We’ve got another weekend of outdoor music celebrations this weekend, what with Bastille Day Celebrations in both Minneapolis and Saint Paul, as well as a hip-hop festival and a one-day jazz festival at a vineyard. We also have some very interesting visiting musicians, a CD release party, and some stellar combinations of resident musicians. All in all, a good week for music lovers. Music lifts the spirit.
Wednesday, July 8
Connie Evingson w/Patty and the Buttons @ The Woman’s Club, 410 Oak Grove, Minneapolis. 6-8pm ($10) Patty and the Buttons bring their happy rhythms and swinging influences (gypsy jazz, ragtime, American Popular song, to the music of Ms Evingson To quote the sublime vocalist, “I love singing with these guys!”
Capri Big Band @ Minnehaha Falls Pavilion, Minneapolis. 7-9pm (Free) The Capri Big Band is an intergenerational band led by saxophonist Donald Washington will be swinging for visitors to the park, providing much more than just background music for those waiting in line for fish tacos at Sea Salt.
Chris Bates’ Magica Improvisada @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Chris Bates, bass; Corey Healy, drums; and Peter Schimke, piano; bring their considerable talent to bear on originals and jazz standards.
Thursday, July 9
Christine Hitt @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pianist/vocalist Hitt established herself in the Saint Louis jazz scene, recording and working for MAXJAZZ records and performing with the likes of Ugonna Okegwo, Hubert Laws, Slide Hampton and others. Tonight she is joined by Eric Hitt, bass; Dave Schmalenberger, drums; and Brian Handeland, sax.
James Buckley Trio & Jacob Hanson@ Studio Z, Saint Paul. ($10) The All Originals Jazz Series returns for another season. Opening the season this year is the James BuckleyTrio, featuring Bryan Nichols, piano; JT Bates, drums, and Buckley on bass. Their imaginative swinging sounds will be augmented by guitarist Jacob Hanson, who plays in a number of high profile groups including The Pines, Haley Bonar, Solid Gold, and more. Hanson’s approach to the guitar is informed by blues, surf music, 50s pop, and more, as he uses technique and pedals to create intriguing soundscapes.
Friday, July 10
Judy Donaghy Vinar & the Wolverines Quartet @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Crooners is a fine club/lounge, with a small dance floor and a comfortable stage. Vocalist Vinar will be joined by Jendeen Forberg, drums; Rick Carlson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Doug Haining on clarinet and reeds. Here she is with the big band version of the Wolverines.
Milwaukolis@ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The name implies a combination of musicians from Milwaukee and Minneapolis. Nelson Devereaux, sax; paul Westfahl, drums, and Cody Steinmann, guitar; play music rooted in tradition but also drawing inspiration from modern pop, hip-hop, and rock music.
Dean Granros’ Tall Tales @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) This two-guitar jazz group features Zacc Harris, as well as leader Dean Granros on guitars, with Chris Bates on bass, and Jay Epstein on drums providing a formidable foundation. They have a new CD out on Shifting Pardigm records, and blew folks away at their CD Release parties a couple of months back.
Jordan Anderson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) If you’ve had a chance to see the Dakota Combo or the Walker West Jazz Band, you’ve seen this young pianist (16) in action. I’m not sure if he’ll be performing solo or with other musicians, but either way, he’s already a seasoned, imaginative performer and soloist.
Saturday, July 11
Jazz Fest @ Saint Croix Vineyards, 6428 Manning Ave No., Stillwater. Noon – 6pm. (Free) Here are four very good reasons to while away a pleasant afternoon. You get to hear the Javi Santiago Quartet at noon, the Andrew Walesch Trio at 1:30, the Adam Meckler Orchestra at 3pm, and Doug Little’s Seven Steps to Havana at 4:30. Bring a picnic basket, or buy some food while there. Wine (of course) and non-alcoholic beverages are always available.
Bastille Day in Saint Paul @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 2pm – 8pm ($10, kids under are free) Outdoor on the West 7 Place Mall. Music by French Jazz Band Lo’Jo, as well as Twin Cities based Francine Roche Trio, with The New Standards capping the day. Then go inside to hear Connie Evingson and the Parisota Hot Club in the newly refurbished Vieux Carre.
Jacob Teichroew Quintet w/guest Adam Meckler @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Saxophonist and composer Jacob Teichroew has studied classical sax with Stephen Jordheim, jazz with Antonio Hart, and contemporary improvisation with Vijay Iyer. All those influences are part of his music. He’ll be joined by members of his group: Syberen van Munster, guitar; Jarrett Cherner, keys; Christopher Nolte, bass; and Shawn Baltazor, drums; as well as trumpeter Adam Meckler, no slouch himself when in comes to playing or composing.
Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5-$20 Suggested Donation) Here is another combination of a new group and some fine veterans performing on a Saturday night. Opening at 7pm King/Fletcher/Woods: Jeff King, sax; Charles Feltcher, bass; Eron Woods, drums. At 8:30, the highly talented pianist Laura Caviani takes the stage, accompanied by the ever inventiveJay Epstein, drums; and rock solid Gordy Johnson on bass. Here’s Laura celebrating Monk.
Sunday, July 12
Stan Bann’s Big Bone Band @ Como Dockside Pavilion, Saint Paul. 3-5pm (Free) Ahh, Sunday afternoon under the exposed pavilion at Como Lake, with victuals and beverages available from Como Dockside, the new bar/restaurant from Jon Oulman, of the 331 Club and the Amsterdam Bar & Hall. Trombonist/composer/arranger Bann brings his band, with seven trombones, a euphonium, tuba, and rhythm section, to the pavilion for your listening pleasure
Monday, July 13
Jacob Teichroew Quintet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. ($8) Another chance to see this New York sax player (see Saturday)
Tuesday, July 14
Katia Cardenas @ Vieux Carre Grand Opening, Saint Paul. 7pm ($?) A year and a half after the Artists’ Quarter closed, Vieux Carre (view ma-ray) will finally have its grand opening in the space. They’ve had some pop-up events during the last six months, but now, all the furniture has been replaced, there’s a new sound system, new paint and images on the black walls, the carpeting has been taken up, some walls removed, and a small kitchen installed. And… they’ve got up and coming vocalist Cardenas for the official opening. She is well versed in jazz, and R&B, and a bit of pop as well. She’ll be joined by Kevin Gastonguay, piano; Andrew Foreman, bass; and Zach Schmidt, 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.
Roots, Blues, Other…
Wednesday, July 8
Mother Banjo @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. noon – 1pm (Free) Ellen Stanley, aka Mother Banjo has been gaining fans and friends around the country with her unique blend of Americana and “pub gospel.” I’ll be hosting this noontime show that’s perfect for taking a break from work.
Gang of Mischief on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The Gang of Mischief is a loose aggregation of old blues guys and younger adherents. This time around the gang includes, Rena Haus, Doug Otto, Josh Granowski, Papa John Kolstad, Dan Schwalbe, and Hurricane Harold. Stick around for Firefly Forest at 9:30pm – they’re a world/folk group led by Steven Hobart, with a mischievous bent of their own.
Carolyn Wonderland CD Release Party @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) The daughter of a band singer, blues/country/folk singer Wonderland combines the vocal prowess of Janis Joplin with guitar slinging reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughn, and other influences such as Doug Sahm, and Angela Strehli, which is only natural, considering she comes Texas. She’s touring behind her latest release, Miss Understood, which includes her own compositions, as well as some by JJ Cale and Rick Derringer.
Thursday, July 9
Jones Family Singers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Five sisters, two brothers, and their father were playing the Gulf Coast gospel music circuit when they ended up at South by Southwest, where their readings of gospel songs (complete with elements of vintage soul and R&B – duh!) caught the attention of fans and promoters alike. Now we get to hear their joyful noise between appearances at the Newport and Winnipeg Folk Festivals.
Friday, July 10
Mingo Fishtrap @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) This five-time winner of Austin Texas Music Awards, Mingo Fishtrap is an eight-piece funk n’ soul band with punchy horns and relentless rhythms.
Raw Oyster Cult w/The Butanes @ Bunker’s Music Bar & Grill, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($25) Raw Oyster Cult is a supergroup of New Orleans musicians, with lead vocalists in Radiators guitarist Dave Malone and Papa Grows Funk’s John Gros, who also plays B-3. They are joined by The Rads’ Camille Baudoin on guitar, drummer Frank Bua Jr, and bassist Dave Pomerleau. They’ll be reimagining some Radiators’ songs and adding originals and some of their favorite older tunes. The Butanes, of course, are the Twin Cities favorite blues band.
Saturday, July 11
For the Love: A Community Celebration @ Union Depot, Bedlam, and Black Dog, Saint Paul. 3pm – 10pm. (Free) This is a celebration of hip-hop music featuring 15 artists (most doing 20 minute sets), including the return of the Kanser crew, celebrating their 20h anniversary, and headlined by Saint Paulite Ashely Dubose from 8:50 to 10pm. It also features 15 deejays at the Bedlam Theater from 2pm to 2am, which will turn into an 18+ nightspot after 10pm. Even youngsters have their own stage, at the Black Dog from 2pm – 7pm, where demonstrations of emceeing, breakdancing, beatboxing, and more will occur. Note that 50% of the performers/hosts are female. To add to the festivities, live graffiti painting will take place during performances and Metro Transit is providing free transit to the show.
Maurice Jacox Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) I’ve written enough about vocalist Jacox for regular readers to know of his versatility in singing blues, R&B, jazz, and acoustic Motown. Tonight he’s joined by Thomas West, piano; John Della Selva, guitar; and Poncho Lopez, percussion at a venue that seems made for his music.
Doug MacLeod w/Jeff Arundel @ The Aster Cafe, MInneapolis. 9pm ($15) Here’s a chance to see a blues artist that rarely makes it to these parts. MacLeod is a perennial Blues Music Award nominee, having won the 2014 Award for Acoustic Artist of the Year and Acoustic Album of the year, and the 2013 Award for Male Artist of the Year. He’s a prolific singer and songwriter, with tunes that are full of smart remarks and keen observation.
Willie Walker CD Release @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) The Twin Cities own Original Soul Man is out with a new album, If Nothing Ever Changes, produced by Rick Estrin, the often-comic singer from the Nite Cats. Willie recorded with Goldwax Records in Memphis, and even released some sides on Chess back in the 60s. The new CD is a slab of solid soul, including a moving reading of a country song, “Not that I Care,” and great versions of a couple of Eddie Hinton songs: “Everybody Meets Mr. Blue” and “Hymn for Lonely Hearts.” Not that this is a retro record; it’s contemporary, yet oh, so soulful.
Sunday, July 12
Bastille Day Block Party @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 3pm – 10pm (Free) PaviElle, Toki Wright & the Big Cats, Gramma’s Boyfriend, The Brass Messengers, Kate Lynch, MC Foxy Tann, street entertainers, and much, much more.
Monday, July 13
Jon Cleary @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Cleary is a New Orleans-based Englishman who, according to his website, has been studying, as he put it, “the musical culture and life of New Orleans” for over twenty years,. He’s a terrific, accomplished pianist, a soulful vocalist, and a multi-instrumentalist who has added his touch to music by Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, BB King, India Arie, and most recently John Scofield, on the album Piety Street. A must-see gig for fans of New Orleans music.
Tuesday, July 14
Bruce Henry Band @ The Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) Henry and his band will be doing Motown and more on the outside terrace. There will be prizes at intermission for the most fashionable hat, based on the Center’s current exhibit, 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair. Dance lessons at 6:30. Pack a picnic or buy from vendors on site.
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.