Seasonal Music and More… 12.13 – 12.19

December 13, 2017

Greetings of the Season;

Lifting spirits through music and dance

Well, we have more holiday shows to get you into the spirit, including a couple that give a bit of a twist to the usual holiday song suspects. We also have some impressive visiting artists, and fun shows from resident artists. We’ve had a chance to get used to cold weather, and it’s going to stay relatively comfortable for the next week, so you’ll be able to get out and about to see my ideas for music, or your own. Either way, music lifts the spirit, and though many of us will be celebrating Hannukah, Christmas or Kwanza, some of us will be missing loved ones or have other reasons to need some uplifting this season



Wednesday, Dec 13

Gregory Generet @ Crooners’ Dunmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) After winning three Emmys as a post-production editor in TV, Generet decided to develop his singing abilities. Since then he’s done sold out shows at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Joe’s Pub, The Highline Ballroom, The Kitano, Feinsteins at the Lowes Regency in New York City and Smoke Jazz Club, where he held a residency for 3 years. He’s also performed at the 2015 Umbria Jazz edition of Ricomincio Da Tre jazz club and in Abu Dhabi, where he met pianist Richard Johnson, who was booking shows at a hotel there. The New York Times, said of his singing, “A voice that’s so sultry you might get burned.” Here’s a video with Johnson and his group performing the first song, followed by Generet.

Thursday, Dec 14

Songsister: Holiday in Harmony @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Valid student ID) ) Songsister consists of three fine vocalists: Dorothy Doring, Vicky Mountain, and Connie Dussl. They’ll be doing holiday songs both as soloists and as group singers. No alcohol at this basement place, but if you’re discreet, you can bring some of your own.  H

Richard Johnson Trio @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15)  Pianist Johnson entertained us with his imaginative, soulful playing when he lived in the Twin Cities a few years back. . Then he became the Musical Director for some high-end hotels in the Middle East, where he’s been played and booking jazz acts. He’s been a member of Wynton Marsalis’ Septet and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and has also been a member of the groups of Russel Malone and Irvin Mayfield. See the video under Wednesday’s listing.

Larry McDonough Group: Twisted Holidays @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) You can expect McDonough to put his own mix of odd rhythms and meters to music from Bill Evans, Coltrane, Beethhovem Mr. McGoo, and more.

Friday, Dec 15

Steve Kimmel/Davina & the Vagabonds @ Vieux Carré  Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Kimmel, No Cover),  9pm (Davina, $17 Advance/$20 Door) A veteran of the old West Bank Music Scene, multi-instrumentalist Steve Kimmel ran the Rainbow Gallery, booked the Loring Bar, played in the fabled fusion group Natural Life, and with the Lamont Cranston Blues Band. He’ll be followed at 9pm by the energetic and effervescent Davina and the Vagabonds with hot jazz, New Orleans R&B, and soulful originals.

Saturday, Dec 16

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar), 8:30pm ($10) Steve Kenny Trio in the bar at 7pm, followed at 8:30pm by the debut performance of the Inatnas Orchestra playing The Music of Asuka Kakitani and JC Sanford, playing in the dining room with a $10 admission, since it’s a 17-piece Big Band. Some of the musicians that will be playing include: JT Bates, drums; Chris Bates, bass; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; JC Sanford, trombone, and a sax section of Pete Whitman, Dave Milne, and Aaron Hedenstrom. Plus trumpeter Russ Johnson will be a special guest. Here’s Sanford leading a previous orchestra.

Also: Larry McDonough Group @ The Warming House, 4001 Bryant Ave. South, Minneapolis. 7:30pm doors, 8pm performance. ($10) Just McDonough and saxophonist/poet Richard Terrill performing songs as noted above.

Saturday, Sunday, Dec 16, 17

Bobby Lyle Trio: Holiday Keys @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm Sat, 5pm, 7:30pm Sun, ($30) A Minneapolis native who was a member of Young-Holt Limited, Sly and the Family Stone, Al Jarreau’s touring band, and others, as well as serving as the musical director for Bette Midler. The man is talented, which he’ll show on piano and organ each night. Here he is at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival.

Sunday, Dec 17

Kirk Whalum’s A Gospel According to Jazz @ Bethel University’s Benson Hall, 3900 Bethel Drive, Saint Paul. 6pm ($25, $35, $45, $60)  Grammy Award winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum brings his Sixth Annual Christmas concert tour to the Bethel University (off Snelling, north of Rosedale). The concert will feature South African singer/guitarist Jonathan Butler along with special guests John Stoddart, Sheléa, and Kevin Whalum.

Monday, Dec 18

Chris Speed Trio, feat Dave King & Christopher Tordini @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20), 9:30pm ($15) According to the NY Times, saxophonist Chris Speed is “one of the principal figures in a dynamic left-of-center jazz/improv scene in the city” He leads a number of bands and is currently working on projects with Craig Taborn’s Heroic Frenzies, Michael Formanek’s Ensemble Kolossus, Dave King’s Trucking Company and others. He’ll be joined by NY-based Chris Tordini on bass, and our own über – drummer Dave King.

George Maurer Group Holiday Show @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) With an irreverent style and sly humor (The Drive My Car as Drive My Sleigh,, Santa Claus is coming to Town mashed up with Herbie Hancock’s Drifting and other rewordings of Christmas standards) the 8-piece George Maurer Group has been selling out Holiday Shows at the Dakota since 2000.

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 13

Ken Valdez Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Here’s what you’ll find if you go to the Valdez website: “From the Hill Country to Chicago, from the Delta down to Texas and every place between and far-flung, Valdez’s explosive fretwork coupled with his sweet, snarling vocals make for a treat for sounds of every corner of the blues world and beyond.” Check him out on the show and head over to the 331 Club afterwards.

Peter Asher @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) As I wrote last week, Asher has been touring with various versions of his story for about 4 years now. Though some parts are the same, he keeps things interesting enough to go back a second time to hear about Paul McCartney as his roommate, his ownership of the gallery where John met Yoko, his discovery of James Taylor, work with Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, Emmy Lou Harris and more. Plus, you get him singing his Peter and Gordon hits (with Gordon on video – see below).

Thursday, Dec 14

Celtic Music Showcase @ The Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Hear young musicians from the Center for Irish Music. They’ll be appearing in various ensembles under the direction of Norah Rendell. Listen to how this music is being passed on from one generation to another. You can also order sandwiches, wood-fired pizza, beer, and wine.

Friday, Dec 15

Mother Banjo & Ben Cook-Feltz Holiday Show @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($20 Advance/$25 Door) featuring songs from our holiday EP Christmas Came Early, highlighted on The Current and hailed as “a soul-healing collection of songs that put you in the spirit of the season” (Rift Magazine). Also: an all-star house band and special guest performances by Ben Kyle (Romantica), Jon RodineDan Gaarder (Roe Family Singers), and other surprise guests.

Darlene Love @ The Ordway Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($47 – $111.50) The Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer has been on dozens of hits, including He’s A Rebel, (Today I Met) The Boy I’m Gonna Marry, and Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), the song she performed each Christmas season on the David Letterman show for almost 30 years, as well as other songs. Her last performance at the Ordway was strong, touching on all the hits and then some. It’s a rocking celebration of Christmas and then some.

Dosh & Friends @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12/$15) This is the 10th Annual Dosh & Friends show, which this year features: Mike Sopko, Al Church, and McKnight Composer Fellow DeVon Gray (dVRG) playing with Dosh; as well as Billy Martin (of Medeski Martin and Wood), playing with special guest Dave King; Jeremy Ylvisaker, teaming up with Mike Lewis and JT Bates; plus the mighty Guitarkestra of Minneapolis.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Dec 15, 16, 17

Magnum Chorum Christmas Concerts:

@ The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis. 7pm Friday ($25, $30)

@ Nativity Catholic Church, 1900 Wellesley Ave, Saint Paul. 8pm Saturday

@Church of the Annunciation, 509 West 54th Street, Minneapolis.  3pm Sunday

You will hear music from Russia, Sweden, and the Baltic Region, including Kopylov’s Heavenly Light, a soaring Hymn to the Virgin by Alexander Levine, Chesnokov’s Gabriel Appeared, music by Tchaikovsky and Gretchaninoff, and excerpts from Rachmaninoff’s All Night Vigil. Additionally, there will be an electrifying Ave Maria by Polish composer Łukazewski, and the luminous music of Ešenvalds and Pärt.

Saturday, Dec 16 

Flamin’ Ohs @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) The Oh’s burst on the scene back in 1980, led by frontman Robert Wilkinson, thrilling fans on early MTV, and hitting the Billboard charts with I Remember Romance. Whether or not you remember romance, their 2015 EP, Hear and Now, earned praise from the Star Tribune for their “Hard edged Stones-like rock’n’roll. East Coast street anthems coupled with Midwestern optimism and enthusiasm.”

Butanes Soul Revue 30th Anniversary @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) Thirty years ago the Butanes Soul Revue began a weekly residency at the Cabooze that drew great crowds and lasted five years. Led by Curt Obeda on guitar; with Robb Stupka, drums; Dr. Virgil Nelson, organ, Jim Anton, bass; Sue Orfield, sax; Mike Nelson, trombone; and Adam Rossmiller on trumpet. Dab Brown and Aisha Baker on vocals, and featuring the fine, fine voice of Maurice Jacox as well. A dynamite show.

Sunday, Mon, Dec 17, 18

The Peterson Family’s Jam Before Christmas @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($25) Minnesota’s First Family of Music takes to the stage to celebrate with the rest of us. Expect a jazz and R&B filled evening from Linda Peterson, piano and vocals; Billy Peterson, bass; Ricky Peterson, organ; Patty Peterson, vocals; Paul Peterson, bass, gutar, and keys; and Jason Peterson Delaire, pianist/saxophonist/vocals.

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.

Celebrations, Anniversaries, & Festivals, oh my. Music 8.8 – 8.13

August 8, 2013
An outdoor concert, waaay back in the day

An outdoor concert, waaay back in the day

It’s a week of celebrations, anniversaries, and outdoor festivals, ranging from the Bayfront Blues Festival in Duluth, to the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival in Richmond, to the Irish Fair on Harriet Island in Saint Paul. There are more, including music in the parks, but you’ll have to search newspapers or the internet to find them. Have a great week.



Thursday, August 8
Retro Sister Swing @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm. (Donation) Vocalists Rhonda Laurie and Maryann Sullivan have tweaked the name of their aggregation, but the sound remains the same – well done, swinging standards. 
Southside Aces 10th Anniversary Party @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm Traditional New Orleans jazz. As if that couldn’t be enough of a party, the Aces are celebrating their tenth anniversary.
Friday, Saturday, August 9, 10
UnknownIllicit Sextet CD Release Party @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) This six-piece aggregation plays nothing but original tunes, which tend to be inspired by hard bop, bebop, and mainstream jazz. They’re a tight outfit, and their new CD “Chapter Eleven,” deserves to be played on every jazz station in the nation. 
Chris Speed Trio @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) This Brooklyn via Seattle reed player has been in the forefront of adventurous music for a couple of decades now. His groups cover a wide range of music, from Balkan inspired jazz, to chamber and ambient music. Lately, he’s been playing with the Dave King Trucking Company. King will be playing drums with Speed for this engagement, along with Chris Tordini on bass. 
Sunday, August 11
Barbara LeShoure

Barbara LeShoure

PipJazz @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 4pm ($10) Blues singer Barbara LeShoure is Pippi Ardennia’s guest today. Graduating members of the PipJazz Youth Orchestra will also be celebrated. 

For a more 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

Thursday, August 8
Tom Rush @ the Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($30,$40) Rush started performing at the blossoming of the folk music boom in 1960, when he was a student at Harvard. He went on to be among the first to record and perform songs by Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, and James Taylor, and had his 1968 composition, “No Regret” recorded by the Walker Brothers and Emmylou Harris. More recently, a video of his performance of “The Remember Song” has gone viral, gaining over 6 million views.  Here it is.
Friday, August 9
Mauilotus: the Marilyn Allsum Group @ Barton School, 4237 Colfax So, Mpls. 7:30pm ($15 suggested donation) This sounds like a very interesting evening. Marily Allsum, vocals, flute; David Wolfe, Santoor Persian Harp; Mike Hurley, drums, percussion; and Charles Fletcher, bass; bring together both Eastern and Western instruments and styles to create a unique sound. In addition to the aforementioned instruments, they play piano, Chinese Harp, Indian Tablas, Tibetan Singing Bowls, African Udu (drums) and other instruments to create unique acoustic music.
The mysterious Mr. Lawson

The mysterious Mr. Lawson

Charlie Lawson’s Mystery Combo @ Palmer’s Bar, Minneapolis.  9pm. (No Cover) Mr. Lawson brings together a number of his blues-playing pals, including Curtis Blake on harp, for an evening of various kinds of blues, from shuffles to rockers.

Saturday, August 10
Lowertown Guitar Festival @ Mears Park, Saint Paul. Noon – 10pm (Free) Here’s a new twist on a festival – Ten guitarists in ten different styles, ranging from the fingerpicking of Pat Donahue, to the Brazilian stylings of Joan Griffith, and the cross-genre inventiveness of Dean Magraw, to national artists like Marc Ribot and Scott Henderson. Complete schedule and information here.
Marcia Ball @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($30) As a pianist, Ms Ball calls on the spirits of Professor Longhair and numerous boogie woogie players. Together with her singing, “Long Tall Marcia Ball” can turn even a joint as classy as the Dakota into a roadhouse. 
Unknown-2Jerermy Ylvisaker and Hot Rod @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm, 10pm (tip jar) This show is part of an art opening for an exhibit entitled “This Is Not Your Father’s Radio,” by Robin Rife’. Ylvisaker is one of a group of musicians who have worked with each other in various, always interesting, groups such as Andrew Bird, Dosh, and Alpha Consumer. As a guitarist and songwriter, he favors clean lines and memorable melodies. He’ll play solo at 8ish and be joined by Michael Lewis on bass (yes, the saxophonist from Fat Kid Wednesdays), and Adrian Suarez on drums at 10pm. 
Sunday, August 11
Lakestock @ Lions Park, White Bear Lake. 1pm – 6pm. Here’s a chance to see a number of bands and help support efforts to restore White Bear Lake to its normal levels. Besides a speaker or two, and food and beverages, there will be five bands playing next to Admiral Ds: The Sydney Moore Band, Creedence Clearwater Survival (guess what they play); Billy McLaughlin, The 617 Band, and the newly reunited Free & Easy, the 70s funk band that was inducted into the MN Music Hall of Fame in 2008. Attendees are encouraged to wear 70’s attire. More info here. Get down, get funky, and get informed about water issues. 
Golden State Lone Star Revue @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25)  Some Texas and California musicians get together to play the blues and have a good time, including Anson Funderburgh (Anson & the Rockets) and Little Charlie Baty (Little Charlie and the Nightcaps) on guitars, Mark Hummel, harp; RW Grigsby, bass; and Wes Starr, drums. Gonna be some hootin’ and hollerin’ tonight. Here’s Hummel on harp.
For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar

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