Jazz, Roots, and More: 2.24 – 3.1

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.


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

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