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"Jazz is probably the best music for worship, because it speaks to the existential situation of a human being." - Rev. John Garcia Gensel (Sheperd of the Night Flock).
 
 Tuesday, 28 July 2015
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Rock and Jazz in the Bay Area: Smith Dobson, Larry Coryell and Steely Dan E-mail
Written by Ken Vermes   

 

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Smith Dobson © Ken Vermes


Jazz music has been shaped by many influences over more than one hundred years. And for those jazz musicians who grew up during the 50s, 60s and 70s, there is probably no more defining influence than the many rock artists and groups that dominated the airwaves. But the manner in which these influences manifest themselves for players is varied and endlessly fascinating.

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da-ke-broo-da: That's Jazz for "All Originals" at Studio Z, July 30 E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   

 

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da-ka-brood-a © Andrea Canter

When they first came together at the Black Dog a few months ago, the band was dubbed the Daley Brattain Report for leaders Kevin Daley and Dave Brattain. By the end of the gig they became dā-kə-bro̵̅o̅-dā, seemingly a new language but really a melding of the first letters of each musician's name-- Dave Brattain, Kevin Daley, Bruce Heine and Dave Stanoch. In any language, any name, these four veterans are surely "all originals," and appropriately scheduled to perform on the All Originals Jazz Series at Studio Z in St. Paul's Lowertown on Thursday, July 30.  All Originals is in its second season, curated by Steve Kenny as a weekly summer concert series running throughout July and August, funded with a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.

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Matt Ulery's "In the Ivory" at Constellation 7/31 E-mail
Written by Ronaldo Oregano   
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Matt Ulery


Chicago bassist-composer, Matt Ulery, creates resplendent, lyrical, transportive chamber-jazz music. His most ambitious project to date, In the Ivory, explores the idea of consciousness with form and structure presenting narrative through patient, elegant, and sophisticated melodic development. Ulery has forged a unique signature sound that combines a jazz core with luminous ensemble writing and song craft. Built around a band of select, unique voices, including members of 3-time Grammy-winning ensemble, eighth blackbird, In the Ivory blends art-pop, jazz, American minimalism, Eastern European folk music, and romanticism into a constantly evolving emotional kaleidoscope with this particular 11-piece orchestra. Hear them at Constellation in Chicago on Friday, July 31at at 8:30 pm. Tickets are $12-15.
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Take an "Impossible Vacation" With Firebell at Vieux Carre, July 28 E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   

 

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Firebell © Andrea Canter


Five years ago, three of the area's most productive and creative jazz artists came together as Firebell, a guitar/bass/drum trio drawing on the talents of Park Evans, Graydon Peterson and Jay Epstein. Over the years they have experimented with original compositions as well as some unique interpretations of jazz and pop standards, finally culminating in the release of their first recording, Impossible Vacation (Shifting Paradigm Records) last November. The vacation continues at the new Vieux Carré in downtown St. Paul on Tuesday, July 28 at 7 pm.

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"Mountain King" Reunion at Jazz Central, July 29 E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   

 


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Mountain King © Andrea Canter

In 2013 at the Artists Quarter in St. Paul, a new ensemble was born, featuring not one, not two, but three acoustic bassists – nothing more! In what was believed to be the first local performance of a three-bass trio, “Mountain King” proved that people will listen to the bass solo… or the bass trio, at least when their focus is solely on the instrument. With Graydon Peterson, Jeremy Boettcher and Brian Courage displaying a great deal of serious artistry amid playful interactions, Mountain King drew plenty of applause and calls for more. The group performed a few times, at the Artists Quarter before it closed, and then a few gigs at Jazz Central before Brian Courage moved to New York in fall 2014.  With Brian back in the area for a short break from the Big Apple, and Ryan Hays filling in for Jeremy Boettcher, Mountain King reunites at Jazz Central on Wednesday, July 29.

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A Dose of Courage: Brian Returns (Briefly) to the Midwest E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   

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Brian Courage © Andrea Canter


It was almost a year ago that the local jazz scene lamented the relocation of young bassist Brian Courage. After completing jazz studies at Lawrence Conservatory, Brian spent the next two years rapidly becoming a first-call sideman in the Twin Cities, playing with a wide range of bands and visiting artists at the Artists Quarter, Dakota, Jazz Central, Icehouse and more. He co-founded the aptly named Courageous Endeavors and, with Graydon Peterson and Jeremy Boettcher, created the very original all-bass trio Mountain King. But Brian had a plan to return to his native New York, and carried out that plan last September. Fortunately he has maintained ties with his Minnesota pals, and in the coming week, he will be in town for gigs with John Raymond, Mountain King, Peter Kogan, and Courageous Endeavors, as well in Milwaukee with Courageous Endeavors and in Chicago with his new band, Over Under.

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The 20th Litchfield Jazz Festival - Coming August 7-9 E-mail
Written by Sheila Horne Mason   

 

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Litchfield Jazz Festival, Goshen Fairgrounds © Kevin R Mason


This year, the Litchfield Jazz Festival will be celebrating its landmark 20th anniversary, August 7-9! The festival has come a long way from its start in Founder and Executive/Artistic Director Vita West Muir’s living room. According to the festival website, “This year’s festival headliners include four-time Grammy-winner Christian McBride, the formidable Anat Cohen, jazz sensation Sean Jones, the brilliant Wycliffe Gordon and Friends, six-time Grammy nominee Mike Stern with the Mike Stern Band, and more.” The festival takes place at the Goshen Fairgrounds in Goshen, CT.

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Jazz With International Dimensions: Filloli and Stanford Jazz Festivals E-mail
Written by Ken Vermes   

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Larry Vukovich and Rob Roth ©Ken Vermes
 

The Bay Area is full of musical surprises. Part of that is a result of the international diversity of the area. Musicians come here from all over the world, and not just on tours. Two recent festivals, and three particular performances, highlight the global flavors and impact of music in the Bay Area.

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