Spring into Music: 3.22 – 3.28

March 22, 2017

Spring has now officially arrived, and we’ve a surfeit of talent to catch in clubs and restaurants, as well as in bigger venues, though arenas and theaters are not usually the subject of these weekly missives. Anyway, we do have some visiting artists that may get your attention as well. So start getting out that springtime wear, though here in Minnesota it’s always a good idea to keep winter wear handy until May. Just let music lift our spirits.

PS: The Spring Pledge Drive at KFAI goes until Friday. You can still pledge your support for my show by going to http://www.kfai.org and pledging on-line

Jazz

Wednesday, March 22

Dean Magraw & Butch Thompson @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Guitarist Dean Magraw shows up in these newsletters quite often, since he’s so damn versatile that he plays in a variety of settings. Tonight, he’s teaming up with pianist (and occasional clarinetist) Butch Thompson  whose knowledge of, and forays into, traditional and New Orleans jazz are formidable.

Debbie Duncan & Margaret Cox @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40 Dinner show) Here’s an intriguing match-up of two vocalists. Duncan is well-known in jazz circles for her very able, and sometimes sassy, interpretations of standards and blues. Cox  on the other hand, is better known to Prince aficionados, having recorded numerous unreleased songs with him. She is also a featured singer with Mambo’s Combo (aka The Combo) at Bunkers. Back in the day she sang with the Doug Maynard Band and the TC Jammers among others, and then led Ta Mara and the Scene, a Jesse Johnson-produced example of the Minneapolis sound of the 80s. She always kills it during Combo appearances, and will provide a strong foil to Duncan. Here’s a video for one of the few Prince songs that was released.

Sound/Simulacra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 Student w/ID) Each month John Keston  sound design; and Cody McKinney, bass, composition; bring together improvising musicians to attack music from several directions. This week’s special guest is violinist Leah Ottman, aka LOTT (Wind in the Willows), who has brought her classical experiments music to both roots and rock bills around town.

Thursday, March 23

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) A classic piano trio led by the inimitable Peter Schimke  whose chops have been honed in a variety of settings and recordings. He’ll be accompanied by Chris Bates, Bass; and Cory Healey on Drums. Here is Schimke solo.

Paris Chansons @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) Julia Kantor, a sultry Ukranian songstress, together with her husband Jacob, from Russia, and Max Cohen, from Morocco, perform jazz standards and other classics in French, Russian, Italian, and other languages. The singers of the Los Angeles based Paris Chansons will be backed by their five piece band.

Peter Kogan Quintet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Former Minnesota Orchestra tympanist Kogan has been keeping busy performing jazz since his retirement a couple of years ago. Tonight, his group consists of: Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Pete Whitman sax; Phil Aaron, piano; Jeff  Bailey, bass ; with Kogan on drums. It may be a classic hard bop line-up but Kogan’s compositions explore many more avenues in jazz.

Friday, March 24

Sophia Shorai @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm-9pm (Tip Jar)

Shorai’s honey-sweet vocals, when combined with her ability to convey heartache with the slightest crack of her voice, are reasons to sit close to the stage at this somewhat noisy place.

Wozniak, Adkins, Peterson, Peterson @ Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Tonight a couple of up and coming musicians: Patrick Adkins, piano, compositions; Luke Peterson, drums, compositions; perform with a couple of veterans: Graydon Peterson, bass; and Brandon Wozniak, sax; .

Kneedelus @ the Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapoils. 8pm ($28) A Live Collaboration between Kneebody and Daedelus  Many in the jazz community find Kneebody’s music, which is certainly based in jazz, to be unclassifiable, though they’ve collaborated with musicians in a number of genres, even getting a Grammy nomination for their work interpreting the music of Charles Ives. According to Nate Chine in the New York Times, the music of Kneebody  “uses a common jazz instrumentation to make a somewhat less common amalgam of urban-signifying genres, from electro-pop to punk-rock to hip-hop.” Tonight they are playing with Daedelus, a producer with 18 solo albums to his credit, as well as EPs and dozens of remixes for other artists. Their work together ranges from chill mediations to explosive grooves.

Saturday, March 25

Dorothy Doring: Roaring 20s Cabaret @ Eagan Community Center, 1501 Central Parkway, Eagan. 2pm ($15 Adults, $10 under 12 – Cash or Check only) Doring is an engaging, soulful vocalist who will be performing a one hour show as a scholarship fundraiser for her teacher sorority – Alpha Delta Kappa.  (The ECC is located off 494 & Pilot Knob Road)

4th Annual Jazz at Studio Z Festival @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 5pm – 9pm ($12 Advance, $16 Door) Zacc Harris and his JASZ associates have presented a consistently good monthly series at Studio Z, using both straight-ahead and forward looking groups. Things kick off today with Real Bulls, the JT Bates/Dave King drum duo, and continues with Dean Granros’ guitar-driven Tall Tales; The Adam Meckler Quintet, featuring Meckler’s intriguing compositions; and closes with  Drobka/Weller, a drums/sax duo from Milwaukee & Chicago who are about to release a CD.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm is the Shapira/Granros duo, featuring guitarists Joel Shapira and Dean Granros. At 8:30pm it’s The Ruckus Birthday Tour Conclusion w/ Rodney Ruckus, drums; Jonathon Greenstein, sax, Adam Meckler, trumpet; and others TBD

Sunday, March 26

Katia Cardenas’ Birthday Bash @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 5pm ($8 Advance, $10 Door) Vocalist Cardenas has been very busy of late, with auditions and workshops for various shows and a number of part-time jobs, in addition to preparing for this show. Last year’s debut CD, I’ll Be Seeing You, does a good job of spotlighting her versatility and commanding vocals. She’ll be doing songs from the Great American Songbook, as well as songs by Carole King, Amy Winehouse, and other contemporary singers.

Monday, Tuesday, March 27, 28

David Sanborn @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50, $60, $70), 9pm ($40, $50, $60) Sanborn is a talented saxophonist who can appeal to dance-floor R&B fans as well as a listening-only jazz audience. He’s won six gold records, and one platinum record, and eight Grammys, and hosted a TV show. He’s played with David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, James Brown, The Stones, The Butterfield Blues Band, and more.

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, March 22

Lowland Lakers on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Folk/bluegrass/Americana from this trio with roots in Duluth. Tune in, listen, and BTW, pledge.

Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes @ the Dakota, Minnapolis. 7pm ($45-$60) Rowdy, passionate, bar band R&B from Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes. Johnny is an alumni of bars on the Jersey Shore, where he and friends Bruce Springsteen and Steve Van Zandt came up before hitting the big time, a few decades back. He more than satisfied with his performance at the Dakota last year around this time.

Thursday, March 23

Battle of the Blues Bands @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Famous Dave’s in Uptown is once again having a weekly showcase for blues bands. Tonight, the bands vying for a slot at the Lowertown Blues Festival are: Crooked DiceVibronautsMonny Ray & Triple Trouble; and the Mark Cameron Band.

Las Cafeteras @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm  ($27, $32) Las Cafeteras are an East Los Angeles band of “immigrant children,” as they call themselves. They mash up punk, hip-hop, cumbia, and rock to deliver socially conscious messages inspired by the communities in which they live. Resident artists Alma Andina open with a modern take on music from indigenous cultures of the Andes.

John McCutcheon @ the 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 9pm ($30 Tickets here) The folk veteran makes a rare appearance in this area. He’s recorded 34 albums and has thoroughly toured the US and the world. McCutcheon’s latest album, Trolling for Dreams, was released in February. This small room, with a capacity of less than 50, will provide an intimate setting for his music.

Rose Ensemble: Musique et Masqueray @ The Saint Paul Cathedral, Saint Paul. 7:30pm. ($15 – $38) Architect Emmanuel Masqueray (1861-1917) designed a number of outstanding places of worship in the area, and for four nights, the Rose Ensemble will be performing French Baroque music in them. Tonight kicks off the series at the Cathedral of Saint Paul, with guest artists Patricia Halverson, viola da gamba; Scott Pauley, theorbo; and Bruce Jacobs, organ; sitting in as the Rose Ensemble performs works by Charpentier, Cosperio, and others. On subsequent nights, the music will be performed at Saint Francis Catholic Church in Benson; (Friday), the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis (Saturday), and the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas in Saint Paul (Sunday).

Friday, March 24

Cory Stevens @ Flat Earth Brewing, 688 Minnehaha Ave East, Saint Paul. 7pm ($15 includes one standard brew) Sample the brews of Flat Earth while listening to Stevens, a blues-based guitarist and singer/songwriter who early on (in the 90s) was compared to Stevie Ray Vaughn, but has since developed his own rockin’ sound. Flat Earth is located in the historic Hamm’s Brewery complex.

Dee Miller Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 Reserved table) Powerhouse vocalist Ms Miller  aka The Duchess of the Blues, does real well with the weekend crowd at Crooners. Her uptempo tunes, duets with harpist Paul Meja, and choice covers often have people dancing in the aisles.

Nikki & the Ruemates @ Dusty’s Bar, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Under the Radar gig of the week, though the band’s fans (and there are many) are likely aware of this monthly gig. As regular readers may remember, Nikki & the Rue-mates play folk/rock and blues, drawing on inspiration for their originals from the late 60s and early 70s, though they’re also exploring vocal group harmony. Dusty’s is a hole-in-the-wall bar, so much so that Nikki, Rich, and Jon set up in a booth, while fans line the bar and fill up the few tables that are available.

Hipshaker 45 RPM Dance Party @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm – 2am ($5) Hipshaker deejays Brian Engel, Greg Waletski, and George Rodriguez continue to entice college students and young graduates, along with a smattering of Gen Xers and the occasional Boomer with their collections of rare soul and funk 45s. Tonight they have a guest sitting in with some rare tunes: DJ Jameson.

Friday, Saturday, March 24, 25

Al Stewart Plays Year of the Cat @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55, $65) Scottish singer/songwriter Stewart first took up guitar when he was swept up in Britain’s skiffle boom of the late 50s. He took guitar lessons from Robert Fripp (who would later lead King Crimson); roomed with Paul Simon in London (before Sounds of Silence was a hit); and had future Yardbird Jimmy Page playing guitar on his first single in 1966. It wasn’t until 1975 that Stewart came into his own, however, with the release of Year of the Cat, with the title song becoming a top ten hit around the globe. He followed that with Time Passages, another hit album. He’s not been able to reproduce that success, though he has continued to record and tour ever since, and in 2005 EMI records released a 5 CD box set. He’ll be performing The Year of the Cat, and more with backing from Marc Macisso and the Empty Pockets Band.

Saturday, March 25

Upper Mississippi Cajun Trio @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. Noon – 2pm (No Cover) The Como Dockside is now featuring Saturday lunch music, featuring mostly Cajun groups. Today it’s a trio that I believe has performed under other names, but includes Shawn Glidden, Doug Lohman, and Marie Stier.

Saturday Salon: Eva Beneke @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 3pm ($20) The delightful, Saturday afternoon chamber music series at the Dunsmore Room continues with guitarist Eva Beneke  The McNally Smith teacher has performed at international guitar festivals in the China, Peru, and throughout the US, Canada, and Europe. Her performances have been broadcast internationally, and on NPR, and include a live-televised performance with Carrie Underwood at the 2010 American Country Music Awards.

Minneapolis Music Showcase @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12 Advnce, $15 Door) Here’s a chance to see four up and coming bands in one venue and still get out early enough for another show or a good night’s sleep. Headliners Sawyer’s Dream is a 7-piece band w/4 part harmonies, performing original songs inspired by Mark Twain, and the harmonies of bands like the Mamas and Papas and ABBA. The River High features the male/female vocals of Justin Law and Rena Carlson Rasmussen, along with fuzzed out guitars and a strong rhythm section. The Friendly Beers is a blue-collar rock band from Saint Paul, and Jeromy Darling is a songwriter and actor.

Soul Tight Committee @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 8pm ($8 Advance/$10 Door) Get out your dancing shoes and head to downtown Saint Paul where this ten-piece band will be laying down old school R&B, mostly from the 70s.

Charlie Lawson Band w/Guest Larry Hayes @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Lawson continues his monthly residency at this warm pub. Tonight, he and his band will be joined by guitarist Larry Hayes, a founding member of Lamont Cranston, and composer/writer of “Excuse Moi, Mon Cheri” for the Blues Brothers. Hayes has won a number of MN Music Awards and is a favorite of other Twin Cities guitarists. He’s helmed the very excellent Larry Hayes and the ToneArms and currently performs with Mississippi Driftwood

Sunday, March 26

Greazy Gravy @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 3pm – 7pm (No Cover) It’s a matinee performance for this blues band featuring harp master Curtis Blake  Members of this band have been laying down blues licks for decades, so their blend of BB King, Albert Collins, a little Eric Clapton, and Chicago Blues goes down very easy.

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.


Festivals, Worldbeats, and Jazz, Oh My! 7.20 – 7.26

July 20, 2016

Unknown-1What a week coming up! We’ve got the Black Dog’s remodel celebration, the opening of The World of Beer across from Mears Park, the Lowertown Blues Festival (right), Palmfest, a winery jazz festival, the JuJu rhythms of King Sunny Ade, the Afrobeat of Antibalas, and The Minnesota Orchestra embracing Latin rhythms. Additionally, we have performances from a couple of young guns in the Twin Cities jazz world, as well as some daring, and much beloved jazz veterans at work.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 20

Connie Evingson and Jon Weber @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40 dinner) Evingson’s vocals are both lush and cool at the same time, while Weber’s encyclopedic knowledge of piano styles gives him the ability to be adept as both an accompanist and soloist. It’s Evingson’s show, but don’t be surprised if Weber’s knowledge of arcane music facts makes its way into the between songs commentary.

Chris Lomheim Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5/student ID) This is the debut for Lomheim’s new group. The pianist has always had a trio, played solo, though he’s no stranger to larger bands, and is a founding member of the Illicit Sextet. Tonight he’s debuting a lineup that’s reminiscent of hard bop’s heyday: Pete Whitman, sax; Adam Rossmiller, trumpet; Jay Young, bass; and Peter Hennig, drums, to revisit some of his originals, and undoubtedly throw in some jazz standards.

Thursday, July 21

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) The college-age musicians of Sound Skirmish open at 7pm. Members are Patrick Adkins, piano; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Ben Ehrlich, drums, and Drew Stinson bass. At 9pm it’s The Zacc Harris GroupHarris  guitar; Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and JT Bates, drums.

Friday, July 22

Jeremy Walker @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul 6pm (No Cover) Enjoy the Dinner Hour with pianist Walker and you’ll be treated to tasty, thoughtful music, including Walker’s engaging originals and his interpretation of jazz standards while you chow down on items from the club’s menu.

Southside Aces @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul.  9pm ($10) Traditional New Orleans jazz, as in a sousaphone rather than bass, clarinet, guitar, and horns. It’s jazz that makes you want to dance.

Rodney Ruckus @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($10, $5 w/StudentID) Ruckus has been making waves and garnering attention during various performances since enrolling in McNally Smith’s graduate program last year. He’s an alumni of Berklee, where he had a full scholarship, and has already traveled the world playing with such stellar musicians as Tia Fuller, Herbie Hancock, John Patitucci, Joe Lovano, Roy Hargrove, Charles Lloyd, and others. Though drums are his main instrument, he’s also quite adept at bass and piano. Here he is in an unexpected setting.

Saturday, July 23

Chateau Jazz Festival @ Chateau St. Croix Winery, St. Croix Fall, WI. Noon – 6pm (free) Take a reactively short road trip to this winery, which will have food trucks, local craft beers, and of course, wine, while listening to music by: Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson, the Zacc Harris Quartet, Pete Whitman’s Mississippi, and Doug Little’s Charanga Tropical.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Ted Godbout Trio at 7pm. Artists Quarter Tuesday Night Band from 9pm – Midnight. It’s the second day of the Lowertown Blues Festival, and the Tuesday Night Band, with Kenny Horst, drums; Billy Franze, guitar; and Downtown Bill Brown on the Hammond B3 is a good fit for blues lovers, given the affinity of B3 organ groups for the blues. No doubt there will be some guests as well, which was the norm when the band played the old AQ. The Ted Godbout Trio opens at 7pm with Godbout, piano; Dan Carpel, bass; and Jared Mondlock drums. Godbout is a young player who’s been accompanying vocalists like Katia Cardenas, as well as playing in a number of other jazz groups around town.  Here’s the Tuesday Night band with guest Sue Orfield.

Nachito Herrera Plays Gershwin @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Like many Cuban pianists, Herrera is dazzling with his technique. He also has the imagination and creativity to encompass traditional Cuban rhythms, the funk of folks like Earth, Wind, & Fire, and classical music. Tonight he takes on the music of George Gershwin, music as rich as anything you might find.

AcoustElectric @ The World of Beer, Saint Paul. 9pm (No cover?) Pianist Larry McDonough and his quartet helps the World of Beer celebrate their opening, at the corner of 5th and Sibley in Lowertown. The first set consists of acoustic jazz of Bill Evans, Chet Baker, Tony Bennett, and more, while the second, electric set will feature jazz rock fusion of songs by Sting, Clapton, Led Zeppelin, and Prince.

Sunday, July 24

Sophia Shorai Quartet @ Alexis Bailey Vineyard, Hastings. 1:30pm (Free) Head downriver to Hastings for a delightful afternoon at the Bailey Vineyard. Aside from tasting their wines, you get to hear the talented vocalist Ms Shorai  who can express heartbreak , determination, and grace with a combination of sweetness and aplomb.

Monday, July 25

Omar AbdulKarim @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm  ($10, $5 w/student ID) AbdulKarim is an ups and coming young trumpet player who impresses with his tone and thoughtful improvisations. He’ll be accompanied by Pierre Lewis, organ; and Batume, drums, for what promises to be a swinging set of music.

Tuesday, Wednesday, July 26, 27

Dave King Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20) After having a CD release at Vieux Carre for his five-piece Trucking Company last weekend, drummer Dave King brings bassist Billy Peterson and pianist Bill Carrothers to Crooners’ Dunsmore Room. King is well known for his stints with Happy Apple, Bad Plus, and the aforementioned Trucking Company, groups that traffic in avant/indie/experimental approaches to jazz. However, this trio, which has received rave reviews in the New York Times and on NPR, mines a treasure trove of standards from jazz and the Great American Songbook, bringing a fresh interpretation to songs each time they play. Here’s an extended video of one of their international performances.

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, July 20

King Sunny Ade @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30 ($35 Advance, $40 Door) A winner of two Grammys, Nigerian Sunny Ade brings his sinuous juju rhythms back to the Twin Cities. Since his first hit single in 1968, Ade has been nominated for two Grammys and taken his music around the world, helping to define worldbeat and Afropop in the process.

Thursday, July 21

Big George Jackson @ The Lowertown Line Stage at TPT, 172 4th Street East, Saint Paul.  6pm (Free) The organizers of the Lowertown Blues Festival (see below) made a great choice when they picked Big George for the event’s kick-off party. You get to hear George’s booming voice and his otherworldly growl, as well as the guitar of Jeremy Johnson within the new reception/event space of TPT. A must for blues fans.

Paul Mayasich, Bobby Vandell & Billy Franze @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley,. 7pm (No Cover) It’s another Hot Seat evening at Crooners, with ace guitarist Mayasich joined by R&B/jazz veterans Bobby Vandell on drums, and Billy Franze on guitar.

Thursday, Friday, July 21, 22

Al Stewart @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($33 – $37) 1979 was “The Year of the Cat” and the year of “Time Passages,” two songs that were FM Radio staples. Stewart’s light, appealing voice was backed by a full rock band at the time, but he has since returned to his folk/troubadour roots, playing in partnership with guitarist Dave Nachmonoff and basset Mike Lindauer, revisiting hits, and reinterpreting historical gems.

Friday, July 22

Krar Collective @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($18 Advance, $20 Door) The final show of the Cedar’s African Summer features a trio with a contemporary spin on the Ethiopian azmari minstrel tradition. The krar lyre is a 5 or 6 stringed harp, which legends say descends from Kin David’s lyre. Tmesegen Zeleke plays it plugged in to create a sound reminiscent of an ancient rock guitar. Beisdes Zeleke, the group include singer Genet Asefa and Drummer Grumn Begashaw. Their minimalist sound has led some to call them the “White Stripes of Ethiopia.” Opening act TBD.

Big George Jackson and the Willie Murphy Trio @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm – 12 am (Tip Jar) Here we have what is essentially a two-fer event. The Black Dog is celebrating their expansion and redesign of what is now a music room and bar, and the Lowertown Blues Festival is happening. Get here early to see Big George Jackson, who opens. You’ll also get proper seats for Murphy’s  9:30 show featuring his stellar mix of rock n’ roll and R&B. If you come by after  the Blues Festival closes down for the night, you may end up standing, though regular Murphy fans already know that.

Antibalas @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15 Advance/$20 door) Saint Paul is hopping tonight, what with the Blues Festival and this performance, featuring the Brooklyn Afrobeat wonders Antibalas  who were the band for Femi!, the award winning broadway and touring show. Our own Black Market Brass opens, while The Worldwide Discoteque DJs will keep things going between sets.

Minnesota Orchestra: A Night in the Tropics @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 8pm ($30 – $70) Minnesota Orchestra trumpeter Charles Lazarus is joined by his own jazz quartet and the Minnesota Orchestra, conducted by Andrew Litton, in a concert inspired by the sultry melodies and evocative rhythms of Brazil, Cuba, Hawaii and more. The program features originals by Lazarus, a tribute to Brazilian composer Antonio Carlo Jobim, Duke Ellington’s Caravan and other selections. This is part of the closing weekend for Sommerfest, and will include other music and activities as well.

Friday, Saturday, July 22, 23

Palmfest 2016 @ Palmer’s Bar, Minneapolis. 4pm – Close Friday, 2pm – Close Saturday ($5 each day) With 10 bands on Friday and 12 on Saturday this is a good time to catch bands you may not have heard, such as Half Moon Devil, or the King of Tramps, as well as some old favorites, like the Liquor Pigs, Spider John Koerner, Poverty Hash, and Charlie Parr. Weather permitting it will be on the outdoor patio until 10pm, after which final bands will move indoors. For more information, go to their FaceBook page or their website.

Lowertown Blues Festival @ Mears Park, Saint Paul. 4:30pm – 9:30pm Friday, Noon – 10pm Saturday (Free) It’s a Funky Friday, with The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly; Otis Day & the Knights (from Animal House); and The Family Stone, sans Sly, but with original members Jerry Martini and Greg Errico, leading the group through the hits like Everyday People, and Dance to the Music. . Then on Saturday, it’s a celebration of the Blues, with The Brother John Band (winners of Famous Dave’s Battle of the Blues Bands), and continue with the high energy Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials; our own Butanes Soul Revue; Corey Stevens; Bernard Allison; and the festival headliner, Stax keyboard man Booker T Jones! There’s a side stage as well both days, and additional stages at The Bedlam, Golden’s Deli, and the Black Dog. Complete information at: http://lowertownbluesfestival.com

Divas Of Disco @ Chanhassen Dinner Theater, 8pm ($40-$55)  Who remembers bell bottoms, platform shoes and lip gloss? Lori Dokken has put together a show that brings back the days of mirror balls, gold chains, and disco fever. Performing songs by Chaka Kahn, Donna Summer, Diana Ross, Natalie Cole, and others will be some fabulous Twin City Vocalists: Debbie Duncan, Rachel Holder Hennig, Patty Peterson, and Judy Vinar. They’ll be backed by Peter Hennig, drums; Jay Young, bass; Cory Wong, guitar, Jimmy Steffen on keys; and Dokken on keys and vocals.

Saturday, July 23

Willie Walker & We R @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) The folks at Crooners know that when you have a band that does well, you bring them back on a somewhat regular basis. Such is the case with Soulman Willie Walker  a long time resident treasure who got his start recording for the Goldwax label out of Memphis back in the 60s, and also released a couple of singles on Chess/Checker. He can caress a ballad, and give uptempo songs appropriate grit, whether they’re originals, or classics by Al Green and Sam Cooke.

Sunday, July 24

Open Streets @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. Noon – 5pm (No Cover) It’s Open Streets Day for East Lake Street, and this neighborhood bar (without TVs) is hosting a number of excellent musical acts starting at Noon with Meg Ashling, and continuing with pianist/composer DeVon Grey at 1:20, Lucy Michell at 2:30/3PM, and finishing at 4pm with the old time/folky sounds of guitarist/singer/songwriter Jake Manders.

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, July 24, 25, 26

Brian McKnight 4 @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($55 – $75), 9pm ($45 – $65) Adult R&B, from McKnight, singer/songwriter/pianist/producer, who has sold over 30 million records and received 16 Grammy nominations over the past 20 years.

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.


Jazz, Folk, and Blues: 9.16 – 9.22

September 16, 2015
The Capri Big Band. Photo by Andrea Canter

The Capri Big Band. Photo by Andrea Canter

What a stellar week ahead! We have three old school folkies visiting town, as well as a couple of great jazz vocalists, a Nepalese rock band, and both a jazz and a rockin’ blues festival on Saturday. Music lifts the spirit

Jazz

Wednesday, September 16

Lila Ammons @ Tangiers, Minneapolis. 8pm (No Cover) Vocalist Ms Ammons is getting ready to head off for another tour of Europe during late September through October. Stop by and see her perform jazz and blues standards at this lounge with comfy, large booths and leather sofas.

Asher Kurtz @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested Donation) This young guitarist is only 22 and already making a name for himself. After recently graduating from Berklee College of Music, he toured Europe with Terri Lyne Carrington, and has settled in NYC. Here’s a video of him with a group including Twin Cities trumpeter Jake Baldwin.

Thursday, September 17

Jason Weismann & The ‘Q’ @  Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Weismann is an emerging saxophonist active in a number of groups as well as a vocalist in the crooning tradition with his own band. With The “Q” he performs songs by Sinatra, Chet Baker, Mel Torme, and similar jazz vocalists. Plus, he can get into a funky groove as well.

Patricia Barber @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Cool, erudite, and adventurous, Barber is a pianist, vocalist, and composer who may be one of the most individual jazz artists on the scene today. Her own songs are poetic, filled with unforgettable imagery and imagination. The New York Times says of her, “This is the kind of art we need to be on the lookout for everywhere.”

Lund, Paris, & Scofield @ Jazz Central, MInneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Three vocalists for the price of one. Jennifer Lund has sung mezzo-soprano with the Minnesota Chorale for the last 14 years, and began studying jazz a few years ago. She’s a student of Vicky Mountain. Suzanne Paris made her debut with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Jazz Unlimited Series, and has sung backup to many recording artists. Susan Scofield has been singing since the age of 5, has performed with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Swing Beat Big Band, and is currently a member of Vocal Essence.

Friday, September 18

Evan Benidt Quintet @ Jazz Central, MInneapolis. 8:00pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Saxophonist Benidt and his group: Joe Mayo, sax; Javi Santiago, piano; Greg Byers, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums – will feature jazz blues, and rock, from jazz standards to Joe Satriani.

Bryan Nichols Quartet @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Pianist Nichols spent four years in Chicago honing his craft and playing with such heavyweight musicians as  Nicole Mitchell, Von Freeman, and Hamid Drake. Nichols plays in a number of groups around town in addition to leading his own, but tonight he is bringing up some friends from Chicago: Kurt Schweitz, bass; Jim Gailoreto, sax; and Jon Deltemyer, drums. Her is Nichols with  a quartet of Twin Cities’ musicians

Saturday, September 19

Freedom Jazz Festival @ Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis. Noon – 6pm (Free) Often called “The best little jazz festival in town,” this year’s lineup includes The George Scott Trio: The Tangents; Three Women of Jazz: Debbie Duncan, Yolande Bruce, & Linda Sloan; The Minneapolis Jazz Workshop; jam sessions; the Capri Big Band; and more, as well as art and family activities.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) . The Zeb Cruikshank Band opens: Cruikshank  guitar; Dan Musselman, piano; Brent Wallace, bass; and Byron Johnson-Blanchard, drums. They’re followed at 8:30 by Paul Harper’s Show and Tell, featuring saxophonist Harper  a member of the Illicit Sextet, among other bands; Charlie Riddle, bass; Mike Cramer, guitar; and Pete Hennig, drums.

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Ms Lynch is an excellent bassist and engaging vocalist, and her Excellent Fellows provide the support she needs as they play songs from the 30s to the 60s. Many of her songs are fox-trots, the kind of music to which almost anyone can dance, or medium tempo swing numbers. Here she is doing a number by the Ink Spots.

Monday, September 21

The Potash Twins @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Trumpeter Adeev and Trombonist Ezra have settled into the Twin Cities for a while after recording their eponymously titled album here produced by Steven Greenberg of Funkytown fame. Though both are only 21, they’ve managed to play and study with an extraordinary coterie of musicians, including Wynton Marsalis and Jon Baptiste, the music director for Steven Colbert’s new show. they’ve also performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center, South by Southwest, Birdland, and Warren Buffet’s Annual Shareholder’s meeting. Their music is jazz wrapped up in pop sensibilities, or as guitar ace Cory Wong puts it, their music falls “someplace between Katy Perry and Miles Davis.” A CD release party earlier this summer was sold out at the Icehouse. Here they are talking about their music.

Tuesday, September 22

Chris Lomheim Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Sometimes subtle, often inspired, and always ear-pleasing, pianist Lomheim leads a trio through some cool tunes.

Connie Evingson & The Parisota Hot Club @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Robb Henry, Matt Senjum, and Jay Epstein, aka The Parisota Hot Club  along with special guest Dave Karr on sax, provide the support as Ms Evingson explores Django Rheinhardt-inspired tunes.

Tuesday, Wednesday, September 22, 23

Lizz Wright @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50) Wright was a preacher’s kid, and sang in church during most services. That start certainly informs her music, but she is also able to integrate blues, soul, pop, and jazz into her performances. Freedom & Surrender  Is her fifth album since her debut in 2003. It features a number of songs she co-wrote with folks like Jesse Harris (Norah Jones), and JD Souther (Linda Ronstadt & lots more), and just received a four-star review in Downbeat, which said, “Well played and expertly sung, Freedom & Surrender shows Wright continuing to mature and developing her distinctive voice.” Here’s a recent video

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. 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, September 16

BB King Birthday Bash with Ray Covington @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10 pm (No Cover) BB King was, perhaps, the most jazz-oriented of all blues musicians, so having Covington, who can easily traverse jazz, blues, and old school R&B, perform some of King’s music is practically a no-brainer. Here he is doing a slow jam.

Heritage Blues Orchestra @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45), 9pm ($35) This aggregation is dedicating to showcasing the power and possibilities of African American music. They combine the energy of gospel, the emotion of the blues, and the power of field hollers, and gospel music to create something new, getting rave reviews from the Wall Street Journal, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and Downbeat in the process.

Thursday, September 17

Paul Cebar’s Tomorrow Sound @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10?) Cebar’s eclectic taste in music can be heard on his Wednesday morning radio show on WMSE in Milwaukee (www.wmse.org), where he plays a mix of deep soul and R&B, as well as Brazilian, Cuban, African, classic ska & reggae, and other pan-tropical songs. He takes these influences and creates infectious, highly rhythmic tunes that will have you getting your dancing shoes out of the closet to spin, twirl, and bop on the commodious dance floor at the MMC. Here’s a fun video that features the band playing as well Paul talking about music.

Friday, September 18

Archie Fisher @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($25, $20 advance) When Fresh Air Radio first started back in the late 70s and early 80s, Fisher was a favorite of the station’s folk programs, and still is on their playlists. The Scottish troubadour will be celebrating the release of his first album in seven years, A Silent Song, on Red House Records, which has also had a long association with Fresh Air.

Al Stewart @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($35) Not only do we have Scottish Troubadour Archie Fisher in town tonight, but we have Scottish folk rocker, Al Stewart, who came to prominence in the late 70s with the top ten The Year of the Cat and its platinum follow up, Time Passages. He makes use use of historical references and literary sources in his songwriting, with The Lord of the Rings providing inspiration for his very first single in 1966, and has never stopped recording or touring. His latest album, Uncorked, has received very postive reviews. It is a live venture that showcases the breadth of Stewart’s writing yet stays away from the obvious hits of his career. Here’s what you can expect.

Saturday, September 19

Annual Rockin’ Music Fest @ Shaw’s Bar & Grill, NE Minneapolis. 4pm – close. (No Cover) The Brian Naughton Band will be starting the festivities at 4pm. Naughton will be especially rockin’ since he’s celebrating a birthday. At 8:00, Shannon Curfman will take the stage. The exciting guitarist has sold a quarter million albums and has been Kid Rock’s duet partner, background singer, and guitarist since 2010. At 10pm things move inside when Paul Mayasich and the RAMM Band take to the stage. Here’s Curfman doing a classic from the 70s.

Dee Miller Band @ Holihan’s Pub, White Bear Lake. 8pm (Tip Jar) Get yourself some earth-shakin’ blues with Ms Miller and her cohorts, who will pack the tiny club and deliver your blues jones with gusto.

Sunday, September 20

7.8 Rock the Rubble featuring Albatross @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 1pm – 5pm ($20-$35 Advance, $40 Door) Nepal suffered through twin devastating earthquakes this past Spring – one at 7.8 and the other at 7.3, with over 400 aftershocks. Nine thousand died, and over 22,000 were injured. This show featuring Albatross, a Nepalese rock band, is a fundraiser for Earthquake relief in Nepal. Albatross is a four piece with crunchy guitars, and though their lyrics are Nepalese, their sound, whether on rockers or ballads, will be familiar to anyone with a passing interest in metal and hard rock. Hot Date, folk duo specializing in love songs, and This Mad Future, a quintet from Saint Cloud, open. Here’s Albatross.

Matuto and Daddy Squeeze @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) Matuto is a New York group that uses a plethora of Brazilian instruments to play Appalachian and traditional blues combined with the rhythms of Northern Brazil. Daddy Squeeze, which opens, is another of accordionist Dan Newton’s groups that plays a swinging mix of blues, Cajun, Tex-Mex, and French rhythms. Here’s Matuto with a unique cover of Beyonce.

Sunday, Monday, September 20, 21

Mambo’s Combo @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) Be prepared to dance as Mambo’s Combo brings the groove to the North Loop. They’ve been playing this weekly gig since 1987, covering rhythmic rock and R&B tunes with panache and grit. Visiting and resident musicians will often sit in for a tune or two.

Monday, September 21

Tom Paxton w/Joe Vezner & Don Henry @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) What with Archie Fischer and Al Stewart in town this week, Tom Paxton makes it a trifecta of folk music. In 2009, he received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for his work, which spans more than 50 years. Paxton has written songs with enduring appeal, like The Last Thing On My Mind, Bottle of Wine (a hit for the Fireballs in the 60s), and Ramblin Boy, as well as topical protests songs about current events, like Talking Watergate, Without DeLay, about the former congressman, and Train for Auschwitz, about the holocaust. While Crooners might not be a typical venue for Paxton, it is a good listening room for the intimacy of Paxton’s performance. Check out this topical number about banks.

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, Choices. Music: 10.1 – 10.7

October 1, 2014

DSC00159.JPGThe leaves are changing as are the number of opportunities to get out and listen to music, with visiting jazz artists, a number of opportunities to dance, new chamber music and some honky-tonkin in a jazz club. Have fun. Music is good for the body and soul.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 1

Coryell, Bailey, & White @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($25) I mentioned this group last week since they played on Tuesday night. Three of the pioneers of jazz rock are gathering to prove that blistering improvisation and rock rhythms are not mutually exclusive. Larry Coryell on guitar has been called the inventor of the genre, though he can play delicate soothing lines, as well as fiery electric work. Victor Bailey took over the bass spot in Weather Report when Jaco Pasorius left the group. Drummer Lenny White played in Return to Forever and on the Miles Davis Bitches Brew recordings. Here’s a version of a song they did last night.

Anthony Cox Presents Downrange Telemetrics @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) A bit more than jazz, this is a multimedia/poetry/musical presentation, featuring poet Becca Barniskis, visual artist Lori Brink, guitarist Nick Jaffe, and Cox. This may seem an odd pairing, but really, jazz musicians and poets have been sharing stages since the 1950s or earlier.

Thursday, October 2

Seru, Gillett, & Evans @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Another in the weekly series at Kyber Pass, this time featuring Davu Seru, percussion; Charles Gillett, lap guitar; and Elaine Evans, pocket trumpet.

Friday, October 3

Lee Ritenour @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($40) After a career spanning 50 years, guitarist Ritenour has earned a Grammy as well as 19 nominations, played on over 3,000 recording sessions, for artists ranging from the Mamas and Papas to Sonny Rollins and Frank Sinatra, and was a founding member of Fourplay, one of the most successful groups in jazz.

The siblings at play

The siblings at play

An Evening with Chris & JT @ Sweet 317, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10?/$20?) That’s brothers Chris & JT Bates, two of the finest musicians in town. Sweet 317 is an intimate space in Lowertown’s Northern Warehouse. They just received a Knight Arts Challenge Grant. Tonight, Chris on bass; and JT on drums, will be featured. For more information: info@sweet317.com

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Friends @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Kamau is the amazing drummer who has recorded and performed with Weather Report and McCoy Tyner, among others. Tonight his friends include: Pete Whitman, sax; Zacc Harris guitar; and young Charlie Lincoln, bass.

College Night @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. ($10 Suggested Donation) The debut of a new series featuring combos from area colleges and universities. Tonight starts with combos from North Central University from Minneapolis.

Foreign Motion, Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric CD Release, and Stolyette @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($10) Foreign Motion and ALE both feature formidable guitarists. A Love Electric is a Mexico City-based trio led by Todd Clouser, who is originally from the Twin Cities. Stolyette is a Minneapolis duo with Russian vocals, a bass, and tape loops, shifters and other electronic musicianship. The frets will be burning tonight. Here’s a video from Clouser and his group with a guest trombone player.

Saturday, October 4

The Illicit Sextet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul 8pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Concert #2 in the Saturday Jazz at the Blackdog series. This time the Illicit Sextet will be garnering your attention. They play nothing but original compositions, with a line-up and sound that evokes the hard bop years and a freshness that’s true to the present.

Monday, October 6

Jake & Noah Baldwin @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Though they share the same last name and both play trumpet, these Baldwin’s are not brothers. They are, however, very good musicians, and when you add the drums and bass of Jazz Central, you have a hot quartet, indeed.

Ken Thomson’s Slow/Fast, w/Seru, Lewis, & Fratzke @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) It’s another evening of jazz on the edge at Icehouse. Ken Thomson and Slow/Fast are a NYC band touring around the very recent release of its second album, Settle. The group consists of Thomson, alto sax, bass clarinet, and compositions; Nir Felder, guitar; Russ Johnson, trumpet; Adam Armstrong, bass; and drummer Fred Kennedy. Their set will be followed by a performance from Daru Seru, percussion; Mike Lewis, sax; and Erik Fratzke, bass. Here’s an excerpt of a piece from Thomson.

Tuesday, October 7

davu-seru-dean-mcgrawMagraw & Seru @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5-$20 Suggested Donation) Dean Magraw, guitar; and Davu Seru, percussion get together on the first Tuesday of every month to deepen their musical communication and share it with appreciative audiences.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other….

Wednesday, October 1

Bingham & Thorne on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3, 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Bob Bingham and Gordon Thorne are extraordinary players on both six and twelve string guitars. Thorne also plays mandolin. When they play, they invite you into their lives with both stories and song. Both are seasoned veterans of many bands, and together, of many festivals. They’ll be joined by a special guest, fiddler Randy Sabien. Tune in, and if you like them, check them out in person.

Neo-American Primitive Guitar Showcase @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Tip)  Folks, Blues, & Beyond, from guitarists Kyle Fosburgh, Steve Palmer, Matt Helgeson, and Nic Garcia. More guitar music for a Wednesday night.

Erik Koskinen @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) This is the debut of a monthly residency for Koskinen  who writes wry songs with a keen viewpoint on American life. He’s a heckuva guitar player as well.

Thursday, October 2

The Swamp Poppas @The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5?) Get out your dancing shoes and enjoy the  Cajun, Swamp Pop, and Zydeco sound of the Poppas – an unassuming band with a mission to get you out on the dance floor. Always a treat.

Friday, October 3

Hurricane Harold’s All-Star Blues Revue @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($10?) Tonight, the All-Stars feature Jason Lockwood, Dan Schwalbe, Victor Span, Keith Boyles, and Tim Wick. Harpist Harold has brought together a stellar group of musicians, featuring Kentucky guitarist Jason Lockwood, who has played at the International Blues Competition 16 years in a row. It’s an early show, so you can catch a set or two and still be home in time to get a good night’s sleep or watch some late night TV.

Big George Jackson CD Release @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) His deep voice will shake the rafters, while bandmates Jeremy Johnson and Phil Schmid will lay down a blues groove you won’t easily forget. Here’s a video from a few years back.

The Erickson’s Album Release @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($18/$15 Advance) Sisters Bethany Balentini and Jenny Kapernick are releasing their fourth album, Bring Me Home. They use their sisterly harmonies to great effect, whether singing rootsy songs of sorrow, as in the past, or the playful and slightly electro/pop of My Love, the first single from the new album. Opening is BB Gun (Al Church, Neal Pervix, and Jeremy Hanson)

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, October 3,4,5

Zeitgeist Plays New Discoveries and Old Favorites @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm Friday ($10), 7:30pm Saturday ($20, including post-concert reception), 2pm Sunday ($10)  The contemporary chamber music ensemble will feature the world premier of From Afar, the Dragon Calls, by Minnesota Composer Jeff Lambert, as well as other new works and a couple of favorites, not to forget the debut of the ensemble’s newest member, pianist Nicola Melville. For a complete rundown of the program, visit:  http://www.zeitgeistnewmusic.org/new-discoveries-old-favorites.php

Saturday, October 4

Soul Tight Committee @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) R&B and funk from a ten-piece band with a number of singers. This is a band to see when you want to dance to songs you know as well as a few new ones.

Sunday, October 5

Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 1pm – 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) – It’s the Blues Society’s annual event. Jimi “Prime time” Smith will be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and he’ll perform with The Groove Merchants, Also on hand will be the Jeremy Johnson Blues Band (Jeremy is an honoree), Big George Jackson, The Butanes, and the Don King Blues Band.

Nachito Herrera & His Cuban Orchestra @ The Ordway Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30 ($23 – $55) Since his arrival in Minnesota about 12 years ago, Cuban born pianist Nachito Herrera has been wowing audiences both here and around the world, whether playing Latin Jazz, traditional Cuban music, or with classical symphonies. Now, he’s put together a concert featuring members of the Youth Symphony, four singers from Cuba, and a host of others. Something like 70 or 80 musicians will be on stage. Plus, there will be a dance floor for folks inspired by Cuban son, cha cha chas, and other Latin rhythms. I interviewed Nachito on my show this past Saturday, which you can hear at: http://kfai.org/rhythmandgrooves. The interview starts soon after the show begins.

Junior Brown @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) Guitarist Brown is an American original – a throwback to the days when country music burned with the energy of high octane gas running through a four barrel carburetor, especially when he sings songs like Highway Patrol, and Hang Up and Drive. He invented the guit-steel guitar, which he places on a small stand, letting him switch between lap steel and lead guitar with ease. Expect some honky-tonk and western swing, with a bit of blues, Tex-Mex, and surf rock thrown in for good measure. He won the CMA Country Music Video of the Year award in 1996 for his song, “My Wife Thinks You’re Dead.” Here’s a live version of that song.

Tuesday, October 7

Fat Chance Jug Band – Jug Band Jam @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm (Tip Jar) Here’s the ticket when you are longing for some simple music from mostly home-made instruments. Unpretentious music for an unpretentious bar.

Vinyl Voices @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) KFAI deejays Sara Oxton and Tarik Thonton will take turns spinning R&B, Soul, & Funk vinyl for your listening pleasure while sampling the beers of Harriet Brewing.

Tuesday, Wednesday, October 7,8

Al Stewart @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) In 1979, British folk rocker Stewart was all over the airwaves with the million selling Year of the Cat and Time Passages. Some 20 odd albums later, he’s touring with musical partner Dave Nachmanoff, rather than the full band of those years. He’ll be doing acoustic versions of many of his old songs as well as some newer numbers. Here they are.

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. Dancers might want to check out the U Wanna Dance Calendar.


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