© Andrea Canter
Memorial Day Weekend often conjures images of picnics in the park and brass bands on the band stand. Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog typically conjures images of skilled improvisers playing original music in diverse configurations. On May 27, Steve Kenny’s jazz series welcomes two bands that cover it all, from the opening set with the Selby Avenue Brass Band to the headline sets with the Park Evans Quintet.
Selby Avenue Brass Band (7 pm)
The Selby Avenue Brass Band is a relatively new voice on the Twin Cities music scene. The group is led by Tom Wells, tubist, arranger, composer, and music educator. Retired from leading bands at Minneapolis Roosevelt High School, Tom’s compositions and arrangement fuel a band comprised of enthusiastic and experienced musicians, including a couple of Grammy winners. While their musical roots come from the streets of New Orleans, these musicians spread their chops into the broader realm of jazz and brass band genres. On stage at the Black Dog, in addition to Wells (tuba), will be Larry Sims (trumpet), Marilyn Parker (saxophone), Chris Fulton (trombone), and Trenon Graham (drums).
Park Evans Quintet (8:30 pm)
A busy and eclectic guitarist and composer, Park Evans leads an innovative ensemble of veterans –Brandon Wozniak on saxophone, Steve Kenny on Flumpet™, Cody McKinney on bass, and Greg Schutte on drums.
Park Evans grew up in Ithaca, NY where he studied classical guitar. Although he relocated to Minnesota to further his classical training, he found himself studying with jazz guitarists Kevin Daley and Dean Magraw, and was soon a integral part of the Twin Cities jazz scene. Performing in bands from rock to jazz to world music, Park’s credits include Firebell, Parker Paisley, New Primatives, Radio in the Desert, and These Modern Socks. He also works with vocalists Katie Gearty and Sophia Shorai, guitarist Mike Michel and cellists Michelle Kinney and Jacquelline Ultan. Over his career, Park has performed with Elliot Humberto Kavee, John Scofied and Anthony Cox. He’s released three recordings of his original music and is a first-call studio musician, as well as guitar instructor (Music Connection, Rymer-Hadley Center for the Arts, and Rogers School of Music).
Steve Kenny co-founded the Illicit Sextet after graduating from UW-River Falls. Among other projects, he led The Bastids (now Group 47) weekly at the Artists Quarter, and more recently at Jazz Central, the Icehouse, the Black Dog and more. Kenny received Metropolitan Regional Arts Council grants to produce a 10-week series of “All Originals” jazz at Studio Z in summer 2014, continuing now through 2017. In fall 2014, Steve launched the Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog series, and with Illicit Productions, assembled and released the Twin Cities Jazz Sampler I, a collection of tracks from 13 area jazz ensembles; volume two was released last fall. In early 2015, he inaugurated another weekly series, Friday Night Jazz at The Nicollet (now Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie) in south Minneapolis. Kenny leads multiple ensembles in addition to Group 47 and the Illicit Sextet, including Central Standard Time and several editions of the Steve Kenny Quartet.
Saxman Brandon Wozniak previously lived and worked in New York City, toured with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, and earned his BA from Indiana University under the tutelage of the late David Baker. Since arriving in the Twin Cities in 2006, he has performed with local bands including the Atlantis Quartet, Red Five, Dave King Trucking Company, the Bryan Nichols Quintet, Zacc Harris Quartet, and Vector Families, and in varying combinations with Adam Linz, Billy Peterson, Dean Magraw, Kenny Horst, Zacc Harris, Steve Kenny and more. Over its first three seasons, Brandon has performed on the Jazz in the Target Atrium Series at Orchestra Hall as part of the Atrium Jazz Ensemble, led by Jeremy Walker.
Bassist Cody McKinney “works with sound by actively theorizing, organizing, practicing and challenging its properties.” He attended the Berklee College of Music and The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music where he studied bass and improvisation under many luminaries, including Johannes Weidenmueller, Bruce Gertz, Jim Black, Fima Ephron, Joe Martin, and Lincoln Goines, as well as composition under Kirk Nurock, Rory Stewart, Chris Stover, Steve Lehman, and Diane Moser. Locally Cody coleads a monthly evening of improvised music at Jazz Central with keyboardist John Keston (“Sound/Simulacra”)
Greg Schutte is a drummer, producer, and sound designer who has as performed nationally and internationally with a wide variety of artists/groups, including: The Mickey Hart Band, Chastity Brown Band, Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric, Cindi Lauper, The Hornheads, Jelloslave, Lori Line, Anthony Cox, Adam Meckler, Mary Louise Knutson, and many more. In 2010 Greg toured Iraq and Kuwait, performing for the US/Coalition Forces with singer/songwriter Keri Noble. From 2009-2013, Greg was commissioned to compose original music for Ananya Dance Theater, with premiers in Trinidad, Zimbabwe and Minneapolis. He toured with Ryan Bingham in summer 2016. Greg owns the Bathtub Shrine Studio in Northeast Minneapolis.
Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog presents two bands each evening of the weekly series. No cover but donations appreciated to support the musicians and the series. The Black Dog is located at 308 Prince Street, in the Northern Warehouse at the corner of E.4th Street and Broadway in St. Paul’s Lowertown Art District. Saturday schedule at www.saturdaynightjazzattheblackdog.info Nightly music at the Black Dog at www.blackdogstpaul.com