Friday, October 14, 2011

This week's jazz picks for Minneapolis-St. Paul: Oct. 14-20, 2011

Tonight and tomorrow (Friday–Saturday, Oct. 14–15) at the Artists’ Quarter in St. Paul, you can experience the Good Life. Good Life is the name of a new quartet of four area musicians, all with big followings around the Twin Cities: Brandon Wozniak on saxophone, Peter Schimke on piano, Billy Peterson on bass, and Kenny Horst on drums. Each has a lot of history and musical knowledge to share. The music starts at 9 tonight and tomorrow at the AQ, St. Paul’s legendary basement jazz club. $10.

If you live in or near Plymouth, I hope you know about the Jazz@St.Barney’s series, held at St. Barnabas Center for the Arts on Old Rockford Road. On Saturday, Oct. 15, singer Connie Evingson will be joined by pianist Mary Louise Knutson in a rare duo performance. This family-friendly event starts at 7. $10 adults, $7 TCJS members, $5 students (free for SBCA students).

On Saturday at the Southern Theater at Seven Corners, the great poet Amiri Baraka will give a special performance of his Wise Why’s Y’s, an epic journey through the history of Africans in America that questions and answers broad themes of history and identity. Presented by Tru Ruts’ FreestyleTheatre, this will be an evening of spoken word, jazz, and dance. 8 p.m. Saturday. $7.

More choices on Saturday: Patty Peterson and Friends will be at the Dakota starting at 8. $12. Over at the Nomad World Pub in Cedar Riverside, Mama Digdown’s Brass Band—a New Orleans-style brass band with a street beat— will record their live show for the band’s next CD. MDBB is based in Milwaukee but has a big following in the Twin Cities and the Crescent City. That starts at 9. No cover.

Five jazz films are coming to the Twin Cities in the next five weeks—two this week. (Read about all five on MinnPost.) On Sunday, Oct. 16, at 1 p.m. at the Trylon Microcinema on Minnehaha, you can see a film called In My Mind, featuring pianist/composer/MacArthur fellow Jason Moran and his Big Bandwagon, revisiting and interpreting Thelonious Monk’s historic 1959 Town Hall concert. Some of you may remember seeing this program at the Walker back in 2009. KBEM’s Kevin Barnes will introduce the film. $10.

On Thursday, Oct. 20, Kevin will be back at the Trylon for the next installment of his REEL Jazz film series. This will be an evening with local film collector, preservationist, and historian Bob DeFlores, who has accumulated a lot of jazz films over the years, especially big-band films. He’ll bring some good ones to show and talk about. That starts at 7:30 at the Trylon. $10.

Also on Sunday, Oct. 16, Soul Café returns to Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church. Soul Café combines jazz, poetry, and improvisation in a beautiful setting—the church’s art gallery, where you’re surrounded by big, beautiful paintings. This time, the theme is resilience: the capacity to embrace all that life brings. With Steve Blons on guitar, Laura Caviani on piano, Brad Holden on sax, Daryl Boudreaux on drums, Lucia Newell on vocals, and Jay Young on bass. 7 p.m. Sunday night. $10 requested donation.

On Monday, Oct. 17, at Jazz Central, trombonist, mensch, and Zen master Dave Graf will take the spotlight. If you haven’t been to Jazz Central, I encourage you to give it a try. It’s rapidly becoming the place to go for jazz and jam sessions in Minneapolis on Monday nights. The music begins at 8:30. No cover, but please show some love to the tip jar.

If it’s Tuesday, it must be Jazz Night at The Nicolletthe bright, airy, high-ceilinged coffee house at the corner of Nicollet and Franklin. This weekly series has legs—and a dance floor. This week, you can hear vocalist Vicky Mountain with Chris Lomheim on keys. Enjoy the music and have a cup of Jazz Standard coffee, freshly roasted for the occasion. Starts at 7. No cover.

Big doings on Wednesday, Oct. 19, back at the Artists’ Quarter: The Wallace Roney Quintet, one night only. The great trumpeter Roney was mentored by Miles Davis after Miles heard him in 1983 in Carnegie Hall, and later joined Miles on stage at Montreux in 1991. He’s bringing his own band, which includes brother Antoine on saxes and young pianist Araun Ortiz. This is a don’t-miss no-brainer. Two sets, 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. $22. Reservations recommended.

Also on Wednesday, Sophia Shorai will be at the Dakota with Bryan Nichols, Cody McKinney, and Greg Schutte. Starts at 7. $5. Over in Cedar-Riverside, the Nomad Jazz Series features bassist Anthony Cox.

For details about these and many more live jazz performances in and around the Twin Cities, simply check the jazz calendar at the right or on KBEM's website

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