Lotsa Ladies. Music: 7.31 – 8.6

July 31, 2013

Unknown-2Seems there are quite a few female vocalists – jazz, roots, & rockers – in this week’s selection of mostly under-the-radar gigs. Then we have some up and coming artists, as well as a couple of veteran performers. Plus there are a few gigs outside the core downtowns of these Twin Cities. All of which makes for a wonderful week of music.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 31

UnknownAnthony Cox’s Happy Spirits Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Cox has gathered Peter Schimke, piano; Kevin Washington, drums; and Solomon Parham, trumpet, to create modern, post bop jazz. They cooked at the recent Jeremy Walker benefit, laying down complex rhythms and melodies that swung.

 

Opus @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) This Milwaukee group has been together for 35 years, playing both straight ahead jazz and their own brand of fusion. They’ve played with the Milwaukee Symphony and won a WAMI, for Wisconsin’s best jazz group.

Thursday, August 1

Jana Nyberg Group Tour Kick-Off @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Jana and the guys have some new tunes under their belts and they’re ready for their annual tour to Door County and Eastern Wisconsin, where they’ll be playing a festival in Appleton. Jana is a fun vocalist, and whether she’s singing originals, standards, or new interpretations of recent pop fare, she’ll have you thinking about songs in a new light.

Young Lions Night, Part 1 @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) Anyone who thinks jazz is dead is not aware of the steady growth of young players in this area. Thanks to the folks at Jazz Police, the monthly Young Artists series continues at the AQ, tonight featuring Joe Suihkonen, trumpet; Sam Wildenauer, bass; and Ermerson Hunton, drums. All three are recent grads of South High in Minneapolis. Suikhonen and Hunton have just completed their first year at Oberlin Conservatory. Wildenauer has been working as a free-lance bassist and playing free jazz.

Young Lions Night, Part 2 @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul.  9pm ($5) Stick around for a slightly older generation of musicians, as Miguel Hurtado, drums; Javier Santiago, piano; and James Buckley, bass, take the stage. Hurtado  and Santiago have been playing in various groups for years now. As far as I know, this is the first time they’re featured with Buckley, the old man of the group. He has been playing professionally in the Twin Cities since 1999, and was profiled in City Pages in 2009.

Friday, August 2

Connie Olson & Marie Louise Knutson @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Ms Olson has sung with the Peter Duchin Big Band, and musicians from the bands of Prince, Madonna, and Brian Setzer, and you have undoubtedly heard her on any number of commercials. Tonight, she’s singing with the wonderful pianist Mary Louise Knutson, who has her own impressive list of credits, including numerous stints with Doc Severinsen, in the lounge area of Parma 8200, a D’Amico restaurant in an office tower. It’s quite a nice little spot.

Vicky Mountain @ Kelly Park, 6855 Fortino Street, Apple Valley. 6pm – 9pm (Free) Summer certainly brings out music in the parks, in the suburbs as well as in the core cities. Tonight, vocalist Vicky Mountain is joined by James Allen, guitar; Tom Pieper, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums. Food and drink are available for sale and there will be some give-aways as well. 

Saturday, August 3

Nichola Miller @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Whether you’re dining at the Kitchen, or looking for a cocktail before heading out on the town, Ms Miller will provide a sophisticated soundtrack for an early evening rendezvous. Her singing will make your Martinis seem drier and your Cosmos seem sweeter.

Horst, Whitman, Hagedorn, and Bates @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Kenny Horst continues to find ways to bring together new combinations of musicians. Pete Whitman, sax; and Dave Hagedorn, vibes; have played together in Pete’s X-Tet, and Chris Bates, bass; has played with Kenny before, but I think this is a first time for this combination. Given the melodic strengths of Whitman and Hagedorn, and the rhythmic strengths of Horst and Bates, this should be a night of great music.

Linda and Patty Peterson @ The Ivy Hotel, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) The siblings of Minnesota’s first family of music sing alone and together, while Linda tickles the ivories at this new, cozy destination for Saturday Night Jazz.

Saturday, Sunday, August 3, 4

Aakash Mittal CD Release Party @ Dakota Late Night, and The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11:30pm (Saturday, Dakota – $5), and 7pm (Sunday, The Icehouse – $7) Two opportunities to see Mittal, an alto saxophonist from Denver who is exploring new territory in jazz by incorporating elements of music from India, his parent’s birthplace. The results are imaginative and energizing, key ingredients in jazz, as seen in this video.

Monday, August 5

Minnesota Jazz All Stars @ The Old Log Theater, Greenwood. 7:30pm ($24) Here’s a chance for those in the western burbs to hear some of the best jazz Minnesota has to offer in their own back yard. This group of veterans includes Cliff Brunsell, violin; Tanner Taylor, piano; Irv Williams and Dave Karr, on saxes; Clyde Anderson, bass; Reuben Ristrom, guitar; and Mac Santiago, drums. Charmin Michelle is the guest vocalist. Nuff said.

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, July 31

Cafe Accordion Orchestra @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Ahh, Berets and Bongos, Musette music and a bit of swing. If the accordion is a natural instrument in a land of Scandinavians and Germans, then credit Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton with showing us it’s possibilities in a variety of genres, from blues to cajun/zydeco, to rock n’ roll and swing. This noontime performance is sure to rejuvenate you for an afternoon of work. Bring a lunch or get one at the Center’s cafe.

SAMSUNGRadio Joe & the JazzBos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm. ($5) Do some swing dancing on a great dance floor as Radio Joe lays down classic boogie woogie, the occasional Sinatra-type swing number, and then hug your honey as he sings and plays I Only Have Eyes for You. You can also catch him on Friday at the Minnehaha Falls Pavillion (7:30) where the dancing is a bit harder on dirt and grass.

Thursday, August 1 – Sunday, August 11

Minnesota Fringe Festival @ various venues around town.  (Times, $, Varies) Normally, I wouldn’t write about something so large, but there are a few shows here that are worth noting: Standing on the Hollow features music by flutist Julie Johnson and dance by Tamara Ober; five appearances @ Intermedia Arts. Bump in the Night, written by bluegrass comedienne Courtney McLean, features dancing and adult language; five appearances  @ U of M Rarig Auditorium. The Education of Murray Sanderson @ Theater in the Round is a comedy about four parents stuck in parent/teacher conferences. Naturally, there’s much, much more. Check out the Fringe Festival website for a complete schedule and rundown of performances.

Unknown-1Javier & the Innocent Sons, featuring Hurricane Harold @ Washington Square, White Bear Lake. 8pm (No Cover) If we had out-of-the-way roadhouses, or back alley joints in the Twin Cities, Javier & the guys would be the perfect house band, with their clean, swinging blues, and the potent guitars of Javier Matos and Dan Scwalbe. They’ll be joined tonight by harpmaster Hurricane Harold, whose playing adds new spice to an already hot recipe for fun.

Friday, August 2

Reina del Cid & the Cidizens @ 318 Cafe, Excelsior, 8pm ($6) Reina del Cid is more than a singer/songwriter, she’s a storyteller whose tales of heartbreak and social ills seem the product of someone who is way older than 24. If you’re of a similar age and have any thoughts of writing songs, listening to Reina will cause you to either change professions, or double down on your efforts. The Cidizens, her backing band, are coming into their own as well. Here they are doing a Van Morrison song.

Dee Miller Band featuring Jimi “PrimeTime” Smith @ School II Bistro, Chanhassen. 8pm – 11pm. ($7) Head further south and a bit to the west to this wine bar in a shopping center to hear the Duchess of the Blues. Miller sings with the authority of a woman that won’t brook any BS. Smith plays guitar to match.

The Meadows @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 9 -11pm (Tip Jar) Together, Pete Linman, Wendy Lewis, andJeff Waryan, have played and performed with a number of bands over the years, ranging from North Equator Nine, to the Bad Plus, to Curtiss A. Now, they’re playing together, and the results are folkish, noirish, and darkish, and delish.

imagesBernard Allison @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) When people say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, they are thinking of someone like Allison, the guitar slinging progeny of Luther Allison. Like his dad, he plays the blues with rock n’ roll energy, but without blues-rock excess. David Z produced his 2011 album the Otherside, and managed to bring in a contemporary sound while displaying Allison’s stinging guitar and R&B vocals.

Saturday, August 3

Papa John & the Cool Club of East Lake @ St Anthony Village Beer Garden, 35th & Silver Lake Road, Saint Anthony Village. 4pm – 7pm. (Free) Papa John will have the usual suspects on hand: Sam on trumpet, Deano on guitar, and Bill Grenke on bass. Outdoors at a beer garden. Sounds great. And if you don’t catch them there, check out Merlins on East Lake, from 8:30pm – 12:30am.

Silvertones @ Kenny SummerFest, Kenny Park, 1328 58th St, W, Minneapolis. 6:30pm – 9:00pm (Free) It’s a neighborhood festival in southwest Minneapolis, with sno-cones, mini-donuts, and other foods, a car show from 5-7pm, and bike and stroller parade, and fun for the whole family. Opening, from 5:15 – 6:15 are Dynamaxium & the Cosmic Troubadors. Then come the Silvertones, whose cover tunes will entertain moms and dads of all ages.

The Eddies @ Cafe Amore, Saint Paul. 7pm – 10pm. A rare chance to catch the almost-acapella purveyors of sea shanties and work songs in their natural habitat – Saint Paul’s WestSide neighborhood (I know, I know, it’s South of downtown – just let it go). Head up the High Bridge to Smith and Anapolis, where they are performing as part of “Art on the Avenue” a neighborhood art crawl.

Eilen Jewel @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) The Queen of the Minor Key uses rockabilly, alt-country, and folk as starting points for slyly written tunes that will have you bouncing in your seat, if not stompin’ on the non-existent dance floor of the Dakota. Here she is singing the song that earned her that nickname.

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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The Height of Summer. Music: 7.24 – 7.30

July 24, 2013
Mears Park will be home to the Lowertown Roots Festival on Saturday

Mears Park will be home to the Lowertown Roots Festival on Saturday

Well, this Saturday is shaping up to be one of the best of the summer, with an abundance of music offerings. We’ve a Roots Festival in Saint Paul, the Dakota Street Fest in Minneapolis, and dozens of other performances in jazz, blues, and roots, only a few of which I’ve listed. It’s what we wait for throughout the winter, and then we end up with making difficult choices, or mapping out a day of travel between events. We are lucky to have such a cornucopia of talent in our midst.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 24

Dave Karr Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Now into his ninth decade of performing, Karr plays the saxophone with beauty and grace, even when playing a bracing bebop number.

Thursday, July 25

Jeremy Walker Benefit @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50) Ted NashDavid BerkmanAnthony Cox, & guests from the MN Opera come together to help raise funds for pianist/composer Jeremy Walker (Nownet!, Boot Camp, Small City Trio), who has been diagnosed with Lyme Disease after years of suffering. Nash and Berkman will be playing with Boot Camp, and Cox will be playing with his own band, Happy Spirits.

Unknown-1Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra w/Charmin Michelle @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. 7:15pm – 10pm. (Free) The Ordway Summer Dance series continues, with lessons on ballroom dancing followed by big band sounds, and thrush Charmin Michelle.

Pete Whitman’s X-Tet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) If you’re looking for more great music after the Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra, or maybe want a cool dark spot to listen, mosey over to the AQ, where Pete Whitman gathers nine terrific musicians to play energetic jazz.

Friday, Saturday, July 26, 27

Babatunde Lea Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Quite the lineup, one that could easily headline a high-profile NY club. Besides Lea (traps and conga), who in his forty years of experience has worked with folks ranging from Pharoah Sanders to Van Morrison, he’ll have Anthony Cox, bass; Richard Johnson, piano; and Solomon Parham, trumpet.

Saturday, July 27

Dorothy Doring @ Admiral D’s Waterfront Tavern, White Bear Lake. 7pm (No Cover) Doring is a personable, versatile, and charming vocalist who knows her way around jazz and blues. Her recent recording of tunes by Ellington & Strayhorn received much critical praise. Tonight she’ll be accompanied by Lincoln Berry on organ, and Donald Thomas on drums. Live music on the deck overlooking the lake. Sounds like an ideal summer evening.

The drum master at work

The drum master at work

Eric Kamau Gravatt Drum Clinic and The Cockeyed Band @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 6pm – 7:30 clinic ($15) 7;30 concert ($15,  $20 for clinic & concert)  Famed drummer Gravatt will give a clinic on drum patterns, and some of the history of drumming. Afterwards, he’ll join Gregg Inhofer and the Cock-eyed band for a performance. There will also be music from The Electric String Quartet, an ambient pop group, and poetry from Neil Hilborn, plus free food and non-alcoholic drinks. Beer and wine will be available for sale as well.

Sunday, Monday, July 28, 29

Kermit Ruffins & the Barbeque Swingers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Ruffins is a terrific trumpet player who perfectly encapsulates much of what is loved about New Orleans music. Aside from his technical bona fides, he projects soulfulness, joyfulness, and playfulness in his performances, mixing the traditional with new, and keeping the spirit of Louis Armstrong alive. Plus, he actually cooks Barbeque when performing in N’Awlins. With the end of the series Treme, he’s returned to touring.

Tuesday, July 30

UnknownDick & Jane’s Brass Band @ Zeke’s Unchained Animal, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm. Lake & 35th Ave. This new neighborhood bar and restaurant is starting to feature music a few nights a week and is looking to make Tuesdays a New Orleans night, starting with Dick & Jane’s Brass Band. With the bar’s selection of craft beer, and its homemade, unique takes on burgers and other bar food, this could be a very fun evening.

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul 9pm ($10) Trumpeter Meckler has been on a tear lately, writing and arranging modern compositions for his 18 piece band. After spending almost a year doing shows at Jazz Central, they are moving to the bigger space of the AQ where they are starting a last Tuesday residency. I’ll have Adam on my show (90.3 & 106.78FM) this Saturday, the 27th, to talk about the orchestra and preview a couple of their tunes.

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, July 25

Rockin’ Pinecones @ the Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5?) The Pinecones have been dispensing New Orleans R&B, along with Cajun and Zydeco tunes for quite a while now, and have no trouble getting both veteran and neophyte dancers up and dancing on one of the best dance floors in the cities.

Rick Estrin & the Nitecats @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Estrin and the Nightcats play fun-filled blues. Estrin has developed a slightly cheesy, always humorous persona as a skirt chasin, blues lovin’ smart ass. It’s hard to find blues that’s this humorous. Check out this video to see what I mean.

Friday, July 26

Chicago Afrobeat Project feat. Tony Allen, and Blackmarket Brass @ The Cedar, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) Tony Allen was the drummer for Fela for fifteen years. Tonight he’ll be joining the Chicago Afrobeat Project for another evening of pulsing, mesmerizing music. The Twin Cities own Blackmarket Brass open. Here they are.

Dreamland Faces @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip jar) Dreamland Faces create new old music, utilizing a bassoon, accordion, piano, and saw. They’ll be joined by the Skeleton Crew of Scott Fultz, sax; Sean O’Hea, marimba; and Julie Sweet, piano. Julie is also the pianist for Dreamland Faces.

Saturday, July 27

Lowertown Roots Festival @ Mears Park, The Black Dog, and the Hat Trick, Saint Paul. 2pm – 10pm. (Free) Lowertown is taken over by various kinds of roots music, from folk to Nordic, to Zydeco. Music starts at 2:30 at Mears Park, and will feature Paul Dahlin, Nordic Angst, the bluegrass of the  High 48s, the Violin Roots Ensemble of Randy Sabien, and zydeco master CJ Chenier. Over at the Hat Trick there’s a different artist every hour, starting at 2pm, and the Black Dog will feature music starting at 8pm.

Dakota Street Fest @ 10th & Nicollet, Minneapolis. Noon – 10pm. After a hiatus last year, the Dakota Street Fest returns with twenty bands on four stages, showcasing musicians across a number of genres. Artists range from Sophia Shorai and Debbie Duncan to Sonny Knight & the Lakers, Kelley Hunt, The Tex Pistols, Irv Williams, Paul Metsa with Willie Walker and Willie West, Patty Peterson, and the Dakota Combo.

Lotsa food choices, music & beer will be at the 1st Food Truck Rally

Lotsa food choices, music & beer will be at the 1st Food Truck Rally

Great Food Truck Rally @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. Noon – 10pm (Free) Twelve food trucks, including AZ Canteen, A La Plancha, and Bloomy’s Roast Beef, will gather at the Tap Room, where five different groups will be playing during the day. Bands include Vinyl Lounge at Noon; Big Blue Station Wagon (Zack Lozier’s electric trio) at 2pm; Concentual at 4pm; Maurice Jacox Group at 6pm; and The Butanes at 8pm.

The Flamin’ Ohs @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) In the late 70s, they were called Flamingo, and though they were a rock band, and not a punk band, they caused quite a stir in the Twin Cities music scene. After changing their name to the Flamin’ Oh’s, they recorded a couple of well-recieved albums and toured nationally. Attrition, families, and life eventually wore them down and by the late 80s, they had gone their separate ways. Now, since a 1997 reunion, they are playing once again, if sporadically, bringing their heart felt rock n’ roll to grown up Gen Xers, and a new audience of millenials. Here’s a video that got played on MTV back when it actually played music videos.

Monday, July 29

Dale Watson @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($15) Lee’s is the Honky-Tonk/Rockabilly epicenter of the Twin Cities. What better place to see Dale Watson, a member of the Austin Music Hall of Fame, and his traditional/maverick style of country music. His most recent album, El Rancho Azul, for Red House Records, charted on Billboard, and earned him a June appearance on David Letterman. Here’s a video from that appearance.

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.


The Living is Easy (and warm). Music: 7.17 – 7.23

July 17, 2013
Don't complain about the heat, we'll get snow soon enough

When you’re feeling warm, remember last winter.

We’ve got a hot week ahead. Luckily, there is plenty of music outdoors as well as air-conditioned venues to help us seek relief. When the heat gets you down, remember the cold. Have a good week.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 17

Evans, Fultz, & Seru @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30 – 8:30pm. Elaine Evans, violin & pocket trumpet; Scott Fultz, sax; and Davu Seru, drums & percussion, will explore the outer boundaries of American musical expression.

Thursday, July 18

PaulaUnknown Lammers & Tanner Taylor @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm (Donation) It’s vocal night at Jazz Central, and Paula Lammers will be delivering a swinging set of heartfelt tunes, ably abetted by pianist Tanner Taylor.

Stanley Jordan @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($22) The collective jaws of many of the world’s guitarists dropped when Jordan released his Blue Note debut album in 1975. His unique tapping technique allowed him to play chords and melody simultaneously, much like a piano. His 2011 Mack Avenue album, Friends, features Kenny Garrett, Christian McBride, and Nicholas Payton. Here he is early in his career, when David Letterman actually had hair.

Kristin Sponcia and Friends @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Sponcia is a pianist and vocalist who teaches at MacNally Smith and has played with a number of national artists.

Friday, Saturday, July 19, 20

Laura Caviani Trio @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Whether accompanying Karrin Allyson, playing in Pete Whitman’s X-Tet, or leading her own groups, pianist Caviani plays with taste and style. Here she is at the AQ a few years back.

Saturday, July 20

Musselman, Jany, & Weston @ The Hotel Ivy, Minneapolis. 9pm – Midnight (No Cover) Pianist Dan Musselman just released a gorgeous CD of music that’s spiritual in the way that A Love Supreme is spiritual. This is actually guitarist Pavel Jany’s gig, but I suspect some of Dan’s music will be played. They’ll be joined by bassist Dan Weston.

Fall of the House of Usher @ The Belmore, 25 North 4th St, Minneapolis. 10pm ($5) A new project featuring Chris Cunningham, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; Chris Thomson, Adrian Larkin, and Elliot Wachs, saxophones; with Greg Schutte guesting on drums, as well as Jon Davis on bass clarinet. Chihuahua City opens at 10pm, FoTHoU at 11pm.

Tuesday, July 23

Capri Big Band @ The Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) Set against a background of downtown Saint Paul, the History Center’s music series is one of the reasons summer is so much fun in the Twin Cities. Tonight, the Capri Big Band, a talented collection of old, young, professional, and newer players, takes the stage. Dancing is encouraged.

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, July 17

The Ericksons on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Sisterly harmonies and Appalachia-meets-folk songwriting make for compelling roots music.

Thursday, July 18

Curtis Blake & Greasy Gravy & the Tex Pistols @ Mears Park, Saint Paul. 6:00pm (Free) A double bill of blues, roots, and Americana. Curtis Blake is a superb blues harpmaster, and together with Greasy Gravy, delivers the goods when it comes to blues you can dance to. The Tex Pistols mine rock and country, from Neil Young and Steve Earle to the Beatles (not to forget their originals). The setting is as mellow as you could want.

Orkestar Bez Ime @ the Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm. (Top Jar) These purveyors of Balkan party music will undoubtedly have the audience moving tables and chairs to dance with abandon.

Friday, July 19

Terrence Simien & the Zydeco Express @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) A highly respected, 8th generation Creole, Grammy winner Simien serves as an ambassador of zydeco music, bringing the infectious music to audiences throughout the world. One measure of his popularity: he’s performed at the New Orleans Jazz Festival for 27 years in a row. Let’s hope the Dakota clears some room for dancing, because you cannot sit still to his music.

slide.001Shagagogo @ Crooked Pint Ale House, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5?) This four-piece plus two go-go dancers takes off on the pop psychedelic outlook of Austin Powers, playing songs from the likes of 60s pop & garage rockers; 70s soul, pop, & disco; and 80s dance. It’s a veritable time machine of hits, with costumes and shtick to match.

Sunday, July 21

Armadillo Jump @ Highland Fest, Saint Paul. Noon. (Free) Rockin’ blues, the kind that makes you wanna holler, dance, and shout.  There’s lots more going on at this neighborhood festival, but this is definitely a way to start your day.

Saturday, July 20

Junior Brown @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($40) Brown is one of the best guitarists in country music. His brand of country is more honky-tonk and rock n’ roll then it is countrypolitan, resulting in kudos fromthe likes of No Depression magazine and rock critics. He played with Asleep At the Wheel back in the 60s and in 1985 invented the guit-steel, a double-neck hybrid of guitar and steel guitar, which has helped him win a number of awards. Check out this video.

Sunday, July 21

Trombone Shorty & Mavis Staples @ the Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley. 7pm ($56) What a double bill! Mavis Staples is an iconic singer of the 20th Century, whose vocals with the Staple Singers inspired hope and dedication to a whole generation. With his combination of funk, traditional New Orleans music, and a bit of jazz, Trombone Shorty has become one of the top performers of New Orleans, as evidenced by his placement as the closing artist at this year’s jazz fest. He may or may not be the new “hardest working man in show business,”  but it’s a sure thing that he knows how to work a crowd.

Monday, July 22

The Cactus Blossoms Last Dance @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11pm ($5) After an 18 month residency at the Turf Club, the Blossoms are going to free up time to play venues in Minneapolis as well as Saint Paul. As I’ve previously noted, imagine the Everly Brothers doing the early songs of George Jones, and you may have an idea of what the Cactus Blossoms sound like. Stop by to wish them well, and perhaps take a spin on the dance floor

Tuesday, July 23

Unknown-3Badi Assad @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40) w/ Choro Borealis. This inventive singer and guitarist from Brazil cannot be categorized, as she seamlessly mixes jazz, pop, and Brazilian sounds. She’s technically brilliant, yet innovative, on guitar, and yet embraces emotionalism as well. Choro Borealis is the new trio of Robert Everest, guitar; Pat O’Keefe on b flat clarinet and bass clarinet, and Tim O’Keefe on mandolin and percussion. They explore the origins Brazilian music – pre-samba, and pre-bossa nova.

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.


Summertime, Summertime, Sum, Sum, Summertime. Music 7.10 – 7.17

July 10, 2013
The sheet music for the Jamies' hit.

The sheet music for the Jamies’ hit.

As the Jamies sang 5o years ago or so, it’s time to live and have some thrills and you can do it by checking out some of the music and arts in our fair Twin Cities. Here is but a small portion of the music that’s available.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 10

Bates, Santiago, & Santiago @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm. (Donation) Young pianist Javier Santiago is back in town and wasting no time getting into the scene. Tonight he’s joining his dad Mac, on drums, and Chris Bates on bass for a couple of hours of swinging improvisation.

Thursday, July 11

UnknownSue Oatts & Tanner Taylor @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Thursday nights are vocal nights at Jazz Central. Sue Oatts is a fine vocalist who took a hiatus from singing when she was still Sue Tucker. Lucky for us she’s back and sounding in good form. Tanner Taylor, as always, accompanies with great sensitivity.

Dave Hagedorn and Dan Cavanaugh @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Student and Teacher, together again. Hagedorn plays vibes in a number of bands, notably the Phil Hey Quartet and Pete Whitman’s X-Tet, and teaches at St. Olaf. Pianist/composer Dan Cavanaugh was a student of Dave’s and has garnered many awards for his compositions. The two can be light and delicate, but they can swing when the situation, or the song, calls for it.

Friday, July 12

Helgeson, Vagle, & Byers @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($10) Guitarist Glen Helgeson with vocalist, Carin Vagle and cellist, Greg Byers descend on this cozy cafe in the western suburbs. Sounds like a chamber/jazz happening.

imagesMaurice Jacox Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Like many other music fans in the Twin Cities, I’ve often sung the praises of Maurice Jacox, whether he’s tackling Nat King Cole, jazz standards, Gamble & Huff compositions, or singing full bore blues and R&B. Tonight he’ll be accompanied by Thomas West, piano; Bruce “Pooch” Heine, bass; and Kenny Horst on drums. Should be a delight.

Saturday, July 13

Wine & Jazz Fest @ Saint Croix Vineyards, Stillwater. 11am – 6pm (Free) Well, you may part with some money after you sample a few wines, but basically, this is a chance to visit a vineyard and celebrate award-winning musicians and wine. The lineup includes Mike Salovich & Marc Anderson (World Music); Patty Peterson featuring the Tanner Taylor Group; Seven Steps to Havana (Latin Jazz), and headliners, The Atlantis Quartet.

The Tuesday Night Band @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Well, Saturday Night is party night, and the Tuesday Night Band is a party band, albeit with jazz sensibilities. Billy Franze, guitar; Downtown Bill Brown, organ; and Kenny Horst, drums, can lay down the funk of the Meters, and turn around and tear through a Wayne Shorter tune. Here’s a video of the band in action.

Tuesday, July 16

Wozniak, Peterson, & Horst @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5 – Ladies free!) Brandon Wozniak is really coming into his own as an imaginative improviser on the saxophone. Tonight he’s joined by Billy Peterson on bass, and Kenny Horst on drums to create a high powered sax trio.

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, July 11

Chastity Brown Band @ Victory Memorial Drive, 3401 Xerxes Ave So, Minneapolis. 6pm (Free) Part of the Live on the Drive Series, Chastity Brown is a singer/songwriter who channels the blues, gospel, and folk music into her art.

Friday, July 12

Bethany Larson & the Bees Knees @ Minnehaha Bandshell, Minneapolis. (Free) Hmm, a pretty parkland setting, with lots of trees. Opportunities to picnic, or to get some fresh seafood from Sea Salt, an active and overflowing waterfall, and a country/folk rock band. Sounds like a wonderful Friday evening.

Randy Weeks @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) You’ve heard Weeks’ music, either from Lucinda Williams, or from moves such as the Sunshine State and Shallow Hal. He’s a gifted songwriter whose influences span across roots and pop music. Jess Klein, who is a gifted writer and singer in her own right, opens. Here’s a video of him doing his “hit.”

Saturday, July 13

3rd Annual Roots, Rock, & Deep Blues Festival @ Harriet Brewing, Mosaic Cafe and Patrick’s Cabaret, Minneapolis. 1pm – 10pm ($15/Advance/$20 Gate) Limited to 2,000 tickets. Spider John, Crankshaft & Gear Grinders, Jeff Ray & Stakes, Kent Burnside & the New Generation, Black Audience, Chastity Brown, and bands from California, NJ, MA, IL, AL, AR. Nick Mrozinski, aka Nick the Feelin’ or Nicholas David (on The Voice) may be there as well.

Grandmothers of Invention @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) Okay, so their PR photo shows these guys in tuxedos, guys who went out of their way to look disreputable back in the day. Nevertheless, they play the avant-garde rock of Frank Zappa, and because they were all members of the Mothers of Invention, they not only know how to play it, but they can play it well, and with understanding. Here they are about a year ago.

America's original troubadour.

America’s original troubadour.

Sunday, July 14

Woody Guthrie 101 @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 6:30pm ($15 advance, $20 Door) Pop Wagner, Tony Glover, and Charlie Maguire perform their Fifth Annual Woody Guthrie Tribute, featuring stories, songs, and more.

Monday, July 15

Everett Smithson Band @ Roseville Central Park, Roseville. 7pm (Free) Party music, South Louisiana style, with Cajun, Zydeco, New Orleans R&B, hillbilly, rockin’ roots, and more. Besides Smithson on harp and Kathy on accordion, the band has Jeremy Johnson on drums, Phil Schmid on guitar, and Bill Black on bass. You couldn’t ask for a better rhythm section. Zydeco dance lessons are part of the evening.

 Early Warning – Wednesday, July 17

Cactus Blossoms @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Imagine the Everly Brothers singing the early songs of George Jones and you’ll begin to understand the possibilities behind this group.  Grab a lunch, sit (or dance) and enjoy yourself.

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 a Holiday Weekend: 7.3 – 7.9

July 3, 2013

UnknownWell, even though we’ve a four day holiday weekend on tap, there is plenty of music available for those of you who don’t go Up North. Almost every July 4th celebration will have music of some sort. I’ve highlighted the music at two of them. For videos, photos, and a few more links, check out my blog.

In the news: Music lovers are disappointed in the City of Minneapolis for suddenly enforcing some archaic rules about where music can be played and have forced the Riverview Wine Bar from presenting live music. Zacc Harris has the details and how you can help at this FaceBook Page.

Remember, music brings us together.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 3

Jean-Brice Godet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:00pm. (Donation – Tip Jar) Godet is a clarinetist who is particularly skilled on the bass clarinet, that incredibly warm and woody-sounding instrument. Expect flashes of technical brilliance as he pops, squawks, and makes other-worldly sounds interacting freely with Nathan Hansen, sax; Bryan Nichols, keyboards; and Pete Hennig, drums.

Thursday, July 4

Unknown-1Wolverines Big Band 40th Anniversary Concert @ Excelsior Commons, Excelsior. 6pm – 10pm (Free) This holiday concert features the vocals of Arne Fogel, Maude Hixson, and Judi Donaghy Vinar, celebrating the 4th in style. Can it really be 40 years since the band started performing?

Friday, July 5

JoAnn Funk @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Now that her “winter gig” at the Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar is over for the summer, you can still catch JoAnn and Jeff Brueske on bass at this Italian restaurant’s small lounge. JoAnn sings and plays piano on a wide variety of material, from Blossom Dearie and Nat King Cole to Leonard Cohen and Dan Penn.

James Buckley Trio @ Icehouse, Minneapolis. 6:30pm (Free) While the noise level of diners can be a bit din-ful, scoring a table in front of the stage will help you appreciate the interaction between Buckley, bass; Bryan Nichols,keys; and JT Bates on drums.

Saturday, July 6

Talking Strings @ Porter & Frye Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm. (No Cover) The Cities may be a little emptier than usual this evening, making it that much easier to get out and hear the outstanding Latin/jazz stylings of Talking Strings: Pavel Jany, guitar; Gary Schulte, violin; and Andrew Foreman, bass. It’s an intimate spot, with booths as well as tables.

Photo by Andrea Canter

Photo by Andrea Canter

Jake Baldwin Quintet @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm. ($5) Jake has gathered four other relatively recent post HS grad to form an exciting young quintet. With Nelson Devereau, sax; Cory Grindberg, bass; Joe Strachan, piano; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. If you’ve any interest in the newest generation of jazz musicians, this is the place to check out some of the area’s brightest rising stars.

Sunday, July 7

Beasly’s Big Band @ Como Lakeside Pavillion, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm (Free) Ahh, a Sunday evening next to the lake while the sounds of a big band inspires dancers and toe-tappers alike.

Monday, Tuesday, July 8, 9

Pharaoh Sanders @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($25) Sanders‘ saxophone playing has garnered accolades from the likes of John Coltrane (with whom he played) and Ornette Coleman, among others. He was part of the free jazz movement of the 60s and 70s, played with Sun Ra, and is equally at home, and equally lyrical playing greasy blues, ballad standards, and modal explorations. Here is is doing a song that was a hit for Johnny Mathis.

Tuesday, July 9

A Chris Olsen Project @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:20pm – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) A quartet of some of the area’s top-notch players. Chris Olson, guitar; Kristin Sponcia, piano & vocals; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Dave Stanoch, drums.

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, July 3

Dustin Busch on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM) and 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Country Blues and a bit o’ slide guitar from this Iowan who’s been mentored by Dave Moore and Joe & Vicky Price.

Derobe Dance Band & Black Market Brass @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm ($6) An evening of Afrobeat fueled funk and dance music. Derobe is an eleven piece outfit led by Cory Wong, guitar, and Eric Foss, drums, both of Secret Stash Records, re-issue label for many African recordings. Black Market Brass is a ten-piece ensemble that uses the music of Fela as inspiration to create its own sound. I’m hearing some of the Daptone groups, like the Budos Band, and Menaham Street Band, in their approach as well. Check out this video of Derobe.

Thursday, July 4

Powderhorn Park Celebration @ Powderhorn Park, Minneapolis. 1pm -10pm (Free) The annual South Minneapolis celebration features lots of music, including Latin American folk music from Alma Andina 3:30 – 4:30); superb picking from guitarist Phil Heywood (6-7pm); and the blues of Detroit Don King 8-9:15). Of course, there will be fireworks at 10pm.

Unknown-3The Butanes @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip jar) Okay, so maybe the idea of watching fireworks isn’t appealing. Listening to musical fireworks can be just as energizing, without the ash fall-out. The Butanes at Shaw’s could be just the thing, not to forget Shaw’s Thursday BBQ specials.

Friday, July 5

Cadillac Kolstad, Liquor Pigs @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) Liquor Pigs start at 7pm. Cadillac Kolstad at 9pm. Freewheelin’ Jackson Buck once agains brings a couple of rootsy groups to the Tap Room for a fun-filled evening. Both acts are now part of the West Bank music tradition. The Pigs are a loose group of musicians that create a devil-may-care atmosphere with their songs of drinking and regret. Cadillac takes his musical cues from early rockabillies and Jerry Lee Lewis. He’s a wild man at the piano, and thoroughly entertaining.

Malamanya & Hotpants East @ The Amsterdam, Saint Paul. 8pm (No cover) Start your Friday evening with the hot rhythms of Malamanya, a wellspring of Cuban son, and other Latin sounds. Continue at 10pm with the rare funk & soul sounds of Hotpants East, using hot 45s to fill the dance floor.

Saturday, July 6

LAssassinsPostcardALOHAmedres_opt_zpsf6e3a428Mondo Tiki-A-Go-Go @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Get out your Hawaiian shirts and retro Tiki-wear for a Hawaiian cook-out and dance party. L’Assassins, that female power rockabilly group, headlines, along with Southside Desire, Kiss or Kill, and DJ Shannon Blowtorch. Bring your dancing shoes, or simply enjoy the sight of swing dancers of various styles struttin’ their stuff on the comodious dance floor.

Sunday, July 7

Zeitgeist @ Caponi Art Park, 1220 Diffley Rd, Eagan. 6:30pm. (Free – $5 Suggested Donation) Here’s a way to hear some interesting music whilst strolling through the rolling hillsides of Caponi Art Park.  California composer Hugh Livingston will present  a multi-channel sound installation, along with the live performance of Zeitgeist. As you walk around the park you will experience  birdsongs, wind rushing through the trees, and trickling water from the stream, as well as the sounds of Zeitgeist and the sound installations. Art and nature at the same time.

Monday, July 8

Vieux Farka Toure @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) The son of late, much acclaimed Ali Farka Toure, this Malian guitarist is taking the connection between Malian music and the blues a step or two further, incorporating elements of reggae, R&B, & funk into the bluesy tones of his native country. With five well-recieved albums to his credit, including Mon Pays, a tribute to his home country, this promises to be a sterling show. Here’s an example of his guitar playing.

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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