Well, we should be getting used to the cold by now, and if we aren’t going out quite as much, we’re still going out. This week we have three world music concerts, a couple of country rock shows, a CD release party, and as usual, some great jazz. Have a good week. Music lifts the spirit.
Wednesday, January 13
Chris Bates Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 10:30pm ($10) Bates is one of the busier bass players around town, and given how many talented bassists we have, that’s saying something. Tonight he’s joined by a slightly younger generation of talented musicians: Joe Strachan on piano and Matt Buckner on drums. Here’s Chris in a solo performance.
Thursday, January 14
Minnesota Jazz Orchestra @ Wabasha Street Caves, Saint Paul. 7pm ($8) Swing Dancers congregate at the Caves every Thursday night to dance to big bands such as the Minnesota Jazz Orchestra, a 16 piece band with vocalists Greg Marquadrt and Debbie O’Keefe. Doors open at 6pm, and if you’ve never learned how to swing dance, lessons start at 6:15. Here’s the orchestra with a classic.
Suzanne Paris @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Paris is a singer who has lived in New York and LA, and Japan, led a jazz trio at three different Japanese Jazz Festivals, opened for Tony Bennett, and sung at Birdland, The Blue Note and the Iridium. Since 2000, Paris has been living in the Twin Cities and raising a family, and consequently out of the music business. Having impressed as part of a trio of singers at Jazz Central in October, they are bringing her back to sing from the Great American Songbook, with Chris Lomheim, piano; and Josh Granowski, bass. Sounds like a wise choice.
Friday, January 15
Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) The ever-creative Washington is back at the Dog for his monthly gig. This time he’ll be joined by Brad Bellows on valve trombone, as well as Dick Studer on bass; and Davu Seru on drums & percussion. They can sometimes get out there, but with a strong sense of melody and harmony, always bring it back. Here are Donald and Brad with a different rhythm section.
Peter Schimke @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($10) This appears to be a solo gig for pianist Schimke an A-list musician who has performed or recorded with folks ranging from Charlie Musselwhite, to Art Farmer, Victor Wooten, Rita Coolidge, and Tom Harrell.
Saturday, January 16
Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening set at 7pm by the Midwest Sax Quartet: Jared Jarvis, soprano sax; Evan Benidt, alto sax; Joe Mayo, tenor sax; and Gus Sandberg, baritone sax. Followed at 8:30pm by the Zacc Harris Group: Harris, guitar; Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris Bates, bass; JT Bates, drums. Zacc Harris will be heading to the UK in a couple of weeks, to perform with Michael Janisch at the famed Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club in London for three nights, as well as at other clubs.
Sunday, January 17
John Penny CD Release Party @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 5pm ($7) Guitarist Penny has played with Jack McDuff, Bobby Lyle, Bernard Purdie, and Erik Gravatt, in addition to composing for TV commercials, and scores for the movie Patti Rocks, and well as movies for the MN Twins, The United Way, and others. He has a new CD, Urban Tumble. For the first half of the show, he’ll be joined by bassist Charlie Riddle and drummer Davu Seru playing new compositions by Penny. During the second half keyboardist Daniel Williams will join in for songs from the CD, and Pippi Ardennia will sing some of Penny’s vocal songs. Other guests from the CD will sit in as well.
Monday, Tuesday, January 18, 19
Davell Crawford: Tribute to Allen Toussaint @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $35), 9pm ($20-$30) This is a highly anticipated show for fans of New Orleans R&B. The “Crown Prince of New Orleans” is a highly praised proponent of New Orleans’ piano tradition. Crawford’s grandfather was “Sugarboy’’ Crawford, an early R&B artist, and Allen Toussaint was a family friend. At the age of eleven, Crawford started hanging out at Toussaint’s studio where he felt it was a safe place to explore his own love for playing piano. Now, he’s carrying on the tradition and is performing the music of Toussaint, who recently left town, as they say.
Tuesday, January 19
Mary Louise Knutson Trio @ The Dunsmore Room, Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($15 Minimum) Take advantage of the quiet ambience of the listening room at Crooners to fully appreciate Ms Knutson’s effervescent piano playing. None other than Doc Severinson recognizes her talent, as she regularly tours with his big band. Tonight, she’s joined by a couple of highly respected veterans: Gordy Johnson on bass; and Phil Hey on drums.
Beasley’s Big Band @ Edinborough Indoor Amphitheater, 7700 York Avenue Sou, Edina. (?) Folks in South Minneapolis and the southern ‘burbs can visit the lovely amphitheater to hear the big band sounds of the 19 piece BBB. Here they are at the Caves.
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, January 13
Joyann Parker & Sweet Tea on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This group is a rising star in the Twin Cities Blues Scene. Joyann Parker is a quintuple threat as a singer, pianist, drum, guitarist, and songwriter. She and the guys in Sweet Tea are heading to Memphis to represent Minnesota in the International Blues Challenge. Whether they win down there or not, they’ve already won the hearts of many blues fans in town.
Wednesday, Thursday, January 13, 14
Pure Prairie League @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45) PPL was one of the groups that helped define country rock back in the 70s. Formed in 1969, they had five top 40 LPs in the 70s and a sixth in the 80s, keeping their sound throughout a number of configurations. Amie was their first hit, recorded in ’73 and hitting the charts in ‘75. They also had a top ten hit in 1980 with Let me Love You Tonight, which also hit number one on the Adult Contemporary charts. Some luminaries who helped out with recording or performing include guitarist Mick Ronson, saxophonist Dave Sanborn, and Vince Gill, who would later go on to fame as a solo artist. After breaking up in the 80s, they reformed at the end of the 90s, and though leader Mike Reilly (bass & vocals) is the only long-time member (he joined in ’73), they still have the sweet harmonies that defined their sound.
Thursday, January 14
On the Way to Uskudar and The Other Country Quartet @ JJ Hill Library, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($10) This is part of the World Live! a series sponsored by the Library and KFAI, which knows a thing or two about musics of the world. On the Way to Uskuda presents Turkish and Balkan music using traditional and modern instruments. The Other Country Quartet, on the other hand, doesn’t present country music from the US, but music from other countries.
Friday, January 15
Armadillo Jump @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($5) This rockin’ blues quintet as recently voted Best Dance Band of 2015 by U Wanna Dance, a website and organization aimed at dancers – see the link below. The award is highly appropriate, since the band pretty much instantly fills up dance floors, and, you don’t have to know any special steps, though its always fun to watch dancers that know those special steps.
Faculty Recital @ MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) Here’s a collection of mostly classical pieces done by some of the faculty at MacPhail Center for Music. You’ll hear some Spanish Folk Songs, sung by Mikyoung Park, with Luke Swanger on piano; two pieces composed by Christopher Caliendo, performed by Julie Johnson, flute; and Jeff Lambert, guitar; As well as a couple of Rachmaninoff vocals, a guitar piece by Hector Villa-Lobos; and a piece for Marimba, Vibes, piano, drum, and bass. For more information, go to: http://www.macphail.org
Willie Walker and We “R” @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) It’s been a good year for Willie Walker who has paid his dues in the soul circuit since the 60s. Walker toured South America a couple of times, and he and the band recently tour in Switzerland. To top things off, Walker’s latest CD, “If Nothing Ever Changes,” is up for three awards in the 2016 Blues Awards. The Rick Estrin-produced album jus up for Album of the Year, Soul Blues Album, and Soul Blues Male Artist. See what the fuss is about by checking out the lounge at Crooners.
Sons of Almighty @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Here’s an all-star lineup of funkateers from around town, each of whom has played/recorded with major acts from in town and around the nation. Members are: Tommy Barbarella, keys; Michael Bland, drums; Julius Collins, vocals, Cory Wong, guitar; Brian Gallagher, sax; and Sonny Thompson, bass.
Saturday, January 16
Malamanya & Alma Andina @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) There will be lots of Latin dancing at the Cedar tonight, as two home-town favorites take the stage Alma Andina opens, bringing their meld of Andean music (think pan pipes) and modern instruments to the fore. Then Malamanya will shake things up further with their Cuban-inspired dance grooves. In between, DJS from Radio Pocho will keep the grooves going.
Twin Cities Cabaret Salon: Our Way @ The Town House Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10 Donation) Each month the Twin Cities Cabaret Artists Nework presents a Salon in the back lounge at the Town House. Six different artists perform for 15 minutes each. Tonight they’re celebrating the music of Frank Sinatra, with help from pianist Lori Dokken and Emcee Les Block. Tonight’s performers are Joey Babay, David Young, Mary Keepers, Vicky Mountain, Rhonda Laurie, and Connie Dussl.
Sunday, January 17
Living Colour @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50 – $60) Since their debut album Vivid, in 1989, Living Colour has been powered by Avant-garde jazz guitarist Vernon Reid and the soulful vocals of Corey Glover. They were among the first bands to transcend genres, mixing rock, jazz, funk, punk and heavy metal into swirling mix of high energy music. Their 1995 dissolution was short-lived, as the band was touring again by 2001. Their latest CD is 2015’s Shade. Here’s a number with some pan-tropical influences.
Mehmet Polat Trio & Srazhalys @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($20 advance/$25 Door) It’s another evening of intriguing world music. The Mehmet Polat Trio plays hypnotic music with roots in Ottoman, ancient Turkey, Balkan, and West African music traditions. Members are Mehmet Polat, oud; Sinan Arat, Ney; and Bao Sissoko, kora. The trio plays Polat’s compositions, which allow for much improvisation. Opening is Srazhalys, a quartet that uses Western rhythms to drive melodies of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Tuesday, January 19
The Federales w/Doug Otto & the Getaways @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. (Free) Here’s a double bill of acoustic Americana. The Federales describe themselves as a country band for a modern world. With the exception of an electric guitar, this six-piece sings of blues, bourbon, Grain Belt, and guitars, occasionally slipping into a country-rock mood. Doug Otto and the Getaways bring their mournful sounds to the opening set.
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. For a listing of dance opportunities, check out the U Wanna Dance Calendar.