John Pizzarelli Quartet Returns to the Dakota, April 9

John Pizzarelli © Andrea Canter
John has collaborated with such pop icons as James Taylor, Natalie Cole, Tom Wopat, Rickie Lee Jones and Dave Von Ronk, as well as jazz giants Rosemary Clooney, Ruby Braff, Johnny Frigo, Buddy DeFranco, Harry Allen and of course Bucky Pizzarelli.  
The Dakota Jazz Club is located at 1010 Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis; two shows at 6 and 8 pm, reservations strongly recommended at 612-332-5299 or www.dakotacooks.com. John Pizzarelli Quartet © Andrea Canter
© Andrea Canter
“Hip with a wink” — Town & Country
 
John Pizzarelli, already familiar to Twin Cities audiences from a series of performances at the Dakota, headlined the 2016 Twin Cities Jazz Festival and further expanded the local fan base. The John Pizzarelli Quartet was an obvious crowd-pleaser at the 2016 Twin Cities Jazz Festival, closing down the fest in Mears Park with a set that kept the audience clapping for a good 90 minutes. His most recent release, Midnight McCartney (2015), pays homage to the post-Beatles compositions of Paul McCartney. His television credits include The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show with David Letterman, Live With Regis & Kelly, The Tony Danza Show, The CBS Early Show, Fox News Channel and Jerry Lewis’s Labor Day Telethon. A fine vocalist as well as guitarist, John and his ensembles have often been compared to the great groups of Nat King Cole. Picking up the guitar himself at age six, John’s early influences were the greatest artists of the time, including Erroll Garner, Django Reinhardt and Les Paul. And his first partner as a professional? The quartet included pianist Konrad Paszkudzki, bassist (brother) Martin Pizzarelli and drummer Kevin Kanner. The singing guitarist returns to the Dakota with his touring quartet on Sunday, April 9, with two shows at 6 and 8 pm. John Pizzarelli © Andrea Canter
Born in New Jersey, young John Pizzarelli was surrounded by the jazz greats who played with his father, famed guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli. It can be hard to project similar energy on an audio recording, but time and time again, John Pizzarelli has proven that he can do just that. He’s been a prolific recording artist, with 20+ recordings including the Grammy-nominated collection of Richard Rogers tunes, With a Song in My Heart (2008). Also a popular radio personality, John co-hosts the weekly “Radio Deluxe” alongside wife/vocalist Jessica Molaskey. He appeared in the 1997 Broadway revue of Johnny Mercer tunes, Dream, and has gained a reputation as one of the great modern interpreters of the kings of American song, Cole and Sinatra. Of course such proof will not be needed on Sunday, April 9, when you can hear the John Pizzarelli Quartet live at the Dakota. His joy is as infectious as his swinging time is therapeutic. And as observed in his live performance, John’s exhuberant interaction with his audience extends beyond song to what could readily become a stand-up comedy routine fit for a club on the Las Vegas strip. Bucky Pizzarelli.

Larry Fuller Trio in the Dunsmore Room, April 11

For this performance in suburban Minneapolis, he will be joined by two young New York talents, George deLancey on bass and Jason Tiemann on drums. In turn, through Anderson he connected with drummer Jeff Hamilton, playing his band and appearing on Hamilton’s recordings for about six years; and through Hamilton he met Ray Brown, who hired him for his trio in 2000. — Ray Brown
 
Larry Fuller © Andrea Canter
The last pianist with the Ray Brown Trio, one-time support system for the late vocalist Ernestine Anderson, a long-time collaborator with John Pizzarelli, and now leading his own acclaimed trio, Larry Fuller makes his Twin Cities debut in a leading role in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge on Tuesday, April 11 (7 pm). — Stephen Holden, The New York Times
He brings a vitality—he swings hard and I like that! He is also the director of the Midwestern arts initiative   Appalachian Muse. The Twin Cities contingent at the 2016 Iowa City Jazz Festival was impressed by Larry Fuller, one of the festival’s headliners. His credentials include performing with Benny Golson, David Liebman, Harold Mabern, Eric Alexander, Mike LeDonne, Peter Bernstein, Slide Hampton and countless others on the New York scene. Larry Fuller © Andrea Canter
© Andrea Canter
“In his amazing gossamer piano solos, he sprinkles stardust on whatever song he plays;   you hold your breath in wonder. He was particularly impressed by Oscar Peterson and Count Basie, and soon was participating in an “all city” jazz ensemble led by a local saxophonist and playing some paying gigs around the city. Larry Fuller © Andrea Canter
Over his career, Larry has also performed with Harry “Sweets” Edison, Stanley Turrentine, Phil Woods, Clark Terry, Herb Ellis, Marlena Shaw, Kevin Mahogany, John Clayton, John Heard, Bennie Golson, Emily Remler, Jimmy Witherspoon, Eddie Harris, Anita O’Day, Steve Allen, Regina Carter, Nicholas Payton, and John Legend. He has worked with notable bandleaders Johnny O’Neal, Wessell Anderson, Willie Jones III, Winard Harper, Christian Howes, Houston Person, Tia Fuller, and Bria Skonberg, and is an active educator with programs including Jazz at Lincoln Center’s   Jazz for Young People,   Christian Howes’   Creative Strings Workshop,   and Keith Hall’s Summer Drum Intensive. Also an active educator, Jason taught drums and percussion at the University of Louisville for 12 years, and has served as artist/clinician for the Jamey Abersold Summer Jazz Workshops since 1998. There’s plenty to marvel at.”
George deLancey
For his Minnesota appearance, Larry will bring in two talented New York artists: George deLancey (bass) is also an Ohio native (Cambridge) where he participated in the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra before moving on to Michigan State University and studies with Rodney Whitaker. Larry’s ” effortless command of swing and stride piano stylings” (Audiophile Audition) have earned him a wide following from coast to coast. Jason Tiemann (drums) cites Philly Joe Jones, Tony Williams, Elvin Jones and Billy Higgins as primary influences. After Brown’s death, Larry began an 8-year association with John Pizzarelli, touring internationally with the quartet and performing on several recordings including Pizzarelli’s Double Exposure and Rockin’ in Rhythm. Of the latter, The International Review of Music noted that Fuller’s “brilliant work throughout – especially the buoyant stride solo – nearly steals the record”. Tickets ($25, $50 for dinner show) are available at www.croonersloungemn.com A native of Toledo, OH, Larry Fuller began piano studies at age 11, and first heard jazz listening to records at the Toledo Public Library. Later, in his early 20s, playing on the Midwest jazz circuit, he met Ernestine Anderson in Ann Arbor and started touring with her (1988-93).  
The Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge is located at 6161 NE Highway 65 (Central Av NE) in Fridley, just north of I-694 and about 15 minutes north of downtown Minneapolis. Hearing him on the venue’s 9-foot Steinway D should be an unforgettable experience. After leaving Pizzarelli, he began touring and recording with his own trio, releasing his self-titled album in 2014, prompting All About Jazz to note that “chops, class, and in-the-pocket ensemble playing are all on full display. Those who were there–and the many here who heard Larry several times with John Pizzarelli and Ray Brown– know that we’re in for a swinging good time when Larry and his trio arrive on the Dunsmore Room stage.

Davu Seru’s No Territory Band at Reverie, April 13

He is the inaugural Artist in Residence at Studio Z in St. Special guest artist from France, Stephane Cattaneo, will provide live painting in response to the music. A graduate of Indiana University (BM), the New England Conservatory of Music (MM), and University of California San Diego (DM), Pat has performed and recorded with noted new music groups around the country, including SONOR in San Diego, the California E.A.R. Paul Cultural STAR, The Cedar Cultural Center, MN State Arts Board, The Jerome Foundation, The Southern Theater, and the National Performing Arts Convention. Scott Fultz © Andrea Canter
Scott Fultz (bari sax) has performed throughout the Twin Cities for 30 years, since starting out on guitar and saxophone with the soca band Shangoya. Over his career, he has performed with such legends as Dizzy Gillespie, Cecil Taylor, Mark Dresser, Carei Thomas and Douglas Ewart, as well as with current stars Chris Potter, Tony Malaby, Liberty Ellman, Elliot Humberto Kavee and Federico Ughi. He 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. Currently Pat also performs with the free improv group AntiGravity and with Brazilian ensembles Brasamba, Batucada do Norte and Music Mundial in the Twin Cities; his resume includes concert appearances with George Lewis, Wadada Leo Smith, Fred Firth and more, as well as studies of Turkish and Brazilian music. 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. Davu Seru © Andrea Canter
Recently highlighted in the Star Tribune, Twin Cities native Davu Seru is respected internationally for his free jazz drumming as well as his performances in   jazz, rock and avant-garde improvised music. Paul. A graduate of Newberry College and the University of South Carolina, Hanson worked on the East Coast for many years before returning to his hometown of Minneapolis. Multi-reed artist   Pat O’Keefe   is Co-Artistic Director for the contemporary music ensemble Zeitgeist, based in St. Thursday Night schedule at www.thursdaynightjaszzatreverie.info
  A graduate of Minneapolis Southwest High School who participated for two years with the Dakota Combo, Levi has led his own ensembles at Jazz Central, Black Dog and Khyber Pass Cafe as well as performing with Adam Linz’s Le Percheron, Will Kjeer, Steve Kenny, the Charlie Lincoln Group, Sound Skirmish, and more. No Territory Band © Andrea Canter
© Andrea Canter
“The squawks, silences and knotty time signatures usually associated with art-house music get a big boost from the staccato funk of hip-hop and the circular rhythms of Ghana, all underpinned by the blues.”   — Britt Robson, Star Tribune
Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie on April 13 (9 pm) features a crowd favorite, the No Territory Band, lead by drummer Davu Seru and featuring Jake Baldwin (trumpet), Pat O’Keefe (clarinets), Nathan Hanson and Scott Fultz (saxophones), and Levi Schwartzberg (vibes). Awards include grants and commissions from New Music USA, The American Composers Forum, Meet the Composer, City of St.  
Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie is curated by Steve Kenny and takes place at Reverie Bar art 1931 Nicollet Av South in Minneapolis. After graduating from NEC in 2013, Jake moved back to the Twin Cities, where he has played in a number of bands including the Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra, Thomas Nordlund Group, Endeavors, Cory Healey’s Beautiful Sunshine Band, Ramtrack, McNasty Brass Band, Minnesota Hard Bop Collective, and Har Mar Superstar, in addition to the No Territory Band. A member of the Fantastic Merlins, Nathan has maintained a longstanding duo with bassist Doan Brian Roessler and has collaborated with local luminaries George Cartwright, Viv Corringham,   and Pat Moriarty. Otis Powell‽, Dean Magraw (monthly duo at the Black Dog), and more; curates a monthly show at Khyber Pass Cafe; and is a member of the composer-improviser collective orchestra, Cherry Spoon Collective. He’s worked across genres from jazz and avant garde to Latin and blues, with Anthony Cox, Dave King, Bill Carrothers, Bruce Henry, Billy McLaughlin, Dean Granros, Phil Hey, Zacc Harris, Patrick Harison and more, including bands Monk in Motian and Skeleton Crew. Primarily self-taught, his percussion style is notable for its attention to sound, silence and melodic line as much as rhythmic pattern. Davu has worked with such inventive musicians as Charles Gillett, Elliot Fine, Paul Metzger, Anthony Cox, Dean Granros, Dean Magraw, Wendy Ultan, Adam Linz, Evan Parker, George Cartwright, James Buckley, Taylor Ho Bynum, and Nicole Mitchell. He has received awards from the American Composers Forum (Minnesota Emerging Composer Award) and the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, and commissions from the Zeitgeist Ensemble and Walker Art Center. Paul. Nathan Hanson and Pat O’Keefe © Andrea Canter
Composer/performer   Nathan Hanson   (tenor and soprano saxophones) has been described as “unexpectedly tasteful and dignified” by ImproJazz-France. About two years ago, Jake released his first album as leader,   Ra Ra Ru. Davu earned a Bachelor’s degree in African-American Literature and a Master’s in English from the University of Minnesota, where he is now a professor of African-American Literature and Culture. In addition to leading No Territory Band, he currently plays with Merciless Ghost, Milo Fine, J. Levi Schwartzberg © Andrea Canter
Levi Schwartzberg is only a junior at the U of M, but he’s been perfecting his four-mallet technique on vibes since high school days. No cover but tips ($10 suggested) are appreciated to support the musicians and the weekly jazz series. He is also an accomplished pianist, currently performing on both instruments in the U of M Jazz Combo. Unit, the Cleveland New Music Associates, and Ensemble Sospeso in New York; he was the principal clarinetist for five seasons with the Augusta (GA) Symphony.

Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog Presents a “Monsterful” Double Bill

Scott is currently active as a clinician on low brass techniques and improvisation, serving as Assistant Director of Ensembles at the McNally Smith College of Music. He previously served as an Associate Instructor at Indiana University in the Jazz Studies department under the direction of the late Dr. He toured internationally with the Glenn Miller Orchestra before moving to the Twin Cities in 1988. Pete’s credits on tenor, alto, soprano and flute include performing with Randy Brecker, Jack McDuff, the Woody Herman Orchestra,, Michael Feinstein, Debbie Boone, Rosemary Clooney, Barbara Dennerlein, Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers, Dave Stryker, Curtis Fuller and Andres Prado. He has also produced a Minnesota Music Award-winning CD for Alicia Wiley, receiving a Best of the Twin Cities Award as a founding member of Moveable Feast, and a Minnesota Music Award nomination for Bass Player of the Year. He also performed with the Larry Elgart Big Band and wrote for and performed with the fusion band, Scratch n’ Sniff. Markworth   is a graduate of Indiana University, Augsburg College, and McNally Smith College of Music, currently teaching Jazz History at Augsburg. 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. 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.  
Monsterful Wonderband (8:30 pm)
Drummer Peter Kogan leads the headline set with his Monsterful Wonderband septet. No cover but tips ($10 suggested) are appreciated to support the series and musicians. 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 also serves on the Board of the Minnesota Guitar Society. Chris a founding member of the trio Framework, and has been heard recently in duo with pianist/vocalist Laura Caviani. Lars maybe best known as the leader of   Mancrush, with Bryan Nichols, Brandon Wozniak, and Zacc Harris. He has performed with world-renowned jazz artists Captain Jack McDuff, Craig Taborn, James Carter, Nachito Herrera, Eric Kamau Gravatt, Rodney Jones, Dave King, Brian Lynch, Wessel Anderson, Peruvian guitar master Andrés Prado, and James Moody. His cohorts include Scott Agster (trombone), Pete Whitman (saxophones), Jake Baldwin (trumpet), Chris Olson (guitar), Sean Turner (piano), and Jeff Bailey (bass), playing a repertoire of standards and original compositions. Peter’s background includes college studies at Julliard and the Cleveland Institute of Music, as well as a career largely spent in classical orchestras. 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. Chris has performed with Bob Mintzer, Louis Bellson, Terry Gibbs, Ira Sullivan, and Bobby Vinton, and has appeared frequently with the JazzMN Orchestra and at the Black Dog, heading his monthly “Chris Olson Project. 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.  
Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog is now in its third season of weekly jazz double-headers, curated by Steve Kenny. Sean heads the Keyboard Department at McNally Smith College of Music and serves as Coordinator of Contemporary Worship and Music at Incarnation Lutheran Church. He 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. His eclectic chops have been featured with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and Dallas Jazz Orchestra, and locally with Snowblind, Salsa del Soul, Jack Brass Band, hip hop group G8, and the Bella Gala Big Band; with Doug Haining he co-leads the Explosion Big Band that performs monthly at Jazz Central Studios. He performed at the 2017 Winter Jazz Festival (St Paul) and has led his trio and quintet at Reverie, Jazz Central and the Black Dog. The Black Dog is located in the Northern Warehouse at 308 E. Aaron went on to attend the jazz program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, performing in the pop/rock band Underdub and with the John Raymond Project. Saturday night calendar at www.saturdaynightjazzattheblackdog.info 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. Currently on the guitar faculty at McNally/Smith College in St. Lars-Erik Larson © Andrea Canter
Lars-Erik Larson   is a drummer and composer based in St. He has also written and produced three recordings, one of which earned a Parents’ Choice Award for children’s music, and has authored two instructional texts. Pete Whitman © Andrea Canter
After launching his career in Kansas City, saxophonist Pete Whitman moved on to jazz studies at North Texas State University. In addition to leading his X-Tet and smaller ensembles in the Twin Cities, Pete works regularly with the Jazz MN Orchestra Laura and Mississippi. Baker.   He also performed as a freelancer in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metro area before returning to the Twin Cities in 2015. Kameron Markworth © Andrea Canter
Bassist, composer, and teaching artist   Kameron L. 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. An eclectic talent, Jeff has also toured and performed with Keri Noble, Joey McIntyre (NKOTB), Tommy Barbarella (Prince), Charles Lazarus (Minnesota Orchestra), Reverend Billy Steele, Jennifer Kimball, Heather Headley, and Charley Drayton. A veteran of international jazz festivals, Scott has performed with Slide Hampton, Nicholas Payton, Phil Woods, Benny Golson, Dave Douglas and more. 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. Peter Kogan © Andrea Canter
From the Minnesota Orchestra percussion section to jazz venues throughout the Twin Cities, timpanist/drummer   Peter Kogan   has emerged as a force to be reckoned with on the local jazz scene. 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. David N. However, he also backed Blues legends Lightnin’ Hopkins, Honey-Boy Edwards, and Jimmy Witherspoon, and Rock & Roll legend Bo Diddley, as well as such groups as the Drifters and the Crystals. Locally, Jeff has performed with Doug Little, Mississippi, Bobb Fantauzzo’s Weaving of Traditions, and Jeremy Walker’s Atrium Jazz Ensemble since its first season. Paul’s McNally Smith College of Music, teaching saxophone, improvisation, and arranging, and leading the McNally Smith X-Tet. The Aaron Hedenstrom Trio leads off the night at 7 pm, followed in “prime time” by the star-bright septet, Peter Kogan’s Monsterful Wonderband.   After graduation, Aaron enrolled in 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. Peter’s Monsterful Wonderband performed   at the 2017 Winter Jazz Festival in St. After graduating from NEC in 2013, Jake moved back to the Twin Cities, where he has played in a number of bands including the Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra, Thomas Nordlund Group, Endeavors, Cory Healey’s Beautiful Sunshine Band, Ramtrack, McNasty Brass Band, Minnesota Hard Bop Collective, No Territory Band, and Har Mar Superstar. After retiring as principal timpanist from the MO, Kogan has led several jazz ensembles, including his quartet and his septet, Monsterful Wonderband. Monsterful Wonderband at the 2017 Winter Jazz Festival © Andrea Canter
© Andrea Canter
There may or may not be any chocolate eggs rolling around the Black Dog in St Paul’s Lowertown this weekend, but the double header of music on the Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog series should satisfy any cravings for modern, accessible jazz performed by established veterans and younger veterans. Chris Olson © Andrea Canter
Guitarist Chris Olson   is a dedicated jazz educator as well as performer. A dedicated educator, Whitman heads the Woodwind and Brass Department at St. 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.  
Aaron Hedenstrom © Andrea Canter
Aaron Hedenstrom Trio (7:00 pm)
Born in Lesotho (Africa) and raised in the Twin Cities, saxophonist   Aaron Hedenstrom   cut his teeth in the Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth and Minnesota Youth Jazz Band. Sean Turner © Andrea Canter
Pianist   Sean Turner   is also a composer, vocalist, and educator. Paul. Scott Agster © Andrea Canter
Once a student of Tiny Baker, trombonist Scott Agster is an alum of the famed University of North Texas One O’Clock Lab Band who furthered his studies at the U of M, where he recently completed his DMA degree. His compositions and orchestrations have been utilized by Sony, Oprah, E! Jeff Bailey © Andrea Canter
Jeff Bailey   (bass) has performed in a wide variety of musical settings as a musician, composer, and producer. Scott was also a founding member and arranger for the Vector Trombone Quartet, which was a finalist in the International Trombone Association Quartet Competition in Helsinki, Finland in 2003. Supported through a successful Kickstarter campaign, he released   A Moment of Clarity on   Shifting Paradigm Records in 2014. Larson earned his Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies from the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana), where he studied with renowned drummer Dana Hall. Currently he teaches at McNally Smith College of Music where he heads the Bass Department. About two years ago, Jake released his first album as leader,   Ra Ra Ru. Paul. On the local jazz scene, Sean has performed with his trio at the Dunsmore Room in Crooners Lounge and has worked with vocalists Bruce Henry, Ginger Commodore, Patty Peterson, and Jana Nyberg. Prince Street (St Paul). Entertainment, MTV, Lifetime Network, Discovery Channel, The CW Network, Target, and   Success Magazine, among many others.

Eric Kamau Gravatt and Source Code –Jazz at Studio Z, April 15

His resume’ includes performing with Ernestine Anderson, Bobby Lyle, Arthur Prysock, Karrin Allyson and Roy Haynes.  
Studio Z is located at 275 E.   “I had kids, and Corrections were the only thing being offered that paid that good, and they had (benefits) you couldn’t get in jazz,” Gravatt told the St. 4th Street in St Paul’s Lowertown Arts District. 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 Adam Linz, Brandon Wozniak, and, recently, Dean Magraw, with whom he released Fire on the Nile. Dean got his first saxophone at age 9 and initially taught himself to play by imitating the artists he heard on the radio. Eric Kamau Gravatt © Andrea Canter
© Andrea Canter
Former Weather Report drummer Eric Kamau Gravatt was already a legend in the 70s, and has enjoyed a resurgence of his career over the past 15 years, particularly as leader of Source Code. Later serving in the Army, Dean played in a military band where he eventually met another future Minnesota jazzman, Irv Williams. Paul Pioneer Press. He currently performs in duos with pianists Steven Hobert and Butch Thompson. In junior high, he collaborated with friends to form a jazz band, and the 8th graders won a city high school band competition. Dean leads the acclaimed trio Red Planet, and has collaborated with many local artists at the Artists Quarter, Black Dog, Studio Z, Vieux Carré, Jazz Central and more, including Brandon Wozniak, Bryan Nichols, Billy Peterson, Peter Schimke, Kenny Horst, Butch Thompson, Steven Hobert and Eric Gravatt. He’s released a series of recordings spanning his musical universe, including a duo with tabla master Marcus Wise, How the Light Gets In and the new Red Planet With Bill Carrothers (to be officially released next week). Currently, Solomon teaches in the St. Dean Magraw © Andrea Canter
Dean Magraw is one of the Twin Cities’ most eclectic musicians, with a thirty-year career spanning genres and cultures, from blues to classical to folk and jazz, from Japanese and Indian to Celtic and middle American. Dean relocated to the Twin Cities in 1962. Tickets $10 in advance at www.studiozstpaul.com   or $15 at the door. He recently performed with the young lions of Rodney Ruckus’s ensemble, The Ruckus. He also played “King Curtis in the national touring production of Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story. After first playing with Eric Gravatt as a sub in Source Code, Dean has become a regular member of the band, and also plays in a duo with Gravatt, which led to the release of their Fire on the Nile in 2014. 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. 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. But Gravatt’s sound was not exactly what WR founder Joe Zawinul had in mind, and after a while Gravatt was replaced in favor of a more “bottom heavy” drummer. He’s also performed with Delfeayo Marsalis’ Jazz for Kids, ” Jazz and Jasmine Meets the Jazz Band,” Wess Anderson, and at   the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Artists Quarter, Dakota, Bedlam and Jazz Central. A pre-concert podcast recording session takes place at 6 pm. Born Thomas Norwood Brewington in North Carolina, he grew up in New York City (The Bronx) where he heard many of the jazz masters. Dean Brewington © Andrea Canter
Dean Brewington has enjoyed a multi-faceted career not only as a jazz saxophonist but also as a model and actor. Ron Evaniuk © Andrea Canter
Bassist with the Americana Classic Jazz Orchestra (devoted to the big band music of the 20s and 30s), JazzMN Orchestra,   and leader of his own quartet, Ron Evaniuk recorded with Twin Cities trumpet legend Gene Adams and has played with George Avaloz, in addition to his long-standing work with Source Code. Final concert of the series for this season on May 10 featuring the Zacc Harris Group. Eric Kamau 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. Originally a conga player, Gravatt taught percussion and music in Philadelphia and Washington, DC in the 1960s. Like John Coltrane and long-time associate McCoy Tyner, he is a native of Philadelphia. Performing on the Jazz at Studio Z series on April 15 (7 pm), Gravatt’s ensemble includes veterans Dean Brewington on saxophone, Dean Magraw on guitar, and Ron Evaniuk on bass, along with rising star Solomon Parham on trumpet. Source Code (from software lingo for a collection of instructions to generate the programs that run on our computers, PDAs, cell-phones and toasters) tackles the works of such titans as Coltrane and Jackie McLean—and Gravatt’s band has the power to handle the repertoire. He moved on to the fusion band Natural Life (with Bobby Peterson and Bob Rockwell), a move that brought him to the Twin Cities some 30 years ago. He’s performed throughout the Twin Cities, appearing with a long list of musicians including vocalist Lila Ammons, and trio mates Peter Susag and John Penny. Paul Schools and directs jazz ensembles at Walker West Music Academy, as well as leading his own quartet. 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. Concert at 7 pm, pre-concert Q & A and podcast recording at 6 pm.

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, April 14-20

 
Big Gigs This Week
Friday, April 14. We have a holiday weekend as well as festive music throughout the week, including a CD release from Red Planet with Bill Carrothers in the Dunsmore Room, a “monsterful” evening at the Black Dog, two dazzling, internationally acclaimed performers at the Dakota, seriously improvising ensembles on the calendars at Jazz Central, the Black Dog and Icehouse….. If swing and sass is more your thing, Debbie Duncan is in the lounge at Crooners. Lizz Wright, at the Dakota April 20
© Andrea Canter
Snow, sunshine, wind, rain…Welcome to Minnesota Spring, version 3.0. and more. Read More! The   improvising ensemble Fall of the House of Usher is on stage at Jazz Central, led by Chris Cunningham with a cast of some of our most inventive musicians, including two still in high school (Ivan Cunningham and Riley Swain); keyboard magician John Keston will be the special guest. Dinner at the Icehouse means some jazzy ambience courtesy of Zacc Harris and James Buckley. And there’s a special opening set with oud player Issam Rafea, Chris Cunningham and some of the other Ushers. Minnesota’s “First Lady of Song” never fails to entertain (or hit her notes!).

Fall of the House of Usher at Jazz Central Studios, Friday, April 14

I want to do a John McLaughlin piece that used John Surman on baritone originally, but I want to use four baritones on it because I love dark, threatening, crunchy lower range sounds.”
Even with a fairly fluid line-up that benefits from a wide array of musicians that Cunningham has crossed paths with in the past 15 years, his current group also enables him to work closely with his family, including cellist Michelle Kinney and his saxophone-playing son: “The most important part of FOTHOU is the chance it gives me to play with my son Ivan. That group drew primarily from the pool of players I was working with in the Lounge Lizards and the Jazz Passengers at places like the Knitting Factory.”
Chris Cunningham © Andrea Canter
Despite a fairly saxophone-heavy lineup, the group’s sound tends to favor a surprisingly buoyant groove that finds the horns interjecting knotty lines over an infectious rhythm, rather than opting for a monolithic onslaught of brash reeds.  
Jazz Central Studios is located at 407 Central Av SE in Minneapolis, http://jazzcentralstudios.org. Prior to relocating to the Midwest, the musically restless Cunningham played in a multitude of experimental, no-wave, art-rock and punk jazz bands on the New York City downtown scene for two decades, including working with the likes of John Zorn, the Lounge Lizards, the Contortions and the Golden Palominos. That sort of punk jazz was based on things like playing James Brown riffs incredibly fast with experimental and outside stuff playing over top of it.”
Ivan Cunningham © Andrea Canter
A long-time music teacher, currently a professor in the Sound Arts Department at the Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Cunningham clearly benefits as much from his work mentoring his students as they surely do from him. FOTHOU has been going for at least four years now, and I’m always on the lookout for incredible horn players and have all sorts of ideas for how to use them. He is 17 and about to turn 18, and just a great inspiration for me. “While lots of the pieces are composed with plenty of double and triple solos, if someone in the band is inspired, they can lift their right hand for the entire band to take it out for as long as they want, but they are also responsible to bring it back to the tune when they feel it has runs its course.”
Cunningham indicated that his current group also draws from several of the concepts of his other New York bands, with the benefit of a few decades of seasoning and perspective to hear it and present it through a new lens: “The other thing I’m really drawing from in FOTHOU was the No-Wave music that I was involved in, especially when I was with the band the Contortions in the early 80s. I also like to experiment with a sort of multi-pulse going on within my music and I try to create layers in the pulse that actually suggest another pulse entirely.”
As a result of Cunningham’s desire to widen the rhythmic possibilities, close listening reveals a an alternate groove bubbling beneath the shifting meters, which is no accident: “I’m interested in the rhythmic equivalent of a moiré pattern, and what can happen if you are placing one of those patterns on top of another to see where they overlap and how that creates new patterns that are a little different.”   The music found on FOTHOU’s two recordings is as varied as Cunningham’s influences, resulting in an appealing brew that suggests hints of Sun Ra’s Arkestra, Tony Allen, Hal Russell’s NRG Ensemble and Fela Kuti, and yet, something entirely vibrant that is unique to this aggregation. It is really important to not assume you know more than a younger musician.”
In addition to his work with FOTHOU, Cunningham keeps himself fairly busy composing and envisioning other projects and mentioned he has been experimenting with using different technologies to help create compositional framework for other musicians. “I really like to do film score work and used to do a lot of multi-media type stuff, but the technical aspect of doing all those things live just takes time for setting up and paying attention to the logistics, so it just got to be too much,” Cunningham admits. Jazz Central is a nonprofit venue for education and performance, hosting music at least five nights per week Being in such close proximity to creative young players also enables him to constantly scour the scenes for talent or unique new voices for projects or to expand his current lineup: “The line-up is often determined by the availability of the players, so it can shift from one performance to the next. Music at 8 pm, $10 donation requested. “Really I get so much inspiration from playing with young people. Guitarist/composer Chris Cunningham has been a fixture on the Twin Cities creative music scene since arriving in 2002, having worked in numerous ensembles in a variety of styles running the gamut from electronic music, chamber music, solo guitar work, jazz, improvised music, or presenting multi-media performances for a variety of theatres commissions. I especially enjoy it when in some cases they have no idea of what they are doing with the instrument yet, and you get to witness the discovery as they put it together.” Cunningham’s teaching has also put him in close contact with numerous excellent young musicians, many of whom he has invited to work with his groups.   Cunningham’s primary project for the past few years has been the eleven-piece Fall of the House of Usher (FOTHOU), a band that invites Cunningham to explore new musical avenues while recalling earlier work in the composer’s oeuvre. Other pieces focus on spoken word and poetry, and elsewhere there are snippets of contained noise and more jagged terrain.   At times, the pieces are cinematic and atmospheric, with jittery guitar lines giving way to clouds of shifting reeds. “Lately I’ve been more excited about using technology to create music for live players, such as creating a visual design and transporting that into sounds and arranging it for a specific performer or instrument.”
On Friday night, Cunningham’s Fall of the House of Usher will be playing a full evening of music at Jazz Central, which will also include collaborations with Syrian oud player Issam Rafea and special guest, keyboardist John Keston. “The group has so many fine soloists that I try to make sure everyone has a chance to take solos, so within the eleven pieces on stage, there are always lots of opportunities to split into duos and trios, also to create shifting dynamics and not have everyone going at the same time.”
Chris Cunningham © Andrea Canter
While Cunningham composes the majority of the pieces the band performs live, experience working within strategies for improvisational large ensembles such as Butch Morris’ conductions or John Zorn’s game pieces has influenced the composer’s own methodologies for spontaneous embellishments: “In FOTHOU a lot of what we do is composed, but each night we do one piece called ‘Ushering Time,’ which is completely improvised, often with Adam Svec improvising lyrics, like freestyle rap with more melody and technique,” Cunningham explains. He kicks my butt constantly. “I’m especially moved by Ethiopian music from the 70’s,” Cunningham mentions, “which had a very unique modal style that was very different from Mid African or Eastern African music of that era. Fall of the House of Usher © Andrea Canter
© Jon Morgan
One of the area’s most inventive ensembles, Fall of the House of Usher, under the direction of Chris Cunningham, returns to Jazz Central Studios in Minneapolis on Friday, April 14, 8 pm. “The idea for FOTHOU came from listening back to recordings of my band Ecstatomitique,” Cunningham explains, “which was a large group I had in New York City in the 90s that had several horns and used lots of polyrhythmic approaches.

Red Planet With Bill Carrothers: CD Celebrations in the Dunsmore Room , April 18-19

Restaurant in Apple Valley; more recently he toured with Richie Cole and Five by Design. Hopefully this is just the beginning of Red Planet’s wider orbit. These days he tours throughout the U.S. Crooners Lounge is located at 6161 NE Highway 65 (Central Ave NE) in Fridley, just north of I-694 and about 15 minutes north of downtown Minneapolis. and   Europe.  
Red Planet
Red Planet © Andrea Canter
Red Planet –Dean Magraw, Chris Bates, and Jay Epstein–was described by the Artists Quarter as “creative jazz for the 21st Century, inviting you to put one ear on the launching pad of neo-bop Trane/Hendrix/Monk burn, and your other ear on the celestial weightlessness from the musical cosmos.” Searching the jazz galaxy for the past 15+ years, Red Planet, according to leader Dean, was the brainchild of Jay Epstein. Bill’s more recent recordings include a 2010 trio tribute to Clifford Brown (Joy Spring), the solo spontaneous improvisation set, Excelsior, and the 2-volume A Night at the Village Vanguard, his first live recording with his European trio, both released on Pirouet in 2011. Bill’s Birdology recording, 2000’s Duets With Bill (Stewart), was awarded the German Schallplatten Preis. He gained experience playing with visiting artists like James Moody and Billy Higgins, and recorded a well-received CD (A Band in All Hope) in 1986. Most recently, Chris has stepped out as bandleader and composer, heading his Good Vibes Trio (with Dave Hagedorn and Phil Hey), his ensemble   Red 5, and his trio Dimensions and Inventions. Paul, in Crooner’s Lounge with his trio, in the grand opening of the Dunsmore Room with the Dave King Trio, with vocalist/wife Peg Carrothers at Studio Z, and in solo and trio configurations in the Dunsmore Room. Recent exploits have included two solo performances at the famed Gilmore Keyboard Festival and appointment as a Lecturer at the Lawrence Conservatory in Appleton, WI, and release of two albums on French labels, Love and Longing and Sunday Morning (both 2013). These days, in addition to Red Planet, Jay keeps busy with Framework, Firebell, Klezmerica, and Dean Granros’ Tall Tales, and in support of a long list of area vocalists and instrumentalists. He has performed with and/or recorded with mandolin virtuoso Peter Ostroushko; vocalists Ruth McKenzie, Claudia Schmidt, Bruce Henry, Lucia Newell, Maud Hixson and Greg Brown; accordionist John Williams; Japanese shamisen prodigy Nitta Masahiro; classical violinist Nigel Kennedy; South Indian vocalist and vina virtuoso, Nirmala Rajasheker; Irish supergroup Altan; Garrison Keillor and Prairie Home Companion; jazz bassist Anthony Cox; and avant garde French saxophonist, Francois Corneloup. Jay Epstein © Andrea Canter
Of trapset master Jay Epstein, Cadence Magazine’s David Lewis noted that “his dazzling cymbal and snare work extends the lineage of Tony Williams and Jack DeJohnette.” For many years, Epstein managed time for the Phil Aaron Trio with a long-running weekly gig at the Hotel Sofitel in Bloomington and later at Enjoy! Bill was into it an motorcycled in from Michigan” in October 2015. Red Planet with Bill Carrothers (image by Nick Lethert)
© Andrea Canter
“Carrothers’ feathery textures go nicely with the wave of effects Dean Magraw wrings from his guitar…bassist Chris Bates and drummer Jay Epstein spin the eruptions with aplomb.” – Star Tribune
Creation Audio — live audience recording session © Andrea Canter
In fall 2015, One of the area’s most innovative musical trios joined forces with one of the world’s most creative pianists at Creation Audio, recording their magnificent mayhem in front of a small live audience. This year Chris has added college teaching to his resume’, as a Visiting Artist at the University of Minnesota Morris. Jay released Long Ago on Igmod Records, has recorded with Bill Carrothers, and appears on each of Gordon Johnson’s Trios, among a long list of sideman credits. Bill Carrothers © Andrea Canter
As a sideman, Bill has appeared with Joe Beck, Scott Colley, Buddy DeFranco, Dave Douglas, Curtis Fuller, Billy Higgins, Lee Konitz, James Moody, Dewey Redman, Charlie Rouse, and Toots Thielemans, among others; as a leader he has released 26 recordings, receiving such European honors as the 2000 French Diapason d’Or de l’Année and the 2004 Grand Prix de l’Academie Charles Cros, and numerous Top 10 of the Year lists in France.  
Bill Carrothers
Bill Carrothers © Andrea Canter
Bill Carrothers has hardly followed the typical path of a musical prodigy. 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. Although he started lessons at age 5, he initially hated the piano. One of the region’s most sought-after bassists, Chris has covered a wide musical territory over the past 20+ years, earning a McKnight Composers Fellowship in 1999 and appearing on countless recordings with the likes of Kelly Rossum, Bryan Nichols, Zacc Harris, and Dean Magraw, and appearing on club and concert venue stages with such acclaimed ensembles as The Motion Poets, How Birds Work, A Love Electric, Framework, Red Planet, Fall of the House of Usher, Leisure Valley, and the Atlantis Quartet. In recent Twin Cities gigs, Bill has performed with his Dublin trio (Kevin Brady and David Redmond) at Studio Z in St. Recent credits include launching an improv series at Jazz Central, releasing the first recordings of the Good Vibes Trio and Red 5, joining Dean Granros’ Tall Tales ensemble, and receiving a composition commission from Zeitgeist. Dean has collaborated with many local artists at the Artists Quarter, Black Dog, Nicollet, Reverie, Jazz Central, and more, including Brandon Wozniak, Bryan Nichols, Billy Peterson, Steven Hobert, Eric Gravatt, Butch Thompson, and Kenny Horst.  
Red Planet with Bill Carrothers performs two nights in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge, April 18-19, 7 pm.   The quartet convened for several recording sessions at Creation Audio, inviting a small audience to witness the magic during one session. Now the final product, Red Planet With Bill Carrothers, is ready for delivery, with a CD Release celebration over two nights in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge in suburban Minneapolis. “ After trying upstate New York (Woodstock) for a couple years, he returned to the Midwest, and now makes his home in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The results are at times quirky, ethereal, and high voltage as the recording presents ten tracks — four Magraw originals, another from Chris Bates, two each from band favorites Coltrane and Monk, and even a Sammy Cahn/Jimmy VanHeusen standard (“Come Dance With Me”). Most recently they have appeared at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Jazz at Studio Z, Vieux Carré, Reverie, and more. Bill’s interest in American history led to several projects, including his tributes to the Civil War (The Blues and the Greys, Bridge Boy Music, 1997; Armistice 1918, Sketch, 2004; and the live solo CD, Civil War Diaries, Bridge Boy Music, 2005). Dean co-leads a monthly duo with percussionist Davu Seru at the Black Dog Café, and recently launched duo projects with pianists Steven Hobert and Butch Thompson, and with veteran drummer Eric Kamau Gravatt, leading to their CD release, Fire on the Nile.  
Red Planet With Bill Carrothers (2017, Shifting Paradigm Records)
Jay Epstein first suggested a recording adding Bill Carrothers to the mix. Chris Bates © Andrea Canter
Chris Bates, with his brother, drummer JT, grew up with jazz, sons of trumpeter/bandleader Don Bates. Armistice was nominated for the 2005 French “Grammy” equivalent, Les Victoires du Jazz. After playing in his high school jazz bands, Carrothers moved on to the jazz program at North Texas State on a scholarship. Reservations recommended at www.croonersloungemn.com    CDs available at the show and via Shifting Paradigm Records (www.shiftingparadigmrecords.com)
  He’s released a series of recordings spanning his musical universe, including a duo with tabla master Marcus Wise, How the Light Gets In. And it was an easy sell, as Dean notes that “everybody loves the amazing, very genius and challenger, Mr Bill Carrothers. By 1988, he’d had enough of college studies and headed to New York, where he recorded with Gary Peacock and Bill Stewart, and had gigs at the Village Gate, Birdland and Visiones.   Over the years, Magraw notes that the trio has “gotten into more original music, as well as continuing to expand on the deep repertoire of John Coltrane, and   always showing some intense interest on expanding our Monk repertoire.” Red Planet released their debut recording, Space Dust, in 2011. But eventually Carrothers was turned on to jazz by his piano teacher, the late Bobby Peterson, who introduced young Bill to Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, and most importantly, Miles Davis. More recently, Carrothers appeared with Billy Peterson on Dave King’s trio debut, I’ve Been Ringing You (2012, Sunnyside), and released another solo set reflecting his life in Minnesota, Family Life (2012), a “blatantly intimate” disc displaying a “tender, evocative soulfulness” (Britt Robson, Jazz Times). But the big city never felt like home, and after five years, Carrothers gave up on the Big Apple, recognizing he preferred a quieter, more rural life than the frenetic pace of most jazz musicians. The spirits of Trane, Monk, Hendrix, and Frisell (and local hero Dean Granros) are ever-present at one time or another (or all together!), and the addition of Bill Carrothers provides a common bluesy denominator, exquisite on Monk’s “Reflections,” solemnly elegant on Dean’s “Ann R Chi”, maintaining the thinnest thread of melody on “Come Dance With Me.”   One has to wonder why this quartet did not come together earlier as Carrothers fits so naturally with the trio.

Steven Hobert Quartet at Jazz Central, April 19

Cover donation of $10 requested. Currently Pete leads his 10-piece X-Tet and Quartet, and is a member of Bottomless Pit and the Jazz MN Orchestra.   After launching his professional career in Kansas City, he completed his undergraduate and masters’ degrees in jazz studies at North Texas State University. With an exciting group of Twin Cities musicians, leader Hobert (piano) is joined by versatile saxophonist (and series curator) Pete Whitman,   wide-ranging bassist Yohannes Tona, and up-and-coming drummer Arthur “LA” Buckner. In 1986, Pete began touring throughout Europe, Japan and Brazil with the Glen Miller Orchestra, moving to St. His father, baritone singer Art G. Mambo’s Combo, Darnell Davis and the Remnant, Nachito Herrera, Kevin Washington, Doug Little, #Mpls, and Foreign Motion. Mychal Rambo, Bruce Henry, Debbie Duncan, and Sounds of Blackness, leads the Yohannes Tona Band and Made in Abyssinia, and works as a producer for a variety of projects. Full calendar at http://jazzcentralstudios.org
 
   
The Steven Hobert Quartet performs at 8:30 pm at Jazz Central, located at 407 SE Central Ave in Minneapolis. Currently Steven leads FireFly Forest and his 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, composer, and teacher of piano, accordion and woodwinds. Yohannes emigrated to the U.S. Studying guitar and then bass in his homeland, he attended Yared, Ethiopia’s lone music school, at sixteen. Steven Hobert © Andrea Canter
Originally from Hartland, Wisconsin, Steven Hobert recalls that he “would noodle around on the piano and just make things up, maybe even as young as middle school.” The music of Keith Jarrett, particularly his solo improvisation concerts, 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. Paul in 1988 where he has become one of the most prolific members of the Twin Cities jazz community. Pete’s credits on tenor, alto, soprano, clarinet and flute include performing with Randy Brecker, Jack McDuff, Curtis Fuller, the Woody Herman Orchestra and Andres Prado Quartet. 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. Yohannes Tona © Andrea Canter
Bassist Yohannes Tona grew up in Awassa in southern Ethiopia, the son of a church organist (father) and vocalist (mother). A dedicated educator, Whitman heads the Woodwind and Brass Department at St. Buckner, bought LA his first drum kit after observing his son’s fascination with the drums he heard during church services. Born and raised in Minneapolis, LA was influenced by his father’s jazz collection, his mother’s Quincy Jones and Erykah Badu albums, his involvement in the music of his family church. A few yeas later he was recruited to serve as music director for the Ethiopian Church in Minneapolis. He’s also performed with top area vocalists including T. With his X-Tet, he released the highly regarded Where’s When on Artegra (2002), earning four stars from Downbeat. LA is known for his ability to incorporate Latin, Blues, Pop, Hip-Hop and R&B into whatever style of music he’s playing. Pete Whitman © Andrea Canter
Pete Whitman is a veteran performer, composer, and arranger. Steve Hobert Quartet © Andrea Canter
© Andrea Canter
About a year after its debut at Reverie, the Steven Hobert Quartet is still running strong, now featured on “new music night” at Jazz Central on April 19, 8:30 pm. Pete also composed and arranged the score for the independent film, Been Rich All My Life. Arthur “LA” Buckner © Andrea Canter
Currently a Masters degree student at McNally Smith College of Music, drummer Arthur “LA” Buckner works with national gospel recording artist Jovnota Patton & Deliverance for Youth, Shiloh Temple International Ministries, Rodney Ruckus, the Ethan Yeshaya Trio, Cameron Wright Band, Paris Bennett, and the award-winning McNally Smith X-Tet. Jazz Central Studios is a nonprofit venue for education and performance. Paul’s McNally Smith College where he teaches saxophone, improvisation, and arranging, and directs McNally’s edition of the X-Tet. Here he has played with the Grammy-nominated Excelsior Choir , Dr. in the late 1990s to   study at the Berklee College of Music. with the Glenn Miller Orchestra. He also served as music director for vocal ensemble Five By Design.

Fermentation, Large Marge at Reverie, April 20

Thursday night schedule at www.thursdaynightjazzatreverie.info Fermentation (9 pm)
Dave Atchison
Fermentation is a collaborative Twin Cities ensemble playing mostly original tunes in the jazz tradition, while also “bringing “a number of different influences to bear for our joint sound.” Tonight’s band includes Dave Atchison on guitar, William Melton on bass and trombone, Armond Reginald Neal on flutes, and Ryan Billig on drums. Today Josh is an active member of the Twin Cities improvisation and experimental music community, playing with the Bookhouse Trio, Davy Demons Trio, George Cartwright’s Merciless Ghost, Painted Saints, Aby Wolf, Jon Davis, Amethyst Three, Patrick Harison, Peter Schimke, Davu Seru, Park Evans, Javier Matos, Tony Balluff, the Skruffians, and more. Leading off at 9 pm will be Fermentation, followed at approximately 10:30 by the duo Large Marge. No cover but donations (tip jar) appreciated to support the musicians and the series. As a teenager, he played classical etudes, punch/thrash/rock, and jazz.  
Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie takes place weekly at Reverie Bar at 1931 Nicollet Ave South in Minneapolis, just south of downtown. Josh Granowski © Andrea Canter
Josh Granowski started playing upright bass at age 11, soon following with bass guitar. Notes Vieux Carre’, Josh is a “first call in town for any group that swings.”
Chris Hepola
Chris Hepola is an in-demand drummer in the Twin Cities, performing in a wide range of ensembles playing jazz, pop, folk music, and much more. We finally have our first recording (almost) ready [and] enjoy each others’ company muchly.”
 
Large Marge (10:30 pm)
Large Marge is a duo, pairing bassist Josh Granowski and drummer Chris Hepola. He’s also performed recently with James Buckley, Yellow Bellied Sapsuckers, and the Cactus Blossoms.   Notes Dave, “We’ve been playing regularly at the Seward Café and at the old Bedlam Theater for 6 years or so, and other places now and then. © Andrea Canter
Two bands offering atypical instrumentation and significantly imaginative music take the stage at Reverie on April 20 on the Thursday Night Jazz series curated by Steve Kenny. He’s performed with Balkan brass band The Brass Messengers, folk-pop soundscape artists Painted Saints, and on keyboards with string ensemble The Poor Nobodys.