Happy Thanksgiving: 11.21 – 11.27

November 21, 2018

We’ve a cornucopia of performances this weekend, from Thanksgiving Eve through Sunday, with a nice balance of visiting and resident musicians, both young and mature, to help you celebrate, commiserate, and even dance off some of your Thanksgiving stuffing.

On a sad note, I want to acknowledge the passing of Ted Wilebski, founder of Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, and a driver in presenting the blues here in the Twin Cities. He was a lovable character, and if he wasn’t always the most astute businessman, his devotion to the blues was undeniable. He brought artists like Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy, Etta James, Little Johnny Taylor, Clarence Carter, Pee Wee Crayton, Bobby Blue Bland, and many more to the Twin Cities, enriching our lives in the process. Many nights at his Frogtown club were filled with overwhelming joy, proving once again, that Music Lifts Your Spirit!


Wednesday, November 21

Cosmic Troubadours Reunion @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) A group of recently graduated college students and friends reunite in a band that they had at Southwest High in Mpls: Denny Carlson, alto; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Ryan Rosik, tenor; Drew Stinson, bass; and Ben Ehrlich, drums.

Thursday, November 22

Regina Marie Williams @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm($25, $30) The actress/vocalist is equally home with the jazzy R&B of Dinah Washington as she is with show tunes. Ms Williiams will have a number of special guests along to help celebrate the holiday: Rajane Katurah; Greta Oglesby; Thomasina Petrus, and others.

Friday, Nov 23

Jennifer Eckes@ Honey, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 9:30pm. ($5) Ms Eckes is bringing a “Black Friday Cabaret” o the basement club in NE Mpls, with accompaniment by pianist Andrew Walker.

Andrew Walesch Big Band: Sinatra! @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25, $30) Pianist/vocalist Walesch continues to mine the vast repertoire of Frank Sinatra, with an all-star 12-piece band. Reservations recommended, as these shows often sell out.

Ashen Fir @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Pianist/composer Jack Barrett has put together this group, using a rotating cast of musicians, to play Barrett’s original music: Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Charlie Bruber, bass; Murphy Janssen, drums.

Atlantis Quartet Album Release @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10, $15) Since 2006, four of the area’s most exciting jazzers have united as the Atlantis Quartetto helped to define modern jazz. They continue to showcase their originality with the release of their fifth album, Hello Human. Previous albums have been acclaimed by Jazz Times, City Pages, and the Star Tribune. With: Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, tenor; Chris Bates, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums.

Saturday, November 24

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Take a few musicians who recently graduated from college: Peter Goggin, alto; Sam Worthington, bass; Luke Peterson, drums; and add Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, trumpet; who’s been out of school for a number years  and you have Friends & Neighbors, opening at 7pm. At 8:30pm, Master drummer Phil Hey brings his exciting quartet with Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Phil Aaron, piano; and Tom Lewis, bass; to the stage.

Sunday, November 25

Chris Speed Trio w/Chris Tordini & Dave King @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $25), 9pm ($15) Tenor saxist and clarinet player Chris Speed is a major player in the left-of-center jazz scene in NYC, so it’s no wonder he’s hooked up with drummer Dave King and bassist Chis Tordoni, who’s played with left-stream as well as mainstream artists, and even a few modern R&B artists. They’ve just finished a European tour and are now playing selected U.S. gigs. Here’s a chance to see this adventurous trio in an intimate room.

Monday, November 26

Peter Kogan CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm  ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Drummer Peter Kogan has really been exercising his jazz chops since leaving the Minnesota Orchestra a few years ago. Tonight he and his Monsterful Wonderband celebrate the release of The Green Album. Members of the band are: Omar AbdulKarim, trumpet; Chris Thompson, sax; Dave Graf, trombone; Zacc Harris, guitar; Abbi Stafford, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Kogan on drums.

Javier Santiago @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Pianist Santiago is leaving for California, and this may well be his last appearance in town. He’ll be accompanied by Omar AbdulKarim on trumpet; Chris Graham, guitar; Ted Olsen, bass; and Pete James Johnson, drums. Here he is with a song from his album Phoenix.

Monday, Tuesday, November 26, 27

Manhattan Transfer @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55, $65), 9pm ($35, $45, $55) The four-member close harmony group does what it’s alway done in its decades-long history: deliver an intriguing and entertaining mix of jazz standards, originals, and jazzy interpretations of pop songs.

Tuesday, Wednesday, November 27, 28

Evan Christopher’s Clarinet Road @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($30, $35) The clarinet seems to be gaining more gravitas in jazz these days, thanks in part to musicians like Anat Cohen, Ken Peplowski, and Evan Christopher, whose grounding in early Creole clarinetists provides the foundation for New Orleans music that honors tradition without being a slave to it.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, November 21

Nikki & The Ruemates on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) It’s the annual pre-Thanksgiving show with Nikki & the Rue-mates. They’ll supply a bunch of originals, as well as some folk-rock favorites, and perhaps a jazz tune or two.

Willie Walker @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($12, $15) Get a soulful start to your weekend with Walker and his band.

The Good, The Bad, & The Funky @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($??) Get out your dancing shoes – it’s Funksgiving, with all your favorites from the 70s, 80s, and today at the club on the edge of downtown Saint Paul with a big dance floor.

Thursday, November 22

Deano & The Dinosaurs @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) It’s the annual Thanksgiving show for guitarist Dean Mikkelson and his band of Dinosaurs: Dean Harrington, guitar; Tom Lewis, bass; and Dehl Gllagher, drums. You’ll hear some very tasty guitar while recovering from you turkey-induced napiness.

Socaholix @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Shake off the results a Thanksgiving dinner by dancing to this high-energy band that specializes in the music of the Caribbean, with an emphasis on reggae and ska.

Friday, November 23

Brass Messengers Live Recording @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free w/RSVP) This ten-piece raucous street band draws its inspiration from the music of Africa, the Caribbean, and the Balkans, bringing joy and spontaneity to its performances by leading sing-a-longs, playing unusual covers, or creating wild dance tunes. They’re recording tonight, with opening help from Siama Matuzungidi, the African soukous guitarist who creates joyous music of his own.  RSVP here.

Bernard Allison @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) The son of the late Luther Allison, bluesman Bernard Allison has formed his own path, though astute listeners will hear echoes of his father’s soulful voice and guitar skills. He honed those skills playing with Koko Taylor and further learned from friendships with Stevie Ray Vaughn and Johnny Winter before heading out on his own in the early 90s.

Saturday, November 23

Band of Friends Salute Rory Gallagher @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) A power trio of blues-rockers celebrating the music of the late Irish blues rocker. It’s more than a tribute band, however, as all three played with Gallagher and helped define his sound.

Willie West @ Bistro LaRoux, Circle Pines. 7pm(Tip Jar) It may be a bit of a drive if you don’t live in the north metro, but where else are you gonna hear West, a New Orleans artist (displaced by Katrina) while dining on a variety of Cajun and Creole dishes?

Sunday, November 25

Coco Montoya @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.7pm ($30, $35, $40) Montoya cut his teeth on the blues touring as a drummer with Albert Collins. In the early 80s, after Montoya picked up the guitar, John Mayall hired him for a new version of the Bluesbreakers. He released his solo album in 1995, and since then has fulfilled his promise as a soulful, emotional string-bender and singer.

African Diaspora Music Showcase @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) Here’s a chance other some of the artists from our immigrant community, as The Cedar continues to embrace the East African community that surrounds it. Three resident artists will perform this free concert as part of the East African Diaspora Artists Initiative: Nigerian singer/songwriter Carolyne Naomi, R&B and Alternative artist and producer Temezgen; and poet/hip-hop artist Amjet Kemet.

Tuesday, November 27

Rena Haus Trio @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Farmer/musician Rena Haus plays guitar, writes witty and insightful blues-based songs, re-defines some classic rock, and generally creates a good time, with brother Bob on bass; and guitarist-you-should-know Ed Petsche providing fills and leads.

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.

The Good Life in Music: Feb 22 – 28

February 22, 2012
From a visiting iconic band leader/television personality, to resident artists that are A-list players on a national basis, to a couple of new groups with established players, the coming week offers a rich pool of possibilities for the Twin Cities music lover. Those of us who reside here are lucky to live among such a creative community. Those of you who are visitors are welcome to sample our musical version of the good life.

Wed, Feb 22

Sue Oatts & the Wolverines Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis.  6pm (No Cover) If you’ve been interested in Twin Cities jazz for more than six years or so, you may seen or heard Sue, who used to go by the name Sue Tucker. Her 2006 release Back Home, is a fine example of jazz singing, wherein she tackles standards and some choice lesser known songs. She is well suited for swiinging along with the Wolverines Trio.

Anthony Cox Group @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Always an A-list bassist, whether in NYC or the Twin Cities, Cox is definitely worth seeing.

Wed, Thurs, Feb 22, 23

The Often Colorful, Always Dapper Doc

Doc Severinson Big Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($60) 9pm ($40) A big band at the Dakota? Well if sixty year music veteran and former leader of the Tonight Show Band wants to do it, the good folks at the Dakota will accommodate him. Sure, it’s a bit of cash, but outside of this appearance, I don’t know when else you’d get to see Doc and his Big Band outside of a large hall or theater.

Thurs, Feb 23

Chris Bates Good Vibes Trio @ The Artists Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Chris will be joined by Phil Hey on drums and Dave Hagedorn on vibes for what will surely be an evening of enjoyable, exciting music.

Friday, Feb 24

Debbie Duncan and Dennis Spears @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Whether Spears is singing in Moore by Four or portraying Nat King Cole in a theatrical production, he entertains. Duncan is equally at home singing blues or jazz and is an artist other artists come out to see.

Friday, Saturday, Feb 24, 25

Patty Peterson and Friends @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Another A-list singer for the Twin Cites. Patty has received the Minnesota Music Award seven times, and has released four CDs with the likes of Sheila E. and Ira Sullivan, among others.

Saturday, Feb 25

Richard Johnson: The Frank Sinatra Songbook @ St. Michaels Lutheran Church, Roseville. 7:30pm ($12) Johnson is a major talent as a piano player, having held down that spot in the bands of  Irvin Mayfield, Russell Malone, and Wynton Marsalis. His interpretation of West Side Story at the AQ last month was imaginative and melodic. this is the second in his “Jazz Alive” series.

U of M Jazz Festival @ Ted Mann Concert Hall, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 9:30pm (FREE)  Jazz ensembles from the University will be workshopping all day in order to present this concert with the Hornheads.

Photo by Marsha Walker

Jeremy Walker’s Boot Camp @ The Dakota (Late Night), Minneapolis. 11pm ($5) Check out Jeremy Walker’s new project with Walker on piano; Chris Thomson, sax; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. Walker is back from his NYC sojourn, and his creative juices are flowing. Expect a brace of originals as well as some timeless tunes.

Monday, Feb 27

A wind instrument for Latin Jazz? Of course!

Latin Jazz All-Stars @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($20)  This band features a hot group of players conversant in many Latin styes. This is a group effort between Steve TurreRay Vega, Chembo Corniel, Yunior Terry, Benito Gonzales and Diego Lopez. Turre is in the Saturday Night Live Band, and has won Downbeat awards for Trombone and Miscellaneous instrument (conch shells). Vega was the lead trumpet for Tito Puente and the Bronx Horns. Other members of the band are equally well versed in Latin rhythms. I have a feeling the Dakota will be jumpin’.

Tuesday, Feb 28

Minnesota Youth Jazz Band @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 6:30 – 8:30pm. (FREE) Another chance to see young jazzers. This time it’s 19 talented high school students performing arrangements of tunes by Count Basie, Buddy Rich, Charles Mingus and Pat Metheny.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz in the Twin Cities, go to the Bebopified Calendar, here.

For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Roots, Blues, Other…

Wed, Feb 22

Phil Heywood @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover)  There’ll be some prime fingerpicking going on while folks are dining at the South Minneapolis neighborhood restaurant. Reservations are smart. Ask to be seated near the music.

Thursday, Feb 23

Get Gone, Brass Messengers, and Jack Klatt & The Swingers @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 10pm (No cover)  If you can handle a late night on Thursday, here’s where to get a triple dose of music: Rock n’ Roll,  Brass Band music, and some swingin’ roots music.

Jimi sings his heart out

Friday, Feb 24

Jeff Ray & Hurricane Harold, Jimmi & the Band of Souls @ Wild Tymes, Saint Paul. 8pm. A couple of first rate blues acts in downtown Saint Paul. There are two other bands in this line-up, so it may be wise to call beforehand for the schedule. (651) 224-8181

Saturday, Feb 25

SoulJazz Orchestra @ The Triple Rock Social Cub, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Like the bands on Daptone Records, the SoulJazz Orchestra is a horn band with a serious jones for Afrobeat and funk from the 60s and 70s, yet they compose their own music. The four horn, no-guitar funksters from Ottowa will have Peregrine Perspective and the always-lively Brass Messengers as opening acts.

Salsa del Soul @ The Crooked Pint Ale House, 501 Washinton, Minneapolis. 10pm ($10)  The heat will be rising as fun-loving dancers take to the floor and twist, whirl, and glide to sensuous Latin rhythms of Salsa del Soul.

Sunday, Feb 26

Live Blues Recording @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. Noon ($5). Eleven different acts are taking part in this all-day recording session, sponsored by the Minnesota Blues Society, Wilebski’s and American Guitar and Band. It’s an effort to document (both with video and audio) a cross-section of the Twin Cities Blues scene. Performers include. Curtis Marlatt, Curtis Blake, Jimi “Prime Time” Smith, Bill Swanson, Paul Wigen, Tony Houle, and more…

For a more comprehensive listing of blues events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar.

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