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.
The Selby Avenue Brass Band is a relatively new voice in the Minneapolis / St. Paul music scene. The group is led by Tom Wells, tubist, arranger & composer and music educator in the Twin Cities area. Tom’s compositions and arrangement fuel a band comprised of enthusiastic and experienced musicians (including a couple of Grammy winners). While our musical roots come from the streets of New Orleans we expand from that genre into many others.Find out more »
Guitarist Zacc Harris is gaining a reputation as one of the hardest working guitarists in town. He has been presenting his original music in a number of different ensembles, each one striking and unique: the multi-meter melodies of the Atlantis Quartet, bebop sounds or classic organ groove music with CounterClockWise or Vital Organ, a six-piece Thelonious Monk tribute a la Paul Motian’s Electric Bebop Band Monk in Motian, and more.
Jazz Improv magazine says, “Harris delivers a sound that is lucid, clear… providing righ-sounding accompaniment, and well-crafted solos” while Cadence magazine calls some of Harris’ work on Atlantis Quartet’s most recent album “worthy of John McLaughlin.” MPR News states, “Harris makes his own mark on standards with enough new hooks to keep jazz alive.”Find out more »
The Dollys features three of Minneapolis’ most sought after female vocalists: Joanna Jahn, Kari Shaw-Akers and Megan Shaw. Harmonizing to the music of The Trio: EmmyLou Harris, Dolly Parton and Linda Rondstadt and many other female country artists of the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. The Dollys also perfom folk and americana hits of the past, which they love to put their own spin on. Together these ladies bring their collective talents to the stage and the results are harmonies so tight you’ll swear you’re live at the Grand ‘Ol Opry!
All three ladies are constantly working on their crafts through side projects, solo projects and collaborations. While The Dollys take their music seriously, their shows are celebrations. Their unique, heart-stopping sound is both familiar and eye opening, thrilling audiences and media alike. Sure, Emmy Lou Harris, Linda Ronstadt and other matriarch’s of America’s music wrote the songs, but The Dollys rebuild these masterpieces with a loving hand and a respectful eye towards tradition and joy.
The Dollys consider themselves lucky ladies to have such talented and experienced musicians backing them up. A “who’s-who” of Twin Cities musicians complete The Dollys: Nick Salisbury on bass (Ryan Bingham, Sonny Knight and the Lakers, Love Songs for Angry Men and Shalo Lee). Blair Krivanek on Lead Guitar (Sonny Knight And The Lakers, Sarah Streitz and Percy Strother), Shane Akers on Dobro and Lap Steel (Reina Del Cid, Sarah Morris, Doug Otto & The Getaways and Chuck Suchy), Richard Medek on Drums/Percussion (Erik Koskinen, Twilight Hours, Wits and Alternate Routes.) and Peter J. Sands on piano and accordion (Honeydogs, Hookers $ Blow),Find out more »
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 »
Adam Meckler- Trumpet
Ted Godbout- Piano
Evan Clark – Tuba
Trevor Haining- Drums
From New Orleans in the teens to the New York in the 20’s, from Chicago in the 30’s to Kansas City in the 40’s; Franklin’s Revival channels the excitement, talent, and curiosity that created jazz in 20th century America into a fascinating blend of music at every show.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 »
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.
Maryann Sullivan’s passion for jazz began at an early age, when her father, a local trumpeter, played his jazz records in their home. She studied music in college, and played flute and saxophone in the Augsburg Jazz program under the direction of James “Doc” Carlson.
Sullivan has been an on-air radio personality in the Twin Cities since the 1980s. She has worked in a variety of radio formats and settings. Her jazz broadcasting career began when she worked at KTWN-108 in Anoka, the first full time jazz radio station in the Twin Cities area. She went on to broadcast jazz at several stations, including KTCJ, KTWN’s “The Breeze” new-age jazz satellite radio network, and KTWN Video as a jazz video host.
Sullivan is also an established voice-over professional, and has worked since 1981 on thousands of voice over engagements, including industrial show narration, audio books, telephone systems, and advertisements. Her client list numbers in the hundreds.Find out more »