New Year, New Music: 12.30.15 – 1.5.16

December 30, 2015

imagesThe end of the year provides us with a chance to celebrate another orbit around the sun, and look forward to a new year of challenges, disappointments, hopes, and accomplishments. Whether you celebrate with a nice dinner at home, dancing, or otherwise partying, you will have plenty of options, a few of which I’ve listed. In the meantime, check out some of the shows by young musicians back in town from college, as well as those from the veterans that are performing in the first days of the new year. Have a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.

Jazz

Wednesday, December 30

Luke Peterson Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) A number of Dakota Combo alumni, as well as other young lions on the music scene are back in town from college for the holiday break. Tonight you can hear five of them: Luke Peterson, drums; Jack Courtright, trombone; Peter Goggin, alto sax; Charlie Lincoln, bass; Will Kjeer, piano.

Thursday, December 31

Jazzland Wonderband NYE Dinner Show @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 5:30 – 8pm ($45, includes 3 course dinner) Trad jazz and early swing from JLWB, as they’re called on their website  Cameron Kinghorn, trumpet & vocals; Nelson Devereaux, reeds; Keith Holdon, trombone; Andres Crovetti, drums; Evan Clark, tuba.

Debbie Duncan @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 6:30 – 9:30pm ($75 for a 4 course dinner) Here’s another early evening show for those of you who would rather be home when the clock strikes twelve tonight. Ms Duncan will provide her usual outstanding vocals. I’m not sure if you will be required to order the dinner, so call and make a reservation.

JoAnn Funk @ St Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm -11pm (No Cover) Start off your New Year’s Eve with a visit to the Lobby Bar, where you can hear Ms Funk and her cohort Jeff Brueske on bass as they perform elegant, and often witty, jazz versions of songs from a wide variety of talented songwriters. Tonight they’ll be doing a tribute to Frank Sinatra, with special guest Steven Marking on vocals.

AQ NYE Reunion @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 9pm ($65, $100 VIP) New Year’s Eve at the Artists’ Quarter was always a warm, family affair, whether the family was related by blood or community. A couple of the long-time supporters of the club have put together a reunion, this time in a different basement. You’ll hear the wonderful Carole Martin on vocals, supported by her son-in-law Kenny Horst on drums; Chris Bates on bass; Phil Aaron on piano; and Dean Magraw on guitar. There will be a couple of guests sitting in as well. Complementary hors d’oeuvres are part of the offering, and reservations are recommended. More information and reservations can be found here.

Friday, January 1

Siama Matuzungidi @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 10am – 1pm (No Cover) Start off 2016 with brunch, accompanied by the Soukous stylings of Africa’s legendary Siama, guitar; Dallas Johnson, vocals; Tim O’Keefe, percussion.

Sound Skirmish @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Here’s another quartet of young lions taking advantage of the holidays to play together, this time doing original music. Patrick Adams, piano; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Drew Stinson, bass; Ben Ehrlich, drums.

Saturday, January 2

Will Schmid Duos @ 318 Cafe, Excelsior, 8pm ($5) This evening will include two duos led by high school student and guitarist Will Schmid. He’ll be joined by another guitarist, Adam Aastrup, who is currently in the Dakota Combo. Then Schmid will join rock/pop vocalist Kalli Anderson for second set of music. Who says Jazz is dead?

Patty Peterson @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) The legendary Ms Peterson brings her mix of jazz and R&B to the spacious lounge at Crooners.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening at 7pm is a talented group of high school students performing as Trap Tube: Jordan Anderson, piano; Gerhardt Robinson, sax; Alma Engebretson, bassist; Simon Petrick, drums. at 8:30, a special edition of Central Standard Time, with a mix of veterans and young lions, performs: Steve Kenny, flumpet; Brandon Wozniak sax; and JT Bates, drums; are the veterans, while Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Will Kjeer, piano; are all college students.

Monday, January 4

Will Kjeer Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Young pianist Kjeer spent a year at Interlachen  in Michigan, and is now attending the California Institute of the Arts. Even before leaving town, however, Kjeer was gigging professionally, with Steve Kenny’s Group 47 and his own Blue Heaven. Tonight he’s joined by some rising stars of the Twin Cities music scene, none of whom are more than ten years older than Will:Nelson Deveraux, sax; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Tuesday, January 5

Chris Lomheim @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) Elegant piano musings inspired by Bill Evans, but solely Chris Lomheim.

Butch Thompson @ The Dunsmore Room at Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($15 Minimum) Traditional jazz and blues, played on the room’s 9 ft piano, along with Thompson’s edifying commentary on tunes.

Phil Aaron Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) A third piano gig for the evening, this time featuring the always tasteful Emmy-winning composer Phil Aaron. He’ll be joined by Gary Raynor on bass, and Jay Epstein on drums. A winning combination. Here he is with a slightly different trio.

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 PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, December 30

The Eddies on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club, Tip Jar) Perhaps the last tradition of the year. Saint Paul’s Eddies cross the river to appear on Harold Tremblay’s House Party and then head over to the 331 Club to sing 5 part a cappella harmonies on sea chanties, and easy-to-sing-along favorites, from the Rolling Stones to Billy Joe Royal, and Bob Marley.

Willie Walker & The We R Band @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) It’s been a good year for Willie. He’s put out an excellent CD, produced by Rick Estrin of Little Charlie and the Nightcats, and has toured Brazil, Italy, California, and most recently, played Switzerland with this band. If you don’t like to go out on New Year’s Eve, this NYE Eve party might be just the ticket.

Lonesome Dan Kase @ Palmer’s, Minneapolis. 11pm (No Cover) A man and his guitar  channeling the ghost of bluesmen from the 30s by playing traditional finger-picking blues and hollers for your listening pleasure.

Thursday, December 31

Davina & the Vagabonds @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($112 includes 6 course dinner), 10:30pm ($94) If you’re up for a big celebration, this would be the one. Davina will be raising the roof.

Hookers $ Blow @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Dance the year away to the sounds of this highly talented band led by Adam Levy  playing 70s covers, or as they call it “music from a more permissive era.”

Hipshaker/Hot Pants New Year’s Eve @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20) It’s a rare funk n’ soul bonanza and the deejays behind Hipshaker and Hot Pants combine to ring out the year with floor stomping rare 45s. Here’s an example of the kind of music you’ll hear.

Friday, January 1

Butanes @ Shaw’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover) Guitarist Curt Obeda realizes that not everyone enjoys “amateur night,” as NYE is often known, so the Butanes are moving their weekly gig by one day, which allows them to start off the year in the best possible way – playing the blues.

Sweet Tea @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) This up and coming band is heading to Memphis to represent Minnesota at the International Blues Challenge in January. The band is driven by the passionate vocals of Joyann Parker, the rest of the band provides the power that excites dancers and listeners alike. Mark Lamoine, guitar (Dee Miller, Perfectly Loud), Nick Zwack, drums (Armadillo Jump); Mick Zampogna , keys; and Michael Caravale, bass (Lamont Cranston, Davina & the Vagabonds)

Saturday, January 2

Hurricane Harold Duo @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (No Cover) Harpist Hurricane Harold excels, whether playing with a full band or a duo, which may include such collaborators as Doug Otto or Jeff Ray, with each of whom he’s recorded fun albums. Here he is with Doug Otto.

Sunday, January 3

Phil Heywood @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11am (No Cover) His upcoming gig with Dean Magraw and Tim Sparks in Hopkins is sold out, but you can still hear this fine fingerpicker while enjoying brunch.

Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 3pm – 6pm (No Cover) This eleven piece band  who performed and recorded in Havana last June, provides some mid-day Latin dance music to get your blood circulating and your pheromones bouncing.

Doug Otto & Friends @ Dusty’s, Minneapolis. 5pm (Tip Jar) This NE bar is so tiny that musicians have to use a booth to perform. The result is a perfectly intimate show featuring guitarist/vocalist Otto, and some of his very talented friends.

Sunday, Monday, January 3,4 

Tribute to James Brown w/Sonny Knight & Lakers, Fred Wesley, and Jabo Starks @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $35), 9pm ($20, $30). When Sonny & the Lakers recently performed at the Dakota, Sonny’s voice was strong, and the Lakers tore through their songs, much in the way that the Godfather of Soul would conduct his shows. So it makes sense to have them team up with a couple of original members of the JBs – trombonist Fred Wesley  who has appeared at the Dakota before, and the “original funky drummer” Jabo Starks – to perform Brown’s songs.

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.

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Holiday Music: 12.23 – 12.29

December 23, 2015

Greetings and salutations;

Swedish Pancakes: My own holiday tradition

Swedish Pancakes: My own holiday tradition

For many, this is a hectic, if joyful, time of year, as families and friends gather to celebrate various, but mostly, Christmas traditions. I’ve been informed by Santa, aka Davis Wilson, that many of the world’s 5000 religions have celebrations of one sort or another during this season, as we go from Winter Solstice to ever-increasing days of light. Whether your celebrations include worship services, lighting candles, special food, storytelling, feats of strength, gathering outside, helping at homeless shelters, or even toy trains, accept my wish for a happy and fulfilling holiday. There are plenty of opportunities to relax and/or rejuvenate with music, which of course, lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, December 23

Retro Swing Sister @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm – 11pm ($5) Retro-Style Swing with a modern twist from Maryann Sullivan and Rhonda Laurie. There’ll be some dancing, oh yes, there will. Listen to some samples of their singing here.

George Maurer Group Holiday Show @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7 pm ($15) The Saint Cloud-based jazz pianist rightfully calls himself a collaborated, since he’s composed movie scores, and worked with Eric Clapton, and many Twin Cities vocalists, among others. His holiday show at the Dakota, which features a six piece band plus a second vocalist, is always a hit. Here’s some examples.

Cold Fusion @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation, students free with valid ID) This is a project from saxophonist Pete Whitman  who’s recruited Steve Kenny, Flumpet; Chris Olson, guitars; Ron Evanuik, bass; and Reid Kennedy drums; to swing on originals and straight ahead compositions.

Thursday, December 24

Swingbeat Big Band @ Wabasha Caves, Saint Paul. 7pm – 11pm ($7 cash) There may not be much happening for music tonight, but don’t despair. If you’ve wrapped all your presents, prepped all your cooking, (even if you haven’t) and are ready to let off steam, the swing dance scene at Wabasha Caves has you covered, and the Swingbeat Big Band will set your toes tapping.

Friday – Monday, December 25 – 28

The Bad Plus @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($40) Though based in New York, this trio is originally from the Midwest. In fact, drummer Dave King still lives here in the Twin Cities. When they first did a show at the old Dakota, around the turn of the Century, King, along with pianist Ethan Iverson and bassist Reid Kennedy, had just recorded an album which subsequently received a rave review in the New York Times. Since that $5 show, booked because all three were home of the holidays, the Bad Plus has recorded ten CDs and traveled the world headlining major clubs and generally causing some jazz fans heads to explode while bringing a whole new audience to the genre. Two examples of what critics say. From Rolling Stone: “It’s about as badass as highbrow gets.” From The New York Times: “Better than anyone at mixing the sensibilities of post-60s jazz and indie rock…”

Saturday, December 26

Judi Vinar w/the Wolverines Quartet @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm. (No Cover) So, you’re stuffed with food and don’t want to cook. And, perhaps, you’re in need of some time outside the house. Here’s the answer, Vocalist Judi Vinar (Judi Donaghy) will sing for you, with the help of Jundeen Forberg, drums; Steve Pikal, bass; Rick Carlson, piano; and Doug Haining, sax. Here she is with a big band.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening set by Iron Chops: Jon Wood, guitar; Dave Brattain, saxes; Mac Santiago, drums; and Graydon Peterson, bass. Then a very special edition of FRAMEWORKChris Olson  guitar; Chris Bates  bass; Jay Epstein  drums, will be playing their originals and selected covers with special guest Steve Kenny on Flumpet.

Monday, December 28

Edmund Caitlin Trio, featuring Levi Schwartzberg and Charlie Lincoln @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Here’s a trio of young players: Leader Edmund Caitlin, drums; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; and Charlie Lincoln, bass. Despite (or due to) the fact that they aren’t old enough to drink yet, they can improvise, compose, and arrange with ease. Tonight they’re playing music from the universe of Thelonious Monk.

JT Bates Release Party @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) JT is releasing his long awaited solo project, “Open Relationships.” Though primarily a solo project, written and performed by JT, it has a few contributions from guitarist Jeremy Ylvisaker and electronic/noise artist Mark McGee. 1st Set: Mankwe Ndosi + Davu Seru. 2nd Set: JT Bates Open Relationships. 3rd Set: Padhandlers (Ryan Olson and James Buckley)

Tuesday, December 29

Jake Baldwin Quartet @ The Dunsmore Room in Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($15 Minimum p/p) The Dunsmore Room is proving to be an ideal place to listen to jazz. Baldwin is a young trumpet player who has been making a name for himself about town since graduating from the New England Conservatory of Music a couple of years ago. He plays in a variety of bands and combos, including R&B, Brass Bands, and the Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra. It’s in jazz, though, where he shines. Joining him tonight are three musicians with whom he’s worked a lot: Ted Godbout, piano; Ted Olsen, bass; and Andres Crovetti, drums. Here’s Jake in a recital when still in school.

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 PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, December 23

The Social Animals on KFAI and at The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club, Tip Jar) This Portland quartet recently finished an album produced by Steve Berlin, of Los Lobos, a good choice for their indie/Americana sound. Their website bio abounds with funny sarcasm, though their lyrics more straight-forwardly address relationships and the vicissitudes of a relatively young life.

Katy Vernon’s Holiday Residency @ the Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. ($8) Tonight the charming singer/songwriter will feature Jake Rowan on uke and vocals. I had the two of them on my show this past Saturday, which you can hear by going here. They’ll be joined by a couple of more friends to play Christmas music, as well as some non-seasonal music, and conduct an Ugly Sweater Contest with the audience. Check out Katy’s simple, yet effective version of a Beatles song.

A Trashy Little Christmas @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20 Advance) After so many years at Lee’s Liquor Lounge, the honky tonkin’ Trailer Trash has had to move it’s weekly X-mas shows to a variety of venues. The Eagles Club should provide plenty of room for dancing and commandeering the Candy Cane. Advance tickets are available on the website.

Friday, December 25

Deano and the Dinosaurs @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) Cool out at the end of a hectic day with the solid stylings of under-appreciated guitarist Dean Mikkelson, who will be joined by drummer Dehl Gallagher, bassist Josh Granowski, and fellow plectorist Dean Harrington for an evening of blues and perhaps a bit of jazz standards. Bring your ID if you want adult beverages.

Mambo’s Combo @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Dance off the food you’ve eaten early in the day with the solid Soul, Funk, and danceable rock from this long-lived band that always delivers, and always has guests get up and play.

Saturday, December 26

The Escape Claus @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) The colorful-sneaker-wearing Dean Mikkelson returns to Merlin’s for a second night, this time with a different group of musical treasures. I’ve listed a possible name for the group, but it could change. Nevertheless, it includes guitarist Bobby E, as well as Cody McKinney, bass; and Pete Hennig, on drums. With this much talent, you’re sure to have a good time, especially considering the wide variety of beers and Irish Whiskeys that Merlin carries. Be sure to have your ID.

Mick Sterling and the Stud Brothers @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Mick Sterling and his ten-piece band present some blue-eyed soul that will have you dancing.

The Irish Brigade @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) It’s less than three months to Saint Patrick’s Day. Start appreciating Irish music now in a venue that couldn’t be better suited to the sound of this duo.

Saturday, Sunday, December 26, 27

Victorian Christmas Carols @ The JJ Hill House, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8:30pm ($12) Costumed singers explore the rise of Christmas Carols during the 19th Century. There’s light refreshments and tours following the one-hour concert. You can find more information here.

Sunday, December 27

Gang of Mischief @ Neumann’s Bar, North Saint Paul. 4pm (tip jar) Papa John Kolstad, Harold Tremblay, and their bluesy, rootsy friends help you while away the afternoon at the oldest continually operating bar in the state.

Pat Donahue @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Donahue is a champion finger-picker whose tunes have been recorded by Chet Atkins, Suzy Boguss, and Kenny Rogers. He spent 20 years as the house guitarist on the Prairie Home Companion, and had Wynton Marsalis sit in with him and the Guys All Star Shoe Band in Berlin. More recently, he recorded a cool blues album with Butch Thompson. At any moment he might be playing blues, folk, or jazz, or some combination of the three.

Tuesday, Wednesday, December 29,30

The New Standards @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($30 – $40) This trio has really gained fans and raves since they debuted about ten years ago (their new CD is called Decade) and started playing acoustic/jazzy versions of hits from 80s, and now also breathe life into unexpectedly modern songs. Chan Poling, piano (Suburbs); John Munson,  bass (Semisonic, and Trip Shakespeare); and Steve Roehm, vibes (Billygoat, Electropolis); found a winning formula. Their annual holiday shows with guests from throughout the music industry sell out at local concert halls sell out.

Wednesday, December 30

The Eddies on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club, Tip Jar) Perhaps the last tradition of the year. Saint Paul’s Eddies cross the river to appear on Harold Tremblay’s House Party and then head over to the 331 Club to sing 5 part a cappella harmonies on sea chanties, and easy-to-sing-along favorites, from the Rolling Stones to Billy Joe Royal, and Bob Marley.

 

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.


Long Nights for Music: 12.16 – 12.22

December 16, 2015

Greetings to one and all;

UnknownWe’re approaching the Winter Solstice, that time when the day is shortest and the night is longest. It’s part of our Mid-Winter holidays, and though we may have some cold days ahead, we’ll have increasing daylight. Meantime, we’re deep into holiday shows this week, with offerings from Larry McDonough, Laura Caviani, the Peterson Family, and the folks from Louisiana Rhythms, in addition to having performances that showcase young talent and veterans. Though I manage to avoid most of the stressful parts of this season, I admit to getting a warm feeling from wishing people well at this time of year. At any rate, whether you celebrate or not, you can certainly lift your spirits by going out to hear live music. Have a good week.

Jazz

Wednesday, December 16

Jake Baldwin Presents @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, Students free w/valid ID) Baldwin is a relatively young trumpet player who has won a number of awards and plays around town in a variety of groups. It will be interesting to see who he taps to accompany him tonight, as he plays with both young lions and seasoned veterans.

McNally Smith Jazz Night @ The Amsterdam Bar + Hall, Saint Paul. 8pm (Free) A showcase for the jazz talent of MacNally Smith. 8pm – The X-Tet Big Band, led by Pete Whitman; 8:45 – The Jazz III Combo, directed by Steve Jennings; 9:30 – The Jazz II Combo, directed by Chris Olson; 10:15 – Advanced Combo, directed by Peter Schimke; 11:00 – The Serbian Music ensemble, directed by Petar Janjic; and 11:45 – the Fusion Ensemble, directed by Adam Meckler.

Thursday, December 17

Larry McDonough Quartet: Angels, Kings, My Favorite Things” @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm ($5) See listing below for Tuesday, the 22nd.

Laura Caviani @ The Dunsmore Room at Crooners, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm ($15 minimum) The folks at Crooners are taking their Lakeside Room and turning it into a listening room a couple of times a week. Instead of charging a cover charge, they’re asking for a $15 minimum purchase of food or drink, which would be covered by drink and appetizer. To enhance the audience’s listening experience, they’ve been lucky enough to obtain a 9-foot Bosendorfer piano for the room. Tonight Laura Caviani brings her holiday show to this pre-opening performance, undoubtedly playing selections from her lovely holiday album, Angels We Haven’t Heard. Reservations are recommended at: 763-571-9020.

Jennifer Grimm & Joe Cruz @ Jazz Central, MInneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, Students free w/valid ID) Grimm is a vocalist who has performed at Carnegie Hall and shared the stage with Michael Buble and Martina McBride, among others. She has also appeared in a variety of musicals around town, and has proven adept at interpreting holiday favorites. She’ll be joined by guitarist Joe Cruz is a versatile, sought-after  guitarist who also plays the mandolin, Puerto Rican cuatro, Cuban tres, and dobro.

Friday, December 18

Dakebreoda featuring Dave Brattain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, Students free w/valid ID) This quartet is led by saxophonist Brattain, a 20 year veteran of the Cedar Avenue Big Band, who has played with a number of groups around town and currently teaches at Wayzata High School. He will be joined by Kevin Dale, guitar; Bruce “Pooch” Heine, bass; and Dave Stanoch, drums; to play most originals and a few obscure jazz standards.

Peter Vircks Quartet @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Saxophonist Vircks leads this group of top-notch players:  Ron Evaniuk, bass; Kevin Washington, drums; and Brian Zeimniak, piano.

Saturday, December 19

Deck the Halls @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm – 11pm. (No Cover) Jo Ann Funk  piano; and Jeff Brueske, bass, expand their repertoire and bring in Gary Schulte, master of the violin; and baritone vocalist Steve Marking for an evening of holiday music fringing from O Holy Night sung in French, to Santa Baby, and the David Bowie/Bing Crosby version of Little Drummer Boy. Here’s JoAnn doing one of her more secular songs with some help from a different violin player.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) This evening starts with HEADSPACE, featuring: Rob Dewey, piano; Aaron Rupar, drums; Matt Senjem, bass; and Steve Kenny on Flumpet. At 8:30 it’s Tall Tales, the two-guitar quartet led by Dean Granros  with Zacc Harris on 2nd guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. Given how crowded it can get, reservations ($20) can be made by going here.

Sunday, December 20

Peterson Family Jam Before Christmas @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 5pm, 7:30pm ($25) Globe-trotters, national players, and Twin Cities heroes, members of the Peterson clan have performed with Ben Sidran, Bob Dylan, David Sanborn, Bobby Lyle, Paula Abdul, Prince, Jonny Lang, and more. Linda, Billy, Ricky, Patty, and Paul, are joined by third generation musician Jason Peterson Delaire to share their music for the holidays. Here’s Patty, Ricky, and Jason, with some friends, a couple of whom are likely to be in the band.

Monday, December 21

Nachito Herrera and the Universals @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $35), 9pm ($20, $30) Dazzling pianist Nachito Herrera is joined by a quartet of equally fiery players. Karen Briggs  on violin, played for years with Yanni, and can switch genres as easily as Herrera. Saxophonist Mike Phillips has worked with Prince and Stevie Wonder. Grammy nominated bassist Riccardo Fierabracci has toured with Chick Corea’s Electrik Band, Billy Cobham’s Spectrum, King Crimson, and others, while drummer Raul Pineda’s latin rhythms earned him a Grammy working with Chucho Valdes. Their appearance at the Dakota this past summer earned rave reviews.

Cherry Spoon Collective @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) With a roster that includes over 15 musicians, the Collective is a multi-generational group of improvising musicians whose members come from some of the most interesting scenes our music community, including Zeitgest, JelloSlave, Orange Mighty Trio, George Cartwright’s PAL, and more. The performance will feature newly commissioned and improvised music.

Phil Cook w/Lewis and Bates @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Guitarist Cook  along with saxophonist/bassist Mike Lewis and drummer JT Bates, were the rhythm section on an album by the Blind Boys of Alabama. This is the first time the three will play as a band. Opening is Joe Dunn, Demitri Rallis of Frogleg, a jam/reggae band that’s popular around town.

Tuesday, December 22

Larry McDonough Quartet @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 7pm – 10pm ($5) The East Metro appearance of pianist McDonough and his holiday show. McDonough, piano, vocals; Richard Terrill, saxes, poetry; Greg Stinson, bass; Dean White, drums. Will include music from Angels, Kings, My Favorite Things, as well as a McDonough arrangement of Le Marseillaise, a medley of two French tunes, and songs by Spinal Tap, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, Dave Brubeck, and more. Of special note is a new arrangement of “It’s Love, It’s Christmas,” based on a copy of the original Bill Vans manuscript given to McDonough by Evan’s widow.

Dave King Trio @ The Dunsmore Room at Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($15 Minimum) This is the official opening of the Dunsmore Room, and it’s hard to think of a better band for the occasion, especially given that Bill Carrothers will be playing the room’s Bosedorfer piano. Dave King, drums, Billy Peterson, bass; and Bill Carrothers, piano, have received many plaudits for their album, “I’ve Been Ringing You” and their week-long appearance at the Village Vanguard a couple of years ago. Though King is known for his work with unique groups like the Bad Plus,  this trio sticks with standard fare, yet is anything but boring. Of note is that the national and NYC press characterized both Carrothers and Peterson as Upper Midwesterners with an underground reputation. One listen and you’ll likely be thinking that this group deserves wider recognition. Here’s a longish segment of one of their concerts.

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 PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, December 16

The Fiddle Heirs on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club, Tip Jar) The Fiddle Heirs are an all fiddle, all-star group, featuring members of Trampled by Turtles, Corpse Reviver, Pert Near Sandstone, Pocahontas County, and Boys ’N’ the Barrels. If you’re wondering what an all-fiddle band sounds like, tune in and check them out.

Willie Murphy & Dean Magraw @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Willie Murphy  blues singer, rock n’ roller, songwriter, and R&B maven, will be joined by the multi-genre guitarist extraordinaire Dean Magraw  Murphy says he’s hoping to keep up with Magraw.

Thursday, December 17

Louisiana Rhythms Annual Christmas Party @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Cash, check or food donation) This is an annual Benefit for Second Harvest Heartland. Tonight’s show features the Swamp Poppas, Dan Rowles, The Rockin’ Pinecones, Rich Lewis and more. Dance and do good at the same time. Here’s a video from the Swamp Poppas.

Thursday, Friday, December 17, 18

J2J

J2J

J2J @ MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 7:30pm Thursday, 8pm Friday ($15) Jacqueline Ultan  cello and effects pedals; and Julie Johnson  flute, bass flute, live looping pedals;  present a program of all original music, with compositions by each of them, as well as the premier of a new piece by both of them. Both have extensive experience in genre-crossing performances.

Friday,December 18

Kid Dakota and Hot Date @ Public Kitchen + Bar, 229 E. 6th St, Saint Paul 8pm (No Cover) Darren Jackson had a group called Kid Dakota and the Tumbleweeds while he was living in Rhode Island in 1998. Though the group disbanded, he kept the name Kid Dakota  recording four full-time albums as well as a Leonard Cohen tribute. Hot Date is the Lowertown duo of Eric Carranza and Nora O’Brien and specializes in songs “For Lovers” as their album is called. Hot Date comes on first, followed by Kid Dakota. Listen to this cut from one of his albums.

Willie Murphy & the Angel Headed Hipsters @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7) Mr Murphy makes a rare second appearance here on the same week. This time he has his full band with him, so you know the rhythms will be rockin’ the knees will be knockin’, hips will be shakin’ and the dance floor will be quaking’.

Friday, Saturday, December 18, 19

Sonny Knight & the Lakers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25), 9pm ($20) After performing (and headlining) some international music festivals over the summer, R&B powerhouse Sonny Knight  nd the soul-stirring Lakers return to the stage where they recorded a live album last year. Though Knight recorded locally back in the 60s, this is not simply a retro-loving group, but rather a collection of creative musicians who bring new life to classic soul and funk, while Knight performs with the energy of performers half his age. They’ve been working up some new, exciting tunes which you can get to hear tonight.

Saturday, December 19

Javier and the Innocent Sons and Drew Druckry’s Dharma Hounds @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) KFAI’s Jackson Buck has put together a potent double bill for the Holiday edition of Jackson’s Juke Joint. Getting things started at 7pm is Drew Druckry’s Dharma Hounds, playing a mix of blues, New Orleans Funk, and Southern Rock. Then at 9pm Javier and the Innocent Sons rip it up with jumping blues.

Captain Gravitone & The String Theory Orchestra @ Dulano’s Pizza, Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) Not your usual string band, Captain Gravitone is a Mankato folk-rock quintet that can easily segue from tangos to Irish drinking songs to driving jam-grass.

Sunday, December 20

Corpse Reviver @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 3pm – 5:30pm (Tip Jar) Mikkel Beckmen, percussion; JIllian Rae, fiddle; and Adam Kiesling, guitar and banjo; will be joined by folk/Americana singer songwriter Amanda Standalone to explore music from the Anthology of American Folk Music.

The Gentlemen’s Anti-Temperance League @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($5) A string quartet that revisits classic swing tunes from Prohibition, bringing them into the 21st Century. The Aster can get crowded, so reservations are recommended.

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.


Mid-December Music: 12.9 – 12.15

December 9, 2015
Drink to the reunion of Rio Nido

Here’s to the reunion of Rio Nido!

Hard to believe we’re approaching the middle of December and we haven’t been hit with either a major snowstorm or temps below 20 degrees. Not to complain, however, since such weather makes it easier to get out and about – we don’t need to plan for an extra 20 minutes just to get properly dressed. At any rate, we have some great music in store for this week, including a long awaited reunion of Rio Nido, a couple of outstanding visiting artists, and some more holiday celebrations. It’s all good. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, December 9

Gary LaRue Quartet @ Mancini’s, Saint Paul. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) LaRue and his Rat Pack Band (a trio) will perform songs by Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, and others of that era and time. Throw in the layout and atmosphere of Mancini’s bar, and it shouldn’t be hard to feel transported to a lounge in on the Jersey Turnpike during the 60s.

Framework @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Chris Olson, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums; are three veteran musicians with a vast wealth of experience between them. They mesh well as a unit, to create swirling sounds that range from Americana-like swing to aural soundscapes.

Wednesday, Thursday, December 9, 10

Ramsey Lewis: The Sound of Christmas @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50), 9pm ($30, $40) With over 80 albums and three Grammys  to his credit, pianist/composer Lewis knows how to connect with an audience. He’ll be applying his sprightly, swinging style to tunes of the season for this appearance.

Thursday, December 10

Vicky Mountain Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Mountain has a fairly extensive performing resume that includes touring South America with a show band many years ago. Nowadays, she’s a vocal teacher at MacPhail Center for Music and occasionally gets lets her talent shine on stage, where she sings originals as well as her own arrangements of hip pop tunes and standards. Tonight she’s accompanied by Chris Lomheim, piano; and Jim Chenoweth, bass. Here’s a video of her singing at a house concert.

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Trumpeter Meckler brings his 16 piece big band to the basement boîte. His compositions and arrangements take full advantage of the colors and palettes of the group’s instruments, as you can see and hear in this video.

Friday, December 11

Rio Nido @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Perhaps you got to see the article about this group in Sunday’s Star Tribune. It’s been 35 years since they performed together at a commercial venue, and many folks are eagerly awaiting the return of this swinging trio. Back then, their tight harmonies on tunes from the thirties and forties provided a refreshing break from the Blues, Punk, R&B, and cover bands that were sprouting all over the Twin Cities. Here’s an example of why they had such great appeal.

Bill Simenson Quintet @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar)  Simenson, on trumpet, leads a big band in town. He’ll be joined by a talented mix of the areas best:  Nathan Hanson, sax; David Martin, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; JT Bates, drums. Preceded at 7pm by the Mac Wilms Quartet, a group of secondary students appearing as part of the monthly JazzInk Youth Showcase.

Saturday,December 12

Andrew Walesch Big Band: Frank Sinatra Centennial @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Lines were out the door last time Walesch presented his Frank Sinatra show at Crooners. Since today is the Centennial anniversary of Sinatra’s birth, I suspect the demand will be even greater, so be forewarned if you want a seat.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Steve Kenny continues to find both upcoming and veteran bands to play each Saturday night. Opening set by the Cadenza All Stars. At 8:30 it’s the King/Fletcher/Woods CD Release, with Jeff King, saxes; Charles Fletcher, bass; and Eron Woods, drums.

Peter Kogan Quartet @Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) The tympanist from the Minnesota Orchestra takes out a smaller set of drums and is joined by Brian Grivna, sax and woodwinds; Phil Aaron, piano; and Anthony Cox, bass; to play songs from both Cornucopia and his latest, Some Monsterful Wonderthing. If you scroll down past this post, you’ll find a short review of the new album. Here’s one track from the album.

Sunday, December 13

Got any chips?

Got any chips?

Fuzzy Math CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) Mark Vandermyde, keys; Eric Graham, bass; Andrew Schwandt, sax; and Haralds Bondaris, drums; celebrate the release of their second album, Pass the Guacamole. Their first, released in 2012, resulted in the band being named, “best jazz band for people who don’t like jazz,” or something to that effect.

Monday, December 14

George Cartwright’s PAL @ Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Drummer JT Bates has been exploring the use of electronics as part of his performing, which may be one of the reasons saxophonist George Cartwright, who is quite adventurous himself, tapped him for this group. They’ll be joined by Andrew Broder, guitar; and Josh Granowski, bass; for an evening of thrilling music.

Monday, Tuesday, December 14, 15

New York Voices @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45), 9pm ($35, $40) This vocal quartet  as been around for about 27 years now, and, with close harmonies and tight arrangements, seamlessly blend jazz, R&B, Brazilian, and classical sounds into their repertoire.  Check out this acapella version of a Beatle’s song.

Tuesday, December 15

Katia’s Holiday Special @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Here’s a chance to get some holiday cheer without attending a large hall. Katia Cardenas has the pipes to get over an R&B tune, but also has the instincts and subtlety to handle jazz standards. Tonight she’ll tackle some seasonal favorites as well.

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 PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, December 9

The RAMM Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Twin Cities guitar hero Paul Mayasich leads this trio (Hye Pockets, drums; & John Iden, bass) through a program of R&B, Funk, and rock n’ roll.

Thursday, December 10

Mikkel Beckmen with Pop Wagner @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Wind down from work and prepare for the weekend with Beckmen’s weekly residency, this week featuring the esteemed Pop Wagne  on vocals, guitar, fiddle, and perhaps a lasso trick or two. Whether he’s singing cowboy songs, forgotten tin pan alley gems of the 30s and 40s, or telling stories, Wagner will set your toes to tapping and tickle a funny bone or two.

Ms Quiroz, leader of Samba Meu, and shaker of Shakeres

Ms Quiroz, leader of Samba Meu, and shaker of Shakeres

Samba Meu and Snap Frost! @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Acoustic Brazilian roots and pop music, performed by Karen Quiroz, vocals; David Martin, guitar; Tim O’Keefe, percussion, and special guest Pat O’Keefe, clarinet. There will be an intermission set by SnapFrost!, the sisterhood of the shakere, the dried gourd with beads that helps create unrelenting rhythms.

Friday, December 11

Hurricane Harold’s All-Star Blues Revue Holiday Part @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($?) Harold Tremblay’s harp playing is so sharp he has no problem recruiting players for his All Star Blues Revue. Tonight he’ll be joined by Keith Boyles, bass; Bruce McCabe, piano; Doug Otto and Mark “Good Time Willy” Williams, gutars; and Allen “Captain” Kirk on drums. Besides celebrating the holidays, this show will be recorded for future release, so a noisy crowd is a welcome crowd. Here’s Harold with another version of the All-Stars.

Jack Knife & the Sharps @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Rockabilly, roots, and a bit of Western sound from a trio that’s been around in various groupings for a long, long time. Check out this example of their work.

Saturday, December 12

The Fattenin’ Frogs @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) This sextet performs roots music – the stuff you would hear in juke joints, tent revivals, and medicine shows of years past years, upping the energy by using electrified instruments. The Bayport will soon be ending its presentation of music, so here’s one of your last chances to chow down on some mighty fine ‘Q while listening to live music.

JT at work

JT at work

JT Bates’ Grain Trio @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($15) The Jazz at Studio Z Series has started up once again. Since tonight’s group is an organ trio playing the genre’s hits from the 60s, I thought to put it under blues and roots. Tonight, drummer JT Bates  Zacc Harris, guitar; and Kevin Gastonguay, organ; to the stately listening room. As usual, there’s a workshop at 6pm, followed by the group’s performance at 7pm.

Sunday, December 13

Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 3pm (No Cover) Charanga Tropical was the first American band to play at the Danzon Festival in Havana, held biannually in June, and also recorded in the fames EGREM studios while there. Look for the resulting album in early 2016. In the meantime, hear them live this afternoon.

Phil Heywood @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm (Tip Jar) With its wooden chairs and tables, The Dubliner is about a comfy a neighborhood bar as you can find, even if it is located along the Green Line LRT on University Avenue. It’s a perfect place to listen to the relaxed, warm vocals and mighty fine finger-picking of guitarist Heywood.

Marcia Ball @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($40) Rollicking swamp pop, Texas blues, and second line rhythms from the always entertaining Ms Ball  Whether singing about doomed relationships, life on the Mississippi, or backyard barbecues, Ms Ball delivers party music, plain and simple. While on her website, check out Marcia’s recipe for emergency chicken gumbo.

Monday, December 14

Doug Otto & Friends, featuring Nikki Roux and Rich Rue @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 10pm (Tip Jar) Admittedly, these are two of my favorite roots acts. Otto is an often mournful, evocative singer, while Nikki’s vocals are sprightly. All three are strong guitar players.

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.

 


Peter Kogan: Some Monsterful Wonderthing

December 3, 2015

 

IMG_0461Peter Kogan is a tympanist with the Minnesota Orchestra, whose musicians suffered a lockout from October 2012 to January 2014. Differences between musicians and management were eventually resolved, the budget has been balanced, and the Orchestra has come back with a vengeance, even traveling to Cuba. While the lockout was stressful for the musicians, Kogan used the time to explore his love of jazz and do some recording. The first result was the swinging Cornucopia, released last year, in which he proved himself to be a fine composer as well as jazz artist.

Now Kogan has a new CD, Some Monsterful Wonderthing, recorded during the same period of idleness from the Orchestra. In this latest release, he pays tribute to a number of inspirations including his colleagues in the Orchestra, the Save Our Symphony organization, Ellington, Monk, Muddy Waters, and others. Kogan displays a keen hand at composition and arrangement as he takes on sambas, second lines, blues, gospel, and more with outstanding results. Two of the songs on the album, Gospel Tune and McKinley Morganfield’s Forever, were written in the early eighties, while the other six were composed during the lockout period. The title tune uses two contrasting tempos, and with Brian Courage providing fleet solos to both open and close the piece, brings to mind some of the work of Charles Mingus.

Kogan propels the band through each piece using a a vast array of rhythms and percussive colors.  Speaking of the band, Kogan gets stellar support from Charles Lazarus  on trumpet and fluegelhorn, Pete Whitman on sax, Scott Agster on trombone, Brian Courage on bass, Sean Turner on piano, and Cory Wong on guitar. They fill the album with solos, fills, and flourishes that range from beautiful to blistering, resulting in a warm, elegant album that also features touches of ferocity. One can only hope that Kogan’s day job with the Orchestra doesn’t keep him from playing and recording more jazz.


Into the Holidays: 12.2 -12.8

December 2, 2015

Apologies for the paucity of videos and the short descriptions on some of these. Life events just get in the way sometimes. Anyway, we’re now into the holiday season, which brings us a number of seasonal shows as well as some very special visiting artists. Take some time out from shopping to enjoy live music. It will lift your spirits.

Jazz

Wednesday, December 2

Ms Ammons at Work

Ms Ammons at Work

Lila’s Jazz Triangle @ Tangiers, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Vocalist Lila Ammons has been regularly performing at Tangiers for quite a few months, now. Starting tonight, she’ll be performing at an earlier time, the better to cater to an after-work crowd and early risers.

Deconstruction/Reconstruction @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Anthony Cox curates the first Wednesday of each month at Jazz Central. This month he has a new project with Steve Kenny, Flumpet; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; and Davu Seru, drums and percussion.

Unknown-1Diane Schuur @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $45), 9pm ($25, $35) A two-time Grammy Award Winner, Schuur has collaborated with The Count Basie Orchestra, Barry Mannilow, BB King, Ray charles, and others, in addition to appearing on PBS specials, Sesame Street, and at the White House.

Thursday, December 3

Jeremy Ylvisaker & JT Bates @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover) Electric guitar and drum duets.

Charmin Michelle and Rick Carlson @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Here’s a combination of players that you don’t normally see. Pianist Rick Carlson, with his spare but oh so tasty licks, will be a fine accompanist for Ms Michelle.e56eb083-a78c-43ba-a80f-2aac3a4bfe39

Friday, December 4

The Girls Holiday Show @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25), 9pm ($20). It’s become a holiday tradition. The Dakota stage willed be filled with good natured estrogen, as this dynamic group of women perform holiday favorites in various combinations, creating six part harmonies on occasion. Patty Peterson, Lori Dokken, Judi Donaghy-Vinar, Debbie Duncan, Rachel-Holder-Henning, Erin Scwab

Anthony Walker Group @ Walker West Music Academy, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15) Saint Paul native Anthony Walker returns to his hometown with his group to perform as part of the 8 O’Clock Jump Series. The pianist’s background in classical, gospel, ragtime, and R&B music has helped establish him as an in demand solo artist, musician, teacher, and producer. He’s shared the stage with Stevie Wonder, Patti Austin, and Chaka Khan, among others. He’s appeard on The Today Show, David Letterman and Queen Latifah’s show.

Ted Godbout Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Godbout, piano; Matt Peterson, bass; Peter James-Johnson, drums.

Sunday, December 6

Zacc Harris Trio @ The Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Harris has been doing this weekly gig for a few years using a rotating cast of players.

Mac Jazz Concert @ Mairs Concert Hall, 130 Macalester Street, Saint Pul. 8pm (Free) Joan Griffith leads Mac Jazz. Though I don’t know if the group is made up of students, faculty, or both, the fact that it’s led by Ms Griffith is enough to make this concert noteworthy.

Tuesday, December 8

The Growlers @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Joel Shapira, guitar; Dave Martin, fretless bass; and Pete Hennig, 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 PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, December 2

Unknown-2Joe & Vicky Price on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The Iowa proponents of unaffected, lowdown blues are making another swing through Minnesota and the metro area. You can also catch them at Hell’s Kitchen on Friday (5pm) and Harriet Brewing on Saturday (7pm).

John Beach Trio @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($?) Beach, keys; Paul Harper, sax; Kory Badertsher, drums. Special guest Mary Leinfelder, vocals.

Mark Lichteig and Original Soul Revue @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 8pm ($6) You are probably familiar with soulman Lichteig from his weekly appearances with The Combo on Sunday and Monday nights at Bunkers. Tonight he takes center stage, ably backed by The Vicious Licks, a horn and Hammond band, with special guest vocalist Ali Washington.

Rockin’ Pinecones @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Get your fill of New Orlean’s R&B, Cajun, and Zydeco music at the New Orleans’ themed basement boité

Thursday, December 3

Mikkel Beckmen and Lonesome Dan Kase @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm (tip jar) Washboard percussionist Beckmen is in residence at the Dubliner every Thursday, bringing in various and sundry guests to perform, such as guitarist and singer of classic (30s) sounding blues, Lonesome Dan.

Friday, December 4

An iconic image from the Kerr collection

An iconic image from the Kerr collection

The Rock n’ Roll Photo Show @ Barely Brothers, 783 Raymond Ave, Saint Paul. 5pm – 9pm (Free) A Treasure Trove of hundreds of rock n’ roll publicity photos from the estate of Timothy D. Kerr will be on display and for sale through December. Some of the photos are of early Minnesota rockers like promo photos of early MN Rock bands- Gestures, Underbeats, Gypsy, Castaways, Rave- Ons, Crow, and Stillroven, while others are of jazz musicians, psychedelic bands, black groups, and solo artists. Some posters will be on display as well.

Lowertown Classics #15 @ Lowertown Lofts Artists Cooperative, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10 Suggested Donation) You don’t have to go to a big concert hall to hear quality classical music. Lowertown Classics is a case in point. Tonight, this intimate gathering will feature music from Bach,Scarlatti, Granados, and others, performed by Nerea Berraondo, mezzo-soprano; Catherine Ramirez, flute, and guitarists Eva Beneke, Maja Radovanlija, and Alex Lubet. Enter through the alley and head to 3rd floor atrium.

New Orleans Suspects @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($15) With the Butanes and Frogleg opening, this will be an evening of New Orleans funk, blues, and more. The Suspects are Mean Willie Green, drums (Neville Brothers); Reggie Scanlan, bass (Radiators); Jake Eckert, guitar (Dirty Dozen); CR Gruver, keys (Funkifry’d); and Kevin Harris, sax (Dirty Dozen).

Dr. Ralph Stanley @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50, $60) The 87 year old is a true music original who started performing professionally with his brother Carter in 1946, and becoming one of the most celebrated bluegrass bands in the world. He is so repected that dozens of major artists, from Bob Dylan, to Porter Wagoner have recorded duets with him. Stanley’s grandson Nathan is a rising star in the bluegrass world, and will be a featured player with the Clinch Mountain Boys.

Saturday, December 5

Dee Miller Band @ Schooners’ Tavern, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (tip Jar) w/Jimi Prime Time Smith on guitar. Ms Miller brings her rousing blues to the Southside.

Pat Donahue and the Prairie All-Stars @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Ace fingerpicker Pat Donahue gathers some of his band-mates from The Prairie Home Companion to perform, along with special guest, Butch Thompson.

Friday, Saturday, December 4,5

Jeff Arundel’s 15th Annual Holiday Show @ Aster Cafe, Minneapolis (7pm Friday $10), 318 Cafe, Excelsior. (8pm Saturday $10) Arundel has brought in talent from far and wide to perform at this annual celebration of the holidays: guitarist vocalist AnnKlein of New York City, LA bluesman Doug McLeod; the Willmar Women’s Ensemble; Steel Arundel; and the elder Arundel, ably supported by the Hammsmen.

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,


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