Well as the temps drop a bit, and we’re reminded that Fall is on the way, there are plenty of opportunities to hear music. You will note that we are blessed with multiple ideas on some nights, whether you’re into jazz, blues, roots, or a combination thereof. With the variety of music at hand, there is surely something for you to get out and see. Music lifts the spirit. Have a great week.
Wednesday, September 10
Evan Christopher’s Clarinet Road: Tribute to Sydney Bechet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Clarinetist Evan Christopher calls his music “contemporary early jazz,” which, I guess is a fairly accurate description. While his repertoire includes many songs from the early 20th Century, Christopher’s playing is anything but stodgy. He swings with ease and is very imaginative when it comes to soloing. Tonight he’ll be paying homage to Sydney Bechet, one of the first important soloists in jazz, even beating Louis Armstrong to the recording studio by a few months. Here’s a video of him doing a Bechet tune.
Kevin Washington Group, Pippi Ardennia All-Stars, & Cory Wong Group @ Calhoun Square, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Another presentation of three fine groups by the Mobile Jazz Project. It takes place in the parking lot at Calhoun Square.
Enormous Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation). Chris Bates, bass; Chris Thompson, sax; Park Evans, guitar; Joey Van Phillips, drums. Bright stars all, this quartet of talented players have long been friends and have long played together, as a quartet and in various combinations. Expect some terrific soloing as they push each other to discover new ways of communicating via music.
Lila Ammons @ the Tangiers, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) With it’s red color scheme and lighting The Tangiers’ posh booths, leather couches, and lavish chandeliers make it a lux nightclub, though the prices are reasonable. They serve flatbreads, salads, and small plates, and on Wednesday nights feature jazz. Tonight it’s vocalist Lila Ammons, whose signature combination of jazz and blues cannot be beat.
Thursday, September 11
Colleen Raye @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The versatile vocalist performs jazz and cabaret tunes with ease. Raye will be accompanied by Gary Raynor, bass; Chris Lomheim, piano; as they record live in the relaxed setting of this basement club.
Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) The last show in the All Originals Jazz Series features the largest band – the 17 piece Adam Meckler Orchestra. They are preparing for the official release of their very fine CD, and will be premiering a new piece this evening. Here’s a video of a tune from the new album.
Fuzzy Math @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm – 10pm ($6) Mark Vandermyde, piano; Andrew Schwandt, sax; Matt Peterson, bass; and Harald Bondaris, drums, play some jazz for West Metro fans. As I’ve mentioned before, the 318 only holds about 40 people, so reservations are a good idea.
Corey Healy, Adam Linz, and Jake Baldwin @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Thursday night musical adventures continue at the Khyber pass. The first set is Corey Healy on solo percussion. The second set features Healy, along with Adam Linz, bass; and Noah Baldwin, trumpet.
Friday, September 12
Guitarmageddon @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Well, guitarmageddon might be an over-reach, but we do have two excellent guitarists, Dean Granros and Zacc Harris, joining with Chris Bates on bass and Jay Epstein on drums, for an evening of fine music.
Saturday, September 13
Selby Jazz Festival @ Selby & Milton, Saint Paul. 11am – 8pm. (Free) This annual event is featuring superstar drummer Harvey Mason, and resident saxophonist Dave Kusz, who has a new album out with a bit of an edge for someone identified with “smooth jazz.” Dick & Jane’s Brass Band will open the proceedings with a second line stroll through the neighborhood, then add a few more instruments and vocalist Maurice Jacox for the Jazz Heritage Showcase. Other acts include The Walker West Legends of Jazz, Jason Weisman & Q, and the 50-piece strong Brio Brass.
John Raymond’s Roots Trio @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($15) Here’s a chance to see a NYC-based group in the intimate confines of Studio Z. Raymond is a Minnesota native has received praise in the NY Times for his trumpet playing and performed as a leader at clubs like Smalls, the Blue Note, and Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola. He’ll be in town to record with his Roots Trio, which includes Gilad Hekselman on guitar, and Colin Stranahan on drums. Here is Raymond with a quartet.
Monday, September 15
Steve Kenny @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The trumpeter continues to find new groups with which to express himself. Tonight he’s joined by Ted Goudbout, piano; Adam Tucker, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums. As always on a Monday night, a jam session occurs about 10pm.
Jazz Implosion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) Another evening with two groups. First up is Jacob Hanson, guitar; James Buckley, bass; and JT Bates, drums. Second set is double drum group Real Bulls, consisting of JT Bates and Dave King on drums.
Blues, Roots, Other…
Wednesday, September 10
Crankshaft on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm hour (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Dig In Magazine states that Crankshaft’s amalgam of blues, country, swing, rock n’ roll, and surf “could not have been imagined prior to the early punk scene.” He’s got enough energy to run a Tesla, and a sense of humor to boot. Tune in during the 5 o’clock hour, and if you like what you hear, see him in person starting at 7pm. BTW, it’s also a birthday party for Kathy Schwalbe (the wife of guitarist Dan Schwalbe), so the room will have an extra punch of energy. Here’s an example of Crankshaft at work.
Vieux Farka Toure @ the Cedar Cultural Center, Minnapolis. 7:30pm ($20) Malian guitar giant Toure has been hailed as “The Hendrix of the Sahara.” He’s the son of the late Ali Farka Toure, who discouraged his son from becoming a musician due to the pressures Ali had experienced. Eventually, Vieux received his blessing before Ali passed. Known for his speed and dexterity on the guitar, Toure is also able to connect the blues to his native music (much like his father did), as evidenced in his 2011 album, The Secret, recorded with Dave Matthews, Derek Trucks, and John Scofield. Guitarist Kenn Wanaku, of West Africa, but now living in Minneapolis opens, and DJ Brian Engel spins before and between sets.
Thursday, September 11
Lisa Fischer @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, ($40 – $50) 9pm ($35 – $45) I’m afraid both shows are sold out. Read about her in this past Sunday’s Star Tribune.
The Droppers @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover) Soulful, funky, instrumental rock, evoking Booker T & the MsGs, The Meters, The Raybeats, and others.
Friday, September 12
The Butanes @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($?) While the site of the original Blues Saloon may be under the wrecking ball, the new (ish) location still features the blues early on Friday evenings. Just made for folks of a certain age to be able to get out and dance and still get home well before midnight. Tonight the oft-elected Twin Cities best blues band plays for your dancing pleasure.
Black Market Brass & Malamanya @ The Triple Rock, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Oh Boy! Here’s a great evening for folks who love world music. You get the Afrobeat funk of Black Market Brass and the sensuous Latin rhythms of Malamanya. I’m thinking the place will be crowded. Here’s Black Market Brass at a recent festival.
The Silvertones @ The Schooner Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Sometimes you just want to hear a band play some good old tunes from way back in the day, like maybe the 60s. Maybe you’ll be inspired to get up a dance a bit between sips on your favorite beverage. This is the band. It’s hard not to have fun when they’re playing.
Saturday, September 13
Luke the Uke’s Cartoon ExtravaGonzo @ Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis. 11:30am – 1pm. ($8m $5 for 12 and under) Luke the Uke (aka Tom Lieberman) mines the cartoon archives, and along with his friends DJ Mr. Gosh on the Ancient MixMaster and Lady Miss Ian on vintage laptop, provides a morning’s worth of fun and silliness. Special musical guests The Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers. Grownups bring kids! Kids bring grownups!
Sunday, September 14
Daddy Squeeze, Pat Donohue, and Richard Kriehn @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 4pm – 6pm (Tip Jar) Well, here’s an afternoon delight for fans of acoustic roots music. Daddy Squeeze will deliver all you expect and a whole lot more out of his accordion. Pat Donohue will delight finger-picking fans, and Richard Kriehn will add the sound of a mandolin to the proceedings.
Tim Sparks & Phil Heywood @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($10) As the old chewing gum commercial went, Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun. At least if you’re a fan of fingerpicking guitar, since Tim and Phil are two of the best. Period. Of course, if you were at the Amsterdam earlier today, you would have seen another great finger-picker in Pat Donohue.
Tuesday, September 16
New Ruckus Composer Night @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm. (Free) If you ever wondered what new music (contemporary classical music) is, then tonight’s the night for you, as new music will be presented and the composers will be present to chat with the audience. Zeitgeist and the Caprice Saxophone Quartet will be performing music from Zeitgeist’s call for scores. Zeitgeist will perform Three Portraits for Clarinet and Piano by Linda Tuts Haugen and Karel Suchy’s Inner Voices. The Caprice Saxophone Quartet will perform Marc Phillip Aune’s Wedding Recessional No. 2, and Sitting on Freud’s Lap by David Evan Thomas.
Meshell Ndgeocello @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $45) Ndegeocello is an original who stays true to herself while collaborating with writers and musicians, and drawing from a variety of genres. The groove-laden songs on her latest album Comet Come to Me, includes a cover of Leonard Cohen and another from the seminal hip-hop group Whodini.
Doug Otto & the Getaways, Fattenin’ Frogs, and Business Man @ The Amsterdam Bar and Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) It’s a night of rootsy rock n’ roll at the Amsterdam. The six-pice Fattenin’ Frogs will open at 9pm with their bluesy, rock n’ roll approach to traditional music, followed by Doug and the boys at 10 with music that evokes Robert Johnson, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams, and Buddy Guy, among others. Business Man closes at 11. They’re a quartet with drums, bass, guitar and violin.
For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar. Dancers might want to check out the U Wanna Dance Calendar.