Close to Home: 1.31-2.6

January 31, 2018

“Prince Night” on Nicollet Mall. Photo by Star Tribune.

Well the months of anticipation are behind us and we get to enjoy (or survive) the Super Bowl and its crowds, some of which can be seen in the photo from the Star Tribune on the right. While there are lots of music events featuring visiting and resident artists around town, which you can learn about here, the abundance of musical talent in our area can also be enjoyed in other, less crowded locations. Whether you’re a fan of the event, or to paraphrase former Mpls Mayor RT Rybeck, you feel like a bartender at the wedding of your ex who dumped you, you can still have your spirits lifted by enjoying live music from musicians who are performing close to home.

Larry

Jazz

Wednesday, Jan 31

Fake Accent @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid StudentI D) Erik Fratzke, guitar; Nathan Hanson, sax; Cooper Doten, bass; Cory Healey, drums. Given that Wednesdays at Jazz Central are given over to experimental music, I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is a new group. Fratzke plays bass with Happy Apple, as well as guitar in a heavy metal band, and for other jazz projects. Hanson is known for playing “outside” but has also appeared ion the horn section of bigger bands. Healy has his Beautiful Sunshine Band, and can be found as a sideman in numerous gigs. Doten is an unknown for me. Should be an interesting evening.

Thursday, Feb 1

Arne Fogel & the Wolverines Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) Here’s a group and vocalist that swings with the ease of a kid on a swing set and is as dependable as Big Ben.

Also: Davu Seru, Mankwe Ndosi, & Douglas Ewart @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul.9pm ($5)

Friday, Feb 2

Jake Baldwin Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Talented trumpeter Jake Baldwin seems to be playing everywhere these days, as a sideman and leading various groups, from a trio at the Lexington, to this quintet, which includes: Nelson Deveraux, sax; Joe Strachan, piano; Ted Olsen, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. Here’s Baldwin at the 2013 National Trumpet Competition, where he took 2nd place in the jazz solos division.

Bottomless Pit @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul.  8pm ($10) What do you get when you bring four excellent veteran musicians together? Well, if that quartet includes Joel Shapira, guitar; Pete Whitman, sax; Tom Lewis, base, and the amazing Eric Kamau Gravatt on drums, you get a group with a virtuosic level of improvisation, making for an inspired evening of music.

Framework @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9:00pm ($10) Guitarist Chris Olsen, bassist Chris Bates, and drummer Jay Epstein were favorites at the old Artist’s Quarter, and no wonder, considering the high level of their playing.

Saturday, Feb 3

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Another in a long line of double bills that surprise and delight, starting at 7pm with the Steve Kenny Quartet: Kenny, trumpet; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Ted Olsen, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. Then, at 8:30pm it’s the chamber jazz of Lulu’s Playground: Adam Meckler, trumpet; Steven Hobert, accordion; Cory Grossman, cello; and Ben Abrahamson, guitar. Here they arefron a few years ago.

Southside Aces, feat Butch Thompson @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $12 for Guaranteed Seat) Toe-tapping traditional New Orleans jazz of the Aces, augmented by the piano and clarinet of Butch Thompson.

Also: Pete Whitman Trio @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (TipJar)

Monday, Feb 5

Chris Bates’ Red5  @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Bassist Bates gathers up some musical compatriots to play his original compositions. The include: JT Bates ,drums and cymbals; Thomas Nordlund, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, saxophone; Chris Thomson, saxophone; Jake Baldwin,  trumpet; and JC Sanford, trombone.

Tuesday, Feb 6

Fuzzy Math @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm (Free) Check out the Amsterdam’s bar and Dutch-inspired food, while listening to accessible jazz, featuring original compositions and arrangements from: Mark Vandermyde (composer / keys), Andrew Schwandt (sax), Haralds Bondaris (drums), Matt Peterson / Eric Graham (bass).

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, Jan 31

Boxstore Bird on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Americana, bluegrass, and storytelling from veteran Americana artist Drew Peterson, guitar and songs; and Mandy Fassett, fiddle, cello, and mandolin.

Willie Murphy’s Singer/Songwriter Showcase w/Rena Haus @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($10) Multi-instrumentalist and composer/vocalist Willie Murphy has moved his Singer/Songwriter series to the initimate confines of the Dunsmore Room, bringing in Rena Haus for the series debut in the listening room. Haus is a singer/songwriter with a strong bent for the blues, who writes songs that are funny, political (sometimes both), sensitive, and earthy. Here’s Rena with her trio.

Thursday, Feb 1

Nooky Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9:30pm ($15, $20, $25) If you can make it through the crowds, the swat teams, and the armored Humvees, you will be rewarded for your efforts with some modern R&B (with jazz influences) by this band which is making a name for itself throughout the Midwest,.

Javier Matos @ The Basement Bar, Minneapolis. (No Cover) If you haven’t been to the Basement Bar yet, tonight is a good time, as you’ll get to hear guitarist/vocalist Matos, an outstanding guitar-slinger who can swing the blues and plays searing slide guitar.

Also: The Surfer Bowl w/The Surf Riders @ Dayblock Brewing, Minneapolis.9pm (No Cover) Get your fill of twang, reverb, and echo.

Friday, Feb 2

Pat Donahue & Richard Kriehn @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($20) Even if you don’t live in the western suburbs, it’s easily worth the drive to hear ace fingerpicker Donahue with his Prairie Home Companion band-mate, mandolinist Richard Kriehn in this very small, 40 seat venue.

The Butanes @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) Stepping out from the dark stage of Shaw’s on Thursday nights, the Twin cities’ best blues band will light up the stage for the Friday night crowd in the lounge at Crooners.

Friday, Saturday, Feb 2, 3

26th Annual Songs of Freedom @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($18 Advance, $25 Door) The Songs of Bob Marley, with The International Reggae All Stars, with special guest Innocent. Here they are at the 2011 celebration.

Saturday, Feb 3

Maurice Jacox Trio @ The Normandy Kitchen, Minneapolis. (No Cover) Somewhat on the downton edge of Superbowl Madness, where there might, just might be some on-street parking, the Normandy Kitchen will provide respite in the form of Maurice Jacox, vocals, sax, & flute, Thomas West, keys; and in-demand drummer Rob Stupka. Unfortunately, free parking in the Normandale’s lot will not be available, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the soulful sounds of Jacox and his band-mates.

Bill Patten Trio @ Dusty’s, Minneapolis. 9:45pm (Tip Jar) Fuzzed-up rock’ roll versions of the Great American Songbook as well as originals.

Sunday, Feb 4

Corpse Reviver @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 3-5pm (Tip Jar) Before sitting down to see the big game, check out msongs from the Harry Smith Anthology of Music, as performed by Corpse Reviver: Mikkel Beckman, percussion, Jillian Rae, fiddle and vocals; and Adam Kiesling, guitar, banjo, and vocals.

Dan Chouinard w/Maria Jette @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm ($10, $15) Superbowl Sunday is often a good day for shopping if you aren’t a football fan, since Target and other big box stores are spookily empty during the game. If you don’t want to go shopping, however, you can catch pianist Dan Chouinard and vocalist Maria Jette as they perform songs written and/or performed by artists who have birthdays this month.

Also: The Combo @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) Stop by after the game to celebrate, commiserate, or to simply enjoy great dance music.

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.


Winter Music: 1.24 – 1.30

January 24, 2018

Ice Palace image from The Pioneer Press/TwinCities.com

Winter Carnival is upon us, and Super Bowl Week starts on Sunday, both of which bring a plethora of special events and concerts. A schedule of Winter Carnival events, including free concerts, can be found here. Super bowl concerts range from fee outdoor concerts to events with stratospheric prices, as you can find here. However, there are other musical events worth your while, as I’ve noted below. Remember: Music Lifts the Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, Jan 24

The Leigh Kammen Legacy Project @ the Black Dog, Saint Paul. Each month, Brad Bellows of the LKLP brings interviews conducted by the late broadcaster to the Black Dog, along with appropriate visuals. Tonight’s interviews include a bunch of “Greatest Hits” with jazz masters Bill Evans, Freddie Hubbard, Bob Brookmeyer, Roy Haynes, Carmen McRae, Phil Woods, and more.

Thursday, Jan 25

Jiselle McCollem @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Tonight’s edition of Vocal Jazz Night features Ms McCollum, a young actress who will be performing jazz standards with the help of Bob Beahen, Matthew Callope, Joe Twohy, and Shannon van der Reck.

Friday, Jan 26

Jeremy Siskind Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9pm ($15) Pianist, composer and educator Siskind is in town to lead a piano workshop for high school students, and thus is appearing tonight with brothers Chris Bates on bass and JT Bates on drums. Besides having three CDs of his own, Siskind has appeared as the pianist on Nancy Harms’ CD Ellington At Night, as well as with her a couple of times at area house concert. He’s a leader in the in-home concert movement, having played in over 100 homes in twenty-five states. He’s also the Artistic Director for the American Jazz Piano competition and currently teaches at Fullerton College in Southern California.

Phil Hey Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) One of the best jazz units in the Twin Cities, drummer Phil Hey and his group – Phil Aaron, piano; Dave Hadgedorn, vibes; and Tom Lewis, bass – revel in playing music by Ornette Coleman, Chick Corea and other masters of jazz.

Saturday, Jan 27

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening act at 7pm is the Pete Snell Trio: Pete Snell, tenor; Tom Lewis, bass; Phil Aaron, piano. At 8:30pm a new version of the Bryan Nichols Quintet takes the stage: Bryan Nichols, piano; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Jeff Bailey, bass; Davu Seru, drums.

Erin Livingston Duo @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Livingston is a vocalist who has appeared with the Parisota Hot Club and can sing jazz, blues, and R&B. She’ll be joined by Marc Ziegenhagen on piano.

Minnesota Hard Bop Collective: Hank Mobley, Part 2 @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (tip jar) Hard bop saxophonist Hank Mobley create over one hundred records during his lifetime, so this sextet is digging deep to interpret some of his music.

Prohibition Swing Night @ the Hook & Ladder, Minneaplis. 8pm ($18 Advance, $20 Door) The Mississippi Hot Club and the Gentlemen’s Anti-Temperance League will be presenting Prohibition-era Swing and Gypsy Jazz for your dancing pleasure. There will even be free swing dance lessons at 8:30, before the music starts at 9pm. The Mississippi Hot Club expands the boundaries of Gypsy Jazz, or Jazz Manouche as it’s also known, by incorporating music that ranges from European folk music, to Nintendo anthems and science fiction themes. The Gentlemen’s Anti-Temperanhce League is a fun quartet that brings the hot rhythms of Prohibition into the 21st Century. Here they are.

Sunday, Jan 28

2018 Winter Jazz Fest @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 1pm – Closing ($40 General Admission, $125 VIP) This year’s Winter Jazz Fest is smaller than in the past, but much more intimate, taking place on only two stages. The Dunsmore Room will be emptied of tables to allow more seating for performances by Connie Evingson, the Jake Baldwin Quartet, and headliner Regina Carter with pianist Xavier Davis. Meanwhile, the lounge stage will feature the Travis Anderson Trio: Two Youth Groups from the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education; Judi Vinar; the ACME Jazz Company & Butch Miles; and a jam session. Complete schedule, line-up and more information can be found here. I did an interview with Ms Carter in 2015 which you can read here. Here’s she is being interviewed and doing a song from her tribute to Ella Fitzgerald.

Tuesday, Jan 30

Davu Seru’s Dead King Mother Listening Session @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 6pm ($10) This is a preview and discussion of a new work by Davu Seru about a long forgotten event in Twin Cities Civil Rights history. Seru is an internationally known free-jazz drummer who regularly performs jazz, rock and free improvisational music in a variety of group settings, one of which is located in France, and some of which he leads. Dead King Mother will receive its premier at Studio Z in late February.

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, Jan 24

Mitch Kashmar on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) California Blues from Harpist Mitch has been around for a few decades, delivering “Left Coast” blues influenced by Little Walter and William Clarke. Listen to his fleet fingering on Harold’s House Party, and then head to the 331 Club to hear him backed by the House Party All-Stars: Jeremy Johnson, Bill Black, and Tim Wick.

Al Jardine @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($65, $70, $75) Al Jardine, a founding member of the fabled Beach Boys, joins the trend of rock artists performing solo and in small groups while sharing stories about their careers. The Beach Boys had 80 charting hits around the world, 36 Top 40 hits in the US, and four number one hits. He’ll be accompanied by his son Matt, who does the Brian Wilson falsetto parts quite handily, and will tell the tale of “America’s Band,” from their first hit Surfin’ on through Don’t Worry Baby, Little Duece CoupeHelp Me RhondaGod Only Knows and more, to Jardine’s recent solo release, A Postcard from California. Jardine does an especially illuminating demonstration of how Wilson’s arrangement of Sloop John B took it from a folk song to a pop masterpiece. This is the first stop on this new approach to touring, so it’s a bit rough in presentation, but still plenty of fun, fun, fun.

Thursday, Jan 25

Mudbug Zydeco @ The Eagles Club, #34, Minneapolis 8pm ($7) I may be mistaken, but I believe this is a new group, created by accordionist Dan Newton after the demise of the Rockin ‘ Pinecones. They play swamp pop and music inspired by zydeco pioneer Clifton Chenier. Other members of the group are: Eric Mohring, fiddle; Dehl Gallagher, drums; and Karl Smelker, bass.

Cadillac Kolstad & Friends @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) Rockabilly, Boogie Woogie, and classic R&B music from rootsy Pianist Kolstad, who recently returned from another of his successful tours of Germany. The piano pounder will be joined by his Friends on upright bass, drums, and sax.

The Wailers @ the Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($30 Advance, $35 Door) The legendary Wailers backed Bob Marley, selling over 250 million recordings world wide. Founder Aston “Familyman” Barrettt is joined by original Wailers guitars Junior Marvin and Donald Kinsey, along with the son of co-founder Carlton Barrett’s nephew Aston Barrett Jr on drums. Lead vocals are by Joshua David Barrett, backed by Shemna McGregor, daughter of Judy Mowatt. Opening is LaCrosse Wisconsin’s Tugg, whose reggae/ska albums have debuted in the top 50 of the iuTunes Reggae Chart. It will be an Irie night.

Also: Butanes Anniversary Party @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Celebrating 8 years at Shaw’s.

 

Friday, Jan 26

Willie Murphy and Friends @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($7 Advance, $20 Door) Get ready to dance as guitarist/pianist/vocalist/composer Murphy brings his original songs and unique, danceable arrangements of classic R&B and Rock n’ Roll to the Hook’s dance floor. Opening are the up and coming roots duo Winona Forever, and The Jon Rodine Band playing groove-oriented Rock n’ Roll and country soul.

Friday, Saturday, Jan 26, 27

Drone Not Drones: 5th Annual 28 Hour Drone @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm Friday – 11pm Saturday ($20 Advance, $30 Door) A full 28 hours of non-stop music featuring a minimalist approach that emphasizes sustained and repeated sounds. Bring a pillow or blanket to make yourself comfortable and stay the night. Over 50 bands and musicians are taking part, with more to be announced. A few of the artists are: Nels Cline, Low (full band), Loscil, Ka Baird and Louise Bock (of Spires That In the Sunset Rise), Doug McCombs (Tortoise/Brokeback), Devil’s Flying Machine (Charlie Parr), Savage Aural Hotbed, International Novelty GamelanDeVon Dvrg Gray, and many, many, more. Also broadcast on KFAI (90.3 and 106.7FM) and at dronenotdrones.com. Here’s Low, one of the performing artists,  at Rock the Garden.

Saturday, Jan 27

Fathom Lane & Jillian Rae @ The Aster Cafe River Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Advance, $15 Door) With three critically acclaimed albums to their credit, Fathom Lane, led by Michael Ferrier, has created a sound that is at once familiar, but undefineable, with touches of Gram Parson, the Velvet Underground and Tom Petty, coursing through his songs. Though his musical touchstones are historical, the sound is contemporary. Members of Fathom Lane are: Ferrier, vocals, guitar, Rhodes, and percussion; Ashleigh Still, vocals and piano; Matt Patrick, electric guitar; Shane Akers, lap steel and dobro; Paul Boblett, bass; and Alex Young, drums and percussion. Opening is the always lively pop/rock violinist/singer songwriter Jillian Rae.

Eric Gales Album Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) Left-handed guitarist Gales plays his axe upside down, which sometimes leads to comparisons with Jimi Hendrix. Gales is his own man, however, with a blues-rock sound that draws on Albert King as well as Eric Johnson. He’s been a well-regarded guitarist ever since being named Best New Talent by Guitar World Magazine, after his debut album in 1991 at the age of 16. He’s currently touring behind a new album Middle of the Road, featuring songs by Leon Russell, Raphel Saddiq, Lauryn Hill and his originals. Here’s a sample of that album.

Sunday, January 28

Jellybean Johnson w/Members of the Time @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 8pm (?), ($?) Super Bowl week has a number of Prince-themed events taking place, from Nicollet Mall to the Dakota, to the Minnesota Music Cafe, in which guitarist Jellybean Johnson will be joined by members of the Time. Opening is Freakjuice, whose FaceBook page states they are “pushing the boundaries of traditional rock music by infusing jazz, hip-hop, reggae, blues and the art of improvisation into a new, fresh and invigorating wall of sound.” Here’s Jellybean, playing in the low-lit confines of Shaws.

Monday, Tuesday, Jan 29, 30

Davell Crawford @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm Pianist Crawford, who deserves more attention, is often called the Prince of New Orleans. He certainly comes from a royal musical background, as his grandfather was guitarist Sugarboy Crawford, the first artist to record Jock-A-Mo (Iko Iko), and he is the godson of Roberta Flack. As a result, Crawford has absorbed traditional jazz, gospel, and New Orleans funk and R&B, essentially becoming the new ambassador of the New Orleans piano tradition.

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.


From Surfin’ to Siberia: 1.17 – 1.23

January 17, 2018

Well, after spending the last couple of weeks noting the lack of visiting artists, we have a a nice influx of visitors this week, including stellar jazz artists, as well as artists from Guinea, West Africa, Siberia, California, and Russia. Luckily, their visits, and performances from talented resident artists, coincide with a slight warm-up in weather, so that’s helpful as well. Remember: Music Lifts the Spirit!

Larry

Jazz

Wednesday, January 17

Elaine Burt w/KWSB @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Valid StudentID) with Elaine Burt, trumpet; Pete Whitman, saxophones; Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums. This is another of Pete Whitman’s monthly presentations of groups with new compositions.

Roy Hargrove Quintet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $30) 9pm ($35, $25) Most jazz lovers need no introduction to Hargrove, the Grammy-winning trumpeter returning to the Dakota to thrill jazz-lovers with music that often cut across genres, whether it’s groove-oriented, Afro-Cuban, or hard bop. He is, quite simply, one of the best trumpeters around.

Thursday, January 18

Rachel Holder w/The Wolverines Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) The Wolverines Trio can turn any evening into a swinging affair, whether they are featured, or accompanying a vocalist, which is this case is Ms Holder, who often performs in tribute concerts, but doesn’t perform nearly enough as a featured artist. It’s understandable, since she does have mom duties, and is currently working on two different recording projects. Here she is with pianist George Maurer.

Friday, January 19

Open Story @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) This is a new trio of veteran players: Bryan Nichols, piano; Dean Magraw, guitar; and Jay Epstein, drums.

Aaron Hedenstrom Quintet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9:00pm ($15) Saxophonist/composer Hedenstrom brings four of his performing partners together to play Hedenstrom’s original music. The band includes: Zacc Harris, guitar; Ted Godbout, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Pete James Johnson, drums. Should be a stellar evening of music.

Also: Fode & Sana Bangoura with Resident Jazz Musicians @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15 Advance/$18 Door) See listing under Blues, Roots, Other, below

Saturday, January 20

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening at 7pm, it’s the Sightless Quartet featuring:  Cody Steinmann, guitar; Javier Santiago, piano; Ted Olsen, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums. Headlining at 8:30pm is The Zacc Harris Group: Zacc Harris, guitar; Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and JT Bates, drums.

Jazz from the Americas and Beyond @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) This is a new monthly series exploring jazz from around the world. Tonight’s featured artist is the Robert Everest Expedition, led by Everest, the multi-instrumentalist who can sing in seven languages. Opening set by North Central University’s Jazz Workshop.

Also: Levi Schwartzberg Trio @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Vibes – led trio

Sunday, Jan 21

Django Reinhardt’s Birthday w/Sam Miltich @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm ($15) Guitarist Miltich was already a young lion of gypsy jazz when he burst into our jazz scene as a teenager, so it’s only natural that he honors Reinhardt’s birthday. The self-taught Miltich is versatile enough to accompany such accomplished vocalists as Connie Evingson and Charmin Michelle, and often performs with saxophonist Dave Karr and Dutch swing violinist Tim Kliphuis.

Sunday, Monday, Jan 21, 22

Roberta Gambarini & Cyrus Chestnut @The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm, 8pm Sunday, 7pm Monday ($25, $30, $40) Ms Gambarini is a highly talented singer who brings her great sense of swing and ability to scat to the Great American Songbook. Born and raised in Italy, Gambarini was singing in clubs at the age of 17, and received a scholarship to the New England Conservatory in 1998. Since then she’s been mentored by James Moody, Benny Carter, and Hank Jones, which gives you an idea of how those masters viewed her talent. Tonight she’s performing with pianist Cyrus Chestnut, whose playing is often informed by gospel, as well as Jay McShann and Count Basie. I did an interview with Ms Gambarini back in 2011, which you can read here.

Monday, Jan 22

JT’s Jazz Implosion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) JT Bates continues his adventurous Monday night programming with two groups tonight. The first set features Really Big Shoe, featuring the dual saxophones of Joe Mayo and Clay Pufal; as well as Ted Olsen, bass; and Joey Van Phillips. Those who stay for the second set will be treated to Hanson, Fratzke, & Van Philips: Nathan Hanson, reeds; Erik Fratzke, bass; and Joey Van Phillips, drums.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, January 17

Mike Munson & Adam Kiesling on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Munson is a blues musician from Winona, whose album Live at Ed’s has received praise for Munson’s slide guitar and wry delivery of his originals. Adam Kiesling is a guitarist who can be heard with Pert Near Sandstone, The Town Hall Stompers, and a number of other resident groups. Here’s video of Munson.

Orkestar Bez Ime @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) The small dance floor at the Schooner will undoubtedly be filled with writhing, jumping bodies tonight, thanks to the raucous, energizing Balkan party music of Ordestar Bez Ime.

Thursday, January 18

Tracy Nelson & The Bel-Airs @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.7pm ($30, $35) What a fine double-bill! Powerhouse vocalist Tracy Nelson may be best known for leading Mother Earth, a country-rock band out of San Francisco during its musical heyday in the late 60s and early 70s. She started singing blues and R&B in Madison, where she grew up and went to college, appearing in an R&B band that included Ben Sidran. Since Mother Earth, she has had hits on both country and blues charts and recorded with Willie Nelson, Irma Thomas, and Marcia Ball. The Bel Airs are a blues trio that have been performing together for over 30 years, and have been Twin Cities fan favorites since appearing at Mama D’s in Dinkytown decades ago. They are a unique blues outfit, in that brothers Dave and Dick Pruitt have developed a harmony style that’s all their own, resulting in one reviewer calling them “The Everly Brothers of the Blues.”  Here’s Nelson in a country mode.

 

And here are the Bel Airs

Friday, January 19

Fode & Sana Bangoura: Guinea – The Music We Are @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15 Advance/$18 Door) Brothers Fode & Sana Bangoura, of Guinea, West Africa, will explore the musical heritage of their country. They’ll go from hand-held percussive instruments, through centuries-old Guinean music and dance popularized by Les Ballet African. They’ll use resident jazz musicians to bring the music into the present, including: Nelson Devereaux, sax; Omar Abdul Karim, trumpet; Javier Santiago, piano; Jax Ravel, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Nicholas David & The Feelin Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($30, $40) In 2012, Nicholas David, who had already recorded 5 albums, finished in the top three of TV’s The Voice. The Chicago Tribune said of him, “a mix of the growl of Dr John with the wild of Marvin Gaye.” His emotional approach to singing, together with great melodies and thoughtful lyrics, reflect a soulful approach to performing that reflects his early billing as Nick the Feelin.

Saturday, January 20

Brass Lassie Album Fundraiser@ Celtic Junction, Saint Paul. 7:30pm-9:30pm (Free) This ten-piece brass band was started by multi-instrumentalist Laura MacKenzie, and they’re holding a celebration to begin fundraising for an album. The group combines traditional Scottish, Irish, and French music with modern horn lines, using a four-piece horn section, a couple of fiddles, flutes, pipes, and a rhythm section. Donations are readily accepted, but not required.

Huun Hur Tur @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40) Huun Hur Tur perform Tuvn Throat-Singing, music that comes from the high pastures of Siberia and creates slightly phlegmy overtones that are at once mesmerizing, energizing, and revelatory. Huun Hur Tur is a quartet that uses traditional instruments in addition to modern influences such as 20th Century composers, funky rhythms, and a wee bit of electronica. If you are at all curious about new sounds, you owe it to yourself to check out this group.

Also: Hurricane Harold, Willie Walker @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Hurricane Harold – No Cover), 9pm (Willie Walker – $12)

Sunday, January 21

Siama’s Congo World Quartet @ Como Park Conservatory, Saint Paul. 4:30pm – 6:30pm (Free) Siama brings his Congo World Quartet to the Music Under Glass Series, featuring: Jaqueline Ultan on cello; Tim O’Keefe on percussion; and  Dallas Johnson on vocals and percussion. They’ll be playing traditional Congolese music and songs from the fun dance halls of East Africa. Their music will be broadcast throughout the conservatory, since seating can be problematic in the performance space. Beer and wine are available for purchase. Here they are from last year’s appearance.

Dangerous Man 5th Anniversary Bash and Afterparty @ The Cedar and the Nomad, Minneapolis. 7pm, Cedar ($15) The Cedar will be jumping with the sounds of Good Morning Bedlam, Yohannes Tona, New Sound Underground, and The Unknown Prophets, while its tap lines are filled with favorites and new creations from Dangerous Man Brewing. Afterwards, join DJ Steely Dan for a special edition of World Wide Discoteque at the Nomad.

Denis Evstuhin and Helen Chang Haertzen @ The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 members, $30 non-members) Evstuhin is a Russian pianist who has appeared on numerous stages around the world, including with the Minnesota Orchestra. Vioiinist Haertzen is a member of the Minnesota Orchestra’s first violin section and the Isles Ensemble. Special guest Anastasiya Nyzkodub is a Ukrainian-born clarinetist completing a Doctorate of Music Arts at the U of MN.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Jan 23, 24

Al Jardine @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($65, $70, $75) Many Boomers will want to see Al Jardine, a founding member of the fabled Beach Boys, as he joins the storytelling trend of rock stars performing solo and in small groups while sharing stories about their career. The Beach Boys had 80 charting hits around the world, 36 Top 40 hits in the US, and four number one hits. He’ll be accompanied by his son Matt and tell the tale of “America’s Band,” from their first hit Surfin’ on through Help Me Rhonda, and Sloop John B, to Jardine’s recent solo release, A Postcard from California. Don’t expect much about the trials and tribulations of the band, however. The Fun, Fu, Fun stuff should be entertaining enough. Here’s a video with Brian Wilson introducing Jardine.

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.


Lotsa Resident and Two Visiting Musicians: 1/10 – 1.16

January 10, 2018

If they can make it to a gig, so can you

Well, it’s another January week with few visiting artists, but that’s no problem for music lovers, as we have a deep pool of talent in the Twin Cities, no matter what the genre. We do have two visiting musicians in the Blues, Roots, and Other category, including a singer from Hawaii, and a bluesman from Texas. Whatever your taste, bundle up and get out to hear some wonderful music, whether it’s home-grown or from afar. Music lifts your Spirit.

Larry
Jazz
Wednesday, January 10
BZ3 Organ Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 6pm – 9pm  (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) If you’re looking for greasy soul jazz that keeps your feet tapping while improvising on jazz and soul tunes, this early evening show is the place to be as Brian Zimniak, Hammond B3; Troy Norton, guitar; and Kevin Washington, drums will deliver the goods.
Framework @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Valid StudentID) It’s the 20th Anniversary for this band: Chris Olsen, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. Expect tight, interactive, and explosive musical conversations with originals and some surprising covers.

Thursday, January 11
Mary Louise Knutson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15, $20) I probably mention Ms Knutson quite a bit, but she’s such a great pianist, with national airplay, and I feel more folks should know about her. After all, she’s the first call pianist for Doc Severensen when he tours the Midwest, and often accompanies Connie Evingson, among other side(wo)man gigs. She’ll be joined by what might be the Midwest’s premier rhythm section: Gordy Johnson, bass, and Phil Hey, drums. 

Aja Parham Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5w/Valid StudentID) Vocalist Aja Parham is a Twin Cities native who’s performed with the Minnesota Opera, Penumbra Theater, and the Ordway, and is equally adept at jazz R&B and Motown. She’ll be joined by Ben Boussieres, guitar; Steven Hobart, piano; and Kenneth Garner, bass.
Andrew Walesch Group @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8 Advance, $10 Door) Walesch has been steadily increasing both his fan base and his reputation as pianist, vocalist and band leader. Tonight he leads a band of highly respected band talented musicians from a slightly older musical generation: Brandon Wozniak, sax; James Buckley, bass; & Dave King, drums. This is a show worthy of staying up late.
Friday, January 12
Joel Shapira Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5w/Valid StudentID) Guitarist Shapira is joined by Pete Whitman, sax; Tom Lewis, bass; and Dave Smalenberger, drums – all talented veterans who are sure to bring excitement and imagination to the basement room. Here’s a track from the group’s album.

Saturday, January 13
Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm: No Room for Squares, with James “Jimmyapolis” Wallace, sax;; Mikkel Romstad, piano; Adam Tucker, bass; and Bill Stieger, drums. 8:30pm: King-Cartwright-Granowski, with Dave King, drums; George Cartwright, saxophones; Josh Granowski, bass.
Saturday, Sunday, January 13, 14
Bryan Nichols & Brandon Wozniak Live Recording @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm Saturday, 7:30pmn Sunday ($10, $12) Two of the Twin Cities adventurous and imaginative musicians – Bryan Nichols, piano; and Brian Wozniak, sax – come together to record an album, and you can be part of the recording. Her is Nichols in a trio setting.

Monday, January 15
Charlie Lincoln @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Valid StudentID) Another concert from talented college students home on vacation. This is the last appearance for  bassist Lincoln, who has been busy as a member and leader of a number of groups during this holiday season. Tonight he leads a completely new aggregation, with Zosha Warpeha, violin/vocals; Patrick Adkins, piano; and Lincoln’s Berklee School of Music classmates from out of town, Dan Elbert, alto; and Aksel Coe, drums.
Also: The Atlantis Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10)
Tuesday, January 16
Silverback Trio @ Palmer’s, Minneapolis. 9pm (Free) Palmer’s is having Tuesday night jazz featuring young bands. The Silverback Tio is David Hirsch, keyboards, electronics, & sax; Brent Wallace, bass; and Byron Johnson-Blanchard, drums. Their original songs fuse atmospheric electronics with high energy melodies to create 21st Century jazz.

Tuesday, Wednesday, January 16, 17
Pat Donahue Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15, $20) the Grammy-winning champion finger-picker and alum of Prairie Home Companion brings Gary Raynor, another alum of PHC on bass, and Peter Johnson who toured with Manhattan Transfer for four years on drums, and is a percussionist for the Minnesota Sinfonia, to the Dunsmore Room for two nights. Here’s Donahue in a solo setting.

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, January 10
Mother Banjo on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Award-winning Bluegrassy and old-timey takes on gospel music, from Ellen Stanley & band. Listen in, and head over to th 331 if you like what you hear.

Eric Clapton: Life in Twelve Bars @ The Trylon Microcinema, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12) The film traces his career through The Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith, Derek and the Dominos and his solo years, telling the stories behind his hits  through archival footage and interviews with his grandmother, former wife Patti Boyd, George Harrison, and others. Since this is a small venue, its’ recommended to make reservations ahead of time.
Also: Wee Willie Walker @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) DownBeat just published a great profile of Walker in its latest issue.
Hula Peppers w/Ukelelezaza @ Schooners Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) See last weeks entries for Ukelelezaza with the Cafe Accordion Orchestra.
Thursday, January 11
Craig Clark Band @ Holihan’s Pub, White Bear Lake. 7pm (Tip Jar) Clark has added his searing guitar to performances with Big Brother and the Holding Company, The Mississippi Mass Choir, James Van Zandt, Big John Dickerson, and more recently, the Dee Miller Band.

Also: The Butanes @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar)
 Joyann Parker Duo @ The Green Lantern, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar)
Friday, January 12
Hamilton Loomis CD Release @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) At sixteen, guitar slinger Loomis met Bo Diddley, who invited him on stage a became his mentor. Loomis learned much from Diddley, and has developed a fine reputation as a blues guitarist. Tonight the Texas native is appearing as part of his tour celebrating his latest, stripped-down CD, Basics, which is his most personal and emotional album to date.

Happy Birthday Janis @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($20) A celebration of the music of Janis Joplin, featuring full, front-to-back performances of the albums I Got Dem Ol’ Kozmic Blues Again Mama! and Pearl, plus other Janis gems. With guests Kind Country.
Also: Boom Boom Stevie B & The Knockouts @ Shaws, NE Minneapolis. (9pm (Tip Jar)
Saturday, January 13
Astronomique @ Como Park Conservatory, Saint Paul. 4:30pm – 6:30pm (Free?) This is part of the Conservatory’s Music Under Glass series, taking part in the humid oasis of the conservatory. Astronomique is described as a quartet producing infectious electronic dance beats using psychedelic synths, fuzzed out guitars, and hypnotic vocals.
Larry Long’s American Roots Revue @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($25) Singer/Songwriter/Troubador Larry Long once again brings a group of artists together to share a stage and each other’s songs. Tonight he has HALEY (Haley Bonar), amazing guitarist Cory Wong, who has been playing and touring nationally and internationally with Vulpeck, as well as his bandmate, bassist/vocalist Antewan Stanley, the Hornheads of Prince fame, and a backing band consisting of Petar Janic, drums; Kevin Gastonguay, keys; and Kevin Macintire, bass – members of Wong’s Green Screen band, and the perennial sideman for the Revue, Joe Savage.
The Badinovs CD Release Party @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($8 Advance/$10 Door) It’s a bit of a throwback night celebrating the rock n’ roll of the 80s, and bringing it into this century. The Badinovs were known as Smart Alex in a previous incarnation, producing one 45 that sells for ridiculous amounts of money on the internet, but now are celebrating a new round of rock n’ roll in their new CD The Big Picture. They’re proud rock n’ rollers who wear their pop rock influences with pride, and will perform a short set as Smart Alex. They are joined by Johnny Rey & the Reaction and Loons in the Attic. Here’s a cut from the new album.

Also: St. Dominic’s Trio @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Original songs from a subset of the Belfast Cowboys.
Monday, January 15
Kaumakaiwa Kanaka’ole W/Shawn Pimental @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) With five Hawaiian Grammys to her name, Kanaka’ole creates songs that are inspired by Hawaiian chant traditions. She has been called the voice of Hawaii’s new generation. Jon Pareles, of the NY Times, wrote, “[She] vaulted through various registers and timbres, from bass to witchy contralto rasp to sweet soprano ([her] “skinny girl’ voice,”[she] said) a traditionalist tour de force.” She’ll be backed by guitarist Shawn Pimental.

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.

Resident Musicians and More: 1.3 – 1.9

January 3, 2018

Some of our resident musicians are appearing at this event

Given our winter weather, it’s no surprise that we don’t have many visiting artists this week, though we’ll be inundated in a couple of weeks when Super Bowl activities begin. We’re fortunate, however, that many of our resident musicians have experience on national tours and in national venues, so we don’t have to wait for visitors to have great music experiences. After all, Music Lifts the Spirit

Larry

Jazz

Wednesday, January 3

Jason Richards & the Wolverines Jazz Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, but $10 Reserved seat) Vocalist Richards would seem to be a natural for this club, as he’s been influenced by Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Tony Bennett. He’ll be accompanied by the Wolverines Trio, who are masters at providing excellent backing for vocalists.

Rose Lewis & Friends @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Trombonist Lewis is a graduate of Lawrence University, where she was a member of the school’s Downbeat Award winning Jazz Ensemble. She’s taught elementary and high school bands, and in the 90s, performed with groups like the Stan Bann Big Band, The Ringling Brothers Shrine Circus, the Jerry O’Hagan Big Band, The Wolverines Classic Jazz Orchestra, and a host of other ensembles. She was sidelined with illness for sixteen years and is now re-entering the music scene, creating and performing original compositions. She’ll be joined by Greg Lewis, trumpet; David Milne, sax; Nathan Hanson, sax; Will Schmid, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Edmund Catlin, drums.

Also: Travis Anderson Trio w/Connie Evingson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($8)

Thursday, January 4

Southside Aces “Hall Brothers Night” w/Special Guest Charlie Devore @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, but $15 for a reserved seat) For 25 years cornetist Charlie Devore let the Hall Brothers Band as the house band for the Emporium of Jazz in Mendota. The Hall Brothers performed and celebrated the early jazz of New Orleans, which makes Devore the perfect guest for the Southside Aces, who also explore the genre with verve, élan, and joy.

Will Schmid Group @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Though guitarist Schmid is a relatively young musician, he has been gigging around the Twin Cities for the past five years, and with fellow guitarist Adam Astrup, has played at the Twin Cities Jazz Fest (winter and summer editions), and the Iowa City Jazz Festival. He’s currently in college in Cleveland, but we’re lucky enough to have him perform before returning to school. He’ll be accompanied by Jake Baldwin, tpt; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jesse Thorson, drums. Here’s Will with Adam Astrup at the Winter Jazz Fest.

Also: Vicky Mountain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID)

Friday, January 5

Pete Whitman’s Mississippi @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9:00pm ($12) Saxophonist Pete Whitman brings his quality quartet to the listening room at Crooners, where he’ll be accompanied by Peter Schimke, piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums. Here they are with the addition of Andres Prado on guitar.

Solomon Parham Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Tonight features the excellent trumpeter Solomon Parham, with a group of outstanding players, including: Eric Kamau Grávátt, drums; Ron Evaniuk bass: Andy Nelson, saxophones; and Phil Aaron, piano.

Friday, Saturday, Jan 5, 6

Rebirth Brass Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9:30pm ($35) Once the Dirty Dozen Brass Band began redefining Brass band music back in the 80s, other, younger bands started up, incorporating contemporary music into their repertoire. Rebirth was one of the first to do so, and has been a part of New Orleans’ brass band revival for about 30 years now. They’ve been appearing at the Dakota once or twice a year for a few years now, where there always welcomed for bringing the energy and fun of New Orleans to our cold end of the Mississippi.

Saturday, January 6

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar – $10 Suggested Donation) The evening opens with a JazzINK Youth Showcase, this week featuring Liquid Vinyl: Nicholas Adams, drums; Ethan Bogle, piano; Bruce Acosta, guitar; Harry Menken, bass; Leighton Tuenge, trumpet; Thoger Boyum, alto; and Charley Menken, tenor. Then the featured group will perform at 8:30pm it’s Steve Kenny’s Group 47, and intergenerational group with Kenny, Flumpet; Thomas Strommen, tenor; Will Kjeer, piano; Adam Tucker, bass; and Alex Burgess, drums.

Tuesday, January 9

Maud Hixson: She Said/She Said @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Hixson’s cool-yet slightly sultry approach to singing brings to mind performers such as June Christy and Chris Conner, yet she always makes a song her own. She is also good at finding new ways to explore songs through special performances, as she’ll do tonight, exploring the songs of classic female songwriters. Here she is performing a song with words by Carolyn Leigh

JT Bates’ GRAIN Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) If you are new in town, you may not know that drummer JT Bates has the ability to play jazz, Americana, and pop rock. He regularly performs with bands that range from Fat Kid Wednesdays to The Pines, Alpha Consumer, Andrew Bird, and the French Cellist Didier Petit. Tonight starts a January residency for his B3 organ trio, featuring Kevin Gastonguay on B3, and the ever-reliable Zacc Harris on guitar.

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, January 3

The Hula Peppers w/Special Guest Remco Houtman, aka Ukelelezaza on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Vintage Tin Pan Alley, Jazz, and Hawaiian music, from the Peppers, with guest Houtman, from Ghent, Belgium, one of the top ukelele instrumentalists in the world. Houtman is a well-known and much sought out workshop teacher and performer in Europe, Scandinavia, the U.K., Japan, Australia and beyond.

Siama Matuzingidi @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6pm (Free) Siama Matuzingidi has lived in Uganda, Kenya, Dubai, and Japan, and has performed with some of the biggest names in Soukous, playing melodic, dance-inducing guitar on hundreds of recordings. In 2014 he received a McKnight Fellowship, which allowed him to launch a solo career here in Minnesota. He’ll be accompanied by his partner Dallas Johnson on additional vocals and percussion, and David Tullis, of Black Market Brass on drums

Also: Paul Metsa @ The Green Lantern, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) It appears that guitarist/raconteur Metsa will be playing a rare solo gig tonight.

Thursday, January 4

Bobby E and Friends @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Bobby Eckstrand is admired by many of the area’s other guitarists, whether they play jazz, country, or rock. He’s a first Thursday regular at Dusty’s, bringing friends from all genres together to play in the big booth in the small room.

Also: Lonesome Dan Case @ The Basement Bar, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (Tip Jar?) Lonesome Dan’s blues from the 30s are as down and out as you can get

Friday, January 5

Davina & The Vagabonds @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($10? $15?) Davina and her crew regularly fill the Dakota, but the Dakota lacks a proper dance floor, so here’s a chance to fill Wilebski’s commodious space with some terpsichorean moves and gyrations. Plus, it’s early, so those of us of a certain age can get home in time for nighttime news.

Saturday, January 6

Cafe Accordion Orchestra w/Special Guest Ukelelezaza @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($18 Advance/$20 Door) CAO’s annual January concert at the Cedar will feature music from their 10 recordings, including French Musettes, Gypsy Swing, Cumbias, Movie music, and more. Opening is Remco Houtman, aka Ukelelezaza (see Wednesday’s entry) who will be collaborating with CAO as well.

Also: Cajun Jam @ The Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 11am – 1pm (tip jar

Sunday, January 7

Road to Memphis Fundraiser @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 1pm – 6pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Help to send Javier Matos and the Ken Valdez Band to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge. A host of performers will help encourage you to take part in a bake sale and 50/50 Raffle. Performers include the two acts going to Memphis as well as past participants, including Mike Munson and Mikkel Beckmen, the Mark Cameron Band, Scottie Miller Jimmi Langemo, Annie Mack, Davina Lozier, Sugar Chuck Lacey and the IBC All Star Band.

Also: Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 5pm – 7pm ($7) Late afternoon salsas and charangas for your dancing pleasure.

Monday, January 8

Cactus Blossoms Residency @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm ($15) The tight musicianship and brotherly harmonies of the Cactus Blossoms bloomed at the Turf Club during an 18 month residency back in the day. Folks of all ages would stop by to dance to the groups take on country music of the 50s and 60s. Since then they’ve toured with some of the bigger stars in today’s country music and released a well received album on Red House Records, which includes a track featured on the new Twin Peaks. Now they’re back at the Turf for the month of January.

Also: New Riverside Ramblers Cajun Dance @ The Eagles Club, #34, Minnapolis. 7:30pm ($8)

Monday, Tuesday, January 8, 9

We Can Be Heroes: David Bowie Tribute @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35, $40) This tribute to the trail-blazing musician and champion of self-expression by a bevy of talented Twin Cities musicians features the excellent vocals of Julius Collins; as well as drummer Michael Bland; guitarists Jeremy Ylvisaker and Ryan Smith; Cory Eischen on keys; along with Katie Gearty and Rachel Holder on vocals.

Early Alert: Wednesday, January 10

Eric Clapton: Life in Twelve Bars @ The Trylon Microcinema, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12) The film traces his career through The Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith, Derek and the Dominos and his solo years, telling the stories behind his through archival footage and interviews with folks such as his grandmother, former wife Patti Boyd, George Harrison, and others. Since this is a small venue, its’ recommended to make reservations ahead of time. Here’s the trailer.

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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