Which Jazz Bands are the Best Found in Minnesota?

Jazz Band - Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/pedrosimoes7/123345168

Minnesota is no New York City as far as publicity goes, but its impressive roster of contemporary jazz musicians makes it a genre landmark. The closing of Saint Paul’s iconic Jazz club, Artists’ Quarter, may have slowed the scene down a bit, there are plenty of venues at which great jazz is played nightly, thanks to the following musicians who exceed expectations and push the envelope consistently.

JazzMN Orchestra – www.jazzmn.org

For an authentic jazz sound, perk your ears up for this big band ensemble consisting of 17 skillful players. The members of JazzMN Orchestra each have a unique style to bring to the stage, all of which culminate in an unforgettable, big sound. Their varied backgrounds allow for a diverse set list and a joyful audience.

The Illicit Sextet – www.facebook.com/theillicitsextet

Their cheeky name is in line with these musicians’ ambitions and skill. Boasting diverse backgrounds and veteran showmanship, its members fill each stage with energy, showing jazz enthusiasts just what they’ve been missing. A popular band in the late 1980’s, they bounced back stronger and smoother than before in recent years.

Phil Hey Quartet – myspace.com/philheyquartet

Audiences can’t help but groove with the modern beats of this seasoned quartet as they grace Minnesota’s trendiest jazz clubs like Jazz Central and The Black Dog. Upbeat drummer Phil Hey has collaborated with such legends as Charlie Rouse, and now he blends his unique style with three solid contemporaries.

With other favorites such as The Bad Plus Dean Magraw at the helm, Minnesota is holding on to its prominent place in today’s jazz scene. From the Twin Cities to their suburbs and beyond, Jazz greats can be heard and appreciated by locals and tourists alike. Most people agree there is a perfect jazz band for just about everyone within Minnesota. You just have to be willing to put the effort into finding them.

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