The Lowdown Brass Band Interview

October 4, 2018

The Chicago-based Lowdown Brass Band, like many other brass bands, often looks to contemporary music for inspiration. After three albums, two EPs, and a couple of singles (one of which is a 45), it’s clear that their influences now include hip-hop, reggae, ska, and Afrobeat music. Yet, throughout their latest, Lowdown Breaks, second line rhythms aren’t very far. A tight horn line and a commitment to fun are at the heart of their music. I had a chance to talk by phone with Lance Loiselle, founder, producer, and sousaphone player with the band, prior to their October 15 debut at The Dakota in Minneapolis. I’ve edited the interview slightly for length and clarity.

You’ve been a band around for what about fifteen or sixteen years.

It’s our 15thAnniversary this year. We had our 15thanniversary show 2 weekends ago.

Are you the founder or one of the founders?

One of the founders. There are four of us originals. For the first four or five years we had a rotating cast of characters to go through when people have moved on. We’ve had a pretty solid lineup for six or seven years.

What was it about brass band music that made you decide “I want to start a brass band?”

I played in high school band. One of my friends introduced me to the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and I was instantly in love with their music. So I listened to those guys through high school and college and fell in love with the music of New Orleans. Then when I went to DuPaul, I met all the guys that were original members (of Lowdown Brass Band). Some guys that were not original members also attended DuPaul with us.

When we graduated we were just sitting around after a rehearsal for another band and we were just talking about the music of New Orleans and just looked around – that guy plays the sousaphone, that guy plays the drums, (I play the sousaphone myself), he plays trumpet, and then you know we had all the pieces available and we all love the music of New Orleans. So we started out as a cover band with some originals and as time passed we started writing more and incorporating more styles into the music. Basically that’s it.

Besides the Dirty Dozen were there some other bands that you looked at as you were developing your sound?

You have the Rebirth Brass Band, another big New Orleans band that we’ve covered with a couple of songs over the years. And then as we became a little bit more modern, Youngblood Brass Band has always been a favorite of ours and. A lot of the guys we know personally – some of their band lived in at Chicago for a while. Then there’s like all other kind of horn bands. Chicago’s got a real rich history of horn bands. Chicago is one, Earth, Wind, & Fire is another. There’s a real deep history of horn bands.

Chicago also has a lot of other great sounds – vocal groups and of course the blues is an important part of the city’s history, as well as jazz, and hip-hop. Do you incorporate some of those sounds into your repertoire?

The last couple years we’ve been working with an MC, Billa Camp. Chicago’s got a good hip-hop scene with Common, Kanye West. So we’ve incorporated Chicago hip-hop, and New York hip-hop too, because Billa is originally from New York. We incorporate the funky sounds of Earth, Wind, & Fire in what we do. We’ve also been using some Latin flair. Chicago has a real big salsa scene, so we do a couple Latin tunes. Tower of Power is another big inspiration for us. There are so many writers and arrangers in the band, it really depends on who’s writing the song.  Someone will bring in a tune, but then it becomes really collaborative. So there are all these different musical leanings, and then everybody gets to put in their own two cents to the final product.

With Billa, you’ve got hip-hop going on. You also have some reggae toasting going on as well. What is it about brass band music that helps make that kind of thing work and how do you incorporate that?

Man, that’s a good question because it seems like it wouldn’t work.  You need the scratching, and the keyboard, but basically we just think anything that we transfer over, like a rhythm instrument, we just write for brass. The scratching and off-beat rhythms we would write for trumpet, and then the trombones would fill in the guitar line. Then the sousaphone becomes then becomes the bass. One thing that I’ve been incorporating a lot through the sousaphone is a lot of delay, which is another characteristic of reggae.

There are two reggae bands that have influenced us a bit. One is called The Drastics and the other one is called Akasha. They’re both Chicago reggae bands that a couple of our guys also play in, so that influence is brought to us as well, just from cross pollination of playing in other  bands and absorbing influences.

On the last album, Lowdown Breaks, you’ve got some Afro Beat sounds and you’re not afraid to take on an iconic rock song – Walk on the Wild Side.

So yeah we actually kind of ripped that off from A Tribe Called Quest(Note: Can I Kick It), who ripped off the bass line from Lou Reed. We took the hook and the bass line and made our own arrangement of it. Then Billa wrote some new verses for it, and it really has a nice flavor. It was a truly collaborative effort.

In terms of future directions for the band what do you see going on?

We’ve got a lot of plans through the end of the year. We just released a single of We Just Want to Be. It was written by our sax player, then we gave it to our buddy Nick the Graduate, a reggae producer in town, and he put a dub mix on it. He also worked with another guy, an emcee and reggae toaster called Illuminati Congo. They worked with Billa, and they made this truly dub version, reminiscent of Peter Tosh and guys like that.

So we put it on a 45. There’s a reggae label in town called Happy As A Lark, and so he’s putting that out. So that was part of our release show. We have a fall tour that we’re doing. The first leg of it is this weekend. We’re going to play Minneapolis. We’re playing at Green Bay Saturday and then we play Chicago on Sunday, then we’re going out to L.A. at the end of the month for a four-day trip. and they were going to play. We’re playing at the Lagunitas Beer Circus, which is a really big thing out there. And then And then second weekend of November we’re going to play in New Orleans for three night and hitting Memphis on the way down and Nashville on the way out.

We made a video for Don’t Wait Right Now, the Afrobeat song, so we’re going to be releasing that in the middle of the tour. And then we’re going to be laying low for the next three months. We just got a new recording spot. We’ll set that up and record a new album and hopefully have it out by next summer.

Well I sure do appreciate you taking the time and look forward to seeing you.

Cool. I appreciate the call. Take care.

 


Choices, Choices: 10.3 – 10.9

October 3, 2018

So… this week we have quite a few visiting musicians, a CD release party and some special appearances by resident musicians. It all makes for a hard week of decisions on where to spend your entertainment dollars. I just spent a weekend in Las Vegas, and outside of the casinos, where even impersonator shows start at $50, there’s only about 20 venues that present resident and lesser-known visiting musicians. To put that in context, I‘ve 13 different venues listed here, and a list of over 50 Twin Cities music venues on my blog. We’re lucky to have so many choices. Music Lifts the Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, October 3

Sammy Miller & The Congregation @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20, $25) Drummer Sammy Miller put this group together after getting his Master’s at Julliard. Members have played with such musical luminaries as Wynton Marsalis, Lady Gaga, and Queen Latifah. Reviews include terms like “feel-good party jazz” and “joyful jazz.”

Wednesday, Thursday, October 3,4

David Murray Trio feat: Kahil El’Zabar@ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 7pm ($30, $35), 9pm ($25, $30) Since 1975, tenor saxophonist David Murray has been stretching the idea of jazz, working in an avant-garde tradition, founding the World Saxophone Quartet and the Black Saint Quartet, exploring the music of Africa, the Caribbean, and South America, as well as reworking Duke Ellington and the Cuban recordings of Nat King Cole. He’s played with Jerry Garcia, among other non-jazz artists, and had Macy Gray front his Big Band. Tonight he’s joined by another avant giant, Chicago percussionist Kahil El’Zabar as well as versatile resident bassist James Buckley. Here’s Murray with a different group.

Thursday, October 4

Greer & Magraw @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Sarah M. Greer’s vocals & Dean Magraw’s guitar colorings seem to fit hand in glove.

Friday, Oct 5

Talking Strings Trio @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm – 10pm (Tip Jar) Hot Club Jazz, including standards, Django Rheinhardt numbers, and originals, from Pavel Jany, guitar; Gary Schultz, violin; and Dan Weston, bass.

Byerself @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis.8:30pm ($10) Cellos are popping up quite a bit in jazz these days. Here’s a hometown example: Greg Byers, cello; Javi Santiago, piano; LA Buckner, drums.

Lowdown Brass Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 10pm ($15) The Chicago-based Lowdown Brass Band started out about 15 years ago, simply covering the songs of other brass bands, such as the Dirty Dozen and Rebirth. They soon began writing their own songs, and of late, have been integrating hip-hop, African, and Caribbean rhythms to their repertoire, as well as rappers and toasters, making for exciting, and crowd-pleasing evenings.

Tina Schlieske: Sinatra to Simone @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 10pm ($20, $25 -Advance/$25, $30 Door) Here’s a chance to see the leader of Tina & the B-Sides in crooning mood. When Ms Schlieske first performed her show of Torch and Swing at the Dakota a couple of months ago, she clearly had a good time singing standards by Billie Holiday, Tony Bennett, Sinatra, and Simone, among others. If her Dakota show is any indication, she’ll be backed by a stellar group of resident jazz musicians.

Saturday, Oct 6

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm: Cody Steinman Sightless Quartet: Cody Steinman, guitar; Joe Strachan, keys; Graydon Peterson, bass; Miguel Hurtado, drums. 8:30pm: Steve Kenny Quartet – Steve Kenny, trumpet; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Ted Olsen bass; Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Monday, October 8

Peter Kogan’s Monsterful Wonderband @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Drummer Kogan has shown that he and his A-list band members can go from bebop to swing to 21st Century jazz with ease and panache. They have been working on a soon to be released CD, which they are previewing tonight.

Evil Genius @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($12) This experimental jazz-rock group from Los Angeles consist of Max Kutner, guitar; Stefan Kac, tuba; and Mike Lockwood, drums. Avant Music News said of the band, “they seem to be blissfully unaware of any of the (largely artificial) lines drawn between genres.”

Tuesday, October 9

Red Planet w/Bill Carrothers @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Dean Magraw, Chris Bates, and Jay Epstein communicate so well, it’s sometimes hard to envision anyone else joining them, but pianist Carrothers, with his empathetic playing and imaginative improvising, fits right in with Magraw’s coloring and the rhythm section’s pocket. The result is energetic, often dreamy, and wholly satisfying.

Josh Granowski’s Special Music @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6pm (No Cover) The Hook is presenting jazz every 2nd Tuesday this Fall. Tonight it’s a group of relatively younger, very accomplished musicians: Josh Granowski, bass; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, Cornet; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; and Davu Seru, drums.

For more listings, KBEM has a calendar of jazz and roots events, while the Jazz Police features commentary, reviews, and previews of jazz in the Twin cities and beyond.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, October 3

Ben Eaton Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Guitarist Eaton is Iowa-born and spent years playing and touring around the state both as a solo artist, and with The Dirt Cheap Band. He moved to Minneapolis in 2009, and though he’s spent time raising his son, he’s also managed to record 3 EPs, the latest of which is just being released. He’ll be joined by Andrew Brockman and Atom Robinson.

Dieselfitters @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Looking for a little Twang in your life? The Dieselfitters (Clay Williams, guitar & vocals; Richard Gunderson, bass; and Steve Everett, drums) can help, bringing rockabilly, honky-tonk, and good ol’ roots rock n’ roll right to Lee’s tonight.

Thursday, October 4

Boiled in Lead @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm – 10pm ($10) Todd Menton, vocals and guitar; David Stenshoel, violin, Drew Miller, bass; and Michael Bissonette, percussion; have been performing as Boiled in Lead, playing rockin’ versions of Irish tunes as well as their originals for about 35 years now. They’ll be at the 318 Cafe on the 1st Thursday of the month through December.

Friday, October 5

Reverend Raven & The Chain Smoking’ Alter Boys @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm -10pm ($10?) Though based in Milwaukee, Reverend Raven was born and raised in Chicago, so that city’s blues style of blues permeates his music. He plays guitar as if the blues-rock explosion of the late 60s and early 70s never happened, though he also brings that tradition forward. His dedication to the sound has resulted in numerous awards, a Grammy nomination, and the 2016 Blues Blast Music Award for best live CD.

John Primer @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Here’s some blues you can use for dancing or crying in your beer. Primer is a Chicago bluesman who was bandleader and lead guitarist for Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, and Magic Slim & the Teardrops before going solo. He’s a 2018 nominee for the Blues Foundation’s Blues Music Awards, and has received two Grammy nominations. Hard to beat those credentials.

High & Mighty @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) With a commodious dance floor, the MMC is a good place to hear this 10-piece band that mines R&B hits from the 60s until now.

Saturday, October 6

Lucy Kaplansky Album Release @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25 Advance/$30) Folk/pop singer Kaplansky is a Billboard charting singer and one of the best-selling artists on Red House Records. She started out in her hometown of Chicago and moved to NYC in 1978 where she joined the burgeoning folk scene and formed a duo w/Shawn Colvin. She dropped out of music to pursue a PhD in psychology, and returned in the 90s, signing with Red House and releasing seven albums with them. Tonight, she’s celebrating her just released Everyday Street.

Sunday, Oct 7

2018 Uke Fest @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6-10pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) It’s the annual celebration of the little instrument with a growing following. All proceeds benefit Arc Minnesota. Hear YouTube star Zachary Scot Johnson, as well as the phenomenal Marlowe (an ambassador for Kala Ukeleles), and our very own John Munson, Jake Rowan, and others, including that ukulele canary Katy Vernon, who has put together this event every year.

Monday, October 8

Elvin Bishop @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45, $50), 9pm ($35, $40, $45) A Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer, guitarist Bishop came onto the scene in the trailblazing Paul Butterfield Blues Band back in 1965.  In 1976, he had a huge hit with Fooled Around and Fell in Love. Since then he’s put out a series of satisfying albums, often featuring his humorous takes on life. It makes sense then, that his latest group, with guitarist/pianist Bob Welsh, and percussionist/vocalist Willy Jordan, is called the Big Fun Trio. Their music is rootsy, spirited, and, as expected, makes for a good time. Here’s the title cut from their latest album.

Ann Reed w/Joan Griffith & Special Guest Leslie Ball @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20) Singer/songwriter/guitarist Reed has been performing for 35 years, a storyteller of the human experience. Tonight she joins with guitarist/bassist/composer Joan Griffith, who’s recorded with Lucia Newell, Prudence Johnson, and Laura Caviani, in addition to recording with Reed. Special guest Leslie Ball is a singer, producer, and writer whose songs have been recorded by the likes of Helen Reddy and Nick Lowe. In 1991, she started the BALLS Cabaret, which still runs weekly at The Southern Theater.

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.

 

 

 


Music Abounds: 9.26 – 10.2

September 26, 2018

This week’s music offerings include two highly accomplished jazz pianists – one is an NEA Jazz Master, while the other is undoubtedly on his way to earning that title. We also have a 70’s singer/songwriter icon, some swamp music, and chamber blues. We’re blessed to have so many opportunities to enjoy the uplifting power of music in many forms. Music Lifts the Spirit

Larry

Jazz

Wednesday, September 26

Madeline Peyroux @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($55, $65, $75) Vocalist Peyroux has come a long way since her days of busking in the streets of Paris. Her latest album, Anthem!, received a glowing review in DownBeat, which called it “…a finely polished production, each performance in crisp servitude to the song.” Here she is doing a Lee Dorsey song.

Cyrus Chestnut Trio feat: Buster Williams, Lenny White @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 7pm ($35, $40), 9pm ($30, $35) Oh my! Pianist Chestnut is a draw all by himself, called “The best jazz pianist of his generation” by Time magazine, with a sound that reflects a gospel background, but tonight he’s joined by the master bassist Buster Williams and the formidable Grammy-winning drummer Lenny White.

Connie Evingson: Irving Berlin @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25) Ms Evingson continues to explore the Songbook series of Ella Fitzgerald. Tonight she tackles the songs of Irving Berlin.

Friday, September 28

Generic Vibes @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Despite their name, this group is anything but generic. Young musicians Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Adam Tucker, bass; and Alex Burgess, drums will be performing originals and original arrangements.

Saturday, September 29

Harvey Diamond Quartet, feat Melissa Stoudt @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 3pm ($15, $20) Boston pianist Harvey Diamond was one of the last students of the revered pianist Lennie Tristano. Diamond has performed in fabled clubs in both NYC and Boston, alongside NEA Jazz Masters and a multitude of jazz icons. Flutist/saxophonist Melissa Stoudt studied with Diamond as well as with the late Eddie Berger, with whom she also played. Stoudt currently plays with The Moonlight Serenaders, and the Maple Grove Big Band, in addition to composing for theatrical productions.

Jana Nyberg Group @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($20) Though vocalist Nyberghas been known to throw in the occasional pop and R&B song into her performance, she is backed by a group of outstanding jazz musicians: Sean Turner, piano; Adam Meckler, trumpet; Kenny Watson, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums.

Monday, October 1

Acme Jazz Company @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm ($8, $10 to guarantee seat) The sound of this 18-piece big band will fill the big lounge at Crooners, with vocal help from the Twin Cities preeminent crooner, Arne Fogel.

Byron Johnson-Blanchard Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30 ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Drummer Byron Johnson-Blanchard heads a few different trios, each of which features original music. Tonight he’s joined by Brad Holden, alto sax; and Keith Yanes, bass.

Jane Monheit @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45), 9pm ($30, $35, $40) Vocalist Monheit released her first album in 2000 to much acclaim for the beauty and purity of her voice. She recently released her tenth album, The Songbook Sessions, in which, with the producing and musical help of Nicholas Payton, she takes an updated approach to songs from Ella Fitzgerald.,

Kenny Barron Solo Piano @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($40, $45), 9pm ($30) Seventy-five year old pianist Kenny Barron is an NEA Jazz Master. At 19, he moved to NYC from his hometown of Philadelphia and began working with the likes of Roy Haynes, Lee Morgan, and James Moody. Since then he’s collaborated with a whole constellation of jazz luminaries, released dozens of albums, and has been nominated for a Grammy eleven times. His latest album, released earlier this year, is Concentric Circles, a quintet affair on Blue Note, though this evening you get to hear him in a solo setting.

For more listings, KBEM has a calendar of jazz and roots events, while the Jazz Police features commentary, reviews, and previews ofnjazz in the Twin cities and beyond.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, September 26

Pat Donohue & the Prairie All-Stars on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) I featured this group last week, playing at Crooners. Listen in if you didn’t get to hear them.  As I said – You heard them on Prairie Home Companion, or you may have seen them on local stages.  Either way, you know guitarist Donahue leads a talented band that can take on the blues, jazz, folk, and pop, and will leave you musically satisfied.

Thursday September 27

Rita Coolidge @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($40, $50) During the 70s and 80s, vocalist Coolidge was all over the charts. She won two Grammys for duet albums with then-husband Kris Kristofferson, backed-up Delaney & Bonnie and numerous other acts, had four consecutive top 25 hits, co-wrote the coda on Layla, and, during Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen Tour, became the inspiration for Leon Russell’s song Delta Lady. Her autobiography, Delta Lady: A Memoir, was published in 2016.

Jake Manders & Friends @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) Singer/songwriter/guitarist Manders  brings his folky bluegrass/Americana to Merlin’s every fourth Thursday. The Popdooksopen at 8, followed by Manders & his band at 9:30.

The Skruffians @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) The Skruffians play a mix of ska, reggae, soul, and jazz, inspired by the Skatalites and other Jamaican musicians who happened to play jazz before they were recruited to play ska.

Thursday, Friday, September 27, 28

Nooky Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm Thursday ($20, $25, $30), 7pm  Friday ($20, $25, $30), 9pm  Friday ($15, $20, $25) This six piece neo-soul group includes a number of jazzers among its membership, making it easy for them to mix up a blend of jazz, R&B, and funk into a warm, inviting, groove-oriented sound using intricate horn arrangements and intimate vocals.

Friday, September 28

Back2School Cool @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul.7pm-11pm ($10, or $5w/New School Supplies) This is a fundraiser for Frogtown’s community radio station, WFNU 94.1, and Feeding Frogtown. Musical acts include Uncle T, The Nighthowlers, and Just Wulf, as well as a special guest, and DJ sets from the station’s deejays.

Saturday, September 29

Honey Island Swamp Band @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis 8pm ($18 Advance/$20 Door) This New Orleans group play their own brand of swamp music encompassing classic country, New Orleans R&B, Delta blues, and artists ranging from the Band, to Taj Mahal and Gram Parsons. It’s been described as “Bayou Americana,” which is as good a description as any.

Hadden Sayers @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20) Red hot, high energy guitarist Sayers is a native Texan currently living in Columbus Ohio. He brings a modern touch to the blues without descending into blues-rock territory. His latest album, Dopamine Machine, was released earlier this month.

Sunday, September 30

Road to Memphis @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 1pm – 6pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s once again time for a fundraiser to send some of Minnesota’s best blues acts to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis this coming January. Six acts will perform, including Harrison Street, Boom Boom Stevie V, and Annie Mack, as well as this year’s entrants, The C-Notes, Tony & Joe, and the Dee Miller Band. 

Corky Siegal & Randy Sabien @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 5pm ($20) Chicago based harmonica player Corky Siegel first came to prominence in the late 60s and early 70s as part of the Seigel Schwall Blues Band. In ’73 they released Three Pieces for Blues Band and Symphony Orchestra, with the San Francisco Symphony. Since then Siegel has continued to explore the intersections of blues with classical music. Tonight he’s joined by versatile jazz violinist Randy Sabien, for an evening of “chamber blues.”

Monday, October 1

Bad Companions @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Get out your dancing shoes, practice up with some swing dance lessons at 7pm, and jump to the rockabilly sounds of Al Subola and The Bad Companions. 

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.


Autumn is Here: 9.19 – 9.25

September 19, 2018

This Saturday The Autumnal Equinox occurs, when the sun will appear to cross the celestial equator, marking the first day of Autumn. The outdoor music season is winding down, though there will undoubtedly be some glorious days ahead. In the meantime, we’ve a passel of shows for you to consider, from celebrations of artists who have passed over, to genre-bending jazz, to a CD release party, and an outdoor concert in a sculpture park.  Music Lifts the Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, September 19

Jazz Central Fundraiser  @ Indeed Brewing, 711 15th Avenue NE, Minneapolis. 3pm – 6pm (No Cover) All the proceeds from beer sales will benefit Jazz Central today, and starting at 6pm, 35 or 40 of the musicians that play at Jazz Central will perform in different combinations.

Kendra Shank @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15, $20) Vocalist Shank has released seven acclaimed CDs amid critical huzzahs from Time, Downbeat, and The Boston Globe. She’s a NYC jazz figure and has been featured n NPR, and has headlined the Blue Note, Birdland, the Jazz Standard, and the Iridum, in addition to festival appearances around the world. She’ll be accompanied by resident jazz stalwarts Phil Aaron, piano; and Graydon Peterson bass.

Thursday, September 20

Mary Louise Knutson Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15, $20) Pianist Knutson is a bright light on theTwin Cities jazz scene, whether performing with a trio, accompanying a singer, touring with Doc Severinson, or playing with the MNJazz Orchestra and the Jazz Women All-Stars. She’ll be joined by bassist Chris Bates and drummer Greg Schulte.

Yasmeen Quintana @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) This vocalist and native of Barcelona performs Latin Jazz and Neo Soul. Quintana will be backed by resident musicians Kevin Gastonguay, keys; David Feily, bass; and Arthur LA Buckner, drums.

Friday, September 21

Debbie Duncan @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Vocalist Duncan is always entertaining, but more to the point, she’s a great singer who can croon ballads with great warmth, and be funky, funny, or sophisticated, as her songs require.

Saturday, September 22

Saturday Night Jazz @ the Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) The17-piece Inatnas Orchestrais the brain child of the married couple composer/conducter Asuka Kakitani and trombonist/composer JC Sanford  After being an important part of the NYC large ensemble scene for years, the couple moved back to Sanford’s home town here in the Twin Cities and established Inatnas to showcase the couple’s compositions. The band includes many of the area’s A-list players, along with vocalist Kim Sueoka, joining the band for the first time. This show will be held in the large room at the Black Dog, which, based on previous shows, may still not be large enough to hold interested fans. Here is Kakitaniwith an orchestra she had in NYC aboutm6 years ago.

Larry McDonough Trio @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8:30pn (Tip Jar) Pianist McDonough  and his trio will be presenting the Music of Bill Evans at this neighborhood pub that never has their TV on during a musical performance.

Monday, September 24

Dan Weiss Starebaby @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($20) NYC drummer Dan Weiss regularly performs with artists like Rudresh Mahanthappa, Chris Potter, and John Zorn, in addition to his own groups, one of which is Starebaby, conceived of as a group that combines jazz with the power of heavy metal and electronic new music. He’s created a group with some of the most talented and accomplished players in the current scene: Mpls native Craig Taborn and Matt Mitchell, keyboards, piano, and electronics; Ben Monder, guitar; and Trevor Dunn, bass.

Tuesday, September 25

Maud Hixson: The 1920s Songbook @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Vocalist Maud Hixson and musical partner pianist Rick Carlson will present songs created in the 1920s, along with stories of th songwriters and singers and an explanation of the slang of the time.

Tuesday, Wednesday, September 25, 26

Madeline Peyroux @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($55, $65, $75) Vocalist Peyroux has come a long way since her days of busking in the streets of Paris. Her latest album,  Anthem!, received a glowing review in DownBeat, which called it “…a finely polished production, each performance in crisp servitude to the song.” Here’s a cut from the album.

Cyrus Chestnut Trio feat: Buster Williams, Lenny White @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 7pm ($35, $40), 9pm ($30, $35) Oh my! Pianist Chestnut, called “The best jazz pianist of his generation” by Time magazine, is a draw all by himself with a sound that reflects a gospel background, but tonight he’s also joined by the master bassist Buster Williams and the formidable, Grammy-winning drummer Lenny White.

For more listings, KBEM has a calendar of jazz and roots events, while the Jazz Police features commentary, reviews, and previews of jazz in the Twin Cities and beyond.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, September 19

Stephanie Niles on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Pianist and singer/songwriter Niles can play raucous juke joint blues, then turn around and barrel through the changes on a jazz tune. Chicago born, she spends her time in New Orleans when not on the road, which is about 150 nights a year.

John Oates @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $50, $55) You may know Rock N’ Roll Hall of Famer John Oates as half of Hall & Oates, but you probably don’t know of his love for Americana music. He’ll demonstrate his approach the genre with songs from the recently released album Arkansas, backed by The Good Road Band: Russ Paul, pedal steel; Guthrie Trapp, guitar; Steve Mackey, bass; and Josh Day, drums.

Thursday, September 20

Gilded Palace Sinners @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis.7:30pm ($7 Advance/$10 Door) Eleven, count em, eleven talented musicians from various Americana bands in the area come together to celebrate the “Cosmic American Music” of Gram Parsons, who helped create country rock in the 70s playing in bands like The International Submarine Band, the Byrds circa Sweetheart of the Rodeo, and the Flying Burrito Brothers.

Miss Myra & the Moonshiners w/Special Guest Papa John Kolstad @ Vieux Carre, Satin Paul. 8pm ($7) Miss Myra and her band serve up a bracing dose of barrelhouse blues and jazz, with Miss Myra handling guitar and most vocals. They are joined tonight by Papa John Kolstad, who knows a thing or three about blues and swinging jazz himself.

Friday, September 21

Pat Donahue & the Prairie Home All-Stars @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($12, $15 to guarantee your seat) You heard them on Prairie Home Companion, or you may have seen them on local stages.  Either way, you know guitarist Donahue leads a talented band that can take on the blues, jazz, folk, and pop, and will leave you musically satisfied.

Saturday, September 22

Annie Mack @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Vocalist Mack isn’t your normal 12-bar blues singer. Her blues is tinged with gospel, a bit of classic Motown, and the occasional county twang. Come early to see the folk-blues of Nikki Roux & Rich Rue, who play from 6:30-8:30pm.

Built To Last Festival IV @ The Hook & Ladder and Moon Palace Courtyard, Minneapolis. 5pm ($15 Advance, $20 Door. GA plus Afterparty – $25 Advance, $30 door) Here’s a chance for Deadheads as well as more casual followers of The Grateful Dead to celebrate the legendary band’s music with headliner Peter Rowan, jam-grassers Kind Country, and a number of Grateful Dead tribute bands, including the Jones Gang, which will perform the Built to Last album.

22nd Annual Art & Artists Celebration @ Franconia Sculpture Park, 29836 St. Croix Trail, Fraconia. 11am – 7pm (Free, $5 Parking) If you’re up for a small road trip, this day of music and sculpture is a chance to see new sculptures, listen to five different bands, and take part in some family-friendly activities, including the creation of solar fountains and transforming stuffed animals into one-of-a-kind assemblages. There will also be guided tours showing off just-completed sculptures. Musical acts include Harper’s Jar, a youth band; Sharon is Karen, a trio performing grunge, and indie music of the 90s; the soulful sounds of Retro Soul & the Westside Horns; the soul & funk of Jaedyn James & The Hunger; and the blues, roots, and country of Corey Medina & Brothers. FMI, go here.

Sunday, September 23

Ben Cook-Feltz Album Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 6pm ($8 Advance/$10 Door) Pianist/singer/songwriter Feltz is celebrating the release of his EP, BCF. It’s a charming project, from the punk-rockish Intro, through the gospelish Holy Water, the country rocker Come On By, a cover, and the funny rave up of the outro. Feltz will have a number of guests, many of whom took part in the EP, including Jillian Rae, Kari Arnett, Mother Banjo, Ben Miller of the Federales, and Haley Rydell of the Lowland Lkers. Opening set by Sarah Morris and the Sometimes Guys. Here’s something from his previous work.

Tribute to Aretha w/Ginger Commodore  @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) While no one can replace Ms Franklin, Ginger Commodore, with an background in gospel and stints in The Sounds of Blacknessand Moore By Four, will have no trouble honoring the spirit of the late Queen of Soul.

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.


Visiting Artists Galore: 9.12 – 9.18

September 12, 2018

Nancy Harms – photo by Lisa Venticinque

Well, this week over half of my suggestions are for visiting artists, though two of them have Twin cities roots. That’s not to say that resident musicians should be ignored, since many go on to achieve some national renown, such as Nancy Harms. It’s all good, since Music Lifts the Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, September 12

A Sound Decision @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10/$5 with Student ID) Another of Chris Bates’ new collaborations, featuring: Thomas Nordlund, guitar; Joe Strachan, piano; Kismat Shrestha, drums; Kristy Bergmark, tablas; and Chris Bates on basses.

Thursday, September 13

Marilyn Scott & the West Coast All-Stars @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35, $40) Vocalist Scott has been performing and recording for over four decades, as both leader and collaborator. She’s worked with folks like Spyro Gyra, The Yellowjackets, Tower of Power, Bobby Womack, and Etta James. There’s a good reason her band is called the West Coast All-Stars: she’ll be accompanied by pianist Russell Ferrante, of the Yellowjackets; ex-Yellowjacket Jimmy Haslip on bass; as well as well-traveled musicians guitarist James Harrah and drummer Gary Novak.

Kind Folk CD Release @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($15, $10w/Student ID) Kind Folk is a group of musicians who have all received praise from the NY Times, Downbeat, Jazz Times, and other reviewers. Together, they make up Kind Folk: Trumpeter/ fleugelhonist John Raymond, a Twin Cities native; NYC based artists Alex LoRe, alto; Noam Wiesenberg, bass; and Colin Stranahan, drums. Their new CD features mostly original compositions by group members.

Saturday, September 15

Saturday Night Jazz @ the Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm: JazzINK Youth showcase, with Below Zero – Noah Wilhiter, tenor sax; Jacob Rochelle-Share, trombone; August McKinney, piano; Jorgen Linne, bass; Nick Adams, drums. 8:30pm: The Joan Hutton Jazz Project – Joan Hutton & David Milne, woodwinds; Joan Griffith, bass; Laura Caviani, piano; and Jendeen Forberg, drums.

Pete Whitman’s Urban Nature @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door)   This is the opening performance of the Jazz at Studio Z series, tonight featuring saxman Pete Whitman’s new group, and it’s a great one: with Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Chris Lomheim, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Phil Hey on drums. There will be two sets, as well as a free master class led by Whitman at 6pm. Advance tickets here.

Nancy Harms @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20, $25) Vocalist Harms, who graced the Twin Cities with her music for a few years before moving to NYC, returns with a concert of original music, including songs from SHE, her upcoming album, as well as songs she wrote in Denmark during one of her recent tours.

Sunday, September 16

The Hot Sardines @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm, 8pm ($35, $40, $45) The Hot Sardines mine the “Hot Jazz” tradition with verve and panache. With a four-piece horn section, a sense of humor, energy to burn, occasional French songs, and plenty of bluesy licks, they’re much fun and will leave you wanting more.

Sunday, Monday, September 16, 17

Ethan Iverson & Mark Turner @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm Sunday, 7:30pm Monday ($25, $30) Two pre-eminent jazz musicians collaborate on the intimate stage at the Dunsmore Room. Pianist, composer, and writer Ethan Iverson may be best known for his 17 years with The Bad Plus, but also regularly works with jazz masters such as Billy Hart, Tootie Heath, and Ron Carter. Saxophonist Turner moved to NYC after graduating from Berklee in 1990. He quickly became a sought-after collaborator and sideman, and recorded 5 albums as a leader between 1995 and 2001. Though he took time off from recording for parenthood, he still performed and collaborated, returning to recording in 2013. He released the well-received Lathe of Heaven last year, with Avishai Cohen, trumpet; Joe Martin, bass; and Marcus Gilmore, drums.

Monday, September 17

Nelson Devereaux @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm *$10, $5w/Student ID) Saxophonist Nelson Devereaux is a bright light on the Twin Cities music scene, appearing in a number of bands, and leading his own combos as he is tonight, when he’ll be joined by Joe Strachan, piano; Ted Olsen, bass; Miguel Hurtado, drums, and from Long Beach CA, saxophonist Eric Hirschorn.

Tuesday, September 18

Butch Thompson & Dean Magraw @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) Just because they play the Vieux with some regularity, doesn’t mean you should put off seeing these two masters tonight. Thompson  on piano and clarinet, and Magraw on guitar are among the finest, and most popular musicians in town.

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

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, September 12

RJ Mischo on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The “King of the Mighty Good Time” will help you forget your troubles as he sings and plays a mean, mean harp. If you can’t make it to the 331 Club, catch Mischo at Famous Dave’s on Saturday. Here’s a video with Jeremy Johnson on guitar, who will be accompanying Mischo on both drums and guitar.

Jesse Colin Young @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. ($45, $55, $65) “C’mon people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another right now.”  Hear that song and many others from Young’s 15 solo albums and 40-odd years in music.

Thursday, September 13

David Babb & Mikkel Beckmen Folk It Up@ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 8pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist/singer Babb, of the Front Porch Swinging Liquor Pigs, and washboard percussionist Beckmen, host of Thursday afternoons at the Dubliner and member of numerous bands, will entertain this afternoon.

Friday, September 14

Joyann Parker Band @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Parker is a multi-instrumentalist blues singer whose recent album, Hard to Love, has been well received by reviewers at Blues Magazine, Cashbox, Living Blues, and Downbeat, more signs of her rising star power.

Saturday, September 15

Wanaku @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11am (No Cover) Have brunch and enjoy the melodic, rhythmic, and sensuous/swaying music of guitarist Wanaku, who grownup in KOM, a tribal kingdom in the grassfield highlands of the Adamawa range in West Africa. With dozens of tribes the region, Wanaku was exposed to multi-cultural traditions growing up, from which he draws inspiration, as reflected his songs, sung  in a number of different languages.

Chuck Brodsky @ The Gingko, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15) Guitarist/singer/songwriter Brodsky has worked as a migrant fruit picker, ice cream truck driver, laborer at an Israeli Kibbutz, bank courier, and street singer. All of which has given him an ability to write songs which have a down to earth, quirky, character filled with keen observations.

Ben Glaros @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) From his 80s days in the new wave Tone Poets, to recent work with Fathom Lane, versatile guitarist Glaros has incorporated influences from Jimi Hendrix and Paul Westerberg, to John Coltrane and Gram Parsons into his work. In 2016 he released three EPs – the power pop Celebrated Summerteenth and two furious punk rockers with his trio Dump Trunk. Glaros is re-emerging after taking over a year time to woodshed and write, and will be performing new songs and new sounds.

Hoven Droven w/Aar Maanta @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($30) To open its Annual Global Roots Festival, the Cedar has brought in one of the Twin Cities favorite Cedar artists – Hoven Droven. This Swedish band melds folk music melodies from Sweden with the energy and intensity of a power pop/heavy metal band. They even recorded an album there, Jumping at the Cedar, which was nominated for a Swedish Grammy. Opening is the Cedar’s Resident Artist, Aar Maanta, a Somali singer who makes for a combination just right for the beginning the Cedar’s 30th Season.

Monday, September 17

Harold Lopez-Nussa Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) Cuban-born Lopez-Nussa is one of a long line of amazing Cuban pianists. He was featured on the album Ninety Miles, with David Sanchez, Christian Scot, and Stefon Harris. He holds a dual citizenship in both Cuba and France, while his latest album, Un Dia Cualqueria, was recorded in the U.S. and includes influences from both our country and his.

Tuesday, Wednesday, September 18, 219

John Oates @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $50, $55) You may know Rock N’ Roll Hall of Famer John Oates as half of Hall & Oates, but you probably don’t know of his love for Americana music. He’ll demonstrate his love for the genre with songs from the recently released album Arkansas, backed by The Good Road Band: Russ Paul, pedal steel; Guthrie Trapp, guitar; Steve Mackey, bass; and Josh Day, drums.

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 and Visiting Artists: 9.5 – 9.11

September 5, 2018

Well, the outdoor concert season is coming to a close, though there are still a few events that one might attend, including The Selby Jazz Fest, listed below, which will have people dancing in the streets. Elsewhere, we have visiting performers from Downey & Lubock, Spanish Harlem, Colorado, New Orleans, Britain, and Moscow, as well as performances from our rich vein of resident musicians. Music lifts the Spirit!

Larry

Jazz

Wednesday, September 5

Sophia Shorai & Tommy Barbarella @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($12, $15) A few years back vocalist Shorai and pianist Barbarella released a mighty fine album, Long as You’re Living. Tonight they’ll revisit that project, as well as some bossas, blues, and other tunes. Here’s an example from the album.

Thursday, September 6

Lindsay Pedalty @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/student ID) Tonight’s vocalist is the clear-voiced Ms Pedalty  who can sing jazz, blues, and pop with comfort and sophistication. She’ll be accompanied by Bruce Pedalty, piano; John Knowles, bass; and Bill Paul, drums; all of whom play with the Minnesota Jazz Orchestra and the Jerry O’Hagen Orchestra.

Joel Shapira Trio @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7:30 (Tip Jar) Whether he’s playing a nylon-stringed acoustic guitar, or a hollow body electric, Shapira is a master of his art. Tonight he’s joined by two other masters: Bruce Heine, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger, drums.

Rob Lundberg solo & The Michelle Kinney/Mankwe Ndosi duo @ Khyber Pass, Saint Paul. 9:30pm ($5, $10) Lundberg is a bassist who, I believe, is from Wisconsin, though he often plays NYC. He’ll be performing solo. Kinney is a superb, and adventurous cellist and composer, while Ndosi is a multi-talented artist – singer, dancer, storyteller – with a three octave range.

Friday, September 7

Jazz Women All-Stars @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley 7:30pm ($20, $25 for guaranteed seat) Once again, Patty Peterson taps into the impressive roster of women artists in the Twin Cities to come up with an outstanding band. Tonight’s group includes Connie Evingson, vocals; Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Linda Peterson, keys and vocals; Mary Patrich, sax; Liz Draper, bass; and Sheila Earley, drums; and of course, Patty Peterson on vocals and as leader.

Nick’s Cousin’s @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) I believe this is a relatively new group: Matty Harris, saxes; Eric Carranza, guitar; Rocky Schultz, bass; Kismat Shrestha, drums.

Saturday, September 8

Selby Jazz Festival @ Selby & Milton, Saint Paul. 11am – 8pm (Free)  This annual one day neighborhood festival is filled with good vibes, as the local community welcomes one and all. The Selby Avenue Brass Bandkicks things off, with a second line parade followed by a wealth of Twin Cities talent, including Siama’s Congo Roots; up and coming vocalist Elaina McRath; fiery Cuban pianist Nachito Herrerra, the Urban Legends of Jazz, led by Felix James, and others. The headliner for the day is the crowd-pleasing Lao Tizer Bandfrom Colorado, which delivers a taste of funk along with their jazz.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) At 7pm: Tony Cameau Quartet – Tony Cameau, violin; Cole Mickelson, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; Byron Blanchard-Johnson, drums. At 8:30pm, it’s The Juli Wood Quartet, from Chicago – Juli Wood  saxes; Paul Silbergleit, guitar; Clay Schaub, bass; Mike Schlick, drums. Wood and her group have appeared here a couple of times in the last year or so. Many Twin Citizens may remember Wood from her time with Paul Cebar & The Milwaukeeans in the 80s.

Swingin’ on a Star @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm Can’t Tell you much about this group, except that they feature Dorothy Doring on vocals, so it’s bound to be swinging, which will bring dancers out.

Oudyano @ St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 1895 Laurel Avenue, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10-$20 Suggested Donation) Arabic classical tradition, in the form of oud player Issam Rafea, meets American jazz, as played by pianist Steven Hobert, to the delight of audiences wherever they play.

Monday, September 10

Luke Peterson Quartet @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Young drummer Peterson leads some veterans: Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Zacc Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass.

Tuesday, September 11

JT Bates Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) Bates may be the busiest drummer in town, as you can find him behind the kit in any number of band configurations, from jazz to Americana, to pop groups.

For more listings, KBEM has a calendar of jazz and roots events, while the Jazz Police features commentary, reviews, and previews of jazz in the Twin cities and beyond.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, September 5

Crankshaft on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis.5pm 90.3FM),7pm 331 Club – Tip Jar) Whether appearing as a one-man-band, or with a trio, Alex “Crankshaft” Larson delivers blues, country, and more with a take-no-prisoners attitude.

Ronnie Spector & The Ronettes @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50, $80, $70) Ronnie and the original Ronettes were a trio of teens from Spanish Harlem when they hit with Be My Baby and helped define the Girl Group sound of the 60s. They were inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, and their huge hit Be My Baby, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1992. Walking in the Rain won a Grammy in 1965. Previous appearances at the Dakota have shown her be a charming performer and as rockin’ as when she appeared at the Brooklyn Fox more than 50 years ago.

Thursday, September 6

Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50, $55) Roots/Americana musicians Alvin and Gilmore have been friends for over thirty years, but only now are getting around to performing together. Both are consummate storytellers in song. Alvin has won a Grammy, and Gilmore has been nominated for one. They’ll be exploring classic blues, country and folk songs, as well as numbers from their recently released album on Yep Roc Records, Downey to Lubbock, with backing by Alvin’s Guilty Ones.

Friday, September 7

Jon Cleary @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 8pm show ($12 Advance/$15 Door/$40VIP) This is an album release performance for Cleary’s latest recording, Dyna-Mite, with special guest Adventure Box(Heatbox & Alex Rossi) Cleary may have been born in Britain, but after 35 years of living in New Orleans he’s absorbed that city’s musical culture like a baguette soaking up the juice from one of Mother’sdebris po-boys. .

Dakota Dave Hull, Richard Kriehn, & Eva Beneke @ Lowertown Classics, 255 Kellogg Blvd, East, 3rd Fl Atrium, Saint Paul. 8pm  ($10) Classical guitarist Eva Beneke will be joined by finger-picking’ master Dakota Dave Hull, and Prairie Home mandolinist Richard Kriehn for an evening of Bach, Scarlatti, Bartok, Chick Corea, and more…  Enter through the alley.

Thomasina @ Boyd’s Park, Saint Paul. 5pm (Free) The Cathedral Hill Park next to the YWCA will be filled with the soulful sounds of Thomasina Petrus  who’s well known for her portrayal of Billie Holiday, but is as soulful as can be in her own voice. Rocker Eli Fayand a cohort of musical friends open.

Friday, Saturday, September 7, 8

Cabarave @ The Lab Theater, 700 North First Street, Minneapolis. 8pm & 10:30pm. (8pm performances: $30 – General Admission/Standing, $40 Tables), (10:30pm performances: $25 GA/Standing, $35 Tables). This blend of an “underground club with a modern cabaret” will feature aerial artists, dance and hoop performances, along with a performance painter and DJ. For more information, go here.

Saturday, September 8

The Last Waltz @ Como Lakeside Pavillion, Saint Paul. 6pm ($15) This is an annual end-of-summer event: A recreation of sorts of the music in the movie The Last Waltz, filmed in 1976 as the “Farewell Appearance” of The Band. Many resident performers will take on the music of the  film, representing artists from Dylan, Neil Young, and Clapton, to The Staples, Neil Diamond, Joni Mitchell, Dr. John, Emmy Lou Harris, and more.

The Blues Beatles @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($35 table, $30 Bar) Here’s a concept that grew out of a singer fiddling with Beatles tunes during a break from his band’s usual blues. The group, from Britain, began looking at other Beatles tunes and reworking them until The Blues Beatles was born.

Sunday, September 9

Moscow Ballet’s – A Children’s Program for Life @ The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis. 5:30pm – 7pm (Free) Here’s an interactive program for kids 4-10, conducted by ballerina Bogdana Kophy of The Moscow Ballet. Children will explore movement, learn a Russian folk dance, and hear stories from Russian culture, among other activities. Though this is free, advance registration is encouraged, which you can do here.

Tuesday, September 11

Dan Ristrom & Throwdown @ Gluek’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover?) Bassist and vocalist Dan Ristrom gets on the good foot with Throwdown, a 7-piece horn band that mines the rich musical vocabulary of 70s and 80s funk.

For more blues (and some roots), The MN Blues Society’s calendar is quite comprehensive. For all things Cajun and Zydeco, check out the calendar of the Krewe de Walleye.

 


State Fair Music, Part 2: 8.29 – 9.4

August 29, 2018

The Leinie Lodge Stage has many concerts during the Fair

So it’s the second week of The Minnesota State Fair. I’ve noted some of the acts on the free stages separately after Blues, Roots, and Other listings. Besides the music of the Fair, we have a few visiting artists of note, and our talented musicians to lift our spirits and cause us to dance. It’s true. Music lifts the Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, August 29

Butch Thompson & Pat Donahue @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20) Pianist/clarinetist Thompsonand guitarist/vocalist Donahuehave an easy camaraderie, with a bit of humor thrown in every once in a while, making for a delightful evening of traditional jazz and blues.

Will Kjeer Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) I believe this is the last of Kjeer’s monthly summer residency at the Vieux. Joining the talented pianist are Graydon Peterson, bass; and Pete James Johnson, drums.

Big Peach @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Big Peach is Patrick Adkins,piano; Benjamin Beyenne, drums; and sam Worthington, bass.  All were members of the Dakota Combo a few years ago, and continue to grow as artists.

Thursday, August 30

Julian Manzara & Graydon Peterson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis.8pm ($10) Guitarist/vocalist Manzarawill be joined by bassist Peterson for Vocal Night at the basement venue.

Regional Jazz Trio @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9:30pm ($5-10) Their understated name belies the vast amount of talent and creativity in this group:JT Bates, drums; Anthony Cox, bass; and Michael Lewis, saxophones.

Friday, August 31

Aja Parham’s Tribute to Sarah Vaughn @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Classically trained vocalist Parhamis equally adept at show tunes, jazz, R&B, and Motown. Tonight she concentrates on jazz, as she sings the music of Sarah Vaughn.

Saturday, September 1

Travis Anderson Trio @ The Normandy Kitchen & Bar, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Travis Anderson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums; bring their creative interpretations of standards to the intimate bar.

Sunday, September 2

Geoffrey Keezer Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm ($30, $35) Pianist Keezerwas already working with Art Blakey by the time he was 18. He’s collaborated with Sting, Wayne Shorter, and Christian McBride, among others, recorded with Diana Krall and Dianne Reeves, has been nominated for a Grammy a number of times, and notably, played with Ray Brown for a few years. He’s bringing special guest vocalist Gillian Margotwith him. She’s studied with Oscar Peterson and Freddy Cole, and sung with Sting, Kathleen Battle, Kevin Mahogany, Robert Glasper and a number of classical orchestras. They’ll be joined by our own stars, Jaff Bailey, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums.

Tuesday, September 4

Acme Jazz Company w/Arne Fogel @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm ($8, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) The newly enlarged lounge at Crooners will reverberate with big band sounds, with special guest vocalist Arne Fogel.

For more listings, KBEM has a calendar of jazz and roots events, while the Jazz Police features commentary, reviews, and previews of jazz in the Twin cities and beyond.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, August 29

Erik Brandt & The Urban Hillbilly Quartet on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM),7pm (3312 Club – Tip Jar) The Urban Hillbilly Quartethas  been playing together for 18 years now, developing a mix of country, bluegrass, and rock n’ roll that would make the Flying Burrito Brothers and Gram Parsons proud. The show is being broadcast from the State Fair Education Building, after which the band will head to the 331 Club, where you can catch them live.

Salsa Del Soul @ Mill City Museum, Minneapolis. 6pm ($6) Includes museum admission from 4pm – 9pm. Listeners in the Museum’s courtyard will have a hard time sitting still as Salsa del Soulbrings various Latin rhythms to the courtyard’s stage.

Radio Joe & the JazzBo’s @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm ($6) Vintage swing, boogie-woogie, and jump blues to keep heads bopping, feet tapping, and the dance floor filled.

Thursday, August 30

Roosevelt Collier @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) Collierplays pedal and steel guitar, having come up playing “sacred steel” with his uncle and cousins in the Lee boys in Florida. He’s lent his talents to the Allman Brothers, Buddy Guy, The String Cheese Incident, Los Lobos, and more.

High & Mighty @ Lord Fletcher’s on the Lake, Spring Park. 6-9pm (No Cover) Head out to party central on Lake Minnetonka to catch this R&B/soul/pop horn band.

Erik Koskinen @ Music at Mears, Mears Park, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Free) For the last show of the season, the folks at Music in Mears brings vocalist/guitarist/composer Koskinenand his unflinching country music to the delightful series. Jake Jones opens, with a blend of Americana, Rock n’ Roll, and Blues.

Friday, August 31

Joyann Parker @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12, $15) Talented vocalist/multi-instrumentalist, and composer Parker’s record, Hard to Love, recently received a very favorable review in DownBeat magazine, while Parker herself has been nominated as a Rising Star for the Blues Blast Awards.

Saturday, September 1

Maurice Jacox @ Lola’s on the Lake, 3000 East Calhoun Blvd, Minneapolis. 4-7pm (Free) As the late afternoon sets over Bde Maka Ska, enjoy the wings, fish, and other soulful food while vocalist Maurice Jacox delivers a mix of soul, jazz, R&B, and even some acoustic Motown. Should make for a lovely evening.

Sunday, September 2

5th Annual Minnesota Salsa Festival @ the Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15 Advance/$20 Door) Things get started with DJs spinning salsa hits, then it’s time for a salsa lesson at 7:30 and live music at 8pm. Bands include Charanga Tropical, and the 18-piece La Gran Charanga, featuring members from Malamanya, Salsa del Soul, Seven Steps to Havana and other Twin Cities bands. Also performing: Craig Russo and Vivana Pintado.

Monday, September 3

Miss Myra & the Moonshiners @ Harriet Lake Bandshell, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) Vintage, often sassy, jazz and barrelhouse blues, including originals by the group featuring Miss Myra, vocals & guitar; and the Moonshiners: Zane Fitzgerald Palmer, guitar; Dolly Dagger, drums; and Ike Heath, tuba.

Tuesday, Wednesday, September 3,4

Ronnie Spector & The Ronettes @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50, $80, $70) Excuse me if I geek out about Ms Spector, one of my favorite rock n’ roll singers from my youth. Their song Walking in the Rain won a Grammy in 1965. The Ronettes were inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, and their huge hit Be My Baby, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1992. I recall seeing Ronnie and the original Ronettes at a Bronx bowling lane with Murray the “K” even though they didn’t perform. Previous appearances at the Dakota have shown her be as exciting a performer as when she appeared at the Brooklyn Fox more than 50 years ago.

For more blues (and some roots), The MN Blues Society’s calendar is quite omprehensive. For all things Cajun and Zydeco, check out the calendar of the Krewe de Walleye.

State Fair Music (Free w/Admission to the Fair)

Wednesday, August 29 

Ticket To Brasil @ The International Bazaar Stage. 10:45am, Noon, 1:15pm

Randy Sabien & the Fiddlehead Band @ The Schell’s Stage. 3pm, 4pm, 5pm

Doug Otto & the Getaways @ The Ramberg Music Stage. 3:15, 4:30, 5:45pm

Annie Mack @ the International Bazaar Stage. 3:15, 4:30,5:45pm

Boom Boom Stevie V & the Knockouts @ RC’s BBQ. 6pm

Thursday, August 30

Ticket To Brasil @ The International Bazaar Stage. 10:45am, Noon, 1:15pm

Randy Sabien & the Fiddlehead Band @ The Schell’s Stage. 3pm, 4pm, 5pm

Doug Otto & the Getaways @ The Ramberg Music Stage. 3:15, 4:30, 5:45pm

Annie Mack @ the International Bazaar Stage. 3:15, 4:30,5:45pm

Boom Boom Stevie V & the Knockouts @ RC’s BBQ. 6pm

Friday, August 31

Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots @ The Leinie Lodge Stage. 10:30am, 11:45am

Martin Devaney @ The Ramberg Music Stage. 10:30am, 11:45am; 1pm

MBOTMA presents the Minnesota Americana Roots Contest @ The Schell’s Stage. 11:30am – 2:15pm Featuring close-harmony duos

Saturday, September 1

Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots @ The Leinie Lodge Stage. 10:30am, 11:45am

MBOTMA presents the Minnesota Americana Roots Contest @ The Schell’s Stage. 11:30am – 2:15pm Featuring bluegrass groups

Martin Devaney @ The Ramberg Music Stage. 3:15, 4:30, 4:45pm

Sunday, September 2

Terrance Simein & the Zydeco Experience @ The Leinie Lodge Stage. 3:30pm,4:45 pm

Har Mar Superstar @ The Leinie Lodge Stage. 8:30pm

Monday, September 3

Terrance Simein & the Zydeco Experience @ The Leinie Lodge Stage. 3:30pm,4:45 pm

Har Mar Superstar @ The Leinie Lodge Stage. 8:30pm


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