2019 Winter Jazz Festival





The 2019 Winter Fest is set for Sunday March 31th at Crooners. The festival will be held on two stages from 2:00 pm to 7:30 pm headlined by Gary Bartz w/ Francisco Mela along with local favorites including Debbie Duncan, Patty Peterson’s Jazz Women All Stars w/ Mary Louise Knutson and Liz Draper, Natania & Ticket to Brasil, Tanner Taylor as well as youth performances.

Crooners has plenty of free parking and is totally accessible. All proceeds support the Twin Cities Jazz Festival and our great jazz musicians.

Crooners Lounge & Supper Club
6161 Hwy 65 NE, Minneapolis, MN

Sunday March 31st at Crooners
2:00: DFJE Experience Jazz Combo led by Steven Hobert
3:00: Natania & Ticket To Brasil
4:30: Debbie Duncan
6:00:  Gary Bartz w/ Francisco Mela

2:30: Tanner Taylor
4:00: Patty Peterson Presents Jazz Women All Stars – with Mary Louise Knutson and Liz Draper


Gary Bartz

In 1965 Gary Bartz joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and recorded Soulfinger, his recording debut. Around the same time, he began working with McCoy Tyner, and their relationship deepened the influence of John Coltrane on Bartz. In 1970, Bartz received a call from Miles Davis, who asked Bartz to perform with his band at the historic Isle of Wight Festival. In the same year, Bartz also formed his own group, Ntu Troop, after the Bantu word for “unity.” Ntu blended soul, funk, African folk music, hard bop, and avant-garde jazz on such albums as I’ve Known Rivers and Other Bodies, based on the poetry of Langston Hughes, as well as Music is My Sanctuary, Love Affair, Another Earth, and Home.  Overall, Bartz has recorded more than 40 solo albums and over 200 as a guest artist. More recently, he released Coltrane Rules: Tao of a Music Warrior, Live at the Jazz Standard Volume 1 and Volume 2, and several others, on his own label, OYO, which is named for the Nigerian tribe and the acronym “Own Your Own.

Regina CarterIn 1987, Detroit native Regina Carter joined the all-female pop-jazz quintet Straight Ahead, and appeared on their first three albums. Before leaving the band in 1991 and moving to New York City, she picked up session work with a variety of high-profile jazz and pop artists, including Aretha Franklin, Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige, Billy Joel, Dolly Parton, Max Roach and Oliver Lake. In 2006 Carter won the MacArthur Fellows Program Grant with the following comment: Regina Carter is a master of improvisational jazz violin. Though her work draws upon a wide range of musical influences – including Motown, Afro-Cuban, Swing, Bebop, Folk, and World – she has crafted a signature voice and style….Carter’s performances highlight the often overlooked potential of the jazz violin for its lyric, melodic, and percussive potential.



Francisco Mela

Francisco Mela is a favorite amongst jazz’s elite instrumentalists, among them, Joe Lovano, John Scofield, JoAnne Brackeen, Kenny Barron, Gary Bartz, Bobby Watson and McCoy Tyner, all of whom cite his charisma, sophistication, and life-affirming spirit as an extension of his incredible talents as a composer and drummer.  Francisco Mela was born in 1968 in Bayamo, Cuba. He moved to Boston in 2000 to pursue a degree at the acclaimed Berklee College of Music and, quickly thereafter, the faculty recognized that Mela had much to offer students and promptly hired him to teach at the school. Mela rapidly made a name for himself on the Boston scene, becoming the house drummer at the legendary Wally’s Café Jazz Club. It was at Wally’s that Mela began developing a concept for his own band, one that would feature the sounds of modern jazz with the traditional music he grew up with in Cuba.



VIP Tickets $100 – includes buffet, premium seating and meet and greet.

General Admission – $35