by guest author Mark Ramirez.
For quite some time, I’ve been wondering why Madison doesn’t have a larger jazz scene. Given the size of the city and the number of talented musicians in town, we still have a significant shortage of venues that support jazz. If you look in a given neighborhood, this music does not have much of a presence. I live on the east side of Madison. Where can I go to hear or play jazz in my neighborhood? Recently, I started exploring options from the point of view of a patron who is looking for a local club, restaurant or tavern that supports live jazz performance.
The Bourbon St Grille deck overlooking the Yahara River is a great place to hang out in summer.
Over the last few months, I’ve been talking with the management at Bourbon Street Grille in Monona about establishing a jazz venue at that location. I’m pleased to report that they have agreed to open up Wednesday evenings for jazz starting this next month. If things go well, there is also a potential to add more performance options on the weekend. I will help to organize the musicians and bands for the evenings. For now, we’ll start with one band in April. As the audience base becomes more established, I would like the venue to feature a variety of performers from trios to big bands. Continue reading
Jazz vocalist Kevin Mahogany will perform April 10th from 5 – 8 pm at the Brink Lounge as part of Jazz at Five’s annual fundraiser. Tickets are $12 advance / $15 day of show and are available online at www.jazzatfive.org and www.thebrinklounge.com.
I enjoyed hearing Kevin in concert a few years back. He has a charming stage personality, loves to swing, and can go from a breathy whisper to a huge deep baritone in an instant. It was a great concert and I’m sure this will be, too, even more so because Kevin will be backed by the Johannes Wallmann trio. Johannes’ trio has been honing their chops most Saturday nights at The Fountain and they sound terrific.
Here’s a sample of Kevin and below that is more information about him.
The Wisconsin Union Theater presents the Gerald Clayton Trio as part of its Isthmus Jazz Series on Saturday, April 6th, 8PM
at the Town Center in Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery
James Brown was called “the hardest working man in show business,” a reflection of his high-energy R&B stage presence. But a young jazz star who is coming to Madison April 6th may match JB’s energy off-stage.
“Prolific” doesn’t begin to describe Gerald Clayton in 2013. More jazz musicians should have his embarrassment of employment riches. Consider his credits for the first months of this year:
Life Forum, the new album by the Gerald Clayton Trio will be released shortly. Five friends also play with the trio on the album;
The Gathering, the new Clayton Brothers Quintet album, was released in February. It’s my favorite new album of 2013, thus far;
Cover Art by Next Collective with Gerald on piano came out at the end of February. The album features several rising young jazz stars improvising on contemporary songs by Bon Iver, Pearl Jam and some groups I’ve never heard of; Continue reading
Madison has many big bands, including the new Fountain Big Band that debuted last month, but not much in the way of mid-sized groups. The Tim Whalen Nonet was very popular and is sorely missed. Here is an announcement by Chris Van Hof about a new group that could possibly fill that void.
I would like to announce a new jazz octet in Madison. The band is operating under the name “Doctet.” The personel is a collection of some of the top players in the region, and I am the band’s leader. Here is the list: Continue reading
As part of the mutual welcome to our community at the Greater Madison Jazz Consortium’s “Jazz Junction” kickoff event at Full Compass this past November, the UW School of Music’s new Jazz Studies Director Johannes Wallmann, http://www.music.wisc.edu/faculty/bio?faculty_id=94, gave us a sneak peek at the brasstet format that’s been at the forefront of his composing, arranging and performing, and that is heard on his latest CD, “The Coasts” (2010, MWP Records).
Johannes has now firmed up the membership of the Wisconsin edition of his brasstet, and Madison Music Collective is bringing them to the Brink Lounge tomorrow (Sunday, 3/10/13) for a 3:30 PM concert hosted by Mad Toast Live’s Chris Wagoner and Mary Gaines and a 6:00 PM interactive workshop hosted by Laurie Lang of the Improvisational Music Workshop. In addition to Johannes on piano, the new band (called The Sweet Minute) includes the stellar line-up of Dave Cooper (trumpet), Darren Sterud (trombone), Marty Erickson (tuba), John Christensen (bass) and Devin Drobka (drums).
Discounted advance sale tickets are available at http://www.thebrinklounge.com/ai1ec_event/jazz-on-a-sunday-johannes-wallmann-and-the-sweet-minute/?instance_id=1456. Full-price tickets will also be available at the door. For more info about the band, visit http://madisonmusiccollective.org/Events/Johannes.shtml.
The Bad Plus are coming to Madison for a free performance at the Sett (Union South) this Sunday at 8:00 pm. Now, a free workshop for jazz students and community members has been added for the following day.
WORKSHOP / Q&A with The Bad Plus
Monday, March 4, 11:00 am to noon
Morphy Recital Hall
UW School of Music
455 N Park Street, 2nd floor, Madison, WI 53706
Free & unticketed
While the concert on Sunday evening is directed towards a general jazz audience (and really anyone who enjoys good music), the workshop on Monday will be geared towards musicians / music students.