Recent Articles

Shades of Blue, Madlib Invades Blue Note available on vinyl May 27th

Shades of Blue – Madlib Invades Blue Note (originally released June, 2003) will be re-released on newly remastered vinyl on May 27th as part of Blue Note’s 75th Anniversary Vinyl Initiative. “Two years ago, we decided to begin remastering the jewels of the Blue Note catalog in hi-def resolutions of 96k and 192k. In order to develop a guiding artistic philosophy for this delicate endeavor, we donned our lab coats, ran dozens of sonic experiments and carefully referenced every generation of our reissues. Ultimately, we decided that our goal would be to protect the original intentions of the artists, producers and engineers who made these records and that, in the case of pre-digital-era albums, these intentions were best represented by the sound and feel of their first-edition vinyl releases. Working with a team of dedicated and groovy engineers, we found a sound that both captured the feel of the original records while maintaining the depth and transparency of the master tapes… Continue Reading →

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New Orleans trumpeter James Andrews at the Cowles Center

This is not your daddy’s New Orleans jazz.  It ain’t even  your granddaddy’s. We’re talking a new, improved take on big band music that picks up where the greats like Duke Ellington and Count Basie left off and swings it in a direction that while faithfully anchored in the classic form innovatively  breaks the mold. We’re talking a brilliant trumpet man and spirited singer James Andrews (jamesandrewsmusic.com) who brings his richly original style of Big Easy soul to the Twin Cities’ Cowles Center. Andrews is dubbed the Satchmo of the Ghetto and, indeed, his hero and main influence is the immortal Louis Armstrong. Continue Reading →

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Minneapolis musician selected for Doris Duke Artist Award

Minneapolis native, New York-based pianist and composer Craig Taborn among 13 jazz artists to receive 2014 Doris Duke Foundation awards


Earlier this week, The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF) announced the first-ever recipients of the Doris Duke Impact Awards and the third group of individuals to receive Doris Duke Artist Awards. According to the press release, “both awards are part of the Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards, a special ten-year initiative of the foundation to empower, invest in and celebrate artists by offering flexible, multi-year funding in response to financial challenges that are specific to the performing arts. Doris Duke Artist Award recipients receive $275,000, and Doris Duke Impact Award recipients receive $80,000. Since commencing in April 2012, the program has awarded a total of $18.1 million to artists in the fields of jazz, dance and theater.” The 2014 jazz related award recipients are:
2014 Doris Duke Artist Awards

Oliver Lake
Steve Lehman
Roscoe Mitchell
Zeena Parkins
Craig Taborn
Randy Weston

2014 Doris Duke Impact Awards

Muhal Richard Abrams
Ambrose Akinmusire
Steve Coleman
Ben Monder
Aruán Ortiz
Matana Roberts
Jen Shyu


Pianist and composer Craig Taborn is multi-talented in the realms of straight-ahead and free jazz. Continue Reading →

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This weekend, it’s jazz-related concerts galore!

Brooklyn-based ensemble Red Baraat makes its debut at Orchestra Hall on Friday, April 25 at 8 pm. Critics have described their performance as “a shot of pure adrenalin.” Established in 2008, Red Baraat is an eight-piece band from Brooklyn, New York. The brainchild of Sunny Jain, the group has been celebrated worldwide for its live performances of original sound — a blending of North Indian bhangra rhythms, New Orleans brass band, jazz, go-go, brass funk, and hip hop. Sunny Jain is known as a rising star in the jazz world. Continue Reading →

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Lewis, Pizzarelli and McFerrin take over Orchestra Hall

When you’re in the business of moving people–and I mean by way of live musical artistry, it’s never an easy task. If the goal is to have an unforgettable experience with an audience that occurs in the now and that takes people places that they’ve never been before, then Orchestra Hall has arranged something extra special for music lovers this weekend. Pianist Ramsey Lewis along with guitarist John Pizzarelli take the stage on Friday, April 18 at 8 pm to perform a special Nat King Cole tribute, and vocalist Bobby McFerrin performs with his band that includes his daughter, vocalist Madison McFerrin, on Saturday, April 19 at 8 pm. Both Grammy Award-winning artists, Lewis and McFerrin enjoy ever-evolving careers and music making that continues to attract diverse audiences around the globe. They have also, in their own distinct ways, altered the musical landscape with their unmatched virtuosity and masterful creativity for decades. Continue Reading →

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Ruben and Lalah play well in the Twin Cities

By Raymond Jackson
Contributing Writer





On a great feeling Sunday evening, Ruben Studdard and Lalah Hathaway started their 2014 tour at The Dakota Nightclub, located in downtown Minneapolis, in grand fashion!  

Although the previewing marked Ruben as the marquee, once the show began it was quite apparent that there was no specific marquee involved in this performance. They were both simply fantastic. They began the show together with a five piece band and two background vocalists, who too, were really good. During the opening, two duet ballads, the dinner crowd knew they were destined to receive an after dinner mint, that would be the most favorable they had tasted in quite some time. Continue Reading →

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Get ready for a carnival of musical delights.



Heading into this weekend and the next, an assortment of upcoming jazz related shows are set to take place at the Dakota. Get ready for a carnival of musical delights. Actually, it was trumpeter Russell Gunn who was to help kick things off at the Dakota last night, along with his quartet and vocalist Dionne Farris, but the gig was postponed. Farris and Gunn have a new live album, Dionne Get Your Gunn, which Farris released on her independent label, Free and Clear Records.  

One of my all-time Gunn favorites featuring him on electric trumpet and flugelhorn is his Live in Atlanta: Ethnomusicology, Vol. Continue Reading →

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The 2012 MSP International Film Festival darling returns



They wiggled, they jiggled, they wore low cut gowns and short shorts, they kowtowed to the club owners and smiled at the customers…and they did it all, just to play the music they loved. The Girls in the Band tells the poignant, untold stories of female jazz and big band instrumentalists and their fascinating, groundbreaking journeys from the late 30′s to the present day. These incredibly talented women endured sexism, racism and diminished opportunities for decades, yet continued to persevere, inspire and elevate their talents in a field that seldom welcomed them. Today, there is a new breed of gifted young women taking their rightful place in the world of jazz, which can no longer deny their talents. The Girls in the Band is playing at St. Continue Reading →

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Marcus Roberts Trio performing at the Dakota










On Wednesday, November 6, for two sets only, the Marcus Roberts Trio returns to the Dakota stage to bring its well-known one-of-a-kind virtuosity to local audiences. And for a group that was founded in 1995, they’ve come a long way in 18 years. If you’ve been lucky enough to witness this trio in action over the last few years, consider yourself well aware of what these sets might be like this time around. If you’re planning to see Roberts for the first time, prepare to thoroughly enjoy yourself. This concert will no doubt be one of the best presented by the Dakota this year. Continue Reading →

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Billy Cobham’s Spectrum 40 Tour stops at the Dakota



By Charles Hallman

Staff writer


The energy he displayed during a recent show in town truly belies Billy Cobham’s age. The 69-year-old jazz fusion drummer has been on the road with his Spectrum 40 tour.  “We have been accelerating as we went along. We started in St. Petersburg [Florida] then went to Atlanta; up to Seattle, down to Portland then on to to Albuquerque . . Continue Reading →

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