Jazz Datebook: February 13, 2019

Timely Hits:

Thursday, February 14th at 7 p.m. The Jim Cooper Trio plays 18th Amendment Spirits Company, 350 West Western Avenue, Muskegon, with Jim on vibes, Joe Oprea on bass and Tim Froncek on drums.

Saturday, February 16th at 2 p.m. the Hackley Public Library, 316 W. Webster Ave, Muskegon, celebrates Black History Month with a jazz performance/discussion by Grammy award winning trumpeter Curtis Taylor. Free. (231) 722-8000 or www.hackleylibrary.org.

Sunday, February 17th at 3 p.m. vibraphonist Jim Cooper leads his trio with pianist/vocalist Robin Connell an drummer Tim Froncek at the Spring Lake Public Library, 123 E. Exchange St, Spring Lake. This is a free, hour-long concert.

Sunday, February 18th at 6 p.m. the Holland Concert Jazz Orchestra in concert at The Park Theater, 248 South River Avenue, Holland, MI. The Holland Concert Jazz Orchestra was formed in 2018 to be a new voice for jazz on Michigan's west coast. With a steadfast commitment to performances at the highest level, the Holland Concert Jazz Orchestra strives to make jazz available to all. Tickets through Eventbrite.com.

Monday, February 18th (and every third Monday of the month) the West Michigan Jazz Society’s Jazz Gumbo Showcase features vocalist Edye Evans Hyde with Michael Hyde on jazz guitar and Mike Frost on saxophones. Edye was awarded West Michigan Jazz Society’s 2011 Musician of the Year. This was only the second time this award was given to a vocalist. 6:30 to 8:30 at Casino Club, 3260 Salerno Drive NE, Grand Rapids (1-96 to the Plainfield exit). See www.wmichjazz.org.

Sunday, February 24th at 3 p.m. the next experience in the “Underground Concert Series” at LaFontsee Galleries in Grand Rapids features “Dave McMurray, Gayelynn McKinney & McKinFolk” presented by www.adventuremusic.org, a local non-profit. The concert follows saxophonist Dave McMurray’s 2018 debut album on the fabled Blue Note Record label, “Music is Life,” as well as the multi-genre drummer Gayelynn McKinney’s new album on Detroit Music Works, “McKinfolk: The New Beginning.” For her Grand Rapids concert, McKinney’s assembled a band including first call Detroit jazz musicians Allen Dennard on trumpet, Ibrahim Jones on bass and Michael Jellick on piano. Aretha Franklin’s drummer since 2016, and leader of the Grammy nominated all female jazz group Straight Ahead, McKinney is the daughter of renowned jazz educator and pianist Harold McKinney. Saxophonist David McMurray is special guest. For tickets to the Underground Concert Series presented by Adventure Music at LaFontsee Galleries, 833 Lake Drive SE, Grand Rapids, see www.adventuremusic.org. For directions to the venue (616) 451 – 9820. LaFontsee Galleries are wheelchair accessible.

Saturday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m. pianist Emmet Cohen’s Trio plays The Block, 360 West Western Ave (second floor), Muskegon. The pianist, B-3 organist and educator is making a swing through the Great Lakes region behind the release of his new recording, “Dirty in Detroit,” captured live at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café in Grosse Point Farms, MI. The multifaceted American jazz pianist and composer Emmet Cohen is one of his generation's pivotal artistic figures. Downbeat praised the "nimble touch, measured stride and warm harmonic vocabulary" he employs to communicate with other musicians and audiences at what he terms "the deepest level of humanity and individuality." For tickets please see www.theblockwestmichigan.org

Tuesday, March 5th at 6:30 p.m. pianist and composer Steve Talaga appears at North Muskegon’s Walker Library, 1522 Ruddiman Dr, North Muskegon. Information from (231) 744-6080.

Thursday, March 7th at 7:30 p.m. the 23 year old vocalist Veronica Swift appears with veteran jazz pianist and bandleader Benny Green at St. Cecilia Music Center, 24 Ransom Ave. NE, Grand Rapids. In 2015 Swift placed second in the Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition and the next year was invited to the Tribeca Performing Arts Center in NYC, followed by an appearance at Lincoln Center with Michael Feinstein. Benny Green is hailed as perhaps the most exciting hard-swinging, hard bop pianist to emerge from the late editions of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Tickets from www.scmc-online.org.

Thursday, March 14th at 7 p.m. trumpeter Mike Rodriguez joins the faculty of Western Michigan University for a concert at the Union Cabaret and Grill, 125 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo. Rodriguez recently appeared in Grand Rapids with the Kenny Barron Quintet. See www.wmich.edu/jazz.

Sunday, March 31st at 3 p.m. Chicago saxophonist and bass clarinetist Geof Bradfield returns to The Underground Series with his “Yes and…music for nine improvisers” featuring a roll call of top Chicago and New York jazz musicians in a new multi-movement work which Howard Reich described in the Chicago Tribune as “…music [that] finds continuity in the tonal glow of the ensemble playing, the subtlety of instrumental voicing, and the harmonic sophistication of everything these musicians have to offer.” Including: Geof Bradfield: saxophones and bass clarinet; Nick Mazzarella: alto saxophone; Western Michigan University graduate John Wojciechowski: flutes and tenor saxophone; Russ Johnson and Marquis Hill: trumpets; Joel Adams: trombone; Clark Sommers: bass; Scott Hesse: guitar and the great Dana Hall: drums and cymbals, percussion. See www.delmark.com  for their recording. For tickets to the Underground Concert Series presented by Adventure Music at LaFontsee Galleries, 833 Lake Drive SE, Grand Rapids, see www.adventuremusic.org . For directions to the venue (616) 451 – 9820. LaFontsee Galleries are wheelchair accessible.

Regular Hits:

Mondays from 8 to 11 p.m. pianist/vocalist John Shea swings downtown Grand Rapids from the front window of Rockwell’s Republic Gastropub Restaurant and Beer Garden, 45 South Division, Grand Rapids, with bassist Rob Hartman and drummer Fred Knapp. John’s songbook is 6 inches thick. www.rockwellsrepublic.com.

Mondays from 8 to 11 p.m. live jazz at Long Road Distillers, 537 Leonard St NW, Grand Rapids, featuring In The Blue Jazz Ensemble every other Monday. www.longroaddistillers.com.

Mondays from 6 to 10 p.m., Fridays 7 – 11 p.m. and Saturdays 6-10 p.m. The What Not Inn features a revolving cast of local musicians each weekend and Mondays hosts a jam session open to musicians and vocalists. See the full schedule here: www.whatnotinn.com. The What Not Inn is located at M89 and the Blue Star Highway, 2405 68th Street, Fennville, MI. (269) 543-3341.

Tuesdays, 7:30 – 10:30, there’s an open mic jazz jam session at The Grand, 22 Washington, Grand Haven, MI. (616) 847 – 8944 often featuring the Take Three Jazz Ensemble.

Wednesdays, from 6-9 p.m. it’s “Jazz Night” at The Old Goat, 2434 Eastern Ave SE, Grand Rapids, featuring live jazz. See www.baaaaaaaa.com.

Wednesdays from 7 to 10 p.m. The Tom Hagen Trio with vocalist Rick Reuther have been appearing at Noto’s Old World Italian Dining, 6600 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids for more than 13 years, the longest continuous jazz hang in west Michigan. (616) 493 – 6686, or www.notosoldworld.com.

Thursdays at 8, beginning January 18th, Laura Bennett sings with Chris Corey on keyboards at The Zeppelin Lounge of New Holland Brewing’s the Knickerbocker, 417 Bridge St NW, Grand Rapids. See http://laurabennettmusic.com .

Thursdays at 7 p.m. a variety of jazz bands rotate the schedule at The Book Nook and Java Shop, 8744 Ferry Street in Montague. See www.thebooknookjavashop.com and click on the calendar for Thursday night.

Thursdays from 7- 10 p.m. then Friday and Saturday from 8-11 p.m. live jazz at Lily Pearls, 115 S. Washington Street, Owosso, MI 48867. See www.lilypearls.com or phone (989) 720 – 5852.

On Friday nights from 5 to 8 p.m. Jim Cooper, vibes, Robin Connell, piano and voice, plus Tim Froncek on drums are heard at New Harmony Hall in Grand Rapids. Then on the first and third Sunday afternoons from 2-4 p.m. you’ll hear traditional jazz by The River Rouges Jazz Band; on the second and fourth Sundays, Jim Cooper and Robin Connell appear as a vibes and piano duet.  New Harmony Hall, 401 Stocking Ave NW, Grand Rapids. Phone: (616) 233-9186. www.facebook.com/harmonyhallgr/

Fridays and Saturdays from 8-11 p.m. jazz at The Rendezvous in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, 187 Monroe Ave NW, Grand Rapids.

Fridays at 7 p.m., “It’s a Friday Thing” features vocalist Kathy Lamar with pianist Bob VanStee and drummer Kevin Jones at Noto’s Old World Italian Dining, 6600 28th Street S.E., Grand Rapids. See www.notosoldworld.com or call (616) 493-6686.

Fridays through Sundays live jazz is featured in Mixology, the lounge of the the J.W. Marriott Hotel, 235 Louis Street NW, Grand Rapids. Every Friday at 7 p.m. the John Shea Trio plays.  Saturday’s the music is heard from 7-10 p.m. and Sunday’s from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., (616) 242 – 1448.

Fridays from 8-11 p.m. In the Blue Jazz Ensemble hosts a jam session t The Village Inn Pizza Sports Bar & Grille on 44th Street near Breton in Grand Rapids.

Fridays from 8 – 11 p.m. a variety of local jazz bands rotate through the schedule  at 18th Amendment, 350 W. Western Avenue, Muskegon.

Saturdays at 7:30, pianist John Shea leads his trio at Noto’s Old World Italian Dining, 6600 28th Street S.E., Grand Rapids. See www.notosoldworld.com or call (616) 493 – 6686.

Sundays from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. “Jazz Brunch” at The Old Goat, 2434 Eastern Ave SE, Grand Rapids, features live jazz with bassist Chris Kjorness and drummer Tim Froncek anchoring the house band. See www.baaaaaaaa.com.

Sundays at 7 p.m. Randy Marsh’s Sunday Night Jazz Hang at The Speak EZ Lounge, 600 Monroe Avenue N.W., Grand Rapids (616) 458 – 2689.  A fun jam session celebrating a 3rd year anniversary Oct 18. Student jazz musicians under 21 with a parent or legal guardian have a chance to play from 8:15 until 9:00 p.m. Anyone under 21 has to leave at 9 pm.  The host trio plays from 7:00 - 8:00. www.speakezlounge.com.

First Sunday of every month from 5 to 7 p.m. the Grand Rapids Jazz Orchestra plays Founders Brewing Company, 235 Grandville Avenue S.W., downtown Grand Rapids. The GRJO is the region’s premier professional jazz orchestra. Information from www.grjo.com.