Twin Cities Winter Jazz Festival

Twin Cities Winter Jazz Festival

Sun · January 28, 2018

1:00 pm

The 2018 Winter Fest is set for Sunday Jan 28th at Crooners. The festival will run from 1:00 pm to 8:30 pm headlined by Regina Carter w/Xavier Davis, legendary NOLA drummer Butch Miles and local favorites including Connie Evingson, the ACME Big Band, Jazz Central All Stars, Travis Anderson, Jake Baldwin the Wolverines as well as many youth performances.

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Regina Carter
Regina Carter
Violin virtuoso Regina Carter is considered the foremost jazz violinist of her generation; she is also a MacArthur Fellow (and a recipient of the famed “genius grant”). Drawing from a diverse well of influences which include classical, jazz, Motown, swing, funk, and world music among others, Carter was born in Detroit and began studying piano at age two before taking up the violin. Her earliest training was in classical music,
but an interest in jazz eventually took over.

In 1987, she joined the all-female pop-jazz quintet Straight Ahead and appeared on their first three albums before leaving the band in 1991 and moving to New York, where she picked up session work with artists including Aretha Franklin, Lauryn Hill, Mary J. Blige, Billy Joel, Dolly Parton, Max Roach and Oliver Lake. She released her self-titled
solo album on Atlantic in 1995, followed by Something for Grace, an album dedicated to her mother and released in 1997. Carter also toured with Wynton Marsalis that same year, then switched to the Verve label where she released Rhythms of the Heart in 1999. Motor City Moments, a tribute to her hometown, followed in 2000.

In December 2001, she traveled to Genoa, Italy, and made musical history by being the first jazz musician and the first African American to play the legendary Guarneri Del Gesu violin, made in 1743 and owned by classical music virtuoso and composer Niccolo Paganini. This encounter inspired her 2003 album, Paganini: After a Dream, which
featured works by Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy and Italian film composer Ennio Morricone. She recorded I’ll Be Seeing You: A Sentimental Journey in 2006 as a tribute to her late mother. That same year Carter was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship, given to a highly select group who “show exceptional merit and promise for continued
and enhanced creative work.”

Reverse Thread, released in May 2010, was a celebration of traditional African music via a contemporary perspective. Carter also took her pioneering spirit on the road in the late summer and fall of 2012 for a two-month world tour with rock icon Joe Jackson’s stellar ensemble in support of his release The Duke, a collection of interpretations of
Duke Ellington’s work.

Carter continues her musical quest for beauty and history with her SONY Music Masterworks debut Southern Comfort, in which she investigates her family history and explores the folk tunes her paternal grandfather, a coalminer, would have heard as he toiled in Alabama. The expanded project includes a blend of folk songs and spirituals, serving as Carter’s interpretation of her roots through a modern lens.

Said Chuck Mitchell, Senior Vice President of SONY Masterworks, "We're tremendously pleased to have the incomparable Regina Carter with us at Masterworks. Her musical odyssey has been charted through a series of unforgettable recordings over the years and Southern Comfort is the latest and perhaps the most eloquent expression of her deep and profoundly enlightening musical humanity.”
Butch Miles
Butch Miles
The accomplishments of drummer Butch Miles continue to attract worldwide attention. He has performed with such luminaries as Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dave Brubeck, Mel Torme, Lena Horne, Joe Williams, Ella Fitzgerald, Woody Herman, Clark Terry, Gerry Mulligan, Harry “Sweets” Edison, Benny Goodman, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Zubin Mehta, Itzak Pearlman, Dick Hyman, Willie Nelson and others, Butch displays the maturity of his experience with youthful imagination and unending energy. Butch conducts jazz clinics at universities and high schools, continues to record C.D.s and plays frequently in small group capacities at jazz parties and festivals around the globe where he brings together technique, creative finesse and a love of the music that delights audiences.
As the drummer for the world-famous Count Basie Orchestra (1975-1979 and 1997-2007), Butch quickly became renowned for his swinging big band style and techniques. Butch has performed at the Newport Jazz Festival (now the “JVC Jazz Festival”) in New York since 1975 and the Grande Parade De Jazz in Nice, France nine times. He has performed at major jazz festivals around the world, including the Montreal Jazz Festival; North Sea Jazz Festival at the Hague, the Netherlands; the Montreux and Bern Jazz Festivals in Switzerland; the Berlin, Munich, Cologne and Stuttgart Jazz Festivals in Germany along with many tours throughout Europe, Australia, the Far East, the Americas and the Caribbean. In 1976, Butch played a Royal Command Performance for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II which was televised throughout all of Europe. Butch has recorded over 100 albums (see Discography) and has been on three (3) Grammy winning albums, along with being nominated numerous times for the European equivalent of the Grammy.
He has appeared on “CBS 60 Minutes,” “The Tonight Show” starring Johnny Carson, “The Merv Griffin Show,” “The Dick Cavett Show,” “the Mike Douglas Show” and six times on “the Jerry Lewis Telethon.” Internationally, Butch has made personal appearances on radio and televisions stations throughout the world. He has also appeared in three motion pictures: “The Australian Jazz Fest” filmed while Butch was touring Australia with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, “The Last of the Blue Devils” filmed on location while he was touring with the Count Basie Orchestra and briefly in Woody Allen’s “Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Butch performed on the soundtrack of the 2003 film, The Alamo. He also travels for the Ludwig Drum Company giving clinics and concerts worldwide (Ludwig/Musser). Butch produced a C.D., Straight On Till Morning, in June, 2003, from Nagel-Heyer Records ( Nagel-Heyer Records ), Hamburg Germany.
Butch was honored by the State of Texas Senate on March 3, 2005 for his many accomplishments in music. On October 15, 2011 Butch was inducted into the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame. Butch was also honored by the Senate of the State of West Virginia in 2013 and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Conn Selmer Institute in 2016 among many other awards from the Avedis Zildjian Cymbal Company, the Ludwig Drum Company, the International Association of Jazz Educators, the United States Air Force Band – the Airmen of Note, The Elkhart Jazz Festival and the Austin, Texas Jazz Society.
Connie Evingson
Connie Evingson
Jazz vocalist Connie Evingson is known for taking divergent musical paths. Her recorded catalog of acclaimed CD's ranging from jazz and Broadway standards to the music of Peggy Lee, the Beatles, Django Reinhardt, Dave Frishberg, Norman Gimbel and more reflects an adventurous spirit that knows no boundaries. A Twin Cities resident, Connie appears at the nationally renowned Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis, is the featured artist of the Jungle Theater's Jazz at the Jungle concert series, appears regularly at the Minneapolis Woman's Club Jazz in the Lounge series and tours worldwide, with appearances at concert halls, theaters and festivals in the U.S., Europe and Japan. She has been a guest artist at Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis, Michael Feinstein and Vince Giordano, Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion, the Minnesota Orchestra and Toronto Symphony conducted by Doc Severinsen, the JazzMN Orchestra and Vocalessence, among others. Her ten CD's on Minnehaha Music have all charted in the Top 50 in the U.S. and Canada and can be heard on radio stations around the world. All the Cats Join In, her third CD in the "jazz manouche" style popularized by Django Reinhardt, features John Jorgenson and his Quintet and was released in Oct., 2014.

Whether singing bebop, bossa nova, big band swing or a ballad, Connie's voice is readily identifiable - sure in pitch, a tad smoky in places, razor sharp in articulation and exhibiting an inherent sense of swing that's dead-center in the pocket. Nominated as JazzWeek Vocalist of the Year in 2005 alongside Stacey Kent, Madeleine Peyroux, Tierney Sutton and Curtis Stigers, Connie has been featured on the Smithsonian's Jazz Singers radio series, NPR's Fresh Air and Weekend Edition, and is included on numerous compilations discs in the U.S., China and Japan. She is a two-time recipient of both the McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians and the Minnesota State Arts Board Artist's Initiative Grant.
Dave Karr
Dave Karr
Tenor saxophonist Dave Karr has been a fixture of the Twin Cities' jazz scene since he moved to Minneapolis in the late 1950's.

He has performed with some of the finest local and national jazz instrumentalists and vocalists. In addition to performing, he has composed and arranged music for film, radio, television commercials and various recording projects. Young at heart, the 84-year-old claims, "I have found the fountain of youth in the challenge of jazz improvisation." He is the winner of a McKnight Fellowship for Performance Excellence for the year 2007-2008.
Travis Anderson Trio
Travis Anderson Trio
The Travis Anderson Trio is a favorite with jazz audiences in Minneapolis and St. Paul. With energy and chops to burn, this trio brings fresh interpretations to standards and more. From Chopin to Mario Bros, they swing like there’s no tomorrow while saluting the great jazz trios of yesterday.
Jake Baldwin
Jake Baldwin
Jake Baldwin is a Minneapolis based trumpeter and composer. His first major musical mentor was trumpeter and composer Kelly Rossum. He attended the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and studied under the likes of John McNeil, Laurie Frink, Jason Moran, Joe Morris, and Jerry Bergonzi among many others. In 2010, Jake took third prize in the International Trumpet Guild's Jazz Solo competition and in 2013 he placed 2nd in the National Trumpet Competition's jazz competition. Now residing in Minneapolis, Jake can be seen performing with a multitude of bands both live and in the studio. His Boston based band, Ra Ra Ru released their first album, "Metallic Ink Co" on the Electricity is Magic label on April 29th, 2014. He is currently touring extensively with Minneapolis based pop/soul singer Har Mar Superstar.
Xavier Davis
Xavier Davis
Xavier Davis' professional career as a Jazz pianist took off when the legendary vocalist Betty Carter spotted his outstanding talent at the 1994 International Association of Jazz Educators convention in Boston while he was performing with his college ensemble. It was her who brought Xavier to New York, hiring him exclusively as the pianist of her working trio. Today, Xavier is one of the most accomplished Jazz pianists world wide. Having led master classes and clinics all over the world and coming from a family of music educators, passing on knowledge and skills to young musicians is very important to Xavier. As such, he is proud to be Associate Professor of Jazz Piano at Michigan State University. Xavier was also member of the teaching staff in the Jazz department of the Juilliard School of Music in New York for six years prior to that.



Xavier's development as a musician has been greatly influenced by the inspiration and guidance he has received from Carl Allen, James Williams, and Billy Hart, whom he sees and respects as his great mentors. In addition to Betty and Carl, Xavier has performed and recorded with many other world-famous Jazz artists like the legendary Freddie Hubbard, Tom Harrell, Christian McBride, Regina Carter, Stefon Harris, Abbey Lincoln, Wynton Marsalis, Don Byron, Nat Adderley, Nicholas Payton, Jon Faddis, Jimmy Greene, Steve Turre, Al Foster, and Jeremy Pelt among others. During the 1999 - 2000 season, Xavier worked with the Boy's Choir of Harlem as their Musical Director. He also played keyboard for the television series "Cosby." His talent has been featured on more than 50 albums. Xavier is part of the Christian McBride Big Band and was featured on Christian's album 'The Good Feeling', which won a GRAMMY award in 2012.



As a bandleader, Xavier has released two critically acclaimed albums - 'Dance of Life' and 'The Innocence of Youth'. "The pianist [Xavier Davis] simply knows how to make every note on his instrument sing, and he invariably finds the richest area of the keyboard for voicing his chords." says writer Bob Blumenthal. Jazz Times reviewer John Murph writes "...the music exudes a mature, nonchalant ease and cozy empathy that make this...a rewarding listen." Down Beat gave the CD, "Dance of Life," four stars, stating, "Davis steps out with an accomplished debut." Xavier is currently working on his long awaited follow-up to these albums.



In 2005, Xavier became the first person to receive the prestigious "New Works Grant" twice from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation under the auspices of Chamber Music America. He has won awards at several festivals as well as in Down Beat magazine.



Being a gifted composer, arranger, and producer of music, Xavier has composed and arranged music for outstanding artists like Carl Allen, Regina Carter, and Hans Schuman. He has co-produced the album "Wise Children" by Tom Harrell and recently produced the new album of singer Lizzie Thomas. Xavier is also a passionate and experienced film and commercial music composer/producer.
Jazz Central All Stars
Jazz Central All Stars
A rotating cast of top Twin Cities jazz musicians that have regularly contributed their talents to the mission of Jazz Central Studios of connecting live music performance to the community.
Judi (Donaghy) Vinar
Judi (Donaghy) Vinar
Jazz and R&B singer-songwriter based in Minneapolis, MN.
The Wolverines Jazz Trio
The Wolverines Jazz Trio
The remaining trio of the legendary Twin Cities Wolverines Big Band which started in 1973. The trio can frequently be found swinging with vocalists at hot spots like Hell's Kitchen and Crooners Lounge & Supper Club. "Consisting of drummer Jendeen Forberg, pianist Rick Carlson, and bassist Steve Pikal, the trio develops its set list from audience requests, making each show unpredictable and improvisational." (Secrets of the City)
ACME Jazz Company
ACME Jazz Company
ACME Jazz Company is a modern 18-piece big band that features a wide range of musical styles. Formed in early 2008 by a group of trumpet players, the ACME Jazz Company is rapidly becoming one of the staples of modern original big band music in the twin cities.
Venue Information:
Crooners Lounge & Supper Club
6161 Hwy 65 NE
Minneapolis, MN, 55432
http://www.croonersloungemn.com/