There are enough events going on in Saint Paul this week, that it seems appropriate to use a photo of the city. I like this one, taken from Indian Mound Park on the East Side and published in an intriguing blog, Twin Cities Daily Photo. Whether you live in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Maplewood, or Minnetonka, be sure to support our resident artists as well as those visiting our cities.
Wednesday, May 30
David Huckfelt & James Buckley @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) James Buckley is a bassist-about-town who is equally at home in pop and folk-rock as he is in jazz. He’s been doing a fine job of curating the Nomad’s Wednesday nigh Jazz Series, bringing in adventurous and accessible groups. Tonight features one of the founders of The Pines, an Americana group that’s been making national waves, playing with Buckley. Not for jazz purists, but sure to be interesting.
Thursday, May 31
Pete Whitman’s X-Tet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) If it seems that I’m often highlighting Whitman and this group, it’s because their monthly appearances at the AQ are always high quality, always energizing, and always fun.
Friday, Saturday, June 1, 2
Benny Weinbeck Trio @ D’Amico Kitchen, Chambers Hotel, 901 Hennepin, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (No Cover) the music of Weinbeck on piano, along with Gordy Johnson, bass, and Phil Hey on drums, hardly seems to register with diners. However, you can sit on a couch right next to them in the lounge area, and have an adult beverage while enjoying their high-quality jazz. It’s only a few weeks before the restaurant gives them their summer hiatus, so catch them now.
Red Planet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Drummer Jay Epstein once played with a high profile rock group. Guitarist Dean Magraw has played funky rhythm and blues, as well as a host of world musics. Chris Bates plays bass in a number of genres. Together they play music that might be called jazz fusion. Only it’s jazz fusion with taste, not bombast. Improvisations are cogent, and rhythmic underpinnings are solid.
Saturday, June 2
Charmin Michelle @ The Lexington, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (No Cover) Saturday night. Dinner in a clubby setting, a few classic cocktails, and the smoked honey voice of Ms Michelle, singing love songs. It’s a recipe for a date night, if I ever heard one. Afraid this gig was cancelled at the last minute.
Sunday, June 3
Sophie Milman @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) & 9pm ($20). Miman is a charming performer, whose repertoire runs from Ellington to the Everlys and more. She’s a vocalist with a lush, sultry sound, the kind you think of when romanticizing cocktail lounges. The Dakota is just the kind of venue in which to hear her.
Monday, June 4
Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. Noon (Free) You’ll be seeing this young big band’s name all around town this summer. Among its members: Chris Bates, bass; Pete Hennig, drums; Zack Lozier, trumpet; Joe Strachan, piano; and Zacc Harris, guitar. Today you can see them right in the middle of downtown, surrounded by the James J Hill Library, the Ordway, the Landmark Center, and The Saint Paul Hotel. Grab something from a food truck and have a wonderful lunch.
Blues, Roots, Other…
Wednesday, May 30
Jon Rodine & Friends on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, NE Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI), 7pm (331 Club – tip jar) Rodine is one of the area’s finest purveyors of Americana. His songs are rooted in folk, R&B, and country soul. Tonight he’s bringing along Dan Gaardner and Dave Babb on guitars, Steve Murray on bass, and for the first hour at the 331, Dan Newton on the stomach Steinway.
Thursday, May 31
Josh Granowski & Patrick Harrison @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Granowski on bass and Harrison on accordion perform music from films and Broadway, including compositions by Lalo Schifrin, Danny Elfman, John Williams, and more.
Friday, June 1
Mary Cutrufello CD Release Party @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 10pm. (Tip Jar) Cutrufello is celebrating a new release, “Fireflies Till They’re Gone.” She has appeared on the Tonight Show and Austin City Limits, toured with the Allman Brothers, performed at Farm Aid, and has been written up in both the New York Times and Rolling Stone. The new album is a bit quieter and more reflective than her previous efforts. It’s the kind of music you’ll put on late at night, while sipping some whiskey and wondering about the life choices you’ve made. Nevertheless, don’t be surprised if she throws in some hard driving honky-tonk into the mix tonight.
Paul Cebar @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) After an appearance on a Milwaukee edition of Prairie Home Companion a few weeks ago, Paul brings his rhythmic, joyous music to Saint Paul. The Minnesota Music Cafe has a good sized dance floor, which will be filled, I’m sure, by twisting, gyrating, grooving folk of all ages.
Flatt Foot Rollers @ Mr. BBQ, 4621 Central Ave, Columbia Heights. 9pm (No Cover) I don’t know the venue, but a barbeque place, sounds like a great setting to hear the old school R&B of the Rollers. Dance to songs like Lowdown, Brick House, Ain’t No Stopping Us Now, and more. Listen to their music here.
Saturday, June 2
Premiere of the Swede Hollow Opera @ Swede Hollow Park, Saint Paul. 4pm – 6pm (Free) This is a one-act opera by Ann Millikan, adventurous and award-winning composer. It features four vocalists and members of the Mankato Symphony Orchestra in a story that follows the lives of Swedish, Italian, and Mexican immigrants who made their homes in the Hollow. This is the climax to a day long festival of dance and music from various cultures. For more info: http://www.artinthehollow.org/
Eddies @ the Farmers Market & The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 9:30AM – 11AM (Farmer’s Market – Free), 8PM – 11PM (Hat Trick Lounge $7). Listen to some songs of Life, Love, and Death, by Saint Paul’s favorite almost-acapella group.
Butanes Soul Revue @ The MInnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) The dance floor at the MMC will be filled to capacity for two nights in a row, as the Butanes Soul Revue takes the stage tonight. It’s a ten-piece, high impact music machine. Killer guitar from Curt Obeda, full-on vocals from Maurice Jaycox and others, and Sue Orfield on hair-raising saxophone. Three sets of smokin’ music.
Sunday, June 3
Jonathan Richman @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15) Richman is an extraordinary songwriter, with the ability to capture humor, pathos, and everyday observations in deceptively simple songs. Some of those songs have been featured in movies, on Conan O’Brian’s Late Night, and on Sesame Street. Opening band is the Prizefighters, keepers of the flame for ska, rock steady, early reggae, and soul music.
Curtiss Marlatt Quartet w/Dorothy Doring @ Admiral D’s, 4420 Lake Ave, White Bear Lake. 4:30pm. (No Cover) This lakeside venue will be featuring music every day during the summer. Guitarist Marlatt, he of “Bourbon Smooth Blues” is also fond of jazz. Doring can scat and easily improvise on melodies, but is equally at home with the blues. This is a pretty inspired pairing, and you can expect a bluesy, jazzy, afternoon.
Wednesday, June 6
Papa John Kolstad @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon (Free) An early alert, since I don’t always get my e-mails out on Wednesday mornings.