Twin Cities Jazz Festival

Twin Cities Jazz Festival Presents Jefferson Lines “Jazz Central All-Stars Tour”

Media Contact: Connie Shaver

612-308-5785 ~

Saint Paul, Minn., April 28, 2014. The Twin Cities Jazz Festival in collaboration with Jazz Central Studios in Minneapolis, is taking jazz on the road, visiting six Minnesota cities this spring and summer. Sponsored by Jefferson Lines and with generous support from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the six-member Jazz Central All Stars will bring performances and clinics to students and general audiences in Greater Minnesota, expanding access to some of the state’s best jazz musicians and educators, and providing opportunities to learn about and hear modern interpretations of America’s indigenous art form. The tour will promote the annual Twin Cities Jazz Festival, to be held June 26-28, 2014 in and around beautiful Mears Park in the historic Lowertown neighborhood of downtown Saint Paul. One of the largest civic events in the Upper Midwest, the festival attracts approximately 30,000 people each year to experience the joy of jazz on four outdoor stages and at more than 20 indoor venues.
Led by Jazz Central Studios co-founders Tanner Taylor (keyboards) and Mac Santiago (drums), these world-class “All-Star” musicians have toured extensively in the Midwest, the U.S. and abroad, and have performed with such jazz icons as Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney and Doc Severinsen. “We’re really excited to have this chance to bring the music and enthusiasm of these great artists to cities around the state that so rarely get the opportunity to hear live jazz,” said Twin Cities Jazz Festival Board Chairman Alden Drew. Details are still being finalized for stops on the six-city tour, which will include:

  • Austin, Friday, May 16 – concert at the Paramount Theatre (hosted by the Austin Area Commission for the Arts)
  • Luverne, Saturday, May 31 – concert at the Historic Palace Theater (hosted by Luverne Street Music)
  • Montevideo, Saturday, June 7 – concert at the Hollywood Theater
  • Sauk Centre, Saturday, June 14 – concert at the Eagle’s Healing Nest (hosted by Sauk Centre Chamber and Visitors Bureau)
  • St. James, Thursday, July 17– concert at St. James Memorial Park, as part of “Summer Concerts in the Park” series (hosted by the City of St. James and the Prairie Lakes Region Arts Council)
  • Faribault, Thursday, September 25 – concert at Newhall Auditorium at Shattuck-St. Mary’s School (hosted byFesler-Lambert Performing Arts Series)

The Jazz Central All Stars features six outstanding jazz artists: Bandleader Tanner Taylor has performed and toured extensively throughout the Midwest as pianist/Music Director of the jazz vocal group, Five by Design, and has been a regular performer at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. The Iowa native is a favorite accompanist for area vocalists and visiting stars, and leads his own trio. A veteran of Twin Cities’ big bands and swinging ensembles, Doug Haining(saxophone/clarinet) has performed professionally since 1974, backing legendary artists like Steve Allen, Don Rickles and Bob Hope and touring Broadway shows like West Side Story, Cats and A Chorus Line. He currently leads the popular Twin Cities Seven and co-leads the Explosion Big Band. One of the area’s most versatile musicians, trombonist Dave Graf co-leads the Valve Meets Slide quintet and performs with the JazzMN Orchestra, Salsa del Soul, Source Code and several top big bands. Over his career, he has backed visiting touring artists such as Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr., Harry Connick, Jr. and Julie Andrews. Zack Lozier (trumpet) has kept a busy touring schedule in the U.S. and Europe for the past ten years, including the past two years with the Doc Severinsen Big Band. Locally he leads his own ensemble and is often heard with Chris Bates’ Red Five, Jack Brass Band and more. Another frequent performer at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Graydon Peterson is a first-call bassist for the Twin Cities’ top jazz singers and modern jazz ensembles. An accomplished composer and bandleader, he heads the Graydon Peterson Quartet and Ghost Tour. Jazz Central co-founder Mac Santiago (drums/percussion) toured during the 1980s with British rock band Badfinger. Since settling in Minnesota, he has performed with the area’s best jazz, salsa, country and R & B groups; in pit orchestras of the Guthrie and Minnesota Opera; and with such stars as Grover Washington, Jr., Doc Severinsen, Savion Glover, Jack McDuff, Paul Bollenback, Dick Oatts and more.

This year, the Twin Cities Jazz Festival boasts internationally renowned headliners, including four-time Grammy-winning vocalist Dianne Reeves and three-time Grammy-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis and his quartet. Other international stars include 2013 Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition winner Melissa Aldana with her Crash Trio featuring famed drummer Francisco Mela, gypsy-style guitarist Lulo Reinhardt and his Latin Swing Project and New Orleans “Big Easy” Award-winning keyboardist Joe Krown and his Trio with Walter Wolfman Washington.

The Jazz Festival weekend begins with the annual “Jazz Night Out” with music in Saint Paul area clubs on Thursday (June 26). On Friday, from Mears Park and the 6th Street Stage to Union Depot and neighboring clubs, there’s music from 4 to10 p.m. Saturday brings a full line-up from Noon to 10 p.m., including student ensembles on the Youth Stage. After the outdoor stages close at dark each night, festival music continues until the wee hours in area clubs. Other activities include free pre-performance clinics, after-hours jam sessions, concessions and more.

Jazz Central Studios is a non-profit organization committed to strengthening the Twin Cities jazz community by offering a live performance/educational environment that nurtures artistic growth. Founded in 2010 by Tanner Taylor and Mac Santiago, it is now a collaborator with the Twin Cities Jazz Festival Foundation. Live jazz performances take place at least five nights per week, including nights for featured artists, big bands, “new music” and vocal jazz. Typically, rather than cover charges, patrons are asked to make donations to cover expenses and artist fees. “Jazz Central provides musicians a place to come together and discuss the music scene, talk ‘shop’ and bounce musical ideas off each other,” notes Taylor. Adds Alden Drew, “People love to play Jazz Central because it’s an environment that lets them play freely, and that’s what jazz is all about.”

For more information, visit and For Twin Cities hotel information, see For photos and Jazz Fest logo << CLICK HERE>>
This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund and by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Twin Cities Jazz Festival and Jazz Central Studios thank Jefferson Lines for its generous support.