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.


%d bloggers like this: