Choices, Choices! Music: 6.8 – 6.14

June 8, 2016

Well, those of you looking for Latin or Caribbean rhythms have much to choose from this week, including Latin Jazz, Soca, Cuban roots, and more. Jazz fans have a rich menu as well, including a number of performances by emerging young musicians. Roots music fans can look forward to three visiting bluesmen, a couple of intimate festivals, and some honky-tonk. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 8

Lila Ammons @ Tangiers, Minneapolis. 6:30pm – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Classically trained vocalist Ammons is equally at home in jazz and blues. She recently made new fans when she appeared at the 331 Club singing the blues with Paul Barry and the Acetones. Arrive early and take advantage of Happy Hour, which lasts until 7pm

Double Header of Jazz @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5 w/student ID) Young bass phenom Lincoln has spent a year at Berklee in Boston, and is back for the summer, wasting no time in setting up gigs, such as this one with his contemporaries in a collective called Hoaxer. Together with Peter Goggin, sax; Will Kjeer, piano; and Edmund Catlin, drums; they’ll be playing originals as well as music by Paul Motian, Laurie Anderson, and John Lurie. Note the time, which is a bit earlier than usual for Wednesdays at JC, as there is another group coming on at 9pm – Pawan Benjamin. Musician friends of Javi Santiago from around the country are gathering to prepare for an upcoming recording of original music: Pawan Benjamin  sax; Nick Jost, bass; Javier Santiago, keys; Tomek Mienowski, guitar; and Michael Mitchell, drums. Here’s Pawan Benjamin playing with Mike Stern.

Arturo Sandoval @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $45), 9pm ($25, $30) Trumpeter Sandoval was a one-time protege of Dizzy Gillespie and a founding member of the explosive, Grammy winning Cuban group Irakere. He left the group to form his own group in the early 80s, and moved to Miami in the early 90s. Since then he’s earned 4 Grammys, 6 Billboard Awards, and an Emmy. His brilliance is evident whether performing Latin, Jazz, or Classical music.   Here he is with a big band.

JT Bates GRAIN Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) This is B-3 Jazz – music that keeps your feet tappin’ while the players explore variations in melody and rhythm, featuring the sought-after drummer JT Bates, along with Kevin Gastonguay on B3 organ, and Zacc Harris on guitar.

Thursday, June 9

Vicky Mountain & Friends, featuring Mary Louise Knutson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm  ($10, $5 w/student ID) With a background that includes a show band that toured South America, vocalist Mountain draws on an eclectic mix of music when performing and makes each song her own. This time around, she’ll be performing music from the Doors, The Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Sondheim, Shakespeare, Ella Fitzgerald, and Ray Charles. Pianist Mary Louise Knutson provides sterling accompaniment. Here she is doing a song by The Clovers.

Friday, June 10

Rhonda Laurie Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Vocalist Laurie is ideal for the sophisticated lounge at Parma 8200. She can swing a tune with ease, especially with the backing she has tonight: Reynold Phillipsek, guitar; Gary Schulte, violin; and Pooch Heine, upright bass.

Pete Enblom @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/student ID) Enblom has been lead trombone in the Buddy Rich band, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and the Artie Shaw Orchestra, and now is the lead trombonist with the Brian Setzer Orchestra. In addition he’ played for Sinatra, Natalie Cole, The Temptations, Aretha Franklin, and Harry Connick Jr., and currently plays with the JazzMN Orchestra, and the Explosion Big Band, all of which demonstrates his versatility. He’ll be joined by Geoff Senn, trumpet; Joe May, tenor sax; Javi Santiago, piano; Dan Carpel, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums, for what promises to be a killer evening of music.

Will Kjeer @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 10pm ($?) The Jazz Central website doesn’t show a cover, and it’s a fact that if you go for the earlier concert by Pete Enblom, you won’t have to pay for this, but any chance to see young pianist Kjeer do his thing is worthwhile.

Saturday, June 11

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening set by Silverback Trio: David Hirsch, Keys, electronics, sax; Brent Wallace, bass; Byron Johnson-Blanchard, drums. 8:30 set –  Dave Karr Group: Karr, saxophones; Steve Kenny, FLUMPET, Charlie Lincoln, bass; Kenny Horst, drums.

Ginger Commodore @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Vocalist Commodore is a former member of both Sounds of Blackness and Moore by Four. She and husband/drummer Bobby are calling tonight the Anniversary Jam, in honor of their 39th. They’ll have Sean Turner on piano; Mark Weisberg on bass; Daryl Boudreaux on percussion; and Solomon Parham on trumpet. You don’t have to be celebrating an anniversary to recognize that this should be a fun evening.

Sunday, June 12

Birthday Club w/Dan Choinard & Claudia Schmidt @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) Chouinard has a very cool concept going on, bringing in guest artists to sing the songs of composers born during the current month. The keyboard player has been around long enough to have connections with a wide variety of area singers. Tonight, he’s bringing in Claudia Schmidt  well known as a folk singer, but also a jazz singer of some skill. Given Schmidt’s storytelling ability and Choinard’s quick wit, this should be a fun show.

Monday, June 13

Maurice Jacox @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) In case you didn’t make it a month or so ago, since it was sold out, Jacox returns to the Dunsmore Room with his Nat King Cole Show, featuring Ron Seamon on piano and Reuben Ristrom on guitar. The two are part of a larger group that plays with Maurice when he takes the show to auditoriums. Always a pleasure to hear Jacox.

Pete Whitman’s X-Tet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) Whitman’s 10 piece band of some of the Twin Cities’ finest musicians had a monthly gig at the old Artists’ Quarter for many years before it closed, so this is a rare performance. They perform originals as well as standards done with original arrangements.

Luke Peterson and No Exit @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/student ID)  The young drummer will be bringing his new group, No Exit to the  basement venue. The group includes: Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Peter Goggin, sax; Adam Astrup, guitar; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Peterson on drums. Most of these young players are on summer vacation from college. They’re brimming with new ideas and we get to see and hear them.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, June 8

Malamanya @ Mears Park, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) What a great way to spend a lunch hour!  The rhythmic sounds of Malamanya draw upon the variety of Cuban song styles, all designed to get your hips shaking. Bring a lunch, take advantage of one of the food trucks on the East end of the park, or get take-out from one of the nearby restaurants and celebrate the season.

RJ Mischo on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The former Twin Citizen and harp master is back in town for a visit once again, and I believe this is the first of a number of gigs in the area. Mischo  will be backed by guitarist/drummer Jeremy Johnson, and perhaps a few more of his old pals from the area.

Los Requerdos @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) This trio is made up of members of Malamanya, so if you didn’t get to their noon concert, you can still get a taste of Cuban dance music.

Thursday, June 9

Reina del Cid @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minnapolis. 6:30pm $12 Advance, $15 Door) Presented by the MN Music Coalition. 6pm Happy Hour and member artists showcase, featuring the wonderful singer/songwriter of rootsy/bluesy music, Ms del Cid, w/Jonathan Rundman (pop/folk/Finnish); The Lowland Lakers (bluegrass); Sarah Morris (country/Americana), and Andy Cook (singer/songwriter)

Tinsely Ellis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($27) Guitarist Ellis is a quintessential road warrior of the blues, averaging 150 shows a year. He  grew up listening to British Invasion bands and formed the Heartfixers in 1981, recording three albums, including one with the legendary Nappy Brown. Ellis joined Alligator records in 1988, and as his reputation grew, folks like Derek Trucks and Chuck Leavell joined on some recordings. He’s shared stages with Widespread Panic, The Allman Brothers, Jimmy Thackery, Buddy Guy and others, where his incendiary blues-rock guitar playing found enthusiastic audiences.

Friday, June 10

Sugar Shop Live @ the Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 4pm – 6:30pm (No Cover) Lolly Obeda, of KFAI’s Sugar Shop, will broadcast for the last time on Friday June 17. For a pre-farewell show, she’ll be broadcasting live from the newly reopened Viking Bar, across the street from the station. I’ll be spinning vinyl from 6:30pm until 8:30 or 9, after which, The April Fools take the stage with their bracing country rock.

Trailer Trash @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($??) Well, if any non-blues band can be appropriate at Wilebski’s, it’s Trailer Trash  whose honky-tonkin’ rock n’ roll often contains similar elements to blues songs:  bad relationships, drinking, and betrayal.

Salsabrosa @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) This nine-piece band lays down Cuban grooves that will have you up and dancing, even if you don’t know a salsa from a merengue. Alma Andina, with their contemporary Andean rhythms,  opens

Saturday, June 11

The 6th Annual Loring Park Acoustic Music Festival @ Loring Park, Minneapolis. noon – ? (Free) Eight bands take the stage during the day in the wonderful city park at the end of downtown. They include: Wild Goose Chase Cloggers; The Broken Heartland String Band; Jasper Lepak; The Medicine Show Music Company; Siama’s Afrobilly Trio; Frank Hornstein & Friends; Brady Perl; and the Dumpy Jug Bumpers. There will be food, so it’s an ideal setting for a quick picnic, or stay all day.

Curtis Salgado @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) Back in the day vocalist/harp player/songwriter Salgado was co-leader of the Robert Cray, sang lead for Roomful of Blues, educated John Belushi about the blues, and toured with both Steve Miller and Santana. He fought off liver cancer in 2006 and lung cancer in 2008, and joined Alligator Records in 2012, promptly winning awards for Soul Blues Album of the Year, Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year, and BB King Entertainer of the year. As the LA Times said, Salgado is “keeping the classic flame of soul music alive.”

 

Butanes Soul Revue Party @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Well, here’s the second night of a party celebrating the retirement of Lolly Obeda and KFAI’s Sugar Shop. This time, it’s Lolly’s husband Curt leading the proceedings with the Butanes Soul Revue featuring Maurice Jacox, lead vocals; Curtis Obeda, Guitar; John Lindberg, Bass: Robb Stupka, Drums; Virgil Nelson, B-3; and Prince’s former horn section which includes Michael  Nelson, Trombone; and Steve Strand, Trumpet; as well as the very talented and animated Sue Orfield on Tenor Sax. Lastly Blues Diva’s Aisha Baker and Deb Brown will perform the duties of background singersLolly will also be spinning some tunes during one of the set breaks.

The Fab Six Present the Studio Beatles @ MacNally Smith College of Music, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15 Advance, $20 Door) Here’s a special performance of music from some of the most challenging studio albums by the Beatles: Magical Mystery Tour, Sgt. Pepper, and Abbey Road.  It will feature students, staff, and alumni from MacNally Smith, including: Chad Magnuson, keys, reeds, & vocals; Tilly, drums, vocals; Gary Rue, guitar, vocals; Al Miller, guitar, vocals; Jerrry Gray, keys, vocals; Rusty Jones, bass; vocals. They’ll be joined by the Pepperland Strings; the Sun King Brass; and the Parlophones Vocal Trio to recreate all the sounds on the songs.

Socaholix @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) A unique band in the area, in that they specialize in Soca, a high-energy melding of soul + calypso. The band features Prince Jabba, vocals; Charles “Chilly” Petrus, keys & vocals; Onesmo Kibira, bass & vocals; Lance Pollonais, drums; Siama Matuzungidi, lead guitar & vocals; Tony Paul, percussion; and Scott Fultz, sax.

Sunday, June 12

Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 3pm (No cover) One of only a handful of Charanga groups in the US, Charanga Tropical has the  classic charanga instrumentation of flute, three violins, vocalists, and full Latin rhythm section. They play a mix of modern salsa, original compositions, and of course, charangas.

Bluesfest @ Roseville Central Park, Roseville. 5pm (Free) Here’s a fun event for blues lovers. Bring a picnic and enjoy music from RJ Mischo, Big George Jackson, and The Everett Smithson Band, with Zydeco Dance Lessons by Flory Katz

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 Krew


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.

Jazz

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.
Monday
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.

Labor Day Weekend and More: 9.2 – 9.8

September 2, 2015

images-3Well, along with many other writers, I suppose I could lament the ending of summer, now that Labor Day weekend is fast approaching, yada, yada, yada.

I’ll mention instead a couple of things that are promising for jazz lovers. First, Walker West Music Academy is to be congratulated on their monthly 8 O’Clock Jump Series. The first two shows: Nicole Mitchell Quartet on Sept 6, Ron Carter Trio on Sept 11; are already sold out, but you can still get tickets for upcoming shows by going to their website. The other good news is that Crooners Lounge and Supper Club has instituted Jazz Tuesdays, with a fine line-up each week in September. I’ve listed Dave Karr’s Tuesday appearance below. They are also featuring jazz on other nights, with occasional R&B acts as well.

There is some great roots and blues this week as well. Check out what you can. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, September 2

Anthony Cox Presents @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) On the first Wednesday of each month, bassist Cox brings in a small group or ensemble from different disciplines to collaborate with each other. He’s open to questions and dialogue with the audience, which often creates an insight into the creative process.

Wednesday thru Saturday

Sheridan Zuther @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 4:30 – 6:30pm (No Cover) Crooners seems to be having an artists of the week for happy hour. This week it’s Sheridan Zuther, a vocalist whose strong voice and engaging personality will add even more happiness to your happy hour.

Thursday, September 3

Rhonda Laurie Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7-10pm (No Cover) Vocalist Laurie’s assured way with swing and gypsy jazz will both calm your nerves and brighten your evening.

Vicky Mountain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Mountain, who teaches vocalists at MacPhail Center for Music, shows off her ability to find the jazz nub in a variety of tunes ranging from Fats Waller to Lieber & Stoller. Here’s just a taste of this hip singer.

Friday, September 4

Jon Weber: From Joplin to Jarrett @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Weber may be one of the most talented pianists in the country, able to play any song in any style and then tell you about its origins. Here’s a sample of what he knows.

Andrew Schwandt Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Schwandt is a saxophonist who has played cruise ships and all manner of bands, from Steeling Dan and Big Walter Smith to Fuzzy Math. He’s joined by Chris Lomheim, piano; Matt Peterson, bass; Karl Koopmann, guitar; Mac Santiago, drums. Here he is performing an original song with another one of his groups, Story City.

Zacc Harris Quartet @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) An A-list of pro musicians: Zacc Harris, guitar; Phil Aaron, piano; Matt Peterson, bass; Jay Epstein, drums.

Saturday, September 5

Jana Nyberg Group @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) The flautist/vocalist brings her group, including trumpeter/hubby Adam Meckler, to the club located about 3/4 of a mile north of 694 on Central.

Adam Booker CD Release @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Booker is a Duluth bassist whose fine CD, Unraveled Rival, is being released on the Twin Cities label Shifting Paradigm. He’ll have a sextet backing him: Ryane Frane, piano; Adam Meckler, trumpet; Pete Whitman, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Pete Hennig drums.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) This Saturday night series continues to showcase new bands along with established bands. Tonight at 7pm it’s VVG, the debut performance of a young band featuring Josh Johnson, sax; DeCarlo Jackson, bass; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; and Ben Beyene, drums. Then at 8:30pm it’s What Would Monk Do?, with Steve Kenny, flumpet; Billy Peterson, bass; Peter Schimke piano; and Kenny Horst drums.

Sunday, September 6

Connie Evingson sings Dave Frishberg  @ The Jungle Theater, MInnenapolis.  4pm, 7pm ($25)  Evingson continues her successful series of themed concerts at the Jungle Theater. This time she’s taking on the songs of Dave Frishberg, known for Peel Me a Grape, My Attorney Bernie, and more. She has Jon Weber, piano; Dave Karr, sax; and Gordy Johnson on bass to supply stellar support.  Here she is singing a samba.

Monday, September 7

Convergence Trio @ Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm – 10pm (Tip Jar). Bassist Michael O’Brien is in town for a few days. He has joined with Joel Shapira, guitar; and Eric Kamau Gravatt, drums, to create this trio of seasoned players who are well versed in jazz standards.

Monday, Tuesday, September 7,8 

Victor Wooten @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($30) Bassist Wooten has won five Grammy, and is known for both his solo work and as a member of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.

Tuesday, September 8

Dave Karr Quartet @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Crooners has started Tuesday Night Jazz, a weekly series featuring some of the most accomplished musicians in the area. Tonight the 80-something Karr brings his quartet to the lounge. The veteran saxman (and flautist) can blow bebop licks and turn around and caress a ballad with his wonderful tone. I don’t know who he’ll have, but it will be fine, to say the least. Here’s an example.

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, September 2

CM81ui5UsAASgEw“Suds for Slim” @ The Nightingale, Minneapolis. 4pm – 2pm. (Free) Rush River Brewery and the Nightingale are teaming up to release Suds for Slim, a special brew, with the proceeds going to guitarist Slim Dunlap and family. Deejays Mark Trehus will spin from 4pm – 7pm, when DJ Fathertime (Mike Elias) takes over. I’ll command the wheels of steel from 10pm til closing.

Lonesome Dan Case & the Hoppers on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM) 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – tip Jar). Case is a bluesman influenced by Rev Gary Davis, Robert Johnson, and jug bands of the 20s and 30s. His voice has a lonesome quality (hence the name), earned no doubt, as he honed his craft traveling around the country. He’ll be joined by a new backup duo, The Hoppers.

Steve Clarke & the Working Stiffs @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Get out your dancing shoes and prepare to move to jump blues, jive, and swing as saxophonist Clarke and his septet take the stage.

Thursday, September 3

Asleep at the Wheel @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) 9pm ($30) In an era of country music that’s increasingly pop and rock oriented, this septet celebrates Western Swing, that combination of swing and country music that found it’s biggest star in Bob Wills. Since the band was founded in West Virginia over 40 years ago, they’ve had nine Grammies, 20 studio albums and 20 singles on the country charts.

Friday, September 4

Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials @ Famous Daves, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Lil’ Ed is one of the most exciting blues players on today’s circuit. His fiery slide guitar, along with strong vocals and high energy, have consistently rewarded audiences around the world.

Boogie Wonderland @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($?) Get out the platform shoes, glitter and shiny shirts.  It’s time to boogie down to as this six piece disco tribute band treats you to music from the 70s and early 80s.

images-4Jailhouse Rock @ Raspberry Island, Saint Paul. 8:30pm (Free) Early Elvis at his best, with the titled dance scene often cited as his greets moment on screen. Grab a blanket or a chair (and some picnic fixings if you like) and make your way to Raspberry Island (under the Wabasha Bridge) for this screening of the 1957 rocker. The title song is listed at #67 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Film begins at dusk.

The April Fools @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) It’s roots music night at the Taproom, as KFAI’s Jackson Buck presents Wilkinson James at 7pm followed by the April Fools at 9pm. The Fools are Brian Drake, guitars/vocals; Clay Williams, guitar/lap steel; Ben Kaplan, drums/percussion; and Scott Hreha, bass.

Saturday, September 5

reggae-625x350Reggae Fest @ Harriet Brewing Taproom, Minneapolis. 1pm – close (Free) The day starts with DJs spinning reggae and ska vinyl through the Prizefighter Hi-Fi Sound System, built just like the reggae-fueld sound systems of Jamaica. At 2pm, the Non-Prophets, a new band in town, will take the stage, followed at 4:30 by the Prizefighters, playing ska, roacksteady, and early reggae. Headliners Dred I Dread come on at 6pm and DJs close out the evening once more. There will be Caribbean food trucks available all day.

Coco Montoya @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25), 9pm ($20) Montoya was at the Minnesota Music Cafe in May, and now he’s visiting the other side of the metro area. He’s a southpaw, playing left-handed and upside down like Albert King, and having learned his technique from years of playing with Albert Collins.  As a world-class road warrior, Montopya has received high praise from such places as The Boston Globe, The Village Voice, and Guitar One magazine.

Saddle Sores @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7) Classic country from the 50s-70s, along with plenty of dancing. Drinking too, if you like.

Sunday, September 6

David Grisman Bluegrass Experience @ The Fitzgerald Theatrer, Saint Paul. 8pm ($40 – $50) Mandolin pioneer Grisman has long been a formidable force in acoustic music, able to combine and integrate a number of music forms and traditions, including jazz, bluegrass, country rock, and world music. Jerry Garcia gave Grisman’s music the name “Dawg Music.” Originally scheduled for The Dakota, it was moved to the Fitzgerald to handle the response for tickets. Here is Grisman playing with Sam Bush.

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.

 


Inside and Outside – Music: 6.3 – 6.9

June 3, 2015
The stage at Dixie's on Grand

The stage at Dixie’s on Grand

Let the Festival season begin in earnest. This Sunday will feature Grand Old Day, with a variety of artists performing on a number of different stages, as well as a smaller big band festival in Eden Prairie. If not, there is still plenty of great music to enjoy, including visiting artists from England, and some appearances by resident artists who don’t perform too often. Lots of reasons to enjoy music: It lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 3

Southside Big Band @ Como Dockside Pavillion, Saint Paul. 7pm – 8:30pm (Free) It may shower this evening, but that needn’t stop you from enjoying some big band music under the pavilion at Como Park. Plus, you can always step inside to the new dockside and order food and drinks.

Greer & Penny @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The fine vocalist Sarah Greer teams up with equally fine guitarist John Penny for some great tunes. Here’s Sarah doing a gospel number.

Friday, June 5

Manzara & Reeve @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Julian Manzara on electric guitar and Robert Reeve on trumpet and flugelhorn, make for an unusual duet. They have been performing jazz standards around town for a couple of years now.

Katie Gearty @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Katie takes a break from her R&B vocalizing with Mick Sterling’s Irresistables, Adam Levy’s Hooker’s $ Blow, and Vital Organ to sing jazz and more at the Bloomington lounge/restaurant.

Paul Harper’s Show & Tell @ the Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) You may know Harper from his performances with the Illicit Sextet, Charmin & Shapira, or Ginger Commodore. Tonight the saxophonist is joined by Mike Cramer, guitar; Charlie Riddle, bass; Nathan Norman, drums.

Dean Sorenson Sextet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Sorenson  trombone; Steve Kenny, trumpet; David Milne, tenor; Chris Lomheim, piano; Phil Hey, drums. Sorenson teaches at the U and has played with the Minnesota Orchestra, JazzMN, and the Latin Sounds Orchestra. His supporting band consists of first call players on the Twin Cities jazz scene.

Saturday, June 6

King enjoying himself

King enjoying himself

Dave King’s PBR Street Gang @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) Hoo boy, this group only plays a few times a year, so this is a great occasion to catch some of the Twin Cities’ finest players. Dean Granros, guitar; Dave King  drums; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Anthony Cox, bass and cello.

 

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) It’s another double bill of powerhouse jazz at Lowertown’s community meeting place. Opening at 7pm is bassist Ted Olsen and his Group. Then at 8:30pm it’s the Five: Dave Karr, sax; Steve Kenny, trumpet; Mikkel Romstad, piano; Ryan Hays, bass; and Kenny Horst, drums. The members of this inter-generational group range in age from 20s to 80s, making for some exciting music.

Sunday, June 7

The bones of the Jazz on the Prairie Big Band

The bones of the Jazz on the Prairie Big Band

25th Annual Festival of Jazz on the Praire @ Staring Lake Amphitheater, Eden Prairie. 2pm – 9pm (Free) A cornucopia of big bands, just the thing for a Sunday afternoon.  2pm: Just Friends Big Band; 3pm: Acme Jazz Company; 4pm: Ben in the River Big Band; 5pm: Good News Big Band; 6pm: River City Jazz Orchestra; 7pm: Jazz on the Prairie Big Band

Monday, June 8

Paul Mazzacano & the Mazz Jazz Juggernaut @ Town Green Amphitheater, Maple Grove. 8 – 10pm (Free) Mazzacano is a percussionist/drummer arranger composer, and educator, whose credits range from the Dorseys and Charlie Barnett to Roy Eldridge, Liberace, Elvis Presley, Broadway productions and staff work for both CBS and NBC networks. Not sure of the Juggernaut, but judging by the name, and the fact that Mazzacano has composed of number of pieces for orchestra, it could be a large, and exciting, group.

Eric Wangensteen @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This trumpeter has toured with Bette Midler, released four CDs played in over 20 countries. Though a graduate of the UofM at Duluth, you may not know of hims, since he spends his winters playing in Uruguay, recently playing with paquito D’Rivera for three years at the Uruguay International Jazz Festival.

Chris Bates’ Good Vibes Trio @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Here is a group that always has a good time on stage. Their level of communication with each other is just about telepathic. Bates, bass; Dave hagedorn, vibes; Phil Hey, drums.

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, June 3

Andy Cohen on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Cohen is a virtuoso guitar player and folklorist from Memphis who mines a number of different blues traditions, and has gained fans throughout the country, including many of this area’s fingerpickers. He’s also a great storyteller, having written about many of his musical heroes, and toured with old masters such as Martin, Bogan, & Armstrong, Rev. Gary Davis, and Honeyboy Edwards. It’s a treat to have him stop in town.

Thursday, June 4

World Party @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40) Well crafted pop from a band which has been around since their 1986 hit Ship of Fools.  Frontman Karl Wallinger experienced an aneurysm in 2001, but after some rehabilitation and hard work is back. Critics all seem to agree that Wallinger manages to be a lyrical as some of our best songwriters, such as The Beatles, Beach Boys, and Dylan.

Claudia Schmidt & Dean Magraw @ The Gingko Coffeehouse, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($20 + tax) It’s a birthday celebration for the celebrated folk/jazz singer Ms Schmidt  and once again, she has the supple guitar of Dean Magraw for support. It’s always fun when these two long-time compadres get together. For example:

Friday, June 5

Steve Clarke & the Working Stiffs @ Mendota Square, The Village of Mendota Heights. 6pm (Free) Clarke is one of those saxophonists that most R&B bands welcome to sit in and add some punch to proceedings. He and the Working Stiffs play dance music from the 30s to the 50s, including things from Count Basie, Billie Holliday, Bill Haley, and Elvis.

Graham Parker & The Rumour @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($55 – $65) In the late 70s, Parker broke out of the pub rock scene in England, combining the energy and spark of punk rock with his love for American R&B. Two of his albums with the Rumour are in Rolling Stones’ Top 100 Albums of all time from 1987. Parker favorite Lowell Thompson opens.

Lonseome Dan Case and The Dieselfitters @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) Lonesome Dan, the picture of a 30s itinerant guitar player, opens. The Dieselfitters are purveyors of rockabilly, roots rock, and honky tonk music: Clay Williams, guitar/vocals; Dan Peterson, bass/vocals; and Mike Sandell, drums.

Pop Wagner & the Dumpy Jug Bumpers @ Palmer’s, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) It’s an old-timer evening at the West Bank dive bar. The Bumpers will perform Jug band music. Pop Wagner will perform old cowboy music, as well as some country and pop tunes, and then they’ll perform together.

Saturday, June 6

Charlie Lawson & the Natural Born Lovers @ Barely Brothers Records, Saint Paul. 2pm (Free) Mike and Spencer, the “barely brothers” are once again enticing record buyers into their store with some free music, this time by long time Twin Cities guitarist/vocalist Lawson and his band.

Grateful Red @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm. (Free) This horn-driven funk/rock/pop band will provide the backdrop for your picnic in the area just north of the bandshell, or you can get closer and sit on benches and simply enjoy the music (dancing may occur).

Hurricane Harold’s All Star Blues Revue @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Harpist Harold gathers up a few of his very talented friends for an evening of rompin’ stompin’ blues.

Jarrod Lawson @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm ($25/$20 Advance) “The Hottest New Talent to hit soul music in at least ten years.” That’s what some English magazines have said about blue-eyed soulster Lawson  whose debut at Ronnie Scott’s was sold out and then broadcast on a live web stream. He’ll be playing with some of the Petersons – St. Paul on bass, Ricky on keys, and JP DeLaire on sax, as well as other special guests

Sunday, June 7

Music @ Grand Old Day, Saint Paul. 12:30 – 4:30pm (Free) You can kick off summer and experience a variety of bands at the Midwest’s biggest one day festival. Highlights include Charlie Parr (12PM) and Erik Koskinen (2:15pm) at Dixie’s on Grand; The Cactus Blossoms (12:30pm) and Crankshaft (2pm) at Walgreens;  and country party guy Tim Sigler at the Wild Onion at 3pm. There are other bands as well, and if you want to listen while enjoying adult beverages in the Festival Gardens adjoining each stage you’ll need a wristband ($8).

Cooker John @ Como Dockside Pavillion, Saint Paul. 3pm (Free) Guitarist and folk/blues musician Cooker John learned to pick from Artie Traum back in 60s New York. Since then he’s been in a variety of bands around the country, but has performed solo (sometimes with an accompanist) since 1990.

Monday, June 8

Hunker’d Down Blues Band @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. Noon (Free) It’s Blue Monday at Rice Park, but that doesn’t mean you have to be blue. Take a break and enjoy this five-piece while chowing down on lunch.

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.


Lifting Your Spirit. Music: 12.3 – 12.9

December 3, 2014
Dress warm when going out to hear music

Dress warm!

This week’s jazz scene is dominated by resident musicians, including a few with well-deserved national reputations. The blues and roots calendar features some legendary visiting musicians as well as outstanding resident musicians. All in all, it’s another week of tough decisions about who to see. The one decision that isn’t tough is to get out and enjoy some music. It lifts your spirit, which can certainly help when fighting crowds while looking for those perfect gifts.

Jazz

Wednesday, December 3

Travis Anderson Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Anderson is a talented, swingin’ pianist, ably abetted by Steve Pikal, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums.

Parisota Hot Club @ The Tangiers, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm (No Cover) Robb Henry, guitar; Matt Senjem, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums, are the perfect trio for this faux-fancy club witharge booths, leather couches, and flocked wallpaper.

Riotus N @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Anthony Cox  bass; John Penne, guitar; and Davu Seru, drums & percussion. A great combination of veteran players who continue to explore musical boundaries with taste and imagination. During these first Wednesday performances Cox likes to interact with the audience and talk about the music.

Thursday, December 4

Phil Mattson Singers @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pianist Mattson is an award-winning vocal arranger who has worked with the Manhattan Transfer, among others. He’s gathered six talented singers to perform his arrangements for sextets and various combinations of soloists and small groups.

Davu Seru @ The Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) A rare opportunity to see drummer/percussionist Davu Seru performing solo in this small space with wine, beer, and a few small bites. Here is Davu with a couple of adventurous French musicians.

Friday, December 5

Dave Karr & Chris Lomheim @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 6:30pm – 9:30pm (No cover) Karr on Sax and Lomheim on piano may be one of the nicest pairings you’ll ever hear when it comes to jazz. Octogenarian Karr can bop things up quite handily while stll retaining a mellow sound. Lomheim is a sensitive pianist whose ethereal sounds often have more heft than is immediately apparent.

Kenny Horst & Friends @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Drummer Kenny Horst, erstwhile owner of the late, lamented Artists’ Quarter, brings a quartet to Jazz Central: Brandon Wozniak, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Chris Bates, bass. The combination of a seasoned Horst with a younger generation  of players (veterans in their own right) should make for compelling jazz. Here’s a video of Horst with a few different groups.

Saturday, December 6

Babatunde Lea Quintet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) Drummer/congeuro Lea is a nationally recognized performer who happens to live here in the Twin Cities. He draws much of his inspiration and rhythmic inventiveness from African culture. Past groups have included Richard Johnson on piano; Anthony Cox, on bass; and Solomon Parham on trumpet, but no matter who is in the group, be assured that it will be a stellar performance. He will be conducting a free workshop at 6pm.

Atlantis Quartet @ the Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Fresh off a live recording date at the Icehouse, the AQ is sure to perform new compositions, as well as a favorite or two. Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris Bates, bass; Peter Hennig, drums. With opening set by Central Standard Time

Mama Digdowns Brass Band & Soutside Aces @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) It’s a brass bash at the Parkway, headlined by Madison Wisconisn’s Mama Digdown, an 8-pice brass band. They’ve toured the world (even recording in Switzerland), and will likely preview some tunes from their soon to be released album of Michael Jackson tunes. Opening is our own Southside Aces, a sextet that gooses up traditional New Orleans jazz tunes.

Monday, December 8

Jana Nyberg Group @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) What with her teaching gig and hubby Adam Meckler touring Europe, vocalist Nyberg hasn’t performed a lot lately, so here is your chance to hear her and her excellent group during one of the Dakota’s Foodie Nights. Expect to hear some of the seasonal songs from last year’s very fine CD, Winter Song.

Thomas Strommen @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Tenor sax player Strommen has become familiar to the area’s jazz community as part of Steve Kenny’s Group 47, where the young Strommen (a student at UW River Falls) displays his composing skills as well as an ability to blow with skill and imagination.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, December 3

The Beavers on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pmn (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Okay, this is going to be an estrogen-filled evening as the Beavers are (ahem) an all-female band. They are a light-hearted group of musicians straight out of NordEast Minneapolis, playing folk, country, and Americana music with style and verve. You can expect originals and interpretations of such artists as John Prine. Tune in to KFAI and then, when you realize how much fun they can be, head over to the 331 Club. The Beavers are: Kendra G. Baillie, Bass & Vocals; Jen Bluth, Guitar & Vocals; Sarah Esther, Banjo & Vocals; Julie King, Washboard; Nikki Nefstead, Mandolin & Vocals; Missi Sommers, Percussion.

Nick Lowe’s Quality Holiday Revue @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) With Ian McLaglan (Small Faces) Last year, Lowe released Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection for All the Family, one of the best holiday offerings in years. It’s blend of originals and forgotten gems provide a knowing, adult view of the holiday season, acclaimed by almost everyone who has listened to it.

Thursday, December 4

Sonny Landreth & Cindy Cashdollar @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30-$38) It’s a rare booking and guitar nirvana, featuring a couple of artists who are well known for their chops. Landreth is a slide guitar wizard from Louisiana. He’s released eleven albums, and produces a sound that’s informed by the Delta and the swamp. Cashdollar  from Austin, Texas, plays a vintage dobro, resonator guitar, or a triple-neck 8-string steel guitar, and is equally at home with the blues, bluegrass, swampy R&B, and Western Swing. Here’s a taste of Landreth.

Jack Klatt & Javior Matos @ Palmers, Minneapolis. 10pm ($??) If you didn’t get enough with Landreth and Cashdollar, or simply didn’t make the show, you can still get a heaping dose of fine Americana guitar from Klatt and Matos, appearing down the block from the Cedar.

Friday, December 5

Pat Donahue & Daddy Squeeze, w/Lonsesome Dan Case opening @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($6) It’s another Freewheelin’ First Friday, this time featuring Grammy nominatred ace fingerpicker Pat Donahue, of Prairie Home Companion and some very fine CDs. He’s got that wizard of the accordion, Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton with him to help things swing right along, and will have some very special guests. Opening is Lonesome Dan Case, whose plaintive blues seem straight out of the 30s and 40s. The Tap Room only holds about 80 people during the winter, so you may want to get there early to get your seat.

Omar Souleyman @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25 advance, $30 Door) Imagine the minor key melodies of the Mid-East, combine them with electronic music, synthesizers, and trance-inducing frenetic rhythms, and you may get an idea of the music of Souleyman, a Syrian who first made an international name for himself by remixing Bjork’s Biophillia tracks. Opening is Vacation Dad, a DIY artist who has graduated from basement drone music to bars, playing a mix of psychedelic funk, Afrobeat, and exotica. DJ Don Cuco will be spinning from 7-8pm and between sets.

Hamilton Loomis @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) Texas guitarist Loomis was a protégé of Bo Diddley, whom Loomis met at the age of 16. While you may hear the occasional Bo Diddley beat, Loomis has his own, crowd pleasing style that makes use of fat chords, butt-shakin rhythms, and well written songs. It’s earned him fans across the nation and throughout Europe.

Saturday, December 6

Vinyl Voices @ The Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 1:30pm – 4:30pm (Free) Featuring David Cummings and Danny Siegelman. A couple of KFAI Deejays take over the turntables for the afternoon, spinning cool tunes while you get to taste the various brews from the Tap Room. A food truck will be parked outside to help you fill your stomach.

David Grisman & Del McCoury @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50 – $60), 9:30pm ($35 – $45) Acoustic music fans are salivating over this show. McCoury is a bluegrass legend. He joined Bill Monroe’s band as a singer and guitarist in 1963. Since then he’s established himself with his own band and has won numerous awards, including multiple Grammys, has jammed with Allison Kraus, recorded with Steve Earle and brought bluegrass to a new generation by touring with Phish and playing at the Bonnaroo Music Festival. Mandolinist Grisman  started out during the Greenwich Village folk revival of the 60s. He’s got a musical range that encompasses a number of styles and traditions, and has created his own genre – a mix of jazz, bluegrass, and world music that’s known as “Dawg” music, as Jerry Garcia called it. Along the way he’s recorded with a plethora of notable artists and has won five Grammys.

The Skruffians @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This octet will have Jazz Central jumping as they celebrate the playful sounds of ska, that Jamaican predecessor of Reggae. They’re particularly enamored of the Skatalites, the legendary band that used jazzy horns, a B-3 organ, and hard-to-resist rhythms to back early recordings by Bob Marley, the Maytals and other early Jamaican artists.

Jeff Ray & Hurricane Harold @ The Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10 music, $15 with buffet from 5pm – 8pm) Jeff is a regular guitar master, while Harold blows a mean harp. Together they perform lively originals and unique covers. Here they are at the BBQ.

Bobby E. @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Bobby Eckstrand is one of these town’s underrated guitarists, with a penchant for single note lines, and a wide variety of music. It’s always a treat to have him perform, whether leading his own groups or as a sideman.  I’ve no doubt he’ll be joined by a few friends at this NE hole in the wall with a booth for a performing area.

Monday, December 8

35th Annual John Lennon Tribute @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) Curtiss A gets by with a little help from his friends, for this 35th Annual performance of the most heartfelt, emotional tribute you can imagine (no pun intended). First Avenue is always packed to the rafters for this event. The questions are: what songs will be played, from what albums, and with what era costumes (if any) will be worn. this video will give you an idea of what to expect.

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


Mardis Gras Music & More: 2.26 – 3.4

February 26, 2014

imagesWith Lent approaching next Wednesday, we’re ready to celebrate Mardis Gras, or Fat Tuesday if you will, by listening and dancing to music from less frigid areas of the world. If you aren’t up for celebrating on Tuesday, there are a few warm-up events this week. Additionally, we have some excellent jazz artists visiting during the next week, and some good opportunities to dance.  Have a safe and warm week. Remember, music lifts the spirit.

Jazz…

Wednesday, February 26

Bobby Watson & Horizon @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) For the second time in a week of graduate of the Art Blakey Jazz Messengers will be appearing at the Dakota. The saxophone player was, in fact, the music director for the Messengers. Once on his own, he formed Horizon, which is reuniting for this 30th Anniversary tour. The group includes Victor Lewis, drums; Terrel Stafford, trumpet; Edward Simon, piano; and Essiet Essiet, bass. All have become band leaders and stars in their own right. Here’s an early version of Horizon with Roy Hargrove on trumpet.

Graydon Peterson’s Ghost Tour @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Bassist Peterson has provided the rhythmic backbone of many a group and jazz vocalist here in the Twin Cities. Recently, he’s begun to create tunes that have been featured in his own quartet, and now, in a trio setting, with Park Evans on guitar, and Adrian Suarez on drums.

Thursday, February 27

Stanley Clarke Presents School Days @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($35 & $50) Four time Grammy winning fusion/R&B bassist Clarke will be presenting all of of his 1976 album School Days, as well as other selected material.

Talking Strings @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 9:30pm (tip Jar) The trio of Pavelle Jany, guitar; Gary Schulte, violin; and Dan Weston, bass & percussion, blend jazz, classical, and folk into a variety of international music. Here they are doing a Django Rheinhart number.

JoAnn Funk Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Pianist JoAnn Funk, along with bassist Jeff Brueske, and drummer Nathan Norman cross the river from their normal haunt at the St. Paul Hotel to bring the music of Blossom Dearie, Nat King Cole, Dan Penn, Leonard Cohen, and more to the Dakota stage.

Friday, February 28

Jack Brass Band Mardis Gras in Bloomington @ the Bloomington Center for the Arts, 18900 W. Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington. 7pm – 10pm The guys give us a bit of oral and musical history of Mardi Gras music and Brass Band music in this special performance.

The Bridge Series @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 suggested donation) The idea behind this series is to feature artists who used to appear at the now closed Artists’ Quarter. Tonight, guitarist Zacc Harris is joined by Dave Hagedorn on vibes, as well as Brian Courage, bass; and Twin Cities newcomer Corey Healey, drums. A nice cross-section of generations with the promise of some pretty great music recalling the outings of Milt Jackson and Wes Montgomery.

Saturday, March 1

Pigs Eye Jass Band @ The Eagles, #34, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm ($6) This traditional jazz band will be playing for happy feet in the North Hall of the Eagles Club. Consider this a warm-up for Fat Tuesday.

Bach and Jazz Concert @ The History Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 9:30pm   This is the third collaboration between the the Bach Society of Minnesota and Framework: Chris Olson, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. The last one was about a month or so ago, when they explored baroque music. This time they’re adding saxman Pete Whitman to the mix as they explore the music of Bach.

Davu Seru & Andrew Lafkas @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8:pm ($10) Studio Z continues to come up with intriguing, genre-crossing events that makes us listen to music with new ears. This one is the inaugural event in the Crow With No Mouth Series. Percussionist Davu Seru and bassist Andrew Lafkas will be presenting a duo piece. Chicago based electronicist (is that a real word?) Mykel Boyd will present a solo set of electronics and location recordings.

Sunday, March 2

The 2013-2014 Dakota Combo. Photo by Andrea Canter

The 2013-2014 Dakota Combo. Photo by Andrea Canter

Dave King Trucking Company w/ the Dakota Combo @ MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 5pm ($10) Dave King is an internationally known drummer with a penchant for playing in many bands, including The Bad Plus and Happy Apple. The Trucking Company includes Adam Linz, bass; Eric Fratzke, guitar; and Brandon Wozniak, sax. Opening will the The Dakota Combo, a group of highly, highly talented high school students who will have received a clinic from King. He’ll also sit in with them for a number or two. This is a chance  (Full Disclosure: I chair the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education, which sponsors the Dakota Combo. Though I may be biased about the talent of the combo, other, more neutral folks are also enthusiastic about them.)

Monday, March 3

Jazz Implosion featuring Dave Karr @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm. the first Monday of the month features veteran saxophonist Dave Karr at the Implosion, usually playing with JT Bates on drums and Adam Linz on bass. While Karr’s bebop leanings may seem out of place with the sometimes outside playing of Linz and Bates, the three work well together, and have done so for a number of years. Sometimes there’s a second group, though I’m not sure of who it might be. Here’s a video of Dave with Adam and JT.

Monday, Tuesday, March 3,4

Manhattan Transfer @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($60, $55, $50), 9pm ($50, $45, $40) This quartet was quite eye-opening when, back in the 70s, they first introduced their four part harmonious blend of bebop, doo woo, Latin, and pop. It was a refreshing change from the hard rock and disco of the time. The Ten-time Grammy winning group still provides an aural respite from the pop music of today, singing with panache and élan.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar and the KBEM Calendar, which also features some blues and roots listings. For further commentary of Twin Cities Jazz, go to Jazz Police, Bebopified, and JazzInk.

Blues, Roots, and Other…

Wednesday, February 26

Rockin’ Pincecones on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis.  5pm (KFAI), 7pm (331 club – Tip Jar) Cajun & Zydeco music to get you in the mood for Fat Tuesday. The 331 Club can get pretty crowded, but I’m sure a few folks will try to dance. Followed by jamrooots band Enchanted Ape at 9:30 and Pocketful ‘A’ Change and their Americana/roots music at 10:30.

Thursday, February 27

Scottie Miller Band @ Washington Square, White Bear Lake. 8pm (No Cover) “Bones” Miller is an excellent piano player, well versed in Professor Longhair and Allen Topussaint, but with his own distinctive style. Just ask Ruthie Foster, which whom he frequently tours. He and his band, the Re-Uptake Inhibitors, take on Southern Soul, blues, New Orleans, and the occasional Caribbean rhythms. This is a small room, but it has an ever changing selection of 20 beers on tap.

Friday, February 28

Prophets of Peace @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) The Twin Cities funk band was reunited for last year’s Twin Cities Funk n’ Soul compilation, and has found a new audience in young folk who weren’t born when they were playing back in the early 70s. The Schooner is set up quite for music, with high-top tables in front of the small stage and small dance floor. Plus you get good value on drinks.

Orkestar Bez Ime @ Hells’ Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No cover) Hell’s Kitchen is a favorite stop for bachelorette parties, and when it is, party music is the order of the day. Well, this band’s Balkan dance music will surely fill the bill, resulting in a highly entertaining start to your evening, whether or not the bachelorettes are in attendance. Check them out in this video.

The Eddies Unplugged @ Jerabek’s,  Winifred & Stryker, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm  What’s that you say, aren’t the Eddies always unplugged? Well, almost, but this time there’s no sound system, and no electrified guitar. Plus, this gig is in the beer-less and wine-less Jerabek’s New Bohemian Coffeehouse on the West side, which means that the quality of their performance won’t be affected by the amount to alcohol you consume. Nevertheless, you’ve got the additional lure of a wonderful selection of baked goods and a chicken pot pie that’s so good, it’s sold in fancy food boutiques.

Seven Steps to Havana @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Sax and Flute player Doug Little’s excursions into the music of Cuba are always enjoyable, as this ensemble plays with the heart of soul of musicians who love the music. Here they are.

Saturday, March 1

Hookers & Blow @ The Crooked Pint Ale House, Minneapolis. 9pm ($?) Adam Levy has put together a rotating cast of some of the best Twin Cities’ rockers from various groups to perform R&B from the 60s and 70s. It’s fun. It’s fabulous. It’s a dance party.

Freewheelin’ Mardis Gras @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 3pm – 11pm ($6 after 5pm) KFAI’s Jackson Buck has put together a splendid line-up to celebrate Mardis Gras in beer-drinking style. Starting at 3pm it’s the Southside Aces, followed by the Rockin’ Pinecones at 4:30, the New Riverside Ramblers at 7pm, and Scottie “Bones” Miller Band at 9:30pm. Appropriate food from the Cajun 2 Geaux food truck.

UnknownTuesday, March 4 – Fat Tuesday

Swamp Kings @ Dixie’s, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) If you’re looking to celebrate Fat Tuesday with Louisiana dishes, some Abita beers, and music, then Dixie’s on Grand may fill your bill, as the three-piece Swamp Kings play that New Orleans and Swamp Pop sound.

Mardis Gras @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12) Mardis Gras at the Eagles is a festive event, with many participants in beads and costume. There will be free food, Cajun and Zhydeco dancin’ a’plenty, and some New Orlean’s R&B thrown in for good measure. Tonight’s bands include Ana & the Bel-Tones, Mr. Rowles, The Southside Aces, and the Rockin’ Pinecones.

Naughty Gras @ The Amsterdam, Saint Paul. 9pm  ($12) The Jack Brass Band has a regular gig at the ‘Dam, but tonight, for those who appreciate the uh, “bawdier” elements of Mardis Gras, they’re joined by a Burlesque show, magic, and more, including a a Crawfish Boil and Abita Beer.

Socaholix @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($7) If your Fat Tuesday celebrations run more towards Carnaval than Mardis Gras, this is the place to be as Socaholix present Island rhythms for your dancing pleasure.

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


Happy New Year. Music: 1.1 – 1.7

January 1, 2014

UnknownAnother day, another year. We have some fun things to look forward to as we start a new year. Maybe we can even carry out a resolution or two. An easy one would be to get out and see more music, supporting the musicians and venues that add so much to the vitality of our area. Remember that music lifts your spirits. Have a healthy, happy, and prosperous new year.

Jazz

Wednesday, January 1

UnknownDebbie Duncan @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) If you’re one of those folks who didn’t stay out late to celebrate the New Year, you can welcome it in style with the inimitable Ms Duncan. No one is quite like Debbie. She can sing a lovely ballad, scat a jazz standard, and sass up a risque blues. Be sure to ask for a table close to the stage, as it can get noisy at the Kitchen.

Friday, January 3

Fuzzy Math @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 10:30pm (No Cover) Imaginative contemporary jazz. Leader/composer Mark Vanderhyden shows a bit of Latin and world music influences in his compositions, swinging things quite nicely.

Saturday, January 4

Joel Shapira Trio @ Loring Pasta Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm (No Cover) The quiet, unassuming guitar player can show off classical chops when the occasion calls for it, but it’s with acoustic jazz that he’s make his mark in town. This is another place where you’ll want to be close to the stage.

John Devine @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 10:30pm (No Cover) Saxophonist Devine has been active in the Twin Cities since the early 80s. Along with cellist Michelle Kinny, he formed Imp Ork in 1986. A large ensemble with anywhere from 10 to 30 members, they worked with guest artists like Butch Morris, Julius Hemphill, and Don Cherry. Devine has won awards, fellowships, and commissions from foundations, and has played with R&B bands and classical ensembles, but it’s as a jazz player that he shines. He’s well known for his twice weekly solo gigs at the Loring Pasta Bar, but you can never tell who will show up to play with Devine.

Sunday, January 5

UnknownLarry Coryell Power Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($22) Coryell’s resume includes founding the jazz fusion group 11th House as well as working with Gary Burton and Jack Bruce and sessions with Charles Mingus, Gary Burton, Billy Cobham, Chick Corea, and John McLaughlin. Tonight, he brings his considerable chops to town with the help of Paul Wertico on drums and Larry Gray on bass.

Monday, Tuesday January 6,7

Roberta Gambarini @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Italian born, Ms Gambarini has been thrilling audiences with her singing since arriving in New York in 1998. She was befriended by artists like James Moody and Hank Jones, who called her the best singer to come along in 60 years. Gambarini has a supple voice, which she uses to scat with ease and swing like crazy. I didn an interview with her when she was last here almost three years ago. You can read it here. Here she is scattin’ away with the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band and Roy Hargrove.

Monday, January 6

Dave Karr, Courageous Endeavors @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) On Monday nights, the exuberant Icehouse quiets down somewhat, as (mostly youngish) jazz fans gather to hear the acts curated by drummer JT Bates. The first Monday of the month always features elder saxman Dave Karr, though you wouldn’t guess his age from the vitality of his playing or the beauty of his tone. Tonight he’s playing with JT and bassman Adam Linz. They’ll be followed by Brian Courage, who has become an in-demand bassist since arriving in town, and his group of young players, including Miguel Hurtado, drums; Joe Strachan, piano; and Nelson Devereaux on sax. It’s a late night hang, but definitely worth it.

Tuesday, January 7

Bill Simonsen Big Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Trumpeter Simonsen has had a long career playing in all kinds of bands, backing visiting artists, composing, and collaborating with artists from around the world.  He’ll be bringing 17 musicians to the underground confines of Jazz Central to play his music and his arrangements. It’s exciting stuff.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, January 1

Eddies on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI), 7pm (331 – Tip Jar) The wags of the Eddies are calling it the “hair of the dog” show, which is appropriate. If you didn’t get enough frivolity last night, or perhaps want to recover from too much frivolity, then the almost-acapella quintet might be just what you need. Tune in to Harold’s House party at 90.3 or 106.7FM during the five o’clock hour to get a taste, then head to the 331 Club for a full serving of sea chanties, old folk songs, and occasional offerings of almost ancient rock n’ roll.

Curtiss A does Hank Williams @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Today marks 60 years since Hank Williams died in a car accident on the way to a gig. Curtiss A first did a Hank Williams tribute back in May. It was so well received he’s reprising it to commemorate the anniversary, bringing in a number of musician friends that he’s accumulated over thirty-odd year career in Twin Cities rock n’ roll.

Thursday, January 2

The Droppers @ The Icehouse, Minnapolis. 9pm ($5) R&B instrumentals (both originals and covers of Booker T, the Meters, etc.) from Chris Beaty, guitar; Tommy Barbarella, keys; Jim Anton, bass; and noah Levy on drums.

Mr. Rowles @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5?) Swamp poppy, N’orleansy, cajunny music that will have you wishing you’re wearing dancing shoes instead of winter galoshes.

Friday, January 3

Hotpants East @ The Amsterdam, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) It’s the East Metro version of the rare soul & funk 45 rpm dance party, held in the front bar of the Amsterdam, with fewer people, but the same joyous vibe.

imagesBarton’s Hallow @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) A young six-piece bluegrass, gospel, and acoustic music group. Though young is the operative word here (16 – 20 years old), they won the talent show at the 2011 MBOTMA music festival. Reservations are recommended, as the intimate room can fill up fast.

Stoked beyond Boredom w/The 99ers and The 221s @ The Hat Trick, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) A night of pop punk, power rockabilly, surf and more in the “Iron Range bar” in the heart of downtown Saint Paul. Listen to Godzilla’s a Punk, by the 99ers, which gives you an insight into their humor.

Friday, Saturday, January 3,4

Nachito Herrera Orchestra @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) This is not your usual Nachito gig, as he’ll reportedly be bringing anywhere from ten to thirty musicians to the Dakota stage over the course of the evening. He’s been touring with the National Symphony of Cuba, and will be playing some classical pieces as well as the Cuban and Latin Jazz that’s made him such a favorite both here and throughout the country. Here’s a clip of Nachito with the symphony performing Rhapsody in Blue.

Saturday, January 4

Courtney Yasmineh @ the 318 Cafe, Wayzata. 8pm ($8) The talented, comely, and rockin’ Ms Yasmineh will be performing an evening of acoustic music featuring violin, mandolin, stripped-down percussion and Courtney herself on acoustic guitar.

Soul Tight Committee @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) Old school R&B, Soul, n’ Funk, delivered by an eleven-piece band. Guaranteed to provide the kind of rhythms that will have you dancing, whether you’re in your chair or on the dance floor.

Sunday, January 5

Cactus Blossoms Brunch @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11AM – 1pm (No Cover) Brotherly harmonies doing classic country tunes and originals that fit right along side them. This gig is just the two of them. Here they are performing a fan favorite.

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


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