Music Unites Us: 4.11 – 4.17

April 11, 2018

Whatever your political leanings, there’s no doubt that news of the day can cause some stress. Well, it’s surprising how music can bring people with different viewpoints and beliefs together. Admittedly some of us may not care for one form of music or another, but we can often find music that binds us rather than dividing us. Here are some ideas. Music Lifts the Spirit!

PS: Jazz fans will note I’ve listed coming events in jazz for the next two weeks. Let me  know if this works for you, or even if it’s needed.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 11

Bates, Nordland, & Johnson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Bassist Chris Bates once again explore his music with a new group. Guitarist Thomas Nordland and drummer James Pete Johnson will be part of Bates’ next effort with the group Red5, so you can expect stripped-down versions of those songs as well as other originals by Bates.

Thursday, April 12

Sheridan Zuther @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Zuther has a warm, engaging way with an audience, due in part, to her training in theater as well as her hears with the vocal jazz group 5 By Design. She’s a fan of the Great American Songbook, but also throws in songs from her youth growing up on the plains of South Dakota. She’ll be ably accompanied by guitarist Joel Shapira, whose been doing a great job with other vocalists, as well as leading his own groups and playing a regular solo gig at Vieux Carré.

Friday, April 13

Chris Bates’ Good Vibes Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/valid student ID) Chris Bates, bass; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; and Phil Het, drums; create joyful, intricate music that often has them (and the audience) smiling throughout a show.

Midnight Love @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) The members of this quintet say they’re almost a Lou Donaldson cover band. However, they also cover artists such as Eddie Harris, Ruby & the Romantics, and Leon Russell, among others. With that kind of repertoire you can expect toe-tappin’, crowd pleasing jazz from: Greg Schutte, drums; Peter Vircks, sax; Brian Ziemniak, keys; Matt Darling, trombones; and Patrick Nelson, bass.

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Though the Aster really doesn’t have a dance floor per se, a few couples always manage to find a space for some easy swing dancing when Ms Lynch and her Fellows take the stage with vintage jazz, a bit of R&B, and her contemporary vocals.

Saturday, April 14

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7:00 Opening Set is part of the monthly series JazzINK Youth Jazz Showcase, and will feature The Dakota Combo, a group studying under the tutelage of Adam Linz: Leighton Tuenge – trumpet; Victor Imbo – trombone; Sofia Kickhofel – alto sax; Owen Finch – piano; Jorgen Linne – bass; and Nick Adams – drums. The 8:30 set is a CD Release Party for INCENDIOS, the new CD by Firebell, featuring the talents of: ​Park Evans – Guitar; Graydon Peterson – Bass; and Jay Epstein – Drums. Here they are with a tune from their last album.

Bruce Henry @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $15 for Guaranteed Seat) This former Twin Cities-now-Chicago-based vocalist will appears at Orchestra Hall on Friday night, but you can see him tackling jazz and the occasional R&B song in the elegant confines of Crooner’s Lounge.

Monday, April 16

Steven Hobert Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($10, $12) Another project from the creative mind of pianist Hobert, featuring Hobert on the 9-foot Steinway, Pete Whitman, sax; Yohannes Tona, bass; and L.A. Buckner, drums.

Abdullah Ibrahim @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55, $65) South African Abdullah Ibrahim is an elegant pianist and composer, whjose music reflects what he heard as a youngster: traditional African tunes; gospel music and spirituals; jazz; and classical music. He was known as Dollar Brand before his conversion to Islam. He left South Africa in 1962 because of its Aparthied policies, playing in Europe, where Duke Ellington heard him and arranged for Brand to record for Reprise Records witjh a debut disc entitled Duke Ellington Introduces Dollar Brand. Ibrahim has since toured the world, and returned to South Africa after Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. Toniught, he’ll be honoring one of his first bands, The Jazz Epistles, which included trumpeter Hugh Masakela.

Emerson Hunton Quartet and Andrew Green’s Notet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($12) The first set is a celebration of the release of Silent D by NYC-based guitarist Andrew Green’s Nonet. The drummer-less quartet includes trombonist JC Sandford, who recently moved back to Mpls after a number of years in NYC, where he and Green were roommates for a while. The other pseats in this version of the Nonet will be filled by Chris Thomson, sax; and Chris Bates on bass. Second set, from the Emerson Hunton Quartet, is led by Hunton, a former Twin Citizen now living in Chicago. He’ll be joined by Chicago band-mates Greg Ward, alto sax; Ben Cruz, guitar; and Charlie Kirchen, bass; playing songs from all members of the band.

Upcoming Jazz

April 18:  Rick Carlson/Southside Aces @ Vieux Carré

April 19:  Adam Larson & Bob Bowman @ Jazz Central for an instrumental Thursday

April 19:  PV Glob and Muck Luck @ Khyber Pass

April 19: Beasley’s Big Band @ Wabasha Caves

April 19: Zacc Harris early show @ Vieux Carré

April 20: Cory Healey’s Beautiful Sunshine Band @ Jazz Central

April 20: Jeremy Walker early show @ Vieux Carre

April 20: Chronic (aka Kronick Quartet) @ Green Lantern

April 21: Amethyst 3 & Chris Bates’ Red5 @ The Black Dog

April 21: Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Vieux Carré

April 23:  Jen Shyu/JT Bates @ the Icehouse

April 23: Greg Byers @ Jazz Central

April 24: John Scofield/Joe Lovao Quintet @ Hopkins Center for the Arts

 

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, April 11

Mississippi Hot Club on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This quintet is a traditional jazz manouche (gypsy jazz) ensemble with two la pompe rhythm guitars, upright bass, and the lively improvisations from solo guitar and violin. Tune in, and head to the 331 for more music.

Corky Siegal and Randy Sabien @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20) Corky Siegal was a member of the seminal, fun-inducing Siegal-Schwall Blues Band back in the day, but has since moved on to collaborations and performances with highly regarded symphonic orchestras, leading a chamber music group, Chamber Blues, and continuing to appear from time to time with his long-time musical cohort Jim Schwall. Sabien is a funky, jazzy violinist who is a fan of the kind of music made by Bob Wills as well as the Grateful Dead, so his playing goes way beyond that expected of a jazz player.

Thursday, April 12

Siama’s CD Release Party @ Midtown Global Market, Minneapolis. 5-7pm (Free) Siama Matuzungidi has released a children’s album entitled The Land of Yangalele. (Yangalele means Happiness in the Kikongo language). It’s full of happy, live African music, and this celebration is especially for kids and families. There will be snacks, prizes, instrument-making & more! A second party will be held at the Hook & Ladder Sunday afternoon.

Bettye LaVette @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $50) LaVette is a soul singer who interprets a song like no other. The three-time Grammy nominee, who has won a number of Blues and R&B awards, recently released an album of mostly lesser-known Dylan tunes on Verve, her first major label recording since her 21st Century renaissance after years of toil in the record industry. Here she is with a classic by the Who.

Papa John Kolstad and the Perfect Phitts @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) I wrote about their appearance on KFAI’s House Party last week. See them in a larger, elegant room.

Friday, April 13

Joyann Parker CD Release @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) There’s a bit of a buzz surrounding Partker’s sophomore effort, Hard to Love, the release of which is being celebrated tonight. Parker is a talented multi-instrumentalist and powerful R&B vocalist, who is versatile enough to sell out a number of Patsy Cline tributes.

Jaedyn James & the Hunger with Purple Funk Metropolis @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Jaedyn and her funk ’n soul band have been holed up for the last four months, coming up with new songs, some new band members, and new horn arrangements. James reports that the changes have encouraged her to show more nuance in her delivery, though I’ve no doubt her fire and the band’s intensity will still result in ecstatic dancing.,

Saturday, April 14

Lojo Russo @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11am – 2pm (No Cover) Roots music fans looking for some live music with their brunch will find much to enjoy in the music of guitarist/singer/songwriter Lojo Russo. Russo played in a wide variety of bands in the Twin Cities before moving to the Quad Cities of Iowa/Illinois in 2005. Her repertoire includes Americana, blues, and roots rock.

Delvon Lamarr OrganTrio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($17-$25) This is a classic organ trio that draws from heavily from soul as well as jazz. The Seattle trio’s debut album, Close But No Cigar was first released in 2016 and recently released nationally by Colemine Records, a contemporary soul/funk label from Ohio. The album is a fine slab ‘o’ sound, with songs like Al Greenery and Little Booker T revealing their influence in the title. Make no mistake, though, this is contemporary music, and as it says in the liner notes: All killer. No filler.

Sunday, April 15 

Phil Heywood & Tim Sparks @ the Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6:30pm ($20 Suggested donation) Here you have two, count em’ two ,national fingerpicking champions on stage and playing both together and singly. No wonder Minnesota is known as a hotbed of fingerpicking guitar. Their repertoire ranges from American folk and blues to early jazz roots and brilliant forays into world music and a few well-chosen pop obscurities.

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.


A Week in Summer: 8.3 – 8.9

August 3, 2016
A summer tradition: Movies and Music in the Park. Photo: fasthorseinc.com

A summer tradition: Movies and Music in the Park. Photo: fasthorseinc.com

Holy Shamoley, have we got a week filled with outdoor fun, from a metal pour to a guitar festival, Afrobeat in a museum patio, a couple of block parties, and movies and music at Loring Park. Is summer in the Twin Cities great, or what! There is plenty of indoor entertainment as well, notably during the week, including some visiting Jazz artists, local veterans of many music genres, and a fairly indescribable group from the Ukraine. Music lifts your spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 3

Wolverines Jazz Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) It seems the Wolverines show up often in these newsletters, either in their own right, or accompanying some of the outstanding vocalists of the area. Rick Carlson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Jendeen Forberg, drums; are the ultimate pros in this area, able to hold the attention of the noisy, and sometimes rowdy crowd (Bachelorette parties anyone?) of Hell’s Kitchen, no matter what the occasion.

Sasha Masakowski @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($17 – $22) In 2009, vocalist Masakowski earned the Best Emerging Artist Award of the Big Easy Association. The daughter of Steve Masakowski, guitarist for New Orlean’s fabled Astral Project, she has played all around the nation and abroad. She’s earned kudos from both Vanity Fair and Downbeat, and currently leads three bands, performing music that  ranges from traditional New Orleans jazz, to contemporary jazz, world music, and experimental art-rock. Here she is with Irvin Mayfield’s Big Band.

Reuben Ristrom & Dan Ristrom @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley, 7pm (No Cover) Guitarist/banjo player Reuben Ristrom has been contributing his talents to swinging aggregations for five decades now. Tonight he and son Dan  who is a fine vocalist and bassist, will  be playing for folks in the lounge at Crooners.

Thursday, August 4

Sheridan Zuther & Jordan Anderson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Vocalist Zuther has an engaging way with songs and with her audiences. Expect songs from the Great American Songbook as well as some favorites of Zuther from her youth on the Central Plains of North Dakota. She’ll be accompanied by the talented young pianist Jordan Anderson, who has been active with a number of young combos as well as with some veterans, and will be heading off to college this Fall. Here’s Sheridan with a quartet.

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) It’s Steve Kenny’s Group 47 tonight, wherein veteran trumpet and Flumpet player Steve Kenny surrounds himself with some young musicians: Will Kjeer, piano; Thomas Strommen, sax; Adam Tucker, bass; and Alex Burgess, drums. Under Kenny’s aegis, they contribute tunes, energy, and imagination. Here’s a number by Will Kjeer that shows some hard bop influence.

Katia Cardenas @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($6) The talented Ms Cardenas returns to the Vieux, where her excellent pipes, as well as her excellent band, continues to gain fans for both her and the club.

Friday, August 5

Joel Shapira @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm There’s no cover at Parma 8200’s lounge, but you’re sure to be tempted by their drinks and their Italian menu. Guitarist Joel Shapira will be supplying tasty licks and more to entertain you while you sit at the bar or on the comfy couches.

Eric Kamau Gravatt and Sourcode @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Gravatt certainly deserves wider attention here in town. The drummer is an alumni of Weather Report as well as the bands of McCoy Tyner, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard and others. This band features a cross-generational mix of musicians: Solomon Parham, trumpet; Lucia Sarmiento, sax; Dean Magraw, guitar; and Ron Evniuk, bass. This. Is. Jazz. Here is Gravatt with a slightly different configuration of the group.

Saturday, August 6

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Trap Tube opens as part of JazzINK’s Youth Jazz Showcase: Gerhardt Robinson, saxes; Jordan Anderson, piano; Alma Engebretson, bass; and Simon Petrick on drums. 9pm: John Raymond Group: Trumpeter Raymond visits his hometown from NYC once again, and is joined by Bryan Nichols, piano; and Cory Healey, drums. Here’s Raymond with his New York group.

Monday, August 8

Marcus Miller @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $47), 9pm ($35 – $42) Though he’s a multi-instrumentalist, adept on keyboards and clarinet, he’s primarily known as an electric bassist, and genial stage presence. Miller is a two time Grammy winner, and composer/producer of ten albums. He also has over 500 recording credits as a sideman for folks such as Eric Clapton, George Benson, Wayne Shorter, Roberta Flack, Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin, Snoop Dogg, and many, many more. Here’s a bass workout of Miller’s from the North Sea Jazz Festival last year.

Tuesday, August 9

Tim Patrick & His Blue Eyes Band @ Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 6:30pm – 8:30pm (Free) Crooner Tim Patrick didn’t start singing in public until late in life, but over the last decade has certainly made up for that. He’s bringing the songs of Sinatra, Dean Martin, et al; to the Center’s outdoor patio, where a dance floor will undoubtedly be filled, as happens when he appears at the Eagles, Club, the Medina Ballroom, and other ballrooms in the area. Dance instruction from 6:30 – 7pm, and performance afterwards. Bring a picnic or buy food and beverages from a limited menu on the patio. In case it rains, the performance moves indoors, where seating is somewhat limited.

Sam Miltich @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) Militich is a guitarist born and raised in the North Woods of Minnesota and currently lives in Grand Rapids. After seeing Woody Allen’s movie “Sweet and Lowdown” he was inspired to study and perform the music of Django Rheinhardt. Over the last decade or so Militich has built a well-earned reputation as an excellent interpreter of Gypsy Jazz, Brazilian Choro, French Musettes and other traditional music, both with his band The Clearwater Hot Club, and in other groups with some of the area’s best musicians.

Tuesday, Wednesday, August 9, 10

Estaire Godinez & Friends @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Percussionist/vocalist Ms Godinez has played with Prince, Coke Escovedo, The Brothers Johnson, and George Benson. She brings her Latin rhythms to town for two nights and brings out all the folks who played with her while she lived here some years ago, including: Peter Schimke, piano; Eric Leeds, sax; Mike Scott, guitar; Stokely Williams, drums; and Serge Akou, bass. There will be a couple of special guests as well: JD Steele on vocals, and Enrique Toussaint on bass.

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, August 3

Acoustic Big Wu on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) An acoustic version of the band  hose influences include the Grateful Dead, The Band, Bob Marley, Pink Floyd, and Otis Redding. Expect lots of flowing improvisation and vocal harmonies. Their Annual Family Reunion is coming up and will feature folks like Leon Russell, Dean Magraw, and Peter Rowan, among others.

Black Market Brass @ the Mill City Museum, Minneapolis. 6pm ($5) Our very own purveyors of Afrobeat  will be laying down searing rhythms and exhilarating horn lines in the courtyard of the Mill City Museum. The ticket includes admission to the museum before and after the show. Food and drink will be available.

Thursday, August 4

Maurice Jacox @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) This classic NE bar, home of a sausage with a name that was an ethnic pejorative where I grew up, once again hosts the talented vocalist Maurice Jacox, this time with cohorts Bobby E, unsung guitar whiz of the Twin Cities, and Tom Cravens, another guitarist worth watching. Jacox is equally at home with the Blues, R&B, Soul, Jazz, and Gospel music, so the set list for the evening could be full of surprises.

Bettye Lavette @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($42 – $47) Nowadays, it takes a strong personality to be an interpreter of other people’s songs.  Bettye Lavette is such a person. She not only makes a song her own, but she gets so inside a song that she can make grown men cry, whether doing a song by British rockers, female composers, or a classic from the Great American Soul Book. To prove the point, here she is doing a Who song.

Friday, August 5

Klezmerica w/Robayat @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm (Free) It’s an evening of dance music with Middle Eastern origins. Klezmerica specializes in highly infectious klezmer music as well as the music of Jewish composers, including Gershwin and beboppers, with aplomb and energy. Their energy and skill entice folks, no matter what their religion, to dance. Robayat performs the indigenous music of Persia, Turkey and Central Asia.

Willie Murphy & the Angel Headed Hipsters @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Rock n’ Roll, and Rhythm and Blues, served up with the kind of fierce energy that will have the TGIF drinkers gettin’ down on the small dance floor in the lounge.

Charlie Parr @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 8pm ($8 Advance/$10 Door) It doesn’t get much better, or much more rootsy than guitarist/singer Parr, who creates his Delta style blues up North, but nevertheless has garnered enough attention to support tours throughout the United States and Europe. As an added bonus, Nikki Roux and Rich Rue open.

Friday, Saturday, August 5,6

Dakhabraka @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($45) It’s quite difficult to accurately describe this highly original Ukranian group  which comes off as part Folk, part rebellious rock, and always unexpected. Their music is based on Ukrainian folk melodies, but from there goes into a number of directions and tangents, using Indian, Arabic, Africa, Russian and Australian instruments, as well as vocal harmonies that at times, bring to mind Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, and Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, among others.

Saturday, August 6

Hot Metal Pour & Savage Aural Hotbed @ Franconia Scultpure Park, 29836 Saint Croix Trail, Franconia. Noon – 8pm ($5 parking) No, Hot Metal Pour is not the name of a heavy metal band, it’s an actual art event, in which recycled iron is heated to 2700° F, and poured into molds created by both experienced artists and community members. The results are cast iron sculpture. Sand molds are available for purchase and there’’s a public workshop from 10am – 2pm for those who want to learn about the process and create their own artwork. Savage Aural Hotbed, the found-object percussion group, will provide the soundtrack for the day. For more information, go to: http://www.franconia.org

Pizza Luce Block Party@ Pizza Luce, 119 N 4th St,  Minneapolis. Noon –  (Free) Featuring the School of Rock; Marah in the Mainsail; Megan Hamilton; everybody’s favorite bluesman Charlie Parr; Sean Anonymous; young garage punks Bruise Violet; Are You Local? champs Holidae; psych-rock faves from the 80s and 90s, Run Westy Run; Carnage the Executioner; and the exploding young star Lizzo. Also: Pizza, beer, and ice-cream from Izzy’s.

Lowertown Guitar Festival @ 7th Place West, Saint Paul. 1pm – 11pm (Free) At Vieux Carre, Wild Tymes, and Outdoor Palace Stage. Guitars, guitars, guitars, from different genres, and different styles. With Bo Ramsey, David Grier (bluegrass), Siama Matuzungidi (Soukous from Africa), Peter Lang, Molly Maher, and Zacc Harris’ American Reverie Trio

Blues, Brews n’ BBQs @ Mt Olivet Lutheran Church, 12235 Old Rockford Road, Plymouth . 4pm – 10pm ($12 – $18) Benefit for PRISM and Twin Cities Habitat, featuring live music from the Jimmys, Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys, Lisa Wenger, and Cole Allen, with food, drinks, and family events

Front Porch Swingin’ Liquor Pigs @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Here’s a gig that’s been a long time coming. For the first time in years and years, the full Front Port Swingning’ Liquor Pigs will be playing at full force. They’re back at the Viking, where up until the closure ten years ago, they held down the Friday evening spot for years. Songs about drinking, rock n’ roll, and carrying on. Welcome back!

Sunday, August 7 

Borough Block Party @ Borough, 730 Washington Ave N, Minneapolis. Noon – 8pm DJ Steez; Dig DeepPrivate OatesViva Knievel; The International Reggae All-Stars; and headliners  Chase and Ovation, billed as the world’s premier Prince tribute band.

Mosquito Bluegrass Jam @ Roseville Central Park, Roseville. 3pm – 8pm (Free) Start off with a beginner’s jam hosted by Bill Cagley at 3pm, followed by Porcupine Creek at 5pm and Sarah Mae and the Birkeland Boys at 6:30pm.

Ticket to Brasil @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 5:30pm (Free) Bring a picnic or grab something from the food stand and listen to the swaying, infectious sounds of Ticket to Brasil  while the sounds of children frolicking in the lake and nearby provide additional ambience. You may be tempted to dance.

Allison Scott @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley 7pm ($15) Vocalist/pianist Scott has gained a large following over the last eleven years as an independent artist, eschewing any attempt to reach hipsters old or young, and simply singing. She has released six albums, sells out the Dakota, and fills 500 seat auditoriums. The secret is her soulful voice and her personal music. The Pioneer Press likened her to Dusty Springfield circa Dusty in Memphis. Here’s a chance to hear her in a small room.

Monday, August 8

The Pines and Hairspray @ Loring Park, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Stark Americana/Roots music from the nationally recognized Pines  along with John Water’s classic film that brought Riki Lake into the public’s eye. Hairspray is about a “pleasantly plump” teenager in 1962, who fights for integration when she lands a spot on a local TV dance show. It features Sonny Bono, Ruth Brown, Debby Harry, and of course, Divine. The Los Angels Times called it “A film that combines nostalgic spoof with a social consciousness that’s as unexpected as it is smashingly effective.”

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.


Summertime Blues, Jazz, and More: 8.19 – 8.25

August 19, 2015
Boating has always been popular on our lakes, as this vintage postcard of Como Lake attests.

Boating has always been popular on our lakes, as this vintage postcard of Como Lake attests.

Whether you bike, kike, swim, or boat, summertime offers many options to Twin Cities residents, including many music options this week, with some terrific visiting artists as well as some unique events featuring resident musicians. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 19

New Music Wednesday  @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30  ($10 Suggested Donation) at 8:30 it’s the Lucia Sarmiento Quintet. Sarmiento, from Lima, Peru, is a talented saxophonist who is studying at McNally Smith under the mentorship of Pete Whitman. Her band consists of a number of young players: Trevor Wiest, guitar; Ry Dill, bass; Will Kjeer, piano; and Blake Huebl, drums. Their wide-ranging repertoires includes contemporary jazz and funky twists to Afro-Peruvian music. At 9:45pm, The Blue take the stage, with Adrian Larkin, alto; Trevor Wiest, guitar; Eric Clifford, bass; and Tyler Kloewer, drums.

Kami Lyle @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) Lyle is a singer/songwriter and trumpeter/pianist who has appeared on CDs by Patty Griffin, Julie Miller, and NRBQ, among others, and has had songs on a number of TV and film soundtracks. Although born in Mpls, she now lives on Cape Cod, and will be playing with longtime friend Dean Magraw on guitar, and her nephew, the talented young bassist Charlie Lincoln. Steve Katz will open.

Jack Brass Band @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Ahh, some New Orleans brass funk, from traditional second line tunes to brass band versions of contemporary pop hits, by a group of highly talented musicians.

Thursday, August 20

Joel Shapira and Chris Lomheim @ Vieux Carré, Minneapolis. 5:30 – 8pm (No Cover) The Vieux’s concept of having solo and duo acts early some evenings is creating some fun combinations of musicians, such as tonight’s duo. Gutiarist Shapira and pianist Lomheim are two musicians who can trade bop licks with ease, while turning around and performing airy, sensitive pieces.

Reuben and Dan Ristrom @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This Father/Son Duo have been performing together since Dan was a young boy. Rueben  on guitar and Dan on vocals are celebrating the release of a new CD, “70/30,” so named since 70% of the album is with a jazz band and 30% is just the two of them. Here they are doing an American version of a French song.

Rhonda Laurie @ Public, Saint Paul. 8-10pm (No Cover) The downstairs lounge at Public Restaurant has been having music of late. Tonight it’s the vocal stylings of Ms Laurie, who has a propensity for singing lesser known songs, and is equally adept at interpreting gypsy jazz and standards.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, August 20, 21, 22

Adam Meckler Quintet Live Recording Project @ Various Venues, Minneapolis & Saint Paul. Trumpeter Meckler and his Quintet will be playing for three nights in a row, and recording each night. On Thursday, they are at Studio Z in Saint Paul at 8pm ($10). Friday finds them moving to the Nicollet Cafe in Minneapolis for a 9pm show (Donation), and finally, on Saturday, they finish up at the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar at 8:30pm. Here’s are some samples of their songs, prepared for this project.

Friday, August 21

Bob Bowman Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8 – 10pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Bowman is from Kansas City and has come to town a number of times with Karrin Allyson as well as playing some dates with Laura Caviani. He’s a heavy hitter, having played with the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, The Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band, and Carmen McRae. Joining him tonight are Daniel Leahy on piano, and Mac Santiago on drums. Here’s an example of his playing (and composing).

Saturday, August 22

Andrew Walesch Big Band: The Songs Of Sinatra @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Pianist/vocalist Walesch  who is playing at Crooners a lot these days, ups the ante with nine additional members for his band, as they honor Ol’ Blues Eyes during the centennial year of his birth.

Siskind, Harms, & Pino @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($12) Pianist/composer Jeremy Siskind explores the concept of what it means to be “Home” in his latest recorded project, Housewarming. This is the second release for Siskind and his partners in this project: vocalist and former Twin Citizen Nancy Harms  who has been working steadily in both Europe and NYC, where she’s now based, and reed player Lucas Pino  who has worked with Dave Brubeck, Curtis Fuller, Benny Green, Christian McBride, David Sanborn, and a host of others. Exquisite chamber jazz. Here they are from a house concert a few years ago.

Sunday, August 23

Louis & Clarke (and Bisonette)

Louis & Clarke (and Bissonette)

Louis & Clarke @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8-10pm ($10) Saxophonist Steve Clarke,  an eleven time recipient of the MN Music Award, gets experimental tonight with collaborator Louis Sinclair  aka Rundio, who plays the chapman stick. They’ll add some looping, and processing technology, along with drummer/percussionist Michael Bissonette. The result is 21st Century jazz.

Monday, August 24

Joe Mayo Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) They’ve gone from being an opening act to featured act: Joe Mayo, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar, Lars-Erik Larson, drums; and Andrew Foreman, bass.

Reichert, Glenn, & Roach @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) An evening of improvised music from three multi-instrumentalists: Tom Reichert, guitar, bass; Tim Glenn, percussion, Stephen Roach.

Tuesday, August 25

Cyrus Chestnut Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Chestnut thrilled the audience when he headlined the Twin Cities Jazz Festival a couple of years back. Whether he’s doing the songs of Elvis Presley or jazz standards, his gospel-infused improvisations evoke Jay McShann, Count Basie, yet are thoroughly modern. His music reverberates with all manner of listeners.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. 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, and Other…

Wednesday, August 19

The piano player himself

The piano player himself

John Beach Trio on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Pianist/vocalist Beach is a long time fixture on the Twin Cities music scene, playing with groups like Willie & the Bees, Dave Ray & Bamboo, Snake, the Mill City Hearts, Three Bedroom Rambler, Joel Johnson, and the Blackburn Beach Blues Band. He’s a blues and R&B player, but goes beyond those as well when needed. Liz and I had him play for our wedding reception many years ago.

Willie Murphy & Claudia Schmidt @ Schooners, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Murphy holds this songwriter night once a month, inviting others to exchange music with him. Tonight the guitarist/bassist/pianist/vocalist/songwriter brings out Ms Schmidt  who has been delighting folks with her stories and songs for a number of decades now.

Afrobilly, with guest Jacqueline Ultan @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 8-10pm (Tip Jar) Washboard percussionist Mikkel Beckmen has been having such a ball playing with Zairean soukous guitarist/vocalist Siama Matuzungidi and vocalist/percussionist Dallas Johnson that they’ve formalized the group with the name Afrobilly. Tonight they are joined by the imaginative cellist Jacqueline Ultan, of JelloSlave and many other boundary-pushing groups. Here is Mikkel and Siama.

Thursday, August 20

Pop Remix @ Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. 6-10pm. It’s a free evening at the Walker, and you can hang out on the patio, where the Robert Everest Expedition will be playing world jazz, Deejay Paul Harding will be spinning world music, and there will be a screening of Pulp Pop Clips.

Jerry Douglas @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40-$50), 9pm ($30-$40) Lots of plectorists will be in the audience to watch Douglas  considered to be the best dobro player in the world, due in part to groundbreaking work Allison Kraus, Elvis Costello, and on over 2000 recordings by folks like James Taylor, Ray Charles, Lyle Lovett, Garth Brooks, Bill Frisell, and Phish! He’s recently released Traveler, his first solo recording in six years, featuring guests like Eric Clapton, Mumford & Sons, Keb Mo, Dr. John, Bela Fleck and more. Whew!

Friday, August 21

Harmonica Hoedown @ Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Attention Blues Lovers! Two mighty blues harpist are on the bill tonight. First up is Boom Boom Steve Vonderharr & the Knockouts, followed by Curtis Blake and Don Scott at 9pm.

The Pines @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) It’s summer in Minnesota, time to listen to the rootsy sounds of The Pines  Sit back and relax on the band hell’s benches, or score a spot on the rise north of the bandshell and enjoy a picnic while listening.

He Sings! He Dances! (more or less)

He Sings! He Dances! (more or less)

Farewell Milwaukee & Young Frankenstein @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) It’s a back to the 70s night. Start the evening with the Midwest folk-rock sounds of Farewell Milwaukee, whose music is shaped by artists from the late 60s and early 70s. Then, sit back and laugh at the 1975 Mel Brooks picture, Young Frankenstein. Oh yeah, you can order food and drinks from the bar inside.

Saturday, August 22

Nikki Roux and Rich Rue Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6 – 8pm. (No Cover) Nikki & Rich (of Nikki & the Rue-Mates  perform folk-rock in a manner inspired by the late 60s. Nikki’s clarion vocals and Rich’s inspired slide playing make for an entertaining early evening experience.

Saturday, Sunday, August 22, 23

Nye’s Outdoor Tent Party @ Nye’s Polonaise Room, Minneapolis. 3pm (Saturday), 2pm (Sunday) If you’ve never been to Nye’s, here’s your last chance to see some of the acts that have performed there over the years, both in the Piano Bar and in the Old Side. Daina DePrez, The World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band, St. Dominic’s Trio, Doug Otto & the Getaways, The New Primitives, and Molly Maher are all on the bill.

Sunday, August 23

Gaby Moreno @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) This may be the Under-The-Radar Gig of the Week. Moreno  s a Guatemalan-born singer/songwriter who won the Grand Prize at the John Lennon Songwriting Contest with her song “Escondidos.” She’s been touring the world, appearing at festivals, and collaborating with a who’s who of stars.  The New York Times says she has “A tangy, bluesy voice with the feistiness of Edith Piaf.”

Monday, August 24

Bettye LaVette @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $45) LaVette is one of the few soul singers from the 60s who is still performing. In fact, she’s doing better now than in the 60s, due in large part to her ability to infuse any song with the right amount of emotion and pleading. When she pours herself into a song, it’s done to expose the truth of the song, rather than to impress with her pipes. LaVette is touring behind her latest CD, Worthy, which contains her versions of songs by Dylan, Jagger/Richards, Lennon/McCartney, and producer Joe Henry, among others.

Tuesday, August 25

Tinariwen @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) NPR calls Tinariwen “just about the best guitar based rock band of the 21st Century.” Natives of the Saharan desert, Tinariwen was formed in Tuareg camps in Libya, where the nomadic people gathered to find new work outside of their native Mali. After their music was passed around via bootlegs, western musicians discovered them in the late 1990s and they’ve been delivering the aching beauty and restless energy of their music to worldwide audiences. Body Omara, with Joseph Damman, guitar, Tom Reichert, bass; and Davu Seru on percussion, opens, playing Damman’s own compositions, which are influenced by Ali Farka Toure, as well as American folk and jazz musicians.

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. Dancers might want to check out the calendar for U Wanna Dance.


Post-Election Music: 11.7 – 11.13

November 7, 2012
It’s a big week here in the Twin Cities, what with Bob Dylan (tonight) and Bruce Springsteen (Sunday and Monday) performing at Xcel and Bettye Lavette at the Dakota. You don’t need me to tell you about the Boss and the Bard. Bettye LaVette is covered below. At any rate, if you aren’t staying at home to enjoy regular (rather than political) commercials on TV, you can find some mighty fine music around town.

Jazz

Wednesday, November 7

Snowblind @ The Artists Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) It may seem that I often list this group, but that’s because they only place about once every six weeks or so. Six fine musicians playing original music with a few jazz standards thrown in for good measure. They work as equals, creating music inspired by Ellington, Mingus, and Blakey, among others, and including grooves into their horn-based sound. Scott Agster (trombone), Reid Kennedy (drums), Graydon Peterson (bass), Adam Rosmiller (trumpet) and Shilad Sen (sax). 

Friday, November 9

Vital Organ @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (Free) Thought Hell’s Kitchen can be noisy, this organ trio led by Zacc Harris has the goods to catch your attention: funky sounds, head boppin’ grooves, and occasional vocals from Katy Gearty.

Friday, Saturday, November 9, 10

Patty Peterson CD Release & Birthday Party @ The Artists’ Quarter, 9pm ($12) Patty brings her CD Release to the East Metro and manages to make it a Birthday Party as well. The new CD, “The Very Thought of You,” reflects Patty’s ability to go from standards to jazz to R&B. Bobby Vandell, drums; Billy Franze, guitar; Paul Peterson, bass; and Jason Peterson DeLaire, piano. Given Patty’s longevity and stature in the Twin Cities music scene, there will undoubtedly be surprise guests.

Saturday, November 10

Dave Karr Quartet: Jazz @ Studio Z, Saint Paul.  5pm (Workshop – Free), 7pm (Performance – $10) The second in the Jazz at Studio Z series for this year. At the 5pm workshop, saxophonist Karr will talk about “Developing a Bebop Sound & Vocabulary.” It will be followed at 7pm by a performance featuring Karr, Dave Graf, trombone; Adam Linz, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. Plus, if you attend the workshop, you get $2 off the performance. Learn about one of the basic streams of jazz and then listen to a performance that helps you understand what you learned.

Anat Cohen with Special Guest Evan Christopher @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) It’s a two clarinet night at the Dakota. Cohen was originally scheduled to appear at Orchestra Hall. She’s a clarinetist and rising star, appearing recently on the cover of Jazz Times. With a lyrical approach and deep, warmly wooden tones, Cohen is bringing a new understanding and appreciation for clarinet in jazz. Special guest Evan Christopher explores the ins and outs of classic New Orleans jazz, bringing his own stamp to the result. Here’s a video of Anat that showcases her style.

Sunday, November 11

PipJazz Sunday: Youth All-Star Night @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 5pm ($20) Pippi Ardennia has made a point of having a talented young person perform at each of her monthly shows. Tonight she brings fifteen of them together to perform. Some have their own bands, others have performed with the Dakota Combo, and still others are simply talented musicians studying at Walker West or other schools around town.

Dearie & O’Day @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 6pm ($5) Vicky Mountain will be singing the songs of Anita O’Day, and Maryann Sullivan will be doing the songs of Blossom Dearie. They’ll be backed by Chris Lomheim, piano; Doug Haining, sax; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Trevor Haining, drums.  Swing and sweetness. Vicky and Maryann will be appearing on my show Saturday (90.3 and 106.7 FM)

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, November 7

Secret Stash Presents Pena @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm ($6) Minnesota Monthly dubbed them the Best Record Label in the Twin Cities. In fact, there are folks all over the world that appreciate the effort these guys put into unearthing and releasing funk, soul, and worldbeat records. They recorded the award-winning Pena on a trip to Peru, followed it up with a second release and a remix. Tonight they’ll be presenting Pena’s music, with Secret Stash Deejays providing music before and between sets.

Thursday, November 8

Eilen Jewell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) It’s about two years since Eilen appeared at the 331 Club and gained a whole bunch of fans of her blend of Americana, classic country, blues, and folk. There’s nothing old fashioned about her songs, though. She’s originally from Idaho, but spent a number of years in the Boston area, and has been building a fan base touring the country and internationally. Wednesday afternoon she appeared on Jackson Buck’s Freewheelin on KFAI, which you can listen to here, starting about an hour and ten minutes into the show.

Friday, November 9

Hurricane Harold’s Blues Revue @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($5) An early show for those of a certain age, this is nevertheless a chance to see a bevy of excellent blues players. Hurricane Harold Trembley on harp leads the charge, with Dave “Cool Breeze” Brown and Mark “Good Time Willy” Williams on guitars; Allen Kirk, drums; and Chris Johnson, bass.

Minnesota Salsa Fiesta, feat. Malamanya and La Gran Charanga @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm  ($15) Merengues, danzones, boleros and lotsa salsa dancing. Dozens of top  local  Latin music and dancers will come together to entertain for your dancing pleasure, including musicians from Charanga Tropical,  Malamanya,  Salsa Del Soul, Sensacion Latina, and Salsabrosa. Dance lessons, showcases, a live Cuban cigar roller and more

Saturday, November 10

Jennifer Markey & the Tennessee Snowpants and the Crown Vics @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. ($5?) Modern bands doing originals that often sound like classic country. Check out this video of Jennifer.

Monday, Tuesday, November 12, 13

Bettye LaVette @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) A strong contender for displacing Aretha as the preeminent soul singer,  Bettye didn’t hold back for the crowd at the Leinie Lodge stage during this year’s state fair. This is her 50th year in the music business, and she’s released a new CD, Thankful n’ Thoughtful, and an autobiography, “A Woman Like Me.” No one else gets inside a song like she does and no one can wring out you as a listener either.

Tuesday, November 13

Paul Thorn @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($22) His 2010 album is titled Pimps and Preachers, and is full of semi-autographical stories about characters from his Southern upbringing, including one about his short-lived boxing career. On stage, Thorn is a charming, often humorous storyteller and effective singer, whose songs will appeal to fans of both John Hiatt and John Prine.

Menahan Street Band @ Seventh Street Entry, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) The funk faithful will be out in force for this. One of Brooklyn’s new horn-driven funk bands, the Menahan Street Band creates sinuous instrumental hooks in both originals and surprising covers. Members come from Antibalas, The Budos Band, El Michaels Affair, and the Dap-Kings.

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.


%d bloggers like this: