Music for 10.31 – 11.6 – The Post-Hurricane, Pre-Election Edition

October 31, 2012

The river off Clason Point, the Bronx, just after the worst of Sandy had passed. Photo by Maribel Mercado/City Limits

Like many of you, I’ve been focusing on the superstorm and its devastation of the East Coast. The area where I grew up in the Bronx (about two short blocks from the East River) was one of those where folks were evacuated, though they escaped the destruction of Breezy Point, Brooklyn, and the power outages of lower Manhattan. It was during my teenage years in the Bronx that I became besotted with rock n’ roll and got my first deejay job at a Friday night church dance. Speaking of which, I’ll be inaugurating a deejay night Saturday at a new venue in town, The Third Floor. They have jazz on Thursday nights and are trying to see if a deejay night will work on Saturdays. I’m hoping that some of you will drop by. More details here.

But back to what’s happening in live music. One result of the storm was that the Maria Schneider shows at the Dakota have been postponed. Nevertheless, we’ve lots of music to enjoy, including a show by a few members of Maria’s orchestra tonight, and a number of vocalists performing jazz this week, as well as some great Americana and blues. Have a great week. And don’t forget to vote.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 31

Hurricane Relief @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm. (Donation to Hurricane Relief) Though Superstorm Sandy prevented most of Maria Schnieder’s 17 piece band from getting here, four did arrive, including trumpeter Ingrid Jensen and drummer Clarence Penn. With the help of a couple of all-star Twin Citizens (Gordy Johnson on bass and Peter Schimke on piano), they are performing anyway. Sophia Shorai will also play a short set. Donations can be made at the door or on your check, and will be given to the Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund. All proceeds from a Hurricane Relief cocktail will be included. Those who attended last night report that the music was first rate, as you might expect.

Thursday, November 1

Photo by Andrea Canter

Vicky Mountain @ The Third Floor, 579 Selby, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($5) Vocalist extraordinaire Vicky Mountain is joined by guitarist James Allen and a bassist in this new venue on the third floor of Dr. Chocolates’ Chocolate Chateu. Ten beers on tap, a few wine selections, and some fancy cocktails, as well as chocolate. Unfortunately, this unique space is not handicap-accessible, but it does have a parquet dance floor for those who want to dance to Vicky’s swingin’ tunes.

Arne Fogel @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm (donation) Jazz Central is starting to have vocalist nights on Thursdays and who better to kick things off than that vocalist-about-town Arne Fogel. Fogel and his fedora will be swinging classic tunes by Sinatra, Crosby, and other stalwarts from the 30s to the 60s.

Valve Meets Slide @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Brad Bellows (Valve) and Dave Graf (Slide) go mano-a-mano in trombone competition, accompanied by Chris Lomheim, piano; Matt Peterson, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums.

Friday, November 2

Their 1977 Album.

Pat Moriarty & Phil Hey @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm. Moriarty (sax) and Hey (drums) put out an outstanding album way back in 1977. Since then, they’ve played together so much that their communication can seem telepathic, as each adjusts to the twists and turns in the other’s playing. It’s free jazz, but that’s no reason to be afraid, since it’s free of pre-conceived composition, but not free of melody and rhythm.

 

Whitman, Schimke, Peterson & Horst @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) The AQ has put together another group of world-class musicians to explore the nuances of jazz. Though the way I have them listed makes them sound like a law firm, make no mistake, these musicians have played with the best. Expect some wit and fireworks.

Saturday, November 3

Charmin Michelle @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No cover) Charmin Michelle’s tender yet knowing voice will work well in the small bar that’s part of this D’Amico restaurant. Good cocktails, comfy chairs, and a bruschetta that will make you re-think your opinion of the ubiquitous appetizer.

Sunday, November 4

Connie Evingson sings Peggy Lee @ The Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm, 7pm ($25) Cool, yet often smoldering, that’s Peggy Lee, and an apt description of Connie Evingson, who’ll be joined by Tanner Taylor, piano; Dave Karr, sax; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Joe Pulice, drums. The smallish Jungle Theater is an intimate venue for Ms Evingson’s stylings. Here she is at one of last year’s Jungle Theater shows.

Monday, November 5

Vinnie Rose & Jeremy Boettcher @ Jazz Central, Minnapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Guitarist Rose and bassist Boettcher will be tearing things up at the little jazz club that could. It’s a jazz musician’s “hang,” so there’ll be some jammin’ after Rose and Boettcher play.

More listings for Twin Cities jazz can be found at KBEM and at Jazz Police. Jazz Police also features jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Roots, Blues, Other…

Wednesday, October 31

Radio Joe & the JazzBos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm. ($5) In case you haven’t had enough of Halloween parties, here’s a chance to attend one that’s bound to be neighborly, not to mention having cash prizes for the top three costumes. Radio Joe Demko plays music that’s equal parts swing, boogie woogie, and jump blues, which is just fine with his swing-dancing fans. Always a treat, costumes or not.

Thursday, November 1

Jon Rodine & Mother Banjo @ the Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm (Free) A double dose of Americana. Mother Banjo often plays solo, bringing gospel, folk, and an alt-country mindset to her songs. Rodine is a soulful singer who can channel funky Americana and soulful country into a sound that’s all his own.

Jorma Kaukonen @ The Dakota Jazz Club, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40)  Kaukonen was a founding member of both Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, with whom he still tours. In the process he morphed from a electric guitar star to an acoustic blues/bluegrass fingerpicker of some reknown, appreciated as a teacher as much as a performer. A much anticipated show.

Friday, November 2

Pill Hill CD Release Party @ the Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($6) Dan Fowlds was active in the 90s with the post-grunge band, Bump. After taking a sabbatical from music, he’s returned with a new band, Pill Hill, and a new, self-titled CD with tunes that are alternately melancholy, declamatory, and rocking. Fowlds isn’t afraid to add a banjo, organ, or violin to the sound of his Les Paul.  Opening acts are Hello Blue and Wizards Are Real. Hear some examples of Pill Hill’s songs here.

Ian Thomas Alexy CD Release & Day of the Dead Party @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 10pm (Free) Alexy, of the Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank, was Born on the Day of the Dead, so it’s only natural that he calls his CD by that name, and celebrates his birthday with a CD Release party. He’s got a new band, the Deserters, and will be serving up Americana and Old Timey music.

Saturday, November 3

Baroque to Beatboxing @ MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20/$15 Youth & Seniors) Here’s a chance to check out a few different musical styles. Tonight’s performance is all about music and dance. Performers include Julie Johnson on electric flute, playing a new piece created with choreographer/dancer Tamara Ober. Other performers include Jeff Lambert on guitar, Bryan Nichols on piano, and Saltee (Jacqueline Ultan, cello; Mike Michel, guitar; & Carnage the Executioner, beatbox).  The Saltee set will also include break dancers!

Jeff Ray & the Stakes @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 8pm (No cover)  In which guitarist extraordinaire Jeff Ray is joined by Hurricane Harold, harp; Nick Salisbury, bass; and Mikkel Beckman, percussion.  Delta blues and more.

Sunday, November 4

Spider John Koerner and Charlie Parr @ Palmer’s Bar, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) Holy cow! Wonderful interpretations of classic folk songs from Koerner, and original stripped down blues from Parr. Plus, they’ll do a few songs together. Afterwards, another legend, Willie Murphy will take the stage. And it’s all at the West Bank’s favorite dive bar.

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.

 


Bossas, Blues, Bebop, and More. 10.24 – 10.30

October 24, 2012

Photo by Pat Cameron

It may be a gray day outside as this is being written, but the opportunities for listening to music provide a sunny outlook. I know that figure of speech is a stretch, but work with me here. Halloween celebrations will be in full force this weekend, and I’ll let others give you the lowdown on where to see the most outrageous/sexiest/goriest/funniest costumes. Anyway, ffrom large orchestras to duos; from Desert Blues to elegant bossas, you have many choices when it comes to stimulating your brains with music. Have a good week.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 24

Phil Hey Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Here’s a mid-week pick-me-up for jazz fans; just the thing to get you over “hump day.” Drummer Hey leads a group of highly accomplished musicians, whose long-term relationship allows them to communicate almost telepathically to the twists and turns of songs by Bobby Hutcherson, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, and more. Besides Phil Hey on drums, there is Phil Aaron on piano, Dave Hagedorn on vibes, and Tom Lewis on bass.

Friday, October 26

Lila Ammons Quartet @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No cover) Ammons is a vocalist with a strong pedigree – her uncle was Gene Ammons, and her grandfather was pianist Albert Ammons. Lila Ammons, however studied and performed classical music before turning to jazz. Read an interview I did with her earlier this year here. She’ll be joined by saxman Dean Brewington, among others.

Connie Evingson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12) There’s a reason she’s one of the area’s favorite vocalists. Whether she’s singing standards, the Beatles, Peggy Lee, or the music of Norman Gimbel, Evingson swings. Tonight she’s backed by a terrific group of musicians: Tanner Taylor, piano; Dave Karr; sax & flute; Terry Burns, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums.

Friday, Saturday, October 26,27

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Source Code @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Drummer Gravatt turned down Miles Davis to play with Weather Report. He’s also played with Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, and other illustrious jazz folk. Lucky for us he lives in the area, though that doesn’t mean he’s a ubiquitous presence on our jazz scene. He’s joined by Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Ron Evanuik, bass; and Gene Rush on piano.

Saturday, October 27

Maurice Jacox @ Eat Street Social, Minneapolis. 1:30 – 3:30pm (free) Take a break this afternoon to hear Jacox apply his considerable vocal skills to soul standards and the Great American Songbook. It’s an intimate affair, and if you’re not going to have a cocktail, you may want to try an egg cream. Just ask that they don’t use ice, in order to get the true flavor.

Benny Weinbeck Trio @ D’Amico Kitchen at Chambers Hotel, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 11:30pm (free) Well, it would be good if you ordered a drink or food, which are bound to be well-crafted. Of course the music is well-crafted as well, as Weinbeck, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums; provide music that goes way-beyond the cocktail lounge.

Sunday, October 28

Donald Thomas Birthday Bash & Benefit @ Baystreet Grill and Pub, 731 Randolph, Saint Paul. 3:00pm – 7:00pm ($10 Donation)  The donation includes a free drink and a free taco bar. Lincoln Berry on organ will be leading a trio. Thomas had open heart surgery this summer, so this is the perfect time to celebrate the singer and drummer and help raise some funds to help him through his recovery.

Monday, October 29

Chris Bates Red5 @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($5) It’s the Jazz Implosion at Icehouse, tonight featuring the music of Chris Bates, notably from the group’s CD, New Hope. The group features Zack Lozier, trumpet; Chris Thomson tenor and soprano sax; Brandon Wozniak, tenor and alto sax. Brother JT on drums rounds out the group.

Tuesday, Wednesday, October 30, 31

Maria Schneider Orchestra @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($60 – $40) Nineteen musicians on the Dakota stage, with two Grammys and nine nominations. Whatever I can say about Schneider, who is originally from Windom, would pale in comparison to the raves she has received for her compositions.

More listings for Twin Cities jazz can be found at KBEM and at Jazz Police. Jazz Police also features jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Roots, Blues, Other

Wednesday, October 27

Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric Does Brian Eno @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis 7pm – 10pm. (No cover) Wow! Clouser’s electric guitar playing has enthralled audiences from Prague to New York to our own Twin Cities. Tonight he’s interpreting the music of Brian Eno, from ambient scores to the Talking Heads and way beyond. Good food and cocktails as well. Just be sure to ask for a table near the music.

Friday, October 26

Trio Bossa Nova @ 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($10) For those of you in the Western suburbs, the tiny 318 Cafe offers a chance to hear music up close and personal. Guitarist Pavel Jany leads this subset of Ticket to Brasil in a program of sultry bossa novas and originals. You may want to get a reservation.

Mother Banjo @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11pm ($5) Charmingly dark songs, along with some bluegrass gospel, make up the repertoire of Mother Banjo, aka Ellen Stanley of KFAI’s Womenfolk.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, October 26, 27, 28

Barebones Puppet Extravaganza @ Hidden Falls Park, Saint Paul 7pm. (donation) Spectacle. Larger-than-Life Puppets. Stilting, Fire, Song & Dance. The annual extravaganza is equal parts entertaining and thoughtful, including a public naming ceremony, where the audience is invited to honor the memories of those who have passed by saying their names out loud. The Brass Messengers will be playing afterward on Friday and Sunday. A Ukranian band will play on Saturday.

Saturday, October 27

Everett Smithson Band @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm. ($?) Everett & Kathy Smithson and their band play the kind of party music you might hear in Southern Louisiana: a bit of swamp, zydeco, blues, and rockabilly. Backing them up is a team of veteran Twin Citizens: Phil Schmid on guitar, Jeremy Johnson on drums, and Bill Black on upright bass. Early birds may want to take advantage of Wilebski’s free buffet from 5pm – 7pm.

Tinariwen @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($35) Formed in the Southern Sahara Touareg rebel camps about 30 years ago, this Grammy-winning group uses electric guitars to create trance-like, blues-laden sounds to back their poetic lyrics about he lives of Touareg refugees. Tinariwen has earned praise from Elvis Costello and Carlos Santana, among others. Call it Desert Blues or Desert Rock, their hypnotic sounds will draw you in and have you clapping along. Here’s a video of them.

Sunday, October 28

Malone Brothers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Dave Malone (of the Subdudes) and Russell Malone (of the Radiators) are touring together after the Radiators have broken up and while the Subdudes are on hiatus. This is New Orleans rock at it’s best – a mixture of blues, zydeco, and country roots.

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.


Music for Autumn… 10.17 – 10.23

October 17, 2012

It’s a busy week coming up, with some outstanding jazz from visiting and resident artists, a couple of drummer-led groups, a new jazz venue, two chances to hear Brazilian music, a couple of 45rpm dance parties, and choice roots music. Pick and choose, it’s hard to lose.

Jazz

Wednesday, Thursday, October 17, 18

Bela Fleck and the Marcus Roberts Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($65 – $50), 9pm ($50 – $40) Fleck turned the jazz world on its ear when he and his group The Flecktones started tackling all manner of jazz compositions. He has been called the best banjo player in the world by folks who should no. Marcus Roberts played piano with Wynton Marsalis before going out on his own. His trio includes Jason Marsalis on drums and Rodney Jordan on bass. This is an event. But more than an event, it’s a chance to see and hear some strikingly original voices in jazz.

Thursday, October 18

Jazz on the Line @ Mai Village, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 10:00pm. Mira and Tom Kehoe & Friends perform jazz, Brazilian, and World music. Mira and Tom are part of the Brazilian music group, Xibaba. This is part of a series to bring people to various restaurants and businesses along the Central Corridor during construction. Mai Village has been hit particularly hard and faces eviction at the end of the month. Buy dinner and/or drinks as you enjoy the music.

Maryann Sullivan @ The Third Floor, Dr. Chocolate’s Chateu, 579 Selby Avenue, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 9:30pm. ($3) An early start makes this new place for jazz just right for a little chocolate dessert along with wine or beer while you enjoy the swinging vocals of Ms Sullivan, accompanied by guitarist Joel Shapira and Saxophonist Doug Haining.

Friday, October 19

Patty Peterson/Bobby Lyle Dual CD Release Party @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Both Peterson and Lyle have new CDs, and since Lyle is a guest on Patty’s CD, they are both featured this evening. Lyle’s CD is an organ trio affair, while Peterson’s reflects her pop/jazz/R&B repertoire. Both groups will play during each of the two sets tonight.

Friday, Saturday, October 19, 20

Dave King, Bill Carrothers, and Billy Peterson @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul ($15) The month of drummer-led combos continues at the AQ. This time Bill Carrothers on piano, who was magnificent last weekend with Ari Hoenig, is playing with local tubmaster Dave King, and veteran bassist Billy Peterson. An inspired grouping.

Babatunde Lea, Adam Linz, & Zacc Harris @ Cafe Maude at Loring Park, 1612 Harmon Place, Minneapolis. 9pm (no cover) This group has played a number of times at the original Cafe Maude, where they were well received in spite of the fact that most folks were there for food. Don’t know if the same vibe will be at the new place, but I can say that multi-percussionist Lea was simply amazing at the AQ a couple of weeks ago.

Tuesday, October 23

Kurt Elling @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($25) Elling is perhaps the best male vocalist in jazz. Heck the best male vocalist, period. He’s touring behind his latest CD, 1619 Broadway, an homage to the last of the professional songwriters, most of whom carried out their craft in the Brill Building at that address. Expect songs from Lieber & Stoller, Goffen & King, and Bacharach & David, among others. Here’s one of the songs from the new album.

Rebirth of the Cool @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($7 suggested donation) The Birth of the Cool album, performed live, from the beginning to end, featuring: Adam Rossmiller, trumpet; Doug Haining, Alto sax; Tara Hochstatter, French Horn; Scott Agster, trombone; Greg Keel, bari sax; John Tranter, tuba; Tanner Taylor, piano; Matt Peterson, bass; Mac Santiago, drums.

More listings for Twin Cities jazz can be found at KBEM and at Jazz Police. Jazz Police also features jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Roots, Blues, Other…

Wednesday, October 17

Ditch Lilies on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm hour (KFAI – 90.3 & 106.7), 7pm (331 Club – tip jar) Ace picking and two part harmonies from Lisa Schultz and Kari Larson. Pulling from old timey, bluegrass, western swing and other old genres, Lisa and Kari deliver the goods on what’s become known as Americana. They don’t get up here too often (they live in Maiden Rock), so this is a good time to catch em.

Thursday, October 18

Orkestar Bez Ime @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar)  Wild Balkan party music. Push back the tables and chairs and dance as if no one is watching.

Sambo Makti @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10:35pm. ($5) They say they’re a funk band, but I’ll be darned if most of the players are usually found in jazz groups. I’m betting they’ll definitely be putting some funk in your rump. Scott Fultz, alto sax; Clay Pufal, tenor & bari; Matt Darling, trombone; Tom Reichert, guitar; Nick Salisbury, bass; and Joey Van Phillips, drums.

Friday, October 19

Hipshaker @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($5) The move to Friday nights has not hurt the Hipshaker dance party at all. In fact, more folks are coming out to dance to the rare funk, soul, and R&B that Greg and Brian spin. Special guest is DJ Father Time (Mike Elias).

Mill City Hot Club @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 9pm Guitarist Deano Mikkelson is celebrating a big birthday by playing with Dean Harrington, Bill Grenke, and Joe Steinger. Extra added attraction is Nikki Matteson on guest vocals. Gypsy jazz and swing.

Saturday, October 20

Samba Meu & Friends @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 2pm – 4pm (tip jar) An afternoon of Brazilian music that goes way beyond bossa novas. Enjoy contemporary and roots music from the land of sambas and batucadas, as done by Karen Quiroz, vocals; Tim O’Keefe, percussion; and James Allen and David Martin, guitars. Special guests will add to the mix. You can hear Karen singing here.

Commander Cody @ Famous Dave’s, Uptown Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) Those of a certain age and predilection will remember the faux country weeper from the early 70s, (Down to) Seed and Stems Again, as well as the rushing rockabilly of Hot Rod Lincoln and others. It’s country music that rocks.

Hot Pants 45 rpm Dance Party @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) If you didn’t get enough rare funk n’ soul last night, or perhaps didn’t get out, you’ve got a rare second chance in one weekend.

Phil Heywood @ Riveriew Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm ($13) Another evening of ace fingerpicking from Heywood, winner of two National Fingerpicking Championships.

Sunday, October 21

Acoustic Africa: Afropean Women featuring Dobet Gnahore @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($30) I’m excited about the return of Dobet Gnahore, who put on an enthralling show at the Dakota the last time she was here. See my review of that performance here. She’ll be joined by Manou Gallo, bassist for Zap Mama, and Karece Fotso, a Cameroonian singer.

Monday, October 22

Viva Power Trio @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Viva DeConcini was featured in Guitar Player magazine in 2009. She’s produced burlesque and variety shows at Joe’s Pub in NYC, played in a Brazilian group, as well as with drag queens and strippers, and has even played at Bonaroo and the Monterrey Jazz Festival. Her songs are full of energy and commentary, whether singing about love or shopping. Should be a rockin’ house at the Driftwood.

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.


Music, Movies, and More. 10.10 – 10.16

October 10, 2012


It’s a busy weekend coming up, what with a Zombie Pub Crawl and the Saint Paul Art Crawl and the Sound Unseen Festival.   If, like me, you are past dressing up (or is it down) as a Zombie to go from bar to bar there are certainly enough diversions and good music to be had.

Jazz…

Wednesday, October 10

Cellar @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Bryan Nichols, Rhodes piano; James Buckley, bass; and Joey Philips, drums. The PR for this says it’s a “fundamentally spiritual music” that “parallels the evolutionary patterns of rock and jazz in great detail.” Given the players, I think it’s going to be good music, whatever you call it.

Red Planet Plays Monk @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Today is the anniversary of the birth of Thelonious Monk, and our favorite musical astronauts (Dean Magraw, guitar, Chris Bates, bass, and Jay Epstein, drums) will be exploring his music.

Thursday, October 11

Illicit Sextet and Zacc Harris Quartet @ The Artists Quarter, Saint Paul. 7pm (Illicit Sextet – Free), 9pm (Zacc Harris Quartet – $5) Here’s a two-fer that’s certainly worth getting out early. The Illicit Sextet is a composer’s collective playing original tunes with an emphasis on hard bop. Paul Harper, sax; Steve Kenny, trumpet; David Roos, guitar; Chris Lomheim, piano; Tom Pieper, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums. Stick around to hear the Zacc Harris Quartet, with Harris on guitar; Bryan Nichols on piano; and Chris and JT Bates on bass and drums. An evening of melodic, invigorating jazz.

Friday, Saturday, October 12, 13

Hoenig using some of his unique ways to get sound from a trap set.

Ari Hoenig Trio featuring Bill Carrothers and Chris Bates @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Hoenig is a drummer known for making drums an integral part of the harmonic structure of a group. Carrothers is a Minnesota born, Michigan based pianist who has won awards in France and Germany, as well as the respect of some of jazz’s greatest musicians. Bassist Chris Bates has proven to be a go-to guy when visiting artists come to town. You’ll note that he’s playing at the AQ for four nights this week.

Saturday, October 13

Atlantis Quartet Workshop and Concert @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 5pm workshop (free), 7pm performance ($10) The 5pm workshop is actually a presentation on Collective Improvisation and Collaborative Composition. The Atlantis Quartet plays 21st Century jazz. They use modern harmonic concepts and rhythms with creative, energizing results.

Sunday, October 14

PipJazz Sunday w/guests Steve Faison and Joshua Jones @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 5pm ($20) Pippi Ardennia brings vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Steve Faison to the stage for her monthly session of “feel good” music. The youth artist is saxophonist Joshua James, a former member of the Dakota Combo. A crackerjack band, including Glenn Swanson, drums; Peter Schimke, piano; Marcus Wise, percussion, Jay Young, bass, and the youngest member of the group (still in high school), Sosha Warpeha on violin.

Sunday, Monday, October 14, 15

Cassandra Wilson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($60/$50) 9pm ($50/$40) Wilson is a woman with a singular, highly personal singing style. Every song is re-invented and recast, often imbued with the blues, and revealing nuances you didn’t know were there.

Monday, October 15

Zack Lozier @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30 (donation) Zack brings his considerable trumpet skills to the basement hang-out to play with Tanner Taylor, piano, Mac Santiago, drums, and a yet-to-be-named bass player.  It’s a BYO beverage and snack place.

More listings for Twin Cities jazz can be found at Jazz Police. It also features jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, October 10

Gaia Groove on KFAI (90.3 and 106.78FM) and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI) and 7pm (331 Club – tip jar) Straight off Prairie Home Companion, this duo is from Italy, where singer Hilary Thavis’ American parents raised her. Whether they’re playing a song by Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton, or an original, they are direct, and without artifice. Tune in at 5pm and head over to the 331 Club afterwards. They’ve a few dates in the area over the next week, so look out for them. Check out their original, Facebook Blues:

Thursday, October 11

Paula Cole @ The Daktoa, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) Cole had a top ten hit in 1996 with “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” then went on to place win a Grammy as Best New Artist in 1997, and have “I Don’t Want to Wait” as the opening intro to Dawson’s Creek. Touring with the Lilith Fair established her performing bonafides, and she’s since received another six Grammy nominations.

Wayne the Train Hancock @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) Okay guys, it’s time to slick back your hair and get out those cowboy boots, while gals get out their best dancing frocks, as this rockabilly honky-tonker with a taste for western swing and the blues is coming to town. Wayne calls his music Juke Joint Swing, and what better place to hear him than that little ol’ juke joint, Lee’s. Rachel and the Ranch Hand Resistance open.

Friday, October 12

Courtney Yasmineh @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($6)  Yasmineh is an indie/pop singer songwriter and guitarist with an appealing voice and an ear for writing hooks. She’s a hardworking musician and has toured Europe and the US with her band, developing a tight sound that perfectly matches her songs.

Nick Moss @ Famous Dave’s Uptown, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($5) Guitarist Moss plays a lot of Chicago style blues, imbuing his guitartisty with the shimmer of light on stained glass. 

Saturday, October 13

Felonious Bosch @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 5pm – 8pm ($5 suggested donation) After a day of browsing artists’ studios, stop by the Black Dog for a dose of eccentric folk music, often inspired by medieval Europe, but with a punk attitude. Belly dancers are often part of the show. Afterwards, you may want to stay for Sendero Flamenco’s Gathering of Gypsies. Here’s a sample of the music of Felonious Bosch.

Sunday, October 14

MN Blues Society Hall of Fame Induction @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 1pm (donation) This year the annual event is honoring the late Big Walter Smith, the legendary Cornbread Harris, guitarist Dan Schwalbe, and Lamont Cranston’s recording of Tiger in Your Tank, among others. Expect music from Big Walter’s Groove Merchants, with Jimi Prime Time Smith, Cornbread, and Javier & the Innocent Sons.

Sound Unseen presents Charles Bradley: Soul of America @ Trylon Microcinema, Minneapolis. 3pm ($10) Bradley is the soul singer who struggled all his life and recently found success at the age of 62. His appearance at the Fine Line last year was a sweaty, electrifying affair. This film documents the months leading up to the release and touring behind his debut album, “No Time for Dreaming.”

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.


A Change Is Gonna Come. Music: 10.3 – 10.9

October 3, 2012

In spite of the high temps today (Wednesday), a change is coming, as mother nature is pointing out with the change in foliage. There will undoubtedly be more indoor events, thought there’s at least one more outdoor festival to check out. With a couple of CD release parties, visits from well-known touring artists, a few Latin shows, and a Fall Festival that gives you an extra reason to travel to Stillwater, this week is shaping up quite nicely.

On a personal note, thanks to those of you who became listener-members at KFAI, especially those who pledged during my show this past Saturday. There is still time to pledge at http://www.kfai.org You can even specify my show (Rhythm and Grooves) as one of the reasons you joined.

 Jazz

Thursday, October 4

Medicinal Jazz Band @ the Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm (tip jar)  The duo of Noah Strom on accordion, concertina, or piano and Sam Ryan on guitar and vocals explore jazz, klezmer, and Dixieland music, along with some Americana from the turn of the last century.

Larry McDonough & Richard Terrill CD Release @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Pianist McDonough and saxophone player Terrill are releasing a charming, inventive CD, filled with surprises. McDonough convincingly takes on vocal chores on a couple of numbers. Terrill recites poetry. McDonough composed one number using melody fragments written by children with disabilities. Though this is their first effort as a duet, the two have worked together in various ensembles since 2001, and their easy communication shows. Here’s mcDonough doing one of the songs on the new CD with a quartet.

Friday, October 5

Hollywood Jazz: the JazzMN Orchestra with Wayne Bergeron and Connie Evingson @ Hopkins HS Performing Arts Center. 7:30pm ($29/$33) The JazzMN Orchestra are starting their season with a bang. Bergeron landed the lead trumpet chair in Maynard Ferguson’s band at 18, and has worked with an outstanding list of performers, from Ray Charles and Lou Rawls to Tito Puente, Barry Manilow, and the Pussy Cat Dolls. Extra added attraction: Connie Evingson on guest vocals. He’s played in the big bands of Quincy Jones and Arturo Sandoval, and got a Grammy nomination for his own big band. BTW, he’s also featured on over 300 TV and film soundtracks.

Babatunde Lea Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) with Richard Johnson, piano; Zacc Harris, guitar, Chris Bates, bass. Drummer/Percussionist Babatunde Lea and Richard Johnson are well-known on the national jazz scene, and have recently settled in the area. In fact, Johnson has been touring with Delfeayo Marsalis. Zacc Harris and Chris Bates are easily up to the task of playing with both. Expect some fire from this group, as well as the occasional moment of sublime beauty.

Firebell @ Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Park Evans, guitar, Graydon Peterson, bass, and Jay Epstein, drums. All three of these musicians play in (and sometimes lead) numerous bands. Each is also capable of playing a myriad of styles. Tasty, yet invigorating jazz in a small room with a view of downtown Minneapolis. Sounds pretty sweet.

Saturday, October 6

Lucia Newell, Laura Caviani, and Jeff Bailey @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No cover) Located in the rabbit warren of office buildings, hotels, and parking ramps immediately Southeast of the 100/494 intersection, Parma 8200 is having jazz on Saturday nights, featuring a singer and small backup. Tonight, enjoy the great vocals of Newell, the tasty piano of Caviani, and Bailey’s steady bass as you drink cocktails and have appetizers in the bar. It can get noisy, so you may want to sit close.

Monday, October 8

Steve Hobert Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis 8:30pm (Donation) I know I’ve written about Hobert, a talented pianist, recently, but hey, this time he’s at Jazz Central, which is about a good a “hang” as you can find for jazz musicians and fans. Cozy couches, chairs and tables, and a BYO atmosphere make for a relaxed evening. If you’ve not been there, look for the glass doors at 407 E. Central, directly across from the Aveda school. Walk down the hall, turn left and go down some stairs, and left at the bottom of the stairs. Tell them Larry sent you – just kidding, but that’s what it feels like.

John Devine @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (Free) Devine is an imaginative saxophonist, often surrounded with equally talented friends. Don’t know who will be with him this evening, but even if he’s alone, you can be sure he’ll transport you into moments of sheer happiness, especially if you’re enjoying the happy hour offerings at Barbette.

More listings for Twin Cities jazz can be found at Jazz Police. It also features jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

 Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, Thursday, October 3, 4

Junior Brown @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35-$40) Rockin’ honky-tonk from guit-steel player Brown. The guit-steel is a double-necked instrument combining guitar and lap steel guitar. Brown uses it well as he plays originals, classic country, and surprising covers of surf songs. It’s country for folks who don’t like country.  Here’s a video of him in action.

Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($6) The folks at this hot new spot will be moving tables and chairs to create room to Get your Latin Dancing on. With violins and a flute in their arsenal, Charanga Tropical will have the Salsa Dancers out en masse.

Thursday, October 4

Jake Manders Trio @ Cause Spirits & Sound Bar, Minneapolis. 9:30pm 9No cover) An evening of roots music as Jillian Rae and Caitlin Robinson open. Manders writes original music that’s informed by country and folk styles of the past, and sings them with voice that sounds like he’s hobo-ed around the country.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, October 4,5,6

Zeitgeist’s New Music Harvest @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($3.50 Thurs, $10, Fri, Sat) It’s the 35th season of playing new chamber music for Zeitgeist, and to celebrate, they’re only charging $3.50 for Thursday’s opener of the season. They’ll have guest artists Kyle Hutchins on soprano sax, and Kirsten Whitson on cello.

Friday, October 5

Willie Murphy Solo @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11pm (Donation – $5 suggested) The sometimes irascible, but often romantic Murphy sits in front of a piano and sings songs of love and politics in his slightly jazzy, always R&B-ish way.

House of Mercy Showcase @ Gingko Coffeehouse, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm (no cover) Jon Rodine, Brett Larson, and the Wilkinson/James Duo present original music. Rodine is a West Bank favorite with a terrific voice. Larson is an often funny songwriter, and Wilkinson James are known to evoke June Carter and Townes Van Zandt.

Paul Cebar @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($?) Actually, this show will begin at 7:30 with the swamp boogie of the Swamp Kings, a trio that’s been known to get folks dancing themselves. Cebar, of course, has been getting folks to twist, spin, and generally wear out their dancing shoes for a couple of decades now. This is a Sponsor Appreciation Party, put on by the Minnesota Blues Society.

Saturday, October 6

RAMM Band & 617 Band @ the Stillwater Fine Art & Music Festival, Lowell Park, Stillwater. Noon – 5pm (Free) From Noon to 2pm you can catch Paul Mayasich & the RAMM band playing a mix of rock n’ roll, blues, and R&B. From 3pm to 5pm the well-seasoned and entertaining 617 Band will take the stage with it’s jazzy blues, rock, and originals, all designed to put some bump in your rump.

Michael Johnson CD Release @ Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hopkins. 8pm ($24) Johnson recently moved back to the Metro area after years of living in Nashville. The singer/songwriter know for Bluer Than Blue, Give Me Wings, and This Night Won’t last forever is releasing his first CD in 15 years – Moonlit Deja Vu. Backing musicians include Marc Anderson on percussion, Gordy Johnson on bass, and Maude Hixson on vocals, along with a few others.

Septeto Nacional de Ignacio Pineiro @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) This Son group originated in Cuba in 1927, and was instrumental in popularizing the Son song form. A quick listen to recent albums reveals the latest incarnation of this group to be in fine form. If the Dakota doesn’t make some room to dance, I expect that some swaying hips may be moving tables out of the way.

Tuesday, Wednesday, October 9, 10

Don’t You Feel My Leg

Maria Muldaur & Her Bluesiana Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) 9pm ($25) Though known for Midnight at the Oasis from the 70s, Muldaur can convincingly sing in a number of styles, from big bands to jug bands, from Peggy Lee to Bessie Smith. Tonight, she’s exploring the blues as she tours behind a new album, First Came Memphis Minnie.

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.


%d bloggers like this: