Wednesday, June 6
Black Heralds Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) A young band that plays mostly originals, and features trumpeter Sten Johnson, who also performs with groups like the Jack Brass Band and the Nova Jazz Orchestra. Hear what they sound like at: http://www.myspace.com/blackheraldsquartet
Thursday, June 7
Zack Lozier @ The Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 10pm. Zack, Joey Van Phillips, and Chris Bates explore the electric jazz of the 60s and 70s.
Rachelle Ferrell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) & 9pm ($35) Though she got started in contemporary R&B, Ferrell has become better known for her jazz singing, ably abetted by a six-octave range.
Saturday, June 9
Wozniak, Linz, & Gravatt @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm. ($10) Whew! a high powered trio sure to have you searching for appropriate words to describe them. Brandon Wozniak is a busy sax player who brings modern ideas to whatever group he’s in. Adam Linz held down the bass chair in Fat Kid Wednesdays for years and years, earning the delighted appreciation of jazz fans both here and in France. Eric Kamau Gravatt played with Weather Report, tours with McCoy Tyner, and has been an inspiration to any number of drummers.
Ginger Commodore Quintet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm. ($10) For the last five months or so, Ginger has been playing Motormouth Maybelle in the Chanhanssen Theater’s version of “Hairspray.” Now she’s back to playing herself, one of the area’s fine, fine singers. She’ll be backed by GCQ – Adi Yeshaya, piano; Mark Weisberg, bass; Kathy Jensen, sax; Daryl Boudreaux, percussion; and Bobby Commodore holding down the drumset.
Sunday, June 10
Pippi Ardennia & Barbara Leshoure @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 5pm ($20 – $10 for students under 18 and college ID) Having attended a number of shows in this series, I can safely say that Pippi never approaches a song the same way twice. That’s part of the charm of this series, along with a welcoming attitude towards the audience and guests. Tonight’s guest is singer Barbara Leshoure, whose blues were shaped by visitors to her childhood home – folks like John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, and Howlin’ Wolf. The Student Guest is trumpeter Joe Suihkonen, of Minneapolis South HS and the Dakota Combo.
Connie Evingson CD Release @ The Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm & 7:30pm ($25) Connie’s got a new album, “Sweet Happy Life,” which features the songs of Norman Gimbel. Who? Norman Gimbel, the lyricist behind the English versions of Girl From Ipanema and other bossas, not to mention Killing Me Softy and I will wait for you. She does her usual stellar job of finding nuance and harmonies that escape many listeners, not to mention other musicians. Food and drink in the lobby after each performance.
Firebell @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (No cover) Park Evans, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; Jay Epstein, drums. If you’re up for staying out late on a Sunday night, Barbette has good happy hour prices on wine and appetizers. But that’s just icing on the cake since this band of experience players will transport you
Roy Hargrove @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) & 9pm ($25) Given the cost of many shows, this is an absolute steal in terms of talent per dollar. Hargrove is an inquisitive, exciting trumpet player – among the best of the young(er) breed. He’s explored the music of Cuba, hip-hop, and post-bop jazz with grace and imagination. He always has top-notch players with him as well.
Blues, Roots, Other…
Wednesday, June 6
Papa John Kolstad @ the Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm. (Free) The Landmark Center is bringing back Music in the Cafe this season, and kicking it off with Papa John. This is a rare solo appearance, in which he’ll be playing 6 string and 12 string guitar.
Don Scott & Curtis Blake on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI) 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – tip jar) Here we have a couple of kindred spirits having fun and letting the rest of us join in. Scott is a singer/guitarist/composer who was the guiding light behind the Dustbowl Blues Band back in the day. Lately he’s been traveling between here, Mexico, and New Orleans, playing (and gaining fans) in unlikely restaurants and coffeehouses. Blake is a WC Handy Award winner for his harpwork and is known for playing with Greazy Gravy as well as the Brothers Curtis. Fun indeed.
Friday, June 8
Charlie Parr @ Falconer Vineyards, Red Wing. 7pm ($15) Taste some wines from Falconer Vineyards, order a wood-fired pizza, and enjoy the rootsy blues of Mr. Parr performing on the vinter’s covered deck overlooking their vineyard. Cool.
Willie Murphy & the Angel Headed Hipsters w/Willie Walker @ The Minnesota Music Cafe. 9pm ($10?) Not sure on the price, you’ll have to contact the club. At any rate, Murphy & Walker go way back, I think to a group called the Valdons, though I may be mistaken. Nevertheless, you’ve got a great band with Murphy, and a terrific soul singer with Walker, and a big dance floor at MMC. The combination seems unbeatable.
Bethany Larson & the Bees Knees @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11pm. ($5) Larson is a preacher’s kid who studied classical music in college. She sings with a country-ish voice leavened with a touch of pop. The Bees Knees provide just the right backing. Here’s a video.
Saturday, June 9
Famous Dave’s BBQ & Blues Festival @ Nicollet, between 3rd & 4th St, Minneapolis. Noon – 10:30pm. The festival is moving riverward for this year, but you still get ten acts on two stages. Charlie Parr plays twice (6:30 & 8:30) at the Juke Joint Stage. Other acts to be sure to see include Johnny Rawls at 3pm, Davina & the Vagabonds at 5pm, and Charlie Musselwhite at 7pm. For complete schedule, etc., go here.
Doug Otto & the Getaways @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11pm. ($5) Americana, including early blues and country. Otto’s way with a song will have you believing he’s lived every downtrodden word he sings. The Getaways bring intensity, space, and depth to each song. Listen to some of their songs here.
Sunday, June 10
Howlin’ Wolf’s Birthday, with Fattenin’ Frogs @ Palmers, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) The Frogs take traditional American music from country, blues, R&B, bluegrass, etc., and turn it up a notch. You can say that’s how rock n’ roll got it’s start, and you’d be right. You’ll be stompin’ your feet, clapping your hands, and singing along.
Tuesday, June 12
Mayasich, Kolstad, & Schulte @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 8pm (Free) Now, this is a combination you’ll rarely see. Uber guitarist Paul Mayasich holds forth at the Station on a weekly basis these day, bringing in different guests each week. This week’s guests are Papa John Kolstad and violinist Gary Schulte, bringing a taste of swing to Paul’s slide and dobro playing.
Wednesday, June 13
Cadillac Kolstad @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm. Another early notice. The natural echo of the Landmark’s Cortile will reverberate with Cadillac’s pounding piano.