Hey, Friends! Here are a few special events to add to your holiday calendar.
Pat Mallinger Quartet performs Ho- Ho- Kus Blues at Twin Cites Jazz Festival.
First up, Chicago-based saxophonist Pat Mallinger leads a swinging quartet at KJ’s Hideaway next Friday, November 24th. Described as “an exciting hard-blowing post-bop player with lots of style”, Pat was born and raised in St. Paul and remains a Minnesota favorite. Pat is often heard around Chicago performing with the Bobby Lewis Quintet, Model Citizens Big Band, and now leads the Saturday night band at the Green Mill as Pat Mallinger’s Late Night Jazz Party.
Drummer Kenny Horst’s name is synonymous with jazz drumming in the Twin Cities music scene. Kenny has toured with Mose Allison, Al Hirt, Bobby Lyle, and many others, and is well-known as the owner of the beloved Artists’ Quarter in its St. Paul locations, from 1995 through NYE 2013. “Catch him on stage punctuating a bebop flourish with his signature accents or stoking a smoldering torch song with his simpatico brush work. Kenny is simply one of the finest jazz drummers to ever call Minnesota home.” - Pat Courtemanche
Chris Bates is a bassist of formidable talent, a driving force in the Minnesota music scene, and a whirlwind of energy onstage. Chris has performed on over 30 albums, led the quintet Red 5, is a member of the Atlantis Quartet, has appeared on the albums Cognitive Dissonance and Taller Tales and been known to play with pianist Bill Carrothers in addition to sometimes making bad puns.
Will Kjeer is a Pianist and Composer who has shared the stage with world-class performers including Dave King, Jerry Bergonzi, Adam Nussbaum, and many more. Having cut his teeth in Los Angeles as well as his hometown of Minneapolis, MN, Will has been widely regarded in each city as a firebrand, a first-call, and a must-hear. Will is currently finishing a M.M. in Jazz Piano from The Juilliard School and always thrilled to be back playing in the Twin Cities.
The Artists' Quarter, the people, and the music that made it deserve recognition as the hub of the Twin Cities jazz community for almost 50 decades. If you're on this list you likely know that some of the greatest bands and artists to emerge from Minnesota developed their craft at the AQ, including Cory Wong, Happy Apple, Bill Carothers, Javier Santiago, the members of Courageous Endeavors, the Pete Whitman X-Tet, the Phil Hey Quartet, Steve Kenny, and many more. Legends of jazz built personal relationships with the AQ and performed there frequently, including Tom Harrell, Ira Sullivan, Lee Konitz, Roy Haynes, Ari Hoenig, Dave King, Jon Weber, Lew Tabackin, David Hazeltine, and more. Roy Hanes recorded “Whereas” live at the AQ in commemoration of his 80th birthday.
The AQ has had a tremendous effect on the development and excellence of the music community, far beyond its walls and time and set the stage for everything that has come after, from Steve Kenny’s decade-long run of “Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog” and the “All Originals” Series at Studio Z, to the two successive music clubs that have occupied the AQ’s final location, to the artistic direction of Crooners Lounge and of course of the Twin Cities Jazz Festival.
Kenny Horst's sister, Kelle Green, has been involved in documentary filmmaking for over 10 years and began talking to Kenny and Dawn about making a film right after the club closed in 2013. It's been a long time in conception but after much research and the partnership of Bill Kersey as co-director, writer, and editor, the film is now entering a full production schedule for a projected release at the end of 2024.
KJ's Hideaway is graciously hosting a celebration of the club 10 years after its closing and allowing the filmmakers to introduce the production with a small fundraiser. If you have stories, videos, or photos from any of the club iterations - 26th & Nicollet, Jackson Street, Hamm building - and would like to share, please let them know through the website. Meanwhile, mark your calendars for Sunday, December 17th and come help us celebrate the club 10 years after.
David Hazeltine is the most recorded contemporary jazz pianist of our time, having recorded thirty-five cd’s as a leader and hundreds more as a sideman on various major labels globally. The mark of a true artist, David’s style appeals to a wide range of musical tastes and levels of sophistication. No stranger to the Twin Cities, David spent his childhood and early career in the Midwest and was an AQ favorite. He'll be back with his trio on January 13, at Crooners Lounge and Supper Club.
The trio's other members include Bassist Billy Peterson, one of the premier, most celebrated bass players in the world from Minnesota’s “First Family of Music". He has recorded with Leo Kottke and performed or recorded with BB King, Johnny Smith, Lenny Breau, and the late Les Paul. In 1975, he appeared on Bob Dylan’s acclaimed Blood on the Tracks, and a few years later began a long-standing collaboration with Ben Sidran, which led to his 20+ year association with the Steve Miller Band. Billy continues to tour and record in Europe and throughout the United States. We're lucky to catch him when he is in town.
Drummer Kenny Horst will round out the trio. Says Don Berryman (Jazz Police), “Great hard-bop, soul jazz, and fusion chops and the sweetest guy you could meet.” You won't want to miss this special collaboration.
Heads-up to watch the Crooner's calendar for Kenny Horst, Billy Peterson, and Will Kjeer playing in December!