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.

 


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.


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