Holiday Party Time: 12.12 – 12.18

December 12, 2018

Lots of interesting shows from resident artists yhis week, including young musicians home from college for the holidays; an all-star tribute to the recently passed Roy Hargrove, some garage rock holiday celebrations, a bluegrass Christmas, and a dance celebration of A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Something I don’t have listed is the musical Marie & Rosetta at Park SquareTheater through December 30. It’s about gospel/swing guitarist Rosetta Tharpe, the Rock n’Roll Hall of Famer who was an early adopter of electric guitar and an inspiration to the Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and most of the early British Blues scene. I highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in rock history and the guitar. Music Lifts Your Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, Dec 12

Chris Bates Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Bassist Chris Bates‘ original compositions, as performed by: Bates; Bill Bergmann, guitar; Joe Mayo, sax; and Joey Van Phillips, drums.

Wednesday, Thursday, Dec 12, 13

Paris Chansons @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) While one might expect that this group would perform romantic French songs, they draw from a wider, international repertoire, some of which is quite fast. Julia Kantor, a sultry Ukranian songstress, together with her husband Jacob, from Russia, and Max Cohen, from Morocco, perform jazz standards and other classics in French, Russian, Italian, and other languages.

Thursday, Dec 13

Vocal Night Holiday Celebration @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Vocal night curator Sarah M. Greer, along with pianist Ted Godbout, hosts this informal holiday celebration that’s part open mic, part jam session, part caroling (by all), some circle singing, and general good tidings. With food by Vanessa.

Friday, Dec 14

Maud Hixson & Jason Richards: Let It Snow! @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6pm ($15) Holiday classics and a few song of Steve Lawrence & Edie Gormé, with Rick Carlson on piano.

Jackson Potter & Adam Asturp Double Guitar Quartet @ The Underground Music Cafe, 408 N. 3rd Street, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) The winter holidays bring college musicians back to town, as with this group appearing at the UMC’s Mpls location. Adam Astrup & Jackson Potter, guitars; Matt McIntyre, bass; and Simon Petrick drums.

Saturday, Dec 15

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm Constellation Band: Ross Nixon, sax; Kelly Blau, guitar; Sid Gasner, bass; Derrin Pinto, drums. At 8:30pm: CD Release for Steve Kenny “Quartets” featuring Steve Kenny Quartet: Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Te Olsen, bass; Miguel Hurtado, drums; and Kenny, Flumpet. Additionally, What Would Monk Do: Billy Peterson, bass; Peter Schimke, piano; Rodney Ruckus, drums, Kenny, Flumpet; with special Guest Brandon Wozniak.

Fat Kid Wednesdays w/ The Dakota Combo @ Barely Bros Records, 783 Raymond Ave, Saint Paul. 4pm – 7pm (Free) You’ll have to stand, but you can peruse the records for gifts to yourself or others. The Dakota Combo is a group of HS students chosen each year by open audition to study with Adam Linz, bassist for the Fat Kids. It will be tight, both in terms of available room and the music.

Sunday, Dec 16

Capri Big Band’s Jazzy Christmas Concert @ The Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 3pm (Free) Holiday sounds from a big, 25-member, brassy, intergenerational band.

Rhythm’s Mama & Le Voyage @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 4pm ($20) Rhythm’s Mama, led by Babatunde Lea explores the African roots of Cuban Music.Members are: Lea, drums and congas; Omar Abdulkarim, trumpet; Grayson Peterson, bass; Kevin Washington drums; and Taji Malik Hill, percussion. Le Voyage is a Donald Washington project that creates music for the moment – adventurous and satisfying. Members are : Washington, reeds; with Steve Hirsh, drums; Matt Trice, sax; and Richard Studer, bass.

Monday, Dec 17

Jordan Anderson Trio/Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) It’s been a few years since pianist Anderson graduated from high school and The Dakota Combo. He’ll do two sets with two groups. Apparently one group isn’t enough to express his creativity.

JC Sanford Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) This is the last edition of Jazz Implosion. After 20 years of bursting great jazz with this series, JT Bates, perhaps the most versatile drummer in towns calling it quits. Given the success of the series, it’s hard to believe the Icehouse won’t continue to book jazz fro time to time. So, tonight farewell Bates hast the JC Sanford Quartet playin mostly originals from Sanford: Sanford, trombone; Zacc Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and JT Bates, drums.

Tuesday, Dec 18

All-Star TC Tribute to Roy Hargrove @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20, $25) Trumpeter Roy Hargrove recently left town. He was a fairly regular visitor to the Dakota so it makes sense that they’d have a show honoring him. Hargrove’s music encompassed many genres: Afro-Cuban Jazz; Hard Bop; R&B, Hip-Hop, and even Afrobeat. Many of the Twin cities finest artists, including trumpeters Omar Abdulkarim; Adam Meckler; and Solomon Parham, are gathering to celebrate Hargrove and his music. They’ll be joined by Justin Robinson, from the Roy Hargrove Quintet.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and some roots music.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, Dec 12

Matt Arthur & Friends on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Americana and country rock to finish out “hump-day.”

Hula Peppers @ The Schooner, Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) Experience the charm, low-key humor, and the fine technique of the Peppers as they play music from 78s of the 20s and 30s.

Thursday, Dec 13

Monroe Crossing: A Bluegrass Christmas @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20) With 15 CDs to their name, including two Christmas missives, a passel of honors and awards, and a repertoire that includes traditional bluegrass, bluegrass gospel, classic country, and even a few songs completely outside the genre, Monroe Crossing delivers a Christmas show for bluegrass fans.

Deb Brown & Brian Ziemniak @ 925 Landing, Wayzata. 6-9pm (No Cover) Bluesman Deb Brown & keyboardist Brian Ziemnieak bring the blues yo Wayzata.

Friday, Dec 14

The Castaways @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) it’s a Garagey Lil’ Holiday Festival @, featuring the fabled Castaways of the big hit Liar Liar and the lesser known Goodbye Babe fame, as well as The Sex Rays, Fret Rattles, Black Widows and more, including Dr. Bob’s Puppet Show, free food from Gandhi Mahal, and beer tastings from Fulton Beer for early arrivals.

Kinda Kinky Holiday Concert & Food Raiser @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. ($??, 1/2 price w/non-perishable food item) I believe this may be the 7th year that the Kinks tribute band has put together a benefit to raise food – this year for The Food Group. As in the past, it will feature vocalists galore including: Curtiss A, Sabrina Crews, Carol Cunnington, Gini Dodds, Alma Engebretson,  Baby Grant Johnson, Cindy Lawson, Molly Maher, Carla Tollefsrud, members of Prairie Fire Lady Choir, and many, many more.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Dec 14, 15, 16

A Charlie Brown Christmas Played Live and Danced! @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 6:30pm Friday; 1:30 & 4:30pm Saturday; 4:30pm Sunday ($16 Advance/$18 Door, 12 & Under – Free) The animated cartoons of Charles Schultz wouldn’t be half so successful without the playful jazz of Vince Guaraldi. This intriguing project by Rhythmically Speaking Artistic director Erin Liebhard takes the music of A Charlie Brown Christmas, as performed by jazz/surf quartet GST, and adds nine dancers to bring life to the soundtrack. This could be the start of a new Christmas tradition in the Twin Cities.

Saturday, Dec 15

KFAI’s MinneCulture Mixtape Show @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The little station that could has been broadcasting live concerts as part of its MinneCulture project for about ten years. Now, they’ve created a cassette mix-tape –  The Live from Minnesota Mixtape cassette tape represents all-star selections from these sets with acts like Chastity Brown, Charlie Parr, Kitten Forever, The Jayhawks, The Suburbs, Dalmar Yare, Heiruspecs and more. To celebrate the release, a number of acts are performing tonight, including Minneapolis Synth-pop band Pornonono, gospel-soul singer and local Black Lives Matter anthem author Jayanthi Kyle (formerly of Gospel Machine), MC-poet See More Perspective, and others

Sunday, Dec 16

Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 5pm – 7pm. ($5) It’s an afternoon Latin Dance Party, as saxophonist/flutist Doug Little leads the band through salsa, rumbas, son, and of course, charangos.

Tim Sparks & Phil Heywood @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Minnesota, and the Twin cities are known as a nexus of acoustic, finger style guitarists, in part because of these two players. Both have earned National Fingerpicking Championships in the past, and together play duets and solo pieces from Americana, jazz, folk, & blues repertoires.

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.


Mostly Residents: 11.14 – 11.20

November 14, 2018

The Legendary R&B singer Swamp Dogg appears at the Turf Club Thursday

It seems that resident artists make up most of this week’s ideas for music, which is a testament to the richness and strength of our music scene. Music lovers should also be aware that the Sound Unseen Music Festivalruns from tonight through Sunday. Films cover punk, hardcore, jazz, soul, blues, rand more genres, as well as record labels, the famous, and the forgotten. See the schedule here. Music Lifts Your Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, November 14

Chris Bates’ 48th Birthday @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) You can help bassist Bates celebrate with this very special event. First, Chris and Cody will play Steve Reich’s Piano Phase for Two Electric basses, followed by a series of jams with special guests, including: Anthony Cox; JT Bates; Dave Seru; Cody McKinney, James Patrick, and others, playing in a series of duos, trios, and larger groups. James Patrick will be live mixing the whole shebang.

Thursday, November 15

Swing Sisterhood Swing Band & The Sensational 6 @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Vocalist Sarah M. Greer brings a large band and five  other vocalists  to JazzCentral for an evening of swingin’ vocal jazz. Besides Greer, the Sensational 6 includes vocalists Jen Bluhm; Lisa Harrigan; Jana Nyberg; Barbara Meyer; and Yolanda Williams.

Friday, November 16

The Snaps @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 8pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) At 7pm The Emerging Artists Series presents The Snaps: David Kaiser – Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Leader; Erik Jacobson – Tenor Sax; Ryan Devens – Guitar; Ben Von Korff – Keyboards; Riki Olson – Bass; and Jake Kaukola – Drums. This is the third time at Jazz Central for this young group that plays standards, contemporary jazz, and a few covers of well-known soul and pop music.

Michelle Kinney’s What Have We Here @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 10:30pm ($10) Cellist/composer Michelle Kinney brings her adventurous spirit and like-minded musicians to the basement club, with: Adam Zahller – voice; Pat O’Keefe – reeds; Laura Harada – violin; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin – cornet; and Greg Schutte – drums

Saturday, November 17

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar)  At 7pm the Opening Set is part of the monthly JazzINK Youth Jazz Showcase, this week featuring Nick Adams’ Liquid Vinyl, with a line-up TBA. At 8:30 pm it’s No Room For Squares, with ​Bill Stieger – Drums;  Omar AbdulKarim – Trumpet; James Wallace – Saxophones; Adam Tucker – Bass; and Dale Alexander – Piano

Mary Louise Knutson Trio: Jazz @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($12 Advance, $15 door) Pianist Knutson can often be heard supporting vocalists and regularly tours with Doc Severinson. Here’s a chance her compositions and her warm and inventive piano playing as she’s accompanied by Gary Raynor, bass; and Phil Hey on drums.

Sunday, November 18

Paula Lammers @ MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 3pm (Free) Vocalist Lammers used a grant from the McKnight Foundation to create 10 new jazz arrangements under the mentorship of pianist/composer Mary Louise Knutson. She’ll be sharing the results today, accompanied by Knutson, as well as Steve Pikal, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. Here she is from a couple of years ago, with Knutson on piano.

Julian Manzara Quartet @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7) Enjoy the downtown skyline as a backdrop as guitarist Manzara plays originals and standards, and occasionally sings. Manzara plays chords and leadmlines reminiscent of Wes Montgomery, but is steadily developing his own style.

Monday, November 28

Dean Magraw’s Red Planet @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) This monthly gig from Dean Magraw  guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums, is always enlightening and entertaining – jazz fusion as it’s meant to be.

Monday, Tuesday, November 19, 20

Dee Dee Bridgewater @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45, $50), 9pm ($35, $40, $45) Vocalist Bridgewater has three Grammys and a Tony Award, and for 23 years had her own syndicated radio show, Jazz Set. During previous appearances at the Dakota she celebrated African music, the music of Billie Holiday, and French music (from living Paris). This time she’ll be celebrating the music she heard growing up in Memphis, including songs from Al Green, Carla Thomas, Ann Peebles, and Elvis.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, November 14

Mike Munson on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Blueslinger Mike Munson plays with the driving strength of the trains that barrel through his home town of Winona, MN. His blues influences include Fred McDowell, Jack Owens, and Jesse Mae Hemphill – who all hailed from areas of rural Mississippi that Munson visits often. Note that his album, Rose Hill, was recorded in Bentonia, MS at the Blue Front Cafe, the oldest juke joint in Mississippi.

Sarah Streitz Band @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Singer/songwritermSteitz took up guitar six years ago and started writing. the mother of four and a former teacher had no background in music, yet by 2015, she’d progressed enough that area stalwart Nick Salisbury produced her debut album, with Greg Schutte engineering. Schutte produced and engineered her recent album, Yesterday’s Child. Streitz’ voice has a mid-western twang that easily communicates impatience and pain, giving authenticity to her Americana/Alt-country songs. She’ll have a full band with her, which will likely include Salisbury on bass and Schutte on drums.

Wednesday, Thursday, November 14, 15

Shabby Road Orchestra: The White Album @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15 Advance, $18 Door) It’s been 50 years since the Beatles released their 30 – song White Album. Hear song like While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Blackbird, Back in theUSSR, Helter Skelter and all the other songs from the album, as it’s performed in its entirety by this ad hoc group of veteran TC musicians: John Eller, Adam Levy, Dave Foley, Jacquelin Ultan, and others.

Thursday, November 15

Swamp Dogg @ The Turf Club, Sant Paul. 8pm ($10 Advance, $15 Door)  I would call this the under-the-radar gig of the week, if it weren’t for the fact that Chris Riemenschneider had a story about Swamp Dogg on the front page of today’s Variety section in the Strib.  Back in 1970, Jerry Williams was a successful songwriter and producer (Doris Duke, Irma Thomas, and others), but wasn’t getting enough credit for his work, so he adopted the alter ego of Swamp Dogg, singing what might be called irascible soul, creating a series of album that touched on psychedelia, while displaying his hard-edged wit. Last year he took part in Bon Iver’s Eaux Claires music festival. Subsequently, Ryan Olson of Polica, and Bon Iver gave his new album, entitled Love, Loss & Autotune, a “modernized” sound in which they applied electronics and AutoTtne to Swamp Dogg’s vocals. Dogg’s songs often take a weird and idiosyncratic turn, so this treatment fits right in. See the results tonight, with MMYYKK as opener, and Har Mar Superstar with a deejay set. Here’s a video from the album.

Thursday, Friday, November 15, 16

Melvin Seals & JGB @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $40 Thurs, $25, Friday) Organist/keyboardist Melvin Seals was a member of the Jerry Garcia Band from 1980 until Garcia’s death in 1995. Seals took charge of the band, and continues to pay homage to Garcia and the jam band ethos by playing his tunes, including rare numbers from the JGB catalog. Friday’s show includes another jam band fave, Mark Joseph and The American Soul.

Friday, November 16

Henry, Duncan & Matthews: Looking Bacharach @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($30) Wow! A trio of very fine performers take on the music of Burt Bacharach. Bruce HenryDebbie Duncan  and Gwen Matthews all have the vocal chops, personality, and imagination to bring lots of life to songs like the Look of Love, I Say a Little Prayer, My Little Red Book, Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head, and others from Bacharach’s long, successful career.

Chris Koza @ The Weyerhauser Auditorium, Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($20) Singer/songwriter Chris Koza has six albums of his own, as well as a number of albums with his band, Rogue Valley. He’s written film scores, composed for a multi-media piece, written original liturgy settings and a fair share of commercial work. Koza has headlined First Avenue and rocked every major venue in town. Though his solo performances are clearly rooted in Americana music, his influences draw from folk, classic rock, The Beatles, and electro-pop.

Saturday, November 17

Robin Pluer & John Sieger@ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) A couple of Milwaukee’s finest artists come to town to be greeted by fans both old and new. Both Robin and John were in the R&B Cadets, that fabled dance-inducing band of the 80s. Robin was also in Paul Cedar and the Milwaukeeans, and appears annually at Bastille Day Celebrations in Milwaukee & Madison. John Sieger led the R&B Cadets, as well as Semi-Twang and the Subcontinentals. His songs have been recorded by the likes of Dwight Yoakam,  Flaco Jimenez, Jerry Harrison (of Talking Heads), The Persuasions, The BoDeans, Etta James, Paul Cebar, and Claudia Schmidt. Adding to the fun factor, and making this a duet night at Nikki Matteson & Rich Rue as the opening act. Here’s Robin & John with the R&B Cadets.

John Gorka @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25 Advance, $28 Door) Singer/songwriter/folkie Gorka has recorded fourteen albums, including this year’s True In Time, on from Compass Records, which acquired his old label Red House records, last year.It includes special guests, Jonatha Brooke, Lucy Kaplansky, Eliza Gilkyson, Kathleen Johnson, and Germain Brooks. His 2010 album with Kaplansky& Gilkyson waste of the most played folk albums of that year.

Ginger & Dennis: The Music of Lieber & Stoller @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Jerry Leiber and Mike Stollercame of age in the 50s and became one of the most prolific, successful songwriting teams ever. Their song list includes hundreds of chart busters like Hound Dog, Love Potion #9, Spanish Harlem, I’m a Woman, On Broadway, Kansas City, and a host of hits for the Coasters.Dennis Spearsand Ginger Commodoreare the perfect pair to bring their music to audiences, with: Sanford Moore, music director & keys; Jay Young, bass; Daryl Boudreux, percussion, and Brandon Commodore, drums.

Sunday, November 18

Dan Chouinard & Prudence Johnson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Keyboardist Dan Chouinard and vocalist Prudence Johnson combine their talents to celebrate the birthdays of musicians and singers who were born this month.

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


Music Unites Us: 4.11 – 4.17

April 11, 2018

Whatever your political leanings, there’s no doubt that news of the day can cause some stress. Well, it’s surprising how music can bring people with different viewpoints and beliefs together. Admittedly some of us may not care for one form of music or another, but we can often find music that binds us rather than dividing us. Here are some ideas. Music Lifts the Spirit!

PS: Jazz fans will note I’ve listed coming events in jazz for the next two weeks. Let me  know if this works for you, or even if it’s needed.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 11

Bates, Nordland, & Johnson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Bassist Chris Bates once again explore his music with a new group. Guitarist Thomas Nordland and drummer James Pete Johnson will be part of Bates’ next effort with the group Red5, so you can expect stripped-down versions of those songs as well as other originals by Bates.

Thursday, April 12

Sheridan Zuther @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Zuther has a warm, engaging way with an audience, due in part, to her training in theater as well as her hears with the vocal jazz group 5 By Design. She’s a fan of the Great American Songbook, but also throws in songs from her youth growing up on the plains of South Dakota. She’ll be ably accompanied by guitarist Joel Shapira, whose been doing a great job with other vocalists, as well as leading his own groups and playing a regular solo gig at Vieux Carré.

Friday, April 13

Chris Bates’ Good Vibes Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/valid student ID) Chris Bates, bass; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; and Phil Het, drums; create joyful, intricate music that often has them (and the audience) smiling throughout a show.

Midnight Love @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) The members of this quintet say they’re almost a Lou Donaldson cover band. However, they also cover artists such as Eddie Harris, Ruby & the Romantics, and Leon Russell, among others. With that kind of repertoire you can expect toe-tappin’, crowd pleasing jazz from: Greg Schutte, drums; Peter Vircks, sax; Brian Ziemniak, keys; Matt Darling, trombones; and Patrick Nelson, bass.

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Though the Aster really doesn’t have a dance floor per se, a few couples always manage to find a space for some easy swing dancing when Ms Lynch and her Fellows take the stage with vintage jazz, a bit of R&B, and her contemporary vocals.

Saturday, April 14

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7:00 Opening Set is part of the monthly series JazzINK Youth Jazz Showcase, and will feature The Dakota Combo, a group studying under the tutelage of Adam Linz: Leighton Tuenge – trumpet; Victor Imbo – trombone; Sofia Kickhofel – alto sax; Owen Finch – piano; Jorgen Linne – bass; and Nick Adams – drums. The 8:30 set is a CD Release Party for INCENDIOS, the new CD by Firebell, featuring the talents of: ​Park Evans – Guitar; Graydon Peterson – Bass; and Jay Epstein – Drums. Here they are with a tune from their last album.

Bruce Henry @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $15 for Guaranteed Seat) This former Twin Cities-now-Chicago-based vocalist will appears at Orchestra Hall on Friday night, but you can see him tackling jazz and the occasional R&B song in the elegant confines of Crooner’s Lounge.

Monday, April 16

Steven Hobert Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($10, $12) Another project from the creative mind of pianist Hobert, featuring Hobert on the 9-foot Steinway, Pete Whitman, sax; Yohannes Tona, bass; and L.A. Buckner, drums.

Abdullah Ibrahim @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55, $65) South African Abdullah Ibrahim is an elegant pianist and composer, whjose music reflects what he heard as a youngster: traditional African tunes; gospel music and spirituals; jazz; and classical music. He was known as Dollar Brand before his conversion to Islam. He left South Africa in 1962 because of its Aparthied policies, playing in Europe, where Duke Ellington heard him and arranged for Brand to record for Reprise Records witjh a debut disc entitled Duke Ellington Introduces Dollar Brand. Ibrahim has since toured the world, and returned to South Africa after Nelson Mandela’s release from prison. Toniught, he’ll be honoring one of his first bands, The Jazz Epistles, which included trumpeter Hugh Masakela.

Emerson Hunton Quartet and Andrew Green’s Notet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($12) The first set is a celebration of the release of Silent D by NYC-based guitarist Andrew Green’s Nonet. The drummer-less quartet includes trombonist JC Sandford, who recently moved back to Mpls after a number of years in NYC, where he and Green were roommates for a while. The other pseats in this version of the Nonet will be filled by Chris Thomson, sax; and Chris Bates on bass. Second set, from the Emerson Hunton Quartet, is led by Hunton, a former Twin Citizen now living in Chicago. He’ll be joined by Chicago band-mates Greg Ward, alto sax; Ben Cruz, guitar; and Charlie Kirchen, bass; playing songs from all members of the band.

Upcoming Jazz

April 18:  Rick Carlson/Southside Aces @ Vieux Carré

April 19:  Adam Larson & Bob Bowman @ Jazz Central for an instrumental Thursday

April 19:  PV Glob and Muck Luck @ Khyber Pass

April 19: Beasley’s Big Band @ Wabasha Caves

April 19: Zacc Harris early show @ Vieux Carré

April 20: Cory Healey’s Beautiful Sunshine Band @ Jazz Central

April 20: Jeremy Walker early show @ Vieux Carre

April 20: Chronic (aka Kronick Quartet) @ Green Lantern

April 21: Amethyst 3 & Chris Bates’ Red5 @ The Black Dog

April 21: Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Vieux Carré

April 23:  Jen Shyu/JT Bates @ the Icehouse

April 23: Greg Byers @ Jazz Central

April 24: John Scofield/Joe Lovao Quintet @ Hopkins Center for the Arts

 

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, April 11

Mississippi Hot Club on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This quintet is a traditional jazz manouche (gypsy jazz) ensemble with two la pompe rhythm guitars, upright bass, and the lively improvisations from solo guitar and violin. Tune in, and head to the 331 for more music.

Corky Siegal and Randy Sabien @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20) Corky Siegal was a member of the seminal, fun-inducing Siegal-Schwall Blues Band back in the day, but has since moved on to collaborations and performances with highly regarded symphonic orchestras, leading a chamber music group, Chamber Blues, and continuing to appear from time to time with his long-time musical cohort Jim Schwall. Sabien is a funky, jazzy violinist who is a fan of the kind of music made by Bob Wills as well as the Grateful Dead, so his playing goes way beyond that expected of a jazz player.

Thursday, April 12

Siama’s CD Release Party @ Midtown Global Market, Minneapolis. 5-7pm (Free) Siama Matuzungidi has released a children’s album entitled The Land of Yangalele. (Yangalele means Happiness in the Kikongo language). It’s full of happy, live African music, and this celebration is especially for kids and families. There will be snacks, prizes, instrument-making & more! A second party will be held at the Hook & Ladder Sunday afternoon.

Bettye LaVette @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $50) LaVette is a soul singer who interprets a song like no other. The three-time Grammy nominee, who has won a number of Blues and R&B awards, recently released an album of mostly lesser-known Dylan tunes on Verve, her first major label recording since her 21st Century renaissance after years of toil in the record industry. Here she is with a classic by the Who.

Papa John Kolstad and the Perfect Phitts @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) I wrote about their appearance on KFAI’s House Party last week. See them in a larger, elegant room.

Friday, April 13

Joyann Parker CD Release @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) There’s a bit of a buzz surrounding Partker’s sophomore effort, Hard to Love, the release of which is being celebrated tonight. Parker is a talented multi-instrumentalist and powerful R&B vocalist, who is versatile enough to sell out a number of Patsy Cline tributes.

Jaedyn James & the Hunger with Purple Funk Metropolis @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Jaedyn and her funk ’n soul band have been holed up for the last four months, coming up with new songs, some new band members, and new horn arrangements. James reports that the changes have encouraged her to show more nuance in her delivery, though I’ve no doubt her fire and the band’s intensity will still result in ecstatic dancing.,

Saturday, April 14

Lojo Russo @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11am – 2pm (No Cover) Roots music fans looking for some live music with their brunch will find much to enjoy in the music of guitarist/singer/songwriter Lojo Russo. Russo played in a wide variety of bands in the Twin Cities before moving to the Quad Cities of Iowa/Illinois in 2005. Her repertoire includes Americana, blues, and roots rock.

Delvon Lamarr OrganTrio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($17-$25) This is a classic organ trio that draws from heavily from soul as well as jazz. The Seattle trio’s debut album, Close But No Cigar was first released in 2016 and recently released nationally by Colemine Records, a contemporary soul/funk label from Ohio. The album is a fine slab ‘o’ sound, with songs like Al Greenery and Little Booker T revealing their influence in the title. Make no mistake, though, this is contemporary music, and as it says in the liner notes: All killer. No filler.

Sunday, April 15 

Phil Heywood & Tim Sparks @ the Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6:30pm ($20 Suggested donation) Here you have two, count em’ two ,national fingerpicking champions on stage and playing both together and singly. No wonder Minnesota is known as a hotbed of fingerpicking guitar. Their repertoire ranges from American folk and blues to early jazz roots and brilliant forays into world music and a few well-chosen pop obscurities.

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.


Spring and Music – Just Around the Corner: 3.21-3.27

March 21, 2018

You can’t stop the signs of Spring

Well, though there is still snow on the ground, and perhaps a bit more in the coming week, it actually is Spring, and sunshine and warmth can’t be far behind. Celebrate by getting out to some live music and letting it lift your spirit.

Larry

Jazz

Wednesday, March 21

Connie Evingson: George & Ira @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20, $25) The sublime music of the Gershwin Brothers, delivered by Ms Evingson, with the talented help of Tanner Taylor, piano; Dave Karr, sax & flute; and Gordy Johnson, bass.

Clay Pufahl Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Original compositions and arrangements froufahl, soloing with the Cedar Avenue Big Band.

Thursday, March 22

Dorothy Doring @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Whether she’s singing bebop, standards, or the blues, During approaches each song with élan.

JC Sanford’s Triocracy @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Trombonist JC Sanford retuned to the Twin Cities after 16 ears of establishing himself in NYC. Since then he’s taken on a number of projects, including a big band. Tonight it’s chamber jazz with Sandford and saxophonists Brandon Wozniak and Bruce Thornton.

Friday, March 23

Acoustic Concussion and Shells @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) at 8pm it’s Acoustic Concussion: Chris Bates, bass; Lars Erik-Larson, drums; Joe Strachan, piano; and Brad Holden, saxes, playing the music of Sam Rivers, Lee Konitz, Ornette Coleman and others. At 10:30pm, a young group called Shells will perform, whose members include: Kevin Kim, Tenor Sax; Brandon Xue, Piano; Tyler Wagner, Bass; and Simon Petrick, Drums.

Saturday, March 24

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening set by the intriguing Smashing Carp: George Cartwright, Saxophones; Michelle Kinney, Cello; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, Trumpet; Joe Horton, Vocals, and Davu Seru, Drums. At 8:30pm it’s the Steve Kenny Quintet, a pan-generational group featuring: Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Aaron Hedenstrom, sax; Charlie Lincoln, bass; Babatunde Lea, percussion; and Kenny on trumpet. Here is Smashing Carp.

Max Weinberg’s Jukebox @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55, $65) Older readers may remember the Johnny Carson feature “Stump the Band,” where audience members would name a tune and the Tonight Show Band would attempt to play it. Well, Weinberg, drummer for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, is bringing a quartet to the Dakota and inviting audience members to call out requests, which results in an entertaining evening that can take many twists and turns, depending on the taste of the audience.

Maurice Jacox @ The Mudd Room, Mendota. 8pm (Tip Jar) Vocalist/saxophonist Jacox is equally at home with the Great American Songbook, the songs of Nat King Cole, and acoustic versions of Motown. The speakeasy vibe of the Mudd Room, along with a fine selection of food and drink and an engaged audience, makes for a lively evening. He’ll be joined by Thomas West on keys and Rob Stupka, drums.

Sunday, March 25

Sam Miltich & Friends @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 6:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) Hot guitar from the self-taught Miltich, who has very talented friends.

Prudence Johnson & Dan Chouinard: A Night of Gershwin @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) A second night of Gershwin this week, this time by the oh-so-creative duo of Dan Chouinard on keys; and Prudence Johnson on vocals. Here’s an example.

Tuesday, March 27

Atlantis Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($12, $15) This quartet of outstanding musicians has been creating 21st Century jazz for 10 years. Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris Bates, bass; and Peter Hennig, drums; all have serious chops, imaginative improvising skills, and heady compositional talents. Here’s a chance to hear them in a small listening room.

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, March 21

Barbaro on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Barbaro is a 5-piece progressive bluegrass band that’s been around for 2 years now. They describe themselves as playing music for films about cooking, with spicy instrumentals, savory harmonies, and to-the-point songwriting. Tune in to hear them and head to the 331 to see them in person.

Also: Graham Nash @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($75-$115) Good luck getting a ticket, as this pricey but unique show is sold out.

Thursday, March 22

New Orleans Suspects @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) the members of this New Orleans “supergroup” have played with The Neville Bros, James Brown, The Dirty Dozen, Bonerama, and Leo Nocentelli, among others. Needless to say, they can lay down a second line beat, New Orleans funk, or any other danceable tunes you can imagine.

Buckethead @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($22) This guitar shredder and jam band favorite has performed across many genres, including progressive metal, funk, blues, and avant-garde music. He’s released over 300 studio albums , written scores for a number of movies, and performed with such artists as Guns N’ Roses, Les Claypool, Bernie Worrell, and Bootsy Collins. Tonight he will be performing solo tonight, with no band.

Thursday – Sunday, March 22-25

Zeitgeist Early Music Festival @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm Th-Sat, 2pm Sun  ($15 / $10 students & seniors / $40 festival pass) This four-day event celebrates the music of African-American minimalist composer Julius Eastman. Dozens of artists will perform over the four days, with pieces for four percussion, flour pianos, mixed ensembles, two flutes, and more. For more information and the program for each show, go here. Here’s an example of his music by a different ensemble.

Friday, March 23

Jeffrey Broussard & The Creole Cowboys @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm ($?) The Krewe de Walleye once again brings a Louisiana guest to town. This time it’s Jeffrey Broussard, who was a member of the legendary Zydeco Force. He and his Creole Cowboys take a contemporary approach to Creole classics and modern zydeco tunes, so be sure to deck yourself out in dancing’ duds.

The Claudettes Album Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($17 – $22) This Chicago group mashes up all sorts of music, from the piano blues of Chi-town, to punk rock, 60s soul, jazz-age burlesque, and rockabilly music. In other words, they are hard to describe. Led by piano-pounder Johnny Iguana, the group includes Berit Ulseth, vocals; Zach Verdoom, bass & vocals; and Matt Torre, drums.

Saint Paul Soul & Salsa 4 Puerto Rico @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. ($10 Suggested Donation) A benefit for El Fondo Boricua Hurricane Relief, featuring Maria Isa and other Twin Cities artists of Afro Latin Jazz & Soul. Deejay Cana Brava will spin tunes for salsa dancers.

Also: Curtis Blake & Greazy Gravy @ Schooner’s, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar)

 

Saturday, March 24

Flamin’ Ohs & Trash Street @ The Hook  & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($9 Advance/$12 Door) The Oh’s were pioneers of rock videos back in the day, producing hard-edged, Midwest rock that got them to Max’s Kansas City and the Peppermint Lounge in NYC. Since reforming in1997, the group has released three albums, including a live session at Moby Dick’s in the 80s. Opening is Trash Street, purveyors of simple melodies, blazing guitars, and pounding drums.

Dance ’Til You Drop @ The History Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm as well as 2pm Mar 31 & Apr 7, ($25-$40, $15 Student) This production, created in collaboration with Collide Dance Theater, looks at the Dance Marathon fad of the 1930s, when times were so desperate that folks were willing to try to dance for days on end to win cash prizes. Presented Thursday through Saturday until April 15. For more information, go here.

Also: Willie Walker @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $12 for Guaranteed Seat)

Sunday, March 25

Gang of Mischief @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 4pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Wile away a Sunday afternoon in the oldest continually operating bar in the state, enjoying blues and roots music as played by Harpmaster Harold Tremblay, along with Rena Haus, guitar & vocals; Dan Schwalbe, guitar; and Mark Rizzardi, bass; and a special guest in the “hot seat.”

An Evening with Altan @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis.7:30pm ($27 Advance, $30 Door) Altan is a traditional Irish band that has been winning awards and entertaining audiences around the world ever since they were the first Irish band of their kind to be signed to a major label (Virgin), back in 1996.

Tuesday, March 27

Meshell Ndegeocello @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55), 9pm ($35, $45) Ndegeocello is an R&B original who has just released her 12th album, entitled Ventriloquism. It’s a fine album of 80’s tunes, in which she recasts songs from her youth, such as Atomic Dog, in which she uses a slightly down & dirty blues guitar and an ethereal choir to reveal the foundations of the song. Other songs include Smooth Operator, where its Caribbean underpinnings have been replaced with a rhythm that approaches drum & bass, and Sometimes it Snows in April, which is slowed down even more than the original by Prince.

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.


Valentines Day and More: 2.14 – 2.20

February 14, 2018

Today is Valentines Day, or as some people put it, Single Awareness Day. Whether you are coupled up or not there is music out there to enjoy on this day and for the rest of the week, with more visiting artists than we’ve had for the last month or so, as well as some special appearances by resident artists. Just get out and let the music lift your spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, Feb 14

Chris Bates Presents: Astrologers @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Chris Bates, bass; John Keston, keys; and Randy Kramer, drums gather to perform sonic experiments. Plus, for this night only, V-Lo will have her famous tacos available.

Thursday, Feb 15

Greer & Magraw @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Vocalist Sarah Greer and guitarist Dean Magraw are both sensitive and imaginative artists who should produce some fine music together.

Manhattan Transfer & Take 6 @ The Ordway Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30 ($27 – $89) Vocal Harmonies will abound with this meeting of two long-running groups: the acappella Take 6, and the jazz-centric Manhattan Transfer. They’ll each perform their own songs, and sing about a dozen songs together.

Friday, Feb 16

Babatunde Lea & Ensemble CHOMBO @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Master drummer-percussionist-conguero Babatunde Lea has gathered a new group of musicians to play some Latin Jazz, at least that’s what I get from looking at ther line-up: Trèveris Arteaga, trumpet/percussion/vocals; Viviana, piano/vocal; Jax Ravel, bass; Kevin Washington; timbales/percussion; and Lea; congas/percussion.  Here’s Lea with a different band.

James Buckley Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9:00pm ($10) Bassist Buckley has been called the “hardest working musician in the Twin Cities” by City Pages. He’s appeared on Steven Colbert’s show with Lizzo, tours and records with the Pines, and the Blenders, and has appeared at Coachella with the Gayngs, in addition to leading this trio, with the equally talented Bryan Nichols on piano, and JT Bates on drums. Here’s the Trio at the old Artists’ Quarter.

Saturday, Feb 17

Love Songs with Debbie Duncan & Friends @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm ($12 – $20) Featuring William Duncan III on Hammond B3 Organ, and Adi Yehsaya on piano. If you were too late top see a Valentine’s Day, or perhaps celebrated at home, you can still celebrate the joys of love with Ms Diuncan and friends.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) You can hear the future of jazz at 7pm, thanks to the monthly JazzINK Youth Showcase, which tonight features the group Elevator Jazz, with: Eli Zukor-Zimmermann,  sax; Jackson Wheeler, – guitar; Lasse Corson, piano; Jon Butler, bass; and Carter Pearson on drums. Headlining at 8:30pm is the Sam Miltich Quartet featuring Dave Karr, sax; Chris Bates, bass; Jay Epstein, drums, and the amazing Miltich on guitar. Here’s Miltich with a different group.

Jazz from the Americas and Beyond @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:00pm ($10, $5w/Valid StudentI D) This is a monthly series that features area musicians exploring jazz from around the world. Tonight features Chino Latino, a 7-piece Latin Jazz Ensemble playing a variety of dance styles including salsa, cha-cha, and merengue, among others. A free salsa dance lesson will start off the evening.

Monday, Tuesday, Feb 19, 20

Stanley Jordan Solo @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm Mon, Tues ($25), 9pm Mon ($20) Guitarist Jordan revolutionized gutar playing with his “touch technique” back in 1985. Since then, he’s had a storied career, performing in over 60 countries, collaborating with everyone from Art Blakey and Sharon Ibsin, to Christian McBride, Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead, the Dave Mathews Band, and Regina Carter. A must see for guitarists and guitar lovers.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Feb 20, 21

Connie Evingson: Horn Heroes @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20, $25) Ms Evingson is a sterling vocalist who certainly knows how to create performance concepts to keep things interesting. For these shows, she and her musical cohorts:  Dave Karr, sax; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Tanner Taylor, piano; will celebrate such horn players as Gerry Mulligan, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, and more.

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, Feb 14

Miss Becky Kapell & Friends on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) While Ms Kapell may have started out as a folk singer, she has evolved into a singer of classic country from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. She’ll be helped out by Ray Bernard and Paul Bergen, of the Astronauts of Rhythm and Sound.

Music by Lovers @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (No Cover) This annual event, put on by Lisa Wenger & Billy Larson, has been held in a variety of venues over the past few years. This year’s other performers are: Phil & Tamar Barnett, and Joe Cruz & Jennifer Grimm. The club is also offering a $35 feast for two lovers for this event.

Jorma Kaukonen @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($40 Advance/$35 Door) Spend your Valentine’s evening with a founding member of both Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, which was last at The Dakota a few years back. Kaukonen is also a member of the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, and a Grammy nominee, and is known for his fine guitar work, both electrically and acoustically. As a solo artist, he brings new arrangements to old blues song, and creates his own Americana tunes.

Thursday, Feb 15

Masters of Hawaiian Music @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) It’s a mini slack key guitar festival, with three masters, featuring George Kahumoku Jr, who is known as a raconteur on stage, as well as for leading the Annual Maui Slack Key and Ukelele Workshop for 15 years. Led Kapana has been one of Hawaii’s most influential musicians for forty years or so, while Jeff Peterson is known for his versatility, having worked with Eric Clapton, James Galway, Aaron Neville, Boz Scaggs, and the Honolulu Symphony.

TC Jammers @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (6$) Back in the 80s, the Jammers were one of the hottest blues/funk bands around. This reformed version of the band features Annie Mack, vocals; Joe Elliot, guitar; Donnie La Marca, keys; Patrick Nelson, bass/vocals; Sam Kuusisto, vocals/guitar; and Bobby Vandell, drums/vocals. Don’t be surprised if some guests sit in.

Friday, Feb 16

Kelly Hunt @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25), 9pm ($20) Blueswoman Kelly Hunt is a piano pounder from Kansas City  who has found an adoring audience in the Twin Cities, thanks to her good humor, a story-telling way with lyrics, and a strong left hand on the piano. Her latest CD, The Beautiful Bones, has garnered much praise. I did an interview with her back in December of 2011, which you can find here.

Saturday, Feb 17

Vieux Farka Touré @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($32, $38) Born in Mali, the son of legendary guitarist Ali Farka Touré, took up guitar in spite of his father’s misgivings about the life of a musician. His fluid playing has earned him fans around the world since his first recording in 2005. Touré’s third album, from 2011, features Dave Mathews, John Scofield, and Derek Trucks, a testament to his ability to blend genres. Subsequent albums expand on that promise. Expect genre-bending and at the very least, a nod to the blues rock of Malian groups like Tinariwen.

Marimba Bullies @ Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) From the website: The Marimba Bullies is a Twin Cities-based marimba ensemble playing upbeat, high-energy music based on the rhythmically complex music of the Zimbabwe mbira tradition. The Bullies’ repertoire consists of traditional African songs as well as arrangements of contemporary music performed in the lively, danceable, and just plain fun style that is unmistakably the Marimba Bullies.

Eddies CD Release @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 7:30 (No Cover) This “almost a cappella group is releasing their second album, called A Hard Way To Go, with fifteen songs they have sung over the years, with an emphasis on the “work” and “death” categories of their song list, including Sympathy for the Devil, Long Black Veil, and Lawyers, Guns, and Money. Thed Dubliner will have beer and wings specials to help the celebration.

Sunday, February 18

2nd Annual Retirement Party @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 2pm ($10) It was about a year ago, that Dee Miller held a belated party to celebrate her retirement from the 9-5 world of work. She had so much fun, she’s doing it again. This time, in addition to performing with her own Dee Miller Band, she’s bringing along both Boom Boom Stevie V & the Knockouts, and Who Nu.

FLOWTUS @ Como Park Conservatory, Saint Paul. 4:30pm – 6:30pm (Free) The Conservatory has a great winter series, which takes place in the sunken garden, and is piped into the Palm Dome and the North Garden, so you can hear the music while strolling through or sitting in those parts of the Conservatory. Today the featured group is FLOWTUS, a four-piece group that draws they influences from blues, country, punk, and folk music. Beer and wine are available for purchase.

Steve Page & the Art of Time Ensemble @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm, 8pm ($30, $40, $45) Pop-oriented chamber music for the 21st Century, featuring re-imagined versions of songs by Randy Newman, Elvis Costello, Radiohead, and others, including Barenaked Ladies (Steve Page was a co-founder and former lead singer), by Page and the highly inventive Art of Time Ensemble.

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.


April 12, 2017

The beauty of living in the Twin Cities, at least for people interested in the arts, is that there is often more opportunities to see, hear, and discover high quality artists of every type. Unlike larger cities, however, you stand a very reasonable chance of getting tickets. This week we have visiting artists from NYC, Wisconsin, California, Columbia, and the United Kingdom. We also have resident artists who have come here from other cities and other countries, and we have home-grown artists that have achieved international stature. So, pick and choose from this somewhat limited list of opportunities to let music lift our spirits. Take advantage of them. BTW, you can see videos of many of these artists by going to www.rhythmandgrooves.net.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 12

Bates and Friends will be playing while Stephane Cattaneo paints.

Magica Improvisada @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) This is bassist Chris Bates’ evening for something new and improvisational. He’ll have Stephane Catteneio, a visual artist from France, paint during the performance, for which he’s gathered a strikingly excellent group of musicians, including: Chris Bates & Josh Granowski, Basses; Davu Seru, Pete Hennig, Chris Hepola,  & Martin Dosh, Drums and Percussion; Nathan Hanson and Jared Jarvis, Saxophones; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, Trumpet; and Park Evans on Guitar. Sounds like a memorable evening.

Dennis Spear’s Birthday Cabaret @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40 w/Dinner) Dennis Spears first became well-known among Twin Cities music fans some umpty years ago, as the male voice of Moore By Four. Since then he’s performed at various venues and theaters in the Twin Cities, as a singer and actor, notably in the Penumbra piece about Nat King Cole, which was reprised at the Kennedy Center in the Spring of 2011. Whether he’s singing solo, or with any of his many musical friends, including the occasional Moore by Four reunion, Spears, with his smooth baritone, is always entertaining. Tonight he’ll be backed by Rick Carlson, piano; and Steve Pikal on bass.

Thursday, April 13

Looking Bacharach @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) As might be expected from their name, this six-piece group  including two vocalists, will perform songs from throughout Bur Bacharach’s career, including both classics and some overlooked treasures. Memb era of the group include; Jimmy Kennedy on Keys & Guitar; Joe Weisman,  Bass, Guitar, & Ukelele; Mo Engel, Drums; Mike Silva, Tenor Sax & Flute; Emily Vilano and Kevin Thomas, Vocals.

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Davu Seru’s No Territory Band: You may have seen Britt Robson’s piece on Seru in the past Friday’s edition of the Star Tribune. It provides a good background, and clearly lays out why you should check out Seru and his band. Look at this interesting line-up for the evening. Besides Seru on percussion, he has Jake Baldwin,  trumpet; Pat O’Keefe, Nathan Hanson, and Scott Fultz; saxophones; and Levi Schwartzberg, on Vibes. With special guest from France, Stephanie Cattaneo, who will do some live, improvisational painting while the band plays.

Charmin & Shapira @ Friends @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) Charmin Michelle’s buttery vocals and conversational style, coupled with Joel Shapira’s tasty guitar, are a wonderful match, whether tackling a Monk tune or something from the Great American Songbook. Then, when they add some friends, things really get swinging, as tonight, when they’ll be joined by Paul Harper, sax; tom Lewis, bass; and Nathan Nortman on drums.

Friday, April 14

Fall of the House of Usher @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) It’s a full evening of music as guitarist Chris Cunningham brings his group and special guests to the basement club. Besides FOTHOU  there will be an opening set by the virtuoso Syrian oud player Issam Rafea, and rare vinyl grooves during breaks from Overzealous Sound System (aka DJ Chad Nelson). Performing with FOTHOU include: Chris Cunningham, Guitars; Ivan Cunningham, Saxophones; Michelle Kinney, Cello; Greg Schutte, Drums; Chris Bates, Bass; Adam Svec, Vocals; Noah Ophoven Baldwin, Trumpet; Jared Jarvis, Saxophones; Riley Swain, Baritone Saxophone; and special guest John Keston on keyboards. They’ve got a dense sound, to say the least.

Saturday, April 15

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Aaron Hedenstrom Trio: Hedenstrom  saxes; Kameron Markworth, bass; and Lars Erik-Larson, drums. 8:30pm it’s Peter Kogans’ Monsterful Wonderband, with Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Pete Whitman sax; Scott Agster, trombone; Chris Olson, guitar; Sean Turner, piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Kogan on drums. Listen below.

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Source Code @ Jazz at Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Advance, $15 Door) People around the country often pay much, much more to see powerhouse drummer Gravatt  and it’s often in large halls, rather than the intimate Studio Z. He drummed for Weather Report from 1972 – 1974, has toured with McCoy Tyner, and has also played with heavyweights such as Byard Lancaster, Wayne Shorter, John Scofield, Charled Mingus, Paroah Saunders, and many others. His band Source Code features bassist Ron Evanuik, and other A-list musicians from the area. Here’s an old video:

Sunday, April 16

Fuzzy Math @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 4pm – 6pm (Tip Jar) Mark Vandermyde leads this group, which performs original jazz compositions that draw from a variety of genres: progressive, swing, funk, blues, boogie and Latin. Vandermyde is joined by Andrew Schwandt, sax; Haralds Bondaris, drums; and Matt Peterson, bass.

Mark Kreitzer’s ’53 Swingbillies @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($6) Kreitzer is a guitarist who teaches at Carlton College and plays with Patty and the Buttons, among other bands. Tonight he’s leading what is essentially an acoustic four piece (guitar, violin, bass, drums) in some swinging jazz.

Monday, April 17

Jim Campilongo Trio w Chris Morrissey & Josh Dion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($20) Campilongo  s a formidible NY guitar player, who’s contributed to recordings by Martha Wainwiright as well as the Little Willies, a band he has with Norah Jones. He’s recorded or performed with folks as disparate as JJ Cale, Nels Cline, Peter Townsend, Burning Spear, and others. His playing reveals a regular gumbo of influences, from blues to rock, country, jazz, and R&B. He’ll be playing with the Brooklyn-based Minnesota native Chris Morrisey on bass, and vocalist/drummer Josh Dion, who is conversant in jazz, Americana, and rock n’ roll.

Raul Madon @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) Had guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Raul Madon been around in the 70s, he would have been at the forefront of the jazz soul movement of the time. He’s got a smooth baritone and a percussive playing style that go equally well with folks like Bill Withers and Al Jarreau (with whom he’s worked), as well as the CTI artists of the time. He’s toured internationally, performed with artists as diverse as Sting, Ravi Coltrane, and Red Barat, and demonstrated his unique playing style at TED talks. Audiences especially dig his “mouth trumpet” where he uses nothing but his lips to create be-boppish trumpet lines. Madon just released a new album appropriately entitled Bad Ass and Blind. The New York Times said, “He’s a one man band who turns a guitar into an orchestra and his voice into a chorus”

Tuesday, Wednesday, April 18, 19

Red Planet & Bill Carrothers @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40w/Dinner) Bill Carrothers is a highly regarded pianist who has drawn raves from New York City to Europe for his highly inventive ways with a melody. He grew up in Saint Paul but lives in the UP of Michigan. That’s close enough that he comes to town every few months to perform, lately at the Dunsmore Room.  Red Planet is a jazz-rock trio that brings taste and imagination to the genre. Members Dean Magraw, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums; have collaborated with Carrothers on a new album, and are celebrating its release these two evenings. Carrothers and each of the members of jazz Red Planet will undoubtedly bring new colors and sonorities to jazz standards and originals. Here they are some years ago.

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, April 12

Miss Becky Kapell on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Miss Becky Kapell is a Minnesota native who moved to Portland Oregon in the 80s and began singing country music. Fast forward through a move back to MN, marriage, divorce, and raising kids, and in 2007 she began practicing guitar, eventually recording an album entitled For Now with her Portland band mates. Now the singer/songwriter sings in the style of classic country artists front he 50s and 60s – straightforward, with lyrics that are sometimes plaintive, sometimes heartbreaking, and sometimes humorous. Her band, The Fat 6, features Paul Bergen on guitar, and Ray Barnard on bass and backing vocals, as well as others from a rotating cast of musical friends. Listen to her during Harold’s House Party, and if you like what you hear, head over to the 331 to listen in person.

Thursday, April 13

Maurice Jacox Band @ Crooner’s Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 Reserved Table) R&B/jazz vocalist Jacox has been plying his trade for over 40 years, appearing in bands such as Willie & the Bees and The Butanes Soul Revue, as well as sitting in with numerous bands and fronting his own trios, and performing a Nat King Cole show. He’s somewhat of a regular at Crooners, in both the big room and the Dunsmore Room. Since he’s in the big room tonight, which means his songs will be a bit more uptempo than in the Dunsmore Room, thanks to the backing of: Thomas West, keys; Mike Dubois, drums; and George Parrish, guitar. Jacox will likely pick up a sax or flute sometime during the evening as well.

Dave Mason @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($45 General) This is a seated show with the center and VIP sections already sold out. That’s because Guitarist/Vocalist Mason is a cultural icon for anyone who lived through the Woodstock and Vietnam era. Mason is a 2004 inductee into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame as a founding member of Traffic, in which he had a hit with “Feelin’ Alright,” which subsequently become a monster hit for Joe Cocker. He had another hit as a solo artist with “We Just Disagree,”  recorded an album with Mama Cass Elliot, and went on to perform and/or record with Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Michael Jackson, Steve Winwood, Fleetwood Mac, Leon Russell, Delaney Bramlett, and, most recently, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, among others – whew! He’ll be performing his album Alone Together in its entirety, and a second set of his other songs.

Friday, April 14

Hail, Hail, Rock n’ Roll @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) For Chuck Berry’s 60th Birthday Party, Keith Richards brought in Robert Cray, Joey Spampinato (of NRBQ), Eric Clapton, and long-time Berry pianist Johnnie Johnson for a show which also featured Etta James, Linda Ronstadt and Jullian Berry. The resulting concert was filmed as Hail, Hail Rock n’ Roll, which will be shown tonight to acknowledge his passing and his influence on rock n’ roll and essentially every guitarist that came after him. After the screening a quintet of Twin Cities rockers will discuss his influence: Kurt Nelson (the Pistons, Simba, Others); Curtiss A (Hmm, let’s just say numerous); Johnny Rey (Flamin’ Ohs, Johnny Rey Band); Steve Brantseg (Suburbs, others); and Cindy Lawson (Clams). The discussion will be emceed by Rob Chapman, who just released a new book about The New Barbarians, the side band of Keith Richards and Ron Wood.

Bernie King & the Guilty Pleasures CD Release @ The Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7 Advance/$10 Door) Bernie King & The Guilty Pleasures got their start at the annual Twin Cities Jug Band competition back in 2010. Since then, they have steadily become a formidable force in the local blues/bluegrass/Americana scene. They are  increasingly known for crafting their own impressionable original songs along side the band’s arrangements of classics and contemporary covers. Also playing tonight will be local artist/musician Jake Manders (of Pistol Whippin’ Party Penguins) and his band, as well as singer-songwriter Brady Perl, and, undoubtedly, a few more of King’s musical friends.

Friday, Saturday, April 14, 15

Bodeans: Stripped Down & Acoustic @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($40, $50, $60) This quartet from neighboring Wisconsin first hit the charts back in the mid-80s with their adult-ish, mainstream rock songs like Closer to Free, She’s a Runaway, Idaho, Fadeaway, and a number of others, which propelled them to winning Rolling Stone’s Reader’s Poll for Best New American Band in 1987. The BoDeans then toured with the likes of David Bowie, Bob Dylan, and Tom Petty, appeared on SNL and Letterman, and have had ten songs and twelve albums on the charts. For this tour, they’re playing stripped-down versions of classic BoDean songs.

Saturday, April 15

Sexy Delicious & Apollo Cobra @ The Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7 Advance/$10 Door)  Gangster Jazz. Quasi-Bohemian retro-pop. These are a couple of the terms used to describe Sexy Delicious, which depends upon a generous helping of sly rhythms, and a dash of dry wit to win over fans. Apollo Cobra is a power trio that uses analog synthesizers, drum machines, bass guitars, samples, vocals and huge beats to create infectious, dance-inducing music. Listen to them here. Note: they don’t use laptops.

The Eddies @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8:30 (No Cover) You get a fine selection of whiskeys and beers, very good pub food (including bangers and mash and fish and chips), and a convivial atmosphere in which to hear the “almost acapella” vocals of the Eddies singing sea shanties, Appalachian murder ballads, and the occasional song from the late 20th Century. Bring an ID if you want adult beverages.

Samba Meu @ Hennepin Steam Room, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Check out the new music venue in the warehouse district, located north of Washington on First Avenue. Tonight they’re featuring the sensuous rhythms of Brazilian roots and pop music, as performed by: David Martin, guitar and bass; Tim O’Keefe,  percussion; and Karen Quiroz, vocals.

Sunday, April 16

Doug Otto & Friends @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 5pm (Tip Jar) It’s the musician’s “brunch time” as Otto, with a voice that seems to carry the weight of the world, and his friends gather at the NE dive bar to explore Americana, country, classic blues of the 30s and 40s, and originals.

Tuesday, April 18

Henrecia de Timbiqui @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $42) Latin roots music from the coastal foothills of Columbia. This eleven piece group incorporates African and Columbian sounds using both traditional instruments like the Marimba, bajo, and folk drums, as well as guitar, sax, and trumpet.

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.


Variety and Quality: 3.8 – 3.15

March 8, 2017

We’ve some wonderful visiting artists, and a surfeit of outstanding resident artists this week, giving us many opportunities to share a communal moment around music. Remember, the audience is as much a part of the performance as those who are on stage. We all gain energy from each other. And of course, it remains true that such an experience lifts our spirit.


Jazz

Wednesday, March 8

Monty Alexander Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40), 9pm ($30, $35) Jamaica-born pianist Monty Alexander  began playing at age six, and by the time he was a teenager, had a popular band called Monty and the Cyclones. He moved to NYC in 1962 and began playing with folks like bassist Ray Brown and vibist Milt Jackson, and recorded his first album in 1964, when he was 20. With a soulful approach, some hints of Oscar Peterson, and a hard swinging style. He’s recorded over seventy albums since 64, but aside from occasionally using calypso rhythms, didn’t embrace his Jamaican heritage on record until the 90s. Since then he’s recorded a half-dozen or so albums using Jamaican musicians to record reggae, rock steady, and calypso tunes. He’ll be appearing with a trio tonight, which lately has included JJ Wiggins on bass, and Jason Brown on drums, so you can expect that he’ll be drawing on all parts of his vast repertoire.

Chris Bates’ Trio Explorations @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Hard-working bassist Chris Bates will be joined by Nathan Hanson, sax; and Pete Hennig, drums. They’ve played with each other in a number of different contexts, and now will use that experience to find new ways to express their respective musical ideas.

Thursday, March 9

Joel Shapira, Paul Renz Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Shapira – No Cover) 9pm (Renz-$5) It’s a night of double guitar gigs at the Vieux. Joel Shapira will play acoustic guitar during the dinner hour from 6:30 – 8:30pm. Then guitarist Paul Renz and his trio take the stage. Renz graduated from Berklee College of Music and New England Conservatory, where he studied with jazz greats Herb Pomeroy and George Russell. Though his Twin Cities activities revolve mainly around teaching, he’s recorded a half dozen well received, chart-topping albums and has built a fan base on the East Coast where he tours every once in a while.

Gypsy Mania @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm (Tip Jar) This is definitely Hot Club music – acoustic, swinging jazz, under the direction of bandleader and world-beat guitarist Glen Helgeson. Other members of Gypsy Mania include additional outstanding musicians: Gary Schulte, violin; Steve Pikal, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. Be sure to sit relatively close to the stage, as the noise level can be quite high at Hell’s Kitchen.

Sarah M. Greer & Dean Magraw @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Greer is an under-appreciated vocalist who has the chops and skill to teach others, yet is not as well known as some of her contemporaries and students. Magraw, as those of you who have received this newsletter for a while know, is a versatile guitar player who is equally at home in a fusion trio, world music group, or accompanying a singer such as Ms Greer.

Thursday, Friday, March 9,10

Victor Wooten Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $42), 9pm ($25, $32) Bassist Victor Wooten has won five Grammys, and every major award given to a bass guitarist. He’s a member of the pioneering bluegrass/jazz fusion group Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, but regularly puts out his own solo recordings. For these two nights of appearances, he’ll lead a trio with Bob Franceschini on sax; and Dennis Chambers on drums.

Friday, March 10

Cannonball Collective @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Even with so many colleges featuring jazz programs, when it comes down to it, graduates of such programs should also embrace the “old school” form of learning – playing with older, established musicians. The Cannonball Collective brings several generations of Twin Cities musicians together to celebrate the music of Cannonball Adderley. The last time they performed, the group included:  Mac Santiago, drums; Zack Lozier, trumpet; Joe Strachan, piano; Keith Boyles, bass; and Doug Haining, sax. This will definitely be a fun gig.

Friday, Saturday, March 10, 11

Dave King’s Vector Families @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Vector Families is one of a dozen or so projects that drummer Dave King is part of, including the Bad Plus, and Dave King’s Trucking Company. For this group, he’s joined by Brandon Wozniak, sax; Dean Granros, guitar; and Anthony Cox, bass/cello. This is a group that can swing while still exploring the outer reaches of chord changes and melodies. I believe they are celebrating the release of a new album.

Saturday, March 11

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening set: Post Atomic Trio, with David Hamilton, piano; John Croarkin, sax; and Derrin Pinto, drums.  8:30pm, Central Standard Time; Javi Santiago – Piano, Dave Brattain – Saxophones, Steve Kenny – FLUMPET, Ted Olsen – Bass, Eric Kamau Grávátt – Drums

Davu Seru’s No Territory Band @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 6pm Master Class, 7pm Concert ($10 Advance/$15 Door) This is another in the very excellent Jazz at Studio Z series. Tonight drummer/percussionist Davu Seru is featured, along with the band, featuring Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Pat O’Keefe, clarinets; Nathan Hanson & Scott Fultz, saxes; and Levi Schwartzberg, vibes. There will be a master class at 6pm, and two sets of music.

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Bassist/Vocalist Kate Lynch always delivers a bit of history with the songs she and Her Most Excellent Fellows perform. Not so much about the song itself, but about the era in which it was popular. She says that about 1/5 of the presentation is about history, which is about right, from what I can tell. The rest is swinging, danceable music, from early to mid 20th Century.

Monday, March 13

Andrew Tomten Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Tomtem is a young saxophonist who’ll be leading a trio tonight, playing mostly his own compositions.

Tuesday, March 14

Chris Lomheim @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) Pianist Lomheim has been inspired by Bill Evans, but has his own sound – one that is imaginative and often contemplative, yet he can swing mightily, and serve as the foundation for larger groups. Tonight he’s by himself, providing first class music for diners.

Sam Miltich & Charmin Michelle @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35/Dinner) This is a very promising combination, one that will work well in Crooners’ listening room. Sam Miltich is an extraordinary jazz guitarist who comes from the northern woods of Minnesota. He plays gypsy jazz with the Clearwater Hot Club, but is also enamored of traditional jazz, Brazilian fork music, French Musettes and other world musics. He’ll be playing with Charmin Michelle, whose creamy dreamy voice, perfect diction, and great sense of time have made her popular both here and in Europe (especially Spain), and its jazz musicians. They’ll have added help from bassist Chris Bates, and drummer Jay Epstein.

Explosion Big Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Dough Haining, sax; and Scott Agster, trombone, lead this 17 piece aggregation in the classic sounds of Ellington and Basie, as well as Thad Jones, Clare Fischer, and others.

 

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, March 8

Rockin’ Johnny Burgin @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) though Rockin’ is part of his name, don’t be fooled. Guitarist Johnny Burgin is no blues rocker, but rather an effective acolyte of traditional Chicago blues. He grew up in Mississippi and South Carolina, but got his start in Chicago playing with Taildragger, and touring with folks like Pinetop Perkins and drummer Sam Lay. He’s doing a mini-tour of the Twin Cities, playing in Holihans’ The Schooner, and Shaw’s over the next few days. Usually, he would appear on Harold’s House Party first, but the show is pre-empted today for International Women’s Day programming.

David Lindley @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($20 Advance, $25 Door) During his time as featured accompanist with Jackson Browne and leader of his own band El Ray-X, multi-instrumentalist David Lindley often drew inspiration from, and played, music from around the world. He often includes elements of African, Arabic, Asian, Turkish, and Malagasy music, and, when combined with his many stringed instruments, colorful outfits, unique sense of humor, and elfin looks, creates a wholly satisfying and enjoyable music experience for listeners.

Thursday, March 9

Jeff Ray & the Stakes @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Ace bottleneck guitar player Jeff Ray can be depended upon to take traditional or well-known songs, and recast them, sometimes with Eastern influences, sometimes creating an old-timey song out of a rock n’ roller. The Stakes are usually Mikkel Beckman  on percussion and Hurricane Harold Tremblay on harmonica. Though this video is titled as Hurricane Harold, it’s essentially Jeff & the Stakes.

Ballake Sissoko and Vincent Segal @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($25 Advance, $30 door) Thanks to help from many volunteers, The Cedar Cultural Center can keep expenses low enough to bring in a wide variety of music from around the world. Tonight they are featuring the duo of Ballake Sissoko, a Malian master of the traditional 21-stringed kora, a harp-like instrument, and French cellist Vincent Segal, who has a background in trip-hop. Their collaboration results in hauntingly beautiful chamber music, which, by the way, is the name of their album.

Friday, March 10

Willie Walker @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 reserved table) Walker’s regular appearances at Crooners are always happy affairs, with a full house, and people finding space to dance amongst the tables. Walker is an original soul man, who recorded for both Goldwax in Memphis, and Chess records in Chicago. His latest recording, If Nothing Ever Changes, won a Blues Music Award as Best Blues Album of 2015 in the New Recordings/Southern Soul Category. He also won an award as Comeback Artist of the Year.

Grant Hart’s Birthday @ Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7 Advance, $10 Door) Grant Hart was a founding member of the influential post-punk band Hüsker Dü. In fact, this year marks the 30th Anniversary of their album Warehouse Songs and Stories. Hart is turning 56, and he’s celebrating at the Hook, along with his friends The Fury Things, a trio that plays fast, loud songs, much in the spirit of Hüsker Dü, and The Rank Strangers, a band that has won numerous awards over its 27 year history.

Saturday, March 11

Cajun Cats @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. Noon – 2pm (No Cover) Get yourself some lunch from the Cajun/Creole menu at Como Dockside and listen to music from Southern Louisiana, as performed by Shawn Gidden, Gary Powell, and John Terr on violin, button accordion, and guitar.

Saturday Salon: Bach to Bruch @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley 3pm ($20) Here’s another performance in Crooner’s Saturday afternoon series of chamber music, curated and hosted by Maria Jette. Today, Mark Mazullo (piano), Tom Rosenberg (cello), Rena Kraut (clarinet), perform pieces by Bach, Schumann, Beethoven, and Max Bruch.

Hurricane Harold @ Vieux Carré,  Saint Paul. 6:30pm (No Cover) Harpmaster Hurricane Harold is joined by guitarist/vocalist Doug Otto for some dinnertime blues.

SubDudes @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50, $60) This New Orleans group has released ten albums over the course of 25 years, drawing on the roots of R&B, gospel, jazz, and rock n’ roll that exemplify so much of the music coming out of the Big Easy. They are led by Tommy Malone on guitar; and John Magnie on accordion; and include Steve Amendee on tambourine and Tim Cook on bass.

Malamanya @ The Uptown VFW, 2916 Lyndale Ave So. Minneapolis. 8pm ($8 Advance, $10 Door) Here’s a group that mines vintage Cuban music as well as current salsa, to create music that will have folks getting out their dancing shoes. The Uptown VFW has plenty of space to twirl and spin.

Prohibition Swing Night @ The Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10 advance/$12 Door) It’s a celebration of old time swing music, featuring the Mississippi Hot Club and the Gentlemen’s Anti-Temperance League. The Mississippi Hot Club will draw their performance from the hot club sound of the 30s, while incorporating romantic ballads, European folk music, and American jazz into their set. The Gentlemen’s Anti-Temperance League draws their inspiration from the early 20th Century, but adds a modern sensibility to their compositions. Swing era costumes are encouraged and swing dance lessons will be provided at 8:30pm.

Sunday, March 12

Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 3pm (No cover) Charanga Tropical was founded in 2006 by saxophonist/flautist Doug Little, who, in the course of a decade, studied for about a year with master musicians and musicologists in Cuba. This is a traditional Charanga group, with a vocalist, violins, flute and full Latin percussion. The play danzons, that stately dance created in Cuba when French immigrants from Louisiana and Haiti settled in Cuba. Their latest album, In Cuba, was recorded in the legendary Egram Studios in Havana. They also play salsas and other Cuban music as well, so dancers will be out in force for this Sunday matinee.

Eric Gales @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) This blues rock guitarist has been called “the best guitarist in the world today” by none other than Joe Bonamassa. Gales grew up in a musical family and released his first album to raves in 1991, when he was only 16. Three years later he played with Carlos Santana at 1994’s Woodstock. Gales has released 17 albums, and has performed as a sideman on dozens of others. Though right-handed, he was taught to play a right-handed guitar upside down by his left-handed older brother. He’s fleet-fingered, tasty, and just as likely to play something by Cream, Hendrix, or Stevie Wonder as he is to play straight blues. Here’s a song from his latest album, to be released March 24th.

Monday, Tuesday, March 12, 13

Judy Collins @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($60 – $75) The New York Times calls her a “Folk Goddess,” but folk music is only one part of her repertoire, which has included art songs since she began recording. Collin’s crystalline voice helped bring Steven Sondheims Send in the Clowns to the masses, and introduced many fans to the main song from the musical Marat/Sade. She was one of the first singers to record songs by Leonard Cohen, and had a huge hit with Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now. Her appearance at the Dakota a few years back was absolutely charming. Given that she has a new album coming out called A Love Letter to Steven Sondheim, this show has been dubbed Sondheim and Hits. Special guest Kenny White 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.


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