Hear and enjoy. Music: 12.5 – 12.11

It seems the flow of visiting artists has slowed this week, at least for the smaller venues that I generally cover. Nevertheless there are a number of interesting, and sometimes holiday-themed shows being done by resident artists. Whether celebrating the holidays or not, remember, Music Lifts Your Spirit!


Wednesday, Dec 5

Really Big Shoe @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Saxophonists Joe Mayo & Clay Pufahl founded this quarter a couple of years ago. Rhythm section: Ted Olson, bass; and Joey Van Phillips, drums.

Thursday, Dec 6

Charmin Michelle @ The Mudd Room, Mendota Heights. 7pm (No over) Try to get a seat within the bar portion of this room to fully appreciate Ms Michelle’s caramel-smooth voice. She’ll have John Della Selva on guitar; and Joe Wiseman, bass; working with her.

Friday, Dec 7

Riverside Swing Holiday Show @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20) Given we’re holiday season, it’s likely that this six piece band with four vocalists won’t bemoan the lack of a dance floor as they play swinging holiday tunes along with others from the 30s and 40s.

Sightless Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. ($10) Cody Steinmann, guitar; Ted Godbout, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Carter Pearson, drums.

Saturday, Dec 8

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) at 7pm, it’s the aptly named Last Minute Quartet, with Steve Kenny on Flumpet, and a band line-up to be announced. At 8:30, Drummer Rodney Ruckus returns to tow with theRuckus Twin Cities Experiment: DeCarlo Jackson, bass, trumpet; Brandon Wozniak, tenor; David Billingly & Jacob Dodd, piano; and Rodney Ruckus, drums and other instruments.

58 Belvedere @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 6:30pm (No Cover) Guitarist Dan Granros leads this jazz power trio through originals and group improvisations, with: Pat Keen, bass; and Dave Power, drums.

Sunday, Dec 9

Mary Louise Knutson Trio @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 12:30 – 1:45pm (Free) holiday tunes performed by a sublime trio: Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Gordy Johnson, upright bass; and Phil Hey drums, prior to the afternoon’s choral concert in the hall.

Tormé Sings Tormé @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25) Steve March-Tormé is the son of Mel Tormé, who wrote the holiday chestnut, The Christmas Song. It’s only fitting that he brings a program of holiday songs, as well as stories of his dad, and a few songs from the Great American Songbook to the listening room at Crooners.

Monday, Dec 10

Fuzzy Math @ The Amsterdam Bar& Hall, Saint Paul. 8pm (Free) Largely carol-free evening of jazz from: Mark Vandermyde, keys/compositions; Andrew Scwandt, sax; Haralds Bondaris, drums; and Matt Peterson, bass.

Chris Bates’ Red 5 @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) The nerd in all of us enjoys the fact that this group is named after an X-Wing fighter Star Wars. Members of the band: Bates, bass; JT Bates, drums; Thomas Nordlund, guitar; Steve Kenny, trumpet; Brandon Wozniak, saxes; and JC Sanford, trombone. BTW, next week’s Jazz Implosion will be the last, as JT Bates is stepping down after about 20 years of booking the Monday night series.

Tuesday, Dec 11

Dave Karr & Friends @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6pm (Free) The monthly Jazz Indeed series at the Hook features octogenarian saxophonist Dave Karr. Given Karr’s prominence in the area’s jazz scene, he’ll undoubtedly have some stellar performers with him.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.


Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, Dec 5

Big George Jackson on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Big George Jacksonhas a bass voice that can shake the rafters. He plays a mean harmonica as well.

The Pines @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20, $30, $35) Indie Rock and Americana from a group with its roots in Iowa and Minnesota. They’ve received numerous plaudits for their writing, showing a keen eye for detail and atmospherics.

Thursday, Dec 6

Doug Otto @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5-7pm (Tip Jar) Though Otto can be heard regularly at the 331 Club and Dusty’s, he’s performing today in Saint Paul as part of Mikkel Beckman’s weekly gig.

Friday, Dec 7

Prudence Johnson & Dean Magraw @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6pm ($5) These two veterans of the Twin Cities music scene go together like two straws in a coke. They’ve known each other and played together for decades.

3rd Annual Church of Cash Holiday Show @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) How did Johnny Cash celebrate the holidays? This excellent tribute band may give us a hint.

Salsa del Soul @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Salsa del Soul plays much more than salsa. You’ll hear Sons, Pleñas, Cha-chas, Bachatas and more. A DJ opens at 9pm w/Salsa del Soul starting at 10.

Saturday, Dec 8

Paul Cebar @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. ($15 Advance, $20 Door) Milwaukee’s ambassador of danceable sounds brings the rhythms of western Louisiana, the streets of New Orleans, Africa, and the Caribbean (not to forget soul n’ funk) to the Hook with his band Tomorrow Sound.

Renee Austin @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Austin was a rising star in the blues scene when she lost her voice in 2005. She calls it a miracle that she got it back two years ago. She’s now revved up and singing her soulful blues.

Hot Tuna @ The Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hopkins. 8pm ($42, $75VIP) Guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Casady were founding members of Jefferson Airplane, and formed Hot Tuna as a side project to explore their love of blues. Hot tuna Received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rock n’ roll Hall of Fame about two years ago.

Tuesday, Dec 11

Hooked on Hamilton @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. ($30, $35, $40) Vocalist/Actor T. Mychael Rambo has gathered14 veteran and emerging vocalists, along with a 5-piece band to perform songs from the musical Hamilton.


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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