To Dance is to Live! Music: 2.5 – 2.11

To live is to dance!

To live is to dance!

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.


Wednesday, February 5
Joel Shapira Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm (tip Jar) A quartet of Twin Cities Talent with a capital T. Joel Shapira, guitar; Pete Whitman, sax; Tom Lewis, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger, drums.

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.

Young and old swing out at the Caves

Young and old swing out at the Caves

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.

 The Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Trumpeter Geoff Senn and percussionist Mac Santiago have gathered 18 of the area’s top musicians to form this new band. This is an open rehearsal and any donations will be used to get more music for the band. It will be a unique experience.

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.

The Bridge @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm ($10 suggested donation) With the closing of the AQ folks are trying to fill the gap with a Friday night series (The Bridge) featuring many of the musicians that played the AQ. Each week will feature a different cast of musicians. Tonight it’s Brandon Wozniak, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; Jeremy Boettcher, bass; and Cory Healey on drums. They’ll be followed at 8pm by the Southside Combo ($5 suggested) being presented as part of the Jazz Police Young Artist Series.
Photo by Andrfea Canter

Photo by Andrea Canter

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.

Monday, February 10
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.

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, 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.

Thursday, February 6
Paul Cebar @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($20) Paul is celebrating the release of Fine Rude Thing, his new release that showcases his ability to mix R&$B, Caribbean, and New Orleans rhythms into an intoxicating blend of danceable music. His fans include folks like Nick Lowe, Bonnie Raitt, Joe Ely, and Los Lobos, not to mention the crowds that come out every time he’s in town. Here he is performing a song from the new CD.

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.

Friday, February 7
Jim Ruiz Set w/Bethany Larson & the Bees Knees @ Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm – 11pm ($7) Ruiz is a singer/songwriter with a voice that recalls a mellow Ray Davies of the Kinks. His songs tend to be mellow as well, in a jazzy loungy, folk-rock kind of way, with interesting lyrics. Bethany Larson has been called one of the Twin Cities Best Kept Secrets. Her country-ish songs of longing and heartbreak have garnered rave reviews and many fans. You may want to get a reservation, since the Aster is somewhat tiny.

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.

Monday, February 10
Pete Hennig and his Blue Grass Bandits @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8-10pm (Tip Jar) Drummer Pete Hennig is versatile: he’s in the Atlantis Quartet, Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders, and numerous other bands. He is also a banjo player and has put together a group to release his inner hillbilly: Shane Akers – dobro; Blair Krivanek, guitar & mandolin; and Neil Powell, upright bass.

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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