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The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, May 30-June 5


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Summertime. And the jazzing is easy if you follow the live calendars, from Jazz Police, KBEM, Rhythm and Grooves and JazzINK. Seems none of us get it all, but all together we probably cover 90%! Some outstanding visitors drop in at the Icehouse this week, and the usual venues keep things boppin' along.

Big Gigs This Week

Friday, May 30. The Bridge Series continues at Jazz Central with a multi-generational ensemble headed by drum legend Eric Kamau Gravatt. Joining the former Weather Reporter and McCoy Tyner cohort will be leaders of the “younger" generation, saxman Brandon Wozniak and guitarist Zacc Harris (who collectively are half of the Atlantis Quartet). Oh yeah, and Charlie Lincoln on bass. Who? Charlie Lincoln. All of about 17 and finishing his junior year at South High. Charlie brings new meaning to the label “young lion." Keep your ear on him.

Over at the Black Dog, percussion king Davu Seruleads Song Click with a masterful crew — saxophonists Donald Washington and Nathan Hansen, bassist Brian Courage and percussionist Marc Anderson. A cool night of improvisation is on the menu.

Friday/Saturday, May 30-31. An unusual event dubbed the Two Nights Music Festival takes place at the Old Arizona theater space, presented by Reid Kruger and Waterbury Music and Sound. It's an eclectic mix with some cutting edge jazz musicians— Friday features Farewell Tenney, Solate, Broken Gnome and Maeth; Saturday includes the Orange Mighty Trio, Red Planet, the Jonathon Zorn Trio and Ringside.

Saturday, May 31.Pianist/vocalist JoAnn Funk has one of the longest-running jazz gigs in town, at the Lobby Bar of the Saint Paul Hotel. Her usual partner is bassist Jeff Brueske, playing Saturday nights and, during the winter, usually Friday as well. Tonight is their final gig before taking a break for the summer, with the exception being three straight nights during the Twin Cities Jazz Festival at the end of June. Think Blossom Dearie meets Norah Jones.

Monday, June 2. It's a real “Implosion" tonight at the Icehouse as JT brings in the improvising duo of saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and drummer Tom Rainey, currently on tour celebrating their first duo release. Both are very busy on the New York modern jazz scene, playing in and leading multiple ensembles and recently releasing recordings of new works. Among other artists, both have been associated with Tim Berne, Mary Halvorson and Kris Davis — pretty fast company. After the duo's set, there's more with JT, Paul Metzger and Mike Lewis — your $10 goes quite far tonight!

Tuesday, June 3. Not jazz per se but heavy on improvised music, ETHEL comes to Aria in Minneapolis as part of the SPCO Liquid Music series, performing “Documerica." Newest member of ETHEL is none other than Twin Citian, Kip Jones on violin. At the Black Dog, it's First Tuesday with guitar genie Dean Magraw and tonight's guest co-host, drummer Eric Kamau Gravatt.

Wednesday, June 4. Even without usual saxophonist Brandon Wozniak (on tour this week with the Dave King Trucking Company), Anthony Cox's Happy Spirits will keep you happily engaged at Jazz Central with a nod to Ornette, electric Miles and Dave Holland's Prism. Joining Cox (on bass and cello) will be trumpeter Solomon Parham, pianist Peter Schimke and drummer Kevin Washington.

Thursday, June 5. Vocal Jazz Night at Jazz Central presents a terrific swinging singer who flies under the radar, Joyce Lyons. An East Coast native who spent a chunk of time in Denver, Joyce ha been in the Twin Cities only a few years, singing at the Dakota, Three Crows in Delano, and at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival.  She's the real deal.

More Music Every Night Keep up with the live jazz scene in the Twin Cities — check out calendars at Jazz Police, KBEM, Rhythm and Grooves as well as here on the blog. Some additional gigs of interest this week:

Friday, May 30. Irv Williams Trio, happy hour at the Dakota; Todd Harper, solo piano at the Black Dog; Paul Renz Trio at Parma 8200; Vic Volare at Hell's Kitchen

Saturday, May 31. Patrick Harison and James Buckley, brunch at the Icehouse; Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; Zacc Harris Trio at Loring Pasta Bar; Struck Percussion/Threads at Studio Z

Sunday, June 1. Robert Everest, brunch at Maria's; River City Jazz Orchestra at Silverwood Park (St Anthony); Zacc Harris Trio at Riverview Wine Bar; Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra with Charmin Michelle at Cinema Ballroom

Monday, June 2. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Southside Big Band at Centennial Lakes Park

Tuesday, June 3. Bill Simenson Orchestra at Jazz Central; South High Community Big Band at Como Park Pavilion; Beasley's Big Band at O'Gara's; Cafe Accordion at Loring Pasta Bar

Wednesday, June 4. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Midweek Mambo (Doug Little's Charanguita) at Loring Pasta Bar

Thursday, June 5. Red Rock Swing Band at Como Lakeside Pavilion; Moonlight Serenaders at Wabasha Street Caves; Jazz @ Christos with Alicia Renee and Chris Lomheim (Union Depot)

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This story appears courtesy of JazzINK by Andrea Canter.
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