ROVA saxophone quartet

ROVA's Larry Ochs

ROVA Saxophone QuartetNorth Street Cabaret — Saturday, October 8, 2022 — 8PM

By Michael Brenneis

Interview date: 09/24/2022

Larry Ochs makes up one-quarter of the world renowned ROVA Saxophone Quartet (he’s the “O” in the name) which formed in San Francisco during the mid-1970s. Drawing inspiration from a spectrum of music that includes everything from Free Jazz to what we sometimes call contemporary classical music, ROVA pushes the envelope of what is possible for four musicians with saxophones.

Photo by Myles Boisen


Aaron Stroessner

Aaron Stroessner QuartetThe North Street Cabaret — Saturday, September 24, 2022 — 8PM

By Michael Brenneis

Interview date: 08/05/2022

Aaron Stroessner chased his rock’n’roll dreams to New York City in the 1990s where he spent a decade performing with his band Dead Left and working behind the scenes at the Knitting Factory. Fast forward a few years, he now hangs his fedora in eastern Nebraska where he’s an essential member of that region’s jazz scene.

For those keeping score at home: the frontman of the band Soul Coughing was Mike Doughty; Dan Wilson launched his career with the band Semisonic.


Andy Narell

Andy NarellThe Bur Oak — Wednesday, August 17, 2022 — 8PM

By Michael Brenneis

Interview date: 07/11/2022

Even with an unrivaled and prestigious body of work behind him, steel pan maestro Andy Narell continues to strive to improve, explore, reinvent, and push the boundaries of what the steel pan can do. He’ll be in Madison this August for a not-to-be-missed whirlwind of performances, appearances, and collaborations.



Lovely Socialite

Lovely SocialiteCafe Coda — Saturday, July 30, 2022 — 7 PM

By Michael Brenneis

Interview date: 07/08/2022

The band Lovely Socialite celebrates their latest album “The Drift” to be released on the ten-year anniversary of their first record, 2012’s “Registers Her Delight.” Unfolding into its second decade, the band continues to build on its legacy of odd orchestration, subtle mirth, and stylistic alchemy.



Julian Kirshner

Julian Kirshner/Nikolaj Klemens duo  — Audio for the Arts — Friday, July 22, 2022 — 8PM

By Michael Brenneis

Interview date: 7/11/2022

The duo of tenor saxophone and drums is a classic free improv pairing, but the music and sounds each group makes are guaranteed to go in an infinite number of singular directions. That will certainly be the case at Audio for the Arts on July 22nd when Chicago meets Switzerland in the form of the Julian Kirshner/"Nikolaj Klemins" (aka Sebi) duo.



Michael Hudson-Casanova

Michael Hudson-Casanova

Michael Hudson-Casanova TrioCafe Coda — Saturday, July 2, 2022 — 7 PM

By Michael Brenneis

Interview date: 06/10/2022

After a few years cultivating his craft in Michigan and Philadelphia, Michael Hudson-Casanova has established himself in Chicago with a new trio featuring Erik Skov on guitar, and Gustavo Coriñas on drums. Dance, another art form that has special significance for this alto saxophonist, will feature prominently on the trio’s Madison date.


Andy Milne

Andy Milne and UnisonCafe Coda — Saturday, June 25, 2022 — 7 and 9 PM

By Michael Brenneis

Interview date: 02/29/2020

Andy Milne’s outstanding career spans a wide breadth from collaborating among the elite of North American creative music, to being an accomplished film scorer and educator. I originally spoke with Andy in early 2020 in advance of his tour for his then newly released trio album The reMission. That canceled tour has been rescheduled, now two years later, but much has happened with the trio Andy Milne and Unison in that time. Most notably the album won a Juno award in 2021 for Jazz Album of the Year in the Group category.

Although two years have passed, much of our conversation is still relevant and brimming with insight into the world of Andy Milne.

A note about the audio for this episode: This interview was recorded as a reference to be transcribed during the period when the Showbiz Roundup was a blog. As such, the fidelity is not as high as we’ve come to expect from this program, and contains a small amount of background noise.


Jakob Heinemann

Jakob Heinemann

Keefe Jackson, Jakob Heinemann, Adam SheadThe North Street Cabaret — Friday, June 10, 2022 — 8PM

By Michael Brenneis

Interview date: 05/23/2022

I spoke with the other members of the Jackson-Heinemann-Shead trio, Keefe Jackson and Adam Shead recently for other projects, so I thought I’d give bassist Jakob Heinemann his due on this program. A Madison native now living and working in Chicago, Jakob joins me to talk about his history and his burgeoning career.




Birth with Outside the Sphere — Cafe Coda — Sunday, June 5, 2022 — 7 PM

By Michael Brenneis

Interview date: 05/09/2022

Josh Smith, Jeremy Bleich, and Joe Tomino came together as the band Birth in Cleveland in 1998 with a shared mission that launched them into a world of meaningful and rewarding musical experiences. After a number of years they parted onto different paths. But they’re back now wiser, stronger, tested, and keen to bring their evolved sound to receptive ears.


Paul Hecht

Paul Hecht

Paul Hecht QuartetGarver Feed Mill Patio — Saturday, May 28, 2022 — 7PM

By Michael Brenneis

Interview date: 05/20/2022

Pianist Paul Hecht—who divides his time between Chicago and Eau Claire—joins me to talk about an exciting new chapter in his musical life, his delight in exploring some new music with accomplished Chicago-based collaborators, and some personal insights into the Eau Claire Jazz scene.