Wednesday, April 16
Pete Whitman @ Jazz Central, MInneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) With Chris Olson, guitar; Chris Lomheim, piano; Gary Raynor, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. A cast with chops a-plenty, able to tackle the difficult with aplomb, and the sublime with beauty.
Thursday, April 17
Lucia Newell w/Phil Aaron @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Newell is an outstanding vocalist, one of the best, if not the best, in the area. Her singing owes a bit of a debt to Betty Carter, and she’s become a darn good songwriter as well. Here’s a video from a few years ago.
Hamilton, Thorson, & Tubbs @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 7pm ($20 advance, $30 door) This is the inaugural concert of The Palace of Jazz Performance, a group headed by Robert “Pops” Montgomery, leader of the Senior Jazz Band of Minnesota. The performance will feature David Hamilton on piano; Brock Thorson on bass; and Kelli Rae Tubbs on drums. More information can be found here.
Christopher McBride Quintet @ Eden Prairie HS, Eden Prairie. 7pm – 9:30pm ($15 adults/$10 Students) McBride is an alto sax player with an elegant sound. The parents at Eden Prairie HS are bringing he and his quartet in for a workshop with students and this fundraiser. In the evening, they’ll perform with the students and then conduct their own performance. All funds raised will go to the school’s band.
Friday, April 18
Maud Hixson Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) The chanteuse with the cool, yet smoldering voice will be accompanied by Rick Carlson, piano; and the ever-smiling Steve Pikal on bass. Listen to her.
Counterclockwise B3 Organ Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Tanner Taylor, B3; Zacc Harris, guitar; Jay Epstein, drums. This is a rare chance to hear Tanner Taylor, a terrific pianist, on organ. Should be a swingin’ evening.
Saturday, April 19
Corey Healey 4tet @ Jazz at Studio Z, Saint Paul. 6pm workshop (free), 7pm performance ($10) Healey is an Iowa raised drummer who has spent time in Chicago and NY, playing with the likes of Fareed Haque, Kenny Wheeler, David Berkman, and Dr. Lonnie Smith. Tonight he’ll be joined by Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Zacc harris guitar; and Eric Fratske, bass; for an evening of Heley originals as well as songs from Charlie Parker, Tony Williams, Bob Dylan, and more.
Steve Kenny Quartet @ Sweet 317, Saint Paul. 9pm – 11:30pm ($10) Trumpeter Kenny has been ultra-busy of late, what with his upcoming release Straight To Vinyl, with Group 47, and his work with the Illicit Sextet, and other groups. Tonight, he brings Brandon Wozniak, sax; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Babatunde Lea, drums & percussion, to a house concert. It’s located in the Northern Warehouse at 308 Prince Street in, quite naturally, Suite 317. Tickets are available on-line at brownpapertickets.com, and at the door.
Monday, April 21
Preston Hainig @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Trumpeter Preston comes from a musical family. Father Doug is a well-traveled saxophonist and arranger around town. Mom Maryann Sullivan is a fine vocalist, and older brother Trevor has established himself as an on-call drummer in the area. Preston is in his final year of study at the prestigious University of North Texas, and will be joined by brother Trevor on drums, Tanner Taylor on piano, and Graydon Peterson on bass.
Joey Van Phillips @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Drummer Van Phillips can be found in various aggregations around town, playing with Zacc Harris, Sophia Shorai, Dessa, and Leisure Valley, among others. He’ll be leading a group that’s either a trio or quartet.
Monday, Tuesday, April 21, 22
Steve Tyrell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45), 9pm ($30) After four decades on the production and songwriting side of the music industry, vocalist Tyrell was featured singing “The Way You Look Tonight” in the movie Father of the Bride. All of a sudden he became a popular singer of classic standards. He’s got the perfect voice for interpreting the Great American Songbook, slightly raspy, with a hint of sophisticated R&B.
Blues, Roots, Other…
Wednesday, Thursday, April 16, 17
Orquesta Aragon @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Oh boy, this is a coup for the Dakota. Think of the importance of Duke Ellington’s band to American music. Well, that’s the same kind of impact that Orquesta Aragon has had on Cuban music. They were started in 1939, and in the 50s were signed to RCA. Many of it’s members are sons, nephews, and grandsons of original members. Since the late 90s, they’ve appeared at Carnegie Hall, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, and the Zellerbach Theatre in Berkeley.
Friday, April 18
Oh What A Night @ The Parkway Theater, 48th & Chicago, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Vocalist and bandleader Ronn Easton has brought together four additional soulful singers to celebrate the music of the 50s, 60s, and 70s. And oh what a group! It includes Maurice Jacox, Willie Walker, Sonny Knight, and Maurice Young – veterans all, with distinctive voices and resumes too long to list. They’ll be harmonizing on songs by The Dells, The Drifters, The Stylistics, and the Temptations. Sure, it’s nostalgic for those of us of a certain age, but hearing voices this good sing such harmony is a treat for all ages.
Harold’s House Party @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) Harold Tremblay, of KFAI’s House Party brings three outstanding artists to the Tap Room. Guitarist Bob Bingham (7pm) played electric guitar with Lamont Cranston and Aces, Straights, and Shuffles, before turning to acoustic. Hilary Thavis (8pm) is Italian – born of Minnesota parents, and sings the blues with a clear, soulful voice. Jeff Ray & the Stakes (9pm) play the originals of Jeff as well as some unexpected covers. It’s a bluesy Americana style, which isn’t surprising, given the support of the Stakes: Nick Salisbury, bass; Mikkel Beckmen, washboard; and Hurricane Harold, harp.
John Primer @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Guitarist/singer Primer plays traditional electric blues from Chicago. He’s talented enough to have had a number of nominations for Blues Artist of the Year in the traditional category. In fact he won the award in 2010. It’s the real deal, as they say.
Saturday, April 18
Mary Cutrufello & Greg Schutte @ Moe’s, 2400 Highway 10, Moundsview. 9:30pm (No cover?) It’s been a while since singer/songwriter/guitarist Cutrufello has played with some regularity in the area. She’s a rocker with a natural feel for classic country, and easily turns her original songs into relatable tales. Cutrufello is just finishing up and album with a full band, though for this appearance she’ll be accompanied by Greg Schutte, a drummer about town who has worked with Cuturfello for many years. Together they create some rockin’ country.
Saturday, Sunday, April 18, 19
Brian McKnight @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($55 – $65), 9pm ($50 – $60) Modern soul music from a multi-talented performer with 16 Grammy nominations and sales of over 20 million albums. For this show, he’ll be appearing with a bassist and guitarist, and playing both hits and B-sides. (Those of you of a certain age will recognize that term)
Monday, April 20
Joe Fingers @ Grand Avenue Dunn Brothers, Saint Paul 7:30pm (tip jar) Joe Fingers is a “nom de Dunn” for one of the many fingerpickin’ aces we have in town. Grab a cup o’ joe and a pastry and settle in for some