4.10 – 4.16

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.

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