April and Snow – Music: 3.28-4.3

March 28, 2018

Enough Already!

We’re heading into April, and just as the Prince song says, Sometimes It Snows in April, at least that’s what seems to be forecast for the next week. At any rate, it doesn’t appear to be enough snow to hinder our ability to get out and enjoy the visiting and resident musicians who are appearing around town. Remember, Music Lifts the Spirit.

Larry

Jazz

Wednesday, March 28

Patricia Barber @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40) Artful jazz from pianist/vocalist/songwriter Barber, whose low voice and slow delivery could be heard as sultry, there is more thought than seduction in her songs. It’s been a while since she appeared here in the Twin Cities, where she has many fans who are sure to welcome her back.

Thursday, March 29

JC Sandford Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) JC Sanford, trombone, compositions; Zacc Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums

Aja Parham Group @ Jazz Central, Minnreapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Nice to see such a fine vocalist performing after a while out of the spotlight. She’ll be supported by Kenneth Garner, bass; Steven Hobert, piano; Ben Boussieres, guitar; and Trenon Graham, drums.

ColLaboratory@ Khyber Pass, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Matt Rahaim (South Indian music); Scott Currie (saxophone, wind instruments); Maja Radovanlija (classical guitar); Jay Afrisando (indonesian instruments, electronics,etc.); Mike Duffy (electronics); Joey Crane (cello); Adam Zahler (multiintrumentalist); Noah OB (trumpet); Paul Metzger (banjo)

Thursday – Sunday, March 29-31

The Drowsy Chaperone @ The Lab Theater,  700 North 1st St, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Augsburg’s Music Theater Club is presenting this “loving send-up of the jazz age.” It won five Tonys for its show stopping songs and dance numbers, including Best Book, and Best Original score. For more information and tickets, go here. Here’s one of the songs from Sutton Foster.

Friday, March 30

Michelle Kinney’s What We Have Here @ Jazz Central, Minnreapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Michelle Kinney, cellist & composer; Pat O’Keefe, clarinet and sax; Laura Harada, violin; Noah Ophoven Baldwin, Cornet; Greg Schutte, drums; Adam Zahller, voice. (With special guests Ivan & Chris Cunningham). Original compositions and an arrangement of Bon Iver’s Flume.

Friday, Saturday, March 30, 31

Debbie Duncan Album Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) If you’ve been around the Twin Cities jazz scene for any time, you know what a treasure we have in vocalist Debbie Duncan. She’s got a new album and is celebrating its release with this two-night stand. Roane Shepperly, writing for Mid-West Jazz, describes her thusly: “Her voice, like the garments she often wears, is full of shimmering gold threads, intricately woven around rich dark textures and warm honey tones.”

Saturday, March 31

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar)  7:00pm: It’s a two-fer of Joel Shapira music, featuring the Charmin & Shapira Quartet at 7pm: Charmin Michelle, Vocals; Joel Shapira, Guitar; Tom Lewis, Bass; and Nathan Norman, Drums. At 8:30pm it’s The Joel Shapira Quartet: ​Joel Shapira, Guitar; Pete Whitman, Saxophones; Tom Lewis, Bass, and Phil Hey, Drums, along with some special guests

Monday, April 2

Jon Weber @ Dual Citizen Brewing, 725 Raymond Avenue, Saint Paul. 7pm ($25 suggested donation) This benefit for the Twin Cities Jazz Festival is being held at a new brewery, just South of University on Raymond Avenue. Weber is a Jazz Fest regular who skill at playing any kind of piano style is matched by his command of musical trivia. Always a delight.

Le Voyage @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Two sets of music freely composed on the spot from Le Voyage: Donald Washington, reeds; Matt Trice, alto sax; Dick Studer, bass; and Steve Hirsh, 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, March 28

Switched at Birth on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Formed in 1998, Switched at Birth is a five-piece acoustic group that plays bluegrass, folk, blues country, Cajun, Irish, and rock n’ roll music. Whew!

The Beavers @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6-8pm (Free) This quintet of women will charm you with their quick wit and humor as they play bluegrass and old-timey music.

Thursday, March 29

Koch-Marshall Trio/with guest David Grissom @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15 Advance/$20 Door) The Koch-Marshall trio is a blues-based organ trio that delivers echoes of funk, jazz, rock, and country over heavy grooves. Guitarist David Grissom is a heavy hitter who’s played with Joe Ely, John Mellencamp, Buddy Guy, the Allmans, Dixie Chicks, Ringo Starr and more.

Shemekia Copeland and Carolyn Wonderland@ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45) It’s a twosome of strong blueswomen. Copeland is a two-time Grammy nominee, whose big voice and her way with the blues seems to come naturally. After all, she’s the daughter of the late Johnny Copeland. Though Wonderland is a bit of a multi-instrumentalist, she’s best known for her soulful vocals and her ability to plumb the Texas blues tradition with her fierce, original guitar playing. Here’s Wonderland in Des Moines a few days ago.

Los Amigos Invisibles @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($20 Advance/$25 Door) Originally from Venezuela, Los Amigos create a dance-til-you-drop mix of Latin and funk rhythms. At their last appearance at the Cedar, they packed the place with smiling, twirling, and dancing fans.

Friday, March 30

Big George Jackson @ Schooner’s, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Big George is a big-voiced bluesman who can sing low down as well as boogie with the best.

The Committee @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?)   The Committee is composed of vocalists Maurice Jacox, Deb Brown, and Aisha Baker, who performed together in the Soul Tight Committee. They’ll be backed by a seven-piece horn band to perform “Old School R&B” from the likes King Floyd, Freda Payne, Taste of Honey, The Spinners, Al Green, Jackson 5, and Aretha Franklin, among others.

Sunday, April1

Natania & Ticket To Brasil @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 6pm ($8 Advance/$10 Door) Hot Sambas, cool jazz, and sensuous bossa novas from this septet, with the extra added attraction of vocalist Natania, a Brazilian native now living in Saint Paul.

Tuesday, April 3

Curt Obeda & Camille Baudoin @ Schooner’s, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Left-handed guitarist Obeda might just be the most awarded bluesman in Minnesota, while Camille Baudoin, formerly of New Orleans’ Radiators, provides perfect counterpoint in this meeting of musical talents. Here thy are with Peter Ostrousko and Newport Slim.

Lush Country @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $15 for Guaranteed Seat) Classic country from the 50s and 60s, as performed by vocalist Prudence Johnson, Dan Chouinard, piano; Gary Rue, guitar; Gary Raynor, bass; Richard Kriehn, mandolin; Joe Savage, pedal steel; and Peter Johnson, 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.

 


Celebrations and Visitations. Music: 7.8 – 7.14

July 8, 2015
The Brass Messengers will bring their antics to Bastille Day in Minneapolis.

The Brass Messengers will bring their antics to Bastille Day in Minneapolis.

We’ve got another weekend of outdoor music celebrations this weekend, what with Bastille Day Celebrations in both Minneapolis and Saint Paul, as well as a hip-hop festival and a one-day jazz festival at a vineyard. We also have some very interesting visiting musicians, a CD release party, and some stellar combinations of resident musicians. All in all, a good week for music lovers. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 8

Connie Evingson w/Patty and the Buttons @ The Woman’s Club, 410 Oak Grove, Minneapolis. 6-8pm ($10) Patty and the Buttons bring their happy rhythms and swinging influences (gypsy jazz, ragtime, American Popular song, to the music of Ms Evingson  To quote the sublime vocalist, “I love singing with these guys!”

Capri Big Band @ Minnehaha Falls Pavilion, Minneapolis. 7-9pm (Free) The Capri Big Band is an intergenerational band led by saxophonist Donald Washington will be swinging for visitors to the park, providing much more than just background music for those waiting in line for fish tacos at Sea Salt.

Chris Bates’ Magica Improvisada @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Chris Bates, bass; Corey Healy, drums; and Peter Schimke, piano; bring their considerable talent to bear on originals and jazz standards.

Thursday, July 9

Christine Hitt @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pianist/vocalist Hitt established herself in the Saint Louis jazz scene, recording and working for MAXJAZZ records and performing with the likes of Ugonna Okegwo, Hubert Laws, Slide Hampton and others. Tonight she is joined by Eric Hitt, bass; Dave Schmalenberger, drums; and Brian Handeland, sax.

James Buckley Trio & Jacob Hanson@ Studio Z, Saint Paul. ($10) The All Originals Jazz Series returns for another season. Opening the season this year is the James BuckleyTrio, featuring Bryan Nichols, piano; JT Bates, drums, and Buckley on bass. Their imaginative swinging sounds will be augmented by guitarist Jacob Hanson, who plays in a number of high profile groups including The Pines, Haley Bonar, Solid Gold, and more. Hanson’s approach to the guitar is informed by blues, surf music, 50s pop, and more, as he uses technique and pedals to create intriguing soundscapes.

Friday, July 10

Judy Donaghy Vinar & the Wolverines Quartet @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Crooners is a fine club/lounge, with a small dance floor and a comfortable stage. Vocalist Vinar will be joined by Jendeen Forberg, drums; Rick Carlson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Doug Haining on clarinet and reeds. Here she is with the big band version of the Wolverines.

Milwaukolis@ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The name implies a combination of musicians from Milwaukee and Minneapolis. Nelson Devereaux, sax; paul Westfahl, drums, and Cody Steinmann, guitar; play music rooted in tradition but also drawing inspiration from modern pop, hip-hop, and rock music.

Dean Granros’ Tall Tales @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) This two-guitar jazz group features Zacc Harris, as well as leader Dean Granros on guitars, with Chris Bates on bass, and Jay Epstein on drums providing a formidable foundation. They have a new CD out on Shifting Pardigm records, and blew folks away at their CD Release parties a couple of months back.

Jordan Anderson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) If you’ve had a chance to see the Dakota Combo or the Walker West Jazz Band, you’ve seen this young pianist (16) in action. I’m not sure if he’ll be performing solo or with other musicians, but either way, he’s already a seasoned, imaginative performer and soloist.

Saturday, July 11

Jazz Fest @ Saint Croix Vineyards, 6428 Manning Ave No., Stillwater. Noon – 6pm. (Free) Here are four very good reasons to while away a pleasant afternoon. You get to hear the Javi Santiago Quartet at noon, the Andrew Walesch Trio at 1:30, the Adam Meckler Orchestra at 3pm, and Doug Little’s Seven Steps to Havana at 4:30. Bring a picnic basket, or buy some food while there. Wine (of course) and non-alcoholic beverages are always available.

Bastille Day in Saint Paul @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 2pm – 8pm ($10, kids under are free) Outdoor on the West 7 Place Mall. Music by French Jazz Band Lo’Jo, as well as Twin Cities based Francine Roche Trio, with The New Standards capping the day. Then go inside to hear Connie Evingson and the Parisota Hot Club in the newly refurbished Vieux Carre.

Jacob Teichroew Quintet w/guest Adam Meckler @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Saxophonist and composer Jacob Teichroew has studied classical sax with Stephen Jordheim, jazz with Antonio Hart, and contemporary improvisation with Vijay Iyer. All those influences are part of his music. He’ll be joined by members of his group: Syberen van Munster, guitar; Jarrett Cherner, keys; Christopher Nolte, bass; and Shawn Baltazor, drums; as well as trumpeter Adam Meckler, no slouch himself when in comes to playing or composing.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5-$20 Suggested Donation) Here is another combination of a new group and some fine veterans performing on a Saturday night. Opening at 7pm King/Fletcher/Woods: Jeff King, sax; Charles Feltcher, bass; Eron Woods, drums. At 8:30, the highly talented pianist Laura Caviani takes the stage, accompanied by the ever inventiveJay Epstein, drums; and rock solid Gordy Johnson on bass.  Here’s Laura celebrating Monk.

Sunday, July 12

Stan Bann’s Big Bone Band @ Como Dockside Pavilion, Saint Paul. 3-5pm (Free) Ahh, Sunday afternoon under the exposed pavilion at Como Lake, with victuals and beverages available from Como Dockside, the new bar/restaurant from Jon Oulman, of the 331 Club and the Amsterdam Bar & Hall. Trombonist/composer/arranger Bann brings his band, with seven trombones, a euphonium, tuba, and rhythm section, to the pavilion for your listening pleasure

Monday, July 13

Jacob Teichroew Quintet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. ($8) Another chance to see this New York sax player (see Saturday)

Tuesday, July 14

Katia Cardenas @ Vieux Carre Grand Opening, Saint Paul. 7pm ($?) A year and a half after the Artists’ Quarter closed, Vieux Carre (view ma-ray) will finally have its grand opening in the space. They’ve had some pop-up events during the last six months, but now, all the furniture has been replaced, there’s a new sound system, new paint and images on the black walls, the carpeting has been taken up, some walls removed, and a small kitchen installed. And… they’ve got up and coming vocalist Cardenas for the official opening. She is well versed in jazz, and R&B, and a bit of pop as well. She’ll be joined by Kevin Gastonguay, piano; Andrew Foreman, bass; and Zach Schmidt, drums.

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.

Roots, Blues, Other…

Wednesday, July 8

Mother Banjo @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. noon – 1pm (Free) Ellen Stanley, aka Mother Banjo  has been gaining fans and friends around the country with her unique blend of Americana and “pub gospel.” I’ll be hosting this noontime show that’s perfect for taking a break from work.

Gang of Mischief on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The Gang of Mischief is a loose aggregation of old blues guys and younger adherents. This time around the gang includes, Rena Haus, Doug Otto, Josh Granowski, Papa John Kolstad, Dan Schwalbe, and Hurricane Harold. Stick around for Firefly Forest at 9:30pm – they’re a world/folk group led by Steven Hobart, with a mischievous bent of their own.

Carolyn Wonderland CD Release Party @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) The daughter of a band singer, blues/country/folk singer Wonderland combines the vocal prowess of Janis Joplin with guitar slinging reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughn, and other influences such as Doug Sahm, and Angela Strehli, which is only natural, considering she comes Texas. She’s touring behind her latest release, Miss Understood, which includes her own compositions, as well as some by JJ Cale and Rick Derringer.

Thursday, July 9

Jones Family Singers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Five sisters, two brothers, and their father were playing the Gulf Coast gospel music circuit when they ended up at South by Southwest, where their readings of gospel songs (complete with elements of vintage soul and R&B – duh!) caught the attention of fans and promoters alike. Now we get to hear their joyful noise between appearances at the Newport and Winnipeg Folk Festivals.

Friday, July 10

Mingo Fishtrap @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) This five-time winner of Austin Texas Music Awards, Mingo Fishtrap is an eight-piece funk n’ soul band with punchy horns and relentless rhythms.

Raw Oyster Cult w/The Butanes @ Bunker’s Music Bar & Grill, Minneapolis. 9:30pm  ($25) Raw Oyster Cult is a supergroup of New Orleans musicians, with lead vocalists in Radiators guitarist Dave Malone and Papa Grows Funk’s John Gros, who also plays B-3. They are joined by  The Rads’ Camille Baudoin on guitar, drummer Frank Bua Jr, and bassist Dave Pomerleau. They’ll be reimagining some Radiators’ songs and adding originals and some of their favorite older tunes. The Butanes, of course, are the Twin Cities favorite blues band.

Saturday, July 11

For the Love: A Community Celebration @ Union Depot, Bedlam, and Black Dog, Saint Paul. 3pm – 10pm. (Free) This is a celebration of hip-hop music featuring 15 artists (most doing 20 minute sets), including the return of the Kanser crew, celebrating their 20h anniversary, and headlined by Saint Paulite Ashely Dubose from 8:50 to 10pm. It also features 15 deejays at the Bedlam Theater from 2pm to 2am, which will turn into an 18+ nightspot after 10pm. Even youngsters have their own stage, at the Black Dog from 2pm – 7pm, where demonstrations of emceeing, breakdancing, beatboxing, and more will occur. Note that 50% of the performers/hosts are female. To add to the festivities, live graffiti painting will take place during performances and Metro Transit is providing free transit to the show.

Maurice Jacox Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) I’ve written enough about vocalist Jacox for regular readers to know of his versatility in singing blues, R&B, jazz, and acoustic Motown. Tonight he’s joined by Thomas West, piano; John Della Selva, guitar; and Poncho Lopez, percussion at a venue that seems made for his music.

Doug MacLeod w/Jeff Arundel @ The Aster Cafe, MInneapolis. 9pm ($15) Here’s a chance to see a blues artist that rarely makes it to these parts. MacLeod is a perennial Blues Music Award nominee, having won the 2014 Award for Acoustic Artist of the Year and Acoustic Album of the year, and the 2013 Award for Male Artist of the Year. He’s a prolific singer and songwriter, with tunes that are full of smart remarks and keen observation.

Willie Walker CD Release @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) The Twin Cities own Original Soul Man is out with a new album, If Nothing Ever Changes, produced by Rick Estrin, the often-comic singer from the Nite Cats. Willie recorded with Goldwax Records in Memphis, and even released some sides on Chess back in the 60s. The new CD is a slab of solid soul, including a moving reading of a country song, “Not that I Care,” and great versions of a couple of Eddie Hinton songs: “Everybody Meets Mr. Blue” and “Hymn for Lonely Hearts.” Not that this is a retro record; it’s contemporary, yet oh, so soulful.

Sunday, July 12

Bastille Day Block Party @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 3pm – 10pm (Free) PaviElle, Toki Wright & the Big Cats, Gramma’s Boyfriend, The Brass Messengers, Kate Lynch, MC Foxy Tann, street entertainers, and much, much more.

Monday, July 13

Jon Cleary @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Cleary is a New Orleans-based Englishman who, according to his website, has been studying, as he put it, “the musical culture and life of New Orleans” for over twenty years,. He’s a terrific, accomplished pianist, a soulful vocalist, and a multi-instrumentalist who has added his touch to music by Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, BB King, India Arie, and most recently John Scofield, on the album Piety Street. A must-see gig for fans of New Orleans music.

Tuesday, July 14

Bruce Henry Band @ The Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) Henry and his band will be doing Motown and more on the outside terrace. There will be prizes at intermission for the most fashionable hat, based on the Center’s current exhibit, 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair. Dance lessons at 6:30. Pack a picnic or buy from vendors on site.

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.


Summer’s End. Music: 8.29 – 9.4

August 29, 2012

One of the aerial rides at the Minnesota State Fair.

Where did the summer go? We’re looking at Labor Day this weekend. I hope you have been able to enjoy the summer. With the State Fair upon us, and school starting up, we’ll start to see fewer outdoor events, though a couple are on hand in the next week or two. in the meantime, we have some unique combinations of jazz players, a few significant birthday celebrations, and  two blues acts from Texas hitting town.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 20

Thomson, Johnson, & Ikeda @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7:30pm. That’s Chris Thomson, sax; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Alden Ikeda, drums, bringing jazz to the neighborhood bistro at 54th & Penn. It’s jazz that can stand up to careful listening as well as being in the background. If you go for the music, be sure to reserve a table near the band.

Thursday, August 30

Photo by Bruce Christianson

John Devine & Friends @ Loring Pasta Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm (No cover) Devine has been playing his saxophone at this venue for ohh, about twenty or more years. He’s a singular player, who has won awards, fellowships, and commissions from foundations, and has played with R&B bands and classical ensembles, in addition to improvisational groups. You can never tell who will show up to play with Devine, but rest assured, they will be among the most talented musicians in town.

Birthday Celebration for Jeanne Arland Peterson, Irv Williams, and Cliff Brunzell @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 10:30pm. Here is a chance to honor and respect some of the musical elders in our midst. Peterson on piano, is 91, as is violinist Brunzell. Williams is 93. Each still plays with verve and imagination.

Friday, Saturday, August 31, September 1

Phil Hey Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Okay, so you’re staying in town for the Labor Day weekend, and you’ve exhausted your appreciation for the State Fair. Here’s an opportunity to hear some jazz from musicians that more than hold their own with any group in the nation. Hey is on drums, with Dave Hagedorn on Vibes, Tom Lewis on bass, and Phil Aaron on piano. They usually appear at the AQ on weeknights, so here’s a chance for those of you who have school, work, etc. during the week to see this great band.

Saturday, September 1

Steve Hobart’s Hot Club @ the Harriet Brewing Tap Room. 4:30pm – 6:30pm (Free) Here’s an afternoon stop that will pick you up. Steve Hobert is a pianist/accordionist about town who’s been perking up ears in various ensembles. He’s bringing some gypsy jazz to the Tap Room this afternoon. Sounds like a great destination for a bike ride. Music. Beer. And food from Potter’s Pasties

Sunday, September 2

Photo by Andrea Canter

Leigh Kamman’s 90th Birthday Celebration @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 6pm. Another nonagerian in the jazz community. Kammen set vivid scenes and regaled listeners with many stories on Saturday nights as he broadcast the Jazz Image on MPR for so many years. Musical guests include Pete Whitman’s X-Tet, Brad Bellows, Carole Martin and more.

Dean Harrington Trio @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 9pm (No cover) Harrington is a relatively unsung jazz guitarist  who can swing standards and Django Rheinhardt tunes with equal aplomb. Tonight he’s joined by Dean “Many Notes” Mikkelson on guitar and Matt Senjem on bass.

Tuesday, September 4

Nichols, Peterson, & Horst @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) No, it’s not a law firm, but rather Bryan Nichols, piano; Billy Peterson, bass; and Kenny Horst, drums. A Tuesday night that promises moments of sublime taste as well as effortless flights of imagination.

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

Roots, Blues, Other…

Wednesday, August 29

617 Band @ Groovin in the Garden, Como Park Conservatory, Saint Paul. 6pm (Free) The 617 Band creates highly danceable R&B, Latin, and rock grooves with creative covers and a few originals. Grab a blanket or camp chairs, bring a picnic and have a fun evening on the lawn of the conservatory. A cash bar and lawn games will be available.

Albert Lee @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Not to be confused with Alvin Lee of Ten Years After, Albert Lee is a revered guitarist with a country/rockabilly bent. He’s played with The Everly Brothers, Eric Clapton, Emmy Lou Harris, Jerry Lee Lewis, Joe Cocker, and BB King, to name a few. Considered by many (including Clapton) to be one of the finest guitarists on the planet. Here’s a video of Lee doing his thing.

Thursday, August 30

Andrew Jr. Boy Jones @ Famous Daves Uptown, Minneapolis. 9pm. (No Cover). Texas Guitarist Jones was a member of Freddy King’s band twice, in the 60s (when Jones was 16) and again in the 70s. He’s also worked with the Louisiana soul singer Bobby Patterson, as well as Johnny Taylor, appeared on Katie Webster’s album Swamp Boogie Queen, and recorded three albums with Charlie Musselwhite, winning a WC Handy Award in 1995. He’s recorded five of his own albums since then, getting a WC Handy nomination for Watch What You Say on Rounder. In other words, the deep voiced Mr. Jones is the real deal, and for fans of the blues, is well worth seeing.

Friday, August 31

Jeff Ray & Hurricane Harold @ the Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm (free) Jeff plays dynamite guitar, Harold blows a mean harp. Together they produce energetic acoustic blues. Freshly tapped beers and the Anchor Fish & Chips Food truck are a plus.

Mary Cutrufello @ Cajun Potuck, 5936 Lexington Ave, Shoreview. 7pm – 9pm. Cajun Potluck is an unassuming little cafe that specializes in one Louisiana dish each day, and sells all sorts of authentic ingredients for those who want to try their own hand at Cajun and Creole cooking. While I’ve recommended Mary Cutrufello in the recent past, a chance to hear her singing solo while having Jambalaya is unique, and worthy of your attention. Though no alcohol is served, you certainly don’t need it to enjoy Mary’s country-rock.

Carolyn Wonderland @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) Wonderland is an Austin, Texas multi-instrumentalist and composer with a soulful voice that’s tough enough for the blues, and a guitar style to fit. She’s pretty good at singing country and gospel as well.

Sunday, Monday, September 2, 3

Big Sam’s Funky Nation and Bettye Lavette @ The Leinie Lodge Bandshell, MN State Fair, Saint Paul. 3:30 & 4:45 (Big Sam) 8:30pm (Bettye)  (Free with $12 Admission to the Fair) Okay, arrive early in the day and catch New Orleans’ Big Sam who used to be top trombonist in the Dirty Dozen, and his brass heavy funk band. If you’re not familiar with them, check out the video, below. Have some dinner, check out the produce hall, or the sales pitches under the grandstand, and come back to see soul legend Bettye Lavette, a singer who gets inside a song like no one else. Her performances will wring the soul out of you – in the best way possible.

Monday, September 3

Laughing Waters Bluegrass Festival @ Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis. 1pm – 6:30pm. (Free) This is the 14th year for this family-friendly outdoor festival. Twin Cities bands  Ivory BridgeSawtooth, The Platte Valley Boys, and the Middle Spunk Creek Boys, will be joined by up and coming guitarist/singer/composer Nora Jane Struthers will be providing the music. Nearby Sea Salt can provide food and drink, while there will no doubt be other vendors around as well. Stop by while traversing the bikeways, or make a day of it.

Duke Robillard

Duke Robillard and Davina & the Vagabonds @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20-$25) Here’s a two-fer that’s sure to be entertaining, not to mention a bargain. You’ve got vocal powerhouse Davina & the Vagabonds, who bring down the house whether playing a festival in the neighborhood or Switzerland. Robillard is the guitarist who started Roomful of Blues, and has played with folks ranging from Pinetop Perkins to Bob Dylan. His jump blues playing has always included some jazz elements, and in fact, he’s put out a few albums of very swinging standards and originals.

Tuesday, September 4

Jack Klatt @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7:30 pm (no cover) Klatt can co a Western swing number and turn around and play some bluegrass.

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

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


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