Jazz, Afrobeat, Roots, & More. Music: 6.26 – 7.2

June 26, 2013
The crowd in Mears Park at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival

The crowd in Mears Park at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival

 

While the Twin Cities Jazz Festival may be big news this week, there’s plenty of music for others as well, including a Honky Tonk Fest, and two African artists at the Cedar, a contemporary Brazilian group, and more. Remember, live music can lift your spirits.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 26

Phil Hey Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) This is as tight a unit as you will find in the Twin Cities. Phil Hey, drums; Tom Lewis, bass; Phil Aaron, piano; and Dave Hagedorn, vibes. A great way to get over hump day.

Thursday, June 27

Charmin & Shapira & Friends @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Charmin Michelle, vocals; and Joel Shapira, guitar; have a natural affinity for playing together. They’ll be joined by Paul Harper, sax; Tom Lewis, bass; and Nathan Norman, on drums. You can expect tasteful, swinging playing from all involved.

Maryann Sullivan and Tanner Taylor @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Go through the doors at 407 Central, NE, down the hall and down some steps to the rec-room like confines of Jazz Central to hear Sullivan, a swinging vocalist, and Taylor, a pianist who is in demand, whether as a leader, sideman, or accompanist to the area’s vocalists.

Thursday, June 27 – Saturday, June 29

Twin Cities Jazz Festival @ Various Saint Paul Locations. (Free) Most action will take place at Mears Park, but if you’re looking for some interesting gigs outside of Mears Park check out some of these acts.  Friday: At the Artists’ Quarter – 7:30pm – Will Kjeer’s Blue Haven. At the Hat Trick – 8pm Johannes Tona; 9:30 JazZen. At The Amsterdam: 6pm – 12:30am – The Cannonball Collective w/Doug Haining, sax; Zack Lozier, trumpet; Tanner Taylor, piano; Matt Peterson, bass; and Trevor Haining, drums. Saturday: At Black Bear Crossings, Como Lakeside Pavillion – 7pm – Larry McDonough Quartet. At Golden’s Deli – 9:30pm Tony London. At the Amsterdam – 10:30pm Javier Santiago Quartet. And don’t forget to check out the incredible music of young performers at the Youth Stage, outside of the Black Dog all day Saturday, featuring the Dakota Combo at 6:30. Check out the complete schedule here.

Friday, June 28

Lee Engele & Reynold Philipsek @ Kip’s Irish Pub, St. Louis Park. 9pm – 11pm. (No cover) If you’re looking for some enticing vocals (Engele), and tasty guitar playing (Phillipsek) to go with your Irish whiskey, look no further.

Saturday, June 29

Doug Little Trio @ Porter & Frye, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) A cozy lounge under Porter & Frye serves as a new venue for jazz. Doug Little is a master of sax and flute, and has an affinity for Cuban and Latin rhythms. I expect, however, that tonight he’ll be venturing into standards territory as well. And there is some room for dancing, whether it’s the Businessman’s Bounce, a Rhumba, or Salsa.

Sunday, June 30

Regina Marie Williams @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Williams is an actor known for her role as Dinah Washington in Penumbra’s Dinah Was, and for acting at the Guthrie, Mixed Blood and theaters throughout the country. Her theater resume is extensive. She was so good as Dinah because she’s an exceptional singer, as evidenced by her 2011 CD, Regina Marie Williams. She’s particularly effective on ballads like “I Wonder Where Our Love Has Gone” and “Something to Live For.” Williams can mine the pathos of “The Other Woman,” celebrate in “What a Little Moonlight Can Do,” and speak her mind in “Rough and Ready Man.”

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, June 26

Bloody Ol’ Mule on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) If you didn’t get out to the Deep Blues Festival last weekend, you can hear one of the headliners today on KFAI and at the 331 Club. Bloody Ol’Mule is a one-man band who draws inspiration from Hank Williams, John Lee Hooker, and the modal blues of the Mississippi Hill Country. It’s often raw, and always emotion packed music.

Femi Kuti @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($45) Kuti’s appearance at the Cedar last summer was a rousing, dance-fueled Afrobeat event. Blazing horns and exotic drums combine to create ferocious rhythms underlying Kuti’s singing decrying poverty and government corruption. You may find yourself dancing to protest, escape reality, transcend differences, or simply to celebrate the joy of being alive. Our friends from Worldwide Diskotek will be spinning vinyl to open.

Thursday, June 27

Acoustic Blues Night, featuring Papa John Kolstad & Cal Hand @ Merlin’s Rest, East Lake St, Minneapolis. 8pm – 11pm (Tip Jar) What with the recent re-release of Mill City Blues, and these regular acoustic blues nights, Papa John has been visiting his blues roots with success. Tonight he has the talented Cal Hand on dobro to liven things up even more than usual. Papa John is also playing at the Black Dog on Saturday at 7:30 as part of the Twin Cities Jazz Festival.

Friday, June 28

UnknownAmadou & Mariam @ the Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($45) Wow. Two African music events in one week! GRammy nominated Malian stars Amadou & Miriam sold out the Cedar last year with a joyous show. Their vocals charm and sparkle. Amadou’s guitar work is supple, yet highly rhythmic. It’s a celebration of Africa, but more importantly, a celebration of life. Once again, Dan McAllister and Brian Engel of Worldwide Diskotek will be spinning vinyl to open.

Biscuit Miller @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 5:30pm ($?) Miller played bass for Lonnie Brooks for ten years. He also recorded an award-winning single with Sonny Rogers, and spent some time playing with Mojo Buford. He and his band, The Mix, mix it up with a bit of funk, R&B, and of course, the blues – all designed to get you dancing. Lady J Griot opens at 5:30, and Miller will hit the stage at 7pm.

Saturday, June 29

Honky Tonk Fest @ Grumpy’s NE, Minneapolis. 2pm – 9pm (Suggested donation – $5) Honky Tonk music is a two-beat, easy-to-dance-to style that combines elements of Western Swing, traditional country, and a hint of rock n’ roll. It’s a dancer’s delight, with folks twirling, dipping, and, for the slower numbers, gliding across the floor. Today’s line-up features some of the best practitioners in the metro area: Jennifer Markey & the Hungry Truckers, The Cactus Blossoms, the Dreadlock Cowboys, Jillian Rae (a wonder on the fiddle, BTW), Leo Rondea, and Trailer Trash. Some food will be available, with all proceeds from this event going to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of MN.

Nikki, Rich, & Jon

Nikki, Rich, & Jon

Nikki & the Rue-Mates @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Sure the place is often noisy, and you might find a bachelorette party or two to be distracting, but if you sit down front, or even at the nearest end of the bar, you’ll be able to appreciate Nikki’s crystaline vocals, and Rich Rue’s playing on the resonator guitar.

Paul Mayasich & the RAMM Band @ Shaws, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (No cover) Blues, rock, and other Real American Music from this tight trio.

Monday, July 1

Chasing Lovely @ The Coffee Shop NE, Minneapolis. 7:00pm. With lovely sisterly harmonies, this Minneapolis-raised, Nashville-based duo sings hook-laden original country songs with a pop bent. They’ve an EP with accompaniment from a number of Nashville’s best, but really don’t need backing to impress. Here’s a video.

Tinsley Ellis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Yes, the Power Blues guitarist will be playing the tony Dakota. The Atlanta guitarist put out his first solo album on Alligator in 1988, and he’s been tearing up stages ever since. Don’t be surprised if he peels some of the paint off the walls with his fleet-fingered, well crafted solos.

Tuesday, July 2

Choro Borealis and DIBIGODE @ The Fine Line, Minneapolis. 7:30 ($10 advance, $12 door) It’s billed as 150 Years of Brazilian music, and no wonder as these two bands will play music from the late 1800s to the present. DIBIGODE is from southeast Brazil. Their music music eschews bossas and sambas for a more contemporary sound that mixes electronica, jazz, and Tropicalia into a pleasing whole. You can hear them on their MySpace pageChoro Borealis is one of guitarist Robert Everest’s groups. Choro (pronounced Show-doo) is a Brazilian music that mixes European and African influences, and was popular from the late 1800s until the 1930s. Folks have been rediscovering this music. Charlie Musselwhite has even recorded a couple of tunes that are influenced by Choro. Joining Everest in Choro Borealis are Bob O’Keefe on reeds and percussion, and Tim O’Keefe on mandolin, percussion and cavaquinho. Here’s a video of DIBIGODE.

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.


Music for Long Summer Nights: 6.19 – 6.25

June 19, 2013

UnknownWith summer finally heating up and the Solstice upon us, festivals, outdoor gigs, and other opportunities for live music are popping up like fly balls at a batting contest. Enjoy the weather, enjoy the music.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 19

George Maurer @ Merriam Park Library, 1831 Marshall Avenue, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Free) Maurer is a pianist/composer/arranger who has collaborated with folks ranging from the Chiffons and Eric Clapton to the Saint Paul City Ballet and the Minnesota Orchestra. and has written compositions for orchestras, big bands, and Bobby Vee. He’s equally talented whether leading a biggish band or as in today’s gig, a trio.

Doug McDonald Trio @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) McDonald is a bop-based guitarist out of L.A. In addition to his own recording projects, which includes a nonet, McDonald has played with such luminaries as Stan Getz, Sarah Vaughn, Buddy Rich, Hank Jones, and the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra. A rare appearance, and well worth checking out, as you can hear on this video.

Wednesday, Thursday, June 19, 20

imagesRamsey Lewis & Dee Dee Bridgewater @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($60, $50, $40) Ramsey Lewis has three Grammy, Seven Gold Records, two syndicated radio shows, and is an NEA Jazz Master. Dee Dee Bridgewater has two Grammys, a Tony Award, and her own syndicated radio show, Jazz Set, which can be heard Monday nights on KBEM. Last time through the Dakota she was celebrating African music using master musicians from Mali. A long time resident of Paris, she can sing in French, as per her CD J’ai Deux Amours, which is a regular on my CD player, and is a terrific entertainer, no matter what she tackles.

Friday, June 21

Brad Bellows/Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog Wine & Coffee Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jay) This is a fairly regular gig for Bellows (valve trombone) and Washington (saxes). This time they’ve enlisted Matt Peterson (bass) and Alden Ikeda (drums) to fill out the group, which should provide for some exciting dynamics.

Friday, Saturday, June 21, 22

Mississippi Jazz Connection @ the Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) As if teaching at McNally Smith, leading the X-Tet, and regularly appearing around town in various groups wasn’t enough, saxophonist Pete Whitman has a new project featuring a group of formidable musicians. The Mississippi Jazz Connection features Pete on sax, Peter Schimke on piano, Jeff Bailey on bass, and Kevin Washington on drums.

Saturday, June 22

The Sibley House

The Sibley House

Butch Thompson: Jazz in June @ Sibley House Historic Site, 1357 Sibley Memorial Hwy, Mendota. 5:30pm – 8:30pm ($10/$7MHS members) With Charlie DeVore, trumpet; Tom Andrews, drums; Steve Pikal, bass; and Lee Engele on vocals. It’a an evening of jazz and stories about Mendota’s jazz history. Mendota used to be home to the  Jazz Emporium, located across the street from Sibley House. It was a hot spot for jazz during the 70s and early 80s, featuring first generation players from New Orleans and Chicago playing traditional jazz of the highest order. It was the kind of place you don’t see anymore, where you could bring your own bottle and buy “set-ups” of mixers and glasses. While you won’t be able to bring your own bottle, you can bring a lawn chair or blanket, and a picnic, and there will be a cash bar available.

Linda Peterson & Jason Delaire @ Porter & Frye, Minneapolis. 9pm – Midnight (No Cover) Two members of the talented Peterson Family will hold forth tonight. Linda is a delightful singer and pianist whose original song, Too Late To Leave Early, has gained worldwide recognition, has four CDs to her credit, and is in the midst of recording another. Delaire is a saxophonist and keyboard player who has worked with a variety of artists, ranging from Donny Osmond and Michael Bolton, to Prince, Oleta Adams, and Bobby Brown. He’s equally at home playing jazz or R&B. The intimate confines of the lower lounge in the restaurant at Hotel Ivy will provide a cozy listening experience.

Sunday, Monday, June 23, 24

David Murray Quartet & Macy Gray @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($55, $45), 9pm ($50, $40) At first glance, this is a surprising pairing. Murray is a sax player well versed in free improvisation and the expressive stylings of Albert Ayler, Archie Shepp and John Coltrane, yet he also is a link to Ellington, and Ben Webster. He’s released over 150 albums as a leader since the 60s, and has been a member of the World Saxophone Quartet. His 2011 recordings of Nat King Cole’s “Espanol” songs was a delight. Now he’s back with a new recording, Be My Monster Love, featuring Gregory Porter and Macy Gray on vocals.  The raspy-voiced Gray has sold 14 million records world wide and won a Grammy for her R&B hit I Try, back at the turn of the millenium. Though known mostly as a neo-soul singer, the raspy-voiced Gray got her start singing jazz and standards. Here’s a video of Gray singing with Murray’s big band.

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, June 19

Maurice Jacox @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm. (Free) Younger folks may know him from his work with the Twin Cites Funk n’ Soul Revue. Older folk know him from Willie & the Bees, The Butanes Soul Revue, and the Lights Out Committe, among other R&B projects. However, Maurice is more than an R&B/Soul singer. He recently returned from a 10 day trip to Havana, where he sang (in Spanish) with Nachito Herrera, and he regularly sings Nat King Cole songs, jazz standards, and jazzy acoustic versions of Motown. Hear him today, with Tom West on keys in the sunlit atrium of the Landmark Center. By the Way, if you can’t make it there, see him tonight at 10pm at the Red Stag in Minneapolis.

Thursday, June 20

Bill Kirchen & Crankshaft @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) Kirchen is the “Titan of the Telecaster,” a well deserved name ever since he cranked up the energy in Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen’s hit Hot Rod Lincoln. Since then the man who plays at the nexus of country western and rock n’ roll has lent his talented guitar work to folks like Emmy Lou Harris, Nick Lowe, Doug Sahm, Elvis Costello and a host of others. Opener Crankshaft is also known for his high-energy approach to music, albeit in a bluesier vein. An inspired pairing. Kirchen demonstrates why he earned his nickname on this video.

Friday, June 21

Porch Builder @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) Loosey goosey country-ish rock with raspy vocals and smart guitar licks from some fun-lovin’ rural hippies out of Iowa City. As one reviewer put it, “Maybe these guys would be more famous if they’d leave the bottle alone and tried to pass a urine test now and then.”  Under the Radar Gig of the week.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, June 21, 22, 23

Deep Blues Festival @ The Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 4pm – 10pm each day. ($70/day, $175 for all three) Three days of the downest, funkiest, punkiest tranciest blues you’ll ever hear. From Friday’s opener, Charlie Parr, to Sunday’s closer, Reverend Deadeye, you’ll hear six bands a day, playing blues that goes way beyond Chicago, way beyond Mississippi, on out into the stratosphere. Plus… Plus, you get all you can eat of the Bayport BBQs ribs, chicken, and fixin’s. It’s a small place, and since fans come from around the nation and across the seas, you may want to call them at 651-955-6337 before heading out.

Saturday, June 22

Roots of the West Bank @ the Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 6pm ($10 Advance/$15 door) Past and present performers that have made the West Bank a center of music. The list includes: Adam Granger, Ana  the Bel-tones, Becky Thompso; Butch Thompson, Dakota Dve Hull, the Howling Goats, Jack Klatt, Spider John Koerner, Judy Larson, the Liquor Pigs, Phil Heywood, Pop Wagner, Papa John Kolstad, Roy “Catfish: Alstad, Sabyre Rae & the Midnight Sons, Tony Glover, & Willie Murphy. Whew!

Sunday, June 23

images-2Ticket to Brasil @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 5:30 – 7:30 (Free) Ah, summer in the Cities. Pack a picnic and stake out a grill, or get some mighty fine vittles from the concession stand and enjoy the lilting sound of bossa novas and sambas as performed by this six piece band and their special guest on sax – Doug Little.

James Hunter Six and Shemkia Copeland @ The Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley. 7:30pm ($33) Though he was long considered was of Britain’s Best Kept Secrets in R&B and Soul, Hunter has come into his own in the last half dozen years or so,since Hunter’s approach to R&B and Soul pays homage to the music of the 60s without feeling retro. He gets it. Hunter’s first two US releases, People Gonna Talk, and The Hard Way, earned great reviews and topped the Billboard charts. He and his band are now touring in support of their latest, Minute by Minute. Shemekia Copeland is the daughter of the late, highly regarded bluesman Johnny Copeland, and as they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

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.


Young Lions, Veterans, and Festivals. Music: 6.12 – 6.18

June 12, 2013
Yes, even on Father's Day, someone has to pay for beer.

Yes, even on Father’s Day, someone has to pay for beer.

We have quite the week of music coming up here in the Twin Cities. Young jazz cats, veteran blues and rock musicians, beer festivals, Father’s Day celebrations and more are on the calendar. There is no lack of opportunities to hear music this coming week, including a number that are free. Have a good one.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 12

Unknown-2Lee Engele & Joel Shapira @ Centennial Lakes Park Amphitheater, Edina. 7pm (Free) Here’s a chance to see Engele, a chanteuse with a slightly smoky voice, accompanied by the sensitive guitar stylings of Shapira.

Stewfrog @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Scott Fultz, sax; Dean Granros, guitar; Steve Goldstein, electronics. Fultz and Granros are superb improvisors. The presence of Goldstein on electronics bodes well for those with open ears and/or an appreciation of the unexpected in music.

LBS Trio (Lozier, Bates, & Suarez) @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Bassist Chris Bates curates the Wednesday nights at Jazz Central, and tonight has chosen to play with Zack Lozier on trumpet and Adrian Suarez on drums. Don’t know if this will be electric or acoustic, but either approach is exciting from this combination of musicians.

Hurtado, Santiago, & Courage @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Javier Santiago (piano) is back in town, and once again he’s playing with his pal drummer Miguel Hurtado. They’ve played together since their early teens, and as might be expected, have great communication. Brian Courage will be on bass. He’s a relative newcomer to the Twin Cities, yet has already established himself playing with a number of veterans about town.

Thursday, June 13

Lee Tomboullian Sextet @ The Artsits’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10)  Tomboullian is a New York pianist who served as teacher and mentor to trumpeter Adam Meckler. He’s performed with Airto, Nat Adderley, Doc Cheatham, Larry Coryell, Pharoah Sanders, and others. Tomboullioan will be joined Adam Meckler, trumpet; Pete Whitman, sax; Dave Milne, sax; Brian Courage, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums. Some vocals by Tomboullian’s wife Betty. Here he is doing a bit of a mash-up of Rhapsody In Blue and Bohemian Rhapsody.

Friday, June 14

FireFly Forest and JelloSlave @ The Ice House, Minneapolis. 11pm ($6) Here’s an interesting match-up. FireFly Forest is pianist/accordionist Steve Hoberts’ whimsical project that’s poppy, with a hint of jazz. JelloSlave is the two-cello project of Michelle Kinney and Jacqueline Ultan, with Greg Schutte on drums and Gary Waryan on tablas. Their repertoire ranges from Bach and the Beatles to Leonard Cohen and Asto Piazolla. Here is a video of JelloSlave at the Dakota.

Roessler & Hanson

Roessler & Hanson

Hanson, Roessler, & Nichols @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (tip jar) Nathan Hanson, sax; Brian Roessler, bass; and Bryan Nichols, keyboards, play with sound, creating some wonderful music.

Friday, Saturday, June 14, 15

Atlantis Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) This critically acclaimed quartet is back at the AQ for another weekend of modern, bracing jazz. Zacc Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Pete Hennig, drums.

Saturday, June 15

Cabaret Artists’ Network @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30 (Suggested Donation – $10) Ten different artists, including Dorothy Doring, Connie Dussl, Les Block, and Erin Duffy, singing and telling stories. Light refreshments will be available.

Pavel Jany Trio @ The Ivy Hotel, Minneapolis. 9pm. (Free) Actually, they are performing in the lower level lounge of Porter & Frye, the restaurant at the Ivy. It’s a fine place to hear music, with plenty of tables right in front of the band. There are cozy booths off to the side, though sightlines are limited. There’s even room for a bit of dancing to the mostly Brazilian sounds of Pavel Jany, guitar; Chris Lomheim, keyboards, and Andrew Foreman, bass. Presenting music is a new venture for the restaurant.

Sunday June 16

Unknown-1Sidewalk Cafe @ The Saint Paul Main Library, Saint Paul. 2pm (Free) This is part of the run-up to the Twin Cities Jazz Festival in a couple of weeks. Sidewalk Cafe plays gypsy jazz with verve and elan. The group features a trio of talented musicians: Gary Schulte on violin, Reynold Philipsek on guitar, and Jeff Brueske on bass.

Monday, June 17

Dean Magraw @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Dean, the most versatile guitarist in the Twin Cities, is joined by Chris Bates on bass, and Mac Santiago on drums. Who knows what kind of music will transpire? I only know it will be improvised, and stellar.

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, June 12

Unknown-2Bill Payne: Tracing Footsteps @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Payne is an in-demand rock n’ roll piano player, who has played on hundreds of albums, from Linda Rondstadt and Bonnie Raitt to Pink Floyd and John Cale, besides being a founding and current member of Little Feat. He’s also a photographer, and this particular show, in addition to featuring his solo piano playing, will have stories and photos of his rock n’ roll life and a Q&A with the audience.

The Ericksons @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) True sisterly harmonies deliver emotions of all sorts, buoyed acoustic instruments. This is part of a month long Wednesday residency at the ‘Dam. Tonight’s openers are The Grandchildren.

Thursday, June 13

Bruce Henry & Debbie Duncan @ Live on the Drive, 3401 Xerxes Avenue North, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm (Free) Victory Memorial Drive will come alive with R&B and Jazz as Bruce Henry and his band perform music ranging from Motown to Freddie Hubbard. Special guest Debbie Duncan is also a singer who can bridge jazz, R&B, and blues.

Friday, June 14

Jay Young’s Tribute to Earth Wind & Fire @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Bassist Young brings his quintet plus three female singers to perform the music of Earth, Wind, & Fire. The place will be crowded, so as usual, it will be difficult, at best, to find room to dance.

Johnny Rawls @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) You’d be hard pressed to find a more professional performer in the soul/blues circuit. Rawls can work the crowd and deliver a satisfying, sweat inducing show. he started out playing for folks like ZZ Hill and Joe Tex, and eventually led the bands of OV Wright and Little Johnny Taylor before setting out on a solo career in the late 80s. Here’s an example of him at work.

Unknown-4Friday, Saturday, Sunday, June 14, 15, 16

Stone Arch Bridge Festival @ Saint Anthony Main, Minneapolis. 6pm – 10pm Friday, 11am – 10pm Saturday, 11am – 5pm Sunday.  Singer/Songwriters, Bluegrass, jamgrass, indie pop, folk, and rock abound as a soundtrack for wandering through and around booths filled with original art. There’s even a Father’s Day Car Show. See the complete music schedule here.

Saturday, June 15

Harriet Brewing’s Summer Picnic Brewdown @ Harriet Tap Room, Minneapolis. 2pm  ($5 after 5pm)  Blues, roots, beer, and a food truck. Quite the way to spend the day. 2pm: Jeff Ray & Hurricane Harold, 4pm: Frogleg, 6pm: Nathan Miller & the Unstoppables, 8pm: God Johnson.

Fifth Annual Saint Paul Summer Beer Festival @ State Fair Grounds, Saint Paul. 2pm – 6pm ($40 – Designated Drivers – $10) Another chance to spend an afternoon imbibing and listening to music, you can taste samples from over 100 breweries while listening to the likes of the Como Avenue Jug Band, Steve Sullivan and Factory, Boys “n the Barrels, and the Big Wu, among others.

Unknown-14th Annual Howlin’ Wolf Tribute @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($6) Wolf, as he was sometimes called, was a pioneer of Chicago Blues. You would be hard pressed to find a fan of the blues who doesn’t have at least one Howlin’ Wolf recording or any blues artists that doesn’t have a song of Wolf’s in their repertoire. Sneaky Pete Bauer, 9pm; Fattenin’ Frogs, 10pm; Javier & the Innocent Sons, 11pm; Poverty Hash, midnight.

Sunday, June 16

The original Mill City Blues

The original Mill City Blues

Papa John Kolstad & Sorry Muthas CD Release @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15) It’s the Sorry Muthas for Father’s Day as Mill City Blues, the legendary West Bank album from 1971, is released on CD for the first time. It’s old timey, thumpin’ country blues that transcend time and memories. For this performance, Papa John has gathered  original Muthas Judy Larson and Cal Hand, along with Bob Stelnicki, washtub bass; Rod Bellville, mandolin; Gary Schulte, violin, and Bill Smith, mouth harp. Also along for the ride are Amanda Hand, Cadillac Kolstad, Katey Bellville, and Marilynne Hand.

Tuesday, June 18

Bernhoft @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Okay, this Norwegian retro-soul singer is essentially a one-man band, using looping to texture his tunes. This approach has gotten him three million views on YouTube for the song “C’Mon Talk,” sales of over 250,000 copies of his second album, and an appearance on Ellen Degeneres. Here’s the video that has gotten all the attention.

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 Busy Week for Arts and Music: 6.5 – 6.11

June 5, 2013
Downtown Saint Paul, a hub of music and arts this week.

Downtown Saint Paul, a hub of music and arts this week.

Not to put too fine a point on things, but this week will be hopping in downtown Saint Paul, as two summer series get their start and an all-night art festival takes place during the weekend. Over in Minneapolis, there’s  an acoustic music festival on Saturday, and we’ll be treated to visiting artists from New Orleans, South Africa, and New York. To top things off, we’ve got a couple of Woodstock-era artists visiting town, tempting those of a certain age to get out and spend some of their children’s inheritance. Live music is good for the soul. Have a great week.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 5

Sister Swing @ the Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) This is the start of the annual Music in the Cafe Series at the Landmark every Wednesday through July. Maryann Sullivan and Rhonda Laurie sing and swing some standards, abetted by Doug Haining, sax; Steve Pikal, bass, and Robert Bell, guitar. Get yourself some lunch at Anita’s Cafe in the atrium (where the concert takes place) or brownbag it.

Body Omara @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Jazz informed by the Desert Blues of Mali. Body Omara is Robert Damman, guitar and compositions; Tom Reichert, bass; and Davu Seru, drums & percussion.

Photo by John Whiting

Photo by John Whiting

Phil Hey/Pat Moriarty Duo and Round Trip @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Drummer Hey and alto saxophonist Moriarty have been playing together for forty years. Playing as a duo, their ability to communicate so well allows them to create free music that is exciting and much more accessible than you would think. They’ll also be doing some sets with their Ornette Coleman repertory band, Round Trip, which includes Chris Thomson on tenor and Tom Lewis on bass. Jazz fans of many stripes will not want to miss this.

Thursday, June 6

Rebirth Brass Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($20) From New Orleans comes this Brass Band that started out on the streets 30 years ago, and now travels the world spreading joy. Music that’s visceral, yet celebrates the pure joy of being alive.  Check out this video.

Southside Aces @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 8pm Foodtruck: Cajun 2 Geaux. More New Orleans music, this is of the traditional kind, performed by a band from the area. If the weather is nice, the warehouse doors will be open and you can do some swing dancing, or just enjoy the music while you’re outside.

Byron Johnson-Blanchard Trio @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Jazz standards and originals from this recent grad of MacNally Smith. Byron is the drummer for High and Mighty, so you know he’ll be in the pocket.

Friday, Saturday, June 7,8

How Birds Work @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) A quartet of musicians who consistently deliver exciting performances. Dean Granros, guitar, Chris Bates, bass; Peter Schimke, piano; and Kenny Horst on drums can mesmerize and inspire as they play “standards” from folks like Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane, and Herbie Hancock, while throwing in some originals for good measure. They only play a few times a year, so it’s a treat to have them for a weekend.

Saturday, June 8

Courageous Endeavors and Lars Larson’s Mancrush @ Jazz at Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm/doors at 6:30 ($10) It’s Young Lions night for this final show of this season’s Jazz at Studio Z series. Courageous Endeavors is led by Brian Courage on bass, quickly becoming a bassist-about-town, and features recent University grad Joe Strachan on piano; with Nelson Deveraux on sax; and Miguel Hurtado on drums. Mancrush features drummer Lars Larson, with relatively young veterans Zacc Harris on guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Bryan Nichols on Fender Rhodes.

Lomheim, Jany, & Weston @ Porter & Frye Jazz Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm – Midnight (No Cover) A new spot for jazz, at least for the rest of June. Chris Lomheim, piano; Pavel Jany, guitar, and Dan Weston, bass. It’s located in the lower level of Porter & Frye, in the Hotel Ivy.

Sunday, June 9

Jazz on the Prairie Big Band Festival @ Staring Lake Amphitheater, 14800 Pioneer Trail, Eden Prairie. 2pm – 6pm (Free) Six community big bands, including The River City Jazz Orchestra, The Good News Big Band, The Just Friends Big Band, the Acme Jazz Company, w/vocalist Arne Fogel, The Bend in the River Big Band, and the Jazz on the Prairie Big Band. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. The Eden Prairie Rotary Club are sponsoring a Ribfest in case you get hungry. More information is available here.

Connie Evingson: Songs by Dave Frishberg @ The Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm, 7:30pm ($25) w/Jon Weber, piano; Dave Karr, sax; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. The music of Dave Frishberg is always hip. Heck, he’s even got a great little song called “I’m Hip,” as well as “Peel Me a Grape,” “My Attorney Bernie,” and more. Evingson did a whole album of his tunes, and she’s got a hip backing band as well. Here’s a video someone put together from Connie’s album of Frishberg songs.

Tuesday, June 11

images-2Hugh Masekela and Larry Willis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($25) Trumpet/piano duets from two musicians who attended the Manhattan School of Music together in the 60s. Since graduating, Masekela had a few pop hits (Grazing in the Grass, anyone?) and then went on to concentrate on the politics of his native South Africa. Previous appearances at the Dakota with a full band had him performing uplifting, vital music. Willis was a force on the avante-garde scene of NYC in the sixties, and also recorded with such stalwarts as Lee Morgan, Stan Getz, and Jackie McLean, not to forget Blood, Sweat, and Tears, Alphonse Mouzon, Carla Bley and a host of others. More recently, he’s recorded with Erik Alexander, released well-received CDs on High Note Records, and was recently featured with the Steve Davis Quintet on a live recording from Smalls in NY.

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, June 5

Crenshaw with a copy of his 80s album.

Crenshaw with a copy of his 80s album.

Marshall Crenshaw, the Bottle Rockets @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20-Advance, $30 – Door, $40 – VIP)  A double-bill that’s worth your while. Marshall Crenshaw is a power pop singer/songwriter who scored pretty big with “Someday, Someway” back in the 80s. He’s had four of his songs covered by Ronnie Spector and others covered by folks ranging from Austin songstress Lou Ann Barton to Freedy Johnston and Bette Medler. Crenshaw has appeared in the touring show of Beatlemania, played Buddy Holly in the Richie Valens biopic La Bamba and published “Hollywood Rock: A Guide to Rock n’ Roll in the Movies.” He currently hosts a radio show on the fabled WFUV in New York, featuring his own collection of records. On the other hand, The Bottle Rockets, from Saint Louis, have been around since 1992, creating a rockin’ body of work that reflects the views of everyman.

Thursday, June 6

Dan Israel & the Cultivators, Martin Devaney @ Music in Mears, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm (Free) Lowertowns annual summer music series opens with Dan Israel, who just celebrated the ambitious release of “Danthology,” and “Live On.” Danthology is a two LP vinyl set of 25 of what he considers his best songs from 20 years and a dozen CDs, while Live On is his latest CD. Singer/songwriter Martin Devaney, who’s no slouch when it comes to both, opens.

images-4Joan Baez @ The Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley. 7pm ($47) The first show of this season’s Music in the Zoo will open without the presence of the event’s founder, Sue McLean, who passed away a couple of weeks ago. Joan Baez came to fame at the Newport Folk Festival in 1959, hung out with Bob Dylan, played Woodstock, recorded over 30 albums, garnered a few gold records, and received a lifetime achievement award at the 2007 Grammy’s. Her crystalline voice moved more than a few anti-war protesters back in the day. As always with this series, it’s wise to buy your tickets ahead of time.

Friday, June 7

Molly Maher, Erik Koskinen @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. (No Cover) Maher and Koskinen in a rare appearance outside of their weekly Wednesday night Aster Cafe gig. Erik Koskinen, who opens at 7pm, is a talented roots/Americana singer and guitarist often called upon to tour with national artists. He’ll be followed at 9pm by Molly Maher and Her Disbelievers, an alt-country, rootsy group that delivers heartbreak in a winning way, thanks to Maher’s soulful vocals. Neither artists gets enough attention. Food Truck: Tollefson Family Pork

Charanga Tropical & DJ Fatty @ Northrup Plaza, U of M, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10:30pm (Free) DJ Fatty spins Salsa until 8pm, when the nine-piece latin band takes over. Charanga Tropical includes three violins, a flute and a latin rhythm section, including musicians from Cuba, Brazil, and Mexico. There is sure to be plenty of dancing under the stars on the large plaza of the U’s Northrup auditorium. Food and drinks will be available for sale. Here’s an excerpt featuring their string section.

New, Live, & Local @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 8pm – Midnight ($5) Here’s a chance to see a wide variety of music in one evening, including the Symbiosis Drum & Dance Ensemble; Srahalys, performing music from Eastern Europe and Central Asia; Bella Duo, two cats from the Spaghetti Western Company; and Caravan Music and Dance, performing classical and contemporary music from the Middle East.

Saturday, June 8

Loring Park Acoustic Music Festival @ Loring Park, Minneapolis. Noon – 8pm (Free) Spend your Satuday havin a picnic and lolling on the grass while you listen to the cream of the area’s acoustic musicians, including the DL Cajun Trio; Jack Klatt & the Cat Swingers; Mikkel Beckmen and Steve Kaul; the Town Hall Stompers, and the Roe Family Singers, among others. There’ll be a couple of food trucks available, naturally, but a couple of neighborhood restaurants are a short walk away, should you want different take-out.

The Good, The Bad and the Funky @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($?) Always funky, never bad, except when bad means good. This ten-piece horn band plays funk, soul, and R&B. Whether you’re 21 or 61, their infectious, old school approach to R&B will lure you to the dance floor.

Saturday-Sunday, June 8-9

Northern Spark Festival @ Lowertown, Saint Paul. 9pm Saturday – 5am Sunday (Free) A panoply of art and music (almost 80 projects) with performances and demonstrations ranging from the Ananya Dance Theater to the Shubert Club, saxman Steve Clark, DeeJay Rambo Salinas (ex-Hot Pants), and shape note singing, to Zeitgeist. It all takes place at the Union Depot, along the river, and throughout Lowertown. The evening opens with a concert by Mayda in the Union Depot and closes with yoga at Lower Landing. The full schedule of events can be found here. Be sure to take your “disco nap” on Saturday.

Sunday, Monday, June 9, 10

John Sebastian @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($36) Holy Woodstock! First we have Joan Baez, now John Sebastian in the same week. There will be lots of graybeards in the audience for this show, but don’t be surprised if members of other generations show up as well. With a friendly voice and well-written songs, Sebastian has been an inspiration to numerous singer/songwriters. He was responsible for the Lovin’ Spoonful having seven songs in the top ten. After Woodstock, he took to writing for television and films, scoring with “Welcome Back,” for Welcome Back Kotter, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. Welcome Back, Indeed. Here’s a song you may have forgotten.

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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