Thursday, December 23, 2010

Live jazz to see in Minneapolis-St. Paul on Christmas weekend and beyond

KBEM's holiday broadcasts are automated, so I won't be on the radio with Ed Jones this Friday (Dec. 24) or next Friday (Dec. 31). We'll be back at 8:30 am on Friday, January 7.

Many clubs and cafes are closed on Christmas Eve and day, including the Artists’ Quarter, Café Maude, Honey, and the Red Stag. The Dakota is closed on Christmas Eve. If you plan to visit a favorite venue, call first.

The Bad Plus by Cameron Wittig
Saturday–Monday, December 25–27: The Bad Plus. It wouldn’t be Christmas in Minnesota without Holidazzle on the mall and The Bad Plus—pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson, and drummer Dave King—at the Dakota. The trio first appeared at the old Dakota in Bandana Square as “The Bad Plus featuring Dave King” in 2000. That was before These Are the Vistas (released on Columbia in 2003) earned raves and caused a ruckus (“The Bad Plus is saving jazz!” “The Bad Plus is killing jazz!” “The Bad Plus is the new direction of jazz!” “The Bad Plus isn’t jazz at all!” yadda yadda). Since then, they have released several more albums, left Columbia, started their own label, and continued to do their own thing, which may not be as shocking as it once seemed but remains as intriguing and musically rewarding as ever. Their latest album, Never Stop (2010), is all originals, no covers, but if we don’t hear their signature takes on “Smells Like Teen Spirit” or “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” or “Iron Man,” I will be just a hair disappointed. Three nights, two sets each, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., Dakota ($40). Tickets online or call 612-332-JAZZ (5299).

Connie Evingson by Tray Hirez
Sunday, December 26: Connie Evingson’s Holiday Songbook. Hear the songs of the season and learn the stories behind their creation. (For example, Mel Torme and Bob Wells wrote “The Christmas Song in 45 minutes on a blistering hot day in Los Angeles. I did not know that.) One of the Twin Cities’ favorite and most consistently satisfying singers, Evingson has done a series of performances this year in the intimate, inviting Jungle Theater. Her program on Sunday will include popular and lesser-known holiday songs and selections from her award-winning CD, The Secret of Christmas. One day, two performances, 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., Jungle Theater ($25). Tickets online or call 612-822-7063.

Maud Hixson by Judd Sather
Monday, December 27: Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson at the Loring Pasta Bar. The Loring Pasta Bar is hosting a new series on Mondays called “Musique Mystique dans la Chambre Rouge”—Mystical Music in the Red Room, upstairs from the main Pasta Bar space. Each Monday they’re featuring a different female vocalist from the Twin Cities, and we’re fortunate to have so many. This week it’s the always elegant Maud Hixson, joined by her husband, Rick Carlson, a pianist much in demand by singers for knowing precisely how to be a perfect accompanist. 7 p.m., Loring Pasta Bar, Dinkytown, no cover.

Faye Washington
Wednesday, December 29: Capri Big Band Holiday Concert. Snowed out on December 11, this worthy event was rescheduled. Faye Washington leads the Capri Big Band in its third annual Christmas concert, “Home for the Holidays.” With vocalists Charles “Chako” Andrea and Aja Pridgen. Proceeds support the band’s twice-monthly rehearsals at the Capri. 7 p.m., Capri Theater, 2027 West Broadway, Minneapolis ($10). Tickets online or call 866-811-4111.

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