Hear and enjoy. Music: 12.5 – 12.11

December 5, 2018

It seems the flow of visiting artists has slowed this week, at least for the smaller venues that I generally cover. Nevertheless there are a number of interesting, and sometimes holiday-themed shows being done by resident artists. Whether celebrating the holidays or not, remember, Music Lifts Your Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, Dec 5

Really Big Shoe @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Saxophonists Joe Mayo & Clay Pufahl founded this quarter a couple of years ago. Rhythm section: Ted Olson, bass; and Joey Van Phillips, drums.

Thursday, Dec 6

Charmin Michelle @ The Mudd Room, Mendota Heights. 7pm (No over) Try to get a seat within the bar portion of this room to fully appreciate Ms Michelle’s caramel-smooth voice. She’ll have John Della Selva on guitar; and Joe Wiseman, bass; working with her.

Friday, Dec 7

Riverside Swing Holiday Show @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20) Given we’re holiday season, it’s likely that this six piece band with four vocalists won’t bemoan the lack of a dance floor as they play swinging holiday tunes along with others from the 30s and 40s.

Sightless Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. ($10) Cody Steinmann, guitar; Ted Godbout, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Carter Pearson, drums.

Saturday, Dec 8

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) at 7pm, it’s the aptly named Last Minute Quartet, with Steve Kenny on Flumpet, and a band line-up to be announced. At 8:30, Drummer Rodney Ruckus returns to tow with theRuckus Twin Cities Experiment: DeCarlo Jackson, bass, trumpet; Brandon Wozniak, tenor; David Billingly & Jacob Dodd, piano; and Rodney Ruckus, drums and other instruments.

58 Belvedere @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 6:30pm (No Cover) Guitarist Dan Granros leads this jazz power trio through originals and group improvisations, with: Pat Keen, bass; and Dave Power, drums.

Sunday, Dec 9

Mary Louise Knutson Trio @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 12:30 – 1:45pm (Free) holiday tunes performed by a sublime trio: Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Gordy Johnson, upright bass; and Phil Hey drums, prior to the afternoon’s choral concert in the hall.

Tormé Sings Tormé @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25) Steve March-Tormé is the son of Mel Tormé, who wrote the holiday chestnut, The Christmas Song. It’s only fitting that he brings a program of holiday songs, as well as stories of his dad, and a few songs from the Great American Songbook to the listening room at Crooners.

Monday, Dec 10

Fuzzy Math @ The Amsterdam Bar& Hall, Saint Paul. 8pm (Free) Largely carol-free evening of jazz from: Mark Vandermyde, keys/compositions; Andrew Scwandt, sax; Haralds Bondaris, drums; and Matt Peterson, bass.

Chris Bates’ Red 5 @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) The nerd in all of us enjoys the fact that this group is named after an X-Wing fighter Star Wars. Members of the band: Bates, bass; JT Bates, drums; Thomas Nordlund, guitar; Steve Kenny, trumpet; Brandon Wozniak, saxes; and JC Sanford, trombone. BTW, next week’s Jazz Implosion will be the last, as JT Bates is stepping down after about 20 years of booking the Monday night series.

Tuesday, Dec 11

Dave Karr & Friends @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6pm (Free) The monthly Jazz Indeed series at the Hook features octogenarian saxophonist Dave Karr. Given Karr’s prominence in the area’s jazz scene, he’ll undoubtedly have some stellar performers with him.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.

 

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, Dec 5

Big George Jackson on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Big George Jacksonhas a bass voice that can shake the rafters. He plays a mean harmonica as well.

The Pines @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20, $30, $35) Indie Rock and Americana from a group with its roots in Iowa and Minnesota. They’ve received numerous plaudits for their writing, showing a keen eye for detail and atmospherics.

Thursday, Dec 6

Doug Otto @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5-7pm (Tip Jar) Though Otto can be heard regularly at the 331 Club and Dusty’s, he’s performing today in Saint Paul as part of Mikkel Beckman’s weekly gig.

Friday, Dec 7

Prudence Johnson & Dean Magraw @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6pm ($5) These two veterans of the Twin Cities music scene go together like two straws in a coke. They’ve known each other and played together for decades.

3rd Annual Church of Cash Holiday Show @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) How did Johnny Cash celebrate the holidays? This excellent tribute band may give us a hint.

Salsa del Soul @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Salsa del Soul plays much more than salsa. You’ll hear Sons, Pleñas, Cha-chas, Bachatas and more. A DJ opens at 9pm w/Salsa del Soul starting at 10.

Saturday, Dec 8

Paul Cebar @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. ($15 Advance, $20 Door) Milwaukee’s ambassador of danceable sounds brings the rhythms of western Louisiana, the streets of New Orleans, Africa, and the Caribbean (not to forget soul n’ funk) to the Hook with his band Tomorrow Sound.

Renee Austin @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Austin was a rising star in the blues scene when she lost her voice in 2005. She calls it a miracle that she got it back two years ago. She’s now revved up and singing her soulful blues.

Hot Tuna @ The Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hopkins. 8pm ($42, $75VIP) Guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Casady were founding members of Jefferson Airplane, and formed Hot Tuna as a side project to explore their love of blues. Hot tuna Received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rock n’ roll Hall of Fame about two years ago.

Tuesday, Dec 11

Hooked on Hamilton @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. ($30, $35, $40) Vocalist/Actor T. Mychael Rambo has gathered14 veteran and emerging vocalists, along with a 5-piece band to perform songs from the musical Hamilton.

 

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.

 


Not-Quite-Winter Music: 11.28 – 12.4

November 28, 2018

It may not be officially winter yet, but it is beginning to sound a lot like Christmas, or any of the other29 or so holidays celebrated by a number of the world’s religions this time of year. Both visiting and resident artists are beginning to include holiday music in their shows, though it’s easy enough to find alternatives if you’re not quite ready for prime-time holiday songs. Music Lifts Your Spirit!


Jazz

Wednesday, November 28
Evan Christopher’s Clarinet Road @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($30, $35) The clarinet seems to be gaining more gravitas in jazz these days, thanks in part to musicians like Anat Cohen, Ken Peplowski, and Evan Christopher, whose grounding in early Creole clarinetists provides the foundation for New Orleans music that honors tradition without being a slave to it.

Thursday, November 29

ACME Jazz Company Holiday Show @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($5, $10) Though you may hear some musical explosions from this 18-piece big band featuring vocalist Arne Fogel, you won’t hear the beep beep sounds of the Roadrunner after the aforementioned eruptions.

Becky King and Jon DeVaal @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Vocalist King sings jazz standards from the 1920 to the 1960s, accompanied by pianist Jon DeVaal.

Friday, November 30

Acoustic Concussion @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) 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.

Saturday, December 1

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Mike Wolter Trio at 7pm: Wolter, guitar;mCody McKinney, bass; and Cory Healey, drums. At 8:30, it’s Babatunde Lea & Rhythm’s Mama: Omar AbdulKarim, trumpet; Joe Strachan, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; Kevin Washington, drums & percussion; Taj Maalik Hill, percussion; and Lea, drums/congas.

Nate Wood’s fOUR, w/JT Bates solo @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis.m8pm(?$15 Advance, $18 Door) drummer & multi-instrumentalist Nate Wood is a founding member of the Grammy-nominated experimental cross-genre group. fOUR is a solo project in which he layers drums, synths, electric bass and voice with no overdubs or pre-recorded backing tracks. Drummer JT Bates will be using his drum set and electronics to create a new set of music just for this show.

Zacc Harris’ American Reverie @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis.(No Cover) The Icehouse changes up their dinner music tonight by having Zacc Harris’ Reverie play: Harris, guitar; Matt Peterson, bass; Lars-Erik Larson, drums. It’s a quiet group, so you’re still advised to sit close since the restaurant’s happy diners can be noisy.

Saturday, Sunday, December 1,2 

The Freddy Cole Quartet: Cole at Christmas @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. Sat, 6pm, 8pm  ($45, $50), Sunday, 5pm ($30, $35), 7pm  ($35, $40) Freddy Cole returns to the Dunsmore Room to begin a year-long celebration of older brother Nat King Cole’s centennial. One of Nat’s biggest hits is the perennial favorite, The Christmas Song, which Freddy is very likely to perform.

Monday, December 3

Carmen Lundy @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $20, $35) Carmen Lundy is much more than a fine jazz singer. She’s written over 60 compositions in jazz, blues, soul, samba, and pop music. Jazz Times says she has “excelled as a vocalist, composer, lyricist, arranger, guitarist and keyboardist for more than three decades.”

Tuesday, December 4

Christmas with Joey DeFrancesco @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm ($30, $35), 9pm ($20, $25) He may well be as advertised, the best B3 player on the planet, but Joey DeFrancesco is also a worthy trumpet player and smooth crooner. He’s doing this Christmas show in the big room.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday,  November 28

Scottie Miller @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6pm (Free) singer/pianist, and songwriter Scottie Miller just received another Blues Society Hall of Fame Award, this time for his song Sweet Cream Sugar Delight. He couldn’t be at the ceremony because he was touring once again with Ruthie Foster. You can hear that winning song tonight, as Miller solos in this free show (though I’m sure tips will be gratefully accepted).

Jon Rodine w/Paul Bergen and Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) There’s no doubt that Rodine, a singer of originals, and a fine interpreter of other’s songs, deserves a wider audience. Fellow musician and KFAI deejay Ellen Stanley called Rodine “Authentic, unpretentious…funky, heartbreaking.” Tune in, and if you like what you hear, support live music by heading to the 331Club.

Honky-Tonk Jump @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) It’s Swing Dance Night at Lee’s, with dance lessons starting at 7pm. The honky tonk tunes, Texas dancehall music, and Western Swing that’ll get dancers on the floor will be provided by the 5-piece Honky Tonk Jump.

Thursday, November 29

Jeremy Ylvisaker & Friends @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($8) Jeremy Ylvisakeris an imaginative and versatile guitarist and multi instrumentalist who has played and recorded with artists ranging from John Prine and Bon Iver, to Swamp Dogg and the Suburbs. Tonight he’ll rejoined by rocker Venus DeMars; violinist Gaelynn Lea; cellist Jacqueline Ultan, and others.

Friday, November 30

Anne Hills @ Gingko’s Coffeehouse, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15) Pennsylvania native Anne Hills may be a perfect example of a pure folk singer. She has a beautiful, clarion voice, and writes straightforward lyrics. One indication of her talent: Tom Paxton is a big fan. He’s said of her, “For me, Anne’s writing, in songs like ‘Follow That Road’ and many others, is as direct, melodic and deep as any work being done today. She is quite simply one of my absolute favorite songwriters.”

Cedric Burnside @ the Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($28 Advance, $20 Door, $40 Meet & Greet at 6:30pm) Cedric Burnside is the grandson of legendary Hill Country Bluesman RL Burnside. Cedric’s 2015 release, Descendants of Hill Country, was nominated for a Grammy, and he’ll be at the Hook to celebrate the release of his latest, Benton County Relic. Opening is another Twin Cities favorite, Chicago guitarist Nick Moss and his band, featuring harpman Dennis Gruenling. FMI on the Meet & Greet, go here.

Tommy Bentz Band @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Jazzy blues, originals, and covers by Bentz, guitar; Jason McLean, bass; and Alex Burgess, drums. All also sing.

Saturday, December 1

Nachito Herrera: Afro-Latin Renaissance @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($22 – $42) Dynamic Cuban-born pianist Nachito Herrera once again brings a spectacular show to the Ordway, using a12-piece band; four vocalists; the MinnesotanYouth Symphony; The St.Peter AME Church Choir; and two different dance troupes to showcase classical Afro-Latin jazz and its roots. If you arrive at            6:30, you can hear Congolese guitarist Siama Matuzungidi and his group in the atrium, and also peruse the visual art of a number of Cuban artists.

Sunday, December 2

Ginger Commodore Celebrates Aretha Franklin @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm  ($20) Ginger Commodore has the chops and the soul to  do justice to the late and forever Queen of Soul. Commodore was a long time member of the Grammy-winning Sounds of Blackness, has theatrical credits both musicals and dramas, toured Britain as a member of The Chiffons, and currently appears with Moore by Four.

Tuesday, December 4

Kenny Latimore @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40,$45, $50), 9pm ($35, $40, $50) It’ll be a romantic holiday evening, courtesy of  Latimore a “modern soul man” as he was called by the NY Times, to the Dakota.  His sweet harmonies and memorable melodies helped his 1997 song For You become an instant top ten hit. He’s also lent his vocals to recordings for artists such as Brian Culbertson, Nancy Wilson, Musiq Soulchild and Rachelle Ferrel. Additionally, Kanye West sampled Latimore’s Lately for a track.

Curt Obeda & Brian Z @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Blues guitarist/vocalist Curt Obeda, leader of the award winning Butanes, and Brian Ziemniak, of the BZ3 Organ Trio and Vintage Raggs on keys, should make for a fun night of music, including lots of Ray Charles numbers.

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.


Happy Thanksgiving: 11.21 – 11.27

November 21, 2018

We’ve a cornucopia of performances this weekend, from Thanksgiving Eve through Sunday, with a nice balance of visiting and resident musicians, both young and mature, to help you celebrate, commiserate, and even dance off some of your Thanksgiving stuffing.

On a sad note, I want to acknowledge the passing of Ted Wilebski, founder of Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, and a driver in presenting the blues here in the Twin Cities. He was a lovable character, and if he wasn’t always the most astute businessman, his devotion to the blues was undeniable. He brought artists like Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy, Etta James, Little Johnny Taylor, Clarence Carter, Pee Wee Crayton, Bobby Blue Bland, and many more to the Twin Cities, enriching our lives in the process. Many nights at his Frogtown club were filled with overwhelming joy, proving once again, that Music Lifts Your Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, November 21

Cosmic Troubadours Reunion @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) A group of recently graduated college students and friends reunite in a band that they had at Southwest High in Mpls: Denny Carlson, alto; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Ryan Rosik, tenor; Drew Stinson, bass; and Ben Ehrlich, drums.

Thursday, November 22

Regina Marie Williams @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm($25, $30) The actress/vocalist is equally home with the jazzy R&B of Dinah Washington as she is with show tunes. Ms Williiams will have a number of special guests along to help celebrate the holiday: Rajane Katurah; Greta Oglesby; Thomasina Petrus, and others.

Friday, Nov 23

Jennifer Eckes@ Honey, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 9:30pm. ($5) Ms Eckes is bringing a “Black Friday Cabaret” o the basement club in NE Mpls, with accompaniment by pianist Andrew Walker.

Andrew Walesch Big Band: Sinatra! @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25, $30) Pianist/vocalist Walesch continues to mine the vast repertoire of Frank Sinatra, with an all-star 12-piece band. Reservations recommended, as these shows often sell out.

Ashen Fir @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Pianist/composer Jack Barrett has put together this group, using a rotating cast of musicians, to play Barrett’s original music: Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Charlie Bruber, bass; Murphy Janssen, drums.

Atlantis Quartet Album Release @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10, $15) Since 2006, four of the area’s most exciting jazzers have united as the Atlantis Quartetto helped to define modern jazz. They continue to showcase their originality with the release of their fifth album, Hello Human. Previous albums have been acclaimed by Jazz Times, City Pages, and the Star Tribune. With: Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, tenor; Chris Bates, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums.

Saturday, November 24

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Take a few musicians who recently graduated from college: Peter Goggin, alto; Sam Worthington, bass; Luke Peterson, drums; and add Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, trumpet; who’s been out of school for a number years  and you have Friends & Neighbors, opening at 7pm. At 8:30pm, Master drummer Phil Hey brings his exciting quartet with Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Phil Aaron, piano; and Tom Lewis, bass; to the stage.

Sunday, November 25

Chris Speed Trio w/Chris Tordini & Dave King @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $25), 9pm ($15) Tenor saxist and clarinet player Chris Speed is a major player in the left-of-center jazz scene in NYC, so it’s no wonder he’s hooked up with drummer Dave King and bassist Chis Tordoni, who’s played with left-stream as well as mainstream artists, and even a few modern R&B artists. They’ve just finished a European tour and are now playing selected U.S. gigs. Here’s a chance to see this adventurous trio in an intimate room.

Monday, November 26

Peter Kogan CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm  ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Drummer Peter Kogan has really been exercising his jazz chops since leaving the Minnesota Orchestra a few years ago. Tonight he and his Monsterful Wonderband celebrate the release of The Green Album. Members of the band are: Omar AbdulKarim, trumpet; Chris Thompson, sax; Dave Graf, trombone; Zacc Harris, guitar; Abbi Stafford, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Kogan on drums.

Javier Santiago @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Pianist Santiago is leaving for California, and this may well be his last appearance in town. He’ll be accompanied by Omar AbdulKarim on trumpet; Chris Graham, guitar; Ted Olsen, bass; and Pete James Johnson, drums. Here he is with a song from his album Phoenix.

Monday, Tuesday, November 26, 27

Manhattan Transfer @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55, $65), 9pm ($35, $45, $55) The four-member close harmony group does what it’s alway done in its decades-long history: deliver an intriguing and entertaining mix of jazz standards, originals, and jazzy interpretations of pop songs.

Tuesday, Wednesday, November 27, 28

Evan Christopher’s Clarinet Road @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($30, $35) The clarinet seems to be gaining more gravitas in jazz these days, thanks in part to musicians like Anat Cohen, Ken Peplowski, and Evan Christopher, whose grounding in early Creole clarinetists provides the foundation for New Orleans music that honors tradition without being a slave to it.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, November 21

Nikki & The Ruemates on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) It’s the annual pre-Thanksgiving show with Nikki & the Rue-mates. They’ll supply a bunch of originals, as well as some folk-rock favorites, and perhaps a jazz tune or two.

Willie Walker @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($12, $15) Get a soulful start to your weekend with Walker and his band.

The Good, The Bad, & The Funky @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($??) Get out your dancing shoes – it’s Funksgiving, with all your favorites from the 70s, 80s, and today at the club on the edge of downtown Saint Paul with a big dance floor.

Thursday, November 22

Deano & The Dinosaurs @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) It’s the annual Thanksgiving show for guitarist Dean Mikkelson and his band of Dinosaurs: Dean Harrington, guitar; Tom Lewis, bass; and Dehl Gllagher, drums. You’ll hear some very tasty guitar while recovering from you turkey-induced napiness.

Socaholix @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Shake off the results a Thanksgiving dinner by dancing to this high-energy band that specializes in the music of the Caribbean, with an emphasis on reggae and ska.

Friday, November 23

Brass Messengers Live Recording @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free w/RSVP) This ten-piece raucous street band draws its inspiration from the music of Africa, the Caribbean, and the Balkans, bringing joy and spontaneity to its performances by leading sing-a-longs, playing unusual covers, or creating wild dance tunes. They’re recording tonight, with opening help from Siama Matuzungidi, the African soukous guitarist who creates joyous music of his own.  RSVP here.

Bernard Allison @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) The son of the late Luther Allison, bluesman Bernard Allison has formed his own path, though astute listeners will hear echoes of his father’s soulful voice and guitar skills. He honed those skills playing with Koko Taylor and further learned from friendships with Stevie Ray Vaughn and Johnny Winter before heading out on his own in the early 90s.

Saturday, November 23

Band of Friends Salute Rory Gallagher @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) A power trio of blues-rockers celebrating the music of the late Irish blues rocker. It’s more than a tribute band, however, as all three played with Gallagher and helped define his sound.

Willie West @ Bistro LaRoux, Circle Pines. 7pm(Tip Jar) It may be a bit of a drive if you don’t live in the north metro, but where else are you gonna hear West, a New Orleans artist (displaced by Katrina) while dining on a variety of Cajun and Creole dishes?

Sunday, November 25

Coco Montoya @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.7pm ($30, $35, $40) Montoya cut his teeth on the blues touring as a drummer with Albert Collins. In the early 80s, after Montoya picked up the guitar, John Mayall hired him for a new version of the Bluesbreakers. He released his solo album in 1995, and since then has fulfilled his promise as a soulful, emotional string-bender and singer.

African Diaspora Music Showcase @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) Here’s a chance other some of the artists from our immigrant community, as The Cedar continues to embrace the East African community that surrounds it. Three resident artists will perform this free concert as part of the East African Diaspora Artists Initiative: Nigerian singer/songwriter Carolyne Naomi, R&B and Alternative artist and producer Temezgen; and poet/hip-hop artist Amjet Kemet.

Tuesday, November 27

Rena Haus Trio @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Farmer/musician Rena Haus plays guitar, writes witty and insightful blues-based songs, re-defines some classic rock, and generally creates a good time, with brother Bob on bass; and guitarist-you-should-know Ed Petsche providing fills and leads.

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.


Mostly Residents: 11.14 – 11.20

November 14, 2018

The Legendary R&B singer Swamp Dogg appears at the Turf Club Thursday

It seems that resident artists make up most of this week’s ideas for music, which is a testament to the richness and strength of our music scene. Music lovers should also be aware that the Sound Unseen Music Festivalruns from tonight through Sunday. Films cover punk, hardcore, jazz, soul, blues, rand more genres, as well as record labels, the famous, and the forgotten. See the schedule here. Music Lifts Your Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, November 14

Chris Bates’ 48th Birthday @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) You can help bassist Bates celebrate with this very special event. First, Chris and Cody will play Steve Reich’s Piano Phase for Two Electric basses, followed by a series of jams with special guests, including: Anthony Cox; JT Bates; Dave Seru; Cody McKinney, James Patrick, and others, playing in a series of duos, trios, and larger groups. James Patrick will be live mixing the whole shebang.

Thursday, November 15

Swing Sisterhood Swing Band & The Sensational 6 @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Vocalist Sarah M. Greer brings a large band and five  other vocalists  to JazzCentral for an evening of swingin’ vocal jazz. Besides Greer, the Sensational 6 includes vocalists Jen Bluhm; Lisa Harrigan; Jana Nyberg; Barbara Meyer; and Yolanda Williams.

Friday, November 16

The Snaps @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 8pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) At 7pm The Emerging Artists Series presents The Snaps: David Kaiser – Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Leader; Erik Jacobson – Tenor Sax; Ryan Devens – Guitar; Ben Von Korff – Keyboards; Riki Olson – Bass; and Jake Kaukola – Drums. This is the third time at Jazz Central for this young group that plays standards, contemporary jazz, and a few covers of well-known soul and pop music.

Michelle Kinney’s What Have We Here @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 10:30pm ($10) Cellist/composer Michelle Kinney brings her adventurous spirit and like-minded musicians to the basement club, with: Adam Zahller – voice; Pat O’Keefe – reeds; Laura Harada – violin; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin – cornet; and Greg Schutte – drums

Saturday, November 17

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar)  At 7pm the Opening Set is part of the monthly JazzINK Youth Jazz Showcase, this week featuring Nick Adams’ Liquid Vinyl, with a line-up TBA. At 8:30 pm it’s No Room For Squares, with ​Bill Stieger – Drums;  Omar AbdulKarim – Trumpet; James Wallace – Saxophones; Adam Tucker – Bass; and Dale Alexander – Piano

Mary Louise Knutson Trio: Jazz @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($12 Advance, $15 door) Pianist Knutson can often be heard supporting vocalists and regularly tours with Doc Severinson. Here’s a chance her compositions and her warm and inventive piano playing as she’s accompanied by Gary Raynor, bass; and Phil Hey on drums.

Sunday, November 18

Paula Lammers @ MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 3pm (Free) Vocalist Lammers used a grant from the McKnight Foundation to create 10 new jazz arrangements under the mentorship of pianist/composer Mary Louise Knutson. She’ll be sharing the results today, accompanied by Knutson, as well as Steve Pikal, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. Here she is from a couple of years ago, with Knutson on piano.

Julian Manzara Quartet @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7) Enjoy the downtown skyline as a backdrop as guitarist Manzara plays originals and standards, and occasionally sings. Manzara plays chords and leadmlines reminiscent of Wes Montgomery, but is steadily developing his own style.

Monday, November 28

Dean Magraw’s Red Planet @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) This monthly gig from Dean Magraw  guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums, is always enlightening and entertaining – jazz fusion as it’s meant to be.

Monday, Tuesday, November 19, 20

Dee Dee Bridgewater @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45, $50), 9pm ($35, $40, $45) Vocalist Bridgewater has three Grammys and a Tony Award, and for 23 years had her own syndicated radio show, Jazz Set. During previous appearances at the Dakota she celebrated African music, the music of Billie Holiday, and French music (from living Paris). This time she’ll be celebrating the music she heard growing up in Memphis, including songs from Al Green, Carla Thomas, Ann Peebles, and Elvis.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, November 14

Mike Munson on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Blueslinger Mike Munson plays with the driving strength of the trains that barrel through his home town of Winona, MN. His blues influences include Fred McDowell, Jack Owens, and Jesse Mae Hemphill – who all hailed from areas of rural Mississippi that Munson visits often. Note that his album, Rose Hill, was recorded in Bentonia, MS at the Blue Front Cafe, the oldest juke joint in Mississippi.

Sarah Streitz Band @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Singer/songwritermSteitz took up guitar six years ago and started writing. the mother of four and a former teacher had no background in music, yet by 2015, she’d progressed enough that area stalwart Nick Salisbury produced her debut album, with Greg Schutte engineering. Schutte produced and engineered her recent album, Yesterday’s Child. Streitz’ voice has a mid-western twang that easily communicates impatience and pain, giving authenticity to her Americana/Alt-country songs. She’ll have a full band with her, which will likely include Salisbury on bass and Schutte on drums.

Wednesday, Thursday, November 14, 15

Shabby Road Orchestra: The White Album @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15 Advance, $18 Door) It’s been 50 years since the Beatles released their 30 – song White Album. Hear song like While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Blackbird, Back in theUSSR, Helter Skelter and all the other songs from the album, as it’s performed in its entirety by this ad hoc group of veteran TC musicians: John Eller, Adam Levy, Dave Foley, Jacquelin Ultan, and others.

Thursday, November 15

Swamp Dogg @ The Turf Club, Sant Paul. 8pm ($10 Advance, $15 Door)  I would call this the under-the-radar gig of the week, if it weren’t for the fact that Chris Riemenschneider had a story about Swamp Dogg on the front page of today’s Variety section in the Strib.  Back in 1970, Jerry Williams was a successful songwriter and producer (Doris Duke, Irma Thomas, and others), but wasn’t getting enough credit for his work, so he adopted the alter ego of Swamp Dogg, singing what might be called irascible soul, creating a series of album that touched on psychedelia, while displaying his hard-edged wit. Last year he took part in Bon Iver’s Eaux Claires music festival. Subsequently, Ryan Olson of Polica, and Bon Iver gave his new album, entitled Love, Loss & Autotune, a “modernized” sound in which they applied electronics and AutoTtne to Swamp Dogg’s vocals. Dogg’s songs often take a weird and idiosyncratic turn, so this treatment fits right in. See the results tonight, with MMYYKK as opener, and Har Mar Superstar with a deejay set. Here’s a video from the album.

Thursday, Friday, November 15, 16

Melvin Seals & JGB @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $40 Thurs, $25, Friday) Organist/keyboardist Melvin Seals was a member of the Jerry Garcia Band from 1980 until Garcia’s death in 1995. Seals took charge of the band, and continues to pay homage to Garcia and the jam band ethos by playing his tunes, including rare numbers from the JGB catalog. Friday’s show includes another jam band fave, Mark Joseph and The American Soul.

Friday, November 16

Henry, Duncan & Matthews: Looking Bacharach @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($30) Wow! A trio of very fine performers take on the music of Burt Bacharach. Bruce HenryDebbie Duncan  and Gwen Matthews all have the vocal chops, personality, and imagination to bring lots of life to songs like the Look of Love, I Say a Little Prayer, My Little Red Book, Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head, and others from Bacharach’s long, successful career.

Chris Koza @ The Weyerhauser Auditorium, Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($20) Singer/songwriter Chris Koza has six albums of his own, as well as a number of albums with his band, Rogue Valley. He’s written film scores, composed for a multi-media piece, written original liturgy settings and a fair share of commercial work. Koza has headlined First Avenue and rocked every major venue in town. Though his solo performances are clearly rooted in Americana music, his influences draw from folk, classic rock, The Beatles, and electro-pop.

Saturday, November 17

Robin Pluer & John Sieger@ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) A couple of Milwaukee’s finest artists come to town to be greeted by fans both old and new. Both Robin and John were in the R&B Cadets, that fabled dance-inducing band of the 80s. Robin was also in Paul Cedar and the Milwaukeeans, and appears annually at Bastille Day Celebrations in Milwaukee & Madison. John Sieger led the R&B Cadets, as well as Semi-Twang and the Subcontinentals. His songs have been recorded by the likes of Dwight Yoakam,  Flaco Jimenez, Jerry Harrison (of Talking Heads), The Persuasions, The BoDeans, Etta James, Paul Cebar, and Claudia Schmidt. Adding to the fun factor, and making this a duet night at Nikki Matteson & Rich Rue as the opening act. Here’s Robin & John with the R&B Cadets.

John Gorka @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25 Advance, $28 Door) Singer/songwriter/folkie Gorka has recorded fourteen albums, including this year’s True In Time, on from Compass Records, which acquired his old label Red House records, last year.It includes special guests, Jonatha Brooke, Lucy Kaplansky, Eliza Gilkyson, Kathleen Johnson, and Germain Brooks. His 2010 album with Kaplansky& Gilkyson waste of the most played folk albums of that year.

Ginger & Dennis: The Music of Lieber & Stoller @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Jerry Leiber and Mike Stollercame of age in the 50s and became one of the most prolific, successful songwriting teams ever. Their song list includes hundreds of chart busters like Hound Dog, Love Potion #9, Spanish Harlem, I’m a Woman, On Broadway, Kansas City, and a host of hits for the Coasters.Dennis Spearsand Ginger Commodoreare the perfect pair to bring their music to audiences, with: Sanford Moore, music director & keys; Jay Young, bass; Daryl Boudreux, percussion, and Brandon Commodore, drums.

Sunday, November 18

Dan Chouinard & Prudence Johnson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Keyboardist Dan Chouinard and vocalist Prudence Johnson combine their talents to celebrate the birthdays of musicians and singers who were born this month.

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.


Post-Election Music: 11.7 – 11.13

November 7, 2018

Whew! We’ll finally have some respite from political ads, though for how long is anyone’s guess in this political climate. In the meantime, whether you want to celebrate a win or commiserate a loss, there are plenty music events to lift you up, only a small slice of which I’ve listed. Jazz, Soul music, Blues, Honky-Tonk, World music, and some good ol’ rock n’ roll are available for your listening and dancing pleasure. After all, Music Lifts Your Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, November 7

Davell Crawford & Charmaine Neville @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) It’s two nights of New Orleans music royalty, as pianist/vocalist Davell Crawford’s grandfather was guitarist Sugarboy Crawford, the first artist to record Jock-A-Mo (Iko Iko),and he is the godson of Roberta Flack. Vocalist Charmaine Neville is a daughter of one of the Neville Brothers. Lots of jazz and R&B will undoubtedly be on tap.

Sophia Shorai & Tanner Taylor @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) After a bit of a health scare, vocalist Shorai is ready to once again charm listeners with her creamy, evocative voice. Pianist Tanner Taylor is up from Des Moines to add his tasteful accompaniment to her singing.

Lease & Moriarty @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis.8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Pianist Ellen Lease and saxophonist Pat Moriarty have been musical and marital partners for over 30 years, resulting in seamless musical communication during their improvising. Moriarty is the freer of the two, but Lease follows his twists and turns with alacrity.

Thursday, Nov 8

Vicky Mountain & Friends @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Versatile vocalist and educator Vicky Mountain has a long history with a variety of singing styles, but especially shines in scatting, melodic nuance, and original interpretations of standards and pop songs. She’ll be accompanied by: David Martin, guitar; Jim Chenoweth, bass; David Schmalenberger, drums.

Friday, Nov 9

Zacc Harris Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Guitarist Zacc Harris, known for his fluid and imaginative playing, performs his originals, with bandmates Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Pete James Johnson, drums.

Saturday, Nov 10

Roy Hargrove Memorial Concert @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) Drummer Jesse Simon of the MN Hard Bop Collective has put together this group of fine musicians to celebrate trumpeter Roy Hargrove, whom we lost earlier this week. With Omar AbdulKarim, trumpet; Jeff Rinnear, trombone; Joe Mayo, alto; Dave Brattain, tenor; Dale Alexander, piano; Ted Olsen, bass; and Simon, drums.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) St 7pm the Hutton/Caviani Quartet opens, with Laura Caviani  piano; Joan Hutton  sax; Kameron Markworth, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger, drums. Bottomless Pit begins at about 8:30pm, with Joel Shapira, guitar; Pete Whitman, saxophones; Tom Lewis, bass; and Phil Hey, drums.

Sunday, Nov 11

He’s Hip: Connie Evingson Sing Dave Frishberg @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25) Twin Cities jazz fans probably know of Saint Paul’s native son, Dave Frishberg, whose songs are hip, funny, and often incisive. “Peel Me a Grape”, “My Attorney Bernie”, “Can’t Take You Nowhere”, and “I’m Hip”, are among his songwriting gems. Vocalist Evingsonreleased a highly entertaining album of his songs back in 2008, with Frishberg himself as a guest. She’ll be joined by Jon Weber, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Dave Karr, saxophone (with perhaps a vocal cameo on “I Want to Be a Sideman”).

Monday, Nov 12

Maud Hixson & Rick Carlson: 1930s Songbook @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) The 1930s were ushered in by the stock market crash of October 29, 1929, ending a decade off prosperity and beginning the Great Depression. Sublime vocalist Maud Hixson, and her ever-so-tasteful accompanist pianist Rick Carlson explore the music of that decade, from Franklin Roosevelt’s campaign song “Happy Days Are Here Again” to “Stormy Weather”, as well as the music of Irving Berlin, Duke Ellington and others. Here’s Hixson fronting a big band.

Joe Mayo & Dave Brattain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm. ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) It’s a sax attack night at this basement venue as Mayo, on alto; and Brattain, on tenor; join up for an evening of originals. It’s not clear if they will simply duet or have a rhythm section, but either way will be invigorating. As usual for Monday nights, a jam session follows 10pm.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, Nov 7

Honky Tonk Jump on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Honky Tonk Jump is the latest project from accordion master Dan Newton, aka Daddy Squeeze, featuring: Newton on accordion and vocals; Joe Savage on steel guitar; Tom Schaefer on fiddle; Vaughn Asselstine on bass; Dehl Gallagher on drums; and Dan Lowinger on guitar. You can expect double and triple-leads on thebTexas dance hall swing of songs from Bob Wills, Ernest Tubb, Hank Williams and an array of early honky tonk heroes. As House Party radio host Harold Tremblay says, “You know what to do!”

Sargasso @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) This 7-piece ensemble plays the music of Bob Nordquist: world-oriented folk rock, often with a social message. Instrumentation includes drums, percussion, bass, guitar, organ, cello, and flute. Members sing as well.

Thursday, Nov 8

Claudettes @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($15 bar, $20 table) The Chicago-based Claudettes bring their piano-based high-energy punk blues back to Saint Paul. Piano pounding founder Johnny Iguana played with Junior Wells, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy and other proponents of Chicago blues. Vocalist Beth Ulseth complements his playing o great effect on both rockers and ballads.

Friday, Nov 9

Two for the Blues @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20) This evening is actually titled “Blues for Your Soul”as two powerful women take the stage with their bands. Both the Annie Mack Band and the Dee Miller Band are on an upward trajectory: Mack is preparing to travel to Switzerland for some gigs, while Miller was recently inducted into the MN Blues Society Hall of Fameand is set to represent MN at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

Worldwide Discotheque 6 Year Anniversary @ Pimento Jamaican Kitchen, 2524 Nicollet, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) A vinyl dance music party celebrating music from the tropical zones of the world. Co-founder Dan Steely returns for this anniversary event, to join deejays Brian Engel, Ben Mena, and others in spinning Afrobeats, Soukous, Highlife, Calypsos, Cumbias, and tropical disco along with other dance-inducing rhythms.

Saturday, Nov 10

The Eddies @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Founding member Paul Martin currently lives in Arizona, but returns for occasional gigs such as this one, to add his high harmony and driving guitar to the proceedings.  While Paul Martin has been living elsewhere, another Paul – Paul Garding – has been hanging and singing with the rest of The Eddies  Tonight he’ll do a short set of his own and then join The Eddies to finish out the evening.

Hot Pastrami @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. Back in he early 60s, rock n’ roll had lost some it’s rebelliousness –  Elvis was in the Army, Chuck Berry was in jail, Eddie Cochran and Buddy Holly had died in accidents, and teen idols were all over the place. Yet, there were some pretty groovy tunes being made by groups that dressed in matching suits (or for women, dresses). Hot Pastrami, a quartet of veteran players from the New-Wave years, celebrates that pre-Beatles era with songs from Joey Dee & the Starlighters, The Foundations, Dusty Springfield, The Olympics, and others.

Sunday, Nov 11

Willie Walker @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 5pm ($10?) Here’s a chance to not only enjoy soul man Walker’s sandpaper voice and tightly controlled delivery, but to dance to his music on the commodious dance floor at MMC.

Monday, Nov 12

Neil Young Birthday Celebration @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Last Spring Neil Young released a movie entitled Paradox, now available on Netflix. More recently, he announced that he had married Daryl Hannah, who directed the film. To celebrate his birthday (today), Broken Arrow, a Neil Young Tribute band, will be performing his music

Tuesday, Nov 13

Anna Stine Tour Kick-off @ Honey, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) singer/songwriter Stine recently released an album of her originals, using jazz-inflected instrumentals (led by guitarist Robert Bell) in support of her soulful voice and nature-filled lyrics. Tonight, accompanied by Bell, she kicks off a tour of the Midwest. With opening act Regional Dialect: Mathias Hertel (vocals, guitar, beatbox) and Colin Doherty (lead guitar) plays “soul music with a twist of hip-hop and blues.” They have been performing and writing music together since 2010.

Booker T. Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45, $50), 9pm ($35, $40, $45) It’s been over five decades since organist Jones and the MGs created Green Onions, that grooving piece of instrumental funk. The MGs are no more, and Jones may deliver Green Onions a bit fast these days, but he still manages to deliver, whether playing the hits of the MGs and others that he’s written, or newer pieces from his recent solo projects, such as 2015’s Sound the Alarm.

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 for Strange Times: 10.31 – 11.6

October 31, 2018

So..we begin this week with actual Halloween, and end it with Election Day, which, seems somewhat appropriate in these very strange times. We’ve a good variety of music available to help us through the week from adventurous jazz to Cajun, soul music, or good ol’ rock n’ roll. Whatever your mood, you can let the music wash over you or you can dance. After all, Music Lifts Your Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, October 31

NIU Jazztet @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) This six-piece group from Northern Illinois University has performed at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in NYC, as well as at festivals in Iowa City, Lima Peru, NYC, and Bogota, Columbia, among others. Stop in to see the latest edition of the group.

Thursday, November 1

Paula Cole @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. ($40, $45) It is twenty-one years since vocalist Paula Cole released her breakthrough album This Fire, which contained two Billboard-charting singles, and was nominated for seven Grammys, resulting in Cole’s win as Best New Artist of the Year. Since then she has sold over three million albums, and has worked with a wide variety of artists, from Peter Gabriel and Dolly Parton to Herbie Hancock and Burt Bacharach.

Friday, November 2

Mike Wolter Trio @ Dayblock Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Since guitarist Wolter relocated here from Chicago in 2016, he’s collaborated and performed with a number of the area’s musicians, including Josh Granowski, Brandon Wozniak, George Marich, and Nathan Hanson. Tonight he performs original works with his trio featuring bassist Cody McKinney and drummer Cory Healey. Note:This is definitely not a listening room.

Jake Baldwin Trio @ The Lexington’s Williamsburg Room, Saint Paul.7:30pm – 10pm (No Cover) I don’t know who he has with him, but trumpeter Jake Baldwin is worth hearing in his own right. Just be sure to sit close enough to hear him over the room’s conversations.

Merciless Ghost @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Adventuresome music from George Cartwright, leader & sax; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, cornet; Josh Granowski, bass; and Davu Seru, percussion.

Saturday, November 3

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm: The Carlton College Jazz Chamber Group, which studies with pianist Laura Caviani and features: Dan Clipper, tenor sax; Amelia Papajohn, voice; Marco Bommarito, piano; Joey Castaneda, electric bass; Jorge Banuelos, drums; and Russell Star-Lack, guitar. At 8:30pm, their teacher takes the stage with her own group: The Laura Caviani Quartet – Caviani, piano; Dave Milne, saxophones; Chris Bates, bass; Dave Schmalenberger, drums.

Jay Young & Lyric Factory @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) I don’t know what Jay Young and his Lyric Factory will be playing, though he’s done shows on Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind, & Fire, Herbie Hancock, and others, bringing jazz arrangements to pop songs and new arrangements to jazz standards. Though his group’s membership is somewhat fluid, past versions of the Lyric Factory have included Jay on piccolo bass; his son Ian on regular bass; Kevin Washington, on drums, and Thom West on keys. Various and sundry singers take over the vocal duties.

Sunday, November 4

Cameron Graves Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30, $35) Pianist Cameron Graves met saxophonist and current “big thing” in jazz and spiritual jazz Kamasai Washingtonwhen both were in high school in Los Angeles. They’ve played together in many configurations since then, notably on Washington’s 2015 opus The Epic. Graves recently released his own album, Planetary Prince, which has been described as an “almost unbelievable combination of modal jazz, romantic era European classical music, and mathematical death metal,” by Washington. I’ll let you read the tea leaves in that quote.

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Since its formation in 2011, the Adam Meckler Orchestra (AMO) has steadily increased their repertoire and fan bass. Their 2014 album, When The Clouds Look Like This was released to to critical acclaim and was listed by iTunes as one of the best jazz releases of that year. Meckler has since become one of the leading voices in trumpet, big band, and arranging in the Twin Cities. Tonight the AMO will perform some of the new compositions from their upcoming album, and will feature a number of special guests.

Tuesday, Wednesday, November 6, 7

Davell Crawford & Charmaine Neville @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) It’s two nights of New Orleans music royalty, as pianist/vocalist Davell Crawford’s  grandfather was guitarist Sugar Boy Crawford, the first artist to record Jock-A-Mo(aka Iko Iko), and he is the godson of Roberta Flack. Vocalist Charmaine Neville is a daughter of one of the Neville Brothers. Lots of jazz and R&B will undoubtedly be on tap.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, October 31

Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12, $15) Guitarist/singer Big Sandy is a Los Angeles – based rockabilly/roots singer who often adds a bit of Western Swing and L.A. doo-wop into his energetic repertoire. The roomy dance floor will undoubtedly be filled.

Miss Myra and The Moonshiners @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Miss Myra and her band serve up a bracing helping of barrelhouse blues and hot jazz for a Halloween evening.

Orgone @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 8pm ($17 Advance, $20 Door) California soul from an octet that pulls and pushes you onto the dance floor with their insistent rhythms and dirty funk. McNasty Brass Bandopens.

Thursday, November 1

The Banjo Hour with Captain Gravitone & the String Theory Orchestra @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($12 advance/$15 Door) This is a two hour, vaudeville-style music variety show, with music, magic and comedy, hosted by magician/comedian Michael Callahan, featuring the music of Captain Gravitone & the String Theory OrchestraPhil Nussbaum, banjo maker Tom Nechville, and special guest Steve Kaul.

Friday, November 2

Erik Brandt & The Urban Hillbilly Quartet @The Underground Music Cafe, Falcon Heights. 7pm (Tip Jar) Highly diverse Americana from this long-lived group that seems to be guided by the same musical impulses as the Jayhawks, the Flying Burrito Brothers, and other eclectic acts.

King Kustom & The Cruisers @ Dusty’s Bar, NE Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) High octane 50s rock n’ roll, as done by the Batson brothers of the Hypsterz and the Mighty Mofos.

Vicky Emerson & Mother Banjo Double Release Party @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12 Advance, $20 Door) Americana singer/songwriter Vicky Emerson will release Steady Heart as a much anticipated follow up to her triumphant 2016 effort, Wake Me When the Wind Dies Down, which reached #58 on the US Americana Charts and soared to #5 on the European Americana Chart. Mother Banjo is releasing Eyes to the Sky, the follow-up to her highly successful gospel album The Devil Hasn’t Won. The new album features both solo tracks by Ellen Stanley (aka Mother Banjo), as well as tracks with the Mother Banjo band. Hayley Rydell, of the Lowland Lakers, opens.

Saturday, November 3

Love TKO II @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20, $25) Vocalist Johnnie Brown did so well with his first version of a tribute to Teddy Pendergrass that he’s back for a second time, for another evening of soaring vocals and seductive ballads.,

New Riverside Ramblers CD Release @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, Admission and download – $20) After 25 years together, the  Ramblers continue to create high-energy, Cajun dance music. In fact, they’ve earned a couple of Prix Dehors awards from the Cajun French Music Association, given for the best Cajun recording by a band from outside Louisiana. Now they have a new recording, Lache pas la Patate (Don’t Drop the Potato) and will be celebrating by filling the fine dance floor at the Eagles club. Happily, Papa John Kolstad & the Perfect Phittsopen.

Dos Santos @ La Doña Cerveceria, 241 Fremont Ave N, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12, $15) Dos Santos is a Chicago quintet somehow manages to include Cumbia, jazz, punk, and Latinx influences in their sound. They’re being presented as part of the brewery’s multi-day Dia de los Muertoscelebration.

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.


Favorites and More: 10.24 – 10.30

October 24, 2018

Though Halloween isn’t until next Wednesday, most celebrations will occur this weekend, ranging from bar crawls to haunted houses and mazes. I’ve noted a few, but you may have your own favorites. Speaking of favorites, we have a number of visiting artists, as well as resident artists, whose fans will surely turn out to see them, as well as some talented newcomers and rising stars performing who are worth your investigation.  Whoever you see, remember that Music Lifts Your Spirits!

Jazz

Wednesday, October 24

Karrin Allyson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($30) Vocalist Allyson is a fan favorite here in the Twin Cities, in part, I suspect, because she spent a few years here back in the 90s, before she gained national recognition. Whether singing Coltrane ballads, blues, bebop, bossas, or French chansons, her warm, expressive voice and occasional scatting, she delivers each song with panache. The five-time Grammy nominee will undoubtedly be singing some new songs with this show – originals that can be found on her latest album, Some of that Sunshine.

Ben Allison  & Think Free @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 7pm ($20, $25), 9pm ($15, $20) This is a bit of an under-the radar gig, since Allison, in spite of a career of almost 30 years, doesn’t exactly have name recognition among casual jazz fans. The bassist/composer draws upon the jazz tradition, as expected, but also uses a range of influences, including rock, folk, and new classical music, to create a seamless, often cinematic sound. He’ll be accompanied by Shane Endlsy, trumpet; Steve Cardenas, guitar; and Rudy Royston drums.

Thursday, October 25

Lila Ammons @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7)  Lila Ammons is a classically trained vocalist with a family background in jazz (her uncle was saxophonist Gene Ammons) and blues (her grandfather was boogie boogie pianist Albert Ammons). Listen to her take on jazz standards, bossa novas, and blues, backed by some of the Twin Cities best accompanists: Tom West, piano; Matt Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums

Katia Cardenas Mexican Tour Kick-off @ El Burrito Mercado, Minneapolis.8:30pm (Free) Vocalist Cardenas is headed to Mexico’s central Bajio region for a tour with the Latin Jazz trio Jazzoneando, and invited guests. She sang with Jazzoneando when they were in town about two years ago. To kick-off this tour, The Katia Cardenas Quartet will play a free show at the Minneapolis location of El Burrito Mercado, at 4820 Chicago Ave, South, in the old Pepito’s location. If you haven’t seen her yet, here’s a video.

Roseanna Vitro @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15, $20) Vocalist Roseanna Vitrowas living in Houston during the 60s, where she was mentored by Arnett Cobb, jammed with Oscar Peterson and Bill Evans before moving to NYC in 1978, where she soon found collaborators in Fred Hersch and Kenny Werner.  After 13 albums, she recently released Tell Me The Truth, featuring songs by Allen Toussaint, Patsy Cline, Jon Hendricks, Mose Allison, and Fats Waller, among others. She’ll be accompanied by her long-time collaborator, pianist Mark Soskin, along with resident A-lister, bassist Gordy Johnson.

Friday, October 26

Open Story @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Dean Magraw, guitar; and Jay Epstein drums; are a couple of established artists who play together in Red Planet and other configurations. It’s a testament to the talent of young pianist Patrick Adkins that they’ve formed this trio with him.

Thomasina Petrus @ Calvary Baptist Church, 26th & Blaisdell, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) This is part of a presentation called Jazz & Jamaican Jerk, and will feature some Jamaican food as well as the music of vocalist Petrus. She’ll undoubtedly sing a few of her Billie Holiday songs, as well as the songs of some of her other favorite female singers, i.e., Aretha, Eartha Kitt, Nina Simone, and others.

Saturday, October 27

Saturday Night Jazzz @ The Blackdog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) At 7pm, it’s the interesting JC Sanford’s Imminent Trio: Sanford, trombone; Chris Bates, bass; and Chris Lomheim, piano. Then at 8:30pm, it’s Central Standard Time: Steve Kenny, trumpet; Dave Brattain, Saxes; JC Sanford, trombone; Chris Lomheim, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Corey Healy, drums.

Elaine Dame Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley, 6pm ($15) This Chicago vocalist has headlined at the 2016 and 2017 Chicago Jazz Fest, and has performed at both The Rainbow Room and Michael Feinstein’s 54 Below in NYC. Dame has been called a jazz dynamo whose singing has musicality, intonation, and rhythm control that’s the envy of many singers.

Mama Digdown’s 25th Anniversary @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15, $20) The pride of Madison Wisconsin has been spreading the gospel of New Orleans Brass Band Music for 25 years now, mixing traditional tunes with originals and street-wise covers. Mama’s Digdown is good enough to play the Big Easy with regularity, as well as festivals and clubs around the nation.

Sunday, October 28

Clara Osowski & Jeremy Walker @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($20) While this might be better listed as a classical concert featuring mezzo-soprano Clara Osowski, a 2018 McKnight Fellowship winner, the presence of pianist Jeremy Walker, who also composed the evening’s songs, as well as bassist Anthony Cox, has me listing it here. They’ll be playing music for the release of Haunted Blue, Osowski’s debut album. Walker’s compositions are inspired by the poetry of Walt Whitman, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Twin Cities writer Greg Foley. There will be a few duets with tenor Tesfa Wondemagegnehu, who collaborated with Walker on the debut of 7 Psalms at Orchestra Hall.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, October 24

Del Ray on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis.5pm (90.3FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Del Ray has been called a virtuoso of finger picking prowess on guitar and ukulele. She plays blues, rags, and tunes of the early 20th century (think Memphis Minnie, Mississippi Sheiks, and the like) even as she writes new music to add to the tradition.  Del Rey also has fashion sense that would make Minnie Pearl smile. Listen in to get an idea of her talent, then head to the 331 to hear more.

Johnny Rawls @ Mancini’s, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) Here’s another in the fine weekly music series at the West 7th throwback lounge. Journeyman Soul/Blues singer Rawls can work a crowd. He’s often appealing to “the ladies in the audience” and will easily fill Mancini’s dance floor as he delivers a satisfying, sweat inducing show.

Thursday, October 25

New Orleans Suspects @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) The Suspects seem to be gathering a big following here, as they’ve been appearing in town about twice a year. You can expect second line beats, New Orleans funk, or any other danceable tunes you can imagine. After all, its members have played with The Neville Bros, James Brown, The Dirty Dozen, Bonerama, and Leo Nocentelli, among others.

Thursday – Sunday, October 25 – 28

Zeitgeists’s Halloween Festival 2018 @ Studio Z, Saint Paul.7pm Thurs-Sat, 6pm Sun ($15, $10 Seniors & Students, $40 Festival Pass) Titled “Things That Go Bump in the Night,” this is not a gore-fest, or a sudden-fright event, but rather one where the chills come from story-telling, haunting  sounds, and spine-tingling music, some of which is newly commissioned. Of special note is The Crocus Hill Ghost Story, a macabre tale of a possessed house, as created by composer/flutist Julie Johnson, writer Cheri Johnson, and filmmaker/actor D.J. Mendel. It will be performed at 8pm on Saturday and 7pm Sunday. FMI on performers and times, go here.

Friday, October 26

Hailu Mergia @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20, $25) Accordionist and keyboard player Hailiu Mergia was everywhere in the 1970s Ethiopian nightclub scene, in spite of the fact that the country was in the middle a civil war and revolution. He and his group, The Walias Band, would play 12-hour, all-night concerts at the Addis Ababa Hilton, as audiences sought refuge during the government curfew. The music ranged from Frank Sinatra to funkified Ethiopian jazz, and adaptations of American funk and soul. After a U.S.tour in the early 80s, he stayed settled in Washington DC where he drove a taxi while composing songs. He stopped performing in 1991, and only recently released his first album, Lala Belu, in over two decades. Opening is Yonathan’s Cultural Show.

Skalloween 2018 @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10, $12) Get you ska fix filled to the brmax tonight, as Space Monkey Mafia, The Prizefighters, and The Wicked Bees take the stage. You’ll also get a bit of rock and reggae, when RuDeGIRL, a female Clash tribute band, performs.

Vanessa Collier @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Collier is a vocalist, saxophonist, and songwriter who graduated from Berklee in 2013, and has already released three critically acclaimed albums and received a host of accolades and award nominations. She’s played with Annie Lennox and Willie Nelson, and toured with Joe Louis Walker for a year and a half after graduation until Walker encouraged her to go solo. Her music is bluesy, funky, and raucous, with occasional echos of early Bonnie Raitt.

 

Friday, Saturday, October 26, 27

Krewe of Dad’s Masquerade Ball XXXIII @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($28, $33 Friday, $33, $38 Sat, $55 for both nights) The Krewe of Dad’s continues it’s tradition of bringing t Raw Oyster Cult, featuring members of the Radiators to play their New Orleans swamp-boogie sounds to the Twin Cities. Friday is a concert only, while Saturday is the Masquerade Ball. Local jammers Frogleg open.

Saturday, October 27

Joyann Parker @ The Basement Bar, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (No Cover) If positive reviews, blues award nominations, national exposure, and the number and variety of her bookings are any sign, Ms Parker is on her way up. Tonight you can catch her and her band in this North Loop speakeasy/playpen under NOLO.

Tuesday, October 30

Mary Leinfelder @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Vocalist Leinfelder has often sat in with blues, soul, and brass bands around town. Tonight she’s stepping out with a solo gig, ably abetted by Dan Gaarder, guitar; Jon Rodine, keys and vocals; and Keith Boyle, bass.

Maria Muldaur @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($35, $40) It’s been 45 years since vocalist Muldaur came out with Midnight at the Oasis, that playfully saucy song that resulted in a multitude of pregnancies during the mid-70s. Since then she’s released 41 albums showing an affinity for a number of genres, including blues, jazz, and gospel. Despite the popularity of Midnight, another song from that album gets the most requests: Don’t You Feel My Leg, by Blue Lu Barker, which happens to be the title of her recently released tribute to Ms Barker’s Naughty, Bawdy Blues. I expect you’ll hear even more teasing and sass than usual tonight.

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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