Out and About. Music: 5.15 – 5.21

May 15, 2013

Unknown-2Monday we went from the mid-sixties at 11am to 98 degrees by 5pm. The temps will be moderating, but we finally have some pleasant weather. It’s just right for a memorial celebration tonight, as well as a birthday celebration, and Art-A-Whirl this weekend, which are a few of  the many opportunities to get out and about.


Wednesday, May 15

Michael O’Brien & Triage @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) It’s about ten years since O’Brien went off to the Big Apple, where he’s been working steadily, even touring Europe. O’Brien recently recorded Tunes I Like To Play, which includes standards as well as three originals. On it, O’Brien shows his talent at bowing, improvisation, and laying a great foundation for the tunes.

Wednesday, Thursday, May 15, 16

imagesJane Monheit @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($25) Monheit’s voice is an incredible instrument. Touted as the next big thing in jazz vocals when she started about 13years ago. In the years since, she has matured, married, had a child and generally gone past the hype to establish her own way. She just released her ninth album, a collection of standards and pop songs entitled “The Heart of the Matter” to warm reviews.

Thursday, May 16

Robert Bell & Emily Jane Davis @ Honey & Barbette, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 9:30pm (Honey – $5), 10pm – 12:30am (Barbette – Free) You’ve two chances to hear guitarist Bell and vocalist Davis perform swing, bossa novas, & jazz standards. Pay a bit at the intimate and cozy Honey, if you want an early show, or go to Barbette to partake of an excellent happy hour as well as excellent music.

2012-1013 Dakota Combo. Photo by Andrea Canter

2012-1013 Dakota Combo.   Photo by Andrea Canter

The Dakota Combo @ Antonello Hall, MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 8pm. The Seventh edition of the Dakota Combo, an open-audition group of the area’s best high school musicians, will perform its last concert of the school year season. The octet, which includes vibes and violin, has been rehearsing and performing since last Fall under the direction of bassist Adam Linz, jazz coordinator at MacPhail. They’ve also participated in clinics with pianist Lynne Arriale, trumpeter Phil Grenadier, and percussionist Francisco Mela. Alumni of previous editions of the combo have gone on to schools like the Brubeck Institute, The Berklee School of Music, Julliard and other renowned music programs. Many are now completing studies and becoming professional musicians. This is the future of jazz.

Friday, Saturday, May 17,18

Phil Hey 60th Birthday Weekend @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) The master of the trapset is the drummer of choice for many visiting musicians. He studied with the great Ed Blackwell, toured with Dewey Redman, is the drummer of choice for Stacy Kent, recorded with Von Freeman, as well as numerous Twin Cities artists, and leads a serious quartet that isn’t afraid to have fun. This is bound to be a high-energy performance. Here’s a video of the Phil Hey Quartet in a swinging, relaxed mode.

Saturday, May 18

Jana Nyberg Group @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Jana and the gang have been doing some recording of late. Not sure if they’ll be playing any of those tunes, but it’s a bet you’ll hear her singing some well crafted versions of jazz standards, a pop song or two, and some originals.

Lila Ammons Jazz Quintet @ Honey, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9:30pm ($7) After a tour of Germany, Austria, Chicago and Texas with her trad jazz project, Ammons returns to the Twin Cities for some straight ahead jazz, with a band that includes Dean Brewington, sax; Tom West, keys; Ron Evaniuk, bass; and Tim Zhorne, drums. I did an interview with Lila last year. Read it here.

Sunday, May 19

UnknownIllicit Sextet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($12/$10 UCJS members) This is part of the Twin Cities Jazz Society’s Jazz from A to Z series. The Illicit Sextet is a composing collective that was one of the area’s most popular ensembles in the late 80s and early 90s. After a 15 year sabbatical, they reunited in 2009 and started performing again. Tonight they’ll be performing music (as they always do) from their long-anticipated second album, Chapter Eleven. Members of the group include Steve Kenny, trumpet; Paul Harper, sax; Tom Pieper, bass; Chris Lomheim, piano; David Roos, guitar; and Nathan Norman, drums.

Monday, May 20

Nate Shaw, Chris Bates, & JT @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7?) The Bates brothers reunite with the keyboard player from their old band Motion Poets.

Tuesday, May 21

Charles Lazarus Quartet w/ Connie Evingson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) It’s a night of Summer Samba from trumpeter Lazarus and Ms Evingson. Lazarus has a background in classical and jazz idioms, and has performed at the Montreal Jazz Festival and has performed with the New York Big Brass, the London Brass, and the Montreal Symphony and has been a soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra, The oregon Symphony, the Bach Society and others. Ms Evingson is a superb singer, and a long time favorite in the Twin Cities.

More listings for Twin Cities jazz can be found at KBEM and at Jazz Police. Jazz Police also features jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, May 15

Celebration of Dave “Cool Breeze” Brown @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 suggested donation) Includes Bruce McCabe, Lynwood Slim, Mick Sterling,Everett Smitson, Jimi “Prime Time” Smith, and Tommy Burnevik and the Bees Knees Big Band. What a line-up. A blues fan could hardly ask for more. It’s a testament to the high regard in which the late guitarist for the Senders and other groups, Dave “Cool Breeze” Brown, was held. More information can be found at: http://coolbreezememorial.com/

Thursday, May 16

Willie Murphy @ The Belmore Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm (No cover) Willie has taken up a residence at this relatively new place on 4th Street in downtown, near where Nate’s Clothing used to be. Expect the usual gaggle of folks sitting in. It’s always enjoyable to hang with Mr. Murphy.

Friday, Saturday, May 17, 18

Art-A-Whirl, NE Minneapolis.  It’s the annual studio crawl (or bus) in NE Minneapolis, and there will be music all around. Some examples: The 331 Club has music Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (schedule here).while Grumpy’s NE has music all day Saturday (schedule here). Flutist Julie Johnson, in the Thorp Building, will be hosting the art of Cheri Johnson and a reading by Marge Barrett, as well playing solo on Friday, starting about 6:30 (info).

Friday, May 17

Unknown-1Don Scott & Curtis Blake @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) If you didn’t catch them at the 331 Club Wednesday (7pm) you have another chance tonight. A lifetime or so ago, guitarist Don Scott headed up the DustBowl Blues Band. If he didn’t spend winters in Mexico (where I met him a few years ago) and New Orleans, we might know him better. Harpmaster Curtis Blake heads up Greezy Wheels, and has played with a number of area performers. Together, they recorded and released Sure Thing, a great sounding round-up of traditional blues and a new song or two. Hear an example of the duo’s prowess here.

Tom Robinson: Music from Brasil, Minnesota, & Elswhere @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 8pm. ($?) Tom is a guitarist and aficianado of Brazilian music. He’ll give new (and truer) translations to some well-known songs, and with his band, can get folks dancing to jazz as well as sambas and bossa novas.

Saturday, May 18

Bethany Larson & the Bees Knees @ Harriet Brewing Taproom, Minneapolis. 9pm (Free) with Sarah Morris (7pm) Finally, the weather is just right for opening the warehouse doors at the Taproom and hanging out while listening to some great music. Larson’s songwriting is about heartbreak, but won’t cause you to want to drown in your beer, of which there is plenty at the Taproom. Midnord Empanadas will have a food truck available. Read more about the show here.

Sunday, May 19

Big George Jackson @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 10AM – 1PM (No cover) Get your brunch, blues, n’ boogie on as Big George delivers his ferocious, low down vocals. Check out this video.

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.

Veterans, Emerging Artists and more: 9.27 – 10.2

September 27, 2012

We’ll get to our regularly scheduled program after this message:  The KFAI Pledge drive is only one week this year. That’s right, you only have one week to pledge your support to KFAI, and only one day when I’ll be broadcasting my show in particular (Rhythm and Grooves).

Go to: http://www.kfai.org and follow the instructions for pledging. Alternatively, you can call 612-375-9030 during Rhythm and Grooves from 10:30 – Noon on Saturday. Whatever you choose, I thank you for your support. BTW, Jana Nyberg will be dropping by Saturday to talk about her Tuesday gig at The Artists Quarter.

On to the week. It’s another good one for people who enjoy live music. You can choose to see young artists, veteranss, or new combinations of artists in jazz. Or, you can check out blues and roots musicians in a variety of settings. Of course, there are always more artists and more opportunities than I can describe. Just be thankful we have such a rich offering of talented musicians.


Wednesday, September 26

Courageous Endeavors @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) A new group in town, though some of the players are familiar, if young. Miguel Hurtado, who holds down the drum seat, first made his mark in town as a teenager at the turn of the century. He’s back from studies at the Manhattan School of Music and is proving to be a great addition to our jazz community. Brian Courage is on bass. He recently moved to town and is quickly establishing himself. Pianist Joe Strachan was a member of the Dakota Combo some years ago. Saxophonist Nelson Devereaux rounds out the group. Watch out for these guys.

Wednesday, Thursday, September 26, 27

Chick Corea & Gary Burton @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($80-$70) and 9pm ($60-$50) The price may seem a bit high, but you get the chance to the crystalline interplay of Corea on piano and Burton on vibes in the intimacy of the Dakota. Their first LP of duets came out forty years ago, while their latest, “Hot House,” which features a pop, Broadway, jazz and Brazilian tunes was recently released.

Thursday, September 27

Pete Whitman’s X-Tet @ the Artists’s Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Here’s a chance to catch ten of the Twin Cities finest jazz musicians for less than a buck a musician. Just remember that in this case, price doesn’t correlate with quality. The X-Tet, with charts by Whitman and others, swings like crazy.

Robert Bell & Naomi Uyama @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (Free) Bell is a guitar player whose interest lies in early jazz (both American and European), as well as gypsy jazz. Noami Uyama is a jazz vocalist who has danced her way around the world and studied in New York. Have some moules, frites, and wine and enjoy their music.

Friday, September 28

Dan Musselman Quartet with Hermon Mehari @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11pm ($5) Musselman is a pianist who plays regularly with Cory Wong and has recorded a great duet album with singer Rachel Holder. He studied with Craig Taborn and Kenny Werner in New York, and has developed a strong style of his own. Mehari is a young trumpeter who has studied with Terrell Stafford, Bobby Watson, and Jaleel Shaw, among others. I saw him last week playing with Yohanes Tona and realized he’s a talented musician worth following.

Friday, Saturday, September 28, 29

Nichols, Lewis, Wozniak, Fratzke, & Bates @ The Artsits’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Here’s another combination of artists that have worked with each other in various other configurations. Bryan Nichols on piano; Michael Lewis and Brandon Wozniak on saxophones; Eric Fratzke on bass; and JT Bates on drums and percussion. All are versatile performers thoroughly capable of inspiring each other to improvisatory heights.

Saturday, September 29

Maude Hixson @ Parma 8200, 5600 West 83rd St, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm. This is a new venue for jazz, and I have to admit I’ve not been there. But it’s a D’Amico restaurant and bar, and the few artists that have appeared already are high quality performers. Tonight, Hixson will be joined by Vincent Rose on guitar and Keith Boyles on bass. Hixson has a voice that is sometimes cool, yet also gives off some warmth. She can imput meaning to lyrics with the slightest change in her voice.

Connie Evingson Trio @ the Lexington, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 10:30pm. If you don’t want to travel to Bloomington, you can head to Saint Paul to hear the always elegant Connie Evingson. Her recent CD, “Sweet Happy Life” reached the top ten on the jazz charts and just got a very postive review in JazzTimes.

Tuesday, October 2

Todd Clouser & Bryan Nichols @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 10:30pm. Clouser’s electric guitar is sometimes closer to rock than jazz, but he’s a more than capable jazz player. Nichols’ sensitive, sometimes airy piano will provide interesting counterpoint.

More listings for Twin Cities jazz can be found at Jazz Police. It also features jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, September 26

Cornbread Harris @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 10:30pm. (No Cover) Have a little boogie woogie and R&B with your dinner as Cornbread tickles the ivories and sings in that raspy voice of his.

Radio Joe & the JazzBos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5?) Swing dancers will be out to hear Joe & his band play standards and a few originals.

Thursday, September 27

Bethany Larson & the Bees Knees @ James J. Hill Library, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15, gen. $10 members Friends of the Library) Not to be confused with the Real-Phonic Hour, this concert is part of the Book It series sponsored by the library.  across from Rice Park.It starts off at 7:15 with an hour of music trivia. Then Bethany and the band will take the stage to deliver original folk-rockish song. Get a free beer with a library card & ID.

Friday, September 28

Friday Hipshaker Dance Party @ The KittyKat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) After ten years of weeknight spinning, Brian and Greg are moving to Friday night at the KittyKat. Still plenty of good 45s to be played for your dancing pleasure.

Patty Peterson & Friends @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30 ($10) Tonight, Patty’s friends include Ricky Peterson on organ and Steve Cole on sax. It’s bound to be a cookin’ evening with Patty concentrating more on the R&B side of her repertoire.

Joe & Vicki Price @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm (tip jar) These Iowan bluesmasters are on a mini-tour of the Twin Cities this week. Here’s your chance to hear stripped down, delta style blues. Here’s a video to give you a idea of their sound.

Saturday, September 29

Peter Ostroushko, Dean Magraw & Dan Chouinard @ The Church of St. Joan of Arc, 4537 Third Ave So., Minneapolis. 8pm ($25.00)  Here’s a chance to hear three outstanding musicians, in a benefit organized by Ostroushko for his sister-in-law, who had a brain tumor removed. Benefit or not, it isn’t often that you get to hear one of the country’s outstanding violinists and mandolinist, along with a great guitarist (Magraw) and keyboardist (Choinard)

Rauchfest @ Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. 1pm – 1am ($10 advance/$15 gate) Beer, music, art, and food. What else do ya want? Well, let’s look at who is performing: Ten bands including the Zack Lozier Trio, Electric Children, Mary Cutrufello, Nick the Feelin’ and The Big Wu. There’ll be four food trucks, eight different beers on tap, and a dozen or so artists and artisans, including a local beer artist, whatever that might be.

Badinovs @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 9pm. ($7) To borrow a phrase, it’s Pure Pop for Now People, from this band that has arisen from the ashes of Smart Alex and Swing Set, two much loved, if under-recorded Twin Cities bands. The Badinovs haven’t played in about two years, but they’ve got a new song, Midway Joe, that’s been getting lots of play on MySpace. The paen to Joe Mauer is catchy, with a sing along chorus that should be reverberating throughout Target Field. It’s part of a new CD, Fess Up, that will be available, even though this isn’t an official CD release party.

Sunday, September 30

Brunch with Rena Haus @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 10am – 1pm (No Cover) You’ll have new appreciation for the eggs in your breakfast when you hear Rena sing of her adventures with a chicken on her farm. She’ll sing about other subjects as well, like car mechanics and the economy. It’s blues with a feeling, that’s true.

Big Walter Smith Fundraiser @ Famous Dave’s, Uptown Minneapolis. 3pm – 8pm. (Donation) Big Walter Smith was 82 when he passed in July. He was a mentor and friend to many young musician’s in town. This benefit is to help pay for medical and funeral expenses. Hosted by Jacquie Maddox (Lady J) of KFAI’s Rollin and Tumblin show, the day will feature the Soul Mates, The Groove Merchants w/Jimi Primetime Smith, Sweet Papa Dave & the Private Reserve (from Duluth) and Insider Straight

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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