Looking Back, Moving Forward: 11.8 – 11.14

November 8, 2017

We’ve a week of live music that reminds us of where we’ve been and points to ways forward, whether with visiting artists such as Kamasai Washington, Ann Hampton Calloway, John Primer, and Tom Rush. or resident artists like Graydon Peterson, Travis Anderson, or The Good, The Bad, The Funky. Whether you want to dance, snap your fingers, or let music wash over you, we have plenty of opportunities to learn how Music Lifts Your Spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, Nov 8

Connie Evingson & Andrew Walesch @ Crooners’ Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 5pm – 7pm?) It’s a delightful happy hour as chanteuse Evingson teams up with pianist Walesch to entertain during happy hour. I wonder if they’ll do any duets?

Ann Hampton Calloway @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $45) This pianist/vocalist, perhaps the best known of today’s cabaret singers, combining jazz and pop to tell her stories. She has long been a champion of the Great American Songbook, and tonight will celebrate The Centennial of Ella Fitzgerald’s birth with Ella Century, including new, fresh arrangements of some of Fitzgerald’s signature tunes.

Thursday, Nov 9

Kamasai Washington @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 10pm ($30 Advance/$35 Door) It’s fitting that saxophonist Washington, who has been lauded for his 3 Volume release Epic, should play First Avenue, as his work (especially with Kendrick Lamar) has been embraced by many young people who had previously not been hip to jazz. If you are too old to stand for a couple of hours, you may have to arrive early (doors at 7pm) in order to secure a spot at one of the Ave’s few tables.

Bill Evans: Time Remebered @ The Heights Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) This is a very special event – the Minnesota premier of “Bill Evans Time Remembered – The Life and Music of Bill Evans.” The film was 8 years in the making with over 40 interviews and over 30 archival photographers. The Larry McDonough Quartet will perform a set of material of Bill Evans; followed by the new documentary about Evans by Bruce Spiegel; and finishing with an interview of Evans by legendary jazz journalist Leigh Kamman. Here’s a trailer for the film.

Also: Southside Aces @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5)

Friday Nov 10

Graydon Peterson Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9pm ($12, $15) Graydon Peterson is a first-call bassist on the Twin Cities jazz scene, whether accompanying singers, playing in the Adam Meckler Orchestra, or providing the foundational rhythm for a number of groups. He also composes and will be playing some of his originals tonight, with bandmates Adam Meckler, trumpet; Joe Strachan, piano; and Adrian Suarez on drums

Saturday, Nov 11

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7:00 Opening Set – Roseville HS Combo 1: Liam Traynor, trumpet; Aran Koob, alto sax; Emily Dorr, piano; Karl Koob, guitar, James Klinkenberg, bass; Ben Martin, drums. 8:30 pm – Michael Shults Group: Michael Shults & Aaron Hedenstrom, Saxophones; Javi Santiago, Piano; Chris Bates, Bass; Miguel Hurtado, Drums.

Also: Jay Young & Lyric Factory @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10)

Sunday, Nov 12

Harvey Diamond Quartet Featuring Melissa Stoudt @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 4pm ($12) This early show features pianist Harvey Diamond, who has been a mainstay of the Boston jazz scene since the mid-60s, and is also a regular performer in NYC venues. He’s performed with Sheila Jordan, Dave Liebman, Art Farmer, and a host of other Jazz Masters. He recently released is first CD as a leader and is touring behind it. He’ll be joined by Melissa Stoudt, a TwinCities saxophonist and composer who regularly performed with the late Eddie Berger, and is currently lead tenor with the Maple Grove Big Band. Here he is with a slightly different quartet.

Catherine Russell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) This vibrant singer of classic jazz & blues is a native of NYC, whose father was Louis Armstrong’s long-time musical director, and whose mother played with the legendary International Sweethearts of Rhythm. She has been a back-up vocalist for folks like David Bowie, Steely Dan, Paul Simon, Levon Helm, Al Kooper, and others. Her sixth album, Harlem on My Mind, features songs originally done by Ethel Waters, Billie Holiday, Etta James, and Dinah Washington, as well as other artists who played at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.

Sunday, Monday, Nov 12, 13

Emmet Cohen Mini-Tour:   Emmet Cohen Trio @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25); Emmet Cohen B3 Organ Duo @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($20, $10 w/valid student ID) You have two chances to see irrepressible pianist Emmet Cohen, in two different settings. On Sunday night he’ll be at the Dunsmore Room with Russell Hall on bass and Evan Sherman on drums. His last appearance at the Dunsmore Room was delightful, with Cohen and his bandmates performing high-level improvisations and playfully quoting jazz standards. He’ll have Hall & Sherman with him at the Dunsmore. Then on Monday night at Jazz Central, he and drummer Sherman perform as a B3 organ duo, bringing some greasy funk to the basement club.

Tuesday, Nov 14

Travis Anderson Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) Pianist Anderson, along with bassist Steve Pikal and drummer Nathan Norman, always swing.

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, Nov 8

Dustin Arbuckle & the Damnations on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) After 15 years in the Deep Blues/Progressive Roots outfit Moreland and Arbuckle the two parted amicably to pursue other roads forward. Dustin Arbuckle is now exploring traditional music by the likes of Charley Patton as well as the musical roots represented by The Band, Stax Records, Johnny Cash, and the Allman Brothers, among others. Tune in to check them out, and head over to the 331 to see Arbuckle and his band in person.

Craig Clark @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Craig Clark has most recently been seen giving added oomph to the Dee Miller Band. He’s performed with Big Brother and The Holding Company, The Mississippi Mass Choir with Reverand James Cleveland, Jimmie Van Zant, and Big John Dickerson, among others.

Also: Hula Peppers @ The Schooner, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar)

Thursday, Nov 9

MIkkel Beckmen & Jeff Ray @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Percussionist Beckmen brings slide guitar master Ray to the little stage at The Dubliner for some after work musical workouts.

Tom Rush @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50) If you’ve any interest in folk music, this is the place to be this week. Singer/guitarist Rush has been a major influence on American music since the folk revival of the 60s. He’s championed songs by artists like Joni Mitchell, Jackson Brown, and James Taylor, and has brought people like Nanci Griffith and Shawn Colvin to wider audiences in the beginning of their careers. Both Taylor and Garth Brooks name him as a major influence.

Colin Campbell & the Shackletons and Others @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($8) This is actually a four-band showcase of up and coming area bands. Colin Campbell & The Shackletons are a rock/blues band influenced by the “Minneapolis Sound.” The Grape Whales use long-form song structures to create mediative, bouncy psychedelic rock and roll. Fragile Canyons are a folk/rock quartet inspired by the Grateful Dead and Joni Mitchell, among others. Basement Apartment, which has been around in a number of iterations since 2001 released their third self-titled album in 2014.

Friday, Nov 10

Nikki Roux & Rich Rue @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (No Cover) From blues to folk-rock to originals, Nikki’s charming vocals and Rich’s ace guitar playing satisfy.

John Primer @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Seems we haven’t heard enough from Chicago bluesmen (or women) of late, but John Primer will fix that. He’s a guitarist/vocalist who honed his chops as bandleader and lead guitarist for Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, and Magic Slim & the Teardrops. He’s been nominated for a Grammy twice and has received a Lifetime Achievment Award, though neither of those accolades do justice to his guitar playing.

Friday, Saturday, Nov 10, 11

The Good, The Bad, The Funky 20 Year Celebration @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) GBF, as they are sometimes known, are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of their first gig, which was held at the MMC. The dance-inducing horn band are celebrating with two nights of dance-floor filling music.

Saturday, Nov 11

Kildahl, Voderharr & Gravlin @ The Mudd Room, Mendota Heights. 8pm (No Cover) The “speakeasy” under Lucky’s 13 will reverberate with the blues tonight.

Willie Walker @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9:00pm ($12) I believe this is a first appearance at the Vieux for Walker and his band. The gritty soul man has been on a tear. After winning two Living Blues Music Awards for his 2016 album If Nothing Ever Changes, he recently released a new album, After A While, with the Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra, the group that backed him on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise last month.

Also: Comotown Cajun Trio @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 12pm (No cover)

Hurricane Harold’s All-Star Blues Revue @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul,. 8pm (Tip Jar)

Monday, Nov 13

Joe Fingers & His So-Called Friends @ Dunn Brothers on Grand, Saint Paul. (Tip Jar) Fingers is a champion finger-picking guitarist and vocalist whose So-Called Friends are equally skillful, though it’s hard to know which ones will show up

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.


Monk and More: 10.11 – 10.17

October 11, 2017

This week’s selection of music around town features a couple of events celebrating the music of Thelonious Monk, pictured on a Time magazine cover from the early 60s. The pioneering pianist has inspired musicians of all stripes (Terry Adams, of NRBQ, released an album of his music recently). We also have a number of visiting musicians from around the country, and solid contributions to our culture from resident musicians. Remember: Music Lifts Your Spirit

Jazz

Wednesday, Oct 11

Chick Corea/Steve Gadd Sextet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, ($75, $90, $100), 9pm ($65, $80, $90) As I wrote last week, Holy Buckets, what a group! Besides Corea on keyboards, and Gadd, who has played on hundred of albums, on drums, we have Lionel Louecke, last seen here at the MN Zoo with Herbie Hancock, as well as bassist Carlitos del Puerto, an original member of pioneering cuban group Irakere, saxophonist Steve Wilson, and Argentine percussionist Luisto Quintero.

Thursday, Oct 12

Minnesota Jazz Orchestra @ Wabasha Street Caves, Saint Paul. 7pm ($8 – Cash Only) It’s Swing Night at the Wabasha Street Caves and the big band sounds of the MJO will have neophytes and veterans twirling partners and holding them close on the slow songs. Dance lesson starts at 6:15.

Friday, Oct 13

Craig Russo Latin Jazz w/Doug Little @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9:00pm ($10) Percussionist/drummer Craig Russo and saxophonist/flautist Doug Little have both traveled to Cuba to study the islands music and rhythms. Russo has worked with Little’s group Charanga Tropical, some of whose members will fill out the rest of tonight’s group. Here’s what they sound like.

Davu Seru’s No Territory Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) For the second Illicit Workshop Production at Jazz Central we have percussionist/drummer Seru, who put together this band a year or so ago to play his own original compositions. His co-conspirators in the band include Pat O’Keefe, clarinet; Nathan Hanson, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; and Levi Schwartzberg, vibes.

Saturday, Oct 14

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Featuring Sophia Shorai at 7pm, and Firebell at 8:30pm. Vocalist Shorai can communicate heartache and joy with her sweet, yet-somtimes-vulnerable voice. Firebell will bring on the heat with Park Evans, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums.

Ron Evaniuk Trio featuring Eric Gravatt @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) Bassist Ron Evaniuk plays with the Classic Jazz Orchestra, the JazzMN Orch, and his own quartet, in addition to his long-standing work as part of Source Code. Source Code’s lead, Eric Gravatt is on the drum kit tonight, so no matter who the third member of the trio is, there will be musical fireworks.

Laura Caviani w/Karrin Allyson: 100 Years of Thelonious Monk @ The Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hopkins. 8pm ($25) Pianist Laura Caviani worked a lot with vocalist Karrin Allyson during the years that Allyson lived in the Twin Cities. Tonight, Allyson will be a special guest in celebrating the music of Thelonious Monk, whose 100th birth anniversary was a few days ago. Caviani has even recruited a new trio for this project: Chris Bates on bass; and Dave Schmalenberger on drums. They’ve recorded a CD featuring brand new arrangements of Monk’s music, which will be available after the performance. Here’s Laura and a previous trio doing a Monk tune.

Sunday, October 15

Joey Alexander Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm, 8pm ($35, $45, $50) Fourteen-year old pianist Joey Alexander is also honoring Monk, with a surprise release of Joey. Monk. Live!  If you didn’t catch him at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival in June, you can get to hear him tonight, and wonder how a fourteen-year old can have such talent.

John Raymond @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley, 7pm ($15) Trumpeter Raymond is originally from the Twin Cities. He has collaborated with musicians such as Billy Hart, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Orrin Evans, Linda Oh, and Ethan Iverson, among others. Hislatest album, Real Feels has received critical acclaim from the New York Times, Downbeat Magazine and others

Monday, Oct 16

Sam Miltich & Friends @ Crooner’s Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley, 7pm (No Cover, but $10 will guarantee a seat stage-side) Miltich is a self-taught guitarist from the woods of Northern Minnesota who broke out as a member of the Hot Club of San Francisco, before forming his own band, the Clearwater Hot Club. He’s toured extensively, and has backed folks like Connie Evingson, Charmin Michelle, and the Dutch violin master Tim KlipHuis. No matter what friends he brings on stage, the results are always swinging and satisfying. Here he is with some of his friends.

Tuesday, Oct 17

Lawrence University Factulty Ensemble @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6:30pm ($30) Here’s a chance for young musicians to check out the jazz faculty at Lawrence University. Jazz fans of any age are sure to enjoy this show, which features musicians with vast resumes in jazz, pop, and R&B. There will be special guest performances by two alumni: Laura Caviani and Adam Meckler. For more information and tickets:  http://www.lawrence.edu/conservatory/performance_series/faculty-jazz-quartet

 

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, Oct 11

Dustin Arbuckle on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Dustin Arbuckle, of Alligator recording artists Moreland and Arbuckle, steps out with a side project he’s had for about seven years. The Haymakers’ influences range from Doc Watson, Johnny Cash, and Bill Monroe to Old & In the Way, the Byrds, Sonny Terry, and Gilliam Welch. I’ve a feeling this isn’t your grandparents bluegrass.

Thursday, October 12

New Orleans Suspects @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $35) So… what we have here is a collection of funky, funky, New Orleans musicians, including “Mean” Willie Green on drums; Charlie Wooten; Jake Eckert; CR Gruver; and Jeff Watkins. Between them, they’ve played with bands ranging from The Neville Brothers, to James Brown, and Leo Nocentelli, among others. Let the Good Times Roll!

Southside Aces @ The Eagles Club, #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) If you’re looking for some traditional New Orleans jazz that’s danceable, then look no further than this six-piece band: Robert Bell, guitar; Dave Michael, drums; Erik Jocobson, sousaphone; Zack Lozier, trumpet; Steve Sandberg, trombone; and leader Tony Balluff on clarinet.

Friday, October 13

Lone Star Revue @ The Hook & Ladder, Minnapolis. 7:30pm ($15 Advance/$20 Door) Grammy-nominated harpist Mark Hummel, is joined by ace guitarist Anson Funderberg, as well as guitarists Mike Keller (a Fargo native); bassist RW Grigsby; and drummer Wes Starr. Though Hummel and Funderberg may be the best known of these Texas bluesmen, Keller, Grigsby, and Starr have worked with the likes of The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Double Trouble, Jimmy Vaughan, Earl King, James Cotton, Carlene Carter, and more.

Crankshaft & The Gear Grinders @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) Call it stripped-down, revved-up rockabilly, call it punk blues, or, as bassist Keith Boyles tried to describe it, “It’s like psycho-billy swamp punk country blues”

Lonesome Dan Case Duo @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 5pm (Free) Well, Lonesome Dan has a partner for this late afternoon gig, though he still sings classic blues of the 20s and 30s like he was born to them.

Saturday, October 14

Blues Hall of Fame @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 5pm – 8pm ($15, $20) Annie Mack & Tom Kochle will perform from 4-5pm, before the awards show. The Minnesota Blues Society is once again honoring our own – resident musicians and others who keep the blues flame alive. This year’s inductees include Scottie Miller, Blues Performer; drummer Rob Stupka, sideman; Dee Miller & Jimi Primetime Smith for the blues song, Leopard Print Dress, and Willie Walker for the album If Nothing Ever Changes. There’s also a Legacy Award for Dave Ray, and awards for non-performers Sue McClean & Associates; KBEM, and “Famous” Dave Anderson. It’s a fun event with performances from some past & present winners. You might even stick around, since at 9pm Chicago Bluesman Toronzo Cannon will take the stage.

Big George Jackson @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Jackson’s big, brawny voice and solid harp playing should shake the timbers of this old bar. If you like blues that swaggers and has a hint of menace, you’ll be pleased when you stop in.

Monday, Oct 16

Candace @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7:30pm($10) This Portland trio’s sound is dense, mysterious, slightly psychedelic, and brooding. They started out in the Twin Cities as Is/Is in 2009 with members Sarah Rose, guitar, bass, moog, casio, vocals; Sarah Nienaber, guitar, bass, piano, vocals; and Mara Appel DesLauriers, drums, percussion, vocals. After Mara (the drummer) moved to Portland in 2011 the Sarahs performed and recorded with three different drummers, but decided in 2015 to move to Portland to reunite with Mara. They subsequently released New Future in 2016, rebranding themselves as Candace to acknowledge their new-found strength and outlook. Opening is Friendless Passenger and DJ Martha Weir.

Resist! A Group Sing Event @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Donation for a Local Non-Profit) This sounds intriguing, at least for those who lean towards resisting the actions of our country’s current administration. Resist! is a group singing event to share songs of resistance, protest, labor, and struggle. It occurs every 3rd Monday of the month.

Tuesday, Oct 17

Kline, Bergmark, & Abrahamson @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (TipJar) Zack Kline, violin; Krissy Bergmark, tabla; and Ben Abrahamson, nylon and 12 string guitars, bring a wide range of musical experience to this evening of (often) original music

For a quick look at what’s happening around town check out: the MN Blues Society calendar and the KBEM Calendar (covers jazz & roots): http://www.jazz88.fm/live-music-calendar/ For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.

You can find a fairly comprehensive list of links to venues that present Jazz, Blues, & Roots at this page on my website: https://rhythmandgrooves.net/twin-cities-music-venues/ Be aware that venues change their music policies often enough that it’s hard to stay current.

 


Happy New Year! 12.28 – 1.3

December 28, 2016

unknownIt’s time to put this year behind us. Though some of us have experienced triumphs and celebrations during the year, many would agree that it’s been a year filled with fear, loathing, and sadness. There is plenty of music to send 2016 on its way, from talented resident artists of many genres to a couple of visiting artists. There are, of course, many other options than those I’ve listed, for NYE, but be sure to check with venues, as some of the NYE events I’ve listed may be sold out by the end of the week. Have a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.

Jazz

Wednesday, December 28

Rio Nido @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) A beloved trio, Rio Nido came out of the West Bank music scene of the late 70s, with their unique blend of voices and a repertoire of songs from the 30s and 40s. After a decades long hiatus, they started returning to performing a year or so ago, welcomed so much that a third show was added for this gig. Prudence JohnsonTom Lieberman  and Tim Sparks are successful performers in their own right:, Johnson as a singer with more than a dozen recordings to her credit, as well as extended appearances on Prairie Home Companion; Lieberman as a producer and songwriter, and Sparks as an award-winning guitarist who’s equally at home with folk, jazz, country blues, and gospel.

Patrick Harrison/Larry McDonough Quartet’s Twisted Holidays @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Harrison – No Cover), 8:30pm (McDonough) The evening starts with button accordionist Patrick Harrison playing for the dinner hour. Then at 8:30 pm Larry McDonough and his quartet put uncommon meters, rhythms, and harmonies to a selection of seasonal songs as well as some originals and songs from Chet Baker, Bill Evans, Led Zeppelin, Spinal Tap, Paul Simon, and others.

Wednesday, Thursday, December 28, 29

Connie Evingson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40 Dinner Show) Connie Evingson can sing bebop, blues, bossa novas, the Beatles, Peggy Lee, and Gypsy Jazz with equal ease. Her pitch is perfect, her tone is slightly husky and a bit sensuous, and her timing is impeccable. She’s had ten CDs in the top fifty in both the US and Canada, and has appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra, Prairie Home Companion, Jazz at Lincoln Centyer and at other high profile venues. Her holiday CD, The Secret of Christmas, gets lots of play on my system each year. If we’re lucky, she’ll sing the Petit Nutcracker Suite, a 7 minute distillation of Tchaikovsky’s score for the classic Christmas ballet.

Thursday, December 29

No Exit: Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Drummer Luke Peterson leads this young group, which tonight has a couple of special guests who are veteran players. Performing tonight are:  Brandon Wozniak, Sax; Jack Courtright, trombone; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Adam Astrup, guitar; and Graydon Peterson, bass.

Will Schmid Quartet @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7:30 – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Seems I had the wrong date last week for this Reverie debut of another group of up and coming  players on holiday leave from college. Will Schmid, guitar; Patrick Adkins, piano; Alma Engebretson, bass; Jesse Thorson, drums.

Vicky Mountain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) The ever versatile Ms Mountain can heartily swing a bebop tune, and turn around and deliver a soothing ballad, or hip R&B tune. The excellent voice teacher will be accompanied by Dave Martin on guitar for an intimate evening of music.

Friday, December 30

Jeremy Walker/Pat Mallinger Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Walker – No Cover), 9pm ($12 Cash only) Pianist Jeremy Walker starts things off during the dinner hour. Then The Pat Mallinger Quartet, with: Chris Lomheim, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums takes the stage at 9pm. Mallinger is a saxophonist who grew up in Saint Paul and now lives in Chicago, where he is co-leader of Sabertooth, a group that’s been performing till the wee wee hours each week at the city’s Green Mill since 1992. He also plays with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, the Bobby Lewis Quintet, the Arty Hoyle Quintet, and his own Quartet, and is a jazz educator of note in the Chicago school system.

TK Wallace’s Hard Bop Playhouse @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) It’s college night at Jazz Central, and things kick off with this group of students who are home for the holidays: Jordan Anderson, piano; Tyler Wagner, bass; Peter Goggin, sax; and Edmund Catlin, drums. They’ll be playing tunes by Wayne Shorter, Thelonious Monk,a nd more, followed by two more college groups.

Saturday, December 31

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 5pm (Tip Jar) This may be the first time that the Black Dog is open until the New Year’s countdown, as past years they’ve had an early, family-friendly countdown. The celebration starts with Todd Harper, keys; Eric Coursen, drums; and Aaron Kerr on electric cello playing from 5pm to 7:30pm. Then at 8:30, Hoaxer, the college-age band, takes the stage: Will Kjeer, piano; Charlie Lincoln, bass; Peter Goggin, alto; and Edmund Catlin, drums. Topping things off will be an all-star jam session anchored by Steve Kenny and Dave Brattain, beginning at 10:30pm and going until the new year.

SouthSide Aces, w/Patty & the Buttons @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($22 Advance, $25 Door) It’s a New Years Eve Dance party at the Eagles, as the Aces and Patty & the Buttons take to the small stage with a big dance floor. Both groups draw mostly on music from the 30s and 40s. While the Aces mine traditional New Orleans music, Patty & the Buttons use Gypsy Jazz and popular songs of those decades to successfully entice dancers.

NYE at Parma, with Arne Fogel & The Benny Weinbeck Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 6pm (Fogel); 9pm (Benny Weinbeck Trio) Arne Fogel sings for dinner-time festivities (6 till 9pm) with Rick Carlson, piano; and Gordy Johnson, bass. Then Benny Weinbeck takes over with his trio, Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. Sadly, Parma is discontinuing Singers Night on Fridays, though Weinbeck and his trio will continue to perform Saturdays.

Sunday, January 1

Twin Cities Hot Club @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Maybe you chose to stay home for NYE, but are now itching for music. Or maybe you simply enjoy the acoustic, romantic, and swinging music of artists Django Rheinhardt, Stephane Grapelli, and other proponents of Gypsy Jazz, such as the Twin Cities Hot Club: Robert Bell and Reynold Philipsek, guitars; Gary Schulte, violin; and Matt Peterson, bass.

Monday, Tuesday, January 2, 3

Terence Blanchard Live Recording @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45, $50) New Orleans born trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard has a beautiful tone, and creates music is often cinematic in scope, as exemplified by the over 50 soundtracks he’s composed, including Blanchard’s beautifully heartbreaking score for A Tale of God’s Will, Spike Lee’s documentary on Hurricane Katrina. Blanchard’s 2015 release, Breathless, finds him playing with a group called the E-Collective in a genre-crossing groove-laden fusion of jazz, funk, and R&B. He’ll be joined by them at the Dakota, and recording the event for inclusion in his next album.

Tuesday, January 3

Thompson, Balluff, Pikal @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Well, if you’re a fan of traditional jazz from the early part of the 20th Century, you’ll do no better than to hear Butch Thompson, piano; Tony Balluff, clarinet; and Steve Pikal, bass, play this evening.

Tuesday, Wednesday, January 3, 4

Dick Oatts Quartet @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $45 Dinner), 9pm ($15) Iowa born and raised, alto saxophonist Dick Oatts began his professional music career in the Twin Cities in 1972, and moved to NYC in 1977 where he became a member of the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra. He has since worked with such big bands as the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Lester Bowie, Joe Lovano, Paquito D’Rivera, Tito Puente, Kenny Wheeler, and Gunther Schuller as well as a number of big bands from Europe. He’s also recorded and toured with small groups led by Red Rodney, Bob Brookmeyer, Mel Lewis, Fred Hersch, and others, and has a dozen and a half albums as a leader. Tonight he’ll be backed by a stellar line-up: Bill Carrothers, piano; Billy Peterson, bass, and Joe Pulice, 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 PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, December 28

The Eddies on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) It’s a rare day in December when this “almost acapella” group crosses the river from Saint Paul to Minneapolis, but they’re now at it annually for the House Party show between Christmas and New Years. Their repertoire includes songs of life, work, and death, from traditional mountain songs to sea shanties, and tunes by Bob Marley, and The Rolling Stones.  Be aware that KFAI has had problems broadcasting due to the recent ice storm snapping its hardware, so you may need to tune in to http://www.kfai.org to stream the show.

Thursday, December 29

Mayasich Mayhem @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Guitar master Paul Mayasich is joined by his brothers Mark and Greg, as well as John Iden and Joe Luoma, for the final Hot Seat at Crooners.

Curtiss A & The Cold Cold Hearts Sing Hank Williams @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8 Advance, $10 Door) Rocker Curtiss A does a John Lennon tribute each year; has a blues band (The Dark Click); leads a rock band (The Jerks of Fate); and occasionally does an Elvis Presley show. Tonight, however, he’s performing his annual Hank Williams tribute, a warm tribute to the classic country singer/songwriter. Bonus: Curtiss A’s sometimes rambling, often hilarious commentary.

Thursday, Friday, December 29, 30

The New Standards @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($30, $40) Give these musicians credit, where credit is due. While jazz musicians have always drawn from pop music, only a few have embraced post-60s rock, notably Miles Davis, with the Cyndi Lauper tune Time After Time, and The Bad Plus, who featured songs from Blondie and Queen amongst their originals. About ten years ago, Chan Poling, keys (The Suburbs); John Munson, bass (Trip Shakespeare, SemiSonic); and Steve Roehm, vibes (Billygoat, Electropolis); formed The New Standards to concentrate on acoustic, jazzy versions of post 60s rock. They became national and international stars as a result. If you didn’t catch their annual holiday extravaganza this year, you can see them as a trio in the comfier confines of the Dakota, bringing new life to songs from Lou Reed, the Outkasts, Britney Spears, T Rex, and their own bands.

Friday, December 30

Rena Haus Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 10AM – 1PM (Tip Jar) It’s a special Pre-New Years Brunch at Hell’s Kitchen, and they’ve brought in the very special Rena Haus Trio just for the day: Rena Haus, guitar and vocals; Bob Haus, bass; and Ed Petsche, guitar. Rena’s originals are often highly amusing, sometimes racy, and occasionally political, with appearances by classic blues songs. Brunches at the Kitchen can be mighty crowded, so you may want to get a reservation to ensure you’re close to the band.

Willie Walker and the We R Band @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) It’s a good night to warm up for NYE with both Willie Walker and Willie Murphy (below) playing, though it gives us a good problem of whom to see. Walker is the winner of two awards in the 2016 Living Blues Critic’s Poll: Comeback Artist of the Year and Best Blues Album of 2015 for his release If Nothing Ever Changes, a well deserved award. He is most assuredly a Twin Cities Treasure.

Willie Murphy & The Angel-Headed Hipsters @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapoils. 8pm ($7) Many folks who party hearty all year round, or who have had enough to last a lifetime, think of NYE as amateur night, and stay home. Willie Murphy is similarly inclined, and chooses to celebrate on the eve of NYE. Whether you want to stay home NYE, or have the energy to party two nights in a row, be sure to bring your dancing shoes, as Murphy’s brilliant arrangements of both his own songs and others that you know and love will have you gyrating before you can say Happy New Year.

Nooky Jones + Dem Atlas @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($10 Advance, $12 Door) Nooky Jones has been around the Cities for a couple of years now, spreading smooth neo-soul with hearty elements of jazz and R&B. Among its members: Cameron Kinghorn, vocals/trumpet; Adam Meckler, trumpet; and Kevin Gastonguay, keys. Opening is rapper/hip-hop artist Dem Atlas  who signed with Rhymesayers Entertainment in 2013 and toured a number of festivals opening for Atmosphere. He recorded with the French group Ursus Minor last year and is about to drop a new CD in 2017.

Saturday, December 31

The Good, The Bad, and the Funky @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Get down, Get Funky, and Dance to this ten-piece band (including a five-piece horn section) covering both old-school and new-school funk and soul.

Hot Pants/Hipshaker 45RPM Dance Party @ The Kitty Cat Club, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) The two best Dance Parties in town once again team up to present rare, original Funk and Soul 45s from the collections of Brian, George, Greg, Ben for New Year’s Eve. They get some extra special help from the distaff point of view as special guests Elizabeth Christian and Paula Carrillo join them. This event is always a hit, so arrive early to avoid disappointment.

The Last Revel @ Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) This acoustic trio describes their sound as Front Porch Americana, which seems about right, especially if you like to party on said porch. They are talented multi-instrumentalists, who bring the acoustic guitar, upright bass, fiddle, 5-string banjo, harmonica, kick drum and three-part vocal harmonies to their performances, whether they’re singing delicate ballads or high energy stompers. Special guest: Richard Hanson.

Papa John Kolstad: Masquerade Party @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) Lately, Papa John has been playing with the New Phits: Bill “Wailin’ Willie” Smith, harmonica/vocals: Gary Powell, aka Tiny Gene Pool, slide guitar/vocals; Mark “Rizz” Rizzardi, bass/vocals. Papa John will be playing 12-string guitar, singing, and adding amusing anecdotes and political musings to the mix, as well as bringing in trombonist/bassist Sam Fiske to play. Expect some four-part harmonies from the group, as well as Morris Dancers, a piper to bring in the New Year, and a Celtic blessing, not to mention bubbly at midnight and people in costumes.

Joyann Parker @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($30) With a voice that combines the emotion of the blues with the fire of rock, Joyann Parker has been making her mark on the Twin Cities Blues scene for the last few years, representing Minnesota in the 2015 International Blues Challenge. Her 2015 album, On the Rocks, was named Best Self-Produced Album by the MN Blues Society, and has been nominated for Best Independent Blues Music Award. The guitarist/pianist and songwriter has become a regular at Vieux Carré, drawing more fans with each appearance.

Hookers $ Blow @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($25) If you’re looking to dance to some 70s R&B, then H$B are the band to hear. This group of stellar musicians led by Adam Levy will be delivering the goods in the Cafe’s River Room, which is standing room only tonight. Call for reservations if you want dinner beforehand.

Charlie Lawson & Friends @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 10pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Lawson is taking on NYE for a fun-filled evening with: Jim Ouska, guitar; Lorent “Slasher” Dwyer, bass; Marty Bryduck, drums. With Special Guests Langer’s Ball, the husband and wife team of Michael and Hannah Sturm playing punk Irish music.

Sunday, January 1

Corpse Reviver @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 3pm – 5:30pm (Tip Jar) Maybe you need the Corpse Reviver classic cocktail after last night, but it’s most likely you need a shot of the group that plays music from the classic Harry Smith Anthology of Folk Music. It’s especially noteworthy that today’s edition of Corpse Reviver includes: Mikkel Beckman, percussion; Jillian Rae, fiddle, and Charlie Parr, guitar. Here are two of the three musicians.

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


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