Friday, June 17, 2011

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

Friday: Patty Peterson and Friends at the Dakota in Minneapolis. Patty will sing with her family posse—Paul on bass and vocals, Ricky on B3 and vocals (he performs with David Sanborn, Stevie Nicks, and Bonnie Raitt), Jason on piano and vocals—plus other non-Petersons to round out her band. 8 p.m. Friday, June 17, $12.

Friday and Saturday: Tommy O’Donnell Trio at the Artists’ Quarter in St. Paul. O’Donnell is known as the pianist in town who can play like Erroll Garner. He’s joined by Gordy Johnson on bass, Phil Hey on drums, both back from Birdland in NYC, where they played for Stacey Kent. 9 p.m. Friday, June 17, $10.

Saturday: The Ginger Commodore Quartet at the Dakota. Bruce Henry was originally scheduled for tonight; sadly, his father passed away. Ginger and Bobby will make a point of remembering Bruce’s father—of honoring all fathers—and will perform some of Bruce’s favorite songs. 8 p.m. Saturday, June 18, $10.

Saturday: Merciless Ghost at the Black Dog in St. Paul. A new trio led by the great improviser, saxophonist George Cartwright, with Josh Granowski on bass and Davu Seru on drums. I heard this group the first time they played the Black Dog in April and liked them a lot. 8-ish Saturday, June 18, no cover.

Sunday: Allen Toussaint at the Dakota. An American treasure, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, composer, performer, producer, arranger, and all-around music legend. Seeing him in solo performance in a venue as intimate at the Dakota is a privilege and a pleasure. 7 p.m. Sunday, June 19, $45.

Monday and Tuesday: Hiromi’s New Trio Project at the Dakota. The just-out CD, Voice, features Anthony Jackson on electric bass and Simon Phillips on drums. At the Dakota, Steve Smith will be the drummer. If jazz were an Olympic sport, both Hiromi and Smith would have gold medals for speed, strength, and sheer athleticism. 7 and 9 p.m. Monday–Tuesday, June 20–21, $35/$25.

Wednesday: Trombone Shorty at the Minnesota Zoo in Apple Valley. Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews performed at the Zoo last summer, and I remember that night very clearly—because it was so much fun, and because I heard tigers growl as I walked through the zoo toward the open-air Weesner Family Aphitheater. Shorty plays trombone and trumpet, he sings, he moonwalks, he channels Marvin Gaye and Louis Armstrong. Opening: Lubriphonic, a group that describes itself as “Chicago rock and soul stew.” 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 22, $29.

Thursday–Saturday and Sunday evening: The 13th Annual Twin Cities Jazz Festival in St. Paul. Numerous other jazz events are happening in Minneapolis and St. Paul this weekend, and you can check the live jazz calendar (at right, or at KBEM's website) to find out about those, but honestly, Jazz Fest is the place to be. Along with national headliners—The New Gary Burton Quartet, Deodato, Danilo Perez and John Patitucci—the more than 50 live music events scheduled at Mears Park, the adjacent Sixth Street Stage, and nearby clubs and venues spotlight many of the Twin Cities’ own. For the first time, the festival will feature free jazz and free improvisation; look for that at Studio Z. The Artists’ Quarter will host Stride Night on Thursday (Jon Weber, Butch Thompson, Paul Asaro), afterparties on Friday and Saturday (hosted by Weber), and, on Sunday, “Two Bass Hit,” featuring Patitucci and Billy Peterson. Check the schedule at for everything you want to know. Starts June 23. Most events are free; some clubs charge covers.

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. 88.5 FM in the Twin Cities, streaming live on the Web. Come back to KBEM on Saturday night for Maryann Sullivan’s “Corner Jazz” and on Thursday for “On the Local Corner,” both with calendar news. Check the live jazz calendar at the right or on KBEM’s website for many more events.

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