Jon Pemberton is a Minneapolis/St. Paul based jazz musician, enjoying an active career as trumpeter, pianist, teacher and composer. Jon was born in the small town of Fergus Falls, Minnesota where his interest in music was evident at an early age.
Jon began a career in private teaching (brass and piano) which lasts to this day. He has taught thousands of students, many of whom perform in the area’s top youth orchestras, and some of whom have gone on to their own professional careers. Jon also began his performance career after graduating from college. In these years he focused on the trumpet, landing sideman gigs with many of the area’s top bands and musicians. In addition, Jon has formed his own jazz quintets, The PemberTones and Tribute to Lee Morgan.Find out more »
Joel Shapira is a top performing classical and jazz guitarist based in the Twin Cities. His educational background includes studies with some of the world’s greatest players and teachers including jazz legends Joe Pass, Tal Farlow and Gene Bertoncini, as well as master classical instructor Alan Johnston. A native of St. Paul, Joel attended Berklee School of Music in Boston and The Mannes School of Music in New York City where he lived, performed and taught for eight years.Find out more »
Are you tired of the same old holiday music? Do not worry! Twisted and odd holiday tunes from the CD “Angels, Kings, My Favorite Things” make up the first set, but as Andrea Canter noted, this is “not your mother’s holiday album.” Expect a mix of music from Bill Evans, Coltrane, Beethoven, Mr. McGoo, Paul Simon, Ornette Coleman, Shakers, and the Middle East, along with uncommon meters, harmonies and rhythms. LMQ also will perform a new arrangement of “It’s Love, It’s Christmas,” a rarely performed piece written by jazz pianist Bill Evans, based on a copy of the original Evans’ manuscript given to Larry McDonough by Evans’ widow, Nenette Zazzara.
The second set will include material from LMQ’s other shows, with a mix of Tony Bennett, La Marseillaise, Spinal Tap, Brubeck, Sting, Clapton, Led Zeppelin and originals. Where else can you go for the holidays and get Bill Evans, Mr. McGoo, and Led Zeppelin? That would be nowhere!
* * *
Larry McDonough is a St. Paul jazz pianist and singer, performing around the world and recording with his group the Larry McDonough Quartet as well as solo, and in duos and trios. He has performed with legendary saxophonist and composer Benny Golson, Trombonist Fred Wesley, and trumpeter Duane Eubanks, as well as a who’s who of local jazz artists, and was inducted into the Minnesota Rock Country Hall of Fame for his work in the group Danny’s Reasons. He has released eight CDs and DVDs as a leader, including “Simple Gifts,” which reached number 29 on the CMJ Jazz Chart and has been played on hundreds of stations around the country and throughout the world. He also is a lawyer and law professor selected by William Mitchell College of Law as one of “100 Who Made a Difference” over the 100-year history of the school. Larry directs pro bono legal services for the poor at Dorsey & Whitney.
Find out more »
Singer/songwriter Rena Haus rolls folk music, blues, and jazz into unforgettable performances that are somehow always intimate no matter the venue. Her music is like the sound track of our common human experience, creating a personal connection with her audience. She draws listeners close with her unassuming talent and absolute sincerity, whether playing solo, in an acoustic duo with John Wilber, or with her trio consisting of Ed Pesche on electric guitar and brother Bob Haus on the fretless bass.
Rena left a very successful musical career in Phoenix to help save her family’s 1881 homestead farm. Minnesota music lovers have benefited greatly, for in addition to performing in many venues around the state, she’s been heard on NPR’s “Prairie Home Companion” and “Car Talk” (The Mechanic’s Tune) as well as radio stations KFAI, KUMD, and KVSC. She’s played with, or opened shows for, artists like Chico Chisum, Marc Cohn, Iris Dement, Alison Krauss, Spider John Koerner, Maria Muldaur, Loudon Wainright III, and at least a dozen other artists you’d recognize.
Like the late, great, Dave Ray said, “This chick can pick!”.Find out more »
“Berets and Bongos” describes the Café Accordion experience. A loungy, eclectic mix, full of French flare, Latin heat and Bohemian attitude. The heart of the Café Accordion repertoire is the romantic, gypsy-influenced valse-musette. The group complements the musettes with swing, ballads, tangos, cha chas, rumbas, and cumbias to create a wonderfully varied show. They inject their music with good humor and expressive abandon. Their high level of musicianship and passion for performance makes them an entertaining concert act as well as a great dance band.
CAO is led by Dan Newton on accordion and vocals, with Eric Mohring on mandolin, violin and vocals, Erik Lillestol on bass and vocals, Robert Bell on guitar and vocals and Joe Steinger on percussion. CAO has been delighting audiences and dancers alike since 1995. They have appeared in New York at the Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing series, the International Akkordeon Festival in Vienna, Austria, the Minnesota State Fair, as well as festivals, theaters and dance halls across the United States.Find out more »
Harmonica whiz Harold Tremblay started playing harmonica in high school. Upon moving to Minnesota, he hooked up with the great Twin Cities blues player Curtis Blake (Sonny Rodgers Harp player on his Handy Award winning “Big Leg Woman”) to hone his harp chops.
Harold founded Cool Disposition with players who have backed up the best- Mojo Buford, Baby Doo Caston, John Lee Hooker, Sonny Rodgers and many of the touring greats. Cool Disposition competed at the 2007 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Harold returned to the IBC in 2011 in the Solo Duo category with Jeff Ray.
Tremblay always has several projects going on. This All-Star revue will feature some of the best blues players in the Twin Cities.
Harold hosts a blues/roots radio show at KFAI Radio. “Harold’s House Party” airs Wednesdays from 4-6pm.Find out more »
Patty and The Buttons preach the gospel of hot rhythm and happy feet. The band is similar to what you would find in a dance hall, cafe or nightclub anywhere around the world between 1920-1940. Despite being an ensemble firmly rooted in tradition, the band presents their music without being shackled to history. They play their own compositions as well as takes on music of the era.
Patty’s eclectic taste gives the band diverse influences including New Orleans traditional jazz, western swing, Gypsy melodies, ragtime piano blues, jug music and 1930′s popular song. The core instrumentation of accordion, clarinet, guitar and bass is light and swift, but also melancholic and lush when it needs to be.
Patty, mostly known as an accordionist, doubles as the band’s vocalist. His voice is inspired most by the old time hollers and croons from the dawn of recording once described as “Tom Waits meets Rudy Vallee.” More than anything, The Buttons is a group that is always enjoying themselves… Which seems to give audiences permission to do the same.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.
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.