Hello to all the chilled (literally or otherwise) jazz fans out there surviving this cold winter. It can be a tough time to get out to see live jazz, but there's something cool happening here that might just make you warm and tingly enough to want to venture on over to downtown St. Paul.
Steve Kenny's long running Saturday Night jazz showcase has found a new home, and it's a venue you might be familiar with! Starting on Saturday, February 5th, you'll be able to find the Saturday Night Jazz series at KJ's Hideaway. (KJ's Hideaway, you might recall, was once the Hamm Building location of the Artists' Quarter.) Thanks to Kris and Jeremy Siers (the K&J of KJ's Hideaway) for working with Steve Kenny to make this happen. For more information about upcoming shows, be sure to follow the Saturday Night jazz series on Facebook. (And be sure to follow KJ's Hideaway on Facebook, as they are known to book jazz on other days, as well!)
The inaugural Saturday Night Jazz at KJ's Hideaway event will take place on Saturday, February 5th. The fun starts at 7:30 with a set from the Steve Kenny Quartet. Trumpeter Steve Kenny is active in the Minnesota Jazz community as a Performer, Composer, and Curator. Steve is a founding member of ‘the illicit sextet’, “Group 47”, “What Would Monk Do?” and his own “Quartets”, Steve is also known as a jazz curator, and has produced weekly Jazz series at Jazz Central Studios, The Black Dog Cafe, Studio Z, and is just starting his association with KJ’s Hideaway for a Saturday Night Jazz serties. His latest recording, “Quartets”, includes original compositions played by four separate ensembles of Twin Cities Jazz musicians, including a Live version of Steve Kenny’s Ghost Suite.
The second set starts at 9:00 pm and features the Phil Hey Quartet. The band (affectionately referred to as “PHQ” by fans) is led by founder Phil Hey, an American-born jazz drummer. The Phil Hey Quartet features Phil Hey on drums, Tom Lewis on bass, Dave Hagedorn on vibraphone, and Phil Aaron on piano. The group released Subduction: Live At The Artist’s Quarter in 2005 which was subsequently named Best Jazz CD of the Year by the Twin Cities alternative weekly newspaper City Pages. City Pages also named him 2006 Jazz Musician of the Year.
It is SO COOL to see this come together. Is it the Artists' Quarter? No, but it's a great space with great musicians, many of whom you would have heard right in that very room when it was the Artists' Quarter. We wish Steve much success with the Saturday night bookings and wish Kris and Jeremy continued success with KJ's Hideaway.
Coming soon! Kenny Horst returns to KJ's Hideaway, leading a quartet for a great night of music on Thursday, February 10th. 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 more that once.
Joining Kenny will be Will Kjeer (piano), Chris Bates (bass) and Pete Whitman (sax). Find more information and tickets here.
Thanks for supporting jazz and stay warm out there! -- Al Iverson