Seasonal Music and More… 12.13 – 12.19

December 13, 2017

Greetings of the Season;

Lifting spirits through music and dance

Well, we have more holiday shows to get you into the spirit, including a couple that give a bit of a twist to the usual holiday song suspects. We also have some impressive visiting artists, and fun shows from resident artists. We’ve had a chance to get used to cold weather, and it’s going to stay relatively comfortable for the next week, so you’ll be able to get out and about to see my ideas for music, or your own. Either way, music lifts the spirit, and though many of us will be celebrating Hannukah, Christmas or Kwanza, some of us will be missing loved ones or have other reasons to need some uplifting this season

Larry

Jazz

Wednesday, Dec 13

Gregory Generet @ Crooners’ Dunmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) After winning three Emmys as a post-production editor in TV, Generet decided to develop his singing abilities. Since then he’s done sold out shows at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Joe’s Pub, The Highline Ballroom, The Kitano, Feinsteins at the Lowes Regency in New York City and Smoke Jazz Club, where he held a residency for 3 years. He’s also performed at the 2015 Umbria Jazz edition of Ricomincio Da Tre jazz club and in Abu Dhabi, where he met pianist Richard Johnson, who was booking shows at a hotel there. The New York Times, said of his singing, “A voice that’s so sultry you might get burned.” Here’s a video with Johnson and his group performing the first song, followed by Generet.

Thursday, Dec 14

Songsister: Holiday in Harmony @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Valid student ID) ) Songsister consists of three fine vocalists: Dorothy Doring, Vicky Mountain, and Connie Dussl. They’ll be doing holiday songs both as soloists and as group singers. No alcohol at this basement place, but if you’re discreet, you can bring some of your own.  H

Richard Johnson Trio @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15)  Pianist Johnson entertained us with his imaginative, soulful playing when he lived in the Twin Cities a few years back. . Then he became the Musical Director for some high-end hotels in the Middle East, where he’s been played and booking jazz acts. He’s been a member of Wynton Marsalis’ Septet and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and has also been a member of the groups of Russel Malone and Irvin Mayfield. See the video under Wednesday’s listing.

Larry McDonough Group: Twisted Holidays @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) You can expect McDonough to put his own mix of odd rhythms and meters to music from Bill Evans, Coltrane, Beethhovem Mr. McGoo, and more.

Friday, Dec 15

Steve Kimmel/Davina & the Vagabonds @ Vieux Carré  Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Kimmel, No Cover),  9pm (Davina, $17 Advance/$20 Door) A veteran of the old West Bank Music Scene, multi-instrumentalist Steve Kimmel ran the Rainbow Gallery, booked the Loring Bar, played in the fabled fusion group Natural Life, and with the Lamont Cranston Blues Band. He’ll be followed at 9pm by the energetic and effervescent Davina and the Vagabonds with hot jazz, New Orleans R&B, and soulful originals.

Saturday, Dec 16

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar), 8:30pm ($10) Steve Kenny Trio in the bar at 7pm, followed at 8:30pm by the debut performance of the Inatnas Orchestra playing The Music of Asuka Kakitani and JC Sanford, playing in the dining room with a $10 admission, since it’s a 17-piece Big Band. Some of the musicians that will be playing include: JT Bates, drums; Chris Bates, bass; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; JC Sanford, trombone, and a sax section of Pete Whitman, Dave Milne, and Aaron Hedenstrom. Plus trumpeter Russ Johnson will be a special guest. Here’s Sanford leading a previous orchestra.

Also: Larry McDonough Group @ The Warming House, 4001 Bryant Ave. South, Minneapolis. 7:30pm doors, 8pm performance. ($10) Just McDonough and saxophonist/poet Richard Terrill performing songs as noted above.

Saturday, Sunday, Dec 16, 17

Bobby Lyle Trio: Holiday Keys @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm Sat, 5pm, 7:30pm Sun, ($30) A Minneapolis native who was a member of Young-Holt Limited, Sly and the Family Stone, Al Jarreau’s touring band, and others, as well as serving as the musical director for Bette Midler. The man is talented, which he’ll show on piano and organ each night. Here he is at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival.

Sunday, Dec 17

Kirk Whalum’s A Gospel According to Jazz @ Bethel University’s Benson Hall, 3900 Bethel Drive, Saint Paul. 6pm ($25, $35, $45, $60)  Grammy Award winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum brings his Sixth Annual Christmas concert tour to the Bethel University (off Snelling, north of Rosedale). The concert will feature South African singer/guitarist Jonathan Butler along with special guests John Stoddart, Sheléa, and Kevin Whalum.

Monday, Dec 18

Chris Speed Trio, feat Dave King & Christopher Tordini @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20), 9:30pm ($15) According to the NY Times, saxophonist Chris Speed is “one of the principal figures in a dynamic left-of-center jazz/improv scene in the city” He leads a number of bands and is currently working on projects with Craig Taborn’s Heroic Frenzies, Michael Formanek’s Ensemble Kolossus, Dave King’s Trucking Company and others. He’ll be joined by NY-based Chris Tordini on bass, and our own über – drummer Dave King.

George Maurer Group Holiday Show @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) With an irreverent style and sly humor (The Drive My Car as Drive My Sleigh,, Santa Claus is coming to Town mashed up with Herbie Hancock’s Drifting and other rewordings of Christmas standards) the 8-piece George Maurer Group has been selling out Holiday Shows at the Dakota since 2000.

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, Dec 13

Ken Valdez Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Here’s what you’ll find if you go to the Valdez website: “From the Hill Country to Chicago, from the Delta down to Texas and every place between and far-flung, Valdez’s explosive fretwork coupled with his sweet, snarling vocals make for a treat for sounds of every corner of the blues world and beyond.” Check him out on the show and head over to the 331 Club afterwards.

Peter Asher @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) As I wrote last week, Asher has been touring with various versions of his story for about 4 years now. Though some parts are the same, he keeps things interesting enough to go back a second time to hear about Paul McCartney as his roommate, his ownership of the gallery where John met Yoko, his discovery of James Taylor, work with Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, Emmy Lou Harris and more. Plus, you get him singing his Peter and Gordon hits (with Gordon on video – see below).

Thursday, Dec 14

Celtic Music Showcase @ The Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Hear young musicians from the Center for Irish Music. They’ll be appearing in various ensembles under the direction of Norah Rendell. Listen to how this music is being passed on from one generation to another. You can also order sandwiches, wood-fired pizza, beer, and wine.

Friday, Dec 15

Mother Banjo & Ben Cook-Feltz Holiday Show @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($20 Advance/$25 Door) featuring songs from our holiday EP Christmas Came Early, highlighted on The Current and hailed as “a soul-healing collection of songs that put you in the spirit of the season” (Rift Magazine). Also: an all-star house band and special guest performances by Ben Kyle (Romantica), Jon RodineDan Gaarder (Roe Family Singers), and other surprise guests.

Darlene Love @ The Ordway Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($47 – $111.50) The Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer has been on dozens of hits, including He’s A Rebel, (Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Marry, and Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), the song she performed each Christmas season on the David Letterman show for almost 30 years, as well as other songs. Her last performance at the Ordway was strong, touching on all the hits and then some. It’s a rocking celebration of Christmas and then some.

Dosh & Friends @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12/$15) This is the 10th Annual Dosh & Friends show, which this year features: Mike Sopko, Al Church, and McKnight Composer Fellow DeVon Gray (dVRG) playing with Dosh; as well as Billy Martin (of Medeski Martin and Wood), playing with special guest Dave King; Jeremy Ylvisaker, teaming up with Mike Lewis and JT Bates; plus the mighty Guitarkestra of Minneapolis.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Dec 15, 16, 17

Magnum Chorum Christmas Concerts:

@ The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis. 7pm Friday ($25, $30)

@ Nativity Catholic Church, 1900 Wellesley Ave, Saint Paul. 8pm Saturday

@Church of the Annunciation, 509 West 54th Street, Minneapolis.  3pm Sunday

You will hear music from Russia, Sweden, and the Baltic Region, including Kopylov’s Heavenly Light, a soaring Hymn to the Virgin by Alexander Levine, Chesnokov’s Gabriel Appeared, music by Tchaikovsky and Gretchaninoff, and excerpts from Rachmaninoff’s All Night Vigil. Additionally, there will be an electrifying Ave Maria by Polish composer Łukazewski, and the luminous music of Ešenvalds and Pärt.

Saturday, Dec 16 

Flamin’ Ohs @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) The Oh’s burst on the scene back in 1980, led by frontman Robert Wilkinson, thrilling fans on early MTV, and hitting the Billboard charts with I Remember Romance. Whether or not you remember romance, their 2015 EP, Hear and Now, earned praise from the Star Tribune for their “Hard edged Stones-like rock’n’roll. East Coast street anthems coupled with Midwestern optimism and enthusiasm.”

Butanes Soul Revue 30th Anniversary @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) Thirty years ago the Butanes Soul Revue began a weekly residency at the Cabooze that drew great crowds and lasted five years. Led by Curt Obeda on guitar; with Robb Stupka, drums; Dr. Virgil Nelson, organ, Jim Anton, bass; Sue Orfield, sax; Mike Nelson, trombone; and Adam Rossmiller on trumpet. Dab Brown and Aisha Baker on vocals, and featuring the fine, fine voice of Maurice Jacox as well. A dynamite show.

Sunday, Mon, Dec 17, 18

The Peterson Family’s Jam Before Christmas @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($25) Minnesota’s First Family of Music takes to the stage to celebrate with the rest of us. Expect a jazz and R&B filled evening from Linda Peterson, piano and vocals; Billy Peterson, bass; Ricky Peterson, organ; Patty Peterson, vocals; Paul Peterson, bass, gutar, and keys; and Jason Peterson Delaire, pianist/saxophonist/vocals.

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.


Choices, Choices! Music: 6.8 – 6.14

June 8, 2016

Well, those of you looking for Latin or Caribbean rhythms have much to choose from this week, including Latin Jazz, Soca, Cuban roots, and more. Jazz fans have a rich menu as well, including a number of performances by emerging young musicians. Roots music fans can look forward to three visiting bluesmen, a couple of intimate festivals, and some honky-tonk. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 8

Lila Ammons @ Tangiers, Minneapolis. 6:30pm – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Classically trained vocalist Ammons is equally at home in jazz and blues. She recently made new fans when she appeared at the 331 Club singing the blues with Paul Barry and the Acetones. Arrive early and take advantage of Happy Hour, which lasts until 7pm

Double Header of Jazz @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5 w/student ID) Young bass phenom Lincoln has spent a year at Berklee in Boston, and is back for the summer, wasting no time in setting up gigs, such as this one with his contemporaries in a collective called Hoaxer. Together with Peter Goggin, sax; Will Kjeer, piano; and Edmund Catlin, drums; they’ll be playing originals as well as music by Paul Motian, Laurie Anderson, and John Lurie. Note the time, which is a bit earlier than usual for Wednesdays at JC, as there is another group coming on at 9pm – Pawan Benjamin. Musician friends of Javi Santiago from around the country are gathering to prepare for an upcoming recording of original music: Pawan Benjamin  sax; Nick Jost, bass; Javier Santiago, keys; Tomek Mienowski, guitar; and Michael Mitchell, drums. Here’s Pawan Benjamin playing with Mike Stern.

Arturo Sandoval @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $45), 9pm ($25, $30) Trumpeter Sandoval was a one-time protege of Dizzy Gillespie and a founding member of the explosive, Grammy winning Cuban group Irakere. He left the group to form his own group in the early 80s, and moved to Miami in the early 90s. Since then he’s earned 4 Grammys, 6 Billboard Awards, and an Emmy. His brilliance is evident whether performing Latin, Jazz, or Classical music.   Here he is with a big band.

JT Bates GRAIN Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) This is B-3 Jazz – music that keeps your feet tappin’ while the players explore variations in melody and rhythm, featuring the sought-after drummer JT Bates, along with Kevin Gastonguay on B3 organ, and Zacc Harris on guitar.

Thursday, June 9

Vicky Mountain & Friends, featuring Mary Louise Knutson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm  ($10, $5 w/student ID) With a background that includes a show band that toured South America, vocalist Mountain draws on an eclectic mix of music when performing and makes each song her own. This time around, she’ll be performing music from the Doors, The Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Sondheim, Shakespeare, Ella Fitzgerald, and Ray Charles. Pianist Mary Louise Knutson provides sterling accompaniment. Here she is doing a song by The Clovers.

Friday, June 10

Rhonda Laurie Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Vocalist Laurie is ideal for the sophisticated lounge at Parma 8200. She can swing a tune with ease, especially with the backing she has tonight: Reynold Phillipsek, guitar; Gary Schulte, violin; and Pooch Heine, upright bass.

Pete Enblom @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/student ID) Enblom has been lead trombone in the Buddy Rich band, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and the Artie Shaw Orchestra, and now is the lead trombonist with the Brian Setzer Orchestra. In addition he’ played for Sinatra, Natalie Cole, The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, and Harry Connick Jr., and currently plays with the JazzMN Orchestra, and the Explosion Big Band, all of which demonstrates his versatility. He’ll be joined by Geoff Senn, trumpet; Joe May, tenor sax; Javi Santiago, piano; Dan Carpel, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums, for what promises to be a killer evening of music.

Will Kjeer @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 10pm ($?) The Jazz Central website doesn’t show a cover, and it’s a fact that if you go for the earlier concert by Pete Enblom, you won’t have to pay for this, but any chance to see young pianist Kjeer do his thing is worthwhile.

Saturday, June 11

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening set by Silverback Trio: David Hirsch, Keys, electronics, sax; Brent Wallace, bass; Byron Johnson-Blanchard, drums. 8:30 set –  Dave Karr Group: Karr, saxophones; Steve Kenny, FLUMPET, Charlie Lincoln, bass; Kenny Horst, drums.

Ginger Commodore @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Vocalist Commodore is a former member of both Sounds of Blackness and Moore by Four. She and husband/drummer Bobby are calling tonight the Anniversary Jam, in honor of their 39th. They’ll have Sean Turner on piano; Mark Weisberg on bass; Daryl Boudreaux on percussion; and Solomon Parham on trumpet. You don’t have to be celebrating an anniversary to recognize that this should be a fun evening.

Sunday, June 12

Birthday Club w/Dan Choinard & Claudia Schmidt @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) Chouinard has a very cool concept going on, bringing in guest artists to sing the songs of composers born during the current month. The keyboard player has been around long enough to have connections with a wide variety of area singers. Tonight, he’s bringing in Claudia Schmidt  well known as a folk singer, but also a jazz singer of some skill. Given Schmidt’s storytelling ability and Choinard’s quick wit, this should be a fun show.

Monday, June 13

Maurice Jacox @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) In case you didn’t make it a month or so ago, since it was sold out, Jacox returns to the Dunsmore Room with his Nat King Cole Show, featuring Ron Seamon on piano and Reuben Ristrom on guitar. The two are part of a larger group that plays with Maurice when he takes the show to auditoriums. Always a pleasure to hear Jacox.

Pete Whitman’s X-Tet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) Whitman’s 10 piece band of some of the Twin Cities’ finest musicians had a monthly gig at the old Artists’ Quarter for many years before it closed, so this is a rare performance. They perform originals as well as standards done with original arrangements.

Luke Peterson and No Exit @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/student ID)  The young drummer will be bringing his new group, No Exit to the  basement venue. The group includes: Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Peter Goggin, sax; Adam Astrup, guitar; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Peterson on drums. Most of these young players are on summer vacation from college. They’re brimming with new ideas and we get to see and hear them.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, June 8

Malamanya @ Mears Park, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) What a great way to spend a lunch hour!  The rhythmic sounds of Malamanya draw upon the variety of Cuban song styles, all designed to get your hips shaking. Bring a lunch, take advantage of one of the food trucks on the East end of the park, or get take-out from one of the nearby restaurants and celebrate the season.

RJ Mischo on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The former Twin Citizen and harp master is back in town for a visit once again, and I believe this is the first of a number of gigs in the area. Mischo  will be backed by guitarist/drummer Jeremy Johnson, and perhaps a few more of his old pals from the area.

Los Requerdos @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) This trio is made up of members of Malamanya, so if you didn’t get to their noon concert, you can still get a taste of Cuban dance music.

Thursday, June 9

Reina del Cid @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minnapolis. 6:30pm $12 Advance, $15 Door) Presented by the MN Music Coalition. 6pm Happy Hour and member artists showcase, featuring the wonderful singer/songwriter of rootsy/bluesy music, Ms del Cid, w/Jonathan Rundman (pop/folk/Finnish); The Lowland Lakers (bluegrass); Sarah Morris (country/Americana), and Andy Cook (singer/songwriter)

Tinsely Ellis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($27) Guitarist Ellis is a quintessential road warrior of the blues, averaging 150 shows a year. He  grew up listening to British Invasion bands and formed the Heartfixers in 1981, recording three albums, including one with the legendary Nappy Brown. Ellis joined Alligator records in 1988, and as his reputation grew, folks like Derek Trucks and Chuck Leavell joined on some recordings. He’s shared stages with Widespread Panic, The Allman Brothers, Jimmy Thackery, Buddy Guy and others, where his incendiary blues-rock guitar playing found enthusiastic audiences.

Friday, June 10

Sugar Shop Live @ the Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 4pm – 6:30pm (No Cover) Lolly Obeda, of KFAI’s Sugar Shop, will broadcast for the last time on Friday June 17. For a pre-farewell show, she’ll be broadcasting live from the newly reopened Viking Bar, across the street from the station. I’ll be spinning vinyl from 6:30pm until 8:30 or 9, after which, The April Fools take the stage with their bracing country rock.

Trailer Trash @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($??) Well, if any non-blues band can be appropriate at Wilebski’s, it’s Trailer Trash  whose honky-tonkin’ rock n’ roll often contains similar elements to blues songs:  bad relationships, drinking, and betrayal.

Salsabrosa @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) This nine-piece band lays down Cuban grooves that will have you up and dancing, even if you don’t know a salsa from a merengue. Alma Andina, with their contemporary Andean rhythms,  opens

Saturday, June 11

The 6th Annual Loring Park Acoustic Music Festival @ Loring Park, Minneapolis. noon – ? (Free) Eight bands take the stage during the day in the wonderful city park at the end of downtown. They include: Wild Goose Chase Cloggers; The Broken Heartland String Band; Jasper Lepak; The Medicine Show Music Company; Siama’s Afrobilly Trio; Frank Hornstein & Friends; Brady Perl; and the Dumpy Jug Bumpers. There will be food, so it’s an ideal setting for a quick picnic, or stay all day.

Curtis Salgado @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) Back in the day vocalist/harp player/songwriter Salgado was co-leader of the Robert Cray, sang lead for Roomful of Blues, educated John Belushi about the blues, and toured with both Steve Miller and Santana. He fought off liver cancer in 2006 and lung cancer in 2008, and joined Alligator Records in 2012, promptly winning awards for Soul Blues Album of the Year, Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year, and BB King Entertainer of the year. As the LA Times said, Salgado is “keeping the classic flame of soul music alive.”

 

Butanes Soul Revue Party @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Well, here’s the second night of a party celebrating the retirement of Lolly Obeda and KFAI’s Sugar Shop. This time, it’s Lolly’s husband Curt leading the proceedings with the Butanes Soul Revue featuring Maurice Jacox, lead vocals; Curtis Obeda, Guitar; John Lindberg, Bass: Robb Stupka, Drums; Virgil Nelson, B-3; and Prince’s former horn section which includes Michael  Nelson, Trombone; and Steve Strand, Trumpet; as well as the very talented and animated Sue Orfield on Tenor Sax. Lastly Blues Diva’s Aisha Baker and Deb Brown will perform the duties of background singersLolly will also be spinning some tunes during one of the set breaks.

The Fab Six Present the Studio Beatles @ MacNally Smith College of Music, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15 Advance, $20 Door) Here’s a special performance of music from some of the most challenging studio albums by the Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour, Sgt. Pepper, and Abbey Road.  It will feature students, staff, and alumni from MacNally Smith, including: Chad Magnuson, keys, reeds, & vocals; Tilly, drums, vocals; Gary Rue, guitar, vocals; Al Miller, guitar, vocals; Jerrry Gray, keys, vocals; Rusty Jones, bass; vocals. They’ll be joined by the Pepperland Strings; the Sun King Brass; and the Parlophones Vocal Trio to recreate all the sounds on the songs.

Socaholix @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) A unique band in the area, in that they specialize in Soca, a high-energy melding of soul + calypso. The band features Prince Jabba, vocals; Charles “Chilly” Petrus, keys & vocals; Onesmo Kibira, bass & vocals; Lance Pollonais, drums; Siama Matuzungidi, lead guitar & vocals; Tony Paul, percussion; and Scott Fultz, sax.

Sunday, June 12

Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 3pm (No cover) One of only a handful of Charanga groups in the US, Charanga Tropical has the  classic charanga instrumentation of flute, three violins, vocalists, and full Latin rhythm section. They play a mix of modern salsa, original compositions, and of course, charangas.

Bluesfest @ Roseville Central Park, Roseville. 5pm (Free) Here’s a fun event for blues lovers. Bring a picnic and enjoy music from RJ Mischo, Big George Jackson, and The Everett Smithson Band, with Zydeco Dance Lessons by Flory Katz

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 Krew


Music Rains: 4.1 – 4.7

April 1, 2015

imagesI’m afraid I have no April Fool’s prank for you , but instead am happy to report that great music continues to rain down on us here in the Twin Cities.  (Ugh, had to stretch a bit to match the graphic.) We’ve a few visiting musicians of note, as well as a bevy of talented resident musicians. It’s wonderful that we have a number of choices each evening, but then, that’s the result of living neat the bio-magnetic center of the universe. Music lifts the spirit

Jazz

Wednesday, April 1

Zack Lozier Three on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Lozier  trumpet; Steve Hobert, keys; and Steve Pikal, bass; played a tremendous set at the fundraiser for KFAI a couple of weeks ago. If you like jazz with a nod towards the traditional sound of New Orleans, then by all means tune in to hear them and head to the 331 Club afterwards.

Parisota Hot Club Trio @ Tangiers, Minneapolis. 8pm (No Cover) Though this suave nightclub in the North Loop features glitzy dance/deejay crowds on the weekend, they bring in jazz once a week, and deserve your attention. Tonight, it’s The Parisota Hot Club  with Matt Senjem, bass; Jay Epstein, drums; and leader Robb Henry on guitar. Vocalist Erin Livingston is an occasional guest. Here’s once version of the group doing a Beatles tune.

Rebirth Brass Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($25) Rebirth is one of the first bands in the Brass Band revival that’s occurred over the last couple of decades. They’ve been at it for 25 years or so, swinging hard and playing original music, as well as traditional tunes, and adaptations of R&B hits.

Unknown-1Schimke, Epstein, & Cox @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Anthony Cox curates the first Wednesday of the month at Jazz Central, bringing in some top-notch players to improvise, sometimes freely. Tonight he has Peter Schimke on piano and Jay Epstein on drums. Cox likes to have these events be interactive, so be prepared to have him open the floor to comments and questions either during or after the performance.

Thursday, April 2

Chris Potter Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25), 9pm ($15) Potter is one of the most admired sax players of his generation (he’s 43), having received numerous awards and accolades. When he was 18, he worked with the legendary Bebop trumpeter Red Rodney, and has since appeared on over 100 albums as a sideman and recorded 15 albums as a leader. On his latest, and well-received  CD Imaginary Cities, Potter expands his Underground Quartet with a marimba and a string quartet, to create an album that integrates modern classical music with various facets of jazz. I’m not sure what players he’ll have with him tonight, but it will be stellar. Here’s a video to illustrate.

Marc Anderson, Michelle Kinney, Carla Vagle @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9:30pm ($5) This promises to be a unique evening of improvised music. Marc Andeson is a percussionist and Zen Buddhist priest who has played with Steve Tibbets since 1977, and has also toured and played with artists such as Robert Fripp, Don Cherry, Taj Mahal, Claudia Schmidt, Max Roach, and Greg Brown. Michelle Kinney is a cellist/composer who is a strong improviser, having worked with such innovators as Henry Threadgill, Butch Morris, and John Zorn, in addition to being a member of Jelloslave and collaborating with Prudence Johnson and Dean Magraw. Carla Vagle is a vocalist with a strong, crystal clear voice.

Friday, April 3

Wayne Krantz @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) The virtuosic fusion guitarist has recorded and worked with Steely Dan, Michael Breaker, Chris Potter, and Billy Cobham. He’s not the kind of player who plays as many notes as possible (though he can do so). Rather, Krantz has a clean, tasteful approach to playing, no matter the groove, of which there will undoubtedly be plenty. Opening is the Zack Lozier Three (see Wednesday listing).

Dean Magraw & Steven Hobert @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Magraw is the guitarist-about-town who is equally at home with jazz, fusion, Celtic, and other world musics. Hobert is the pianist/accordionist whose often subtle, but highly imaginative playing will fit right in with Magraw.

Maud Hixson @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) The lounge at this Bloomington restaurant provides the right atmosphere for listening to the understated, sublime vocals of Ms Hixson  who will be accompanied by Rick Carlson on piano and Gordy Johnson on bass.

Tim Patrick & His Blue Eyes Band @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12) Tim Patrick s smooth voice practically defines crooner in this day and age. He’s a fine singer, and together with his band, provides danceable versions of standards.

Saturday, April 4

Saturday Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm Pete Snell Trio (Snell, Phil Aaron, Jim Chenoweth) , 8:30pm Steve Kenny Quartet (Kenny, Babatunde Lea, Brandon Woznicak, Chris Bates)

images-1Sophia Shorai @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Early evening dinner music from the pop-ish but jazz centered Ms Shorai, though you will have to sit close to the stage to overcome the lively conversations going on throughout the restaurant.

Debbie Duncan @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley, 7pm (No Cover) Ms Duncan was on fire last week when singing as a guest with Delfeayo Marsalis. Tonight you can hear her in the comfy, yet slightly luxe confines of this relatively new club up on Central Avenue, about  a mile or so north of 494. It’s a place that should become a regular stop on your jazz journeys in town.

Sunday, April 5

Connie Evingson Celebrates Spring @ The Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm, 7:30pm ($25) Ms Evingson continues her themed concerts at the Jungle. This time it’s a seasonal celebration, featuring songs by Irving Berlin, the Beatles, Peggy Lee and others. With the extraordinary pianist Jon Weber, as well as Gordy Johnson on bass, and the always tasteful Dave Karr on sax.

Monday, April 6

Seru, Bates, & Wozniak @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) The trio of Davu Seru, drums; Chris Bates, bass; and Brandon Wozniak, sax; is bound to create some excitement for the late night crowd at the Icehouse.

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 PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, April 1

Erik Koskinen @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) Koskinen is a hyphenated talent: guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer, and engineer. The word “authentic” keeps coming up whenever reviewers try to describe his music, and with good reason. When he’s not working with other bands he taps into folk, country, and rock n’ roll to create music that is as American as Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, or Willie Nelson.

Thursday, April 2

Lynn O’Brien, Steven Hobert, & Kevin Bowe @ Bryant Lake Bowl, 810 West Lake Street, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Advance/$12 Door) Lynn O’Brien is a charming singer/songwriter who plays ukelele and isn’t afraid to accompany herself using looping technology. Steven Hobert is an accordionist/piano player who is equally at home playing jazz, folk, or his own ethereal compositions. As a musical duo, they are as complementary as you can get. They are ably assisted by Kevin Bowe on bass.

Friday, April 3

Butanes Soul Revue @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10 Advance, $12 Door) Once again, the MMC will be filled with folks who brought their dancing shoes, as guitarist Curt Obeda leads a 10 piece band through R&B chestnuts and some of his own originals. The last time they appeared at MMC, they sold out the place, so be forewarned.

Lonesome Dan Case @ Ward 6, 858 Payne Avenue, Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar?) Lonesome Dan Case looks and sounds like an itinerant, if well dressed, singer from the 30s, who brings his finger picking and Piedmont-style blues songs to folks in little dives in little towns. However, Saint Paul isn’t a little town, no matter what some West Metro folks might think, and Ward 6 isn’t a little dive, given its adult milkshakes and well-reviewed cooking.

Bad Companions w/Bernie King @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($6) A Roots/Rockabilly night at the Tap Room. The Companions are led by Al Subola, of the Vibro Champs. His companions have worked with bands like A Stockcar Named Desire, Clyde Stubblefield, Roe Family, and Trailer Trash. King & the Guilty Pleasures lean a bit toward the blues side of things. Bernie King & the Guilty Pleasures at 7pm, Bad Companions at 9pm. This will give you an idea of what the Companions sound like.

Saturday, April 4

Gospel Machine & Southside Desire @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Gospel, R&B, Soul, & Girl Group sounds, as if filtered through a group of young musicians hanging out in a basement. Here’s Southside Desire.

Katrina, Flamin’ Ohs, and Beebe Gallini @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 7pm doors ($12/$15) It’s an 80s style night at the Amsterdam as Katrina (of the Waves) headlines, with our own Flamin’ Oh’s and the female quintet Beebe Gallini open. Katrina Leskanich had a huge hit in 1985 with Walkin’ on Sunshine, followed by a few others. The Oh’s have always had a strong fan base in town, from their local hits in the late 70s to their reappearance this century. Beebe Gallini is an all-female group of rockers named after a pink-dressed character who made an appearance on one episode of Brady’s Bunch. Here’s a blast from the past.

Armadillo Jump @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake 9pm (No Cover) The tiny dance space at the station will be filled with folks jumpin’ to the Armadillos, a five-piece blues/R&B outfit with an infectious approach to their music.

Unknown-2Soul Tight Committee @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) It’s a great weekend for dancing to R&B, especially the 70s centric R&B of the ten piece Soul Tight Committee  Three singers provide a range of vocals over a tight rhythm section, trumpet, and sax, giving plenty of incentives for dancers to fill the floor at Bunkers.

Sunday, April 5

Robert Robinson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($22) It’s Easter. Celebrate with the full-throated gospel of Mr. Robinson. Even if you aren’t particularly religious, you’ll end up feeling blessed and happy.

Monday, Tuesday, April 6, 7

James Hunter Sextet @ The Dakota, MInneapolis. 7pm ($37 – $45) Hunter is a charming singer of blue-eyed soul, whose original tunes evoke the rock n’ roll and rhythm and blues of the late 50s and 60s, without sounding dated or even retro. Expect some jump blues, Motown-ish stomps, and even some reggae-ish rhythms, delivered with true emotion.

Tuesday, April 7

Mayasich, Obeda, & Lindberg @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Guitarist Paul Mayasich hangs at the Station every Tuesday evening with various friends and compadres. Tonight he’s got bluesman Curt Obeda on guitar, and bassist John Lindberg. Expect some mighty fine guitar duels.

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 for 10.31 – 11.6 – The Post-Hurricane, Pre-Election Edition

October 31, 2012

The river off Clason Point, the Bronx, just after the worst of Sandy had passed. Photo by Maribel Mercado/City Limits

Like many of you, I’ve been focusing on the superstorm and its devastation of the East Coast. The area where I grew up in the Bronx (about two short blocks from the East River) was one of those where folks were evacuated, though they escaped the destruction of Breezy Point, Brooklyn, and the power outages of lower Manhattan. It was during my teenage years in the Bronx that I became besotted with rock n’ roll and got my first deejay job at a Friday night church dance. Speaking of which, I’ll be inaugurating a deejay night Saturday at a new venue in town, The Third Floor. They have jazz on Thursday nights and are trying to see if a deejay night will work on Saturdays. I’m hoping that some of you will drop by. More details here.

But back to what’s happening in live music. One result of the storm was that the Maria Schneider shows at the Dakota have been postponed. Nevertheless, we’ve lots of music to enjoy, including a show by a few members of Maria’s orchestra tonight, and a number of vocalists performing jazz this week, as well as some great Americana and blues. Have a great week. And don’t forget to vote.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 31

Hurricane Relief @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm. (Donation to Hurricane Relief) Though Superstorm Sandy prevented most of Maria Schnieder’s 17 piece band from getting here, four did arrive, including trumpeter Ingrid Jensen and drummer Clarence Penn. With the help of a couple of all-star Twin Citizens (Gordy Johnson on bass and Peter Schimke on piano), they are performing anyway. Sophia Shorai will also play a short set. Donations can be made at the door or on your check, and will be given to the Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund. All proceeds from a Hurricane Relief cocktail will be included. Those who attended last night report that the music was first rate, as you might expect.

Thursday, November 1

Photo by Andrea Canter

Vicky Mountain @ The Third Floor, 579 Selby, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($5) Vocalist extraordinaire Vicky Mountain is joined by guitarist James Allen and a bassist in this new venue on the third floor of Dr. Chocolates’ Chocolate Chateu. Ten beers on tap, a few wine selections, and some fancy cocktails, as well as chocolate. Unfortunately, this unique space is not handicap-accessible, but it does have a parquet dance floor for those who want to dance to Vicky’s swingin’ tunes.

Arne Fogel @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm (donation) Jazz Central is starting to have vocalist nights on Thursdays and who better to kick things off than that vocalist-about-town Arne Fogel. Fogel and his fedora will be swinging classic tunes by Sinatra, Crosby, and other stalwarts from the 30s to the 60s.

Valve Meets Slide @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Brad Bellows (Valve) and Dave Graf (Slide) go mano-a-mano in trombone competition, accompanied by Chris Lomheim, piano; Matt Peterson, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums.

Friday, November 2

Their 1977 Album.

Pat Moriarty & Phil Hey @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm. Moriarty (sax) and Hey (drums) put out an outstanding album way back in 1977. Since then, they’ve played together so much that their communication can seem telepathic, as each adjusts to the twists and turns in the other’s playing. It’s free jazz, but that’s no reason to be afraid, since it’s free of pre-conceived composition, but not free of melody and rhythm.

 

Whitman, Schimke, Peterson & Horst @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) The AQ has put together another group of world-class musicians to explore the nuances of jazz. Though the way I have them listed makes them sound like a law firm, make no mistake, these musicians have played with the best. Expect some wit and fireworks.

Saturday, November 3

Charmin Michelle @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No cover) Charmin Michelle’s tender yet knowing voice will work well in the small bar that’s part of this D’Amico restaurant. Good cocktails, comfy chairs, and a bruschetta that will make you re-think your opinion of the ubiquitous appetizer.

Sunday, November 4

Connie Evingson sings Peggy Lee @ The Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm, 7pm ($25) Cool, yet often smoldering, that’s Peggy Lee, and an apt description of Connie Evingson, who’ll be joined by Tanner Taylor, piano; Dave Karr, sax; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Joe Pulice, drums. The smallish Jungle Theater is an intimate venue for Ms Evingson’s stylings. Here she is at one of last year’s Jungle Theater shows.

Monday, November 5

Vinnie Rose & Jeremy Boettcher @ Jazz Central, Minnapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Guitarist Rose and bassist Boettcher will be tearing things up at the little jazz club that could. It’s a jazz musician’s “hang,” so there’ll be some jammin’ after Rose and Boettcher play.

More listings for Twin Cities jazz can be found at KBEM and at Jazz Police. Jazz Police also features jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Roots, Blues, Other…

Wednesday, October 31

Radio Joe & the JazzBos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm. ($5) In case you haven’t had enough of Halloween parties, here’s a chance to attend one that’s bound to be neighborly, not to mention having cash prizes for the top three costumes. Radio Joe Demko plays music that’s equal parts swing, boogie woogie, and jump blues, which is just fine with his swing-dancing fans. Always a treat, costumes or not.

Thursday, November 1

Jon Rodine & Mother Banjo @ the Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm (Free) A double dose of Americana. Mother Banjo often plays solo, bringing gospel, folk, and an alt-country mindset to her songs. Rodine is a soulful singer who can channel funky Americana and soulful country into a sound that’s all his own.

Jorma Kaukonen @ The Dakota Jazz Club, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40)  Kaukonen was a founding member of both Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, with whom he still tours. In the process he morphed from a electric guitar star to an acoustic blues/bluegrass fingerpicker of some reknown, appreciated as a teacher as much as a performer. A much anticipated show.

Friday, November 2

Pill Hill CD Release Party @ the Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($6) Dan Fowlds was active in the 90s with the post-grunge band, Bump. After taking a sabbatical from music, he’s returned with a new band, Pill Hill, and a new, self-titled CD with tunes that are alternately melancholy, declamatory, and rocking. Fowlds isn’t afraid to add a banjo, organ, or violin to the sound of his Les Paul.  Opening acts are Hello Blue and Wizards Are Real. Hear some examples of Pill Hill’s songs here.

Ian Thomas Alexy CD Release & Day of the Dead Party @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 10pm (Free) Alexy, of the Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank, was Born on the Day of the Dead, so it’s only natural that he calls his CD by that name, and celebrates his birthday with a CD Release party. He’s got a new band, the Deserters, and will be serving up Americana and Old Timey music.

Saturday, November 3

Baroque to Beatboxing @ MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20/$15 Youth & Seniors) Here’s a chance to check out a few different musical styles. Tonight’s performance is all about music and dance. Performers include Julie Johnson on electric flute, playing a new piece created with choreographer/dancer Tamara Ober. Other performers include Jeff Lambert on guitar, Bryan Nichols on piano, and Saltee (Jacqueline Ultan, cello; Mike Michel, guitar; & Carnage the Executioner, beatbox).  The Saltee set will also include break dancers!

Jeff Ray & the Stakes @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 8pm (No cover)  In which guitarist extraordinaire Jeff Ray is joined by Hurricane Harold, harp; Nick Salisbury, bass; and Mikkel Beckman, percussion.  Delta blues and more.

Sunday, November 4

Spider John Koerner and Charlie Parr @ Palmer’s Bar, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) Holy cow! Wonderful interpretations of classic folk songs from Koerner, and original stripped down blues from Parr. Plus, they’ll do a few songs together. Afterwards, another legend, Willie Murphy will take the stage. And it’s all at the West Bank’s favorite dive bar.

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

 


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

September 5, 2012

Dancers at last year’s Selby Avenue Jazz Festival

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

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

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

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

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

Jazz

Wednesday, September 5

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

Thursday, September 6

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

Friday, September 7

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

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

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

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

Friday, Saturday, September 7, 8

The toy that inspired the name.

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

Saturday, September 8

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

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

Sunday, September 9

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

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

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

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

Roots, Blues, Other…

Wednesday, September 5

A rare moment when Zack isn’t playing

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

Friday, September 7

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

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

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

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

Saturday, September 8

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

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

Monday, September 10

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

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar.

For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.


Here Comes Summer. Music for 5.30 – 6.5

May 30, 2012

Saint Paul at night. Photo by Steve C.

There are enough events going on in Saint Paul this week, that it seems appropriate to use a photo of the city. I like this one, taken from Indian Mound Park on the East Side and published in an intriguing blog,  Twin Cities Daily Photo.  Whether you live in Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Maplewood, or Minnetonka, be sure to support our resident artists as well as those visiting our cities.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 30

David Huckfelt & James Buckley @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) James Buckley is a bassist-about-town who is equally at home in pop and folk-rock as he is in jazz. He’s been doing a fine job of curating the Nomad’s Wednesday nigh Jazz Series, bringing in adventurous and accessible groups. Tonight features one of the founders of The Pines, an Americana group that’s been making national waves, playing with Buckley. Not for jazz purists, but sure to be interesting.

Thursday, May 31

Pete Whitman’s X-Tet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) If it seems that I’m often highlighting Whitman and this group, it’s because their monthly appearances at the AQ  are always high quality, always energizing, and always fun.

Friday, Saturday, June 1, 2

Benny Weinbeck Trio @ D’Amico Kitchen, Chambers Hotel, 901 Hennepin, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (No Cover) the music of Weinbeck on piano, along with Gordy Johnson, bass, and Phil Hey on drums, hardly seems to register with diners. However, you can sit on a couch right next to them in the lounge area, and have an adult beverage while enjoying their high-quality jazz. It’s only a few weeks before the restaurant gives them their summer hiatus, so catch them now.

Red Planet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Drummer Jay Epstein once played with a high profile rock group. Guitarist Dean Magraw has played funky rhythm and blues,  as well as a host of world musics. Chris Bates plays bass in a number of genres. Together they play music that might be called jazz fusion. Only it’s jazz fusion with taste, not bombast. Improvisations are cogent, and rhythmic underpinnings are solid.

Saturday, June 2

Charmin Michelle @ The Lexington, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (No Cover) Saturday night. Dinner in a clubby setting, a few classic cocktails, and the smoked honey voice of Ms Michelle, singing love songs. It’s a recipe for a date night, if I ever heard one. Afraid this gig was cancelled at the last minute.

Sunday, June 3

Sophie Milman @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) & 9pm ($20). Miman is a charming performer, whose repertoire runs from Ellington to the Everlys and more. She’s a vocalist with a lush, sultry sound, the kind you think of when romanticizing cocktail lounges. The Dakota is just the kind of venue in which to hear her.

Monday, June 4

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. Noon (Free) You’ll be seeing this young big band’s name all around town this summer. Among its members: Chris Bates, bass; Pete Hennig, drums; Zack Lozier, trumpet; Joe Strachan, piano; and Zacc Harris, guitar. Today you can see them right in the middle of downtown, surrounded by the James J Hill Library, the Ordway, the Landmark Center, and The Saint Paul Hotel. Grab something from a food truck and have a wonderful lunch.

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…

Wednesday, May 30

Jon Rodine on the left, with Rusty Jones and Dave Babb, two of his many musical friends.

Jon Rodine & Friends on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, NE Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI), 7pm (331 Club – tip jar) Rodine is one of the area’s finest purveyors of Americana. His songs are rooted in folk, R&B, and country soul. Tonight he’s bringing along Dan Gaardner and Dave Babb on guitars, Steve Murray on bass, and for the first hour at the 331, Dan Newton on the stomach Steinway.

Thursday, May 31

Josh Granowski & Patrick Harrison @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Granowski on bass and Harrison on accordion perform music from films and Broadway, including compositions by Lalo Schifrin, Danny Elfman, John Williams, and more.

Friday, June 1

Mary Cutrufello CD Release Party @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 10pm. (Tip Jar)   Cutrufello is celebrating a new release, “Fireflies Till They’re Gone.” She has appeared on the Tonight Show and Austin City Limits, toured with the Allman Brothers, performed at Farm Aid, and has been written up in both the New York Times and Rolling Stone. The new album is a bit quieter and more reflective than her previous efforts. It’s the kind of music you’ll put on late at night, while sipping some whiskey and wondering about the life choices you’ve made. Nevertheless, don’t be surprised if she throws in some hard driving honky-tonk into the mix tonight.

Paul Cebar @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) After an appearance on a Milwaukee edition of Prairie Home Companion a few weeks ago, Paul brings his rhythmic, joyous music to Saint Paul. The Minnesota Music Cafe has a good sized dance floor, which will be filled, I’m sure, by twisting, gyrating, grooving folk of all ages.

Flatt Foot Rollers @ Mr. BBQ, 4621 Central Ave, Columbia Heights. 9pm (No Cover) I don’t know the venue, but a barbeque place, sounds like a great setting to hear the old school R&B of the Rollers. Dance to songs like Lowdown, Brick House, Ain’t No Stopping Us Now, and more. Listen to their music here.

Saturday, June 2

Swede Hollow. Photo from the MN Historical Society

Premiere of the Swede Hollow Opera @ Swede Hollow Park, Saint Paul. 4pm – 6pm (Free) This is a one-act opera by Ann Millikan, adventurous and award-winning composer. It features four vocalists and members of the Mankato Symphony Orchestra in a story that follows the lives of Swedish, Italian, and Mexican immigrants who made their homes in the Hollow. This is the climax to a day long festival of dance and music from various cultures. For more info: http://www.artinthehollow.org/

Eddies @ the Farmers Market & The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 9:30AM – 11AM (Farmer’s Market – Free), 8PM – 11PM (Hat Trick Lounge $7). Listen to some songs of Life, Love, and Death, by Saint Paul’s favorite almost-acapella group.

Butanes Soul Revue @ The MInnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) The dance floor at the MMC will be filled to capacity for two nights in a row, as the Butanes Soul Revue takes the stage tonight. It’s a ten-piece, high impact music machine. Killer guitar from Curt Obeda, full-on vocals from Maurice Jaycox and others, and Sue Orfield on hair-raising saxophone. Three  sets of smokin’ music.

Sunday, June 3

Jonathan Richman @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15) Richman is an extraordinary songwriter, with the ability to capture humor, pathos, and everyday observations in deceptively simple songs. Some of those songs have been featured in movies, on Conan O’Brian’s Late Night, and on Sesame Street. Opening band is the Prizefighters, keepers of the flame for ska, rock steady, early reggae, and soul music.

Curtiss Marlatt Quartet w/Dorothy Doring @ Admiral D’s, 4420 Lake Ave, White Bear Lake. 4:30pm. (No Cover) This lakeside venue will be featuring music every day during the summer. Guitarist Marlatt, he of “Bourbon Smooth Blues” is also fond of jazz. Doring can scat and easily improvise on melodies, but is equally at home with the blues. This is a pretty inspired pairing, and you can expect a bluesy, jazzy, afternoon.

Wednesday, June 6

Papa John Kolstad @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon (Free) An early alert, since I don’t always get my e-mails out on Wednesday mornings.

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


%d bloggers like this: