• Icehouse MPLS (map)
  • 2528 Nicollet Avenue
  • Minneapolis, MN, 55404
  • United States



Leisure Valley is proud to release their debut album “Welcome to the Valley” as part of JTs Jazz Implosion series at the Icehouse. The unique sound of Leisure Valley stems from the rare combination of clarinet and accordion in the front line and sets the band apart from most other jazz groups. “Welcome to the Valley” contains nine original compositions from clarinetist Bruce Thornton. Drawing on an array of influences from American jazz, European folk traditions, Brazilian music and a slick nod to Edgar Winter, Thornton has created a body of work that showcases his woodwind virtuosity and allows ample room for his bandmates to shine.Bruce Thornton is currently professor of woodwinds and jazz at the College of St. Benedict / St John’s University and has made handful of albums over the last 15 years. Patrick Harison (Patty and the Buttons, Loose Marbles) is the Twin Cities’ premier accordionist and has carved out a national and international reputation for precision and personality. The rhythm team of Chris Bates (Atlantis Quartet, Red 5) and Joey Van Phillips (Dessa, Mystery Palace) provides all the necessary thrust, support and delicacy needed for every song. “Welcome to the Valley” shows off the individual talents of these four Twin Cities musicians while simultaneously providing the listener with a captivating group sound. Leisure Valley was initially formed by Joey Van Phillips as an outlet to play with his collegiate professor, Thornton. Right from the start, the combination of Harison and Thornton had a stunning affect on the music. Songs were made richer and more emotionally charged as the human feel of accordion and clarinet revealed the subtle intricacies of the melodies. Bates and Phillips were set free to explore together, providing counterpoint and contrast to the front line. The musical range of Leisure Valley is quite broad and shows the versatility of its members in a joyfully exciting way. We hope you can join us on November 14th at Icehouse so we can say “Welcome to the Valley”! PS - Help Chris celebrate his 46th birthday on 11/14.

About Inventions & Dimensions:
Formed by Chris Bates at the beginning of 2016 as an experimental exploration of the piano trio, Chris invited pianist Joe Strachan (Courageous Endeavors, Charanga Tropical) and drummer Matt Buckner to collaborate at his monthly series at Jazz Central Studios. The newly dubbed Inventions & Dimensions quickly found a vibe and a voice with just a handful of gigs and one rehearsal. The music is all original and exclusive to this trio. This EP was recorded in one day, shortly before Matt Buckner moved to Florida. The EP represents the initial gestation of this group which now includes Miguel Hurtado on drums. We’re proud of this music and excited to release this digital-only EP on November 14th at Icehouse.