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 »
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 »
Ted Godbout is a pianist, composer, and educator based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He holds a B.A. in Music-Piano Performance from St. John’s University and an M.M. in Jazz Studies from the University of Oregon. A versatile and active musician, Ted performs frequently as a jazz pianist and classical accompanist, as well in funk, R&B, and rock bands. He has performed with such notable artists and groups as Ron Miles, Mark Colby, and the Harry James Orchestra, and has been a featured soloist in the Music Northwest Chamber Music Series in Seattle, WA and the St. Cloud Symphony Honors Concert in St. Cloud, MN.Find out more »
Katia Cardenas is a jazz and R&B vocalist in the Twin Cities, recognized for her radiant energy, impeccable range, and dynamic and powerful voice. Releasing her debut EP in Spring 2016, she has been performing locally since 2014 at many local respected venues, including Crooners Lounge, Jazz Central Studios, Vieux Carré and Dakota Jazz Club. She grew up in the Pacific Northwest in a musical family, and was raised on jazz, funk, and R&B. She moved to Sacramento, California in 2000, where she received a Waldorf education, which instilled in her a deep appreciation and passion for music. Katia came to the Twin Cities in 2006 to attend Macalester College, where she performed regularly in a cappella groups and other bands. After graduating, music was just a side note for a few years as she pursued a career in acting and theater education. But in 2013, she realized the significant lack of music in her life, and needed to make a change.
Making music in the Twin Cities has been a family tradition ever since her father, Mark Cardenas, joined The Time in 1983, appearing in Prince’s iconic film “Purple Rain,” and later playing in Jessie Johnson’s Revue. Her mother, singer-songwriter Janis Kelly, also began her music career here at that time. While the family left MN before she was born, Katia’s emergence on the local music scene in 2014 has not gone unnoticed. Deemed “one of the fastest rising stars on the Twin Cities jazz scene,” Jazz Police also called her “a young but veteran vocalist who can cover Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, yet is equally adept at modern folk/pop/blues,” while Rhythm & Grooves (KFAI 90.6) says, “Katia Cardenas has the pipes to get over an R&B tune, but also has the instincts and subtlety to handle jazz standards.”
Since her debut Twin Cities performance in February 2014, she has collaborated with numerous local musicians, exploring different musical styles, including jazz, latin, R&B, and pop. She has also joined Casablanca Orchestra (CBO), the Midwest’s premiere show band. Katia is passionate about creating community around the arts and has engaged with numerous local artist networks including Jazz Central Studios, Twin Cities Cabaret Artists Network (TCCAN), Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education, and Minnesota Music Coalition. As an actor and administrator, she also works with local theater companies Teatro Del Pueblo, Pangea World Theater and TigerLion Arts. The people she’s met through the Twin Cities arts and music community are a huge part of where she is today; they are a constant inspiration, and reminder to pursue her dreams.Find out more »
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 »
Listening to Miss Myra and The Moonshiners is like taking a swig of Tennessee’s finest moonshine; it’s smooth, with a kick. The Moonshiners deliver the sultriest mix of vintage jazz and barrelhouse blues and nothing but the highest proof tunes can satisfy Miss Myra’s soul. She belts melodies hearkening back to the roots of America’s original art form, invoking the powerful vocals of Bessie Smith with the silkiness of Lil Green, while the talented instrumentalists in her band shine through with the perfect accompaniment.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 »
At Vieux Carré, every last Friday of the month is the Best Friday Ever! The Southside Aces sextet plays a century’s worth of New Orleans jazz. They travel from Louis Armstrong to Jelly Roll Morton to Preservation Hall, with stops along the way at Duke Ellington and Bix Beiderbecke. From Buddy Bolden to Lady Gaga! What?! You heard right. That’s why this is the Best Friday Ever.
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 »
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 »
Dahlia is an up and coming actress and R&B/gospel artist who was born and raised in Minneapolis. What you will discover from Dahlia’s music is that although she sings about things happening around her, she takes her music and sings her songs through a biblical world view. She has backgrounds in many artistic outlets like Classical choir music, and is a very seasoned musical theater actress. Dahlia was also featured on AMERICAN IDOL’s final season.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.