Cinematic Music and More: 2.17 – 2.23

February 17, 2016

images-1Many opportunities for jazz, blues, and roots lovers to go out and hear music. There’s a cinematic mini-theme of sorts this week, with Bill Frisell exploring music from films and television, Bob DeFlores showing soundies from the 40s, and a showing of the Triplets of Belleville with live orchestration at Northrup. Have fun, and remember music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, February 17

King Fletcher Woods @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Wednesdays at Jazz Central are given over to new music, or new groups. Tonight, Jeff King, on sax; Charles Fletcher on bass; and Eron Woods on drums offer up their version of a (not so) simple trio.

Thursday, February 18

Charmin & Shapira @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Charmin Michelle, on vocals, and Joel Shapira, on guitar are musical partners who have been playing together for years now, and will be trying out new material in the basement club that looks like a music-themed rec room. Here they are with a standard.

JT Bates’ GRAIN @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) JT Bates is a drummer who is well-versed in a number of genres. With GRAIN he’s exploring the rich tradition of soul jazz organ trios with Kevin Gastonguay on B3 and Zacc Harris on guitar.

Friday, February 19

Friday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) The featured artist at 9pm Is Paul Harper’s Bardo Quartet with Chris Lomheim, piano; Tom Pieper, bass; Matt Buckner, drums; and Paul Harper, saxophones. At 7pm the JazzINK Youth Jazz Showcase features Southwest High School Jazz Combos, directed by Corey Needleman.

Bruce Henry @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Though vocalist Henry now lives in Chicago, he continues to perform here with regularity, always able to have a dynamic backing band. Tonight it’s  Phil Hey, Drums; Javi Santiago, Piano; Scott Fultz, Sax; and Jeff Bailey on Bass. Henry will undoubtedly be mixing up some Motown and other danceable songs along with his extraordinary jazz stylings. Here he is doing a standard.

Saturday, February 20

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) tonight’s music starts with Yo Jimbo: With Jimbo Robson, Drums; Ron Peterson, Piano; John Brown, bass; Jerry Shelton, trumpet; Brian Van Stavern, Trombone; Steve Klein, Alto sax; Jerry Benson, Tenor sax. At 8:30, Steve Kenny, Flumpet; and Solomon Parham, trumpet; take the stage after playing to a full house at the Winter Jazz Fest. As then, they’ll be joined by Peter Schimke, piano; Ted Olson, bass; and Rodney Ruckus, drums.

Bill Frisell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $40), 9pm ($30 – $35) Frisell was just here with Charles Lloyd, and once again proved that he has a unique approach to playing guitar. He can get to the emotional center of a song with just a few notes. With this show, titled When You Wish Upon A Star, he takes on the classic film and television themes, illustrating how they shape our relationship to what we wee. He’s joined by Eyvind Kang, viola; Thomas Morgan, gbass; Rudy Royston, drums; and Petra Haden on vocals. They’ll re-imagine songs like Over the Rainbow, Disney themes, and music from the Honeymooners. Here’s a video where he talks about the project.

Sunday, February 21

St. Olaf Jazz Ensemble @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 3pm – 6pm (No Cover) The student jazz ensemble directed by Dave Hagedorn is heading to Cuba at the end of March and they’re holding a fundraiser. There will be raffle tickets available for $10, though admittedly, I don’t know what’s being raffled. Nevertheless, the ensemble has a strong reputation, and given their director (Hagedorn), it’s no wonder. I understand that Mojitos are the drink of the day, though Crooners will have their usual drink and food menu available.

Dan Chouinard & Gwen Matthews @ The Dunsmore Room, Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($20 Minimum) It’s the revival of Chouinard’s Birthday Club, where strophe and a guest – this time it’s Gwen Matthews – perform songs from composers and singers with birthdays in the current month.

Monday, February 22

Ches Smith Trio @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($15) Here’s a gig that has many modern jazz fans excited. Ches Smith is a musical explorer who plays drums (including tympani), percussion, and vibraphone. Though Smith is an in-demand player, (he’s appeared on at least 50 recordings since 2001), he is not well known among the jazz public. For this trio he’s joined by violist Mat Maneri and pianist Craig Taborn, who grew up in the Twin Cities. All three record for ECM records, and are touring behind the recently released Bell. It’s filled with free improvisation, empty spaces, and complex phrases that run from meditative to exhilarating.

Tuesday, February 23

Mary Louise Knutson and Hot Jazz w/Connie Evingson @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover), 8pm ($8) Here’s an evening that ranges from sublime to joyful, starting 6pm with pianist Mary Louise Knutson. Then at 8pm, the versatile vocalist Connie Evingson steps on stage, performing gypsy jazz and other “hot” music, backed by Patrick Harrison, accordion; Dean Harrington and Mike Cramer, guitars; and Josh Granowski, bass.

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, February 17

Captain Gravitone @ KFAI and the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Banjoist/composer Eli Hoehn leads this quintet through Americana, jazz, Gypsy jazz, tangos and more. Names after a fictional super-hero named Captain Gravitone the band incorporates some humor into their songs (something we need to here more in music) as well as thoughtfulness and intrigue. Consider the titles of some of their songs: “Warm, Dark, Narcotic American Night,” “Daydreaming Out of the 9 to 5 Corporate Office Window,” and “Hula-hoop Girl on Bourbon Street.” Tune in while they’re on the radio and then head over to the 331 to hear more.

Pat Donahue @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley, 7pm (No Cover) In a town where at least three guitarists have earned the title of Fingerstyle National Champion, Pat Donahue  who is one of those guitarists, stands out, in part because he also sings, and in part because he was a regular on Prairie Home Companion for many years, honing his skill and playing a wide variety of music.

Triplets of Belleville Cine-Concert @ Northrup Auditorium, UofM, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($25 – $35) The Grammy-nominated animated madcap comedy about the abduction of a French road-racing bicyclist and his grandmother’s quest to find him will be accompanied by the eight-piece Le Terrible Ortchestre de Belleville directed by Benoit Charest conducting his original score for the film.  Imagine the following with live music.

Thursday, February 18

Ostroushko, Magraw, & Rae: The World Live! at the Hill @ The James J Hill Center, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Advance, $15 Door) This monthly series of world music brings together three excellent musicians. Peter Ostroushko is a mandolinist/fiddle/guitarist who played on Blood on the Tracks, and has appeared on Praire Home Companion, Austin City Limits, David Letterman, and Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Dean Magraw is a versatile guitarist who can turn out Celtic and world licks, improvise with the best jazz musicians, and fuzz up his guitar in homage to Jimi Hendrix. Jillian Rae is the youngest of the three, a multi-talented violinist, vocalist, and songwriter, whose songs are full of hooks, and who can play Led Zeppelin as well as a traditional fiddle tune. Check out this video by Rae.

Friday, February 19

Noura Mint Seymali @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) I have to say I’m not very familiar with Mauritanian singer Noura Mint Seymali, but her YouTube videos show her singing timeless songs from the Sahara. She achieves a contemporary sound with the addition of  very cosmopolitan mix of funk bass, drums, and psych guitar played by (husband and fellow griot) Jeich Ould Chighaly. You may not understand the words, but her emotion and the songs beats just may get you dancing.

We Can Be Heroes – The David Bowie Tribute @ The Parkway Theater, 4814 Chicago Ave So, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) With the passing of Bowie a couple of weeks ago, the tributes are coming. This one is particularly impressive with an All-Star lineup that includes former members of Priince, Soul Asylu, The Suburbs, The REmbrandst, and Greazy Meal. Vocalist Julius Collins leads the proceedings, joined by Michael Bland, Winsotn Roye, Brian Gallagher, Cory Eischen, Phil Solem, Jeremy Ylvisaker, and special guest Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum. DJ Phat will spin from 8pm to 9pm, when the tribute begins. Dress up encouraged.  though he’s not singing a Bowie song, this clip is an example of Collin’s singing ability.

Saturday, February 20

Kate Fierro: The Songs of Sade @ The Parkway Theater, 4814 Chicago Ave So, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15 Advance, $20 Door) Fierro will enjoy the backing of a great band as she explores 22 songs from Sade’s catalogue, from Diamond Life (1984) to Lover’s Rock (2000). Fierro’s backing band includes back-up singers and band leaders, Katie Gearty and Julius Collins, and is driven by David Young and Joshua Stigen on guitars, Serge Aku on bass, Aaron Tafoya on percussion, Charlie Peterson on keys and production, Mike Holvig on drums and the incredible, long time Twin Cities favorite, Ronny Loew, who will add sparkling saxophone to complete the sound.

Patsy O’Brien @ The Riverview Cafe, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15) Born and raised in Ireland, O’Brien now calls Saint Paul home. While he certainly draws upon his Irish heritage in performing, he has studied jazz, and has toured in country and rock bands. He’s been called “Ireland’s Best Kept Secret,” and an “Irish Robbie Robertson.”

Sunday, February 21

Bob DeFlores Presents The Soundies @ Chanhassen Theatres, 501 West 78th Street, Chanhassen. 3pm ($12, or $27 including 4:30pm dinner) Make your way to the Southwest suburb to take in this unique show. “Soundies” were essentially the music videos of the 1940s, 3 minute films of singers, dancers, and bands created for screening in film jukeboxes. Some were also shown during the early days of television. Bob DeFlores, nationally known archivist of films, will be showing some of the great entertainers, singers and orchestras of the era: Cab Calloway, Fats Waller, Doris Day, Jimmy Dorsey, The Mills Brothers, Liberace, Eddie Peabody, Ozzie Nelson, Gene Krupa with Anita O’Day and Roy Eldridge, and many more. Also enjoy “Sing Along with the Bouncing Ball!” Dinner will be served after the showing. Here’s an example.

Monday, February 22

New Riverside Ramblers @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($8) It’s Cajun/Zydeco night at the Eagles, with the New Riverside Ramblers  Having played together for 25 years, these musicians are adept at providing the impetus for folks to shake it, twirl it, and glide around the dance floor.

Tuesday, February 23

Warren Haynes and the Ashes & Dust Band @ The Fitzgerald Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($34 – $40) Guitarist Haynes has been part of three groups known for their live performances: the Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule, and The Dead. On his latest album, Ashes & Dust, Haynes shows off his Americana chops both as a singer and songwriter, reflecting the music he heard growing up in Asheville, NC, with an undercurrent of working class rock n’ roll. Not to worry, however, he’s still using his electric guitar while making good use of the acoustic prowess of his backing band.

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.


Festival Season Takes Hold: 6.17 – 6.23

June 17, 2015
Maybe you'll see a car like this around the Twin Cities this weekend

Maybe you’ll see a car like this around town this weekend

It’s Fathers Day weekend, with the Stone Arch Festival taking place on and Saturday and Sunday, including a car show and four stages of music each day. And it’s the Annual Back To The 50s Car Show at the State Fairgrounds.  Though the Twin Cities Jazz Festival takes place next weekend, we’re already seeing some pre-festival events around Saint Paul. All in all, it’s a good week for music, and music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 17

The trio at work/play

The trio at work/play

Chris Bates good Vibes Trio @ Hamline Library, 1558 Minnehaha Ave, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 8:30pm (Free) The Twin Cities Jazz Festival is producing a number of pre-festival warm-up events, including this one, in which you’ll get to see a highly developed trio of musicians having fun as they play. Besides Bates on bass, there is Dave Hagedorn on vibes and Phil Hey on drums.

Pete Whitman Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Saxman Whitman is a veteran of numerous sideman gigs with artists ranging from Frank Sinatra and Rosemary Clooney to Dave Stryker and Jack McDuff. He’s also led a few excellent groups such as the X-Tet. He’ll be joined tonight by Chris Lomheim, piano; Gary Raynor, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger, drums.

Thursday, June 18

Minnesota Jazz Orchestra @ Rock Island Swing Bridge, Inver Grove Heights. 6pm – 9pm (Free) You can catch this band once a month at the Wabasha Caves, but tonight they’re playing a swing dance for a swing bridge, as the Rock Island Swing Bridge is being dedicated as part of a trail.

Bob Fantuzzo & Katia Cardenas @ The Kingfield Porchfest, 4515 1st Ave So. Minneapolis. 6pm (Free) Both amateur and professional musicians who live in the Kingfield neighborhood will be featured on the porches of over 20 homes, allowing residents and visitors to roam the neighborhood and hear music. Most of the other artists come from genres other than jazz.

Ottmar Liebert & Luna Negra @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $45), 9pm ($32 – $37) Liebert is credited with creating the Nouveau Flamenco style of guitar, incorporating traditional flamenco music into a modern context, creating a smooth, sensual sound in the process. Since his debut release in 1989 he’s released 25 albums, received five Grammy nominations, and reached 38 gold or platinum levels of sales here in the United States, not to mention sales around the world.

Friday, June 19

Bill Frisell Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($30) There are few, if any, electric guitarists who are as eclectic and successful in their recording and playing as Frisell  He’s worked in mainstream and experimental jazz, as well as folk, classical, Brazilian, soundtrack, and pop realmsd. Whether doing covers of John Lennon tunes, playing with Dave Holland and Elvin Jones, or recording old country tunes, Frisell brings imagination and an instantly recognizable sound to the fore. His latest CD, Guitar in the Space Age, celebrates the twangy, reverberating sounds of songs from the late 50s and early 60s. Tonight he’ll be playing with a different group than in previous visits: Tony Scher, bass; and Rudy Royston, drums.

Jon Pemberton Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pemberton is a triple threat: composer, pianist, and trumpet player. And, he’s excellent in all three roles. He’ll be joined by two other excellent musicians: Matt Peterson on bass, and Corey Healey on drums. Here he is at the piano with a different trio.

Dakota Combo and Dean Granros’ Tall Tales @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) Eight very talented high school musicians who have been studying with Adam Linz, in one of their last performances for the year. (They’ll also be at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival and the Iowa City Jazz Festival.) If you ever hear anyone say jazz is dead, point them to the excitement that these young players generate. Stick around at 9pm for some veterans: Dean Granros and Zacc Harris, guitars; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums.

Steve Hobert & Steve Pikal @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s two Steve’s swingin’ as Hobert (keys) and Pikal (bass) take to the stage. The two have worked together in the Zack Lozier Three, and go together as easily as red beans and rice.

Saturday, June 20

Adam Meckler Quintet @ Episcopal Homes, 1850 University Ave W, Saint Paul. 1:30pm – 3:30pm (Free) Here’s a pre-festival event featuring trumpeter Meckle  and his group performing Meckler originals. He’s joined by Graydon Peterson, bass; Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Greg Schutte, drums.

Doug Haining’s Twin Cities 7 @ Episcopal Homes, 1850 University Ave W, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (Free) The fun continues at Episcopal Homes as saxophonist Doug Haining brings his swinging septet to the stage. I’m sure that residents of the Homes willing be happily tapping their feet, and if they aren’t actually dancing, they’ll be dancing in their heads.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (tip Jar) Featuring John Penny & Jay Epstein (7pm) and the Phil Hey Quartet at 9pm.  Tonight, the weekly jazz performance starts out with the bound to be satisfying duo of Penny on guitar and Epstein on drums. Then Phil Hey and his quartet take the stage to perform flawless interpretations of jazz standards by the likes of Chick Corea and Ornette Coleman. Besides Hey on drums the quartet includes Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Tom Lewis, bass; and Phil Aaron on piano. They’ve been working together many, many years, and it shows.

Sunday, June 21

Francisco Mela Trio @ The Downtown Central Library, Saint Paul. 2pm – 4pm (Free) Mela is the relatively young drummer/percussionist who is serving as the Musical Director for the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. He’s toured and/or recorded with the like of Joe Lovano, Kenny Barron, and McCoy Tyner. Mela’s debut CD was called one of the best albums of the year in 2006 by All About Jazz, and was picked as the best debut by the Village Voice.

Monday, June 22

Sarah M Greer & BLU-7 @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No cover) Greer is a versatile vocalist who is particularly adept at improvisational singing. She leads a regular vocal workshop in spontaneous singing called Songtaneous, and has appeared in a variety of venues around town.

Kurt Elling @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($30) Elling is one of the finest jazz vocalists around, specializing in vocalese as well as scat singing, and bringing new interpretations to a song, whether it’s from Sam Cooke or Charlie Parker. His rich emotive voice has earned him a number of accolades, including the Downbeat Critics Poll 14 years in a row.

Geoff Senn @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Trumpeter Senn can be seen around town in a number of bands around town, including the Explosion Big Band, as well as with Steve Kenny. Tonight he stretches out.

Tuesday, June 23

Lila Ammons @ Highland Stage, 730 Cleveland Ave S, Saint Paul. 7-8:30pm (Free) Another Pre-Festival event, this time in Highland area of Saint Paul, and featuring songstress Ammons, who is equally at home with jazz and blues.

Tuesday, Wednesday, June 22, 23

Cecile McLorin Salvant @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.7pm ($35, $40), 9pm ($25, $30) Vocalist Salvant’s career is rising fast. She seems to specialize in unique reinterpretations of long forgotten early jazz tunes. She’s earned high praise from Wynton Marsalis and the NY Times, and has appeared at numerous festivals around the world. Her last appearance at the Dakota was packed with cheering fans.

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, June 17

Mother Banjo Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) It seems that Gospel music is coming into its own in a couple of genre bending bands. There are a couple of “garage gospel” groups, and then there is Ellen Stanley, aka Mother Banjo  who plays “pub gospel” on her third CD, The Devil Hasn’t Won. She’s won praise for her songwriting from artists such as John Gorka and Josh Ritter.

The Blasters @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($22) Phil Alvin is leading this version of the Blasters without his brother Dave, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a high energy evening of rock n’ roll and rockabilly. There will be a packed house, I’m sure, that will be warmed up by Javier and the Innocent Sons.

Thursday, June 18

Reggae Sunsplash w/The Meditations @ The University Club of Saint Paul, Summit & Ramsey Hill. 5:30pm – 10pm. ($25 door) So we’ve got the Meditations as well as Irie Sol featuring Junior Williams, and a Reggae DJ and Jamaican Buffet ($10), all taking place poolside at the University Club on top of Ramsey Hill in Saint Paul. Advance tickets are available, including a VIP ticket ($55) with a drink and meet and greet. In case of rain, the concert will be held in downtown Saint Paul at the St. Paul Athletic Club.

Hmm, what should I play?

Hmm, what should I play?

Jillian Rae, with Pasadena 68 @ Mears Park, Saint Paul. 6pm (Free) The weekly Music In Mears series is now in its 12th year of presenting bands on Thursday nights. All I know about Pasadena 68 is that it’s a rock n’ roll quartet. I can tell you about Jillian Rae  however, a talented fiddler/vocalist, who isn’t afraid of mixing up pop, rock, and old time music. She’s also a talented writer of original songs. There will be a number of food trucks available, as well as some adult beverages.

Birdstriking @ The Kitty Cat Klub, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) This quartet from Beijing China is one of three bands on the bill. They are high energy, fierce rockers, with smart writing and arrangements, and hints of punk and psychedelia in their approach The other two bands for the night are Flavor Crystals and Magic Castles. From the Kitty Kat’s website, it appears that Birdstriking is the middle group, but one can never tell.

Saun and Starr @ The Bedlam Theater, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Saun and Starr have served as back-up singers to Sharon Jones and are now touring with Sharon and taking side gigs to promote their own new album on Daptone Records. Like Jones, they bring a contemporary perspective to their influence – medium tempo 60s soul. The evening also features Twin Cities own Gospel Machine and Tarik Thornton on the turntables.

Friday, June 19

Sweet Tea @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 6:30pm – 10pm ($?) This quintet has been growing its fan base like crazy, as well they should. Lead vocalist Joy Ann has a strong voice, and is backed by an equally strong quartet of deep-rooted veterans led by guitarist Mark Lamoine.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, June 19, 20, 21

Drop the Mic ! @ Cowles Center, Minneapolis. Friday, Saturday, 7:30pm, Sunday, 2pm ($25) A cross-genre blend of dance, with live music, and DJing. The artists of Curio Dance will perform contemporary, traditional, and classical dance to live jazz trumpet, Latin congas, contemporary piano and a breakbeat DJ.

Saturday, June 20

The Tenderness Sessions @ Pepitos Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. Doors at 7pm, music at 8pm.  ($15 advance/$25 door) Soul music, both sweet and sweaty, as first performed by the likes of Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, and Wilson Picket. And who better to perform such music than resident soulmen Mick Sterling, Maurice Jacox, and Willie Walker. If you purchase tickets at the door, $10 of the price will go to saxophonist Pat Mackin, injured in a car accident last December.

Johnson, Babb, & Paul, with Mary Cutrufello @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm. ($?) It’s hard to get rootsier than this group of artists. Cutrufello rocks out at 9pm, with her tear-in-your-beer story songs and rockin’ guitar, preceded by bluesman Baby Grant Johnson, along with Dave Babb (of the Liquor Pigs), and the sly “mayor of the West Bank,” percussionist Tony Paul as 7pm openers.

Rich Lewis Band @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 11:30pm (Tip Jar) Boomers and others who appreciate R&B, New Orleans, and Motown music can catch Lewis and his band at one of the best neighborhood bars in the Twin Cities. Get there early for a seat, and bring an ID if you want adult beverages. They’ve got a great selection of beers from Great Britain, Scotch and Irish whiskey, and British food, including Scotch eggs.

Sunday, June 21

Martha Davis & the Motels @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $40) Here’s a show for Gen Xers and late boomers. The Motels burst on the music scene in 1982 with their LP All Four One, which produced a top ten song in Only The Lonely, and had three other singles reach the charts. The next year they again reached the Top Ten with Suddenly Last SummerMartha Davis has  been touring with various musicians as The Motels since the late 90s. Judging by recent videos, Davis’ voice remains strong, with a rueful tone which goes well with her songs.

Tuesday, June 23

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue @ Cabooze Plaza, Minneapolis. Doors 5:30/show 6:30pm ($35) Perhaps one of the most exciting young R&B musicians you may see in a long time, Trombone Shorty is a dynamic performer who knows how to work a crowd. He got his name as leader of a band at age six! He also plays trumpet and can acknowledge New Orleans jazz history and play contemporary funk and R&B at the same time, which has led to him having the closing show at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Today’s show also features Willie Murphy & the Angel-Headed Hypsters, and the Jack Brass Band.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar. Dancers might want to check out the calendar for U Wanna Dance.


A Holiday Weekend and More. Mujsic: 7.2 – 7.8

July 2, 2014
Taste has moved so there will be fireworks over the State Capitol on the 4th.

Taste has moved so there will be fireworks over the State Capitol on the 4th.

Well, after the excitement and fun of the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, we have a pretty solid week of music ahead, especially for those of us who are not going to the Iowa City Jazz Festival, another free, outdoor event. It’s a holiday weekend, so there is little music on Friday, since many will be watching fireworks around the metro area. On a personal note, I’ll be busy deejaying as well as subbing on the Sugar Shop. Have a great weekend, and remember, music lifts the spirit.

 Jazz

Wednesday, July 2

Gypsy Mania Hot Club Quartet @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 9:30pm (Free) Ahh, the Lake Harriet Bandshell on a summer night. People enjoying walks around the lakes, bicyclists, picnics, and planes flying overhead. One of the best things to do in the Twin Cities. Made even better by the playing of the Gypsy Mania Hot Club  featuring Glen Hegelson, guitar; Gary Schulte, violin; Matt Senjem, upright bass; and Jay Epstein, drums.

Siamese Fighting Fish @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested donation) Bassist Anthony Cox brings Dean Granros, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Dave King on drums, to the basement “rumpus room” that is Jazz Central

Thursday, July 3

Merciless Ghost @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Group improvisation by a trio that excels at it. George Cartwright, saxophones; Josh Granowski, bass; and Davu Seru on drums.

Saturday, July 5

Pig’s Eye Jazz Band @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm ($6) Traditional New Orleans Jazz and Blues.  These dance floor favorites are back. Jim Torok, reeds & cornet; Nancy Hite, vocals, washboard; Jov Judge, trombone & tuba; Bill Johnson, piano; Jim Field, tuba; Garry Peterson, banjo; Dick Parker, guitar, banjo; Gordon Myers, drums; Kerry Ashmore, clarinet.

Patty Peterson & Friends @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 8pm. $12 (Music Only), $45 (Music + 3 Course Meal) It’s An Evening With Patty Peterson  vocals; Jason Peterson DeLaire, sax, keys & vocal; Paul Peterson, Bass + vocals; Bobby Vandell, drums + vocals. I’ll be deejaying at about 11pm, after Ms Peterson performs.

Sunday, July 6

Andrew Walesch Big Band @ Como Park Pavillion, Saint Paul. 3pm (Free) Pianist/vocalist Walesch leads a big band in a somewhat sheltered outdoor venue with room for dancers. He has a pleasing voice and an understanding way with a lyric.

Monday, July 7

Ryan Christianson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:309pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Christianson is young trombone player who has worked with The Jack Brass Band and the New Standards, and has performed with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra. As guest artist for the evening, he’ll do a longish set with the JC rhythm section, and then, after a break, a jam session will occur.

Jason Squinobal Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Modern renditions of jazz standards and original compositions from tenor saxophonist, Jason Squinobal will be performing with vibraphonist Dave Hagedorn, along with the rhythm team of bassist Chris Bates and drummer JT Bates.

Monday, Tuesday, July 7, 8

Bill Frisell @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($30) There was quite a few popular instrumentals in the 50s and 60s, much of them featuring guitar. The ever-inventive Frisell was inspired by the music, and will soon release a CD entitled Guitar in the Space Age!. He’ll be mining the catalog of music by folks like the Ventures, Dick Dale, Duane Eddy, Link Wray, Chet Atkins, and Merle Travis. He’ll be joined by bassist Tony Scherr and drummer Kenny Wollesen from his working trio, and Greg Liesz, a master of lap and pedal steel.

Tuesday, July 8

Jason Squinobal Quartet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($10) For folks who didn’t want to stay up late for their Monday show. Modern renditions of jazz standards and original compositions from tenor saxophonist, Jason Squinobal will be performing with vibraphonist Dave Hagedorn, along with the rhythm team of bassist Chris Bates and drummer JT Bates.

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, and Other…

Wednesday, July 2

Trailer Trash @ Como Zoo Conservatory, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (Free) Trailer Trash plays honky-tonk country, with a dash of rockabilly/early rock n’ roll. Pack a picnic, or buy some hot dogs, beer, and wine on the lawn of the Conservatory, where it’s held.

Pedrito Martinez @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($20) Havana-born Martinez began his career at the age of 11 as a vocalist and percussionist. He was brought to Canada by Jane Bunnet in 1998 and settled in NYC in 2000. Since then he’s works and/or toured with folks like Paquito D’Rivera, Bebo Valdes, Steve Turre, Stefon Harris, Los Hombres Calientes, Cassandra Wilson, Joe Lovan, and Bruce Springsteen, among others. He’s performed on six Grammy nominated records, and the Grammy winning Simpatico, by Eddie Palmieri and Brian Lynch. He brings Afro-Cuban Rumbas, and Bata rhythms into the 21st century. Tonight he’s featuring vocalist Ariacne Trujillo.

Savoy Brown @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10-$15)  You have to hand it to Kim Simmonds, founding member of this British blues-rock trio  He’s led over 30 different configurations of this group, going through about 60 different members, and is still laying down the boogie. The Savoy Brown Blues Band started in 1965, though it wasn’t until 1974 that they broke the top forty in the US with their album Hellbound Train. Currently a trio, they released their last album a couple of years ago, and  they just keep on chooglin’.

Lonesome Dan Case and Corpse Reviver @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($6) Some early blues and Americana to get you over the hump and rolling towards the weekend.

Thursday, July 3

Nik, Rik, & Mik @ the Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (tip jar) That’s Nikki Matteson & Rich Rue of Nikki & the Rue-Mates, and Mikkel Beckman, joining together for an early evening of rootsy blues and folksy rock.

James Hunter @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) I first heard Hunter when someone gave me a copy of his first album and said, I think you’ll like this guy. He was right. Hunter has a soulful voice, with a bit of scratch in it. He has assimilated and integrated the sounds of early rock n’ roll and R&B into his own soulful singing and playing, often displaying traces of Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson. His latest album, Minute by Minute, from last year, displays his own terrific writing as well. In a rare bit of scheduling, he’ll be coming back to the Dakota on Sunday night.

Friday, July 4

Freewheelin’ First Friday’s Fabulous Fourth @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($6) Though you may not see fireworks by attending this event, you will certainly hear them as Willie Murphy takes the stage with what he’s calling the Wild Combo, which features old friends (and former Bees) John Beach on piano and Merlin Bronkow, aka Bronco on sax. Nikki & the Rue-Mates will provide folk-rock & rootsy blues to open. In addition to the Harriet’s taps, Tollefson’s Family Pork food truck will be on hand to help fuel you up for dancing on the Tap Room’s patio.

Saturday, July 5

Chasing Lovely @ the Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) This charming sister duo offers smart, witty, introspective songs, laced with mandolin, banjo, and acoustic guitars. Originally from Minneapolis, they now reside in Nashville, where they often appear as extras on the TV series of the same name. Reservations strongly recommended at 612-379-3138.

Sunday, July 6

James Hunter @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) See Thursdays’ entry, above.

Leroy Thomas & the Zydeco Roadrunners @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12/$10 – Krewe de Walleye members) Thomas is a Louisiana accordionist who grew up in a family of zydeco musicians. His pulsating repertoire mixes old school zydeco with Cajun, Blues, and R&B. Given the Eagles’ wooden dance floors, I expect a crowd of slinky, swaying, twirling dancers

Monday, July 7

Gillian Welch @ the Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley, 7:30pm ($37) Welch’s spare, dark style has elements of Appalachian and Americana music. She was, after all Associate Producer and performed on two tracks for the Grammy winning soundtrack of O Brother, Where Art Thou?. She received Grammy nominations for her 1996 debut album, Revival, Her 2001 release Time (The Revelator) and her 2011 release The Harrow & the Harvest. Hers is the kind of music you listen to on a porch, while sipping whiskey. Though the Zoo doesn’t have a porch, it’s got an amphitheater which is one of the best outdoor venues you’ll find.

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.

 


Rock n’ Roll is Here to Stay. Music: 12.4 – 12.10

December 4, 2013

imagesAs I write this, the snow is coming down, and I can hear snowplows on the streets. Fitting that the first week in December brings the first real snowstorm to the metro area. We’re in the final month of the Artists’ Quarter, as owned and managed by Kenny Horst. There’ll be a special benefit to help with closing costs and transition (hopefully there will be one, though there is no word on that yet). In other news, Ronnie Spector is back, as is Bill Frisell. There are a couple of CD Release parties taking place, and rock n’ roll is alive and well. Have a good week

Jazz…

Wednesday, December 4

Anthony Cox @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Uber bassist Cox is considered a national artist when he plays in other towns. Don’t know if he’ll have anyone with him, but even solo, he’ll have you shaking your head in wonder.

Evans, Wozniak, Courage, & Schutte @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul ($5) There really isn’t enough space to list all the credits of these four relatively young lions: Park Evans, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Brian Courage, bass; and Greg Schuute, drums. Between them they’ve played with recognized veterans from elsewhere and in up and coming groups from this area. I expect they’ll be playing originals and jazz standards.

Thursday, December 5

This year's combo.  Photo by Andrea Canter

This year’s combo. Photo by Andrea Canter

Dakota Combo @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) The combo is an open-audition group that consists of the best high school musicians in the area. A couple of them are already gigging as professionals. One listen, and you won’t worry about the future of jazz.

Dean Granros Trio @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Granros is a highly respected guitarist – one of those artists that other musicians want to play with. He was in the New York band Curlew back in the day, has played with folks ranging from Ira Sullivan to Dean Konitz and Dave Dudley, and has been seen around here in How Birds Work and Starry Eyed Lovelies. Here he is with Billy Peterson and Kenny Horst.

Friday, December 6

Todd Harper Trio @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm, more or less (Tip Jar) Pianist Todd Harper is back with his trio, including Aaron Kerr on electric cello, and Peter Leggett on drums.  There’s also a gift bazaar going on at the same time. Shop and enjoy the music.

Friday, Saturday, December 6,7

Happy Apple @ The Artist’s Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Though undoubtedly a jazz group, it can easily be said that Happy Apple defies categorization. But that’s what you get when a bunch of rockin’ kids discover jazz. Mike Lewis, sax; Eric Fratzke, bass, and Dave King, drums have been at it for about seventeen years now, gaining an international following and garnering praise from the NY Times, among others. Here’s a performance from last year.

Saturday, December 7

Jana Nyberg Group CD Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Jana has a new CD, Winter Song, with seasonally appropriate songs. The originals, by Jana, and trumpeter hubby Adam Meckler, are at turns romantic and playful, and always well done. The standards are given new, original arrangements. The result is a CD that will have you pushing the Repeat button more than once.

Sunday, December 8

PipJazz @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 4pm Pippi Ardennia’s guest this month is Nicholas Carter, of Paraguay, a harpist, and I don’t mean harmonica. It will certainly be fun to see how he interacts with Pippi and the members of the band. Young pianist Jordan Anderson is the youth guest. Though 15 year old, he’s proving to be a fast learner.

Lots of music at the AQ, plus, Davis will perform his Lord Buckley routine.

Lots of music at the AQ, plus, Davis will perform his Lord Buckley routine.

Friends of the AQ @ the Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 5pm – Midnight? ($10 Minimum donation) Kenny Horst has managed to run the iconic AQ for a few decades now without going in debt, and the musicians involved want to make sure he doesn’t incur any expenses in closing the club and (hopefully) transitioning it to new ownership. At last count there were 38 musicians lined up for this event to show their appreciation for Kenny and this club, with the line-up changing every half hour between 5pm and 10pm and a jam starting at 10:30 or so.

Bill Frisell’s Big Sur Quintet @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $45) The searching, exploratory guitarist will be backed by members of two other groups that he plays with: Jenny Scheinman, violin, Eyvind Kang, viola, Hank Roberts, cellok, and Rudy Royston, drums. Frisell brought this particular group together to play Big Sur, a piece commissioned by the Monterey Jazz Festival. Big Sur combines atmospheric elements of chamber jazz, folk, country, and rock – all elements of Frisell’s musical journey.

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, December 4

Mayor Chris Coleman & the McNally Smith Blues Ensemble @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Free) Hizzoner has played guitar in public before, notably with the ‘Burbs at the Gay Marriage celebration. Wherever you stand on civic issues, you will have fun listening to him as he plays with some of McNally Smith’s best students.

Wax Museum @ Palmer’s Bar, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Free) It’s open vinyl night at Palmer’s. Listen to an ever-changing rotation of deejays playing everything from classic country to worldbeats to punk, metal, and electronica, or, you can bring some vinyl of your own and sign up to spin a 20 minute set.

Wednesday, Thursday, December 4,5

Ronnie Spector’s Best Christmas Show Ever @ The Dakota, Minneapolis 7pm ($45, $55, $65) The best voice in rock n’ roll, the woman who taught Amy Winehouse how to properly do a beehive hairdo, the kid from the street who made teenage hearts pound back in the 60s and can still thrill, Ms Spector returns after a two year absence to sing her fabulous version of Sleigh Ride, one of the most popular of all Christmas songs, along with hits like Be My Baby, and more. Here’s her big hit.

Thursday, December 5

Charles Bradley @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 7:30 doors. ($20) The “Screamin’ Eagle” of soul is becoming, just like the man he impersonated for so long, the hardest working man in show business, criss-crossing the country and the globe to perform sweat-drenched soul.

Willie & the Spectres @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 10pm (Tip Jar) Willie Scott, on dobro and National Steel Guitar, leads Paul Fonfara, clarinet; Evan Clark, tuba; Bobby Eckstrand, guitar; and Chris Hepola, drums; in a blend of  traditional jazz, blues, and Latin influenced music.

UnknownCactus Blossoms Live at the Turf Club CD Release @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($7) The tight,brotherly harmonies of Blossoms, when applied to their originals as well as classic country and honky tonk tunes, can make a grown man cry in his beer and a young woman sigh with regret.

Friday, December 6

Rock n’ Roll Whores, Le Serpent Rouge, & Grenade Girls @ The Hat Trick, Saint Paul. 8pm (Free)  Want to get a sense of how some young folks are rockin’ out? Here’s a chance. Rock n Roll Whores are a punkish/garage-is quartet with a lead singer who may be the next Dean of Scream. Le Serpent Rouge creates dense, yet melodic songs, with influences of 70s rock & psychedelia throughout. The Grenade Girls take classic rock, amp it up, and spit it out.

Jon Rodine & Friends plus the Electro-Pigs @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($?) Rodine is a singer songwriter who isn’t afraid to tackle Dylan, Dan Penn, and other great songsmiths in addition to doing his originals. He’s a bit of country, and a bit of blues, and often tackles a groove. The Electro-Pigs are the electric version of the Front Porch Swingin’ Liquor Pigs, purveyors of a good time, whether electric or acoustic. The Tap Room is relatively small, so you may want to get there early.

Saturday, December 7

Savanna & the Saviours @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 10:3pm (Tip Jar) Savanna sings with controlled emotion, which isn’t to say she’s a “cool” singer, but rather a rocker who knows how to use her voice. She’s ably assisted by the Saviours, a four piece that is equally at home controlling their music.

New Sound Underground and Spare Parts @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($8) New funk and jazz-funk fusion for your late night revelry. New Sound Underground is made up of regional jazz guys, but they get their funk on in a big way, with inspiration from Soulive, Roy Hargrove’s RH Factor, and Weather Report. Spare Parts is a three-piece from Chicago that’s been getting lots of positive press in their hometown.

Sunday, December 8

34th Annual John Lennon Tribute @ First Avenue, Minneapolis – Suburbs, Cactus Blossoms, Sonny Knight & the Lakers. Well Curtiss A has some mighty fine help in his annual tribute. Always packed. Always fun.

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.


Music: 5.1 – 5.7

May 1, 2013

images-3I’ve been to the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival more than a dozen times since 1980, and as it has gotten larger over the years, and as I’ve gotten older, I cannot help but appreciate the many opportunities we have to see musicians (including many who perform at that festival) in small venues. This week we have some world, Americana, blues and jazz from area musicians, as well as visits from a singular jazz guitarist, a piano player who creates beautiful improvisations, and an up-and-coming soul singer (who btw, was in New Orleans this past weekend). Have a good week.

 Jazz

Wednesday, May 1

Body Omara @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Take Desert Blues from Africa. Add a proclivity for improvisation and a knowledge of jazz, and you’ve got a trio that moves the body, mind, and heart. Add in the excellent food and cocktails at Cafe Maude, and you’ll end up with a fun evening.

Boot Camp @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9m ($5) After the successful premier of 7 Psalms, pianist Jeremy Walker’s work for jazz quartet, choir and solo voice, he returns to Saint Paul’s jazz club with his quartet, including Brandon Wozniak, alto; Chris Bates, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Wednesday, Thursday, May 1,2

Bill Frisell’s Beautiful Dreamers @ The Dakota, Minneapoils. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($35) Frisell is an exemplary jazz guitarist with a unique sound. His often meditative, but never sleepy, approach easily crosses genres, and you might hear him playing country melodies as well haunting takes on soul numbers. He’s played with a wide range of artists, from Ginger Baker to Suzanne Vega to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, seamlessly weaving his singular style into the proceedings. These two nights promise to be evenings of superb sonic explorations, as he is joined by Eyvind Kang on viola and Rudy Royston on drums. Here they are doing an old blues tune.

Thursday, May 2

John Devine & Friends @ Loring Pasta Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No cover)  Hard to know just who will show up to play with John. Doesn’t matter. His saxophone playing and creativity will bring it all together.

Joe Strachan Senior Recital @ Ferguson Hall, Rm 225, UofM, Minneapolis. 7pm. Joe is a piano player who was with the Dakota Combo a few years ago and has been studying at the U. During the last year especially, he’s been playing out and about and is showing that he’s learned his lessons well. He’ll be accompanied by a quartet and be performing music by Henry Threadgill, Billy Strayhorn, Tim Berne, and his own compositions.

Connie Evingson & Phil Mattson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm (Donation) Connie is simply an outstanding jazz singer, known throughout the nation. Phil has created arrangements for the Manhattan Transfer, the Four Freshmen, and others, and has accompanied artists ranging from Mark Murphy and Bobby McFerrin to Barbara Morrison and Richie Cole. They’ll be joined by bassist Joan Griffith, a talent in her own right, to perform songs from Connie’s latest CD, Sweet Happy Life.

Friday, Saturday, May 3, 4

Bill Carrothers After Hours Trio @ The Artist’s Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Though area native and celebrated pianist Carrothers now lives in Michigan, he’s been making some regular forays to the AQ, and we’re the luckier for that. Critics describe his playing with terms like romantic, melancholic, warm, wistful, seductive, and sensuous. His carefully chosen notes shimmer and sparkle, and his partners in the trio – Billy Peterson on bass; and Kenny Horst on drums, are both inspired and inspiring. Here he is playing solo.

Tuesday, May 7

Dean Magraw & Davu Seru @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (tip Jar) This monthly gig is a case study in how well musicians can communicate with each other. Magraw on guitar and Seru on percussion create music that fills the room, your brain, and your heart.

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.

Roots, Blues, Other..

Wednesday, May 1

Joe & Vicki Price, w/Jeff Ray & the Stakes @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 7pm. (tip jar) Here’s a double bill that will have the walls shakin’ at the 331 Club. Joe & Vicki are an Iowa couple whose originals often sound like they were penned by a Mississippi bluesman. Jeff Ray & the Stakes, w/Hurricane Harold on harp, take established songs from a variety of sources, and make them into stompin’ blues.  BTW, Joe & Vicki will be on KFAI’s Harold’s House Party, 90.3FM and 106.7FM, during the 5pm hour.

Friday, May 3

Lady J. Griot & the Root Doctors @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) Lady J is Jacquie Maddix, of KFAI’s Rollin’ & Tumblin’ on Tuesday afternoons. She and the Root Doctors lay out the story of the blues. Lady J uses the lyrics of classic blues to reveal the ancient form of spiritual worship practiced by African slaves on Southern plantations.

High and Mighty @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($?) A nine piece rhythm and blues band, playing music that ranges from Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin, through Earth Wind & Fire and Kool & the Gang, to Mayer Hawthorne and Justin Timberlake. In other words, get out your dancing shoes and take advantage of the large dance floor at MMC.

The Ericksons @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) Haunting, spare melodies, insightful lyrics, and sisterly harmonies abound in this Americana/roots group.

Friday, Saturday, May 3,4

Secret Stash Soul Revue @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) If you haven’t seen this act yet, and love R&B music, you owe it to yourself. Secret Stash is a local label that specializes in new releases of old vinyl, especially from other countries. Last year, however, they released the Twin Cities Funk N’ Soul, a compilation mining the sounds of the 60s and 70s. The album, and resulting revue featuring some of its artists, were highly acclaimed. Tonight, they’re bringing Sonny Knight, Maurice Jacox, and the Valdons to the stage, along with Chastity Brown, who will add her soulful voice to the mix.

Saturday, May 4

ANCIA Saxophone Quartet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($10/$5-advance) A concert of contemporary music from Philip Glass (Concerto for Saxophone Quartet – 1995), Fred Sturm (Picasso Cubed, from 2003 — his abstract recasting of Coleman Hawkin’s improvisations) and others. For more info, click here.

Malamanya @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. ($8) It’s Cuatro de Mayo, or another reason to dance to the invigorating, infectious, Cuban sounds of Malamanya. The Deejays of Radio Pocho from KFAI will be on hand to help keep your dancing shoes slipping and sliding during breaks. Speaking of KFAI, here’s Malamanya live in the studio at KFAI.

Tuesday, May 7

Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) The “Screamin’ Eagle,” as he is known, was working as a James Brown impersonator in Brooklyn clubs when he was discovered by the folks at Daptone Records. His initial album, No Time For Dreaming, ended up on a lot of best-of lists, and when he played at the Fine Line last year, he tore the place up. Though many of his songs are of medium or slow tempos, his pure emotion will have the Cedar shakin.’

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.


A Winter for dancing. Music: 2.20 – 2.26

February 20, 2013
Yeah, it's corny, but the message is true.

Yeah, it’s corny, but the message is true.

We’ve got more music for dancing this week, as well as a free concert from Bill Frisell, interesting roots music, and visiting artists from New Orleans and California. Get out and enjoy live music. And don’t forget to bring dancing shoes.

Jazz

Thursday, February 21

Sue Oatts & Tanner Taylor @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm (donation) Back in 2006, vocalist Oatts released a fine CD entitled Back Home, though she was going by the name Sue Tucker at the time. She’s got a winning way with standards and lesser known tunes, and with Tanner Taylor on piano, should provide a delightful evening of song.

Friday, February 22

Bill Frisell @ Janet Wallace Auditorium, Macalester College, Saint Paul. 8pm (Free!) That’s right, the genre-crossing, inventive guitarist will be appearing at Macalester and it’s open to the public. Get there early. A parking lot is right next to the auditorium.

imagesSophia Shorai w/dVRG, Ben Kelly, + Alex Young @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm Shorai‘s being backed by Devon Gray, keyboard player for Hieruspecs, and a couple of other young musicians who will make your trip to the near NE worth your while. Of course Shorai’s honey-sweet vocals, would make it worth your while without any backing.

Friday, Saturday, February 22, 23

Estaire Godinez @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) It’s only a matter of time before some climate change storm of epic proportions is named after percussionist/vocalist Godinez.  Whether she’s singing a smoldering bossa or high-energy R&B, Ms Godinez can raise temperatures and create a whirlwind of sound. She’s recorded on over sixty albums and has held down stints with Prince, the Brothers Johnson, George Benson and Pete Escovedo.  Though this video shows her at the Dakota, you’ll have to go to Saint Paul to hear here this weekend.

Saturday, February 23

Arne Fogel, Maude Hixson, and the Rick Carlson Trio @ The Schneider Theater, Bloomington. 7:30pm ($22 Adults.$16 Students) Fred Astaire & the Songwriters. Fogel, Hixson and Carlson. More powerful than a legal team. More subtle than an accounting office. When combined with songs sung by Fred Astaire, the results will be sublime.

Sunday, February 24

Charmin MIchele w/Twin City Seven @ First Unitarian Society of Minnesota, 900 Mount Curve Ave, Minneapolis. 2-4pm (donations welcome) As part of Black History Month, the society is featuring Michele & the group highlighting the life and work of Billie Holiday. It’s nigh impossible to find a better interpreter than this group to present Ms Holiday’s work.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, February 20

Treehouse on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (kfai – 90.3, 106.7), 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – tip jar) I’ll be subbing for Harold on the House Party this afternoon, and hosting this new trio of talented veterans. Chris Johnson is a first call bassist and vocalist for many of the blues bands in town. He’s also a first-rate whistler. Cathy Mosher sings, yodels, plays the tin whistle,  and is a caller for square and contra dances. Jim Ouska is a versatile guitarist who is equally at home in R&B, rock, folk, and jazz. He received a jazz composers grant from the Dayton Hudson Foundation in 1999, and has recorded three CDs of original music. Catch them live on KFAI and head over to the 331 Club if you like what you hear.

Blackberry Brandy Boys @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30 ($6) A relatively new group featuring eight players and eight vocalists doing Cosmic Cowboy music, incorporating all kinds of music from the mid-twentieth century, and imbuing them with sometimes a pinch, and sometimes a ladle, of C&W seasoning. Think of what the Flying Burritto Brothers were doing.

Thursday, February 21

images-2Acoustic Hot Tuna @ Mill City Nights, Minneapolis. 7pm ($34) Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Cassady started playing together when they were teenagers, and were an integral part of Jefferson Airplane’s heyday in the late 60s and early 70s. They started Hot Tuna as a side project, releasing their first album in 1970. Twenty-five years later, they’re still at it, playing the blues they love.

Friday, February 22

Davina & the Vagabonds @ Crooked Pint Ale House, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10?) When Davina sings, everybody listens, or dances, or shouts. You can’t ignore her, or the Vagabonds, and frankly, you’ll have no interest in doing so. Don’t try to cross the dance floor, you won’t make it.

Willie Walker Band @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 10pm ($?) Go through the closet and get out those dancing shoes, cause Willie Walker’s soulful singing will have you dancing slow, fast, and in-between on the MMC’s commodious dance floor.

Saturday, February 23

Firefly Forest @ The Beat Coffeehouse, 1414 West 28th Street, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) Firefly Forest is a quartet led by keyboard player Steven Hobert. They create whimsical, and often ethereal tunes that perfectly fit their name. Other members of the band include Josh Granowski on upright bass, Nathan Burdick on guitar & keys, and Jeff Schraw on percussion. Opening act is Kalispell, a traditional group from Eau Claire that isn’t afraid to use brass or elements of electronic music in their tunes.

SlovCzech @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Hmm, here’s a group that brings you the sounds of eastern and central europe by taking traditional folk songs and reformulating them into modern high-energy melodic sounds. They play many Czech, Slovak, and gypsy flavored songs, including a few Celtic inspired tunes. Sounds like the kind of music that will have folks moving tables out of the way to dance.

images-3New Orleans Suspects @ Whiskey Junction, Minnapolis. 9pm ($20) This quintet is led by musicians who were an integral part of many bands you know and love from New Orleans. Drummer Mean Willie Green has played with the Nevilles since the 1980s; Reggie Scanlan played bass with the Radiators for thirty-three years; Jake Eckert played guitar with the Dirty Dozen; CR Gruver plays piano as inspired by James Booker and organ as inspired by Art Neville; and saxophonist Jeff Watkins led the James Brown band for a dozen years. Sounds like a good time to me.

Monday, February 25

Cactus Blossoms @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5) Classic country with brotherly harmonies. All you need is saw-dust on the floor, though that generally doesn’t stop folks from waltzing or two-stepping on the Turfs dancefloor.

Tuesday, February 26

Eric Bibb & Habib Koite: Brothers in Bamako @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Bib has been to town before. He’s a fine acoustic bluesman, equal parts storyteller, singer, and fingerpicker. Koite is a superstar in Mali, and has been featured in Rolling Stone, People, the New York Times and Vanity Fair. Koite’s hypnotic guitar playing is perfectly paired with Bibb’s fingerpicking and singing. Check out a video of the two of them.

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.


A Weekend of Festivals: Music for 6.27 – 7.3

June 27, 2012

Last year’s Jazz Festival. Always a good idea to bring your own chairs.

What a weekend! We have a Jazz Festival, a Blues Festival, and a Honky Tonk Festival in town. The Deep Blues Festival at the Bayport BBQ is sold out, so you’ll have to find someone willing to sell his or her ticket. Good luck with that. This year’s Twin Cities Jazz Festival (which really should be called the Saint Paul Jazz Festival) involves hundreds of performers and dozens of venues. It’s impossible to list every act, so go to http://www.hotsummerjazz.com to see the schedule. It’s an adventurous one, with jazz of many stripes, including some free improvisation at Studio Z,  MacNally Smith ensembles at the Minnesota Music Cafe, and jam sessions at the Amsterdam and Artists Quarter. Artist descriptions can be found in the festival program, which should be easily available at all venues. If jazz isn’t your thing, you may enjoy Saturday’s Honky Tonk Festival, which I’ve listed below.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 27

Graydon Peterson Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Graydon on bass, Adam Meckler on trumpet, Vinnie Rose on guitar, and Adam Suarez on drums. Graydon’s originals in odd time signatures, and other tunes to be sure.

Steve Hobart, Jeremy Boettcher, and Jay Epstein @ the Nomad, Minneapolis. 10pm (no cover) Boettcher, bass; and Hobart, piano; are young players who grew up in the area, left for school and musical opportunities, and have recently returned. They are proving to be versatile musicians, and tonight they are teaming up with the veteran, and highly tasteful drummer Jay Epstein.

Thursday, June 28

Twin Cities Jazz Festival: Pippi Ardennia @ Mears Park and others in venues around Saint Paul – Free!: http://www.hotsummerjazz.com The Amsterdam has a particularly strong line-up tonight starting at 5pm wit Ticket to Brazil, and continuing with the piano trios of Chris Lomheim at 6:30 and Mary Louise Knutson at 8pm, followed by vocalists Joyce Lyons, Nichola Miller, and a jam led by the Jazz Central all-stars.

Jack Brass Band @ The Central Library, Saint Paul. 11:30AM  (Free) Grab lunch from one of the food trucks that gather round Rice Park and enjoy the uplifting, always fun music of JBB.

Sophia Shorai @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (no cover) With her sweet, sometimes aching voice, the brightly smiling Ms Shorai will be backed by Tommy Barbarella, piano, Jeff Bailey, bass, and Adam Suarez, drums. It’s Foodie Night, and the policy is now no cover and a $10 bottle of wine!

Friday, June 29

Twin Cities Jazz Festival: Delfeayo Marsalis @ Mears Park, and more: http://www.hotsummerjazz.com If you want to avoid the crowds at Mears Park, check out the Hat Trick Lounge, with four strong groups, including Dean Magraw’s Red Planet.

Patty Peterson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12) Ms Peterson always has a stellar group of players with her, equally adept at jazz and R&B. Tonight she’ll also be joined by saxophonist Steve Cole, who records for Universal and has played with Boz Scaggs, Larry Carlton, and Brian Culbertson, among others.

Saturday, June 30

Twin Cities Jazz Festival: The Bad Plus with Joshua Redman @ Mears Park, The Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education Stage outside of the Black Dog, and a plethora of area artists playing around town: http://www.hotsummerjazz.com

Optimum Trajectory Jazz Quintet @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, 3036 Minnehaha, Minneapolis. 3pm – 5pm (no cover) Here’s a pleasant way to wile away an afternoon. Check out the brews at the Tap Room, where you can hang outside if the weather’s nice and enjoy the sounds of Ira Adelman, sax; Steve Hillson, trumpet; Margo Vreivik, bass; Garth Anderson, drums; and Tim McNamara, guitar. There may even be a food truck present.

Lulu’s Playground @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 10:30pm (no cover) Interesting textures and timbres from Evan Montgomery, guitar; Adam Meckler, trumpet; Steve Hobart, accordion; and Cory Grossman, cello.

Sunday, July 1

Dos Dinos @ The Amsterdam, Saint Paul. 11am (no cover) Dean Harrington and Dean Mikkelson, Two of the area’s most underrated guitar players, team up during the Amsterdam’s brunch hours, which features a Hash Menu and special Bloody Mary. Expect swinging standards and gypsy jazz, as Dos Dinos trade off licks and rhythm.

Sunday, Monday, July 1,2

Bill Frisell: the Music of John Lennon @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $45) Perhaps the most exquisite guitarist on the planet, Frisell, whose spare, atmospheric playing has been applied to numerous genres, gives us his unique take on Lennon.

Monday, July 2

Clay Pufhal @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (donation) Jazz Central is the place to see some of the best musicians in the area playing outside of their normal groups. A regular member and composer for the X-Tet, tenor sax player Pufhal plays around town with a variety of groups.

Firebell @ Red Stag, Minneapolis. 9pm. (no cover) Park Evans, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass (his name is popping up alot lately); and Jay Epstein on drums.

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, June 27

Mother Banjo @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm. (Free) Bring a lunch, or get one at Anita’s Cafe in the Landmark, and sit down to hear a little alt country, alt banjo, and alt gospel from Mother Banjo, aka Ellen Stanley (of Red House Records and KFAI’s Womenfolk show) who’s been making fans around the nation with her picking, composing, and singing.

Thursday, June 28

Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, 3036 Minnehaha, Minneapolis. 7pm. (No cover) Down, dirty, and raw blues, played in an intimate spot. You’ll have to go around back.

Friday, June 29

Mystic Order of Reverb & Twang @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (free) Rockabilly, Surf, 50s & 60s rock n’ roll, and even some classic country will be reverberating the bandshell. Bring a picnic, buy an ice cream cone from the bandshell’s kitchen, and enjoy a summer’s evening by the lake.

Ron Thompson with the Butanes @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($8) Back in the day, Ron Thompson would play high energy blues for hours without a break. For this show, he’ll be backed by the Butanes, who may be the only band in town that can keep up with him.

Motown Throwdown with Big Villain and Toussaint Morrison @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 10pm. ($5) 18+ show. Toussaint will be singing songs from The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and others of that era. Reid Kennedy, better known as a jazz drummer about town, has put together a live hip hop band to do the backing. Sounds like fun. Dichotomy also appears.

Saturday, June 30

Honky Tonk Fest @ Grumpys Northeast, Minneapolis. 2pm – 9pm This is a benefit, with all proceeds going to the Minnesota Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Featuring a bevy of talent, including: Trailer Trash, Lazy Ike & the Daredevils, Jennifer Marky & the Tennesee Snowpants, Cactus Blossoms, The Ditchlilies, Sister Shaw. Photo Booth, pulled pork sammies and more.

Saturday Sock Hop w/Steve Clarke & The Working Stiffs, with The Bad Companions @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7). This Saturday Sock Hop is presented by Freewheelin’s Jackson Buck and features Dance Instructor Extraordinaire, Miss Shannon. You can catch her free dance instructions weekly at Lee’s, Famous Dave’s and other venues around town, generally an hour before the music starts. Same thing tonight, with a little extra. Dance lessons start at 8:30, and a special Rock-A-Billy Stroll Dance lesson will occur about 10:15, after the Bad Companions open.

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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