Music Abounds: 9.26 – 10.2

September 26, 2018

This week’s music offerings include two highly accomplished jazz pianists – one is an NEA Jazz Master, while the other is undoubtedly on his way to earning that title. We also have a 70’s singer/songwriter icon, some swamp music, and chamber blues. We’re blessed to have so many opportunities to enjoy the uplifting power of music in many forms. Music Lifts the Spirit



Wednesday, September 26

Madeline Peyroux @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($55, $65, $75) Vocalist Peyroux has come a long way since her days of busking in the streets of Paris. Her latest album, Anthem!, received a glowing review in DownBeat, which called it “…a finely polished production, each performance in crisp servitude to the song.” Here she is doing a Lee Dorsey song.

Cyrus Chestnut Trio feat: Buster Williams, Lenny White @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 7pm ($35, $40), 9pm ($30, $35) Oh my! Pianist Chestnut is a draw all by himself, called “The best jazz pianist of his generation” by Time magazine, with a sound that reflects a gospel background, but tonight he’s joined by the master bassist Buster Williams and the formidable Grammy-winning drummer Lenny White.

Connie Evingson: Irving Berlin @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25) Ms Evingson continues to explore the Songbook series of Ella Fitzgerald. Tonight she tackles the songs of Irving Berlin.

Friday, September 28

Generic Vibes @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Despite their name, this group is anything but generic. Young musicians Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Adam Tucker, bass; and Alex Burgess, drums will be performing originals and original arrangements.

Saturday, September 29

Harvey Diamond Quartet, feat Melissa Stoudt @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 3pm ($15, $20) Boston pianist Harvey Diamond was one of the last students of the revered pianist Lennie Tristano. Diamond has performed in fabled clubs in both NYC and Boston, alongside NEA Jazz Masters and a multitude of jazz icons. Flutist/saxophonist Melissa Stoudt studied with Diamond as well as with the late Eddie Berger, with whom she also played. Stoudt currently plays with The Moonlight Serenaders, and the Maple Grove Big Band, in addition to composing for theatrical productions.

Jana Nyberg Group @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($20) Though vocalist Nyberghas been known to throw in the occasional pop and R&B song into her performance, she is backed by a group of outstanding jazz musicians: Sean Turner, piano; Adam Meckler, trumpet; Kenny Watson, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums.

Monday, October 1

Acme Jazz Company @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm ($8, $10 to guarantee seat) The sound of this 18-piece big band will fill the big lounge at Crooners, with vocal help from the Twin Cities preeminent crooner, Arne Fogel.

Byron Johnson-Blanchard Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30 ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Drummer Byron Johnson-Blanchard heads a few different trios, each of which features original music. Tonight he’s joined by Brad Holden, alto sax; and Keith Yanes, bass.

Jane Monheit @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45), 9pm ($30, $35, $40) Vocalist Monheit released her first album in 2000 to much acclaim for the beauty and purity of her voice. She recently released her tenth album, The Songbook Sessions, in which, with the producing and musical help of Nicholas Payton, she takes an updated approach to songs from Ella Fitzgerald.,

Kenny Barron Solo Piano @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($40, $45), 9pm ($30) Seventy-five year old pianist Kenny Barron is an NEA Jazz Master. At 19, he moved to NYC from his hometown of Philadelphia and began working with the likes of Roy Haynes, Lee Morgan, and James Moody. Since then he’s collaborated with a whole constellation of jazz luminaries, released dozens of albums, and has been nominated for a Grammy eleven times. His latest album, released earlier this year, is Concentric Circles, a quintet affair on Blue Note, though this evening you get to hear him in a solo setting.

For more listings, KBEM has a calendar of jazz and roots events, while the Jazz Police features commentary, reviews, and previews ofnjazz in the Twin cities and beyond.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, September 26

Pat Donohue & the Prairie All-Stars on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) I featured this group last week, playing at Crooners. Listen in if you didn’t get to hear them.  As I said – You heard them on Prairie Home Companion, or you may have seen them on local stages.  Either way, you know guitarist Donahue leads a talented band that can take on the blues, jazz, folk, and pop, and will leave you musically satisfied.

Thursday September 27

Rita Coolidge @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($40, $50) During the 70s and 80s, vocalist Coolidge was all over the charts. She won two Grammys for duet albums with then-husband Kris Kristofferson, backed-up Delaney & Bonnie and numerous other acts, had four consecutive top 25 hits, co-wrote the coda on Layla, and, during Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen Tour, became the inspiration for Leon Russell’s song Delta Lady. Her autobiography, Delta Lady: A Memoir, was published in 2016.

Jake Manders & Friends @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) Singer/songwriter/guitarist Manders  brings his folky bluegrass/Americana to Merlin’s every fourth Thursday. The Popdooksopen at 8, followed by Manders & his band at 9:30.

The Skruffians @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) The Skruffians play a mix of ska, reggae, soul, and jazz, inspired by the Skatalites and other Jamaican musicians who happened to play jazz before they were recruited to play ska.

Thursday, Friday, September 27, 28

Nooky Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm Thursday ($20, $25, $30), 7pm  Friday ($20, $25, $30), 9pm  Friday ($15, $20, $25) This six piece neo-soul group includes a number of jazzers among its membership, making it easy for them to mix up a blend of jazz, R&B, and funk into a warm, inviting, groove-oriented sound using intricate horn arrangements and intimate vocals.

Friday, September 28

Back2School Cool @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul.7pm-11pm ($10, or $5w/New School Supplies) This is a fundraiser for Frogtown’s community radio station, WFNU 94.1, and Feeding Frogtown. Musical acts include Uncle T, The Nighthowlers, and Just Wulf, as well as a special guest, and DJ sets from the station’s deejays.

Saturday, September 29

Honey Island Swamp Band @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis 8pm ($18 Advance/$20 Door) This New Orleans group play their own brand of swamp music encompassing classic country, New Orleans R&B, Delta blues, and artists ranging from the Band, to Taj Mahal and Gram Parsons. It’s been described as “Bayou Americana,” which is as good a description as any.

Hadden Sayers @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20) Red hot, high energy guitarist Sayers is a native Texan currently living in Columbus Ohio. He brings a modern touch to the blues without descending into blues-rock territory. His latest album, Dopamine Machine, was released earlier this month.

Sunday, September 30

Road to Memphis @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 1pm – 6pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s once again time for a fundraiser to send some of Minnesota’s best blues acts to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis this coming January. Six acts will perform, including Harrison Street, Boom Boom Stevie V, and Annie Mack, as well as this year’s entrants, The C-Notes, Tony & Joe, and the Dee Miller Band. 

Corky Siegal & Randy Sabien @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 5pm ($20) Chicago based harmonica player Corky Siegel first came to prominence in the late 60s and early 70s as part of the Seigel Schwall Blues Band. In ’73 they released Three Pieces for Blues Band and Symphony Orchestra, with the San Francisco Symphony. Since then Siegel has continued to explore the intersections of blues with classical music. Tonight he’s joined by versatile jazz violinist Randy Sabien, for an evening of “chamber blues.”

Monday, October 1

Bad Companions @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Get out your dancing shoes, practice up with some swing dance lessons at 7pm, and jump to the rockabilly sounds of Al Subola and The Bad Companions. 

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.

Autumn is Here: 9.19 – 9.25

September 19, 2018

This Saturday The Autumnal Equinox occurs, when the sun will appear to cross the celestial equator, marking the first day of Autumn. The outdoor music season is winding down, though there will undoubtedly be some glorious days ahead. In the meantime, we’ve a passel of shows for you to consider, from celebrations of artists who have passed over, to genre-bending jazz, to a CD release party, and an outdoor concert in a sculpture park.  Music Lifts the Spirit!


Wednesday, September 19

Jazz Central Fundraiser  @ Indeed Brewing, 711 15th Avenue NE, Minneapolis. 3pm – 6pm (No Cover) All the proceeds from beer sales will benefit Jazz Central today, and starting at 6pm, 35 or 40 of the musicians that play at Jazz Central will perform in different combinations.

Kendra Shank @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15, $20) Vocalist Shank has released seven acclaimed CDs amid critical huzzahs from Time, Downbeat, and The Boston Globe. She’s a NYC jazz figure and has been featured n NPR, and has headlined the Blue Note, Birdland, the Jazz Standard, and the Iridum, in addition to festival appearances around the world. She’ll be accompanied by resident jazz stalwarts Phil Aaron, piano; and Graydon Peterson bass.

Thursday, September 20

Mary Louise Knutson Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15, $20) Pianist Knutson is a bright light on theTwin Cities jazz scene, whether performing with a trio, accompanying a singer, touring with Doc Severinson, or playing with the MNJazz Orchestra and the Jazz Women All-Stars. She’ll be joined by bassist Chris Bates and drummer Greg Schulte.

Yasmeen Quintana @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) This vocalist and native of Barcelona performs Latin Jazz and Neo Soul. Quintana will be backed by resident musicians Kevin Gastonguay, keys; David Feily, bass; and Arthur LA Buckner, drums.

Friday, September 21

Debbie Duncan @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Vocalist Duncan is always entertaining, but more to the point, she’s a great singer who can croon ballads with great warmth, and be funky, funny, or sophisticated, as her songs require.

Saturday, September 22

Saturday Night Jazz @ the Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) The17-piece Inatnas Orchestrais the brain child of the married couple composer/conducter Asuka Kakitani and trombonist/composer JC Sanford  After being an important part of the NYC large ensemble scene for years, the couple moved back to Sanford’s home town here in the Twin Cities and established Inatnas to showcase the couple’s compositions. The band includes many of the area’s A-list players, along with vocalist Kim Sueoka, joining the band for the first time. This show will be held in the large room at the Black Dog, which, based on previous shows, may still not be large enough to hold interested fans. Here is Kakitaniwith an orchestra she had in NYC aboutm6 years ago.

Larry McDonough Trio @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8:30pn (Tip Jar) Pianist McDonough  and his trio will be presenting the Music of Bill Evans at this neighborhood pub that never has their TV on during a musical performance.

Monday, September 24

Dan Weiss Starebaby @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($20) NYC drummer Dan Weiss regularly performs with artists like Rudresh Mahanthappa, Chris Potter, and John Zorn, in addition to his own groups, one of which is Starebaby, conceived of as a group that combines jazz with the power of heavy metal and electronic new music. He’s created a group with some of the most talented and accomplished players in the current scene: Mpls native Craig Taborn and Matt Mitchell, keyboards, piano, and electronics; Ben Monder, guitar; and Trevor Dunn, bass.

Tuesday, September 25

Maud Hixson: The 1920s Songbook @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Vocalist Maud Hixson and musical partner pianist Rick Carlson will present songs created in the 1920s, along with stories of th songwriters and singers and an explanation of the slang of the time.

Tuesday, Wednesday, September 25, 26

Madeline Peyroux @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($55, $65, $75) Vocalist Peyroux has come a long way since her days of busking in the streets of Paris. Her latest album,  Anthem!, received a glowing review in DownBeat, which called it “…a finely polished production, each performance in crisp servitude to the song.” Here’s a cut from the album.

Cyrus Chestnut Trio feat: Buster Williams, Lenny White @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 7pm ($35, $40), 9pm ($30, $35) Oh my! Pianist Chestnut, called “The best jazz pianist of his generation” by Time magazine, is a draw all by himself with a sound that reflects a gospel background, but tonight he’s also joined by the master bassist Buster Williams and the formidable, Grammy-winning drummer Lenny White.

For more listings, KBEM has a calendar of jazz and roots events, while the Jazz Police features commentary, reviews, and previews of jazz in the Twin Cities and beyond.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, September 19

Stephanie Niles on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Pianist and singer/songwriter Niles can play raucous juke joint blues, then turn around and barrel through the changes on a jazz tune. Chicago born, she spends her time in New Orleans when not on the road, which is about 150 nights a year.

John Oates @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $50, $55) You may know Rock N’ Roll Hall of Famer John Oates as half of Hall & Oates, but you probably don’t know of his love for Americana music. He’ll demonstrate his approach the genre with songs from the recently released album Arkansas, backed by The Good Road Band: Russ Paul, pedal steel; Guthrie Trapp, guitar; Steve Mackey, bass; and Josh Day, drums.

Thursday, September 20

Gilded Palace Sinners @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis.7:30pm ($7 Advance/$10 Door) Eleven, count em, eleven talented musicians from various Americana bands in the area come together to celebrate the “Cosmic American Music” of Gram Parsons, who helped create country rock in the 70s playing in bands like The International Submarine Band, the Byrds circa Sweetheart of the Rodeo, and the Flying Burrito Brothers.

Miss Myra & the Moonshiners w/Special Guest Papa John Kolstad @ Vieux Carre, Satin Paul. 8pm ($7) Miss Myra and her band serve up a bracing dose of barrelhouse blues and jazz, with Miss Myra handling guitar and most vocals. They are joined tonight by Papa John Kolstad, who knows a thing or three about blues and swinging jazz himself.

Friday, September 21

Pat Donahue & the Prairie Home All-Stars @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($12, $15 to guarantee your seat) You heard them on Prairie Home Companion, or you may have seen them on local stages.  Either way, you know guitarist Donahue leads a talented band that can take on the blues, jazz, folk, and pop, and will leave you musically satisfied.

Saturday, September 22

Annie Mack @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Vocalist Mack isn’t your normal 12-bar blues singer. Her blues is tinged with gospel, a bit of classic Motown, and the occasional county twang. Come early to see the folk-blues of Nikki Roux & Rich Rue, who play from 6:30-8:30pm.

Built To Last Festival IV @ The Hook & Ladder and Moon Palace Courtyard, Minneapolis. 5pm ($15 Advance, $20 Door. GA plus Afterparty – $25 Advance, $30 door) Here’s a chance for Deadheads as well as more casual followers of The Grateful Dead to celebrate the legendary band’s music with headliner Peter Rowan, jam-grassers Kind Country, and a number of Grateful Dead tribute bands, including the Jones Gang, which will perform the Built to Last album.

22nd Annual Art & Artists Celebration @ Franconia Sculpture Park, 29836 St. Croix Trail, Fraconia. 11am – 7pm (Free, $5 Parking) If you’re up for a small road trip, this day of music and sculpture is a chance to see new sculptures, listen to five different bands, and take part in some family-friendly activities, including the creation of solar fountains and transforming stuffed animals into one-of-a-kind assemblages. There will also be guided tours showing off just-completed sculptures. Musical acts include Harper’s Jar, a youth band; Sharon is Karen, a trio performing grunge, and indie music of the 90s; the soulful sounds of Retro Soul & the Westside Horns; the soul & funk of Jaedyn James & The Hunger; and the blues, roots, and country of Corey Medina & Brothers. FMI, go here.

Sunday, September 23

Ben Cook-Feltz Album Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 6pm ($8 Advance/$10 Door) Pianist/singer/songwriter Feltz is celebrating the release of his EP, BCF. It’s a charming project, from the punk-rockish Intro, through the gospelish Holy Water, the country rocker Come On By, a cover, and the funny rave up of the outro. Feltz will have a number of guests, many of whom took part in the EP, including Jillian Rae, Kari Arnett, Mother Banjo, Ben Miller of the Federales, and Haley Rydell of the Lowland Lkers. Opening set by Sarah Morris and the Sometimes Guys. Here’s something from his previous work.

Tribute to Aretha w/Ginger Commodore  @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) While no one can replace Ms Franklin, Ginger Commodore, with an background in gospel and stints in The Sounds of Blacknessand Moore By Four, will have no trouble honoring the spirit of the late Queen of Soul.

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

A Jazz Festival, Gamelans, Americana, and More: 1.27 – 2.2

January 27, 2016
You don't have to go outside to hear winter jazz

You don’t have to go outside to hear winter jazz

I’m still on vacation for another day, so this newsletter is also a bit short. That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of music to hear out there, including a gamelan orchestra, a one day jazz festival, and some great Americana. There’s more, but I haven’t had the time to fully explore everything. Remember, Music Lifts the Spirit.


Wednesday, January 27
Jake Baldwin Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) The young trumpeter always has simpatico musicians in his band. This time he has Ted Olson on bass, and Matt Buckner on drums.
Dean Magraw & Butch Thompson @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($?) Quite the combination. Thompson, of course is our very own expert on traditional jazz, with a light touch on both the piano and the clarinet.  Dean Magraw is as versatile a guitar player that you will ever find, from the music of India, Ireland, and other  countries, to jazz-rock fusion, bebop, and more.

Thursday, January 28
Katia Cardenas @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) The powerhouse young singer can do mighty justice to the songs of Aretha Franklin, Amy Winehouse, and Ella Fitzgerald. She’ll be accompanied by Ted Godbout, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Trevor Hainig, drums.
Saturday, January 30
Saturday Night Jazz @ the Blackdog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Last week I mentioned that Steve Kenny often has young bands as opening acts for these Saturday Night jazz sets. Here’s one of them, The Nextet, a group of very talented high school students: Jordan Anderson, piano; Alma Engebretson, bass; Will Schmid, guitar; and Luke Westemeyer, drums. At 8:30, a special performance of the Dave Karr Group: Karr, saxophones; Kenny Horst, drums; Billy Peterson, bass; and Steve Kenny Flumpet.
Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) It’s dance time at Crooners, as Ms Lynch brings her unique take on songs from the 20s to the 60s to the lounge.
Tim Patrick and His Blue Eyes Band @ The Eagles Club #34, Minnapolis. 8pm ($12) Patrick has a way with crooning the songs of Sinatra and friends that brings out the swing dancers.

Sunday, January 31
Cyrus Chestnut Clinic @ MacNally Smith College of Music Auditorium, Saint Paul noon- 1pm (Free) Pianist Chestnut will be playing later in the day at the Winter Jazz Festival, but is starting out the day with a clinic aimed at high school students, but open to the public.
Twin Cities Winter Jazz Fest @ Saint Paul Hotel, Saint Paul. 2pm – 8:30pm ($30 advance, $35 Door) Three stages with a surfeit of talent. On the Summit Room Stage: 2pm – The Dakota Combo, in their first appearance of the year; 3pm – John Penny, was scheduled, but is unable to perform after an accident. No word on a replacement yet. On the M Street Cafe Stage: 4pm Patty Peterson with Dave Karr; 5:30pm – Solomon Parham with Steve Kenny. On the Ballroom Main Stage: 2pm – Acme jazz Company; 3pm, Ancia Saxophone Quartet; 4:30pm – JoAnn Funk; 5pm Jazz Central All Stars featuring Debbie Duncan; 6:45pm – Cyrus Chestnut with Francisco Mela and Gerald Cannon

Tribute to Natalie Cole @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm  Ginger Commodore, Yolanda Bruce, Tonia Hughes-Kendrick, Dennnis Spears, Ash Smash. With Brian Ziemniak, keys; Jay Young, bass; Deevo Dee, guitar; Daryl Boudreaux, perc; Bobby Commodore, drums.
Tuesday, February 2
Charles Lloyd & Friends @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50, $70) The Jazz Master brings his saxophone back to the Dakota, this time with some esteemed friends: Bill Frisell,guitar; Reuben Rogers, bass; and Eric Harland. Both Frisell and Lloyd leave plenty of room in their playing, creating an almost meditative quality to their performance.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, January 27
JT Bates & Friends @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) JT Bates is a versatile drummer. Some folks know him as the guy who often plays with the Pines and on Prairie Home Companion. Others know him as a jazz drummer about town, playing with Fat Kid Wednesdays, Zacc Harris, his brother Chris, and curating the Jazz Implosion on Monday nights. Some may have discovered him as the funky drummer in the soul jazz organ group GRAIN. Tonight he invites some friends to play the music of New Orleans with him. Those friends include: Joel Schaan, guitar & vocals; Jim Anton, bass; and Kevin Gastonguay, organ. Here he is with a different set of friends.

Wednesday, Thursday, January 27, 28
Eric Bibb and Corey Harris @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) Modern acoustic blues that seems to have wafted up from the Delta from a couple of relatively young masters. Bibb is an intimate performer and fine story teller. With a foundation in traditional blues and an ear for contemporary blues, Harris received a MacArthur “Genius Grant” back in 2007.

Thursday, January 28
Swamp Kings @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5?) You’ll definitely feel the Louisiana vibe as this trio brings blues, swamp pop, and Cajun rhythms to the basement shrine to New Orleans.

Americana Showcase @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Rice County Records is a little label from Northfield. They’ve been holding weekly showcases of their talent and tonight will feature: The Holy Broke at 9; Matt Arthur & the Bratlanders at 10; and Golden Valley at 11.
International Novelty Gamelan @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Gamelan is a term used in Bali and Java to describe a number of instruments, including gongs, xylophones, and a variety of percussion instruments. What sets it apart is that the instruments are built and tuned to be played together. This local sextet has been playing together for over 13 years, composing their own music, which is drone-like in its approach. Beer, wine, and small plates are available for the Thurday night music series at Khyber Pass.
Friday, January 29
John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band @ The Dakota, Minnapolis. 7pm ($30) Jorgenson is an amazingly versatile guitarist. He spent more than 5 years on the road with  Elton John, co-founded the Desert Rose Band, a stellar country rock outfit, with Chris Hillman; collaborated with Sting and Billy Joel; and was a pioneer of the America’s gypsy jazz revival the last couple of decades. Tonight he explores bluegrass.

Scottie Miller @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Pianist/vocalist Miller will be performing boogie-woogie, soul, funk, and blues. HIs rollicking playing, with it’s echoes of New Orleans and classic rock, will have the joint jumpin’. 
New Sound Underground and The Heard @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10 advance, $12 door) Modern day horn-oriented funk from a couple of Twin Cities groups. New Sound Underground is a sextet with at least three players who are well respected in the Twin Cities jazz scene. The Heard is a seven piece group with a 3-person horn section.

Sunday, January 31
Pop Wagner @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Some might call Wagner a folkie, but those in the know would describe him as an old-time country singer, and by old time, I’m talking the 30s. He’s also mighty handy with a lasso. Here’s Pop with a very witty song.

Charlie Parrr @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Parr is playing out quite a bit these days. He has enough fans that most venues fill up. Tonight he’s joined by  Wild Hands, a North Dakota quartet who’s music covers the usual Americana bases.
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.

Summertime Blues, Jazz, and More: 8.19 – 8.25

August 19, 2015
Boating has always been popular on our lakes, as this vintage postcard of Como Lake attests.

Boating has always been popular on our lakes, as this vintage postcard of Como Lake attests.

Whether you bike, kike, swim, or boat, summertime offers many options to Twin Cities residents, including many music options this week, with some terrific visiting artists as well as some unique events featuring resident musicians. Music lifts the spirit.


Wednesday, August 19

New Music Wednesday  @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30  ($10 Suggested Donation) at 8:30 it’s the Lucia Sarmiento Quintet. Sarmiento, from Lima, Peru, is a talented saxophonist who is studying at McNally Smith under the mentorship of Pete Whitman. Her band consists of a number of young players: Trevor Wiest, guitar; Ry Dill, bass; Will Kjeer, piano; and Blake Huebl, drums. Their wide-ranging repertoires includes contemporary jazz and funky twists to Afro-Peruvian music. At 9:45pm, The Blue take the stage, with Adrian Larkin, alto; Trevor Wiest, guitar; Eric Clifford, bass; and Tyler Kloewer, drums.

Kami Lyle @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) Lyle is a singer/songwriter and trumpeter/pianist who has appeared on CDs by Patty Griffin, Julie Miller, and NRBQ, among others, and has had songs on a number of TV and film soundtracks. Although born in Mpls, she now lives on Cape Cod, and will be playing with longtime friend Dean Magraw on guitar, and her nephew, the talented young bassist Charlie Lincoln. Steve Katz will open.

Jack Brass Band @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Ahh, some New Orleans brass funk, from traditional second line tunes to brass band versions of contemporary pop hits, by a group of highly talented musicians.

Thursday, August 20

Joel Shapira and Chris Lomheim @ Vieux Carré, Minneapolis. 5:30 – 8pm (No Cover) The Vieux’s concept of having solo and duo acts early some evenings is creating some fun combinations of musicians, such as tonight’s duo. Gutiarist Shapira and pianist Lomheim are two musicians who can trade bop licks with ease, while turning around and performing airy, sensitive pieces.

Reuben and Dan Ristrom @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This Father/Son Duo have been performing together since Dan was a young boy. Rueben  on guitar and Dan on vocals are celebrating the release of a new CD, “70/30,” so named since 70% of the album is with a jazz band and 30% is just the two of them. Here they are doing an American version of a French song.

Rhonda Laurie @ Public, Saint Paul. 8-10pm (No Cover) The downstairs lounge at Public Restaurant has been having music of late. Tonight it’s the vocal stylings of Ms Laurie, who has a propensity for singing lesser known songs, and is equally adept at interpreting gypsy jazz and standards.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, August 20, 21, 22

Adam Meckler Quintet Live Recording Project @ Various Venues, Minneapolis & Saint Paul. Trumpeter Meckler and his Quintet will be playing for three nights in a row, and recording each night. On Thursday, they are at Studio Z in Saint Paul at 8pm ($10). Friday finds them moving to the Nicollet Cafe in Minneapolis for a 9pm show (Donation), and finally, on Saturday, they finish up at the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar at 8:30pm. Here’s are some samples of their songs, prepared for this project.

Friday, August 21

Bob Bowman Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8 – 10pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Bowman is from Kansas City and has come to town a number of times with Karrin Allyson as well as playing some dates with Laura Caviani. He’s a heavy hitter, having played with the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, The Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band, and Carmen McRae. Joining him tonight are Daniel Leahy on piano, and Mac Santiago on drums. Here’s an example of his playing (and composing).

Saturday, August 22

Andrew Walesch Big Band: The Songs Of Sinatra @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Pianist/vocalist Walesch  who is playing at Crooners a lot these days, ups the ante with nine additional members for his band, as they honor Ol’ Blues Eyes during the centennial year of his birth.

Siskind, Harms, & Pino @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($12) Pianist/composer Jeremy Siskind explores the concept of what it means to be “Home” in his latest recorded project, Housewarming. This is the second release for Siskind and his partners in this project: vocalist and former Twin Citizen Nancy Harms  who has been working steadily in both Europe and NYC, where she’s now based, and reed player Lucas Pino  who has worked with Dave Brubeck, Curtis Fuller, Benny Green, Christian McBride, David Sanborn, and a host of others. Exquisite chamber jazz. Here they are from a house concert a few years ago.

Sunday, August 23

Louis & Clarke (and Bisonette)

Louis & Clarke (and Bissonette)

Louis & Clarke @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8-10pm ($10) Saxophonist Steve Clarke,  an eleven time recipient of the MN Music Award, gets experimental tonight with collaborator Louis Sinclair  aka Rundio, who plays the chapman stick. They’ll add some looping, and processing technology, along with drummer/percussionist Michael Bissonette. The result is 21st Century jazz.

Monday, August 24

Joe Mayo Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) They’ve gone from being an opening act to featured act: Joe Mayo, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar, Lars-Erik Larson, drums; and Andrew Foreman, bass.

Reichert, Glenn, & Roach @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) An evening of improvised music from three multi-instrumentalists: Tom Reichert, guitar, bass; Tim Glenn, percussion, Stephen Roach.

Tuesday, August 25

Cyrus Chestnut Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Chestnut thrilled the audience when he headlined the Twin Cities Jazz Festival a couple of years back. Whether he’s doing the songs of Elvis Presley or jazz standards, his gospel-infused improvisations evoke Jay McShann, Count Basie, yet are thoroughly modern. His music reverberates with all manner of listeners.

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

Blues, Roots, and Other…

Wednesday, August 19

The piano player himself

The piano player himself

John Beach Trio on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Pianist/vocalist Beach is a long time fixture on the Twin Cities music scene, playing with groups like Willie & the Bees, Dave Ray & Bamboo, Snake, the Mill City Hearts, Three Bedroom Rambler, Joel Johnson, and the Blackburn Beach Blues Band. He’s a blues and R&B player, but goes beyond those as well when needed. Liz and I had him play for our wedding reception many years ago.

Willie Murphy & Claudia Schmidt @ Schooners, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Murphy holds this songwriter night once a month, inviting others to exchange music with him. Tonight the guitarist/bassist/pianist/vocalist/songwriter brings out Ms Schmidt  who has been delighting folks with her stories and songs for a number of decades now.

Afrobilly, with guest Jacqueline Ultan @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 8-10pm (Tip Jar) Washboard percussionist Mikkel Beckmen has been having such a ball playing with Zairean soukous guitarist/vocalist Siama Matuzungidi and vocalist/percussionist Dallas Johnson that they’ve formalized the group with the name Afrobilly. Tonight they are joined by the imaginative cellist Jacqueline Ultan, of JelloSlave and many other boundary-pushing groups. Here is Mikkel and Siama.

Thursday, August 20

Pop Remix @ Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. 6-10pm. It’s a free evening at the Walker, and you can hang out on the patio, where the Robert Everest Expedition will be playing world jazz, Deejay Paul Harding will be spinning world music, and there will be a screening of Pulp Pop Clips.

Jerry Douglas @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40-$50), 9pm ($30-$40) Lots of plectorists will be in the audience to watch Douglas  considered to be the best dobro player in the world, due in part to groundbreaking work Allison Kraus, Elvis Costello, and on over 2000 recordings by folks like James Taylor, Ray Charles, Lyle Lovett, Garth Brooks, Bill Frisell, and Phish! He’s recently released Traveler, his first solo recording in six years, featuring guests like Eric Clapton, Mumford & Sons, Keb Mo, Dr. John, Bela Fleck and more. Whew!

Friday, August 21

Harmonica Hoedown @ Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Attention Blues Lovers! Two mighty blues harpist are on the bill tonight. First up is Boom Boom Steve Vonderharr & the Knockouts, followed by Curtis Blake and Don Scott at 9pm.

The Pines @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) It’s summer in Minnesota, time to listen to the rootsy sounds of The Pines  Sit back and relax on the band hell’s benches, or score a spot on the rise north of the bandshell and enjoy a picnic while listening.

He Sings! He Dances! (more or less)

He Sings! He Dances! (more or less)

Farewell Milwaukee & Young Frankenstein @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) It’s a back to the 70s night. Start the evening with the Midwest folk-rock sounds of Farewell Milwaukee, whose music is shaped by artists from the late 60s and early 70s. Then, sit back and laugh at the 1975 Mel Brooks picture, Young Frankenstein. Oh yeah, you can order food and drinks from the bar inside.

Saturday, August 22

Nikki Roux and Rich Rue Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6 – 8pm. (No Cover) Nikki & Rich (of Nikki & the Rue-Mates  perform folk-rock in a manner inspired by the late 60s. Nikki’s clarion vocals and Rich’s inspired slide playing make for an entertaining early evening experience.

Saturday, Sunday, August 22, 23

Nye’s Outdoor Tent Party @ Nye’s Polonaise Room, Minneapolis. 3pm (Saturday), 2pm (Sunday) If you’ve never been to Nye’s, here’s your last chance to see some of the acts that have performed there over the years, both in the Piano Bar and in the Old Side. Daina DePrez, The World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band, St. Dominic’s Trio, Doug Otto & the Getaways, The New Primitives, and Molly Maher are all on the bill.

Sunday, August 23

Gaby Moreno @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) This may be the Under-The-Radar Gig of the Week. Moreno  s a Guatemalan-born singer/songwriter who won the Grand Prize at the John Lennon Songwriting Contest with her song “Escondidos.” She’s been touring the world, appearing at festivals, and collaborating with a who’s who of stars.  The New York Times says she has “A tangy, bluesy voice with the feistiness of Edith Piaf.”

Monday, August 24

Bettye LaVette @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $45) LaVette is one of the few soul singers from the 60s who is still performing. In fact, she’s doing better now than in the 60s, due in large part to her ability to infuse any song with the right amount of emotion and pleading. When she pours herself into a song, it’s done to expose the truth of the song, rather than to impress with her pipes. LaVette is touring behind her latest CD, Worthy, which contains her versions of songs by Dylan, Jagger/Richards, Lennon/McCartney, and producer Joe Henry, among others.

Tuesday, August 25

Tinariwen @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) NPR calls Tinariwen “just about the best guitar based rock band of the 21st Century.” Natives of the Saharan desert, Tinariwen was formed in Tuareg camps in Libya, where the nomadic people gathered to find new work outside of their native Mali. After their music was passed around via bootlegs, western musicians discovered them in the late 1990s and they’ve been delivering the aching beauty and restless energy of their music to worldwide audiences. Body Omara, with Joseph Damman, guitar, Tom Reichert, bass; and Davu Seru on percussion, opens, playing Damman’s own compositions, which are influenced by Ali Farka Toure, as well as American folk and jazz musicians.

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

%d bloggers like this: