More Than Elevator Fare. Music: 3.4 – 3.10

March 4, 2015

Unknown-3Ahh, if March is here can Spring be far behind? I know, you can never tell here in the North, where we’ve been known to have April blizzards. Things are looking up for the weekend, with forecasts in the 40s, so you can take advantage of the fertile musical offerings to be found this week: a couple of shows that might be called nostalgic; some visiting jazzers that will awe and inspire you; African and Jamaican superstars; and resident artists who are rich in talent. Music lifts the spirit, although Gary Larson’s cartoon might indicate at least one instance where that doesn’t happen.


Wednesday, March 4

Pedrito Martinez Group @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($27), 9pm ($17) If you didn’t catch conguero/percussionist Pedrito Martinez June you missed a virtuoso display of Afro-Cuban music. Since arriving in North America in 1998, Martinez has established himself as both a bandleader and an important sideman, playing complex rhythms for such artists as Eddie Palmieri, Bebo Valdes, Bruce Springsteen, Cassandra Wilson, Joe Lovano, and Sting, among others. He was recently featured as one of the “80 Coolest Things in Jazz Today” in Downbeat’s 80th anniversary issue.

Chomsky & Thomas Nordlund Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s New Music Night at Jazz Central, and they’ve a double bill for jazz fans. Andrew Foreman’s group Chomsky will start things off. Besides Foreman on bass, the group includes Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Thomas Nordlund, guitar; and Zach Schmidt, drums. Then Nordlund switches instruments, to a Baritone guitar; and is joined by Ben Abrahamson, guitars; Kevin Gastonguay, keys; Foreman on bass; and Lars-Erik Larson on drums. Together they’ll play new music from Nordlund’s upcoming EP of baritone guitar. Here is one of his originals.

Thursday, March 5

UnknownDouglas Ewart @ The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. 6pm  (Free) Ewart is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, improviser, and maker of both masks and instruments. He plays a variety of reed and percussion instruments, as well as the digideroo, and has collaborated with The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Yusef Lateef, Cecil Taylor, and many Chicago heavyweights. HIs appearance is part of the Walker’s Sound Horizon series, exploring the spaces between sound and visual art.

Travis Anderson Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) It’s Foodie Night at the Dakota, with some swingin’ music to boot, brought to you by Travis Anderson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums.

Katia Cardenas @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Cardenas is a talented jazz & R&B singer, who has been showing up a various venues around town of late, including the Dakota, the Nicollet Cafe, Honey, and Bedlam Lowertown. She has an expressive voice, and is wise enough to reveal her power in small portions. Tonight she’ll be singing the songs of Ella Fitzgerald.

Merciless Ghost @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9:30pm ($5) George Cartwright is an adventurous explorer of saxophonic sounds, and tonight he is joined by Josh Granowski, bass; and drummer/percussionist Davu Seru.

Friday, March 6

Musical comrades

Musical comrades

Magraw/Gravatt @ the Nicollet, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20/reserved seats, No Cover, General Admission) Guitarist Magraw and drummer Eric Kamau Gravatt have a natural ability to communicate on a deeply personal musical level. Their recent CD on Red House Records, has been well received nationally as well as regionally. Reserved seating, available here  guarantees a table near the stage, and is recommended.

Raisin’ Cane: A Harlem Renaissance Odyssey @ The O’Shaughnessy, Saint Paul. 7:30pm. ($25 – $55) This is a multi-media show about the literary and artistic blossoming of Harlem in the years after WWI, featuring actor/songstress Jasmine Guy & the Avery Sharpe Trio. Sharpe was the bassist for the McCoy Tyner Trio for 18 years, recording 10 albums with Tyner, and has released seven albums as a leader. There’s an interview with Guy in Tuesdays Star Tribune. Here’s a bit of a preview.

JT Bates B3 Organ Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Kevin Gastonguey, B3 Organ; Zacc Harris, guitar; JT Bates, drums. Oooh, things in the basement will get down and greasy with some B3 jazz from excellent musicians.

Saturday, March 8

DD7 & Charlie Lincoln Group @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) It’s an evening of young whippersnappers at 7pm, and seasoned veterans at 98:3-0pm. Bassist Charlie Lincoln is still in high school. He’s a member of the Dakota Combo and has been musically growing by leaps and bounds in the last year or so. His group includes Aiden Sponheim, trumpet; and Peter Goggin, alto; (both also in this year’s Dakota Combo) and Levi Schwartzberg, piano (of last year’s Dakota Combo). At 8:30 the “oldsters” of DD7 will perform. They are Anthony Cox, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Mike Lewis, sax; Steve Kenny Flumpet; JT Bates, drums.

Monday, March 9

David Sanchez Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($20) The Grammy-winning and five-time nominee is a tenor saxophonist from Puerto Rico with a rich sound. He worked with Dizzy Gillespie for a number of years, as well as Charlie Haden, Eddie Palmieri, and others. Sanchez’s latest project, Baboula, follows the evolution of various West African and Caribbean rhythms to their use in the music of New Orleans and modern jazz.

Joan Griffith @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Griffith is a bassist/guitarist who is particularly adept at Brazilian rhythms. Griffith has recorded with Prudence Johnson, Laura Caviani, and Lucia Newell, and is director of the Macalester College Big Band.

Tuesday, March 10

Cassandra Wilson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $60) It can easily be argued that Cassandra Wilson’s wholly fresh take on vocal jazz has changed the music. She has taken standards, folk songs, pop songs, and Delta Blues to new places by changing tempos, the way words are emphasized, and, from time to time, the utilization of unexpected instruments. She’s now touring behind a new album that’s an homage to Billie Holiday, another singer who changed the public’s perception of jazz singing.

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.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, March 4

Jaybone Bell and Restless Light on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) High energy, melodic roots rock & bluegrass from Winona. Jason Ziebell (Jaybone) is the chief writer. He’s joined by jazz masters Kelly Blau on electric guitar & mandolin and Jase Ginkel on bass & harmonica, along with Steve Jones, drums; and Isaac Sammis, banjo.

The Wailers @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20) What more can be said about these reggae veterans who backed Bob Marley? They’ve sold over 250 million records worldwide, and though their charismatic leader died years ago, they carry on, led by bassist Aston, “Family Man” Barrett, who played with Lee Perry’s Upsetters before joining Marley in 1969.

Thursday, March 5

Records and beer  for an early Thursday evening.

Records and beer for an early Thursday evening.

The Return of Vinyl Tap @ Tin Whiskers Brewing Tap Room, 125 East 9th St., Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm (Free) I usually leave my own spinning gigs to the sidebar, but this one deserves a bit more attention. Vinyl Tap is the gig where I ask the audience to play name that tune about every 20 minutes or so. Winners get a prize (hint, it’s a tap room). I had been doing this at the Amsterdam until about a year ago, and so I’m happy to be able to do this at downtown Saint Paul’s brewery.

Benfest @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) A surfeit of Bens, songwriting Bens. All of them well versed in verses. Ben Kyle (Romantica); Ben Lubeck (Farewell Milwaukee); Ben Cook-Feltz; Ben Miller (the Federales) and Ben Tucker. All will share songs and stories together on one stage. And did I mention they’re all named Ben

Friday, March 6

Jake Manders CD Release @ Patrick’s Cabaret, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Manders has a voice that sounds both weary and hopeful, which is just right for his easygoing, rootsy music. He’s celebrating a new CD, Acoustic Frequency, on which Greta Hunstiger provides substantial violin, nicely goosing along the faster numbers, and Daryn Chrystensen plays piano and percussion. The first fifty to pay at the door will get a copy. Barron, of Farewell Milwaukee, will open, with DJs David & Laura from Hymie’s providing additional music. Here’s a song on the CD.

Janie Miller and the Square Roots @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($6) Janie Miller is well known for her Patsy Cline shows. She sometimes shows up at Bobby Eckstrand gigs, to share her voice which is just about perfect for singing other country songs. Square Roots with special guest harmonica ace Curtis Blake, open at 7pm.

Saturday, March 7

Unknown-3Caprice Saxophone Quartet: Undercurrents @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($10) Four saxophone players performing miminalist music by Reich, Torke, Labodie, and Rosenhaus, with drummer Steve Horey joining them for an arrangement of Paranoid Android, by Radiohead.

Hugh Masekela & Vusi Mahlasela @ the Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:00pm ($20 – $47) Oh boy! the Ordway is having a host of cool events during March. This one celebrates the music of South Africa. Masekela is the trumpeter who hit the top 40 back in the 60s  with Grazin’ in the Grass. His live shows are joyful affairs, with hip-swinging rhythms and songs that mine both traditional and urban African themes. Vusi Mahlasela has a gentle, gorgeous voice, at times reminiscent of Sam Cooke both in its timbre, and in the way he uses it to inspire hope. This show celebrates the 20th anniversary of the end of Apartheid. Here’s a video of Mahlasela.

Silvertones @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm. (No Cover) When you want to dance to the music of the 60s, this is the band to call upon. This isn’t a band that slavishly plays note-for-note recreations of the hits: these are obviously and utterly devoted to the songs, but more importantly, they have fun.

Sunday, March 8

Ricky Nelson Remembered @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($35), 8pm ($30) Rick Nelson became a Teen Idol and rock n’ roller in large part because he was featured on his parent’s show, Ozzie and Harriet every week. But give him his props, he had a good ear, recognized good tunes, and was able to hire James Burton as his guitarist. He sold over 130 million records, an as he aged he was able to keep his cred, creating country rock (with Bernie Leadon, who would later join the Eagles) before anyone else, and releasing a very good late album of rockers by John Fogerty, Graham Parker, and John Hiatt, among others. His sons Andrew and Gunnar had their own number one hit in 1990 as NELSON giving the family three generations with number one records (Ozzie led a big band before the TV show). Here’s a preview of the program.

George Kahumoku Jr, with Da “Ukulele Boyz @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Some music from Hawaii to help you forget winter. Kahumoku is a slack key guitarist who is has won multiple Grammys and hosts a weekly show of slack key guitar in Maui. Da Ukulele Boyz are a duo whose relaxed approach on stage belies their talent on ukelele.

Unknown-4British Invasion 50th Anniversary Tour @ Pantages Theatre, Minneapoli. 7pm ($48.50 – $58.50) For folks of a certain age, and fans of pure pop, this is a cornucopia of talent. Peter Asher, of Peter and Gordon, will serve as host/emcee. He should do a dandy job of it, based on his storytelling/singing at the Dakota during his last two visits. Denny Laine  served as a member of both the Moody Blues and Paul McCartney’s Wings, Chad & Jeremy, with their folk-rock harmonies, had 6 or 7 Top 40 songs here in the US, while Billy J. Kramer had about 5 entries, Mike Pender of The Searchers was their lead singer for a number of hits. Terry Sylvester replaced Graham Nash in the Hollies and was with them during their heyday, and also sang in the Swinging Blue Jeans.

Tuesday, March 10

Courtney Yasminah @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm (Free) The former Wayzata housewife who eschewed that life for one of a rockin’ singer/songwriter has now moved to NYC and is contemplating her tenth tour of Europe. Yasminah’s latest album, Red Letter Day,” is receiving high praise for its exuberance, songwriting, and general rockitude.

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.



Wayback Week. Music: 5.14 – 4.20

May 14, 2014
Mr Peabody is ready to show Sherman how to rock, 80's style.

Mr Peabody is ready to show Sherman how to rock, 80’s style.

It’s looking a little like Wayback Week, with some old favorites from decades past coming through town. Of course, we’ve plenty of contemporary artists performing as well. Throw in Art-A-Whirl, some visiting artists, and a legal brief full of lawyer bands and you’ve got an entertaining week ahead. Music lifts the spirit. Have a good week.


Wednesday, May 14

Framework @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Donation) Framework is Chris Bates, bass; Chris Olson, guitar; and Jay Epstein, drums. They’ve been around as a group for a number of years, and each as a resume that stretches for pages. I enjoy their CD, simply entitled Framework, for its tight, melodic tunes. They play sporadically, due in part to the other commitments each has, so this is a good chance to catch them in a relaxed setting.

Thursday, May 15

Laura Caviani @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Donation) Wait a minute, you’re saying, isn’t Thursday Vocal Jazz Night at JC? Isn’t Laura a piano player? Well, yes it is, and though Laura is a wonderful pianist and often accompanies other singers, she has revealed that she has charming pipes with a song or two on her albums. Tonight she’ll be performing songs that she sang with her family when growing up. Accompanying her will be Chris Lomheim, piano; Bruce Heine, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger, drums.

Friday, May 16

Vicky Mountain @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7pm – 10pm (No cover) The swingin’ chanteuse has Chris Lomheim on piano and Matt Peterson on bass to accompany her while she performs some swingin’ jazz and hipster pop.

Roseville HS Spring Concert feat: a Big Band composition from Michael Attias @ Roseville HS, Roseville. 7:30pm (Free) Pat Moriarty directs the music program at Roseville and this Spring Concert will feature three combos and three big bands. The evening will feature the premiere of a big band composition by NY saxophonist Michael Attias.

Nathan & Brian of the Fantastic Merlins

Nathan & Brian of the Fantastic Merlins

Fantastic Merlins w/Jean-Brice Godet @ Sweet 317, Northern Warehouse, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) French Clarinetist Jean-Brice Godet is in town for a few days. He is a composer and also a free improviser, which means he’s the perfect foil for the Merlins: Nathan Hanson on sax; and Brian Roessler on bass. Expect music that will move you.

Steve Kenny Quartet @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm. Kenny seems to be very busy these days, choosing from among a wide range of musicians for different projects. This time the trumpet player has quartet that’s playing a lot of Monk, including Billy Peterson, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Jay Epstein on drums.

Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra w/Charmin Michele @ The Medina Ballroom, 500 Highway 55, Medina. 8:30pm ($12) O’Hagan and is crew head out to the Western ‘burbs to provide music that is not only easy on the ears, but easy to dance to. Ms Michele provides warm vocals, as on this sensuous song.

Saturday, May 17

Sublime Curve @ The Normandy Kitchen, downtown Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) “Chamber Jazz” in an intimate setting, featuring Jim Tice, keys; Stevie D, percussion; Jeff Moe, bass; Marc Partridge, guitar; and Tom Church, sax. It is a small place, so reservations are recommended.

Sunday, May 18

Ellen Lease/Pat Moriarty w/Michael Attias & Homer Lambrecht @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10)  Fantastic NYC-based saxophonist Michael Attias is in town for the premiere of his new big band piece (see above) so Pat and Ellen are taking the opportunity to perform with him. Homer Lambrecht is best known as both an avant garde jazz trombonist and as a composer of major orchestral works (commissions from the Min Orch and SPCO).  For this gig he’ll be doing live electronics.  Homer has developed a number of interactive soundscapes which will be used as the basis for improvisations that move in all directions.

Monday, May 19

Fantastic Merlins w/Jean-Brice Godet and The Atlantis Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. For the Merlins w/Godet, see Friday’s entry above. Add the thoroughly modern Atlantis Quartet. The result: late night contemporary jazz.

Monday, Tuesday, May 19, 20

Cassandra Wilson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50, $60), 9pm ($40,$50) One of the best jazz vocalists around, Mississippi native Wilson incorporates blues, country, and folk into her repertoire, all the time making each song completely her own. She’s won two Grammys, a marker on the Mississippi Blues Trail and a number of other awards. Her genius at interpreting songs is evident in this video of her doing Jimi Henrix’s Little Wing.

Tuesday, May 20

Some members of the band

Some members of the band

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Adam’s been on the road for the last four weeks with the Youngblood Brass Band. He’s pumped, and he’s ready to lead the 17 piece orchestra in the songs they’ve recorded for an upcoming album, as well as some other band favorites. Always invigorating.

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, May 14

Bloodwashed Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Here’s a band that can publish a Twin Cities Who’s Who of alt-country. Led by Page Burkum (Cactus Blossoms) The Bloodwashed Band serves as the house band for House of Mercy Church in Saint Paul, playing a repertoire that includes songs by the Carter Family, the Louvin Brothers, and other familiar names in country and roots music. Other members include Chris Becknell, violin (Mursik); guitarist Jeremy Szopinski and keyboardist Erick Brandt,  both of the Urban Hillbilly Quartet; Quillan Roe, bass (Roe Family Singers); Levi Stugelmeyer, drums (Chm) and vocalist Angie Talle. I’ll be hosting both the radio show and at the 331 Club.

Idan Raichel Project @ O’Shaugnessy Auditorium, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($35, $45)  Here’s an event that will gather fans of world music. Producer, keyboardist, and composer Idan Raichel has become a global music icon since the unveiling of The Idan Raichel Project, a multi-ethnic tour de force that changed the face of Israeli popular music. The ten-piece Project charms audiences with entrancing, infectious, highly rhythmic  music sung in Hebrew, Arabic and the Ethiopian languages of Amharic and Tigrit. Though much of what they play is medium tempo, they can also rock out, as shown in this video.

Thursday, May 15

Attractive Nuisance Tour & Fundraiser @ Crooked Pint Ale House, Minneapolis. 6pm ($15 advance/$20 door) Okay, who knew that there are not only lawyer bands, but at least four lawyer bands, all of whom will be performing for this fundraiser for the Minnesota Justice Foundation. They may be lawyers who wanna be rockers, or rockers who turned to law to support themselves. Either way, you get to see Noisy Withdrawal, The Abdomen, Bluff Country, and Uncommon Roots. MMC is co-sponsoring this event, since the MN Justice Foundation will be working with them to provide free legal services to musicians.

The Blasters @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) Wow! There are many folks in our Twin Towns who are highly anticipating this performance. The Blasters first exploded onto the music scene back in the early 80s, with a blend of blues, rockabilly, and early rock n’ roll delivered with the energy of punk. It’s a hot ticket, so it might not be a good idea to buy one in advance. Piñata Protest opens. Watch em rock out.

Friday, May 16

Unknown-1Semi-Twang @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Back to Lee’s for another blast from the past that’s current once again. Those of us who fondly remember the R&B Cadets out of Milwaukee will recognize its founder John Sieger, who went on to form Semi-Twang, that some have called a pre-curser to alt-country. Though their first album, released in 1988, was critically well-received, sales were flat. Fast forward to 2009 and a reunion of the band that went very well, resulting in a second, and now a third album. Call it Americana, roots, alt-country. It doesn’t matter. What matters is Sieger is a terrific songwriter, and the band provides the spice that turns a simple stew into a tasty gumbo.

Paul Geremia @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) Geremia has been on the road since the 60s, earning a well-deserved reputation as a bluesman with an affinity for early blues and jazz, fingerpicking originals as well as songs from the likes of Bl;ind Willie McTell, Scrapper Blackwell, and others. Dave Van Ronk called him one of “the best white blues players alive.” It’s a small music room at the Bayport, where you can get some might fine BBQ, as well as a branded alcohol called White Lightning. With Geremia, the ‘Q, and drinks, you can settle in for a mighty fine evening of classic blues.

Friday – Sunday, May 16, 17, 18

Art-A-Whirl @ Various Studios, NE Minneapolis. I’m listing this since there will be many music performances at different buildings throughout the tour, including a live broadcast of Lolly Obeda’s Sugar Shop on Friday afternoon at the PNA Hall, and KFAI Deejays at both PNA Hall and studio #332 in Northrup King on Friday and Saturday. More information about At-A-Whirl is available here.

Saturday, May 17

It's back to the future with this cartoon, which may or may not be shown.

It’s back to the future with this cartoon, which may or may not be shown.

Ukelele Alley Cartoon ExtravaGonzo w/Dakota Dave Hull @ The Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis. Noon ($8, $5 12 and under) It’s a Saturday Family Matinee, presented by Luke the Uke and featuring DJ Mister Gosh and VJ Miss Ian spinning 78s and celluloid for kids of all ages. Special guest Dakota Dave Hull will be finger picking.

Sunday, May 18

Who Nu @ Jimmy’s Food & Drink, 1132 East County Road E, Vadnais Heights. 2:30pm – 6:30pm (No cover) Here’s a pleasant Sunday afternoon full of old school funk & soul, with guest vocalists Dorothy Doring, Donald Thomas, and Dee Miller. Why I’ll bet some folks even get up and dance.

Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) Hillman was an original member of the Byrds, whose album Sweetheart of the Rodeo, a seminal country-rock album. He went on to play in the Flying Burrito Brothers, Manassas, and the Desert Rose Band. Multi-instrumentalist Herb Pedersen was also in the Desert Rose band, and has collaborated with the likes of Earl Scruggs, The Dillards, Stephen Still, Emmylou Harris and many more. The two have recorded and toured behind several acclaimed albums of acoustic country and bluegrass songs. It’s great to have them here.

Monday, May 19

David Lindley @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30 ($22) Lindley’s hair may now be gray, but he still has an impish smile, which perfectly reflects his wide-ranging taste in music, not to mention his wizardry with many things stringed. Back in the 70s he made waves as a supporting player for folks ranging from Jackson Browne, and Linda Ronstadt, to Bob Dylan and Crosby & Nash. His band El Rayo-X earned a cult following, and a 2011 collaboration with Browne got a Grammy Nomination for Best Contemporary Folk Album. A delightful evening awaits. Here’s a video from last year.

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.





Music, Movies, and More. 10.10 – 10.16

October 10, 2012

It’s a busy weekend coming up, what with a Zombie Pub Crawl and the Saint Paul Art Crawl and the Sound Unseen Festival.   If, like me, you are past dressing up (or is it down) as a Zombie to go from bar to bar there are certainly enough diversions and good music to be had.


Wednesday, October 10

Cellar @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Bryan Nichols, Rhodes piano; James Buckley, bass; and Joey Philips, drums. The PR for this says it’s a “fundamentally spiritual music” that “parallels the evolutionary patterns of rock and jazz in great detail.” Given the players, I think it’s going to be good music, whatever you call it.

Red Planet Plays Monk @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Today is the anniversary of the birth of Thelonious Monk, and our favorite musical astronauts (Dean Magraw, guitar, Chris Bates, bass, and Jay Epstein, drums) will be exploring his music.

Thursday, October 11

Illicit Sextet and Zacc Harris Quartet @ The Artists Quarter, Saint Paul. 7pm (Illicit Sextet – Free), 9pm (Zacc Harris Quartet – $5) Here’s a two-fer that’s certainly worth getting out early. The Illicit Sextet is a composer’s collective playing original tunes with an emphasis on hard bop. Paul Harper, sax; Steve Kenny, trumpet; David Roos, guitar; Chris Lomheim, piano; Tom Pieper, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums. Stick around to hear the Zacc Harris Quartet, with Harris on guitar; Bryan Nichols on piano; and Chris and JT Bates on bass and drums. An evening of melodic, invigorating jazz.

Friday, Saturday, October 12, 13

Hoenig using some of his unique ways to get sound from a trap set.

Ari Hoenig Trio featuring Bill Carrothers and Chris Bates @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Hoenig is a drummer known for making drums an integral part of the harmonic structure of a group. Carrothers is a Minnesota born, Michigan based pianist who has won awards in France and Germany, as well as the respect of some of jazz’s greatest musicians. Bassist Chris Bates has proven to be a go-to guy when visiting artists come to town. You’ll note that he’s playing at the AQ for four nights this week.

Saturday, October 13

Atlantis Quartet Workshop and Concert @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 5pm workshop (free), 7pm performance ($10) The 5pm workshop is actually a presentation on Collective Improvisation and Collaborative Composition. The Atlantis Quartet plays 21st Century jazz. They use modern harmonic concepts and rhythms with creative, energizing results.

Sunday, October 14

PipJazz Sunday w/guests Steve Faison and Joshua Jones @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 5pm ($20) Pippi Ardennia brings vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Steve Faison to the stage for her monthly session of “feel good” music. The youth artist is saxophonist Joshua James, a former member of the Dakota Combo. A crackerjack band, including Glenn Swanson, drums; Peter Schimke, piano; Marcus Wise, percussion, Jay Young, bass, and the youngest member of the group (still in high school), Sosha Warpeha on violin.

Sunday, Monday, October 14, 15

Cassandra Wilson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($60/$50) 9pm ($50/$40) Wilson is a woman with a singular, highly personal singing style. Every song is re-invented and recast, often imbued with the blues, and revealing nuances you didn’t know were there.

Monday, October 15

Zack Lozier @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30 (donation) Zack brings his considerable trumpet skills to the basement hang-out to play with Tanner Taylor, piano, Mac Santiago, drums, and a yet-to-be-named bass player.  It’s a BYO beverage and snack place.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, October 10

Gaia Groove on KFAI (90.3 and 106.78FM) and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI) and 7pm (331 Club – tip jar) Straight off Prairie Home Companion, this duo is from Italy, where singer Hilary Thavis’ American parents raised her. Whether they’re playing a song by Robert Johnson, Eric Clapton, or an original, they are direct, and without artifice. Tune in at 5pm and head over to the 331 Club afterwards. They’ve a few dates in the area over the next week, so look out for them. Check out their original, Facebook Blues:

Thursday, October 11

Paula Cole @ The Daktoa, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) Cole had a top ten hit in 1996 with “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” then went on to place win a Grammy as Best New Artist in 1997, and have “I Don’t Want to Wait” as the opening intro to Dawson’s Creek. Touring with the Lilith Fair established her performing bonafides, and she’s since received another six Grammy nominations.

Wayne the Train Hancock @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) Okay guys, it’s time to slick back your hair and get out those cowboy boots, while gals get out their best dancing frocks, as this rockabilly honky-tonker with a taste for western swing and the blues is coming to town. Wayne calls his music Juke Joint Swing, and what better place to hear him than that little ol’ juke joint, Lee’s. Rachel and the Ranch Hand Resistance open.

Friday, October 12

Courtney Yasmineh @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($6)  Yasmineh is an indie/pop singer songwriter and guitarist with an appealing voice and an ear for writing hooks. She’s a hardworking musician and has toured Europe and the US with her band, developing a tight sound that perfectly matches her songs.

Nick Moss @ Famous Dave’s Uptown, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($5) Guitarist Moss plays a lot of Chicago style blues, imbuing his guitartisty with the shimmer of light on stained glass. 

Saturday, October 13

Felonious Bosch @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 5pm – 8pm ($5 suggested donation) After a day of browsing artists’ studios, stop by the Black Dog for a dose of eccentric folk music, often inspired by medieval Europe, but with a punk attitude. Belly dancers are often part of the show. Afterwards, you may want to stay for Sendero Flamenco’s Gathering of Gypsies. Here’s a sample of the music of Felonious Bosch.

Sunday, October 14

MN Blues Society Hall of Fame Induction @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 1pm (donation) This year the annual event is honoring the late Big Walter Smith, the legendary Cornbread Harris, guitarist Dan Schwalbe, and Lamont Cranston’s recording of Tiger in Your Tank, among others. Expect music from Big Walter’s Groove Merchants, with Jimi Prime Time Smith, Cornbread, and Javier & the Innocent Sons.

Sound Unseen presents Charles Bradley: Soul of America @ Trylon Microcinema, Minneapolis. 3pm ($10) Bradley is the soul singer who struggled all his life and recently found success at the age of 62. His appearance at the Fine Line last year was a sweaty, electrifying affair. This film documents the months leading up to the release and touring behind his debut album, “No Time for Dreaming.”

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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