Saturday Night Jazz at kj's hideaway

Twin Cities Winter Jazz Fest, February 24th

Featured Festivals TCJF Twin Cities
Jorge Luis Pacheco at the 2019 TC Jazz Fest

It might not seem much like winter, but downtown St Paul will host the 2024 edition of the Twin Cities Winter Jazz Festival next weekend, Feburary 24th, with three stages of music in the historic Hamm Building. Two stages in the Park Square Theater and another at kj’s hideaway provide nonstop music from mid-afternoon through the evening, featuring headliner Cuban pianist Jorge Luis Pacheco, high-flying local jazzers, and a stage devoted to “emerging” artists. A special VIP dinner will be hosted by the Meritage Restaurant. Three-stage general seating tickets ($50) are still available (VIP tickets are sold out), with all proceeds benefiting the nonprofit Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Premium sponsors this year include AARP Minnesota, Dual Citizen Brewing Company, and KBEM (Jazz 88) Radio. Parts of this festival will be live-streamed on KBEM.


Park Square Theater Main Stage

Jorge Luis Pacheco Trio – presented by Dual Citizen Brewing Company (8 pm)

Jorge Luis Pacheco

A featured artist at the 2019 Twin Cities Jazz Festival, keyboard monster Jorge Luis Pacheco is one of the leading pianists and musicians of the new generation of jazz in Cuba. Winner of the Montreux Jazz Piano Solo Competition in Switzerland, Pacheco is a fiery young pianist with “flying hands,” says Cuban jazz musician Bobby Carcassés. “His music is a confluence of Cuban jazz, Cuban and Afro Cuban music, American jazz, and classical music with a measure of contemporary pop and soul.” From Havana, Pacheco has performed all over the world and in prominent jazz clubs such as Dizzy’s (Jazz at Lincoln Center) and at New York’s Blue Note Jazz Festival, and has appeared with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and with Arturo O’Farrill.

Abinnet Berhanu

Abinnet Berhanu’s Ahndenet (6:30 pm)

Opening the Park Square Main Stage will be drummer Abinnet Berhanu’s ensemble, Ahndenet (meaning “unity”). Berhanu notes that the band  “pays respect to Ethiopian folk and pop music, exploring the rich instrumental legacy from Addis to Wollo to Gambella to Illubabor to Tigray.” The musicians include vocalist Genet Abate, saxophonists Pete Whitman and Bryan Murray, pianist Joe Strachan, bassist Jeff Bailey, and  of course Berhanu on drums. Park Square Theater Main Stage, 6:30 pm.

kj’s hideaway Stage

Saturday nights are jazz nights at kj’s, hosted by trumpeter and bandleader Steve Kenny. For Winter Jazz Fest, an evening of top metro performers take the stage:

Stablemates (Dale Alexander, Gary Raynor, Jay Epstein)

3:30 pm, Stablemates. Currently one of the busiest jazz groups in the metro, Stablemates is Dale Alexander (piano), Gary Raynor (bass) and Jay Epstein (drums), playing fiery renditions of popular and less known standards.

5:00 pm, Steve Kenny Quintet. Trumpeter Steve Kenny leads a long list of trios, quartets and quintets (including Group 47) and co-leads the long-running Illicit Sextet. Devoted to original music, Kenny’s bands are typically combinations of revered veterans and the best of the younger generation.

Lila Ammons

6:30 pm, Lila Ammons Jazz Group.  A stunning vocalist, Lila returns to kj’s with a band of youngish veterans—Ted Godbout on piano, Ted Olsen on bass, and Miguel Hurtado on drums.

9:30 pm, Festival Jazz Jam led by Graydon Peterson. The lower level of the Hamm Building has long been the after-hours site of festival jazz jams. Bassist Graydon Peterson will host musicians in varying combinations.


Emerging Artist Stage (Andy Boss Thrust Stage, Park Square Theater)

3:00 pm, Callum Schultz Quintet.  Young bassist Callum Schultz, mentored by the best of the Walker West faculty, leads a band of young lions.

Hannah Harder

4:30 pm, Hannah Harder Quintet. Recent UW-Eau Claire graduate, saxophonist Hannah Harder has been leading bands throughout the Metro.

6:00 pm, Blue Ox Jazz Orchestra.  A recent St Olaf graduate, drummer Jack Schabert has been leading trio and quintet ensembles for several years, yielding two recordings, and now gathers a larger ensemble of mostly younger jazz artists.

For remaining tickets and other information, see