Looking Back, Moving Forward: 11.8 – 11.14

November 8, 2017

We’ve a week of live music that reminds us of where we’ve been and points to ways forward, whether with visiting artists such as Kamasai Washington, Ann Hampton Calloway, John Primer, and Tom Rush. or resident artists like Graydon Peterson, Travis Anderson, or The Good, The Bad, The Funky. Whether you want to dance, snap your fingers, or let music wash over you, we have plenty of opportunities to learn how Music Lifts Your Spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, Nov 8

Connie Evingson & Andrew Walesch @ Crooners’ Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 5pm – 7pm?) It’s a delightful happy hour as chanteuse Evingson teams up with pianist Walesch to entertain during happy hour. I wonder if they’ll do any duets?

Ann Hampton Calloway @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $45) This pianist/vocalist, perhaps the best known of today’s cabaret singers, combining jazz and pop to tell her stories. She has long been a champion of the Great American Songbook, and tonight will celebrate The Centennial of Ella Fitzgerald’s birth with Ella Century, including new, fresh arrangements of some of Fitzgerald’s signature tunes.

Thursday, Nov 9

Kamasai Washington @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 10pm ($30 Advance/$35 Door) It’s fitting that saxophonist Washington, who has been lauded for his 3 Volume release Epic, should play First Avenue, as his work (especially with Kendrick Lamar) has been embraced by many young people who had previously not been hip to jazz. If you are too old to stand for a couple of hours, you may have to arrive early (doors at 7pm) in order to secure a spot at one of the Ave’s few tables.

Bill Evans: Time Remebered @ The Heights Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) This is a very special event – the Minnesota premier of “Bill Evans Time Remembered – The Life and Music of Bill Evans.” The film was 8 years in the making with over 40 interviews and over 30 archival photographers. The Larry McDonough Quartet will perform a set of material of Bill Evans; followed by the new documentary about Evans by Bruce Spiegel; and finishing with an interview of Evans by legendary jazz journalist Leigh Kamman. Here’s a trailer for the film.

Also: Southside Aces @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5)

Friday Nov 10

Graydon Peterson Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9pm ($12, $15) Graydon Peterson is a first-call bassist on the Twin Cities jazz scene, whether accompanying singers, playing in the Adam Meckler Orchestra, or providing the foundational rhythm for a number of groups. He also composes and will be playing some of his originals tonight, with bandmates Adam Meckler, trumpet; Joe Strachan, piano; and Adrian Suarez on drums

Saturday, Nov 11

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7:00 Opening Set – Roseville HS Combo 1: Liam Traynor, trumpet; Aran Koob, alto sax; Emily Dorr, piano; Karl Koob, guitar, James Klinkenberg, bass; Ben Martin, drums. 8:30 pm – Michael Shults Group: Michael Shults & Aaron Hedenstrom, Saxophones; Javi Santiago, Piano; Chris Bates, Bass; Miguel Hurtado, Drums.

Also: Jay Young & Lyric Factory @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10)

Sunday, Nov 12

Harvey Diamond Quartet Featuring Melissa Stoudt @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 4pm ($12) This early show features pianist Harvey Diamond, who has been a mainstay of the Boston jazz scene since the mid-60s, and is also a regular performer in NYC venues. He’s performed with Sheila Jordan, Dave Liebman, Art Farmer, and a host of other Jazz Masters. He recently released is first CD as a leader and is touring behind it. He’ll be joined by Melissa Stoudt, a TwinCities saxophonist and composer who regularly performed with the late Eddie Berger, and is currently lead tenor with the Maple Grove Big Band. Here he is with a slightly different quartet.

Catherine Russell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) This vibrant singer of classic jazz & blues is a native of NYC, whose father was Louis Armstrong’s long-time musical director, and whose mother played with the legendary International Sweethearts of Rhythm. She has been a back-up vocalist for folks like David Bowie, Steely Dan, Paul Simon, Levon Helm, Al Kooper, and others. Her sixth album, Harlem on My Mind, features songs originally done by Ethel Waters, Billie Holiday, Etta James, and Dinah Washington, as well as other artists who played at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.

Sunday, Monday, Nov 12, 13

Emmet Cohen Mini-Tour:   Emmet Cohen Trio @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25); Emmet Cohen B3 Organ Duo @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($20, $10 w/valid student ID) You have two chances to see irrepressible pianist Emmet Cohen, in two different settings. On Sunday night he’ll be at the Dunsmore Room with Russell Hall on bass and Evan Sherman on drums. His last appearance at the Dunsmore Room was delightful, with Cohen and his bandmates performing high-level improvisations and playfully quoting jazz standards. He’ll have Hall & Sherman with him at the Dunsmore. Then on Monday night at Jazz Central, he and drummer Sherman perform as a B3 organ duo, bringing some greasy funk to the basement club.

Tuesday, Nov 14

Travis Anderson Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) Pianist Anderson, along with bassist Steve Pikal and drummer Nathan Norman, always swing.

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, Nov 8

Dustin Arbuckle & the Damnations on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) After 15 years in the Deep Blues/Progressive Roots outfit Moreland and Arbuckle the two parted amicably to pursue other roads forward. Dustin Arbuckle is now exploring traditional music by the likes of Charley Patton as well as the musical roots represented by The Band, Stax Records, Johnny Cash, and the Allman Brothers, among others. Tune in to check them out, and head over to the 331 to see Arbuckle and his band in person.

Craig Clark @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Craig Clark has most recently been seen giving added oomph to the Dee Miller Band. He’s performed with Big Brother and The Holding Company, The Mississippi Mass Choir with Reverand James Cleveland, Jimmie Van Zant, and Big John Dickerson, among others.

Also: Hula Peppers @ The Schooner, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar)

Thursday, Nov 9

MIkkel Beckmen & Jeff Ray @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Percussionist Beckmen brings slide guitar master Ray to the little stage at The Dubliner for some after work musical workouts.

Tom Rush @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50) If you’ve any interest in folk music, this is the place to be this week. Singer/guitarist Rush has been a major influence on American music since the folk revival of the 60s. He’s championed songs by artists like Joni Mitchell, Jackson Brown, and James Taylor, and has brought people like Nanci Griffith and Shawn Colvin to wider audiences in the beginning of their careers. Both Taylor and Garth Brooks name him as a major influence.

Colin Campbell & the Shackletons and Others @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($8) This is actually a four-band showcase of up and coming area bands. Colin Campbell & The Shackletons are a rock/blues band influenced by the “Minneapolis Sound.” The Grape Whales use long-form song structures to create mediative, bouncy psychedelic rock and roll. Fragile Canyons are a folk/rock quartet inspired by the Grateful Dead and Joni Mitchell, among others. Basement Apartment, which has been around in a number of iterations since 2001 released their third self-titled album in 2014.

Friday, Nov 10

Nikki Roux & Rich Rue @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (No Cover) From blues to folk-rock to originals, Nikki’s charming vocals and Rich’s ace guitar playing satisfy.

John Primer @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Seems we haven’t heard enough from Chicago bluesmen (or women) of late, but John Primer will fix that. He’s a guitarist/vocalist who honed his chops as bandleader and lead guitarist for Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, and Magic Slim & the Teardrops. He’s been nominated for a Grammy twice and has received a Lifetime Achievment Award, though neither of those accolades do justice to his guitar playing.

Friday, Saturday, Nov 10, 11

The Good, The Bad, The Funky 20 Year Celebration @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) GBF, as they are sometimes known, are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of their first gig, which was held at the MMC. The dance-inducing horn band are celebrating with two nights of dance-floor filling music.

Saturday, Nov 11

Kildahl, Voderharr & Gravlin @ The Mudd Room, Mendota Heights. 8pm (No Cover) The “speakeasy” under Lucky’s 13 will reverberate with the blues tonight.

Willie Walker @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9:00pm ($12) I believe this is a first appearance at the Vieux for Walker and his band. The gritty soul man has been on a tear. After winning two Living Blues Music Awards for his 2016 album If Nothing Ever Changes, he recently released a new album, After A While, with the Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra, the group that backed him on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise last month.

Also: Comotown Cajun Trio @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 12pm (No cover)

Hurricane Harold’s All-Star Blues Revue @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul,. 8pm (Tip Jar)

Monday, Nov 13

Joe Fingers & His So-Called Friends @ Dunn Brothers on Grand, Saint Paul. (Tip Jar) Fingers is a champion finger-picking guitarist and vocalist whose So-Called Friends are equally skillful, though it’s hard to know which ones will show up

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

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Music Lifts the Spirit: 11.9 – 11.15

November 9, 2016

unknown-2I’m sure that many of you are feeling like Casey, after his turn at the bat, but looking at the results of yesterday’s election, I’d wager that at least some of my readers are celebrating. I have no idea what kind of music our new President will bring to the White House, but whether you are celebrating or commiserating, music has the power to elevate your spirits, and this week we’ve got many opportunities to do so, from both visiting and resident artists, including the movies about music at the Sound Unseen Festival. Here’s a few ideas.

Jazz

Wednesday, November 9

Leigh Kamman Legacy Project Benefit @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) The Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant is donating all of the $10 cover to the Leigh Kamman Legacy Project. All of the musicians playing for free. They include: The Larry McDonough Quartet;  Patty Peterson; Doug Haining and the Twin Cities 7;  Steve Blons; The Santiago Trio; and more. Maryann Sullivan will serve as the emcee. Families and students are welcome.

Debbie Duncan sings Oscar Brown Jr. @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 w/Dinner) Oscar Brown Jr was a jazz singer and songwriter who not only wrote originals, but wrote words for tunes like Work Song, Dat Dere, and Afro Blue. Tonight, the award-winning Debbie Duncan honors the late vocalist by singing his songs.

Magica Improvisada @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Bassist Chris Bates bring along Joe Srachan on piano and Miguel Hurtado on drums to play originals and improvise on jazz standards.

Thursday, November 10

Sarah M Greer with Dean Magraw @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Vocalist Greer teaches singers, including well established vocalists, how to scat and how to find their true voice. Additionally, she has collaborated with dancers and other artists, and works with four different groups, including Jay Young & the Lyric Factory. Here she is doing some gospel.

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Nick Syman Quartet CD Release 9pm (Tip Jar) Trombonist Nick Syman leads this quartet, which includes Ted Godbout, piano; Ted Olsen, bass, and Pete James Johnson, drums.

Friday, November 11

Brian Culbertson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45), 9pm ($35, $40) Keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist Culbertson is one of the most successful artists around who can cross between contemporary R&B, jazz, and funk. His 16th album, recently released, is entitled “Funk!” is a throwback to greasy horn licks, snaky bass lines, and funky drums.

Jana Nyberg & Sean Turner @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Vocalist Nyberg in a different setting than usual, accompanied by pianist Sean Turner, rather than singing with her group, or husband Adam Meckler. Here she is with her band.

Mancrush Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Lars-Erik Larson, drums; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Bryan Nichols, piano; and Zacc Harris, guitar, are among the busiest musicians in town. This quartet applies their improvisational skills to a variety of genres, from folk to Bartok, not to mention the original tunes of bandleader Lars-Erik Larson.

Saturday, November 12

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Guitar master Chris Olson and cello master Greg Byers play duets at 7pm, followed at 8:30 by a CD release party for “Addendum” from the Illicit Sextet: Paul Harper, sax; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; Tom Pieper, bass; Chris Lomheim, piano; David Roos, guitar; and Nathan Norman, drums. Here’s a video from some years back.

Mama Digdown’s Brass Band CD Release @ The Parkway, Minneapolis. ($15 Advance, $17 Door) It’s the “Southside Shake Show” as the brass band from Madison, WI roars into town to preview the release of Brass Jackson, a CD full of Michael Jackson music. They’ll also have the Southside Aces along for the ride, so the party spirit of New Orleans will be in full flower.

Sunday, November 13

Dan Chouinard & Connie Evingson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35w/Dinner)  A couple of veteran musicians – Pianist Chouinard & vocalist Evingson – will be performing music of composers who were born during the month of November.

Monday, November 14

Catherine Russell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45) Vocalist Russell has worked with folks such as Steely Dan, David Bowie, Cyndi Lauper, Paul Simon, Michael Feinstein, Al Kooper and others. Her dad, the late Luis Russell, was a long time music director for Louis Armstrong, and her mom, Carlene Ray, performed with the pioneering International Sweethearts of Rhythm, as well as with Mary Lou Williams and Sy Oliver. It’s no surprise then, that Russell prefers to reinvigorate older songs. Her latest album, “Harlem on My Mind” celebrates the golden era of African American song, with tunes from Billie Holiday, Etta James, Benny Carter, Fats Waller, and others. Previous appearances have always been delightful.

Tuesday, November 15

Joyce Lyons CD Release @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner Show) Vocalist/actress Lyons has performed at venues around the country, including a special concert for the Supreme Court. Tonight she’s celebrating the release of “Song for You” with the help of Phil Aaron, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums.

The Mill City Hot Club and Connie Evingson @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) Once a month Tuesdays at the Vieux are given over to Hot Jazz, the acoustic swing that includes elements of Gypsy Jazz, and reinterpretations of contemporary pop songs and the Great American Songbook. Tonight the Mill City Hot Club will start things off, with vocalist Connie Evingson joining the group for the second set.

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, November 9

Javier Matos on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) A solo gig by the outstanding guitarist/singer.

Sarah Morris/Galen Weston Band @ The Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Morris – No Cover), 8pm (Weston – $8) Singer/Songwriter Morris has built a solid reputation gigging around town and in small tours around the area. After the dinner hour, we’ll be treated to a rare Vieux booking of someone from outside the Twin Cities. Canadian guitarist Weston and his band just completed two tours with the Gypsy Kings and Dave Sanborn. His band includes Cuban drummer Michel Medrano Brindis; Canadian saxophonist Richard Underhill, and Czech basis Lukas Kytna.

Thursday, November 10

Sue Orfield guests with the Butanes @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) While the four-piece Butanes always live up to their awards as the Best Blues Band in the Cities, the Thursday night gigs at Shaw’s are somewhat of an open-ended affair, with folks like Maurice Jacox, Willie Walker, and Jellybean Johnson sitting in whenever they’re visiting the club. Tonight, however, Wisconsin saxophonist Sue Orfield will be joining the band all night. Whether she’s improvising to the changes of I’ve Got Rhythm, or blowing a mean blues, Orfields’ command of her instrument adds depth and excitement to any group in which she participates. Here’s Sue with her own band.

Friday, November 11

Annie Mack @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Mack sings the blues, but not the 12 bar kind. You’re likely to hear roots-based gospel, Motown, or even a bit of alt country. Just the kind of music to go over with the TGIF customers at Crooners.

Nigel Egg, Tim Fast, and Dan Rumsey @ The Gingko Coffeehouse, Saint Paul. 7:00pm (Tip Jar) This is a “Songwriters in the Round” event with all three singer-songwriters on stage at the same time. They will each take turns to play while the others might harmonize, play some accompaniment and make cruel jokes in between songs.

Rich Lewis Band @ Erté, NE Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar?) Lewis was a founding member of the fabled Explodo Boys back in the late 70s. The guitarist/singer leads the band through a mix of R&B, Motown and New Orleans. Given the venue, I suspect this will be the smaller version of the band, rather than the six-piece group, which plays for venues where dancing occurs.  Here’s the larger version of the band.

Saturday, November 12

Eddies @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 7:30 – 10:30pm (Tip Jar) Sea shanties, work songs, and murder ballads by four guys who only use an instrument or two. the warm, obviously Irish Dubliner is a perfect place to hear this quartet.

Black Market Brass @ Hook & Ladder Theater and Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8 Advance/$10 Door) Here’s a group of area musicians who have done a lot of listening to Fela Kuti, Tony Allenm, and Evo Taylor, using their inspiration to create original Afrobeat and Afrofunk tunes, as well as the occasional cover. Complex rhythms that are nevertheless easy to dance to, brash brass, and exciting guitar work make for compelling grooves that will have you moving your hips and all other parts of your body.

Paul Cebar @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) Milwaukee native Cebar has been visiting the Twin Cities for nigh unto 30 years, always with a gaggle of excellent musicians. During that time his sound has evolved from classic danceable R&B to polyrhythmic celebrations incorporating Latin, Afro, and other world sounds, though it still remains unabashedly danceable, as both long time and brand new fans will attest.

Sunday, November 13

Sound Unseen @ Trylon Microcinema, Minneapolis. 5pm, 7pm ($10 Advance/$12 Door at each show) The music cinema Festival screens two movies of interest to area R&B fans. At 5pm it’s Syl Johnson: Any Way the Wind Blows, about the Chicago guitarist/singer who used to make regular trips to the Twin Cities, and who has been a huge influence on Black music for the last 5 or 6 decades, from Blues, Soul, and Funk, to Hip-Hop, where the guitar lines and funky beats of his drummers were heavily sampled. The at 7pm it’s Bang! The Bert Berns Story, the founder of Bang! Records, writer of songs like Twist & Shout, Take A Piece of My Heart, Hang On Sloopy, I Want Candy, and more, and a guy who unwittingly made connections with the Mob in NYC.

Atlanta Rhythm Section @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $45), 9pm ($30 – $40) The ARS, as they are often known, were the house band at Studio 1 in Georgia. A couple of them had been in the Classics IV, and recruited the other three members from Roy Orbison’s backing band. They’ve recorded 15 albums since 1972, and were often looked to as a Southern band that would stand with the Allmans and Lynard Skynard. Though they never came close to the popularity of those bands, the group had a strong following in the South and charted a consistent string of hits such as “Doraville”, “I’m Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight”, “Champagne Jam”, “So Into You”, “Imaginary Lover”, “Do It Or Die”, “Neon Nites” and a cover version of the Classics IV 1968 hit, “Spooky.”

Monday, November 14

Joe Fingers @ Dunn Brothers on Grand, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) “Fingers” is a former National Fingerpicking champion who used to perform as part of a highly popular radio variety show. He and some of his “So Called Friends” are performing their Annual Food Shelf Benefit tonight, so bring a bit more $$ than you usually do for a tip jar show.

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.


Music for the First Week in December – 11.30 – 12.6

November 30, 2011

We are blessed with a cornucopia of music and arts here in the Twin Cities, and, it seems, we have enough music fans to support regular appearances from musicians that call other parts of the world home. It is more than even an avid fan can follow. This week we have a couple of CD release parties as well as jazz vocalists, improvised music, roots, Americana, and old school R&B from which to choose. Enjoy yourself.

Jazz

Ms Ammons

Wednesday, November 30

Lila Ammons Jazz Quintet @ Honey, NE Minneapolis. 7pm ($5). with Ted Godbout, piano; Azhary Warpinski, bs; Tim Zhorne, drums; and Dean Brewington, sax. A rare chance to see Ms Ammons, who spends much of her performing time in Europe. As a vocalist, Ammons is equally conversant in blues and jazz. I’ve seen her scat bebop tunes with ease, and turn around and kill a blues.

Mary Louise Knutson CD Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5). Last week’s Saint Paul release party was a blast. Now you who live in the West Metro can enjoy an evening of her warm, soulful playing. See my recent interview with her below.

Thursday, December 1

Christine Rosholt “Pazz” Release Party @ The Dakota, Minneapolis 7pm ($16) An evening of pop and jazz from chanteuse Rosholt. It’s a celebration of her transatlantic collaboration with British songwriter Kevin Hall. Instead of singing standards, she’s got this trove of originals that she’s interpreted, and quite successfully, I may add. The evening will feature many Twin Cities musicians, including The Hornheads, JD Steele, Randy Sabien, Sophia Shorai, Graydon Peterson, Mac Santiago, Vince Hyman, Zacc Harris, and more….  The performance will feature the music from the CD in its entirety, as well as some added surprises.

Ellen Lease & Pat Moriarty. Photo by John Whiting

Friday, December 2

Community Pool @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip jar). Not only will Nathan Hanson (sax) and Brian Roessler (bass) perform their duo magic, but they’ll be joined by Pat Moriarty (sax) and Ellen Lease (piano) for an evening of two duos and a quartet. Improvised composing doesn’t get any better – adventurous and accessible.

Friday, Saturday, December 2, 3

What Would Monk Do? @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) No it’s not a new bumper sticker, though that’s an idea for an entrepreneur. It’s a quartet of Twin Cities ace musicians, exploring the music of the brilliant Thelonious Monk. Steve Kenny, trumpet; Peter Schimke, piano; Billy Peterson, bass; and Kenny Horst, drums. Sure to be fun.

Saturday, December 3

JazZen @ The Nicollet, Minneapolis. 8pm (tip jar). Flautist Bob Fantauzzo has added a keyboard player to the group, which includes a drummer and electric cellist. It’s sure to add to the already interesting music that Bob creates on wooden flutes from around the world. Nice to see The Nicollet having jazz on the occasional Saturdays as well as Tuesdays.

Sunday, December 4

PipJazz Sunday @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 5pm ($20) Vocalist  Pippi Ardennia continues her monthly residency at the Landmark Center. Her musical guests today include former MN Viking Esera Tualo, and high school student Zosha Warpeha, who is an inventive, melodic improviser on the violin. Ardennia is an engaging vocalist, who successfully takes chances with rhythm and melody. Her warm, welcoming demeanor is a big part of what makes these events family-friendly.

Wolff Jabbr @ Red Stag, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover)  Three multi-instrumentalists who emerged from the Minneapolis Free Music Society events at the Acadia Cafe. Their website says they create “adventurous instrumental music that fluctuates between minimalism, lyricism, and discordance.” At a recent Black Dog appearance I found them swinging quite a bit more than that description implies.

Monday, December 5

Catherine Russell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) What a treat. Russell is an accomplished singer who has done backup vocals for Al Kooper and Steely Dan, to name just two. She was in town a few months ago and stole the show as part of a Grateful Dead tribute at Orchestra Hall, and has appeared on Marian McPartland’s piano jazz show. In her recent CD, “Inside this Heart of Mine,” she evokes wistfulness, playfulness, and braggadocio. It’s spent a lot of time on my CD player.

Tuesday, December 6

Joel Shapira @ The Nicollet, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm. Though a number of venues in town have Tuesday residencies, the Nicollet has an ever-changing roster of talented folks. The acoustics are very good, which will allow you to clearly hear Shapira’s nylon guitar, and appreciate his facile fretwork.

For a comprehensive listing of jazz events, go to KBEM’s calendar.

 Roots, Blues, Other…

Wednesday, November 30

Taylor Baggott on the House Party and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI 90.3 & 106.7FM) and 7pm – 9pm (331 Club). A couple of months ago, when Harold asked me to host today’s House Party, I immediately thought of having Baggott as my guest. He’s a soulful singer, with an appreciation for classics, and a winning way on stage. He just released an EP and packed the house at the Dakota. Baggott will be on KFAI during the 5 o’clock hour, and then scoot over to the 331 Club for the 7pm show.

Friday, December 2

Yulefest IV, Feat. The Eddies, Patrick O’Brien, & Barra @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Downtown Saint Paul. 7:30pm. ($10) It’s an evening of festivities to benefit the Minnesota Food Shelf. Join others in the intimate music room for Celtic music and more, including almost acapella ruminations on love, life, work, and death from The Eddies.

Heating things up. Photo by Marc Monaghan

Mississippi Heat @ Wilebski’s, Rice & Larpenteur, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Powered by the harp of Pierre Lacocque, this Chicago band delivers electrified blues that draws on the heritage of its hometown, as well as the Delta. With their ability to fill a dance floor, this is a fitting band to play the newly re-opened bar.

Friday, Saturday, December 2,3

Kelly HuntKelly Hunt@ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) Hunt has steadily built a fan base here and throughout the country with her hard work and good humor, not to mention boundless talent. It would be easy to call her piano playing boogie-woogie, but that wouldn’t begin to encompass her gifts. Even the record charts list her in multiple genres – blues, Americana, and Adult Alternative, among others. Hunt is a piano-pounder, for sure, but this powerful singer will entrance and delight, all the while keeping your kiester moving as she lays out a ferocious beat with her left hand.

Saturday, December 3

Brass Messengers CD Release Party @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm. Ain’t no party like a Brass Messengers party. With a repertoire that stretches from the Balkans to New Orleans, and beyond, and an attitude that’s part circus, part vaudeville, and completely irreverent, the Messengers are simply like no other band in town. Should be mucho fun, what with dancing, etc.

Scottie Miller @ The Loring Theater, Minneapolis. 8pm ($30) Scottie hasn’t been playing in the area too much lately, as he has been touring far and wide as a member of Ruthie Foster’s band, and as a leader of his own funky, soulful group. As a pianist, he proudly calls upon New Orleans piano professors for inspiration, and does them proud. Tonight he’s bringing his game up a notch, by combining the music of his band with string arrangements by composer/arranger Victor Zupanc, and featuring the critically acclaimed violinist Margaret Humphrey.

Alvin Youngblood Hart w/Staving Chain @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($25) Here’s a chance to see acoustic bluesman Hart, a Grammy Winner, in a very intimate setting and get some good BBQ to boot. Seating is very limited, so reservations are highy recommended (call 651-955-6337)

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, December 6,7,8

Tower of Power @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45 – $70) “What is Hip?” Going “Down to The Nighclub.” The ten-piece band with the tight horn section has been delivering their unique brand of soul for forty some odd years now, and, judging by their last appearance, can still bring on the funk. If “You’re Still A Young Man,” you can find out where modern bands like the Dap-Kings, Kings Go Forth, and the Soul Investigators got some of their influences.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar.


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