Mardis Gras Music & More: 2.26 – 3.4

imagesWith Lent approaching next Wednesday, we’re ready to celebrate Mardis Gras, or Fat Tuesday if you will, by listening and dancing to music from less frigid areas of the world. If you aren’t up for celebrating on Tuesday, there are a few warm-up events this week. Additionally, we have some excellent jazz artists visiting during the next week, and some good opportunities to dance.  Have a safe and warm week. Remember, music lifts the spirit.


Wednesday, February 26

Bobby Watson & Horizon @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) For the second time in a week of graduate of the Art Blakey Jazz Messengers will be appearing at the Dakota. The saxophone player was, in fact, the music director for the Messengers. Once on his own, he formed Horizon, which is reuniting for this 30th Anniversary tour. The group includes Victor Lewis, drums; Terrel Stafford, trumpet; Edward Simon, piano; and Essiet Essiet, bass. All have become band leaders and stars in their own right. Here’s an early version of Horizon with Roy Hargrove on trumpet.

Graydon Peterson’s Ghost Tour @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Bassist Peterson has provided the rhythmic backbone of many a group and jazz vocalist here in the Twin Cities. Recently, he’s begun to create tunes that have been featured in his own quartet, and now, in a trio setting, with Park Evans on guitar, and Adrian Suarez on drums.

Thursday, February 27

Stanley Clarke Presents School Days @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($35 & $50) Four time Grammy winning fusion/R&B bassist Clarke will be presenting all of of his 1976 album School Days, as well as other selected material.

Talking Strings @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 9:30pm (tip Jar) The trio of Pavelle Jany, guitar; Gary Schulte, violin; and Dan Weston, bass & percussion, blend jazz, classical, and folk into a variety of international music. Here they are doing a Django Rheinhart number.

JoAnn Funk Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Pianist JoAnn Funk, along with bassist Jeff Brueske, and drummer Nathan Norman cross the river from their normal haunt at the St. Paul Hotel to bring the music of Blossom Dearie, Nat King Cole, Dan Penn, Leonard Cohen, and more to the Dakota stage.

Friday, February 28

Jack Brass Band Mardis Gras in Bloomington @ the Bloomington Center for the Arts, 18900 W. Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington. 7pm – 10pm The guys give us a bit of oral and musical history of Mardi Gras music and Brass Band music in this special performance.

The Bridge Series @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 suggested donation) The idea behind this series is to feature artists who used to appear at the now closed Artists’ Quarter. Tonight, guitarist Zacc Harris is joined by Dave Hagedorn on vibes, as well as Brian Courage, bass; and Twin Cities newcomer Corey Healey, drums. A nice cross-section of generations with the promise of some pretty great music recalling the outings of Milt Jackson and Wes Montgomery.

Saturday, March 1

Pigs Eye Jass Band @ The Eagles, #34, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm ($6) This traditional jazz band will be playing for happy feet in the North Hall of the Eagles Club. Consider this a warm-up for Fat Tuesday.

Bach and Jazz Concert @ The History Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 9:30pm   This is the third collaboration between the the Bach Society of Minnesota and Framework: Chris Olson, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. The last one was about a month or so ago, when they explored baroque music. This time they’re adding saxman Pete Whitman to the mix as they explore the music of Bach.

Davu Seru & Andrew Lafkas @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8:pm ($10) Studio Z continues to come up with intriguing, genre-crossing events that makes us listen to music with new ears. This one is the inaugural event in the Crow With No Mouth Series. Percussionist Davu Seru and bassist Andrew Lafkas will be presenting a duo piece. Chicago based electronicist (is that a real word?) Mykel Boyd will present a solo set of electronics and location recordings.

Sunday, March 2

The 2013-2014 Dakota Combo. Photo by Andrea Canter

The 2013-2014 Dakota Combo. Photo by Andrea Canter

Dave King Trucking Company w/ the Dakota Combo @ MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 5pm ($10) Dave King is an internationally known drummer with a penchant for playing in many bands, including The Bad Plus and Happy Apple. The Trucking Company includes Adam Linz, bass; Eric Fratzke, guitar; and Brandon Wozniak, sax. Opening will the The Dakota Combo, a group of highly, highly talented high school students who will have received a clinic from King. He’ll also sit in with them for a number or two. This is a chance  (Full Disclosure: I chair the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education, which sponsors the Dakota Combo. Though I may be biased about the talent of the combo, other, more neutral folks are also enthusiastic about them.)

Monday, March 3

Jazz Implosion featuring Dave Karr @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm. the first Monday of the month features veteran saxophonist Dave Karr at the Implosion, usually playing with JT Bates on drums and Adam Linz on bass. While Karr’s bebop leanings may seem out of place with the sometimes outside playing of Linz and Bates, the three work well together, and have done so for a number of years. Sometimes there’s a second group, though I’m not sure of who it might be. Here’s a video of Dave with Adam and JT.

Monday, Tuesday, March 3,4

Manhattan Transfer @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($60, $55, $50), 9pm ($50, $45, $40) This quartet was quite eye-opening when, back in the 70s, they first introduced their four part harmonious blend of bebop, doo woo, Latin, and pop. It was a refreshing change from the hard rock and disco of the time. The Ten-time Grammy winning group still provides an aural respite from the pop music of today, singing with panache and élan.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar and the KBEM Calendar, which also features some blues and roots listings. For further commentary of Twin Cities Jazz, go to Jazz Police, Bebopified, and JazzInk.

Blues, Roots, and Other…

Wednesday, February 26

Rockin’ Pincecones on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis.  5pm (KFAI), 7pm (331 club – Tip Jar) Cajun & Zydeco music to get you in the mood for Fat Tuesday. The 331 Club can get pretty crowded, but I’m sure a few folks will try to dance. Followed by jamrooots band Enchanted Ape at 9:30 and Pocketful ‘A’ Change and their Americana/roots music at 10:30.

Thursday, February 27

Scottie Miller Band @ Washington Square, White Bear Lake. 8pm (No Cover) “Bones” Miller is an excellent piano player, well versed in Professor Longhair and Allen Topussaint, but with his own distinctive style. Just ask Ruthie Foster, which whom he frequently tours. He and his band, the Re-Uptake Inhibitors, take on Southern Soul, blues, New Orleans, and the occasional Caribbean rhythms. This is a small room, but it has an ever changing selection of 20 beers on tap.

Friday, February 28

Prophets of Peace @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) The Twin Cities funk band was reunited for last year’s Twin Cities Funk n’ Soul compilation, and has found a new audience in young folk who weren’t born when they were playing back in the early 70s. The Schooner is set up quite for music, with high-top tables in front of the small stage and small dance floor. Plus you get good value on drinks.

Orkestar Bez Ime @ Hells’ Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No cover) Hell’s Kitchen is a favorite stop for bachelorette parties, and when it is, party music is the order of the day. Well, this band’s Balkan dance music will surely fill the bill, resulting in a highly entertaining start to your evening, whether or not the bachelorettes are in attendance. Check them out in this video.

The Eddies Unplugged @ Jerabek’s,  Winifred & Stryker, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm  What’s that you say, aren’t the Eddies always unplugged? Well, almost, but this time there’s no sound system, and no electrified guitar. Plus, this gig is in the beer-less and wine-less Jerabek’s New Bohemian Coffeehouse on the West side, which means that the quality of their performance won’t be affected by the amount to alcohol you consume. Nevertheless, you’ve got the additional lure of a wonderful selection of baked goods and a chicken pot pie that’s so good, it’s sold in fancy food boutiques.

Seven Steps to Havana @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Sax and Flute player Doug Little’s excursions into the music of Cuba are always enjoyable, as this ensemble plays with the heart of soul of musicians who love the music. Here they are.

Saturday, March 1

Hookers & Blow @ The Crooked Pint Ale House, Minneapolis. 9pm ($?) Adam Levy has put together a rotating cast of some of the best Twin Cities’ rockers from various groups to perform R&B from the 60s and 70s. It’s fun. It’s fabulous. It’s a dance party.

Freewheelin’ Mardis Gras @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 3pm – 11pm ($6 after 5pm) KFAI’s Jackson Buck has put together a splendid line-up to celebrate Mardis Gras in beer-drinking style. Starting at 3pm it’s the Southside Aces, followed by the Rockin’ Pinecones at 4:30, the New Riverside Ramblers at 7pm, and Scottie “Bones” Miller Band at 9:30pm. Appropriate food from the Cajun 2 Geaux food truck.

UnknownTuesday, March 4 – Fat Tuesday

Swamp Kings @ Dixie’s, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) If you’re looking to celebrate Fat Tuesday with Louisiana dishes, some Abita beers, and music, then Dixie’s on Grand may fill your bill, as the three-piece Swamp Kings play that New Orleans and Swamp Pop sound.

Mardis Gras @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12) Mardis Gras at the Eagles is a festive event, with many participants in beads and costume. There will be free food, Cajun and Zhydeco dancin’ a’plenty, and some New Orlean’s R&B thrown in for good measure. Tonight’s bands include Ana & the Bel-Tones, Mr. Rowles, The Southside Aces, and the Rockin’ Pinecones.

Naughty Gras @ The Amsterdam, Saint Paul. 9pm  ($12) The Jack Brass Band has a regular gig at the ‘Dam, but tonight, for those who appreciate the uh, “bawdier” elements of Mardis Gras, they’re joined by a Burlesque show, magic, and more, including a a Crawfish Boil and Abita Beer.

Socaholix @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($7) If your Fat Tuesday celebrations run more towards Carnaval than Mardis Gras, this is the place to be as Socaholix present Island rhythms for your dancing pleasure.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots), see the Minnesota Blues Society Calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun, Zydeco, and Swamp Pop events, see the Krewe de Walleye Calendar.

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