Summer Begins: 3.25 – 3.31

May 25, 2016

Unknown-1Well, the unofficial start of summer is upon us. As the touring season for musicians kicks into high gear, we have more choices for music events from both visiting and resident artists, only a few of which I list each week. Like an overflowing picnic basket, we have more than enough to satisfy us. Have a great week. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 25

Larry McDonough: Born To Be Kind of Blue @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Pianist McDonough has been doing shows about trumpeters Chet Baker and Miles Davis of late. Hollywood recently released films about both trumpeters, so it seems the next step for McDonough is to combine both shows. McDonough’s voice has the same “cool” quality as Baker, so he’s got that covered, and he’s brought in the talented Steve Kenny on trumpet. Other members of the group include Paul Peterson, tenor; Doug Haining, alto; Jim Bierna, bass; and Dean White, drums. Here’s McDonough doing a standard.

Bobby Lyle w/Billy Peterson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($25, $50 Dinner), 9pm ($20) The Minneapolis native started playing piano in clubs at the age of 15, and hit the road as a full time musician after two years at Macalester. In the more than three decades since then he’s acquired an impressive resume, recording for Capitol, Atlantic, Three Keys, and Heads Up, and serving as musical director for Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, and Bette Midler. His 2005 album Straight and Smooth appeared on both the Smooth Jazz and Traditional Jazz charts for Billboard. He’ll be joined by bassist Billy Peterson, whose own musical career also knows few boundaries, having worked with Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Les Paul, Ben Sidran, and Steve Miller, among others.

Thursday, May 26

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) The Lucia Sarmiento Group is tonight’s attraction, and attraction is certainly the right word. Sarmiento is a young sax player from Peru who has been studying at MacNally Smith and increasingly gigging around town. She’s a strong player and a creative improviser. Joining her are a number of other young and youngish players: Will Kjeer, piano; Ethan Elseth, guitar; Andrew Foreman, bass; and Zach Schmidt, drums. Here she is from a few years ago.

Paula Lammers @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Vocalist Lammers and guitarist David Martin have been exploring the music of singer/songwriters of the 70s, when the form exploded on the radio and pop charts. Ex[pect to hear music from Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Rickie Lee Jones, Carole King, and more. Here she is doing an Ellington tune.

Friday, May 27

Jeremy Walker & Ted Nash @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (No Cover) Wow! Walker is a fine pianist and composer, well worth a visit to the Vieux. He’s a long time friend of saxophonist Ted Nash, who is coming through town and will be sitting in with Walker. Nash is a member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and co-founded the NYC based Jazz Composers Collective. He will soon be releasing Presidential Suite, based on great political speeches of the 20th Century.

Southside Aces @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Here’s a band that’s just made for the room, allowing you to enjoy gumbo, a po’ boy, or oysters while The Aces play traditional New Orleans jazz from the likes of Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, and Bix Beiderbecke, among others. The group includes: Tony Baluff, clarinet; Erik Jacobson, sousaphone; Steve Sandberg, trombone; Zack Lozier, trumpet; Robert Bell, guitar; and Dave Michael, drums. And what’s more New Orleans than Little Liza Jane?

Maud Hixson @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30 (No Cover) Ms Hixson brings her elegant vocals to the lounge at the Italian eatery in the office warrens in the southeast corner of the 100/494 interchange. She’ll be joined by Gordy Johnson on bass and Rick Carlson on piano, two musicians whose restraint and taste are a good fit for Ms Hixson. Her latest project is a CD with songs mentioned in the Betsy-Tacy books, a series from the early 20th Century about life in Mankato. Here’s a sample.

Saturday, May 28

Selby Avenue Syncopaters @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Hot jazz from early in the 20th Century, played by Tom Zosel, clarinet/tenor sax; Harold Longley, tuba; Tim Altmann, trumpet; Chris Wiley, trombone; Tom Lyseng, drums; and Jeffrey Dunitz, banjo/guitar. Here’s what they sound like.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) The new kitchen is open at the Black Dog, so while you’re enjoying music in the expanded space, you can have a burger or banh mi sandwich, among other offerings. At 7pm it’s the Evan Benidt Trio: Benidt, sax; Park Evans, guitar; Lars-Erik Larson, drums. The Peter Vircks Quartet starts sometime between 8:30 and 9:: Vircks, sax; Ron Evaniuk, bass; Kevin Washington, drums; Brian Ziemniak, piano

Sunday, May 29

Joel Shapira @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 4pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) So, you’re hanging around town for the weekend, and if the forecast of rain on Friday and Saturday is correct, by Sunday afternoon, you’ll be looking for some diversion. Guitarist Joel Shapira might do the trick. The garage doors to the tap room will be open, so you can enjoy being on the patio.

 

Sergio Mendes @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm, 8pm  ($60 – $80) While Stan Getz may have had the first “bossa nova” hit with Desafinado, it was Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66 that really brought Brazilian music to the world 50 years ago. He adapted songs like The Look of Love, Fool on the Hill, and Scarborough Fair to the sensuous rhythms of Brazil, and took Mas Que Nada, sung entirely in Portugese, to the pop charts. He’s released 55 albums, and continues to meld pop instrumentation with Brazilian rhythms, maintaining his cool factor all these years. Here’s an example of just how cool he is – playing with the Black Eyed Peas

Tuesday, May 31

Dave Karr Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) Saxophonist Karr moved to the Twin Cities in the 50s and began gigging around. In the intervening years created an award winning jingle agency, continued to gig, and has become an elder statesman in jazz, with an ever-inventive ability to caress a sweet melody or improvise a bebop line. He’ll be playing with Chris Lomheim, piano; Keith Boyles, bass; and Phil Hey, drums.

Southern Minnesota REAL Big Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/student ID) This Waseca-based group is made up of the region’s top jazz musicians. About half are band directors, while the others come from a variety of occupations. They’ve got standard, 18-piece instrumentation, and play music from Ellington, Basie, Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson, Gordon Goodwin and others.

 

Steve Kenny’s Group 47 @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) This may be the first appearance at the Vieux for this group, though they originally started when the place was the Artists’ Quarter. Initially, all members would play as part of Kenny’s early evening Tuesday night jam, until they coalesced as a group, with Kenny as the veteran playing with young lions. Besides Kenny on Flumpet_, the group includes Will Kjeer, piano; Thomas Strommen, sax; Adam Tucker, bass; and Alex Burgess, drums. Listen.

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, May 25

Moonlight Duo on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The Moonlight Duo are Mary DuShane and Nick Jordan. DuShane is a fiddler with a long history in the Twin Cities folk and roots scene. She’s appeared on Prairie Home Companion as a member of the Powdermilk Biscuit Band, currently plays with the DL Cajun Band, and has been in a number of country, folk, and roots bands over the decades. Nick Jordan plays finger-picked guitar (he flat picks as well), mandolin, and flute/whistle, in addition to singing. It will be an evening of old time, Appalachian, and Irish songs.

The April Fools @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) This is a quartet of rock n’ roll loving guys who know how to put the country in country rock. Each has played in a plethora of bands before this collaboration, which was supposed to be a one-off project. They enjoyed working together so much that they became a band. Brian Drake, vocals, guitars; Clay Williams, guitars, lap steel, and pedal steel; Ben Kaplan, drums & percussion; and Scott Hreha, bass.

Thursday, May 26

Rockin’ Pinecones @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) Swing dancers and Cajun dancers unite! You have nothing to lose but calories from spinning, twirling, two-stepping, and generally dancing the night away to this seasoned group and their repertoire of New Orleans R&B, Cajun, & Zydeco music.

 

Charles Bradley @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 8pm doors ($20) There will be plenty of both young and old fans of funk n’ soul at the former bus depot tonight. Bradley spent years doing James Brown covers before he was discovered by the soul-loving folks at Daptone Records. He’s been given the sobriquet “Screamin’ Eagle of Soul” thanks to the intensity of his singing, which leans toward slow and medium tempos, though he explodes with passion on the occasional fast number.

Jaunito Pascual New Flamenco Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20-$25) Born in Minneapolis, Jaunito Pascual  as been recognized in both Spain and throughout the US for his creativity and virtuosity on the guitar. He’s been hailed by NPR and the Boston Globe, performed on a Prairie Home Companion Cruise, and appeared in Steve Martin’s Pink Panther 2.

Friday, May 27

JD Souther @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45 – $52) Billed as an “Intimate Evening,” it will be just Souther on stage. The singer/songwriter was a critical source for songs during the flowering of California country/rock in the early 70s, having hits with Linda Ronstadt, the Eagles, Jackson Browne, and others. He had his own massive hit in 1979, with You’re Only Lonely, which hit #1 on the Adult Contemporary charts. Souther has admitted that his songs are often depressing, which may explain why they are popular with country stars like George Strait, Trisha Yearwood, Brooks and Dunn, and others. His latest album, Tenderness, finds him, like many other his age, exploring the Great American Songbook. Those of you of a certain age will remember this song, a hit for the Eagles.

Minneapolis Guitar Quartet @ The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis. 7pm – 8pm ($20, $18 members) Doors at 6:30 and limited seating, in one of the nicest unexpected venues in town. Sit amongst stunning examples of 20th Century Realism, and listen to this extraordinary quartet, one of the few guitar ensembles in the country that performs its pieces from memory. You’ll hear music from J.S. Bach, Astor Piazzolla, Hiromi Uehara, Maria Kalaniemi, Alberto Ginastera, and Modest Mussorgsky. Don’t think this is on the program, but it’s a fine version.

North Country Bandits @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) The band was on hiatus for a while, so it’s good to have them back, performing  a heap of stompin’ blues, a bit of country, good ol’ rock n’ roll, and killer harmonies. The front line is Matt Pudas, Drew Druckery, and Doug Otto on guitars and vocals, along with Rich Casey bass; Chris Gray, drums, Joanna John, keys; and Nick “The Feelin’” Mrozinski on vocals and keys.

Riverside Swing Band EP Release @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Though the lounge has a small dance floor, it will undoubtedly be jumping as this quartet celebrates the release of “Songs from the 30s,” a collection of six vintage swing tunes.

Saturday, May 28

Boom Boom Stevie V & the Knockouts @ Neumann’s Bar, North Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Harpman and vocalist Steve Vondehaar, aka Boom Boom Steve, plays the Mississippi Saxophone with considerable skill. He’s been at it ever since buying a Tony Glover instruction book as a teenager. He and the Knockouts will have Neumann’s jumping.

Urban Flavor @ Famous Dave’s Uptown, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Funk n’ soul from a band of seasoned musicians, a few of whom were instrumental in the MPLS Sound of the 70s and 80s. Ben Locke was Alexander O’Neal’s drummer, while Charles and Donald Berry were cofounders of Quiet Storm, featured in the book/CD Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound. Members of other bands from the era will be present, though it’s hard to say who may join the band for the evening.

Pat Hayes Band @ Shaw’s NE, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist/harpist/vocalist Pat Hayes isn’t exactly shedding his Lamont Cranston skin, just putting it aside for this gig, which will undoubtedly still feature an LC tune or two in a new configuration. I’m unsure of who he’ll have with him, except for Tim Wick, who will be playing organ.

Saturday, Sunday, May 28, 29

Memory Lanes Block Party @ Memory Lanes, 25th & 26th Ave So, Minneapolis. 9:30 – 2am Saturday, 3pm – 10 pm Sunday ($5/day) Deejays and bands galore, with Saturday featuring mostly (insert hyphenated genre here) rock bands, while on Sunday there are a few roots and blues bands of note, including: Jaedyn James & The Hunger at 4:30, Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders at 8:20, the Legendary Shack Shakers at 9:30, and Davina & The Vagabonds indoors at 10:45.

 

Sunday, May 29

Ecuador Manta @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) Based in Saint Paul since they began in 1992, Ecuador Manta is originally from the tiny village of Atahulapa, Ecuador. They combine traditional rhythms from Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Columbia with contemporary Latin and Caribbean rhythms to create a unique form of Andean music.

 

Tuesday, May 31

Siama: Rivers – From the Congo to the Mississippi CD Release @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) If the swaying rhythms of Congolese guitarist Siama Matuzungidi doesn’t make you want to move, you better check your pulse. Siama was a prolific studio musician during the golden era of soukous music (70s-’80s) and his distinctive guitar style is featured on over 100 hit songs, several of which he composed. He’s been a resident of the Twin Cities for a number of years now, slowly but steadily building a fan base and connections with other musicians in cross-genre projects. From the Congo to the Mississippi is one such project, featuring musicians such as Joe Savage, pedal steel; Jacqueline Ultan, cello; Tim O’Keefe, percussion; Brian Ziemniak, keys; Mikkel Beckmen, washboard, JD Steele, vocals, and others, all of whom will be on hand. You’re invited to contribute an instrument in the lobby for distribution by Vega Productions to aspiring young musicians.

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

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Youth Jazz, Art, Blues, and Worldbeats: 5.18 – 5.24

May 18, 2016

13048116_858343110943744_3629080614244096720_oPlease indulge me for a moment as I tell you about an event that means much to me. It’s Celebrate Youth Jazz!, a fundraiser for the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education (DFJE) to be held this Sunday at Vieux Carré. DFJE is a non-profit organization that creates and supports quality jazz education for students and young musicians. Last year we served over 650 students by sending 24 area musicians into 14 public schools. We also sponsor the Dakota Combo, an open-audition group that studies with bassist Adam Linz throughout the school year and performs at public venues as well as public schools. This year marks the 10th edition of the Combo, and to celebrate, the current Combo, as well as a big band of Combo Alumni directed by Kelly Rossum, will perform. If you have any interest in jazz and/or music education, you can support DFJE by attending on Sunday. More information can be found below, as well as at dfje.org.

Now, onto this week’s music.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 18

Stephane Wrembel Band @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($30, $35) French guitarist/composer Wrembel learned his craft among Roma campfires in the French countryside, has performed during the Oscar telecast, and was recruited to score the theme to Woody Allen’s film Midnight in Paris. Now based in Brooklyn, Wrembel’s latest album, Origins, explores his roots, touching upon everything from the blues to flamenco.

Nathan Hanson Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Here’s a trio that is conversant in straight ahead jazz as well as more adventurous treatments of music. Besides Hanson, on sax, the group includes Michael O’Brien, bass; and Cory Healey, drums.

Thursday, May 19

Sundae + Mr. Goessl @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) This Seattle based duo of husband and wife perform vintage jazz from composers such as Ellington, Porter, and the Gershwins. Ms Sundae is the vocalist of the two, though she also plays a cheap, but pink melody, while Mr. Goessl accompanying on an Epiphone Swingster guitar.

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) With the return of jazz to the Reverie, we also get a return of the JazzINK Youth Showcase which tonight features Halcyon Daze at 7pm: George Adzick, alto & flute; Ivan Cunningham, alto & tenor; Yonci Jameson, bass clarinet; Nicholas Christenson, bass; and Sam Stroup, drums. The multi-generational Fall Of The House Of Usher headlines, with: Chris Cunningham, guitars; Ivan Cunningham, saxes; Chris Bates, bass; Greg Schutte, drums; Cole Pulice, saxes; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, trumpet; Adam Svec, vocals. With special guest Michelle Kinney on cello.

Jeremy Ylvisaker & Michael Lewis @ The Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Ylvisaker (from Alpha Caonsume, and the Cloak Ox, among others), teams up with saxophonist and bassist Michael Lewis (of Happy Apple and Fat Kid Wednesdays, among others) for an evening of adventurous improvisation.

Friday, May 20

Michael O’Brien & the Latin Jazz Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/student ID) Bassist Michael O’Brien has been quite busy since he relocated from the Twin Cities to New York City. He’s performed and/or composed with such notable performers as Harry Connick Jr, Ruben Blades, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Steve Wilson, Wayne Escoffery, Dave King, Matt Wilson, Sachal Vasandani, and Ted Nash, among others – phew! He is back in town and is busy with a number of gigs, including this one featuring Joe Strachan, piano; Geoff Senn, trumpet; Babatunde Lea, congas; and Mac Santiago, drums, all of whom are well versed in Latin Jazz. Here’s O’Brien showing that he has the chops for other worldbeats as well.

Saturday, May 21

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) The Black Dog is undergoing some construction as they prepare to add another room and kitchen while opening up the original room and adding a bar so more people can see musicians performing. Just walk past the construction into the new, though somewhat unfinished room where music is temporarily being presented. Opening at 7pm is The Convergence Trio: Joel Shapira guitar; Michael O’Brien,m bass; and Eric Kamau Gravatt, drums. Then it’s the Kelly Rossum Quartet: Michael O’Brien and Eric Kamau Gravatt return to the stage on bass and drums respectively; to join Dave Hagedorn, vibes; and Rossum on trumpet. Rossum, who is director of Jazz Studies at Christopher University in Virginia, will be directing the Dakota Combo Alumni Big Band tomorrow. Here’s a video from Rossum’s brand new album.

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ the Uptown VFW, Lake & Lyndale, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Ms Lynch is a singer/bassist who mines pop & jazz from the 30s to the 50s to create dance-friendly tunes for fox trotters and swing dancers. The Uptown VFW has been remodeled and has a new, large dance floor. She will be joined by Chris Beaty guitar, Ken Chastaine drums, Greg Lewis trumpet, Peter VIrcks Sax, Pete Enblom, bone, each of whom does a fine job of bringing improvisation and swing to the dance floor.

Sunday, May 22

Celebrate Youth Jazz! @ The Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 4:30pm – 5:30: social hour, 5:30 – 8:30pm program ($45, $50  [$35 is tax deductible]) Kelly Rossum is returning to town to direct a Dakota Combo Alumni Big Band, which includes alumni working in the Twin Cities and elsewhere. There will be silent auction items including a double magnum of wine, a framed poster from the 1986 New Orleans Jazz Festival, a Meet and Greet (and tickets) with Chick Corea and Christian McBride, and more. We’ll also have a raffle with the first prize a “Wall of Wine, (two cases), and a second prize of a 9 CD set of Miles Davis Mono recordings. Tickets are available by calling the Dakota Box Office (612-332-5299) or going to their website  Tickets will also be available at the door. Thanks to the fine folks at the Vieux, your ticket will include a welcome drink from Prairie Distillery. Here is this year’s combo.

Dan Chouinard & Maud Hixson @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) It’s another edition of Chouinard’s Birthday Club, celebrating the music of composers born in May. This time around his partner is the cool yet warm vocalist Maud Hixson.

Monday, May 23

Freddy Cole @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $45) Cole  the younger brother of Nat King Cole is a star in his own right, a masterful pianist and singer, with a vocal that’s slightly darker and rougher than his brother, but nevertheless shares the same tonal quality. He has his own elegant, sophisticated style. The NY Times noted his “impeccable sense of swing,” and called him “the most expressive jazz singer of his generation, if not the best alive.”   Here’s a sampling of his performance.

Graydon Peterson Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Bassist Peterson is one of the first call players for singers around town. He also plays in a variety of other groups besides this one, which performs his original music. After spending time in Cuba last year with the Charanga Tropical, Peterson penned some new songs, for which he’ll add percussionist Andrew Gillespie to the proceedings. Regular members of the quartet include Adrian Suarez, drums; Adam Meckler, trumpet; and Joe Strachan, piano.  Peterson and band-mate Adam Meckler are featured in this video.

Tuesday, May 24

Mary Louise Knutson/Hot Jazz with Connie Evingson @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover), 8pm ($8) It’s another jazz double at the Vieux, with Mary Louise Knutson playing piano during the dinner hour, followed at 8pm by Connie Evingson  who so effortlessly sings acoustic swing, aka Gypsy Jazz. Joining her will be Patrick Harrison, accordion; Dean Harrington, guitar; Mike Cramer, guitar; and Josh Granowski, bass. Here’s Connie working with the Hot Club of Sweden.

Bryan Nichols Album Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) Nichols is a pianist-about-town who leads a number of groups: a trio, a quartet, and a quintet, in addition to playing with any number of other musicians. He’s got a new CD, and will be celebrating its release at the Dakota. Tune in to my show Saturday morning (10:30am – Noon) to hear him talk about it and play a couple of tunes from it. Here he is in a trio setting.

Tuesday, Wednesday, May 24, 25

Bobby Lyle w/Billy Peterson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($25, $50 Dinner), 9pm ($20) The Minneapolis native started playing piano in clubs at the age of 15, and hit the road as a full time musician after two years at Macalester. In the more than three decades since then he’s acquired a well-deserved impressive resume , recording for Capitol, Atlantic, Three Keys, and Heads Up, and serving as musical director for Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, and Bette Midler. His 2005 album Straight and Smooth appeared on both the Smooth Jazz and Traditional Jazz charts for Billboard. He’ll be joined by bassist Billy Peterson, whose own musical career also knows few boundaries, having worked with Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Les Paul, and Steve Miller, among others.

Early Notice!!

Sunday, June 5

Joe Lovano’s Tribute to Gunther Schuller @ Sundlin Hall, 1531 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul. 4pm ($25, $25 Senior [62+], $15 Student ID) Note: One K-12 Student is admitted free with each paid adult. With Anthony Cox, bass; Young-Nan Kim, violin; Timothy Lovelace, piano; and Fred Harris, drums. With guest composer Peter Child.

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, May 18

Chemistry Set on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This three-piece band has been around for a number of years, playing power pop with alt-country leanings. I recall seeing them at the Hat Trick lounge at least six years ago, and they were impressive then. Members are Chris Thompson, guitar and lead vocals; Steve Smith, percussion and backing vocals, and Jackie Crosby, bass.

Corpse Reviver Album Release @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15) This is the second release for Corpse Reviver  though the first Vinyl release. Volume Two: Dry Bones continues the Reviver bent for songs from Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music. The trio of Adam Kiesling, Mikkel Beckmen, and Jillian Rae have been performing together for six years, putting their own spin on the music while maintaining respect for songs that were first compiled and released in 1952 by Smith. They’ll be joined by resident choir MPLS (impulse) during their set, and will have the legendary Spider John Koerner as an opening act. Wouldn’t be surprised if Koerner, who’s a font of knowledge about traditional folks songs, joins the trio for a song or two.

World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Well, Nye’s may be no more, but you can still enjoy the sounds of the World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band at least once a month. The dance floor is a bit larger than Nye’s, so you don’t have an excuse for staying off it.

Thursday, May 19

Big George Jackson @ Hollihans’ Pub, White Bear Lake. 8pm (Tip Jar) The big voice of Big George can rumble so low you’ll expect the floor to move. You’ll find yourself moving, however, even if Hollihan’s is packed.

Orkestar Bez Ime @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. (Tip Jar) Raucous dance music from Eastern Europe. There’s a bit more room in the expanded, if not yet finished new room at the Black Dog. All the better for moving chairs and tables out of the way and joining the fun fray.

Friday, May 20

Charles Walker Band @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) This Milwaukee funk n’ soul quintet with gospel influences and a tight sound. They’ve been nominated for the Wisconsin Music Award (WAMI) as the best soul/r&b act four times, winning in 2013.

Friday, Saturday, May 20, 21

Vinyl Voices play Art-A-Whirl @ the Northrup King Building, Minneapolis. 5:30 – 10pm Friday, Noon – 8pm Saturday (No Cover) There’s lots going on throughout NE Mpls, what with gallery openings and music at bars, brew tap rooms and elsewhere. You can get a complete listing of music here. An artist directory and maps can be found at: https://nemaa.org/art-a-whirl. Anyway, I and other KFAI deejays will be spinning in the Third Floor Art Gallery #332 at the Northrup King Building. I’ll be there from 7:45 – 10pm on Friday.

Saturday, May 21

 

Shannon Mac Band @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) the guys in the Mystic Order of Reverb and Twang (M.O.R.T) were looking to kickstart their sound when the met Shannon McDonough  a singer predisposed to 50s rockabilly, blues, and a bit of doowop. They clicked, and the Shannon Mac Band is the result. High energy music, delivered with verve and panache.

Michael Monroe @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($20) Monroe is a charming singer/songwriter who has been performing for forty years. He’s a self-taught musician who plays guitar, ukelele, and glass bamboo flutes who certainly knows how to connect with an audience.

Sunday, May 22

Alma Afrobeat Ensemble @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15 Advance, $20 Door) This Barcelona, Spain band actually got started in Chicago, but it wasn’t until founder Aaron Feder moved to Spain 10 years ago and met some Nigerian musicians that it began to gel and take off. This is actually their first proper American tour. Afropop Worldwide has called the band’s sound “as dark and intensely danceable as any African musical experience can be.” It has helped that the band has given some of their tracks to DJs to reimagine and take in a new direction. This is a standing show, but I expect there will be much dancing, freestyle and otherwise. Jaedyn James & the Hunger, the opening act, is a 10-piece funk n’ soul band out of South Minneapolis.

Monday, May 23

New Riverside Ramblers @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($8) High energy dance music, usually found around the bayous of South Louisiana. Thanks to the Ramblers and a few other bands around here, fans of the music can dance their hearts out in the dance halls of the Eagles Club. Members of the Ramblers include: Eric Mohring, fiddle; AJ Srubas, fiddle & Steel Guitar; John Terr, accordion; Doug Lohman, bass; Karen Kleinspehn, guitar; Paul Loughridge, drums.

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. .


Rhythm – Groovy & Global: 5.11 – 5.17

May 11, 2016
Plenty of opportunities to dance this week, including the Worldwide Discoteque, with Deejay Steely Dan (above), and Deejay Brian Engel

Plenty of opportunities to dance this week, including the Worldwide Discoteque, with Deejay Steely Dan (above), and Deejay Brian Engel

Despite the clouds during this May week, we’ve got plenty of music to lift our spirits. I’m always pleasantly surprised at the variety of jazz, blues, and roots music here in the Twin Cities. Tonight we have an outstanding visiting jazz pianist, while the rest of the week brings us intriguing music from resident jazz artists. This weekend seems to be a big one for ska lovers with both The English Beat in town, and a festival of ska music, film, and even Jamaican food at the Parkway Theater. We’ve got some visiting artists from New Orleans and Great Britain as well, and two dance parties celebrating music from other nations. Need I say more? Get out and enjoy the richness of Twin Cities music.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 11

Bill Charlap Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($27 – $35), 9pm ($20 – $25) Wow! When it comes to piano trios, it’s hard to top pianist Charlap and his band mates, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington, and no, they aren’t related. Charlap’s latest album, The Songs of Jerome Kern, has him playing while Tony Bennett sings, and the results have been lauded throughout the jazz community.

Magica Improvisada @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Bassist Chris Bates started this monthly concept with the idea of creating several new bands over the course of the year. However, the chemistry with Joe Strachan on piano and Matt Buckner on drums was so good, that they’ve jelled as a group and are committed to playing together as much as they can, performing originals from each member.

Thursday, May 12

Authentic Violet: Melody & Jon Duo @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5 Student ID) That’s Melody as in vocalist Melody Mendis and Jon as in pianist Jon De Vaal. The two have lots of fun performing together

Zacc Harris Quartet @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) The Vieux continues to do a good job of booking resident talent from our jazz and roots scene. Tonight, it’s jazz, with a quartet of Twin Cities modern jazzers: Zacc Harris, guitar; Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and and JT Bates, drums.

Friday, May 13

Nathan Hanson/Doan Brian Roessler @ the Walker West Music Academy, 760 Selby Avenue, Saint Paul. 8pm  ($15) Hanson and Roessler have been playing together for over twenty years, developing a rapport that helps to move music along with no seeming effort, even when completely improvising. Tonight, they’ll be previewing their soon-to-be-released album that takes a more orchestral approach to their music. Joining saxophonist Hanson and bassist Roessler are: Laura Harada, violin; Cole Pulice, tenor and baritone; and Christopher McGuire, drums. Here are Hanson & Roessler.

Todd Harper & Possibilities @ SW Craft Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11pm (No Cover) Pianist Harper runs up the street to the SW Craft Bar (formerly Señor Wongs) after his Friday happy hour gig at the Black Dog to lead a quintet with Eric Coursen, drums; Bill Grenke, bass; Chris Hagedorn, tenor; and a special guest. Here he is with some of his other friends.

Saturday, May 14

Duke n’ Donuts @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 4pm ($20 Suggested Donation) A fundraiser for Hopewell Music Cooperative  f North Minneapolis, the only music school in North Minneapolis. The event will include performance and presentations on Duke Ellington and the importance of music education, including performances from theHopewell Student Jazz Ensemble and Faculty Trio. Also, there will be donuts.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Steve Kenny Quartet, featuring the veteran horn man and a trio of young lions, opens at 7pm with: Kenny, Flumpet; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Ted Olsen, bass; and Rodney Ruckus, drums. At 8:30 it’s the Dave King/George Cartwright Duo, with King on drums and percussion and Cartwright on sax. Here’s a long video of them at Radio K.

Sunday, May 15

Maurice Jacox Sings Nat King Cole @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40 Dinner) The R&B/jazz vocalist has sporadically performed his Nat King Cole show for a number of years. He’ll be accompanied by Reuben Ristrom, guitar; and Ron Seaman on piano. Here’s a chance to see and hear this show in a listening venue other than a theater. Here’s a promo piece for the more involved tribute that Jacox has done in the past.

Monday, May 16

Jazz Implosion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Tonight trumpeter Bill Simenson will lead a quintet featuring: Nathan Hanson, sax; Chris Bates, bass; Dave Martin, guitar; and JT Bates on drums. Simenson leads his own 17-piece big band, so it will be interesting to see what he does with this quintet.

Tuesday, May 17

Mary Louise Knutson Trio @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm – 9pm ($10, $35 Dinner) Ms Knutson returns to the quiet of the Dunsmore Room to enchant us with her piano playing. She’ll be joined by Gordon Johnson, bass; and Greg Schutte, drums. Here’s a recording of the title tune from her last album.

Michael O’Brien’s Triage @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) NYC based bassist Michael O’Brien left the Twin Cities for the Big Apples some years ago, and has since toured the world with various groups and gigged around Manhattan and Brooklyn. He is back in town for a few performances, including tonight’s which features Chris Lomheim on piano and Jay Epstein on drums. Here’s O’Brien with the Kyoko Oyobe Quartet at the Kitano in NYC>

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, May 11

Don Scott & Curtis Blake on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM0, 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) It’s a pleasure to have Don “Scotty” Scott  ack in the state, as he spends his winters in warmer climes. The guitarist has found a great collaborator in harmonic wiz Curtis Blake  and together they deliver fine set of acoustic blues, with Rosanne Licciardi on percussion and a few surprising covers thrown in to keep your interest high. As usual, tune in to Harold’s House Party to hear them play, then head over to the 331 Club.

Sonny & Ray & the Rotations @ Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) A collaboration between a couple of resident soul heavyweights: Sonny Knight and Ray Barnard. In the last few years, Sonny and his band the Lakers have headlined festivals both here and in Europe. “Course before then he was Little Sonny Knight back in 1965, and then sang with the legendary Haze. Ray led the roots/rock Copperheads for 12 years before striking out on his own, and recording two well-recieved albums. The duo will be performing soul & roots tunes, with a bit of influence from country, most of which were written by Graham Bramblett, who will joining them on a few. Here’s Sonny in an acoustic environment.

Thursday, May 12

Samba Meu @ the Reverie Cafe, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5) Samba Meu  brings roots music and social dance from various regions of Brazil to the cafe and bart at Nicollet & Franklin. If you only think of bossa novas when thinking of Brazilian music, here’s a chance to hear many regional styles, including sambas, chorus, batucadas, maracatu, and more. Here’s an example of a batucada.

Friday, May 13

Tom Hunter Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) You can often catch Hunter performing at Willie Murphy’s Monday night jams, but his resume is far bigger than that: playing with Big John Dickerson, touring with Mary Cutrufello as the opening act for the Allman Brothers 30th Anniversary tour, playing and recording with Bernard Allison, and putting out three of his own albums. Catch him performing with his own group in the big room at this Fridley lounge.

Radio Joe & The Jazzbos @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($10) Radio Joe Demko brings his romantic swing to the Western suburbs. This 40 seat cafe, with a varied wine and beer list, is the perfect intimate setting for hearing Joe do his Nat King Cole tribute during the first set. The second set will undoubtedly feature some of Joe’s fine originals as well as swing inspired by the Benny Goodman Quintet.

Worldwide Discoteque 4th Anniversary @ Nomad World Pub, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) The tropical dance party celebrates four years of bringing together the music of Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean in a trans-generational, trans-ethnic celebration that has even been cited in the NY Times. Since that mention a couple of years ago they’ve moved to the larger confines of the Nomad, so let the dancing begin!

Friday, Saturday, May 13, 14

The English Beat @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($40 – $45) The English Beat were one of the most popular and influential bands of the Two-Tone Ska Movement in England in the late 70s and early 80s. They released three acclaimed albums and toured with folks like David Bowie, the Clash, and the Talking Heads, among others. After calling it quits as a band, members went on to form General Public, Fine Young Cannibals, and others. They reunited in 2003 and have been enjoying a renaissance since then by continuing to play their energizing mix of ska, soul, reggae, and rock.

Cariba Fest @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 5pm – 1am Friday, 11am – 1am Saturday ($10/event or $20 all day). Six different films about Jamaica, six different bands playing ska, reggae, and steel pan, and a dozen roots deejays will be appearing, with Ska Legends Stranger Cole and Patsy Todd performing with our own Prizefighters   Jerksican food will be available all weekend in Pepito’s, attached to the theater. As an added attraction there will be Brunch with Stranger Cole and Patsy Todd on Sunday, from 1am – 2pm.

Saturday, May 14

Yolande Bruce’s Birthday Concert @ Crooners, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Bruce is an original member of Moore by Four, and has appeared in productions at the Guthrie, Penumbra Theater, and other stages around town. Tonight the R&B/jazz singer celebrates her birthday with a few friends, including: Gary Gratz. piano; Jay Young, bass; Steve Faison, drums; and others that will undoubtedly be known to her fans.

Nikki Roux & Rich Rue/Hurricane Harold’s All-Star Revue @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (Nikki & Rich – No Cover) 9pm ( Hurricane – $8) Here’s another two-fer of roots from the Vieux. Nikki & Rich form the heart of Nikki & the Rue-mates, and together, play the blues and folk-rock. Hurricane Harold Trembley is host of the House Party on KFAI, where he brings in roots artists to play every week. As a result, he has a large rolodex of musicians to choose for various incarnations of the All-Stars. Whoever he has, they will likely be A-list roots musicians, and include a couple of vocalists.

New Orleans Suspects @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10 Advance, $15 Door) Some of the finest R&B musicians to come out of New Orleans, the Suspects are: Mean Willie Green, who has drummed for the Neville Brothers since the 80s; Reggie Scanlan, who played bass with James Booker, Professor Longhair, and for 33 years, the Radiators; guitarist Jake Eckert cut his teeth with Derek Trucks before joining the Dirty Dozen; CR Gruver, on piano, is classically trained, and played with many of the city’s well known musicians as well as leading his own band, Funkifry’d; while tenor saxist Kevin Harris is a founding member of the Dirty Dozen who has also played with folks ranging from Elvis Costello, to Norah Jones. Our own Butanes open at 9:30 and the Suspects perform from 10:30 – 1am. As an added bonus, for an additional $15 you can attend a Crawfish Boil on the Joint patio next door.

All Asian Nation Dance Party @ The Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 9:30pm ($7, $10 after 11pm) Here’s a chance to experience and dance to an evening of Asian Hits, from K-Pop (Korea) to Bollywood (India), as well as several Asian musical genres you may not have heard. If the music moves you, get on the dance floor. Though there will be appearances by Drag Queen Sunny Kiriyama and Drag King Sum Yung Wang, along with multi-musician/artist/producer Miggy Smalls Slice, there is no dress code. For an example of K-pop, here’s a video that’s gotten over 100 million views on YouTube.

Sunday, Monday, May 15, 16

James Hunter Six @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $45) Hunter is a fine proponent of updated soul and R&B. In fact, Mojo Music Magazine of England, declared him “UKs’ best soul singer.” In person he’s a delightful performer, backed by a great band. His latest album, “Hold On” has been released on Brooklyn’s hipster/funk label Daptone, which only adds to his pedigree. Highly recommended if you have any interest in soul music, whether its contemporary or classic.

 

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.


May and Music are Upon Us: 5.5 – 5.10

May 5, 2016
Trees are flowering. Photo from Bill Lindeke's blog

Trees are flowering. Photo from Bill Lindeke’s blog

I’m a day late in posting this. Sometimes life gets in the way of what we’re doing. Anyway, we have a week filled with music coming up, only a portion of which I’ve listed. We have visiting artists from Malaysia, Atlanta, and Chicago, in addition to shows by a number of our own outstanding resident artists. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Thursday, May 5

Dorothy Doring @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5 w/studentID) Versatile vocalist Doring will be performing various jazz favorites, including, I imagine, some from her 3 excellent albums. She’ll be accompanied by pianist March Ziegenhangen on piano.

Friday, May 6

Rio Nido @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) It may be nigh unto impossible to score tickets to see this beloved vocal trio  They rose out of the West Bank music scene in the 70s to become Twin Cities favorites through the mid-eighties by performing classic jazz from the 30s and 40s. After successful solo careers, Prudence Johnson, Tim Sparks, and Tom Lieberman had successful solo careers, and recently rediscovered the joys of performing together again. Here’s what they sound like.

Peter Kogan’s Monsterful Wonderband @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Kogan  former tympanist with the Minnesota Orchestra, has been bringing his jazz chops to the fore since his retirement last year. He’s already released two fine albums, with music that touches on many aspects of the jazz continuum. The drummer’s band includes: Goeff Senn, Trumpet; Pete Whitman, Sax; Scott Agster, Trombone; Chris Olson, Guitar; Sean Turner, Piano; Graydon Peterson, Bass

 

Saturday, May 7

The MN Hard Bop Collective @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Saxophonist Andrew Schwandt is relocating from the Twin Cities, so this group is playing a farewell concert for him. Besides Schwandt, members include: Ryan Nyther, trumpet; Javier Santiago, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jesse Simon, drums. They’ll be playing a classic hard bop repertoire, that music popularized by Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Hank Mobley, and Lee Morgan, among others. It’s a style that has both gospel and R&B influences, yet never strays from jazz.

Sophia Shorai @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley 7:30pm (No Cover) Here’s a date night opportunity if their ever was one. Shorai  s a singer who can go from sweet to heartbroken with ease. She has been performing in the area for over 10 years, producing five self-released albums covering bossa nova, the Great American Songbook, some modern classics, and her own compositions. She has a knack for picking stellar sidemen as well. Here’s a clip that showcases her way with a ballad.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Tonight’s opening act is the Plus One Trio, with Anthony Bloch, drums; Nate Baumeister, saxophones; Benjamin Allen, trombone; and Jason Mclean, bass. At 8:30, it’s Witch Hunt, a tribute to Wayne Shorter’s Speak No Evil album. Members include: Adam Nussbaum, drums; Joy Mayo, saxophones; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; Ted Godbout, piano; and Ted Olsen, bass.

Phillip Greenlief @ Jazz at Studio Z, Saint Paul. ($10 Advance, $15 Door) The San Francisco-based saxophonist comes to town to play with Nathan Hanson, sax; Chis Bates, bass; and Davu Seru, drums. Greenlief has been making a name for himself since the 1970s, performing and playing with a varied group of musicians in the post jazz, improvisational community, including Fred Firth, Meredith Monk, and They Might be Giants. As always, there is a free master class at 6pm. Those who come for the master class and stay for the concert only pay $10. Here’s an example of his approach to playing.

Sunday, May 8

Hanging Hearts – Chris Weller @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/student ID) This Chicago based trio integrates jazz, rock, and experimental music into their performances. They’ve toured internationally, appeared at the Chicago Jazz Festival, and will be heading into the studio in June with Dave King producing. Chris Weller, tenor; Cole DeGenova, keys; Devin Drobka, drums & percussion. Here they are performing in Slovakia.

Monday, May 9

Joe Mayo & Dave Brattain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w./student ID) Two heavy hitting saxophonists in town get together to play music they don’t usually play in big bands.

Jazz Implosion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) 1st set – JT Bates,  2nd set – Hanging Hearts (Chicago). If you didn’t get to see them yesterday at Jazz Central, here’s another chance:  Chris Weller, sax; Devin Drobka, drunms; Cole DeGenova, keys.  While Chris and Cole grew up in Chicago, playing professionally in jazz and blues clubs by the age of 15, the trio was completed at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where all three members graduated. The trio’s repertoire consists of their original compositions.

Tuesday, May 10

Stu Katz and Friends @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) 1st set solo, 2nd set with son Steven, bass & vocals; Jay Epstein, drums. Over his long career, Chicagoan Stu Katz has performed in numerous public venues with young and old bebop luminaries including Gene Ammons, Kenny Burrell, Joey DeFrancesco, Dexter Gordon, Bunky Green, Roy Haynes, Milt Jackson, “Philly” Joe Jones, Clifford Jordan, Russell Malone, James Moody, Zoot Sims, Sonny Stitt, Ira Sullivan and Phil Woods. Here he is back in 1985 at the Chicago Jazz Festival with Doc Cheatham.

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…

Thursday, May 5

Rare Medium @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Is it jazzy funk or funky jazz? I’m never quite sure where to list this six-piece band that crosses genres to get people shaking their booty while using appealing jazz harmonies.

Walter Trout @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) As fans of this master of rockin’ blues guitar know, Trout was diagnosed with life-threatening liver failure and hepatitis C in 2013, and received a liver transplant in 2014. His last album, Battle Scars, was filled with stories of his fight to stay alive, while the soon-to-be-released Alive in Amsterdam, is a celebration of his return. Expect some blues-filled fireworks. The under-appreciated guitarist Ken Valdez, who has played with everyone from Dr. John and Michael Franti to The Wallflowers, Marshall Crenshaw, and Maceo Parker, opens at 7pm.

Friday, May 6

Bruce Hamm & Marcus Wise @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/student ID) Hmm, we have here the first presentation of North Indian classical music at this jazz venue. Many in the Twin Cities know tabla player Marcus Wise for his work with the likes of Dean Magraw, Anthony Cox, and Peter Schimke. He’s also worked with Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, John Densmore of the Doors, and Steve Tibbets. Tonight he’s working with Hamm, one of America’s top sarod players, with whom he’s performed many times. Here’s a short video of the two of them in a trio setting.

The Butanes @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Often named the Best Blues Band in the Twin Cities, this four-piece tears it up, and will no doubt create a lively scene in the supper club’s lounge. Check out their instrumental chops.

Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) With a style that heavily rooted in blues, country, and soul, and propelled by the energy of early rock n’ roll, Alex “Crankshaft” Larson and his band deliver hard driving deep blues and roots music.

Boom Boom Stevie V & the Knockouts @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Boom Boom delivers emotion-fueled harmonica blues, and with the Knockouts, provides an evening of fun.

Saturday, May 7

Hurricane Harold Duo and Lisa Wenger @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (Hurricane – No Cover), 9pm (Wenger – $8) It’s a double dose of bluesy roots at the Vieux tonight. Harmonica whiz Hurricane Harold Trembley always has interesting partners in his duos, and will provide great music while you dine on the room’s New Orleans-inspired food. Then at 9pm Blueswoman Lisa Wenger will bring her gritty-yet-sweet soulfully inspired vocals to the room.

Classic country, classic duds

Classic country, classic duds

Saddle Sores @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5?, $10?) Classic country from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. The Saddle Sores are: Jenny Russ, vocals; Jimmy Kennedy, guitar & vocals; Randy Venaas, bass; Mo Engel, drums; and Tyler Christenson on pedal steel guitar.

 

The awkwardness of finding a date for the prom

The awkwardness of finding a date for the prom

Opening: A Night in Olympus @ Illusion Theater, Cowles Center for the Arts, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25 – $42) Runs through June 4 (Sundays at 7pm) After their success with the musical Glensheen, Chan Poling is once again partnering with playwright Jeffrey Hatcher and writer Bill Corbett for A Night in Olympus, a musical about an awkward teenager who gets her wish to become so beautiful that she scores a date with the hottest guy in school. As might be expected, things don’t work out as planned in what promises to be a musical evening filled with silliness, though rest assured, there’s a happy ending. Poling is a founding member of the Suburbs and tours with The New Standards. Hatcher’s plays have been seen on Broadway and he’s done the screenwriting for Mr. Holmes, the Duchess, and Casanova. Corbett is one of the writers and performers of Mystery Science Theater 3000.   BTW, I’ll have Chan Poling as my guest on Rhythm and Grooves on Saturday, May 7. The show runs from 10:30am – Noon. Poling will be out in the latter part of the 11am hour. Find out more about the production here.

Joey Ryan & the Inks CD Release @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Ryan crafts pop songs that recall the “sunshine pop” of California, though he leavens his music with a bit of sadness. The new CD, Young Afternoon, was crafted during a period when all members of the band welcomed additions to their family, and the songs reflect that new responsibility. Opening acts are BBGun, with Al Church, Neal Perbix, and drummer Jeremy Hanson, and solo singer/songwriter Eric Mayson.

Sunday, May 8

Yuna, with BOSCO @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($18 Advance/$20 Door) Yuna is an R&B singer from Malaysia, whose 2012 breakthrough hit, “Live Your Life” was produced by Pharrell Williams, the guy behind “Happy” and Daft Punk’s last album. Her new album, “Nocturnal” is being released on Verve Records. Opening is Atlanta’s BOSCO, another up and coming female R&B artist.

Monday, May 9

Paul Mayasich & The RAMM Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Get a dose of Real American Made Music, i.e., Motown, rock n’ roll, R&B, funk, and more from Mayasich and his bandmates. Here they are in an acoustic setting.

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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