, Chris Bates Red 5 on January 21

JazzINK Youth Showcase: Simon Petrick/Adam Astrup Quartet (7 pm)
Adam Astrup © Andrea Canter
The monthly JazzINK Youth Showcase typically presents high school ensembles, with occasional performances from college student artists.  
Chris Bates’ Red 5 (8:30 pm)
Chris Bates’ Red 5 at the Black Dog © Andrea Canter
Chris Bates launched Red 5 in 2012 via a series of “open sessions” at Jazz Central Studios, bringing original compositions to the band to test drive and tweak before live audiences before heading into the studio to record New Hope. He was a member of Motion Poets and has worked with a variety of Latin, electronic, and experimental ensembles, including Bryan Nichols’ Quintet and Trio, Chris Bates’ Red Five, Fat Kid Wednesdays, the Zacc Harris Group, The Pines, and his own organ trio, Grain. He began bass lessons in 4th grade and progressed to jazz studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire before returning to the Twin Cities to study with Anthony Cox. He recently released an album of eight original compositions (Divide Avenue), featuring a strong cast of metro musicians. Over his career, he has played with Mose Allison, Lee Konitz, Joe Lovano, Steven Bernstein, Howard Levy, Michael Attias, Ira Sullivan, Bill Carrothers, Eric Alexander, Ari Hoenig and Tim Sparks, among others. Thomas Nordlund © Andrea Canter
Twin Cities guitarist Thomas Nordlund earned a BA in Guitar Performance at the University of Minnesota-Morris and a certificate in Jazz Studies from the Universit of Auckland, NZ. Living in New York for the past sixteen years, JC’s compositions have been performed by leading artists such as John Abercrombie and Dave Liebman, and he has built a reputation as conductor of large ensembles including the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, Alan Ferber Nonet, Alice Coltrane Orchestra and his own JC Sanford Orchestra. “It’s a challenge to bring together the most sought after players on the Twin Cities creative music scene.”   Perhaps adding to the challenge as well as the sound, Red 5 recently expanded to a with the addition of guitarist Thomas Nordlund; Jake Baldwin has been heard on trumpet in place of busy Lozier, and taking things yet another step beyond, the performance at the Black Dog adds New York transplant JC Sanford on trombone. Chris Thomson
Saxophonist/composer Chris Thomson attended the U of M and Lawrence Conservatory, toured with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and has appeared with Delfeayo Marsalis in addition to local collaborations with the New Standards, Anthony Cox, Dosh, Chris Morrissey, Dave King, Bryan Nichols, Michael Lewis, Adam Linz, Adam Levey, Kelly Rossum and more. Over its first two seasons, Brandon has performed on the Jazz in the Target Atrium Series at Orchestra Hall as part of the Atrium Jazz Ensemble, led by Jeremy Walker. No cover but donations to the tip jar ($10 suggested) are appreciated to support the series and the musicians. JC recently returned to Northfield, in time to celebrate the release of his new quartet album, Can You Believe It, which will have its Minnesota release gig on January 23 at the Icehouse, with Zacc Harris, Chris and JT Bates. Chris Bates Red 5 © Andrea Canter
© Andrea Canter
The Saint Paul Winter Carnival gets underway this weekend, and Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog adds to the starpower with a much anticipated return of Chris Bates’ Red Five. Since arriving in the Twin Cities in 2006, he has performed with local bands including Red Five, Dave King Trucking Company, the Bryan Nichols Quintet, Zacc Harris Quartet, and Vector Families; and in varying combinations with Adam Linz, Billy Peterson, Dean Magraw, Kenny Horst, Zacc Harris, Steve Kenny and more. “This ensemble was created to challenge my abilities, to stretch my composing skills and lastly to celebrate the improvisational culture of this geographical area,” notes Chris. JC Sanford
A protégé of legendary composer Bob Brookmeyer, trombonist and Northfield native JC Sanford studied at the University of Northern Iowa and completed graduate studies at the New England Conservatory. In addition to curating his Jazz Implosion series at the Icehouse on Monday nights, JT often appears on the Icehouse stage with such musicians as brother Chris, Dave King, Brandon Wozniak and more. Chris has released two recordings as leader and keeps a busy teaching schedule at the Mainstreet School of Performing Arts in Hopkins, Hamline University and MacPhail Center for Music. He has appeared a number of times on the Black Dog and Reverie stages. Guitarist Adam Astrup is a senior at Ricori High School in Cold Spring, MN, but he has been making the trek to the Twin Cities regularly over the past three years, studying with Zacc Harris and participating (for three years) in the Dakota Combo, a metro-area all-star high school ensemble. This unit was built to celebrate the making of music…We let the moment take us, each show is a unique experience, song to song, set to set, second to second…It’s pure joy…..The smiles on our faces are proof. Jake recently released his first album as leader, Ra Ra Ru and has been on tour with Har Mar Superstar. In addition to leading his own band, Thomas performs regularly with vocalists Sarah Morris and Jana Nyberg, and has performed with Andrew Foreman, Patrick Harison, Adam Meckler, Ben Abrahamson, and other area standouts. He’s also worked as a Program Associate at Walker West. DeCarlo performs with a number of area ensembles including HippoCampus. The early set features the monthly JazzINK Youth Showcase, with the Simon Petrick/Adam Astrup Quintet at 7 pm. After graduating from NEC 2013, Jake moved back to the Twin Cities, initially working for the Harralson Trumpet company while building his creds on the local jazz scene. Trumpeter and bassist DeCarlo Jackson grew up in St Paul and began co-leading bands with older brother Devante as a young teen. The band–original members Chris and JT Bates, saxophonists Brandon Wozniak and Chris Thomson, and trumpeter Zack Lozier– has since performed sporadically on local stages (the Artists Quarter, Icehouse, Studio Z, Black Dog), the long periods between performances reflecting the very busy schedules of the ensemble musicians, each of whom performs with numerous bands in the metro and beyond. An alum of the Dakota Combo, PipJazz Youth, and Walker West ensembles, he attended the University of Manitoba before moving back to Minnesota, where he now studies at McNally Smith. JT Bates © Andrea Canter
J.T. The Simon Petrick/Adam Astrup Quintet finds the younger artists, both high school seniors, leading an ensemble with three of the busiest college musicians in the Metro, DeCarlo Jackson, Levi Schwartzberg and Drew Stinson. A graduate of Minneapolis Southwest High School, Levi performed in the Dakota Combo for two years. “The nature of running your own band filled with your favorite musicians means you are at the mercy of fate in trying to schedule around 5 people in high demand,” notes Bates. He often lends his compositions to the many ensembles that he juggles throughout his busy performance schedule. “This is not a safe band….we fly at the edge of our seat at all times, we are consistently challenging each other rhythmically, harmonically and spiritually to push past preconceived notions of jazz. With fellow guitarist Will Schmid, he performed in duo at the 2016 Winter Jazz Festival, again at the summer festival, and at the 2016 Iowa City Jazz Festival, coleading a quartet as well as performing in the guitar duo and Dakota Combo. The album pleased audiences and critics alike, the only jazz release in the top 20 choices of Star Tribune critics for 2012. In addition to his local ensemble work (Atlantis Quartet, Red Planet, How Birds Work, Klezmerica, Enormous Quartet, Framework, Leisure Valley, Zacc Harris Group, Dean Granros’ Tall Tales, Bill Simenson Orchestra) and leading Red 5 and the Good Vibes Trio, Chris has played solo concerts using both acoustic and electronic instruments, and appears on over 30 recordings. Drew Stinson © Andrea Canter
Bassist Drew Stinson attends the McNally Smith College of Music. Levi Schwartzberg © Andrea Canter
Vibraphonist/pianist Levi Schwartzberg is a junior Physics major at the U of M and member of the U’s Jazz Ensemble and Combo. In spring 2013, Chris launched a monthly improvisation series at Jazz Central Studios in Minneapolis, “Magica Improvisado.”
Brandon Wozniak © Andrea Canter
Saxman Brandon Wozniak previously lived and worked in New York City, toured with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, and earned his BA from Indiana University under the tutelage of the late David Baker. Those creds have been accumulating, with his own bands at such venues as the Dakota, Artists Quarter, and Jazz Central, and in other bands including the Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra, Chomsky, Thomas Nordlund Group, Endeavors, Cory Healey’s Beautiful Sunshine Band, Ramtrack, and the McNasty Brass Band. Most recently he has been on tour with Bon Iver. Simon previously attended the Mainstreet School of Performing Arts in Hopkins. There is a great deal of love and respect on the bandstand and we really want our audience to participate in this…’s a community vibe!”
Chris Bates © Andrea Canter
Chris Bates and his brother, drummer JT, grew up with jazz, sons of trumpeter/bandleader Don Bates. Jake Baldwin © Andrea Canter
A 2009 graduate of Minnetonka High School and alum of the second and third editions of the Dakota Combo (2007-09), trumpeter Jake Baldwin studied with Jerry Bergonzi, Bob Moses, John McNeil, Joe Morris and Fred Hersch at the New England Conservatory, and was one of three finalists in the 2011 International Trumpet Guild Solo Competition; a year later he was runner-up in the jazz division of the National Trumpet Competition. He’s been heard on stages throughout the metro including the 318, Reverie and Black Dog. Full bar and kitchen at the Black Dog.  
The Black Dog is located at 308 Prince Street in the Northern Warehouse, in St Paul’s Lowertown Arts district, across from CHS Field. He’s currently a member of Sound Skirmish, Adam Linz’s Le Percheron, leads his own bands, and appears with many other area artists. A member of the 1990s ensemble, the Motion Poets, Chris was a 1999 McKnight Composer Fellow and in 2014 was awarded a commission from local new music ensemble Zeitgeist. The Saturday Night Jazz series is curated by Steve Kenny and has been bringing the best in regional jazz to Lowertown for the past 2+ years. Bates is one of the busiest drummers in the Twin Cities, on and off the bandstand. Saturday Night Jazz schedule at; full music and event schedule at   Simon Petrick © Andrea Canter
Drummer Simon Petrick is technically a high school senior but is taking all coursework at the University of Minnesota through Post Secondary Education Options; also through PSEO he participates in U of M Jazz ensembles under Dean Sorenson. He performs with the Julian Manzara Quartet, his own bands and ensembles at McNally Smith, and is a founding member of the quartet Sound Skirmish, recently heard at Reverie.

“Looking North” With Bryan Nichols: Solo Concert, Jazz at Studio Z on January 21

   Studio Z is located at 275 E 4th Street in the Northwestern Building (suite 200), in the St Paul Lowertown Arts District across from Union Depot. The rest of the album is filled by a sampling of the 20 improvisations that evolved in the studio. He’s also backed local singer Connie Evingson and recent New York transplant Nancy Harms. In 2009, he received a grant from the American Composers Forum, and in 2010, a fellowship from the McKnight Foundation. He has also taught at the MacPhail Center for Music, University of Minnesota Morris, and University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. (Hmmm, so there are another 15… perhaps Looking North Again?)
As one hears on the earlier Bright Places as well as in Bryan’s work in small ensembles, his style can be heard as an amalgam of Bill Carrothers, Marilyn Crispell, Fred Hersch, Brad Mehldau, Keith Jarrett, even at times Craig Taborn — and yet not really anyone but Bryan Nichols. Full of ideas to “make something beautiful and new,” Nichols edits well, never working a theme or strategy to death as is too often the case of many young modern artists; most of the tracks on Looking North fall between three and five minutes. Long enough to sustain a trajectory, not so long as to bog down in self-conscious reflection. This is the music I make because I live here — it would be much different if I lived in New York… I am in a position where, whether the people like what I am playing or not, they know that this is the music I wanted to make.”– Bryan Nichols, Star Tribune (5/22/16)
Back in fall 2011, pianist Bryan Nichols performed a rare solo concert in MacPhail’s Antonello Hall, and at the time, he had only recorded his own works in the larger ensemble context of his debut, Bright Places. He did participate in the Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth (MITY) summer jazz program where he worked with veteran piano teacher Denny Malmberg, and after studying genetics in college (“which I’ve done absolutely nothing with, ever”), moved to Chicago where he performed with Corey Wilkes, Maurice Brown, Jeff Parker, Nicole Mitchell, Von Freeman, Ari Brown, Hamid Drake and Ernest Dawkins.  
Looking North (Shifting Paradigms Records, 2016)
Bryan Nichols © Andrea Canter
In the environs of south Minneapolis’ Creation Audio (with the expertise of engineers Steve Wiese and Miles Hanson), Bryan started from a few pre-selected original compositions along with two covers–“Lonesome Tremolo Blues” from the Pines and “Lullaby for Sharks”, written by old friend Dave King for the first Happy Apple album. Bryan Nichols © Andrea Canter
Bryan Nichols studied classical piano with a “neighborhood piano teacher” but came to jazz on his own, developing his skills without formal jazz studies. Following his CD release last spring at the Dakota, Bryan now comes to the Jazz at Studio Z series on Saturday, January 21 (7 pm) to reprise the music of Looking North as well as some new material. Now with his quintet (Bright Places) and solo (Looking North) recordings behind him, he hopes to record with his trio in the near future. Bryan has been a frequent weekend performer in duos at the Icehouse, often with bassist James Buckley, appears with Chris and JT Bates as Nichols/Bates/Bates, and leads his trio, quartet, quintet, and nonet (We Are Many). Perhaps then it was no surprise that his much-anticipated solo album found Bryan Looking North with a stellar and elegant set of mostly original meditations on his life in the Midwest. Over his career, Bryan has appeared at international festivals including Sons d’Hiver (Paris, France) and Kerava Jazz Festival (Kerava, Finland) as well as at local and regional festivals such as the Chicago Jazz Festival, Minnesota Sur Seine Festival and Twin Cities Jazz Festival. And despite his years of success with his own ensembles (trio, quintet, nonet We Are Many), duos with the likes of James Buckley and Tim Sparks, and as featured sideman (Kelly Rossum Quartet, Gang Font, Zacc Harris Quartet), the alum of Betty Carter’s famed Jazz Ahead continues to garner inspiration close to home. See full information about the Jazz at Studio Z concert series at Back in the Twin Cities in 2005 after his residency in Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead program, Bryan quickly became a favorite pianist among the more forwarding-spinning jazz ensembles, working with the Kelly Rossum Quartet, Rossum Electric Company, Rossum’s Nicollet Circus Band, James Buckley Trio, Chris Morrisey Quartet, Zacc Harris Quartet, Off the Map, Gang Font, Todd Clouser, Adam Linz, Dead Man Winter, Mancrush, Atrium Jazz Ensemble, and the Minneapolis/Chicago collective, City of Fiction, and appearing on recordings by James Buckley, Chris Morrisey, Gordon Johnson, Kelly Rossum and Nicole Mitchell. The concert will follow a free “master class” interview with curator Zacc Harris at 6 pm, recorded as part of the Jazz at Studio Z podcast series. (See the full review at
Tickets for Bryan Nichols’ Jazz at Studio Z concert are $15 at the door or $10 in advance; attendees at the free 6 pm master class pay $10 for the concert; Bryan Nichols © Andrea Canter
© Andrea Canter
“The whole record is meant to be a meditation on Minnesota.

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, January 20-26

Big Gigs This Week
Friday, January 20. They’re half of the unique band Lulu’s Playground, but a trumpet/cello duo is unique in its own right, and especially if the musicians are Adam Meckler and Cory Grossman –on stage at Jazz Central. And it’s all a warm-up for the Twin Cities Winter Jazz Festival at the end of the month. Paul’s World of Beer. And if you need to either celebrate or commiserate in response to today’s inauguration, the band Headspace will hold an Inauguration Blowout at St. Chris Bates’ Red 5 at the Black Dog (January 21) © Andrea Canter
© Andrea Canter
Just a week ago it was way below zero; now it’s all melting.   Read More! At the Icehouse, Bryan Nichols and James Buckley provide some pretty sophisticated piano/bass duo music during the dinner hours, while Amethyst Three (Park Evans, Josh Granowski and leader Byron Johnson-Blanchard) add to the spicy menu at Bistro LaRoux. I think some of the credit goes to the hot jazz in the Twin Cities! And it will be hot enough to keep things above freezing as we head into another week filled with great jazz from one end of the metro to the other, from local heroes to visiting artists.

“A Rare Treat”: Laura Caviani and Chris Olson on Jazz Central’s Vocal Jazz Night, January 19

“We go way back,” notes Laura “as we both started teaching at UW–Stevens Point   25 years ago!! Caviani is a veteran of nearly three decades of performing, recording and composing, including appearances with Toots Thielemans, Bob Mintzer, and Dave Liebman, and touring and recording with star vocalist Karrin Allyson. Barneys. Chris Olson and Laura Caviani © Andrea Canter
Both pianist Laura Caviani and guitarist Chris Olson have built reputations as two of the masters of jazz in the Twin Cities and beyond. And more recently she has presented “From Bach to Bop” – jazz arrangements of favorite classical works– at a number of venues including the Artists Quarter, Hopkins Center for the Arts, and Jazz @St. Since earning a master’s degree in jazz studies/performance from the University of North Texas, he’s taught guitar, jazz history and improvisation as well as directing jazz ensembles at UW-Stevens Point (where he earned his undergraduate degree), Wausau Conservatory of Music, UW-Marathon County, and Inver Hills Community College. Chris has performed with Bob Mintzer, Louis Bellson, Terry Gibbs, Ira Sullivan, and Bobby Vinton, and has appeared frequently at the Black Dog, heading his monthly “Chris Olson Project” as well as performing in other ensembles such as Framework. Chris similarly tops the regional field of jazz guitarists, hosts a   long-running monthly gig at the Black Dog, is one-third of the popular trio Framework, and also a veteran educator.  
Jazz Central Studios is located at 407 Central Av SE (Minneapolis), in the lower level. Donations ($10; $5 students with ID) requested to support the venue and performers. In spring 2011, she collaborated with Prudence Johnson, Joan Griffith and other area composers to create “A Girl Named Vincent,” setting the poems of a young Edna St. As a leader she now has five acclaimed recordings to her credit and a long list of supporting roles with local musicians. This is a rare treat!” And it will be a treat as Jazz Central presents this duo on Vocal Jazz Night! Projects include her tributes to Horace Silver, Mary Lou Williams and Thelonious Monk; Soul Café with guitarist Steve Blons and saxman Brad Holden; Pete Whitman’s Xtet; and her cross-genre Alec Wilder project. While both Laura and Chris are well-known instrumentalists, they both sing as well, talents they have seldom displayed until recently. All ages welcome. Laura Caviani © Andrea Canter
Raised in the Midwest where she studied trumpet as well as piano through high school, Laura Caviani received a Bachelor’s of Music in Composition from Lawrence University in Appleton, WI, and a Masters of Music in Improvisation from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. So why is this duo performing on the January 19th installment of Vocal Jazz Night at Jazz Central Studios? Currently on the guitar faculty at McNally/Smith College in St. Full schedule at
  Laura is renowned not only for her keyboard skills but also as a dedicated educator and far-ranging composer. Vincent Millay to music for both live performance and recording.  
Chris Olson © Andrea Canter
Chris Olson is a dedicated jazz educator as well as performer. We will both be singing and playing. Laura currently directs big bands at Carleton College in Northfield and teaches at MacPhail Center for Music, McNally Smith College of Music, and Shell Lakes Arts Center. Paul, he also teaches guitar lessons and jazz combos at the MacPhail Center for Music and summer programs at the Shell Lake (WI) Arts Center; he serves on the Board of the Minnesota Guitar Society. Laura made her debut as a vocalist a few years ago at Jazz Central. This nonprofit performance and teaching space presents music at least five nights per week, with Vocal Jazz Night every Thursday at 8 pm. Laura Caviani © Andrea Canter
Laura’s latest releases include Sambanova (with Joan Griffith), mostly original works drawing from the traditions of Brazil; another set of Brazilian influenced songs, Circle of the Dance; and a 2013 remake of a holiday album, Holly, Jolly and Jazzy with Gordy Johnson and Joe Pulice. And yes, they do plan to sing– both of them!

Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie Presents the Peter Vircks Quartet, January 19

Peter Vircks © Andrea Canter
Among his many genre-bending projects, Peter Vircks co-founded Moveable Feast in 1999, dubbed by City Pages as the “Best Electro/Jazz/Funk/Hip-Hop Hybrid” of 2002. He also appeared on soul legend Alexander O’Neal’s Live in Minneapolis DVD (2011). Raised in Detroit, the son of jazz artists/teachers Faye and Donald Washington moved with his family to the Twin Cities at age 13, and quickly became part of the local music community, spreading his talents across jazz, Latin, reggae and funk bands. Reverie features a unique vegan menu and bar. No cover but tip jar donations appreciated to support the musicians and the series. After a few years in New York attending the New School and gigging with Chico Freeman, Arnie Lawrence, Antonio Hart and James Carter, Kevin returned to the Twin Cities where he has been in high demand to support national touring artists and playing with Moveable Feast, Doug Little, the Heptones, Nachito Herrera, Bruce Henry, Andres Prado, and Mississippi, as well as leading his own bands and teaching at area music schools and jazz camps. The music, like Vircks career in general, brings together elements of R&B, funk, and rock in an improvisational framework that instantly has broad appeal, often-danceable rhythms, yet an underlying modern jazz sensibility and serious intention. His 2014 quartet release, What You Believe Is True, was funded in part by the Subito Grant and features original Vircks compositions on eight of the nine tracks. Peter Vircks © Andrea Canter
The Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie series features the Peter Vircks Quartet (with Brian Ziemniak, Ron Evaniuk, Kevin Washington) on January 19. Jazz schedule at Brian has toured with star-studded funk group FDeluxe and with popular Dutch saxophonist Candy Dulfer. Ron Evaniuk © Andrea Canter
Originally from the Detroit area, Ron (Roman) Evaniuk   studied cello with Leonard Rose prodigy Robert Newkirk at   the Cleveland Institute of Music. Their latest release, What You Believe Is True, landed on many local “best of the year lists” for 2014. Ron has performed with Bill Carrothers, the American Classic Jazz Orchestra, Eric Gravatt’s Source Code, the JazzMN Orchestra, the late Gene Adams, and saxophonists Joe Ford and Andrew White. Around the Twin Cities, Brian performs with numerous bands and a wide range of artists, including vocalists Fred Steele and Bruce Henry, rock group Vintage Raggs, and jazz ensembles, the Yohannes Tona Band and Kevin Washington Quartet, in addition to fronting his own organ trio, BZ3. Kevin Washington © Andrea Canter
Despite his mere four decades on Earth, drummer Kevin Washington already has nearly three decades of professional experience, from stages in Detroit to New York to the Twin Cities.  
Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie takes place weekly at the Reverier Bar and Cafe at 1931 Nicollet Ave South (at Franklin) in south Minneapolis.   He teaches and performs on acoustic bass, electric bass, and cello. Since summer 2010, he’s been performing and writing for Rhythmic Circus’ touring production of   Feet Don’t Fail Me Now!, which was named an Artist of the Year   in 2011 by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, awarded two Sage awards, and voted “Best of the Twin Cities” by City Pages. Ron also recorded with Harry Chapin on the album On the Road to Kingdom Come.   The show opened off Broadway in the historic New Victory Theater in November 2013, and was performed at the annual APAP Conference in Manhattan earlier this month. Peter has also performed and/or recorded with such stars as Grammy Award winner Jennifer Holliday, Erick Kamau Gravatt (Weather Report, Source Code), the Yohannes Tona Band, Kevin Washington Quintet, Nachito Herrera, The Horn Heads, vocalist Bruce Henry,   gospel phenomenon Robert Robinson, Katz and Dogs, President Flow (with fellow saxophonist Joe Mayo), and a relatively new project of funky soul, Midnight Love. In the jazz world he has performed with Kneebody saxophonist Ben Wendel, pyrotechnic violinist Christian Howes, and noted avant garde clarinetist Jean-Brice Godet. In 2004, Peter attended the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, and in 2007 received an American Composers Forum Subito Grant. Brian Ziemniak © Andrea Canter
Brian Ziemniak is one of the Twin Cities’ most versatile pianists.

Roy Hargrove Quintet with Roberta Gambarini at the Dakota, January 18-19

Roberta performed at the 2016 Detroit Jazz Festival with legendary saxophonist Jimmy Heath. The Roy Hargrove Quintet released Nothing Serious on Verve in 2006 and the aptly titled Ear Food in 2008. NPR stated that   “when he’s on the road touring with his quintet, he’s treating audiences to some of the greatest, hardest-swinging bebop in the world.” And as noted by Christopher Jones following a Hargrove Quintet performance in Seattle, this is “straightforward, no-nonsense modern jazz…with integrity and conviction.” Hargrove brings that conviction – along with his quintet—to the Dakota in Minneapolis for his annual engagement, January 18-19, with very special guest, multi-Grammy-nominated vocalist Roberta Gambarini. Her success in reinterpreting the great solos of Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Stitt and Sonny Rollins on her Grammy-nominated debut, Easy to Love (2006), prompted the late Hank Jones (her pianist on the album) to proclaim her as the “best new jazz vocalist to come along in 50 years.”
Within three years, Roberta released two more highly regarded recordings, 2008’s You Are There (again with the great Hank Jones), and 2009’s So in Love, doubling as arranger in the company of some of today’s leading instrumentalists, and garnering another Grammy nomination. Roy Hargrove © Andrea Canter
Inspired by gospel, R&B and funk while growing up in Waco, Texas, Roy Hargrove was a trumpet prodigy, already working with Frank Morgan and “discovered” by Wynton Marsalis before he finished high school at the Booker T. She was awarded the 2009 Grand Prix du Jazz Vocal (France). In addition to the funky RH Factor, he has explored Afro Cuban rhythms, pop, and, above all, eclectic, straight ahead jazz, in the highly acclaimed company of Herbie Hancock, Michael Brecker, and the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Band, as well as with his own Quintet. She began clarinet studies at age 12, making her debut as a vocalist at 17 in area jazz clubs. Washington School for the Performing Arts in Dallas. Roy has received two Grammy Awards to date: His Cuban-based band Crisol (with piano legend Jesus “Chucho” Valdes and drummer Horatio “El Negro” Hernandez) won the Best Latin Jazz Performance Grammy in 1997, and Directions in Music (with Herbie Hancock and Michael Brecker) won Best Instrumental Jazz Album in 2002.  
The Dakota is located at 1010 Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. Despite his apparently hiatus from recording his own bands, Hargrove has been busy recording with the likes of Marcus Miller, Angelique Kidjo, Cyrille Aimee and D’Angelo.  
Roberta Gambarini © Andrea Canter
A native of Turin, Italy, Roberta Gambarini grew up listening to music and her father’s saxophone. His current quintet   embodies all of the elements that make live jazz live and irreplaceable regardless of technology—they play in the moment, and each moment as if it was the only moment in time. After finishing third (to the late Teri Thornton and runner-up Jane Monheit) in the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocal Competition only a few weeks later, she began to get more attention, passed on further studies at NEC and relocated to New York where she became a protégé of Benny Carter and later James Moody. Roberta also appeared on two big band releases in 2009, Roy Hargrove’s Emergence (Groovin’ High/Emarcy) and I’m BeBoppin’ Too (Half Note Records) with the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band. At 47, his output as a recording artist (14 sessions as leader) is almost as remarkable as his chops. She went on to perform with such established artists as James Moody, David Fathead Newman, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Russell Malone, Michael Brecker, Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove and more. In 2009, Roy gathered a big band for the highly praised Emergence   (Groovin High), his most recent release. For a number of years, the Roy Hargrove Quintet has included Justin Robinson (reeds), Sullivan Fortner (piano),   Ameen Saleem   (bass) and Quincy Phillips (drums), a high energy, interactive, soulful collaboration. Later he dropped his studies at Berklee in Boston to move to New York, enroll at the New School, and concentrate on his career as leader, sideman and major label recording artist. Two sets per night at 7 and 9:00 pm; She gained further experience and acclaim after moving to Milan, then relocated to Boston to attend the New England Conservatory of Music in 1998. Hargrove is one of the all-too-rare jazz artists of his generation who never fails to deliver the goods at full throttle, regardless of the audience or venue. She was in fact named after the Jerome Kern song “Roberta.” Her parents took her to see visiting American jazz artists and she heard their records of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker and more. His fusiony project, RH Factor, created a lot of buzz by merging R&B and hip-hop mainstream with jazz, but his efforts with his renowned quintet are decidedly more Dizzy than Ice-T. In 2004 she began a stint with the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Alumni Big Band Band, and within two more years was touring with her own trio. Roy Hargrove © Andrea Canter
“His contributions help tie jazz to hip-hop and R&B, reinforcing the perception that jazz is, perhaps, America’s last truly adventurous musical genre, one capable of addressing what is transpiring in the present while also honoring what has come before.” –Preston Jones, Observer
Roy Hargrove © Andrea Canter
After Wynton Marsalis, Roy Hargrove is probably the best known trumpeter on the planet today.

Chris Bates Quartet Night at Jazz Central, January 11

in Guitar Performance from the University of Minnesota-Morris and studied with Roger Brotherhood, Jaime Guiscafre, and Tim Sparks. He relocated to New York in 2000 where he became involved with the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, where he was trombonist with the BMI/New York Jazz Orchestra until 2016. He shares a recent McKnight Award with his cohorts in the Atlantis Quartet. After earning his BA at the University of Northrn Iowa, JC went on to the New England Conservatory where he earned at DMA in Jazz Studies. He composes and arranges for solo guitar and small ensembles, drawing on jazz, classical, folk, ambient, and acoustic fingerstyle traditions. Noted Richard Brody in The New Yorker, “In free rhythm, his shimmering cymbals recall Sunny Murray’s work with Ayler; the tom-tom groove is like the one Ed Blackwell got with Coleman; and, when he plays on an ethereally introverted modernistic piece, he sounds like a one-man Art Ensemble of Chicago, ready to use anything for the right sound—chopsticks, chains, his hands, and even the nub of a drumstick, which he rubs on cymbals to make them whisper as if butterflies were beating their wings upon them.”
Put on your improvising ears and come down (to the basement!) to Jazz Central Studios for some new music magic. Chris Bates © Andrea Canter
Jazz Central Studios in Minneapolis has been an incubation chamber for modern jazz artists since its founding in 2010. Wednesday nights in particular have been reserved for talented improvisers and composers under the guidance of a revolving cast of artist/curators, including bassist Chris Bates. Full schedule at   Hear more of Chris Bates performing the music of Horace Silver with Doug Haining at Jazz Central on January 13, and with the Solomon Parham Quintet at the Black Dog on Saturday, January 14. About a year ago, JT launched a new project, a B-3 organ trio dubbed Grain. He was one of four jazz artists to be awarded a composition commission from Zeitgeist, which was premiered at the 2014 Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Thomas Nordlund © Andrea Canter
Guitarist and composer Thomas Nordlund holds a B.A. JT Bates © Andrea Canter
Jazz Central Studios is located at 407 Central Av SE in Minneapolis. In addition to performing as a solo artist, he is an active sideman with Chris Bates (Red 5), Sarah Morris, the Jana Nyberg Group, Moon and Pollution, Gesualdo, Andrew Foreman, and the Byron Johnson-Blanchard Quartet, and has performed at venues throughout the Midwest including the Dakota, Artist’s Quarter, Aster Cafe, 331 Club, Red Stag, Barbette, and Honey. His 2017 JC4 release Can You Believe It was just celebrated in New York at Shapeshifter Lab, and will hold its Minnesota release at the Icehouse on January 23 with Sanford, Zacc Harris, Chris Bates and JT Bates. In addition to curating his Jazz Implosion series on Monday nights at the Icehouse, JT often appears on the Icehouse stage with such musicians as brother Chris, Dave King, Brandon Wozniak and more. He was a member of Motion Poets and has worked with a variety of Latin, electronic, and experimental ensembles, including Bryan Nichols’ Quintet and Trio, Chris Bates’ Red Five, Fat Kid Wednesdays, the Zacc Harris Group, and The Pines. He’s led his quartet, JC4 and the improvisational trio Triocracy. Bates is one of the busiest drummers in the Twin Cities, on and off the bandstand. His monthly “Magica Improvisada” series continues on January 11 (8:30 pm) with a newly assembled quartet with guitarist Thomas Nordlund, brother and drummer JT Bates, and New York transplant trombonist JC Sanford. JC Sanford
Trombonist JC Sanford has spent much of his career conducting the bands of Alice Coltrane, John Hollenbeck, Joel Harrison, Alan Ferber and more. A nonprofit venue for performance and education, Jazz Central requests a $10 donation to support the artists and venue. Chris studied at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire and later with Anthony Cox, was an original member of the Motion Poets, and a 1999 McKnight Composer Fellow. Chris Bates © Andrea Canter
Chris Bates is well known locally for his affiliations with the Atlantis Quartet, Red Planet, Volcano Insurance, Framework, How Birds Work, Tall Tales, Leisure Valley, Pushing Chain, Bill Simenson Orchestra, Adam Meckler Orchestra, and many other cutting edge ensembles in addition to his own bands, the Good Vibes Trio and Red Five, both of which released debut albums in the past few years. He recently revived another vibes trio, Low Blows, launched a trio with Joe Strachan and Matt Buckner (now Miguel Hurtado), and curates a monthly improvisation series at Jazz Central, one Wednesday night per month. When not conducting, he’s been busy composing and arranging for his own ensembles, and curating Size Matters (large ensembles series in the Tea Lounge in Brooklyn).

Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie: Double-Header With Julian Manzara, Aaron Hedenstrom on January 12

Kameron Markworth
Bassist, composer, and teaching artist   Kameron L. Paul. Drew Stinson   studies bass McNally Smith College of Music. A graduate of the Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth and Minnesota Youth Jazz Band, Aaron attended the jazz program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, performing in the pop/rock band Underdub and with the John Raymond Project. No cover but tips appreciated ($10 suggested) to support the musicians and the weekly series. Locally, he performs in multiple groups, and recently played drums in a production of   The Buddy Holly Story.   He also performed as a freelancer in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metro area before returning to the Twin Cities in 2015. Paul, MN who received his degree in Percussion Performance from McNally Smith College of Music in 2014. Geo has performed in New York City, Denver, Green Bay, Nashville, and beyond. Aaron has released two recordings to date:   A Symphonic Jazz Hip Hop Experience   was the tantalizing title of his debut recording with his Aaron Hedenstrom Orchestra, released in 2010, bringing together a long list of young area musicians. He returned to the Twin Cities to finish his degree (in Guitar Performance) at McNally Smith College of Music, and currently performs, composes and is developing a home recording studio. Larson earned his Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana), where he studied with renowned drummer Dana Hall. As a performer, Kameron has supported artists in diverse genres across North America and has appeared on stage alongside John Swana, Jamey Aebersold, Steve Houghton, Corey Christiansen, Pat Harbison, Mike Hackett, and Luke Gillespie. Levi Schwartzberg © Andrea Canter
Levi Schwartzberg, another Minneapolis native, is in his third year at the University of Minnesota where he is majoring in physics and playing keyboards and vibraphone in U of M jazz ensembles. Full jazz schedule at
  In addition to his college bands, Levi plays in a wide variety of local groups, including Sound Skirmish, Adam Linz’s Le Percheron, Central Standard Time, and Davu Seru’s No Territory Band, along with his own ensembles. Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie Presents Julian Manzara and Aaron Hedenstrom
The usual format for the Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie series has been pretty simple — one band at 9 pm. About two years ago, he opened an evening at the Black Dog with the debut of Ramtrack, a trio with guitarist Nordlund and trumpeter Jake Baldwin.   After graduation, Aaron moved on to the master’s degree and then the doctoral programs at the University of North Texas, serving as a Teaching Fellow, performing in the famed One O’Clock Lab Band, and accumulating a long list of Downbeat Student Awards. He’s appeared at the Black Dog with Paul Harper’s Bardo Quartet and Steve Kenny’s Central Standard Time, and at Reverie with the Lars-Erik Larson Trio. Markworth   is a graduate of Indiana University, Augsburg College, and McNally Smith College of Music, currently teaching Jazz History at Augsburg.  
Aaron Hedenstrom Trio
Aaron Hedenstrom © Andrea Canter
Born in Lesotho (Africa) and raised in the Twin Cities, saxophonist Aaron Hedenstrom performs with his trio featuring bassist Kameron Markworth and drummer Lars-Erik Larson. A Minneapolis native, Julian studied at the Berklee College of Music before heading out on tour with the rock band The Lone Crows. Baker. He previously served as an Associate Instructor at Indiana University in the Jazz Studies department under the direction of the late Dr. David N. Lars maybe best known as the leader of   Mancrush, with Bryan Nichols, Brandon Wozniak, and Zacc Harris. Mancrush released its first album this spring,   Authentic Midwestern, boasting Larson’s penchant for melding the influences of folk music and modern minimalism with 21st century jazz improvisation. In addition to playing bass for the Julian Manzara Quartet, Drew is a founding member of Sound Skirmish, a quartet with Patrick Adkins, Levi Schwartzberg and Ben Ehrlich recently heard on the Jazz Central stage. Lars-Erik Larson © Andrea Canter
Lars-Erik Larson   is a drummer and composer based in St. He formed the quartet as an outlet for his original, wide-ranging compositions about one year ago, and has brought the ensemble to Jazz Central, Black Dog and Reverie.  
Julian Manzara Quartet
Julian Manzara
Guitarist and composer Julian Manzara leads a quartet of Young Lions–Levi Schwartzberg on keys, Drew Stinson on bass and Geo Randall on drums.  
Reverie Bar and Cafe is located at 1931 Nicollet, at the corner of Nicollet and Franklin on the near southside of Minneapolis. Supported through a successful Kickstarter campaign, he released   A Moment of Clarity on   Shifting Paradigm Records in 2014. He has performed at top-tier music venues and festivals nationwide including the Dakota Jazz Club, Snug Harbor, Scat Jazz Lounge, Next Generation Jazz Festival, and the Eau Claire Jazz Festivals. Curator Steve Kenny expands that format this week, presenting two bands back to back: The Julian Manzara Quartet at 9 pm, followed by the Aaron Hedenstrom Trio at approximately 10:30 pm. After completing his degree in 2012, he moved to the Twin Cities where he has played with many local bands, including the No Coast Quintet, Zacc Harris Trio, the Thomas Nordlund Group, Bryan Nichols Trio and more. Geo (Geoffrey) Randall   is a young and upcoming drummer living in St.

Andrew Walesch Big Band Celebrates Sinatra at Crooners, January 12

Andrew Walesch © Andrea Canter
Whether recording jingles, producing shows, composing and arranging, or singing as a solo artist and with big bands all over the country, Andrew Walesch is known for his unique approach to   The Great American Songbook. John’s University in Collegeville, MN, he has sung and played on the stage of The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville and the legendary Chicago Theater, and has appeared on the nationally syndicated broadcast, Mountain Stage,   on NPR. Tickets $10; full bar and dining service available. Andrew Walesch and his Big Band © Andrea Canter
Still in his late 20s, singer/pianist/bandleader Andrew Walesch has become a major player on the Twin Cities Jazz Scene in very short order. His Andrew Walesch Plus Nine was recorded at MPR’s Studio M and released in fall 2015. On Thursday, January 12, 7:30 pm, Walesch brings Sinatra back to Crooners. Walesch regularly appears with his trio and quartet, curates jazz at Crooners Lounge (including the intimate Dunsmore Room), and has drawn sell-out crowds to “100 Years of Sinatra” tribute with his big band.  
Crooners Lounge is located at 6161 Highway 65 NE (Central AV NE) in Fridley, just north of I-694 and about 20 minutes north of downtown Minneapolis. Andrew Walesch Big Band © Andrea Canter
Rather than channeling Sinatra, Walesch offers his own jazz interpretations of the Sinatra Songbook in “100 Years of Sinatra,” a production enhanced by his Big Band, which includes some of the area’s finest jazz musicians from all generations:   Bob Parsons (alto sax/flute/arranger), Dave Karr (tenor sax), Bruce Thornton (baritone sax/bass clarinet), Mark Bobnick (trumpet), Steve Wagner (trumpet), Dave Graf (trombone), Gary Raynor (bass), Geoff LeCrone (guitar), and Jay Epstein (drums). Reservations highly recommended. A 2010 graduate of St. In March of 2015, he premiered his highly successful conception, “100 Years of Sinatra,” to two sold-out audiences at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres in the Twin Cities with the Andrew Walesch Big Band, and has since performed the show at Crooners, the Dakota, and back at Chanhassan.

Jazz Central All Stars Celebrate Horace Silver, January 13

Joining saxophonist Haining will be Steve Kenny on trumpet, Ted Godbout on piano, Chris Bates on bass and Jazz Central director Mac Santiago on drums. Among many projects, he has performed with What Would Monk Do, the Cedar Avenue Big Band, and Larry McDonough’s quintet (tribute to Chet Baker) as well as leading several editions of his own quartet. With support from a state arts board grant, he curated the ten-week “All Originals” jazz series at Studio Z for two summer seasons, continuing with a shortened schedule in summer 2016. Full schedule at
  He founded the Explosion Big Band with Scott Agster in 2012. A versatile and active musician, Ted performs frequently as a jazz pianist and classical accompanist, as well as in funk, R&B, and rock bands. It gets in your blood easily; you can comprehend it easily. Chris studied at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire and later with Anthony Cox, was an original member of the Motion Poets, and a 1999 McKnight Composer Fellow. John’s University and an M.M. Horace Silver (credit unknown, All About Jazz)
Have no fear of Friday the 13th — at least not at Jazz Central Studios. He’s also known as co-founder of the Illicit Sextet, an ensemble popular in the 1990s before taking a long hiatus, and back in action for the past six years. “I often teach his compositions to my piano students who may not be familiar with jazz yet, as they lay really well on the piano, and have strong blues and gospel roots.”
Jazz Central All Stars
Doug Haining © Andrea Canter
Saxophonist/clarinetist Doug Haining is well known throughout the metro area for his swinging contributions to a long list of ensembles, as well as leading the Explosion Big Band with Scott Agster (performing monthly at Jazz Central), and leader of his popular smaller band, the Twin Cities Seven. Mac is author of   Beyond the Metronome, a text for both student and experienced musicians. Showtime 8-10 pm. “Horace Silver’s melodies are often fun and singable,” she told Jazz Police. In fall 2014 he launched the weekly Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog series, and in spring 2015, brought a similar series (Friday Night Jazz) to The Nicollet, recently rebranded and rescheduled as Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie. Soon he was playing at the Blue Note, and became a long-time recording artist for Blue Note Records, performing and recording with Getz, Lester Young, Miles Davis and Art Blakey. In addition to his long tenure with the Wolverines Classic Jazz Orchestra, he has played short stints with Red Wolfe’s Ellington Echoes and the Hall Brothers. After graduating from Idaho State University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Music, he toured for a few years before moving to the Twin Cities in 1983. Donation of $10 requested to support the venue and musicians.  
Jazz Central Studios is a nonprofit music and education space located at 407 Central SE in Minneapolis. It’s very rooted, very soulful.” Twin Cities pianist/educator Laura Caviani also regards Silver as a favorite. More recently Doug has been a member of the BellaGala Big Band and the ensembles Three Flights Up and Corner Jazz; he is often heard in local pit orchestras and performed in the recent production of The Soul of Gershwin at Park Square Theater. It sticks to the memory; it’s very singable. Steve Kenny © Andrea Canter
Steve Kenny studied at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. “Discovered” by Stan Getz, Silver moved to New York in the 1950s where he switched his focus to piano. Mac Santiago © Andrea Canter
Drummer   Mac Santiago   is a familiar figure to Twin Cities jazz audiences as well as musicians. He recently revived another vibes trio, Low Blows, launched a trio with Joe Strachan and Matt Buckner (now with Miguel Hurtado), and curates a monthly improvisation series at Jazz Central, one Wednesday night per month. A graduate of the music program at St. It’s a FLUMPET™– a hybrid trumpet/flugelhorn.  
Horace Silver (1928-2014)
Horace Silver © Alan Nahigian
Considered the founder of “hard bop” –melding jazz, R&B and gospel, Horace Silver started out on tenor saxophone, playing in clubs in his native Connecticut. And that instrument he plays? His resume includes performing with Steve Allen, Don Rickles, Bob Hope and more, and with the orchestras for such touring shows as West Side Story, Cats, and A Chorus Line. Olaf College, where he studied classical clarinet, Haining has performed professionally for nearly 40 years. As a composer, he devised numerous jazz standards still played today.”
Bassist Christian McBride regarded Silver as favorite, telling NPR that “Horace Silver’s music has always represented what jazz musicians preach but don’t necessarily practice, and that’s simplicity. Currently on faculty at Chaska Music Studios and Augsburg College, Ted leads his own trio and appears regularly with PaviElle, Katia Cardenas, BDP, Nick Syman, and the Bill Simenson Orchestra. He holds a B.A. Steve has received a Minnesota Music Award, West Bank School of Music Jazz Composer award, and multiple honors as Best Jazz Trumpet at the Eau Claire Jazz Festival. He was one of four jazz artists to be awarded a composition commission from Zeitgeist, which was premiered at the 2014 Twin Cities Jazz Festival, and with Atlantis Quartet, shares a recent McKnight grant. in Jazz Studies from the University of Oregon. Led by Doug Haining, the Jazz Central All Stars salute the great pianist and composer, Horace Silver. With pianist Tanner Taylor, Mac established Jazz Central Studios in Minneapolis in 2010, a nonprofit setting for teaching, recording, and performing. Doug   founded the Twin Cities Seven in 1999, for which he writes compositions and arrangements. A native of California and son of the late percussionist Luis Santiago, he has been playing music professionally since age 16. Bassist Chris Bates is one of the area’s busiest artists, performing with the Atlantis Quartet, Red Planet, Framework, Leisure Valley, How Birds Work, Tall Tales, Bill Simenson Orchestra, Adam Meckler Orchestra, and many other cutting edge ensembles in addition to his own Good Vibes Trio and Red 5. Over his career, Mac has played in just about every possible configuration and genre, from touring with British rock band Badfinger to playing with area jazz, salsa, country and R&B bands; he’s performed in pit orchestras of the Guthrie and Minnesota Opera, with blues legend Mojo Buford, Grover Washington, Jr., Doc Severinsen, Dallas Brass, Savion Glover, Jack McDuff, Paul Bollenback, Dick Oatts and more. Ted also serves as Director of Music at Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church in Chaska, MN. On All Things Considered (NPR),
Walter Ray Watson said, “As a bandleader, Horace Silver mentored some of the hottest musicians of his era. He’s often on the bandstand backing veterans and newcomers alike, and co-leads the Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra. He has performed with such notable artists and groups as Ron Miles, Mark Colby, and the Harry James Orchestra. The Doug Haining Quintet released Last Man Swinging in 2011, and in April 2012 performed a tribute to Cannonball Adderley at the Artists Quarter as part of the Twin Cities Jazz Society’s Jazz From J to Z series. Ted Godbout @Andrea Canter
Pianist   Ted Godbout   has been building a reputation as a sympathetic accompanist for area vocalists as well as a creative composer and bandleader. in Music – Piano Performance from St.

Zacc Harris Trio: Live Recording at Vieux Carre’ January 12

He’s also curated the Jazz at Studio Z series for five seasons. Full schedule at His performance credits include the Atlantis Quartet, Zacc Harris Group, Debbie Duncan, Katie Gearty, Patrick Harison, Johnny Clueless, Park Evans, Monk in Motian, and the Fantastic Merlins, and he leads his own bluegrass band (Bluegrass Bandits). Vieux Carre’ is located in the lower level of the Hamm Building at 408 St Peter Street in downtown St. On January 12 (8 pm), the trio performs at Vieux Carre’ in downtown St Paul to make a live recording, which they plan to release this spring at the Riverview in honor of their ten years of collaboration. Zacc Harris © Andrea Canter
Guitarist Zacc Harris is a California native who came to Minneapolis about ten years ago from Illinois, where he graduated from Southern Illinois University. Peterson is also a music educator, teaching elementary K-5 students in the Edina Public Schools. Come early (6 pm) to hear another magical guitarist, Joel Shapira, in a solo set (no cover). Zacc Harris © Andrea Canter
“Harris delivers a sound that is lucid, clear… providing rich-sounding accompaniment and well crafted solos.” — Jazz Improv Magazine
Since he first arrived in the Twin Cities, guitarist Zacc Harris has led a trio at the Riverview Wine Bar, initially dubbed Luminesscene. Now as the Zacc Harris Trio, Harris, bassist Matt Peterson and drummer Pete Hennig have performed on Sunday nights at the Riverview for nearly ten years. In 2004, he relocated to the Twin Cities and quickly became a first-call bassist He regularly plays with the Zacc Harris Trio, the Jana Nyberg Group, the Twin Cities Hot Club, Mill City Hot Club, Robert Bell’s Hot Swing Combo, and Zacc Harris’ American Reverie. Matt Peterson © Andrea Canter
Originally a trombonist, Matt Peterson switched to bass while studying music at the University of Minnesota Duluth. In addition to leading the Zacc Harris Trio for nearly a decade at the Riverview Wine Bar, Zacc Leads the acclaimed Atlantis Quartet, Vital Organ, the Zacc Harris Group, and American Reverie trio; performs with Dean Granros’ Tall Tales, Adam Meckler Quintet and Babatunde Lea Quartet; is a founding producer at Shifting Paradigms Records; and teaches at Hamline University as well as private guitar lessons. Paul. Pete Hennig © Andrea Canter
Drummer Pete Hennig came to the Twin Cities to study at McNally Smith. $5 cover, cash only. Last winter, Zacc performed in the U.K., including a gig at the famed Ronnie Scott’s in London. After graduating he spent an additional three years studying with Dave King (Bad Plus, Happy Apple).

Solomon Parham Quintet with Eric Gravatt at the Black Dog, January 14

The Solomon Parham Quintet features a combination of youngish veterans and an older generation of masters, with leader/trumpeter Parham joined by trombonist Dave Graf, guitarist Dean Magraw, bassist Chris Bates, and internationally renowned drummer Eric Kamau Gravatt. Currently, Solomon teaches in the St. He shares a recent McKnight Award with his cohorts in the Atlantis Quartet. Over the past six years, Dean has co-led a monthly duo with percussionist Davu Seru at the Black Dog (first Tuesdays), more recently launched a duo with veteran drummer Eric Kamau Gravatt, leading to their CD release, Fire on the Nile, and in the past year has performed in duo with eclectic pianist Steven Hobert. No cover but donations (tip jar) appreciated to support the series and musicians (suggested $10). With the Black Dog hosting a special event earlier in the evening, the January 14th installment of Saturday jazz is pared down to one band at 8:30 — but there’s no diluting of the talent on stage. Paul Schools and directs jazz ensembles at Walker West Music Academy. One of his more recent collaborations has been as half of Valve Meets Slide, an ensemble with valve trombonist Brad Bellows. Dave Graf © Andrea Canter
Dave Graf is one of the most versatile and talented trombonists in the Twin Cities. He led a weekly “Solomon’s Sessions’ at The Bedlam (now closed), which he hopes to move to a new venue soon. He went on to join the fusion band Natural Life (with Bobby Peterson and Bob Rockwell), a move that brought him to the Twin Cities some 35 years ago. Solomon Parham © Andrea Canter
Trumpeter and educator Solomon Parham came to the Twin Cities from Detroit where he taught in public school and performed at Baker’s Keyboard Lounge. Solomon Parham © Andrea Canter
Most gigs on the Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog series feature two bands, an opening set at 7 pm (often a group of young artists or a new ensemble) followed at 8:30 pm by a veteran group. He recently revived another vibes trio, Low Blows, launched a trio with Joe Strachan and Matt Buckner (now Miguel Hurtado), and curates a monthly improvisation series at Jazz Central, one Wednesday night per month. In addition to performing, Dave teaches, writes, arranges, and works as a graphic designer. Eric Gravatt © Andrea Canter
An alum of the bands of McCoy Tyner, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard and Blue Mitchell as well as Weather Report, Eric Kamau Gravatt essentially has had two careers in jazz with a couple decades of separation. Chris studied at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire and later with Anthony Cox, was an original member of the Motion Poets, and a 1999 McKnight Composer Fellow. In the early 70s, Miles Davis invited him to join his band, but Gravatt turned down the Prince of Darkness to follow Wayne Shorter into Weather Report, with whom he toured and recorded. Dean Magraw © Andrea Canter
Dean Magraw is one of the Twin Cities’ most eclectic musicians, with a career spanning more than three decades and multiple genres and cultures, from blues to classical to folk and jazz, from Japanese and Indian to Celtic and middle American. The music should help boost temperatures well above freezing! Paul Ragtime Orchestra, Mandala, and the Steve Wright Big Band. He’s released a series of recordings spanning his musical universe, including a duo with tabla master Marcus Wise, How the Light Gets In. Solomon recently completed his master’s degree at McNally Smith College of Music. He has performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Slide Hampton, Jack McDuff, the Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin Big Band, and the Woody Herman Orchestra, and has appeared on Prairie Home Companion and with the St. Weekly schedule at Dave had an eleven-year association with the late trumpeter Red Wolfe in his Port of Dixie Jazz Band and Ellington Echoes. Paul’s Lowertown; Only after retiring from Lino Lakes did Gravatt return to his calling, touring again with McCoy Tyner, performing with his band, Source Code, and engaging in some more experimental improvisations with metro area musicians including Bottomless Pit, Adam Linz, Brandon Wozniak, and, recently, Dean Magraw, with whom he released Fire on the Nile. Demands of family and a desire for financial stability took Gravatt out of fulltime music and into fulltime work as a guard at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Lino Lakes. The Black Dog is located at 308 Prince Street in the Northern Warehouse in St. Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog is curated by Steve Kenny. In 2005 he released his debut recording as a leader, Just Like That (Artegra Records). He’s also performed with Delfeayo Marsalis’ Jazz for Kids, “Jazz and Jasmine Meets the Jazz Band,” Wessell Anderson, Eric Gravatt’s Source Code, and at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Artists Quarter, Dakota, Bedlam, Jazz Central and more. He’s worked in diverse musical settings, including Dixieland, swing (Twin Cities Seven), modern mainstream jazz (Source Code, X-Tet), salsa (Salsa del Soul) and Brazilian music, big bands (JazzMN Orchestra, Cedar Avenue Big Band), trombone ensembles (Locally Damaging Winds, Valve Meets Slide), and pit orchestras. Chris Bates © Andrea Canter
Chris Bates is well known locally for his affiliations with the Atlantis Quartet, Red Planet, Volcano Insurance, Framework, How Birds Work, Tall Tales, Leisure Valley, Pushing Chain, Bill Simenson Orchestra, Adam Meckler Orchestra, and many other cutting edge ensembles in addition to his own bands, the Good Vibes Trio and Red Five, both of which released debut albums in the past few years. In addition to leading his long-standing trio Red Planet (with Chris Bates and Jay Epstein), Dean has collaborated with many local artists at the Artists Quarter, Black Dog, Nicollet, Jazz Central, Studio Z, and more, including Brandon Wozniak, Bryan Nichols, Billy Peterson, Steven Hobert, Eric Gravatt, Davu Seru, and Kenny Horst. Like John Coltrane and long-time associate McCoy Tyner, he is a native of Philadelphia. He was one of four jazz artists to be awarded a composition commission from Zeitgeist, which was premiered at the 2014 Twin Cities Jazz Festival.

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, January 13-19

Big Gigs This Week
Friday, January 13. We must believe in spring! The weekend brings some unique and popular shows to the metro, and we end the week with the acclaimed trumpet/vocal pairing of Roy Hargrove and Roberta Gambarini. Roy Hargrove, coming to the Dakota with Roberta Gambarini, January 18-19 © Andrea Canter
Despite the bitter cold as we start the weekend, forecasters say it will warm up over the following days to reach almost balmy by the end of the week, and I think we can in part thank our local and visiting jazz artists for generating some of the heat! Read More! It’s a lucky Friday the 13th for jazz lovers: A group of “all stars” from the Jazz Central roster celebrate the great hard bop king Horace Silver on the Jazz Central Masters series. We could use a little “Peace” these days and I’m sure they will play it. An what better way to beat the deep freeze than with hot club mania? Gypsy Mania, that is, as the quartet swings at Hell’s Kitchen –Glen Helgeson on guitar, Gary Schulte on violin, Steve Pikal on bass and Jay Epstein on drums. Led by reed magician Doug Haining, the band includes Steve Kenny on trumpet, Ted Godbout on piano, Chris Bates on bass and Mac Santiago on drums. Star vocalists reign across the metro tonight! Always hip Patty Peterson and Friends return to Crooners Lounge; Debbie Duncan entertains with song and sass at Vieux Carre’ (following an early set from pianist Jeremy Walker); and velvet-voiced Ginger Commodore pairs up with suave Dennis Spears at the Dakota.

Oudyano: Minnesota Piano Meets Syrian Oud at Studio Z, January 14

“I heard Issam perform a solo show, and I introduced myself. in both Oud and Double Bass performance, as well as Oriental Conducting, from the High Institute of Music in Damascus. We got together and instantly had a music connection– after a few notes! Steven Hobert © Andrea Canter
Originally from Hartland, Wisconsin, pianist/accordionist/composer Steven Hobert recalls that he “would noodle around on the piano and just make things up, maybe even as young as middle school.” Initially Steven was introduced to improvisation because he “needed to learn to read chords to play in a rock band.” He was inspired by the music of Bela Fleck as well as world music. He also served on the faculty at the institute teaching Oud. Now based in the U.S., Rafea was Chair of the Arabic Music Department at the High Institute of Music in Damascus and the principal conductor of the Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music. 4th Street in St. But it was the music of Keith Jarrett, particularly his solo improvisation concerts, that influenced Steven’s decision to pursue piano improvisation at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, as it allowed him to express himself through uninhibited creativity. Oudyano (photo courtesy Volume One, Chippewa Valley)
Oudyano. In Syria, Rafea was an active composer and arranger for television and theater since the 1990s, winning the 2010 “Best Composer Award” at the Dubai International Film Festival (Muhr Arab) for “September Rain” in the film,   Matar Ayloul. Tickets $10 in advance at; $12 at the door. I started booking some shows for us here.” Steven admits that the piano/oud combination is not common. I loved his open ear and improvising, and I heard some influences of Western music, I heard jazz and the blues in his music. Rafea studied under Fayez Zahr El-Din, Aref Abdallah, and Askar Ali-Akbar, receiving a B.A. The duo of Twin Cities pianist Steven Hobert and Syrian oud player Issam Rafea might seem like the “odd couple”, but the pair have performed several times over the past year with surprisingly beautiful results. “I had heard very little oud or any Arabic music,” said Steven in a recent interview on the KBEM edition of The Lead Sheet. Steven and Issam met at one of Issam’s first solo concerts in the Twin Cities about a year ago. He also served as music director for vocal ensemble Five By Design. with the Glenn Miller Orchestra. He’s also collaborated with British rock band Gorillaz. In March 2013, Rafea was invited to the United States to direct the Middle Eastern Music Ensemble at Northern Illinois University School of Music. East meets West at the intersection of melody and a soulful searching among all those notes! Oudyano (Issam Rafea and Steven Hobert)
Jazz and world music delightfully collide this weekend (January 14) in the music of Oudyano at Studio Z in St Paul. Issam Rafea © Adrian Nastase
Oud virtuoso, improviser, and composer   Issam Rafea   was born in Kuwait and studied in both Kuwait and Syria. While in Illinois, Rafea performed with guitar virtuoso Fareed Haque in multiple cross-cultural collaborations. So Issam does things I just can’t do on the piano. After graduation, Hobert performed with symphony orchestras from Calgary to Buffalo, played on cruise ships, and spent a year touring Japan, Canada and the U.S. Rafea has performed internationally in France, Spain, Germany, Holland, Italy, Morocco, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey, Kuwait, and United States, and in festivals such as the Mediterranean Festival in Algeria, the World Universal Expo in Seville, Spain, Spiritual Music Festival Marseille, France, The Arabic Music Conferences in Cairo, and Babel Festival in Iraq. Hear Andrea Canter’s interview with Steven Hobert about Oudyano on KBEM’s On Demand podcast at “The piano is not typical in traditional classical Arabic music — the piano has the 12-note Western scale, while Arabic music has a lot more notes that you can’t get on the piano. In addition to Steven Hobert, Rafea has performed locally with avant garde guitarist Chris Cunningham at Khyber Pass. But 12 notes is still a lot!”
Indeed, hearing the two improvisers find uncommon common ground is a joyful experience.  
Oudyano performs at 7 pm on January 14 at Studio Z, on the second floor of the Northwestern Building at 275 E. Paul’s Lowertown, a block east of Union Depot. Currently Steven leads FireFly Forest and the Steven Hobert Quartet, plays accordion in Lulu’s Playground and piano with the Adam Meckler Orchestra, works in duo with saxophonist/flautist James Kellerman and guitarist Dean Magraw, and generally works as a freelance musician and teacher of piano, accordion and woodwinds.

Paul McCandless and Charged Particles at the Dakota, January 16

He has appeared on stage in duets with pianist Art Lande and recorded the CD Skylight with him for ECM Records. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Philadelphia, Buffalo, Los Angeles, and Stuttgart Symphony Orchestras. He has been a guest musician with Béla Fleck and the Flecktones (appearing on the 2002 album Live at the Quick) and has toured with tabla artist Sandip Burman.   Another recent performance included accompanying vocalist Kevyn Lettau singing her compositions in Los Angeles, and performances in the Los Angeles area with guitarist George Benson’s musical director, keyboardist David Garfield.   The band’s energy level is always high, even when they are cooking at a volume no louder than a whisper, or floating through the melody of a romantic ballad. Performing compositions from his solo recordings,   McCandless is playing this music for the first time in 20 years. Paul McCandless
Still active in classical music, Paul has performed as soloist with the Camerata Chamber Orchestra of Mexico City, the St.   Today, he says he’s lucky not to have won those auditions, because a victory would have pulled him into the world of full-time classical performing, and he would have missed out on the rich life he’s had in jazz. The music covers a wide range of genres from swingin jazz and funky fusion to romantic ballads and purely improvised adventures. All of the trio’s music has a distinctly acoustic sensibility, despite their use of both electric and acoustic instruments. The group’s small size allows for sensitivity and spontaneity among the players, making each performance an enchanting improvisational exploration. Charged Particles: Aaron, Murray and Jon
The trio’s repertoire blends jazz with elements of Latin music, funk, classical music, and other genres. The Dakota is located at 1010 Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis.   The group’s second CD, Sparks, was released in late 2002 on BOPO Records, receiving airplay on nearly 100 radio stations within two weeks of its release, and has gained attention from critics in many American publications and in magazines as far away as England, Denmark, and Japan. “Round Robin,” the opening track, received two 2001 Grammy nominations for Best Instrumental Composition and Best Instrumental Arrangement
Over the years, he has released a series of recordings of his own compositions, also leading the bands on All the Mornings Bring (1978, Elektra/Asylum Records), Heresay (1988, Windham Hill Records), Navigator (1981, Landslide Records), and Premonition (1992, Windham Hill Records). Highlights for the band in recent years have been a performance on the main stage of Yoshi’s San Francisco jazz club accompanying French Vietnamese guitarist Nguyen Le playing his compositions, as well as the performance there with Paul McCandless. Best known for his involvement in the original Paul Winter Consort and the innovative quartet OREGON, McCandless is a gifted multi-instrumentalist who plays soprano, tenor, and sopranino saxophones, oboes, English horn, bass clarinet, penny whistles, and a collection of folk flutes.  
Paul McCandless
Known for soaring lyricism and gorgeous compositions, Paul McCandless has enjoyed a career spanning over four decades and more than 30 recordings. Along with fiery drummer Jon Krosnick, these players are making some of the most electrifying jazz in the country today. The event was captured on Hommage a Eberhard Weber (2015, ECM Records).   The group’s one-hour live performance drew wide attention and opened the door to performances at festivals and clubs around the world. Charged Particles   made its public debut on National Public Radio Affiliate WDET’s live performance program, “Detroit Jazz Alive”, originating in Detroit, Michigan. Trained at the Manhattan School of Music, he was a finalist in the 1971 English horn auditions for the New York Philharmonic.  
Charged Particles
Charged Particles © Moe Gardere
Celebrating their 25th anniversary, Charged Particles   features three of the country’s virtuosos playing jazz while crossing stylistic boundaries and blending diverse traditions to create engaging new sounds.   The CD received airplay on over 200 jazz radio stations nation-wide and was praised by national jazz critics in such outlets as Jazziz Magazine, Jazz Times Magazine, Jazz and Blues Report, Pulse! In 1996, Paul won a Grammy for Best Pop Instrumental with Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, and won Grammys in 2007 and 2011 with the Paul Winter Consort for Best New Age Album. Aaron Germain is an inventive and sophisticated acoustic and electric bassist. Paul was a featured soloist alongside Pat Metheny and Gary Burton in “The Great Jubilee Concert”, a huge tribute event in Theaterhaus Stuttgart in 2015 celebrating the music and the career of the legendary German bassist Eberhard Weber.   The group’s original compositions are mixtures of complex orchestration and elaborate improvised solos. Magazine, and many more.   Paul’s performance on OREGON’s “1000 Kilometers” was nominated for a Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo in 2009. Charged Particles have performed at Yoshi’s in San Francisco, Vitello’s in Los Angeles, Café Cordiale in Sherman Oaks, and the historic Lighthouse in Redondo Beach, as well as at the Houston International Jazz Festival, Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the Orange County Arts and Jazz Festival, the Midwest Jazz Heritage Festival, the Trenton Jazz Festival, the King Cobra Jazz Festival, and a tour of Sweden. Murray Low is a keyboard wizard with dazzling Latin jazz technique and imaginative improvisational skills. More about Paul McCandless at
Reservations for Paul McCandless with Charged Particles highly recommended at 612-332-5299 or Paul McCandless with OREGON
As a collaborator and solo artist, Paul has performed on more than 200 albums and appeared with such renowned all-star musicians as   Pat Metheny,   Jaco Pastorius, Wynton Marsalis, Lyle Mays, Mark Isham, Steve Reich, Al Jarreau, Bruce Hornsby, Art Lande,   Carla Bley,   Tony Furtado, the String Cheese Incident, Nguyen Le, Proteus 7, Fred Simon, and many more.   In addition to its own headline performances, the band has opened for national recording artists such as Stanley Jordan, Yanni, and Al DiMeola, and the group has had such international mega-star drummers as Peter Erskine and Dennis Chambers and percussionist Doc Gibbs sit in with them.   A performance by the group was included on the compilation CD,   The Columbus Collection, featuring outstanding jazz artists from Columbus, Ohio, released in 1996. Paul’s compositions have been featured in a number of film scores, most notably, Squanto and the First Thanksgiving, a Rabbit Ears Production, with Graham Greene as narrator. He also was a guest of Leftover Salmon and the String Cheese Incident multiple times in the late 1990s. After 18 years based in Ohio, Charged Particles   was reborn in California in 2011. Paul also appears on two of Weber’s CDs as a leader.   Each piece they play brims with the fun the players have together and with the admiration they have for each other.   Charged Particles   are a treat to hear! With OREGON, Paul has recorded 28 albums, in addition to 7 with Paul Winter.   The band brings a similar approach to arrangements of covers and traditional jazz standards, each played with a new twist. Of the band, reviewers have said: “An electrifying, push-the-limits performance style… A tight and enormously talented trio” (Jazz Times); “Charged Particles is definitely dazzling” (Jazz and Blues Report); “Fresh, energized contemporary jazz that showcases the trio’s individual technical mastery as well as a cooperative, refined approach to the art form” (Jazz News Magazine); and “Tight interplay was the watchword as the threesome took difficult fusion themes and applied its own twists with spark and personal flair” (Los Angeles Times). Paul McCandless
(Adapted from press releases)
Grammy Award winner and world-renowned multi-instrumentalist Paul McCandless (Paul Winter Consort, Oregon) joins forces with Bay Area trio Charged Particles on an international tour, arriving at the Dakota in downtown Minneapolis on Monday, January 16 (7 pm). In 1994,   Charged Particles   released its first CD, on Schoolkids Records. The McCandless/Charged Particles project brings new life to McCandless’ repertoire of original compositions from his solo albums, infusing the music with a fresh twist and new energy. Paul McCandless and Charged Particles at Yoshi’s SF
The quartet premiered their collaboration on the main stage at Yoshi’s San Francisco, and have since appeared at Birdland in New York City, Blues Alley in Washington, DC, the Stanford Jazz Festival, the San Luis Obispo Jazz Festival, the Erie Pennsylvania Blues and Jazz Festival, the Deer Head Inn near Philadelphia, and many other venues.   Three of Paul’s orchestral scores are heard on the recording Oregon in Moscow, featuring OREGON and the Moscow Tchaikovsky Orchestra.