Happy New Year! 12.26 – 1.1

December 26, 2018

Well, 2018 is coming to an end, and whether you can’t wait for it to be over, or simply look forward to a fresh start, there are all manner of celebrations taking place. I’m suggesting a few, including some lower-price events, but there’s bound to be a special event in most every restaurant and bar you can shake a stick at. You can also catch some holiday visitors who have put together shows while in town. We’re blessed to have so many cultural offerings in the metro area. Here’s wishing you a healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year! Remember, Music Lifts Your Spirits!

Jazz

Wednesday, Dec 26

Will Kjeer @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm (?) It’s always fun to see returning students, and how much they’ve learned and grown musically while in school. After spending a number of years attending different schools, pianist Will Kjeer is back for his last holiday vacation as an undergrad. He’ll be joined by Graydon Peterson, bass; and Ben Erlich, drums.

Wednesday – Friday, Dec 26 – 28

Bad Plus @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45), 9pm ($40) The Bad Plus have been having a Christmas stand at the Dakota. Last year makes the last appearance of Ethan Iverson and now the piano chair is held by Orin Evans who has been an integral part of this new conjuration. Rolling Stone called their album “Never Stop II” the number one jazz album of 2018.

Thursday, Dec 27

Steven Hobert Quartet @ Pimento Jamaican Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm ($5) With saxophonist Pete Whitman; bassist Yohannes Tona; and Greg Schutte, drums.  Lots of Steve’s original music as well as music by Stevie Wonder, Duke Ellington and Nina Simone.

Friday, Dec 28

58 Belvedere @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Guitar master Dean Granros is joined by James Buckley, bass; and Dave Power, drums.

Saturday, Dec 29

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening set by the Jordan Anderson Group: Anderson, piano; Sam Worthington, bass; and Ben Erlich, drums. Featured artist at 8:30pm is SPACE: another band of rising musicians: Jack Courtwright, trombone; Will Schmid, guitar; Patrick Adkins, piano; Alma Engebretson, bass/cello; and Luke Peterson, drums.

Pat Mallinger Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12, $15) Chicago saxophonist Mallinger is one of Saint Paul’s favorite sons who we get to see whenever he’s in town for the holidays. He’ll have backing by Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. This show is close to selling out as of this writing.

Sunday, Dec 30

Bates, Lewis, & Johnson @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 6:30pmJT Bates drums; and Michael Lewis, sax; are 2/3rd of Fat Kid Wednesdays. With the addition of Gordy Johnson on bass, I suspect some standards may be in order, though Johnson, of an older generation, is versatile enough to go wherever the music takes the trio.

Hot Club of Chicago Avenue @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 5pm ($15) Guitarist Sam Miltich, vocalist Charmin Michelle, and clarinetist Tony Baluff combine forces for an evening of swinging’ hot club music.

Hoaxer @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 7pm – 10pm ($10) An exciting band of young Turks, with: Charlie Lincoln, bass; Will Kjeer, piano; Peter Goggin, alto; and Edmund Caitlin, drums.

Monday, Dec 31

Connie Evingson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 5pm, 7:30pm ($40, $85) with 3-course dinner) You can celebrate the arrival of a new year with the cool, yet expressive vocals of Ms Evingson  and still be home have time to go to another party or go home and let other have an exuberant evening.

Sophia Shorai @ The Lexington, Saint Paul.9pm (Tip jar) the Lex is taking reservations for dinner, but I don’t know how they’re handling folks who want to see Sophia, since the Williamsburg Room has couches, tea tables, and a bar (no reservations there). More to the point, Ms Shorai (pianist/vocalist), with her sparkling vocals and ability to convey emotion with a catch in her throat will be accompanied by James Buckley, bass; and Greg Schutte, drums.

New Year’s at the Black Dog, Saint Paul.  5pm – 11:59pm (Tip Jar) It’s a two part celebration beginning with their annual Early, Safe & Sane kid-friendly celebration starting at 5pm, and featuring Todd Harper, keys; Aaron Kerr, cello; Chris Hagedorn, sax; and Eric Courson, drums. Then afterwards, it’s a massive jazz concert to take you to the New Year, with Steve Kenny, trumpet; Dave Brattain, saxes; Will Kjeer, piano; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Pete James Johnson, drums, along with some special guests. Reservations recommended.

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

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, Dec 26

The Eddies on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This annual post-Christmas, pre-New Year’s show is always fun, thanks to the camaraderie exhibited by the almost-acapella Eddies and their audiences.

Friday, Dec 28

Crankshaft’s Last Stand @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) Crankshaft is retiring, so this will be your last chance to hear this punkified, no-holds barred, blues.  He’ll be joined by the Flood Brothers, and Mike Munson, with a special late set from Kent Burnside with special guests, including Harold Tremblay.

Friday, Saturday, Dec 28, 29

Nooky Jones’ 5th Annual Soulful Soiree @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($17 Advance, $20 Door) This very cool sextet blends, soul jazz, and hip-hop into a musical mélange that’s both spicy & soothing. Friday night guests are Mina Moore and DJ Lazerbeek, while Saturday’s guests are Proper-T, and DJ Rowsheen.

Saturday, Dec 29

Vibronauts @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Guitar-driven early rock n’ roll & rhythm & blues by a quintet packed into the little green booth.

Sunday, Dec 30

Rich Lewis Big Bad Band @ Whitey’s, 4th & East Hennepin, NE Mpls. 8pm (Tip Jar) Soulful rock n’ roll, as well as original versions of classic soul & Motown, performed by an expanded version of the band.

Monday, Dec 31

Belfast Cowboys @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($85, includes $50 food & drink credit) The large version of this Van Morrison tribute band.

Frogleg @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($22 Advance, $25 Door) Funk, Rock, & Reggae from Frogleg, with guests The People Brothers Band.

PHO @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 8pm ($15 Advance, $20 day of show) If you’re looking for a fun-filled New Year’s PHO, along with Purple Funk Metropois& Radiochurchwill provide it for you.

Harrison Street @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Friendly, front porch blues with power.

JoyAnn Parker @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 10:30pm ($40) Passion, power, and soul from singer/multi-instrumentalist Ms Parker and her bluesy band.

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.

 


Happy Holidays. Music: 12.25 – 12.31

December 25, 2013

It’s a bit quiet this week, except for that New Year’s thing, of which I’ve included two low-key ideas. The Artist’s Quarter is sold out, and I won’t be surprised if the Dakota sells out as well. There are plenty of options, including private parties, and going to sleep early. I hope that those of you who don’t celebrate Christmas have a good day, maybe with Asian take-out and a technicolor movie. I’m also including a link to a video animation of my favorite Christmas song – White Christmas. It always brings a smile to my face as I hope it will to yours. Thanks for your support.

Jazz

The Quartet in action. Photo by Andrea Canter

The Quartet in action. Photo by Andrea Canter

Thursday, December 26

Phil Hey Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. ($5) Here is a quartet of musicians with both creative and technical skills. Since they’ve been playing a monthly gig at the AQ for about 13 years, they’ve developed the ability to communicate almost telepathically. Phil Hey, drums; Tom Lewis, bass; Dave Hagedorn, vibes, and Phil Aaron, piano; play complex, yet highly swingin’ tunes. In short, if you haven’t heard them, they will knock your socks off.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, December 26, 27, 28

Ethan Iverson, piano; Reid Kennedy, bass; Dave King, drums

Ethan Iverson, piano; Reid Kennedy, bass; Dave King, drums

The Bad Plus @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($40) The uncompromising trio of former/current Midwest talents are back for their annual Christmas visit to the Dakota. The Bad Plus has pretty much redefined what it means to be a bass-drums-piano trio, producing sophisticated, at times avant, jazz, for the masses. One might call their music jazz with a punk attitude, if a punk attitude is also polite.

Friday, December 27

Nichola Miller @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm (No Cover) The sassy lass isn’t singing out as much lately, what with motherhood as Nichola’s main focus, so catch her when you can, and prepare to want a cocktail and a cigarette when you hear her sing.

Friday, Saturday, December 27, 28

Final Weekend Jam @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. ($10) I believe New Year’s Eve is sold out, so this weekend will be your last chance to visit the AQ under the ownership of Kenny Horst. A person could be excused for going overboard with hyperbole, but if the musician turnout is anything like it was a few weeks ago for the benefit, this will be special occasion, both musically, and emotionally

Saturday, December 28

Lee Engele with Uptown Maxx @ Sawatdee, 13300 Technology Drive, Eden Priarie. 8pm – 10pm Laurie Melting, violin; Kirby Smith, keys. Engele swings so well she can confidently front a big band or sensitively front a guitar trio. Here, she’s joined by a duo.

Sunday, December 29

Bad Plus perform The Rite of Spring @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($40) Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring is audacious, thrilling, heavy, and a bit bombastic to my non-classical ears at least. Which is what makes this a perfect vehicle for the Bad Plus.

Zacc Harris Trio @ The Riverview Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) Okay, so Minneapolis put the kibosh on trios at the Riverview, due to some archaic zoning laws. Then it seemed like they could book Zacc and the Trio again, but after one performance, found another odd regulation to keep them from performing. I’m told that all is now good. Let’s hope so, since it’s always a pleasure to sip wine and listen to Zacc on guitar, Matt Peterson, bass; and Pete Hennig on drums as they present originals and jazz standards.

Tuesday, December 31

Early New Year’s Eve @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 5pm – 8pm. (Tip Jar) Featuring Open Season, the 4th year –  with Todd Harper,(piano)Nathan Hanson, ( saxophones) Brian Roessler,( bass) & Pete Hennig. ( drums). Bubbles, appetizers, music, and you get to go home early, if you wish.

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, December 25

Christmas with The Steeles @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($30) The individual members of the Steele Family have brought their music to audiences throughout the world. They get together on Christmas night to bring us Soul-drenched Gospel and R&B.

Thursday, December 26

Maurice Jacox @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 10AM – 1PM (Tip Jar) So maybe you have the day off, but you’re not up for making breakfast. Check out the brunch at Hell’s Kitchen, where you can whet your appetite with the soulful and jazzy vocals of Jacox, accompanied by pianist Thom West. You may want to make reservations and ask to be seated near the stage.

Rockin’ Pinecones @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis ($5?, $10?) Nothin’ like a little Cajun & Zydeco dancing to work off excess calories from holiday dining. The Pinecones deliver some New Orleans R&B as well. They played for a few years in the late 80s, and reunited in 2004. Since then, Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton and his gang have audience spinning, twisting, and bouncing up and down to their infectious sounds.

Friday, December 27

Butanes Soul Revue @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10 advance/$12 door) It’s the 26th Anniversary of the Butanes, and they’re celebrating with a performance of the legendary Soul Revue. In addition to Curt Obeda, guitar; John Lindberg, bass; Virgil Nelson, B-3, and Robb Stupka, drums, you’ve got the horn section of Michael Nelson, trombone; Steve Strand, trumpet; and the highly talented Sue Orfield on sax, with backup singers Aisha Baker and Deb Brown. Dancing shoes are not optional when this crew takes to the stage.

John Primer @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Guitarist Primer is one of the few surviving musicians who’s life reflects the archetypal Chicago blues musician. Initially raised on a cotton farm in Mississippi, he moved to Chicago and played with Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, and Magic Slim. He’s been releasing his own records since 1995, and has earned a Blues Music Award and a Grammy nomination. It’s soul satisfying blues.

Saturday, December 28

Willie Murphy @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5?) There was a great turnout for Willie‘s birthday a month or so ago. Let’s hope most of those attending will again drop by to dance as this musical treasure sings rock n’ roll, blues, and rhythm and blues, all with his personal touch.

Sunday, December 29

The Guys All Star Shoe Band @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11AM (No Cover) The highly versatile band from Prairie Home Companion visits the Eat Street dining room and watering hole to entertain you during brunch.

The New Standards @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. ($30) This acoustic trio has made quite a name for itself reinterpreting the music of the eighties (Clash, Lou Reed, Mott the Hoople) for Gen Xers and Millenials. Pianist Chan Poling is a member of the Suburbs. Bassist John Munson is a founding member of Trip Shakespeare and Semisonic. Vibist Steve Roemer may not have been in a legendary rock band, but he’s found a couple of compadres in Poling and Munson.

Tuesday, December 31

Papa John Kolstad @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) If you’re looking for a New Year’s Eve gig that won’t be manic, but will still be entertaining, then Merlin’s Rest could be your choice. Papa John’s relaxed way will put you at ease. His dry, wry commentary will tickle your funnybone, and his music (along with his bandmates) will help you welcome the New Year in a festive, yet adult manner.

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


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