The Lead Sheet: JazzMN Celebrates Women Composers
Yes, there are bigger events than the jazz concerts across the subway this weekend, generating more ink, more hype, more COVID concerns … like the State Fair and Immersive Van Goh. But for jazz fans, it’s hard to beat the Atlantis Quartet and JazzMN Orchestra at the Black Dog and the Crooners respectively. Atlantis, now well into a second decade of collaboration between Zacc Harris, Brandon Wozniak, Chris Bates and Pete Hennig, headlines Black Dog on Steve Kenny’s unstoppable Saturday Night Jazz series; Kenny reunites a trio for the opening set. At Crooners, JazzMN crowns a two-day tribute to music led by women (“As only women can“), with singer Connie Evingson with pianist Jon Weber and longtime duo Lori Dokken and Judi Vinar on stage on Saturday, with singer Aja Parham greeting Sarah Vaughan and singer Leslie Vincent leading up to JazzMN on Sunday.
The JazzMN Orchestra– which includes a somewhat fluid cast of the metro area’s top jazzers – is finally entering a new era under the leadership of JC Sanford, who took over as artistic director following the resignation of longtime founding director Doug Snapp following the 2019 season. . CoVid has moved ahead of the 2020 season, JazzMN returning on stage at Crooners at the end of June for a dazzling performance with guest Bob Mintzer, as part of the “Virtual Jazz Fest” with the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. August 29e The performance in the Belvedere tent at Crooners offers Sanford an opportunity for “more creative flexibility” than is usually possible with their season of three concerts, again scheduled for the Chanhassan Dinner Theater.
Notes JC, “I just thought this would be a great opportunity to present some really fabulous composers. Initially, I thought I would only perform living composers, but decided to include a few other legends (Mary Lou Williams and Melba Liston) in addition to a few living legends (Toshiko Akiyoshi and Maria Schneider) and other artists. emerging younger. And the problem with selecting the program directory was not trying to find enough music to play, but deciding what not play, because there are so many female dynamite composers out there right now, many of whom are already pretty prolific. I could do 5 more shows like this and not repeat a songwriter. “
The program will also include music by rising stars Asuka Kakitani (Charlie Parker Award from the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, 2006), Jihye Lee (Charlie Parker Award from the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop, 2018), Ayn Inserto (acclaimed protégé of Bob Brookmeyer) and Montreal- saxophonist and composer Christine Jensen.
Look on the metro for more great music this weekend—Kenne Thomas K-Tet at Jazz Central (Saturday); Dave Hagedorn / Kevin Clement / Phil Hey at Imminent Brewing in Northfield (Saturday), Bryan nichols at the cooler (Saturday), and the Rosemont Jazz Festival with Salsa del Soul among others, at Rosemount Central Park (Sunday afternoon and evening).