Music for Long Summer Nights: 6.19 – 6.25

June 19, 2013

UnknownWith summer finally heating up and the Solstice upon us, festivals, outdoor gigs, and other opportunities for live music are popping up like fly balls at a batting contest. Enjoy the weather, enjoy the music.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 19

George Maurer @ Merriam Park Library, 1831 Marshall Avenue, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Free) Maurer is a pianist/composer/arranger who has collaborated with folks ranging from the Chiffons and Eric Clapton to the Saint Paul City Ballet and the Minnesota Orchestra. and has written compositions for orchestras, big bands, and Bobby Vee. He’s equally talented whether leading a biggish band or as in today’s gig, a trio.

Doug McDonald Trio @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) McDonald is a bop-based guitarist out of L.A. In addition to his own recording projects, which includes a nonet, McDonald has played with such luminaries as Stan Getz, Sarah Vaughn, Buddy Rich, Hank Jones, and the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra. A rare appearance, and well worth checking out, as you can hear on this video.

Wednesday, Thursday, June 19, 20

imagesRamsey Lewis & Dee Dee Bridgewater @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($60, $50, $40) Ramsey Lewis has three Grammy, Seven Gold Records, two syndicated radio shows, and is an NEA Jazz Master. Dee Dee Bridgewater has two Grammys, a Tony Award, and her own syndicated radio show, Jazz Set, which can be heard Monday nights on KBEM. Last time through the Dakota she was celebrating African music using master musicians from Mali. A long time resident of Paris, she can sing in French, as per her CD J’ai Deux Amours, which is a regular on my CD player, and is a terrific entertainer, no matter what she tackles.

Friday, June 21

Brad Bellows/Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog Wine & Coffee Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jay) This is a fairly regular gig for Bellows (valve trombone) and Washington (saxes). This time they’ve enlisted Matt Peterson (bass) and Alden Ikeda (drums) to fill out the group, which should provide for some exciting dynamics.

Friday, Saturday, June 21, 22

Mississippi Jazz Connection @ the Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) As if teaching at McNally Smith, leading the X-Tet, and regularly appearing around town in various groups wasn’t enough, saxophonist Pete Whitman has a new project featuring a group of formidable musicians. The Mississippi Jazz Connection features Pete on sax, Peter Schimke on piano, Jeff Bailey on bass, and Kevin Washington on drums.

Saturday, June 22

The Sibley House

The Sibley House

Butch Thompson: Jazz in June @ Sibley House Historic Site, 1357 Sibley Memorial Hwy, Mendota. 5:30pm – 8:30pm ($10/$7MHS members) With Charlie DeVore, trumpet; Tom Andrews, drums; Steve Pikal, bass; and Lee Engele on vocals. It’a an evening of jazz and stories about Mendota’s jazz history. Mendota used to be home to the  Jazz Emporium, located across the street from Sibley House. It was a hot spot for jazz during the 70s and early 80s, featuring first generation players from New Orleans and Chicago playing traditional jazz of the highest order. It was the kind of place you don’t see anymore, where you could bring your own bottle and buy “set-ups” of mixers and glasses. While you won’t be able to bring your own bottle, you can bring a lawn chair or blanket, and a picnic, and there will be a cash bar available.

Linda Peterson & Jason Delaire @ Porter & Frye, Minneapolis. 9pm – Midnight (No Cover) Two members of the talented Peterson Family will hold forth tonight. Linda is a delightful singer and pianist whose original song, Too Late To Leave Early, has gained worldwide recognition, has four CDs to her credit, and is in the midst of recording another. Delaire is a saxophonist and keyboard player who has worked with a variety of artists, ranging from Donny Osmond and Michael Bolton, to Prince, Oleta Adams, and Bobby Brown. He’s equally at home playing jazz or R&B. The intimate confines of the lower lounge in the restaurant at Hotel Ivy will provide a cozy listening experience.

Sunday, Monday, June 23, 24

David Murray Quartet & Macy Gray @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($55, $45), 9pm ($50, $40) At first glance, this is a surprising pairing. Murray is a sax player well versed in free improvisation and the expressive stylings of Albert Ayler, Archie Shepp and John Coltrane, yet he also is a link to Ellington, and Ben Webster. He’s released over 150 albums as a leader since the 60s, and has been a member of the World Saxophone Quartet. His 2011 recordings of Nat King Cole’s “Espanol” songs was a delight. Now he’s back with a new recording, Be My Monster Love, featuring Gregory Porter and Macy Gray on vocals.  The raspy-voiced Gray has sold 14 million records world wide and won a Grammy for her R&B hit I Try, back at the turn of the millenium. Though known mostly as a neo-soul singer, the raspy-voiced Gray got her start singing jazz and standards. Here’s a video of Gray singing with Murray’s big band.

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, June 19

Maurice Jacox @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm. (Free) Younger folks may know him from his work with the Twin Cites Funk n’ Soul Revue. Older folk know him from Willie & the Bees, The Butanes Soul Revue, and the Lights Out Committe, among other R&B projects. However, Maurice is more than an R&B/Soul singer. He recently returned from a 10 day trip to Havana, where he sang (in Spanish) with Nachito Herrera, and he regularly sings Nat King Cole songs, jazz standards, and jazzy acoustic versions of Motown. Hear him today, with Tom West on keys in the sunlit atrium of the Landmark Center. By the Way, if you can’t make it there, see him tonight at 10pm at the Red Stag in Minneapolis.

Thursday, June 20

Bill Kirchen & Crankshaft @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) Kirchen is the “Titan of the Telecaster,” a well deserved name ever since he cranked up the energy in Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen’s hit Hot Rod Lincoln. Since then the man who plays at the nexus of country western and rock n’ roll has lent his talented guitar work to folks like Emmy Lou Harris, Nick Lowe, Doug Sahm, Elvis Costello and a host of others. Opener Crankshaft is also known for his high-energy approach to music, albeit in a bluesier vein. An inspired pairing. Kirchen demonstrates why he earned his nickname on this video.

Friday, June 21

Porch Builder @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) Loosey goosey country-ish rock with raspy vocals and smart guitar licks from some fun-lovin’ rural hippies out of Iowa City. As one reviewer put it, “Maybe these guys would be more famous if they’d leave the bottle alone and tried to pass a urine test now and then.”  Under the Radar Gig of the week.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, June 21, 22, 23

Deep Blues Festival @ The Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 4pm – 10pm each day. ($70/day, $175 for all three) Three days of the downest, funkiest, punkiest tranciest blues you’ll ever hear. From Friday’s opener, Charlie Parr, to Sunday’s closer, Reverend Deadeye, you’ll hear six bands a day, playing blues that goes way beyond Chicago, way beyond Mississippi, on out into the stratosphere. Plus… Plus, you get all you can eat of the Bayport BBQs ribs, chicken, and fixin’s. It’s a small place, and since fans come from around the nation and across the seas, you may want to call them at 651-955-6337 before heading out.

Saturday, June 22

Roots of the West Bank @ the Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 6pm ($10 Advance/$15 door) Past and present performers that have made the West Bank a center of music. The list includes: Adam Granger, Ana  the Bel-tones, Becky Thompso; Butch Thompson, Dakota Dve Hull, the Howling Goats, Jack Klatt, Spider John Koerner, Judy Larson, the Liquor Pigs, Phil Heywood, Pop Wagner, Papa John Kolstad, Roy “Catfish: Alstad, Sabyre Rae & the Midnight Sons, Tony Glover, & Willie Murphy. Whew!

Sunday, June 23

images-2Ticket to Brasil @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 5:30 – 7:30 (Free) Ah, summer in the Cities. Pack a picnic and stake out a grill, or get some mighty fine vittles from the concession stand and enjoy the lilting sound of bossa novas and sambas as performed by this six piece band and their special guest on sax – Doug Little.

James Hunter Six and Shemkia Copeland @ The Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley. 7:30pm ($33) Though he was long considered was of Britain’s Best Kept Secrets in R&B and Soul, Hunter has come into his own in the last half dozen years or so,since Hunter’s approach to R&B and Soul pays homage to the music of the 60s without feeling retro. He gets it. Hunter’s first two US releases, People Gonna Talk, and The Hard Way, earned great reviews and topped the Billboard charts. He and his band are now touring in support of their latest, Minute by Minute. Shemekia Copeland is the daughter of the late, highly regarded bluesman Johnny Copeland, and as they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

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.


Dancin’ n’ Listenin’. Music: 9.5 – 9.11

September 5, 2012

Dancers at last year’s Selby Avenue Jazz Festival

Here in the Twin Cities, we are lucky to be able to choose from a few competing festivals on Saturday, three of which are in Saint Paul. The Concrete and Grass Festival (free) offers a wide variety of music, from the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Jack Brass Band on Thursday evening, through the Minnesota Opera and Gary Louris (of the Jayhawks) on Saturday.

Meanwhile, jazz is the order of the day at the 11th Annual Selby Jazz Festival (free), featuring Saint Paul bands and New York artists Abdul Zuhli on guitar, and Cheryl Pepsii Riley on vocals.

Finally, for Saint Paul, The Summit Backyard Bash ($14) features Doomtree, Caroline Smith and the Goodnight Sleeps, Halloween Alaska, and the Now Nows, as well as Hotpants DJs between sets.

If you live in the West Metro, you may want to check out Saturday’s street dance in Wayzata. See the listing for the Butanes Soul Revue, below. As always, check out my blog for photos, links, and videos. Note also, that I’m contributing a gig recommendation to the Daily Planet each week.

There is also much to enjoy earlier in the week, so get out and enjoy yourself.

Jazz

Wednesday, September 5

Marv Dahlgren/John Dickinson Quintet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) After 47 years playing with the Minnesota Orchestra and writing classic instructional books, Dahlgren is considered a master of drums and vibes. Tonight he’s paired with his grandson, who is a vibes player studying at the  Lucerne Jazz School in Switzerland. They’ll be joined by Garty Gratz, piano; Jay Young, bass; and David Stanoch, drums. Betty Dahlgren will accompany her grandson on Celtic harp for a few numbers, for an evening of jazz that will surprise and delight.

Thursday, September 6

Valve Meets Slide and Horace Silver @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Brad Bellows (valve trombone) and David Graf (slide trombone) lead Chris Bates, bass; Bryan Nichols, piano; and Mac Santiago, drums in an evening of the music of Horace Silver. Horace Silver was one of the instagators of hard bop, using gospel and R&B influences to create jazz that both moved you and was moving. Bellows and Graf are two of the finest trombonists in town, and have a stellar rhythm section. This should be a groovin’ evening.

Friday, September 7

Ginger Commodore & Debbie Duncan @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Commodore and Duncan are a  couple of very soulful jazz singers, or very jazzy soul singers. Take your pick. Both have been successful in stage productions, which isn’t hard to believe given the power of their voices. Both have also been performing for ages, so you can expect a professional, and very satisfying show.

Brad Bellows/Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (tip jar)

Bellows (valve trombone) and Washington (sax) lead a quartet including Pete Hennig (drums) and Brian Roessler (bass) through free improvisation.  Don’t be put off by that description, however. It’s highly accessible music, even if you can’t hum it. Here’s a video from an appearance last year.

Franze, Brown & Horst: The Tuesday Night Band @ the Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Have you been having withdrawal pains from the lack of greasy, B-3 driven music for the last few months? Have no fear, this trio, better known as The Tuesday Night Band, returns for one night only as Billy Franze, guitar; Downtown Bill Brown, Hammond B-3; and Kenny Horst on drums deliver the down home sounds of a groovin’ B-3 trio.

Friday, Saturday, September 7, 8

The toy that inspired the name.

Happy Apple @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($10) The hipness quotient of the Icehouse just jumped a few points, though it hardly needed a boost. Happy Apple is highly regarded among the relatively young (say, under 35), in part because the trio of Mike Lewis, sax; Eric Fratzke, electric bass; and Dave King, drums; exhibit a rock/punk attitude. However, their extreme talent plays a big part, as does the sometime rambling, often hilarious on-stage musings of King.

Saturday, September 8

JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske @ Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Free) Suffice to say most of the folks at a hotel lobby bar are not there to listen to jazz. They simply want a drink or two while talking with fellow hotel guests. It’s a testament to the talent of JoAnn Funk (piano, vocals) and Jeff Brueske (bass) that they can catch the attention of aforementioned guests, handle their requests, and bring in customers just to hear the two of them. Funk and Brueske tackle the  the songs of Nat King Cole, Blossom Dearie, Dan Penn, Madeline Peyroux and more with aplomb, taste, and imagination.

Roxanne Cruz & Jeremy Walker @ Ingredients Cafe, White Bear Lake. 6:30pm – 9:30pm. East metro denizens have a chance to hear a fine vocalist and excellent pianist while dining at Ingredients.

Sunday, September 9

Adieu Summer @ Como Lakeside Pavillion, Saint Paul. 4pm – 6:30pm. ($10)  This is the fifth or sixth year that Ticket To Brasil is hosting an end-of-summer event. Today’s artists include: The Talking Strings, featuring Gary Shulte on violin; Trio Bossa Nova; vocalist Lee Engele; and the ten-piece Ticket to Brasil. The Pavillion is covered from all but sideways rain, and has plenty of room for dancing, whether you trip the light fantastic to swing or samba rhythms. This family friendly event will be a fitting goodbye to summer.

PipJazz Sunday @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 5pm ($25/door, $10/Student, children under 12 – free)  Since singer Pippi Ardennia moved here from Chicago a few years ago she has been turning heads with her monthly series, bringing in guest artists and young musicians to share the stage. Her charming, welcoming manner makes these monthly events very family-friendly. The musicians and Pippi deliver first class music. Today’s guest is singer Dennis Spears, of Moore by Four, the Nat King Cole production at Penumbra, and numerous appearances around town.

Ben Sidran @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Sidran is no stranger to this town, having appeared at both the AQ and the Dakota many times. Tonight he’ll use his piano and voice to tell the stories of “Jews, Music, and the American Dream,” which is also the title of his latest book. He’s got a PhD in American Studies, is well known as the host of NPR’s Peabody Award winning series “Jazz Alive,” and may be best known as the writer of Steve Miller’s big hit, Space Cowboy. Nevertheless, Sidran is an excellent piano player, and a hip storyteller, weaving complex, astute narratives over a vamp as he introduces each number. Expect songs written by Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Carole King, Bob Dylan, and more.

A more comprehensive calendar for the Twin Cities can be found at Jazz Police. It features jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Roots, Blues, Other…

Wednesday, September 5

A rare moment when Zack isn’t playing

Zack Lozier Trio on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar)  This is a slightly different booking than usual for Harold’s House Party, as Zack stepped in at the last minute when the originally booked group had to cancel. Zack is an in-demand, versatile trumpet player who is as down with the blues as he is with jazz. His clarion trumpet can be heard in the Jack Brass Band, Chris Bates Red 5, the Adam Meckler Big Band, and the Southside Aces, and other groups. He recently toured with the Doc Severinson Band, and has toured internatonally with Todd Clouser, Davina and the Vagabonds, and others. Zack will be accompanied by veteran bass player Keith Boyles and up and coming keyboard player Steven Hobart. A unique gig.

Friday, September 7

Flatt Foot Rollers @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm. ($5) With a song list that ranges from the Temptations to the Gap Band to Albert KIng, this seven-piece R&B/Funk band will get you dancing, even this early in the evening.

Cliff Eberhardt @ The Gingko Coffee House, Saint Paul. 8pm ($15 advance/$17 Door) The passionate, witty folk singer/songwriter is helping Gingko celebrate its 20th anniversary. On his latest album, All Wood and Doors, Eberhardt (with the help of some friends) does acoustic versions of songs from the Doors. His previous album 500 Miles, was recorded in Texas Hill Country and is flavored with musical influences from the region.

Swamp Kings @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (No cover) As the name implies, this trio lays down cajun, zydeco, and swamp beats that will have you head-bobbing and toe tapping to the point where you’ll have to get out of your chair, or off your stool, and dance.

Corpse Reviver w/guest Dakota Dave Hull @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip jar) Mikkel Beckman’s salute to the Anthology of American Folk Music kicks off it’s third year at the 331 with a special guest. Dakota Dave Hull is a nationally renowned picker and singer with a vast repertoire in his guitar case.

Saturday, September 8

Butanes Soul Revue w/Willie Walker @ James J. Hill Days Street Dance, Wayzata. 7pm (Free) It’s a busy weekend for Curt Obeda and his band. The four piece is at Shaw’s in Minneapolis on Thursday, then they add Willie Walker for a Friday evening appearance at the Concrete and Grass Festival in downtown Saint Paul, and today they go full bore with the eleven-piece Soul Revue featuring Maurice Jaycox on vocals and guest Willie Walker. A lakeside street dance on a pleasant Saturday night. Life is good.

Lamont Cranston & Willie Murphy @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($?) Willie and his band start things off at 9pm, followed by the Cranstons at 11PM. It will be a night of West Bank Boogie’n, as these stalwart bands fill the big dance floor at the MMC.

Monday, September 10

Al’s Rockabilly Quartet @ Famous Dave’s Uptown, Minneapolis. 8pm. (No cover) Swing dance lesson from the ubiquitous Ms Shannon Butler run from 7:15 to 8:00, when Al’s Rockabilly Quartet takes the stage and you can test out your new moves. Pomade, tight jeans with turned up cuffs, and poodle skirts are optional.

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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