Music, Music, Music: 6.10 – 6.16

June 10, 2015

imagesMusic, Music, Music. It’s a #1 song from 1949, sung by Teresa Brewer,  with the line, “All I want is loving you and music, music, music.” We are lucky enough to have plenty of music here in the Twin Cities. Here’s a sample of what’s in store for the coming week.

Jazz
Wednesday, June 10
Charmin & Shapira and Friends @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Vocalist Charmin Michelle and guitarist Joel Shapira have an ability to create intimate moments, thanks to Michelle’s supple and inviting voice, and Shapira’s liquid guitar lines. They also swing with élan. Their friends tonight include Paul Harper, sax; Tom Lewis, bass; and Nathan Norman on drums.


Thursday, June 11
Dorothy Doring & Donald Washington @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) VocalistDoring is adept at both blues and jazz, bringing verve to both. Drummer/vocalist Washington has a deep smooth tone to his voice, which is equally adept at blues and jazz.

Le Percheron + Levi Schwartzberg Quintet @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) The headliner for this intimate gig is Le Percheron: Bassist Adam Linz; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, trumpet. Levi Scwartzbergs’ own quintet of fine young musicians will be opening: Peter Goggin, alto sax; Charlie Lincoln, bass; Benjamin Beyene, drums and Aidan Sponheim, keys.

Foreign Motion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) A relatively young quartet creating 21st Century jazz. Leader/guitarist Cory Wong has been playing with Patty Peterson, Mambo’s Combo, Robert Robinson, and other bands around town, recently played the Dakota with Rolling Stones sidemen Tim Ries and Bernard Fowler. When RS Drummer Charlie Watts joined them, Wong’s solo on “Paint It Black” got a standing ovation. Joining Wong are long time bandmates Yohannes Tona, bass; Kevin Gastonguey, keys; and Peter Janjic, drums, each of whom has their own sterling credits.


Friday, June 12
Tommy Bruce Trio @ Parma 8200,Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Bruce is one of the unheralded vocalists in town. His smooth baritone, so good for this venue, deserves wider recognition.

Tommy Bentz Quartet @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Bentz has studied violin, sax, oboe, and bass which allows him to integrate many musical ideas into his playing. He’ll be joined by Steve Kenny, trumpet; Alex Burgess, drums; and Jason McLean, bass.

Saturday, June 13
Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm – 10:30pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) The Will Schmid Group plays at 7 pm. Guitarist Will Schmid will be a HS senior in the coming year. His group includes Gerhardt Robinson, sax; Jesse Horson, drums; Tyler Wagner, bass. The Graydon Peterson Quartet comes on stage at 8:30 with Peterson bass; Adam Meckler, trumpet; Vinnie Rose, guitar; Adrian Suarez, drums.


Benny Weinbeck Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) High quality piano jazz, with Weinbeck on the keys, Gordy Johnson on bass; and Phil Hey on drums. Perfect for the small lounge at this Italian restaurant.

Hannibal Lokumbe @ Penumbra Theater, Saint Paul. 10pm ($35) With Kevin Washington, drums; Jeff Bailey, bass; Jason Butler, piano. Original works, including “And Their Voices Cry Freedom,” written to honor people who devoted lives to the liberation of humanity (Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela, others).

Monday, June 15
Twin Cities Jazz Cats @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) With four vocalists and an 8 piece band, these cats will likely have some of the diners at Crooners leaving their desserts to take a spin on the dance floor.

Bryan Nichols’ We Are Many! and Jonah Parzen-Johnson @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10)We Are Many! is a large ensemble. Some of the players include: Jeremy Ylvisaker, Brandon Wozniak, Nelson Devereaux, Dave Graf, Adam Linz, James Buckley, JT Bates…  Parzen-Johnson is a NYC based performer on baritone sax and synthesizer. As JT Bates describes him, “Jonah plays lofi experimental folk music for solo baritone saxophone and analog synthesizer. Imagine the raw energy of an Appalachian choir, balanced by a fearlessly exposed saxophone voice, resting on a strikingly unique combination of analog synthesizer components sitting on the floor in front of him.”   Here’s a video of Jonah Parzen-Johnson.


Tuesday, June 16
Freddy Cole @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $35) Though he is the younger brother of Nat King Cole (and the uncle of Natalie), Cole’svoice is darker, and a bit more raspy. Then too, Cole’s own abilities have caused comparisons to Nat to fade over the years. His comforting voice is mature, expressive, and supple, characteristics that make him an outstanding jazz vocalist.


Pete Whitman’s X-Tet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) I believe this is the original X-Tet, which hasn’t played much since the Artists’ Quarter closed down. Its members include Whitman, Clay Pufahl, and Dave Karr, saxes; Adam Meckler and Adam Rossmiller, trumpets and flugelhorns; Jeff Rinnear, trombone; Dave Hagedorn, Vibes; unknown bass;  and Phil Hey, drums. It’s a swinging aggregation.

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, June 10
Javier & the Innocent Sons on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), and 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Between Javier’sbottleneck slide, and Dan Scwalbe’s searing guitar solos, backed by the solid foundation of Greg Wibben’s upright bass and Dave Larson’s drums, this band can rock the blues as well as swing them. Tune in and head to the 331 Club afterwards for more.

Thursday, June 11
Janiva Magness @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Blues singerMagness has won the BB King Entertainer of the Year award as well as 22 other awards for her tough, soulful singing, which she earned from a chaotic early life. She sneaked into a Minneapolis club and heard Otis Rush and found her calling. Magness formed her first band in Phoenix in 1985, and has released ten albums since then, gaining fans around the world, including Bettye LaVette, who calls her the “real deal.”


Friday, June 12
John Nemeth @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7)  Nemeth is an up and coming bluesman from the Memphis area. He was up for six awards at this year’s Blues Awards, and walked away with the Best Soul Blues Album for Memphis Grease, his 2015 release. The singer/harmonica player takes well to soul blues, but he can also lay down the licks for straight blues with no problem. Here’s your chance to say, sometime in the future,  “I saw him when…”


Chess Records Tribute @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) This year marks the Centennial Anniversary of the birth of Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon. A bunch of resident blues artists are celebrating tonight, including The Fattenin’ Frogs, Javier & the Innocent Sons, Big George Jackson, Mari Harris & Robert Hillstrom, Loons in the Attic, and Tone House.

The Good, the Bad, and the Funky @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) This eleven-piece funky horn band will have dancers filling the floor at MMC.

Saturday, June 13
Mad Ripple Hootenany @ Moe’s, 2400 HIhgway 10, Mounds View. 12 Noon until ($?) This gathering of singers and players will  feature Dan Israel, Geno La Fond & Amy Grillo, Mary Cutrufello, Big George Jackson & Jeremy Johnosn, Dave Babb & Tony Paul, the Paul Metsa Trio, Papa John Kolstad & Friends and Charlie Parr.

Willie Walker and the We R Band @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No cover) Here’s a chance to hear the oh-so-soulful Mr Walker in a supper club. His latest CD, If Nothing Ever Changes, was produced by Rick Estrin, of the Nightcats, and it is very, very good.

Dos Santos Anti-Beat Orquesta @ Bedlam Theater, Saint Paul. 10pm ($12) Bands continue to mine past styles of dance music, updating them with modern instruments and production. Case in point: Chicago’s Pan-Latin Cumbia band, Dos Santos Anti-Beat Orquesta, a quintet whose members have had careers in a wide range of styles, from Cuban son to salsa, blues, and jazz. They’ll be joined by the Twin Cities own Alma Andina and their unique take on Andean electro-Cumbia, as well as the Chicago DJ Collective Sonorama.


Sunday, June 14

Beebe-Q @ Barely Brothers Records,Saint Paul. 2pm (Free) The vinyl record store has taken to having live bands on occasional basis. Today it’s Beebe Gallini, an all-female garage band named for a pink-clad character that appeared in one episode of The Brady Bunch. The band is Miss Georgia Peach, guitar & vocals; Sally Sweet, organ, Lynn Zecca, bass; and Emily Ruiz, drums.

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Groove Merchants at the Roseville Blues Fest @ Roseville Central Park, 2540 No. Lexington Av, Roseville. 4:30 – 8pm (Free) the afternoon starts with Rick Rhythm Williams doing some spoken word and song. The Groove Merchants will headline, with Jimi Prime Time Smith and his guitar leading the party. Extra Special Guest Ms Dee Miller, recently won a multi-week Battle of the Blues Bands for the right to be at the Lowertown Blues Festival, will be on hand to raise the temperatures a bit.

Tuesday, June 16
Paul Mayasich and Big George Jackson @ The Station, White Bear Lake. 8pm (free) Though the name of the place has changed from Manitou Station to simply the Station, Tuesday nights remain the same with guitar slinger Paul Mayasich bringing in friends to play. Tonight’s guest is singer/harpist Big George Jackson, whose deep voice can shake your insides.

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


Inside and Outside – Music: 6.3 – 6.9

June 3, 2015
The stage at Dixie's on Grand

The stage at Dixie’s on Grand

Let the Festival season begin in earnest. This Sunday will feature Grand Old Day, with a variety of artists performing on a number of different stages, as well as a smaller big band festival in Eden Prairie. If not, there is still plenty of great music to enjoy, including visiting artists from England, and some appearances by resident artists who don’t perform too often. Lots of reasons to enjoy music: It lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 3

Southside Big Band @ Como Dockside Pavillion, Saint Paul. 7pm – 8:30pm (Free) It may shower this evening, but that needn’t stop you from enjoying some big band music under the pavilion at Como Park. Plus, you can always step inside to the new dockside and order food and drinks.

Greer & Penny @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The fine vocalist Sarah Greer teams up with equally fine guitarist John Penny for some great tunes. Here’s Sarah doing a gospel number.

Friday, June 5

Manzara & Reeve @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Julian Manzara on electric guitar and Robert Reeve on trumpet and flugelhorn, make for an unusual duet. They have been performing jazz standards around town for a couple of years now.

Katie Gearty @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Katie takes a break from her R&B vocalizing with Mick Sterling’s Irresistables, Adam Levy’s Hooker’s $ Blow, and Vital Organ to sing jazz and more at the Bloomington lounge/restaurant.

Paul Harper’s Show & Tell @ the Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) You may know Harper from his performances with the Illicit Sextet, Charmin & Shapira, or Ginger Commodore. Tonight the saxophonist is joined by Mike Cramer, guitar; Charlie Riddle, bass; Nathan Norman, drums.

Dean Sorenson Sextet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Sorenson  trombone; Steve Kenny, trumpet; David Milne, tenor; Chris Lomheim, piano; Phil Hey, drums. Sorenson teaches at the U and has played with the Minnesota Orchestra, JazzMN, and the Latin Sounds Orchestra. His supporting band consists of first call players on the Twin Cities jazz scene.

Saturday, June 6

King enjoying himself

King enjoying himself

Dave King’s PBR Street Gang @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) Hoo boy, this group only plays a few times a year, so this is a great occasion to catch some of the Twin Cities’ finest players. Dean Granros, guitar; Dave King  drums; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Anthony Cox, bass and cello.

 

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) It’s another double bill of powerhouse jazz at Lowertown’s community meeting place. Opening at 7pm is bassist Ted Olsen and his Group. Then at 8:30pm it’s the Five: Dave Karr, sax; Steve Kenny, trumpet; Mikkel Romstad, piano; Ryan Hays, bass; and Kenny Horst, drums. The members of this inter-generational group range in age from 20s to 80s, making for some exciting music.

Sunday, June 7

The bones of the Jazz on the Prairie Big Band

The bones of the Jazz on the Prairie Big Band

25th Annual Festival of Jazz on the Praire @ Staring Lake Amphitheater, Eden Prairie. 2pm – 9pm (Free) A cornucopia of big bands, just the thing for a Sunday afternoon.  2pm: Just Friends Big Band; 3pm: Acme Jazz Company; 4pm: Ben in the River Big Band; 5pm: Good News Big Band; 6pm: River City Jazz Orchestra; 7pm: Jazz on the Prairie Big Band

Monday, June 8

Paul Mazzacano & the Mazz Jazz Juggernaut @ Town Green Amphitheater, Maple Grove. 8 – 10pm (Free) Mazzacano is a percussionist/drummer arranger composer, and educator, whose credits range from the Dorseys and Charlie Barnett to Roy Eldridge, Liberace, Elvis Presley, Broadway productions and staff work for both CBS and NBC networks. Not sure of the Juggernaut, but judging by the name, and the fact that Mazzacano has composed of number of pieces for orchestra, it could be a large, and exciting, group.

Eric Wangensteen @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This trumpeter has toured with Bette Midler, released four CDs played in over 20 countries. Though a graduate of the UofM at Duluth, you may not know of hims, since he spends his winters playing in Uruguay, recently playing with paquito D’Rivera for three years at the Uruguay International Jazz Festival.

Chris Bates’ Good Vibes Trio @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Here is a group that always has a good time on stage. Their level of communication with each other is just about telepathic. Bates, bass; Dave hagedorn, vibes; Phil Hey, 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, June 3

Andy Cohen on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Cohen is a virtuoso guitar player and folklorist from Memphis who mines a number of different blues traditions, and has gained fans throughout the country, including many of this area’s fingerpickers. He’s also a great storyteller, having written about many of his musical heroes, and toured with old masters such as Martin, Bogan, & Armstrong, Rev. Gary Davis, and Honeyboy Edwards. It’s a treat to have him stop in town.

Thursday, June 4

World Party @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40) Well crafted pop from a band which has been around since their 1986 hit Ship of Fools.  Frontman Karl Wallinger experienced an aneurysm in 2001, but after some rehabilitation and hard work is back. Critics all seem to agree that Wallinger manages to be a lyrical as some of our best songwriters, such as The Beatles, Beach Boys, and Dylan.

Claudia Schmidt & Dean Magraw @ The Gingko Coffeehouse, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($20 + tax) It’s a birthday celebration for the celebrated folk/jazz singer Ms Schmidt  and once again, she has the supple guitar of Dean Magraw for support. It’s always fun when these two long-time compadres get together. For example:

Friday, June 5

Steve Clarke & the Working Stiffs @ Mendota Square, The Village of Mendota Heights. 6pm (Free) Clarke is one of those saxophonists that most R&B bands welcome to sit in and add some punch to proceedings. He and the Working Stiffs play dance music from the 30s to the 50s, including things from Count Basie, Billie Holliday, Bill Haley, and Elvis.

Graham Parker & The Rumour @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($55 – $65) In the late 70s, Parker broke out of the pub rock scene in England, combining the energy and spark of punk rock with his love for American R&B. Two of his albums with the Rumour are in Rolling Stones’ Top 100 Albums of all time from 1987. Parker favorite Lowell Thompson opens.

Lonseome Dan Case and The Dieselfitters @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) Lonesome Dan, the picture of a 30s itinerant guitar player, opens. The Dieselfitters are purveyors of rockabilly, roots rock, and honky tonk music: Clay Williams, guitar/vocals; Dan Peterson, bass/vocals; and Mike Sandell, drums.

Pop Wagner & the Dumpy Jug Bumpers @ Palmer’s, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) It’s an old-timer evening at the West Bank dive bar. The Bumpers will perform Jug band music. Pop Wagner will perform old cowboy music, as well as some country and pop tunes, and then they’ll perform together.

Saturday, June 6

Charlie Lawson & the Natural Born Lovers @ Barely Brothers Records, Saint Paul. 2pm (Free) Mike and Spencer, the “barely brothers” are once again enticing record buyers into their store with some free music, this time by long time Twin Cities guitarist/vocalist Lawson and his band.

Grateful Red @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm. (Free) This horn-driven funk/rock/pop band will provide the backdrop for your picnic in the area just north of the bandshell, or you can get closer and sit on benches and simply enjoy the music (dancing may occur).

Hurricane Harold’s All Star Blues Revue @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Harpist Harold gathers up a few of his very talented friends for an evening of rompin’ stompin’ blues.

Jarrod Lawson @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm ($25/$20 Advance) “The Hottest New Talent to hit soul music in at least ten years.” That’s what some English magazines have said about blue-eyed soulster Lawson  whose debut at Ronnie Scott’s was sold out and then broadcast on a live web stream. He’ll be playing with some of the Petersons – St. Paul on bass, Ricky on keys, and JP DeLaire on sax, as well as other special guests

Sunday, June 7

Music @ Grand Old Day, Saint Paul. 12:30 – 4:30pm (Free) You can kick off summer and experience a variety of bands at the Midwest’s biggest one day festival. Highlights include Charlie Parr (12PM) and Erik Koskinen (2:15pm) at Dixie’s on Grand; The Cactus Blossoms (12:30pm) and Crankshaft (2pm) at Walgreens;  and country party guy Tim Sigler at the Wild Onion at 3pm. There are other bands as well, and if you want to listen while enjoying adult beverages in the Festival Gardens adjoining each stage you’ll need a wristband ($8).

Cooker John @ Como Dockside Pavillion, Saint Paul. 3pm (Free) Guitarist and folk/blues musician Cooker John learned to pick from Artie Traum back in 60s New York. Since then he’s been in a variety of bands around the country, but has performed solo (sometimes with an accompanist) since 1990.

Monday, June 8

Hunker’d Down Blues Band @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. Noon (Free) It’s Blue Monday at Rice Park, but that doesn’t mean you have to be blue. Take a break and enjoy this five-piece while chowing down on lunch.

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.


Notable Music from Visitors and Residents: 5.27 – 6.2

May 27, 2015

imagesAnother week, another seven days of juggling schedules to see, hear, and dance to the fine musicians of our area. We also have a few notable visitors, including members of the Rolling Stones’ tour, due in town next week. Get out and catch some live music: it lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 27

Lila Ammons Trio @ Tangiers, Minneapolis. 8pm (No Cover) The Tangiers has a luxe/decadent atmosphere, what with leather couches and banquettes with red walls. Just the place to hear the jazzy and jazzy blues of vocalist Ammons and her trio.

Pat Kuehn @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Kuehn is an Eau Claire native who attended the New England Conservatory of Music with trumpeter Jake Baldwin. The versatile bassist has chosen to make the Twin Cities home, and is making his Jazz Central debut, accompanied by a trio of equally versatile young musicians: Nelson Devereaux, sax; Noah Ophoven Baldwin, trumpet; and Lars Erik Larson, drums.  Here’s Kuehn with a trio.

Wednesday, Thursday, May 27, 28

Rachelle Farrell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40-$50), 9pm ($30-$40) With a range of more than six octaves, Farrell can certainly impress. More importantly, she puts her own individual stamp on both R&B and jazz tunes. Though her use of odd accents can be  idiosyncratic at times, Farrell connects with both R&B and Jazz fans – anyone who bought Luther Vandross, Anita Baker, or other proponents of “Quiet Storm” R&B.

Friday May 29

Cannonball Collective @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:00pm ($10 Suggested Donation) this tribute to Cannonball Adderley features Mac Santiago, drums; Zack Lozier, trumpet; Joe Strachan, piano; Keith Boyles, bass; and Doug Haining, sax. Cool music from a multi-generational bunch of cool musicians.

Maud Hixson Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) First class singing and playing from Ms Hixson and her trio, in a small lounge with a fine bar menu. Worth a trip.

Heart of the Fall of the House of Usher & Physical Memory Dump @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Chris Cunningham, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Greg Schutte, drums; with guests Michelle Kinney, cello; Nathan Hanson, sax; Ivan S. Cunningham, sax. Followed at 9pm by the “power-jazz hoodlums” of Physical Memory Dump: Charlie Lincoln, bass; Peter Goggin, alto; and Joey Hays, drums.

Bottomless Pit @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Joel Shapira has put together a new group, with Pete Whitman, sax; Tom Lewis, bass; and Eric Kamau Gravatt, drums. They’ll draw on a post-bop, including compositions by Coltrane and Coleman, as well as originals.

Saturday, May 30

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm David Martin Trio. 8:30pm the Atlantis Quartet ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) The Saints are playing an away game, so there’s no need to worry quite so much about getting around Lowertown and finding a parking spot. At any rate, tonight’s bill is worth the effort. Martin is a talented guitarist who’ll be accompanied by Chris Bates on bass and Pete Hennig on drums. Bates and Hennig return as part of the Atlantis Quartet  with Zacc Harris, guitar; and Brandon Wozniak on sax. The Quartet is regularly lauded as the best modern jazz group in town, a point well taken. Here they are at Studio Z.

Parisota Hot Club @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) The folks at Crooners are surely finding their way in presenting jazz and R&B at what used to be the Shorewood. Tonight they’re presenting the Parisota Hot Club: Robb Henry, guitars; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. Erin Livingston sits in on vocals. As might be expected from their name, they play many of the standards associated with Django Rheinhardt. What may come as a bit of a surprise, is the way they can adapt the music of the Beatles (and other rock n’ rollers) to that style as well.

Monday, June 1

Capri Big Band @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7 – 8:30pm (Free) Sit lakeside at the Como Park Pavillion and listen to the sounds of a true community band, albeit an intergenerational band with a number of working professional musicians.

Tall Tales CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Tall Tales is a new aggregation of familiar faces in the Twin Cities Jazz Community: Dean Granros and Zacc Harris on guitars; Chris Bates on bass; and Jay Epstein on drums. Their self-titiled CD is filled with jangly, sometimes discordant grooves.

Tuesday, June 2

Bill Evans New Orleans Jazz Band @ Bennett’s Rail & Chophouse, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) Traditional jazz from the early days of New Orleans, with a faithful group of fans, occasionally inspiring a mini second line in the confines of this West 7th restaurant.

Band 2 Featuring Tim Ries & Bernard Fowler @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) Tim Ries is a go-to sax player in NYC. In addition to leading his own band, he has performed with Maria Schneider, Donald Byrd, Maynard Ferguson, and other high-profile jazzers. He toured with the Stones in 1999, and while recording his second album, realized that many of the Stones’ songs had some jazz potential. the Rolling Stones Project  Volumes 1 & 2, resulted, being released in 2005. Bernard Fowler, another member of the Stones’ current tour, is a busy vocalist, whose credits include work with Bootsy Collins Herbie Hancock, Philip Glass, and hundreds of others.

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, May 27

Papa John Kolstad @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) The House Party is pre-empted on KFAI today, but Harold is still presenting music at the 331 Club: This time featuring Papa John, who will, hopefully, be doing some blues as well as the acoustic swing at which he excels.

Thursday, May 28

Cafe Accordion Orchestra @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 9am – 10:45am (Free) Even if you don’t have tickets to the morning performance of the Orchestra, you can stop by and catch some swinging musettes, a bit of bossa, and more as the CAO do a morning performance in the lobby of Orchestra Hall.

MIkkel Beckmen & Charlie Lawson @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Lawson is resurfacing as a performer around town, and this gig kicks off his “Back from the Dead” tour (which includes a few more gigs)

Rockin’ Pinecones @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 10pm ($5) It’s two gigs in one day for Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton, as he switches from French musettes in the morning to rockin’ Cajun, Zydeco, and Swamp Pop tunes in the evening. The Dance floor at the Eagles is just about perfect for two steps, twirls, and other assorted moves.

Friday, May 29

Jillian Rae @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) The multitalented violinist, vocalist, and music teacher is a favorite among the roots loving community, yet her hook-filled songs also catch the ear of fans of other genres (see, for instance, her 2014 release, Heartbeat). She plays originals, as well as the occasional folk and rock cover. Besides leading her own band, Rae plays with Corpse Reviver, Steve Kaul & the Brass Kings, The Brian Just Band, and the Blackberry Brandy Boys. Rachel Sara Roberts opens at 7pm.  Here she is with her band doing a Led Zeppelin song.

Fifth Annual Heiruspecs Scholarship Fund Concert @ The Bedlam Theater, Saint Paul. 8pm ($12) This live hip-hop band came out of Saint Paul’s Central HS, and after experiencing some great success joined with the Saint paul Central High School Foundation to create a scholarship fund, giving out over $15K in scholarships since 2010. Tonight they’ll be joined by guests including trumpeter Solomon Parham, and E-Turn, a female MC from Orlando. 100% of the ticket sales go to the foundation.

Saturday, May 30

Dave Babb & Randall Webb @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport, 8pm ($5) The mainstays of the Liquor Pigs play guitars and sing for your BBQ pleasure.

Dee Miller Band w/Jimi “Prime Time” Smith @ Shaw’s, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Dee and the band just won a multi-week Battle of the Bands to appear at the Lowertown Blues Festival later this summer. See the energy and sass that won the day in the cozy confines of Shaw’s.

M.O.R.T. @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) The Mystic Order of Reverb & Twang mines reverb-heavy tunes, careening from Country & Western tunes to Surf ditties at the turn of a knob. Lotsa dance-oriented tunes will get regulars and newcomers onto the small dance floor.

Turkuaz @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($12) This nine-piece funk army began in Boston but is now based out of Brooklyn. It’s obvious that members have records by James Brown, Sly Stone, and Parliament, among others in their collections, not to forget Motown or late era Talking Heads. With two female vocalists and two male vocalist/instrumentalists, not to mention three horns, they will help you get up, get down, and turn around while you dig their sound. According to The New Yorker magazine, they deliver “just about any genre that gets people dancing.”

Sunday, May 31

Scottie Miller @ Washington Square, White Bear Lake. 6-8pm (No Cover) Pianist/vocalist Miller will be performing boogie-woogie, soul, funk, and blues on the patio of this small boîte in the center of town. Here’s the quieter side of Miller.

Sunday, Monday, May 31, June 1

Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50 – $70) This marks the third time in about a year that Fischer has appeared at the Dakota. The star of Twenty Feet From Stardom is a terrific interpreter of song, whether singing standards or recasting classics from the Rolling Stones. She’s in town as a backup singer for the boys from Britain, a role she’s had for twenty years or so. I don’t know who is in her backup band, but I imagine they’ll be quite good, though I wouldn’t take a bet on Mick or Keef showing up.

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: 5.20 – 5.29

May 20, 2015
One way to get to the gig

One way to get to the gig

Where to go, what to do. There are only so many hours in a day, and only so many entertainment dollars at our disposal. I try to give you some ideas on where to go. You’ve got to come up with your own resources to support the arts. And they do deserve your support. Musicians have mastered the techniques of their instruments, collaborated with other artists on arrangements, often booked their own gigs, and then transported equipment and set up without the help of roadies. Just so we can listen and be inspired, or dance, which is pretty awesome when you think about it. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz
Wednesday, May 20
Stu Blue and Friends @ Lake Harriet Spiritual Community, 4401 Upton Avenue South, Minneapolis. 6:30 – 8:30 ($10) This is part of a new program by the Spiritual Community, and will feature Stu Blue, vocals, sax, flute; Martin Stovall, Sr., Percussion; George E. Antrim, III, Keys; and Ade Adegun, bass.

Whitman takes a solo

Whitman takes a solo

Boomers vs Millenials @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) More of a Boomers AND Millenials, since this quartet is made up of Pete Whitman, sax and Jay Young, bass (the Boomers) and Javi Santiago, piano and Miguel Hurtado, drums (the Millenials).

Thursday, May 21
Damman, Seru, & Fultz @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Thursdays at Khyber Pass can be challenging for casual listeners, but for jazz fans, the night can be eye-opening and inspiring. Tonight features Joseph Damman, guitar; Scott Fultz, saxophones; and Davu Seru, drums and percussion. Damman and Seru have played together in Body Omara, a band that mines the Desert Blues of Northern Africa. Fultz contributes fine improvisations, no matter the musical circumstance.

Friday, May 22
Kristin Sponcia Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm($10 Suggested Donation) Pianist/vocalist Sponcia is back in the Twin Cities, taking a break from her graduate studies at the University of Illinois. Tonight the former MacNally Smith instructor is leading a group of mighty fine musicians: Chris Olson, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Dave Stanoch, drums.

Travis Anderson Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) The lounge at this D’Amico restaurant is a perfect place for the stylish playing of Anderson, vocals and piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums.

BZ3 Organ Trio @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Things are bound to get soulful at this Black Dog debut of Brian Ziemniak, B3 Organ; Troy Norton, guitar; Pete Hennig, drums.

Chris Lomheim Trio @ Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Lomheim on piano is joined by Gordy Johnson on bass and Reid Kennedy on drums. This is jazz, pure and simple. Here is Chris with a slightly different trio.

Concert for Nepal @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($20 Suggested Donation) This concert is raising money for the village of Suspa, a village hard hit by the recent earthquakes in Northeast Nepal. Javi Santiago, piano; Miguel Hurtado, drums; and Pawan Benjamin, on sax and Bansuri (a bamboo flute) will be providing Nepalese music, as well as soul and jazz, while you provide the donations, all of which will go to rebuild the village of Suspa.

Saturday, May 23
Granias, Thomas, & Ewart @ Studio Z, Saint paul 7pm ($15) If you are looking for adventurous, improvisational music, go no further. Chris Granias, piano; Carei Thomas, piano; and Douglas Ewart, reeds & invented instruments; will be exploring new improvisations for two pianos and assorted instruments.

Firebell

Firebell

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Central Standard Time opens with Steve Kenny, trumpet; Stgen Johnson, sax; David Roos, guitar; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Dennis Glaus, drums. They are followed at 8:30 by Firebell: Park Evans, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums.

Patty & the Buttons, featuring Connie Evingson @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) Patty & the Buttons is a four-piece swing band that uses material from a variety of genres as well as creating their own originals. Tonight they’re joined by chanteuse Connie Evingson, who thoroughly knows her way around a song. Here are Patty & the Buttons during one of their Sunday Swing Dance Brunch shows.

Monday, May 25
David Martin @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Guitarist Martin, who often accompanies vocalists, will himself be accompanied tonight by Jim Cheoweth on bass and Joel Arpin on drums. You can expect some tunes from Martin’s recent duet album, Tough Commute.

Tuesday, May 26
Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. (donations welcome) This is an open rehearsal for this 18 piece big band. Donations are used to add more music to the project.

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, May 20
Don Scott & Curtis Blake on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – tip Jar) Like two straws in a Coke, Guitarist/vocalist Scott and harmonica maestro Blake fit are a perfect musical duo. Scott’s voice has enough texture to give the blues some gravitas, while Blake provides fitting punctuation and commentary through his harp.

Sailing Away @ the Bedlam Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm  Downtown Saint Paul becomes more of a seaport than a river port for this evening of Sea Shanties, and sea songs. Heading the lineup is scholar/educator Bob Walser, who worked for a time as a shantyman at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut and has released 3 CDs. He’ll be helped along with music from Steven Levine, a regular at the Dubliner, and Saint Paul’s own Eddies, those mirthful purveyors of songs about work, death, and the sea.

Thursday, May 21
Mikkel Beckmen & Papa John Kolstad @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (tip jar) Washboard percussionist Beckmen hosts a weekly gig at the Dubliner when he’s not recording or touring with the likes of Charlie Parr and other roots musicians. Tonight he brings in the venerable, wry Papa John Kolstad, who can swing and play the blues with equal aplomb.

Reina del Cid CD Release @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15)  Reina del Cid is an excellent songwriter with a literary bent who manages to exceed the limitations of singer/songwriters by using a very good band, especially the very talented guitarist Toni Lindgren.  Her new album, The Cooling, also makes use of a string quartet on the title track. Opening sets by Red Daughters and Pocket Watch.

Orgone @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) The 21st Century revival/adaption of soul n’ funk continues with Orgone,  an 8-piece funk n’ jam band from Los Angeles. Frogleg opens.

Friday, May 22
Joe Ely @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7 pm (435) The Lone Star troubadourhas had more of a rock influence than other Texas singer/songwriters. He sang with The Clash, was a member of the Flatlanders and Los Super Seven, and is one of those guys to whom the phrase “Outlaw Country” can easily be applied. Opening set by the Twin Cities own Dan Israel, who was named one of Austin Texas top songwriters when he lived there and who, in 2006 was named Songwriter of the Year here in Minnesota.

Unknown-2Scottie Miller Band @ The Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) The tiny dance floor at The Station (formerly Manitou Station) will be filled with folks gyrating to the pianistic New Orleans sounds of Mr. Miller, who, by the way, can rock out with authority as well.

Hipshaker @ The Kitty Cat Klub, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Get out the dancing shoes and floor talc. With the University beginning to empty out for the summer, there will be more room to dance to the rare funk n’ soul 45s of the Hipshaker crew.

Saturday, May 23
4th Annual West Bank Reunion @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul ($10 advance, $15 Door) 8pm Former hippies, activists, and other aficionados of the West Bank scene will break out dancing shoes and gather once again to catch the rockin’ R&B of the Willie Murphy Band, with special guest Maurice Jacox. Mississippi Driftwood, with Larry Hayes, Tom Burns, and John Beach, will open.

Groove Merchants feat Jimi Prime Time Smith @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) The 7-piece Merchants used to be the engine that helped power the late Big Walter Smith. Though they no longer have his powerful voice, they still chug along quite mightily, and feature the stinging guitar and vocals of Jimi “Prime Time” Smith.

Ray Barnard @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. (11:30pm ($5) Barnardused to lead the roots-rock group The Copperheads. He’s also played with Erik Koskinen, Molly Maher, and Bill Geazy of Stoney Lonesome, among others. His most recent CD Where Would I Be Without You is his second solo effort, is largely self-performed, though with some help from guitarist/drummer Jeremy Johnson and guitarist/arranger Koskinen.

Saturday, Sunday, May 23, 24
Memory Lanes Block Party @ Memory Lanes, Minneapolis. 4pm (Free) Saturday seems to be set up for devotees of younger bands such as Black Audience, Southside Deisre, and Fort Wilson Riot, while Sunday is set aside for veteran rootsy bands such as L’Assasins, Crankshaft, Davina & the Vagabonds, and the Cactus Blossoms. HIpshaker Deejays will also be on hand both days. Here are the Cactus Blossoms.


Monday, May 25
Otto, Roux, & Rue @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 6:30pm (Tip Jar) Doug Otto holds down the early spot on Mondays at the 331 Club and tonight is joined by Nikki Roux and Rich Rue of Nikki & the Ruemates for an early evening of blues and folk-rock. Stick around for the Roe Family Singers at 9pm.

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.


Art, Music. Music, Art. 5.13 – 5.19

May 13, 2015

UnknownThe lusty month of May, as it’s called in the musical Camelot, is busting with buds and greenery. All the better to get out and enjoy Art-A-Whirl in NE Minneapolis, or some of the great music found in our Twin Cities. From a couple of former Minnesotans visiting once again, to a CD release and some mighty fine visiting artists, we have much to choose from. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 13

11205940_1401797490143620_650124457_nCasey O’Brien @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) O’Brien is a talented bassist/guitarist/arranger who has been heard around town in both jazz and R&B groups, including PaviElle and a number of Secret Stash groups. He’s released a jazz CD with Nathan Hanson, sax; and Davu Seru, drums entitled Ghost Dance and tonight will be joined by the duo as well as Ted Gadbout on keys.

Nick Videen Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) Videen is a NYC-based sax player who grew up in Cambridge, MN. He’s toured and/or recorded with Beyonce and a number of other high-profile R&B stars and leads the Superpower Horns, a grammy-winning horn section. I expect he’ll be drawing on Twin Cities Talent for tonight’s quartet.  He’s featured in this video:

Thursday, May 14

Dick and Janes Brass Band w/guest Thomasina Petrus @ Loring Pasta Bar, Minneapolis. 9:30 – 11:30pm (No Cover)  This five-piece brass band will have you parading around the dance floor at the Loring. Tonight they’re joined by vocalist Petrus, known for producing and staring in the Billie Holiday play Live at the Emerson Bar.

Le Percheron is named after a work horse

Le Percheron is named after a work horse

Le Percheron @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Bassist Adam Linz has put together a quintet of players who are strong on melodic improvisations: Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, trumpet; and Corey Healey, drums. The will be an opening set by Pandemonium Defender, whom I know nothing about, though, judging by the name, it just might be another Linz creation.

Friday, May 15

Irv Williams and Mary Louise Knutson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 4:30pm – 6:30pm. (Free) Irv Williams is proof that music can keep you young. The 92-year old saxophonist is joined today by the expressive pianist Ms. Knutson, a featured member of Doc Severinson’s midwest touring group when she isn’t playing around town.

Michael O’Brien Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist O’Brien is a former Twin Citizen who moved to NYC some years back where he has flourished. He’s played with a wide array of artists, ranging from Ruben Blades and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, to Gene Ptney, Matt Wilson, Sashal Vasandani, and Wessell Anderson. He’s been in town for a few gigs and tonight is joined by pianist Chris Lomheim and drummer Jay Epstein for what will surely be some transcendent music.

JoAnn-JazzLobbyBar-coverMDJazz in the Lobby Bar CD Release @ the Saint Paul Hotel, Saint Paul. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Pianist/vocalist JoAnn Funk and bassist Jeff Brueske have been holding down weekends at the Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar for seven years, building an audience that appreciates their arrangements of standards as well as unexpected gems from songwriters in many genres. They’ve finally released a CD and are celebrating by moving the party to the Hotel’s ballroom, and inviting guest artists Richard Kriehn, mandolin, violin; Pete Whitman, sax; Nathan Norman, drums; to join in the fun. I interviewed JoAnn on my show this past Saturday (May 9), which you can listen to, along with a couple of cuts from the new CD, by going here.

Saturday, May 16

Dean Magraw & Eric Kamau Gravatt @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) Talk about a dynamic duo! Guitarist Magraw and drummer Gravatt take you places you wouldn’t imagine. They can go inside, outside, and be funky as you wanna, while exploring all the sonic possibilities of their instruments.

Charlie Lincoln Group @ Elias Metal Studio, 1129 Van Buren Street, NE Minneapolis. 1pm. (Free) This is part of Art-A-Whirl, and features the “punk jazz” of Lincoln’s Physical Memory Dump featuring Peter Goggin, alto sax; Joey C. Hays, drums; and Charlie Lincoln, bass.

Fall of the House of Usher @ Elias Metal Studio, 1129 Van Buren Street, NE Minneapolis. 3pm (Free) This exciting band is led by Chris Bates, bass; and includes Chris Cunninham, guitar; Greg Schutte, drums and a four-pice horn section consisting of Nelson Devereaux; Adrean Larkin; Elliot Wachs; and Jon Davis.

Monday, May 18

Adam Rossmiller & Aaron Hedenstrom @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Trumpeter Rossmiller has played with Doc Severinson, Jason Marsalis, Natalie Cole, and Eric Alexander, among others. Aaron Hedenstrom is a composer/saxophonist with a recent fine CD, A Moment of Clarity, and his own big band. Tonight they’ll be playing what they want.

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm. Though I recently featured bassist/vocalist Lynch at an afternoon gig, I’m once again listing her since she’ll have a new band and be playing in this relatively new nightclub. Kate’s repertoire ranges from the 20s and 30s to an occasional tune from the 60s, all delivered with a sly bit of sass. Her version of Tiptoe Thru the Tulips suggests way more than Tiny Tim could have imagined.

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, May 13

Siami plays guitar

Siami plays guitar

Mikkel & Siami on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip jar) Siami Matuzungidi is an internationally renowned guitarist from Zaire, whose liquid playing helped establish Soukous in the mid-70s. He now lives in Minneapolis, and has found, in Mikkel Beckman,  a simpatico percussionist for his hip-swaying sounds. Beckmen is well-known in the roots community for his work with Charlie Parr and Corpse Reviver, among others. Tune in at 5pm, and head over to the 331 Club to hear more.

Thursday, May 14

American Composers Forum 40th Anniversary @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 9:30pm, (Free) Through grants, commissions, and performance opportunities, the ACF supports composers of all stripes in developing audiences for their music. They are celebrating with National Composers Night Out, linking composers thought the nation via social media, and by presenting a number of groups including VocalEssence, the “maverick chamber music” of Orange Mighty Trio, the chamber jazz of JelloSlave, and more.

Eric Bibb @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25 – $30) Bibb is a blues singing acoustic finger-picker, whose smooth voice, excellent guitar playing, and storytelling skills set him apart in the best possible way. Blues fans will not want to miss him.

Friday, May 15

Jimmi & the Band of Souls @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($TBD) Though they didn’t win big at the International Blues Challenge this year, Jimmi & the Band of Souls won the heart of Miss Ella, a nationally known reviewer and one of the judges, who highly praised their album The Devil You Know. You can hear their high-energy original blues at tonight’s early show.

Hyentyte @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) They’ll have to move a few tables for the dancing that will surely take place when this six-piece jam/rock band takes the stage. If the doors are open, so much the better for dancers as well as those taking advantage of the beer offerings of the Tap Room.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Art-A-Whirl in NE Minneapolis. Various hours (Free)   Lots of music throughout NE Minneapolis during these three days. Get a rundown of music here. A couple of bands of note on Saturday: Gospel Machine and Southside Desire at Anchor Fish & Chips starting at 6pm; Black Market Brass and Black Diet at Bauhaus Brew Labs starting at 7pm; Grant Hart and Cactus Blossoms at Grumpy’s NE starting at 7:15pm.

Saturday, May 16

Willie Walker & the We R Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Crooners has been featuring jazz vocalists during the week and more R&B oriented acts on the weekends, when the small dance floor fill up, as it will surely do tonight with the soulful sounds of Walker.

Sub-Commandos @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. Doors at 7pm music at 9? ($15) It’s a Twin Cities Punk/New Wave Revival as aging rockers show that they still have what it takes to set First Avenue vibrating. The Sub-Commandos feature members of the Suburbs, Suicide Commandos, and Wallets. Also on hand: Yipes!, from Wisconsin; the New Spooks featuring Curtiss A; Hypstrz; and Flamingo

Sunday, May 17

Urban Pioneers @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) This duo (Liz Sloan, fiddles/vocals; and Jared McGovern, bass/vocals/clawhammer banjo) from San Francisco play rootsy, Appalachian style music, which actually should sound quite good at the Lakeside Pavillion. Opening is Beneath the Crow, a five-piece who describe their music as Southern Goth Folk.

Inti-Illimani and Los Llaneros @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($30) This evening of Latin American music is a benefit for a Chilean Music and Arts School called Sol Del Illimani. Inti-Illimani are a legendary Chilean group who has been thrilling audiences with a blend of poetic and political music for over 40 years. Their talent is staggering, as they deftly move among 30 or more instruments. Los Llaneros perform the music of the plains (Llanos) around the Orinoco River in Colombia and Venezuela. Here’s Inti-Illimani.

Monday, May 18

Willie Murphy @ the Richfield American Legion, 6500 Portland Avenue, Richfield.  7pm (Tip Jar?) Murphy holds forth on this jam every Monday. Who knows who will stop by to participate. One thing is for sure. Willie will be the ringmaster, bringing out the best in everyone.

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.


Veterans and Up and Comers: 5.5 – 5.12

May 6, 2015

imagesSunday is Mother’s Day. Call your Mom, taker her to a musical brunch (there are more than I can mention), make her a special CD or mixtape, or simply remember her.

The Twin Cities music community continues to evolve, with new groups coming together, veterans playing with young turks, and musicians of all stripes blending genres in pursuit of musical nirvana (that’s with a lower case “n”). As audience members and fans, we get the benefit. Be sure to support live music. It lifts the spirit

Jazz

Wednesday, May 6

Lila Ammons Quartet @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Smokey jazz and cool blues from vocalist Ammons  with an occasional nod to boogie boogie, all served up in the somewhat posh setting of the former Shoreview. The early evening programming at Crooners concentrates on the music, not the drinking, though they have a good selection of cocktails and other adult beverages.

Thursday, May 7

Hanson, Roessler, & Seru @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) That’s Nathan Hanson, sax; Brian Doan Roessler, bass; and Davu Seru, drums and percussion. Freewheeling improvised music by a trio with almost ESP-like communication when it comes to the music.

Friday, May 8

Red Planet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Dean Magraw  guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums; deliver fusion without the bombast, drawing from Coltrane and Hendrix.

President Flow @ The Nicollet, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) A relatively new group, made up of veteran players Joe Mayo, sax; Dave Brattain, sax; Park Evans, guitar; Rick Nair, drums; Josh Granowski, bass.

Shoo bop shoop pop

Shoo bop shoop pop

Shoop! @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 8pm ($?) Vocal jazz from this quintet (plus band) that draws inspiration for its tight harmonies from Manhattan Transfer as well as some of the girl group songs of the 60s.,

Ron Miles @ Target Atrium, Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 10:30pm – 11:30pm ($25) Trumpeter Miles has released nine well-recieved albums as a leader. The Denver native (a resident musician at MSU Denver) comes to town to perform with Bryan Nichols, piano; Anthony Cox, bass/cello; JT Bates, drums.

Saturday, May 9

Just as sweet as the music

Just as sweet as the music

Kate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Patisserie 46, Minneapolis. 2pm (Free) Though the music is free, you are sure to be tempted by the wonderful creations at this Southside bakery. Bassist Lynch and her Fellows will provide finger snapping, fun music while you devour petit fours, napoleons, bon bons, or other French confections.

Cory Healey Beautiful Sunshine Band @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Another relatively new band that’s getting much attention. Erik Fratzke, bass; Zacc Harris guitar; Brandon Wozniak, saz; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; and Cory Healey, drums.

Sunday, May 10

Mother’s Day Big Band Blowout @ Como Dockside Pavillion, Saint Paul. 2pm – 8pm (No Cover) Mother’s Day and Music overlooking Como Lake. 2pm: Dirty Shorts Brass Band; 3:30pm: Bend in the River Big Band; 5pm: 1st Things First (7 singers, 7 piece band); 6:30pm: Acme Beg Band. Dance Floor.

images-1Prudence Johnson & Dan Chouinard: A Night of Gershwin @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $35) Johnson & Chouinard have remixed their 2003 Gershwin album and added another six songs, so they’re celebrating tonight. Special guest tonight is pianist/clarinetist Butch Thompson. This will be as tasteful and fun as you can get.

Monday, May 11

images-2The People’s Music: Jazz in Saint Paul @ Penumbra Theater, 270 N. Kent St, Saint Paul. (Free) 6:15 Reception, 7pm Program. This is part of a Labor History series presented by the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library. It will look at how jazz was nurtured in Saint Paul, and explore its history with live performances from The Tommy Robinson Trio, the Capitol Hill Jazz Band from Capitol Hill Jr HS, and student musicians from Roseville High School.

Tim Berne’s Snakeoil @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) This gig has many area musicians very excited. Berne is an alto saxophonist known for his singular, sharp sound and work in the creative music scene in New York. He was inspired (and mentored) by Julius Hemphill, and cites Hemphill as a significant influence on his work. Snakeoil is his bass-less quartet, featuring Oscar Noriega, clarinet & bass clarinet; Matt Mitchell, piano; and Chris smith, drums and percussion.

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, May 6

The English Beat @ The Dakota, Minneapolis ($35-$40) The English Beat were one of the pillars of the  British Two-Tone ska movement in the early eighties, with their message of love, unity, inclusion and dancing. After disbanding in ’83, members went on to form General Public, International Beat, and Fine Young Cannibals. A reunion in 2003 reinvigorated the group, and they’ve remastering their old albums and rereleasing them with bonus tracks and DVDs, the latex of which is Special Beat Service. I’d be might surprised if some Gen Xers don’t find room to dance.

Erik Koskinen @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10:00pm ($8) True American music: a gumbo of folk, country, and rock n’ roll, with some blues thrown in for extra flavor. Koskinen’s writing is hard to beat, as is his guitar playing.

Thursday, May 7

King Wilkie’s Dream @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($6) A bluegrass band that chugs along with the energy of the Dead, blending “hillbilly jazz,” a bit of rock, tin pan alley, swing, classic bluegrass, and more.

Friday, May 8

Coco Montoya @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($?) Montoya started out in the 70s as a drummer for Albert Collins, who taught the young Montoya his “Icy hot” guitar style. Since then he’s played with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, and the Cate Brothers. He’s released nine albums under his own name in the last 20 years, and is a world-class road warrior. Opening is Greazy Gravy, featuring harmonica maestro Curtis Blake.

Paul Cebar and Tomorrow Sound@ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($12) The Milwaukeean continues to draw out crowds to his highly danceable mix of R&B, Caribbean, and funk rhythms.

Unknown-3Trio Brasileiro @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) It’s an evening of Brazilian chorus, sambas, and bossa novas. Trio Brasileiro are Brazilian masters of choro, that fast, happy Brazilian genre. Opening is Pavel Jany and Natania Kamin, of Ticket to Brasil.

Saturday, May 9

Gospel Machine @ The Dakota, Minnepolis. 8pm ($10) Gospel Machine describe themselves as a “garage gospel” act, which has it’s own implications. Expect echoes of soul singers past, with a slightly harder instrumental edge than Booker T, with vocals from Jayanthi Kyle (Black Audience, Romantica) always threatening to break out of control.

Ramones Mania: Benefit for American Cancer Society @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 8pm. ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Loud, fast, short sets from a dozen or so bands, all in the name of supporting the work of the American Cancer Society.

#MPLS, PaviElle, and Proper-T & the Sol Flower Collective @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Here’s a collection of modern R&B groups from the area. #MPLS seeks to combine classic Minneapolis sound with current hip-hop sensibilities, creating cool harmonies, and generally funky sounds. PaviElle is an outstanding soul singer with a modern edge, and Proper-T & the Sol Flower Collective works the neo-soul groove as well.

Sunday, May 10

Willie Walker @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 4pm (No Cover) Spend Mother’s Day afternoon basking in the warm glow of Walker’s soulful voice. He’s just recorded a terrific album produced by Rick Estrin (Night Cats), and though this isn’t a CD release (that’s to come), there’s no reason to wait to hear him.

Monday, May 11

Hula Peppers @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7 – 8:30pm The newly refurbished restaurant at the Como Pavilion is now being run by the same team that runs the 331 Club and the Amsterdam. I suspect the music offerings may be a bit more adventurous than in the past, though the Peppers, purveyors of music from the 20s and 30s, would have fit in during the previous incarnation.

Nachito Herrera w/Horatio “El Negro” Hernandez @ the Dakota, Saint Paul. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($20) You may want to wear fireproof clothing as outstanding pianist Herrera is bringing in percussionist Hernandez for an evening of blazing hot Cuban rhythms. Hernandez is a leader in his own right, after having played with Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Carlos Santana (1999’s Supernatural), Eddie Palmieri, Gary Burton, and Roy Hargrove. Here’s a video of Hernandez.

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.


Resident and Visiting Artists: 4.29 – 5.5

April 29, 2015

Unknown-1Spring is finally busting out with buds on the trees, and grass getting greener. With the weather getting nicer, it will be easier to get out in the evenings to continue Spring Rejuvenation with some music. this week I’m highlighting eight visiting artists in both jazz and roots/blues, as well as a talented bunch of resident artists, including a few with national reputations. Have a good week. Music lifts your spirits.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 29

Ben Abrahamson Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) With apologies to Paul Mayasich, Jazz Central seems to be having a Guitar-a-thon this evening as features two other guitarists in his trio: Nich Champeau and Jacob Park Evans. Abramason can be seen around town playing with Lulu’s Playground and the Thomas Nordlund Quintet.

Andrew Walesch Quartet @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Today is the anniversary of Duke Ellington’s Birthday and is also Andrew Walesch’s birthday, so to celebrate, vocalist/pianist Walesch is performing the songs of Ellington. He’ll be ably supported by Dave Graf, trombone, Bob Parsons, woodwinds; Mac Santiago, drums, and Gary Raynor, bass. Here’s Walesch doing a solo number

Wednesday, Thursday, April 29, May 30

Madeline Peyroux @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $60), 9pm ($30 – $50) Hard to believe that it’s almost 20 years since this boho-jazz chanteuse released her first album in 1996. Peyroux retreated from her original success by returning to busking in the streets of Paris, nor releasing her second album until 2004. Now she’s touring behind a greatest hits collection on Saint Paul’s Red House Records, which includes the title song “Keep Me in Your Heart” includes the previously unreleased title track from the movie Union Square. Her somewhat small, Billie Holiday-like voice, combined with unique interpretations from songs across genres, makes her an audience favorite.

Thursday, April 30

Debbie Duncan: International Jazz Day @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Ahh, it’s a celebration of jazz that takes place all around the world, and Ms Duncan and the folks at Jazz Central are doing their part.

Friday, May 1

Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra & the Anoka Ramsey College Jazz Ensemble @ the Performing Arts Center, Anoka Rmsey Comm College, Coon Rapids. 7pm (Free) Here’s a chance to hear a hot big band that specializes in Latin Rhythms as well as a student ensemble. And it’s free!

Framework @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (tip jar) Chris Olson, guitar; Chris Bates  bass; and Jay Epstein, drums, are each worthy of leading their own groups, and they sometimes do, but tonight they collaborate, to create 21st Century jazz.

Saturday, May 2

Andrew Kolker w/Chris Bates’ Good Vibes Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Kolker is a saxophonist/composer/arranger who has 7 CDs as a leader and has worked with Ray Barretto, Maria Schneider, Billy Hart and others. He’ll be playing with Chris Bates, bass; Phil Hey, drums; and Dave Hagedorn, vibes. Considering the close communication and interplay of the trio, this should be a killer of a show.

Jason Moran and Rober Glasper @ The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. 8pm (Sold Out), 10:30pm ($28) These two contemporary pianists are not only helping to define jazz piano for the 21st Century, but are friends from high school in Houston. They’ll be mixing classic boogie boogie, Thelonious Monk, Wayne Shorter, and hip-hop tunes in duets such as those that were ecstatically received at the 75th anniversary of Blue Note Records.

Unknown-2Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm. ($5-$20 Suggested Donation) Dave Brattain Group w/Mac Santigo on drums opening at 7pm. Featured artist is Anthony Cox’s DD7, featuring Cox on bass, JT Bates on drums, Brandon Wozniak on sax, and Steve Kenny on trumpet/flumpet.

James Buckley Trio @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($5-$20 suggested Donation) Buckley is the bassist who works with a variety of jazz, indie-rock, and folk-rock groups. Working with Bryan Nichols on keys and JT Bates on drums, Buckley and his bandmates create modern, original, sometimes ethereal, and always accessible jazz. Here they are with the title song from their last CD.

Sunday, May 3

University of MN Jazz Ensemble I & II @ Ted Mann Concert Hall, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm (Free) The ensembles will be playing the music of Woody Herman and Count Basie.

Monday, May 4

Scott Agster @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The trombone player cooks, whether he’s in a salsa band, or co-leading the Explosion Big Band. Thought the lighting is bad, here’s a video of a previous Jazz Central performance.

Tuesday, May 5

Bill Evans New Orleans Jazz Band @ Bennett’s Chops and Railhouse, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) Here’s the place to go when you’re looking for traditional New Orleans Jazz. Don’t be surprised if one of the older listeners starts a parade around the small chophouse.

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 29

Jake Manders on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip jar) Singer/songwriter/guitarist Manders just released his second acoustic/rootsy album, Acousitc Frequency. Whether performing under his own name (often with fiddler Greta Huntstiger) or with the alt-blugerass Pistol Whippin’ Party Penguins, Manders’ songs reveal an undercurrent of hope even in the most mournful times. Tune in at 5pm and head over to the 331 Club at 7.

Charanga Tropical @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Free, Donations Accepted) The Charanga is an elegant dance from Cuba, always played with a small violin section. This group  led by saxophonist Doug Little, also plays lively salsas. They are the first American group to be invited to the Danzon Festival in Cuba, which takes place at the end of June, and are now working to raise the money for the trip. They’ve got a Kickstarter program, and are performing a series of concerts to publicize the program and raise funds.

Thursday, April 30

American Pleasure Dome @ Grumpy’s NE, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (No Cover) This indie-rock quartet caught my attention in part because of the presence of guitarist Park Evans, who also plays with the New Primitives and a score of area jazz groups, and bassist/vocalist Brenda Shepard of the Rebel Queens. The group is led by songwriter Hans Schumacher, and also features Joel Arlpin on drums.

Friday, May 1

Charlie Parr Jumpstumper Release @ The Varsity Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($18) The unassuming, simple living Parr has amassed a great deal of fans over the course of 12 albums of old-sounding blues and roots music. Jumpstumper is his latest album, and his debut on Red House Records. It’s also the first solo album in which he has a backing band, and they serve him well, proving an effective foil to his declamatory songs and stories. Hear cuts from the new album here.

Joe Louis Walker @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) Bluesman Walker grew up in the Bay area and at a young age had already played with John Lee Hooker, Thelonious Monk, and Steve Miller. He was a roommate to Mike Bloomfield for a few years, whose death prompted Walker to change his lifestyle, enroll in college and perform with a gospel group. In 1985 he returned to the Blues, and has been hard at it ever since. The sharp guitar lines of this Blues Hall of Fame inductee (2013) can range from rockin’ to soulful.

Saturday, May 2

The Pines EP Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $30), 9pm ($20-$25) The Pines are another roots music act that has been steadily increasing their fan base through steady touring. Though David Huckfeldt and Benson Ramsey are both natives of Iowa, they met in a Mexican barrio in Arizona, relocated to Minneapolis, and released their first album in 2004. Since then they’ve managed to blend roots and blues with indie-rock proclivities to national acclaim while remaining true to an acoustic aesthetic. Here’s a performance from about 18 months ago.

Davina & the Vagabonds @ The Crooked Pint Ale House, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover?) This is one of Davina’s dance gigs, and though the dance floor isn’t very big, it will undoubtedly be filled.

home-image-3High & Mighty @ Narrows Blues Saloon, Navarre. 9pm ($?) This ten-piece horn band has three vocalists and a repertoire that ranges from Lady Gaga and Mayer Hawthorne to the Ohio Players, Aretha Franklin, and Kool & the Gang. In other words, they’ve got your dancing jones covered.

Sunday, May 3

Paul Thorn @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($36) Thorn is an entertaining roots-rock storyteller and songwriter whose life has had enough twists and turns to provide provide endless fodder for his songwriting. While previous albums have featured stories drawn from his life, his latest CD, Too Blessed to be Stressed is an intentional effort to write songs that not only have universal truths, but make people feel good. Once you get through the introduction to this video, you’ll get a taste of his outlook and his new music.

Tuesday, May 5

Salsabrosa and Alma Andina @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15) It’s Cinco de Mayo and some salsa dancing is in order. Alma Andina opens with some Andean-inspired folkloric music, followed by a couple of dance lessons and the sounds of Salsabrosa with special guest Esti Price singing some Mexican classics.

Tuesday, Wednesday, May 5, 6

The English Beat @ The Dakota, Minneapolis ($35-$40) The English Beat were one of the pillars of the  British Two-Tone ska movement in the early eighties, with their message of love, unity, inclusion and dancing. After disbanding in ’83, members went on to form General Public, International Beat, and Fine Young Cannibals. A reunion in 2003 reinvigorated the group, and they’ve remastering their old albums and rereleasing them with bonus tracks and DVDs, the latex of which is Special Beat Service. I’d be might surprised if some Gen Xers don’t find room to dance.

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.


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