It’s a big weekend for festivals, what with the annual Stone Arch Bridge Festival, music events at many of the stations along the Green Line LRT, the Loring Park Acoustic Music Festival on Saturday, and a few nearby-but-out-of town events. Don’t forget those day-to-day events featuring some of the very talented individual artists and groups in our fair cities, as well as the occasional visitors.
Thursday, June 12 Melody Mendis Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s the vocal showcase at Jazz Central, tonight featuring Mendis, a Detroit vocalist who has been calling Minneapolis home for a few years now. She’s sung in a Parisian cabaret, and has toured England and throughout North America, bringing her own interpretation to originals, standards, and some pop/rock fare.
Kinghorn/Baldwin, Inc. @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This should be especially interesting for those who appreciate the intersection of jazz and soul music. A quintet of some of the area’s busiest young musicians will be interpreting jazz and soul standards, as well as songbook tunes and the occasional original. Cameron Kinghorn, vocals; Jake Baldwin, trumpet & trombone; Ted Godbout, piano; Matt Peterson, bass; and Andres Crovetti, drums.
Adam Linz/Paul Metzger Duo @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Grand at Snelling, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Emil Sherzad is host of Radio Duende on KFAI, a show that features much freely improvised music. As the owner of the Khyber Pass Cafe, he’s now providing a new venue for adventurous improvised music every Thursday. The initial show features bassist Adam Linz and guitarist/banjoist Paul Metzger in and evening of improvised music based on a set of African field recordings. Wine, beer, and small plates will be available.
Friday, June 13
Rhonda Laurie Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) This New York City native can sing gypsy jazz, as well as swing some standards and the occasional pop fare. The lounge at Parma 8200 has good cocktails and great bar fare. A fine combination.
Saturday, June 14
Jazz at Studio Z: NextGen Showcase @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) This is the last show of the season for this series, and they’re closing out with some bands featuring young players. At 7pm it’s the No Coast Quintet, with Nelson Devereaux, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Zacc Harris, guitar; Brian Courage, bass, and drummer Lars Larson. At 8pm The Kevin Gastonguay Trio takes to the stage, followed at 9pm by Steve Kenny and Group 47, celebrating the digital release of their new album. Led, more or less, by trumpeter Steve Kennyu, the band features saxophonist Thomas Strommen, bassist Adam Tucker, drummer Alex Burgess, and 17 year old piano phenom Will Kjeer.
Jack Brass Band @ Sibley House Lawn, Mendota. 7pm – 9pm. ($10/$7 for MNMHS members)This traditional/contemporary brass brand will be celebrating Mendota’s rich jazz history by playing the New Orleans jazz that filled the clubs in Mendota from the 60s through the 80s. Bring a blanket or chair and soak in the music. If the weather isn’t cooperating, it will be moved into the Mendota VFW, where seating is limited, so reservations are recommended at 651-3452-1596.
Sunday, June 15 Maud Hixson & Rick Carlson: Cole Slaw @ Saint Albert The Great, E. 29th & 32nd Av S, Minneapolis. 1pm – 2:30pm ($15) It’s 123 years since the birth of Cole Porter (June 9, 1891) and Ms Hixson and Mr Carlson are presenting a An Afternoon Picnic of Porter, celebrating his music.
Capri Big Band @ The Como Lakeside Pavillion, Como Park, Saint Paul. 3pm (Free) An inter-generational big band, 25 pieces strong, directed by Faye Washington. They bring a hefty dose of soulfulness and brio to the big band sound.
Billy Hart Quartet featuring Ethan Iverson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Drummer Hart has played with Otis Redding, Jimmy Smith, The Montgomery Brothers, Eddie Harris, Pharoah Sanders, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner, Wayne Shorter Stan Getz, and Miles Davis, to name a few. He teaches at Oberlin Conservatory, the New England Conservatory, and Western Michigan University. In short, he’s got the chops and he knows how to use them. His quartet includes pianist Ethan Iverson, known around here for his work with the Bad Plus, Mark Turner on sax; and Ben Street on bass. If you want to know jazz, this is the gig to attend.
Monday, June 16
Peter Enblom @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 11pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This should be fun for those fans of the sometimes maligned trombone, as Enblom has been playing the instrument, in all genres, for over 40 years. He’s played for such legendary performers as Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, The Temptations, and Harry Connick, Jr., and is currently the lead trombonist with the Brian Setzer Orchestra. He performs as well with the JazzMN Orchestra, the Explosion Big Band, and the Bill Simonsen Orchestra, as well as with numerous other groups.
Blues, Roots, Other…
Thursday, June 12
John Gorka and Michael Johnson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) A night of singer/songwriting without peer. Both Gorka and Johnson have been at it since the 70s. Gorka has recorded eleven albums, including a 2010 album with Red House label-mates Lucy Kaplansky and Eliza Gilkyson which was one of the most played folk albums of the year. Johnson scored a top ten hit with Bluer Than Blue in 1978 and since then has had four tunes on the Hot 100 and nine on the country charts. He spent 20 years living here, doing annual Christmas shows at the Guthrie, though he now lives in Nashville, where he continues to write.
Friday, June 13
Booker T. Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($42), 9pm ($35) That’s Booker T as in Booker T and the MGs. The MGs may be no more, but Booker T plays on, recording his latest album, Sound the Alarm, with a number of contemporary R&B voices, and . Before that, his album Potato Hole, with the Drive-By Truckers received an Grammy for the Best Pop Instrumental album. I expect he’ll be playing some old favorites, like Green Onions and Time is Tight in addition to newer tunes.
New Sound Underground @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) Here’s a funk-laden group whose inspiration draws from genre-crossing jazz like RH Factor, Weather Report, and Soulive. Member include: Kevin Gastonguay, Keys; Trent Jacob Baarspul, Electric Guitar; Christopher Ray Hunnicutt, Electric Bass; Kenyari Steele-Jackson, Drums; Sten Johnson, tpt, Flugelhorn, & Trombone; and Nelson Devereaux on Saxophones.
Left Lane Cruiser w/Sex Rays @ Bayport BBQ & Nashville Hot Chicken, Bayport. 8pm ($12) Left Lane Cruiser has been a favorite of Bayport BBQ owner Chris Johnson since before Johnson started the Deep Blues Festivals some years ago. LLC is a duo that plays raw, bluesy rock, and is heavily influence by musicians from North Mississippi Hill Country. Sex Rays open, with a sound that combines the Sex Pistols and Link Ray. Get there early for some fine BBQ and maybe a few tastes of “white lightnin”.
5th Annual Howlin’ Wolf Tribute @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 each night, $15 for both nights) Friday line-up: Chris Holm, Tonny Manno (Chicago), Rev. KM Williams (Dallas, TX), Black Diet, The Fattenin’ Frogs. Saturday line-up: Minke Munson, The Crooked Saws, The Flood Brothers, Ross Kleiner & the Thrill, Javier & the Innocent Sons
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, June 13, 14, 15
Stone Arch Bridge Festival @ St. Anthony Main, Minneapolis. 6pm-10pm Fri, 10am – 7pm Sat, 10am – 5pm Sun. This annual festival is an art show and music festival, along with a car show and motorcycle showcase (To attract Dads on Father’s Day), and of course, food. It’s held across the river from downtown Minneapolis and will feature many singer/songwriters in a variety of styles that encompass folk, indie rock, Americana, and roots music. You can go to the website to find out schedules.
Saturday, June 14
Lowertown’s End of the Line Block Party @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 2pm – 9pm (Free) The Green Line LRT opens for business today, and to celebrate, Lowertown businesses and artists are joining together to present art, food, henna painting, and more, including music by The Brass Messengers, Zacc Harris Group, The Person and The People, Orkestar Bez Ime, The Pete Hennig Group, and The Maurice Jacox Band. Hosted by Hot Date.
Monday, June 16
The Fairlanes @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. Noon (Free) An afternoon delight as four guys harmonize to songs from the 50s to the present. It’s acapella doo-wop, for want of a better term.
Monday, Tuesday, June 16, 17
Maceo Parker @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55), 9pm ($35, $45) The embodiment of funk. Maceo was a sideman who was immortalized in 1965 when James Brown said “Maceo, I want you to blow” during the recording of I Got You (I Feel Good). Since then he’s been in and out of the JBs, had his own hit as Maceo and His Men with Soul Power, recorded with Parliament/Funkadelic, Keith Richards, 10,000 Maniacs, Ani DeFranco, Prince, and others, as well as recording his own albums of funk and jazz. You can read an interview I did with him a few years ago here.
Tuesday, June 17
Rich Lewis Band @ Mears Park, Saint Paul. Noon (Free) Some more noon-time fun in the summertime, this time from the New Orleans-ish, Motown-ish R&B band led by Mr. Lewis.