Jazz in August at the Dakota

Posted on August 5, 2015 in Uncategorized

We have so much jazz cooking here in August we thought we’d lay it all out for you here. Check out this list and some of the video samples to get an idea of what to expect from the wide range of musicians we are fortunate enough to have grace the Dakota stage, some for the first time. August is always a hot month and with this stellar schedule it’s only going to get hotter around here.

George Brooks Bombay Jazz featuring Larry Coryell
August 6, 7 & 9pm shows

Guitar legend Larry Coryell, George Brooks, Indian bamboo flute master Ronu Majumdar and tabla virtuoso Aditya Kalyanpur join forces to create the finest Indian-inspired jazz and jazz flavored raga. These world music visionaries blend the ancient improvisational art of Indian classical music with jazz, Americas’ own classical music, to create a soul satisfying, original music filled with rich melodies and dynamic rhythms.

Nachito Herrera Solo Piano
August 8, 8pm

Nachito is one of the world’s great Cuban pianists. His jaw dropping technique and the rich, powerful soulfulness of his playing blend in what is often an amazing display of musical power and emotion. Although he has been residing in Minnesota for the past few years, his renown is growing. Combining Western Classical music with traditional Cuban rhythms, Herrera is at the forefront of an exciting renaissance in Cuban music.

Irv Williams 96th Birthday Party
August 9, 7pm

Celebrate this special day with one of the legends of Minnesota music! Long revered for his sound and style, this limitless fount of melodies has been playing in the area for over seven decades. He has performed over the years at every Twin Cities jazz venue, where he was often back to back with stars such as Sarah Vaughan, Dizzy Gillespie, or Johnny Hodges.

During his nine-decade career, Williams has focused on the tenor sax as a solo vehicle and on own compositions that together with the Great American Songbook complete his ample repertoire. His knowledge of the idiom is legendary; fellow musicians marvel at his capability of playing any song in any key.

Eric Harland and Rude Unkal
August 17, 7pm

Multi-Grammy nominated drummer Eric Harland is the most in demand drummer of his generation. He has already been on close to 200 recordings at his age of 36. Eric has been recognized in the Boston Globe, New York Times, JazzTimes, Modern Drummer, All About Jazz, The New Yorker, DownBeat, L’uomo Vogue and other prominent publications. Through Harland’s extensive travels, he has come to realize that the deepest secret is that life is not a process of discovery, but a process of creation.

Cyrus Chestnut
August 25, 7pm

Pianist Cyrus Chestnut is one of jazz’s most important links to its past, while continuing to look toward the future. Chestnut’s melodic playing and impeccable swing evoke comparisons to Jay McShann and Count Basie. The sound of his trio, featuring bassist Michael Hawkins and drummer Neal Smith, is decidedly 21st Century.

Cyrus has been featured on film playing a Count Basie inspired character in the Robert Altman film, Kansas City. His leadership and prowess as a soloist has also led him to be a first call for the piano chair in many big bands including the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All Star Big Band, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Orchestra. He has also recorded with Bette Midler, Freddy Cole, Terence Blanchard, Branford Marsalis, Isaac Hayes, Freddie Hubbard, Benny Golson, Curtis Fuller, Regina Cater, Chick Corea, and many others to numerous to name. Chestnut continually tours with his trio, playing live at jazz festivals around the world as well as clubs and concert halls.

Ben Sidran “Blue Camus (Jazz + Philosophy)”
August 26 & 27, 7pm

2 Families = 1 Groove, Ben and his brother Leo will be performing with members of the Twin Cities First Family of Jazz, Ricky and Billy Peterson
A pianist, producer, singer and composer, Sidran has recorded twenty five solo albums, including the Grammy nominated “Concert for Garcia Lorca,” and has produced recordings for such noted artists as Van Morrison, Diana Ross, Mose Allison and Jon Hendricks. He composed the soundtrack for the acclaimed film “Hoop Dreams” and scored the documentary “Vietnam: Long Time Coming,” which won both the Aspen Film Festival audience award and an Emmy. He is the author of two books on the subject of jazz, “Black Talk,” a cultural history of the music, and “Talking Jazz,” a series of conversations with well known musicians.

Tootie Heath Trio featuring Ethan Iverson and Ben Street
August 30, 7pm

Listening to Albert “Tootie” Heath’s new CD, Philadelphia Beat, and the resourceful intricacy he brings to each of the 12 tunes with bandmates Ethan Iverson and Ben Street, one is hard-pressed to think this drum master is still learning. Philadelphia Beat is the third recording with Iverson and Street. It was recorded in Philadelphia and consists of a variety of styles and songs from disparate eras. Monk’s “”Bye Ya,” Milt Jackson’s “Bags Groove,” Eubie Blake’s “Memories of You,” the pop song “I Will Survive” and even a Bach tune, “Wachet Auf, Ruft Uns Die Stimme.” Heath’s drumming is full of dexterity and taste. His ears are open. He both reacts and directs. He swings and uses an array of devices some of which would confound younger players, if not at least bring appreciative smiles to their faces. Sometimes he can be so old school, he’s new again.

Terence Blanchard E Collective
August 31, 7 & 9pm

Since top-tier jazz and multiple Grammy-winning trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard embarked on his solo recording career in 1991, the New Orleans-born and – based artist has traveled many paths musically. This includes delivering adventurous and provocative acoustic jazz outings of original material, composing over 50 soundtracks and even, in 2013, debuting Champion: An Opera in Jazz. He has also, in the spirit of his onetime 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).

As a leader and co-leader, Blanchard has recorded more than 30 albums that often defy genres, yet are still critically acclaimed. But for his latest album, Breathless, Blanchard powerfully and playfully journeys into another jazz realm with his new quintet, The E-Collective— an exciting zone of grooved fusion teeming with funk, R&B and blues colors.