A jazz festival wish list

The Twin Cities Jazz Festival is behind us and serious fans of improvisational music may be suffering from a bit of withdrawal – notwithstanding shows from fine local musicians.

With next year’s festival in mind, I asked MPR colleagues and jazz lovers Rob Byers, Kyle Wesloh and Jeff Severns Guntzel to help compile a list of artists we’d all like to see at the next festival.

Who knows, it could happen…

Here are our picks:


Piano: Gonzalo Rubalcaba

Guitar: Kurt Rosenwinkel, Gilad Hekselman

Bass: Christian McBride

Saxophone: Branford Marsalis

Trumpet: Nicholas Payton

Vocals: Cassandra Wilson

Big Band: Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra


Trombone: Wycliffe Gordon:

Drums: Brian Blade

Trumpet: Kermit Ruffins


Drums: Brian Blade Fellowship

Piano: Brad Mehldau

Guitar: Kurt Rosenwinkel

Trumpet: Dave Douglas

Big Band: Maria Schneider Big Band with Theo Bleckmann


Saxophone: Donnny McCaslin

Trumpet: Wynton Marsalis small group

Vocals/bass: Esperanza Spalding

Trombone: Trombone Shorty

Big Band: Mingus Big Band

Combo: Rudder

Everyone: Local, local, local – bassist Anthony Cox, the Atlantis Quartet, percussionist Dave Hagedorn, saxophonist Brandon Wozniak, guitarist Dean Magraw …and whatever drummer Dave King wants to do.