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 Thursday, 02 July 2015
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    Metro Jazz: Fireworks for July PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Wednesday, 01 July 2015

    Steve KennyİAndrea Canter

    Ed. note: With more venues offering jazz on a regular basis, we're consolidating the monthly previews into one feature starting this month. We won't attempt to list all gigs and concerts--refer to our live jazz calendar for a more complete listing.

    Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar (308 Prince Street, St Paul;

    A small space in the heart of Lowertown's historic arts district, the Black Dog offers an eclectic menu of music throughout the month, including the Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog series curated by Steve Kenny. Jazz every Saturday starts at 7 pm with an opening band, followed by the headline band at 8:30. No cover, tips appreciated to support the musicians. Coffee, wine, beer and a light menu. Highlights in July:

    Wolverines Big Band Celebrates July 4th in Excelsior PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Tuesday, 30 June 2015

    Wolverines Big BandİAndrea Canter

    It's an old-fashioned 4th of July celebration at Excelsior Commons Park this Saturday, complete with fireworks and a big band. And not just any big band-- this is a rare opportunity to hear the Wolverines Big Band with three of the area's top vocalists-- Maud Hixson, Judy (Donaghy) Vinar and Jason Richards.

    Friday Night, Saturday Night: Jazz at The Nicollet and Black Dog, July 3-4 PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Tuesday, 30 June 2015

    Ted OlsenİAndrea Canter

    Steve Kenny's Illicit Productions continues to curate two modern jazz series each weekend, Friday Night Jazz at The Nicollet and Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog, providing audiences on both ends of the metro with opportunities to hear many of the region's best improvising musicians in intimate spaces. This holiday weekend brings another round of such artistry, with young lions and seasoned veterans:

    "Wild Man" Charles Lloyd and Quartet at the Dakota, June 30-July 1 PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Monday, 29 June 2015

    Charles Lloyd İAndrea Canter

    “Charles Lloyd is an international treasure.” –Carlos Santana

    An early cohort of Jack DeJohnette and Keith Jarrett, multi-reed specialist Charles Lloyd is one of the most revered jazz artists of the 21st century. In addition to recent tours and highly regarded recordings, Lloyd served as the subject for wife Dorothy Darr's documentary, Arrows Into Infinity (ECM, 2014) and was named a 2015 NEA Jazz Master.  His most recent recording, Wild Man Dance (2015), marks Lloyd's return to Blue Note and features Grammy-nominated pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Joe Sanders and drummer Gerald Cleaver. With Kendrick Scott replacing Cleaver for this summer tour, the Charles Lloyd Quartet performs two nights, four sets (7 and 9 pm) at the Dakota Jazz Club, June 30-July 1.

    Saturday - A Grand Finale for Twin Cities Jazz Fest! PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Thursday, 25 June 2015

    Dr. John

    One could not ask for a better line-up for the Twin Cities Jazz Festival's final day, June 27.  First we have the inaugural music events in the new CHS Field (Saints stadium) with a salute to New Orleans, courtesy of Dr. John and the Nitetrippers, who will actually be Afternoon Trippers. And the opening set will be provided by Minnnesota's own New Orleans brass ensemble, The Jack Brass Band. Come evening, you can find a spot of shade in Mears Park and enjoy 2014 Monk Trumpet Competition winner Marquis Hill and his Blacktet, followed by the incendiary closing set, Francisco Mela's Crash Trio with special guest, trumpet sensation Nicholas Payton. But that's only the headline acts-- Saturday also features the annual Youth Showcase, ballroom dance lessons, the Atlantis Quartet and Britain's Cloudmaker Trio, jams at The Bedlam and Vieux Carré, and a lot more in clubs throughout Lowertown, Downtown, along the Green Line, and more. Get the full schedule and more information at

    Twin Cities Jazz Festival: Friday Highlights PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Tuesday, 23 June 2015

    Dave Holland, Chris Potter, Lionel Loueke, Eric Harland

    The 2015 Twin Cities Jazz Festival welcomes its first night of headliners and a full afternoon and evening of music in St. Paul, stretching from Mears Park and Lowertown to Downtown and out along University Avenues' LRT Green Line and West 7th Street. On the AARP Main Stage at Mears Park, music fans can enjoy the Laura Caviani Trio, the Araya Orta Latin Jazz Quartet featuring steel pan artist Othello Molineaux, and the all-star quartet of Chris Potter, Dave Holland, Lionel Loueke and Eric Harland. The JazzMN Orchestra with guest vocalist Patty Peterson appears on the Rayette Lofts Stage at Union Depot North Plaza, and our "exchange" band from Iowa, Laranja, makes their TCJF debut on the Jefferson Lines 6th Street Stage.  That's the tip of the jazz mountain!  The full festival schedule is available for download on the fest website at Highlights:

    Two of the Best: Kurt Elling, Cecile McLorin Salvant Come to the Dakota This Week PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Saturday, 20 June 2015

    Kurt Elling İAndrea Canter

    The Twin Cities Jazz Festival will be held exclusively in Saint Paul this coming weekend. Undaunted, Dakota Jazz Club owner Lowell Pickett seems to have unofficially declared his own festival -- a vocal jazz festival, bringing in two of the genre's brightest lights to the club for back-to-back dates. Generally acclaimed as the greatest living male jazz vocalist, Grammy winner and perennial poll-topper Kurt Elling returns on Monday, June 22, for one night, two sets, with his latest project, Passion World. Next, Monk Competition winner and Grammy nominee Cecile McLorin Salvant returns for two nights, June 23-24. If this is an embarrassment of riches, so be it. For three nights, we have vocal jazz nirvana.

    A Festival Before the Festival: Jazz in Lowertown This Weekend PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Thursday, 18 June 2015

    Donald Washington İAndrea Canter

    The Twin Cities Jazz Festival, centered in and around St. Paul's Lowertown arts district, gets underway Thursday, June 25. But there seems to be a warm-up fest this weekend, with the Donald Washington Trio on Friday night, and two more fine bands of veterans--the John Penny/Jay Epstein Duo followed by the Phil Hey Quartet -- on the Saturday Night Jazz series, all at the Black Dog. Also on Saturday night, up the street at Studio Z, Zacc Harris' Jazz at Studio Z season winds up with a salute to the young lions, dubbed the NextGen Showcase, this year featuring the Lars-Erik Larson Trio and Charlie Lincoln Group.

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