The 4th and More: 6.29 – 7.5

June 29, 2016

Unknown-1We’ve got the 4th of July coming up and a great line-up of music to choose from in the days leading up to it, including visits from outstanding jazz and blues artists, not to forget the talented musicians of our area. Have a good week. As for the 4th, well there are celebrations that include live music, though you’ll have to check you local paper to find them, since their main attraction will undoubtedly be fireworks. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz
Wednesday, June 29
Zosha Warpeha & Dean Magraw @ the Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. (Tip Jar) Zosha Warpeha is a young violinist and vocalist who has been studying at the New School in NYC for the past couple of years. She was already very, very good when she played with the Dakota Combo a few years back, and has played with guitarist Dean Magraw in Pippi Ardennia’s band, where their compatibility is evident.

Thursday, June 30
Marquis Hill & The Blacktet @ The Dakota, Minnenapolis. 7pm ($25) Hill  as a performer at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival a few years back, before he won the 2014 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. He uses a warm tone on both trumpet and fluegelhorn to create melodic tunes that synthesize jazz and elements of hip-hop. After seeing the band perform, Jazz critic Nate Chinen wrote in Jazz Times that he “came away marveling at the intuitive coordination between the players, the rare level of on-th-spot composure that only a serious working band can attempt.”

Sara Greer & BLU 7 @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5 w/studentID) Greer is a remarkable singer, whose ability to improvise and scat has earned her many admirers among the very talented singers of the Twin Cities.

Headspace @ Dayblock Brewing, Minneapolis. 8pm (No Cover) Rob Dewey, keys, Aaron Rupar, drums; and Matt Senjem, bass, have been playing together for years. This is a monthly gig for them, and often features specialty cocktails.

Parisota Hot Club @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) Guitarist Robb Henry leads this group  which brings the sound of Django Rheinhardt and Stephane Grapelli into the 21st Century with music from those masters, as well as more modern composers like Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton. Henry, guitar; Jim Plattes, violin, Jim Chenoweth, bass; Jay Epstein, drums, and Erin Livingston, vocals.

Chris Bates’ Good Vibes Trio @ The Reverie Coffee & Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Chris Bates  bass; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; and Phil Hey, drums, recently released an outstanding CD, The Good Vibes Trio. Of course, this is an outstanding band, with three of the best players in town tackling originals and standards with style, aplomb, and excitement.

Friday, July 1
Maryann Sullivan and Corner Jazz @ Public Kitchen and Bar, Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) A bit of swing music in the grotto-like basement of Public, with Ms Sullivan on vocals, Ted Godbout on piano, and Jim Chenoweth on bass.

Black Violin @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45), 9pm ($35, $40) Classical music meets R&B as this classically trained violin duo meld jazz, R&B, pop, roots, and rap into a sound all their own.

Jazzland Wonderband @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Here’s a relatively young jazz band that can start an audience dancing with their blend of traditional New Orleans jazz and second line music with R&B of a more recent vintage. Cameron Kinghorn, trumpet and vocals; Nelson Deveraux, reeds; Keith Holson, trombone; Andres Crovetti, drums; and Evan Clark, tuba.

Saturday, July 2
Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Curator Steve Kenny continues to give exposure to young groups with this series. The evening begins at 7pm with fusion from theDark Blue Quartet: Thomas Strommen, sax; Alex Burgess drums; Dylan Nelson, guitar; and Jason McLean, bass. The Junior Ranger Expanded Ensemble goes on at 8:30, featuring Joe Suihkonen, trumpet; Nathan Hanson, saxes; Eric Krouse, Fender Rhodes; Noah Gershwin guitar; Ted Olsen, bass; and Emerson Hunton, drums.

Sunday, July 3
Jazz Brunch w/the James Buckley Trio @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 11am – 2pm (No Cover) This may be a jazz brunch, but James Buckley, bass; Michael Lewis, sax; and Miguel Hurtado, drums; will deliver anything but “wallpaper music.”

Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $60), 9pm ($30 – $50) Ms Fischer and her band are becoming regulars at the Dakota, having appeared at least three times in the last year. After forty years of singing background vocals, Ms Fischer has broken out into a club act that leaves you awe-struck.

Monday, July 4 
Happy 4th!

Tuesday, July 5
Chick Corea Trilogy @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($75 – $110), 9pm ($60 – $95) Well, the price is a little steep, but the only other place you will hear this trio is a concert hall. Tonight you get a chance to hear three of the most gifted jazzers of this century: NEA Jazz Master, Downbeat Hall of Famer, and 22-time Grammy winner Chick Corea playing piano, along with the highly talented Christian McBride on bass; and Brian Blade, who has drummed with Bob Dylan, Bill Frisell, and Emmylou Harris, among others.  Here’s what they sound like.

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, June 29
Adam Kiesling and Mikkel Beckmen on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7 FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Duo Roots, from Kiesling, the bass player for Pert Near Sandstone and Corpse Reviver, and Beckmen, who has recorded and toured with Charlie Parr, the Brass Kings, Jeff Ray & the Stakes, and Corpse Reviver.

Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 8pm. ($25) Towering blues from Texas and California, featuring harpmeisterMark Hummel, swingin’ guitarists Anson Funderberg and Charlie Baty, and a rhythm section of Wes Starr on drums and RW Grigsby on bass. Their appearance at the Dakota last year was highly entertaining. The Midwest Record Review rightly called them “a total modern blues super group.”

Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones w/Dennis Gruening @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Members of The Minnesota Blues Society have teamed up with the Minnesota Music Cafe to bring a fabulous night of jump blues. They’re keeping the price low to introduce the blues to as many people as possible.Deming is a vocalist and guitarist who has played with Kim Wilson, Lazy Lester, and AC Reed, among others. Harp player Gruening incorporates the style and tradition of swingin’ saxophones into his harmonica playing.

Thursday, June 30
MMC Fiscal New Year’s Eve Party @ Summit Brewing, 910 Montreal Circle, Saint Paul. 5pm – 9pm (Free) The Minnesota Music Coalition is about to end it’s fiscal year and is celebrating with this party featuring the bluegrass of the Sawtooth Brothers, acoustic pop songwriter Katy Vernon, and the genre-bending Channeling Grey trio. And if you want to support MMC, you can bid on silent auction items. Even better, you can support them when you buy some beer, since 50% of all beer sales will benefit the MMC>

Big George Jackson @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) A pleasure to once again have the big voice of Big George booming the blues in the re-opened Viking.

Friday, July 1
Paul Mayasich & The Benderheads @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. 6pm (Free) Mayasich brings his four-piece band to the park across from the Landmark Center for outside dancing. Celestial Blue opens

Joe Cruz & Jennifer Grimm @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($10) It’s a bit of a trek from White Bear Lake to Excelsior for Cruz & Grimm, but folks from the west suburbs will surely enjoy WBL stalwarts Cruz on guitar and Grimm on vocals.

Trailer Trash @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Let’s go Honky-Tonkin’ at the Viking with this six piece band that’s been entertaining Twin Citizens with retro-country and swing dance music for 22 years. Here they are doing a song from one of their annual Christmas shows.

Saturday, July 2
The Butanes @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Here’s a chance to have a bigger dance floor than the one found at the Butanes’Thursday night gigs at Shaws in NE Mpls. Curt Obeda, guitar, John Lundberg, bass; Virgil Nelson, keys; and Robb Stupka, drums deliver the blues like no one else in town, it’s that simple.

Javier & The Innocent Sons @ Washington Square Bar & Grill, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Between Javier’s bottleneck slide, and Dan Schwalbe’s searing guitar solos, backed by the solid foundation of Greg Wibben’s upright bass and Dave Larson’s drums, this band can rock the blues as well as swing them.

Sunday, July 3
Molly Maher & Her Assorted Malcontents @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Maher may well be the Queen of the Twin Cities roots scene. the guitar tech is a singer and songwriter with depth and soul. This is the start of a Sunday night residency for the month. Given her wide circle of musical friends, its’ hard to say just who the assorted malcontents will be, but they will undoubtedly be talented. Here’s an example of her songwriting, as she sings with her regular band, the Disbelievers.

Monday, July 4
Happy 4th!

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.


Culture, Heritage, Music: 9.7 – 9.13

October 7, 2015
The Jamaican National Dance Theater, performing at the Jamaica Expo on Sunday

The National Dance Theater of Jamaica, performing at the Jamaica Heritage Expo on Sunday

It’s another week of great music from resident and visiting artists alike, including Hawaiian music as performed by a chamber vocal ensemble, world jazz, reggae, and of course, the blues. Music lifts the spirit. Have fun!

Jazz

Wednesday, October 7

Katia Cardenas @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Cardenas is a vocalist who is versatile enough to sing jazz, soulful R&B, and the occasional pop song.

Vector Families (aka PBR Street Gang) @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Anthony Cox takes over Jazz Central one Wednesday a month. Tonight he’s joined by Brandon Wozniak, sax; Dean Granros, guitar; and Dave King, drums. It’s a stellar cast of musicians, capable of playing difficult rhythms while still swinging.

Thursday, October 8

Suzanne Paris @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s vocal night at Jazz Central, and Ms Paris, who has been raising a family for the last 15 years, is returning to performing. She was mentored by Buddy Montgomery, and performed as both a soloist and as a background vocalist for major recording artists such as Dave Mason and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter of Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers. Her repertoire runs from pop to standards. Here she is doing a blues.

Atrium Jazz Ensemble: Confluence @ Target Atrium of Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($?)  Pianist Jeremy Walker kicks off a new season of jazz in the atrium with the music of Hoagy Carmichael, Bob Dylan, and Walker’s suite “A River Like a Train” featuring Wes “Warmdaddy” Anderson from New Orleans, alto sax; Chris Thomson, tenor sax; Jeremy Walker, piano; Jeff Brueske, bass; and Tim Zhorne, drums. Here is Anderson fronting his own band.

Trumpet Night @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) It’s always an adventure at this small venue that features wine, beer, and a few food items for these late night soirees. First set is a duo with Steve Kenny and Adam Linz. Second set is a trumpet trio with Noah Baldwin, Jake Baldwin and Elaine Evans.

Friday, October 9

Bob Parsons Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10 suggested Donation) Parsons is a saxophonist/arranger who spent 15 years in the Big Apple, appearing on over 30 records for Blue Note, Verve, and Steeplechase Records. Since returning to the Twin Cities in 2008, he’s created arrangements for both the Acme Jazz Company and the Andrew Walesch project 100 Years of Sinatra. He’ll be join by Chris Lomheim, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums.

Bottomless Pit and Live Painting @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm. Tim Nyberg will once again be painting to live music, this time performed by the A-list of Eric Kamau Gravatt, drums; Joel Shapira, guitar; Pete Whitman, sax; and Tom Lewis, bass. Tim even has a video showing how he paints to music.

Saturday, October 10

Black Violin @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($42), 9pm ($35) Classically trained Will B and Kev Marcus play violin and viola, and use those instruments to deliver a blend of classical, hip-hop, and R&B, with a tip of the hat to bluegrass music once in a while. They’ve played the President’s Inaugural Ball, backed Alicia Keys at the 2004 Billboard Awards, and have collaborated with Kanye West, 50 Cent, Tom Petty, Aretha Franklin, and other legendary acts. Listen as they turn the Brandenburg Concerto into a hip-hop jam.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($Tip Jar) Central Standard Time takes the stage at 7pm, featuring Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Ted Olson, bass; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; and Matthew Buckner, drums. They’ll be followed at 8:30 by Low Blows, a trio consisting of Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Chris Bates, bass; and JT Bates, drums.

Mauilotus: The Marilyn Allysum Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($15 advance/$20 Door) Global Jazz from the group formally known as Quintessence. Mauilotus uses a variety of Chinese, Indian, Tibetan, and Western instruments to weave the musical traditions of East and West into a unique soundscape. Allysum, piano, flute, Gu Zheng, and voice; Charles Fletcher, bass; guitars; Mike Hurley, drums and percussion; and David Wolfe, Persian harp.

Monday, October 12

Charmin and Shapira and Friends @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No cover) Charmin Michelle’s voice is sweet and smooth as whipping cream, while Joel Shapira’s guitar provides a light, yet swinging accompaniment. They’ll be joined by friends Paul Harper on sax; Tom Lewis on bass; and Nathan Norman on drums.

Tuesday, October 13

Phil Hey Quartet @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) This might be the best jazz group in the Twin Cities, and that’s saying something, given the talent in town. This is their debut at Crooners, and the dance floor will be filled with tables for a listening audience. Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Tom Lewis, bass; Phil Aaron, piano; and Phil Hey, drums; play the music of Ornette Coleman, Chick Corea, Don Cherry, and others.

Rhonda Laurie @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Born and bred in New York City, vocalist Laurie  started out as a Manhattan cabaret singer and studied jazz with Judy Niemack, Sheila Jordan and others. Whether singing gypsy jazz, straight-ahead, or cabaret, Laurie always satisfies.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, October 7

Bingham & Thorne on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis.  5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – tip Jar) These veteran guitarists (Thorn also plays mandolin) deliver anecdotes, humor, and philosophy as well as the blues. They’re equally at home playing on a porch, in a club, or at a festival. They’ll be joined by fiddle master Randy Sabien, and no doubt harpist/host will join in on a tune or two. Tune in at 5pm, and if you like what you hear, which is likely, catch them live at the 331 Club.

Mark Lickteig’s Original Soul Revue @ The Pourhouse, 10 South 5th St, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Mark Lickteig and the Vicious Licks (horns and Hammond B-3), with special guest Ali Washington. You probably know vocalist/intsrumentalist Lickteig from his work with bands like Mick Sterling and the Stud Brothers, the R Factor, Free and Easy, and his weekly appearances with Mambo’s Combo (The Combo) at Bunker’s. He’s got a powerful voice that holds it own against horn bands and communicates soulful emotion. He’s finally released a CD of his own, Workin’ , backed by the cream of Twin Cities jazz and R&B players.

Thursday, October 8

Portland Cello Project @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($20) Chamber music that stretches boundaries and appeals to all demographics. The group can range in size from a quartet to a 12 piece accompanied by chorus and orchestras. They’ve collaborated with folks like the Dandy Warhols and Trampled by Turtles, and have played symphony halls, NYC loading docks, and Prairie Home Companion.

Thursday, Friday, October 8, 9

Dave and Phil Alvin and the Guilty Ones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $40) Back together again, after the success of Common Ground, their album of Big Bill Broonzy Songs, the brothers Alvin  of The Blasters, celebrate the music of James Brown, Leadbelly, Willie Dixon, Big Joe Turner, and other inspirations on their latest, Lost Time. Here they are performing a Big Bill Broonzy song.

Friday, October 9

Unknown-2Armadillo Jump @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($5) Get jumpin’ with this unassuming rockin’ R&B quintet  They just want folks to dance, and are very successful at doing that. Guitarist Johnny Coburn leads the group and provides some original songs, but their playlist includes songs by Larry Garner, Susan Tedeschi, J Geils, ZZ Top, and even Norah Jones. Monica Louise provides powerful vocals, Mike Brisson, bass; and Nick Zwak drums; provide the foundation, while Rose Duffy provides both sweetening and strength on sax.

John Primer @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Primer’s is a classic blues story: as a Mississippi born child he created a homemade guitar by nailing broom wire to the wall of a house; inspired by Muddy Waters, Little Milton, and BB King songs he heard on the radio; migrated to Chicago and played West side clubs, and became a member of the house band at Theresa’s on the South Side, playing with the likes of Jr Well,s Buddy Guy, and Lonnie Brooks; and working in the bands of Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, and Magic Slim. I’ve said it of others, but there is not doubt that he’s the real deal.

The Rose Ensemble: The Last Queen of Hawaii @ Ted Mann Concert Hall, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15 – $37) Here in the Midwest we rarely learn much about Hawaii’s heritage and history, so this performance gives us a peek at Hawaii’s music and dance heritage as this vocal chamber group performs an ancient chant, Victorian Parlor tunes, missionary hymns, and cowboy tunes. It ends with the imprisonment of Queen Lilli’uokalani, composer of the famous Aloha ‘Oe. Listen.

Friday, Saturday, October 9, 10

UkeFest @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) The oft-maligned ukelele is celebrated at this Fourth Annual Ukefest, which now takes up two evenings, and features members of the Hula Peppers, the Meteor Bos, and The Lau Hawaiian Collective, as well as the festivals’ founder Katy Vernon, and Lynn O’Brien, Jake Rowan, and many more. Ukeleles are welcome for the sing-along at the end of the night.

Saturday, October 10

The Butanes @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) The Twin Cities best blues band makes its debut at the northern suburb lounge (about a mile north of 694 on Central) with a dance floor. Here they are with an instrumental.

Roundhouse on Tap, featuring Davina & The Vagabonds @ The Jackson Street Roundhouse, 193 Pennsylvania Avenue East, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($20) Rowdy music at the Roundhouse, with a tour of the museum, some history, and beer thrown in for good measure. Learn more, including how to take part in an optional vintage bus tour and beer tasting at Urban Growler, by going here.

Jeff Ray & Stakes CD Release Party @ Golden’s Deli, 275 4th Street East, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) Golden’s Deli is a Lowertown spot that features occasional music and poetry to go with its soups, salads, beer, and wine. Jeff Ray and the Stakes (Hurricane Harold Tremblay, harmonica; Nick Salisbury, bass; Mikkel Beckmen, percussion) have a new CD, entitled Valhalla, brimming with lively acoustic blues, including Ray originals and tunes from the Grateful Dead, Bobby Blue Bland, and Mississippi Fred McDowell. As an added bonus, they have the great guitarist Pat Donahue as a special guest. Here’s Jeff, Harold, and Mikkel.

Sunday, October 11

MN Blues Hall of Fame Celebration @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 12:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This annual event celebrates the best of Minnesota Blues. Today’s inductees include Big George Jackson, John Beach, and Donald “Hye Pockets” Robertson. There will be speeches and lots of blues music.

Jamaica Heritage Expo feat. Marcia Griffiths @ The Cowles Center, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($40) Expo begins at 4pm, featuring special performances by National Dance Theater of Jamaica. At 8:30pm Marcia Griffiths (The Empress of Reggae) takes the stage. Here’s a chance to learn more about true culture and heritage of this Caribbean nation. Then, at 8:30, thrill to music from Ms Griffiths, who started her career with Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, went out to perform as a member of the I-Threes (backing Bob Marley), recorded and performed with Bob Andy as Bob and Marcia, and has had her own successful solo career. Her version of Electric Boogie started the Electric Slide dance craze (you’ve seen it at weddings), becoming the highest selling single of any female reggae singer.

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


A Wealth of Music: 2.25 – 3.3

February 25, 2015

images-2We are faced with another week in which the richness of artistic offerings here in the Twin Cities can create difficult choices when going out. Much like the teens at right choosing from a jukebox, it’s a good problem to have. Get out and support our resident artists and check out visiting artists as well. We’ll all benefit, since music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, February 25

Andrew Walesch Quartet @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover)  Pianist Walesch is an emerging artist on the vocal jazz scene in the Twin Cities. Though he concentrates on the Great American Songbook and jazz standards, including Frank Sinatra, he also writes his own material and has been known to perform a pop song or two.

Leisure Valley @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) This is a relatively new group featuring Bruce Thornton, reeds; Patrick Harrison, button accordion; Joey Van Philips, drums; and Chris Bates, bass. I have to admit I haven’t heard them, but judging by the inclusion of Bates, Harrison and Van Philips, I’m betting they’ll swing.

UnknownMcNally Smith Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pete Whitman has gathered together a talented big band of 17 students at McNally Smith College of Music. Their repertoire ranges from Hard Bop to Afro-Peruvian Festejo music. They are an exciting ensemble to watch and hear, and have recently toured in Peru, and took first place at the Eau Claire Jazz Festival.

 

Thursday, February 26

Fireside Five and Guests @ The Underground Music Cafe, 1579 Hamline Ave North, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 10pm (Tip Jar) The UMC is a cozy spot featuring coffee, wine, and beer, as well as chairs for about 40 folks. Lately, they’ve been featuring jazz on a regular basis. Tonight it’s the talented musicians of the Fireside Five: Tom Ashworth, trombone & euphonium; Brian Grivna, reeds; Phil Aaron, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. Special guests include Pat Mallinger, sax; Zack Lozier, trumpet; and Dean Sorenson, trombone. A rather star-studded evening for such an intimate room.

Erin Livingston @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s vocal night at Jazz Central, and tonight’s artist, Erin Livingston, is not only a vocalist, but a classically trained flautist. She has been singing around town with the Parisota Hot Club, performing blues, some Beatles, and the gypsy jazz of Django Rheinhardt. Tonight she’ll be accompanied by Parisota guitarist Robb Henry. Here’s a surprising choice of music.

Friday, February 27

Photo of Javi by Andrea Canter

Photo of Javi by Andrea Canter

Javi Santiago Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pianist Santiago is in town for a few months, and we’re lucky to have some opportunities to hear his fine playing. Tonight he’s joined by Chris Bates, bass; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Debbie Duncan @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Crooners has become the place to hear many of the Twin Cities best singers, including Ms Duncan, who is somewhat of a legend in the Twin Cities for her superb ability to sing jazz and blues with equal verve.

Saturday, February 28

Bacharach & David with Oscars for "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head"

Bacharach & David with Oscars for “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head”

Arne Fogel and Jennifer Eckes: the Songs of Bacharach & David @Bloomington Center for the Arts, Bloomington. 7:30pm ($26) From Alfie and Wishin’ and Hopin’, to What’s New Pussycat and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, the team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David created a soundtrack for the 60s. Fogel & Eckes put their own interoperation on these songs and many more, with the help of Rick Carlson, piano; Keith Boyles, bass; and Jendeen Forberg, drums.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:00pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) It’s an evening of modern, original jazz. Tonight’s opening band is Central Standard Time, a band of young upstarts and a couple of veterans, with Charlie Lincoln, bass; Sten Johnson, sax; Dave Roos, guitar; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; and Alex Burgess, drums. Then at 8:30pm the Zacc Harris Group will take the stage with Zacc Harris, guitar; Bryan Nichols, piano; JT Bates, drums; and Chris Bates, bass.

Monday, March 2

BZ3 Organ Trio @ The Narrows Saloon, Wayzata. 7pm (No cover) Get down with some Soul Jazz from Brian Zienmiak, B3; Troy Norton, guitar; and Kevin Washington, drums.

Bob Parsons @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Parson is a Minnesota saxophonist who lived in NYC for much of the 90s and 00s, where he was an arranger for folks like Herbie Hancock, John Scofield, and the Brecker Brothers, among others, and was co-leader of the Blue Note Late Night Band for several years. He also recorded four albums with guitarist Dave Styker. Since returning to the Twin Cities in 2008 he has been a member of the Acme Jazz Company Big Band. tonight he’ll be playing his own compositions and arrangements.

Tuesday, March 3

Rene Marie @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Vocalist Rene Marie is one of the most distinctive voices in the nation these days, a daring artist with the ability to crawl inside a lyric and make it her own. Tonight she’s performing her homage to the sensual singer and actress Eartha Kitt, the subject of Marie’s most recent (10th) album. Here’s a song from the album.

Dean Magraw & Davu Seru @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm. ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Both Magraw on guitar and Seru on drums & percussion are extremely versatile, and both are capable of finishing the other’s musical thoughts. It’s always a treat to hear them.

For a comprehensive listings of Jazz, go to Jazz Police and  the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on jazz, check out Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, February 25

Big George Jackson on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 club – tip Jar) The big man with the deep deep voice sings the blues like no other in town. It’s authentic, and comes from his heart, whether singing originals or songs that you recognize. One thing is certain, Jackson’s music will make you move.

Radio Joe & the Jazzbos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Treat yourself to some romantic ballads and jumping’ swing tunes from Radio Joe and the guys. It’s high quality stuff.

Thursday, February 26

Beckmen, Roux, & Rue @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Washboard/percussionist Mikkel Beckmen brings in guests each week to join him on the Dubliner’s small stage. Tonight he’s joined by Nikki Roux and Rich Rue of Nikki & the Rue-Mates. A good way to spend some post work time.

Black Audience & Voice of Culture @ The Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 9pm. ($10) Vocalist Jayanthi Kyle is the not-so-secret weapon in the arsenal of Black Audience as they play music that draws upon Folk music, Black Heritage, Work songs, and Chain Gang songs. Opening act Voice of Culture is a West African drum and dance group that spans generations.

Friday, February 27

Willie Murphy & the Angel-Headed Hipsters @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7) Blues, Rhythm and Blues, Funk, and good ol’ Rock n’ roll from Mr Murphy and his rockin’ cohorts. There’ll be lotsa dancing on one of the best dance floors in the Twin Cities.

Saturday, February 28

Selby Avenue Syncopaters @ The Bayport BBQ. 8pm ($5) Here’s a change of pace for Chris Johnson’s smoking’ BBQ joint; some traditional jazz. The Syncopaters include Jeffrey Dunitz, guitar; Tom Zosel, reeds; Harold Longley, tuba; Tim Altmann, trumpet; Chris Wiley, trombone; and Tom Lyseng, drums. Heck, this kind of music goes with BBQ just as much as the blues.

Funktion Junction @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Not sure how this 7-piece funk band will fit on the Station’s small stage area, but I’m betting the mostly middle-aged crowd that frequents the Station will be shaking their booties all night long.

Saturday, Sunday, February 28, March 1

Black Violin @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40) This classically-trained duo use violin and viola to play a blend of classical music, hip-hop, rock, and R&B, with some bluegrass thrown in for good measure. They’ve played for one of Obama’s Inaugural Balls, on Broadway, and for troops in Iraq, and have collaborated with folks ranging from Kanye West to Aretha Franklin and The Eagles. Opening is Twin Cities artist LOTT.

Sunday, March 1

Grateful Sundays @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm – 11pm (Tip Jar) Deadheads Unite! You have nothing to lose but a fun time listening to acoustic and electric sets of Grateful Dead music presented by the Shotgun Ragtime Band. Acoustic sets start at 6pm and are family friendly. Electric sets start at 8pm and go until about 11.

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Cadillac at Pioneer & Soldiers Cemetery

Cadillac Kolstad @ Palmer’s Bar, Minneapolis. 10pm (Tip Jar) With the wildness of a young Jerry Lee Lewis, Kolstad attacks the piano with vigor, backed by a rockabilly rhythm section that matches his ferocity note for note.

Monday, March 2

Jon Rodine @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 6:30pm (Tip Jar) Besides working for Red House Records, Rodine is one of the Twin Cities finest singer/songwriters of blues and roots music, though truth be told, he is relatively unknown, though he’s played and recorded with a heavy duty roster of Midwest musicians. Check him out and then stay for the fun-filled Roe Family Singers at 9pm.

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.


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