Big Gigs This Week
Friday-Sunday, July 5-7. For those willing to drive five hours south to Iowa City, you can't do better this week than the free Iowa City Jazz Festival, often cited as one of the nation's best small jazz events, drawing about 25,000 to the campus green for an enviable list of headliners. This year, Sachal Vasandani brings savvy songs to the stage Friday night with the Iowa Jazz Orchestra; Saturday's headliners include the Charlie Hunter/Scott Amdendola duo, the Christian Scott Quintet, and Dr. Lonnie Smith; Sunday's shows include J.D. Allen, the Fred Hersch Trio, and Pharoah Sanders. And these are sequential sets, no competing acts. In between the headliner sets you can hear community and youth ensembles, which this year includes the Dakota Combo from the Twin Cities, playing two sets on the Youth Stage Saturday afternoon. The forecast is for sunny, dry, and swinging!
Saturday, July 6. Fill out your holiday weekend at the Dakota with an evening of fun and soulful music from Patty Peterson and Friends. With Paul Peterson, Bobby Vandell, Donnie LaMarca, Cory J. Wong, and Ronny Loew, Patty sparkles her way through sets mixing jazz, pop and R&B. Stay late for the Jake Baldwin Quintet, featuring recent New England Conservatory grad Jake on trumpet (and note he headlines at Jazz Central on Monday, July 8). Or for something more sublime, check out the Talking Strings at Hotel Ivy. This trio of Gary Schulte, Andrew Foreman and Pavel Jany performed a stunning set at the Black Dog during the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, with music hard to define—elements of classical, jazz and global traditions.
Monday-Tuesday, July 8-9. If you don't get to the Iowa City Jazz Festival this weekend, you can nevertheless enjoy Pharoah Sanders when he comes into the Dakota for two nights. One-time member of John Coltrane's mid-60s ensembles, Sanders initially made his mark playing experimental, aggressive music, but has shown a more mellow side in recent years. Ornette Coleman referred to him as probably the best tenor player in the world."
Thursday, July 11. Once or twice each year, the Artists Quarter hosts the sublime piano/vibes duo of Dan Cavanagh and Dave Hagedorn. Dan was once a student of Dave's at St. Olaf, and has gone on to lead bands in teach at the University of Texas - Arlington. A couple years ago, Dan and Dave recorded the stunning album, Horizon. Their duets are always feasts of beautiful music.
More Jazz Every Night
Be sure to check live jazz calendars on Jazz Policeand KBEM sites. Also find a growing number of events on the Jazz Near You site, a service of All About Jazz. A few more gigs of note:
Friday, July 5. Irv Williams and Peter Schimke, happy hour at the Dakota; JoAnn Funk at Parma; Jana Nyberg Group at Hell's Kitchen; James Buckley Trio at the Icehouse
Saturday, July 6. Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel) Sunday, July 7. George Maurer at the Dakota
Monday, July 8. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse; Jake Baldwin at Jazz Central; Headspace at the Artists Quarter; Twin Cities Hot Club at Famous Dave's (Uptown)
Tuesday, July 9. Arne Fogel at Hell's Kitchen; Chris Olson Project (with Kristin Sponcia, Graydon Peterson and Dave Stanoch) at the Black Dog; Cory Wong Quartet followed by Dean Magraw and Friends and the Artists Quarter; Cedar Avenue Big Band at Jazz Central
Wednesday, July 10. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Chris Bates Improv Night at Jazz Central; Steve Kenny and the Bastids followed by the Chris Lomheim Trio at the Artists Quarter; Todd Clouser at Café Maude (Penn Av)
Thursday, July 11. Connie and Herb at The Bean (Andover); Jazz on the Prairie Big Band in Hopkins Downtown Park; Classic Big Band at Lake Harriet Bandshell; Vocal Night (TBA) at Jazz Central; Gypsy Mania at Hell's Kitchen