Well, I thought readers might enjoy a little levity about Thanksgiving. I realize that not everyone overeats or even goes shopping on Thanksgiving, which is once more upon us. Gathering with friends and family is a great tradition, and we can even find a way to enjoy meals without meltdowns over politics, religion or lifestyles. Please take note of the Brass Bash at the Amsterdam on Sunday. There will be lots of good music, and the proceeds go to KFAI. Would love to see you there. In the meantime, have a good holiday, and if you get stressed out, take some time to let music lift your spirits. There is certainly plenty of it around.
Wednesday, November 27
Davu Seru Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (donation) Davu Seru, percussion, Josh Granowski, bass; and Park Evans, guitar. Seru is a drummer/percussionist who is equally at home playing straight ahead jazz, free jazz, and desert blues, among others. Park Evans and Josh Granowski are equally versatile.
Phil Hey Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) A long-running quartet that doesn’t seem to appear outside of monthly AQ performances, Phil Hey, drums; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Tom Lewis, bass; and Phil Aaron, piano. Expect a very high level of performance of tunes by Coletrane, Coleman, Mingus, and more. Here they are a few years ago, doing a standard.
Friday, November 29
Talking Strings @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip jar) Pavel Jany, guitar; Gary Schulte, violin; and Andrew Foreman, bass; playing global jazz – French jazz, bossa novas, gypsy jazz, and more.
Atlantis Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($8) Some late night modern jazz. The Atlantis Quartet has built a strong following in the Twin Cities based on the stellar playing of Zacc Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; Brandon Wozniak, tenor sax; and Pete Hennig, drums.
Friday, Saturday, November 29,30
Pat Mallinger & the Bill Carrothers Trio @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Mallinger (sax) and Carrothers (piano) are Saint Paul talents who have made good and now live in Chicago and Upper Michigan, respectively. When they’re in town, they head to the AQ, where their combined talent makes for a very special show. Here’s Pat hard at work.
Saturday, November 30
George Maurer Group @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12) Maurer may be the most talented Minnesota musician you haven’t heard about, since he resides in Saint Cloud and only sporadically performs in the Twin Cities. He’s a pianist/composer/producer who has collaborated with musicians ranging from Prudence Johnson to Eric Clapton. Tonight he brings a septet, including two horns, to the Dakota. Check out their take on a Beatles tune.
Maryann Sullivan & Dave Martin@ Mendoberri Cafe & Wine Bar, Mendota. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Here’s a low-key way to eat out at a casual restaurant and hear some fine jazz. Vocalist Sullivan and guitarist Martin will be swinging some standards and a holiday tune or two.
Sunday, December 1
KFAI’s Brass Bash @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 6pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This is a benefit I’ve put together for KFAI, featuring three bands with brass instruments. First up at 6:30 is The Jana Nyberg Group. Jana swings and sings with taste, and with the help of husband/trumpeter Adam Meckler, brings new life to bossa novas, jazz chestnuts, and contemporary pop. At 7:30pm it’s Parham, Schimke, Anderson, Boettcher, and Washington. This quintet represents some of the best of Twin Cities Jazz. Solomon Parham, trumpet; Peter Schimke, piano; Kevin Washington, drums; Jeremy Boettcher, bass; and up and coming new guy in town, Tyler Anderson on tenor sax. Suffice to say, the place will be swinging. Then, to close things up at 8:30 or so, we have the Jack Brass Band, whose infectious music encompasses traditional brass band tunes, jazz standards like Night in Tunisia and songs by Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Bobby Brown and more. They’ve been together for a dozen years or so and have enough street cred to be featured in New Orleans’ Offbeat Magazine, march in a Mardis Gras Parade, and play for WWOZ. Here’s the Jana Nyberg Group in the KFAI studios.
Monday, December 2
Joey DeFrancesco Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Today’s Hammond organ giant was playing with Miles Davis as a teenager, and also played with John McLaughlin. Last seen here at the MN Zoo with Dave Sanborn, DeFrancesco will put on a smokin’ show of soul-jazz. Check out his take on a song that’s heavily identified with Sinatra.
Tuesday, December 3
Dean Magraw and Davu Seru @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (tip jar) This monthly gig is always impressive, as Magraw on electric guitar, and Seru on drums and percussion use their vast knowledge of jazz, rock, and world musics to create enlightening and inspiring music.
Blues, Roots, Other…
Wednesday, November 27
Nikki & the Rue-Mates on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5-ish (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – tip jar) I’ve been a fan of Nikki’s crystaline voice for years. She’s turned into a fine writer and guitar player as well, ably assisted by Rich Rue on resonator guitar and Jon Larsen on bass. With any luck, she’ll have a drummer along to add some kick to the proceedings.
Sonny Knight & Lakers and The Rich Lewis Band @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($5) Knight started out in the 60s when he was a teenager, and eventually sang with the legendary Twin Cities band Haze in the 70s. His appearance on the Secret Stash compilation of Twin Cities Soul & Funk has re-energized him and he’s put together a seven-piece horn and organ band to provide some funky backing. They’ve been doing a residency at the Eagles Club for the last month, creating good vibes and building an audience. Tonight’s bash features the Rich Lewis Band, purveyors of funky good times in their own right, albeit with a New Orleans bent to the music. The bash is in the big room, with plenty of space for dancers.
Thursday, November 28
Davina & the Vagabonds @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Not a lot to do on Thanksgiving night, but if you want something that will appeal across generations, you can’t go wrong with the highly unique, energetic blues, R&B, and jazz of Ms Davina and the highly polished Vagabonds.
Doug Otto & the Getaways @ Ray J’s Northeast, 500 Central Ave, Minneapolis. 9:30pm Doug’s mournful voice is perfect for the old timey roots music that he prefers. The Getaways include Josh Granowski, Alberto Castro Perez, Jr., and Chris Gray.
Friday, November 29
TAKK @ Juxtaposition Arts’ Moja Gallery, 1108 Broadway, Minneapolis. 7pm, performances at 8pm & 9pm (Free) TAKK is a dance project with video installation that looks at relationships through the lens of sports. There promises to be much interactivity during the dance performances.
Dee Miller Band @ Shaw’s, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) The Duchess of the Blues, helping you to dance off the Thanksgiving meal pounds.
The Butanes and the Marbles Acoustic Band @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5 after 8pm) The Marbles Acoustic Band, an octet, start things off with their jam-ish versions of 60s and 70s folk-rock. Then The Butanes come on at 9 to take you down blues alley.
Saturday, November 30
Paul Metsa & Willie Walker CD Release Party @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 5pm – 7pm. (No Cover) The other great singer/songwriter to come out of the Iron Range has been playing with soulman Willie Walker for a few years now. The combination of Paul’s sterling guitar playing and Willie’s angelic, yet soulful voice makes for good chemistry and great music. The CD is called Live from Highway 55.
Trashy Little Christmas Show @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20) It’s a Christmas Tradition. Trailer Trash begins their annual weekly residency bringing musical mayhem
Black Market Brass, Brass Messengers, and Body Omara @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Looking for some Afrobeat, world brass, and desert blues? You will want to be at the Nomad tonight.
Big George Jackson @ The Schooner, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Big George has a seemingly bottomless voice that is equal parts scary and comforting. Just right for the Delta-inspired blues that he sings. He has a crack band behind him as well. Here he is.