Music for Lovers and More: 2.10 – 2.16

February 10, 2016
Making a mixtape - once very romantic in some circles

Making a mixtape – once very romantic in some circles

If you want to treat your Valentine to more than a mixtape, there are a plethora of Valentine’s Day events this week, including one or two that recognize anti-Valentine sentiments. Some of them feature dinners, which certainly ups the cost, but then, Valentine’s Day is special – just ask greeting card and candy companies. Additionally, there are certainly plenty of other opportunities to hear some great music around town. I’ve just scratched the surface with these ideas. Music lifts the spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, February 10

Mary Louise Knutson/New Shoes @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm ($5 after 8pm) Sublime solo piano from Ms Knutson during the dinner hours, followed at 8pm by the former Guys All Star Shoe Band from Prairie Home Companion. They’ll be stretching out from their radio gig, as Richard Kriehn, fiddle and mandolin; Gary Raynor, bass; Joe Savage, pedal steel guitar; and Peter Johnson on drums present originals, Americana, and perhaps a few jazz tunes.

Chris Bates @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Bassist Bates is playing a series of monthly dates at Jazz Central with Joe Strachan, piano; and Matt Buckner, drums; in anticipation of recording their originals live and releasing them digitally within the next few months.

Thursday, February 11

Mack Avenue Super Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $50), 9pm ($35 – $45) Mack Avenue Records has been featuring a band of its recording artists at the Detroit Jazz Festival for the last few years. Now we get to hear them in our own town. Listen to this lineup. First off, you have the Christian McBride Trio with Christian Sands, piano; and Carl Allen, drums. Add in Gary Burton, vibes; Sean Jones, trumpet; and Tia Fuller, sax;  and you do indeed, have a Super Band.

Melody Mendis @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Mendis performs jazz, r&b, pop, blues, and international songs. She’ll be accompanied by Tom Lewis, bass; Jon de Vaal drums; and Tim Graham, piano.

Dean Magraw & Steven Hobert @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($12) Here’s a chance for folks in the western suburbs to hear the incredible artistry of guitarist Magraw and pianist Hobert. Between Hobert’s flights of fancy, and Magraws sonic improvisations, this should be a winning performance.

Lila Ammons @ The Bad Waitress, 2 East 26th Street, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm (No Cover) Andy Cohen, owner of the Bad Waitress, is also a guitarist, and he’s brought Ammons in once before. He’ll be accompanying the vocalist, along with Peter Schimke,keys; and Jim Chenowith, bass.

Friday, February 12

Friday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) The old Nicollet Cafe has been relaunched as the Reverie, but it still features jazz on Friday nights. Tonight it’s No Room for Squares, with James “Jimmyapolis” Wallace, sax; Bill Stieger, drums; Jon Pemberton, trumpet; Mikkel Romstad, piano; and Adam Tucker, bass.

Maud Hixson Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No cover) Sit in the lounge and enjoy the oh so cool, yet evocative vocals of Ms Hixson.

Peter Schimke Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($10) Pianist Schimke has toured, performed, and/or recorded with artists such as Billy Preston, Art Farmer, Tom Harrell, Mark Murphy, Frank Morgan, and many, many, more. Here he is in a quartet setting.

Saturday, February 13

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Jazz Word Jazz is a different kind of show for this series, featuring musical improvisation and poetry, a combination that’s been around almost as long as jazz itself. The band consists of Chris Bates, bass; Nathan Hanson, sax; Greg Schutte, drums; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; and Will Jensen. The poets are Jim Larson, Amy Nash and Richard Broderick. Starts at 7:00 with an instrumental set, and then the headliner sets will add the poets.

Saturday, Sunday, February 13, 14

The Crosby Clooney Story @ The Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm Saturday,  3pm Sunday ($20) Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney were best of friends. They starred in White Christmas in 1954, did three duo albums together, and performed in concert together. She was a frequent guest on his TV shows, and they hosted the Crosby Clooney show in 1960 and ’61. Crooner Arne Fogel is a well respected authority on Crosby, and often performs with Maud Hixson. They’ve done this show before to appreciative audiences, and you have two chances to catch it.

Sunday, February 14

Debbie Duncan @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 5:30pm (Dinner Show), 7:30pm – 9:30pm (No Cover) The folks at Crooners have put together a special show for Valentine’s Day. At 5:30, Debbie Duncan will appear in the Dunsmore Room. You’ll have to order dinner to hear her there. However, at 7:30pm she’ll move to the lounge, where there is no cover, and dancing will occur.

Jana Nyberg Group @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 5:30pm (3 Course Dinner Show: $50 – $55) Whether Nyberg is singing a pop ditty about buying romaine for her partner, or caressing a ballad like The Nearness of You, she imparts a youthful, and lively enthusiasm for romance, which makes her a perfect performer for couples wanting a special evening for Valentine’s Day.

Monday. February 15

Lucia Sarmiento @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Sarmiento is a saxophonist from Peru who has been studying at McNally Smith for the past couple of years and has been appearing around town in various groups. tonight, she’ll lead her own band. Here’s a promo video of her and her band.

The Jazz Implosion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis.9:30pm ($8) First set: Witch Hunt: a Tribute to Wayne Shorter, with Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Chris Bates, bass; Ted Godbout, piano; Adam Harder Nussbaum, drums; Michael Shulte, sax. Second set: Deveraux/Bates Duo: Nelson Devereaux, sax; JT Bates, drums.

Tuesday, February 16

Bill Carrothers @ The Dunsmore Room at Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($20 Minimum) Call it coincidence if you will, but Carrothers  a wonderful, almost luminous pianist, is now playing this room for the third time since it opened a couple of months ago. The clarity of the room’s 9 foot Bosendorfer piano, and the attentive quiet of the listening room audience, are no doubt part of the room’s appeal.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, February 10

Jon Rodine with Paul Bergen and Friends @ KFAI and the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Rodine is an under-appreciated singer of Blues, Americana, and R&B whose last album of originals, Last Star, has been getting some notice around the country. He’ll be joined by guitarist/vocalist Paul Bergen and his band. Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton will be join them along with Becky Kapell, and Max Ray on saxophone.

Thursday, February 11

Siama’s Afrobilly @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Once again, percussionist Mikkel Beckmen brings the singing guitar of Siama Matuzungidi to his Thursday afternoon acoustic gig. Matuzungidi’s guitar is featured on a number of soukous hits out of Africa. He’s played on four continents for a wide variety of audiences, all of whom have swayed to the sound of his evocative guitar. Dallas Johnson will join in on percussion and occasional vocals.

Friday, February 12

What’s Love Got To Do With it @ the University Club, 420 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Free, Donations accepted) A Valentine revue, led by Richard Broderick, with a cast of actors, poets, singers, storytellers, and belly dancers, with guest appearances by such famous romantics as Lord Byron and Cleopatra.

Saturday, February 13

Maurice Jacox Valentine’s Event @ The Normandy Kitchen, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Reservations are always recommended for this intimate venue, which reminds me of a midtown Manhattan bar in the 60s. Tonight, the sterling vocalist will be accompanied by two excellent guitarists: Bobby E, who may add some backing vocals from time to time, and Deano Mikkelson.

14th Annual Carnaval Brasileiro @ International Market Square, Minneapolis. 9pm ($30 Advance, $40 Door) It’s a masquerade ball, complete with Brazilian music, drummers, professional samba dancers from Sao Paulo, and artisans. New this year is the addition of Badi Assad, who will also be appearing at the Dakota tomorrow night (see below). Here’s an example of what you might encounter.

The Badinovs @ Palmer’s Bar, Minneapolis.  10pm (No Cover) This Beatles-inspired group hasn’t played out in almost a year, and it’s taken a wedding reception (open to the public) for Larry & Rachel Becker to get them on stage. There will be two or three other bands during the evening, which starts at 7pm. Word is a very special guest will play before the Badinovs. Whether you know the Beckers or not, you can take part in the reception. No gifts are needed, and you sure won’t hear the Hoky Poky or the Cha Cha Slide.

Lady Heat - They know their way around turntables

Lady Heat – They know their way around turntables

Lady Heat’s “Love Me, Love Me Not” Dance Party @ Clubhouse Jaeger, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Three lady Deejays spinning vinyl. Though the evening will be rooted in soul and funk, they are conversant with other genres and are sure to mix up “love” and “anti-love” jams for your dancing pleasure.

Sunday, February 14

The Love Show: Deluxe Edition @ O’Shaughnessy at St. Catherine’s, Saint Paul. 3pm ($28) Kevin Kling, Dan Chouinard, Bradley Greenwald, Prudence Johnson, Simone Perrin, Claudia Schmidt, and Dane Stauffer in a show that recalls the Saturday Night Variety shows from the early days of television. Here’s a recording of Chouinard and Prudence Johnson.

Willie Walker and We “R” at There Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 4pm – 8pm (No cover) Walker has been nominated for three Blues Awards for his outstanding album, If Nothing Ever Changes. His sandpaper voice gives a bit of oomph to the more romantic songs that he sings, like You Send Me. Word is, that Maurice Jacox will be joining on baritone sax for a few numbers.

Badi Assad @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm (4 Course Dinner Show: $102); 9pm (Cocktail Show: $42)  Assad is a Brazilian singer/songwriter as well as a brilliant guitarist, and percussionist, who was most recently in town at the Cedar Cultural Center las Fall. She blends pop, jazz, and world influences with traditional Brazilian music to create exciting performances, as she showed at the Dakota a couple of years ago. Her latest album, Hatched, features her take on songs by Lorde, Skillrex, and Mumford and Sons, among other contemporary artists. Twin Cities guitarist Robert Everest opens.

Music By Lovers 6th Annual Valentine’s Show @ Shaw’s Bar & Grill, NE Minneapolis. 6pm ($30/couple) Billy Larson & Lisa Wenger came up with this  concept of couples performing romantic tunes for couples. Featuring, Billy Larson & Lisa Wenger; Deb Brown & Brian Z; Peter Hennig & Rachel Holder-Hennig; and Tamara & Phil Barnett. The cover includes a sweet tasting and a glass of wine.

If I but knew the words that would unlock your heart

If I but knew the words that would unlock your heart

Victorian Poetry Slam @ James J. Hill House, 240 Summit, Saint Paul. 6pm, 7:30pm ($12) Classic 19th Century poetry performed in the drawing room of the mansion overlooking downtown Saint Paul. Actors Craig Johnson, Laura Salveson, and Ann Daly will be dressed in 1890s evening wear. Audience members are invited to bring along a Victorian poem to read aloud. Light refreshments and tours of the house will follow the performance.

Monday, February 15

Hot Club of Cowtown @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm  ($30, $35) This trio plays Western Swing with original compositions that reflect both Django Rheinhardt and early jazz, as well as Bob Wills. They’ve toured with Bob Dylan and played the Grand Ol’ Opry, as well as having appeared on Praire Home Companion.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar

 


Mardis Gras and More: 2.3 – 2.10

February 3, 2016

UnknownWe’re back to real winter weather, and both the Super Bowl and Mardis Gras are upon us, but neither of those occurrences need distract you from hearing excellent live music this weekend. In fact, Mardis Gras serves as an inspiration for a number of events around town. So let the Bon Ton Roulet, and rmember live music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, February 3

The Reverse of Sam and Dave Duo @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) What an intriguing group name! One Wednesday each month, bassist Anthony Cox brings an interesting group to Jazz Central, and often involves the audience in discussions around the music. Tonight he’ll also be playing cello, and will be joined by bassist and saxophonist Mike Lewis, of Happy Apple, Andrew Bird, and numerous other jazz, pop, and roots groups. I have no idea what the reverse of the 60s soul duo just might be, and like you, I’ll have to attend to find out, but I”m sure it will be interesting.

JoAnn Funk Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) JoAnn travels across town from her usual haunt at the Saint Paul Hotel, and adds drummer Nathan Norman to the mix for an evening of jazz standards and a few surprises, from the pens of Leonard Cohen, Dan Penn, and other composers not usually associated with jazz.

Thursday, February 4

Joey Babay & Steven Hobert @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Babay is a vocalist who jumps and swings. Hobert is a pianist who can sensitively accompany all sorts of vocalists. This will be fun.

Hanson, Buckley, & Marich @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Every Thursday, the kind folks at the Kyber Pass serve up beer wine, and a few small plates to accompany some extraordinary improvisational jazz. Tonight they have three musicians who are very comfortable pushing boundaries: Nathan Hanson, sax; James Buckley, bass; and George Marich, drums.

Friday, February 5

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Source Code @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis 8pm ($10) Here’s some jazz that will stand up to any touring act that comes through town. Gravatt is the explosive drummer who has toured and recorded with Weather Report back in the day, and has regularly toured with McCoy Tyner. The members of  Source Code vary from time to time, but are always up to the challenge of Gravatt’s musical expressions. Here’s one version of the group.

Steve Hobert/Yohannes Tona Quartet @ Reverie (formerly Nicollet Cafe), Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Hobert, keys; Tona, bass; Kip Jones, violin; Arthur LA Buckner, drums.

Bill Evans New Orleans Jazz Band @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Here’s a chance to warm up for Mardis Gras, as this group of veteran players explore the traditional side of New Orleans music. You can expect plenty of clarinet, trombone, and trumpet playing. Don’t be surprised if a little second line parade winds it way through the club.

Saturday, February 6

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) It seems to be trombone night at the Black Dog, as both groups feature the slide trombone as the leader’s choice of instrument.  Nick Syman Quartet @ 7pm: Syman, trombone;  Ted Godbout, piano; Ted Olson, bass; Pete James Johnson, drums. Followed at 8:30pm by the Dean Sorenson Sextet: Sorenson, trombone; David Milne, saxes; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; Chris Lomheim, piano; Tom Leis Bass; Phil Hey, drums.  Though there are no videos of Sorenson’s group live, you can still listen to something from their recently released album, the Colors of Soul.

Monday. February 8

Irv Williams @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) The 90-something continues to have a wonderful tone on saxophone. Early on, he played behind folks like Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Eckstine, and Mary Lou Williams. After serving in the Navy band, he settled in the Twin Cities and turned down offers from Count Basie and Duke Ellington. You can catch him in duo settings during Friday happy hour at the Dakota, but this is a special chance to hear him with Billy Peterson, bass; Steve Blons, guitar; and Dave Graf on trombone. It will be sublime, as you can tell from this video, taken a year ago or so.

Monday, Tuesday, February 8, 9

Joe Lovano & John Scofield Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45), 9pm ($30) Here’s a duo that will bring out all sorts of music lovers. Guitarist John Scofield has played with Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker, Charles Mingus, Billy Hancock, and Miles Davis, and more recently has gained fans among the jam band crowd by playing with Mediski, Martin & Wood, Bill Frisell, and Phil Lesh, of the Grateful Dead. He’s an amazing improviser with a distinctive sound. Grammy winning saxophonist Joe Lovano has played with SF Jazz, The Mel Lewis Orchestra, and Paul Motian, in addition to leading a number of groups, including Us5, the two drummer band. Check them out.

Dirty Dozen Brass Band @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($30 – $35) What better way to celebrate Fat Tuesday than with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. They revolutionized the Brass Band concept some 35 years ago when they added bebop, pop, and even the Flinstones Theme to their repertoire. They’ve recorded with David Bowie, Dr. John, Elvis Costello, The Black Crowes, and more. Tickets are going fast, so be warned, and if you get in, you can party hearty.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, February 3

Jeff Ray & The Stakes on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Jeff Ray is a talented songwriter who isn’t afraid to rework classic rock n’ roll tunes to fit his playing on resonator and acoustic guitars. He’s joined by harp master “Hurricane Harold” Tremblay, along with percussionist Mikkel Beckman on Djembe, Scruboard and foot stomps, and Nick Salisbury, of Sonny Knight & the Lakers, and Ashliegh Still, on bass. Here’s a track from their Valhalla, their recent album.

Thursday, February 4

Rockin Pinecones @ The Eagles Club, MInneapolis. 7:30pm ($5) Get an early start on Mardis Gras celebrations and Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton and friends serve up some Cajun, Zydeco, and Swamp Pop tunes for your dancing pleasure.

Gilded Palace Sinners @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($8) Throughout a career in the International Submarine Band, The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, duets with Emmylou Harris, and solo excursions, Gram Parsons kickstarted country rock and created an extraordinary body of work. This 8-piece group was formed in 2015 to perform his music. Member come from the Urban Hillbilly Quartet, the Platte Valley Boys, The Middle Spunk Creek Boys, and more.

Friday, February 5

Butanes @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Though the dance floor at Crooners isn’t particularly large, it’s bigger than the one at Shaw’s, where the award-winning Butanes have a weekly gig. Additionally, music starts early, so those of us of a certain age can kick up our heels to the Buantes’ Blues and still get home in time to get sufficient rest.

Willie Murphy Trio @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Sometimes you just want some basic blues and rock n’ roll. Pianist/guitarist Murphy delivers, and though his originals are actually far from basic, they deliver a punch that isn’t subtle, even if the harmonies are.  Here he is with a full band.

OboeBassFluteGuitar @ Lowertown Lofts, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This concert is” for fans of classical music in obscure spaces.”  A collaboration of the four performers of OboeBass! and Duo Ancora as OboeBassFluteGuitar! For this concert they will perform several pieces as a quartet, and mix and match their instrumental combinations in a variety of genres from baroque to tango to jazz. Carrie Vecchione, oboe, and Rolf Erdahl, double bass created and perform in OboeBass!, the world’s only professional oboe/bass duo. Catherine Ramirez is flute professor at St. Olaf College and internationally known soloist and teacher of flute. A native of East Berlin, guitarist and Lowertown Classics founder Eva Benekeperforms, records, and teaches around the world in addition to serving on the guitar faculty at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul.

Friday, Saturday, February 5, 6

Martha Reeves & The Vandellas @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $50) Motown Soul from the singer of Heat Wave, Nowhere to Run, Come and Get These Memories, and Dancing in the Street. Martha & The Vandellas were inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame back in 1995, and have two songs in the Grammy Hall of Fame. Nowadays the Vandellas are Martha’s sisters. Together, they’ll take you back to the pinnacle of 60s Motown, whether you were around then or not.

Saturday, February 6

Wine, Women & Song @ The Parkway Theater, 4814 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Three outstanding musicians gather for an evening of pop, country, and rock. Rocker Tina Schlieske will explore songs she recorded with the B-sides from her latest work, Barricade. That band formed out of the edgy new wave rock scene that was Minneapolis in the late ’80’s. Katy Vernon will perform her pop/rock/country songs from her newest, critically acclaimed album, Present, named Album of the Year by E’Toile Magazine, and a #6 album of the year by the Pioneer Press. Sarah Morris has released two albums, and has been praised for her intimate songwriting and Norah Jones-like approach to singing alt-country. Here’s a video from each of them.

Buddy Holly Tribute @ Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. 6pm ($5) This is a benefit for Doctors Without Borders, but also celebrates the “Day the Music Died,” when Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and The Big Bopper died in a plane crash near Clear Lake Iowa. Performers include: Nikki & the Ruemates, Larry Havluck, Roady Tate, Don & Leo, Steve West and the Northern Stars.

Jennifer Grimm @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Grimm’s Sunday night gig at The Station in White Bear Lake are legendary for their fun factor. Expect the same at Crooners, with the addition of talented family and friends.

Sunday, February 7

Phil Heywood @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10am – 2pm (No Cover) You can catch Heywood, his acoustic guitar, and his pleasant baritone while having brunch and still have plenty of time to prepare for the Super Bowl later today. He’ll be debuting his 12 string for added interest. Well worth the time for aspiring guitarists who want to see a champion of finger picking at work.

Tuesday, February 9

Mardis Gras Party with Patty & The Buttons @ Dayblock Brewing, 1105 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Patty’s button accordion playing is just the thing for Cajun tunes, though this group can swing out with some jump blues and jazz as well. It’s a masquerade party, with featured cocktails,  and Dayblock’s usual selection of food, not to forget their IPAs, Stouts, and Ales.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.


A Jazz Festival, Gamelans, Americana, and More: 1.27 – 2.2

January 27, 2016
You don't have to go outside to hear winter jazz

You don’t have to go outside to hear winter jazz

I’m still on vacation for another day, so this newsletter is also a bit short. That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of music to hear out there, including a gamelan orchestra, a one day jazz festival, and some great Americana. There’s more, but I haven’t had the time to fully explore everything. Remember, Music Lifts the Spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, January 27
Jake Baldwin Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) The young trumpeter always has simpatico musicians in his band. This time he has Ted Olson on bass, and Matt Buckner on drums.
Dean Magraw & Butch Thompson @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($?) Quite the combination. Thompson, of course is our very own expert on traditional jazz, with a light touch on both the piano and the clarinet.  Dean Magraw is as versatile a guitar player that you will ever find, from the music of India, Ireland, and other  countries, to jazz-rock fusion, bebop, and more.

Thursday, January 28
Katia Cardenas @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) The powerhouse young singer can do mighty justice to the songs of Aretha Franklin, Amy Winehouse, and Ella Fitzgerald. She’ll be accompanied by Ted Godbout, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Trevor Hainig, drums.
Saturday, January 30
Saturday Night Jazz @ the Blackdog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Last week I mentioned that Steve Kenny often has young bands as opening acts for these Saturday Night jazz sets. Here’s one of them, The Nextet, a group of very talented high school students: Jordan Anderson, piano; Alma Engebretson, bass; Will Schmid, guitar; and Luke Westemeyer, drums. At 8:30, a special performance of the Dave Karr Group: Karr, saxophones; Kenny Horst, drums; Billy Peterson, bass; and Steve Kenny Flumpet.
Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) It’s dance time at Crooners, as Ms Lynch brings her unique take on songs from the 20s to the 60s to the lounge.
Tim Patrick and His Blue Eyes Band @ The Eagles Club #34, Minnapolis. 8pm ($12) Patrick has a way with crooning the songs of Sinatra and friends that brings out the swing dancers.

Sunday, January 31
Cyrus Chestnut Clinic @ MacNally Smith College of Music Auditorium, Saint Paul noon- 1pm (Free) Pianist Chestnut will be playing later in the day at the Winter Jazz Festival, but is starting out the day with a clinic aimed at high school students, but open to the public.
Twin Cities Winter Jazz Fest @ Saint Paul Hotel, Saint Paul. 2pm – 8:30pm ($30 advance, $35 Door) Three stages with a surfeit of talent. On the Summit Room Stage: 2pm – The Dakota Combo, in their first appearance of the year; 3pm – John Penny, was scheduled, but is unable to perform after an accident. No word on a replacement yet. On the M Street Cafe Stage: 4pm Patty Peterson with Dave Karr; 5:30pm – Solomon Parham with Steve Kenny. On the Ballroom Main Stage: 2pm – Acme jazz Company; 3pm, Ancia Saxophone Quartet; 4:30pm – JoAnn Funk; 5pm Jazz Central All Stars featuring Debbie Duncan; 6:45pm – Cyrus Chestnut with Francisco Mela and Gerald Cannon

Tribute to Natalie Cole @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm  Ginger Commodore, Yolanda Bruce, Tonia Hughes-Kendrick, Dennnis Spears, Ash Smash. With Brian Ziemniak, keys; Jay Young, bass; Deevo Dee, guitar; Daryl Boudreaux, perc; Bobby Commodore, drums.
Monday
Tuesday, February 2
Charles Lloyd & Friends @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50, $70) The Jazz Master brings his saxophone back to the Dakota, this time with some esteemed friends: Bill Frisell,guitar; Reuben Rogers, bass; and Eric Harland. Both Frisell and Lloyd leave plenty of room in their playing, creating an almost meditative quality to their performance.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, January 27
JT Bates & Friends @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) JT Bates is a versatile drummer. Some folks know him as the guy who often plays with the Pines and on Prairie Home Companion. Others know him as a jazz drummer about town, playing with Fat Kid Wednesdays, Zacc Harris, his brother Chris, and curating the Jazz Implosion on Monday nights. Some may have discovered him as the funky drummer in the soul jazz organ group GRAIN. Tonight he invites some friends to play the music of New Orleans with him. Those friends include: Joel Schaan, guitar & vocals; Jim Anton, bass; and Kevin Gastonguay, organ. Here he is with a different set of friends.

Wednesday, Thursday, January 27, 28
Eric Bibb and Corey Harris @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) Modern acoustic blues that seems to have wafted up from the Delta from a couple of relatively young masters. Bibb is an intimate performer and fine story teller. With a foundation in traditional blues and an ear for contemporary blues, Harris received a MacArthur “Genius Grant” back in 2007.

Thursday, January 28
Swamp Kings @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5?) You’ll definitely feel the Louisiana vibe as this trio brings blues, swamp pop, and Cajun rhythms to the basement shrine to New Orleans.

Americana Showcase @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Rice County Records is a little label from Northfield. They’ve been holding weekly showcases of their talent and tonight will feature: The Holy Broke at 9; Matt Arthur & the Bratlanders at 10; and Golden Valley at 11.
International Novelty Gamelan @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Gamelan is a term used in Bali and Java to describe a number of instruments, including gongs, xylophones, and a variety of percussion instruments. What sets it apart is that the instruments are built and tuned to be played together. This local sextet has been playing together for over 13 years, composing their own music, which is drone-like in its approach. Beer, wine, and small plates are available for the Thurday night music series at Khyber Pass.
Friday, January 29
John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band @ The Dakota, Minnapolis. 7pm ($30) Jorgenson is an amazingly versatile guitarist. He spent more than 5 years on the road with  Elton John, co-founded the Desert Rose Band, a stellar country rock outfit, with Chris Hillman; collaborated with Sting and Billy Joel; and was a pioneer of the America’s gypsy jazz revival the last couple of decades. Tonight he explores bluegrass.

Scottie Miller @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Pianist/vocalist Miller will be performing boogie-woogie, soul, funk, and blues. HIs rollicking playing, with it’s echoes of New Orleans and classic rock, will have the joint jumpin’. 
New Sound Underground and The Heard @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10 advance, $12 door) Modern day horn-oriented funk from a couple of Twin Cities groups. New Sound Underground is a sextet with at least three players who are well respected in the Twin Cities jazz scene. The Heard is a seven piece group with a 3-person horn section.

Sunday, January 31
Pop Wagner @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Some might call Wagner a folkie, but those in the know would describe him as an old-time country singer, and by old time, I’m talking the 30s. He’s also mighty handy with a lasso. Here’s Pop with a very witty song.

Charlie Parrr @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Parr is playing out quite a bit these days. He has enough fans that most venues fill up. Tonight he’s joined by  Wild Hands, a North Dakota quartet who’s music covers the usual Americana bases.
For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.

Winter Music: 1.20 – 1.26

January 21, 2016

imagesThis week’s post is a bit less detailed than usual, in part because I lost internet service on Monday, and can’t get anyone to come out until after I return from vacation next week. Plus, I was mostly in transit yesterday, so I didn’t get this published for Wednesday.  I’m sure you all have the ability to further investigate these shows before going out. Not a bad idea, since every once in a while, I get the wrong date. In fact last week, I managed to call the Black Dog the Black Hawk! Next week’s newsletter will also be smaller.

At any rate, have a great week.

Jazz

Wednesday, January 20

Pete Whitman Presents Shellgame @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Here’s a new group from Pete Whitman: Scott Agster, trombone; Pete Whitman, saxophones; Brian Ziemniak, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Pete Henning,drums. They’ll be playing original tunes from the band members.

Thursday, January 21

35th Annual Martin Luther King Concert Tribute featuring Pippi Ardennia @ Ted Mann Concert Hall, Minneapolis. 6pm – 7:30pm (Free) Celebrate the life of Martin Luther King with this free concert featuring a cappella group Committed, who won NBC’s Sing Off, as well as vocalists Pippi Ardennia and Sheri Hixon. Here’s an example of Pippi’s singing.

Give Get Sistet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10)The Give Get Sistet is an expandable improvisational chorus of Twin Cities women with ties and influences from around the world. The use both a cappella singing and vocal improvisation to explore music made by African American women, from the days of slavery until today.

Brian Gallagher Quartet w/Julius Collins @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover)  Gallagher, sax; Yohannes Tona, bass; Pete Hennig, drums; Brian Ziemniak, keys; Collins, vocals.

Friday, January 22

Debbie Duncan Sings Natalie Cole @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Duncan certainly has the chops to deliver the music of Natalie Cole while still retaining her own voice and personality. It’s a Friday, so things will be poppin’. Get there early for a seat/table close to the stage. Here she is doing a ballad made famous by Dinah Washington.

Happy Apple @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($12)  Erik Fratzke, electric bass; Michael Lewis, sax; and Dave King, drums, get together for an increasingly rare appearance. It’s a chance to hear their slightly off-kilter instrumentals, watch Lewis roam the stage, and listen to King’s stream-of-conciousness patter covering all things pop culture. And of course, their energetic music.

Saturday, January 23

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) at  7pm: Jazz impresario Steve Kenny has been using the first set of these regular Saturday Night sessions to introduce us to new bands, and especially some of the young (we’re talking high school) bands in the area. Tonight, we’ll hear the college students of Dave Hagedorn, vibist extraordinaire. I’m assuming that the band will be delightful. Then at 8:30pm Chris Bates’ Good Vibes Trio takes the stage with Bates, bass; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; and Phil Hey, drums. Good Vibes is such an appropriate name, as these three gentlemen delight in playing together, it’s a joy that is quickly picked up by the audience.

John Raymond CD Release @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) New York musician and native Twin Citizen Raymond has been catching the ears of many a reviewer. He’s latest CD, Real Feels, is being released on the Twin Cities label Shifting Paradigm Records, and he’s returning to town to celebrate. Downbeat Magazine said of Raymond, “…with his mix of modern sounds and old fashioned feeling, Raymond is steering jazz in the right direction.”

Billy Peterson Birthday Concert @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($12) The eternally youthful Mr Peterson will be celebrating another birthday by playing with members of his musical clan. He’ll also have a special guest from Iceland, vocalist Anna Mijoll. Here’s Billy with Jerry Bergonzi.

Monday, January 25

Rachel Holder & Rick Carlson: In the Crook @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm ($15 Minimum) A singer and a piano player. The singer stands “in the crook” of the piano, for close communication with the piano player. Tonight, chanteuse Rachel Holder and pianist Rick Carlson, a sensitive accompanist and player in his own right, hold forth in the listening room at Crooners.  Here she is with a three piece, though it features a lot of duetting between Rachel and bassist Gordy Johnson.

Thomas Nordlund @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) Set 1: JT Bates, drums; Anthony Cox, bass; Paul Metzger, banjo, guitars. Set 2: Thomas Nordlund,  electric baritone guitar; Ben Abrahamson, guitars; Kevin Gastonguay, keys; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Andrew Foreman, bass; Lars-Erik Larson, drums.

Tuesday, January 26

Dave Karr Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Crooners, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm ($15 Minimum) The Dunsmore Room has become a premium listening room for jazz, with reasonable prices on food and drink, and a great sound. Tonight, jazz sax master Dave Karr brings a quartet to the room, to fill its space with gorgeous sound. I’m not sure, but believe he will have Kenny Horst, drums; Billy Peterson, bass; and Steve Kenny, flumpet.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, January 20

DLs Cajun Band w/Mary DuShane on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) While listening to them at home, you may find yourself involuntarily moving to the insistent beats of DLs Cajun Band. Adding to the mix is talented fiddler Mary DuShane, a longtime participant in country & western, folk, and Cajun bands in the area.

Willie Murphy @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Here’s a chance to get over humpday with some rockin’ blues, R&B, and an occasional beautiful ballad in a trio format. Though this isn’t a trio, it’s still a good example of Murphy’s work.

Red Barraat @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) A high energy brass band from Brooklyn, playing Bhangra – Indian music – in an engaging and exciting manner.

John Beach Trio @ The Eagles Club #34, Minnapolis. ($5?) Pianist Beach is an old school West Banker with a long resume, whose trio was thoroughly delightful last time at the club. He’ll be joined by jazzman Paul Harper on sax; and Kory Badertsher on drums. Special guest Mary Leinfelder will do some singing as well.

Friday, January 22

Davina & the Vagabonds @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($10?) An early evening dose of pianist/vocalist Davina should get you high enough to make it through the weekend.

Nicholas David @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($30, $40) He was a finalist on the Voice about three years ago, but by then had already earned a reputation as a soulful singer and musician, having gained national exposure from his albums.

Saturday, January 23

Swamp Pop Extravaganza @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm Fundraiser for 2nd Harvest. The Swamp Poppas as backup band with expanded horn section and backup singers. Featuring guest stars Tom Lieberman, Becky Thompson, Rich Lewis, Dan Rowles, Lucinda Plaisance and possibly Ernie Batson and Curtiss A.

Seven Steps to Havana @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Things may be warming up, comparatively speaking, but you can experience tropical level heat at Seven Steps to Havana brings their Cuban/Latin grooves to the Dakota stage.

Sunday, January 24

Garland Jeffreys & Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Classic rock from a Brooklyn native who first had a hit with Wild in the Streets back in the 70s. His songs have been covered by punchers and neo-folkes, and he’s worked with folks ranging from John Cale and Dr. John to Stan Getz and Sonmny Rollins. Jeffrey’s latest two albums, The King of In Between from 2011, and Truth Serum in 2013 received great reviews and talk of a second wave to his career.

Monday, Tuesday, January 25, 26

War @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $50), 9pm ($35, $45) The Dakota is funkin’ it up for two nights. War was a  dominant figure on the charts and the dance floor during the 70s, with songs like Low Rider, Gypsy Man, Cisco Kid, Why Can’t We Be Friends and more. Here’s video of the band back in the day.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.


Brrr. Music: 1.13 – 1.19

January 13, 2016
If these guys can make it out, so can you

If these guys can make it out, so can you

Well, we should be getting used to the cold by now, and if we aren’t going out quite as much, we’re still going out. This week we have three world music concerts, a couple of country rock shows, a CD release party, and as usual, some great jazz. Have a good week. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, January 13

Chris Bates Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 10:30pm ($10) Bates is one of the busier bass players around town, and given how many talented bassists we have, that’s saying something. Tonight he’s joined by a slightly younger generation of talented musicians: Joe Strachan on piano and Matt Buckner on drums. Here’s Chris in a solo performance.

Thursday, January 14

Minnesota Jazz Orchestra @ Wabasha Street Caves, Saint Paul. 7pm ($8) Swing Dancers congregate at the Caves every Thursday night to dance to big bands such as the Minnesota Jazz Orchestra, a 16 piece band with vocalists Greg Marquadrt and Debbie O’Keefe. Doors open at 6pm, and if you’ve never learned how to swing dance, lessons start at 6:15. Here’s the orchestra with a classic.

Suzanne Paris @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Paris is a singer who has lived in New York and LA, and Japan, led a jazz trio at three different Japanese Jazz Festivals, opened for Tony Bennett, and sung at Birdland, The Blue Note and the Iridium. Since 2000, Paris has been living in the Twin Cities and raising a family, and consequently out of the music business. Having impressed as part of a trio of singers at Jazz Central in October, they are bringing her back to sing from the Great American Songbook, with Chris Lomheim, piano; and Josh Granowski, bass. Sounds like a wise choice.

Friday, January 15

Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) The ever-creative Washington is back at the Dog for his monthly gig. This time he’ll be joined by Brad Bellows on valve trombone, as well as Dick Studer on bass; and Davu Seru on drums & percussion. They can sometimes get out there, but with a strong sense of melody and harmony, always bring it back. Here are Donald and Brad with a different rhythm section.

Peter Schimke @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($10) This appears to be a solo gig for pianist Schimke  an A-list musician who has performed or recorded with folks ranging from Charlie Musselwhite, to Art Farmer, Victor Wooten, Rita Coolidge, and Tom Harrell.

Saturday, January 16

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening set at 7pm by the Midwest Sax Quartet: Jared Jarvis, soprano sax; Evan Benidt, alto sax; Joe Mayo, tenor sax; and Gus Sandberg, baritone sax. Followed at 8:30pm by the Zacc Harris Group: Harris, guitar; Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris Bates, bass; JT Bates, drums.  Zacc Harris will be heading to the UK in a couple of weeks, to perform with Michael Janisch at the famed Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London for three nights, as well as at other clubs.

Sunday, January 17

John Penny CD Release Party @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 5pm ($7) Guitarist Penny has played with Jack McDuff, Bobby Lyle, Bernard Purdie, and Erik Gravatt, in addition to composing for TV commercials, and scores for the movie Patti Rocks, and well as movies for the MN Twins, The United Way, and others. He has a new CD, Urban Tumble. For the first half of the show, he’ll be joined by bassist Charlie Riddle and drummer Davu Seru playing new compositions by Penny. During the second half keyboardist Daniel Williams will join in for songs from the CD, and Pippi Ardennia will sing some of Penny’s vocal songs. Other guests from the CD will sit in as well.

Monday, Tuesday, January 18, 19

Davell Crawford: Tribute to Allen Toussaint @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $35), 9pm ($20-$30) This is a highly anticipated show for fans of New Orleans R&B. The “Crown Prince of New Orleans” is a highly praised proponent of New Orleans’ piano tradition. Crawford’s grandfather was “Sugarboy’’ Crawford, an early R&B artist, and Allen Toussaint was a family friend. At the age of eleven, Crawford started hanging out at Toussaint’s studio where he felt it was a safe place to explore his own love for playing piano. Now, he’s carrying on the tradition and is performing the music of Toussaint, who recently left town, as they say.

Tuesday, January 19

Mary Louise Knutson Trio @ The Dunsmore Room, Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($15 Minimum) Take advantage of the quiet ambience of the listening room at Crooners to fully appreciate Ms Knutson’s effervescent piano playing. None other than Doc Severinson recognizes her talent, as she regularly tours with his big band. Tonight, she’s joined by a couple of highly respected veterans: Gordy Johnson on bass; and Phil Hey on drums.

Beasley’s Big Band @ Edinborough Indoor Amphitheater, 7700 York Avenue Sou, Edina. (?) Folks in South Minneapolis and the southern ‘burbs can visit the lovely amphitheater to hear the big band sounds of the 19 piece BBB. Here they are at the Caves.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, January 13

Joyann Parker & Sweet Tea on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This group is a rising star in the Twin Cities Blues Scene. Joyann Parker is a quintuple threat as a singer, pianist, drum, guitarist, and songwriter. She and the guys in Sweet Tea are heading to Memphis to represent Minnesota in the International Blues Challenge. Whether they win down there or not, they’ve already won the hearts of many blues fans in town.

Wednesday, Thursday, January 13, 14

Pure Prairie League @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45) PPL was one of the groups that helped define country rock back in the 70s. Formed in 1969, they had five top 40 LPs in the 70s and a sixth in the 80s, keeping their sound throughout a number of configurations. Amie was their first hit, recorded in ’73 and hitting the charts in ‘75. They also had a top ten hit in 1980 with Let me Love You Tonight, which also hit number one on the Adult Contemporary charts. Some luminaries who helped out with recording or performing include guitarist Mick Ronson, saxophonist Dave Sanborn, and Vince Gill, who would later go on to fame as a solo artist. After breaking up in the 80s, they reformed at the end of the 90s, and though leader Mike Reilly (bass & vocals) is the only long-time member (he joined in ’73), they still have the sweet harmonies that defined their sound.

Thursday, January 14

On the Way to Uskudar and The Other Country Quartet @ JJ Hill Library, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($10) This is part of the World Live! a series sponsored by the Library and KFAI, which knows a thing or two about musics of the world. On the Way to Uskuda  presents Turkish and Balkan music using traditional and modern instruments. The Other Country Quartet, on the other hand, doesn’t present country music from the US, but music from other countries.

Friday, January 15

Armadillo Jump @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($5) This rockin’ blues quintet  as recently voted Best Dance Band of 2015 by U Wanna Dance, a website and organization aimed at dancers – see the link below. The award is highly appropriate, since the band pretty much instantly fills up dance floors, and, you don’t have to know any special steps, though its always fun to watch dancers that know those special steps.

Faculty Recital @ MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) Here’s a collection of mostly classical pieces done by some of the faculty at MacPhail Center for Music. You’ll hear some Spanish Folk Songs, sung by Mikyoung Park, with Luke Swanger on piano; two pieces composed by Christopher Caliendo, performed by Julie Johnson, flute; and Jeff Lambert, guitar; As well as a couple of Rachmaninoff vocals, a guitar piece by Hector Villa-Lobos; and a piece for Marimba, Vibes, piano, drum, and bass. For more information, go to: http://www.macphail.org

Willie Walker and We “R” @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) It’s been a good year for Willie Walker  who has paid his dues in the soul circuit since the 60s. Walker toured South America a couple of times, and he and the band  recently tour in Switzerland. To top things off, Walker’s latest CD, “If Nothing Ever Changes,” is up for three awards in the 2016 Blues Awards. The Rick Estrin-produced album jus up for Album of the Year, Soul Blues Album, and Soul Blues Male Artist. See what the fuss is about by checking out the lounge at Crooners.

Sons of Almighty @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Here’s an all-star lineup of funkateers from around town, each of whom has played/recorded with major acts from in town and around the nation. Members are: Tommy Barbarella, keys; Michael Bland, drums; Julius Collins, vocals, Cory Wong, guitar; Brian Gallagher, sax; and Sonny Thompson, bass.

Saturday, January 16

Malamanya & Alma Andina @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) There will be lots of Latin dancing at the Cedar tonight, as two home-town favorites take the stage Alma Andina opens, bringing their meld of Andean music (think pan pipes) and modern instruments to the fore. Then Malamanya will shake things up further with their Cuban-inspired dance grooves. In between, DJS from Radio Pocho will keep the grooves going.

Twin Cities Cabaret Salon: Our Way @ The Town House Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10 Donation) Each month the Twin Cities Cabaret Artists Nework presents a Salon in the back lounge at the Town House. Six different artists perform for 15 minutes each. Tonight they’re celebrating the music of Frank Sinatra, with help from pianist Lori Dokken and Emcee Les Block. Tonight’s performers are Joey Babay, David Young, Mary Keepers, Vicky Mountain, Rhonda Laurie, and Connie Dussl.

Sunday, January 17

Living Colour @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50 – $60) Since their debut album Vivid, in 1989, Living Colour has been powered by Avant-garde jazz guitarist Vernon Reid and the soulful vocals of Corey Glover. They were among the first bands to transcend genres, mixing rock, jazz, funk, punk and heavy metal into swirling mix of high energy music. Their 1995 dissolution was short-lived, as the band was touring again by 2001. Their latest CD is 2015’s Shade. Here’s a number with some pan-tropical influences.

Mehmet Polat Trio & Srazhalys @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($20 advance/$25 Door) It’s another evening of intriguing world music. The Mehmet Polat Trio plays hypnotic music with roots in Ottoman, ancient Turkey, Balkan, and West African music traditions. Members are Mehmet Polat, oud; Sinan Arat, Ney; and Bao Sissoko, kora. The trio plays Polat’s compositions, which allow for much improvisation. Opening is Srazhalys, a quartet that uses Western rhythms to drive melodies of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Tuesday, January 19

The Federales w/Doug Otto & the Getaways @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. (Free) Here’s a double bill of acoustic Americana. The Federales describe themselves as a country band for a modern world. With the exception of an electric guitar, this six-piece sings of blues, bourbon, Grain Belt, and guitars, occasionally slipping into a country-rock mood. Doug Otto and the Getaways bring their mournful sounds to the opening set.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar. For a listing of dance opportunities, check out the U Wanna Dance Calendar.


Jazz, Cambodian Pop, Chamber Blues, and More: 1.6 – 1.12

January 6, 2016
Dengue Fever, appearing at the Ordway

Dengue Fever, appearing at the Ordway

Good music this week, from around the world (see photo) and perhaps, around the block. Get out and hear some. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, January 6

Anthony Cox: Deconstruction/Reconstruction @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Bassist Anthony Cox  ethinks the roles of different instruments and orchestration. He’ll be joined by Steve Kenny, trumpet; Davu Seru, drums; and Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; to perform new compositions, and engage in dialogue with the audience. Here’s an example of how Cox approaches a song, with a slight change in the lineup.

Thursday, January 7

Jon Pemberton @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) I don’t know if this is a solo gig or if pianist Pemberton will have any accompaniment. In either case, Pemberton’s playing is well worth a listen.

Erin Livingston @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Ms Livingston has been singing a lot with The Parisota Hot Club, proving she can swing the standards, pump up the blues, and caress a Beatles tune. Tonight she performs with Marc Z on piano.

Jack Brass Band CD Release @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) These purveyors of both traditional and contemporary New Orleans Brass Band music have a new CD, For Your Soul, and they’re celebrating with a performance tonight. And what better place to celebrate than the gumbo and po-boy haven in downtown Saint Paul. Here’s a video of the band from Wednesday morning.

Friday, January 8

Ted Olsen & Joe Strachan @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) Bassist Olsen and pianist Strachan are relatively young players who serve up some tasty licks and imaginative improvisations.

Denny Malmberg Trio w/Charmin Michelle @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) The accordionist used to play behind chanteuse Charmin Michelle at the Fireside Pizza on a weekly basis. That gig ended some months ago, so it’s a delight to have them together again, this time will the help of Tom Lewis on bass. Listen to them with a drummer.

Pete Whitman X-Tet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) They’re back! Saxophonist/leader Whitman has been concentrating on the McNally Smith big band that he leads, so it’s fun to have the X-Tet, formed in 2001, they received glowing review for their only CD, playing mostly original compositions from the members: Clay Pufahl, saxes, flute; Gus Sandberg, baritone sax, flute’ Adam Meckler, trumpet & flugelhorn; Jake Baldwin, trumpet & flugelhorn; Jeff Rinnear, trombone; Laura Caviani, piano; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Chris Bates, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. Here they are with Whitman’s arrangement of the old chestnut, Good Night Ladies.

Saturday, January 9

Zacc Harris Guitar Recital @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) It’s listed as a recital, so I’m assuming guitarist Harris  will be performing solo, given that he’ll be playing in a trio later in the evening. This is a chance to clearly hear his clean, rhythmic lines.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) The Pete Snell Trio opens, with Snell, saxes; Phil Aaron, piano; and Tom Lewis, bass. At 8:30 it’s Golden Circle, with outstanding musicians Davu Seru  drums; Dean Granros, guitar; Chris Bates, bass.

JT Bates’ Grain @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8)  Get down and a bit greasy with this B3 Organ trio led by the chameleonic drummer JT Bates, with Kevin Gastonguay, B3; and Zacc Harris, guitar.

Sunday, January 10

The Birthday Club w/Dan Chouinard & Friends @ The Dunsmore Room, Crooners, Fridley. 6pm – 8pm ($20 Minimum) The folks at Crooners are starting a new residency with keyboardist Dan Chouinard in which he and an invited guest celebrate the music of a particular songwriter. He has a long history of doing informative and edifying shows. For this first appearance, he’s bringing along a long time collaborator, singer Prudence Johnson  Her recent appearance with Rio Nido at the Dakota showed that she’s got chops aplenty when it comes to interpreting songs. Here’s something from their Gershwin album.

Monday, January 11

Colleen Raye @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) The singer/actress will be performing songs from women songwriters of the 40s and 50s. Raye is somewhat of an expert here, having produced and starred in shows such as Sirens of the 60s, Belting Babes, Girl Singers of the Hit Parade, and others that feature songs from women. She’ll be accompanied by Gary Raynor, bass; and Ted Godbout, piano. Listen to her on an old Nat King Cole Song.

Tuesday, January 12

Peter Kogan Quartet @ The Dunsmore Room, Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($15 Minimum) Kogan is a former tympanist from the Minnesota Orchestra, who was able to explore his jazz side during the organization’s strike, and came up with a couple of winning CDs, including his latest, Some Monsterful Wonderthing, which exhibits his skill at composing and leading a band. From classic bebop to New Orleans rhythms, Kogan writes it all.  Look at who he has in this quartet: Pete Whitman, sax; Phil Aaron, piano; and Anthony Cox, bass. Here’s a cut from the album.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, December 6

Andra Suchy Trio on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Classically trained and a veteran of musical theater, Suchy is a regular performer on Prairie Home Companion, and has recorded with a wide variety of indie, rock, blues, and folk acts, including the Honeydongs, Peter Ostroushko, and Dave Perner of Soul Asylum. She’s a Red House recording artist, with a folky style that fits the label’s sound.

Dee Miller Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) The joint will be jumpin’ as powerhouse vocalist Ms Miller and her band deliver exciting and danceable blues. Extra reason to be excited: Jimi “Primetime” Smith on guitar. I’m thinking this might be a crowded place tonight.

Thursday, January 7

Pat Donahue & The Prairie All Stars @ Golden’s Deli, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($8 for reserved stage area seating) Grammy-winning finger style guitarist Donahue has many fans, including the late Chet Atkins, and of course, Garrison Keillor, who featured Donahue and company at the house band on Prairie Home Companion for many years. Golden’s has a stage area off the main dining area, and serves beer and wine, in addition to sandwiches and soups. The band includes Dan Newton, accordion; Gary Raynor, bass; Richard Kriehn, mandolin and fiddle; and Peter Johnson on drums. Here he is with some of the band.

Potash Twins @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) The “Twin Horns of Joy” are a couple of young musicians from Omaha who have been guided by folks like Wynton Marsalis, Jon Faddis, and a host of other music luminaries. Adeev, trumpet; and Ezra, trombone; have studied in New York, and appeared at places ranging from Birdland to the Field Museum and the MN State Fair Grandstand. They play a very jazz-oriented pop that reaches across generations.

Friday, January 8

Worldwide Discoteque @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Pan-tropical vinyl, producing irresistibly funky dance sounds from Afrobeat to Island jams, to sambas, cumbias, and more for a multi-culti audience. Special guest deejay ILana Percheri will be alternating with host deejays Steely Dan and Brian Engle. Here’s an example of what you might hear.

Saturday, January 9

Dengue Fever @ The Ordway Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($25 – $27) Take Cambodian pop music. Add hints of Ethiopian jazz, psychedelica, garage band music, Latin grooves, and the British Invasion and you have this thoroughly intriguing and fun six-piece group. Their music has been featured in TV and films, including CSI: Las Vegas, Weeds, The Hangover 2, and City of Ghosts.

Sunday, January 10

Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues, w/Ernie Watts @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Siegel  known back in the day for his incisive harp playing as part of the Seigel-Schwall Blues Band, has been collaborating with classical musicians for quite some time now. This particular act features the West End String Quartet, as well as Frank Donaldson on world percussion, and sax master Ernie Watts  creating a blend of classical and blues styles in a chamber music setting.

Charlie Parr @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Advance) Parr is unique among today’s blues performers, with 13 albums to his credit and a huge following among the younger set. He sounds and looks like an itinerant picker, and in some respects is, but there’s an intelligence to his lyrics and playing (guitar, dobro, banjo) that goes way beyond his often-disheveled appearance. MN based singer/songwriter Amanda Standalone opens.

Tuesday, January 12

Kate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) I’ll admit that I really like the approach of bassist/vocalist Lynch to performing. She takes on old songs – pop tunes from the 20s to the 60s, and puts them in context before she and her Most Excellent Fellows hit a downbeat that brings out swing dancers. Though there’s no real room for dancing at the Dakota, I wouldn’t put it past some of her fans to push some table aside to create a small dance floor.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.


New Year, New Music: 12.30.15 – 1.5.16

December 30, 2015

imagesThe end of the year provides us with a chance to celebrate another orbit around the sun, and look forward to a new year of challenges, disappointments, hopes, and accomplishments. Whether you celebrate with a nice dinner at home, dancing, or otherwise partying, you will have plenty of options, a few of which I’ve listed. In the meantime, check out some of the shows by young musicians back in town from college, as well as those from the veterans that are performing in the first days of the new year. Have a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.

Jazz

Wednesday, December 30

Luke Peterson Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) A number of Dakota Combo alumni, as well as other young lions on the music scene are back in town from college for the holiday break. Tonight you can hear five of them: Luke Peterson, drums; Jack Courtright, trombone; Peter Goggin, alto sax; Charlie Lincoln, bass; Will Kjeer, piano.

Thursday, December 31

Jazzland Wonderband NYE Dinner Show @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 5:30 – 8pm ($45, includes 3 course dinner) Trad jazz and early swing from JLWB, as they’re called on their website  Cameron Kinghorn, trumpet & vocals; Nelson Devereaux, reeds; Keith Holdon, trombone; Andres Crovetti, drums; Evan Clark, tuba.

Debbie Duncan @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 6:30 – 9:30pm ($75 for a 4 course dinner) Here’s another early evening show for those of you who would rather be home when the clock strikes twelve tonight. Ms Duncan will provide her usual outstanding vocals. I’m not sure if you will be required to order the dinner, so call and make a reservation.

JoAnn Funk @ St Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm -11pm (No Cover) Start off your New Year’s Eve with a visit to the Lobby Bar, where you can hear Ms Funk and her cohort Jeff Brueske on bass as they perform elegant, and often witty, jazz versions of songs from a wide variety of talented songwriters. Tonight they’ll be doing a tribute to Frank Sinatra, with special guest Steven Marking on vocals.

AQ NYE Reunion @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 9pm ($65, $100 VIP) New Year’s Eve at the Artists’ Quarter was always a warm, family affair, whether the family was related by blood or community. A couple of the long-time supporters of the club have put together a reunion, this time in a different basement. You’ll hear the wonderful Carole Martin on vocals, supported by her son-in-law Kenny Horst on drums; Chris Bates on bass; Phil Aaron on piano; and Dean Magraw on guitar. There will be a couple of guests sitting in as well. Complementary hors d’oeuvres are part of the offering, and reservations are recommended. More information and reservations can be found here.

Friday, January 1

Siama Matuzungidi @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 10am – 1pm (No Cover) Start off 2016 with brunch, accompanied by the Soukous stylings of Africa’s legendary Siama, guitar; Dallas Johnson, vocals; Tim O’Keefe, percussion.

Sound Skirmish @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Here’s another quartet of young lions taking advantage of the holidays to play together, this time doing original music. Patrick Adams, piano; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Drew Stinson, bass; Ben Ehrlich, drums.

Saturday, January 2

Will Schmid Duos @ 318 Cafe, Excelsior, 8pm ($5) This evening will include two duos led by high school student and guitarist Will Schmid. He’ll be joined by another guitarist, Adam Aastrup, who is currently in the Dakota Combo. Then Schmid will join rock/pop vocalist Kalli Anderson for second set of music. Who says Jazz is dead?

Patty Peterson @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) The legendary Ms Peterson brings her mix of jazz and R&B to the spacious lounge at Crooners.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening at 7pm is a talented group of high school students performing as Trap Tube: Jordan Anderson, piano; Gerhardt Robinson, sax; Alma Engebretson, bassist; Simon Petrick, drums. at 8:30, a special edition of Central Standard Time, with a mix of veterans and young lions, performs: Steve Kenny, flumpet; Brandon Wozniak sax; and JT Bates, drums; are the veterans, while Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Will Kjeer, piano; are all college students.

Monday, January 4

Will Kjeer Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Young pianist Kjeer spent a year at Interlachen  in Michigan, and is now attending the California Institute of the Arts. Even before leaving town, however, Kjeer was gigging professionally, with Steve Kenny’s Group 47 and his own Blue Heaven. Tonight he’s joined by some rising stars of the Twin Cities music scene, none of whom are more than ten years older than Will:Nelson Deveraux, sax; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Tuesday, January 5

Chris Lomheim @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) Elegant piano musings inspired by Bill Evans, but solely Chris Lomheim.

Butch Thompson @ The Dunsmore Room at Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($15 Minimum) Traditional jazz and blues, played on the room’s 9 ft piano, along with Thompson’s edifying commentary on tunes.

Phil Aaron Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) A third piano gig for the evening, this time featuring the always tasteful Emmy-winning composer Phil Aaron. He’ll be joined by Gary Raynor on bass, and Jay Epstein on drums. A winning combination. Here he is with a slightly different trio.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, December 30

The Eddies on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club, Tip Jar) Perhaps the last tradition of the year. Saint Paul’s Eddies cross the river to appear on Harold Tremblay’s House Party and then head over to the 331 Club to sing 5 part a cappella harmonies on sea chanties, and easy-to-sing-along favorites, from the Rolling Stones to Billy Joe Royal, and Bob Marley.

Willie Walker & The We R Band @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) It’s been a good year for Willie. He’s put out an excellent CD, produced by Rick Estrin of Little Charlie and the Nightcats, and has toured Brazil, Italy, California, and most recently, played Switzerland with this band. If you don’t like to go out on New Year’s Eve, this NYE Eve party might be just the ticket.

Lonesome Dan Kase @ Palmer’s, Minneapolis. 11pm (No Cover) A man and his guitar  channeling the ghost of bluesmen from the 30s by playing traditional finger-picking blues and hollers for your listening pleasure.

Thursday, December 31

Davina & the Vagabonds @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($112 includes 6 course dinner), 10:30pm ($94) If you’re up for a big celebration, this would be the one. Davina will be raising the roof.

Hookers $ Blow @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Dance the year away to the sounds of this highly talented band led by Adam Levy  playing 70s covers, or as they call it “music from a more permissive era.”

Hipshaker/Hot Pants New Year’s Eve @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20) It’s a rare funk n’ soul bonanza and the deejays behind Hipshaker and Hot Pants combine to ring out the year with floor stomping rare 45s. Here’s an example of the kind of music you’ll hear.

Friday, January 1

Butanes @ Shaw’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover) Guitarist Curt Obeda realizes that not everyone enjoys “amateur night,” as NYE is often known, so the Butanes are moving their weekly gig by one day, which allows them to start off the year in the best possible way – playing the blues.

Sweet Tea @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) This up and coming band is heading to Memphis to represent Minnesota at the International Blues Challenge in January. The band is driven by the passionate vocals of Joyann Parker, the rest of the band provides the power that excites dancers and listeners alike. Mark Lamoine, guitar (Dee Miller, Perfectly Loud), Nick Zwack, drums (Armadillo Jump); Mick Zampogna , keys; and Michael Caravale, bass (Lamont Cranston, Davina & the Vagabonds)

Saturday, January 2

Hurricane Harold Duo @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (No Cover) Harpist Hurricane Harold excels, whether playing with a full band or a duo, which may include such collaborators as Doug Otto or Jeff Ray, with each of whom he’s recorded fun albums. Here he is with Doug Otto.

Sunday, January 3

Phil Heywood @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11am (No Cover) His upcoming gig with Dean Magraw and Tim Sparks in Hopkins is sold out, but you can still hear this fine fingerpicker while enjoying brunch.

Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 3pm – 6pm (No Cover) This eleven piece band  who performed and recorded in Havana last June, provides some mid-day Latin dance music to get your blood circulating and your pheromones bouncing.

Doug Otto & Friends @ Dusty’s, Minneapolis. 5pm (Tip Jar) This NE bar is so tiny that musicians have to use a booth to perform. The result is a perfectly intimate show featuring guitarist/vocalist Otto, and some of his very talented friends.

Sunday, Monday, January 3,4 

Tribute to James Brown w/Sonny Knight & Lakers, Fred Wesley, and Jabo Starks @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $35), 9pm ($20, $30). When Sonny & the Lakers recently performed at the Dakota, Sonny’s voice was strong, and the Lakers tore through their songs, much in the way that the Godfather of Soul would conduct his shows. So it makes sense to have them team up with a couple of original members of the JBs – trombonist Fred Wesley  who has appeared at the Dakota before, and the “original funky drummer” Jabo Starks – to perform Brown’s songs.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.


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