Twin Cities Talent (Mostly). Music: 10.23 – 10.29

It's the time of the season

It’s the time of the season

As Autumn’s colors brighten and fade, we have the luxury of many venues offering the fine talents of Twin Cities Artists. There are a few visiting artists this week, but mostly in larger venues. By the way, you may notice I’ve been listing many events at the Artists’ Quarter. Their announcement that they may have to close at the end of the year has brought some sense of dismay to many jazz fans. I know the Mayor’s office is working to come up with a plan, and other jazz fans are as well. In the meantime, visit the club – it can only help –  especially on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights, when very talented Twin City musicians are featured. So much for a soap box. Have a good week, and remember that music lifts the soul.


Wednesday, October 23

UnknownGraydon Peterson Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) One of the first-call bassists in the Twin Cities, Peterson is also proving to be a fine composer and arranger. He’s put together this unique quartet to share his music: Vinnie Rose, guitar, Adam Meckler, trumpet, Adrian Suarez, drums.

Thursday, October 24

Pippi Ardennia CD Release Listening Party @ Faces, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 9:30pm (No cover) Pippi Ardennia is the joyful singer who puts her her signature on jazz and R&B tunes while being  backed by many of the Twin Cities best on her new CD, Love So Good 2. While the acoustics of the performance space in Faces leaves something to be desired, Pippi is having a listening party in a separate room. You can hear my October 19 interview with her on the KFAI archives at:

Davu Seru & Friends @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm. Seru’s an imaginative time-keeper and percussionist, and he’s got some highly inventive friends: With Marc Anderson, percussion; Scott Fultz and Nathan Hanson, saxes; and Brian Roessler, bass.

Chris Lomheim Trio @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Lomheim may be a devotee of pianist Bill Evans, but he’s his own man when it comes to creating melodic and sensitive solos, whether he’s accompanying a vocalist or leading his own trio, as he is tonight.

Friday, October 25

Gypsy Mania @ The 318 Club, Excelsior. 8pm ($10) Folks in the Western burbs can hear some great gypsy jazz while enjoying the beer, wine, and food offerings of the 40-seat 318 Club. You’d be hard pressed to find any Twin Cities artists who can swing the music of Django Rheinhart and others as well as Glen Helgeson, guitar; Gary Schulte, violin; Reynold Phillipsek, guitar; Jeff Brueske, bass.

Friday, Saturday, October 25, 26

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Source Code @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) You’d be paying at least $25 and have a two-drink minimum to hear Gravatt in other clubs around the country. In stints with Weather Report, McCoy Tyner, and Joe Henderson, he’s shown himself to be a monster drummer, capable of nuance and thunder. Source Code includes a quartet of highly talented musicians: Dave Graf, trombone; Solomon Parham, trumpet; Dean Magraw, guitar; and Ron Evanuik, bass. Here’s an earlier version of the group.

Saturday, October 26

Unknown-1JoAnn Funk Trio @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul 7pm – 11pm (No Cover) JoAnn and bassist Jeff Brueske are joined by Nathan Norman on drums for a special night of jazz. JoAnn’s winsome and airy voice does justice to songs by Nat King Cole, Dan Penn, Blossom Dearie, and others.

Benny Weinbeck Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Weinbeck on piano, Gordy Johnson on bass, and Phil Hey on drums provide classy, swingin’ jazz to the Italian restaurant lounge.

Monday, October 28

Trirose @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) A late night happy hour, and the jazz of Vinnie Rose, guitar; Jeremy Boettcher, bass; and Adrian Suarez, on drums. They’ll deliver classic jazz standards, contemporary pop, and originals, while you try the wine and appetizers of Barbette.

Tuesday, October 29

imagesRick Carlson @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) With the taste and timing of Count Basie, and a hat full of musical ideas, Carlson in a pianist that’s in demand around the Twin Cities. I don’t know if he’ll be solo or have a bassist and drummer, but whatever he plays, you will enjoy.

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Modern big-band jazz, under the direction of trumpeter Meckler, who creates originals and arrangements that showcase the best of this band.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, October 23

Unknown-2HIlary Thavis & Jim Ouska on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapoils. 5pm (KFAI), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar).  Thavis is a Minnesota-born, Italy-based blues singer, who has previously appeared on Harold’s House Party with her husband and musical partner as Gaia Groove. Ouska is a talented guitarist who is equally at home in jazz, blues, and acoustic music. Check them out during the 5 o’clock hour at 90.3 or 106.7 FM and then head over to the 331 Club to hear them in person.

Thursday, October 24

And the Professors CD Release @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. ($12) 7:30pm You may have read about Adam Levy’s latest project, an organic band of both rockers and classical string players, in the Star Tribune. The project has been a three-year collaboration, with Levy and the group drawing inspiration from Charles Ives, Randy Newman, and Beck, among others. Joining Levy’s band tonight are: Joey Van Phillips, Aby Wolf, deVon Gray), Bethany Larson, and members of the MN Opera. Opening are Ben Rosenbush and the Brighton, and Farewell Continental. Here’s an example of how they fully integrate strings into their performance.

Fode Bangoura @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm (Donation) A rare turn from jazz to world music for Jazz Central, though jazz drummers will no doubt be in attendance.  Bangoura is one of the world’s  greatest djembe drummers – that’s the goblet shaped drum played with the hands. Although he tours internationally, Bangoura is relatively unknown in the Twin Cities, where he currently lives. He’ll be appearing with Guinean drummers FaraTolno and Mandjou Mara, and Fode’s teenage son Fara, who is already a virtuosic drummer.

Chic Gamine @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) A female quartet that uses three-part backing harmonies over 21st century melodies and lyrics, accompanied only accompanied by percussion, for the most part. Sometimes girl-group, sometimes gospel, often intoxicating. Here’s an example.

Friday, October 25

Unknown-3RAMM Band @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Guitarist Paul Mayasich heads up this trio, with Paul Iden, bass; and Hye Pockets Robertson on drums. RAMM stands for Real American Made Music, as the band interprets Motown, R&B, funk, Americana, rock n’ roll, and blues.

Nikki & the Ruemates @ Dusty’s Bar, NE Minneapoils. 9:30pm (tip jar) This hole-in-the-wall provides a friendly setting for Nikki & her pals, as they play original blues, folk-rock, and the occasional psychedelic number. Jon Larson on bass, and Rich Rue on slide guitar, provide the perfect foundation for Nikki’s guitar and beautifully formed vocals. Check them out.

Hipshaker @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) This rare soul/funk 45rpm dance party is going strong. Get there early if you want to stake out a place to hang. Get there late if you want to watch scads of folk dancing themselves into a frenzy.

Saturday, October 26

Lowertown Boos Crawl and Costume Contest @ various Lowertown venues, Saint Paul. 7pm – Midnight. For $20 bucks you get a passport for a different drink at each of the participating Lowertown venues – Black Dog, Bulldog, Hat Trick, Senor Wong, Barrio, Golden’s Deli, and The Gopher Bar. There will be various costume contests and entertainment, including Gnarl’s chamber/jamband/jazz at The Black Dog, DJ Del Phinius at Senor Wong, and Scrapegoat’s folk-rock at the Hat Trick. Complete info at:

John Beach Trio @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – Midnight. (Tip Jar) Beach has been a mainstay of the West Bank Blues and R&B scene for over fifty years. He’s played piano with Bonnie Raitt, Willie & the Bees, the Mill City Hearts, Three Bedroom Rambler, and Blackburn Beach and at numerous jams and private functions, including the wedding reception for Liz and I. Though this is a trio gig, John has lots of friends, and who knows who may drop by and sit in.

Mama Digdown’s Brass Band @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) It’s a brass band night headlined by the Madison octet. They’ll be joined by the Kidd Jordan Second Line, and the Sousaphonic Five. Oh, and they will be free barbecue from 612 ‘Cue. Here’s a video of Mama Digdown playing for an Obama rally.

Tuesday, October 29

Courtney McClean & the Dirty Curls @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) X-rated bluegrass comedy, with songs about young boyfriends and ladyparts, all delivered with a smile and a wink by potty-mouthed McClean. With the Beavers and Daphne Lee Martin.

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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