The Long View: Music for 9.11 – 9.18 and beyond, to 9.29

Off on vacation

Off on vacation

Lots of good jazz and roots music taking place this week and in upcoming weeks. I’ve briefly listed some events beyond the next week, since I will be taking a vacation and only have sporadic access to e-mail and the interweb, so you won’t be hearing from me until October 3rd. Until then, take advantage of the offerings we have in this town. After all music can lift the soul.


Wednesday, September 11

Trumpet Summit @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($25)   Wow, four trumpeters from different eras come together for an evening that trumpets the trumpet, so to speak. Featuring Randy Brecker, Dr. Eddie Henderson, Jeremy Pelt, and Leon Jordan, Jr. Brecker is a Grammy winner who has been on hundreds of recordings, from Bruce Springsteen and Frank Sinatra, to Steely Dan, Parliament-Funkadelic, and the Brecker Brothers. Henderson has worked with Art Blakey, Charles Earland, and the Herbie Hancock Sextet. Pelt has been with the Mingus Big Band, and played with Bobby Blue bland, Cedar Walton, and Ravi Coltrane, among others. Leon Jordan plays on the cutting edge of modern music, having graduated from the University of the Arts in 2009.

Mansur Scott & The Harlem Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Note the early start time. This New York vocalist/percussionist is known as the Jazz Mayor of Harlem. His approach to singing is blues-based but at the same time spare and reserved. He’s performed all over NYC, and of late, Europe. He’s currently touring behind his debut album, Sometimes Forgotten, Sometimes Remembered, reviewed here. The Harlem Quartet is  Carlson Holmes, piano; Wayne Bachelor, bass; and Mark Johnson, drums, with guest soloists Paul Zouner on trombone, and Kiemens Piem on sax. Here’s a video of Scott singing an Abbey Lincoln song to give you an idea of his thoughtful way with a lyric.

Friday, September 13

Retro Swing Sister @ The Village, Mendota Heights. 6:30pm – 8:30pm (Free) This outdoor performance is part of the Village’s Crazy Days event. Rhonda Laurie & Maryann Sullivan will be joined by Robert Bell, guitar; Doug Haining, sax; Matt Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. Do a little swing dancing in-between shopping at the Village Shops, or instead of shopping.

Merciless Ghost @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8-11pm (tip jar) Freely improvised music with George Cartwright, sax; Josh Granowski, bass; and Davu Seru, drums/percussion.

Friday, Saturday, September 13, 14

images-2Locally Damaging Winds @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Ahh, the trombone, it rarely gets respect, but I’d say that anyone seeing this four trombone group at work would come away with new respect for the instrument and those who play it. Featuring Pete Enblom, Wade Clark, Brad Bellows, and Dave Graf on trombones, with Bryan Nichols, piano; Tom Pieper, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums.

Open Door Music #1 @ The Ritz Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15-$25) This is billed as “A Conducted Improvisation and Free Style Music Festivl Celebrating the Legacy of Butch Morris.” Morris was a cornetist who originated Conduction, a type of free improvisation that was nevertheless structured, which he conducted with hand gestures and a baton. This two-night stand will feature a number of freely improvising groups. Friday night will feature the IMP Ork and the Minnesota Premier of Black Feburary: a documentary on Butch Morris. Saturday features the Improvestra, Cherry Spoon Collective, and Coloring Time.  Here’s the Cherry Spoon Collective at an open rehearsal.

Saturday, September 14

Selby Avenue Jazz Festival @ Selby & Milton, Saint Paul. Noon – 9pm. (Free) This family-friendly event is always fun. Lots of food and other vendors and a lineup that includes neighborhood musicians as well as visiting musicians: Dick & Jane’s Brass Band; The Lex-Hamm Community Band; Yohannes Tona; and headliners  Damon L. Brown, and Marcus Johnson. Complete information can be found here.

Franconia Sculpture Park Jazz Festival, 29836 St. Croix Trail, Franconia. Noon – 6pm (Free, $5 parking) Two fine instrumental groups – Trio Pika (Adam Linz, Phil Hey, Bryan Nichols), and Atlantis Quartet, and three vocalists: Sophia Shorai, Lucia Newell, and  Debbie Duncan. Located 3 miles west of Taylors Falls on Highway 8. Pack a picnic, or buy food and beverages there.

Monday, September 16

Doc Severinsen Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($60 – $40), 9pm ($50 – $30) Not exactly adventurous music, but powerful, and boy, does Doc know how to swing. His band includes a number of Minnesota musicians, including Mary Louise Knutson on piano.

…And in Jazz for the next couple of weeks:

Wednesday, September 18

Dave Brattain Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Mainstream jazz from a fine saxophonist.

Thursday, September 19

Ravi Coltrane Quartet at the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Modern jazz from the son of John Coltrane.

Dave Karr Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) The eighty-something Karr can still blow the sax like anybody’s business.

Thursday – Sunday, September 19 – 22, and September 26-29 

PerformancePage-913x1024Belmont Hotel @ The Southern Theater, Minneapolis. Sundays, 3pm, other performances, 7:30pm ($40 opening night -the 20th, $27, $19 for seniors) This is a jazz/dance/singing performance starring Katie Geary and up and coming recording artist Cameron Wright. A live band with horns will provide the music, with choreography by Regina Peluso. More information can be found at:

Friday, Saturday, September 20, 21

Diane Witherspoon @ the Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($?) Shirley Witherspoon’s sister returns from California to sing for us during this two night stand.

Tuesday, September 24

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Modern Big Band Jazz.

Thursday, September 26

Pete Whitman’s X-Tet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) A smallish big band that cooks

Friday, September 27

Lila Ammons CD Release @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 10pm ($?) Her new album is The Nearness of You, in which she tackles standards, blues, and bossas with ease, showcasing her considerable way with a lyric. The title song shines a light on her tasteful way with a melody, while her quiet urgency reveals the emotional center of the Billie Holiday tune, Don’t Explain.

Friday, Saturday, September 27, 28

Dean Magraw’s Red Planet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) You can’t find a more versatile, imaginative guitarist in town than Dean Magraw.

Saturday, Sunday, September 28, 29

Dave Holland Prism @ The Dakota, Minneapolis 7pm ($40). 9pm ($30) Holland’s latest project, this time featuring Craig Taborn, piano; Kevin Eubanks, guitar; and Eric Harland, 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, Sep 11

Crankshaft on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM) and 7pm (331 Club – tip Jar) Crankshaft is an original: he attacks his guitar like a crocodile grabs a zebra; he’s funny, which is often reflected in his songs; and he exudes high energy. Imagine, if you will, the energy of punk rock going into blues, country, and good ol’ rock and role. He plays as one-man band and also has a trio – the Gear Grinders. Not sure who will turn up, but you can surely find out on the radio show. PS: Word has it a big fan will be celebrating her birthday this evening as well, so there will undoubtedly be additional whooping, hollering, and dancing.

Patti Lupone As Evita

Patti Lupone As Evita

Thursday, Friday, Sep 12, 13

Patti LuPone @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($70 – $45), 9pm ($60-$35) Here we have some Broadway/cabaret singing from LuPone, who has been in countless Broadway shows, and won two Tonys. She’s best know for her roles as Eva Peron in “Evita,” Fantine, in the original London cast of “Les Miserables,” and Mama Rose in Gypsy.

Friday, September 13

Portland Cello Project @ Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, 3045 Chicago Ave So, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free-Will Offering) Here’s an intriguing event. The seven-cello strong PCP, as they’re known to fans, will be playing Beck, Bach, and Brubeck at this Southside Church. They’ll play songs from Beck Hanson’s SongReader, a sheet-music-only release, as well as compositions from JS Bach and Dave Brubeck. You can see them playing Take Five at:

Joe and Vicki Price @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 9-11pm (Tip Jar) Joe and Vicki have rightly gathered a big following here in the Twin Cities with their stripped down, trance-meets-delta style of blues. Not the kind of music you’d expect from a couple living in rural Iowa.

The Selecter @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm doors, 8pm music ($25) Back in the 80s, a group of English bands started a ska revival and recorded for 2-Tone records. The Selecter was one of them and they’re back, with two well-recieved albums: 2011’s Made in Britain and 2013’s String Theory, and are featuring Pauline Black, the queen of ska. Cleveland’s Pinstrips open. Get a taste of their enthusiastic approach with this video.

Saturday, September 14

West Bank Benefit for Charmaine Bird @ Palmer’s, Minneapolis. 2pm – 9pm. Truth be told, I don’t know Charmaine, but many musicians apparently do. And what musicians! John Beach leads off at 3pm, followed by Spider John Koerner at 4pm, Willie Murphy at 5pm, Pop Wagner and Dakota Dave Hull at 6pm, and the Liquor Pigs at 7pm.

images-3Commander Cody @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) You don’t have to be Lost in the Ozone Again, driving a Hot Rod Lincoln, or be Down to Seeds & Stems Again to enjoy the rockin’ country/roots excursions of Commander Cody. It’s rowdy, often funny, roadhouse music, and though the Dakota may be a bit more polished than the usual venues for this band, that won’t stop anyone from having fun.

Red Dog @ the Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8-11pm (Tip jar) This country/folk trio consists of musicians who have played around the Twin Cities for many, many years, going all the way back to the West Bank Trackers and the Bluegills.

Sunday, September 15

Patty & the Buttons & the Cactus Blossoms @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No cover) Here you have two groups with strong followings. Patty & the Buttons play acoustic swing, New Orleans, jazz, ragtime, and the blues. The Cactus Blossoms play originals that sound like vintage country. A toe-tappin’ evening. Bolder listeners may even squeeze in a dance or two in the aisles.

Monday, September 16

Corpse Reviver CD Release, with Charlie Parr @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($12) Corpse Reviver plays the music found on the Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music. They are Mikkel Beckman, percussion, Jillian Rae, fiddle, and Adam Kiesling, guitar and banjo. They’re celebrating the release of their first album: Volume One: I’ll be Rested When the Roll is Called. Fine musicians all, and they’ll have Charlie Parr opening. Here they are doing the title song.

…And in Blues and Roots for the next couple of weeks:

Wednesday, September 18

Krar Collective @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free, while tickets last) Ethiopian music  – contemporary, yet rooted in tradition.

Aurora Celtic Band @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30 – 9:30pm. (Tip Jar) Edgy Irish music from a touring band.

Thursday, September 19

Jimmy Cliff @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 9pm ($30) The Reggae master will undoubtedly light up the place.

Friday, September 20

Paul Cebar @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm ($10) Dance, Dance, Dance.

Meg Hutchinson @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($15) Part of Red House Live series.

Vasen @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Folk-rockish trio from Sweden

Saturday, September 21

Hot Pants 6th Anniversary @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Dance to rare funk n’ soul 45s.

Philips Phonograph @ The Red Stag Supper Club, Minneapolis. 10pm (No cover) An indie folk band that mixes things up a bit by including keyboards and trumpet along with the usual instrumentation. With Eric Phillips, vocals, guitar, banjo; Kurt Larson, Keys, vocals; Lauren Vetsch, Trumpet, Glock; and Matthew Thomas, drums, shaker, and tambourine

Sunday, September 22

Tim Sparks & Phil Heywood @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Two masters of the acoustic guitar.

Monday, Tuesday, September 23, 24

Bettye LaVette @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) As soulful as it gets. She’ll wring you out.

Wednesday, September 25

Rena Haus Trio on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI), 7pm (331 Club – tip jar) Original blues and roots

Debo Band and Christine Salem @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Ethiopian dance music and a singer from Reunion, in the Indian Ocean. Part of the Global Roots Festival

Thursday, September 26

Willie Walker & Scottie Miller @ Holihan’s Pub, White Bear Lake. 8pm (No Cover) Interesting pairing of two terrific musicians who, as far as I know, have not appeared together before: Walker on vocals, and Miller on piano & vocals, backed by Bobby Schnitzer, guitar; Larry Wiegard, bass; and Scott Sansby, drums.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, September 26, 27, 28

Zeitgeist’s New Music Harvest @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm each night. ($10, Thurs, Fri; $20, Sat Fundraiser). New Chamber Music from near and far.

Friday, September 27

North Mississippi All-Stars, and Lightnin’ Malcolm @ the Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9pm ($17) Deep, Deep Blues from the South, with a pair of acts that feature the high energy that goes over well with the young crowd.

Saturday, September 28

Rauchfest @ Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. 1pm – 10pm. ($15) W/ Derobe Dance Band, Molly Maher, Boys “n the Barrels, and more. Lotsa music, fresh beer, and food trucks.

Sunday, September 29

Frigg @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($20) Hot, Nordic folk-rock.

Monday, September 30

Dan Penn w/Bobby Emmons @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Soulful songwriter and composer of hits for Aretha, James Carr, and more. I’m really sorry I’m missing this one, as Penn has proven to be a great storyteller, as a performer, and as a songwriter.

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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