Jazz at TMORA

On Saturday, February 23, The Museum of Russian Art will host it’s first ever jazz concert from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. The price of tickets is $20.00 for non-members, and $15.00 for members. Registration is required and seating is limited. Reserve your spot today by clicking here! Sorry, no refunds. Questions? Call 612-821-9045.

The evening’s performers represent a ‘who’s who’ of contemporary jazz – vocalist Estaire Godinez, pianist Peter Schimke, Billy Peterson on bass, and special guest Irv Williams on the saxophone. Between the four of them, they have performed with names such as Prince, George Benson, Les Paul, Dizzy Gillespie, The Brothers Johnson, and many more. Be sure not to miss what is sure to be a truly magical event at The Museum of Russian Art.


Estaire Godinez

Estaire Godinez is an international jazz vocalist/percussionist who resides in Los Angeles, CA. She’s toured widely through Europe and South America performing at numerous jazz festivals and prestigious jazz clubs. Frequently sought after for her smoldering vocals and polyrhythmic beats, she has been featured on more than sixty albums. Her collaborations included such world renowned musicians as Prince, Coke Escovedo, The Brothers Johnson, Javier Rubal, Duncan Due and most recently with guitar sensation George Benson with whom she toured extensively. One reviewer wrote, “Percussionist/singer Godinez brings passionate intensity to everything she sings and plays. She plays wildly diverse percussion, she’s a passionate singer, and she brings dynamic electricity to every song she touches. All of which should make for an exciting night…” – Don Heckman.


Peter Schimke

Peter Schimke is one of the Twin Cities’ premier jazz pianists and is a frequent performer at both the Dakota and Artist Quarter jazz clubs. He studied classical piano with Gary Kirkpatrick of the Verdehr Trio and jazz piano with Brazilian pianist Manfredo Fest. Peter has a degree in music composition from William Patterson University and studied with NYU’s Jim McNeely. He is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant and is currently on the faculty of McNally Smith College of Music. A frequent collaborator with national artists such as Ben Sidran and Victor Wooten, Peter has been described as a “player who isn’t afraid to push the music in new directions. When he is comping behind a soloist he is engaged in a subtle dialog, listening and responding with harmonies and rhythms that sometimes represent a suggestion or invitation to the soloist. He is a player who is never on ‘autopilot’ but is engaged and committed to the music he is participating in creating. No two takes will be the same. Either on piano or Fender Rhodes, Schimke is well worth seeking out.” – Jazz Police


Billy Peterson

Billy Peterson may be regarded as one of the premier bass players in the world. Born into Minnesota’s First Family of Jazz, Billy learned his craft from his mother Jeanne and father Willie who both played live on WCCO Radio. Since those early beginnings, Billy has toured the globe performing with some of the most famous musicians on the planet. His collaborations include Bob Dylan, Prince, BB King, Leo Kottke, Les Paul, Carlos Santana, Pete Seager, and Steve Miller to name a few. Eminently competent in any genre of music, Billy infuses everything he plays with the sophisticated harmonies he internalized from his jazz roots. Now co-owner of St. Paul’s Artist Quarter, Billy has the opportunity to play with international greats such as John Patitucci, Eddie Gomez, and Ben Sidran when they are touring through town.


Irv Williams

Saxophonist Irv Williams is one of the true living legends in the history of Minnesota music. Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Irv played his first professional gig at 15. Now 93 years young, IRv’s career took him through the Big Band Era of the 1930′s and 40′s when he played with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Fletcher Henderson, and Billy Eckstein. But when the Navy Band brought him to Minneapolis during World War II, he turned down opportunities with Duke Ellington and Count Basie to set up roots in the Twin Cities. Here he played all of the great clubs, now long gone, such as Cassius’s Bamboo Room, the Red Feather, Freddie’s, the Crystal Coach, the Top of the Hilton, Suzette’s, and the notoriously famous Flame Bar where he was often back to back with such stars as Sarah Vaughn, Dizzy Gillespie, and Johnny Hodges. Williams has focused on the Great American Songbook throughout his career and his knowledge of the idiom is legendary. Fellow musicians marvel at his ability to play any song in any key and his signature has earned him the nickname “Mr. Smooth.” Matt Peiken of the St. Paul Pioneer Press writes that, “Irv Williams has always been about sweetness now power, and he’s still gigging strong.”


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