Jazz, Roots, and More: 2.24 – 3.1

February 24, 2016

I’m off this week, and so there aren’t as many links or videos as usual. I do have links for a couple of videos, however. Once again, we have a virtual cornucopia of talent playing in the Twin Cities. There should be something here you might find interesting, at the least. Get out. Music lifts your spirits.

Jazz

Wednesday, February 24

Casey O’Brien Presents @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Bassist O’Brien has been on over 60 recordings, and has performed in countries around the world. Tonight he’s joined by Ted Godbout on piano, and Peter Hennig on drums to perform O’Brien’s original music.

Fuzzy Math @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Their new album, Pass the Guacamole, is a great little slab of tuneful music, including covers of Cindi Lauper and Crowded House. No wonder City Pages called them a jazz band for people who don’t like jazz.

Thursday, February 25

Bill Evans and Tony Bennett: 40 years Later @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) After doing the music of Chet Baker last year, Larry McDonough and his group are coming back to Jazz Central to revisit the songs of Bill Evans and Tony Bennett. Though McDonough, who will be playing piano as well as singing, will start off each song as Evans and Bennett did, he promises that where the songs go is not planned, so this is not so much a tribute as an homage. The group will also do songs recorded separately by Evans and Bennett.  He’ll be joined by Richard Terrill, sax; Greg Stinson, bass; Dean White Drums; and guest Rosie McDonough on African Drum.

Rez Abassi with Vijay Iyer and Rudresh Mahanthappa @ Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($28) You may have seen Brit Robson’s large piece in the Sunday Star Tribune on this Jazz Supergroup, which also includes Johannes Weidenmueiller, bass; Dan Weiss, drums; and Elizabeth Means, cello. Guitarist Abassi is Pakistan-born, with pianist Iyer and saxophonist Mahanthappa have Indian roots. Abassi has composed the music for the group, which “walks the line between the mathematic precision and discipline of South Asian music and the more freewheeling creativity of jazz,” as Robson put it. As an added attraction, Mahanthappa’s Indo-Pak Coalition will perform a short opening set.

Atrium Jazz Ensemble with Bryan Nichols @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($25) Actually, this is a variation of the AJE – it’s the Idiosyncrats, a group of strong regional players – with Brandon Wozniak, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Jeff Bailey, bass; and JT Bates, drums; led by pianist Bryan Nichols. They’ll be doing music that ranges from Charlie Parker and Bix Beiderbecke to Ornette Coleman.

Friday, February 26

Friday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Tonight features a band that is so new it doesn’t have a formal name. It’s the New and Still Unnamed Davu Seru 4-Tet, with Pat O’Keefe, on clarinets; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; and Seru on drums and percussion. There are essentially four generations of musicians in this band, all of whom can swing, but also embrace adventurous music.

Bria Skonberg with the Augsburg College Jazz Ensemble @ Foss Center, Augsburg College, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Skonberg is a Canadian-born trumpet player, vocalist, and composer who moved to New York City in 2010. She’s received a number of awards, and has appeared at festival in North America, Europe, and China, playing traditional, hot jazz.

Emily Jane Davis Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) Davis is a vocalist who began performing in 2012, often in duos with guitarist Robert Bell. She also sits in with his Twin Cities Hot Club, and has an affinity for Swing, Bossa Nova, and the Great American Songbook.

Saturday, February 27

3rd Annual Winter Jazz Fest @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 4pm – 9pm ($15) Congratulations to both Jazz at Studio Z celebrating it’s 3rd Annual Winter Jazz Fest, and to  Shifting Paradigm Records, which is celebrating a 2nd Anniversary. Together, they’re providing a value packed show. Five acts for $15, and what great acts: Dean Magraw’s Red Planet, Bryan Nichols Solo, The Adam Meckler Quintet, JT Bates Solo, and Dean Granros’ Tall Tales. All of them have recordings on Shifting Paradigm Records, and which is also celebrating a 3rd Anniversary.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening act is Falls Five, with Mitch Rand, saxophones; Ben Coleman, trombone; Sam Mathias, guitar and piano; Tessa Bloch, electric bass; and Derek Westholm, drums. At 8:30, it’s time for Source Code, with Eric Kamau Gravatt, drums; Solomon Parham, trumpet; Chris Thomson, sax; Dean Magraw, guitar; and Ron Evaniuk, bass.

Monday, February 29

Rick Carlson with Dennis Spears @ The Dunsmore Room,  Crooner’s, Fridley. 7pm ($ 25 Minimum) Pianist Rick Carlson in a Basie acolyte who is also a very good accompanist, which is great because tonight he’ll be accompanying the great vocalist Dennis Spears, who first came to prominence in town with Moore by Four. Whether Spears is channeling Nat King Cole, singing jazz standards, or singing something from the Great American Soul Book, Carlson will have the right touch.

Geoff LeCrone @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Guitarist LeCrone regularly plays with the Acme Jazz Company, the Andrew Walesch Big Band, the Yohannes Tona Band, and in theater productions around town. Tonight he’ll be joined by saxophonist Bob Parsons.

Tuesday, March 1

Tommy O’Donnell Tribute to Erroll Garner @ The Dunsmore Room, Crooner’s, Fridley. 7pm ($15 or $20 Minimum) Pianist O’Donnell has been a Twin Cities Jazz fixture since the 50s. Tonight, he’ll be joined by Gordy Johnson, bass, and Phil Hey, drums; to play the music of Erroll Garner in the gorgeous and quiet listening room at Crooners.

For more listings, 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, February 24

Andy Cohen & Friends on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm 331 Club (Tip Jar) Piedmont and Country blues from a virtuoso fingerpicking guitarist. Cohen is enamored of folks like Rev. Gary Davis, Skip James, Big Bill Broonzy, and more. He’s also a folklorist and funny storyteller.

Masters of Hawaiian Music @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $40) If you’ve ever wondered about slack key music – that distinctive Hawaiian style of open tunings on guitar – now it the time to sate your curiosity. Three master musicians will take the stage tonight: Four-time Grammy winner George Kahumoku Jr.; Ledwar Kaapana, a National Heritage Fellow; and the award-winning Jeff Peterson. Wear a brightly colored shirt, order a rum drink, and relax.

Bonearama @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($13) As the name implies, this is a powerhouse trombone band. Bonerama is  based out of New Orleans, and play the brass band, New Orleans Jazz, funk, and R&B associated with The Big Easy. Opening are special guests The Cellar Kings and The Jack Brass Band

Thursday, February 25

George Harrison Birthday Party w/Joey Molland @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 6pm ($30, $50, $100) Molland is the sole survivor of the original Badfinger, the Beatles-discoverd band that appeared on Apple Records. He played on two George Harrison albums and with John Lennon on Imagine. Though this is a birthday tribute for Harrison, all proceeds will be going to support the Lowertown Blues Festival.

Friday, February 26

Winter Show of the Skeleton Crew Collective @ The Black Forest Inn, 26th & Nicollet, Minneapolis. 8pm (Suggested Donation $10 – $20) The Skeleton Crew is collective is a mixed chamber ensemble with a of creating an open-door family friendly environment to share and expose inventive music of the eclectic minimalist and post-minimalist composers of our time. They’ll be performing In C by Terry Riley as well as Demolition Dreaming by John Akre and selections from Seven Secrets of Snow by Paul FonFara. There will be some visuals, a photoplay, and special guests.

Saturday, February 27

Nikki Roux and Rich Rue@ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) You don’t have to pay a cover to hear the talented Nikki & Rich play blues, folk rock, and some Americana, though you’d certainly be tempted to order some of the New Orleans inspired food from the Vieux’s kitchen.

Hannah von der Hoff & the Dangertones @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Ms von der Hoff has a soulful, often sensuous voice, making her equally adept at covers and originals. She’s backed by the 7-piece Dangertones, who give her a solid foundation.

Sunday, February 28

The Fattenin’ Frogs @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm. (Tip Jar) While away a late Sunday afternoon with some rockin’ Americana from the Frogs. They apply lots of energy to songs originally done in the 30s, and add some occasional electricity to their instruments.

Monday, Tuesday, February 29, March 1

Rickie Lee Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55, $60) She won two Grammys after hitting the pop charts with Chuck E’s in Love back in the late 70s. She also appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone twice in two years. Jones continues to surprise – something she’s done throughout her career – both as a songwriter and a vocalist.

Tuesday, March 1

Carrie Rodriguez @ Cedar Cultural Center, MInneapolis. 7:30pm ($15 advance, $20 door) This singer/songwriter/fiddler from Austin, Texas has a contemporary spin on Tex Mex music. She’s recorded with Chip Taylor (composer of Wild Thing and Angel in the Morning), and our own Ben Kyle, and has toured and/or collaborated with the likes of Bill Frisell, Lucinda Williams, John Prine, and Rickie Lee Jones, among others. Rodriguez is currently touring to promote her latest album, Give me All You’ve Got, recorded with her own band. Opening are the Roe Family Singers.

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


Cinematic Music and More: 2.17 – 2.23

February 17, 2016

images-1Many opportunities for jazz, blues, and roots lovers to go out and hear music. There’s a cinematic mini-theme of sorts this week, with Bill Frisell exploring music from films and television, Bob DeFlores showing soundies from the 40s, and a showing of the Triplets of Belleville with live orchestration at Northrup. Have fun, and remember music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, February 17

King Fletcher Woods @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Wednesdays at Jazz Central are given over to new music, or new groups. Tonight, Jeff King, on sax; Charles Fletcher on bass; and Eron Woods on drums offer up their version of a (not so) simple trio.

Thursday, February 18

Charmin & Shapira @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Charmin Michelle, on vocals, and Joel Shapira, on guitar are musical partners who have been playing together for years now, and will be trying out new material in the basement club that looks like a music-themed rec room. Here they are with a standard.

JT Bates’ GRAIN @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) JT Bates is a drummer who is well-versed in a number of genres. With GRAIN he’s exploring the rich tradition of soul jazz organ trios with Kevin Gastonguay on B3 and Zacc Harris on guitar.

Friday, February 19

Friday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) The featured artist at 9pm Is Paul Harper’s Bardo Quartet with Chris Lomheim, piano; Tom Pieper, bass; Matt Buckner, drums; and Paul Harper, saxophones. At 7pm the JazzINK Youth Jazz Showcase features Southwest High School Jazz Combos, directed by Corey Needleman.

Bruce Henry @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Though vocalist Henry now lives in Chicago, he continues to perform here with regularity, always able to have a dynamic backing band. Tonight it’s  Phil Hey, Drums; Javi Santiago, Piano; Scott Fultz, Sax; and Jeff Bailey on Bass. Henry will undoubtedly be mixing up some Motown and other danceable songs along with his extraordinary jazz stylings. Here he is doing a standard.

Saturday, February 20

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) tonight’s music starts with Yo Jimbo: With Jimbo Robson, Drums; Ron Peterson, Piano; John Brown, bass; Jerry Shelton, trumpet; Brian Van Stavern, Trombone; Steve Klein, Alto sax; Jerry Benson, Tenor sax. At 8:30, Steve Kenny, Flumpet; and Solomon Parham, trumpet; take the stage after playing to a full house at the Winter Jazz Fest. As then, they’ll be joined by Peter Schimke, piano; Ted Olson, bass; and Rodney Ruckus, drums.

Bill Frisell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $40), 9pm ($30 – $35) Frisell was just here with Charles Lloyd, and once again proved that he has a unique approach to playing guitar. He can get to the emotional center of a song with just a few notes. With this show, titled When You Wish Upon A Star, he takes on the classic film and television themes, illustrating how they shape our relationship to what we wee. He’s joined by Eyvind Kang, viola; Thomas Morgan, gbass; Rudy Royston, drums; and Petra Haden on vocals. They’ll re-imagine songs like Over the Rainbow, Disney themes, and music from the Honeymooners. Here’s a video where he talks about the project.

Sunday, February 21

St. Olaf Jazz Ensemble @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 3pm – 6pm (No Cover) The student jazz ensemble directed by Dave Hagedorn is heading to Cuba at the end of March and they’re holding a fundraiser. There will be raffle tickets available for $10, though admittedly, I don’t know what’s being raffled. Nevertheless, the ensemble has a strong reputation, and given their director (Hagedorn), it’s no wonder. I understand that Mojitos are the drink of the day, though Crooners will have their usual drink and food menu available.

Dan Chouinard & Gwen Matthews @ The Dunsmore Room, Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($20 Minimum) It’s the revival of Chouinard’s Birthday Club, where strophe and a guest – this time it’s Gwen Matthews – perform songs from composers and singers with birthdays in the current month.

Monday, February 22

Ches Smith Trio @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($15) Here’s a gig that has many modern jazz fans excited. Ches Smith is a musical explorer who plays drums (including tympani), percussion, and vibraphone. Though Smith is an in-demand player, (he’s appeared on at least 50 recordings since 2001), he is not well known among the jazz public. For this trio he’s joined by violist Mat Maneri and pianist Craig Taborn, who grew up in the Twin Cities. All three record for ECM records, and are touring behind the recently released Bell. It’s filled with free improvisation, empty spaces, and complex phrases that run from meditative to exhilarating.

Tuesday, February 23

Mary Louise Knutson and Hot Jazz w/Connie Evingson @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover), 8pm ($8) Here’s an evening that ranges from sublime to joyful, starting 6pm with pianist Mary Louise Knutson. Then at 8pm, the versatile vocalist Connie Evingson steps on stage, performing gypsy jazz and other “hot” music, backed by Patrick Harrison, accordion; Dean Harrington and Mike Cramer, guitars; and Josh Granowski, bass.

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, February 17

Captain Gravitone @ KFAI and the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Banjoist/composer Eli Hoehn leads this quintet through Americana, jazz, Gypsy jazz, tangos and more. Names after a fictional super-hero named Captain Gravitone the band incorporates some humor into their songs (something we need to here more in music) as well as thoughtfulness and intrigue. Consider the titles of some of their songs: “Warm, Dark, Narcotic American Night,” “Daydreaming Out of the 9 to 5 Corporate Office Window,” and “Hula-hoop Girl on Bourbon Street.” Tune in while they’re on the radio and then head over to the 331 to hear more.

Pat Donahue @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley, 7pm (No Cover) In a town where at least three guitarists have earned the title of Fingerstyle National Champion, Pat Donahue  who is one of those guitarists, stands out, in part because he also sings, and in part because he was a regular on Prairie Home Companion for many years, honing his skill and playing a wide variety of music.

Triplets of Belleville Cine-Concert @ Northrup Auditorium, UofM, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($25 – $35) The Grammy-nominated animated madcap comedy about the abduction of a French road-racing bicyclist and his grandmother’s quest to find him will be accompanied by the eight-piece Le Terrible Ortchestre de Belleville directed by Benoit Charest conducting his original score for the film.  Imagine the following with live music.

Thursday, February 18

Ostroushko, Magraw, & Rae: The World Live! at the Hill @ The James J Hill Center, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Advance, $15 Door) This monthly series of world music brings together three excellent musicians. Peter Ostroushko is a mandolinist/fiddle/guitarist who played on Blood on the Tracks, and has appeared on Praire Home Companion, Austin City Limits, David Letterman, and Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Dean Magraw is a versatile guitarist who can turn out Celtic and world licks, improvise with the best jazz musicians, and fuzz up his guitar in homage to Jimi Hendrix. Jillian Rae is the youngest of the three, a multi-talented violinist, vocalist, and songwriter, whose songs are full of hooks, and who can play Led Zeppelin as well as a traditional fiddle tune. Check out this video by Rae.

Friday, February 19

Noura Mint Seymali @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) I have to say I’m not very familiar with Mauritanian singer Noura Mint Seymali, but her YouTube videos show her singing timeless songs from the Sahara. She achieves a contemporary sound with the addition of  very cosmopolitan mix of funk bass, drums, and psych guitar played by (husband and fellow griot) Jeich Ould Chighaly. You may not understand the words, but her emotion and the songs beats just may get you dancing.

We Can Be Heroes – The David Bowie Tribute @ The Parkway Theater, 4814 Chicago Ave So, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) With the passing of Bowie a couple of weeks ago, the tributes are coming. This one is particularly impressive with an All-Star lineup that includes former members of Priince, Soul Asylu, The Suburbs, The REmbrandst, and Greazy Meal. Vocalist Julius Collins leads the proceedings, joined by Michael Bland, Winsotn Roye, Brian Gallagher, Cory Eischen, Phil Solem, Jeremy Ylvisaker, and special guest Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum. DJ Phat will spin from 8pm to 9pm, when the tribute begins. Dress up encouraged.  though he’s not singing a Bowie song, this clip is an example of Collin’s singing ability.

Saturday, February 20

Kate Fierro: The Songs of Sade @ The Parkway Theater, 4814 Chicago Ave So, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15 Advance, $20 Door) Fierro will enjoy the backing of a great band as she explores 22 songs from Sade’s catalogue, from Diamond Life (1984) to Lover’s Rock (2000). Fierro’s backing band includes back-up singers and band leaders, Katie Gearty and Julius Collins, and is driven by David Young and Joshua Stigen on guitars, Serge Aku on bass, Aaron Tafoya on percussion, Charlie Peterson on keys and production, Mike Holvig on drums and the incredible, long time Twin Cities favorite, Ronny Loew, who will add sparkling saxophone to complete the sound.

Patsy O’Brien @ The Riverview Cafe, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15) Born and raised in Ireland, O’Brien now calls Saint Paul home. While he certainly draws upon his Irish heritage in performing, he has studied jazz, and has toured in country and rock bands. He’s been called “Ireland’s Best Kept Secret,” and an “Irish Robbie Robertson.”

Sunday, February 21

Bob DeFlores Presents The Soundies @ Chanhassen Theatres, 501 West 78th Street, Chanhassen. 3pm ($12, or $27 including 4:30pm dinner) Make your way to the Southwest suburb to take in this unique show. “Soundies” were essentially the music videos of the 1940s, 3 minute films of singers, dancers, and bands created for screening in film jukeboxes. Some were also shown during the early days of television. Bob DeFlores, nationally known archivist of films, will be showing some of the great entertainers, singers and orchestras of the era: Cab Calloway, Fats Waller, Doris Day, Jimmy Dorsey, The Mills Brothers, Liberace, Eddie Peabody, Ozzie Nelson, Gene Krupa with Anita O’Day and Roy Eldridge, and many more. Also enjoy “Sing Along with the Bouncing Ball!” Dinner will be served after the showing. Here’s an example.

Monday, February 22

New Riverside Ramblers @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($8) It’s Cajun/Zydeco night at the Eagles, with the New Riverside Ramblers  Having played together for 25 years, these musicians are adept at providing the impetus for folks to shake it, twirl it, and glide around the dance floor.

Tuesday, February 23

Warren Haynes and the Ashes & Dust Band @ The Fitzgerald Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($34 – $40) Guitarist Haynes has been part of three groups known for their live performances: the Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule, and The Dead. On his latest album, Ashes & Dust, Haynes shows off his Americana chops both as a singer and songwriter, reflecting the music he heard growing up in Asheville, NC, with an undercurrent of working class rock n’ roll. Not to worry, however, he’s still using his electric guitar while making good use of the acoustic prowess of his backing band.

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.


Music for Lovers and More: 2.10 – 2.16

February 10, 2016
Making a mixtape - once very romantic in some circles

Making a mixtape – once very romantic in some circles

If you want to treat your Valentine to more than a mixtape, there are a plethora of Valentine’s Day events this week, including one or two that recognize anti-Valentine sentiments. Some of them feature dinners, which certainly ups the cost, but then, Valentine’s Day is special – just ask greeting card and candy companies. Additionally, there are certainly plenty of other opportunities to hear some great music around town. I’ve just scratched the surface with these ideas. Music lifts the spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, February 10

Mary Louise Knutson/New Shoes @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm ($5 after 8pm) Sublime solo piano from Ms Knutson during the dinner hours, followed at 8pm by the former Guys All Star Shoe Band from Prairie Home Companion. They’ll be stretching out from their radio gig, as Richard Kriehn, fiddle and mandolin; Gary Raynor, bass; Joe Savage, pedal steel guitar; and Peter Johnson on drums present originals, Americana, and perhaps a few jazz tunes.

Chris Bates @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Bassist Bates is playing a series of monthly dates at Jazz Central with Joe Strachan, piano; and Matt Buckner, drums; in anticipation of recording their originals live and releasing them digitally within the next few months.

Thursday, February 11

Mack Avenue Super Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $50), 9pm ($35 – $45) Mack Avenue Records has been featuring a band of its recording artists at the Detroit Jazz Festival for the last few years. Now we get to hear them in our own town. Listen to this lineup. First off, you have the Christian McBride Trio with Christian Sands, piano; and Carl Allen, drums. Add in Gary Burton, vibes; Sean Jones, trumpet; and Tia Fuller, sax;  and you do indeed, have a Super Band.

Melody Mendis @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Mendis performs jazz, r&b, pop, blues, and international songs. She’ll be accompanied by Tom Lewis, bass; Jon de Vaal drums; and Tim Graham, piano.

Dean Magraw & Steven Hobert @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($12) Here’s a chance for folks in the western suburbs to hear the incredible artistry of guitarist Magraw and pianist Hobert. Between Hobert’s flights of fancy, and Magraws sonic improvisations, this should be a winning performance.

Lila Ammons @ The Bad Waitress, 2 East 26th Street, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm (No Cover) Andy Cohen, owner of the Bad Waitress, is also a guitarist, and he’s brought Ammons in once before. He’ll be accompanying the vocalist, along with Peter Schimke,keys; and Jim Chenowith, bass.

Friday, February 12

Friday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) The old Nicollet Cafe has been relaunched as the Reverie, but it still features jazz on Friday nights. Tonight it’s No Room for Squares, with James “Jimmyapolis” Wallace, sax; Bill Stieger, drums; Jon Pemberton, trumpet; Mikkel Romstad, piano; and Adam Tucker, bass.

Maud Hixson Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No cover) Sit in the lounge and enjoy the oh so cool, yet evocative vocals of Ms Hixson.

Peter Schimke Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($10) Pianist Schimke has toured, performed, and/or recorded with artists such as Billy Preston, Art Farmer, Tom Harrell, Mark Murphy, Frank Morgan, and many, many, more. Here he is in a quartet setting.

Saturday, February 13

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Jazz Word Jazz is a different kind of show for this series, featuring musical improvisation and poetry, a combination that’s been around almost as long as jazz itself. The band consists of Chris Bates, bass; Nathan Hanson, sax; Greg Schutte, drums; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; and Will Jensen. The poets are Jim Larson, Amy Nash and Richard Broderick. Starts at 7:00 with an instrumental set, and then the headliner sets will add the poets.

Saturday, Sunday, February 13, 14

The Crosby Clooney Story @ The Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm Saturday,  3pm Sunday ($20) Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney were best of friends. They starred in White Christmas in 1954, did three duo albums together, and performed in concert together. She was a frequent guest on his TV shows, and they hosted the Crosby Clooney show in 1960 and ’61. Crooner Arne Fogel is a well respected authority on Crosby, and often performs with Maud Hixson. They’ve done this show before to appreciative audiences, and you have two chances to catch it.

Sunday, February 14

Debbie Duncan @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 5:30pm (Dinner Show), 7:30pm – 9:30pm (No Cover) The folks at Crooners have put together a special show for Valentine’s Day. At 5:30, Debbie Duncan will appear in the Dunsmore Room. You’ll have to order dinner to hear her there. However, at 7:30pm she’ll move to the lounge, where there is no cover, and dancing will occur.

Jana Nyberg Group @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 5:30pm (3 Course Dinner Show: $50 – $55) Whether Nyberg is singing a pop ditty about buying romaine for her partner, or caressing a ballad like The Nearness of You, she imparts a youthful, and lively enthusiasm for romance, which makes her a perfect performer for couples wanting a special evening for Valentine’s Day.

Monday. February 15

Lucia Sarmiento @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Sarmiento is a saxophonist from Peru who has been studying at McNally Smith for the past couple of years and has been appearing around town in various groups. tonight, she’ll lead her own band. Here’s a promo video of her and her band.

The Jazz Implosion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis.9:30pm ($8) First set: Witch Hunt: a Tribute to Wayne Shorter, with Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Chris Bates, bass; Ted Godbout, piano; Adam Harder Nussbaum, drums; Michael Shulte, sax. Second set: Deveraux/Bates Duo: Nelson Devereaux, sax; JT Bates, drums.

Tuesday, February 16

Bill Carrothers @ The Dunsmore Room at Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($20 Minimum) Call it coincidence if you will, but Carrothers  a wonderful, almost luminous pianist, is now playing this room for the third time since it opened a couple of months ago. The clarity of the room’s 9 foot Bosendorfer piano, and the attentive quiet of the listening room audience, are no doubt part of the room’s appeal.

For more listings, 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, February 10

Jon Rodine with Paul Bergen and Friends @ KFAI and the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Rodine is an under-appreciated singer of Blues, Americana, and R&B whose last album of originals, Last Star, has been getting some notice around the country. He’ll be joined by guitarist/vocalist Paul Bergen and his band. Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton will be join them along with Becky Kapell, and Max Ray on saxophone.

Thursday, February 11

Siama’s Afrobilly @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Once again, percussionist Mikkel Beckmen brings the singing guitar of Siama Matuzungidi to his Thursday afternoon acoustic gig. Matuzungidi’s guitar is featured on a number of soukous hits out of Africa. He’s played on four continents for a wide variety of audiences, all of whom have swayed to the sound of his evocative guitar. Dallas Johnson will join in on percussion and occasional vocals.

Friday, February 12

What’s Love Got To Do With it @ the University Club, 420 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Free, Donations accepted) A Valentine revue, led by Richard Broderick, with a cast of actors, poets, singers, storytellers, and belly dancers, with guest appearances by such famous romantics as Lord Byron and Cleopatra.

Saturday, February 13

Maurice Jacox Valentine’s Event @ The Normandy Kitchen, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Reservations are always recommended for this intimate venue, which reminds me of a midtown Manhattan bar in the 60s. Tonight, the sterling vocalist will be accompanied by two excellent guitarists: Bobby E, who may add some backing vocals from time to time, and Deano Mikkelson.

14th Annual Carnaval Brasileiro @ International Market Square, Minneapolis. 9pm ($30 Advance, $40 Door) It’s a masquerade ball, complete with Brazilian music, drummers, professional samba dancers from Sao Paulo, and artisans. New this year is the addition of Badi Assad, who will also be appearing at the Dakota tomorrow night (see below). Here’s an example of what you might encounter.

The Badinovs @ Palmer’s Bar, Minneapolis.  10pm (No Cover) This Beatles-inspired group hasn’t played out in almost a year, and it’s taken a wedding reception (open to the public) for Larry & Rachel Becker to get them on stage. There will be two or three other bands during the evening, which starts at 7pm. Word is a very special guest will play before the Badinovs. Whether you know the Beckers or not, you can take part in the reception. No gifts are needed, and you sure won’t hear the Hoky Poky or the Cha Cha Slide.

Lady Heat - They know their way around turntables

Lady Heat – They know their way around turntables

Lady Heat’s “Love Me, Love Me Not” Dance Party @ Clubhouse Jaeger, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Three lady Deejays spinning vinyl. Though the evening will be rooted in soul and funk, they are conversant with other genres and are sure to mix up “love” and “anti-love” jams for your dancing pleasure.

Sunday, February 14

The Love Show: Deluxe Edition @ O’Shaughnessy at St. Catherine’s, Saint Paul. 3pm ($28) Kevin Kling, Dan Chouinard, Bradley Greenwald, Prudence Johnson, Simone Perrin, Claudia Schmidt, and Dane Stauffer in a show that recalls the Saturday Night Variety shows from the early days of television. Here’s a recording of Chouinard and Prudence Johnson.

Willie Walker and We “R” at There Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 4pm – 8pm (No cover) Walker has been nominated for three Blues Awards for his outstanding album, If Nothing Ever Changes. His sandpaper voice gives a bit of oomph to the more romantic songs that he sings, like You Send Me. Word is, that Maurice Jacox will be joining on baritone sax for a few numbers.

Badi Assad @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm (4 Course Dinner Show: $102); 9pm (Cocktail Show: $42)  Assad is a Brazilian singer/songwriter as well as a brilliant guitarist, and percussionist, who was most recently in town at the Cedar Cultural Center las Fall. She blends pop, jazz, and world influences with traditional Brazilian music to create exciting performances, as she showed at the Dakota a couple of years ago. Her latest album, Hatched, features her take on songs by Lorde, Skillrex, and Mumford and Sons, among other contemporary artists. Twin Cities guitarist Robert Everest opens.

Music By Lovers 6th Annual Valentine’s Show @ Shaw’s Bar & Grill, NE Minneapolis. 6pm ($30/couple) Billy Larson & Lisa Wenger came up with this  concept of couples performing romantic tunes for couples. Featuring, Billy Larson & Lisa Wenger; Deb Brown & Brian Z; Peter Hennig & Rachel Holder-Hennig; and Tamara & Phil Barnett. The cover includes a sweet tasting and a glass of wine.

If I but knew the words that would unlock your heart

If I but knew the words that would unlock your heart

Victorian Poetry Slam @ James J. Hill House, 240 Summit, Saint Paul. 6pm, 7:30pm ($12) Classic 19th Century poetry performed in the drawing room of the mansion overlooking downtown Saint Paul. Actors Craig Johnson, Laura Salveson, and Ann Daly will be dressed in 1890s evening wear. Audience members are invited to bring along a Victorian poem to read aloud. Light refreshments and tours of the house will follow the performance.

Monday, February 15

Hot Club of Cowtown @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm  ($30, $35) This trio plays Western Swing with original compositions that reflect both Django Rheinhardt and early jazz, as well as Bob Wills. They’ve toured with Bob Dylan and played the Grand Ol’ Opry, as well as having appeared on Praire Home Companion.

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

 


Mardis Gras and More: 2.3 – 2.10

February 3, 2016

UnknownWe’re back to real winter weather, and both the Super Bowl and Mardis Gras are upon us, but neither of those occurrences need distract you from hearing excellent live music this weekend. In fact, Mardis Gras serves as an inspiration for a number of events around town. So let the Bon Ton Roulet, and rmember live music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, February 3

The Reverse of Sam and Dave Duo @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) What an intriguing group name! One Wednesday each month, bassist Anthony Cox brings an interesting group to Jazz Central, and often involves the audience in discussions around the music. Tonight he’ll also be playing cello, and will be joined by bassist and saxophonist Mike Lewis, of Happy Apple, Andrew Bird, and numerous other jazz, pop, and roots groups. I have no idea what the reverse of the 60s soul duo just might be, and like you, I’ll have to attend to find out, but I”m sure it will be interesting.

JoAnn Funk Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) JoAnn travels across town from her usual haunt at the Saint Paul Hotel, and adds drummer Nathan Norman to the mix for an evening of jazz standards and a few surprises, from the pens of Leonard Cohen, Dan Penn, and other composers not usually associated with jazz.

Thursday, February 4

Joey Babay & Steven Hobert @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Babay is a vocalist who jumps and swings. Hobert is a pianist who can sensitively accompany all sorts of vocalists. This will be fun.

Hanson, Buckley, & Marich @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Every Thursday, the kind folks at the Kyber Pass serve up beer wine, and a few small plates to accompany some extraordinary improvisational jazz. Tonight they have three musicians who are very comfortable pushing boundaries: Nathan Hanson, sax; James Buckley, bass; and George Marich, drums.

Friday, February 5

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Source Code @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis 8pm ($10) Here’s some jazz that will stand up to any touring act that comes through town. Gravatt is the explosive drummer who has toured and recorded with Weather Report back in the day, and has regularly toured with McCoy Tyner. The members of  Source Code vary from time to time, but are always up to the challenge of Gravatt’s musical expressions. Here’s one version of the group.

Steve Hobert/Yohannes Tona Quartet @ Reverie (formerly Nicollet Cafe), Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Hobert, keys; Tona, bass; Kip Jones, violin; Arthur LA Buckner, drums.

Bill Evans New Orleans Jazz Band @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Here’s a chance to warm up for Mardis Gras, as this group of veteran players explore the traditional side of New Orleans music. You can expect plenty of clarinet, trombone, and trumpet playing. Don’t be surprised if a little second line parade winds it way through the club.

Saturday, February 6

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) It seems to be trombone night at the Black Dog, as both groups feature the slide trombone as the leader’s choice of instrument.  Nick Syman Quartet @ 7pm: Syman, trombone;  Ted Godbout, piano; Ted Olson, bass; Pete James Johnson, drums. Followed at 8:30pm by the Dean Sorenson Sextet: Sorenson, trombone; David Milne, saxes; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; Chris Lomheim, piano; Tom Leis Bass; Phil Hey, drums.  Though there are no videos of Sorenson’s group live, you can still listen to something from their recently released album, the Colors of Soul.

Monday. February 8

Irv Williams @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) The 90-something continues to have a wonderful tone on saxophone. Early on, he played behind folks like Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Eckstine, and Mary Lou Williams. After serving in the Navy band, he settled in the Twin Cities and turned down offers from Count Basie and Duke Ellington. You can catch him in duo settings during Friday happy hour at the Dakota, but this is a special chance to hear him with Billy Peterson, bass; Steve Blons, guitar; and Dave Graf on trombone. It will be sublime, as you can tell from this video, taken a year ago or so.

Monday, Tuesday, February 8, 9

Joe Lovano & John Scofield Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45), 9pm ($30) Here’s a duo that will bring out all sorts of music lovers. Guitarist John Scofield has played with Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker, Charles Mingus, Billy Hancock, and Miles Davis, and more recently has gained fans among the jam band crowd by playing with Mediski, Martin & Wood, Bill Frisell, and Phil Lesh, of the Grateful Dead. He’s an amazing improviser with a distinctive sound. Grammy winning saxophonist Joe Lovano has played with SF Jazz, The Mel Lewis Orchestra, and Paul Motian, in addition to leading a number of groups, including Us5, the two drummer band. Check them out.

Dirty Dozen Brass Band @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($30 – $35) What better way to celebrate Fat Tuesday than with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. They revolutionized the Brass Band concept some 35 years ago when they added bebop, pop, and even the Flinstones Theme to their repertoire. They’ve recorded with David Bowie, Dr. John, Elvis Costello, The Black Crowes, and more. Tickets are going fast, so be warned, and if you get in, you can party hearty.

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, February 3

Jeff Ray & The Stakes on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Jeff Ray is a talented songwriter who isn’t afraid to rework classic rock n’ roll tunes to fit his playing on resonator and acoustic guitars. He’s joined by harp master “Hurricane Harold” Tremblay, along with percussionist Mikkel Beckman on Djembe, Scruboard and foot stomps, and Nick Salisbury, of Sonny Knight & the Lakers, and Ashliegh Still, on bass. Here’s a track from their Valhalla, their recent album.

Thursday, February 4

Rockin Pinecones @ The Eagles Club, MInneapolis. 7:30pm ($5) Get an early start on Mardis Gras celebrations and Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton and friends serve up some Cajun, Zydeco, and Swamp Pop tunes for your dancing pleasure.

Gilded Palace Sinners @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($8) Throughout a career in the International Submarine Band, The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers, duets with Emmylou Harris, and solo excursions, Gram Parsons kickstarted country rock and created an extraordinary body of work. This 8-piece group was formed in 2015 to perform his music. Member come from the Urban Hillbilly Quartet, the Platte Valley Boys, The Middle Spunk Creek Boys, and more.

Friday, February 5

Butanes @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Though the dance floor at Crooners isn’t particularly large, it’s bigger than the one at Shaw’s, where the award-winning Butanes have a weekly gig. Additionally, music starts early, so those of us of a certain age can kick up our heels to the Buantes’ Blues and still get home in time to get sufficient rest.

Willie Murphy Trio @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Sometimes you just want some basic blues and rock n’ roll. Pianist/guitarist Murphy delivers, and though his originals are actually far from basic, they deliver a punch that isn’t subtle, even if the harmonies are.  Here he is with a full band.

OboeBassFluteGuitar @ Lowertown Lofts, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This concert is” for fans of classical music in obscure spaces.”  A collaboration of the four performers of OboeBass! and Duo Ancora as OboeBassFluteGuitar! For this concert they will perform several pieces as a quartet, and mix and match their instrumental combinations in a variety of genres from baroque to tango to jazz. Carrie Vecchione, oboe, and Rolf Erdahl, double bass created and perform in OboeBass!, the world’s only professional oboe/bass duo. Catherine Ramirez is flute professor at St. Olaf College and internationally known soloist and teacher of flute. A native of East Berlin, guitarist and Lowertown Classics founder Eva Benekeperforms, records, and teaches around the world in addition to serving on the guitar faculty at McNally Smith College of Music in St. Paul.

Friday, Saturday, February 5, 6

Martha Reeves & The Vandellas @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $50) Motown Soul from the singer of Heat Wave, Nowhere to Run, Come and Get These Memories, and Dancing in the Street. Martha & The Vandellas were inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame back in 1995, and have two songs in the Grammy Hall of Fame. Nowadays the Vandellas are Martha’s sisters. Together, they’ll take you back to the pinnacle of 60s Motown, whether you were around then or not.

Saturday, February 6

Wine, Women & Song @ The Parkway Theater, 4814 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Three outstanding musicians gather for an evening of pop, country, and rock. Rocker Tina Schlieske will explore songs she recorded with the B-sides from her latest work, Barricade. That band formed out of the edgy new wave rock scene that was Minneapolis in the late ’80’s. Katy Vernon will perform her pop/rock/country songs from her newest, critically acclaimed album, Present, named Album of the Year by E’Toile Magazine, and a #6 album of the year by the Pioneer Press. Sarah Morris has released two albums, and has been praised for her intimate songwriting and Norah Jones-like approach to singing alt-country. Here’s a video from each of them.

Buddy Holly Tribute @ Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. 6pm ($5) This is a benefit for Doctors Without Borders, but also celebrates the “Day the Music Died,” when Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and The Big Bopper died in a plane crash near Clear Lake Iowa. Performers include: Nikki & the Ruemates, Larry Havluck, Roady Tate, Don & Leo, Steve West and the Northern Stars.

Jennifer Grimm @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Grimm’s Sunday night gig at The Station in White Bear Lake are legendary for their fun factor. Expect the same at Crooners, with the addition of talented family and friends.

Sunday, February 7

Phil Heywood @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10am – 2pm (No Cover) You can catch Heywood, his acoustic guitar, and his pleasant baritone while having brunch and still have plenty of time to prepare for the Super Bowl later today. He’ll be debuting his 12 string for added interest. Well worth the time for aspiring guitarists who want to see a champion of finger picking at work.

Tuesday, February 9

Mardis Gras Party with Patty & The Buttons @ Dayblock Brewing, 1105 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Patty’s button accordion playing is just the thing for Cajun tunes, though this group can swing out with some jump blues and jazz as well. It’s a masquerade party, with featured cocktails,  and Dayblock’s usual selection of food, not to forget their IPAs, Stouts, and Ales.

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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