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.

Jazz

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.


Dancing in the Streets, Parks, and Clubs. Music: 6.4 – 6.10

June 4, 2014
The Lyn-Lake Street Festival a couple of years ago.

The Lyn-Lake Street Festival a couple of years ago.

Music lifts your spirit, especially when dancing. Outdoor festivals will surely break out in dancing, whether to rock n’ roll, funk, or big bands. However, those of you who prefer the indoors, or simply listening, will have plenty of opportunities to indulge yourselves.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 4

Happy Spirits @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Anthony Cox curates first Wednesdays at JC, and tonight he’s bringing in one of his own bands. Happy Spirits will be playing contemporary jazz inspired by electric Miles, Primetime Ornette, and David Holland’s Prism. The band will include Soloman Parham, trumpet; Peter Schimke, keys; Kevin Washington, drums; and Anthony Cox on bass and cello.

Thursday, June 5

Joyce Lyons @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Lyons, who moved to the Twin Cities a few years ago, has sung all over the country, and even for the Supreme Court.  Her singing seems straightforward, yet her interpretation of classic standards shows nuance, as well as an understanding of the words and the emotions behind them.

Friday, June 6

JT Bates Organ Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The versatile drummer Bates, gets together with Kevin Gasonguey on B3, and Zacc Harris on guitar, who is no stranger to B3 trios himself.

Unknown-3Vicky Mountain @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm  (No Cover) Vicky is a well-known and well-appreciated singer and educator who is equally comfortable scatting bebop, singing the Great American Songbook, or providing a new interpretation to the lyrics of rock n’ roll chestnuts. Well worth hanging out at the lounge of this D’Amico restaurant.

 

What Would Monk Do @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) This is the fifth year of performing for this quartet, featuring Peter Schimke, piano; Billy Peterson, bass; Steve Kenny, trumpet; and Kenny Horst, drums. It’s the first public performance for Horst since the closing of the Artists’ Quarter. As usual, this high-powered quartet will present both well-known and obscure tunes by Thelonious Monk as well as Monk-inspired compositions by Steve Kenny and Kenny Horst.

Fall of the House of Usher @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) A octet of jazz musicians playing groove music: Afrobeats; 70s Psychedelic Miles, New Orleans funk, and 80s No Wave, among others. Christopher Cunningham, guitar; Chis Bates, bass; Greg Schutte, drums; Jon Davis, clarinets; Nelson Deveraux, saxes; Adrian Larkin, alto; Elliott Wachs, baritone sax; and Ivan Cunningham, alto.

Friday, Saturday, June 6, 7

Dave King Trucking Company @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($10 advance/$12 door) I could probably highlight a different Dave King group each month for a year if the groups in which he’s a founder and/or major player performed enough. As it is, for two nights, King and Co. will be turning up the heat at the Icehouse with ferocious, sonically dense music from Chris Speed & Brandon Wozniak, saxes; Eric Fratzke, guitar; Adam Linz, bass; and King on drums and cymbals.

Sunday, June 8

24th Annual Jazz on the Prairie Festival @ Staring Lake Amphitheater, Eden Prairie, 2pm – 8pm. (Free) Here’s a chance to fully sate your need to hear big bands. Starting at 2pm, the Bend in the River Big Band takes the stage, followed hourly by the Just Friends Big Band, The Good News Big Band, The River City Jazz Orchestra, The ACME Jazz Company, and host Jazz on the Prairie Big Band. Ribs will be available to ease your hunger pangs. More information on location and parking can be found at: http://www.jazzontheprairie.com/jazzfestival.aspx

Firebell @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 4pm – 6pm (Tip Jar) Park Evans, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums, perform Park’s originals as well as jazz standards for a Sunday afternoon.

Emily Bear @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Quincy Jones is producing this 12-year old, whose talent as a piano player far outstrips her years – she’s already written over 350 songs, and has performed at the Montreaux Jazz Festival, the White House, Carnegie Hall, and on numerous TV shows. She’s also showing promise as a singer. Here she is at Montreaux.

Monday, June 9

Mary Louise Knutson Trio w/Debbie Duncan @ Crowne Plaza Hotel Regency Room, 3131 Campus Drive, Plymouth. 7pm – 8:15pm. (Free) This performance is part of the Minnesota Music Teachers Association Convention, but is open to the public and free. Joining pianist Knutson will be bassist Chris Bates, and drummer Greg Schutte. Debbie Duncan will join the Trio mid-way through the set.

Adam Rossmiller @ Jazz Central, Minnepolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested Donation) Trumpeter Rossmiller plays with the Jack Brass Band, Mambo’s Combo, Snowblind, and several other groups, including the occasional tour with Doc Severinson. He’s played with the JC trio before, so I expect this will be a relaxed, swingin’ set.

Tuesday, June 10

A Chris Olson Project @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Olson is on the faculty at McNally Smith, and also teaches at MacPhail and the Shell Lake Jazz Camp during summer months. He may be best known for his work in the trio Framework, with Chris Bates and Jay Epstein, where his clean lines shine through. Each month at the  Black Dog he’s joined by a special guest.

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, June 4

7632Joe & Vicki Price on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) These Delta-inspired blues artists make their home in Northern Iowa, and lucky for us, make regular trips to the Twin Cities to appear in a number of venues over the course of the week. Joe & Vicki kick off this month’s semi-residency with an appearance on Harold’s House Party during the 5pm hour, then head over to the 331 Club to perform from 7pm – 9pm.

Thursday, June 5

Todd Clouser @ The 318 Club, Wayzata. 8pm ($10) Minnesota born, educated in NYC, and living in Mexico City, guitarist/composer Clouser plays jazz with a number of artists, and leads his own A Love Electric, yet doesn’t fit into a neat jazz category, since his playing and writing reveal rock and other influences as well. Tonight he’ll be playing solo at this intimate west metro coffeehouse with wine & beer.

Jacox, Mosher, Wells, & Bobby E @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 1pm (Tip Jar) Maurice Jacox, vocalist extraordinaire, has been doing a few gigs with guitarist Bobby E and Tom Wells on tuba. As might be expected with musicians of this calibre, the results have been entertaining and enlightening. Now they’re adding Cathy Mosher, a long-time singing partner of Bobby E to the mix. Add in the cozy, low-key confines of Dusty’s and you have an intimate evening of music.

Friday, June 6

Willie Murphy & the Angel-Headed Hipsters and Chris Holm @ the Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($6) Jackson Buck of KFAI presents another Freewheelin’ Friday. This one features the legendary Willie Murphy and his band, playing their unique blend of blues, R&B and rock n’ roll. Chris Holm, of 4 on the Floor and the Fattenin’ Frogs, will play some blues to open. There’ll be a food truck, of course, and the weather should allow for opening the warehouse doors and spreading the music outside. Here’s Murphy:

Playing for Change @ O’Shaughnessy Auditorium, Saint Paul. 7pm ($35, $40, $60) This is a very successful high-concept band, brought together with the idea of inspiring and bringing peace to the world through music. Its ten musicians come from New Orleans, The Netherlands, South Africa, Congo, Japan, Zimbabwe, Los Angeles, Cuba, and Israel. They’ve played major festivals on four continents and opened for Robert Plant throughout Australia.

Saturday, June 7

Figuring out consensually agreed-upon areas

Figuring out consensually agreed-upon areas

Dirty Curls CD Release, w/The Beavers @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 9pm. Courtney McClean’s “Naughtybilly” band puts the blue in bluegrass. They play fast and loose with double and triple entendres, even winkingly using a single entendre or two to sing about lust and love. The all-female Beavers (that’s the name they chose) start things out with more blue/newgrass at 10pm, but attendees are encouraged to show up early to chat and, to quote Ms McClean, “give the Curls a squeeze in a consensually-agreed upon area of our bodies.” Definitely 21+.

Sunday, June 8

Chastity Brown, The Ericksons, & Molly Maher w/Eric Koskinen @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11am (No Cover) An Americana brunch with the folk blues of Chastity Brown; the close, sisterly harmonies of the Ericksons; and the country-rock of Molly Maher, w/guitarist/soinger/composer Eric Koskinen.

Lyn-Lake Street Fest @ Lyndale & Lake, Minneapolis. noon – 7pm. (Free) The outdoor festival season is well upon us, and today we have a chance to experience a variety of music starting with the children’s music of Adam Levy’s Bunny Clogs at noon, followed at 1pm by Ashley Gold; Ginko at 2pm; Toki Wright & Big Cats at 3; Dosh at 4; Rogue Valley at 5; and concluding with the Secret Stash Soul Revue at 6pm.

Sambanova @ Saint Paul Central Library, Saint Paul. 2pm (Free) Brazil has given us a number of highly rhythmic, often sensual music styles. Two terrific guitarists, Joan Griffith, and Sam Militch, will explore explore them.

Ladies Sing the Blues @ Roseville Central Park, 2540 N. Lexington, Roseville. 4pm (free) Here’s an afternoon of blues from Lady J. Griot & her Root Doctors, and the Groove Merchants, featuring Jimi Prime Time Smith, and the “Duchess of the Blues,” Dee Miller. The C-Notes will make a special appearance as well.

Monday, June 9

The Secret Someones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12) This NYC includes three singer/songwriters and a drummer/multi-instrumentalist. The singers, Bess Rogers, Lelia Broussard, and Hannah Winkler, create sunny harmonies reminiscent of the Bangles & Bananarama, and with the solid support of drummer Zach Jones, the group’s catchy music is, to borrow a phrase, pure pop for now people. See for yourself.

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.


Twin Cities Talent (Mostly). Music: 10.23 – 10.29

October 23, 2013
It's the time of the season

It’s the time of the season

As Autumn’s colors brighten and fade, we have the luxury of many venues offering the fine talents of Twin Cities Artists. There are a few visiting artists this week, but mostly in larger venues. By the way, you may notice I’ve been listing many events at the Artists’ Quarter. Their announcement that they may have to close at the end of the year has brought some sense of dismay to many jazz fans. I know the Mayor’s office is working to come up with a plan, and other jazz fans are as well. In the meantime, visit the club – it can only help –  especially on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights, when very talented Twin City musicians are featured. So much for a soap box. Have a good week, and remember that music lifts the soul.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 23

UnknownGraydon Peterson Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) One of the first-call bassists in the Twin Cities, Peterson is also proving to be a fine composer and arranger. He’s put together this unique quartet to share his music: Vinnie Rose, guitar, Adam Meckler, trumpet, Adrian Suarez, drums.

Thursday, October 24

Pippi Ardennia CD Release Listening Party @ Faces, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 9:30pm (No cover) Pippi Ardennia is the joyful singer who puts her her signature on jazz and R&B tunes while being  backed by many of the Twin Cities best on her new CD, Love So Good 2. While the acoustics of the performance space in Faces leaves something to be desired, Pippi is having a listening party in a separate room. You can hear my October 19 interview with her on the KFAI archives at: http://kfai.org/rhythmandgrooves

Davu Seru & Friends @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm. Seru’s an imaginative time-keeper and percussionist, and he’s got some highly inventive friends: With Marc Anderson, percussion; Scott Fultz and Nathan Hanson, saxes; and Brian Roessler, bass.

Chris Lomheim Trio @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Lomheim may be a devotee of pianist Bill Evans, but he’s his own man when it comes to creating melodic and sensitive solos, whether he’s accompanying a vocalist or leading his own trio, as he is tonight.

Friday, October 25

Gypsy Mania @ The 318 Club, Excelsior. 8pm ($10) Folks in the Western burbs can hear some great gypsy jazz while enjoying the beer, wine, and food offerings of the 40-seat 318 Club. You’d be hard pressed to find any Twin Cities artists who can swing the music of Django Rheinhart and others as well as Glen Helgeson, guitar; Gary Schulte, violin; Reynold Phillipsek, guitar; Jeff Brueske, bass.

Friday, Saturday, October 25, 26

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Source Code @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) You’d be paying at least $25 and have a two-drink minimum to hear Gravatt in other clubs around the country. In stints with Weather Report, McCoy Tyner, and Joe Henderson, he’s shown himself to be a monster drummer, capable of nuance and thunder. Source Code includes a quartet of highly talented musicians: Dave Graf, trombone; Solomon Parham, trumpet; Dean Magraw, guitar; and Ron Evanuik, bass. Here’s an earlier version of the group.

Saturday, October 26

Unknown-1JoAnn Funk Trio @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul 7pm – 11pm (No Cover) JoAnn and bassist Jeff Brueske are joined by Nathan Norman on drums for a special night of jazz. JoAnn’s winsome and airy voice does justice to songs by Nat King Cole, Dan Penn, Blossom Dearie, and others.

Benny Weinbeck Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Weinbeck on piano, Gordy Johnson on bass, and Phil Hey on drums provide classy, swingin’ jazz to the Italian restaurant lounge.

Monday, October 28

Trirose @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) A late night happy hour, and the jazz of Vinnie Rose, guitar; Jeremy Boettcher, bass; and Adrian Suarez, on drums. They’ll deliver classic jazz standards, contemporary pop, and originals, while you try the wine and appetizers of Barbette.

Tuesday, October 29

imagesRick Carlson @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) With the taste and timing of Count Basie, and a hat full of musical ideas, Carlson in a pianist that’s in demand around the Twin Cities. I don’t know if he’ll be solo or have a bassist and drummer, but whatever he plays, you will enjoy.

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Modern big-band jazz, under the direction of trumpeter Meckler, who creates originals and arrangements that showcase the best of this band.

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 23

Unknown-2HIlary Thavis & Jim Ouska on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapoils. 5pm (KFAI), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar).  Thavis is a Minnesota-born, Italy-based blues singer, who has previously appeared on Harold’s House Party with her husband and musical partner as Gaia Groove. Ouska is a talented guitarist who is equally at home in jazz, blues, and acoustic music. Check them out during the 5 o’clock hour at 90.3 or 106.7 FM and then head over to the 331 Club to hear them in person.

Thursday, October 24

And the Professors CD Release @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. ($12) 7:30pm You may have read about Adam Levy’s latest project, an organic band of both rockers and classical string players, in the Star Tribune. The project has been a three-year collaboration, with Levy and the group drawing inspiration from Charles Ives, Randy Newman, and Beck, among others. Joining Levy’s band tonight are: Joey Van Phillips, Aby Wolf, deVon Gray), Bethany Larson, and members of the MN Opera. Opening are Ben Rosenbush and the Brighton, and Farewell Continental. Here’s an example of how they fully integrate strings into their performance.

Fode Bangoura @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm (Donation) A rare turn from jazz to world music for Jazz Central, though jazz drummers will no doubt be in attendance.  Bangoura is one of the world’s  greatest djembe drummers – that’s the goblet shaped drum played with the hands. Although he tours internationally, Bangoura is relatively unknown in the Twin Cities, where he currently lives. He’ll be appearing with Guinean drummers FaraTolno and Mandjou Mara, and Fode’s teenage son Fara, who is already a virtuosic drummer.

Chic Gamine @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) A female quartet that uses three-part backing harmonies over 21st century melodies and lyrics, accompanied only accompanied by percussion, for the most part. Sometimes girl-group, sometimes gospel, often intoxicating. Here’s an example.

Friday, October 25

Unknown-3RAMM Band @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Guitarist Paul Mayasich heads up this trio, with Paul Iden, bass; and Hye Pockets Robertson on drums. RAMM stands for Real American Made Music, as the band interprets Motown, R&B, funk, Americana, rock n’ roll, and blues.

Nikki & the Ruemates @ Dusty’s Bar, NE Minneapoils. 9:30pm (tip jar) This hole-in-the-wall provides a friendly setting for Nikki & her pals, as they play original blues, folk-rock, and the occasional psychedelic number. Jon Larson on bass, and Rich Rue on slide guitar, provide the perfect foundation for Nikki’s guitar and beautifully formed vocals. Check them out.

Hipshaker @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) This rare soul/funk 45rpm dance party is going strong. Get there early if you want to stake out a place to hang. Get there late if you want to watch scads of folk dancing themselves into a frenzy.

Saturday, October 26

Lowertown Boos Crawl and Costume Contest @ various Lowertown venues, Saint Paul. 7pm – Midnight. For $20 bucks you get a passport for a different drink at each of the participating Lowertown venues – Black Dog, Bulldog, Hat Trick, Senor Wong, Barrio, Golden’s Deli, and The Gopher Bar. There will be various costume contests and entertainment, including Gnarl’s chamber/jamband/jazz at The Black Dog, DJ Del Phinius at Senor Wong, and Scrapegoat’s folk-rock at the Hat Trick. Complete info at: http://blackdogstpaul.com/events/news-175.shtm

John Beach Trio @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – Midnight. (Tip Jar) Beach has been a mainstay of the West Bank Blues and R&B scene for over fifty years. He’s played piano with Bonnie Raitt, Willie & the Bees, the Mill City Hearts, Three Bedroom Rambler, and Blackburn Beach and at numerous jams and private functions, including the wedding reception for Liz and I. Though this is a trio gig, John has lots of friends, and who knows who may drop by and sit in.

Mama Digdown’s Brass Band @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) It’s a brass band night headlined by the Madison octet. They’ll be joined by the Kidd Jordan Second Line, and the Sousaphonic Five. Oh, and they will be free barbecue from 612 ‘Cue. Here’s a video of Mama Digdown playing for an Obama rally.

Tuesday, October 29

Courtney McClean & the Dirty Curls @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) X-rated bluegrass comedy, with songs about young boyfriends and ladyparts, all delivered with a smile and a wink by potty-mouthed McClean. With the Beavers and Daphne Lee Martin.

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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