Longer Days, Night Time Music: 2.27 – 3.5

February 27, 2013

 

Soon to be a memory, we hope.

Soon to be a memory, we hope.

Gosh, February has just sped past. Spring (well the vernal equinox) is about three weeks away and the days are definitely getting longer. As usual, we have a fine selection of music to lift us up. But you need to get out for that to happen. Have a fun week.

Jazz

Wednesday, February 27

Vital Organ @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm (No Cover) Zacc Harris on guitar, Jason Croft, on organ, and Pete Hennig on drums provide the sometimes greasy, always creative sounds. Vocalist Katie Gearty‘s soulful vocals add just the right touch.

Valve Meet Slide @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm. ($5) Could it be that the trombone doesn’t get enough respect? Check out this group, featuring Brad Bellows on valve trombone and Dave Graf on slide, and you’ll be mightily impressed. Tonight they’re playing the music of Bob Brookmyer, from the 50s and 60s. Other members of the group are Chris Lomheim, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Mac Santiago on drums.

Thursday, February 28

John Devine & Friends @ Loring Pasta Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm (free) Adventurous, passionate, and highly inventive, Devine is a sax player to be reckoned with, and he always has a fine group of friends to match his talents.

Illicit Sextet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) A group, or collective, if you will, of composers, all creating pieces inspired by hard bop groups of the mid-20th Century. It’s a talented group of musicians: Paul Harper, sax; Steve Kenny, trumpet; David Roos, guitar; Chris Lomheim, piano; Tom Pieper, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums. Check out this video from a couple of years ago:

Friday, March 1

Tim Patrick & his Blue Eyes Band @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($?) Shades of Sinatra, and the rest of the Rat Pack. Like Ol’ Blue Eyes, Patrick has a comfortable way with swingin’ songs, and a ten-piece brassy band to swing the songs with verve and panache.

Friday, Saturday, March 1,2

Chris Bates’ Red5 @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Chris released the only jazz CD to make the 2021 top ten list put together by the music pooh-bahs of the local dailies. It’s full of Chris’ good tunes and exemplary playing from Zack Lozier, trumpet; Chris Thomson tenor and soprano sax; Brandon Wozniak, tenor and alto sax and brother JT on drums rounds out the group. Fans of Star Wars will get the connection. Here’s a video.

Saturday, March 2

James Wallace @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 10pm (Free) Jimmyapolis, as he is sometimes known, brings his warm tenor sax to Red Stag, home of truffled popcorn and other late-nite delights to go with Jimmy & his excellent little band.

Sunday, March 3

Phil Grenadier, with the Dakota Combo and MacPhail Faculty (Adam Linz, and JT Bates) @ MacPhail Center for Music, 501 S. 2nd St, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20/$15 Seniors) This concert is the culmination of a day long festival and workshops for high school combos. For the first set, trumpeter Grenadier, who has appeared on 50 CDs, will be playing with the Dakota Combo, an open-audition group of eight HS students who have been studying under Adam Linz since the beginning of the school year. Then Grenadier will play with MacPhail faculty, including Adam Linz on bass, and JT Bates on drums. I’m guessing that Bryan Nichols may be on keys, since he’s on the faculty, and will be among those conducting workshops.

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.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Thursday, February 28

DownloadedFileSavanna & the Saviors @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip jar) Pay no attention to the fact that Savanna has been called one of the sexiest singers in the Twin Cities. Concentrate instead on her voice, which is soulful, and her trio, which gives her a firm foundation for her growls, moans, and rock n’ roll singing.

Papa John Kolstad and Rena Haus @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8pm (tip jar) It’s one of Papa John’s Acoustic Blues Nights, and he’s brought the extraordinarily talented singer & songwriter Ms Haus along for the evening. With Papa John on six and twelve-string, and Rena on her own acoustic guitar, it should be an evening of warmth, humor, and terrific playing and singing.

Friday, March 1

Lucy Kaplansky, Claudia Schmidt, & Heather Masse @ O’Shaugnessy Auditorium, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($18-$35) It’s the 30th Anniversary of Red House, and they’re celebrating in style with the concert featuring three outstanding artists. Kaplansky was part of the Greenwich Village folk Renaissance back in the day, and since 1994 has released a six albums with Red House. Schmidt was one of the first on Red House and has long been a folk music favorite around the country. She’s even successfully sung jazz. Masse is known as a singer with the Wailin Jennys, and has recently released a jazz album with Dick Hyman. Quite the celebration.

Hounds of Finn CD Release Party @ Crooked Pint Ale House, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Irish music with a folk-rock attitude, and American roots music with an Irish attitude. The Hounds are: Leslie Rich, who is originally from Belfast, and contributes vocals, guitar, bousouki, and much of the groups’ songwriting; Michelle MacGregor, fiddle, Pete McCauley, who has also recorded a couple of solo CDs, and brings vocals, mandolin, & guitar to the group; and David Draeger, of the Irish Brigade, who plays the drum-like bodhran and percussion. The Hounds are on at 9, followed by guests Reina del Cid and the Cidizens. Here are the Hounds performing the title track from the new CD.

Hotpants East @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul 10pm (No cover) The Hotpants deejays bring their rare soul and funk 45s to the Amsterdam for your dancing pleasure.

Melody & the Dramatics @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) Slightly sultry, always creative, Melody Mendis, leader of the group, does a great job of making other songs her own, from Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You,” to Gloria Jones’ “Tainted Love,” to favorites from Motown and 80s New Wave.

Saturday, March 2

imagesHoney Island Swamp Band @ Famous Dave’s, Uptown Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) These four musicians from New Orleans got together when they were in San Francisco after Katrina, and decided to play their own brand of swamp music encompassing the classic country of folks like George Jones, as well as the R&B of New Orleans, and the blues of the Delta. The result drips and oozes with an undercurrent of wariness, if not dread. It’s been described as “Bayou Americana,” which is as good a description as any.

Monday, March 4

Reina del Cid & the Cidizens @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul 9pm (tip jar) This is a singer and a group to watch. Reina crafts terrific songs, and the Cidizens include a female guitar player that improves by leaps and bounds with every show – in fact her solos are becoming crowd favorites.

Tuesday, March 5

Paul Metsa and Willie Walker @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 7-9pm (tip jar) Paul and Willie Walker have been doing a number of gigs together. They’re always comfortable affairs, with Paul supplying guitar and Willie putting his heart on the line as only a soul singer can do. Just made for a cozy spot like 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.


A Winter for dancing. Music: 2.20 – 2.26

February 20, 2013
Yeah, it's corny, but the message is true.

Yeah, it’s corny, but the message is true.

We’ve got more music for dancing this week, as well as a free concert from Bill Frisell, interesting roots music, and visiting artists from New Orleans and California. Get out and enjoy live music. And don’t forget to bring dancing shoes.

Jazz

Thursday, February 21

Sue Oatts & Tanner Taylor @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm (donation) Back in 2006, vocalist Oatts released a fine CD entitled Back Home, though she was going by the name Sue Tucker at the time. She’s got a winning way with standards and lesser known tunes, and with Tanner Taylor on piano, should provide a delightful evening of song.

Friday, February 22

Bill Frisell @ Janet Wallace Auditorium, Macalester College, Saint Paul. 8pm (Free!) That’s right, the genre-crossing, inventive guitarist will be appearing at Macalester and it’s open to the public. Get there early. A parking lot is right next to the auditorium.

imagesSophia Shorai w/dVRG, Ben Kelly, + Alex Young @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm Shorai‘s being backed by Devon Gray, keyboard player for Hieruspecs, and a couple of other young musicians who will make your trip to the near NE worth your while. Of course Shorai’s honey-sweet vocals, would make it worth your while without any backing.

Friday, Saturday, February 22, 23

Estaire Godinez @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) It’s only a matter of time before some climate change storm of epic proportions is named after percussionist/vocalist Godinez.  Whether she’s singing a smoldering bossa or high-energy R&B, Ms Godinez can raise temperatures and create a whirlwind of sound. She’s recorded on over sixty albums and has held down stints with Prince, the Brothers Johnson, George Benson and Pete Escovedo.  Though this video shows her at the Dakota, you’ll have to go to Saint Paul to hear here this weekend.

Saturday, February 23

Arne Fogel, Maude Hixson, and the Rick Carlson Trio @ The Schneider Theater, Bloomington. 7:30pm ($22 Adults.$16 Students) Fred Astaire & the Songwriters. Fogel, Hixson and Carlson. More powerful than a legal team. More subtle than an accounting office. When combined with songs sung by Fred Astaire, the results will be sublime.

Sunday, February 24

Charmin MIchele w/Twin City Seven @ First Unitarian Society of Minnesota, 900 Mount Curve Ave, Minneapolis. 2-4pm (donations welcome) As part of Black History Month, the society is featuring Michele & the group highlighting the life and work of Billie Holiday. It’s nigh impossible to find a better interpreter than this group to present Ms Holiday’s work.

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.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, February 20

Treehouse on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (kfai – 90.3, 106.7), 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – tip jar) I’ll be subbing for Harold on the House Party this afternoon, and hosting this new trio of talented veterans. Chris Johnson is a first call bassist and vocalist for many of the blues bands in town. He’s also a first-rate whistler. Cathy Mosher sings, yodels, plays the tin whistle,  and is a caller for square and contra dances. Jim Ouska is a versatile guitarist who is equally at home in R&B, rock, folk, and jazz. He received a jazz composers grant from the Dayton Hudson Foundation in 1999, and has recorded three CDs of original music. Catch them live on KFAI and head over to the 331 Club if you like what you hear.

Blackberry Brandy Boys @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30 ($6) A relatively new group featuring eight players and eight vocalists doing Cosmic Cowboy music, incorporating all kinds of music from the mid-twentieth century, and imbuing them with sometimes a pinch, and sometimes a ladle, of C&W seasoning. Think of what the Flying Burritto Brothers were doing.

Thursday, February 21

images-2Acoustic Hot Tuna @ Mill City Nights, Minneapolis. 7pm ($34) Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Cassady started playing together when they were teenagers, and were an integral part of Jefferson Airplane’s heyday in the late 60s and early 70s. They started Hot Tuna as a side project, releasing their first album in 1970. Twenty-five years later, they’re still at it, playing the blues they love.

Friday, February 22

Davina & the Vagabonds @ Crooked Pint Ale House, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10?) When Davina sings, everybody listens, or dances, or shouts. You can’t ignore her, or the Vagabonds, and frankly, you’ll have no interest in doing so. Don’t try to cross the dance floor, you won’t make it.

Willie Walker Band @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 10pm ($?) Go through the closet and get out those dancing shoes, cause Willie Walker’s soulful singing will have you dancing slow, fast, and in-between on the MMC’s commodious dance floor.

Saturday, February 23

Firefly Forest @ The Beat Coffeehouse, 1414 West 28th Street, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) Firefly Forest is a quartet led by keyboard player Steven Hobert. They create whimsical, and often ethereal tunes that perfectly fit their name. Other members of the band include Josh Granowski on upright bass, Nathan Burdick on guitar & keys, and Jeff Schraw on percussion. Opening act is Kalispell, a traditional group from Eau Claire that isn’t afraid to use brass or elements of electronic music in their tunes.

SlovCzech @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Hmm, here’s a group that brings you the sounds of eastern and central europe by taking traditional folk songs and reformulating them into modern high-energy melodic sounds. They play many Czech, Slovak, and gypsy flavored songs, including a few Celtic inspired tunes. Sounds like the kind of music that will have folks moving tables out of the way to dance.

images-3New Orleans Suspects @ Whiskey Junction, Minnapolis. 9pm ($20) This quintet is led by musicians who were an integral part of many bands you know and love from New Orleans. Drummer Mean Willie Green has played with the Nevilles since the 1980s; Reggie Scanlan played bass with the Radiators for thirty-three years; Jake Eckert played guitar with the Dirty Dozen; CR Gruver plays piano as inspired by James Booker and organ as inspired by Art Neville; and saxophonist Jeff Watkins led the James Brown band for a dozen years. Sounds like a good time to me.

Monday, February 25

Cactus Blossoms @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5) Classic country with brotherly harmonies. All you need is saw-dust on the floor, though that generally doesn’t stop folks from waltzing or two-stepping on the Turfs dancefloor.

Tuesday, February 26

Eric Bibb & Habib Koite: Brothers in Bamako @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Bib has been to town before. He’s a fine acoustic bluesman, equal parts storyteller, singer, and fingerpicker. Koite is a superstar in Mali, and has been featured in Rolling Stone, People, the New York Times and Vanity Fair. Koite’s hypnotic guitar playing is perfectly paired with Bibb’s fingerpicking and singing. Check out a video of the two of them.

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.


Romance and Dance. Music: 2.13 – 2.19

February 13, 2013
Ten Cents a Dance is a song from the Jazz Ballet. See the listing.

Ten Cents a Dance is a song from the Jazz Ballet. See the listing.

Well, Easter is now forty days away, so we’ve reason to take a breath and appreciate the relative mildness of our winter to date. We can also get out to enjoy resident and visiting artists, as well as a jazz ballet and one more Carnaval celebration. Not to forget Valentine’s Day, for which I’ve listed a couple of low-key shows. There’s lots more than I’ve listed, of course, but you know that.

Jazz

Wednesday, February 13

James Buckley & Bryan Nichols @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Buckley on bass & Nichols on piano will provide the perfect background for dining at the original Cafe Maude. These stellar musicians are highly creative improvisers who keep things interesting and sensitive. Reservations are recommended. Ask for a table near the music.

DownloadedFile-1Boot Camp @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Composer/pianist Jeremy Walker, aka Boot, is joined by Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris Bates, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. Walker’s beautiful compositions are in good hands with this group.

Wednesday, Thursday, February 13, 14

Stacey Kent @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($25) Wednesday, 6pm (+ $65 – Valentines Dinner Show), 9:30pm ($25) The New York vocalist from England is really quite a good choice for Valentine’s Day. Her winsome persona belies sophisticated phrasing and a romantic bent that can melt hearts. If you want to see her at the early show on Thursday, you’ll have to buy a six-course dinner, but then what is Valentine’s Day, if not a day to splurge. Here’s a video of Stacey singing in French.

Thursday, February 14

Valentine’s Treat with Lila Ammons & Phil Mattson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($10) Light food available. BYOB. As  I may have mentioned, Phil has been partnering with many singers lately, to good effect. Tonight, it’s Lila Ammons, the classically trained vocalist who has moved to jazz and blues. And no wonder, given that Albert Ammons was her grandfather, and Gene Ammons was her uncle.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, February 14, 15, 16, 17

living2-682x1024Jazz Ballet: Lot of Living to Do @ The Southern Theater, Minneapolis. 7:30pm, Thurs – Sat,  2pm Sunday ($25 – $15 for Thursday’s preview) There are many reasons to attend to this production of Collide Theatrical, which follows the lives of 3 women in a brothel in the 30s. For jazz fans, the music will be performed live by three talented musicians: Dan Musselman, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass, and Pete Hennig on drums. Additionally, soulful songstress Katie Gearty will sing the songs used to propel the story forward, including such gems as Ten Cents a Dance, and I Put a Spell on you. A CD of her songs will be available at the show. She’ll be joined as well by vocalist Jared Oxborough. For Dance fans, the chance to see 12 dancers bringing life to a difficult subject is compelling. Finally, this production seeks to raise awareness for “Women are Not for Sale,” a project of the Women’s Foundation that seeks to end trafficking of Minnesota girls. There will be a talkback after the Sunday matinee performance. I had a chance to interview the Director/Choreographer Regina Peluso and Katie Gearty on my show this past Saturday. You can hear the interview here. It starts about 15 minutes into the show.

Friday, Saturday, February 15, 16

Bill Carrothers’ After Hours Trio @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Carrothers returns to his home town for this annual tribute to his friend, the late pianist Bobby Peterson. This is a show that Twin Cities jazz fans eagerly anticipate. Carrothers has been receiving glowing reviews for his sensitive and beautiful piano work on recent CDs. He’ll be joined by Billy Peterson on bass, and Kenny Horst on drums. Here is Carrothers playing solo at the AQ a few years ago.

Saturday, February 16

Pat Moriarty/Ellen Lease Quintet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10/$5 sutdents) Ellen Lease, piano; Pat Moriarty, alto sax; Phil Hey, drums; Chris Thomsen, tenor and soprano saxes; Jeff Bailey, bass.  2nd floor of the Northwestern Bldg., next to the Farmer’s Market. Pat and Ellen being the optimistic folks they are, recognize that the sun is shining more each day, and that Spring is not too far away, so this is their Farewell to Winter Concert.

DownloadedFileTodd Clouser’s A Love Electric CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($8) Genre-fusing guitarist Clouser is full of ideas, and he has to get them out. Even with a touring schedule that takes him to the East Coast, Mexico, and Europe, the adventurous guitarist has recorded his third CD in as many years. This time he’s added his vocals to the mix, with results that are a bit more rock than usual, but nevertheless exciting, and intriguing.

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.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, February 13

Phil Heywood on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI – 90.3 & 106.7 FM) 7pm (331 Club – tip jar) As Harold say, “You know the drill.” Tune in to KFAI at about 5pm to hear Phil Heywood do some amazing fingerpickin’ and then head over the 331 to hear him in person.

Thursday, February 14

Music for Lovers by Lovers @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15 single/$25 per couple) A darkened room, and loving couples performing for you. Plus you get a glass of wine and chocolate tasting. The couples are: Andrew Pierzina & Audra Suchy, Joe Cruz & Jennifer Grimm; Billy Larson  & Lisa Wenger, Estibaliz and Tony Price, and Tamara and Phil Barnett. From blues to pop to jazz.

Friday, February 15

Mingo Fishtrap @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Lots of buzz among the blues fans in town over this gig. Mingo Fishtrap is an 8 piece band from Austin, Texas, that draws upon Chess, Motown, Stax, and Muscle Shoals for its inspiration. Those who have already seen them rave. Here’s a number from them.

Friday, Saturday, February 15, 16

Kelly Hunt @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) The piano pounder from Kansas City is back with her sass, sensuous voice, and grit. She loves the Dakota, and now has a five-piece touring band, which should be smokin’.

Let the samba dancing begin

Let the samba dancing begin

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, February 15, 16, 17

Carnaval Brasileiro @ Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm Fri, Sat, (21+ $20/door, $15 advance), 2pm Sun ($15/door/$10 advance) Okay, Mardis Gras and Carnaval have passed, but it’s not too late to enjoy the sounds of a 10-piece Brazilian Carnaval Band, Batucada do Norte, Samba Dancers, and Brazilian food and drinks.

Saturday, February 16

Nikki & the Rue-Mates and Jeff Ray & Hurricane Harold @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Here’s a two-fer that I find especially appealing. Jeff Ray & Hurricane Harold start at 7pm, bringing stomping Hill Country blues with a touch Dylan and the Dead. Nikki & the Rue-Mates take the stage at 9pm with a mix of folk-rock and blues, driven by Nikki’s buoyant voice and Rich Rue’s expressive guitar.

They've got ants in their pants and they need to dance.

They’ve got ants in their pants and they need to dance. The Hotpants Crowd

Hotpants Dance Party @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm – 2am ($5) Rare funk n’ soul. People dancing their hearts out. Generous list of tap beers. Need I say more?

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.


Comin’ Up on Fat Tuesday. Music: 2/6 – 2.12

February 6, 2013
A classic album from The Wild Tchoupitoulas, a Mardis Gras Indian tribe in New Orleans

A classic album from The Wild Tchoupitoulas, a Mardis Gras Indian tribe in New Orleans

We’re coming up on Fat Tuesday, which means many are looking for Mardis Gras shows before they calm down for Lent. Or maybe folks just want another reason to party. Anyway, I’ve listed a couple, and there’ll be at least one Brazilian style Carnaval next weekend. But right now, you have lots of music for the week. Have fun!

Jazz

Wednesday, February 6

Connie Evingson @ The Women’s Club Lounge, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm. ($10) Tanner Taylor on piano, and Dave Karr on sax will accompany Ms Evingson in the cozy confines of the Women’s Club Lounge. Open to non-members. Cocktails and appetizers are available.

DownloadedFileEvan Montgomery Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($7) Evan Montgomery is a guitarist who uses clean lines and a fertile imagination to create original music as well as arrangement of Radiohead covers, Bill Frisell tunes, and others. Expect some guitar fireworks as he is joined by Park Evans, another creative guitarist. Other members of the quintet are Adam Meckler, trumpet; Matt Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums.

Thursday, February 7

Fuzzy Math @ 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($6) The 318 Cafe is a cozy space, with room for about 40 people or so. It’s a bit of a trip to get out there if you’re a city-dweller, but omnivorous music fans who find their way to Excelsior will be rewarded with jazz-oriented music that has swing, funk, and latin influences.

Photo of Phil by Andrea Canter

Photo of Phil by Andrea Canter

Phil Hey Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5,  2-4-1 cover after 11pm) Simply the best jazz ensemble in town. Their repertoire includes tunes by Bobby Hutcherson, Ornette Coleman, Mingus, and Trane. It’s heady music by veterans who could swing the National Anthem, if called upon. The ringleader is Phil Hey on drums, with significant contributions by Dave Hagedorn on vibes, Phil Aaron on piano, and Tom Lewis on bass.

Friday, Saturday, February 8,9

Bryan Nichols Trio @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Includes the Bates Brothers Pianist/composer/teacher Nichols creates intriguing tunes and improvisations. Tonight he’s joined by Chris Bates on bass, and JT Bates on drums. This combination is a good at communicating as any trio, creating lots of unexpected twists and turns.

Patty Peterson & Friends @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10  )  Patty is bringing along special guests Steve Cole on sax and Ricky Peterson on B3, not to mention regular friends including Paul Peterson on bass,  Billy Franze on guitar, and Bobby Vandell on drums. Patty is just as likely to dip into an R&B mode as jazz, but it’s all good, as they say. Given the venue, I’m sure some tunes will provoke dancing.

Saturday, February 9

Thomson Harris Collective @ Studio Z, Lowertown Saint Paul. 5pm Workshop (Free), 7pm Performance ($10) Chris Thomson on sax, and Zacc Harris, guitar, are collaborating on a new group, which includes a rotating cast of rhythm players, which tonight includes two younger players, Brian Courage on bass and Miguel Hurtado on drums. Thomson will hold a free workshop at 5pm on Melody Matters: the Common Pitfalls of Jazz Improvisation. Attendees get $2 off the 7pm show.

Monday, February 11

Dave Graf Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapols. 8:30pm (Donation) Dave Graf is one of the premier trombone players in town. His warm, burnished sound is equally at home in Latin, jazz, or show settings. He’ll be accompanied by Chris Lomheim, piano; Matt Peterson, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums. The results are sure to be uplifitng.

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…

Thursday, February 7

Jack Klatt Send-off and CD Release @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5:30pm – 7:30pm Klatt is going South on a solo tour for many months, but before he does, he’ll be picking up copies of his new solo CD and playing at the Dubliner, along with his pal Mikkel Beckman on washboard. Expect some blues, rags, early Americana, and maybe a bit of swing.

Medicinal Jazz Band @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (Tip Jar) Jazz, Klezmer, and Dixieland from Noah Strom on accordion and keys and Sam Ryan on guitars and vocals.

Friday, February 8

The Valdons doing their thing

The Valdons doing their thing

Funk & Soul All-Stars and Derobe Dance Band @ Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($10) The Secret Stash Records guys are upping the ante, bringing out the Funk & Soul All-Stars one more time, featuring Maurice Jacox and the Valdons. The Derobe Dance Band is another Secret Stash band, playing danceable Afrobeat rhythms. After the reception that the All-Stars got a the Current shindig at First Avenue, it’s expected there will be a crowd, and the folks at the Icehouse are taking the chairs and tables out, so be forewarned.

Paul Cebar @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) The Dance-Happy folks who’ve been following Paul for twenty years along with new converts, will turn Lee’s dance floor into a writhing mass of joy.

Saturday, February 9

Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders CD & Vinyl Release Party @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($6) The new album of all-original tunes was recorded in the hayloft of a barn in St. Francis, and the acoustics perfectly fit Crankshaft’s rockin’ roots/blues. A couple of tunes feature horns, giving them a New Orleans vibe. Kudos to Crankshaft and his Gear Grinders, Keith Boyles on bass and Pete Hennig on drums.

Monday, February 11

Vusi Mahlasela @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) He’s simply known as “The Voice” in his home country of South Africa. At times you can hear sweet traces of Sam Cooke, though Vusi has his own take, which includes optimistic, and sometimes intense readings of songs about liberation and freedom. Here’s a video of one of his songs.

Tuesday, February 12

Down in New Orleans

Down in New Orleans

Jack Brass Band @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm. (Tip Jar)  It’s Fat Tuesday, traditionally the final night of Mardis Gras as folks do the last of their celebrating before Lent begins. The Amsterdam not only has JBB, a too-much-fun group that marched in a New Orleans Mardis Gras parade this year, but they’ll be serving Abita Beer, from Louisiana, and they’ll have a crawfish boil as well.

Sixth Annual Mardis Gras @ the Eagles Club, Minneapolis. 7pm – 11pm. ($12) In the other half of the Twin Cities, you can celebrate Fat Tuesday with four bands covering the whole spectrum of Louisiana music as well as Cajun Cuisine. In order of appearance, you get The Faux Playboys, Mister Rowles, The Southside Aces, and the always Rockin’ Pinecones.

Paul Collins’ Beat @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) If you aren’t looking for a Mardis Gras celebration, you want to check out the American rock and power pop of Paul Collin’s Beat. Collins started The Beat in Los Angeles back in the late 70s, and resurrected the band as the Paul Collins’ Beat in 2006. With the Magnolias and the Pinsch.

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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