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“Jazz is not background music. You must concentrate upon it in order to get the most of it. You must absorb most of it. The harmonies within the music can relax, soothe, relax, and uplift the mind when you concentrate upon and absorb it. Jazz music stimulates the minds and uplifts the souls of those who play it was well as of those who listen to immerse themselves in it. As the mind is stimulated and the soul uplifted, this is eventually reflected in the body.” - Horace Silver
 Friday, 28 August 2015
The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, August 28-September 3 E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
Maud Hixson Trio (Parma 8200, August 28) © Andrea Canter

[Ed. note: We're giving up monthly columns about coming jazz gigs. There are now too many venues and too many gigs to do a monthly set of highlights! Instead we are posting Andrea's "Lead Sheet" which has been running on her blog for many years, and which is the basis for her 9-minute weekly broadcast on KBEM radio. The online edition of the Lead Sheet highlights Twin Cities jazz across venues each week as a supplement to the live jazz calendar on this site.]

San Jose' Jazz Festival: Near-Perfect Afternoon of Jazz and Fusion E-mail
Written by Ken Vermes   

Going to any kind of music festival is sometimes a risk. Beside the hassles of parking, staying fed, and getting around, there is the sometimes-terrible feeling that you are missing something, even while enjoying what is right in front of your eyes. Such has often been the case at the San José Jazz Festival, founded in 1986. As the festival has grown and matured, it has expanded to the point that quick decisions by participants are a requirement. The festival program illustrated the problem: Should I see Sylvia Cuenca or John Pizzarelli? Shall I check out Etienne Charles playing the “San José Suite” or see newcomer Natalie Cressman? And this was just one day, Saturday, August 8.

"No Room for Squares" at The Nicollet, August 28 E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
No Room for Squares © Andrea Canter

A hit on the Sixth Street Stage of the 2015 Twin Cities Jazz Festival, No Room For Squares quintet returns to the stage on August 28 as part of the Friday Night Jazz at The Nicollet series curated by Steve Kenny. Led by drummer Bill Stieger, NRFS features some of the area's top veterans, including Jimmie Wallace (sax), Jon Pemberton (trumpet), Mikkel Romstad (piano) and Adam Tucker (bass).

Javon Jackson's We Four featuring Jimmy Cobb Celebrates the Music of John Coltrane at Smoke 8/28-30 E-mail
Written by Ronaldo Oregano   
Javon Jackson, Jeremy Manasia, John Webber and Jimmy Cobb

We Four
, Javon Jackson’s project focusing on Coltrane-associated compositions. Jackson first gained attention with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in the early ‘80s and had memorable stints with molten drummer Elvin Jones, a member of Coltrane’s “classic” quartet. Since emerging from these apprenticeships, Jackson has transcended his “young lion” status to become a noted composer and bandleader, heading up a dozen acclaimed sessions for Blue Note, Criss Cross and Palmetto.  We Four it features an impressive lineup. In addition to pianist Jeremy Manasia and bassist John Webber, this quartet also includes the legendary drummer Jimmy Cobb who worked with Coltrane when both were with Miles Davis 65 years ago but who sounds as good now as he did then. Hear them at Smoke on Friday, August 28th through Sunday, August 30th.
Walker West Announces 8 O'Clock Jump Jazz Series Featuring Ron Carter E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   

Ron Carter © Andrea Canter

Walker West Music Academy has announced its new 13-show 8 O’Clock Jump Jazz Series, with tickets on sale August 15th. Headlining the fall season is jazz legend Ron Carter, internationally renowned bassist who rose to stardom for his seminal work with Miles Davis in the 1960s. He appears with his trio on September 11 in Walker West's performance center in the school's new home on Selby Avenue. Other fall concerts include flautist Nichole Mitchell, Afoutayi Dance, vocalist Yolande Bruce, Eric Gravatt & Source Code, and pianist Anthony Walker. Show dates for the 2nd half of the series will be announced in October, and include appearances from the Bryan Nichols Trio,  Atlantis Quartet, the Hanson/Roessler Collective, and New York-based alto saxophonist David Binney, among others.

Bill Cunliffe Septet Featuring Carol Bach-Y-Rita at Sunset Jazz E-mail
Written by Glenn A. Mitchell, LA Jazz Scene   

Bill Cunliffe Septet © Art Pazornik

Superb pianist/composer/arranger/educator Bill Cunliffe brought a remarkable band to the Sunset Jazz at Newport series (Newport Marriott Hotel),  July 22, 2015.  A past winner of the Thelonious Monk International Piano Competition, Cunliffe also won a 2009 Grammy for Best Instrumental Arrangement of Oscar Peterson's “West Side Story” medley. This is the sixth annual Sunset Jazz season at the Newport Marriott, a series of eleven Wednesday evening concerts, July to September.


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