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The Bad Plus’ ‘Rite of Spring’; plus wishes, a resolution and more picks

A New Year’s wish: that the grueling, frustrating and profoundly saddening lockout of the Minnesota Orchestra musicians will end.

The Bad Plus: from left to right, Dave King, Ethan Iverson and Reid Anderson
Photo by Cameron Wittig

Artscape, like the rest of MinnPost, is taking a holiday break. We’ll return Jan. 3 with our first look at arts-related news and events for 2014, a year that once seemed impossibly far in the future, yet here it comes, full speed ahead. In the interim, we’ll post news and picks daily on Artscape’s facebook page, so now is a good time to like that if you haven’t already. Or you can follow us on Twitter.

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Our New Year’s resolutions: to continue casting a wide net over arts and culture in the Twin Cities and beyond, and to keep you informed of fun, interesting, entertaining, meaningful and provocative goings-on you might not learn about anywhere else.

Our New Year’s wishes: that the grueling, exhausting, frustrating, maddening and profoundly saddening lockout of the Minnesota Orchestra musicians will end; that musicians and management will set aside months of hostility, anger and mistrust and reach an agreement that allows for dignity all around; that our newly renovated Orchestra Hall, now about as useful as Block E, will come to life once more with music; and that New Yorker music critic Alex Ross can start writing nice things about us again, instead of things like this: “The Medal of Musical Valor goes to the Minnesota Orchestra Musicians, who turned down what many considered an acceptable offer in the name of preserving their dignity. In an unprecedented repeat performance, the Turkey of the Year Award goes once again to the Minnesota Orchestral Association, which, it seems to me, has no business running a lemonade stand, much less a symphony orchestra.” Yee-ouch.

A few picks for the next two weeks:

Tonight (Friday, Dec. 20) and tomorrow at the Artists’ Quarter: David Hazeltine and Eric Alexander. Two extraordinary New York-based jazz musicians with strong ties to the St. Paul jazz club and an avid fan base here, pianist Hazeltine and saxophonist Alexander will fill both nights with swing, artistry, and joy. Hear them one last time at the AQ, which closes Jan. 1 after the final New Year’s Eve party. 9 p.m., $20 at the door.

Photo by John Abbott
David Hazeltine plays the Artists Quarter Friday and Saturday.

Sunday and Monday, Dec. 22 and 23, at the Dakota: Karrin Allyson’s Yuletide Hideaway. Another New York-based artist with a devoted local following, Allyson has one of those instantly recognizable voices, immense personal charm, piano and bandleading skills, and a brand-new Christmas album we like very much. 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. FMI and tickets ($20-$35).

Sunday, Dec. 29, at the Dakota: The Bad Plus perform “The Rite of Spring.” Stravinsky’s rule-breaking, riot-causing, incalculably influential masterpiece, written for full orchestra, played by three iconoclastic jazz musicians. We saw this at the former Loring Theater in 2011 and it was massively exciting. The Bad Plus is in residence at the Dakota starting Dec. 26. 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. FMI and tickets ($40).

Happy holidays, everyone.