1.22 – 1.28

You can stay home and listen to music, but better yet, you can get out and listen to it live.

You can stay home and listen to music, but better yet, you can get out and listen to it live.

I didn’t get to post last week because I had a computer problem – a black screen – on Wednesday morning, when I was about to post. I bought a new computer, took a few days and some hours on the phone to transfer information, and am now up and running, so let’s get to it. Though the Artists’ Quarter is shuttered, we’ve still got some venues presenting jazz of all kinds, though I worry about groups like Snowblind and the Illicit Sextet finding regular gigs. This week there are worthwhile performances at Jazz Central, Studio Z, and the Icehouse, among others. Blues and roots gigs also provide plenty of distraction and uplift for your spirits. Have a good week.


Wednesday, January 22

Firebell @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Park Evans is a tasteful, and often exciting guitarist who has shown his skills in jazz, rock, and reggae settings; Graydon Peterson is a stalwart on bass; and Jay Epstein is the well-dressed veteran on drums.

Jimmy Wallace @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 10pm (No cover) Wallace plays tenor sax with a rich tone and some funky asides. Figures, since he’s been a sax player about town since at least the heyday of Twin Cities Funk back in the 70s.

Thursday, January 23

Michael Janisch’s Purpose Built Quintet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm  ($15) Bassist/producer Michael Janish is originally from Wisconsin, though he’s been living in New York and Europe for the last fifteen years. Tonight he’ll be performing his original music with an all-star NYC quintet: guitarist Matthew Stevens (Christian Scott, Dr. Lonnie Smith): alto saxophonist Patrick Cornelius (Lionel Loueke, Carl Allen); trumpeter Philip Dizack (Nicholas Payton, Tim Warfield); and the legendary drummer Clarece Penn (Michael Brecker, Gonzalo Rubalcaba). They’ll be playing music from Janish’s critically acclaimed albums Purpose Built and Banned in London. A free workshop will take place at 6pm. Here’s a promo video for his latest album. While it doesn’t feature tonight’s quartet, you can get an idea of what Janisch does.

Friday, January 24

UnknownKatie Gearty Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10;30pm (No Cover) Katie has a soulful voice and a sure sense of timing. She’ll put these skills to good use in this somewhat intimate suburban lounge with a great bar menu.

Saturday, January 25

Zacc Harris Trio @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – Midnight (Tip Jar) Here’s a chance to catch Zacc and friends outside of their Sunday night gig at the Riverview. Sit close to hear the music, as it can get noisy. And make sure to bring an ID if you want an adult beverage.

Saturday, Sunday, January 25, 26

Century College Jazz Festival with Butch Miles @ Century College, White Bear Lake. 8pm Saturday, 3pm Sunday ($20 – adults, $10 – Students) The Century College Jazz Ensemble will be goosed along by drummer Butch Miles, who has played with Count Basie, Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Dave Brubeck, Mel Torme, and others. He’s also an educator and is currently on the faculty of Texas State University. Charmin and Shapira perform in the lobby one hour before the performance. Here’s a video overview of the career of Butch Miles.

Monday, January 27

Unknown-1Fat Kid Wednesdays @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Mike Lewis, sax; Adam Linz, bass; and JT Bates on drums are favorites of French jazz fans. They’re also favorites of a substantial number of Twin Cities jazz fans, who supported them through a weekly gig at the Clown Lounge for what – 17 years or so. Now, of course, JT is curating the Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse, and though FKW isn’t playing every week, it’s a pleasure to be able to hear them on a semi-regular basis.

UnknownSteve Kenny Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (donation) Lately, in addition to playing with the Illicit Sextet, trumpeter Kenny has been leading Group 47, a quintet that features a number of young cats. Which is a roundabout way of saying I’m not sure who will be on this gig, though it’s likely to be the house band (Tanner Taylor, Mac Santiago, & bass). Given Kenny’s talent, and the talent of those with whom he works, I’m sure it will be an evening of outstanding music.

Tuesday, January 28

Tom McDermott w/Patty & the Buttons @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) This is a combination that’s worked so well the Dakota is bringing it back. McDermott may be the finest, if not among the finest, piano player in New Orleans. He was a member of the Dukes of Dixieland, founded the New Orleans Nightcrawlers Brass Band, and has written for the theater and TV. Patty & the Buttons are a fun-loving Twin Cities aggregation, playing music that would be right at home in a 30s speakeasy or 40s nightclub. The combination of McDermott & the Buttons is sure to have folks clapping, and even  dancing, with glee.  Here’s McDermott doing Tipitina.

Jason Weisman @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm (No Cover) Weisman is a saxophone player and vocalist who favors crooners. He is busy with a number of bands in the Twin Cities, including Steeling Dan, the Jazztronauts, and his own quartet and quintet.

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, January 22

Unknown-2Pat Donahue and the Prairie Band @ KFAI and the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI) 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Pat, the lead guitarist from Prairie Home Companion is an accomplished musician in his own right, with compositions recorded by Chet Atkins and Kenny Rogers, a 2005 Grammy, a number of Minnesota Music Awards, and the 1983 Finger-Picking Guitar Championship. He’ll have members of the Prairie Band with him tonight.

Thursday, January 23

Papa John Kolstad @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8pm (tip Jar) Papa John returns for one of his Blues nights at Merlins. Don’t know who his guest will be but it’s always a fun night, even though the neighborhood pub can get noisy at times.

Friday, January 24

Benefit for Victims of New Year’s Day Fire @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 6pm ($20) Performers include: Spider John Koerner; The Brass Messengers; Martin Devaney; Southside Desire; Phil Heywood; Jon Rodine; Augsburg JIVE (Augsburg student ensemble); DJ Go Getta with SYAV (Somali Youth Against Violence) and more.

images-1Hipshaker Dance Party @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Hipshaker is right. Deejays Brian, Greg, and George keep the dance floor filled as they play rare soul and funk 45s. Get there relatively early to stake out a spot.

Flatt Foot Rollers @ School II Bistro, Chanhassen. 8pm (No cover?) For those of you in the Southwest suburbs or thereabouts, here’s a chance to get out your dancing shoes for this group that plays old school R&B, including harmony vocals.

Saturday, January 25

Hurricane Harold’s Blues Revue @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 9pm (tip jar) Harold Tremblay has become a powerhouse of a harp player, and a blues/roots lynchpin of sorts, connecting with all kinds of players through his weekly radio show where he books an act to play live on the air every week. Consequently, when he puts together a band, revue, or show, you know it will have some of the best talent available. Here’s one version of the Blues Revue.

Sunday, Monday, January 26, 27

Mambo’s Combo @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) Though they’ve been at it for 20 years or so, the Combo never fails to entertain. Dancers fill the floor for old school R&B, and a few new songs as well. It doesn’t hurt that guests, including visiting artists, sit in.

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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