Stanley Jordan — at the Dakota February 19-20

© Andrea Canter

[Note: With this month’s Lead Sheet, we shift publication from JazzINK to Jazz Police; new posts monthly with updates weekly. Post updated 2-19-18]

An old favorite (Sergio Mendes), hot horn (Donny McCaslin), guitar legend (Stanley Jordan), and young jazz hero (John Raymond) head the list of visitors this month, while the Jazz Women All-Stars and other local star ensembles (Bottomless Pit, Lulu’s Playground, Red 5, many more) bring the best in the Midwest to metro venues in February.


Big Gigs This Month

Thursday, February 1. Making their Vieux Carre’ debut, Bottomless Pit has entertained for a few years now, featuring Weather Report drummer Eric Kamau Gravatt, guitar genie Joel Shapira, sax great Pete Whitman, and veteran bassist Tom Lewis. Pianist/trumpeter Jon Pemberton opens the evening.

Jake Baldwin Quartet © Andrea Canter

Friday, February 2. The recent Winter Jazz Festival at Crooners opened with the students of the Dakota Combo and closed with one of their most accomplished alumni, trumpeter Jake Baldwin. Leading his quartet (with Joe Strachan on piano, Ted Olsen on bass, and Miguel Hurtado on drums) in the Dunsmore Room for the festival, Jake now brings that band + 1 (Nelson Devereaux on sax)  to the Illicit Jazz Workshop at Jazz Central tonight.

Seems Framework is playing more often this winter and that is a very good thing. Jay Epstein, Chris Bates and Chris Olson make trio magic in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners, on the Friday “late show” series. Another guitar guru, Park Evans performs at Vieux Carre’ with vocalist Katie Gearty.

Friday-Saturday, February 2-3. Playing two nights back to back during dinner hours, Zacc Harris (guitar) and James Buckley (bass) can be counted on for sublime and inventive string interaction at the Icehouse.

Lulu’s Playground © Andrea Canter

Saturday, February 3. An outstanding double header at the Black Dog: The Steve Kenny Quartet opens, previewing music from their upcoming debut recording. Veteran Steve heads an ensemble of otherwise young lions–Levi Schwartzberg on vibes, Ted Olsen on bass and Miguel Hurtado on drums. The “headline” set showcases the talents, too rarely heard these days, of Lulu’s Playground, an off-beat band with Adam Meckler on trumpet, Steven Hobert on keys, Cory Grossman on cello, and Ben Abrahamson on guitar.

Monday, February 5. The spotlight shines on reedman Brian Handeland at Jazz Central, where he brings a quartet with Park Evans, Graydon Peterson and Dave Schmalenberger. Now a septet, Chris Bates’ Red 5 takes over JT’s Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse.

Adam Meckler © Andrea Canter

Tuesday, February 6. The sudden closing of McNally Smith College of Music in December left many students (and faculty) without support and struggling to find housing, keep student Visas, etc. Adam Meckler and former McNally faculty get together at Vieux Carre’ tonight to raise some funds to support their students and colleagues.

Davu Seru © Andrea Canter

Wednesday, February 7. At Jazz Central, Jon Morgan presents his New Boundaries series with drummer Davu Seru teaming up with trumpeter Noah Ophoven-Baldwin for all sorts of modern mischief. Savy vocalist Rhonda Laurie hits the stage at Vieux Carre’ after a warm-up set or two from keyboard king Kevin Gastonguay.

Thursday, February 8. Khyber Pass continues to offer some of the most adventurous music in town, and tonight is no exception with George Cartwright, Paul Metzger and Adam Linz. Veering off the usual vocal night, Jazz Central presents the Adam Meckler Trio along with some of Adam’s MacPhail students.

Friday, February 9.  Trombonist/composer JC Sanford leads his quartet in the Dunsmore Room at Crooner’s, while the Illicit Jazz Workshop series at Jazz Central presents Really Big Shoe with double sax threats Joe Mayo and Clay Pufahl.

Saturday, February 10. Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog kicks off with the inventive sounds of John Devine and his quartet, followed by the cross-generational talents of the Jazz Bridge Project (Rajiah Johnson, Roger Johnson, Steve Kenny, Brian Handeland, Mark Vandemyde, Ron Evaniuk, Miguel Hurtado).

Saturday-Sunday, February 10-11. The Legends series continues at the Capri Theater with vocalist Judi Vinar and the Wolverines Trio (Rick Carlson, Steve Pikal, Jendeen Forberg)  in a show highlighting the Great American Songbook, “Taking a Chance on Love.” Saturday night and Sunday matinee.

Sheila Earley © Andrea Canter

Sunday, February 11. Patty Peterson’s  Jazz Women All-Stars return for two sets at Crooners Lounge, featuring Mary Louise Knutson, Joan Griffith, Kathy Jensen, Sheila Earley, Ginger Commodore and Patty herself. Over at Jazz Central, a rare Sunday night gig features New York keyboard monster Mike Eckroth, playing some solo as well as in trio with Graydon Peterson and Zach Schmidt.

John Raymond © Andrea Canter

Monday, February 12. The Dakota hosts one of our area’s finest vocalists with one of the area’s finest trios–Connie Evingson takes the stage with Mary Louise Knutson, Chris Bates, and Dave Karr.

“Home” again,  trumpeter John Raymond returns to the Icehouse with his New York-based Real Feels Trio celebrating the release of Joy Ride. This is an early show (7:30) followed by the usual Jazz Implosion, this week featuring Litigation (Davu Seru and Jindra).

Monday-Tuesday, February 12-13. The Dunsmore Room hosts two nights with the Dave King Trio in a new configuration– Dave is joined by bassist Billy Peterson and new pianist, Matt Mitchell, who was most recently in town with Tim Berne two years ago.

Wednesday, February 14. Chris Bates returns to Jazz Central with John Keston (keys) and Randy Kramer (drums) as “Astrologers,” offering sonic experiments, while in honor of Valentine’s Day, V-Lo’s tacos will be available for this one night only. At the Icehouse, a special dinner hour duo of Tim Sparks and James Buckley.

Sarah M Greer © Andrea Canter

Thursday, February 15. Sarah M Greer curates the weekly Vocal Jazz night at Jazz Central, but tonight she takes the stage with her own creative voice, accompanied by another creative voice, guitarist Dean Magraw.

Friday, February 16. A night of rousing percussion–the Illicit Jazz Workshop at Jazz Central presents acclaimed master Babatunde Lea with Kevin Washington, Jax Ravel and Viviana Pintado in a configuration dubbed CHOMBO. And always entertaining, vocalist Debbie Duncan hits the stage at Vieux Carre’.

Red Planet © Andrea Canter

Monday, February 19. The galactic Red Planet (Dean Magraw, Chris Bates, Jay Epstein) continues its monthly residency at the Black Dog.

Monday-Tuesday, February 19-20. A living legend of jazz guitar, Stanley Jordan is best enjoyed solo, and he returns alone to the Dakota for two nights of magic.

Tuesday, February 20. Katia Cardenas returns to Vieux Carre’, following some opening piano magic from Chris Lomheim.

Tanner Taylor © Andrea Canter

Tuesday-Wednesday, February 20-21. A pairing that rarely is heard these days, vocalist Connie Evingson reunites with pianist Tanner Taylor in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners. Since Taylor moved back to Iowa a couple years ago, it’s a rare treat to hear him in the Metro.

Wednesday, February 21. Swinging double-header tonight at Vieux Carre’. Start off with Rick Carlson on piano, then celebrate Louis Armstrong with the Southside Aces. (The Aces are back at VC on Friday, speaking of doubles.) More hot-handed piano at Jazz Central as Peter Schimke and Friends perform on “new music” night.

Thursday, February 22. Special team at Jazz Central for vocal night–Beth and Adi Yeshaya! 

Eric Gravatt and Dean Magraw © Andrea Canter

Friday, February 23. A new installment of Jeremy Walker’s “Jazz in the Target Atrium” series at Orchestra Hall features the piano and a strong sampling of the metro’s best: Chris Lomheim, Javier Santiago, Bryan Nichols, and Jeremy himself. The Illicit Jazz Workshop at Jazz Central features guitarist Cory Steinmann’s Sightless Quartet–with Joe Strachan on piano, Chris Bates on bass, and Pete Hennig on drums. Adding to your difficulty picking a gig, the Friday Night series in the Dunsmore Room reunites guitar guru Dean Magraw and drum legend Eric Kamau Gravatt. Take your pick, you win.


Coming Soon!

. February 19-20, Stanley Jordan at the Dakota

. February 20, Chris Lomheim/Katia Cardenas at Vieux Carre’

. February 20, Explosion Big Band at Jazz Central

. February 20-21, Connie Evingson with Tanner Taylor and Dave Karr in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge

. February 21, Rick Carlson/Louis Armstrong Night with Southside Aces at Vieux Carre’

. February 21, Peter Schimke and Friends at Jazz Central

. February 22, Lawrence Hutera and Dane Stauffer at Jazz Central

. February 22, Joel Shapira, early sets at Vieux Carre’

. February 23,  Southside Aces at Vieux Carre’

. February 23, Jazz in the Target Atrium “At the Piano” (Chris Lomheim, Javier Santiago, Bryan Nichols, Jeremy Walker) at Orchestra Hall

. February 23, Sergio Mendes at the Dakota

. February 23, Cory Steinmann Sightless Quartet at Jazz Central

. February 24, Ahmad and the Creators/Twilight Sentinel at the Black Dog

. February 24, Nachito Herrera at the Dakota

. February 25, Andrew Walesch Big Band, “Sinatra” at Crooners Lounge

. February 26, Matt Trice at Jazz Central

. February 26, Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn at The Guthrie

. February 27, Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra at Jazz Central

. February 27, Bryan Nichols Two Trios at the Icehouse

. February 28, Donny McCaslin Group at the Dakota

. February 28, New Boundaries with John Keston and Cody McKinney at Jazz Central

. March 1, Delfeayo Marsalis and Uptown Jazz Orchestra at the Dakota

. March 1, Sheridan Zuther at Jazz Central

. March 2, Central Standard Time at Jazz Central

. March 2, Southside Aces with Butch Thompson at Crooners Lounge

. March 3, Zacc Harris’ American Reverie/Unstablemates (Carleton College) at the Black Dog

. March 4, “More Flute” — Larry McDonough Quartet with Carol Bergquist at the Aster Cafe’

. March 6, Kenny Werner and Claudia Villella at Vieux Carre’

. March 6, Acme Jazz Company with Arne Fogel at Crooners Lounge

. March 7, 2018, Cecile McLorin Salvant at the Dakota

. March 7, Red Planet with Bill Carrothers in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge

. March 8, Brazilian Night (Lucia Newell, Joan Griffith, Clea Galhano, Gordy Johnson) in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge

. March 8-11, Charles Lloyd 80th Birthday Celebration at the Dakota

. March 9, Wall Smashers Organ Trio at Jazz Central

. March 10, Jazz Mn Orchestra Commission Project at Hopkins High School Auditorium

. March 10, Jax Ravel Gang/Three Faces at the Black Dog

. March 11, Rio Nido in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge

. March 13, Melissa Aldana at Vieux Carre’

. March 13, Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson (“Moon River and Mercer”) in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge

. March 13-14, Jose James at the Dakota

. March 15, Erin Livingston and the Wolverine at Crooners Lounge

. March 15, Erin Schwab in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge

. March 16, Peter Kogan Septet at Jazz Central

. March 17, Rhonda Laurie, Jazz @ St Barney’s (St Barnabas Lutheran Church)

. March 17, Mike Vax in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge

. March 17, Lease/Moriarty Quartet/Roseville Area High School Jazz Ensemble at the Black Dog

. March 18, Jane Monheit at the Dakota

. March 18, Arne Fogel in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge

. March 23, Acoustic Concussion at Jazz Central

. March 24, Steve Kenny Quintet/Smashing Carp at the Black Dog

. March 28, Patricia Barber at the Dakota

. March 30, Michelle Kinney’s What We Have Here at Jazz Central

. March 30-31, Debbie Duncan CD Release at the Dakota

. March 31, Joel Shapira Quartet/Charmin & Shapira Quartet at the Black Dog

. April 7, Jazz Mn Orchestra with Bill Evans at Hopkins High School Auditorium

. April 8, Emmet Cohen with Tootie Heath in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge

. April 13, Jazz in the Target Atrium “First Instrument” (Atrium Jazz Ensemble with Bruce Henry) at Orchestra Hall

. April 24, John Scofield/Joe Lovano Quartet at Hopkins Center for Arts

. May 3, Keiko Matsui at the Dakota

. May 14, Arturo Sandoval at the Dakota

. June 12, Diana Krall at Ordway

. June 22-23, Twin Cities Jazz Festival at Mears Park