Feeling the vibe: Winter Jazz Fest

Drummer Lars Larson
Drummer Lars Larson, who leads the ensemble Mancrush, performed Jan. 10, 2015, at the Black Dog Cafe in St. Paul.
David Cazares | MPR News

Many jazz fans in the Twin Cities likely look forward to the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, the annual celebration of our nation's storied art form that brings thousands to downtown St. Paul. But some may not know that the local bands they enjoy each summer perform every week.

In this week's episode, MPR News editor David Cazares and bassist Chris Bates sit down with guitarist Zacc Harris to discuss a special event that will showcase some of the Twin Cities' most innovative bands.

It's the Winter Jazz Fest, which takes place Saturday at Studio Z in St. Paul. The show, which runs from 3 to 9 p.m., will mark the one-year anniversary of Shifting Paradigm Records, formed to spread the word about local groups.

Taking the stage will be Chris Bates, pianist Bryan Nichols and drummer J.T. Bates; the Atlantis Quartet; the Adam Meckler Orchestra; Endeavors; the Graydon Peterson Quartet; and Lars Larson's Mancrush.

Coming up on Sunday is a show by poet Lisa Brimmer and the musicians in High Society. They'll join two performers from the group Heiruspecs at a fundraiser for Gazillion Voices at the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis.

Music continues to flow Monday, when drummer Cory Healey's Beautiful Sunshine Band performs at Icehouse in Minneapolis. His group includes Eric Fratzke on bass, Harris on guitar, Jake Baldwin on trumpet and Brandon Wozniak on saxophone. Also booked at the Icehouse is the Chris Bates group Red 5.

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