Art and Music: 4.22 – 4.28

April 22, 2015

blog-post-art-and-musicWell it’s Art Crawl Weekend in Saint Paul and Lowertown especially will be crawling with hipsters, would-be hipsters, folks looking for that perfect piece of art to match a sofa, and more. Music lovers will be hopping between the Black Dog, Studio Z, The Bedlam, PUBLIC, and The Hat Trick. There may even be a few more. That’s not to say that you won’t find plenty of music on the west side of the Mississippi, as you can tell from the ideas I’ve put forth below. Have a good week. Music lifts your spirits.


Wednesday, April 22

Danilo Perez @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm($30), 9pm ($20) Perez is one of the premier pianists of his generation, earning accolades from the likes of Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, anymore. He’s the founder and artistic director of the Panama jazz Festival in his own country,m and tours with the wonderful rhythm section of Ben Street on bass and Adam Cruz on drums. His 2014 release, Panama 500, celebrates the five hundredth anniversary of the first permanent European settlement in Panama, yet incorporates jazz and classical music, as well as folk music from throughout Latin America.

Lila & Axel

Lila & Axel

Butch Thompson, Axel Zwingenberger & Lila Ammons @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10 – $20) It’s an evening of early jazz, classic boogie boogie, and the blues, featuring our own pianist/clarinetist Butch Thompson, boogie boogie pianist Zwingenberger, and internationally acclaimed blues singer Lila Ammons, who is no slouch when it comes to jazz either. Zwingenberger and Ammons have toured Europe extensively for the last eight year.

Thursday, April 23

Fireside Five & Friends @ The Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Five amazing musicians who you would expect to hear in a jumping’ nightclub rather than a wood-paneled coffeehouse (though beer and wine is served). Tom Ashworth, euphonium; Brian Grivna, sax; Phil Aaron, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. Plus, they bring in some very talented friends.

Rhonda Laurie & Phil Mattson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The always-swingin’ smoky-voiced Ms Laurie on vocals and pianoman/arranger Mr. Mattson will be exploring standards and more this evening. Here’s Rhonda with a bit different accompaniment.

Cartwright-Kinney-Lewis-Evans @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Michelle Kinney, cello; Michael Lewis, sax; George Cartwright, sax; Elaine Evans, pocket Trumpet. Adventurous improvised music from a quartet of musicians whose resumes run from Lou Reed, Alex Chilton, and Andrew Bird to Ornette Coleman and Happy Apple.

Friday, April 24

Endeavors @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) A quintet with some great young players, including: Miguel Hurtado, drums; Nelson Devereaux, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Joe Strachan, Piano; and Ryan Hays, bass. They have coalesced into a tight, passionate unit.

James Wallace Quartet @ Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Wallace has been playing sax in the area for a long, long time. In fact when the folks at Secret Stash Records were putting together a revue to celebrate the funk music of 40 years ago, they recruited Wallace as one of the players of the time. He’s joined by a group of slightly younger veterans: Steve Kenny, trumpet; Ron Evanuik, bass; and Alden Akeda on drums.

The Dakota Combo -  Image by Andrea Canter

The Dakota Combo – Image by Andrea Canter

Dakota Combo Spring Concert @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This octet of high school players is strong in talent, technique, and execution. A couple of them even write. Despite their age, this is no novelty act, but rather a group of young musicians whose ability transcends their age. There will be some treats afterwards.

Saturday, April 25

Katia Cardenas & Joe Strachan @ PUBLIC Kitchen & Bar, Saint Paul.7pm – 9pm (No Cover) This is part of a new effort by the folks at PUBLIC to feature weekend music in their downstairs bar & lounge. Cardenas is a vocalist who is equally at home in jazz, R&B, and pop. Strachan is a pianist who is equally at home in jazz, Afro-Cuban music, and funk. Should be a fun pairing.

Bob Mintzer w/JazzMN Orchestra @ Hopkins High School, 2400 Lindberg Drive, Minnetonka. 7:30pm ($32 – $34. Discounts for Students) As a saxophonist, MIntzer is a pretty versatile guy. He’s a composer, arranger, big band leader and a member of the storied fusion band, The Yellowjackets. His current project is an R&B big band featuring the music opt Sly Stone, the Isleys, James Brown and more. You’ll be hearing some of those tunes tonight, as well as some music from vocalist Patty Peterson.

Mancrush, with Jon Wood and Iron Chops @ Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:00pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Wood is a guitarist celebrating a CD release at 7pm. He’ll be joined by Dave Brattain, sax; Javi Santiago, keys; Graydon Peterison, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger, drums. At 8:30 Mancrush, takes the stage, featuring Lars Erik-Larson on drums; Zacc Harris, guitar; Bryan Nichols, keys; Brandon Wozniak, sax.

Saturday, Sunday, April 25, 26

Legend Series with Irv Williams and Debbie Duncan @ The Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm Saturday, 3pm Sunday ($25) Williams is 95 and still deserving of his nationally known nickname, Mr. Smooth. The sass and swing of vocalist Ms Duncan will be complemented by the romantic sound os Williams’ saxophone.

Sunday, April 26

Jazz Noir @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 5pm, 8pm ($25) Kevin Barnes at KBEM is once again bringing live radio drama to the airwaves, this time at the old Artists’ Quarter in Saint Paul, which is slowly being transformed in anticipation of a late June opening. This is the third in a series of commissioned plays about jazz in the Twin Cities. With an original music score composed and performed by Chris Bates, bass; Steven Hobert, piano; and Solomon Parham, trumpet, tonight’s play is an original called Morning Follows Night, and follows a decorated WWII hero who is an ex-con trying to find out who double-crossed him. It takes place over a ten-year period in the jazz clubs of the Near North Side. The 8pm show will be broadcast live on KBEM (88.5FM).

Monday, April 27

Doug Haining @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Haining may well be the most swinging sax/clarinet player in town. He’s played with the Wolverine, Echoes of Ellington, JazzMN Orchestra, Charmin Michelle, and his own swinging septet the TC Seven, as well as being a co-leader of the Explosion Big Band

Tuesday, April 28

Paul Renz Quartet @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 5pm (No Cover) though it’s only been open as Crooners for five months, the folks there are digging right into the local jazz scene to feature artists from the area. Tonight it’s the great guitarist Paul Renz and his group. Renz may not be a familiar name, but rest assured, he’s well known on the East Coast, where he regularly tours, and is well-respected by his many students.

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 PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.


Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, April 22

A Night at the Opera @ The Museum of Russian Art, 5500 Stevens Avenue, Minneapolis. 7pm – 8:30pm ($30) If you have any inclinations toward classical compositions and opera, this will be a treat, as Russian baritone Vladislav Sulimsky will be joined by pianist Denis Evsthin to perform popular operatic arias and art songs by Verdi, Puccini, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninoff. The museum itself is a lovely place with good acoustics, not to mention extraordinary art. Go to the museum’s website to register.Malamanya,

Malamanya @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($10) Every time I see these proponents of Afro-Cuban and Latin rhythms, they get stronger and hotter. The chairs and tables will be cast aside at the Icehouse, so dancers can twirl and do their sexy thing.


Thursday, April 23

Mother Banjo @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No cover) The Minnesota Music Coalition is a sponsor of Foodie Nights at the Dakota and tonight is featuring Ellen Stanley and her band for an evening of indie folk/gospel music. Stanley has received accolades for her original lyrics and haunting vocals.


Friday, April 24

Schubert Club Mix @ Bedlam Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($30) Tonight the Schubert Club presents pianist Stephen Prutsman in a program of Bach. Prutsman was an Artistic Partner of the SPCO in the mid-2000s, served as Artistic Director of the Cartegena International Festival of Music from 2009 – 2012, and has collaborated with the Kronos Quartet, creating over 40 arrangements and compositions for the Grammy winning chamber ensemble.

Hipshaker Dance Party @ The Kitty Cat Klub, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Rare 45s with the kind of beat that makes it easy to dance. Just ask the mostly young crowd that fills every edition of this dance night.

Hold Tight Dance Party @ Bedlam Theater, Lowertown. 10pm (No Cover) Bedlam employees will be scurrying to remove the piano from the Schubert Club program (see above) while things get set up for Hold Tight deejays Booka, Sam, and Del, who are bringing in another Deejay Crew, the guys from Wants vs Needs, for a dance night rooted in funk but likely to go anywhere.

Carnage Record Release Party @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($8) Warm, personable hip-hop artist Carnage has been called “The best drummer in town” because his vocal beat box skills are so right on. He’s celebrating the release of a new CD, “Up Close and Personal.”

Saturday, April 25

James McMurty and Max Gomez @ The Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20) McMurty is an Austin, TX songwriter/singer who mines Americana and occasional folk-rock to help him tell his stories of hard characters facing life’s myriad challenges. Village Voice critic Robert Cristgau called his 2005 protest song, “We Can’t Make It Here” the best song of the 2000s. His recently released album “Complicated Game” continues his streak of well received releases. Opening set by promising young singer/songwriter Max Gomez, of Taos.

UnknownCasablanca Orchestra @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) Whether performing 80s new wave, old-school funk, classic Motown, or new music like Uptown Funk or All About that bass, his ten-piece show band will have dancers out on the commodious dance floor at MMC.

PaviElle and Nooky Jones @ The Ichouse, Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($10) It’s an evening of 21st Century Soul. PaviElle French has quickly caught the ears and hearts of Twin Citizens since returning to the stage about a year ago. She sings with a bit of flavor of Sly Stone and even Bill Withers, with a band that can jam out a-la Parliament Funkadelic when the feeling arises. Nooky Jones features a fine vocalist in Cameron Kinghorn, backed by Adam Meckler, trumpet; Ryan Christianson, trombone; Kevin Gastonguay, dyes; Andrew Foreman, bass; and Reid Kennedy, drums. They are all first rate jazz musicians who create a smooth, jazz flavored danceable R&B behind Kinghorn.

Sunday, April 26

Road to Memphis Band Challenge @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 1pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s another event sponsored by the Minnesota Blues society to pick a band that will represent us in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis next January. Contestants include: Bludog, Sweet Tea, RAMM Band, Squishy Mud, Fattenin’ Frogs, Jimmi & the Band of Souls

Nellie McKay @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) The quirkily delightful Ms McKay will once again bring her quit wit and often insightful satirical lyrics to the Dakota. She can skewer war and feminism with equal aplomb, and turn around and deliver a Dinah Shore ballad.

Monday, April 27

Hot Club of Cowtown @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $30) This trio plays Western Swing with original compositions that reflect both Django Rheinhardt and early jazz, as well as Bob Wills. Much fun.

Tuesday, April 28

Labaja @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($22) This Nigerian Afrobeat artist differentiates himself by using  traditional Yoruba drums to establish a dance floor rhythm, creating a light, though still insinuating groove. Singing in Yoruba, English, and a blend of the two, he wears a mask as an icon of man’s facelessness.

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 calendar for U Wanna Dance.

Twin Cities Music: 4.15 – 4.22

April 15, 2015
I'm pretty sure they're not filing taxes.

I’m pretty sure they’re not filing taxes.

Well, it’s April 15, time for the annual wringing of hands as taxes are due. There’s no wringing of hands over the lack of music in the Twin Cities, as evidenced by the sample of offerings for the next week. However, since it is tax day, I thought I’d give you a bonus: A video of George Harrison and Eric Clapton doing Taxman.


Wednesday, April 15

Sophia Shorai @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Shorai is often described as honey-voiced with good reason, as her sunny personality comes sweetly through, but she can also create just the right catch in her voice to convey a sense of loss and despair. She’s also an excellent pianist and is fast becoming a good songwriter.

MacNally Smith X-Tet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pete Whitman leads this big band, and with 17 players, it is a big band of very talented students. Great charts as well.

Century College Big Band @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) Seems like this Century College aggregation is getting out and playing a bit. This organization has been around for decades and has hosted some of the nation’s top talent as guest artists.

Thursday, April 16

Rage Of Achilles @ Orchestra Hall Atrium, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) Part of the Jazz in the Target Atrium Series, tonight Jeremy Walker, piano; Anthony Cox, bass; and Tim Zhorne, drums, are joined by three vocalists for an original vocal drama composed by Walker and Cox wherein ancient poetry meets classical voice and jazz instrumentation.

Charlie Hunter Trio @ JJ Hill Event Center (Library), Saint Paul. 8pm ($25) This monthly event is usually listed under blues and roots, but tonight they are featuring guitarist Hunter  whose stunning ability on 7 and 8 string guitar let’s him take bass parts as well as rhythm and lead. His career over the last 17 years has resulted in almost 20 albums, recorded for Blue Note, Ropeadope, Concord, and others and he’s worked with folks like Norah Jones and Mos Def. Here’s Hunter in a duo setting, doing Royals.

Friday, April 17

Corey Healey’s Beautiful Sunshine Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Drummer Healey  a well -respected educator, surrounds himself with some of Twin Cities finest: Brandon Wozniak, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Erik Fratzke, bass.

Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Another one of Washington’s monthly appearances at the Black Dog, this time the sax/reedman is accompanied by son Kevin on drums, as well as Brian Roessler, bass; and Eric Jackobson, tuba. It’s often unstructured music, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t engaging.

Javi Santiago Quartet @ Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) So, the curators of Friday nights at Jazz Central and Friday nights at the Nicollet tweaked starting times, so after checking out Corey Healy at jazz Central, patrons can cross the river and take in this young quartet, led by pianist Santiago, for a full evening of jazz.

Saturday, April 18

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Curator Steve Kenny continues to draw upon young and/or new bands as opening acts for Saturday nights. Tonight he has the Lucia Sarmiento Ensemble opening at 7pm. Sarmiento is a sax player from Peru, who is studying at MacNally Smith. Her group was quite impressive at last years Jazz Festival. Then at 8:30 or so, Dean Granros  guitar; Alden Akeda, drums; Ron Evaniuk bass; and Steve Kenny, trumpet take the headline spot for the evening.

Gypsy Mania @ Jazz at St. Barney’s, 15600 Old Rockford Rd, Plymouth. 7pm ($10) The Plymouth Church continues its music series with an evening of acoustic swing, or gypsy jazz, if you will. Returning for the third time is Gypsy Mania  with Gary Schulte, violin; Reynold Philipsek, guitar; Matt Senjem, bass; and Glen Helgeson, guitar, play as if a well-oiled machine. Each has extensive experience with various groups, with each other, and with the genre. Here they are doing an original.

Jay Young’s Lyric Factory @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Bassist Jay Young has done tribute shows to Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. Tonight, however, he’s paying tribute to Herbie Hancock and Earth, Wind, & Fire. He’ll be helped by Thom West, piano; Ian Young, bass; Kevin Washington,m drums; Ernest Bisong, violin, and vocalists Sarah Greer, Libby Turner Opanga, and Michelle Denise Michaels. I do believe it’s  gonna get funky.

Sunday, April 19

Emily Bear Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $35) This young pianist isn’t even 14, yet Bear was invited to perform at the White House when she was 6 and maser her orchestral debut at 7. She’s more than just a natural talent on the piano, however, as she can easily move from bebop to classical music, and is showing signs of becoming a heavy duty composer as well. Her first album was released in 2013. It was produced by her mentor, Quincy Jones, and peaked at #3 on Billboard’s traditional jazz charts.

Monday, April 20

Peter Shu & Friends @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pianist Shu was a classically trained prodigy who once he got through college, studied jazz piano with Mary Louise Knutson, Bobby Peterson, and Nachito Herrera. Tonight he’s joined by Gary Arley Denbow II, sax; Kevin Mills, drums; and Tom Lewis, bass.

Tuesday, April 21

John Raymond Quartet @ Eden Prairie High School, Eden Praire. 7pm – 9pm Minnesota native and current New York trumpeter Raymond comes home to conduct clinics during the day at Eden Prairie High School and perform with the school’s jazz ensembles as well as his own quartet.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, April 15

RJ Mischo on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. f5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Mischo is a former Minnesotan who is in town for his annual visit and a few performances. He’s a powerhouse on blues harp, having received glowing praises for his work throughout the country and in Europe. His latest CD, Everything I Need, features Jeremy Johnson on guitar, and Bruce McCabe on piano. He’ll also be appearing at Holihan’s Thursday, The Schooner Pub on Friday, and at Famous Dave’s brunch on Sunday. Check him out.

Willie Murphy & Dean Magraw @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis.7:30pm (Tip Jar) Murphy does a monthly gig at the Schooner where he brings in a guest and they play together. Tonight it’s Dean Magraw, one of the most versatile guitarists you’ll ever find. Though Magraw doesn’t sing, his guitar work will bring out the best in Murphy.

Exotik-A-Go-Go Record Release @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Get out the sarongs and the flower print shirts! Exotik-A-Go-Go has been bringing their faux island sounds to Psycho Suzie’s Tiki Bar every Friday for a couple of years now, vibes, jungle drums, theremin and birdcalls included. If you remember Quiet Village by Martin Denny, you know what I’m talking about. Anyway, they’ve gone a released a record, that’s right a record, not a CD, and they’re celebrating tonight.

Thursday, April 16

Bettye Lavette @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) The 69 year old soul singer toiled in the trenches for many years, held back by bad management decisions, and let’s face it, an ability to stand up for herself that came across as prickly, at best. However, in the years since the turn of the 21st Century, she has been rejuvenated, releasing a spate of albums that establish her as one of the premier song interpreters of our time. This year’s CD, Worthy, contains songs by Dylan, Lennon & McCartney, Savoy Brown, and Mickey Newbury, among others. Though she celebrated its release at the Cafe Carlye in New York City, she’s come back to the Dakota every year since her first appearance at the club about 10 years ago. Here she is singing something from the album.

Three Band Night @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) 9pm New Shoes – PHC vets Richard Kriehn, mandolin/guitar; Joe Savage, pedal steel; Gary Raynor, bass; Peterson, drums. 10pm Randy Sabien with Triple Fiddles, 11pm the Subterraneans play down home blues, boogie and roots, Randy Sabien, fiddle, Jim Ouska, guitar; Jim Chenoweth, bass; and Andy Dee, slide.

Friday, April 17

Roots/Americana Benefit for KFAI @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm doors, 7:30pm music ($10 or more, suggested Donation) It’s a benefit for the little station that could, featuring New Riverside Ramblers, Steve Kaul, the Swamp Poppas, Patty & the buttons, Dave Babb, Tom Lieberman, Jon Rodine, square dancing and much more.

Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) Big Sandy is the L.A. based rockabillly/roots singer and guitarist who includes a bit of Western Swing and Doowop in his repertoire. The dancers will be out for the veteran of 25 years, and always attracts dancers, as well he should. Always a satisfying evening. Opening is Fab Tab, featuring Katy Vernon.

Jimmy Thackery @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) The rockin road warrior is back, bending strings and fingers flying down the frets. Thackery spent 15 years with the Nighthawks (and occasionally does reunion shows with them), but since the early 90s has mostly been touring with his trio, the Drivers. Though much of what he plays is blues-rock, he can still deliver the goods on classic blues.

Saturday, April 18

Rock Benefit for KFAI @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm Doors, 7:30pm Music ($10 or more, suggested donation) It’s an evening that ranges from 60s rock to punk to electronic and experimental, with The Silverteens, Scaphe, Kinda Kinky, Beebe Gallini and much much more.

Corey Stevens @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Corey Stevens brings his blues-based rock guitar to the Uptown BBQ. He scored a rock radio hit off his 19956 debut with Blue Drops of Rain, and followed that with another hit, One More Time, in 1997, and is a frequent performer in these parts.

Doug Otto & Hurricane Harold @ The Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) “Q” and the blues always go together, and like that duo, Hurricane Harold’s harp work and guitarist Otto’s mournful vocals are a natural fit.

Monday, April 20

A Dub/Dead Night @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) JT Bates has come up with a change of pace from the exploratory jazz groups that he often presents for the Jazz Implosion. The first set tonight is Entertainment Rhythm featuring Jacob Hansen, guitar; James Buckley, bass; and JT on drums. They’ll be playing live dub music, followed by Steal Your Face, a band that does covers of the Grateful Dead.

Monday, Tuesday, April 20, 21

Dakhabrakha @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($32 – $42) This Ukrainian group is, in many ways, indescribable. Part circus, part street theater, with ethereal, four-part harmonies creating music that has it’s basis in Ukrainian folk music, but with a delivery that can seem to go from Smokey Robinson to Sun Ra in a heartbeat. Though you may not know the words (they’re in Ukrainian after all), the passion of Dakhabrakha comes through.

Wednesday, April 22

A Night at the Opera @ The Museum of Russian Art, 5500 Stevens Avenue, Minneapolis. 7pm – 8:30pm ($30) If you have any inclinations toward classical compositions and opera, this will be a treat, as Russian baritone Vladislav Sulimsky will be joined by pianist Denis Evsthin to perform popular operatic arias and art songs by Verdi, Puccini, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninoff. The museum itself is a lovely place with good acoustics, not to mention extraordinary art. Advance registration required, so I’m including it in this week’s notices.

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 calendar for U Wanna Dance.

Spring Cleaning Music: 4.8 – 4.14

April 8, 2015

Wine, lots of it, though I drink it and don’t apply it to the floors.

Well, at least one musician this week recognizes the importance of Spring Cleaning. After a day, or even a couple of hours of it, perhaps fueled by your favorite music, you might want to enjoy an evening of music without the cleaning, of which there are plenty of choices. Music lifts the spirit.


Wednesday, April 8

Bossa Jazz Quartet @ Tangiers, Minneapolis. 8pm (No Cover) Sit back in one of the large couches or booths at Tangiers and enjoy some bossa novas and jazz.

He's doing Spring cleaning!

He’s doing some Spring cleaning!

Chris Bates’Spring Cleaning @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Holy cow! Chris must be trying out all kinds of arrangements he’s found while cleaning, as there will be five bass players and two drummers taking part. Cody McKinney – bass, Casey O’Brien – bass, Charles Fletcher – bass, Doan Brian Roessler – bass, Martin Dosh – piano, keys, percussion, Cory Healey – drums, percussion, Greg Schutte – drums, percussion, & Chris Bates

Thursday, April 9

Larry McDonough Quintet performs Chet Baker @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) As a singer, trumpeter Chet Baker’s cool, quiet singing style had lots of fans. Pianist Larry McDonough’s singing has often been compered to that of Baker, though his singing has always been a minor part of each performance. Tonight, McDonough will concentrate on singing. The first set will be songs sung by Baker. The 2nd set will be songs sung in Baker’s style. McDonough, piano; Steve Kenny, trumpet; Richard Terrill, sax; Greg Stinson, bass; and Dean White, drums.

Charmin & Shapira @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($5-$20 Suggested Donation) Vocalist Charmin Michelle and guitarist Joel Shapira go together like two straws in a coke, to borrow a phrase. Their performance is both sophisticated and warm. This is their debut appearance at the Black Dog.

Friday, April 10

Todd Harper: Piano Fridays @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 5:30 – 7-ish ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Harper often brings in friends to create interesting, and often fun, music for patrons stopping by after work or before heading out for the evening.

Eric Kamau Gravatt Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) We are blessed to have some very high quality musicians in our towns, including drummer Gravatt, who has played in the bands of Weather Report, McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, and others. Tonight he’s joined by Brandon Wozniak, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Ron Evanuik, bass.

Saturday, April 11

Saturday Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. ($5-$20 Suggested Donation) If it’s Saturday night, there is jazz at the Black Dog, starting at 7pm with the Solomon Parham Group, featuring Babatunde Lea on drums & congas. Then, at 8:30pm, it’s the Paul Harper Quartet, known known as “Paul Harper’s Show & Tell” with  Harper on sax; Mike Cramer, guitar; Charlie Riddle, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums.

Sunday, April 12

Zach Lozier Three @ The Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Both the venue and the group deserve more recognition. The UMC has been quietly building an eclectic music calendar for it’s cozy cafe. The Zach Lozier Three has been appearing around town of late, with Lozier on trumpet and vocals, Steven Hobert on keys, and Steve Pikal on bass. It’s a fun group.

Anat Cohen Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($20) Cohen is undoubtedly the visiting artist of the week. Cohen is a clarinetist who has been building an impressive fan base around the world with her virtuosity and warm approach to both originals and standards. Case in point is her brand new CD, Luminosa, which just received a featured, four star review in Downbeat. It’s a delightful collection of songs celebrating Latin American and Brazilian rhythms. She’ll be accompanied by a terrific group of musicians as well: Jason Lindner on piano; Linda Oh on bass, and Adam Cruz on drums.

Monday, April 13

Javi Santiago Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 6:30pm – 9pm (No Cover) Javi is a young piano player who spent some time in NYC after attending The Brubeck Institute and the New School. We’re lucky to have him back in town for a while. This early evening show will feature Javi with old chums Chris Smith on bass, who’s been touring with Jeff “Tain” Watt, and Miguel Hurtado on drums.

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

Blues, Roots, Other..

Wednesday, April 8

3 Good Samaritans on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Regular attendees at the annual jug band contest will be familiar with these past winners (Best Vocals, 2011; Waffle League, 2012, Winners 2014). This show is more or less a warm-up to the Music Therapy Conference taking place this week, and many of the musicians attending the conference will be on hand to sit in. It will be loose, and fun. You can tun in and head to the 331afterwards.

Friday, April 10

Willie Walker & the We “R” Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Crooners has chosen an outstanding singer as they take a slight turn towards R&B and Soul music on this night. Walker has been busing touring South America of late and is scheduled to go to Europe this summer. You can catch this original soul man in a venue with a nice, if slightly small, dance floor, not to forget the atmosphere of a modern day lounge.

Groove Merchants w/Jimi Primetime Smith @ Narrows Saloon, Navarre. 8pm (No Cover?) West Metro blues lover will be out in force to see and dance to this tight horn band with special guest Smith on guitar.

Jeffrey Broussard & the Creole Cowboys @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. ($15) Ahh, the sounds of the stomach steinway and zydeco rhythms will be filling the dance floor at the Eagles Club. Broussard was the accordionist, front man and vocalist for the legendary Zydeco Force, and now leads his own band in putting a contemporary voice to Creole Zydeco.

Worldwide Discoteque 3rd Anniversary @ Clubhouse Jaeger, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Can it be 3 Years since DJs Steely Dan and Brian Engle launched this monthly event spinning funky tunes from equatorial climes? It’s alway a joyous event as a multi-cultural and multi-generational crowd dance to Carribean, Afrobeat, Brazilian, Cuban, and Latin rhythms.

Saturday, April 11

Jorma Kaukonen @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($42), 9pm ($35) Jefferson Airplane. Hot Tuna. The Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Guitarist Kaukonen has long established his credentials playing fierce rock n’ roll and acoustic finger-picking. Now he has a new album on on Saint Paul’s Red House Records, Ain’t In No Hurry, in which he performs blues, classic American Songs, and a couple of original rockers. Judging from his last couple of appearances at the Dakota, this will be a packed house.

Jeff Ray & Hurricane Harold @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 9pm (No cover) Guitarist Ray and harp master Harold combine forces in the best possible way to present Blues, Dylan, a little Dead, and some originals.

Sherwin Linton: Tribute to Johnny Cash @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) There is no better person alive to present a tribute to The Man in Black than Linton  who knew Cash, and carries on the tradition of heartfelt country music, unfettered by strings or rock guitars.

Sunday, April 12

Battle of the Blues Bands @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 1pm – 5pm (No Cover) Another chapter in the competition to find a band that will play at this year’s Lowertown Blues Festival. Vying for the spot are: Violet Sky; Yet Vox; Sweet Papa Dave Band; and Ramshackle Charmer.

Monday, April 13

Joe Fingers @ Dunn Brothers on Grand, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Fingers is an acclaimed acoustic guitarist who earned his name as a fierce finger picker. It’s a low-key, but highly entertaining gig.

Monday, Tuesday, April 13, 14

Robert Earl Keen @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $50) Keen is a Texas Troubadour whose ability to tell both raucous and sensitive stories through song has placed him squarely on the leading edge of alternative country. His song “Merry Christmas from the Family” is a hilarious tale of a blended (at best) family gathering, and is an annual, much requested feature of Jackson Buck’s Freewheelin’ show on KFAI. Opening are the brothers of The Roosevelts.

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 calendar for U Wanna Dance.





Music Rains: 4.1 – 4.7

April 1, 2015

imagesI’m afraid I have no April Fool’s prank for you , but instead am happy to report that great music continues to rain down on us here in the Twin Cities.  (Ugh, had to stretch a bit to match the graphic.) We’ve a few visiting musicians of note, as well as a bevy of talented resident musicians. It’s wonderful that we have a number of choices each evening, but then, that’s the result of living neat the bio-magnetic center of the universe. Music lifts the spirit


Wednesday, April 1

Zack Lozier Three on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Lozier  trumpet; Steve Hobert, keys; and Steve Pikal, bass; played a tremendous set at the fundraiser for KFAI a couple of weeks ago. If you like jazz with a nod towards the traditional sound of New Orleans, then by all means tune in to hear them and head to the 331 Club afterwards.

Parisota Hot Club Trio @ Tangiers, Minneapolis. 8pm (No Cover) Though this suave nightclub in the North Loop features glitzy dance/deejay crowds on the weekend, they bring in jazz once a week, and deserve your attention. Tonight, it’s The Parisota Hot Club  with Matt Senjem, bass; Jay Epstein, drums; and leader Robb Henry on guitar. Vocalist Erin Livingston is an occasional guest. Here’s once version of the group doing a Beatles tune.

Rebirth Brass Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($25) Rebirth is one of the first bands in the Brass Band revival that’s occurred over the last couple of decades. They’ve been at it for 25 years or so, swinging hard and playing original music, as well as traditional tunes, and adaptations of R&B hits.

Unknown-1Schimke, Epstein, & Cox @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Anthony Cox curates the first Wednesday of the month at Jazz Central, bringing in some top-notch players to improvise, sometimes freely. Tonight he has Peter Schimke on piano and Jay Epstein on drums. Cox likes to have these events be interactive, so be prepared to have him open the floor to comments and questions either during or after the performance.

Thursday, April 2

Chris Potter Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25), 9pm ($15) Potter is one of the most admired sax players of his generation (he’s 43), having received numerous awards and accolades. When he was 18, he worked with the legendary Bebop trumpeter Red Rodney, and has since appeared on over 100 albums as a sideman and recorded 15 albums as a leader. On his latest, and well-received  CD Imaginary Cities, Potter expands his Underground Quartet with a marimba and a string quartet, to create an album that integrates modern classical music with various facets of jazz. I’m not sure what players he’ll have with him tonight, but it will be stellar. Here’s a video to illustrate.

Marc Anderson, Michelle Kinney, Carla Vagle @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9:30pm ($5) This promises to be a unique evening of improvised music. Marc Andeson is a percussionist and Zen Buddhist priest who has played with Steve Tibbets since 1977, and has also toured and played with artists such as Robert Fripp, Don Cherry, Taj Mahal, Claudia Schmidt, Max Roach, and Greg Brown. Michelle Kinney is a cellist/composer who is a strong improviser, having worked with such innovators as Henry Threadgill, Butch Morris, and John Zorn, in addition to being a member of Jelloslave and collaborating with Prudence Johnson and Dean Magraw. Carla Vagle is a vocalist with a strong, crystal clear voice.

Friday, April 3

Wayne Krantz @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) The virtuosic fusion guitarist has recorded and worked with Steely Dan, Michael Breaker, Chris Potter, and Billy Cobham. He’s not the kind of player who plays as many notes as possible (though he can do so). Rather, Krantz has a clean, tasteful approach to playing, no matter the groove, of which there will undoubtedly be plenty. Opening is the Zack Lozier Three (see Wednesday listing).

Dean Magraw & Steven Hobert @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Magraw is the guitarist-about-town who is equally at home with jazz, fusion, Celtic, and other world musics. Hobert is the pianist/accordionist whose often subtle, but highly imaginative playing will fit right in with Magraw.

Maud Hixson @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) The lounge at this Bloomington restaurant provides the right atmosphere for listening to the understated, sublime vocals of Ms Hixson  who will be accompanied by Rick Carlson on piano and Gordy Johnson on bass.

Tim Patrick & His Blue Eyes Band @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12) Tim Patrick s smooth voice practically defines crooner in this day and age. He’s a fine singer, and together with his band, provides danceable versions of standards.

Saturday, April 4

Saturday Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm Pete Snell Trio (Snell, Phil Aaron, Jim Chenoweth) , 8:30pm Steve Kenny Quartet (Kenny, Babatunde Lea, Brandon Woznicak, Chris Bates)

images-1Sophia Shorai @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Early evening dinner music from the pop-ish but jazz centered Ms Shorai, though you will have to sit close to the stage to overcome the lively conversations going on throughout the restaurant.

Debbie Duncan @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley, 7pm (No Cover) Ms Duncan was on fire last week when singing as a guest with Delfeayo Marsalis. Tonight you can hear her in the comfy, yet slightly luxe confines of this relatively new club up on Central Avenue, about  a mile or so north of 494. It’s a place that should become a regular stop on your jazz journeys in town.

Sunday, April 5

Connie Evingson Celebrates Spring @ The Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm, 7:30pm ($25) Ms Evingson continues her themed concerts at the Jungle. This time it’s a seasonal celebration, featuring songs by Irving Berlin, the Beatles, Peggy Lee and others. With the extraordinary pianist Jon Weber, as well as Gordy Johnson on bass, and the always tasteful Dave Karr on sax.

Monday, April 6

Seru, Bates, & Wozniak @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) The trio of Davu Seru, drums; Chris Bates, bass; and Brandon Wozniak, sax; is bound to create some excitement for the late night crowd at the Icehouse.

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 PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, April 1

Erik Koskinen @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) Koskinen is a hyphenated talent: guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer, and engineer. The word “authentic” keeps coming up whenever reviewers try to describe his music, and with good reason. When he’s not working with other bands he taps into folk, country, and rock n’ roll to create music that is as American as Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, or Willie Nelson.

Thursday, April 2

Lynn O’Brien, Steven Hobert, & Kevin Bowe @ Bryant Lake Bowl, 810 West Lake Street, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Advance/$12 Door) Lynn O’Brien is a charming singer/songwriter who plays ukelele and isn’t afraid to accompany herself using looping technology. Steven Hobert is an accordionist/piano player who is equally at home playing jazz, folk, or his own ethereal compositions. As a musical duo, they are as complementary as you can get. They are ably assisted by Kevin Bowe on bass.

Friday, April 3

Butanes Soul Revue @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10 Advance, $12 Door) Once again, the MMC will be filled with folks who brought their dancing shoes, as guitarist Curt Obeda leads a 10 piece band through R&B chestnuts and some of his own originals. The last time they appeared at MMC, they sold out the place, so be forewarned.

Lonesome Dan Case @ Ward 6, 858 Payne Avenue, Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar?) Lonesome Dan Case looks and sounds like an itinerant, if well dressed, singer from the 30s, who brings his finger picking and Piedmont-style blues songs to folks in little dives in little towns. However, Saint Paul isn’t a little town, no matter what some West Metro folks might think, and Ward 6 isn’t a little dive, given its adult milkshakes and well-reviewed cooking.

Bad Companions w/Bernie King @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($6) A Roots/Rockabilly night at the Tap Room. The Companions are led by Al Subola, of the Vibro Champs. His companions have worked with bands like A Stockcar Named Desire, Clyde Stubblefield, Roe Family, and Trailer Trash. King & the Guilty Pleasures lean a bit toward the blues side of things. Bernie King & the Guilty Pleasures at 7pm, Bad Companions at 9pm. This will give you an idea of what the Companions sound like.

Saturday, April 4

Gospel Machine & Southside Desire @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Gospel, R&B, Soul, & Girl Group sounds, as if filtered through a group of young musicians hanging out in a basement. Here’s Southside Desire.

Katrina, Flamin’ Ohs, and Beebe Gallini @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 7pm doors ($12/$15) It’s an 80s style night at the Amsterdam as Katrina (of the Waves) headlines, with our own Flamin’ Oh’s and the female quintet Beebe Gallini open. Katrina Leskanich had a huge hit in 1985 with Walkin’ on Sunshine, followed by a few others. The Oh’s have always had a strong fan base in town, from their local hits in the late 70s to their reappearance this century. Beebe Gallini is an all-female group of rockers named after a pink-dressed character who made an appearance on one episode of Brady’s Bunch. Here’s a blast from the past.

Armadillo Jump @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake 9pm (No Cover) The tiny dance space at the station will be filled with folks jumpin’ to the Armadillos, a five-piece blues/R&B outfit with an infectious approach to their music.

Unknown-2Soul Tight Committee @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) It’s a great weekend for dancing to R&B, especially the 70s centric R&B of the ten piece Soul Tight Committee  Three singers provide a range of vocals over a tight rhythm section, trumpet, and sax, giving plenty of incentives for dancers to fill the floor at Bunkers.

Sunday, April 5

Robert Robinson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($22) It’s Easter. Celebrate with the full-throated gospel of Mr. Robinson. Even if you aren’t particularly religious, you’ll end up feeling blessed and happy.

Monday, Tuesday, April 6, 7

James Hunter Sextet @ The Dakota, MInneapolis. 7pm ($37 – $45) Hunter is a charming singer of blue-eyed soul, whose original tunes evoke the rock n’ roll and rhythm and blues of the late 50s and 60s, without sounding dated or even retro. Expect some jump blues, Motown-ish stomps, and even some reggae-ish rhythms, delivered with true emotion.

Tuesday, April 7

Mayasich, Obeda, & Lindberg @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Guitarist Paul Mayasich hangs at the Station every Tuesday evening with various friends and compadres. Tonight he’s got bluesman Curt Obeda on guitar, and bassist John Lindberg. Expect some mighty fine guitar duels.

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 calendar for U Wanna Dance.

Out Like A Lamb? Music: 3.25 – 3.31

March 25, 2015
Snow? Really?

Snow? Really?

Thanks to all who pledged to KFAI. The calendar tells us we’re moving into April, and though we had snow last night, it’s already melted on the streets, so getting out for music should be easy and as always, fun. This week we have a number of notable visiting artists in jazz, roots, and world music, as well as a couple of very young jazz bands, a couple of big bands and more. Hooray for us! Music lifts the spirit.


Wednesday, March 25

Levi at work

Levi at work

Levi Schwartzberg Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Talk about a band of young lions! Schwartzberg is the vibraphone player who was in the Dakota Combo for the last two years. He’s now a freshman at the UofMN, and plays in a number of bands in addition to leading this quintet, which includes Peter Goggin, alto; Aiden Sponheim, trumpet, Charlie Lincoln, double bass, and Ben Oni, on drums and cymbals. They’ll be playing some of Scwartzberg’s originals as well as improvised compositions.

Ellis Marsalis & Delfeayo Marsalis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $50), 9pm ($30 – $40) This is a must-see event for jazz lovers. The whole Marsalis family has been named Jazz Masters, but it’s patriarch Ellis, the pianist, who deserves the credit for instilling his sons with a love for jazz, and the desire to play it well. Ellis and Delfeayo, the trombonist, have recently released The Last of the Southern Gentlemen, a first time collaborative effort that’s an acknowledgement of love and respect for all people. Here’s Delfeayo, featured in a number with other members of the clan, including Ellis.

Enormous Quartet @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Here’s a chance for denizens of SW Minneapolis to hear some great talent without straying into either downtown. The quartet consists of Chris Bates, bass; Chris Thomson, sax; Park Evans, guitar; and Joey Van Philips, drums. Though there is no cover, Cafe Maude features a three course meal for $20 as well as a fine selection of potables from the bar. Request a seat where you can hear the band.

Thursday, March 26

Delfeayo at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival a couple of years back.

Delfeayo at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival a couple of years back.

Delfeayo Marsalis & Davell Crawford @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40-$50), 9pm ($30 – $40) Ellis Marsalis is unable to make the second night of this two night gig, so Delfeayo is bringing in Crawford, The Prince of New Orleans. In a town that’s filled with wonderful piano players, Crawford has distinguished himself as both a player and vocalist. Of course, Crawford also has his lineage as an inspiration: James Sugar Boy Crawford was in grandfather, and his godmother is Roberta Flack.

Fireside Five & Friends @ The Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) This is an under-the-radar gig that is worthwhile checking out, featuring five veteran jazz cats who swing like crazy: Tom Ashworth, trombone; Brian Grivna, sax; Phil Aaron, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. After the first set they invite equally talented friends to join them and jam. Be warned. It’s a small venue and seats fill up early.

Maryann Sullivan & Sarah Greer @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s a double dose of vocalists tonight at the basement club, featuring music that ranges from swinging classics from Peggy Lee and Billie Holiday, to more contemporary fare from the Beatles, Cyndi Lauper, and originals. Accompanying Ms Sullivan: Larry McDonough on vocals. With Sarah Greer: John Iden, bass; Jim Oujska, guitar; Doug Rohde, piano; and Dean White, drums.

Friday, March 27

Phil Aaron Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) For the second night in a row, Aaron is playing at an “underground” venue, though this time he’s the leader, with Zacc Harris, guitar; Matt Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. High quality music. Phil is really swingin’ on this video.

How Birds Work @ Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Another night, another band of excellent musicians. How Birds Work used to play the Artists’ Quarter with some welcome regularity, given that drummer Kenny Horst owned the club. The group, which also includes Peter Schimke, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Dean Granros, guitar; swings, whether they’re playing the music of Coltrane and Wayne Shorter, or their own originals.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 8pm ($30 – $70) It’s been about five years since this 8-piece purveyor of original New Orleans Jazz came to town. It’s been a New Orleans institution for over 50 years, performing at its namesake hall and touring the world. Though its original members played with the likes of Buddy Bolden and Bunk Johnson, the current membership does a remarkable job of keeping the joyous sounds of traditional jazz alive.

Saturday, March 28

The 2014 - 20-15 Dakota Combo. Photo by Andrea Canter

The 2014 – 20-15 Dakota Combo. Photo by Andrea Canter

Dakota Combo & the Daley/Brattain Report @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Combo), 8:30pm (Daley/Brattain) ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Tonight’s Saturday Jazz at the Black Dog features both youngsters and veterans. The Dakota Combo is an open audition group that studies with Adam Linz. This year’s group includes: Peter Goggin, alto; Aiden Sponheim, trumpet; Jordan Anderson, piano; Charlie Lincoln, bass; Adam Astrup, guitar; Jack Courtright, trombone, and Sam Roberto, tenor; and Luke Peterson, drums. They’ll be followed at 8:30 by the Daley/Brattain Report: Dave Brattain, sax; Kevin Dal;ey, Bruce Heine, bass; David Stanoch, drums.

Sidewalk Cafe @ the 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm – 10:30pm ($10) Guitarist Reynold Philipsek has been playing for over fifty years, and is strongly influenced by Django Rheinhardt, as well as Wes Montgomery and Pat Martino. He regularly accompanies some of the area’s fine singers, and plays throughout the area, including this gypsy jazz gig, which includes the other members of Sidewalk Cafe  master violinist Gary Schulte, and the excellent Jeff Brueske on bass.

Sunday, March 29

Tierney Sutton: the Joni Mitchell Project @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($35), 8pm ($25) Tierney Sutton is an often subtle,  ethereal, and always thrilling singer, who immerses herself in a lyric. She’s received six Grammy nominations including one for her 2013 release, After Blue, which casts the music of Joni Mitchell in a new light. She’ll be accompanied by cellist Mark Summer of the Turtle Island String Quartet and French guitarist Serge Merlaud in an intimate evening of Mitchell’s music.

Century Jazz Orchestra @ Jethro’s Char-House and Pub, 3140 Century Avenue North, Mahtomedi. (3pm? 7pm,? Free?) I was unable to confirm times in time for this newsletter, so if you want to hear a much much better than average college big band, you’ll have to call the venue to confirm times and cover. The number at the Char House is 651-770-2443.

Monday, March 30

Bob Bowman – Doan Roessler Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Kansas City Bassist Bowman has visited town a number of times as a member of Karryn Allison’s band, where he provided an inventive, steady foundation for her singing. Before settling in Kansas City he was a member of the Thad Jones-Mel lewis Orchestra, the ToshikoAkiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band, and accompanied Carmen McCrae. Tonight he’s joining up with fellow bassist Doan Brian Roessler, pianist Peter Schimke, and percussionist Marc Anderson for what promises to be an evening of imaginative, exciting music. Here’s bowman

International Novelty Gamelan Record Release w/The Drone Band @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Monday nights at the Icehouse are given over to JTs Jazz Implosion, which always presents exciting jazz. Tonight’s a bit different, as International Novelty Gamelan celebrates the release of a CD. In their own words, ING explores new music using the instruments of a Javanese Gamelan Orchestra. The Drone Band explores sonic possibilities in minute changes in tone and timbre, and includes Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Evan Clark, tuba; Cory Healey drums; Noah Ophoven Baldwin, trumpet; Jim Pfeffer, bass; Cole Pulice, sax.

Tuesday, March 31

Eliane Elias Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $40), 9pm ($25 – $35) Brazilian born Elias is a pianist of great technique and passion and a vocalist who knows how to raise temperature with a cool, tempting voice. She’s lived in the U.S. for over thirty years, recording over 20 albums and recieveing five Grammy nomninations. Her latest album, Made in Brazil is, as might be expected from the title, a return to her Brazilian roots. Here’s a taste of her music.

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Regular readers may note that I often list this band quite regularly. I do so because: 1) Adam Meckler creates modern, yet highly accessible charts; 2) He’s gathered some of the finest young musicians in town to play; 3) They only play about once a month; and 4) Jazz Central is an intimate space where you can get blown away by the power of this 17 piece band

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, Jazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, March 25

Stringer Bell @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Vocalist Yasmina Moore-Foster and pianist Ted Godbout perform Top 40 hits, jazz standards, maybe a bit of R&B.

Thursday, March 26

Benjamin Booker @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist Booker is only 25 years old, yet the New Orleans native a rock has quickly become a hot ticket since the release of his debut album last summer. It didn’t hurt that he toured with Jack White. He’s got a raspy voice that’s well suited to his band’s dense sound, which hearkens back to the attitude of early rock n’ roll, when the guitars of Chuck Berry, James Burton, and Bo Diddley produced “dangerous” dance music. Olivia Jean opens.

Dumpy Jug Bumpers @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis.  10pm  (Tip Jar) With all the interest in roots and old timey music, it seems only natural that a band would draw upon the kazoo, which was featured in a number of songs in the 20s, as well as Jesse Fuller’s 1962 recording of San Francisco Bay Blues, and Eric Clapton’s version of that song. It’s a regular feature of jug bands of course, hence it’s use by the Jug Bumpers: Drew Temperante, resonator guitar, mandolin-banjo, kazoo, vocals; Tom Phelan, harmonica, vocals; Muskrat, parlor guitar, jug, kazoo, vocals; Liz Draper, upright bass.

The Icicles @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm (No cover) David Lynch meets Surf Pop in the instrumental music of Jake Hanson, guitars; Jim Anton, bass; and Jeremy Hanson, drums.

Friday, March 27

The Ericksons @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Sisterly harmonies from the Ericksons  who released a well-recieved album last year. Their folky, rootsy music was incubated in a time of darkness and loss, but the new album reveals a brighter outlook and love of family. Opening is Barbara Jean, a country-ish singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who also released a well-reviewed album last year.

Harold’s House Party @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, 7pm ($5) Just as he does on his weekly radio show, Harold Tremblay presents a mix of blues, both old & new, along with some roots/Americana music. Nathan Miller, 7pm; Doug Otto & Hurricane Harold, 8:15pm; Hula Peppers, 9pm.

Hipshaker Dance Party @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Ahh, the Hipshaker Crew once again combs  their record collections for rare funk n’ soul 45s that will have folks dancing with joy. Here’s an example of the kind of music they play.

Saturday, March 28

Otis Clay @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Otis Clay  s an original soul man, and you can bet the faithful will be out tonight. Though born in Mississippi, where he started singing in gospel groups, he moved to Chicago in the 50s, and in the 60s became a soul singer to be reckoned with. His first recordings on One-derful were recently released as part of a compilation on Secret Stash, and show that, if anything, his passionate singing is as strong as ever. After One-derful he went to Cotillion, and then scored hits on Memphis’ Hi Records with Tryhing to Live My Life Without You and If I Could Reach Out. He’s been coming to the Twin Cities off and on for the last thirty years or so and we’re lucky to know him.

Jimmi & the Band of Souls @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Whether they’re performing originals or covers of songs by Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, or even Bob Dylan and the Beatles, Jimmi and the band deliver a lively set of blues, which earned them the right to represent Minnesota at the International Blues challenge in Memphis this year.

Scottie Miller Band @ Washington Square Bar & Grill, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Miller is a piano player/songwriter whose music can evoke  both Professor Longhair and Bruce Springsteen, among others, though he is, no doubt, his own man when it comes to performing.

Monday, March 30

Ibeyi w/Flo Morrissey @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15) Ibeyi are French Cuban twins who perform in both English and Yoruban, from the Cuban culture of Yoruba. Naomi Dian plays percussive instruments, while Lisa plays piano. Their music reflects both the Cuban culture of their father, percussionist Ana Diaz, as well as the R&B of modern music. English singer Flo Morrissey opens.

Tuesday, March 31

Castro, Sabien, & Dunn @ Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) That’s Gaby Castro, Randy Sabien, and Joe Dunn, three multi-instrumentalists, each with their own take on roots and Americana. After getting her start in San Francisco, Castro moved to the Twin cities to attend McNally Smith College of Music, where Dunn is also a student. Sabien started the string department there (and at Berklee) and continues to teach there. They’ll be playing original music on acoustic instruments in various combinations.

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 calendar for U Wanna Dance

Live Music and a Pledge Drive, Week 2. Music: 3.18 – 3.24

March 18, 2015

imagesWell, it’s week two of KFAI’s Spring Pledge Drive and we’re about to celebrate the Vernal Equinox and the arrival of spring this Friday at 5:45pm here in the Twin Cities. As James Brown once put it, “Please, Please, Please” pledge to KFAI during my show on Saturday morning (10:30 – Noon) or online at

That message isn’t meant to distract from the myriad of music offerings we have here, from Saturday night jazz in Lowertown, to old folkies, young Afrobeat adherents, and resident musicians performing the music of Hawaii and Scandanavia. Music lifts the spirit.


Wednesday, March 18

Pete Whitman Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Tenor saxophonist Whitman is a teacher, the leader of the X-Tet and the McNally Smith Big Band, and an in-demand sideman around town. Tonight he brings his leadership and playing skills to bear on a quintet of stellar musicians, with Chris Lomheim, piano; Chris Olsen, guitar; Jay Young, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger, drums.

Thursday, March 19

Harmonic Convergence @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s not a line-up in the sky, but rather a six-piece vocal ensemble from Iowa, directed by Lucas Mattson, son of arranger Phil Mattson.

Friday, March 20

Ms Mountain

Ms Mountain

Vicky Mountain Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No cover) It’s well worth a trip to Bloomington to hear the singing’ and swingin’ Ms Mountain, accompanied by the ever tasteful duo of Phil Aaron, piano; and Matt Peterson, bass.

Donald Washington Trio @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Multi-instrumentalist Washington is always a revelation when he plays, whether the compositions are standards or composed on the spot. With Brian Roessler, bass; and Davu Seru, drums.

Jake Baldwin Group @ The Nicollet, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar?) Baldwin is the fine trumpet player who has been gigging around town as a sideman and with his own groups. Tonight, he’s leading a pack of young lions, including Nelson Deveraux, sax; Ryan Hayes, bass; and Lars-Erik Larson on drums.

Clarke & Louis

Clarke & Louis

Louis & Clarke @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Steve Clarke and Louis Sinclair celebrate the release of their first CD: “three of one.” With Clarke, an eleven time winner of the Minnesota Music Award, on soprano sax, Sinclair on Chapman Stick (a tall, guitar-like instrument with ten strings) and Michael Bisonette on drums and percussion, they are using 19th and 20th century instruments to create 21st century jazz.

Actually, they are visible

Actually, they are visible

Invisible Guy + Metzger, Lewis, Cox, & Bates @ Icehouse, MInneapolis. 10pm ($8) Hamir Atwal, drums; Ben Goldberg, clarinet; and Michael Coleman, piano, are currently from the Bay area, and now driving around the Midwest to various gigs. Each comes from a varied background that ranges from Klezmer and Classical to mainstream and exploratory jazz. As a trio, they are in strict pursuit of a beautiful melody. Also on the bill is the exploratory music of Paul Metzger, guitar and built instruments; Michael Lewis, sax; Anthony Cox, bass; and JT Bates, drums.

Saturday, March 21

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Opening is King Fletcher Woods, with Jeff King, Charles, Fletcher, Eron Woods, drums. Illicit Sextet at 8:30pm with Chris Lomheim, piano; Paul Harper, sax; David Roos, guitar; Tom Pieper, bass; Nathan Norman, drums; and Steve Kenny, flumpet.

Dave Hagedorn Quintet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) Dave Hagedorn is an extraordinary vibes player, who recorded two albums with the George Russell Living Time Orchestra, and who gigs regularly with the Phil Hey Quartet. Tonight he’s teaming up with guitarist Zacc Harris to pay homage to the Milt Jackson/Wes Montgomery album Bags Meets Wes. The band is rounded out with Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Corey Healey, drums. Sure to be a treat. Here’s a clip of Hagedorn in action with the Phil Hey Quartet.

Scott Horey @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 10pm ($10) Horey is a solo percussionist who specializes in drums and marimba. Aside from performing a couple of actual solo pieces, he will be joined in a program of originals and new classical music by Bethany Gonella flute; Trent Baarspul, guitar; Ted Godbout, keyboards; Karen Kozak, electric fiddle; Douglas Brown, bass; and Charlie Engen, drums. I recently did an interview with him, which you can hear on my show Saturday morning, or read the post just prior to this one.

Monday, March 23

The Adam Meckler Quintet + Zacc Harris Group @ Icehouse, Minneapolis. ($8) Expect an evening with lots of original music. As Meckler himself describes his group – Adam Meckler: Trumpet/Fleugal/Pen/Paper; Nelson Devereaux: Tenor/Alto/Soprano/Hair; Zacc Harris: Guitar/Birthday; Graydon Peterson: Bass/Kung Fu; Greg Schutte: Drums/George Clooney. First up is the Zacc Harris Group playing Harris originals: Harris, guitar; Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and JT Bates, drums. Here’s Adam doing his thing.

Monday, Tuesday, March 23, 24

Steve Tyrell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($42), 9pm ($30) Tyrell always delivers an evening of swinging romantic music, calling upon standards and pop songs from the last half century. He started out as a producer at Scepter Records in the 60s, working with Bacharach & David, and producing a number of hits over the years. Eventually Tyrell was producing music for a number of hit films, and in the 90s sang “The Way You Look Tonight” for the movie Father of the Bride. It launched his singing career, in which he evokes the era of Sinatra, Dean Martin and the like, though with more charm, a rasp in his voice, and less braggadocio.

Tuesday, March 24

Dave Stanoch @ McNally Smith Auditorium, Saint Paul. 5pm (Free) Stanoch is a versatile drummer who has played with the likes of Sheryl Crow, George Clinton, Jack McDuff and Ben Sidran, among others. He currently teaches at McNally Smith, plays in a half-dozen groups around town, is a contributor to Modern Drummer magazine, and has written a drumset method book, Mastering the Tables of Time, Vol. 1. McNally Smith students will perform in the lobby at 5pm, followed by Stanoch (& friends?) in the auditorium at 6pm.

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, March 18

Joe & Vicki Price on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3, 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) As part of KFAI’s Spring Pledge Drive, Harold Tremblay has brought in an Iowa duo with a big fan base in the Twin Cities. Joe and Vicki visit our towns with some regularity, playing blues that sound more at home in the southern reaches of the Mississippi River than in Northern Iowa. Listen, and head to the 331 Club if you like what you hear.

Haley Bonar @ Rock the Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($20 – $25 ) The folks at the Ordway are doing a great job of celebrating the new concert hall by bringing in a wide variety of acts. Haley Bonar is a case in point. In the last decade, the Twin Cities by way of Rapid City and Duluth singer has released eight albums and increasingly earned acclaim for her alt roots/alt folk/alt rock music. Bonar has gained the respect and collaboration of many area musicians, such as Dave King and Andrew Bird, and always has a top-notch band, which might include musicians such as Jake Hanson, Jeremy Ylvisaker, and Mike Lewis.

Wednesday, Thursday, March 18, 19

Tom Paxton & Janis Ian @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) The Greenwich Village Folk Scene may be a thing of the past, but two of its participants are at the Dakota to give us a taste of that time and the intervening years. Back in the day Paxton was known for his protest songs, but he also wrote songs about love and humor, including a few that became folk standards, including “Ramblin’ Boy” and the “Last Thing on My Mind.” Ian was only 15, when “Society’s Child,” her hit song of interracial romance, came out about 1967. It was provocative for the time, to say the least. She then received a Grammy in the mid-70s for “At Seventeen,” a song with great insight into teen musings. They’ll appear on stage together, swapping stories and songs, for most of the show.

Thursday, March 19

Joe & Viki Price @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) In case you missed them at the 331 Club last night, Joe & Vicki will be the featured guests of washboard/percussionist Mikkel Beckman. Given the relaxed atmosphere at the Dubliner, this happy hour gig is about as good as it gets.

Friday, March 20

Tinsley Ellis @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) Like many other guitarists who grew up in the late 60s and early 70s, Ellis’ blues have always veered towards the rockin’ side, though he is capable of emotional fire as well. Though often called a better guitarist than vocalist, his last album In From the Cold has him in good voice. The Rhythm Roosters open.

Black Market Brass @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) The folks at Secret Stash Records are presenting another evening of their artists. The headliners, Black Market Brass, play original Afrobeat as well as their interpetations of Afrobeat classics. Secret Stash’s house band is The Lakers, who honed their chops touring and recording as the backing band for Sonny Knight. Gospel Machine is a garage-gospel group from NE Minneapolis, featuring Jayanthe Kyle, of Black Audience, on vocals.

Saturday, March 21

Drew Druckry & the Dharma Hounds @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($6) Drew Druckry (North Country Bandits, Julie Johson & the No-Accounts) has a new band, whose members have toiled in a number of groups ranging from the Kung Fu Hippies to Jason Dixon Line, White Iron Band,  and Root City. The Dharma Hounds concentrate on blues, New Orleans funk, and Southern Rock. Opening are a highly compatible group, the Swamp Kings, who’ve been purveyors of New Orleans Funk, and Cajun boogie for almost ten years now.

Hula Peppers @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Celebrate the Equinox with the Mid-Winter Luau. Hawaiian themed garb is encouraged, and will be welcome as you dance, dance, dance to the old-time and Hawaiian sounds of the Hula Peppers. Also on hand will be Patty & the Buttons, so it will be an accordion-centric Luau.

Scandinavian Music Showcase @ The Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) This caught my eye despite the fact that I know little about most of the performers, who include, Kari Tauring, Bob & Lynne Dixon, The Twin Cities Hardanger Fiddle Group, The Nordic Bees and more. When it comes to music, there’s always more to learn.

The Good, The Bad, & The Funky @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?)  One of the regular appearances for this 10-piece band at MMC. There’s always a dancing crowd, which isn’t surprising given the band’s funkiness and the bar’s commodious dance floor.

Mama Digdown’s Brass Band @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) The Digdown guys are an 8-piece band based in Madison, though a couple of their members hail from the Twin Cities. Lots of fun, whether playing a Jackson Five song or traditional New Orleans number.

Sunday, March 22

Battle of the Blues Bands @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 5pm – 8pm (No Cover) It’s a take-no-prisoners battle for bragging rights and a chance to play the Lowertown Blues Festival this summer. Attend, listen, and vote for one of the following: Dee Miller Band; Prior Avenue, Bluedog, and Squishy Mud.

Tuesday, March 23

Paul Mayasich & Big George Jackson @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 8:30pm (tip Jar?) Ooh, the guitar playing skills of Mayasich and the deep vocals of Big George, together at the WBL watering hole.

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 calendar for U Wanna Dance.

Rhythm is Rhythm: An Interview with Percussionist Scott Horey

March 17, 2015

UnknownDr. Scotty Horey (B.A., M.M.A., D.M.A.) is a Twin Cities  percussionist, drummer, who has performed nationally and in Central and South America as a solo percussion artist. He currently teaches and lectures at the UofM, Morris, is Principal Percussionist of the Mankato Symphony Orchestra, and the drummer for RisingSide, a Minneapolis progressive rock band. Horey will be performing at Studio Z on Saturday March 21, accompanied by Bethany Gonella flute; Trent Baarspul, guitar; Ted Godbout, keyboards; Karen Kozak, electric fiddle; Douglas Brown, bass; and Charlie Engen, drums. What follows is a slightly edited version of a brief interview we conducted over lunch one afternoon.

You are a solo percussionist. Most people would think in terms of a drum kit, but you do more. Please explain.

I think of myself as a solo percussion artist, so I play a lot of drum kit and marimba. A marimba is a pitched percussion instrument, like a xylophone, but its bigger. It’s pianistic and I find that with those two instruments I can express myself.

You have a show coming up.

The show is called Signs of New Vitality. I have some original compositions and some other pieces featuring some of my colleagues collaborating with me. It’s Saturday March 21st at Studio Z (Ed Note: 275 East Fourth Street, Suite 200, Lowertown Saint Paul). You can see Jazz at Studio Z (Ed Note: The Dave Hagedorn Quintet) at 7pm and then my show at 10pm. You can get discounted tickets to go to both shows.

What kind of music will you be presenting?

Well, it’s my music, original pieces or pieces I choose by other composers. I describe it as a mix between, contemporary classic, progressive rock, and jazz fusion music.

What do those types of music have in common?

A lot of people ask me that. Hopefully it gets cleared up after attending one of my concerts. As a percussionist you always play a variety of styles of music. Over the yrs you learn how to combine. For me those styles completely express myself. My compositions take components of each style. I love the dynamic and rhythmic approach of jazz, and the forms of the tunes. Progressive Rock has a little more aggressive edge to it, with a drier and more aggressive drum sound, and maybe some simpler harmonies. Classical music has more elaborate pre-written parts as well as some counterpoint. I have a classical flautist playing on the project. I’ll also perform some solo marimba pieces that fit in the musical.

One style of marimba

One style of marimba

Do you compose on marimba?

I try to sit down at the piano. I play at a very basic level, which forces me to play simple harmonies, but most of it comes from rhythms, which I get from the drums – rhythmic ideas and odd time signatures. Then I like to find harmonies on the piano. And then the flute of course is one of my favorite instruments. I can usually hear flute playing in my head.

How does it work to express yourself in solo performances?

I do consider myself somewhat of an individualist. I feel like a very reflective person, and enjoy solitude. I enjoy spending time with myself, whether on my yoga and meditation practice, which is part of my music practice, or just the simple act of enjoying the sound of my instrument late at night by myself. That informs my inspiration. It’s kind of my personality type that transmits when I’m on stage. I love being on stage by myself. I can tell people my story. I think that sends a lot of emotional power. It makes it even more exciting when I collaborate with other musicians, which is part of this show.

You’ve done some shows in South America. What is it about those shows that, though you may not be able to speak to an audience vocally, you can communicate with your music?

That’s one of the reasons I play instrumental music. I love instrumental music and I want to say, with Latin America in particular that I love the culture and I feel at home in Latin Amrican culture. They really value emotional expression and are warm and love music. Love watching a new performer and have a high degree of appreciation for it. I think because my music is really sentimental, very open hearted, and there’s a lot of grooves and rhythms to it, it works very nicely and the LA audiences enjoy my performance.

Even though you aren’t necessarily playing Latin American rhythms.

Right. I have a lot to learn about that. Rhythm is rhythm is rhythm, whether you’re in India, the United States, or South America.

Horey on Marimba

You can find out more about Scotty Horey at:

For more information about the show, go to:


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