Though the weather report for the next week seems to call for alternating between bone-chilling and I’m-Freezing-My-Face-Off, there are plenty of opportunities to warm up from music and dancing. Remember, music lifts the spirit.
Wednesday, February 18
David Sanborn @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45 – $70) I mentioned this last week, but it bears repeating. Sanborn is a rare saxophonist, one who can appeal to a dance-oriented R&B crowd, and a listening audience of jazz aficionados. He has won six Grammys, had eight gold albums, and one platinum, has hosted his own excellent TV show, and recorded with a host of artists, from Eric Clapton to Christian McBride and Bill Frisell. His appearance at the Zoo a couple of years back had the crowd roaring with delight.
Noah Ophoven-Baldwin Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Trumpet player Ophoven-Baldwin has been playing around town in both pop groups and adventurous jazz groups since getting his degree from the UofM, receiving good reviews in the process. Tonight he’s joined by Joe Strachan, piano; and Miguel Hurtado, drums.
Thursday, February 19
Maud Hixson @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Vocalist Hixson has received high praise from the likes of Rex Reed and Michael Feinstein, among others, for her warm voice and ability to get to the heart of classic pop and jazz songs of the twentieth century. This seems to be an ideal spot to hear her.
Cameron Kinghorn @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Kinghorn is a trumpeter/vocalist who has been playing (and singing) with the Adam Meckler Orchestra. Here’s a chance to see him solo.
Dean Granros @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Guitar master Granros is often heard playing in various combos around town. Tonight he performs two sets of solo guitar improvisations in the intimate space of the Cafe. For example:
Friday, February 20
Eastside CD Release @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Guitarist Reynold Philipsek and harmonica master Clint Hoover formed Eastside about six years ago with Michael Bisonnet on percussion and Matt Senjem on bass. The idea was to take the “soul jazz” of the Blue Note era and combine it with their interpretation of Nuevo Tango. Though Hoover now lives in Pittsburg, they have managed to record their second album, Astoria, and will be having a release party at Hell’s Kitchen.
Chris Lomheim Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pianist Lomheim’s strong yet sometimes dreamy melodies are buoyed by the impressive rhythm section of Gordy Johnson on bass and Jay Epstein on drums.
Maryann Sullivan & Corner Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) The engaging and delightful singer is joined by Reynold Phillipsek, guitar; Doug Haining, sax; Trevor Haining, drums; Jim Chenoweth, bass, for some swinging music.
Saturday, February 21
Winter Jazz Festival @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 3pm – 9pm ($15) Presented by Jazz at Studio Z and Shifting Paradigm Records, which is celebrating the anniversary of their website the Winter Jazz Fest will feature six of the area’s most exciting modern jazz groups: The Atlantis Quartet; Nichols, Bates & Bates; The Adam Meckler Orchestra; The Graydon Peterson Quartet, Endeavors; and Lars Larson’s Mancrush. Here’s the Adam Meckler Orchestra, in warmer times (watch for the gorilla).
Glen David Andrews @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($25) Andrews is a trombonist and vocalist is an electrifying performer who brings the history of New Orleans R&B, jazz, gospel, and blues to life with a jolt of energy that could light up the Superdome. He typically has the audience on its feet within seconds of hitting the stage, and they stay there throughout the performance.
Maurice Jacox Tribute to Nat King Cole @ Jazz at St. Barneys, 15600 Old Rockford Rd, Plymouth. 7pm ($10/$5 Students) From Willie & the Bees to Nachito Herrera and the Cuban National Symphony, Jacox is a vocalist who can deliver. Though he is well known in the Twin Cities, he should be wider known, but at least we get to claim him as our own. His Nat King Cole tribute is rarely done in this area, so it’s your chance to hear him use his smooth voice to sing such chestnuts as Mona Lisa, Too Young, and Paper Moon.
Chris Bates’ Good Vibes Trio @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($5-$20 Suggested Donation) Bates on bass; Dave Hagedorn on vibes, and Phil Hey on drums perform music that is disciplined, yet flows freely from idea to idea. They have so much fun on stage that you will find yourself smiling with them.
Sunday, February 22
Lulu’s Playgound & The Paul Dietrich Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 3-5pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Chamber jazz, often played with a bit of whimsy, from Lulu’s Playground Adam Meckler, trumpet; Cory Grossman, cello; Ben Abrahamson, guitar; and Steve Hobert, accordion. They all attended Lawrence University in Wisconsin, as did trumpeter Paul Dietrich whose Chicago-based quintet is on a short Midwest Tour. They recently released We Always Get There on the Blujazz label.
Monday, February 23
Chris Bates Red 5 & Cory Healey’s Beautiful Sunshine Band @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) It’s a double dose of quintets for late night listening. Chris Bates’ Red5: Bates bass; Zach Lozier, trumpet; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris Thomson, sax; and JT Bates on drums. Cory Healey’s Beautiful Sunshine Band: Healey drums; Erick Fratzke, bass; Zacc Harris, guitar; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; and Brandon Wozniak, sax.
Tuesday, February 24
Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Take the hot rhythms of salsa, mambos, and Afro-Cuban music and put them behind the sonic power of a big band and you’ve got music to move you out of your seats. These performances are essentially rehearsals, so you will get to hear the development of the band’s repertoire.
Blues, Roots, Other…
Wednesday, February 18
Randy Sabien on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Sabien’s website describes him as a jazz violinist, which would make him a somewhat unlikely choice for the bluesy/rootsy music heard on Harold’s House Party and at the 331. However, Sabien is a fan of the kind of music made by Bob Wills as well as the Grateful Dead, so his playing goes way beyond that expected of a jazz player. He’ll have Jim Ouska and Andy Dee on guitars and Jim Chenoweth on bass. Tune in and hear for yourself, then head to the 331 Club if you like what you hear. Here he is doing Stella Blue.
Willie Murphy & Rena Haus @ Schooners, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Murphy has been doing a soloist + guest night at the Schooner for a few months now, with he and a guest taking solo turns and then playing together. Tonight the gruff yet romantic bluesman is joined by ace songwriter and guitar picker Rena Haus, which should make for great music.
Friday, February 20
Hurricane Harold’s All Stars @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($??) It’s an early show for the ubiquitous harpist, who gathers another group of players from his vast rolodex for an evening of satisfying, danceable blues.
Firefly Forest @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (tip Jar) Jazz keyboardist Steven Hobert as a mischievous streak, which comes out with this acoustic group that explores a variety of quiet world rhythms. You can hear the groups songs on this site.
Scottie Miller Trio @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm – 10:30pm ($10) The Western burbs get a chance to hear Miller’s trio explore his rockin’ originals, as well as Miller’s New Orleans-inspired R&B piano playing. It’s a small, intimate room with about 40 seats, and a nice selection of beer, wine, and food. Here he is with a quartet.
Saturday, February 21
Cold Snap Blues @ Icebox Gallery, 1500 Jackson St, #443, NE Minneapolis 6-9pm. If you’ve ever gone to the Dakota, you’ve undoubtedly seen the stunning photos of some the artists that have performed there. Those pictures were taken by Marc Norberg. This is the opening reception for an exhibit of thirty-three photos of blues musicians by Marc, taken during the 80s and 90s. This exhibit also marks the 20th Anniversary of the publishing of Marc’s book Black & White Blues, which contains a total of 78 images of blues artists. There will be music by bluesman/guitarist Javier Matos, while Miss Sara Oxton of KFAI’s Rockhouse, and Lolly Obeda, from KFAI’s Sugar Shop, will be spinning music by artists whose photos are on display.
Left Lane Cruiser @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) This rockin’ blues duo have been regular visitors to this area since their appearance at the Deep Blues Festival some years back. Their sound is obviously inspired by the blues of the Mississippi Hill Country (think RL Burnside), though their hard-charging performances have the energy of punk rockers. Check this out.
Carnaval Brasilero 2015 Masquerade Ball @ International Market Square, Minneapolis. 9pm ($30) The celebration of Mardis Gras, or Carnaval if you will, continues, this time with a Brazilian theme. This annual event has grown to encompass 3 performance stages, Brazilian guest artists, including Dandara and Samba Dancers Edilson Lima and Vanessa Luiz. Additionally, over 80 area musicians will perform including: Beira Mar Brasil; Batucada Do Norte, and Drumheart. There’s a family matinee from 3pm – 6pm for $15 at the door.
Sunday, February 22
Blues & BBQ @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul (Donation) This is a benefit for Johnson Como Peewee Youth Hockey, which has been invited to play in Australia. Naturally, they have to raise a bunch of $$$, so Ted Wilebski, with the help of the Blues Society, is bringing in Hurricane Harold, Dee Miller, Jimmi & the Band of Souls, Brother Sun Sister Moon, and some young folk. Here’s JImmi & the Band of Souls.
Not Done Yet: A Musical Celebration @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 4pm – 9pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Multi-instrumentalist Bruce Jackson has performed around the Twin Cities with Ipso Facto, Dr. Mambo’s Combo, Doug Maynard, Crossover, The New Primitives, and Willie Murphy, as well as his most recent gigs with the Moondogs88 band. He was diagnosed with Peritoneal Mesothelioma in 2008 and has struggled since then but has not worked since last August. This is a benefit to celebrate his life and music and many of his long time musical friends will be performing, with Bruce sitting in. Among the performers will be Ipso Facto, The New Primitives, The Dreadlock Cowboys, and an all-star Finale.
Cafe Accordion Orchestra @ the Como Zoo Conservatory, Saint Paul. 4:30 – 6:30pm. (Free) Waltzes, French musettes, ballads, tangos, and other assorted rhythms, delivered with French flare by Dan Newton, master of the stomach Steinway, and his compatriots.
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 calendar for U Wanna Dance.