Some Music Ideas for Nov 9 – 15

 For a few years now, I’ve been sending out a weekly e-mail to folks in the Twin Cities about interesting music jazz, blues, roots and other gigs in the area. Most of the gigs are under-the-radar, though I do list an occasional higher profile gig. I cover visiting as well as resident artists, and sometimes list a dance concert, film, or other event. At any rate, I’ve decided I may as well also list it on this blog, and perhaps, generate a bit more traffic. So here is the first batch.


Wednesday, November 9

Doug Haining. Photo by Howard Gitelson

Doug Haining CD Release @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm. ($10) Doug and his Quintet have a new CD, entitled “Last Man Swinging.” As the title implies, it’s full of swinging tunes, including music associated with the Count and the Duke. Besides Doug on sax and clarinet, the group includes Dave Graf, trombone; Rick Carlson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Dick Bortolussi, drums. The CD affirms how completely these veterans inspire each other. Should be a fun evening.

Paul Renz Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm. ($5) Paul is a jazz guitarist and educator who teaches  at MacPhail and is Director of Jazz Studies at the West Bank School of Music where he brings together student ensembles to perform. He’s toured the Midwest and the East a number of times, and has release five critically acclaimed CDs. He doesn’t play out very often, but when he does, the results are stellar. This date is the start of a new tour, with a new quartet.

Friday, November 11

Benny Weinbeck Trio @ D’Amico Kitchen, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 10:30pm. (No cover) Hooray, Hooray. Benny on piano, Gordy Johnson on bass, and Phil Hey on drums are back for the “weekly winter gig” at the D’Amico Kitchen in the Chambers hotel. Sit on one of the comfy couches, enjoy a fancy beverage, and take in the elegant stylings of these A-list players.

John Jorgenson Quintet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Gypsy Jazz of the highest order. This is Jorgenson’s third time at the Dakota in as many years. Jorgenson’s guitar abilities are many – he co-founded the Desert Rose Band, a stellar country rock outfit, with Chris Hillman; toured for years with Elton John; collaborated with Sting and Billy Joel; and his ability to play complex, Django-inspired runs is jaw-dropping.

Friday, Saturday, November 11, 12

Sue Orfield sounding like a tough tenor of old

Sue Orfield and the Tuesday Night Band @ The Artists’ Quarter. 9pm. ($10) Sue wowed the crowd at the 2011 Twin Cities Jazz Festival She is one of those saxophonists who successfully straddle the line between R&B and jazz. She’s got a tone that, at times, is reminiscent of Tough Texas Tenors.  Sue and The Tuesday Night Band, with Downtown Bill Brown on Hammond B-3, Billy Franze on guitar, and Kenny Horst on drums, go together like two straws in a coke. Expect high-spirited music that’s both soulful and inventive. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a couple or two get up and find a spot to dance in some corner of the club.

Saturday, November 12

Sophia Shorai @ The Nicollet Island Inn, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10:30pm. Here’s a change of pace, Sophia solo, at the piano. The romantic, candlelit Inn is perfect for her voice, which is cheery, hopeful, and has just a hint of sensuousness. Though she is here weekly, that’s no reason to put off stopping by.

Insurgent @ Studio Z, 275 East 4th Street, Saint Paul. 8pm – 10pm. The Twin Cities Jazz Society is presenting this concert, featuring long-time band mates, Ellen Lease, piano; Pat Moriarty, alto sax; and Phil Hey, drums. They create uncomposed improvisational music. Those of you who might think “free jazz – oh no” need not be worried. These musicians have an almost telepathic ability to create moments that are beautiful as well as emotional. This performance is being recorded for a possible CD, and portions of it will be used in a future broadcast on KBEM.

Sunday, November 13

PipJazz Sundays Jazz Youth Night @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 5pm. ($20) Pippi Ardennia continues her monthly concerts of feel good music. She always has a grand group behind her, and brings in a guest artist for each enjoyable outing. This time she has the support of the Twin Cities Jazz Society in featuring three remarkable young musicians: Quentin Tschofen on piano is attending college in Eau Claire; DeCarlo Jackson plays trumpet and is a student at the Saint Paul Conservatory of Performing Arts; while thirteen year-old pianist Jordan Anderson is thirteen, and an eight-grader at Nova Classical Academy. Both Quentin and DeCarlo have been in the Dakota Combo.

For a comprehensive listing of jazz events, go to:

Roots, Blues, Other

Wednesday, November 9

Lucinda Williams @ First Avenue, Minneapolis 7:30pm  ($30) Williams’ world weary voice has been the perfect vehicle for her expressive songs of pain and heartbreak. Her latest, “Blessed” finds her, if not in a wholly cheerier voice, at least with a wider range of emotions, not that pain and heartbreak have not served her well. As she has said, “There are other things to write about.” Expect a cracker-jack band to back her up.

Friday, Saturday, November 11, 12

NE Accordion Festival @ The Firefighters Hall (Friday, 4:30 – Close -$5) and Elsie’s (Saturday, 9:30am – Close – $20)  In case you hadn’t noticed, the Twin Cities have quite a few adherents of the “stomach steinway,” ranging from Danny Malmberg (jazz), to Dan Newton (blues/cajun/French) to Patrick Harrison (folk/swing), and Dee Langley (East European party music) among others. Celebrate all things accordion, including workshops, and open stage, and the Squeeze-in Accordion Orchestra. Go to for the schedule.

Cool Disposition raising a ruckus

Saturday, November 12

Cool Disposition @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 9pm (No cover) Uptempo blues that resonates with swing dancers and chair sitters alike.

Sunday, November 13

Hot Wax: A Musical History of 1968 @ The History Center, Saint Paul 1pm – 4pm. Live interviews about the music of 1968 with Joey Molland of Badfinger, Jon Bream, music critic for the Star Tribune, and Stokely Williams, of Mint Condition. DJs and psychedelic music from First Communion After Party. For those of a certain age, this is a chance to revisit a pivotal year. For those who weren’t born yet, it’s a chance to understand where much of today’s music got its inspiration.

Willie Walker’ s Day for Gina @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. (No cover)  3pm – 8pm. Willie is holding a fund-raiser for his niece, and has called on his friends Bernard Allison, Curt Obeda, Maurice Jaycox, Wain McFarland to perform. Willie, an original soul man, is saying he and his band will be performing several times during the day. KBEM will be recording his performances for future broadcast on a series called “Saint Paul Live,” beginning in January.

Crankshaft CD Release @ River City Saloon, Anoka. 6pm (No Cover) For a one man band, Crankshaft has a fairly big sound, that’s part Delta trance music, part deranged, and all inspired. He keeps dancers on the floor. This is a release for “Lubricated, Loud, and Live!” an album recorded at the River City Saloon.

Bonnie Koloc & Don Stille @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm. ($15)  Back in the day (late 60s) Bonnie was part of Chicago’s Old Town folk scene, along with Joh Prine and Steve Goodman.  She was a regular visitor to college campuses around Iowa and Minnesota. Though a number of years have passed, her warm voice can still entrance. She’ll be accompanied by erstwhile Twin Citizen Don Stille on piano, former winner of the Twin Cities Jazz Society’s “Pianist of the Year” award.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, November 14, 15, 16

Anthony & The Imperials having fun on stage at the Dakota

Little Anthony & The Imperials @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45 – $75)  These guys were much fun at the Dakota last summer. Sure, the show is a bit Las Vegas-y, but there’s quite a bit of unscripted banter among Anthony and the guys, and the fact that they’re having fun really shows. In case you’re not aware, Little Anthony & the Imperials started having hits back in the summer of 1958, singing songs that mostly dealt with affairs of the heart, though “Shimmy Shimmy Ko Ko Bop” was a nonsense dance ditty. They were one of the few vocal groups that survived into the 60s, bringing their harmonies to soul music, and some of their lesser known songs took on new life in the Northern Soul movement of England in the 80s. They reformed in 1991 and were inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in 2009. The group includes three out of four original members from the 50s.

For a more complete listing of blues events, go to:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: