Maud Hixson is a singer of classic jazz and popular songs of the 20th century, based in Saint Paul, Minnesota. She became a full-time musician after being presented as “Best New Voice” at the KBEM Winter Jazz Fest in Minneapolis in 2003, and now works with a variety of musicians, including the continental sextet French 75, which she founded with clarinetist Tony Balluff.
She made her Guthrie Theater debut in “Coward’s Women” in 2010 with singer Erin Schwab, performed at the New York Cabaret Convention in 2011 at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall, and in 2012 appeared in concert with composer and pianist Richard Rodney Bennett as part of the Midtown Jazz Series in New York. A two-time recipient of the Artist Initiative grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, she recently launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to fund her newest album, “Don’t Let A Good Thing Get Away”. The first album devoted to the music of Broadway composer Michael Leonard, with arrangements by pianist Tex Arnold, the CD also features bassist Steve LaSpina, cornetist Warren Vaché, and guitarist Gene Bertoncini. Recorded at Nola Recording Studios in Steinway Hall, New York City, the CD was released May 1st, 2013 and placed in the Minneapolis StarTribune’s Twin Cities Critics Tally of the best recordings of the year.
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Rick Carlson (in the Wolverines Trio)
Rick Carlson taught himself to play the piano by studying the vast works of Count Basie and Duke Ellington and absorbing their technique. He has also perfected the art of “circular drinking”, whereby he can sip martinis uninterrupted while still playing a cohesive piano solo.
He has been the pianist for the Wolverines Big Band since 1980. He is also a member of Doug Haining’s Twin Cities Seven. He is a sought-after accompanist by singers and has served as pianist and musical director for various local concert series, including those for the Twin Cities Jazz Society’s “J To Z” series, the Capri Theater’s “Legends” series, and for special presentations at the Heights Theatre. He has performed with Count Basie drummer Butch Miles, New Orleans clarinetist Evan Christopher, and served as musical director, arranger and pianist in the Guthrie Theater’s presentation of “Coward’s Women”. He has opened for Rosemary Clooney, accompanied Kathryn Crosby in various cabaret shows, and counts Madeleine Peyroux among his many fans.
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