Big Gigs This Week
Friday, May 3. If there's one bassist I wish I heard more often locally, it's Gordy Johnson. And tonight, he's paired with virtuoso pianist Phil Aaron for the dinner sets at the Icehouse, that hip new venue in south Minneapolis. Good food and beverage options add to the evening, and with no cover, this is the weekend bargain!
Downtown, check out the new Thomson/Harris Collective at Hell's Kitchen. This ensemble brings together two accomplished innovators, saxophonist Chris Thomson and guitarist Zacc Harris. If you're going to Hell, this is the way to get there!
Friday-Saturday, May 3-4. Reprising his acclaimed After Hours Trio gigs with bassist Billy Peterson and drummer Kenny Horst, Bill Carrothers returns to the scene of many stellar evenings at the Artists Quarter. Bill's been a more frequent visitor lately, and the jazz cachet of the Twin Cities shines a bit brighter each time. Expect standards turned inside-out and some original tune as well.
Saturday, May 4. It's part two of dinner set magic at the Icehouse this weekend, with tonight's pairing of monster pianist Tanner Taylor and the wise old man of bebop, Dave Karr on tenor.
Monday, May 6. You can have your cake and Charmin too! A special twist on their regular gig at Fireside Pizza, Denny Malmberg and Charmin Michelle make it a birthday party for Charmin, complete with swinging covers and cake.
Tuesday, May 7. Three guys tracing their roots back to the UW-Eau Claire, Triosé is the collaboration of guitarist Vinnie Rose, bassist Jeremy Boettcher and drummer Adrian Suarez. They swing both ways—covers and originals, and in either mode they put out a lot of energy and invention. And tonight they jazz it up at Café Maude in southwest Minneapolis.
Across the metro at the Black Dog, it's the first Tuesday of the month, which means it's another evening with guitar wizard Dean Magraw and master percussionist Davu Seru. Or head over the Artists Quarter for a guitar-heavy double header, with the young masters of the Cory Wong Quartet opening early before yielding to a sparkling trio of Zacc Harris, Billy Peterson and Kenny Horst.
Wednesday, May 8. Let's keep the guitar theme going, with a duo at Café Maude (Penn Av) that couldn't be finer - Todd Clouser and Park Evans. Clouser has mostly been seen here with his Love Electric ensemble, but tonight it is more intimate, and fully guitar as he squares off with the always-exciting Evans.
There's something worth listening to at least 4 nights per week at Jazz Central. Tonight, it's the monthly installment of Chris Bates' Magica Improvisado, this time featuring Bates with trumpeter Zack Lozier and drummer Adrian Suarez.
Thursday, May 9. We don't get to hear pianist Peter Schimke in a leading role often enough, so head down to the Artists Quarter tonight to hear him heading a trio and focusing on his talents as improviser. Or check out the trio madness at the Icehouse, with bassist Gary Raynor, pianist Phil Aaron and drummer Jay Epstein - three veterans who deal in the jazz canon from top to bottom, inside and out.
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, May 3. Peter Schimke and Irv Williams, Happy Hour at the Dakota; JoAnn Funk at Parma; Harper/Leggett/Foreman at the Black Dog; Vic Volare and the Lounge Lizards at Champion Ballroom
Saturday, May 4. JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma; Jon Pemberton Trio at the Red Stag
Sunday, May 5. Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster Café; Capri Big Band at the Capri Theater (3 pm); Zacc Harris Trio at the Riverview Wine Bar; Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra with Charmin Michelle at Cinema Ballroom
Monday, May 6. Southside Aces at Famous Dave's (Uptown); JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse
Tuesday, May 7. Joel Shapira at Hell's Kitchen; Beasley's Big Band at O'Gara's; Bill Simenson Orchestra at Jazz Central
Wednesday, May 8. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Steve Kenny and the Bastids follwed by New Sound Underground at the Artists Quarter
Thursday, May 9. Phil Mattson's MacPhail Vocal Ensemble at Jazz Central; James Wallace at Barbette