A Full Calendar of Music: 9.24 – 9.30

September 24, 2014

UnknownWe’ve quite the week coming up as we transition into Fall. The jazz calendar is chock full of outstanding artists – both visiting and resident bands. In the meantime, the blues, roots, and other calendar has a free festival, a movie, an exciting benefit, and more. A great week for music lovers.


Wednesday, September 24

Byron Johnson-Blanchard Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation)  Johnson-Blanchard brings his hard-hitting drums to the Black Dog, along with his pals David Hirsch on sax; Thomas Nordlund on guitar; and Andrew Foreman on bass; for an evening of jazz standards and originals.

Chick Corea & The Vigil @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($70 – $95), 9pm ($55 – $80) Holy cow! And I’m not talking about the prices. Corea is a 20-time Grammy Winner and NEA Jazz Master. The Vigil is his latest project, featuring a band from the 2013 album of the same name: Charles Altura, guitar; Carlitos Del Puerto, bass; Tim Garland, reeds, Marcus Gilmore, drums, and Luisito Quintero, percussion. Expect rewordings of a number of Corea classics as well as new music.

Thursday, September 25

The Cookers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $42) This is an all-star septet featuring both long established veterans, and a couple of second generation hard boppers: Billy Hart, drums (Herbie Hancock); George Cables, piano (Dexter Gordon, Art Pepper); Cecil McBee, bass; Eddie Henderson, trumpet (Herbie Hancock); Billy Harper on Tenor Sax (Lee Morgan, Max Roach, Art Blakey); and David Weiss, trumpet; Donald Harrison on alto sax. All but Harrison and Weiss started in the 50s and 60s, and all have led their own groups. Their recent album, Time and Time Again is a burner.

Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Washington’s appearances at the Black Dog are always filled with surprise and wonder as he tackles standards in ways you’ve never heard, along with a large bit of free improvisation. He’ll be joined by Brian Roessler, bass; Tery Cherner, trumpet; and son Kevin Washington on drums and piano.

Friday, September 26

Photo by Andrea Canter

Photo by Andrea Canter

Adam Meckler Orchestra CD Release Party @ Antonello Hall, MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($10) It’s a little over a year since the 17-piece AMO made its debut. Now after many a monthly gig, Meckler and the band is set to officially celebrate the release of When the Clouds Look Like This, an album of great depth, strength, and beauty.

Kronick Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Bassist/vocalist Richard Kronick leads this group, which plays tightly arranged jazz, including bop, swing, soul-jazz, and Kronick’s own compositions.

Saturday, September 27

How Birds Work @ the Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Another season, another jazz series. This time it’s curated by Steve Kenny and held at the Black Dog. To kick off the series, he’s bringing in How Birds Work, the quartet of imaginative veterans formerly based at the Artists Quarter. It should be a heck of an evening. Dean Granros, guitar; Peter Schimke, piano; Billy Peterson, bass; and Kenny Horst, drums.

Sunday, September 28

Maud Hixson & French 75 @ Bloomington Center for the Arts, Bloomington. 2pm ($16 – $26)  Cafe Society: From Piaf to Coward, featuring clarinetist Tony Balluff; saxophonist Gus Sandberrg; guitarist Robert Bell; bassist Steve Pikal; and drummer Nathan Norman. Of course, there’s the cool yet vibrant vocals of Ms Hixson.

Monday, September 29

Jon Weber and Mela Fransisco @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Regular attendees at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival know Weber as the highly talented piano player with an encyclopedic knowledge of songs and the stories around them. He is the host of Piano Jazz on NPR had has been called a virtuosic pianist with outstanding technique. Francisco Mela is a Cuban drummer/percussionist who has played with McCoy tuner, Joe Lovano, and John Scofield, among others, and has appeared at the TC Jazz Festival for the last two years. In fact, he’s in town on Festival business since he’s been named it’s artistic director. There will be some special announcements about the festival during the evening’s intermission. Here’s Mela, playing with Kenny Barron.

Framework w/Pete Whitman @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) The shimmering music of Chris Olson, guitar; Chirs Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums is enhanced, if that’s possible, with the addition of Pete Whitman on saxophone. Nice.

Tuesday, September 30

Coryell, Bailey, & White @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($25) Jazz rock fans rejoice! Three of the genres pioneers are gathering to prove that blistering improvisation and rock rhythms are not mutually exclusive. Larry Coryell on guitar has been called the inventor of the  genre, though he can play delicate soothing lines, as well as fiery electric work. Victor Bailey took over the bass spot in Weather Report when Jaco Pasorius left the group. Drummer Lenny White played in Return to Forever and on the Miles Davis Bitches Brew recordings.

Acme Jazz Company @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) this 19-piece band was formed in 2008 to perform original music as well as arrangement by band members. They released a CD in April that gotten some good reviews. At the cozy, intimate Jazz Central they’ll be a force to be reckoned with.

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.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, September 24

Scottie Miller on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) When Pianoman Miller plays you can hear traces of Professor Longhair’s mambos, barrelhouse piano, and good ol’ rock n’ roll. He’s a heckuva player who writes great songs and regularly tours with Ruthie Foster. Listen in and then head over to the 331 Club. BTW, it’s still Fall Pledge Drive at KFAI, so you may want to bring extra cash or a credit card to the 331, cuz Hurricane Harold will have some forms ready for you to fill out.

Thursday, September 25

Courtney Yasmineh @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm – 11pm ($10) After spending the summer recording in New York, Courtney and her band will soon be taking off on a small club tour of Europe and the (still) United Kingdom in support of her new album being released in Europe next week. She’s called an alt-rock/indie pop singer, but labels aside, she simply rocks, throwing in the odd folk or gospel tune for flavoring.

Friday, September 26

Opening of Take Me To the River @ Landmark Theaters. Various times and places. Anyone who saw Otis Clay at the Dakota this past year will remember that he brought out a young rapper to do a song with him. He first did so for this film, which celebrates the inter-generaltional influence of Memphis music. It features artists like Clay, Bobby Blue Bland, Mavis Staples, Bobby Rush, and Charlie Musselwhite interacting and recording with artists like Snoop Dog, Lil P-Nut, and Yo Gotti. Runs for a week. Here’s the trailer.

Pablo Ziegler’s New Tango Ensemble @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $42) Pianist Ziegler is one of Astor Piazzola’s foremost portages, playing with him in the Piazzolla’s New Tango Quartet.  He’s also played with Gary Burton and collaborated with Emmanuel Ax and the Paul Taylor Dance Company, as seen below.


Lovesick Blues: A Tribute to Hank Williams & Benefit for Slim Dunlap @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) This benefit features Curtiss A and the Cold Cold Hearts. The “Dean of Scream” does a surprisingly good homage to Williams as he’s demonstrated at the Dakota a couple of times in the last year or so. Also on the bill is Nate Dungan of Trailer Trash, Molly Maher, Janie Miller and more. Plus, it’s a benefit for guitarist Slim Dunlap, everyone’s favorite rocker.

Saturday, September 27

Rauchfest @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. Noon – 10pm (Free) 2 Stages, 3 Food Trucks, 10 beers, 10 bands, and more, featuring all kinds of music from the likes of The Fattenin’ Frogs, Frogleg, The Jones Gang, Dan Israel, Mikel Wright & the Wrongs and Steez, among others. Here’s a video of the Fattenin’ Frogs.

A Progressive SoundScape Evening @ Old Arizona, 2821 Nicollet, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) A Trio of rock acts, including percussionist (marimaba, drums) Scotty Horey: RisingSide, a hard driving progressive rock act, and Harakiri, who recently released a CD. It’s set up so you can listen or dance.

Tom Robinson Band @ Mattie’s on Main, 43 Main Street SE, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Robinson and his band have been on a hiatus for the last year or so, so for fans of Brazilian music it’s a treat to have him back. He uses a his tasty guitar as well as a vast knowledge of different Brazilian styles to present an evening of sensuous and swaying music. Make sure to sit in the stage area as Mattie’s can be a bit noisy if crowded.

Unknown-2Chicago Cajun Aces @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 Suggested Donation) The Krewe de Walleye is bringing the Aces up from Chicago to provide dance music for their John Hugelen Cajun Music Scholarship Dance and Fundraiser. The event actually starts at 5:30pm with a Cajun dance, silent auction, and performances by scholarship winners. Rug cutting’ goes from 8pm – 11pm.

Sweethearts of the Rodeo @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm – 11pm ($10) Frankie Lee hosts this evening of performances by three ladies – Molly Maher, Lydia Liza (of Boba de Luz), and Lael Neale, singing songs of heartbreak, love, and declarations of independence.

Monday, September 29

Div Son @ The Blackdog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Here’s a change of pace well suited for those of you who travel to Mexico. Div Son is a three piece band featuring Cadence Nelson and and Israel Vega on Jarochas – guitar-like instruments from Vera Cruz. They are accompanied by Nickolai Kolarov on cello as they play the regional folk music of Vera Cruz.

Tuesday, September 30

Paul Mayasich with Bingham & Thorne @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Mayasich is a bit of a guitar god around these parts, equally at home with a dobro or electric slide, while Bingham & Thorne are a couple of fingerpicking aces. Sounds like a heck of an evening.

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 U Wanna Dance Calendar.



Veterans, Emerging Artists and more: 9.27 – 10.2

September 27, 2012

We’ll get to our regularly scheduled program after this message:  The KFAI Pledge drive is only one week this year. That’s right, you only have one week to pledge your support to KFAI, and only one day when I’ll be broadcasting my show in particular (Rhythm and Grooves).

Go to: http://www.kfai.org and follow the instructions for pledging. Alternatively, you can call 612-375-9030 during Rhythm and Grooves from 10:30 – Noon on Saturday. Whatever you choose, I thank you for your support. BTW, Jana Nyberg will be dropping by Saturday to talk about her Tuesday gig at The Artists Quarter.

On to the week. It’s another good one for people who enjoy live music. You can choose to see young artists, veteranss, or new combinations of artists in jazz. Or, you can check out blues and roots musicians in a variety of settings. Of course, there are always more artists and more opportunities than I can describe. Just be thankful we have such a rich offering of talented musicians.


Wednesday, September 26

Courageous Endeavors @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) A new group in town, though some of the players are familiar, if young. Miguel Hurtado, who holds down the drum seat, first made his mark in town as a teenager at the turn of the century. He’s back from studies at the Manhattan School of Music and is proving to be a great addition to our jazz community. Brian Courage is on bass. He recently moved to town and is quickly establishing himself. Pianist Joe Strachan was a member of the Dakota Combo some years ago. Saxophonist Nelson Devereaux rounds out the group. Watch out for these guys.

Wednesday, Thursday, September 26, 27

Chick Corea & Gary Burton @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($80-$70) and 9pm ($60-$50) The price may seem a bit high, but you get the chance to the crystalline interplay of Corea on piano and Burton on vibes in the intimacy of the Dakota. Their first LP of duets came out forty years ago, while their latest, “Hot House,” which features a pop, Broadway, jazz and Brazilian tunes was recently released.

Thursday, September 27

Pete Whitman’s X-Tet @ the Artists’s Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Here’s a chance to catch ten of the Twin Cities finest jazz musicians for less than a buck a musician. Just remember that in this case, price doesn’t correlate with quality. The X-Tet, with charts by Whitman and others, swings like crazy.

Robert Bell & Naomi Uyama @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (Free) Bell is a guitar player whose interest lies in early jazz (both American and European), as well as gypsy jazz. Noami Uyama is a jazz vocalist who has danced her way around the world and studied in New York. Have some moules, frites, and wine and enjoy their music.

Friday, September 28

Dan Musselman Quartet with Hermon Mehari @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11pm ($5) Musselman is a pianist who plays regularly with Cory Wong and has recorded a great duet album with singer Rachel Holder. He studied with Craig Taborn and Kenny Werner in New York, and has developed a strong style of his own. Mehari is a young trumpeter who has studied with Terrell Stafford, Bobby Watson, and Jaleel Shaw, among others. I saw him last week playing with Yohanes Tona and realized he’s a talented musician worth following.

Friday, Saturday, September 28, 29

Nichols, Lewis, Wozniak, Fratzke, & Bates @ The Artsits’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Here’s another combination of artists that have worked with each other in various other configurations. Bryan Nichols on piano; Michael Lewis and Brandon Wozniak on saxophones; Eric Fratzke on bass; and JT Bates on drums and percussion. All are versatile performers thoroughly capable of inspiring each other to improvisatory heights.

Saturday, September 29

Maude Hixson @ Parma 8200, 5600 West 83rd St, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm. This is a new venue for jazz, and I have to admit I’ve not been there. But it’s a D’Amico restaurant and bar, and the few artists that have appeared already are high quality performers. Tonight, Hixson will be joined by Vincent Rose on guitar and Keith Boyles on bass. Hixson has a voice that is sometimes cool, yet also gives off some warmth. She can imput meaning to lyrics with the slightest change in her voice.

Connie Evingson Trio @ the Lexington, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 10:30pm. If you don’t want to travel to Bloomington, you can head to Saint Paul to hear the always elegant Connie Evingson. Her recent CD, “Sweet Happy Life” reached the top ten on the jazz charts and just got a very postive review in JazzTimes.

Tuesday, October 2

Todd Clouser & Bryan Nichols @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 10:30pm. Clouser’s electric guitar is sometimes closer to rock than jazz, but he’s a more than capable jazz player. Nichols’ sensitive, sometimes airy piano will provide interesting counterpoint.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, September 26

Cornbread Harris @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 10:30pm. (No Cover) Have a little boogie woogie and R&B with your dinner as Cornbread tickles the ivories and sings in that raspy voice of his.

Radio Joe & the JazzBos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5?) Swing dancers will be out to hear Joe & his band play standards and a few originals.

Thursday, September 27

Bethany Larson & the Bees Knees @ James J. Hill Library, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15, gen. $10 members Friends of the Library) Not to be confused with the Real-Phonic Hour, this concert is part of the Book It series sponsored by the library.  across from Rice Park.It starts off at 7:15 with an hour of music trivia. Then Bethany and the band will take the stage to deliver original folk-rockish song. Get a free beer with a library card & ID.

Friday, September 28

Friday Hipshaker Dance Party @ The KittyKat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) After ten years of weeknight spinning, Brian and Greg are moving to Friday night at the KittyKat. Still plenty of good 45s to be played for your dancing pleasure.

Patty Peterson & Friends @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30 ($10) Tonight, Patty’s friends include Ricky Peterson on organ and Steve Cole on sax. It’s bound to be a cookin’ evening with Patty concentrating more on the R&B side of her repertoire.

Joe & Vicki Price @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm (tip jar) These Iowan bluesmasters are on a mini-tour of the Twin Cities this week. Here’s your chance to hear stripped down, delta style blues. Here’s a video to give you a idea of their sound.

Saturday, September 29

Peter Ostroushko, Dean Magraw & Dan Chouinard @ The Church of St. Joan of Arc, 4537 Third Ave So., Minneapolis. 8pm ($25.00)  Here’s a chance to hear three outstanding musicians, in a benefit organized by Ostroushko for his sister-in-law, who had a brain tumor removed. Benefit or not, it isn’t often that you get to hear one of the country’s outstanding violinists and mandolinist, along with a great guitarist (Magraw) and keyboardist (Choinard)

Rauchfest @ Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. 1pm – 1am ($10 advance/$15 gate) Beer, music, art, and food. What else do ya want? Well, let’s look at who is performing: Ten bands including the Zack Lozier Trio, Electric Children, Mary Cutrufello, Nick the Feelin’ and The Big Wu. There’ll be four food trucks, eight different beers on tap, and a dozen or so artists and artisans, including a local beer artist, whatever that might be.

Badinovs @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 9pm. ($7) To borrow a phrase, it’s Pure Pop for Now People, from this band that has arisen from the ashes of Smart Alex and Swing Set, two much loved, if under-recorded Twin Cities bands. The Badinovs haven’t played in about two years, but they’ve got a new song, Midway Joe, that’s been getting lots of play on MySpace. The paen to Joe Mauer is catchy, with a sing along chorus that should be reverberating throughout Target Field. It’s part of a new CD, Fess Up, that will be available, even though this isn’t an official CD release party.

Sunday, September 30

Brunch with Rena Haus @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 10am – 1pm (No Cover) You’ll have new appreciation for the eggs in your breakfast when you hear Rena sing of her adventures with a chicken on her farm. She’ll sing about other subjects as well, like car mechanics and the economy. It’s blues with a feeling, that’s true.

Big Walter Smith Fundraiser @ Famous Dave’s, Uptown Minneapolis. 3pm – 8pm. (Donation) Big Walter Smith was 82 when he passed in July. He was a mentor and friend to many young musician’s in town. This benefit is to help pay for medical and funeral expenses. Hosted by Jacquie Maddox (Lady J) of KFAI’s Rollin and Tumblin show, the day will feature the Soul Mates, The Groove Merchants w/Jimi Primetime Smith, Sweet Papa Dave & the Private Reserve (from Duluth) and Insider Straight

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

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