A Short Guide to The 2016 Twin Cities Jazz Festival

June 22, 2016

3946f1e9-70cb-408a-b402-d6e32360bd80As in the past, the Twin Cities Jazz Festival continues to add stages, notably the Kellogg Stage on Kellogg Boulevard just outside Lowertown, as well as around Saint Paul. This presents the best kind of problem – one of figuring out where to go, so I’ve put together this short guide to a few of the different kinds of performers at the fest. If a band isn’t listed here, it’s not because they aren’t worth seeing. It’s just that with so many bands to choose from, it’s as daunting for me as it is for you. Besides the styles that I listed, you’ll find brass bands, traditional jazz, and post-modern bands.  Look for a copy of the official program at venues around town. It lists performances by stage and time to further help you decide. Don’t be afraid to check out any of the other performers on the bill.  That’s the way you discover someone new.

Blues, R&B, and Funky Jazz

Thursday, June 23

Lowertown/Downtown

8:00pm – No Limits The B-Side Band @ The Hat Trick Lounge

10:30pm Smooth & Groove Jam Session @ The Bedlam Theater

Outside Downtown

7pm – The Groove Merchants @ Langfod & Karls Chiropractic, Highland

Friday, June 24

Lowertown/Downtown

5:00pm – Pho @ Kellogg Park Stage

5:30pm – New Sound Underground @ Union Depot Stage

6:30pm – Hornucopia @ Kellogg Park Stage (Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire tribute band)

7:00pm – LP Music @ Union Depot Stage (Eric Leeds & Paul Peterson from Prince, etc.)

7:30pm – Nooky Jones @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall

8:00pm – Sonny Knight & the Lakers @ Kellogg Park Stage

8:00pm – No Limits The B-Side Band @ The Hat Trick Lounge

10:30pm – Smooth & Groove Jam Session @ The Bedlam Theater

Saturday, June 25

Lowertown/Downtown

2:00pm – Apple Valley R&B Band @ Union Depot Stage

5:00pm – Jack Brass Band @ 6th Street Stage

7:00pm – JT Bates’ Grain Trio @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall

8:00pm – Soul Beautiful @ Hat Trick Lounge (double bill w/Alma Andina)

8:30pm – BZ3 Organ Trio @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall

10:30pm –  Smooth & Groove Jam Session @ The Bedlam Theater

Latin and World Music

Friday, June 24

Lowertown/Downtown

5:00pm – Jazzoneando @ The 6th Street Stage

7:30pm – Irie Sol @ Rice Park

Saturday, June 25

Lowertown/Downtown

5:00pm  – Black Market Brass @ Kellogg Park Stage (Afrobeat)

7:30pm – Michael Franti & Speahead @ Kellogg Park Stage

8:00pm – Alma Andina @ Hat Trick Lounge

Youth Jazz

Thursday, June 23

8:00pm – Joey Alexander Trio @ Mears Park Main Stage (He’s almost 13, but a pro)

Friday, June 24

5:30pm – Pip Jazz Foundation Youth Showcase @ Bedlam Lowertown

8:30pm – Will Schmid/Adam Astrup Guitar Duo @ Golden’s Deli

Saturday, June 25

11:00am – Joe’s Jazz Camp @ Union Depot Stage

12:00pm – JAM (Jazz Around Minneapolis) @ Union Depot Stage

2:00pm – Apple Valley R&B Band @ Union Depot Stage

2:00pm – Walker West Music Academy @ Mears Park Main Stage

3:00pm – Iowa Jazz Ambassadors @ Union Depot Stage

4:00pm – Dakota Combo @ Union Depot Stage

5:15pm – Twin cities Honors Vocal Ensemble @ Bedlam Lowertown

Vocalists

Thursday, June 23 

Lowertown/Downtown

6:00pm – Debbie Duncan @ TPT Stage

7:30pm – Singer Scat-off @ Golden’s Deli

Outside Downtown

8:30pm – Wolverines with Maud Hixson @ Mancini’s

Friday, June 24

Lowertown/Downtown

4:00pm – Patty Peterson hosts Jazz Women All-Stars @ Mears Park Main Stage

6:00pm – Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall

8:00pm – Pippi Ardennia Hosts Women of Jazz @ Bedlam Lowertown

Outside Downtown

2:00pm – Andrew Walesch Quartet @ Episcopal Homes Stage

Saturday, June 25

Lowertown/Downtown

5:15pm – Twin Cities Honors Vocal Ensemble @ Bedlam Lowertown

6:30pm – Lee Engewle & Reynold Philipsek @ Golden’s Deli

7:00pm – JoAnn funk @ Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar

7:00pm – Pete Whitman X-Tet w/Lucia Newell @ Union Depot Stage

Mainstream Jazz

Thursday, June 23

Downtown/Lowertown

4:00pm – Dave Brattain Trio @ The Black Dog

6:00pm – Delfeayo Marsalis Quartet @ Mears Park Main Stage

7:00pm – Chris Lomheim Trio @ Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar

7:00pm – Jon Pemberton Quaret @ SW Craft Bar

8:00pm – Joey Alexander Trio @ Mears Park Main Stage

8:30pm – Jon Wever Trio @ Vieux Carre

10:00pm – Solomon Parham Group @ Bedlam

10:00pm – Jam Session Hosted by Jon Weber @ Vieux Carre

Friday, June 24

Lowertown/Downtown

4:00pm – Dave Karr Quartet @ Union Depot Stage

4:00pm – Jazz Women All Stars, Hosted by Patty Peterson @ Mears Park Main Stage

7:00pm – Chris Lomheim Trio @ Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar

7:00pm – Larry McDonough Quartet @ SW Craft Bar

8:00pm – Pippi Ardennia Hosts Women of Jazz @ Bedlam Lowertown

8:30pm – Ellis Marsalis Quartet @ Mears Park Main Stage

10:00pm – Jam Session Hosted by Jon Weber @ Vieux Carre

10:30pm – Adam Booker Quartet @ SW Craft Bar

Outside Downtown

2:00pm – Andrew Walesch Quartet @ Episcopal Homes Stage

Saturday, June 25

Lowertown/Downtown

6:00pm – Chris Lomheim @ Vieux Carre

6:00pm – Russell Malone Quartet @ Mears Park Main Stage

7:00pm – JoAnn Funk Trio @ Saint Paul Hotel

7:15pm – Jon Weber, Francisco Mela & Friends @ 6th Street Stage

8:00pm – Lucia Sarmiento Group @ The Black Dog

8:30pm – John Pizzarelli Quartet @ Mears Park Main Street Stage

10:00pm – Jazz Central All-Stars @ Bedlam Lowertown (two sets)

10:00pm – Kevin Washington Quintet @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall

10:00pm – Steve Kenny Quintet @ the Black Dog (two sets)

10:30pm – Jam Session Hosted by Jon Weber @ Vieux Carre

11:00pm – Phil Hey Quartet @ SW Craft Bar

Guitar Jazz

Thursday, June 23

Downtown/Lowertown

6:00pm – Joel Shapira @ Big River Pizza

10:00pm – Dean Magraw & Steven Hobert @ Golden’s Deli

Friday, June 24

Lowertown/Downtown

6:00pm – Gypsy Mania Hot Club @ Heartland Restaurant

7:15pm – Clearwater Hot Club @ 6th Street Stage

8:30pm – Will Schmid/Adam Astrup Duo @ Golden’s Deli

9:00pm – Zacc Harris Trio @ Public Kitchen & Bar

Saturday, June 25

Lowertown/Downtown

6;00pm – Russell Malone Quartet @ Mears park Main Stage

8:00pm – John Penny Trio @ SW Craft Bar

8:30pm – John Pizzarelli Quartet @ Mears Park Main Stage

9:30pm – Cory Wong @ SW Craft Bar

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.


Awash in Music: 6.22 – 6.28

June 22, 2016

imagesIt’s once again time for Saint Paul’s Twin Cities Jazz Festival  Executive Director Steve Heckler and his staff and volunteers have  put together a great weekend of music that will appeal to a wide variety of listeners. It features a number of great headlining musicians: Delfeayo Marsalis and piano phenom Joey Alexander on Thursday, Ellis Marsalis on Friday, and Russell Malone and John Pizzarelli on Saturday. Additionally, over 300 musicians from the area will perform in over a dozen venues and four outdoor stages, and best of all, it’s free. I will be sending out a short guide to the Festival in a separate e-mail, but you can get more information, including the whole schedule here. In the meantime, here’s a listing of other music ideas for the coming week. Music lifts the spirit.

Larry

Jazz
Wednesday, June 22
Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Vocalist and bassist Ms Lynch is building a following as she makes her way through a number of venues in the area. She’s backed by some truly excellent musicians, including guitarist Chris Beaty, trumpeter Greg Lewis, and trombonist Michael Nelson. Kate & the Fellows play music from the 30s to the 60s, and it’s always an entertaining performance.

Katia Cardenas EP Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Advance, $12 Door) Ms Cardenas will be backed by her working trio: Ted Godbout, piano; Ted Olsen, bass; and Zach Schmidt, drums. At 10pm it’s  Jazzoneando, a Latin Jazz Trio from Mexico: Alberto “Yamil” Vazquez, piano, leader, arranger; Aaron Romo, bass, vocals; Kimani Carranzana, percussion, vocals. PS: If you want to hear a couple of tunes from the EP, you can listen to an interview I did with Katia this past Saturday (the 18th) by going here and clicking on one of the listen icons for June 18. The interview starts about 20 minutes into the show.

David Hazeltine & Billy Peterson CD Release Party @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $50 w/Dinner), 9pm ($15, $45 w/Dinner) Here we have the 3rd of three special nights at the Dunsmore Room, where two musicians who have a 40 year musical history release their first CD, NEXT DOOR. Pianist Hazeltine is a major player, and is especially well regarded in NYC and Japan. Raised in Milwaukee, he was encouraged by Chet Baker to go to NYC, where his Charlie Parker-influenced playing was welcomed. He’s well known as a composer and arranger, and for taking contemporary tunes and making them into “standards.” Our own Billy Peterson is equally at home with R&B and rock music as he is with jazz, having toured for decades with the Steve Miller Band. He received notable praise for his appearance with Bill Carrothers and Dave King at the Village Vanguard a few years back, and regularly tours with Ben Sidran. This CD release party will include a few well-chosen covers as well as some originals. Here’s an example of Hazeltine’s work.

Balluff/Pikal/Thompson Trio @ The Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) Traditional jazz, well served by Tony Balluff, clarinet; Steve Pikal, bass; and Butch Thompson  piano and clarinet. It’s a new combination that’s hard to beat.

Thursday, June 23
Chris Bates’ Red5 @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 10pm (Tip Jar) Two late night sets from bassist Bates and his crew, doing originals by Bates. Chris Bates, basses; Thomas Nordlund, guitar; Jt Bates, drums; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Brandon Wozniak, tenor; Chris Thomson, tenor and soprano. Check them out after the Mears Park main stage performances.

Friday, June 25
Dennis Spears Quartet @ Crooners’ Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Spear’s smooth baritone is a pleasure to hear, whether he’s performing R&B, pop, or jazz.

Saturday, June 26
Brad Bellows & Friends @ Boom Island Brewing Tap Room, 2014 North Washington, Minneapolis. (No Cover) If you don’t want to head to downtown Saint Paul for Jazz Fest, this is a chance to hear some jazz while taking in the current taps at Boom Island Brewing. Valve trombonist Brad Bellows can be depended on for having talented friends and creating great music.

Sunday, June 26
Paula Lammers @ The Eagan Art Festival, Central Park, Eagan. 2:30pm (Free) Ms Lammers and her supple voice close out the entertainment at this community art fair. And with accompanists such as  Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Greg Byers, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums, you may even be inspired to make a last minute purchase.

Zacc Harris Trio @ The Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) After three days of crowds at the TC Jazz Fest, you may want the comfort of a small wine bar to take in the tasty sounds of guitarist Harris and his trio. Here he is with his quartet.

Monday, June 27
Charmin Michelle & Rick Carlson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35w/Dinner) This is part of a series called In the Crook, whereby a vocalist is situated in the “crook” of a piano. In this case, you have the buttery, elegant singing of Charmin Michelle, accompanied by the spare, ever tasteful piano stylings of Rick Carlson.

Jazzoneando @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5/w student ID) If you missed them at the Icehouse Wednesday, or the Jazz Fest on Saturday, you can still catch this trio from Mexico, as they apply all sorts of Latin rhythms to jazz.

Monday, Tuesday, June 27, 28
The Rad Trads @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) The Rad Trads: Take a three horn front line, add a rock rhythm section, and an additional drummer/percussionist, stir with music that ranges from traditional jazz to blues from Chicago and the Delta, add in a touch of New Orleans R&B, and season with a bit of rock n’ roll, and you get lively, celebratory music.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…
Wednesday, June 22
The Beavers on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This all-female Americana group started as a jam band, but whether they’re covering John Prine or performing one of their originals, their light-hearted approach to folk and country (or whatever) is sure to bring a smile to your face.

Samba Meu @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) A bit of Brazil comes to the newly expanded Black Dog. The party starts with a dance lesson after which you can dance to sambas and forros from Karen Quiroz and Samba Meu, and be entertained by SnapFrost!, a group of women with Shakeres, that beaded gourd that, in the hands of this group, creates irresistible rhythms.

Thursday, June 23
Rockin’ Pinecones @ the Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 10pm. The Pinecones will fill the wonderful dance floor at the Eagles Club with folks twirling, spinning, and two-stepping to the R&B of New Orleans R&B, as well as some Cajun and Zydeco.

Friday, June 24
Nachito Herrera @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) It’s always difficult to know where to place Nachito in these listings, as he is equally conversant in Classical, pop, jazz, and Cuban music (he is, after all, from Havana). Whatever he plays, it will leave the audience breathless.

Fathom Lane @ The Warming House, 4001 Bryant Ave So, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 – $15) The Warming House is a new basement listening room in South Minneapolis, just right for the ethereal and fragile-seeming music of Fathom Lane. They released two well-recieved albums, which reveal a hard -to-define sound, that implies influences ranging from Gram Parsons to The Velvet Underground. Seth Michael Davin opens.


Dee Miller Band featuring Jimi “Prime Time” Smith @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) With strong vocals, dynamite guitar courtesy of “Prime Time” and a driving rhythm section, Ms Miller and her compradres offer up a blast of the blues.

Mary Cutrufello Band @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($5) This FedEx driver has a voice that’s been honed with sandpaper, a Telecaster that she rocks with abandon, and a predilection for Texas twang and country tales. In short, Cutrufello goes against all the stereotypes a Yale graduate from Connecticut might engender.

Saturday, June 25
Honky Tonk Fest VI @ Grumpy’s Northeast, 2200 4th St. NE, Minneapolis. 1:30pm – 10pm Sixth annual country music benefit for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Minnesota, featuring six bands, a ticket raffle, cakewalk, and Hee-Haw photo booth! 1:30 PM sound check by Country Mike; 2:00 Trailer Trash; 3:15 The Beavers; 4:30 Katy Bellville & The Sonsabitches; 5:45 The Hillions; 7:00 Doug Otto & the Getaways; 8:15 Leo Rondeau (from Austin, TX)

Charles Lawson & the Crazy Snakes All-Stars @ Barely Brothers Records, Saint Paul. 2pm – 4pm (Free) Waay back in the day, Lawson fronted a blues band called the KingSnakes, which would cover under appreciated songs to incite dancing wherever they played. Then, he and Ed Pesche held down a weekly gig at the old incarnation of the Viking for a few years. I don’t know who he’s got with him today, but it will be fun. And, if you can’t make it to this gig, he’s got another at the Dubliner tomorrow from 5-7pm with the Slender Men.

Cactus Blossoms & Eelpout Stringers @ Franconia Sculpture Park, Franconia. 2pm – 6pm (Fee – $5 to park) Looking for a short road trip to an interesting place? The Franconia Sculpture Park might be just the ticket. Pack a picnic and listen to the acoustic string tunes of the Eelpout Stringers, followed by The Cactus Blossoms, purveyors of modern songs inspired by the classic Country & Western performers of the 50s.

Erik Koskinen Band @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8 Advance/$12 Door) Koskinen is a fine guitarist and writer/composer of tales from America’s main street, sung with much affection for traditional C&W.

Céu @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $45) Céu is a singer/songwriter with a voice as sensuous as the rhythms of her country. She creates beautiful Brazilian electro-pop, encompassing Afrobeat, jazz, and, as might be expected, a number of Brazilian rhythms. Kauf, a Los Angeles singer/songwriter who uses electronics to good effect, opens.

Sunday, June 26
Captain Gravitone @ The Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul 11am – 1pm (Tip Jar) Banjo-led Americana, along with a touch of humor while you have brunch, and after all, isn’t the banjo an easy punch line for many jokes. Consider just a couple of the songs of Captain Gravitone: “Daydreaming Out of the 9 to 5 Corporate Office Window,” and “Hula-hoop Girl on Bourbon Street.”

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.


Dads, Solstice, Music: 6.15 – 6.21

June 15, 2016
It's Back to the 50s at the State Fairgrounds

It’s Back to the 50s at the State Fairgrounds

We’ll be celebrating Solstice next Tuesday, the longest day of the year. It’s also Make Music Day in the Twin cities, as I note below. Coming up this weekend is Father’s Day and the Stone Arch Bridge Festival, with car shows and music, and The Back to the 50s Car Show at the State Fairgrounds. Lotsa reasons to get out and about. Have a good week and remember, Music Lifts the Spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 15

Chieli Minucci & Special EFX, featuring Eric Marienthal and Lao Tizer @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35), 9pm ($25, $30) Guitarist Chieli MInucci and drummer George Jinda started Special EFX, a world fusion group, for want of a better term, that, with the help of guest artists, created radio-friendly jazz into the late 90s. Jinda died in 2001 and Minucci carries on, this time with the help of saxophonist Eric Marienthal, who was a member of the Chick Corea Elektric Band for 6 CDs, and has performed with any number of superstars. Keyboardist Lao Tizer provides a modern take on jazz fusion ala Return to Forever and the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

Thursday, June 16

Wolverines Trio @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 7pm – 11:30pm. ($5) The folks at the new Viking are creating the occasional surprise in booking, as with this date, when the Wolverines Trio will get on the expanded stage and play.

Photos by Andrea Canter

Photos by Andrea Canter

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) What Would Monk Do?, Modern interpretations of Thelonious Monk, with Peter Schimke, piano; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; Billy Peterson, bass; and Kenny Horst, drums.

 

Friday, June 17

Jon Pemberton @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) Pemberton is a pianist and trumpeter who will provide music during dinner hour, rather than “dinner music.” After all, the New Orleans vibe, not to mention the food, calls for some playfulness.

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) This version of the Fellows is simply a trio, with Lynch on bass and vocals, Chris Beaty on guitar, and Peter Vircks on saxophone. Music from the 30s to 60s, delivered with élan in the lounge of a D’Amico restaurant.

Donald Washington Group @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Reed Master Donald Washington is joined by trumpeter Ryan Nether, bassist Dick Studer, and drummer Kevin Washington for thoughtful improvised music.

Dean Magraw & Marcus Wise @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 Student ID) Guitarist Magraw and tabla player Wise have been musical partners for over 30 years, creating music that is sublime, no matter what the rhythm.

Wozniak/Harris Quartet @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Zacc Harris, guitar; and Brandon Wozniak, sax; step back from many of the 21st Century groups in which they play, and pay attention to the standards that instilled in them a love of jazz. No word on who else will be in the band, but given their circle of musical partners, the results will be oh so fine.

Saturday, June 18

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) At 7pm it’s an opening band courtesy of the JazzINK Youth Showcase: The young but very capable band of the Will Schmid Group with Schmid, guitar; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Ben Ehrich, drums. At 8:30, it’s the Babatunde Lea Group led by the  conguero/drummer/percussionist.

Hard Bop Collective @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID)  The Hard Bop Collective: Pete Whitman, sax; Geoff Senn, trumpet; Levi Schwartzberg, piano; Shigefumi Tomita, bass; Jesse Simon, drums will deliver the music of folks like Benny Golson, Cedar Walton, Hank Mobley and others.

Isak Gaines Group featuring DeCarlo Jackson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9pm, – 11pm ($1-, $5 w/Student ID) New York based Isak Gaines has played at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Paramount theater in Seattle, land jazz festivals in Italy and France. He recently toured Brazil with the New York Youth Symphony Jazz Band. His 8-piece group recently won the Downbeat Student Music Award for their debut recording Bits and Pieces. Playing with the group tonight is our very own fine young trumpeter/bassist DeCarlo Jackson, who has been gigging around town after a couple of years studying at the University of Manitoba.

Sunday, June 19

NY Meets MN @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Two groups: The Will Kjeer Summer Band features Kjeer on piano, along with Stephanie Wieseler on sax; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. I’m lucky enough to have recently heard each of these talented young musicians, though not together. From New York we have the Lucas Kadish Collective, with Kadish, guitar; Devon Gillingham on bass and Connor Parks on percussion, with special guest Zosha Warpeha on violin. Though Zosha is from Pine City, she, like her fellow New Yorkers, has been studying at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. I believe this will be a fine evening of jazz.

Monday, June 20

David Hazeltine & Eric Alexander @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $50 Dinner), 9pm ($15, $45 Dinner) So, we have two of the most respected jazz artists in the country stopping by to play for us. Who knows what will ensue when a brilliant pianist (Hazeltine) and outstanding bebopper (Alexander on tenor) meet in a listening room overlooking a lake?

Canadian Girlfriend @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 Student) Well, the Calendar for Jazz Central says Canadian Girlfriend, but the description is for Improvestra, a local improvising orchestra with some real heft. They draw from a pool of 150 played to create a group of 10 to 25 for each performance. Further, their music is “groove oriented with a slight variation into the classical and cinematic worlds.” Really, that’s what the description said. So I don’t know if Canadian Girlfriend is the name of the show, an opera, or an opus, but it sounds intriguing

Tuesday, June 21

David Hazeltine/Eric Alexander Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $50 Dinner), 9pm ($15, $45 Dinner) After Hazeltine and Alexander warmed up last night (see above), they’re adding Billy Peterson on bass; and Kenny Horst on drums. What fun!

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, June 15

Machinery Hill on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 70m (331 Club – Tip Jar) There hasn’t been much farm machinery on the State Fair’s Machinery Hill for decades now, but the quintet named for the areal carries on, with its mix of old time folk music, along with touches of ska, klezmer, celtic and other musics.

Crankshaft & The Gear Grinders @ Como Conservatory, Saint Paul. 5:30pm (Free) You want roots rock, blues, & even some country, delivered up with the kind of energy once reserved for punk bands. There are activities for kids, while grownups can spread a blanket and have a picnic while gearing up for Crankshaft.

Thursday, June 16

Paul Mayasich Hot Seat w/Bruce McCabe, John Franken, and John Iden @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley (No Cover) Mayasich is a talented and well-respected guitar player, who invites other musicians to share the stage and play some music together. Tonight it’s Bruce McCabe on keys; John Franken on guitar; and John Iden on bass. I don’t think they’ll have much trouble catching the attention of the audience.

Friday, June 17

Jon Rodine & Friends @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 9:00pm ($5) Rodine is such a fine singer that he never has any trouble finding excellent players to back him up. Paul Bergeron opens.

Saturday, June 18

Roots Double Header @ The Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover), 9pm ($12) Nikki Roux and Rich Rue provide clarion vocals and stinging slide guitar to blues, folk, and folk-rock numbers at 6pm, while finger-picker Pat Donahue, who is one of the many fine fingerpickers in this region, not to forget he’s also a fine and composer, gets on stage at 9pm

Lucky Losers @ Shaws, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Phil Berkowitz and Cathy Lemons are Bay Area musicians who took to working together in 2012. Harpist/Vocalist Berkowitz covers a broad swath of sales, from West Coast Swing to New Orleans R&B and even a bit of country blues. Vocalist Lemons recording with Anson Funderburgh while she was coming up in Dallas, and has worked with john Lee Hooker, Tommy Castro, and others. She’s released four albums. This is their first tour of the Upper Midwest, and they’ll have a trio playing guitar, bass & drums with them.

Sunday, June 19

Charlie Parr @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (17, $22) Blues from Minnesota, that sounds like it’s been sucked up the Mississippi from the Delta. Parr has put more that 200,000 miles on his Kia, doing 250 shows a year. He’s possessed, in a totally good way, with blues lovers as beneficiaries.

Monday, Tuesday, June 20, 21

Edgar Winter @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $65, $75) Edgar Winter’s White Trash, the songs Frankenstein, Free Ride. This of you of a certain age may have flashbacks on hearing the songs, which dominated the airwaves in 1973, thanks to the album They Only Come Out At Night, which hit number 3 on the charts. With his brother Johnny Winter, Edgar learned much about music growing up in Texas, and still has plenty to say.

Tuesday, June 21

Make Music Twin Cities@ Various Locations. All Day. (No Cost) Make Music Day is a worldwide celebration of music, in which music makers of all stripes play in various places throughout a city, not necessarily in nightclubs or coffeehouses. For instance, at the Lake Phalen Amphitheater, there will be a toddler’s music class from 5pm – 6pm, and a group harmonica lesson in the blues from 6:30pm – 7pm. Meanwhile in Nordeast Mpls, Sarah Jane’s Music School will have a group guitar jam from 7:30 – 8pm, and at Pedro Park in downtown Saint Paul, there will be a noontime Gutiar Jam. For information, go to: http://makemusicday.org/twincities/

 

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.


Choices, Choices! Music: 6.8 – 6.14

June 8, 2016

Well, those of you looking for Latin or Caribbean rhythms have much to choose from this week, including Latin Jazz, Soca, Cuban roots, and more. Jazz fans have a rich menu as well, including a number of performances by emerging young musicians. Roots music fans can look forward to three visiting bluesmen, a couple of intimate festivals, and some honky-tonk. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 8

Lila Ammons @ Tangiers, Minneapolis. 6:30pm – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Classically trained vocalist Ammons is equally at home in jazz and blues. She recently made new fans when she appeared at the 331 Club singing the blues with Paul Barry and the Acetones. Arrive early and take advantage of Happy Hour, which lasts until 7pm

Double Header of Jazz @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5 w/student ID) Young bass phenom Lincoln has spent a year at Berklee in Boston, and is back for the summer, wasting no time in setting up gigs, such as this one with his contemporaries in a collective called Hoaxer. Together with Peter Goggin, sax; Will Kjeer, piano; and Edmund Catlin, drums; they’ll be playing originals as well as music by Paul Motian, Laurie Anderson, and John Lurie. Note the time, which is a bit earlier than usual for Wednesdays at JC, as there is another group coming on at 9pm – Pawan Benjamin. Musician friends of Javi Santiago from around the country are gathering to prepare for an upcoming recording of original music: Pawan Benjamin  sax; Nick Jost, bass; Javier Santiago, keys; Tomek Mienowski, guitar; and Michael Mitchell, drums. Here’s Pawan Benjamin playing with Mike Stern.

Arturo Sandoval @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $45), 9pm ($25, $30) Trumpeter Sandoval was a one-time protege of Dizzy Gillespie and a founding member of the explosive, Grammy winning Cuban group Irakere. He left the group to form his own group in the early 80s, and moved to Miami in the early 90s. Since then he’s earned 4 Grammys, 6 Billboard Awards, and an Emmy. His brilliance is evident whether performing Latin, Jazz, or Classical music.   Here he is with a big band.

JT Bates GRAIN Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) This is B-3 Jazz – music that keeps your feet tappin’ while the players explore variations in melody and rhythm, featuring the sought-after drummer JT Bates, along with Kevin Gastonguay on B3 organ, and Zacc Harris on guitar.

Thursday, June 9

Vicky Mountain & Friends, featuring Mary Louise Knutson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm  ($10, $5 w/student ID) With a background that includes a show band that toured South America, vocalist Mountain draws on an eclectic mix of music when performing and makes each song her own. This time around, she’ll be performing music from the Doors, The Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Sondheim, Shakespeare, Ella Fitzgerald, and Ray Charles. Pianist Mary Louise Knutson provides sterling accompaniment. Here she is doing a song by The Clovers.

Friday, June 10

Rhonda Laurie Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Vocalist Laurie is ideal for the sophisticated lounge at Parma 8200. She can swing a tune with ease, especially with the backing she has tonight: Reynold Phillipsek, guitar; Gary Schulte, violin; and Pooch Heine, upright bass.

Pete Enblom @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/student ID) Enblom has been lead trombone in the Buddy Rich band, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and the Artie Shaw Orchestra, and now is the lead trombonist with the Brian Setzer Orchestra. In addition he’ played for Sinatra, Natalie Cole, The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, and Harry Connick Jr., and currently plays with the JazzMN Orchestra, and the Explosion Big Band, all of which demonstrates his versatility. He’ll be joined by Geoff Senn, trumpet; Joe May, tenor sax; Javi Santiago, piano; Dan Carpel, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums, for what promises to be a killer evening of music.

Will Kjeer @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 10pm ($?) The Jazz Central website doesn’t show a cover, and it’s a fact that if you go for the earlier concert by Pete Enblom, you won’t have to pay for this, but any chance to see young pianist Kjeer do his thing is worthwhile.

Saturday, June 11

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening set by Silverback Trio: David Hirsch, Keys, electronics, sax; Brent Wallace, bass; Byron Johnson-Blanchard, drums. 8:30 set –  Dave Karr Group: Karr, saxophones; Steve Kenny, FLUMPET, Charlie Lincoln, bass; Kenny Horst, drums.

Ginger Commodore @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Vocalist Commodore is a former member of both Sounds of Blackness and Moore by Four. She and husband/drummer Bobby are calling tonight the Anniversary Jam, in honor of their 39th. They’ll have Sean Turner on piano; Mark Weisberg on bass; Daryl Boudreaux on percussion; and Solomon Parham on trumpet. You don’t have to be celebrating an anniversary to recognize that this should be a fun evening.

Sunday, June 12

Birthday Club w/Dan Choinard & Claudia Schmidt @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) Chouinard has a very cool concept going on, bringing in guest artists to sing the songs of composers born during the current month. The keyboard player has been around long enough to have connections with a wide variety of area singers. Tonight, he’s bringing in Claudia Schmidt  well known as a folk singer, but also a jazz singer of some skill. Given Schmidt’s storytelling ability and Choinard’s quick wit, this should be a fun show.

Monday, June 13

Maurice Jacox @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) In case you didn’t make it a month or so ago, since it was sold out, Jacox returns to the Dunsmore Room with his Nat King Cole Show, featuring Ron Seamon on piano and Reuben Ristrom on guitar. The two are part of a larger group that plays with Maurice when he takes the show to auditoriums. Always a pleasure to hear Jacox.

Pete Whitman’s X-Tet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) Whitman’s 10 piece band of some of the Twin Cities’ finest musicians had a monthly gig at the old Artists’ Quarter for many years before it closed, so this is a rare performance. They perform originals as well as standards done with original arrangements.

Luke Peterson and No Exit @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/student ID)  The young drummer will be bringing his new group, No Exit to the  basement venue. The group includes: Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Peter Goggin, sax; Adam Astrup, guitar; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Peterson on drums. Most of these young players are on summer vacation from college. They’re brimming with new ideas and we get to see and hear them.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, June 8

Malamanya @ Mears Park, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) What a great way to spend a lunch hour!  The rhythmic sounds of Malamanya draw upon the variety of Cuban song styles, all designed to get your hips shaking. Bring a lunch, take advantage of one of the food trucks on the East end of the park, or get take-out from one of the nearby restaurants and celebrate the season.

RJ Mischo on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The former Twin Citizen and harp master is back in town for a visit once again, and I believe this is the first of a number of gigs in the area. Mischo  will be backed by guitarist/drummer Jeremy Johnson, and perhaps a few more of his old pals from the area.

Los Requerdos @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) This trio is made up of members of Malamanya, so if you didn’t get to their noon concert, you can still get a taste of Cuban dance music.

Thursday, June 9

Reina del Cid @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minnapolis. 6:30pm $12 Advance, $15 Door) Presented by the MN Music Coalition. 6pm Happy Hour and member artists showcase, featuring the wonderful singer/songwriter of rootsy/bluesy music, Ms del Cid, w/Jonathan Rundman (pop/folk/Finnish); The Lowland Lakers (bluegrass); Sarah Morris (country/Americana), and Andy Cook (singer/songwriter)

Tinsely Ellis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($27) Guitarist Ellis is a quintessential road warrior of the blues, averaging 150 shows a year. He  grew up listening to British Invasion bands and formed the Heartfixers in 1981, recording three albums, including one with the legendary Nappy Brown. Ellis joined Alligator records in 1988, and as his reputation grew, folks like Derek Trucks and Chuck Leavell joined on some recordings. He’s shared stages with Widespread Panic, The Allman Brothers, Jimmy Thackery, Buddy Guy and others, where his incendiary blues-rock guitar playing found enthusiastic audiences.

Friday, June 10

Sugar Shop Live @ the Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 4pm – 6:30pm (No Cover) Lolly Obeda, of KFAI’s Sugar Shop, will broadcast for the last time on Friday June 17. For a pre-farewell show, she’ll be broadcasting live from the newly reopened Viking Bar, across the street from the station. I’ll be spinning vinyl from 6:30pm until 8:30 or 9, after which, The April Fools take the stage with their bracing country rock.

Trailer Trash @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($??) Well, if any non-blues band can be appropriate at Wilebski’s, it’s Trailer Trash  whose honky-tonkin’ rock n’ roll often contains similar elements to blues songs:  bad relationships, drinking, and betrayal.

Salsabrosa @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) This nine-piece band lays down Cuban grooves that will have you up and dancing, even if you don’t know a salsa from a merengue. Alma Andina, with their contemporary Andean rhythms,  opens

Saturday, June 11

The 6th Annual Loring Park Acoustic Music Festival @ Loring Park, Minneapolis. noon – ? (Free) Eight bands take the stage during the day in the wonderful city park at the end of downtown. They include: Wild Goose Chase Cloggers; The Broken Heartland String Band; Jasper Lepak; The Medicine Show Music Company; Siama’s Afrobilly Trio; Frank Hornstein & Friends; Brady Perl; and the Dumpy Jug Bumpers. There will be food, so it’s an ideal setting for a quick picnic, or stay all day.

Curtis Salgado @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) Back in the day vocalist/harp player/songwriter Salgado was co-leader of the Robert Cray, sang lead for Roomful of Blues, educated John Belushi about the blues, and toured with both Steve Miller and Santana. He fought off liver cancer in 2006 and lung cancer in 2008, and joined Alligator Records in 2012, promptly winning awards for Soul Blues Album of the Year, Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year, and BB King Entertainer of the year. As the LA Times said, Salgado is “keeping the classic flame of soul music alive.”

 

Butanes Soul Revue Party @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Well, here’s the second night of a party celebrating the retirement of Lolly Obeda and KFAI’s Sugar Shop. This time, it’s Lolly’s husband Curt leading the proceedings with the Butanes Soul Revue featuring Maurice Jacox, lead vocals; Curtis Obeda, Guitar; John Lindberg, Bass: Robb Stupka, Drums; Virgil Nelson, B-3; and Prince’s former horn section which includes Michael  Nelson, Trombone; and Steve Strand, Trumpet; as well as the very talented and animated Sue Orfield on Tenor Sax. Lastly Blues Diva’s Aisha Baker and Deb Brown will perform the duties of background singersLolly will also be spinning some tunes during one of the set breaks.

The Fab Six Present the Studio Beatles @ MacNally Smith College of Music, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15 Advance, $20 Door) Here’s a special performance of music from some of the most challenging studio albums by the Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour, Sgt. Pepper, and Abbey Road.  It will feature students, staff, and alumni from MacNally Smith, including: Chad Magnuson, keys, reeds, & vocals; Tilly, drums, vocals; Gary Rue, guitar, vocals; Al Miller, guitar, vocals; Jerrry Gray, keys, vocals; Rusty Jones, bass; vocals. They’ll be joined by the Pepperland Strings; the Sun King Brass; and the Parlophones Vocal Trio to recreate all the sounds on the songs.

Socaholix @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) A unique band in the area, in that they specialize in Soca, a high-energy melding of soul + calypso. The band features Prince Jabba, vocals; Charles “Chilly” Petrus, keys & vocals; Onesmo Kibira, bass & vocals; Lance Pollonais, drums; Siama Matuzungidi, lead guitar & vocals; Tony Paul, percussion; and Scott Fultz, sax.

Sunday, June 12

Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 3pm (No cover) One of only a handful of Charanga groups in the US, Charanga Tropical has the  classic charanga instrumentation of flute, three violins, vocalists, and full Latin rhythm section. They play a mix of modern salsa, original compositions, and of course, charangas.

Bluesfest @ Roseville Central Park, Roseville. 5pm (Free) Here’s a fun event for blues lovers. Bring a picnic and enjoy music from RJ Mischo, Big George Jackson, and The Everett Smithson Band, with Zydeco Dance Lessons by Flory Katz

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 Krew


A Big List: 6.1 – 6.7

June 1, 2016

Unknown-1Holy mackeral! There is so much music this week that my listing is much larger than usual, and I still left a number of worthy gigs off the list. At any rate, let’s just get to it.Music lifts the spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, June 1

Anthony Cox Presents deVon Gray @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 student ID) deVon R. Gray is a  multi-instrumentalist, classically trained composer. You can find him writing orchestral and operatic works as well as jazz riffs, in addition to backing area R&B and hip-hop acts. Tonight he’s playing with his trio, REFINED: Gray on keyboards: James Everest on guitar; and Davu Seru on drums and percussion.

Thursday, June 2

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) Tonight, this is the place to go to find out hear the next generations of jazz musicians.  Adam Astrup Quartet, a band of young lions, opens at 7pm: Astrup, guitar; Charlie Lincoln, bass; Simon Petrick, drums; Gerhart Robinson, sax. At 9pm it’s the slightly older Rodney Ruckus Trio: Javi Santiago, piano; Ted Olson, bass; Ruckus, drums.

Chrisette Bany @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10, $5w/student ID) There is always someone new to discover. Case in point is Ms Bany, who has been performing in the Twin Cities and beyond for 17 years, yet has remained under the radar until recent appearances at Crooners.

Hanson, O’Brien, & Seru @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Nathan Hanson, sax; Casey O’Brien, bass; and Davu Seru, drums, will take you on a far-reaching expedition to the outer edges of jazz, and bring you back safe and sound.

Friday, June 3

Mancrush @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 6pm Master class, 7pm performance. ($10 Advance/$15 door) Drummer Lars-Erik Larson, leads this group, which includes Brandon Wozniak, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Bryan Nichols, piano. Larson will discuss unconventional rhythm sections and how he composes for the bass-less group.

Patty Peterson All Stars w/Steve Cole @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($20) With seven Minnesota Music Awards, four solo albums, and her own jazz show on KBEM, Peterson is known far and wide for her blend of jazz and R&B vocals. Her last album features such heavyweights as David Hazeltine, Bobby Lyle, Sheila E. and of course her brothers Billy, Ricky, and Paul. Tonight she is more than ably assisted by Steve Cole, sax; Clyde Davis, drums; Cory J. Wong, guitar; Lamar Jones, bass; Jason Peterson Delaire, keyboards.

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Source Code @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Eric Kamau Gravatt – Drums; Solomon Parham – Trumpet; Lucia Sarmiento – Sax; Dean Magraw – Guitar; Ron Evaniuk – Bass. At 10pmit’s the Edmund Caitlin Trio: Edmund Catlin – Drums; Charlie Lincoln – Bass; Levi Schwartzberg – Vibraphone They will be playing the Thelonious Monk album, Straight No Chaser, in its entirety.

Jazzland Wonderband @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Cameron Kinghorn, trumpet/vocals; Nelson Devereaux, reeds; Keith Hilson, trombone; Andres Crovetti, drums; Evan Clark, tuba

Brazilian Jazz @ SW Craft Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (No cover) Along with changing the name from Señor Wong’s to the SW Craft Bar, and adding more craft beers and liquors, this Mexican/Asian restaurant now feature music on Fridays. Tonight, Mira & Tom Kehoe along with Xibaba will be playing Brazilian jazz, Bossa Novas, Sambas ,Forros, and Choros. Though the stage (such as it is) lighting is dim, you do get to view the LRT passing by as the band plays, in addition to their cocktails, food, and beer.

Saturday, June 4

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Some of the best straight ahead jazz in town is on display tonight, beginning at 7pm with the James Wallace Group: James “Jimmyapolis” Wallace, sax; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; Adam Tucker, bass; Bill Steiger, drums. At 9pm it’s Bone Chance: Eric Kamau Gravatt, drums; Dave Graf, trombone; Ron Evaniuk, bass; Peter Schimke, keys.

Bruce Henry @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12) Former Twin Citizen and now a Chicagoan, Bruce Henry has sung on major stages on four continents, bringing his unique take on African American music to the world.

Sophia Shorai @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley, 7:30pm (No Cover) Ms Shorai has been delivering yearning, sweet vocals to Twin Cities audiences for over ten years, singing a mix of originals, jazz standards, and modern gems.

Brad Bellows & Friends @ Boom Island Tap Room, 2014 North Washington, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (No Cover) This is the start of a weekly gig featuring valve trombonist Brad Bellows and a rotating cast of musical friends for some tasty jazz while you taste some brews.

Sunday, June 5

Concours d’Elegance @ Excelsior Commons, Excelsior. 10am – 3pm ($35) It’s not the name of a band, but rather an event featuring beautiful, rare, and valuable classic cars, boats and motorcycles. There will be four jazz bands playing while you amble lakeside among the vehicles. From 10am – 11:15 it’s Peter Kogan’s Mosnterful Wonderland, with Adam Meckler, trumpet; Pete Whitman, sax; Scott Agster Trombone; Sean Turner, piano; Chris Olson, guitar; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Peter Kogan, drums. From 11:30 – 12:45, the Mary Louise Knutson Trio with Chris Bates, bass; and Greg Schutte, drums. Kogan then comes back with a quartet at 1pm, with Whitman and Bailey, along with Steve Hobert, piano. After a short break it’s a trio with Hobert, Bailey, and Kogan. The whole affair is a benefit for the ICA Foodshelf.

Joe Lovano’s Tribute to Gunther Schuller @ Sundlin Hall, 1531 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul. 4pm ($25, $25 Senior [62+], $15 Student ID) Note: One K-12 Student is admitted free with each paid adult. Lovano and company will be performing in a tribute to Gunther Schuller. With Anthony Cox, bass; Young-Nan Kim, violin; Timothy Lovelace, piano; and Fred Harris, drums. With guest composer Peter Child.

Poncho Sanchez @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $45), 9pm ($25 – $35) The Texas born, California raised conguero started out as a singer, and started playing congas almost 50 years ago, while still in hight school. He was a major part of Cal Tjader’s last ensemble, released 19 albums, won a Grammy, and collaborated with Tower of Power and Hugh Masakela. Afro-Cuban music is in good hands.

Monday, June 6

Jazz Implosion featuring the Adam Meckler Quintet @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) 1st Set – Adam Meckler Quintet w Meckler, trumpet; Joe Mayo, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; & Greg Schutte, drums. 2nd Set – A double dose of drums with Davu Seru  & JT Bates

Tuesday, June 7

Teri Roiger @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) NYC vocalist Roiger also plays piano, composes, and writes lyrics, including lyrics to Monk’s Misterioso, approved by his family. She’s taught course on the Music of Billy Strayhorn, Monk, and Brazil, and currently teaches at SUNY New Paltz in the jazz program there. It’s her singing, however, that we should concentrate on. It’s been cooled “smooth but heady,” (All About jazz), “powerfully moving: and impressively deep (JazzTimes), and “made for those who still undetand the meaning of the term the real thing” (Stanley Crouch). Indeed, Roiger can express much with the slightest turn of a phrase, and has a voice that will sound wonderful in the listening environment of the Dunsmore Room. She’ll be previewing her soon-to-be released album, Billie 101, a collection of tunes associate with Ms Holiday. With husband John Menegon, bass; Joe Stracha, piano; and Phil Hey, 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 PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, June 1

Paul Barry & The Acetones, w/guest Lila Ammons on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Harp man Paul Barry plays the blues with help from the Acetones: Jon Pederson, Guitar; Vince Hyman, Piano, Vibes; Scott Soule, Bass; and Doug Hill, drums. They’ll be joined by special guest vocalist Lila Ammons, who is the granddaughter of boogie boogie pianist Albert Ammons, and niece of the great sax player Gene Ammons. Lila Ammons sings around town in jazz clubs and does blues tours of Europe on an annual basis.

Nikki & the RueMates @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) Take in the lakeside breezes at the Como Pavillion while the crystal clear voice of Nikki soars over the lake. Rich Rue, guitar and vocals, and Jon Olson, bass provide a solid foundation for the group’s blues and folk-rock. Drinks and food available in The Dockside.

Wednesday, Thursday, June 1,2

Suzy Bogguss @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) Since the late 80s, Bogguss has gone from rising star of country music to award winning hit maker. She’s done it her own way, with original songs, and collaborations with the likes of Chet Atkins and Ray Benson of Asleep at the Wheel. Her 2014 album, Lucky, is chock full of Merle Haggard songs, though to paraphrase Bogguss, it’s not a tribute, just a collection of some of the greatest songs she could find.

Thursday, June 2

Siama Matuzungidi and Drew Peterson @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis.  (time?? $$??) After being closed for 10 years, the new owners of the Viking have installed new bathrooms, a kitchen, took off the false ceiling, expanded the back bar, installed new sound and lighting on the stage, and kept the original booths. They’ve even added a “banana booth” from Nyes. The result is a more spacious feel, with a row of TVs over the bar that seem more decoration than sportscasting. Tonight brings West Bank veteran Drew Peterson, an Americana singer/songwriter, along with Congolese guitarist, Siama Matuzungidi, the Soukous master who just released a CD, and is representative of the West Bank of recent decades. It promises to be a night of great music.

The Hot Seat w/Paul Mayasich and the RAMM Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) This is the first of Paul’s Hot Seat series to take place at the Fridley Lounge. He’ll be there with guests for every thursday but the last one of the month. His comrades in the RAMM band are kicking things off as the three-piece tackle the blues, Motown, and more.

Friday, June 3

Steve Kaul & The Brass Kings, and Rena Haus @ the Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($5) Steve Kaul & the Brass Kings were formed at the old version of the Viking Bar, at one of Jackson Buck’s Freewheelin’ First Fridays. Well, here it is over 10 years later, the Viking looks much better, Jackson is still producing Freewheelin’ First Fridays, and Steve and the Brass Kings still sound great. The Brass Kings produce jug-bandy old time music played by: Steve on acoustic and resonator guitars & vocals, Mikkel Beckmen on washboard, refrigerator door, butter dish, and djembe; Brad Ptacek on washtub bass; and Jillian Rae on fiddle. Opening is the farming blues gal Rena Haus, whose clever wordplay and strong guitar work make for some entertaining blues.

Willie Murphy and the Angel-Headed Hipsters @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) It’s time to party down with the blues, R&B, and Rock n’ Roll of Mr Murphy and his horn band. Listen to their take on a Jerry Lee Lewis number.

Cantus Sings Pet Sounds @ Cowles Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($25 – $35) Here’s an intriguing event. The nine members of the all-male chamber singing group Cantus will perform music from an album Rolling Stone calls “one of the greatest albums of all time.” It’s 50 years since the Beach Boys released Brian Wilson’s opus to unrequited love. Don’t necessarily expect Beach Boy type harmonies however, as the group will be singing the songs in jazz, bluegrass and funk settings. They’re bringing in a trio to back them up, and will bookend the Pet Sounds portion of the concert with other popular tunes from the past as well as today. This runs weekends through June 11. Here they are doing a song by the Dave Matthews Band.

Doug MacLeod Live in Europe CD Release @ Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20)The award winning acoustic bluesman has a way with words and his national steel guitar. Back in 2006 Macleod was in The Netherlands, recording a live album for a DVD released by Black and Tan Records as The Blues in Me. Though he had a fever, and felt like he wasn’t in good voice, the results were nevertheless well worth listening. So well, that they’ve now put out an album. It’s just Doug, his guitar, and his foot, recorded as he performed, with no overdubs. Jeff Arundel opens.

Dee Miller Band @ Famous Dave’s Uptown, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Hard charging Ms Miller sings take-no-prisoner blues, tonight featuring the guitar work of Moses Oakland and Craig Clark, along with the usual crack backing of Paul Mejia, vocals & harmonica;  Jesse Mueller, Keyboards; Eric Meyer, Bass; and Ben Irvin, Drums.

Friday, Saturday, June 3,4 & Wednesday, June 8

Prince Tribute: This Thing Called Life @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 8pm ($45) While waiting for the star-studded Prince tribute being discussed by Prince’s family and friends to come, here is one that features Twin Cities musicians who were part of the New Power Generation, featuring drummer Michael Bland, bassist Sonny Thomnpson, and keyboardist Tommy Barberella. Also featured are Julius Collins, vocals; Tracey Blake, guitar; and special guests Jamecia Bennett (lead singer for Sounds of Blackness), and others. DJ Jules and DJ fat will start spinning at 8pm, with the band beginning at 9pm. Friday and Saturday appear to have sold out, so act quickly if you want to see the show on Wednesday, the 8th.

Saturday, June 4

New Primitives @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Get a reservation or arrive early to get a table and hear the reggae and worldbeats of this quintet.

Movies and Music @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Free) The hot and smoky rhythms of the Prohibition years are delivered on the Pavillion stage by the four-piece Gentlemen’s Anti-Temperance League, followed by Labyrinth, a Jim Henson-directed film from 1986 starring David Bowie, with almost all other significant parts given to puppets from Henson’s imagination. The pavilion will protect you from the setting sun, and food and drinks are available inside.

Dakota Dave Hull: The Sacred and Profane Album Release @ Celtic Junction, 836 Prior Ave, Saint Paul. 8pm – 10pm ($15) The late Dave Van Ronk called Hull one of the best guitarists in the world. He uses both flat-picking and finger-picking to dazzle audiences around the world and tonight Hull is releasing two albums: Heavenly Hope and This Earthly Life. One need not be Karnak the Magnificent to guess the contents of each. Opening set by Adam Kiesling.

International Reggae All-Stars @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) Catch the Island rhythms of the All-Stars on a weekend night, from this international sextet that holds down Tuesday nights at Bunker’s.

Sunday, June 5

Curtiss A & Dark Click @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($5) Old school roots music, including the blues, energized by original Twin Tone recording artist and John Lennon Tribute star Curtiss A and his fertile imagination. Every Sunday in June.

Tuesday, June 7

The Blasters @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($20 Advance, $25 Door) Whoa! The Blasters are coming, the Blasters are coming! Back when any punk band worth its salt was playing faster and louder, along came the Blasters, who played somewhat loud and somewhat fast. Thing is, they were using vintage R&B and Rockabilly for their template, infusing the old styles with an energy that matched punk, note for note. Led by the Alvin Brothers, brother Dave left. Though he’s returned as an occasional guest in the last few years, Phil’s singing powers the band, along with the guitar of Keith Wyatt. As they demonstrated at Lee’s and the Dakota last year, they’ve still got the energy make you sweat, even when you’re only chair dancing. As an added bonus, Molly Maher opens.

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.


Summer Begins: 3.25 – 3.31

May 25, 2016

Unknown-1Well, the unofficial start of summer is upon us. As the touring season for musicians kicks into high gear, we have more choices for music events from both visiting and resident artists, only a few of which I list each week. Like an overflowing picnic basket, we have more than enough to satisfy us. Have a great week. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 25

Larry McDonough: Born To Be Kind of Blue @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Pianist McDonough has been doing shows about trumpeters Chet Baker and Miles Davis of late. Hollywood recently released films about both trumpeters, so it seems the next step for McDonough is to combine both shows. McDonough’s voice has the same “cool” quality as Baker, so he’s got that covered, and he’s brought in the talented Steve Kenny on trumpet. Other members of the group include Paul Peterson, tenor; Doug Haining, alto; Jim Bierna, bass; and Dean White, drums. Here’s McDonough doing a standard.

Bobby Lyle w/Billy Peterson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($25, $50 Dinner), 9pm ($20) The Minneapolis native started playing piano in clubs at the age of 15, and hit the road as a full time musician after two years at Macalester. In the more than three decades since then he’s acquired an impressive resume, recording for Capitol, Atlantic, Three Keys, and Heads Up, and serving as musical director for Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, and Bette Midler. His 2005 album Straight and Smooth appeared on both the Smooth Jazz and Traditional Jazz charts for Billboard. He’ll be joined by bassist Billy Peterson, whose own musical career also knows few boundaries, having worked with Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Les Paul, Ben Sidran, and Steve Miller, among others.

Thursday, May 26

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) The Lucia Sarmiento Group is tonight’s attraction, and attraction is certainly the right word. Sarmiento is a young sax player from Peru who has been studying at MacNally Smith and increasingly gigging around town. She’s a strong player and a creative improviser. Joining her are a number of other young and youngish players: Will Kjeer, piano; Ethan Elseth, guitar; Andrew Foreman, bass; and Zach Schmidt, drums. Here she is from a few years ago.

Paula Lammers @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Vocalist Lammers and guitarist David Martin have been exploring the music of singer/songwriters of the 70s, when the form exploded on the radio and pop charts. Ex[pect to hear music from Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Rickie Lee Jones, Carole King, and more. Here she is doing an Ellington tune.

Friday, May 27

Jeremy Walker & Ted Nash @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (No Cover) Wow! Walker is a fine pianist and composer, well worth a visit to the Vieux. He’s a long time friend of saxophonist Ted Nash, who is coming through town and will be sitting in with Walker. Nash is a member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and co-founded the NYC based Jazz Composers Collective. He will soon be releasing Presidential Suite, based on great political speeches of the 20th Century.

Southside Aces @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Here’s a band that’s just made for the room, allowing you to enjoy gumbo, a po’ boy, or oysters while The Aces play traditional New Orleans jazz from the likes of Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, and Bix Beiderbecke, among others. The group includes: Tony Baluff, clarinet; Erik Jacobson, sousaphone; Steve Sandberg, trombone; Zack Lozier, trumpet; Robert Bell, guitar; and Dave Michael, drums. And what’s more New Orleans than Little Liza Jane?

Maud Hixson @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30 (No Cover) Ms Hixson brings her elegant vocals to the lounge at the Italian eatery in the office warrens in the southeast corner of the 100/494 interchange. She’ll be joined by Gordy Johnson on bass and Rick Carlson on piano, two musicians whose restraint and taste are a good fit for Ms Hixson. Her latest project is a CD with songs mentioned in the Betsy-Tacy books, a series from the early 20th Century about life in Mankato. Here’s a sample.

Saturday, May 28

Selby Avenue Syncopaters @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Hot jazz from early in the 20th Century, played by Tom Zosel, clarinet/tenor sax; Harold Longley, tuba; Tim Altmann, trumpet; Chris Wiley, trombone; Tom Lyseng, drums; and Jeffrey Dunitz, banjo/guitar. Here’s what they sound like.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) The new kitchen is open at the Black Dog, so while you’re enjoying music in the expanded space, you can have a burger or banh mi sandwich, among other offerings. At 7pm it’s the Evan Benidt Trio: Benidt, sax; Park Evans, guitar; Lars-Erik Larson, drums. The Peter Vircks Quartet starts sometime between 8:30 and 9:: Vircks, sax; Ron Evaniuk, bass; Kevin Washington, drums; Brian Ziemniak, piano

Sunday, May 29

Joel Shapira @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 4pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) So, you’re hanging around town for the weekend, and if the forecast of rain on Friday and Saturday is correct, by Sunday afternoon, you’ll be looking for some diversion. Guitarist Joel Shapira might do the trick. The garage doors to the tap room will be open, so you can enjoy being on the patio.

 

Sergio Mendes @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm, 8pm  ($60 – $80) While Stan Getz may have had the first “bossa nova” hit with Desafinado, it was Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66 that really brought Brazilian music to the world 50 years ago. He adapted songs like The Look of Love, Fool on the Hill, and Scarborough Fair to the sensuous rhythms of Brazil, and took Mas Que Nada, sung entirely in Portugese, to the pop charts. He’s released 55 albums, and continues to meld pop instrumentation with Brazilian rhythms, maintaining his cool factor all these years. Here’s an example of just how cool he is – playing with the Black Eyed Peas

Tuesday, May 31

Dave Karr Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) Saxophonist Karr moved to the Twin Cities in the 50s and began gigging around. In the intervening years created an award winning jingle agency, continued to gig, and has become an elder statesman in jazz, with an ever-inventive ability to caress a sweet melody or improvise a bebop line. He’ll be playing with Chris Lomheim, piano; Keith Boyles, bass; and Phil Hey, drums.

Southern Minnesota REAL Big Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/student ID) This Waseca-based group is made up of the region’s top jazz musicians. About half are band directors, while the others come from a variety of occupations. They’ve got standard, 18-piece instrumentation, and play music from Ellington, Basie, Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson, Gordon Goodwin and others.

 

Steve Kenny’s Group 47 @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) This may be the first appearance at the Vieux for this group, though they originally started when the place was the Artists’ Quarter. Initially, all members would play as part of Kenny’s early evening Tuesday night jam, until they coalesced as a group, with Kenny as the veteran playing with young lions. Besides Kenny on Flumpet_, the group includes Will Kjeer, piano; Thomas Strommen, sax; Adam Tucker, bass; and Alex Burgess, drums. Listen.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, May 25

Moonlight Duo on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The Moonlight Duo are Mary DuShane and Nick Jordan. DuShane is a fiddler with a long history in the Twin Cities folk and roots scene. She’s appeared on Prairie Home Companion as a member of the Powdermilk Biscuit Band, currently plays with the DL Cajun Band, and has been in a number of country, folk, and roots bands over the decades. Nick Jordan plays finger-picked guitar (he flat picks as well), mandolin, and flute/whistle, in addition to singing. It will be an evening of old time, Appalachian, and Irish songs.

The April Fools @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) This is a quartet of rock n’ roll loving guys who know how to put the country in country rock. Each has played in a plethora of bands before this collaboration, which was supposed to be a one-off project. They enjoyed working together so much that they became a band. Brian Drake, vocals, guitars; Clay Williams, guitars, lap steel, and pedal steel; Ben Kaplan, drums & percussion; and Scott Hreha, bass.

Thursday, May 26

Rockin’ Pinecones @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) Swing dancers and Cajun dancers unite! You have nothing to lose but calories from spinning, twirling, two-stepping, and generally dancing the night away to this seasoned group and their repertoire of New Orleans R&B, Cajun, & Zydeco music.

 

Charles Bradley @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 8pm doors ($20) There will be plenty of both young and old fans of funk n’ soul at the former bus depot tonight. Bradley spent years doing James Brown covers before he was discovered by the soul-loving folks at Daptone Records. He’s been given the sobriquet “Screamin’ Eagle of Soul” thanks to the intensity of his singing, which leans toward slow and medium tempos, though he explodes with passion on the occasional fast number.

Jaunito Pascual New Flamenco Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20-$25) Born in Minneapolis, Jaunito Pascual  as been recognized in both Spain and throughout the US for his creativity and virtuosity on the guitar. He’s been hailed by NPR and the Boston Globe, performed on a Prairie Home Companion Cruise, and appeared in Steve Martin’s Pink Panther 2.

Friday, May 27

JD Souther @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45 – $52) Billed as an “Intimate Evening,” it will be just Souther on stage. The singer/songwriter was a critical source for songs during the flowering of California country/rock in the early 70s, having hits with Linda Ronstadt, the Eagles, Jackson Browne, and others. He had his own massive hit in 1979, with You’re Only Lonely, which hit #1 on the Adult Contemporary charts. Souther has admitted that his songs are often depressing, which may explain why they are popular with country stars like George Strait, Trisha Yearwood, Brooks and Dunn, and others. His latest album, Tenderness, finds him, like many other his age, exploring the Great American Songbook. Those of you of a certain age will remember this song, a hit for the Eagles.

Minneapolis Guitar Quartet @ The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis. 7pm – 8pm ($20, $18 members) Doors at 6:30 and limited seating, in one of the nicest unexpected venues in town. Sit amongst stunning examples of 20th Century Realism, and listen to this extraordinary quartet, one of the few guitar ensembles in the country that performs its pieces from memory. You’ll hear music from J.S. Bach, Astor Piazzolla, Hiromi Uehara, Maria Kalaniemi, Alberto Ginastera, and Modest Mussorgsky. Don’t think this is on the program, but it’s a fine version.

North Country Bandits @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) The band was on hiatus for a while, so it’s good to have them back, performing  a heap of stompin’ blues, a bit of country, good ol’ rock n’ roll, and killer harmonies. The front line is Matt Pudas, Drew Druckery, and Doug Otto on guitars and vocals, along with Rich Casey bass; Chris Gray, drums, Joanna John, keys; and Nick “The Feelin’” Mrozinski on vocals and keys.

Riverside Swing Band EP Release @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Though the lounge has a small dance floor, it will undoubtedly be jumping as this quartet celebrates the release of “Songs from the 30s,” a collection of six vintage swing tunes.

Saturday, May 28

Boom Boom Stevie V & the Knockouts @ Neumann’s Bar, North Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Harpman and vocalist Steve Vondehaar, aka Boom Boom Steve, plays the Mississippi Saxophone with considerable skill. He’s been at it ever since buying a Tony Glover instruction book as a teenager. He and the Knockouts will have Neumann’s jumping.

Urban Flavor @ Famous Dave’s Uptown, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Funk n’ soul from a band of seasoned musicians, a few of whom were instrumental in the MPLS Sound of the 70s and 80s. Ben Locke was Alexander O’Neal’s drummer, while Charles and Donald Berry were cofounders of Quiet Storm, featured in the book/CD Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound. Members of other bands from the era will be present, though it’s hard to say who may join the band for the evening.

Pat Hayes Band @ Shaw’s NE, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist/harpist/vocalist Pat Hayes isn’t exactly shedding his Lamont Cranston skin, just putting it aside for this gig, which will undoubtedly still feature an LC tune or two in a new configuration. I’m unsure of who he’ll have with him, except for Tim Wick, who will be playing organ.

Saturday, Sunday, May 28, 29

Memory Lanes Block Party @ Memory Lanes, 25th & 26th Ave So, Minneapolis. 9:30 – 2am Saturday, 3pm – 10 pm Sunday ($5/day) Deejays and bands galore, with Saturday featuring mostly (insert hyphenated genre here) rock bands, while on Sunday there are a few roots and blues bands of note, including: Jaedyn James & The Hunger at 4:30, Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders at 8:20, the Legendary Shack Shakers at 9:30, and Davina & The Vagabonds indoors at 10:45.

 

Sunday, May 29

Ecuador Manta @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) Based in Saint Paul since they began in 1992, Ecuador Manta is originally from the tiny village of Atahulapa, Ecuador. They combine traditional rhythms from Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Columbia with contemporary Latin and Caribbean rhythms to create a unique form of Andean music.

 

Tuesday, May 31

Siama: Rivers – From the Congo to the Mississippi CD Release @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) If the swaying rhythms of Congolese guitarist Siama Matuzungidi doesn’t make you want to move, you better check your pulse. Siama was a prolific studio musician during the golden era of soukous music (70s-’80s) and his distinctive guitar style is featured on over 100 hit songs, several of which he composed. He’s been a resident of the Twin Cities for a number of years now, slowly but steadily building a fan base and connections with other musicians in cross-genre projects. From the Congo to the Mississippi is one such project, featuring musicians such as Joe Savage, pedal steel; Jacqueline Ultan, cello; Tim O’Keefe, percussion; Brian Ziemniak, keys; Mikkel Beckmen, washboard, JD Steele, vocals, and others, all of whom will be on hand. You’re invited to contribute an instrument in the lobby for distribution by Vega Productions to aspiring young musicians.

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


Youth Jazz, Art, Blues, and Worldbeats: 5.18 – 5.24

May 18, 2016

13048116_858343110943744_3629080614244096720_oPlease indulge me for a moment as I tell you about an event that means much to me. It’s Celebrate Youth Jazz!, a fundraiser for the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education (DFJE) to be held this Sunday at Vieux Carré. DFJE is a non-profit organization that creates and supports quality jazz education for students and young musicians. Last year we served over 650 students by sending 24 area musicians into 14 public schools. We also sponsor the Dakota Combo, an open-audition group that studies with bassist Adam Linz throughout the school year and performs at public venues as well as public schools. This year marks the 10th edition of the Combo, and to celebrate, the current Combo, as well as a big band of Combo Alumni directed by Kelly Rossum, will perform. If you have any interest in jazz and/or music education, you can support DFJE by attending on Sunday. More information can be found below, as well as at dfje.org.

Now, onto this week’s music.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 18

Stephane Wrembel Band @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($30, $35) French guitarist/composer Wrembel learned his craft among Roma campfires in the French countryside, has performed during the Oscar telecast, and was recruited to score the theme to Woody Allen’s film Midnight in Paris. Now based in Brooklyn, Wrembel’s latest album, Origins, explores his roots, touching upon everything from the blues to flamenco.

Nathan Hanson Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Here’s a trio that is conversant in straight ahead jazz as well as more adventurous treatments of music. Besides Hanson, on sax, the group includes Michael O’Brien, bass; and Cory Healey, drums.

Thursday, May 19

Sundae + Mr. Goessl @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) This Seattle based duo of husband and wife perform vintage jazz from composers such as Ellington, Porter, and the Gershwins. Ms Sundae is the vocalist of the two, though she also plays a cheap, but pink melody, while Mr. Goessl accompanying on an Epiphone Swingster guitar.

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) With the return of jazz to the Reverie, we also get a return of the JazzINK Youth Showcase which tonight features Halcyon Daze at 7pm: George Adzick, alto & flute; Ivan Cunningham, alto & tenor; Yonci Jameson, bass clarinet; Nicholas Christenson, bass; and Sam Stroup, drums. The multi-generational Fall Of The House Of Usher headlines, with: Chris Cunningham, guitars; Ivan Cunningham, saxes; Chris Bates, bass; Greg Schutte, drums; Cole Pulice, saxes; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, trumpet; Adam Svec, vocals. With special guest Michelle Kinney on cello.

Jeremy Ylvisaker & Michael Lewis @ The Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Ylvisaker (from Alpha Caonsume, and the Cloak Ox, among others), teams up with saxophonist and bassist Michael Lewis (of Happy Apple and Fat Kid Wednesdays, among others) for an evening of adventurous improvisation.

Friday, May 20

Michael O’Brien & the Latin Jazz Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/student ID) Bassist Michael O’Brien has been quite busy since he relocated from the Twin Cities to New York City. He’s performed and/or composed with such notable performers as Harry Connick Jr, Ruben Blades, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Steve Wilson, Wayne Escoffery, Dave King, Matt Wilson, Sachal Vasandani, and Ted Nash, among others – phew! He is back in town and is busy with a number of gigs, including this one featuring Joe Strachan, piano; Geoff Senn, trumpet; Babatunde Lea, congas; and Mac Santiago, drums, all of whom are well versed in Latin Jazz. Here’s O’Brien showing that he has the chops for other worldbeats as well.

Saturday, May 21

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) The Black Dog is undergoing some construction as they prepare to add another room and kitchen while opening up the original room and adding a bar so more people can see musicians performing. Just walk past the construction into the new, though somewhat unfinished room where music is temporarily being presented. Opening at 7pm is The Convergence Trio: Joel Shapira guitar; Michael O’Brien,m bass; and Eric Kamau Gravatt, drums. Then it’s the Kelly Rossum Quartet: Michael O’Brien and Eric Kamau Gravatt return to the stage on bass and drums respectively; to join Dave Hagedorn, vibes; and Rossum on trumpet. Rossum, who is director of Jazz Studies at Christopher University in Virginia, will be directing the Dakota Combo Alumni Big Band tomorrow. Here’s a video from Rossum’s brand new album.

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ the Uptown VFW, Lake & Lyndale, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Ms Lynch is a singer/bassist who mines pop & jazz from the 30s to the 50s to create dance-friendly tunes for fox trotters and swing dancers. The Uptown VFW has been remodeled and has a new, large dance floor. She will be joined by Chris Beaty guitar, Ken Chastaine drums, Greg Lewis trumpet, Peter VIrcks Sax, Pete Enblom, bone, each of whom does a fine job of bringing improvisation and swing to the dance floor.

Sunday, May 22

Celebrate Youth Jazz! @ The Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 4:30pm – 5:30: social hour, 5:30 – 8:30pm program ($45, $50  [$35 is tax deductible]) Kelly Rossum is returning to town to direct a Dakota Combo Alumni Big Band, which includes alumni working in the Twin Cities and elsewhere. There will be silent auction items including a double magnum of wine, a framed poster from the 1986 New Orleans Jazz Festival, a Meet and Greet (and tickets) with Chick Corea and Christian McBride, and more. We’ll also have a raffle with the first prize a “Wall of Wine, (two cases), and a second prize of a 9 CD set of Miles Davis Mono recordings. Tickets are available by calling the Dakota Box Office (612-332-5299) or going to their website  Tickets will also be available at the door. Thanks to the fine folks at the Vieux, your ticket will include a welcome drink from Prairie Distillery. Here is this year’s combo.

Dan Chouinard & Maud Hixson @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) It’s another edition of Chouinard’s Birthday Club, celebrating the music of composers born in May. This time around his partner is the cool yet warm vocalist Maud Hixson.

Monday, May 23

Freddy Cole @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $45) Cole  the younger brother of Nat King Cole is a star in his own right, a masterful pianist and singer, with a vocal that’s slightly darker and rougher than his brother, but nevertheless shares the same tonal quality. He has his own elegant, sophisticated style. The NY Times noted his “impeccable sense of swing,” and called him “the most expressive jazz singer of his generation, if not the best alive.”   Here’s a sampling of his performance.

Graydon Peterson Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Bassist Peterson is one of the first call players for singers around town. He also plays in a variety of other groups besides this one, which performs his original music. After spending time in Cuba last year with the Charanga Tropical, Peterson penned some new songs, for which he’ll add percussionist Andrew Gillespie to the proceedings. Regular members of the quartet include Adrian Suarez, drums; Adam Meckler, trumpet; and Joe Strachan, piano.  Peterson and band-mate Adam Meckler are featured in this video.

Tuesday, May 24

Mary Louise Knutson/Hot Jazz with Connie Evingson @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover), 8pm ($8) It’s another jazz double at the Vieux, with Mary Louise Knutson playing piano during the dinner hour, followed at 8pm by Connie Evingson  who so effortlessly sings acoustic swing, aka Gypsy Jazz. Joining her will be Patrick Harrison, accordion; Dean Harrington, guitar; Mike Cramer, guitar; and Josh Granowski, bass. Here’s Connie working with the Hot Club of Sweden.

Bryan Nichols Album Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) Nichols is a pianist-about-town who leads a number of groups: a trio, a quartet, and a quintet, in addition to playing with any number of other musicians. He’s got a new CD, and will be celebrating its release at the Dakota. Tune in to my show Saturday morning (10:30am – Noon) to hear him talk about it and play a couple of tunes from it. Here he is in a trio setting.

Tuesday, Wednesday, May 24, 25

Bobby Lyle w/Billy Peterson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($25, $50 Dinner), 9pm ($20) The Minneapolis native started playing piano in clubs at the age of 15, and hit the road as a full time musician after two years at Macalester. In the more than three decades since then he’s acquired a well-deserved impressive resume , recording for Capitol, Atlantic, Three Keys, and Heads Up, and serving as musical director for Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, and Bette Midler. His 2005 album Straight and Smooth appeared on both the Smooth Jazz and Traditional Jazz charts for Billboard. He’ll be joined by bassist Billy Peterson, whose own musical career also knows few boundaries, having worked with Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Les Paul, and Steve Miller, among others.

Early Notice!!

Sunday, June 5

Joe Lovano’s Tribute to Gunther Schuller @ Sundlin Hall, 1531 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul. 4pm ($25, $25 Senior [62+], $15 Student ID) Note: One K-12 Student is admitted free with each paid adult. With Anthony Cox, bass; Young-Nan Kim, violin; Timothy Lovelace, piano; and Fred Harris, drums. With guest composer Peter Child.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, May 18

Chemistry Set on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This three-piece band has been around for a number of years, playing power pop with alt-country leanings. I recall seeing them at the Hat Trick lounge at least six years ago, and they were impressive then. Members are Chris Thompson, guitar and lead vocals; Steve Smith, percussion and backing vocals, and Jackie Crosby, bass.

Corpse Reviver Album Release @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15) This is the second release for Corpse Reviver  though the first Vinyl release. Volume Two: Dry Bones continues the Reviver bent for songs from Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music. The trio of Adam Kiesling, Mikkel Beckmen, and Jillian Rae have been performing together for six years, putting their own spin on the music while maintaining respect for songs that were first compiled and released in 1952 by Smith. They’ll be joined by resident choir MPLS (impulse) during their set, and will have the legendary Spider John Koerner as an opening act. Wouldn’t be surprised if Koerner, who’s a font of knowledge about traditional folks songs, joins the trio for a song or two.

World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Well, Nye’s may be no more, but you can still enjoy the sounds of the World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band at least once a month. The dance floor is a bit larger than Nye’s, so you don’t have an excuse for staying off it.

Thursday, May 19

Big George Jackson @ Hollihans’ Pub, White Bear Lake. 8pm (Tip Jar) The big voice of Big George can rumble so low you’ll expect the floor to move. You’ll find yourself moving, however, even if Hollihan’s is packed.

Orkestar Bez Ime @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. (Tip Jar) Raucous dance music from Eastern Europe. There’s a bit more room in the expanded, if not yet finished new room at the Black Dog. All the better for moving chairs and tables out of the way and joining the fun fray.

Friday, May 20

Charles Walker Band @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) This Milwaukee funk n’ soul quintet with gospel influences and a tight sound. They’ve been nominated for the Wisconsin Music Award (WAMI) as the best soul/r&b act four times, winning in 2013.

Friday, Saturday, May 20, 21

Vinyl Voices play Art-A-Whirl @ the Northrup King Building, Minneapolis. 5:30 – 10pm Friday, Noon – 8pm Saturday (No Cover) There’s lots going on throughout NE Mpls, what with gallery openings and music at bars, brew tap rooms and elsewhere. You can get a complete listing of music here. An artist directory and maps can be found at: https://nemaa.org/art-a-whirl. Anyway, I and other KFAI deejays will be spinning in the Third Floor Art Gallery #332 at the Northrup King Building. I’ll be there from 7:45 – 10pm on Friday.

Saturday, May 21

 

Shannon Mac Band @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) the guys in the Mystic Order of Reverb and Twang (M.O.R.T) were looking to kickstart their sound when the met Shannon McDonough  a singer predisposed to 50s rockabilly, blues, and a bit of doowop. They clicked, and the Shannon Mac Band is the result. High energy music, delivered with verve and panache.

Michael Monroe @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($20) Monroe is a charming singer/songwriter who has been performing for forty years. He’s a self-taught musician who plays guitar, ukelele, and glass bamboo flutes who certainly knows how to connect with an audience.

Sunday, May 22

Alma Afrobeat Ensemble @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15 Advance, $20 Door) This Barcelona, Spain band actually got started in Chicago, but it wasn’t until founder Aaron Feder moved to Spain 10 years ago and met some Nigerian musicians that it began to gel and take off. This is actually their first proper American tour. Afropop Worldwide has called the band’s sound “as dark and intensely danceable as any African musical experience can be.” It has helped that the band has given some of their tracks to DJs to reimagine and take in a new direction. This is a standing show, but I expect there will be much dancing, freestyle and otherwise. Jaedyn James & the Hunger, the opening act, is a 10-piece funk n’ soul band out of South Minneapolis.

Monday, May 23

New Riverside Ramblers @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($8) High energy dance music, usually found around the bayous of South Louisiana. Thanks to the Ramblers and a few other bands around here, fans of the music can dance their hearts out in the dance halls of the Eagles Club. Members of the Ramblers include: Eric Mohring, fiddle; AJ Srubas, fiddle & Steel Guitar; John Terr, accordion; Doug Lohman, bass; Karen Kleinspehn, guitar; Paul Loughridge, 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. .


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