© Andrea Canter
Summer breaks bring many young musicians back to town for a couple months of vacation from college studies–and a couple months of whirlwind gigs as the young lions seek out (and find!) opportunities to show off new skills and new compositions. At Jazz Central Studios on Friday, July 14, pianist Will Kjeer and alto saxophonist Peter Goggin–one-time colleagues in the Dakota Combo–lead a collaboration under the Emerging Artists label.
The first set features Will’s new trio with bassist Graydon Peterson and drummer Miguel Hurtado, performing some of Will’s new compositions. The second set presents Peter’s quintet with the Will Kjeer Trio augmented by two saxophones–Peter and special guest/colleague from the U of Michigan, Kenji Lee, paying homage to jazz legends including Bud Powell, Thad Jones, Charlie Parker and Thelonious Monk. Music 8-10 pm, $10 cover ($5 students with ID).
Will Kjeer Trio
At 20 years-old, Will Kjeer is already an acclaimed performer on the Twin Cities jazz scene and beyond. He has performed as a bandleader and sideman around the U.S. and in Canada at such venues as the Twin Cities and Iowa City Jazz Festivals, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC with Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead, the Lighthouse Cafe in Los Angeles, and the Upstairs Jazz Club in Montreal, Quebec where he currently attends McGill University. Will attended high school at the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists and later a post-high school year at Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan before beginning his performance degree at the California Institute of the Arts, later transferring to McGill. Will has been invited to participate in international and competitively-selected programs including the Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute in 2016, and the 2017 class of Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead. He has been fortunate to learn from mentors such as Billy Childs, Jason Moran, Rufus Reid, Reuben Rogers, Xavier Davis, and Ralph Peterson. He currently studies with acclaimed international pianist Jean-Michel Pilc. In addition to his own bands, Will is a member of Steve Kenny’s Group 47 and Hoaxer.
Graydon Peterson is a graduate of the jazz program at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where he was a member of UWEC’s Downbeat Award-winning Jazz Ensemble I. In Minneapolis, Peterson is a first-call bassist who performs regularly with Charanga Tropical, Firebell with Park Evans and Jay Epstein, and a variety of ensembles and big bands. He’s also a frequent accompanist throughout the annual Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Peterson launched his quartet in fall 2011 and in 2014, released the quartet’s first recording, The Graydon Peterson Quartet, and followed a year later with Duets, featuring all original compositions with each quartet member paired with the others.
Miguel Hurtado (drums) played throughout the Twin Cities as a teenager in several youth bands, as well as with South High jazz ensembles. After graduating from the Manhattan School of Music in spring 2010, he returned to the Twin Cities where he quickly became a busy member of the local jazz scene. He has led his own ensembles at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival and performed at the Artists Quarter and Dakota; more recently he has been heard at Jazz Central, the Icehouse, Black Dog and more. In addition to leading his own bands, he has performed with Jake Baldwin, John Raymond, Jeremy Walker, Javi Santiago, Joe Strachan, Ted Olsen, and Courageous Endeavors. He’s also expanding his musical resumé, playing with some local pop and R&B singers, particularly Alicia Steele and vocalist/rapper Toussaint Morrison.
Peter Goggin Quintet
Peter Goggin graduated from Mounds View High School after participating for three years in the Dakota Combo. Now at the University of Michigan, he was a featured soloist with the University of Michigan Jazz Band during the 2016 Detroit Jazz Festival. When his studies allow, he performs frequently in the Twin Cities, particularly with Hoaxer and recently with Pippi Ardennia’s Rhythm in Rice series as an alum of the PipJazz program. Although influenced initially by free innovations of Ornette Coleman, Albert Ayler, and Bill Dixon, lately Peter has been focusing on crafting his sound within the tradition of masters such as Lester Young, Charlie Parker, and Wayne Shorter.
Southern California native Kenji Lee (tenor sax) has performed with a number of jazz greats including Gary Burton, Carl Allen, Kendrick Scott, E.J. Strickland, Ingrid Jensen, Robert Hurst, and Benny Green. In high school, Kenji performed at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), Spaghettini Jazz Club, and recorded an album at the Bridge Recording Studios as a member of the 2015 Southern-California High School Jazz All Stars. In spring 2015 he performed his original composition “Seasons of Swing” at the historic Carnegie Hall and was named Orange County Register Artist of the Year (Instrumental Music). Kenji currently splits his time among Jazz Studies at the University of Michigan, performing professionally, and working as the Canterbury House’s Concert Series Coordinator.
Jazz Central Studios is located at 407 Central Av SE in Minneapolis. The nonprofit venue features live jazz at least five nights per week. Full calendar at http://jazzcentralstudios.org. Hear both Will and Peter with the rest of Hoaxer (Charlie Lincoln and Edmund Catlin) at Vieux Carre’ on August 18.