Friday, December 16, 2011

This week's jazz picks

This weekend, it’s all about St. Paul.

Tonight (Friday, Dec. 16) and tomorrow at the Artists’ Quarter, you can hear the great singer Debbie Duncan, who once told me that if she doesn’t mean it, she doesn’t sing it. 'Tis the season, so she'll probably draw from her CD, It Must Be Christmas. 9 p.m., $10.

Tonight at the Black Dog in Lowertown, the Community Pool: Deep End series of improvised music continues with a rare performance by Brad Bellows on valve trombone and Donald Washington on saxophone. Brian Roessler on bass, Pete Hennig on drums. 8 p.m. Tip jar.

Tonight at Studio Z, down the road from the Black Dog, Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric will debut new material for its next CD, 20th Century Folk Selections, due in February on Royal Potato Family Records. The band is Clouser on electric guitar, Adam Meckler on trumpet, Chris Bates on bass, Jason Craft on B3, Greg Schutte on drums—and artist Tim Nyberg, who will paint in acrylic on canvas to the music he hears, seeking to create moments where sound and color meet. 8 p.m., $10.

On Saturday at Studio Z, the Jazz at Studio Z series, curated by guitarist Zacc Harris, continues with Bryan Nichols’s We Are Many, a nine-piece group that has played in public only once twice before, at MacPhail and the Clown Lounge in 2010. The band includes Nichols on piano, JT Bates on drums, Mike Lewis and Brandon Wozniak on saxophones, Eric Fratzke on electric bass, Adam Linz on bass, and Jeremy Ylvisaker on guitar. 7 p.m., $10. Earlier that day, at 1 in the afternoon, you can attend an open rehearsal/workshop for free. (Thanks to Dean Lambrecht for the corrections.)

Singer and pianist JoAnn Funk and bassist Jeff Brueske have a regular weekend gig in the elegant lobby of the St. Paul Hotel. The hotel is across the street from Rice Park and the Ordway, both lit up for the holidays. (St. Paul is especially beautiful at this time of year.) Curl up in a comfortable overstuffed chair, have a cocktail, and enjoy JoAnn's unique way with a song. The music starts at 7 p.m. No cover.

Across the river, in Minneapolis, the Peterson Family celebrates Christmas at the Dakota on Sunday in two shows, one at 4 p.m. and one at 7 p.m. $23. On Tuesday, Rhonda Laurie and Maryann Sullivan sing Christmas songs at The Nicollet Coffee House on Tuesday starting at 7 p.m. Tip jar. On Wednesday, the George Maurer Big Band plays its very popular annual holiday show at the Dakota. Sold out, but try for the second set. 7 p.m. $12. Also on Wednesday, you'll find Wailing Ships at the Eagles Club. Improvised music by Luke Polipnick on guitar, Josh Granowski on bass, and Davu Seru on drums. For the second set, they’ll be joined by Scott Fultz and Brandon Wozniak on saxophones, and Park Evans on guitar for a tribute to drummer Paul Motian, who recently passed away. 9 p.m. $5.

Make those reservations: On December 23, 25, and 26, The Bad Plus settles into the Dakota for their annual Christmas residency. From here, they'll go to the Village Vanguard and close out the year.

Check the live jazz calendar on KBEM's website or at the right for details about these events and many more. If want your gigs listed, send an email to

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