Music for Variable Weather: 4.16 – 4.22

April 16, 2014

UnknownThe title says all I want to say about the weather. Easter is this weekend, which may account for the lack of events on Sunday, but here are some ideas for the rest of the week.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 16

Pete Whitman @ Jazz Central, MInneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) With Chris Olson, guitar; Chris Lomheim, piano; Gary Raynor, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. A cast with chops a-plenty, able to tackle the difficult with aplomb, and the sublime with beauty.

Thursday, April 17

Lucia Newell w/Phil Aaron @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Newell is an outstanding vocalist, one of the best, if not the best, in the area. Her singing owes a bit of a debt to Betty Carter, and she’s become a darn good songwriter as well. Here’s a video from a few years ago.

 

 

Hamilton, Thorson, & Tubbs @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 7pm ($20 advance, $30 door) This is the inaugural concert of The Palace of Jazz Performance, a group headed by Robert “Pops” Montgomery, leader of the Senior Jazz Band of Minnesota. The performance will feature David Hamilton on piano; Brock Thorson on bass; and Kelli Rae Tubbs on drums.  More information can be found here.

Christopher McBride Quintet @ Eden Prairie HS, Eden Prairie. 7pm – 9:30pm ($15 adults/$10 Students) McBride is an alto sax player with an elegant sound. The parents at Eden Prairie HS are bringing he and his quartet in for a workshop with students and this fundraiser. In the evening, they’ll perform with the students and then conduct their own performance. All funds raised will go to the school’s band.

Friday, April 18

Maud Hixson Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) The chanteuse with the cool, yet smoldering voice will be accompanied by Rick Carlson, piano; and the ever-smiling Steve Pikal on bass. Listen to her.

 

 

Counterclockwise B3 Organ Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm  ($10 Suggested Donation) Tanner Taylor, B3; Zacc Harris, guitar; Jay Epstein, drums. This is a rare chance to hear Tanner Taylor, a terrific pianist, on organ. Should be a swingin’ evening.

Saturday, April 19

Corey Healey 4tet @ Jazz at Studio Z, Saint Paul. 6pm workshop (free), 7pm performance ($10) Healey is an Iowa raised drummer who has spent time in Chicago and NY, playing with the likes of Fareed Haque, Kenny Wheeler, David Berkman, and Dr. Lonnie Smith. Tonight he’ll be joined by Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Zacc harris guitar; and Eric Fratske, bass; for an evening of Heley originals as well as songs from Charlie Parker, Tony Williams, Bob Dylan, and more.

Unknown-1Steve Kenny Quartet @ Sweet 317, Saint Paul. 9pm – 11:30pm ($10) Trumpeter Kenny has been ultra-busy of late, what with his upcoming release Straight To Vinyl, with Group 47, and his work with the Illicit Sextet, and other groups. Tonight, he brings Brandon Wozniak, sax; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Babatunde Lea, drums & percussion, to a house concert. It’s located in the Northern Warehouse at 308 Prince Street in, quite naturally, Suite 317. Tickets are available on-line at brownpapertickets.com, and at the door.

Monday, April 21

Preston Hainig @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Trumpeter Preston comes from a musical family. Father Doug is a well-traveled saxophonist and arranger around town. Mom Maryann Sullivan is a fine vocalist, and older brother Trevor has established himself as an on-call drummer in the area. Preston is in his final year of study at the prestigious University of North Texas, and will be joined by brother Trevor on drums, Tanner Taylor on piano, and Graydon Peterson on bass.

Joey Van Phillips @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Drummer Van Phillips can be found in various aggregations around town, playing with Zacc Harris, Sophia Shorai, Dessa, and Leisure Valley, among others. He’ll be leading a group that’s either a trio or quartet.

Monday, Tuesday, April 21, 22

Steve Tyrell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45), 9pm ($30) After four decades on the production and songwriting side of the music industry, vocalist Tyrell was featured singing “The Way You Look Tonight” in the movie Father of the Bride. All of a sudden he became a popular singer of classic standards. He’s got the perfect voice for interpreting the Great American Songbook, slightly raspy, with a hint of sophisticated R&B.

 

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, Thursday, April 16, 17

Orquesta Aragon @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Oh boy, this is a coup for the Dakota. Think of the importance of Duke Ellington’s band to American music. Well, that’s the same kind of impact that Orquesta Aragon has had on Cuban music. They were started in 1939, and in the 50s were signed to RCA. Many of it’s members are sons, nephews, and grandsons of original members. Since the late 90s, they’ve appeared at Carnegie Hall, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, and the Zellerbach Theatre in Berkeley.

Friday, April 18

Oh What A Night @ The Parkway Theater, 48th & Chicago, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Vocalist and bandleader Ronn Easton has brought together four additional soulful singers to celebrate the music of the 50s, 60s, and 70s. And oh what a group! It includes Maurice Jacox, Willie Walker, Sonny Knight, and Maurice Young – veterans all, with distinctive voices and resumes too long to list. They’ll be harmonizing on songs by The Dells, The Drifters, The Stylistics, and the Temptations. Sure, it’s nostalgic for those of us of a certain age, but hearing voices this good sing such harmony is a treat for all ages.

Harold’s House Party @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) Harold Tremblay, of KFAI’s House Party brings three outstanding artists to the Tap Room. Guitarist Bob Bingham (7pm) played electric guitar with Lamont Cranston and Aces, Straights, and Shuffles, before turning to acoustic. Hilary Thavis (8pm) is Italian – born of Minnesota parents, and sings the blues with a clear, soulful voice. Jeff Ray & the Stakes (9pm) play the originals of Jeff as well as some unexpected covers. It’s a bluesy Americana style, which isn’t surprising, given the support of the Stakes: Nick Salisbury, bass; Mikkel Beckmen, washboard; and Hurricane Harold, harp.

John Primer @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Guitarist/singer Primer plays traditional electric blues from Chicago. He’s talented enough to have had a number of nominations for Blues Artist of the Year in the traditional category. In fact he won the award in 2010. It’s the real deal, as they say.

 

Saturday, April 18

Mary Cutrufello & Greg Schutte @ Moe’s, 2400 Highway 10, Moundsview. 9:30pm (No cover?) It’s been a while since singer/songwriter/guitarist Cutrufello has played with some regularity in the area. She’s a rocker with a natural feel for classic country, and easily turns her original songs into relatable tales. Cutrufello is just finishing up and album with a full band, though for this appearance she’ll be accompanied by Greg Schutte, a drummer about town who has worked with Cuturfello for many years. Together they create some rockin’ country.

 

Saturday, Sunday, April 18, 19

Brian McKnight @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($55 – $65), 9pm ($50 – $60) Modern soul music from a multi-talented performer with 16 Grammy nominations and sales of over 20 million albums. For this show, he’ll be appearing with a bassist and guitarist, and playing both hits and B-sides. (Those of you of a certain age will recognize that term)

 

Monday, April 20

Joe Fingers @ Grand Avenue Dunn Brothers, Saint Paul 7:30pm (tip jar) Joe Fingers is a “nom de Dunn” for one of the many fingerpickin’ aces we have in town. Grab a cup o’ joe and a pastry and settle in for some

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

 


Spring Days. Spring Nights. Music: 4.9 – 4.15

April 9, 2014
Coming soon to a corner near you.

Coming soon to a corner near you.

Ahh Spring! A time for rebirth and awakening, and a time for shedding seven layers of winter clothing. A sure sign of Spring is the reappearance of NiceRide stations in the area. Whether you bike, walk, use public transportation, or your car, there is much out there this week for you musical culture vultures. We’ve got a veritable cornucopia of visiting artists and outstanding projects by resident artists for your listening pleasure. The weather will be mild for the most part, if interrupted by a few showers this weekend, so enjoy life and enjoy the music. It will lift your spirits.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 9

Slocum's latest: Black Elk's Dream

Slocum’s latest: Black Elk’s Dream

Matt Slocum Trio @ Weyerhauser Auditorium, Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($18) Slocum is a drummer who grew up in River Falls and studied with Phil Hey. Lately, he’s been making a name for himself in NY as a composer and band leader. He’ll be bringing Sam Yahel, keys; and Massimo Miolcati, bass; with hymn. The evening includes a drum dialogue with Phil Hey, as well as a performance by the Phil Hey Quartet.

Brad Mehldau Trio @ Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($32, $25-standing room) Pianist Mehldau is known as one of the most inventive of today’s pianists. He’ll have Jeff Ballard on drums and Larry Grenadier on bass. This is a solo piece from him.

Fall of the House of Usher @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested donation) Bassist Chris Bates brings a new group into Jazz Central on the 2nd Wednesday of every month. Tonight, the seven-piece Fall of the House of Usher will be improvising on some world music with some elements of spoken word. Besides Bates, the group includes Chris Cunninham, guitar; Nelson Devereaus, Adrian Larkin, Elliot Wachs, and John Davis, saxophones; and Greg Schutte, drums.

Thursday, April 10

Wes Ruelle Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Wes is a pianist who studied with the late Mulgrew Miller in the prestigious jazz program at William Patterson University, where he earned a degree in Jazz Performance with a minor in Classical Performance. Tonight he’ll likely be joined by Matt Peterson, bass, and Eron Woods, drums

At the Twin Cities Jazz Festival

At the Twin Cities Jazz Festival

Delfeayo Marsalis @ The Dakota, MInneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($25) The trombone-playing Marsalis thrilled the audience at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival two years ago. As might be expected, given his lineage, he’s an excellent player, with a burnished tone and wide ranging solos. Then again, he’s toured and played with folks like Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Max Roach, and Slide Hamnpton. One can expect he’ll have a top-notch band behind him.

Matt Slocum Trio @ Weyerhauser Auditorium, Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 7pm ($18) This is the second of a two night stand for Slocum. Tonight, Bryan Nichols will open with a solo set, and in addition to the drum dialogue with Phil Hey, Slocum will have the Dave Karr Quartet as well.

Friday, April 11

Harper, Hanson, and Kerr @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 5:30pm. Pianist Todd Harper holds forth at the Black Dog every Friday evening, sometimes solo, but often with a friend or two. Tonight he’s joined by Nathan Hanson, soprano sax; and Aaron Kerr, cello; for a program of music by Carei Thomas, including compositions from over 40 years worth of music. Some are mysterious, some are quizzical, while others are playful and some just beautiful.

Stockton Helbing Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 suggested donation) Doc Severinsen often draws upon a number of Twin Cities musicians whenever he’s touring. Tonight marks the Jazz Centrtal debut of one of them, drummer/composer Stockton Helbing. He’ll be joined by some of his bandmates from Doc’s band: Zach Lozier, trumpet; Michael Nelson, trombone; Mary Louise Knutson, piano; and Kevin Thomas on bass. They’ll be playing HJelbing’s original compositions.

7 Psalms CD Release Concert @ Benson Great Hall, Bethel University, Saint Paul. 8pm ($15 advance/$20 door). Pianist/composer Jeremy Walker has created a beautiful work for jazz ensemble and an 18-voice choir. Lead singer Jason Harms, with a commanding baritone, is catching the ear of many in the jazz community, and the ensemble consists of Walker, piano; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Jeff Brueske, bass; and Tim Zhorne, drums. The workshop performance of this work last year was performed before an audience of 600.

Saturday, April 12

Nick Haas Trio @ Loring Pasta Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) This dinnertime show might get noisy, so get a table near the bandstand to hear the clean, supple lines of guitarist Haas.

Sophia Shorai @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No cover) Another dinnertime show at a place known for food and a party atmosphere. Watch out if any bachlorette parties come in! Anyway, I’ve been a fan of Sophia’s since her first CD came out 10 years ago. Her clear voice, subtle phrasing, and sunny disposition are always a delight.

Parisota Hot Club @ Jazz at St. Barney’s, 15600  Old Rockford Road, Plymouth. 7pm ($10) Twelve years ago, the Parisota Hot Club was the first band  in the Twin Cities to focus on the songs of Django Rheinhardt and Stephan Grappelli. Since then, the band has branched out a bit to include standards from pop music and soundtracks in their repertoire. Tonight leader/guitarist Robb Henry will be joined by  Tom Schaefer, violin; Matt Senjem, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums.

Sunday, April 13

Connie Evingson with Jon Weber @ the Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm, 7:30pm ($25) Connie and pianist Jon perform their Desert Island Picks from Fats Waller, Irving Berlin, Dave Frishberg, The Beatles, Sting, and more. As of Wednesday, there are only a few seats left for the afternoon showing, though the evening performance still has plenty of seats available. Here’s Connie singing a Beatles song, with images from a Peruvian fashion photographer.

Monday, April 14

Good Vibes Trio CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Chris Bates, bass; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; and Phil Hey, drums, have a new CD. Bates, who has played on over 30 albums, is actually the youngster in the group, though Hagedorn and Hey play with the energy of youngsters themselves. The CD includes tunes by Mingus, Coltrane, Freddie Hubbard, and others, and will be given out with admission.

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, April 9

Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings w/Paul Cebar & Tomorrow Sound Opening @ State Theater, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($32) Well, as many of you may know, the hardest working woman in show business has recovered from pancreatic cancer and is back on the road bringing her explosive funk and soul to folks around the world. Tonight she’s joined by Milwaukee’s Paul Cebar, a long time favorite in the Twin Cities. Check this out.

Thursday, April 10

Charanga Tropical @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm, 5pm – 7pm. (Free) The Schubert Club presents this exciting Latin Band as part of it’s Courtroom Concert Series at Noon. Then, at 5pm, they play for the Cocktails with Culture Series on the 2nd floor, where woodturners will be demonstrating their art, while attendees munch on appetizers, and drinks from a cash bar.

Friday, April 11

Lynwood Slim, The Butanes, Bruce McCabe, Jimi Primetime Smith @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9:00pm ($7) Former Twin Citizen and vocalist/harp man extraordinaire Lynwood Slim has been battling health issues lately, but is back in town for this very special evening of blues. He’ll be backed by the Butanes, featuring guest pianist Bruce McCabe, and other special guests, including Jimi “Primetime” Smith. Expect some swinging’ blues, and expect blues fans out in force.

Worldwide Discoteque 2nd Anniversary Party @ Club Jaeger, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) The little dance party that started a couple of years ago has grown so much they’re starting early to accommodate the crowds. Dance to vinyl sounds from Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and more. Deejays Steely Dan and Brian Engel fill the dance floor with folks who don’t know special dances – they just move to the music. You will too. This will give you an idea of what to expect from this mulit-culti paryu.

Saturday, April 12

Flute Fest @ Augsburg College Recital Hall, Minneapolis. 11:30am ($5) This is part of an all-day event featuring workshops, exhibitors, and performances, including a master class and concert by Jim Walker. I’m not sure, but you may be required to register. At 11:30am a number of Midwest Flutists will perform, including Adam Kuenzel, Greg Milliren, Immanuel Davis, Bethany Gonella, the Flutespiration Quartet, and Julie Johnson, who will perform a piece for amplified flute and live looping pedals with dancer Tamara Ober.

Evushin playing at The Museum of Russian Art

Evushin playing at The Museum of Russian Art

Seasons of the Year with Tchaikovsky @ The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis. 6:30pm ($30) Featuring Denis Evsuhin, pianist, with Mindy Ratner, MPR Classical Music host. The Seasons is Tchaikovsky’s most beloved solo piano composition. Evstuhin is a Russian pianist who has been hailed as one of the finest in today’s generation. He will play each of the twelve musical pictures by Tchaikovsky, while Ratner will recite original poetic epigraphs by famous Russian poets.

Little Jr. Walker & the All-Stars @ Arnellia’s, Saint Paul. 7pm, 9pm ($20?) Okay, I know what you’re saying, “Didn’t Junior Walker die?” Well, yes, back in the mid-nineties, but this is his son and some of the original All-Stars, along with some back-up singers and lead singers, since “Little Jr. Walker” isn’t a musician. Bound to be entertaining, any way you look at it.

Foreign Motion @ Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11:00pm ($9) Funky jazz/fusion from some of the bright lights of the Twin Cities jazz scene: Cory Washington, guitar; Yohannes Tona, bass; Kevin Gastonguay, piano; and Peter Janjic, drums. Together, they have a wealth of experience with various national artists in various and sundry jazz, funk, gospel, and pop outfits.

Sunday, April 13

Allison Miller Benefit @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 1pm – 7pm. ($10 Suggested Donation) The music community comes together once again, this time for the daughter of blues singer/bandleader Dee Miller. Allison was recently hospitalized for pneumonia, and then had many complications, including the amputation of part of her leg.  To entice you to the event to raise money for her hospitalization, there is Steve Clarke, Annie Mack Band, Who Nu, Jimi Primetime Smith, guest vocals, and of course, Dee Miller and her band, along with a silent auction.

Malamanya @ Nomad World Pub, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Sunday night dancing to Cuban/Salsa sounds. The music is infectious. You’ll be moving even if you don’t know a lick or a kick of Latin dancing.

Tuesday, April 15

YeYe Pow w/Trompe Le Monde @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm (Free) Ye Ye Pow is a band that plays 60s French Pop, while Trompe le Monde is a Pixies tribute band. Here’s an example of Ye Ye Pow at work.

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

 

 


Transitions and Traditions. Music: 4.2 – 4.8

April 2, 2014

images-1The big news this week is the confirmation of rumors that The Dakota will be leasing the old Artists’ Quarter space in the basement of the hamm Building in downtown Saint Paul. Reports are thea there will be asmall kitchen installed and the programming will include more than jazz. I imagine that some touring jazz acts like Tom Harell, and other acts that wouldn’t fill the Dakota would be booked into the new space, which is as yet, unnamed. This week’s music also features some groups and artists in transition, as they collaborate with new partners, perform in new venues, and otherwise seek to advance their music.

On a personal note, KFAI is in pledge drive mode, and I will be asking folks to become members during my show this Saturday morning from 10:30am – Noon. I’ll be doing a phone interview with drummer Matt Slocum. It would be gratifying to get some support from those of you reading this.

On to the music for the week.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 2

Foreman, Felly, Schmidt, & Mussselman @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) This is a quartet of relatively young musicians with enough experience to create inventive and melodic music base on songs they like, whether modern jazz, alt-pop, or indie-rock: Andrew Foreman, bass; Dave Felly, guitar; Zach Schmidt, drums; and Dan Musselman, piano.

KCOB Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation – $10 suggested) Drummer/percussionist Davu Seru leads Casey O’Brien, bass; and Nathan Hanson, saxophones; in a concert that allows plenty of give and take for questions from the audience. Given the talents involved, the choice of music will undoubtedly be wide-ranging and somewhat free.

Emily Davis & Robert Bell @ Ingredients Cafe, White Bear Lake. 6:30 – 9:30pm (No cover) Emily sings and Robert plays guitar for your enjoyment as you have dinner or sit at the bar and have drinks.

Thursday, April 3

Jon Wood & Connie Olson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 9:30 (Donation) It’s vocalist night at Jazz Central, and tonight, curator Maryann Sullivan brings us two vocalists. Jon Wood is a guitarist/vocalist who will be performing the first set and then accompanying Connie Olson for a second set of songs from the Great American Songbook. Olson is an accomplished singer who has been heard on many commercials and has worked with folks like the Brian Setzer Band, The Peter Duchin Big Band, and musicians from the bands of both Madonna and Prince. Here’s Connie singing from a few years ago.

Friday, April 4

Vicky Mountain & James Allen @ The Wine Market, Mendota Heights. 5pm – 7pm (Free) It’s a free wine tasting while superb vocalist Mountain and sympathetic accompanying guitarist Allen serenade you with standards and some jazzified rock n’ roll oldies.

Steve Kenny’s Group 47 at the Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar)  Trumpeter Kenny has assembled a group of young musicians (a couple are in high school), and like many band leaders back in the day, is both teaching and learning through his association.   Though they’ve been working on a album (vinyl only!), tonight’s show will focus on standards and tunes that aren’t on the album.

Sound Skirmish @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm (Donation) This is the Young Artists’ Showcase, presented by Jazz Police, which used to be held at the AQ. Tonight features a quartet: Patrtickl Adams, piano, from Edina; Levi Schwartzbert, vibes, from Southwest HS; Drew Stinson, bass, from Southwest HS; and Ben Ehrlich,m drums, from Wayzata.

Saturday, April 5

Pippi Ardennia’s PipJazz Live, feat. The Dakota Combo @ The Capri, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $10 Student) Extraordinary vocalist PIppi Ardennia opens her fourth season of family-friendly concerts with a new twist, taking them to alternating venues. Tonight she’ll be at the Capri Theater in North Minneapolis, and as usual, will have a special guest. This time it’s the Dakota Combo, a metro-wide ensemble of talented high school musicians selected through open auditions. (Full disclosure: I chair the Foundation that sponsors the Combo). Here’s Pippi at the TC Jazz Festival a couple of years ago.

Lila Ammons’ Voices of Influence @ Honey, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($10) Ammons will be singing songs from a variety of her influences. As she puts it: Bessie Smith to Sarah Vaughn. She’ll be accompanied by Ted Godbout on piano, and special guest boogie boogie pianist Axel Zwingenberger for some numbers.

Saturday, Sunday, April 5, 6

Charmin & Shapira & Friends Present Bop to Bossa @ The Black Box Theater, Bloomington Center for the Arts. 7:30pm Sat, 2pm Sun ($19 Adults, $17 Seniors, $13 25 & under) The name says it all. It’s an exploration of the common ground between bebop of the late 40s and 50s and Brazilian bossa novas. Helping out will be Paul Harper on sax and flute; Tom Lewis, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums. Here’s Charmin Michelle and Joel Shapira doing a classic bebop tune.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar and the KBEM Calendar, which also features some blues and roots listings. For further commentary of Twin Cities Jazz, go to Jazz Police,Bebopified, and JazzInk.

 

Blues, Roots, and Other…

Wednesday, April 2

Mary Leinfelder & Friends on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90-.Fm & 106.7FM) and 7pm (331 Club – tip jar) It’s about time that songstress Leinfelder headlined her own group. She’s been sitting in with folks like Willie Murphy, John Beach, Dave Ray, and Papa John Kolstad for years and years. Tonight she’s joined by Jim Ouska, guitar; Jim Chenoweth, bass; Kory Badertscher, drums; and Tom Cravens, keys. Tune in to 90.3 or 106.7FM during the 5 o’clock hour to get a preview, and head to the 331 Club at 7pm for the real deal.

Steven Hobert & Lynn O’Brien @ Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) You may know Hobert from his accordion work with Lulu’s playground, or his piano work in any number of other local ensembles. For one so young, he has an impressive resume: Glenn Miller Orchestra, 5 by Design, and a number of symphony orchestras. His keyboard work is often impressionistic, and sometimes whimsical. He’ll be joined by clear-voiced singer/songwriter Lynn O’Brien, who studied with Bobby McFerrin and is a board-certified music therapist.

Thursday, April 3

Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($22) This is a group with a compelling story: one that speaks to the redeeming power of music. Forced to leave their homes in Sierra Leone during the 1990s because of a bloody, horrifying war, members of the group found themselves in a refugee camp, where they met and proceeded to make music to entertain other refugees. They moved from camp to camp, were the subject of an award-winning documentary, and exploded on the world music scene after the release of their debut album in 2006. Their music is a combination of old school reggae, Afrobeat, and Congolease soukouss, which means it’s highly infectious and danceable. Extra bonus: DJ Salif Keita, from KFAI’s African Rhythms, will be spinning tunes before and between sets. Here’s a sample of their infectious music.

Friday, April 4

Big George Jackson and Curtis Blake with the Dan Schwalbe Blues Band @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5 after 7pm)  Big George has a big voice, well suited to John Lee Hooker-like boogies. He’s a star in Europe, and should be a star her in the US, so count your blessings that you can see him at the Tap Room. He’s on at 9pm, while ace harpman Curtis Blake joins guitarist Dan Scwalbe and his band for some more first rate blues 7pm. Big George at 9pm. Looks like the weather still won’t be warm enough to open the doors at the Tap Room, so be advised that seating is somewhat limited.

Adam Levy, Bethany Larson & the Bees Knees @ New Century Theater, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15 – $45) Here’s a chance to check out a new, intimate venue in town. Adam Levy is a guitarist who’s work with the Honeydogs has earned him a national reputation, and who has shown a propensity for inventive collaborations with other musicians. Bethany Larson sings county-ish songs of heartbreak. The Bees Knees will be taking a hiatus after this gig, so it’s your last chance to see them for a while.

Lamont Cranston Band w/Bruce McCabe @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Roadhouse blues gets an upgrade as this hometown crew brings some “Upper Mississippi Shakedown” to the tony environs of the Dakota.

Saturday, April 5

Rena Haus Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) A nice evening gig at the Kitchen for rootsy, bluesy Rena and her trio. She’s a stellar writer, with a flair for the humorous and an ability to speak to everyday concerns. check her out.

The Eddies @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) These five singers always show up on my radar, partly because they’re approach to singing (and just a little playing) is so warm and refreshing, and partly because they always involve the audience. The songs are familiar and/or easy to sing along with, and range from Bob Marley and Billy Joe Shaver to sea chanties and songs of murder.

Sunday, April 6

Road to Memphis Competition @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 1pm ($10) This is the competition for solo and duo acts, and will include Wisconsin Bryan Johnson, Paul & Bambi, Doug Otto & Hurricane Harold, Brother Sun & Sister Moon, and “Duckshack Dave” Florine.  Winners will get to represent Minnesota at the International Blues challenge in Memphis in January, 2015.

Tinariwen with the Melodic @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis,  7:30pm ($35) Another African band comes to the Cedar this week, this time bringing the hypnotic sound of Desert Blues. Tinariwen hail from the Sahara region of Northern Mali and play guitar driven music based on traditional Tuaregsongs as well as regional influences such as Berber music, electrified Rai, and traditional Malian music.

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, April 6,7,8

Lalah Hathaway & Ruben Studdard @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45, $50), 9pm ($35, $40, $45) An evening of classic soul and elegant rhythm and blues. Hathaway, the daughter of soul legend Donny Hathaway, has been performing for over 20 years, and most recently won the 2014 Grammy for Best R&B Performance. Studdard is the 2003 American Idol winner who has turned that win into a successful career of gold and platinum records in both pop and R&B.

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


Residencies, Weekly Features, and Visiting Artists. Music: 3.26 – 4.1

March 26, 2014

UnknownWe’re heading into April and hopefully will soon see some flowers blooming. Meanwhile, this week features a number of low-key, but definitely enjoyable weekly gigs, including a couple of residencies, as well as  visiting artists that may not have hit your radar. Get out and enjoy what our Cities have to offer. Music has the power to lift your spirit.

Jazz…

Wednesday, March 26

Claudia Schmidt @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Schmidt has long been a favorite of Twin Citizens. Whether exploring folk music, jazz, or gospel, her love and enjoyment of the music is contagious. She’s got a new album New Whirled Order, coming out on Red House, featuring master guitarist Dean Magraw, who will be among the musicians backing her tonight.

Dan Musselman Collective @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Dan is a sensitive piano player with depth to his playing. He’ll be playing with some talented young cats: Andrew Bergmann on bass, and Zach Schmidt on percussion.

Thursday, March 27

Reynold Phillipsek w/guest Maryann Sullivan @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 suggested donation) Phillipsek will be playing guitar and singing standards as well as his own compositions. Sullivan will join him to sing during the second set.

Friday, March 28

The Bridge Series @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($10 – Suggested Donation) This week features the Babatunde Lea Trio, with Zacc Harris, guitar; and Chris Bates on bass accompanying the percussion/drum master. Lea, with fifty years experience, has played or recorded with folks like Pharaoh Sanders, Leon Thomas, Stan Getz, McCoy Tyner, and Richie Cole, among others. This should be an exciting gig. Here he is with the addition of a piano player.

Saturday, March 29

Benny Weinbeck Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No cover) Head down to the area just SE of Highway 100 & 494 to catch Weinbeck on piano, with Gordy Johnson on bass and Phil Hey on drums. Tasty music that’s matched by the food and drink.

Unknown-1Kronick Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Bassist Ricard Kronick leads Dennis Landeen, sax; Scott Ives, guitar; and Dehl Gallagher, drums; through tightly arranged jazz standards and originals.

Sunday, March 30

Century Jazz Ensemble @ Jethro’s Char-House, 3140 Century Ave N, Mahtomedi. 3pm (No Cover) Big Band jazz for a Sunday afternoon, provided by a 26 year old group that’s toured China and South America, and has brought in and worked with national artists such as Conte Candoli, Terry Gibbs, Tom Harrell, and Clark Terry.

Monday, March 31

Valve Meets Slide @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested Donation) The last time Brad Bellows (valve trombone) and Dave Graf (slide trombone) did this gig it was at the Artists’ Quarter. Two Trombones, a bass and drums make for an evening of beautifully burnished sounds.

Joe Strachan and Josh Granowski @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) A couple of young lions on piano (Strachan) and bass (Granowski) during a great late night happy hour.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar and the KBEM Calendar, which also features some blues and roots listings. For further commentary of Twin Cities Jazz, go to Jazz Police, Bebopified, and JazzInk.

 

Blues, Roots, and Other…

Wednesday, March 26

Jason Dixon Line on KFAI & @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Fans of the Allman Brothers and Gov’t Mule will want to check out this sextet playing gritty classic rock, blues, country, and originals. Jake Manders follows at 9pm.

Thursday, March 27

Mikkel Beckman w/Nikki Roux & Rich Rue of Nikki & the Rue-mates @ Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (tip Jar) Mikkel has been hosting these Thursday get-togethers since the early Fall. This week he features the crystalline voice of Nikki Roux (nee Matteson) and the slide guitar of Rich Rue. Always fun, with a back porch vibe.

Unknown-2Rockin’ Pinecones @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. ($5?) Get your fix of music from the bayou, whether it’s Cajun, Zydeco, or Swamp Pop. The Pinecones will get you up on the great dance floor at the Eagles Club, which is always easy on the dancin’ feet.

Everly Brothers Tribute @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:00pm ($5) Too many performers to list, though the music of the Everlys is the real draw. With their sweet, brotherly harmonies, and combination of acoustic and electric guitars, you could say they were country rock before there was country rock. This should be fun.

Friday, March 28

Dee Miller Band w/Jimi “Prime Time” Smith @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($?) She will, She will, rock you. Dee sings the blues with fervor, and I expect this will be a full bore show, especially with “Prime Time” adding some fret-full guitar. Here she is.

Davina & the Vagabonds @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) The hardest working woman in the Twin Cities is back from another tour, ready to tear it up at Famous Dave’s. Experience the joyful, New Orleans flavored sounds of Davina and the guys in a place where you can get BBQ and dance. Just in case you don’t know what they sound like, check out this video.

Matt Yetter @ Ward 6, 858 Payne Ave, Saint Paul. 9:30 (Free – tip jar?) It’s only recently that I’ve noticed this great little gastropub on Saint Paul’s East Side is having music on Friday Nights. Tonight they’ve got bluesman Matt Yetter, whose way with a slide guitar and harp will have you boppin’ your head and tappin’ your feet while you enjoy one of the restaurant’s signature adult milk shakes.

Saturday, March 29

Otis Clay @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) It’s been about four years since Clay was in town, and I have to say I’ve missed his raspy, soulful voice. Though he’s from Chicago, Clay is a passionate deep soul singer in the tradition of such Southern masters as OV Wright and Solomon Burke, pleading, extolling, and generally using tension and release to great effect. He’s touring behind a great sounding new CD, Love Is, which celebrates the vicissitudes and joys of love. Here he is doing one of his signature songs.

Sunday, March 30

Harrison’s Jukebox @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 5pm (No Cover) So what kind of music did George Harrison like? Here’s a bunch of musicians that want to answer that question: Curtiss A; KYX; Gini Dodds; Johnney Rey, and Jody Hanks, among others. It will be a rockin’ night.

Alejandro Escovedo @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($22.50 – $45) The Texan from a musical family (his brothers are Coke & Pete Escovedo, and niece is Sheila E.) started out in punk rock bands, graduated to the alt county band Rank & File, and released his first solo album in 1992. Since then, wide-spread commercial success has eluded the singer/songwriter/roots rocker, though he’s been lauded in the NY Times and played on syndicated shows like Little Stevie’s Underground Garage. Escovedo can be seen and heard singing We Used To Be Friends in the new Veronica Mars movie.

Monday, March 31

Willie Murphy & Tom Hunter Blooz Jam @ Richfield American Legion, 65th & Portland, Richfield.  7:30pm (Tip Jar) Willie and Tom will be jammin’ and you never can tell who will show up, though rest assured, it will be fun.

Tuesday, April 1

Dead Pigeons @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (tip Jar) This is a weekly gig for the rootsy, newgrassy quintet, who will be joined for April Fool’s Day by wild bluesman Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders

International Reggae All-Stars @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($6) The area’s best gather for this weekly celebration of ryddim.

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

 

 


Blues Rhythm Jazz. Music: 3.19 – 3.25

March 19, 2014

images

The Twin Cities continues to jump with music, and just like the ol’ Moondog, the pioneering Alan Freed, we’ve got Blues, Rhythm, and Jazz. We also have a visiting honky tonk inventor, a charming singer/songwriter, a gig with a trio of funky sounds and even a noontime classical concert. Get out and enjoy yourself. Music has the power to lift your spirits.

Jazz…

Wednesday, March 19

Ms Oatts

Ms Oatts

Sue Oatts with the Woverines Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Sue has a winning way with lyrics, and the ever-steady, and always ready Wolverines are masters of accompaniment, and pretty mean players by themselves.

Zacc Harris Trio @ Café Maude, Minneapollis. 7pm (No Cover) Guitarist Zacc & his mates (Matt Peterson on bass and Pete Hennig on drums) travel a bit westward to play at this popular restaurant. Ask for a table near the band or sit at the bar.

Byron Johnson-Blanchard Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (tip Jar) Byron is a young drummer who plays with High & Mighty and other groups and is beginning to regularly gig around town with his quartet featuring David Hirsch, sax; Thomas Nordlund, guitar, and Andrew Foreman, bass.

Jazz Finest Big Band w/Special Guest Lila Ammons @ the Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 9pm – 11pm ($12) This is a project of tenor sax man James “Jimmyapolis” Wallace and his wife Pennie, and features Jim TenBensel directing the band. I’ve written about Ammons before, a singer of classic blues and boogie woogie as well as jazz. There’ll be dance lessons from 8-9pm.

Thursday, March 20

Jazz @ Christos w/Alicia Renee & Chris Lomheim, Union Depot, Saint Paul. 6:00pm – 8:00pm  Stick around downtown after work to enjoy the vocals of the talented Ms Renee, and the piano artistry of Chris Lomheim.

Barbara Meyer & Liz Lupien @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($10 suggested donation) Vocalist Meyer and pianist Lupien shares songs about travel from the Great American Songbook in a cabaret show entitled, “Let’s Get Away!”

Friday, March 21

The Bridge Series @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($10 – Suggested Donation) This series is designed to “bridge” the absence of the Artists’ Quarter. This week features the Adam Meckler Quintet, with Adam Meckler, trumpet; Kevin Gastonguay, piano; Zacc Harris, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Greg Schutte, drums. I expect the musicianship will be high and the creativity overflowing.

Unknown-2Rhonda Laurie Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover)  Sophisticated vocals from Laurie in a sophisticated, yet comfortable setting, accompanied by the wonderful pianist Mary Louise Knutson, just off a tour with Doc Severinson, and Steve Pikal, the happiest bassist around, who is just off a tour with the Barbary Coast Show Band.

Courageous Endeavors @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30 ($5) New original music from a quartet of young musicians who are creating jazz for the 21st Century. Nelson Devereaux, sax; Brian Courage, bass; Joe Strachan, piano; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. Here they are performing Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage:

Sunday, March 23

Butch Thompson & Pat Donahue @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) A couple of Minnesota Treasures. Thompson is a marvelous piano player as well as clarinet player, whose command of early styles is legendary. Grammy winning guitarist Donahue is a master finger-picker, which was proven when he won the National Championship some year back. Their recent album, Vicksburg Blues, is a delight.

Monday, March 2

Chris Olson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Guitarist Olson teaches at both McNally Smith and MacPhail, and his facile fretwork is well displayed in the trio Framework and the quartet Meantime. Tonight he’ll be joined by Tanner Taylor, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Adrian Suarez, drums. Here is Chris with Framework:

Joel Shapira & Dean Magraw @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (Free) Cool guitar music for this late night happy hour spot. Shapira is a master of the nylon string, while Magraw is always full of musical ideas, whether he’s playing Celtic music, worldbeats, jazz fusion, or straight ahead swing.

Tuesday, March 25

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ The Amsterdam, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Trumpeter Meckler writes interesting arrangements as well as interesting compositions, and he’s managed to snag 18 talented musicians to play them.  These guys are close to raising their Kickstarter goal to record an album. You can get a preview by attending tonight.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar and the KBEM Calendar, which also features some blues and roots listings. For further commentary of Twin Cities Jazz, go to Jazz Police, Bebopified, and JazzInk.

Blues, Roots, and Other…

Wednesday, March 19

Junior Brown @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) Brown’s standing as one of the best guitarists in country music has been long established. The inventor of the guit-steel, a double-neck hybrid combining a steel and six-string guitar is more honky-tonk and rock n’ roll than countrypolitan, which may be why he’s been lauded by rock critics as well as older country fans.

PaviElle & Band

PaviElle & Band

PaviElle @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($5) PaviElle is a young soul singer who uses modern rhythms to support her old school singing. She’s got a crack band that provides fine support, whether she’s recasting a Fleetwood Mac song in soulful terms, singing an original, or jamming a la Funkadelic.

Thursday, March 20

The Schubert Club Courtroom Concert @ Room 317, Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon (Free) Two Duos. Baritone Steve Marking and pianist Donald Livingston perform songs by both Charles Ives and Lee Hoiby, while Kairos – Preston Duncan on saxophone and Ann DuHamel on piano – perform Sonata by William Albright and Klonos by Piet Swerts

Charlie Lawson & Mikkel Beckman @ the Dubliner, University & Vandalia, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (No Cover) Lawson is a bluesman with a ferocious attack as a vocalist and guitarist. Beckman, who hosts a weekly show here,  plays the rub board, small percussion, and any other down-home utensil he can find, including a refrigerator door, which I’m told will be on hand tonight. Whether it’s a full-size refrigerator, or a dorm-sized one, we’ll have to wait and see.

Ashleigh & Michael, of Fathom Lane

Ashleigh & Michael, of Fathom Lane

Fathom Lane, Communist Daughter, and Taj Raj @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($12) A concert sure to appeal to music lovers with wide tastes. Communist Daughter, the indie rock band that’s garnered national attention and just returned from South by Southwest is headlining. Fathom Lane, with their chamber-folk meets Gram Parsons music is second, while the rootsy Taj Raj uses elements of 70’s, from pop. to country, to folk-rock.

Friday, March 21

imagesBeverly McClellan @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($35) Last time in town, McClellan charmed the audience with her forthright personality, raspy voice, and direct lyrics. She was one of the final four on tv’s The Voice, and is deserving of wider recognition. There is no doubt she’ll get it.

Nick Moss Band @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm ($10?) Moss plays a blend of classic Chicago blues and jam-oriented blues rock, using his firery guitar playing to win over jam-band lovers to the blues, and blues fans to the jam-band esthetic. Wilebeski’s early shows allows those of us of a certain age to get some sleep, while younger listeners can catch more music.

Saturday, March 22

Banjo Songwriter Night with Mother Banjo & Anthony Ihrig @ the 318 Café, Excelsior. 8pm ($7) Who knew the banjo could be used to create original songs? Mother Banjo & Anthony Ihrig, for two. Anthony will be accompanied by Dan Christensen-Cowan on the upright acoustic bass, while Mother Banjo will be joined by Dan Gaarder on guitar as each duo demonstrates the use of this much maligned instrument as a songwriter’s tool. The 318 is an intimate space with limited seating, so reservations are recommended at 952-401-7902.

New Sound Underground, Black Market Brass, & Pho @ The Triple Rock, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) New Sound Underground is an six piece instrumental funk band whose members have played in jazz, reggae, funk, and salsa bands. Black Market Brass is a 10 piece that performs Afrobeat, that irresistible combination of funk and African rhythms, while Pho is a nine piece that mines jazzy funk, neo-soul, and underground hip-hop. Here’s a video of New Sound Underground.

Barely Bros Records Grand Opening Party, 763 Raynmond Avenue, Saint Paul. 10am – 9pm.  Vinyl aficionados are rejoicing over another store devoted to both new and old LPs and 45s. To celebrate, owners Mike Elias and Spencer Brooks are bringing in the following bands:

The way teens used to buy records

The way teens used to buy records

Matt Arthur & the Bratlanders at 12:00, Jon Rodine at 2:00, Brian Drake & the April Fools at 3:00, CP Lawson at 4:00, Nikki & the Ruemates at 5:00, M.O.R.T (The Mystic Order of Reverb and Twang) at 6:00, and Eleganza at 7:00

Monday, March 24

Millie & the Mill City Cajun Heavyweights @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5) Well it’s been a couple of weeks since the Mardis Gras celebrations, and some folks are itching to do some Cajun Two-steps, Waltzes, and twirls. Millie and the boys will help you do just that.

Tuesday, March 25

L.P. Music @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8 Advance/$10 door) It’s a Minnesota All-Star group playing improvised funk: Erik Leeds, sax, flute, vocals; Paul Peterson, bass, guitar; Peter Schimke, keys; and Stokely Williams, drums, percussion, & vocals.

Beijing Punk and Indie Rock on Film @ The Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis. 7pm ($8advance/$10door) Two Beijing groups will be performing in Mpls in a couple of days, so this is a chance to get some background on the punk and indie rock subculture of China. There will be a 2010 feature documentary entitled “Beijing Punk” as well as an award winning 2013 short, and short films, as well as a Q&A with Danny Sigelman, local DJ and writer who deejayed in Bejing.

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


Spring is in the Air. Music: 3.12 – 3.18

March 12, 2014

Unknown-1Spring is in the air. I don’t know about you, but I want to dance. This week finds us with a plethora of resident artists vying for your attention and goodness knows, we should support our Twin Cities artists as much as possible. We do have a few very interesting visiting artists as well, to bring us a new perspective or two. Given that everyone has their own St. Patrick’s Day traditions, I’ve only mentioned one St. Patrick’s Day event, and that’s not even on St. Patrick’s Day. Get out and enjoy. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz…

Wednesday, March 12

Boozy Ballads & Temperance Tunes @ Maplewood Library, 3025 Southlawn Drivce, Maplewood. (Free) An educational moment that sounds like lots of fun. Singer Lee Engele, bassist Steve Pikal, and keyboard player Jon de Vaal will be playing music that shows the divide between boisterous bar songs as usually sung in pubs and bars and the songs of the temperance movement, which appealed to family and patriotism.

Mountain King @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) The first bass trio in the Twin Cities was formed last summer and have disproven the old adage that no one listens during a bass solo. Graydon Peterson, Jeremy Boettcher, and Brian Courage

Thursday, March 13

Dorothy Doring and Phil Mattson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:00pm – 9:00pm  (Donation) Their recent duet album of Ellington and Strayhone composieitons received a good, well-deserved review on the Jazz Times website. Now you can see them in the intimate confines of Jazz Central for vocal night. Here’s a video:

Friday, March 14

Peter Schimke Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($10 – Suggested Donation) Continuing the Bridge Series, this week featuring Peter Schimke piano; Brandon Wozniak, tenor; Zacc Harris, guitar, Graydon Peterson, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums.

Connie Evingson Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) It’s just Connie’s nuanced voice, Tanner Taylors soulful piano, and Gordy Johnson’s sympathetic bass. Well worth the trip to Bloomington.

Jazz Crew @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pnm (Donation) This quintet of high school students is appearing as part of Jazz Central’s commitment to provide a performance space for young bands.

a.joy @ the Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30 ($5) Guitarist Robert Bell, who performs with groups like the Southside Aces and Café Accordion, teams up with singer/songwriter Andriana Lehr to present old and new standards from Ella to Joni to the Smiths.

Saturday, March 15

DVRG Redefined @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10:30pm (No Cover) DeVon Gray, a classically trained pianist, can churn out jazz as easily as the hip hop riffs he’s played with Heiruspecs and Brother Ali, or the blues riffs he’s played behind Chastity Brown. Tonight he’s by himself and trying out something new.

Sunday, March 16

JazzMN Orchestra W/the New York Voices @ Hopkins High Performing Arts Center, Hopkins. 3pm ($34) Like the Manhattan Transfer, the New York Voices are a four part harmony group known for close voicings. The 25 year old group won a Grammy for their 1996 collaboration with the Count Basie Orchestra, so today’s performance with the talented musicians of the JazzMN Orchestra should be terrific. Here’s an acapella performance:

Lindsay Pedalty Trio @ Cannon River Winery, Downtown Cannon Falls. 5pm – 8pm (Free) Pedalty can traverse jazz and pop with equal ease, and together with dad Bruce on keyboards and Gary Miller on bass, will provide a charming afternoon of music while you sample wines.

Cafe Accordion Orchestra @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) C’est Chic! Dan Newton dons a beret and takes his accordion to France, playing gypsy jazz, French musettes, ballads, and the occasional tango, along with Eric Mohring on mandolin and violin; Erik Lilleston, bass; Robert Bell, guitar; and Joe Steinger, percussion.

Monday, March 17

Joe Strachan: Tribute to Sonny Clark @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) The young pianist has his inspirations right. Clark was a hard bop pianist of note. Strachan surrounds himself with other young, hungry, and talented musicians. Definitely not a St. Paddy’s Day celebration.

Lulu’s Playground & Fat Kid Wednesdays @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm. ($8) The playground kids are at it again with their chamber jazz, odd instrumentation (cello, accordion, guitar, & trumpet) and even have an Irish reel for the evening. FKW brings their combination of out there music and tender ballads to the stage for the second set. Here’s a Fat Kid Wednesdays performance:

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar and the KBEM Calendar, which also features some blues and roots listings. For further commentary of Twin Cities Jazz, go to Jazz Police, Bebopified, and JazzInk.

Blues, Roots, and Other…

Wednesday, March 12

RJ Mischo @ KFAI & The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI – 90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The former Twin Citizen and harp powerhouse is making his annual visit home, playing a bunch of gigs around town. You know how it works by now. Tune in and check him out, and if you like what you hear, head over to the 331 Club.

Friday, March 14

Pearl Brothers @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) Back in the 80s, this quartet put out a groovy little new wave single, I’m the One That Wants You, with a flip side, You Don’t Really Love Me, that had hints of what we now know as Northern Soul. They’re still at it, playing a mix of pop, rock, and soul from the 50s to the 80s, though nowadays they take advantage of their experience and professionalism to play weddings and corporate gigs. You’ll be singing along, and probably dancing between tables.

Friday, Saturday, March 14, 15

Raw Oyster Cult @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($25) Rising from the remains of New Awlins’ Radiators, Raw Oyster Cult features Dave Malone, Camile Baudoin, and Frank Bua, Jr., from that group, as well as Jon Gros, from Papa Grows Funk, and Dave Pomerleau from Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes. Expect some Rad tunes, new songs, and a new spin on older favorites of band members.

Saturday, March 15

Silver Swan Vocal Chamber Ensemble: Choral Music from the Russian Imperial Collection @ The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis.  7pm – 8:30pm ($25 Members/$30 non-members) The five member Silver Swan Vocal Chamber Ensemble will be augmented with three more voices to perform unaccompanied choralal music from the person libraries of the Russian Imperial family. Presented in conjunction with the current exhibition on Imperial Russia. Seating is limited at this wonderful little museum.

Boiled in Lead St. Paddy’s Party @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) BiL has been rockin’ out reels and other global dance rhythms for thirty years now. Tonight they’ll deliver a Saint Patrick’s celebration that’s saner, though more rocking, than those attended by many with Kiss Me I’m Irish buttons.

Hot Pants 45 rpm Dance Party:Spring Edition @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) It’s been a while since I’ve posted about this monthly event. In some respects, it’s completely different from the St. Paddy’s Party across the street, though dancing will still rule the evening. Brian and Ben welcome deejay Laurent Reus from France by way of Portugal, to bring you even rarer music than usual.

Sunday, March 16

Jim Ouska and John Iden, w/special guest Paul Mayasich @ Happy Gnome, Saint Paul. 11am – 2pm (Free) Two guitars and a bass. Jim and John have been holding down this spot for years, providing some musical pleasure for brunchers (and those who like a huge selection of beer). Today they’re joined by uber-guitarist Paul Mayasich.

Peter Lang @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 2pm (Free) Presented by the MN Guitar Society. Lang is a Twin cities guitar legend, having been discovered by John Fahey in 1972 and subsequently recording for Fahey’s Takoma label. He’s recorded, toured, and performed with a who’s who of guitar players and performers, and was nominated for a Grammy in 1976. The performing space at Studio Z is a perfect environment for his acoustic playing.

Lady Heat Hot Soul Party @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) A trio of young women with good taste spinning soul, funk, and other danceable tunes on vinyl.

Tuesday, March 18

L.P. Music @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8 Advance/$10 door)  It’s a Minnesota All-Star group playing improvised funk: Erik Leeds, sax, flute, vocals; Paul Peterson, bass, guitar; Peter Schimke, keys; and Stokely Williams, drums, percussion, & vocals

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


Here Comes the Sun. Music: 3.4 – 3.11

March 5, 2014

IMG_4997w-2Lent is now upon us, and to quote George Harrison, “I feel the ice is slowly melting.” This brings us a few opportunities to celebrate, what with a Brazilian Carnaval experience, a blues revue, and a visiting Cajun/Creole musician. We also have a much-talked-about young jazz singer coming to town, and a bevy of performances from residential artists.  Thanks to Teresa Boardman for the use of her photo of sunrise over Saint Paul. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz…

Wednesday, March 5

Debbie Duncan @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Ballads, bebop,  blues and more. Duncan is a master at each, bringing a bit of sass, but more importantly, an deep understanding of each song she sings.

Anthony Cox Presents @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) The first Wednesday of each month, Cox brings together a number of talents from different genres to collaborate. Dialogue with the audience is encouraged.

Thursday, March 6

Lila Ammons & Thom West @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:00pm – 9:00pm  (Donation) Ammons started out singing classical music, before turning to classic blues, for which she’s become popular in Europe after touring with pianist Axel Zwingenberger and drummer Charlie Watts. Though she’s kept a low profile here in the Twin Cities, Ammons is a first rate jazz singer, with a CD that features Houston Person. She’ll be joined by pianist Thom West for this vocal night at Jazz Central. Learn more about her from an interview I did a couple of years ago.

Carlo Gesualdo Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm – 11:30pm  (donation) And now for something completely different. As described on the Jazz Central website, the Carlo Gesualdo Band plays the music of the 16th/17th century Italian composer/murderer/visionary Carlo Gesualdo. Andrew Bergmann is a bassist, composer, and Massachusetts native who has arranged this strange and harmonically adventurous vocal music for a free-wheeling instrumental jazz-rock quintet that includes Scott Fultz, sax; Sean Roderick, piano; Park Evans, guitar; and Adam Patterson, drums.

Friday, March 7

Harrelson Trumpets Presents @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm (Donation) The trumpet manufacturer presents a night of trumpet duets, featuring Harrelson friends and family — Jason Harrelson, Christine Palmer, Mark Bobnick,  Todd Tanji, Leighton Tuenge  and Greg Zent.

Saturday, March 8

Steven Hobert @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis.7 pm – 10pm. Pianist Hobert is a talented young musician who also plays accordion in Lulu’s Playground and leads a playful group called Firefly. He can support a big band (The Adam Meckler Orchestra), a combo, or play solo, where his sometimes ethereal, and often impressionistic playing is best heard. He recently returned from a tour of Japan. Though he’ll mostly be playing solo, some friends will be joining him tonight. Here’s an example of his playing.

Erick Kamau Gravatt & Source Code @ Studio Z, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Free workshop at 6pm. This edition of Source Code includes Solomon Parham on trumpet, Dave Graf on Trombone, and Ron Evaniuk on bass. Gravatt is a ferocious drummer, which doesn’t mean he can’t show some restraint when the music warrants it. He made a name for himself playing with Weather Report on I Sing the Body Electric, and has played with a who’s who of jazz artists.

Sunday, March 9

Cecile McLorin Salvant @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm  Salvant is an up and coming Grammy-nominated jazz singer who is receiving raves from the NY Times and others for extending the heritage of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn. She writes her own songs but also put her own, very original stamp on standards, communicating modern sensibilities through the Great American Songbook. See her now, before she outgrows clubs. Here’s an example.

Monday, March 10

Enormous Quartet and Beast @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm. ($8) The Enormous Quartet is Chris Bates, bass; Chris Thomson, sax; Park Evans, guitar; and Joey Van Phillips, drums. Beast is a Brian Courage trio, with a second bassist and a drummer.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar and the KBEM Calendar, which also features some blues and roots listings. For further commentary of Twin Cities Jazz, go to Jazz Police, Bebopified, and JazzInk.

Blues, Roots, and Other…

Wednesday, March 5

Nikki & the RueMates and Peace Life @ Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($4) An evening of folk, folk rock, and blues. Life is a folk duo consisting of Jack on acoustic Guitar and Tess’ailene on vocals. I’ve written of Nikki & the Ruemates before, though tonight it’s really just Nikki & Rich. The two duos will also be performing together on a song or two, causing Nikki to dub the four as the PeaceMates.

Midweek Mambo w/Charanguita @ Loring Pasta Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Despite the name, this is a salsa dance party. The action starts with a deejay and dance lessons at 9, and then six-piece core of Charanga Tropical (hence Charanguita) takes the stage shortly before 10 to play for salsa dancers until midnight.

Thursday, March 6

Ben Abrahamson Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Abrahamson is a stellar guitarist and composer who specializes in flamenco, having studied in Barcelona. Tonight he crosses and blends music genres as he gathers Max Corcoran, sax; Cory Grossman, cello; and Thomas Nordlund, guitar; for an evening of new compositions influenced by flamenco, jazz, and avant-garde music.

Friday, March 7

“We Beat Winter” Party w/Hurricane Harold’s All-Stars @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm. The forecast calls for temps above freezing this weekend, so it may be that we have really Beat Winter. Celebrate with Scottie Miller, piano, vocals; Doug Otto, guitar, vocals; Jeremy Johnson, guitar; Good Time Willy, guitar & vocals;  Bill Black, bass; and Hurricane Harold on harp.

Joe Louis Walker @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) Walker was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame last year, an honor that is well deserved, though he’s probably more well known in Europe than in the US. Born in 1949, he’s part of the second generation of bluesmen. By the time he was 19 he had been onstage with John Lee Hooker, Hendrix, The Soul Stirrers and Thelonious Monk. He also became a friend a roommate to Michail Bloomfield, whose death was the impetus for earning degrees in English and music, and performing with a gospel group. Walker returned to the blues in a big way in 1985, and has recorded eleven albums since then. Here he is showing a bit of influence from T-Bone Walker.

Black Oak Arkansas @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm ($25adv/$27Door) They may not be the Dead, but these Southern party rockers have had a long strange trip of their own – formed in ’63 while in high school, they were eventually signed to Atlantic by Ahmet Ertegun, had 3 gold albums, and a gold single recorded (Jim Dandy to the Rescue, a ’57 hit for LaVern Baker) on the advice of Elvis Presley. Fans have included Bill Graham and Betty Ford, as well as Bill Clinton, and a slew of folk who came of age in the 70s.

Saturday, March 8

Carnaval Brasiilero @ Muse Event Center, 107 3rd Avenue North, Minneapolis. 2pm – 5pm (Family Matinee – $10 advance/$15 door) 9pm  – 2am(18+, $17 Advance, $25 door). This is the 12th Annual Brazilian Carnaval. It’s hosted by Robert Everest and Beira Mar Brasil, a ten-piece band. They’ll be joined by singer/dancer Dandara Odara from Bahia, and will have food, drink, Carnaval masks, and more.

Maurice Jacox @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul.  8pm (Tip Jar) I’ve been posting Maurice’s gigs quite a bit lately, but only because he’s so versatile and has performed in a variety of settings, from R&B horn bands to intimate duos, to singing with Nachito Herrera and the Cuban National Symphony. Tonight he’s appearing in a new configuration, with the under-rated and very fine guitarist, Bobby E, along with Tom Wells on Tuba,which will certainly add interest to the proceedings.

Viva Brazil @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Here’s another Brazilian group that is worth seeing. Viva Brazil plays Brazilian Popular Music, aka BPM, which includes sambas, funk, & jazz in both Portuguese and English. The group includes Will Lopes, vocals; Altamir Coelho, bass; Kevin Washington, drums; Josue Alfaro, percussion; Cory Wong, guitar; and Dan Musselman, keyboards.

Sunday, March 9

Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15 advance/$18 door) A talented, relatively young musician, Watson is a fiddler, vocalist, and accordionist, who brings his own lively and imaginative perspective to traditional Cajun and Creole songs.

Tuesday, March 11

Phil Heywood @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover)  The fingerpicking ace provides interesting, intricate music for diners. Get a reservation and tell them you want to sit near the music.

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


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 740 other followers

%d bloggers like this: