The Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie series features the Peter Vircks Quartet (with Brian Ziemniak, Ron Evaniuk, Kevin Washington) on January 19. Their latest release, What You Believe Is True, landed on many local “best of the year lists” for 2014.
Among his many genre-bending projects, Peter Vircks co-founded Moveable Feast in 1999, dubbed by City Pages as the “Best Electro/Jazz/Funk/Hip-Hop Hybrid” of 2002. Since summer 2010, he’s been performing and writing for Rhythmic Circus’ touring production of Feet Don’t Fail Me Now!, which was named an Artist of the Year in 2011 by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, awarded two Sage awards, and voted “Best of the Twin Cities” by City Pages. The show opened off Broadway in the historic New Victory Theater in November 2013, and was performed at the annual APAP Conference in Manhattan earlier this month. Peter has also performed and/or recorded with such stars as Grammy Award winner Jennifer Holliday, Erick Kamau Gravatt (Weather Report, Source Code), the Yohannes Tona Band, Kevin Washington Quintet, Nachito Herrera, The Horn Heads, vocalist Bruce Henry, gospel phenomenon Robert Robinson, Katz and Dogs, President Flow (with fellow saxophonist Joe Mayo), and a relatively new project of funky soul, Midnight Love. In 2004, Peter attended the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, and in 2007 received an American Composers Forum Subito Grant.
His 2014 quartet release, What You Believe Is True, was funded in part by the Subito Grant and features original Vircks compositions on eight of the nine tracks. The music, like Vircks career in general, brings together elements of R&B, funk, and rock in an improvisational framework that instantly has broad appeal, often-danceable rhythms, yet an underlying modern jazz sensibility and serious intention.
Brian Ziemniak is one of the Twin Cities’ most versatile pianists. In the jazz world he has performed with Kneebody saxophonist Ben Wendel, pyrotechnic violinist Christian Howes, and noted avant garde clarinetist Jean-Brice Godet. Brian has toured with star-studded funk group FDeluxe and with popular Dutch saxophonist Candy Dulfer. He also appeared on soul legend Alexander O’Neal’s Live in Minneapolis DVD (2011). Around the Twin Cities, Brian performs with numerous bands and a wide range of artists, including vocalists Fred Steele and Bruce Henry, rock group Vintage Raggs, and jazz ensembles, the Yohannes Tona Band and Kevin Washington Quartet, in addition to fronting his own organ trio, BZ3.
Originally from the Detroit area, Ron (Roman) Evaniuk studied cello with Leonard Rose prodigy Robert Newkirk at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Ron has performed with Bill Carrothers, the American Classic Jazz Orchestra, Eric Gravatt’s Source Code, the JazzMN Orchestra, the late Gene Adams, and saxophonists Joe Ford and Andrew White. Ron also recorded with Harry Chapin on the album On the Road to Kingdom Come. He teaches and performs on acoustic bass, electric bass, and cello.
Despite his mere four decades on Earth, drummer Kevin Washington already has nearly three decades of professional experience, from stages in Detroit to New York to the Twin Cities. Raised in Detroit, the son of jazz artists/teachers Faye and Donald Washington moved with his family to the Twin Cities at age 13, and quickly became part of the local music community, spreading his talents across jazz, Latin, reggae and funk bands. After a few years in New York attending the New School and gigging with Chico Freeman, Arnie Lawrence, Antonio Hart and James Carter, Kevin returned to the Twin Cities where he has been in high demand to support national touring artists and playing with Moveable Feast, Doug Little, the Heptones, Nachito Herrera, Bruce Henry, Andres Prado, and Mississippi, as well as leading his own bands and teaching at area music schools and jazz camps.
Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie takes place weekly at the Reverier Bar and Cafe at 1931 Nicollet Ave South (at Franklin) in south Minneapolis. No cover but tip jar donations appreciated to support the musicians and the series. Reverie features a unique vegan menu and bar. Jazz schedule at www.thursdaynightjazzatreverie.info