Seasonal Music and Much, Much, More: 12.17 – 12.23

December 17, 2014

Unknown-2Greetings to one and all;

Though the music calendar for the coming week may contain many shows for the holiday season, there is enough music for those who don’t celebrate to have a great time as well. After all, one way or another, music lifts the spirit.

Larry

Jazz

Wednesday, December 17

George Maurer Christmas Show @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Maurer is a pianist/composer who is well known outside of Minnesota as well as in the state. He’s composed movie scores, has collaborated with a number of artists, including Eric Clapton, leads his own groups, and is a desired accompanist for many vocalists. He’ll be leading a sextet with a vocalist for this holiday show.

Thursday, December 18

Fuzzy Math @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm. (No cover) This fine four piece has been cooking up some new tunes to add to its mix of original jazz and creative arrangements of other tunes. With Mark Vanderhyde, keys; Andrew Schwandt, sax; Matt Peterson, bass; and Harald Bondaris, drums.

Lee Engele & Reynold Philipsek @ Cupcake/Mason Jar, 1565 Cliff Road, Eagan. 7pm – 9pm (No cover) Engele (vocals) and Philipsek (guitar) go together like two straws in a coke, performing standards and occasionally dipping into gypsy jazz arrangements.

Mike Lewis Solo @ the Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Lewis is a first rate sax player, who can play inside or outside, depending on the situation. He’s best known perhaps, for his work with Happy Apple and Fat Kid Wednesdays, though his work with Bon Iver and his bass playing with pop/folk star Andrew Bird has also earned him kudos. Tonight he takes a solo turn, as shown in this video.

Friday, December 19

Dean Granros Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Granros is one of the elders of jazz guitar in this town, having inspired many other players in the past few decades. Bandmate and fellow guitarist Zacc Harris has proven to be a jazz entrepreneur and top-notch player since arriving in town some years ago. They’ll be joined by Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums.

Jingle Bell Doc @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 8pm ($30 – $75) It’s become a tradition for Doc Severinson  of the Tonight Show Band, and former Pops Conductor at Orchestra Hall, to come to down with a holiday show. The ageless, colorfully dressed  trumpeter can still blow a mean horn. He’ll have a band that includes a number of Twin Cities musicians, and will also have the Minnesota Chorale and Twin Cities Bronze, a handbell ensemble, as part of the celebration. The band will likely sound like the one in this video.

The Power’s Project @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 9pm (No cover) If you’re looking for something that’s under the radar, this is it. Frankly, I don’t know too much about this group other than the fact that they feature a female singer and the price is right.

Saturday, December 20

JoAnn Funk: Deck The Halls @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30 – 11pm, (No Cover) Pianist Funk & bassist Jeff Brueske celebrate the holidays with seasonal songs, abetted by special guests Gary Schulte, violin; and Steven Marking, baritone vocals.

Twin Cities Jazz Sampler CD Release Party @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Steve Kenny has put together a compilation CD that proves how much talent we have in the Twin Cities jazz community. There are tracks from the Zacc Harris Quartet, Chris Bates’ Red5, Jana Nyberg. Chris Lomheim, The Illicit Sextet, Bryan Nichols, Adam Meckler Orchestra and more. The evening’s celebration includes live performances by the Atlantis Quartet, Chris Bates’ Good Vibes Trio, and Steve Kenny’s Group 47. Steve will be a guest on my radio show, Rhythm and Grooves, Saturday morning about 10:45am. Here’s a video of the Good Vibes Trio.

Sunday, December 21

Jingle Bell Doc @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 2pm ($30 – $70) See Friday for a description.

Sunday, Monday, December 21, 22

Karrin Allyson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($40), 8pm ($25) Allyson, a one-time Twin Cities resident returns with her sublime voice and impeccable taste. She is a four-time Grammy nominee who will be singing selections from Yuletide Hideaway, her gorgeous CD from last year, featuring holiday favorites and originals. Listen to her do a favorite of Twin Cities audiences.

Monday, December 22

Javier Santiago @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Javi, as he is known, was a member of the Dakota Combo back in 2007. Since then he’s been part of an award-winning Brubeck Institute jazz Quintet and received his bachelor degree in performance (2011) from the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in NYC. He has been making his way in New York since, and returns home for the holiday. He is a virtuoso pianist, as well as a producer, educator, composer, and arranger.  I’m not sure if he’ll have a group with him or not, but if so, it will certainly contain his old running partner, Miguel Hurtado on drums. Here he is with fellow schoolmates, performing one of his tunes at his Senior Recital at the New School.

Regional Jazz Trio @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Anthony Cox  bass; leads this trio, which includes Michael Lewis, sax; and JT Bates, drums. JT and Lewis are long-time mates from Fat Kid Wednesdays. Occasionally, they play with other bassists, and the result always takes an unexpected turn from their FKW work. Tonight, they join Cox, who made a national name for himself while living in NYC for years before returning to the Twin Cities.

Tuesday, December 23

Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Here’s the ticket if you’re looking for something other than holiday offerings, mainstream, or free jazz. The TCLJO, as the name suggests, is a big band with big rhythm. This event tends to be an open rehearsal, with the band sometimes repeating sections. It’s a fascinating peek into the arranging process, as well as an exciting listening experience.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, December 17

Charlie Parr on KFAI and @The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90,3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) It’s the 10th Anniversary of Harold Tremblay’s House Party on KFAI, and to celebrate, he’s bringing in the first artist to have appeared on his show, Duluth’s Charlie Parr a practitioner of Piedmont style blues who has garnered a national reputation. check him out.

Thursday, December 18

You don't have to go to the Bayous to celebrate a Louisiana Christmas

You don’t have to go to the Bayous to celebrate a Louisiana Christmas

A Louisiana Christmas @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($?) It’s a Christmas Party and Benefit for Second Harvest Heartland. Helping you celebrate will be the Rockin’ Pinecones, The Southside Aces, the Swamp Poppas, Rich Lewis, Lucinda Plaisance, and many more. Bring some food and/or money for the food shelf and don’t forget those dancing shoes!

Thursday, Friday, December 18, 19

Sonny Knight & the Lakers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm (Thurs), 7pm, 9:30pm (Friday) ($20) It’s been a heckuva year for the comeback soulman of Minneapolis. After a weekly residency at the Eagle Club early in the year, Knight and his young band have coalesced into a tight funk/soul outfit, touring touring the world, from South by Southwest to Europe. They’ve been writing some new material and will be recording these sessions for a new record. Friday’s late show is at 9:30 to give the Dakota staff time to clear out tables so people can dance. Here they are putting their own stamp on a Beatles tune.

Friday, December 19

Hurricane Harold’s All-Star Blues Revue Holiday Party @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($10?) Blues Harpist Hurricane Harold knows all the players in town, and when he puts together a revue, it’s always outstanding. You can hear Harold’s playing at: http://www.reverbnation.com/hurricaneharold

Jackson’s Juke Joint Holiday Party @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) Crankshaft at 7pm. Javier & the Innocent Sons at 9pm. I’m not sure if holiday songs will be included in this party, but you will have the chance to shake your money-maker as Crankshaft plays his high-energy, often funny blues and Javier & The Innocent Sons swing out.

Claudia Schmidt @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($20) Schmidt has been an area favorite for about 40 years now, using her four octave range to present folk, blues and the occasional jazz number with her charming humor. She’s released 16 albums, the latest of which New Whirled Order, is on Red House Records.

Radio Joe & the Jazzbo’s @ Crooners, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Crooners is the old Shorewood on Central Avenue. I’m told the new owners have expanded the stage a bit, and judging by their calendar, will be featuring singers that fit the new name. Radio Joe Demko is perfect for this place, with songs that range from Tangos to swing, to belly grinders, all delivered with stylish élan.

Friday, Saturday, Tuesday, December 19, 20, 23

Trashy Little Christmas @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20) It’s time once again for Trailer Trash  purveyors of honky-tonk, traditional country, and swinging rock n’ roll to bring their trashy view of the holidays to Lee’s. It’s the 21st year for these Candy Cane hi-jinks, and if you haven’t attended for a while, this might just be the time. Saturday’s show is sold out, so you’ll have go on Friday, or stay up late on Christmas Eve’s Eve.

Saturday, December 20

Ukelele Alley Cartoon ExtravaGONZO @ Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis. Noon – Doors at 11am ($8, $5 for kids 12 and under) Luke the Uke (aka Tom Lieberman) and Deejay Mr Gosh (of spinning 78s) have mined some cartoon archives to present classic animation with music, laughter, and more. Child-safe and family friendly.

Singer/Songwriter Showcase @ Patrick’s Cabaret, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($10) Four singer/songwriters gather to share their songs and stories, including Mother Banjo (aka Ellen Stanley), George Scot (Hookers $ Blos, Ipso Facto), Doug Otto (The Getaways, Hurricane Harold’s All-Stars, The No-Accounts), and Nikki Roux (Nikki & the Rue-Mates).

Maurice Jacox Trio @ The Normandy Kitchen, Minneapolis. 7 pm – 10pm (No Cover) Versatile vocalist Jacox will be joined by guitarists Bobby E and Dean Mikkelson for what promises to be a delightful evening of stripped down R&B, Motown, and songs from the Great American Songbook. The Normandy Kitchen is somewhat small, so reservations are always a good idea.

Sunday, December 21

The principals of BAIN

Jayanthi, Davis, & Erick

BAIN @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm (No cover) BAIN is Davis Bain, vocals & production; Erick “Afrokeys”Anderson, keys; and Jayanthi Kyle, vocals. Tonight they celebrate the release of Love In Blue, an album (CD & LP) filled with groovy, hypnotic, often down-tempo music featuring both male and female vocals. The live band includes Matt Stevens, bass; Anslem Pierre, guitar; Zack Lozier, trumpet; Walter Chancellor Jr., sax; and Greg Schutte, drums. I’ve been playing tracks from Love in Blue on some of my DJ gigs and getting good response. Ashley Gold will open, and DJ Fourfeet will spin between sets.

Obviously a long tradition

The combination has been around for a long, long time

The Accordion/Banjo Xmas @ Underground Music Cafe, 1579 Hamline Ave, Falcon Heights. 7pm – 9pm. Oh boy, this is an event that’s ripe for jokes about the two most maligned instruments in modern music. However, there is no joking about the skills of Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton on accordion or Mark Kreitzer on banjo, who will be duetting on some of your favorite holiday songs and more.

Tuesday, December 23

L.P. Music @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30 ($10) L.P. Music plays funky, groove oriented music with a proclivity for improvisation, featuring Grammy winning saxophonist Eric Leeds; bassist (and multi-instrumentalist) Paul Peterson, pianist Peter Schimke, and drummer Stokely Williams. Given the resumes of these musicians (from Prince to Mark Murphy to Mint Condition), this should be a stellar performance.

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. Dancers might want to check out the U Wanna Dance Calendar.


Good Weather. Great Music: 12.10 – 12.16

December 10, 2014
Last year, we had this for weather during this week. This year we'll have no snow.

Thank goodness we don’t have this to look forward to, which was what we had last year at this time.

It seems we’re in for a warming trend this weekend, with temps in the 40s and 50s, so the weather should be no barrier to attending holiday parties and shows. Once again we’ve a few visiting artists worth your time and money, as well as our usual plethora of resident musicians who will help lift your spirits. Have a good week.

Jazz

Wednesday, December 10

Lila Ammons @ The Tangiers, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm (No Cover) A classically trained vocalist, Ms Ammons tackles jazz and blues with authority and verve to spare at this warehouse district nitespot on North 1st Avenue.

Magica Improvisada @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This is bassist Chris Bates’ once-a-month series at JC. Tonight, it’s all basses on deck for a Bass Summit, featuring, besides Chris, Casey O’Brian, Brian Roessler, Charles Fletcher, Chris Hunnicut, and more.

Thursday, December 11

Give Get Sistet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Sara M. Greer gathers up some like-minded female vocalists to improvise holiday classics and wintry favorites a-capella style. With Aimee K. Bryant, Mankwe Ndosi, Libby Turner Opanga, & Alicia Steele.

Jack Brass Band @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) Whether they’re playing traditional New Orleans jazz, The Temptation, or the more modern R&B of Keith Sweat & Bobby Brown, the JBB’s infectious rhythms and joie de vivre will have you bouncing in your seats or taking to the dance floor.

Friday, December 12

Connie Evingson @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm The dulcet, swinging tones of Ms Evingson will waft through the lounge at this Italian restaurant. Whether singing gypsy jazz, The Beatles, or Peggy Lee, Evingson always bring a lush sound to her singing. Tonight, she’s joined by Rick Carlson, piano; Gary Raynor, bass; and that bebopper with a way with ballads, Dave Karr on sax.

Tanner Taylor @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Versatile pianist Tanner Taylor is back in town for a bit, and will be joined by pals Graydon Peterson, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums, for an evening of holiday favorites, and, I’m sure, other tunes.

College Night @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm – 11:30pm (Donation) Here’s a chance to listen to the next generation of jazz players, as members of  North Central University’s Jazz Workshop show off their chops. The evening ends with a jam session.

Saturday, December 13

Chris Bates’ Red 5 @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Saturday Night Jazz continues to draw the jazz faithful to the Black Dog, this time for Chris Bates’ quintet playing his original music. Chris Bates, bass; JT Bates, drums; Zack Lozier, trumpet; Brandon Wozniak & Chris Thomson, saxes. With an opening set by Dark Blue. Here’s the Red5 doing a tune from their CD.

PipJazz Live Holiday Program @ Maplewood Community Center Theater, 2100 White Bear Avenue, Maplewood. 7pm ($25, $5 for Students) Featured Youth Artist: Charlie Lincoln, bass. Pippi Ardennia presents her holiday show of jazz & R&B, with featured youth artist Charlie Lincoln, who is studying with Eric Kamau Gravatt, and already shows great talent and promise.

Sunday, December 14

Maud Hixson & the Wolverines Trio w/Dave Karr @ the Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 2pm – 4pm. ($25, $15/Student, child, $20 Senior) It’s a musical excursion of holiday tunes through the years, featuring the delightful Ms Hixson, with firm support from the Wolverines Trio and the extraordinary Dave Karr on sax. Nationally recognized film collector Bob DeFlores will be showing rare films of holiday songs as performed by Big Crosby, Judy, Garland, Spike Jones, Gene Autry, and others.

Charles Lazarus All Brass Big Band: Merry & Bright @ St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537 3rd Ave S. Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($?) Trumpeter Lazarus takes a break from his MN Orchestra duties to present a different take on holiday tunes, from Latin to loungem, groove to gospel. With Tommy Barbarella, piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; Dave Schmalenberger, drums, and the Lazarus Brass, as well as special guest vocalists Bruce Henry & Tonia Hughes.  This video isn’t holiday music, but it gives you a good idea of Lazarus at work.

Monday, December 15

Kevin Gastonguay B3 w/Clay Pufahl @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Ahh, the funky sounds of a B3 organ, responsible for bringing soulful jazz to the people in small clubs across the nation. Tonight Kevin Gastonguay will be at the keys and foot pedals, with accompaniment by saxophonist Clay Pufahl, and drummer Mac Santiago.

George Cartwright’s PAL @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) It’s the always adventurous Jazz Implosion, tonight featuring Saxophonist Cartwright, together with multi-instrumentalist Andrew Broder, bassist Josh Granowski, and JT Bates.

Monday, Tuesday, December 15, 16

Roberta Gambarini @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Ms Gambarini is a highly talented singer who brings her great sense of swing and ability to scat to the Great American Songbook. Mentored by James Moody, Benny Carter, and Hank Jones, she’s received two Grammy nominations. Ms Gambarini is appearing with a seasoned band of all-stars, including Jimmy Cobb, drums (the only living member of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue recording; Ray Drummond, bass; Sullivan Fortner, piano; and Justin Robinson, sax. I did an interview with Ms Gambarini back in 2011, which you can read here. She explains her approach before singing in this video.

Tuesday, December 16

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Their recently released album is a winner, with original tunes and arrangements by Meckler. Read a review of the album here. As many of you may know, Jazz Central isn’t very big, so you’ll be able to see and hear this 16 piece band up close and personal.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, December 10

Cooker John on the House Party and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI-90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Cooker John learned fingerpicking from Artie Traum in Manhattan back in the early 60s. Afterwards he played in various bands around NYC, opening for folks like Chuck Berry, The Lovin’ Spoonful, and Crazy Horse. Since 1990 or so, he’s been gigging around the Midwest, mostly working solo to bring his blues and folk music to the masses. Tonight he’ll be joined by Nick Salisbury on bass and Ben Kaplan on drums. Tune in, and if you like what you hear, head over to the 331.

Wednesday, Thursday, December 10,11

Lisa Fischer @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50 – $60), 9pm ($40, $50) The last time she was in town, both shows sold out. This time Fischer is here for six shows (two occurred last night), and it may still be hard to get a good seat. Fischer was the stand-out performer in the documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, about background singers. She’s been on every Rolling Stones tour since 1989 and has also toured with Sting, Luther Vandross, Tina Tuner, and Nine Inch Nails. In performance, Fischer takes well known pop/rock songs and completely makes them her own, using her supple voice to bring new meaning to them.

Thursday, December 11

McNally Smith Emerging Artists @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Free) Here’s a chance to hear some young musicians strut their stuff. The McNally Smith staff has been doing a great job of teaching and mentoring the students at the school. Tonight you can hear Improv, Composition, Funky Blues, and two Modern Rock bands. And did I mention it’s free?

The Icicles @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover) Jake Hanson, guitar, Jeremy Hanson, drums, and Jim Anton, bass, play reverb instrumental music: surf music, dub, and pop instrumentals.

Friday, December 12

Basalt @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5-$20 Suggested Donation) Okay, here’s a combination that you don’t see much. James W. Anton provides funky bass for The Droppers, and can be heard as a sideman in a number of jazz bands. Jeremy Ylvisaker plays his guitar as a member of Cloak Ox, Alpha Consumer, and Andrew Bird’s band, among others; while JT Bates is a drummer about town, playing with The Pines, Molly Maher & Erick Koskinen, and jazz projects like Fat Kid Wednesdays, and Chris Bates’ Red5, not to forget the fact that he curates the Jazz Implosion every Monday at the Icehouse. It appears this may be a jazz trio, but with such varied backgrounds, there’s no telling what they’ll play.

Africans in the Snow @ Patrick’s Cabaret, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10) Members of the Cottman Jazz Family present storytelling, dance, and music to present stories connecting culture and art. Dancer Kenna Cottman serves as curator. Auntie Beverly is a griot who will share stories, and Roboday Drums will present music from Haitian Culture. Warm drinks and spicy food will also be available.

Curtiss A. and Dark Click @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Fresh off his 35th Annual John Lennon tribute, Curtiss A explores the blues with this particular group.

People Brothers Band @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9pm doors, 10pm show ($10) The People Brothers are an octet from Madison who lay down some might invigorating “rhythm and soul,” as they call it, with originals and covers from bands ranging from the Talking Heads to The Allmans. Twin Cities artists I Like You open, along with A Round of Horseshoes.

6th Annual Holiday Shindig Benefit for Kill Kancer @ the Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. ($10)  Resident singer/songwriters (and newlyweds) Ben Cook-Feltz and Mother Banjo are teaming up to present this annual benefit featuring Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton, who’s getting around a lot these days; Molly Dean, Jon Rodine, and Natalie Lovejoy. They’ll be taking turns singing seasonal originals and holiday favorites, with all proceeds going to Kill Kancer, started by Marty Beth Mueller after losing her husband Karl Mueller of Soul Asylum to esophageal cancer.

Saturday, December 13

Tribute to Doug Sahm @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 4-6pm (No Cover) Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton teams up with Jon Rodine, Rusty Jones, Tim Mauseth and other guests for a tribute to the music of Doug Sahm, Augie Meyers, Freddy Fender,and other great Texas stars!

The Eddies’ Seventh Annual Yulefest @ Celtic Junction, 836 Prior Ave N., Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15) Celtic Music, songs of love and death, food, wine, a silent auction and more from the Eddies, along with Barra, the Hi Bs, and Patsy O’Brien, raise money for th Food Group (formerly the Emergency Foodshelf Network).

Sunday, December 14

Medeski, Scofield, Martin, & Wood @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. ($30) This groove-steady combination of musicians features guitarist John Scofield, and the younger trio of MM&W. They’ve been joining up for gigs and recordings for about 17 years, and have just released their third studio recording together, a celebration of rhythms from Brazil, the Carribean, and Latin America, including that soul/Latin hybrid, the boogaloo.

Marcia Ball @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($30) Hm, Hm, Hm. Steady as the Mississippi, as fun as a Mardis Gras party, the rollicking, rocking Ms Ball always delivers her Texas/Louisiana brand of blues, R&B, Boogie Woogie, and Zydeco with verve and good humor. Her latest album, the danceable Tatooed Lady & the Alligator Man, has been receiving great reviews.

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. Dancers might want to check out the U Wanna Dance Calendar.

 

 


Lifting Your Spirit. Music: 12.3 – 12.9

December 3, 2014
Dress warm when going out to hear music

Dress warm!

This week’s jazz scene is dominated by resident musicians, including a few with well-deserved national reputations. The blues and roots calendar features some legendary visiting musicians as well as outstanding resident musicians. All in all, it’s another week of tough decisions about who to see. The one decision that isn’t tough is to get out and enjoy some music. It lifts your spirit, which can certainly help when fighting crowds while looking for those perfect gifts.

Jazz

Wednesday, December 3

Travis Anderson Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Anderson is a talented, swingin’ pianist, ably abetted by Steve Pikal, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums.

Parisota Hot Club @ The Tangiers, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm (No Cover) Robb Henry, guitar; Matt Senjem, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums, are the perfect trio for this faux-fancy club witharge booths, leather couches, and flocked wallpaper.

Riotus N @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Anthony Cox  bass; John Penne, guitar; and Davu Seru, drums & percussion. A great combination of veteran players who continue to explore musical boundaries with taste and imagination. During these first Wednesday performances Cox likes to interact with the audience and talk about the music.

Thursday, December 4

Phil Mattson Singers @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pianist Mattson is an award-winning vocal arranger who has worked with the Manhattan Transfer, among others. He’s gathered six talented singers to perform his arrangements for sextets and various combinations of soloists and small groups.

Davu Seru @ The Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) A rare opportunity to see drummer/percussionist Davu Seru performing solo in this small space with wine, beer, and a few small bites. Here is Davu with a couple of adventurous French musicians.

Friday, December 5

Dave Karr & Chris Lomheim @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 6:30pm – 9:30pm (No cover) Karr on Sax and Lomheim on piano may be one of the nicest pairings you’ll ever hear when it comes to jazz. Octogenarian Karr can bop things up quite handily while stll retaining a mellow sound. Lomheim is a sensitive pianist whose ethereal sounds often have more heft than is immediately apparent.

Kenny Horst & Friends @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Drummer Kenny Horst, erstwhile owner of the late, lamented Artists’ Quarter, brings a quartet to Jazz Central: Brandon Wozniak, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Chris Bates, bass. The combination of a seasoned Horst with a younger generation  of players (veterans in their own right) should make for compelling jazz. Here’s a video of Horst with a few different groups.

Saturday, December 6

Babatunde Lea Quintet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) Drummer/congeuro Lea is a nationally recognized performer who happens to live here in the Twin Cities. He draws much of his inspiration and rhythmic inventiveness from African culture. Past groups have included Richard Johnson on piano; Anthony Cox, on bass; and Solomon Parham on trumpet, but no matter who is in the group, be assured that it will be a stellar performance. He will be conducting a free workshop at 6pm.

Atlantis Quartet @ the Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Fresh off a live recording date at the Icehouse, the AQ is sure to perform new compositions, as well as a favorite or two. Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris Bates, bass; Peter Hennig, drums. With opening set by Central Standard Time

Mama Digdowns Brass Band & Soutside Aces @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) It’s a brass bash at the Parkway, headlined by Madison Wisconisn’s Mama Digdown, an 8-pice brass band. They’ve toured the world (even recording in Switzerland), and will likely preview some tunes from their soon to be released album of Michael Jackson tunes. Opening is our own Southside Aces, a sextet that gooses up traditional New Orleans jazz tunes.

Monday, December 8

Jana Nyberg Group @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) What with her teaching gig and hubby Adam Meckler touring Europe, vocalist Nyberg hasn’t performed a lot lately, so here is your chance to hear her and her excellent group during one of the Dakota’s Foodie Nights. Expect to hear some of the seasonal songs from last year’s very fine CD, Winter Song.

Thomas Strommen @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Tenor sax player Strommen has become familiar to the area’s jazz community as part of Steve Kenny’s Group 47, where the young Strommen (a student at UW River Falls) displays his composing skills as well as an ability to blow with skill and imagination.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, December 3

The Beavers on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pmn (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Okay, this is going to be an estrogen-filled evening as the Beavers are (ahem) an all-female band. They are a light-hearted group of musicians straight out of NordEast Minneapolis, playing folk, country, and Americana music with style and verve. You can expect originals and interpretations of such artists as John Prine. Tune in to KFAI and then, when you realize how much fun they can be, head over to the 331 Club. The Beavers are: Kendra G. Baillie, Bass & Vocals; Jen Bluth, Guitar & Vocals; Sarah Esther, Banjo & Vocals; Julie King, Washboard; Nikki Nefstead, Mandolin & Vocals; Missi Sommers, Percussion.

Nick Lowe’s Quality Holiday Revue @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) With Ian McLaglan (Small Faces) Last year, Lowe released Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection for All the Family, one of the best holiday offerings in years. It’s blend of originals and forgotten gems provide a knowing, adult view of the holiday season, acclaimed by almost everyone who has listened to it.

Thursday, December 4

Sonny Landreth & Cindy Cashdollar @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30-$38) It’s a rare booking and guitar nirvana, featuring a couple of artists who are well known for their chops. Landreth is a slide guitar wizard from Louisiana. He’s released eleven albums, and produces a sound that’s informed by the Delta and the swamp. Cashdollar  from Austin, Texas, plays a vintage dobro, resonator guitar, or a triple-neck 8-string steel guitar, and is equally at home with the blues, bluegrass, swampy R&B, and Western Swing. Here’s a taste of Landreth.

Jack Klatt & Javior Matos @ Palmers, Minneapolis. 10pm ($??) If you didn’t get enough with Landreth and Cashdollar, or simply didn’t make the show, you can still get a heaping dose of fine Americana guitar from Klatt and Matos, appearing down the block from the Cedar.

Friday, December 5

Pat Donahue & Daddy Squeeze, w/Lonsesome Dan Case opening @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($6) It’s another Freewheelin’ First Friday, this time featuring Grammy nominatred ace fingerpicker Pat Donahue, of Prairie Home Companion and some very fine CDs. He’s got that wizard of the accordion, Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton with him to help things swing right along, and will have some very special guests. Opening is Lonesome Dan Case, whose plaintive blues seem straight out of the 30s and 40s. The Tap Room only holds about 80 people during the winter, so you may want to get there early to get your seat.

Omar Souleyman @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25 advance, $30 Door) Imagine the minor key melodies of the Mid-East, combine them with electronic music, synthesizers, and trance-inducing frenetic rhythms, and you may get an idea of the music of Souleyman, a Syrian who first made an international name for himself by remixing Bjork’s Biophillia tracks. Opening is Vacation Dad, a DIY artist who has graduated from basement drone music to bars, playing a mix of psychedelic funk, Afrobeat, and exotica. DJ Don Cuco will be spinning from 7-8pm and between sets.

Hamilton Loomis @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) Texas guitarist Loomis was a protégé of Bo Diddley, whom Loomis met at the age of 16. While you may hear the occasional Bo Diddley beat, Loomis has his own, crowd pleasing style that makes use of fat chords, butt-shakin rhythms, and well written songs. It’s earned him fans across the nation and throughout Europe.

Saturday, December 6

Vinyl Voices @ The Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 1:30pm – 4:30pm (Free) Featuring David Cummings and Danny Siegelman. A couple of KFAI Deejays take over the turntables for the afternoon, spinning cool tunes while you get to taste the various brews from the Tap Room. A food truck will be parked outside to help you fill your stomach.

David Grisman & Del McCoury @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50 – $60), 9:30pm ($35 – $45) Acoustic music fans are salivating over this show. McCoury is a bluegrass legend. He joined Bill Monroe’s band as a singer and guitarist in 1963. Since then he’s established himself with his own band and has won numerous awards, including multiple Grammys, has jammed with Allison Kraus, recorded with Steve Earle and brought bluegrass to a new generation by touring with Phish and playing at the Bonnaroo Music Festival. Mandolinist Grisman  started out during the Greenwich Village folk revival of the 60s. He’s got a musical range that encompasses a number of styles and traditions, and has created his own genre – a mix of jazz, bluegrass, and world music that’s known as “Dawg” music, as Jerry Garcia called it. Along the way he’s recorded with a plethora of notable artists and has won five Grammys.

The Skruffians @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This octet will have Jazz Central jumping as they celebrate the playful sounds of ska, that Jamaican predecessor of Reggae. They’re particularly enamored of the Skatalites, the legendary band that used jazzy horns, a B-3 organ, and hard-to-resist rhythms to back early recordings by Bob Marley, the Maytals and other early Jamaican artists.

Jeff Ray & Hurricane Harold @ The Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10 music, $15 with buffet from 5pm – 8pm) Jeff is a regular guitar master, while Harold blows a mean harp. Together they perform lively originals and unique covers. Here they are at the BBQ.

Bobby E. @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Bobby Eckstrand is one of these town’s underrated guitarists, with a penchant for single note lines, and a wide variety of music. It’s always a treat to have him perform, whether leading his own groups or as a sideman.  I’ve no doubt he’ll be joined by a few friends at this NE hole in the wall with a booth for a performing area.

Monday, December 8

35th Annual John Lennon Tribute @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) Curtiss A gets by with a little help from his friends, for this 35th Annual performance of the most heartfelt, emotional tribute you can imagine (no pun intended). First Avenue is always packed to the rafters for this event. The questions are: what songs will be played, from what albums, and with what era costumes (if any) will be worn. this video will give you an idea of what to expect.

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. Dancers might want to check out the U Wanna Dance Calendar.


Thanksgiving 2014. Music: 11.26 – 12.2

November 26, 2014

My apologies for the late posting. My modem died early this afternoon, and my wife had the car at work. All is well now.

As might be expected, there’s a noticeable lack of music on Thursday. Happily, however, there are a number of worthwhile events for your entertainment on Wednesday and throughout the rest of the weekend.

UnknownAs we enter a happy season, yet one that eventually brings to mind the questions “did you make it through?” and “did you survive?” it may do us well to remember that some folks don’t have the worries of shopping lists, enduring crowds for Black Friday or the difficult choice of whose family to visit for the holidays. Check out the work of Listening House in Saint Paul, and St. Stephen’s Shelter in Minneapolis, two of the many organizations working with the homeless population of our towns.  Note also that there are a few fundraisers for food shelves listed this week. Have a happy Thanksgiving.

Jazz

Wednesday, November 26

Enormous Quartet @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) The Enormous Quartet is led by Chris Bates, bass; Chris Thomson, sax; Park Evans, guitar; and Joey Van Phillips, drums. This is a group whose members have played together many times in various combinations, creating an easy rapport which results in outstanding music.

Geoff Bouchier Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 10:30pm. ($10 Suggested Donation) Bouchier is a guitarist who draws from R&B, funk, and jazz in playing music that ranges from the Great American Songbook to pop of the past 40 or 50 years. He’ll be accompanied by Doug White, bass, and Mac Santiago, drums.

Wednesday, Thursday, November 26, 27

Unknown-2Davina & The Vagabonds @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) If you are looking for jazz on Thursday night, Davina just might be the only game in town, though it’s a game you’d likely enjoy no matter what the date. If you aren’t napping, watching football, walking off dinner, or engaged in other family pursuits, you can shake off your tryptophan to Davina’s powerhouse vocals and modernized old-time jazz and blues.

Friday, November 28

Davu Seru Trio @ the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($5 – $20 suggested Donation) The Black Dog has become the new place to see resident jazz musicians, such as this talented trio. Drummer/percussionist Seru will be joined by Chris Bates, bass; and Steve Kenny, flumpet.

Graydon Peterson Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Peterson is an A-list bass player in town, providing a strong and melodic rhythmic sense to any number of groups. Here he steps out as leader and composer with Adam Meckler, trumpet; Vincent Rose, guitar; and Adrian Suarez on drums.

Tony London Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) London is a crooner in the Sinatra/Martin vein, nicely interpreting standards from the Great American Songbook while you enjoy the bar food and drinks at this restaurant/bar in an office tower. Trumpeter Zack Lozier will be part of his trio. Here’s an example of his art.

Saturday, November 29

Gypsy Mania Hot Club Quartet @ The White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church, 328 Maple Street, Mahtomedi. 7:30pm ($15, $20, $25) Bringing us a mix of traditional Roma music and acoustic swing jazz, The Gypsy Mania Quartet taps into the jazz traditions of Paris in the early 1930s. The group consists of some of the best players in town: Gary Shulte, violin; Matt Peterson, bass; Glen Helgeson, and Reynold Philipsek, guitars.

Emerson Hunton Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm. This is a bit of a homecoming for Emerson, a young drummer now in his third year of studies at Oberlin Conservatory. He played in the Dakota Combo in 2010-2011, and graduated from South High in 2012. He’s bringing along schoolmates Nathan Rice on sax and Noah Gershwin on guitar, and adding Jake Baldwin on trumpet, and former mentor Adam Linz on bass.

Courageous Endeavors @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) Courageous Endeavors is Nelson Devereaux, saxophone; Joe Strachan, Rhodes and piano; and Miguel Hurtado on drums. I don’t know if they’ve gotten a replacement for Brian Courage on bass, but they are proving to be inventive and melodic in their approach to originals and jazz standards.

Monday, December 1

Zack Lozier @Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8;30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Zack has been a featured trumpet player in the area for some time now, playing and touring with a number of groups, including The Jack Brass Band, Davina & the Vagabonds, Chris Bates’ Red5, and Doc Severinson. Here’s a chance to see him in the casual setting, playing new material.

Joey DeFrancesco Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($20) DeFrancesco is probably the best B-3 player out there these days. The Grammy-nominated player is no slouch on trumpet either, and will sometimes play the trumpet while still using the keyboards and foot pedals of the B-3.

Tuesday, December 2

images-2Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra w/Wynton Marsalis @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($25 – $96) Trumpeter Marsalis has been a lightning rod for many in the jazz community, but there’s no mistaking his talent and technique. The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, which he directs, consists of the best of the best. This concert is further enhanced with the appearance of Cecile McLorin Salvant, who mightily impressed everyone when she sang at the Dakota last Spring.

Nash, Printup, & Gardner and the Atrium Jazz Ensemble @ Orchestra Hall Atrium, Minneapolis. 10pm??? ($50) Pianist Jeremy Walker & the folks at Orchestra Hall have come up with a new four-concert jazz series which will occur after shows in the main hall. Walker, together with bassist Anthony Cox and drummer JT Bates are billed as the Atrium Jazz ensemble, providing the rhythm section for visiting artists, in this case, Ted Nash, sax; Marcus Printup, trumpet; and Vincent Gardner, trombone. All three are members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, which will be playing the main hall earlier in the evening (see above). Wynton Marsalis will make opening remarks. I’ll have Jeremy and Anthony Cox on my show on Saturday, the 29th.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Roots, Blues, Other…

Wednesday, November 26

Nikki & the Rue-Mates on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) It’s become an annual beginning to the Thanksgiving weekend. Nikki & the guys play Harold’s House Party and head over to the 331 Club where a packed house dances when they can, but always enjoys Nikki’s bell-like vocals, and Rich Rue’s searing slide guitar.

images-4Paul Metsa’s Acoustic Soul & Blues Revue @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 + non-perishable food item) Metsa, the guitarist/songwriter/author/music impresario, has come up with a great show to raise funds for a couple of organizations that feed the hungry – Grateful Turkeys and Horizons Unlimited. There will be a distinctly New Orleans vibe when vocalist Willie West takes the stage, while Willie Walker provides some Memphis grit. Rounding out the evening’s fun will be Mari Harris, an amazing gospel singer, and Metsa’s virtuoso harp-mate Sonny Earl.

Thanksgiving It Back @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapoils. 7:30pm – 11pm ($10, or $5 with canned good) Here’s another acoustic/rootsy way to support local food shelves. Daddy Squeeze, Jack Klatt, the Hampton Rounders, and the Roe Family Band will all be performing in a benefit for Second Harvest Food Shelf.

Butanes Soul Revue @ the Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) The Cabooze is celebrating 40 years of presenting music, and bringing back some classic bands every once in a while. In the late 80s and early 90s, Curt Obeda and his 10 piece Butanes Soul Revue tore up the place every Wednesday night. They still get together every once in a while for a special occasion, and this certainly qualifies

Corpse Reviver @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 9:30pm ($10) Corpse Reviver is the trio of Mikkel Beckman, washboard & percussion; Jillian Rae, fiddle & vocals; and Adam Kiesling, guitar & banjo. They specialize in “old, weird America,” performing songs from Harry Smith’s legendary 1952 compilation, Anthology of American Folk Music. Don’t expect Peter Paul & Mary. This is music from mostly unknown and almost forgotten artists such as Colley Jones, Uncle Eck Dunford, and Buell Kazee, to name a few. Here’s a chance for East Metro folks to hear them without going to the 331 Club where they play with some regularity. With Sister Species opening and Dave Hoeneck of Hymies spinning.

Friday, November 28

Beaverdance!! @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 7pm ($18, $35 with Dinner) Here’s a way to laugh off the overindulgence of yesterday’s repast. Dancing, singing beavers threatened by Ojibwe, Voyageurs, and Capitalists (who of course, want the skin off their backs), sequined costumes, and Karl Marx as a time-traveling Santa Claus. This sounds wacky enough that I just had to include it. Dinner theater tickets get you Vegas-style cabaret seating and a four-course Minnesota menu. Show-only tickets get you a seat. Dinner seating and photos with Santa Marx start at 5:30pm Dinner at 6pm, and the show starts at 7pm. It plays Thursdays through Sunday through December 21st

images-3Papa John Kolstad @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm ($3) Papa John and friends, plus one of his students, check out the stage at the Nicollet. Papa John, playing 6 & 12 string guitar, will be joined by Sam Fiske on Fat New Orleans Trumpet; Zane Palmer, Jazz Guitar; and Bill Grenke, Bass. Vocalist Myra Burnette will be a special guest, singing blues, swing, and jazz. There’s a bit of a dance floor at the Nicollet, favored by swing dancers, who will have no trouble twirling and boppin’ to the music of Papa John and company.

Lisa Wenger CD Release w/Bruce McCabe @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapoils. 9pm ($5) Blues singer Wenger is releasing a new CD, Simple As That, which she made with the help of a number of friends, in the blues community, including such stalwarts as Bruce McCabe, Jeremy Johnson, Andra Lee Suchy and Billy Larson. There are more, to be sure, but the aforementioned will be with her tonight. Opening is that dynamic blues duo, Kildahl and Vonderharr. Here’s Lisa doing a slower number.

Astronauts of Rhythm and Sound @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) Former members of the Hillbilly Voodoo Dolls, Real-Phonic Radio Hour, Curtiss A, and Certain General create swamp country blues and truck driving music, with Ray Bernard on vocals.

Saturday, November 29

Patty & the Buttons CD Release Party @ The Heights Theater, Columbia Heights. 1pm ($20) Button accordionist Patrick Harrison and his swinging cohorts in the Buttons are releasing their second CD, Mercury Blues, and they are doing it up with panache. This Family-Friendly event is being billed as a “Spectacular” and it may well be one. Besides the old-timey yet modern music from Patty & the band, the show features some silent film shorts, music performed on the 16 pipe Wurlitzer organ, a duet set from Davina Sowers and Zack Lozier, and more. Attendees are encouraged to wear 1920s attire and leave their phones at home. Admission includes a copy of the new album.

Nachito Herrera Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) The blazing piano player is a force to be reckoned with. His huge show at the Ordway this Fall showed his mastery over classical, Latin, and jazz genres. Tonight Herrera is back to just a trio and his daughter Mirdalys, who is maturing into a fine singer, but be assured, the power of his playing will not be diminished.

Opening of A Christmas Story: The Musical @ The Ordway Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30 tonight. Times vary during its run, through December 28. ($36 – $110) Like many other folks, I find the original movie on which this is based to be charming, to say the least. Ralphie wants that perfect Christmas present – a Red Ryder BB Gun, and Jean Shepard’s story about that quest reveals the wonder and innocence of a time when a triple dare among elementary schoolers just couldn’t be ignored. BTW, a number of Twin Cities artists are involved in this production of the Tony-winning show.

The Pines @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25)  David Huckfelt and Benson Ramsey front an indie-rock/Americana group that blossomed from a duo to a full band once they arrived in Minneapolis from Iowa. The Pines’ 2007 album on Red House, Sparrows in the Bell was named one of the top roots releases by Q magazine, and then they wowed crowds at 2008’s South by Southwest, gaining them a growing national audience. They’ve just returned from a 25 city tour and are ready to play for the home town crowd once again. Poet/Activist/Recording artist John Trudell opens.

Saturday, Sunday, November 29, 30

Lucinda Williams @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 8pm($30) I’m not sure if Williams makes beautiful music depressing, or depressing music beautiful. Her voice conveys the ache of a broken heart like few other singers. There is no doubt, however, about her artistry and her way with words. She’s a big favorite of the Twin Cities, and will likely fill both nights at downtown’s rock palace. With the Kenneth Brian Band opening.

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. Dancers might want to check out the U Wanna Dance Calendar.

 


Big Bands, Americana, Classical and More: 11.19 – 11.25

November 19, 2014

images-2Well, another week, and another two dozen or so ideas for listening to music, whether it’s jazz, American, Classical, or undefinable. We’re blessed with very talented resident musicians and some very fine visiting musicians this week. As you acclimate to the cold, get out and hear some music. It’s good for your spirits.

Jazz

Wednesday, November 19

Parisota Hot Club Trio @ The Tangiers, Minneapolis. 8pm (No Cover) The acoustic swing of the Parisota trio will work quite nicely in this club, which evokes the clubs of another, much earlier era. The Hot Club Trio consists of Robb Henry, electric guitar; Jay Epstein, drums; Matt Senjem, bass.

McNally Smith X-Tet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pete Whitman has a passel of extremely talented young musicians in this band, which is actually more of a big band than an X-Tet. Their gig at The Bedlam Theater in Lowertown a month for so ago was exhilarating, with great solos from a number of players.

Thursday, November 20

Charlie Christenson Standards Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Christenson is a well-respected vocalist and composer who has worked such New York jazz clubs as Birdland and Jazz at Lincoln Center, and has also developed training strategies for Apple, Inc. He’ll be accompanied by Graydon Peterson, bass; and Matt Edlund, drums; to perform standards and originals.

Friday, November 21

Jazz Night @ the Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 5:30pm – 10:30pm. ($5 – $20 suggested Donations) Things get started with The Ordinary Mystics (Todd Harper, piano; Nathan Hanson, sax) around 5:30-ish, then from about 7 to about 8 it will be George Cartwright, sax; Michelle Kinney, cello; and Davu Seru, drums & percussion playing for the reception for Anne Elias, current artist on exhibit at the Black Dog. At 8:30, saxophonist Donald Washington comes in with Erik Jacobson, tuba; Brian Roessler, bass; and Davu Seru, drums and percussion.

Peter Vircks Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Vircks is a highly regarded Minneapolis-based saxophonist who was a founding member of Moveable Feast and regularly plays with The Rhythmic Circus dance troupe. He’s recorded as a sideman on a dozen albums or so and can easily move into free improvisation when called upon. He’ll be appearing with Ron Evaniuk, bass; Brian Ziemniak, piano; and Kevin Washington, drums.

St. Olaf Jazz Band 1 w/guests Brad Dutz and Chris Wabich @ Buntrock Center, Northfield. 8pm  I don’t normally write about events this far out of town, but having seen Dutz and Wabich at Jazz Central last week, I want to mention this gig at St. Olaf. They’re appearing with the St. Olaf Jazz Band, led by Dave Hagedorn, which will be playing some of the duo’s compositions. The Dutz and Wabich are highly inventive, with a slightly irreverent approach to playing any number of percussion instruments.

Saturday, November 22

Chris Lomheim Trio @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5 – $20 suggested Donation) Timeless, the new recording from pianist Lomheim  is by turns ethereal, beautiful, and mesmerizing. Tonight he’s joined by Jay Epstein,drums; and Andrew Bergmann, bass. Guitarist Joel Shapira is an inspired choice as a solo opener, setting up the mood for Lomheim.

The JazzMN Orchestra: The Little Big Bands @ Hopkins HS, 2400 Lindbergh Dr. Minnetonka. 7:30pm ($10 – $34)  Some bands are larger than a combo, but not as big as a big band. These bands – usually 10-12 musicians, have been called little big bands. Groups from Charles Mingus to Oliver Nelson to Miles Davis (think“Birth of the Cool”) to contemporary groups such as Gordon Goodwin’s Little Phat Band, and Pete Whitman’s X-tet all fall within this category. These bands have produced some great music, which  hasn’t been played nearly enough, something the orchesatra will help remedy this Saturday night. This past Saturday I did a phone interview with the band’s director, Doug Snapp, which you can listen to here.

PipJazz Youth All Stars @ the Maplewood Community Center Theater, 2100 White Bear Avenue, Maplewood. 7pm – 9pm ($25, $5 Students) PipJazz Live presents its annual concert featuring young artists. This time vocalist Pippi Ardennia is presenting Peter Goggin and Ebonee Rainwater on saxes; Maggie Kjeer, vocals; and Levi Schwartzberg on vibes and piano. They’ll be playing alongside the veteran musicians that usually back Ardennia. This event is also a fundraiser, with a number of silent auction items available for your bidding. Here’s Pippi with Billy Peterson on bass.

Monday, November 24

Atlantis Quartet Live Recording @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) The quartet (Zacc harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris Bates, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums) is a stellar example of 21st Century jazz, creating unexpected twists and turns as they play originals and some jazz standards. I expect they’ll just be doing originals tonight, since they’re recording live. A previous live album, Lines in the Sand, was recorded at the old Artists’ Quarter, with stellar results. Here they are performing a cut from that album.

Tuesday, November 25

Century Jazz Ensemble @ the Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) the Century College Jazz Ensemble has been going strong since 1981, playing around town and at an annual event where they’ve brought in guest artists ranging from Tom Harrell, to Clark Terry, Conte Candoli, Bud Shank, and Ernie Watts. Here’s a chance to see them for free and to show the MMC that you appreciate their willingness to showcase big bands on Tuesdays.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, November 19

Hot Rize @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) with Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers. This Colorado traditional/progressive bluegrass band has been thrilling folks since 1978, though their major touring occurred through 1990, with appearances on The Prairie Home Companion and throughout the United States. After the passing of guitarist Charles Sawtelle in 1999, the band reorganized and started touring agin in 2002, and recently released When I’m Free, their first new studio album in 24 years. They’ll bring out their Western Swing alter ego, Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers, for some songs as well.

Randy Weeks @ JJ Hill Library, Saint Paul. 8pm ($25) You can call Weeks’ music roots rock, alt-country, or Americana. No matter the name, he’s a helluva songwriter, and puts on a show that will have you rockin’ and boppin’. You’ve heard Lucinda Williams singing his song Can’t Let Go, and have read the praises bestowed on him by All Music, Salon, and New Depression. He currently lives in Austin Texas, and comes to town fairly often, since he grew up in Windom. This is part of the Real-Phonic Radio Hour series, featuring a back-up band that includes Erik Koskinen and Molly Maher. With Ben Weaver Opening. Bring a food shelf donation and get 25% off admission.

Thursday, November 20

The Paladins Reunion Tour @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($27) Get out the pomade, leather jackets, and cowboy boots. The Paladins were shining lights of the Rockabilly Revival in the 80s. I believe their first appearance in the Twin Cities was at Mama D’s in Dinkytown in the late 80s, where their energy was not diminished by the small crowd. Throughout the 80s and 90s they headlined clubs and festivals around the world, then went into hiatus in 2004. They first reunited in 2010, and since then have done a few festivals and short tours, such as this one.

Yemen Blues @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20/$25) Yemen Blues is a combination of musicians from NYC, Uruguay, and Tel Aviv, creating music that mixes Yemenite, West African, and Jazz influences for a unique, original sound. Latin, North African, and funk rhythms provide a strong, hip-shaking foundation, while the vocals recall Arabic chants mixed with the blues.

 A lot of deviltry in that brain

A lot of deviltry in that brain

Courtney McClean @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 10pm ($5) This probably falls under Other…  What can I say, McClean specializes in dirty comedy and bluegrass. If you’ve a mind for such, she’s wrapping up a week and a half on the road with what she calls her Booze, Bullets, and a Banjo tour. She’ll also be finishing up the filming of her tour movie. McClean will be joined by comedians Jenn Schaal and Marial Weidner.

Friday, November 21

Shaggy @ The Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($18/$20) 18+ This is a show that should have many of the area’s reggae fans out in force. Back in 1995, Shaggy’s dancehall reggae hit Bombastic was all over the airwaves, both here and in Europe. It’s album went platinum and spent a year at number one on Billboard’s Reggae album chart. Since then he’s had other hits, including It Wasn’t Me and Angel in 2001, while Hot Shot, the album they came from sold six million copies. Shaggy’s 2011 releases, an album and an EP, have been been released on his own label.

Ray Bonneville @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($18)  7pm cocktail hour. Bonneville is a singer/songwriter and guitarist/harmonica player whose 2008 Americana CD Goin’ by Feel, was named one of the best of the year by Downbeat magazine. His most recent Red House CD, Easy Gone, is also gathering rave reviews.

SolFlower Collective @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) A young contemporary R&B group with soulful singing and good songwriting.

Saturday, November 22

Vance Gilbert @ The Gingko Coffeehouse, Saint Paul. 8pm ($15) After starting out as a jazz singer, Gilbert switched to folk music and exploded on the singer/songwriter scene in the early 90s, opening for Shawn Colvin, Gilbert has recorded 10 critically acclaimed albums that showcase his union of humor, virtuosity, and the unexpected. He’s now on tour behind his latest, BaD Dog Buffet.

Funk on First, Vol II @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) First Avenue will jump to the sounds of four different funk bands from the area, headlined by the six-piece New Sound Underground, who’ve been making waves of late with their high energy performances. This funk extravaganza will also feature vocalists for a couple of the bands. Besides New Sound Underground, which with vocalists Reed Grim & Toki Wright, you can hear Pho, with Ashlee Dubose & Jellybean Johnson, Hustle Rose, featuring K. Raydio, and the McNasty Brass Band.

Tuesday, November 25

Sharon Isbin and Romero Lumbambo @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $50), 9pm ($35 – $45) Here’s a very interesting pairing of artists. Isbin is an acclaimed classical guitar player, often called the pre-eminent guitarist of our time. She has a catalog of over 25 recordings. Her latest album, Guitar Passions, features guest guitarists ranging from rockers Steve Vai and Nancy Wilson (Heart), to Stanley Jordan, and Romero Lubambo, with whom she is touring. Lumbambo is a jazz guitarist from Brazil, who has performed and recorded with such stellar artists as Diane Reeves, Diana Krall, Michael Brecker, Yo-Yo Ma, and Kathleen Battle. Here’s an example of his playing.

Jake Hanson & James Buckley @ Cafe Maude, Minneapoolis. 7pm (No Cover) Hanson on guitar and Buckley on bass are just as likely to launch into a Ventures tune as they are to tackle a jazz standard. This SW Mpls neighborhood restaurant is a good place to hear them, though if you get a reservation for dinner, be sure to state you want to be near the music.

Poor Nobodys @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donations) Cinematic music with a rootsy vibe, thanks to a line-up of Chris Hepola, piano; Eric Struve, upright bass; Aaron Cantine, banjo & acoustic guitar; Chris Duba, mandolin; Albert Perez, electric guitar; and Jenna Wyse, vocals and accordion.

DKO @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 10pm ($5) Improvised electronic music from Jon Davis, bass and bass clarinet; John Keston, keyboards & electronics; and Graham O’Brien, drums. This trio has established themselves as the rhythm section for a couple of funkified techno groups in town, and has played as a trio at a number of high profile gigs at events like Art-A-Whirl, and the Northern Spak Festival. Their method is to improvise from scratch, often with no breaks. Their music will keep your head bobbing and your toes tapping.

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. Dancers might want to check out the U Wanna Dance Calendar.


Adapting to Winter. Music: 11.12 – 11.18

November 12, 2014

SAMSUNGOkay, so winter is here, said Mr. Obvious. After a few days we’ll adapt our driving and have all of our warm clothes out of storage. Then we’ll be ready to enjoy the rich nightlife of the Twin Cities, no matter what the weather. This week we have the debut (or near debut) of a couple of jazz groups, a couple of CD release parties, a “birthday in blue” from Willie Murphy, and a number of well known visiting artists gracing area stages. Have a good week. Music will lift your spirits, even in winter. Even when there’s lots of snow.

Jazz

Wednesday, November 12

Corey Healy’s Beautiful Happy Sunshine Deathsquad Experience @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Drummer Healy heads up this aggregation, which will be playing his originals, as well as new arrangements of jazz standards. Members include: Zacc Harris, guitar; Erick Fratzke, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Jake Baldwin, trumpet.

Thursday, November 13

Joyce Meets Carmen: Joyce Lyons @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Ms Lyons brings along Phil Aaron, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums; as she visits the music of Carmen McCrae in an “intimate conversation.”  Listen to her doing Love Me or Leave Me.

The band is named for a draft horse, originally from France.

The band is named for a draft horse, originally from France.

Le Percheron @ the Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Bassist Adam Linz has a new group, and this is their debut performance. It includes: Cory Healey, drums; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; and Brandon Wozniak, sax. They already have some dates in France for next year.

Friday, November 14

The Gentle Assassins of Sound @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 5:30 – 7:30pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) This is a piano/cello duet between Friday happy hour regular, pianist Todd Harper, and his guest, cellist Aaron Kerr. What makes this a unique cello/piano duet is that one or both of the artists will be playing electric.

Dutz/Wabich Duo @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Brad Dutz and Chris Wabich are percussionists with long and varied resumes. Their work can be heard on several TV shows, including King of the Hill and American Idol. Individually, Dutz’s work can be heard on the soundtracks of the Bourne Legacy, and Anchorman, as well as on CDs with Alanis Morrisette, Willie Nelson, and KISS. Wabich has recorded with artistes such as Ludacris, Alex Acuna, and Jeff Hamilton. “Together they use a plethora of percussion instruments to blend improvisation, high art, and comedy. Here’s an example of their inventiveness.

Barbara Meyer/Phil Mattson CD Release @ The Nicollet, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Vocalist Meyer & pianist Mattson have created a winning combination by recording the music of Harold Arlen. They are celebrating the release of Down and Up With Love: The Music of Harold Arlen, at this dance-friendly coffeehouse that also serves wine and beer.

Saturday, November 15

Mary Louise Knutson & Gary Raynor @ Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 5701 Eden Prairie Rd, Minnetonka. 7pm – 8:30pm (Free) The graceful pianist and Prairie Home Companion bassist collaborate for an art opening.

Travis Anderson Trio @ Normandy Kitchen, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover). Anderson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; Nathan Norman, drums. Fresh interpretations of standards and more – from Chopin to the Mario Brothers. Reservations are recommended, as the Kitchen has a relatively small bar.

Dean Granros Group @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 6pm workshop (free), 7pm performance. ($10) Another in the Jazz at Studio Z series. Guitarist Granros is joined by Zacc Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. Since the mid-60s, Granros has been mixing up genres such as blues, rock n’ roll, classical music, western swing and a host of world musics into his own cauldron of bubbling jazz. He’ll conduct a free master class on blues concepts in contemporary improvisation at 6pm.

Unknown-2Dean Magraw Solo @ Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15)  Well, I’m listing this under jazz, but Magraw is a guitarist who draws from a number of genres and plays them all equally well, whether Irish, World music, R&B, jazz fusion, or who knows what else. This is a rare opportunity to hear him solo. Plus, you have the opportunity to try some of the Riverview’s many wine flights.

Monday, November 17

Charlie Lincoln Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested Donation) Lincoln is the young bassist who has been studying (and occasionally playing) with Eric Kamau Gravatt. Joining him will be a number of other young jazzmen: Ben Beyene, drums; Gavin Brehm, trumpet; Peter Goggin, sax; Levi Schwartzberg, piano; and Sam Stroup, electronics.

Firebell CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Jacob Park Evans, he of the clean guitar lines, joins forces with Graydon Peterson, bass master; and Jay Epstein, drummer extraordinaire, in Firebell. They’re releasing their first CD and are celebrating tonight.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, November 12

Dead Pigeons on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The Pigeons have been around for a few years now, with frontman/songwriter Drew Peterson providing them with sardonic, mordant, and often witty lyrics. Though their instrumentation is old-timey, their approach to music is anything but, as they create rough-hewn music that might, at times, be mistaken for acoustic punk. Drew Peterson, lead singer, songwriter, guitar, banjo; Ryan Douglas Canyon, mandolin and backing vocals; Gretta Hunstiger, fiddle and backing vocals; Andy Carroll and John Reinhart, bass; Daryn Christensen – drums and percussion.

Thursday, November 13

Kate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows: Foxtrot @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (Given the venue and the time, I guess you can call this a dinner dance. Ms Lynch  on bass, and her cohoes play music that swings easily. It’s often in a rhythm called the Businessman’s Bounce, which means just about anybody can get up and dance with a partner. Dressed down jazz and pop hits from the 20s – 70s. The Most Excellent Fellows include: Chris Beaty, guitar; Ken Chastain, drums; Michael Nelson, trombone, Greg Lewis, trumpet.

Friday, November 14

Little River Band @ The Medina Ballroom, Hamel. 7:30pm ($29-$49) Well the Little River Band  as sold more than 25 million records, had one gold and two platinum selling albums, and then had six top ten singles between 1978 and 1981, the biggest of which was Reminiscing (#3). Originally from Australia, be warned that the current lineup has no original members, though bassist/vocalist Wayne Nelson has been with the band for all but four years since 1980. Kurt Jorgenson opens.

Love TKO: Tribute to Teddy Pendergrass @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20, $25 reserved) How many articles of underwear have been discarded while couples have listened to Teddy Pendergrass. The mind boggles. Johnnie Brown will be recreating some of those signature sounds tonight, with Kathleen Johnson singing the music of Etta James for good measure.

Friday, Saturday, November 14, 15

Shawn Colvin @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45-$50) This singer/songwriter won Grammys for Record of the Year and song of the year (Sunny Came Home) in 1998, after winning Best Contemporary Folk Album for her debut album in 1991. Colvin continues to produce folk with a pop influence, and since the turn of this century has been doing a lot of collaborating with folks like Emmylou Harris, Bela Fleck, James Taylor, and Allison Krauss. Her latest album, All Fall Down, was produced by Buddy Miller and includes contributions from Bill Frisell, Brian Blade, and Jakob Dylan, among others.

Saturday, November 15

It's his birthday!

It’s his birthday!

Willie Murphy w/the Liquor Pigs @ The Eagles Club #34, MInneapoils. 8pm ($?) It’s Willie’s Birthday, so you know he’ll be knocking’ the music out of the park, so to speak. the Liquor Pigs, with their ragged yet rockin’ approach to acoustic rock/blues open. Willie’s friends and fans will be out in force, with bells on and dancing shoes.

Joe & Vicki Price @ The Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5?) The Iowa natives with the deep South blues style are once again visiting our fair cities. Tonight they’re bringing their music to the tap room, where you can drown your sorrows in a variety of beers.

Sunday, November 16

MN Blues Society Road to Memphis Benefit @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 4:30pm  ($10 Suggested Donation) With Lisa Wenger & Bruce McCabe, Jimmi & the Band of Souls, Del Vincents, & More. Every year the Minnesota Blues Society sends a group and a duo to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. This year they are sending Jimmi & the Band of Souls and Brother Sun, Sister Moon, and today are having a fundraiser to help compensate for the bands’ travel expenses.

Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 8pm ($12, $15) Adrenaline-fueled Southern Gothic Swamp boogies from a band that doesn’t do murder ballads, “they do murder boogies” as the publicity for Bloodshot Records states.

Todd Rundgren @ Mill City Nights, Minneapolis. ($40, $42) Rundgren first came to the public’s attention in 1967 or so as a member of Nazz. Then he went solo with his album Runt in 1970 and earned a gold record for the double LP Something/Anything in 1972 and recorded A Wizard: A True Star in 1973, which led to the creation of Utopia, a biggish prig-rock band. He’s continued to record, rather prolifically, but has also been a producer for numerous groups, including the Paul Butterfield Blues Band to the New York Dolls, XTC, Cheap Trick, and Hall & Oates, among others.

John McEuen & John Carter Cash @ The Dakota, MInneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50) Back in the 70s John McCuen and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band pretty much started the interest blue/newgrass/Americana roots genre when they put out Will The Circle Be Unbroken, an homage to the music of Mother Maybelle Carter and family. Cash  as you might guess, is the only progeny of June Carter and Johnny. They’ll be celebrating the music of the Carter Family and Johnny Cash. So, here’s a chance for young (and old) fans of roots music have to see artists with true connections to the genre.

Tuesday, November 18

Malamanya @ Honey, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) 18+ This popular Cuban/Salsa six-piece just began a weekly residency at the basement club under Jitters. Bring your dancing shoes.

Tuesday, Wednesday, November 18, 19

Suzanne Vega @ The Dakota, Minneapoils. 7pm ($35, $45) Whether you call it New folk, Neo-Folk, or Contemporary Folk, Vega is often credited with creating the style in the 80s. Her 1987 album Solitude Standing, reached the top ten in many international markets and produced two hit singles: Luka, and Tom’s Diner, which was originally a cappella, but remade as a 1990 dance track in Britain. After eight album (the latest released this year) Vega remains an impressive storyteller who uses music to get her stories across.

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. Dancers might want to check out the U Wanna Dance Calendar.


Post-Election Music: 11.5 – 11.11

November 5, 2014

Unknown-3Well, the election is over and we don’t have to go out just to avoid obnoxious political advertising. Whether you want to celebrate or drown your sorrows, there are plenty of opportunities to hear music while you do so. Choose from a number of outstanding visiting artists, as well as intriguing sets from resident artists for your entertainment pleasure. Have a good week. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, November 5
The PBR Street Gang @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Anthony Cox has put together another intriguing group for his monthly gig at JC. This time the bassist brings along Dave King, drums; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Dean Granros, guitar to liven things up.

Wednesday, Thursday, November 5,6
Hiromi @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45), 9pm ($35) Hiromi is a highly gifted and virtuostic pianist who has such a good time she almost floats above her bench. In 2010 she played the Dakota four times in a 12 month period with four different ensembles, including two of her own and a duo and trio appearance with Stanley Clarke. Tonight she’s appearing with Anthony Jackson on Contrabass guitar, and Steve Smith on drums. You might want to take advantage of the free earplugs available as you enter.

Thursday, November 6
Nina Simone Tribute @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Sarah M. Greer will be singing the songs of Nina Simone, with help from BLU-7: John Iden, bass; Jim Ouska, guitar; Doug Rohde, and Dean White, drums.

Cartwright, Kinney, Seru, & Evans @ The Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Given the caliber of this line-up of George Cartwright, sax; Michelle Kinney, cello; Davu Seru, drums & percussion; and Elaine Evans, trumpet, I’d venture that there will be some extraordinary, adventurous music being played tonight.

Friday, November 7
Maryann Sullivan and Corner Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11pm (Donation – $5 – $20 suggested) When it comes to singing, Ms Sullivan can do sophistication and turn around and deliver some sly humor. Backing her will be David Martin, guitar; Trevor Haining, drums; Tom Pieper, bass, and Doug Haining, sax.

Steve Kenny Quartet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 9:30pm ($10) Steve and his crew take the stage at 9:30, but it will be worth your while to get there early. There’s a young performers showcase at 6f:30, followed by Struck Percussion at 7:30, Zeitgeist with Nimala Rajasekar at 8:30. It’s all part of the Zeitgeist Cabaret Series, once of the best opportunities you’ll have to see a variety of interesting music.

Saturday, November 8
Source Code @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. ($10) 9:30pm Drummer extraordinaire Eric Kamau Gravatt and his crew take the stage at 9:30pm, preceded by Zeitgeist at 8:30, the ANCIA Saxophone Quartet @ 7:30, and the Young Performer Showcase at 6:30. The young performer showcase features bassist Charlie Lincoln, a student of Gravatt’s, with his group consisting of Levi Schwartzberg, vibes, Peter Goggin, sax, and Joey Hays, Alex Browne, and Sam Stroup filling out the rhythm section. I know three of these performers and they are very talented. You’ll be happy you stopped by to see them.

Sunday, November 9
Charles Lazarus Quartet w/guest Tonia Hughes and the MN Orchestra @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 2pm ($25 – $65) Minnesota Orchestra trumpeter Lazarus has been stepping out into the jazz world quite a bit over the last year or so, to very positive reception. Here’s a chance to hear him in the acoustic confines of Orchestra hall, with the backing of the full orchestra.

Yohannes Tona @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Tonight, the Zeitgeist Cabaret brings in this talented bass player and his group, preceded by Zeitgeist at 8pm, and Skeleton Crew at 7pm.

Monday, November 10
Jon Weber @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Weber is a virtuoso pianist with what must be a photographic memory, and an encyclopedic knowledge of music, its history, and the slightest facts about performers. He also throws in facts about history and the world at large. Oh yeah, he plays anything from ragtime to 21st Century jazz.

Doug Haining @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The swingin’ sax player returns to Jazz Central as a featured artist, rather than with a big band or ensemble. The Monday night featured artists always play outside their usual “box” so who knows what you will hear. No doubt, however, that it will be enjoyable.

Tony Malaby @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($15) Saxophonist/Composer Malaby was recently named by Downbeat as One of the “80 Coolest Things in Jazz.” Since arriving in New York in the early 90s, he’s led many of his own projects and has revealed his talent in bands like the Paul Motian Electric Be-Bop Band, Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra, Chris Lightcap’s Bigmouth, and similarly adventurous groups. For tonight’s show he’ll be playing wiith Anthony Cox, bass; and JT Bates, drums.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz Police, Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, November 5
San Souci on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM) and 7pm (331 club – Tip Jar) The acoustic roots revolution has been in full swing for a number of years now, fueled by Midwest groups such as San Souci, a quintet that uses traditional instruments in an untraditional manner to create a progress blend of bluegrass and folk rock. They released their third full-length album, On the Line, earlier this year. Tune in to hear them perform live in the studio and then head over to the 331 Club to hear them in person.

Thursday, November 6
Suzzy Roche & Lucy Wainwright @ the Gingko Coffeehouse, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($25) Suzzy Roche is a singer/songwriter and founding member of the Roches. She’s recorded over 15 albums and has written a children’s book and a novel. Lucy Wainwright Roche is the daughter of Suzzy and Loudon Wainwright III, and has recorded four albums. Mother and daughter have just released a new recording, Fairytale and Myth, which has just been nominated for Best Folk/Singer/Songwriter Album of the Year by the Independent Music Awards.

Friday, November 7
Garland Jeffreys @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) This classic rocker and Brooklyn native burst into the public’s consciousness with his single Wild in the Streets back in 1973. Jeffreys proceeded to release a string of albums to critical acclaim and some commercial success, though he never became huge star. Mining rock, reggae, blues, and soul to create his own sound, he hadn’t released a record in a dozen years when he came out with The King of In Between in 2011 and Truth Serum in 2013 to raves about the “second wave” of his career. Martin Devaney – the musical mayor of Saint Paul – opens.

Jack Potts & the Astronauts of Rhythm & Souls @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm. ($5) Well yeah, the name is a bit of a tongue twister, but the members of this band are well known to fans of Americana and roots rock n’ roll. Consider the membership: Paul Bergen (Hillbilly Voodoo Dolls), Erik Koskonen (Molly Maher, his own band), Ray Barnard (Copperheads, now solo), and David Huckfelt and Michael Rossetto (The Pines). Bergen will be opening at 7pm, along with some friends, and the Astronauts will take the stage at 9pm. They are also promising surprise guests.

Charlie Parr @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 8pm ($15) Though Parr is originally from Austin, MN, the country bluesman started his career in Duluth, singing his own songs as influenced by such stellar musicians as Charlie Patton, Bukka White, and Reverend Gary Davis. His plaintive, emotional singing, combined with his prowess on resonator guitar, banjo, and 12-String, have earned him a huge legion of fans. Opening are The Wild Hands and Matt Ray.

Saturday, November 8
Bebel Gilberto @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $60), 9pm ($30 – $50) For the longest time, Gilberto, a daughter of bossa nova royalty, brought contemporary sounds, including jazz and pop influences, to Brazilian music. A couple of her albums have even been remixed. On her latest, Tudo, Gilberto takes a more nuanced approach to music, and includes a surprising version of Neil Young’s Harvest Moon.

DJ Brian Engel @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm (No cover) Brian is a DJ about town, appearing at Hipshaker, Hot Pants, and Worldwide Discoteque. After an evening of Brazilian music join Brian as he spins world music and who knows what else for late night.

Sunday, November 9
Capital Cities @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 7pm. ($25) 21+ This Los Angeles electro pop duo hit with an upbeat melodic tune called Safe and Sound, which launched them on a tour of South America in 2011. After Capitol Records signed them in 2013 and released A Tidal Wave of Mystery in June of that year, the song reached number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. See the delightful official video here I’ve a vinyl 12-inch EP with that song and others that is in fairly steady rotation on my spinning gigs. They’ve now played on four continents, at Coachella and Bonnaroo, and toured with Kate Perry. Opening are Cherub and The Night Terrors of 1927.

Tuesday November 11
Quintron & Miss Pussycat @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 8pm ($12) though New Orleans has long been known as the birthplace of jazz and a hotbed of R&B, it has also been an incubator of rock n’ roll and a number of genre-bending bands. Case in point is Quintron & Miss Pussycat, whose act can be described as Swamp-Noise-Tech with puppets. Quintron is an organist who plays a distorted B-3 and a number of electronic inventions. He was even nominated for songwriting for Chatterbox, which he recorded as a guest with Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys. Miss Pussycat is a singer/puppeteer who plays maracas and creates puppet shows that are appropriate to late night dancing in bars. Their latest is Spellcaster II – Death in Space. With Babes, a New Orleans punkish group that seems to have spent time in the swamps, and the Twin Cities own Honeystick, a keyboard/synth driven band with a predilection for 70s soul and a touch of British invasion harmonies.

Julie Johnson: This Middle Place @ Antonello Hall, MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Pay as Able – $10 Suggested) This is an original multimedia show that includes the work of four Minnesota visual artists and writers—Patrick Kemal Pryor, David Sollie, Cheri Johnson, and Sean Hill. Flautist Julie Johnson has written pieces exclusively for the show. She’ll be using amplified flute, bass flute, stompbox, and live looping pedals as part of the performance, which will feature both recorded and live performances by some of the artists.

Tuesday, Wednesday, November 11, 12
Loudon Wainwright III @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Wainwright is a singer/songwriter/actor with twenty albums to his credit including the Grammy-winning High Wide & Handsome from 2009. Three of his children are singer/songwriters, including daughter Lucy, who appeared at the Gingko with her mother this Thursday (see Suzzy Roche and Lucy Wainwright, above). He was a character on MASH for three years, and more recently, composed music for the movie Knocked Up, in which he also appeared in a supporting role, and has appeared on the TV shows Parks and Recreation and Person Of Interest. It is, however, his witty, often self-mocking songs that provide the reason for seeing him.

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. Dancers might want to check out the U Wanna Dance Calendar.


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