Residencies, Weekly Features, and Visiting Artists. Music: 3.26 – 4.1

March 26, 2014

UnknownWe’re heading into April and hopefully will soon see some flowers blooming. Meanwhile, this week features a number of low-key, but definitely enjoyable weekly gigs, including a couple of residencies, as well as  visiting artists that may not have hit your radar. Get out and enjoy what our Cities have to offer. Music has the power to lift your spirit.

Jazz…

Wednesday, March 26

Claudia Schmidt @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Schmidt has long been a favorite of Twin Citizens. Whether exploring folk music, jazz, or gospel, her love and enjoyment of the music is contagious. She’s got a new album New Whirled Order, coming out on Red House, featuring master guitarist Dean Magraw, who will be among the musicians backing her tonight.

Dan Musselman Collective @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Dan is a sensitive piano player with depth to his playing. He’ll be playing with some talented young cats: Andrew Bergmann on bass, and Zach Schmidt on percussion.

Thursday, March 27

Reynold Phillipsek w/guest Maryann Sullivan @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 suggested donation) Phillipsek will be playing guitar and singing standards as well as his own compositions. Sullivan will join him to sing during the second set.

Friday, March 28

The Bridge Series @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($10 – Suggested Donation) This week features the Babatunde Lea Trio, with Zacc Harris, guitar; and Chris Bates on bass accompanying the percussion/drum master. Lea, with fifty years experience, has played or recorded with folks like Pharaoh Sanders, Leon Thomas, Stan Getz, McCoy Tyner, and Richie Cole, among others. This should be an exciting gig. Here he is with the addition of a piano player.

Saturday, March 29

Benny Weinbeck Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No cover) Head down to the area just SE of Highway 100 & 494 to catch Weinbeck on piano, with Gordy Johnson on bass and Phil Hey on drums. Tasty music that’s matched by the food and drink.

Unknown-1Kronick Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Bassist Ricard Kronick leads Dennis Landeen, sax; Scott Ives, guitar; and Dehl Gallagher, drums; through tightly arranged jazz standards and originals.

Sunday, March 30

Century Jazz Ensemble @ Jethro’s Char-House, 3140 Century Ave N, Mahtomedi. 3pm (No Cover) Big Band jazz for a Sunday afternoon, provided by a 26 year old group that’s toured China and South America, and has brought in and worked with national artists such as Conte Candoli, Terry Gibbs, Tom Harrell, and Clark Terry.

Monday, March 31

Valve Meets Slide @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested Donation) The last time Brad Bellows (valve trombone) and Dave Graf (slide trombone) did this gig it was at the Artists’ Quarter. Two Trombones, a bass and drums make for an evening of beautifully burnished sounds.

Joe Strachan and Josh Granowski @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) A couple of young lions on piano (Strachan) and bass (Granowski) during a great late night happy hour.

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, March 26

Jason Dixon Line on KFAI & @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Fans of the Allman Brothers and Gov’t Mule will want to check out this sextet playing gritty classic rock, blues, country, and originals. Jake Manders follows at 9pm.

Thursday, March 27

Mikkel Beckman w/Nikki Roux & Rich Rue of Nikki & the Rue-mates @ Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (tip Jar) Mikkel has been hosting these Thursday get-togethers since the early Fall. This week he features the crystalline voice of Nikki Roux (nee Matteson) and the slide guitar of Rich Rue. Always fun, with a back porch vibe.

Unknown-2Rockin’ Pinecones @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. ($5?) Get your fix of music from the bayou, whether it’s Cajun, Zydeco, or Swamp Pop. The Pinecones will get you up on the great dance floor at the Eagles Club, which is always easy on the dancin’ feet.

Everly Brothers Tribute @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:00pm ($5) Too many performers to list, though the music of the Everlys is the real draw. With their sweet, brotherly harmonies, and combination of acoustic and electric guitars, you could say they were country rock before there was country rock. This should be fun.

Friday, March 28

Dee Miller Band w/Jimi “Prime Time” Smith @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($?) She will, She will, rock you. Dee sings the blues with fervor, and I expect this will be a full bore show, especially with “Prime Time” adding some fret-full guitar. Here she is.

Davina & the Vagabonds @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) The hardest working woman in the Twin Cities is back from another tour, ready to tear it up at Famous Dave’s. Experience the joyful, New Orleans flavored sounds of Davina and the guys in a place where you can get BBQ and dance. Just in case you don’t know what they sound like, check out this video.

Matt Yetter @ Ward 6, 858 Payne Ave, Saint Paul. 9:30 (Free – tip jar?) It’s only recently that I’ve noticed this great little gastropub on Saint Paul’s East Side is having music on Friday Nights. Tonight they’ve got bluesman Matt Yetter, whose way with a slide guitar and harp will have you boppin’ your head and tappin’ your feet while you enjoy one of the restaurant’s signature adult milk shakes.

Saturday, March 29

Otis Clay @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) It’s been about four years since Clay was in town, and I have to say I’ve missed his raspy, soulful voice. Though he’s from Chicago, Clay is a passionate deep soul singer in the tradition of such Southern masters as OV Wright and Solomon Burke, pleading, extolling, and generally using tension and release to great effect. He’s touring behind a great sounding new CD, Love Is, which celebrates the vicissitudes and joys of love. Here he is doing one of his signature songs.

Sunday, March 30

Harrison’s Jukebox @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 5pm (No Cover) So what kind of music did George Harrison like? Here’s a bunch of musicians that want to answer that question: Curtiss A; KYX; Gini Dodds; Johnney Rey, and Jody Hanks, among others. It will be a rockin’ night.

Alejandro Escovedo @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($22.50 – $45) The Texan from a musical family (his brothers are Coke & Pete Escovedo, and niece is Sheila E.) started out in punk rock bands, graduated to the alt county band Rank & File, and released his first solo album in 1992. Since then, wide-spread commercial success has eluded the singer/songwriter/roots rocker, though he’s been lauded in the NY Times and played on syndicated shows like Little Stevie’s Underground Garage. Escovedo can be seen and heard singing We Used To Be Friends in the new Veronica Mars movie.

Monday, March 31

Willie Murphy & Tom Hunter Blooz Jam @ Richfield American Legion, 65th & Portland, Richfield.  7:30pm (Tip Jar) Willie and Tom will be jammin’ and you never can tell who will show up, though rest assured, it will be fun.

Tuesday, April 1

Dead Pigeons @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (tip Jar) This is a weekly gig for the rootsy, newgrassy quintet, who will be joined for April Fool’s Day by wild bluesman Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders

International Reggae All-Stars @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($6) The area’s best gather for this weekly celebration of ryddim.

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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Blues Rhythm Jazz. Music: 3.19 – 3.25

March 19, 2014

images

The Twin Cities continues to jump with music, and just like the ol’ Moondog, the pioneering Alan Freed, we’ve got Blues, Rhythm, and Jazz. We also have a visiting honky tonk inventor, a charming singer/songwriter, a gig with a trio of funky sounds and even a noontime classical concert. Get out and enjoy yourself. Music has the power to lift your spirits.

Jazz…

Wednesday, March 19

Ms Oatts

Ms Oatts

Sue Oatts with the Woverines Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Sue has a winning way with lyrics, and the ever-steady, and always ready Wolverines are masters of accompaniment, and pretty mean players by themselves.

Zacc Harris Trio @ Café Maude, Minneapollis. 7pm (No Cover) Guitarist Zacc & his mates (Matt Peterson on bass and Pete Hennig on drums) travel a bit westward to play at this popular restaurant. Ask for a table near the band or sit at the bar.

Byron Johnson-Blanchard Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (tip Jar) Byron is a young drummer who plays with High & Mighty and other groups and is beginning to regularly gig around town with his quartet featuring David Hirsch, sax; Thomas Nordlund, guitar, and Andrew Foreman, bass.

Jazz Finest Big Band w/Special Guest Lila Ammons @ the Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 9pm – 11pm ($12) This is a project of tenor sax man James “Jimmyapolis” Wallace and his wife Pennie, and features Jim TenBensel directing the band. I’ve written about Ammons before, a singer of classic blues and boogie woogie as well as jazz. There’ll be dance lessons from 8-9pm.

Thursday, March 20

Jazz @ Christos w/Alicia Renee & Chris Lomheim, Union Depot, Saint Paul. 6:00pm – 8:00pm  Stick around downtown after work to enjoy the vocals of the talented Ms Renee, and the piano artistry of Chris Lomheim.

Barbara Meyer & Liz Lupien @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($10 suggested donation) Vocalist Meyer and pianist Lupien shares songs about travel from the Great American Songbook in a cabaret show entitled, “Let’s Get Away!”

Friday, March 21

The Bridge Series @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($10 – Suggested Donation) This series is designed to “bridge” the absence of the Artists’ Quarter. This week features the Adam Meckler Quintet, with Adam Meckler, trumpet; Kevin Gastonguay, piano; Zacc Harris, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Greg Schutte, drums. I expect the musicianship will be high and the creativity overflowing.

Unknown-2Rhonda Laurie Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover)  Sophisticated vocals from Laurie in a sophisticated, yet comfortable setting, accompanied by the wonderful pianist Mary Louise Knutson, just off a tour with Doc Severinson, and Steve Pikal, the happiest bassist around, who is just off a tour with the Barbary Coast Show Band.

Courageous Endeavors @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30 ($5) New original music from a quartet of young musicians who are creating jazz for the 21st Century. Nelson Devereaux, sax; Brian Courage, bass; Joe Strachan, piano; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. Here they are performing Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage:

Sunday, March 23

Butch Thompson & Pat Donahue @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) A couple of Minnesota Treasures. Thompson is a marvelous piano player as well as clarinet player, whose command of early styles is legendary. Grammy winning guitarist Donahue is a master finger-picker, which was proven when he won the National Championship some year back. Their recent album, Vicksburg Blues, is a delight.

Monday, March 2

Chris Olson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Guitarist Olson teaches at both McNally Smith and MacPhail, and his facile fretwork is well displayed in the trio Framework and the quartet Meantime. Tonight he’ll be joined by Tanner Taylor, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Adrian Suarez, drums. Here is Chris with Framework:

Joel Shapira & Dean Magraw @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (Free) Cool guitar music for this late night happy hour spot. Shapira is a master of the nylon string, while Magraw is always full of musical ideas, whether he’s playing Celtic music, worldbeats, jazz fusion, or straight ahead swing.

Tuesday, March 25

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ The Amsterdam, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Trumpeter Meckler writes interesting arrangements as well as interesting compositions, and he’s managed to snag 18 talented musicians to play them.  These guys are close to raising their Kickstarter goal to record an album. You can get a preview by attending tonight.

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, March 19

Junior Brown @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) Brown’s standing as one of the best guitarists in country music has been long established. The inventor of the guit-steel, a double-neck hybrid combining a steel and six-string guitar is more honky-tonk and rock n’ roll than countrypolitan, which may be why he’s been lauded by rock critics as well as older country fans.

PaviElle & Band

PaviElle & Band

PaviElle @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($5) PaviElle is a young soul singer who uses modern rhythms to support her old school singing. She’s got a crack band that provides fine support, whether she’s recasting a Fleetwood Mac song in soulful terms, singing an original, or jamming a la Funkadelic.

Thursday, March 20

The Schubert Club Courtroom Concert @ Room 317, Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon (Free) Two Duos. Baritone Steve Marking and pianist Donald Livingston perform songs by both Charles Ives and Lee Hoiby, while Kairos – Preston Duncan on saxophone and Ann DuHamel on piano – perform Sonata by William Albright and Klonos by Piet Swerts

Charlie Lawson & Mikkel Beckman @ the Dubliner, University & Vandalia, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (No Cover) Lawson is a bluesman with a ferocious attack as a vocalist and guitarist. Beckman, who hosts a weekly show here,  plays the rub board, small percussion, and any other down-home utensil he can find, including a refrigerator door, which I’m told will be on hand tonight. Whether it’s a full-size refrigerator, or a dorm-sized one, we’ll have to wait and see.

Ashleigh & Michael, of Fathom Lane

Ashleigh & Michael, of Fathom Lane

Fathom Lane, Communist Daughter, and Taj Raj @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($12) A concert sure to appeal to music lovers with wide tastes. Communist Daughter, the indie rock band that’s garnered national attention and just returned from South by Southwest is headlining. Fathom Lane, with their chamber-folk meets Gram Parsons music is second, while the rootsy Taj Raj uses elements of 70’s, from pop. to country, to folk-rock.

Friday, March 21

imagesBeverly McClellan @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($35) Last time in town, McClellan charmed the audience with her forthright personality, raspy voice, and direct lyrics. She was one of the final four on tv’s The Voice, and is deserving of wider recognition. There is no doubt she’ll get it.

Nick Moss Band @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm ($10?) Moss plays a blend of classic Chicago blues and jam-oriented blues rock, using his firery guitar playing to win over jam-band lovers to the blues, and blues fans to the jam-band esthetic. Wilebeski’s early shows allows those of us of a certain age to get some sleep, while younger listeners can catch more music.

Saturday, March 22

Banjo Songwriter Night with Mother Banjo & Anthony Ihrig @ the 318 Café, Excelsior. 8pm ($7) Who knew the banjo could be used to create original songs? Mother Banjo & Anthony Ihrig, for two. Anthony will be accompanied by Dan Christensen-Cowan on the upright acoustic bass, while Mother Banjo will be joined by Dan Gaarder on guitar as each duo demonstrates the use of this much maligned instrument as a songwriter’s tool. The 318 is an intimate space with limited seating, so reservations are recommended at 952-401-7902.

New Sound Underground, Black Market Brass, & Pho @ The Triple Rock, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) New Sound Underground is an six piece instrumental funk band whose members have played in jazz, reggae, funk, and salsa bands. Black Market Brass is a 10 piece that performs Afrobeat, that irresistible combination of funk and African rhythms, while Pho is a nine piece that mines jazzy funk, neo-soul, and underground hip-hop. Here’s a video of New Sound Underground.

Barely Bros Records Grand Opening Party, 763 Raynmond Avenue, Saint Paul. 10am – 9pm.  Vinyl aficionados are rejoicing over another store devoted to both new and old LPs and 45s. To celebrate, owners Mike Elias and Spencer Brooks are bringing in the following bands:

The way teens used to buy records

The way teens used to buy records

Matt Arthur & the Bratlanders at 12:00, Jon Rodine at 2:00, Brian Drake & the April Fools at 3:00, CP Lawson at 4:00, Nikki & the Ruemates at 5:00, M.O.R.T (The Mystic Order of Reverb and Twang) at 6:00, and Eleganza at 7:00

Monday, March 24

Millie & the Mill City Cajun Heavyweights @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5) Well it’s been a couple of weeks since the Mardis Gras celebrations, and some folks are itching to do some Cajun Two-steps, Waltzes, and twirls. Millie and the boys will help you do just that.

Tuesday, March 25

L.P. Music @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8 Advance/$10 door) It’s a Minnesota All-Star group playing improvised funk: Erik Leeds, sax, flute, vocals; Paul Peterson, bass, guitar; Peter Schimke, keys; and Stokely Williams, drums, percussion, & vocals.

Beijing Punk and Indie Rock on Film @ The Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis. 7pm ($8advance/$10door) Two Beijing groups will be performing in Mpls in a couple of days, so this is a chance to get some background on the punk and indie rock subculture of China. There will be a 2010 feature documentary entitled “Beijing Punk” as well as an award winning 2013 short, and short films, as well as a Q&A with Danny Sigelman, local DJ and writer who deejayed in Bejing.

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.


Spring is in the Air. Music: 3.12 – 3.18

March 12, 2014

Unknown-1Spring is in the air. I don’t know about you, but I want to dance. This week finds us with a plethora of resident artists vying for your attention and goodness knows, we should support our Twin Cities artists as much as possible. We do have a few very interesting visiting artists as well, to bring us a new perspective or two. Given that everyone has their own St. Patrick’s Day traditions, I’ve only mentioned one St. Patrick’s Day event, and that’s not even on St. Patrick’s Day. Get out and enjoy. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz…

Wednesday, March 12

Boozy Ballads & Temperance Tunes @ Maplewood Library, 3025 Southlawn Drivce, Maplewood. (Free) An educational moment that sounds like lots of fun. Singer Lee Engele, bassist Steve Pikal, and keyboard player Jon de Vaal will be playing music that shows the divide between boisterous bar songs as usually sung in pubs and bars and the songs of the temperance movement, which appealed to family and patriotism.

Mountain King @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) The first bass trio in the Twin Cities was formed last summer and have disproven the old adage that no one listens during a bass solo. Graydon Peterson, Jeremy Boettcher, and Brian Courage

Thursday, March 13

Dorothy Doring and Phil Mattson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:00pm – 9:00pm  (Donation) Their recent duet album of Ellington and Strayhone composieitons received a good, well-deserved review on the Jazz Times website. Now you can see them in the intimate confines of Jazz Central for vocal night. Here’s a video:

Friday, March 14

Peter Schimke Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($10 – Suggested Donation) Continuing the Bridge Series, this week featuring Peter Schimke piano; Brandon Wozniak, tenor; Zacc Harris, guitar, Graydon Peterson, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums.

Connie Evingson Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) It’s just Connie’s nuanced voice, Tanner Taylors soulful piano, and Gordy Johnson’s sympathetic bass. Well worth the trip to Bloomington.

Jazz Crew @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pnm (Donation) This quintet of high school students is appearing as part of Jazz Central’s commitment to provide a performance space for young bands.

a.joy @ the Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30 ($5) Guitarist Robert Bell, who performs with groups like the Southside Aces and Café Accordion, teams up with singer/songwriter Andriana Lehr to present old and new standards from Ella to Joni to the Smiths.

Saturday, March 15

DVRG Redefined @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10:30pm (No Cover) DeVon Gray, a classically trained pianist, can churn out jazz as easily as the hip hop riffs he’s played with Heiruspecs and Brother Ali, or the blues riffs he’s played behind Chastity Brown. Tonight he’s by himself and trying out something new.

Sunday, March 16

JazzMN Orchestra W/the New York Voices @ Hopkins High Performing Arts Center, Hopkins. 3pm ($34) Like the Manhattan Transfer, the New York Voices are a four part harmony group known for close voicings. The 25 year old group won a Grammy for their 1996 collaboration with the Count Basie Orchestra, so today’s performance with the talented musicians of the JazzMN Orchestra should be terrific. Here’s an acapella performance:

Lindsay Pedalty Trio @ Cannon River Winery, Downtown Cannon Falls. 5pm – 8pm (Free) Pedalty can traverse jazz and pop with equal ease, and together with dad Bruce on keyboards and Gary Miller on bass, will provide a charming afternoon of music while you sample wines.

Cafe Accordion Orchestra @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) C’est Chic! Dan Newton dons a beret and takes his accordion to France, playing gypsy jazz, French musettes, ballads, and the occasional tango, along with Eric Mohring on mandolin and violin; Erik Lilleston, bass; Robert Bell, guitar; and Joe Steinger, percussion.

Monday, March 17

Joe Strachan: Tribute to Sonny Clark @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) The young pianist has his inspirations right. Clark was a hard bop pianist of note. Strachan surrounds himself with other young, hungry, and talented musicians. Definitely not a St. Paddy’s Day celebration.

Lulu’s Playground & Fat Kid Wednesdays @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm. ($8) The playground kids are at it again with their chamber jazz, odd instrumentation (cello, accordion, guitar, & trumpet) and even have an Irish reel for the evening. FKW brings their combination of out there music and tender ballads to the stage for the second set. Here’s a Fat Kid Wednesdays performance:

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, March 12

RJ Mischo @ KFAI & The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI – 90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The former Twin Citizen and harp powerhouse is making his annual visit home, playing a bunch of gigs around town. You know how it works by now. Tune in and check him out, and if you like what you hear, head over to the 331 Club.

Friday, March 14

Pearl Brothers @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) Back in the 80s, this quartet put out a groovy little new wave single, I’m the One That Wants You, with a flip side, You Don’t Really Love Me, that had hints of what we now know as Northern Soul. They’re still at it, playing a mix of pop, rock, and soul from the 50s to the 80s, though nowadays they take advantage of their experience and professionalism to play weddings and corporate gigs. You’ll be singing along, and probably dancing between tables.

Friday, Saturday, March 14, 15

Raw Oyster Cult @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($25) Rising from the remains of New Awlins’ Radiators, Raw Oyster Cult features Dave Malone, Camile Baudoin, and Frank Bua, Jr., from that group, as well as Jon Gros, from Papa Grows Funk, and Dave Pomerleau from Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes. Expect some Rad tunes, new songs, and a new spin on older favorites of band members.

Saturday, March 15

Silver Swan Vocal Chamber Ensemble: Choral Music from the Russian Imperial Collection @ The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis.  7pm – 8:30pm ($25 Members/$30 non-members) The five member Silver Swan Vocal Chamber Ensemble will be augmented with three more voices to perform unaccompanied choralal music from the person libraries of the Russian Imperial family. Presented in conjunction with the current exhibition on Imperial Russia. Seating is limited at this wonderful little museum.

Boiled in Lead St. Paddy’s Party @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) BiL has been rockin’ out reels and other global dance rhythms for thirty years now. Tonight they’ll deliver a Saint Patrick’s celebration that’s saner, though more rocking, than those attended by many with Kiss Me I’m Irish buttons.

Hot Pants 45 rpm Dance Party:Spring Edition @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) It’s been a while since I’ve posted about this monthly event. In some respects, it’s completely different from the St. Paddy’s Party across the street, though dancing will still rule the evening. Brian and Ben welcome deejay Laurent Reus from France by way of Portugal, to bring you even rarer music than usual.

Sunday, March 16

Jim Ouska and John Iden, w/special guest Paul Mayasich @ Happy Gnome, Saint Paul. 11am – 2pm (Free) Two guitars and a bass. Jim and John have been holding down this spot for years, providing some musical pleasure for brunchers (and those who like a huge selection of beer). Today they’re joined by uber-guitarist Paul Mayasich.

Peter Lang @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 2pm (Free) Presented by the MN Guitar Society. Lang is a Twin cities guitar legend, having been discovered by John Fahey in 1972 and subsequently recording for Fahey’s Takoma label. He’s recorded, toured, and performed with a who’s who of guitar players and performers, and was nominated for a Grammy in 1976. The performing space at Studio Z is a perfect environment for his acoustic playing.

Lady Heat Hot Soul Party @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) A trio of young women with good taste spinning soul, funk, and other danceable tunes on vinyl.

Tuesday, March 18

L.P. Music @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8 Advance/$10 door)  It’s a Minnesota All-Star group playing improvised funk: Erik Leeds, sax, flute, vocals; Paul Peterson, bass, guitar; Peter Schimke, keys; and Stokely Williams, drums, percussion, & vocals

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.


Here Comes the Sun. Music: 3.4 – 3.11

March 5, 2014

IMG_4997w-2Lent is now upon us, and to quote George Harrison, “I feel the ice is slowly melting.” This brings us a few opportunities to celebrate, what with a Brazilian Carnaval experience, a blues revue, and a visiting Cajun/Creole musician. We also have a much-talked-about young jazz singer coming to town, and a bevy of performances from residential artists.  Thanks to Teresa Boardman for the use of her photo of sunrise over Saint Paul. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz…

Wednesday, March 5

Debbie Duncan @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Ballads, bebop,  blues and more. Duncan is a master at each, bringing a bit of sass, but more importantly, an deep understanding of each song she sings.

Anthony Cox Presents @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) The first Wednesday of each month, Cox brings together a number of talents from different genres to collaborate. Dialogue with the audience is encouraged.

Thursday, March 6

Lila Ammons & Thom West @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:00pm – 9:00pm  (Donation) Ammons started out singing classical music, before turning to classic blues, for which she’s become popular in Europe after touring with pianist Axel Zwingenberger and drummer Charlie Watts. Though she’s kept a low profile here in the Twin Cities, Ammons is a first rate jazz singer, with a CD that features Houston Person. She’ll be joined by pianist Thom West for this vocal night at Jazz Central. Learn more about her from an interview I did a couple of years ago.

Carlo Gesualdo Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm – 11:30pm  (donation) And now for something completely different. As described on the Jazz Central website, the Carlo Gesualdo Band plays the music of the 16th/17th century Italian composer/murderer/visionary Carlo Gesualdo. Andrew Bergmann is a bassist, composer, and Massachusetts native who has arranged this strange and harmonically adventurous vocal music for a free-wheeling instrumental jazz-rock quintet that includes Scott Fultz, sax; Sean Roderick, piano; Park Evans, guitar; and Adam Patterson, drums.

Friday, March 7

Harrelson Trumpets Presents @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm (Donation) The trumpet manufacturer presents a night of trumpet duets, featuring Harrelson friends and family — Jason Harrelson, Christine Palmer, Mark Bobnick,  Todd Tanji, Leighton Tuenge  and Greg Zent.

Saturday, March 8

Steven Hobert @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis.7 pm – 10pm. Pianist Hobert is a talented young musician who also plays accordion in Lulu’s Playground and leads a playful group called Firefly. He can support a big band (The Adam Meckler Orchestra), a combo, or play solo, where his sometimes ethereal, and often impressionistic playing is best heard. He recently returned from a tour of Japan. Though he’ll mostly be playing solo, some friends will be joining him tonight. Here’s an example of his playing.

Erick Kamau Gravatt & Source Code @ Studio Z, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Free workshop at 6pm. This edition of Source Code includes Solomon Parham on trumpet, Dave Graf on Trombone, and Ron Evaniuk on bass. Gravatt is a ferocious drummer, which doesn’t mean he can’t show some restraint when the music warrants it. He made a name for himself playing with Weather Report on I Sing the Body Electric, and has played with a who’s who of jazz artists.

Sunday, March 9

Cecile McLorin Salvant @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm  Salvant is an up and coming Grammy-nominated jazz singer who is receiving raves from the NY Times and others for extending the heritage of Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn. She writes her own songs but also put her own, very original stamp on standards, communicating modern sensibilities through the Great American Songbook. See her now, before she outgrows clubs. Here’s an example.

Monday, March 10

Enormous Quartet and Beast @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm. ($8) The Enormous Quartet is Chris Bates, bass; Chris Thomson, sax; Park Evans, guitar; and Joey Van Phillips, drums. Beast is a Brian Courage trio, with a second bassist and a drummer.

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, March 5

Nikki & the RueMates and Peace Life @ Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($4) An evening of folk, folk rock, and blues. Life is a folk duo consisting of Jack on acoustic Guitar and Tess’ailene on vocals. I’ve written of Nikki & the Ruemates before, though tonight it’s really just Nikki & Rich. The two duos will also be performing together on a song or two, causing Nikki to dub the four as the PeaceMates.

Midweek Mambo w/Charanguita @ Loring Pasta Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Despite the name, this is a salsa dance party. The action starts with a deejay and dance lessons at 9, and then six-piece core of Charanga Tropical (hence Charanguita) takes the stage shortly before 10 to play for salsa dancers until midnight.

Thursday, March 6

Ben Abrahamson Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Abrahamson is a stellar guitarist and composer who specializes in flamenco, having studied in Barcelona. Tonight he crosses and blends music genres as he gathers Max Corcoran, sax; Cory Grossman, cello; and Thomas Nordlund, guitar; for an evening of new compositions influenced by flamenco, jazz, and avant-garde music.

Friday, March 7

“We Beat Winter” Party w/Hurricane Harold’s All-Stars @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm. The forecast calls for temps above freezing this weekend, so it may be that we have really Beat Winter. Celebrate with Scottie Miller, piano, vocals; Doug Otto, guitar, vocals; Jeremy Johnson, guitar; Good Time Willy, guitar & vocals;  Bill Black, bass; and Hurricane Harold on harp.

Joe Louis Walker @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) Walker was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame last year, an honor that is well deserved, though he’s probably more well known in Europe than in the US. Born in 1949, he’s part of the second generation of bluesmen. By the time he was 19 he had been onstage with John Lee Hooker, Hendrix, The Soul Stirrers and Thelonious Monk. He also became a friend a roommate to Michail Bloomfield, whose death was the impetus for earning degrees in English and music, and performing with a gospel group. Walker returned to the blues in a big way in 1985, and has recorded eleven albums since then. Here he is showing a bit of influence from T-Bone Walker.

Black Oak Arkansas @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm ($25adv/$27Door) They may not be the Dead, but these Southern party rockers have had a long strange trip of their own – formed in ’63 while in high school, they were eventually signed to Atlantic by Ahmet Ertegun, had 3 gold albums, and a gold single recorded (Jim Dandy to the Rescue, a ’57 hit for LaVern Baker) on the advice of Elvis Presley. Fans have included Bill Graham and Betty Ford, as well as Bill Clinton, and a slew of folk who came of age in the 70s.

Saturday, March 8

Carnaval Brasiilero @ Muse Event Center, 107 3rd Avenue North, Minneapolis. 2pm – 5pm (Family Matinee – $10 advance/$15 door) 9pm  – 2am(18+, $17 Advance, $25 door). This is the 12th Annual Brazilian Carnaval. It’s hosted by Robert Everest and Beira Mar Brasil, a ten-piece band. They’ll be joined by singer/dancer Dandara Odara from Bahia, and will have food, drink, Carnaval masks, and more.

Maurice Jacox @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul.  8pm (Tip Jar) I’ve been posting Maurice’s gigs quite a bit lately, but only because he’s so versatile and has performed in a variety of settings, from R&B horn bands to intimate duos, to singing with Nachito Herrera and the Cuban National Symphony. Tonight he’s appearing in a new configuration, with the under-rated and very fine guitarist, Bobby E, along with Tom Wells on Tuba,which will certainly add interest to the proceedings.

Viva Brazil @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Here’s another Brazilian group that is worth seeing. Viva Brazil plays Brazilian Popular Music, aka BPM, which includes sambas, funk, & jazz in both Portuguese and English. The group includes Will Lopes, vocals; Altamir Coelho, bass; Kevin Washington, drums; Josue Alfaro, percussion; Cory Wong, guitar; and Dan Musselman, keyboards.

Sunday, March 9

Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15 advance/$18 door) A talented, relatively young musician, Watson is a fiddler, vocalist, and accordionist, who brings his own lively and imaginative perspective to traditional Cajun and Creole songs.

Tuesday, March 11

Phil Heywood @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover)  The fingerpicking ace provides interesting, intricate music for diners. Get a reservation and tell them you want to sit near the music.

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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