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 Tuesday, 16 September 2014
Twin Cities
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    Nellie McKay and the Turtle Island Quartet: Strange Bedfellows Make Great Music at the Dakota, 9/17 PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Monday, 15 September 2014

    Nellie McKayİAndrea Canter

    Nellie McKay is difficult to classify. She’s well versed in jazz, stand-up comedy, theater, and political satire. She seems to fit the “singer/songwriter” category, which itself has vague boundaries. However you label her talent, it is undeniably unique and, more important, entertaining. The Turtle Island String Quartet is also difficult to classify. They are highly skilled classical string musicians who tackle such repertoire as Jimi Hendrix and John Coltrane, which they more often perform in jazz clubs and festivals than concert halls.

    So what would happen if Nellie McKay joined forces with the Turtle Island Quartet over such repertoire as Billie Holiday, Billy Strayhorn and the Weimar cabaret of the 1920s? Possibly the most entertaining show of the year, McKay and TIQ come together at the Dakota on Wednesday, September 17, with two shows at 6:30 and 8:30 pm (note earlier showtimes).

    “Best Neighborhood Jazz Festival” on Selby Avenue, September 13th PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Tuesday, 09 September 2014


    “It’s got just the right free-spirited vibe to keep things loose, and each year the line-up gets more impressive.” –Mpls-St Paul Magazine, Best of the Twin Cities 2007

    OK, so there’s not a long list of neighborhood jazz festivals in the Twin Cities and one of the biggest (Freedom Jazz Festival) has been held only intermittently over the past five years. But for a grassroots neighborhood gathering in the name of jazz, you really can’t beat the annual happening at Milton and Selby Avenues in St. Paul, and the free 13th annual event will be held this Saturday, September 13th, from 11 am – 8 pm.

    John Raymond's Roots Trio on Tour: At Studio Z, September 13 PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Tuesday, 09 September 2014

    John Raymond İAndrea Canter

    Dubbed "a prepossessing young trumpet player..." by The New York Times, Minnesota native John Raymond has steadily ascended the ladder of the New York jazz scene since he arrived 5 years ago to pursue graduate studies at SUNY-Purchase. He'll soon release a new recording featuring the great drummer Billy Hart, and is now on a Midwest tour with his Roots Trio, featuring guitarist Gilad Hekselman and drummer Colin Stranahan. As a special concert on the Jazz at Studio Z series, the Roots Trio performs in Saint Paul on Saturday, September 13 (7 pm), following a master class at 5:30 pm. The musicians will stick around long enough to make their first recording at Terrarium Studios in Minneapolis, for release in 2015.

    Evan Christopher and Twin Cities Swing Team at the Dakota, September 10 PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Monday, 08 September 2014

    Evan ChristopherİAndrea Canter

    One of the world's chief proponents of jazz clarinet travels the "Clarinet Road" to the Dakota in downtown Minneapolis, performing two shows on September 10 with a crackerjack rhythm team of the most swinging Twin Cities musicians-- Rick Carlson, Keith Boyles and Mac Santiago. Although billed as a salute to Sidney Bechet, the music more accurately reflects Christopher's determination to celebrate the singular music of New Orleans.

    Saturday Night Live! Steve Kenny Brings Another Series of Jazz to Lowertown PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Thursday, 04 September 2014

    Steve KennyİAndrea Canter

    With his exciting All Originals series of jazz concerts ending on September 11, local trumpeter/impresario Steve Kenny is taking a very short break before launching another jazz series in Lowertown (Saint Paul), this one at the Black Dog, running most Saturday nights through 2014 and into 2015 for an indefinite term. Many of the bands and artists on the schedule are familiar to patrons of the Artists Quarter which closed at the end of 2013.

    When Big Bands Sound Like This...Our Ears Win! Adam Meckler Orchestra CD Release PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Thursday, 04 September 2014

    Adam Meckler OrchestraİAndrea Canter

    "The cool thing about the AdamMeckler Orchestra's new release, "When the Clouds Look Like This," is that sometimes I forget it's a big band." -- David Cazares (via Twitter)

    Gathering eighteen of the Twin Cities most accomplished young talents, trumpeter/composer/bandleader/educator Adam Meckler has been leading one of the region’s most innovative big bands for the past two years. A monthly fixture at Jazz Central for about a year, in summer 2013 the Adam Meckler Orchestra and its expanding audience moved across the river into a similar time slot at the Artists Quarter in St. Paul.  Although they drew an unusually large audience for a midweek gig, the series ended with the closing of the AQ at the end of 2013. Showcasing original compositions and new arrangements, the AMO has since performed on the Jazz at Studio Z series, launched a monthly residency at the Amsterdam Bar, and went into the recording studio. Now ready to celebrate the result, the AMO will celebrate When the Clouds Look Like This with a series of gigs leading up to the formal CD Release Party at MacPhail's Antontello Hall on September 26. But first, you can hear the compositions in Mears Park as part of the annual Concrete and Grass Lowertown Music Festival this Friday (September 5) and in the more intimate space of Studio Z as the closing concert of the All Originals jazz series (September 11). The CD will be available at each show.

    Three Originals-- Bryan Nichols, Chris Bates, and JT Bates at Studio Z, September 4 PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Wednesday, 03 September 2014

    Bryan NicholsİAndrea Canter

    The All Originals Jazz Series at Studio Z, curated by Steve Kenny, continues for two more weeks, bringing new compositions from the most inventive jazz artists in the metro area to Studio Z. On September 4, a "leaderless" trio of three such musicians takes the stage-- pianist Bryan Nichols, bassist Chris Bates, and drummer JT Bates.  Notes Kenny, it's "a rare performance by a trio that defines the essential element of some of the Twin Cities' most creative jazz ensembles." The new trio-format music comes from all three of these prolific composers.

    Concrete and Grass Lowertown Music Festival September 4-6: Three Days of Diverse Music in Mears Park PDF Print
    Written by Ronaldo Oregano   
    Tuesday, 02 September 2014


    The eighth annual Concrete and Grass Lowertown Music Festival returns to Saint Paul’s beautiful Mears Park Thursday, September 4 through Saturday, September 6. This free, family-friendly celebration offers music lovers of all ages and tastes an opportunity to sample the wide diversity of the Twin Cities' music scene, from classical chamber works to modern jazz orchestra, from salsa rhythms to vocal pop. 

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