Much Music, Many Genres: 11.30 – 12.6

November 30, 2016

images-1The week ahead features music that runs a gamut of styles and genres, from jump blues to funk, straight ahead jazz, fusion, girl-group pop, and of course, some helpings of holiday music to celebrate the season. No matter what kind of music you prefer, there is no doubt that music can lift your spirit. Have a great week!

Jazz

Wednesday, November 30

Lorber, McLain, LaBelle, Williams @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35), 9PM ($25, $30) It’s an evening of contemporary jazz and R&B, with Jeff Lorber  keyboards; Marlon McClain, guitar; Shaun LaBelle, guitar & keys; and Stokely Williams, drums & vocals. These happen to be four of the biggest stars in contemporary jazz & R&B. Lorber helped shape jazz fusion with the Jeff Lorber Fusion band. McLain was part of a successful West Coast group called Pleasure, which was discovered by Wayne Henderson of the Crusaders. McLain is also a successful songwriter whose tunes have been recorded by folks like the Dazz Band, Tower of Power, En Vogue, and others. Bassist LaBelle is proficient in various aspects of the music industry, from producing to songwriting, with a number of top ten songs to his credit. Finally, drummer Stokely Williams, a Twin Cities native, has been a member of Mint Condition for 20 years. Here are Lorber and LaBelle at the Dakota six years ago.

Sinne Eeg @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($25, $50 w/Dinner) Eeg is a native of Denmark, where she is a preeminent vocalist. She’s also made waves in Japan, China, and throughout Europe. Her 2014 recording, Face the Music, earned her the Danish Grammy, along with the Ben Webster Prize, and the Prix du Jazz from France’s Academie du Jazz. She’s made a Twin Cities connection through the Peterson family, as both Patty and Billy have sung her praises.

Levi Schwartzberg Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) The young vibist is studying physics at the U while maintaining a regular gig schedule with groups like Adam Linz’s Le Percheron, Sound Skirmish, The Charlie Lincoln Group and his own quintet. Tonight he leads a quartet with Drew Stinson, bass; Patrick Adkins, piano; and Tarek Abdelqader, drums.

Wednesday, November 30 – Friday, December 2

Martin & Doolin Twin Cities CD Release @ Various Venues ($ & Time Varies) Guitarists David Martin and Mike Doolin are releasing Dark Star, their third collaboration with five performances in five days. They started their “Twin Cities Tour” at the Icehouse and the Black Dog and continue with appearances at Vieux Carré (8pm Wednesday), Driftwood Char Bar (7pm Thursday), and Jazz Central (8pm Friday) The two guitarist/bassists produce guitar sounds that range from fuzzed-out to crystalline, punctuated with some funky drumming. Martin & Doolin will be joined by Jim Chenoweth, bass; Shai Hayo, percussion; and Pete Hennig, drums. Here’s the duo from their last CD release.

Thursday, December 1

Thursday Night Jazz: the Joe Mayo Quartet @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Joe Mayo has been steadily making a name for himself in town since he moved here a few years back. members of the quartet include: Mayo, saxes; Pete James Johnson, drums; Chris Bates, bass; Zacc Harris, guitar.

Horton, dVRG, & Seru @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) It’s another evening of adventurous music at the Khyber Pass Cafe, with  Joe Horton, emcee; Devon Gray, keys; and Davu Seru  drums & percussion. I don’t know Horton, who has emceed with various hip-hop groups and is on the faculty at McNally Smith, but both Gray and Seru are seasoned musicians who can play a variety of styles, including R&B, hip-hop, and jazz.

Peter Kogan Quintet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10 Cash only) Drummer Kogan’s 2015 album Some Monsterful Wonderthing, was a Top 10 Jazz album for the Star Tribune. The retired tympanist for the Minnesota Orchestra has become a favorite at the Vieux, what with his mostly straight ahead jazz and a group of excellent musicians: Solomon Parham, trumpet; Pete Whitman, sax; Phil Aaron, piano; and Anthony Cox, bass.

Friday, December 2

Charles Lazarus: Merry and Bright @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20 – $60) Trumpeter Charles Lazarus  of the Minnesota Orchestra, is a formidable jazz player. He’s bringing together a passel of professionals to inaugurate a new holiday tradition. They include Tonia Hughes and Bruce Henry on vocals; Tommy Barbarella, keys; Jeff Bailey, bass; Daryl Boudreaux, percussion; Davie Schmalenberger, drums; and the Lazarus Brass. As of this writing, the show is close to being sold out.

Saturday, December 3

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm: Yo Jimbo, with Jimbo Robson, drums; Jerry Shelton, trumpet; Steve Klein, alto; Jerry Benson, tenor; Brian Van Stavern, trombone; Ron Peterson, piano; and John Brown, bass. 8:30pm Steve Hobert 4 with Art “LA” Buckner, drums; Dean Magraw, guitar; Yohannes Tona, bass; and Steven Hobert, piano/keys. Here’s Hobert doing an improvisation.

Javi Santiago Trio: Jazz @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 6pm master class, 7pm concert ($10 Advance or with workshop, $15 Door, 12 & under: Free) Pianist Javier Santiago  ill be joined by Graydon Peterson, bass; and Adrian Suarez, drums, to play the music of Ahmad Jamal, including songs from the albums One and The Awakening, as well as Jamal’s landmark album Live at the Pershing, for what promises to be a sweet evening of music.

Monday, December 5

John Raymond & Real Feels @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($12) Minneapolis native and current NYC resident John Raymond  irst caught the ears of area jazz lovers when still in high school over a dozen years ago. The trumpeter studied with a number of area musicians before going to school at Eau Claire and moving to NYC upon graduation. Since then he’s performed with such significant artists as Billy Hart, Orrin Evans, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Ethan Iverson, and Linda Oh among others. His latest CD, Real Feels, received a 4 and a half star review in Downbeat, and he was voted as Rising Star Trumpeter in that mag’s Critics Poll.

Monday, Tuesday, December 5,6

Christmas w/Joey DeFrancesco @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($35, $40, $75w/Dinner), 9pm ($25, $30) DeFrancesco  ad such a good time playing the Dunsmore Room a couple of months back that he asked to return. Jazz Times calls him the “Best B3 Player on the Planet,” which is hard to argue against.  The three-time Grammy nominee and multiple award winner will be bringing a funky, soul-jazz vibe to some of your favorite holiday tunes for this occasion. As in his last appearance, DeFrancesco will be joined by Dan Wilson on guitar, and Jason Brown on drums.

For more listings, 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, November 30

Lonesome Dan Kase on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) With his slightly crushed fedora, vintage suit and tie, fleet guitar work, and world-weary vocals, Lonesome Dan Kase embodies the blues of the 30s, though he’s in tune with contemporary times. Tune in during the 5 o’clock hour, and head over to the 331 for more great music.

Darlene Love’s Christmas Show @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($57, $67) As lead singer for the Blossoms, Love  and her cohorts released a number of early singles, but mostly sang backup for a myriad of artists, ranging from Sam Cooke and Elvis Presley, to Cher and Aretha Franklin. She’s also the lead voice on such hits as He’s a Rebel, Why Do Lovers Break Each Others Heart, and on the Christmas favorites Marshmallow World and Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) which she performed annually for almost 30 years on the David Letterman Show. She’s a member of the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, and is one of the subjects of the award-winning documentary “20 Feet from Stardom,” and has been an actor in the “Lethal Weapon” films and in such Broadway musicals as “Hairspray” and” Leader of the Pack.” Her voice is unmistakeable, and she has been rightly called one of the greatest singers of all time.

Thursday,December 1

Rena Haus @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 8:30pm (No Cover) While the Twin Cities has a fair amount of very talented woman blues singers, few are as good at composing and playing guitar as Ms Haus, whose inspiration can come from daily life on her farm, outrage at politicians, or the need for companionship.

Pat Donohue’s Holiday Show @ The History Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($20, $25) Fans of Prairie Home Companion’s former Guy’s All Star Shoe Band can once again hear the band while celebrating the season as guitarist Pat Donohue brings the band, now re-named Prairie All-Stars, along with Special Guest Butch Thompson  to the History Theater for one night. Joining Donohue are Gary Raynor, bass; Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton, accordion; Richard Kriehn, mandolin and fiddle, and Peter Johnson on drums. There’ll be some original Christmas tunes written by Donohue over the years, as well as some traditional music, and several songs from Donohues recent excellent CD Blue Yonder. Pianist Thompson will perform Silent Night in the style of Jimmy Yancey, as well as a couple of other songs. If you can pick up the latest edition of the Highland Villager, you can read a story I wrote about Donohue and the concert.

Friday, December 2

Erica West Band @ The Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Soulful, sultry R&B, with occasional side trips into jazz and pop,  from vocalist West and her six piece band.

Steve Kaul & The Brass Kings @ Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10 Advance, $12 Door) You’ve not heard old-time music sung and played this way before, with Guitarist Steve Kaul on metal bodied resonator guitars; Mikkel Beckmen, washboard, djembe, and found percussion; Brad Ptacek on washtub bass; and the effervescent Jillian Rae on fiddle. Opening at 9pm are Kim and Quillen Roe of the Roe Family Singers, making this an especially fine evening of old time music.

Friday – Monday, December 3 – December 5

Tower of Power @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (Fri, Sat, Mon $45 – $70), 9pm (Fri, Mon $35 – $60, Sat $45 – $60), 6pm (Sun $45 – $70), 8pm ($35 – $60) Tower of Power is one of the few acts that can fill 8 shows at the Dakota, and it’s no wonder. They are as tight an aggregation as you’ll ever see, bringing funky, soulful horn music to dancing masses since the 70s, with the leader and two of his original cohorts keeping things moving all night long.

Saturday, December 3

Flamin’ Ohs @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) The Ohs started in 1977 as Flamingo, but the original Flamingos from the 50s took issue with the name, so the band became the Flamin’ Ohs, and became darlings of Twin Cities rock/punk/new wave fans. They were among the first bands to make a music video back in the early 80s, when it got played on this new cable channel called MTV. Since 1980 they put out a number of albums, split up at the end of the 80s, reunited at the end of the 90s, and have recorded and occasionally performed since then.

Hurricane Harold/Jaedyn James & the Hunger @ The Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Hurricane) 9pm ($12) Another great twofer night at the Vieux. Hurricane Harold plays harmonica, usually accompanied by Doug Otto or Jeff Ray on guitar during the dinner hour. Then at 9pm its a band that is getting increasingly glowing press for their funky renditions of originals and classic soul songs. Jaedyn James  s a powerhouse of a singer, and the 9 piece band and backup singers, are delightfully energetic, which they have to be, to match Jaedyns, energy.

Steve Clarke & the Working Stiffs @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($?) Saxophonist Clarke and his merry band of swinging musicians play jumpin’ jazz and R&B for dancers, with songs that range from Fats Waller and Count Basie to Fats Domino and Louis Jordan. Dancers will trip the light fantastic on one of the best dance floors in the area.

Papa John Kolstad & the Hot Club of East Lake @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Bluesman and swinging guitarist Papa John is in his natural habitat at Merlin’s, where he and the various members of the Hot Club bring some acoustic swing to the fore. Plus, you never know who will stop by and sit in. Bring an ID if you want alcohol, otherwise enjoy the TV-less environs, large selection of scotch and beers, and typical English fare at what many call the Best Neighborhood Bar in Minneapolis.

Yulefest IX @ Celtic Junction, 836 Prior Avenue, Saint Paul. 7pm ($15 Donation) This is the 9th year for Yulefest, which The Eddies hosted at the Hat Trick in its early days and moved to the Celtic Junction a few years ago to have more room. It’s a musical fundraiser for The Food Group, with all proceeds (from entry donations and a silent auction) going to stock food shelves throughout Minnesota. Along with The Eddies, you’ll get to hear Patsy O’Brien, The HiBs and Barra for an evening of music and fun. The Celtic Junction is located north of University in the Midway area.

Sunday, December 4

Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 3pm – 5pm (No Cover) Sunday afternoon Charangas and salsas for aspiring and expert Latin dancers, delivered by a band that recorded their last album in Havana.

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.


Thanks for Music: 11.23 – 11.29

November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all;

Arlo Guthrie may have the most famous Thanksgiving Day story of all: Alice's Restaurant

Arlo Guthrie’s tale, Alice’s Restaurant, may be the most famous contemporary Thanksgiving Day story of all.

It will be a day of food consumption for many, and a weekend of leftovers and stuffed bellies. But don’t fear, there are opportunities to dance off your lethargy over the weekend, and others where just listening to music will help calm a stuffed stomach. Let music be something we’re all thankful to have in our lives. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, November 23

Dave King Trio @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $55 dinner show) This is the second of a two night stand for drummer Dave King and this trio. King is best known for his work with The Bad Plus and Happy Apple,though he also seems to have a dozen or so other projects, many of which explore the outer edges and realms of jazz and rock. Tonight, though, he gathers the fine talents of bassist Billy Peterson and pianist Bill Carrothers to mine the richness of jazz standards and create some beautiful music. Here’s a longish video of a performance.

Dorado Schmitt & the Django Festival All-Stars @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40), 9pm ($20, $30) Guitarist Dorado Schmitt grew up in the same region where Django Rheinhardt lived. He was born of Roma parents and grew up surrounded by Gypsy Jazz, though, like other teenagers, he emulated Carlos Santana and Jimi Hendrix before turning to the music fo his heritage. Back in the mid-2000s, he appeared in town as part of the Minnesota Sur Seine Festival, and has become the star of New York’s annual Django Festival. He’ll be accompanied by his son, guitarist Amati Schmitt; as well as accordionist Ludovic Beier, and violinist Pierre Blanchard.

Thursday, November 24

Thanksgiving with Debbie Duncan @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. Noon – 3pm  (No Cover, but Dinner) If you don’t want to cook, and are looking for some music with your Thanksgiving Meal, then you’re in luck, as Ms Duncan sings jazz standards, the Great American Songbook, and some occasional R&B.

Thanksgiving with Robert Robertson @ The Dakota, Minnepaolis. 7pm ($30) Get righteous, and not in arguments with your crazy uncle, but by listening to the gospel sounds of the incredible Robert Robertson, as soulful a singer as you will ever find.

Friday, November 25

Zacc Harris/Cafe Accordion Orchestra @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Harris – No Cover), 9pm (CAO – $10) Perhaps you’ve spent the day shopping. If so, relax with the dinner hour performance of guitarist Zacc Harris, followed at 9:00 by the Cafe Accordion Orchestra, whose album entitled Berets and Bongos pretty much sums up their approach to music.

Good Trouble @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Good Trouble is a septet from Appleton, WI, which includes both past and present students at Lawrence University. Members of the band include: Ben Phillips – Trumpet; Will Fraser Alto Saxophone; Carson Caldart – Tenor Saxophone; Matt Blair – Piano; Sam Genualdi – Guitar; Jakob Heinemann – Bass; and Jack Lussenden – Drums. Listen to them here.

Friday, Saturday, November 25, 26

Third Annual Dave King Takeover @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($12) Drummer Dave King is busy this week. After two nights at Crooners early in the week, he’s taking over late night at the Icehouse to feature two more bands of which he’s a member. Friday night it’s the Dave King Trucking Company: Erik Fratzke, guitar; Chris Morrissey, bass; Chris Speed and Brandon Wozniak on saxes; and King on drums. Then on Saturday night it’s Happy Apple, the trio named after a toy: Erik Fratzke, Fender bass; Michael Lewis, sax; and King on drums. This is the place to be for young jazz fans home for Thanksgiving, as well as older ones who can stay up late enough to dig these sounds.

Saturday, November 26

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Riley Swain Jazz Ensemble at 7pm, followed by the Atlantis Quartet at 8:30pm. The Riley Swain Ensemble is presented as part of the JazzInk Youth Showcase, which features talented high school students playing jazz. The Atlantis Quartet is Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris Bates, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums. They’ve been around about 10 years now, spreading the gospel of 21st Century jazz.

Sunday, November 27

Geoffrey Keezer and Gillian Margot @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20 – $35, $65 w/Dinner) Pianist Keezer is a native of Eau Claire, who spent his 20s working with Joshua Redman, Benny Golson, and Ray Brown. Now in his 40s, he’s performed and recorded in all sorts of musical combinations, and of late, has been doing solo gigs and recording. He’s performed with both Diana Krall and Diane Reeves, and now with singer Gillian Margot, who manages to avoid the usual cliches of jazz singers while delivering original interpretive delivery.

Monday, November 28

David Martin/Martin Doolin CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Guitarists Martin and Doolinb are releasing Dark Star, their third collaboration. It’s a fusion fueled CD, with guitar sounds that range from fuzzed-out to crystalline, and acoustic, punctuated with some funky drumming. Tonight they’re joined by Jim Chenoweth, bass; Shai Hayo, percussion; and Pete Hennig, drums.  I’ll have David Martin, and perhaps Doolin, on my show Saturday morning the 26th (10:30am – Noon, KFAI: 90.3 and 106.7FM)

George Maurer Quartet feat Ann Michels @ The Dakota, MInneapolis. 7pm ($12) Pianist Maurer is a versatile performer, composer and collaborator, having worked with Eric Clapton, scored films, and creating compositions for his nine-piece band. He’s based in Saint Cloud, so doesn’t get to the Twin Cities very often, making this a special event, and doubly so, since he’ll have just a quartet, as well as vocalist Ann Michels. Here’s Maurer accompanying a different singer: Rachel Holder.

Monday, Tuesday, November 28, 29

Jennifer Grimm’s Christmas with Family & Friends @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm  – 8:30pm ($22, $47 Dinner Show) Ms Grimm is a talented singer who is equally at home on a theater stage or in a bar. Either way, she’s an engaging performer, and with her family and friends, provides a highly entertaining evening.

Tuesday, November 29

Bill Evans New Orleans Jazz Band @ Bennett’s Rail & Chop House, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) If it’s the last Tuesday of the month, then it’s time for a shot of early New Orleans jazz, with a rotating cast of musicians led by Bill Evans.

For more listings, 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, November 23

Nikki & the RueMates on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) It’s become an annual tradition for Harold Tremblay to feature Nikki & the RueMates on the night before Thanksgiving. Tune in during the 5 o’clock hour to hear them perform some blues, 60s style folk-rock, and originals, all featuring Nikki’s clarion voice and the deft guitar of Rich Rue.

The Swamp Pop Extravaganza @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 11:30pm. A cast of thousands, well maybe tens, brings you the finest in Swamp Pop entertainment. Rich Lewis, Dan Rowles, Lucinda Plaisance, Richard Kriehn, Bill and Ernie Batson, Jon Rodine, Dan Newton and the Rockin’ Pinecones, members of the New Riverside Ramblers, plus several other featured guests. All backed by the mellifluous noodlings of the Swamp Poppas Enhanced Big Band! All in a Benefit for Second Harvest Food Shelf.

Maurice Jacox Acoustic Trio @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) Balladeer, bluesman, crooner, jazzman. All apply to vocalist Maurice Jacox, who will turn the slightly divey Schooner Tavern into a hip lounge tonight with the help of guitarists Bobby E and John Cravens.

Seun Kuti and Egypt 80 @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($35) The youngest son of Fela Kuti continues voicing the political and social concerns  of his father, adding traditions from various African cultures and reflecting on the struggles of peoples throughout the continent. Expect a floor filled with writhing, dancing bodies as Kuti and the band create rhythms that connect with your innermost being.

Thursday, November 24

Deano & the Dinosaurs @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – Midnight. It’s the man in plaid with the colorful hi-tops keeping up Merlin’s tradition of Thanksgiving Night music: Dean (or Deano) Mikkelson on guitar, along with pals Dean Harrington, guitar; Tom Lewis, bass; and Del Gallagher, drums, will play jazzy acoustic music.

Butanes @ Shaw’s, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Maybe you don’t like Turkey. Head over to Shaw’s for some BBQ and Blues as the Butanes take to the stage. If you’re stuffed with turkey, you can surely find a little space to dance as well.

Socaholix @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) Bunkers has a pretty good size dance floor for a bar, and it will undoubtedly be filled as the Socaholix play a lively mix of Soca (soul + Calypso) and other high-energy Caribbean rhythms.

Friday, November 25

Daisy Dillman Acoustic @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm – 10:30pm ($15) This is the “unplugged” version of the band started in the late 70s by four guys from Excelsior. You’ll undoubtedly hear some of their hits from two nationally charting albums, as well as new material, all with three part harmonies.

The Pines @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($18 Advance/$20 Door) The cover of the Pines latest full release, Above the Prairie, features a star filled sky over a couple of ramshackle shacks set among open spaces. Their music evokes that openness, with both moments of stillness and moments of beauty, much like the plains of their native Iowa. They’ll be releasing a new EP tonight, entitled Pasture II, the second installment in a series of EPs that explore the timeless tradition and passage of the American folk songs. Frankie Lee opens.

Hipshaker Dance Party @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Shake off your turkey-induced doldrums by dancing to rare funk and soul 45s.

Saturday, November 26

Feeling All Right: A Tribute to Joe Cocker @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) Mick Sterling has gathered 13 musicians, including 4 drummer/percussionists for this tribute to the English white guy with the raspy voice of a Southern Soul singer. The late pianist/singer/composer Leon Russell led Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour, so you can expect some of his tunes as well.

Luke Warm & the Cool Hands CD Release @ The Hook & Ladder Theater and Lounge, Minneapolis. 8pm ($8) It’s an evening of progressive string music and general pickin’ and grinnin’ as Luke Warm & the Cool Hands celebrate the release of What Makes You Happy? The evening begins at 8pm with The Gentlemen’s Anti-Temperance League playing music of the Prohibition era, updated for the 21st Century, then at 9pm its Luke Warm and the guys, including Ryan Young of Trampled by Turtles, followed at 11pm by The Stringdingers

New Riverside Ramblers @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) High energy Cajun dance music, transplanted from the bayous of Louisiana to the frozen plain of Minnesota, though performed within the warm confines of the Hamm Building’s basement. There will be waltzes, two-steps, and blues galore.

Saturday, Sunday, November 26, 27

Ronnie Spector @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $65, $75) While the Ronettes may not have been the first girl group, or the most popular, they were the most iconic, thanks to beehive hairdos, eyeliner, and Ronnie Spector’s thrilling voice, at one child-like and wise. She was inspired by Frankie Lymon, and in turn, inspired Amy Winehouse. She’ll undoubtedly sing Sleigh Ride, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, and Frosty the Snowman, given that her versions are always among the most played songs at Christmas time. We’ll also hear Be My Baby, Baby I Love You, and perhaps a few songs from her tribute to British Bands, which came out last year. Here’s an older video of her.

Sunday, November 27

Gang of Mischief @ Neumann’s Bar, North Saint Paul. 4pm (Tip Jar) Make your way to North Saint Paul’s main street to catch the ever-changing line-up of the Gang of Mischief, acoustic players of the blues and related music. Though membership varies, there are a few members you can depend upon: Papa John Kolstad, guitar and vocals, Harold Tremblay, harmonica, and Doug Otto, guitar and vocals.

Molly Maher & Her Disbelievers @ Aster Cafe’s River Room, Minneapolis. ($12) Molly Maher is an excellent guitarist and songwriter who’s been called the Queen of Twin Cities Americana. Her songs ring true, as she uses country rock, with a bit of blues swagger, to support her soulful singing. She’s backed by The Disbelievers, and excellent band consisting of guitar ace Erik Koskinen; Paul Bergen on guitar; Steve Murray, bass; and Richard Medek, drums. This is in the River Room, where there is bar service only.

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.


The Power of Music: 11.16 – 11.22

November 16, 2016

 

If serfs could find time to dance, so can we

If serfs could find time to dance, so can we

Life continues apace, and no matter what your political affiliation, it’s safe to say that things won’t be the same. Except for music. Music has the power to voice our fears, to call us to action, celebrate our commonalities, call out hypocrisy, inspire us, heal our spirit, lift us up, and perhaps, just perhaps, bring us together. While musicians undoubtedly enjoy playing, music is much more powerful when it is a shared experience. If you are part of the audience, you are part of the music, whether in a concert hall, a dive bar, or a church. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, November 16

Babatunde Lea Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID)  Though he’s listed on the JC website as a drummer, Lea is much more, as he not only plays a trap set, but often plays congas or other percussion instruments at the same time, incorporating African, Caribbean, and Latin rhythms into the mix. He has an outstanding group of musicians in this band: Solomon Parham, trumpet; Pete Whitman, sax; Phil Aaron, piano; and Chris Bates, bass.

Butch Thompson and Dean Magraw @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Two music veterans from the old West Bank music era who have gone way beyond the music of that time. Pianist and clarinetist Butch Thompson is internationally known for his traditional jazz and ragtime stylings. Guitarist Dean Magraw has traveled the world playing acoustic and electric instruments to create fine jazz, fusion, and world music.

Thursday, November 17 

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) The Chris Lomheim Quartet, with Pete Whitman, saxes, Jay Young bass; Dave Schmalenberger, drums; led by Chris Lomheim on piano. Here is Chris in a trio setting.

Le Percheron @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Le Percheron is bassist Adam Linz’s group, and features Levi Schwartsberg on vibes; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin on cornet, and Corey Healy on drums. While Khyber Pass specializes in music that’s a bit (or sometimes very) out there, this quartet creates music that is at once accessible and adventurous. Linz is a veteran, the other three are powerful young musicians still in their twenties.

Dorothy Doring and Marc Ziegenhagen @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Doring is a warm, engaging vocalist who can sing classic R&B, jazz standards, cabaret, and scat. Versatile indeed.

Joel Shapira/Midnight Love @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6:30 (Shapira, No Cover), 9pm (Midnight Love – $7) Guitarist Shapira  rings his jazz and classical chops to the dinner hour, followed at 9pm by Midnight Love  a band that plays funky soul jazz and rare grooves. They have a fondness for Lou Donaldson, but which will bring in music by Ruby & the Romantics, Leon Russell and Roberta Flack, among others. Midnight Loves is: Greg Schute, drums; Peter Vircks, sax; Brian Ziemniak, organ; Matt Darling, trombone; and Patrick Nelson, bass.

Friday, November 18

Bruce Henry @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Crooners is celebrating Founder’s Weekend – its second anniversary – and former Twin Cities vocalist Henry is in town to start things off with a combination of jazz, R&B, Motown and other swinging sounds.

Swing Sisterhood Big Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5 W/Student ID) There are many talented musicians in the area who happen to be female. A bunch of them have created the Swing Sisterhood Big Band, which is made its Jazz Central Debut last March. Afterwards, there will be a jazz jam for High School students.

Saturday, November 19

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar)  Ahmed & the Creators open at 7pm. The group includes, Ahmed Abdul Karim, trumpet; Batume, drums; James “Jimmyapolis” Wallace, tenor; Ron Evaniuk, bass. At 8:30pm it’s the The Steve Kenny Quartet Tour Conclusion performance, with Javiaer Santiago, piano; Ted Olsen, bass; Rodney Ruckus, drums; and Steve Kenny, Flumpet.

JazzMN: New Orleans Night @ Hopkins HS, 2400 Lindbergh Dr., Minnetonka. 7:30pm $31-$33 Advance, $35-$37 Door, (Students, $10-$18 Advnce, $10-$20 Door) It’s a tribute to the Big Easy as the JazzMN Orchestra takes on traditional jazz, second line brass bands, New Orleans jazz standards, a bit of Cajun fun, and some blues, to create a fun night of music. Orchestra musicians include such outstanding stalwarts as Pete Whitman, Dave and Kathy Jensen, Dave Carr, Mary Louise Knutson, and many other talented musicians. Here they’re performing a Tito Puente tune.

Adam Meckler Quintet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) It’s been a while since trumpeter Meckler has performed with a small group. He and his group  released a new album entitled Wander on Shifting Paradigm Records, but haven’t played much since.  Tonight he has a special guest in saxophonist Tony Barba from Madison. Also in tonight’s group: Zacc Harris, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Greg Schutte, drums.

Sunday, November 20

Firebell @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Park Evans, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums all have extensive experience in multiple bands. Their music is both swinging and cerebral.

Tuesday, November 22

Dave King Trio @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $55 dinner show) Uber drummer Dave King is best known for his work with The Bad Plus and Happy Apple,though he also seems to have a dozen or so other projects, many of which explore the outer edges and realms of jazz and rock. Tonight, though, he gathers the fine talents of bassist Billy Peterson and pianist Bill Carrothers to mine the richness of jazz standards as well as some moody work from the tunes of Bill Evans and Paul Bley. The last appearance of this trio had a number of beautiful moments. Here’s their complete performance at the Village Vanguard a few years ago.

Brian Gallagher Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8 Advance, $10 door) This project is a commemorative effort to honor the life and music of the late Twin Cities based saxophonist Brian Gallagher. The band features Brian Ziemniak on keyboards, Yohannes Tona on bass, Peter Hennig on drums and Brian’s longtime collaborator Julius Collins adding vocals to a few songs, the night before Brian’s 53rd birthday. In addition to the members of the quartet, special guests performances will include saxophonists David Eiland, Peter Vircks, Brandon Wozniak, trombonist Michael Nelson, vocalist Jody Hanks and many others to be announced.

For more listings, 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, November 16

Poor Howard Stith on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Poor Howard  s a 12 string blues guitarist who gave Papa John Kolstad his nickname. He’s influenced by Leadbelly, Blind Willy McTell, and Dave Ray, and tells delightful shaggy dog stories.

Flatlanders @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50, $60) When the Flatlanders were formed and recorded in the early 70s, Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Butch Hancock had each returned to Lubbock Texas after having spent time elsewhere. In 1973 they recorded an album with their unique take on traditional country music. Entitled Jimmie Dale & the Flatlanders, it was released only on 8-track, without a distribution deal, though truth be told, you could find it in Southern variety stores and truck stops. Naturally, it went nowhere and the group drifted apart. By the end of the 70s, Ely and Hancock had become cult symbols thanks to their solo albums, and Gilmore’s songwriting resulted in his being a hip name to drop by music critics and the like. They reunited on a few occasions and in the late 90s had a song in the film The Horse Whisperer. They released a second album in 2002 and have released four since then.

Pat Donahue & Dan Newton @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40 Dinner Show) Guitarist Donahue was a National Fingerpicking Champion almost 40 years ago, and spent 20 years coming up with songs on a weekly basis for the Prairie Home Companion. He has a pleasant voice, and he can write some very witty lyrics, but his killer app, so to speak, is his fleet fingering, which has only gotten better since that long ago championship. He has a perfectly compatible partner in Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton, the accordion ace who taught himself how to play and is equally at home with the blues, jazz, French Musettes, and Cumbias.

Thursday,November 17

Peter Wolf & the Midnight Travelers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55, $65) Wolf was the lead singer for the J. Geils Band, that raucous group that brought rockin’ rhythm and blues to the airways and many a house party in the 70s and early 80s, when they topped the singles charts with Freeze Frame, Love Stinks, and Centerfold. Wolf’s commanding presence on stage and record was a big reason for the group’s success.

Friday,November 18

Red House Live: Chastity Brown @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($20) Chastity Brown began to turn heads and open ears as soon as she arrived in Minnesota from Tennessee where she grew up and was influenced by roots music from an early age. Her music encompasses roots, soul, rock, blues, and country. Much of her writing describes and talks of the experience of marginalized people in our society. At the invitation of Ani DiFranco, Brown spent much of 2016 on tour with DiFranco. She has signed with Red House Records and will be releasing a new album early in 2017. The show was close to selling out as of this writing, so you may have to call the Landmark Center to ascertain availability of tickets.

Dee Miller Band @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm ($??) Wilebski’s continues its policy of having early evening shows on Friday night, so those of us of a certain age can get home and get some sleep after dancing their hearts out. Others will simply be energized by Ms Miller’s tough vocals and tight band and find someplace else to go at 10pm.

Saturday, November 19

CJ Chenier @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25), 9pm ($20) The Dakota continues to bring the music of Louisiana to the northern end of the Mississippi River. It’s hard to get any more rootsier than accordionist Chenier  the son of Clifton Chenier, the late King of Zydeco. CJ learned his art by being in his father’s band, and expanded the sound of zydeco by recording with Paul Simon as well as the Gin Blossoms.

Davina & The Vagabonds @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley (No Cover, $10 reserved seat) Get there early if you want a seat and didn’t reserve one. Davina  nd the Guys will pack the big room at the Lounge.

Sunday, November 20

Phil Heywood @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Heywood is another of what seems to be a plethora of National Fingerpicking Champions in town. He’s got a deep baritone voice that’s a nice foil to his precise, melodic playing.

Monday, November 21

Joe Fingers @ Dunn Brothers on Grand, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) This is the second installment of a Food Shelf Benefit that “Fingers” puts on each year. He is a former National Fingerpicking champion who used to perform as part of a highly popular radio variety show. He and some of his “So Called Friends” from that radio show are performing their Annual Food Shelf Benefit tonight, so bring a bit more $$ than you usually do for a tip jar show.

Tuesday, November 22

Midwest Paul Cook and Crankshaft @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) A couple of blues/roots performers who can mine the depths of despair with their own songs, and well as songs from the Great Depression. Listen to Cook here. Learn about Crankshaft here.

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.


Music Lifts the Spirit: 11.9 – 11.15

November 9, 2016

unknown-2I’m sure that many of you are feeling like Casey, after his turn at the bat, but looking at the results of yesterday’s election, I’d wager that at least some of my readers are celebrating. I have no idea what kind of music our new President will bring to the White House, but whether you are celebrating or commiserating, music has the power to elevate your spirits, and this week we’ve got many opportunities to do so, from both visiting and resident artists, including the movies about music at the Sound Unseen Festival. Here’s a few ideas.

Jazz

Wednesday, November 9

Leigh Kamman Legacy Project Benefit @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) The Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant is donating all of the $10 cover to the Leigh Kamman Legacy Project. All of the musicians playing for free. They include: The Larry McDonough Quartet;  Patty Peterson; Doug Haining and the Twin Cities 7;  Steve Blons; The Santiago Trio; and more. Maryann Sullivan will serve as the emcee. Families and students are welcome.

Debbie Duncan sings Oscar Brown Jr. @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 w/Dinner) Oscar Brown Jr was a jazz singer and songwriter who not only wrote originals, but wrote words for tunes like Work Song, Dat Dere, and Afro Blue. Tonight, the award-winning Debbie Duncan honors the late vocalist by singing his songs.

Magica Improvisada @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Bassist Chris Bates bring along Joe Srachan on piano and Miguel Hurtado on drums to play originals and improvise on jazz standards.

Thursday, November 10

Sarah M Greer with Dean Magraw @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Vocalist Greer teaches singers, including well established vocalists, how to scat and how to find their true voice. Additionally, she has collaborated with dancers and other artists, and works with four different groups, including Jay Young & the Lyric Factory. Here she is doing some gospel.

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Nick Syman Quartet CD Release 9pm (Tip Jar) Trombonist Nick Syman leads this quartet, which includes Ted Godbout, piano; Ted Olsen, bass, and Pete James Johnson, drums.

Friday, November 11

Brian Culbertson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45), 9pm ($35, $40) Keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist Culbertson is one of the most successful artists around who can cross between contemporary R&B, jazz, and funk. His 16th album, recently released, is entitled “Funk!” is a throwback to greasy horn licks, snaky bass lines, and funky drums.

Jana Nyberg & Sean Turner @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Vocalist Nyberg in a different setting than usual, accompanied by pianist Sean Turner, rather than singing with her group, or husband Adam Meckler. Here she is with her band.

Mancrush Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Lars-Erik Larson, drums; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Bryan Nichols, piano; and Zacc Harris, guitar, are among the busiest musicians in town. This quartet applies their improvisational skills to a variety of genres, from folk to Bartok, not to mention the original tunes of bandleader Lars-Erik Larson.

Saturday, November 12

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Guitar master Chris Olson and cello master Greg Byers play duets at 7pm, followed at 8:30 by a CD release party for “Addendum” from the Illicit Sextet: Paul Harper, sax; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; Tom Pieper, bass; Chris Lomheim, piano; David Roos, guitar; and Nathan Norman, drums. Here’s a video from some years back.

Mama Digdown’s Brass Band CD Release @ The Parkway, Minneapolis. ($15 Advance, $17 Door) It’s the “Southside Shake Show” as the brass band from Madison, WI roars into town to preview the release of Brass Jackson, a CD full of Michael Jackson music. They’ll also have the Southside Aces along for the ride, so the party spirit of New Orleans will be in full flower.

Sunday, November 13

Dan Chouinard & Connie Evingson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35w/Dinner)  A couple of veteran musicians – Pianist Chouinard & vocalist Evingson – will be performing music of composers who were born during the month of November.

Monday, November 14

Catherine Russell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45) Vocalist Russell has worked with folks such as Steely Dan, David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon, Michael Feinstein, Al Kooper and others. Her dad, the late Luis Russell, was a long time music director for Louis Armstrong, and her mom, Carlene Ray, performed with the pioneering International Sweethearts of Rhythm, as well as with Mary Lou Williams and Sy Oliver. It’s no surprise then, that Russell prefers to reinvigorate older songs. Her latest album, “Harlem on My Mind” celebrates the golden era of African American song, with tunes from Billie Holiday, Etta James, Benny Carter, Fats Waller, and others. Previous appearances have always been delightful.

Tuesday, November 15

Joyce Lyons CD Release @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner Show) Vocalist/actress Lyons has performed at venues around the country, including a special concert for the Supreme Court. Tonight she’s celebrating the release of “Song for You” with the help of Phil Aaron, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums.

The Mill City Hot Club and Connie Evingson @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) Once a month Tuesdays at the Vieux are given over to Hot Jazz, the acoustic swing that includes elements of Gypsy Jazz, and reinterpretations of contemporary pop songs and the Great American Songbook. Tonight the Mill City Hot Club will start things off, with vocalist Connie Evingson joining the group for the second set.

For more listings, 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, November 9

Javier Matos on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) A solo gig by the outstanding guitarist/singer.

Sarah Morris/Galen Weston Band @ The Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Morris – No Cover), 8pm (Weston – $8) Singer/Songwriter Morris has built a solid reputation gigging around town and in small tours around the area. After the dinner hour, we’ll be treated to a rare Vieux booking of someone from outside the Twin Cities. Canadian guitarist Weston and his band just completed two tours with the Gypsy Kings and Dave Sanborn. His band includes Cuban drummer Michel Medrano Brindis; Canadian saxophonist Richard Underhill, and Czech basis Lukas Kytna.

Thursday, November 10

Sue Orfield guests with the Butanes @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) While the four-piece Butanes always live up to their awards as the Best Blues Band in the Cities, the Thursday night gigs at Shaw’s are somewhat of an open-ended affair, with folks like Maurice Jacox, Willie Walker, and Jellybean Johnson sitting in whenever they’re visiting the club. Tonight, however, Wisconsin saxophonist Sue Orfield will be joining the band all night. Whether she’s improvising to the changes of I’ve Got Rhythm, or blowing a mean blues, Orfields’ command of her instrument adds depth and excitement to any group in which she participates. Here’s Sue with her own band.

Friday, November 11

Annie Mack @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Mack sings the blues, but not the 12 bar kind. You’re likely to hear roots-based gospel, Motown, or even a bit of alt country. Just the kind of music to go over with the TGIF customers at Crooners.

Nigel Egg, Tim Fast, and Dan Rumsey @ The Gingko Coffeehouse, Saint Paul. 7:00pm (Tip Jar) This is a “Songwriters in the Round” event with all three singer-songwriters on stage at the same time. They will each take turns to play while the others might harmonize, play some accompaniment and make cruel jokes in between songs.

Rich Lewis Band @ Erté, NE Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar?) Lewis was a founding member of the fabled Explodo Boys back in the late 70s. The guitarist/singer leads the band through a mix of R&B, Motown and New Orleans. Given the venue, I suspect this will be the smaller version of the band, rather than the six-piece group, which plays for venues where dancing occurs.  Here’s the larger version of the band.

Saturday, November 12

Eddies @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 7:30 – 10:30pm (Tip Jar) Sea shanties, work songs, and murder ballads by four guys who only use an instrument or two. the warm, obviously Irish Dubliner is a perfect place to hear this quartet.

Black Market Brass @ Hook & Ladder Theater and Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8 Advance/$10 Door) Here’s a group of area musicians who have done a lot of listening to Fela Kuti, Tony Allenm, and Evo Taylor, using their inspiration to create original Afrobeat and Afrofunk tunes, as well as the occasional cover. Complex rhythms that are nevertheless easy to dance to, brash brass, and exciting guitar work make for compelling grooves that will have you moving your hips and all other parts of your body.

Paul Cebar @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) Milwaukee native Cebar has been visiting the Twin Cities for nigh unto 30 years, always with a gaggle of excellent musicians. During that time his sound has evolved from classic danceable R&B to polyrhythmic celebrations incorporating Latin, Afro, and other world sounds, though it still remains unabashedly danceable, as both long time and brand new fans will attest.

Sunday, November 13

Sound Unseen @ Trylon Microcinema, Minneapolis. 5pm, 7pm ($10 Advance/$12 Door at each show) The music cinema Festival screens two movies of interest to area R&B fans. At 5pm it’s Syl Johnson: Any Way the Wind Blows, about the Chicago guitarist/singer who used to make regular trips to the Twin Cities, and who has been a huge influence on Black music for the last 5 or 6 decades, from Blues, Soul, and Funk, to Hip-Hop, where the guitar lines and funky beats of his drummers were heavily sampled. The at 7pm it’s Bang! The Bert Berns Story, the founder of Bang! Records, writer of songs like Twist & Shout, Take A Piece of My Heart, Hang On Sloopy, I Want Candy, and more, and a guy who unwittingly made connections with the Mob in NYC.

Atlanta Rhythm Section @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $45), 9pm ($30 – $40) The ARS, as they are often known, were the house band at Studio 1 in Georgia. A couple of them had been in the Classics IV, and recruited the other three members from Roy Orbison’s backing band. They’ve recorded 15 albums since 1972, and were often looked to as a Southern band that would stand with the Allmans and Lynard Skynard. Though they never came close to the popularity of those bands, the group had a strong following in the South and charted a consistent string of hits such as “Doraville”, “I’m Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight”, “Champagne Jam”, “So Into You”, “Imaginary Lover”, “Do It Or Die”, “Neon Nites” and a cover version of the Classics IV 1968 hit, “Spooky.”

Monday, November 14

Joe Fingers @ Dunn Brothers on Grand, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) “Fingers” is a former National Fingerpicking champion who used to perform as part of a highly popular radio variety show. He and some of his “So Called Friends” are performing their Annual Food Shelf Benefit tonight, so bring a bit more $$ than you usually do for a tip jar show.

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.


Many Genres, Much Music: 11.2 – 11.8

November 2, 2016

unknown-1Lots of good music this week, from resident jazz artists doing special shows, to classical music being performed in rock clubs, to blues, African Soukous with a Minnesota twist, and a multimedia concert of music and dance from Central and South America. Don’t forget to vote, and remember: Music Lifts the Spirit.

 

Jazz

Wednesday, November 2

An Evening with Wayne Anthony @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Anthony is a Classic Crooner who nevertheless has performed a variety of styles in collaboration with many Twin Cities artists, including Patty Peterson, Mick Sterling, Gwen Mathews, Aimee & Boyd Lee, and Prudence Johnson.  He’ll be singing from the Great American Songbook, with musical help from Adi Yeshaya, piano; Mark Weisberg, bass; and Bobby Vandell, drums.

Anthony Cox Continuum Series Presents @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30 – 10:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Cox always presents interesting, and often experimental groups. Tonight it’s the experimental George Marich Trio.

Thursday, November 3

Vicky Mountain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Whether she’s singing Bebop, Fats Waller, or shining a light on a 50s R&B classic, Mountain always delivers the goods.

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Cory Healey’s Beautiful Sunshine Band  Cory Healey, drums; Erik Fratzke, bass; Zacc Harris, guitar; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, trumpet.

Twin Cities Seven @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Saxophonist Doug Haining leads this always swinging “little big band” through music ala Count Basie’s Kansas City Seven and some of the smaller Ellington groups. Vocals by the always pleasing Maryann Sullivan.

Mercy Button @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) There are quite a few musicians in the area that stretch boundaries and play “outside.” Case in point is this group, featuring: Nathan Hanson, sax; Pat O’Keefe, Woodwinds; Bret Warthchow, electronics, composition, and sound design; Geoff West Senn, trumpet; Nick Zelinski, drums.

Friday, November 4

The Arkanauts @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($15) Li Anni Maravigliosi: the Musical! is a depiction of the travels of Marco Polo with the support of The Arkanauts:  Bill Gamble, Adam Linz, Lizz Windnagel and Cierra Hill; who will present songs and instrumental pieces by Bill Gamble, as well as some relevant traveling and sailor music.

Dan Newton/Southside Aces @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul 6:30pm (Newton, No Cover); 9pm Aces ($10) The Southside Aces seem to be on regular rotation at Vieux Carre, which makes since, given that they play New Orleans Brass Band music. Tonight they’re preceded by Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton on the stomach Steinway during dinner hour.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, November 4,5,6 

What Judy Means to Jazz @ Bloomington Center for the Arts, Bloomington. 7:30pm (Friday, Saturday), 1pm (Sunday) $22) Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson present a show that explores Judy Garland’s performances of the great jazz standards–many written for her–and her relationship with the composers and musicians involved in her career.

Saturday, November 5

Boom Room Jazz @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) For this monthly informal gig, Brad Bellows calls on his rolodex full of musician friends and has four or five come by and riff on various jazz standards. It’s a blowing night, where everybody gets to solo, and we get to see musical communication in action.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening set by Common Space: Erick Graham, organ/keys; Dylan Nelson, guitar; Thomas Strommen, tenor; Alex Burgess, drums. Headlining at 8:30pm is the Ted Olsen Group, with Javier Santiago, piano; Miguel Hurtado, drums; Aaron Hedenstrom saxes; and Ted Olsen, bass.

Sunday, November 6

Jazz Brunch feat: James Buckley Trio @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 11am (No Cover) The folks booking Saint Paul’s Turf Club have done a good job of packing the place lately, and are trying new things. Case in point: the SPCO will play on Thursday, November 3 (see below), and the monthly jazz brunches, with bassist James Buckley bringing in a couple of his cohorts to entertain while customers chow down on egg benedict, french toast, and other brunch time treats.

Monday, November 7

Acme Jazz Company @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Once a month, this big band fills up the stage in the big room at Crooners and blasts out your favorites, bringing Arne Fogel up to sing a few songs each set.

Hannah Epperson, JelloSlave, & Omhouse @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8 Advance, $10 Door) JT’s Jazz Implosion has a triple bill tonight. Hannah Epperson uses violin, loop pedal and voice, to arrange musical landscapes. JelloSlave is Michelle Kinney and Jaquline Ultan on cellos, with Gary Waryan on tables, and Greg Schutte on trap set. They are fierce improvisers and arrangers, with a repertoire that fuses jazz, Afro-Caribbean, Middle Eastern, and Indian rhythms to both original compositions and surprising pop songs. Toronto’s Omhouse plays melodramatic progressive art-rock.

Tuesday, November 8

Chris Olson Project @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7:30 – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Chris Olson is well-respected around town and a player that young guns admire for his technique, imagination, and clarity of tone. Tonight he brings Peter Vircks, sax; and Reid Kennedy, drums along to explore originals and jazz standards. Here is Chris is a different setting.

For more listings, 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, November 2

Patty & the Buttons on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Ever wonder what a dance hall band of the 20s and 30s may have sounded like? Patty and the Buttons fill the bill with original music and a broad range of influences, including traditional New Orleans Jazz, Western Swing, Gypsy Melodies, Ragtime, and more.  Guitarist/singer Javier Matos continues the fun at 9pm

Booker T. Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55) 9pm ($32, $42) Jones was only a teenager when he began hanging out at Stax Records and recorded Green Onions with the MGs, essentially serving as the house band during the subsequent explosion of soul music in the 60s. He’s a member of the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, and The American Musicians Hall of Fame, and has received the Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Whether you’re a baby boomer who grew up with his music, or a millennial who appreciates soul music, you will be thrilled by seeing him.

Thursday, November 3

Belka String Quartet @ The Landmark Center, Courtroom 317, Saint Paul. Noon (Free) Beatrice Hsieh, violin; Charles Gleason, violin; Matthew Geise, viola; Daniel Blumhard, cello are all students at the Cleveland Institute of Music. This program, which is hosted by the Schubert Club, will feature Bartok’s String Quartet No. 3, and Ravel’s String Quartet. If you can’t make it to this performance, they’ll be at the Icehouse tomorrow (see below).

SPCO @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm ($20 Advance) The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra likes to play in venues that are not concert halls, and they’ve chosen a doozy this time with the rock and Americana-centric Turf Club. It’s a seated show, and your admission will also get you a drink to enjoy while you listen to Mendelssohn’s String Octet.

Big Head Blues Club: Willie Dixon Tribute @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm   ($40 Advance, $45 Door) Big Head Todd and the Monsters, the Colorado band that had a platinum album in 1993 with Sister Sweetly, have long been fans of the blues. They even recorded a song with John Lee Hooker for their 1997 album Beautiful World. In 2011 they formed the Big Head Blues Club to record 100 Years of Robert Johnson, with help from BB King, Charlie Musselwhite, Hubert Sumlin, and other blues luminaries. For this show, a celebration of the music of Willie Dixon, they’re being helped out by Mud Morganfield, eldest son of Muddy Waters, Ronnie Baker Brooks, son of Lonnie Brooks, and Billy Branch, three time Grammy nominated harpist who played in Willie Dixon’s Chicago All-Star band.

Friday, November 4

Trailer Trash @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($?) The Blues Saloon on Rice Street will reverberate with twangy guitars and honky-tonk music, which isn’t that far removed from the blues. Watch out for all the folks on the dance floor.

The Belka String Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 6pm (No Cover) Well, for two nights in a row we have chamber music in rock clubs. Tonight Madeline Island Chamber Music presents the young Belka String Quartet. See Thursday’s entry.

Rich Mattson & the Northstars @ The Hook and Ladder, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8 Advance, $12 Door) It’s a Freewheelin’ First Friday as Jackson Buck presents Rich Mattson, a veteran of the Americana/rock n’ roll bands The Glenrustles, Ol’ Yeller, and the Tisdales. In the year or two since forming the Northstars, Mattson and his group have garnered fans from throughout the area. They will be celebrating the release of Starmaps, and have invited classic roots rockers Matt Arthur and the Bratlanders to open.

Jimmi & the Band of Souls @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11:45pm (Tip Jar) This four-piece blues band uses a variety of instruments – guitars, slide, mandolin, banjo, harmonica, bass, and drums – to create blues, roots and R&B. They had their first gig at the Black Dog about 5 or 6 years ago, and they’ve been on an upward path ever since, recording four well-received CDs in the process, and making it to the semi-finals at the 2015 International Blues Challenge.  Guitarist Jay LeClair is moving to Boston, so this will be the last gig of this configuration of the group.

Saturday, November 5

Jefferson: An American in Paris @ MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25, $15 Seniors and youth 6 – 18) This unique concert explores the musical tastes of our third President, Thomas Jefferson, and will feature actor Tyson Forbes as Jefferson, talking about his favorite composers and his impressions of the music he heard while in Paris. You’ll hear Arcangelo Corelli’s Lo Follia, perform on violin and harpsichord; Bach’s Sonata #2, Op. 5 on harpsichord; selected arias of Piccini and Gretry; and Haydn’s Symphony #85.

Wilkinson James CD Release, w/Jim Walsh @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Singer-songwriters Liz Wilkinson and Al Scheiber blend honky-tonkish vocals with classic sounding original songs to create what might be described as alt-country, alt-folk, though the addition of saxophone on some tracks adds a different, inviting vibe. They are celebrating the release of their second album Abandon, on House of Mercy Records. Author, columnist and former City Pages writer Jim Walsh, of The Mad Ripple Hootenanny will open, giving listeners a preview of his upcoming new CD.

The Good, The Bad, & The Funky @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) The dance floor at Bunkers will be filled as this ten-piece horn band  rings in the funk n’ soul that is sure to get your hips moving.

Festival de Las Calaveras @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door, children 3-12, $8, under 3 – free) Okay, I’m not conversant enough with Latin Culture to know everything going on at the Cedar tonight, but it sure sounds like eye-opening multi-media fun. There will be a concert featuring Maria Isa and music from her new project Valley of the Dolls; as well as tenor Alejandro Magallon and bass-baritone Rodolfo Nieto singing melodies of the Mexican Revolution (both are classically trained singers and Minnesota Opera performers); Bomba Umoya will perform traditional Puerto Rican rhythms; the Ecuadorian-Mexican ballad rockers Vhaltta will play; and the psychedelic cumbia band Guayaba, led by Chavez, will end the evening with a dance party. Also on the schedule: the dance group Mexica Yoloti, the spoken word collective Palabristas Latin@ Wordslingers, soundscape artist DJ Dan Cuco, and multimedia animation and visual art by local Latinx artists. And if you’re still fired up, there’s an afterparty @ The Nomad

Saturday, Sunday, November 5,6

Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($40 – $65 Saturday, $35 – $65 Sunday) In 1991 Fischer had a Grammy Winning R&B hit with How Can I Ease the Pain. Both before and after that she served as a background singer for folks like Tina Turner, Chaka Khan, Nine-Inch Nails, and for almost two decades, the Rolling Stones, creating the spine-tingling backup vocals during Gimme Shelter. It took 2013’s Oscar winning music documentary Twenty Feet from Stardom, to bring her front and center stage, where her incredibly flexible voice and musical imagination can soar in a blend of soul, jazz, gospel, and rock. Reviewers have used words like mesmerizing, transcendental, and wondrous to describe her show. They’re not only correct, they may be understating the case.

Sunday,November 6

Siama’s Afrobilly  @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7:30pmpm (Tip Jar) Siama Matuzungidi is a Congolese guitarist and singer who was instrumental in the popularization of soukous music, a lilting and expressive dance music. Now he lives in the Twin Cities and has recently released a well-received album entitled “Rives: From the Congo to the Mississippi.” He’ll be joined by percussionists Dallas Johnson and Mikkel Beckmen.

Gilded Palace Sinners @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Advance) A 70th birth anniversary celebration of the music of Graham Parsons, including selections from the International Submarine Band, the Byrds, circa Sweetheart of the Rodeo; The Flying Burrito Brothers, and duets with Emmylou Harris. The all-star band includes members of the Platte Valley Boys, The Urban Hillbilly Quartet, Wilkinson James, Switched at Birth, and Miss Becky.

Monday, Tuesday, November 7,8

Suzanne Vega with Teddy Thompson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $50) Neo-folkie Vega has been credited with starting the folk revival of the 80s after growing up in the Upper West Side of New York. After being turned down twice by A&M records, she was signed after submitting a third demo and her debut album went platinum in the UK. Her next album, Solitude Standing, was both a critical and commercial success, yielding two iconic songs, Tom’s Diner and LukaTeddy Thompson is a singer/songwriter from England who has received acclaim from the New York Times. He’s the son of Linda and Richard Thompson and counts early rockers, such as Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, and the Everly Brothers among his influences.  Here’s what Vega sounds like these days.

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


Halloween, Hot Jazz, and More: 10.26 – 11.1

October 26, 2016

unknown-1Ed Note: Updated Saturday, October 29.

Well, we have a Halloween weekend coming up, with many more special events and appearances than I’ve listed. If you don’t feel the need to don a different identity and celebrate, there’s still plenty of fine, fine, superfine music to enjoy including some hot jazz, a winner from America’s Got Talent, stompin, rompin’ blues and some music from Lousiana. Remember, music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 26

The Niska’s @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40 Dinner Show) This vocal trio were the focus of Five by Design, which has toured the world for 26 years using close-knit harmonies to feature pop, jazz, and the occasional folk songs. There are still harmonies, only they are three part, fueled by two brothers, Terry and Kurt Niska. They’ll be backed by pianist Steven Hobert, a veteran of Five By Design tours, and guitarist Vinnie Rose.

Tri0 @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Intiguing trio, with John Keston, electronics, Graham O’Brien, drums, and Cody McKinney on bass. I suspect that the electronics, whether synthesizers, sequencers, loopers, or whatnot, will determine the direction of this trio.

Thursday, October 27

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Bottomless Pit, with Eric Kamau Gravatt, drums; Joel Shapira, guitar; Pete Whitman, sax; Tom Lewis, bass. A gathering of veteran players, who between them, have traveled the world performing jazz. Note especially Eric Kamau Gravatt, who has toured with both Weather Report and McCoy Tyner.

Hot Sardines @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $45), 9pm ($30, $40) Hot is the appropriate adjective here, as this 8-piece band plays music from New Orleans, Paris, and New York during the period from the Great Depression to WW II. You’ll hear songs from Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Mamie Smith, Billie Holiday, and more. It’s foot stomping, heart pounding music that earned them 15 straight sold-out shows at Joe’s Pub in NYC and appearances at the Montreal Jazz Festival, and the Boston Symphoy.

Niny Salem @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) As far as I know, Salem is a relative newcomer to our jazz scene, and is described as follows: “With Southeast Asian roots and life experiences from four different continents, Salem brings her understanding and love of culture, music, and languages when she performs.” She’ll be joined by Jon de Vaal on piano and Steve Pikal on bass, for an evening entitled “My Life Story in Songs.”

Friday, October 28

MN Hard Bop Collective Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Jesse Simon, drums; Javi Santiago, piano; and Ted Olsen, bass perform the jazz of the 60s that successfully combined jazz, gospel, and blues to create foot-tapping, exciting music.

Jazzland Wonderband @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) This quintet takes traditional New Orleans jazz, a bit of second line, and just a hint of contemporary R&B to create a danceable mix that’s sure to get you moving your body and bring a smile to your face. The group consists of Cameron Kinghorn, trumpet and vocals; Nelson Devereaux, reeds; Keith Hilson, trombone; Andres Crovetti, drums; and Evan Clark, tuba.

Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $42) Vocalist Murphy was washing cars for a living when he auditioned for America’s Got Talent, and made it all the way to the top, winning with the biggest vote total in the first six seasons of the show. As a result, he signed with Columbia and had his debut album produced by Grammy winner Steve Tyrell. The crooner has sold out over 100 concerts across three continents.

Saturday, October 29

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm: JazzINK Youth Showcase, featuring the Roseville HS Combo. You can always count on an impressive performance from each year’s combo, as their instructor is saxophonist Pat Moriarty. Following at 8:30pm is Pat Moriarty/Ellen Lease  with Pat Moriary, saxes; Ellen Lease, piano; Chris Bates, bass; Davu Seru, Drums. This is a group that produces accessible, yet freely improvised music, a testament to their communication skills, which can almost seem like the “mind-melding” of Star Trek’s Spock. They may also do a few of Moriarty’s through composed pieces. Here’s an example of Pat and Ellen with a slightly different lineup.

Jazz at Studio Z w/Aaron Hedenstrom Quintet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 6pm (workshop), 7pm ($10advance, $15 door, 12 and under: free) This is the kick-off for this season’s Jazz at Studio Z series. Aaron Hedenstrom, recently returned to Minnesota, is a saxophonist/composer who will be joined by pianist Bryan Nichols; guitarist Zacc Harris; bassist Graydon Peterson; and drummer Miguel Hurtado. Hedenstrom has has performed across the United States as a performer, clinician, and composer, having written numerous big band works, string arrangements, small group pieces, and chamber works. He’s appeared at jazz venues and festivals throughout the country including Snug Harbor in New Orleans, the Scat Jazz Lounge in Fort Worth, and the Dakota. His workshop at 6pm will cover Strategies for Improvising on Complex  Chord Structures. Here is Hedenstrom in a duo context.

Christian Howes w/Jazz Ensembles I & II @ Ted Mann Concert Hall, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) Violinist Christian Howes is in town for a residency at the U, and is performing with two of the U’s jazz ensembles. He has toured the Ukraine and Montenegro for the State Department. His 2012 release, Southern Exposure received high praise from the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, Downbeat, and Jazz Times, and resulted in a six-night run at Lincoln Center, while his 2015 release, American Spirit, garnered a “Best of 2015” award from Huffington Post.

Sunday, October 30

Jennifer Grimm @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Vocalist Ms Grimm is starting a new weekly series at Crooners, bringing her considerable talent, as well as talented family and friends, to the lounge stage. Note how well she does with a noisy State Fair crowd.

Monday, October 31

U of MN Combo, featuring Christian Howes @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID)  Christian Howes, one of the best jazz violinists currently active, is in town for a residency at the U. Tonight he is playing with the U’s Combo, which is directed by Phil Hey. Howes has toured the Ukraine and Montenegro for the State Department. His 2012 release, Southern Exposure received high praise from the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, Downbeat, and Jazz Times, and resulted in a six-night run at Lincoln Center, while his 2015 release, American Spirit, garnered a “Best of 2015” award from Huffington Post. See the Tuesday listing below for additional performances. Here he is doing a song by a James Brown sideman, as popularized by Jaco Pastorius.

Tuesday, November 1

Patrick Harrison/Sophia Shorai @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (Harrison, No Cover), 8pm (Shorai, $5) For the dinner hour you get Harrison playing blues and swing on the button accordion, followed at 8 by vocalist/pianist Sophia Shorai and her trio.

Christian Howes w/Jazz Ensembles I & II @ Ted Mann Concert Hall, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) Violinist Howes (see Monday listing above) is performing with two of the U’s jazz ensembles.

For more listings, 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, October 26

Bernie King & the Guilty Pleasures on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Rootsy Guitarist/songwriter/singer King and the band  perform originals that show influences of Johnny Cash, Tom Waits, and Greg Brown. Together with the Guilty Pleasures – John Kurtis Lead Guitar, mandolin, and Vocals; Julie King- Washboard, and percussion; Bradley Smith- string Bass – he’s released two well-received albums and garnered many fans.

Radio Joe & the Jazzbos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) Start with a singer/songwriter who can compose romantic, swinging’ tunes in addition to being a fine guitarist. Add a vibraphone, bass and drums, and you’ve got the makings of a great little band with a lush sound reminiscent of quartets from the 40s, just right for playing jump tunes, boogie woogie, and vintage swing.

Thursday, October 27

Rockin’ Pinecones @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. ($5) Dance music from Louisiana, including New Orleans rhythms, Cajun, and Zydeco sounds from Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton and his band of fun-makers.

Friday, October 28

Sena Erhardt Band @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($?) Erhardt  is often touted as a rising star on the blues scene, a reputation that’s buoyed by her incendiary performances. She’s released three albums, all of which have earned accolades and nominations for blues awards. If you want to hear some rockin’ blues, you’ll want to be here.

Saturday, October 29

Tex Pistols @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Cool name, though they certainly aren’t from Texas. This quintet is from right here in the land of 10,000 Lakes. They play Boomer music – Neil Young, Eagles, John Hiatt, the Beatles – with verve and excitement.

New Orleans Suspects & Raw Oyster Cult @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($30) Wow! Here’s a combination of New Orleans bands that will definitely help you celebrate Halloween, or whatever you want to celebrate. The New Orleans Suspects are Mean Willie Green on drums, from the Neville Brothers; Jake Eckert, original guitarist for The Dirty Dozen; keyboard player CR Gruver who has been a sideman for Leo Nocentelli; and saxophonist Jeff Watkins, who spent twelve years leading the James Brown Band. Raw Oyster Cult includes Radiators alumni Dave Malone, Camile Baudoin, and Frank Bua Jr., along with John Gros from Papa Grows Funk and Dave Pomerleau from Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes. Hey Pockey Way, indeed!

Boogie Wonderland Monster Mash @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm (?) Okay, the band already dresses up as escapees from a 70s disco, so a Halloween bash is a no-brainer. Add the fact that they nail so many of the songs from the disco era, and you’re ready to Get Down Tonight!

Hipshaker Halloween @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 9:30 (Suggested donation, $5, to $???) Well the Bedlam is going to close on November 2, unless they can come up with some serious bucks, and what better way to send them off then with a Halloween Dance Party featuring the funky 45s of Brian Engel and friends. All proceeds go towards paying off the debts of the club/theater. Note that it would help if the club to get rid of all their beverages and food before closing, so you may want to depend on Uber, Lyft, sober friends, or the LRT to take you home.

Sunday, October 30

Reverend Raven & the Chain Smoking Altar Boys @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 3pm ($?) Reverend Raven was born in Chicago, and what he does is play traditional Chicago-style blues with great passion. It works, as he and his band have been nominated for a number of awards, including a Grammy nomination, and has been voted the Best Blues Band in Milwaukee in 2012, 2014, and 2015. As an added attraction, Stevie V & the Knockouts will open.

Monday, October 31

Davina & The Vagabonds Halloween Show @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($15) Davina and her band may not be the first band you think of for Halloween, but in actuality, they can put together a show for any holiday, Davina’s impassioned vocals and honky tonk-ish piano playing, together with the raucous sounds of the Vagabonds, make any day a party day.

Tuesday, Wednesday, November 1,2 
Booker T. Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55) 9pm (Wednesday Only, $32, $42) Jones was only a teenager when he began hanging out at Stax Records and recorded Green Onions with the MGs, essentially serving as the house band during the subsequent explosion of soul music in the 60s. He’s a member of the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, The American Musicians Hall of Fame, and has received the Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Whether you’re a baby boomer who grew up with his music, or a millennial who appreciates soul music, you will be thrilled by seeing him.

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.


Visiting and Resident Musicians, Oh My! 10:19 – 10.25

October 19, 2016

unknown-1Along with some wonderful Fall weather, we have another week of outstanding music, including some iconic, as well as up and coming visiting musicians, three nights of instantly improvised jazz in Lowertown, and a number of fun shows from resident musicians. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 19

Mississipppi @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) After their album release last week at the Dakota, Mississippi makes another appearance, taking advantage of the brief visit of Peruvian guitarist Andres Prado  who graced the Twin Cities for a  few years and became a highly respected member of our music scene. The group includes Kevin Washington, drums; Jeff Bailey, bass; Peter Schimkie, piano; and Pete Whitman, sax. They’ll have a number of special guests as well.

Sophia Shorai/Rhonda Laurie @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Shorai – No Cover) 8pm ($5) The evening starts off with the sweet sounds of vocalist/pianist Shorai for the dinner hour. Then at 8pm vocalist Rhonda Laurie brings her sophisticated sound to the club, focusing tonight on gypsy jazz tunes as Reynold Philipsek, guitar; Gary Schulte, violin; and Matt Senjem, bass, accompany her.

Thursday, Friday, October 20, 21

McCoy Tyner w/Gary Bartz @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45), 9pm ($35, $40) The legendary pianist returns to the club where he first appeared in 1988, when it was in Saint Paul. Those familiar with jazz history know that Tyner came to prominence in at the age of 17 when he was in the John Coltrane Quartet, touring and recording with Coltrane between 1961 and 1965, and playing on such landmark albums as Live at the Village Vanguard, ballads and the exquisite A Love Supreme. His bands have won three Grammys, and in 2002 he was named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts. Tyner will be joined by saxophonist Gary Bartz, who played with Miles Davis, Jackie McClean, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach, in addition to Tyner and leading his own groups. A couple of other outstanding musicians round out the group: Gerald Cannon on bass; and Francisco Mela (artistic director of the Twin Cities Jazz Festival) on drums.

Thursday, October 20

Rhonda Laurie @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) If you didn’t catch Rhonda Laurie last night at the Vieux, here’s another chance to see her, this time in a more intimate setting, solely accompanied by guitarist Dean Magraw.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, October 21, 22, 23

Free Jazz in Saint Paul’s Lowertown. That’s free jazz as in freely improvised, not cost-free, and what better neighborhood to listen than the art center of Saint Paul. The stars have aligned to have three nights with four different groups, as follows:

Thursday: Spring Roll @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15) This French free-jazz quartet is led by composer/flautist Sylvaine Helary  They use flutes, sax, clarinet, piano, and a perfusion of percussion, mostly bells, or keyboards, as well as an anagogic synthesizer, a loop modulator, and the manipulation of magnetic bands. Their music shows influences of Ornette Coleman and Harry Partch, and Captain Beefheart.

Friday: Donald Washington @ The Black Dog. 8pm (Tip Jar) Donald Washington: sax, flutes, clarinet, and bells; is joined by son Kevin Washington on drums; and Richard Studer on bass to create music on the spot.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog. 7pm (Tip Jar) John Devine and Bill Lang & Co. open at 7pm, Douglas Ewart & Quasar: Jaqueline Ultan, cello; Stephen Goldstein, computer and sound engineer; Carei Thomas, piano; Donald Washington, reeds & percussion, Douglas Ewart, didjeridu, various horns, voice, percussion; and a spoken word artist and dancer.

Friday, October 21

Heather Masse @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($20) Singer-Songwriter Masse came to prominence as a member of the popular folk group Wailin’ Jennys, though her early interest was jazz. She was a frequent guest on Prairie Home Companion, where she met trombone master Roswell Rudd. When they realized they lived a few miles from each other in upstate NY, they decided to collaborate. The resulting album, August Love Song, was released on Red House Records, which is producing this concert. It received a rave review on AllMusic where the reviewer said it “feels simultaneously modern and classic.”

CC Septet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Original music from Larry Neumann, Sax, Flute: Paul Peterson, Sax, Clarinet; Scott Snyder, Trumpet; Ralph Brindle, Trombone; Tim Lackas, Keyboards; Greg Stinson, Bass; and Brett Smith, Percussion.

Jon Pemberton/Jana Nyberg Group @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Pemberton – No Cover), 9pm (Nyberg – $10) Pianist, trumpeter, and composer Jon Pemberton provides music for the dinner hour, then vocalist Nyberg and her group, which always includes hubby and master trumpeter Adam Meckler, take the stage for an evening of jazz/pop, including some of Nyberg’s fine originals and interesting covers.

Friday, Saturday, October 21, 22

Matt Slocum Trio @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm, 10pm ($18 Advance/$20 Door) Born in Saint Paul and raised in western Wisconsin, drummer Matt Slocum brings his NYC based trio to town, including Dayna Stephens on saxophones and Steve Cardenass on guitar. Their latest album Trio Pacific, Vol. 1, is filled with surprises. Modern Drummer Magazine said of Slocum, “The young drummer constantly surprises, embracing the kit as a reactive and explorative multi-percussion whole. A fresh voice.” Here’s Slocum with a different trio, from his appearance at the AQ four years ago.

Saturday, October 22

Pippi’s 3rd Annual Birthday Bash @ The Bedlam, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 9:30pm ($20, $25, including Dinner) For the 3rd year in a row, vocalist Pippi Ardennia is celebrating her birthday at the Bedlam, and as usual, she’s being joined by many musicians, including the PipJazz SX band, which includes Margo Brevik bass; Faye Washington, flute; Maureen Siebert, clarinet; Cymphony Jaxon, piano; and Glory Yard, drums. She’ll also call on current and past members of the PipJazz All Stars including Lee Tran, sax; DeVante Jackson, sax; Yonci Jamison, bass clarinet; DeCarlo Jackson, bass & trumpet; Bobby Rosson, drums; John Henry, bass; and Walter Hampton, piano & sax. Ardennia always puts young artists through their paces, calling out tunes and rhythms on the fly, and consequently bringing out the best in new musical voices.

Sunday, October 23

Rudresh Mahanthappa – Bird Calls @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. ($35) The Vieux is changing it up this week, opening on a Sunday in order to feature an outstanding visiting artist. Saxophonist Mahanthappa incorporates the sonic possibilites of music from his culture (India) with the influence of Charlie Parker’s music to create what many critics call a new path in jazz. His last recording was Bird Calls in 2015, which was called album of the year by both Downbeat magazine and NPR’s Music Critics Poll. The New York Times described him has having “a roving intellect and a bladelike articulation.”

Monday, October 24

Bobby Lyle & Billy Peterson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $25, $60Dinner) Pianist Lyle started his career over three decades ago, as a sixteen-year old playing in Minneapolis clubs. After moving to Los Angeles, he met Jazz Crusader Wayne Henderson, who got him signed to Capitol Records and produced his first record. He’s played all over the world and has served as music director for Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, and Bette Midler. He’ll be joined by bassist Billy Peterson  whose own musical career also knows few boundaries, having worked with Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Les Paul, Ben Sidran, and Steve Miller, among others. Their appearance at the Dunsmore Room last May was a delight.

Tuesday, October 25

Brian Claxton Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) The Wisconsin-born, Colorado based Claxton is a drummer who got his start when his folks bought him a toy drum at the age of one, twenty-nine years ago. He eventually taught himself to play by ear and was able to earn a spot at UW Eau Claire, where one of the ensembles he worked with got a Downbeat award. While attending school, he’d take part in the Twin Cities music scene, where he played with John Raymond, Aaron Hedenstrom, and Nachito Herrera.

For more listings, 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, October 19

Ilka/Ward Duo on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Jake Ilka and Joel Ward have been playing all kinds of music together for over 10 years – blues, soul, Americana, folk and more, using a mix of keys, guitars, and pedal steel to play both originals and covers. Tune in at 5pm and then head over to the 331 Club to hear more.

Charles Lazarus & Mary Jo Gothman @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40w/Dinner) Trumpeter Lazarus is a member of the Minnesota Orchestra and has played with his own jazz group on a number of occasions. Lazarus made his Carnegie Hall solo debut with the New York String Orchestra at the age of 19 while still a student at The Juilliard School.  Since then, he has appeared as a soloist with numerous orchestras throughout North America, performed with the Empire Brass, New York Philharmonic Principal Brass, London Brass, Barry White, and opened for Tony Bennett. Pianist Mary Jo Gothman currently, works with talented young singers at The Minnesota Opera and plays chamber music with friends from the St Paul Chamber Orchestra. She’s worked with a number of opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera and the Santa Fe Opera.

Morgan James @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35), 9pm ($25, $30) The vocalist/songwriter is a Idaho native who studied at Julliard, and has appeared in Motown, the Musical (as Teena Marie), and in star-making roles in Wonderland and Godspell. Berry Gordy introduced James to a couple of hit-makers in Los Angeles, and her debut recording was released in 2014. Much of her music falls into the Slow Jam category of R&B, as songs such as Call My Name start out slow and sensuous and build until James unleashes her powerful voice.

Thursday, October 20

Pat Donahue @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) If championship finger-picking and witty songs are your pleasure, check out acoustic guitarist Pat Donahue  known for being a regular on Prairie Home Companion for years. His songs have been recorded by the likes of Suzy Boguss, Chet Atkins, Kenny Rogers, and more.

Courtney Yasmineh Tour Kickoff, w/Joyann Parker @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($7) Courtney Yasmineh left Chicago as a teenager and held up in Northern Minnesota, where she studied the music of Bob Dylan while developing her own songwriting skills. Moving to the Twin Cities she further developed her craft and in the last decade has begun to record and release both albums and EPs. Along the way she has toured the States, and Europe, doing all the booking and arrangements herself. She writes rock and roll songs for adults, with an honesty that draws from life’s victories and vicissitudes: bittersweet, blistering, fanciful, and hopeful. Opening is Joyann Parker, who, with her band Sweet Tea, won the right to represent Minnesota at the 2015 International Blues Challenge.

Deano & the Dinosaurs @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) It’s Dress Like Deano Day at Dusty’s as guitarist Dean Mikkelson leads Dean Harrington, guitar; Keith Boyles, bass; and Diehl Gallagher, drums through an evening of gypsy jazz, swing, and some blues. If you want to Dress Like Deano (Mikkelson), wear a plaid flannel shirt and colorful high-tops to get the essence of his style.

Friday, October 21

Willie Walker, w/Greazy Gravy @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($10?) It’s good to be able to see the original soul man in town again, since has been touring overseas a lot lately, due in part to the enthusiastic response to his album If Nothing Ever Changes, for which he won two Living Blues Music Awards. Opening is Greazy Gravy, featuring the harmonica of Curtis Blake. Here’s Willie in Norway.

Davina & The Vagabonds @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) Though Davina and her intrepid Vagabonds continue to tour the US and overseas on a regular basis, it’s good to have her stop and perform at a bar with a dance floor here at home.

Saturday, October 22

Jeff Ray & The Stakes @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Ray is an extraordinary slide guitarist and songwriter, who can take a blues or rock song and create his own version of the blues. He’ll be appearing with Harold Tremblay on harmonica, with whom he has great musical rapport, and other guests.

Sarah Morris & Vicky Emerson Tour Send Off @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Morris and Emerson are both moms as well as Americana singer songwriters. They are hitting the road in a Highways and Heartstrings Tour of the Midwest, kicking off the tour this evening. They’ll share the stage swapping stories and songs from their respective albums.

Sunday, October 23

Ladies Night @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 4pm ($15, $10 for Ladies) Well it’s not exactly night when this starts, and it’s not a Ladies drink free night, but you get the idea. This is a Fundraiser for Discover Music, a program that encourages songwriting among teenagers. The Show will feature women performers such as Joyann Parker, Jennifer Grimm, Annie Mack, Katia Cardenas, and Rose Duffy.

Javier Matos @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 5pm (Free) Guitarist Matos plays the blues – swingin, shuffles, 12 bar, bottleneck, and more. He was in the Blue Shadows with two members of the Blasters, had songs in Breaking Bad and Friday Night Lights, and even made the cover of Billboard magazine. And you get to see him for free! (If you haven’t been there, the Dockside stage is actually an outdoor pavilion next to Como Lake, so dress appropriately)

Monday, October 24

Metro Cajun Ensemble @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 10;20pm ($8) If it’s Monday, there must be Cajun and/or Zydeco music at the Eagles Club. Be prepared to dance.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, October 24, 25, 26

O’Conner Family Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) Mark O’Conner is a Grammy winning multi-instrumentalist, equally at home on fiddle, guitar, and mandolin. His unique career has seen him collaborating with such country & bluegrass superstars as Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, George Jones, Bill Monroe, and Earl Scruggs, as well as with jazz greats Bobby McFerrin and Wynton Marsalis, along with cellist Yo-Yo Ma. He’s also written a number of violin concertos, which he’s performed hundreds of times with major symphonies around the world, and has appeared on over 500 albums. The O’Conner Family Band features a three-violin front line of O’Conner, his wife Maggie, and Kate Lee, fiancé of Mark’s son Forrest, who plays mandolin. They’re joined by Joe Smart, a championship flat picker on guitar, and Geoff Saunders, on bass, who hold down a tight groove, no matter what the pace.

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.


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