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Recent Articles

Local legendary jazz club closing its doors

 

 

Yesterday it was announced on Minnesota Public Radio that the Artists’ Quarter jazz club located in St. Paul is closing at the end of year—on New Year’s Eve to be exact. The owner and jazz drummer Kenny Horst cites a recent hike in rent as the main reason for the closing. The club is well-known as one of the last pure jazz clubs in the Upper Midwest.  Its closing highlights a growing concern among jazz artists and jazz purists: a lack of opportunities to perform and enjoy real jazz. The AQ, as it is affectionately known by many of its fans, opened in 1977; the establishment closed in 1990, then reopened under Horst’s leadership in 1995. Continue Reading →

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The Artist’s Way: Sarah White on Music, Motherhood, and Her New Band

 

 

 
By Junauda Petrus
Contributing Writer
 “You can always break rules and challenge limits. You can always be the boss of your art, because it comes from the soul. I really love when the art becomes the boss of me and moves and molds me into its process,” says Minneapolis native and soul musician Sarah White. We are at a Northeast Cafe on a graciously sunny September afternoon. She is squeezing our interview in between her environmental science homework and meeting her oldest daughter, Iza, at the bus stop. Continue Reading →

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An interview with jazz veteran Billy Cobham

 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

According to www.whosampled.com, Billy Cobham’s music has been sampled over 40 times, including two signature songs “Red Baron” (sampled eight times) and “Heather” (sampled 15 times) first released during the 1970s. A founding member of the Mahavishnu Orchestra in 1971, Cobham co-founded his own fusion group in 1969, and then was invited to play on four cuts on Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew. At age 69, he’s still as strong as ever: Cobham’s current Spectrum 40 tour swings through Minneapolis on October 1 for a one-night stop at the downtown Dakota Jazz Club. “It will be a real pleasure to perform there,” he said during a recent phone interview with the MSR.

On his website, www.billycobham.com, it says that the Panama native, who grew up in New York, got his “first paying gig” when he was only eight years old, then later joined a local drum and bugle corps and attended New York’s famed High School of Music and Art — where he studied music theory and drum technique. “I started on the road in [19]63,” recalls Cobham, who later played in the U.S. Army Band as a percussionist during his three years of military service in the mid-1960s. Continue Reading →

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This Week’s Entertainment Spotlights

JXTALICIOUS -Last of Summer Happy Hour

Friday, Sept. 27, 6-9 pm • JXTA Artists’ Cooperative at 1108 W. Broadway. Mpls.• Join the 1108 Artists in a late summer studio crawl. Stroll through nine artist studios while enjoying refreshments by Tabota Seyon of Right on Thyme Catering. Check out our spaces and learn about the diversity of art forms represented in the co-op. Continue Reading →

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15 years of Afropean Soul at the Dakota with Les Nubians

 

 

by Junauda Petrus
Contributing Writer

“My daughter surprised me with tickets to your show tonight. I used to play your albums for her when she was a girl,” confided an excited fan to Helene Foussart, one half of Les Nubians after their performance at the Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis. “Now she is bringing me to see you all perform. It has come full circle!”

The woman’s daughter spoke to the way their music had inspired and shaped her as a young woman. Helene with a disarmingly warm smile, hugged each woman with intense gratitude.  Humbled by the impact of their music reflected in the appreciation of two generations of fans. Continue Reading →

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United Trumpet Summit comes to the Dakota

 

 
By Robin James
Contributing Writer

 

For one-night only on September 11 (sets at 7 & 9) at the Dakota, jazz fans are in for a rare treat with a performance featuring the United Trumpet Summit consisting of some of today’s most respected and celebrated modern trumpet players including Randy Brecker, Eddie Henderson, Jeremy Pelt, and Leon Jordan, Jr.

You may recall trumpeter Randy Brecker performed with the JazzMN orchestra not long ago, and Jeremy Pelt appeared at the Artists’ Quarter a few years back. It’s good to welcome them back to the Twin Cities in a whole new setting. Brecker is the brother of the late influential saxophonist Michael Brecker. The versatile musician is at home playing everything from jazz, and rock, to R&B. And like Pelt, Brecker also played with the Mingus Big Band. Continue Reading →

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When good people essentially do nothing

Power, politics, and policy and the influence they have over African American people
 

Abraham Lincoln once stated, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” I say nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, educate him on the tools needed to empower his people and watch to see what he does with it! In the 1920s, African American neighborhoods all over the United States were in vogue. Jazz artists such as Jelly Roll Morton, Dizzy Gillespie and Duke Ellington were soothing the souls of Americans everywhere. Harlem, New York was experiencing what we now call the “Harlem Renaissance Era.” Great literature, art, poetry, music, and Black-owned businesses filled the streets of Harlem. Black folks had taken their claim to America despite the race tensions, and business was good! Continue Reading →

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Wu-Tang Clan founder’s new film a ‘dream come true’

RZA becomes a director with The Man with the Iron Fists

 

By Demetairs Bell

Contributing Writer

 

Wearing the triple crown in his feature film debut as a director, co-writer and leading man, RZA, the founder of the Wu-Tang Clan, gives you The Man with the Iron Fists, a movie he describes as “an action-packed adventure about brotherhood and loyalty.” He also says, “There’s humor and drama in the film.”

Those that have followed RZA and the Wu-Tang Clan know he’s a fan of kung fu films, he told me some of his favorites include Godfather of Hong Kong, Fists of Double K and Five Deadly Venoms. As a music producer for the Wu-Tang Clan he mixed in sound effects from kung fu films creating his groundbreaking signature sound. The Man with the Iron Fists is a story of warriors, assassins and a lone hero whose paths collide in a village in China where they battle for a fortune in gold and to win the heart of a love interest. Calling this project “a dream come true,” RZA stated this was something he has been determined to get out to moviegoers for quite a while. He began his film career acting in the 1999 cult classic Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. RZA has had a number of supporting roles over the years, most notably as a detective in American Gangster opposite Denzel Washington. Continue Reading →

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