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 Monday, 06 July 2015
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    Jeremy Walker, Anthony Cox Present "The Rage of Achilles" at Orchestra Hall, April 16 PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Monday, 13 April 2015
    Jeremy Walker Andrea Canter

    Having successfully translated Old Testament psalms for voice and jazz ensemble (Seven Psalms), composer/pianist Jeremy Walker figured it was a logical next step to tackle Homer, specifically The Illiad. “I had read The Iliad years ago and remembered loving some of the imagery in it, and the elemental language, and you can hear echoes of it in so much literature up to Hemingway and Faulkner," he recently told Pamela Espeland for MinnPost. "That’s what drew me to it originally – and naively, because it’s such a huge story.” The huge story, downsized to a 70-minute performance for three voices and jazz quartet, will premiere on April 16 at Orchestra Hall as part of this season's Jazz in the Target Atrium series, curated by Walker. Co-composed by internationally renowned bassist/cellist Anthony Cox, The Rage of Achilles features MPR's acclaimed tenor Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, Minnesota Opera's Seth and Angela Keeton, and Twin Cities jazz artists Walker, Cox, saxophonist Brandon Wozniak and drummer Tim Zhorne.

    Anat Cohen: From Rio to Flying Lotus at the Dakota, April 12 PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Thursday, 09 April 2015
    "[Luminosa] allows Cohen to show the daring side of her personality while underscoring just how deep a music-maker she's become." -- Jim Macnie, Downbeat

    "Anat does what all authentic musicians do: She tells stories from her own experiences that are so deeply felt that they are very likely to connect listeners to their own dreams, desires and longings." – Nat Hentoff

    Anat Cohen Andrea Canter
    Anat Cohen made her Dakota debut in spring 2010 with her tribute to Benny Goodman. And recalling that, early in his career, Charlie Parker played a borrowed clarinet for a short time, Anat gave us some idea of what Bird might have accomplished if he had not returned to the saxophone. Six months later, Cohen returned to the Dakota with her regular quartet (pianist Jason Lindner, bassist Joe Martin and drummer Daniel Freedman). When the 2012 Orchestra Hall lockout forced the cancelation of a clarinet summit with Cohen and Evan Christopher, Dakota owner Lowell Pickett grabbed both for a gig down the street. Now, having topped recent DownBeat and Jazz Times polls, gaining momentum with her siblings as the Three Cohens, and appearing on the cover of Jazz Times, Anat Cohen is one of the most significant figures in modern jazz, and the face of jazz clarinet in the 21st century. She brings that resumé as well as the music of her mostly Brazilian project, Luminosa, to the Dakota this Sunday, April 12. Her cohorts for this show include pianist Jason Lindner, bassist Linda Oh, and drummer Adam Cruz.

    Jazz at Studio Z: Doug Little's Charanga Tropical, April 11th PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Thursday, 09 April 2015
    A musical delight and a visual spectacle.”  --City Pages

    "On a hot summer day no one else can make downtown Minneapolis feel so much like South Beach, Miami." -- Star Tribune

    Charanga Tropicale Andrea Canter

    Typically the Jazz at Studio Z concert series, now in its fourth season, has presented the area's top purveyors of modern American jazz. On Saturday April 11 ( 7 pm), Doug Little brings his 9-piece salsa ensemble, Charanga Tropicale, to Studio Z for a night of traditional Cuban music translated into thoroughly modern sounds. A preview of the music Charanga will bring to the 2015 Danzon Festival in Havana in June, the concert will feature a repertoire of classic boleros, lush ballads, upbeat Latin jazz, and salsa. While the usual Studio Z concert is a sit-down-and-listen affair, Little has suggested sitting through the first set only -- inviting the audience to dance during the second set! A pre-concert workshop (5:30-6:30 pm) will demonstrate how this ensemble fuses strings into Latin music.

    Paul Harper's Show and Tell, Solomon Parham Group at the Black Dog, April 11th PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Wednesday, 08 April 2015

    Paul Harper Andrea Canter

    Earlier this year, saxophonist Paul Harper debuted at the Black Dog with his quartet, now dubbed Show and Tell. He returns on the Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog series for the "prime time" slot at 8:30 pm, following the series debut of the Solomon Parham Group at 7 pm.


    Paul Harper's Show and Tell (8:30 pm)

    Saxophonist and composer Paul Harper has been a busy Twin Cities performer, appearing on numerous recordings and performing for nearly two decades with the Illicit Sextet. These days Paul performs with Spirit Jazz, Roos & Harper, guitarist Joel Shapira, Charmin & Shapira & Friends, and other ensembles through Sunset Park Music. Formerly the Paul Harper Quartet, Show and Tell includes guitarist Mike Cramer, bassist Charlie Riddle, and drummer Nathan Norman.

    Jazz Central Presents Eric Gravatt Quartet, April 10 PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Monday, 06 April 2015

    He had bounce in his rhythm that would bounce off the floor and carry the music up to the ceiling. He had this ethnic sound - the continent of Africa - but with grace. He has a dignity and the flavor of Africa, and of metropolitan cities, all with the element of surprise." –Wayne Shorter

    Eric Kamau Gravatt Andrea Canter

    Perhaps New York is the epicenter of jazz, no argument. But here in the Twin Cities reside some international figures of jazz—Dave King, Richard Johnson, Babatunde Lea, Anthony Cox, and Eric Kamau Gravatt, to name a few. Seen most often with his band Source Code, Eric Gravatt brings a quartet (Brandon Wozniak, Zacc Harris and Ron Evaniuk) to the Bridge Series at Jazz Central on Friday, April 10.

    Charmin & Shapira-- Upcoming Gigs at the Black Dog, Jazz Central PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Monday, 06 April 2015

    Charmin Michelle and Joel Shapira Andrea Canter

    Long-time musical partners, vocalist Charmin Michelle and guitarist Joel Shapira, bring their savvy, swinging notes to area clubs on both sides of the river in the next week: Their long-awaited debut at the Black Dog will be Thursday, April 9 (7-9 pm); they return to Jazz Central for Vocal Jazz Night on April 16 (7:30-9:30 pm).

    Joel Shapira studied at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and at the Mannes School of  Music in New York City, as well as with Tal Farlow, Joe Pass, Sharon Isbin, and Anthony Cox. Active in the Twin Cities for many years, he has led or co-led his own small jazz groups (including Triplicate, Pooch’s Playhouse, the Joel Shapira Quartet and the new Bottomless Pit) as well as playing classical duets with saxophonist/flutist Paul Harper and providing the instrumental half of Charmin & Shapira.  He has frequently appeared with John Devine, Doug Little, Vic Volare, Larry McDonough, and Lee Engele, among others. His business Joel Shapira Productions provides music for weddings and private events. In addition to releasing two recordings as Charmin & Shapira (Pure Imagination and Dawning and Daylight), Joel released his debut quartet album, Open Lines, in 2012, his duo with Jack DeSalvo (Inherence) in 2014, and most recently, his duo with Dean Granros (Jazz Duets: Live at the 2014 Twin Cities Jazz Festival) earlier this year.


    Connie Evingson and Jon Weber Celebrate Spring and "Blue Skies" at the Jungle, April 5 PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Friday, 03 April 2015


    Some musical partnerships were just meant to be. Twin Cities vocalist Connie Evingson and New York-based pianist and honorary Twin Citian Jon Weber paired up during the 2012 Twin Cities Jazz Festival and on a Prairie Home Companion European cruise, where they cooked up the idea for a show for Connie's Jazz at the Jungle series at the Jungle Theater in south Minneapolis. In Summer 2013, they revisited songs of David Frishberg that Connie had recorded on her 2008 album, Little Did I Dream. In spring 2014, they teamed up again to present "Desert Island Picks" --their favorites from the Great American Songbook, the Beatles, Frishberg, Sting and more. Next in June 2014, Connie and Jon sifted through the voluminous repertoire of Ella Fitzgerald in two sold-out performances of The Best of the Ella Fitzgerald Songbooks. They have since reprised the Songbooks show twice, in August and November 2014. Since you can't get too much of a good thing, Connie and Jon now turn their attention to the "Blue Skies" of spring, presenting their favorite songs of the season with the expert support of saxophonist Dave Karr and bassist Gordy Johnson, at the Jungle Theater on Easter Sunday, April 5, at 4:00 (sold out) and 7:30 pm. And tickets are going fast!

    Steve Kenny Quartet, Pete Snell Trio at the Black Dog, April 4 PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Friday, 03 April 2015
    Steve Kenny Andrea Canter

    Curator of weekly jazz series at the Black Dog and The Nicollet, and busy leading several ensembles, Steve Kenny brings his Quartet to Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog (8:30 pm). The band features Brandon Wozniak (sax), Chris Bates (bass), and Babatunde Lea (percussion). Opening a 7 pm will be the Pete Snell Trio with Phil Aaron and Jim Chenoweth. No cover for these shows (tips appreciated!).

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