Resolved – More Music: 1.4 – 1.10

January 4, 2017

Happy New Year!

img4170-800x400While January 1 may not have been much different than December 31, the act of marking time gives us a chance to reflect and perhaps start anew. Whether you are embracing or resisting change, or resolving to make life better, music will always serve to lift your spirits. If you’ve resolved to go out and hear more music this year, there are some great options for the next week from visiting and resident artists alike. After all, music lifts your spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, January 4

Dick Oatts Quartet @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $45 Dinner) Iowa-born and raised, alto saxophonist Dick Oatts began his professional music career in the Twin Cities in 1972, and moved to NYC in 1977 where he became a member of the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra. He has since worked with such big bands as the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, as well as those led by Joe Lovano, Paquito D’Rivera, Tito Puente, and Gunther Schuller. Oatts has also recorded and toured with small groups led by Red Rodney, Bob Brookmeyer, Mel Lewis, Jerry Bergonzi, Fred Hersch, and others, and has a dozen and a half albums as a leader. Oatts is being backed by a stellar line-up of Bill Carrothers, piano; Billy Peterson, bass; and Joe Pulice, drums.

Kate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Ms Lynch has been a regular a Vieux Carré for a few months now, and just had a sold out dinner show there for New Years Eve. Tonight, those who rarely cross the river to the capitol can see the bassist and her estimable cohorts in Minneapolis, performing music from the 30s to the 50s. Some folks may even dance in the aisles.

Lincoln, Schwartzberg, & Healy @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Young bassist Charlie Lincoln still has a few days left before he returns to Berklee to continue his studies, and he’s squeezing in a few more gigs, including this one with fellow Dakota Combo alum Levi Schwartzberg on vibes, and drummer Cory Healy, who can be seen leading his own group, The Beautiful Sunshine Band (see Saturday listing) and playing in others around town.

Thursday, January 5

Moonlight Serenaders @ Wabasha Caves, Saint Paul. 7pm ($8 Cash) Start your new year swingin’ with a visit to the Wabasha Caves, where the 16-piece big band of the Moonlight Serenaders, featuring Lee Engele on vocals, will provide the rhythms for dancers of all ages in a venue with a haunted past, inexpensive drinks. Arrive early for some preliminary lessons, and don’t wear sneakers.

Sarah M. Greer @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) The estimable vocalist Ms Greer teams up with the very talented bassist Mr Cox, for an evening that’s sure to be filled with musical surprises.

Ruckus: Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Powerhouse drummer and multi-instrumentalist Rodney Ruckus presents two different sets of music. The first from an ensemble called Ruckus Hip-Hop Jazz, featuring: Arthur LA Buckner on drums; Russell Evans, piano; Rob Coleman, keyboards; Omid Huttar, guitar; Excel, MC; and CJ Pitts, on vocals. Then he presents a trio with Ruckus, drums; Greg Byers, electric cello; and Javier Santiago, piano.

Friday, January 6

Bass Camp Concert @ Walker West Academy, Saint Paul. 7pm ($15 Suggested Donation) The Twin Cities Bass Camp is having a Winter Workshop through the weekend, and tonight they have an opening concert with resident bassist Doan Roessler performing his own compositions and improvisations both alone and with longtime musical partner Nathan Hanson on sax. The second set of the evening will feature bassist Etienne Lafrance  of Quebec, playing his own compositions, as well as music from Ravel, Fauré, Telemann and Rabbath, accompanied by Craig Randal Johnson on piano. Here’s Roessler & Hanson from a few years ago.

Judi Vinar & the Wolverines Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, but a guaranteed seat in the front lounge for $10) Vinar is a vocalist who can sing just about any style, believing that a good song is a good song, no matter what. She’s sung with the Wolverines Big band and other orchestras, was a member of Bobby McFerrin’s Voicestra, and led the voice department at McNally Smith for 15 years. She’ll be joined by Rick Carlson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Jendeen Forberg, drums. Here she is a few years ago with the Wolverines Big Band.

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Sourcecode @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) If you’re looking for the ultimate in post-bop, modern jazz, then head over to Jazz Central, where master drummer Gravatt will hold forth with his group Sourcecode. Gravatt has played with the absolute best in the business, from Pharaoh Sanders to Wayne Shorter, Freddie Hubbard, Albert Ayler, Charles Mingus and Hank Mobley, to Roy Hargrove, Donny Hathaway, and Derrick Trucks.

Jack Courtwright Quartet @ Jazz Central, 10pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Stick around after hearing Eric Kamau Gravatt, or simply show up for the Jazz Central late show featuring emerging artists. Tonight, you can hear young trombonist Jack Courtwright, home for the holidays from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. Courtwright was the winner of the 2016 Carl Fontana Trombone Competition held by the International Trombone Association, and spent last summer honing his chops on a cruise ship. He’ll be accompanied by Will Schmid, guitar; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Ben Erlich, drums.

Saturday, January 7

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Steve Kenny continues to bring in interesting combinations of groups each Saturday, often pairing experimenters and main stream groups, or, as he’s done tonight, young turks and veterans. Things start off at 7pm with the Will Schmid/Greg Lewis Quartet: Will Schmid, guitar; Greg Lewis, the veteran of the group, on trumpet; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Edmund Caitlin, drums. Then Paul Harper and his quartet of veterans take the stage, with: Harper on saxophones; Phil Aaron, piano; Tom Lewis, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums.

Cory Healy’s Beautiful Sunshine Band @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 6pm workshop; 7pm ($10 Advance, $15 Door) Before moving to the Twin Cities about three years ago, drummer Cory Healy had worked and collaborated with a wide variety of artists, including Kenny Wheeler, Dr. Lonnie Smith, John Abercrombie, and Fareed Haque’s Flat Earth Ensemble. Since moving here, he’s also worked with Dosh, Marijuana Deathsquads, Anthony Cox and a bevy of jazz aggregations. Healy and the Beautiful Sunshine Band released an album earlier this year that showcases their ability to go from bop to abstract jazz, with traces of metal, and a bit of contemporary rock. Healy leads the band: Erik Fratzke, bass; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, trumpet; and Zacc Harris, guitar and effects. Arrive for the workshop on improvising with drums and electronics, and you get both the workshop and the concert for $10. Here’s a track from their album.

Sunday, January 8

Anthony Cox Trio @ Walker West Music Academy, Saint Paul. 3:30pm ($15 Suggested Donation) The final concert of the Twin Cities Bass Workshop feature our own resident artist Anthony Cox  who has gained much respect playing with Dewey Redman, John Scofield, Pat Methany, Ed Blackwell, Joe Lovano and other masters. Tonight the bassist is playing with Brandon Wozniak, sax, and the seemingly ubiquitous Dave King on drums.

Tuesday, January 10

Mary Louise Knutson/Phil Aaron Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Knutson, no cover), 8pm (Aaron, $5) It a treat for those who love jazz piano, as Mary Louise Knutson sits down and plays for the dinner hour. The award-winning pianist is Doc Severinson’s go-to pianist for many of his tours, and, with a warm, nimble, and imaginative touch, a formidable pianist in her own right. At 8pm it’s the Phil Aaron Trio, with Aaron, piano; Gary Raynor, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. The ever tasteful Aaron is an Emmy winning composer who has created scores and soundtracks for films, television and advertising. He often has a light touch, and creates beautiful improvisatory lines while also excelling in hard-charging aggregations.  Here’s Phil with a different trio.

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, January 4

The Fiddle Heirs on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) some people believe you can never have too many fiddles and this group is out to prove them right. Consider the band’s members, all of whom play varying types of fiddles: Justin Bruhn (Pert Near Sandstone, Pocahontas County); Jillian Rae (Brass Kings, Corpse Reviver, her own band); Ryan Young (Trampled by Turtles, Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank, Pert Near Sandstone); and Chris Forberg (Kind Country, Boys in the Barrels). As a special added attraction, they will be joined by Nate Sipe, of Pert Near Sandstone, who relocated to California a few years ago and rarely makes it to the Twin Cities. Tune in to KFAI at 5 o’clock to hear them and then head over to the 331 Club to see and hear more.

Thursday, January 5

The Home Fires @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm – 7:30pm (No Cover) Sarah Morris and Vicky Emerson are a couple of accomplished singer/songwriters who have worked together on double bills and have decided join forces on this project. They have a lot in common: both are excellent songsmiths; both have an affinity for Americana/alt country; and both can deliver heartfelt ballads and romping uptempo tunes with equal verve. I believe this is their first appearance as the Home Fires.  Here’s a ballad by Emerson.

Friday, January 6

Trailer Trash: It’s Still A Free Country @ Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8 – $10) For the first Freewheelin’ Friday of the year, KFAI deejay Jackson Buck is bringing in these veteran musicians, who have been making rockin’ honky tonk, and putting a country spin on blues, R&B, and rock n’ roll, for 22 years. Trailer Trash attracts dancers of all types, and The Hook & Ladder has the requisite room to accommodate them as well as non-dancing fans.

Detroit Don King @ The Black Dog Bar & Restaurant, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Gritty, industrial strength blues, with a touch of soul, from King, guitar & vocals, Jeff Hester, guitar; Dan Emerson, bass; Dan Emerson, bass; Doug Hill, drums; and Tall Paul, sax.

Joyann Parker @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) If you didn’t catch her at the packed Vieux Carré for New Year’s, here’s your chance to catch the soulful Ms Parker in a more modest setting (some would call it a dive bar, but it’s much too clean for that).

Right Track Funky Soul Party @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) The funky yet warm environment of the Dubliner Pub is the setting for this vinyl dance party hosted by spinmeisters Brian Engel and Ben Mena.

Saturday, January 7

April Fools @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Guitarist Brian Drake had a bunch of songs he wanted to record, so he reached out to some players and lo and behold, The April Fools was born. This talented group plays a wide spectrum of music, from straight-up country to Brit-pop, blue-eyed soul, and more. Besides Drake, the band includes Clay Williams, guitar; Scott Hreha, bass; and Ben Kaplan, drums.

Javier Matos @ Palmers, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) Javier Matos is a solid bluesman who can play bottleneck slide with utmost authority, swing some blues when called for, and deliver soulful vocals with ease.

Sunday, January 8

Charlie Parr w/Mother Banjo @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Bluesman Charlie Parr is starting a month long residency Sundays in January. Aside from bringing his unique perspective on the blues, Parr will have a special guest each week. Tonight it’s Mother Banjo, aka Ellen Stanley, who will be accompanied by her usual cohorts: Dan Gaardner on guitar, and Ben Cook-Feltz on piano. There will likely be some collaboration between Parr and Mother Banjo by the end of the evening

Sunday, Monday, January 8, 9

Peter Asher’s Musical Memoir @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $35, $45) Asher is a regular Forrest Gump of the music industry: as a child he acted in a film with Claudette Colbert; as a teen he roomed with Paul McCartney, and then became a worldwide star as a member of Peter and Gordon; he owned the art gallery where John met Yoko; and went on to produce and manage James Taylor and Linda Ronstadt, as well as produce albums by a number of superstars including the 2014 Grammy winning CD by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell; and much, much more…  He tells his tale (and sings) in a charming multi-media presentation that includes film, video, and photos from his personal archive.

Monday, January 9

All-Purpose Cajun Band @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30 ($8) Time to break out the dancing shoes, as Shawn Glidden, accordion; AJ Srubas, fiddle and steel; Marie Stier and Gary Powell, fiddles; Dehl Gallagher, drums; and Vaughn Asselstine, bass; play cajun favorites.

 

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.


Summer’s End: 8.31 – 9.6

August 31, 2016

STATE_FAIR_MUSICWell, as we approach the Labor Day weekend, I’ve learned that the AFL-CIO booth at the Fair seems to have lots of jazz. You can find out the schedule, as well as what’s on other stages, here. .The Minnesota Blues Society has kindly put together a list of blues and some roots performances on a daily basis, which you can find here. If you aren’t heading to the Fair, there is plenty of other music around to help you bring the summer to an end, whether you’re looking for visiting artists or some of our own resident artists. Thanks to Tim Nyberg for his reworking of a photo of mine from a past fair. Have fun, music lifts your spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 31

Jane Monheit and Nicholas Payton @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7-m ($35, $45), 9pm ($25, $35) Vocalist Monheit and trumpeter Payton are calling this show Ella and Louis revisited. Since her beautiful voice vaulted her to stardom in 1998’s Thelonious Monk competition, Monheit has released nine albums and has guested on a number of others. The 39 year old still has a terrific voice, as exemplified in her latest release, The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald. It was produced by New Orleans native and fantastic trumpeter Nicholas Payton, so I guess it seemed natural that they collaborate on this project. If they can have half as much fun as Ella and Louis Armstrong, it will be a great show.

Patrick Adkins @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/student ID) This Edina HS grad is currently studying piano at Lawrence University in Wisconsin. The former member of the Dakota Combo will play a solo set and then be joined by Thomas Strommen, sax; and Aidan Sponheim, trumpet, for the second set.

Steve Kenny Quartet @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Veteran Steve Kenny once again surrounds himself with some outstanding 20-ish musicians: Jabari Powell, saxophones; Ted Olsen, bass; and Rodney Ruckus, drums. Kenny will be playing his signature Flumpet, and combination fluegelhorn/trumpet.

Thursday, September 1

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) It’s a guitar-lovers evening at the Reverie as Tall Tales, which includes two of the Twin Cities most adventurous guitarists takes the stage. Zacc Harris & Dean Granros, guitars; with the outstanding support of Chris Bates, bass; Jay Epstein, drums. Here’s an example of what they sound like.

Thursday, Friday, September 1,2

Barbara Morrison w/Houston Person @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $40) No one else can perform jazz and blues with the verve and innate talent of Morrison, who has recorded with the Crusaders, the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra, Ray Charles, Johnny Otis, Kenny Burrell and Doc Severinson. She’s recorded 20 of her own albums and has been nominated for Grammys. Back in 2004 she appeared at the Dakota and recorded a fine album with Houston Person, that big-toned, soulful sax player who can caress a ballad or put grit on a blues. The two of them are back, for a show that will surely be enjoyable.  Here’s Person.

Friday, September 2

Jon Pemberton/Peter Kogan Quintet @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (Pemberton – no cover), 9pm (Kogan – $10) Enjoy the music of pianist/trumpeter Jon Pemberton, who may have a musical partner, from 6 to 8pm, then stick around for Kogan’s quintet, playing his original music: Kogan, drums; Pete Whitman, just back from China, sax; Phil Aaron, piano; Anthony Cox, bass.

Jason and the Q @ Hells Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Jason Weismann is a saxophonist and crooner whose vocals and sound harken back to the 50s, though his playing is certainly modern. Bonus: he always has stellar musicians in the Q.

Saturday, September 3

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) After two years of shows, this series has settled into a groove. The opening act is generally a young, or newer band, to give the audience a chance to discover new talent, while the headlining band is generally, but not always, a well established group of veterans who play two sets. Tonight’s opener at 7pm Lars-Erik Larson Trio: Larson, drums; Kam Markworth, bass; Aaron Hedenstrom sax; with special guest Steve Kenny, flumpet. Headlining at 8:30pm is the Paul Harper Bardo Band: Harper, saxes; Phil Aaron, piano; Tom Lewis bass; Nathan Norman, drums.

Sunday, September 4

Jazz Brunch w/James Buckley Trio @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 10am (No Cover) It’s Sunday brunch. It’s jazz. What else do you need to know? Oh yes, Buckley, bass; Nelson Devereaux, sax; JT Bates, drums

Sunday Jam Session w/Cole Mahlum @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 2pm – 4pm (Tip Jar??) Spontaneous collaboration is the essence of jazz. Todays session is hosted by guitarist Cole Mahlum, and focuses on the soul jazz sound of the Hammond B3, played by Abebi Stafford, with drumming by Jesse Simon, leader of the MN Hard Bop Collective.

Davell Crawford @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $40) Pianist Crawford is often called the Prince of New Orleans. He certainly comes from a royal musical background, as his grandfather was guitarist Sugarboy Crawford, the first artist to record Jock-A-Mo (Iko Iko), and is the godson of Roberta Flack. At ten years old, he was accompanying gospel choirs in New Orleans, giving him a foundation for everything he currently plays, which can range from classic R&B to B3 Soul Jazz to jazz and ballads.

Monday, September 5

LaValle Jazz Cats Little Big Band @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) This ten-piece little big band does music by Basie, Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Miles, Sonny Rollins, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, and some contemporary artists like Michael Buble, Chick Corea, and Harry Connick Jr.

Tuesday, September 6

Todd Clouser’s Future Dance @ Crooners’ Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Guitarist Clouser has earned rave reviews in the national press for his guitar playing, which is heavily based in jazz but, as a relatively young musician, also includes influences from funk and rock. With this new trio, Clouser; Greg Schutte, drums; and from Paris, Warren Walker, sax; form a groove heavy trio performing a collection of original music and de-arrangements of artists from the Motown era to create danceable jazz. After all, jazz was originally played for dancing. Here’s Clouser with his other project, A Love Electric, showing his funk influence.

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, August 31

House Party’s 10 Year Anniversary, with the RAMM Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Can it really be ten years since Harold Tremblay began the House Party? The Blues and Roots show features live artists every week, followed by an appearance at the 331 Club. To Celebrate, Harold is bringing in the RAMM Band. It’s Real American Made Music, filled with classic Motown, funk, and rock n’ roll, performed by three very fine musicians: Paul Mayasich, guitar; John Iden, bass; and Donald “Hye Pockets” Robertson.

Maurice Jacox Band @ The Mill City Museum, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm ($5, free for museum members) Is this a cool gig or what? The courtyard of the Mill City Museum lets you be outdoors, yet surrounded by some very old stone walls. Plus, vocalist Jacox has a quartet to back him, rather than a duo, or even trio, which will make for some fine ballads, blues, jazz, and R&B. They are: Thomas West, keys; John Della Selva, guitar; Charles Fletcher, bass; and Rob Stupka on drums. Plus, your $5 ticket gets you into the museum between 4pm and 9pm.

Kari Arnett & Laney Jones and the Spirits @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) An evening of Americana at the Aster. Arnett is a guitarist and singer/songwriter who, much like Gillian Welch, Lucinda Williams, or Emilylou Harris, draws her inspiration from older forms of country and folk music. Her 2105 EP Midwestern Skyline has drawn praise from around the country. She’ll be accompanied by a four-piece band. Laney Jones is a 24 year old multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter who was raised in rural Florida, and began songwriting while in college. She then went to Berklee, where she majored in Songwriting. Since then, she’s been featured on PBS, and named as one of Ten Country Artists You Need to Know by Rolling Stone. In March she released a self-titiled album which leans a bit more towards pop, with the dance-happy Allson as her first single, and has been touring the nation since then backed by her band The Spirits.

Thursday, September 1

Nikki Roux & Rich Rue @ Golden’s Lowertown, 275 East 4th Street, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar?) Golden’s, the little restaurant with the walk-up window across from Saint Paul’s Farmer’s Market, has a stage and small room dedicated to music, much of which covers folk/Americana, though the occasional jazz group turns up. Tonight they have the folk-rock/blues of Nikki Roux and Rich Rue, who’ve been gathering Saint Paul fans with regular appearances at the Vieux Carre.

Swamp Poppas @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 11pm ($5??) The dance floor at the Eagles Club will be filled as the Poppas perform their blend of Southern Louisiana music: R&B, Swamp Pop, and a bit of Cajun/Zydeco.

Paul Barry & The Ace Tones w/Lila Ammons @ Famous Daves, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No cover) Some west coast and jump blues from harpist Paul Barry, along with Jon Pederson, guitar; Vince Hyman, piano & vibes; Scott Soule, bass; and Doug Hill, drums. They’ll be joined by special guest Lila Ammons, who can sing the blues with verve and style.

Friday, September 2

The Pluto Trio @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) The Pluto Trio is bassist Paul Kammeyer, percussionist Josh Smith, and keyboardist John Kammeyer. They describe their music as mostly original compositions, is in the vein of Booker T and the MGs, Medeski, Martin, and Wood, or Tortoise, with a dash of new wave and electronica for good measure.

An Evening with Charlie Parr, w/Lianne Smith Opening @ the Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8 Advance, $10 Door) Freewheelin’ First Fridays moves to the new Hook & Ladder Lounge in the space formerly occupied by Patrick’s Cabaret. Doors open at 8pm and Lianne Smith opens. Some may remember Smith from the late 80s band Safety Last, which featured Gary Louris and Rusty Jones, among others. Nowadays she lives in Brooklyn and writes about making decisions, adventurous bicycle riding, and saying goodbye to Summer, for which this gig is highly appropriate. Duluth bluesman Charlie Parr is the star, and will undoubtedly pack the place, as he plays his stripped down Delta style blues with the conviction (and experience) of a man who can do nothing but be on the road and sing songs.

Willie Walker & the We R Band @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) Just returned from Brazil, our own original soul man and his band take over the MMC stage on a Friday night for your dancing pleasure. A good way to kick off the Labor Day Weekend.

Saturday, September 3

Dee Miller Band @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Ms Miller and her band will be belting out the blues in this south side neighborhood joint. The small dance floor will undoubtedly be filled, thanks to Ms Miller’s choice of material and vibrant voice.

Joe Cruz & Jennifer Grimm @ Washington Square, White Bear Lake. 9pm (Tip jar?) Vocalist/songwriter Grimm had Manitou Station hopping on Sunday nights for years, until the Station, as it’s now called, decided to stop featuring music. You can catch her tonight in a slightly more intimate duo set with well-respected guitarist Joe Cruz.

Willie Murphy & the Angel Headed Hipsters @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Murphy is one of three charter members of the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, along with Dylan and Prince, and he delivers rousing rock n’ roll and R&B. Though the dance floor is much smaller than many places Murphy has played, the energy is still full-on fun.

Sunday, September 4

Porktoberfest II @ Dayblock Brewing, Minneapolis. Noon – 2am ($5 advance/$10door) Music and pork products galore, including Pork Shanks, Beer Brats, Pork Belly sliders, and bacon, bacon, bacon! Music starts at 2pm, and includes Private Oates, Rolling Stoners, Marah in the Mainsail, Brass and Bodyworks, and the School of Rock. Pretzels, veggie sandwiches, and corn on the cob will also be available at this family-friendly, but no pets allowed, event.

Katy Vernon Band @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 5:30pm – 7pm (Free)  The London-raised, Minnesota-based Vernon is a singer/songwriter who creates charming folk-pop. Though her lyrics may speak of sad and melancholy topics, she surrounds them with light-hearted music, thanks in part to her use of the ukelele, as well as her ace band. Bring a picnic and a blanket, or stake out a space on the benches in front of the bandshell and get some food from the The Bread and Pickle restaurant next to the bandshell, and listen while kids frolic at the nearby beach, sailboats cross the lake, and airplanes fly overhead. A glorious way to spend part of the Labor Day Weekend.

Monday, September 5

Jose Feliciano @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $55), 9pm ($35 – $45) Eight Grammys, over forty-five gold and platinum records, Feliciano is a virtuosic guitarist with a musical imagination that can rework  all kinds of songs into a blend of Latin, jazz, pop, rock, and even a nod or two to classical music. His last appearance at the Dakota a few years back was a delightful evening of mixed media, storytelling, and great music.

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 eve


A Week in Summer: 8.3 – 8.9

August 3, 2016
A summer tradition: Movies and Music in the Park. Photo: fasthorseinc.com

A summer tradition: Movies and Music in the Park. Photo: fasthorseinc.com

Holy Shamoley, have we got a week filled with outdoor fun, from a metal pour to a guitar festival, Afrobeat in a museum patio, a couple of block parties, and movies and music at Loring Park. Is summer in the Twin Cities great, or what! There is plenty of indoor entertainment as well, notably during the week, including some visiting Jazz artists, local veterans of many music genres, and a fairly indescribable group from the Ukraine. Music lifts your spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 3

Wolverines Jazz Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) It seems the Wolverines show up often in these newsletters, either in their own right, or accompanying some of the outstanding vocalists of the area. Rick Carlson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Jendeen Forberg, drums; are the ultimate pros in this area, able to hold the attention of the noisy, and sometimes rowdy crowd (Bachelorette parties anyone?) of Hell’s Kitchen, no matter what the occasion.

Sasha Masakowski @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($17 – $22) In 2009, vocalist Masakowski earned the Best Emerging Artist Award of the Big Easy Association. The daughter of Steve Masakowski, guitarist for New Orlean’s fabled Astral Project, she has played all around the nation and abroad. She’s earned kudos from both Vanity Fair and Downbeat, and currently leads three bands, performing music that  ranges from traditional New Orleans jazz, to contemporary jazz, world music, and experimental art-rock. Here she is with Irvin Mayfield’s Big Band.

Reuben Ristrom & Dan Ristrom @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley, 7pm (No Cover) Guitarist/banjo player Reuben Ristrom has been contributing his talents to swinging aggregations for five decades now. Tonight he and son Dan  who is a fine vocalist and bassist, will  be playing for folks in the lounge at Crooners.

Thursday, August 4

Sheridan Zuther & Jordan Anderson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Vocalist Zuther has an engaging way with songs and with her audiences. Expect songs from the Great American Songbook as well as some favorites of Zuther from her youth on the Central Plains of North Dakota. She’ll be accompanied by the talented young pianist Jordan Anderson, who has been active with a number of young combos as well as with some veterans, and will be heading off to college this Fall. Here’s Sheridan with a quartet.

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) It’s Steve Kenny’s Group 47 tonight, wherein veteran trumpet and Flumpet player Steve Kenny surrounds himself with some young musicians: Will Kjeer, piano; Thomas Strommen, sax; Adam Tucker, bass; and Alex Burgess, drums. Under Kenny’s aegis, they contribute tunes, energy, and imagination. Here’s a number by Will Kjeer that shows some hard bop influence.

Katia Cardenas @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($6) The talented Ms Cardenas returns to the Vieux, where her excellent pipes, as well as her excellent band, continues to gain fans for both her and the club.

Friday, August 5

Joel Shapira @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm There’s no cover at Parma 8200’s lounge, but you’re sure to be tempted by their drinks and their Italian menu. Guitarist Joel Shapira will be supplying tasty licks and more to entertain you while you sit at the bar or on the comfy couches.

Eric Kamau Gravatt and Sourcode @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Gravatt certainly deserves wider attention here in town. The drummer is an alumni of Weather Report as well as the bands of McCoy Tyner, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard and others. This band features a cross-generational mix of musicians: Solomon Parham, trumpet; Lucia Sarmiento, sax; Dean Magraw, guitar; and Ron Evniuk, bass. This. Is. Jazz. Here is Gravatt with a slightly different configuration of the group.

Saturday, August 6

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Trap Tube opens as part of JazzINK’s Youth Jazz Showcase: Gerhardt Robinson, saxes; Jordan Anderson, piano; Alma Engebretson, bass; and Simon Petrick on drums. 9pm: John Raymond Group: Trumpeter Raymond visits his hometown from NYC once again, and is joined by Bryan Nichols, piano; and Cory Healey, drums. Here’s Raymond with his New York group.

Monday, August 8

Marcus Miller @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $47), 9pm ($35 – $42) Though he’s a multi-instrumentalist, adept on keyboards and clarinet, he’s primarily known as an electric bassist, and genial stage presence. Miller is a two time Grammy winner, and composer/producer of ten albums. He also has over 500 recording credits as a sideman for folks such as Eric Clapton, George Benson, Wayne Shorter, Roberta Flack, Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin, Snoop Dogg, and many, many more. Here’s a bass workout of Miller’s from the North Sea Jazz Festival last year.

Tuesday, August 9

Tim Patrick & His Blue Eyes Band @ Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 6:30pm – 8:30pm (Free) Crooner Tim Patrick didn’t start singing in public until late in life, but over the last decade has certainly made up for that. He’s bringing the songs of Sinatra, Dean Martin, et al; to the Center’s outdoor patio, where a dance floor will undoubtedly be filled, as happens when he appears at the Eagles, Club, the Medina Ballroom, and other ballrooms in the area. Dance instruction from 6:30 – 7pm, and performance afterwards. Bring a picnic or buy food and beverages from a limited menu on the patio. In case it rains, the performance moves indoors, where seating is somewhat limited.

Sam Miltich @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) Militich is a guitarist born and raised in the North Woods of Minnesota and currently lives in Grand Rapids. After seeing Woody Allen’s movie “Sweet and Lowdown” he was inspired to study and perform the music of Django Rheinhardt. Over the last decade or so Militich has built a well-earned reputation as an excellent interpreter of Gypsy Jazz, Brazilian Choro, French Musettes and other traditional music, both with his band The Clearwater Hot Club, and in other groups with some of the area’s best musicians.

Tuesday, Wednesday, August 9, 10

Estaire Godinez & Friends @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Percussionist/vocalist Ms Godinez has played with Prince, Coke Escovedo, The Brothers Johnson, and George Benson. She brings her Latin rhythms to town for two nights and brings out all the folks who played with her while she lived here some years ago, including: Peter Schimke, piano; Eric Leeds, sax; Mike Scott, guitar; Stokely Williams, drums; and Serge Akou, bass. There will be a couple of special guests as well: JD Steele on vocals, and Enrique Toussaint on bass.

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, August 3

Acoustic Big Wu on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) An acoustic version of the band  hose influences include the Grateful Dead, The Band, Bob Marley, Pink Floyd, and Otis Redding. Expect lots of flowing improvisation and vocal harmonies. Their Annual Family Reunion is coming up and will feature folks like Leon Russell, Dean Magraw, and Peter Rowan, among others.

Black Market Brass @ the Mill City Museum, Minneapolis. 6pm ($5) Our very own purveyors of Afrobeat  will be laying down searing rhythms and exhilarating horn lines in the courtyard of the Mill City Museum. The ticket includes admission to the museum before and after the show. Food and drink will be available.

Thursday, August 4

Maurice Jacox @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) This classic NE bar, home of a sausage with a name that was an ethnic pejorative where I grew up, once again hosts the talented vocalist Maurice Jacox, this time with cohorts Bobby E, unsung guitar whiz of the Twin Cities, and Tom Cravens, another guitarist worth watching. Jacox is equally at home with the Blues, R&B, Soul, Jazz, and Gospel music, so the set list for the evening could be full of surprises.

Bettye Lavette @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($42 – $47) Nowadays, it takes a strong personality to be an interpreter of other people’s songs.  Bettye Lavette is such a person. She not only makes a song her own, but she gets so inside a song that she can make grown men cry, whether doing a song by British rockers, female composers, or a classic from the Great American Soul Book. To prove the point, here she is doing a Who song.

Friday, August 5

Klezmerica w/Robayat @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm (Free) It’s an evening of dance music with Middle Eastern origins. Klezmerica specializes in highly infectious klezmer music as well as the music of Jewish composers, including Gershwin and beboppers, with aplomb and energy. Their energy and skill entice folks, no matter what their religion, to dance. Robayat performs the indigenous music of Persia, Turkey and Central Asia.

Willie Murphy & the Angel Headed Hipsters @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Rock n’ Roll, and Rhythm and Blues, served up with the kind of fierce energy that will have the TGIF drinkers gettin’ down on the small dance floor in the lounge.

Charlie Parr @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 8pm ($8 Advance/$10 Door) It doesn’t get much better, or much more rootsy than guitarist/singer Parr, who creates his Delta style blues up North, but nevertheless has garnered enough attention to support tours throughout the United States and Europe. As an added bonus, Nikki Roux and Rich Rue open.

Friday, Saturday, August 5,6

Dakhabraka @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($45) It’s quite difficult to accurately describe this highly original Ukranian group  which comes off as part Folk, part rebellious rock, and always unexpected. Their music is based on Ukrainian folk melodies, but from there goes into a number of directions and tangents, using Indian, Arabic, Africa, Russian and Australian instruments, as well as vocal harmonies that at times, bring to mind Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, and Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, among others.

Saturday, August 6

Hot Metal Pour & Savage Aural Hotbed @ Franconia Scultpure Park, 29836 Saint Croix Trail, Franconia. Noon – 8pm ($5 parking) No, Hot Metal Pour is not the name of a heavy metal band, it’s an actual art event, in which recycled iron is heated to 2700° F, and poured into molds created by both experienced artists and community members. The results are cast iron sculpture. Sand molds are available for purchase and there’’s a public workshop from 10am – 2pm for those who want to learn about the process and create their own artwork. Savage Aural Hotbed, the found-object percussion group, will provide the soundtrack for the day. For more information, go to: http://www.franconia.org

Pizza Luce Block Party@ Pizza Luce, 119 N 4th St,  Minneapolis. Noon –  (Free) Featuring the School of Rock; Marah in the Mainsail; Megan Hamilton; everybody’s favorite bluesman Charlie Parr; Sean Anonymous; young garage punks Bruise Violet; Are You Local? champs Holidae; psych-rock faves from the 80s and 90s, Run Westy Run; Carnage the Executioner; and the exploding young star Lizzo. Also: Pizza, beer, and ice-cream from Izzy’s.

Lowertown Guitar Festival @ 7th Place West, Saint Paul. 1pm – 11pm (Free) At Vieux Carre, Wild Tymes, and Outdoor Palace Stage. Guitars, guitars, guitars, from different genres, and different styles. With Bo Ramsey, David Grier (bluegrass), Siama Matuzungidi (Soukous from Africa), Peter Lang, Molly Maher, and Zacc Harris’ American Reverie Trio

Blues, Brews n’ BBQs @ Mt Olivet Lutheran Church, 12235 Old Rockford Road, Plymouth . 4pm – 10pm ($12 – $18) Benefit for PRISM and Twin Cities Habitat, featuring live music from the Jimmys, Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys, Lisa Wenger, and Cole Allen, with food, drinks, and family events

Front Porch Swingin’ Liquor Pigs @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Here’s a gig that’s been a long time coming. For the first time in years and years, the full Front Port Swingning’ Liquor Pigs will be playing at full force. They’re back at the Viking, where up until the closure ten years ago, they held down the Friday evening spot for years. Songs about drinking, rock n’ roll, and carrying on. Welcome back!

Sunday, August 7 

Borough Block Party @ Borough, 730 Washington Ave N, Minneapolis. Noon – 8pm DJ Steez; Dig DeepPrivate OatesViva Knievel; The International Reggae All-Stars; and headliners  Chase and Ovation, billed as the world’s premier Prince tribute band.

Mosquito Bluegrass Jam @ Roseville Central Park, Roseville. 3pm – 8pm (Free) Start off with a beginner’s jam hosted by Bill Cagley at 3pm, followed by Porcupine Creek at 5pm and Sarah Mae and the Birkeland Boys at 6:30pm.

Ticket to Brasil @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 5:30pm (Free) Bring a picnic or grab something from the food stand and listen to the swaying, infectious sounds of Ticket to Brasil  while the sounds of children frolicking in the lake and nearby provide additional ambience. You may be tempted to dance.

Allison Scott @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley 7pm ($15) Vocalist/pianist Scott has gained a large following over the last eleven years as an independent artist, eschewing any attempt to reach hipsters old or young, and simply singing. She has released six albums, sells out the Dakota, and fills 500 seat auditoriums. The secret is her soulful voice and her personal music. The Pioneer Press likened her to Dusty Springfield circa Dusty in Memphis. Here’s a chance to hear her in a small room.

Monday, August 8

The Pines and Hairspray @ Loring Park, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Stark Americana/Roots music from the nationally recognized Pines  along with John Water’s classic film that brought Riki Lake into the public’s eye. Hairspray is about a “pleasantly plump” teenager in 1962, who fights for integration when she lands a spot on a local TV dance show. It features Sonny Bono, Ruth Brown, Debby Harry, and of course, Divine. The Los Angels Times called it “A film that combines nostalgic spoof with a social consciousness that’s as unexpected as it is smashingly effective.”

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.


Dads, Solstice, Music: 6.15 – 6.21

June 15, 2016
It's Back to the 50s at the State Fairgrounds

It’s Back to the 50s at the State Fairgrounds

We’ll be celebrating Solstice next Tuesday, the longest day of the year. It’s also Make Music Day in the Twin cities, as I note below. Coming up this weekend is Father’s Day and the Stone Arch Bridge Festival, with car shows and music, and The Back to the 50s Car Show at the State Fairgrounds. Lotsa reasons to get out and about. Have a good week and remember, Music Lifts the Spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 15

Chieli Minucci & Special EFX, featuring Eric Marienthal and Lao Tizer @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35), 9pm ($25, $30) Guitarist Chieli MInucci and drummer George Jinda started Special EFX, a world fusion group, for want of a better term, that, with the help of guest artists, created radio-friendly jazz into the late 90s. Jinda died in 2001 and Minucci carries on, this time with the help of saxophonist Eric Marienthal, who was a member of the Chick Corea Elektric Band for 6 CDs, and has performed with any number of superstars. Keyboardist Lao Tizer provides a modern take on jazz fusion ala Return to Forever and the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

Thursday, June 16

Wolverines Trio @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 7pm – 11:30pm. ($5) The folks at the new Viking are creating the occasional surprise in booking, as with this date, when the Wolverines Trio will get on the expanded stage and play.

Photos by Andrea Canter

Photos by Andrea Canter

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) What Would Monk Do?, Modern interpretations of Thelonious Monk, with Peter Schimke, piano; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; Billy Peterson, bass; and Kenny Horst, drums.

 

Friday, June 17

Jon Pemberton @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) Pemberton is a pianist and trumpeter who will provide music during dinner hour, rather than “dinner music.” After all, the New Orleans vibe, not to mention the food, calls for some playfulness.

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) This version of the Fellows is simply a trio, with Lynch on bass and vocals, Chris Beaty on guitar, and Peter Vircks on saxophone. Music from the 30s to 60s, delivered with élan in the lounge of a D’Amico restaurant.

Donald Washington Group @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Reed Master Donald Washington is joined by trumpeter Ryan Nether, bassist Dick Studer, and drummer Kevin Washington for thoughtful improvised music.

Dean Magraw & Marcus Wise @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 Student ID) Guitarist Magraw and tabla player Wise have been musical partners for over 30 years, creating music that is sublime, no matter what the rhythm.

Wozniak/Harris Quartet @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Zacc Harris, guitar; and Brandon Wozniak, sax; step back from many of the 21st Century groups in which they play, and pay attention to the standards that instilled in them a love of jazz. No word on who else will be in the band, but given their circle of musical partners, the results will be oh so fine.

Saturday, June 18

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) At 7pm it’s an opening band courtesy of the JazzINK Youth Showcase: The young but very capable band of the Will Schmid Group with Schmid, guitar; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Ben Ehrich, drums. At 8:30, it’s the Babatunde Lea Group led by the  conguero/drummer/percussionist.

Hard Bop Collective @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID)  The Hard Bop Collective: Pete Whitman, sax; Geoff Senn, trumpet; Levi Schwartzberg, piano; Shigefumi Tomita, bass; Jesse Simon, drums will deliver the music of folks like Benny Golson, Cedar Walton, Hank Mobley and others.

Isak Gaines Group featuring DeCarlo Jackson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9pm, – 11pm ($1-, $5 w/Student ID) New York based Isak Gaines has played at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Paramount theater in Seattle, land jazz festivals in Italy and France. He recently toured Brazil with the New York Youth Symphony Jazz Band. His 8-piece group recently won the Downbeat Student Music Award for their debut recording Bits and Pieces. Playing with the group tonight is our very own fine young trumpeter/bassist DeCarlo Jackson, who has been gigging around town after a couple of years studying at the University of Manitoba.

Sunday, June 19

NY Meets MN @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Two groups: The Will Kjeer Summer Band features Kjeer on piano, along with Stephanie Wieseler on sax; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. I’m lucky enough to have recently heard each of these talented young musicians, though not together. From New York we have the Lucas Kadish Collective, with Kadish, guitar; Devon Gillingham on bass and Connor Parks on percussion, with special guest Zosha Warpeha on violin. Though Zosha is from Pine City, she, like her fellow New Yorkers, has been studying at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. I believe this will be a fine evening of jazz.

Monday, June 20

David Hazeltine & Eric Alexander @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $50 Dinner), 9pm ($15, $45 Dinner) So, we have two of the most respected jazz artists in the country stopping by to play for us. Who knows what will ensue when a brilliant pianist (Hazeltine) and outstanding bebopper (Alexander on tenor) meet in a listening room overlooking a lake?

Canadian Girlfriend @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 Student) Well, the Calendar for Jazz Central says Canadian Girlfriend, but the description is for Improvestra, a local improvising orchestra with some real heft. They draw from a pool of 150 played to create a group of 10 to 25 for each performance. Further, their music is “groove oriented with a slight variation into the classical and cinematic worlds.” Really, that’s what the description said. So I don’t know if Canadian Girlfriend is the name of the show, an opera, or an opus, but it sounds intriguing

Tuesday, June 21

David Hazeltine/Eric Alexander Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $50 Dinner), 9pm ($15, $45 Dinner) After Hazeltine and Alexander warmed up last night (see above), they’re adding Billy Peterson on bass; and Kenny Horst on drums. What fun!

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 15

Machinery Hill on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 70m (331 Club – Tip Jar) There hasn’t been much farm machinery on the State Fair’s Machinery Hill for decades now, but the quintet named for the areal carries on, with its mix of old time folk music, along with touches of ska, klezmer, celtic and other musics.

Crankshaft & The Gear Grinders @ Como Conservatory, Saint Paul. 5:30pm (Free) You want roots rock, blues, & even some country, delivered up with the kind of energy once reserved for punk bands. There are activities for kids, while grownups can spread a blanket and have a picnic while gearing up for Crankshaft.

Thursday, June 16

Paul Mayasich Hot Seat w/Bruce McCabe, John Franken, and John Iden @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley (No Cover) Mayasich is a talented and well-respected guitar player, who invites other musicians to share the stage and play some music together. Tonight it’s Bruce McCabe on keys; John Franken on guitar; and John Iden on bass. I don’t think they’ll have much trouble catching the attention of the audience.

Friday, June 17

Jon Rodine & Friends @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 9:00pm ($5) Rodine is such a fine singer that he never has any trouble finding excellent players to back him up. Paul Bergeron opens.

Saturday, June 18

Roots Double Header @ The Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover), 9pm ($12) Nikki Roux and Rich Rue provide clarion vocals and stinging slide guitar to blues, folk, and folk-rock numbers at 6pm, while finger-picker Pat Donahue, who is one of the many fine fingerpickers in this region, not to forget he’s also a fine and composer, gets on stage at 9pm

Lucky Losers @ Shaws, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Phil Berkowitz and Cathy Lemons are Bay Area musicians who took to working together in 2012. Harpist/Vocalist Berkowitz covers a broad swath of sales, from West Coast Swing to New Orleans R&B and even a bit of country blues. Vocalist Lemons recording with Anson Funderburgh while she was coming up in Dallas, and has worked with john Lee Hooker, Tommy Castro, and others. She’s released four albums. This is their first tour of the Upper Midwest, and they’ll have a trio playing guitar, bass & drums with them.

Sunday, June 19

Charlie Parr @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (17, $22) Blues from Minnesota, that sounds like it’s been sucked up the Mississippi from the Delta. Parr has put more that 200,000 miles on his Kia, doing 250 shows a year. He’s possessed, in a totally good way, with blues lovers as beneficiaries.

Monday, Tuesday, June 20, 21

Edgar Winter @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $65, $75) Edgar Winter’s White Trash, the songs Frankenstein, Free Ride. This of you of a certain age may have flashbacks on hearing the songs, which dominated the airwaves in 1973, thanks to the album They Only Come Out At Night, which hit number 3 on the charts. With his brother Johnny Winter, Edgar learned much about music growing up in Texas, and still has plenty to say.

Tuesday, June 21

Make Music Twin Cities@ Various Locations. All Day. (No Cost) Make Music Day is a worldwide celebration of music, in which music makers of all stripes play in various places throughout a city, not necessarily in nightclubs or coffeehouses. For instance, at the Lake Phalen Amphitheater, there will be a toddler’s music class from 5pm – 6pm, and a group harmonica lesson in the blues from 6:30pm – 7pm. Meanwhile in Nordeast Mpls, Sarah Jane’s Music School will have a group guitar jam from 7:30 – 8pm, and at Pedro Park in downtown Saint Paul, there will be a noontime Gutiar Jam. For information, go to: http://makemusicday.org/twincities/

 

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.


Jazz, Cambodian Pop, Chamber Blues, and More: 1.6 – 1.12

January 6, 2016
Dengue Fever, appearing at the Ordway

Dengue Fever, appearing at the Ordway

Good music this week, from around the world (see photo) and perhaps, around the block. Get out and hear some. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, January 6

Anthony Cox: Deconstruction/Reconstruction @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Bassist Anthony Cox  ethinks the roles of different instruments and orchestration. He’ll be joined by Steve Kenny, trumpet; Davu Seru, drums; and Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; to perform new compositions, and engage in dialogue with the audience. Here’s an example of how Cox approaches a song, with a slight change in the lineup.

Thursday, January 7

Jon Pemberton @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) I don’t know if this is a solo gig or if pianist Pemberton will have any accompaniment. In either case, Pemberton’s playing is well worth a listen.

Erin Livingston @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Ms Livingston has been singing a lot with The Parisota Hot Club, proving she can swing the standards, pump up the blues, and caress a Beatles tune. Tonight she performs with Marc Z on piano.

Jack Brass Band CD Release @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) These purveyors of both traditional and contemporary New Orleans Brass Band music have a new CD, For Your Soul, and they’re celebrating with a performance tonight. And what better place to celebrate than the gumbo and po-boy haven in downtown Saint Paul. Here’s a video of the band from Wednesday morning.

Friday, January 8

Ted Olsen & Joe Strachan @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) Bassist Olsen and pianist Strachan are relatively young players who serve up some tasty licks and imaginative improvisations.

Denny Malmberg Trio w/Charmin Michelle @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) The accordionist used to play behind chanteuse Charmin Michelle at the Fireside Pizza on a weekly basis. That gig ended some months ago, so it’s a delight to have them together again, this time will the help of Tom Lewis on bass. Listen to them with a drummer.

Pete Whitman X-Tet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) They’re back! Saxophonist/leader Whitman has been concentrating on the McNally Smith big band that he leads, so it’s fun to have the X-Tet, formed in 2001, they received glowing review for their only CD, playing mostly original compositions from the members: Clay Pufahl, saxes, flute; Gus Sandberg, baritone sax, flute’ Adam Meckler, trumpet & flugelhorn; Jake Baldwin, trumpet & flugelhorn; Jeff Rinnear, trombone; Laura Caviani, piano; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Chris Bates, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. Here they are with Whitman’s arrangement of the old chestnut, Good Night Ladies.

Saturday, January 9

Zacc Harris Guitar Recital @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) It’s listed as a recital, so I’m assuming guitarist Harris  will be performing solo, given that he’ll be playing in a trio later in the evening. This is a chance to clearly hear his clean, rhythmic lines.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) The Pete Snell Trio opens, with Snell, saxes; Phil Aaron, piano; and Tom Lewis, bass. At 8:30 it’s Golden Circle, with outstanding musicians Davu Seru  drums; Dean Granros, guitar; Chris Bates, bass.

JT Bates’ Grain @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8)  Get down and a bit greasy with this B3 Organ trio led by the chameleonic drummer JT Bates, with Kevin Gastonguay, B3; and Zacc Harris, guitar.

Sunday, January 10

The Birthday Club w/Dan Chouinard & Friends @ The Dunsmore Room, Crooners, Fridley. 6pm – 8pm ($20 Minimum) The folks at Crooners are starting a new residency with keyboardist Dan Chouinard in which he and an invited guest celebrate the music of a particular songwriter. He has a long history of doing informative and edifying shows. For this first appearance, he’s bringing along a long time collaborator, singer Prudence Johnson  Her recent appearance with Rio Nido at the Dakota showed that she’s got chops aplenty when it comes to interpreting songs. Here’s something from their Gershwin album.

Monday, January 11

Colleen Raye @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) The singer/actress will be performing songs from women songwriters of the 40s and 50s. Raye is somewhat of an expert here, having produced and starred in shows such as Sirens of the 60s, Belting Babes, Girl Singers of the Hit Parade, and others that feature songs from women. She’ll be accompanied by Gary Raynor, bass; and Ted Godbout, piano. Listen to her on an old Nat King Cole Song.

Tuesday, January 12

Peter Kogan Quartet @ The Dunsmore Room, Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($15 Minimum) Kogan is a former tympanist from the Minnesota Orchestra, who was able to explore his jazz side during the organization’s strike, and came up with a couple of winning CDs, including his latest, Some Monsterful Wonderthing, which exhibits his skill at composing and leading a band. From classic bebop to New Orleans rhythms, Kogan writes it all.  Look at who he has in this quartet: Pete Whitman, sax; Phil Aaron, piano; and Anthony Cox, bass. Here’s a cut from the album.

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.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, December 6

Andra Suchy Trio on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Classically trained and a veteran of musical theater, Suchy is a regular performer on Prairie Home Companion, and has recorded with a wide variety of indie, rock, blues, and folk acts, including the Honeydongs, Peter Ostroushko, and Dave Perner of Soul Asylum. She’s a Red House recording artist, with a folky style that fits the label’s sound.

Dee Miller Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) The joint will be jumpin’ as powerhouse vocalist Ms Miller and her band deliver exciting and danceable blues. Extra reason to be excited: Jimi “Primetime” Smith on guitar. I’m thinking this might be a crowded place tonight.

Thursday, January 7

Pat Donahue & The Prairie All Stars @ Golden’s Deli, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($8 for reserved stage area seating) Grammy-winning finger style guitarist Donahue has many fans, including the late Chet Atkins, and of course, Garrison Keillor, who featured Donahue and company at the house band on Prairie Home Companion for many years. Golden’s has a stage area off the main dining area, and serves beer and wine, in addition to sandwiches and soups. The band includes Dan Newton, accordion; Gary Raynor, bass; Richard Kriehn, mandolin and fiddle; and Peter Johnson on drums. Here he is with some of the band.

Potash Twins @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) The “Twin Horns of Joy” are a couple of young musicians from Omaha who have been guided by folks like Wynton Marsalis, Jon Faddis, and a host of other music luminaries. Adeev, trumpet; and Ezra, trombone; have studied in New York, and appeared at places ranging from Birdland to the Field Museum and the MN State Fair Grandstand. They play a very jazz-oriented pop that reaches across generations.

Friday, January 8

Worldwide Discoteque @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Pan-tropical vinyl, producing irresistibly funky dance sounds from Afrobeat to Island jams, to sambas, cumbias, and more for a multi-culti audience. Special guest deejay ILana Percheri will be alternating with host deejays Steely Dan and Brian Engle. Here’s an example of what you might hear.

Saturday, January 9

Dengue Fever @ The Ordway Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($25 – $27) Take Cambodian pop music. Add hints of Ethiopian jazz, psychedelica, garage band music, Latin grooves, and the British Invasion and you have this thoroughly intriguing and fun six-piece group. Their music has been featured in TV and films, including CSI: Las Vegas, Weeds, The Hangover 2, and City of Ghosts.

Sunday, January 10

Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues, w/Ernie Watts @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Siegel  known back in the day for his incisive harp playing as part of the Seigel-Schwall Blues Band, has been collaborating with classical musicians for quite some time now. This particular act features the West End String Quartet, as well as Frank Donaldson on world percussion, and sax master Ernie Watts  creating a blend of classical and blues styles in a chamber music setting.

Charlie Parr @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Advance) Parr is unique among today’s blues performers, with 13 albums to his credit and a huge following among the younger set. He sounds and looks like an itinerant picker, and in some respects is, but there’s an intelligence to his lyrics and playing (guitar, dobro, banjo) that goes way beyond his often-disheveled appearance. MN based singer/songwriter Amanda Standalone opens.

Tuesday, January 12

Kate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) I’ll admit that I really like the approach of bassist/vocalist Lynch to performing. She takes on old songs – pop tunes from the 20s to the 60s, and puts them in context before she and her Most Excellent Fellows hit a downbeat that brings out swing dancers. Though there’s no real room for dancing at the Dakota, I wouldn’t put it past some of her fans to push some table aside to create a small dance floor.

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.


Jazz, World Music, and More: 10.21 – 10.27

October 21, 2015

Unknown-2World music is part of a couple of this week’s jazz offerings, while blues and roots music for the week includes a giant puppet extravaganza, a day of blues, a CD release party, and an 18 minute monologue about the perils of being arrested for littering. As you partake of this week’s night life (and occasional daytime offering), remember, Music Lifts the Spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 21

Chris Lomheim Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) As a leader, pianist Lomheim usually heads up a trio, but tonight he’s playing with a couple of horns as well, which will add new layers of sound and creativity to this performance. Jay Young, bass; Dave Schmalenberger, drums; Adam Rossmiller, trumpet, and Pete Whitman, saxophones.

Thursday, October 22

Yohannes Tona Group @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover) Bassist Yohannes Tona hails from Ethiopia, and has become a sought after musician in town, based on his ability to be imaginative in all sorts of musical settings. Tonight, he’ll bring a stellar group of musicians to the Icehouse stage: Brian Gallagher, sax & flute; Brian Zemniak, keyboards; Geeff LeCrone, guitar; Demetrius Mabry, drums; and Daryl Boudreaux, percussion with Jamecia Bennett on vocals, as well as some special guests. Here is Tona with a slightly different group.

Friday, October 23

Will Schmid New Quintet @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) The next generation of jazz. This group is led by guitarist Schmid, a senior at Minnetonka HS. Other members are Gerhardt Robinson, sax (SW HS); Jordan Anderson, piano (Nova Classical Academy); Alma Engebretson, bass (Washburn HS); and Simon Petrick, drums (Mainstreet Academy).

Farah Siraj @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) This Jordanian songstress is known as Jordan’s “Musical Ambassadress.” Siraj leads an ethnically diverse quintet, whose members hail from the Middle East, Europe, South America, and the United States, playing Arabian Flamenco Jazz. Her music addresses many of the world’s issues, including genocide, and military conflicts. Opening is the Zacc Harris duo, with Harris on guitar, and Chris Bates on bass.

No Room for Squares @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Some veterans who’ve worked together quite a bit get together with a younger bass player to create Blue Note-style Straight Ahead jazz: Bill Stieger, drums; Jon Pemberton, trumpet; James “Jimmyapolis” Wallace, saxes; Mikkel Ramstead, piano; and Adam Tucker, bass.

BDP @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 10pm ($10 Suggested Donation) A new group featuring some of the young lions in town: Cameron Kinghorn, vocals; Jake Baldwin Trumpet; Ted Godbout, piano; Andrew Foreman, bass; Andres Crovetti, drums.

Fuzzy Math @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) Late night jazz for “people who don’t like jazz,” as City Pages quipped. Fuzzy Math is: Mark Vandermyde, piano; Haralds Bondaris on drums, Andrew Schwandt on sax, and Matt Peterson on upright bass. While this isn’t a music video by Fuzzy Math, it certainly is about fuzzy math of a different kind, you might find it humorous.

Saturday, October 24

Jelloslave @ Hosmer Library, 347 East 36th St., Minneapolis. 2pm – 3pm (Free) Jazz for the thinking set, drawing from European classical music, Hindustani rhythms, and a variety of international drumming styles. Jelloslave is: Michelle Kinney and Jacqueline Ultan, cellos; Gary Waryan, tabla, Greg Schutte, drums.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar)  Opening is the Joel Shapira Trio, with Tom Pieper, bass; and Eric Kamau Gravatt, drums. At 8:30pm The Illicit Sextet performs their original music. The Sextet is a composers’ collective, with Steve Kenny, flumpet; Chris Lomheim, piano; Paul Harper, saxes; Tom Pieper, bass; Dave Roos, guitar; and Nathan Norman, drums. Here’s a video from some years back.

Pippi Ardennia Celebrates her Birthday @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 67:30pm – 9:30pm ($20) Ms Ardennia’s “Feel Good” music does just that, doubly so this evening as she celebrates her birthday. A portion of the proceeds ($5) will go to the Bedlam Theater. She’ll be joined by Dennis Landeen, sax; Scott Ives, guitar; Irving Colacci, keys; Tony Guscetti, drums; and Richard Kronick, bass; as well a four members of the PipJazz Youth All stars.

Sunday, October 25

Benny Green Trio @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($20, $30) Though pianist Green is a favorite of Twin Cities jazz fans, we haven’t seen enough of him lately, so this is a treat. He emerged from Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers to record and perform with such legend as Ray Brown (where we first heard him in town), Betty Carter, Freddie Hubbard, Etta Jones and Oscar Peterson. He regularly lectures aft places like Julliard, Berklee, The Brubeck Institute and the Thelonious Monk Institute, and is in town for a piano workshop for high school students.

Monday, October 26

Glimpse Trio @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Guitarist Mike Sopko (Cleveland), and drummer Hamir Atwal (San Francisco), have worked with the Twin Cities’ Dosh to create high-energy music.

Tuesday, October 27

Jane Monheit @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $42) It’s been a dozen or so years since Monheit was “the next big thing.” In the intervening years she’s matured and married, and is fulfilling her promise. She has a wide vocal range, a great ear, and enough sense of restraint to keep from overpowering her material. Here’s a video that displays many of her vocal qualities.

Benny Weinbeck @ Crooner’s Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Well, if you don’t get to Parma 8200 on a Saturday night, you can head north instead to this club about a mile north of 494 on Central Avenue to hear pianist Weinbeck  I assume that he’ll have Gordy Johnson on bass and Phil Hey on drums, though they aren’t listed on the club’s calendar.

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.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, October 21

Charlie Parr on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Parr grew up without a TV, but did have his dad’s recordings of American roots music, including records by Charley Patton, Lightinin’ Hopkins, Woody Guthrie, and Leadbelly. Now he plays original and traditional folk and Piedmont style blues, playing National resonator guitar, a 12-String and the occasional banjo. Listen in, and head over to the 331 afterwards.

Thursday, October 22

Nikki Hill @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Those of you who have been lamenting the disappearance of “real rock n’ roll” should hie down to the Dakota tonight, as Ms Hill is a fireball of rock n’ roll energy. This is roots music on steroids – a rockabilly/R&B rave up with touches of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Jerry Lee Lewis, and the Staples at their most energized. She just released a new CD on Monday, so this is a celebration.

Friday, October 23

Charlie Parr @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($25) If you didn’t get to see Parr at the 331 Club on Wednesday (see above), you can catch him while sitting in the comfort of Weyerhauser Auditorium in the Landmark, where the acoustics are great. He released Stump Jumper on Red House Records last Spring, which got a highly positive review in Downbeat, of all places.

Ben Cook-Feltz Album Release @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 10 pm (No Cover) Cook-Feltz is celebrating the release of a new CD, She Doesn’t Believe Me. He’s a clever singer/songwriter, with plain spoken (plain-sung?) words and a bit of a pop sensibility. A couple of my faves, Jillian Rae, and Doug Otto & the Getaways, open. Here is Ben at his last CD Release party.

Saturday, October 24

Nikki Roux & Rich Rue @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8:30pm (No Cover) The Vieux’s early evening shows are a delightful addition to our nightlife. Tonight the rich, clear voice of Nikki Roux  and the fleet fingers of her guitar-slinging partner Rich Rue combine to present original folk-rock and blues, with the occasional interesting cover of songs from the 60s.

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Bassist/vocalist Lynch plays music for dancers – fox trotters, swing dancers, and those in between. Her repertoire ranges from the 30s to the 60s, but sounds anything but dated.

Saturday, Sunday, October 24, 25

22nd Annual BareBones Halloween Outdoor Puppet Extravaganza @ Hidden Falls Regional Park, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10-$20 suggested Donation at the Gate) This annual production is almost indescribable, though it does involve giant puppets performing outdoors. There’s always a theme, some acrobatics, stilt walkers, dance, fire, and music, as well as a moment where the audience is invited, through a public naming ceremony, to honor friends and relatives who have passed on. Afterwards The Brass Messengers will play their Gypsy Brass Band party music. This is a non-commercial, family-friendly event. If you don’t get to it this weekend, it will also occur next weekend. Here’s a very short clip from last year.

Sunday, October 25

Rico’s Fall Festival @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 2pm – 9:30pm ($10) A day full of blues for ya, featuring, in order of appearance, The Brian Naughton Band w/Ross William Perry; Steve Clarke & the Working Stiffs; Jack Knife & the Sharps; The Dee Miller Band w/Jimi Primetime Smith and Steve Clarke; Renee Austin, w/Mick Sterling & Bobby Vandell; and the Lamont Cranston Band with Bruce & Larry McCabe and Larry Hayes. Whew!

Katy Vernon “Present” CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 5pm ($10) British-born singer/guitarist/ukelelist Vernon’s  past work has often dealt with life’s challenges, reflecting in part, the loss of her parents when she was a teenager. She characterized that music as “Sad songs on a happy instrument,” in reference to her use of the ukulele. With Present, however, she takes on the here and now, with uplifting results, as revealed on her charming CD single, Pearl/Lilly. With Kevin Bowe opening. Here’s the video for Pearl.

Nosferatu and Live Orchestra @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Okay, here’s the original Vampire movie, from 1922. Since the silents always had live accompaniment, albeit generally an organ or piano player, this showing will be accompanied by the Rats & People Orchestra  featuring Beth Dill, violin & theremin; Seth Hayek, percussion & vibes; Danielle Solheim, violin; Teresa Mayer, Viola; Chelsea Parker, violin; Christine Palmer, piano; trumpet, & trombone; and Travis Lee, on guitar. Their music is contemporary, yet complementary to the film. The last time this troupe played for this film, it sold out. Advance tickets are available through the Parkway.  Here’s a clip of the film, with a completely different score.

Arlo Guthrie: Alice’s Restaurant @ The O’Shaughnessy Auditorium, Saint Katherine’s University, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($29 – $73) Guthrie  the son of Woody, made lots of friends with his 18 minute plus, satirical counter-culture story of being arrested for littering, and as a result, not being moral enough to join the Army. It’s based on an actual experience of being cited for littering on Thanksgiving, 1965, and in honor of the 50th anniversary of the event, he’s performing it in it’s entirety, along with telling stories and singing other hits of his. He’s a funny storyteller, as you might find in this video.

Monday, October 26

Kat Edmonson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Ms Edmonson is a singer with a sweet sound and expressive voice that’s comfortable in pop, jazz, and even the country music of her native Texas. She’s impressed in previous shows, and her latest CD, The Big Picture, features original songs and a production sensibility that seems inspired by pop music from the 50s and 60s, providing a matured girl-group atmosphere. Milton opens.

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.


Summer Music Isn’t Over Yet: 8.26 – 9.2

August 26, 2015
Though dusk is coming earlier these days, music is always available

Though dusk is coming earlier these days, music is always available

Well, the State Fair begins tomorrow, which means that Labor Day, the unofficial end of Summer, isn’t far behind. There is much music at the Fair, and I’ll post a separate, simple listing tomorrow, but there is also plenty of great music to enjoy outside of the fair. Here are a few examples. Have a great week. Music lifts your spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 26

Joe Strachan @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pianist Strachan graduated from the U o MN a couple of years ago and has become a pianist-about-town, playing with The Adam Meckler Orchestra, Pete Whitman’s X-Tet, Jake Baldwin’s Quintet, Charanga Tropical, and in other groups. Always inventive. Though the film quality on this video isn’t great, the sound comes through quite nicely.

Wednesday, Thursday, August 26, 27

Ben Sidran @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Sidran manages to live in Madison and keep up an international touring schedule and regular release of CDs. Tonight and Thursday he’s celebrating the release of Blue Camus. It’s a two family celebration with Ben on keys and vocals, son Leo on drums, Ricky Peterson on organ, and Billy Peterson on bass. The show is titled Jazz + Philosophy, which isn’t unusual for Sidran, who often interjects hipster rapping into his show, whether it’s about Dylan, the first caveman discovering a beat,  or how commercial radio uses music to deliver potential customers to advertisers. Here’s something from the new album.

Thursday, August 27

Melody Mendis @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The Detroit native has been singing jazz, R&B, pop, and more around town in a variety of cover bands like High and Mighty, and Boogie Wonderland. She recently released her second album, Love & Madness, full of twisted arrangements and dramatic, dark covers.

Bryan Nichols Quintet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7 :30 – 9:30pm ($10) Given that saxophonist Michael Lewis is now living on the west coast, tonight’s performance is a rare opportunity to see this particular combination of players addressing the original music of pianist Nichols. With Brandon Wozniak, sax; James Buckley, bass; and JT Bates on drums.

Javi Santiago & Lucia Sarmiento @ Bedlam Theater, Saint Paul. 10pm ($5) Here’s a double bill of young talent. The Javi Santiago Trio includes Santiago, piano; Ted Olsen, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. Lucia Sarmieto Quintet includes Sarmiento, still a student at McNally Smith on sax; Trevor Wiest, guitar; Will Kjeer, about to set off for CalArts on piano; Ry Dill, bass; and Blake Huebel, drums. Here’s an example of Lucia’s playing.

Friday, August 28

Javi Santiago & Proper-T Present: Murkury @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pianist Javi Santiago and his long time running mate, drummer Miguel Hurtado, team up with vocalist/pianist Taylor Johnson, aka Proper T to create Murkury  a group that performs improvisational music mining jazz and blues, while bringing pop and electronic innovations to the fore as well.

Charmin Michelle & Sam Miltich @ Third Place Gallery, 3730 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($15 Suggested Donation) Songstress Michelle and guitarist Miltich address the Ella Fitzgerald/Joe Pass connection in this tribute to both of them.

Patty & The Buttons @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8:30pm – 11:30pm ($10) Some button accordion-driven swing from a group most often found at the Aster on Sunday mornings. The way the Vieux is set up, you’ll only have to shuffle a couple of tables aside to create a bit of a dance floor.

No Room for Squares @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm – 11pm (Tip Jar) A group of veteran players get together to enjoy themselves playing originals and jazz standards. Jon Pemberton, trumpet; Jimmie Wallace, sax; Mikkel Romstad, keys; Adam Tucker, bass; and Bill Steiger, drums.

Saturday, August 29

Saturday Night Jazz @ the Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. At 7pm, the U of M Combo opens, featuring current and former students: Ryan Christianson, Joe Strachan, Matt McIntyre, and Andres Crovetti, followed at 8:30pm by The Dean Sorenson Sextet CD Release party: Dean on trombone; Steve Kennym, flumpet; Dave Milne, sax; Chris Lomheim, piano; Tom Lewis, bass; Phil Hey, drums.

Maurice Jacox Trio @ Crooner’s Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) I would normally list Jacox under Blues and Roots, but the versatile singer’s appearance tonight at Crooners is more likely to be filled with Nat Cole and jazz-inspired acoustic Motown than full-blown R&B. Even in a trio format, Jacox’s balladry is likely to coax a few couples onto the dance floor.

Sunday, August 30

Tootie Heath Trio, w/Ethan Iverson & Ben Street @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($22) Talk about an entertainment deal. The 79 year old Heath has been an active participant in the nation’s jazz scene since the 50s. The younger brother of Jimmy on sax and Percy on bass, Heath continues to be a force in jazz. His first recording was with John Coltrane in 1957, and his subsequent work encompassed most all of jazz royalty, such as The Modern Jazz Quartet, JJ Johnson, The Jazztet, Bobby Timmons,  Thelonious Monk, and dozens of other artists. Now he’s teamed up with pianist Ethan Iverson, of the Bad Plus, and bassist Ben Street, who spent the 90s exploring free jazz, for three albums, the latest of which is Philadelphia, named for Heath’s home town. Here is the trio at theChicago Jazz Festival.

Monday, August 31

Terrence Blanchard E Collective @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($25) Trumpeter Blanchard has appeared a leader or co-leader on over 30 albums, including soundtracks for Spike Lee and his moving, post-Katrina masterpiece A Tale of God’s Will. He and his band are now receiving much praise from the likes of both Downbeat and Jazz Times for Breathless, his latest album. It’s an electrified fusion of R&B and fusion-influenced jazz. It’s has slow jams, deep grooves, a hip-hop/jazz fusion of Les McCann’s “Compared to What,” and a reworking of Hank Williams’ “I Aint Got Nothing But Time.”

James Buckley Trio + One @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Bassist James Buckley and his long-standing trio including Bryan Nichols, keys; and JT Bates, drums, are given the chance to provide new takes on their repertoire with the addition of Jacob Hanson on guitar. Hanson has long been a fixture in many bands around town, providing licks that are twangy, reverb-laden, and imaginative.

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.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, August 26

John Till on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 club – Tip Jar) Whether he’s playing bottleneck slide, banjo, or acoustic guitar, Till  elivers country blues from the Great Plains to the Delta, with side trips to Appalachia and Chicago. Listen in and head to the 331 afterwards.

Gabby Z @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Gabby Z is a sixteen year old singer/songwriter who is about to release her debut album. Her soulful singing reveals influences of Joss Stone, Sara Bareilles, and Amos Lee.

Mother Banjo @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul 8pm ($5) Get yourself some bluegrassy gospel and poetic lyrics as Ellen Stanley, aka Mother Banjo  brings her full band to the underground confines of the Vieux Carre.

Thursday, August 27

Flamin’ Ohs & The War Poets @ Music in Mears, Saint Paul. 6pm (Free) The Ohs had a strong following back in the day, and can still deliver their smart pop/punk/new wave sounds with vengeance. Openers The War Poets are a protest band for this generation, writing about homelessness, poverty, and other social issues of the day. Music will be followed by a screening of Dispatched, a comedy action thriller presented by the Twin Cities Film Festival. Here are the Ohs doing a cover of the Rolling Stones.

Joe Ely and Alejandro Escovedo @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) Here’s a double bill of Texas singer/songwriters with a punch to their music. Alejandro Escovedo left Texas for California in the 70s and played guitar with the Nuns and the punk-meets-country Rank & File. After returning to Texas, Escovedo began a steady but slow rise to prominence, working with producers like Chris Stamey and John Cale, and collaborating with Chuck Prophet. Nowadays, Escovedo says he just wants to write “cool pop rock songs.” Ely is a rockin’ troubadour, who has traveled the country singing  about his travels in honky tonks, hook joints, and concert halls. Bruce Springsteen, Raul Malo, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore (with whom he worked in the Flatlanders) have all contributed vocals to his albums.  Here’ Ely at work.

Friday, August 28

Willie Walker and the We R Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Willie’s latest CD, If Nothing Ever Changes, was produced by bluesman/slyman Rick Estrin, of the Night Cats, and it’s terrific. Walker is still a soul master, able to evoke emotion with the slightest change in his gravely voice. He’s brought a good crowd to the Fridley lounge in the past and tonight should be no different. Here he is on a recent tour of South America.

Hipshaker 13th Anniversary @ The Kitty Cat Klub, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Get out the talcum powder and your best dancing shoes. And get there early to claim a spot to rest and have a drink every once in a while. Brian, Greg, and George will be pulling out the best of their rare 45s tonight.

Saturday, August 29

Jimmi & the Band of Souls @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($8) Jimmi & the Band of Souls use mandolins and banjos, as well as the usual guitars, slide guitars, and rhythm section found in a blues band. As a result, they have a unique sound which is strengthened by their winning blend of blues, R&B, and roots music.  Here they are with a classic Memphis Minnie tune.

Sunday, August 30

RAMM Band @ Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter, Stillwater. 3 – 6pm (No Cover) Guitarist Paul Mayasich  together with ace time-keepers John Iden, bass; and Hye Pockets, drums, deliver such blues-based favorites, including Motown, funk, R&B, and even some Rock n’ Roll and Americana. You get to hang out and avail yourself of the Hunter’s favorites, like goulash, all manner of sausages, spatzle, burgers, and more. Since this is an outdoor gig, all bets are off if the weather doesn’t permit.

Charlie Parr & Dave Moore @ Patrick’s Cabaret, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) This great two-fer is part of the Eclectic Electric series, and features two of Red House Records’ premiere artists in an intimate setting. Parr  of course, is the Duluth bluesman who has captured the imagination of both young and old with his Duluth-meets-the Delta acoustic blues. Moore is the somewhat reclusive singer/songwriter from Iowa City who used to play with Greg Brown and has become a stellar writer and performer in his own right. You might want to get advance tickets for this one, since the Cabaret is a bit small. Here’s Moore at work.

Tuesday, September 1

Doug Otto & the Getaways @ Father Hennepin Bluff Park, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) The sad sounds of Doug Otto’s expressive voice backed by the rootsy/acoustic sounds of the Getaways will undoubtedly feel just right in an outdoor setting.

Halley DeVestern Band @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:00pm (No Cover) This five-piece from New York City delivers some rock/funk/blues with verve. Leader/vocalst DeVestern has a big voice, well supported by band members who’ve been members of Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Zen Tricksters, and the bands of Roger Waters and Shawn Mullins. Refriogerager opens at 9pmn, followed by DeVestern and company at 10:30pm.

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.


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