Con Alma: An hour of local jazz

The Atlantis Quartet performs Saturday at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. (Photo by Shelly Moss)

The Twin Cities Jazz Festival roared to an invigorating start Thursday with music at St. Paul’s Mears Park from New Sound Underground.

But my favorite of the night was the show at the Black Dog Café featuring saxophonist Donald Washington, trombonist Brad Bellows, bassist Chris Bates and drummer Pete Hennig. Their show spoke to the great quality of the Twin Cities jazz scene, one in which different generations of musicians who specialize in different forms of jazz often collaborate on special projects.

In honor of the strong local tradition, I’ve put together an hour-long show of music to feature local jazz bands playing at the festival. I’m calling it Con Alma, a nod to the tune by trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie whose work with international jazz musicians changed history.

The lineup includes music by the Atlantis Quartet, guitarist Cory Wong, the Adam Meckler Orchestra, the Illicit Sextet, saxophonist Walter Smith II, and the festival headliner, pianist Cyrus Chestnut. As saxophonist Eddie Harris said, Listen Here.