Zacc Harris Group — Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie on July 21

Twin Cities
Zacc Harris Group, © Andrea Canter
Zacc Harris Group, © Andrea Canter

Surely one of the busiest jazz musicians in the Twin Cities, guitarist Zacc Harris is a man of many ensembles, heading the Atlantis Quartet, Zacc Harris Trio and Quartet, American Reverie, and lending his strings to Tall Tales, Grain, and more. About five years ago, Harris added the Zacc Harris Group to his list of projects, bringing together pianist Bryan Nichols and the brothers Bates, bassist Chris and drummer JT. With Pete Hennig pinch-hitting for JT Bates, the Zacc Harris Group is on stage for Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie on July 21 at 9 pm.

Zacc Harris, © Andrea Canter
Zacc Harris, © Andrea Canter

Zacc Harris came to Minneapolis about ten years ago from Illinois, where he graduated from Southern Illinois University. Here he formed the Luminessence Trio (now Zacc Harris Trio), continuing their long-running Sunday night gig at the Riverview Wine Bar. In addition to his many projects as bandleader, Zacc performs frequently with Brandon Wozniak, Adam Meckler and Babatunde Lea, and is often on stage at Jazz Central Studios, the Black Dog, Vieux Carré, and Studio Z, where he has curated Jazz at Studio Z for four seasons.  Zacc is also dedicated to teaching; he is an adjunct faculty at Hamline University and has taught guitar privately for the past 15 years.

Bryan Nichols, © Andrea Canter
Bryan Nichols, © Andrea Canter

Pianist Bryan Nichols returned to his native Minnesota after studies at Iowa State and gigging in Chicago. A member of the 2004 edition of Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead (“Jazz Stars of Tomorrow”), he performed at Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He’s played with Ari Brown, Maurice Brown, Von Freeman, and more, and has taught at the MacPhail Center for Music and the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Locally Bryan is heard with his own trio, quintet and large ensemble, We Are Many; often performs on weekends at the Icehouse in duo with bassist James Buckley; is a member of the Atrium Jazz Ensemble led by Jeremy Walker; performs in Mancrush, led by Lars-Erik Larson; and appears with other innovative artists. Bryan was a 2010 recipient of a McKnight grant, released Bright Places in 2011, and this spring released his solo recording,

Chris Bates, © Andrea Canter
Chris Bates, © Andrea Canter

Bassist Chris Bates is familiar to Twin Cities’ audiences through his ongoing associations with the How Birds Work, Dean Magraw’s Red Planet, Framework, the Atlantis Quartet and many other cutting-edge ensembles and big bands, as well as his own bands, Red Five and Good Vibes Trio. Each of his bands released a well-received recording in the past few years – Red Five’s New Hope, and the self-titled Good Vibes Trio. At Jazz Central Studios, Chris curates a monthly “new music” series. Chris studied at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire and later with Anthony Cox, was an original member of the Motion Poets, and a 1999 McKnight Composer Fellow.

Pete Hennig, © Andrea Canter
Pete Hennig, © Andrea Canter

Drummer Pete Hennig came to the Twin Cities to study at McNally Smith. After graduating he spent an additional three years studying with Dave King (Bad Plus, Happy Apple). His performance credits include the Atlantis Quartet, Debbie Duncan, Katie Gearty, Sam Kuusisto, Tickle Fight, Patrick Harrison, Johnny Clueless, Park Evans, Monk in Motian, and the Fantastic Merlins, and he leads his own bluegrass band (Bluegrass Bandits).

Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie–1931 Nicollet Ave in Minneapolis–is a weekly jazz night curated by Steve Kenny, often with an early band at 7 pm followed by the headline band at 9 pm. No cover but tips ($10 suggested) appreciated to support the musicians and the series. Schedule at www.thursdaynightjazzatreverie.info