The Twin Cities Jazz Festival’s executive director, Steve Heckler, ushered in May with an exciting announcement today, revealing the addition of saxophone heavyweight Joshua Redman and burgeoning talent, pianist Emmet Cohen to the already stacked line-up for the 19th annual Twin Cities Jazz Festival. And, there will be a preview night in Minneapolis on Saturday, June 17.
Joshua Redman will be performing with the legendary pianist McCoy Tyner’s quartet, and Emmet Cohen, Oskar Stenmark, and Eric Kamau Gravatt with Source Code will be joining the other exciting, previously announced headliners: Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Terence Blanchard; Anat Cohen with Choro Aventuroso; and keyboardist, organist, and Minnesota-native Bobby Lyle.
“I’m ecstatic about the opportunity to pair a superstar like Joshua Redman with a jazz hall-of-famer like McCoy Tyner, and having a chance to add a charismatic young talent like Emmet Cohen to the likes of Blanchard, Lyle and Anat Cohen is truly exciting,” said Heckler. “This is yet another reminder of how fortunate we are to have such a supportive community, which enables us to present so much talent over three days, while still managing to keep our event free and inclusive to all.”
The festival is set for June 22-24, in and around Mears Park in Saint Paul’s Lowertown arts district. The three days will include headline acts on the Securian Main Stage in Mears Park, Maker’s Mark Mears Park Stage, and Union Depot Stage, as well as performances on the Lowertown Live Stage at TPT, and at over 20 clubs, bars and studio venues. A new downtown Saint Paul stage will be added on Saturday afternoon, June 22. Look for the Presbyterian Homes & Services Stage on Exchange Street.
On Saturday, June 17 as a Jazz Fest preview in Minneapolis, Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church will host the Cameron Kinghorn Quartet beginning at 7:00 p.m. The quartet will feature Cameron Kinghorn, vocals; Javier Santiago on piano; Ted Olsen on bass; and Miguel Hurtado on drums.
McCoy Tyner’s highly energetic approach to the piano, where explosively percussive, yet cultivated chord voicings ride a constant juxtaposition between a powerfully demonstrative left hand and a fleet, elegant right, is one of the most distinct sounds in jazz. At age 22, he began playing with what was destined to become one of the seminal groups in jazz history, The John Coltrane Quartet. After five years with Coltrane and the ensuing six decades as a leader in his own right, during which time he has released over 80 albums, Tyner has inspired multiple generations of musicians with his signature harmonic framework, motivic transpositions and chordal substitutions. Tyner has earned four Grammys and was awarded Jazz Master from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2002. McCoy Tyner, Securian Main Stage in Mears Park, Saturday, June 24, 8:30 p.m.
Over the past 25 years saxophonist Joshua Redman has risen from being a young talent to be reckoned with, garnering much attention as well as a contract for Warner Brothers upon winning the 1991 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Saxophone Competition, to become one of the preeminent practitioners of his instrument. He has released 20 records as a leader or co-leader, including his most recent Nearness, a duo with the extraordinary pianist Brad Mehldau. Redman last appeared at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival for a memorable set in 2012 as a special guest of The Bad Plus, with whom he recorded The Bad Plus Joshua Redman in 2015. Redman has previously recorded with McCoy Tyner in 1995 on the Prelude and Sonata album. Performing with McCoy Tyner, Securian Main Stage in Mears Park, Saturday, June 24, 8:30 p.m.
Top-tier jazz and multiple Grammy-winning trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard has traveled many paths musically since embarking on his solo recording career in 1983, including delivering adventurous and provocative acoustic jazz outings of original material, composing over 50 soundtracks, recording more than 30 albums, and debuting Champion: An Opera in Jazz. The New Orleans-born and -based artist has also, in the spirit of his four-year membership in the jazz school of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, mentored several musicians in his bands who have gone on to have significant recording careers of their own (including Lionel Loueke, Aaron Parks, Kendrick Scott and one of his current band members Fabian Almazan). Blanchard’s groove-based E-Collective spent the first week of 2017 recording a live album in Minneapolis, as well as Cleveland and Dallas. Terence Blanchard, Securian Main Stage in Mears Park, Thursday, June 22, 8:00 p.m.
An established bandleader and prolific composer, idiomatically conversant with modern and traditional jazz, chamber music, Brazilian choro and an expansive timeline of Afro-Cuban styles, Anat Cohen has established herself as one of the primary voices of her generation on the clarinet since releasing her debut recording on her own Anzic Records in 2005. She will be joined by her new band, Choro Aventuroso, that blends Brazilian music with modern and traditional jazz, samba, and other cultural styles from around the world to create a bold, vibrant, and irresistibly energetic and magnetic sound. Anat Cohen with Choro Aventuroso, Securian Main Stage in Mears Park, Friday, June 23, 8:30 p.m.
Harlem-based pianist Emmet Cohen has been on the road nearly non-stop in 2017. Whether crisscrossing the country with his trio in support of his tremendous new record, Masters Legacy Series Volume 1, Featuring Jimmy Cobb, or in the employ of bassist extraordinaire Christian McBride’s Tip City, Cohen has won new fans at every stop, including three superb performances in Minneapolis this March. Still in his late twenties, the University of Miami Frost School of Music and Manhattan School of Music (MA) educated Cohen, first began to attract attention working and recording with the likes of veteran trumpet player Brian Lynch and the ensemble of drummer Herlin Riley, which showcased the pianist’s ability to play incredibly nimble and nuanced lines. Emmet Cohen Trio, Securian Main Stage in Mears Park, Thursday, June 22, 6:30 p.m.
Bobby Lyle has been a fixture in the contemporary jazz scene for more than three decades. He has distinguished himself as a performing artist, composer, recording artist, musical director, music publisher, and music educator. Lyle began his professional career at the age of 16, playing in local clubs in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and attended Macalester College for two years of advanced piano studies before hitting the road as a full-time musician. He has since compiled a prolific discography of music that has taken him all over the world as a leader and with the likes of George Benson, Bette Midler and Al Jarreau. Bobby Lyle, Securian Main Stage in Mears Park, Saturday, June 24, 6:00 p.m.
Support for the 2017 Twin Cities Jazz Festival is provided by AARP, Securian, Starkey Hearing Technologies, Oppidan Investment Company, Maker’s Mark, RBC Wealth Management, All Energy Solar, McNally Smith College of Music, Pohlad Companies, Alden Drew and Mimie Pollard, St. Paul Pioneer Press, myTalk 107.1, Xcel Energy, Hiway Federal Credit Union, BIGOS, BWBR, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, Thomson Reuters, UCare, tpt, Intercontinental St. Paul Riverfront, Metro Transit, Minnesota Wild, St. Paul Saints, Mankato Brewing, Alexis Bailly Vineyard, Travelers, Pioneer Endicott, Custom House, Bremer Bank, Sunrise Banks, Grand Casinos, Schmitt Music, All Over Media, Crooners Lounge, The Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education, KBEM Jazz 88.5 FM, Episcopal Homes, Presbyterian Homes, Creative Pixels Media, Clean Water Land & Legacy Amendment, Minnesota State Arts Board, National Endowment for the Arts, Saint Paul Cultural STAR Program, The Lowertown Future Fund, The River Rose Fund, JazzPolice.com.
Musicians and schedule subject to change.