What A Week: 4.18 – 4.24

April 18, 2018

Well it’s certainly a busy week when it comes to music, so much so, that it’s nigh unto impossible to pick only 20 or so events to highlight. Of course the anniversary of Prince’s death has spawned a number of tributes and events, and then there’s Record Store Day on Saturday, where many of your favorite vinyl shops will feature live music. Add in 4/20 Day, visiting artists, and new combinations of resident artists, and you have a delightful week for music fans. Lucky us – Music Lifts the Spirit

 Jazz

Wednesday, April 18

Pete Whitman & Friends, feat: Peter Schimke @ Jazz Central, Minnreapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Saxophonist Whitman brings pianist Schimke and other stellar friends to the basement scene, including Zacc Harris, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; Omar Abdulkareem, trumpet; and Jay Epstein drums.

Thursday, April 19

Lucia Newell w/The Wolverines Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) Latin tunes, songs about spring and love by Rodgers and Hart, Jerome Kern, Billy Strayhorn, Thelonious Monk, Jimmy Van Heusen, Cole Porter and many more. Here’s Lucia with a different group.

Adam Larson Trio @ Jazz Central, Minnreapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Vocalists take a night off as NYC-based saxophonist Adam Larson visits Jazz Central with his cohorts: John Kizilarmut, drums; and Bob Bowman, who has played at Jazz Central before and often played at the Dakota with Karrin Allyson when she was based in Kansas City. Here’s Larson at a master class.

Friday, April 20

Cory Healy’s Beautiful Sunshine Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Drummer Cory Healy leads Nathan Hanson, saxes; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, cornet; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Erik Fratzke, bass; through an evening of his original compositions. Here’s a track from their album of a couple of years ago.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, April 20, 21, 22

BingSongs @ Bloomington Center for the Arts, Bloomington. 7:30pm Fri, 2pm, Sat, Sun ($22) Arne Fogel, Maude Hixson, and Jennifer Eckes will be accompanied by Rick Carlson on the ivories in this concert of Bing Crosby’s biggest hits, such as “I’ll be Seeing You”, “Accentuate the Positive”, and “Blue Hawaii”. There may be no better interpreters around. Here’s Arne and Jennifer interacting in a fun way.

Saturday, April 21

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) With over 200 performances, the Saturday Night Jazz series continues to feature both veteran and emerging artists. Tonight’s performances begin at 7pm with Amethyst 3: Byron Johnson-Blanchard, Drums; Park Evans, Guitar; and Josh Granowski, Bass; and continues at 8:30 with Chris Bates’ Red 5 featuring: ​Chris Bates, Bass; Thomas Nordlund, Guitar; Pete James Johnson, Drums; Jake Baldwin, Trumpet; JC Sanford, Trombone; and on saxophones, Chris Thomson and Brandon Wozniak.

MN Hard Bop Collective Plays Gigi Gryce @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7 & 8:30pm (No Cover) Clay Pufahl, alto; Jeff Rinnear, trombone; Ted Godbout, piano; Tom Lewis, bass; and leader Jesse Simon, drums; envision the music of the under appreciated saxophonist Gigi Gryce, a mainstay of hard bop recording sessions in the late 50s and 60s. Some of his compositions have become jazz standards. Here’s a cut from a session led by Gryce.

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($20 Advance/$25 Door) This 18-piece band features the trumpet and original compositions of Meckler, who has toured internationally with the Youngblood Brass Band and has served on the faculty of McNally Smith and MacPhail Center for Music. Additionally, the AMO features some of the Twin Cities’ finest musicians, including Nelson Deveraux, sax; Cameron Kinghorn, vocals and trumpet; and percussionist Adrian Suarez, with special guest: internationally renowned trumpeter Rex Richardson, who is in town to take part in the AMO’s new album.

Sunday, April 22

Jazz Legends @ The Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 2pm-3:30pm ($20 Adults, $10 for ages 5-17) Patty Peterson will host this event, and  reminisce with Twin Cities’ jazz legends who have achieved local and national acclaim. Among these notables are Ahmed AbdulKarim, Trumpet; Reuben Ristrom, Guitar; and others. These Jazz Legends will be accompanied by the Phil Aaron Trio, featuring Phil Aaron, piano; Graydon Peterson, Bass; and Phil Hey, Drums.

Gene Bertoncini & Gordy Johnson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 2:0pm ($15) Here’s an afternoon delight for guitar fans. Bertoncini has a fluid, lyrical style that has earned him the sobriquet “Segovia of jazz.” He’s played with a galaxy of stars, including Tony Bennett, Nancy Wilson, Lena Horne, Wayne Shorter, and more, and has earned rave reviews around the world. He’ll be accompanied by our own inestimable Gordy Johnson on bass.

Tuesday, April 24

John Scofield/Joe Lovano Quartet @ The Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hopkins.6pm Social Hour, 7pm Concert ($45) Grammy-winning saxophonist/composer Joe Lovano and the equally lauded guitarist/composer John Scofield are touring with Ben Street on bass and Bill Stewart on drums. Both Lovano and Scofield have appeared at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival in recent years.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on jazz in the Twin Cities and beyond, check out the blogs, Jazz Police, and Bebopified.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, April 18

Gabe Barnett & Them Rounders on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Minneapolis troubadour Barnett creates a crazy quilt of music evoking nostalgic Americana, folk, and jazz croonery, for a sound that’s completely his own. Tune in, listen, and see him in person.

Donna Grantis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, ($40, $45, $550, 9PM ($30, $35, $45) Canadian guitarist Grantis was the co-leader of Prince’s last band, 3RDEYEGIRL. She now lives in the Twin Cities and has recruited resident stalwarts Bryan Nichols, keys; and Cody McKinney, bass; along with Jason Thomas, from Snarky Puppy, drums; and MN-born, NYC-based Suphala on table to play fiery instrumentals of 70s-inspired jazz-rock fusion.

Thursday, April 19

Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35, $45) Hillman was a co-founder of the Byrds and helped bring them to country-rock. He went on to play with the Flying Burrito Brothers, Steven Stills & Manassas, and the Desert Rose Band, where he was joined by Herb Pedersen, who’s played with John Fogerty, Linda Ronstadt, Earl Scruggs, Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, and a host of others. I wouldn’t surprised to hear them play an old hit or two in the Bluegrass/Newgrass style that they’re now performing.

Night Before 20 @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($7 Advance/$10 Door) Though cannabis consumption is illegal in Minnesota, some people want to celebrate 4/20, which, besides being tomorrow’s date, is a bit of shorthand for cannabis culture. Tonight, you’ll hear bluegrass from the Burberries; Pink Floyd music from the Pink Floyd tribute band Dark Side of the Moon; country covers from The Rare Cuts; and psychedelic funk-rock Space Monster.

Friday, April 20

Liv Warfield @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($50, $60) This Prince protege toured with him as a backing singer for several years before breaking out with what she calls “alternative R&B Soul with a little bit of rock n’ roll.” She’s got a late show with special guests that’s sold out at 11:30, so try, if you can to get tickets for tonight’s early show. Note: she’s also appearing at a Purple Jam afterparty Saturday at 11:30 ($50 reserved, $40 GA)

Hot Pants 45 RPM Dance Party @The “Uptown” VFW, 2916 Lyndale South, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover) DJs Brian Engel and Ben Mena dip into their vast collections of highly danceable rare soul and funk 45s so you can get down. They’ll be joined by DJ Adrian Small from Germany.

Saturday, April 21

Willie West @ Bistro LaRoux, Circle Pines. 7pm (No Cover) Soul singer West sang with the Meters and worked with arranger Wardell Quezergue, Deacon John, and Allen Toussaint, and left New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and settled in Saint Cloud. Bistro LaRoux serves up Cajun and Creole dishes, making it a great spot to hear West, especially if you live in the north suburbs. For the rest of us, his voice is worth the drive.

Joyann Parker @ The Basement Bar, Minneapolis.9:30pm (No Cover) If weather kept you from seeing her at last week’s  CD release party, here’s a chance to see her in the comfy Basement Bar. Check out Jon Bream’s laudatory article in the last week’s Strib.

Sunday, April 22

Blues on the Chippewa Fundraiser @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 2pm ($10) The free annual festival needs some support in order to stay free. Giving their own support are: Five Finger Discount; the Dee Miller Band; Armadillo Jump; Little Wing; and the Gopher Tones.

Monday, April 23

Bad Companions @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) It’s Swing Dance Night at Dave’s, and the Companions will supply roots-rock music to inspire dancers. The band is Alan Subola (Vibro Champs), guitar & vocals; Dan Gaarder (Trailer Trash), guitar; Hayden Grooms (Hillions), drums; and W.E. Keefe (Vibro Champs), upright bass.

Tuesday, April 24

SPCO Trio @ Tne Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Ruggero Allifranchini, violin; May Papach, viola; and Julie Albers of the SPCO will be performing Beethoven’;s String Trio Op.9 No.1 in G Major and other works in the main gallery of this fine museum.

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 Unites Us: 4.11 – 4.17

April 11, 2018

Whatever your political leanings, there’s no doubt that news of the day can cause some stress. Well, it’s surprising how music can bring people with different viewpoints and beliefs together. Admittedly some of us may not care for one form of music or another, but we can often find music that binds us rather than dividing us. Here are some ideas. Music Lifts the Spirit!

PS: Jazz fans will note I’ve listed coming events in jazz for the next two weeks. Let me  know if this works for you, or even if it’s needed.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 11

Bates, Nordland, & Johnson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Bassist Chris Bates once again explore his music with a new group. Guitarist Thomas Nordland and drummer James Pete Johnson will be part of Bates’ next effort with the group Red5, so you can expect stripped-down versions of those songs as well as other originals by Bates.

Thursday, April 12

Sheridan Zuther @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Zuther has a warm, engaging way with an audience, due in part, to her training in theater as well as her hears with the vocal jazz group 5 By Design. She’s a fan of the Great American Songbook, but also throws in songs from her youth growing up on the plains of South Dakota. She’ll be ably accompanied by guitarist Joel Shapira, whose been doing a great job with other vocalists, as well as leading his own groups and playing a regular solo gig at Vieux Carré.

Friday, April 13

Chris Bates’ Good Vibes Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/valid student ID) Chris Bates, bass; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; and Phil Het, drums; create joyful, intricate music that often has them (and the audience) smiling throughout a show.

Midnight Love @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) The members of this quintet say they’re almost a Lou Donaldson cover band. However, they also cover artists such as Eddie Harris, Ruby & the Romantics, and Leon Russell, among others. With that kind of repertoire you can expect toe-tappin’, crowd pleasing jazz from: Greg Schutte, drums; Peter Vircks, sax; Brian Ziemniak, keys; Matt Darling, trombones; and Patrick Nelson, bass.

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Though the Aster really doesn’t have a dance floor per se, a few couples always manage to find a space for some easy swing dancing when Ms Lynch and her Fellows take the stage with vintage jazz, a bit of R&B, and her contemporary vocals.

Saturday, April 14

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7:00 Opening Set is part of the monthly series JazzINK Youth Jazz Showcase, and will feature The Dakota Combo, a group studying under the tutelage of Adam Linz: Leighton Tuenge – trumpet; Victor Imbo – trombone; Sofia Kickhofel – alto sax; Owen Finch – piano; Jorgen Linne – bass; and Nick Adams – drums. The 8:30 set is a CD Release Party for INCENDIOS, the new CD by Firebell, featuring the talents of: ​Park Evans – Guitar; Graydon Peterson – Bass; and Jay Epstein – Drums. Here they are with a tune from their last album.

Bruce Henry @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $15 for Guaranteed Seat) This former Twin Cities-now-Chicago-based vocalist will appears at Orchestra Hall on Friday night, but you can see him tackling jazz and the occasional R&B song in the elegant confines of Crooner’s Lounge.

Monday, April 16

Steven Hobert Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($10, $12) Another project from the creative mind of pianist Hobert, featuring Hobert on the 9-foot Steinway, Pete Whitman, sax; Yohannes Tona, bass; and L.A. Buckner, drums.

Abdullah Ibrahim @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55, $65) South African Abdullah Ibrahim is an elegant pianist and composer, whjose music reflects what he heard as a youngster: traditional African tunes; gospel music and spirituals; jazz; and classical music. He was known as Dollar Brand before his conversion to Islam. He left South Africa in 1962 because of its Aparthied policies, playing in Europe, where Duke Ellington heard him and arranged for Brand to record for Reprise Records witjh a debut disc entitled Duke Ellington Introduces Dollar Brand. Ibrahim has since toured the world, and returned to South Africa after Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. Toniught, he’ll be honoring one of his first bands, The Jazz Epistles, which included trumpeter Hugh Masakela.

Emerson Hunton Quartet and Andrew Green’s Notet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($12) The first set is a celebration of the release of Silent D by NYC-based guitarist Andrew Green’s Nonet. The drummer-less quartet includes trombonist JC Sandford, who recently moved back to Mpls after a number of years in NYC, where he and Green were roommates for a while. The other pseats in this version of the Nonet will be filled by Chris Thomson, sax; and Chris Bates on bass. Second set, from the Emerson Hunton Quartet, is led by Hunton, a former Twin Citizen now living in Chicago. He’ll be joined by Chicago band-mates Greg Ward, alto sax; Ben Cruz, guitar; and Charlie Kirchen, bass; playing songs from all members of the band.

Upcoming Jazz

April 18:  Rick Carlson/Southside Aces @ Vieux Carré

April 19:  Adam Larson & Bob Bowman @ Jazz Central for an instrumental Thursday

April 19:  PV Glob and Muck Luck @ Khyber Pass

April 19: Beasley’s Big Band @ Wabasha Caves

April 19: Zacc Harris early show @ Vieux Carré

April 20: Cory Healey’s Beautiful Sunshine Band @ Jazz Central

April 20: Jeremy Walker early show @ Vieux Carre

April 20: Chronic (aka Kronick Quartet) @ Green Lantern

April 21: Amethyst 3 & Chris Bates’ Red5 @ The Black Dog

April 21: Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Vieux Carré

April 23:  Jen Shyu/JT Bates @ the Icehouse

April 23: Greg Byers @ Jazz Central

April 24: John Scofield/Joe Lovao Quintet @ Hopkins Center for the Arts

 

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on jazz in the Twin Cities and beyond, check out the blogs, Jazz Police, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, April 11

Mississippi Hot Club on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This quintet is a traditional jazz manouche (gypsy jazz) ensemble with two la pompe rhythm guitars, upright bass, and the lively improvisations from solo guitar and violin. Tune in, and head to the 331 for more music.

Corky Siegal and Randy Sabien @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20) Corky Siegal was a member of the seminal, fun-inducing Siegal-Schwall Blues Band back in the day, but has since moved on to collaborations and performances with highly regarded symphonic orchestras, leading a chamber music group, Chamber Blues, and continuing to appear from time to time with his long-time musical cohort Jim Schwall. Sabien is a funky, jazzy violinist who is a fan of the kind of music made by Bob Wills as well as the Grateful Dead, so his playing goes way beyond that expected of a jazz player.

Thursday, April 12

Siama’s CD Release Party @ Midtown Global Market, Minneapolis. 5-7pm (Free) Siama Matuzungidi has released a children’s album entitled The Land of Yangalele. (Yangalele means Happiness in the Kikongo language). It’s full of happy, live African music, and this celebration is especially for kids and families. There will be snacks, prizes, instrument-making & more! A second party will be held at the Hook & Ladder Sunday afternoon.

Bettye LaVette @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $50) LaVette is a soul singer who interprets a song like no other. The three-time Grammy nominee, who has won a number of Blues and R&B awards, recently released an album of mostly lesser-known Dylan tunes on Verve, her first major label recording since her 21st Century renaissance after years of toil in the record industry. Here she is with a classic by the Who.

Papa John Kolstad and the Perfect Phitts @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) I wrote about their appearance on KFAI’s House Party last week. See them in a larger, elegant room.

Friday, April 13

Joyann Parker CD Release @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) There’s a bit of a buzz surrounding Partker’s sophomore effort, Hard to Love, the release of which is being celebrated tonight. Parker is a talented multi-instrumentalist and powerful R&B vocalist, who is versatile enough to sell out a number of Patsy Cline tributes.

Jaedyn James & the Hunger with Purple Funk Metropolis @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Jaedyn and her funk ’n soul band have been holed up for the last four months, coming up with new songs, some new band members, and new horn arrangements. James reports that the changes have encouraged her to show more nuance in her delivery, though I’ve no doubt her fire and the band’s intensity will still result in ecstatic dancing.,

Saturday, April 14

Lojo Russo @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11am – 2pm (No Cover) Roots music fans looking for some live music with their brunch will find much to enjoy in the music of guitarist/singer/songwriter Lojo Russo. Russo played in a wide variety of bands in the Twin Cities before moving to the Quad Cities of Iowa/Illinois in 2005. Her repertoire includes Americana, blues, and roots rock.

Delvon Lamarr OrganTrio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($17-$25) This is a classic organ trio that draws from heavily from soul as well as jazz. The Seattle trio’s debut album, Close But No Cigar was first released in 2016 and recently released nationally by Colemine Records, a contemporary soul/funk label from Ohio. The album is a fine slab ‘o’ sound, with songs like Al Greenery and Little Booker T revealing their influence in the title. Make no mistake, though, this is contemporary music, and as it says in the liner notes: All killer. No filler.

Sunday, April 15 

Phil Heywood & Tim Sparks @ the Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6:30pm ($20 Suggested donation) Here you have two, count em’ two ,national fingerpicking champions on stage and playing both together and singly. No wonder Minnesota is known as a hotbed of fingerpicking guitar. Their repertoire ranges from American folk and blues to early jazz roots and brilliant forays into world music and a few well-chosen pop obscurities.

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.


Ignore the Snow! Music: 4.4 – 4.10

April 4, 2018

What happened to March – Out Like a Lamb?

Oh boy, we’ve gotten dumped on by snow and now will have a week or so of well-below-average temperatures, with the prospect of another snow on the way next week. TV stations are reporting on how tired we are of this, but also on those hardy enough to still find ways to enjoy the weather, especially those of you who cross-country ski. Getting inside to enjoy music is another way to deal with the weather. Here are some ideas. Music Lifts the Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, April 4

Claudia Schmidt, w/Laura Caviani @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($12, $15) Vocalist Schmidt is a folkie who moves easily into jazz, especially when accompanied by someone as talented as pianist Caviani.

Noah  Ophoven-Baldwin Duo w/Michelle Kinney @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Trumpeter/Cornetist Ophoven-Baldwin has a perfect foil for his often sweet tone in cellist Kinney.

Dead King Mother @ The Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15, $10/Students and Seniors) Fifty years after the assassination of Martin Luther King, percussionist Davu Seru tells the story of an almost forgotten incident in North Minneapolis that occurred as a result. The Capri is located in the same neighborhood where the incident occurred. This musical story will be presented by Zeitgeist and special guests, and will be followed by a panel discussion.

Brian Courage Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Bassist Courage is back in town for a bit, so you’ll see him appearing as a special guest at some gigs, and heading the Black Dog on Saturday. Tonight he leads a quartet with musicians that he played with while living here in the early teens: Chris Thomson, saxophones; Park Evans, guitar; and Jay Epstein, drums

Thursday, April 5

Jana Nyberg w/Sean Turner @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) It’s been three months since vocalist/flutist Nyberg gave birth to a baby boy, and she’s raring to get out and perform. Tonight she has an excellent accompanist in pianist Sean Turner. Here she is in a group setting.

Southside Aces’ Fats Waller Night @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) The Aces are a brass-heavy band who will be taking on the music of the irrepressible Fats Waller, who delivered his music with a sly wink and knowing grin.

Pool Party, Round 6 @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Erik Fratzke, bass; Carley Olson, clarinets; Adam Zahller, vox/recorders; with special guest, Brian Courage, bass.

Friday, April 6

Reynold Philipsek CD Release @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($12) This intimate cafe in the western ‘burbs is perfect for appreciating the nuanced technique of guitarist Philipsek, who often plays gypsy jazz, ala Django Reinhardt. The first 40 patrons (essentially a full house) will get a free copy of his new CD, Picture This. He’ll be accompanied by Matt Senjem, bass; and Michael Bisonette, drums.

Donnie Norton Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Norton, who teaches at Mankato, was a student of Von Freeman and Jerry Bergonzi, which should be more than enough to whet your curiosity about his music. Norton, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Saturday, April 7

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7:00 Opening Set : Carter Pearson Quartet: Carter Pearson, Drums; Abebi Stafford, Piano; Graydon Peterson, Bass; and Bruce Acosta, Guitar. At 8:30 pm its Courageous Endeavors: ​Brian Courage, Bass; Nelson Devereaux, Saxophones; Joe Strachan, Piano; and Miguel Hurtado, Drums.

Sunday, April 8

Emmett Cohen Trio w/Tootie Heath @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm ($30, $40), 8:30pm ($25, $40) Cohen is a relatively young, imaginative, and often impish piano player who believes in the intergenerational transfer of artistic knowledge. He has been seeking out holder players to record and perform with, and tonight, he has drummer Tootie Heath (youngest of the Heath Brothers) as his older compatriot. Heath’s career includes stints with a pantheon of jazz greats, including Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, Milt Jackson, Wes Montgomery, Cedar Walton… The list goes on. Grammy and Emmy nominated bassist Russell Hall will join them.  BTW, I’m being honored with an award from the Jazz Journalists Association at the beginning of the 6:30 show.

Monday, April 9

Emmett Cohen @ Dual Citizen Brewing, 725 Raymond Avenue, Saint Paul. 7pm ($25 suggested donation) This benefit for the Twin Cities Jazz Festival is being held at a new brewery, just South of University on Raymond Avenue. If you didn’t catch Cohen at Crooners last night, you can hear him as a soloist tonight.

Tuesday, April 10

Moonshine Rhythm Club @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($6) This lively group hails from Nashville, and are adept at old school swing, and gypsy jazz: Josh Irwin – Lead Guitar; Billy Jewell – Trumpet; Charles Kay – Saxophone; Eddie Rutland – Rhythm Guitar; and Thomas Altman – Bass.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, April 4

Papa John Kolstad & the Perfect Phitts on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Papa John’s good natured swing and blues are complemented by the slide guitar of Gary Powell, and the harmonica of Bill Smith. Hence the name.

Willie Murphy @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6pm (Free) Bluesman/rocker/soulster Murphy is solo as part of the Hook’s Free Wednesday series.

Thursday, April 5

The Butanes @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) You can’t go wrong by seeing the multiple award winning blues band on a Thursday night.

Friday, April 6

Lowertown Classics @ Lowertown Lofts, 255 Kellogg Blvd, Saint Paul 8pm (Suggested Donation $10) Those of you looking for a bit more informal approach to classical music should enjoy this regular event, which takes place in the buildings’ third floor atrium, among art, and with refreshments. Tonights’ program includes music by Bach, Bartok, Karg-Elert, Seiber, Pixinghina, di Majo and more, performed by: Eva Beneke, guitar; Catherine Ramirez, flute; Richard Kreihn, mandolin; Gary Raynor, bass. With Special Guest soprano Maria Jette. Enter through the alley.

Craig Clark Band @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis8:30pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Clark brings his tasty licks and love of the blues to this Southside bar.

Saturday, April 7

Renee Austin Album Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.7pm ($20, $25) Austin is a six time Minnesota music Award winner who calls her mix of classic soul, gospel, and R&B “Roadhouse Soul.” Hers is a miraculous story: after gaining fame in the early part of this century, the Texas-born singer lost her voice after a medical procedure in 2005, only to have it come back in 2015. Now she has a new album, Songbirds and Angels, which she’ll be singing tonight.

Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) In Lil’ Ed you get a highly energized band leader, a dynamite slide guitar player, and a Chicago master of the endless boogie. You’ll be sweating by the end of the show.

Sunday, April 8

Song for Juliet @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7pm ($9 Advance/$12 Door) Singer/songwriter and ukelelest Katy Vernon put together this show to raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and to honor her mum, who died of Lymphoma. Besides Vernon, the show will feature Mary Bue, and the Homefires (Sarah Morris & Vicky Emerson).

Road to Memphis Solo/Duo Challenge @ Coon Rapids VFW Post #9625, 1919 Coon Rapids Blvd NW, Coon Rapids. 1pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s time once again to pick a solo or duo act to represent Minnesota in the International Blues Challenge. Judges will have to choose among the following; Donnie Sauve; Tim Reigstad; Trevor Marty; Tony Cuchetti & Joe Filipiovich; Wain McFarlane & Kurt Graham; and the Phil Kitzke Acoustic Band.

Sunday, Tuesday, April 8, 10

The English Beat @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 9pm Sunday, 7pm Tuesday ($35, $42) Back in the early 80s, the English Beat helped animate the ska revival of the time, though their music also ventured into punk, reggae and soul. They had a string of hit singles, including Mirror in the Bathroom, and Save it for Later, and toured the world with the likes of David Bowie, The Clash, and Talking Heads, among others. At the time, the band had two lead vocalists, Ranking Roger, and Dave Wakeling. It appears this version of the group is led by Wakeling, as they’re preparing to release a new album in May.

Monday, April 9

Ana Moura @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.7pm ($45, $55, $65) The Portuguese music called Fado has been likened to the blues, due to its emphasis on facing and surviving life’s vicissitudes. Vocalist Moura, whose voice is luxurious and passionate may be the most well-known of the proponents of this music, which almost died out before a renewed interest by the younger generation of Portuguese artists.

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.


April and Snow – Music: 3.28-4.3

March 28, 2018

Enough Already!

We’re heading into April, and just as the Prince song says, Sometimes It Snows in April, at least that’s what seems to be forecast for the next week. At any rate, it doesn’t appear to be enough snow to hinder our ability to get out and enjoy the visiting and resident musicians who are appearing around town. Remember, Music Lifts the Spirit.

Larry

Jazz

Wednesday, March 28

Patricia Barber @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40) Artful jazz from pianist/vocalist/songwriter Barber, whose low voice and slow delivery could be heard as sultry, there is more thought than seduction in her songs. It’s been a while since she appeared here in the Twin Cities, where she has many fans who are sure to welcome her back.

Thursday, March 29

JC Sandford Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) JC Sanford, trombone, compositions; Zacc Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums

Aja Parham Group @ Jazz Central, Minnreapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Nice to see such a fine vocalist performing after a while out of the spotlight. She’ll be supported by Kenneth Garner, bass; Steven Hobert, piano; Ben Boussieres, guitar; and Trenon Graham, drums.

ColLaboratory@ Khyber Pass, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Matt Rahaim (South Indian music); Scott Currie (saxophone, wind instruments); Maja Radovanlija (classical guitar); Jay Afrisando (indonesian instruments, electronics,etc.); Mike Duffy (electronics); Joey Crane (cello); Adam Zahler (multiintrumentalist); Noah OB (trumpet); Paul Metzger (banjo)

Thursday – Sunday, March 29-31

The Drowsy Chaperone @ The Lab Theater,  700 North 1st St, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Augsburg’s Music Theater Club is presenting this “loving send-up of the jazz age.” It won five Tonys for its show stopping songs and dance numbers, including Best Book, and Best Original score. For more information and tickets, go here. Here’s one of the songs from Sutton Foster.

Friday, March 30

Michelle Kinney’s What We Have Here @ Jazz Central, Minnreapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Michelle Kinney, cellist & composer; Pat O’Keefe, clarinet and sax; Laura Harada, violin; Noah Ophoven Baldwin, Cornet; Greg Schutte, drums; Adam Zahller, voice. (With special guests Ivan & Chris Cunningham). Original compositions and an arrangement of Bon Iver’s Flume.

Friday, Saturday, March 30, 31

Debbie Duncan Album Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) If you’ve been around the Twin Cities jazz scene for any time, you know what a treasure we have in vocalist Debbie Duncan. She’s got a new album and is celebrating its release with this two-night stand. Roane Shepperly, writing for Mid-West Jazz, describes her thusly: “Her voice, like the garments she often wears, is full of shimmering gold threads, intricately woven around rich dark textures and warm honey tones.”

Saturday, March 31

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar)  7:00pm: It’s a two-fer of Joel Shapira music, featuring the Charmin & Shapira Quartet at 7pm: Charmin Michelle, Vocals; Joel Shapira, Guitar; Tom Lewis, Bass; and Nathan Norman, Drums. At 8:30pm it’s The Joel Shapira Quartet: ​Joel Shapira, Guitar; Pete Whitman, Saxophones; Tom Lewis, Bass, and Phil Hey, Drums, along with some special guests

Monday, April 2

Jon Weber @ Dual Citizen Brewing, 725 Raymond Avenue, Saint Paul. 7pm ($25 suggested donation) This benefit for the Twin Cities Jazz Festival is being held at a new brewery, just South of University on Raymond Avenue. Weber is a Jazz Fest regular who skill at playing any kind of piano style is matched by his command of musical trivia. Always a delight.

Le Voyage @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Two sets of music freely composed on the spot from Le Voyage: Donald Washington, reeds; Matt Trice, alto sax; Dick Studer, bass; and Steve Hirsh, 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 Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, March 28

Switched at Birth on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Formed in 1998, Switched at Birth is a five-piece acoustic group that plays bluegrass, folk, blues country, Cajun, Irish, and rock n’ roll music. Whew!

The Beavers @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6-8pm (Free) This quintet of women will charm you with their quick wit and humor as they play bluegrass and old-timey music.

Thursday, March 29

Koch-Marshall Trio/with guest David Grissom @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15 Advance/$20 Door) The Koch-Marshall trio is a blues-based organ trio that delivers echoes of funk, jazz, rock, and country over heavy grooves. Guitarist David Grissom is a heavy hitter who’s played with Joe Ely, John Mellencamp, Buddy Guy, the Allmans, Dixie Chicks, Ringo Starr and more.

Shemekia Copeland and Carolyn Wonderland@ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45) It’s a twosome of strong blueswomen. Copeland is a two-time Grammy nominee, whose big voice and her way with the blues seems to come naturally. After all, she’s the daughter of the late Johnny Copeland. Though Wonderland is a bit of a multi-instrumentalist, she’s best known for her soulful vocals and her ability to plumb the Texas blues tradition with her fierce, original guitar playing. Here’s Wonderland in Des Moines a few days ago.

Los Amigos Invisibles @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($20 Advance/$25 Door) Originally from Venezuela, Los Amigos create a dance-til-you-drop mix of Latin and funk rhythms. At their last appearance at the Cedar, they packed the place with smiling, twirling, and dancing fans.

Friday, March 30

Big George Jackson @ Schooner’s, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Big George is a big-voiced bluesman who can sing low down as well as boogie with the best.

The Committee @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?)   The Committee is composed of vocalists Maurice Jacox, Deb Brown, and Aisha Baker, who performed together in the Soul Tight Committee. They’ll be backed by a seven-piece horn band to perform “Old School R&B” from the likes King Floyd, Freda Payne, Taste of Honey, The Spinners, Al Green, Jackson 5, and Aretha Franklin, among others.

Sunday, April1

Natania & Ticket To Brasil @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 6pm ($8 Advance/$10 Door) Hot Sambas, cool jazz, and sensuous bossa novas from this septet, with the extra added attraction of vocalist Natania, a Brazilian native now living in Saint Paul.

Tuesday, April 3

Curt Obeda & Camille Baudoin @ Schooner’s, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Left-handed guitarist Obeda might just be the most awarded bluesman in Minnesota, while Camille Baudoin, formerly of New Orleans’ Radiators, provides perfect counterpoint in this meeting of musical talents. Here thy are with Peter Ostrousko and Newport Slim.

Lush Country @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $15 for Guaranteed Seat) Classic country from the 50s and 60s, as performed by vocalist Prudence Johnson, Dan Chouinard, piano; Gary Rue, guitar; Gary Raynor, bass; Richard Kriehn, mandolin; Joe Savage, pedal steel; and Peter Johnson, drums.

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.

 


Spring and Music – Just Around the Corner: 3.21-3.27

March 21, 2018

You can’t stop the signs of Spring

Well, though there is still snow on the ground, and perhaps a bit more in the coming week, it actually is Spring, and sunshine and warmth can’t be far behind. Celebrate by getting out to some live music and letting it lift your spirit.

Larry

Jazz

Wednesday, March 21

Connie Evingson: George & Ira @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20, $25) The sublime music of the Gershwin Brothers, delivered by Ms Evingson, with the talented help of Tanner Taylor, piano; Dave Karr, sax & flute; and Gordy Johnson, bass.

Clay Pufahl Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Original compositions and arrangements froufahl, soloing with the Cedar Avenue Big Band.

Thursday, March 22

Dorothy Doring @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Whether she’s singing bebop, standards, or the blues, During approaches each song with élan.

JC Sanford’s Triocracy @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Trombonist JC Sanford retuned to the Twin Cities after 16 ears of establishing himself in NYC. Since then he’s taken on a number of projects, including a big band. Tonight it’s chamber jazz with Sandford and saxophonists Brandon Wozniak and Bruce Thornton.

Friday, March 23

Acoustic Concussion and Shells @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) at 8pm it’s Acoustic Concussion: Chris Bates, bass; Lars Erik-Larson, drums; Joe Strachan, piano; and Brad Holden, saxes, playing the music of Sam Rivers, Lee Konitz, Ornette Coleman and others. At 10:30pm, a young group called Shells will perform, whose members include: Kevin Kim, Tenor Sax; Brandon Xue, Piano; Tyler Wagner, Bass; and Simon Petrick, Drums.

Saturday, March 24

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening set by the intriguing Smashing Carp: George Cartwright, Saxophones; Michelle Kinney, Cello; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, Trumpet; Joe Horton, Vocals, and Davu Seru, Drums. At 8:30pm it’s the Steve Kenny Quintet, a pan-generational group featuring: Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Aaron Hedenstrom, sax; Charlie Lincoln, bass; Babatunde Lea, percussion; and Kenny on trumpet. Here is Smashing Carp.

Max Weinberg’s Jukebox @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55, $65) Older readers may remember the Johnny Carson feature “Stump the Band,” where audience members would name a tune and the Tonight Show Band would attempt to play it. Well, Weinberg, drummer for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, is bringing a quartet to the Dakota and inviting audience members to call out requests, which results in an entertaining evening that can take many twists and turns, depending on the taste of the audience.

Maurice Jacox @ The Mudd Room, Mendota. 8pm (Tip Jar) Vocalist/saxophonist Jacox is equally at home with the Great American Songbook, the songs of Nat King Cole, and acoustic versions of Motown. The speakeasy vibe of the Mudd Room, along with a fine selection of food and drink and an engaged audience, makes for a lively evening. He’ll be joined by Thomas West on keys and Rob Stupka, drums.

Sunday, March 25

Sam Miltich & Friends @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 6:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) Hot guitar from the self-taught Miltich, who has very talented friends.

Prudence Johnson & Dan Chouinard: A Night of Gershwin @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) A second night of Gershwin this week, this time by the oh-so-creative duo of Dan Chouinard on keys; and Prudence Johnson on vocals. Here’s an example.

Tuesday, March 27

Atlantis Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($12, $15) This quartet of outstanding musicians has been creating 21st Century jazz for 10 years. Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris Bates, bass; and Peter Hennig, drums; all have serious chops, imaginative improvising skills, and heady compositional talents. Here’s a chance to hear them in a small listening room.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, March 21

Barbaro on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Barbaro is a 5-piece progressive bluegrass band that’s been around for 2 years now. They describe themselves as playing music for films about cooking, with spicy instrumentals, savory harmonies, and to-the-point songwriting. Tune in to hear them and head to the 331 to see them in person.

Also: Graham Nash @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($75-$115) Good luck getting a ticket, as this pricey but unique show is sold out.

Thursday, March 22

New Orleans Suspects @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) the members of this New Orleans “supergroup” have played with The Neville Bros, James Brown, The Dirty Dozen, Bonerama, and Leo Nocentelli, among others. Needless to say, they can lay down a second line beat, New Orleans funk, or any other danceable tunes you can imagine.

Buckethead @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($22) This guitar shredder and jam band favorite has performed across many genres, including progressive metal, funk, blues, and avant-garde music. He’s released over 300 studio albums , written scores for a number of movies, and performed with such artists as Guns N’ Roses, Les Claypool, Bernie Worrell, and Bootsy Collins. Tonight he will be performing solo tonight, with no band.

Thursday – Sunday, March 22-25

Zeitgeist Early Music Festival @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm Th-Sat, 2pm Sun  ($15 / $10 students & seniors / $40 festival pass) This four-day event celebrates the music of African-American minimalist composer Julius Eastman. Dozens of artists will perform over the four days, with pieces for four percussion, flour pianos, mixed ensembles, two flutes, and more. For more information and the program for each show, go here. Here’s an example of his music by a different ensemble.

Friday, March 23

Jeffrey Broussard & The Creole Cowboys @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm ($?) The Krewe de Walleye once again brings a Louisiana guest to town. This time it’s Jeffrey Broussard, who was a member of the legendary Zydeco Force. He and his Creole Cowboys take a contemporary approach to Creole classics and modern zydeco tunes, so be sure to deck yourself out in dancing’ duds.

The Claudettes Album Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($17 – $22) This Chicago group mashes up all sorts of music, from the piano blues of Chi-town, to punk rock, 60s soul, jazz-age burlesque, and rockabilly music. In other words, they are hard to describe. Led by piano-pounder Johnny Iguana, the group includes Berit Ulseth, vocals; Zach Verdoom, bass & vocals; and Matt Torre, drums.

Saint Paul Soul & Salsa 4 Puerto Rico @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. ($10 Suggested Donation) A benefit for El Fondo Boricua Hurricane Relief, featuring Maria Isa and other Twin Cities artists of Afro Latin Jazz & Soul. Deejay Cana Brava will spin tunes for salsa dancers.

Also: Curtis Blake & Greazy Gravy @ Schooner’s, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar)

 

Saturday, March 24

Flamin’ Ohs & Trash Street @ The Hook  & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($9 Advance/$12 Door) The Oh’s were pioneers of rock videos back in the day, producing hard-edged, Midwest rock that got them to Max’s Kansas City and the Peppermint Lounge in NYC. Since reforming in1997, the group has released three albums, including a live session at Moby Dick’s in the 80s. Opening is Trash Street, purveyors of simple melodies, blazing guitars, and pounding drums.

Dance ’Til You Drop @ The History Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm as well as 2pm Mar 31 & Apr 7, ($25-$40, $15 Student) This production, created in collaboration with Collide Dance Theater, looks at the Dance Marathon fad of the 1930s, when times were so desperate that folks were willing to try to dance for days on end to win cash prizes. Presented Thursday through Saturday until April 15. For more information, go here.

Also: Willie Walker @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $12 for Guaranteed Seat)

Sunday, March 25

Gang of Mischief @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 4pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Wile away a Sunday afternoon in the oldest continually operating bar in the state, enjoying blues and roots music as played by Harpmaster Harold Tremblay, along with Rena Haus, guitar & vocals; Dan Schwalbe, guitar; and Mark Rizzardi, bass; and a special guest in the “hot seat.”

An Evening with Altan @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis.7:30pm ($27 Advance, $30 Door) Altan is a traditional Irish band that has been winning awards and entertaining audiences around the world ever since they were the first Irish band of their kind to be signed to a major label (Virgin), back in 1996.

Tuesday, March 27

Meshell Ndegeocello @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55), 9pm ($35, $45) Ndegeocello is an R&B original who has just released her 12th album, entitled Ventriloquism. It’s a fine album of 80’s tunes, in which she recasts songs from her youth, such as Atomic Dog, in which she uses a slightly down & dirty blues guitar and an ethereal choir to reveal the foundations of the song. Other songs include Smooth Operator, where its Caribbean underpinnings have been replaced with a rhythm that approaches drum & bass, and Sometimes it Snows in April, which is slowed down even more than the original by Prince.

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.


Erin Go Music: 3.14 – 3.20

March 14, 2018

Actually, you don;’t need to wear green to dance

Saint Patrick’s Day is this weekend, and there are plenty of places to celebrate with Irish music, especially in Saint Paul. There are also opportunities to celebrate with blues and jazz, if that’s what gives you energy. After all, music lifts the spirit.

Larry

Jazz

Wednesday, March 21

Jimmyapolis Trio @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9:30pm (Free) James “Jimmyapolis” Wallace is a veteran sax player who has been around since the 60s, playing in R&B and jazz bands. He’ll be joined by a pianist for this show, which is part of the Hook’s Piano Lounge series.

Jose James: Lean On Me @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40, $50) Soulful, elegant vocalist and Minneapolis native James is a rising star in the jazz firmament. He’s flexible enough to have performed with Chico Hamilton and the electronica artist Flying Lotus, and has released four well-received albums, including a tribute to Billie Holiday. For this show, he celebrates the music of Bill Withers (with Withers blessing) accompanied by his band: Brad Allen Williams, guitar; James Francis, keys; Rueben Rogers, bass, and Nate Smith, drums, all of whom have stellar resumes.

CCC Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Originals and standards from Chris Bates, bass; Chris Graham, guitar; and Corey Healy, drums.

Thursday, March 15

The Music & Activism of Julius Eastman @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 6pm ($10) This is part of the Lowertown Listening Sessions, which tonight features percussionist/ composer, and historian, Davu Seru, leading a discussion of Eastman, an African American minimalist composer. After his death in 1990, Eastman’s compositions were ignored until recently. The program will include a performance of Eastman’s work Evil Nigger arranged for four mallet instruments and performed by Patti Cudd, Heather Barringer, Eri Isomura, and Bjorn Grina.

Blood Quantum @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Erik Fratzke of Zebulon Pike & Happy Apple, bass; and Tim Glenn, of Pentacene & Squid Fist, on drums. Their music is described as “fractal doom for strings and percussion.” Interpret that how you will.

Friday, March 16

Paul Renz Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Guitarist Renz graduated from Berklee summa cum laude, and has composed hundreds of songs, including jazz tunes, string quartets, TV commercials, a flute and cello suite, and more. Tonight, this resident musician is bring a quartet to the basement bar: Rose Rinder, flute; Jonathan Thomas, bass; and Jessie Lesmeister, drums.

Peter Kogan’s Monsterful Wonderband @ Jazz Central, Minnreapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Percussionist Kogan’s band is adept in many of the sub-genres of jazz. It’s members are: Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Nelson Devereaux, saxes; Dave Graf, trombone; Chris Olson, guitar; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Kogan on drums.

Saturday, March 17

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Saxophonist Pat Moriarty is the band director at Roseville High School, and consistently draws out the best in his students. Tonight, the Roseville HS Jazz 1 Band is the opening act at 7pm – part of the monthly JazzINK Youth Showcase. At 8:30pm, it’s the Pat Moriarty / Ellen Lease Quartet, with Moriarty, saxes, Ellen Lease, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Davu Seru on drums. Their music is composed on the spot, and just may break any pre-conceptions you may have about “free jazz.” Here’s Moriart and Lease with a different rhythm section. Here are Lease & Moriarty with a quintet.

Arne Fogel: September of My Years @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm ($15) Vocalist and Crosby/Sinatra musicologist Fogel revisits Sinatra’s iconic album that celebrates aging. After all, Fogel has been in the music/broadcast business for 50 years or so, a good time to explore the reflective lyrics of the album. Fogel will be accompanied by Rick Carlson, piano & music director, Gary Schulte on violin, and Gordon Johnson on bass. His first performance of this show last fall sold out, so be forewarned. Here he is with another song identified with Sinatra, fronting the Acme Jazz Company.

Sunday, March 18

Jane Monheit @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40), 9pm ($25, $35) It’s been twenty years since Monheit’s gorgeous voice and vocal range brought her to a second place finish at the Thelonious Monk Competition, and consequently to the attention of the jazz world. Since then Monheit has released nine albums and has guested on a number of others. She’s now taken her gift and in 2016 released an album of songs associated with a main inspiration: The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald. 

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz Ink, and Bebopified.

 

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, March 14

Fabulous Minnesota Barking Ducks Trio on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The FNB Ducks have been delivering driving blues to audiences around the state for nigh unto 30 years. Tonight they’re a trio, led by original Duck and tasty guitarist Mic McCormick, with Ed Dunn on bass, and Kit Kildahl on guitar and occasional harp.

Omar Sosa & Sectou Keita Transparent Water Trio @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($28 Advance/$30 Door) Pianist/Composer Omart Sosa has been nominated for a Grammy 7 times. He’s partnered with U.K.-based Senegalese kora master and singer Seckou Keita, and  folkloric Venezuelan percussionist Gustavo Ovalleson on a new CD, Transparent Water Trio. This is the latest example of Sosa’s use of new combinations of instruments and cultures.

SPCO’s Liquid Music @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 6pm ($20) Nathalie Joachim is a multi-genre performance artist, flutist, and composer who will be exploring Haitian song and the role of women’s voices in Haitian culture. The Wall Street Journal calls her performance “A unique blend of classical music, hip-hop, electronic programming, and soulful vocals reminiscent of neo-R&B stars like Erykah Badu.”

Thursday, March 15

DL Cajun Dance Band @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7) Get out those dancing shoes and two-step, twirl, and waltz your way around the commodious dance floor at the Eagles Club.

Friday, March 16

Irish Diplomacy @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Get a head start on Saint Patrick’s Day with this 9-piece Celtic band that dips into jazz.

Jonathan Richman @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($18 Advance, $20 Door) Jonathon Richman has been charming audiences with his warm, conversational lyrics since the early 70s, when his band, The Modern Lovers, thrilled audiences looking for something more than corporate rock. He’s been working with drummer Tommy Larkins (Naked Prey) for many years now, bringing his insightful, and often humorous lyrics to fans.

Hot Pants 45 rpm Dance Party @ The Uptown VFW, Minneapolis. 10pm (Free) The Lyn-Lake area is hoppin’ on Friday nights, thanks in part to this monthly event featuring rare soul & funk 45s that are highly danceable, whether you’re doing the bump, freestyling, or swing dancing.

Also: The Good, The Bad, & The Funky @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8)

Saturday, March 17

Tinsley Ellis Album Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) After four decades in the blues, incendiary guitarist Ellis is releasing his 20th album, Red Clay Soul, celebrating the music of Georgia and its environs. While Ellis is often identified as a blues-rock guitarist, his ballads reveal his gutartistry is well founded in traditional blues.

Willie Walker @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Soul Survivor Willie Walker’s star is finally on the rise after being one of the best kept secrets in the Two Cities for decades. In 2016 he won two Blues Music Awards for his album, If Nothing Ever Changes, and this year he’s nominated in five categories for his album After A While. He’s had rave reviews for the album, been featured in Downbeat and on the cover of Blues Blast, and performed at Yoshi’s in San Francisco, as well as Europe and South America. Lucky for us, we can get to see him in the intimate basement speakeasy of the Hamm building.

Boiled in Lead and Sister Tree @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) This is the 35th Anniversary Concert for this high-energy Celtic/rock band, that plays dark, traditional folk ballads and instrumental dance tunes that may just cause the Cedar to levitate.

Also: Dee Miller Band featuring Craig Clark @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) Belting out the blues, whether or not it’s a holiday.

Sunday, March 18

Dan Rein: Celebrate Spring & CD Release @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9:30pm ($8 Advance/$10 Door) Long time host of KFAI’s Century Song, Dan Rein presents world music that truly lives up to the stations motto of Radio Without Boundaries. He’s released a CD, Just One Breath, singing the poetry of Omar Khyyam in Persian and English, playing Setar and Dutar, and will be celebrating the Persian New Year and the advent of Spring. Appetizers from Gandi Mahal, where Rein regularly performs, will be available.

Tuesday, March 20

Trench Size Trio @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm (Free) This trio, consisting of Al Bergstrom, Bass; Joey Van Phillips, drums; and Tom Reichert, guitar; are enamored with the funk and second line sounds of New Orleans, particularly those of the Meters, so if you’re in a mood to get up and get funky on the dance floor, this is the place to be.

Tuesday, Wednesday, March 20, 21

Graham Nash @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($75, $100, $115) Well, for the price of nosebleed seats at some arena shows you can see Graham Nash up close and personal in a 250-seat club, telling stories and singing songs from his long career, as a member of the Hollies, with Crosby, Stills, & Nash and it’s permutations, and as a solo performer.

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.


More Daylight, More Music: 3.7 – 3.13

March 7, 2018

Well, in spite of the snowstorm of the last few days, Spring is approaching, days are getting longer, and Daylight Savings Time will begin this weekend. We have a good balance of visiting and resident artists appearing for our pleasure, a special Birthday residency by a jazz legend, and three nights of Latin Dancing on the calendar. Soo… get out and hear some music – it lifts our spirits.

Larry

Jazz

Wednesday, March 7

Cecile McLoren Salvant @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $45), 9pm ($30, $37) Vocalist Salvant sings unique and often little known songs, from the early 20s onward, to her own originals. Singing in English, French, and Spanish, she has an elastic voice and unerring improvisation, as well as a command of various styles, and seems to be in line to build on the legacies of Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, and Ella Fitzgerald.

Red Planet w/Bill Carrothers @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15, $22) Bill Carrothers is a highly regarded pianist who grew up in Saint Paul and now lives in the UP of Michigan, close enough to perform at the Dunsmore Room every few months. Red Planet is a fusion trio that brings taste and imagination to the genre, thanks to members Dean Magraw, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. The four released an album late last summer that received four stars from Downbeat.

Thursday – Sunday

Charles Lloyd’s 80th Birthday Residency @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($55 – $125) This may be the hot ticket of the year, as sax master Charles Lloyd leads three different groups over the course of four nights. Britt Robson wrote an enlightening article in Tuesday’s Star Tribune describing the groups and how Lloyd chose the Dakota to celebrate his 80th birthday. You can read it here. Here is one of the groups – appearing Friday and Saturday.

Thursday, March 8

Erin Livingston @ Jazz Central, Minnreapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Vocalist Livingston, who sometimes appears with the Parisota Hot Club, will be performing jazz standards accompanied by her music director Marc Ziegenhagen on piano.

Le Percheron @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Le Percheron is led by bassist Adam Linz, and features up and coming young lions Levi Schwartsberg on vibes; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin on cornet, and Corey Healy on drums. They create music that is at once accessible and adventurous.

Friday, March 9

Wall Smashers Organ Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) This is a new trio led by the fine multi-keyboardist Steven Hobert, with Jax Ravel, bass; and LA Buckner, drums.

Saturday, March 10

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7:00pm Opening Set: Three Faces: Joe Mayo, saxes; Dave Graf, trombone; Michael Gold, bass, and Rick Nair on drums. Headlining at 8:30 pm: The Jax Ravel Gang: Jax Ravel, bass: Joe Strachan, Piano; Nelson Devereaux, saxes, and Miguel Hurtado, drums. Here’s Ravel with some bass soloing.

JazzMN Orchestra: The Commission Project @ Hopkins High School, 2400 Lindbergh Drive, Minnetonka. 7:30pm ($31,$38) The JazzMN Orchestra is a 7- piece band, with a number of the area’s best musicians. Tonight’s program is The Commission Project, featuring the premier of new works by John Wasson – A Minnesota native and award-winning composer, conductor and performer, whose arrangement of “Caravan” was featured in the movie WhiplashDavid Berger – Conductor and arranger for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in NYC; and resident artists Dean Sorenson, Director of Jazz Studies at the U of MNH; and Adam Meckler, a vibrant trumpeter, educator, and leader of the Adam Meckler Orchestra. The evening also includes guest vocalist Andrew Walesch. Here’s the Orchestra with a classic.

 

Tuesday, March 13

Maud Hixson: Moon River & Mercer @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Once again, Ms Hixson has hit upon a perfect theme to showcase her warm, sophisticated vocals, this time celebrating the music of Johnny Mercer, lyricist and composer responsible for such songs as Fools Rush In, That Old Black Magic, the lyrics to Skylark, Satin Doll, Summer Wind, and of course, Moon River. She’ll be joined by her frequent pianist, the ever tasteful Rick Carlson. Here she is doing a song from early 20th Century.

Melissa Aldana @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 7pm ($20) Tenor Saxophonist Aldana left her native Chile in 2007 to study at Berklee school of music. In 2009 she moved to New York, where she apprenticed with Greg Osby and George Coleman, among others. In 2013 she became the first female instrumentalist (and the first South American) to win the Thelonious Monk Competition. Her influences include Sonny Rollins, Don Byas, Gene Ammons, and Chris Potter. She’ll be appearing with her chordless trio – Pablo Menares, bass; and Jochen Ruekert, drums.

Tuesday, Wednesday, March 12, 13

Jose James: Lean On Me @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $0, $5) Soulful, elegant vocalist, and Minneapolis native, James is a rising star in the jazz firmament. He’s flexible enough to have performed with performed with Chico Hamilton and the electronica artist Flying Lotus, and has released four well-received albums, including a tribute to Billie Holiday. For this show, he celebrates the music of Bill Withers (with Withers blessing) accompanied by his band: Brad Allen Williams, guitar; Sulllivan Fortner, keys; Ben Williams, bass, and Nate Smith, drums, all of whom have stellar resumes.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, March 7

Pistol Whippin’ Part Penguins on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This 5-piece string band features 2 guitars, a mandolin, a bucket of fiddles, an upright bass, a banjo, and a 4 part vocal harmony. They’re preparing to record their fourth album of folk, rock, blues, and bluegrass. Listen in and head to the 331 Club if you like what you hear.

Thursday, March 8

Brazlian Night @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($10, $15) The Dunsmore Room will be taken over by the sensuous rhythms of Brazilian music as performed by Lucia Newell, a vocalist who spent two years performing with Brazilian artists in Rio, accompanied by Clea Galhano, a renowned recorder player from Brazil, Joan Griffith on guitar, and Gordy Johnson on bass. A rare opportunity.

Joanne Shaw Taylor @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($40 Advance/$45 Door) The UK’s hot blues rock guitarist/singer finally makes her way to the U.S. and Twin Cities after touring world-wide and breaking out with appearances on Jools Holland’s TV show and rave reviews for her album Wild.

Friday, March 9

Salsa del Soul @ Dayblock Brewing, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) I‘m not sure if this is in the tap room or upstairs in the ballroom, which seems a more appropriate place to handle the outpouring of dancers whenever this 9-piece band plays its repertoire of Latin rhythms.

Saturday, March 10

Chino Latino Jazz Project @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7-10pm ($12, $7w/Student ID) This 7 -piece Latin Jazz ensemble will turn the basement club into a dance studio, with a free latin dance lesson at the beginning of the evening, and a special dance demonstration by professionals from the Arthur Murray dance studio.

RRDB Fest Pre-Party @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($9 Advance, $12 door) It’s a night of blues-stompin’music as the Hook unveils the line-up for the 8th Annual Roots, Rock, and Deep Blues Festival taking place July 14th. Tonight’s line-up features alumni of past RRDB Festivals, including resident stalwarts Javier Matos, and Jeff Ray & Hurricane Harold, Colimbia MOs punk blues trio The Flood Brothers, and Kent Burnside, singer/songwriter and grandson and keeper of the flame of RL Burnside and his music.

Dee Miller Band @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Foot Stompin’ good time blues from Ms Miller and band, two time winners of the Minneapolis Battle of the Blues Bands.

Sunday, March 11

Heatwave & Landman @ Como Park Conservatory, Saint Paul. 4:30pm – 6:30pm (Free) Heawave is Chris “Heatwave” Holm, and Landman is Mark “Landman” Larson, both of whom were the original rhythm section for 4ontheFloor. Today they’ll fill the warm wonderfully humid confines of the conservatory with Delta blues, British invasion pop, and a bit of garage rock.

Tuesday, March 13

Charanga Tropical @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) This is the third Latin Dance gig in five days, this time featuring Cuban Danzones, as well as well as modern salsa, originals, and other Latin dance rhythms. The Icehouse usually removes tables to make room for the dancers that flock to this band.

Wednesday, March 14

D.O.A.: A Rite of Passage @ Trylon Microcinema, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) This  1980 Rockumentary about the beginning of punk follows the 1978 American tour of the Sex Pistols, (after which they broke up) and also includes fiery performances  by X-Ray Spex, Generation X with Billy Idol,  Sham 69, and the Dead Boys. It also includes one of the last interviews recorded with Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen, three months before their deaths. Here’ the film’s trailer.

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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