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Jazz picks: Your jazz questions answered, three violins and a singing bass player

Venues for jazz come and go.

Venues for jazz come and go. Now that Cue at the Guthrie is under new management, as the Strib’s Rick Nelson reported last week, we’re waiting to see if jazz there will continue beyond vocalist Maud Hixson’s performance on Valentine’s Day.

Meanwhile, a new venue has opened in a former sports bar in Burnsville. Businessman and booster Dan Gustafson is booking the Applewood Rustic Grille, and next Wednesday (Feb. 4) he brings in his first national act, bassist/vocalist Kristin Korb. “If you come out here,” Gustafson says, “you’ll get good food, good service and great music.” And no televisions turned on over the bar.

Saturday, Jan. 31: Making Sense of Jazz. How do jazz musicians know what to play? Is there any structure to this music? If you’re curious about jazz and want to know more, pianist/composer Mary Louise Knutson can help. She’s giving a one-hour lecture-concert aimed at middle-school students through adults. Great idea and it’s free. 1 p.m., St. Joseph School of Music, 450 N. Syndicate, Suite 350, St. Paul.

Tuesday-Wednesday, Feb. 3-4: Randy Sabien. Sabien was the first jazz violinist I ever heard perform live, and he knocked me out. To my knowledge, he hasn’t played the Twin Cities since February 2005. He’ll share the stage with Laura Caviani (piano), Gary Raynor (bass), Pete Johnson (drums), Jim Ouska (guitar) and two more violins: Wendy Tangen-Foster and Rebecca Patek. Here’s Sabien with a different group. 7 p.m., Dakota ($15).

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Wednesday, Feb. 4: Kristin Korb. She grew up wanting to be Barbara Mandrell, then went to jazz camp one summer and never looked back. Korb studied with the great Ray Brown, who recorded her debut CD with his trio; it’s expected this show will be a preview of her next CD. She was a big hit at the 2003 Twin Cities Summer Jazz Festival. Visit her website for sound clips. 7:30 p.m., Applewood Rustic Grille, 1996 E. Cliff Road (Highway 13 and Cliff Road), Burnsville ($15). Here’s a video of “Cheek to Cheek.”