Autumn Music: 10.18 – 10.24

October 18, 2017

Well it’s another week with a wide variety of musical events, from visiting jazz and blues musicians, to a Tom Petty Tribute, a CD release party, and a ukelele festival! Resident artists remind us of why we have such a vibrant music scene. It appears we have a mostly pleasant stretch of weather in the coming week, with nighttime lows chill enough for a jacket, but not so low to discourage going out. Music Lifts the Spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, Oct 18

Kevin Gastonguay/Rhonda Laurie @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Gastonguary: No Cover), 8:00pm (Laurie: $6) Pianist Gastonguay starts things off for this double bill of jazz. He has been spending the last eight years gigging around town with his own groups as well as gigging as a sideman in numerous groups. Vocalist Rhonda Laurie is a New York native who has studied with Judy Niemack, Sheila Jordan and Jay Clayton. Whether singing gypsy jazz, straight ahead standards, or cabaret, her smooth vocals are modern and fresh

Chris Lomheim Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Pianist Lomheim goes beyond his usual solo and trio outings to bring a quartet: Pete Whitman, sax; Jay Young, bass, and Dave Schmalenberger will help Lomheim provide an evening of sometimes wistful, always intriguing music

Also: Travis Anderson Trio w/Special Guest Steve Roehm @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($8) You know Roehm from the New Standards.

Thursday, Oct 19

Arturo Sandoval @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($0, $50), 9pm ($30, $40) This Cuban-born, high-flying trumpet player was mentored by Dizzy Gillespie, whom he mentions at every performance. He was an original member of the internationally acclaimed Cuban group Irakere, before emigrating to the states. This is a must-see for jazzers, though it wouldn’t be unusual for others to be taken with the virtuosity of Sandoval.

Wycliffe Gordon @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($30) Trombone player Wycliffe is a valuable member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, but has also played with Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Henderson, Branford Marsalis,Lionel Hampton, Tommy Flanagan, and Shirley Horn, among others. He’s an admirer of Louis Armstrong, JJ Johnson, and Jack Teagarden, yet he brings a modern sound to his playing as well.

Ikeda, Gnitka, & Newell @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Alden Ikeda, Percussionist;  Steve Gnitka, guitar; and Scott Newell, sax & vocals = Free jazz from associates of  Milo Fine.

Also: Jen Bluhm @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. ($10, $5w/Student ID) Original music from the pianist/ukelele-ist/vocalist

Friday, Oct 20 

Mindi Abair @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (432, $40), 9pm ($22, $30) Saxophonist Abair has had ten #1 radio hits, along with six top 5 spots on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz charts. Bluesman Keb Mo said of her, “Mindi Abair’s saxophone speaks to all of our souls.”

Phil Hey Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9pm ($15) One of the longest running jazz combos in town, drummer Hey and his quartet have achieved that ability to instantly communicate with each other, anticipating changes in rhythm, chord changes, and intensity on tunes from Ornette Coleman, Chick Corea, and other modern jazz masters. Supporting Hey are Phil Aaron, piano; Dave Hagedorn, vibes: and Tom Lewis, bass.

Also: JazzMN Orchestra w/Wycliffe Gordon and Yolande Bruce @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7 :30pm ($15 – $45)

Saturday, Oct 21

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) The Steve Kenny Trio opens at 7pm: Kenny, Flumpet; Ted Olsen, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. At 8:30, the Atlantis Quartet takes the stage with their modern take on jazz: Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris Bates, bass; and Peter Hennig, drums.

Sarah Greer & Dean Magraw @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Sarah Greer is a vocalist that other vocalists turn to for lessons in jazz singing and scatting. Dean Magraw is a boundary-less guitarist with chops and taste galore.

BZ3 Organ Trio @ The Mudd Room, Mendota Heights. 7pm (No Cover) Brian Ziemniak, B3 organ; Troy Norton, guitar; and Kevin Washington, drums; deliver funky, greasy, soul-jazz just made for this basement “speakeasy.

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, Oct 18

Babb, Johnson, & Paul on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) To quote Hurricane Harold Tremblay, “Front Porch Swinging Liquor Pig Dave Babb and his Friday night partner at Palmer’s, Tony Paul of the Reggae All Stars (the Mayor of MPLS West Bank), join forces with Nordeast Country Blues/Folkie Baby Grant Johnson for a night of debauchery and mayhem.” Sounds like great fun to me

Thursday, Oct 19

Comotown Cajun Trio @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Get your dancing shoes out to trip the light fantastic, Cajun style.

Friday, Oct 20

Lil Ed & The Blues Imperials @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) I’m not sure if Lil’ Ed is still up to jumping off the stage and creating mayhem with some of his antics, as he did in the 80s, but after decades of playing blistering slide guitar, I’m sure that even an older Lil’ Ed will create a fiery evening of music.

Molly Maher/Dusty Heart @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 7pm ($20) Singer/songwriter/guitar tech Molly Maher has been called the Queen of the Twin Cities Music Scene. This Americana artist plays bar rooms, concert halls, and festivals. Those events, as well as her CDs, all benefit from her relatable lyrics and soulful voice. Dusty Heart is Barbara Jean and Molly Dean, two songwriters recognized in their own right for their poetic lyrics and distinct vocal styles that when combined create a powerful and haunting sound. Of their sound, City Pages wrote: “Barbara Jean and Molly Dean of Dusty Heart have that rural campfire chemistry that can make you lose all tension in your jaw”

Paul Cebar w/Jon Rodine @ The Hook & Ladder, MInneapolis. 8pm ()$12 Advance/$15 Door) Paul Cebar and his fans will turn the Hook into a regular dance party, as Cebar throws out funky R&B, combined with tropical rhythms, to keep butts moving in their chairs and energetic dancers filling the commodious space at the Hook. John Rodine is an excellent openener for this gig. Here’s a classic from Paul.

Also: Trombone Shorty @ The Palace Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($42, $79.50)

Saturday, Oct 21

Jillian Rae Vinyl & CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($10 Advance/$$14 Door) Fiddler/singer/songwriter Rae grew is releasing a 4-song EP entitled Wanderlust, on both CD and as a 45RPM EP. Rae grew up on the Iron Range, where she absorbed musical influences from country, pop, blues, and rock to yes indeed, polkas. She writes tunes with hooks that stay with you and teaches at her own music school – The Music Lab. When not fronting her own band, she can be heard with any number of other bands around town, including Corpse Reviver, Steve Kaul & the Brass Kings, and the Blackberry Brandy Boys, among others. Her she is a few years back.

Tom Petty Tribute @ Dayblock Brewing, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Local songwriter Ben Cook-Feltz and Day Block Brewing present an evening honoring the life and music of the late Tom Petty, one day after what would have been the iconic rocker’s 67th birthday. Several local artists and hardcore Tom Petty fans will be on-board to play their favorite songs. All proceeds will be donated to Rock The Earth, an organization Petty contributed to throughout his career. Rock The Earth is a national environmental advocacy organization dedicated to protecting and defending natural resources through partnerships with the music industry.

Ukefest 2017 @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6:30pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) A night dedicated to the ukelele, an instrument that has been gaining popularity of late. Plectorists who will be appearing include Katy Vernon, Marlowe Teichman, Corey Mohan, Dave Randall, Jake Rowan, Lady Date, Niki Becker, Eric Carranza, Mary Bue, and more! Folks are encouraged to bring their ukes and join the Ukelele Army. As usual with these annual events, it’s benefit, this time for Arc GTC, & The Minnesota Music Coalition

Dee Miller Band @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9:00pm ($10) The self-styled “Duchess of the Blues” just won a Blues Society Hall of Fame award for Leopard Skin Dress, the song she co-wrote with Jimi Prime Time Smith. Her performance at the Awards show was full of fire, as will undoubtedly be her performance at the Vieux.

Also: The Good, The Bad, The Funky @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?)

Monday, Oct 23

Irma Thomas, Blind Boys, & Preservation Hall Legacy Quintet @ The Guthrie, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($35 – $65) Irma Thomas is The Queen of New Orleans Soul. She’ll be joined by the exceptional gospel group the Blind Boys of Alabama, as well as a group representing the Legacy of Preservation Hall Bands.

Monday, Tuesday, Oct 23, 24

Badfinger Straight Up, feat: Joey Molland @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40) It’s the 45th Anniversary of the release of Straight Up, by Badfinger, and Joey Molland – guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist for Badfinger, is touring with his band to celebrate the event. For those of you of a younger age, Badfinger was one of the first bands signed to the Beatle’s Apple Records. They had hits with Come and Get It, No Matter What, Day After Day, and Baby Blue. Mariah Carey had a hit in 1994 with their song, Without You. Boomer or not, if you like classic pop, you will enjoy this music.

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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Choices, Choices! Music: 6.8 – 6.14

June 8, 2016

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

Jazz

Wednesday, June 8

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

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

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

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

Thursday, June 9

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

Friday, June 10

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

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

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

Saturday, June 11

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

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

Sunday, June 12

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

Monday, June 13

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

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

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

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, June 8

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

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

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

Thursday, June 9

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

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

Friday, June 10

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

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

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

Saturday, June 11

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

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

 

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

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

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

Sunday, June 12

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

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

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


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