Reminder: PMQ at KJH on WED!

Just a quick reminder...PMQ at KJH on WED!

The Pat Mallinger Quartet is coming to KJ's Hideaway (the old Artists' Quarter space) at 408 St. Peter St. (the Hamm Building) in St. Paul on Wednesday, December 29th at 9:00 pm. Get tickets here.

Born and raised in St. Paul, sax phenom Pat Mallinger has called Chicago home for many years -- returning every year to play a gig or two back in Minnesota during the holiday season. Pat has appeared on stage with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Ramsey Lewis and Stevie Wonder, among others. Most weeks in Chicago, you'll see Pat play a variety of gigs, including co-leading the band Sabertooth, the Green Mill's "resident wee-hours organ quartet."

Appearing with Pat will be Will Kjeer on piano, Jeremy Boettcher on bass, and Kenny Horst on drums.

Note: Proof of Vaccination or a Negative recent (72 hour) COVID test required for all attendees.

And if you're looking for something to do on New Year's Eve (Friday) 12/31, the Black Dog Cafe in Lowertown St. Paul will have a NEW YEAR'S EVE TRIBUTE TO JOHN COLTRANE, featuring Steve Kenny on Trumpet, Dave Brattain on Saxophones, Kavyesh Kaviraj on Piano, Charlie Lincoln on Bass and Kevin Washington on Drums. The music starts at 9:30 pm (and the fun starts as soon as you arrive). Make reservations and find more information over on the Saturday Night at the Black Dog website. (Yes, the Saturday Night website for this Friday's event!)

Whether we see you at KJ's Hideaway on 12/29 or the Black Dog Cafe on 12/31 or not, please have a safe and happy 2022!

Pat Mallinger Quartet December 29th at KJ's Hideaway

Pat Mallinger
Tis the season: Pat Mallinger returns to Minnesota!

Happy holidays, everyone! Hope you're staying warm and doing well. Here's an upcoming event that we promised to tell you more about. Stay tuned if you're looking to make plans for something to do next week!

The Pat Mallinger Quartet is coming to KJ's Hideaway (the old Artists' Quarter space) at 408 St. Peter St. (the Hamm Building) in St. Paul on Wednesday, December 29th at 9:00 pm (tickets here).

Born and raised in St. Paul, sax phenom Pat Mallinger has called Chicago home for many years -- returning every year to play a gig or two back in Minnesota during the holiday season. Pat has appeared on stage with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Ramsey Lewis and Stevie Wonder, among others. He also co-leads the band Sabertooth, which was the Green Mill's "resident wee-hours organ quartet" for a good long time.

Appearing with Pat in this version of the PMQ will be Will Kjeer on piano, Jeremy Boettcher on bass, and Kenny Horst on drums.

Pianist Will Kjeer is probably tired of people talking about his age; checking the AQ email newsletter archive, we've made an awful lot of callouts about his (young) age in the past. Let us move past that and point out that this amazing musician and composer is well loved and has shared the stage with many world-class performers including Dave King, Jerry Bergonzi, and Adam Nussbaum.

Bassist Jeremy Boettcher, currently artist in residence at UW-Eau Claire, quickly found himself performing with top artists around the country as he became known for his versatility and musicianship, touring the world with legends such as Sean Carey and Richard Johnson and performing at Jazz At Lincoln Center Doha and Jazz At Lincoln Center Shanghai.

Once upon a time, drummer Kenny Horst toured with Mose Allison, Al Hirt, Bobby Lyle, and others. In the early 1980s he started booking acts for the Artists' Quarter, a tiny little jazz club in South Minneapolis. After that location closed, Kenny re-opened it in St. Paul in 1995, first at 5th and Jackson, then later in the Hamm Building, where he kept the beat as the house drummer, playing with multiple giants of jazz and just about every great local jazz musician one or more times.

The show is at KJ's Hideaway (what used to be the Artists' Quarter space in the Hamm Building) on Wednesday, December 29th at 9:00 pm. Get tickets here. KJ's Hideaway is located at 408 St. Peter Street in downtown St. Paul, MN.

Note: Proof of Vaccination or a Negative recent (72 hour) COVID test required for all attendees.

Hope to see you there, but even if not, thanks for your love for jazz!

Looking for something to do? Me, too...

Looking for something fun to do? You're not alone! Maybe you're fatigued with choice overload, worried about whether or not it's going to snow this weekend, or trying to find a new local jazz album to listen to? Maybe we can help.

If you want to get out of the house and check out some live music...

Friday, December 17th: A Trip to Brasil with the Duo Bossa Nova at KJ's Hideaway.

Brazilian vocalist Natania Kamin and European guitarist Pavel Jany offer a playlist of famous bossa nova classics blended with a few jazz standards and other great tunes from around the globe. Natania is a vocalist, songwriter and dancer, a charismatic performer who is passionate about sharing the music of her native Brazil with American audiences. Pavel is a contemporary jazz guitarist who’s diversity and eclecticism encompasses many various styles. 7:30 pm at KJ's Hideaway in Downtown St. Paul. For more information click here.

Saturday, December 18th: SPACE at the Black Dog.

SPACE is a Minnesota-based collective fusing the sounds of jazz, rock, pop, avant-garde and more consisting of Jack Courtright (trombone), Will Schmid (guitar), Patrick Adkins (piano), Alma Engebretson (bass) and Luke Peterson (drums). Thrilled to be back at the Black Dog after a two-year hiatus, the band will be playing repertoire from their debut album "Non-Trivial Problem" (click for more info) as well as brand-new material by every member of the group. Show at 8:30 pm. Opening act at 7pm: the JazzINK Young Artists' Showcase. For more information click here.

For a very long time now, trumpeter Steve Kenny has been booking these shows into the Black Dog Cafe in Lowertown St. Paul weekly. You should follow the "Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog" Facebook page if you'd like to stay appraised of upcoming events. 

Monday, December 20th: GRAIN Trio at ICEHOUSE MPLS.

GRAIN was formed as a vehicle to rumble the foundations of the city with the low end power of the hammond B3. They are "definitely coming out of the foundations of the early meetings of rhythm and blues/jazz and gospel, however, not limited to that." Featuring JT Bates on drums, Kevin Gastonguay on hammond B3, and Zacc Harris on guitar. Monday, December 20th at ICEHOUSE MPLS. Doors at 6, show at 8. With Aby Wolf and Eric Mayson opening. Click here for more info.

Here's GRAIN covering Big John Patton's Soul Woman. And here's an interview and two more songs from GRAIN courtesy of The Current.

Or if you're staying home and wondering what new and cool thing you should listen to next...

Check out the 2021 album "Cognitive Dissonance" by Framework (guitarist and composer Chris Olson, bassist Chris Bates and drummer Jay Epstein), who "can swing, can deliver a delightfully melodic waltz, and they can create aural waterfalls -- [and] the trio’s musicality will win you over." -- Richard B. Kamins. Check it out here.

Guitarist Joel Shapira "emerges from the pandemic with [a] solo album" in this interview by Anne Murphy for My Villager, where he shares his path through the challenges of the pandemic and talks about his new (2021) album "Triple Bridge."

And if you're wondering what might be coming soon...

You might recall that every year Chicago-based saxophonist Pat Mallinger comes home to the Twin Cities right around this time, often playing a gig or two while in town. He'll be playing at KJ's Hideaway (the old AQ space) on Wednesday 12/29, and the band will include Kenny Horst on drums! Stay tuned for more information-- we'll send out a follow up email before then.

Thanks for making it all the way through this long email that was entirely devoid of pictures! And thanks for your love of jazz.

Joey DeFrancesco: More Music

My vinyl copy of B3 organist Joey DeFrancesco's new album "More Music" just arrived in my mailbox a few days ago!

It was released on September 24, but I suspect supply chain funkiness delayed my pre-order a bit. No worries; it was worth it. It has been great fun to listen to. If you're curious what people think, Brian Payne of Jazz Journal reviews it here. His review boils down to, "If you’re an organ fan then this album is right up your street." I am. It is. I think you're likely to enjoy it as well.

Here's a video of Joey D. performing Soul Dancing from his new album live with Lucas Brown and Anwar Marshall.

If you'd like to buy the album, you can order it here from the record label's website.

It's also available on Amazon and it seems to be on most of the usual streaming services, too.

This isn't a sponsored post -- I'm just sharing something new that I've enjoyed. And if you don't already know who Joey D. is, it's time to get hip, as the kids used to say.

Something else: Looking for something good to read about a local jazz musician? Check out "Jay Epstein: The Secrets of the Twin Cities Workingest Jazz Drummer" by Bill Stieger. A wonderful profile of a great guy. Lots of fun pictures, too! (And you can his upcoming gig schedule and more over on Jay Epstein's website.)

-- Al Iverson

Kenny Horst returns to the former AQ space on Wednesday

It's time for another email newsletter!

This one is all about our featured event: Drummer Kenny Horst, who owned and ran the venerated Artists’ Quarter jazz club, will appear with his quartet featuring pianist Will Kjeer, saxophonist Pete Whitman, and bassist Chris Bates, on Wednesday, November 17th, at 7:00pm at KJ’s Hideaway (a new music club in the former AQ space at 408 St Peter St, St Paul). This performance is presented by AARP MN & the Twin Cities Jazz Festival’s Jazz Fest Live series and will also be streamed live. More information on the show can be found here and you can get tickets here.

Thank you kindly!

We've gotten some very warm feedback from readers this past week:

So happy to see this happen. We often visit the Twin Cities and love Jazz especially at the venues that were in the Hamm building. Hope to be there soon.

So glad to get this email and all the information.  Cheers to future newsletters!!

Wow! What a nice surprise to see an email from the AQ!  I surely do appreciate the news, it's nice to feel a common thread these days after the past 18 months......thanks so much for getting in touch with us!  I look forward to any updates and news from you all!  Happy Thanksgiving! 

This is super. I am happy to be in touch my home town(s). Thank you so much!

I was pleasantly surprised to receive your email and applaud this endeavor. I look forward to receiving more AQ Newsletters. Thanks!

Former webmaster Al Iverson here. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Your positive feedback and kind words have been nourishing to our souls. Don Berryman and I have had a lot of fun putting the newsletter system back together and building these first few email newsletters. It's been great to reconnect with Kenny and others, including Kristen and Jeremy Siers, the new proprietors of that great space in the Hamm Building. And we're so glad to hear from all of you. We worked closely with Kenny Horst to put everything together and have been sharing all of your kind feedback with him.

That's it for now, just a short little email update. Not too much jazz this time around, but we'll work on that for next time, and in the meantime, I hope you'll come down to KJ's Hideaway on Wednesday to listen to Kenny, Will, Pete and Chris. I know it'll be a great show.

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Photo (Kenny Horst) by Don Berryman.

Welcome to the AQ Email Newsletter!

Welcome back to the Artists' Quarter email newsletter! The club might be closed, but we want to keep in touch with you, if that's okay. It's been a while since we last reached out, but we'll try to do better about that. Now we'll send a small number of emails a month (maybe one, maybe three), where we'll talk about jazz albums and musicians both new and old, what's going on in the world of jazz, and what's happening in the local music scene in the Twin Cities. If you'd like to unsubscribe, there's an unsubscribe link at the very bottom of this email, or feel free to reply to this email and we'll be happy to assist you.

If you're wondering what's been happening around these parts, here's what has been on our mind as of late:

We're missing Pamela Espeland. A prolific arts journalist and supporter of so much live music and more, Pamela passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, September 26th. You can read more about that here. Let's be glad that her personal website "bebopified" remains up as an archive of her wit and depth of commitment to supporting and writing about live jazz. She covered the arts at great length for Minnpost, and they've kindly remembered her here. Pamela is survived by her husband John Whiting, several children and grandchildren, and their dog Boris.

A new live music venue opens in St. Paul. Husband-and-wife team Jeremy and Kristen Siers have opened KJ's Hideaway, a new venue in what once was the Artists' Quarter space, located in the Hamm Building at 408 St. Peter Street in downtown St. Paul. The AQ, then owned by our own Kenny Horst, occupied the space from 2001-2013, and Lowell Pickett, co-owner of the Dakota, ran the space as "Vieux CarrĂ©" from 2015 through 2019. Read more about the opening of KJ's Hideaway here. And while the club will not solely focus on jazz, we're glad to hear that they are indeed including jazz in their focus, and we wish them success.

Speaking of the AQ, Kenny and KJ's Hideaway: Kenny Horst is returning for one night only to play at what used to be known as the Artists' Quarter! On Wednesday, November 17th, at 7:00 pm, drummer Kenny Horst leads a quartet with Will Kjeer on piano, Chris Bates on bass, and Pete Whitman on sax. Click here to purchase tickets. (Note: Proof of Vaccine/Negative Test within 72 hours required.) Find more details over on JazzPolice. And for more about the venue, KJ's Hideaway, click here or see the paragraph above. Can't make it? Find streaming info here. We hope to see you there!

Speaking of jazz at KJ's Hideaway, if you're looking for live music to check out this weekend, Atlantis Quartet is worth a trip down to the Hamm Building this Saturday, November 13th. Featuring four of Minnesota's most exciting improvisors and composers, saxophonist Brandon Wozniak, guitarist Zacc Harris, bassist Chris Bates, and drummer Pete Hennig, Atlantis Quartet is a band whose music "defies labels" (MPR). Their shows at the Artists' Quarter were always fantastic and I'm sure that will be the case this time around at KJ's Hideaway. Shows are at 6:30 pm and 9:00 pm.

And that's it! Here it is, our very first updated email newsletter, drawing to a close. Did you find it useful? What could be do better or do differently? We value your feedback. Feel free to reply to this email and share what you think. And remember that we appreciate you! Thank you for subscribing.

Were you forwarded this email by a friend? Would you like to subscribe. If so, click here!

Published: Tuesday, November 9, 2021. Photo (Billy Holloman) by Don Berryman.