Jazz artists celebrated at Grammys and across the Twin Cities


Jazz artists celebrated at Grammys and across the Twin Cities

Congratulations to the jazz artists/nominees and winners listed below for this year‘s 50th Annual Grammy Awards.

In perhaps one of the most shocking and deserving wins in recent Grammy history, Herbie Hancock walked away with not one, but two Grammy Awards for Album of the Year and Best Contemporary Jazz Album.

In the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album, Terence Blanchard won big with his Blue Note CD, A Tale of God‘s Will (A Requiem For Katrina).

Come July 31 at 7:30 pm, an Orchestra Hall audience will be treated to a terrific pairing: Terence Blanchard‘s Quintet with the Minnesota Orchestra Hall. The performance is billed as “Jazz at the Movies from Hitchcock to Spike Lee,“ and is part of Jazz at Orchestra Hall‘s 2007-2008 debut season. Just listen to the rich tradition of jazz music in film, which includes Quincy Jones, and you‘ll know why this will be one concert not to be missed.

Also, “A Tribute to Louis Armstrong” takes place at Orchestra Hall on April 17 at 7:30 pm and stars none other than New Orleans trumpeter Nicholas Payton. He has led an orchestra for his Dear Louis album — a tribute to Satchmo, so this outing is especially fitting.

This series debut concert also features the trombonist and curator Delfeayo Marsalis. Both musicians have played extensively with the late great Elvin Jones.

On June 26 at 7:30 pm, the bill for Down Beat‘s Rising Stars concert features some of the most respected improvisers in jazz: saxophonist Greg Osby, saxophonist Marcus Stickland, trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, and pianist Orrin Evans to name a few. Trumpeter Sean Jones serves as both curator and trumpet star along with another top-tier trumpeter, Jeremy Pelt. Down Beat editor Jason Koransky will host. This Orchestra Hall concert is also part of the Twin Cities Jazz Festival.

There are several concerts happening at the Dakota that ought to attract jazz fans galore. One of the few listed below include a CD release for trumpeter Terell Stafford featuring his MaxJazz live at the Dakota disc, Taking Chances with the Terell Stafford Quintet. Hopefully, like the CD, the concert will feature saxophonist Tim Warfield‘s composition, “Shake It for Me.“ Better yet, how about featuring Warfield himself? The former long-time member of the Nicholas Payton Quintet is one of the most under-recognized jazz artists, and he truly deserves more recognition. Thankfully, Warfield has a new CD set for release this spring.

Yes, we certainly have a lot of great jazz music to look forward to in the coming months. Considering the above, and the previously mentioned 2007-2008 Northrop Jazz Season, we‘re well on our way to a fun and fabulous 2008 Twin Cities jazz season.

This year‘s Grammy winners include:

Album of the Year: River: The Joni Letters: Herbie Hancock, Leonard Cohen, Norah Jones, Joni Mitchell, Corinne Bailey Rae, Luciana Souza and Tina Turner, featured artists; Herbie Hancock and Larry Klein, producers; Helik Hadar, engineer/mixer; Bernie Grundman, mastering engineer (Verve)

Best Contemporary Jazz Album : River: The Joni Letters, Herbie Hancock (Verve)

Best Jazz Vocal Album: Avant Gershwin, Patti Austin (Rendezvous Entertainment)

Best Jazz Instrumental Solo: Anagram, Michael Brecker, soloist. Track from Pilgrimage (Heads Up International)

Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group: Pilgrimage, Michael Brecker (Heads Up International)

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album: A Tale Of God‘s Will (A Requiem For Katrina), Terence Blanchard (Blue Note)
Best Latin Jazz Album: Funk Tango, Paquito D‘Rivera Quintet? (Paquito Records)

Recommended upcoming jazz concerts:
Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Feb. 22, 7 pm, Minnesota Orchestra Hall, 1111
Nicollet Mall, Mpls.

Randy Weston, Feb. 17-18, 7 and 9:30 pm, Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls.

Terell Stafford Quintet, Feb. 27-28, 7 and 9:30 pm, Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant.
Twin Cities Winter Jazz Fest with Sonny Fortune; Real Big Band; Bellagala Big Band, Snowblind, Bells & Whistles and more, Mar. 2, 12 pm, MacPhail Center for Music Performance Hall, 501 2nd St. S., Mpls.

Maceo Parker, March 3-4, 7 and 9:30 pm, Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant

The Jazz is NOW! NOWnet, Mar. 13, 8 pm, Minnesota Opera Center, 620 1st St. N., Mpls.

Ravi Coltrane Quartet/Roy Haynes Quartet, Mar. 6, 7:30 pm, Ted Mann Concert Hall, 2128 4th St. S., Mpls.

Robin James welcomes reader’s comments and response at jamesonjazz@spokesman-recorder.com