As the summer draws to a close and school begins (at many levels), we can look forward to another week of terrific music here in the Twin Cities, from a bluegrass festival in an art park, to a community jazz festival and a couple of visiting artists of note. Music lifts the spirit.
Wednesday, September 9
Dean Magraw @ The American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) As part of the American Swedish Institute’s salute to the Hagström guitar (“Amp Up!, The Hagström Guitar Sensation), ASI is bringing the Hagström guitar to Minneapolis and putting it in the hands some of the Twin Cities’ best players as part of their “2015 Ballroom Music Series.” Tonight, the always versatile Dean Magraw will be putting it to the test, with, I am sure, great results.
Good Vibes Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Anytime I see this group, they generate such joy playing together that the audience becomes part of their fun. Chris Bates, bass; Phil Hey, drums; and Dave Hagedorn, vibes.
Friday, September 11
Michael O’Brien & Jeremy Walker @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (No cover) Bassist Michael O’Brien is back in town from his current base in NYC for a few days, picking up a number of gigs. Tonight he joins with pianist Jeremy Walker for a fine early evening show.
Christian Scott @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm, ($20) Scott is a New Orleans raised trumpeter who now makes NYC his home. He’s been turning heads in the jazz world for his forthright attitude about social ills and his ability to engage modern rhythms and genres into his own sound called Stretch Music.
Sophia Shorai @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm – 11:55pm ($8) The intimate space of the Vieux will be warmed by the vocals of Ms Shorai Whether performing standard chestnuts or her original music, she can communicate both heartbreak and joy with the slightest inflection of her honey-sweet voice.
Michael O’Brien Trio @ Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm, (Tip Jar – $10 Suggested Donation) Michael O’Brien and Jeremy Walker head to the Nicollet after finishing up at the Vieux Carre earlier this evening. At the Nicollet they’ll be joined by drummer Tim Zhorne. Tomorrow O’Brien will be conducting a class at Jazz Central from noon – 2pm ($25)
Saturday, September 12
Selby Avenue Jazz Festival @ Selby & Milton, Saint Paul. Noon – 8pm (Free) It’s the 14th Annual community celebration, this year including Dick and Jane’s Brass Band, leading a parade through the area to start the day off, as well as The Lex-Hamm Community Band, the Urban Legends of Walker West, and Salsa del Soul. The Jazz Heritage Showcase will once again feature music from jazz’s great golden age, performed by area artists in period costume. Eric Kamau Gravatt and Source Code will be playing as well. Headlining is saxman Walter Chancellor, Jr, who has played on records by Prince, Chaka Khan, Maceo Parker, Candi Dulfer, and Bobby Lyle, among others. There will be food stands, food trucks, and vendors and organizations from the community.
JoAnn Funk @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm – 11pm (No Cover) Well, one good thing about the end of summer is that we get to hear JoAnn Funk sing and play at the Lobby Bar. Funk’s most recent CD, Jazz in the Lobby Bar, has been getting great reviews and has become a favorite of jazz lovers in Japan.
Peterson Family Tribute @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm – 11pm. The Peterson Family pays tribute to their late matriarch, Jeanne Arland Peterson. Linda Peterson, piano, vocals; Patty Peterson, vocals; Paul Peterson, bass, piano, vocals; Jason Peterson DeLaire, sax, piano, vocals, and Very Special Guest, Kenny Horst, on drums. All proceeds will be donated to the Jeanne Arland Peterson Scholarship for Jazz Studies at the U of MN.
Saturday Night Jazz @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. ($10 Suggested Donation) 7pm. First up is the Post Atomic Trio, with David Hamilton, piano; Ademola Adegun, bass; and Derrin Pinto, drums. Then at 8:30pm it’s time for trumpeter Jon Pemberton’s Tribute to Lee Morgan, with Dave Brattain, sax; Mikkel Romstad, piano; Tom Lewis, bass; and Cory Healey, drums.
Sunday, September 13
Paul Renz Quartet @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Guitarist Paul Renz is a well-honed craftsman who, though based in the Twin Cities, performs here only occasionally. He does do an extensive tour of the East Coast every year. For this performance of original music he’ll be joined by Wes Ruelle, piano; Jonathan Thams, bass; and Jessie Lesmeister, drums.
Sunday, Monday, September 13, 14
Bill Carrothers Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 9pm Sunday, 7pm – 10pm Monday (No Cover) The Saint Paul native and Michigan-based pianist returns to the Twin Cities, and jazz fans couldn’t be happier, especially since there is no cover charge. He’s worked with the likes of Lee Konitz and Dewey Redman, and has recorded 17 albums as a leader. These two evenings will be full of sublime, inventive music, with many surprising twists and turns.
Tuesday, September 15
Tommy O’Donnell Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) The veteran pianist leads a trio for jazz listening in the restaurant’s music room, a place just made for his Errol Garner-ish playing.
Dean Magraw & Butch Thompson @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Guitarist Magraw and pianist/clarinetist Thompson are both long time members of the Twin Cities music scene, going back to the late seventies or earlier. I don’t know if they’ve played together before, but both are consummate musicians with an affinity for the blues and jazz. Of course, in Magraw’s case, he has an affinity for many kinds of music, so there could be some real surprises tonight.
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, September 9
Crankshaft on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Tune in during the 5 o’clock hour to hear Crankshaft’s adrenaline-fueled blues, then head over to the 331 club, where a celebration of Kathy Schwalbe’s Birthday will be taking place while Crankshaft amps up the atmosphere. I’m fairly certain members of the Blues Society and various bands will be in attendance to cheer him on and wish Kathy a happy birthday.
Hula Peppers @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) This could be the low-key gig of the week. The Peppers play Tin Pan Alley jazz from the 20s and 30s. It’s old time, as opposed to old-timey, music, and it’s delightful.
Lee “Scratch” Perry @ The Cedar Culutral Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($25) Here is a musical maven who is so offbeat that some call him a genius while others call him insane. Perry’ approach to production and dub defined reggae music, and his work with Bob Marley and the Wailers, the Upsetters, and the Congos certainly helped their rise to success, while his more recent work under his own name has been mystifying, to say the least. He’ll be performing the legendary Super Ape album in its entirety. Subatomic Sound System opens.
La Santa Cecilia @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) This Los Angeles band of Latino rockers was last in town to celebrate the opening of the new theater at the Ordway. There infectious mix of cumbers, Tex-Mex, and rock n’ roll had the audience jumping in their seats. We’ll see if they can get a Dakota crowd up and dancing.
Thursday, September 10
Chuck Prophet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Singer/Songwriter Chuck Prophet first came to attention as a member of the 80s psychedelic band Green on Red. He released his first solo album, Brother Aldo, in 1990, and started to be compared to folks like Ray Davies, Leonard Cohen, Tom Petty, and Alex Chilton. He’s collaborated with a wide range of folks, from Warren Zevon to Jim Dickinson and Lucinda Williams. Opening is Holly Hansen, of the Twin Cities own Zoo Animal.
Friday, September 11
RAMM Band @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Paul Mayasich brings the Real American Made Music trio to the modest south side dive bar. Expect fleet fingering from guitarist Mayasich, backed by the solid foundation of John Iden, bass; and Hye Pockets, drums, playing a mix of Motown, R&B, Blues, and Rock n’ Roll.
Saturday, September 12
Summit Backyard Bash @ Summit Brewing, 910 Montreal Circle, Saint Paul. Noon – 7pm ($20) Once again, Summit Brewing opens up their “back yard” to a big party featuring many of the area’s most exciting acts. Performers include Hotpants DJs, Blackmarket Brass, Al Church, Toki Wright, Gramma’s Boyfriend, and headliners the Suburbs.
Shangoya Reunion @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 10pm ($13) Shangoya was the first reggae band in the Twin Cities. Back in the early 80s their combination of reggae and calypso filled clubs, ballrooms, and street festivals with riotous dancers, and quite a few musicians came up through their ranks. Tonight many of those musicians will perform, as a Tribute to the band’s founder Peter Nelson, who died some years back. Opening: Socaholix.
Sunday, September 13
Bluegrass Festival @ The Caponi Art Park, 1220 Diffey Road, Eagan. Noon – 6pm. ($20) Listen to a variety of bluegrass(y) sounds amongst the trees of the park’s amphitheater Theater in the Woods. things start out with a jam session until 2pm, when the Sawtooth Brothers perform, followed by the jug band and rag-timey bluegrass of Jack Norton and the Mullet River Boys at 3pm. The Wild Goose Chase Cloggers then take the stage at 4pm, to show off their foot-stomping dance moves accompanied by Rooster Riot, and a 5pm Monroe Crossing, inductees of the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, close things out.
DVRG Redefined @ The Icehouse, Minnapolis. 5pm ($8) Devon R Gray is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, arranger, and composer who is perhaps best known as dVRG in the live rap/hip hop band Heiruspecs. He’s done many cross-genre collaborations and his influences range from classical music to the R&B of Shuggie Otis. Tonight he’ll be singing, and joined by James Everest, guitar; and Davu Seru on drums.
Jack Klatt @ The Como Dockside Pavillion, Saint Paul. 5:30pm (Free) Klatt is a singer/songwriter and finger-picking guitarist who draws inspiration from the hokum blues of the 1920s, the Appalachian sounds of country music’s roots, and acoustic swing. Just the thing for a late summer outdoor gig.
Monday, September 14
Maurice Jacox @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Regular readers may gather that I really like vocalist/saxophonist/flautist Jacox, and that would be true. He’s a versatile singer, equally at home with blues, jazz, Motown, and Tin Pan Alley. Consequently, I want let readers know whenever he’s performing in a new situation, as with foodie night at the Dakota, where there’s no cover, menu specials, and $10 bottles of wine.
Tuesday, September 15
Kate Davis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) This young multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter has been gaining critical attention since she moved to NYC from her native Portland Oregon in 2009. Davis‘ lyrics are in turn heartfelt, witty, perceptive, and cliche-free.