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

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.


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.

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