Lift Your Spirits: 4.27 – 5.3

April 27, 2016

 

One of the many purple lighted tributes to Prince last Thursday

One of the many purple lit-up tributes to Prince last Thursday

Well, it’s a sad week for music lovers, especially here in the Twin Cities, where there’s been wall-to-wall coverage and tributes to Prince. It’s not surprising, since almost everyone in town has a Prince story, or knows someone with a Prince story. I got to see him perform only a few times: at a “surprise” concert at First Avenue in the early 80s, his Civic Center Concert in 1990, and most recently, during his three-night run at the Dakota a couple of years ago. I only got to the first night, an all-instrumental show, which I nevertheless found exhilarating, and reviewed here. Like so many other Twin Citizens, I also had a couple of Prince sightings over the years, at First Avenue, and the Dakota, including last Tuesday night, when I saw him going to the Green Room to talk with Lizz Wright.

Jazz fans will be interested to know that Jimmy Scott recorded a Prince song, which you can listen to here, and that Miles Davis played onstage with him, which you can see here, and our own Adam Meckler Quintet performed Sometimes It Snows In April at their CD release party this past Saturday. There have also been performance tributes by Bruce Springsteen, The Dixie Chicks, and David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, and the casts of Hamilton and The Color Purple. I’m sure there will be many tribute events in the coming months, the first of which I’ve listed below for Sunday. In the meantime, we have a full week of great music to lift our spirits.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 27

O’Brien, Gadbout, Hennig @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Casey O’Brien  bass; Ted Gadbout, piano; and Peter Hennig, drums, are fine musicians and good representatives of the “middle” generation of jazz players in town. O’Brien is a well-regarded bassist about town, having released some well-reviewed jazz albums, in addition to playing with such local luminaries as PaviElle and  Sonny Knight & the Lakers.   It’s O’Brien’s gig, and as per usual, they will probably be presenting some of his originals, though Gadbout and Hennig have their own songs as well. You can listen to songs from Ghost Dance, his album from 2014 with Nathan Hanson and Davu Seru here.

Aurora Club Jazz Quartet @ Tattersall Distillery Cocktail Room, 1620 Central Ave NE, #150, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($??) I don’t know this group, though it may contain some familiar names. At any rate, since distilleries seem to be popping up around town here’s a chance to check one out. They distill several types of gin and liqueurs, as well as vodka, bourbon, aqavit, and white whiskey. Plus you can listen to  some music and make use of a food truck at the same time.

Arne Fogel @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) The foremost crooner of our area will sing at what should be his natural habitat. Fogel will be joined by the Wolverines Trio: Jendeen for berg, drums; Keith Thomas Boyles, bass; and Rick Carlson, piano. They’ll be in the big room, and will undoubtedly generate the energy that room deserves.

Thursday, April 28

Improv on the Plaza @ Ecolab Plaza, Saint Paul. Noon (Free) Drummer Pete Hennig and friends will perform. His friends include: Brandon Wozniak, sax; Cody McKinney, electric bass; and Brian Zeimnak, electric piano. Here’s Hennig playing with the Brian Gallagher Quartet.

Some sass from some brass

Some sass from some brass

BrassZilla @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) This quartet features three brass and a drum. I’m sure they’ll be able to get your attention and keep it despite the general noise level of this hopping’ restaurant.

 

Songs from the Silo @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Vocalist Sheridan Zuther grew up on a farm and spent hours singing in an empty one on her farm. Tonight she celebrates life on a family farm, singing songs from Dolly Parton, Cole Porter, Stevie Wonder, and more – songs that she sang as a child in the silo, and that inspired her to become a singer. She’ll be accompanied by pianist Steve Hobert, whose light, fanciful touch seems just right for such a project.

Friday, April 29

Guitar Night featuring Julian Lage Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $42)  While Grammy-nominated Lage and his modern jazz trio, which just released an excellent album, are the headliners, this evening also features Twin Cites guitar wizard Peter Lang, along with the Takoma guitar masters: Toulouse Engelhart and Rick Ruskin. Those of you of a certain age may remember Takoma Records as the recording home of Lang, as well as John Fahey and Leo Kottke. Engelhardt is known as the “Segovia of Surf” due to his stylings, lighting fast playing and colorful melodies, while Ruskin learned his craft from the Reverend Gary Davis.

Saturday, 30

Brian Lynch w/The Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra @ The A-Mill Artist Lofts, 315 SE Main Street, Minneapolis. 1pm – 6pm ($25, $35, $50) This is a benefit for Jazz Central, the little jazz venue that could. Things start off at 1pm with the Doug Haining/Dave Graf Quintet, with guest vocalists Debbie Duncan, Andrew Walesch, and Sara Greer. At 2:15 it’s the Javier Santiago Trio with Dan Carpel, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. At 3:30, the Vinson Valega Group performs and agh 4:30 it’s Grammy winning trumpeter/bandleader Brian Lynch  who has been part of august bands led by Horace Silver, Art Blakey, and Phil Woods, as well as becoming an in demand musician for work with Latin bands, such as those of Eddie Palmieri and the legendary Hector LaVoe. Today he’ll be showing off his Latin chops with the Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra.  Here’s Lynch with some students.

How Birds Work, with original bassist Billy Peterson

How Birds Work, with original bassist Billy Peterson

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Tonight features the Growlers at 7pm: Joel Shapira guitar; Dave Martin, bass; and Peter Hennig, drums. Headliner tonight is How Birds Work, a quartet that thrilled Artist Quarter customers for years: Peter Schimke, piano; Dean Granros, guitar; Ted Olson, bass; and the indefatigable Kenny Horst on drums.

Boom Room Jazz @ Boom Island Brewing Tap Room, 2014 N Washington Avenue, #300, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (Free) This is the second installment of Jazz at the Boom Room. Valve trombonist Brad Bellows brings another group of fine musicians to play while you check out Boom Island’s Belgian-inspired brews. Tonight Brad is joined by Larry Hillman, tenor sax; Steve Kimmel, marimba; Ron Evaniuk, bass; and Mike Croy, drums.

Sunday, May 1

Solomon’s Sessions @ The Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) This is the last of a grant-sponsored series led by trumpeter Solomon Parham, who just received his Masters in Performance from MacNally Smith. It’s essentially a jam session with a high bar for performance, which results in some terrific music. Here’s a brief idea of what happens.

Monday, May 2

Tom Kliphuis and Sam Miltich @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) For those who appreciate the acoustic swing of Gypsy Jazz, this will be a must-see gig. Classicly trained violinist Tim Kliphuis trained at the Amsterdam Conservatoire and is regarded as Stephane Grappelli’s heir. Though Sam Miltich was born and raised in the woods of northern Minnesota, he somehow gravitated towards Gypsy Jazz as well as Brazilian choros and French musettes, thrilling audiences with his solo performances as well as with his band the Clearwater Hot Club. Here’s a video of Kliphuis in performance.

Joel Shapira & The Growlers @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) If you didn’t catch them in the opening slot at the Black Dog on Saturday night, you can catch them tonight, and stick around for a jam session afterwards. Here’s Shapira in a solo piece.

Jazz Implosion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) This late night Monday night series always has the best in regional and visiting musicians who aren’t afraid to stretch boundaries. Tonight it’s The Regional Jazz Trio – Anthony Cox, bass; JT Bates, drums; and  Michael Lewis, sax.

Tuesday, May 3

Mississippi, featuring Andres Prado @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm If you haven’t seen Peruvian guitarist Prado yet, here’s your chance. He’s visiting for a few weeks after returning to Peru a few years ago. His work with Mississippi can range from acoustic Afro-Peruvian Landos to mostly jazz fusion. Other members of Mississippi are: Pete Whitman, saxes; Peter Schimke, piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums.

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, April 27

Jillian Rae Duo on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Rae is a talented violinist, vocalist, and songwriter who can throw down a Led Zeppelin song, follow it with a country hoedown, and then perform a hook-laden original. Tonight she’ll be appearing with her husband Eric. They’ll be followed at the 331 Club by an Americana/newgrass group with members of Pet Near Sandstone, the Sans Souci Quartet, The Farmhouse Band and Row of Ducks.

Judy Collins and Ari Hest @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($60 – $75) An evening of compelling folk music from a couple of veterans. Collins may have created a new genre, art-folk, when she recorded the songs of Leonard Cohen, Stephen Sonheim, and Joni Mitchell, as well as the title song from Marat/Sade back in the 60s. She may be best known for her hits with Both Sides Now, Someday Soon, Who Knows Where The Time Goes, and Amazing Grace in the late 60s. Previous appearances at the Dakota have revealed a talent for storytelling as well. Heist has recorded eight albums, three EPS, and in 2008 recorded and released a new song every Monday for a full year.

Thursday, April 28

Courtney Yasmineh Goes Solo @ Reverie Cafe + Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm. (Tip Jar) Rocker/songerwriter Courtney Yasmineh will soon take off on an East Coast tour, where she’s been acquiring fans, and she’s warming up with this show.  Actually,m Ms Yasmineh will be one of four artists featured at the old Nicollet Cafe. Alicia Kay (of the Changeups) will start at 9pm; Andriana Lehr is on at 9:45, followed by Ms Yasmineh at 10:30. I’m afraid I don’t know the closing artist. This video with her band will give you an example of Yasmineh’s songwriting.

Rockin’ Pinecones @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5) Cajun, Zydeco, and perhaps some swamp pop from accordionist Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton and his compadres. Dancing shoes are de rigueur.

Friday, April 29

Philip Nusbaum and Sherry Minnick @ Duluono’s Pizza, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm (Tip Jar?) Classic Country, banjo originals, and maybe a bit of classic bluegrass from Nusbaum  who hosts Bluegrass Saturday Morning on KBEM, and Ms Minnick  who has been in a number of old-time and bluegrass band, several musical plays at the History Theater, and has taught children’s choirs for 16 years. Here’s a long clip of the two of them.

Jimmy Thackery & The Drivers @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Oh my! This is definitely the gathering place for blues lovers tonight. Thackery  earned his craft performing with Muddy Waters, then went on to be a co-founder of The Nighthawks, with whom he performed for fifteen years. He left them in 1987 and has become the definition of a road warrior, playing nearly 300 shows a year. He loves the guitar stylings found in surf and spy music, but at his heart is a blues guy, through and through.

Saturday, April 30

One Night in Cuba @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Charanga Tropical is heading up this fiesta and dance party, since they are celebrating the release of the CD they recorded in Havana last year. The evening will feature an all-star lineup of musicians from Charanga Tropical, Malamanya, Salsa Del Soul, QBand, and Salsabrosa. Other guests will include Cuban pianist Viviana Pintado, Chicago Salsa singers Franklin Paz and Juan Castro, and more, including dance showcases. Whew! Bring your dancing shoes and take part in a salsa dance lesson.

Complicated Fun Opening Night @ The Minnesota History Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($25 – $45) If you remember the exploding music scene from First Avenue in the 80s, you’ll want to see this show, which runs through May 29. It’s a story of a couple of misfits who discover themselves thanks to the sounds coming from the club that Prince made famous. Though there are no songs from “His Royal Badness,” as writer Martin Keller dubbed him, there many songs from the punk/funk scene at the time, including music from The Suicide Commandos, The Replacements, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, the Suburbs, and more. If you can’t make it tonight, the show runs through May 29. Ticket information here. Watch the Suicide Commandos perform the title song.

High & Mighty @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) This party-hearty horn band will have the commodious dance floor at the MMC filled with revelers.

Get out the dancing shoes

Get out the dancing shoes

The Good, Bad, & the Funky @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. ($7) Meanwhile, this 10-piece horn band will be laying down R&B dance rhythms for Minneapolis funksters.

Sunday, May 1

Let the Festivities begin

Let the Festivities begin

Mayday Parade and Festival, South Minneapolis. Noon – dusk. The 42nd Annual Mayday Parade and Festival begins at noon, when the parade starts at 25th & Bloomington, going south and to Powderhorn Park The Tree of Life Ceremony takes place at the park at 3pm, while the Festival is open throughout the day. The Festival features music, dancing, poetry, food, canoe rides, and who knows what else. the entertainment runs from The Roe Family Singers to Savage Aural Hotbed, Firefly Forest, Prairie Fire Lady Choir, and the Maroons (Now called Positive Vibrations). Entertainment schedule can be found here.

NE Love Prince Dance Party @ East Side Neighborhood Services, 1700 2nd Street NE, Minneapolis. 3pm – 6pm (Free) This family-friendly party is sure to be one of many that will occur in the coming weeks. There will be a couple of food trucks, a purple art project, and music from Deejay That Dude Trey, spinning Prince, Prince-sampled hip-hop, and Prince influenced artists. Be aware that though this is a family-friendly event, the songs will not be edited. It may be outside, but that is dependent on details like tents, permits, and of course, the weather.

David Lindley @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) If you think you’ve heard eclectic musicians before, be prepared to be knocked out by Lindley  whose electro-acoustic performances incorporate American folk and blues, as well as bluegrass, African, Arabic, Asian, and Malagasy traditions. He’s a highly talented multi-instrumentalist with a wide array of stringed instruments, with a sly sense of humor.

Sunday, Monday, May 1,2

The Combo at work

The Combo at work

Mambo’s Combo @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) The band, also known as The Combo contains a number of artists who have been associated with Prince, including drummer Michael Bland, bassist Sonny Thompson, vocalist Margaret Cox, and guitarist Billy Franze. I’m not sure about the Prince association for other members, but he used to come by every once in a while and sit in the corner, often bringing new or potential band members to help them learn. JellyBean Johnson is a sure bet as a guest, and you can never tell when a visiting musician will sit in. Last Sunday they opened the third set with a rousing Prince medley that went on for 15 or 20 minutes. Since this band has been performing weekly for almost three decades, they are incredibly tight, and will have you dancing in no time.

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


It’s All Good Music: 4.20 – 4.26

April 20, 2016

Unknown-1It’s another good week to be an ominiverous music fan. We have a few highly anticipated jazz artists in town, as well as some great blues and a battle of the blues bands, and some fine resident artists at work. Music lifts the spirit. Have a great week.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 20

Nathan Hanson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Saxophonist Hanson leads Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, Cornet; Erik Fratzke, electric bass; and Davu Seru, drums and percussion; through a program of Nathan’s originals, as well as tunes from Carla Bley, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, and some spontaneously composed works.

Bernstein, Goldings, & Stewart Organ Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($22 – $30) This isn’t your father’s classic organ trio, though it’s a hard-charging group that’s taking the format in new directions. Guitarist Peter Bernstein has been a NYC institution since 1989, playing with legendary drummer Jimmy Cobb, Joshua Redman’s band, Diana Krall, Tomn Harrell, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Sonny Rollins, and more. Larry Goldings is the organ player in the group, though he’s equally at home with other keyboards, enough so that’ he’s been nominated for a Grammy and has playd with folks like Norah Jones, Madeleine Peyroux, Charlie Haden, Herbie Hancock, and Elton John. He’s got 18 albums as a leader, and hundreds more as a sideman. Drummer Bill Steward is another versatile veteran, having performed with Maceo Parker, John Scofield, Joe Lovano, james Brown, and Pat Metheny.

Thursday, April 21

Andrew Walesch Big Band: The Sounds of Sinatra @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) If you want to see this group I recommend getting there early, as pianist/vocalist Walesch has certainly hit on a popular concept. Though it’s not exactly a big band, the group does have ten members, giving it significant heft to support Walesch’s vocals.

Thursday, Friday, Sunday, April 21, 22, 24

Davina & The Vagabonds CD Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($15) The hardest working musician in the Twin Cities is releasing a live album entitled Nicollet & 10th. She and the band (trumpet, trombone, upright bass and drums) will soon be heading to the San Francisco Jazz Festival, then out East for a plethora of appearances, including a couple of blues festivals, before returning to the Monterrey Jazz Festival once again, where they’ll perform on two different stages. Later this summer they head to Europe. If you’ve never seen her and wonder what it’s all about, the best I can say is that Davina has a powerful voice, and a kick-*ss band, which does not include a guitar. Her music straddles lines between New Orleans R&B, traditional jazz, blues, and the occasional standard. The high-energy combination works, as she gains new and rabid fans wherever she plays.

Friday, April 22

Father & Son Pancake Breakfast @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Not what you think, but rather a trio featuring the father/son team of Javi Santiago on piano and Mac Santiago on drums, joined by Anthony Cox on bass. No word on whether Vanessa will be selling pancakes.

Saturday, April 23

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm: Steve Kimmel Trio w/Steve Kimmel, piano; Margo Beivik, bass; and Trevor Haining, drums. 8pm Javi Santiago Trio: Miguel Hurtado, drums; Dan Carpel, bass;  and Santiago on piano. Here’s Javi in a solo piece.

Adam Meckler Quintet CD Release @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) opening is Jack Lion, electronic modern Jazz from Iowa. Then its’ tha AMQ: Meckler, trumpet; Graydon Peterson, bass; Zacc Harris, guitar; Greg Shulte, drums, Joe Mayo, sax. Here they are at the Black Dog.

Andy Martin & Bob McChesney w/the JazzMN Orchestra @ Hopkins High School, 2400 Lindberg Dr, Hopkins. 7:30pm ($$10 – $33) The show is called Slide by Slide, since both Martin and McChesney are veteran trombonists – both have appeared on hundreds of soundtracks and TV scores. They’ve also been featured performers with the likes of Natalie Cole, Michael Buble, and Gordon Goodwin. Here they are with the Carl Saunders band.

Superstitious Thriller: A Tribute to Stevie Wonder & Michael Jackson @ The Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Jay Young and his Lyric Factory have been presenting some of the music of Wonder and Jackson as part of larger shows over the last few years. Now he just concentrates on the two Motown Stars, bringing jazz arrangements to their songs. Though groups are always a bit flexible, past versions of the Lyric Factory have included Jay on piccolo bass; his son Ian on regular bass; Kevin Washington, on drums, and Thom West on keys. Various and sundry singers take over the vocal duties.

Sunday, April 24

The Elders @ Minnesota Historical Society, Saint Paul. 2pm ($20 Adults, $16 MNHS members, $10 5-7 yrs old) Patty Peterson host this event, which includes live music and conversation with jazz elders from the area. Guests include gospel singer Tom Tipton, and saxophonist/composer/arranger Dave Karr.

 

Superstitious Thriller: A Tribute to Stevie Wonder & Michael Jackson @ The Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 3pm ($25) Jay Young and his Lyric Factory have been presenting some of the music of Wonder and Jackson as part of larger shows over the last few years. Now he just concentrates on the two Motown Stars, bringing jazz arrangements to their songs. Though groups are always a bit flexible, past versions of the Lyric Factory have included Jay on piccolo bass; his son Ian on regular bass; Kevin Washington, on drums, and Thom West on keys. Various and sundry singers take over the vocal duties.

Lucia Newell & Phil Aaron @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm – 9pm ($8, $35 Dinner) Ms Newell is a chanteuse whose knowledge of Brazilian songs comes from having lived there some years (decades?) back. She and Phil Aaron on piano will be performing some new material along with the Brazilian and American jazz standards that she favors. There will likely be some songs of spring as well for this intimate show.

Monday, April 25

Nancy Harms @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $40 Dinner), 9pm ($15) NYC-based, Minnesota-native Nancy Harms reruns to the Twin Cities for the local release of her highly anticipated album “Ellington at Night”. Judging from the videos released in anticipation of the album, Harms continues to find new emotion and strength in well known standards, this time from the Ellington songbook. Nancy will be appear with pianist Jeremy Siskind, a frequent collaborator with a light touch; as well as bassist Gordy Johnson and drummer Jay Epstein. Noted jazz writer Will Friedwald says of her  “…What makes ‘Ellington at Night’ so remarkable is the way that Nancy Harms and chief collaborator Jeremy Siskind have found a whole new way to sing Ellington, one that’s perfectly in keeping with the Ellington tradition, yet, at the same time, fresh and original.”

JAWS @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) I doubt you’ll hear the scary music from the movie, but one never can tell. This is a young outfit, co-led by pianist Jordan Anderson and guitarist Will Schmid, with Drew Stinson on bass, and Ben Beyene on drums. Anderson is now in his second year on the Dakota Combo, and was recently accepted into the jazz program at the University of Michigan, where he’ll study with Beeny Green. Schmid plays with the Minnesota Youth Jazz Band, and leads his own groups, in addition to playing in a guitar duo with Adam Astrup – the two got a warm reception at the Winter Jazz Fest.

Jazz Implosion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) The first set is guitarist Jeremy Ylvisaker & drummer JT Bates performing  “A Musical Tribute to US Bank Stadium,” which sounds like it could be anything. The second set feature – Mancrush – Lars-Erik Larson, Brandon Wozniak, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Bryan Nichols, keyboards. Here are Jeremy and JT playing in Alpha Consumer.

Tuesday, April 26

John Raymond Quartet @ Crooners Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40 Dinner) Young trumpet ace John Raymond is back in town and appearing with Bryan Nichols, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and JT Bates, drums at the Dunsmore Room Crooner’s listening room, where people keep quiet in order to fully appreciate the music being presented. The quartet will be doing Raymond’s original music from his two albums.

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, April 20

Joe T. Cook on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI – 90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Though he moved to the Pacific Northwest 10 years ago, Joe is fondly remembered around here, as well he should be. A winner of multiple blues awards and accolades from our own Blues Society, this harmonica player/vocalist/composer is in town for only two shows. He’ll be joined by Joe Franken on guitar and what is promised as a “killer rhythm section.” Tune in and get to the 331 Club for the show.

Malamanya @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) The Icehouse will become a veritable whirlpool of salsa dancers who enjoy the Cuban sons and other latin dance music of Malamanya.

Thursday, April 21

Papa John Kolstad and the Perfect Phits @ Vine Arts Center, 2637 27th Ave So, Minneapolis 6pm – 9pm (Free) Well, here’s Papa John in a place you don’t normally associate with the blues or acoustic swing – an art gallery. But then, John’s wife Susan Horns Kolstad is one of the artists whose work is on display, along with the work of C. Kim Pickering and Cecilia Schiller. Don’t know anything about the Perfect Philts, but since tonight’s event is sponsored by KBEM as part of its Gallery Grooves series, I trust they’ll play some great music.

Orkestar Bez Ime @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 9:30pm (tip Jar) The raucous sounds of this Balkan party band will reverberate through the Northern Warehouse as dancers set aside tables and grab partners. If you’re lucky, some choral singers will show up to add another dimension to the music.

Thursday, Friday, April 21, 22

Music in Movies @ MStP International Film Festival, Saint Anthony Main Theater, Minneapolis. Various prices, and times. During this week there are a few music films being shown during the Festival. On Thursday, cellist Yo Yo Ma is the subject of a film at 7:15, while Twin Cities rapper Eyedea is featured at a 9:20 screening, both at Saint Anthony Main Theater. On Friday, the film about Gypsy will be shown at 9:20 at the same theater.

Friday, April 22

XTC: An All Star Tribute @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($20) This tribute to the British Pop giants XTC will feature a cast of dozens of regional stars, including Leslie Ball, Chris Beaty, Paul Boblett, Al Church, Adam Levy, John Munson, and many more. It’s a benefit for the Pay It Forward Cancer Fund at the Ridgeview Medical Center, which helps breast and women’s cancer patients pay basic living expenses while undergoing treatment.

Hipshaker Dance Party @ The Kitty Cat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Brian, Greg, and George get out the little records with the big holes and spin them in a dance-inducing way.

Saturday, April 23

Willie Walker & We “R” @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) As the summer sneaks up on us Willie Walker is preparing to travel to Brazil, Argentina, and northern Europe. His recent album, “If Nothing Ever Changes” is a solid slab of soul singing for the 21st Century. In fact, Walker has received three nominations from the Blues Foundation: Album of the Year, Soul Blues Album, and Soul Blues Artist. Well deserved, and we are lucky enough to be able to see him up close in the large room at Crooners. Here’s Walker in Brazil.

Graham Parker/Brinsley Schwarz Duo @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($40 – $45) Parker came to the fore as a punkish soul singer with sharp writing skills from Britain during the late 70s and early 80s, when he led Rumour. Schwarz was in the Rumour and also led his own aggregation. Schwarz has often played with Parker on post-Rumour records, and recently the two have been selling out theaters around Europe playing some of Parker’s more recent music as well as some well-known “hits.”

Sunday, April 24

Road to Memphis Band Competition @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 3pm ($10) So the solo/duo competition was a couple of weeks ago, and now it’s time to choose a band to represent Minnesota at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis next January. Today’s challengers include The Mark Cameron Band, The Lisa Wenger Band, The Gopher Tones, and Harrison Street. It’s a great way to get a sampling of some of the best blues around.

Tuesday, April 16

Paul Mayasich @ The Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Mayasich has a weekly gig at the Station, bringing in guests each week for a different take on guitar based rock, blues, and who knows what else. Tonight you can experience Mayasich Mayhem (according to his website) as Paul brings in Mark and Greg Mayasich to help him and listeners have fun.

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.


A Good Week for Music: 4.13 – 4.19

April 13, 2016

largeIt’s a good week for music. There is much vital jazz going on the Twin Cities, of which I’ve only listed a few things. Then there’s the blues and roots scene, which seems to birth a new band every week. We have some visiting artists, as well as a plentiful supply of resident artists to spark our imagination and lift our spirits. Have a great week.

 

Jazz

Wednesday, April 13

Mary Louise Knutson @ Vieux Carré,, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) Knutson is an inventive pianist with a lyrical touch who plays the dinner hour at the basement club pretty regularly. She also plays with Doc Severinson, various orchestras, accompanying vocalists such as Connie Evingson, and with her own trio. Have some gumbo, ribs, or a muffaletta and wonder at how lucky you are to hear such talent.

Chris Bates and Al Vorse @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Two well-regarded bassists about town play mostly acoustic solo material, some of which will be augmented with special effects. Bates promises it will be fantastic! Here he is doing a solo piece.

Thursday, April 14

Keiko Matsui @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($32 – $42), 9pm ($22 – $32) Keyboardist Matsui has been thrilling fans of smooth jazz, jazz fusion, jazz pop, and new age music over the course of four decades, melding genres, as well as Western and Eastern musical influences over the course of twenty albums. She was an invited performer at the second International jazz Day concert, held in Istanbul in 2013, and has worked alongside such luminaries as Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, and Hugh Masakela, and is a starch supporter of a number of humanitarian programs.

Sarah M. Greer @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Thursdays are vocal nights at Jazz Central, and tonight’s presentation is entitled The Sound of Her Own Voice. Ms Greer, who teaches as well as performs, will be accompanied by Anthony Cox, bass; and Dean Magraw, guitar. She’s celebrating the joy of singing, as well as a birthday. Here she is leading a spontaneous sing.

Friday, April 15

A Weaving of Traditions @ Hamiline University’s Sundlin Hall, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15 Advance, $20 Door) This is a tribute to jazz musicians with Native American roots.The concert will include music of  Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk and other jazz musicians with Native roots arranged for Native American style flute by Bob Fantauzzo  He’ll be joined by Lyz Jaakola, on traditional Anishinaabe vocals and percussion; Anthony Cox, bass; Javi Santiago, piano; and Mac Santiago, drums and percussion. Mr Smooth, saxophonist Irv Williams will make a special guest appearance. Here’s Bob with a cellist.

Jeremy Walker/Katia Cardenas @ The Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Walker – No Cover) 9pm (Cardenas – $8) It’s another full evening of jazz, from the sometimes introspective piano playing of Jeremy Walker  who creates stunning original music, to the strong vocals of Ms Cardenas, who can tackle a wide variety of songs with ease. She’s been recording an EP, and is coins some crowd funding to finish it up. Cardenas will be accompanied by Ted Godbout, piano; Andrew Foreman, bass; and Zach Schmidt,drums.

Maryann Sullivan and Corner Jazz @ Parma 8200, Bloomington (No Cover) The former radio host and current voice talent Ms Sullivan displays her talent as a winning songstess of the Great American Songbook, with Phil Aaron, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; Trevor Haining, drums. Listen to her with a slightly different group.

Friday Night Jazz in Exile @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Donation) At 7:30pm, the evening starts with the Ancia Saxophone Quartet a group that received a standing ovation this past January at the Winter Jazz Fest. Then at 8:30pm or so, Rare Medium  the jazz-funk outfit whose appeal crosses generations and genres, will perform. Her’s the Ancia Quartet.

Saturday, April 16

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) This promises to be an outstanding night of music, though both groups are relatively new. At 7pm: D’Sievers Quartet, w/Steve Sawyer, bass; Jon Davis, piano; Alec Tackmann, drums; John Sievers, trombone, followed at 8:30pm by the debut performance of the Free Range Jazz Quartet: Jabari Powell, saxophones; Ryan nether, trumpet; Anthony Cox, upright bass; and Rodney Ruckus, drums.

Kate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Vieux Carré,, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Young swing dancers will be moving a table or two as they strut their stuff to the engaging sounds of bassist Ms Lynch and her group. Even if you don’t dance, you will enjoy Kate’s historical perspective on the songs she plays which range from the 30s to the 60s. I’ve posted this video before, but it’s worth seeing again.

Court’s in Session Jazz Ensemble with Courtney Burton @ Studio 2 Cafe, 818 West 46th St, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (No Cover – Tip jar?) Here we have a quintet of musicians from Beasley’s Big Band playing with Ms Burton in a Southside coffee shop. Her creamy voice is well suited to jazz with blues overtones, as found in many of the standards they perform.

Sunday, April 17

Connie Evingson: Gypsy in my Soul @ The Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. ($25) Evingson has done three different albums of Gypsy Jazz. She’ll be drawing the evenings repertoire from those as well as adapting other songs to the style. She’s ably abetted by Patrick Harrison, accordion; Dean Harrington, guitar; Mark Kreitzger, guitar; Jopsh Granowski, bass; and Dave Karr, sax.

Monday, April 18

Jazz Implosion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Cory Healey’s Beautiful Sunshine Band just released a new album featuring Healy’s thoroughly modern original compositions. Besides Healey on drums, the group includes some of the area’s top musicians: Erik Fratzke, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; and Zacc Harris, guitar. Listen to a cut from their album.

Tuesday, April 19

Steve Hobert/Mill City Hot Club @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Hobert – No Cover), 8pm (Hot Club – $5) An early-in-the-week two-fer of jazz. Pianist Steve Hobert’s compositions and improvisations are delightfully playful, while the Mill City Hot Club will provide some acoustic swing and Gypsy Jazz. Guitarist Dean Harrington leads the quintet, whose membership varies among a core group of players.  Here are some of them.

Lizz Wright @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $55) As a preacher’s kid in Georgia, Ms Wright grew up singing gospel music, which, along with jazz, folk, and the blues, informs her singing. Her latest album, Freedom and Surrender, has been well received by critics and fans alike, as have her previous four.

Irv Williams @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) Williams is 96 years old and still sounding great, with a tone so smooth and beautiful, that it’s coveted by sax players half his age. He’ll be joined by Dave Graf, sax; Phil Aaron, piano; and Gordy Johnson, drums in the intimate, 80-seat listening space.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, April 13

Zack Lozier Three on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI – 90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club, Tip Jar) Trumpeter Lozier can be heard with brass bands, the Doc Severinson Orchestra, the Southside Aces, Davina & the Vagabonds and with this trio, which includes Steve Hobert on keys and Keith Boyles on bass. Expect some traditional New Orleans jazz as well as some untraditional, but nevertheless swinging, takes on some classics.

Spider John Koerner @ The Happy Gnome, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) Saint Paulites are in for a treat, as Spider John sets up in the Fireside Room of this unique neighborhood beer hall – well it does have 89 taps and a plethora of bottled and canned beers, as well as 250 brands of scotch. Anyway, no one can play traditional American folk and blues like Koerner, and it’s always a pleasure to hear him. Spider John plays at 7pm, followed by the Cincinatti duo Dawg Yawp at 8:30. Here’s Koerner doing a classic folk song.

Thursday, April 14

Music in Movies @ MStP International Film Festival, Saint Anthony Main Theater, Minneapolis. Mad Tiger , a film about the breakup of the Asian rock group Peelander-Z, screens at the Uptown Theater at 10pm.

Big Fat Love: John Prine’s 1/2 Birthday @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Once again, Mother Banjo and Art Vandalay present an evening of the music of John Prine, with additional performances from Doug Otto, The Eddies, Katey Bellville, Nikki & The Ruemates,  and more!

Lonesome Dan Kase/Pat Donahue with Daddy Squeeze Quartet @ Vieux Carré,, Saint Paul. 6pm (Lonesome Dan – No Cover), 9pm (Pat & Daddy Squeeze – $8) The Vieux does a nice job of pairing dinner hour performers with evening acts, such as this two-fer. I’ve long been a fan of Lonesome Dan’s plaintive singing and channeling of itinerant bluesmen from the 30s. Donahue is a versatile guitarist, whose championship finger-picking style is right at home with the accordion-based music of Dan Newton, aka Daddy Squeeze. Here’s Lonesome Dan.

Friday, April 15

KFAI Listener Appreciation Night @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) There will be three rooms of music, featuring regional artists that support the station, like Dan Newton and the Cafe Accordion Orchestra, the Swamp Poppas, Mark Joseph of Big Wu, Phil Heywood, Mother Banjo, Doug Otto & Hurricane Harold, Papa John Kolstad, and more.

Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $30) Soulful Americana from a couple who have backed Dylan (Campbell spent 8 years on the Never Ending Tour), Little Feat, Hot Tuna, Emmylou Harris, Mavis Staples and Levon Helm, among others. A special treat is the opening act, Donny Fritts  an architect of the Muscle Shoals sound, whose songs have been recorded by The Box Tops, Dolly Parton, Charlie Rich, Waylon Jennings, and more. He’s also been Kris Krisofferson’s keyboard player for over 40 years.

Saturday, April 16

Johnny Clegg Band w/Jesse Clegg @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($40 Advance, $45 Door)Singer/guitarist Johnny Clegg was born in England and grew up in Zimbabwe. He joined with African artist Sipho Mchunu to form the mixed-race group Juluka in the late 70’s and went on to record two platinum and five gold albums. He also recorded a million-seller with the band Savuka in the 80s, and in 2010 celebrated his 30th anniversary as a performer with a solo album called Human. He recently became a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE). His son Jesse, a platinum selling artist in his own right, opens. Here’s Clegg. The music begins at about 20 seconds.

KFAI Listener Appreciation Night #2 @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Night Two takes a turn toward more raucous music, with Charlie Parr, the April Fools, Kinda Kinky, The Bad Companions, Blurring Agent, and more, including an open jam.

Sunday, April 17

Phil Heywood @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm (Tip Jar) Late afternoon finger picking, with occasional singing, from Heywood, a master of the form.

The Residents Present Shadowland @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($40 Advance, $45 Door) Since their formation over 40 years ago, the membership of this experimental group has been cloaked in anonymity, as they always appear in masks (often their trademark eyeball helmet), and don’t talk. They don’t give interviews either. Nevertheless, the Residents have released over 60 albums, often deconstructing popular music, or creating conceptual pieces, such as Shadowland, being performed tonight. There will be music from the Resident’s extensive catalog, interspersed with short videos about birth, rebirth, reincarnation and near death experiences. The program kicks of the a film called The Theory of Obscurity.

Monday, April 18

Music in Movies @ MStP International Film Festival, Saint Anthony Main Theater, Minneapolis. Various prices, and times. It’s another night of music at Saint Anthony Main as The World Has No Eyedea, the film about the Twin Cities freestyle rapper screens at 7pm, and Mad Tiger, about the breakup of Peelander-Z, and Asian rock band, screens at 9:50pm.

Tuesday, April 19

Lil’Smokies, with Last Revel @ Dayblock Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7 advance/$10 Door) The Last Revel is a trio that uses three part harmonies and a rebellious attitude, along with a touch of traditional folk, to liven up a crowd. The Lil’ Smokies are from Missoula MT, and have been hard at work for six years, creating a progressive acoustic sound. Their hard work paid off when they recently won the 2015 Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition.

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.


Around the World in Music: 4.6 – 4.12

April 6, 2016

Unknown-1Between live music and music in movies, we have quite a bit going on this week, including a film about a trumpet legend (Not the Miles Davis movie); as well as films about Brazilian samba schools and another about Twin Cities jam band the Big Wu. Then we have performances from a Mongolian punk/folk band, a Malian desert punk/blues band, a Peruvian guitarist, a Swedish folk-rock trio, and a bluesman who’s explored music from a number of other cultures. We also have a couple of very talented high-school age jazz combos. It’s a good week: Music lifts your spirits.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 6

Cox, playing electric. Photo by Andrea Canter

Cox, Photo by Andrea Canter

The Reverse of Sam & Dave @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) We’re not talking the soul duo, but Sam Rivers and Dave Holland, with Anthony Cox on bass & cello, and Michael Lewis on alto & soprano sax. Tonight they have drummer Corey Healy as a special guest. Expect some musical fireworks.

Thursday, April 7

Lila Ammons Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Jazz and blues from Ms Ammons  with help from Phil Aaron, piano; Tom Lewis, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. Here she is doing some boogie boogie with Axel Zwingenberger in Beaune, France.

Friday, April 8

Nuskein Ensemble and the Dakota Combo @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This is another of the “Friday Night Jazz in Exile” series. The opening set is by the Dakota Combo, an open-audition group of some of the most talented high school players in the metro area. They are coached by Adam Linz and presented as part of the JazzINK Youth Showcase. This year’s members include: Jordan Anderson, piano; Adam Astrup, guitar; Alma Engebretson, bass and cello; Yonci Jameson, bass clarinet; Gerhardt Robinson, saxophones; Nick Zaczkowski, alto saxophone; Sam Stroup, drums. Then at 8pm it’s the Nuskein Ensemble, a group that combines music, song, spoken word and visual images. It’s members are: Katherine Pehrson, writer, visual culturalist, and musician; Davu Seru, literary scholar and musician; and J. Otis Powell, writer, performance artist, producer and curator. should be a very interesting and enlightening evening.  Here’s music from last year’s edition of the Combo, which contains both Adam Astrup on guitar, and Jordan Anderson on piano. You can expect similar excellence from this year’s edition.

Dave Graf Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Trombone master Graf gathers up Peter Schimke, piano; Ron Evanuik, bass; and Eric Kamau Gravatt, drums, to play some of Graf’s original music plus his arrangements of some jazz standards. Followed at 10pm by Macalester College Big Band. Here is Graf with a different quartet.

Born to be Blue & Larry McDonough @ The Edina Cinema, Edina. Pianist Larry McDonough has been doing a show honoring trumpeter/vocalist Chet Baker at various venues around town. Tonight Born To Be Blue, a biopic about Baker, opens. Baker was a dazzling trumpet player, and ice cool singer with the good looks of James Dean, who succumbed to heroin addiction. McDonough and trumpeter Tim Martin will perform the music of Baker before the movie at 6:30 p.m. and again afterward. They will perform the title of the movie, Born to Be Blue, other pieces from the 1950s, including My Funny Valentine, The Thrill Is Gone, When I Fall in Love, You Don’t Know What Love Is, and There Will Never Be Another You, as well as songs from the end of Chet’s life, such as All Blues (the rare vocal version) and Softly as in a Morning Sunrise. The film stars Ethan Hawke as Chet. Here’s the NY Times Review: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/25/movies/born-to-be-blue-review-ethan-hawke-chet-baker.html?_r=0  Here’s the trailer.

Andres Prado, Ted Godbout, Randy Sabien @ Lowertown Classics, Lowertown Lofts, 255 Kellogg Blvd, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10 Suggested Donation) You have to enter via the alley between Kellogg and 4th Street to hear this trio of musicians. Prado is the Peruvian guitarist who lived in the Twin Cities for a few years. Ted Godbout is a pianist who plays with a number of groups around town, and fiddler Randy Sabien has not only appeared on Prairie Home Companion numerous times, but chaired the jazz strings department at Boston’s Berklee School of Music. Here’s Prado in a trio setting.

Saturday, April 9

Zacc Harris’ American Reverie @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 advance, $15 Door) It seems that many jazz artists are exploring the rural roots of America’s music. Here in the Twin Cities, guitarist Zacc Harris gets together with bassist Matt Peterson and drummer Lars-Erik Larson to re-imagine folk and Americana: songs like Tennesee Waltz, Shenendoah, and Long Black Veil.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Another young group opens, as the Will Schimid/Adam Astrup Quartet takes the stage at 7pm. Schmid and Astrup have been making waves as a guitar duo, with stellar results from their quartet as well. At 8:30pm The stage will be filled with the Illicit Sextet, six veterans who play original music from members of the group, which includes Paul Harper, sax; Chris Lomheim, piano; David Roos, guitar; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; Tom Pieper, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums. Here’s Adam and Will.

Sunday, April 10

Joyce Lyons Remembers Carmen McCrae @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley.  7pm ($8, $35 Dinner & Show) A great concept, great singer, great room, and great band, as Ms Lyons brings Phil Aaron, piano; Jay Epstein, drums; and Graydon Peterson, bass to Crooners’ listening room. Here she is with a big band.

Sunday, Monday, April 10, 11

David Sanborn Electric Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $60), 9pm ($30 – $50) With eight Grammys, six gold records, and one platinum, Sanborn is the rare saxophonist who can appeal to dance-floor R&B fans as well as a listening-only jazz audience. He’s played with David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, James Brown, The Stones, and more. I’m not sure who is in the band this time around, but there’s little doubt that Ricky Peterson will be on keyboards.

Monday, April 11

Jazz Implosion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) 1st set – DVrG REDEFINED  – Devon Gray  keys; with Davu Seru, percussion; and JG Everest (bass?).  2nd set – Park Evans Quintet, with Evans on guitar; Zack Lozier, trumpet; Cody McKinney, bass; Greg Schulte, drums; and Brandon Wozniak, sax.

Tuesday, April 12

Chris Lomheim @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul, 6pm (No Cover) Lomheim is a pianist about town who can play with big bands, large combos, or accompany singers with equal ease. Here’s a chance to hear him in a cool room at no cover to start your evening right.

Mississippi, featuring Andres Prado, @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) Andres Prado is a Peruvian guitarist who lived in town for a few years before returning to Lima, Peru. He’s back for a visit and will be leading a fine group, with Pete Whitman, sax; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums.

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, April 6

Drew Peterson on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) this West Bank singer-songwriter has been involved in a number of successful projects and collaborations over the years, including the Dead Pigeons, Forty Watt Bulb, Julie Johnson & the No-Accounts, and his own solo work. You can expect original, rootsy songs with dashes of Piedmont Blues and Americana. It’s the Spring Membership Drive for KFAI, and this event gives you one more reason to support the station.

Curtiss A & Dark Click @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (No Cover) The Dean of Scream does more than high energy rock n; roll: He uses the Dark Click to sing his version of the blues.

Thursday, April 7

Hanggai @ The Ordway Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($25 – $27) This sextet from Mongolia incorporates throat singing, along with traditional instruments and folk music from their country with western drums and electric guitars to create exuberant performances that have taken them to the Lincoln Center Festival and to Bonnaroo. It may be hard to imagine, so check out this video.

Battle of the Blues Bands @ Famous Dave’s, Calhoun Square, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover ??) This is the first in a series of battles to determine what band will open the Lowertown Blues Festival in July. Tonight you can hear Paul Barry and the Ace Tones, Bambi Alexandra and the Dark Horse Blues Band, The Strips, and Sasha Druva and Highway 65. Check out the up and coming talent and vote for your favorite.

Friday, April 8

Väsen @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) This Swedish trio has become a Cedar (and Twin Cities) favorite, for their updated takes on traditional Swedish folk music using fiddle, Nyckelharpa, and guitar. They’ve toured the world, playing their Swedish folk-rock in front of audiences that have numbered 25,000, and have been on Prairie Home Companion.

Armadillo Jump @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) The modest stage and just about non-existent dance floor at Shaw’s will be shaking as fans “jump” to the rhythm and blues of this five piece band voted Best Dance Band by the members of U Wanna Dance.

Songhoy Blues @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($20)  Desert punk/blues from a group  hat was forced to leave Mali during the civil conflict there a few years ago. Their music includes element of contemporary rock and hip hop, but is mostly based on the music of the Songhoy people of Mali, with hints of the band’s West African guitar heroes such as Ali Farka Toure.

Saturday, April 9

Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra @ The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9:30pm $20) An evening of Dvořák, Mendelssohn, and contemporary composer Vivian Fung, in this small, lovely museum The evening starts with a social hour, with beer, wine, and cocktails, enabling you to peruse some of the Russian masterpieces on the walls. An extended intermission will allow further discovery of the museums fabulous artworks.

Eliza Gilkyson @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($28) This two-time Grammy nominated singer/songwriter/activist is known for her composing, with songs covered by the likes of Joan Baez, Tom Rush, and Roseanne Cash. Her performances are marked by a mix of storytelling, political diatribes, and love songs.

Oh! What a Night! @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) This is not simply a reprise of the show from a couple of year back. Tonight there will be a bit more emphasis on songs from solo singers, including Sam Cooke. There will be a couple of gospel numbers as well as lesser known songs from the likes of the Temptation, Chi-Lites and the Spinners. The singers are Ronn Easton, Wee Willie Walker, Maurice Jacox, Jerry Eskridge and Maurice Young. Old school, all the way. Here are highlights from the concert two years ago.

Nikki Roux & Rich Rue/Hurricane Harold’s All-Star Revue @ The Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Nikki & Rich – No Cover), 9pm (Hurricane Harold – $8) It’s an evening of roots and blues, starting at 6pm with Nikki Roux & Rich Rue performing a combination of blues and folk rock, particularly inspired by the songs of the psychedelic era. Then at 9pm Hurricane Harold’s All Star Revue takes the stage. The All-Stars are a revolving cast of some of the area’s best blues players and tonight, according to Harold, will feature at least three who sing as well as they play. Here’s one example of the All-Star Revue./

Music Movies @ MStP International Film Festival, Various Venues, prices, and Times. There are two movies being shown today and three others later in the Festival. Today’s features are:  O Samba, about the music of Brazil, screening at 1:30 at St. Anthony Main Theater, and repeated on Sunday, the 10th at 4:15pm; and The Big Wu Way, about the Twin Cities own jam band, screening at 7pm tonight at McNally Smith, and repeated on Tuesday at 9:30 at St. Anthony Main Theater. You can look forward to movies about the Twin Cities favorites’ rapper Eyedea and rockers Gypsy, as well as a film featuring cellist Yo Yo Ma, and another, entitled Mad Tiger, featuring the Asian band Peelander Z.

Sunday, April 10

Road to Memphis Competition @ Schuller’s Road House, Golden Valley. 1pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This is the solo/duo competition to represent Minnesota at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. This year’s acts are Mike Munson & Mikkel Beckmen; Jimmi Lngemo & Nate Heinz, Trevor Marty, and Nigel Egg

Tuesday, Wednesday, April 12, 13

Taj Mahal @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45 – $65), 9pm ($35 – $55) though he began his career more than four decades ago playing the blues, Taj  as become somewhat of a ethnomusicologist, exploring and playing music from West Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America, Europe, and Hawaii. He’s been a favorite of the Twin Cities for a long time, with many appearances at the Zoo and other venues. He is, simply put, a treasure.

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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