Ahh Spring! A time for rebirth and awakening, and a time for shedding seven layers of winter clothing. A sure sign of Spring is the reappearance of NiceRide stations in the area. Whether you bike, walk, use public transportation, or your car, there is much out there this week for you musical culture vultures. We’ve got a veritable cornucopia of visiting artists and outstanding projects by resident artists for your listening pleasure. The weather will be mild for the most part, if interrupted by a few showers this weekend, so enjoy life and enjoy the music. It will lift your spirits.
Wednesday, April 9
Matt Slocum Trio @ Weyerhauser Auditorium, Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($18) Slocum is a drummer who grew up in River Falls and studied with Phil Hey. Lately, he’s been making a name for himself in NY as a composer and band leader. He’ll be bringing Sam Yahel, keys; and Massimo Miolcati, bass; with hymn. The evening includes a drum dialogue with Phil Hey, as well as a performance by the Phil Hey Quartet.
Brad Mehldau Trio @ Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($32, $25-standing room) Pianist Mehldau is known as one of the most inventive of today’s pianists. He’ll have Jeff Ballard on drums and Larry Grenadier on bass. This is a solo piece from him.
Fall of the House of Usher @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested donation) Bassist Chris Bates brings a new group into Jazz Central on the 2nd Wednesday of every month. Tonight, the seven-piece Fall of the House of Usher will be improvising on some world music with some elements of spoken word. Besides Bates, the group includes Chris Cunninham, guitar; Nelson Devereaus, Adrian Larkin, Elliot Wachs, and John Davis, saxophones; and Greg Schutte, drums.
Thursday, April 10
Wes Ruelle Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Wes is a pianist who studied with the late Mulgrew Miller in the prestigious jazz program at William Patterson University, where he earned a degree in Jazz Performance with a minor in Classical Performance. Tonight he’ll likely be joined by Matt Peterson, bass, and Eron Woods, drums
Delfeayo Marsalis @ The Dakota, MInneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($25) The trombone-playing Marsalis thrilled the audience at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival two years ago. As might be expected, given his lineage, he’s an excellent player, with a burnished tone and wide ranging solos. Then again, he’s toured and played with folks like Art Blakey, Elvin Jones, Max Roach, and Slide Hamnpton. One can expect he’ll have a top-notch band behind him.
Matt Slocum Trio @ Weyerhauser Auditorium, Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 7pm ($18) This is the second of a two night stand for Slocum. Tonight, Bryan Nichols will open with a solo set, and in addition to the drum dialogue with Phil Hey, Slocum will have the Dave Karr Quartet as well.
Friday, April 11
Harper, Hanson, and Kerr @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 5:30pm. Pianist Todd Harper holds forth at the Black Dog every Friday evening, sometimes solo, but often with a friend or two. Tonight he’s joined by Nathan Hanson, soprano sax; and Aaron Kerr, cello; for a program of music by Carei Thomas, including compositions from over 40 years worth of music. Some are mysterious, some are quizzical, while others are playful and some just beautiful.
Stockton Helbing Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 suggested donation) Doc Severinsen often draws upon a number of Twin Cities musicians whenever he’s touring. Tonight marks the Jazz Centrtal debut of one of them, drummer/composer Stockton Helbing. He’ll be joined by some of his bandmates from Doc’s band: Zach Lozier, trumpet; Michael Nelson, trombone; Mary Louise Knutson, piano; and Kevin Thomas on bass. They’ll be playing HJelbing’s original compositions.
7 Psalms CD Release Concert @ Benson Great Hall, Bethel University, Saint Paul. 8pm ($15 advance/$20 door). Pianist/composer Jeremy Walker has created a beautiful work for jazz ensemble and an 18-voice choir. Lead singer Jason Harms, with a commanding baritone, is catching the ear of many in the jazz community, and the ensemble consists of Walker, piano; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Jeff Brueske, bass; and Tim Zhorne, drums. The workshop performance of this work last year was performed before an audience of 600.
Saturday, April 12
Nick Haas Trio @ Loring Pasta Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) This dinnertime show might get noisy, so get a table near the bandstand to hear the clean, supple lines of guitarist Haas.
Sophia Shorai @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No cover) Another dinnertime show at a place known for food and a party atmosphere. Watch out if any bachlorette parties come in! Anyway, I’ve been a fan of Sophia’s since her first CD came out 10 years ago. Her clear voice, subtle phrasing, and sunny disposition are always a delight.
Parisota Hot Club @ Jazz at St. Barney’s, 15600 Old Rockford Road, Plymouth. 7pm ($10) Twelve years ago, the Parisota Hot Club was the first band in the Twin Cities to focus on the songs of Django Rheinhardt and Stephan Grappelli. Since then, the band has branched out a bit to include standards from pop music and soundtracks in their repertoire. Tonight leader/guitarist Robb Henry will be joined by Tom Schaefer, violin; Matt Senjem, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums.
Sunday, April 13
Connie Evingson with Jon Weber @ the Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm, 7:30pm ($25) Connie and pianist Jon perform their Desert Island Picks from Fats Waller, Irving Berlin, Dave Frishberg, The Beatles, Sting, and more. As of Wednesday, there are only a few seats left for the afternoon showing, though the evening performance still has plenty of seats available. Here’s Connie singing a Beatles song, with images from a Peruvian fashion photographer.
Monday, April 14
Good Vibes Trio CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Chris Bates, bass; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; and Phil Hey, drums, have a new CD. Bates, who has played on over 30 albums, is actually the youngster in the group, though Hagedorn and Hey play with the energy of youngsters themselves. The CD includes tunes by Mingus, Coltrane, Freddie Hubbard, and others, and will be given out with admission.
Blues, Roots, Other…
Wednesday, April 9
Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings w/Paul Cebar & Tomorrow Sound Opening @ State Theater, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($32) Well, as many of you may know, the hardest working woman in show business has recovered from pancreatic cancer and is back on the road bringing her explosive funk and soul to folks around the world. Tonight she’s joined by Milwaukee’s Paul Cebar, a long time favorite in the Twin Cities. Check this out.
Thursday, April 10
Charanga Tropical @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm, 5pm – 7pm. (Free) The Schubert Club presents this exciting Latin Band as part of it’s Courtroom Concert Series at Noon. Then, at 5pm, they play for the Cocktails with Culture Series on the 2nd floor, where woodturners will be demonstrating their art, while attendees munch on appetizers, and drinks from a cash bar.
Friday, April 11
Lynwood Slim, The Butanes, Bruce McCabe, Jimi Primetime Smith @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9:00pm ($7) Former Twin Citizen and vocalist/harp man extraordinaire Lynwood Slim has been battling health issues lately, but is back in town for this very special evening of blues. He’ll be backed by the Butanes, featuring guest pianist Bruce McCabe, and other special guests, including Jimi “Primetime” Smith. Expect some swinging’ blues, and expect blues fans out in force.
Worldwide Discoteque 2nd Anniversary Party @ Club Jaeger, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) The little dance party that started a couple of years ago has grown so much they’re starting early to accommodate the crowds. Dance to vinyl sounds from Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and more. Deejays Steely Dan and Brian Engel fill the dance floor with folks who don’t know special dances – they just move to the music. You will too. This will give you an idea of what to expect from this mulit-culti paryu.
Saturday, April 12
Flute Fest @ Augsburg College Recital Hall, Minneapolis. 11:30am ($5) This is part of an all-day event featuring workshops, exhibitors, and performances, including a master class and concert by Jim Walker. I’m not sure, but you may be required to register. At 11:30am a number of Midwest Flutists will perform, including Adam Kuenzel, Greg Milliren, Immanuel Davis, Bethany Gonella, the Flutespiration Quartet, and Julie Johnson, who will perform a piece for amplified flute and live looping pedals with dancer Tamara Ober.
Seasons of the Year with Tchaikovsky @ The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis. 6:30pm ($30) Featuring Denis Evsuhin, pianist, with Mindy Ratner, MPR Classical Music host. The Seasons is Tchaikovsky’s most beloved solo piano composition. Evstuhin is a Russian pianist who has been hailed as one of the finest in today’s generation. He will play each of the twelve musical pictures by Tchaikovsky, while Ratner will recite original poetic epigraphs by famous Russian poets.
Little Jr. Walker & the All-Stars @ Arnellia’s, Saint Paul. 7pm, 9pm ($20?) Okay, I know what you’re saying, “Didn’t Junior Walker die?” Well, yes, back in the mid-nineties, but this is his son and some of the original All-Stars, along with some back-up singers and lead singers, since “Little Jr. Walker” isn’t a musician. Bound to be entertaining, any way you look at it.
Foreign Motion @ Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11:00pm ($9) Funky jazz/fusion from some of the bright lights of the Twin Cities jazz scene: Cory Washington, guitar; Yohannes Tona, bass; Kevin Gastonguay, piano; and Peter Janjic, drums. Together, they have a wealth of experience with various national artists in various and sundry jazz, funk, gospel, and pop outfits.
Sunday, April 13
Allison Miller Benefit @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 1pm – 7pm. ($10 Suggested Donation) The music community comes together once again, this time for the daughter of blues singer/bandleader Dee Miller. Allison was recently hospitalized for pneumonia, and then had many complications, including the amputation of part of her leg. To entice you to the event to raise money for her hospitalization, there is Steve Clarke, Annie Mack Band, Who Nu, Jimi Primetime Smith, guest vocals, and of course, Dee Miller and her band, along with a silent auction.
Malamanya @ Nomad World Pub, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Sunday night dancing to Cuban/Salsa sounds. The music is infectious. You’ll be moving even if you don’t know a lick or a kick of Latin dancing.
Tuesday, April 15
YeYe Pow w/Trompe Le Monde @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm (Free) Ye Ye Pow is a band that plays 60s French Pop, while Trompe le Monde is a Pixies tribute band. Here’s an example of Ye Ye Pow at work.