Quite the mix of music this week, with bagpipes, slack key guitar, and South African acapella artists coming to town, as well as some outstanding jazz from resident artists, and at least three occasions to polish up your dancing shoes. Stay warm and let the music lift your spirit.
Gypsy Mania @ Barbette, Minnbeapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Some late night gypsy jazz from Glen Helgesen and Reynold Philipsek on guitars; Matt Senjem, bass; and Gary Shulte, violin. Just the right music for the French-inspired victuals at Barbette.
Thursday, February 6
Moonlight Serenaders @ The Wabasha Caves, Saint Paul. 7pm ($7) Join the young folk in swing dancing to the sounds of a big band, featuring the vocals of Lee Engele.
Friday, February 7
Winter Jazz Break @ the Saint Paul Hotel, Saint Paul. The Twin Cities Jazz Festival is presenting a special night of music. In addition to JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the hotel’s lobby bar, pianist John Weber will be playing in the promenade ballroom. It’s $5 to see John, and, if you wish, you can also donate to the Festival. As usual, the cost of seeing JoAnn and Jeff is dependent on what you order from the bar.
Courageous Endeavors @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) Bassist Brian Courage and his group bring some young jazz to the late night scene at the Dakota. Besides Brian, the group includes Miguel Hurtado, drums; Joe Strachan, piano; and Nelson Devereaux on sax.
Friday, Saturday, February 7, 8
Bryan Nichols & James Buckley @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 6:30 – 9:30pm (No Cover) There’s no cover, but you be warned that you may need dinner reservations if you want to be close enough to appreciate the artistry of Nichols on piano and Buckley on bass.
Sunday, February 9
Fuzzy Math @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 4-6pm (Tip Jar) Spend a Sunday afternoon listening to original jazz from this quartet of Mark Venderhyde, keys; Andrew Schwandt, sax; Matt Peterson, bass; and Harold Bondaris, drums.
Regional Jazz Trio @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Anthony Cox, bass; Michael Lewis, sax; and JT Bates on drums – three internationally known artists playing modern jazz. Here’s Cox playing with a couple of other outstanding resident musicians.
Paul Renz Trio @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Paul is an exquisite guitarist who has recorded a half dozen or so well-recieved CDs. He regularly tours the East Coast, teaches as MacPhail, and is head of jazz studies at the West Bank School of Music.
Blues, Roots, and Other…
Wednesday, February 5
George Kahumoku Jr. & Leward Kaapana @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($25) Ahhh, just what is needed for the dead of winter – a concert of Hawaiian slack key guitar and ukelel music, straight from the Islands. Get out those flowered shirts and dream.
Javier & the Innocent Sons @ Washington Square, White Bear Lake. 9pm – 11pm (No Cover) Javier and the Sons play the blues, featuring the haunting vocals and guitar of Javier Matos. There’s a bit of jump and swing to their music, though Washington Square lacks a dance floor. Still, there’s a nice selection of beers and some decent food. Helping things out will be Hurricane Harold on harp.
Saturday, February 8
Davina & the Vagabonds @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:45pm ($10) Another opportunity to wear out the leather on your dancing shoes. Davina is a powerful singer and pianist, and together with her crack band, plays rompin’ stompin’ music. She and the boys are just back from Finland. If you’ve never heard this band, check out this video.
Sunday, February 9
Who Nu w/Dorothy Doring, Dee Miller, & Donald Thomas @ McCarron’s Pub & Grill, 1986 Rice Street, Saint Paul. 3pm – 7pm. I have to admit I’m not familiar with Who Nu, but judging by the caliber of the guest vocalists, I’ll bet it’s a funky R&B band. Dorothy Doring is equally at home in blues and jazz. Donald Thomas is a jazz singer/drummer with an R&B bent, and Dee Miller can belt the blues with the best of them, though I suspect she can also handle more sophisticated fare. Sounds like a good way to while away a winter afternoon.
Carlos Núñez @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) And now for something completely different – Gallician bagpipes. Núńez hails from Gallicia, in the Northern area of Spain, where they’ve been playing pipes for over a thousand years. He’s recorded and toured with the Chieftans and is very popular throughout Europe and Latin America.
LadySmith Black Mambazo @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($23) The deep sonorous voices of this all-male a cappella group from South Africa resonates with audiences throughout the world. Joseph Shambala started the group after having a dream one night, and worked to get just the right combination of voices. Hard to believe they’ll be celebrating their 50th anniversary this year. Watch them perform their magic.