Well, at least one musician this week recognizes the importance of Spring Cleaning. After a day, or even a couple of hours of it, perhaps fueled by your favorite music, you might want to enjoy an evening of music without the cleaning, of which there are plenty of choices. Music lifts the spirit.
Wednesday, April 8
Bossa Jazz Quartet @ Tangiers, Minneapolis. 8pm (No Cover) Sit back in one of the large couches or booths at Tangiers and enjoy some bossa novas and jazz.
Chris Bates’Spring Cleaning @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Holy cow! Chris must be trying out all kinds of arrangements he’s found while cleaning, as there will be five bass players and two drummers taking part. Cody McKinney – bass, Casey O’Brien – bass, Charles Fletcher – bass, Doan Brian Roessler – bass, Martin Dosh – piano, keys, percussion, Cory Healey – drums, percussion, Greg Schutte – drums, percussion, & Chris Bates
Thursday, April 9
Larry McDonough Quintet performs Chet Baker @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) As a singer, trumpeter Chet Baker’s cool, quiet singing style had lots of fans. Pianist Larry McDonough’s singing has often been compered to that of Baker, though his singing has always been a minor part of each performance. Tonight, McDonough will concentrate on singing. The first set will be songs sung by Baker. The 2nd set will be songs sung in Baker’s style. McDonough, piano; Steve Kenny, trumpet; Richard Terrill, sax; Greg Stinson, bass; and Dean White, drums.
Charmin & Shapira @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($5-$20 Suggested Donation) Vocalist Charmin Michelle and guitarist Joel Shapira go together like two straws in a coke, to borrow a phrase. Their performance is both sophisticated and warm. This is their debut appearance at the Black Dog.
Friday, April 10
Todd Harper: Piano Fridays @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 5:30 – 7-ish ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Harper often brings in friends to create interesting, and often fun, music for patrons stopping by after work or before heading out for the evening.
Eric Kamau Gravatt Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) We are blessed to have some very high quality musicians in our towns, including drummer Gravatt, who has played in the bands of Weather Report, McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, and others. Tonight he’s joined by Brandon Wozniak, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Ron Evanuik, bass.
Saturday, April 11
Saturday Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. ($5-$20 Suggested Donation) If it’s Saturday night, there is jazz at the Black Dog, starting at 7pm with the Solomon Parham Group, featuring Babatunde Lea on drums & congas. Then, at 8:30pm, it’s the Paul Harper Quartet, known known as “Paul Harper’s Show & Tell” with Harper on sax; Mike Cramer, guitar; Charlie Riddle, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums.
Sunday, April 12
Zach Lozier Three @ The Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Both the venue and the group deserve more recognition. The UMC has been quietly building an eclectic music calendar for it’s cozy cafe. The Zach Lozier Three has been appearing around town of late, with Lozier on trumpet and vocals, Steven Hobert on keys, and Steve Pikal on bass. It’s a fun group.
Anat Cohen Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($20) Cohen is undoubtedly the visiting artist of the week. Cohen is a clarinetist who has been building an impressive fan base around the world with her virtuosity and warm approach to both originals and standards. Case in point is her brand new CD, Luminosa, which just received a featured, four star review in Downbeat. It’s a delightful collection of songs celebrating Latin American and Brazilian rhythms. She’ll be accompanied by a terrific group of musicians as well: Jason Lindner on piano; Linda Oh on bass, and Adam Cruz on drums.
Monday, April 13
Javi Santiago Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 6:30pm – 9pm (No Cover) Javi is a young piano player who spent some time in NYC after attending The Brubeck Institute and the New School. We’re lucky to have him back in town for a while. This early evening show will feature Javi with old chums Chris Smith on bass, who’s been touring with Jeff “Tain” Watt, and Miguel Hurtado on drums.
For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz Police, Jazz Ink, and Bebopified.
Blues, Roots, Other..
Wednesday, April 8
3 Good Samaritans on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Regular attendees at the annual jug band contest will be familiar with these past winners (Best Vocals, 2011; Waffle League, 2012, Winners 2014). This show is more or less a warm-up to the Music Therapy Conference taking place this week, and many of the musicians attending the conference will be on hand to sit in. It will be loose, and fun. You can tun in and head to the 331afterwards.
Friday, April 10
Willie Walker & the We “R” Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Crooners has chosen an outstanding singer as they take a slight turn towards R&B and Soul music on this night. Walker has been busing touring South America of late and is scheduled to go to Europe this summer. You can catch this original soul man in a venue with a nice, if slightly small, dance floor, not to forget the atmosphere of a modern day lounge.
Groove Merchants w/Jimi Primetime Smith @ Narrows Saloon, Navarre. 8pm (No Cover?) West Metro blues lover will be out in force to see and dance to this tight horn band with special guest Smith on guitar.
Jeffrey Broussard & the Creole Cowboys @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. ($15) Ahh, the sounds of the stomach steinway and zydeco rhythms will be filling the dance floor at the Eagles Club. Broussard was the accordionist, front man and vocalist for the legendary Zydeco Force, and now leads his own band in putting a contemporary voice to Creole Zydeco.
Worldwide Discoteque 3rd Anniversary @ Clubhouse Jaeger, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Can it be 3 Years since DJs Steely Dan and Brian Engle launched this monthly event spinning funky tunes from equatorial climes? It’s alway a joyous event as a multi-cultural and multi-generational crowd dance to Carribean, Afrobeat, Brazilian, Cuban, and Latin rhythms.
Saturday, April 11
Jorma Kaukonen @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($42), 9pm ($35) Jefferson Airplane. Hot Tuna. The Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Guitarist Kaukonen has long established his credentials playing fierce rock n’ roll and acoustic finger-picking. Now he has a new album on on Saint Paul’s Red House Records, Ain’t In No Hurry, in which he performs blues, classic American Songs, and a couple of original rockers. Judging from his last couple of appearances at the Dakota, this will be a packed house.
Jeff Ray & Hurricane Harold @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 9pm (No cover) Guitarist Ray and harp master Harold combine forces in the best possible way to present Blues, Dylan, a little Dead, and some originals.
Sherwin Linton: Tribute to Johnny Cash @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) There is no better person alive to present a tribute to The Man in Black than Linton who knew Cash, and carries on the tradition of heartfelt country music, unfettered by strings or rock guitars.
Sunday, April 12
Battle of the Blues Bands @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 1pm – 5pm (No Cover) Another chapter in the competition to find a band that will play at this year’s Lowertown Blues Festival. Vying for the spot are: Violet Sky; Yet Vox; Sweet Papa Dave Band; and Ramshackle Charmer.
Monday, April 13
Joe Fingers @ Dunn Brothers on Grand, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Fingers is an acclaimed acoustic guitarist who earned his name as a fierce finger picker. It’s a low-key, but highly entertaining gig.
Monday, Tuesday, April 13, 14
Robert Earl Keen @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $50) Keen is a Texas Troubadour whose ability to tell both raucous and sensitive stories through song has placed him squarely on the leading edge of alternative country. His song “Merry Christmas from the Family” is a hilarious tale of a blended (at best) family gathering, and is an annual, much requested feature of Jackson Buck’s Freewheelin’ show on KFAI. Opening are the brothers of The Roosevelts.
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.