Friday, May 13, 2011

This week's jazz picks for Minneapolis-St. Paul

Tune to KBEM every Friday morning at 8:30 to hear me and Mr. Jones—Jazz 88 "Morning Show" host Ed Jones—talk about the week's jazz picks and more. 88.5 FM in the Twin Cities, streaming live on the Web. On Saturday night, come back to KBEM for Maryann Sullivan's "Corner Jazz" and my Corner Calendar, which airs just before 9 p.m.

A quick mention (more next week) that The Bad Plus will be at the Loring Theater next Friday and Saturday (May 20–21), playing their interpretation of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. This weekend, the Minnesota Orchestra performs the original under the direction of Sarah Hicks. Where else can you bookend your week with live performances of the Rite?

Friday and Saturday: Red Planet Space Dust CD release at the Artists’ Quarter

Red Planet is Dean Magraw on guitar, Chris Bates on bass, and Jay Epstein on drums and those gorgeous cymbals of his. For those of you who know these three musicians, that’s all I need to say. For the rest of you: Space Dust is post-bop, melodic jazz-rock that embraces John Coltrane and Jimi Hendrix, grooving originals and “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” Magraw puts on his rock god hat and burns the house down. These will be exciting shows.

9 p.m. Friday–Saturday, May 13–14, Artists’ Quarter in the basement of the Hamm Building in St. Paul ($10)

Friday and Saturday: Hammers, Horns, Skins ’n’ Squeezebox at Studio Z

Did someone say “accordion”? The new music ensemble Zeitgeist—Heather Barringer, percussion; Patti Cudd, percussion; Pat O’Keefe, woodwinds; Shannon Wettstein, keys—has teamed with composer and squeezebox maestro Guy Klucevsek (say KLOO-suh-vek) for three nights of “twisted tangos, barnstorming boogies, and other irreverent music making.” I’ve heard from people who were at Thursday’s show and loved it.

7:30 p.m. Friday–Saturday, May 13–14, Studio Z in St. Paul’s Lowertown ($10)

Saturday: The Brubeck Bros. at Hopkins Center for the Arts

Chris (bass and trombone) and Dan (drums) grew up in their father’s mighty shadow, started playing with him when they were very young, and have made their own way as accomplished, straight-ahead jazz musicians and performers. With Mike DeMicco on guitar, Chuck Lamb on piano.

7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 14, Hopkins Center for the Arts in downtown Hopkins ($24/$21/$19/$12)

Saturday and Sunday: John Raymond at the Dakota and the AQ

The marvelous young trumpeter John Raymond grew up in Minneapolis, graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire, and moved to New York in 2009. He’s about to start recording a new CD with producer Jon Faddis. Meanwhile, he’s touring with four up-and-coming dudes from the Big Apple: Adam Larson on tenor sax, Raviv Markovitz on bass, and brothers Nils and Bastian Weinhold on guitar and drums. Catch them tonight at the Dakota late night show or tomorrow evening at the AQ.

11 p.m. Saturday, May 14, Dakota ($5)
7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Sunday, May 15, Artists’ Quarter ($10)

Monday and Tuesday: Steve Tyrell at the Dakota

Hear how they do it in New York City. Tyrell is a producer, songwriter, and Grammy winner with a long list of hit tunes, films, and TV projects to his credit. He’s also an accomplished jazz singer who took over for Bobby Short at the Carlyle after Short passed away. His book ranges from tunes by Cole Porter to songs by his friend Burt Bacharach, and when he takes the stage, he owns the room.

7 p.m. and 9 p.m., Monday–Tuesday, May 16–17, Dakota ($45/$30)

Wednesday and Thursday: Ottmar Liebert at the Dakota

Born in Germany to a Chinese-German father and Hungarian mother, Liebert started playing guitar at 11, traveled through Europe and Asia, moved to Santa Fe, founded a band called Luna Negra, and ended up opening for Miles Davis. His style: nouveau flamenco. His accomplishments: 25 CDs, 5 Grammy nominations. Love guitar? Don’t miss this.

7 and 9 p.m., Wednesday–Thursday, May 18–19, Dakota ($40/$25)

Thursday: KBEM May Fest Jazz Party at the Loring Theater

This event is sold out/full up. But there are always no-shows, and if you want to arrive at the theater early for a KBEM-sponsored “Jazz After Work” social in the lobby, you might get lucky. Accordionist Patrick Harison will perform in the lobby starting at 6. The program begins at 7 in the theater and featurings the Bryan Nichols Trio, Arne Fogel, Maud Hixson, Connie Evingson, Debbie Duncan, and pianist Tanner Taylor. The Chris Lomheim Quartet will play in the lobby during intermission and after the show. This event celebrates Minnesota jazz and two new KBEM productions made possible by the Legacy Fund: Maryann Sullivan’s “Minnesota Music Moment,” currently airing, and Arne Fogel’s upcoming “Minnesota’s Voices: Certain Standards.”

7 p.m. Thursday, May 19 (doors at 5 for “Jazz After Work”), Loring Theater (formerly the Music Box Theater), Minneapolis (free but sold out)

Finally: Next weekend is a big one for jazz in the Twin Cities. The Bad Plus plays Stravinsky at the Loring, the Bryan Nichols Quintet has their CD release (for Bright Places) at the AQ, and funk rules at Orchestra Hall with Maceo Parker and the Christian McBride Situation. Don’t leave town.

Check the live jazz calendar at the right or here for many more events.

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