The Twin Cities music community continues to evolve, with new groups coming together, veterans playing with young turks, and musicians of all stripes blending genres in pursuit of musical nirvana (that’s with a lower case “n”). As audience members and fans, we get the benefit. Be sure to support live music. It lifts the spirit
Wednesday, May 6
Lila Ammons Quartet @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Smokey jazz and cool blues from vocalist Ammons with an occasional nod to boogie boogie, all served up in the somewhat posh setting of the former Shoreview. The early evening programming at Crooners concentrates on the music, not the drinking, though they have a good selection of cocktails and other adult beverages.
Thursday, May 7
Hanson, Roessler, & Seru @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) That’s Nathan Hanson, sax; Brian Doan Roessler, bass; and Davu Seru, drums and percussion. Freewheeling improvised music by a trio with almost ESP-like communication when it comes to the music.
Friday, May 8
Red Planet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Dean Magraw guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums; deliver fusion without the bombast, drawing from Coltrane and Hendrix.
President Flow @ The Nicollet, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) A relatively new group, made up of veteran players Joe Mayo, sax; Dave Brattain, sax; Park Evans, guitar; Rick Nair, drums; Josh Granowski, bass.
Shoop! @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 8pm ($?) Vocal jazz from this quintet (plus band) that draws inspiration for its tight harmonies from Manhattan Transfer as well as some of the girl group songs of the 60s.,
Ron Miles @ Target Atrium, Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 10:30pm – 11:30pm ($25) Trumpeter Miles has released nine well-recieved albums as a leader. The Denver native (a resident musician at MSU Denver) comes to town to perform with Bryan Nichols, piano; Anthony Cox, bass/cello; JT Bates, drums.
Saturday, May 9
Kate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Patisserie 46, Minneapolis. 2pm (Free) Though the music is free, you are sure to be tempted by the wonderful creations at this Southside bakery. Bassist Lynch and her Fellows will provide finger snapping, fun music while you devour petit fours, napoleons, bon bons, or other French confections.
Cory Healey Beautiful Sunshine Band @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Another relatively new band that’s getting much attention. Erik Fratzke, bass; Zacc Harris guitar; Brandon Wozniak, saz; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; and Cory Healey, drums.
Sunday, May 10
Mother’s Day Big Band Blowout @ Como Dockside Pavillion, Saint Paul. 2pm – 8pm (No Cover) Mother’s Day and Music overlooking Como Lake. 2pm: Dirty Shorts Brass Band; 3:30pm: Bend in the River Big Band; 5pm: 1st Things First (7 singers, 7 piece band); 6:30pm: Acme Beg Band. Dance Floor.
Prudence Johnson & Dan Chouinard: A Night of Gershwin @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $35) Johnson & Chouinard have remixed their 2003 Gershwin album and added another six songs, so they’re celebrating tonight. Special guest tonight is pianist/clarinetist Butch Thompson. This will be as tasteful and fun as you can get.
Monday, May 11
The People’s Music: Jazz in Saint Paul @ Penumbra Theater, 270 N. Kent St, Saint Paul. (Free) 6:15 Reception, 7pm Program. This is part of a Labor History series presented by the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library. It will look at how jazz was nurtured in Saint Paul, and explore its history with live performances from The Tommy Robinson Trio, the Capitol Hill Jazz Band from Capitol Hill Jr HS, and student musicians from Roseville High School.
Tim Berne’s Snakeoil @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) This gig has many area musicians very excited. Berne is an alto saxophonist known for his singular, sharp sound and work in the creative music scene in New York. He was inspired (and mentored) by Julius Hemphill, and cites Hemphill as a significant influence on his work. Snakeoil is his bass-less quartet, featuring Oscar Noriega, clarinet & bass clarinet; Matt Mitchell, piano; and Chris smith, drums and percussion.
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, May 6
The English Beat @ The Dakota, Minneapolis ($35-$40) The English Beat were one of the pillars of the British Two-Tone ska movement in the early eighties, with their message of love, unity, inclusion and dancing. After disbanding in ’83, members went on to form General Public, International Beat, and Fine Young Cannibals. A reunion in 2003 reinvigorated the group, and they’ve remastering their old albums and rereleasing them with bonus tracks and DVDs, the latex of which is Special Beat Service. I’d be might surprised if some Gen Xers don’t find room to dance.
Erik Koskinen @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10:00pm ($8) True American music: a gumbo of folk, country, and rock n’ roll, with some blues thrown in for extra flavor. Koskinen’s writing is hard to beat, as is his guitar playing.
Thursday, May 7
King Wilkie’s Dream @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($6) A bluegrass band that chugs along with the energy of the Dead, blending “hillbilly jazz,” a bit of rock, tin pan alley, swing, classic bluegrass, and more.
Friday, May 8
Coco Montoya @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($?) Montoya started out in the 70s as a drummer for Albert Collins, who taught the young Montoya his “Icy hot” guitar style. Since then he’s played with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, and the Cate Brothers. He’s released nine albums under his own name in the last 20 years, and is a world-class road warrior. Opening is Greazy Gravy, featuring harmonica maestro Curtis Blake.
Paul Cebar and Tomorrow Sound@ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($12) The Milwaukeean continues to draw out crowds to his highly danceable mix of R&B, Caribbean, and funk rhythms.
Trio Brasileiro @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) It’s an evening of Brazilian chorus, sambas, and bossa novas. Trio Brasileiro are Brazilian masters of choro, that fast, happy Brazilian genre. Opening is Pavel Jany and Natania Kamin, of Ticket to Brasil.
Saturday, May 9
Gospel Machine @ The Dakota, Minnepolis. 8pm ($10) Gospel Machine describe themselves as a “garage gospel” act, which has it’s own implications. Expect echoes of soul singers past, with a slightly harder instrumental edge than Booker T, with vocals from Jayanthi Kyle (Black Audience, Romantica) always threatening to break out of control.
Ramones Mania: Benefit for American Cancer Society @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 8pm. ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Loud, fast, short sets from a dozen or so bands, all in the name of supporting the work of the American Cancer Society.
#MPLS, PaviElle, and Proper-T & the Sol Flower Collective @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Here’s a collection of modern R&B groups from the area. #MPLS seeks to combine classic Minneapolis sound with current hip-hop sensibilities, creating cool harmonies, and generally funky sounds. PaviElle is an outstanding soul singer with a modern edge, and Proper-T & the Sol Flower Collective works the neo-soul groove as well.
Sunday, May 10
Willie Walker @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 4pm (No Cover) Spend Mother’s Day afternoon basking in the warm glow of Walker’s soulful voice. He’s just recorded a terrific album produced by Rick Estrin (Night Cats), and though this isn’t a CD release (that’s to come), there’s no reason to wait to hear him.
Monday, May 11
Hula Peppers @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7 – 8:30pm The newly refurbished restaurant at the Como Pavilion is now being run by the same team that runs the 331 Club and the Amsterdam. I suspect the music offerings may be a bit more adventurous than in the past, though the Peppers, purveyors of music from the 20s and 30s, would have fit in during the previous incarnation.
Nachito Herrera w/Horatio “El Negro” Hernandez @ the Dakota, Saint Paul. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($20) You may want to wear fireproof clothing as outstanding pianist Herrera is bringing in percussionist Hernandez for an evening of blazing hot Cuban rhythms. Hernandez is a leader in his own right, after having played with Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Carlos Santana (1999’s Supernatural), Eddie Palmieri, Gary Burton, and Roy Hargrove. Here’s a video of Hernandez.
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.