Belle Amour is a world class jazz band that captures the essence of the era with a look and sound that connects the audience to the music in a fun and engaging way. Belle Amour is comprised of classically trained professional musicians. Members of Belle Amour have toured nationally and internationally with acclaimed artists. Music performance is our way of communicating with the world around us.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 »
Lady Lark is a local Minneapolis artist reviving a sound that echoes 20 years of pop, soul and funk music. 89.3 The Current has called her “a pop/soul star to be” with “that 90’s R&B heat.” Her infectious hooks are wrapped in danceable beats that add a modern twist to a familiar groove. If you love to dance, Lark Lark will make your body move!Find out more »
Earthy, emotive soul music from a stunning new talent. Accompanying herself on guitar and piano, Mayyadda performs original songs alongside others she loves, creating an arresting, heartfelt effect. Get drawn into Mayyadda’s musical world, and hear the future of contemporary R&B.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 »
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.
Fuzzy Math is a new Twin Cities-based band featuring original eclectic jazz & creative covers. They were named to Best of MN list in 2012 (“best jazz act for people bored with jazz”).
Larry Englund of KFAI writes: “Pianist/composer Mark Vandermyde has created a great little CD entitled Fuzzy Math, featuring original, contemporary material that swings quite nicely, with traces of Latin and world music. He’ll be accompanied by Andrew Schwandt, sax; Matt Peterson, bass; and Haralds Bondaris, drums. If you’re up for a late night show, this will be the place to be.”Find out more »
Kevin Gastonguay has a B.A. in music performance from McNally Smith College of Music. For the past 8 years he has been very active in the Minneapolis music scene, performing nonstop with his own original groups and as a sideman for many of the top musicians in town. With a hunger to understand harmony and improvisation and a determination to master rhythm and feel, Kevin has become one of the most versatile and busiest keyboardists in the Twin Cities.
Kevin teaches at McNally Smith College of Music, Modern Day Music, and Minnesota Valley Conservatory of Music.Find out more »
Will Kjeer, piano
Kenny Horst, drums
Billy Peterson, bass
At 20 years-old and already an acclaimed performer on the Twin Cities jazz scene, pianist and composer Will Kjeer has not constrained his resume to his home state. He has performed as a bandleader and sideman around the U.S. and in Canada at venues in the Twin Cities (Artists Quarter, Vieux Carre’, Jazz Central, Studio Z, Black Dog, Icehouse), at the Twin Cities and Iowa City Jazz Festivals, and at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington DC, the Lighthouse Cafe in Los Angeles, and the Upstairs Jazz Club in Montreal, Quebec.
Will attended high school at the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, later completed a post-high school program at Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan before beginning his performance degree at the California Institute of the Arts, and now continuing at McGill University. Before high school graduation, he played piano with the Dakota Combo for two years, spent a year with the Minnesota Youth Jazz Bands, and was Youth Artist in Residence for the PipJazz Foundation. He’s also a three-year member of Steve Kenny’s Group 47 and founding member of Hoaxer. Will has been invited to participate in international and competitively-selected programs, including Ravinia’s Steans Music Institute in 2016 and the 2017 class of Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead. He has been fortunate to learn from mentors such as Billy Childs, Jason Moran, Rufus Reid, Reuben Rogers, Xavier Davis, and Ralph Peterson. He currently studies with acclaimed international pianist Jean-Michel Pilc. – Andrea CanterFind 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 »