Music: 4.24 – 4.30

April 24, 2013
What is that in the sky?

What is that in the sky?

A couple of renowned hometown heros – jazz pianist Craig Taborn and alt-country artists Gary Louris – are gracing our stages this week. We’ve also got the first real promise of 70 degree weather for the weekend, so you can celebrate by going out and about. The Saint Paul Art Crawl is also this weekend, so you can immerse yourself in both visual and performing arts. Have a good week.


Wednesday, April 24

Firebell @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30 (donation) Park Evans, guitar, Graydon Peterson, bass,a nd Jay Epstein, drums, create swinging, 21st Century jazz.

Miguel Hurtado & Friends @ the Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Hurtado is a talented young drummer who’s been playing around town since he was a teen, and more recently, since graduating from the Manhattan School of Music. He’s played with Jeremy Walker in Boot Camp, and has appeared with Davina & the Vagabonds, John Raymond, and other verteran and up and coming artists. Tonight he leads his own ensemble in jazz standards and more.

Thursday, April 25

Improvestra @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Large ensemble improvisation from a group that includes some Black Dog regulars, as well as MacNally Smith students, facult, alumni, and a few exceptional high school students.

Rhonda Laurie & Robert Bell @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm (Donation) One voice. One guitar. Bell’s guitar playing is a perfect match for the softly swinging Ms Laurie.

Friday, April 26

The African Jazz Trio, featuring the Akou Brothers @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Guitarst Lobe Akou and bassist Serge Akou bring together African rhythms and jazz sensibility. Lobe’s highly melodic guitar playing is pushed along by the polyrhythms of Serge’s bass and Kevin Washington’s drums, for an exciting fusion of sounds.

Craig Taborn @ the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) This is a show that has the jazz community abuzz. After growing up in Golden Valley, where he was quickly recognized for his skill and imagination at the piano, Taborn has been garnering much well-deserved attention and high profile gigs in New York. He’ll be doing a solo turn with music from his 2011 album Avenging Angel, and will also perform with his trio – Gerald Clever, drums; Thomas Morgan, bass. Junk Magic – another of Dave King’s groups – will also perform. Here’s a video of his incredible solo playing.

Saturday, April 27

Eric Marienthal

Eric Marienthal

JazzMN Orchestra with Eric Marienthal @ Hopkins HS Center for Performing Arts, 2400 Lindberg Dr, Minnetonka. 7:30pm ($29, $33, $10 – student rush) Grammy winner Marienthal has 13 albums as a leader, and countless others as a sideman, including a number with Chick Corea’s Elektric Band, and work supporting Ramsey Lewis, BB King, Barbra Streisand, Stevie Wonder, and others. The JazzMN Orchestra is always a delight.

Insurgent @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Extended improvisations from Pat Moriarty, alto sax; Ellen Lease, piano; and Phil Hey, drums. These three musicians have been plying the high-wire act of free improvisation for many, many years. Their resulting ability to anticipate and respond to each other is as equally responsible for the brilliance of their music as their talents. Here’s a video from their performance at Studio Z a few years back.

Sunday, April 28

imagesJazz Noir: Charles & Avon @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 5pm and 8pm. The 8pm performance will be broadcast and streamed on KBEM. This is a radio drama that takes place during the 20s in the Rondo neighborhood. Music is written by George Maurer, and will be played by Maurer, piano; Soloman Parham, trumpet; Chris Bates, bass; and Pete Hennig, percussion and banjo. More information and tickets are available here.

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…

Friday, April 26

Lamont Cranston @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm ($?) Here’s a way to get an early start on your weekend blues. Pay Hayes and the guys have been around for oh, so long, inspiring the Blues Brothers, opening for Bonnie Raitt, etc., etc., and put out a new CD last fall. Boogie Woogie, Chicago Blues, it’s all music that will make you move.

The Henchmen @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 9pm Mike Goldberg (Captain Mike & Other bands) has come up with another power pop group. If you love ringing guitars, clever wordsmithing, and three part harmonies, you will want to check out this group.

Charles Lawson’s Group @ Palmers, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($? – maybe a Tip Jar) Charles Lawson serves as guitarist/ringleader of this collection of ace blues artists from the Twin Cities. John Franken and Dan Schwalbe, guitars; Loren Dwyer, bass; Curtis Blake, harp; Max Ray, sax; Greg Chuck, drums.

Saturday, April 27

Galactic Cowboys

Galactic Cowboys

Sol Bock Revival @ Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. 2pm – 9pm. With the weekend forecast calling for the 70s, the warehouse/stage door  of Harriet Brewing will be opening, allowing people to taste a new brew while listening to music. Things get started at 2pm with singer/songwriter Dan Israel. Frogleg, a improvisation rock band, hits the stage at 3:30. Ace guitarist and country singer Erik Koskinen follows at 5:30, with the Galactic Cowboy Orchestra closing things off at 8pm.

Ray Bonneville @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Bonneville had the most played song among folk deejays in 2009 (I Am the Big Easy), and won the solo turn at the 2012 International Blues Challenge. With a smoky voice, haunting harp, and greasy guitar, the Red House Records artist pulls you into his songs. The under appreciated Jon Rodine opens. Here’s a video.

Mega Release Party @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm The joint will be rockin’ with the sounds of vixen rockabillys L’Assasins, glam-punk Pink Mink, the snarling guitars of the Sex Rays, and the rockin’ Pinsch as they all celebrate releases of either singles, an ep, or a vinyl album. Extra added attraction: Lady Heat deejays will keep things rockin’ between sets.

Sunday, April 28

Road to Memphis Challenge @ O’Gara’s, Saint Paul. 12:30pm ($10 Donation) It’s time to choose Minnesota representatives to the 2014 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. The Minnesota Blues Society has gathered 10 bands and 5 solo/duo acts to play on two stages. A panel of judges will choose the winners to represent Minnesota. More information and a list of participating performers can be found here.

Monday, April 29

Roots Night @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 6:30pm. (Tip Jar) Actually most nights at the 331 feature roots music, but this evening has 3 extraordinary groups. Doug Otto & the Getaways start things off at 6:30, followed by the Roe Family Singers at 9pm and Hillfolk Noir, with Charlie Parr at 10:30.

Monday, Tuesday, April 29, 30

Gary Louris @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) This is a last-minute booking. Louris is a home-grown star of alt-country, known for his work with the seminal Jayhawks. He’s got a worldwide audience, but for two nights he’s playing in his home town. You may want to act fast to make reservations.

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.

Record Store Day and More. Music: 4.17. 4.23

April 17, 2013
Mr Spock knows the power of vinyl

Mr Spock knows the power of vinyl

Can we finally be welcoming Spring? One sure sign is Record Store Day this Saturday. It’s a day to visit your independent record store where you’ll find special releases, and at some, performances by area artists. Flip through racks of vinyl and CDs. Check with stores like Eclipse in Saint Paul, and Hymie’s, Treehouse, the Electric Fetus, and Roadrunner Records in Minneapolis to see what they have in store for the day. And once you’ve obtained some recorded product, make sure you support the musicians by going out and hearing them perform. We’ve got some notable jazz artists visiting our fair cities, and many resident artists worthy of your attention. Have a good week.


Wednesday, April 17 Zacc Harris Trio @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm  (Free) Harris on guitar brings New York bassist Ryan Berg and drummer Lars Larson to the South Minneapolis neighborhood bistro. Good food, terrific cocktails, and outstanding music. If you make reservations, which is always recommended, ask for a table near the band.

Thursday, April 18

DownloadedFileTalking Strings @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) This is a new configuration of players that is worth getting excited about. Pavel Jany is the guitarist behind Ticket to Brasil. He’s versatile in a number of genres, including jazz, Latin, and classical settings. Gary Schulte on violin is likewise a master of his instrument. He’s played with David Byrne, Ballet of the Dolls, Klezmerica, and in gypsy jazz and occasional blues settings. Andrew Forman provides the foundation on bass. Another versatile musician, he’s played with Max Corcorn Project, Ticket To Brasil, Paisley Parker, and any number of jazz, Latin, and soul aggregations.

Francisco Mela @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm (Free) Cuban born percussionist Mela will be conducting a free workshop, including performances with Tanner Taylor, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Brandon Wozniak, sax;  An interesting evening for music fans as well as musicians, sponsored by the Twin Cities Jazz Society.

Friday, April 19

Brad Bellows/Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (tip jar) Bellows plays valve trombone. Washington plays reeds. Together with Chis Bates on bass; and Pete Hennig on drums, this groups creates free jazz, as in music that isn’t written or planned beforehand. You need lots of experience and good communication to make such musicianship work, and this group has it in spades.

Friday, Saturday, April 19, 20

David Hazeltine @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Pianist Hazeltine is known as a “musician’s musician.” The man can play. He’s an inventive, 21st Century player who’s well grounded in the classics. This is a show that jazz fans will not want to miss. For an example of his playing, check out this video of him playing a Monk tune.

Sunday April 21 DownloadedFile-1

Red Planet @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 4pm ($15) The Twin Cities Jazz Society is presenting this trio in The Spirit of Trane. it may seem strange to have a guitar trio take on the music of John Coltrane, but  Dean Magraw  guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein on drums successfully treat Coltrane’s material with imagination and verve.

JoAnn Funk w/The Roseville Strings @ Concordia Academy, 2400 North Dale, Roseville. 3:30pm (Free) The Roseville String ensemble will be performing a few classical numbers (Tartini, Handel) and then feature JoAnn as a guest soloist on “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” a classic by Duke Ellington. Pre-concert discussion at 3pm.

Tuesday, April 23

Dave Karr Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Dave Karr brings his quartet to the AQ on a different night than usual. The music won’t be affected, of course. Karr and his bandmates (Chris Lomheim, pno; Billy Peterson, bs; and Kenny Horst, drums) will still deliver standards, bebop, and more.

Molly Ringwald @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Yes, that Molly Ringwald, of Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club, and Sixteen Candles. When she was a little girl, she wanted to sing like Bessie Smith. Her dad was a jazz musician, and her film career more or less got in the way of a singing career. She’s just released an album with songs from The American Songbook, as well as a few surprises. Listen to this cut from her album.

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, April 18 Droppers @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($5) The Droppers are a quartet of musicians who’ve played with Greazy Meal, Beat the Clock, The BoDeans, and Prince, among others. Chris Beaty, guitar; Tommy Barbarella, keys; Jim Anton, bass; and Noah Levy on drums create a pop/soul sound featuring originals and covers from the likes of Booker T and others.

Friday, April 19 Reverend Raven & the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Milwaukee’s hard-touring, hard-working Reverend has become a regular fixture around here, visiting a few times a year, during which time he’s gained numerous fans for his blues, delivered like a shot of whiskey – straight up – with the same results hitting you in the gut and the head. Check out him and the band.

Gene LaFond and the Wild Unknown @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No cover) LaFond is one of those legendary singers that you never heard of. He first heard Bob Dylan when Dylan was playing coffeehouses here in the Twin Cities. Eventually, Gene started writing and singing his own uplifting songs, thanks to his friendship and musical partnership with the late Larry Kegan, befriending Dylan and opening for him. They were flown to San Francisco by Neil Young to open for him at a benefit with 20,000 in the audience. The Wild Unknown, LaFond’s first CD, was produced by Willie Murphy. Kegan has also opened for folks like Ramlin’ Jack Elliot and Kinky Friedman. This is a rare chance to hear LaFond and his band. Here they are with Scarlet Rivera on violin, doing a Dylan tune.

Grolar Bears & Friends @ Cause, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Grolar Bears is a large (>12 pieces) funk band that recorded a neo-blaxploitation soundtrack which ended up on a few best-of lists in the Twin Cities. Opening are Golden Bubbles, who admire Disco music, and the lo-fi Soul sounds of Black Diet. Funkateering Deejay Brian Engel will spin vinyl between sets.

Saturday, April 20

Cornbread Harris 86th Birthday Party @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 3pm The blues piano man is still tickling the ivories. Stop by to help him and a number of musicians celebrate his birthday.

Dee & the Band

Dee & the Band

Dee Miller Band @ Shaw’s, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) The Duchess of the Blues knows when to let loose, and when to simmer. She’s got a tight band, featuring Jimi “Prime Time” Smith. Butt-rockin’ blues, but not rock-blues.

Hot Pants @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) This monthly celebration of the 45rpm record just keeps bringing out the dancers – both young and old.

Monday, April 22

Reina Del Cid & Martin Devaney @ the Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) Young songwriter Del Cid leads an excellent little band playing her excellent songs. Martin Devaney is a singer/songwriter who has been producing great music for well over a decade now. The “mayor of saint paul” has shared a stage with dozens of national acts, and continues to create well-crafted songs.

Neighborhood Trio @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm. Steve Roehm, vibes; Andrew Foreman, bass; and Dan Schwartz, guitar & vocals, provide laid back, atmospheric tunes.

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.

4.10 – 4.16

April 10, 2013
Creativity is, well, creative

Creativity comes in all shapes & sizes

We have many great performances by resident musicians this week, as well as a few very interesting visiting musicans – Ben Wendel of New York; Paquito D’Rivera, originally from Cuba; Los Amigos Invisibles from Venezuela; and Fatoumata Diawara from Mali. Don’t let the stars get in your eyes, however, as our resident musicians are showing a high level of creativity, by combining forces and giving an extra something to their performances. All in all, we who are the consumers of music are the beneficiaries. Hear-Hear!


Wednesday, April 10

Stew Frog @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul 7:30 – 9:30pm. Stew Frog is Scott Fultz, sax; Dean Granros, guitar and Steve Goldstein, laptop & wavedrum. Hmmm, a trio of musicians that aren’t afraid to stretch their imaginations or ours. Is it jazz? Electronica? Avant Garde? Maybe all three at once.

Enormous Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Park Evans, guitar; Chris Thomson, sax; Chris Bates, bass; Joey Philips, drums. This quartet has been quiet for the last few years, as all have been busy with other projects. Nevertheless, though this may or may not signal a return to regular performing, it will undoubtedly be worth your while to hear them.

Thursday, April 11

Ben Wendel @ Jazz at Studio Z, Saint Paul. 6pm (workshop – free); 7pm (concert – $10) Saxophonist Wendel is a founder of the Grammy Nominated Kneebody, an adjunct professor at NYU, and is versatile enough to play with Prince, Snoop Dogg, and Cuban drumming legend Ignacio Berroa.  He’ll be backed by Brian Ziernak, piano; Zacc Harris, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums; with special guest Brandon Wozniak on tenor. Free workshop at 6pm.

Friday, April 12

Nick Haas Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm. Tasty jazz guitar, served up with imagination. Just like the food at Hell’s Kitchen.

Saturday, April 13



Jeremy Walker: Premier of 7 Psalms @ Bethel College, 3900 Bethel Drive, Saint Paul. 8pm (Free) Since his days as the owner of Brilliant Corners in Saint Paul, pianist and composer Walker has explored may avenues for his creativity, collaborating with dance companies like TU and Zenon, and working with his group Boot Camp. All of which have earned him deservedly high praise. Tonight, he’ll premier his latest work. 7 Psalms is a piece for jazz quartet, solo voice and choir, which he plans to take around the country. Video previews reveal emotional, sophisticated jazz compositions that fully support the words from the Psalms. With him will be Jason Harms, solo voice, along with Brandon Wozniak, tenor, Jeff Brueske, bass, and Tim Zhorne, drums, as well as a large choir directed by Brian Link.

We Love our Pianos @ Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hopkins. 8pm ($24) Vocalist Arne Fogel is at it again, bringing together some highly talented musicians around a theme – this time it’s pianos and vocalists. Joining Arne are Nancy Harms and Connie Evingson, a couple of superb singers, as well as Rick Carlson and Tanner Taylor on pianos. Both are known for their ability to fully support singers while leaving their own stamp on proceedings. I’m including a video of Nancy, partly because it’s so well done.

Saturday, Sunday, April 13, 14

imagesRhonda Laurie: Happy Days Are Here Again @ the Blackbox Theater, Bloomington Center for the Arts, Bloomington. 7:30pm Sat, 2pm Sunday. ($20/$18/$15) Vocalist Laurie knows how to swing, ac-CENT-uating the POS-itive while riding the rhythm, which ensures that this presentation of the songs of the greatest generation will be both memorable and warm. She’s presenting the music of the 30s, 40s, and 50s, and giving the background and stories behind such gems as Sentimental Journey, and Dream a Little Dream of Me and others.

Sunday, April 14

Gary Schulte & Zosha Warpeha: PipJazz @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 4pm ($20/$5 for students) Vocalist Pippi Ardennia is having a violin day for this monthly gig. Schulte is a treasure. He’s collaborated with gypsy jazz legend Dorado Schmidt, as well as David Byrne, Dionne Warwick, the Ballet of the Dolls, Butch Thompson and more. Zosha Warpeha is a HS senior with a bright future before her. She’s a member of the Dakota Combo and is a regular band member for every PipJazz concert. Here’s a video of Gary performing a Django Rheinhart song.

Ready to play

Ready to play

Paquito D’Rivera & the Assad Brothers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm & 8pm ($45/$40) Paquito D’Rivera was only 17 when he was a featured soloist on clarinet with the Havana Symphony. He was a member of the ground-breaking Irakere, and has gone on to win eleven Grammys. He is, to put it mildly, a virtuoso in Latin, jazz, and classical music. Tonight he is joined by the Assad Brothers, who are also virtuosos on their instruments – the guitar. Sounds like a formidable combination.

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, April 10

DownloadedFileRAMM Band on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI:90.3 & 106.7FM) and 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The RAMM Band is Paul Mayasich, guitar & slide; John Iden, bass; and Donald “Hye Pockets” Robinson on drums. Paul is one of the best slide players in town, and John and Hye Pockets provide a deep groove no matter what they’re playing. Expect R&B, blues, Motown, & funk.

Willie Murphy & Tom Hunter: Last Chance @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 7:30pm. (Tip Jar) Well, another weekly bluz jamoroony (to evoke Willie’s language) is about to end. Murphy & Hunter have been having a ball each week with various and sundry sittin’ in, and audience members often dancing. But, everything must change, as the song goes, and though Willie & Tom will undoubtedly keep performing (Willie is at the Eagles this Saturday), this is the last chance you’ll have to see them in the cozy surroundings of the Driftwood.

Thursday, April 11

Doug Otto & the Getaways @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Roots, Blues, Country, Americana. Close your eyes and listen. Doug & the gang are producing the sound of the 30s and early 40s, right here, right now. It’s enough to send chills down your spine.

Friday, April 12

Fatoumata Diawara @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($35) The Cedar continues to earn it’s title of the Best World Music Venue in the States. This time, they’re bringing in Mali’s newest singing sensation, Fatou. Sensuous rhythms and numerous influences abound. Check out this video.

Saturday, April 13

SlovCzech @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11pm (Tip Jar) This six piece band plays folk/rock: Folk as in Eastern European folk music; Rock as in high energy. Move aside some tables and let music move you.

Butanes Soul Revue @ Famous Daves, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Take the crack blues team of the Butanes, season with extra horns, Maurice Jacox, and some female singers, and you’ve got a soulful, rockin’ party happening.

RJ Mischo w/Jeremy Johnson & Bruce McCabe @ Schooners, Minneapolis. 9pm (free) Harpmaster Mischo lives in Arkansas these days, but still visits his old pals here in the Twin Cities each year. This is one of a number of gigs around town, but may be the one that’s most under the radar. Piano legen McCabe, and dynamite guitarist/drummer Johnson will help elevate this gig out of the ordinary. Schooners is about as unpretentious as can be.

Sunday, April 14

KFAI Rocks @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 2pm – 7pm ($10 suggested Donation) The Mighty Mofos, Curtiss A & Dark Click, the Oddfathers, Gini Dodds, Fret Rattles. For the 35 years it’s been on the air, the little station that could has always supported Twin City musicians. Today, some of the most hard rocking outfits in town show their appreciation. If you are of a certain age, you may want to wear earplugs.

Monday, April 15

Los Amigos Invisibles @ The Varsity Theater, Minneapolis. 8pm ($18 -$30) A Venezuelan party band, with one foot in classic Venezuelan dance halls and another in the disco. Really, it’s hard to sit still when listening to this music, even if, at times, you may not understand the words. Here’s an example of their irresistible rhythms.

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.

Friends, Families, and Celebrations. Music: 4.3 – 4.9

April 3, 2013
I often play vinyl on Rhythms and Grooves. Photo by Tom Trow

I often play vinyl on Rhythms and Grooves. Photo by Tom Trow

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know that a couple of times a year I ask that you support KFAI Radio, where I broadcast my jazz show, Rhythm and Grooves, each Saturday morning from 10:30-Noon. Once again I will only have one chance to gather support for my show and ask that you phone in (this Saturday, April 6) at 612-375-9030 during those hours and pledge. You can also go online at: and pledge.

Enough of the commercial. This week’s shows include a couple of celebrations of contemporary music that stretches boundaries, as well as some rootsy genre-bending and some 21st Century examples of jazz, blues, and folk. Maybe you’ll be inspired to stretch your own musical boundaries. Have a good week.


Wednesday, April 3

Madeline Peyroux @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($65), 9pm ($50) Peyroux’s latest album, “Blue Room” is an homage to Ray Charles and his “Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music.” Blue Room debuted at number one on ITunes and Amazon and has already received a number of accolades, and now is at the top of all jazz charts. Peyroux sheds new light on some of Charles’ reinventions, and adds a few new twists of her own to others. Tonight she has a string quartet with her to add just the right amount of sweetening. Here’s a video of her doing a Buddy Holly song from the new album.

Lila's Grandfather, the one and only Albert Ammons

Lila’s Grandfather, the one and only Albert Ammons

A Tribute to Albert Ammons: Butch Thompson, Lila Ammons, & Axel Zwingenberger @ Schmitt Music, 2906 W. 66th, Edina. 7pm – 8:30pm. ($10) Here’s a special show which advance reservations are needed. Lila Ammons is the granddaughter of the late boogie-woogie pianist Albert Ammons. Classically trained as an opera singer, she has nevertheless chosen to pursue jazz and blues, touring Europe extensively with renowned German pianist Axel Zwingenberger, who has over 30 albums to his credit. The inclusion of Butch Thompson to the evening provides some icing on the cake.  Call 612-238-9941 for reservations.

Evan Montgomery Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm. (Donation) Jazz Central expands its role as a place for musicians to hang and try out new material. Tonight, Guitarist Evan Montgomery is joined by second guitarist Park Evans; Matt Peterson, bass; Cory Grossman, cello; and Jay Epstein, drums. Sounds like a night of inventive music, played by imaginative musicians.

Thursday, April 4

Triosé +1 Live Recording @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Guitarist Vinnie Rose leads Triosé, which includes Jeremy Boettcher on bass and Adrian Suarez on drums. Tonight, they’re adding up and coming trumpeter John Raymond, back home for a visit from Brooklyn.

Friday, April 5

Two Trumpets, Two Vocals @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 11:30pm (Donation) Adam Meckler and Jana Nyberg are one trumpet and vocal. Benje Daneman and Ashley Gonzalez comprise the second set. Adam and Benje met in 1999 and have kept in touch though taking differing, but similar paths, marrying jazz vocalists, and ending up in The Twin Cites and NYC, respectively. These “jazz families” will each perform a set and then join together at the end of the evening. They’ll be backed by Brian Courage, bass; Evan Montgomery, guitar; and Zach Schmidt, drums.

Friday, Saturday, April 5,6

DownloadedFileBilly Holloman & Friends @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10? – $15?) Billy Holloman’s B-3 playing anchored the AQ’s Tuesday Night Organ Night for ten years, building a huge following here in the Twin Cities. Many of the Cities’ finest musicians would often sit in, and I expect you may see more than a few turn up for this gig. The place will be packed, so be forewarned and get there early if you want a seat.

Saturday, April 6

Vicky Mountain & Her Swingers @ Social Dance Studio, 3742 23rd Ave S, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 12:30am ($10/$8) Free dance lessons at 7:30. Music starts at 8:30. Vicky swings tunes from Ella to Van Morrison, with Chris Lomheim, piano; Doug Haining, sax; Bill Grenke, bass; and Bruce Wintervold, drums.

Sunday, April 5

John Zorn @ St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, 519 Oak Grove Street, Minneapolis. 12am  – 1am (Free) Avant Garde composer, musician, and producer John Zorn is celebrating his 60th birthday by capping off a day of three concerts with six bands at the Walker Art Center with a free, solo organ concert across the street.

DownloadedFile-1Steve Davis @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7) Davis is a well-traveled trombonist who has worked as a sideman with Larry Willis, Freddie Hubbard and The New Jazz Composers Octet, Slide Hampton and The Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All­-Star Big Band, The Jimmy Heath Big Band, Cecil Payne, and Horace Silver, among others. He is a member of the One for All Collective withEric Alexander, Jim Rotondi, David Hazeltine, John Webber and Joe Farnsworth, which has released 12 critically acclaimed CDs since the late 90s. First set will be with the James Buckley Trio. Second set with Friends.

Monday, Tuesday, April 8, 9

John Scofield Hollowbody Band w/Mike Stern @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($42) 9pm ($32) In spite of the name, both Scofield and Stern will be playing solid body guitars, but that really doesn’t matter. Both played with Miles Davis, and both have gone on to establish themselves as top-notch players. Scofield is seen as a bit of a guitar god with jam band fans as well as with jazz fans, due in no small part to his ability to seamlessly move between the genres. Stern, for his part, was named Best Jazz Guitarist of the Year in 1993 (Guitar Player Magazine) and was nominated for a Grammy for his 2009 Album, Big Neighborhood. Watch out for drooling guitar players in the audience.

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, April 4

Rahsaan Patterson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40) Head bobbing, dance-floor inducing neo-soul and contemporary R&B from a singer who who isn’t as well known as he should be. Here’s a video.

Javier & the Innocent Sons @ Washington Square, White Bear Lake. 8pm – 11pm. (No cover)  East Metro denizens have a chance to check out some high powered, well delivered, rootsy, bluesy, and rockin’ sounds. The Innocent Sons will get an extra boost from Hurricane Harold Tremblay on harp.

Friday, April 5

Fattenin’ Frogs CD Release Party w/Awkward Sorrows @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Yes, it’s free, but the taproom only holds about 70 folks, so unless the weather is warm, and the loading door is open, get there early to get a seat. What you’ll hear are the Frogs performing rock n’ roll, blues, and country music from the first half of the 20th Century, using mostly acoustic instruments. They’re celebrating the release of a CD single, “Coming Home.” The Awkward Sorrows, who open, complement the Frogs, in that they use bluegrass instrumentation to play some classic country, a bit of rock n’ roll, and originals. This is part of Jackson Buck’s Freewheelin’ First Fridays series. Here are the Frogs (with the Lily Pads backup singers)

Gordon Bok @ Bethel Lutheran Church, 4120 17th Ave S, Minneapolis. ($20) Bok grew up in maritime Maine, where sea chanties, as well as classic country and traditional music from various European countries were part of his life’s soundtrack. Since his first album in 1965, he’s recorded a few dozen albums, with those songs, as well as originals that revolve around myths and truths about boat culture, life on sea, and the fisherman who make their living there.

Bethany Larson & the Bees Knees @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) Though Larson has a voice that can do justice to standards, she keeps it in the Emmy Lou Harris/Patsy Cline range when she sings her original songs of heartbreak and determination.

DownloadedFile-2Galactic @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9pm ($27) With Nigel Hall Band. These jazz/funksters from New Orleans can serve up a second line and turn around and jam til the patchouli incense has dropped its last ash.


Friday, Saturday, Sunday, April 5, 6, 7

Zeitgeist Early Music Festival @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm, Fri, Sat, 2pm Sun ($10) The members of Zeitgeist examine the impact of the electronic signal on music. They’ll perform minimalist works from Steve Reich, and the electronic/rock group The Silver Apples, as well as works from contemporary music pioneers such as John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen. For more information on each night’s program go here.

Saturday, April 6

Mother Banjo’s 6th Annual John Prine Tribute @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis.  10pm – 1am (Tip jar) Ellen Stanley, aka Mother Banjo, is once again celebrating John Prine’s 1/2 Birthday by bringing together a bevy of artists to sing his songs, including Dana Thompson, Baby Grant Johnson, Brianna Lane, Ben Cook-Felta, Art Vandalay, and of course, the Mother Banjo Band. There’ll be prizes and general hoo-ha galore.

Sunday, April 7

Tim Eriksen and the Trio de Pumpkintown @ Gingko Coffeehouse, Saint Paul. ($15) Love songs of the sea, fiddle tunes, ballads, shape-note and Afro/Celtic gospel! Tim is joined by Peter Irvine on percussion and Zoe Darrow on fiddle.


Blues Women International @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 1pm. ($10) This event is raising funds for Blues Women International, an organization that supports and encourages female blues musicians. What a line-up: Bluedog, Dee Miller Band, Annie Mack, Lisa Wenger Band, Liz Cummings, Davina & the Vagabonds & Rena Haus. If you can’t have a good time today, you may want to check your pulse.

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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