A Partial Guide to the Twin Cities Jazz Festival

The headliners are Branford Marsalis (Friday) and Diane Reeves (Saturday)

The headliners are Branford Marsalis (Friday) and Diane Reeves (Saturday)

The three-day Twin Cities Jazz Festival in downtown Saint Paul will offer hundreds of performances, mostly in and around downtown. Be sure to visit the Festival’s website and also pick up a schedule to learn who is appearing where. There are stages where pianists are prominent, and others where vocalists will hold court for much of a day (or evening), not to mention what’s on the main stages.

At any rate, for readers whose musical tastes run to other genres, and for those of you who haven’t spent much time listening to jazz, I’ve listed some different approaches you can take towards enjoying the Festival.

If you don’t want to go to Downtown Saint Paul.  

images-4You can experience the jazz festival at a number of different places outside of downtown. In fact, a number of performances are along the new Green Line LRT.

Wednesday, June 25

The Jazz Central All-Stars with Debbie Duncan @ Cleveland and Highland Parkway. 7pm

Thursday, June 26

Kevin Washington (11:30am) & Ginger Commodore (2pm) @ The Daily Diner, University & Dale

The Butanes (1:30pm) @ Big Daddy’s, University & Dale

Maurice Jacox (6pm – 8pm) @ Arnellia’s, University, west of Lexington

Dorothy Doring (7pm), along with Arne Fogel & Maud Hixson (9pm) @ Mancini’s, West 7th Street

Friday, June 27

Jazz Interpreters (11:30am) & Jennifer Grimm (2pm) @ the Daily Diner, University & Dale

Big George Jackson (4pm) @ Big Daddy’s, University & Dale

SolFlower Collective (5pm) @ Arnellia’s, University, West of Lexington

Southside Aces (4pm) @ Episcopal Homes, University & Fairview

Saturday, June 28

Larry McDonough (7pm) @ Black Bear Crossings, Como Park Pavillion

Joyce Lyons (11:30am), Dean Sorenson (2pm) @ The Daily Diner, University & Dale

Moses Oakland (4pm) @ Big Daddy’s, University & Dale

Javier Santiago (2:30pm) @ Rondo Library, University & Dale

Kathleen Johnson (6pm) @ Arnellia’s, University, West of Lexington

Irv Williams (4pm) @ Episcopal Homes, University & Fairview

Tom West Quartet (Noon), Lila Ammons (2:30pm). Debbie Duncan (5pm), Davu Seru Trio (7:30pm), Paul Engels (9pm) Solid State (11:15pm) @ Ngon Bistro, 799 University (at Victoria)

If You Like the Music of New Orleans

Unknown-3From traditional “Dixieland” jazz, to contemporary R&B, the music of New Orleans appeals to many. Here are some bands (other than headliner Branford Marsalis) that will evoke the sound of the Crescent City.

Thursday, June 26

The Butanes (1:30pm) @ Big Daddy’s, University & Dale – Note: their latest CD is heavy with the influence of Louisiana

Butch Thompson (8pm) @ Studio Z

Friday, June 27

Southside Aces (4pm) @ The Episcopal Homes, University & Fairview, 4pm

Jack Brass Band (5:30pm) @ Union Depot Stage

Saint Peter Street Stompers (9pm) @ Senor Wong

Saturday, June 28

Southside Aces (4pm) @ Union Depot Stage

Joe Krown Trio (7pm) @ Union Depot Stage (They are actually from New Orleans)

If you like Rhythms of the World

Unknown-4Beginning with the “Latin Tinge” that Jelly Roll Morton incorporated into his music, jazz has always drawn inspiration from music of the world. Here are a few bands that play the rhythms of cultures other than our own.

Thursday, June 26

Tom Robinson (9pm) @ the Hat Trick Lounge (Brazilian)

Black Market Brass (9:30pm) @ The Amsterdam (Afrobeats)

Friday, June 27

Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra (7pm) @ the Union Depot Stage (Latin)

Salsa Del Soul (8:30pm) @ The Bedlam (Latin)

Café Accordion Orchestra (9:30pm) @ The Black Dog Café (French musettes, Latin cumbers, more)

Saturday, June 28

Axis Mundi World (1pm) @ the 6th Street Stage (Gypsy Jazz)

Gypsy Mania Hot Club Quartet (6pm) @ Heartland (Gypsy Jazz)

If you like R&B and Blues

Unknown-5Blues is a building block of jazz. Some jazz vocalists, such as Pipi Ardennia, Debbie Duncan, Lila Ammons, and Dorothy Doring are equally at home singing the blues. Here are some bands that specialize in R&B and blues.

Thursday, June 26

Annie Mack (6:30pm) @ the Amsterdam

Ginger Commodore (2pm) @ The Daily Diner

The Butanes (1:30pm) @ Big Daddy’s

Maurice Jacox (6pm) @ Arnellia’s

Friday, June 27

Big George Jackson (4pm) @ Big Daddy’s

SolFlower Collective (5pm) @ Arnellia’s

Saturday, June 28

Joe Krown Trio (7pm) @ The Union Depot Stage

Black Audience (8:30pm) @ the Bedlam

Moses Oakland (4pm) @ Big Daddy’s

Kathleen Johnson (6pm) @ Arnellia’s

If You like lots of Rock

Red Planet often takes on Jimi Hendrix

Red Planet often takes on Jimi Hendrix

Many of today’s jazz musicians grew up listening to rock, and you’ll hear a bit of that influence in most any young band. Here are three where the influence is particularly strong.

Thursday, June 26

Foreign Motion (6pm), Atlantis Quartet (7:30pm) @ Mears Park

Friday, June 27

Red Planet (4pm) @ Mears Park

If you want to hear Talented Young Musicians

The Jazz St. Louis All-Stars, appearing at the DFJE stage Saturday, at 6pm

The Jazz St. Louis All-Stars, appearing at the DFJE stage Saturday, at 6pm

Whether out of college for just a few years, or still in high school, many of today’s young musicians are proving to be quite impressive.

Thursday, June 26

Jana Nyberg Group (11pm) @ Amsterdam

Friday, June 27

Tyler Anderson(4:30pm) @ Union Depot Stage

Jake Baldwin Quartet (9:30pm) @ The Amsterdam

Graydon Peterson Quartet (11:30pm) @ The Amsterdam

Saturday, June 28

Walker West Music Academy (2pm) @ Mears Park Main Stage

Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio (6pm) @ Mears Park Main Stage

Youth Jazz Showcase (1pm – 8pm) @ DFJE Prince Street Stage (six different bands, including one from St. Louis, MO)

Courageous Endeavors (9:30pm) @ The Black Dog Café

Steve Kenny’s Group 4 (11pm) @ The Black Dog Cafe

If You Want to Learn About Jazz

Babatunde Lea conducting a workshop. Photo by Andrea Canter

Babatunde Lea conducting a workshop. Photo by Andrea Canter

There are three workshops that will be worthwhile to attend. Each has a different spin on jazz, each is open to the public, and each is free.

Friday, June 27

Branford Marsalis (2pm – 3pm) @ McNally Smith College of Music

Saturday, June 28

Babatunde Lea on African Percussion (10:30am – Noon) @ Studio Z

Joe Krown on the B3 Organ (2pm – 3pm) @ McNally Smith College of Music

Javi Santiago on Piano (3:30pm – 4:30pm) @ Rondo Library, Dale & University

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