Friday, June 17, 2016
Acclaimed as a considerable and highly individual compositional talent, saxophonist David Binney is one of the most prolific jazz musicians on the scene today.Winning praise from critics and colleagues alike, David was singled out by Jazz Times as one of a handful of “players who have created an alternative jazz scene… all of whom are playing adventurous, original music.”
David’s distinctive saxophone sound and innovative compositions have been heard from basement clubs in New York to jazz festivals in Europe and the world. In addition to his extensive work as a leader, he has been sought after as a sideman, appearing on record with Medeski, Martin & Wood , Uri Caine’s Mahler Project and hundreds of others. David has also appeared on stage with Aretha Franklin, at Carnegie Hall, and with Maceo Parker, to name a few. He has produced all of his own 22 albums, and many others including two of the Lost Tribe releases, 6 Donny McCaslin releases, Scott Colley’s “The Architect of the Silent Moment”, and many others.. David started his record label, Mythology Records, in 1998.
He has won the Downbeat Critics Poll 3 different times in the Alto Saxophone category. And placed in Producer, Album etc.. As well as in the Jazz Times polls and polls worldwide. Has had front cover features in Downbeat and Jazz Times and many other publications. David was born in Miami, Florida and raised in Southern California and has lived in NYC for 35 years.
“David Binney possesses one of the most original minds in contemporary music.”
“Add David Binney’s dynamic voice on saxophone and his great writing to the chorus of creators re-invigorating jazz.”
– The Montreal Gazette
“…a strikingly original composer, leader, conceptualist.”
Nicole Mitchell Quartet
Sunday, September 6th
Nicole Mitchell is a creative flutist, composer, bandleader and educator. As the founder of Black Earth Ensemble, Black Earth Strings, Ice Crystal and Sonic Projections, Mitchell has been repeatedly awarded by Downbeat Critics Poll and the Jazz Journalists Association as “Top Flutist of the Year” for the last four years. Mitchell’s music across genres and integrates new ideas with moments in the legacy of jazz, gospel, experimentalism, pop and African percussion.
Ron Carter & Golden Striker Trio
Friday, September 11th
Ron Carter is among the most original, prolific, and influential bassists in jazz. Carter came to fame via the great Miles Davis Quintet in the early 1960s, which also included Herbie Hancock,Wayne Shorter and Tony Williams. His appearances on over 2,500 albums make him one of the most-recorded bassists in jazz history, including recording with many of music’s greats: Tommy Flanagan, Gil Evans, Lena Horne, Bill Evans, B.B. King, the Kronos Quartet, Dexter Gordon and Wes Montgomery. Carter has lectured, conducted, and performed at clinics and master classes, instructing jazz ensembles and teaching the business of music and after 18 years on the faculty of the Music Department of The City College of New York, he is now Distinguished Professor Emeritus although, as a performer, he remains as active as ever.
Friday, October 2nd
Afoutayi Dance, Music & Arts Company promotes Haitian Folklore through teaching dance, music and culture to benefit and enrich the local community while simultaneously promoting cultural diversity, self-empowerment and leadership through the arts. Interring in the community of Haitian people is being connected by the world of the spirit, where the movements of the body are in harmonization with the sound of the drums to celebrate our ancestors. The Haitian history of revolution has had great impact on the culture, giving a distinctive fiery character to the dance.
Yolanda Bruce Group
Friday, October 16th
Vocalist Yolande Bruce is well known throughout the Twin Cities and beyond as a member of the award-winning ensemble Moore by Four. With MB4 she has performed nationally and internationally, opening for such legendary artists as Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughan, and BB King. Yolande was a Minnesota Music Awards nominee for Best Female Jazz Artist in 1993. Active in local theater, Yolande has appeared in productions on Penumbra, Illusion, Guthrie and Ordway Theater stages. She’s been on the stage of local venues such as the Dakota, Orchestra Hall, and The Fitzgerald Theater.
Eric Kamau Gravatt & Source Code
Friday, November 13th
Eric Kamau Grávátt is a jazz drummer, praised for his work with McCoy Tyner and as a part of Weather Report. Gravatt is currently playing with a changing group of players in his own group, Source Code. An alum of the bands of Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Blue Mitchell and others, Gravatt essentially has had two careers in jazz with a couple decades of separation. Like John Coltrane and long-time associate McCoy Tyner, he is a native of Philadelphia. Originally a conga player, Gravatt taught percussion and music in Philadelphia and Washington, DC in the 1960s. Now, Source Code tackles the works of such heavyweights as Coltrane and Jackie McLean. Gravatt’s band has the power to handle the repertoire.
Anthony Walker Group
Friday, December 4th
Anthony began his piano training in his native St. Paul, Minnesota, at age five, making his public debut at age ten. His musical background in classical, gospel, ragtime and rhythm & blues established Anthony in high demand as a solo artist, session musician, teacher and producer. His smooth sophisticated style is comparable to jazz icons Herbie Hancock, Joe Sample, Bobby Lyle, and George Duke. His talent as a pianist has allowed Anthony to perform for audiences on five continents, sharing the stage with acts such as Stevie Wonder, Patti Austin, The Yellow Jackets, jazz vocal group Take Six. The Smithsonian Institution invited Anthony to be part of its 18-month-long exhibit of historic pianos, commemorating the 300-year anniversary of instrument’s invention.
Bryan Nichols Trio
Friday, January 8, 2016
Bryan Nichols is a Minneapolis-based pianist and composer, working primarily in jazz and improvised music. He returned to the Twin Cities in 2005 after four busy years in Chicago where he played with jazz heavyweights like Nicole Mitchell, Ernest Dawkins, Von Freeman and Hamid Drake. Since returning to Minneapolis, he leads and composes for his own trio, his quintet and his large group, We Are Many. He also plays regularly with Gang Font, Kelly Rossum Quartet, James Buckley Trio, and Zacc Harris Quartet, in addition to being an in-demand freelancer. He teaches jazz piano at MacPhail Center for Music and University of Wisconsin Eau Claire, and he was also recently named artistic director of Jazz is NOW!, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit supporting regional music and composers.
Bryan was awarded a 2010-11 McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians, a prestigious and competitive award given to Minnesota musicians. He was also awarded a 2004 residency by Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead program at the Kennedy Center, given to outstanding, emerging jazz performer/composers. His work as a composer earned him a subito grant from the American Composers Forum. He has performed at most music venues in the Twin Cities and Chicago, in addition to international festivals including Sons d’Hiver (Paris, France) and Kerava Jazz Festival (Kerava, Finland) as well as local and regional festivals including the Chicago Jazz Festival and the Minnesota Sur Seine Festival. Bryan appears on recent recordings by James Buckley, Gang Font, Chris Morrissey, Gordon Johnson, Kelly Rossum, Todd Clouser, Gayngs and many more. In May 2011 Bryan released his debut recording as a leader, Bright Places, containing nine original compositions for his quintet.
7:30 PM Doors
8:00 PM Showtime
Debbie Duncan Group
Friday, February 12, 2016
Debbie Duncan may be considered the upper Midwest’s “best-kept-musical secret” but she has become a local legend and treasure in her home of Minneapolis. Her personality, vitality, and versatility all contribute to that fact. She is a terrific entertainer, and this is certainly part of her appeal. Most importantly, however, “she’s a superb vocalist, probably the finest in the area/” [;Bob Protzman, St. Paul Pioneer Press];
Debbie was raised in Detroit by parents steeped in jazz, and was surrounded by the vibrant sound of Motown that was sweeping the country. She also has a strong love of folk, classical, and gospel music. The combination of these influences has given her the ability to blue the lines between jazz and popular music, and to sing with a rare level of emotional conviction that draws the audience into the heart of a song. She can move from a whisper to a fever pitch in the breath of a phrase and testigy in a way that commands the listeners rapt attention. Her choice of songs reflects her background. It ranges from jazz standards by great American composers to obscure bluesy sounds, to popular music.
7:30 PM Doors
8:00 PM Showtime
Stokley Williams & Friends
Friday March 18
Stokley is a Grammy nominated vocalist, critically acclaimed drummer/percussionist, producer and songwriter who has achieved international success in the music industry. Although Stokley is best known as the lead vocalist for Mint Condition, he is a percussionist at heart.
Beginning at the tender age of 4, Stokley has garnered a reputation by playing many percussion instruments including: steel pan, congas, drums, kalimba. Stokley also expanded his arsenal by picking up guitar and piano to complete his whole musical package.
Born in St. Paul, Minnesota and always ahead of the music curve, Stokley credits his edgy and alternative sound to the profound influences of African, Jazz, Latin, Rock & Roll, R&B, Blues and Gospel.
Stokley has performed on live shows such as Jay Leno, Jimmy Fallon Show, Conan O’Brien, BET Honors Awards (2013), The Late Late Show w/Craig Ferguson, American Music Awards, Trumpet Awards, Soultrain Awards, The Monique Show, and TV ONE’s “Way Black When” to name just a few.
In addition to co-producing all of Mint Condition’s albums, Stokley has lent his talents to several other artists as well. His production credits include hits for artists such as Wale, Jill Scott, Boney James, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Maysa (formerly of Incognito).
Film Soundtracks include: Phat Girlz, Jason’s Lyric, Goodburger, Mo’ Money, The Sixth Man.
Tours/Performances include: With Mint Condition Stokley has toured the world including many countries in Europe, military installations in Korea, Iraq, Kuwait, & Japan to name a few. Prince (Welcome to America Tour), Jill Scott (Block Party Tour), Alicia Keys, Toni Braxton, Janet Jackson, Sheila E., Whitney Houston, Robert Glasper Experiment, Kenny G., Isley Brothers, Lionel Richie, Bilal, Ursus Minor, Raphael Saddiq, Anthony Hamilton, Eric Benet, Ledisi, Kelly Price, Brotha Ali, Tony-Toni-Tone, Sounds of Blackness & many more.
Studio Sessions (Drums, Percussion & Vocals): Mariah Carey, Janet Jackson, Usher, Mary J. Blige, Jill Scott, Wale, Brian Culbertson, Boney James, Malcolm Jamal Warner, Maysa, Lionel Richie, Gladys Knight, Yolanda Adams, Patti Labelle, Sounds of Blackness, New Edition, Ali Shaheed (of A Tribe Called Quest), and Jon Secada.
Stokley is currently producing new material for a host of new up and coming artists, established artists, as well as for himself. Stokley has always been, & is still very active in the local music community performing with bands around the Twin Cites area.
7:30 PM Doors
8:00 PM Showtime
Friday, April 15, 2016
Atlantis Quartet has emerged as a leading voice in the twin cities’ burgeoning modern jazz scene since its inception in 2006. The group features four of Minnesota’s most exciting young jazz artists, saxophonist Brandon Wozniak, guitarist Zacc Harris, bassist Chris Bates, and drummer Pete Hennig; who have come together in this setting to create and explore fresh and original sounds in the heart of and on the edges of the jazz idiom. The ensemble’s blend of complexity and accessibility has proven a perfect fit for all listeners.
Atlantis Quartet has released four albums to date, Expansion (Shifting Paradigm Records, 2013), Lines In the Sand (2011), Animal Progress (2009), and Again, Too Soon (2007). Recently, the band headlined the opening night of the 2014 Twin Cities Jazz Festival at Mears Park. The group was names Best Jazz Artist by the Star Tribune in 2012 and in 2011 by the City Pages, who said, “No jazz band in the Twin Cities is on the prowl both creatively and in gaining national recognition quite like the Atlantis Quartet…Each player’s ideas and strengths seem to infiltrate the others’ consciousness, so the music evolves as a constantly shifting mosaic of textures, rhythmic patterns, and tonal colors…This is a band with a limitless future.”
Bill Milkowski wrote in JazzTimes Magazine of the quartet’s fresh sound, calling it “startlingly original stuff” and stating that the band “shifts nimbly from a punk-jazz aesthetic to an ECM-ish sensitivity.” Dwight Hobbes of the Pulse Twin Cities credits Atlantis Quartet with “strong compositions and insanely serious chops” while the Dakota Jazz Club refers to the band as “one of the most exciting bands in town, this group tackles complex, catchy originals with ease.” The plaudits continue for the group, named “one of the bands to watch on the Midwestern modern jazz scene” by Aaron Basiliere of All About Jazz, and perhaps Citypages writer Rick Mason best describes the band as a “sound that taps historic elements like swing, bop, and free jazz while referencing contemporary bits of funk, rock, and world music, then rolls it all into a cohesive bundle of kinetic energy with the visceral allure of intense fireworks and the intellectual challenge of multilayered complexity.”
August 2007 marked the release of Atlantis Quartet’s debut album, Again, Too Soon, a collection of eight original compositions which garnered national praise. In a review from the spring 2008 issue of Jazz Improv Magazine, Clive Griffin says, “What is abundantly clear is that each of the members of Atlantis Quartet are highly skilled musicians who have invested themselves heavily to develop their individual approaches…Together, they sound genuinely inspired.” Griffin goes on to say, “Atlantis Quartet is a versatile group of jazz musicians whose music evidences their understanding and appreciation of important jazz influences – influences that they have assimilated into their own individual and group creativity.”
Nathan Hanson / Brian Roessler Duo
Friday, May 13, 2016
Nathan Hanson and Doan Roessler have been musical partners for more than twenty years. In that time they have developed a unique musical sympathy and symbiosis. As a duo they create music that is at turns lyrical, bombastic, and ethereally expansive – accessible to the curious, while challenging.
Their work together has drawn enthusiastic praise from reviewers around the US, and as far afield as Canada, France and Argentina. First in Fly Manifesto, followed later by Fantastic Merlins, and Wiwex Quartet the two have worked often in formats that have expanded their particular duo language.
In their newest project, Hanson and Roessler have pursued a more orchestral formulation. The newest recording, available soon, finds the pair surrounded by oceans of basses and saxophones, and forests of strings, brass and electronically generated sounds. This new direction is making itself manifest in performance as a quintet with the addition of Laura Harada, violin; Cole Pulice, tenor and baritone saxophone; and Christopher McGuire, drumset.