Greetings and Salutations to one and all;
While I am sure you can find some outdoor events around town (Movies & Music in the parks, Bandshell concerts, etc.), this week finds us with many indoor events worth your perusal and time. Especially since, dare I say it, we are beginning to see darkness around 9pm or so, when many indoor events take place. Whatever your inclination, get out and hear some of the great talent we have in our towns. Music lifts the spirit.
Wednesday, August 12
Kameron Markworth’s Claw Machine @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This is a new trio, headed by bassist Kameron Markworth who is originally from SE Wisconsin, and is now based out of Mpls after five years in Indiana, Philly, and NYC. Markworth plays with the Adam Meckler Orchestra, the Zacc Harris Trio, and the Bill Simenson Orchestra, among others. Joining him in Claw Machine is Trent Baarspul, guitar; and Lars-Erik Larson, drums. Her is Markworth in another setting.
Axis Mundi World Jazz Quintet @ Starring Lake Park, 14800 Pioneer Trail, Eden Prairie. 7pm – 8:30pm (Free) Here is a group playing mainstream jazz interpreted using a variety of rhythms from around the world. Glen Helgeson, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; Gary Schulte, violin; Dave Stanoch, drums; and Daryl Boudreaux, percussion
Thursday, August 13
Ted Olsen and Joe Strachan @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (No cover) Two of the town’s young lions – bassist Ted Olsen and pianist Joe Strachan play for the early evening/suppertime crowd at the Vieux.
Shoop! @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Shoop! (with the exclamation mark) is a five piece vocal group operating in the style of the Manhattan Transfer and New York Voices, singing jazz and the occasional pop song (hence the name). Three females (two sopranos and an alto) and two males, accompanied by trumpet, reeds, and a rhythm section.
Michael Janisch’s Paradigm Shift Quartet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Bassist Michael Janisch was raised in Minnesota but is now based in London. He brought an outstanding New York Quartet to Studio Z last year and now returns to perform with some of our own talent – 3/4 of the Atlantis Quartet: Brandon Wozniak, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Peter Hennig, drums. An excellent evening of music. Her is Janisch with another of his groups.
Le Percheron and Sound Skirmish @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Another weekly installment in the Khyber Pass Thursday night jazz series. Sound Skirmish opens. I wrote about them last week: Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Patrick Adkins; Drew Stinson; and Ben Ehrlich. Le Percheron is: Adam Linz, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Corey Healey, drums; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, trumpet; and Levi Schwartzberg, vibes. Listen to Sound Skirmish.
Friday, August 14
Zacc Harris & Michael Janisch @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (No cover) Guitarist about town Zacc Harris teams up with the well respected bassist Michael Janisch after last night’s performance at Studio Z (see above).
Anthony Cox Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Cox is one of the nationally prominent artists who happen to live in the Twin Cities. He’s played with Joe Lovano, Dewy Redman, Dave Douglas, Pat Metheny and many more. Don’t know who will accompany him, but he certainly has good taste in sidemen.
Steve Kenny’s Group 47 @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Steve Kenny, a veteran musician, has taken a page from Art Blakey and in this group surrounds himself with a number of young, very talented musicians. This will be the final performance of this group until pianist Will Kjeer is back in town from college. Along with Steve on flumpet; there is Thomas Strommen, saxophones, Adam Tucker, bass; and Alex Burgess, drums. Here they are with a Will Kjeer original.
Healey, Baldwin, & Bates @ SW Craft Bar, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) Formerly known as Señor Wong’s the SW Craft Bar on 4th Street in downtown Saint Paul is experimenting with live jazz on a regular basis. Tonight drummer Corey Healey is working with Jake Baldwin, trumpet, and Chris Bates, bass, to play originals and a few standards.
Saturday, August 15
Chris Lomheim @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (No cover) Though he is inspired by Bill Evans, pianist Lomheim has his own natural, relaxed sound. A great booking for dinner hour at the Vieux.
Saturday Night Jazz @ the Blackdog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Jazz continues at the Black Dog with the Will Kjeer Summer Band opening at 7pm. Besides Will on piano, the band will feature his uncle, the hard driving Kenny Horst on drums, and Dave Brattain on sax, as well as a number of special guests. Following Will and his band at 8:30pm are the Larry McDonough Quartet, a group that has played together for a number of years now. It includes McDonough on piano and occasional vocals; Richard Terrill on sax; Greg Stinson, bass; and Dean White, drums. Their first set will be acoustic, with music by Jobim, Cole Porter, Bill Evans, and others, while the second set will be electric jazz-rock fusion by the likes of Sting, Spinal Tap, Steely Dan, and others. Here’s McDonough and his quartet.
Charmin Michelle @ Normandy Kitchen, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Ms Michelle brings her honey-coated voice to the intimate space that feels a bit like a small NYC bar of the 60s, right down to its popovers. Reservations are recommended, since it only has about 10 tables and seating for another 10 or so at the bar.
Sunday, August 16
Andrew Walesch @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley, 11am – 2pm (No Cover) Pianist and vocalist Walesch will be leading the brunch crowd through standards and Sinatra-esque songs. He’ll have a couple of A-Listers helping him: Gordy Johnson on bass and Jay Epstein on drums.
Monday, August 17
Eric Harland and Rude Unkal @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15 – $20) Drummer Eric Harland is only 36, yet he’s been on almost 200 recordings, and has been nominated for a Grammy multiple times. He’s played with veteran artists like McCoy Tyner, Michael Brecker, Terence Blanchard, both Branford and Wynton Marsalis, Dave Holland, and Charles Lloyd, as well as with new artists like Esperanza Spalding, Julian Lage, and Jane Monheit. Tonight he gathers six funky players to perform what he terms “garage jazz.” To get an idea of what he means by that, listen to this YouTube cut of the Buddy Miles song, “Them Changes.” There’s a bit of an interview with Harland that lasts about two minutes before the music begins.
Tuesday, August 18
Jana Nyberg Group @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5) The singer/flautist is once again performing after having a baby boy a few months back, Nyberg and her group, which includes husband/trumpeter Adam Meckler, do a fine job of presenting original music, as well as interesting arrangements of jazz standards and occasional pop songs. Here they are doing an original.
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, August 12
Katy Vernon Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Raised in London, and based in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Vernon is a guitarist/ukelelist and singer/songwriter who uses folk and country stylings for her often sad, but always heartfelt songs. She’s got a top notch band backing her up. As Harold would say, you know the drill – tune in and then head to the 331 Club. BTW, I’ll be sitting in for Harold on the show and at the 331 Club.
Black Diet @ Mill City Museum Courtyard, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm ($5) If you like the music that emanated from STAX Records in the 60s and early 70s, AND you also liked the garage band sounds of the 60s, then Black Diet s the band for you. They take the musical forms of STAX, and add the energy and attitude of garage bands to create a jumpin’ bumpin’ swirl of music that will make you dance. It takes place in a most unusual venut: the ruins courtyard of the Mill City Museum on the Minneapolis riverfront.
Thursday, August 13
Tab Benoit @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($15 Advance, $20 Door) Born in Baton Rouge, Benoit plays Cajun-influenced blues, blending the music of the swamp and that of East Texas. He learned the blues by playing alongside legends like Tabby Thomas, Raful Neal, and Henry Gray. He’s also a founder of Voice of the Wetlands Foundation, dedicated to preserving Louisiana’s wetlands and swamps. Benoit has recorded about 17 albums, and in 2007 was received the BB King Entertainer of the Year award.
Friday, August 14
Original Wailers @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) Okay, the name is a bit strange, since this group contains no members of the Wailers prior to Marley going solo in the late 70s. However, it is led by guitarist Al Anderson, who played on No Woman, No Cry, Dem Belly Full, and other hits. He’s also played with Peter Tosh, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Steel Pulse, Aswad, and the Rolling Stones. If you keep your expectations in check, this will be a very Irie concert. Dred I Dread Opens.
Paul Metsa and Willie Walker w/Sonny Earl and the Sisters of Mercy @ The Dakota, Minneapoils. 8pm ($10) Paul and Willie are a known, terrific factor. Paul and singer/harpist Sonny Earl have also done a number of highly satisfying performances together. The unknown factor is the Sisters of Mercy, which I’m inclined to think will be much fun, given Paul’s track record.
Worldwide Discoteque @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Deejays Steely Dan and Brian Engel are moving their monthly pan-tropical vinyl dance party from Clubhouse Jaeger to the larger space of the Nomad World Pub. You’ll hear (and dance to) it all, from Afrobeat and Hi-Life to reggae, sambas, salsas, cumbias, and festejos. Tonight’s special guest is Rambo Salinas, whose collection undoubtedly includes Tex-Mex and Norteno music.
Saturday, August 15
Blues, Brews, & BBQs @ Mt Olivet Lutheran Church, 12235 Old Rockford Rd, Plymouth. 4pm – 10pm ($15) Here’s a blues-influenced roots music festival that benefits Habitat for Humanity, and Prism, of Golden Valley. As the name states, there will be beer from three different brewers (as well as wine), BBBQ from Mr. Pig Stuff, Von Hanson’s, and The Chuck Wagon, and blues: Jacy Pelstring at 4pm; The Lisa Wenger Band at 5:30 and 7:30, The Soul Tight Committee at 6:15, and Lamont Cranston at 8:30. Here’s Wenger and her band.
PaviElle @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($10) PaviElle performs modern soul music, but don’t be surprised if she throws in her own version of a Fleetwood Mac song. Listeners may be reminded of Bill Withers at some point, and her band can easily launch into an extended jam a-la Parliament/Funkadelic.
Sunday, August 16
Tinsley Ellis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) When talking about Southern blues-rocker Ellis the words, fiery, searing, and incendiary often come to mind. But then, he was born in Atlanta, grew up in Southern Florida, and was inspired by a BB King performance as a teenager. Ellis averages over 150 live shows a year, and as a result, he’s honed his chops to the point where Rolling Stone Magazine says he rivals Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton.
Jesse Lége, Joel Savoy, and Kelli Jones-Savoy @ The Eagles #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($12) When it comes to Cajun music, this trio is the real deal. Lége grew up in rural Louisiana without electricity, learned the accordion from relatives and neighbors, and has earned many awards from the Cajun French Music Association (CFMA). Joel Savoy is the son of Marc and Ann Savoy, Cajun Music Royalty, and grew up in the midst of the Cajun renaissance of the 80s. Savoy and his wife Kelli had a South Louisiana hit a couple of years back with their version of a Ray Price country song from 1954: I’ll Be There (If You Ever Want Me). This is a Krewe de Walleye event, and as such there will be dance lessons during the break.
Monday, August 17
Minneapolis Fire Collective Pre-Burning Man Performance @ Powderhorn Park, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 8:30pm (Dry Run rehearsals), 8:30 – 10pm (Burn) (Donations Accepted) Here is an intriguing event that’s not a music performance, yet will certainly get your attention. The Minneapolis Fire Collective will be heading to the Burning Man Conclave in the Nevada desert at the end of the month to take part in the Great Circle just prior to the Conclave-ending Burn of the Man. They are making their dress rehearsal a public performance. I’m not sure what it entails, though I’m sure it involves burning a lot of something. Here’s an example.
Tuesday, August 18
New Riverside Ramblers @ The Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 8:30pm (Free) Cajun dancing fueled by the twin fiddles of Eric Mohring and AJ Srubas, and goosed along by the Cajun accordion of John Terr. Karen Kleinspehn, on rhythm guitar; Doug Lohman, bass; and Paul Loughridge, drums, complete the mix. There will be dance lessons at 6:30, and refreshment will be available. Of course, you can pack a picnic.
Robert Cray, w/Sonny Landreth @ the Weesner Family Amphitheater, MN Zoo. ($45 – if not sold out) An outstanding double bill. Cray’s soulful blues have earned him five Grammys, recordings with John Lee Hooker, and his name on a signature model of the Telecaster. In 2011 he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. Landreth is a guitarist who deserves more fame. He first played in Clifton Chenier’s band, and then with John Hiatt as well as John Mayall. His penchant for slide guitar and the zydeco influence in his playing have earned him the nickname of “King of Slydeco.” Eric Clapton says he’s one of the most advanced and most under-appreciated guitarist in the world, and has had Landreth play at a number of the Crossroads Guitar Festivals. Here’s an example of Landreth at work.
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.