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

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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