Last Chances, New Opportunities. Music: 11.20 – 11.26

The lights will soon be on in Saint Paul's downtown parks.

The lights will soon be on in Saint Paul’s downtown parks.

The lights may be going up in Saint Paul’s Rice Park, but the days are dwindling down for the Artists’ Quarter. And so, jazz fans will have limited opportunities to see some of their favorites in the place, at least while it’s under the ownership of Kenny Horst, who should be feted for the time and effort he’s put into making the club such a special place. Things are moving nicely in Blues and Roots music, though there seems to be an emphasis on roots this week, at least from my perspective, with a couple of events that surely qualify as “Other.” All in all, this week there are many great opportunities for you to hear live music.


Wednesday, November 20

Miguel Hurtado & Friends @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Hurtado’s friends often include Brian Courage, bass; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; and Joe Strachan, on piano, who he’s been hangin’ with of late, but who really knows? Doesn’t matter, it will be an evening of invigorating jazz.

Maud Hixson and Robert Bell @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm. (No cover) After singing with the Wolverines Trio earlier in the evening at Hell’s Kitchen, Ms Hixson will be making her way to Barbette to sing with guitarist Bell. The late night happy-hour vibe is just right for Hixson’s smoldering, yet cool takes on standards, old and new.

Thursday, November 21

Phil Mattson Singers @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Vocal jazz from a sextet directed by Grammy nominatied pianist Phil Mattson, who has done arrangements for the Manhattan Transfer, the Four Freshmen, and other notable singing groups.

Pete and some of the X-Tet.  Photo by Andrea Canter

Pete and some of the X-Tet. Photo by Andrea Canter

Pete Whitman’s X-Tet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) I believe this is the last appearance of the X-Tet before the closing of the AQ on December 31. To paraphrase the title of an old Count Basie album, it’s Ten Men Swinging, which flows better than the reality of eight men and two women swinging. The two women are Laura Caviani, piano; and Kathy Jensen, baritone sax.

Friday, November 22

Vicky Mountain @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10pm. With Chris Lomheim, piano, Brian Courage, bass. Intimate songs in an intimate setting. Vicky is an experienced singer who knows her way around a scatted melody, and isn’t afraid to include some non-standards in her repertoire.

Friday, Saturday, November 22, 23

UnknownLulu’s Playground @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) As we head towards the end of the year, artists will have their last chance to play the AQ. Lulu’s Playground, the accordion – cello -guitar – trumpet group is going out with a CD Release Party for The Side Show Suite, a collection of 17 short pieces based on 17 Side Show Characters created by artist Tim Nyberg. Part of the show will include the kind of verbal come-ons you hear from a carnival barker. It’s Chamber Jazz with an healthy dose of humor.

Saturday, November 23

Linda Peterson @ School II Bistro, Chanhassen. 5:30 – 8pm ($?) Since the passing of her mom, the Matriarch of the musical Peterson clan, Linda has been living in the Twin Cities. This evening, West Metro residents have a chance to hear Linda sing and play piano. I’m sure she’ll sing her well known composition, “It’s Too Late to Leave Early,” as well as other originals and standards.

Tuesday, November 26

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Meckler keeps churning out new music for this aggregation. The AQ is a fine setting for this 17 piece band. Here they are playing in Rice Park last summer.

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, November 20

Jon Rodine on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI, 90.3 & 106.7FM) and 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Rodine sings Americana music, though his definition of Americana embraces a big tent with rock n’ roll, country soul, and a bit of funky grooves. His latest album with just original music is getting some nice print.

Thursday, November 21

imagesAmy Helm @ The Real-Phonic Hour, Central Library, 4th & Market, Saint Paul. 7pm ($20) With Martha Scanlan, Erik Koskinen & the Real-Phonic Band, comedian Thom Middlebrook. Singer Helm was last seen here with her dad, the late Levon Helm. She impressed mightily at the time, and was a real asset to the show. Martha Scanlan will open, and the Real -Phonic band will entertain, as usual.

Papa John Kostad’s Acoustic Blues @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8pm – 11pm (Tip Jar) Papa John will be joined Cal Hand on dobro, and by Judy Larson for a song or two. These Acoustic Blues Nights are a chance for Papa John to concentrate on the blues, and on his twelve-string. Be sure to bring an ID if you want adult beverages, which include a wide variety of British beer and some of Scotland’s finest distilled spirits.

Friday, November 22

Sangam @ Sundlin Hall, 1536 Hewitt Ave, Saint Paul. 6:30pm – 9:30pm ($25/$20 Students) A musical journey, if you will through both Eastern and Western musical milieus. The evening will begin with performance of both the Indian Carnatic and Western Classical music and conclude with a collaboration among performers, who include Davu Seru, percussion; along with Nirmala Rajasekar, veena; Shri Thanjavur K. Murugabhoopathi, mridangam; and Michelle Kinney, on cello.

American Roots Revue @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($30) Four long time musicians combine their considerable talents to explore a wide variety of American music: Folk, Cajun, Gospel, R&B, Rock, Swing and Country. Robert Robinson’s voice can shake a room. Larry Long’s gifted storytelling will bring you into his songs. Tonia Hughes and JD Steele complete the quartet, which will be backed by a first class set of musicians: Cory Wong, guitar; Brian Ziemniak, keys; Johannes Tona, bass; and Michael Bland, drums.

Saturday, November 23

CJ Chenier @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25), 9pm ($20) Hey la bas. The Dakota may be a bit classy for the insistent, soul shakin’ undulatin’ sounds of zydeco, but leave it to CJ to break down a Minnesotan’s reserve, just as his father did back in the day. Here’s an example of his live show.

Caprice Saxophone Quartet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) Now for something completely different. Well, different in that this quartet  will be playing new classical music, an inadequate term, from Minnesota composers Katherine Bergman, Justin E.A. Busch, Ian Cook, and Justin Rubin. The group is composed of sax players Sarah Minette, soprano; Ross Wolf, alto; Katherine Bergman, tenor; and Jessica Martin, baritone.

Tribute to Sue McLean @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50) Well, this is a gathering of friends of the much loved late concert promoter Sue McLean, as a way to raise funds for her daughter Lily. It’s an all-star gathering, including Patty & Ricky Peterson with Paul Metsa and band. Metsa will be performing his song Jack Ruby. Others appearing include Eric Hutchinson, Soul Asylum, The BoDeans, the X-Boys, Marc Perlman & Tim O’Reagan of the Jayhawks, The Witnesses, Rogue Valley, Molly Maher and Haley Bonar. Phew!

Armadillo Jump @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) The tiny dance floor at Manitou Station is sure to be filled as Armadillo Jump brings their unique combination of blues and jump tunes to the East Metro hot spot.

Daisy Dillman @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Childhood friends who combined four-part country harmonies with a rock drummer and electric fiddle back in 1978, the Dillmans won a couple of Minnesota Music Awards, garnered national airplay,  and then toured the country through the early 80s. They’ve played sporadically since reuniting in 2003. They’ll be a sextet tonight, with the addition of Kenny Wilson on pedal steel, banjo, and dobro.

Unknown-1Sunday, November 24

Benefit for Liz Cummings @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 1pm ($10 suggested donation) Cummings is a singer/songwriter/pianist who was diagnosed with a particularly aggressive form of dementia in August of 2012, so members of the blues community are coming together to support her. Scheduled to appear: Willie Walker & Paul Metsa; High and Mighty, Prophets of Peace, Maurice Jacox & Friends, Who Nu, and the Dee Miller Band.


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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