The Livin’ is Easy. Music for 7.4 – 7.11

Well, we had a cornucopia of festivals last weekend, with the Twin Cities Jazz Festival presenting hundreds of artists from the area and beyond. The Saturday evening show of The Bad Plus with Joshua Redman attracted such a large crowd that vendors ran out of beer. By all accounts, the Deep Blues Festival and Honky Tonk Festival were also successful. Given that, and the 4th, it seems natural that there’s a slowdown in the presentation of music this week. It’s as if we’ve had a big meal, and now just have a truffle or two for dessert. Enjoy the 4th, and enjoy your dessert.


Wednesday, July 4

Robb Henry Trio @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 10pm. (No Cover) After you check out the fireworks on the river, head on over to the Red Stag for a quieter, but no less impressive display, this time of the guitar variety, as Henry mines 60s pop, Django Rheinhardt, Mancini, and more. Here’s a low-light video of Henry performing a jazz classic:

Friday, July 6

Nichola Miller @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (Free) Standards will be sung and swung. Cocktail music of the highest order.

Brad Bellows/Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm. (tip Jar) Freely improvised music from Bellows on valve trombone, Washington on reeds, and friends.

Saturday, July 7

Debbie Duncan @ The Lexington, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 10:30pm. (No Cover) Sass and soul from the queen of Twin City jazz singers.

Sunday, July 8

PipJazz Sunday with Dean Magraw & Marcus Wise @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 5pm ($20) Singer Pippi Ardennia is truly spontaneous in her singing, working a vamp that she likes, letting musicians stretch out, and bringing in guest artists and students. This month’s guests are Dean Magraw and Marcus Wise. It will be especially interesting to see how the guitar/tabla duo are integrated into the bluesy jazz of Ardennia and the PipJazz All-Stars.

Monday, Tuesday, July 9, 10

Victor Wooten @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40) Bassist Wooten is a five-time Grammy Winner who is known mainly for his work with Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, though he’s also worked with Chick Corea’s Elecktrik Band and others.

Tuesday, July 10

Cory Wong Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) Cory is a versatile guitar player, whose playing is always full of surprises.

Wednesday, July 11

Lee Engele @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) A lunch time treat  from Ms Engele, who manages to swing even if accompanied by just a guitar, as she likely will be this day.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, July 4

Midnight Mo Experience @ Burger Moe’s, Saint Paul 2pm – 5:30pm. So you live in an apartment, or perhaps don’t want to be around a grill on a hot afternoon.  Prepare for Saint Paul’s fireworks on the river by checking out the Motown & More of Midnight Mo at Burger Moe’s.

Thursday, July 5

Davina & The Vagabonds & Armadillo Jump @ Marketfest, White Bear Lake, 6pm-9pm. Marketfest is a weekly event featuring two different music stages as well as food, arts & crafts, and a car show in downtown White Bear Lake. Tonight Davina will be on the Gazebo Stage and the Texas-style blues of Armadillo Jump will be featured on the 3rd Street stage.

Friday, July 6

Nikki & the Rue-Mates CD Release Party @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 10pm (tip jar) Fans have been eagerly awaiting another slab of semi-psychedelic folk rock from the clarion voice of Nikki and the crying slide guitar of Rich Rue. Fellow Rue-Mates Liz Draper, Jon Olson, and drummer Jimmy T (Tollesrud) help give the music a kick that will give old hippies flash-backs and younger folk goose bumps. With Matt Latterell.

Kelley Hunt @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) Piano pounding blues singer Hunt has become a Twin Cities favorite through repeated visits to the area. She’s a good writer and impassioned story-teller, with a gospel tinge to her playing. I did an interview with her last November, which you can find here.

Sunday, July 8

Lindsay Pedalty Duo @ the Amsterdam, Bar & Hall, Saint Paul 11AM – 1PM (Free) Take the Sunday paper to the ‘Dam, order some hash browns and a Bloody Mary, and enjoy the singing of Pedalty, who has an appealing voice with a bluesy edge that gives a different spin to her pop leanings in the group Pine Deluxe. She’ll be accompanied by her dad, pianist Bruce Pedalty, who has spent time playing with Mojo Buford, The Senders, and a couple of area big bands.

Opera on Tap @ Honey, Minneapolis 6pm – 8pm ($5) Opera singers in a bar!

Havana Hi-Fi @ The Aster, Minneapolis, 9pm ($5) It’s Salsa night at the tiny bar/restaurant/tea room overlooking the river and downtown Minneapolis.

Tuesday, July 10

Phil Heywood @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (Free) finger style pickin’ just doesn’t get any tastier. Neither do neighborhood bistros. Good cocktails too.

Orchestra Poly-Ritmo @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis, 7:30 ($35) The late Peter Nelson, leader of Shangoya, would often declare, “You don’t need special steps to dance to this music.” That holds especially true for the music of this 10-piece, horn driven band from the tiny West African nation of Benin. Percolating Afrobeat, Latin, and Voodoo rhythms will have even the most staid Minnesotan moving their hips, if not other body parts. Here’s a sample of their music.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar

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