Festivals Galore. Music: 7.25 – 7.31

Butch Thompson, one of the performers at the Lowertown Roots Festival

It’s going to be a busy week. I’ve been on vacation for the past few days, so forgive me if I don’t have many links for you. Rest assured, however, that a little digging on your part will help you get an idea of the music of some of these performers. We’ve got an amazing Saturday coming up with four different rootsy festivals. We also have some great jazz, from both up and coming artists, as well as veterans, including the amazing James Carter with an organ trio. I can’t wait. Have a good week.


Wednesday, July 25

Body Omara & a Deejay Named Larry @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($6) Body Omara is guitarist Joseph Damman, bassist Tom Reichert, and percussionist Davu Seru. They perform Damman’s original compositions, which evoke the desert blues of Mali, as well as American folk and jazz. Before and between sets, I’ll be spinning world music and jazz that complements their sound.

Miguel Hurtado Trio @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Hurtado is a young drummer who has returned to the Twin Cities after graduating from The Manhattan School of Music. He always surrounds himself with excellent players. Tonight he’ll have Zacc Harris on guitar and Brian Courage on bass.

Thursday, July 26

The X-Tet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Pete Whitman has created a ten-piece group that creates exciting jazz while celebrating the talents of its individual members, from Phil Hey, Gordy Johnson, and Laura Caviani, to Dave Karr and Adam Meckler. I apologize if I often recommend them, but I’m a big fan.

Friday, July 27

Vicky Mountain with James Allen and the Dakota Combo @ Kelly Park, 152nd at Fontino, Apple Valley. A nice combination of musicians, with Vicky swingin’ the vocals, Allen on guitar, and the combo on combo. Don’t be surprised to see Vicky singing with the combo.

Friday, Saturday, July 27, 28

Jay Young. Photo by Andrea Canter

Jay Young & the Lyric Factory: the Music of Herbie Hancock & Earth Wind & Fire @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Bassist Young is usually a sideman, but this weekend he’s recruited friends like Kevin Washington on drums and some vocalists from MacNally Smith to straddle the intersection between jazz, funk, and soul. Sounds like a good time.

Saturday, July 28

James Allen and Joel Shapira @ First Course Bistro, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9:30pm (No Cover) Two of the finest acoustic guitarists play jazz for diners. Reservations recommended.

Sunday, July 29

Lucia Newell @ All Saints Lutheran Church, Cottage Grove. 7-9pm  With Joan Griffith, Gordy Johnson, and Mac Santiago. This appears to be the last of the Jazz in July Series at All Saints. They’ve done a nice job of presenting a variety of jazz and close out with a vocalist who is a true treasure in the Twin Cities. Newell can scat, compose, and give new meaning to old songs. Since Joan Griffith is one of her cohorts tonight, I imagine the evening will contain much Brazilian fare. And, as the press release says, Pie will be served.

James Carter Organ Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Carter is a major talent on all sorts of reed instruments. Technique and imagination combine for thrilling music. Tonight he tackles the soul jazz sounds of an organ trio. It will be scorching. It will be soulful. It will be fun. Here’s a video from a couple of years back.

Monday, July 30

Jazz Implosion @ Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30 & 11:30pm ($5) JT Bates is once again curating the Jazz Implosion, a weekly series that sometimes features new combinations of musicians, such as tonight’s gathering of Brandon Wozniak, sax; Adam Linz, bass; and Eric Kamau Gravatt, drums. Heavy hitters, all.

Tuesday, July 31

Bill Evans New Orleans Jazz Band @ Bennett’s Chop and Rail House, 1305 West 7th Street, Saint Paul. 7pm. (No cover) Chow down on classic steakhouse fare or the hamburger that was recently praised in City Pages, or sit at the bar with a beverage and enjoy Bill Evan’s classic sextet (trombone, trumpet, clarinet, guitar, bass, drums) as they rip through songs from the early days of jazz. It’s a neighborhood spot, with seating for about 50 or 60 for dinner, and reservations for dinner are recommended.

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (donation) A big band in an intimate room playing arrangements by trumpeter Meckler. Even folks who think they don’t like jazz will have second thoughts after hearing this band.

Roots, Blues, Other…

Wednesday, July 25

Martin Devaney @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul, Noon – 1pm (Free) Devaney is a fine singer-songwriter, with a background that includes classical training, jazz sax, and work with Heiruspecs. He just released The West End, an album with many guest musicians. Ellen Stanley will be the guest host for this show.

Lenny Williams @ The Fine Line, Minneapolis. 7pm. ($25) Williams spent three years as the lead singer for Tower of Power, singing What Is Hip and So Very Hard To Go among others. He then went back to a solo career and made the R&B charts ten times between 1978 and 1981. He’s still out there singing, and breaking hearts.

Adrian Legg @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm. ($20) A guitarist who has been called a wizard and the best acoustic fingerstyler, Legg brings his altered tunings and wry banter to the Dakota stage. Here is his wizardry in all its splendor.

Thursday, July 26

Doug Otto and Papa John Kolstad @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8pm – 11pm. The neighborhood bar on East Lake Street had Papa John create an acoustic blues series. Tonight Papa John has Doug Otto, a terrific singer, who can sound as if it were 1935 and he was out of work. Papa John will be playing his twelve string, so you know this is a special event.

Friday, July 27

Captain Mike @The Hat Trick

Captain Mike & The Totems @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 9pm. ($7) Captain Mike writes melodic pop tunes that can stick in your ear. The Totems provide the backup he needs. A fun evening.

Saturday, July 28

Lowertown Roots Festival @ Mears Park, Saint Paul. 2:30pm – 10pm  A day of free music with The Barley Jacks, Butch Thompson, Losc Conocidos and Mike Farris. Farris is a rootsy singer who favors gospel music. He’s going to be big, and you can say you saw him when. More information on the festival is available here.

NE Folk Festival@ Grumpy’s NE, Minneapolis. Noon – Close. (Free)  If you’re not heading to downtown Saint Paul you may want to check out this festival of home grown talent, including The Roe Family Singers, Black Audience, Dave Babb, Paul Metsa, and a host of others on two stages. More information can be found here.

Palmfest @ Palmer’s, Minneapolis. 2pm – close (Free) Maybe you want to stay in South Minneapolis. Head over to Palmer’s, everyone’s favorite dive bar, to hear Willie Murphy, the Huckleberrys, Steve Kaul & the Brass Kings, the Knotwells, Cadillac Kostad and more. Whew!

Salute to Bob Dylan @ Veterans Memorial Amphitheater, Saint Louis Park. 6:30pm – 9:30pm (Free) And the festivals just keep on coming. This is the fourth annual event organized by Kevin Odegard, one of the original musicians that played on Dylan’s “Blood on the Tracks.” Among the other musicians joining him will be Bobby Z, Matt Fink, Patty Peterson, Lonnie Knight, Scott Sansby, Paul Metsa, Dan Israel, and lots, lots more.

Sunday, July 29

Mark Naftalin: Concert & Conversation @ The Artists Quarter, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15) Son of a Minneapolis Mayor, Mark Naftalin moved to Chicago to go to school and ended up playing piano in the Paul Butterfield Blues Band during its formative years. Since then he’s teamed up with Mike Bloomfield, led and R&B Revue, and has hosted the Mark Naftalin’s Blues Power Hour on KALW in San Francisco since 1979. He’s been a sideman on over 100 hours. He’ll be joined by Paul Metsa, who will serve as host and “conversation catalyst.” A special evening, indeed.

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