A Partial Guide to the Twin Cities Jazz Festival

June 25, 2014
The headliners are Branford Marsalis (Friday) and Diane Reeves (Saturday)

The headliners are Branford Marsalis (Friday) and Diane Reeves (Saturday)

The three-day Twin Cities Jazz Festival in downtown Saint Paul will offer hundreds of performances, mostly in and around downtown. Be sure to visit the Festival’s website and also pick up a schedule to learn who is appearing where. There are stages where pianists are prominent, and others where vocalists will hold court for much of a day (or evening), not to mention what’s on the main stages.

At any rate, for readers whose musical tastes run to other genres, and for those of you who haven’t spent much time listening to jazz, I’ve listed some different approaches you can take towards enjoying the Festival.

If you don’t want to go to Downtown Saint Paul.  

images-4You can experience the jazz festival at a number of different places outside of downtown. In fact, a number of performances are along the new Green Line LRT.

Wednesday, June 25

The Jazz Central All-Stars with Debbie Duncan @ Cleveland and Highland Parkway. 7pm

Thursday, June 26

Kevin Washington (11:30am) & Ginger Commodore (2pm) @ The Daily Diner, University & Dale

The Butanes (1:30pm) @ Big Daddy’s, University & Dale

Maurice Jacox (6pm – 8pm) @ Arnellia’s, University, west of Lexington

Dorothy Doring (7pm), along with Arne Fogel & Maud Hixson (9pm) @ Mancini’s, West 7th Street

Friday, June 27

Jazz Interpreters (11:30am) & Jennifer Grimm (2pm) @ the Daily Diner, University & Dale

Big George Jackson (4pm) @ Big Daddy’s, University & Dale

SolFlower Collective (5pm) @ Arnellia’s, University, West of Lexington

Southside Aces (4pm) @ Episcopal Homes, University & Fairview

Saturday, June 28

Larry McDonough (7pm) @ Black Bear Crossings, Como Park Pavillion

Joyce Lyons (11:30am), Dean Sorenson (2pm) @ The Daily Diner, University & Dale

Moses Oakland (4pm) @ Big Daddy’s, University & Dale

Javier Santiago (2:30pm) @ Rondo Library, University & Dale

Kathleen Johnson (6pm) @ Arnellia’s, University, West of Lexington

Irv Williams (4pm) @ Episcopal Homes, University & Fairview

Tom West Quartet (Noon), Lila Ammons (2:30pm). Debbie Duncan (5pm), Davu Seru Trio (7:30pm), Paul Engels (9pm) Solid State (11:15pm) @ Ngon Bistro, 799 University (at Victoria)

If You Like the Music of New Orleans

Unknown-3From traditional “Dixieland” jazz, to contemporary R&B, the music of New Orleans appeals to many. Here are some bands (other than headliner Branford Marsalis) that will evoke the sound of the Crescent City.

Thursday, June 26

The Butanes (1:30pm) @ Big Daddy’s, University & Dale – Note: their latest CD is heavy with the influence of Louisiana

Butch Thompson (8pm) @ Studio Z

Friday, June 27

Southside Aces (4pm) @ The Episcopal Homes, University & Fairview, 4pm

Jack Brass Band (5:30pm) @ Union Depot Stage

Saint Peter Street Stompers (9pm) @ Senor Wong

Saturday, June 28

Southside Aces (4pm) @ Union Depot Stage

Joe Krown Trio (7pm) @ Union Depot Stage (They are actually from New Orleans)

If you like Rhythms of the World

Unknown-4Beginning with the “Latin Tinge” that Jelly Roll Morton incorporated into his music, jazz has always drawn inspiration from music of the world. Here are a few bands that play the rhythms of cultures other than our own.

Thursday, June 26

Tom Robinson (9pm) @ the Hat Trick Lounge (Brazilian)

Black Market Brass (9:30pm) @ The Amsterdam (Afrobeats)

Friday, June 27

Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra (7pm) @ the Union Depot Stage (Latin)

Salsa Del Soul (8:30pm) @ The Bedlam (Latin)

Café Accordion Orchestra (9:30pm) @ The Black Dog Café (French musettes, Latin cumbers, more)

Saturday, June 28

Axis Mundi World (1pm) @ the 6th Street Stage (Gypsy Jazz)

Gypsy Mania Hot Club Quartet (6pm) @ Heartland (Gypsy Jazz)

If you like R&B and Blues

Unknown-5Blues is a building block of jazz. Some jazz vocalists, such as Pipi Ardennia, Debbie Duncan, Lila Ammons, and Dorothy Doring are equally at home singing the blues. Here are some bands that specialize in R&B and blues.

Thursday, June 26

Annie Mack (6:30pm) @ the Amsterdam

Ginger Commodore (2pm) @ The Daily Diner

The Butanes (1:30pm) @ Big Daddy’s

Maurice Jacox (6pm) @ Arnellia’s

Friday, June 27

Big George Jackson (4pm) @ Big Daddy’s

SolFlower Collective (5pm) @ Arnellia’s

Saturday, June 28

Joe Krown Trio (7pm) @ The Union Depot Stage

Black Audience (8:30pm) @ the Bedlam

Moses Oakland (4pm) @ Big Daddy’s

Kathleen Johnson (6pm) @ Arnellia’s

If You like lots of Rock

Red Planet often takes on Jimi Hendrix

Red Planet often takes on Jimi Hendrix

Many of today’s jazz musicians grew up listening to rock, and you’ll hear a bit of that influence in most any young band. Here are three where the influence is particularly strong.

Thursday, June 26

Foreign Motion (6pm), Atlantis Quartet (7:30pm) @ Mears Park

Friday, June 27

Red Planet (4pm) @ Mears Park

If you want to hear Talented Young Musicians

The Jazz St. Louis All-Stars, appearing at the DFJE stage Saturday, at 6pm

The Jazz St. Louis All-Stars, appearing at the DFJE stage Saturday, at 6pm

Whether out of college for just a few years, or still in high school, many of today’s young musicians are proving to be quite impressive.

Thursday, June 26

Jana Nyberg Group (11pm) @ Amsterdam

Friday, June 27

Tyler Anderson(4:30pm) @ Union Depot Stage

Jake Baldwin Quartet (9:30pm) @ The Amsterdam

Graydon Peterson Quartet (11:30pm) @ The Amsterdam

Saturday, June 28

Walker West Music Academy (2pm) @ Mears Park Main Stage

Melissa Aldana & Crash Trio (6pm) @ Mears Park Main Stage

Youth Jazz Showcase (1pm – 8pm) @ DFJE Prince Street Stage (six different bands, including one from St. Louis, MO)

Courageous Endeavors (9:30pm) @ The Black Dog Café

Steve Kenny’s Group 4 (11pm) @ The Black Dog Cafe

If You Want to Learn About Jazz

Babatunde Lea conducting a workshop. Photo by Andrea Canter

Babatunde Lea conducting a workshop. Photo by Andrea Canter

There are three workshops that will be worthwhile to attend. Each has a different spin on jazz, each is open to the public, and each is free.

Friday, June 27

Branford Marsalis (2pm – 3pm) @ McNally Smith College of Music

Saturday, June 28

Babatunde Lea on African Percussion (10:30am – Noon) @ Studio Z

Joe Krown on the B3 Organ (2pm – 3pm) @ McNally Smith College of Music

Javi Santiago on Piano (3:30pm – 4:30pm) @ Rondo Library, Dale & University


A Full Weekend & More. Music: 6.25 – 7.1

June 25, 2014

Mears%20Park%20Crowd%20(Sean%20Jones)%209716Well, it’s Jazz Festival Weekend in the Twin Cities, or more specifically, Saint Paul. I won’t attempt to go into any detail, what with 300 acts over a couple of dozen stages, but will post a separate guide later today with some ideas. In the meantime, I’ve tried to include other jazz happenings as well as a normal amount of roots and blues. Have a good week.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 25

Linda Peterson @ School II Bistro, Chanhassen. 6pm (No Cover) A member of Minnesota’s royal musical family  Linda spent much time in California, but is now back playing piano and singing.

Doug Little’s Tres Mundos @ Arlington Hills Library, Greenbrier St., Saint Paul. 6:30pm – 7:30pm (Free) Okay, last week I had the time wrong and apologize to anyone who didn’t catch the jazz in the library event at Saint Anthony Public Library. The time for this event is correct. Tres Mundos features a blend of salsa, samba and jazz from  pianist/vocalist Viviana Pintado (Cuba), percussionist Eliezer Freites-Santos (Brazil), and saxophonist/flutist Douglas Little (United States). Dancing is encouraged!

Reid Kennedy Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Kennedy is a drummer/producer who, in addition to this trio, plays in the Jack Brass Band. Tonight he’s joined by Chris Lomheim on piano, and Graydon Peterson on bass. Pretty sublime music, if you ask me.

Thursday, June 26

Dancing in the Park

Dancing in the Park

Capri Big Band Street Dance @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) Swing Dancing! Lessons! A Big, Big Multi-generational Band. Outside. Fun. Inside at the Ordway (still fun) in case of rain. Lessons actually start at 6pm.

Barbara Bjork & Vicky Mountain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s a night for vocal jazz. Vicky is one of the area’s most popular educators and jazz singers. Barbara has a cool, accessible approach to jazz and bossa novas.

Friday, June 27

Pig’s Eye Jass Band @ Eagles #34, Minneapolis. 6-9pm ($6) This seven-piece trad jazz band is named after the area’s original bootlegger. Their lively music brings out swing dancers and folks who like to strut their stuff.

images-2Jake Baldwin Quintet @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) This young trumpeter is becoming a force to be reckoned with. His quintet is composed of a number of talented young musicians: Nelson Devereau, sax; Brian Courage, bass; Joe Strachan, piano; and Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Monday, June 30

Craig Handy & 2nd Line Smith @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm,. 9pm ($25) Handy is a saxophone player who was a featured soloist in the theme for the Cosby Show. He’s also portrayed Coleman Hawkins in the the film Kansas City, and has recorded and performed with the Mingus Dynasty Band, Betty Carter, Herbie Hancock, John Scofiled, and as a member of The Cookers. HIs current project, 2nd Line Smith, draws inspiration from the music of New Orleans and organist Jimmy Smith.

Jason Squinobal @ Jazz Central, MInneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Squinobal is a saxophone-playing ethnomusicologist who earned his PhD with a dissertation on West African music and it’s relationship to the music of Art Blakey, Yusef Lateef, and Randy Weston. He is a freelance musician who has toured throughout the US, Canada, and Jamaica.

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, June 25

Lonesome Dan Case on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The swayback machine will take you back about 80 years when you hear Lonesome Dan  He plays the blues like an itinerant musician making his way through the Great Depression. Tune in during the 5 o’clock hour and head over to the 331 Club to see him in person.

Wednesday, Thursday, June 25, 26

Albert Lee featuring Cindy Cashdollar @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Englishman Lee has been (and still is) an in-demand session guitarist for a host of artists, including Muddy Waters, BB King, Jerry Lee Lewis, Eric Clapton, and Emmylou Harris, receiving a number of awards in the process, including five consecutive awards as the Best Country Guitarist from Guitar Player magazine. Cindy Cashdollar plays Dobro and steel guitar, and has worked with many artists as well, including Bob Dylan, Dave Alvin, Rod Stewart, and Marcia Ball, among others. She’s won five Grammy Awards for her work with Asleep At The Wheel.

Thursday, June 26

Midwest Harmonica Workshop Show @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 8pm. ($?)  Featuring Hurricane Harold, Mike Fugazzi, and the Moses Oakland Jam. There’s a big harmonica workshop in town, and to kick things off there’s a performance by a couple of area harpmeisters. Hurricane Harold is known for his work with Cool Disposition and his All Star Blues Revue, while Mike Fugazzi is a hard-charging harp player who has gone through a number of bands.

Rockin’ Pinecones @ the Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 10pm ($6) Music for Cajun dancing, and a little Zydeco too, along with some good ol’ Swamp Pop music for good measure.

Mother Banjo w/Ernie Hendrickson @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($6) Ellen Stanley, aka Mother Banjo, brings her banjo-fueled writing and singing to the Aster, along with Chicago songwriter Ernie Henderson, a roots/rock writer who’s influences include Neil Young, Tom Petty, and Willie Nelson.

Friday, June 27

Steve Clarke & The Working Stiffs @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5?) Another night for dancing at the Eagle’s Club, a saxophonist Clarke & crew brings Jump, Jive, and Swing to the wooden dance floor at the club.

Buffalo Killers @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) Buffalo Killers hail from Ohio. The trio has recorded three albums, opened a string of dates with the Black Crowes and appeared on Last Call with Carson Daly. They play “heavy” rock n’ roll, encompassing garage psychedelia, boogie, and other trademarks of 70s rock. Corpse Reviver opens, with a much quieter sound.

Saturday, June 28

Jennifer Markey in formal attire

Jennifer Markey in formal attire

3rd Annual Honky Tonk Fest @ Grumpy’s NE Bar & Grill, Minneapolis. Muisc by Leo Rondeau, Trailer Trash, Jillian Rae, Jennifer Markey & Her 2nd Cousins, Doug Otto & the Getaways, and more. Proceeds benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma society of Minnesota.

Freewheelin’ KFAI Roots Music Benefit @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 2pm (Suggested Donation $5)  An all day event with about 20 different performers in various permutations, including The Roe Family Singers, Bernie King, Papa John Kolstad and Hurricane Harold, Nikki & the RueMates and more! All proceeds from the door and a percentage of beer sales to KFAI. Here’s a video of one of the bands – the Roe Family Singers.

Sunday, June 29

Run Westy Run, Dosh, & BNLX @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 5pm doors ($20) Formed in the 80s, Run Westy Run was a popular post-punk band in the Twin Cities. They recorded two albums for SST and another for Twin/Tone, and were famous for unpredictable shows, which they performed through the late nineties. Lately, they’ve more or less reunited and have been doing shows around town, including sold-out shows at First Avenue. Dosh uses analog instruments to create electronic soundscapes and collaborate with the likes of Andrew Bird and Bonnie “Prince” Billy. BNLX is a described as an experimental/noisepop/pot-punk band, whatever that means.

Chicha Libre @ the Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30 pm. ($15 advance/$18 Door) It’s an evening of Andean and Latin American music.  Chicha Libre, a Brooklyn Collective of international musicians, draws upon Peruvian “chicha” music, which includes Latin rhythms (Cumbia, to be specific), as might be expected, as well as the sound of surf music and psychedelic pop. Chicha Libre also draws from a raft of other influences, including classical music by Satie and Wagner. Alma Andina, a Twin Cities group with members from Chile, opens.

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 Walley calendar.

Lotsa Music: 6.18 – 6.24

June 18, 2014

Well, we’ve got quite a busy week ahead, with many notable gigs, especially in jazz, and it’s still a week until the TC Jazz Festival. Let’s hope the weather holds for those outdoor gigs, though many have inside alternatives. Have a great week, and support live music.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 18

Bryan Nichols Quartet @ St. Anthony Park Library, Como Avenue, Saint Paul. 6:30pm – 9pm (Free) Pianist Nichols and his quartet (JT Bates, drums; James Buckley, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax) will be presenting  New Forms: Original Works from Jazz’s Past to Future.

Mississippi, featuring Andres Prado @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested Donation) Sax player Pete Whitman leads this band, which includes resident jazz heavyweights Peter Schimke, piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums. The original edition of this group included guitar master Andres Prado, of Peru, who moved back home. Now, however, he’s returned for a few weeks, giving us this rare opportunity to hear him.

Unknown-2Ginger Baker’s Jazz Confusion @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($42 – $50) Baker is best known, of course, as the drummer for Cream and Blind Faith back in the late 60s early 70s, but he spent considerable time in Africa soaking in African rhythms, and even played with Fela Kuti. However, he started as a jazz drummer in the early 60s and got quite a bit of recognition in the UK at that time. He’s always considered himself a jazz drummer, and on his first album in umpteen years tackles numbers like Wayne Shorter’s Footprints and  Sonny Rollins’ St. Thomas. He’ll be using a double bass drum set up, and will be accompanied by Pee Wee Ellis (James Brown alum) on sax; Alec Dankworth on bass, and Abass Dodoo on percussion.

Thursday, June 19

Laura Underwood Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Underwood is a versatile singer, who can handle obscure folk and blues from the early 20th century, as well as class swing and jazz, and a few selected tunes from contemporary singer/songwriters.  Here’s an example of her singing.

The Third Thursday @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Part of the new Thursday night free improvisation series at the Afghan cafe owned by Emil Sherzad of KFAI’s Radio Duende. Tonight features Milo Fine on drum set, electric piano, and B Flat Clarinet, and Bryce Beverlin II on percussion and voice.

Friday, June 20

Connie Olson Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Singer Olson has performed with the Peter Graves Orchestra, the Peter Duchin Big Band, and musicians from a wide variety of bands, ranging from the Manhattan Transfer to Prince & Madonna. Her debut CD, “Daydreaming” is an homage to Doris Day, and showcases her winning voice and interpretive skills.

Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) This monthly gig is always a delight as Washington, on sax, proves adept at creating improvised music that connects with an audience, no matter who is with him. Tonight, it’s  Eric Jackobson, tuba; Brian Roessler, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums.

Saturday, June 21

Improvisation Encounter with Jin Hi Kim @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($10) Free improvisation featuring McKnight visiting composer Jin Hi Kim on the Korean Zither (the comungo), along with Twin Cities improvisers Pat O’Keefe and Nathan Hanson (winds); Scott Miller and Steve Goldstein (electronics); and Dean Granros, guitar.

Davu Seru and DeVon Gray @ Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Here’s a new pairing of musicians that I haven’t seen. Davu Seru is a drummer/percussionist at ease with free improvisation and most any rhythm you throw at him. DeVon Gray is a talented pianist who played with the hip-hop collective Heiruspecs, has accompanied vocalists such as Sophia Shorai, and has occasionally had his own jazz quartet.

Jack Brass Band CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($8) The Jack Brass Brand recently received a second positive mention in Offbeat, the monthly music magazine of New Orleans. They deserve it as both keepers of the Brass Band tradition, and proponents of contemporary music within that tradition. What hip-hop or New Jack Swing song will they next add to their repertoire? Opening is Lulu’s Playground, a chamber jazz group that includes guitar, cello, accordion, and a trumpet player they share with JBB. Here’s the JBB at one of their regular gigs.

Sunday, June 22

Connie Evingson: The Best of the Ella Fitzgerald Songbook @ the Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm, 7:30pm ($25) With Jon Weber (host of NPR’s Piano Jazz) and Gordon Johnson. An exquisite singer, singing exquisite songs with exquisite accompaniment. Did I say it will be exquisite?

They enjoy singing together

They enjoy singing together

Retro Swing Sisters: Swing Dance Sundays @ Richfield American Legion, Richfield. 5pm – 7pm ($5) Maryann Sullivan and Rhonda Laurie (aka: Retro Swing Sisters) begin a weekly gig entitled Swing Dance Sundays. Joining them will be Big Bob Scoggins, guitar; Doug Haining, sax; Keith Boyles, bass and Trevor Haining, drums. There’s a big dance floor, bar, and pizza is available. And, you can still get home in plenty of time to rest up for the week ahead.

James Carter Organ Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($32), 9pm ($22)  Sax virtuoso James Carter is terrific on a variety of saxophones. He’s won awards for his baritone playing and consistently exhibits a searching, imaginative way with his music. Take this gig, for instance, in which the Detroit native will be joined by Leonard King, drums; and Gerard Gibbs, B3. It’s not enough that they’ve got a soul-jazz sound pat. They’re tackling the music of Django Rheinhardt, using the sax as a substitute for Rheinhardt’s lead guitar. Here’s an example.

Monday, June 23

Javier Santiago @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Uber-talented pianist Santiago is back in town from NYC. He’ll be backed by Dad Mac Santiago, and the rest of the JC rhythm section.

Tuesday, June 24

images-2Diane Schuur @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($30) It was 35 years ago that Schuur was “discovered” at the Monterey Jazz Festival by Stan Getz, who took her under his wing. Two Grammys, three additional nominations and numerous #1 listings have resulted. Now she has a new album dedicated to Stan and Frank Sinatra, and it looks like this vocalist is headed to the top of the jazz charts once again.

Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested Donation) Expect an occasional stop and start as the band works on its often explosive, always rhythmic charts, since this is more of an open rehearsal than performance. Don’t let that stop you from attending and enjoying the music and the experience.

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

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, June 18

Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders @ Como Conservatory Visitor Center Lawn, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (Free) It’s time for another Groovin’ in the Garden Series at the Como Zoo and Conservatory. Kicking this season off is wild man Alex “Crankshaft” Larson, whose potent mix of honky tonk, R&B and rockabilly makes for a fun evening. He’s wisely chosen bassist Keith Boyles and drummer Pete Hennig to back him in the Gear Grinders.

Tim Sparks CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10, $42 Dinner & Show) Guitar fans rejoice. Sparks is one of the most versatile finger-pickers in town, and that’s saying a mouthful in this area. His latest, Chasin’ The Boogie, sparkles with blues takes on tunes from Paul McCartney, Roy Orbison, and others, as well as a traditional tune or two and some originals. Special guests include Tom Lieberman and Phil Heywood. Here is Sparks doing one of the songs on the new album:

Thursday, June 19

Ray Covington and the Maxx Band @ Rice Park, Saint Paul (Free) 6pm Dance Lesson, 7:15 music.  An outdoor evening of old school soul and funk, just right for dancing and Steppin’ and if you don’t know how to Step, there’ll be folk from the TC Steppers to instruct you starting at 6pm. Food and drink will also be available. Moved to the Ordway in the event of rain.

Aaron Neville @ the Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley. 7pm ($45, $57.50) Neville came to prominence in the early 60s and had a million selling hit with Tell It Like It Is in 1967. He’s recorded with his brothers, won a couple of Grammys for duets with Linda Ronstadt, had hits on the Adult Contemporary Charts, regularly sang in the gospel tent at the New Orleans Jazz Festival, and recently recorded the top-ten album My True Story, a dozen doo-wop songs from his youth, co-produced by Keith Richards, who also contributed guitar. If you go, you’ll hear a man with the voice of an angel under the stars. Northwoods blues/soul/roots singer Cory Chisel opens. Check out Aaron’s version of Stand By Me:

Millie & the Mill City Cajun Heavyweights @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5) Millie Biere, John Terr, Shawn Glidden, Eric Mohring, AJ Srubas,and Vaughn Asselstine will be laying down those Cajun rhythms for your dancing pleasure.

Friday, June 20

images-3Mary Jane Alm @ 318 Cafe, 318 Water Street, Excelsior. 8pm ($11) Those of you old enough to recall the late 70s and 80s will recall vocalist Alm, one of the highest profile singers in the area. The country-ish singer has had a professional life full of near misses – potential contracts that never arrived, development deals that went nowhere, and rejections by labels as “too country” or “not country enough.” She’s got a great voice and has developed into a darn good songwriter. She usually has a couple of accompanists playing with her, but whatever the configuration, she’ll shine in this intimate listening room.

Black Diet @ Minnehaha Falls Bandstand, Minneapolis. 7pm (free) This garage soul quintet won a trip to SXSW when they won this year’s “Are you Local?” contest. They describe themselves as a garage/soul band that sounds like a Baptist Church service held at a punk house. That’s a pretty fair description of a groove-laden band that uses an organ and soulful riffs and vocals to get their point across. Here’s a video with a couple of their songs.

Tuesday, June 24

Delhi 2 Dublin @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($25) New urban party music, with plenty of electronic beats, mashing & intersecting Indian Bhangra, Celtic Dub, Reggae and Rock. To quote the band, “Delhi 2 Dublin is way more indie that all this other indie bands cause some of us are actually from India.”

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 Walley calendar.


Inside. Outside. Music: 6.11 – 6.17

June 12, 2014
The Green Line of the LRT begins running this weekend.

The Green Line of the LRT begins running this weekend. There will be music galore.

It’s a big weekend for festivals, what with the annual Stone Arch Bridge Festival, music events at many of the stations along the Green Line LRT, the Loring Park Acoustic Music Festival on Saturday, and a few nearby-but-out-of town events. Don’t forget those day-to-day events featuring some of the very talented individual artists and groups in our fair cities, as well as the occasional visitors.

Jazz

Thursday, June 12 Melody Mendis Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s the vocal showcase at Jazz Central, tonight featuring Mendis, a Detroit vocalist who has been calling Minneapolis home for a few years now. She’s sung in a Parisian cabaret, and has toured England and throughout North America, bringing her own interpretation to originals, standards, and some pop/rock fare.

Kinghorn/Baldwin, Inc. @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This should be especially interesting for those who appreciate the intersection of jazz and soul music. A quintet of some of the area’s busiest young musicians will be interpreting jazz and soul standards, as well as songbook tunes and the occasional original. Cameron Kinghorn, vocals; Jake Baldwin, trumpet & trombone; Ted Godbout, piano; Matt Peterson, bass; and Andres Crovetti, drums.

Adam Linz/Paul Metzger Duo @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Grand at Snelling, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Emil Sherzad is host of Radio Duende on KFAI, a show that features much freely improvised music. As the owner of the Khyber Pass Cafe, he’s now providing a new venue for adventurous improvised music every Thursday. The initial show features bassist Adam Linz and guitarist/banjoist Paul Metzger in and evening of improvised music based on a set of African field recordings. Wine, beer, and small plates will be available.

Friday, June 13

Rhonda Laurie Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) This New York City native can sing gypsy jazz, as well as swing some standards and the occasional pop fare. The lounge at Parma 8200 has good cocktails and great bar fare. A fine combination.

Saturday, June 14

Jazz at Studio Z: NextGen Showcase @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) This is the last show of the season for this series, and they’re closing out with some bands featuring young players. At 7pm it’s the No Coast Quintet, with Nelson Devereaux, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Zacc Harris, guitar; Brian Courage, bass, and drummer Lars Larson. At 8pm The Kevin Gastonguay Trio takes to the stage, followed at 9pm by Steve Kenny and Group 47, celebrating the digital release of their new album. Led, more or less, by trumpeter Steve Kennyu, the band features saxophonist Thomas Strommen, bassist Adam Tucker, drummer Alex Burgess, and 17 year old piano phenom Will Kjeer.

Down in New Orleans

Down in New Orleans

Jack Brass Band @ Sibley House Lawn, Mendota. 7pm – 9pm. ($10/$7 for MNMHS members)This traditional/contemporary brass brand will be celebrating Mendota’s rich jazz history by playing the New Orleans jazz that filled the clubs in Mendota from the 60s through the 80s. Bring a blanket or chair and soak in the music. If the weather isn’t cooperating, it will be moved into the Mendota VFW, where seating is limited, so reservations are recommended at 651-3452-1596.

Sunday, June 15 Unknown-2Maud Hixson & Rick Carlson: Cole Slaw @ Saint Albert The Great, E. 29th & 32nd Av S, Minneapolis. 1pm – 2:30pm ($15) It’s 123 years since the birth of Cole Porter (June 9, 1891) and Ms Hixson and Mr Carlson are presenting a An Afternoon Picnic of Porter, celebrating his music.

Capri Big Band @ The Como Lakeside Pavillion, Como Park, Saint Paul. 3pm (Free) An inter-generational big band, 25 pieces strong, directed by Faye Washington. They bring a hefty dose of soulfulness and brio to the big band sound.

Billy Hart Quartet featuring Ethan Iverson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Drummer Hart has played with Otis Redding, Jimmy Smith, The Montgomery Brothers, Eddie Harris, Pharoah Sanders, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Wayne Shorter Stan Getz, and Miles Davis, to name a few. He teaches at Oberlin Conservatory, the New England Conservatory, and Western Michigan University. In short, he’s got the chops and he knows how to use them. His quartet includes pianist Ethan Iverson, known around here for his work with the Bad Plus, Mark Turner on sax; and Ben Street on bass. If you want to know jazz, this is the gig to attend.

Monday, June 16

Peter Enblom @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 11pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This should be fun for those fans of the sometimes maligned trombone, as Enblom has been playing the instrument, in all genres, for over 40 years. He’s played for such legendary performers as Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, and Harry Connick, Jr., and is currently the lead trombonist with the Brian Setzer Orchestra. He performs as well with the JazzMN Orchestra, the Explosion Big Band, and the Bill Simonsen Orchestra, as well as with numerous other groups.

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…

Thursday, June 12

John Gorka and Michael Johnson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) A night of singer/songwriting without peer. Both Gorka and Johnson have been at it since the 70s. Gorka has recorded eleven albums, including a 2010 album with Red House label-mates Lucy Kaplansky and Eliza Gilkyson which was one of the most played folk albums of the year. Johnson scored a top ten hit with Bluer Than Blue in 1978 and since then has had four tunes on the Hot 100 and nine on the country charts. He spent 20 years living here, doing annual Christmas shows at the Guthrie, though he now lives in Nashville, where he continues to write.

Friday, June 13

Booker T. Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($42), 9pm ($35) That’s Booker T as in Booker T and the MGs. The MGs may be no more, but Booker T plays on, recording his latest album, Sound the Alarm, with a number of contemporary R&B voices, and . Before that, his album Potato Hole, with the Drive-By Truckers received an Grammy for the Best Pop Instrumental album. I expect he’ll be playing some old favorites, like Green Onions and Time is Tight in addition to newer tunes.

New Sound Underground @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) Here’s a funk-laden group whose inspiration draws from genre-crossing jazz like RH Factor, Weather Report, and Soulive. Member include: Kevin Gastonguay, Keys; Trent Jacob Baarspul, Electric Guitar; Christopher Ray Hunnicutt, Electric Bass; Kenyari Steele-Jackson, Drums; Sten Johnson, tpt, Flugelhorn, & Trombone; and Nelson Devereaux on Saxophones.

Left Lane Cruiser w/Sex Rays @ Bayport BBQ & Nashville Hot Chicken, Bayport. 8pm ($12) Left Lane Cruiser has been a favorite of Bayport BBQ owner Chris Johnson since before Johnson started the Deep Blues Festivals some years ago. LLC is a duo that plays raw, bluesy rock, and is heavily influence by musicians from North Mississippi Hill Country. Sex Rays open, with a sound that combines the Sex Pistols and Link Ray. Get there early for some fine BBQ and maybe a few tastes of “white lightnin”.

images-4Friday, Saturday, June 13, 14

5th Annual Howlin’ Wolf Tribute @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 each night, $15 for both nights) Friday line-up: Chris Holm, Tonny Manno (Chicago), Rev. KM Williams (Dallas, TX), Black Diet, The Fattenin’ Frogs. Saturday line-up: Minke Munson, The Crooked Saws, The Flood Brothers, Ross Kleiner & the Thrill, Javier & the Innocent Sons

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, June 13, 14, 15

Stone Arch Bridge Festival @ St. Anthony Main, Minneapolis. 6pm-10pm Fri, 10am – 7pm Sat, 10am – 5pm Sun. This annual festival is an art show and music festival, along with a car show and motorcycle showcase (To attract Dads on Father’s Day), and of course, food. It’s held across the river from downtown Minneapolis and will feature many singer/songwriters in a variety of styles that encompass folk, indie rock, Americana, and roots music. You can go to the website to find out schedules.

Saturday, June 14

Lowertown’s End of the Line Block Party @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 2pm – 9pm (Free) The Green Line LRT opens for business today, and to celebrate, Lowertown businesses and artists are joining together to present art, food, henna painting, and more, including music by The Brass Messengers, Zacc Harris Group, The Person and The People, Orkestar Bez Ime, The Pete Hennig Group, and The Maurice Jacox Band. Hosted by Hot Date.

Monday, June 16

The Fairlanes @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. Noon (Free) An afternoon delight as four guys harmonize to songs from the 50s to the present. It’s acapella doo-wop, for want of a better term.

Monday, Tuesday, June 16, 17

Maceo Parker @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55), 9pm ($35, $45) The embodiment of funk. Maceo was a sideman who was immortalized in 1965 when James Brown said “Maceo, I want you to blow” during the recording of I Got You (I Feel Good). Since then he’s been in and out of the JBs, had his own hit as Maceo and His Men with Soul Power, recorded with Parliament/Funkadelic, Keith Richards, 10,000 Maniacs, Ani DeFranco, Prince, and others, as well as recording his own albums of funk and jazz. You can read an interview I did with him a few years ago here.

Tuesday, June 17

Rich Lewis Band @ Mears Park, Saint Paul. Noon (Free) Some more noon-time fun in the summertime, this time from the New Orleans-ish, Motown-ish R&B band led by Mr. Lewis.

 

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.


Dancing in the Streets, Parks, and Clubs. Music: 6.4 – 6.10

June 4, 2014
The Lyn-Lake Street Festival a couple of years ago.

The Lyn-Lake Street Festival a couple of years ago.

Music lifts your spirit, especially when dancing. Outdoor festivals will surely break out in dancing, whether to rock n’ roll, funk, or big bands. However, those of you who prefer the indoors, or simply listening, will have plenty of opportunities to indulge yourselves.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 4

Happy Spirits @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Anthony Cox curates first Wednesdays at JC, and tonight he’s bringing in one of his own bands. Happy Spirits will be playing contemporary jazz inspired by electric Miles, Primetime Ornette, and David Holland’s Prism. The band will include Soloman Parham, trumpet; Peter Schimke, keys; Kevin Washington, drums; and Anthony Cox on bass and cello.

Thursday, June 5

Joyce Lyons @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Lyons, who moved to the Twin Cities a few years ago, has sung all over the country, and even for the Supreme Court.  Her singing seems straightforward, yet her interpretation of classic standards shows nuance, as well as an understanding of the words and the emotions behind them.

Friday, June 6

JT Bates Organ Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The versatile drummer Bates, gets together with Kevin Gasonguey on B3, and Zacc Harris on guitar, who is no stranger to B3 trios himself.

Unknown-3Vicky Mountain @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm  (No Cover) Vicky is a well-known and well-appreciated singer and educator who is equally comfortable scatting bebop, singing the Great American Songbook, or providing a new interpretation to the lyrics of rock n’ roll chestnuts. Well worth hanging out at the lounge of this D’Amico restaurant.

 

What Would Monk Do @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) This is the fifth year of performing for this quartet, featuring Peter Schimke, piano; Billy Peterson, bass; Steve Kenny, trumpet; and Kenny Horst, drums. It’s the first public performance for Horst since the closing of the Artists’ Quarter. As usual, this high-powered quartet will present both well-known and obscure tunes by Thelonious Monk as well as Monk-inspired compositions by Steve Kenny and Kenny Horst.

Fall of the House of Usher @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) A octet of jazz musicians playing groove music: Afrobeats; 70s Psychedelic Miles, New Orleans funk, and 80s No Wave, among others. Christopher Cunningham, guitar; Chis Bates, bass; Greg Schutte, drums; Jon Davis, clarinets; Nelson Deveraux, saxes; Adrian Larkin, alto; Elliott Wachs, baritone sax; and Ivan Cunningham, alto.

Friday, Saturday, June 6, 7

Dave King Trucking Company @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($10 advance/$12 door) I could probably highlight a different Dave King group each month for a year if the groups in which he’s a founder and/or major player performed enough. As it is, for two nights, King and Co. will be turning up the heat at the Icehouse with ferocious, sonically dense music from Chris Speed & Brandon Wozniak, saxes; Eric Fratzke, guitar; Adam Linz, bass; and King on drums and cymbals.

Sunday, June 8

24th Annual Jazz on the Prairie Festival @ Staring Lake Amphitheater, Eden Prairie, 2pm – 8pm. (Free) Here’s a chance to fully sate your need to hear big bands. Starting at 2pm, the Bend in the River Big Band takes the stage, followed hourly by the Just Friends Big Band, The Good News Big Band, The River City Jazz Orchestra, The ACME Jazz Company, and host Jazz on the Prairie Big Band. Ribs will be available to ease your hunger pangs. More information on location and parking can be found at: http://www.jazzontheprairie.com/jazzfestival.aspx

Firebell @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 4pm – 6pm (Tip Jar) Park Evans, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums, perform Park’s originals as well as jazz standards for a Sunday afternoon.

Emily Bear @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Quincy Jones is producing this 12-year old, whose talent as a piano player far outstrips her years – she’s already written over 350 songs, and has performed at the Montreaux Jazz Festival, the White House, Carnegie Hall, and on numerous TV shows. She’s also showing promise as a singer. Here she is at Montreaux.

Monday, June 9

Mary Louise Knutson Trio w/Debbie Duncan @ Crowne Plaza Hotel Regency Room, 3131 Campus Drive, Plymouth. 7pm – 8:15pm. (Free) This performance is part of the Minnesota Music Teachers Association Convention, but is open to the public and free. Joining pianist Knutson will be bassist Chris Bates, and drummer Greg Schutte. Debbie Duncan will join the Trio mid-way through the set.

Adam Rossmiller @ Jazz Central, Minnepolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested Donation) Trumpeter Rossmiller plays with the Jack Brass Band, Mambo’s Combo, Snowblind, and several other groups, including the occasional tour with Doc Severinson. He’s played with the JC trio before, so I expect this will be a relaxed, swingin’ set.

Tuesday, June 10

A Chris Olson Project @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Olson is on the faculty at McNally Smith, and also teaches at MacPhail and the Shell Lake Jazz Camp during summer months. He may be best known for his work in the trio Framework, with Chris Bates and Jay Epstein, where his clean lines shine through. Each month at the  Black Dog he’s joined by a special guest.

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, June 4

7632Joe & Vicki Price on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) These Delta-inspired blues artists make their home in Northern Iowa, and lucky for us, make regular trips to the Twin Cities to appear in a number of venues over the course of the week. Joe & Vicki kick off this month’s semi-residency with an appearance on Harold’s House Party during the 5pm hour, then head over to the 331 Club to perform from 7pm – 9pm.

Thursday, June 5

Todd Clouser @ The 318 Club, Wayzata. 8pm ($10) Minnesota born, educated in NYC, and living in Mexico City, guitarist/composer Clouser plays jazz with a number of artists, and leads his own A Love Electric, yet doesn’t fit into a neat jazz category, since his playing and writing reveal rock and other influences as well. Tonight he’ll be playing solo at this intimate west metro coffeehouse with wine & beer.

Jacox, Mosher, Wells, & Bobby E @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 1pm (Tip Jar) Maurice Jacox, vocalist extraordinaire, has been doing a few gigs with guitarist Bobby E and Tom Wells on tuba. As might be expected with musicians of this calibre, the results have been entertaining and enlightening. Now they’re adding Cathy Mosher, a long-time singing partner of Bobby E to the mix. Add in the cozy, low-key confines of Dusty’s and you have an intimate evening of music.

Friday, June 6

Willie Murphy & the Angel-Headed Hipsters and Chris Holm @ the Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($6) Jackson Buck of KFAI presents another Freewheelin’ Friday. This one features the legendary Willie Murphy and his band, playing their unique blend of blues, R&B and rock n’ roll. Chris Holm, of 4 on the Floor and the Fattenin’ Frogs, will play some blues to open. There’ll be a food truck, of course, and the weather should allow for opening the warehouse doors and spreading the music outside. Here’s Murphy:

Playing for Change @ O’Shaughnessy Auditorium, Saint Paul. 7pm ($35, $40, $60) This is a very successful high-concept band, brought together with the idea of inspiring and bringing peace to the world through music. Its ten musicians come from New Orleans, The Netherlands, South Africa, Congo, Japan, Zimbabwe, Los Angeles, Cuba, and Israel. They’ve played major festivals on four continents and opened for Robert Plant throughout Australia.

Saturday, June 7

Figuring out consensually agreed-upon areas

Figuring out consensually agreed-upon areas

Dirty Curls CD Release, w/The Beavers @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 9pm. Courtney McClean’s “Naughtybilly” band puts the blue in bluegrass. They play fast and loose with double and triple entendres, even winkingly using a single entendre or two to sing about lust and love. The all-female Beavers (that’s the name they chose) start things out with more blue/newgrass at 10pm, but attendees are encouraged to show up early to chat and, to quote Ms McClean, “give the Curls a squeeze in a consensually-agreed upon area of our bodies.” Definitely 21+.

Sunday, June 8

Chastity Brown, The Ericksons, & Molly Maher w/Eric Koskinen @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11am (No Cover) An Americana brunch with the folk blues of Chastity Brown; the close, sisterly harmonies of the Ericksons; and the country-rock of Molly Maher, w/guitarist/soinger/composer Eric Koskinen.

Lyn-Lake Street Fest @ Lyndale & Lake, Minneapolis. noon – 7pm. (Free) The outdoor festival season is well upon us, and today we have a chance to experience a variety of music starting with the children’s music of Adam Levy’s Bunny Clogs at noon, followed at 1pm by Ashley Gold; Ginko at 2pm; Toki Wright & Big Cats at 3; Dosh at 4; Rogue Valley at 5; and concluding with the Secret Stash Soul Revue at 6pm.

Sambanova @ Saint Paul Central Library, Saint Paul. 2pm (Free) Brazil has given us a number of highly rhythmic, often sensual music styles. Two terrific guitarists, Joan Griffith, and Sam Militch, will explore explore them.

Ladies Sing the Blues @ Roseville Central Park, 2540 N. Lexington, Roseville. 4pm (free) Here’s an afternoon of blues from Lady J. Griot & her Root Doctors, and the Groove Merchants, featuring Jimi Prime Time Smith, and the “Duchess of the Blues,” Dee Miller. The C-Notes will make a special appearance as well.

Monday, June 9

The Secret Someones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12) This NYC includes three singer/songwriters and a drummer/multi-instrumentalist. The singers, Bess Rogers, Lelia Broussard, and Hannah Winkler, create sunny harmonies reminiscent of the Bangles & Bananarama, and with the solid support of drummer Zach Jones, the group’s catchy music is, to borrow a phrase, pure pop for now people. See for yourself.

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.


Jazz, Blues, Country, Folk. Music: 5.28 – 6.3

May 28, 2014
A little humor from the Zits comic strip

A little humor from the Zits comic strip

We don’t have many visiting artists this week, but the few that are visiting are outstanding, from jazz pianist Bill Charlap to music insider Peter Asher. A passing glance at the resident artists appearing around town will show that we have more than enough high quality talent of our own. However, we have to remember to support our resident artists by attending their shows. As we encounter life’s challenges, we all need to refresh, and music certainly lifts the spirit. Have a good week.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 28

Wolverines Trio w/Maud Hixson @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm The ever-tasteful Wolverines, together with Ms Hixson’s clear voice and impeccable diction will win out over the Kitchen’s sometimes noisy environment. It always helps to sit close to the stage.

Dean Magraw & Praire Rhythm Section@ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7)  With Gary Raynor, bass; and Peter Johnson, drums. Dean Magraw is arguably the most versatile guitarist in town, able to go from psychedelia to John Coltrane to Irish jigs and Indian ragas all in the course of a couple of songs. No wonder he’s been a favorite of Mr. Keillor. Tonight he has a couple of other Prairie Home regulars backing him up.

Graydon Peterson Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Peterson is a first-call bassist in town, and has been a sideman in a variety of configurations, from trios to big bands. He’s recently been writing his own music, and has gathered Adam Mecler, trumpet; Vinnie Rose, guitar; and Adrian Suarez on drums to give voice to his melodies.

Thursday, May 29

Bill Charlap Trio @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30), 9pm ($20, $25) W/Peter Washington, bass; Kenny Washington, drums. Pianist Charlap is known for his interpretations of The Great American Songbook, and though he’s imaginative, he also gets to the essence of a song. His trio with the non-related Washington’s is rock solid.

 

Rhonda Laurie @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Thursday Night is Vocal Night at Jazz Central, and Ms Laurie is a prime example of the wealth of vocal talent in town. She can swing gypsy jazz, straight ahead, and modern material with equal ease.

Friday, May 30

Eric Kamau Gravatt @ Jazz Central, MInneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) If you’ve been paying attention to Twin Cities Jazz for a few years, you probably know of Gravatt’s stints with Weather Report and McCoy Tyner, among others. Tonight he’s joined by Brandon Wozniak, sax; Charles Lincoln, bass; and Zacc Harris, guitar.

Davu Seru and Song Click @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) w/Donald Washington, sax; Nathan Hanson, sax; Brian Courage, bass; Marc Anderson, percussion. A great gathering of musicians who are master improvisers, whether they’re working with variations on written pieces or freely improvising.

Saturday, May 31

Benny Weinbeck Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Weinbeck, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums, have been delivering weekly doses of high quality music for the d’Amico Brothers for years, first at the Chambers Hotel, and now at this Italian restaurant in the SW quadrant of 494 & 100. They appear in the restaurant’s cocktail lounge, where you are still free to order dinner or one of the smaller plates from the bar menu.

Sunday, June 1

Zacc Harris Trio @ The Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Zacc, Matt Peterson, and Peter Hennig have been playing Sunday Nights at the Riverview for quite a while now. All three are such great players that they continually surprise, and have yet to fall into a rut.

Monday, June 2

Tom Rainey & Ingrid Laubrock @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Germany-born Ingrid Laubrock now lives in Brooklyn, where she composes and plays soprano and tenor sax. She and drummer Tom Rainey have recorded an album  of ten improvisations entitled And Other Desert Towns. They’ve played together in various bands since 2009, when Laubrock arrived in Brooklyn, yet this is their first duo record. Expect closely communicated, freely improvised music. Here they are in a trio format:

 

Tuesday, June 3

Dean Magraw & Eric Kamau Gravatt @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Well, if you missed Dean at the Dakota and Eric at Jazz Central, you now have a chance to see them both playing off each other, and having a good time.

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, May 28

Unknown-1Jimmi & the Band of Souls @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm ($5?) Jimmi & the band are an energetic quartet that plays blues that stick in your head. They’re going to the 2015 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, representing Minnesota. This evening they’re celebrating the release of a new album, Live From the Park Theater, by bringing in a couple of special guests for this early evening show.

Thursday, May 29

New Riverside Ramblers @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5?) Here in Minnesota you’d be hard pressed to find a Cajun group with a history as long as the Ramblers. They’ve been together for twenty years or so, and have studied or performed with many of the genre’s veterans. So get out your dancing shoes and twirl, spin, and dip to your heart’s content.

Friday, May 30

Falderals CD Release @ The Aster Cafe, Minnepolis. 9pm ($10) This husband and wife team of Andrew and Rebecca Andestic met in Armenia, where they were both serving in the Peace Corps. Since then they’ve busked on the streets of Chicago, and have performed regularly around the Twin Cities. They write deeply felt, melodic folk songs (with a touch of folk-rock) that resonate with all ages. The CD is called Witness, and includes Shane Akers, dobro; Jim McGuinn, lapsteel & keys; and Derek McCullum on ukelele; all of whom will be special guests tonight.

Pistol Whippin’ Party Penguins CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($8) A five piece string band that updates that traditional sound with original songs as well as creative arrangements of traditional bluegrass tunes, and untraditional tunes from folk, rock, and blues. They’re celebrating the release of their third studio album, Way Back Home.  Opening is The Last Revel, a passionate trio using three-part folk harmonies supported by an attitude that borrows freely from rock n’ roll rebels.

Saturday, May 31

Moe’s Folk & Blues Festival @ Moe’s, 2400 Highway 10, Moundsview. 3pm – Midnight (No Cover) Okay, you’ve got Paul Mayasich, Randy Webb & Dave Baab, Gene LaFond, Spider John Koerner, Paul Metsa & Sonny Earl, and inside, The Scottie Miller Trio to round out the evening. Who knew the West Bank has moved up to Mounds View?

Hurricane Harold’s All Star Blues Revue @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) Well the All Stars vary according to whoever is in town, but don’t worry, Harold’s been at this so long he can always find simpatico players.

Sunday, June 1

Sherwin Linton @ Famous Dave’s, MInneapolis. 10am – 2pm (No cover) How ‘bout some country music to go with those biscuits, gravy, waffles and rib tips? Linton has been performing for some 58 years now, bringing an unmatched authenticity to classic country and rockabilly. Check out his version of Tennessee Stud:

Samantha Harlow @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul., 4pm – 6pm (Tip Jar) This Saint Paul native spent a decade pouring drinks in a Nashville honky tonk, and countless nights touring and singing as a solo act. All that work has helped Harlow  learn how to write classic country tunes.

Jimages-2oe Ely @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($27, $35) Rockin’ honky tonk from Texas, by a guy who has played with Springsteen, Uncle Tupelo, The Chieftains, Lyle Lovett, and John Hiatt. Early on, he and his band toured with The Clash, and he even supplied background vocals on Should I Stay or Should I Go. Plus, he wrote the music for The Horse Whisperer. He and guitar slinger Jeff Plankenhorn will be performing mostly acoustic versions of Ely’s songs.

Tuesday, Wednesday, June 3,4

Peter has every reason to smile.

Peter has every reason to smile.

Peter Asher @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) Asher is the ultimate music industry insider, from the days his sister was dating Paul McCartney, to his own singing career with Peter & Gordon, to producing records for a wide variety of artists (two Grammys), as well as musicals, PBS features, and various award shows. He’ll share his story, sing a few songs, and generally be one of the most entertaining dinner guests you’ll ever run across.

 

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.

 

 


Remembering & Anticipating. Music: 5.21 – 5.27

May 21, 2014

images-2Greetings to one and all. All of a sudden, Memorial Day is upon us. It’s a time to remember loved ones and those we’ve lost to wars. It’s also the unofficial beginning of summer – grilling and festival season. If you’re not heading Up North and enjoy a wide variety of music, there’s a weekend outdoor event at Memory Lanes. We’ve also got a couple of CD release parties and a visiting artist or two to supplement the wealth of music we have here in the Twin Cities. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 21

Century Jazz Ensemble @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) The Century Jazz Ensemble has a long history, a large repertoire, and a deservedly great reputation. It’s members meet weekly in a class called Music 1017, which is just an opportunity to jam and rehearse for two hours. Here’s a chance to hear them outside of the school and their special events. Plus, it’s a chance to check out the big band Tuesdays that MMC is having these days.

McNally Smith X-Tet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Pete Whitman leads this eleven piece student ensemble playing an eclectic mix of material ranging from classic hard bop to 21st century sounds.

A musical and sartorial inspiration

A musical and sartorial inspiration

Thursday, May 22

Irv Williams’ CD Release Party @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) Like the Energizer Bunny, Irv Williams just keeps on going. The tenor saxophonist may be 90+ but he’s still “Mr. Smooth,” with a beautiful sound and an ability to glide among notes with the greatest of ease. On the new CD, Pinnacle, he plays with Billy Peterson, bass, and Steve Blons, guitar.

Friday, May 23

Good Vibes Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Chris Bates, bass; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; and Phil Hey, drums, perform tunes from Monk, Mingus, & Coltrane, as well as originals. Exquisite jazz.

Andrew Foreman @ Jazz Central Late Night, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Andrew Foreman is leaving town for the summer, and is having a going-away party of sorts. The night begins with the Ben Abrahamson Quartet performing their interpretation of Sea Changes, the Beck album. Chomsky, Foreman’s quartet, will then take the stage to play a mix of originals and indie rock covers.

Saturday, May 24

JoAnn Funk & Jeff Brueske @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Pianist/Vocalist Funk and bassist Brueske will be taking off from this weekly gig during the summer, though they’ll return for three nights of Jazz Fest. Anyway, this is a chance to hear some high quality jazz as Funk sings from a songbook that includes tunes by Nat King Cole, Blossom Dearie, and Dan Penn, among others.

Saturday, Sunday, May 24, 25

Unknown-2Davina & the Vagabonds Album Release Party @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) In the ten years since this Florida native settled here in the Twin Cities, Davina has gained thousands of adoring fans, who turn out to see her in a wide variety of settings, from the honky-tonk surroundings of Lee’s Liquor Lounge, to the swank Dakota, where she fills the house with every performance. Thanks to incessant touring, her legion of fans stretches across the nation and around the world. She and the Vagabonds will be spending a lot of time in Europe this summer, and cap the season with two appearances at the Monterey Jazz Festival. Unlike most of her previous albums, the new album, Sunshine, was recorded (analogue!) in the studio, yet ably captures the excitement and sass of a DATV performance. Reservations recommended.

Sunday, May 25

Butch Thompson Blues, Rags, and Stomps: An Homage to the Emporium of Jazz @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Pianist/clarinetist Thompson got his start with the Hall Brothers Jazz Band, who opened the Emporium of Jazz in Mendota back in 1966. It was an important tour stop for anyone playing traditional jazz, where you could buy set-ups, dance, and listen to the Hall Brothers backing some of the founders of the tradition. Thompson will be backed by some of the original members of the Hall Brothers: Charlie DeVore, cornet; Russ Hall, trombone; Mike Polad, piano; and Bill Evans, bass. They’ll be joined by drummer Peter Johnson and vocalist Hilary Thavis, who will sing some classic blues.

Monday, Tuesday, May 26, 27

Victor Wooten @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($37), 9pm ($27) Wooten is a five-time Grammy Winner, a founding member of Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, and winner of many awards for his electric bass playing. Thanks in part to a clean sound, he has the ability to keep things interesting while taking the lead for whole songs.

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, May 21

Don Scott & Curtis Blake on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 FM & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 club – Tip Jar) A classic blues pairing of guitarist/vocalist (Scott) and harp player (Blake). Both have long histories with other bands, and both still play with others, but when they get together, the creative energy explodes. Here they are doing a Brownie McGhee song just about a year ago.

 

Malamanya @ The Loring Pasta Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Malamanya’s take on Cuban and Latin rhythms is both infectious and sensuous. The spacious venue with a large dance floor awaits salsa dancers and free-stylers alike. DJ Rambo Salinas will be spinning Latin and Chicano Soul before and between sets.

Thursday, May 22

Nikki & The Rue-Mates @ Sea Salt Eatery, Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis. 5pm (Tip Jar) Can it get any better than catching some folk-rock and blues, hanging in Minnehaha Park, and enjoying the much-praised seafood at Sea Salt. Nikki & the guys will be singing outside, so naturally, this is a weather dependent gig. Here’s a video that shows you what you can expect.

American Composers Forum Showcase @ The Landmark Center Weyerhauser Auditorium, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) This is an inaugural event of the American Composers Forum, which recently moved into the Landmark Center. The Zeitgeist ensemble will perform new works by Gene Pritsker (NYC), Bruce Reiprich (Flagstaff), Joshua Harris (Denton, TX), and James May (Amery, WI).

Friday, May 23

Jeffrey Broussard & The Creole Cowboys @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15 advance/$18 door) Zydeco Dance lesson at 7:30. Band plays at 8. It’s an Upriver Fais Do Do, as the Krewe de Walleye brings Broussard up from Louisiana and local cajun/zydeco dancers fill the floor. If you don’t feel the need to move to the classic creole and contemporary zydeco from Broussard & his bandmates, you better check your pulse.

Ronn Easton @ Famous Dave’s, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) Ronn brings his considerable vocal skills to the BBQ joint, where he and his band will be playing uptown blues from the likes of ZZ Hill, Johnny Taylor, Robert Cray, and Tyrone Davis for dancers.

Tom Lieberman @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Vocalist/guitarist Lieberman was a member of the West Bank jazz trio Rio Nido back in the day. He’s continued to write, has had a song sung by Sesame Street’s Elmo, had another featured in the indie film Sweetland and has appeared on Prairie Home Companion. His songs swing, jump, and occasionally, veer into Louis Prima-style humor.

Saturday, May 24

Rhizosphere @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar)  Improvisation from a quartet that explores the fertile territory where the roots of music from around the world come together. Sounds from Europe, Asia, and the Americas interact spontaneously in an aural environment held together by the great American traditions of Jazz, Folk Music, and the Blues. Members of the group include Bob Fantauzzo, Native American and Chinese flutes; Gabriela Sweet, slide guitar & accordion; Mike Burns, guitar; and Sean Egan, clarinet.

Alma Andina @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 11:30PM ($5) Four Chileans and two Americans who have lived in Chile perform Andean and Latin American music. The groups play a combination of percussion, guitar, charanago, flutes and of course, pan pipes.

Saturday, Sunday May 24, 25

Weekend Block Party @ Memory Lanes, Minneapolis. (Free)  If you’re not heading Up North for the weekend, you can enjoy the outdoors while listening to a cornucopia of mostly newer talent. Among the performers Saturday: Black Market Brass, Buffalo Moon, Southside Desire, Black Diet, Grolar Bears, Hotpants/Hipshaker Deejays. Sunday brings: Deadstring Brothers, L’Assasins; Ross Kleiner & the Thrill; DJs Shannon Blowtorch & Father Time, among others.

Sunday, May 25

La Abandonada Orquesta de Tango @ Loring Pasta Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm (No cover) A little tango music from the “ Golden Age of Tango,” played by Cory Grossman, Matt Mioller, Sara Pajunen, and Trish Hurd-Paczkowski.

Lamont Cranston & Willie Murphy: 3rd Annual West Bank Reunion @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 8pm ($?) It’s s boogie down R&B, soulful, bluesy celebration with two of the stalwart bands of the West Bank, circa the late 70s and early 80s. Both are still going strong, filling dance floors wherever they play. Tomorrow’s a holiday, so even if you’re old enough to remember the revelry at the Cabooze and Union Bar when these bands played those venues, you can stay up and sleep late. Check out Willie & the band.

 

Monday, May 26

Jack Brass Band @ The Como Park Zoo & Conservatory, Saint Paul. 10:30am, 11:45am, & 12:40pm. (Free) You’ll have three chances to take part in a Second Line Parade around the zoo grounds, led by the joyous sounds of the Jack Brass Band.

Tuesday, May 27

Paul Mayasich & Dan Schwalbe @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Two extraordinary guitarists go mano-a-mano for your listening (and dancing?) pleasure, backed by bassist Grant Wibben.

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.


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