Each week, as I attempt the thorny task of choosing upcoming jazz events to write about, I’m mindful of how much live music happens in the Twin Cities. No matter what type or style of jazz you like, or think you might like, it’s probably happening somewhere tonight, tomorrow or into next week — in a café or club, bar or concert hall. What do you want to hear? See if you’re on this list.
You want to hear a legend. Drummer Roy Haynes is to jazz what John Bonham is (was) to rock. Haynes’ career spans more than 50 years of playing with giants like Louis Armstrong, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and Chick Corea. He has a long friendship with Artists’ Quarter owner Kenny Horst; he recorded his 2006 live release, “Whereas,” at the AQ and earned a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Instrumental Solo. He returns with his original Fountain of Youth band: Martin Bejerano on piano, Marcus Strickland on saxophone, John Sullivan on bass. Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 20 and 21, Artists’ Quarter ($30/$25). Buy tickets online.
You want to hear a rising star in a cool venue. If the McGuire Theater at the Walker had a lobby, you could people-watch there. Except for that odd omission, it’s a fine place to hear live music, intimate and artsy. On Saturday, drummer Dafnis Prieto brings his next-generation Latin jazz to town. Prieto moved from Cuba to New York in 1999 and reportedly hit the music scene like an asteroid. His latest CD, “Taking the Soul for a Walk,” is by turns driving and romantic, fiery and tender. Here’s a preview. Prieto’s sextet includes Peter Apfelbaum and Felipe Lamoglia on saxophones, Ralph Alessi on trumpet, Manuel Valera on piano, and Charles Flores on bass. Bonus: Trisha Brown Dance Company member Judith Sanchez Ruiz and Prieto will perform a short dance/percussion duet. Co-presented with Northrop Music. Dafnis Prieto Sextet, 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, Walker Art Center, McGuire Theater ($29/$25 Walker members). Buy tickets online or call 612-375-7600.
You want to hear the foot-tapping, feel-good sounds of a big band. Featuring many of the Twin Cities’ finest musicians, the JazzMN Big Band is a Minnesota treasure, full of personality and chops. Saturday’s concert features our own Three Tenors: tenor saxophonists Dave Karr, Dale Mendenhall, and Pete Whitman. JazzMN always plays an exciting, satisfying show. Their concerts are held at the Hopkins High School Performing Arts Center, a comfy, state-of-the-art venue with ample free parking. JazzMN Big Band, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, Hopkins High School Performing Arts Center, 2400 Lindberg Drive, Minnetonka ($29 door/$27 advance/$17 student). Buy tickets online or call 1-866-811-4111.
You want to hear the latest from area artists, and you’re willing to take a chance as long as it doesn’t cost too much. Fair enough. This Saturday, you can attend one, two, or three CD releases. Singer Nancy Harms celebrates “In the Indigo” at the Jungle. Read more about that here. Later that day, Vital Organ — Jason Craft on Hammond B-3, Zacc Harris on guitar, Pete Hennig on drums — launches its first disc, “Exact Change,” at Hell’s Kitchen. Their music includes jazz, funk and R&B, originals and standards. I especially enjoy their antic arrangement of “Girl From Ipanema.” The Latin languor is gone, replaced by a mad dash to the beach and a run across hot sand. End your night (and start Sunday) at the Dakota with Ingo Bethke, the trumpet-sax-tuba-fronted sextet that goes all kinds of places on its self-titled debut, from straight-ahead to avant-garde. Ingo Bethke is Steve Gilbertson (piano), Stefan Kac (tuba), Matt Peterson (bass), Shilad Sen (saxophone), Geoff Senn (trumpet) and Nick Zielinski (drums). At each event you can, as Craig Eichhorn likes to say, “bring the band home in a box,” with autographs. Saturday, Nov. 21: Nancy Harms at the Jungle, 2 p.m. ($8); Vital Organ at Hell’s Kitchen, 8 p.m. (no cover); Ingo Bethke at the Dakota, 11:30 p.m. ($5).
You want to dance. On Sundays at the Cinema Ballroom, you can take free dance lessons starting at 6:15 and then swing, tango, and rumba the night away to the sounds of the Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra with sweet singer Charmin Michelle. On Tuesdays, head to Jun Bo’s big bamboo dance floor for Vic Volare and the Bella Galla Big Band. On Wednesdays, it’s the Wolverines at Hell’s Kitchen. Sundays, Cinema Ballroom, 1560 St. Clair Ave., St. Paul, 6:15 p.m. lessons, 7 p.m. social dance ($12/$8 students); Tuesdays, Jun Bo, 494 and Nicollet, Richfield, 7 p.m. ($5); Wednesdays, Hell’s Kitchen, 8 p.m. (no cover).
You want to hang out with friends, eat and drink in a nice place with live music. No shortage of options here. Crave in the Galleria features jazz on Fridays. This week, you can hear singer Patty Peterson and her trio. And I’m delighted to say that the Benny Weinbeck Trio, formerly a mainstay at D’Amico Cucina, is back with a regular gig at the new D’Amico Kitchen in the Chambers Hotel. Classy guys, classy music. Fridays, Crave in the Galleria, 8:30 p.m. (no cover); Fridays and Saturdays, D’Amico Kitchen, 7:30 p.m. (no cover).