There is a lot of great jazz on tap in the next couple of weeks -- a mix of local and visiting musicians from big band to trio, playing a range of music from Miles Davis to Paul Simon.
There's a rent party, a CD release concert, a Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra concert with a great trumpeter and arranger, and the Tarbut festival with Middle Eastern jazz, Yemen Blues and the songs of Paul Simon.
How's that for a mix?
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It kicks off Thursday, Nov. 15, when Winnipeg jazz magazine dig! throws a rent party at the Park Theatre, 7:30 p.m., $25 advance from Jazz Winnipeg or the Park or $30 at the door. Proceeds go to publishing costs for the free monthly magazine of listings and features published by Jazz Winnipeg and the University of Manitoba jazz studies department. It is available in bookstores, campuses and coffee shops.
The rent party will include the debut of Stepchild, a new CD by Steve Kirby and the Northern Prairie Jazz Collective, and performances by U of M alumni.
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The Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra turns Sunday, Nov. 18, into Mambo Nights when trumpeter and arranger Michael Phillip Mossman helps reprise a show he arranged and conducted with Cuban expat trumpeter and Dizzy Gillespie protégé Arturo Sandoval in 2008 with the WDR Big Band of Cologne.
The two WJO concerts will feature big band arrangements by Mossman, including A Night in Tunisia, and compositions by WJO members trumpeter Richard Gillis and trombonist Jeff Presslaff.
Mossman has good performing chops as well, having played in the legendary Machito Orchestra and as a soloist for Mario Bauza and his Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra.
Percussionist Rodrigo Mu±oz, of Papa Mambo and Trio Bembe fame, will join the orchestra for the shows.
Pianist and band leader Ron Paley will play electric bass with the band in a rare public appearance on the instrument. Paley played bass for Woody Herman's Thundering Herd decades ago, but sightings of the local jazz legend on the bass are rare and unconfirmed.
Tickets for the Mambo Nights concerts, Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., are $32.50 / $15 students at McNally Robinson, Jazz Winnipeg and at 204-632-5299.
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The Tarbut Festival of Jewish Culture, which runs Nov. 17-25, encompasses music, film, comedy and writing at the Asper Jewish Community Campus.
Its music programmer, Karla Berbrayer, has staged many fine jazzy concerts such as trumpeter Avishai Cohen, the 3 Cohens (Avishai, Anat and Yuval), last year's 26-year-old violinist Aaron Weinstein and local artists such as Glenn Buhr's Broken Songs band, which has performed the music of Bob Dylan and this year turns its ear to singer-songwriter Paul Simon.
Buhr, a founder of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra's New Music Festival and a music professor at Wilfrid Laurier University, describes Simon's music as "my classical music... it's in my bones and I think in all of our bones." The band will perform songs from the Simon and Garfunkel years and Simon's solo career for its Saturday, Nov. 24, 8 p.m. show.
Tarbut this year includes the Hadar Noiberg Middle Eastern Jazz Trio, Monday, Nov. 19, 7:30 p.m.
The flutist, composer and arranger mixes world music and jazz, drawing on her experience with top Cuban musicians in the United States and the musical and cultural influence of her Israeli upbringing.
Yemen Blues, which performs Tuesday, Nov. 20, 7:30 p.m., is a six-member band fronted by Ravid Kahalani, whose roots are in Yemen; his parents are Yemenite Jews who fled to Israel.
Kahalani's influences also include blues, soul, West African music, opera and European classical. That mix and a band with lots of percussion and instruments such as the oud and gimbri should make for a real world music experience.
Tarbut tickets and information are available at 204-477-7510 or radyjcc.com
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Winnipegger Lucas Sader, a University of Manitoba jazz studies student, is the second drummer to release a debut CD this month (Curtis Nowosad was the first).
The disc, Apollo: Tribute to the Miles Davis Quintet, by the Lucas Sader project pays homage to Davis's great 1960s quintet.
Sader composed three originals -- Apollo, Blues for Wynton Kelly and Moonrise -- and arranged a version of the classic Blue in Green. The CD also features standards and originals associated with the Davis band.
The Lucas Sader Project CD release show -- featuring Sader, trumpeter Derrick Gardner, saxophonist Paul Balcain, pianist Will Bonness, bassist Karl Kohut, and guest vocalist Erin Propp -- is Thursday, Nov. 22, 8 p.m. at the West End Cultural Centre. Tickets -- $15/advance, $20/door, $12/students -- are available at WECC, Music Trader and ticketweb.ca