State Fair Music and More: 8.22 -8.28

August 22, 2018

Design by Tim Nyberg, based on my photo

The Minnesota state Fair begins on Thursday, and since the Grandstand acts are well-publicized, I’ve listed some of the notable acts on the free stages, listed separately after Blues, Roots, and other. Outside the Fair, we have another week of intriguing music, with new jazz groups popping up, some see-worthy visitors, and reliable resident groups. Music lifts the Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, August 22

Ben Sidran’s 75th Birthday @ Crooners Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($30) Pianist/vocalist Ben Sidran started playing boogie-woogie as a child, eventually played with Steve Miller and Boz Scaggs while in school at Madison, got a PhD in England, where he was a session player for Eric Clapton, The Rolling stones, and Peter Frampton, joined Miller’s band in California, appearing on four albums, and eventually recorded over 30 albums under his own name, bringing jazz to the masses. He hosted a number of jazz radio programs for NPR, a show for VH1, and has written four books, including one of interviews with musicians like Miles Davis and Art Blakey. He’s a renaissance man who’s comfortable living in Madison, and we’re lucky he does shows here with some regularity. Sidran will be accompanied by his son Leo on drums, Billy Peterson on bass, and Kenni Holmen on reeds.

Louis Armstrong Night w/The Southside Aces @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) Get your traditional jazz here, with an emphasis on the music of Louis Armstrong. The Aces are: Dan Eickmeier, trumpet; Tony Balluff, clarinet; Rick Carlson, piano; Josh Granowski, string bass; and Dave Michael, drums.

Thursday, August 23

Rhythm’s Mama @ Studio Z, Saint Paul.7:30pm ($10?) Babatunde Lea; percussion; Omar Abdulkarim, trumpet; Will Kjeer, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; Kevin Washington, drums; Taaji Maalik Hill, percussion. With two percussionists and a drummer this group, the name becomes apparent.

Connie Olson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Vocalist Olsen is a Mpls native who studied in Los Angeles and consequently worked with many of that towns’ musicians, as well as The Peter Duchin Big Band, The Peter Graves Orchestra, and musicians from The Manhattan Transfer, Brian Selzer Band, and the bands of Prince and Madonna.

Leo Sidran’s Cool School @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm ($8 Advance/$10 Door) Drummer/composer/producer Leo Sidran is the son of Ben Sidran (see Wednesday), who has created a successful career as a film scorer and record producer. He co-produced an academy award winning song from the Motorcycle diaries, and has produced all ofnhis father’s albums for the last decade, in addition to playing with such luminaries as Phil Woods, David Fathead Newman, Clark Terry, and dave Grusin. Tonight he’ll be playing music froths latest album, Cool School, a tribute to the music of Michael Franks.

Friday, August 24

Happy Apple @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9:30pm  ($20, $25) The trioof Dave King, drums; Erik Fratzke, electric bass; and Michael Lewis, saxophone have been plying their unique version of jazz since the mid-90s. They’ve a complete grasp of jazz history, and can go from a beautiful ballad to free-jazz, bebop, and free-bop with ease. A bonus – the free association cultural ad-libs by King.

SPACE @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Here’s another group of talented young musicians – Jack Courtright, trombone; Will Schmid, guitar; Patrick Adkins, piano; Alma Engebretson, bass; and Luke Peterson, drums.

Saturday, August 25

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm: Bassist James Buckley & guitarist Tim Sparks have played together with some regularity. At 8:30pm the Sam Miltich-Dave Karr Quartet takes the stage. Guitaristn Miltich & saxophonist Karr have a natural communication, resulting in a swinging combo.

Monday, August 27

Trio KTB @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Trio KTB is the core rhythm section of Group 47 – Will Kjeer, piano; Adam Tucker, bass; and Alex Burgess, drums. Their performance will be followed by a jam at 10pm.

Tuesday, August 28

Nichols/Bates/Bates @Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) A-listers Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and JT Bates, drums, continue the Shifting Paradigm Records Tuesday Night residency at the Vieux.

For more listings, KBEM has a calendar of jazz and some roots music. Jazz Police features commentary, reviews, and previews jazz in the Twin Cities and beyond.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, August 22

Don Scott and Roseanne Licciardi on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm(90.3FM),m7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Guitarist/songwriter and vocalist Scott founded the legendary Dustbowl Blues Band back in 21970, and has been performing throughout there U.S. and Europe. Percussionist Roseanne Licciardi studied classical dance and piano and the rhythms of Africa. The couple winter in Zihuatenejo, Mexico and play there in various restaurants and bars.

Honky Tonk Jump @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 8pm dance lessons, 9pm Music ($5) Texas dance hall music – swinging enough to bring out dancers for swing dance night at Lee’s, from: Daddy Squeeze, accordion & vocals; Tom Schaefer, violin; Dan Lowinger, guitar; Vaughn Assisting, bass; and Deal Galhager, drums and percussion.

Thursday, August 23

Due North @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. Doors: 7pm, Music: 9pm? ($10) An intriguing gig, as Due North is an A Capella quintet from the Twin Cities that sings songs by artists ranging from Daft Punk and Miley cyrus to The eagles and Alicia Keys.

Friday, August 24

Cuban Dance Party @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Malamanya’s lead singer Zusel curates a night of Cuban music and Social Dancing. I assume that it’s recorded music, but I could be wrong.

Nikki & The Ruemates @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Nikki’s clear-as-a-bell vocals, plus her guitar playing, not to mention the outstanding guitar work of Rich Rue, always fills up the little NE bar as they play blues and folk-rock. .

Friday, Saturday, August 24, 25

Hipshaker’s16th Anniversary @ The Kitty Cat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) It’s a dance party celebration of rare funk n’ soul from the 60s and 70s, all delivered via 45s.

Saturday, August 25

Alejandro Escovedo/Joe Ely @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55, $60) It’s a night of Texas roadhouse music, though a bit more lyrical than you would guess from that phrase. Escovedo is a renowned singer/songwriter in Americana circles. He started out in the punk band The Nuns, went on to the country-rock Rank and File, and starting in ’92, released a series of acclaimed solo albums. No Depression Magazine named him Artist of the Decade in 1998, and he won the Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. Ely is a Texas songwriter with a bent for rock and poetic lyrics. He was an original member of the Flatlanders, sang backup for The Clash, and was a member of Los Super Seven.

Willie Murphy @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($8) The venerable rocker/R&B multi-instrumentalist and singer Willie Murphy brings his band and his original music as well as his unique take on classics, to what may be the best dance floor in town.

Sunday, August 26

Asleep at the Wheel @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.7pm ($35, $40, $45),9pm ($30, $40, $45) Ray Benson and his bandmates in the 8-piece Asleep at the Wheel have been playing Western Swing for 48 years, celebrating the genre’s unique mix of country music and swinging jazz. Here they are with a Bob Wills tune.

“That’ll Be the Day” @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 6:30pm ($25) Vocalist Colleen Raye and guitarist Wayne Luchau head up this tribute to the music of Roy Orbison, Linda Ronstadt, and Gene Pitney.

Tuesday, August 28

Poco @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50, $60), 9pm ($35, $45, $50) Country-rock pioneers Poco was formed after the breakup of Buffalo Springfield, when Richie Furay and Jim Messina joined with Rusty Young and George Grantham. Though they’ve had a number of personnel changes over the years, Rusty Young remains as the only original member. The current quartet only plays sporadic shows, so this is a rare chance to hear this group, whose members play ten instruments between them.

Sprig of That w/The Orange Mighty Trio @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul 7pm (Tip Jar) Sprig of That is: Isabell Damman, fiddle; Ilan Blanck, guitar; and Krissy Bergmark, tabla. They describe their music as instrumental Newgrass/folk music. City Pages describes the music of the Orange Mighty Trio as “Maverick Chamber music.”

State Fair Music (Free w/Fair Entry)

Thursday, Friday, August 23, 24

The Last Revel @ West End Stage. 8pm. A Minneapolis trio that uses multi-instrumental talent to deliver”Front Porch Americans.”

Tower of Power @ The Leine Lodge Bandshell. 8:30pm ToP, the 10-piece funk ’n soul band from Oakland, is  celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year, and are still sharp as your barber’s razor, as can be found on their recent release, Soul Side of Town. I recently interviewed leader Emilio Castillo, which you can read here. 

Saturday, Sunday, August 25, 26

Ipso Facto @ The International Bazaar Stage. 8pm. Funky, funky reggae, and oh yeah,  some straight-up funk..

Mayda @ West End Stage. 8pm. R&B-Infused pop.

Bodeans @ The Leine Lodge Bandshell. 8:30pm. They just might be Minnesota’s favorite Wisconsin rock band, as well as favorites of anyone who first heard their high energy music in the 80s, or more recently, their almost annual shows at the MN Zoo.

Monday, Tuesday, August 27, 28

En Vogue @ The Leine Lodge Bandshell. 8:30pm. En Vogue is considered one of the best female vocal groups of all time. This R&B trio from the 90s has sold more than 20 million records, received seven Grammy nominations, seven MTV Video Music Awards, and three Soul Train AwardsHere’s your chance to hear them sing such hits as Hold On, My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get it), and others.

For more blues (and some roots), the MN Blues Society has a comprehensive calendar. For all things Cajun and Zydeco, check out the calendar of the Krewe de Walleye


Grammys, Birthdays, and More: 8.15 – 8.21

August 15, 2018

The Rebirth Brass Band won a Grammy in 2012

This week we’ve got a few Grammy winners visiting us, and a slew of talented resident artists, as well as a guitar festival anda couple of fiery guitar players, including a five-time Grammy nominee. Whew! Music lifts the Spirit!


Jazz

Wednesday, August 15

Pete Whitman Presents New Boundaries @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis.8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Pete Whitman, saxes; Chris Olson, guitars; Ted Olsen, bass; Dave Schmalenberger, drums.

Oscar Peterson’s Birthday, w/The Tanner Taylor Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($10, $15) Taylor, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; Mac Santiago, drums.

Friday, August 17

Javier Santiago; Eli Zukor Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 for both shows) Opening at 7pm are emerging artists, the Eli Zukor Quartet: Zukor, sax; Jackson Wheeler, guitar; Carter Pearson, drums; and Jorgen Linne, bass. At 8:30 it’s Javier Santiago and his group: Santiago, piano; Omar Abdulkarim, trumpet; Ted Olsen, bass; and James Johnson, drums.

Sinatra! The Andrew Walesch Big Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25, $30) Though they’ve expanded the main room at Crooners, it might still be difficult to get in without a reservation – vocalist/pianist Walesch’sSinatra show is that popular.

Torch & Swing w/Tina Schlieske @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. ($30, $34, $38) Subtitled Sinatra to Simone, Ms Schlieske, of Tina and the B-Sides, for those of you old enough to remember the late 80s and early 90s, takes on grown-up songs.

Saturday, August 18

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm (TBA), 8:30pm Life-Force: Rich Manik, woodwinds; Dave Graf, trombone; Javier Santiago, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; Kenne Thomas, drums.

Peter Schimke Trio @ The Lexington’s Williamsburg Room, Saint Paul. (No Cover) Given the noise level of everybody talking, it’s best to sit close to pianist Schimke and his cohorts if you want to appreciate Schimke’s fine piano playing. Essentially, it’s music that does way more than provide ear candy for conversations.

Sunday, August 19

Maud Hixson & Rick Carlson @ St. Albert the Great, 2836 33rd Av S, Mpls.1pm ($20) Once again, Ms Hixson and Mr Carlson will be making a joyful noise in this south Mpls church. This time they’re performing Songs of the Silver Screen.

Monday, August 20

Eliane Elias @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.7pm ($30, $35, $40), 9pm ($20, $25, $30) Pianist/vocalist Eliane Eliascombines her Brazilian roots with fierce virtuosity at the piano, and a warm, alluring voice. Elias has won multiple Grammys, including 2017’s Best Latin Jazz album. She’s currently touring in support of her recent release, Man of La Mancha. Here’s a track from the album.

Hunter Delikowski Quartet @ The Amsterdam Bar, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) Hunter Delikowski is a drummer that’s new to the area. He’s enlisted three talented young musicians for tonight’s performance: Jordan Anderson, piano; Peter Goggin, alto sax; and Tyler Wagner, bass. You can expect they’ll be pushing some boundaries, whether in genres or compositions.

Tuesday, August 21

Irv William’s 99th Birthday @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20 Reserved, Pay What You Can for General Admission) It’s Mr Smooth’s 99th Birthday. Don’t know if he’ll play but there will be a band helping him celebrate. Proceeds will help fund a scholarship for next year’s Dakota Combo.

Tuesday, Wednesday, August 21, 22

Ben Sidran’s 75th Birthday @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm ($25, $30) Pianist/vocalist Ben Sidranstarted playing boogie woogie as a child. He played with Steve Miller and Boz Scaggs while in school at Madison, got a PhD in England, where he was a session player for Eric Clapton, The Rolling stones, and Peter Frampton, joined Miller’s band in California, appearing on four albums, and eventually recorded over 30 albums under his own name, bringing jazz to the masses. He hosted a number of jazz radio programs for NPR, a show for VH1, and has written four books, including one of interviews with musicians like Miles Davis and Art Blakey. He’s a renaissance man who’s comfortable living in Madison, and we’re lucky he does shows here with some regularity. Sidran will be accompanied by his son Leo on drums, Billy Peterson on bass, and Kenni Holmen on reeds. Here he is doing a Dylan song.

For more listings, KBEM has a calendar of jazz and some roots music. Jazz Police features commentary, reviews, and previews jazz in the Twin Cities and beyond.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, August 15

Ben Cook-Feitz on The House Party (KFAI), and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3fm), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Cook-Feitz is a singer, songwriter, drummer, and pianist whose observational lyrics and melodies can sometimes recall the music of the 60s and 70s.

Wednesday, Thursday, August 15, 16

Ana Popovic @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $35) Bruce Springsteen calls Serbian born, L.A. – based Popovic“One helluva guitar player.” She’s touring in support of Trilogy, her 2016 3-disc album of blues funk, and jazz, with production by Grammy award winners Warren Riker (Lauren Hill, Carlos Santana), and Tom Hambridge (Buddy Guy), as well as Delfeayo Marsalis.

Thursday, August 16

Big Wu Family Reunion Pre-Party @ The Hook& Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Advance/$12 Door) Jam Band fans will want to prepare for the Family Reunionthis weekend with El Dub, Pat Ferguson, Space Junk, and more,  including a super jam.

Mark Healey @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($8) Bassist/guitarist Healeywas a key member of Badfinger during that band’s late 80s and early 90s reunion and touring. The Wisconsin native still occasionally tours with one of the competing Badfinger bands, but tonight you can see him in the intimate, 40-seat 318 Cafe.

Friday, August 17

Dee Miller Band @ The Mudd Room, Mendota. 8pm ($10 Guaranteed Seat) Ms Miller’sexplosive voice and danceable blues will likely pack the basement speakeasy. She and the band are winners of the 2018 Road to Memphis Challenge, and will be representing Minnesota at the next International Blues Challenge in Memphis

Saturday, August 18

Lowertown Guitar Festival @ Como Lakeside Pavillion, Saint Paul. Noon – 9pm (Free) Siama Matuzungidi, Lonesome Dan Case, Jake Hanson & James Buckley, Paul Metzger, & more…. Performances will take place in a number of different areas, from the Hamm’s Waterfall, to a floating stage, a dockside stage, and the Pavillion’s Main Stage.

Jeff Ray & The Altered Stakes @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) This is a different version of The Stakes than usual – Jeff Rayguitar & vocals; Harold Tremblay, harp; Donald “Hye Pockets” Robertson, hand drums; and Josh Granowski, bass.

Sunday, August 19

Phil Heywood @ Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm (Tip Jar) Enjoy some stellar picking and Heywood’ssmooth baritone on a late Sunday afternoon in the comfy confines of the Dubliner.

Rebirth Brass Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.7pm ($40), 9pm ($35) These Dakota regulars from New Orleans have been playing play modern day brass band music for the last 30 years. In 2012, Rebirthbecame the first Brass Band to win a Grammy.

Robben Ford @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($35, $45) Fordis a 5-time Grammy nominee who has lent his blues guitaristry to concerts and recordings by the likes of Miles Davis, George Harrison, Barbra Streisand, KISS, Greg Allman, Phil Lesh, and more.

For more blues (and some roots), the MN Blues Society has a comprehensive calendar. For all things Cajun and Zydeco, check out the calendar of the Krewe de Walleye


Some August Shows of Note: 8.8 – 8.27

August 7, 2017

Greetings to one and all;

Thanks to all for the support, prayers, and positive vibrations being sent my way, which I’m sure continue to be helpful. My doctor is pleased with my progress so far, but this is a long-haul health issue, so we’ll just have to see how things progress.

At any rate, the Dog Days of August are upon us, and if you can’t find a pool or lake in which to swing, you can at least check out some exceptional music.  There are so many great shows on the horizon that I just had to list a few, though certainly not all. I’ll try to post again by the end of August, but in the meantime, you can use the calendar links at the bottom of this missive to find out other opportunities.

Jazz

Tuesday, August 8

Cyrille Aimee @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) As a teenager, she would sneak out of her home in the town where Django Rheinhardt lived out his life and hang at gypsy camps. As a college music student on a scholarship, she was the only vocalist SUNY Purchase, in the schools program, and spent lots of time absorbing the way instrumentalists soloed. She’s won a number of vocal competitions, and has toured the world, incorporating Brazilian and other influences along the way. Not to be missed.

Tuesday, Wednesday, August 8,9

Kevin Mahogany @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $50w/Dinner) It’s been many a year since big-voiced Mahogany has sung in the Twin Cities. Whether he’s fronting a big band, a B3 Organ Trio, reharmonizing Motown, or singing his own compositions, he always delivers. He’ll be accompanied by some of the brightest stars in the Twin Cities Jazz Firmament – Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Bobby Commodore, drums.

Friday, August 11

Babatunde Lea Quintet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) We are lucky to have conguero/trap drummer Lea in our town. He’s been playing for 50 years, and during that time has worked with Leon Thomas, Stan Getz, McCoy Tyner, Van Morrison, and Oscar Brown Jr, among others, and was a co-founder of Motema Records, which has established itself as a solid jazz label in this time when record companies are floundering. Tonight his quintet includes Zacc Harris, guitar; Matt Trice, alto sax; Will Kjeer, piano; and Ted Olsen, acoustic bass.

Jana Nyberg5 CD Release @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($12, $37w/Dinner) The always entertaining and inspiring Ms Nyberg has a new album Set On You, recorded with hubby Adam Meckler, pianist Sean Jones, bassist Matt Peterson, and drummer Rodney Ruckus. It’s an album of mostly ballads, along with a couple of gospel numbers and the original title tune. They’ll be performing the album in it’s entirety and add a couple of other songs to complete the evening.

Saturday, August 13 

Irv Williams 98th Birthday Party @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Mr Smooth is still performing, and if he doesn’t quite hit some notes on his tenor sax, he finds a way to finesse the situation. He’s been having these birthday parties, each of which threatens to be the last, for at least 10 years now, and has proven to have more energy, and much better rhythm, than that ubiquitous bunny.

Monday, Tuesday, August 14, 15

Bob Rockwell Quartet w/David Hazeltine, Billy Peterson, & Kenny Horst @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($25, $50w/Dinner), 9pm ($15) Though saxophonist Rockwell had a solid reputation and resume as a NYC player, but decided to leave the Big Apple for Copenhagen since 1983. Since then, he often found time to visit the old Artists’ Quarter whenever he was in the States. Pianist Hazeltine has recorded 35 albums as a leader and hundreds more as a sideman. He’s recognized throughout the jazz community as a master of improvisation, technique, composition, and arranging. Bassist Peterson and drummer Horst are well known to those of us lucky enough to have been regulars at the AQ. Should be a stirring night of music.

Tuesday, August 15

Phil Aaron Trio w/Joyce Lyons @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) Emmy-winning composer/pianist Phil Aaron’s day job is composing for film, television, and advertising, but Twin Cities jazz fans know him for his tasteful, imaginative playing, whether leading his own group, as a sideman, or accompanying vocalists. Tonight, he, Gary Raynor bass; and Jay Epstein, drums, will feature special guest vocalist Joyce Lyons, whose singing philosophy is “lyric is everything.” You can expect a night of sparkling music.  Here’s Joyce Lyons performing at the Metropolitan Room in NYC.

Wednesday, August 16

Ben Sidran @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Jazz fans most likely know about pianist/vocalist Sidran, whose interviews on the radio shows he hosted on NPR proved he had the insight and knowledge to ask probing questions of the most reluctant jazz musician. He’s a songwriter as well as interpreter of songs from Monk to Dylan , and someone who would-be hipsters could take as a role model. Not only is he a great jazz musician, but his philosophical between-song ruminations on life make you think as well as laugh. Now that’s hip.

Wednesday, August 16

Ben Sidran @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Jazz fans most likely know about pianist/vocalist Sidran, whose interviews on the radio shows he hosted on NPR proved he had the insight and knowledge to ask probing questions of the most reluctant jazz musician. He’s a songwriter as well as interpreter of songs from Monk to Dylan , and someone who would-be hipsters could take as a role model. Not only is he a great jazz musician, but his philosophical between-song ruminations on life make you think as well as laugh. Now that’s hip.

Now Through August 20

The Holler Sessions @  The Dowling Studio, Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis. 7:30pm, 1pm August 20 ($9) Jazz aficionados will want to check out this one-man play about an obsessed Kansas City jazz deejay. He tells some interesting stories about jazz musicians and plays music from Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Ben Webster, and others. The play has a run time of 80 minutes, but you’ll want to stick around another half-hour or so for after-play activities.

Now Through August

The Young Lions Summer Vacation @ Various Venues. In case you haven’t noticed it, a number of young musicians who have been out of high school a few years and attending college are home for the summer and booking gigs. Should you see any gigs featuring Peter Goggin, Adam Astrup, Charlie Lincoln, Will Schmid, Jordan Anderson, Luke Peterson, and Will Kjeer, among others, be sure to check them out, as they and their friends are having a ball this summer showing off the skills they’re acquiring in school. One gig I’ll mention is HOAXER, who put out a fine CD earlier this summer. They’ll be appearing at Vieux Carré on Friday, August 18. The group includes Kjeer, piano; Lincoln, bass; and Goggin, sax; as well as Edmund Caitlin on drums.

Roots, Blues, & Other

Friday, August 11

Centavrus & DJ Miguel Vargas @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15 Advance/$18 Door) Centavrus is a quartet that uses electronic rhythms to reinterpret the traditional form of Mexican Corridas, which are often romantic stories sung in ballad form. As they do so, they also reinterpret the present idea of what it is to be Mexican. DJ Miguel Vargas is host of Radio Pocho on KFAI, where he crosses borders and genres as he presents Bachata, Cumbia, Funk, Merengue, Reggae, and much, much more.

Sunday, August 13

SSingSSing @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15 Advance/$18 Door) It seems that many young musicians around the world are blending the traditional music of their countries with electronic beats and modern instruments. As described by the Cedar, SSingSSing is a sextet from Korea that combines rock music with typically authentic somewhat oscillating vocals f rom Korean folk songs. They also include ballads, pop music and shamanistic rituals into the mix. Daniel and the Real Feels, with roots in Fergus Falls, perform rock n’ roll and power pop inspired by the likes of the Stones, Bowie, Queen,and T Rex.

Monday, August 14

Ruthie Foster @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $45) You can’t get as down-home comfortable with any other artist the way you can with this wise, often funny, singer songwriter, who draws from gospel, R&B, and even pop to get her messages across.

Tuesday, August 15

Rockin’ Pinecones @ The MN History Center, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Free) One of the nicer places in town to see an outdoor show is the courtyard of the Minnesota History Center, where you can overlook downtown Saint Paul, while listening and dancing to Cajun, Zydeco, Swamp Pop, and New Orleans R&B of Dan Newton and the Rockin’ Pinecones. Dance lessons start at t6:30pm. Bring a blanket or chairs, and a bit of a picnic, or buy food and refreshments from vendors at the event.

Friday, August 18

Willie Murphy & the Angel Headed Hipsters @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7) Somebody can correct me, but I don’t recall Murphy and the Hipsters ever playing at Lee’s. It’s ideal for them, with it’s paneled walls, interesting bric-a-brac, and a commodious dance floor, which should bring dancers out.

Saturday, August 19

George Porter Jr Trio, Jon Cleary Trio, & More @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 4pm ($25 Advance/$30 Door/$50VIP) It’s an evening of New Orleans Funk & R&B! George Porter Jr. is the bassist for the legendary Meters, who just celebrated their 50th anniversary with a performance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. He’ll be bringing his own trio to the Dockside’s covered pavilion to funk things up. Jon Cleary may be a native of Britain, but he has spent decades in New Orleans soaking up its music. He recently won a Grammy, and spent a number of years as a member of Bonnie Raitt’s band, where he also collaborated with her on songwriting. Past appearances in the area have been thoroughly entertaining. They’ll be joined by area stalwarts Frogleg, who will be celebrating a new album release, Busy Checking In, as well as opening “funksion” group The Jaden Carlson band, from Boulder, Colorado.

Tuesday, August 22

Orkestar Bez Ime @ The Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Free) Here’s another intriguing show at the History Center. Orkestar Bez Ime plays high energy Balkan party music. It’s fast, frantic, and fun.

Sunday, August 27

David Bromberg Quintet @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($30 General Admission/$40 Center Section) Young Americana fans may not be cognizant of Bromberg, though they absolutely need to have his music in their libraries. Older music fans know that multi-instrumentalist Bromberg has been a solid performer of blues and other roots music since the 70s. He’s collaborated with Dylan, George Harrison, Emmylou Harris, The Grateful Dead, the Eagles, and countless other artists. His latest release, on our own Red House Records, is The Blues, The Whole Blues, and Nothing But the Blues, was awarded Blues Album of the Year by the Downbeat Critic’s Poll. It contains Bromberg’s unique takes on songs by Robert Johnson, Bobby Charles, Ray Charles, and Sonny Boy Williamson among others.

In the meantime you can find a fairly comprehensive list of links to venues that present Jazz, Blues, & Roots at this page on my website: https://rhythmandgrooves.net/twin-cities-music-venues/ Be aware that venues change their music policies often enough that it’s hard to stay current. For a quick look at what’s happening around town check out:

KBEM Calendar (covers jazz & roots): http://www.jazz88.fm/live-music-calendar/

JazzINK (as complete a live jazz calendar as you’ll find): http://www.jazzink.com

Minnesota Blues Society: http://www.mnbs.org/gigs.html


Resident and Visiting Artists: 9.7 – 9.13

September 7, 2016
The Selby Jazz Fest

The Selby Jazz Fest

I’m happy to bring you the news of some great shows for our area, from both visiting and resident artists, including a couple of home-grown festivals, some wizard guitar work, great jazz, Tuvan throat singers, and a classical music ensemble playing music from the middle east and around the world. There is surely something going on that will appeal to your curiosity. Remember, music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, September 7

Ben Sidran Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Billy Peterson, bass; Ricky Peterson, organ; Leo Sidran, drums; Ben Sidran, piano, vocals. The friendship between Ben Sidran and the Petersons goes back a long, long way. Sidran is as hip a musician as you can find. With a deep knowledge of jazz tradition, and an ability to riff on a story and its theme, Sidran once hosted a long running show on NPR and has recorded dozens of albums. This group’s last appearance at the Dakota was a winner.

New Shoes @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Former members of the Guys All Star Shoe Band, of Prairie Home Companion, are now performing as New Shoes, playing in the lounge tonight, for your listening pleasure.

George Marich Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Anthony Cox curates one Wednesday a month, often bringing in groups that he’s a part of, or in this case, a trio that’s simply billed as experimental. Adventurous listeners will be rewarded.

Thursday, September 8

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) It’s an evening of gospel/R&B flavored 60s jazz from the Minnesota Hard Bop Collective, led by drummer Jesse Simon and including a number of relatively young players: Omar AbdulKarim, trumpet; Clay Pufahl & Joe Mayo, saxophones; Javier Santiago, piano; Ted Olsen, bass.

Mindi Abair @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40), 9pm ($20, $30) Abair is a pop saxophonist who has toured with Aerosmith since 1973, and played with Bruce Springsteen, joined Paul Shaffer on the Late Show, and appeared at the Grand Ole Opry. That’s in addition to releasing 7 albums, and having 10 #1 radio hits, on the contemporary jazz charts, as well as Grammy nominations in 2014 and 2015. She’s already appeared at the Dakota as a guest musician a couple of times, though I believe this may be her first star stint at the club.

 

Suzanne Paris @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Selections from the Great American Songbook by Paris, who burst on the jazz scene at the age of 19 and was soon invited to appear at the JVC Jazz Festival in Japan. After a few years she dropped out to raise a family, and after fifteen years, has begun performing again.

Friday, September 9

Zacc Harris/Charmin & Shapira & Friends @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (Harris – No Cover), 9pm (Charmin & Shapira -$8) Guitarist Zacc Harris performs for the dinner hour set, followed by the elegant stylings of vocalist Charmin Michelle and guitarist Joel Shapira  as well as a few of their friends, perfuming songs by Thelonious Monk, the Gershwins, and others.

Ramtrak @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Energetic originals and improvisation from Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Lars Erik-Larson, drums; and Thomas Nordland, guitar.

Saturday, September 10

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening set at 7pm by the Growlers: Joel Shapira, guitar; David Martin, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums. Then, at 8:30, uber drummer Dave King brings out another of his numerous groups – Vector Families, with: Brandon Wozniak, sax; Dean Granros, guitar; and Anthony Cox, bass.

JoAnn Funk @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) With the unofficial end of summer having passed, the Saint Paul Hotel will once again feature JoAnn Funk on vocals and piano; accompanied by Jeff Brueske, bass, on Saturday evenings. Always a delight.

Debbie Duncan @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) The Twin Cities own “First Lady of Song” performs a mix of jazz and R&B-ish tunes.

Selby Avenue Jazz Fest @ Selby & Milton, Saint Paul. 11am – 8pm (Free) This neighborhood jazz festival features free music all day long, with both resident and visiting musicians. It also features “state fair food with a soul twist,” as well as art and a family fun zone, all in a neighborhood reunion setting. The day starts out art 11am with a second line-type parade through the neighborhood by the Selby Avenue Brass Band, featuring musician’s from Dick and Jane’s Brass band, a jazz fest tradition since 2002. It continues with performances by the Walker West Music Academy’s Legends of Jazz; the 50-piece Brio Brass; a set by the expanded Selby Avenue Brass band with guests Maurice Jacox and Thomasina Petrus; the 11-piece mens chorus Men of New Hope; pianist and Saint Paul native Anthony Walker, who’s appeared on numerous TV shows and the White House; ending with Grammy winner Kirk Whalum, whose gospel roots in Memphis and nightclub experience in Houston shaped his winning sound. Bring a chair, choose some food from the various vendors, sit down and relax while hearing some great music from around the corner and around the nation.

Monday, September 12

Acme Jazz Company @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) One of the premier big bands of the area gathers each month to thrill fans with their original arrangements, including the vocal stylings of master crooner Arne Fogel.

Tuesday, September 13

Chris Lomheim/Ted Godbout Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (Lomheim – No Cover), 8pm (Godbout – $5) Another Vieux Carre two-fer of jazz, this time pairing two pianists for the evening. Lomheim is a pianist who gently takes you on flights of fancy. Godbout is making a name for himself among Twin Cities vocalists as an accompanist for Katia Cardenas, Gary Larue, and PaviElle, in addition to being a member of Bill Simonsen’s Big Band and other groups, including his own trio, which performs tonight. Here’s Godbout in a different trio.

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, September 7

Kent DuChaine on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Those of you of a certain age who were living in the Twin Cities in the late 60s/early 70s may remember Aces, Straights, and Shuffles, one of the popular R&B/blues bands of the era. Kim Wilson played harp, and DuChaine played guitar. Since then DuChaine has played and toured solo, with close to 100 tours of Europe.

Curtiss A & the Dark Click @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Curtiss A may be best known for his screaming rock n’ roll, but every once in a while he brings out Dark Click to play the blues in his own inimitable way.

Thursday, September 8

Mikkel Beckmen & Crankshaft @ The Dubliner Pub, Minneapolis. 5pm (Tip Jar) So today you get the minimalist “punk blues” of guitarist Crankshaft  along with the scrub board rhythms of host Mikkel Beckmen, for a late afternoon/early evening jolt of fun.

Friday, September 9

Scottie Miller @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Miller’s rousing piano playing, with its hints of both Professor Longhair and the E Street Band, will have the lounge jumping.

Eddies @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 5pm – 6:30pm (Free) There’s no charge for sitting in the pavilion and enjoying lake breezes while listening to the almost acapella sounds of the Eddies  Order New Orleans food and drink inside and they’ll bring it out to you – you have a wider choice than simply using the pavilion bar.

Alash Ensemble @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($18 advance, $20 door) The members of this trio are masters of Tuvan throat singing, that ancient Asian technique for singing multiple notes at the same time. They also incorporate some modern sounds, and have collaborated with the likes of Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, the Sun Ra Orchestra, and other musicians across the musical spectrum.

Saturday, September 10

Summit Backyard Bash @ Summit Brewing, 910 Montreal Circle, Saint Paul. Noon- 8pm ($30 Advance, $40 gate) It’s another day featuring a wide range of music for this annual event. Headlined by Bob Mould of Husker Du, it will also feature deM atlaS, Bad Bad Hats, Bully, Apollo Cobra, Nooky Jones, and Hot Pants deejays.  A portion of proceeds goes to the Minnesota Music Coalition.

Renee Austin @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Though raised in Texas, Austin moved to the Twin Cities to attend college and burst onto the local music scene in 1997 with her first album, Dancin’ with Mr. Blue. It snagged six Minnesota Music awards. After recording an album for Blind Pig Records, it was discovered that she had thyroid cancer. The operation was a success, but she couldn’t talk above a whisper, no less sing. One of her vocal chords was paralyzed. She dropped out of music in 2005 and worked for a Saint Paul non-profit, where one day she answered the phone and heard her own voice. It took some time and training, but she got her singing voice back and for the last year or so has been performing her wide range of blues, R&B, and gospel.

Jillian Rae & Sarah Morris @ Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10 advance/$12 Door) Jillian Rae  the singer/songwriter/fiddler who can go from pop to rock to folk to bluegrass, will be appearing with her band to preview music from her soon-to-be-release Wanderlust. Opening is Sarah Morris  composer/writer of smart Americana, opens.

Sunday, September 11

NRBQ vs Los Straitjackets @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45) Two of the country’s premier bar bands face off. I’m not sure if it’s an old fashioned battle of the bands, but it will be fun. Los Straitjackets is an instrumental band that likes to wear Mexican wrestling masks as they play. NRBQ has gone through a number of personnel changes over 50 years but Terry Adams still leads with a child-like glee that results in a wonderfully crazy mix of tunes, including some by Thelonious Monk.

Sonny Landreth & Cindy Cashdollar @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($32, $38) This is a guitar-lover’s night, that’s certain. Landreth is a slide guitar wizard from Louisiana, while Cashdollar is known as Austin’s sweetheart of the steel guitar (she also plays a mean dobro). He’s collaborated with folks like John Hiatt, Jimmy Buffett, Mark Knopfler and Eric Clapton, while she has played with Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Rod Stewart and others.

Monday, September 12

Joe Fingers @ Dunn Brothers on Grand, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip jar) Championship guitar picking whilst you sip coffee or tea and maybe munch on a pastry or two. Sit close, because some people would rather talk than listen.

Tuesday, September 13

Rose Ensemble @ Merriam Park Library, 1831 Marshall Ave, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free, but limited seating)  Here’s a program just made for people who are curious about music from around the world. The vocal Ensemble will perform Sufi songs, Latin and Yemenite Chants, Hebrew Cantillations, and Arab Spiritual music. Guest musicians include Israeili violinist and oud player Yair Dalal, Palestinisian instrumentalist Zafer Tawl, and Israeli-born percussionist Dror Sinai. The Ensemble’s artistic director Jordan Sramek will speak.

New Primitives @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Reggae and Rock for a Tuesday evening.

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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