Mild Weather, Hot Music: 11.29 – 12.5

November 29, 2017

Some more holiday shows are on the horizon this week, as well as interesting shows from both visiting and resident artists. The weather continues to be unseasonably mild, so even if the temps drop some, as shown on the AccuWeather map above, it’s still easy to get out and hear some live music.  On to a couple of personal notes, I’ll be retiring from my radio show, Rhythm & Grooves, at the end of the year. My last show will be December 30, though hopefully, I’ll show up occasionally as a sub for other programs. I am continuing this blog and my newsletter. Secondly, the treatment regimen for my health issues goes amazingly well. Thank you for all your positive thoughts, prayers, and well wishes. Now get out and take part in a live music experience, which certainly can lift your spirits.



Wednesday, Nov 29

Patrick Adkins Sextet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Here’s a young group worth watching: Patrick Adkins – Piano; Tarek Abdelqader – Drums; Levi Schwartzberg – Vibes; Aidan Sponheim – Trumpet; Drew Stinson – Bass; Thomas Strommen – Saxophone

Thursday, Nov 30

Vicky Mountain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) With Reuben Ristrom, guitar; Larry Hillman, sax; Jim Chenoweth, bass; and David Schmalenberger, drums.

Also: George Cartwright’s Smashing Carp @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Cartwright, saxophones; Heather Barringer, Vibraphone; Noah Ophoven-Baldwinm, trupmpet; and Michelle Kinney, Cello. Smashing is right.

Sophia Shorai Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) Underneath her sunny voice there is heartbreak waiting to be unleashed.

Friday, Dec 1

Kronick Quintet @ The Green Lantern (Public), Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) Five veteran musicians playing jazz will entertain in the basement bar at Lowertown’s Public Restaurant.

Omar Abdulkarim Trio @ The Lexington’s Williamsburg Room, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) A young trumpeter with beautiful tone has veterans Peter Schimke, piano; and Billy Peterson, bass accompanying him.

Friday, Saturday, Dec 1,2

Earl Klugh @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45), 9pm ($32, $37, $42) Acoustic guitarist Klugh cites Chet Atkins as being his most important influence, yet he has recorded with jazz artists, and his work is sometimes listed as New Age, or smooth jazz. He has a pretty tone and deft fingering, which come to the fore in his last album, Handpicked, a mostly solo outing, with two duets – one with Bill Frisell on Blue Moon and another with ukelelist Jake Shimabukuiro on Hotel California. 

Saturday, Dec 2

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Le Voyage opens at 7pm, featuring Matt Rice, alto sax; Donald Washington, saxophones; Richard Studer bass, and Steve Hirsh, drums. At 8:30, Peter Kogan’s Monsterful Wonderband will take the stage;: Geoff Senn, tpt; Pete Whitman, sax; Scott Agster, trombone; Chris Olsonm, guitar; Joe Strachan piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Peter Kogan, drums. While there are no videos of the band performing, here’s a slightly different version of the band from their recording.

Also: Lindsay Pedalty Trio @ The Green Lantern, Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) a charming, unaffected vocalist.

Sunday, Dec 3

Katia Cardenas @ Can Can Wonderland, 755 Prior Ave North, Saint Paul. 7pm – 10pm (No cover) I’ve yet to make it to this funhouse/bar/restaurant with indoor mini-golf and other attractions, but the siren call of Cardenas’ vocals on jazz and occasional pop tunes just might do the trick. She’ll be accompanied by Ted Gadbout, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Zach Schmidt, drums.

Alley Cats Jazz Jam @ The Basement Bar, Minneapolis. 8pm – 11pm  (No Cover) This jam is headed up by guitarist Joel Shapira, for a New York Jazzers Open Jam, though rules apply for participation.

Sunday, Monday, Dec 3, 4

Brad Mehldau Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $50), 9pm ($25, $30, $40) Whether improvising on rock n’ roll standards, a Charlie Parker blues, or the Great American Songbook, pianist Mehldau and bandmates bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard create intimate, often contemplative, music on their 2016 release Blues and Ballads. I can’t describe their music any better than Brit Robson did in the Star Tribune the other day, “Heres’s a group that manages to be cerebral and sentimental all at once.”

Tuesday, Dec 5

The Crosby/Clooney Story w/Hixson & Fogel @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20) Arne Fogel and Maud Hixson are reprising their popular show featuring the tunes and stories of the long friendship and working relationship between Bing Crosby & Rosemary Clooney. They’ll be aided by pianist Rick Carlson and bassist Steve Pikal. Here’s a video that shows Crosby and Clooney singing together.

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, Nov 29

Matt Woods on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Guitarist/vocalist Woods is a native of Iowa who performs traditional American roots music in all its guises, from traditional delta, hill country and urban electric blues, to gospel, country and folk music.  

Radio Joe & the JazzBos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) Joe Demko’s romantic streak is evident in many of the swinging loves songs that he and the JazzBos play. He promises to debut a theme song tonight. Bring your dancing shoes and your dancing moves.

Turkuaz @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($15 – $18) Brooklyn based funksters Turkuaz have a stage show described as combining influences from Sly and the Family Stone to Talking Heads into an explosive auditory and visual circus, a full-frontal assault on the senses. Opening are the Suffers, an 8-piece ensemble from Houston who play “Gulf Coast Soul.” They’ve done a tiny desk concert for NPR (which you can see here , and have appeared on the Daily Show with Trevor Noah and the Jimmy Kimmel Show.

Thursday, Nov 30

Willie Walker @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Here’s a chance to see this Walker, who was part of the original soul explosion in the 60s, in a fancy setting. During the past couple of years he’s experienced an uptick in overseas gigs, and has won two awards from Living Blues – Comeback Artist of the Year and Best Blues Album of 2015 for his recording Nothing Ever Changes. Whether singing originals, or classics by Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, Walker has never sounded better.

Also: Javier Matos @ The Basement Bar, 511 Washington Ave North, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Master of the bottleneck slide guitar, purveyor of the blues.

Friday, Dec 1

Church of Cash Holiday Show @ the Hook & Ladder, Minneapoills. 6:30pm ($10 Advance/$15 Door) You get a band that does a terrific job of honoring Johnny Cash while celebrating the holidays. What’s not to like?

Friday, Saturday, Dec 1, 2

Christmas Reggae Weekend @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($?) Expect Christmas music Yard Style and Soca Style, With Socaholix and The International Reggae All-Stars laying down the heavy bass. Wonder if they’ll do Sensimilla to the tune of the Hallelujah Chorus? Here the All Stars tackle Purple Rain.

Saturday, Dec 2

18th Annual Jeff Arundel Holiday Show @ 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($10) His show at the Aster Cafe is sold out, so you’ll have to head west to take part in this holiday tradition: With Special Guests Kathleen Johnson, Paul the Beatle, Fred and Anne Vagle, Steele Arundel, and The Swedish Men’s Whistling Team

The 99ers and The Black Widows @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 10pm (Tip Jar) Pop punk from the 99s and the all woman Black Widows.

Also: Willie Murphy & The Angel-Headed Hipsters @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 8pm (No cover)

Sunday, Dec 3

Switched at Birth CD Release Party @ The Hook & Ladder, Saint Paul. 4PM ($7 Advance/$10 Door) Switched at Birth has been playing their genre-defying acoustic music since 1998, with a repertoire that includes, bluegrass, folk, blues, Cajun, Irish,m and rock n’ roll music – Whew! They are celebrating the release of their third studio recording A Labor of Love. Members are Rick Anderson, guitar, banjo, vocals; Pam Kolupailo (Pam K of KFAI), guitar, vocals; Mark Briere, Mandolin, vocals; Mark Rizzardi, bass, vocals; and Catie Jo Pidel, fiddle. Opening act Cousin Dad is another acoustic band with a surprising song list, including Latin, country buds, fiddle tunes, Motown, and more. Here’s Switched at Birth with a classic rock tune.

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.

Musical Traditions: 11.22 – 11.28

November 22, 2017

Greetings Fellow Music Fans;

Taken from their Christmas album

Well the Holiday season is upon us, often bringing families together in a variety of traditions, some of which are long standing, some of which are from the various cultures that make up our country, and some of which are new. Here in the Twin Cities there are a number of music traditions taking place, such as annual Thanksgiving Eve shows, and the return of musicians who grew up here but are now residing elsewhere. Like Tony Bennett and the Count Basie Band, music brings us together, and though there may be few shows on Thanksgiving, we’re blessed with an active music scene with musicians who support one another and through their music, Lift Our Spirits. Whatever traditions you follow, have a good Thanksgiving



Wednesday, Nov 22

Acme Jazz Company, Feat: Arne Fogel @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Solid big band music with the Twin Cities preeminent male jazz vocalist.

Stu Katz Quartet @ Vieux Carré  Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Katz is one of the last original proponents of bebop piano, having been a working musician on both piano and vibes for more than 55 years. He’s performed with folks like Gene Ammons, Kenny Burell, Dextor Gordon, and numerous other bright lights in the jazz world. He has been a long time collaborator with Ira Sullivan, with whom he released a live recording in 2011. Besides Katz on vibes/piano, he’ll be accompanied by some of our own bright lights in jazz; Chris Bates, bass; Dean Magraw, guitar; and Jay Epstein, drums, aka Red Planet. Here is Katz back in 1985, playing with Doc Cheatham.

Thursday, Nov 23

No jazz tonight, as far as I can tell, though there are a couple of jazzy blues events (see listing in Blues & Roots, below)

Friday, Nov 24

Hoaxer @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9pm ($12) One tradition of the holiday season is that young musicians return to town from college and perform for a few days. Tonight we’ll hear from the collective quartet known as Hoaxer. Their influences include jazz of course, as well as avant-garde, rock, and electronic music. They released their well-received debut album last summer. The group includes Will Kjeer, piano; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Peter Goggin, sax; and Edmund Caitlin on drums.

Fall of the House of Usher @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/valid Student ID) Founder/guitarist Chris Cunningham has gathered a bunch of like-minded musicians for this project, including: Ivan Cunningham, Saxophones; Michelle Kinney, Cello; Greg Schutte, Drums; Chris Bates, Bass; Adam Svec, Vocals; Noah Ophoven Baldwin, Trumpet; Jared Jarvis, Saxophones; and Riley Swain, Baritone Saxophone. Cunningham has played with John Lurie’s Lounge Lizards, the Contortions, The Golden Palaminos, Rich Havens, Marshall Crenshaw, and a host of NYC’s adventurous musicians.He and his fellow musicians mine the world’s deepest grooves from East, West, and North African, 80’s No Wave skronk, early 70’s Miles, Sun Ra, and New Orleans Funk.

Also: Swingbeat Big Band @ Wabasha Caves, Saint Paul. 7pm ($8) Swing Night is moved to Friday this week

Saturday, Nov 25

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar)  7:00 Opening Set: Luke Peterson Trio Plays Ornette Coleman – Peter Goggin,sax; Charlie Lincoln, bass; Luke Peterson, drums.- three college students (and former members of the Dakota Combo) who only get better as they progress in their studies.   At 8:30, it’s Central Standard Time: Steve Kenny, FLUMPET; Dave Brattain, Saxophones; Will Kjeer, Piano; Ron Evaniuk, Bass; Eric Kamau Grávátt, Drums.

Pat Mallinger Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) Another tradition of late is that the Saint Paul born and raised saxophonist returns for the holidays, and we’re the luckier for it. He’s the co-leader of Sabertooth, the mainstay band at Chicago’s Green Mill since 1992! He’s also an educator and mentor for Ramsey Lewis’ Ravinia Jazz Mentor Program, and the Louis Armstrong Legacy Project.

Valve Meets Slide @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5w/valid student ID) Brad Bellows, valve trombone; and Dave Graf, slide trombone, and their band-mates play originals as well as the music of Bob Brookmyer. You’ll also get to hear an interview that Leigh Kamman did with Brookmeyer back in 1981.

Also: Omar Abdulkarim Trio @ The Lexington’s Williamburg Room, Saint Paul. 7 – 11:30pm (No Cover)

Sunday, Nov 26

25 Years of Jazz Originals @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 3pm – 6pm ($10 Advance/$15 Door) After 25 Years, pianist/clarinetist/music historian Butch Thompson is stepping down from producing his KBEM radio show, Jazz Originals, though he will still perform here and around the world. Jazz Originals delightfully celebrated vintage jazz and the musicians that made it, with thoughtful, though not overly scholarly, analysis and comments from Thompson. The Southside Aces will be performing original jazz, and will have some special surprise guests.

Monday, Nov 27

Fat Kid Wednesdays @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($16) This is a rare appearance by Adam Linz, bass; Michael Lewis, sax; and JT Bates, drums; who have been playing together since they were teenagers about 25 years ago. They started the Jazz Implosion at The Turf’s old Clown Lounge and managed to create an “underground” jazz scene here. Then they toured internationally, appeared on the cover of France’s jazz magazine, and generally blew people away ever since. Richard Brody, of The New Yorker, wrote, “their exhilarating performance revealed both the depth of their individual artistry and the symbiotic wonder of their interplay.”

Tuesday, Nov 28

Karrin Allyson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50) This is a benefit for The Leigh Kamman Legacy Project, which preserves and shares the vast archive of audio, visual, and written resources, including hundreds of recorded interviews of legendary broadcaster Leigh Kamman. Allyson, who lived here for a while early in her career, will be accompanied by a great rhythm section: pianist Laura Caviani; bassist Gordy Johnson, and drummer Phil Hey.

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, Nov 22

Nikki & the Ruemates Annual Thanksgiving Eve Show on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Nikki & the Ruemates will give you plenty to be thankful for, as they play their original folk/rock & blues, along with their versions of songs by other artists. If you’ve never heard Nikki & the Ruemates, tune in the KFAI at 5pm when they’ll play live in the studio before heading to the 331Club. Here’s Nikki playin with band-mate Rich Rue.

Thursday, Nov 23

Deano & The Dinosaurs @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8pm – 11pm (Tip Jar) So, maybe you’ve stuffed yourself, or maybe you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in a traditional manner, or you’ve watched all the football you want, but have a hankering for something more. Well, guitarist Dean Mikkelson is leading a group of musicians that can help. He and his merry band of musicians – Dean Harrington, guitar, Tom Lewis, bass; and Del Gallagher on percussion — will deliver jazzy, bluesy tunes for your pleasure. You’ll need an ID for adult beverages.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Nov 23, 24, 25

Davina & The Vagabonds @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20, Thurs, $25 Fri, Sat) If Davina’s combination of jazz, blues, and New Orleans R&B doesn’t wake you from the mythical triyptophan slumber, nothing will. Whether you attend Thanksgiving night, or one of the weekend gigs, you’ll walk away smiling.

Friday, Nov 24

Erik Koskinen EP Release @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20 reserved seats, $15 Standing Room) Koskinen has rightfully been called the best country singer in Minnesota, thanks to his keen eye for observing rural life and a plain-spoken approach to writing. His fine guitar playing adds another layer of texture to his old-school approach to country music. This is a release party for Cruising Paradise, a six-song EP.  Opening is Dana Thompson a “Girl from the North Country.”

Also: Johnny Rawls @ Shaws, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Real deal Chicago blues from a journeyman professional.

Saturday, Nov 25

Ace-Box Blues Band @ The Dubliner Pub & Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) A new band, consisting of veteran blues players led by multiple Blues Award winners Curtis Blake, harp, vocals; and Greg Schuck on drums.

Hurricane Harold’s All Star Blues Revue @ The Basement Bar, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover) There’s a new music venue in town. The Basement Bar is located under the newly launched NOLO Restaurant in the North Loop. Live blues and roots music is presented a couple of nights each week. It has a food-truck style offerings, a silent arcade area, and a stage, where well-connected harpmeister Hurricane Harold will bring along some talented friends to entertain you. Here he is with one version of the All Stars.

Also: High & Mighty @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($?) Horn driven, R&B dance band.

Sunday, Monday, Nov 26, 27

Melissa Manchester @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm, 8pm (Sunday), 7pm (Monday) ($35, $40, $45) Pop vocalist Manchester worked as a backup singer for Bette Midler and Barry Manilow before finding success in a solo career, hitting the charts in the mid-70s with hits like Midnight Blue, Don’t Cry Out Loud, and You Should Hear How She Talks About You. She has continued to achieve success in songwriting, composing for films, and theater work. After forty years in the business, she still draws well, as demonstrated by the fact she’s doing three shows.  Here’s a song she did for Ice Castles, the 1978 film shot here in the Twin Cities, with scenes shot at Mariucci Arena. (I recall being in the audience for this shooting.

Also: Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, 5pm – 7pm ($5) A matinee performance for those who like Latin dancing but have to go to work Monday morning.

Big George Jackson & Jeremy Johnson @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm (Tip Jar) It sounds like down home Delta Blues, but these two are Twin Citizens.

Monday, Nov 27

JJ’s Zydeco Paydirt @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($8) They’ve been filling dance floors by playing Zydeco music since the turn of this century.

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.

What is Hip? 11.15 – 11.21

November 15, 2017

What is Hip? Well, Tower of Power is here this week to answer that question, but you know that here in the Twin Cities, we’re blessed with a surfeit of hip music. This week we have a wide variety of music genres, from the funk of Tower of Power, to the grease of a couple of organ trios, to African music, Latin music, Grateful Dead music, and jazz with odd rhythms. It’s all quite invigorating, and as I’ve said many times before, Music Lifts Your Spirit. Get out and enjoy some.


Wednesday, Nov 15

Kandace Springs @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) Pianist and singer/songwriter Springs assimilates soul, jazz and pop while creating music that is distinctly her own. She started out in R&B/hip-hop, but found more comfort in jazz, citing folks like Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, & Roberta Flack as inspirations. When Prince heard her interpretation of Sam Smith’s Stay With Me, he invited her to perform with him at Paisley Park for the 30th Anniversary of Purple Rain.

Also: Rick Carlson and Thompson & Magraw @ Vieux Carré  Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) followed by Butch Thompson & Dean Magraw at 8pm ($5)

Thursday, Nov 16

The Casualties: Bates, Castino, & Gastonguay @ Vieux Carré  Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) The band: JT Bates, drums; Chris Castino, guitar; Kevin Gastonguay, keys. Chris Castino has been writing songs for the Twin Cities jam band Big Wu. for 20 years. However, his latest songs have a folk bent. I assume we’ll hear some of them tonight.

Maryann Sullivan: The Music of Fats Waller @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Fats Waller had the ability to be joyful, irreverent, insightful, and slightly bawdy, which is why, some 80 or 90 years later, his songs are an integral part of the jazz standards repertoire. Tonight Maryann Suillivan takes on his songs, with the help of Ted Godbout, piano; Preston Haining, trumpet; Amy Golen, vocals; and Jim Chenoweth, bass.

Also: Twin Cities Trumpet Ensemble @ Ives Auditorium, Burnsville. 7:30 – 9:30pm ($15) Jazz, Classical, and modern works from 24, yes 24 Trumpets!

Friday, Nov 17

Dorothy Doring & the Jazz Standards @The Undergound Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Ms Doring sings jazz standards accompanied by a quartet at this warm coffeehouse that serves beer and wine.

Nachito Herrera: Gershwin Meets Lacuona @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15, $20) Herrera takes a mostly solo turn playing the music of George Gershwin and the “Cuban Gershwin,” Ernesto Lacuona, best known in the States for the song Malaguena. He’ll be assisted in a few songs by daughter Merdalys. I had him on my show this past Saturday to talk about the event. You can hear it at: The interview starts at about the 15 minute mark. Here’s what he sounds like with a trio.

Also: Bruce Henry and The Atlantis Quartet @ Crooner’s Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. Bruce Henry in the main lounge at 7:30 (No Cover) and the Atlantis Quartet in the Dunsmore Room at 9pm ($12, $15) Jazz for the 21st Century

Saturday, Nov 18

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) At 7pm the JazzINK Youth Showcase presents the The Tamberwood Quartet: Charlie Menken, saxophones; Robert Dean, piano; Harry Menken, bass; Nick Adams, drums. They will be followed at 8:30pm with two sets by Chris Bates Red 5: Chris Bates, Bass; Davu Seru, Drums; Chris Thomson & Brandon Wozniak, Saxophones; JC Sanford, Trombone; Thomas Nordland, Guitar; and Steve Kenny, Trumpet. While the Red5 is expanded to 7 tonight, here’s a video of the group as a quintet.

Hecho en Cuba Opening Reception, with Charanga Tropical @ Squirrel Haus Arts, 3450 Snelling Avenue So, Minneapolis. 3pm – 11pm (Free) This opening reception for an exhibition of Cuban art is presented in parallel to the Walker Art Center who, and includes photography, posters, folk art painting, small sculptures ad more. Charanga Tropical will be playing music from 8-11pm and I will be spinning rare Cuban Vinyl before and between sets.

Sunday, Nov 19

Brubeck Brothers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm & 8pm  ($30, $35, $40) Dave Brubeck’s sons Dan, drums; and Chris; bass & trombone; join with bandmates Mike DeMicco, guitar; and Chuck Lamb, piano; for A Tribute to Dave Brubeck. Though the quartet’s style is “straight ahead,” they have the same ability to explore odd time signatures as the late pianist. All About Jazz wrote: There’s really nothing out there that comes close to their unique brand of inventiveness.”

Monday, Nov 20

Benny Benack @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20) NYC-based Benack is a dual threat on trumpet and vocals. He’s played in the Christian McBride Big Band, the Mingus Big Band, the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Sars, the Jimmy Heath Big Bandm, and Bobby Snabria’s Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra. He’s also been the trumpet soloist on Josh Groban’s tour, and headlined Birdland alongside Anne Hampton Callaway, in addition to headlining at a number of the big apple’s prestigious jazz rooms.

GRAIN B3 Trio @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Get your fill of soul jazz served up with a side of grease with JT Bates’ Trio: Kevin Gastonguay, B3, Zacc Harris, guitar, and JT Bates, drums.

Tuesday, Nov 21

Trapset @ Vieux Carré,  Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) Trapset w/Joe Wong feat. Eric Kamau Gravatt, Lori Barbero, Gordy Knudtson, Todd Trainer 7pm, no cover

Also: Harvey Diamond & Melissa Stoudt @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 8pm – 10pm (Tip Jar) See last week’s listing for Nov 12, or go to my blog.

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, Nov 15

Charlie Parr on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) I bet many folks won’t wait to hear Parr on Hurricane Harold’s House Party, but will go to the 331early to get a seat. The place will be packed to hear Parr’s heartfelt and plaintive original folk blues and traditional spirituals.

Thursday, Nov 16

Sandra Bernhard @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($45; $55 and $80 seats are sold out) This is a show that definitely falls under “Other” as the multi-talented Bernhard brings her observational comedy to the Cedar. The comedian/actress/singer calls this show Sandra Monica Boulevard: Coast to Coast. In its review of this show, Variety wrote, “…within every keenly observed pop-culture rant, there’s an element of piercing truth. Bernhard remains as brash and brazen as she was in the 1970s.” The following clip includes some words that are not suitable for work.

Friday, Nov 17

High 48s & Jillian Rae @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 7pm ($20 Advance/$25 Door) The sprightly bluegrass rhythms of the High 48s will have you tapping your foot and nodding your head, as they sing of Bank Robbers, trains, and the vicissitudes of life. Jillian Rae’s fiddle playing and pop/folk approach to both classic rocks songs and her originals will leave you smiling at her talent and lyrics.

Grateful Dead Tribute @ Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7Advance/$10 Door) Deadheads unite! Dance and sway to Grateful Dead tunes and jams by JFLAD & Friends, Winterland, and headliner: The Shotgun Ragtime Band (w/Camile Baudoin of the Radiators)

Bobcat @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Bobcat is Bobby E, a great, but underappreciated guitarist, and Cathy Mosher, a fine singer well known for her Patsy Cline show

Also: New Riverside Ramblers @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) For all the Cajun Dancers out there.

Saturday, Nov 18

April Fools Album Release @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 9pm ($9 Advance/$12 Door) This quartet plays a wide spectrum of music, from straight-up country to Brit-pop, blue-eyed soul, and more. Besides Drake, the band includes Clay Williams, guitar; Scott Hreha, bass; and Ben Kaplan, drums. Tonight they’re celebrating the release of Colorwheel, their first release on Blackberry Way Records. Joining in the celebration are Rich Mattson & the Northstars, and The Magnolias, for a great evening of Minnesota music.


Saturday, Sunday, Nov 18, 19

Café Flamenco @ Park Square Theater’s Boss Stage, Saint Paul. 8pm Saturday, 5pm Sunday ($25) The basement stage at Park Square will become Flamenco Central, as the Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theater Company presents a concert of traditional flamenco dance and music, featuring special guests including singer José Cortés Fernanez, guitarist Chuscles, and dancer Jesus Munoz.

Sunday, Nov 19

Blues Aid @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 1pm – ? This fundraiser is for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, which are still in dire straits more than seven weeks after being completely battered by Hurricane Maria. This day is billed as an “Epic Blues Jam” with Armadillo Jump serving as the Jam Host Band. There will be a Silent Auction as well

Phil Heywood @ Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) The Dubliner takes on an especially cozy ambience when finger-picking champion Phil Heywood takes the stage. In addition to his formidable talent as a guitarist, Heywood’s pleasant baritone will soothe your aches and revive your spirit.

Monday, Nov 20

Elage Diouf @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15 Advance/$18 Door) Here’s a show for world music fans, as the Sengalese born singer/songwriter and master percussionist creates a blend of pop, world, blues, and asiko music, which has its roots in West African street drumming. He’s known for the warmth of his voice and his ability to engage audiences in his performance.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Nov 20, 21, 22

Tower of Power @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50, $65, $70), 9pm ($40, $55, $60) This horn band has been delivering Oakland funk since the 70s, and no one does it better, whether they’re delivering a James Brown homage or their hits like What Is Hip, You’re Still a Young Man, or Down to the Nightclub (Bump City). Always great 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.

Looking Back, Moving Forward: 11.8 – 11.14

November 8, 2017

We’ve a week of live music that reminds us of where we’ve been and points to ways forward, whether with visiting artists such as Kamasai Washington, Ann Hampton Calloway, John Primer, and Tom Rush. or resident artists like Graydon Peterson, Travis Anderson, or The Good, The Bad, The Funky. Whether you want to dance, snap your fingers, or let music wash over you, we have plenty of opportunities to learn how Music Lifts Your Spirit.


Wednesday, Nov 8

Connie Evingson & Andrew Walesch @ Crooners’ Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 5pm – 7pm?) It’s a delightful happy hour as chanteuse Evingson teams up with pianist Walesch to entertain during happy hour. I wonder if they’ll do any duets?

Ann Hampton Calloway @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $45) This pianist/vocalist, perhaps the best known of today’s cabaret singers, combining jazz and pop to tell her stories. She has long been a champion of the Great American Songbook, and tonight will celebrate The Centennial of Ella Fitzgerald’s birth with Ella Century, including new, fresh arrangements of some of Fitzgerald’s signature tunes.

Thursday, Nov 9

Kamasai Washington @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 10pm ($30 Advance/$35 Door) It’s fitting that saxophonist Washington, who has been lauded for his 3 Volume release Epic, should play First Avenue, as his work (especially with Kendrick Lamar) has been embraced by many young people who had previously not been hip to jazz. If you are too old to stand for a couple of hours, you may have to arrive early (doors at 7pm) in order to secure a spot at one of the Ave’s few tables.

Bill Evans: Time Remebered @ The Heights Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) This is a very special event – the Minnesota premier of “Bill Evans Time Remembered – The Life and Music of Bill Evans.” The film was 8 years in the making with over 40 interviews and over 30 archival photographers. The Larry McDonough Quartet will perform a set of material of Bill Evans; followed by the new documentary about Evans by Bruce Spiegel; and finishing with an interview of Evans by legendary jazz journalist Leigh Kamman. Here’s a trailer for the film.

Also: Southside Aces @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5)

Friday Nov 10

Graydon Peterson Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9pm ($12, $15) Graydon Peterson is a first-call bassist on the Twin Cities jazz scene, whether accompanying singers, playing in the Adam Meckler Orchestra, or providing the foundational rhythm for a number of groups. He also composes and will be playing some of his originals tonight, with bandmates Adam Meckler, trumpet; Joe Strachan, piano; and Adrian Suarez on drums

Saturday, Nov 11

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7:00 Opening Set – Roseville HS Combo 1: Liam Traynor, trumpet; Aran Koob, alto sax; Emily Dorr, piano; Karl Koob, guitar, James Klinkenberg, bass; Ben Martin, drums. 8:30 pm – Michael Shults Group: Michael Shults & Aaron Hedenstrom, Saxophones; Javi Santiago, Piano; Chris Bates, Bass; Miguel Hurtado, Drums.

Also: Jay Young & Lyric Factory @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10)

Sunday, Nov 12

Harvey Diamond Quartet Featuring Melissa Stoudt @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 4pm ($12) This early show features pianist Harvey Diamond, who has been a mainstay of the Boston jazz scene since the mid-60s, and is also a regular performer in NYC venues. He’s performed with Sheila Jordan, Dave Liebman, Art Farmer, and a host of other Jazz Masters. He recently released is first CD as a leader and is touring behind it. He’ll be joined by Melissa Stoudt, a TwinCities saxophonist and composer who regularly performed with the late Eddie Berger, and is currently lead tenor with the Maple Grove Big Band. Here he is with a slightly different quartet.

Catherine Russell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) This vibrant singer of classic jazz & blues is a native of NYC, whose father was Louis Armstrong’s long-time musical director, and whose mother played with the legendary International Sweethearts of Rhythm. She has been a back-up vocalist for folks like David Bowie, Steely Dan, Paul Simon, Levon Helm, Al Kooper, and others. Her sixth album, Harlem on My Mind, features songs originally done by Ethel Waters, Billie Holiday, Etta James, and Dinah Washington, as well as other artists who played at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.

Sunday, Monday, Nov 12, 13

Emmet Cohen Mini-Tour:   Emmet Cohen Trio @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25); Emmet Cohen B3 Organ Duo @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($20, $10 w/valid student ID) You have two chances to see irrepressible pianist Emmet Cohen, in two different settings. On Sunday night he’ll be at the Dunsmore Room with Russell Hall on bass and Evan Sherman on drums. His last appearance at the Dunsmore Room was delightful, with Cohen and his bandmates performing high-level improvisations and playfully quoting jazz standards. He’ll have Hall & Sherman with him at the Dunsmore. Then on Monday night at Jazz Central, he and drummer Sherman perform as a B3 organ duo, bringing some greasy funk to the basement club.

Tuesday, Nov 14

Travis Anderson Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) Pianist Anderson, along with bassist Steve Pikal and drummer Nathan Norman, always swing.

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, Nov 8

Dustin Arbuckle & the Damnations on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) After 15 years in the Deep Blues/Progressive Roots outfit Moreland and Arbuckle the two parted amicably to pursue other roads forward. Dustin Arbuckle is now exploring traditional music by the likes of Charley Patton as well as the musical roots represented by The Band, Stax Records, Johnny Cash, and the Allman Brothers, among others. Tune in to check them out, and head over to the 331 to see Arbuckle and his band in person.

Craig Clark @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Craig Clark has most recently been seen giving added oomph to the Dee Miller Band. He’s performed with Big Brother and The Holding Company, The Mississippi Mass Choir with Reverand James Cleveland, Jimmie Van Zant, and Big John Dickerson, among others.

Also: Hula Peppers @ The Schooner, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar)

Thursday, Nov 9

MIkkel Beckmen & Jeff Ray @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Percussionist Beckmen brings slide guitar master Ray to the little stage at The Dubliner for some after work musical workouts.

Tom Rush @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50) If you’ve any interest in folk music, this is the place to be this week. Singer/guitarist Rush has been a major influence on American music since the folk revival of the 60s. He’s championed songs by artists like Joni Mitchell, Jackson Brown, and James Taylor, and has brought people like Nanci Griffith and Shawn Colvin to wider audiences in the beginning of their careers. Both Taylor and Garth Brooks name him as a major influence.

Colin Campbell & the Shackletons and Others @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($8) This is actually a four-band showcase of up and coming area bands. Colin Campbell & The Shackletons are a rock/blues band influenced by the “Minneapolis Sound.” The Grape Whales use long-form song structures to create mediative, bouncy psychedelic rock and roll. Fragile Canyons are a folk/rock quartet inspired by the Grateful Dead and Joni Mitchell, among others. Basement Apartment, which has been around in a number of iterations since 2001 released their third self-titled album in 2014.

Friday, Nov 10

Nikki Roux & Rich Rue @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (No Cover) From blues to folk-rock to originals, Nikki’s charming vocals and Rich’s ace guitar playing satisfy.

John Primer @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Seems we haven’t heard enough from Chicago bluesmen (or women) of late, but John Primer will fix that. He’s a guitarist/vocalist who honed his chops as bandleader and lead guitarist for Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, and Magic Slim & the Teardrops. He’s been nominated for a Grammy twice and has received a Lifetime Achievment Award, though neither of those accolades do justice to his guitar playing.

Friday, Saturday, Nov 10, 11

The Good, The Bad, The Funky 20 Year Celebration @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) GBF, as they are sometimes known, are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of their first gig, which was held at the MMC. The dance-inducing horn band are celebrating with two nights of dance-floor filling music.

Saturday, Nov 11

Kildahl, Voderharr & Gravlin @ The Mudd Room, Mendota Heights. 8pm (No Cover) The “speakeasy” under Lucky’s 13 will reverberate with the blues tonight.

Willie Walker @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9:00pm ($12) I believe this is a first appearance at the Vieux for Walker and his band. The gritty soul man has been on a tear. After winning two Living Blues Music Awards for his 2016 album If Nothing Ever Changes, he recently released a new album, After A While, with the Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra, the group that backed him on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise last month.

Also: Comotown Cajun Trio @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 12pm (No cover)

Hurricane Harold’s All-Star Blues Revue @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul,. 8pm (Tip Jar)

Monday, Nov 13

Joe Fingers & His So-Called Friends @ Dunn Brothers on Grand, Saint Paul. (Tip Jar) Fingers is a champion finger-picking guitarist and vocalist whose So-Called Friends are equally skillful, though it’s hard to know which ones will show up

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 Cornucopia of Music: 11.1 – 11.7

November 1, 2017

As we finally get into Fall, with Daylight Savings Time ending on Sunday, we have a number of special shows from both visiting and resident artists. We’ve got great jazz, blues, and roots musicians performing in various venues, along with a couple of special events. Music lifts your spirit!


Wednesday, Nov 1

Joyce Lyons: The Music of Carmen McCrae @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm  ($12)  Vocalist Lyons has worked with the late Joe Beck, as well as Bucky Pizzarelli, Jay Leonhart, and Lou Marini among others, appeared at jazz clubs and festivals around the nation. She can swing, and she can be sultry, which fits right in with the music of McCrae.

Thursday, Nov 2

Joel Shapira/Larry McDonough’s Saint Paul CD Release @ Vieux Carré,  Saint Paul. 8:00pm  ($10) Guitarist Shapira plays jazz and the occasional classical piece for the dinner hour. Then McDonough and his group take the stage for the East Metro CD release party for Alice in Stonehenge, a 2 CD album with one CD electric, and the second acoustic. The opening track on the second CD is a mashup of Spinal Tap’s Stonehenge and Bill Evan’s Alice in Wonderland, and gives the CD its title. Tonight he has his usual group: Richard Terrill, tenor & soprano sax; Greg Stinson, acoustic an electric bass; and Dean White, drums, with special guest Steve Kenny on Flumpet.

Friday, Nov 3

Django Festival All-Stars Featuring Dorado Schmitt @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45), 9pm ($35, $40) Guitarist/Violinist Dorado Schmitt seems to visit the Twin Cities every few years since what I believe was his first appearance at the Minnesota Sur Seine Festival in the aught. The outstanding French guitarist/violinist was born to gypsy parents and grew up surrounded by Roma music and Gypsy jazz. Schmitt and the All-Stars will celebrate the music of Django Rheinhardt, and play some of their own compositions in that style.

Dean Granros ’58 Belvedere @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) virtuosic guitarist Dean Granros leads this trio that includes Patrick Kuehn, bass; and Dave Power, drums.

Also: Cory Healy’s Beautiful Sunshine Band @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9pm

Saturday, Nov 4

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm: Julian Manzara Quartet: Manzara, guitar; Drew Stinson, bass; Levi Schwartzberg, piano; Tarek Abdelqader, drums. 8:30pm Steve Kenny Quartet CD Preview. Steve Kenny, Flumpet; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Ted Olsen, bass, Miguel Hurtado, drums. Here are three members of the quartet.

Sunday, Nov 5

Lizz Wright @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50, $60) Vocalist Wright has just released a new album, Grace, produce buh Joe Henry, who has done fine work with Allen Toussaint and Mavis Staples, among others. A Southern preacher’s kid, Wright’s warm voice gives depth to spare, lovely tunes with touches of gospel and R&B, including Stars Fell on Alabama and Southern Nights.

Phil Markowitz & Zach Brock: Brockowitz @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30 ($20) Pianist Phil Markowitz, whose resume includes stints with of Chet Baker and Toots Thiememans and Zach Brock, who has woken with Snarkey Puppy and Stanley Clarke, have teamed up to create a new repertoire for violin and piano. They draw on various jazz traditions. Markowitz’s roots in Eastern Europe and Brock in Appalachia influence their repertoire, which includes various jazz traditions and contemporary classical music

Also: Milo Fine Trio @ Studio Toile d’Angles (Season Finale), 910 Morgan Avenue North, Minneapolis

Rio Nido @ The Aster Cafe River Room, Minneapolis. 6pm ($30 Advance/$35 Door)

Tuesday, Nov 7

Sam Miltich & Dave Karr @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($12) Ace guitarist Mitiich and veteran saxophonist Karr explore the music of Lester Young. Just right for a listening room.

Phil Aaron Trio Featuring Joyce Lyons @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) Pianist Phil Aaron composers film scores by day and plays jazz at night, as a vocal accompanist to some of the area’s best vocalist, as a sideman in various groups, and leading his own trio with Gary Raynor, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. Tonight he bring along special guest Joyce Lyons (See listing for Nov 1, above) for some vocals. Here’s Phil with a trio from a few years back. Don’t know who will be with him tonight.

Also: Dean Magraw & Eric Kamau Gravatt @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (tip Jar)

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, Nov 1

Bernie King & the Guilty Pleasures on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Guitarist/vocalist King and his band – John Kurtis, lead guitar mandolin, vocals; Julie King, washboard and Percussion; and Bradley Smith, string bass – perform original blues and Americana as composed by King. Tune in Harold’s House Party to hear them, and once you’ve decided you need more, head to the 331 Club

Memphis R&B Revue @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($60, $80, $90) It’s an evening of Soul and R&B nirvana as the legendary  Hi Rhythm Section, together with a group of all-star Memphis musicians take the stage to back a trio of legendary performers. William Bell wrote and performed a number of his for Stax Records, and won a Grammy for his 2016 release, This Is Where I Live. Harmonica master Charlie Musselwhite has been inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, and has won a number of Blues Music Awards, in addition to a Grammy for his album with Ben Harper in 2012. The ageless Bobby Rush is always full of vim and vinegar, delivering the blues with a sly wink. There will be a few collaborations with a young Memphis performers, bringing the evening full circle.

Also: Paul Metsa @ The Green Lantern, Saint Paul. 8 – 10:30pm (Tip Jar)

Curtiss A & Dark Click @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar

Thursday, Nov 2

Kenny Latimore @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45, $50), 9pm ($35, $40, $45) Singer/Songwriter Latimore has been called a “modern soul man” by no less than the New York Times. His sweet harmonies and memorable melodies helped his song For You become an instant top ten hit. His mid-90s solo debut went gold and had two top ten hits, including the aforementioned For You. He’s also lent his vocals to recordings for artists such as Brian Culbertson, Nancy Wilson, Musiq Soulchild and Rachelle Ferrel. Additionally, Kanye West sampled Latimore’s Lately for a track. Here’s the video for For You.

Debbie Duncan & Margaret Cox @ Crooners’ Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, but $10 will get you a guaranteed seat at a table in front of the stage) When vocalists Duncan and Cox played the Dunsmore Room some months back the results were delightful. Cox sings with Mambo’s Combo, for about 30 years now, and before that was known as Ta Mara, in an 80s funk/pop band under the direction of Prince. She was also a backup singer for Doug Maynard. Duncan, of course, is known to many Twin Citizens for her ability to blend jazz & R&B.

Also: Harrison Street Band @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover)

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Nov 2, 3, 4

Crocus Hill Ghost Story @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm($15, $10 Students & Seniors) This is the second weekend of shows, where the folks at Studio Z have turned the space into a Victorian mansion for this collaboration between Zeigeist, composer/flutist Julie Johnson, writer Cheri Johnson, and filmmaker/actor DJ Mendel. Their presentation is described as a macabre tale of a house possessed. Note that it has adult themes and language, and may not be suitable for children under 14. Members of he Twin Cities Paranormal Society will talk about their work after the Saturday performance.

Friday, Saturday, Nov 3, 4

Luther Vandross Tribute @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($12) A passel of Twin Cities artists celebrate the music of Luther Vandross. Performers include: Fred Steele, James “Jay Bee” Brown, Kennedy Barber, Erica West, Yohannes Tona, and Brian Kendrick plus Brian Ziemniak, Troy Norton, and many special guests

Saturday, Nov 4

Festival de Las Calaveras @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 6:30pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door, $8 Children 3-12) This multi-media show starts off with Aztec Dancers and life size puppets on stilts at the Cedar’s Plaza. There will also be performances by headliner Maria Issa, as well as Lady Midnight, Javier Trejo, See More Perspective, and Twin Cities newcomer Ahmed Anzaldua with Cardenche Community Sing. Food trucks will be on hand to offer Mexican and Argentinean favorites.

The Hillbenders play Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35, $40) 9pm ($25, $30, $35) Now this is an interesting gig. The Who’s rock opera Tommy sold 20 million copies, is listed at number 96 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Now, the Hillbenders perform the album with banjo, dobro, mandolin, bass, and guitar. You’ll get rock vocals with virtuosic playing, for a new perspective on this rock opera.

Also: Willie Murphy & The Angel-Headed Hipsters @ Crooner’s Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 8pm No cover, but $10 for a guaranteed seat in front of the stage.

Tuesday, Nov 7

New Primitives @ Shaw’s Bar & Grill, NE Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($6) Get your reggae and jam band jones fulfilled with this quintet.

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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