Born in the U.S.A., jazz is often called America’s only original art form and America’s classical music. But today jazz is world music, studied and performed and beloved everywhere.
Examples: Fiery young pianist Eldar Djangirov was born in the Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan; pianist Hiromi hails from Japan. Bassist Lionel Loueke (who comes to the Dakota for one night only on April 14 — heads up) is Beninese; the other members of his trio are Italian and Hungarian. There are two jazz musicians named Avishai Cohen, both from Israel; one plays bass, the other trumpet. The trumpeter’s sister, Anat, is an acclaimed saxophonist and clarinetist.
It’s a long list. Two of this week’s picks underscore the international appeal of jazz.
Tonight, Feb. 27: Didier Petit. The French cellist already has fans here, thanks to his performances at the annual Minnesota Sur Seine music festival. Tonight he’s a special guest of the Fantastic Merlins at the Black Dog in St. Paul. The Merlins are Nathan Hanson on tenor sax, Brian Roessler on bass and Jacqueline Ultan (of Jelloslave) also on cello. 8 p.m., Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, no cover.
Sunday, March 1: Lars Jansson. The Swedish jazz pianist, composer and recording artist is the featured guest artist at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls Jazz Festival (Feb. 27-28). He’ll perform in the cities with our own David Milne (saxophones), Dave Hagedorn (vibes), Gordon Johnson (bass) and Phil Hey (drums). 3 p.m., American Swedish Institute ($12/$9 ASI/TCJS members). Call 612-871-4907 to reserve a seat.
Monday-Tuesday, March 2-3: Joshua Redman Trio. The acclaimed tenor saxophonist, recording artist and composer is one of my favorite performers — powerful, inventive, electrifying. Redman co-founded the mighty SF Jazz Collective (due at the Dakota on March 10) but has since scaled down to a trio featuring Reuben Rogers on bass and Gregory Hutchinson on drums. This is up-to-the-minute jazz; don’t miss it. 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., Dakota ($40/$28).