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.