Greetings of the Season;
Well, we have more holiday shows to get you into the spirit, including a couple that give a bit of a twist to the usual holiday song suspects. We also have some impressive visiting artists, and fun shows from resident artists. We’ve had a chance to get used to cold weather, and it’s going to stay relatively comfortable for the next week, so you’ll be able to get out and about to see my ideas for music, or your own. Either way, music lifts the spirit, and though many of us will be celebrating Hannukah, Christmas or Kwanza, some of us will be missing loved ones or have other reasons to need some uplifting this season
Wednesday, Dec 13
Gregory Generet @ Crooners’ Dunmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) After winning three Emmys as a post-production editor in TV, Generet decided to develop his singing abilities. Since then he’s done sold out shows at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Joe’s Pub, The Highline Ballroom, The Kitano, Feinsteins at the Lowes Regency in New York City and Smoke Jazz Club, where he held a residency for 3 years. He’s also performed at the 2015 Umbria Jazz edition of Ricomincio Da Tre jazz club and in Abu Dhabi, where he met pianist Richard Johnson, who was booking shows at a hotel there. The New York Times, said of his singing, “A voice that’s so sultry you might get burned.” Here’s a video with Johnson and his group performing the first song, followed by Generet.
Thursday, Dec 14
Songsister: Holiday in Harmony @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Valid student ID) ) Songsister consists of three fine vocalists: Dorothy Doring, Vicky Mountain, and Connie Dussl. They’ll be doing holiday songs both as soloists and as group singers. No alcohol at this basement place, but if you’re discreet, you can bring some of your own. H
Richard Johnson Trio @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Pianist Johnson entertained us with his imaginative, soulful playing when he lived in the Twin Cities a few years back. . Then he became the Musical Director for some high-end hotels in the Middle East, where he’s been played and booking jazz acts. He’s been a member of Wynton Marsalis’ Septet and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and has also been a member of the groups of Russel Malone and Irvin Mayfield. See the video under Wednesday’s listing.
Larry McDonough Group: Twisted Holidays @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) You can expect McDonough to put his own mix of odd rhythms and meters to music from Bill Evans, Coltrane, Beethhovem Mr. McGoo, and more.
Friday, Dec 15
Steve Kimmel/Davina & the Vagabonds @ Vieux Carré Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Kimmel, No Cover), 9pm (Davina, $17 Advance/$20 Door) A veteran of the old West Bank Music Scene, multi-instrumentalist Steve Kimmel ran the Rainbow Gallery, booked the Loring Bar, played in the fabled fusion group Natural Life, and with the Lamont Cranston Blues Band. He’ll be followed at 9pm by the energetic and effervescent Davina and the Vagabonds with hot jazz, New Orleans R&B, and soulful originals.
Saturday, Dec 16
Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar), 8:30pm ($10) Steve Kenny Trio in the bar at 7pm, followed at 8:30pm by the debut performance of the Inatnas Orchestra playing The Music of Asuka Kakitani and JC Sanford, playing in the dining room with a $10 admission, since it’s a 17-piece Big Band. Some of the musicians that will be playing include: JT Bates, drums; Chris Bates, bass; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; JC Sanford, trombone, and a sax section of Pete Whitman, Dave Milne, and Aaron Hedenstrom. Plus trumpeter Russ Johnson will be a special guest. Here’s Sanford leading a previous orchestra.
Also: Larry McDonough Group @ The Warming House, 4001 Bryant Ave. South, Minneapolis. 7:30pm doors, 8pm performance. ($10) Just McDonough and saxophonist/poet Richard Terrill performing songs as noted above.
Saturday, Sunday, Dec 16, 17
Bobby Lyle Trio: Holiday Keys @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm Sat, 5pm, 7:30pm Sun, ($30) A Minneapolis native who was a member of Young-Holt Limited, Sly and the Family Stone, Al Jarreau’s touring band, and others, as well as serving as the musical director for Bette Midler. The man is talented, which he’ll show on piano and organ each night. Here he is at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival.
Sunday, Dec 17
Kirk Whalum’s A Gospel According to Jazz @ Bethel University’s Benson Hall, 3900 Bethel Drive, Saint Paul. 6pm ($25, $35, $45, $60) Grammy Award winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum brings his Sixth Annual Christmas concert tour to the Bethel University (off Snelling, north of Rosedale). The concert will feature South African singer/guitarist Jonathan Butler along with special guests John Stoddart, Sheléa, and Kevin Whalum.
Monday, Dec 18
Chris Speed Trio, feat Dave King & Christopher Tordini @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20), 9:30pm ($15) According to the NY Times, saxophonist Chris Speed is “one of the principal figures in a dynamic left-of-center jazz/improv scene in the city” He leads a number of bands and is currently working on projects with Craig Taborn’s Heroic Frenzies, Michael Formanek’s Ensemble Kolossus, Dave King’s Trucking Company and others. He’ll be joined by NY-based Chris Tordini on bass, and our own über – drummer Dave King.
George Maurer Group Holiday Show @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) With an irreverent style and sly humor (The Drive My Car as Drive My Sleigh,, Santa Claus is coming to Town mashed up with Herbie Hancock’s Drifting and other rewordings of Christmas standards) the 8-piece George Maurer Group has been selling out Holiday Shows at the Dakota since 2000.
Blues, Roots, Other…
Wednesday, Dec 13
Ken Valdez Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Here’s what you’ll find if you go to the Valdez website: “From the Hill Country to Chicago, from the Delta down to Texas and every place between and far-flung, Valdez’s explosive fretwork coupled with his sweet, snarling vocals make for a treat for sounds of every corner of the blues world and beyond.” Check him out on the show and head over to the 331 Club afterwards.
Peter Asher @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) As I wrote last week, Asher has been touring with various versions of his story for about 4 years now. Though some parts are the same, he keeps things interesting enough to go back a second time to hear about Paul McCartney as his roommate, his ownership of the gallery where John met Yoko, his discovery of James Taylor, work with Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, Emmy Lou Harris and more. Plus, you get him singing his Peter and Gordon hits (with Gordon on video – see below).
Thursday, Dec 14
Celtic Music Showcase @ The Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Hear young musicians from the Center for Irish Music. They’ll be appearing in various ensembles under the direction of Norah Rendell. Listen to how this music is being passed on from one generation to another. You can also order sandwiches, wood-fired pizza, beer, and wine.
Friday, Dec 15
Mother Banjo & Ben Cook-Feltz Holiday Show @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($20 Advance/$25 Door) featuring songs from our holiday EP Christmas Came Early, highlighted on The Current and hailed as “a soul-healing collection of songs that put you in the spirit of the season” (Rift Magazine). Also: an all-star house band and special guest performances by Ben Kyle (Romantica), Jon Rodine, Dan Gaarder (Roe Family Singers), and other surprise guests.
Darlene Love @ The Ordway Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($47 – $111.50) The Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer has been on dozens of hits, including He’s A Rebel, (Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Marry, and Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), the song she performed each Christmas season on the David Letterman show for almost 30 years, as well as other songs. Her last performance at the Ordway was strong, touching on all the hits and then some. It’s a rocking celebration of Christmas and then some.
Dosh & Friends @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12/$15) This is the 10th Annual Dosh & Friends show, which this year features: Mike Sopko, Al Church, and McKnight Composer Fellow DeVon Gray (dVRG) playing with Dosh; as well as Billy Martin (of Medeski Martin and Wood), playing with special guest Dave King; Jeremy Ylvisaker, teaming up with Mike Lewis and JT Bates; plus the mighty Guitarkestra of Minneapolis.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Dec 15, 16, 17
Magnum Chorum Christmas Concerts:
@ The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis. 7pm Friday ($25, $30)
@ Nativity Catholic Church, 1900 Wellesley Ave, Saint Paul. 8pm Saturday
@Church of the Annunciation, 509 West 54th Street, Minneapolis. 3pm Sunday
You will hear music from Russia, Sweden, and the Baltic Region, including Kopylov’s Heavenly Light, a soaring Hymn to the Virgin by Alexander Levine, Chesnokov’s Gabriel Appeared, music by Tchaikovsky and Gretchaninoff, and excerpts from Rachmaninoff’s All Night Vigil. Additionally, there will be an electrifying Ave Maria by Polish composer Łukazewski, and the luminous music of Ešenvalds and Pärt.
Saturday, Dec 16
Flamin’ Ohs @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) The Oh’s burst on the scene back in 1980, led by frontman Robert Wilkinson, thrilling fans on early MTV, and hitting the Billboard charts with I Remember Romance. Whether or not you remember romance, their 2015 EP, Hear and Now, earned praise from the Star Tribune for their “Hard edged Stones-like rock’n’roll. East Coast street anthems coupled with Midwestern optimism and enthusiasm.”
Butanes Soul Revue 30th Anniversary @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) Thirty years ago the Butanes Soul Revue began a weekly residency at the Cabooze that drew great crowds and lasted five years. Led by Curt Obeda on guitar; with Robb Stupka, drums; Dr. Virgil Nelson, organ, Jim Anton, bass; Sue Orfield, sax; Mike Nelson, trombone; and Adam Rossmiller on trumpet. Dab Brown and Aisha Baker on vocals, and featuring the fine, fine voice of Maurice Jacox as well. A dynamite show.
Sunday, Mon, Dec 17, 18
The Peterson Family’s Jam Before Christmas @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($25) Minnesota’s First Family of Music takes to the stage to celebrate with the rest of us. Expect a jazz and R&B filled evening from Linda Peterson, piano and vocals; Billy Peterson, bass; Ricky Peterson, organ; Patty Peterson, vocals; Paul Peterson, bass, gutar, and keys; and Jason Peterson Delaire, pianist/saxophonist/vocals.