Bebop jazz in Luverne
LUVERNE — There are many great reasons for living in greater Minnesota’s small communities, but small towns can occasionally lack a bit of culture.
That’s all about to change in Luverne.
The Twin Cities Jazz Festival, in collaboration with Jazz Central Studios in Minneapolis — a non-profit organization committed to strengthening the Twin Cities jazz community — is taking jazz on the road, visiting six Greater Minnesota cities this spring and summer. The tour will include a performance at 7 p.m. Saturday evening at the Historic Palace Theatre in downtown Luverne.
Following the concert performance, the Jazz Central All Stars will open the stage for a jazz jam session, so folks are encouraged to bring their instruments.
“We’re really excited to have this chance to bring the music and enthusiasm of these great artists to cities around the state that so rarely get the opportunity to hear live jazz,” Twin Cities Jazz Festival Board Chairman Alden Drew said.
The Jazz Central All Stars features six highly regarded jazz artists.
Bandleader Tanner Taylor has performed and toured extensively throughout the Midwest as pianist/music director of the jazz vocal group Five by Design, and has been a regular performer at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. A veteran of Twin Cities’ big bands and swinging ensembles, Doug Haining (saxophone/clarinet) has performed professionally since 1974, backing legendary artists like Steve Allen, Don Rickles and Bob Hope and touring Broadway shows like “West Side Story,” “Cats” and “A Chorus Line.” Haining currently leads the Twin Cities Seven and co-leads the Explosion Big Band.
Also slated to play at the performance is trombonist Dave Graf, one of the area’s most versatile musicians. Graf co-leads the Valve Meets Slide quintet and performs with the JazzMN Orchestra, Salsa del Soul, Source Code and several top big bands. Over his career, he has backed visiting touring artists such as Tony Bennett, Sammy Davis Jr., Harry Connick Jr. and Julie Andrews.
Zack Lozier (trumpet) has kept a busy touring schedule in the U.S. and Europe for the past 10 years, including the past two years with the Doc Severinsen Big Band.
Another frequent performer at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Graydon Peterson is a bassist for Twin Cities jazz singers and modern jazz ensembles. Also an accomplished composer and bandleader, he heads the Graydon Peterson Quartet and Ghost Tour.
Jazz Central co-founder Mac Santiago (drums/percussion) toured during the 1980s with British rock band Badfinger. Since settling in Minnesota, he has performed with jazz, salsa, country and R&B groups.
“I’m very excited to have the Jazz Central All Stars come to Luverne,” said Jane Lanphere, executive director of the Luverne Area Chamber of Commerce. “We’re also taking this opportunity to fundraise for the Luverne Street Music, which is our non-profit music school.
“I’ll be honest — when I first got the call from Alden (Drew) I had never heard of this group, or listened to much jazz,” she added. “But when I searched them online and had a listen, they are just phenomenal.”
Tickets are available for purchase at the Luverne Area Chamber of Commerce. For more information, visit TwinCitiesJazzFestival.com and jazzcentralstudios.org.
Daily Globe Reporter Erin Trester may be reached at 376-7322.