Music for Strange Times: 10.31 – 11.6

October 31, 2018

So..we begin this week with actual Halloween, and end it with Election Day, which, seems somewhat appropriate in these very strange times. We’ve a good variety of music available to help us through the week from adventurous jazz to Cajun, soul music, or good ol’ rock n’ roll. Whatever your mood, you can let the music wash over you or you can dance. After all, Music Lifts Your Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, October 31

NIU Jazztet @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) This six-piece group from Northern Illinois University has performed at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in NYC, as well as at festivals in Iowa City, Lima Peru, NYC, and Bogota, Columbia, among others. Stop in to see the latest edition of the group.

Thursday, November 1

Paula Cole @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. ($40, $45) It is twenty-one years since vocalist Paula Cole released her breakthrough album This Fire, which contained two Billboard-charting singles, and was nominated for seven Grammys, resulting in Cole’s win as Best New Artist of the Year. Since then she has sold over three million albums, and has worked with a wide variety of artists, from Peter Gabriel and Dolly Parton to Herbie Hancock and Burt Bacharach.

Friday, November 2

Mike Wolter Trio @ Dayblock Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Since guitarist Wolter relocated here from Chicago in 2016, he’s collaborated and performed with a number of the area’s musicians, including Josh Granowski, Brandon Wozniak, George Marich, and Nathan Hanson. Tonight he performs original works with his trio featuring bassist Cody McKinney and drummer Cory Healey. Note:This is definitely not a listening room.

Jake Baldwin Trio @ The Lexington’s Williamsburg Room, Saint Paul.7:30pm – 10pm (No Cover) I don’t know who he has with him, but trumpeter Jake Baldwin is worth hearing in his own right. Just be sure to sit close enough to hear him over the room’s conversations.

Merciless Ghost @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Adventuresome music from George Cartwright, leader & sax; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, cornet; Josh Granowski, bass; and Davu Seru, percussion.

Saturday, November 3

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm: The Carlton College Jazz Chamber Group, which studies with pianist Laura Caviani and features: Dan Clipper, tenor sax; Amelia Papajohn, voice; Marco Bommarito, piano; Joey Castaneda, electric bass; Jorge Banuelos, drums; and Russell Star-Lack, guitar. At 8:30pm, their teacher takes the stage with her own group: The Laura Caviani Quartet – Caviani, piano; Dave Milne, saxophones; Chris Bates, bass; Dave Schmalenberger, drums.

Jay Young & Lyric Factory @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) I don’t know what Jay Young and his Lyric Factory will be playing, though he’s done shows on Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind, & Fire, Herbie Hancock, and others, bringing jazz arrangements to pop songs and new arrangements to jazz standards. Though his group’s membership is somewhat fluid, past versions of the Lyric Factory have included Jay on piccolo bass; his son Ian on regular bass; Kevin Washington, on drums, and Thom West on keys. Various and sundry singers take over the vocal duties.

Sunday, November 4

Cameron Graves Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30, $35) Pianist Cameron Graves met saxophonist and current “big thing” in jazz and spiritual jazz Kamasai Washingtonwhen both were in high school in Los Angeles. They’ve played together in many configurations since then, notably on Washington’s 2015 opus The Epic. Graves recently released his own album, Planetary Prince, which has been described as an “almost unbelievable combination of modal jazz, romantic era European classical music, and mathematical death metal,” by Washington. I’ll let you read the tea leaves in that quote.

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Since its formation in 2011, the Adam Meckler Orchestra (AMO) has steadily increased their repertoire and fan bass. Their 2014 album, When The Clouds Look Like This was released to to critical acclaim and was listed by iTunes as one of the best jazz releases of that year. Meckler has since become one of the leading voices in trumpet, big band, and arranging in the Twin Cities. Tonight the AMO will perform some of the new compositions from their upcoming album, and will feature a number of special guests.

Tuesday, Wednesday, November 6, 7

Davell Crawford & Charmaine Neville @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) It’s two nights of New Orleans music royalty, as pianist/vocalist Davell Crawford’s  grandfather was guitarist Sugar Boy Crawford, the first artist to record Jock-A-Mo(aka Iko Iko), and he is the godson of Roberta Flack. Vocalist Charmaine Neville is a daughter of one of the Neville Brothers. Lots of jazz and R&B will undoubtedly be on tap.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, October 31

Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12, $15) Guitarist/singer Big Sandy is a Los Angeles – based rockabilly/roots singer who often adds a bit of Western Swing and L.A. doo-wop into his energetic repertoire. The roomy dance floor will undoubtedly be filled.

Miss Myra and The Moonshiners @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Miss Myra and her band serve up a bracing helping of barrelhouse blues and hot jazz for a Halloween evening.

Orgone @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 8pm ($17 Advance, $20 Door) California soul from an octet that pulls and pushes you onto the dance floor with their insistent rhythms and dirty funk. McNasty Brass Bandopens.

Thursday, November 1

The Banjo Hour with Captain Gravitone & the String Theory Orchestra @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($12 advance/$15 Door) This is a two hour, vaudeville-style music variety show, with music, magic and comedy, hosted by magician/comedian Michael Callahan, featuring the music of Captain Gravitone & the String Theory OrchestraPhil Nussbaum, banjo maker Tom Nechville, and special guest Steve Kaul.

Friday, November 2

Erik Brandt & The Urban Hillbilly Quartet @The Underground Music Cafe, Falcon Heights. 7pm (Tip Jar) Highly diverse Americana from this long-lived group that seems to be guided by the same musical impulses as the Jayhawks, the Flying Burrito Brothers, and other eclectic acts.

King Kustom & The Cruisers @ Dusty’s Bar, NE Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) High octane 50s rock n’ roll, as done by the Batson brothers of the Hypsterz and the Mighty Mofos.

Vicky Emerson & Mother Banjo Double Release Party @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12 Advance, $20 Door) Americana singer/songwriter Vicky Emerson will release Steady Heart as a much anticipated follow up to her triumphant 2016 effort, Wake Me When the Wind Dies Down, which reached #58 on the US Americana Charts and soared to #5 on the European Americana Chart. Mother Banjo is releasing Eyes to the Sky, the follow-up to her highly successful gospel album The Devil Hasn’t Won. The new album features both solo tracks by Ellen Stanley (aka Mother Banjo), as well as tracks with the Mother Banjo band. Hayley Rydell, of the Lowland Lakers, opens.

Saturday, November 3

Love TKO II @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20, $25) Vocalist Johnnie Brown did so well with his first version of a tribute to Teddy Pendergrass that he’s back for a second time, for another evening of soaring vocals and seductive ballads.,

New Riverside Ramblers CD Release @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, Admission and download – $20) After 25 years together, the  Ramblers continue to create high-energy, Cajun dance music. In fact, they’ve earned a couple of Prix Dehors awards from the Cajun French Music Association, given for the best Cajun recording by a band from outside Louisiana. Now they have a new recording, Lache pas la Patate (Don’t Drop the Potato) and will be celebrating by filling the fine dance floor at the Eagles club. Happily, Papa John Kolstad & the Perfect Phittsopen.

Dos Santos @ La Doña Cerveceria, 241 Fremont Ave N, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12, $15) Dos Santos is a Chicago quintet somehow manages to include Cumbia, jazz, punk, and Latinx influences in their sound. They’re being presented as part of the brewery’s multi-day Dia de los Muertoscelebration.

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.


What A Week: 4.18 – 4.24

April 18, 2018

Well it’s certainly a busy week when it comes to music, so much so, that it’s nigh unto impossible to pick only 20 or so events to highlight. Of course the anniversary of Prince’s death has spawned a number of tributes and events, and then there’s Record Store Day on Saturday, where many of your favorite vinyl shops will feature live music. Add in 4/20 Day, visiting artists, and new combinations of resident artists, and you have a delightful week for music fans. Lucky us – Music Lifts the Spirit

 Jazz

Wednesday, April 18

Pete Whitman & Friends, feat: Peter Schimke @ Jazz Central, Minnreapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Saxophonist Whitman brings pianist Schimke and other stellar friends to the basement scene, including Zacc Harris, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; Omar Abdulkareem, trumpet; and Jay Epstein drums.

Thursday, April 19

Lucia Newell w/The Wolverines Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) Latin tunes, songs about spring and love by Rodgers and Hart, Jerome Kern, Billy Strayhorn, Thelonious Monk, Jimmy Van Heusen, Cole Porter and many more. Here’s Lucia with a different group.

Adam Larson Trio @ Jazz Central, Minnreapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Vocalists take a night off as NYC-based saxophonist Adam Larson visits Jazz Central with his cohorts: John Kizilarmut, drums; and Bob Bowman, who has played at Jazz Central before and often played at the Dakota with Karrin Allyson when she was based in Kansas City. Here’s Larson at a master class.

Friday, April 20

Cory Healy’s Beautiful Sunshine Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Drummer Cory Healy leads Nathan Hanson, saxes; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, cornet; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Erik Fratzke, bass; through an evening of his original compositions. Here’s a track from their album of a couple of years ago.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, April 20, 21, 22

BingSongs @ Bloomington Center for the Arts, Bloomington. 7:30pm Fri, 2pm, Sat, Sun ($22) Arne Fogel, Maude Hixson, and Jennifer Eckes will be accompanied by Rick Carlson on the ivories in this concert of Bing Crosby’s biggest hits, such as “I’ll be Seeing You”, “Accentuate the Positive”, and “Blue Hawaii”. There may be no better interpreters around. Here’s Arne and Jennifer interacting in a fun way.

Saturday, April 21

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) With over 200 performances, the Saturday Night Jazz series continues to feature both veteran and emerging artists. Tonight’s performances begin at 7pm with Amethyst 3: Byron Johnson-Blanchard, Drums; Park Evans, Guitar; and Josh Granowski, Bass; and continues at 8:30 with Chris Bates’ Red 5 featuring: ​Chris Bates, Bass; Thomas Nordlund, Guitar; Pete James Johnson, Drums; Jake Baldwin, Trumpet; JC Sanford, Trombone; and on saxophones, Chris Thomson and Brandon Wozniak.

MN Hard Bop Collective Plays Gigi Gryce @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7 & 8:30pm (No Cover) Clay Pufahl, alto; Jeff Rinnear, trombone; Ted Godbout, piano; Tom Lewis, bass; and leader Jesse Simon, drums; envision the music of the under appreciated saxophonist Gigi Gryce, a mainstay of hard bop recording sessions in the late 50s and 60s. Some of his compositions have become jazz standards. Here’s a cut from a session led by Gryce.

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($20 Advance/$25 Door) This 18-piece band features the trumpet and original compositions of Meckler, who has toured internationally with the Youngblood Brass Band and has served on the faculty of McNally Smith and MacPhail Center for Music. Additionally, the AMO features some of the Twin Cities’ finest musicians, including Nelson Deveraux, sax; Cameron Kinghorn, vocals and trumpet; and percussionist Adrian Suarez, with special guest: internationally renowned trumpeter Rex Richardson, who is in town to take part in the AMO’s new album.

Sunday, April 22

Jazz Legends @ The Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 2pm-3:30pm ($20 Adults, $10 for ages 5-17) Patty Peterson will host this event, and  reminisce with Twin Cities’ jazz legends who have achieved local and national acclaim. Among these notables are Ahmed AbdulKarim, Trumpet; Reuben Ristrom, Guitar; and others. These Jazz Legends will be accompanied by the Phil Aaron Trio, featuring Phil Aaron, piano; Graydon Peterson, Bass; and Phil Hey, Drums.

Gene Bertoncini & Gordy Johnson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 2:0pm ($15) Here’s an afternoon delight for guitar fans. Bertoncini has a fluid, lyrical style that has earned him the sobriquet “Segovia of jazz.” He’s played with a galaxy of stars, including Tony Bennett, Nancy Wilson, Lena Horne, Wayne Shorter, and more, and has earned rave reviews around the world. He’ll be accompanied by our own inestimable Gordy Johnson on bass.

Tuesday, April 24

John Scofield/Joe Lovano Quartet @ The Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hopkins.6pm Social Hour, 7pm Concert ($45) Grammy-winning saxophonist/composer Joe Lovano and the equally lauded guitarist/composer John Scofield are touring with Ben Street on bass and Bill Stewart on drums. Both Lovano and Scofield have appeared at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival in recent years.

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

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, April 18

Gabe Barnett & Them Rounders on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Minneapolis troubadour Barnett creates a crazy quilt of music evoking nostalgic Americana, folk, and jazz croonery, for a sound that’s completely his own. Tune in, listen, and see him in person.

Donna Grantis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, ($40, $45, $550, 9PM ($30, $35, $45) Canadian guitarist Grantis was the co-leader of Prince’s last band, 3RDEYEGIRL. She now lives in the Twin Cities and has recruited resident stalwarts Bryan Nichols, keys; and Cody McKinney, bass; along with Jason Thomas, from Snarky Puppy, drums; and MN-born, NYC-based Suphala on table to play fiery instrumentals of 70s-inspired jazz-rock fusion.

Thursday, April 19

Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35, $45) Hillman was a co-founder of the Byrds and helped bring them to country-rock. He went on to play with the Flying Burrito Brothers, Steven Stills & Manassas, and the Desert Rose Band, where he was joined by Herb Pedersen, who’s played with John Fogerty, Linda Ronstadt, Earl Scruggs, Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, and a host of others. I wouldn’t surprised to hear them play an old hit or two in the Bluegrass/Newgrass style that they’re now performing.

Night Before 20 @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($7 Advance/$10 Door) Though cannabis consumption is illegal in Minnesota, some people want to celebrate 4/20, which, besides being tomorrow’s date, is a bit of shorthand for cannabis culture. Tonight, you’ll hear bluegrass from the Burberries; Pink Floyd music from the Pink Floyd tribute band Dark Side of the Moon; country covers from The Rare Cuts; and psychedelic funk-rock Space Monster.

Friday, April 20

Liv Warfield @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($50, $60) This Prince protege toured with him as a backing singer for several years before breaking out with what she calls “alternative R&B Soul with a little bit of rock n’ roll.” She’s got a late show with special guests that’s sold out at 11:30, so try, if you can to get tickets for tonight’s early show. Note: she’s also appearing at a Purple Jam afterparty Saturday at 11:30 ($50 reserved, $40 GA)

Hot Pants 45 RPM Dance Party @The “Uptown” VFW, 2916 Lyndale South, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover) DJs Brian Engel and Ben Mena dip into their vast collections of highly danceable rare soul and funk 45s so you can get down. They’ll be joined by DJ Adrian Small from Germany.

Saturday, April 21

Willie West @ Bistro LaRoux, Circle Pines. 7pm (No Cover) Soul singer West sang with the Meters and worked with arranger Wardell Quezergue, Deacon John, and Allen Toussaint, and left New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and settled in Saint Cloud. Bistro LaRoux serves up Cajun and Creole dishes, making it a great spot to hear West, especially if you live in the north suburbs. For the rest of us, his voice is worth the drive.

Joyann Parker @ The Basement Bar, Minneapolis.9:30pm (No Cover) If weather kept you from seeing her at last week’s  CD release party, here’s a chance to see her in the comfy Basement Bar. Check out Jon Bream’s laudatory article in the last week’s Strib.

Sunday, April 22

Blues on the Chippewa Fundraiser @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 2pm ($10) The free annual festival needs some support in order to stay free. Giving their own support are: Five Finger Discount; the Dee Miller Band; Armadillo Jump; Little Wing; and the Gopher Tones.

Monday, April 23

Bad Companions @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) It’s Swing Dance Night at Dave’s, and the Companions will supply roots-rock music to inspire dancers. The band is Alan Subola (Vibro Champs), guitar & vocals; Dan Gaarder (Trailer Trash), guitar; Hayden Grooms (Hillions), drums; and W.E. Keefe (Vibro Champs), upright bass.

Tuesday, April 24

SPCO Trio @ Tne Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Ruggero Allifranchini, violin; May Papach, viola; and Julie Albers of the SPCO will be performing Beethoven’;s String Trio Op.9 No.1 in G Major and other works in the main gallery of this fine museum.

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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