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This week in jazz: What to see and hear

Anita O’Day: ‘The Life of a Jazz Singer’
Jazz films are few and far between, although KBEM’s Kevin Barnes is doing a fine job of tracking them down for his REEL Jazz film series at the Bryant Lake Bowl (which will resume next year). Meanwhile, the series is sponsoring the weeklong run of “Anita O’Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer” at the Lagoon Theatre in Uptown. Her singing career was stellar but her private life was a mess. More information at O’Day’s website and this documentary website.
Lagoon Cinema, Friday, Dec. 12-18, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Small City Trio
A saxophonist who switched to piano for health reasons, Jeremy Walker brings his Small City Trio to the Dakota for a late-night gig worth staying up for. I’ve heard him play twice with the Jazz is NOW! NOWnet and both times have been fascinating. He’s pensive and deliberate — no bombast (so far). Expect music by Ellington and Strayhorn, some originals, and the companionable creativity of a band that has played together for more than 15 years. Jeff Brueske on bass, Tim Zhorne on drums. Here’s my profile of Jeremy from last March.
The Dakota, Friday, Dec. 12, 11:30 p.m. ($5).

A copasetic ‘Christmas Carol
Let the holiday jazz shows begin! Join sax player Doug Haining, vocalist Charmin Michelle and the swinging Twin Cities Seven for a program of all original music and lyrics. Michelle describes it as “a hep-cat kind of take on Charles Dickens’ ‘The Christmas Carol’.” Think Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway. Bring the kids and stay for cookies and cider after the show.
The Capri Theater, Saturday, Dec. 13, 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 14 at 3 p.m. ($25/$20). Call Uptown Tix at 651-209-6799 or order online.

Tip: If there’s a short-run holiday show you want to see, don’t wait to get tickets. Arne Fogel’s Dec. 21 performance of “Bing & the Andrews Sisters in Concert” at the Bloomington Center for the Arts sold out a week ago. I dragged my feet and I’m bummed.

Find jazz calendars online at Jazz Police. Click on Twin Cities, MN in the black menu bar at the top.

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