Choices, Choices: 10.3 – 10.9

October 3, 2018

So… this week we have quite a few visiting musicians, a CD release party and some special appearances by resident musicians. It all makes for a hard week of decisions on where to spend your entertainment dollars. I just spent a weekend in Las Vegas, and outside of the casinos, where even impersonator shows start at $50, there’s only about 20 venues that present resident and lesser-known visiting musicians. To put that in context, I‘ve 13 different venues listed here, and a list of over 50 Twin Cities music venues on my blog. We’re lucky to have so many choices. Music Lifts the Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, October 3

Sammy Miller & The Congregation @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20, $25) Drummer Sammy Miller put this group together after getting his Master’s at Julliard. Members have played with such musical luminaries as Wynton Marsalis, Lady Gaga, and Queen Latifah. Reviews include terms like “feel-good party jazz” and “joyful jazz.”

Wednesday, Thursday, October 3,4

David Murray Trio feat: Kahil El’Zabar@ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 7pm ($30, $35), 9pm ($25, $30) Since 1975, tenor saxophonist David Murray has been stretching the idea of jazz, working in an avant-garde tradition, founding the World Saxophone Quartet and the Black Saint Quartet, exploring the music of Africa, the Caribbean, and South America, as well as reworking Duke Ellington and the Cuban recordings of Nat King Cole. He’s played with Jerry Garcia, among other non-jazz artists, and had Macy Gray front his Big Band. Tonight he’s joined by another avant giant, Chicago percussionist Kahil El’Zabar as well as versatile resident bassist James Buckley. Here’s Murray with a different group.

Thursday, October 4

Greer & Magraw @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Sarah M. Greer’s vocals & Dean Magraw’s guitar colorings seem to fit hand in glove.

Friday, Oct 5

Talking Strings Trio @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm – 10pm (Tip Jar) Hot Club Jazz, including standards, Django Rheinhardt numbers, and originals, from Pavel Jany, guitar; Gary Schultz, violin; and Dan Weston, bass.

Byerself @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis.8:30pm ($10) Cellos are popping up quite a bit in jazz these days. Here’s a hometown example: Greg Byers, cello; Javi Santiago, piano; LA Buckner, drums.

Lowdown Brass Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 10pm ($15) The Chicago-based Lowdown Brass Band started out about 15 years ago, simply covering the songs of other brass bands, such as the Dirty Dozen and Rebirth. They soon began writing their own songs, and of late, have been integrating hip-hop, African, and Caribbean rhythms to their repertoire, as well as rappers and toasters, making for exciting, and crowd-pleasing evenings.

Tina Schlieske: Sinatra to Simone @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 10pm ($20, $25 -Advance/$25, $30 Door) Here’s a chance to see the leader of Tina & the B-Sides in crooning mood. When Ms Schlieske first performed her show of Torch and Swing at the Dakota a couple of months ago, she clearly had a good time singing standards by Billie Holiday, Tony Bennett, Sinatra, and Simone, among others. If her Dakota show is any indication, she’ll be backed by a stellar group of resident jazz musicians.

Saturday, Oct 6

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm: Cody Steinman Sightless Quartet: Cody Steinman, guitar; Joe Strachan, keys; Graydon Peterson, bass; Miguel Hurtado, drums. 8:30pm: Steve Kenny Quartet – Steve Kenny, trumpet; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Ted Olsen bass; Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Monday, October 8

Peter Kogan’s Monsterful Wonderband @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Drummer Kogan has shown that he and his A-list band members can go from bebop to swing to 21st Century jazz with ease and panache. They have been working on a soon to be released CD, which they are previewing tonight.

Evil Genius @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($12) This experimental jazz-rock group from Los Angeles consist of Max Kutner, guitar; Stefan Kac, tuba; and Mike Lockwood, drums. Avant Music News said of the band, “they seem to be blissfully unaware of any of the (largely artificial) lines drawn between genres.”

Tuesday, October 9

Red Planet w/Bill Carrothers @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Dean Magraw, Chris Bates, and Jay Epstein communicate so well, it’s sometimes hard to envision anyone else joining them, but pianist Carrothers, with his empathetic playing and imaginative improvising, fits right in with Magraw’s coloring and the rhythm section’s pocket. The result is energetic, often dreamy, and wholly satisfying.

Josh Granowski’s Special Music @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6pm (No Cover) The Hook is presenting jazz every 2nd Tuesday this Fall. Tonight it’s a group of relatively younger, very accomplished musicians: Josh Granowski, bass; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, Cornet; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; and Davu Seru, drums.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, October 3

Ben Eaton Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Guitarist Eaton is Iowa-born and spent years playing and touring around the state both as a solo artist, and with The Dirt Cheap Band. He moved to Minneapolis in 2009, and though he’s spent time raising his son, he’s also managed to record 3 EPs, the latest of which is just being released. He’ll be joined by Andrew Brockman and Atom Robinson.

Dieselfitters @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Looking for a little Twang in your life? The Dieselfitters (Clay Williams, guitar & vocals; Richard Gunderson, bass; and Steve Everett, drums) can help, bringing rockabilly, honky-tonk, and good ol’ roots rock n’ roll right to Lee’s tonight.

Thursday, October 4

Boiled in Lead @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm – 10pm ($10) Todd Menton, vocals and guitar; David Stenshoel, violin, Drew Miller, bass; and Michael Bissonette, percussion; have been performing as Boiled in Lead, playing rockin’ versions of Irish tunes as well as their originals for about 35 years now. They’ll be at the 318 Cafe on the 1st Thursday of the month through December.

Friday, October 5

Reverend Raven & The Chain Smoking’ Alter Boys @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm -10pm ($10?) Though based in Milwaukee, Reverend Raven was born and raised in Chicago, so that city’s blues style of blues permeates his music. He plays guitar as if the blues-rock explosion of the late 60s and early 70s never happened, though he also brings that tradition forward. His dedication to the sound has resulted in numerous awards, a Grammy nomination, and the 2016 Blues Blast Music Award for best live CD.

John Primer @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Here’s some blues you can use for dancing or crying in your beer. Primer is a Chicago bluesman who was bandleader and lead guitarist for Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, and Magic Slim & the Teardrops before going solo. He’s a 2018 nominee for the Blues Foundation’s Blues Music Awards, and has received two Grammy nominations. Hard to beat those credentials.

High & Mighty @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) With a commodious dance floor, the MMC is a good place to hear this 10-piece band that mines R&B hits from the 60s until now.

Saturday, October 6

Lucy Kaplansky Album Release @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25 Advance/$30) Folk/pop singer Kaplansky is a Billboard charting singer and one of the best-selling artists on Red House Records. She started out in her hometown of Chicago and moved to NYC in 1978 where she joined the burgeoning folk scene and formed a duo w/Shawn Colvin. She dropped out of music to pursue a PhD in psychology, and returned in the 90s, signing with Red House and releasing seven albums with them. Tonight, she’s celebrating her just released Everyday Street.

Sunday, Oct 7

2018 Uke Fest @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6-10pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) It’s the annual celebration of the little instrument with a growing following. All proceeds benefit Arc Minnesota. Hear YouTube star Zachary Scot Johnson, as well as the phenomenal Marlowe (an ambassador for Kala Ukeleles), and our very own John Munson, Jake Rowan, and others, including that ukulele canary Katy Vernon, who has put together this event every year.

Monday, October 8

Elvin Bishop @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45, $50), 9pm ($35, $40, $45) A Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer, guitarist Bishop came onto the scene in the trailblazing Paul Butterfield Blues Band back in 1965.  In 1976, he had a huge hit with Fooled Around and Fell in Love. Since then he’s put out a series of satisfying albums, often featuring his humorous takes on life. It makes sense then, that his latest group, with guitarist/pianist Bob Welsh, and percussionist/vocalist Willy Jordan, is called the Big Fun Trio. Their music is rootsy, spirited, and, as expected, makes for a good time. Here’s the title cut from their latest album.

Ann Reed w/Joan Griffith & Special Guest Leslie Ball @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20) Singer/songwriter/guitarist Reed has been performing for 35 years, a storyteller of the human experience. Tonight she joins with guitarist/bassist/composer Joan Griffith, who’s recorded with Lucia Newell, Prudence Johnson, and Laura Caviani, in addition to recording with Reed. Special guest Leslie Ball is a singer, producer, and writer whose songs have been recorded by the likes of Helen Reddy and Nick Lowe. In 1991, she started the BALLS Cabaret, which still runs weekly at The Southern Theater.

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.

 

 

 


Music for Long Summer Nights: 6.19 – 6.25

June 19, 2013

UnknownWith summer finally heating up and the Solstice upon us, festivals, outdoor gigs, and other opportunities for live music are popping up like fly balls at a batting contest. Enjoy the weather, enjoy the music.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 19

George Maurer @ Merriam Park Library, 1831 Marshall Avenue, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Free) Maurer is a pianist/composer/arranger who has collaborated with folks ranging from the Chiffons and Eric Clapton to the Saint Paul City Ballet and the Minnesota Orchestra. and has written compositions for orchestras, big bands, and Bobby Vee. He’s equally talented whether leading a biggish band or as in today’s gig, a trio.

Doug McDonald Trio @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) McDonald is a bop-based guitarist out of L.A. In addition to his own recording projects, which includes a nonet, McDonald has played with such luminaries as Stan Getz, Sarah Vaughn, Buddy Rich, Hank Jones, and the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra. A rare appearance, and well worth checking out, as you can hear on this video.

Wednesday, Thursday, June 19, 20

imagesRamsey Lewis & Dee Dee Bridgewater @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($60, $50, $40) Ramsey Lewis has three Grammy, Seven Gold Records, two syndicated radio shows, and is an NEA Jazz Master. Dee Dee Bridgewater has two Grammys, a Tony Award, and her own syndicated radio show, Jazz Set, which can be heard Monday nights on KBEM. Last time through the Dakota she was celebrating African music using master musicians from Mali. A long time resident of Paris, she can sing in French, as per her CD J’ai Deux Amours, which is a regular on my CD player, and is a terrific entertainer, no matter what she tackles.

Friday, June 21

Brad Bellows/Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog Wine & Coffee Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jay) This is a fairly regular gig for Bellows (valve trombone) and Washington (saxes). This time they’ve enlisted Matt Peterson (bass) and Alden Ikeda (drums) to fill out the group, which should provide for some exciting dynamics.

Friday, Saturday, June 21, 22

Mississippi Jazz Connection @ the Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) As if teaching at McNally Smith, leading the X-Tet, and regularly appearing around town in various groups wasn’t enough, saxophonist Pete Whitman has a new project featuring a group of formidable musicians. The Mississippi Jazz Connection features Pete on sax, Peter Schimke on piano, Jeff Bailey on bass, and Kevin Washington on drums.

Saturday, June 22

The Sibley House

The Sibley House

Butch Thompson: Jazz in June @ Sibley House Historic Site, 1357 Sibley Memorial Hwy, Mendota. 5:30pm – 8:30pm ($10/$7MHS members) With Charlie DeVore, trumpet; Tom Andrews, drums; Steve Pikal, bass; and Lee Engele on vocals. It’a an evening of jazz and stories about Mendota’s jazz history. Mendota used to be home to the  Jazz Emporium, located across the street from Sibley House. It was a hot spot for jazz during the 70s and early 80s, featuring first generation players from New Orleans and Chicago playing traditional jazz of the highest order. It was the kind of place you don’t see anymore, where you could bring your own bottle and buy “set-ups” of mixers and glasses. While you won’t be able to bring your own bottle, you can bring a lawn chair or blanket, and a picnic, and there will be a cash bar available.

Linda Peterson & Jason Delaire @ Porter & Frye, Minneapolis. 9pm – Midnight (No Cover) Two members of the talented Peterson Family will hold forth tonight. Linda is a delightful singer and pianist whose original song, Too Late To Leave Early, has gained worldwide recognition, has four CDs to her credit, and is in the midst of recording another. Delaire is a saxophonist and keyboard player who has worked with a variety of artists, ranging from Donny Osmond and Michael Bolton, to Prince, Oleta Adams, and Bobby Brown. He’s equally at home playing jazz or R&B. The intimate confines of the lower lounge in the restaurant at Hotel Ivy will provide a cozy listening experience.

Sunday, Monday, June 23, 24

David Murray Quartet & Macy Gray @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($55, $45), 9pm ($50, $40) At first glance, this is a surprising pairing. Murray is a sax player well versed in free improvisation and the expressive stylings of Albert Ayler, Archie Shepp and John Coltrane, yet he also is a link to Ellington, and Ben Webster. He’s released over 150 albums as a leader since the 60s, and has been a member of the World Saxophone Quartet. His 2011 recordings of Nat King Cole’s “Espanol” songs was a delight. Now he’s back with a new recording, Be My Monster Love, featuring Gregory Porter and Macy Gray on vocals.  The raspy-voiced Gray has sold 14 million records world wide and won a Grammy for her R&B hit I Try, back at the turn of the millenium. Though known mostly as a neo-soul singer, the raspy-voiced Gray got her start singing jazz and standards. Here’s a video of Gray singing with Murray’s big band.

More listings for Twin Cities jazz can be found at KBEM and at Jazz Police. Jazz Police also features jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, June 19

Maurice Jacox @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm. (Free) Younger folks may know him from his work with the Twin Cites Funk n’ Soul Revue. Older folk know him from Willie & the Bees, The Butanes Soul Revue, and the Lights Out Committe, among other R&B projects. However, Maurice is more than an R&B/Soul singer. He recently returned from a 10 day trip to Havana, where he sang (in Spanish) with Nachito Herrera, and he regularly sings Nat King Cole songs, jazz standards, and jazzy acoustic versions of Motown. Hear him today, with Tom West on keys in the sunlit atrium of the Landmark Center. By the Way, if you can’t make it there, see him tonight at 10pm at the Red Stag in Minneapolis.

Thursday, June 20

Bill Kirchen & Crankshaft @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) Kirchen is the “Titan of the Telecaster,” a well deserved name ever since he cranked up the energy in Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen’s hit Hot Rod Lincoln. Since then the man who plays at the nexus of country western and rock n’ roll has lent his talented guitar work to folks like Emmy Lou Harris, Nick Lowe, Doug Sahm, Elvis Costello and a host of others. Opener Crankshaft is also known for his high-energy approach to music, albeit in a bluesier vein. An inspired pairing. Kirchen demonstrates why he earned his nickname on this video.

Friday, June 21

Porch Builder @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) Loosey goosey country-ish rock with raspy vocals and smart guitar licks from some fun-lovin’ rural hippies out of Iowa City. As one reviewer put it, “Maybe these guys would be more famous if they’d leave the bottle alone and tried to pass a urine test now and then.”  Under the Radar Gig of the week.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, June 21, 22, 23

Deep Blues Festival @ The Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 4pm – 10pm each day. ($70/day, $175 for all three) Three days of the downest, funkiest, punkiest tranciest blues you’ll ever hear. From Friday’s opener, Charlie Parr, to Sunday’s closer, Reverend Deadeye, you’ll hear six bands a day, playing blues that goes way beyond Chicago, way beyond Mississippi, on out into the stratosphere. Plus… Plus, you get all you can eat of the Bayport BBQs ribs, chicken, and fixin’s. It’s a small place, and since fans come from around the nation and across the seas, you may want to call them at 651-955-6337 before heading out.

Saturday, June 22

Roots of the West Bank @ the Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 6pm ($10 Advance/$15 door) Past and present performers that have made the West Bank a center of music. The list includes: Adam Granger, Ana  the Bel-tones, Becky Thompso; Butch Thompson, Dakota Dve Hull, the Howling Goats, Jack Klatt, Spider John Koerner, Judy Larson, the Liquor Pigs, Phil Heywood, Pop Wagner, Papa John Kolstad, Roy “Catfish: Alstad, Sabyre Rae & the Midnight Sons, Tony Glover, & Willie Murphy. Whew!

Sunday, June 23

images-2Ticket to Brasil @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 5:30 – 7:30 (Free) Ah, summer in the Cities. Pack a picnic and stake out a grill, or get some mighty fine vittles from the concession stand and enjoy the lilting sound of bossa novas and sambas as performed by this six piece band and their special guest on sax – Doug Little.

James Hunter Six and Shemkia Copeland @ The Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley. 7:30pm ($33) Though he was long considered was of Britain’s Best Kept Secrets in R&B and Soul, Hunter has come into his own in the last half dozen years or so,since Hunter’s approach to R&B and Soul pays homage to the music of the 60s without feeling retro. He gets it. Hunter’s first two US releases, People Gonna Talk, and The Hard Way, earned great reviews and topped the Billboard charts. He and his band are now touring in support of their latest, Minute by Minute. Shemekia Copeland is the daughter of the late, highly regarded bluesman Johnny Copeland, and as they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

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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