Monk and More: 10.11 – 10.17

October 11, 2017

This week’s selection of music around town features a couple of events celebrating the music of Thelonious Monk, pictured on a Time magazine cover from the early 60s. The pioneering pianist has inspired musicians of all stripes (Terry Adams, of NRBQ, released an album of his music recently). We also have a number of visiting musicians from around the country, and solid contributions to our culture from resident musicians. Remember: Music Lifts Your Spirit

Jazz

Wednesday, Oct 11

Chick Corea/Steve Gadd Sextet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, ($75, $90, $100), 9pm ($65, $80, $90) As I wrote last week, Holy Buckets, what a group! Besides Corea on keyboards, and Gadd, who has played on hundred of albums, on drums, we have Lionel Louecke, last seen here at the MN Zoo with Herbie Hancock, as well as bassist Carlitos del Puerto, an original member of pioneering cuban group Irakere, saxophonist Steve Wilson, and Argentine percussionist Luisto Quintero.

Thursday, Oct 12

Minnesota Jazz Orchestra @ Wabasha Street Caves, Saint Paul. 7pm ($8 – Cash Only) It’s Swing Night at the Wabasha Street Caves and the big band sounds of the MJO will have neophytes and veterans twirling partners and holding them close on the slow songs. Dance lesson starts at 6:15.

Friday, Oct 13

Craig Russo Latin Jazz w/Doug Little @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9:00pm ($10) Percussionist/drummer Craig Russo and saxophonist/flautist Doug Little have both traveled to Cuba to study the islands music and rhythms. Russo has worked with Little’s group Charanga Tropical, some of whose members will fill out the rest of tonight’s group. Here’s what they sound like.

Davu Seru’s No Territory Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) For the second Illicit Workshop Production at Jazz Central we have percussionist/drummer Seru, who put together this band a year or so ago to play his own original compositions. His co-conspirators in the band include Pat O’Keefe, clarinet; Nathan Hanson, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; and Levi Schwartzberg, vibes.

Saturday, Oct 14

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Featuring Sophia Shorai at 7pm, and Firebell at 8:30pm. Vocalist Shorai can communicate heartache and joy with her sweet, yet-somtimes-vulnerable voice. Firebell will bring on the heat with Park Evans, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums.

Ron Evaniuk Trio featuring Eric Gravatt @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) Bassist Ron Evaniuk plays with the Classic Jazz Orchestra, the JazzMN Orch, and his own quartet, in addition to his long-standing work as part of Source Code. Source Code’s lead, Eric Gravatt is on the drum kit tonight, so no matter who the third member of the trio is, there will be musical fireworks.

Laura Caviani w/Karrin Allyson: 100 Years of Thelonious Monk @ The Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hopkins. 8pm ($25) Pianist Laura Caviani worked a lot with vocalist Karrin Allyson during the years that Allyson lived in the Twin Cities. Tonight, Allyson will be a special guest in celebrating the music of Thelonious Monk, whose 100th birth anniversary was a few days ago. Caviani has even recruited a new trio for this project: Chris Bates on bass; and Dave Schmalenberger on drums. They’ve recorded a CD featuring brand new arrangements of Monk’s music, which will be available after the performance. Here’s Laura and a previous trio doing a Monk tune.

Sunday, October 15

Joey Alexander Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm, 8pm ($35, $45, $50) Fourteen-year old pianist Joey Alexander is also honoring Monk, with a surprise release of Joey. Monk. Live!  If you didn’t catch him at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival in June, you can get to hear him tonight, and wonder how a fourteen-year old can have such talent.

John Raymond @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley, 7pm ($15) Trumpeter Raymond is originally from the Twin Cities. He has collaborated with musicians such as Billy Hart, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Orrin Evans, Linda Oh, and Ethan Iverson, among others. Hislatest album, Real Feels has received critical acclaim from the New York Times, Downbeat Magazine and others

Monday, Oct 16

Sam Miltich & Friends @ Crooner’s Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley, 7pm (No Cover, but $10 will guarantee a seat stage-side) Miltich is a self-taught guitarist from the woods of Northern Minnesota who broke out as a member of the Hot Club of San Francisco, before forming his own band, the Clearwater Hot Club. He’s toured extensively, and has backed folks like Connie Evingson, Charmin Michelle, and the Dutch violin master Tim KlipHuis. No matter what friends he brings on stage, the results are always swinging and satisfying. Here he is with some of his friends.

Tuesday, Oct 17

Lawrence University Factulty Ensemble @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6:30pm ($30) Here’s a chance for young musicians to check out the jazz faculty at Lawrence University. Jazz fans of any age are sure to enjoy this show, which features musicians with vast resumes in jazz, pop, and R&B. There will be special guest performances by two alumni: Laura Caviani and Adam Meckler. For more information and tickets:  http://www.lawrence.edu/conservatory/performance_series/faculty-jazz-quartet

 

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, Oct 11

Dustin Arbuckle on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Dustin Arbuckle, of Alligator recording artists Moreland and Arbuckle, steps out with a side project he’s had for about seven years. The Haymakers’ influences range from Doc Watson, Johnny Cash, and Bill Monroe to Old & In the Way, the Byrds, Sonny Terry, and Gilliam Welch. I’ve a feeling this isn’t your grandparents bluegrass.

Thursday, October 12

New Orleans Suspects @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $35) So… what we have here is a collection of funky, funky, New Orleans musicians, including “Mean” Willie Green on drums; Charlie Wooten; Jake Eckert; CR Gruver; and Jeff Watkins. Between them, they’ve played with bands ranging from The Neville Brothers, to James Brown, and Leo Nocentelli, among others. Let the Good Times Roll!

Southside Aces @ The Eagles Club, #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) If you’re looking for some traditional New Orleans jazz that’s danceable, then look no further than this six-piece band: Robert Bell, guitar; Dave Michael, drums; Erik Jocobson, sousaphone; Zack Lozier, trumpet; Steve Sandberg, trombone; and leader Tony Balluff on clarinet.

Friday, October 13

Lone Star Revue @ The Hook & Ladder, Minnapolis. 7:30pm ($15 Advance/$20 Door) Grammy-nominated harpist Mark Hummel, is joined by ace guitarist Anson Funderberg, as well as guitarists Mike Keller (a Fargo native); bassist RW Grigsby; and drummer Wes Starr. Though Hummel and Funderberg may be the best known of these Texas bluesmen, Keller, Grigsby, and Starr have worked with the likes of The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Double Trouble, Jimmy Vaughan, Earl King, James Cotton, Carlene Carter, and more.

Crankshaft & The Gear Grinders @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) Call it stripped-down, revved-up rockabilly, call it punk blues, or, as bassist Keith Boyles tried to describe it, “It’s like psycho-billy swamp punk country blues”

Lonesome Dan Case Duo @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 5pm (Free) Well, Lonesome Dan has a partner for this late afternoon gig, though he still sings classic blues of the 20s and 30s like he was born to them.

Saturday, October 14

Blues Hall of Fame @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 5pm – 8pm ($15, $20) Annie Mack & Tom Kochle will perform from 4-5pm, before the awards show. The Minnesota Blues Society is once again honoring our own – resident musicians and others who keep the blues flame alive. This year’s inductees include Scottie Miller, Blues Performer; drummer Rob Stupka, sideman; Dee Miller & Jimi Primetime Smith for the blues song, Leopard Print Dress, and Willie Walker for the album If Nothing Ever Changes. There’s also a Legacy Award for Dave Ray, and awards for non-performers Sue McClean & Associates; KBEM, and “Famous” Dave Anderson. It’s a fun event with performances from some past & present winners. You might even stick around, since at 9pm Chicago Bluesman Toronzo Cannon will take the stage.

Big George Jackson @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Jackson’s big, brawny voice and solid harp playing should shake the timbers of this old bar. If you like blues that swaggers and has a hint of menace, you’ll be pleased when you stop in.

Monday, Oct 16

Candace @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7:30pm($10) This Portland trio’s sound is dense, mysterious, slightly psychedelic, and brooding. They started out in the Twin Cities as Is/Is in 2009 with members Sarah Rose, guitar, bass, moog, casio, vocals; Sarah Nienaber, guitar, bass, piano, vocals; and Mara Appel DesLauriers, drums, percussion, vocals. After Mara (the drummer) moved to Portland in 2011 the Sarahs performed and recorded with three different drummers, but decided in 2015 to move to Portland to reunite with Mara. They subsequently released New Future in 2016, rebranding themselves as Candace to acknowledge their new-found strength and outlook. Opening is Friendless Passenger and DJ Martha Weir.

Resist! A Group Sing Event @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Donation for a Local Non-Profit) This sounds intriguing, at least for those who lean towards resisting the actions of our country’s current administration. Resist! is a group singing event to share songs of resistance, protest, labor, and struggle. It occurs every 3rd Monday of the month.

Tuesday, Oct 17

Kline, Bergmark, & Abrahamson @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (TipJar) Zack Kline, violin; Krissy Bergmark, tabla; and Ben Abrahamson, nylon and 12 string guitars, bring a wide range of musical experience to this evening of (often) original music

For a quick look at what’s happening around town check out: the MN Blues Society calendar and the KBEM Calendar (covers jazz & roots): http://www.jazz88.fm/live-music-calendar/ For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.

You can find a fairly comprehensive list of links to venues that present Jazz, Blues, & Roots at this page on my website: https://rhythmandgrooves.net/twin-cities-music-venues/ Be aware that venues change their music policies often enough that it’s hard to stay current.

 

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Blues, roots, and all that jazz: 9.27 – 10.3

September 27, 2017

Well, I have found that I’m missing something in my life by not writing about who is appearing in town. I receive so much energy from music, that even writing about it is helpful, as is the good thoughts and vibes of friends and readers of this blog. So… I’m going to try to go back to a weekly blog. As James Brown declared in Get Up Offa That Thing, I’m Back! I hope to keep my descriptions short, and perhaps list fewer events. I’m not including videos at this time. We’ll see how it all goes. In the meantime, here’s some ideas for the next week

Jazz

Thursday, Sept 28

Mary Louise Knutson & Gordy Johnson @ Lexington’s Williamsburg Room, Saint Paul. 7pm – 11:30pm (No Cover) Businessmen, politicians, and Saint Paul Socialites have been meeting at the Lex for years. It now features jazz duos and trios on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Knutson’s warm and inventive piano playing will be accompanied by Gordy Johnson on bass.

Mari Harris & Bruce A. Henry @ Jazz Central, Minnapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Mari Harris is an award-winning singer/songrwriter, actress, and Speaker who has been often been seen performing with Pippi Ardennia. Bruce Henry is the former Twin Citizen who now lives in Chicago and has performed on five continents.

Friday, Sept 29

Jazz Alley Ella-Bration @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Jazz Alley is the group name for three fine vocalists – Maryann Sullivan, Sarah Greer, and Katia Cardenas – who will join forces with pianist Lori Dokken to celebrate the music of Ella Fitzgerald, whose centennial anniversary is this year.

Saturday, Sept 30

No Room For Squares @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) This is the Boom Island debut of this quintet, which was a hit at this years Twin Cities Jazz Festival. It includes veterans of the Twin Cities jazz scene including Jimmie (Jimmyapolis) Wallace, sax; Jon Pemberton, trumpet; Mikkel Romstad, piano; and Adam Tucker, bass

Mama Digdown’s Brass Band @ Vieux Carré,  Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) The New Orleans-themed Vieux is the perfect place for this heavyweight Brass Band from Madison who have managed to gain acceptance in New Orleans while incorporating both traditional brass band music and contemporary tunes into their playlist.

Leigh Kammen Classic Originals @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The Leigh Kamman Legacy Project and Pianist/vocalist Larry McDonough have teamed up for this special presentation on Tony Bennett, Bill Evans, and Leigh Kamman. McDonough and his trio will perform a set of the music of Bennett & Evans, followed by audio interviews of Kamman with Bennett and Evans. Afterwards there will be a second set of originals by the trio. Joining McDonough are Richard Terrill, saxes and poetry; and bassist Greg Stinson

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Tonights performances are by Trio 280: Joel Shapira, guitar; Erin Woods, drums; and Wes Roulle, organ, followed at 8:30 by the JC Sanford Quartet: Sanford, trombone; Zacc Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and JT Bates, drums.

Saturday, Sunday, Sept 30, Oct 1

Bacharach: All Saxed Up @ The Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm Saturday, 3PM Sunday ($25) Vocalist Patty Peterson and Cookie Coleman are joined by saxophonist Kathy Jensen, bassist Tony Axtell, and pianist Mary Louise Knutson to perform the music of Burt Bacarach.

Sunday, Oct 1

Zacc Harris Trio @ Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. Sundays, 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Zacc Harris, guitar; Matt Peterson, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums, have now been appearing at the Riverview on a weekly basis for 10 years. It’s  the longest running weekly jazz gig in the Twin Cities, but that doesn’t mean you should put off going to hear the trio. During the month of October, the band is celebrating by giving away copies of a limited release CD recorded live at the Riverview in earlier this year to customers during the month. This is always a fun, enjoyable gig.

Tuesday, October 3

Pat Mallinger & Bill Carrothers @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15) Two musicians who grew up and starting playing in the Twin Cities many years ago return for this inspired outing. Mallinger on sax, and Carrothers on piano seem to be returning to the cities a bit more than they have in the past, inspired, I’m sure by the warm, enthusiastic reception they get at the Dunsmore Listening Room.

Larry McDonough Quartet CD Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) The CD is entitled “Alice in Stonehenge and other AcoustElectric Adventures” and features the quartet: Larry McDonough, piano, compositions, and vocals; Richard Terrill, saxes and original poetry; Greg Stinson, bass; and Dean White, drums, with special guest, Steve Kenny, flumpet. The title tracks of the 2 volume CD (one is acoustic, the other is electric) are mash-ups of McDonough’s take on Bill Evans’ “Alice in Wonderland” and his re-arrangement of Spinal Tap’s “Stonehenge.”

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, as comprehensive calendar of jazz events as you’ll find

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, Sept 27

Junior Watson and Mitch Kashmar on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar)  “Left Coast” Blues from Harpist Mitch Kaschmar, who’s been around for a few decades, but didn’t make a splash until his 2005 debut, Nickels and Dimes, on Delta Groove Records. Since then he’s delivered a few more solid albums featuring his sometimes overdriven harp, courtesy of Little Walter’s influence, along with the fleet fingering and flexibility that he learned from William Clarke.  Junior Watson is a fine guitarist with whom Twin Citizens may be more familiar, as he’s visited us numerous times and in the past has played with the late Lynwood Slim. However, it’s ten years since the two have played in MN, so expect a hearty party. Tune in and head to the 331 Club if you like what you hear. If you can’t make it tonight, you’ve got another chance on Friday (see below).

Salsa del Soul @ Dayblock Brewing, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) This nine-piece band plays music from through the Latin regions of the Caribbean. With songs that range from Cha-Chas, to Timba, and of course, Salsa, they bring out lots and lots of dancers

Thursday, Sept 28

Black Uhuru @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minnapolis. 8pm ($25 Advance/$30 Door) Derrick “Duckie” Simpson the “Gong Gong Gullie” is the founder and leader for reggae’s Black Uhuru, and though other members of the trio have come and gone, he has managed to keep the group, and it’s distinctive sound, going for almost 50 years now. Aside from Bob Marley, Black Uhuru has the highest record sales in reggae, with14 full length albums, 7 instrumental dub albums, and 4 live albums

DL Cajun Band @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) With Louisiana Rhythms no longer broadcasting on KFAI, local fans of Southwest Louisiana music have to depend on liver performances by resident and visiting artists. Tonight such fans can spin, twirl, and two-step to Twin Cities favorites, the DL Cajun Band, purveyors of traditional Cajun music: Dough Lohman, guitar; Shawn Glidden, accordion; Marie Stier, fiddle; and Dawn Doering, triangle & snare.

Friday, September 29

Mitch Kashmar & Junior Watson @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm ($10) As long as they’re here, Kashmar & Watson are playing a few other gigs in the area, including this one at Wilebski’s.  Opening is the Paul Barry Blues Band with Lila Ammons.

Saturday, Sept 30

Annie Mack @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Vocalist Annie Mack has been tearing up the blues scene in town for a number of years, singing with other bands as well as her own. She is, however, more than a blues singer, as Living Blues Magazine put it, “In a blues world overrun with bad-mama posturing on one hand and hoochie-mama silliness on the other, it’s refreshing to hear a lyricist with deeper ideas on her mind.” Opening is the genre-bending duo The Salt Vine, featuring Jen Bluhm on vocals and ukelele; and Charles Jolly on guitar.

Mungion & Soap @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) Chicago-based jam band Mungion plays highly danceable rock. Minneapolis’ own Soap melds psychedelic funk (is there such a thing?) with danceable rock. Think in terms of a combination of Led Zeppelin and P.Funk.

Silvertones @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) When I just want to dance to songs of the 60s, I go out to hear the Silvertones, who are equally at home playing the music of The Ronettes as they are the music of Steppenwolf.

Sunday, Oct 1

Corpse Reviver @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 3pm – 5pm (Tip Jar) With the advent of Autumn, the members of Corpse Reviver once again take the afternoon stage at the 331 Club to play music from the classic Harry Smith Anthology of Folk Music. Members include: Mikkel Beckman, percussion; Jillian Rae, fiddle, and oftentimes, special guests.

Sunday, Monday, Oct 1,2

The Combo @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) Be prepared to dance as the Combo (aka Mambo’s Combo) brings the groove to the North Loop. They’ve been playing this weekly gig for 30 years, covering rhythmic rock and R&B tunes with panache and grit. Visiting and resident musicians will often sit in for a tune or two.

In the meantime you can find a fairly comprehensive list of links to venues that present Jazz, Blues, & Roots at this page on my website: https://rhythmandgrooves.net/twin-cities-music-venues/ Be aware that venues change their music policies often enough that it’s hard to stay current. For a quick look at what’s happening around town check out: The Minnesota Blues Society: http://www.mnbs.org/gigs.html and the City Pages Concert Calendar: http://www.citypages.com/concerts


Music, Music: 7.5 – 7.11

July 5, 2017

I hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th. Once again we have a great combination of visiting and resident artists performing in our fair Twin Cities. Here are just a few of the many music offerings over the next week. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 5

Maud Hixson @ Vieux Carré,  Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Here’s Ms Hixson in a slightly different musical setting than we usually see this warm, compelling vocalist. Though often accompanied by a pianist, tonight she’ll be accompanied by guitarist David Singley and bassist Kent Saunders as she sings songs from the Great American Songbook and more.

Radio Joe & the Jazzbos @ Mancini’s, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (No Cover) Grab yourself one of the big red booths, and get out on the dance floor as guitarist/vocalist Joe Demko, aka Radio Joe, and his crew pay homage to the music of Tony Bennett and Diana Krall.

Thursday, July 6

Acme Jazz Company, w/Arne Fogel @ Crooners’ Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Though it’s name may evoke Road Runner cartoons, this aggregation is anything but your every day band. The Acme Jazz Company had a regular gig here during previous incarnations of the club, and still sounda exciting. Added bonus: Crooner Arne Fogel.

Lavelle Jazz Cats Little Big Band @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) With seven horns, a rhythm section  and vocalist, the Lavelle Jazz Cats perform classic tunes by Basie, Sinatra, Ella, Dean Martin, Miles, Sonny Rollins, Ellington, and more, included more recent works by Michael Buble, Harry Connick Jr, and others.

Pool Party” @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) With three adventurous musicians: JT Bates, drums; Jacqueline Ultan, cello; and Chris Cunningham, guitar. The Pool Party is described as: “a randomized number of improvisors are selected at random from a selected pool to converge on a selected Thursday.”

Friday, July 7

Illicit Sextet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) This composer’s collective always has interesting, well executed musical ideas. The evening has the aptly ironic title of The Greatest Hits. Members of the band are: Paul Harper, saxophones; Chris Lomheim, Piano; Nathan Norman, Drums; Dave Roos, Guitar; Tom Pieper, Bass; and Steve Kenny, Flumpet. Here’s an old video.

BZ3 Organ Trio @ The Mudd Room, 1352 Highway 13, Mendota. 8pm (No Cover) The Mudd Room is a new “speakeasy” located under Lucky’s 13 in the village of Mendota. Enter through the street and you have to pick up a phone to get the entry code. Or you can go into Lucky’s and use either a staircase or elevator to get to the stonewall lined room. It’s a long narrow room, so sit up front to better hear the band. Tonight it’s Brian Zimniek, organ; Troy Norton, guitar; and Kevin Washington on drums. They swing, they groove.

Saturday, July 8

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Headlining at 8:30pm is a band whose members exhibit sheer joy at playing together – Chris Bates’ Good Vibes TrioBates, bass; Phil Hey, drums; Dave Hagedorn, vibes. Opening – The Cole Mahlum Quartet: Mahlum, guitar; Ted Olson, bass; Will Kjeer, piano; Miguesl Hurtado, drums.

Sunday, July 9

Parisota Hot Club @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. ($6) 8pm – 10pm Guitarist Robb Henry leads this collective of musicians who play Hot Jazz, or as it’s sometimes known, gypsy jazz. Founded in 2002, they were the first group in the area to concentrate on the music of Django Rheinhardt and Stephane Grapelli. However, they play more than the acoustic swing standards of the 30s and 40s, sprinkling their repertoire with occasional Beatles songs, as well as more contemporary fare. Tonight, they’ll be in trio format.

Monday, July 10

Teri Roiger @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10 – $35w/Dinner) NYC vocalist Roiger was at the Dunsmore Room last June and provided a great evening of music. Her singing has been cooled “smooth but heady,” (All About jazz), “powerfully moving: and impressively deep (JazzTimes), and “made for those who still understand the meaning of the term the real thing” (Stanley Crouch). Roiger can express much with the slightest turn of a phrase, and has a voice that sounds wonderful in the listening environment of the Dunsmore Room. She’ll be celebrating the release of Shades of Lady Day, a collection of tunes associate with Ms Holiday. With husband John Menegon, bass; Phil Aaron, piano; and Phil Hey, drums.

Fuzzy Math @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9:30pm (No Cover) One of the few jazz groups that play the Amsterdam, Fuzzy Math has been called “best jazz act for people bored with jazz” in a Best of MN listing. They play original material as well as creative covers.

Tuesday, Wednesday July 11, 12

Connie Evingson Sings Ellington @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20 – $45w/Dinner) Given that she performs quite regularly in the area, it’s easy to forget that vocalist Evingson has appeared at festivals and venues around the nation and in Europe and Japan. She’s been a guest artist at Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis, Michael Feinstein and Vince Giordano, Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, the Minnesota Orchestra and Toronto Symphony conducted by Doc Severinsen, the JazzMN Orchestra and Vocalessence, among others. Her ten CDs have all charted in the top 50. Whether singing the songs of Peggy Lee, Django Rheinhardt, The Beatles, Dave Frishberg, or Norman Gimbel, her slightly smoky, always articulate voice is always a delight. The intimate Dunsmore Room is a perfect place to hear her, as she’s accompanied by Jon Weber, piano, Dave Karr, sax; and Gordy Johnson, bass.

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, July 5

The Two Shoes on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) To understand the name, you have to recall the Guys All Star Shoe Band from the old Prairie Home Companion. Mandolinit Richard Kriehn and guitarist Pat Donohue were both long time members of the band, so their interaction will undoubtedly be as close as two peas in a pod.

Dustbowl Revival @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25-$35) So here’s a new term I’ve seen, that’s actually pretty good at describing the eight-piece  Dustbowl Revival – Americana Swing. Using a couple of horns, tougher with acoustic guitars and a fiddle, not to mention a take-no-prisoners attitude, they give a mighty kick to country blues, early jazz, folk, and originals.W/Jack Klatt Opening.

Thursday,July 6

Graveyard Club @ Music in Mears, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Free) This quartet got their start a few years back recording their first album in a 19th Century Summit Avenue mansion that was possibly haunted. Some of the houses creaks and sounds were incorporated into the recording, which got quite a bit of airplay in Europe. Their synth-laden sounds harken back to the the 80s and the recordings of New Order and the Cure. Candid Kid opens, and food trucks will be on hand.

Bill Kirchen @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($18 Advance/$20 Door) Guitarist Bill Kirchen is a Master of the Telecaster, to use a somewhat cliched term, but in this case it’s well deserved for this artist who performs hot rod and truck-driving songs that he calls “Dieselbilly” music. We first heard of him back in the early 70s when his lightning licks propelled Hot Rod Lincoln, by Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen. Nowadays, he often uses the song to show off a number of styles, from Les Paul to Jimi Hendrix.

Lowland Lakers, Mother Banjo, and Jillian Rae @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Here you have three bands fronted by women of substance, performing traditional folk, bluegrass, and Americana, as well as originals. Jillian Rae opens at 9:30, followed by Mother Banjo at 10:30, and the Lowland Lakers at 11:30.

Friday, July 7

Selby Avenue Brass Band @ Rhythm in Rice, Rice Park, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm (Free) The Selby Avenue Brass Band play raucous “street music” made for second-line dancing. They’ll have special guest vocalists Thomasina Petru and Maurice Jacox along to help. Opening is Pippi Ardennia & the Pip Jazz All-Stars.

Paul Barry & the Ace Tones and Squishy Mud @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Two of the best from the Battle of the Bands, conducted to get an opening spot at the Lowertown Blues and Funk Festival later this summer.

Saturday, July 8

The Drifters @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($22 – $57) If you want to hear the hits of The Drifters  a group that had at least five different lead singers during its heyday, then this will be a rewarding experience. Thanks to a string of hits during the 50s and 60s, the Drifters were the first African American group to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Don’t expect to hear any of the original members, however. After all, many of them have passed or retired. You can read the story of the multiple Drifters groups at the link above. The Drifters name was always owned by music entrepreneur George Treadwell, who has managed to keep groups performing under the name, so no matter who is in the group, you’ll hear the hits. Here’s what you might hear.

Jennifer Grimm @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, but $10 to Guarantee seat) Ms Grimm is a talented singer who is equally at home on a theater stage of in a bar. Either way, she’s an engaging performer, and with her family and friends, provides a highly entertaining evening, as she proved she could do in a long-time weekly residency at the old Manitou Station in White Bear Lake.

Sunday, July 9

Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 5pm – 7pm (No Cover) Charangas, danzons, and salsa for a late afternoon Sunday.

Los Texmaniacs @ The Dakota, Minnapolis. 7pm ($25, $30, $40) Los Texmaniacs have been anointed the New Kings of Tex-Mex, by no less than Flaco Jimenez, of The Texas Tornados and numerous other groups. Founder Max Baca (bajo sexton and vocals) has participated in eleven Grammy winning projects.

Dan Chouinard w/Maria Jette @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15 – $40w/Dinner) Dan Chouinard’  Birthday Club series brings the keyboardist together with various guest vocalists to toast musical birthdays and anniversary of  the month. Tonight’s guest is soprano Maria Jette  whose repertoire ranges from baroque classics to Tin PanAlley. The two have worked together many times, so close musical communication, as well as witty repartee, will be on exhibit. Added bonus: Revenue will go to Center for Victims of Torture

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.


Back in the Saddle: 6.14 – 6.20

June 14, 2017

Taken on a different vacation by Andrea Hjelm. The first time on horseback in 30 years.

Well, I’m back in the saddle again, so to speak, after a brief interruption in posting when my vacation was involuntarily extended. All is good, and I’m looking forward to a week of great music from both visiting and resident artists. This Sunday is Father’s Day and that means that the Stone Arch Festival will be taking place all weekend. Besides booths of art, crafts, and food, there are plenty of artists performing, in genres ranging from classic rock and punk, to Americana and C&W, to even a bit of jazz, but I have to admit I know only a few. A schedule of performers can be found here. Have a great week. Remember music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 14

Candy Dulfer @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45), 9pm ($30, $35, $40) This Dutch saxophonist has played with Maceo Parker, Aretha Franklin, Lionel Richie, mavis Staples, Beyonce, Van Morrison and more, and has been name-checked by Prince. She’s had several number 1 hits in the US, and is a big draw at festivals around the world.

Gary LaRue & the Rat Pack Band @ Mancini’s, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (No Cover) If ever there was a great spot to hear the music of Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, and other swinging cats from the 50s, it’s the lounge at Mancini’s.

Thursday, June 15

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Tonight it’s the Wayne Horvitz Group: Horvitz, keys; Josh Granowski, bass; Davu Seru, drums, a combination of musicians who celebrate adventurous music making.

Lucia Newell & The Wolverines Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Newell is a wonderful singer who is conversant in all manner of jazz and Brazilian music (she spent two years singing there). She only plays selected dates each year, so this is a perfect opportunity to hear her, especially since she’ll be backed by the swinging Wolverines Trio. Here she is in her Brazilian mode.

Friday, June 16

Adam Booker @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Bassist Booker put out a fine recording, Unraveled Rival, on Shifting Paradigm records in 2015.  He has an extensive history with Duluth groups such as The New Orleans Hot Club, the Jazz Pharaohs, the Asylum Street Spankers, and others. This is his last Twin Cities appearance. After teaching at UMN- Duluth for many years, he heading to Appalachian State University where he’ll be Assistant Professor of Double Bass at the Hayes School of Music. Joining him are Levi Schwarzberg, vibes; and Ben Baldwin, drums.

Kevin Washington Quintet @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. 6pm (Free) Drummer Washington is a master of rhythms, whether playing with Nachito Herrera, Viva Brazil or any of a number of jazz luminaries, such as Anthony Cox, Roscoe Mitchell, James Carter, Fred Wesley or the David Murray Big Band. He’ll undoubtedly have some Twin Cities luminaries in his quintet. Pippi Ardennia and the PipJazz All Stars open this summertime outdoor event.

Saturday, June 17

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) As is often the case, the evening starts with a young group. Drummer Simon Petrick, who is a member of this year’s Dakota Combo will be leading a group at 7pm. Then at 8:30pm it’s How Birds Work, a quartet started during the heyday of the Artists’ Quarter and featuring Dean Granros, guitar; Peter Schimke, keyboards, Chris Bates, bass, and Kenny Horst, drums. They play high-quality, demanding jazz from the likes of Coltrane, Shorter, Hancock, and more.

Joel Shapira CD Release @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (No Cover) Guitarist Shapira has had an every other week solo early gig at the Vieux for almost two years now, and has developed a bit of a following there, members of whom have asked for a solo CD. Well, he’s delivered. The CD, In Essence, contains some gems from the Great American Songbook as well as modern jazz classics by Coltrane, Miles, and Monk, including his third recording of Bemsha Swing. In a recent interview with Tom Surowicz for the Highland Villager, Shapira said, “It’s a challenge, reducing piano music to the guitar.” Shapira is more than up to it.

Sunday, June 18

Nancy Harms @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, 425; $40, $50 Dinner Show) Though not exposed to jazz until she attended college, Ms Harms, a Clara City, MN native performs as if born to the role of jazz singer. She has an innate sense of time and phrasing and an ability to imbue songs with just the right amount of humanity to fully tell each song’s story. She is a uniquely gifted performer who has established herself in NYC and Europe. Her shows here in town are always well-attended, if not sold out, so be forewarned that the Dunsmore Room only seats 80.

Regina Marie Williams @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm )$17 – $22) You may have seen Williams in any number of roles at the Guthrie, Penumbra, Park Square, and Mixed Blood theaters. She’s a fine actress – she’s won an Ivey Award, was named City Pages Best Actress of 2016, and received the McKnight Theater Artist Award. She is also a great songstress, who can whisper as well as soar, as attested by roles where she’s played Dinah Washington and Nina Simone.

Monday, June 19

Jane Bunnett & Maqueque @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) Canadian saxophonist Jane Bunnett has been nominated twice for a Grammy and received a number of Canada’s music awards. She went to Cuba back in 1982 and fell in love with the sensual, yet intricate rhythms of the island. She’d often use them with her contemporary jazz performances, and recently assembled an all-star cast of female Cuban musicians to form Maqueque. Their second album, Odara, was released last fall.

Adam Astrup @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (!0, $5 w/Student ID)Though newly graduated from high school, guitarist Astrup as been impressing audiences in various groups for a couple of years now, including the Dakota Combo and two or three groups of his own. Tonight he and members of his quintet will be playing originals. Members include: Nick Benish, bass; Andrew Tomten, Sax; Patrick Adkins, keys; and Simon Petrick, drums. Here he is in a trio setting.

JT’s Jazz Implosion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm. ($8) This long running weekly event, curated by drummer JT Bates, always features forward thinking artists, whether from the Twin Cities or beyond. Tonight features The Jon Davis Quartet for set one: Davis, bass & woodwinds; Chuck Love trumpet, flute, melodica, & percussion, Bryan Nichols, keys; and Greg Schutte, drums. Performing set two is The George Marich Trio; Marich, drums, George Cartwright, saxes; and Josh Granowski, bass.

Tuesday, June 20

Jordan Anderson Group @ Walker West, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (free) This dazzling young pianist was a member of the Dakota Combo prior to attending the University of Michigan, where he was recruited by, and studies with, none other than Benny Green. I believe he’ll have talented contemporaries with him: Peter Goggin, saxophone; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Edmund Catlin, drums. Here he is while still a HS student, with a different group

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, June 14

Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders @ Como Park Conservatory, Saint Paul. 6pm (Free) Pack up a picnic and head out the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory to  boogie down to the amped up blues, country, and roots music from the guitarist/songwriter who’s the pride of Anoka  Plus there’s a climbing wall, bouncy tent and other distractions for the wee ones.

The Dollys on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The Dollys are Joanna Jahn, Kari Shaw, and Megan Shaw, or are all enamored of the three-part harmonies of EmmyLou Harris, Dolly Parton, and Linda Ronstadt. They also perform songs by other female country artists as well as their own versions of folk and Americana hits. Tune in to Harold’s House Party at 5pm, and if you like what you hear, head over to the 331 Club to see them in person.

Butch Thompson & Pat Donahue @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15; $40 for Dinner Show) A creative pairing of legendary, excellent musicians. Pianist Thompson and Fingerstyle Guitarist Donahue mine classic blues and jazz, that is from the 20s and 30s, with an occasional original that fits the style. The Dunsmore Room provides a quiet, intimate space to fully appreciate their musicianship, craftsmanship, and easy-going banter. Here’s a track from the album the duo made, featuring Thompson on clarinet.

Robert Earl Keen @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($40 Advance, $45 Door) Regular listeners of Jackson Buck’s Freewheelin’ show know that every Christmas he plays Keen’s Merry Christmas from the Family, a description of a blended family at Christmas time. No matter what your background, this tale of a family gathering will include something that’s funny and familiar. It’s a perfect example of his wit and powers of observation, as his his take on modern life called Wireless in Heaven. He’s been writing songs for over three decades and continues to sharpen his wit and entertain folk, and was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012, while a couple of years ago he became the first recipient of BMI’s Troubadour Award. Keen takes a few minutes to introduce the band before singing on this video.

Thursday, June 15

Doug Little’s Seven Steps to Havana @ Arlington Hills Library, Saint Paul. 7pm – 8:30pm (Free) This septet led by flutist/saxophonist Doug Little features musicians from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Ethiopia, and the US. Their hip-swaying music uses the fiery rhythms of salsa and the rich harmonies of jazz.

Mikkel Beckmen w/Martin Devaney @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Percussionist Mikkel Beckmen’s weekly residency is always a great place to stop after work and down a pint in a friendly setting while Beckmen invites guests to share the stage. This week he has Martin Devaney, hard working guitarist and prolific songwriter working on his seventh full length album. Here’s Devaney.

Steve Clarke Quartet w/Patty Peterson @ Seven Steak House, Minneapolis. 7pm (No cover?) It seems that Seven Steak House at 7th & Hennepin has new management, and has decided to bring in music on Thursdays. Tonight Steve Clarke brings his swinging saxophone to the venue, along with guest vocalist Patty Peterson, who is equally at home in jazz and R&B. Not sure if you have to order a meal or can hang at the bar, so you may want to call to get particulars.

Friday, June 16

Garland Jeffreys @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) Brooklyn native Jeffreys has been creating urban rock since the 60s, first hitting with Wild in the Streets back in the 70s. His songs have been covered by punkers and neo-folkies, and he’s worked with folks ranging from John Cale, Lou Reed, U2,  and Dr. John to Stan Getz and Sonmny Rollins. Jeffrey’s latest two albums, The King of In Between from 2011, and Truth Serum in 2013 received great reviews and his latest, the newly-released 14 Steps to Harlem, is sure to bring him new fans, at least based on the three songs I’ve heard.

Celtic Rock Night @ Celtic Junction, Saint Paul. 8pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) These days Celtic music is more than fiddles and whistles, and tonight in an event sponsored by the MN Music Coalition, will certainly prove that out. Performing are The Sweet Colleens, a quintet of multi-instrumentalists playing high-energy fiddle and accordion-driven Celtic Americana who just released their 5th album; Belfast-born Leslie Rich a guitarist singer who has played with The Hounds of Finn and Leslie Rich & the Rocket Soul Choir since emigrating to the US, and The Tim Malloys, who fuse traditional Irish music with pub rock and the sensibility (and sound) of Minneapolis punk rock.

Lowland Lakers @ The Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7 Advance, $10 Door) It’s a seated show of Americana as this trio, with roots in Duluth, play their last gig with Dr. Matt Donoghue on bass – he’s taking a position as Emergency Medicine Resident. Opening is the talented Rachel Hanson, who’s a north country artist herself. Then the Last Jackson will close out the evening.

Paul Cebar @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) Milwaukee native Paul Cebar has been at this songwriting/singing/playing thing for decades, always finding ways to incorporate irresistible rhythms into his songs that provide a modern touch to old R&B ideas. For instance, you’ll be dancing along to something funky, when all of a sudden there’s a calypso break. No wonder legions of dancers come out for every performance.

Malamanya @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($10 advance, $15 Door) Late night salsa dancing to this Twin Cities band that with the bona fides to perform classic Cuban music.

Saturday, June 17

Class Action @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($25) For three years in the late 70s and early 80s, Class Action was just about the most popular dance band in the Twin Cities. No wonder – look at their talented members: Rockie Robbins, who later had seven charting singles as a solo artist; Patty Peterson, who continues to sparkle as a jazz/R&B singer here in town; Ricky Perterson, the wizard keyboard player who played with David Sanborn for 20 years and countless other artiits; Candy Anderson Cretoekos, who started singing in church, and worked with Wayne Cochran & the CC Riders throughout the nation. She moved to Los Angeles from Minneapolis and returned to her church roots, performing throughout California; Stephen Faison, performer for hundreds of jingles and soundtracks and staff writer for recording studios, who worked withThe Coasters, Drifters, Walter Trout and Aretha Franklin and teaches here in town; Rick Cornish, who performed with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and who had one of his compositions premiered by the LA Philharmonic, and winner of numerous national and international awards; Rick Houle, who played in Passage and the Doug Maynard Band before moving to Seattle in 1984. Since then he’s worked with Ernestine Anderson, and is currently a member of a 12 piece group that plays the music of Steely Dan; finally there Glenn Swanson, who was a staff drummer at Creation Audio, who after Class Action went on to work with Sheila Raye Charles (daughter of Ray), including serving as emcee for a Japanese tour, and more recently produced vocalist Pippi Ardennia. Wow!

International Reggae All Stars @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($??) Here’s a chance for east-siders to hear the reggae sound of the All Stars outside of their weekly gig at Bunkers.

Rena Haus Trio @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Dusty’s is tiny, though a more upscale description would say intimate. Nevertheless it provides a great setting as guitarist/songwriter Rena Haus, her bassist brother Bob, and under-appreciated guitarist Ed Petsche will regale you with Rena’s original song stories and great covers of blues songs. Here she is solo.

Monday, June 19

Frankie Lee & Friends @ The Turf Club’s Clown Lounge, Saint Paul. 7pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) Lee has the June residency for Monday nights at the rec room inspired Clown Lounge. He’s a country/folk singer whose debut album American Dreamer, was released in 2015 on London’s Loose Records. It promptly became well played on Europe’s radio stations, making many “best of” lists from the continent. It was released in America in the summer of 2016, earning him more praise from NPR, among others. Don’t know which friends will show up, but they include Michael Lewis bass, sax; Jeremy Ylvisaker, guitar; and JT Bates, drums, who appeared on his first EP.

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.


Mayday and More: 5.3 – 5.9

May 3, 2017

The Tree of Life Ceremony at Powederhorn Park

It’s May and we have a weekend of Cinco de Mayo Festivals (Saturday on the West Side of Saint Paul and Sunday around 27th and East Lake) as well as the 43rd Annual Mayday Parade and Celebration in South Minneapolis (see below), all of which will feature music and performers. This week’s indoor events don’t necessarily coincide with the festivals, but provide other opportunities for uplifting experiences, with a number of visiting artists coming to town and a plethora of veteran and emerging Twin Cities artists. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 3

Regina Carter: Simply Ella @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $40), 9pm ($25 – $35) April 25th marked the100th Anniversary of the birth of Ella Fitzgerald, and violinist Regina Carter is releasing an album entitled Ella: Accentuate the Positive. We are lucky enough to be a stop on her tour promoting the album. Carter is among the finest, if not the finest, jazz violinist practicing today. She’s tasteful, melodic, and swinging, whether she’s interpreting folk music of the South, Cajun fiddle music, the songs her mother loved, or something classical. Carter has been the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship (The “Genius Grant”), and numerous awards. You can read an interview I did with her a couple of years ago by going here.

Michael O’Brien @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Bassist O’Brien is in town visiting and he’s brought together some of the best Twin Cities musicians to join him for this gig, which will feature Latin music in addition to O’Brien’s facility on the bass: Pete Whitman, sax; Steven Hobert, piano; and Mac Santiago, drums.

Wednesday, Thursday, May 3, 4

Randy Brecker Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20 – $30, $60w/Dinner) 9pm ($15, $20) Brecker is a multiple Grammy Award winner, who got his start with the big bands of Clark Terry, Duke Pearson, and the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra. He was in the original version of Blood Sweat and Tears, leaving them to join the Horace Silver Quintet. Since then, he’s recorded with a wide range of musicians, from Frank Zappa, James Brown, and Parliament/Funkadelic to Steely Dan, Jaco Pastorious, and Frank Sinatra. If you need another reason to see him, consider the fact that his quartet will feature Tanner Taylor on piano, as well as the crack rhythm section of Gordy Johnson and Phil Hey.

Thursday, May 4

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Ruckus Hip Hop Jazz: Drummer Rodney Ruckus may have moved to the West Coast, but he’s got plenty of gigs bringing him back to town. Tonight’s show is a double billing with two drum sets on stage, while Ruckus and LA Buckner lead and co-lead different ensembles that fuse jazz and hip hop.

Joel Shapira/Bryan Nichols Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Shapira, no cover), 8pm (Nichols, $5) the first of two nights of double jazz at the Vieux. Guitarist Joel Shapira will help you while away a pleasant dinner hour before pianist Bryan Nichols and his trio (Jeff Bailey, bass; JT Bates, drums) entertain you with originals and jazz standards.

Friday, May 5

Jon Pemberton/Debbie Duncan @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Pemberton, no cover), 9pm (Duncan, $12) Jon Pemberton kicks off the dinner hour with his inventive and melodic piano playing, after which vocalist Debbie Duncan will take the stage to deliver her sassy brand of jazz.

Fuzzy Math @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) This quintet  eatures original, if eclectic jazz originals and creative renditions of pop songs. Back in 2012 they were named “the best jazz act for people bored with jazz” by the wags at City Pages. They are, after all, a fun group with the goal of creating “serious music that doesn’t take itself too seriously.” This will be the Jazz Central debut for mark Vandermyde, keys/compositions; Curtis Lucky, trumpet; Scott Fultz, sax; Eric Graham, bass; and Haralds Bondaris, drums.

Saturday, May 6

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening tonight are The D’Sievers, with John Sievers, trombone; Remi Moulder guitar; Steve Sawyer, bass; and Garrtett Kolb, drums. At 8:30 or so it’s the powerful Eric Kamau Gravatt & Source Code: Gravatt, drums; Solomon Parham, trumpet; Ron Evaniuk, bass; Dean Magraw, guitar; and Dave Graf, trombone. Here is Gravatt playing with McCoy Tyner and Bill Frisell.

Mama Digdown’s Brass Band @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15)  Mama Digdown has been around for about twenty years, spreading worldwide joy with the creativity of their streetwise brass band music. You can expect traditional New Orleans tunes like Jocomo, and Gloryland, as well as their own version of pop songs like the Jackson 5’s I Want You Back. Since the Madison, WI based group is sometimes supplemented with Twin Cities musicians, there may be guests during the course of the evening.

Sunday, May 7

Bob DeFlores Films: The Big Bands, 1923 – 1950s @ Chanhassen Dinner Theater, Chanhassen. 3pm ($12) Even if you don’t live in the southern ‘burbs, it’s worth the drive to see films from the collection of Bob DeFlores, whose archive of music shorts and “soundies” encompasses all manner of jazz. Today he presents a rich palette of Big Bands, from Rudy Vallee and the Dorsey Brosters, to Woody Herman, Ozzie Nelson, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Ray Anthony, Artie Shaw, and much, much more.

Dan Chouinard and Lucia Newell @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley, 7pm ($10, $35 w/Dinner) Pianist Chouinard and vocalist Newell get together for a special Birthday Club. Not only will they be celebrating the music of composers born during May, but all revenue will go to Global Rights for Women, an organization working to end violence against women worldwide! Here’s Newell performing a Brazilian song.

Dakota Combo Spring Concert @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) The Dakota Combo is a group of very talented high school students selected each September by open audition to study with bassist Adam Linz for the school year. It’s a program of MacPhail Center for music, supported by the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education. This year’s combo is a quintet: Adam Astrup, guitar; Ivan Cunningham, alto; Riley Swain, baritone; Max Voda, bass; and Simon Petrick, drums. They’ve been hard at it and have already performed at a couple of area schools. It’s safe to say you will likely be blown away by their talent. (Full disclosure: I’m on the board of the Dakota Foundation, which provides the support for this program.)

Monday, May 10

Glenn Zaleski @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40 w/Dinner) Twenty-nine-year old pianist Zaleski has been a first-call sideman in NYC ever since moving there nine years ago. He’s performed and recorded with such stellar performers as Ravi Coltrane and trombonist Michael Dease, among others. He’s featured in the latest issue of DownBeat, where he’s described as someone who is not a traditionalist, but to whom “melody still matters.” The writer goes on to say, “His solos hinge on acute, often linear lines that find their counterweight in subsequent measures, cresting the tension and suspense of a well-wrought story.” This is a solo performance, so you’ve got a chance to see and hear his talent in the comfy, intimate confines of the Dunsmore Room.

Jazz Implosion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) It’s an exciting double bill this evening the Levi Schwartzberg Quartet and Barnacle. Schwartzberg’s young group starts the evening: Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Patrick Adkins, piano; Drew Stinson, bass; and Tarek Abdelqader, on drums. Then, it’s the return of Barnacle, a two guitar group that was around at the turn of the century, featuring guitarists Jason Goessl, now of Seattle, and Jacob Park Evans, backed by Chris Bates, bass; and Greg Schutte drums.

Tuesday, May 9

Chris Lomheim/Sophia Shorai @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Lomheim, no cover), 8pm (Shorai, $5) Yet another double dose of jazz, with pianist Chris Lomheim supplying airy, melodic improvisation during the dinner hour, and vocalist Shorai singing in her distinctively vulnerable yet sweet voice.

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, May 3

Gentlemen’s Anti-Temperance League on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) So today, Harold’s House Party features this string quartet (plus vocalist) that specializes in Prohibition-era swing. Tune in at 5pm to hear a sample of their music and go to the 331 for a two hour taste of their tunes. I’d say to bring dancing shoes, but it becomes quite crowded in between the tables of the small club.

Kinky Friedman @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm ($30 Advance, $35 Door) Those of you of a certain age may remember Kinky Friedman as a legendary outlaw country singer/songwriter, satirist, novelist, and onetime gubernatorial candidate for Texas. He calls himself the Texas Jewboy, and is currently on the Resurrected Tour, as he calls it, in support of his latest CD, the Loneliest Man I Ever Met. Brian Molnar, of The Naked Hearts, opens. Here’s Kinky, but her aware, he’s not politically correct.

Thursday, May 4

Edgar Winter Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $65, $75) Since his debut album in 1970, pianist Edgar Winter has always received accolades for his playing, whether it was rock, jazz, blues, or pop. His 1971 album with his horn band White Trash had liner notes by poet/rocker Patti Smith, and enjoyed huge success, as did it’s live follow-up. He then formed the Edgar Winter Group which had the number one Frankenstein, and another chart buster, Free Ride. The album they appeared on, They Only Come Out at Night, peaked at number 3 and was on the charts for 80 weeks. He’s got over 20 albums and collaborative efforts to his credits, and still rocks out as hard as possible.

Paul Thorne @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($30 Advance, $35 Door) Thorne is a former prizefighter, and quite literally, the son of a preacher man which, taken with his Southern upbringing, has given him a unique perspective on life. He’s lived a life that give him plenty of material for songs and often humorous stories, such as I Backslide on Friday, and Mediocrity is King, both of which can be found on his latest album, Too Blessed to Be Stressed.

Swamp Poppas @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($?) While the Poppas can always be depended upon to deliver smart, danceable renditions of songs from New Orleans and South Louisiana, tonight they’re bringing in vocalist Lucinda Plaisance to help deliver some new songs in the repertoire, including Clifton Chenier’s Zydeco Cha Cha, Gene Delafose’s Bou Pon Pon, Irma Thomas’ Ruler of My Heart, Lou Ann Barton’s version of Shake Your Hips, and more.

Friday, May 5

Eilen Jewell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Singer/songwriter Eilen Jewell is a bit hard to categorize. She’s got a sweet voice, with smoky undertones, and an instinctive way with phrasing, which she uses well, whether celebrating the music of Loretta Lynn, rocking out with Shakin’ All Over, or putting a rockabilly twist to some of her own reflective originals.

Suicide Commandos Listening Party @ the Turf Club’s Clown Lounge, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) Back in 1975 a trio of lads decided they didn’t want to play in a cover band, which was what most of the area’s clubs were hiring. Chris Osgood, Dave Ahl, and Steve Almaas were itching with the raw energy of youth, and wanted to play short, loud, original songs. The old Blitz Bar was willing to hire them, and after that, things changed in the Twin Cities music scene. The Suicide Commandos, as the trio named themselves, laid the foundation for groups like the Suburbs, The Replacements, Husker Du, and other groups. Well, it’s forty-two years later. They had long broken up, developed other music and performing careers, and then started reuniting on a sporadic basis over the last couple of decades. Importantly, they recently recorded their second studio album, Time Bomb. The guys will be hosting this listening party, and selling and signing copies of the album. In addition, Cyn Collins will be selling and signing her new book, entitled Complicated Fun, named after a Commandos song. It’s an oral history of Minneapolis punk and indie rock from 1974 – 1984.

Erik Brandt and the Urban Hillbilly Quartet @ The Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm (Free) Twenty-two years after forming, the Urban Hillbilly Quartet still delivers original Americana and roots rock inspired by folks like David Grisman, Bruce Cockburn, the Jayhawks and The Grateful Dead. The core of the band is Erik Brandt, guitar, accordion, piano, lead vocals; Jeremy Szopinski, electric guitar; Dave Strahan, electric guitar, banjo, & vocals; Mike Schultz, bass; and Jim Orvis, drums.

Saturday, May 6

Saturday Salon @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 3pm ($20) This weeks program of chamber music in a cabaret setting is entitled Lonely Hearts: Music Made in Minnesota. It features two Saint Olaf grads who are active in the Twin Cities choral scene, but who also perform solo. Baritone Harrison Hintzsche and soprano Anna Christofaro will be joined by Matt Harikian on piano to perform acerbic, touching, and sometimes lustful songs by Libby Larsen, David Evans, among others. Small plates and bar service are available during the show, with full dinner available at 4:30pm, for those of us who may not want to go home and cook.

Fourth Annual Minnesota Salsa Fiesta @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20 Advance, $25 Door) It will be an explosion of hip-shaking Latin rhythms as Charanga Tropical hosts guests from throughout the Twin Cities Latin Music scene. Charanga Tropical will play, of course, along with Cuban-style percussion ensemble Rumba del Norte. Then it will be La Gran Charanga, and 18-piece all star group featuring 6 horns, 5 violins, 4 singers, and a full Latin rhythm section. When doors open at 7pm DJ Prieto from Chicago will spin salsa hits mixed with rare videos. A salsa lesson from Cuban-born instructor Rene Thompson will follow, to help folks dance to the pulsating rhythms produced by the bands.

Denny Laine @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) Laine was an original member of the Moody Blues, and sang lead on their first hit, Go Now back in 1964. He left the Moody Blues to have his own band, joined Ginger Baker’s Air Force for a bit, and then, with Paul and Linda McCartney, was a founder of Wings, which had 24 hits on the charts in the 70s and received a Grammy for Band on the Run. He co-wrote Mull of McIntyre with Paul and it subsequently became the biggest selling hit of all time in the UK. Tonight he’ll play Band on the Run in its entirety, as well as some other tunes, I presume.

Sunday, May 7

Mayday Festival @ Powderhorn Park, Minneapolis. Noon – 7pm (Free) If you want to see a friend you haven’t seen in a while, they will probably be at the community celebration which is taking place for the 43rd year in a row. The day begins with a parade that travels south on Bloomington Avenue from 25th street and turns to Powderhorn Park on 34th Street. The parade features various community groups as well as giant puppets from Heart of the Beast, all marching to the 2017 MayDay theme: Imagine, Resist, Heal.  The Tree of Life Ceremony occurs at 3pm, when the Sun Flotilla paddles the Sun across the park’s lake. There will be music and dancing throughout the day, with entertainment ranging from Morris Dancers and a Women’s Drum Circle, to Savage Aural Hotbed, Prairie Fire Lady Choir and Machinery Hill. Food and merchandise will be available from a plethora of vendors.  Here’s a short clip of what you might see in the parade.

Tuesday, May 9

The Blasters @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm ($20 Advance, $25 Door) Back in 1978, as the Punk movement was gaining steam around the country, a group of guys in Los Angeles named themselves the Blasters and combined that energy with rhythm and blues, early rock n’ roll, and rockabilly in an album called American Music. Funding members Phil Alvin, vocals, guitar; John Bass, bass; and Bill Bateman drums, along with guitarist Keith Wyatt, are still rocking audiences into gleeful pools of sweat.

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


Spring in Your Step: 3.29 – 4.4

March 29, 2017

Greetings music lovers;

It’s another week with a wide variety of choices for those of us who like to go out and hear music. We have a number of visiting artists from NYC, Ukraine, and points in between, as well as a Brazilian dance night, a Latin music matinee, some chamber music, and more… Lots of opportunities to let music lift our spirits.

Jazz

Wednesday, March 29

Jeremy Walker Songtet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) Pianist/composer/arranger Jeremy Walker has a penchant for creating interesting musical projects, whether it’s the nine-piece NowNet, the choral/jazz combo piece 7 Psalms, or his own compositions for small groups. Now he has The Songtet, dedicated to performing great songs, whether written by Ellingotn, Dylan, The Gershwins, Cole Porter, or walker himself. Tonight, Walker is adding vocalist Jason Harms to his  trio with Tim Zhorne, drums; and Chris Bates, bass. Harms, incidentally, took part in the performances of 7 Psalms.

Vanessa Trouble w/Charlie Caranicas @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm, 9pm ($20, $45 w/Dinner) NYC-based, Winona-raoised vocalist Vanessa Trouble is visiting, along with trumpeter Charlie Caranicas  another MN native now living in NYC. Trouble’s voice is airy and supple, just right for vintage swing and jazz, as she performs songs like I’m Beginning to See the Light, That Old Devil Moon, and Mambo Italiano. She and Caranicas, who plays with her regularly, will be joined by NYC guitarist Steve Salermo, and the Twin Cities’ own Graydon Peterson on bass.

Steven Hobert Solo Piano @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Pianist Hobert has really been coming into his own lately, finding like-minded musicians that complement his ethereal, often beautiful, spontaneous, and searching style. Tonight that style comes into full play as he performs solo, drawing on works by Mingus, Coltrane, Stevie Wonder, and Eddie Harris in addition to his own work.

Thursday, March 30

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Tonights show features a number of well-traveled Twin Cities musicians performing as Collosus: Park Evans  guitar; Clay Pufahl, saxes; Chris Bates, bass; and Joey Van Phillips, drums.

Dorothy Doring @ The Mudd Room, 1352 Sibley Memorial Hwy, Mendota Heights. 7pm (No Cover) The Mudd Room is a new venue for weekend music, located in the basement of Lucky 13. The soulful and engaging Ms Doring is there tonight.

Friday, March 31

Patty Peterson & Andrew Walesch @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 reserved table) The most visible member of the Peterson Family musical clan brings her mix of jazz and R&B to the big room at Crooners, where Patty and her band be joined by special guest Andrew Walesch on piano and vocals.

Graydon Peterson Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Bassist Peterson is an A-list player here in the Twin Cities, just as likely to be accompanying a vocalist as playing with a Latin Band, Big Band, or combo. Tonight he’ll be featuring his own compositions as he is joined by Adam Meckler, trumpet; Joe Strachan, piano; and Adrian Suarez, drums.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, March 31, April 1,2

Fogel, Eckes, & Hixson @ Bloomington Center for the Arts, Bloomington. 7:30 (Fri, Sat), 2pm (Sun) The Show is called Teamwork: Great Songwriting Teams of Broadway and Hollywood. Arne Fogel and Maud Hixson  along with special guest Jennifer Eckes  explore the songs from Broadway and the movies, with an emphasis on legendary songwriting duos to guide them. Think Rodgers & Hammerstein, Cahn & Van Heusen, Sondheim and Styne, and more…

Saturday, April 1

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar)  7:00pm Opening Set : Common Space – Eric Graham Organ/keys, Dylan Nelson – Guitar, Thomas Strommen – Saxophone, Alex Burgess – Drums. 8:30pm ATLANTIS QUARTET – Zacc Harris – Guitar, Chris Bates – Bass, Brandon Wozniak – Saxophones, Pete Hennig – Drums

Monday, April 3

Acme Jazz Company @ Crooner’s Lounge & Restaurant, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 reserved tables) Though it has a somewhat generic name, this 19-piece big band is anything but generic, with a big repertoire of original arrangements and songs, and crack musicians, including vocalist Arne Fogel.

Greg Ward Quintet + ReichFest @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($12) When Steve Reich, the 80 year old minimalist, died last October, quite a few celebrations of his music were held around the world. Now it’s time for the Twin Cities to celebrate. Cody McKinney and JT Bates have put together a program of Steve Reich’s music featuring Twin Cities musicians for every Monday night in April. Things will start off tonight with the Greg Ward Quintet, then Pete Hennig and Cody McKinney will perform Clapping Music, from 1972, followed by Pat O’Keefe performing New York Counterpoint from 1985.

Tuesday, April 4

Rio Nido @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($25, $50w/Dinner) Prudence Johnson, Tim Sparks, and Tom Lieberman first formed Rio Nido in the 70s, put out a few albums, and then developed their own separate careers. They recently reunited and are doing a few shows a year. I believe this might be their first time in the Dunsmore Room, a perfect place to hear their harmonies.

Freddy Cole @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40) Having Nat King Cole as an older brother can make it difficult to escape his shadow, especially when voices have the same timbre. Nevertheless, Freddy Cole has found his own voice: elegant, but deeper, and with a rasp that sets him apart. Cole is a master vocalist and fine piano player, and among the top tier of male jazz singers in this country.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, March 29

Dan Israel, Mikkel Beckmen on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Singer/songwriter Dan Israel has been plying his craft for over two decades, using sharp, incisive writing to comment on his own foibles and insecurities, including the breakup of his 16 year marriage. His writing has wide appeal, with his albums gaining fans throughout the States and in Europe. Tonight he’s accompanied by that percussionist-about-town Mikkel Beckmen. Tune it at about 5pm and then head over to the 331 Club.

Loudon Wainwright III @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) Younger readers may only know Wainwright as the father of acclaimed singer songwriters Rufus and Martha Wainright, but the older folk among us remember him as an early recipient of the title of “the next Bob Dylan.” He likely didn’t appreciate the title, which was somewhat misleading, as Wainwrights broad humor didn’t exactly fit that mold. His humor did win him a best selling song with Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road back in 1972. Since then he’s kept churning out well-received albums, and spread his wings to acting, with a recurring role in TVs Mash, and appearances in films and other TV shows. He’s also been writing for a number of film scores, including the hit movie Knocked Up.

Dieselfitters @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Get yer honky-tonk and rockabilly fix right here, with this group led by the imaginative and fleet fingered guitarist Clay Williams.

Thursday, March 30

Battle of the Blues Bands @ Famous Daves, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) This week’s battle pits Paul Barry & the Acetones; The Blues Driver Band; The Assumptions; and the Harrison Street Band against each other. Listeners win.

Superfriends of Soul @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 reserved table) Cate Fiero leads a varied cast of singers and musicians through the Great American Soulbook.

Nip n’ Tuck & the Sleepers @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Formed back in 1976, this trio was influenced by artists like Todd Rundgren and the Raspberries, gaining much love from area critics and fans. Gary Rue, guitar, vocals; Jeff Willkomm, bass, vocals; and Tilly, drums, vocals; have played with many original rock n’ rollers from the 50s and 60s from Gene Pitney and Lou Christy to the Coasters and Marvelettes. Nip n’ Tuck was among bands that were “this close” but didn’t close the deal for one music industry reason or another. Now they’ve dusted off old tunes and are back. The Sleepers play British Invasion music from the likes of the Animals, Zombies, and Yardbirds, as well as a few things from the Fab Four.

Claudettes @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10)  Pull Closer to Me: The Claudettes, Live in the Piano Room, is the first release documenting the band’s new lineup (pianist/founder Johnny Iguana, singer Berit Ulseth, drummer Matt Torre and bassist/singer Zach Verdoorn). You’ll hear material from the 7-song EP, as well as other tunes that reflect the bands absorption of piano based Chicago blues, burlesque, 60s pop-soul, and vaudeville.

Thursday – Sunday, March 30 – April 2

Merce Cunningham’s Common Time @ Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. Thursday: 5:30 and 8pm, Fri-Sun: 1:30 and 4pm (Free) Here’s a unique dance experience, as Walker’s Perlman Gallery is filled with movement and sound as dancers from the final Merce Cunningham Dance Company perform Events. Cunningham’s unique choreographic form is made for performances in unconventional spaces. These 30-minute sequences provide the audience with a rare opportunity to see Cunningham’s choreography exploring space, time, and movement. Arranged and staged by former MCDC dancer Andrea Weber, these 30-minute sequences drawn from four decades of Cunningham’s work offer a rare chance to experience firsthand his signature explorations of space, time, and movement. Dancers from the Final Merce Cunningham Company will perform to music by a fantastic line up of local artists including folks like Douglas Ewart, Michelle Kinney, Joe Strachan and Noah Ophoven-Baldwin will perform their own compositions to accompany this program, based on John Cage’s improvisational parameters for Cunningham Events. Capacity is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Friday, March 31

Adam Levy’s Joga Bola & Friends @ the Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7 Advance/$10 Door) Joga Bola is a new Brazilian project led by Adam Levy, featuring musicians from the Afro-Cuban, jazz, Brazilian, and R&B scenes in town:  Mina Moore, Karen Quiroz, Lucia Sarmiento, Andrew Gillespie, Tim O’Keefe, Jeff Bailey, Charlie Peterson. Their sound is inspired by 1960’s & 1970’s samba, funk, soul, and psychedelia from Brazil.Their debut at Cedar Cultural Center some weeks back was great fun. The Guayaba All Stars Orchestra was created and founded by Master Peruvian Percussionist/Drummer Chico Chavez. They are the first local band to perform psychedelic Peruvian cumbia (a.k.a. chicha). Guayaba is a totally fresh dancing music experience featuring authentic Latino Dance flavors – psychedelic cumbia chicha, salsa, cumbia, bachata, merengue, and tropical grooves from all LatinAmerica. Angie Citlali is a passionate singer-songwriter, often writing social and political lyrics. Being from Chicago and Mexico, she often fuses these two worlds into her empowering music.

Coco Montoya @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30), 9:30pm ($20, $25) The reviews for shows by Coco Montoya inevitably include adjectives like “blistering,” “hot,” “fiery,” “passionate,” and similar terms. The man is a monster player on the blues-rock scene, having learned to play from his mentor Albert Collins. Like Albert King, the southpaw plays left-handed and upside down. Five years with Collins was followed by ten years with John Mayall, after which Montoya went solo in 1993. He’s been a road warrior ever since, with numerous Blues Award nominations, and a strong following around the world.

Saturday, April 1

Saturday Salon: April Foolery @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 3pm ($20) With an easygoing air and a quick wit, soprano Maria Jette hosts a different combination of performers and repertoire each Saturday afternoon in the Dunsmore Room, giving listeners a chance to hear chamber music in a delightful setting with only 80 seats. Today, to celebrate April 1st, she’s presenting James Ramlet, bass vocals; and Mary Jo Gothmann, piano; performing Songs for the Cruelest Month.

April Fools @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Of course, this band has to play on April 1st. This talented group plays a wide spectrum of music, from straight-up country to Brit-pop, blue-eyed soul, and more. Besides Drake, the band includes Clay Williams, guitar; Scott Hreha, bass; and Ben Kaplan, drums.

Sunday, April 2

Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 3pm – 5pm (No Cover) Charanga Tropical is one of the few U.S., groups working in the danzon style, though they incorporate salsa and their own compositions as well. They are the only U.S. group to play at the Danzon festival in Havana. This matinee performance is just right for folks who want to practice their salsa dancing and charangas, while being early enough to get sufficient rest for working on Monday morning.

Dakhabraka @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) It is very difficult to describe the wonderful weirdness of this world music quartet from Ukraine. Yes, they sing in Ukrainian and Russian, but their songs at times sound like Frank Zappa, and at other times have hints of Smokey Robinson, using an accordion, cello, and variety of percussion instruments, not to forget their vocal harmonies, on-stage presence, and costumes,

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


Spring into Music: 3.22 – 3.28

March 22, 2017

Spring has now officially arrived, and we’ve a surfeit of talent to catch in clubs and restaurants, as well as in bigger venues, though arenas and theaters are not usually the subject of these weekly missives. Anyway, we do have some visiting artists that may get your attention as well. So start getting out that springtime wear, though here in Minnesota it’s always a good idea to keep winter wear handy until May. Just let music lift our spirits.

PS: The Spring Pledge Drive at KFAI goes until Friday. You can still pledge your support for my show by going to http://www.kfai.org and pledging on-line

Jazz

Wednesday, March 22

Dean Magraw & Butch Thompson @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Guitarist Dean Magraw shows up in these newsletters quite often, since he’s so damn versatile that he plays in a variety of settings. Tonight, he’s teaming up with pianist (and occasional clarinetist) Butch Thompson  whose knowledge of, and forays into, traditional and New Orleans jazz are formidable.

Debbie Duncan & Margaret Cox @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40 Dinner show) Here’s an intriguing match-up of two vocalists. Duncan is well-known in jazz circles for her very able, and sometimes sassy, interpretations of standards and blues. Cox  on the other hand, is better known to Prince aficionados, having recorded numerous unreleased songs with him. She is also a featured singer with Mambo’s Combo (aka The Combo) at Bunkers. Back in the day she sang with the Doug Maynard Band and the TC Jammers among others, and then led Ta Mara and the Scene, a Jesse Johnson-produced example of the Minneapolis sound of the 80s. She always kills it during Combo appearances, and will provide a strong foil to Duncan. Here’s a video for one of the few Prince songs that was released.

Sound/Simulacra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 Student w/ID) Each month John Keston  sound design; and Cody McKinney, bass, composition; bring together improvising musicians to attack music from several directions. This week’s special guest is violinist Leah Ottman, aka LOTT (Wind in the Willows), who has brought her classical experiments music to both roots and rock bills around town.

Thursday, March 23

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) A classic piano trio led by the inimitable Peter Schimke  whose chops have been honed in a variety of settings and recordings. He’ll be accompanied by Chris Bates, Bass; and Cory Healey on Drums. Here is Schimke solo.

Paris Chansons @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) Julia Kantor, a sultry Ukranian songstress, together with her husband Jacob, from Russia, and Max Cohen, from Morocco, perform jazz standards and other classics in French, Russian, Italian, and other languages. The singers of the Los Angeles based Paris Chansons will be backed by their five piece band.

Peter Kogan Quintet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Former Minnesota Orchestra tympanist Kogan has been keeping busy performing jazz since his retirement a couple of years ago. Tonight, his group consists of: Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Pete Whitman sax; Phil Aaron, piano; Jeff  Bailey, bass ; with Kogan on drums. It may be a classic hard bop line-up but Kogan’s compositions explore many more avenues in jazz.

Friday, March 24

Sophia Shorai @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm-9pm (Tip Jar)

Shorai’s honey-sweet vocals, when combined with her ability to convey heartache with the slightest crack of her voice, are reasons to sit close to the stage at this somewhat noisy place.

Wozniak, Adkins, Peterson, Peterson @ Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Tonight a couple of up and coming musicians: Patrick Adkins, piano, compositions; Luke Peterson, drums, compositions; perform with a couple of veterans: Graydon Peterson, bass; and Brandon Wozniak, sax; .

Kneedelus @ the Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapoils. 8pm ($28) A Live Collaboration between Kneebody and Daedelus  Many in the jazz community find Kneebody’s music, which is certainly based in jazz, to be unclassifiable, though they’ve collaborated with musicians in a number of genres, even getting a Grammy nomination for their work interpreting the music of Charles Ives. According to Nate Chine in the New York Times, the music of Kneebody  “uses a common jazz instrumentation to make a somewhat less common amalgam of urban-signifying genres, from electro-pop to punk-rock to hip-hop.” Tonight they are playing with Daedelus, a producer with 18 solo albums to his credit, as well as EPs and dozens of remixes for other artists. Their work together ranges from chill mediations to explosive grooves.

Saturday, March 25

Dorothy Doring: Roaring 20s Cabaret @ Eagan Community Center, 1501 Central Parkway, Eagan. 2pm ($15 Adults, $10 under 12 – Cash or Check only) Doring is an engaging, soulful vocalist who will be performing a one hour show as a scholarship fundraiser for her teacher sorority – Alpha Delta Kappa.  (The ECC is located off 494 & Pilot Knob Road)

4th Annual Jazz at Studio Z Festival @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 5pm – 9pm ($12 Advance, $16 Door) Zacc Harris and his JASZ associates have presented a consistently good monthly series at Studio Z, using both straight-ahead and forward looking groups. Things kick off today with Real Bulls, the JT Bates/Dave King drum duo, and continues with Dean Granros’ guitar-driven Tall Tales; The Adam Meckler Quintet, featuring Meckler’s intriguing compositions; and closes with  Drobka/Weller, a drums/sax duo from Milwaukee & Chicago who are about to release a CD.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm is the Shapira/Granros duo, featuring guitarists Joel Shapira and Dean Granros. At 8:30pm it’s The Ruckus Birthday Tour Conclusion w/ Rodney Ruckus, drums; Jonathon Greenstein, sax, Adam Meckler, trumpet; and others TBD

Sunday, March 26

Katia Cardenas’ Birthday Bash @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 5pm ($8 Advance, $10 Door) Vocalist Cardenas has been very busy of late, with auditions and workshops for various shows and a number of part-time jobs, in addition to preparing for this show. Last year’s debut CD, I’ll Be Seeing You, does a good job of spotlighting her versatility and commanding vocals. She’ll be doing songs from the Great American Songbook, as well as songs by Carole King, Amy Winehouse, and other contemporary singers.

Monday, Tuesday, March 27, 28

David Sanborn @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50, $60, $70), 9pm ($40, $50, $60) Sanborn is a talented saxophonist who can appeal to dance-floor R&B fans as well as a listening-only jazz audience. He’s won six gold records, and one platinum record, and eight Grammys, and hosted a TV show. He’s played with David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, James Brown, The Stones, The Butterfield Blues Band, and more.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, March 22

Lowland Lakers on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Folk/bluegrass/Americana from this trio with roots in Duluth. Tune in, listen, and BTW, pledge.

Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes @ the Dakota, Minnapolis. 7pm ($45-$60) Rowdy, passionate, bar band R&B from Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes. Johnny is an alumni of bars on the Jersey Shore, where he and friends Bruce Springsteen and Steve Van Zandt came up before hitting the big time, a few decades back. He more than satisfied with his performance at the Dakota last year around this time.

Thursday, March 23

Battle of the Blues Bands @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Famous Dave’s in Uptown is once again having a weekly showcase for blues bands. Tonight, the bands vying for a slot at the Lowertown Blues Festival are: Crooked DiceVibronautsMonny Ray & Triple Trouble; and the Mark Cameron Band.

Las Cafeteras @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm  ($27, $32) Las Cafeteras are an East Los Angeles band of “immigrant children,” as they call themselves. They mash up punk, hip-hop, cumbia, and rock to deliver socially conscious messages inspired by the communities in which they live. Resident artists Alma Andina open with a modern take on music from indigenous cultures of the Andes.

John McCutcheon @ the 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 9pm ($30 Tickets here) The folk veteran makes a rare appearance in this area. He’s recorded 34 albums and has thoroughly toured the US and the world. McCutcheon’s latest album, Trolling for Dreams, was released in February. This small room, with a capacity of less than 50, will provide an intimate setting for his music.

Rose Ensemble: Musique et Masqueray @ The Saint Paul Cathedral, Saint Paul. 7:30pm. ($15 – $38) Architect Emmanuel Masqueray (1861-1917) designed a number of outstanding places of worship in the area, and for four nights, the Rose Ensemble will be performing French Baroque music in them. Tonight kicks off the series at the Cathedral of Saint Paul, with guest artists Patricia Halverson, viola da gamba; Scott Pauley, theorbo; and Bruce Jacobs, organ; sitting in as the Rose Ensemble performs works by Charpentier, Cosperio, and others. On subsequent nights, the music will be performed at Saint Francis Catholic Church in Benson; (Friday), the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis (Saturday), and the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas in Saint Paul (Sunday).

Friday, March 24

Cory Stevens @ Flat Earth Brewing, 688 Minnehaha Ave East, Saint Paul. 7pm ($15 includes one standard brew) Sample the brews of Flat Earth while listening to Stevens, a blues-based guitarist and singer/songwriter who early on (in the 90s) was compared to Stevie Ray Vaughn, but has since developed his own rockin’ sound. Flat Earth is located in the historic Hamm’s Brewery complex.

Dee Miller Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 Reserved table) Powerhouse vocalist Ms Miller  aka The Duchess of the Blues, does real well with the weekend crowd at Crooners. Her uptempo tunes, duets with harpist Paul Meja, and choice covers often have people dancing in the aisles.

Nikki & the Ruemates @ Dusty’s Bar, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Under the Radar gig of the week, though the band’s fans (and there are many) are likely aware of this monthly gig. As regular readers may remember, Nikki & the Rue-mates play folk/rock and blues, drawing on inspiration for their originals from the late 60s and early 70s, though they’re also exploring vocal group harmony. Dusty’s is a hole-in-the-wall bar, so much so that Nikki, Rich, and Jon set up in a booth, while fans line the bar and fill up the few tables that are available.

Hipshaker 45 RPM Dance Party @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm – 2am ($5) Hipshaker deejays Brian Engel, Greg Waletski, and George Rodriguez continue to entice college students and young graduates, along with a smattering of Gen Xers and the occasional Boomer with their collections of rare soul and funk 45s. Tonight they have a guest sitting in with some rare tunes: DJ Jameson.

Friday, Saturday, March 24, 25

Al Stewart Plays Year of the Cat @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55, $65) Scottish singer/songwriter Stewart first took up guitar when he was swept up in Britain’s skiffle boom of the late 50s. He took guitar lessons from Robert Fripp (who would later lead King Crimson); roomed with Paul Simon in London (before Sounds of Silence was a hit); and had future Yardbird Jimmy Page playing guitar on his first single in 1966. It wasn’t until 1975 that Stewart came into his own, however, with the release of Year of the Cat, with the title song becoming a top ten hit around the globe. He followed that with Time Passages, another hit album. He’s not been able to reproduce that success, though he has continued to record and tour ever since, and in 2005 EMI records released a 5 CD box set. He’ll be performing The Year of the Cat, and more with backing from Marc Macisso and the Empty Pockets Band.

Saturday, March 25

Upper Mississippi Cajun Trio @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. Noon – 2pm (No Cover) The Como Dockside is now featuring Saturday lunch music, featuring mostly Cajun groups. Today it’s a trio that I believe has performed under other names, but includes Shawn Glidden, Doug Lohman, and Marie Stier.

Saturday Salon: Eva Beneke @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 3pm ($20) The delightful, Saturday afternoon chamber music series at the Dunsmore Room continues with guitarist Eva Beneke  The McNally Smith teacher has performed at international guitar festivals in the China, Peru, and throughout the US, Canada, and Europe. Her performances have been broadcast internationally, and on NPR, and include a live-televised performance with Carrie Underwood at the 2010 American Country Music Awards.

Minneapolis Music Showcase @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12 Advnce, $15 Door) Here’s a chance to see four up and coming bands in one venue and still get out early enough for another show or a good night’s sleep. Headliners Sawyer’s Dream is a 7-piece band w/4 part harmonies, performing original songs inspired by Mark Twain, and the harmonies of bands like the Mamas and Papas and ABBA. The River High features the male/female vocals of Justin Law and Rena Carlson Rasmussen, along with fuzzed out guitars and a strong rhythm section. The Friendly Beers is a blue-collar rock band from Saint Paul, and Jeromy Darling is a songwriter and actor.

Soul Tight Committee @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 8pm ($8 Advance/$10 Door) Get out your dancing shoes and head to downtown Saint Paul where this ten-piece band will be laying down old school R&B, mostly from the 70s.

Charlie Lawson Band w/Guest Larry Hayes @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Lawson continues his monthly residency at this warm pub. Tonight, he and his band will be joined by guitarist Larry Hayes, a founding member of Lamont Cranston, and composer/writer of “Excuse Moi, Mon Cheri” for the Blues Brothers. Hayes has won a number of MN Music Awards and is a favorite of other Twin Cities guitarists. He’s helmed the very excellent Larry Hayes and the ToneArms and currently performs with Mississippi Driftwood

Sunday, March 26

Greazy Gravy @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 3pm – 7pm (No Cover) It’s a matinee performance for this blues band featuring harp master Curtis Blake  Members of this band have been laying down blues licks for decades, so their blend of BB King, Albert Collins, a little Eric Clapton, and Chicago Blues goes down very easy.

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


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