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Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues
Sioux Falls Jazz & Blues is the only organization in the region to feature America’s indigenous music—jazz and blues—in concerts, the annual JazzFest, and educational programs and concerts.
2014-2015 Subscriber Information
$194 Level A seating
2014-2015 Concert Series
*Performances held at the Orpheum Theater.
Jeff Lorber Fusion with Jimmy Haslip and Eric Marienthal
October 10, 2014 at 8:00 P.M.
Born in Philadelphia in 1952, Lorber began playing piano when he was just four years old. By his teen years, he had hooked up with several local R&B bands, but his tastes trended more toward jazz when he studied at Berklee College of Music.
After college, he relocated to Portland, Oregon, where he formed the Jeff Lorber Fusion. The Jeff Lorber Fusion first honed their craft in the club scene and rapidly expanded their reach to a national and international audience via a combination of complex harmonies, unconventional time signatures and compelling rhythms. The group released their self-titled debut album in 1977, and quickly became one of the most popular acts in the jazz fusion scene, due in large part to relentless touring and a string of artistically daring and commercially successful recordings.
More than three decades after his earliest recordings, Lorber has come full circle. His new recording, Hacienda, released in August 2013, revisits a sound he helped pioneer. The album takes the experiment that he started with his GRAMMY®-nominated CD, Now is the Time, and his 2012 album, Galaxy, up a notch with 11 exciting and energetic new compositions performed by some of the biggest names in jazz today. Co-produced by Lorber and bassist/composer Jimmy Haslip, Hacienda also features saxophonist Eric Marienthal, a longtime collaborator with Lorber and his collective. Other guests include premier jazz-rock violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, drummers Vinnie Colaiuta and Dave Weckl, and an impressive cadre of other stellar players.
Lorber’s music reaches a new level by crystallizing jazz, funk, and Latin rhythms with some killer melodies that will certainly translate to live performance. Obviously, time spent touring together has made Lorber, Haslip and Marienthal into a tight unit, which is evident from this latest recording.
Trampled Under Foot
November 21, 2014 8:00 P.M.
Given their upbringing, it’s no wonder Trampled Under Foot have quickly become one of the hottest up-and-coming blues bands on the circuit today. Siblings Danielle Schnebelen (lead vocals and bass), Nick Schnebelen (guitars and vocals) and Kris Schnebelen, (drums) have a lifelong connection with the blues. Growing up in Kansas City, MO, the hard-charging trio soaked up the music of their parents, who were active in the thriving blues scene. After years of playing in separate bands, Danielle, Kris and Nick decided to keep things in the family and formed Trampled Under Foot (TUF). “The bonds are stronger with family,” Kris says. “You’re more familiar with each other, that’s for sure.”
A pivotal moment came in 2008 when Trampled Under Foot headed to Memphis for the Blues Foundation’s 24th International Blues Challenge and walked away with first place, proving to the world that they’re a band to be reckoned with. Nick also took home the prestigious Albert King Award for best guitarist. “When we won, I couldn’t believe it,” says Danielle. “It opened up a lot of doors for us, and we got some really great gigs out of it.”
After several acclaimed self-released albums, Trampled Under Foot debuted Badlands in 2013 on Telarc, a division of Concord Music Group. Toughened by years of nonstop roadwork, Badlands reveals a musical sophistication well beyond the band’s years.
On Badlands, the band worked again with producer Tony Braunagel at his Ultratone Studios in California. The drummer in the Phantom Blues Band, Braunagel plays some percussion on the album and recruited veteran keyboardist Mike Finnigan (Jimi Hendrix, Bonnie Raitt, Etta James) to play keys. Johnny Lee Schell, who also recorded the album, adds acoustic guitar to one track and even mother Lisa Swedelund provides some additional backing vocals. John Porter mixed the final results at Independent Street Studios in New Orleans.
January 16, 2015 8:00 P.M.
For Epic recording artist Morgan James, honing in on the ideal use for her stunningly powerful vocals took years of soul-searching and discovery. After joining a choir in junior high, James left her Northern California home at age 18 to study opera at the Juilliard School. While the rigorous conservatory training went a long way in refining her vocals and building her remarkable range, James ultimately abandoned opera and devoted her initial post-Juilliard years to working her way onto the stages of some of the city’s most legendary clubs—and into prominent roles on Broadway. Now, with her Epic debut album Morgan James Live, James offers up a selection of songs that show off her extraordinary voice and exquisite gift for merging soul, jazz, and R&B in a fresh and thrilling new way.
For James, it took weathering her first few years as a struggling musician in New York City to tune into the sorrow that instills so much of Simone’s work. “Honestly, I didn’t realize I could sing this way until I was lonely, jobless, and listening to a lot of incredibly sad music all the time,” she says. “I figured that since I wasn’t making money from my music yet, I should at least work in places where other people were playing music—places like Cafe Wha? and Prohibition,” recalls James. “After a while I started asking if I could sit in with the bands. Floored by her vocal chops, James’s impromptu collaborators encouraged her to broaden her body of music. “I started out by learning all the licks that Aretha and Nina did, but pretty soon I was on my way to developing my own style,” she says.
March 13, 2015 8:00 P.M.
If you haven’t heard of Nikki Hill yet, you soon will, and once you see her perform, you won’t forget her. Hill and her band (who Nikki deems ‘The Pirate Crew') are climbing to the top of the roots music scene step by step and leaving jaws on the floor along the way. With a no-filter energy, they take all the flavors of American roots music and deliver a sound that will make you believe in rock and roll again! Nikki’s gritty and raw voice with Stax soul dynamics, driving rhythm guitar from Matt Hill, and a tight rhythm section provided by Ed Strohsahl and Joe Meyer come together and make a sound that just sounds like the truth.
Hailing from Durham, North Carolina, Nikki comes by her Deep South soul honestly. Her musical roots began while singing in gospel choirs at church as a child. A stint living in nearby college town Chapel Hill introduced her to many different styles of music and the awareness of music (and more importantly, unique and non-mainstream music) as a possible career. After pairing up with her guitar-playing husband Matt Hill, they have made an unstoppable team and have established themselves as roots rock and roll powerhouses!
Nikki Hill’s self-titled EP released in June of 2012 created a heavy and sudden international underground buzz that the band has traveled with from state to state and overseas. Those 4 tunes penned by Hill herself, proved that they have an energy that appeals to everyone who is ready to dance, drawing crowds from every avenue at their shows. One club advertisement will call Nikki “The Southern Fireball”, “the new soul sensation”, “amazing R&B shouter”, and even “the new Queen of Rock and Roll”. Moving into 2013 with more songs, more energy, and a desire to play their music for the world, the band is still gaining momentum and appear to have no plans of stopping, as they are continuing to tour all over the United States, Europe and Australia after Hill’s newest debut full length album Here’s Nikki Hill, released in April 2013, helps them spread their message of rock ‘n’ soul to believers and new converts everywhere!
April 10, 2015 8:00 P.M.
ASCAP award-winning vocalist Kathy Kosins has won the hearts of critics and fans around the globe with her eclectic musical palette that expands the rich history of jazz. Born and bred during the Motown era of Detroit, she began singing and arranging background vocals for producer Don Was in the early eighties, which led to her becoming one of the most sought after session singers. As a lead vocalist she recorded for both Carrere (Sony) and Quality Records and later toured with Was/Not Was.
In the early "90s, Kosins, a ferocious writer and arranger, fell in love with the freedom of the jazz art form and her writing naturally evolved into a more traditional approach. Stints with the JC Heard and Nelson Riddle Orchestras followed and led to a 1996 release of "All In A Dreams Work" (SchoolKids Records), an impressive debut featuring a first rate collection of nine originals and a cover of the Miles Davis composition" Four." Reported by over 250 Jazz stations, she reached the top 20 in the Gavin.
Her 2002 release of "Mood Swings" (Chiaroscuro Records) continued to bring her recognition and success at the national level. On her 2006 release of "Vintage," (Mahogany Jazz), she rediscovered little known songbook gems which she placed alongside a few widely known, yet unexpected tunes from outside the jazz tradition, which brought her glowing reviews from journalists.
Always a pioneer, Kosins decided to take a different approach in 2010 by releasing singles quarterly under the new Mahogany Digital label, rather than an entire CD every few years. The tradition of releasing singles runs deep in jazz music. Singles enable artists the freedom to create and record on a natural timeline that corresponds with fan demand and tour schedules.
Kosins has recorded with many well known jazz and R&B artists to include Aaron Goldberg, Reuben Rogers, Eric Harland, Peter Bernstein, Larry Koonse, Tamir Hendelman, Robert Hurst, Jeremy Pelt, Jon Ellis, Howard Levy, Don Was, Martin Wind, Ben Wolfe, Michael Henderson and more.