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 Tuesday, 21 April 2015
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    Grammy-Winning Vocalist Dianne Reeves at the Dakota, January 27-28 PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Sunday, 25 January 2015

    Dianne Reeves (Detroit Jazz Festival)İAndrea Canter

    When four-time Grammy winning vocalist Dianne Reeves headlined the 2014 Twin Cities Jazz Festival, she demonstrated much more than her outstanding voice and creativity -- she showed us her flexibility and sense of humor as well. The band arrived without luggage (i.e., without wardrobe), and then had to made the quick move from Mears Park to the Amsterdam when rain washed out the festival stages. Unruffled, Reeves put on a memorable show for a packed-like-sardines audience. This week, she will hopefully have a much better travel experience and there is little chance of flooding at the Dakota. With her 2014 release, Beautiful Life, up for another Grammy, Reeves will perform four sets over two nights, January 27-28. These will be intimate sets, supported by a trio featuring Peter Martin on piano, Reginald Veal on bass, and Terreon Gully on drums.

    Atlantis Quartet at Jazz Central, January 23 PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Thursday, 22 January 2015

    Atlantis Quartet (at 2014 Twin Cities Jazz Festival)İAndrea Canter

    Four of the area’s most creative musical minds perform at Jazz Central on Friday, January 23, 7:30 pm, part of the "Bridge Series". The Atlantis Quartet --Zacc Harris, Brandon Wozniak, Chris Bates and Pete Hennig-- will perform two sets of mostly original compositions, drawing from their four recordings as well as new material recently recorded live at the Icehouse for release in spring 2015.

    Twin Cities Jazz Community Celebrates Leigh Kamman on January 25 PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Tuesday, 20 January 2015


    Leigh KammanİAndrea Canter

    On Sunday, January 25,  4-8 pm at the Saint Paul Hotel, members of the Twin Cities Jazz Community will come together to celebrate the life of renowned broadcaster and jazz show host Leigh Kamman. Kamman passed away in October 2014 at age 92 after a career spanning more than 70 years, including serving as host of  National Public Radio's The Jazz Image and as one of the most prolific interviewers in the history of jazz.  This celebration/tribute is presented by Kamman's family in collaboration with Jazz88 (KBEM), Minnesota Public Radio, the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Jazz Central Studios, numerous Twin Cities’ jazz nonprofit organizations, jazz presenters, musicians, and other long-time supporters. Over the first four hours, a long list of area musicians will donate their time to perform short sets (see schedule below); a jam session will end the evening. Tickets will be available at the door for a suggested donation of $20. Funds raised will go toward completing a project archiving Leigh's many interviews.

    Jazz in the Target Atrium Presents David Berkman, January 22 PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Tuesday, 20 January 2015

    David BerkmanİAndrea Canter

    “Mr. Berkman swings hard in his phrasing. He always burrows in, finding transcendence.” --The New York Times

    David Berkman, one of the most accomplished pianists on the New York scene, will be the featured guest artist for the next installment of  Jazz in the Target Atrium at Minnesota Orchestra Hall on January 22 (8 pm). He'll be joined by a trio of Minnesota's finest-- saxophonist Brandon Wozniak, bassist Anthony Cox, and drummer JT Bates.  Curated by local pianist/composer Jeremy Walker, the Jazz in the Target Atrium series launched in December and will continue through May 2015.

    José James Celebrates Billie Holiday, at the Dakota January 20-21 PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Monday, 19 January 2015

    Jose' JamesİAndrea Canter

    “The rawness is daring, and James has an unconventional vocal style, a deep baritone that’s soft and elegant and at times haunting – like a male Billie Holiday, a darker Lou Rawls or in a lot of ways a human adaptation of Coltrane’s sax work.” (Chris Riemenschneider, Star Tribune)

    "[Billie Holiday]...the greatest jazz singer who ever musical mother, who I listen to when I need answers." -- José James

    A finalist in the Thelonious Monk International Vocal Competition in 2004, Minneapolis native and South High graduate José James has challenged critics and consumers to classify his wide-ranging talent. Is he jazz, R&B, soul or what? With five acclaimed recordings to his credit, a feature in the May 2010 issue of Jazz Times, and a major story in the February 2013 issue of Downbeat, his Blue Note debut, No Beginning, No End, most aptly described James’ view of his music – “I don’t wanna get stuck into anything,” he told Downbeat. Touching on jazz, neo-soul, R&B, hip-hop, rock, electronica and folk, José has sought recognition as a musician without genre limits. Yet it is a return to his jazz roots, and specifically to the music of his muse Billie Holiday, that marks his upcoming Blue Note album, Yesterday I Had the Blues: The Music of Billie Holiday, and is the centerpiece of his 2015 tour. The Midwest leg of that tour ends this week at the Dakota in Minneapolis, January 20-21, before James takes off for Japan.

    Jazz Central Hosts Minnesota Jazz Guitar Summit, January 18 PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Saturday, 17 January 2015


    Joan GriffithİAndrea Canter

    Featuring a mix of veterans and up-and-coming stars, the annual Minnesota Jazz Guitar Summit will be held at Jazz Central Studios in Minneapolis on Sunday, January 18, 4-7 pm. In addition to presenting a representative sampling of Minnesota jazz guitarists, the summit will focus on the range of sounds produced by the guitar, from acoustic Brazilian rhythms to hard-edged electronics to foot-tapping swing. Sponsors include Willie's American Guitars (St Paul), LaVonne Music (Savage), My Music Store (Golden Valley), Cadenza Music (St Paul) and Hoffman Guitars (Minneapolis).

    A "Bottomless Pit" of Talent: Joel Shapira's New Quartet at the Black Dog, January 17 PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Friday, 16 January 2015

    Bottomless PitİAndrea Canter

    Guitarist Joel Shapira has been busy lately. In addition to his frequent solo gigs and pairing with vocalist Charmin Michelle ("Charmin and Shapira"), Joel has performed regularly at the Dakota with the expanded Charmin and Shapira and Friends, released a guitar duo recording with New Yorker Jack DeSalvo and another (earlier this month) with Dean Granros, recorded during the 2014 Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Now he's assembled a new quartet which debuts in St. Paul Saturday, January 17 at 8:30 pm as the headliner on the Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog series. All stars in their own right, members of Bottomless Pit include saxophonist Pete Whitman, bassist Tom Lewis, and drummer Eric Kamau Gravatt. Opening for the quartet at 7 pm will be Jazz Front, with Ted Godbout (piano), Eric Graham (bass), and Jeffrey Dunitz (drums).

    Arne Fogel and Maud Hixson Celebrate "Holiday for Frank", January 16-18 PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Friday, 16 January 2015

    Maud Hixson and Arne FogelİAndrea Canter

    Vocalist, producer, and jazz historian Arne Fogel joins forces with one of his favorite musical partners, vocalist Maud Hixson, to celebrate the centennials of two jazz icons, Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra. "Holiday for Frank," with music direction from pianist Rick Calrson, will have three performances this weekend, on January 16, 17 and 18 at the Bloomington Center for the Arts Black Box Theater. (As we go to press, tickets remain only for Saturday night, January 17!) Billie Holiday was born on April 7, Frank Sinatra on December 12, 1915, and are among the most (if not the most) influential artists in the history of vocal jazz. In their tribute to these icons, Arne and Maud will showcase the songs that helped make them legends and continue to influence musicians in the 21st century.

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