Our cup is overflowing with a full week of music ahead of us,. We have visiting pianists, blues artists, and a great bluegrass band coming to town. Of course, we have our own roster of resident musicians whose talent is truly worthy of our support. We’ve got jazz, Americana, blues, and Latin music, with a Japanese Lighting Festival just for fun. Music lifts your spirits.
Wednesday, August 17
Tributary, featuring Adam Meckler and Brian Courage @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner Show) This is a group made up of musicians who all met at Lawrence University in Wisconsin, which has produced a number of very good musicians. Besides Meckler on trumpet, and Brian Courage, who used to live here and is now based in NYC on bass, the group includes Aaron Hedenstrom, of numerous groups and leading his own big band on tenor; Greg Woodside, of Boston, on piano; and Derek Dreier, of Des Moines, on drums.
Dean Magraw & Eric Kamau Gravatt @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) One of the most versatile guitarists on the planet (Magraw), and an internationally known powerhouse drummer (Gravatt) come together for a tuneful evening that can go in any direction.
Monseur Periné @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $32) Columbia has a thriving music scene, and Monseur Perine is a big part of it. They take acoustic swing, gypsy jazz, and add Latin percussion, for a fresh approach to the music.
Capri Big Band @ Minnehaha Falls Park, Minneapolis. 7pm – 8:30pm (Free) This intergenerational big band can swing with the best of them. What a great way to hear them, at the pavilion at Minnehaha Falls, with perhaps, some food and drink from the nearby Sea Salt Cafe.
Thursday, August 18
Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Vocalist Pippi Ardennia sings For Peace, accompanied by a trio of young artists that she’s taken under wing: Jo Schad, piano & vocals; Luke Pickman, cello & flute; and Beth Varela, drums.
Kandace Springs @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Pianist/vocalist Ms Springs recently received a glowing review in Jazz Times for her Blue Note album Soul Eyes. The reviewer called her pop-jazz sound “a bewitching amalgam of Dusty Springfield’s caliginous, cream-filled soulfulness and Nancy Wilson’s sensual sophistication, with distinct shades of Michael Jackson.” Springs is a Prince protege, and this is a chance for you to say, “I saw her when…”
Dorothy Doring @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) It’s vocal night at Jazz Central, and tonight, the well-regarded Ms Doring is center stage, with her inviting blend of jazz and a bit of the blues.
Friday, August 19
Sophia Shorai @ Crooner’s Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Hoo boy! You might think that Ms Shorai’s honey-sweet, and sometimes coquettish vocals could easily be lost in the loud conversations that accompany a TGIF night at Crooners, but have no fear, she has enough grit, not to mention an abundance of talent, to capture the attention of almost anyone celebrating the end of the week.
Lulu’s Playground @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Their music is charming and inventive, and while the members of Lulu’s Playground may call their music “chamber jazz,” truth is, their music is hard to define, though their instrumentation does imply such a label. Their music includes tangos, jazz, waltzes, and even some free improvisation. Members are: Adam Meckler, trumpet; Steven Hobert, accordion; Corey Grossman, cello; and Ben Abrahamson, guitar. and
Rodney Ruckus @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) This is part of the All Originals Jazz Series at Studio Z, not to be confused with Jazz at Studio Z. We’re lucky to have two different jazz series at this location. At any rate, drummer Rodney Ruckus has put together a new group to play a live version of A Love Supreme, along with some new compositions. Rodney Ruckus, drums; Will Kjeer, piano; Steve Kenny Flumpet; and Ron Evaniuk, bass.
Saturday, August 20
Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) It’s another night of two bands and a tip jar. Opening set is by the Mitch Rand Quartet: Mitch Rand, saxes; Dillon Nelson, guitar; Andrew Nelson, electric bass; and Noah Kittelson, drums. then at 8:30, Steve Kenny celebrates 100 weeks of Saturday Night Jazz with Group 47, Will Kjeer, piano; Thomas Strommen, tenor; Adam Tucker bass; Alex Burgess, drums; and the veteran Steve Kenny, Flumpet.
Ethan Iverson Masterclass & Performance @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $50 w/Dinner) Masterclass: 4-6pm included with 7pm show. Though Iverson is best known as one third of The Bad Plus, with whom he’s played venues as varied as The Village Vanguard and Bonnaroo, he also plays with the Billy Hart Quartet and with jazz elders such as Albert “Tootie” Heath, and Ron Carter. Time Out New York called him, “Perhaps NYC’s most thoughtful and passionate student of jazz tradition—the most admirable sort of artist-scholar.” In concert he’ll be playing a diverse selection of jazz piano pieces, including numbers from James P. Johnson and Mary Lou Williams. While the masterclass is meant for piano players, everyone is welcome.
Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Bassist/vocalist Ms Lynch brings her Most Excellent Fellows back to the Vieux. this time around the Fellows include Chris Beaty, guitar; Dan Eickmier, trumpet; Richard Medek, drums; and Peter Enblom, trombone. As the ensemble performs hits from the 30s, 40s, and even the 50s, dancing will be encouraged, but certainly not required.
Monday, August 22
Rick Germanson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($12, $40w/Dinner) NYC-based pianist Germanson moved to the Big Apple from his hometown of Milwaukee in 1996, and soon established himself as a go-to-pianist for many national acts. He’s released three very-well received albums and has appeared at major clubs and festivals around the world. He’s no stranger to the Twin Cities, having appeared at the old Artists’ Quarter a number of times, and recorded with Carol Martin. He currently tours with the Cannonball Legacy Project, led by drummer Louis Hayes, as well as with Kyle Eastwood.
Javier Santiago & Friends @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Pianist Javier Santiago has been playing some modern rhythms and riffs of late, dipping his oh so talented fingers into neo-soul, in addition to giving a contemporary touch to old standards. His friends include Dan Carpel, bass; Miguel Hurtado, drums; and Proper T on vocals.
Blues, Roots, Other…
Wednesday, August 17
Willie Walker on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) the Twin Cities own original soul man is not only still going, but has had a boost in his career from last year’s release of If Nothing Ever Changes, which was produced by Rick Estrin, formerly of Little Charlie and the Night Cats. The CD received Blues Award nominations in three categories. Walker doesn’t even need a full band to work his magic. Tonight he’ll be accompanied by guitarist Scott Ives.
Dakota Dave Hull @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Hull is an international guitar star, at least for those who follow finger-picking. He gets his suits made in Thailand when touring Asia, and is a frequent visitor to Great Britain and Europe. As a result, we don’t get to see him perform in town very much, so this is a rare opportunity, especially given the price.
Malamanya @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) They’ll be clearing away tables to allow for salsa dancing at the Icehouse as the seven members of Malamanya work their magic with vintage Cuban sons and other Afro-Caribbean rhythms.
Thursday, August 18
Erik Koskinen and Rogue Valley @ Music in Mears, Saint Paul 6pm (Free) It’s Americana Night at Mears Park. Erik Koskinen is a singer/songwriter and excellent guitarist who deserves to be known throughout the nation, both for his playing, and his slice of life songs that evoke the classic country music of the 50s and 60s. Rogue Valley is a quintet led by singer/songwriter Chris Koza. A couple of years back they released four albums in one year, each dedicated to one of the seasons. More recently, they released radiate/dissolve. As usual, Music in Mears will feature a half-dozen food trucks, and beer from Lake Monster Brewing and Summit Brewing.
Doug Otto & The Getaways @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) If you’ve never made it to NE Mpls to catch Doug and the guys at Nye’s or the 331 Club, here’s a chance to catch them in the newly redesigned Black Dog, which now boasts a full bar and a real kitchen. Soulful, mournful blues of various stripes.
Guitar Shorty @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm ($10) In a five-decade performing career, Guitar Shorty has been credited with influencing both Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Guy. We’re not likely to see the hard-hitting performer do flips on stage, as he once did, but the blazing fingering and fiery bursts of notes are still there.
Friday, August 19
Frogleg w/Bailey Hubbs @ Rice Park, Saint Paul 6pm – 9pm (Free) Headliners Frogleg can usually be heard performing their jam-bandish blend of R&B, Reggae, Funk, and rock at Bunker’s on Thursdays. Tonight they cross the river for some outdoor dancing. Hubbs is a talented sixteen year old from Saint Paul currently recording her original music in Nashville. Food trucks and beverage sellers will be available.
Jaedeyn James & The Hunger @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) This ten-piece horn band has lots of fun on stage, playing high energy original R&B and selected covers with a brashness usually found in punk bands. Listen to them on their BandCamp page.
Saturday, August 20
John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $35) Jorgenson may be one of the most talented guitarists around. He’s spent years touring with Elton John, started the country-rock band Desert Rose, and helped kick-start the gypsy jazz revival of the last decade or so. He’s a virtuoso player who also plays mandolin. Tonight he’s showcasing one of his three bands – J2B2, featuring Herb Pederson on banjo, guitar, and vocals (Byrds, Desert Rose, Flying Burrito Brothers); as well as Jon Randall on guitar (Emmylou Harris, Nash Ramblers); and Mark Fain on bass (Ricky Skaggs, Kentucky Thunder).
BrassZilla @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Just in case you haven’t had enough brass in your life, along comes BrassZilla: Hal Longley, sousaphone; Zach Zins, trombone; Bob DeBoer, trumpet; and Jeffrey Dunitz, drums. With their originals and brass band versions of songs you know, BrassZilla will be easily heard in the somewhat noisy confines of Hell’s Kitchen.
Sunday, August 21
Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival @ Como Zoo & Conservatory, Saint Paul. 3pm – 9pm ($5) The 18th annual Como Park Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival is a family-friendly event, reminiscent of Japan’s annual Obon holiday. In the Japanese Garden at the Conservatory, you will find bonsai, martial arts, Ikebana, singing, dancing, drumming, food and other aspects of Japanese culture.The day will culminate at dusk with the main event—the lantern lighting. Stone lanterns as well as hundreds of floating paper lanterns throughout the Japanese Garden pond and the Frog Pond will create a vision of peacefulness and harmony.
Phil Heywood @ Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7:45pm (Tip Jar) A helluva finger-picking guitarist with a pleasant baritone voice to boot, performing in the welcoming confines of this “Irish in Saint Paul” pub.
Shemekia Copeland @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) What we have here is proof that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Ms Copeland is the daughter of the late blues guitarist Johnny Copeland, and there’s no doubt she’s learned much from her father.With a powerful, soulful voice, she’s headlined the Chicago Blues Festival and others around the world, performed at the White House, and shared the stage with folks like Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, BB King, and Buddy Guy.
Monday, Tuesday, August 22, 23
Ruthie Foster @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) It’s a testament to Foster’s talent that she can fill the Dakota whenever she performs, which seems to be a couple of times a year. With her warm on-stage presence, and knack for storytelling, Foster is an ideal purveyor of folk blues. Folks notice: she’s won numerous awards from Living Blues, including Female Blues Artist of the Year. Jack Broadbent opens