Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays: 12.20 – 12.26

December 20, 2017

Toy Trains at Christmas

Or to put it more humorously and inclusively, Happy Chriskwanzacuh – and don’t forget the celebration of Winter Solstice, since we can look forward to increasing daytime light after Thursday. This is a time of year when a number of faiths and cultures have special celebrations, and if you don’t practice those faiths, you can nevertheless appreciate and even enjoy some of their traditions (including setting up toy trains). You still have the opportunity to hear great music throughout our area, though admittedly, you might have to settle for watching Netflix and getting Chinese takeout on December 25. Besides a couple of holiday shows, we can choose from the last appearance in town by the original Bad Plus, a couple of dance-oriented bands, and some roots music. Whatever your traditions at this time of year, enjoy the season, and remember, music lifts the spirit

Jazz

Wednesday, Dec 20

Chris Lomheim Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/valid student ID) Pianist Chris Lomheim gathers Adam Rossmiller, trumpet; Pete Whitman, sax; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger, drums; for an evening of swinging tunes and subtle ballads. Here is what Lomheim sound like in a trio setting.

Fuzzy Math @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 10pm (Free) Original eclectic jazz and creative covers from pianist/composer Mark Vandermyde, with Jason Parvey, sax; Matt Peterson, bass; and Harald Bondaris, drums.

Wednesday, Dec 20 – Saturday, Dec 23

The Bad Plus @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45), 9pm ($40) Since the turn of this century, Ethan Iverson, piano; Reid Kennedy, bass; and Dave King, drums; have been making annual visits to the Dakota to present their iconoclastic jazz, reimagining rock hits and jazz standards while creating songs that are often as quirky as their titles (i.e., 1979 Semi Finalist, Epistolary Echoes). This is the last gig featuring pianist Iverson, who is leaving the group after their New Year’s Eve appearance at the Village Vanguard. His droll wit will be missed, but he’ll be ably replaced by Orrin Evans. Stay tuned….

Thursday, Dec 21

Holiday Piano Bar @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/valid student ID) The “Piano Bar” isn’t really such, since Jazz Central isn’t a bar. Nevertheless curator Sarah M. Greer describes the evening as part open mic, part jam session, and part caroling singalong. Ms Greer will host the evening, aided by pianist Jon de Vall. Bring instruments, charts, your lyric sheets and requests.

Belle Amour Holiday Show @ Vieux Carré  Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) Looking at their website, it appears that this four-piece group – vocalist, keys, bass, drums – seems to specialize in wedding and corporate gigs. It appears that Graydon Peterson is on bass, though I don’t recognize the other performers. Listening to their songs reveals a tight, jumping outfit that plays vintage jazz, including songs from Bessie Smith, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, The Andrew Sisters, and other performers from the 1930s and 40s. Their music is bright, breezy, and fun.

Aerosol Pike @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Acoustic-based spontaneous composition from Philip Mann, Ryan Reber, and Rick Ness on horns (and other instruments?).

Friday, Dec 22

Peter Schimke Trio @ The Lexington, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) The Lexington’s Williamsburg Room can be a bit noisy to fully appreciate the playing of pianist Schimke, who always has A-list players with him. Just sit close, enjoy a cocktail, and relax after doing your holiday shopping.

John Raymond’s Standards Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/valid student ID) Minneapolis native Raymond is a trumpeter/flugelhorn player who was called a “Rising Star” by no less than DownBeat Magazine. His four albums have all been well received by the NY Times, Downbeat, and Jazz Times. He’s currently Professor of Trumpet at Indiana University. His trip home provides us with a chance to hear him, accompanied by Graydon Peterson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. Here he is with his New York group.

Saturday, Dec 23

Bill Carrothers @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm ($15, $20) Carrothers, a pianist whose imagination is always inventive and far-ranging, seems to have fallen in love with the Dunsmore Room, as the Saint Paul native makes the trip from Michigan quite frequently to appear in various groups. He’s recorded 26 albums as a leader and has appeared as a sideman with a wide range of jazzers including Buddy DeFranco, Dave Douglas, Curtis Fuller, Billy Higgins, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Konitz, Dewey Redmanm, Toots Thielman, and more. He’ll be appearing solo to play on the 9-foot Steinway at the intimate listening room.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Cole Mahlum opens at 7pm, leading his own group. At 8:30pm bassist Ted Olsen appears with frequent collaborators Javi Santiago on piano; Miguel Hurtado, drums; and saxophonist Aaron Hedenstrom.

Sunday, Monday, Dec 24, 25

Merry Christmas! Enjoy a technicolor Christmas at the movies, or a Chinese meal for those who don’t practice the Christian faith.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Dec 26, 27

Connie Evingson: Holiday @ Dunsmore Lodge, Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($22) With its view of a snow-covered lake, the Dunsmore will easily bring to mind a cozy country lodge as Ms Evingson, of the cool, yet sultry voice, celebrates the season, accompanied by Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Dave Karr, sax & flute; and Gordy Johnson, bass. Here’s a cut from her gorgeous Christmas album.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, Dec 20

Ben Eaton on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Roots/Americana songwriter/guitarist Eaton is a native of Des Moines who now lives in Minneapolis. He’s working on a 5-song EP with drummer Dwight Dario, who used to live around here, and Matt Woods. Tonight he’ll have a 4-piece band with him, featuring guitarist/drummer Jeremy Johnson.

Thursday, Dec 21

Draper-Beckmen-Kiesling @ The Dubliner Pub & Cafe, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) The Twin Cities hardest-working washboard player teams up with bassist-around-town Liz Draper and Adam Kielsing (of Pert Near Sandstone) to play old-time music, country blues, early jazz, and maybe a holiday tune or two for your happy hour pleasure.

Friday, Dec 22

Steve Clarke & The Working Stiffs @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5?, $10?) Blues, swing, jump, jive, & jazz for dancing in the Ernie Mattson Ballroom at the commodious Eagles Club.

Nikki & the Ruemates @ Dusty’s Bar, NE Minneapolis. 9:45pm (Tip Jar) Though Dusty’s is under new ownership, they remain committed to providing the rootsy groups that have been appearing there for years. Example number 1: Nikki & the Rue-mates, whose folk-blue-rock has long been a Dusty’s favorite, often packing the place while they play in the “big green booth.” Nikki’s clarion voice and Rich Rue’s terrific fretwork are always a treat, with the added delight of guitarist Dean Mikkelson often sitting in to accompany Nikki on a jazz standard or two.

Saturday, Dec 23

Steeling Dan @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) You say you want to hear some heady, sometimes inscrutable lyrics, performed with cool, jazzy pop? Then this Steely Dan Tribute Band may deliver just what you need.

Joyann Parker Band @ Crooners’ Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 8pm (No cover, but $10 guaranteed seat) Vocalist/pianist/guitarist Parker has a powerful blues and R&B voice that’s just right for the Pre-Christmas Saturday night crowd at Crooners. She’s been making her mark on the Twin Cities Blues scene for the last few years, and represented Minnesota in the 2015 International Blues Challenge. Her 2015 album, On the Rocks, was named Best Self-Produced Album by the MN Blues Society.

Sunday, Dec 24

Enjoy Christmas Eve!

Monday, Dec 25

Christmas With Robert Robinson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $35) Get your gospel groove on with the highly popular and one-of-a-kind Robinson, who gets rave reviews wherever he appears. Some examples: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinal called him “a volcanic talent,” while the Salt Lake City Desert New called his performance “glorious,” and the Star Tribune described him as a “soaring presence.”

Tuesday, Dec 26

Willie West @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12) Louisiana-born Willie West is a classic soul singer who recorded for Allen Toussaint with the score for the blaxploiotation film Black Samson, and later worked with The Meters in the late 70s and early 80s. He then worked all over Bourbon Street until Hurricane Katrina, after which he moved to Saint Cloud, where he currently lives. In the last few years he’s recorded with some Finnish funk/soul groups (see video), and still has the vocal prowess and emotional power that makes a soul singer a soul singer.

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.


Purple Reigns: 4.19 – 4.25

April 19, 2017

Unless you’ve been living in a cave this past week, you’ve undoubtedly been reminded that it’s been a year since Prince joined the majority, as they used to say in Victorian times. There are many shows this week that will be celebrating his memory, including deejayed dance parties, Paisley Park productions, and shows with various of his associates. I’ve listed a few, but Chris Riemenschneider of the Star Tribune captured them all in an article this past Monday. Many of the VIP tickets for shows are sold out, but as he notes, there are less expensive tickets available for numerous shows. At any rate, whether or not you’re a Prince fan, there is plenty of music to lift your spirits and soothe your soul this week, including those below.

 

Jazz

Wednesday, April 19

Steven Hobert Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) The ruminative piano style of Steven Hobert joins forces with the imaginative playing of saxman Pete Whitman, and a solid foundation from Johannes Tona, bass; and LA Buckner, drums.  Here’s Hobert in a slightly different setting.

Red Planet & Bill Carrothers @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40w/Dinner) Bill Carrothers is a highly regarded pianist who has drawn raves from New York City to Europe for his highly inventive ways with a melody. He grew up in Saint Paul but lives in the UP of Michigan. That’s close enough that he comes to town every few months to perform, lately at the Dunsmore Room.  Red Planet is a jazz-rock trio that brings taste and imagination to the genre. Members Dean Magraw, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums; have collaborated with Carrothers on a new album, and are celebrating its release these two evenings. Carrothers and each of the members of jazz Red Planet will undoubtedly bring new colors and sonorities to jazz standards and originals.

Thursday, April 20

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) A double header of jazz, with Fermentation at 9pm: Dave Atchison – Guitar, Ryan Billig – Drums, William Melton – Bass/Trombone, Armond Reginald Neal – Flute/misc.. Then at 10:30pm it’s Large Marge: Chris Hepola, drums, and Josh Granowski, bass.

Lizz Wright @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50, $60) Vocalist Wrigh  is a preacher’s kid from a small town in Georgia, where she often sang during Sunday services. It’s against that background that she can weave jazz, pop, and the blues into a personal perspective that resonates with audiences around the world. She particularly asked to perform here this week, given that Prince stopped by to see & visit with her the last time she was in town, two nights before he passed.

Friday, April 22

Ashen Fir and Below Zero @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID). Friday nights are given over to Jazz Masters and emerging Artistsd at Jazz Central. First up tonight is Ashen Fir, a quartet led by Greg Byers, cello; along with Jack Barrett, keys; Charlie Bruber, bass; and Pete Quirsfeld, drums. Followed by Below Zero, a HS-aged combo directed by Greg Keel. Here is Ashen Fir.

Paula Cole @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) It is twenty years since vocalist Paula Cole released her breakthrough album This Fire, which contained two Billboard-charting singles, and was nominated for seven Grammys, including the first Grammy for Producer of the Year for a female. Cole won as Best New Artist of the Year. Since then she has worked with a wide variety of artists, from Peter Gabriel and Dolly Parton to Herbie Hancock and Burt Bacharach. She has sold over three million albums and has had her songs recorded by folks like Hancock, Annie Lennox, and Jo Jo.

Saturday, April 22

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) The evening starts out with the Abebi Stafford Experience, with Stafford, piano, and Joel Pruitt, drums. Then it’s on to Chris Bates  Red5, affectionately named after the call sign from an X-Wing fighter in Star Wars. The band includes: Bates, bass; JT Bates, drums; Thomas Nordlund, guitar; Steve Kenny, trumpet; Aaron Hedenstrom & Pete Whitman, saxes; and JC Sanford, trombone. Here’s the group in a slightly different configuration.

Sunday, April 23

Bowdog @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) KC Bassist Bob Bowman used to play in town with Karrin Allyson when she was based out of Kansas City. Back in the day he was a member of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, as well as the Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabakin Big Band. He’s also toured with Carmen McCrae, and has toured with Freddie Hubbard and other notables. Bowman leads this quartet, with Hermon Mehari; Peter Schlamb; Johan Kizilamut.

Sheila Jordan @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 5pm, 8pm ($25, $50w/Dinner)  Octogenerian Sheila Jordan is a jazz singer without peer whose main influences have always been instrumentalists, beginning with Charlie Parker. In the early 50s she moved to NYC, hung out in that fertile music scene, married Parker’s pianist Duke Jordan, and studied with Lennie Tristano, but didn’t begin recording until the 60s. Her 2015 album, Sheila’s Back in Town, reveals her to be in full control of her voice, with thoughtful, yet often unexpected changes in pitch, vocalizations of classic instrumental solos, and highly musical scatting.

Dirty Dozen Brass Band 40th Anniversary @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($30, $35), 8pm ($25, $30) Forty years ago a group of talented New Orleans musicians decided to try a different approach to Brass Band music. While still acknowledging a classic repertoire, they added contemporary funk and R&B to their playlist, as well as classic bebop and other jazz that went way beyond traditional brass band music. DDDB’s high energy renditions of tunes like the Moose the Mooch, Blue Monk, and the Flintstones theme earned them fans around the world. They’re still at it, recording music by Rhianna, as well as their own version of Marvin Gaye’s landmark album What’s Going On.

Monday, April 24

Ernest Bisong @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Ever since he enrolled at McNally Smith a few years back, Nigerian violinist has been pleasing ears and turning heads with playing. Now a grad student, Bisong plays around town in various groups and teaches at a few different schools. Tonight he explores his own compositions and arrangements.

John Raymond @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. $15, $40w/Dinner) John Raymond is a NYC-based, Minneapolis born trumpeter who has recently received rave reviews in both Downbeat and Jazz Times for his most recent album, Real Feels, Vol. 1. He was recently selected as a Rising Star in Trumpet by Downbeat’s Critics Poll, and is recognized as a sterling educator, conducting workshops around the country.

Monday, Tuesday, April 24, 25

SF Jazz Collective Plays Miles Davis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40), 9pm ($25, $30) The SF Jazz Collective  consists of eight outstanding musicians. Though the group changes some personnel every year or so, their mission remains the same – to create new arrangements of songs by a selected artist each year and create new compositions inspired by that composer. Past years have seen the celebration of music by Ornette Coleman, Chick Corea, Stevie Wonder, and Michael Jackson, among others. This year they celebrate the music of Miles Davis. This year’s octet has an international flavor, with Miguel Zenon, alto; David Sanchez, tenor; Warrn Wolf, vibes; Sean Jones, trumpet; Robin Eubanks, trombone; Edward Simon, piano; Matt Penman, bass; and Obed Calvaire, drums.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, April 19

Alicia Kay & the ChangeUps on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Americana – country, rock, and blues from Ms Kay and the ChangeUps: Alicia Kay, Singer/Songwriter/Acoustic Guitar; Jimmy Baker, Electric guitar/Songwriter/Banjo; Aaron Rosener, Drums/Percussion; Jeff Ellington/Gerran, Bass; and Wendy Tangen-Foster, Violin/Fiddle. Tune in, and if you like what you hear, head over to the 331, where the show will end in plenty of time to get home and get enough rest for work the next day.

Wednesday, Thursday, April 19, 20

Shelby J Album Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 10pm ($40, $50, $60) Shelby J is a Prince protege who auditioned for, and got a spot in the New Power Generation Band back in 2006. She then took part in the Purple One’s 2007 Super Bowl half-time performance  and has since toured with Mary J. Blige, D’Angelo, Santana, Roy Hargrove, and Larry Graham. Her March appearance at the Dakota with Judith Hill and Liv Warfield received rave reviews. She’ll undoubtedly be singing songs from her brand new album.

Thursday, April 20

The 4/20 (Rock n’) Roll Show @ The Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm )$6 Advance/$9 Door) April 20 is something of a counterculture holiday, commemorating 4:20 as an ideal time to light up a doobie, I guess, and celebrated in places like San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, Boulder, and Montreal. Fulton Brewing is sponsoring this rock-oriented show where, instead of Grateful Dead covers, you’ll get an evening of punk-metal and garage blues., with The Dead Man Boy’s Choir, 20 Watt Tombstone, and Jesse D. Revel. Don’t expect to be lighting up on the dance floor, however.

Friday, April 21

Lush Country @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 8pm (No Cover, but $10 guaranteed seat) Here you have a line-up of Twin Cities all-stars recreating classic country tunes from the 50s. The group includes Dan ChouinardPrudence Johnson  Gary Rue, Richard Kriehn, Gary Raynor, Pete Johnson, and Joe Savage.

PaviElle @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($10) PaviElle is a powerful R&B singer who, with her six-piece band, was named as one of First Avenue’s best new bands of 2015. She’s received other honors as well, including an Upper Midwest Emmy, and a Sage Award. PaviElle French, which is her full name, grew up in Saint Paul’s Rondo neighborhood, and in the last couple of years has become an advocate of black soul music for the Millenial generation. Along with her band, she’s crafted some fine songs and performs intriguing arrangements of surprising covers.

Saturday, April 22

Saturday Salon @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley 3pm ($20) Here’s a chance to hear chamber music in a cabaret setting as soprano Maria Jette hosts a different combination of performers and repertoire at this delightful weekly event. Today, Clara Osowski  mezzo; and Casey Farn, piano; perform selections from Barok, Poulenc, Sebelius, Grieg and more in a presentation with the theme The Ways of the World.

Cornbread Harris’ 90th Birthday Party & CD Release @ the Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) Pianist Cornbread Harris opened for Elvis, appeared on MN’s first recorded rock & roll record with Augie Garcia, and has received numerous awards. And yes, he’s Jimmy Jam’s dad. Thing is, at 90, Cornbread still holds down regular gigs across the Twin Cities, while also playing weddings, churches, and old folks homes. He’s a special character in our artist-rich community and is not only celebrating his birthday, but the release of a CD recorded over two nights at the Hook.

Rich Lewis Band @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($6)Guitarist/singer Lewis has a fondness for R&B, Motown, and the music of New Orleans, all delivered with “a good beat – you can dance to it.” He was a founding member of the fabled Explodo Boys back in the late 70s, and nowadays appears with some regularity at the Eagle’s dance hall. Always a treat.

Sunday, April 23

Road to Memphis Blues Band Challenge @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 1pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Here’s a chance to hear a number of area blues bands while also supporting the Minnesota Blues Society and their efforts to send someone to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis next January. The band’s vying for that honor today include: Slim Willie & The Ride; Bluedog; Ken Valdez; Harrison Street; Jim Stairs & Squishy Mud; and Paul Barry & The Ace Tones. The order of playing will be determined immediately prior to the event, so show up early to ensure you hear your favorite band.

Monday, April 24

DL Cajun Band @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($8) Here at the north end of the Mississippi River, many residents seem to have a bit of a connection to the music of South Louisiana. In fact, you can find Cajun dances with some regularity, especially at this Southside club and dance hall. The DL Cajun Band, as the name suggests, performs traditional Cajun music, including 2-steps, waltzes, blues, and other staples of the genre. Band members are Doug Lohman, guitar; Shawn Glidden,Cajun accordion; and Marie Stier, fiddle; Dawn Doering, triangle & snare. Oh, and their vocals are often in Cajun French.

Peter Mawanga and The Amaravi Movement @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15 Advance, $18 door) Fusing the rock outfit of drums-bass-guitar with the traditional sounds of Malawi’s marimba, thumb piano, and percussion, Mawanga’s Afro-vibes is a modern African sound that is intrinsically Malawian. He has the premier band in Malawi to boot who has been making headlines ever since their debut release Paphiri ndi Padambo (2009). Traditional melodies and rhythms form the backbone of original songs orchestrated with modern and traditional instruments, a sound Mawanga terms Afro-vibes.

Kasano & the Vybes @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 8pm (tip Jar) Kasano has been on Twin Cities’ stages as an actor and dancer, but is also a singer, songwriter, and recording artist who performs funk, soul, and contemporary rhythm & blues. He was born in Lusaka, Zambia, where his father was a guitarist, and was mostly raised in Minnesota. He’s backed by The Vybes: Sweets, guitar; Aaron Rosell, drums; Seth Lienard, bass; and Becky Shaheen, keys.

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.


Penultimate Summer Music: 8.24 – 8.30

August 24, 2016

2015-09-07 15.50.34Can it be that it’s time for the State Fair already? Oh the time goes by so quickly when you’re having fun, and we certainly do that every summer here in Minnesota and the Twin Cities. There is music everyday at the Fair, and not just in the Grandstand, which has some noteworthy attractions this year, as do the free outdoor stages at the West End, the Leinie Lodge, and the Intenational Bazaar. I’ll let you check the Fair’s website. I can’t say there’s jazz, but there’s lots of other kinds of music. The Minnesota Blues Society has kindly put together a list of performances on a daily basis, which you can find here. In the meantime, there’s lots of jazz around town. Have fun, music lifts your spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 24

Pat Donahue and Dean Magraw @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm A guitar-lovers dream as Donahue, a finger-picking champion, and Magraw, a genre-shifting magician, play together in a listening room where they can be best appreciated.

SH4 @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) This is the newest group from pianist Steve Hobert  whose playing can often be described as sparkling, etherial, and downright full of wonder. He’ll be joined by Johannes Tona, bass; LA Buckner on drums; and Jabari Powell, a newcomer to town, on alto sax. They’ll be performing jazz and R&B standards from folks like Duke Ellington, Nina Simone, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, and Kendrick Lamar.

 

JelloSlave @ Mill City Museum, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm ($5) This is a “new music” quartet, with quotation marks, in that they have been around long enough that they aren’t new, but rather play new compositions. With two cellos, tabla, and a drum kit, they play classical compositions, as well as pop/rock compositions, sometimes combining them into one piece. Michelle Kinney, cello; Jaqueline Ultan, cello; Gary Waryan, tables; and Greg Schutte, drums, don’t play that often as JelloSlave  so see them while you can, especially considering the unique venue of the outdoor plaza at the Mill City Museum.

Thursday, August 25

Andrew Walesch Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Walesch is a talented pianist/vocalist with a predilection for the Great American Songbook and a singing style that evokes crooners of the past. Tonight he’ll be performing songs about the fleeting passing of summer, with help from the venerable Dave Karr on sax; the always swinging Billy Peterson on bass; and ace timekeeper Pete James Johnson on drums.

Friday, August 26

Jeremy Walker; Southside Aces @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Walker – No Cover); 9pm (Aces – $10) The folks at Vieux Carré have hit on a winning formula: bringing in terrific solo artists for the 6pm dinner show, and equally terrific groups for the 9pm shows. Tonight, pianist/composer Walker will play during the dinner hour, then at 9pm, the six-piece Southside Aces will heat things up with traditional New Orleans jazz. With a sousaphone!

 

Adam Booker’s Hip-Gnosis @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/studentID) Adam Booker is a bass player who currently teaches at the UofMN-Duluth. He has an extensive history with groups such as The New Orleans Hot Club, the Jazz Pharaohs, the Asylum Street Spankers, and others. He’ll be joined by Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Aaron Hedenstrom, tenor; and Ben Baldwin, drums.

Boo Boo’s Last Birthday @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 10pm ($10, $5w/studentID) This is the last event in this summer series, as each of these young musicians head back to their respective colleges. Edmund Catlin, drums; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Levi Schwartzberg, vibes, have been performing a Thelonious Monk album every other week at Jazz Central this summer. See what they’ll play for their last performance.

Saturday, August 27

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) A couple of younger bands tonight, starting with Amythest 3: Byron Johnson-Blanchard, drums; Josh Granowski, bass; and Park Evans, guitar. Followed at 8:30 or so by No Exit, a group of post high-school students who will all be going back to college in the next week or so: Peter Goggin, alto; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Adam Astrup, guitar; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Luke Peterson, drums.

Nicole Mitchell @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10/$15) Wow! Kudos to whomever booked Mitchell  a jazz flautist, who has consistently won Downbeats award for rising flautist before awards as an established flautist during the last decade. She formerly served as the first female to be president of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and is the founder of a number of groups, including: The Black Earth Ensemble, Black Earth Strings, and Sonic Projections. tonight, she’s accompanied by Bryan Nichols, piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Davu Seru, drums.

Sunday, August 28

The Peterson Family: Songs Our Mother Loved @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm ($15, $40 w/Dinner) For the 95th anniversary of the birth of the late Jeanne Arland Peterson, her children, all of whom have been highly successful in the music business, have prepared a special show. Patty Peterson on vocals, Linda Peterson on keys and vocals; Billy Peterson on bass; grandson Jason Peterson DeLaire on saxophone and piano. Jeanne Arland was named an Arts Midwest Jazz Master in 1998, and was the second woman named to the Minnesota Hall of Fame, after Judy Garland. This is sure to be a warm, loving, and entertaining tribute to “The Matriarch of Minnesota Jazz.”

Connie Evingson @ The Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm, 7:30pm ($30) Ms Evingson continues her regular appearances at the Jungle. This time she’s singsong from the Ella Fitzgerald songbooks, backed by the ace trio of Tanner Taylor, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Dave Karr, sax. The afternoon show is about sold out, but fans can still find seats for the 7:30 show.

Monday, August 29

Return of Born to Be Kind of Blue @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.8pm ($10) Larry McDonough and his septet keep filling up the Dakota with this show featuring the music of Chet Baker and early 60s era Miles Davis. If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s your chance. Larry McDonough, piano and vocals; Steve Kenny, flumpet; Richard Terrill, tenor and soprano saxes; Jeff King, alto and baritone saxes;  Jim Bierma, bass; Dean White, drums; and Guest: Carol Bergquist, flute

Bill Carrothers and Anna Mjoll @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($12, $40 w/Dinner) Pianist Carrothers must really like the Dunsmore Room, since he travels from Michigan’s Upper Penisula regularly to play there. This time the internationally known pianist is bringing an Icelandic singer with him. Mjöll grew up in a musical household (her parents had a successful band and a TV show), and after competing in the Eurovision singing contest, toured the world with Julio Iglesias.

Tuesday, August 30

Pat Mallinger & Bill Carrothers @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm – 9pm ($15) A concert in which two Saint Paul natives return to the Twin Cities. They’re both monsters of their respective instruments: the piano for Carrothers, appearing for the second night in a row, and the saxophone for Mallinger. This should be fun!

Chris Lomheim/JT Bates GRAIN Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Lomheim – No Cover), 8pm (GRAIN – $6) Another complete evening of jazz at the Vieux. Pianist Chris Lomheim creates luminous, dreamy moments as he plays for a dinner crowd. Then the highly active drummer JT Bates brings his organ trio to the stage, with Kevin Gastonguay on B3, and Zacc Harris on guitar. It’ll be a jazz party!

Aaron Hedenstrom Big Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Saxophonist/composer recently finished up his PhD in music and has moved to the Twin Cities, where he’s been playing in various groups. HIs is a big band gig, which will likely be more like an open rehearsal. It will be interesting to hear Hedenstrom’s take on big band music.

Tuesday, Wednesday, August 30, 31

Jane Monheit and Nicholas Payton @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7-m ($35, $45), 9pm ($25, $35) Vocalist Monheit and trumpeter Payton are calling this show Ella and Louis revisited. Since her beautiful voice vaulted her to stardom in 1998’s Thelonious Monk competition, Monheit has released nine albums and has guested on a number of others. The 39 year old still has a terrific voice, as exemplified in her latest release, The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald. It was produced by New Orleans native and fantastic trumpeter Nicholas Payton, so I guess it seemed natural that they collaborate on this project. If they can have half as much fun as Ella and Louis Armstrong, it will be a great show.

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 24

Hounds of Finn @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. noon – 1pm (Free) This trio performs music based on the roots of Celtic and American traditions, that is music inspired by Celtic, Americana, Blugrass and other folk and roots music from around the world. Its members are Pete McCauley, on vocals, mandolin, and guitar; Michelle MacGregor on fiddle and bodhran (that skinny drum often played with a small double headed stick); and Lojo Russo on vocals, guitar, mandolin, bodhran, and bass.

Kildahl & Vonderharr Trio on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Kit Kildahl, guitar; Boom Boom Steve Vonderharr (aka Stevie V) on harp; and Dave Pengra, bass guitar; all hail from the Mankato area. Kildahl and Vonderharr put out a fine blues album a few years back called Working Without A Net, featuring some snappy originals and a few choice covers. Tune in during the 5 o’clock hour, and then head over to the 331 Club.

Mehmet Polat Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Three virtuoso practitioners of instruments that are definitely not European. Mehmet Polat was born and raised in Turkey, and studied Ottoman music in Istanbul, where his approach to playing the oud eventually landed him in Amsterdam. There he studied and immersed himself in the music of a number of other cultures, including Persian, Flamenco, and African music. He formed a trio, whose other members are pekin Basar, who plays the Ney, an end-blown flute that may be the oldest kind of instrument still in use, and Victor Sims, on ngoni and percussion. I believe there’s also a Kora, a 21 string instrument from West Africa, in the mix. The resulting music is, at times, contemplative, and spicy.

Thursday, August 25

The Honeydogs @ Music in Mears, Saint Paul. 6pm (Free) This is the last performance of this year’s Music in Mears series, and the organizers are presenting us with one of the finest rock/pop bands in the area. Under the leadership of frontman/guitarist/songwriter Adam Levy, they’ve produced 10 albums and a Best of compilation since their 1995 debut on Mercury records. No less an artist than Al Kooper is a fan, as is the mayor of Saint Paul. The Latin Billies, a sextet that performs in both English and Spanish, open.

Dan Tedesco w/Hannah Von Der Hoff @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) If you’re looking for a lower key evening, this double bill of singer/songwriters might just fill the bill. Headliner Tedesco, who hails from Des Moines these days, is a guitarist/singer songwriter whose influences range from Van Halen and Pete Townsend to George Benson and Wes Montgomery, though he admits that the rock n’ roll side is dominant. Von Der Hoff is a bluesy, soulful singer/songwriter who sometimes leads an R&B-ish band, though tonight she’s flying solo.

Friday, August 26

Soul Tight Committee w/Ginger Apocalypse @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm (Free) As summer winds down, so do some of the outdoor series we’ve been enjoying. This is the last performance in the Rhythm in Rice series, featuring the tight, ten-piece R&B horn band Soul Tight Committee. Opening is Ginger Apocolypse, for whom it is hard to find information. It might be an electronic/metal band or a horde of red-haired, freckle-faced, pale skinned zombies.

Buffy Sainte-Marie @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $50) Those of you of a certain age may remember her songs “Universal Soldier,” or “Until It’s Time for You To Go.” If you’ve followed her closely, you know that she co-wrote “Up Where We Belong” with Joe Cocker. And, she was on Sesame Street for five years in the mid-70s. Her songs have been covered by The Indigo Girls, Janis Joplin, Neko Case, Dottie West, Glen Campbell; Andy Williams, Barbra Streisand, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Donovan, and many more. Sainte-Marie has a new album out, Power in the Blood, with a batch of new songs, some of which cover social criticism, while others are love songs and one is a blues rocker. Here them now before they get covered.

Malamanya Album Release @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) If you missed their performance at the Icehouse last week, have no fear. Even if you caught it, this is a CD release party, so the energy and excitement will be even more pronounced for these purveyors of classic Cuban sons, energetic salsas, and other Latin rhythms.

Friday, Saturday, August 26, 27

Hipshaker 14th Anniversary Party @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5?) Now one of the longest running funk soul dance nights in the country, Hipshaker is celebrating its 14th Anniversary as a 45RPM Dance Night with a two night blowout. Friday night is dedicated to Hipshaker favorites, while Saturday night will be a showdown between Motown and James Brown. Dance, Dance, Dance.

Saturday, August 27

Nikki Roux & Rich Rue/Erica West Band @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Nikkie & Rich – No Cover), 9pm (Erica West $8) Again we have a one-two punch at the Vieux, with Nikki & Rich providing bluesy folk and folk-rock during the early evening, and the Erica West Band starting at 9pm. West is a sultry, powerful singer with a six-piece back up band. West and the band perform blues, R&B, and jazzy versions of standards.

Wenso Ashby Live! @ the Penumbra Theater, 270 Kent Street, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm ($10 general, $15 Reserved) Ashby is a keyboard player who started out as a producer in hip-hop and has had some significant success in the smooth jazz area, though he calls it Contemporary Jazz With Soul. He’s released six albums, often featuring a female singer, and tonight he’ll be presenting music from a singer/songwriter point of view. The show also features K Jay The Comedian, and proceeds will be donated to the Hallie Q Brown Food Shelf.

Sunday, August 28

Lonnie Knight Cancer Fight @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 1pm ($10 Donation at Door) Veteran guitarist/singer Lonnie Knight started as a folk singer back in the antediluvian days and was part of the burgeoning Twin Cities rock scene in the early 60s. He’s since gone on to record and perform with a slew of better known, if no more talented, performers. Of late, hes been fighting off cancer, but still needs help with medical expenses. A number of friends are helping out by performing, including Mick Sterling, the Lisa Wenger Band, Mary Jane Alm, James Loney and Lolo’s Ghost, anmd the Smokin’ Section, in addition to Knight himself. There’ll be an All-Star Jam, and well as a live auction and raffle.

Tuesday, August 30

Cajun Crawfish Hotdish @ Sea Salt, Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm (Tip Jar) Cajun Crawfish Hotdish is not a new offering from the popular restaurant, but rather a seven-piece group that lays down the Southern Louisiana sounds that make people get up and dance. You can even dance a step or two while waiting in line for Sea Salts signature dishes of crawfish, fish tacos, oysters, and gumbo.

 

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.


Autumn and Music: 10.14 – 10.20

October 14, 2015

IMG_2915Can it really be the middle of October already? Whatever the time of year may be, we’ve got more music than a person can attend in a week, and are lucky for it. New combinations of Twin Cities musicians, music from around the world, and visiting musicians of note. Get out and enjoy it. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 14

Debbie Duncan: Billie Holiday Tribute @ Crooner’s Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) This year marks the centennial of Billie Holiday’s birth, and so we’ve seen a couple of modern tribute albums, and, in other cities, tribute concerts, so this one might be consered as overdue for the Twin Cities. Duncan is an excellent vocalist and interpreter, and I expect she’ll be in top form for this performance. It’s also the 97th birthday of Crooners’ owner Mary T’s mom, just to add even more levity to the celebration.

There has to be a recording studio around here somewhere

There has to be a recording studio around here somewhere

Red Planet invites Bill Carrothers @ Creation Audio, 2543 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($25) First, Red Planet, which is Dean Magraw, Chris Bates, and Jay Epstein, will make a recording with pianist Bill Carrothers  Then the four of them will hold a concert. Tickets for this amazing collaboration, if still available, and more information, can be had here.

Thursday, October 15

Amina Figurova @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) This internationally known pianist/composer and bandleader was born in Azerbaijan, spent many years in Rotterdam, and now lives in NYC with her husband and musical partner flautist Bart Platteau. They’ll be joined by Ernie Hamnes, trumpet; Mark Mommaas, tenor; Jeroen Vierdag, bass; and Chris Strik, drums; all of whom are on her latest release. She and her band have won critical acclaim at the Newport Jazz Festival, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and all over the world, including the Twin Cities Jazz Festival some years ago.

Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) This is one of the few times you can see this big band outside of Jazz Central open rehearsals. They are sure to fill the club with sound, and may even fill it with dancers (at least between the tables).

Friday, October 16

Donald Washington Trio @ the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) For those willing to stray beyond standards, reedman Washington always provides a refreshing blast of musicality, no matter how improvised his music might be. He’ll be joined by son Kevin Washington on drums and Jimmie Wallace on sax. Here’s Washington (center) with a different group.

Joyce Lyons @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) We’re lucky to have this nationally recognized jazz vocalist in town. Enjoy her singing at this southern suburb’s Italian lounge with Phil Aaron, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein on drums.

Yolande Bruce Group @ Walker West Academy, Saint Paul. 8pm ($15) Bruce is appearing as part of the Walker’s Eight O’Clock Jump series. She is known for her work with Moore by Four, and has been active in a solo career, as well as in theater productions at Penumbra, Illusion, Guthrie and the Ordway Theaters.

JT Bates’ GRAIN @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Drummer JT Bates has put together a B3 trio, which seems just right for this basement club, featuring the talents of Kevin Gastonguay, B3; and Zacc Harris, guitar.

Seru, Bates, and Granros @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) That’s Davu Seru, percussion, Chris Bates, bass; and Dean Granros, guitar, combining for a night of original jazz and cool versions of jazz standards.

Saturday, October 17

Ms Funk and Mr. Brueske

Ms Funk and Mr. Brueske

JoAnn Funk @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Vocalist/pianist Ms Funk is back at the Saint Paul Hotel, entertaining guests and visitors with songs by artists ranging from Blossom Dearie and Nat King Cole to Dan Penn and Leonard Cohen. As always, she’s accompanied by the versatile Jeff Brueske on bass, and occasional guests.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. (Tip Jar) Another stellar line-up of music for this popular Saturday Night series. At 7pm it’s the Chris Olson Group with Olson, guitar and Greg Byers on Cello mixing and matching tonalities. Then at 8:30pm, Le Percheron plays mostly 21st Century jazz, with Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, trumpet; Cory Healy, drums; and leader Adam Linz on bass. Bound to be a bit crowded, so get there early.

Sunday, October 18

Solomon Parham. Photo by Andrea Cantrer

Solomon Parham. Photo by Andrea Cantrer

Solomon’s Sessions @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5) Trumpeter Solomon Parham collects some colleagues and students from MacNally Smith and presents an opportunity for selected musicians to try out their chops in different configurations. It’s a controlled version of a jam session, with participants selected beforehand. Whoever plays, you are sure to hear modern rhythms as well as some long accepted jazz standards.

Monday, October 19

Twin Cities Seven @ Crooner’s Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) There is no doubt that this is a swinging aggregation  that will set your toes to tappin’, your sacroiliac to gyrating, and your mouth to humming. There’ll be some dancing as well. It’s led by saxophonist/clarinetist Doug Haining, and features Dave Graf, Trombone; Steve Wright, trumpet; Kent Saunders, guitar; Rick Carlson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Dick Bortolussi, drums. Maryann Sullivan provides the charming vocals.

Junior Ranger @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) Emerson Hunton, drums; Joe Suihkonen, trumpet; Noah Gershwin, guitar; Eric Krouse, piano. Hunton and Suihkonen are both alumni of the Dakota Combo. Based in Oberlin, Ohio and exploring non-traditional orchestration, free improvisation, and firm compositional structures, they spent a month in Amsterdam studying Dutch improvisation and will soon release their debut album, Monster Masks.

Fall of the House of Usher CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) This is a large aggregation, releasing Icehouse & Elsewhere, an album of both live and studio recordings. Members include: Greg Schutte, Chris Bates, Cole Pulice, Adrian Larkin, Chris Thompson, Chris Cunningham, Ivan Cunningham, Charlie Lincoln, Nathan Hanson, Adam Conrad, Elliott Wachs, Jon Davis, Adam Svec, and many other extremely talented musical voices that roam the sonic free-range of the Twin Cities.

Tuesday, October 20

Laura Caviani Trio @ Crooner’s Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Caviani is a pianist of wit and taste who also sings from time to time. Tuesday night jazz at Crooners is a fine opportunity to experience her talent.

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 14

Bernie King and the Guilty Pleasures on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 club – Tip Jar) Once again, host Harold Trembley has booked a blues/roots group for your listening pleasure. King’s original songs evoke Johnny Cash and Tom Waits, using washboard, bass, guitars, and tom toms. Once you hear him singing “Drinking with the Lord,” you may want to get baptized.

Thursday, October 15

Alma Andina @ The World Live! at the Hill, JJ Hill Library, downtown Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Advance/$15 Door) The JJ Hill Library is producing a new series of world musics in collaboration with Fresh Air Radio. Tonight kicks off the series with Alma Andina performing Andean and Latin American music, with a decidedly modern bent, though there is not doubt that Andean flutes will be involved. There’s likely to be a small dance floor, not to forget some adult beverages and a chance to hear how the library can help entrepreneurs.

Deano and the Dinosaurs @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) Described as uncomfortably disturbing yet harmless, it’s Dress Like Deano Day, celebrating the birthday of Dean Mikkelson, a superb guitarist. He’ll be joined by Dean Harrington, guitar; Tom Lewis, upright bass; and Dehl Gallagher, drums. Don’t be surprised to see special guests. As to dressing like Deano, get some Converse Chuck Taylors and a cabin shirt, and you’ll be set. Prizes for best costume, dirty joke, and Deano-ism.

Friday, October 16

John Lennon Tribute @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. ($5) 5:30 – 11pm  Featuring The Lanes, Steve West and the Northern Stars, The Totems, Roady Tate, Laurie Leigh, Charle Dush, and a host of special guest artists.

Scottie Miller Band CD Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Keyboard player Miller is releasing his 9th CD, Reciprocation. At times, his piano playing evokes the New Orleans sound of Professor Longhair, the Chicago blues of Otis Spann, and the Mississippi piano of Pinetop Perkins, though he own style, influenced by rock n’ roll, always shines through. Miller is an inductee into the Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame, has received a Blues Music Award, and is the touring keyboard player for Ruthie Foster.

Hot Pants 45 RPM Dance Party @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($5) The rare funk n’ soul dance party moves to the paneled dance floor at Lee’s.

Reina Del Cid @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($8) Del Cid is a singer/songwriter and guitarist with a great way with words, and inspired covers. She has a great band, especially guitarist Toni Lindgren, whose work turns the literary mindfulness of Del Cid’s songs into engaging pop rock. Opening are The Meadows: Pete Linham, Wendy Lewis, and Jeff Waryan.

Saturday, October 17

Edgar Winter @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45 – $75) Back in the 70s, the heavy sound of The Edgar Winter Group’s synth-driven Frankenstein was all over the radio. Previous to that, his lesser known, but still successful group White Trash made some noise as as a hard charging R&B horn band. My guess is that some members of the audience may want to use the ear plugs available at the club’s entrance while rockin’ out.

Tim Sparks and Phil Heywood @ The Riverview Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($13) We have a number of fine finger-pickers in the Twin Cities, and tonight two of them (each of whom won the National Fingerpicking Championship – in different years). Heywood has a pleasant baritone voice as well, which he puts to good use every once in a while.

BB King Tribute @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10 – $15) A passel of Twin Cities musicians gather to celebrate the music of bluesman BB King, including Detroit Don King, John Franken, Paul Mayasich, Jeremy Johnson, Jim Anton, Rob Stupka, and others.

Flamin’ Oh’s Record Release Party @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($10) Another record release party, this time from that Twin Cities 80s favorite the Flamin’ Oh’s. The Groove open at 9pm, followed by the Oh’s at 10:15, and Little Man at midnight. Here’s one of the Ohs better known songs.

Sunday, October 18

Pedrito Martinez Group @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($23) Conguero/percussionist Martinez appeared at the Dakota last March, and at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival the summer before last. He’s a Cuban-born virtuoso, who has supplied rhythms for folks like Eddie Palmieri, Bebo Valdes, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, and Joe Lovano, among others. There will be a dance floor, and a discussion of Cuban-American cultural exchanges at 6:30.

Tuesday, October 20

Paul Mayasich and guests Maurice Jacox and Bobby E. @ The Station, White Bear Lake. 8pm (No Cover) Their collaboration at the Station a few months ago was delightful, so Paul asked Maurice and Bobby back for another night of soulful vocals and stunning guitar work.

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.


Cold Weather. Hot Music; 1.7 – 1.13

January 7, 2015
These people know how to party - the Ice Music Festival of Norway

The Ice Music Festival of Norway

A cold, wintry greetings and salutations;

The wind chill may be cold enough to close schools, but hey, we’re Minnesotans, so we’ll go out to hear music and dance, even when it’s cold. Of course some of us are lucky enough to go somewhere warm for at least a few days each winter, but wherever it is, I’ll bet they don’t have as good a music scene as we do here in the Twin Cities.

If I may, I’d like to draw your attention to a special event occurring Tuesday evening, January 13th. It’s a benefit, with no cover charge, for the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education, an organization that brings working musicians into schools to encourage and support jazz as part of a young persons education. More information is found below. Now, put on your layers of clothing, just like the folks in the above picture, and enjoy the talent found in our cities. Music is good for the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, January 7

Chomsky and Thomas Nordlund @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s a double-bill, double bass night at Jazz Central. Bassist Andrew Foreman will start out the evening with his new group Chomsky, which includes Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Thomas Nordlund, guitar; and Zach Schmidt on drums. Then, with a bit of reconfiguration, Thomas Nordland and group will play new music from his forthcoming EP of baritone guitar music: Nordlund, baritone guitar; Andrew Foreman, bass; Lars-Erik Larson, drums; and Kevin Gastonguay, keyboards.

Wednesday, Thursday, January 7, 8

Ramsey Lewis Electic Band w/Philip Bailey @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45 – $70), 9pm ($35 – $60) Back in 1974 Ramsey Lewis was a bit tired of his acoustic approach to jazz and wanted to liven things up a bit. He reunited with Maurice White, who had been in his band and was now leading Earth, Wind, and Fire, and created an up to date sound featuring members of that group. the resulting album and its singles shot up the charts, hitting number 1 on both the Black charts and Jazz charts of the time. Philip Bailey  also of EWF, contributed vocals, and he’s back with Lewis for this tour, which I suspect will feature soaring vocals, and some funky funky jazz.

Thursday, January 8

Radio Joe Demko @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Radio Joe brings his swing-centric band, together with their tangos, ballads, and other groovy music, to the basement club.

Le Percheron @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Bassist Adam Linz has put together this band, which has only played a handful of gigs to date, but what a band! Brandon Wozniak on sax; Cory Healey on drums; and the young, but very talented Levi Schwartzberg on vibes. The first set will consist of duets, and the second set will feature the full band. Wine, beer, and small plates are available.

Friday, January 9

Joel Shapira/Dean Granros CD Release @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Last June guitarists Shapira and Granros performed at the Black Dog as part of the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, and recorded the results, now being released as Jazz Guitar Duets. It’s a delightful compendium of songs plucked on steel and nylon strings, with tunes ranging form Ornette Coleman compositions to standards.

JT Bates Organ Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) I’ll admit I’m a sucker for B3 groups. If the soulful, greasy sound of guitar, organ and drums gets your fingers snapping, your toes tapping, and your head bobbing, head over to Jazz Central to catch JT Bates, drums; Kevin Gastonguay, organ, and Zacc Harris on guitar.

Jerod Kaszynski

Jerod Kaszynski

Jerod Kaszynski Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 10pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s a double header at JC tonight with saxophonist Kaszynski, a native of the Twin Cities currently living and teaching in Eau Claire taking the second spotlight. Tonight’s show has a literary bent. Author Miri Francis haas written (and will read) a love story, with accompaniment by Kaszynski and his band, including: Josh Huot-Gallus, trombone; Josh Gallagherm, piano; Sam Olson, bass, and Adam Nussbaum, drums.

Saturday, January 10

Bill Carrothers Trio @ Jazz at Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) I know of many Twin Cities jazz fans who are salivating over this date. In a rare appearance with his own trio, pianist Carrothers returns to his home town of Saint Paul. He’s recorded 17 albums as a leader, and has worked with artists ranging from Buddy DeFranco and Curtis Fuller to Lee Konitz, Dewey Redman, and Gary Peacock. He’s bringing a couple of Irish musicians with him: drummer Kevin Brady, and bassist David Redmond. There will be a short master class at 6pm, included in the admission price.

Mancrush @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Mancrush is Lars-Erik Larson, drums; Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Bryan Nichols, piano. Opening set by Tommy Bentz Quartet at 7pm.

Connie Evingson w/The Parisota Hot Club @ Jazz at St. Barney’s, Plymouth. 7pm ($10) Vocalist Evingson recently received a positive  review in Downbeat for her album “All the Cats Join In.” Tonight, she’s performing songs from the album, with the Parisota Hot Club and special guest, the ever-youthful octogenarian saxophonist Dave Karr. Here’s a selection from the album.

Monday, January 12

Adam Meckler @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Trumpeter Meckler leads his own 17 piece band, is a key member of the Jana Nyberg Group, leads a quintet, and is a member of a few other groups as well. Tonight he gets to step out on his own, playing originals and original arrangements of other songs.

Ryan Franesconi and JT Bates & Michael Lewis @ the Icehouse, Minnepolis. 9;30pm )$10) Guitarist Franesconi, 1st set. Bates (drums) & Lewis (sax), 2nd set. Franesconi is a Portland based guitarist and composer whose way with stringed instruments from Eastern Europe qualifies him as a multi-instrumentalist obsessed with Balkan Folk Music. Bates and Lewis are 2/3 of Fat Kid Wednesdays, with enough imagination between the two of them to grab your attention and hold it tight.

Tuesday, January 13

This year's Dakota Combo

This year’s Dakota Combo

Dakota Combo & Kevin Washington Group @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Though there is no cover, this is a fundraising benefit for the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education, which brings working jazz musicians into area schools to work with student musicians, provides free-metro wide workshops for young musicians, and gives out scholarships to summer jazz camps and members of the Dakota Combo. This year’s edition of the Dakota Combo will perform, as well as a group comprising Kevin Washington  drums; Jeff Bailey, bass; Mary Louise Knutson, piano; and Solomon Parham, trumpet.

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, January 7

Reina Del Cid on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM) 7pm (331 club – Tip Jar) Reina Del Cid is coming into her own as a folk-rock singer/songwriter with a great back up band. She recently performed well-recieved sets at CMJ – New York, Summerfest in Milwaukee and The Underground Music Showcase in Denver. Part of the band’s appeal is flat-picking guitarist Toni Lindgren, who always surprises with her choice of licks.

Lisa Wenger & Her Mean, Mean Men @ Shaws, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Wenger’s direct approach to singing the blues appeals to hard-core blues fans as well as more casual fans, say those who may be just going out with their spouse or date. She’s got an excellent band as well.

Friday, January 9

Malamanya @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12) It’s Latin night at the Cedar, as Malamanya brings their hip-swaying, toe-tapping, salsa dancing melodies and traditional Cuban rhythms to the concert/dance hall. Opening act Alma Andina goes further South for their inspiration, performing music of the Andes and Latin America.

Ronnie Baker Brooks @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($20) The son of the late Lonnie Brooks, guitarist  Ronnie  is proof that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, yet he is moving beyond what his father did by occasionally incorporating funk rhythms and a bit of hip hop into his musical mix. As he put it, “It’s a hip hop world right now, but I want to bring a little blues to the party.”  His latest CD, The Torch, was produced by Minneapolis producer/guitarist Jellybean Johnson.

Saturday, January 10

Daisy Dillman CD Release @ The Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hopkins. 7pm ($24) Thirty-four years after their last album, these Minnesota country rockers from the 70s and 80s are back with a new CD, Radio. the current lineup features four of the original five members, who charted in the Billboard Hot 100 and toured with bands like Asleep at the Wheel, Jerry Jeff Walker, Bonnie Raitt, the Allman Brothers and many others. They

The Groove Merchants w/Jimi “Prime time” Smith @ Holihan’s Pub, White Bear Lake. 8pm (No Cover) The Groove Merchants are aptly named, as the late Big Walter Smith built them into a funky blues group that easily inspires dancers. Since his death, they’ve recruited talented guitarist Jimi Prime Time Smith as a front man, a good decision on their part.

Sunday, January 11

Road to Memphis Fundraiser @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 2pm – 6pm ($10?) Okay, this is the last fundraiser to help this year’s Minnesota representatives to the International Blues Challenge pay their way to Memphis. Today’s performers include  Jimmi & the Band of Souls, and Brother Sun, Sister Moon, both of which are this year’s representatives, as well as  the Annie Mack Band, Tampa Spatz, The Black Water Band, and the IBC All-Stars, made of of past participants.

Mikkel Beckmen & Charlie Parr @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5:30 pm. Mikkel is celebrating a birthday, and he’s got Charlie Parr to help him out. An irish Bar. Minnesota’s nationally recognized bluesman. Mikkel’s always fun percussion. Sounds like a heck of a party.

Dobet Gnahoré @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($20 – $45) Gnahoré is one of Africa’s premier contemporary vocalists and talents. She stunned at her appearance at the Dakota in November of 2011, for which I wrote a brief review which you can find here. Prior to the show, at 6:30, there will be a discussion on Afro-pop with Janis Lane-Ewart, drummer Sowah Mensah, and Doug Cain, of KFAI’s Global Beat.

Monday, January 12

Marshall Crenshaw Solo @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Back in the 80s, Crenshaw was all over the place, performing in the off Broadway production of Beatlemania, playing Buddy Holly in the Richie Valens biopic, and hitting the charts with songs long Something’s Gonna Happen, and Someday, Someway, which became a hit for Robert Gordon. With 13 albums and hundreds of songs recorded over three decades, Crenshaw has proven to be a master of melody and songwriting. His songs have been recorded by folks like Bette Midler, Rlonnie Sp;ector, Kelly Willis, and the Gin Blossoms. Tonight it’s just Crenshaw and his guitar. Opening is Kevin Bowe, the Twin Cities own prolific songwriter.

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.


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.


Twin Cities Music: 10.9 – 10.15

October 9, 2013
Kenny Horst in a happier moment.

Kenny Horst in a happier moment.

As you may have heard, the Twin Cities jazz community was rocked by word that the Artists’ Quarter will be closing at the end of the year. Since a new owner took over the Hamm building, the rent has risen to an untenable level for the small club. Owner/musician Kenny Horst has been working without a salary for a couple of years now, while providing a place for resident and visiting musicians to play. There are comments and condolences all over FaceBook, including a Save the Artists’ Quarter page. The club, which Downbeat Magazine named as one of the best places to hear jazz in the world, is vital to downtown Saint Paul and to the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Frankly, I can’t imagine what the building’s owners think they could put in the space, but then, I’m not a realtor. Anyway, if you’ve any interest in jazz, please make sure to visit the club, especially during the week.

As far as other music offerings this week, there’s jazz at Studio Z and the Landmark Center, Peruvian music at Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Tango at the Black Dog, and country pop on Nicollet Mall. Remember, music can lift the soul.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 9

Jake Baldwin Quintet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) The AQ may be closing at the end of the year, but it’s still showcasing some of the best talent around. Consider this group of musicians – none more than a few years out of college, yet they’re tearing it up. Baldwin on trumpet; Joe Strachan, piano; Nelson Devereaux, sax; Miguel Hurtado on drums. Don’t know who is on bass (or is he on third?), but the results will be some mighty fine jazz.

Thursday, October 10

A musical partnership

A musical partnership

Cocktails and Culture @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm. (Free)  The Schubert Club celebrates the renovation of a Wurlitzer piano built in 1935 with a performance by pianist Laura Caviani and saxophonist Pete Whitman. Expect songs from the 30s, plus a complimentary appetizers and a cash bar. A fine happy hour, taking place in the second floor galleria.

Hennig, Nichols, & Courage @ the Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) A trio of excellent musicians, perhaps a bit older than Wednesday’s group, but still young, vital, imaginative, and first rate. Pete Hennig, drums; Bryan Nichols, piano; and Brian Courage, bass.

Friday, October 11

Ellen Lease, Pat Moriarty, and Brian Courage @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11pm. (Tip Jar) Ellen Lease on piano and Pat Moriarty on sax have the kind of musical rapport and communication that comes from decades of playing together. You can read Pamela Espeland’s 2010 interview with them here. Brian Courage is a bassist who is relatively new in town, but is showing great versatility and an unerring sense of rhythm. Expect some surprises as they freely improvise.

Friday, Saturday, October 11, 12

Bill Carrothers Trio @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) A Saint Paul native who live in Michigan’s UP, Carrothers is a pianist with a unique, yet thoroughly accessible style that manages to be both bold and sensitive. His resume includes stints with artists ranging from Matt “Guitar” Murphy, to hard bop trombonist Curtis Fuller, to Lee Konitz and Dewey Redman. Though he’s been through town a few times lately, every performance is a revelation.

Saturday, October 12

Frank Enanoza’s October Jazz Concert @ Butter Bakery Cafe, 3700 Nicollet Ave So, Mpls. 6:30pm – 8pm (Free)  Frank Enanoza, guitar; Larry Neumann, sax; and Aimee Petra on vocals will deliver an early evening set of jazz, Latin, and seasonal songs.

Dearie & O’Day @ Jazz at Saint Barney’s, 15600 Old Rockford Road, Plymouth. 7pm.  Maryann Sullivan sings Blossom Dearie, while Vicky Mountain sings Anita O’Day. Dearie had a waif-like voice and sly wit, while O’Day was a swingin’ scattin’ musician, whose instrument happened to be her voice. Sullivan and Mountain will likely share a story or two about them as well.

Unknown-1Optimum Trajectory @ Coffee Grounds, Saint Paul 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar)  Here’s a chance to hear a five-piece jazz band in a non-alchohol setting, though depending on the coffee you drink, you might still get wired. Ira Ademan, saxes; Steve Hilson, trumpet; Jeff Gurney, bass; Garth Anderson, drums; and Tim McNamara guitar.

Jesse Bryan Quartet @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 10:00pm (No Cover)   Jesse will be singing with Dave Hofgren, Guitar: Mike Derrick, Bass; and Eron Woods on Percussion. Nevertheless, you can expect to hear som acoustic swing, standards, gypsy jazz, and even a few originals during the Red Stag’s late night happy hour.

Monday, October 14

Fall of the House of Usher and Chris Bates’ Red5 @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8?) It’s a horn-heavy night as two bands take the stage for the Jazz Implosion tonight. First up is the Fall of the House of User: Chris Cunningham, guitar and compositions; Greg Schutte, drums; Chris Bates, bass; Chris Thompson, Adrian Larkin and Elliot Wachs, on saxes; and Jon Davis on bass clarinet. Then at 11pm, it’s the Red5, with Chris Bates, bass; JT Bates, drums; Zack Lozier, trumpet; and Chris Thomson,  and Nelson Devereaux on sax.

Tuesday, October 15

Explosion Big Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Tuesday nights at Jazz Central are big band nights. Doug Haining and Scott Agster have put together an appropriately titled group of musicians for your listening pleasure.

Tuesday, Wednesday, October 15, 16
Unknown-2Ginger Baker’s Jazz Confusion @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) Though many know Baker from back in the day as the drummer for the supergroup Cream, Baker considers himself a jazz drummer and has also immersed himself in African and world rhythms. He’ll likely have his trademark two bass drums as part of his drumset, and will be joined by Pee Wee Ellis, of James Brown’s JBs, among others. Both nights will likely sell out, so be forewarned.

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

Thursday, October 10

Katy Vernon Trio @ Piazza on the Mall, 1221 Nicollet, Minneapolis. 5pm – 7pm (Free) A London born, Minneapolis based singer of country-ish pop, Ms Vernon plays ukelele, and writes winning songs. Her trio provides just the right color to reinforce the country side of each tune. She and her trio appeared on Prairie Home Companion just a couple of weeks ago. The Piazza on the Mall is a patio in front of the Presbyterian Church at 12th and Nicollet. Given the warm fall days we’re having, this should be delightful. Here’s a video of her playing and singing solo.

Friday, October 11

Annie Mack Blues Band & Lady J Griot @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm (?)  A couple of “Hip Shaking Honeys” give us the female viewpoint of the Blues. Lady J opens at 6pm and two time MN Road to Memphis winner Mack comes onstage at 7pm.

Chico Chavez & Guayaba Tropical Band @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5)  Peruvian chichas, psychedelic cumbias, and other tropical sounds from the jungles of the Amazon. Not quite the usual Lee’s fare, but only in that the music comes from another country. Get a taste for their music here.

Saturday, October 12

Mezze: Mediterranean Music @ Thai Family Restaurant, 501 University Avenue West, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm (No cover)

Music from Spain, the Middle East, Turkey, Greece, and the Balkans. The group consists of Miriam Gerberg, accordion, Arabic qanun zither; Rachel Milloy, vocals, percussion, Scott Mateo Davies, flamenco guitar & oud; David Stenshoel, violin; and Stephen Spaise, percussion. A special “Littel Mekong” buffet is available for $7.99

RJ Mischo @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) The harpmaster returns home for another visit, playing his blues harp with verve and imagination. This time you can see him in the unassuming, not quite divey, Schooner. Though the dance floor is small, the fun quotient will be high. BTW, this is outside the sphere of the Zombie Pub Crawl, so you can enjoy the evening without zombies about, if that’s your choice. Check him out in this video.

Doug Otto & the Getaways @ Dusty’s NE. Minneapolis. 9:30 (Tip Jars)  An evening of roots music with the mournful voice of Doug Otto and his band of pickers, playing in the tiny bar located on Main Street, close to the old brewery.

Sunday, October 12

UnknownBlues Harmonica Bash @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 3pm – 7pm ($10) KFAI’s Harold Tremblay has assembled a group of stellar players of the humble harmonica to display their skills during this fundraiser for KFAI Radio. The afternoon will feature Geoff Starin, known throughout the world as “The Guru,” Steve, “Boom Boom” Vanderharr, Curtis Blake, and Hurricane Harold himself, with special guest, award-winning RJ Mischo. The All-Star band that will provide the backing includes Jeremy Johnson and Dan Schwalbe on guitars; Billy Black, bass; Victor Spann, drums, and Bruce McCabe, piano.

La Vuature @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 suggested donation)  This visiting group plays Argentine Tango. Founded by Manuel Garcia, who has been playing the Argentine bandoneon since the Golden Age of Tango in Buenos Aires. Garcia plays the the accordion-like instrument of great artists like Anibal Troilo and Astor Piazzolla. The group is now composed of his daughter Cecilia Garcia Gaul on the violin and Luis Castillo on the piano, as well as other musicians. There will undoubtedly be tango dancing.

Monday, October 14

Bella Ruse @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover)  Ethereal folk with pop sensibilities using a variety of instruments and singer Kay Gillette’s youthful voice. Some songs have danceable beats, though dancing may prove difficult at this uptown restaurant with the terrific late night happy hour.

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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