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 Saturday, 02 August 2014
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    Bright “Mississippi” Flows at Studio Z, August 7th PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Friday, 01 August 2014

    Pete WhitmanİAndrea Canter

    “Mississippi” is that big river dividing the nation east and west. It’s also the name of a local jazz ensemble featuring four of the top performers in the Twin Cities. Led by Pete Whitman, the band grew from the Andres Prado Quintet which flourished during Prado's residency in Minnesota, going on haitus when Prado returned to Peru about five years ago. In addition to saxophonist Whitman, the quartet includes pianist Peter Schimke, bassist Jeff Bailey and drummer Kevin Washington. The band debuted at the Artists Quarter in summer 2013, and has since appeared at Jazz Central and the 2014 Twin Cities Jazz Festival (with visiting Prado). On August 7, the mighty Mississippi will flow into Studio Z in Saint Paul, part of the All Originals concert series curated by Steve Kenny.

    Jazz Central: All That Jazz in August PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Wednesday, 30 July 2014

    Eric GravattİAndrea Canter

    It's been a busy summer for Jazz Central Studios. A sextet of JC regulars has toured several Minnesota towns with one more scheduled for later this summer, sponsored by Jefferson Lines and the Twin Cities Jazz Festival with support from the Minnesota State Arts Board. During the recent jazz festival, the Jazz Central Showcase spread over three nights to present a variety of ensembles highlight the depth of talent on the Twin Cities jazz scene--although several of the last night sets were pre-empted by rain that forced headliners indoors. Although the festival ended at the end of June, Jazz Central has continued its own "festival" five nights, sometimes six nights per week. The schedule continues in August.

    August at the Dakota: Late Summer Music PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Wednesday, 30 July 2014

    Kevin WashingtonİAndrea Canter

    How can it be late summer when summer arrived so late? Take advantage of every chance to enjoy one of the best patios in Minneapolis -- just out the door from the Twin Cities' most elegant music venue, The Dakota. Jazz, blues, pop, and world music are on the menu this month.

    All Originals With Red Planet at Studio Z, July 31 PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Monday, 28 July 2014

    Red PlanetİAndrea Canter

    One of the area’s most innovative musical threesomes, Red Planet was described by the Artists Quarter as “creative jazz for the 21st Century, inviting you to put one ear on the launching pad of neo-bop Trane/Hendrix/Monk burn, and your other ear on the celestial weightlessness from the musical cosmos.”  Cosmonauts Dean Magraw, Chris Bates and Jay Epstein return to Earth on July 31 to play "all originals" at Studio Z at 8 pm. Curated by Steve Kenny with support from the Minnesota State Arts Board, this weekly summer series spotlights area ensembles devoted to original compositions. Most recently, Red Planet performed on the Main Stage at the 2014 Twin Cities Jazz Festival.

    Tierney Sutton and Mark Summer - Perform Joni Mitchell and More at the Dakota, July 31 PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Saturday, 26 July 2014

    Tierney SuttonİAndrea Canter

    (Tierney Sutton) “A serious jazz artist who takes the whole enterprise to another level.”--New York Times

    From Wisconsin to Berklee to the Oak Room, Tierney Sutton’s career has been on a steady upward trajectory. Considered one of the most accomplished singers on the modern jazz scene, Sutton's recent Grammy-nominated Joni Mitchell project, After Blue, inspired her current tour with cellist Mark Summer, who appears on the album with Sutton and his Turtle Island String Quartet colleagues. On July 31st, Sutton, Summers and Parisian guitarist Serge Merlaud, celebrate Mitchell as well as re-arrangements of standards and Summer's solo repertoire at the Dakota in downtown Minneapolis.

    Courage! We're Losing Brian to New York PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Saturday, 26 July 2014

    Brian CourageİAndrea Canter

    About two years ago, I met a tall young man with a long pony tail and bright smile who was filling in for the scheduled bass player with the Laura Caviani Quartet at the Artists Quarter. He had just graduated from the Lawrence Conservatory (2012) and was hoping to break into the Twin Cities jazz scene. And what a way to start-- with Laura Caviani? I figured  Brian Courage had to have something special. He sure had the right name for an up-and-coming jazz musician!

    Steve Kenny's Group 47 Goes Straight To Vinyl" Release at the Icehouse, July 28 PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Thursday, 24 July 2014

    Straight to Vinyl (Original art by Tim Nyberg)

    "After years of service as the bandleader, trumpeter, and emcee for the literally hundreds of gigs leading up to the existence of this product, I humbly submit this recording as a continuation of my redemption and as a hopeful tribute to the Artists' Quarter, where it all started for Group 47."  -- Steve Kenny

    Steve Kenny plays an oddball fusion of trumpet and flugehorn, dubbed a flumpet and specially designed for Kenny.  Over his nearly 30-year career, Kenny has never been one to follow the norm or the easiest path, which included a drug-related incarceration that forced a long hiatus for the popular 90s ensemble, Illicit Sextet. Yet Kenny is a survivor, personally and artistically. The proof is now on vinyl as Steve Kenny's Group 47 releases its maiden voyage in LP format, Straight to Vinyl, with a celebratory gig at the Icehouse in South Minneapolis on July 28.

    Now Is Now: Irv Williams Celebrates New CD on July 26th PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Wednesday, 23 July 2014

    Then Was Then, Now is Now

    "When we finished recording the tune 'Then Was Then, Now Is Now,' we had an epiphany as to what to name the album. Irv has enjoyed a career where his 'Then' burns bright but his 'Now' glows with a richness that can only come from a long life in music." -- Jason Rupert

    A number of years ago, tenor saxophone legend Irv Williams hinted at retirement in his liner notes for That’s All (2004), but clearly that was premature. Three CDs later, the then 88-year-old known fondly as “Mr. Smooth” issued a more dramatic hint with the release of Finality (Ding Dong Music) in 2008.  But apparently the title only referred to Irv’s feelings about recording sessions, not performing opportunities. In Spring 2011, Irv seemed more determined that we let him rest his chops, proclaiming the release of yet another CD (Duke’s Mixture) at the Dakota Jazz Club to be his “Retirement Party.” Shortly thereafter, he was back playing for the Dakota’s Friday Happy Hour with Peter Schimke.  Then came the May 2012 “Retirement Party” at the Dakota, followed by more happy hours, and a special guest performance in spring 2013 with Estaire Godinez at the Museum of Russian Art.  And still he held weekly happy hours at the Dakota, which in early 2014 saw a cast change -- now a trio with guitarist Steve Blons and bassist Billy Peterson.

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