Stu Katz, vibraphone/piano
Chris Bates, bass
Dean Magraw, guitar
Jay Epstein, drums
Stu Katz has been a working jazz pianist and vibraphonist for more than 55 years.
Over his long career, he has performed in numerous public venues with young and old bebop luminaries including Gene Ammons, Kenny Burrell, Joey DeFrancesco, Dexter Gordon, Bunky Green, Roy Haynes, Milt Jackson, “Philly” Joe Jones, Clifford Jordan, Russell Malone, James Moody, Zoot Sims, Sonny Stitt, Ira Sullivan and Phil Woods.
Stu has played piano or vibes at the Snowmass Jazz Festival, in nine different Chicago Jazz Festivals and on six jazz-themed cruises on Norwegian Cruise Lines. In 1990, he toured Italy and Switzerland as the pianist in a quartet led by one of his principal long-time collaborators, alto saxophonist Bunky Green. In August, 2010, Stu played piano and vibes in a quintet co-led by his other principal long-time collaborator, multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan at Joe Segal’s Jazz Showcase in Chicago.Find out more »
Mumblin’ Drew grabs you by the ear and pulls you down a rabbit hole of traditional American music. He treks across the landscape from country-blues guitar and harmonica-driven old-time, to an eerie banjo number or a tin pan alley oddity. Countless hours of playing on street corners around the country has instilled a genuine approach into his performance. But no matter where he takes you, you won’t be guided astray.Find out more »
Southside Aces perform traditional New Orleans jazz. The band first began as the brainchild of Clarinetist Tony Balluff and Sousaphone player Erik Jacobson. Their whispers and rumors materialized in Tony’s foyer near Pillsbury and 27th in South Minneapolis, late August 2003. Since their first gig on a flatbed truck in Apple Valley, they’ve played weddings, festivals, clubs— “music furnished for all occasions.”
The Aces have self-produced and released five CDs: All Aboard!!, Bucktown Bounce, A Big Fine Thing, their Christmas album, Santaphone, and their latest, Second Thursday.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 »
Pat Mallinger was born and raised in St. Paul, MN and began playing the saxophone when he was 11. He received his Jazz Studies degree from North Texas State University on a “One O’Clock Lab Band Scholarship. He lived and performed in Los Angeles, Dallas, Boston, and Japan, before establishing Chicago as his home in 1990. He is a co-leader of Sabertooth, which has been the mainstay band at the Green Mill Lounge each Saturday night since 1992. He is also heard around Chicago, performing with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, Bobby Lewis Quintet, Art Hoyle Quintet, and the Pat Mallinger Quartet to name a few. Pat performs concerts and festivals nationally and internationally both as a band leader and side man.
Pat is the saxophone mentor in the Ravinia Jazz Mentor Program founded by Ramsey Lewis. Through the Ravinia program, since its inception in 1994, Pat has nurtured the talents of city youth through jazz performance and clinics within Chicago Public High Schools.
He also teaches in a similar capacity as a Jazz Mentor in Chicago Public schools with the Louis Armstrong Legacy Project and Celebration program created by Jon Faddis, Columbia College, and Chicago Jazz Ensemble.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.
Bryan Nichols, piano
Chris Bates, bass
J.T. Bates, drums
Bryan Nichols is a Minneapolis-based pianist and composer, working primarily in jazz and improvised music. He returned to the Twin Cities in 2005 after four busy years in Chicago where he played with jazz heavyweights like Nicole Mitchell, Ernest Dawkins, Von Freeman and Hamid Drake. Since returning to Minneapolis, he leads and composes for his own trio, his quintet and his large group, We Are Many. He also plays regularly with Gang Font, Kelly Rossum Quartet, James Buckley Trio, and Zacc Harris Quartet, in addition to being an in-demand freelancer. He teaches jazz piano at MacPhail Center for Music and University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, and he was also recently named artistic director of Jazz is NOW!, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit supporting regional music and composers.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 »
Hailed as “gently virtuosic” (All About Jazz), Maud Hixson is a devoted exponent of great songs, ranging from the classic Great American Songbook to the often unsung or forgotten compositions awaiting rediscovery.
Maud debuted her newest show, Skyscraper Wits, in London and New York in 2015, and released her latest recording, “Listening For Your Song”, in June, which features music from the pre-Songbook era.
Based in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Maud is the co-founder of the continental jazz sextet French 75 with clarinetist Tony Balluff. She made her Guthrie Theater debut in the Noel Coward revue Coward’s Women, and teamed with Sir Richard Rodney Bennett in 2012 for the long-running Midtown at Midday concert series at Saint Peter’s in Manhattan.
“Maud Hixson is one of the best, most sensitive and creative song stylists to come out of the pages of the Great American Songbook in the last decade. She has taste and sophistication, she is full of surprises, and boy can she sing!” – Rex Reed
“Her vocal style is so warm, intimate and compelling–it’s clear that she cares about the words and telling the story, with clarity and without artifice–practically a lost art these days.” – Michael FeinsteinFind out more »