James on Jazz: ‘Jazz Noir,’ JT’s Jazz Implosion & The Nicollet jazz night


JamesOnJazzsquareWhat’s happening next in the Twin Cities on the jazz front? Below, a few hot happenings around town.


10923303_1538994943018792_9050124125938720453_nIf you missed saxophonist James Jimmy-apolis Wallace play at the hot and relatively new Friday night jazz spot at The Nicollet (located at 1913 Nicollet Avenue, in Minneapolis), don’t fret! There are plenty of great performances coming up around town to help you savor the rest of Jazz Appreciation Month and beyond. Next at Friday Night Jazz at The Nicollet is Framework, consisting of Chris Olson, Jay Epstein, Chris Bates on May 1.


6295214On Saturday, April 25, vocalist Ginger Commodore will lend her powerful vocals for a Tribute to Stevie Wonder at the Dakota Jazz Club at 8 pm. Commodore will share the stage with special guest Julius Collins. $12 cover. Go here for ticket info.


downloadAnd speaking of the hot and popular Nicollet Avenue area, drummer JT Bates, a local mainstay musician (father is trumpeter/bandleader Don Bates) plays Monday nights at Icehouse  (located at 2528 Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis). Look out for JT’s Jazz Implosion featuring pianist Bryan Nichols, and Brandon Wozniak this Monday, April 27 starting at 9:30 p.m.

Wozniak also plays with the Eric Kamau Gravatt Quartet, and you may have heard him play at Orchestra Hall’s Jazz in the Target Atrium as part of the Atrium Jazz Ensemble.

JT’s older brother, Chris Bates is involved in the jazz noir inspired radio drama situatednoir at Vieux Carré in the historic Hamm Building located downtown St. Paul (formerly the Artists’ Quarter) on Sunday, April 26th.

Jazz Noir presents Morning Follows Night is an original radio drama set in late 1940’s that, according to the press release, explores the dark and “cut-throat 24-karat jazz clubs of the Near North Side to the mint movie houses of Minneapolis as the lines blur between fiction and reality in this violent game of blackmail, greed and revenge.”

mornignfollowsnight_hometourad_copy_2The radio drama was written by award-winning playwrights Christina Ham, Dominic Orlando and Josh Wilder, with an original score composed and performed by Bates, Steven Hobert and Solomon Parham. The cast also includes, Ansa Akyea, Bruce Bohne, Jane Froiland, Carolyn Pool, Eric Sharp and Edwin Strout.

An international audience is expected to tune-in for the live broadcast at Jazz88 KBEM 88.5 FM starting at 8 pm, and the radio station is hosting this original radio drama series in front of a live audience, direct from Vieux Carré. Showtimes are scheduled for 5 and 8 pm, though only the 8 pm performance will be broadcast live on Jazz 88.5 FM. Tickets are $25 and available at www.jazz88fm.com.

The Playwrights’ Center and American Composers Forum partnered to assist with the call and jury process for the writers and composers for this Jazz Noir production. Jazz Noir is made possible through funding provided by the Minnesota Arts & Cultural Heritage Legacy Fund.