We play around the Minneapolis / St. Paul area regularly. Keep an eye on Facebook for upcoming events.


The purpose of the Minnesota Hard Bop Collective is to increase public awareness by supporting the preservation of Hard Bop Jazz Music through non-partisan educational live performances and/or workshops/clinics.

Jesse Simon Quintet

History / About Us

American Jazz evolved from African rhythms and European harmonies in the first half of the 20th century; a series of sub genres have evolved, including Hard Bop Jazz. Hard Bop Jazz comes from a group of African American performers in the 1950s as a way to express their civil rights. The music is hard-driving, often uptempo, with extensive communication between the musicians and their audience. It’s physical, gripping, and sometimes joyfully relentless! This makes the music difficult to play but fun for the performers and the listeners. Live music is often used as background to other activities such as dining, so Hard Bop Jazz is rarely performed outside niche jazz clubs that require a cover charge, especially during the winter months when outdoor performance is more difficult in this climate. To remedy this problem, the Minnesota Hard Bop Collective (MHBC) was formed by Twin City professional jazz musicians in 2016 with the sole purpose to introduce a new generation of musicians and audiences to this music at area venues that don't require a cover charge. We have successfully been awarded three Metro Regional Arts Council grants and one Saint Paul Cultural Star Grant and we have been featured performers at the TC Jazz Fest, The Dakota, FM 88.5 "Jazz88" and several other area jazz venues.

Executive Director

jesse Jazz drummer Jesse Simon started playing the drums at age 9. As soon as he was licensed to drive he was gigging at jazz clubs. Jesse is an alumnus of the Manhattan School of Music. While in New York he studied extensively with Justin DicCioccio and the late Joe Morello as well as having the opportunity to perform with many household names in the jazz world. After graduating from MSM in 1999, Jesse worked as a professional jazz musician in Denver, Houston and Minneapolis. In 2003, Jesse's promising career came to a halt when he had a life-threatening nervous breakdown resulting in several hospitalizations. His doctors recommended that he quit music to reduce stress and maintain good mental health. After returning to professional jazz performance in 2015, Jesse decided to use his life experiences and his love of Jazz to lead rather than freelance by forming the Jazz performance non-profit, “The Minnesota Hard Bop Collective”, with the mission of increasing access to free-of-charge high-quality jazz performance concerts through educational and accessibility outreach. Jesse says, "Because I was away from music for so long, my musical style is rooted in joy. My performance goal is to make the musicians and audience feel good, happy, and confident. If people aren’t smiling at the end of a gig, then I didn’t do my job." Jesse lives in St. Paul with his wife and two sons.

Board of Directors


Batume (He/Him)
MHBC Board of Directors
Performance Outreach Committee Chair,
Professional Musician and Music Teacher,
Twin Cities Musicians Union 30-73 Member


Bobbi Jones (She/Her)
MHBC Board of Directors, Chair
Dual Language Immersion Teacher,
St. Paul Public Schools, Wellstone Elementary


Stephanie Perelstein, RN BSN (She/Her)
MHBC Board of Directors, Co-Chair
Accessibility, Disability, and Inclusion (ADI) Committee Chair
Nurse, Regions Hospital, Cardiology


Alisha Simon, MS (She/Her)
MHBC Board of Directors, Treasurer
Access And Cost Containment Unit Supervisor
Minnesota Department of Health


Dan Perelstein (He/Him)
MHBC Board of Directors
Educational Outreach Committee Chair
Director of Band, St. Paul Public Schools
Washington Technology Magnet School


Jeff Rinear (He/Him)
MHBC Board of Directors
Professional Jazz Musician; Music Publisher
Twin Cities Musicians Union 30-73 Member;
Founder, Increase Music Publishing

Live Performances

Virtual Performances

During the 2020-2021 Covid-19 historic pandemic stay-at-home shutdown, the Minnesota Hard Bop Collective brought local and international musicians together to perform on the internet with the music collab iOS software "Acapella". It was a learning curve, and we were all a little rusty from not performing regularly, but we made it happen! The music was recorded individually in our homes using the iOS music collab software "Acapella" on our iOS devices. Jesse Simon put the first track down solo with only a metronome accompaniment. From there, the tracks were recorded in a "layering" fashion in this order: bass, piano, horns/guitar. It turned out to be fun and we were able to bring musicians together not only from Minnesota but from all over the country!

Student Performance Workshops


Student Workshops

MHBC Inaugural Public School Performance Workshop

School Workshop/Student Participation

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