It’s Summertime, and there are many outdoor events featuring great music. I’ve included a few here. But don’t forget some of the indoor venues as well. We abound with opportunities to lift our spirits through music. Take advantage of them. And if you’re going to an outdoor event, take a picnic.
Wednesday, July 22
Steve Kenny’s Group 47 @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5) Trumpeter Kenny has assembled a group of excellent young players to play with him. The result is invigorating jazz. Thomas Strommen, sax, is in his third year of studies at UW River Falls; pianist Will Kjeer was a member of the Dakota Combo and led his own groups before graduating high school and going off to study at Interlachen in Michigan for a year; Adam Tucker, bass, slightly older, but still in his 20s, and has worked with the Adam Meckler Orchestra, and the Jana Nyberg Group, in addition to being a producer; Drummer Alex Burgess is also a student at UW-river Falls. this is what they sound like.
Andrew Walesch Quartet @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7-m (No Cover) This is becoming a regular gig for young Mr. Walesch and he deserves it. The singer/pianist always has stellar accompanists who help him swing so well that couples are inspired to dance.
APE:Adrian Peterson Ensemble @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Adrian Suarez, drums; Joe Strachan, keys; and Graydon Peterson, bass will present some surprising versions of unlikely songs. It’s bound to be a playful evening of jazz.
Thursday, July 23
Zack Lozier Three @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 5:30pm – 7:30pm (No Cover) Lozier on trumpet and vocals; Steve Pikal, bass; and Steven Hobert, piano provide a bunch of Louis Armstrong and New Orleans jazz for the dinner hour at the new Saint Paul venue.
John Raymond’s New York Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) It’s been about 10 years since Raymond a Minneapolis native, left to study at Eau Claire, and six years since he relocated to NYC, where the young trumpeter has successfully integrated himself into the music scene. He plays with Orrin Evans Big Band at Smoke, as well as with Ethan Iverson and Linda Oh, leads his own quartet, and was recently profiled in Downbeat. Tonight he’s celebrating his second CD, Foreign Territory, an album of mostly originals. He’ll be accompanied by Dan Tepfer, piano; Chris Tordini, bass; and Jay Sawyer, drums. I did a phone interview with him this past Saturday (the 18th) which you can hear at http://kfai.org/rhythmandgrooves. The interview starts at about 23 minutes into the show.
Erin Livingston @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Livingston is equally at home with gypsy jazz, the blues, the Great American Songbook, or the Beatles. She’s been singing a lot with the Parisota Hot Club.
Nichols/Bates/Bates @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Bryan Nichols piano; Chris Bates bass; and JT Bates, drums. They’ve been friends and musical collaborators for many years. Expect originals and very interesting takes on jazz standards.
Friday, July 24
Zacc Harris & Javi Santiago @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 5:30pm – 7:30pm (No Cover) The folks at Vieux Carré are wisely featuring early evening music for those who want to sample their New Orleans – inspired food, as well as early evening music fans. Tonight its pianist Javi Santiago, whose becoming a mainstay in the area, along with guitarist Zacc Harris.
Jon Pemberton’s Tribute to Lee Morgan @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Pemberton is a composer, pianist, and trumpeter. It’s the last artistry that he’ll be employing tonight as he and his cohorts present an evening of music by and dedicated to trumpeter Lee Morgan. He’ll be joined by Dave Brattain, tenor sax’ Mikkel Romstad, piano; Tom Lewis, bass, and Jay Epstein, drums.
Friday Night @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The fun begins with Mississippi, a quartet of intense players whose interests range from modern jazz to Peruvian festijos, to hip hop. Members are: Peter Schimke, piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; Pete Whitman, saxes; and Kevin Washington, drums. Then at 9:30 Six Families Presents: Piss Lasso will take over. It’s a large experimental group whose music includes minimalist drones. Members include: JT Bates, Cory Healey, Jake Baldwin, Andrew Thoreen, Adam Zahller, Cole Pulice, Joseph Strachan, Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, Nelson Devereaux, and Michelle Kinney, among other
Atrium Jazz Trio @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 10pm – 11pm (Free) This group is led by Jeremy Walker on piano, and often includes JT Bates on drums, and Anthony Cox on bass. It’s an after-concert performance, presented as part of Orchestra Hall’s Sommerfest
Saturday, July 25
Sophia Shorai @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Sit close to hear the sweet vocals of Ms. Shorai.
Corey Healey Beautiful Sushine Band @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5-$20 Suggested Donation) Rather than going with two different bands, tonight’s band will do two sets. The band is led by Corey Healey, drums; and includes Erik Fratzke, bass; Zacc Harris guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax. Two sets
Jazz @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. (Free) More Sommerfest Jazz in the Atrium: JT Bates Trio performs from 6pm – 7:45pm, and the Chris Lomheim Trio performs from 10pm – 11pm.
Monday, July 27
Lindsay Pedalty Trio @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Vocalist Pedalty doesn’t play out enough, as far as I’m concerned, though I’m sure she’s inhibited by her day job. At any rate, she’s got a fresh sound, a great sense of rhythm, and impeccable backing from her dad, pianist Bruce Pedalty, who has long played jazz and blues around town. His song If Nothing Ever Changes, was chosen as the title track for the new Willie Walker album.
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, July 22
Lynn O’Brien and Steven Hobert @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Lynn O’Brien is a singer/songwriter with a charming way with words and music. Steven Hobert is a jazz pianist around town, though he occasionally takes side trips into other genres. Together, they’re a promising duo that will surprise.
I Like You on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This six-piece band creates Sunshine Pop for the 21st Century, incorporating bits of world music into their upbeat sounds.
James Cotton Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $45) The 80 year old Grammy winning blues harpist is among the last of the original Chicago Blues legends of the 50s and 60s. Though Cotton has been playing since he was 9, and his voice is just a hoarse croak, and he leaves the singing to Darell Nullisch, a fine blues singer in his own right, as evidenced from his time with Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets. Hoars or not, Cotton still blows a mighty strong harp.
Thursday, July 23
Big George Jackson @ Big Daddy’s Old Fashioned BBQ, University & Dale, Saint Paul. 3pm – 6pm (No Cover) While away the afternoon with Big Daddy’s Blues on the Patio series, today featuring Big George a singer/harpist whose booming voice will shake the ground on which you’re standing.
Papa John Kolstad @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8pm – 11pm. (Tip Jar) Papa John returns to his neighborhood haunt, aka, Best Neighborhood Bar in Mpls, to entertain with his dry wit, excellent guitar playing, and vast repertoire of blues and acoustic swing.
Womenfolk Live @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($8) This benefit for KFAI features Vicky emerson, Mother Banjo, Katy Vernon, and Sarah Morris, a quartet of talented singer/songwriters having fun with the proceeds going to KFAI, where Mother Banjo (Ellen Stanley) hosts Womenfolk.
Friday, July 24
Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders & Zoo Animal @ Music in Mears, Saint Paul. 6pm. (Free) The annual Thursday night series ion Lowertown’s park continues with the minimalist grunge of Zoo Animal (opening) and Crankshaft’s “pork net” style of stripped down, raucous blues at about 7:15 or 7:30. Followed by a film.
Hipshaker Dance Party @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Next month will be a big blowout as the Hipshaker deejays celebrate another anniversary of this long-running 45rpm dance party. Rare and not often heard funk and soul for your dancing pleasure from Greg, Brian, and George, though there may be a guest deejay.
Friday, Saturday, July 24, 25
Palmfest @ Palmer’s Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm Friday, 2pm Saturday. This annual event at the “Best Dive Bar in the US” (Esquire) always features a wide variety of roots, rock, and blues and this year is no different, with Friday bands ranging from the Liquor Pigs and duet of Spider John Koerner and Charlie Parr to Wain McFarlane, while Saturday’s line up starts with the Palmerceuticals, and features The Changeups, Rising Side, Cadillac Kolstad, McNasty Brass Band, Eleganza, Sister Claypso, and more.
Saturday, July 25
Lowertown Blues Festival @ Mears Park, Saint Paul. Noon – 10pm (Free) Main Stage: McNally Smith FunkHeads; Dee Miller Band; Lisa Wenger & Her Mean Mean Men; Jimmi & the Band of Souls; Walter Trout; Elvin Bishop. Juke Joint Stage & Food Court: Jimi Prime Time Smith and Big George Jackson. At 10pm head to the after-parties at various clubs around Lowertown, including Willie Murphy @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar.
Butanes @ Big Daddy’s BBQ, Saint Paul. 4:30 – 7:30pm (No Cover) Meanwhile, you don’t have to go to downtown Saint Paul to catch some blues, as Big Daddy’s continues their Blues on the Patio events with Curt Obeda and his talented cohorts.
Battle of the Garages! @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm ($20) Rock your socks off to the sounds of headlining garage band legends the Pandoras, and all-female band from LA, and the Lyres of Boston. Of course our own Mighty Mofos, L’Assasins, and Beebe Gallini, will get the evening started right. Here are the Pandoras in the 80s.
Sunday, July 26
Cafe Accordion Orchestra @ Roseville Central Park, Roseville. 6:30pm (Free) Bring a picnic and recall (or imagine) time in Paris as Dan Newton and his pals play musettes, tangos, and French favorites in the outdoors
Eleni Mandell @ Treehouse Records, Minneapolis, and The Turf Club, Saint Paul Noon (Treehouse – Free) 7pm (Turf Club – $12) Mandell is a successful indie singer/songwriter who peppers her songs with hints of jazz and country, and who writes smart lyrics, whether about motherhood or wanting to be a mistress. She’s currently touring behind Dark Lights Up, a brand new release on Yep Roc Records She’s played more in-stores at Treehouse than any other artist. Then in the evening she’ll appear at the Turf Club, with Courtney Marie Andrews opening.
Tuesday, July 28
Scottie Miller @ Lowell Park, Stillwater. 6pm (Free) Another outdoor event for music lovers, this one featuring Scottie Miller that singing piano player whose music has touches of New Orleans, rock n’ roll, and Americana. Don’t forget your picnic.
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