Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays: 12.20 – 12.26

December 20, 2017

Toy Trains at Christmas

Or to put it more humorously and inclusively, Happy Chriskwanzacuh – and don’t forget the celebration of Winter Solstice, since we can look forward to increasing daytime light after Thursday. This is a time of year when a number of faiths and cultures have special celebrations, and if you don’t practice those faiths, you can nevertheless appreciate and even enjoy some of their traditions (including setting up toy trains). You still have the opportunity to hear great music throughout our area, though admittedly, you might have to settle for watching Netflix and getting Chinese takeout on December 25. Besides a couple of holiday shows, we can choose from the last appearance in town by the original Bad Plus, a couple of dance-oriented bands, and some roots music. Whatever your traditions at this time of year, enjoy the season, and remember, music lifts the spirit


Wednesday, Dec 20

Chris Lomheim Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/valid student ID) Pianist Chris Lomheim gathers Adam Rossmiller, trumpet; Pete Whitman, sax; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger, drums; for an evening of swinging tunes and subtle ballads. Here is what Lomheim sound like in a trio setting.

Fuzzy Math @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 10pm (Free) Original eclectic jazz and creative covers from pianist/composer Mark Vandermyde, with Jason Parvey, sax; Matt Peterson, bass; and Harald Bondaris, drums.

Wednesday, Dec 20 – Saturday, Dec 23

The Bad Plus @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45), 9pm ($40) Since the turn of this century, Ethan Iverson, piano; Reid Kennedy, bass; and Dave King, drums; have been making annual visits to the Dakota to present their iconoclastic jazz, reimagining rock hits and jazz standards while creating songs that are often as quirky as their titles (i.e., 1979 Semi Finalist, Epistolary Echoes). This is the last gig featuring pianist Iverson, who is leaving the group after their New Year’s Eve appearance at the Village Vanguard. His droll wit will be missed, but he’ll be ably replaced by Orrin Evans. Stay tuned….

Thursday, Dec 21

Holiday Piano Bar @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/valid student ID) The “Piano Bar” isn’t really such, since Jazz Central isn’t a bar. Nevertheless curator Sarah M. Greer describes the evening as part open mic, part jam session, and part caroling singalong. Ms Greer will host the evening, aided by pianist Jon de Vall. Bring instruments, charts, your lyric sheets and requests.

Belle Amour Holiday Show @ Vieux Carré  Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) Looking at their website, it appears that this four-piece group – vocalist, keys, bass, drums – seems to specialize in wedding and corporate gigs. It appears that Graydon Peterson is on bass, though I don’t recognize the other performers. Listening to their songs reveals a tight, jumping outfit that plays vintage jazz, including songs from Bessie Smith, Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, The Andrew Sisters, and other performers from the 1930s and 40s. Their music is bright, breezy, and fun.

Aerosol Pike @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Acoustic-based spontaneous composition from Philip Mann, Ryan Reber, and Rick Ness on horns (and other instruments?).

Friday, Dec 22

Peter Schimke Trio @ The Lexington, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) The Lexington’s Williamsburg Room can be a bit noisy to fully appreciate the playing of pianist Schimke, who always has A-list players with him. Just sit close, enjoy a cocktail, and relax after doing your holiday shopping.

John Raymond’s Standards Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/valid student ID) Minneapolis native Raymond is a trumpeter/flugelhorn player who was called a “Rising Star” by no less than DownBeat Magazine. His four albums have all been well received by the NY Times, Downbeat, and Jazz Times. He’s currently Professor of Trumpet at Indiana University. His trip home provides us with a chance to hear him, accompanied by Graydon Peterson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. Here he is with his New York group.

Saturday, Dec 23

Bill Carrothers @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm ($15, $20) Carrothers, a pianist whose imagination is always inventive and far-ranging, seems to have fallen in love with the Dunsmore Room, as the Saint Paul native makes the trip from Michigan quite frequently to appear in various groups. He’s recorded 26 albums as a leader and has appeared as a sideman with a wide range of jazzers including Buddy DeFranco, Dave Douglas, Curtis Fuller, Billy Higgins, Freddie Hubbard, Lee Konitz, Dewey Redmanm, Toots Thielman, and more. He’ll be appearing solo to play on the 9-foot Steinway at the intimate listening room.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Cole Mahlum opens at 7pm, leading his own group. At 8:30pm bassist Ted Olsen appears with frequent collaborators Javi Santiago on piano; Miguel Hurtado, drums; and saxophonist Aaron Hedenstrom.

Sunday, Monday, Dec 24, 25

Merry Christmas! Enjoy a technicolor Christmas at the movies, or a Chinese meal for those who don’t practice the Christian faith.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Dec 26, 27

Connie Evingson: Holiday @ Dunsmore Lodge, Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($22) With its view of a snow-covered lake, the Dunsmore will easily bring to mind a cozy country lodge as Ms Evingson, of the cool, yet sultry voice, celebrates the season, accompanied by Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Dave Karr, sax & flute; and Gordy Johnson, bass. Here’s a cut from her gorgeous Christmas album.

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, Dec 20

Ben Eaton on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Roots/Americana songwriter/guitarist Eaton is a native of Des Moines who now lives in Minneapolis. He’s working on a 5-song EP with drummer Dwight Dario, who used to live around here, and Matt Woods. Tonight he’ll have a 4-piece band with him, featuring guitarist/drummer Jeremy Johnson.

Thursday, Dec 21

Draper-Beckmen-Kiesling @ The Dubliner Pub & Cafe, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) The Twin Cities hardest-working washboard player teams up with bassist-around-town Liz Draper and Adam Kielsing (of Pert Near Sandstone) to play old-time music, country blues, early jazz, and maybe a holiday tune or two for your happy hour pleasure.

Friday, Dec 22

Steve Clarke & The Working Stiffs @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5?, $10?) Blues, swing, jump, jive, & jazz for dancing in the Ernie Mattson Ballroom at the commodious Eagles Club.

Nikki & the Ruemates @ Dusty’s Bar, NE Minneapolis. 9:45pm (Tip Jar) Though Dusty’s is under new ownership, they remain committed to providing the rootsy groups that have been appearing there for years. Example number 1: Nikki & the Rue-mates, whose folk-blue-rock has long been a Dusty’s favorite, often packing the place while they play in the “big green booth.” Nikki’s clarion voice and Rich Rue’s terrific fretwork are always a treat, with the added delight of guitarist Dean Mikkelson often sitting in to accompany Nikki on a jazz standard or two.

Saturday, Dec 23

Steeling Dan @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) You say you want to hear some heady, sometimes inscrutable lyrics, performed with cool, jazzy pop? Then this Steely Dan Tribute Band may deliver just what you need.

Joyann Parker Band @ Crooners’ Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 8pm (No cover, but $10 guaranteed seat) Vocalist/pianist/guitarist Parker has a powerful blues and R&B voice that’s just right for the Pre-Christmas Saturday night crowd at Crooners. She’s been making her mark on the Twin Cities Blues scene for the last few years, and represented Minnesota in the 2015 International Blues Challenge. Her 2015 album, On the Rocks, was named Best Self-Produced Album by the MN Blues Society.

Sunday, Dec 24

Enjoy Christmas Eve!

Monday, Dec 25

Christmas With Robert Robinson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $35) Get your gospel groove on with the highly popular and one-of-a-kind Robinson, who gets rave reviews wherever he appears. Some examples: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinal called him “a volcanic talent,” while the Salt Lake City Desert New called his performance “glorious,” and the Star Tribune described him as a “soaring presence.”

Tuesday, Dec 26

Willie West @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12) Louisiana-born Willie West is a classic soul singer who recorded for Allen Toussaint with the score for the blaxploiotation film Black Samson, and later worked with The Meters in the late 70s and early 80s. He then worked all over Bourbon Street until Hurricane Katrina, after which he moved to Saint Cloud, where he currently lives. In the last few years he’s recorded with some Finnish funk/soul groups (see video), and still has the vocal prowess and emotional power that makes a soul singer a soul singer.

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.

The Power of Music: 11.16 – 11.22

November 16, 2016


If serfs could find time to dance, so can we

If serfs could find time to dance, so can we

Life continues apace, and no matter what your political affiliation, it’s safe to say that things won’t be the same. Except for music. Music has the power to voice our fears, to call us to action, celebrate our commonalities, call out hypocrisy, inspire us, heal our spirit, lift us up, and perhaps, just perhaps, bring us together. While musicians undoubtedly enjoy playing, music is much more powerful when it is a shared experience. If you are part of the audience, you are part of the music, whether in a concert hall, a dive bar, or a church. Music lifts the spirit.


Wednesday, November 16

Babatunde Lea Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID)  Though he’s listed on the JC website as a drummer, Lea is much more, as he not only plays a trap set, but often plays congas or other percussion instruments at the same time, incorporating African, Caribbean, and Latin rhythms into the mix. He has an outstanding group of musicians in this band: Solomon Parham, trumpet; Pete Whitman, sax; Phil Aaron, piano; and Chris Bates, bass.

Butch Thompson and Dean Magraw @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Two music veterans from the old West Bank music era who have gone way beyond the music of that time. Pianist and clarinetist Butch Thompson is internationally known for his traditional jazz and ragtime stylings. Guitarist Dean Magraw has traveled the world playing acoustic and electric instruments to create fine jazz, fusion, and world music.

Thursday, November 17 

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) The Chris Lomheim Quartet, with Pete Whitman, saxes, Jay Young bass; Dave Schmalenberger, drums; led by Chris Lomheim on piano. Here is Chris in a trio setting.

Le Percheron @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Le Percheron is bassist Adam Linz’s group, and features Levi Schwartsberg on vibes; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin on cornet, and Corey Healy on drums. While Khyber Pass specializes in music that’s a bit (or sometimes very) out there, this quartet creates music that is at once accessible and adventurous. Linz is a veteran, the other three are powerful young musicians still in their twenties.

Dorothy Doring and Marc Ziegenhagen @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Doring is a warm, engaging vocalist who can sing classic R&B, jazz standards, cabaret, and scat. Versatile indeed.

Joel Shapira/Midnight Love @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6:30 (Shapira, No Cover), 9pm (Midnight Love – $7) Guitarist Shapira  rings his jazz and classical chops to the dinner hour, followed at 9pm by Midnight Love  a band that plays funky soul jazz and rare grooves. They have a fondness for Lou Donaldson, but which will bring in music by Ruby & the Romantics, Leon Russell and Roberta Flack, among others. Midnight Loves is: Greg Schute, drums; Peter Vircks, sax; Brian Ziemniak, organ; Matt Darling, trombone; and Patrick Nelson, bass.

Friday, November 18

Bruce Henry @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Crooners is celebrating Founder’s Weekend – its second anniversary – and former Twin Cities vocalist Henry is in town to start things off with a combination of jazz, R&B, Motown and other swinging sounds.

Swing Sisterhood Big Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5 W/Student ID) There are many talented musicians in the area who happen to be female. A bunch of them have created the Swing Sisterhood Big Band, which is made its Jazz Central Debut last March. Afterwards, there will be a jazz jam for High School students.

Saturday, November 19

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar)  Ahmed & the Creators open at 7pm. The group includes, Ahmed Abdul Karim, trumpet; Batume, drums; James “Jimmyapolis” Wallace, tenor; Ron Evaniuk, bass. At 8:30pm it’s the The Steve Kenny Quartet Tour Conclusion performance, with Javiaer Santiago, piano; Ted Olsen, bass; Rodney Ruckus, drums; and Steve Kenny, Flumpet.

JazzMN: New Orleans Night @ Hopkins HS, 2400 Lindbergh Dr., Minnetonka. 7:30pm $31-$33 Advance, $35-$37 Door, (Students, $10-$18 Advnce, $10-$20 Door) It’s a tribute to the Big Easy as the JazzMN Orchestra takes on traditional jazz, second line brass bands, New Orleans jazz standards, a bit of Cajun fun, and some blues, to create a fun night of music. Orchestra musicians include such outstanding stalwarts as Pete Whitman, Dave and Kathy Jensen, Dave Carr, Mary Louise Knutson, and many other talented musicians. Here they’re performing a Tito Puente tune.

Adam Meckler Quintet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) It’s been a while since trumpeter Meckler has performed with a small group. He and his group  released a new album entitled Wander on Shifting Paradigm Records, but haven’t played much since.  Tonight he has a special guest in saxophonist Tony Barba from Madison. Also in tonight’s group: Zacc Harris, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Greg Schutte, drums.

Sunday, November 20

Firebell @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Park Evans, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums all have extensive experience in multiple bands. Their music is both swinging and cerebral.

Tuesday, November 22

Dave King Trio @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $55 dinner show) Uber drummer Dave King is best known for his work with The Bad Plus and Happy Apple,though he also seems to have a dozen or so other projects, many of which explore the outer edges and realms of jazz and rock. Tonight, though, he gathers the fine talents of bassist Billy Peterson and pianist Bill Carrothers to mine the richness of jazz standards as well as some moody work from the tunes of Bill Evans and Paul Bley. The last appearance of this trio had a number of beautiful moments. Here’s their complete performance at the Village Vanguard a few years ago.

Brian Gallagher Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8 Advance, $10 door) This project is a commemorative effort to honor the life and music of the late Twin Cities based saxophonist Brian Gallagher. The band features Brian Ziemniak on keyboards, Yohannes Tona on bass, Peter Hennig on drums and Brian’s longtime collaborator Julius Collins adding vocals to a few songs, the night before Brian’s 53rd birthday. In addition to the members of the quartet, special guests performances will include saxophonists David Eiland, Peter Vircks, Brandon Wozniak, trombonist Michael Nelson, vocalist Jody Hanks and many others to be announced.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, November 16

Poor Howard Stith on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Poor Howard  s a 12 string blues guitarist who gave Papa John Kolstad his nickname. He’s influenced by Leadbelly, Blind Willy McTell, and Dave Ray, and tells delightful shaggy dog stories.

Flatlanders @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50, $60) When the Flatlanders were formed and recorded in the early 70s, Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Butch Hancock had each returned to Lubbock Texas after having spent time elsewhere. In 1973 they recorded an album with their unique take on traditional country music. Entitled Jimmie Dale & the Flatlanders, it was released only on 8-track, without a distribution deal, though truth be told, you could find it in Southern variety stores and truck stops. Naturally, it went nowhere and the group drifted apart. By the end of the 70s, Ely and Hancock had become cult symbols thanks to their solo albums, and Gilmore’s songwriting resulted in his being a hip name to drop by music critics and the like. They reunited on a few occasions and in the late 90s had a song in the film The Horse Whisperer. They released a second album in 2002 and have released four since then.

Pat Donahue & Dan Newton @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40 Dinner Show) Guitarist Donahue was a National Fingerpicking Champion almost 40 years ago, and spent 20 years coming up with songs on a weekly basis for the Prairie Home Companion. He has a pleasant voice, and he can write some very witty lyrics, but his killer app, so to speak, is his fleet fingering, which has only gotten better since that long ago championship. He has a perfectly compatible partner in Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton, the accordion ace who taught himself how to play and is equally at home with the blues, jazz, French Musettes, and Cumbias.

Thursday,November 17

Peter Wolf & the Midnight Travelers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55, $65) Wolf was the lead singer for the J. Geils Band, that raucous group that brought rockin’ rhythm and blues to the airways and many a house party in the 70s and early 80s, when they topped the singles charts with Freeze Frame, Love Stinks, and Centerfold. Wolf’s commanding presence on stage and record was a big reason for the group’s success.

Friday,November 18

Red House Live: Chastity Brown @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($20) Chastity Brown began to turn heads and open ears as soon as she arrived in Minnesota from Tennessee where she grew up and was influenced by roots music from an early age. Her music encompasses roots, soul, rock, blues, and country. Much of her writing describes and talks of the experience of marginalized people in our society. At the invitation of Ani DiFranco, Brown spent much of 2016 on tour with DiFranco. She has signed with Red House Records and will be releasing a new album early in 2017. The show was close to selling out as of this writing, so you may have to call the Landmark Center to ascertain availability of tickets.

Dee Miller Band @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm ($??) Wilebski’s continues its policy of having early evening shows on Friday night, so those of us of a certain age can get home and get some sleep after dancing their hearts out. Others will simply be energized by Ms Miller’s tough vocals and tight band and find someplace else to go at 10pm.

Saturday, November 19

CJ Chenier @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25), 9pm ($20) The Dakota continues to bring the music of Louisiana to the northern end of the Mississippi River. It’s hard to get any more rootsier than accordionist Chenier  the son of Clifton Chenier, the late King of Zydeco. CJ learned his art by being in his father’s band, and expanded the sound of zydeco by recording with Paul Simon as well as the Gin Blossoms.

Davina & The Vagabonds @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley (No Cover, $10 reserved seat) Get there early if you want a seat and didn’t reserve one. Davina  nd the Guys will pack the big room at the Lounge.

Sunday, November 20

Phil Heywood @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Heywood is another of what seems to be a plethora of National Fingerpicking Champions in town. He’s got a deep baritone voice that’s a nice foil to his precise, melodic playing.

Monday, November 21

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

Tuesday, November 22

Midwest Paul Cook and Crankshaft @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) A couple of blues/roots performers who can mine the depths of despair with their own songs, and well as songs from the Great Depression. Listen to Cook here. Learn about Crankshaft here.

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

Jazz, World Music, and More: 10.21 – 10.27

October 21, 2015

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


Wednesday, October 21

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

Thursday, October 22

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

Friday, October 23

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, October 24

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

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

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

Sunday, October 25

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

Monday, October 26

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

Tuesday, October 27

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

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

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, October 21

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

Thursday, October 22

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

Friday, October 23

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

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

Saturday, October 24

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

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

Saturday, Sunday, October 24, 25

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

Sunday, October 25

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 26

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

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

A New Venue, A Familiar Festival. Music: 7.15 – 7.21

July 15, 2015
One of the tents at the Roots, Rock, & Deep Blues Festival

One of the tents at the Roots, Rock, & Deep Blues Festival

This week starts the regular programming at the Vieux Carre, located in the old Artists’ Quarter space in the Hamm Building in downtown Saint Paul. They will be featuring resident talent, with jazz at least two nights a week and during early evening (5:30 – 7:30pm). This week also features what has become a favorite festival of Twin Citizens – the fifth edition of The Roots, Rock, and Deep Blues Festival, which has expanded to four stages this year. We are blessed with considerable resident talent and an ability to attract lots of visiting talent. Music lifts the spirit.


Wednesday, July 15

Pete Whitman X-Tet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Oh boy, Whitman is bringing his ten-piece little big band out to play, something that’s been mighty rare in the last 18 months. the membership sometimes varies, but you’ll find some of the best players in town in this aggregation. 


Thursday, July 16

Chris Lomheim Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 7pm ($?) Even before its official opening this past Tuesday, The Vieux was named as one of the best Speakeasy Bars in town, a nod to it’s basement location, dark atmosphere and craft cocktails. But the real reason to go there tonight is to hear the wonderful piano playing of Chris Lomheim, who can transport you to wonderful places with his ethereal solos.

Charlie Christenson Standards Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Christensonis the head of the McNally Smith Vocal Department. He’ll be joined by Graydon Peterson, bass; and Matt Edlund, drums to take a new look at America’s standards.
Red Planet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul, 8pm ($10) Dean Magraw, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. Three first-call musicians, who would be on the A-list, no matter the town.

Friday, July 17
Todd Harper @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 5:30 – 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Whether freely improvising or taking off from a composed piece, pianist Harper provides perfect music to start the weekend. Tonight he’s join by saxophonist Chris Hagedorn.
Kjeer, Horst & Friends@ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (tip Jar) It’s a bit of a family affair as young Will Kjeer, a pianist who is about to enter CalArts after a year at Interlachen Center for the Arts in Michigan, is paired with his uncle, the ageless drummer Kenny Horst, and some of their friends, which is a mighty long list. Here’s Will with other students at his Interlachen recital. 

Dean Magraw and Steven Hobert @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:00pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Take the imagination of guitarist Dean Magraw, and pair it with the whimsey and sensitivity of pianist Steven Hobert, and you have a fine formula for music that will engage your mind as well as your spirit.
Saturday, July 18
Saturday Night Jazz @ the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. ($10 Suggested Donation) Opening at 7pm: John Devine and Bill Lang. Headlining at 8:30pm Joe Mayo Quartet

Linda Peterson Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) The piano playing daughter of the Peterson clan has spent a lifetime successfully singing her way into the hearts of Southern Californians. Now Peterson is back in town and entertaining us.

The Jazz Bridge Project @ SW Craft Bar (Senor Wongs), Saint Paul. 8pm ($?) I haven’t heard of this group before, though they have been playing every once in a while for a couple of years or so. I’ve certainly heard of half of its players: Sten, Ron, and Ted. Given the quality of their playing alone, this group seems to be a worthwhile listen. Sten Johnson, sax; Roger Johnson, guitar; Ron Evaniuk, upright bass; Bill Paul, percussion, Ted Godbout, keys; and Rajiah Johnson, flute.

Monday, July 20
Brian Grivna @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Grivna is a strong sax player who can often be found in the pit orchestra’s of touring shows, as well as in the JazzMN Orchestra and Pete Whitman’s X-Tet. Tonight he plays what he wants to play, rather than the arrangements of others. 
Monday, Tuesday, July 20, 21
Nachito Herrera and the Universals @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($230, $35) On Monday, the Cuban flag will be raised above the Cuban embassy in Washington, and the U.S. flag will be raised above the American embassy in Havana. Cuban-born fiery pianistNachito Herrera is celebrating with special guests: Raul Pineda, a Cuban drummer who has had three Grammy Nominations and won a Grammy for his work with the Chuchu Valdez Quartet on the album Live at the Village Vanguard; Violinist Karen Brigg brings four decades of music across a wide variety of genres to the party. I interviewed Herrera on my show on Saturday, the 11th. You can hear the interview at:

Tuesday, July 21
Jeremy Walker Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5) Pianist Walker is a thoughtful, imaginative composer, whether writing a long form piece for quartet and choir or improvising a solo. He works with a variety of resident and visiting musicians who are all high caliber players. Here’s a video with a couple of them.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, July 15

Paul Seeba @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Though he now lives in Saint Paul, singer/songwriter Seeba is from the Iron Range, and his songs evoke the Midwest. In fact, one of his songs, Mitchell Yards is about the historic switching yards of Hibbing, and will be used in a PBS documentary about the site. 

New Shoes @ The Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 7 pm ($5) Now that the Vieux Carre (voo ma-ray) is officially opened, the scheduling will begin. Tonight it’s New Shoes (Gary Raynor, Richard Kreihn, Joe Savage, Peter Johnson), all veterans of the Guys All Star Shoe band of Prairie Home Companion fame. They’re well-versed in all manners of music. 

Jimmy “Duck” Holmes on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3and 106.7FM), 7pm – 8pm (331 Club – tip Jar) If you like the style of Mississippi blues as practiced by Skip James, you’ll love this show, as “Duck’ Holmes is a proponent of the distinctive “Beltonia” style as practiced by James. Holmes runs the Blue Front in Bentonia, one of the oldest juke joints in Mississippi. After years of causal playing, he began performing in ernest in the 2000s, and has earned a number of awards and accolades since. He’ll be playing one show at the 331, followed by Jack Klatt from 8-9pm. He’ll also be playing at the Roots, Rock & Deep Blues Festival Saturday, and may show up at other venues around town (Hell’s Kitchen Brunch on Sunday).

Thursday, July 16LP Music @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10). Essentially, this is an all-star group of area players, performing improvised funk, including: Gram,my winnings Erik Leeds, sax, flute, vocals; multi-instrumentalist Paul Peterson, bass, guitar; Peter Schimke, keys; and Stokely Williams, drums, percussion, & vocals.


Friday, July 17

Roots, Rock, & Deep Blues Pre-Party with Miss Tess & the Talkbacks and the Dieselfitters @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Fans of Eilen Jewell will find much to like inMiss Tess & the TalkbacksMiss Tess writes and performs songs that are part Honky-Tonk, part Americana, with a touch of Western Swing, and a pinch of old time jazz. The rockabilly/honkytonk Dieselfitters open at 7pm, and Miss Tess comes on at 9pm.


Como Avenue Jug Band @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 7pm ($8) Booking at the new Vieux Carre will center on resident talent, with at least two evenings a week dedicated to jazz and the other evenings featuring mostly acoustic acts. Tonight it’s those purveyors of happiness, The Como Avenue Jug Band.

Left Lane Cruiser @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) Opening by Catl. Indiana’s gut-bucket blues trio has been a favorite of area fans since they first started showing up at the original Deep Blues Festival back in 2007. Opening is Toronto’s own punk-blues duo, Catl. 

Saturday, July 18

Roots, Rock and Deep Blues Festival at Harriet Brewing and Patrick’s Cabaret, Minneapolis. Noon – Midnight ($15 advance, $20 door) Four, count em’, four stages, overflowing with talent, from the home-grown – Spider John Koerner, Charlie Parr, Willie Murphy & the Angel-Headed Hipsters, Black Market Brass – to visitors such as Left-Lane Cruiser, Jimmy “Duck” Holmes, Kent Burnside and more. Complete with food trucks, deejays, and everything else that made this festival win several “Best of” awards last year.


Blind Boys of Alabama @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($45 – $50) Soul stirring, rafter shaking gospel music from a group with a tradition that goes back 70 years, though they aren’t afraid of non-gospel songs with feeling, or in fact, pairing up with various pop/soul/jazz acts. 

Roots, Rock, and Deep Blues After Party @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($?) Just in case you didn’t get to the RRDB, or simply want more music. Poverty Hash, Gaslighters Union, and the Out of Controllers will be keeping the day’s vibe going. Here’s Poverty Hash.

Otto, Rae, and Porter @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($6) A trio of rootsy acts: Jeremy Porter & the Tucos, 9:30pm. Jillian Rae Band, 10:30pm, Doug Otto & the Getaways, 11:30pm

Sunday, July 19

Joe & Vicky Price @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11am (No Cover) Delta-inspired blues from Iowa. The Prices rightfully have a strong following in the area. Have some brunch and find out why.Jeff Ray & Hurricane Harold @ Brookside Bar & Grill, Marine on Saint Croix. 3pm (No Cover) Take a road trip to the riverside town north of Stillwater to catch this guitar/blues harp duo taking on classic blues, Dylan, and even the Grateful Dead. Word is, they’ll have some friends along too, to enriched the music. 

Monday, July 20

Joe Fingers @ Dunn Brothers on Grand, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Grab a cuppa Joe and listen to a finger-picking champion.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar. Dancers might want to check out the calendar for U Wanna Dance.

Twin Cities Music: 5.20 – 5.29

May 20, 2015
One way to get to the gig

One way to get to the gig

Where to go, what to do. There are only so many hours in a day, and only so many entertainment dollars at our disposal. I try to give you some ideas on where to go. You’ve got to come up with your own resources to support the arts. And they do deserve your support. Musicians have mastered the techniques of their instruments, collaborated with other artists on arrangements, often booked their own gigs, and then transported equipment and set up without the help of roadies. Just so we can listen and be inspired, or dance, which is pretty awesome when you think about it. Music lifts the spirit.

Wednesday, May 20
Stu Blue and Friends @ Lake Harriet Spiritual Community, 4401 Upton Avenue South, Minneapolis. 6:30 – 8:30 ($10) This is part of a new program by the Spiritual Community, and will feature Stu Blue, vocals, sax, flute; Martin Stovall, Sr., Percussion; George E. Antrim, III, Keys; and Ade Adegun, bass.

Whitman takes a solo

Whitman takes a solo

Boomers vs Millenials @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) More of a Boomers AND Millenials, since this quartet is made up of Pete Whitman, sax and Jay Young, bass (the Boomers) and Javi Santiago, piano and Miguel Hurtado, drums (the Millenials).

Thursday, May 21
Damman, Seru, & Fultz @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Thursdays at Khyber Pass can be challenging for casual listeners, but for jazz fans, the night can be eye-opening and inspiring. Tonight features Joseph Damman, guitar; Scott Fultz, saxophones; and Davu Seru, drums and percussion. Damman and Seru have played together in Body Omara, a band that mines the Desert Blues of Northern Africa. Fultz contributes fine improvisations, no matter the musical circumstance.

Friday, May 22
Kristin Sponcia Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm($10 Suggested Donation) Pianist/vocalist Sponcia is back in the Twin Cities, taking a break from her graduate studies at the University of Illinois. Tonight the former MacNally Smith instructor is leading a group of mighty fine musicians: Chris Olson, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Dave Stanoch, drums.

Travis Anderson Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) The lounge at this D’Amico restaurant is a perfect place for the stylish playing of Anderson, vocals and piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums.

BZ3 Organ Trio @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Things are bound to get soulful at this Black Dog debut of Brian Ziemniak, B3 Organ; Troy Norton, guitar; Pete Hennig, drums.

Chris Lomheim Trio @ Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Lomheim on piano is joined by Gordy Johnson on bass and Reid Kennedy on drums. This is jazz, pure and simple. Here is Chris with a slightly different trio.

Concert for Nepal @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($20 Suggested Donation) This concert is raising money for the village of Suspa, a village hard hit by the recent earthquakes in Northeast Nepal. Javi Santiago, piano; Miguel Hurtado, drums; and Pawan Benjamin, on sax and Bansuri (a bamboo flute) will be providing Nepalese music, as well as soul and jazz, while you provide the donations, all of which will go to rebuild the village of Suspa.

Saturday, May 23
Granias, Thomas, & Ewart @ Studio Z, Saint paul 7pm ($15) If you are looking for adventurous, improvisational music, go no further. Chris Granias, piano; Carei Thomas, piano; and Douglas Ewart, reeds & invented instruments; will be exploring new improvisations for two pianos and assorted instruments.



Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Central Standard Time opens with Steve Kenny, trumpet; Stgen Johnson, sax; David Roos, guitar; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Dennis Glaus, drums. They are followed at 8:30 by Firebell: Park Evans, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums.

Patty & the Buttons, featuring Connie Evingson @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) Patty & the Buttons is a four-piece swing band that uses material from a variety of genres as well as creating their own originals. Tonight they’re joined by chanteuse Connie Evingson, who thoroughly knows her way around a song. Here are Patty & the Buttons during one of their Sunday Swing Dance Brunch shows.

Monday, May 25
David Martin @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Guitarist Martin, who often accompanies vocalists, will himself be accompanied tonight by Jim Cheoweth on bass and Joel Arpin on drums. You can expect some tunes from Martin’s recent duet album, Tough Commute.

Tuesday, May 26
Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. (donations welcome) This is an open rehearsal for this 18 piece big band. Donations are used to add more music to the project.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…
Wednesday, May 20
Don Scott & Curtis Blake on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – tip Jar) Like two straws in a Coke, Guitarist/vocalist Scott and harmonica maestro Blake fit are a perfect musical duo. Scott’s voice has enough texture to give the blues some gravitas, while Blake provides fitting punctuation and commentary through his harp.

Sailing Away @ the Bedlam Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm  Downtown Saint Paul becomes more of a seaport than a river port for this evening of Sea Shanties, and sea songs. Heading the lineup is scholar/educator Bob Walser, who worked for a time as a shantyman at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut and has released 3 CDs. He’ll be helped along with music from Steven Levine, a regular at the Dubliner, and Saint Paul’s own Eddies, those mirthful purveyors of songs about work, death, and the sea.

Thursday, May 21
Mikkel Beckmen & Papa John Kolstad @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (tip jar) Washboard percussionist Beckmen hosts a weekly gig at the Dubliner when he’s not recording or touring with the likes of Charlie Parr and other roots musicians. Tonight he brings in the venerable, wry Papa John Kolstad, who can swing and play the blues with equal aplomb.

Reina del Cid CD Release @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15)  Reina del Cid is an excellent songwriter with a literary bent who manages to exceed the limitations of singer/songwriters by using a very good band, especially the very talented guitarist Toni Lindgren.  Her new album, The Cooling, also makes use of a string quartet on the title track. Opening sets by Red Daughters and Pocket Watch.

Orgone @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) The 21st Century revival/adaption of soul n’ funk continues with Orgone,  an 8-piece funk n’ jam band from Los Angeles. Frogleg opens.

Friday, May 22
Joe Ely @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7 pm (435) The Lone Star troubadourhas had more of a rock influence than other Texas singer/songwriters. He sang with The Clash, was a member of the Flatlanders and Los Super Seven, and is one of those guys to whom the phrase “Outlaw Country” can easily be applied. Opening set by the Twin Cities own Dan Israel, who was named one of Austin Texas top songwriters when he lived there and who, in 2006 was named Songwriter of the Year here in Minnesota.

Unknown-2Scottie Miller Band @ The Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) The tiny dance floor at The Station (formerly Manitou Station) will be filled with folks gyrating to the pianistic New Orleans sounds of Mr. Miller, who, by the way, can rock out with authority as well.

Hipshaker @ The Kitty Cat Klub, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Get out the dancing shoes and floor talc. With the University beginning to empty out for the summer, there will be more room to dance to the rare funk n’ soul 45s of the Hipshaker crew.

Saturday, May 23
4th Annual West Bank Reunion @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul ($10 advance, $15 Door) 8pm Former hippies, activists, and other aficionados of the West Bank scene will break out dancing shoes and gather once again to catch the rockin’ R&B of the Willie Murphy Band, with special guest Maurice Jacox. Mississippi Driftwood, with Larry Hayes, Tom Burns, and John Beach, will open.

Groove Merchants feat Jimi Prime Time Smith @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) The 7-piece Merchants used to be the engine that helped power the late Big Walter Smith. Though they no longer have his powerful voice, they still chug along quite mightily, and feature the stinging guitar and vocals of Jimi “Prime Time” Smith.

Ray Barnard @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. (11:30pm ($5) Barnardused to lead the roots-rock group The Copperheads. He’s also played with Erik Koskinen, Molly Maher, and Bill Geazy of Stoney Lonesome, among others. His most recent CD Where Would I Be Without You is his second solo effort, is largely self-performed, though with some help from guitarist/drummer Jeremy Johnson and guitarist/arranger Koskinen.

Saturday, Sunday, May 23, 24
Memory Lanes Block Party @ Memory Lanes, Minneapolis. 4pm (Free) Saturday seems to be set up for devotees of younger bands such as Black Audience, Southside Deisre, and Fort Wilson Riot, while Sunday is set aside for veteran rootsy bands such as L’Assasins, Crankshaft, Davina & the Vagabonds, and the Cactus Blossoms. HIpshaker Deejays will also be on hand both days. Here are the Cactus Blossoms.

Monday, May 25
Otto, Roux, & Rue @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 6:30pm (Tip Jar) Doug Otto holds down the early spot on Mondays at the 331 Club and tonight is joined by Nikki Roux and Rich Rue of Nikki & the Ruemates for an early evening of blues and folk-rock. Stick around for the Roe Family Singers at 9pm.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar. Dancers might want to check out the calendar for U Wanna Dance.

Big Bands, Americana, Classical and More: 11.19 – 11.25

November 19, 2014

images-2Well, another week, and another two dozen or so ideas for listening to music, whether it’s jazz, American, Classical, or undefinable. We’re blessed with very talented resident musicians and some very fine visiting musicians this week. As you acclimate to the cold, get out and hear some music. It’s good for your spirits.


Wednesday, November 19

Parisota Hot Club Trio @ The Tangiers, Minneapolis. 8pm (No Cover) The acoustic swing of the Parisota trio will work quite nicely in this club, which evokes the clubs of another, much earlier era. The Hot Club Trio consists of Robb Henry, electric guitar; Jay Epstein, drums; Matt Senjem, bass.

McNally Smith X-Tet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pete Whitman has a passel of extremely talented young musicians in this band, which is actually more of a big band than an X-Tet. Their gig at The Bedlam Theater in Lowertown a month for so ago was exhilarating, with great solos from a number of players.

Thursday, November 20

Charlie Christenson Standards Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Christenson is a well-respected vocalist and composer who has worked such New York jazz clubs as Birdland and Jazz at Lincoln Center, and has also developed training strategies for Apple, Inc. He’ll be accompanied by Graydon Peterson, bass; and Matt Edlund, drums; to perform standards and originals.

Friday, November 21

Jazz Night @ the Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 5:30pm – 10:30pm. ($5 – $20 suggested Donations) Things get started with The Ordinary Mystics (Todd Harper, piano; Nathan Hanson, sax) around 5:30-ish, then from about 7 to about 8 it will be George Cartwright, sax; Michelle Kinney, cello; and Davu Seru, drums & percussion playing for the reception for Anne Elias, current artist on exhibit at the Black Dog. At 8:30, saxophonist Donald Washington comes in with Erik Jacobson, tuba; Brian Roessler, bass; and Davu Seru, drums and percussion.

Peter Vircks Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Vircks is a highly regarded Minneapolis-based saxophonist who was a founding member of Moveable Feast and regularly plays with The Rhythmic Circus dance troupe. He’s recorded as a sideman on a dozen albums or so and can easily move into free improvisation when called upon. He’ll be appearing with Ron Evaniuk, bass; Brian Ziemniak, piano; and Kevin Washington, drums.

St. Olaf Jazz Band 1 w/guests Brad Dutz and Chris Wabich @ Buntrock Center, Northfield. 8pm  I don’t normally write about events this far out of town, but having seen Dutz and Wabich at Jazz Central last week, I want to mention this gig at St. Olaf. They’re appearing with the St. Olaf Jazz Band, led by Dave Hagedorn, which will be playing some of the duo’s compositions. The Dutz and Wabich are highly inventive, with a slightly irreverent approach to playing any number of percussion instruments.

Saturday, November 22

Chris Lomheim Trio @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5 – $20 suggested Donation) Timeless, the new recording from pianist Lomheim  is by turns ethereal, beautiful, and mesmerizing. Tonight he’s joined by Jay Epstein,drums; and Andrew Bergmann, bass. Guitarist Joel Shapira is an inspired choice as a solo opener, setting up the mood for Lomheim.

The JazzMN Orchestra: The Little Big Bands @ Hopkins HS, 2400 Lindbergh Dr. Minnetonka. 7:30pm ($10 – $34)  Some bands are larger than a combo, but not as big as a big band. These bands – usually 10-12 musicians, have been called little big bands. Groups from Charles Mingus to Oliver Nelson to Miles Davis (think“Birth of the Cool”) to contemporary groups such as Gordon Goodwin’s Little Phat Band, and Pete Whitman’s X-tet all fall within this category. These bands have produced some great music, which  hasn’t been played nearly enough, something the orchesatra will help remedy this Saturday night. This past Saturday I did a phone interview with the band’s director, Doug Snapp, which you can listen to here.

PipJazz Youth All Stars @ the Maplewood Community Center Theater, 2100 White Bear Avenue, Maplewood. 7pm – 9pm ($25, $5 Students) PipJazz Live presents its annual concert featuring young artists. This time vocalist Pippi Ardennia is presenting Peter Goggin and Ebonee Rainwater on saxes; Maggie Kjeer, vocals; and Levi Schwartzberg on vibes and piano. They’ll be playing alongside the veteran musicians that usually back Ardennia. This event is also a fundraiser, with a number of silent auction items available for your bidding. Here’s Pippi with Billy Peterson on bass.

Monday, November 24

Atlantis Quartet Live Recording @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) The quartet (Zacc harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris Bates, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums) is a stellar example of 21st Century jazz, creating unexpected twists and turns as they play originals and some jazz standards. I expect they’ll just be doing originals tonight, since they’re recording live. A previous live album, Lines in the Sand, was recorded at the old Artists’ Quarter, with stellar results. Here they are performing a cut from that album.

Tuesday, November 25

Century Jazz Ensemble @ the Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) the Century College Jazz Ensemble has been going strong since 1981, playing around town and at an annual event where they’ve brought in guest artists ranging from Tom Harrell, to Clark Terry, Conte Candoli, Bud Shank, and Ernie Watts. Here’s a chance to see them for free and to show the MMC that you appreciate their willingness to showcase big bands on Tuesdays.

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, November 19

Hot Rize @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) with Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers. This Colorado traditional/progressive bluegrass band has been thrilling folks since 1978, though their major touring occurred through 1990, with appearances on The Prairie Home Companion and throughout the United States. After the passing of guitarist Charles Sawtelle in 1999, the band reorganized and started touring agin in 2002, and recently released When I’m Free, their first new studio album in 24 years. They’ll bring out their Western Swing alter ego, Red Knuckles & the Trailblazers, for some songs as well.

Randy Weeks @ JJ Hill Library, Saint Paul. 8pm ($25) You can call Weeks’ music roots rock, alt-country, or Americana. No matter the name, he’s a helluva songwriter, and puts on a show that will have you rockin’ and boppin’. You’ve heard Lucinda Williams singing his song Can’t Let Go, and have read the praises bestowed on him by All Music, Salon, and New Depression. He currently lives in Austin Texas, and comes to town fairly often, since he grew up in Windom. This is part of the Real-Phonic Radio Hour series, featuring a back-up band that includes Erik Koskinen and Molly Maher. With Ben Weaver Opening. Bring a food shelf donation and get 25% off admission.

Thursday, November 20

The Paladins Reunion Tour @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($27) Get out the pomade, leather jackets, and cowboy boots. The Paladins were shining lights of the Rockabilly Revival in the 80s. I believe their first appearance in the Twin Cities was at Mama D’s in Dinkytown in the late 80s, where their energy was not diminished by the small crowd. Throughout the 80s and 90s they headlined clubs and festivals around the world, then went into hiatus in 2004. They first reunited in 2010, and since then have done a few festivals and short tours, such as this one.

Yemen Blues @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20/$25) Yemen Blues is a combination of musicians from NYC, Uruguay, and Tel Aviv, creating music that mixes Yemenite, West African, and Jazz influences for a unique, original sound. Latin, North African, and funk rhythms provide a strong, hip-shaking foundation, while the vocals recall Arabic chants mixed with the blues.

 A lot of deviltry in that brain

A lot of deviltry in that brain

Courtney McClean @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 10pm ($5) This probably falls under Other…  What can I say, McClean specializes in dirty comedy and bluegrass. If you’ve a mind for such, she’s wrapping up a week and a half on the road with what she calls her Booze, Bullets, and a Banjo tour. She’ll also be finishing up the filming of her tour movie. McClean will be joined by comedians Jenn Schaal and Marial Weidner.

Friday, November 21

Shaggy @ The Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($18/$20) 18+ This is a show that should have many of the area’s reggae fans out in force. Back in 1995, Shaggy’s dancehall reggae hit Bombastic was all over the airwaves, both here and in Europe. It’s album went platinum and spent a year at number one on Billboard’s Reggae album chart. Since then he’s had other hits, including It Wasn’t Me and Angel in 2001, while Hot Shot, the album they came from sold six million copies. Shaggy’s 2011 releases, an album and an EP, have been been released on his own label.

Ray Bonneville @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($18)  7pm cocktail hour. Bonneville is a singer/songwriter and guitarist/harmonica player whose 2008 Americana CD Goin’ by Feel, was named one of the best of the year by Downbeat magazine. His most recent Red House CD, Easy Gone, is also gathering rave reviews.

SolFlower Collective @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) A young contemporary R&B group with soulful singing and good songwriting.

Saturday, November 22

Vance Gilbert @ The Gingko Coffeehouse, Saint Paul. 8pm ($15) After starting out as a jazz singer, Gilbert switched to folk music and exploded on the singer/songwriter scene in the early 90s, opening for Shawn Colvin, Gilbert has recorded 10 critically acclaimed albums that showcase his union of humor, virtuosity, and the unexpected. He’s now on tour behind his latest, BaD Dog Buffet.

Funk on First, Vol II @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) First Avenue will jump to the sounds of four different funk bands from the area, headlined by the six-piece New Sound Underground, who’ve been making waves of late with their high energy performances. This funk extravaganza will also feature vocalists for a couple of the bands. Besides New Sound Underground, which with vocalists Reed Grim & Toki Wright, you can hear Pho, with Ashlee Dubose & Jellybean Johnson, Hustle Rose, featuring K. Raydio, and the McNasty Brass Band.

Tuesday, November 25

Sharon Isbin and Romero Lumbambo @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $50), 9pm ($35 – $45) Here’s a very interesting pairing of artists. Isbin is an acclaimed classical guitar player, often called the pre-eminent guitarist of our time. She has a catalog of over 25 recordings. Her latest album, Guitar Passions, features guest guitarists ranging from rockers Steve Vai and Nancy Wilson (Heart), to Stanley Jordan, and Romero Lubambo, with whom she is touring. Lumbambo is a jazz guitarist from Brazil, who has performed and recorded with such stellar artists as Diane Reeves, Diana Krall, Michael Brecker, Yo-Yo Ma, and Kathleen Battle. Here’s an example of his playing.

Jake Hanson & James Buckley @ Cafe Maude, Minneapoolis. 7pm (No Cover) Hanson on guitar and Buckley on bass are just as likely to launch into a Ventures tune as they are to tackle a jazz standard. This SW Mpls neighborhood restaurant is a good place to hear them, though if you get a reservation for dinner, be sure to state you want to be near the music.

Poor Nobodys @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donations) Cinematic music with a rootsy vibe, thanks to a line-up of Chris Hepola, piano; Eric Struve, upright bass; Aaron Cantine, banjo & acoustic guitar; Chris Duba, mandolin; Albert Perez, electric guitar; and Jenna Wyse, vocals and accordion.

DKO @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 10pm ($5) Improvised electronic music from Jon Davis, bass and bass clarinet; John Keston, keyboards & electronics; and Graham O’Brien, drums. This trio has established themselves as the rhythm section for a couple of funkified techno groups in town, and has played as a trio at a number of high profile gigs at events like Art-A-Whirl, and the Northern Spak Festival. Their method is to improvise from scratch, often with no breaks. Their music will keep your head bobbing and your toes tapping.

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.

Residents, Visitors, and Album Releases: 10.15 – 10.21

October 14, 2014

What a week! We have four CD releases (two each on Friday and Saturday), as well as a few visiting artists and interesting combinations of resident artists. I’m finishing this up while on vacation,  so please excuse the lack of photo. I’m publishing a bit early, and have tried to include links to videos where possible.


Wednesday, October 15

Whitman, Lomheim, Young & Hey @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pete Whitman brings a trio of first call musicians to join him for tonight’s edition of the New Music Series. Pete Whitman, sax; Chris Lomheim, piano; Jay Young, bass; and Phil Hey, drums.

Thursday, October 16

Connie Olson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s a Thursday, so it’s vocal night at Jazz Central, tonight featuring Ms Olson, who grew up here, but moved to Los Angeles during the 80s. Since then she’s worked with the Peter Duchin Big Band, as well as musicians from Manhattan Transfer, and the bands of Prince and Madonna. She has a particular interest in the music of Doris Day.

Friday, October 17 Babatunde Lea Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Babatunde Lea is now a resident of Saint Paul, which hopefully means we’ll be seeing more of him in the clubs. For those of you who aren’t aware of Lea, he plays a combination of trap set and congas, and has played with Pharaoh Sanders, Leon Thomas, and Stan Getz, among others. For tonight, he’s gathers some of the area’s best musicians: Nelson Deveraux, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; Phil Aaron, piano; and Graydon Peterson, bass. Here is an example of how he plays drums and congas at the same time.

Connie Evingson w/the John Jorgenson Gypsy Jazz Quintet Album Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($30) A highly anticipated collaboration. The John Jorgenson Gypsy Jazz Quintet may be the best exponent of gypsy jazz in the United States. Jorgenson is an imaginative virtuoso guitarist who is equally at home backing Elton John, or playing country and bluegrass, but gypsy jazz is his love. Our own Evingson is a stellar vocalist who is equally versatile and highly conversant with the form, having recorded two excellent albums, Gypsy in My Soul, and Stockholm Sweetnin’ with four different hot club groups. Hear her from the Stockholm Sweetnin’ album here.

Dean Magraw & Eric Kamau Gravatt CD Release @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($20) This drum/guitar duo is anything but boring, but then, both players are virtuosos on their instruments, and have the ability to musically communicate with each other in an almost telepathic way. Magraw is a versatile guitarist whose background includes playing with Greg Brown, Jack McDuff, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and numerous Irish bands. As recently as a few years ago, Gravatt toured with McCoy Tyner. He’s also played with Joe Henderson and Weather Report, and Natural Life, and can be seen around town leading his own Source Code. The album features originals ranging from an homage to the funky drummer for 60s soul group Dyke & the Blazers, to a lilting Irish air, and a sun-filled melody for cruising down a highway.

Saturday, October 18

Chris Lomheim Trio CD Release @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) Chris Lomhein, piano; Gordon Johnson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums have gotten together to record a CD 20 years after their first CD together. The result, Timeless, covers a range of moods, from the sprightly To Feel or Not To Feel, to the stately Dedication. The playing of the trio is, at times, luminescent. To be sure, Timeless has many uplifting moments.

PipJazz Live: Pippi Ardennia’s Birthday Bash @ The Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 Adult/$5 Student) Pippi sings in the moment, changing lyrics, stretching a groove, and occasionally changing the rhythm to suit her mood, backed by an all-star band of Twin Cities artists. The PipJazz Live series features young guest artists, and for this occasion Pippi will have Peter Goggin, a Moundsview HS senior as her guest. Peter’s sax playing is very impressive, as he has demonstrated as a two-year member of the Dakota Combo.

Sunday, October 19

Michael Attias w/Pat Moriary, Ellen Lease, Chris Bates @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm ($10/$5 students Suggested Donation) Minnesota raised and NYC-based saxophonist/composer Michael Attias is visiting once again as part of a tour that includes performances in Chicago and at Edgefest in Ann Arbor. He’s taking this opportunity to play with his former teacher Moriarty, sax; Ellen Lease, piano; and Chris Bates, bass. You can expect compositions from each group member as well as some free improvisation, which in the hands of these musicians, can be quite wonderful. Here is an example of Attias and Moriarty playing together.

Monday, October 20

Dave Brattain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested Donation) Brattain is a melodic, expressive saxophonist who teaches at Wayzata HS and has played with the CedarAvenue Big Band for over 20 years. He’ll be using this opportunity to have fun playing songs outside of his usual repertoire, backed by the Jazz Central rhythm team. There’ll then be a jam session starting about 10pm.

Fall of the House of User @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) Bassist Chris Bates heads up this horn-heavy group, which experiments with improvisation of world music, including some elements of spoken word. Chris Cunningham, guitar; Nelson Deveraux, Adrian Larkin, Elliot Wachs, and Jon Davis; saxophone, and Greg Schutte, drums.

Twin Cities Hot Club Trio @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm. (No Cover) Seems like the Barbette is sticking its toe in the water of live music once again after an absence of a few months. So far it’s only Monday nights. Tonight the Twin Cities Hot Club Trio is performing. The TCHC calls on a number of musicians, depending on the gig, but it appears that Robert Bell and Stan Ponkin, guitars, and Matt Peterson, bass will be playing while you enjoy a fabulous happy hour.

Tuesday, October 21

Explosion Big Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This is a good name for this 18 piece band led by Doug Haining, sax; and Scott Agster, trombone. Jazz Central provides a relaxed room in which to revel in their power.

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, October 15 Dan Israel on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Generally recognized as a rocker (albeit of the softer variety), Israel writes honest and personal songs that work well with his three-piece band, the Cultivators, as well as solo. He’s been playing around the Twin Cities for 20 years or so, and has released a dozen albums, including Danthology, a 2LP overview of his work. Tune in to listen, then head over to the 331 Club if you like what you hear.

Thursday, October 16

Papa John Kolstad @ Vine Arts Gallery, 2637 27th Ave So, Minneapolis. 6:30 – 8:30pm (Free) This event is part of KBEM’s Gallery Grooves series. Gather to look over the art exhibition, Get Behind the Work II, presented by the Members of the Vine Arts Gallery. There will be refreshments, and an artist talk, while Papa John and perhaps some Friends provide acoustic swing to accompany your art-filled, and artful conversations. Watch him at work.

Orkestar Bez Ime @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30 pm (Tip Jar) Move the tables, because there is going to be some some wild and raucous dancing to the highly energetic Balkan dance sounds of OBI.

Kat Edmonson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) With a light voice that’s part waif, part siren, and a little bit of Billie Holiday, Texas-born  Edmonson has toured with Lyle Lovett, and has appeared on Austin City Limits and Prairie Home Companion. Though her releases have shown up on the jazz charts, she incorporates rock n’ roll, country, and folk into her originals, and re-imagines both well-known pop songs as well as standards. check her out.

Friday, October 17

Sena Ehrhardt Band @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($?) Ehrhardt is making a name for herself as a major blues rockin’ talent, as evidenced by a very positive review in the latest issue of Downbeat magazine. This early show lets you go home early or gives you time to visit another club and make a two-fer of music for the evening.

The House Party @ Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm.   Harold Tremblay of KFAI’s House Party brings his partying friends to the Tap Room, starting at 7pm with the Zach Guaza Duo (you may know Zach from Sans Souci); Hurricane Harold himself takes the stage with compadre Doug Otto at 8:15, and one of the area’s best Americana/soul/rock n’ roll singers, Jon Rodine, who also pens great originals, closes out the night with Friends at 9:30pm.

Mauilotus: The Marilyn Allysum Group @ The 1st Unitarian society, 900 Mount Curve Ave, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($20, $15 advance) This is music that seems to go beyond genres, with aspects of jazz, folk, and a number of world musics. Some of the tunes were written by Indian poet saints in the 15th and 16th centuries. Others are based on ancient yoga of sacred music. And still others are written by Marilyn Allysum, flute, piano, vocals and the Gu Zheng, a Chinese plucked zither with 21 strings. Additional musicians in the group include Charles Fletcher, bass guitars; Mike Hurley, drums and percussion; and David Wolfe on Persian harp. The resulting music can be contemplative and uplifting at the same time.

Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) The excitable and exciting slide guitar master will grab your body with his music and won’t let go until both you and he are spent. Here’s a fine example of his slide playing.

Saturday, October 18

Food Truck Rally with Music @ Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. 12pm – 10pm (Free) Besides 18 food trucks (who has the kind of stomach to sample even half of them?), the rally features Jack Klatt & the Cat Swingers (1pm), Doug Otto & the Getaways (2pm), Everett Smithson Band (5pm), Mary Cutrufello Band (7pm), and The Federales (9pm).

Singer/Songwriter Showcase @ Patrick’s Cabaret, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Featuring Jack Klatt, Bernie King, Jake Rowan, and Emily Dantuma. There’s a FaceBook page with bios of all the performers.

Phil Heywood CD Release @ the Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 8pm ($13) Phil has a new CD out, Rollin’ On, in which the ace fingerpicker plays some blues, rags, Beatles, and Dylan, as well as some Bob Marley tunes where he effectively implies a reggae beat. Special guests Tim Sparks and Dakota Dave Hull will add to the fun.

Maurice Jacox @ The Normandy Kitchen, Minneapolis. 7pm?  (No cover) You’ll have to call the Normandy to find out the exact time, which is just as well, since this throwback bar has limited seating, and you’ll want a reservation if you want to hear Maurice’s acoustic interpretations of Holland-Dozier-Holland tunes, or his Nat King Cole songs, or any of the rest of his repertoire of pop and vocal standards.

Buzzirque and the Tom Robinson Band @ Zeke’s Unchained Animal, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm. This benefit for KFAI features some veterans of the Twin Cities Music Scene. I have spotlighted The Tom Robinson Band before, for its sensuous Brazilian rhythms, and Tom’s new translations of Brazilian lyrics, which give a different insight into Brazilian life than standard English translations. He’s joined by core group members Tony Moreno on drumns, and Tom Church on reeds, as well as a few other musicians. Buzzirque, which takes the stage at 8:30, is led by drummer John Hewitt, who played in the Urban Guerillas in the 80s, and a number of other bands since then.

Saturday, Sunday, Monday, October 18, 19, 20

Herb Alpert & Lani Hall: In the Mood @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm Saturday, 7pm Sunday, Monday ($50, $60, $70) Alpert is one of perhaps a handful of artists that can make a three night stand at the Dakota work. Consider: Five albums on Billboard’s top 20 at the same time; 75 million records sold; 7 Grammys, and a National Medal of Arts, awarded by President Obama in 2013. His Wife, Lani Hall has a marvelous voice, which first came to our attention when she was in Sergio Mendes and Brazill 66 (recording for Alpert’s A&M Records). He’s certainly earned the right to retire, but is touring behind last year’s new record, Steppin’ Out, with a fun video for the single of the venerable Puttin’ on the Ritz, below.

Tuesday, October 21

Paul Metsa & Willie Walker @ The Richfield American Legion Post #435, Richfield. 5pm (Tip Jar) Here’s a fine way to spend a couple of post-work hours, listening to Walker sing while Metsa accompanies on guitar. Their song list ranges from Bob Dylan to Al Green, with many soulful songs in between. Food and drink are available. Here they are performing at Shaw’s.

Vinyl Voices @ Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Each week a couple of KFAI deejays share their record collections with beer drinkers in the brewers Tap Room. Tonight I’ll be spinning soul from the 60s and 70s, while Rudy Aguilar (Radio Pocho) will bring 80s synth pop, 90s dance, and disco.

Ruthie Foster @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40) Is there a performer as warm and insightful as guitarist/songwriter Foster? Though she is regularly nominated for a Grammy in the Blues category, her songs encompass much, much more. She’s touring behind her latest, Promise of a Brand New Day, produced by Meshell Ndegeocello. Its songs range from slow Memphis grooves to gospel shouts, sensitive ballads, and both acoustic and electric blues, including a song written with William Bell and a cover of Gene McDaniel’s radical (for its time) Outlaw. Listen to her perform It Might Not Be Right.

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.

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