It’s a busy week ahead, with jazz, blues, and roots for most every taste. Thanks to the Arts Midwest conference that’s in town, there’s an unusual number of visiting artists for us to choose among. And for those of you who love world music, not to mention R&B, jazz, Cajun, folk, and more, please note that KFAI is having its Fall Pledge Drive. You may have read how they are facing a financial squeeze and that this is an especially important pledge drive. I ask you to help us raise $70,000 (or more) from 1000 donors. I’d really appreciate it if you would make a pledge (ph: 612-375-9030, web: kfai.org) for my show Rhythm and Grooves on Saturday, September 20, from 10:30am – Noon. Thank you.
Remember, music is good for your body and soul.
Wednesday, September 17
Kevin Gastonguay, Jana Nyberg Group, & Mississippi @ Calhoun Square, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Three bands whose members collectively cross a number of generations. All are talented, and well worth the time of any jazz-loving music fan.
Graydon Peterson Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Peterson leads this group through originals: Adam Meckler, trumpet; VincentRose, guitar; Adrian Suarez, drums. Here’s a video that starts out charming and quickly becomes exciting.
Thursday, September 18
Katia Cardenas @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Cardenas was raised in a musical family. Both her mom and dad perfumed with many of the major funk and soul bands of the 70s and 80s, so she’s been surrounded by music all her life. Though she’s been a vocalist in theater, cabaret, and more, Cardenas is now returning to jazz. Check her out.
Pippi Ardennia @ The Bedlam Theater, Saint Paul. 7pm – 8:30pm ($5) Pippi is stepping out from her concert series, and here’s a great place to hear her with a crack band: Brian Neilsen, keys; Billy Peterson, bass; and Glen Swanson, drums.
The Drexel Project @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm. A collaboration between Chicago and Twin Cities musicians, which had its genesis when Bryan Nichols was studying and playing in Chi-town. Kurt Schweitz, bass; Bryan Nichols, keys; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Andre Beasley, drums; Andre Trim, guitar; Candace Washburn, vocals.
Friday, September 19
Monk in Motion @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) After last week’s two-guitar Friday night, Zacc Harris is back with another guitarist: Park Evans. They’ll be joined by Brandon Wozniak and Scott Fultz on saxophones; as well as Matt Peterson on bass and Cory Healy on drums, for a piano-less evening of music by Thelonious Monk.
Connie Evingson Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Connie needs no introduction to Twin Cities audiences. She was/is a member of Moore by Four, and has shown an immense talent for interpreting songs, whether they’re from The Great American Songbook, the Beatles, or Django Rheinhardt. Here she is singing a song that’s long been one of my favorites, albeit with a large combo.
Saturday, September 20
Mary Louise Knutson Trio @ Jazz at St. Barney’s, Plymouth. 7pm ($10) Long before she started regularly touring with Doc Severinson, Knutson was known hereabouts as a pianist with taste and imagination. She’ll be appearing with Geoff Brennan, bass; Greg Schutte, drums. Knutson
JoAnn Funk @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm (Free) Pianist Joann Funk and bassist Jeff Brueske are back at the lobby bar on Saturdays until November, when they’ll add Fridays to their schedule. Funk plays and sings jazz standards, the Great American Songbook, as well as music from such diverse artists as Dan Penn, Blossom Dearie, and Nat King Cole. Sophisticated fare, well suited to entertaining the hotel’s guests and a number of regulars. Their usual time is 7:30 – 11pm, but tonight’s show is earlier due to a private party taking place in the lobby.
Judi Donaghy Vinar and the Wolverines Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Donaghy Vinar has been singing professionally for a few decades, now, working with folks like Janis Siegel, Rhiannon, Garrison Keillor, YoYo MA, and on more than 30 CDs, including two of her own. She’s also sung with the Wolverines Orchestra, so this gig with the trio should be quite delightful. Just remember to sit in front of the stage, since the Kitchen can get quite noisy. Here she is swingin’ with the big band.
Steve Hobert CD Release @ The Friends Meeting House, 1725 Grand Ave, Minneapolis. 6:30pm – 8:30pm Hobert is the highly expressionistic young pianist who has played with Lulu’s Playground (accordion), the Adam Meckler Orchestra, Zack Lozier, and in numerous other groups around town, including his own. Tonight he’s celebrating the release of Ocean Eyes, a solo piano outing in which he let’s inspiration take him down a number of pleasant avenues. To give you an idea, here’s a bit of improvisation from him.
Monday, September 22
Larry McDonough Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) McDonough is a pianist whose impressionistic compositions are often soothing and inspiring. Monday nights at Jazz Central are given over to letting musicians experiment, so this should be fun.
Horst, Peterson, Schimke, & Whitman @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) Kenny Horst on drums and Billy Peterson on bass are long time rhythm mates; Peter Schimke on piano; and Pete Whitman on sax more than fill out this band of veterans.
Tuesday, September 23
Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Exciting, rhythmic big band music. This is usually a bit of a rehearsal, so it’s a good way to understand how bands put their music together.
Blues, Roots, Other
Wednesday, September 17
Rena Haus Trio on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM) and 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Ms Haus comes down to the cities from her farm every once in a while to regale us with songs about farming, mechanics, chickens, big business, and more.
Nellie McKay & The Turtle Island String Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6:30pm ($40, $45), 8:30pm ($30, $35) McKay is the delightfully quirky jazz/cabaret singer/songwriter who always surprises with her witty, often insightful songs and highly individual interpretations of other’s songs. The Grammy winning Turtle Island String Quartet was the first chamber music ensemble to go beyond the music of dead white Europeans. Taken together, this promises to be a fun-filled, entertaining evening. Note the early start times. Here’s a video of the collaboration along with some commentary.
Thursday, September 18
Red Baraat @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($30) A Brooklyn octet that combines Bollywood and North Indian rhythms with jazz, go-go, and funk rhythms to deliver the drive and energy of a New Orleans brass band. Sounds raucous, to say the least. Again, there is an early start time. Here’s an example of their joyous noise.
Lee Fields & the Expressions @ the Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($18) While he was part of the original soul explosion of the late 60s (he first record in ’69) Fields isn’t content with simply rehashing the sound. He and the Expressions take it forward, while retaining its authenticity. Check out the way he brings out the inherent soulfulness of JJ Cale’s Magnolia, below. Black Diet opens. They are best described as a soul garage band. Think Memphis meets Soma Records.
Augie Meyers at the Real-Phonic Radio Hour @ James J Hill Library, Saint Paul. 8pm ($25) You first heard Meyers as part of the Sir Douglas Quintet. The somewhat cheesy sound of his Vox Continental keyboard helped propel She’s About a Mover and Mendocino up the charts, was was then echoed in the music of a number of British Invasion groups. He continued to tour and record with Doug Sahm, and recorded with Bob Dylan and the Grammy Award winning Texas Tornados as well. The Broke-Down Dollys open. Here’s Augie on the squeezebox.
Global Get Down Soiree@ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) Two more groups with an international outlook fill out the evening at the Dakota. Emel Mathlouthi is a singer/composer/guitarist from Tunisia who now lives in France. One of her songs was sung in the streets of Tunis during the Arab Spring. The second group appearing at this late show is the Tsuumi sound System, an eight-piece modern folk band from Finland.
Friday, September 19
Dee Miller Band @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 6pm ($?) Another early evening blues show for people of a certain age, or anyone who likes the blues. In addition to featuring guitarist Jimi Primetime Smith as a regular member of the band, Miller will have special guest singer Shawne Baccari.
Sena Ehrhardt CD Release @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) Ehrhardt is gaining lots of praise from the blues press as a dynamic, incendiary performer, opening concerts for the likes of Rober Cray, Dickey Betts, BB King, and Greg Allman. Her new release is entitled Live My Life, and is produced by David Z, who has worked with a plethora of artists from Prince to Jonny Lang. She’ll be featuring guests Bruce McCabe & Jimi Prime Time Smith
Matuto @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($15) If you can imagine North American folk songs set to the rhythms of Northern Brazil, then you have a good idea of what Matuto sounds like. As part of this presentation, DJ don Cuco of New York will be spinning a variety of Latin and African rhythms. Here’s a video that previews some of their music.
Saturday, September 20
Art & Artists Celebration feat. Cafe Accordion & Pee Wee Dread @ Franconia Sculpture Park, 29836 St. Croix Trail, Franconia. 10am – 9pm ($5 parking) This all day event is an opening reception of sorts for two new sculptures. There’s music, theater, pedal-powered spin art (and other family art), guided tours, and a chance for people to create their own sand molds for an iron pour ($25 for a 6” mold, $40 for an 8” mold). The day ends with a performance iron pour of the North Star and eight other stars. Besides CAO and Pee Wee, the days music will include the electric hillbilly of Scalded Hounds, and rock from Platypus. For more information, go to: http://www.franconia.org/artandartists.html
The Freewheelin’ House Party @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 2pm – 10pm It’s a Pledge Drive Party for the little station that could, which actually needs your help. Performers include Steve maul & Mikkel Beckmen, Crankshaft, Javier & the Innocent Sons, The Liquor Pigs, Jeff Ray & Hurricane Harold, The Farmhouse Band, and Adam Kiesling of pert Near Snadstone.
Willie Murphie & Band @ The Schooner Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm ($?) Murphy describes the Schooner as REAL, “not a ferny bar full of TVs and loud sonic wallpaper.” This unassuming place filled with regulars and music lovers has just the right atmosphere for Murphy’s music, which often reflect everyday problems and concerns. Rock n’ Roll, R&B, and Blues for everyman, served up with way more skill and soul than might be expected in the Schooner’s modest confines.
Sunday, September 21
Adieu Summer Concert @ Como Lake Pavillion, Saint Paul. 3pm – 6:30pm ($10) This annual multicultural family event celebrates the end of our short summers by bringing together a number of bands performing music from around the world. Today features sambas, flamenco, Bossa Novas, African drumming and dance, and World Jazz: A Touch of Spain, The World Jazz Collegium, The Voice of Culture West African Drum and Dance troupe, and host band, Ticket to Brasil. Here is Ticket to Brasil at last year’s concert.
Living Colour @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50, $60) During the 90s, Living Colour was among the first bands to blend genres, fusing rock, punk, funk, and jazz on their way to winning several Grammys, including one for Hard Rock Performance. Y(ou may want to make use of the free ear plugs available at the club’s entrance.) The opening act is Ill Chemistry, area duo of Desdamona and Carnage the Executioner. Between Desdamona’s soulful vocals both rapping and singing, and Carnage’s extraordinary beat box abilities, you can expect a Old School Hip-Hop sound addressing today’s world. Here’s a video with almost 10 millions views.
For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar. Dancers might want to check out the U Wanna Dance Calendar.