Feeling the vibe: Great connections

Irv Williams
Saxophonist Irv Williams performs at a celebration at the St. Paul Hotel honoring the late broadcaster Leigh Kamman on Jan. 25, 2015.
David Cazares / MPR News

From a quartet of authoritative voices to an exploration of musical roots and a show by a rising star, jazz fans have a lot to look forward to.

Bassist Chris Bates and MPR News editor David Cazares share their picks, starting with a show Friday night by the Phil Hey Quartet at Jazz Central Studios in Minneapolis.

"Fantastic drummer, great educator, awesome leader," Bates says of Hey. "(He) makes it really fun for everybody in the band to be playing because he's so knowledgeable and so supportive."

Joining Hey on stage will be Dave Hagedorn on vibes, Tom Lewis on bass and Phil Aaron on piano.

On Saturday and Sunday, singer Bruce Henry will bring "Afro Blue: The Drum, the Journey, the Song" to the Capri Theater in Minneapolis. The show will explore the music, its origins and where it's going.

Also on Saturday, Cadenza Music will hold its 40th anniversary party at O'Gara's Shanty in St. Paul. The show, which will benefit the Walker West Music Academy, will include a variety of youth bands and esteemed sax player Irv Williams, a Twin Cities treasure.

On Monday, trumpeter Solomon Parham, who teaches at Walker West, takes the stage at Jazz Central.

"He just brings real spiritual, centered vibe to everything," Bates says.

The show to watch in coming days likely will be that of pianist Javier Santiago, who is taking a hiatus from the New York City music scene. He'll be joined by guitarist Cory Wong, sax player Brandon Wozniak, bassist Yohannes Tona, drummer Miguel Hurtado and T. Anthony on vocals.

Santiago, who is influenced by many types of music, will undoubtedly deliver a contemporary sound.

On Tuesday, Bates returns to the stage with guitarist Chris Olson and bassist Jay Epstein when Framework performs at the Black Dog Cafe in St. Paul. They'll be working through new compositions by Olson, a magical performer.

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