Once a teen prodigy playing piano around the Twin Cities, Javier Santiago went on to study for two years at the acclaimed Brubeck Institute and ultimately graduate from the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in Manhattan. After performing on the New York scene for a few years, he returned to the Twin Cities where he has been busy as leader and sideman. For this weekend’s installment of Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog (April 23, 8:30 pm), Javi joins forces with long-time collaborator, drummer Miguel Hurtado, and bassist Dan Carpel. The opening set (7 pm) features a trio headed by keyboard master Steve Kimmel.
Javi Santiago Trio (8:30 pm)
Minneapolis native Javi Santiago comes by his musical bent honestly, the son of drummer Mac and vocalist Laurie Santiago, and grandson of Latin percussion master, the late Luis Santiago. Javi began studying piano at age 7, turning to jazz piano and trumpet at age 10, and playing with the bands in middle school and high school as well as the Minnesota Youth Jazz Band and the first edition of the Dakota Combo under the direction of Kelly Rossum. In 2006, Javi was awarded the Jane Matteson Scholarship at the Schubert Club/Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education Jazz Piano Competition; the following year he won the David Paulus Scholarship at the same competition. A former student of pianist Tanner Taylor, Javi was selected as a Fellow of the Brubeck Institute at the University of the Pacific after completing high school, where he attended for the maximum two years. From Brubeck Javi moved on to complete his college studies at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York, graduating in December 2011. After returning to the Twin Cities, Javi has become a significant voice on the local jazz scene, performing at Jazz Central, The Nicollet (now Reverie), Black Dog, Icehouse, Crooners, and other venues as well as at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. In 2015, Javi released an EP, Year of the Horse, with original compositions.
Dan Carpel (bass) was a regular performer at Wally’s Cafe in Boston before relocating to the Twin Cities. Here he has performed with Javi Santiago, Pete James Johnson, and others.
Miguel Hurtado (drums) played throughout the Twin Cities as a teenager with Javi Santiago in several youth bands, as well as with South High jazz ensembles. After graduating from the Manhattan School of Music in spring 2010, he returned to the Twin Cities where he quickly became a busy member of the local jazz scene. He led his own ensembles at the 2011 Twin Cities Jazz Festival and performed at the Artists Quarter and Dakota; more recently he has been heard at Jazz Central, the Icehouse, Black Dog and more. In addition to leading his own bands, he has performed with Jake Baldwin, John Raymond, Jeremy Walker, Javi Santiago, Joe Strachan, Ted Olsen, and Courageous Endeavors. He’s also expanding his musical resumé, playing with some local pop and R&B singers, particularly Alicia Steele and vocalist/rapper Toussaint Morrison.
Steve Kimmel Group (7 pm)
The Steve Kimmel Group includes Kimmel on keys, Margo Breivik on bass, and Trevor Haining on drums. A veteran of the Twin Cities music scene, multi-instrumentalist Steve Kimmel ran the old Rainbow Gallery Jazz Club and handled bookings for the Loring Bar. He’s also considered a “legend” of the U of M West Bank, having performed with many of the area’s blues and jazz artists including the Lamont Cranston Band. Margo Breivik plays upright and electric bass with the Capri Big Band and Bossa Jazz Band, and is a long-time collaborator with Steve Kimmel. She’s also played sax with the Hornetts, the all-gal horn section in the Roxxy Hall Band. Drummer Trevor Haining started percussion studies at age 5 with the Minnesota Orchestra’s Elliott Fine. He studied jazz at Indiana University and was selected for study at the Stearns Institute for Young Artists in 2010. Trevor is a busy member of the Twin Cities music scene, playing with Maryann Sullivan’s Corner Jazz, the Fire Rose Band, Phil Mattson Singers, Katia Cardenas, Doug Haining, the Bloomington Symphony (timpani) and more.
Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog is a weekly series of top jazz artists curated by Steve Kenny. No cover but donations ($10 suggested) to the tip jar are appreciated to support the performers and the series. The Black Dog is located at 308 Prince Street, main level of the Northern Warehouse at Broadway and E. 4th Street in St Paul’s Lowertown. Series schedule at www.saturdaynightjazzattheblackdog.info; full line-up for the Black Dog at www.blackdogstpaul.com