2017 Artists

Click the info sign for more info on each local artist

  • Abebi Stafford

    Over the past two decades pianist/organist Stafford has worked across the country and around the world playing in a variety of musical contexts. He has released three recordings as a leader and headlined several notable jazz festivals and tours. Sat June 24 at 3:30 p.m., NgonBistro

  • Ahmed and the Creators

    The Creators are trumpeter Ahmed Abdulkarim’s vehicle for no-nonsense straight ahead jazz, which has resulted in well received gigs all over the Twin Cities since this group first came together. The rest of the Creators are Jimmy Wallace (tenor saxophone), Ron Evaniuk (bass) and Batume (drums). Thur June 22 at 8:00 p.m., Golden’sDeli (Lowertown)

  • Alicia Renee

    Saint Paul-based singer Renee composes and performs in a variety of contexts from jazz, to acapella, pop or country. A member of the acapella group Sound Exchange, Renee is also active in voice/acting coaching. Sat June 24 at 5:00 p.m., Golden’s Deli (Lowertown)

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  • Andre Stephani

    Trombonist/vocalist Andre Stephani has been backing the likes of Mel Torme, Don Ho, and Lou Rawls since the late 40’s. With the help of Nachito Herrera, Stephani recorded his debut album as a leader while approaching his seventh decade. Thur June 22 at 6:00 p.m., Big River Pizza (Lowertown)

  • Ashen Fir

    An outlet for the creative muse of Greg Byers, Ashen Fir places the leader’s cello in the forefront of the ensemble as its primary voice. Byers’ composition are alternately challengingly cerebral or viscerally absorbing, as his cello soars over the complex rhythms of his colleagues. Sat June 24 at 8:00 p.m., Golden’s Deli (Lowertown)

  • Axis Mundi World Jazz Quartet

    One of several projects led by eclectic guitarist/composer Glen Helgeson, Axis Mundi fuses musical rhythms from around the world with elements of jazz’s future and past. Joining Helgeson are Kevin Gastonguay (keyboards), Greg Bryers (bass) and Andrew Gillespie (drums). Thur June 22 at 7:00 p.m., Como Lakeside Pavilion (Como Park)

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  • Ayvah

    This Twin-Cities based quintet lead by vocalist Ava McFarlane has been garnering steady praise with their own blend of intricate jazz-funk, Neo-R&B and Soul. Earlier this year they were one of the five finalists for the Star and Tribune’s Are You Local? showcase at the Turf Club. Fri June 23 at 7:00 p.m., Amsterdam Bar & Hall

  • Basement Society

    Pianist Javi Santiago, bassist Dan Carpel and drummer Pete James Johnson have all served countless hours developing their craft at the most prestigious music schools and bandstands across the country. Drawing from the complete piano trio tradition, they dazzle audience with their kinetic interplay, free-flowing ideas, and ability to change direction on a dime. Sat June 24 at 8:30 and 10:00 p.m., Ngon Bistro

  • Below Zero

    This quintet, directed by saxophonist/educator Greg Keel, is the MacPhail Center for Music’s freshman and sophomore jazz combo. The group is made up of Noah Willhite (tenor saxophone), Jacob Rochelle-Share (trombone), August McKinney (piano), Jorgen Linne(bass) and Nick Adams (drums). Fri June 23 at 5:00 p.m., Starkey Hearing Technologies Union Depot Stage

  • Big George Jackson

    Minneapolis native Jackson has been a fixture on the National blues scene for several decades. As demonstrated on his four recordings as a leader, Jackson favors high-energy, raw and jumping blues, where his deep voice and wailing harmonica dare you to still feel sorry for yourself. Sat June 24 at 5:00 and 6:30 p.m., Big Daddy’s Old Fashioned BBQ

  • Black Market Brass

    This Afrobeat inspired local ensemble is influenced as much by the relentless grooves of King Sunny Ade and Fela Kuti as with the hard funk of James Brown. The band’s acclaimed Cheat and Start a Fight, captures the group’s raucous, high-energy live shows. Thur June 22 at 9:30 p.m., Amsterdam Bar and Hall

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  • Bobby Schnitzer

    Versatile veteran guitarist/bassist Schnitzer has been active on the Minnesota music scene for over four decades. He has performed jazz, blues, flamenco, and numerous other styles of music, as well as having produced and appeared on hundreds of recordings. Sat June 24 at 11:00 a.m., Public Kitchen + Bar (Lowertown)

  • Bryan Nichols Quintet

    A thoroughly modern pianist with a deep respect for the jazz tradition, Nichols is one of the Twin Cities’ most talented and accomplished musicians. Last year’s solo recording Looking North is a luminous display of Nichol’s compositional skills, primarily inspired by being a modern creative musician based in Minnesota. Fri June 23 at 10:00 and 11:30 p.m., Black Dog (Lowertown)

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  • Cedric Fuller & Global Sound

    Drummer Fuller’s quintet is a fusion of musical influences in the truest sense. Joined by like-minded, committedexplorers, pianist Steven Hobert, violinist Ernest Bisong, guitarist Tomas Simpson and bassist Kenneth Garnier, jazz, R&B, Hip-Hop and soul are merely the baseline for what happens next. Sat June 24 at 8:30 p.m. Amsterdam Bar & Hall

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  • Christopher’s Very Happy Band

    Professor of Jazz Studies at University of Northern Iowa, saxophonist Christopher Merz’s quartet focuses on the leader’s own smartly conceived, yet refreshingly casual post-bop compositions. Joining Merz are bassist Drew Morton (heard last year with Koplant No), Drummer Dave Tiede and pianist Michael Conrad. Sat June 24 at 5:00 p.m., Maker’s Mark Stage

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  • Common Space

    Formed by drummer Alex Burgess, this quartet’s members met at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls due to their involvement in the school’s music program. Keyboardist Eric Graham is an established new music composer/performer, while saxophonist Justin Wolff and guitarist Dylan Nelson are more recent additions to the region’s music scene. Sat June 24 at 8:30 p.m., Black Dog (Lowertown)

  • Connie Evingson with Dave Karr

    Equally comfortable with the music from the pen of Jobim, Django or Lennon and McCartney, the versatile vocalist has sung everything but the phonebook throughout her career, including ten recordings as a leader. Evingson will be joined by Dave Karr (saxophone), Jon Weber (piano) and Gordy Johnson (bass). Thur June 22 at 9:00 p.m., Vieux Carre

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  • The Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education Youth Stage

    Continuing in the tradition of the Iowa-Minnesota exchange program, the Dakota Foundation showcases five promising ensembles from the Twin Cities and our neighbor to the South.

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  • Dave Graf

    Graf has been a first-call trombonist in the Twin Cities for several decades. Whether the booking calls for straight-ahead swing, Latin, post-bop, Big Band, accompanying theatre productions or live radio shows such as Prairie Home Companion, the agile, robust-toned Graf embraces it all. Fri June 23 at 8:00 p.m., Citizen Supper Club (Intercontinental Hotel)

  • Davu Seru’s No Territory Band

    Drummer/percussionist Seru’s music is a provocative distillation of numerous musical styles, from ancestral to esoteric. Drawing from West African drumming, folk blues and western classical music, Seru’s compositions reflect the temperament of his work behind the drum kit, replete with unexpected dramatic shifts in dynamics and textures, where time and timbre are protracted and somehow rendered malleable. Sat June 24 at 7:00 p.m., Black Dog (Lowertown)

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  • Dean Magraw & Steven Hobert

    A daring meeting of the versatile pianist Hobert and a pillar of the creative music scene, guitarist Magraw. While the former is equally comfortable playing groove-based jazz, world music fusion, flamenco or Indian music, the latter’s approach is loaded with post-Hendrix meets post-Coltrane expansive string pyrotechnics and patented volume swells. A pairing that promises to challenge and enlighten the duo and audience alike. Sat June 24 at 6:00 p.m., Java Express in Union Depot (Lowertown)

  • Dean Sorenson Sextet

    Trombonist/Composer/Educator Sorenson is a well-respected veteran of both the big band and orchestral variety having worked with the JazzMN Orchestras, Glenn Miller Orchestra and MN Orchestra. His sextet plays modern mainstream jazz with an emotional edge and exceptional chops, as displayed on the 2015 release Colors of the Soul. Sat June 24 at 8:00 and 10:00 p.m., Citizen Supper Club (Intercontinental Hotel)

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  • Debbie Duncan

    One of the most awarded and praised jazz vocalists in the Twin Cities, Duncan has been thrilling audiences over the world for several decades with her soulful, gospel and R&B inflected renditions of the great jazz canon. She’s a powerful singer and an engaging, natural entertainer. Fri June 23 at 9:00 p.m., TPT Street Space-Jazz Vocal Showcase Stage (Lowertown)

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  • Detroit Don King

    Combining the rough-hewn urban blues inspired by his native Detroit and the soulful Motown Sound that made his hometown famous, guitarist and vocalist King plays authentic, blue-collar, but cathartic blues that celebrates the full range of human emotion. Thur June 22 at 3:00 p.m., Big Daddy’s Old Fashioned BBQ

  • Donald Washington Group

    Detroit transplant Washington has made a mark on the Twin Cities jazz scene as both an innovative and powerfully imaginative reed player, as well as a now retired educator. Washington’s most famous pupil from his years in Detroit is the ridiculously talented saxophonist James Carter. Washington’s monthly showcase at the Black Dog often results in a whirl of dazzling, adventurous music. Sat June 24 at 5:30 p.m. Black Dog (Lowertown)

  • DĀ-KƏ-BRO̵̅O̵̅-DĀ

    A quartet drawing from of a cast of local veterans; saxophonist Dave Brattain, guitarist Kevin Daley, bassist Bruce Heine and drummer Dave Stanoch, the band name reflects the first two letters of each member’s first name. Together they represent not only a diverse pairing of musical backgrounds, but a wide array of possibilities in the realm of modern jazz. Sat June 24 at 4:00 p.m., Black Dog (Lowertown)

  • Erik Christenson

    The Twin-Cities-based Christenson plays in a variety of musical settings, whether performing acoustic jazz and blues guitar as a solo artist, or playing bass in the rock band Chiefs of the North. Thur June 22 at 9:00 p.m., Bulldog (Lowertown)

  • Erin Livingston

    Twin Cities-based vocalist Livingston’s performances feature her singing the music she loves, drawing equally from jazz standards, blues, R&B, gospel and funk. She will be joined by pianists Marc Zee and Jon de Vaal. Thur June 22, Frid June 23 and Sat June 24 at 7:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m., Lobby Bar in Saint Paul Hotel

  • Explosion Big Band

    Consisting of some of the Twin Cities’ most respected jazz musicians, this large ensembleholds court at Jazz Central the third Tuesday of each month. Lead by saxophonist Doug Haining and trombonist Scott Agster, the group plays expertly arranged, sophisticated fare, drawing from the books of Ellington, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, among others. Sat June 24 at 7:00 p.m., Como Lakeside Pavilion (Como Park)

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  • Fall of the House of Usher

    Guitarist Chris Cunningham’s large ensemble is a glorious collision of Ethiopian music, No-wave, funk and free jazz, yet the music remains buoyant and dynamic, full of shifting pulses and interludes. Cunningham’s compositions are often cinematic and atmospheric, replete with jittery guitar lines over clouds of choppy reeds and Dub-like rhythms. Fri June 23 at 8:30 p.m., Black Dog (Lowertown)

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  • The Feels

    More of a multi-disciplinary event than a band, The Feels represents a crossroads between jazz and hip-hop, art and media, performer and performance. Previous events at venues such as the Ice House in Minneapolis have presented comedians, singers, poets, painters and a musician or two. Fri June 23 at 10:00 p.m., Amsterdam Bar & Hall

  • Jack Brass Band

    For nearly two decades, this New Orleans influenced octet has been a crowd favorite at festivals, Mardi Grascelebrations, marches and parades, even performing a symbolic jazz funeral when Orchestra Hall was closing for remodeling. Having released a half-dozen recordings, they are one of the Midwest’s premier conduits of the New Orleans brass band tradition. Sat June 24 at 2:00 p.m., Episcopal Home Stage

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  • Jaedyn James and the Hunger

    This ten piece outfit wasted little time establishing themselves as a rowdy presence on the Twin Cities music scene since forming a few short years back. The group titled their debut recording RAW, which aptly summarizes their brand of funk and soul. Thur June 22 at 7:30 p.m., Amsterdam Bar and Hall

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  • James Allen Trio

    Known for his agile, lyrical guitar playing while accompanying area vocalists, Allen is also a faculty member at MacPhail Center for Music. As a guitarist he has worked in a variety of contexts, including straight ahead jazz, Gypsy Mania or Latin jazz with Cuerda y Madera. Sat June 24 at 7:30 and 9:00 p.m., World of Beer (Lowertown)

  • Jana Nyberg

    For the past ten years, Nyberg has delivered on much early promise to become one of the more popular modern jazz vocalists in her hometown of Minneapolis. With three well-received recordings in that span, her groups put a modern spin on a classic repertoire. Sat June 24 at 7:00 p.m., Amsterdam Bar & Hall

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  • Jax Ravel Gang

    Madagascar-born electric bassist Ravel has wowed audiences since first appearing on the Twin Cities jazz scene with his unique fusion of funk, straight ahead jazz and Latin influences. Ravel’s gang often incorporates the propulsive drums of Blake Hubel with a variety of the area’s top young keyboardists. Fri June 23 at 7:00 p.m., Black Dog (Lowertown)

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  • Jazz Bridge Project

    This multi-generational ensemble was formed by guitarist Roger Johnson and son, flautist Rajiah Johnson to explore 60’s era modal jazz and post-bop. As a result, drummer Eric Kamau Gravatt and Source Code bassist Ron Evaniuk are the perfect rhythmic foil to allow the Johnson’s to improvise over their demonstrative grooves. Fri June 23 at 4:00 p.m., Black Dog (Lowertown)

  • JazzMN Orchestra

    Comprised of the area’s most outstanding jazz musicians, this 17 piece Orchestra has been active for nearly 20 years. With a series of concerts each season spanning the classic and modern repertoire, the group often features superlative guests ranging from Maria Schneider to Arturo Sandoval. Fri June 23 at 4:00 p.m., Securian Mears Park Stage

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  • Jennifer Grimm

    Since settling in the Twin Cities in her teens, Grimm has established herself as one of the area’s most versatile vocalists. She is equally comfortable singing all types of music, from jazz to Cabaret, and has appeared all over the world. Fri June 23 at 6:00 p.m., TPT Street Space-Jazz Vocal Showcase Stage (Lowertown)

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  • Joel Shapira

    Guitarist Shapira has been active on the Twin Cities music scene for nearly 20 years, playing in a wide array of settings and ensembles, from introspective solo performances, to fiery guitar jousts with Dean MaGraw, to extraverted bop with saxophonist Pete Whitman in the quartet Bottomless Pit. Most often he is heard supporting the area’s top vocalists. Fri June 23 at 6:00 p.m., Big River Pizza (Lowertown) and Sat June 24 at 3:00 and 5:00 p.m., Public Kitchen + Bar (Lowertown)

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  • Jon Pemberton Quartet

    Pemberton is as respected for the chops he has brought to hundreds of gigs over the past three decades as he is for being equally adept on piano or trumpet. His most recent release is a spellbinding archival recording captured at the Artist Quarter. Thur June 22 at 9:00 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., Green Lantern (Lowertown)

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  • Jon Weber

    Chosen by Marian McPartland as her successor for the long-running syndicated show Piano Jazz, Weber is as comfortable in a radio booth as he is at a piano bench. The pianist’s performances are equal parts musical tour-de-force and jazz history 101, running the gamut from stride to strident. Thur June 22, Frid June 23 and Sat June 24 at 6:00 p.m., Vieux Carre

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  • Jordan Anderson

    While still a teenager, pianist Jordan Anderson has been playing around the Twin Cities for almost a decade. An alumnus of the Dakota Combo, the Walker West Music Academy and the Pip Jazz Foundation, he has also appeared with several other groups, including his own, at numerous venues. Sat June 24 at 7:30 p.m., Vieux Carre(Hamm Building)

  • Julian Manzara Quartet-Presented by McNally Smith

    Primarily focusing on the leader’s own adroit compositions, guitarist Manzara, bassist Drew Stinson, pianist Levi Schwartzberg and drummer Eduardo Navarre have quickly created one of the most invigorating jazz-fusion groups on the Twin Cities scene. The quartet’s technical proficiency and improvisational acumen belies their relative youth. Sat June 24 at 3:00 p.m., Maker’s Mark Stage

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  • Kate Lynch and her Most Excellent Fellows

    Singer/bassist Lynch’s band is a labor of love that came to be after an epiphany that lead to being smitten with early 20th century standards. She immediately put the group together as a vehicle to allow her to sing the songs that were the impetus, and her and the fellows deliver with an emotive, timeless quality. Sat June 24 at 9:00 and 10:30 p.m., Green Lantern (Lowertown)

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  • Katia Cardenas

    One of the Twin Cities’ premier young vocalists, Cardenas has been cultivating a steady buzz the past few years withher vibrant live shows. Last year’s self-produced I’ll Be Seeing You further solidified her stature with its unique arrangements of classics from the pens of Irving Berlin, Jobim and Amy Winehouse. Fri June 23 at 5:00 p.m., Maker’s Mark Stage

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  • Kevin Washington

    Detroit native Washington relocated to Minneapolis while in his teens, and over the past few decades has built a reputation as one of the most distinctive drummers in the region. Working in numerous bands and serving on the faculty of McNally Smith has enabled him to garner a reputation as an unequivocal power house behind the drum kit. Sat June 24 at 11:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., Golden Thyme Coffee and Café

  • Larry McDonough Quartet

    With nearly ten recordings as a leader, Pianist/singer/composer McDonough is well established as one of the area’s most unique and prolific performers. The past few years have found him focusing on several tribute projects, including performing both sides of the celebrated Bill Evans/Tony Bennet duo, as well as offering salutes to Chet Baker and Miles Davis. Fri June 23 at 8:00 and 9:30 p.m., World of Beer (Lowertown)

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  • Laura Caviani Trio

    For over twenty years Caviani has been one of the most distinct pianists on the Twin Cities jazz scene whether leading her own trio or performing with Pete Whitman’s X-tet. Known for her hard-hitting and emotionally direct playing, she has recorded seven critically acclaimed releases as a leader. Sat June 24 at 9:00 p.m., Vieux Carre (Hamm Building)

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  • Lila Ammons Quartet

    As granddaughter of Albert and niece of Gene, vocalist Lila is part of the rich Ammons family jazz lineage. For over three decades, she has garnered a reputation as a warm and engaging singer, performing with the likes of Bruce Barth, Judy Carmichael and Houston Person. Fri June 23 at 7:30 p.m., TPT Street Space-Jazz Vocal Showcase Stage (Lowertown)

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  • Lucia Newell

    For nearly four decades, Newell has been one of the foremost jazz singers in the Midwest. She sings and swings with a grace and soars through standards that require great technical demand with ease. She will be joined by bassist Gordy Johnson, drummer Phil Hey and pianist Phil Aaron. Sat June 24 at 7:00 p.m., TPT Street Space-Jazz Vocal Showcase Stage (Lowertown)

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  • Lucia Sarmiento Quartet

    The Peruvian saxophonist Sarmiento first began drawing notice for her demonstrative sound while a member of Eric Kamau Gravatt’s post-bop band Source Code. Over the past few festival’s audiences have been able to witness her continued growth as a composer, fronting her own ensembles. Thur June 22 at 5:30 p.m., Black Dog (Lowertown) and Sat June 24 at 2:30 p.m. Presbyterian Homes and Services Stage on Exchange Street

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  • Lulu’s Playground

    With music that is as idiosyncratic as their instrumentation, this adventurous quartet featuring the talent of Adam Meckler (trumpet), Steven Hobert (accordion), Evan Montgomery (guitar) and Cory Grossman (cello), composes music that is imaginative as it is irrepressible. Blurring the line between jazz, classical, improvisation and world music, the group explores countless musical possibilities to create unbridled fun. Sat June 24 at 3:00 p.m., Merriam Park Library

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  • MN Hard Bop Collective

    After cutting his teeth on bandstands and in classrooms from Denver to New York City, drummer Jesse Simon took a long hiatus from jazz. Exposure to the burgeoning Twin Cities jazz scene rekindled his obsession, resulting in the birth of the MN Hard Bop Collective, a rotating cast devoted to the gospel of Blakey and Blue Note. Fri June 23 at 9:00 p.m., Golden’s Deli (Lowertown)

  • Mac Santiago Quintet

    Drummer, author and Executive Director of Jazz Central Studios, Santiago has been a fixture on the Twin Cities Music scene for over 30 years. With a combustible quintet comprised of saxophonists Dave Brattain and Joe Mayo, bassist Greg Byers and pianist Phil Aaron, this will be a hard-swinging affair. Thur June 22 at 4:00 p.m., Black Dog (Lowertown)

  • Mary Louise Knutson Trio

    Whether performing with her trio, the JazzMN Orchestra, or Doc Severinsen, Knutson’s highly nuanced, yet powerfully melodic music has distinguished her as one of the most respected pianists in town. As on her two acclaimed recordings, she will be joined by bassist Gordy Johnson and drummer Phil Hey. Thur June 22 at 7:30 p.m., Vieux Carre

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  • McNally Smith Honors Vocal Ensemble

    A joint venture between McNally Smith College of Music and the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education, the Twin Cities Honors Vocal Jazz Ensemble is comprised of students from grades 9-12 wishing to develop as singers in jazz and contemporary music styles. Fri June 23 at 6:00 p.m., Starkey Hearing Technologies Union Depot Stage

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  • McNally Smith Student Band

    For over 30 years, McNally Smith has offered a comprehensive curriculum of musical arts for those wishing to immerse themselves in various facets of the music industry. The college of music student ensembles have performed annually at the jazz festival. Fri June 23 at 5:30 p.m., Amsterdam Bar & Hall

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  • McNasty Brass Band

    Comprised of some of the Twin Cities jazz scene’s most adventurous young horn and percussion players, this ten-piece ensemble brings the New Orleans’ brass band tradition into the 21st century. By injecting a healthy dollop of hip-hop and funk, their rollicking, hard-driving dance music leaves a street party in its wake. Thur June 22 at 7:00 p.m., Langford and Karls Chiropractic (Highland Park)

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  • Mississippi

    This talented ensemble of Twin Cities’ post-bop veterans recently released their critically acclaimed eponymous debut. Comprised of Pete Whitman (saxophone), Jeff Bailey (bass), Peter Schimke (piano), Kevin Washington (drums) and occasionally joined by Peruvian guitarist Andres Prado, their originals and well-chosen standardsare a vehicle for challenging improvisations, and invigorating interplay. Fri June 23 at 7:00 p.m., Golden’s Deli (Lowertown)

  • Mississippi Hot Club

    Over the past five years, this quintet has become one of the Midwest’s preeminent string bands. Originally an homage to French Gypsy jazz, the quintet’s music has begun to take on a more eclectic, adventurous persona as other influences have crept into the palette. Fri June 23 at 7:15 p.m., Maker’s Mark Stage

  • Moors Blackmon

    Like George Clinton and Sun Ra, the music of Moors Blackmon suggests something otherworldly and extraterrestrial, yet the trio’s heady brew of funk and acid jazz is as accessible as it is visceral. This Saint Paul trio’s fuzz-toned, psychedelic groove aims to take the Amsterdam into the stratosphere. Fri June 23 at 8:30 p.m., Amsterdam Bar & Hall

  • #MPLS

    For nearly a decade, this seven piece has been one of the most talked about bands in the Twin Cities due to their enticing blend of contemporary R&B, classic Minneapolis funk, and hip-hop. The buzz surrounding the ensemble went off the charts when member Jesse Larson was one of 2017’s finalists on NBC’s THE VOICE. Sat June 24 at 7:00 p.m., Starkey Hearing Technologies Union Depot Stage

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  • New Sound Underground

    This Minneapolis-based sextet creates new and original music that stretches the boundaries for jazz and jam bands alike, fully integrating hip-hop, funk, reggae and R&B. Their live performances are high-octane events, marked by compelling compositions and constantly shifting dynamics, which draw from the varied backgrounds of their members. Fri June 23 at 6:00 p.m., Starkey Hearing Technologies Union Depot Stage

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  • No Limits the B-Side Band

    Since forming seven years ago, bassist Duane (Prophet) Smith’s group has become one of the most popular R&B and Soul cover bands in the region. Known for their joyous live performances, their set-lists pull out all the stops to get the crowd moving and grooving. Fri June 23 and Sat June 24 at 8:00 p.m., Hat Trick Lounge (Lowertown)

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  • No Room for Squares

    Like the Hank Mobley recording from which they take their name, this quartet comprised of Twin City jazz veterans Bill Stieger (drums), Jimmy Wallace (tenor saxophone), Mikkel Romstad (piano) and Adam Tucker (bass) favors soulful hard bop of the early 60’s vintage. Thur June 22 at 6:00 p.m., Merriam Park Library

  • Paul Harper Bardo Band

    Often associated with his work in the Illicit Sextet, saxophonist/flautist/composer Paul Harper has been an in-demand member of the Twin Cities Jazz Scene for several decades. The Bardo Band has a fluid lineup, but often features the in-the-pocket grooves of bassist Bruce Heine and drummer Nathan Norman. Fri June 23 at 5:30 p.m., Black Dog (Lowertown)

  • Pete Snell Trio

    Tenor saxophonist Pete Snell is a well-respected veteran of the Twin Cities jazz scene. His trio often consists of bassist Tom Lewis and pianist Phil Aaron, a pairing that favors the possibilities of no-nonsense, straight-ahead jazz. Fri June 23 at 7:30 and 9:00 p.m., Ngon Bistro

  • Peter Kogan Quintet

    Kogan has spent a lifetime balancing his love of jazz and classical music. Having recently retired from being the principal timpanist in the Minnesota Orchestra, Kogan has again turned to the art of jazz drumming. His quintet will featuring the daring and explosive front line of trumpeter Jake Baldwin and saxophonist Pete Whitman. Sat June 24 at 1:00 p.m., Presbyterian Homes and Services Stage on Exchange Street

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  • Pippi Ardennia

    Vocalist and founder of the PipJazz Foundation for aspiring youth jazz musicians, Ardenia has become a pillar of the Twin Cities jazz community not just for her sultry and emotional vocal delivery, but also the top-notch musicians that have come through her foundation. Ardenia’s performances will focus on returning the music of Motown to its jazz roots.
    Fri June 23 at 6:00 p.m., Rhythm in Rice (Rice Park) and Sat June 24 at 10:30 p.m., TPT Street Space Jazz Vocal Showcase Stage (Lowertown)

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  • Salsa del Soul

    The 9 piece ensemble engages crowds throughout the Twin Cities with its exotic rhythms and melodies from the Caribbean. Their mission is to get bodies moving to numerous styles including Son, Son Montuno, Plena, Cha-cha-cha, Bachata, Timba, and as the name suggests, Salsa. Sat June 24 at 7:15 p.m., Maker’s Mark Stage

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  • Sam Miltich and Friends featuring Charmin Michelle

    Guitarist Miltich is equally comfortable carrying on the vibrant tradition of the gypsy string band with darting, deft lines, or offering more nuanced jazz guitar accompaniment to the area’s top singers. He will be joined by saxophonist Dave Karr, drummer Jay Epstein, bassist GraydonPeterson and vocalist Michelle. Fri June 23 at 7:00 p.m., Como Lakeside Pavilion (Como Park) and 10:30 p.m., TPT Street Space-Jazz Vocal Showcase Stage (Lowertown)

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  • Scat-off Featuring Sarah Greer, Jana Nyberg, Vicki Mountain, Jim TenBensel, Dorothy Doring and Maryann Sullivan

    A friendly competition amongst six local singers, this challenging vocal technique comprised of improvised melodies, wordless vocals and instrument influenced embellishment will keep the participants on their toes. Who will remain after everyone else is voted off of the Scat Island? Sat June 24 at 8:30 p.m., TPT Street Space-Jazz Vocal Showcase Stage (Lowertown)

  • The Skruffians

    Although comprised of several well established young jazz musicians in town, this Septet primarily plays an invigorating mix of ska and reggae. Heavily influenced by vintage Jamaican groups like the Skatalites and Jimmy Cliff, their punchy horns and swaying rhythms elicit movement. Thur June 22 at 8:30 p.m., Black Dog (Lowertown)

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  • Silverback Trio

    A relative newcomer on the Twin Cities jazz scene, set to release their debut recording a week after the jazz festival, their music is a fusion of contemporary jazz with a rock sensibility. Comprised of keyboardist/saxophonist David Hirsch, drummer Byron Johnson-Blanchard and bassist Brent Wallace, the group’s approach favors deep harmonic exploration over a propulsive backbeat. Sat June 24 at 10:00 p.m., Golden’s Deli (Lowertown)

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  • Solomon Parham Group

    Hailing from Detroit, trumpeter Parham hit the jazz scene with aplomb upon joining Source Code in addition to forming his own group. A faculty member of Walker West Music Academy and Minneapolis Community and Technical College, Parham’s group plays with infectious lyricism and supple swing, drawing from the tradition of jazz and beyond. Sat June 24 at 10:30 p.m., Amsterdam Bar & Hall

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  • St. Peter Street Stompers

    Under the leadership of saxophonist Chuck Devore, this six piece ensemble is heavily influenced by Dixieland and traditional Crescent City flavored jazz. The Stomper’s music is full of jubilant brass excursions, jaunty melodies and polyphonic mayhem. Fri June 23 at 2:00 p.m., Episcopal Home Stage

  • Steve Kenny’s Group 47

    Kenny is a linchpin of the Twin Cities jazz scene, whether curating jazz programming at The Black Dog, Reverie or Studio Z, or providing an outlet for younger musicians in his groups. An adventurous yet flexible Flumpet player, Kenny allows pianist Will Kjeer, tenor saxophonist Thomas Strommen, bassist Adam Tucker and drummer Alex Burgess ample space to demonstrate their budding virtuosity. Sat June 24 at 10:00 and 11:30 p.m., Black Dog (Lowertown)

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  • Ted Godbout

    Versatile pianist Godbout will be making several appearances in a variety of contexts at this year’s festival. For his trio’s showcase, the current faculty member of Augsburg College and Chaska Music Studios, will beculling from his own book of wide-ranging compositions to make subtly sophisticated, lyrical jazz. Sat June 24 at 5:00 and 6:30 p.m., Ngon Bistro

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  • Three Faces featuring Dave Graf

    With a repertoire that is simultaneously rhythmic, eclectic, hard-blowing and refreshingly modern, the collective quartet of Joe Mayo (tenor saxophone), Michael Gold (bass), Rick Nair (drums) and special guest Dave Graf (trombone) will offer challenging originals along with revamped bop classics. Thur June 22 at 7:00 p.m., Black Dog (Lowertown)

  • Tim Cheesebrow

    Singer/songwriter/guitarist Cheesebrow has developed a reputation as a formidable talent among the Midwest’s Roots and Americana scene. His three recordings as a leader have won him much respect as a songwriter, with lyrics that focus on topical but tough, heartfelt tales. Fri June 23 at 9:00 p.m., Green Lantern (Lowertown)

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  • Tres Mundes

    A rich fusion of world music inspired by Cuban and Brazilian classical and folk traditions, with influences from numerous other South American cultures, and a helping of jazz thrown in for good measure. The trio is comprised of pianist/vocalist Viviana Pintado, percussionist Eliezer Freites-Santos, and saxophonist/flutist Douglas Little. Fri June 23 at 9:00 and 10:30 p.m., Barrio (Lowertown)

  • Travis Anderson Trio

    Honoring the jazz tradition with its own interpretation of the classic piano trio format, Anderson (piano), Nathan Norman (drums) and Steve Pikal (bass) showcase their technical facility with brisk tempos and surprising re-harmonization choices, without sacrificing the sense of swing or joie de vivre. Sat June 24 at 6:30 p.m., Golden’s Deli (Lowertown)

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  • Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra

    Founded by trumpeter Geoff West Senn and drummer Mac Santiago in 2014, this 18 piece ensemble has usedtheir monthly showcase at Jazz Central to become the preeminent purveyors of Latin jazz in the region. Bolstered by some of the areas’ most accomplished veterans, the orchestra employs bold arrangements that prompt fervent rhythms and stratospheric soloing. Sat June 24 at 4:00 p.m., Securian Mears Park Stage

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  • Walker West Music Academy

    Based in the Summit-University neighborhood for the past twenty years, the Walker West Academy is devoted to creating an inclusive community for music education, where people of all ages and backgrounds can gather, learn and grow through music. The Academy’s Ensembles have appeared annually at the jazz festival. Sat June 24 at 2:00 p.m., Securian Mears Park Stage

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  • Walker West Academy II Youth Band

    Based in the Summit-University neighborhood for the past twenty years, the Walker West Academy is devoted to creating an inclusive community for music education, where people of all ages and backgrounds can gather, learn and grow through music. The Academy’s Youth Ensembles have appeared annually at the jazz festival. Fri June 23 at 4:00 p.m., Starkey Hearing Technologies Union Depot Stage

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  • The Wolverines with Arne Fogel and Maud Hixson

    One of the jazz fest’s opening night traditions is vocalist Maud Hixson and the Wolverines trio presenting their stirring interpretations of the Great American songbook.For this evening’s romp through Tin Pan Alley, Hixson and company will be joined by the equally charismatic vocals of Arne Fogel. Thur June 22 at 8:30 p.m., Mancini’s Char House

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  • Yolande Bruce

    Perhaps best known for her association with the award winning vocal ensemble Moore by Four, Bruce has enjoyed an equally stellar career in the Twin Cities arts scene. She has performed in numerous musicals at the Guthrie, Penumbra, Illusion and Ordway theatres. Fri June 23 at 5:00 and 7:00 p.m., Big Daddy’s Old Fashioned BBQ

  • Zacc Harris Group

    Having recently been awarded the City Pages Best Jazz Artist award, Harris has become a ubiquitous presence since moving to Minnesota from Illinois a dozen years ago. The restless guitarist is involved in numerous projects, both as a performer, and curator of the Studio Z Jazz Series. Thur June 22 at 10:00 p.m. and 11:30 p.m., Black Dog (Lowertown)

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Past Performances at Twin Cities Jazz Festival Include:

  • Abebi Stafford
  • Joey Alexander
  • Alicia Renee
  • Barbara Morrison
  • Ben Sidran
  • Benny Golson
  • Bernard Purdie
  • Bettye LaVette
  • Big Walter Smith
  • Bill Evans
  • Bobby Sanabria
  • Bobby Watson
  • Branford Marsalis
  • Butch Thompson
  • Charmaine Neville
  • Chick Corea
  • Chris Potter
  • Chuchito Valdes
  • Clark Terry
  • Cloud makers Trio
  • Connie Evingson
  • Cyrus Chestnut
  • Danielo Perez
  • Dave Brubeck
  • Dave Holland
  • David “Fathead” Newman
  • Debbie Duncan
  • Deodato
  • Dewey Redman
  • Dianne Reeves
  • Dr. John and the Nite Trippers
  • Dr. Lonnie Smith
  • Duke Ellington Orchestra
  • Eric Alexander
  • Eric Gravatt
  • Esperanza Spaulding
  • Francisco Mela
  • Frank Morgan
  • Michael Franti & Spearhead
  • Gary Burton
  • Geoff Keezer
  • Gordon Johnson
  • Grace Kelly
  • Heatin’ System
  • Henry Johnson’s
  • Hiromi
  • Howard Levy
  • Ira Sullivan
  • Jack McDuff
  • Jazz Central All Stars
  • Jerry Gonzales
  • Jimmy McGriff
  • Joe Krown
  • Joe Lovano & US 5
  • Joey DeFrancesco
  • John Ellis & Double Wide
  • John Scofield
  • Kenny Garrett
  • Kenny Werner
  • Kristin Korb
  • Laura Caviani
  • Lew Tabackin
  • Delfeayo Marsalis Quartet
  • Ellis Marsalis Quartet
  • Russell Malone
  • Matt Slocum
  • Melissa Aldana
  • Melvin Rhyne
  • Monty Alexander
  • Moore by Four
  • Mose Allison
  • Nicholas Payton
  • Norman Simmons
  • Organ Express
  • Patty Peterson
  • Percy Strother
  • John Pizzarelli Quartet
  • Ravi Coltrane
  • Red Holloway
  • Return to Forever
  • Sean Jones
  • Sonny Knight & the Lakers
  • Spyro Gyra
  • Butch Thompson
  • Tiger Okoshi
  • Von Freeman
  • Walter Smith III
  • Walter Wolfman Washington
  • YellowJackets