We have a big week of music in the Twin Cities. With summer in full swing there are plenty of outdoor events and performances from which to choose, as well as a healthy measure of events at bars and clubs. Get out and enjoy. Music lifts the spirit.
Wednesday, July 9
Latvian Cat Circus @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Kameron Markworth and his band-mates Kevin Gastonguay on piano, and Lars-Erik Larson on drums have chosen a name which gives a hint of the spontaneity and unpredictable nature of their music.
Thursday, July 10
Glen David Andrews @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25), 9pm ($20) The trombonist/vocalist is a force of nature. At one Dakota appearance Andrews had the floors and the balcony shaking, as folks stomped their feet and danced. His music includes a healthy mixture of traditional New Orleans Jazz with funk and a touch of gospel thrown in for good measure. Andrews’ latest CD, Redemption, was released at the end of April and debuted at #8 on the Blues charts.
All Originals Jazz Series: The Illicit Sextet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) All Originals is a new weekly jazz concert series at Studio Z featuring select outstanding local jazz ensembles playing their original jazz compositions. Tonight, the Illicit Sextet, which does nothing but its members original compositions, is the featured artist. Steve Kenny, trumpet; Paul Harper, tenor saxophone; David Roos, guitar; Chris Lomheim, piano; Tom Pieper, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums.
Kristen Sponcia @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Sponcia is a pianist/vocalist who taught at MacNally Smith until last Fall, when she enrolled in a doctorate program in Jazz Vocal Performance at Champaign, IL. She’s back for the summer, and will be joined tonight by Chris Olson, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Dave Stanoch on drums.
Friday, July 11
Pete Whitman’s X-Tet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Ten of the best players in the Twin Cities were brought together back in 2001. Since then, a 2002 CD was well received and the band played a monthly gig at the Artists’ Quarter until the club closed. It’s a delight to have a chance to see them again. They play mostly original tunes or original arrangements. Check out their music from this video.
Mill City Hot Club @ Dulano’s Pizza, 607 W. Lake St, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm (No Cover) Dean Harrington, one of the area’s unsung guitar masters, will be joined by Mark Kreitzer, guitar and mandolin; Tom Schaefer, violin; and Chuck Kreitzer, bass. They’ll be playing the music of Django Rheinhardt and Hank Williams, plus, plenty o’ pizza.
Steve Kenny Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11pm. (Tip Jar) Between the Illicit Sextet, Group 47, and this group, trumpeter Steve Kenny is staying quite busy these days. Tonight he’s joined by Chris Bates, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Babatunde Lea, drums & Percussion. I’m told there will be lotsa Monk, and at least one open improvisation in an homage to Free Jazz.
Friday, Saturday, July 11, 12
The Crosby-Clooney Story @ Chanhassen Dinner Theaters, Chanhassen. Friday, 8pm, Saturday 1pm ($40, $55) Hmm, Bing Crosby, so there’s no doubt Arne Fogel will be taking that part. His long time singing partner Maud Hixson, will take on Rosemary Clooney, and both will be ably supported by the Wolverines Trio. Expect music from the Great American Songbook, including tunes from the movie White Christmas, two duet albums, and radio and concert appearances of the subject singers. Here are some samples of Fogel and Hixson doing this show.
Saturday, July 12
Jazz Fest @ St. Croix Vineyard, 6428 Manning Ave N, Stillwater. 11am – 6pm (Free) Here’s a wonderful little jazz festival at a local vineyard, featuring a fine line-up of area musicians and a former Minnesotan who is now based in NYC. 11:10am – Bryan Nichols Trio; 12:20pm – Nancy Harms; 1:30pm – Ticket to Brasil Septet; 2:40pm – Babatunde Lea Quintet; 3:50pm Patty Peterson Band; 5pm – Atlantis Quartet. There will be some food and drink available at this family-friendly event, but you’re welcome to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the music.
Sunday, July 13
Stan Bann’s Big Bone Band @ Como Park Pavillion, Saint Paul. 7pm – 8:30pm (Free) Black Bear Crossing may be closing down at the end of the year, but it’s still open and especially handy for those attending the concerts at the Pavillion, such as this one. Stan Bann is a composer, trombonist, orchestrator, and conductor and brings out a bevy of ‘bone players for this band.
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday July 13, 14, 15
Irv Williams Trio @ The Dakota Patio, 6:30pm – 9:30pm (No Cover) Irv Williams is in his 90s, but his sound on the tenor sax is quite youthful, with warm notes seeming to float out of his saxophone. He’s releasing a new CD with Steve Blons on guitar and Billy Peterson on bass, though it’s not quite ready yet. Anyway, this patio performance is a perfect way to spend an early evening, whether dining or drinking. Here he is a couple of weeks ago, performing for the Jazz Festival.
Tuesday, July 15
Rockin’ Rondo Jazz Quartet @The Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Free) The History Center’s Nine Nights of Music is back. Though I don’t know who is in the quartet, I do know that Debbie Duncan will be singing with them, which is a vote of confidence if I ever saw one. The Half Pintz Drill Team will kick off the evening.
Explosion Big Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. ($10 Suggested Donation) This band is co-led by Scott Agster, trombone; and Doug Haining, sax. They were rained out at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, and are more than rarin’ to go.
Roots, Blues, Other…
Wednesday, July 9
Cafe Accordion Orchestra @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon- 1pm, (Free) Stop by with a lunch, or buy one at the Landmark, then gather round for French Musettes, and other infectious music from this Dan Newton-led group.
Black Diet @ Como Zoo Conservatory, Saint Paul. 6 – 8pm (Free) What do you get when you cross the soulfulness of Memphis R&B with the energy of early garage bands? Black Diet an up-and-coming Twin Cities band. Bring a picnic and enjoy this outdoor concert on the lawn of the conservatory. Adult beverages, as well as hot dogs, are available for sale.
Tinsley Ellis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) If you like yer bluz rockin’ then head on down to the Dakota, where Ellis who’s been on the blues scene since the late 80s, will be dazzling listeners with blistering guitar work in a trio setting.
Thursday, July 10
Boogie Wonderland @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. 6pm (Free) Get out your bell bottoms and take your disco dancing outdoors to the music of the 70s. Dance lessons start and 6pm, and music at 7:15.
Hurricane Harold’s Blues Revue @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Harold Tremblay may be the most connected bluesman in town, which means he always has a passle of great players with him.
Budos Band @ The Fine Line, Minneapolis. 9pm ($17, $30) Fans of Daptone recording artists already know about this band, which describes itself as playing “Staten Island Instrumental Afro-Soul” music. They’ve toured the world with their serious, horn-heavy, and somewhat mysterious sounding grooves. Here’s an example of that sound.
Friday, July 11
Big George Jackson @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) With a voice that would make a foghorn vibrate, Big George can put down the boogie a la John Lee Hooker, and otherwise get your mojo working. Jeremy Johnson and Phil Schmid provide guitar backing worthy of someone who is a star in Europe.
Tim Sparks & Phil Heywood @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Two champions of the National Fingerpicking competition team up for an evening of country blues, world music, and jazz. For fans of the acoustic guitar, it doesn’t get any better than this.
Sol Flower Collective @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) New grooves, futuristic R&B, and post-classic soul from this talented septet of young performers. Check them out on YouTube:
Saturday, July 12
Charlie Lawson & Friends @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport.
8pm 5pm – 7pm ($10) Lawson’s passionate guitar playing and spirited vocals on classic blues provide the right enhancement to the enjoyment of the food and drink at this BBQ roadhouse.
Big Daddy Cade: Tribute to BB King @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($6) Cade has the only BB King tribute that’s endorsed by King himself, but that’s only one set in a show. He’s a more than capable guitarist who can venture into R&B, soul, and funk as well.
Sunday, July 13
Bastille Day Block Party @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 3pm – 10pmm (Free) This annual event always has something more than music – roller derby girls, circus acts, and more. The music is a great draw as well, with a combination of veteran and up-and coming bands: Black Diet, Cloak Ox, Heiruspecs, Brass Messengers, and GRRRL PRTY. As the poster says, “Cake Will Be Served.”
Dengue Fever @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($18) A California-based band that have taken ‘60s Cambodian pop as inspiration and blended it with psychedelic rock and indie sounds. They’ve gained considerable recognition among established rock musicians, including Peter Gabriel, who licensed their third release, Venus on Earth, for worldwide distribution in 2008. They’ve also appeared on Jools Holland’s TV show, toured Europe and have appeared at a number of festivals in the US. Here’s a YouTube video:
Monday, July 14
Lamont Cranston @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) After decades of playing, Pay Hayes and the Cranstons will be rockin’ the Dakota with classic R&B and their own original blues.
Tuesday, July 15
Patty & the Buttons @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Swinging R&B-ish accordion playing from Patty and his band. Get a seat at the bar if you can, or ask to be seated near the band.