Zacc Harris Group in the Dunsmore Room on October 27
© Andrea Canter
One of the busiest jazz musicians in the Twin Cities, guitarist Zacc Harris is a man of many ensembles, heading the Atlantis Quartet, Zacc Harris Trio and Quartet, American Reverie, and lending his strings to Tall Tales, Grain, and more. About five years ago, Harris added the Zacc Harris Group to his list of projects, bringing together pianist Bryan Nichols, bassist Chris Bates, and usually drummer JT Bates. The Zacc Harris Group with Miguel Hurtado on drums makes its Dunsmore Room (at Croomers Lounge) debut on Friday night, October 27 at 9 pm.
Zacc Harris came to Minneapolis about ten years ago from Illinois, where he graduated from Southern Illinois University. Here he formed the Luminessence Trio (now Zacc Harris Trio), continuing their long-running Sunday night gig at the Riverview Wine Bar. In addition to his many projects as bandleader, Zacc performs frequently with Brandon Wozniak, Adam Meckler and Babatunde Lea, and is often on stage at Jazz Central Studios, the Black Dog, Vieux Carré, and Studio Z, where he has curated Jazz at Studio Z for five seasons. Zacc is also dedicated to teaching; he is an adjunct faculty at Hamline University and has taught guitar privately for the past 15 years.
Pianist Bryan Nichols returned to his native Minnesota after studies at Iowa State and gigging in Chicago. A member of the 2004 edition of Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead (“Jazz Stars of Tomorrow”), he performed at Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He’s played with Ari Brown, Maurice Brown, Von Freeman, and more, and has taught at the MacPhail Center for Music and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Locally Bryan is heard with his own trio, quintet and large ensemble, We Are Many; often performs on weekends at the Icehouse in duo with bassist James Buckley; is a member of the Atrium Jazz Ensemble led by Jeremy Walker; performs in Mancrush, led by Lars-Erik Larson; and appears with other innovative artists. Bryan was a 2010 recipient of a McKnight grant, released Bright Places in 2011, and released his solo recording, Looking North, in 2016.
Bassist Chris Bates is familiar to Twin Cities’ audiences through his ongoing associations with the How Birds Work, Dean Magraw’s Red Planet, Framework, the Atlantis Quartet, Bill Simenson Orchestra, and many other cutting-edge ensembles and big bands, as well as his own bands, Red Five and Good Vibes Trio. Each of his bands released a well-received recording in the past few years – Red Five’s New Hope, and the self-titled Good Vibes Trio. At Jazz Central Studios, Chris curates a monthly “new music” series. Chris studied at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire and later with Anthony Cox, was an original member of the Motion Poets, and a 1999 McKnight Composer Fellow.
Miguel Hurtado (drums) played throughout the Twin Cities as a teenager with Javi Santiago in several youth bands, as well as with South High jazz ensembles. After graduating from the Manhattan School of Music in spring 2010, he returned to the Twin Cities where he quickly became a busy member of the local jazz scene. He’s led his own ensembles at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Artists Quarter, Dakota, Black Dog, Icehouse, Jazz Central and more. In addition to leading his own bands, he has performed with Jake Baldwin, John Raymond, Jeremy Walker, Javi Santiago, Joe Strachan, Ted Olsen, Courageous Endeavors, and Steve Kenny. He’s also expanding his musical resumé, playing with some local pop and R&B singers, particularly Alicia Steele and vocalist/rapper Toussaint Morrison.
The Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge is located at 6161 NE Highway 65, just north of I-694 in Fridley. The new Friday night series in the Dunsmore Room is general admission only, starting at 9 pm. Reserve tickets in advance and see full schedule at www.croonersloungemn.com