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Jazz picks: from Impulso! to bolero and the poetry of Rilke

Whenever you create a calendar or directory, you’re certain to leave something out. I learned that the moment my "Free jazz" piece went up on MinnPost.

A reader emailed me wanting to know where the jazz jam sessions are. The only regular jam-type event I know about (as did he) is the Poets’ Groove Open Mic night at the Blue Nile on East Franklin, hosted by drummer Kevin Washington and hip-hop artist Desdamona. It happens on Tuesday nights starting around 10. Signups (for performers) start at 9.

As always, there’s much jazz to choose from in the next several days.

Friday-Saturday, March 13-14: Impulso! Part whim, part desire, part electrical charge? I’m not quite sure what to expect from this recently formed trio but I know I won’t be disappointed. Put guitar hero Dean Magraw, percussion magician Jay Epstein and dynamic saxophonist Brandon Wozniak on the same stage, and sparks will fly. They describe their music as "an interactive mélange of improvisational spice." Listen here. 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Artists’ Quarter ($10).

Sunday, March 15: Juan De Marcos and the Afro-Cuban All Stars. Best known for their "Buena Vista Social Club" performances, the All Stars comprise a Grammy-nominated revolving roster of Cuban expats. Their 14 members include living masters of Cuba’s golden age, today’s top names, and a special guest beloved to Twin Cities fans: pianist Nachito Herrera, who will give Orchestra Hall’s big Steinway a workout. Expect fascinating rhythms (cha-cha-cha, bolero, rumba, salsa), blazing horns, and a very good time. Watch and listen below. 7 p.m. Sunday, Orchestra Hall ($24-$39). Call 612-371-5656 or order online.

Monday, March 16: George Maurer: "For the Sake of a Single Poem." Rainer Maria Rilke was Germany’s greatest lyric poet. Twin Cities composer/producer/musician Maurer blends recitations, translations and musical interpretations of 14 Rilke poems in a song cycle that should intrigue lovers of jazz and spoken word. Readings and commentary by Maurer and Mark Thamert, OSB (a Benedictine monk at St. John’s Monastery on Collegeville who introduced Maurer to Rilke’s work), musical performances by baritone Dieter Bierbrauer, vocalist and bassist Jeff Engholm, and the George Maurer Ensemble: Laura Handler on cello, Rich Mannick on woodwinds, Scott Chabot on percussion, Engholm on bass, Kris Anderson on guitar. 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Monday, Dakota ($15).

Find Twin Cities jazz calendars and more jazz news online at Jazz Police. In the Main Menu at the left, click on Twin Cities.

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