Summer fun: Twin Cities Jazz Festival & more

Pianist Matthew Whitaker
Courtesy of Twin Cities Jazz Festival

It’s about that time again—time for the Twin Cities Jazz Festival 2022. This year’s festival takes place on June 24-25 in Mears Park located in St. Paul’s Lowertown. 

Headliners include the Matthew Whitaker Quintet (June 24 at 8:30 pm), Emmet Cohen Trio with Bruce Harris (June 24 at 6 pm), Treme Brass Band (June 25 at 8:30 pm), Brandon Goldberg Quintet featuring Marcus Strickland, Josh Evans, Ben Wolfe, and Aaron Kimmel, (June 25 at 6 pm), Bruce Henry and The Evolution of African American Music (June 25 at 4 pm), and the Zacc Harris Group (June 25 at 2 pm). 

The TC Jazz Fest is free and open to the public and is one of the biggest music events in the Upper Midwest. The festival attracts hundreds of thousands of people from all around. Food and beverage options will also be available on-site. 

Whitaker is a piano prodigy. The Treme Brass Band hails from New Orleans. A full festival schedule will be made available closer to the event. For more information, visit twincitiesfestival.com. 

More hot jazz on the horizon

The summer is just getting started, but it’s never too early to start planning ahead for the end of the summer.  

The Detroit Jazz Festival has announced its 2022 lineup. This year’s performing artists include Chucho Valdes, Bill Frisell, Jose James, Dianne Reeves and John Scofield and the New Orleans Groove Masters, among others. 

The festival takes place during Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 2-5, in Hart Plaza and Campus Martius Park. Performances will also be livestreamed for free via live.detroitjazzfest.org. 

Saxophonist Kamasi Washington and pianist Herbie Hancock are co-headlining a tour this summer. So far only 10 shows are planned beginning with a date in Vienna, Virginia. The tour will tentatively close on Aug. 23 in Berkeley, California. Other tour stops include the Newport Jazz Festival, Seattle, Detroit, Toronto, Portland, and Philadelphia. 

Washington and Hancock will no doubt make beautiful music together, so let’s hope some new music springs forth from this dynamic collaboration. Speaking of new music, Cuban-American pianist Martin Bejerano has a new album out titled “Yo No Bailo.” In English the title translates to “I Don’t Dance.”

Legendary saxophonist Charles Lloyd will release “Trio of Trios,” a series of three albums featuring different trio settings. Blue Note Records will release the albums individually, and they can also be pre-ordered exclusively on the US Blue Note Store as a 3 LP vinyl boxset. 

The one that most interests me is titled “Chapel,” with guitarist Bill Frisell and bassist Thomas Morgan. Frisell and Morgan sound great together and will sound even better with Lloyd. 

Pianist Joey Alexander has a new album out on the Mack Avenue Records label titled “Origin.” It’s Alexander’s first record of all original material, which is something because if you’ve heard him perform some of his originals live, you’ll enjoy this album. His original material is as vivid and compelling as a veteran musician with new music. 

Saxophonist Kenny Garrett is on the cover of the JazzTimes magazine. Garrett talks about his album “Sounds from the Ancestors.” His label Mack Avenue won the Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Award for Record Label of the Year. The June JazzTimes issue also features an interview with writer David Fricke. 

Upcoming at the Dakota, look out for jazz vocalist Samara Joy on June 25. She won the 2019 Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Competition and is currently touring to support new music released in 2021. It’s been said that her sound is both contemporary and classic. 

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