Thursday, May 27, 2010

How About a Big Dip of Jazz in MN

by Doug MacRostie

"Sometimes it's hard to get enough bread to pass around...but I'm dedicated to the art form," said Sam Miltich of Grand Rapids about his new group The Big Dipper Jazz Band. While only a few weeks old now, Sam's impressive band of 6 musicians are already booked to headline the annual Dylan Days celebration in Hibbing and also for KAXE's Annual Membership Meeting and Dance (that's when you know you've REALLY made it BIG ;D). The Big Dipper is one more step by Sam moving further away from the Gypsy Jazz style that helped to define his sound and style during the beginning of his career. We'll talk about the Big Dipper Jazz Band and hear a recording by DMcD Productions of their performance last week at Davies Theater in Grand Rapids.

Don't let his ripe old age of 25 fool you - when you talk to Sam Miltich, you'd think he was there when the first jazz-jam-session formed and has been alive and active ever since. With all of his passion and knowledge it's like he was close personal friends with the likes of Lester Young and Djengo Reinhart, and with all the time and energy he's spent with their music, he pretty much is. Sam's talent as a guitarist, writer and arranger and his work with the Clearwater Hot Club has been recognized all over the world. A recent story in Vintage Guitar said of Sam, "Miltich is a 20-something phenom blessed with fleet fingers, unending improvisational ideas, and a knack for songwriting...Miltich is also prolific with his band the Clearwater Hot Club." Yeah, that sounds about right :) Be sure to tune for this conversation - there are few people I've met that are as instantly-friendly and genuinely excited about their music as Sam.

Also tonight I've got new music from Mark Olson (of The Jayhawks) - "Many Colored Kite" will be released on July 27th, "It’s a hopeful Olson that greets the listener on Many Colored Kite, with its earthy, neo-folk feel that encompasses classic and ‘60s British folk as well as the “desert country” he’s been associated with in the past. " And we'll hear from Lake Effect, a group of students from UMD - it's mostly a-Capella jazz with some rhythm instrumentation, very close and consuming music. And I'll be starting the show with Wookiefoot's latest CD "Be Fearless and Play" which came out last year.

Centerstage MN is Thursday evenings at 6, streaming live online at; or 91.7 Grand Rapids, 89.9 Brainerd and 105.3 Bemidji and can be heard again Sunday mornings at 6. All interviews are archived at Centerstage MN is also heard on Pioneer 90.1 in Thief River Falls, Saturday nights at 11pm KFAI at 90.3 FM Minneapolis & 106.7 FM St. Paul Tuesday nights between 8 and 10pm.

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