Hear and enjoy. Music: 12.5 – 12.11

December 5, 2018

It seems the flow of visiting artists has slowed this week, at least for the smaller venues that I generally cover. Nevertheless there are a number of interesting, and sometimes holiday-themed shows being done by resident artists. Whether celebrating the holidays or not, remember, Music Lifts Your Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, Dec 5

Really Big Shoe @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Saxophonists Joe Mayo & Clay Pufahl founded this quarter a couple of years ago. Rhythm section: Ted Olson, bass; and Joey Van Phillips, drums.

Thursday, Dec 6

Charmin Michelle @ The Mudd Room, Mendota Heights. 7pm (No over) Try to get a seat within the bar portion of this room to fully appreciate Ms Michelle’s caramel-smooth voice. She’ll have John Della Selva on guitar; and Joe Wiseman, bass; working with her.

Friday, Dec 7

Riverside Swing Holiday Show @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20) Given we’re holiday season, it’s likely that this six piece band with four vocalists won’t bemoan the lack of a dance floor as they play swinging holiday tunes along with others from the 30s and 40s.

Sightless Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. ($10) Cody Steinmann, guitar; Ted Godbout, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Carter Pearson, drums.

Saturday, Dec 8

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) at 7pm, it’s the aptly named Last Minute Quartet, with Steve Kenny on Flumpet, and a band line-up to be announced. At 8:30, Drummer Rodney Ruckus returns to tow with theRuckus Twin Cities Experiment: DeCarlo Jackson, bass, trumpet; Brandon Wozniak, tenor; David Billingly & Jacob Dodd, piano; and Rodney Ruckus, drums and other instruments.

58 Belvedere @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 6:30pm (No Cover) Guitarist Dan Granros leads this jazz power trio through originals and group improvisations, with: Pat Keen, bass; and Dave Power, drums.

Sunday, Dec 9

Mary Louise Knutson Trio @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 12:30 – 1:45pm (Free) holiday tunes performed by a sublime trio: Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Gordy Johnson, upright bass; and Phil Hey drums, prior to the afternoon’s choral concert in the hall.

Tormé Sings Tormé @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25) Steve March-Tormé is the son of Mel Tormé, who wrote the holiday chestnut, The Christmas Song. It’s only fitting that he brings a program of holiday songs, as well as stories of his dad, and a few songs from the Great American Songbook to the listening room at Crooners.

Monday, Dec 10

Fuzzy Math @ The Amsterdam Bar& Hall, Saint Paul. 8pm (Free) Largely carol-free evening of jazz from: Mark Vandermyde, keys/compositions; Andrew Scwandt, sax; Haralds Bondaris, drums; and Matt Peterson, bass.

Chris Bates’ Red 5 @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) The nerd in all of us enjoys the fact that this group is named after an X-Wing fighter Star Wars. Members of the band: Bates, bass; JT Bates, drums; Thomas Nordlund, guitar; Steve Kenny, trumpet; Brandon Wozniak, saxes; and JC Sanford, trombone. BTW, next week’s Jazz Implosion will be the last, as JT Bates is stepping down after about 20 years of booking the Monday night series.

Tuesday, Dec 11

Dave Karr & Friends @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6pm (Free) The monthly Jazz Indeed series at the Hook features octogenarian saxophonist Dave Karr. Given Karr’s prominence in the area’s jazz scene, he’ll undoubtedly have some stellar performers with him.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.

 

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, Dec 5

Big George Jackson on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Big George Jacksonhas a bass voice that can shake the rafters. He plays a mean harmonica as well.

The Pines @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20, $30, $35) Indie Rock and Americana from a group with its roots in Iowa and Minnesota. They’ve received numerous plaudits for their writing, showing a keen eye for detail and atmospherics.

Thursday, Dec 6

Doug Otto @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5-7pm (Tip Jar) Though Otto can be heard regularly at the 331 Club and Dusty’s, he’s performing today in Saint Paul as part of Mikkel Beckman’s weekly gig.

Friday, Dec 7

Prudence Johnson & Dean Magraw @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6pm ($5) These two veterans of the Twin Cities music scene go together like two straws in a coke. They’ve known each other and played together for decades.

3rd Annual Church of Cash Holiday Show @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) How did Johnny Cash celebrate the holidays? This excellent tribute band may give us a hint.

Salsa del Soul @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Salsa del Soul plays much more than salsa. You’ll hear Sons, Pleñas, Cha-chas, Bachatas and more. A DJ opens at 9pm w/Salsa del Soul starting at 10.

Saturday, Dec 8

Paul Cebar @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. ($15 Advance, $20 Door) Milwaukee’s ambassador of danceable sounds brings the rhythms of western Louisiana, the streets of New Orleans, Africa, and the Caribbean (not to forget soul n’ funk) to the Hook with his band Tomorrow Sound.

Renee Austin @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Austin was a rising star in the blues scene when she lost her voice in 2005. She calls it a miracle that she got it back two years ago. She’s now revved up and singing her soulful blues.

Hot Tuna @ The Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hopkins. 8pm ($42, $75VIP) Guitarist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Casady were founding members of Jefferson Airplane, and formed Hot Tuna as a side project to explore their love of blues. Hot tuna Received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rock n’ roll Hall of Fame about two years ago.

Tuesday, Dec 11

Hooked on Hamilton @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. ($30, $35, $40) Vocalist/Actor T. Mychael Rambo has gathered14 veteran and emerging vocalists, along with a 5-piece band to perform songs from the musical Hamilton.

 

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.

 


Halloween Music and More: 10.28 – 11.3

October 28, 2015

OF-Halloween-Pumpkin-Joke-Well good grief, it’s Halloween! This time showing up on a Saturday night. There are many public events taking place, of which I’m only listing a few. Have fun, and remember that music lifts the spirit.

 

Jazz

Wednesday, October 28

Southside Aces @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Looking for a brassy band with a tuba? Want to dance? The Aces have you covered, with members who are well-versed in the New Orleans tradition” Rob erg Bell, guitar; Erik Jacobson, sousaphone; Steve Sandberg, trombone; Tony Galluff, clarinet; Zack Lozeir, trumpet; and Dave Michael, drums.  New Orleans Traditional Jazz Quarterly called them “A true, authentic New Orleans dance-hall style band.”

Canadian Girlfriend and The Fables Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Canadian Girlfriend is led by cellist Greg Byers  who recently graduated from McNally Smith with a Master of Music in Performance: Other members of the band are Elliot Wachs, Hayden Fihn, Frank Merchlewitz, and Lars Johnson. The Fables Trio is Kevin Gastonguay, keyboards; Andrew Foreman, bass; and Lars Larson, drums.

Thursday, October 29

Emily-GreenEmily Green’s Tribute to the 30s @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Vocalist Green and pianist Chris Lomheim are joined by Graydon Peterson on bass; and Reid Kennedy on drums to celebrate songs of the 30s.

Charmin & Shapira @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) An exquisite pairing of vocals and guitar, that shine on both jazz standards by the like of Thelonious Monk and the Great American Songbook.

Friday, October 30

Todd Harper Piano Fridays @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 56:30 – 7:30pm (Tip Jar) You may not be in the mood for any Halloween hijinks. In that case head to the Black Dog where pianist Todd Harper will be joined by bassist Keith Yannes and drummer Eric Courson for an early evening of reflective, delicate, and decidedly un-devilish music on “Devil’s Night.”

Photo by Andrea Canter

Photo of Jeremy Walker by Andrea Canter

Jeremy Walker @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (No Cover) The pianist/composer is back at the Vieux to provide late happy hour/dinner music that’s far, far better than what you’d expect at this time of day.

 

Magraw, Wells, & Bisong: a Benefit for Music Students in Guyana @ Walker West Music Academy, 760 Selby Avenue, Saint Paul. 8pm (Donation) Tuba player Tom Wells, who plays with Dick and Jane’s Brass Band, and with Maurice Jacox on occasion, will be playing with the fabulous guitarist Dean Magraw, and Ernest Bisong, a young jazz violinist from Guyana. Wells worked with the Guyana Lutheran Music Academy  for a few weeks last year and will be retuning this year. Any money raised will go to sponsor 15 Guyana students who took lessons last year but are unable to do so this year without some sponsorship. In lieu of tickets, donations will be accepted at the door.

Hipster Farm Supply Company/Basement Society @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10 Suggested Donation) No matter what the group is called, it’s led by Pete James Johnson, recently returned from Los Angeles, where he spent a number of years playing with folks like Bob Mintzer, Russ Ferrante, Rufus Reid, and Ambrose Akinmusire and more. He’ll be joined by Javi Santiago on piano, and Dan Carpel on bass.

Park Evans, of Battle Cat and other groups. Photo by Andrea Canter

Park Evans, of Battle Cat and other groups. Photo by Andrea Canter

Battle Cat @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) This edition of Friday Night jazz at the Nicollet features Park Evans, guitar; Greg Schutte, drums; and Cody McKinney, bass. Each of these musicians could lead their own band. The combination is sure to spark some musical fireworks.

Saturday, October 31

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm, 8:30pm (Tip Jar) It’s a combination of young guns and seasoned veterans tonight. At 7pm it’s the Will Schmid Trio, featuring Schmid, piano; Alma Engebretson, bass; and Simon Petrick, drums. At 8:30 How Birds Work will perform. This group was a monthly feature back at the Artists’ Quarter, so it’s great to be able to hear them once again: Kenny Horst, drums; Dean Granros, guitar; Peter Schimke, piano; and Chris Bates, bass.

Monday, November 2

U of MN Jazz Ensemble II and Combos @ Ted Mann Concert Hall, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (No Cover) Head over to the west bank campus of the U to hear the future of jazz as college students in the Jazz Ensemble II and various combos play for you.

Real Bulls and Enormous Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Real Bulls is the dynamic drumming duo of JT Bates and Dave King, both of whom create a pantheon of sounds on their instruments. Second act up is The Enormous Quartet: Park Evans, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; Chris Thompson, sax; and Joey Van Philips, drums.

Tuesday, November 3

Mary Louise Knutson @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (No Cover) Another early evening of exquisite music, this time from pianist Mary Louise Knutson  whose album In the Bubble spent considerable time at the top of the jazz charts, and who regularly tours with the Doc Severinsen big band.

Travis Anderson Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) It’s a very jazz night at the Vieux, as this swinging combination of musicians take the stage after Mary Louise Knutson. Travis Anderson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums; bring lots of energy and chops to their performances.

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, Other…

Wednesday, October 28

Katey Belleville on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Americana, Bluegrass, and Folk, from a singer/songwriter/guitarist  ho performs originals, traditional tunes, and contemporary tunes from artists like Gillian Welch. Tune in during the 5pm hour, and head over to the 331 to hear her live. She’ll be joined by friends Zach Gusa, guitar and vocals; Justin Bruhn, upright bass; and Mike Hedding on various stringed instruments.

Leon Bridges @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($22) Well, it’s sold out, but if you can get in, you’ll hear contemporary R&B that evokes, but doesn’t copy the likes of Sam Cooke. Bridges is an excellent songwriter with a voice that’s sweet, yet sure.

Hannah Von Der Hoff & the Dangertones: Humpy’d Halloween @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8, $5 with Costume) Work the kinks out of your costume with this early Halloween special featuring Von Der Hoff, a singer who does a modern take on 60s R&B. She’s got a strong voice that’s well suited to soulful sounds, and a band that serves her well.

Thursday, October 29

Big George Jackson and Jeremy Johnson @ Washington Square, White Bear Lake. 3pm (No Cover) Make your way to the tony NE village for a dose of the blues from gravel voiced Jackson and his guitarist/drummer cohort Johnson. Here he is with a full band.

Badi Assad @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($35) Assad is a Brazilian singer/songwriter as well as a brilliant guitarist, and percussionist. She blends pop, jazz, and world influences with traditional Brazilian music to create exciting performances, as she showed at the Dakota a couple of years ago. Her latest album, Hatched, features her take on songs by Lorde, Skillrex, and Mumford and Sons, among other contemporary artists.

Friday, October 30

Paul Metsa is Going to the Dogs @ Darby’s Pub and Grill, 315 5th Ave N, Minneapolis. $10 Suggested Donation) Singer/composer, guitarist, and author Paul Metsa is celebrating his 60th birthday with a benefit for Homeward Bound Dog Rescue. Paul knows many folks throughout the music industry, so don’t be surprised if some stop by and even perform a song or two.

Devil’s Night at the Black Forest Inn, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10 – $15 Suggested Donation) It’s an evening of solo, duo, and mixed chamber works featuring The Skeleton Crew chamber ensemble, as well as guest artists Eric Struve on upright bass; and Julie Johnson on concert flute, bass flute, and looping pedals, as well as mixed media visual artists Krista Pumroy, Beth Lowe, and Tom Siler. Here’s Julie Johnson in a different collaborative context. Here is Johnson on flute.

Friday, Saturday, October 31, 31

Ana Popovic @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) Born in Belgrade, Serbia, Popovic grew up in a home where her father’s record collection and nightly jam sessions inspired her to take up guitar at the age of fifteen. She eventually moved to the United States and began playing and touring, winning over fans with her electric funk, slide guitar, and jazzy blues. She’s been the only female performer on the Experience Hendrix tours and has been nominated for five Blues Music Awards.

Raw Oyster Cult @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($25) Celebrate the Halloween weekend with the music of New Orleans’ Raw Oyster Cult  featuring members of the Radiators, Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, and Papa Grows Funk: Dave Malone, vocals and guitar; Camile Baudoin, guitar; Frank Bua, drums, John “Papa” Gros, vocals, keys; and David Pomerleau, bass. Saturday’s show will feature the Krewe of DADs 30th Annual Masquerade Ball: “I Walked With Zombies.” Here’s an example of the Cult .

Saturday, October 31

Jeremy Messersmith & Friends present The Undead Masquerade @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Billed as an Evening of Music and the Macabre, this show will feature Messersmith’s 2010 CD, “The Reluctant Graveyard” (Named by NPR as one of the Top Ten Albums of the year) in its entirety, as well as an assortment of ghoulish tunes. Guests include Chris Koza, Aby Wolf, Lydia Hoglund (Bomba De Luz), and Natalie Lovejoy. Prizes will be awarded for best costumes.

Lamont Cranston Halloween Party @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 11pm. Pat Hayes has been carrying on and leading this band since 1969, and as a result, knows how to fill a dance floor and get the party going, whether for New Year’s, Halloween or any other occasion. Lamont Cranston has been named Best Twin Cities Blues Band a number of times, served as the inspiration for Dan Ackroyd’s Blues Brothers,and served as the opening band for a leg of a Rolling Stones tour. Here’s one of their instrumental workouts.

Patty & the Buttons @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Yes, yes, yes. More costume and Halloween frivolity as Patty and the Buttons bring their button-accordion-fueled swing the the basement club.

Sunday, November 1

Daddy Squeeze joins Corpse Reviver @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 3 – 5:30pm (Tip Jar) Dan Newton, master of the “Stomach Steinway” sits in with Corpse Reviver: Adam Kiesling, playing a new Banjo; Mikkel Beckmen, washboard and prcussion; and Jillian Rae, fiddle; for a spirited afternoon of music from the Anthology of American Folk Music!  Here’s a lighthearted version of a classic.

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 Semi-Thaw. Music: 1.28 – 2.3

January 28, 2015

Unknown-3Wow, can it really be January? Generally, the last weekend in January is bitterly cold, and here we are flirting with the thirties all week. We seem to be in the midst of a thaw, which everyone is happy about. Does that mean you don’t need a jacket? Of course not, at least if you’ll be out for a longer period than taking out the garbage. I guess I’m trying to say we need to stay comfortable, and a good way to do that is to hear music. It will inspire us, and lift us up, so, if you are in town, take advantage of the rich music tradition we have in these cities. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, January 28

Jake Baldwin Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Here is a quintet of Twin Cities’ Young Lions playing often fierce, and occasionally beautiful jazz.  Baldwin, trumpet; Javier Santiago, piano; Nelson Devereux, sax; Ryan Hayes, bass; Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Thursday, January 30

Tim Kaiser @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Kaiser sits in the midst of hand-crafted electro-acoustic instruments that would seem at home in a steampunk movie, and creates sheets of reverb and unique sounds that range from toy ray-guns to theraminic tones, manufacturing hums, and marimba-like bleats, all of which bring into question the definition of music. It’s more experimental than the electronic music of dancers, or even classicists, and is definitely improvised, so I’m listing it under jazz. Perhaps this interview with him will help you understand what he does.

Friday, January 30

What Would Monk Do @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The music of Thelonious Monk and Monk-inspired originals from some bad cats: Kenny Horst, drums; Billy Peterson, bass; Peter Schimke, piano; and Steve Kenny, flumpet. Based on past performances, I believe it will be cooking’

Mississippi Hot Club @ Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis. 10pm ($7) It’s more or less a light night acoustic swing party, with a good dose of Djano Rheinhardt, some Latin music, originals, and a touch of Americana from this Northern Minnesota quintet  They just released a self-titled debut CD, which you can listen to on their website (previous link). Members include:  Ian Stenlund and Luke Zupan, la pompe rhythm guitars; Joe Downing, upright bass; Josh Parlanti, lead guitar; Alissa Jacobsen, violin.

Saturday, January 31

Thompson, Balluf, & Pikal @ Jazz at St. Barney’s, Plymouth. 7pm – 9pm ($10, adults, $5 Students) Lovers of traditional jazz will be out in force to hear pianist Butch Thompson  Clarinetist Tony Balluf, and bassist Steve Pikal. What they play is anything but stodgy, and far from being stuck in the early 20th Century. They bring a joy and liveliness to the music to make it swing beyond its years.

Dean Granros Quartet @ Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm. I was surprised at a recent Anthony Cox show in which Granros played to learn that Granros is known among some listeners as a “noise” guitarist, which never occurred to me. From his work with groups such as How Birds Work and others, it’s obvious that he’s a stellar player with a rich imagination. Tonight he’s joined by Zacc Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. They hit the stage at 8:30pm while the Dave Brattain Quartet opens at 7pm: Brattain, sax; Kevin Daley, Billy Peterson, bass; Mac Santiago, drums.  Here’s Granros doing a solo number.

Katia Cardenas w/Ted Godbout @ The Nicollet, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) If you’re looking for an entertaining evening in a place that isn’t overly crowded, you may want to check out the Nicollet tonight. Katia Cardenas is a fine singer who is building an audience, while the Nicollet provides an intimate setting where she and pianist Ted Godbout can perform both R&B and jazz standards.

Monday, February 2

Zach Schmidt @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Zach has been drumming since he was four. When he got older he attended McNally Smith, where he studied with Dave Stanoch,Marv Dahlgren, Dave Schmalenberger and Gordy Knutson. He regularly plays with the Cory Wong Quartet, but has also performs with Zack Lozier, Chris Olson, Rachel Holder, Jana Nyberg, and more.

Matt Otto & the Fantastic Merlins @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Otto is a Kansas City based saxophonist who has played with the likes of Ben Monder, Wadada Leo Smith, Willi Jones III, Tootie Heath, Charlie Haden Leroy Vinegar, Jimmy Smith, Bobby Watson, and Larry Goldings, to name just a few – whew! Tonight he is joined by the Fantastic Merlins for two exciting sets: Nathan Hanson, sax, Doan Roessler, bass; Pete Hennig, drums.

Monday, Tuesday, February 2,3

Chris Potter Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25), 9pm ($15) Saxophonist Potter entered the NYC jazz scene as an 18 yr old playing with bebop icon Red Rodney. Since then he’s been a sideman on over 100 albums and a leader on fifteen. He’s performed with folks like Herb i.e. Hancock, Davi Holland, The Mingus Big Band, Rayt Brown, and was featured on Steely Dan’t Grammy winning album Two Against Nature. He regularly receives high praise from critics, magazines, and fellow musicians. His quartet includes Adam Rogers, guitar; Fima Ephron, bass; and Nate Smith, drums.  Listen to his take on Charlie Parker’s Anthropology.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday

Paul Mayasich w/ Big George Jackson and Jeremy Johnson @ Moe’s, Moundsview. 7:30pm (Tip Jar?) Guitarist Mayasich appears here on a weekly basis with different guests each week. Tonight he’s got big-voiced harmonica player Big George Jackson  and guitarist/drummer Jeremy Johnson, two unsung (or under appreciated) heroes of the Twin Cities blues scene.

Thursday, January 29

Viva Brazil @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) This octet is consist of four Brazilians and four musicians who are currently from the Twin Cities, though a few of them were born and raised elsewhere. Geography doesn’t matter as much as talent, however when they start playing sambas, bossa novas, Brazilian jazz, and funky derivations of all. Their sensuous rhythms may have you pushing tables out of the way to dance.

Friday, January 30

Kelley Hunt @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Hunt is a barrelhouse piano pounder from Kansas City whose frequent forays into the Northland have earned her a devoted following for her blues/R&B/Americana. She’s steeped in Blues and Gospel and has earned praise from critics and fans alike for her originals. Her latest CD, Beautiful Bones, has been called inspirational and beautiful. Its up to you to figure out if you agree.

Paul Cebar & Tomorrow Sound @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door)  Cebar integrates the rhythms of New Orleans, the Caribbean, western Louisiana, and Africa with the classic rhythms of 60s soul and 70s funk, to create highly infectious dance music. Opening is Poverty Hash, from Connecticut, seen around here at the Deep Blues Festival of some years back and at the Bayport BBQ.

Big George Jackson @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) So maybe you didn’t want to go to Moundsview to hear George with Paul Mayasich on Wednesday. Check him out with his band at this modest, somewhat dicey bar. He’ll have you boogieing all through the night and onto home.

Friday, Saturday, January 30, 31

Monsieur Jeffrey Evans @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) Evans is a singer/songwriter/producer who has recorded dozens of albums and singles with groups such as ’68 comeback, the Gibson Brothers, and the Memphis Roadmasters. The Memphis based musician cites RL Burnside, Charlie Feathers, Gene Vincent, and Doc Watson among his influences, while his music has been described as gutter blues, psychobilly, punk blues, and a half dozen other terms. He’s also the subject of a documentary entitled, the Man Who Loved Couch Dancing. (?!)

Saturday, January 31

Marshall Tucker Band & the Atlanta Rhythm Section @ The Medina Entertainment Center, 500 Highway 55, Medina. 7:30 Doors ($35 – $52) Fans of Southern rock will not want to miss this concert by two of the groups that founded the genre about 40 years ago. Each band contains at least one original member. The Marshall Tucker Band had 5 gold albums in the 70s, followed by Carolina Dreams, which went platinum, and still performs 150-200 shows a year. The Atlanta Rhythm Section didn’t quite hit those heights, but consistently charted and still has a strong following in the South.

Tim Sparks & James Buckley @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 6:30 – 9:00pm (No Cover) Here you have a certified champion flat picker (Sparks) who is comfortable with Yiddish music, jazz, and even the Nutcracker Suite, along with a bassist (Buckley) who has performed with as many as seven different bands in one month, ranging from new wavers, to new folkies, to new jazz. Sparks will fly (no pun intended).

Wild Colonial Bhoys & The Beavers @ Lees Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($6) The Wild Colonial Bhoys are a Celtic band that has been rockin’ out for over eleven years, and five albums. They’ve a guitar-driven sound that gets it’s Irish lilt from a fiddle. Opening are The Beavers, an all-female band that delves into folk pop, with a touch of old timey music for leavening.

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 U Wanna Dance Calendar.


Halloween & Daylight Savings Music: 10.29 – 11.4

October 29, 2014

images-2What a weekend! We have Halloween on Friday and the end of Daylight Savings time on Sunday. I’ve included a few Halloween night gigs, as well as a couple that don’t require costumes. Whether you’re trying on an alter ego or living with your normal one, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy music. Have a good week.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 29

Wolverines Trio w/Judy Donaghy Vinar @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm. (No Cover) Vocalist Donaghy Vinar teaches at MacNally Smith, has worked with The Girls, and the Wolverines Big Band, as well as with Bobby McFerrin’s Voicestra. She’s appeared on over 30 CDs, and has also worked with YoYo Ma, Carole King, and Janis Siegal of the Manhattan Transfer. The Wolverines Trio are one of the finest trios in town, and are especially good at accompanying singers.

Endeavors, feat: Miguel Hurtado @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested donation)  Three young musicians who have been making a name for themselves: Joe Strachan, piano; Nelson Deveraux, sax; Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Thursday, October 30

Jason Weisman Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Jason is a credible crooner and a valued saxophonist on the TC Jazz scene who also leads the Jazztronauts and other bands, and has played with Steeling Dan, Jack McDuff, Wynton Marsalis, and Lamont Cranston, among others.  Ask for a table in front of the stage, since the Kitchen can get quite noisy. Here’s Jason in a quartet setting.

Hanna Cesario @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Cesario sings the jazz standards from the 20s to the 50s, often accompanying herself on the ukelele.

Zach Lozier Three @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Steven Hobert, piano, Steve Pikal, bass. Trumpeter Lozier presents some exciting music in an easy-going manner, singing the occasional Louis Armstrong chestnut, re-inventing traditional songs, and displaying considerable power and panache on the trumpet. Here they are doing an older song.

TriOleo @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm – 10:00pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation)  Here’s an intriguing trio for a Thursday evening. Joel Shapira, guitar; Bruce Heine, bass; Dave Schmalenberger, drums. All of them are veterans of many bands and many performances. Each can be nuanced in their approach, and turn around and deliver a breath-taking solo.

Friday, October 31

B3 Organ Duo & The Atlantis Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Things start out with Mac Santiago, drums; and Kevin Gastonguay, B3; as a duo, and then proceed to the Atlantis Quartet reprising their version of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme. Costumes encouraged, and debauchery promised. Here is the Atlantis Quartet doing an original.

Skeleton Crew @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11pm  (Tip Jar) This group is described as a mixed chamber ensemble, which seem about right, considering that they’ll be performing works by Philip Glass, Wendy Carolos, Radiohead, and Rod Temperton, in addition to some Halloween-themed songs. Members are: Julie Sweet, keyboards; Sean O’Hea, percussion; Jake Fisher, bassoon; Scott Fultz, sax.

Patty Peterson & Friends: Halloween Party @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 9pm (No Cover) Well, given that it’s Halloween the folks at Parma 8200 are using the atrium of their building to hold this party. No word on whether there will be a costume contest, though the event is sure to be playful. Music and dancing will take place until Midnight. Patty’s friends will include Jason Peterson, piano, sax, vocals; Bobby Vandell, drums, vocals; Billy Franze, bass, vocals; and Cory J. Wong on guitar & vocals. If you’re planning on eating first, reservations are suggested.

Saturday, November 1

What Would Monk Do? @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The wonderful Saturday Night Jazz continues at the Black Dog. It features well established Twiin Cities groups, many of which played regularly at the Artists’ Quarter. Though original music usually is prevalent, tonight’s group draws it’s inspiration from Thelonious Monk, playing his compositions and interpreting others with his style in mind. The group features Kenny Horst, drums; Peter Schimke, piano; Billy Peterson, bass; and Steve Kenny, trumpet.

Pig’s Eye Jazz Band @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm ($6) Trad jazz for your post-Halloween evening. It’s danceable, too.

Monday, November 3

Pete Enblom @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) A veteran of 40 years as a professional trombone player, Enblom played lead trombone for Buddy Rich, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the Arties Shaw Orchestra, and the Brian Setzer Orchestra. He’s also played in bands for such legends as Frank Sinatra, Harry Connick, Jr, and Aretha Franklin. Here, he steps out from the big bands in an intimate setting.

Lews, Johnson, & Bates @ The Icehouse, MInneapolis. 10pm ($8) That’s Mike Lewis, sax; Gordon Johnson, bass; and JT Bates, on drums. Johnson has recorded as a sideman on over 150 recordings, ranging from blues and R&B, bluegrass, and folk to jazz, where he’s been featured with artists like Stacey Kent, Maynard Ferguson, and Paul Winter. While Bates and Lewis have played together quite a bit, especially in Fat Kid Wednesdays, I’m aware of only one other instance where they played as a trio with Johnson, and it was great fun.

Tuesday, November 4

Dean Magraw and Davu Seru @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. (Tip Jar) it’s the first Tuesday of the month, so guitarist Magraw and percussionist/drummer Seru will work their magic at the Black Dog once again.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, October 29

Hula Peppers on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI-90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Dan Newton’s paen to the music of the 20s and 30s, not to forget Hawaii, is lots of fun, that’s for sure.  Beside Newton on accordion, the Peppers  nclude Gary Powell on Hawaiian guitar; Dave Furniss on resonator guitar, and Corey Mohan on ukes and musical saw. Extra spice is added when chanteuse Lauren Asheim joins in for a song.

Mystic Order of Reverb & Twang @ Schooner’s Pub, Minneapolis. 8pm. (Tip Jar) The Schooner is about as unpretentious as a bar can be, though it still has a decent beer selection, just right to quaff as you listen (or even dance) to these fine proponents of  Rockabilly, proto R&B, all things twangy, and even a bit of Western Swing. They take the stage at 8pm sharp, according to the bar clock, which, as you know, is always 10-15 minutes fast.

Osaka Monorail @ The Cedar Cutlural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($20) The funkiest aggregation out of Japan, the Osaka Monorail has been going strong for 20 years now. Taking their sartorial cues from the funk bands of the early 60s, they not only lay down the funk, but do it with matching choreography and a frontman/vocalist who is clearly inspired by the early dance moves of James Brown. The 9-piece symphonic funk band Grolar Bears open. check them out.

Thursday, October 30

Big George Jackson, Ray Barnard, & Rena Haus @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 8:45pm ($5) It’s a triple release party by a trio of highly talented artists. Ray Barnard used to be in the Americana/rock band The Copperheads, though he’s become more of a blue-eyed soul singer since then, as evidenced on his new CD, Where Would I Be Without YouBig George Jackson has a bass voice that will rattle the plates in your cupboard, and writes songs that chug along with the power of a locomotive, as evidenced on Back At It, his new CD. Rena Haus creates songs with wit and wisdom, and comes into town from her farm to play some blues and celebrate her latest, Out of the Blues

Devlish Dances @ The Bedlam Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($25) The Minnesota Music Company presents it’s inaugural production. They are using The Fiddler’s Tale, by Wynton Marsalis, along with prose by Stanley Crouch, and theater and dance by Live Action set. The music will be performed by musicians from the Minnesota Orchestra, The MacPhail Center for Music, and St. Olaf College. The devil seduces a female violinist and band leader with the promise of easy fame, untold, wealth and the glamor of the music industry.

Siama Matuzungidi w/Mikkel Beckmen and Dallas Johnson @ The Nicollet, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm (Tip jar) I realize I posted about this group last week, but since then I’ve had a chance to see them, and came away even more impressed than I thought I would. For a three-piece acoustic group, they do some fine jamming and getting folks onto the dance floor, which is quite nice at the Nicollet.

International Novelty Gamelan @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) The traditional gamelan ensemble uses percussive instruments, such as metallophones and hand played drums to create beautiful, yet moving music. This ensemble uses the instruments to explore new music. To hear some of their music, go here.

Friday, October 31

Davina & The Vagabonds @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Though they don’t do goth, zombies, or vampires, but Davina and the Vagabonds are still a great party band for Halloween – their musical fun knows no bounds, whether Davina is singing an original or a Fats Domino tune. There’s a reason she regularly sells out the Dakota and fills many other venues around town – she’s that good at good time music – even when she’s singing threats to guys who’ve done her wrong.

The Nephews

The Nephews

Halloween Show: The Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank w/Jillian Rae @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8/advance, $10/door) Ian and Teague Alexy grew up in New Jersey, studied music on different coasts, and settled in Northern Minnesota, where they formed the Hobo Nephews to play in the burgeoning roots/Americana scene along with Charlie Parr and Trampled by Turtles. They’ve released four albums and have toured the nation. Talented vocalist/fiddler Jillian Rae will be releasing a new song, Heart in a Jar, about a zombie in love with a living person. Dressing up is encouraged, with a prize for best costume.

Disco Ritual @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 9pm ($7) Get your Haloween dancing shoes on and join Worldwide Discoteque and DJ Don Cuco as they present Funky International Dance Music, a costume contest and a free photo booth for ghosts, goblins, zombies, and other dressed up folk.

Saturday, November 1

Captan Gravitone & the String Theory Orcestra @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) this Southern Minnesota trio mixes genres as deftly as a bartender mixing an old fashioned. They create tangos about Walmart, and songs about being a philosophy major, as well as music by Dave Brubeck, Willie Dixon, and the Zombies.

Badinovs @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Fans of Beatles-style pop rock will want to check out the Badinovs  who will be playing new material as a way to say goodbye to daylight savings time. Opening at 8pm are the Fuggs, a cover band from Dassel, MN, followed by a short set from Mike Nilles’ guitar students.

Sunday, November 2

Nikki & the Ruemates @ Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Here’s an early Sunday evening show worth your while, especially if you’re a fan of late 60s folk/rock and a bit of blues. Nikki’s clarion vocals still thrill, while the Ruemates’ instrumental prowess still cooks.

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 U Wanna Dance Calendar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Choices, Choices, Choices. Music: 10.1 – 10.7

October 1, 2014

DSC00159.JPGThe leaves are changing as are the number of opportunities to get out and listen to music, with visiting jazz artists, a number of opportunities to dance, new chamber music and some honky-tonkin in a jazz club. Have fun. Music is good for the body and soul.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 1

Coryell, Bailey, & White @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($25) I mentioned this group last week since they played on Tuesday night. Three of the pioneers of jazz rock are gathering to prove that blistering improvisation and rock rhythms are not mutually exclusive. Larry Coryell on guitar has been called the inventor of the genre, though he can play delicate soothing lines, as well as fiery electric work. Victor Bailey took over the bass spot in Weather Report when Jaco Pasorius left the group. Drummer Lenny White played in Return to Forever and on the Miles Davis Bitches Brew recordings. Here’s a version of a song they did last night.

Anthony Cox Presents Downrange Telemetrics @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) A bit more than jazz, this is a multimedia/poetry/musical presentation, featuring poet Becca Barniskis, visual artist Lori Brink, guitarist Nick Jaffe, and Cox. This may seem an odd pairing, but really, jazz musicians and poets have been sharing stages since the 1950s or earlier.

Thursday, October 2

Seru, Gillett, & Evans @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Another in the weekly series at Kyber Pass, this time featuring Davu Seru, percussion; Charles Gillett, lap guitar; and Elaine Evans, pocket trumpet.

Friday, October 3

Lee Ritenour @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($40) After a career spanning 50 years, guitarist Ritenour has earned a Grammy as well as 19 nominations, played on over 3,000 recording sessions, for artists ranging from the Mamas and Papas to Sonny Rollins and Frank Sinatra, and was a founding member of Fourplay, one of the most successful groups in jazz.

The siblings at play

The siblings at play

An Evening with Chris & JT @ Sweet 317, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10?/$20?) That’s brothers Chris & JT Bates, two of the finest musicians in town. Sweet 317 is an intimate space in Lowertown’s Northern Warehouse. They just received a Knight Arts Challenge Grant. Tonight, Chris on bass; and JT on drums, will be featured. For more information: info@sweet317.com

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Friends @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Kamau is the amazing drummer who has recorded and performed with Weather Report and McCoy Tyner, among others. Tonight his friends include: Pete Whitman, sax; Zacc Harris guitar; and young Charlie Lincoln, bass.

College Night @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. ($10 Suggested Donation) The debut of a new series featuring combos from area colleges and universities. Tonight starts with combos from North Central University from Minneapolis.

Foreign Motion, Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric CD Release, and Stolyette @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($10) Foreign Motion and ALE both feature formidable guitarists. A Love Electric is a Mexico City-based trio led by Todd Clouser, who is originally from the Twin Cities. Stolyette is a Minneapolis duo with Russian vocals, a bass, and tape loops, shifters and other electronic musicianship. The frets will be burning tonight. Here’s a video from Clouser and his group with a guest trombone player.

Saturday, October 4

The Illicit Sextet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul 8pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Concert #2 in the Saturday Jazz at the Blackdog series. This time the Illicit Sextet will be garnering your attention. They play nothing but original compositions, with a line-up and sound that evokes the hard bop years and a freshness that’s true to the present.

Monday, October 6

Jake & Noah Baldwin @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Though they share the same last name and both play trumpet, these Baldwin’s are not brothers. They are, however, very good musicians, and when you add the drums and bass of Jazz Central, you have a hot quartet, indeed.

Ken Thomson’s Slow/Fast, w/Seru, Lewis, & Fratzke @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) It’s another evening of jazz on the edge at Icehouse. Ken Thomson and Slow/Fast are a NYC band touring around the very recent release of its second album, Settle. The group consists of Thomson, alto sax, bass clarinet, and compositions; Nir Felder, guitar; Russ Johnson, trumpet; Adam Armstrong, bass; and drummer Fred Kennedy. Their set will be followed by a performance from Daru Seru, percussion; Mike Lewis, sax; and Erik Fratzke, bass. Here’s an excerpt of a piece from Thomson.

Tuesday, October 7

davu-seru-dean-mcgrawMagraw & Seru @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5-$20 Suggested Donation) Dean Magraw, guitar; and Davu Seru, percussion get together on the first Tuesday of every month to deepen their musical communication and share it with appreciative audiences.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other….

Wednesday, October 1

Bingham & Thorne on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3, 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Bob Bingham and Gordon Thorne are extraordinary players on both six and twelve string guitars. Thorne also plays mandolin. When they play, they invite you into their lives with both stories and song. Both are seasoned veterans of many bands, and together, of many festivals. They’ll be joined by a special guest, fiddler Randy Sabien. Tune in, and if you like them, check them out in person.

Neo-American Primitive Guitar Showcase @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Tip)  Folks, Blues, & Beyond, from guitarists Kyle Fosburgh, Steve Palmer, Matt Helgeson, and Nic Garcia. More guitar music for a Wednesday night.

Erik Koskinen @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) This is the debut of a monthly residency for Koskinen  who writes wry songs with a keen viewpoint on American life. He’s a heckuva guitar player as well.

Thursday, October 2

The Swamp Poppas @The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5?) Get out your dancing shoes and enjoy the  Cajun, Swamp Pop, and Zydeco sound of the Poppas – an unassuming band with a mission to get you out on the dance floor. Always a treat.

Friday, October 3

Hurricane Harold’s All-Star Blues Revue @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($10?) Tonight, the All-Stars feature Jason Lockwood, Dan Schwalbe, Victor Span, Keith Boyles, and Tim Wick. Harpist Harold has brought together a stellar group of musicians, featuring Kentucky guitarist Jason Lockwood, who has played at the International Blues Competition 16 years in a row. It’s an early show, so you can catch a set or two and still be home in time to get a good night’s sleep or watch some late night TV.

Big George Jackson CD Release @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) His deep voice will shake the rafters, while bandmates Jeremy Johnson and Phil Schmid will lay down a blues groove you won’t easily forget. Here’s a video from a few years back.

The Erickson’s Album Release @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($18/$15 Advance) Sisters Bethany Balentini and Jenny Kapernick are releasing their fourth album, Bring Me Home. They use their sisterly harmonies to great effect, whether singing rootsy songs of sorrow, as in the past, or the playful and slightly electro/pop of My Love, the first single from the new album. Opening is BB Gun (Al Church, Neal Pervix, and Jeremy Hanson)

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, October 3,4,5

Zeitgeist Plays New Discoveries and Old Favorites @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm Friday ($10), 7:30pm Saturday ($20, including post-concert reception), 2pm Sunday ($10)  The contemporary chamber music ensemble will feature the world premier of From Afar, the Dragon Calls, by Minnesota Composer Jeff Lambert, as well as other new works and a couple of favorites, not to forget the debut of the ensemble’s newest member, pianist Nicola Melville. For a complete rundown of the program, visit:  http://www.zeitgeistnewmusic.org/new-discoveries-old-favorites.php

Saturday, October 4

Soul Tight Committee @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) R&B and funk from a ten-piece band with a number of singers. This is a band to see when you want to dance to songs you know as well as a few new ones.

Sunday, October 5

Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 1pm – 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) – It’s the Blues Society’s annual event. Jimi “Prime time” Smith will be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and he’ll perform with The Groove Merchants, Also on hand will be the Jeremy Johnson Blues Band (Jeremy is an honoree), Big George Jackson, The Butanes, and the Don King Blues Band.

Nachito Herrera & His Cuban Orchestra @ The Ordway Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30 ($23 – $55) Since his arrival in Minnesota about 12 years ago, Cuban born pianist Nachito Herrera has been wowing audiences both here and around the world, whether playing Latin Jazz, traditional Cuban music, or with classical symphonies. Now, he’s put together a concert featuring members of the Youth Symphony, four singers from Cuba, and a host of others. Something like 70 or 80 musicians will be on stage. Plus, there will be a dance floor for folks inspired by Cuban son, cha cha chas, and other Latin rhythms. I interviewed Nachito on my show this past Saturday, which you can hear at: http://kfai.org/rhythmandgrooves. The interview starts soon after the show begins.

Junior Brown @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) Guitarist Brown is an American original – a throwback to the days when country music burned with the energy of high octane gas running through a four barrel carburetor, especially when he sings songs like Highway Patrol, and Hang Up and Drive. He invented the guit-steel guitar, which he places on a small stand, letting him switch between lap steel and lead guitar with ease. Expect some honky-tonk and western swing, with a bit of blues, Tex-Mex, and surf rock thrown in for good measure. He won the CMA Country Music Video of the Year award in 1996 for his song, “My Wife Thinks You’re Dead.” Here’s a live version of that song.

Tuesday, October 7

Fat Chance Jug Band – Jug Band Jam @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm (Tip Jar) Here’s the ticket when you are longing for some simple music from mostly home-made instruments. Unpretentious music for an unpretentious bar.

Vinyl Voices @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) KFAI deejays Sara Oxton and Tarik Thonton will take turns spinning R&B, Soul, & Funk vinyl for your listening pleasure while sampling the beers of Harriet Brewing.

Tuesday, Wednesday, October 7,8

Al Stewart @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) In 1979, British folk rocker Stewart was all over the airwaves with the million selling Year of the Cat and Time Passages. Some 20 odd albums later, he’s touring with musical partner Dave Nachmanoff, rather than the full band of those years. He’ll be doing acoustic versions of many of his old songs as well as some newer numbers. Here they are.

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 U Wanna Dance Calendar.


Transitions and Traditions. Music: 4.2 – 4.8

April 2, 2014

images-1The big news this week is the confirmation of rumors that The Dakota will be leasing the old Artists’ Quarter space in the basement of the hamm Building in downtown Saint Paul. Reports are thea there will be asmall kitchen installed and the programming will include more than jazz. I imagine that some touring jazz acts like Tom Harell, and other acts that wouldn’t fill the Dakota would be booked into the new space, which is as yet, unnamed. This week’s music also features some groups and artists in transition, as they collaborate with new partners, perform in new venues, and otherwise seek to advance their music.

On a personal note, KFAI is in pledge drive mode, and I will be asking folks to become members during my show this Saturday morning from 10:30am – Noon. I’ll be doing a phone interview with drummer Matt Slocum. It would be gratifying to get some support from those of you reading this.

On to the music for the week.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 2

Foreman, Felly, Schmidt, & Mussselman @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) This is a quartet of relatively young musicians with enough experience to create inventive and melodic music base on songs they like, whether modern jazz, alt-pop, or indie-rock: Andrew Foreman, bass; Dave Felly, guitar; Zach Schmidt, drums; and Dan Musselman, piano.

KCOB Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation – $10 suggested) Drummer/percussionist Davu Seru leads Casey O’Brien, bass; and Nathan Hanson, saxophones; in a concert that allows plenty of give and take for questions from the audience. Given the talents involved, the choice of music will undoubtedly be wide-ranging and somewhat free.

Emily Davis & Robert Bell @ Ingredients Cafe, White Bear Lake. 6:30 – 9:30pm (No cover) Emily sings and Robert plays guitar for your enjoyment as you have dinner or sit at the bar and have drinks.

Thursday, April 3

Jon Wood & Connie Olson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 9:30 (Donation) It’s vocalist night at Jazz Central, and tonight, curator Maryann Sullivan brings us two vocalists. Jon Wood is a guitarist/vocalist who will be performing the first set and then accompanying Connie Olson for a second set of songs from the Great American Songbook. Olson is an accomplished singer who has been heard on many commercials and has worked with folks like the Brian Setzer Band, The Peter Duchin Big Band, and musicians from the bands of both Madonna and Prince. Here’s Connie singing from a few years ago.

Friday, April 4

Vicky Mountain & James Allen @ The Wine Market, Mendota Heights. 5pm – 7pm (Free) It’s a free wine tasting while superb vocalist Mountain and sympathetic accompanying guitarist Allen serenade you with standards and some jazzified rock n’ roll oldies.

Steve Kenny’s Group 47 at the Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar)  Trumpeter Kenny has assembled a group of young musicians (a couple are in high school), and like many band leaders back in the day, is both teaching and learning through his association.   Though they’ve been working on a album (vinyl only!), tonight’s show will focus on standards and tunes that aren’t on the album.

Sound Skirmish @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm (Donation) This is the Young Artists’ Showcase, presented by Jazz Police, which used to be held at the AQ. Tonight features a quartet: Patrtickl Adams, piano, from Edina; Levi Schwartzbert, vibes, from Southwest HS; Drew Stinson, bass, from Southwest HS; and Ben Ehrlich,m drums, from Wayzata.

Saturday, April 5

Pippi Ardennia’s PipJazz Live, feat. The Dakota Combo @ The Capri, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $10 Student) Extraordinary vocalist PIppi Ardennia opens her fourth season of family-friendly concerts with a new twist, taking them to alternating venues. Tonight she’ll be at the Capri Theater in North Minneapolis, and as usual, will have a special guest. This time it’s the Dakota Combo, a metro-wide ensemble of talented high school musicians selected through open auditions. (Full disclosure: I chair the Foundation that sponsors the Combo). Here’s Pippi at the TC Jazz Festival a couple of years ago.

Lila Ammons’ Voices of Influence @ Honey, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($10) Ammons will be singing songs from a variety of her influences. As she puts it: Bessie Smith to Sarah Vaughn. She’ll be accompanied by Ted Godbout on piano, and special guest boogie boogie pianist Axel Zwingenberger for some numbers.

Saturday, Sunday, April 5, 6

Charmin & Shapira & Friends Present Bop to Bossa @ The Black Box Theater, Bloomington Center for the Arts. 7:30pm Sat, 2pm Sun ($19 Adults, $17 Seniors, $13 25 & under) The name says it all. It’s an exploration of the common ground between bebop of the late 40s and 50s and Brazilian bossa novas. Helping out will be Paul Harper on sax and flute; Tom Lewis, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums. Here’s Charmin Michelle and Joel Shapira doing a classic bebop tune.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar and the KBEM Calendar, which also features some blues and roots listings. For further commentary of Twin Cities Jazz, go to Jazz Police,Bebopified, and JazzInk.

 

Blues, Roots, and Other…

Wednesday, April 2

Mary Leinfelder & Friends on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90-.Fm & 106.7FM) and 7pm (331 Club – tip jar) It’s about time that songstress Leinfelder headlined her own group. She’s been sitting in with folks like Willie Murphy, John Beach, Dave Ray, and Papa John Kolstad for years and years. Tonight she’s joined by Jim Ouska, guitar; Jim Chenoweth, bass; Kory Badertscher, drums; and Tom Cravens, keys. Tune in to 90.3 or 106.7FM during the 5 o’clock hour to get a preview, and head to the 331 Club at 7pm for the real deal.

Steven Hobert & Lynn O’Brien @ Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) You may know Hobert from his accordion work with Lulu’s playground, or his piano work in any number of other local ensembles. For one so young, he has an impressive resume: Glenn Miller Orchestra, 5 by Design, and a number of symphony orchestras. His keyboard work is often impressionistic, and sometimes whimsical. He’ll be joined by clear-voiced singer/songwriter Lynn O’Brien, who studied with Bobby McFerrin and is a board-certified music therapist.

Thursday, April 3

Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($22) This is a group with a compelling story: one that speaks to the redeeming power of music. Forced to leave their homes in Sierra Leone during the 1990s because of a bloody, horrifying war, members of the group found themselves in a refugee camp, where they met and proceeded to make music to entertain other refugees. They moved from camp to camp, were the subject of an award-winning documentary, and exploded on the world music scene after the release of their debut album in 2006. Their music is a combination of old school reggae, Afrobeat, and Congolease soukouss, which means it’s highly infectious and danceable. Extra bonus: DJ Salif Keita, from KFAI’s African Rhythms, will be spinning tunes before and between sets. Here’s a sample of their infectious music.

Friday, April 4

Big George Jackson and Curtis Blake with the Dan Schwalbe Blues Band @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5 after 7pm)  Big George has a big voice, well suited to John Lee Hooker-like boogies. He’s a star in Europe, and should be a star her in the US, so count your blessings that you can see him at the Tap Room. He’s on at 9pm, while ace harpman Curtis Blake joins guitarist Dan Scwalbe and his band for some more first rate blues 7pm. Big George at 9pm. Looks like the weather still won’t be warm enough to open the doors at the Tap Room, so be advised that seating is somewhat limited.

Adam Levy, Bethany Larson & the Bees Knees @ New Century Theater, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15 – $45) Here’s a chance to check out a new, intimate venue in town. Adam Levy is a guitarist who’s work with the Honeydogs has earned him a national reputation, and who has shown a propensity for inventive collaborations with other musicians. Bethany Larson sings county-ish songs of heartbreak. The Bees Knees will be taking a hiatus after this gig, so it’s your last chance to see them for a while.

Lamont Cranston Band w/Bruce McCabe @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Roadhouse blues gets an upgrade as this hometown crew brings some “Upper Mississippi Shakedown” to the tony environs of the Dakota.

Saturday, April 5

Rena Haus Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) A nice evening gig at the Kitchen for rootsy, bluesy Rena and her trio. She’s a stellar writer, with a flair for the humorous and an ability to speak to everyday concerns. check her out.

The Eddies @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) These five singers always show up on my radar, partly because they’re approach to singing (and just a little playing) is so warm and refreshing, and partly because they always involve the audience. The songs are familiar and/or easy to sing along with, and range from Bob Marley and Billy Joe Shaver to sea chanties and songs of murder.

Sunday, April 6

Road to Memphis Competition @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 1pm ($10) This is the competition for solo and duo acts, and will include Wisconsin Bryan Johnson, Paul & Bambi, Doug Otto & Hurricane Harold, Brother Sun & Sister Moon, and “Duckshack Dave” Florine.  Winners will get to represent Minnesota at the International Blues challenge in Memphis in January, 2015.

Tinariwen with the Melodic @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis,  7:30pm ($35) Another African band comes to the Cedar this week, this time bringing the hypnotic sound of Desert Blues. Tinariwen hail from the Sahara region of Northern Mali and play guitar driven music based on traditional Tuaregsongs as well as regional influences such as Berber music, electrified Rai, and traditional Malian music.

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, April 6,7,8

Lalah Hathaway & Ruben Studdard @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45, $50), 9pm ($35, $40, $45) An evening of classic soul and elegant rhythm and blues. Hathaway, the daughter of soul legend Donny Hathaway, has been performing for over 20 years, and most recently won the 2014 Grammy for Best R&B Performance. Studdard is the 2003 American Idol winner who has turned that win into a successful career of gold and platinum records in both pop and R&B.

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


Eat. Drink. Music. 11.27 – 12.3

November 27, 2013

Well, I thought readers might enjoy a little levity about Thanksgiving.  I realize that not everyone overeats or even goes shopping on Thanksgiving, which is once more upon us. Gathering with friends and family is a great tradition, and we can even find a way to enjoy meals without meltdowns over politics, religion or lifestyles. Please take note of the Brass Bash at the Amsterdam on Sunday. There will be lots of good music, and the proceeds go to KFAI. Would love to see you there. In the meantime, have a good holiday, and if you get stressed out, take some time to let music lift your spirits. There is certainly plenty of it around.

Jazz…

Wednesday, November 27

Davu Seru Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (donation) Davu Seru, percussion, Josh Granowski, bass; and Park Evans, guitar. Seru is a drummer/percussionist who is equally at home playing straight ahead jazz, free jazz, and desert blues, among others. Park Evans and Josh Granowski are equally versatile.

Phil Hey Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) A long-running quartet that doesn’t seem to appear outside of monthly AQ performances, Phil Hey, drums; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Tom Lewis, bass; and Phil Aaron, piano. Expect a very high level of performance of tunes by Coletrane, Coleman, Mingus, and more. Here they are a few years ago, doing a standard.

Friday, November 29

Talking Strings @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip jar) Pavel Jany, guitar; Gary Schulte, violin; and Andrew Foreman, bass; playing global jazz – French jazz, bossa novas, gypsy jazz, and more.

Atlantis Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($8) Some late night modern jazz. The Atlantis Quartet has built a strong following in the Twin Cities based on the stellar playing of Zacc Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; Brandon Wozniak, tenor sax; and Pete Hennig, drums.

Friday, Saturday, November 29,30

Pat Mallinger & the Bill Carrothers Trio @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Mallinger (sax) and Carrothers (piano) are Saint Paul talents who have made good and now live in Chicago and Upper Michigan, respectively. When they’re in town, they head to the AQ, where their combined talent makes for a very special show. Here’s Pat hard at work.

Saturday, November 30

George Maurer Group @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12) Maurer may be the most talented Minnesota musician you haven’t heard about, since he resides in Saint Cloud and only sporadically performs in the Twin Cities. He’s a pianist/composer/producer who has collaborated with musicians ranging from Prudence Johnson to Eric Clapton. Tonight he brings a septet, including two horns, to the Dakota. Check out their take on a Beatles tune.

Maryann Sullivan & Dave Martin@ Mendoberri Cafe & Wine Bar, Mendota. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Here’s a low-key way to eat out at a casual restaurant and hear some fine jazz. Vocalist Sullivan and guitarist Martin will be swinging some standards and a holiday tune or two.

Sunday, December 1

KFAI’s Brass Bash @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 6pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This is a benefit I’ve put together for KFAI, featuring three bands with brass instruments. First up at 6:30 is The Jana Nyberg Group. Jana swings and sings with taste, and with the help of husband/trumpeter Adam Meckler, brings new life to bossa novas, jazz chestnuts, and contemporary pop. At 7:30pm it’s Parham, Schimke, Anderson, Boettcher, and Washington. This quintet represents some of the best of Twin Cities Jazz. Solomon Parham, trumpet; Peter Schimke, piano; Kevin Washington, drums; Jeremy Boettcher, bass; and up and coming new guy in town, Tyler Anderson on tenor sax. Suffice to say, the place will be swinging. Then, to close things up at 8:30 or so, we have the Jack Brass Band, whose infectious music encompasses  traditional brass band tunes, jazz standards like  Night in Tunisia and songs by Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Bobby Brown and more. They’ve been together for a dozen years or so and have enough street cred to be featured in New Orleans’ Offbeat Magazine, march in a Mardis Gras Parade, and play for WWOZ.  Here’s the Jana Nyberg Group in the KFAI studios.

Monday, December 2

Joey DeFrancesco Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30)  Today’s Hammond organ giant was playing with Miles Davis as a teenager, and also played with John McLaughlin. Last seen here at the MN Zoo with Dave Sanborn, DeFrancesco will put on a smokin’ show of soul-jazz. Check out his take on a song that’s heavily identified with Sinatra.

Tuesday, December 3

Dean Magraw and Davu Seru @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (tip jar) This monthly gig is always impressive, as Magraw on electric guitar, and Seru on drums and percussion use their vast knowledge of jazz, rock, and world musics to create enlightening and inspiring music.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, November 27

UnknownNikki & the Rue-Mates on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5-ish (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – tip jar)  I’ve been a fan of Nikki’s crystaline voice for years. She’s turned into a fine writer and guitar player as well, ably assisted by Rich Rue on resonator guitar and Jon Larsen on bass. With any luck, she’ll have a drummer along to add some kick to the proceedings.

photoSonny Knight & Lakers and The Rich Lewis Band @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($5) Knight started out in the 60s when he was a teenager, and eventually sang with the legendary Twin Cities band Haze in the 70s. His appearance on the Secret Stash compilation of Twin Cities Soul & Funk has re-energized him and he’s put together a seven-piece horn and organ band to provide some funky backing. They’ve been doing a residency at the Eagles Club for the last month, creating good vibes and building an audience. Tonight’s bash features the Rich Lewis Band, purveyors of funky good times in their own right, albeit with a New Orleans bent to the music. The bash is in the big room, with plenty of space for dancers.

Thursday, November 28

Davina & the Vagabonds @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Not a lot to do on Thanksgiving night, but if you want something that will appeal across generations, you can’t go wrong with the highly unique, energetic blues, R&B, and jazz of Ms Davina and the highly polished Vagabonds.

Doug Otto & the Getaways @ Ray J’s Northeast, 500 Central Ave, Minneapolis. 9:30pm Doug’s mournful voice is perfect for the old timey roots music that he prefers. The Getaways include Josh Granowski, Alberto Castro Perez, Jr., and Chris Gray.

Friday, November 29

TAKK @ Juxtaposition Arts’ Moja Gallery, 1108 Broadway, Minneapolis. 7pm, performances at 8pm & 9pm (Free) TAKK is a dance project with video installation that looks at relationships through the lens of sports. There promises to be much interactivity during the dance performances.

Dee Miller Band @ Shaw’s, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) The Duchess of the Blues, helping you to dance off the Thanksgiving meal pounds.

The Butanes and the Marbles Acoustic Band @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5 after 8pm) The Marbles Acoustic Band, an octet, start things off with their jam-ish versions of 60s and 70s folk-rock. Then The Butanes come on at 9 to take you down blues alley.

Saturday, November 30

MetsaWalkerPosterPaul Metsa & Willie Walker CD Release Party @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 5pm – 7pm. (No Cover) The other great singer/songwriter to come out of the Iron Range has been playing with soulman Willie Walker for a few years now. The combination of Paul’s sterling guitar playing and Willie’s angelic, yet soulful voice makes for good chemistry and great music. The CD is called Live from Highway 55.

Trashy Little Christmas Show @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20) It’s a Christmas Tradition. Trailer Trash begins their annual weekly residency bringing musical mayhem

Black Market Brass, Brass Messengers, and Body Omara @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Looking for some Afrobeat, world brass, and desert blues? You will want to be at the Nomad tonight.

Big George Jackson @ The Schooner, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Big George has a seemingly bottomless voice that is equal parts scary and comforting. Just right for the Delta-inspired blues that he sings. He has a crack band behind him as well. Here he is.

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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