As a bandleader, composer, and sideman, Chris Lomheim is an integral part of the vibrant Twin Cities jazz scene.
“…unquestionably one of the finest piano trio recordings on the jazz landscape today.” – All About Jazz review of Chris’s latest recording, Timeline
As leader of the Chris Lomheim Trio he has produced 3 CD’s: And You’ve Been Waiting? (1994) featuring all original compositions, The Bridge (2002) featuring a mix of originals and a handful of standards, and Timeline (2014) featuring all originals. Chris was nominated best pianist in the 1997 Minnesota Music Awards, and was awarded the Minnesota State Arts Board “Artist Initiative” Grant for 2014.
My name is Phil Aaron. I’m an emmy-winning composer and musician based in Minneapolis, MN. As co-owner of Aaron | Stokes Music + Sound, I’ve spent the last 18 years composing for film, television and advertising. While my days are devoted to composing, you can find me on many nights and weekends playing jazz piano at the best jazz clubs in the Twin Cities.
I love to compose for moving pictures. I love to play jazz. This is what I do.Find out more »
Joyce Lyons is part singer, actress and comedian. Reared in Gaithersburg, Maryland, she found her way to Colorado Women’s College where she studied with one of Durango’s favorite musicians, Tom MacCluseky. After college, Joyce headed to New York City, where she trod the streets for work; a little waitressing (very little), a little office work (more than a very little), a lot of singing and acting to boot.
Joyce worked with some of New York’s finest musicians, from the exquisite writings of Dick Lieb, to the spellbinding arrangements of Lee Musiker and the auspicious and ever playful lyrics of bass accompanist Jay Leonhart. A proponent of the “lyric is everything,” Joyce began her master class at Fort Lewis College several years ago at the suggestion of Mr. MacCluskey. “There is no greater joy than when a student ‘gets it!’ “When they have connected to something deep inside and bring it forth in their performance.”
Leaving NYC in late 2009, Joyce has continued her musical/theatrical journey to the upper midwest of Minnesota, where she has developed a loyal following; performing at the renowned Dakota Jazz Club, the intimate Three Crows (where she packs the place), and is a new participant in the annual Twin Cities Jazz Festival.Find out more »
Rick Carlson taught himself to play the piano by studying the vast works of Count Basie and Duke Ellington and capitalizing on a long string of happy accidents. He has also perfected the art of “circular drinking”, whereby he can sip martinis uninterrupted while still playing a cohesive piano solo.
He has been the pianist for the Wolverines Big Band since 1980. He is a sought-after accompanist by singers and has served as pianist and musical director for various local concert series, including those for the Twin Cities Jazz Society’s “J To Z” series, the Capri Theater’s “Legends” series, and for special presentations at the Heights Theatre and performing arts centers across the United States. He has performed on concert stages in London and New York City, and has appeared with Count Basie drummer Butch Miles, trumpeter Warren Vaché, New Orleans clarinetist Evan Christopher, and served as musical director, arranger and pianist in the Guthrie Theater’s presentation of “Coward’s Women”. He has opened for Rosemary Clooney, accompanied Kathryn Crosby in various cabaret shows, and counts Madeleine Peyroux among his many unwitting fans.
Composer, arranger, producer, guitarist Dean Magraw has fine-tuned his “Heavy Meadow” approach to music from years of performing and recording with some of the finest musicians in the United States, Europe, and Japan. His first recording, Broken Silence, came out in 1994 and won the NAIRD award for Best Acoustic Instrumental Album of the Year.
Dean has since produced myriad passionate albums, including his latest release, Fire on the Nile (Red House Records), a duo collaboration with renowned percussionist, Eric Kamau Gravatt.
“Dean Magraw… so liquid, lyrical and effortless it’s like listening to a dancer.” -Steve Tibbetts
“Dean Magraw unveils soulful melodic grooves intricately designed to heal the broken dancer, confuse the boldest mathematician, and eradicate ennui in our lifetime.” -Nick LethertFind out more »
In a career spanning over 45 years, pianist and clarinetist Butch Thompson has earned a world-wide reputation as a traditional jazz and ragtime master. He tours widely as a soloist or at the helm of any of his several ensembles, including his well-known Butch Thompson Trio, his eight-piece Jazz Originals band, the Butch Thompson Big Three, or his unique blues duo with fingerstyle guitarist Pat Donohue.
In 1974, he joined the staff as the house pianist of public radio’s A Prairie Home Companion. By 1980, the show was nationally syndicated, and the Butch Thompson Trio was the house band, a position the group held for the next six years.
In addition to extensive touring (he has traveled the world from Cairo to Tokyo) as a soloist and with his trio and 8-piece Jazz Originals Band, he finds time to write and teach. His writing has appeared in various magazines including Down Beat and The Mississippi Rag, and among his teaching credits are residencies at the American University in Cairo and the New England Conservatory of Music.Find out more »
Pushing Chain, a folky-tonk duo from Minnesota’s north shore, features Boyd Blomberg on guitar and vocals and Adam Moe on fiddle and vocals. Their Americana-roots sound has been winning them fans across the Midwest.Find out more »
Ashley is masterful in her presentation of subtleties and sass, mixing fluidly with guitarist Dayton Brock, and fellow band members. Her jazz-infused take on indie-folk will draw you in with her complex writing style, and smooth vocal stylings will leave your musical mind enchanted and ears wanting more.
With memorable melodies and lyrics that come from the heart of a raconteur, Rachelle rides the line between indie-folk and indie-pop. Her relatable writing style will conjure memories from your past, and speak truth into your present. Rachelle’s vocal quality is as rich and lilting as a cello, an instrument woven throughout her songs as a second voice. Her harmonies are brought to life by keyboardist and guitarist Andrew Frederick.Find out more »
Jeremy Walker is a prolific composer and pianist who started playing the saxophone at age ten in his hometown of Minneapolis, MN. He was the founder of the club Brilliant Corners – voted by Downbeat magazine as “One of the 100 Great Jazz Clubs Worldwide,” and co-founder of the non-profit organization Jazz is NOW!– which launched with the Wynton Marsalis Quintet and surprise guest, Itzhak Perlman.
In 2003, City Pages voted Walker “Best Local Impresario” for his “community-conscious” programming. Turning to piano and composition in 2005, Walker earned recognition including a Jerome Foundation Travel/Study grant, and collaborations with TU Dance and Zenon Dance Company. He has performed with Vincent Gardner, Marcus Printup, Ted Nash, Ron Miles, Matt Wilson, JT Bates, and other notable musicians. In addition to commissions, Walker has written over 70 compositions for his bands: Small City Trio, Boot Camp, BOXCAR featuring Wessell “Warmdaddy” Anderson and Anthony Cox, The NOWnet, and The Bootet.
In 2014, Walker released his most ambitious recording to date: 7 Psalms. The album was released in March 2014 on CD Baby, iTunes and Amazon and was listed in Star Tribune as one of the 2014 albums in the Twin Cities Critics Tally with Walker listed as one of the “Jazz Heros” in Jazz Police.
In October 2014, Minnesota Orchestra named Walker Curator of the new Jazz in the Target Atrium series at Orchestra Hall bringing together national musicians with the regional Atrium Jazz Ensemble.Find out more »
Hoaxer is an exciting new band featuring some of the area’s brightest young talents. Hoaxer focuses on a cohesive group concept, and plays original music from all four members.
Bassist Charlie Lincoln is currently attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston. A South High alum, Charlie was already a busy gigging musician before graduation, playing with the Dakota Combo, Central Standard Time, the Charles Lincoln Group, and subbing with Eric Gravatt’s Source Code. In his senior year, Charlie was selected as one of two winning youth songwriters in the Eric Stokes Songwriting Contest and was on stage for the Young Performers Showcase for the Zeitgeist New Music Cabaret. He performed with the Dave Brattain Trio as well as with Hoaxer during the 2016 Twin Cities Jazz Festival.
Saxophonist Peter Goggin graduated from Mounds View High School and is studying saxophone at the University of Michigan. In addition to Hoaxer, he has performed in other ensembles at Jazz Central and during the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Peter was a three-year member of the Dakota Combo.
Pianist Will Kjeer performed for two years with the Dakota Combo, attended the post-high school program at Interlochen Arts Academy, and spent a year studying jazz piano at Cal Arts. He is now heading to the jazz program at McGill University in Montreal. Will has led bands around town since his mid-teens and is an original member of Steve Kenny’s Group 47.
A graduate of St Paul Central High School, drummer Edmund Catlin attends McGill University in Montreal. During his summer break, he is curating a biweekly Friday night series at Jazz Central performing entire albums by Thelonious Monk. He’s also been an active member of the PipJazz Youth program.Find out more »
Nikki Roux & Rich Rue are the core members of the ongoing musical group, Nikki & The RueMates. Together, they express some of America’s great musical past through voice, guitar and songwriting in their interpretation of classic female blues tunes (by artists such as Bessie Smith and Memphis Minnie), 60’s-like electric guitar sounds, and lyrics that are thoughtful, dreamy, sultry and unguarded. Rich’s blistering slide guitar solos and Nikki’s melodious singing create an intimate, joyful and refreshing musical experience.Find out more »
Erica West is strong, confident, and sultry right out of the box. Her striking looks and mesmerizing vocals make an immediate impression on the senses. In a uniquely captivating way, Erica brings a beautiful fusion of soulful, R&B, pop, jazz and blues inspired melodies to the microphone. But do not let her silky vocals fool you. Erica’s vocal style is both powerful and sultry influenced by female vocalists such as Barbara Streisand, Whitney Houston, Sade, Nina Simone, Shirley Horn, Anita Baker, Sarah McLachlan, Lizz Wright, Goapele and Jill Scott.
Erica loves the true art of musicianship, lyrical content, beautiful melodies and music that demonstrates true emotional expression. With hypnotic phrasing, subtle shading, and a powerful range, she offers that emotional experience, holding you spellbound from the first note to the last. There’s a passion that vibrates off of her and raptures her audience. That makes it easier than ever to separate her from the rest.Find out more »