Ah, the third week in January in Minnesota, when you can always depend on it to be very, very cold. As always, there is way more music than I could possibly highlight this week, though I’ve got a few for you to consider, including visits by a giant of jazz and a pop star with more connections than Forest Gump.
If you plan on being in downtown Saint Paul this weekend, note that the Red Bull Crashed Ice craziness is taking place and the Winter Carnival is beginning. About 80,000 people or more are expected to attend the Crashed Ice event around the Cathedral Saturday, so you will have to plan your evening and parking accordingly. Even Friday will be crowded, though not as much. Don’t let it dissuade you from enjoying what Saint Paul has to offer. That said, the temperatures will be climbing by the weekend, and we won’t have this old-time sub-zero weather to complain and/or brag about. Get out and about. BTW, scroll down after this week’s previews and you can read my review of the 2nd show by Prince at the Dakota last week. Have a good week
Wednesday, January 23
Wolverines Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (Free) The talented and versatile combination of Rick Carlson, piano; Keith Boyles, bass; and Jendeen Forberg, drums, keep you entertained with tasty licks and a firm foundation.
Miguel Hurtado Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Miguel is the recent grad of Manhattan School of Music who’s returned to town and has been drumming with a variety of veterans and leading his own group.
Thursday, January 24
Emily Davis & Robert Bell @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (Free) Vocalist Davis is a fan of standards as well as newer sounds from the likes of Madeline Peyroux and Diana Krall. Guitarist Bell is busy around town in bands like the Twin City Hot Club and Southside Aces, and accompanying vocalists. Sounds like a swinging combination.
Friday, January 25
Kenny Horst Birthday Bash @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Kenny is 70. Who knew? He’s such a dynamo on the drums, and does such a good job at managing the AQ that it’s hard to believe. He’s been a major presence in town since he first picked up the sticks many years ago, and has formed long-time musical partnerships with folks like Jack McDuff, Irv Williams, Billy Peterson, and Bobby Lyle. He’s also toured with Al Hirt and Mose Allison, and has a long-time friendship with Roy Haynes. No word on who will appear, and what stories will be told, but expect a plethora of Twin Cities jazz artists to celebrate Kenny and his contributions to the Twin Cities music scene.
Friday, Saturday, January 25, 26
Baroque n’ Jazz @ Patrick’s Cabaret, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20 adults/$15 seniors/$5 students) Here’s an interesting presentation by the Bach Society of Minnesota. A quartet from the Bach Society, and a modern jazz trio are both performing. Baroque music from Paul Boehnke, harpsichord; Mary Burke, viola da gamba; Jin Kim, baroque violin; and Carrie Henneman Shaw, soprano. Framework, featuring Chris Olson, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums, will provide the jazz. What an opportunity to compare and contrast styles of music.
Saturday, Sunday, January 26, 27
24th Annual Century College Jazz Festival, w/Ed Calle @ Century College, White Bear Lake. 8pm Saturday, 3pm Sunday ($20) This time the 17-piece Century Jazz Ensemble has brought in Venezuelan-born saxophonist Ed Calle to play with them. Calle has operated out of Miami for the past 25 years, appearing on thousands of recordings, including grammy winning records by Sinatra, Arturo Sandoval, and Jon Secada, and adding his Latin/jazz sax to performances with Rhianna, Gloria Estefan, Julio Eglesias, and Bobby Caldwell, among others. Charmin & Shapira & Friends will perform at each event’s reception, from 6:45 – 7:45pm Saturday, and 1:45 – 2:45 Sunday.
Sunday, Monday, January 27, 28
Dave Holland Quintet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45), 9pm ($35) Bassist Holland is one of the few players today who can rightfully be called a master of modern jazz. Starting in the 60s, when he played with Miles Davis on Davis’ electric projects, through stints with Anthony Braxton and Sam Rivers, and on to leading a variety of configurations of his own groups, Holland has been an exemplar of the curious, exploring jazz man. His outstanding quintet includes: Mark Turner, saxophones; Robin Eubanks, trombone; Steve Nelson, vibes, and Nate Smith, drums. Not to be missed.
Tuesday, January 29
Jose James @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($20) Minneapolis-born James has been making quite the name for himself as a jazz singer, with a smooth baritone that sometimes brings to mind Kurt Elling and/or Bill Withers. Though he grew up with jazz in his household, he’s also a part of the hip-hop generation and uses hip-hop tools to broaden his palette, as on his latest album, No Beginning No End. DJ Brian Engel will warm up the crowd with his own blend of jazz, funk, and rare soul. Here’s James performing something from the new album on Letterman recently.
Dean Magraw & Friends @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) I’ve often spoken of the wizardry of guitarist Magraw in these missives. To say he’s versatile is an understatement, as he’s highly conversant in world music, Irish music, jazz, and blues. He’s played with many different artists in town, and it’s not known just who will show up. Even if it’s just Dean and a rhythm section, there will be music that’s both explosive and sublime.
Roots, Blues, Other…
Thursday, January 24
Papa John Kolstad & Hurricane Harold @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) It’s another one of Papa John’s acoustic blues nights, this time featuring harpmaster Harold Tremblay as the foil to John’s singing and guitar playing. Great atmosphere, decent food, good beverage selection. Bring an ID if you want an adult beverage – everybody gets carded.
Rockin’ Pinecones @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Get warmed up for Mardis Gras next month with the Cajun/Zydeco sounds of the Pinecones, led by uber-accordionist Dan Newton.
Dee Miller Band @ Narrows Blues Saloon, Navarre. 8pm (No Cover) Over in the West metro area, blues fans get to hear the Duchess of the Blues belt it out. Lately, Jimmy “Prime Time” Smith has been adding his incisive guitar licks to mix. He’s a good match for Dee’s authoritative singing.
Friday, January 25
Vicky Emerson & Mother Banjo dual CD Release Party @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Emerson is an Americana artist with a gift for writing passionate, poetic lyrics, influenced, no doubt, by the fact that she grew up on a farm. Check out her website for examples of her talent. Mother Banjo’s new release is an Americana/gospel affair produced by Steve Kaul and showcasing her talented five piece band.
The Senders @ Sherwood Lounge, 1418 White Bear Avenue, Saint Paul. 9pm Looking for Jump Blues and 50s R&B – the stuff that inspires you to swing dance? Look no further. The Senders have been at it for over 20 years, and still sound fresh.
Joe & Vicki Price @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Everybody’s favorite Iowa Blues Duo is back in town, bringing their stripped-down, original blues to South Minneapolis.
Saturday, January 26
Choro Borealis @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Before Bossa Nova, and before the Samba, Brazil had the Choro (pronounced SHOW-roo). Influenced by both Africa and Europe, this highly rhythmic music is still popular in Brzil and beyond. Choro Borealis is a trio of highly regarded musicians, all of whom have been active in the area for many years. Robert Everest plays 7-string guitar, vocals, and cavaquinho, Pat O’Keefe plays B-flat Clarinet, bass clarinet, and percussion, and Tim O’Keefe rounds out the group on mandolin, cavaquinho, and percussion.
Malamanya EP Release Party @ Whiskey Junction, Minneapolis. 9pm (Free) The Cuban-Salsa dance band that could is releasing an EP and celebrating at the Junction, not exactly the place you’d expect, but it has a dance floor, lots of room, and a good selection of adult beverages.
Tuesday, January 29
Peter Asher @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40-$45) This is not your usual concert. It’s more of a memoir, and includes lots of story-telling. Asher‘s sister had a boyfriend who happened to be Paul McCartney, who wrote World without Love for Asher’s group ,Peter and Gordon. The rest is history. He owned an art gallery that was showing the work of Yoko Ono, and introduced her to his pal John. He’s been at the nexus of a rarified atmosphere of rock n’ roll stars, and has produced folks such as James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Diana Ross, Carole King, Bonnie Raitt,and 10,000 Maniacs. He’s written for movies and has been music director for a number of prestigious award shows. Asher will be telling his story in song and images.