The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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May 16, 2014

St. Peter jazz series gets in swing

Blue Earth Collective performing; jazz scholars opening

ST. PETER — The first notes in the Arts Center of St. Peter's new summer jazz series, "Hot Jazz for Decent People," will be played at 7 p.m. today.

Actually, music by the jazz trio Blue Earth Collective doesn't begin until 8 p.m. — but the cash bar by Patrick's on Third begins at 7 p.m. and introductory remarks by area jazz scholars Phil Bryant and Gary Campbell will be given at 7:30 p.m.

"They will walk the audience through what to expect and how to listen," said Ann Rosenquist Fee, director of the arts center. "It's such a joy to have them, almost like a pre-performance to the performance."

Campbell is the host of KMSU's Maverick Slim Jazz Show while Bryant is the author of 2009's "Stompin' at the Grand Terrace: A Jazz Memoir in Verse."

Along with an earlier-than-usual concluding time for live music (9:30 p.m.), Rosenquist Fee said adding a pair of jazz experts to the series is part of her effort to convey the nuances of the art form to a wider audience.

"And we thought musicians would love it," she added. "So far, musicians have been excited to play in an intimate space where they can really communicate."

Music will be held in the lower level of the arts center and provided by a different southern Minnesota jazz ensemble each month.

Blue Earth Collective kicks off the series today. The trio is comprised of Chaz Draper (drums), Craig Matarrese (bass) and Kelly Fitz (guitar). The group will perform original instrumentals and groove-oriented arrangements of R&B, jazz and rock classics.

Tanner Kent

If You Go What "Hot Jazz for Decent People" with Blue Earth Collective When Cash bar at 7 p.m., introduction at 7:30 p.m., music at 8 p.m. Where Arts Center of St. Peter, 315 S. Minnesota Ave. Tickets $10 at the door Note Future series performances include: June 13 (E.Z. Jazz Trio), July 25 (Dan Duffy Orchestra) and Aug. 15 (Ben Marti Jazz Trio)

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