Winter Music: 1.24 – 1.30

January 24, 2018

Ice Palace image from The Pioneer Press/TwinCities.com

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

Jazz

Wednesday, Jan 24

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

Thursday, Jan 25

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

Friday, Jan 26

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

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

Saturday, Jan 27

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

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

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

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

Sunday, Jan 28

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

Tuesday, Jan 30

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

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, Jan 24

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

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

Thursday, Jan 25

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

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

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

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

 

Friday, Jan 26

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

Friday, Saturday, Jan 26, 27

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

Saturday, Jan 27

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

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

Sunday, January 28

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

Monday, Tuesday, Jan 29, 30

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

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.


From Surfin’ to Siberia: 1.17 – 1.23

January 17, 2018

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

Larry

Jazz

Wednesday, January 17

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

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

Thursday, January 18

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

Friday, January 19

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

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

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

Saturday, January 20

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

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

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

Sunday, Jan 21

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

Sunday, Monday, Jan 21, 22

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

Monday, Jan 22

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

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, January 17

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

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

Thursday, January 18

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

 

And here are the Bel Airs

Friday, January 19

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

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

Saturday, January 20

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

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

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

Sunday, January 21

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

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

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

Tuesday, Wednesday, Jan 23, 24

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

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.


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