Lotsa Ladies. Music: 7.31 – 8.6

July 31, 2013

Unknown-2Seems there are quite a few female vocalists – jazz, roots, & rockers – in this week’s selection of mostly under-the-radar gigs. Then we have some up and coming artists, as well as a couple of veteran performers. Plus there are a few gigs outside the core downtowns of these Twin Cities. All of which makes for a wonderful week of music.


Wednesday, July 31

UnknownAnthony Cox’s Happy Spirits Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Cox has gathered Peter Schimke, piano; Kevin Washington, drums; and Solomon Parham, trumpet, to create modern, post bop jazz. They cooked at the recent Jeremy Walker benefit, laying down complex rhythms and melodies that swung.


Opus @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) This Milwaukee group has been together for 35 years, playing both straight ahead jazz and their own brand of fusion. They’ve played with the Milwaukee Symphony and won a WAMI, for Wisconsin’s best jazz group.

Thursday, August 1

Jana Nyberg Group Tour Kick-Off @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Jana and the guys have some new tunes under their belts and they’re ready for their annual tour to Door County and Eastern Wisconsin, where they’ll be playing a festival in Appleton. Jana is a fun vocalist, and whether she’s singing originals, standards, or new interpretations of recent pop fare, she’ll have you thinking about songs in a new light.

Young Lions Night, Part 1 @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) Anyone who thinks jazz is dead is not aware of the steady growth of young players in this area. Thanks to the folks at Jazz Police, the monthly Young Artists series continues at the AQ, tonight featuring Joe Suihkonen, trumpet; Sam Wildenauer, bass; and Ermerson Hunton, drums. All three are recent grads of South High in Minneapolis. Suikhonen and Hunton have just completed their first year at Oberlin Conservatory. Wildenauer has been working as a free-lance bassist and playing free jazz.

Young Lions Night, Part 2 @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul.  9pm ($5) Stick around for a slightly older generation of musicians, as Miguel Hurtado, drums; Javier Santiago, piano; and James Buckley, bass, take the stage. Hurtado  and Santiago have been playing in various groups for years now. As far as I know, this is the first time they’re featured with Buckley, the old man of the group. He has been playing professionally in the Twin Cities since 1999, and was profiled in City Pages in 2009.

Friday, August 2

Connie Olson & Marie Louise Knutson @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Ms Olson has sung with the Peter Duchin Big Band, and musicians from the bands of Prince, Madonna, and Brian Setzer, and you have undoubtedly heard her on any number of commercials. Tonight, she’s singing with the wonderful pianist Mary Louise Knutson, who has her own impressive list of credits, including numerous stints with Doc Severinsen, in the lounge area of Parma 8200, a D’Amico restaurant in an office tower. It’s quite a nice little spot.

Vicky Mountain @ Kelly Park, 6855 Fortino Street, Apple Valley. 6pm – 9pm (Free) Summer certainly brings out music in the parks, in the suburbs as well as in the core cities. Tonight, vocalist Vicky Mountain is joined by James Allen, guitar; Tom Pieper, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums. Food and drink are available for sale and there will be some give-aways as well. 

Saturday, August 3

Nichola Miller @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Whether you’re dining at the Kitchen, or looking for a cocktail before heading out on the town, Ms Miller will provide a sophisticated soundtrack for an early evening rendezvous. Her singing will make your Martinis seem drier and your Cosmos seem sweeter.

Horst, Whitman, Hagedorn, and Bates @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Kenny Horst continues to find ways to bring together new combinations of musicians. Pete Whitman, sax; and Dave Hagedorn, vibes; have played together in Pete’s X-Tet, and Chris Bates, bass; has played with Kenny before, but I think this is a first time for this combination. Given the melodic strengths of Whitman and Hagedorn, and the rhythmic strengths of Horst and Bates, this should be a night of great music.

Linda and Patty Peterson @ The Ivy Hotel, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) The siblings of Minnesota’s first family of music sing alone and together, while Linda tickles the ivories at this new, cozy destination for Saturday Night Jazz.

Saturday, Sunday, August 3, 4

Aakash Mittal CD Release Party @ Dakota Late Night, and The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11:30pm (Saturday, Dakota – $5), and 7pm (Sunday, The Icehouse – $7) Two opportunities to see Mittal, an alto saxophonist from Denver who is exploring new territory in jazz by incorporating elements of music from India, his parent’s birthplace. The results are imaginative and energizing, key ingredients in jazz, as seen in this video.

Monday, August 5

Minnesota Jazz All Stars @ The Old Log Theater, Greenwood. 7:30pm ($24) Here’s a chance for those in the western burbs to hear some of the best jazz Minnesota has to offer in their own back yard. This group of veterans includes Cliff Brunsell, violin; Tanner Taylor, piano; Irv Williams and Dave Karr, on saxes; Clyde Anderson, bass; Reuben Ristrom, guitar; and Mac Santiago, drums. Charmin Michelle is the guest vocalist. Nuff said.

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

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, July 31

Cafe Accordion Orchestra @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Ahh, Berets and Bongos, Musette music and a bit of swing. If the accordion is a natural instrument in a land of Scandinavians and Germans, then credit Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton with showing us it’s possibilities in a variety of genres, from blues to cajun/zydeco, to rock n’ roll and swing. This noontime performance is sure to rejuvenate you for an afternoon of work. Bring a lunch or get one at the Center’s cafe.

SAMSUNGRadio Joe & the JazzBos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm. ($5) Do some swing dancing on a great dance floor as Radio Joe lays down classic boogie woogie, the occasional Sinatra-type swing number, and then hug your honey as he sings and plays I Only Have Eyes for You. You can also catch him on Friday at the Minnehaha Falls Pavillion (7:30) where the dancing is a bit harder on dirt and grass.

Thursday, August 1 – Sunday, August 11

Minnesota Fringe Festival @ various venues around town.  (Times, $, Varies) Normally, I wouldn’t write about something so large, but there are a few shows here that are worth noting: Standing on the Hollow features music by flutist Julie Johnson and dance by Tamara Ober; five appearances @ Intermedia Arts. Bump in the Night, written by bluegrass comedienne Courtney McLean, features dancing and adult language; five appearances  @ U of M Rarig Auditorium. The Education of Murray Sanderson @ Theater in the Round is a comedy about four parents stuck in parent/teacher conferences. Naturally, there’s much, much more. Check out the Fringe Festival website for a complete schedule and rundown of performances.

Unknown-1Javier & the Innocent Sons, featuring Hurricane Harold @ Washington Square, White Bear Lake. 8pm (No Cover) If we had out-of-the-way roadhouses, or back alley joints in the Twin Cities, Javier & the guys would be the perfect house band, with their clean, swinging blues, and the potent guitars of Javier Matos and Dan Scwalbe. They’ll be joined tonight by harpmaster Hurricane Harold, whose playing adds new spice to an already hot recipe for fun.

Friday, August 2

Reina del Cid & the Cidizens @ 318 Cafe, Excelsior, 8pm ($6) Reina del Cid is more than a singer/songwriter, she’s a storyteller whose tales of heartbreak and social ills seem the product of someone who is way older than 24. If you’re of a similar age and have any thoughts of writing songs, listening to Reina will cause you to either change professions, or double down on your efforts. The Cidizens, her backing band, are coming into their own as well. Here they are doing a Van Morrison song.

Dee Miller Band featuring Jimi “PrimeTime” Smith @ School II Bistro, Chanhassen. 8pm – 11pm. ($7) Head further south and a bit to the west to this wine bar in a shopping center to hear the Duchess of the Blues. Miller sings with the authority of a woman that won’t brook any BS. Smith plays guitar to match.

The Meadows @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 9 -11pm (Tip Jar) Together, Pete Linman, Wendy Lewis, andJeff Waryan, have played and performed with a number of bands over the years, ranging from North Equator Nine, to the Bad Plus, to Curtiss A. Now, they’re playing together, and the results are folkish, noirish, and darkish, and delish.

imagesBernard Allison @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) When people say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, they are thinking of someone like Allison, the guitar slinging progeny of Luther Allison. Like his dad, he plays the blues with rock n’ roll energy, but without blues-rock excess. David Z produced his 2011 album the Otherside, and managed to bring in a contemporary sound while displaying Allison’s stinging guitar and R&B vocals.

Saturday, August 3

Papa John & the Cool Club of East Lake @ St Anthony Village Beer Garden, 35th & Silver Lake Road, Saint Anthony Village. 4pm – 7pm. (Free) Papa John will have the usual suspects on hand: Sam on trumpet, Deano on guitar, and Bill Grenke on bass. Outdoors at a beer garden. Sounds great. And if you don’t catch them there, check out Merlins on East Lake, from 8:30pm – 12:30am.

Silvertones @ Kenny SummerFest, Kenny Park, 1328 58th St, W, Minneapolis. 6:30pm – 9:00pm (Free) It’s a neighborhood festival in southwest Minneapolis, with sno-cones, mini-donuts, and other foods, a car show from 5-7pm, and bike and stroller parade, and fun for the whole family. Opening, from 5:15 – 6:15 are Dynamaxium & the Cosmic Troubadors. Then come the Silvertones, whose cover tunes will entertain moms and dads of all ages.

The Eddies @ Cafe Amore, Saint Paul. 7pm – 10pm. A rare chance to catch the almost-acapella purveyors of sea shanties and work songs in their natural habitat – Saint Paul’s WestSide neighborhood (I know, I know, it’s South of downtown – just let it go). Head up the High Bridge to Smith and Anapolis, where they are performing as part of “Art on the Avenue” a neighborhood art crawl.

Eilen Jewel @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) The Queen of the Minor Key uses rockabilly, alt-country, and folk as starting points for slyly written tunes that will have you bouncing in your seat, if not stompin’ on the non-existent dance floor of the Dakota. Here she is singing the song that earned her that nickname.

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.

Love and Other Diversions. Music for 2.8 – 2.14

February 8, 2012

Well, this is the week where, for some reason, there is heightened awareness of romance. Blame it on the greeting card industry if you will (with some help from florists and restaurants), or blame it on Geofrey Chaucer and his friends, who, in the 14th Century, invented many of the legends that characterize Saint Valentine. It was at that time that February 14, the feast day for the saint, first became associated with romantic love, and people began exchanging Valentine’s greetings.

But I digress. Whether you see it as a day to connect with your partner, or a day to rebel against an unrealistic idea of love, you can still go out and hear some good music.


Wednesday, Feb 8

Alexander, Anton, Ciernak, & Oikari @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover). This is part of the West Bank club’s weekly jazz series curated by bassist James Buckley. Barry Alexander, drums; Jim Anton, bass; Jef Ciernak, guitar, and Al Oikari, keyboards.

Thursday, Feb 9

Music Under Glass: Cafe Accordion Orchestra @ McNeely Conservatory, Como Park, Saint Paul. 5pm – 8pm (Free) Sacre Bleu! Get out the berets. It’s Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton, and his irrepressible group playing romantic, boho, gypsy inspired musettes and more, all in the tropical confines of the Conservatory. Food, cocktails, beer and wine are available for purchase.

Brattain, Hagedorn, Peterson, & Horst @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5)  That’s Dave Brattain, sax; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Billy Peterson, bass; and Kenny Horst, drums. A dynamic combination of mainstream players.

Friday, Saturday, Feb 10, 11

Bobby Peterson Memorial Piano Showcase @ The Artists’ Quarter. 9pm ($12) Area pianists remember their friend, mentor, and inspiration. Friday: Bryan Nichols, Laura Caviani, and Bill Carrothers. Saturday: Chris Lomheim, Peter Schimke, Bill Carrothers.

Saturday, Sunday, Feb 11, 12

Speak Low When You Speak Love @ The Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm Sat, 3pm Sun ($25) Part of the Capri’s fifth Annual “Legends” Series, this show is about the male take on love and romance, and features Julius Collins, Dennis Spears, Dennis Oglesby, and Sanford Moore on piano.

Tuesday, Feb 14 

Lee Engele w/Reynold Philipsek @ Nona Rosa’s, Robbinsdale. 6pm – 9pm (no cover)  The Italian restaurant will feature Ms Engele, a swingin’ chanteuse, accompanied by the inventive guitar stylings of Mr. Philipsek. A special menu will help those of you who want to celebrate amore.

Arne Fogel and Maud Hixson @ The Lexington, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (No cover) Another special menu and show, this one featuring two singers whose love for the songs they sing is apparent, accompanied by Rick Carlson on piano, and Steve Pikal on bass.

Music by Lovers @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 7pm ($15/person, $25/couple)  Billy Larson & Lisa Wenger; Todd Olson and Cris Simonson; Roxy & Cruz; and Phil Barnett and Tamara Jo Barnett. Musical couples being musical for couples. Includes a glass of wine and a chocolate tasting.

The Steeles: Be My Valentine @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 5:30 Dinner show ($80), 9:30 Dessert Show ($50) Here’s where to go all-out for a night of music and romance. If you’ve lived in the Twin Cities for more than a month, you’ve undoubtedly heard of the Steeles, each of whom has performed throughout the nation and the world. The Dinner show includes an opening by JoAnn Funk’s trio, and there is no seating after 6:15. For more information, go here.

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.

Roots, Blues, Other

Wednesday, Feb 8

Davina & The Vagabonds on KFAI (90.3FM & 106.7FM) and @ the 331 Club, NE Minneapolis. The irrepressible Davina and her crew return to Harold’s House Party during the 5:00 hour for an in-studio performance, and then head over to the 331 Club at 7pm. Find out why she’s in demand wherever she goes.

Thursday, Feb 9

Samba Meu @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm – 10pm. (Tip jar). Contemporary pop from Brazil. The band includes includes four musicians with much experience in Brazilian music: Tim O’Keefe, percussion (Xibaba, Brassamba, Batudada do Norte;) David Martin, guitar/bass (Salsa del Soul, Havana Hi-Fi); James Allen, guitar (2011 MN State Arts Board Artist); and Karen Quiroz, vocals (Maguito Pop, Batucada do Norte)

Hipshaker @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Tonight’s monthly 45rpm dance party will feature guest deejay Mark Trehus, a guy who is so into music he has his own record store – Treehouse Records, which, by the way, is a good place to shop for vinyl. Expect lots of funk in your trunk, bump in your rump, groovalicious tunes.

Friday, Feb 10

Romantica w/Pistol Whippin’ Party Penguins @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul.  9pm.  ($7) A double bill of roots/Americana from two of the most popular groups around.

Eric “Guitar” Davis @ Wilebski’s, Rice & Larpenteur, Saint Paul. 7pm. ($10) At ten years old, Davis was drumming at Theresa’s and the Legendary Checkerboard Lounge in Chicago. Buddy Guy gave him a beat up guitar and taught him his first chord. Some thirty years later, Davis is a Chicago bluesman who had traveled the world. He’s part of the new generation of Chicago Blues. Get to Wilebski’s early for the free happy hour food.

Sat, Feb 11

Krewe de Walleye Mardis Gras Party @ Withrow Ballroom, Withrow. 6pm. ($12) Get out the masks, the beads, and the dancing shoes and head East to this old time Ballroom between White Bear Lake and Stillwater. The Cajun Hot Soles and Dan Newton’s New Jumbo Ya Ya will be playing music that will definitely get you in the Mardis Gras mood. Jambalaya will also be available at $6/bowl. Dance lessons at 6:30.

The Eddies @ The Hat Trick Lounge, downtown Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) It’s always a warm show among friends when the Eddies play the Trick.

Saturday, Sunday, Feb 11, 12

All kinds of jug bands show up for the Annual Battle

30th Annual Battle of the Jug Bands @ The Nomad & Cabooze, Minneapolis.  Saturday at the Nomad, 7:30pm and Sunday at The Cabooze, 1-8pm. ($5 suggested donation) The largest known gathering of jug bands in the Universe, according to their website. Featuring jug bands that are satirical, witty, experimental (egg separators as instruments?), and talented. Will the prize waffle iron be stolen once again before it can be handed off? Attend and find out. These are long sessions, so potluck donations are encouraged to keep all nourished.

Sunday, Monday, Feb 12,13

Ana Moura @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm. ($35). Moura is a native of Portugal who is responsible for the renaissance of a style of music called Fado, which deals with loss, suffering, and fate. You needn’t know Portuguese to hear the longing and heartache in her voice. Go to YouTube and listen to a song like “Dentro da Tempestade.”  Folks like the Rolling Stones and Prince have recognized her talent. You will as well.

Monday, Feb 13
Saint Paul Live! on KBEM, 88.5FM 7pm – 8pm. This show features a cabaret production with Zeitgeist, Julie Johnson and the No-Accounts, and AntiGravity.

Tuesday, Feb 14

Love Lies Bleeding: A Valentine’s Day  Tribute to Elton John @ The Amsterdam (Hall Stage), 6th & Wabasha, Saint Paul. 8pm ($8/$10). An alternative to candlelit dinners and chocolates, featuring Elton Hills Drive with a slew of guests such as Kevin Bowe, the Laurel Strings Quartet, Adam Levy, Allison Scott, John Muson, Ashleigh Still, and more.

For a complete list of blues (and some roots) events, see the calendar of the Minnesota Blues Society.

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