The Bates Update – February 2015

Working hard on so many projects right now. The Jason Melek memorial I wrote about last month is mov

The Bates Update – Jan 2015

Happy New Year everyone! Gather ‘round for a tale of tragedy, triumph, tribute and revitalization.

The Bates Update – December 2014

Art Blakey, Art Tatum, Art Pepper, Artie Shaw, Art Farmer, Art Davis, Art Taylor, Art Lande, Art Hir


The Bates Update – February 2015

February 5, 2015 in Blog, Lessons, Performances

Working hard on so many projects right now. The Jason Melek memorial I wrote about last month is moving right along and continues to reward us all with unexpected niceties. Dean Granros’ Tall Tales is recording this week for a new album to be released later this year on Shifting Paradigm Records. Enormous and Framework are both working on new material and planning recordings. Red Planet is back in action this month as is Red 5 and Leisure Valley. I’m also very happy to announce that I’m co-writing the music for the next KBEM Jazz Noir Radio Drama with Steven Hobert and Soloman Parham. That work will be performed at the Dakota on Sunday April 26th, so mark your calendars for that one, it’s going to be quite special. Not much more to say so check out the listings below for details and personnel for this months gig-o-rama.

I look forward to seeing you out and about this month!

Tues. Feb. 10th:  7:30pm  $10 donation  All Ages

Framework @ the Black Dog

Long time running with Chris Olson and Jay Epstein.

Wed. Feb. 11th:  8:30pm  $10 donation  All Ages

Chris Bates Magica Improvisada @ Jazz Central

PKD w/ George Cartwright & Jt Bates

I’ve been intrigued and inspired by George Cartwright for a long long time. I’m excited to be playing with him for the first time. Plus, guys, JT Bates.

Thurs. Feb. 12th:  6pm  FREE  All Ages

Axis Mundi @ Hell’s Kitchen

Glen Helgeson, Dave Stanoch, Gary Schulte & CB playing music from across the globe.


Game One: Studio Z – 7:30pm  $10  All Ages

Jason Squinobal Quartet w/ Dave Hagedorn, Cory Healey and CB.

Really exquisite original songs from Jason who is the jazz studies prof. at UofM Morris.

Game Two: Icehouse – 10:30pm  $8  21+

Fall of the House of Usher- This juggernaut of post-modernity is back at it.

Chris Cunningham, Greg Schutte, Elliot Wachs, Cole Pulice, Adrian Larkin, Nathan Hanson, Ivan Cunningham, Adam Svec and America’s Jon Davis.

Mon. Feb 16th:  9:30pm  $8  21+

Icehouse & Jazz Implosion present:

Enormous Quartet @ Icehouse

Christopher Michael Thomson, Jacob Park Evans, Joey Van Phillips & Christopher John Bates.

Thurs. Feb. 19th:  7pm  $15  All Ages

Realphonic Radio Hour Presents:

Shannon McNally w/ Red Planet

I see red, not blue! Red Planet will be opening up for the beautiful Shannon McNally bringing our exploratorium to the James J. Hill Library! Click the link for info.


Shifting Paradigm Records Jazz Fest @ Studio Z

Game One:  5pm  Nichols/Bates/Bates

Game Two:  6pm  Atlantis Quartet

Game Three:   8:30pm Good Vibes Trio plays: Saturday Night Jazz @ Black Dog

This is a VERY BIG day celebrating all the stupendous talent in our improvising community.

Mon. Feb 23rd:  9:30pm  $10  21+

Icehouse & Jazz Implosion present:

Chris Bates’ Red 5 & Cory Healey’s Beautiful Happy Sunshine Band

Two super groups + Icehouse + you = Bitchin’ good time.

Wed. Feb 25th:  7pm  FREE

Leisure Valley @ Cafe Maude

Bruce Thornton, Patrick Harison, JVP & CB

Fri. Feb 27th:  7:30pm  $10 donation  All Ages

Jazz Central’s Bridge Series

A new quartet featuring: Zacc Harris, Javi Santiago, Miguel Hurtado & CB

Sat. Feb. 28th:  8:30pm  $10 donation  All Ages

Zacc Harris Quartet @ Black Dog w/ Bryan Nichols, JT & CB

Thanks for listening!  CB

The Bates Update – Jan 2015

January 6, 2015 in Blog, Lessons, Performances

Happy New Year everyone!

Gather ‘round for a tale of tragedy, triumph, tribute and revitalization. In this age of social media and transitory relationships we are often feeling more connected and yet perhaps we remain farther apart than ever before. Through my use of social media though, I have managed to reconnect with many of my old friends and associates. Most of the time these reconnections last only a day or so as I pass through a town to perform at a venue and continue on my journey as a bassist. In real life those moments are the highlights of my travels. I value the personal connections I’ve made with people in my life and I appreciate any and all efforts people make to sustain them. These little intersections persist beyond just a few hours in real life as we now have the ability to see and follow many of our friends in the virtual world too. Which brings me to a Facebook message I received on Christmas day from an old high school classmate of mine Dave Melek.

“Sorry to bother you on Xmas. Any interest in doing some recording on Sunday the 28th at the Terrarium with Jason Gerling and me? Long story but the bass player that was part of these recordings is out. If you are interested I will send more info on what we would be doing. Merry xmas!”

“I’m definitely interested Dave. I am in the midst of Xmas with the fam. Let’s talk later tonight if you’re free.”

Even though I had only a tiny sliver of connection to Dave I felt something powerful in our conversation later that evening. Dave’s brother Jason had passed away earlier this year after a long battle with mental illness. Of all the ways in which we can die this one seems the most frustrating and tragic to me because it leaves so many people with unanswered questions. As it turns out Jason had left behind close to 200 songs in various states of completion and Dave was feeling compelled to finish them in order to find some sort of closure for his family and friends who are still reeling from this loss. I can’t think of a better reason to be involved with music. On top of ALL of that Dave told me that my old friend Jason Gerling would be drumming.

Jason Gerling is one of my oldest friends from my musical past and a truly inspiring person. As far back as I can remember Jason was one of the most truly gifted and hard working musicians I’ve known. Jason and I have remained in touch off and on over the years and talked about trying to play together again. However, it would be different than before because now Jason is a quadriplegic. He suffered his injury in a car accident over 20 years ago. Over time Jason has been able to work his way back and can now play drum set again! In the last 10 years Jason has worked to develop a drum set that allows him to play without his feet! It is truly remarkable and I can honestly say that I can’t even tell that he has a disability. Reconnecting with him after 22 years is truly an incredible gift. (For way more on Jason’s story go here: WCCO)

To be working with Jason and Dave to help bring these songs to life is actually indescribable. We’re in the studio, tracking to the voice and guitar of a great songwriter, who we cannot interact with. Dave is there making suggestions and egging us on to ‘listen and feel my brother’. It’s working! We’re all getting goosebumps, shedding some tears and freaking out over how good everything sounds. We have 4-5 tunes recorded so far and we’ll be working on more over the next few months. Then we’re going to play live. I’ll keep you posted on that. Until then just know that music is truly a healing force and that our real life connections have far more value than our virtual ones. Please keep in touch virtually, but really, I hope to see and interact with you out in the real world. It’s where it all actually happens.

Rob, Dave, Jason & CB

Rob, Dave, Jason & CB

Here’s what’s happening this month:

Tuesday Jan 6th

8:30pm  $10 donation  All Ages

Bill Simenson Big Band @ Jazz Central

Saturday Jan 10th

6pm  FREE

Joel Shapira, Eric Kamau Gravatt and CB @ Loring Pasta Bar

Monday Jan 12th

8:30pm  $10 donation  All Ages

Adam Meckler @ Jazz Central

Wednesday Jan 14th

8:30pm  $10 donation  All Ages

Chris Bates w/ Peter Schimke and Cory Healey @ Jazz Central

A reprise of one of my favorite interactions from last year. This trio has the ability to freely range all over the musical map.

Friday Jan 16th

8:00pm  $5 

Steve Kenny w/ Brandon Wozniak, Babatunde Lea and CB @ The Nicollet

This quartet has been getting a little more active lately and always heats up the room with musical spirits!

Sunday Jan 18th

4pm  $15  All Ages

Guitar Summit @ Jazz Central

A bevy of guitar slingers will be threading their yarns all over your earholes. I’ll be playing bass and Mac Santiago will be playing drums. Check out the link for more info.

Monday Jan 19th

8:30pm  $10 donation  All Ages

Flute Summit @ Jazz Central feat: Mark Yannie, Stan Scott and Doug Little.

Tuesday Jan 20th

7pm  FREE

Acme Jazz Company @ Crooners Lounge

This is a new one for me as I dig into this book of original big band charts.

Friday Jan 23rd

7:30pm  $10 donation  All Ages

Atlantis Quartet @ Jazz Central

Our first gig of 2015 after a very successful fall and winter. This band continues to evolve!

Saturday Jan 24th

7:30pm  FREE

Sean Roderick w/ Zach Schmidt & CB @ Chilkoot Cafe

Sunday Jan 25th


Tribute to Leigh Kamman @ St Paul Hotel

I’ll be there playing some bass and hanging out. A lovely way to pay tribute to this magnificent personality who gave so much to the jazz community all across the nation.

Monday Jan 26th

9:30pm  $10  21+

The 2nd Annual Steve Davis Throwdown! @ Icehouse

Feat: Steve Davis, Jon Davis and a whole host of Jazz Implosion regulars. Steve’s resume includes a long stint with Jackie McLean! Don’t miss!

Saturday Jan 31st

8:30pm  $10 donation  All Ages

Dean Granros Quartet @ Black Dog

This band has really taken off since our first gig last fall. We’re recording an album the week following this gig so come check out this super intense and hilarious band and enjoy a rare two guitar front line. Feat: Zacc Harris, Jay Epstein & CB.

Jason's new kit.

Jason’s new kit.

Between the Wheels

Between the Wheels

December was a great month of music making and I’m so happy to see a lot of people coming out on both sides of the river to a really diverse range of performances. I’m excited to be working with David Cazares at MPR on his ‘Feeling the Vibe’ Podcast. We’ve been highlighting the best shows each week in the jazz and improvised music scene here in the Twin Cities. I have a feeling that 2015 is going to be an incredible year and I look forward to crossing paths with all of you! Help spread the word on these shows and show your support to as many local artists as you can in all mediums! Music is a healing force and one of the few truly mysterious and transcendent results of our consciousness. We’re all out here floating around on spaceship earth together so let’s make it worth our while, our children’s, and our children’s children and so on down the line. Pay it forward.

Peace and love and music! – cb

The Bates Update – December 2014

December 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

Art Blakey, Art Tatum, Art Pepper, Artie Shaw, Art Farmer, Art Davis, Art Taylor, Art Lande, Art Hirahara. ART ART ART.

It’s all about that art dang it. What kind of art? Well, in the case of these ‘Arts’ it’s jazz but there’s a lot of other art too. Why do we create art? Why do we perform art? Why do we consider the practicing of art to be the sacrifice of normalcy? Why do we soldier on even after years of wage freezes and diminishing public interest? (Talk to any freelancer and they’ll tell you they’ve all been getting the same or similar wage for ‘jazz’ gigs for 40 years or more while playing at many of the same venues for a rotating cast of managers and owners). What business model can be built on that concept? Why has it somehow become even more shocking to be a full time artist? Well, I have no idea actually. I can’t even begin to explain on many levels why I continue to do it. To play music for a living. I seem to be able to keep on pushing the stone ever so slowly up the hill towards the next project, the next gig, the next thrilling improvisation. Somehow making it to the next gig makes me feel lucky. There is an immense satisfaction in winning the lottery. I’ve never won a financial lottery but, I won the happiness and joy and communal fellowship lottery.

I win it every time I play.

Everyone likes a winner.

Come watch me push the ART stone up a few hills this month!

Tuesday Dec 2nd

8:30pm  $10 donation  All Ages

Bill Simenson Orchestra @ Jazz Central

Friday Dec 5th

7:30pm  $10 donation  All Ages

Kenny Horst and friends play the Bridge Series@ Jazz Central

(Kenny, CB, Zacc Harris, Brandon Wozniak)

For fans of all things Artists Quarter!

Saturday Dec 6th – Doubleheader

5:30pm Workshop @ Studio Z

7:00pm  $10  All Ages

Babatunde Lea Quartet @ Studio Z

Babatunde Lea, Zacc Harris, Phil Aaron and CB.

8:30pm  $10 donation  All Ages

Atlantis Quartet plays Saturday Night Jazz @ the Black Dog

We’re fresh off our mini tour and raring to go. 2 sets of music!

Sunday Dec 7th

8:00pm  Open to the public!

Atlantis Quartet plays with MacJazz & Doug Little

Macalester College

Tonight we are debuting three big band arrangements of Atlantis originals. This is a new adventure for us and we hope you will join us for this concert.

Tuesday Dec 9th

7:30pm  Donations  All Ages

Framework plays @ Black Dog

CB, Chris Olson and Jay Epstein

Wednesday Dec 10th

8:30pm  $10 donation  All Ages

BASS SUMMIT @ Jazz Central

I’m inviting Casey O’Brien, Charles Fletcher, Chris Hunnicut, Brian Roessler and others to have a Merry Bass-Mas in the Bass-Ment. With Jt Bates and Martin Dosh on drums. Get down on it!

6 basses, 2 drum kits. What’s not to like??!?!

Saturday Dec 13th

8:30pm  $10 donation  All Ages

Chris Bates’ Red 5 plays Saturday Night Jazz @ the Black Dog

So excited to be playing with my quintet again!!! This is only our third gig this year and I’ve got some new tunes in the works so come check it out!

CB, JT, Brandon Wozniak, Zack Lozier and Chris Thomson.

Tuesday Dec 16th

8:00pm  $10  21+

Kevin Kozol Trio & Atlantis Quartet @ The Jazz Showcase

Please send your Chicago friends out to see us!

Wednesday Dec 17th

7:00pm  FREE

Zacc Harris trio @ Cafe Maude

Friday Dec 19th

7:30pm  $10 donation  All Ages

Dean Granros Quartet w/ Zacc Harris, Jay Epstein and CB @ Jazz Central

This quartet is really refreshing and is gearing up to record in 2015. Look out!

Saturday Dec 20th

8:00pm  $10 donation  All Ages

Twin Cities Jazz Sampler CD release party @ Jazz Central

Atlantis Quartet, Good Vibes and Steve Kenny’s Group 47 will play.

Come support the release of this cd showcasing so many amazing TC improvisors!!

Friday Dec 26th

7:30pm  $10 donation  All Ages

Good Vibes trio @ Jazz Central

Merry Christmas from Phil Hey, Dave Hagedorn and CB.

This months gigs are truly an embarrassment of riches. I’m playing with almost all of my closest musical allies at two places that have provided an outlet for improvisors in the wake of the AQ closing – Jazz Central and the Black Dog. So all in all it’s been a great year and I’m finding that there are many folks who are now following the music around town. Thank you all for your support. Your actions and participation go a long way towards proving that old quote from Mike Damone in Fast Times “…act like wherever you are, that’s the place to be.”

Have a cool yule and a frantic first everyone! – cb

The Bates Update – The Road Thru November

October 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

I recently had the opportunity to reunite with Pat Moriarty, Ellen Lease and our guest Michael Attias! It was truly a beautiful night of music making and I encourage you to check out Michael. He is a powerful voice on the NYC scene and deserves far wider recognition than he has. Check him out here:


Michael Attias, Bill Murray, Chris Bates, Pat Moriarty. photo by Andrea Canter

I’m heading out of town for several dates this month and most of the focus will be on one band – Atlantis Quartet! We are all pretty excited to be embarking on some short trips around the midwest. There is no substitution for playing many hours together and no greater generator of creativity than being on the road. The music grows and changes every night. The band gets a chance to dig into the music consistently, resulting in greater clarity and deeper trust. In improvised music that means we grow exponentially every night. It’s one of my most favorite aspects of playing! If you have any friends or family in these towns please help us spread the word about our shows. Every little bit helps!

In the intellectual department; I’m super excited to be working on my first big band chart for it’s premier at Macalester College in early December. This year has provided me with some new opportunities in composition. I composed new music for Zeitgeist and now the big band. All this work is really pushing me to focus my ideas and dictate them more clearly in notation. I’ve relied on the instincts and tendencies of my collaborators for so much of the music I write so this is an intense but gratifying challenge. I’m looking forward to working on some more big band arrangements of my tunes and bringing a ton of new ideas back into the small groups I work with most frequently. Keep your eyes peeled for new tunes for Atlantis, Enormous, Framework and Red 5. When there’s new music that means new recordings can’t be far behind.

One last housekeeping note. Many of you have been patiently waiting for the live recording of the Good Vibes trio from our Cd release back in April at Creation Audio. Due to some serious travel conflicts with my mixing and mastering engineer we’ve had to delay this for many months. I’m happy to say it’s now mixed and will be mastered when he returns in November. Look for a digital version of that to be distributed to you before Xmas season. Apologies for the delay. It will be worth the wait though. It sounds so good. Miles did an incredible job. The dynamics and sensitivity of that concert are all there waiting to be experienced again.        

It will be here soon! Thanks for your patience.

Here’s the November schedule:

10/31- Atlantis @ Jazz Central (A Love Supreme Halloween reprise)

Music at 7:30. Atlantis @ 8:45 or so.  All Ages  $10 donation

11/3 – Pete Enblom @ Jazz Central  8:30pm  All Ages  $10 donation

11/4 – Bill Simenson @ Jazz Central  8:30pm  All Ages  $10 donation

11/7 – Steve Kenny Quartet @ Studio Z  9pm  All Ages 

part of Zeitgeist’s New Music Cabaret (Kenny, Wozniak, Bates and Lea)

11/8 – Prudence Johnson Quartet @ Lanesboro Art Center

11/10 – Doug Haining @ Jazz Central  8:30pm  Al Ages  $10 donation

11/12Christian Howes Quintet in Chicago, IL

11/13 – Christian Howes Quintet in Burlington, WI

11/14 – Christian Howes Quintet in Fergus Falls, MN

Chris Howes violin, Hamilton Hardin keys, Cedric Easton drums, Patrick Harison accordian & CB.

11/15 – Dean Granros, Zacc Harris, Chris Bates & Jay Epstein @ Jazz at Studio Z

Workshop @ 5:30  Concert @ 7pm  All Ages  $10  Dean IS a bad dude.


CB, Jay Epstein, Zacc Harris and Dean Granros. Hilarity ensued shortly after this shot was taken by Andrea Canter.

11/16 – Framework & Bach Society w/ Clea Galhano @ Bethlehem Lutheran Church

Our 4th year collaborating on Bach and Jazz. Really fun stuff!

11/20 – Atlantis @ Luna in Green Bay, WI  7pm  All Ages  $5

11/21 – Atlantis @ Jazz Estate in Milwaukee, WI  9:30pm  21+  $10

11/22 – Atlantis @ Lawrence Univ. Appleton, WI

11/24 – Atlantis @ Icehouse – Recording Live for possible release!!!  9:30pm  21+  $8

11/26 – Enormous Quartet @ Cafe Maude  7pm  All Ages  FREE

Chris Thomson, Park Evans, Joey Phillips and CB.


Enormous Quartet at Jazz Central. We’ll be recording an album this winter. Photo by Brenda Shepherd.

11/28 – Davu Seru, Steve Kenny & CB @ Black Dog  8:00pm  All Ages  $10 donation

Post script December:

12/6 Atlantis @ Black Dog  8:30pm

12/7 Atlantis w Mac Jazz at Macalester College  8pm

12/13 Chris Bates’ Red 5 @ Black Dog  8:30pm  NEW TUNES!

12/16 Atlantis and Kevin Kozol trio at Jazz Showcase Chicago, IL

12/20 Atlantis and Good Vibes @ TC Jazz Sampler Release party. Venue TBD.

Keep it real. Live life to the fullest. Don’t hurt people. Choose positivity!

See you soon – CB!

The Bates Update – Late September, 2014

September 26, 2014 in Blog, Lessons, Performances

The Bates Update – Late September, 2014.

What’s on my mind, you ask? Death. Death is on my mind. It has been a seemingly unprecedented year for it. From celebrities and dignitaries to the innocent deaths of thousands around the world from natural and political disasters, death is everywhere. Maybe I’m just paying more attention to it this year or it could be because our natural season of death (fall) is around the corner; but for whatever reason I seem to be more attuned to the energy of death at this time. Some of my favorite musical heroes have passed in the last few years. Paul Motian, Butch Morris, JJ Cale, Jean-Jaques Avenel, Kenny Wheeler, Joe Sample, Idris Muhammed, Butch Warren, U. Shrinivas and many more.  This list is longer than I want it to be and I’ve left off one name that 2 months later is still hard to type – Charlie Haden.  

Each of these amazingly bright and creative lights have gone out. Dead. Shuffled off the mortal coil. What is left of their being can only be referenced through our personal memories and the documents they left behind. All of these people lived their lives to the fullest extent their creativity would allow and were fortunate enough to leave it all on the table for us to experience. It proves the old adage that ‘history is in favor of those who leave records’. Without all the recordings we would only be left with our personal memories. Until they invent a way to stream my brain feed to a TV, you guys will never get to hear some of the great music I’ve heard and seen by little-known geniuses like The Panda Resistance from Tulsa or Timothee Le Net Quartet from France. On a bigger scale there is the absolutely mind altering concert by King Crimson I just saw a couple of days ago in Madison, WI where they barred all cell phone, camera and recording devices. There was even a pre-show announcement about using your personal ‘viddie’ (aka brain) to record the show and play it back anytime you like. Brilliant!

I believe that every one of us who chooses to put some art into the world ultimately contributes to the overall intelligence and growth of the human spirit. Each of these deceased heroes certainly had personal demons and societal adversity (to put it mildly) that could have derailed their paths. Yet they persevered and made their mark. I choose to be inspired by these people. To acknowledge the mark they were leaving. To try and follow in the paths of the masters with the intention of perpetuating the same ideals and beliefs. In doing so I’m choosing to perpetuate the energy they put into the world. I choose beauty and intelligence. I choose sensitivity and open mindedness. I choose creativity and positivity. That’s what I’ve gained from these creative touchstones. I hope I’m living up to these lofty ideals. Come out and hear for yourself!


TONIGHT!!!! Friday Sept 26th   7:30pm   $10   All Ages

Adam Meckler Orchestra CD RELEASE Party!

Come and hear one of the most exciting large groups in the midwest. Adam has grown so much as a composer and improvisor since I first met him and I think this band will surprise you. Wait a sec, that’s jazz??!?! This concert is the culmination of several years of hard work from Adam everyone involved in his group. Come and support a truly unique and exciting group!

MacPhail Center for Music

Saturday Sept 27th   10:30pm   $8   21+

Luke Zimmerman ‘Heyday for the Naysayers’ CD Release Party! Luke is a great songwriter who has ties to one of Minnesota’s greatest music exports. Take a listen and I’ll bet you can guess who. The band for tonight is full of brotherly love – Benson and Alex Ramsey & Chris and JT Bates. It’ s going to be really fun! Fathom Lane plays after us. 

Icehouse Mpls

Monday Sept 29th   9:30pm   $8   21+

Framework invites Pete Whitman. We’ll be playing a bunch of music from across the jazz spectrum and a heavy dose of originals to boot! Chris Olson – gtr, Jay Epstein – dr, Pete Whitman – sax, CB – bass. 

Icehouse Mpls

Tuesday Sept 30th   7:30pm   $10 Donation   All Ages

Shifting Paradigm Records is the new record label started by Zacc Harris whose purpose is to create a new visibility and outlet for the jazz music scene here in Mpls. Tonight we’ll celebrate the release of new albums by the Adam Meckler Orchestra and Courageous Endeavors. Zacc Harris, Bryan Nichols, Nelson Devereaux and the Bates Brothers will play music for you!

Black Dog Cafe

Friday Oct 3rd   8pm   $10-20 donation   All Ages

A rare and exciting chance to catch Bates Squared. Chris and Jt will play a duo show in the intimate and lofty Sweet 317. This has only happened 2 other times. Don’t sleep on this one.

Sweet 317

photoCB, Jt, Zacc and Bryan @ Black Dog 2011

Wednesday Oct 8th   8:30pm   $10 donation   All Ages

Peter Schimke, Chris Bates and Cory Healy trio. Peter and I have played together for many years. We’re striking out in search of new adventures tonight with Cory Healy. 

Jazz Central

Saturday Oct 11th   7:30pm   $10 Donation   All Ages

Zacc Harris Group plays ‘Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog’. This is a new series going on every Saturday and curated by Steve Kenny. It features the top groups making improvised music in the cities. Zacc, Bryan, Jt & CB. 

Black Dog Cafe

Friday Oct 17th   10:30pm   $10   21+

Pushing Chain CD Release Party! Come celebrate the release of a truly exceptional country album made right here in MN. Boyd Blomberg sings and plays guitar. Adam Moe sings and plays violin. Jt & CB round out the rhythm. Really fun music!

Icehouse Mpls

Sunday Oct 19th   6pm   $10 Donation   All Ages

I’m very excited to be playing with Pat Moriarty, Ellen Lease and NYC saxophonist Michael Attias! This is going to be a super cool experience in chamber jazz. No drums means lots of soundscapes and interactive playing! 

Black Dog Cafe

Monday Oct 20th   9:30pm   $8   21+

Fall of the House of Usher returns to the Icehouse. Elegantly-medicated-Slip-Sync groovitude. 

Chris Cunningham, Greg Schutte, Nathan Hanson, Nelson Devereaux, Elliot Wachs, Adrian Larkin, Jon Davis, Ivan Cunningham, Greg Reese and CB. 

Icehouse Mpls

Saturday Oct 25th   7:30   Donation   All Ages

Steve Kenny Quartet – Steve Kenny – tpt, Brandon Wozniak – sax, CB & Jt. 

Black Dog Cafe

Monday Oct 27th   9:30pm   $8   21+

Zacc Harris Group plays Jt’s Jazz Implosion at Icehouse. Zacc, Bryan, Jt & CB.

Icehouse Mpls

As always please come up and say hello if you are out at a gig! I love to talk with strangers and friends as well as strange friends. Keep on trucking all you crazy humans! -cb

Joel Harrison, Pete Hennig, Chris Bates

September 18, 2014 in Blog, Performances

Here comes a special evening folks! Join us at Jazz Central on Saturday September 20th when we invite NYC based guitarist and composer Joel Harrison to hang and collaborate with Chris Bates and Pete Hennig from Atlantis Quartet. This evening’s concert will truly be special as it features the music from Joel’s new Cuneiform album ‘Mother Stump’. We hope you can join us!

Saturday September 20th


$10-20 donation

All Ages Welcome. 

Jazz Central Studios 407 Central Ave NE Mpls, MN 55404

NYC guitarist/composer Joel Harrison is coming to town. In a rare visit to Minneapolis, Joel will perform music off his latest cd Mother Stump ( Unlike many of Harrison’s cd’s, this project puts his guitar playing up front in unusual, eclectic song choices. Tunes by Donny Hathaway, Leonard Cohen, George Russell, Paul Motian, and Buddy Miller, and of course a couple of originals. It’s a lot of fun, raw, psychedelic, funky, and intimate, demonstrating Harrison’s love of American music of all kinds, jazz, rock, blues, country, and more. Joel will be joined by local rhythm section mates Chris Bates on bass and Pete Hennig on drums.

Named a Guggenheim Fellow in 2010, Washington D.C. native Joel Harrison has long been recognized as a highly gifted guitarist, composer, arranger, vocalist and songwriter. Wielding a focused lens and an ever-increasing courage to take risks with his art, Harrison has quickly blossomed from mentorships with Joan Tower, Ali Akbar Khan and Charlie Banacos into one of the most respected artists of his generation.

Harrison is a two-time winner of the Jazz Composer’s Alliance Composition Competition, and has received support from Chamber Music America, Meet the Composer, the Flagler Cary Trust, NYSCA, New Music USA, and the Jerome Foundation.  He has released 16 cds since 1995 as a leader.

Chris Bates and Pete Hennig form the backbone to the award winning Minneapolis jazz group Atlantis Quartet. Having recorded three albums and performed hundreds of gigs together they have honed their skills into a telepathic hookup that supports and extends every musical situation they engage in. Chris and Pete’s individual approaches have garnered them accolades and sideman work with some of the best in modern improvisation including Ben Wendel, Tony Hymas, Dennis Gonzalez, Ari Hoenig and Bill Carrothers. 


thanks for listening – cb

The Bates Update – Wind Sprint into September

August 22, 2014 in Blog, Performances

Well folks this awesome summer has wound down to it’s final week. I have had a great season playing music with new and old friends and I even got some R&R in over the last few weeks. It’s good to recharge the batteries. I’m sprinting into September with a Tour de Twins Towns courtesy of guitarist David Martin. Dave and I have known each other for many years but have only played together in Bill Simenson’s Big Band, until now. Dave is releasing a new CD of guitar driven instrumental jazz that features Portland based guitarist and luthier Mike Doolin. This is the second CD that Dave and Mike have produced. They will be presenting the music over a series of five gigs next week with Pete Hennig and myself in the rhythm section.

Please check it out if you can. I’ll be playing electric bass on all of these gigs and it is shaping up to be a very fun run of performances. In addition to those shows I’m playing at the State Fair a couple of times so if you happen to be out at the fair please say hello! 

Here is the September schedule:

Sunday Aug 24th –  6:30-9:30pm  State Fair

Zacc Harris, Pete Hennig and CB trio at Mn Wine Country Pavilion @ Mn State Fairgrounds. We are on Underwood Street next to the Ramberg Senior Center. 

Monday Aug 25th –  9pm  Icehouse   21+   $8

Dave Martin & Mike Doolin ‘Tough Commute’ CD release show w/ Pete Hennig and CB. Followed by Brian Courage Farewell Party. This will be an all night hang!

Tuesday Aug 26th – 8:00pm   $7   318 Cafe

Dave Martin & Mike Doolin carry on in the western suburbs.

Wednesday Aug 27th –  10 & 11AM  Mn State Fair

CD Release for ‘Sing, Play, Count with MacPhail!’ I recorded with the folks at MacPhail for their new children’s CD. We’re playing here for all you fairgoers at Carousel Park Pavilion (near the Grandstand)!

Wednesday Aug 27th – 7:30pm  $Tips$   Black Dog Cafe

Dave Martin & Mike Doolin. We’ll be playing trio on this gig as Pete can’t make this show. 

Thursday Aug 28th – 8pm   $10   Studio Z  tix and info here

Atlantis Quartet plays the All Originals Jazz Series. This is our only public appearance on the calendar at this time. Zacc, Brandon, Pete and I are always excited to play for you all. Come out to this fantastic venue and support this great series presented by Steve Kenny and Studio Z!

Saturday Aug 30th – 8:00pm   $10   Jazz Central

The official Dave Martin & Mike Doolin CD Release party! Come out and support Jazz Central and this great band. Mike Doolin presents a workshop on guitar building at 3pm. Good Times!

Monday Sept 1st – 10am-1pm   FREE   Hell’s Kitchen

Dave Martin and Mike Doolin play Labor Day Brunch for y’all. 

Tuesday Sept 2nd – 8:30pm   $10   Jazz Central

Bill Simenson Big Band – Always a hoot and a half with this stellar ensemble.

Thursday Sept 4th – 8pm   $10   Studio Z  tix and info here

Bryan Nichols, Jt Bates and CB trio play for the All Originals Jazz Series at Studio Z. This is a very special trio that has only performed a handful of public gigs. We are super excited to play and present some of our new music to you. 

Friday Sept 5th – 8pm   $Tips$  Black Dog Cafe

Fall of the House of Usher returns to the stage to bring you the world inspired slip sync improv that gets your booty shakin’! We’re here in conjunction with the Concrete and Grass festival. Come support this great band. 

Saturday Sept 6th – 10:15 & 11:15   FREE   MacPhail

CD release kids concert for ‘Sing, Play, Count with MacPhail’.

Big fun awaits the kiddos at this show.

Wednesday Sept 10th – 8:45pm   $10   Jazz Central

Enormous Quartet ushers in the fall season of Magica Improvisado! I’ve been presenting original improvised music on the second Wednesday of the month for over a year now. Come hear one of my favorite bands as we are erupting into new territory in preparation for a recording! Chris Thomson, Park Evans, Joey Van Phillips and CB. 

Friday Sept 12th – 7:30pm   $10   The Bridge Series at Jazz Central

DEAN GRANROS with Jay Epstein, Zacc Harris and CB. This is going to be a spectacular night of music folks!!! Dean and Jay and I have a long history together and we are very excited to play with Zacc Harris and see what happens. Dean is one of the most spectacular musicians you’ll ever hear. Come and see for yourself just how engaging and addictive this music can be!

Saturday Sept 20th – 8:00pm   $10   Jazz Central

Joel Harrison trio w/ Pete Hennig and CB. Joel is a NYC based guitarist and composer. I was lucky to be able to fill in on a gig of his here a few years ago. Joel is back to play a showcase but we were able to set up this gig too. Very excited to play with him again. More on this one in a couple of weeks. 

Friday Sept 26th – 7pm   $10   MacPhail

Adam Meckler Orchestra CD release party at Antonello Hall. This fully charged modern Big Band is poised to make some noise for you this month! I’m always happy to be a part of these performances and this show will be really beautiful in this great performance space. 

Monday Sept 29th – 10:00pm   $8   Icehouse

Framework with Pete Whitman. This long standing trio has been recording a bunch of new music with several special guests. Tonight we are joined by the extremely awesome Pete Whitman. Chris Olson, Jay Epstein and CB. 

That’s all for now. Look out for more updates and new music coming from Framework and Enormous Quartet in 2015! -CB

The Bates Update – A gust. Aghast! It’s August.

July 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

Well summer is flying by and the music just keeps on coming! Had a super great gig with Steve Kenny, Brandon Wozniak and Babatunde Lea a couple weeks ago. Hope to play more with those guys. Zacc Harris Quartet was stellar at Studio Z last week. I highly recommend the All Originals Series curated by Steve Kenny – go check it out and support the cutting edge of improvised music in these parts. Many of the groups I’m involved with are performing at the series and this Thursday is Red Planet!

i-BCQsThk-L - Version 2

August highlights:

Wednesday July 30th

Sophia Shorai Quartet @ Dakota 

7pm  Foodie Night. Bring a friend and enjoy the specials. No, not the ska band, the food and drink specials. Chris Lomheim on piano. Greg Schutte on drums. CB on bass and the lovely and talented Sophia Shorai on vocals.

Thursday July 31st
Red Planet @ Studio Z
8pm  $10  All Ages
Dean Magraw – guitar
Jay Epstein – drums
CB – bass
Red Planet performs as part of the All Originals Jazz Series. We’ll be presenting a unique blend of our original compositions and extended improvisations for this concert. The logical extension of our obsession with Coltrane is to expand our sound and so we hope you’ll come along with us as we ‘make this stuff up’ for you live, in real time, ONCE. Thanks to Steve Kenny and Zeitgeist for getting the funding together for this concert series. All the info is here: All Originals Series

Saturday Aug 2nd

Dennis Gonzalez Quintet @ Studio Z

8pm  $10  All Ages
D. Gonzalez – trumpet
Brandon Wozniak and Nathan Hanson – saxophones
Pete Hennig and CB – drums and bass
Mark your calendars. You will not want to miss this show. Crow With No Mouth has been presenting shows for a few years now and is consistently bringing in the most beautiful and under-rated artists in the world, right to your back door. Please check out this series!!!
Dennis Gonzalez is a rare American treasure who’s music blends everything together to create a masterful and brilliant sound. Gonzalez lives in Dallas and has only played (to the best of my knowledge) one other time in Mpls/St. Paul. So I’m really not kidding when I say this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to hear a very underrated and underground master improvisor in a setting with 4 of the Twin Cities finest. 

We’ll be playing songs from Dennis’ Hymn Cycle including pieces dedicated to Julius Hemphill, Albert Ayler and Tomasz Stanko. I hope you can join us because this is going to be outstanding!

Monday Aug 4th

Chris Thomson Quartet w/ Jt & Chris Bates & Bill Bergmann @ Icehouse

9:30pm  $8  21+

Come hear some fantastic friends playing music from across the jazz spectrum. CT and the Bates Bros have been playing with Bill Bergmann (gtr) for a number of years. This is a rare chance to hear them in a club setting. 

Tuesday Aug 5th

Bill Simenson Big Band @ Jazz Central

8:30pm  $10  All Ages

Friday Aug 8th

Atlantis Quartet @ Grand Kabaret in New Ulm, MN

AQ travels a little bit out of town to play a great concert series. Details here.

Tuesday Aug 12th

Framework @ Black Dog – We’ve been recording with guests. We’ll play trio tonight.

7:00pm  $5-10  All Ages  (Chris Olson, Jay Epstein, CB)

Friday Aug 15th

Axis Mundi @ Hell’s Kitchen

6-9pm  FREE  All Ages

Glen Helgeson, Dave Stanoch, Gary Schulte and CB bring you the world jazz grooves.

Thursday Aug 28th

Atlantis Quartet @ All Originals Jazz Series @ Studio Z

8-10pm  $10  All Ages

In the last week of August I’ll be playing a Tour de Twin Towns with local guitar legend David Martin and Portland based guitarist/luthier Mike Doolin. They have a new album out that features so many guitar tones and styles that I’m hard pressed to categorize the music into one genre or another. I’ll be playing electric bass on all of these gigs and my good friend Pete Hennig will be drumming. Look out for performances at Icehouse, 318, Black Dog and Jazz Central. I’ll provide more detail as we get closer to these shows.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to playing for you soon!


The Twin Cities Jazz Festival – special to the Bates Update

June 25, 2014 in Blog, Performances

The Bates Update -TC JAZZ FESTIVAL time.

Summer has somewhat arrived here at the end of June and that means the TC Jazz Fest is coming up quick. This festival is 100% free and open to the public. This year’s fest will feature over 300 local and national musicians performing all over St. Paul, apparently it is the biggest ever! I’m always happy to be involved and look forward to it every year. I love to hear live music and this years listening highlights for me include the  stupendous Branford Marsalis Quartet, the New Orleans groove of the Joe Krown trio and the phenomenal Dianne Reeves! I’m playing a whole bunch and I’m going to be Tweeting and Instagramming all weekend so feel free to follow me there; but really I hope to see you at some of the Festival! Every year gets better and this year is really going to be a ton of fun! Here’s my insane schedule, because, crazy.


Thursday June 26th  

5pm:  Studio Z

Zeitgeist performs my new piece ‘Relay Transmission’ along with 3 other premiers of works by Zacc Harris, Davu Seru and Steve Kenny. I’m excited to hear all of these compositions and you can catch it on Thursday and Friday at 5pm at Studio Z. I’ll be playing with them on Thursday. 

7:30pm:  Mears Park Main Stage

Atlantis Quartet (Brandon Wozniak, Zacc Harris and Pete Hennig) will headline the Thursday night opening of the festival with a set of our original tunes at 7:30pm. Get down there early so you can catch Foreign Motion  at 6. Cory Wong, Kevin Gastonguay, Yohannes Tona and Petar Janjic are a really ripping it up with their grooving new band! All in all this is a stellar local kickoff to the fest! 

Friday June 27th

4pm:  Mears Park Main Stage

Red Planet has the honor of opening up the weekend festivities with our spirited and joyous musical explorations. Dean Magraw, Jay Epstein and I have been playing together since 2004 or so and we relish every moment together. We can only hope our audience does too. If you’ve never seen Dean play you should really consider coming out for this one. Dean is one of kind, as is Jay for that matter. Viva musica!!!

6pm: Hat Trick Lounge

Kristin Sponcia Quartet w/ Chris Olson, Dave Stanoch and CB. 

I’m excited to be working with Kristin as she is a great pianist and singer who is highly underrated. Dave, Chris and I have all played together in many contexts and I’m looking forward to this set of Kristin’s arrangements and originals. 

8pm: Black Dog Cafe

Donald Washington / Brad Bellows Quartet

This is one of the most fun, spontaneous and organic ensembles I’ve ever been involved with. We just seem to take an idea out of thin air and make some really fantastic music instantaneously. Catch our first 30 minutes and then head over to the main stage to hear some Branford!

Saturday June 28th

1pm:  6th Street Stage

Axis Mundi is a world music inspired jazz adventure led by guitarist Glen Helgeson. This band also features Dave Stanoch and Daryl Boudreaux. We’ll be playing sambas, bossas, tangos, Frisell’s and some really grooving African pop influenced tunes. 

4pm:   Mears Parks Main Stage

Adam Meckler Orchestra – 17 pieces. All original compositions by Adam. This band has been steadily building it’s repertoire and audience over the last couple of years and we are all super pumped to be playing on the main stage for so many new faces. There will be copies of the new album available at the festival. 

6:30pm: Amsterdam Bar and Hall

Good Vibes Trio! Dave Hagedorn. Phil Hey and I are going to be bringing the most excellent VIBES to the jazz fest this year! Come by and hear us playing tunes from our new album. 

After the Good Vibes set I’ll be camping out here at Amsterdam for the remainder of the day. Jazz Central has booked a plethora of stellar talent for these stages. I highly recommend putting this spot on your radar in case of inclement weather. There are plenty of great bands playing Friday and Saturday.


Dave Karr and Pete Enblom. I’m part of the Jazz Central All Stars Rhythm section holding it down for the lovely and talented Dave Karr on tenor sax and Pete Enblom on trombone. This will be a swinging good time.


Pete Whitman invites Framework plus special guest Andres Prado

Framework (Chris Olson, Jay Epstein and CB) have been collaborating with Pete Whitman recently and we are having a super great time playing music together. Add a dose of the amazing Andres Prado and you have the fixings for a real nice late night treat after the Main Stage scene lets out.

Sunday-Friday June 29th- July 4th I’ll be teaching Jazz Improv up at the Shell Lake Arts Center. It’s my 4th year there and I’m really looking forward to the hang, some great music and golf. 

I hope everyone is having a great summer! See you soon! 


The Bates Update – Special Edition

June 6, 2014 in Uncategorized

This Bates Update is arriving just in the nick of time to promote some special gigs I have coming up over the next couple of weeks. Before we get to the gig list I wanted let you know that I’m one of four jazz artists commissioned by the Zeitgeist New Music Ensemble to compose a new work for them that will premiere at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. If interested I would ask you to consider donating to Zeitgeist here to help them fund this project. The deadline for funding of this project is May 31st. Your donation will allow the composers to be paid and will help fund future performances of these new works by Steve Kenny, Davu Seru, Zacc Harris and yours truly.

 We’re jumpin’ in to summer here so I want to let you know about these upcoming shows.

RED PLANET (Dean Magraw, Jay Epstein and CB) has been out in deep orbit and we are excited to return to action at this cool two day music festival on Saturday May 31st. The Two Nights Music Festival is being hosted by Reid Kruger who owns Waterbury Music and  Sound and was the recording engineer for the Red Planet CD! Dean, Jay and I are excited to be playing with the Orange Mighty TrioJonathan Zorn Trio (not THE JOHN ZORN, sorry. But equally as interesting) and RISINGSIDE. Click thru and check these bands out.

We hope you can join us. Tickets are just $10 at the door.

Red Planet @ Two Nights Music Festival

Saturday May 31st  

8:30 pm   $10  

Old Arizona 2821 Nicollet Ave S, Mpls, MN 55408

Dean Magraw and Reid Kruger mixing some Red Planet at Reid’s old studio. Circa 2008.

Dean and Reid mixing the Red Planet album circa 2007.

Dean and Reid mixing the Red Planet album circa 2007.

Fall of the House of Usher is large ensemble conceived and led by guitarist Chris Cunningham. We’ve been honing our sound over the last few months and we are excited to be playing the late show at the Dakota on Saturday June 7th. The band plays a melange of elegantly medicated slip sync world grooves that is sure to make you want to boogie. Chris Cunningham on gtr, CB on bass, Greg Schutte on drums, Nathan Hanson, Jon Davis, Adrian Larkin and Elliot Wachs on saxophones. We’ll have some special guests as well. We play FoTHoU!

Fall of the House of Usher @ Dakota Late Night

Saturday June 7th  

11:30pm   $5

Dakota 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls, Mn 55403

FoTHoU at Icehouse August 2013


I am super duper uber excited to announce that my quintet Red 5 will be playing on Wednesday June 11th at Jazz Central! Due to the close of the AQ this band has been idle and all our busy schedules makes it tough to connect! I’m writing some new tunes and we’ll of course be playing all the music from the New Hope album.

It would be an honor if you could join Brandon Wozniak, Chris Thomson, Zack Lozier, Jt Bates and me for a fantastic night of music! We’ll be back at Jazz Central where it all started. Come and complete the circle!

Chris Bates’ Red 5 @ Jazz Central

Wednesday June 11th

8:30pm   $10 (donation)

Jazz Central 407 Central Ave NE, Mpls, MN 55414

Red 5 sketched by Michael Brewer Carina 2012

composited drawing by Michael Brewer Carina.

composited drawing by Michael Brewer Carina.

One of the most exciting things about the Twin Cities Jazz Fest this year is that the Green Line will be open and people will be able to take MASS TRANSIT to the Festival! The opening of the Green Line is a long awaited piece of urban infrastructure that will finally connect the Twin Towns. There is a big grand opening celebration in Lowertown St Paul for the Green Line on Saturday June 14th and I’ll be playing with the Zacc Harris Group. We are playing outside as part of the End of the Line Party.  Zacc Harris on gtr, Bryan Nichols on keys, CB on bass and TBD on drums. There will be all sorts of family style events happening in Lowertown that day. Stop on by!

Zacc Harris Quartet @ End of the Line Party

Saturday June 14th 


 The Black Dog Cafe 407 Prince St, St Paul, MN 55101

The Twin Cities Jazz Festival is June 26th-28th. Look for me on the Main Stage performing sets with Atlantis Quartet, Red Planet and Adam Meckler Orchestra in addition to a few others. Hope to see you at a show!

All the best! -cb