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 Monday, 21 April 2014
Triple Bill at Rogue Buddha Features Young Up-and-Comers, December 27th Print E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
Sunday, 27 December 2009
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Cory Grindberg and Joe Strachan © Andrea Canter
Art galleries often feature more than paintings, sculptures and prints, reaching out to other arts, particularly music. In Northeast Minneapolis, the Rogue Buddha Gallery has been serving as a venue for modern jazz and improvised music, via the IQuit Thursday night series and occasional special programs. On Sunday, December 27th (4-7 pm), the gallery hosts a triple bill headlined by the Adam Linz/Brandon Wozniak/JT Bates Trio, sandwiched between two sets spotlighting talents of young area musicians (mostly) enrolled in college music programs. One cover of $10 serves for the full array of modern jazz.

Joe Strachan Trio (First Set)

Opening the afternoon is a trio of three former cohorts of the Dakota Combo, an all-star high school ensemble at MacPhail Center for Music and cosponsored by the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education.

Leader/pianist Joe Strachan is currently enrolled in the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music. Growing up in Northfield, Joe first studied classical music, switching to jazz in eighth grade. Says Joe, “I had the extraordinary luck to stumble upon a path of great teachers, Denny Malmberg, Ethan Frier, and Laura Caviani, and a great group of friends in the Isaac Zuckerman Quartet that inspired and challenged me.” Joe cites as historic influences Ornette Coleman, Wayne Shorter, Charles Mingus, and Keith Jarrett, while more contemporary sources of inspiration include Adam Linz, Bryan Nichols, Michael Lewis, Chris Morrissey, JT Bates, Craig Taborn and Tim Berne. In addition to the Dakota Combo (2008-09) and Northfield High School ensembles, Joe played in the All State Jazz Band, Minnesota Youth Jazz Bands, Shell Lake Jazz Ensemble, MITY Jazz Ensemble, Metropolitan Port Authority and the Isaac Zuckerman Quartet. Joe was a finalist in the 2008 Jazz Piano Scholarship Competition sponsored by the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education and Schubert Club, and took top honors in 2009.


Bassist Cory Grindberg attends Northwestern University. He started guitar lessons in 5th grade and bass the following year. His interest in jazz was fueled by his lack of interest in classical music: “Basically the real music that challenged me was jazz and classical.  I wasn't interested in classical, so I went to jazz,” he explains. Among his sources of inspiration, Cory cites Charles Mingus, Les Claypool and Jaco Pastorius. In addition to playing with the Minneapolis South High School Jazz band throughout high school, Cory was selected for the Dakota Combo in both 2007 and 2008, participated in the Minnesota Youth Jazz Band, Minnesota Institute for Talented Youth Jazz Program, the Twin Cities Jazz Workshop with Doug Little, and has played with the Isaac Zuckerman Quartet, Metropolitan Port Authority, the Alternates and 530.


Cameron LeCrone (drums) is the lone high school student among the bands playing on the 27th>. A senior at Minnetonka High School, he is the drummer for the Dakota Combo for a second year. Cam began percussion studies in fifth grade but became interested in jazz through his older brother Geoff, guitarist with the second edition of the Dakota Combo. Among drummers who have inspired him, he cites “anything with Art Blakey, Tony Williams, Frankie Dunlop or Brian Blade. Outside of the drumming world, I like Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, and Wayne Shorter.” In addition to the Dakoto Combo and high school ensembles, Cam has played with the MMEA All-State Jazz Ensemble and Minnesota Youth Jazz Band. After graduation this spring, he’s looking to “pursue a Jazz Studies/Performance degree...and hopefully double major in something math or science related.”


Linz/Wozniak/Bates Trio (Second Set)

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Adam Linz © Andera Canter
Three of the Twin Cities’ most inventive jazz artists will join together for a smoldering trio set:

A Twin Cities native, bassist Adam Linz earned degrees in physics at Columbia University and in jazz studies at William Paterson University. Living on the East Coast in the mid to late 90s, he played with an ensemble dedicated to performing the music of Charles Mingus. He eventually returned to the Twin Cities, building his reputation as an adroit and innovative bassist with such groups as Gloryland Pony Cat, FKG and the internationally acclaimed Fat Kid Wednesdays. Over his career, he’s also appeared with Evan Parker, Stanley Turrentine, Milt Jackson, Dosh, Francois Tusques, Douglas Ewart, and Ten Thousand Things Theatre Company. Now Coordinator of Jazz at the MacPhail Center for Music, he has also played with visiting musicians like Ari Hoenig and Mose Allison, and appears with the Adam Meckler Quintet as well as ongoing gigs with Fat Kids and other ensembles.


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JT Bates © Andrea Canter
Saxman Brandon Wozniak worked in New York City for six years before returning to the Twin Cities in 2006. Earning his BA from Indiana University under the tutelage of David Baker, he also studied with Chris Potter, toured with Nellie McKay, the Four Tops and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, and lived in Berlin for a year while playing with rock band Zweibel Zweibel Hurra. Locally he has performed with Bruce Henry, Katie Gearty, Sam Kuusisto, Dean Magraw, Jay Epstein, Cheetah Nunchuck, and is a member of the Atlantis Quartet and Monk in Motian. His credits also include appearances with the great organist Lonnie Smith and guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg. 


J.T. Bates is one of the busiest drummers in the Twin Cities, on and off the bandstand. He was a member of Motion Poets, has played and recorded with Doug Little, and has worked with a variety of Latin, electronic, and experimental ensembles, including Fat Kid Wednesdays, Low Blow and the Kelly Rossum Quartet. Noted Richard Brody in The New Yorker, “In free rhythm, his shimmering cymbals recall Sunny Murray’s work with Ayler; the tom-tom groove is like the one Ed Blackwell got with Coleman; and, when he plays on an ethereally introverted modernistic piece, he sounds like a one-man Art Ensemble of Chicago, ready to use anything for the right sound—chopsticks, chains, his hands, and even the nub of a drumstick, which he rubs on cymbals to make them whisper as if butterflies were beating their wings upon them.”


Metropolitan Port Authority (Third Set)

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Remy Taghavi and Jake Baldwin © Andrea Canter
MPA includes former Dakota Combo partners Joe Strachan on piano (see above), Jake Baldwin on trumpet and Cory Grindberg on bass (see above), along with Remy Taghavi on tenor sax and Isaac Zuckerman on drums. Their self-titled CD was recorded at Fur Seal Studios and released at The Beat Coffee House in south Minneapolis in August (see review here).


Jake Baldwin started trumpet in sixth grade, he says, “because it was between that and choir, and if you've ever heard me sing, well, be glad I play trumpet.” Hearing Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra pulled him into jazz, while Charles Mingus and Thelonious Monk are other sources of inspiration. “I love the amount of passion and originality that they were able to produce in their compositions and the way they played.” In addition to MPA and his school bands at Minnetonka High School, Jake played with the Dakota Combo for two years, the Minnesota Youth Jazz Band, and the Isaac Zuckerman Quartet. Jake is now pursuing jazz studies at the New England Conservatory of Music, and plans to follow his muse “until I fall flat on my face... The trumpet is as much a part of me as one of my limbs.”


Remy Taghavi was introduced to jazz by his father, “an avid listener who urged me to broaden my musical interests.” He became further immersed in jazz at Walker West Academy where he first studied saxophone with Felix James. “His teaching really got me going in my playing, and I really enjoyed going to shows by local musicians like Happy Apple and Fat Kid Wednesdays, and bigger names like Chris Potter and Joshua Redman.” Remy has played with the MITY jazz band, Walker West ensembles, and 530. He is now a sophomore at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, where he is studying classical bassoon performance with Judith Farmer, principal bassoonist of the LA Opera.

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Isaac Zuckerman © Andrea Canter

 

Although Isaac Zuckerman’s drum rolls may not be familiar, chances are his voice is! A recent graduate of Minneapolis South High, Isaac also spent considerable time at North High as a student broadcaster for KBEM jazz radio, the station that directly influenced his interest in jazz. “I got into jazz because my family had Jazz88 on the radio non-stop since I was born. My dad always played standards on the piano, which I then somehow learned.” Writing a report on Louis Armstrong in 6th grade and listening to the Hot Fives and Sevens, he “all of a sudden had the urge to start learning jazz drums.” Isaac also cites the Dave Brubeck Quartet and Miles Davis as key influences. Describing himself as “mostly a big band drummer,” Isaac attended MITY, Shell Lake and Cordoba jazz camps, played with the Minnesota Youth Jazz Band, MacPhail ensembles, and South High bands, and led the Isaac Zuckerman Quartet and a rock band, Finding Cadence. Interested in jazz education as well as performance, he now attends the University of Colorado.


The Rogue Buddha Gallery is located in northeast Minneapolis at 357 13th Ave NE. Music on December 27 th runs from 4 to 7 pm with a $10 cover for all three sets.



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