I wish I MAY. I wish, I PLAY.

Hey everyone what’s happening?! I can only hope you are getting outside and enjoying this fantastic spring weather. It’s been a tremendous turnaround since we were deluged with that snowstorm a couple of weeks ago.  This month I’m keeping it simple and focusing on making and presenting music. The work of play and the benefits I personally feel from engaging in creative pursuits far outweighs any negatives in my life (see last months post). I’m truly lucky and thankful for the music and for the camaraderie of collaboration with so many incredible people. I get to work with a lot of special musicians and I’m always surprised when I get the chance to interact with new musicians. I have had the distinct pleasure of playing with about a half dozen new people in the last few days and everyone has shown a unique skill set that I’ve found interesting and fun. It’s great to know that there are still new musical adventurers out there to meet and play with. The continuum continues…

There are some very special shows coming up this month. Here’s what’s on the docket:

WEDNESDAY May 9thSam Militich @ Rief Center in Grand Rapids, MN – 7:30pm

Sam with Dave Karr, Nathan Norman and CB. We’ll play a nice set of Monk and original tunes and Sam will talk about his ongoing struggle with schizophrenia and how the music helps him cope. I’m very proud to work with Sam and I support his efforts to share his story so that others can gain some perspective and hopefully benefit from his experiences managing this intense disease.

SATURDAY May 12th: Atlantis Quartet @ Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog – 8:30pm  $10 All Ages

Atlantis Quartet! Award winning super nova ensemble. Always a pleasure to dig in with my friends and compatriots for the last ten years – Brandon, Pete and Zacc. We keep carving out our niche in the modern jazz world and we’re excited to share some fresh material for you. We’ve reinvigorated our collective spirit after laying down some great tracks at Pachyderm this winter. We’ll be releasing a new record later this year BUT PLEASE come and join us tonight for this show. Black Dog is always fun and enjoyable! Celebrate spring and beautiful weather!

Atlantis Quartet photo by Benny Moreno


MONDAY May 14th: Tatsuya Nakatani @ EARLY Jazz Implosion – 7:00pm  $12  21+

VERY EXCITED to have Tatsuya Nakatani back in town for one night. His last show here at Icehouse was one of the more vibrational ecstasies I’ve experienced in quite awhile. This is a special EARLY show and we’ll play one nice, long quartet set tonight featuring Tatsuya, CB, Noah Ophoven-Baldwin and Nathan Hanson. Please come on down early. There is a later ticketed show that night that is not a Jazz Implosion event so please make note of this special evening’s time and come support Tatsuya!

Tatsuya Nakatani with Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, Chris Bates and Nathan Hanson. Photo by Jon Davis


TUESDAY May 15th: Lynne Arriale trio @ Crooner’s Lounge – 7:30pm  $25  !CD RELEASE PARTY!

I’ll be joining my good friend Cory Healey as we help Lynne release her latest album. “Lynne Arriale’s remarkable career is graced by a rare commitment to authenticity and vulnerability defined by careful craft and high artistic standards. It is precisely this willingness to remain so emotionally exposed that makes her performances so accessible to music lovers of all kinds” (All About Jazz). Tickets in the link above!

SUNDAY May 20th: CB / Bryan Nichols trio @ Indeed Whirly Gig – 1pm  Art-A-Whirl

Bryan and I will be playing a fun trio set of our tunes and some standards for the Indeed Brewing Whirly Gig during Art-A-Whirl Weekend. We have to confirm the drummer but there is a good chance it will be the mighty King himself, Dave. Dosh, Porcupine, GangFont and Happy Apple also perform so it’s sure to be a super great day of music!

MONDAY May 21st: Red Planet @ Black Dog – 7pm  $10  All Ages

Red Planet – the interstellar churn returns for our regular 3rd Monday. Do it at the Dog! Dean Magraw, Jay Epstein and CB play all the music of your dreams! COLTRANE! MONK! HENDRIX! Ooohh LALA!

SATURDAY May 26th: Inatnas Orchestra @ Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog  8:30pm  $15  All Ages

Inatnas Orchestra is the collective Big Band run by award winning husband and wife team JC Sanford and Asuka Kakatani. Asuka and JC have been carving out their careers in New York City for many years and have recently relocated to Minnesota. They bring a wealth of musical and compositional firepower to our fair city and I’m happy to be making music with them. The band they have put together contains the best and brightest of the Twin Cities Jazz community. The debut performance of this band was SRO in the big room at the Black Dog so plan on an early arrival to get some prime seats for this incredible ensemble because the sounds and majesty of large ensemble jazz composition is truly something everyone should hear live.

TUESDAY May 29th: Red Planet w/ Bill Carrothers @ Vieux Carre  8pm  $10  All Ages

The award winning combination of Red Planet with Bill Carrothers is a truly magnificent and touching collaboration. Our album was awarded four stars in Down Beat Magazine and has received rave reviews from several other media outlets. Come and fill up the old AQ space and help us prove that the people make the venue as we make our quartet debut at Vieux Carre!

“Carrothers’ feathery textures go nicely with the wave of effects Dean Magraw wrings from his guitar…bassist Chris Bates and drummer Jay Epstein spin the eruptions with aplomb.” – Star Tribune.

Links to our music and tickets for this show are above. This one is not to be missed as we currently have no other dates booked in the Twin Cities.

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Thanks for being supporters of live music and the artists who make it!

Have a great Spring!