Awash in Music: 6.22 – 6.28

June 22, 2016

imagesIt’s once again time for Saint Paul’s Twin Cities Jazz Festival  Executive Director Steve Heckler and his staff and volunteers have  put together a great weekend of music that will appeal to a wide variety of listeners. It features a number of great headlining musicians: Delfeayo Marsalis and piano phenom Joey Alexander on Thursday, Ellis Marsalis on Friday, and Russell Malone and John Pizzarelli on Saturday. Additionally, over 300 musicians from the area will perform in over a dozen venues and four outdoor stages, and best of all, it’s free. I will be sending out a short guide to the Festival in a separate e-mail, but you can get more information, including the whole schedule here. In the meantime, here’s a listing of other music ideas for the coming week. Music lifts the spirit.


Wednesday, June 22
Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Vocalist and bassist Ms Lynch is building a following as she makes her way through a number of venues in the area. She’s backed by some truly excellent musicians, including guitarist Chris Beaty, trumpeter Greg Lewis, and trombonist Michael Nelson. Kate & the Fellows play music from the 30s to the 60s, and it’s always an entertaining performance.

Katia Cardenas EP Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Advance, $12 Door) Ms Cardenas will be backed by her working trio: Ted Godbout, piano; Ted Olsen, bass; and Zach Schmidt, drums. At 10pm it’s  Jazzoneando, a Latin Jazz Trio from Mexico: Alberto “Yamil” Vazquez, piano, leader, arranger; Aaron Romo, bass, vocals; Kimani Carranzana, percussion, vocals. PS: If you want to hear a couple of tunes from the EP, you can listen to an interview I did with Katia this past Saturday (the 18th) by going here and clicking on one of the listen icons for June 18. The interview starts about 20 minutes into the show.

David Hazeltine & Billy Peterson CD Release Party @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $50 w/Dinner), 9pm ($15, $45 w/Dinner) Here we have the 3rd of three special nights at the Dunsmore Room, where two musicians who have a 40 year musical history release their first CD, NEXT DOOR. Pianist Hazeltine is a major player, and is especially well regarded in NYC and Japan. Raised in Milwaukee, he was encouraged by Chet Baker to go to NYC, where his Charlie Parker-influenced playing was welcomed. He’s well known as a composer and arranger, and for taking contemporary tunes and making them into “standards.” Our own Billy Peterson is equally at home with R&B and rock music as he is with jazz, having toured for decades with the Steve Miller Band. He received notable praise for his appearance with Bill Carrothers and Dave King at the Village Vanguard a few years back, and regularly tours with Ben Sidran. This CD release party will include a few well-chosen covers as well as some originals. Here’s an example of Hazeltine’s work.

Balluff/Pikal/Thompson Trio @ The Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) Traditional jazz, well served by Tony Balluff, clarinet; Steve Pikal, bass; and Butch Thompson  piano and clarinet. It’s a new combination that’s hard to beat.

Thursday, June 23
Chris Bates’ Red5 @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 10pm (Tip Jar) Two late night sets from bassist Bates and his crew, doing originals by Bates. Chris Bates, basses; Thomas Nordlund, guitar; Jt Bates, drums; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Brandon Wozniak, tenor; Chris Thomson, tenor and soprano. Check them out after the Mears Park main stage performances.

Friday, June 25
Dennis Spears Quartet @ Crooners’ Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Spear’s smooth baritone is a pleasure to hear, whether he’s performing R&B, pop, or jazz.

Saturday, June 26
Brad Bellows & Friends @ Boom Island Brewing Tap Room, 2014 North Washington, Minneapolis. (No Cover) If you don’t want to head to downtown Saint Paul for Jazz Fest, this is a chance to hear some jazz while taking in the current taps at Boom Island Brewing. Valve trombonist Brad Bellows can be depended on for having talented friends and creating great music.

Sunday, June 26
Paula Lammers @ The Eagan Art Festival, Central Park, Eagan. 2:30pm (Free) Ms Lammers and her supple voice close out the entertainment at this community art fair. And with accompanists such as  Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Greg Byers, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums, you may even be inspired to make a last minute purchase.

Zacc Harris Trio @ The Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) After three days of crowds at the TC Jazz Fest, you may want the comfort of a small wine bar to take in the tasty sounds of guitarist Harris and his trio. Here he is with his quartet.

Monday, June 27
Charmin Michelle & Rick Carlson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35w/Dinner) This is part of a series called In the Crook, whereby a vocalist is situated in the “crook” of a piano. In this case, you have the buttery, elegant singing of Charmin Michelle, accompanied by the spare, ever tasteful piano stylings of Rick Carlson.

Jazzoneando @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5/w student ID) If you missed them at the Icehouse Wednesday, or the Jazz Fest on Saturday, you can still catch this trio from Mexico, as they apply all sorts of Latin rhythms to jazz.

Monday, Tuesday, June 27, 28
The Rad Trads @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) The Rad Trads: Take a three horn front line, add a rock rhythm section, and an additional drummer/percussionist, stir with music that ranges from traditional jazz to blues from Chicago and the Delta, add in a touch of New Orleans R&B, and season with a bit of rock n’ roll, and you get lively, celebratory music.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…
Wednesday, June 22
The Beavers on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This all-female Americana group started as a jam band, but whether they’re covering John Prine or performing one of their originals, their light-hearted approach to folk and country (or whatever) is sure to bring a smile to your face.

Samba Meu @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) A bit of Brazil comes to the newly expanded Black Dog. The party starts with a dance lesson after which you can dance to sambas and forros from Karen Quiroz and Samba Meu, and be entertained by SnapFrost!, a group of women with Shakeres, that beaded gourd that, in the hands of this group, creates irresistible rhythms.

Thursday, June 23
Rockin’ Pinecones @ the Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 10pm. The Pinecones will fill the wonderful dance floor at the Eagles Club with folks twirling, spinning, and two-stepping to the R&B of New Orleans R&B, as well as some Cajun and Zydeco.

Friday, June 24
Nachito Herrera @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) It’s always difficult to know where to place Nachito in these listings, as he is equally conversant in Classical, pop, jazz, and Cuban music (he is, after all, from Havana). Whatever he plays, it will leave the audience breathless.

Fathom Lane @ The Warming House, 4001 Bryant Ave So, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 – $15) The Warming House is a new basement listening room in South Minneapolis, just right for the ethereal and fragile-seeming music of Fathom Lane. They released two well-recieved albums, which reveal a hard -to-define sound, that implies influences ranging from Gram Parsons to The Velvet Underground. Seth Michael Davin opens.

Dee Miller Band featuring Jimi “Prime Time” Smith @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) With strong vocals, dynamite guitar courtesy of “Prime Time” and a driving rhythm section, Ms Miller and her compradres offer up a blast of the blues.

Mary Cutrufello Band @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($5) This FedEx driver has a voice that’s been honed with sandpaper, a Telecaster that she rocks with abandon, and a predilection for Texas twang and country tales. In short, Cutrufello goes against all the stereotypes a Yale graduate from Connecticut might engender.

Saturday, June 25
Honky Tonk Fest VI @ Grumpy’s Northeast, 2200 4th St. NE, Minneapolis. 1:30pm – 10pm Sixth annual country music benefit for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Minnesota, featuring six bands, a ticket raffle, cakewalk, and Hee-Haw photo booth! 1:30 PM sound check by Country Mike; 2:00 Trailer Trash; 3:15 The Beavers; 4:30 Katy Bellville & The Sonsabitches; 5:45 The Hillions; 7:00 Doug Otto & the Getaways; 8:15 Leo Rondeau (from Austin, TX)

Charles Lawson & the Crazy Snakes All-Stars @ Barely Brothers Records, Saint Paul. 2pm – 4pm (Free) Waay back in the day, Lawson fronted a blues band called the KingSnakes, which would cover under appreciated songs to incite dancing wherever they played. Then, he and Ed Pesche held down a weekly gig at the old incarnation of the Viking for a few years. I don’t know who he’s got with him today, but it will be fun. And, if you can’t make it to this gig, he’s got another at the Dubliner tomorrow from 5-7pm with the Slender Men.

Cactus Blossoms & Eelpout Stringers @ Franconia Sculpture Park, Franconia. 2pm – 6pm (Fee – $5 to park) Looking for a short road trip to an interesting place? The Franconia Sculpture Park might be just the ticket. Pack a picnic and listen to the acoustic string tunes of the Eelpout Stringers, followed by The Cactus Blossoms, purveyors of modern songs inspired by the classic Country & Western performers of the 50s.

Erik Koskinen Band @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8 Advance/$12 Door) Koskinen is a fine guitarist and writer/composer of tales from America’s main street, sung with much affection for traditional C&W.

Céu @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $45) Céu is a singer/songwriter with a voice as sensuous as the rhythms of her country. She creates beautiful Brazilian electro-pop, encompassing Afrobeat, jazz, and, as might be expected, a number of Brazilian rhythms. Kauf, a Los Angeles singer/songwriter who uses electronics to good effect, opens.

Sunday, June 26
Captain Gravitone @ The Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul 11am – 1pm (Tip Jar) Banjo-led Americana, along with a touch of humor while you have brunch, and after all, isn’t the banjo an easy punch line for many jokes. Consider just a couple of the songs of Captain Gravitone: “Daydreaming Out of the 9 to 5 Corporate Office Window,” and “Hula-hoop Girl on Bourbon Street.”

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.

Father’s Day and More – Music Ideas for 6.13 – 6.19

June 13, 2012

Aside from the fact that we’ve some great weather coming up, and school is almost out, it’s Father’s Day on Sunday. Whether you rebelled against your father’s music or embraced his musical tastes, your appreciation of music was inspired in part by him. There are many opportunities to acknowledge that this week in the Twin Cities. Here are but a few.


Wednesday, June 13

Lisa Brimmer & High Society @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (tip jar) Lisa Brimmer is a smart, assured poet, playwright, and collaborator. She’ll be performing spoken word while Chris Bates, bass; Evan Montgomery, guitar; Greg Schutte, drums, play behind her. Guest shots by Cory Grossman, cello; and Ben Doherty, baritone sax.

Thursday, June 14

Dave Brattain Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Saxophonist Brattain teaches at Wayzata High School and has played with the Cedar Avenue Big Band for 20 years. At a recent Jazz Central appearance with Dave Karr, Brattain was on his game in a big way, throwing notes out in a melodic, thoughtful, yet highly expressive way.

Friday, June 15

Parker Paisley @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) This group is led by Park Evans on guitar, and includes Brandon Wozniak, alto; Brian Wozniak, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums. Their recent album, “Sartori for a Hungry Ghost,” is full of jazz for the 21st Century, with modern beats, a nod or two to hard bop, and a lovely album closer that incorporates the traditional hymn, “O Come Emmanuel.”

CéU @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) Ceu is a Brazilian singer who delivers a new take on the music of her homeland. She delivers breezy, sway-inducing melodies that incorporate electropop, afrobeats, and more into a stunning set. Here’s a video.

Friday, Saturday, June 15, 16

Paul Bollenback @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) The guitarist and composer has played with Jack McDuff, Stanley Turrentine, Joey DeFrancesco, Paul Bley, and David Newman, among others. He can groove with the best of them, and has a particularly beautiful tone on ballads, such as “Everything Must Change.” I did an interview with him back in 2010, which you can read here.

Adam Linz & Tommy O’Donnell @ The Ice House, Minneapolis. 8pm (free) This new venue, located at 2540 Nicollet, is nicely laid out, with a large center stage surrounded by tables. They are having all kinds of music, including jazz on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Tonight, bassist Adam Linz and pianist Tommy O’Donnell take the stage. Food looks very interesting (after all, the place was opened by the owners of B’Witched), and they have “shooter cocktails,” which include a shot of alcohol with a little extra, like a bit of juice or bitters.

Saturday, June 16

Lucia Newell & Zacc Harris @ Eat Street Social, Minnenapolis. 2pm – 4pm. This is part of the Social’s Brazilian Afternoon. Located just west of Nicollet on 26th Street, The Eat Street Social has quickly garnered a good reputation for its food and craft cocktails. Newell spent a couple of years in Brazil during her “boho” period, and is uniquely qualified to sing Brazilian songs. Harris is the guitarist about town whose versatility extends to accompanying vocalists in a variety of settings. Sounds like a great way to spend a portion of your Saturday.

Monday, June 18

Laura Caviani @ Jazz Central, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Oddly enough, Jazz Central hasn’t had many female jazz musicians in its lineup, but then again, there isn’t an overabundance of them in town either, so it’s nice to see Caviani in the guest chair. As a pianist and composer, the unassuming Caviani is graceful, lyrical, and imaginative. She leads her own group, makes major contributions to Pete Whitman’s X-Tet, and is a superb accompanist to vocalists such as Lucia Newell and Karrin Allyson.

Monday, Tuesday, June 18, 19

Stanley Clarke/George Duke Project @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($60-$50) & 9pm ($50-$40) Keyboardist Duke was last in town for the Zoo series last summer. You can read my interview with him here  Bassist Clarke has visited a couple times, most recently with pianist Hiromi in tow. Both are multi-faceted musicians with  long histories playing jazz in various settings. Back in 1984, they worked together as the Clarke/Duke Project and decided to do so once again.

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, June 13

Cadilac Kolstad @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm. Talk about taking a lunch break. This noontime concert will deliver more energy than a Gatorade & Power Bar combined. Kolstad pounds the piano, throws back his hair, and generally raises the roof with old time rock n’ roll and rockabilly. Considering the roof of the Landmark’s Cortile is four stories up, that’s quite the feat.

RJ Mischo

RJ Mischo w/Jeremy Johnson on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI), 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – Tip Jar). Harold Tremblay continues to bring in outstanding musicians for his weekly “House Party.” This time up its the “Super Reverbs,” former Twin Citizen RJ Mischo on harp and vocals, accompanied by the talented Jeremy Johnson on guitar. There’ll be plenty of reverb rockin’ the 331 tonight.

Flatlanders 40th Anniversary @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($31) Without a doubt, the (alt) country gig of the week, as Butch Hancock, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Joe Ely perform. The three are highly respected singer/songwriters from Texas, each with his fair share of songs in the alt country songbook. They first formed in the early 70s, and eventually split up, each becoming a cult hero in his own right, and influencing artists such as Uncle Tupelo and The Clash. Early in this century they recorded a song for the Horse Whisperer, and it went so well they reunited and toured, recording 3 albums since then. Here they are on Austin City Limits.

Thursday, June 14

Hipshaker @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm (free)  The first of two opportunities to dance to 45s this week. This mid-week late night dance attracts many folks under 30, who have a good time dancing to rare soul and funk.

Friday, June 15

Bryan Lee @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) If I remember correctly, Lee is originally from Wisconsin, but has lived in New Orleans for decades, playing the JazzFest for 25 years. The “Braille Blues Daddy” has been blind since he was eight, and has played guitar since he was thirteen. He’s got a sharp attack, and a more than serviceable voice, and is back on the road after back surgery in January. Wilebski’s is certainly the place to see him.

Saints of Circumstance @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm (tip jar)  The Saints play Grateful Dead music, bringing a trippy vibe to this beer and wine joint at 44th & Nicollet.  Good bar food, for those who get the munchies.

Deano and the Dinosaurs @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Here’s the rundown. Dean Mikkelson and Dean Harrington on archtop guitars; Bill Greinke on bass; and Dell Gallagher on drums. Vocalist Mary Leinfelder will sit in for a few tunes. Top notch players doing standards, latin jazz, a bit of blues, and some Django. A bit laid back… maybe. Exciting… definitely.

Saturday, June 16

Flatt Foot Rollers @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10)  The MMC has been bringing in a number of old school R&B bands of late, just right for getting folks up onto the large dance floor. With their mix of Temptations, Albert King, The Gap Band, and more, the Rollers keep the grooves coming.

Hot Pants 45RPM Dance Party @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($5) Over in the Emerald City, there’ll be a bit of talc on the floor, gaggles of younger men and women twirling about, lots of beer from the bar’s many taps, and trips to the courtyard to cool off after dancing.

Sunday, Monday, June 17,18

The Combo Celebrates 25 years @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) What started out as a Monday night opportunity to play has morphed into an institution of sorts. The group packs them in each Sunday and Monday night, playing old school soul, a bit of funk, and some soulful rock n’ roll. Members of the Combo have played with Mick Sterling, R Factor, The AQ’s Tuesday Night Band, Jesse Johnson, Doug Maynard, Patty Peterson and a host of other Twin Cities luminaries. In fact, drummer Michael Bland was picked up by Prince for a few years, and now plays with Soul Asylum, though he’s on stage here every Sunday and Monday he’s in town. Visiting artists will stop by and sit in for a tune or two. For now, its time to celebrate 25 years of playing.

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

%d bloggers like this: