Esperanza Spalding presents: Emily’s D+Evolution

Monday, October 24, 2016
Doors 7PM / Show 8PM
Turner Hall Ballroom
1034 N 4th St
Milwaukee, WI


Seven collaborative and five solo albums into her career at 31, Esperanza Spalding has always resolutely, intuitively, deftly expanded upon both her art and herself as a world-renowned genre- bending composer, bassist and vocalist. Spalding’s work, grounded in jazz traditions but never bound by them, has won her four Grammy awards and brought her onstage at the Oscars, the Nobel Prize Ceremony, the White House, and with Prince and Herbie Hancock. Not only does she know who she is, we know who she is.

“Emily’s D+Evolution is more than a recording project, it’s an awakening of her inner child. It’s an audio portrait stretching Spalding beyond music and into storytelling through acting, staging, and movement.”—Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls

Student Tickets just $25!


Alternating Currents Live presents Wadada Leo Smith & John Lindberg duo Celestial Weather at Woodland Pattern

Sunday, October 30 at 8 PM – 11 PM


Woodland Pattern
720 East Locust Street
Milwaukee, WI 53212

Join us as Wadada Leo Smith & John Lindberg’s Celestial Weather tour comes to Milwaukee courtesy of Alternating Currents Live and New Music USA. Smith & Lindberg have been performing music together for thirty-eight years, having first worked together as members of Anthony Braxton’s Creative Music Orchestra in 1978.

They started performing as a duet in 1990, and have since given myriad worldwide performances in this context. Their music features original compositions by both artists, as well as co-composed works. The deep knowledge and understanding of each other’s artistic voices, gained from continually working together and developing a deep friendship over decades, has created an environment where their performances together offer an utterly unique musical experience. They share a dedication to creating and utilizing vital structures and systems that are compelling formats for spontaneous development and improvisational journeys.

Additionally, they have been integral parts of one another’s larger ensemble projects over the decades, perhaps most notably documented on such recordings as Lindberg’s The Catbird SingsA Tree Frog Tonality, and The Great Lakes Suites; and the Pulitzer Prize nominated Ten Freedom Summers by Smith.

 In 2015, Smith & Lindberg released Celestial Weather Suite, on TUM Records. This production of their duet music has met with substantial critical acclaim:

“Telepathy is an all too common catch-word for close musical interplay, but seems an entirely justified descriptor in this context.” – Derek Taylor, Dusted Magazine

 “Celestial Weather is an open discourse between two musicians who have mastered their respective instruments to the point of literally giving them an emotive voice of their own.” – Karl Ackermann, allaboutjazz

“This is such a perfectly suited twosome, a partnership so attuned and steeped in mutuality that it offers a beautiful window on both of them individually, as well as being something all its own.”

– John Corbett, DownBeat Magazine

 “The trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and the bassist john Lindberg have been associates in the jazz avant-garde for over 35 years … Celestial Weather is a work that underscores the acuity of their rapport.” – Nate Chinen, The New York Times

John Lindberg & Wadada Leo Smith: Celestial Weather Midwest Duets was supported by New Music USA, through a generous contribution from Joseph A. and Nancy Meli Walker.



Perez/Patitucci/Blade (Children of the Light) at The Backroom at Colectivo

An Amazing Evening of Jazz featuring Danilo Pérez, John Patitucci, and Brian Blade
Children of the Light
2 shows – Sunday, November 6th @ 5pm and 8pm


Danilo Pérez, John Patitucci and Brian Blade have been three quarters of the extraordinary Wayne Shorter Quartet for more than a decade. Since, they’ve also continued their individual careers as leaders of their own projects and groups. Now, on Children of the Light, they step forward as a trio for the first time with an imagination and fearlessness in their approach that defies the roles and ways of a trio in both obvious and subtle ways.

“We can ‘comprovise’ (spontaneous composition) with dense harmonic and melodic forms, but we can also explore the beauty of a simple harmony,” says Pérez. “And you can see the care each one of us put into the songs we brought in.”


Donny McCaslin Group at SMPAC

OCTOBER 13, 2016 7:30 PM
901 15th Ave
South Milwaukee, 53172

Saxophonist Donny McCaslin will make his Motéma Music debut with the October 14 release of Beyond Now, a highly anticipated album dedicated to Bowie. Recorded nearly three months after Bowie’s passing, the project is deeply influenced by their extraordinary experience collaborating with one of the greatest artists of all-time on his final album. Joining McCaslin are Jason Lindner, Nate Wood (on drums) and Jonathan Maron (electric bass) performing music from Beyond Now, Fast Future, Casting for Gravity, and two David Bowie tunes.

“The Sonny Rollins of his generation” (Ottawa Citizen), Donny McCaslin is a 3x Grammy nominated saxophonist and composer. As a collaborator, McCaslin is well known for his standout playing in the Maria Schneider Orchestra featured on the David Bowie collaboration Sue, along with his 2005 Grammy nominated solo on Concert in the Garden. As a composer and bandleader, McCaslin redefines the genre of improvised music. Nowhere is this more apparent than his 2015 release Fast Future. The music combines funk, breakbeats, and electronic dance music centered around McCaslin’s ability to balance melody and groove, blending jazz and electronica with virtuosic musicianship.

Russ Johnson’s Headlands at The Sugar Maple

Thursday, September 29 at 8:00pm, $10 cover
The Sugar Maple
441 E Lincoln Ave
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53207

Russ Johnson – trumpet/compositions
Rob Clearfield – keyboard
Matt Ulery – bass
Jon Deitemyer – drums

Trumpeter Russ Johnson is a recent Midwest transplant after spending 23 years as an important member of New York City’s jazz community. He has 7 recordings as a leader or co-leader and performed on more than 75 recordings as a sideman. Russ has worked alongside many of the legendary figures in jazz including Lee Konitz, Steve Swallow, Bill Frisell, and Joe Lovano. In addition, Russ has recorded and/or performed with a long list of the most prominent musicians currently on the international jazz scene, including Myra Melford, Ken Vandermark, and Tony Malaby. Russ has performed in more than 40 countries across the globe.

The Russ Johnson Quartet is his latest project & features 3 Chicago musicians (Jason Stein – bass clarinet; Anton Hatwich – bass; and Tim Daisy – drums) with international acclaim. This group recently performed at the Umbrella Festival in Chicago in November of 2013, and the 2014 Chicago Jazz Festival in Millennium Park. Their new recording “Meeting Point” was released in May of 2014 on Relay Recordings. “Meeting Point” received 4 ½ stars in the May issue of Down Beat magazine & has been listed among the “Best CD’s of 2014” in the January 2015 issue of Down Beat. Magnet Magazine recently placed “Meeting Point” on its “Top 10 CD’s of 2014” in the jazz/improvisation category.

October of 2014 saw the release of “Still Out to Lunch,” on the German label Enja. The group performs the music of Eric Dolphy, and recently headlined “Edge Fest” in Ann Arbor Michigan and has a January 2015 performance scheduled at NYC’s “Winter Jazz Fest.”


Dustin Laurenzi’s Natural Language at West End Conservatory

Dustin Laurenzi’s Natural Language RECORD RELEASE
w/ Devin Drobka‘s Bell Dance Songs

Friday, September 16th, 2016

West End Conservatory
5500 W Vliet St
Milwaukee, WI

$10 // all ages


Devin Drobka – drums
Chris Weller – saxophone
Mike Bjella – saxophone
Clay Schaub – bass

“Bell Dance Songs brims with such melodic and rhythmic tensions, often evoking dance-like rhythms, as a bell’s ring might, resonating in circular fashion more than articulating step patterns or back beats. This creative activity is very characteristic of Motian, who always defied conventions of the rhythm-maker’s role.” – Kevin Lynch, No Depression


Dustin Laurenzi – saxophone
Jeff Swanson – guitar
Mike Harmon – bass
Nate Friedman – drums

Saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi has made himself known throughout Chicago as a collaborator in some of the city’s most exciting and forward-thinking projects. With “Natural Language”, Laurenzi takes an unexpected approach to his debut recording as a leader, opting for restraint and a quiet confidence that spans the album’s seven tracks.

“Natural Language” will be released on September 9, 2016 on ears&eyes Records.

“Laurenzi plays with a beguiling cool that belies the sophistication and flexibility of his lines” – Peter Margasak, Chicago Reader

“…superbly winning…like listening to a human voice.” – Robert Rodi, Newcity Music

Dave King.

Noh Band / David Torn, Tim Berne, Dave King at The Sugar Maple

The Sugar Maple
441 E Lincoln Ave
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53207

Friday, October 28 at 8 PM – 11 PM
$25 — buy tickets below. Seating is limited

Tim Berne – alto saxophone
David Torn – guitars
Dave King – drums

NOHBAND is a new cooperative with Dave King,Tim Berne and Dave King.

Although David and Tim have been working together since the 90’s (Prezens), and Tim and Dave go back to 2007, (Buffalo Collision) this will be their first performance as a trio.


David Hazeltine Trio at Blu

Blu Milwaukee
23rd floor of the Historic Pfister Hotel
424 E Wisconsin Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53202
(414) 298-3196

Friday, September 23rd and Saturday September 24th, 2016, 8pm-midnight

David Hazeltine, piano
Jeff Hamann, bass
Mitch Shiner, drums

“David Hazeltine is for sure the brightest star on the jazz piano horizon. His style has a deep-seated commitment to jazz history while communicating a wealth of ‘today’s’ ideas…”
Cedar Walton

DAVID HAZELTINE is one of a handful of young pianists who has successfully forged his own distinctive style and musical voice out of the accumulated greatness and weight of a modern piano tradition. David’s influences extend from Art Tatum and Bud Powell to such great living masters as Buddy Montgomery, Barry Harris and Cedar Walton.

David made his professional debut at age thirteen in Milwaukee, and later worked extensively in and around Chicago and Minneapolis. In Milwaukee, David served as house pianist at the famed Milwaukee Jazz Gallery, working with such greats as Charles McPherson, Eddie Harris, Sonny Stitt, Pepper Adams and Chet Baker. In fact, it was Baker who encouraged David to make his mark in New York City.

Since moving to New York City in 1992, David has made a name for himself as a “musician’s musician.” In addition to his working trio (with drum legend Louis Hayes and bassist Peter Washington), David is in constant demand as a sideman. Recent credits include work with Freddie Hubbard, James Moody, the Faddis-Hampton-Heath Sextet, the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band, the Louis Hayes Quintet, and Marlena Shaw, for whom he serves as pianist, arranger, and musical director.  Recently David was spotlighted on Marian McPartland’s “Piano Jazz” radio program. David is also a member of the band “One For All” which features rising tenor star Eric Alexander.

David’s debut cd as a leader Four Flights Up (featuring Slide Hampton,) released in 1996 on the Sharp Nine Label, received high praise from critics and musicians alike.  Since then, he has recorded seven more cds for Sharp Nine, the latest being The Inspiration Suite.  David has also recorded six cds for the Criss Cross label, the most recent being Blues Quarters Volume 2.  In Japan, David’s six piano trio releases for the Venus label, including tributes to Bill Evans, Horace Silver, Bud Powell, and Burt Bacharach, have won him a large and growing following.

In addition to David’s twenty three dates as a leader, his recorded work as a featured sideman reflects his status as one of the first call pianists in New York.  Recent efforts include sessions with James Moody, Freddy Cole, Marlena Shaw, Jon Faddis, and Louis Hayes.

As a dedicated teacher, Hazeltine’s career reflects his intense commitment to the advancement of jazz culture and awareness. In Milwaukee, he was co-founder and director of The Jazz School, and Department Chairman at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music.  Recently, he served as Associate Professor at Berklee College Of Music.  Currently, David is on the piano faculty at S.U.N.Y. Purchase.

Perhaps David best sums up his feelings about his art and his career: “… the development of the body of music we call jazz is one of the marvels of the 20th century. To contribute to that tradition is all I want to do.”



Branford Marsalis Quartet with special guest Kurt Elling

Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts
Tickets: HERE
19805 W. Capitol Dr
Brookfield, WI 53045
Box office: 262-781-9520
Main line: 262-781-9470

Friday, September 30, 2016
8:00pm 10:00pm

A singular collaboration of musical forces kicks off our 15th Anniversary Season when the Branford Marsalis Quartet is joined by guest vocalist Kurt Elling!

The tight-knit working band—featuring Marsalis on saxophones, Joey Calderazzo on piano, Eric Revis on bass, and Justin Faulkner on drums—rarely invites other musicians into the folds of its telepathically cohesive unit, and Elling’s deep jazz vocabulary, technical versatility, and outstanding intonation will enable the band to perform a variety of material in new ways. Energized by the artistic promise of this collaboration, the band members have all contributed new tunes to perform with this special line-up and will be looking beyond the Great American Songbook. Although following the format of a standard jazz quartet with vocals, the collaboration between jazz’s most intense band and one of jazz’s foremost singers should prove to be anything but standard.