Unique, Remarkable Music: 10.4 – 10.10

October 4, 2017

What every household needs!

Well, just like the “modern housewife,” as pictured, we have a unique and remarkable set of opportunities to hear revitalizing music. We have three new series taking place: Friday Nights @ The Dunsmore; Illicit Jazz Workshop @ Jazz Central; and the monthly Forge at Bryant Lake Bowl. We also have an all-star jazz group visiting our town, a pioneering Stax musician, and a group from Mali. And there’s a celebration of John Lennon’s birthday, a benefit concert, and some unique combinations of resident musicians. Music lifts the spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, Oct 4

Dave King Trio @Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $25) If you’re a Twin Cities jazz fan, you have undoubtedly heard drummer King in one of his numerous groups. Tonight he’s joined by Bill Carrothers, piano; and Billy Peterson, bass.  Here they are doing their unique arrangements of a couple of standards.

Zacc Harris/Katia Cardenas @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Harris – No Cover), 8pm ($6) Start out with guitarist Zacc Harris, whose clean lines can often be hear with the Atlantis Quartet, as well as in a trio at the Riverview Wine Bar Sunday nights, Vital Organ and other groups. Then at 8pm it’s Jazz & R&B from vocalist Cardenas who will be joined by Ted Godbout, Graydon Peterson & Zach Schmidt, and “The NoDak Girls” Andrina Brogden & Sheridan Zuther.

Forge: Maryam Ershadi Yusefzadeh & Thomas Nordlund @ Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) Forge is a new series celebrating creative music, performed on the stage at Bryant Lake Bowl. This month, singer Maryam Ershadi Yusefzadeh and guitarist Thomas Nordlund present a view into “Migration”, their debut collaboration. It is a collection of reimagined traditional Persian folk songs and original compositions inspired by that musical language. Vocalist Yusefzadeh had her early musical training in Tehran and received a BFA in Art, Music, and Dance performance from the UofMN. She studied jazz with Roberta Davis. Guitarist Nordland can be found as a sideman with any number of Twin Cities artists in a number of genres. He released his debut full length album Divide Avenue, in 2015

Wednesday, Thursday, Oct 4, 5

Savion Glover & Marcus Gilmore @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50, $65, $75), 9pm ($35, $50, $60) It’s a percussive extravaganza as Glover, perhaps the best tap dancer performing today, partners with drummer Gilmore, who has worked with Chick Corea, Vijay Iyer, Nicholas Payton, and others, and BTW, is the grandson of the great Roy Haynes.

Thursday, Oct 5

Joel Shapira/Maud Hixson @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Shapira: no cover), 8pm (Hixson: $6) It’s a double dose of jazz as guitarist Joel Shapira delivers solo numbers before Maud Hixson takes the stage, accompanied by Rick Carlson, piano; and Chris Bates, bass. Expect an evening of cool, yet simmering standards.

Friday, Oct 6

Jazz Women All Stars @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm   Patty Peterson, Ginger Commodore, Lucia Newell, Linda Peterson, Joan Griffith, Jendeen Forberg, Kathy Jensen. Need I say more

Le Percheron @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10?) Trumpeter Steve Kenny is always on the lookout for new places to produce live music. Now, through Illicit Productions, he is curating Friday Nights at Jazz Central. To kick things off, he’s got Adam Linz’s terrific group: Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, Cornet; Levi Schwartzberg, Vibes; Cory Healey, drums; and Linz, bass.

Bryan Nicols Quintet @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley, 9pm ($15) The Dunsmore Room is trying a new tactic – Friday night jazz curated by Zacc Harris, and at the same time as music in the main lounge. The Dunsmore’s quiet acoustics (and audience) should make this work. For the first show they have: Nichols, piano; Mike Lewis & Brandon Wozniak, saxes; Eric Fratzge, bass; JT Bates, drums.

Saturday, October 7

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Ahmed & the Creators at 7pm, followed by Jax Revel Gang at 8:30pm: Jax bass; Matt Trice, sax; Javi Santiago, piano; Blake Huebl, drums

MN Hard Bop Collective: Joe Henderson @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7-9pm (Tip Jar) The Collective returns to Boom Island with another of their shows celebrating past masters. Although saxophonist Henderson’s earliest recordings were marked by a strong hard-bop influence, his playing encompassed not only the bebop tradition, but rhythm and blues, latin, and avant-garde as well. Tonight the Collective includes:  Dave Brattain, Jeff Rinear, Chris Olson, Kameron Markworth and Jesse Simon

Sunday, Oct 8

Katie Thiroux Trio @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20) NYC-based Thiroux’s latest album Offbeat (her 2nd) shows the triple threat (bass, vocals, compositions) carrying on the swing tradition of Ray Brown and John Clayton when playing mainstream jazz.

Monday, Tuesday, Oct 9, 10

Connie Evingson & Jon Weber @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20) Ms Evingson is celebrating the centennial of Ella Fitzgerald’s birth with a series of concerts from Ella’s Songbook series. This time around it’s the music of Rogers & Hart. She and pianist Jon Weber will be joined by Dave Karr, sax; and Gordy Johnson, bass.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Oct 10, 11

Chick Corea/Steve Gadd Sextet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, ($75, $90, $100), 9pm ($65, $80, $90) 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.

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 4

Pushing Chain on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Boyd Blomberg guitar & vocals; and Adam  Moe, fiddle & vocals; have been performing together in various configurations since 1997, and as Pushing Chain since 2012. They call their music Folky-Tonk, with stron vocals and melodies.

Thursday, Oct 5

Mikkel Beckmen, Jon Rodine, & Dan Gaardner @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (tip jar) Resident percussionist often has only one guest each Thursday, but tonight is special with Jon Rodine, a vocalist who should be  better known in town, and guitarist Dan Gaardner of Trailer Trash.

Swamp Poppas @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Wad’ya get when Cajun teenagers in the 50s and 60s heard rock n’ roll? Swamp Pop – Rock n’ Roll with a Cajun accent. You can hear examples of the genre by listening (and dancing) to the Swamp Poppas.

Butanes @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) The Best Blues Band in the Twin Cities continues their weekly residency at Shaw’s, led by guitarist Curt Obeda, and featuring a number of musicians who sit in for a song or two, such as Camille Boudoin, of the Radiators, Jelly Bean Johnson, Maurice Jacox, and Willie Walker.

Friday,Oct 6 

Willie Walker @ Crooner’s Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, or $10 for a reserved seat in front of the stage)  Walker’s been doing a lot of recording over the past few years. The Soul Man’s latest is After A While, with the Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra, the group that’s backing him on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise later this month.

Belfast Cowboys @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($7 Advance/$10 Door) The Cowboys are one of the most popular bands in town, delivering sprightly versions of Van Morrison tunes and other gems. This is the first of three monthly gigs at the Hook.

Saturday, Oct 7

Songhoy Blues @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) The Songhoy people were once one of the most prominent ethnic groups in Mali, though the now live on the margins of that West African country. After a number of musicians made their way to Bamako as refugees, they decided to start a band that celebrates the displaced people and their culture, playing desert blues, Malian grooves, and American guitar licks. Opening is Brasszilla, a quartet consisting of Hal Longley, sousaphone; Zach Zins, trombone; Bob DeBoer, trumpet; Andy Deckard, drums.

Sunday, Oct 8

Boom Boom Stevie V & the Knockouts @ Neumann’s Bar, North Saint Paul. 4pm – 6pm (Tip Jar) Spend a Bluesy Autumn afternoon enjoying the sounds of Harpmeister Boom Boom, and his Knockouts.

Doug Otto & Friends @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 5pm – 8pm (Tip Jar) This tiny, NE dive bar has been bought by the owners of the Nightingale, who are generally happy with the music line-up there. Guitarist/vocalist Doug Otto explores the blues and Americana, with a voice so mournful, you might find yourself crying. He calls upon a number of friends to help him on these “brunch gigs for working musicians.”

General B & The Wiz, The Plott Hounds, & Rlgdppl @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7 Advance/$10 Door) The Hook presents an evening of live music to benefit the recovery of hurricane victims in Puerto Rico! $1 Per Ticket will be donated by the bands and matched by The Hook and Ladder to PROJECT HOPE. General B plays psychedelic/IndieBlues; The Plott Hounds like 70s Southern rock as they play alt-country blues, and the music of Rlgdppl is rooted in Rhythm & Blues.

Monday, Oct 9

Curtiss A Celebrates John Lennon’s 77th @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) It’s not the annual tribute show, but is bend called Return to the Cavern. That’s the Cavern Club in Liverpool where, upon returning for their Hamburg sojourn, the Beatles made 292 appearances between 1961 and 1963, with their last appearance occurring just after they recorded She Loves You. I expect this show will include the rock n’ roll favorites of John Lennon

Sunday, Monday, Oct 8,9

Booker T Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm & 8pm Sunday, 7pm Monday ($35, $40, $50) The pioneering Stax organ star may run through Green Onions a bit quicker than usual, but after all, it’s been 55 years since that grooving piece of funk was laid down by Jones and his compatriots in the MGs. He still manages to deliver the hits and the newer pieces from his last few years as a solo artist.

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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All Kinds of Music: 1.18 – 1.24

January 18, 2017

 

Everybody plays (See Peter & the Wolf listing, below)

Everybody plays (See Peter & the Wolf listing, below)

It’s a good time, and the Twin Cities is a good place, for folks who enjoy live music. In the coming week, we’ve got performances from some outstanding visiting artists and a few nationally known resident artists. Additionally, we have a couple of fundraisers, each featuring a variety of artists, and two chances to hear chamber music: a production of Peter and the Wolf, and a chamber music quartet interpreting A Love Supreme. Music lifts the Spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, January 18

Pete Whitman Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 W/Student ID) Saxophonist Pete Whitman brings another group to the basement club, this time with: Adam Rossmiller, trumpet; Chris Olsen, guitar; Jay Young, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger, drums.

Wednesday, Thursday, January 18, 19

Roy Hargrove With Roberta Gambarini @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $45), 9pm ($25, $35) What great possibilities lie in this show. Hargrove is among the best trumpet players of his generation, and has won two Grammys, one with his Cuban-based bans Crisol; and another with Herbie Hancock and Michael Brecker. He’s recorded over twenty albums, including an album of ballads with strings, and a hip-hop album, in addition to recordings with his quintet. Italian-born and NYC-based Roberta Gambarini is a magnificent vocalist with a supple, multi-octave range. You can read an interview I did with her in 2011 here. Here are the two artists with a big band doing a Latin number.

Thursday, January 19

Nichola Miller & The Wolverines Trio @ Crooner’s Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Ms Miller has been taken up with raising a little boy these past few years, which has cut down on her gigging, so get out and see her while you can. She has pipes galore, an unerring sense of time, clear enunciation, and swings like mad, helped along by the Wolverines Trio. Her style is classic – in fact, listening to her may inspire you to order a classic cocktail like a Martini or Manhattan.

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Peter Vircks is a fine saxophonist, whose improvisational skills add to any group, whether he’s playing for The Rhythmic Circus dance troupe or as a sideman. Tonight he’ll be joined by Brian Ziemniak, keys; Ron Evaniuk, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums.

Feathermucker @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) The weekly series at Khyber Pass always features adventurous music to go with its small plates and drinks. Tonight’s group will be performing The Dream Project, with music by Ted Moore  and text by Timothy Otte, featuring Alyssa Anderson, voice; Joe Spoelstra, guitars; and Ted Moore on electronics.

Friday, January 20

Adam Meckler & Cory Grossman @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Trumpeter Adam Meckler and Cellist Cory Grossman have shown how the sonically different instruments can work together in Lulu’s Playground and other groups. Tonight, they explore the possibilities of the instruments with an evening of duets.

Saturday, Jantuary 21

Bryan Nichols: The Art of Solo Piano @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 6pm workshop ($10), 7pm concert ($15) Nichols is a pianist, composer, and educator often found playing jazz and improvised music, but at home in a variety of musical worlds. He leads and composes for his own trio, quintet, and nonet in addition to performing, recording, and touring with forward-thinking artists like Nicole Mitchell, Ron Miles, and Olga Bell, and groups like the Gang Font, Dead Man Winter, and Halloween, Alaska. Tonight, however, he’ll be playing solo, with songs from his release of last May, Looking North, as well as some other originals.

 

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Things start off at 7pm with the JazzINK Youth Showcase, which features  the Simon Petrick Group, a quartet of young musicians ranging from HS seniors to college juniors: Petrick, drums; Adam Astrup, guitar; Sam Worthington, bass; Levi Schwartzberg, Vibes. Headlining at 8:30pm is Chris Bates’ Red 5, a group that doesn’t play out much, since all of its members are busy in other groups as well. With Chris Bates  bass; JT Bates, drums; Thomas Nordlund, guitar; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Brandon Woznicak, tenor; JC Sanford, trombone.

Benny Weinbeck Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) Benny Weinbeck  piano; Gordon Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums, are consummate veterans who produce piano jazz of the highest order.

Sunday, January 22

Parisota Hot Club @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Guitarist Robb Henry started the Parisota Hot Club as a quartet back in 2002. Since then, he’s developed a collective of musicians that he can call upon, depending on the needs of the venue. Tonight he brings a trio, with a violin (likely Gary Schulte) and bass to the Aster.

Monday, January 23

Turtle Island String Quartet Plays A Love Supreme @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $45) 9pm ($25, $35) This classical chamber quartet  as won multiple Grammys for Best Classical Crossover Album. They are able to take the esthetic of classic chamber music and apply it to contemporary styles, breaking tradition, and finding new audiences. Tonight they tackle John Coltrane’s iconic music on meditation and spirituality: A Love Supreme. Here they are doing another song that’s often associated with Coltrane.

Brian Handeland @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID)  Brian Handeland doubles on sax and woodwinds. He’s attended UW-Eau Claire, and went to grad school at the well known University of North Texas. Between both schools, he played in a number of DownBeat award winning ensembles. He was part of a 7-month tour with Flashdance, the musical, and performs around town with a number of jazz, rock, and ska groups.

Tuesday, January 24

Sean Turner Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) The folks at Crooners are taking an unusual step to ensure that people have a chance to discover the music of pianist Sean Turner by having no cover charge for the quiet listening experience of the Dunsmore Room. Turner heads the Keyboard Department at McNally Smith and composes music for films and commercials. He studied with famed pianist JoAnn Brackeen, thanks to a Study Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and currently plays around town in various groups. Tonight, he heads a trio with the always reliable veterans Gary Raynor on bass; and Jay Epstein on 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 Ink, and Bebopified

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, January 18

Munson & Beckmen Go To IBC on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Bluesman and slide guitarist Mike Munson teamed up with percussionist about town Mikkel Beckmen to win the contest to represent Minnesota in the solo/duo category at the International Blues Challenge. Now they have to raise money to get there, and this is one of a number of events toward that end. Tune in to Harold’s House party about 5pm and then head over to the 331 Club to hear and support this winning duo.

Thursday, January 19

Celebrating 20 Years of the Dakota Dave Hull Show @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6:30 – 11pm ($15 Suggested Donation) Dakota Dave Hull  has been doing his ultra rootsy show on KFAI for 20 years, and is handing in his headphones and going out in style by bringing along some friends to celebrate and raise funds for KFAI. Dale Connelly will host the event, which features special guests Lonnie Knight, Jack Klatt, Patty Harison, Adam Kiesling, Jay Peterson, Papa John Kolstad & Bill Smith and more! There’ll be a “meet and greet” at 6:30 and the music will get going about 7:30. Suggested donation of at least $15, though nobody will be turned away, with all proceeds going to KFAI Fresh Air Community Radio. Tune in to KFAI from 10am to Noon for the last show, and show up for an evening of great folk/Americana. Here’s Dave on A Prairie Home Companion.

Twilight Hours @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) The Twilight Hours are the brainchild of John Munson, bass & vocals; and Matt Wilson, guitar, drums, & vocals, who played together in Trip Shakespeare some twenty odd years ago and have played together off and on since then. Twilight Hours is a rock band, but one they describe as “thoughtful, sometimes introspective, sometimes full of rejoicing.” Sounds a bit like folk-rock to me. I don’t know who else they’ve rounded up for this gig, but Steve Roehm, Munsons band-mate in The New Standards, has been known to take part in their musical proceedings.

Friday, January 20

Tribute Night @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) It’s another night of dancing at the Eagles Club with three bands doing three different types of music: The Saddle Sores, with Clay Williams on guitar, will be doing Country Duets; Hornucopia will be digging into the past to perform the songs of rock-era horn bands; and Looking Bacharach, a group described as “doing songs by Burt what’s-his-name.”

ACLU Benefit @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 6pm ($20, $10 Student/Hardship) Here’s a benefit for the American Civil Liberties Union, which is featuring a host of terrific players each doing a 20-30 minute set:  Dakota Dave Hull, The Beavers, Greg Herriges, Matt Sowell, Siama Matuzungidi, Leslie Rich, Charley Dush. 100% of the cover goes to ACLU.

Boom Boom Stevie V & The Knockouts @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Steve Vonderhaar is a knockout harpist with an appropriately named blues band. Back in 2012, he and guitarist Kit Kildahl represented Minnesota in the International Blues Challenge.

Nicolas David & Vic Volare @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($30, $40)  Before he began his storied run to become a finalist on The Voice in 2012, Nicolas David gained fans around town as Nick the Feelin’. Of course, he had already released five well-recieved albums and received national airplay for his alternative soul music before his appearance on the show. His dynamic vocals and insightful songwriting have only improved since then, and tonight, he’s teaming up with crooner and retro swingster Vic Volare for a unique evening of music.

Saturday, January 21

Peter and The Wolf @ MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 10AM, 11AM (Free) This is part of MacPhail’s Free Family Music Series, and is a chamber music version of “Peter and the Wolf,” the symphonic tale for children by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev. It’s a one-movement narrated story with each character being represented by a different instrument of the orchestra. This arrangement is based on the original one-piano arrangement made by the composer. Performers all come from MacPhail’s faculty, and include: Daniel Abdon, Narrator; Stella Anderson, Violin (Peter); Julie Johnson, Flute (The Bird); Carrie Vecchione, Oboe (The Duck); Greg Kajiwara, Clarinet (The Cat); Thea Groth, Bassoon (Grandpa); and Pinar Başgöze and Susana Pinto Piano Duo (The Wolf, Hunters

New Riverside Rambler Trio @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. Noon- 2pm (No Cover)  Cajun music for brunch, performed by a trio from one of the busier Cajun bands in town.

 

Jeff Ray & the Stakes and Paul Mayasich’s RAMM Band @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10 Advance, $12 Door) It’s an evening of roots and R&B at The Hook. Jeff Ray and the Stakes are driven by Ray’s slide guitar and vocals, and propelled forward by Mikkel Beckmen’s foot stomping and percussion; Nick Salisbury’s bass and home made foot-shaker contraption, and Harold Tremblay’s gritty harp playing. The RAMM band, led by guitar master Paul Mayasich, plays American Music, from Motown to R&B, rock n’ roll, and the blues. Here’s 3/4 of Jeff & the Stakes

Big George Jackson @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Big George Jackson has a voice that rumbles with the authority of an oncoming train. It’s well suited to the blues and boogie that he plays on harp, ably accompanied by Jeremy Johnson on guitar, and others.

Last Waltz Tribute @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12, $15) The Last Waltz is a Martin Scorsese movie documenting the last concert at The Band in 1976. Scores of top acts performed, from Dylan and Muddy Waters, to Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, The Staple Singers, and more. Over twenty of the area’s musicians are gathering to honor the film by presenting the songs featured in the film.

Sunday, January 22

Road to Memphis Fundraiser @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 1pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s another fundraiser to help send Minnesota musicians to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Featuring The Mark Cameron Band, and Mike Munson & Mikkel Beckmen, this year’s Minnesota entries in the group and duo categories, along with Colin Campbell  the Shackletons, and past winners of the Road to Memphis in an all-star jam.

Hot Club of Cowtown @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) Here we have three excellent musicians from Texas who integrate the acoustic jazz of Django Rheinhardt with the Western Swing of Bob Wills. With talent galore, the trio bring joy and excitement to the music, and have gained worldwide fans through tours with Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan and tours to Europe, the UK, and State Department sponsored tours to places like Armena, Azerbijan, and the Sultanate of Oman.

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.


Youth Jazz, Art, Blues, and Worldbeats: 5.18 – 5.24

May 18, 2016

13048116_858343110943744_3629080614244096720_oPlease indulge me for a moment as I tell you about an event that means much to me. It’s Celebrate Youth Jazz!, a fundraiser for the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education (DFJE) to be held this Sunday at Vieux Carré. DFJE is a non-profit organization that creates and supports quality jazz education for students and young musicians. Last year we served over 650 students by sending 24 area musicians into 14 public schools. We also sponsor the Dakota Combo, an open-audition group that studies with bassist Adam Linz throughout the school year and performs at public venues as well as public schools. This year marks the 10th edition of the Combo, and to celebrate, the current Combo, as well as a big band of Combo Alumni directed by Kelly Rossum, will perform. If you have any interest in jazz and/or music education, you can support DFJE by attending on Sunday. More information can be found below, as well as at dfje.org.

Now, onto this week’s music.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 18

Stephane Wrembel Band @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($30, $35) French guitarist/composer Wrembel learned his craft among Roma campfires in the French countryside, has performed during the Oscar telecast, and was recruited to score the theme to Woody Allen’s film Midnight in Paris. Now based in Brooklyn, Wrembel’s latest album, Origins, explores his roots, touching upon everything from the blues to flamenco.

Nathan Hanson Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Here’s a trio that is conversant in straight ahead jazz as well as more adventurous treatments of music. Besides Hanson, on sax, the group includes Michael O’Brien, bass; and Cory Healey, drums.

Thursday, May 19

Sundae + Mr. Goessl @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) This Seattle based duo of husband and wife perform vintage jazz from composers such as Ellington, Porter, and the Gershwins. Ms Sundae is the vocalist of the two, though she also plays a cheap, but pink melody, while Mr. Goessl accompanying on an Epiphone Swingster guitar.

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) With the return of jazz to the Reverie, we also get a return of the JazzINK Youth Showcase which tonight features Halcyon Daze at 7pm: George Adzick, alto & flute; Ivan Cunningham, alto & tenor; Yonci Jameson, bass clarinet; Nicholas Christenson, bass; and Sam Stroup, drums. The multi-generational Fall Of The House Of Usher headlines, with: Chris Cunningham, guitars; Ivan Cunningham, saxes; Chris Bates, bass; Greg Schutte, drums; Cole Pulice, saxes; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, trumpet; Adam Svec, vocals. With special guest Michelle Kinney on cello.

Jeremy Ylvisaker & Michael Lewis @ The Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Ylvisaker (from Alpha Caonsume, and the Cloak Ox, among others), teams up with saxophonist and bassist Michael Lewis (of Happy Apple and Fat Kid Wednesdays, among others) for an evening of adventurous improvisation.

Friday, May 20

Michael O’Brien & the Latin Jazz Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/student ID) Bassist Michael O’Brien has been quite busy since he relocated from the Twin Cities to New York City. He’s performed and/or composed with such notable performers as Harry Connick Jr, Ruben Blades, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Steve Wilson, Wayne Escoffery, Dave King, Matt Wilson, Sachal Vasandani, and Ted Nash, among others – phew! He is back in town and is busy with a number of gigs, including this one featuring Joe Strachan, piano; Geoff Senn, trumpet; Babatunde Lea, congas; and Mac Santiago, drums, all of whom are well versed in Latin Jazz. Here’s O’Brien showing that he has the chops for other worldbeats as well.

Saturday, May 21

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) The Black Dog is undergoing some construction as they prepare to add another room and kitchen while opening up the original room and adding a bar so more people can see musicians performing. Just walk past the construction into the new, though somewhat unfinished room where music is temporarily being presented. Opening at 7pm is The Convergence Trio: Joel Shapira guitar; Michael O’Brien,m bass; and Eric Kamau Gravatt, drums. Then it’s the Kelly Rossum Quartet: Michael O’Brien and Eric Kamau Gravatt return to the stage on bass and drums respectively; to join Dave Hagedorn, vibes; and Rossum on trumpet. Rossum, who is director of Jazz Studies at Christopher University in Virginia, will be directing the Dakota Combo Alumni Big Band tomorrow. Here’s a video from Rossum’s brand new album.

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ the Uptown VFW, Lake & Lyndale, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Ms Lynch is a singer/bassist who mines pop & jazz from the 30s to the 50s to create dance-friendly tunes for fox trotters and swing dancers. The Uptown VFW has been remodeled and has a new, large dance floor. She will be joined by Chris Beaty guitar, Ken Chastaine drums, Greg Lewis trumpet, Peter VIrcks Sax, Pete Enblom, bone, each of whom does a fine job of bringing improvisation and swing to the dance floor.

Sunday, May 22

Celebrate Youth Jazz! @ The Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 4:30pm – 5:30: social hour, 5:30 – 8:30pm program ($45, $50  [$35 is tax deductible]) Kelly Rossum is returning to town to direct a Dakota Combo Alumni Big Band, which includes alumni working in the Twin Cities and elsewhere. There will be silent auction items including a double magnum of wine, a framed poster from the 1986 New Orleans Jazz Festival, a Meet and Greet (and tickets) with Chick Corea and Christian McBride, and more. We’ll also have a raffle with the first prize a “Wall of Wine, (two cases), and a second prize of a 9 CD set of Miles Davis Mono recordings. Tickets are available by calling the Dakota Box Office (612-332-5299) or going to their website  Tickets will also be available at the door. Thanks to the fine folks at the Vieux, your ticket will include a welcome drink from Prairie Distillery. Here is this year’s combo.

Dan Chouinard & Maud Hixson @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) It’s another edition of Chouinard’s Birthday Club, celebrating the music of composers born in May. This time around his partner is the cool yet warm vocalist Maud Hixson.

Monday, May 23

Freddy Cole @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $45) Cole  the younger brother of Nat King Cole is a star in his own right, a masterful pianist and singer, with a vocal that’s slightly darker and rougher than his brother, but nevertheless shares the same tonal quality. He has his own elegant, sophisticated style. The NY Times noted his “impeccable sense of swing,” and called him “the most expressive jazz singer of his generation, if not the best alive.”   Here’s a sampling of his performance.

Graydon Peterson Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Bassist Peterson is one of the first call players for singers around town. He also plays in a variety of other groups besides this one, which performs his original music. After spending time in Cuba last year with the Charanga Tropical, Peterson penned some new songs, for which he’ll add percussionist Andrew Gillespie to the proceedings. Regular members of the quartet include Adrian Suarez, drums; Adam Meckler, trumpet; and Joe Strachan, piano.  Peterson and band-mate Adam Meckler are featured in this video.

Tuesday, May 24

Mary Louise Knutson/Hot Jazz with Connie Evingson @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover), 8pm ($8) It’s another jazz double at the Vieux, with Mary Louise Knutson playing piano during the dinner hour, followed at 8pm by Connie Evingson  who so effortlessly sings acoustic swing, aka Gypsy Jazz. Joining her will be Patrick Harrison, accordion; Dean Harrington, guitar; Mike Cramer, guitar; and Josh Granowski, bass. Here’s Connie working with the Hot Club of Sweden.

Bryan Nichols Album Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) Nichols is a pianist-about-town who leads a number of groups: a trio, a quartet, and a quintet, in addition to playing with any number of other musicians. He’s got a new CD, and will be celebrating its release at the Dakota. Tune in to my show Saturday morning (10:30am – Noon) to hear him talk about it and play a couple of tunes from it. Here he is in a trio setting.

Tuesday, Wednesday, May 24, 25

Bobby Lyle w/Billy Peterson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($25, $50 Dinner), 9pm ($20) The Minneapolis native started playing piano in clubs at the age of 15, and hit the road as a full time musician after two years at Macalester. In the more than three decades since then he’s acquired a well-deserved impressive resume , recording for Capitol, Atlantic, Three Keys, and Heads Up, and serving as musical director for Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, and Bette Midler. His 2005 album Straight and Smooth appeared on both the Smooth Jazz and Traditional Jazz charts for Billboard. He’ll be joined by bassist Billy Peterson, whose own musical career also knows few boundaries, having worked with Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Les Paul, and Steve Miller, among others.

Early Notice!!

Sunday, June 5

Joe Lovano’s Tribute to Gunther Schuller @ Sundlin Hall, 1531 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul. 4pm ($25, $25 Senior [62+], $15 Student ID) Note: One K-12 Student is admitted free with each paid adult. With Anthony Cox, bass; Young-Nan Kim, violin; Timothy Lovelace, piano; and Fred Harris, drums. With guest composer Peter Child.

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, May 18

Chemistry Set on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This three-piece band has been around for a number of years, playing power pop with alt-country leanings. I recall seeing them at the Hat Trick lounge at least six years ago, and they were impressive then. Members are Chris Thompson, guitar and lead vocals; Steve Smith, percussion and backing vocals, and Jackie Crosby, bass.

Corpse Reviver Album Release @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15) This is the second release for Corpse Reviver  though the first Vinyl release. Volume Two: Dry Bones continues the Reviver bent for songs from Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music. The trio of Adam Kiesling, Mikkel Beckmen, and Jillian Rae have been performing together for six years, putting their own spin on the music while maintaining respect for songs that were first compiled and released in 1952 by Smith. They’ll be joined by resident choir MPLS (impulse) during their set, and will have the legendary Spider John Koerner as an opening act. Wouldn’t be surprised if Koerner, who’s a font of knowledge about traditional folks songs, joins the trio for a song or two.

World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Well, Nye’s may be no more, but you can still enjoy the sounds of the World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band at least once a month. The dance floor is a bit larger than Nye’s, so you don’t have an excuse for staying off it.

Thursday, May 19

Big George Jackson @ Hollihans’ Pub, White Bear Lake. 8pm (Tip Jar) The big voice of Big George can rumble so low you’ll expect the floor to move. You’ll find yourself moving, however, even if Hollihan’s is packed.

Orkestar Bez Ime @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. (Tip Jar) Raucous dance music from Eastern Europe. There’s a bit more room in the expanded, if not yet finished new room at the Black Dog. All the better for moving chairs and tables out of the way and joining the fun fray.

Friday, May 20

Charles Walker Band @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) This Milwaukee funk n’ soul quintet with gospel influences and a tight sound. They’ve been nominated for the Wisconsin Music Award (WAMI) as the best soul/r&b act four times, winning in 2013.

Friday, Saturday, May 20, 21

Vinyl Voices play Art-A-Whirl @ the Northrup King Building, Minneapolis. 5:30 – 10pm Friday, Noon – 8pm Saturday (No Cover) There’s lots going on throughout NE Mpls, what with gallery openings and music at bars, brew tap rooms and elsewhere. You can get a complete listing of music here. An artist directory and maps can be found at: https://nemaa.org/art-a-whirl. Anyway, I and other KFAI deejays will be spinning in the Third Floor Art Gallery #332 at the Northrup King Building. I’ll be there from 7:45 – 10pm on Friday.

Saturday, May 21

 

Shannon Mac Band @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) the guys in the Mystic Order of Reverb and Twang (M.O.R.T) were looking to kickstart their sound when the met Shannon McDonough  a singer predisposed to 50s rockabilly, blues, and a bit of doowop. They clicked, and the Shannon Mac Band is the result. High energy music, delivered with verve and panache.

Michael Monroe @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($20) Monroe is a charming singer/songwriter who has been performing for forty years. He’s a self-taught musician who plays guitar, ukelele, and glass bamboo flutes who certainly knows how to connect with an audience.

Sunday, May 22

Alma Afrobeat Ensemble @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15 Advance, $20 Door) This Barcelona, Spain band actually got started in Chicago, but it wasn’t until founder Aaron Feder moved to Spain 10 years ago and met some Nigerian musicians that it began to gel and take off. This is actually their first proper American tour. Afropop Worldwide has called the band’s sound “as dark and intensely danceable as any African musical experience can be.” It has helped that the band has given some of their tracks to DJs to reimagine and take in a new direction. This is a standing show, but I expect there will be much dancing, freestyle and otherwise. Jaedyn James & the Hunger, the opening act, is a 10-piece funk n’ soul band out of South Minneapolis.

Monday, May 23

New Riverside Ramblers @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($8) High energy dance music, usually found around the bayous of South Louisiana. Thanks to the Ramblers and a few other bands around here, fans of the music can dance their hearts out in the dance halls of the Eagles Club. Members of the Ramblers include: Eric Mohring, fiddle; AJ Srubas, fiddle & Steel Guitar; John Terr, accordion; Doug Lohman, bass; Karen Kleinspehn, guitar; Paul Loughridge, drums.

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. .


Jazz, Folk, and Blues: 9.16 – 9.22

September 16, 2015
The Capri Big Band. Photo by Andrea Canter

The Capri Big Band. Photo by Andrea Canter

What a stellar week ahead! We have three old school folkies visiting town, as well as a couple of great jazz vocalists, a Nepalese rock band, and both a jazz and a rockin’ blues festival on Saturday. Music lifts the spirit

Jazz

Wednesday, September 16

Lila Ammons @ Tangiers, Minneapolis. 8pm (No Cover) Vocalist Ms Ammons is getting ready to head off for another tour of Europe during late September through October. Stop by and see her perform jazz and blues standards at this lounge with comfy, large booths and leather sofas.

Asher Kurtz @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested Donation) This young guitarist is only 22 and already making a name for himself. After recently graduating from Berklee College of Music, he toured Europe with Terri Lyne Carrington, and has settled in NYC. Here’s a video of him with a group including Twin Cities trumpeter Jake Baldwin.

Thursday, September 17

Jason Weismann & The ‘Q’ @  Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Weismann is an emerging saxophonist active in a number of groups as well as a vocalist in the crooning tradition with his own band. With The “Q” he performs songs by Sinatra, Chet Baker, Mel Torme, and similar jazz vocalists. Plus, he can get into a funky groove as well.

Patricia Barber @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Cool, erudite, and adventurous, Barber is a pianist, vocalist, and composer who may be one of the most individual jazz artists on the scene today. Her own songs are poetic, filled with unforgettable imagery and imagination. The New York Times says of her, “This is the kind of art we need to be on the lookout for everywhere.”

Lund, Paris, & Scofield @ Jazz Central, MInneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Three vocalists for the price of one. Jennifer Lund has sung mezzo-soprano with the Minnesota Chorale for the last 14 years, and began studying jazz a few years ago. She’s a student of Vicky Mountain. Suzanne Paris made her debut with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Jazz Unlimited Series, and has sung backup to many recording artists. Susan Scofield has been singing since the age of 5, has performed with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Swing Beat Big Band, and is currently a member of Vocal Essence.

Friday, September 18

Evan Benidt Quintet @ Jazz Central, MInneapolis. 8:00pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Saxophonist Benidt and his group: Joe Mayo, sax; Javi Santiago, piano; Greg Byers, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums – will feature jazz blues, and rock, from jazz standards to Joe Satriani.

Bryan Nichols Quartet @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Pianist Nichols spent four years in Chicago honing his craft and playing with such heavyweight musicians as  Nicole Mitchell, Von Freeman, and Hamid Drake. Nichols plays in a number of groups around town in addition to leading his own, but tonight he is bringing up some friends from Chicago: Kurt Schweitz, bass; Jim Gailoreto, sax; and Jon Deltemyer, drums. Her is Nichols with  a quartet of Twin Cities’ musicians

Saturday, September 19

Freedom Jazz Festival @ Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis. Noon – 6pm (Free) Often called “The best little jazz festival in town,” this year’s lineup includes The George Scott Trio: The Tangents; Three Women of Jazz: Debbie Duncan, Yolande Bruce, & Linda Sloan; The Minneapolis Jazz Workshop; jam sessions; the Capri Big Band; and more, as well as art and family activities.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) . The Zeb Cruikshank Band opens: Cruikshank  guitar; Dan Musselman, piano; Brent Wallace, bass; and Byron Johnson-Blanchard, drums. They’re followed at 8:30 by Paul Harper’s Show and Tell, featuring saxophonist Harper  a member of the Illicit Sextet, among other bands; Charlie Riddle, bass; Mike Cramer, guitar; and Pete Hennig, drums.

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Ms Lynch is an excellent bassist and engaging vocalist, and her Excellent Fellows provide the support she needs as they play songs from the 30s to the 60s. Many of her songs are fox-trots, the kind of music to which almost anyone can dance, or medium tempo swing numbers. Here she is doing a number by the Ink Spots.

Monday, September 21

The Potash Twins @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Trumpeter Adeev and Trombonist Ezra have settled into the Twin Cities for a while after recording their eponymously titled album here produced by Steven Greenberg of Funkytown fame. Though both are only 21, they’ve managed to play and study with an extraordinary coterie of musicians, including Wynton Marsalis and Jon Baptiste, the music director for Steven Colbert’s new show. they’ve also performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center, South by Southwest, Birdland, and Warren Buffet’s Annual Shareholder’s meeting. Their music is jazz wrapped up in pop sensibilities, or as guitar ace Cory Wong puts it, their music falls “someplace between Katy Perry and Miles Davis.” A CD release party earlier this summer was sold out at the Icehouse. Here they are talking about their music.

Tuesday, September 22

Chris Lomheim Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Sometimes subtle, often inspired, and always ear-pleasing, pianist Lomheim leads a trio through some cool tunes.

Connie Evingson & The Parisota Hot Club @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Robb Henry, Matt Senjum, and Jay Epstein, aka The Parisota Hot Club  along with special guest Dave Karr on sax, provide the support as Ms Evingson explores Django Rheinhardt-inspired tunes.

Tuesday, Wednesday, September 22, 23

Lizz Wright @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50) Wright was a preacher’s kid, and sang in church during most services. That start certainly informs her music, but she is also able to integrate blues, soul, pop, and jazz into her performances. Freedom & Surrender  Is her fifth album since her debut in 2003. It features a number of songs she co-wrote with folks like Jesse Harris (Norah Jones), and JD Souther (Linda Ronstadt & lots more), and just received a four-star review in Downbeat, which said, “Well played and expertly sung, Freedom & Surrender shows Wright continuing to mature and developing her distinctive voice.” Here’s a recent video

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, September 16

BB King Birthday Bash with Ray Covington @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10 pm (No Cover) BB King was, perhaps, the most jazz-oriented of all blues musicians, so having Covington, who can easily traverse jazz, blues, and old school R&B, perform some of King’s music is practically a no-brainer. Here he is doing a slow jam.

Heritage Blues Orchestra @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45), 9pm ($35) This aggregation is dedicating to showcasing the power and possibilities of African American music. They combine the energy of gospel, the emotion of the blues, and the power of field hollers, and gospel music to create something new, getting rave reviews from the Wall Street Journal, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and Downbeat in the process.

Thursday, September 17

Paul Cebar’s Tomorrow Sound @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10?) Cebar’s eclectic taste in music can be heard on his Wednesday morning radio show on WMSE in Milwaukee (www.wmse.org), where he plays a mix of deep soul and R&B, as well as Brazilian, Cuban, African, classic ska & reggae, and other pan-tropical songs. He takes these influences and creates infectious, highly rhythmic tunes that will have you getting your dancing shoes out of the closet to spin, twirl, and bop on the commodious dance floor at the MMC. Here’s a fun video that features the band playing as well Paul talking about music.

Friday, September 18

Archie Fisher @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($25, $20 advance) When Fresh Air Radio first started back in the late 70s and early 80s, Fisher was a favorite of the station’s folk programs, and still is on their playlists. The Scottish troubadour will be celebrating the release of his first album in seven years, A Silent Song, on Red House Records, which has also had a long association with Fresh Air.

Al Stewart @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($35) Not only do we have Scottish Troubadour Archie Fisher in town tonight, but we have Scottish folk rocker, Al Stewart, who came to prominence in the late 70s with the top ten The Year of the Cat and its platinum follow up, Time Passages. He makes use use of historical references and literary sources in his songwriting, with The Lord of the Rings providing inspiration for his very first single in 1966, and has never stopped recording or touring. His latest album, Uncorked, has received very postive reviews. It is a live venture that showcases the breadth of Stewart’s writing yet stays away from the obvious hits of his career. Here’s what you can expect.

Saturday, September 19

Annual Rockin’ Music Fest @ Shaw’s Bar & Grill, NE Minneapolis. 4pm – close. (No Cover) The Brian Naughton Band will be starting the festivities at 4pm. Naughton will be especially rockin’ since he’s celebrating a birthday. At 8:00, Shannon Curfman will take the stage. The exciting guitarist has sold a quarter million albums and has been Kid Rock’s duet partner, background singer, and guitarist since 2010. At 10pm things move inside when Paul Mayasich and the RAMM Band take to the stage. Here’s Curfman doing a classic from the 70s.

Dee Miller Band @ Holihan’s Pub, White Bear Lake. 8pm (Tip Jar) Get yourself some earth-shakin’ blues with Ms Miller and her cohorts, who will pack the tiny club and deliver your blues jones with gusto.

Sunday, September 20

7.8 Rock the Rubble featuring Albatross @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 1pm – 5pm ($20-$35 Advance, $40 Door) Nepal suffered through twin devastating earthquakes this past Spring – one at 7.8 and the other at 7.3, with over 400 aftershocks. Nine thousand died, and over 22,000 were injured. This show featuring Albatross, a Nepalese rock band, is a fundraiser for Earthquake relief in Nepal. Albatross is a four piece with crunchy guitars, and though their lyrics are Nepalese, their sound, whether on rockers or ballads, will be familiar to anyone with a passing interest in metal and hard rock. Hot Date, folk duo specializing in love songs, and This Mad Future, a quintet from Saint Cloud, open. Here’s Albatross.

Matuto and Daddy Squeeze @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) Matuto is a New York group that uses a plethora of Brazilian instruments to play Appalachian and traditional blues combined with the rhythms of Northern Brazil. Daddy Squeeze, which opens, is another of accordionist Dan Newton’s groups that plays a swinging mix of blues, Cajun, Tex-Mex, and French rhythms. Here’s Matuto with a unique cover of Beyonce.

Sunday, Monday, September 20, 21

Mambo’s Combo @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) Be prepared to dance as Mambo’s Combo brings the groove to the North Loop. They’ve been playing this weekly gig since 1987, covering rhythmic rock and R&B tunes with panache and grit. Visiting and resident musicians will often sit in for a tune or two.

Monday, September 21

Tom Paxton w/Joe Vezner & Don Henry @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) What with Archie Fischer and Al Stewart in town this week, Tom Paxton makes it a trifecta of folk music. In 2009, he received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for his work, which spans more than 50 years. Paxton has written songs with enduring appeal, like The Last Thing On My Mind, Bottle of Wine (a hit for the Fireballs in the 60s), and Ramblin Boy, as well as topical protests songs about current events, like Talking Watergate, Without DeLay, about the former congressman, and Train for Auschwitz, about the holocaust. While Crooners might not be a typical venue for Paxton, it is a good listening room for the intimacy of Paxton’s performance. Check out this topical number about banks.

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.


Summer Music Isn’t Over Yet: 8.26 – 9.2

August 26, 2015
Though dusk is coming earlier these days, music is always available

Though dusk is coming earlier these days, music is always available

Well, the State Fair begins tomorrow, which means that Labor Day, the unofficial end of Summer, isn’t far behind. There is much music at the Fair, and I’ll post a separate, simple listing tomorrow, but there is also plenty of great music to enjoy outside of the fair. Here are a few examples. Have a great week. Music lifts your spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 26

Joe Strachan @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pianist Strachan graduated from the U o MN a couple of years ago and has become a pianist-about-town, playing with The Adam Meckler Orchestra, Pete Whitman’s X-Tet, Jake Baldwin’s Quintet, Charanga Tropical, and in other groups. Always inventive. Though the film quality on this video isn’t great, the sound comes through quite nicely.

Wednesday, Thursday, August 26, 27

Ben Sidran @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Sidran manages to live in Madison and keep up an international touring schedule and regular release of CDs. Tonight and Thursday he’s celebrating the release of Blue Camus. It’s a two family celebration with Ben on keys and vocals, son Leo on drums, Ricky Peterson on organ, and Billy Peterson on bass. The show is titled Jazz + Philosophy, which isn’t unusual for Sidran, who often interjects hipster rapping into his show, whether it’s about Dylan, the first caveman discovering a beat,  or how commercial radio uses music to deliver potential customers to advertisers. Here’s something from the new album.

Thursday, August 27

Melody Mendis @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The Detroit native has been singing jazz, R&B, pop, and more around town in a variety of cover bands like High and Mighty, and Boogie Wonderland. She recently released her second album, Love & Madness, full of twisted arrangements and dramatic, dark covers.

Bryan Nichols Quintet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7 :30 – 9:30pm ($10) Given that saxophonist Michael Lewis is now living on the west coast, tonight’s performance is a rare opportunity to see this particular combination of players addressing the original music of pianist Nichols. With Brandon Wozniak, sax; James Buckley, bass; and JT Bates on drums.

Javi Santiago & Lucia Sarmiento @ Bedlam Theater, Saint Paul. 10pm ($5) Here’s a double bill of young talent. The Javi Santiago Trio includes Santiago, piano; Ted Olsen, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. Lucia Sarmieto Quintet includes Sarmiento, still a student at McNally Smith on sax; Trevor Wiest, guitar; Will Kjeer, about to set off for CalArts on piano; Ry Dill, bass; and Blake Huebel, drums. Here’s an example of Lucia’s playing.

Friday, August 28

Javi Santiago & Proper-T Present: Murkury @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pianist Javi Santiago and his long time running mate, drummer Miguel Hurtado, team up with vocalist/pianist Taylor Johnson, aka Proper T to create Murkury  a group that performs improvisational music mining jazz and blues, while bringing pop and electronic innovations to the fore as well.

Charmin Michelle & Sam Miltich @ Third Place Gallery, 3730 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($15 Suggested Donation) Songstress Michelle and guitarist Miltich address the Ella Fitzgerald/Joe Pass connection in this tribute to both of them.

Patty & The Buttons @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8:30pm – 11:30pm ($10) Some button accordion-driven swing from a group most often found at the Aster on Sunday mornings. The way the Vieux is set up, you’ll only have to shuffle a couple of tables aside to create a bit of a dance floor.

No Room for Squares @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm – 11pm (Tip Jar) A group of veteran players get together to enjoy themselves playing originals and jazz standards. Jon Pemberton, trumpet; Jimmie Wallace, sax; Mikkel Romstad, keys; Adam Tucker, bass; and Bill Steiger, drums.

Saturday, August 29

Saturday Night Jazz @ the Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. At 7pm, the U of M Combo opens, featuring current and former students: Ryan Christianson, Joe Strachan, Matt McIntyre, and Andres Crovetti, followed at 8:30pm by The Dean Sorenson Sextet CD Release party: Dean on trombone; Steve Kennym, flumpet; Dave Milne, sax; Chris Lomheim, piano; Tom Lewis, bass; Phil Hey, drums.

Maurice Jacox Trio @ Crooner’s Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) I would normally list Jacox under Blues and Roots, but the versatile singer’s appearance tonight at Crooners is more likely to be filled with Nat Cole and jazz-inspired acoustic Motown than full-blown R&B. Even in a trio format, Jacox’s balladry is likely to coax a few couples onto the dance floor.

Sunday, August 30

Tootie Heath Trio, w/Ethan Iverson & Ben Street @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($22) Talk about an entertainment deal. The 79 year old Heath has been an active participant in the nation’s jazz scene since the 50s. The younger brother of Jimmy on sax and Percy on bass, Heath continues to be a force in jazz. His first recording was with John Coltrane in 1957, and his subsequent work encompassed most all of jazz royalty, such as The Modern Jazz Quartet, JJ Johnson, The Jazztet, Bobby Timmons,  Thelonious Monk, and dozens of other artists. Now he’s teamed up with pianist Ethan Iverson, of the Bad Plus, and bassist Ben Street, who spent the 90s exploring free jazz, for three albums, the latest of which is Philadelphia, named for Heath’s home town. Here is the trio at theChicago Jazz Festival.

Monday, August 31

Terrence Blanchard E Collective @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($25) Trumpeter Blanchard has appeared a leader or co-leader on over 30 albums, including soundtracks for Spike Lee and his moving, post-Katrina masterpiece A Tale of God’s Will. He and his band are now receiving much praise from the likes of both Downbeat and Jazz Times for Breathless, his latest album. It’s an electrified fusion of R&B and fusion-influenced jazz. It’s has slow jams, deep grooves, a hip-hop/jazz fusion of Les McCann’s “Compared to What,” and a reworking of Hank Williams’ “I Aint Got Nothing But Time.”

James Buckley Trio + One @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Bassist James Buckley and his long-standing trio including Bryan Nichols, keys; and JT Bates, drums, are given the chance to provide new takes on their repertoire with the addition of Jacob Hanson on guitar. Hanson has long been a fixture in many bands around town, providing licks that are twangy, reverb-laden, and imaginative.

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, August 26

John Till on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 club – Tip Jar) Whether he’s playing bottleneck slide, banjo, or acoustic guitar, Till  elivers country blues from the Great Plains to the Delta, with side trips to Appalachia and Chicago. Listen in and head to the 331 afterwards.

Gabby Z @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Gabby Z is a sixteen year old singer/songwriter who is about to release her debut album. Her soulful singing reveals influences of Joss Stone, Sara Bareilles, and Amos Lee.

Mother Banjo @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul 8pm ($5) Get yourself some bluegrassy gospel and poetic lyrics as Ellen Stanley, aka Mother Banjo  brings her full band to the underground confines of the Vieux Carre.

Thursday, August 27

Flamin’ Ohs & The War Poets @ Music in Mears, Saint Paul. 6pm (Free) The Ohs had a strong following back in the day, and can still deliver their smart pop/punk/new wave sounds with vengeance. Openers The War Poets are a protest band for this generation, writing about homelessness, poverty, and other social issues of the day. Music will be followed by a screening of Dispatched, a comedy action thriller presented by the Twin Cities Film Festival. Here are the Ohs doing a cover of the Rolling Stones.

Joe Ely and Alejandro Escovedo @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) Here’s a double bill of Texas singer/songwriters with a punch to their music. Alejandro Escovedo left Texas for California in the 70s and played guitar with the Nuns and the punk-meets-country Rank & File. After returning to Texas, Escovedo began a steady but slow rise to prominence, working with producers like Chris Stamey and John Cale, and collaborating with Chuck Prophet. Nowadays, Escovedo says he just wants to write “cool pop rock songs.” Ely is a rockin’ troubadour, who has traveled the country singing  about his travels in honky tonks, hook joints, and concert halls. Bruce Springsteen, Raul Malo, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore (with whom he worked in the Flatlanders) have all contributed vocals to his albums.  Here’ Ely at work.

Friday, August 28

Willie Walker and the We R Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Willie’s latest CD, If Nothing Ever Changes, was produced by bluesman/slyman Rick Estrin, of the Night Cats, and it’s terrific. Walker is still a soul master, able to evoke emotion with the slightest change in his gravely voice. He’s brought a good crowd to the Fridley lounge in the past and tonight should be no different. Here he is on a recent tour of South America.

Hipshaker 13th Anniversary @ The Kitty Cat Klub, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Get out the talcum powder and your best dancing shoes. And get there early to claim a spot to rest and have a drink every once in a while. Brian, Greg, and George will be pulling out the best of their rare 45s tonight.

Saturday, August 29

Jimmi & the Band of Souls @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($8) Jimmi & the Band of Souls use mandolins and banjos, as well as the usual guitars, slide guitars, and rhythm section found in a blues band. As a result, they have a unique sound which is strengthened by their winning blend of blues, R&B, and roots music.  Here they are with a classic Memphis Minnie tune.

Sunday, August 30

RAMM Band @ Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter, Stillwater. 3 – 6pm (No Cover) Guitarist Paul Mayasich  together with ace time-keepers John Iden, bass; and Hye Pockets, drums, deliver such blues-based favorites, including Motown, funk, R&B, and even some Rock n’ Roll and Americana. You get to hang out and avail yourself of the Hunter’s favorites, like goulash, all manner of sausages, spatzle, burgers, and more. Since this is an outdoor gig, all bets are off if the weather doesn’t permit.

Charlie Parr & Dave Moore @ Patrick’s Cabaret, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) This great two-fer is part of the Eclectic Electric series, and features two of Red House Records’ premiere artists in an intimate setting. Parr  of course, is the Duluth bluesman who has captured the imagination of both young and old with his Duluth-meets-the Delta acoustic blues. Moore is the somewhat reclusive singer/songwriter from Iowa City who used to play with Greg Brown and has become a stellar writer and performer in his own right. You might want to get advance tickets for this one, since the Cabaret is a bit small. Here’s Moore at work.

Tuesday, September 1

Doug Otto & the Getaways @ Father Hennepin Bluff Park, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) The sad sounds of Doug Otto’s expressive voice backed by the rootsy/acoustic sounds of the Getaways will undoubtedly feel just right in an outdoor setting.

Halley DeVestern Band @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:00pm (No Cover) This five-piece from New York City delivers some rock/funk/blues with verve. Leader/vocalst DeVestern has a big voice, well supported by band members who’ve been members of Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Zen Tricksters, and the bands of Roger Waters and Shawn Mullins. Refriogerager opens at 9pmn, followed by DeVestern and company at 10:30pm.

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.


Music, Music, Music: 6.10 – 6.16

June 10, 2015

imagesMusic, Music, Music. It’s a #1 song from 1949, sung by Teresa Brewer,  with the line, “All I want is loving you and music, music, music.” We are lucky enough to have plenty of music here in the Twin Cities. Here’s a sample of what’s in store for the coming week.

Jazz
Wednesday, June 10
Charmin & Shapira and Friends @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Vocalist Charmin Michelle and guitarist Joel Shapira have an ability to create intimate moments, thanks to Michelle’s supple and inviting voice, and Shapira’s liquid guitar lines. They also swing with élan. Their friends tonight include Paul Harper, sax; Tom Lewis, bass; and Nathan Norman on drums.


Thursday, June 11
Dorothy Doring & Donald Washington @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) VocalistDoring is adept at both blues and jazz, bringing verve to both. Drummer/vocalist Washington has a deep smooth tone to his voice, which is equally adept at blues and jazz.

Le Percheron + Levi Schwartzberg Quintet @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) The headliner for this intimate gig is Le Percheron: Bassist Adam Linz; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, trumpet. Levi Scwartzbergs’ own quintet of fine young musicians will be opening: Peter Goggin, alto sax; Charlie Lincoln, bass; Benjamin Beyene, drums and Aidan Sponheim, keys.

Foreign Motion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) A relatively young quartet creating 21st Century jazz. Leader/guitarist Cory Wong has been playing with Patty Peterson, Mambo’s Combo, Robert Robinson, and other bands around town, recently played the Dakota with Rolling Stones sidemen Tim Ries and Bernard Fowler. When RS Drummer Charlie Watts joined them, Wong’s solo on “Paint It Black” got a standing ovation. Joining Wong are long time bandmates Yohannes Tona, bass; Kevin Gastonguey, keys; and Peter Janjic, drums, each of whom has their own sterling credits.


Friday, June 12
Tommy Bruce Trio @ Parma 8200,Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Bruce is one of the unheralded vocalists in town. His smooth baritone, so good for this venue, deserves wider recognition.

Tommy Bentz Quartet @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Bentz has studied violin, sax, oboe, and bass which allows him to integrate many musical ideas into his playing. He’ll be joined by Steve Kenny, trumpet; Alex Burgess, drums; and Jason McLean, bass.

Saturday, June 13
Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm – 10:30pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) The Will Schmid Group plays at 7 pm. Guitarist Will Schmid will be a HS senior in the coming year. His group includes Gerhardt Robinson, sax; Jesse Horson, drums; Tyler Wagner, bass. The Graydon Peterson Quartet comes on stage at 8:30 with Peterson bass; Adam Meckler, trumpet; Vinnie Rose, guitar; Adrian Suarez, drums.


Benny Weinbeck Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) High quality piano jazz, with Weinbeck on the keys, Gordy Johnson on bass; and Phil Hey on drums. Perfect for the small lounge at this Italian restaurant.

Hannibal Lokumbe @ Penumbra Theater, Saint Paul. 10pm ($35) With Kevin Washington, drums; Jeff Bailey, bass; Jason Butler, piano. Original works, including “And Their Voices Cry Freedom,” written to honor people who devoted lives to the liberation of humanity (Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela, others).

Monday, June 15
Twin Cities Jazz Cats @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) With four vocalists and an 8 piece band, these cats will likely have some of the diners at Crooners leaving their desserts to take a spin on the dance floor.

Bryan Nichols’ We Are Many! and Jonah Parzen-Johnson @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10)We Are Many! is a large ensemble. Some of the players include: Jeremy Ylvisaker, Brandon Wozniak, Nelson Devereaux, Dave Graf, Adam Linz, James Buckley, JT Bates…  Parzen-Johnson is a NYC based performer on baritone sax and synthesizer. As JT Bates describes him, “Jonah plays lofi experimental folk music for solo baritone saxophone and analog synthesizer. Imagine the raw energy of an Appalachian choir, balanced by a fearlessly exposed saxophone voice, resting on a strikingly unique combination of analog synthesizer components sitting on the floor in front of him.”   Here’s a video of Jonah Parzen-Johnson.


Tuesday, June 16
Freddy Cole @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $35) Though he is the younger brother of Nat King Cole (and the uncle of Natalie), Cole’svoice is darker, and a bit more raspy. Then too, Cole’s own abilities have caused comparisons to Nat to fade over the years. His comforting voice is mature, expressive, and supple, characteristics that make him an outstanding jazz vocalist.


Pete Whitman’s X-Tet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) I believe this is the original X-Tet, which hasn’t played much since the Artists’ Quarter closed down. Its members include Whitman, Clay Pufahl, and Dave Karr, saxes; Adam Meckler and Adam Rossmiller, trumpets and flugelhorns; Jeff Rinnear, trombone; Dave Hagedorn, Vibes; unknown bass;  and Phil Hey, drums. It’s a swinging aggregation.

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, June 10
Javier & the Innocent Sons on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), and 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Between Javier’sbottleneck slide, and Dan Scwalbe’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. Tune in and head to the 331 Club afterwards for more.

Thursday, June 11
Janiva Magness @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Blues singerMagness has won the BB King Entertainer of the Year award as well as 22 other awards for her tough, soulful singing, which she earned from a chaotic early life. She sneaked into a Minneapolis club and heard Otis Rush and found her calling. Magness formed her first band in Phoenix in 1985, and has released ten albums since then, gaining fans around the world, including Bettye LaVette, who calls her the “real deal.”


Friday, June 12
John Nemeth @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7)  Nemeth is an up and coming bluesman from the Memphis area. He was up for six awards at this year’s Blues Awards, and walked away with the Best Soul Blues Album for Memphis Grease, his 2015 release. The singer/harmonica player takes well to soul blues, but he can also lay down the licks for straight blues with no problem. Here’s your chance to say, sometime in the future,  “I saw him when…”


Chess Records Tribute @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) This year marks the Centennial Anniversary of the birth of Muddy Waters and Willie Dixon. A bunch of resident blues artists are celebrating tonight, including The Fattenin’ Frogs, Javier & the Innocent Sons, Big George Jackson, Mari Harris & Robert Hillstrom, Loons in the Attic, and Tone House.

The Good, the Bad, and the Funky @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) This eleven-piece funky horn band will have dancers filling the floor at MMC.

Saturday, June 13
Mad Ripple Hootenany @ Moe’s, 2400 HIhgway 10, Mounds View. 12 Noon until ($?) This gathering of singers and players will  feature Dan Israel, Geno La Fond & Amy Grillo, Mary Cutrufello, Big George Jackson & Jeremy Johnosn, Dave Babb & Tony Paul, the Paul Metsa Trio, Papa John Kolstad & Friends and Charlie Parr.

Willie Walker and the We R Band @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No cover) Here’s a chance to hear the oh-so-soulful Mr Walker in a supper club. His latest CD, If Nothing Ever Changes, was produced by Rick Estrin, of the Nightcats, and it is very, very good.

Dos Santos Anti-Beat Orquesta @ Bedlam Theater, Saint Paul. 10pm ($12) Bands continue to mine past styles of dance music, updating them with modern instruments and production. Case in point: Chicago’s Pan-Latin Cumbia band, Dos Santos Anti-Beat Orquesta, a quintet whose members have had careers in a wide range of styles, from Cuban son to salsa, blues, and jazz. They’ll be joined by the Twin Cities own Alma Andina and their unique take on Andean electro-Cumbia, as well as the Chicago DJ Collective Sonorama.


Sunday, June 14

Beebe-Q @ Barely Brothers Records,Saint Paul. 2pm (Free) The vinyl record store has taken to having live bands on occasional basis. Today it’s Beebe Gallini, an all-female garage band named for a pink-clad character that appeared in one episode of The Brady Bunch. The band is Miss Georgia Peach, guitar & vocals; Sally Sweet, organ, Lynn Zecca, bass; and Emily Ruiz, drums.

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Groove Merchants at the Roseville Blues Fest @ Roseville Central Park, 2540 No. Lexington Av, Roseville. 4:30 – 8pm (Free) the afternoon starts with Rick Rhythm Williams doing some spoken word and song. The Groove Merchants will headline, with Jimi Prime Time Smith and his guitar leading the party. Extra Special Guest Ms Dee Miller, recently won a multi-week Battle of the Blues Bands for the right to be at the Lowertown Blues Festival, will be on hand to raise the temperatures a bit.

Tuesday, June 16
Paul Mayasich and Big George Jackson @ The Station, White Bear Lake. 8pm (free) Though the name of the place has changed from Manitou Station to simply the Station, Tuesday nights remain the same with guitar slinger Paul Mayasich bringing in friends to play. Tonight’s guest is singer/harpist Big George Jackson, whose deep voice can shake your insides.

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


It’s a White Christmas Somewhere. Music: 12.24 – 12.31

December 24, 2014
A visitor to the town of Muddy Waters. Photo by Kelle Green

A visitor to the town of Muddy Waters. Photo by Kelle Green

Well, the big day is upon us. Hopefully, you’ve survived shopping, cooking, office parties, and the like to remember this as the only time of year when we unabashedly wish people well. There are, as may be expected few choices for music on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. If you don’t celebrate the day, you’ll likely end up at a movie and eating Asian food. However, the rest of the week holds plenty of promise, not to forget New Year’s Eve. I’ve included a few options for next Wednesday, just to give everyone a chance to plan.

So, though it’s likely to be a brown Christmas here in the Twin Cities, it’s a White Christmas somewhere, even if it’s a holiday train display, as shown. So, to wish you a Happy Holiday, here’s a song written 1940 by a Russian Jewish composer living in Los Angeles, performed in 1954 by a group of African Americans, and animated in 2007 by someone who loved this version of White Christmas.

Have a great day. Remember Music can lift the Spirit

Jazz

Wednesday, December 24

Bob Bowman Christmas Spectacular @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bowman is a Kansas City bassist who is perhaps best known in these parts for his recording and touring work with Karrin Allyson. In the 70s he was a member of the Thad Jones/Mel Leis Orchestra and the Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band. He’s toured with Carmen McCrae and performed with Freddie Hubbard, Bud Shank, and others. After playing at the Dakota with Allyson on Sunday and Monday, Bowman will be joined tonight by Brian Roessler, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Peter Hennig, drums; to play originals and some promised surprises. Here he is with a trio.

Thursday – Sunday, December 25 – 28

The Bad Plus @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($40) The Bad Plus are Dave King, drums; Ethan Iverson, piano; and Reid Anderson, bass. They have been playing the Dakota at Christmastime for about 15 years now. They were unknowns when they started this tradition and now command headline status at festivals and clubs around the world. Their music is hard to describe to casual music listeners: It’s jazz, but more than that. They turn pop songs upside down and inside out; they tackle classic compositions with an indie-rock attitude; and they create often humorous, intelligent originals.

Friday, December 26

Good Vibes Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Chris Bates, bass; Dave Hagedorn, vibes, and Phil Hey, drums released a wonderful CD early this year, featuring originals as well as tunes from Mingus, Coltrane, David Berkman, and Freddie Hubbard. Here’s a chance to hear them in the intimate confines of Jazz Central, where the shimmering sounds of Hagedorn’s vibes, the snap of Hey’s cymbals, and the warmth of Bates’ bass can be readily enjoyed.

Saturday, December 27

Aaron Hedenstrom CD Release @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 5:30pm workshop, 7pm concert ($10) Saxophonist and composer Aaron Hedenstrom has been composing, arranging, and performing music professionally for over a decade. He has recently recorded his first album as a saxophonist, “A Moment of Clarity,” on Shifting Paradigm Records, the new Twin Cities label. The album features Aaron’s elaborate but heartfelt compositions and includes some of the most talented young musicians in the country. Come early for a free master class with Aaron Hedenstrom, and stay for the concert with Zacc Harris, guitar; Bryan Nichols, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Brian Claxton, drums. I will have Aaron on my show Saturday morning (90.3 & 106.7FM – 10:30am – Noon)

Fat Kid Wednesdays @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Saturday Jazz at the Black Dog continues with this post-Christmas gig by FKW, whose members are so busy with other projects that they no longer play regularly. Enjoy their inside/outside approach to familiar and original tunes. Mike Lewis, sax; Adam Linz, bass; JT Bates, drums. The evenings bonus: an opening set by the Steve Kenny Trio.

James Wallace @ Ngon Vietnames Bistro, University & Avon, Saint Paul. 7pm – 11pm. (No Cover) Saxophonist James “Jimmyapolis” Wallace has been playing around the Twin Cites for decades. Lately he’s been showing up at the Ngon and other unlikely venues to play standards and more with a small group of mostly veteran players.

Laura Caviani & Bob Bowman @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Caviani is a delightfully inventive pianist who has often played and occasionally toured with Karrin Allyson, where she met bassist Bob Bowman. This promises to be a very different, if equally enjoyable show, the Bowman’s show at Jazz Central on Christmas Eve.

Sunday, December 28

Connie Evingson @ The Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm, 7:30pm ($25) Some more holiday music for you. This time it’s a Holiday on Golden Pond, as Ms Evingson performs a jazz concert of holiday songs with the cabin set of On Golden Pond as a backdrop.  Selections will include some lesser known holiday gems like the “Best Things Happen When You’re Dancing,” from the film White Christmas, as well as one of my favorites, her own “Nutcracker Petite Suite.” She’ll be accompanied by Tanner Taylor, piano (visiting from Iowa); Dave Karr, sax; and Gordon Johnson, bass.

Monday, December 29

Wozniak, Nichols, & Bates @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) That’s Brandon Wozniak, sax; Bryan Nichols, piano, and JT Bates, drums. They’ve worked together in many different configurations, so tonight should feature some pretty seamless, and outstanding, music.

Rhonda Laurie & Robert Bell @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Laurie’s sophisticated vocals go well with Bell’s understated guitar work. When you add in an outstanding happy hour, you end up with a relaxed, enjoyable evening.

Tuesday, December 30

KC Gospel Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The KC Gospel Orchestra (KCGO) has been swinging in the Twin Cities since the summer of 1995, under the direction of leader/writer/arranger Kevin Mills. Expect some  Christmas Big Band arrangements by Kevin Mills and KCGO bassist Pete Karstad, plus selections from the great Los Angeles arranger Tom Kubis of LA.

Wednesday, December 31

Early New Year’s @ the Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 5pm – 8pm  (Tip Jar) This is a family-friendly event designed to let you celebrate the arrival a New Year and still get home in time to put the kids to bed and avoid tipsy revelers on the road. w/Todd Harper, piano; Nathan Hanson, sax; Brian Roessler, bass; & Davu Seru; drums.

Tribute to Sinatra @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm – Midnight (No Cover) JoAnn Funk and her husband, singer Steve Marking present a tribute to Ol’ Blue Eyes, himself, with bassist Jeff Brueske and drummer Nathan Norman joining in the fun.

Davina & the Vagabonds @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($102), 10:30pm ($82) Yes, it is spendy, but Davina and her band put on a rousing show, to say the least, and at the 6pm show you get a five-course dinner (vegetarian option available), and at the 10:30 show you get a complimentary champagne toast and $20 voucher good for food or drinks.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Thursday, December 25

The Butanes @ Shaws, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar). Okay, so I found out about this late, so you do have a place to escape if you’re looking for something other than a movie. Heck, this weekly gig is fun no matter what the time of year. So go hear some blues, dance a bit, and meet old and new friends.

Friday, December 26

Rena Haus Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 10am – 1pm (No Cover) Let someone else serve you brunch today, while you listen to Ms Haus, her brother Bob, and guitarist Ed Petsche, as she sings blues from the heart as all as the head. Here she is doing an atypical tune for her.

Boogie Wonderland @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Get your 70s disco on, with this six piece band that channels Earth, Wind, and Fire, Donna Summer, KC and the Sunshine Band, et al. A good way to dance off the calories from your holiday meals.

Friday, Saturday, December 26, 27

Paul Metsa’s Blue Guitar Highway – The Musical @ The Phoenix Theater, 2605 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15 – $25, $10 Students) Since publishing Blue Guitar Highway in 2011, Paul has worked with  Jim Stowell to turn some of the stories in the book into musical theater. He’ll be joined by musicians Willie Walker, Sonny Earl, Mari Harris, Randi Starr Hudson, and Dave Maslow at the old Brave New Workshop on Hennepin.

Saturday, December 27

Papa John Kolstad & Clint Hoover @ The Gingko Coffee House, Saint Paul. 8pm ($14) Harpmaster Clint Hoover  is fluent in a number of styles using both the Diatonic (Blues Harp) and the Chromatic Harmonica. He’s back in town for the holidays and his hooking up with his long-time playing partner, Papa John  The two recorded “Alive and Well at the Gingko” here, showcasing their musicality in jazz, blues, and folk music. Then too, you have Papa John’s way with a story to entertain you as well. Seating is limited, so you may want to consider buying tickets in advance. Here’s Papa John by himself.

Armadillo Jump @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) So how much have you overeaten during the last few weeks? You can burn off lots of calories with the rockin’ sax and guitar driven blues of Armadillo Jump  even if the dance floor at Shaw’s is tiny. Just move a few of the tables.

Sunday, December 28

Who Nu @ Jimmy’s Food & Drink, 1132 County Rd E, East, Vadnais Heights. 2:30pm. Some highly danceable R&B for a Sunday afternoon.

Gang of Mischief @ Neumann’s Bar & Grill, North Saint Paul. 4pm (Tip Jar) Papa John Kolstad leads this motley crew of excellent players. The number and the members may change from time to time, but Hurricane Harold and Doug Otto are two of the regulars that Papa John calls on to perform various and sundry mostly acoustic blues.

Monday, December 29

Willie Murphy Blues Jam @ The Richfield American Legion, Richfield. 7pm  (Tip Jar) You never know just who will show up to jam with Willie  It might be someone with a washtub bass, or a trumpet, or guitar. Doesn’t matter. Willie certainly knows how to make the best of an ever changing situation, and his listeners benefit. Check out this video from one of his jam sessions.

Jumbo Ya Ya @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5?) There’s nothing quite like Cajun and Zydeco dancing to get the heart racing, what with their twirls, spins, and dips, and Jumbo Ya Ya is just the group to provide the music.

Wednesday, December 31

The Eddies on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) It’s become a tradition, as Saint Paul’s Eddies cross the river to bring sea chanties, work songs, and death ballads to the young and the restless (as well as the old & sedentary) that often inhabit the 331 on early Wednesday evenings. Start your NYE partying by tuning in the the House Party on KFAI and then heading over to the 331.

Nikki & the Ruemates @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Another way to start off your New Year’s celebration is with Nikki & the Ruemates, bringing Nikki’s wonderful vocals, and Rich Rue’s imaginative guitar to the unique downtown restaurant. As I often warn, try to get a table near the stage, since the boisterous activity throughout the restaurant can make listening a bit difficult.

Tim Sparks, Phil Heywood, & Tim O’Keefe Dinner Set @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 6:30pm – 8:30pm  (No Cover) Another dining while listening option is the Icehouse, where guitar wizards Tim Sparks and Phil Heywood will hold forth. They’ve been playing together quite a bit lately, but tonight they’re joined by multi-instrumentalist Tim O’Keefe, whose presence will undoubtedly create some aural surprises.

Hipshaker Dance Party @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) So you’re looking for a celebration that’s festive yet inexpensive. Look no further, as the Hipshaker Deejays bring rare funk n’ soul into your life from those little 7 inch records. It’s a relatively young crowd, but dancers of a certain age will certainly find plenty of musical reasons to have fun.

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 U Wanna Dance Calendar.


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