Friday: Northrop Jazz Live at the Campus Club: Somi and Thomasina. The Northrop Jazz Series, an important part of Twin Cities jazz culture since its founding in 1993 by Dale Schatzlein, has a new home and a new attitude. Northrop Concerts and Lectures director Ben Johnson has moved it out of the big, boxy Ted Mann Concert Hall into the smaller, more intimate Campus Club in Coffman Memorial Union. He has broadened its focus to embrace world music and added a new component that should matter to every area musician: In addition to featuring national artists, the concerts will showcase area artists, not as token openers but as equally important parts of the program.
The series begins today with multicultural singer/songwriter Somi, whose music blends jazz with “New African soul.” Here she is singing “Prayer to the Saint of the Brokenhearted.” Area artist Thomasina Petrus became Billie Holiday in the Park Square Theatre’s 2008 production of “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill.” Somi will be joined by Liberty Ellman on guitar and Toru Dodo on piano; Thomasina will be paired with pianist Thom West, who shared the stage with her in “Lady Day.” Something else about the series that’s brand-new: Full bar and food selections will be available for purchase before and throughout the performance. Have a drink and a snack, enjoy the music, and contemplate the great view of the Minneapolis skyline. Friday, Oct. 22, 9 p.m. (doors at 8; general seating), Campus Club, Coffman Memorial Union ($35). Tickets by phone (612-623-2345) or online.
Saturday: With These Songs in Our Hearts: The Music of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart. “My Funny Valentine.” “Blue Moon.” “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered.” We’ve all hummed a little Rodgers and Hart in the shower. Arne Fogel, Maud Hixson and Lucia Newell interpret these great American songs in the spacious, comfortable theater on Hopkins’ main street. With Tanner Taylor on piano, Keith Boyles on bass, and Dick Bortolussi on drums, this will be a romantic, witty, and lighthearted show. Saturday, Oct. 23, Hopkins Center for the Arts, 1111 Main Street, Hopkins ($24/$21 seniors). Tickets by phone (962-979-1111) or online.
Wednesday: Christian Howes Trio. A classically trained violinist, Howes worked with guitarist Les Paul for 11 years; he has performed and recorded with jazz artists including Greg Osby, Frank Vignola, Roger Kellaway and Spyro Gyra. He regularly appears as a rising star in the DownBeat Critics Poll. His latest recording, “Out of the Blue” (Resonance Records, 2010) is a collaboration with guitarist Robben Ford. Here’s Howes with Ford at Spazio’s Jazz Club in Sherman Oaks, California. 9 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27, Artists’ Quarter, in the basement of the Hamm Building in St. Paul ($15).
- Friday-Saturday, Oct. 22-23, Artists’ Quarter: Diane Witherspoon. Sister to Shirley, cousin to Jimmy, she attended St. Olaf College in Northfield and now lives in Los Angeles. Catch her on one of her rare visits home.
- Monday, Oct. 25, Barbette: Bookhouse Trio. Paul Fonfara, Josh Granowski, and Chris Hepola play music from “Twin Peaks.”
- Monday, Oct. 25, Guthrie: Max Weinberg Big Band. Count Basie meets the Boss.
- Wednesday, Oct. 27, Washburn High School: Jazz88 Community Education: Women in Jazz. Maryann Sullivan, host of KBEM’s “Corner Jazz,” and vocalist Maud Hixson explore the role women have played in shaping America’s music.
- Friday, Oct. 29, MacPhail: Nicollet Circus Band: Jekyll and Hyde Come Alive. Trumpeter Kelly Rossum’s new soundtrack to “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” performed live by Rossum and friends while the film screens.
- Tuesday, Nov. 2, Dakota: Regina Carter’s Reverse Thread. If you missed this last year at the Northrop Jazz Series, redemption is yours.
- Sunday, Nov. 14: Southern Theater: Lush Life: Interpretations of the American Jazz Canon. Hosts Adam Levy and DJ Jake Rudh, musical director dVRG.
- Monday-Tuesday, Nov. 15-16, Dakota: Kenny Barron Quartet with David Sanchez. The NEA jazz master and the Grammy-winning saxophonist.
Pamela Espeland keeps a Twin Cities live jazz calendar, blogs about jazz at Bebopified and tweets about jazz.