Music, Music: 7.5 – 7.11

July 5, 2017

I hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th. Once again we have a great combination of visiting and resident artists performing in our fair Twin Cities. Here are just a few of the many music offerings over the next week. Music lifts the spirit.


Wednesday, July 5

Maud Hixson @ Vieux Carré,  Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Here’s Ms Hixson in a slightly different musical setting than we usually see this warm, compelling vocalist. Though often accompanied by a pianist, tonight she’ll be accompanied by guitarist David Singley and bassist Kent Saunders as she sings songs from the Great American Songbook and more.

Radio Joe & the Jazzbos @ Mancini’s, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (No Cover) Grab yourself one of the big red booths, and get out on the dance floor as guitarist/vocalist Joe Demko, aka Radio Joe, and his crew pay homage to the music of Tony Bennett and Diana Krall.

Thursday, July 6

Acme Jazz Company, w/Arne Fogel @ Crooners’ Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Though it’s name may evoke Road Runner cartoons, this aggregation is anything but your every day band. The Acme Jazz Company had a regular gig here during previous incarnations of the club, and still sounda exciting. Added bonus: Crooner Arne Fogel.

Lavelle Jazz Cats Little Big Band @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) With seven horns, a rhythm section  and vocalist, the Lavelle Jazz Cats perform classic tunes by Basie, Sinatra, Ella, Dean Martin, Miles, Sonny Rollins, Ellington, and more, included more recent works by Michael Buble, Harry Connick Jr, and others.

Pool Party” @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) With three adventurous musicians: JT Bates, drums; Jacqueline Ultan, cello; and Chris Cunningham, guitar. The Pool Party is described as: “a randomized number of improvisors are selected at random from a selected pool to converge on a selected Thursday.”

Friday, July 7

Illicit Sextet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) This composer’s collective always has interesting, well executed musical ideas. The evening has the aptly ironic title of The Greatest Hits. Members of the band are: Paul Harper, saxophones; Chris Lomheim, Piano; Nathan Norman, Drums; Dave Roos, Guitar; Tom Pieper, Bass; and Steve Kenny, Flumpet. Here’s an old video.

BZ3 Organ Trio @ The Mudd Room, 1352 Highway 13, Mendota. 8pm (No Cover) The Mudd Room is a new “speakeasy” located under Lucky’s 13 in the village of Mendota. Enter through the street and you have to pick up a phone to get the entry code. Or you can go into Lucky’s and use either a staircase or elevator to get to the stonewall lined room. It’s a long narrow room, so sit up front to better hear the band. Tonight it’s Brian Zimniek, organ; Troy Norton, guitar; and Kevin Washington on drums. They swing, they groove.

Saturday, July 8

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Headlining at 8:30pm is a band whose members exhibit sheer joy at playing together – Chris Bates’ Good Vibes TrioBates, bass; Phil Hey, drums; Dave Hagedorn, vibes. Opening – The Cole Mahlum Quartet: Mahlum, guitar; Ted Olson, bass; Will Kjeer, piano; Miguesl Hurtado, drums.

Sunday, July 9

Parisota Hot Club @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. ($6) 8pm – 10pm Guitarist Robb Henry leads this collective of musicians who play Hot Jazz, or as it’s sometimes known, gypsy jazz. Founded in 2002, they were the first group in the area to concentrate on the music of Django Rheinhardt and Stephane Grapelli. However, they play more than the acoustic swing standards of the 30s and 40s, sprinkling their repertoire with occasional Beatles songs, as well as more contemporary fare. Tonight, they’ll be in trio format.

Monday, July 10

Teri Roiger @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10 – $35w/Dinner) NYC vocalist Roiger was at the Dunsmore Room last June and provided a great evening of music. Her singing has been cooled “smooth but heady,” (All About jazz), “powerfully moving: and impressively deep (JazzTimes), and “made for those who still understand the meaning of the term the real thing” (Stanley Crouch). Roiger can express much with the slightest turn of a phrase, and has a voice that sounds wonderful in the listening environment of the Dunsmore Room. She’ll be celebrating the release of Shades of Lady Day, a collection of tunes associate with Ms Holiday. With husband John Menegon, bass; Phil Aaron, piano; and Phil Hey, drums.

Fuzzy Math @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9:30pm (No Cover) One of the few jazz groups that play the Amsterdam, Fuzzy Math has been called “best jazz act for people bored with jazz” in a Best of MN listing. They play original material as well as creative covers.

Tuesday, Wednesday July 11, 12

Connie Evingson Sings Ellington @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20 – $45w/Dinner) Given that she performs quite regularly in the area, it’s easy to forget that vocalist Evingson has appeared at festivals and venues around the nation and in Europe and Japan. She’s been a guest artist at Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis, Michael Feinstein and Vince Giordano, Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, the Minnesota Orchestra and Toronto Symphony conducted by Doc Severinsen, the JazzMN Orchestra and Vocalessence, among others. Her ten CDs have all charted in the top 50. Whether singing the songs of Peggy Lee, Django Rheinhardt, The Beatles, Dave Frishberg, or Norman Gimbel, her slightly smoky, always articulate voice is always a delight. The intimate Dunsmore Room is a perfect place to hear her, as she’s accompanied by Jon Weber, piano, Dave Karr, sax; and Gordy Johnson, bass.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, July 5

The Two Shoes on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) To understand the name, you have to recall the Guys All Star Shoe Band from the old Prairie Home Companion. Mandolinit Richard Kriehn and guitarist Pat Donohue were both long time members of the band, so their interaction will undoubtedly be as close as two peas in a pod.

Dustbowl Revival @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25-$35) So here’s a new term I’ve seen, that’s actually pretty good at describing the eight-piece  Dustbowl Revival – Americana Swing. Using a couple of horns, tougher with acoustic guitars and a fiddle, not to mention a take-no-prisoners attitude, they give a mighty kick to country blues, early jazz, folk, and originals.W/Jack Klatt Opening.

Thursday,July 6

Graveyard Club @ Music in Mears, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Free) This quartet got their start a few years back recording their first album in a 19th Century Summit Avenue mansion that was possibly haunted. Some of the houses creaks and sounds were incorporated into the recording, which got quite a bit of airplay in Europe. Their synth-laden sounds harken back to the the 80s and the recordings of New Order and the Cure. Candid Kid opens, and food trucks will be on hand.

Bill Kirchen @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($18 Advance/$20 Door) Guitarist Bill Kirchen is a Master of the Telecaster, to use a somewhat cliched term, but in this case it’s well deserved for this artist who performs hot rod and truck-driving songs that he calls “Dieselbilly” music. We first heard of him back in the early 70s when his lightning licks propelled Hot Rod Lincoln, by Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen. Nowadays, he often uses the song to show off a number of styles, from Les Paul to Jimi Hendrix.

Lowland Lakers, Mother Banjo, and Jillian Rae @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Here you have three bands fronted by women of substance, performing traditional folk, bluegrass, and Americana, as well as originals. Jillian Rae opens at 9:30, followed by Mother Banjo at 10:30, and the Lowland Lakers at 11:30.

Friday, July 7

Selby Avenue Brass Band @ Rhythm in Rice, Rice Park, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm (Free) The Selby Avenue Brass Band play raucous “street music” made for second-line dancing. They’ll have special guest vocalists Thomasina Petru and Maurice Jacox along to help. Opening is Pippi Ardennia & the Pip Jazz All-Stars.

Paul Barry & the Ace Tones and Squishy Mud @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Two of the best from the Battle of the Bands, conducted to get an opening spot at the Lowertown Blues and Funk Festival later this summer.

Saturday, July 8

The Drifters @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($22 – $57) If you want to hear the hits of The Drifters  a group that had at least five different lead singers during its heyday, then this will be a rewarding experience. Thanks to a string of hits during the 50s and 60s, the Drifters were the first African American group to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Don’t expect to hear any of the original members, however. After all, many of them have passed or retired. You can read the story of the multiple Drifters groups at the link above. The Drifters name was always owned by music entrepreneur George Treadwell, who has managed to keep groups performing under the name, so no matter who is in the group, you’ll hear the hits. Here’s what you might hear.

Jennifer Grimm @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, but $10 to Guarantee seat) Ms Grimm is a talented singer who is equally at home on a theater stage of in a bar. Either way, she’s an engaging performer, and with her family and friends, provides a highly entertaining evening, as she proved she could do in a long-time weekly residency at the old Manitou Station in White Bear Lake.

Sunday, July 9

Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 5pm – 7pm (No Cover) Charangas, danzons, and salsa for a late afternoon Sunday.

Los Texmaniacs @ The Dakota, Minnapolis. 7pm ($25, $30, $40) Los Texmaniacs have been anointed the New Kings of Tex-Mex, by no less than Flaco Jimenez, of The Texas Tornados and numerous other groups. Founder Max Baca (bajo sexton and vocals) has participated in eleven Grammy winning projects.

Dan Chouinard w/Maria Jette @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15 – $40w/Dinner) Dan Chouinard’  Birthday Club series brings the keyboardist together with various guest vocalists to toast musical birthdays and anniversary of  the month. Tonight’s guest is soprano Maria Jette  whose repertoire ranges from baroque classics to Tin PanAlley. The two have worked together many times, so close musical communication, as well as witty repartee, will be on exhibit. Added bonus: Revenue will go to Center for Victims of Torture

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.

Music for Mid-July: 7.18 – 7.24

July 18, 2012

My computer is on the fritz and in the shop, so I’ll keep this short, since I’m using a borrowed computer.

Wednesday, July 18

Jana Nyberg Group @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Jana and her group have been playing out and touring the Midwest quite a bit lately, including forays into Door County, WI. She’s backed by a stellar group of musicians including hubby Adam Meckler on trumpet, long time cohort Evan Montgomery on guitar, Matt Peterson on bass, and  Jake Nyberg on drums. It’s Foodie Night, so no cover, and a featured wine for $10/bottle.

Valve Meets Slide @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Its a trombone showdown as Brad Bellos (Valves) and Dave Graf meet for one of their enjoyable gigs, backed by Chris Lomheim, piano; James Buckely, bass; and Jay Epstein on drums.

Thursday, July 19
The Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra w/Charmin Michele @ Landmark Plaza, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm (free) Part of the summertime weekly dance series by the Ordway. Ballroom dance instruction at 6pm, followed by music at 7:15. Food, drink, tables, and a dance floor are all available.

Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm (no cover). It’s been a busy year for Clouser. He’s released the first of three CDs planned for the year, and has been playing all over the states and Mexico. His guitar playing and his music has enough energy to go over in a rock n’ roll bar like the ‘Dam, and enough improvising and imagination to go over in a jazz club.

Friday, July 20
Matt Turner & Viv Cunninghan @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (tip jar) Turner plays cello, while Cunningham sings. Part of the always adventurous and satisfying Community Pool series.

Friday, Saturday, July 20, 21
Laura Caviani Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Ms Caviani is an impressive player, interpreter, and composer. She’s also been known to sing a song, as on her album Going There. Caviani’s sound has been described as salon meets saloon, which seems apt to me. For these shows she’ll be accompanied by Pete Whitman, sax; Peter Schimke, piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums.

Saturday, July 21
Joel Shapiro Trio @ Loring Pasta Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm. Shapiro is a versatile and tasty guitarist. Tonight he’ll be accompanied by Tom Lewis on bass, and Eric Kamau Gravatt on drums. Music that deserves to be more than just a background for dinner.

Jeremy Siskind, Lucas Pine, and Nancy Harms @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 10:30pm. New York Pianist/composer Siskind recently put out an album entitled Finger-Songwriter, featuring Pine on reeds and Harms on vocals. It’s a chamber-jazz sort of affair, with Harm’s appealing dry vocals adding a special dimension to Siskind’s words. Nate Chinen, of the NY Times, gave it a very positive review. Nancy will be on my show Saturday morning (10:30AM KFAI, 90.3 & 106.7FM) and will likely bring Siskind and Pine along.

Tuesday, July 24
Moonlight Serenaders @ the Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) Dance lessons at 6:30pm The Serenaders are one of the fine big band we’re privileged to have in our area. Lee Engele serves as their “canary” and does a great job of swingin’ with the band. This is an outdoor event on the Center’s plaza overlooking downtown Saint Paul.

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 Police, Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other
Wednesday, July 18
Malamanya @ The IceHouse, Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($6) The Icehouse is starting a Wednesday night program of world music with a bang, bringing in this popular Cuban son & salsa group to fire up the combination of hipsters and hip oldsters that are coming out to this new restaurant/stage/deli/bar.

Thursday, July 19
Luisa Maita @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Sensual, Brazilian-flavored pop that’s pushing, or rather meshing the borders of numerous genres. Fans of CeU, Seu Jorge, and other current Brazilian singers will find much to like. 

Ukrainian Village Band @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (tip jar) The Ukrainian Village Band is a group of eight musicians with acoustic instruments playing music from the Ukrainian countryside in a “cafe europa” style, yet isn’t afraid to apply their sound to a Lady Gaga tune. Sounds fun!

Friday, July 20
Felonious Bosch, Brass Messengers, and Clocks & Clouds @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) Check into the Hall stage to hear the global/medieval, yet highly accessible sounds of Bosch and the always fun, loose-limbed, celebrations of the Messengers. Clocks and Clouds are Stephanie Shogren and Lucas Shogren on violin and cello, respectively, and Derek Powers on drums and percussion. They are a chamber trio whose tunes sometimes evoke rock n’ roll power trios.

Bill Kirchen @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm $15  Guitarist Kirchen first came to prominence with Commander Cody & the Lost Planet Airmen, when his twang-infused guitar served as the double barrel carburetor for Cody’s V-8 engine of a band. He’s an incisive player, with such wit and humanity about his solos that he’s earned a story in the Oxford American’s issue of the Best of the South. With Eric Koskinen Band.

Sunday, July 22
Jennifer Grimm @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 7:30 – 11pm. You’ve heard her voice in commercials. She was well-received at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival when she did a guest spot with Sue Orfield. Grimm sings with Hookers $ Blow, guests with Jue Cruz, and will be appearing at the Metropolitan room in NYC later this week. She’s also had one of her songs featured on NBC’s Parenthood and Showtime’s House of Lies. Sunday night at the Station is a regular gig and well worth stopping by to hear her relaxed vocals applied to jazzy pop originals.

Monday, Tuesday, July 23, 24
Ronnie Laws & Tom Browne Supergroup @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) 9pm ($25) Laws is a flautist and saxophone player who was one of the founders of Earth, Wind, and Fire and went on to a successful solo career playing jazz-funk and earning a number of gold records in the process. Trumpeter Browne cut his teeth with artists like Lenny White, Woody Shaw, and Sonny Fortune before becoming a solo artist and hitting with “Funkin’ for Jamaica.” Their appearance at the Dakota last year was a funk n’ fun-filled show.

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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