JC Sanford Residency
January 20 @ 8:00 pm$10 – $35
JC Sanford’s Monday Night Jazz @ Icehouse residency resumes with drummer Davu Seru’s trio featuring vibraphonist Levi Schwartzberg and trombonist JC Sanford. They’ll be followed by newcomer to the Twin Cities area (via MacPhail/Dakota Combo) pianist Michael Cain and his quartet. He’ll be joined by guitarist Diogo Peixoto, bassist James Hamilton, and drummer Kieran Wallace.
Davu Seru is a drummer and composer. He has worked with numerous improvising musicians and composers throughout the United States and France. He is composer and bandleader for the ensembles Motherless Dollar and No Territory Band. For the year 2017-2018 he served as the first-ever composer-in-residence at Studio Z in Saint Paul. Davu has also received awards from the Jerome Foundation (2017-18 Composer/Sound Artist Fellow), American Composers Forum (Minnesota Emerging Composer Award), the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (Next Step Fund) and has received commissions from the Zeitgeist Ensemble and Walker Art Center. In addition to his musical pursuits, Davu is a published author and a professor of English and African American literature and culture at Hamline University.
Levi Schwartzberg (vibraphone) is a 2014 graduate of Minneapolis Southwest High School, where he played for school ensembles, including the combo Cosmic Troubadours. As a vibraphonist, Levi performed with the Dakota Combo and PipJazz Youth All-Stars for two years each. He studied piano for about ten years, and took up the vibes in middle school, progressing quickly to a four-mallet level. Levi performs around town in his own ensembles and numerous bands with such veterans as Davu Seru, Steve Kenny and Adam Linz.
Trombonist/composer/conductor JC Sanford is a musician of rare breadth, deeply rooted in the traditions of Jazz and Classical music, yet constantly pushing at their boundaries. Equally at home in many roles, Sanford works regularly as a composer, performer, arranger and conductor. A disciple of the legendary composer/trombonist Bob Brookmeyer, Sanford has had his works performed by Danilo Pérez, Dave Liebman, John Abercrombie, Ingrid Jensen, Lew Soloff, and others. His jazz orchestra CD Views from the Inside garnered international acclaim and received the coveted Aaron Copland Fund Recording Grant. The ensemble has also been recognized as a “Rising Star Big Band” in DownBeat Magazine’s Critic’s Poll the past 4 years. As a conductor, he is a member of the twice-Grammy-nominated John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, and also conducts the Alan Ferber Nonet +Strings, the Frank Carlberg Large Ensemble, John Ellis’ Ice Siren, and conducted the Alice Coltrane Orchestra featuring Ravi Coltrane, Charlie Haden, and Jack DeJohnette before her death. He also curated the Brooklyn-based creative large ensemble series known as “Size Matters” for over 4 years. He was a member of the BMI Jazz Composers’ Workshop led by Jim McNeely and longtime contractor for the BMI/New York Orchestra. In 2017, Sanford founded the Twin Cities Jazz Composers’ Workshop alongside his wife, composer Asuka Kakitani, with whom he also co-leads the Twin Cities-based Inatnas Orchestra. He was recently awarded a 2018 McKnight Composers Fellowship and a 2019 MN State Arts Board Artist Initiative Grant to record his quartet. In 2019 he took over as musical and artistic director of the JazzMN orchestra.
Pianist and composer Michael Cain began gaining international recognition in the mid 1980’s while still a student at the California Insitute of the Arts, performing, touring, and recording with jazz greats James Newton, jazz vocalist Marlena Shaw, the Gerald Wilson Orchestra, and drummer Billy Higgins among others. After moving to New York in 1990, Cain became a first call pianist, working with drum legend Jack DeJohnette for nine years, as well as Dave Holland, Steps Ahead, Ravi Coltrane, Bobby McFerrin, Terence Blanchard, Stanley Turrentine, Lauren Hill, Pat Metheny, Charles Neville, Christian McBride, Vernon Reid, Robin Eubanks, and Meshell N’degeocello among others. He has received numerous awards, including a 2006 Grammy nomination for Dance of the Infidel, Meshell N’degeocello’s release on which Michael is pianist and co-arranger. He has recorded several records as a leader including Circa, a 1996 ECM release which featured Ralph Alessi and Peter Epstein. Michael’s latest release is entitled Hoo Doo and is available on iTunes and CD Baby.com.