Rising jazz stars

The No Exit sextet is one of the brightest success stories of the St. Paul-based Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education. Adam Astrup (guitar), Jack Courtright (trombone), Luke Peterson (drums) and Levi Schwartzberg (vibes) are all Dakota Combo alumni. And they’re equals in an ensemble containing the likes of saxophonist Brandon Wozniak and Shifting Paradigm recording artist and bassist Graydon Peterson. Not surprisingly, their music is heady but accessible. (9 p.m. Thu., Reverie, 1931 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls.; free, thursdaynightjazzatreverie.info)

Midwestern standouts

A fixture on the Chicago jazz scene, St. Paul native Pat Mallinger is a crowd-pleasing, razor-sharp stylist on alto, tenor and occasionally soprano sax. His kinship with Twin Cities pianist Bill Carrothers was often on display during holiday gigs at the old Artists’ Quarter. The venue is now Vieux Carre, but fireworks from the pair leading the Pat Mallinger Quartet will be enjoyably familiar. (9 p.m. Fri., Vieux Carre, 408 St. Peter St., St. Paul; $12, vieux-carre.com)

Blanchard gets political for live record

Trumpeter Terence Blanchard has been a hard-bopper, educator and composer of dozens of scores for film, Broadway and opera. His most overt foray into politics came with the 2015 release of “Breathless” by his electronic, groove-oriented ensemble E-Collective, which took its title from the infamous choking of Eric Garner by Staten Island police. Now Blanchard and E-Collective are recording “Caravan,” a live follow-up CD, in three cities scarred by police-community tensions, beginning with two nights at the Dakota. Trips to Cleveland and Dallas follow. (7 p.m. Mon.-Tue., Dakota Jazz Club, 1010 Nicollet Mall, Mpls.; $40-$50 dakotacooks.com)

Underappreciated pro

Jerry Bergonzi is a consummate pro, a wise and wizened saxophonist, composer and educator out of Boston with a criminally low profile. He has found a warm and rambunctious synergy with a quartet composed of three Scandinavians, including Carl Winther on piano, bassist Johnny Aman and drummer Anders Mogensen. Highly recommended. (7 & 9 p.m. Tue.-Wed., Dunsmore Room at Crooners, 6161 Hwy. 65 NE., Fridley; $15-$20, croonersloungemn.com)