Chris Thomson, saxophones
Park Evans, guitar
Brian Courage, bass
Jay Epstein, drums
Brian Courage is a bassist and composer originally from Long Island, NY. Courage moved to Minneapolis in 2012 after finishing his studies at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton, WI. In the Twin Cities, Brian became more than a first-call sideman, joining forces with other (mostly) young artists to lead or co-lead some of the most exciting ensembles in town. In addition to his Courageous Endeavors and Mountain King (three-bass) ensembles, Brian performed with the No Coast Quintet, Dave Karr Quartet, a trio with Pat Moriarty and Ellen Lease, the Pete Whitman X-Tet, Gypsy Mania, the John Raymond Quartet and Peter Kogan Group, as well as with many area vocalists and such visiting artists as Lew Tabackin, David Hazeltine, J.D. Allen, and Walter Smith III. Since his return to New York City in fall 2014, Brian has performed at several venues around Brooklyn and Manhattan as a member of the Chris Misch-Bloxdorf Dectet. – Andrea Canter, Jazz PoliceFind out more »
“Daddy Squeeze” has been playing offbeat accordion music since 1987, when he won the Nebraska State Accordion Contest at the Czech Festival in Wilber, Nebraska. He has used the squeeze box for playing all kinds of music not normally associated with free-reed instruments, as well as standard accordion material.
Daddy Squeeze also enjoys mixing up styles and genres that don’t generally seem compatible. “Music out of context”, or “Ethno-clectic Bop” is the result of his gender-bending experiments with Celtic, Tex-Mex, Creole, Blues, Jazz, Scandinavian, Polka and pop music.Find out more »
Katz and Dogs is an organic mix of jive, jazz and soul with compositions ranging from Katz’s off-beat originals to covers of Slim Gaillard and Oscar Brown Jr. When the vibe is right, you may even hear a spontaneous original or two inspired by Brian Eno’s Oblique Strategy Cards.
Steve Katz, bass/vocals
Peter Vircks, saxophone
Matt Darling, trombone
Park Evans, guitar
Ken Goldman, drums
As a teenager growing up in rural southern Michigan, Lonesome Dan Kase happened upon a radio show called the “Blues Cruise,” broadcast out of Ann Arbor. Although he had picked up the guitar a year or so before, when he began hearing artists like Reverend Gary Davis and Robert Johnson, he quickly became hooked on the country blues.
Lonesome Dan’s live performances showcase both his unique finger-picking style and dynamic vocals as well as his depth of knowledge of the history of the blues and related forms.. If you catch a live performance, you’re bound to walk away with some interesting tidbits about known artists like Blind Lemon Jefferson or more obscure performers like Funny Papa Smith. Lonesome Dan’s trusted companions are his hand built Kopp K-35 6-string and his 1935 National played bottleneck/slide style.
Lonesome Dan Kase continues to play his unique brand of blues in and around Minnesota. However, his desire to experience other parts of the country still takes him out on the road. Dan has put out 4 solo cds as well as 2 with Crush Collision Trio and one with 32-20 Jug Band. His most recent cd, “So Glad I’m Livin’,” was released in early 2009.Find out more »
Jay Young is one of the Twin Cities’ ‘first call’ bassists. He is a freelance performer and educator involved in a vast array of projects, working with national and international artists. He has performed at the Guthrie Theater, Ordway Center, Illusion, and Penumbra Theatre. Jay has also been a featured performer at the Lincoln Center, Juilliard School, Boston Symphony Hall, The Blue Note, Umbra (Italy), Espoo (Finland), and Tejo (Portugal). He has shared the stage with Ray Brown, James Moody, Dizzy Gillespie, T.S. Monk, Grover Washington Jr., Dave Brubeck, Ron Carter, Buster Williams, Bobby Lyle, Eddie Daniels, the Minnesota Orchestra, Omaha Symphony, Phil Upchurch, Jennifer Holiday, Harry Connick Jr., Jay Leno, Paul Bollenbeck, Reverend Al Green, Bobby McFerrin, Jefferson Starship, Carole King, and Ray Charles, Kevin Mahogany, Joe Lovano, Ernie Watts, Tim Ries, Sony Holland, Marvin “Smitty” Smith, and many others.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 »
One of the great soul and blues singers in the Twin Cities, Willie Walker has lent his sweet tenor voice to a number of high-profile projects, yet still remains one of the region’s best kept secrets.
Walker’s music comes from a different time, a different place and a different point of view. He’s one of the few vocalists from the golden age of soul that is still standing and that can still sing.
His new group, We “R,” will feature all of the soul classics you know and love, done in Walker’s own inimitable style.Find out more »
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.
Vocalist and composer Kavita Shah makes work in deep engagement with the jazz tradition, while also addressing and advancing its global sensibilities. A lifelong New Yorker of Indian origin hailed for possessing an “amazing dexterity for musical languages” (NPR), Shah incorporates her ethnographic research on Brazilian, West African, and Indian musical traditions into her original repertoire. She was named Downbeat’s Best Graduate Jazz Vocalist in 2012 and won the ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composers Award in 2013. Shah’s second album, Interplay, is a program of standards and originals in duet with bassist François Moutin – with special appearances by pianist Martial Solal and NEA Jazz Master Sheila Jordan, Shah’s mentor.
Francois Moutin was born in Paris. His early interest in music was encouraged by his parents. At age 5, Francois began studying guitar, then piano by age 11. The acoustic bass became his most lasting passion as a teenager. Also studying mathematics and physics, Francois received a college degree in engineering and earned a doctorate in physics at the age of 24. Then he elected to become a professional musician.
Three years later, as a member of the legendary Martial Solal Trio, Francois was recognized as one of the finest young bass players in Europe. At 29, he began co-leading the Quintet Moutin with his twin brother Louis, a top echelon jazz drummer. This project has evolved into the Moutin Reunion Quartet. In November 1997, Francois moved his base to New York, where he has found steady work in live performance and studio sessions with the premier artists on the New York jazz Scene.Find out more »
Steven Hobert describes himself as a soul who plays, sings and dances while exploring life’s mysteries. His genre-blending piano, accordion and vocal music has been described as “delightful, innovative and viscerally inspiring” that “dazzles audiences with sincerity and playfulness to open up hearts and fire imaginations.” Based out of Minneapolis, he tours as a soloist, leads the world beat-driven ensemble FireFlyForest, performs with the chamber-jazz ensemble Lulu’s Playground (accordion, trumpet, guitar and cello), and works as a free-lance producer, composer and instrumentalist for countless shows with vocalists and ensembles doing jazz, klezmer, sacred music, Americana, classical, rock and Latin American music.
Through his authentic and vulnerable expression, Steven aims to be a musical vehicle to spark inspiration, compassionate connection, and facilitate community & healing.Find out more »