Cinematic Music and More: 2.17 – 2.23

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.


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.

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