Thanks to all who pledged to KFAI. The calendar tells us we’re moving into April, and though we had snow last night, it’s already melted on the streets, so getting out for music should be easy and as always, fun. This week we have a number of notable visiting artists in jazz, roots, and world music, as well as a couple of very young jazz bands, a couple of big bands and more. Hooray for us! Music lifts the spirit.
Wednesday, March 25
Levi Schwartzberg Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Talk about a band of young lions! Schwartzberg is the vibraphone player who was in the Dakota Combo for the last two years. He’s now a freshman at the UofMN, and plays in a number of bands in addition to leading this quintet, which includes Peter Goggin, alto; Aiden Sponheim, trumpet, Charlie Lincoln, double bass, and Ben Oni, on drums and cymbals. They’ll be playing some of Scwartzberg’s originals as well as improvised compositions.
Ellis Marsalis & Delfeayo Marsalis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $50), 9pm ($30 – $40) This is a must-see event for jazz lovers. The whole Marsalis family has been named Jazz Masters, but it’s patriarch Ellis, the pianist, who deserves the credit for instilling his sons with a love for jazz, and the desire to play it well. Ellis and Delfeayo, the trombonist, have recently released The Last of the Southern Gentlemen, a first time collaborative effort that’s an acknowledgement of love and respect for all people. Here’s Delfeayo, featured in a number with other members of the clan, including Ellis.
Enormous Quartet @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Here’s a chance for denizens of SW Minneapolis to hear some great talent without straying into either downtown. The quartet consists of Chris Bates, bass; Chris Thomson, sax; Park Evans, guitar; and Joey Van Philips, drums. Though there is no cover, Cafe Maude features a three course meal for $20 as well as a fine selection of potables from the bar. Request a seat where you can hear the band.
Thursday, March 26
Delfeayo Marsalis & Davell Crawford @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40-$50), 9pm ($30 – $40) Ellis Marsalis is unable to make the second night of this two night gig, so Delfeayo is bringing in Crawford, The Prince of New Orleans. In a town that’s filled with wonderful piano players, Crawford has distinguished himself as both a player and vocalist. Of course, Crawford also has his lineage as an inspiration: James Sugar Boy Crawford was in grandfather, and his godmother is Roberta Flack.
Fireside Five & Friends @ The Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) This is an under-the-radar gig that is worthwhile checking out, featuring five veteran jazz cats who swing like crazy: Tom Ashworth, trombone; Brian Grivna, sax; Phil Aaron, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. After the first set they invite equally talented friends to join them and jam. Be warned. It’s a small venue and seats fill up early.
Maryann Sullivan & Sarah Greer @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s a double dose of vocalists tonight at the basement club, featuring music that ranges from swinging classics from Peggy Lee and Billie Holiday, to more contemporary fare from the Beatles, Cyndi Lauper, and originals. Accompanying Ms Sullivan: Larry McDonough on vocals. With Sarah Greer: John Iden, bass; Jim Oujska, guitar; Doug Rohde, piano; and Dean White, drums.
Friday, March 27
Phil Aaron Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) For the second night in a row, Aaron is playing at an “underground” venue, though this time he’s the leader, with Zacc Harris, guitar; Matt Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. High quality music. Phil is really swingin’ on this video.
How Birds Work @ Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Another night, another band of excellent musicians. How Birds Work used to play the Artists’ Quarter with some welcome regularity, given that drummer Kenny Horst owned the club. The group, which also includes Peter Schimke, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Dean Granros, guitar; swings, whether they’re playing the music of Coltrane and Wayne Shorter, or their own originals.
Preservation Hall Jazz Band @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 8pm ($30 – $70) It’s been about five years since this 8-piece purveyor of original New Orleans Jazz came to town. It’s been a New Orleans institution for over 50 years, performing at its namesake hall and touring the world. Though its original members played with the likes of Buddy Bolden and Bunk Johnson, the current membership does a remarkable job of keeping the joyous sounds of traditional jazz alive.
Saturday, March 28
Dakota Combo & the Daley/Brattain Report @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Combo), 8:30pm (Daley/Brattain) ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Tonight’s Saturday Jazz at the Black Dog features both youngsters and veterans. The Dakota Combo is an open audition group that studies with Adam Linz. This year’s group includes: Peter Goggin, alto; Aiden Sponheim, trumpet; Jordan Anderson, piano; Charlie Lincoln, bass; Adam Astrup, guitar; Jack Courtright, trombone, and Sam Roberto, tenor; and Luke Peterson, drums. They’ll be followed at 8:30 by the Daley/Brattain Report: Dave Brattain, sax; Kevin Dal;ey, Bruce Heine, bass; David Stanoch, drums.
Sidewalk Cafe @ the 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm – 10:30pm ($10) Guitarist Reynold Philipsek has been playing for over fifty years, and is strongly influenced by Django Rheinhardt, as well as Wes Montgomery and Pat Martino. He regularly accompanies some of the area’s fine singers, and plays throughout the area, including this gypsy jazz gig, which includes the other members of Sidewalk Cafe master violinist Gary Schulte, and the excellent Jeff Brueske on bass.
Sunday, March 29
Tierney Sutton: the Joni Mitchell Project @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($35), 8pm ($25) Tierney Sutton is an often subtle, ethereal, and always thrilling singer, who immerses herself in a lyric. She’s received six Grammy nominations including one for her 2013 release, After Blue, which casts the music of Joni Mitchell in a new light. She’ll be accompanied by cellist Mark Summer of the Turtle Island String Quartet and French guitarist Serge Merlaud in an intimate evening of Mitchell’s music.
Century Jazz Orchestra @ Jethro’s Char-House and Pub, 3140 Century Avenue North, Mahtomedi. (3pm? 7pm,? Free?) I was unable to confirm times in time for this newsletter, so if you want to hear a much much better than average college big band, you’ll have to call the venue to confirm times and cover. The number at the Char House is 651-770-2443.
Monday, March 30
Bob Bowman – Doan Roessler Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Kansas City Bassist Bowman has visited town a number of times as a member of Karryn Allison’s band, where he provided an inventive, steady foundation for her singing. Before settling in Kansas City he was a member of the Thad Jones-Mel lewis Orchestra, the ToshikoAkiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band, and accompanied Carmen McCrae. Tonight he’s joining up with fellow bassist Doan Brian Roessler, pianist Peter Schimke, and percussionist Marc Anderson for what promises to be an evening of imaginative, exciting music. Here’s bowman
International Novelty Gamelan Record Release w/The Drone Band @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Monday nights at the Icehouse are given over to JTs Jazz Implosion, which always presents exciting jazz. Tonight’s a bit different, as International Novelty Gamelan celebrates the release of a CD. In their own words, ING explores new music using the instruments of a Javanese Gamelan Orchestra. The Drone Band explores sonic possibilities in minute changes in tone and timbre, and includes Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Evan Clark, tuba; Cory Healey drums; Noah Ophoven Baldwin, trumpet; Jim Pfeffer, bass; Cole Pulice, sax.
Tuesday, March 31
Eliane Elias Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $40), 9pm ($25 – $35) Brazilian born Elias is a pianist of great technique and passion and a vocalist who knows how to raise temperature with a cool, tempting voice. She’s lived in the U.S. for over thirty years, recording over 20 albums and recieveing five Grammy nomninations. Her latest album, Made in Brazil is, as might be expected from the title, a return to her Brazilian roots. Here’s a taste of her music.
Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Regular readers may note that I often list this band quite regularly. I do so because: 1) Adam Meckler creates modern, yet highly accessible charts; 2) He’s gathered some of the finest young musicians in town to play; 3) They only play about once a month; and 4) Jazz Central is an intimate space where you can get blown away by the power of this 17 piece band
For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz Police, Jazz Ink, and Bebopified.
Blues, Roots, Other…
Wednesday, March 25
Stringer Bell @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Vocalist Yasmina Moore-Foster and pianist Ted Godbout perform Top 40 hits, jazz standards, maybe a bit of R&B.
Thursday, March 26
Benjamin Booker @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist Booker is only 25 years old, yet the New Orleans native a rock has quickly become a hot ticket since the release of his debut album last summer. It didn’t hurt that he toured with Jack White. He’s got a raspy voice that’s well suited to his band’s dense sound, which hearkens back to the attitude of early rock n’ roll, when the guitars of Chuck Berry, James Burton, and Bo Diddley produced “dangerous” dance music. Olivia Jean opens.
Dumpy Jug Bumpers @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 10pm (Tip Jar) With all the interest in roots and old timey music, it seems only natural that a band would draw upon the kazoo, which was featured in a number of songs in the 20s, as well as Jesse Fuller’s 1962 recording of San Francisco Bay Blues, and Eric Clapton’s version of that song. It’s a regular feature of jug bands of course, hence it’s use by the Jug Bumpers: Drew Temperante, resonator guitar, mandolin-banjo, kazoo, vocals; Tom Phelan, harmonica, vocals; Muskrat, parlor guitar, jug, kazoo, vocals; Liz Draper, upright bass.
The Icicles @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm (No cover) David Lynch meets Surf Pop in the instrumental music of Jake Hanson, guitars; Jim Anton, bass; and Jeremy Hanson, drums.
Friday, March 27
The Ericksons @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Sisterly harmonies from the Ericksons who released a well-recieved album last year. Their folky, rootsy music was incubated in a time of darkness and loss, but the new album reveals a brighter outlook and love of family. Opening is Barbara Jean, a country-ish singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who also released a well-reviewed album last year.
Harold’s House Party @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, 7pm ($5) Just as he does on his weekly radio show, Harold Tremblay presents a mix of blues, both old & new, along with some roots/Americana music. Nathan Miller, 7pm; Doug Otto & Hurricane Harold, 8:15pm; Hula Peppers, 9pm.
Hipshaker Dance Party @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Ahh, the Hipshaker Crew once again combs their record collections for rare funk n’ soul 45s that will have folks dancing with joy. Here’s an example of the kind of music they play.
Saturday, March 28
Otis Clay @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Otis Clay s an original soul man, and you can bet the faithful will be out tonight. Though born in Mississippi, where he started singing in gospel groups, he moved to Chicago in the 50s, and in the 60s became a soul singer to be reckoned with. His first recordings on One-derful were recently released as part of a compilation on Secret Stash, and show that, if anything, his passionate singing is as strong as ever. After One-derful he went to Cotillion, and then scored hits on Memphis’ Hi Records with Tryhing to Live My Life Without You and If I Could Reach Out. He’s been coming to the Twin Cities off and on for the last thirty years or so and we’re lucky to know him.
Jimmi & the Band of Souls @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Whether they’re performing originals or covers of songs by Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, or even Bob Dylan and the Beatles, Jimmi and the band deliver a lively set of blues, which earned them the right to represent Minnesota at the International Blues challenge in Memphis this year.
Scottie Miller Band @ Washington Square Bar & Grill, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Miller is a piano player/songwriter whose music can evoke both Professor Longhair and Bruce Springsteen, among others, though he is, no doubt, his own man when it comes to performing.
Monday, March 30
Ibeyi w/Flo Morrissey @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15) Ibeyi are French Cuban twins who perform in both English and Yoruban, from the Cuban culture of Yoruba. Naomi Dian plays percussive instruments, while Lisa plays piano. Their music reflects both the Cuban culture of their father, percussionist Ana Diaz, as well as the R&B of modern music. English singer Flo Morrissey opens.
Tuesday, March 31
Castro, Sabien, & Dunn @ Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) That’s Gaby Castro, Randy Sabien, and Joe Dunn, three multi-instrumentalists, each with their own take on roots and Americana. After getting her start in San Francisco, Castro moved to the Twin cities to attend McNally Smith College of Music, where Dunn is also a student. Sabien started the string department there (and at Berklee) and continues to teach there. They’ll be playing original music on acoustic instruments in various combinations.
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