Close to Home, Part 2: 2.7 – 2.13

February 7, 2018

Once again, we are looking at mostly area artists for inspiration and lifting our spirits this week, though we have a few visitors in the Blues, Roots, & Other category. It’s good stuff, and worth your efforts to get out and hear. And remember, these are just my ideas about what’s out there. We have a plethora of talent in almost every artistic endeavor you can name. So.. with Mardis Gras approaching, get out and let music lift your Spirit!

Larry

Jazz

Wednesday, Feb 7

Kevin Gastonguay, Rhonda Laurie @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Gastonguay – No Cover), 8pm (Laurie – $6) Start the evening off with pianist Kevin Gastonguay, who is a member of JT Bates’ GRAIN Trio, and other groups, including New Sound Underground, and Nooky Jones, two of the hottest bands in town. Then at 8pm, vocalist Rhonda Laurie will keep things swingin, whether vocalizing on gypsy jazz, straight-ahead jazz, cabaret, or standards. She’ll be accompanied by Robert Bell, guitar, and Matt Peterson on bass.

Davu Seru/Noah Ophoven- Baldwin Duo @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) The always inventive percussionist Davu Seru teams up with the exciting young trumpeter Noah Ophoven-Baldwin for an evening of originals.

Thursday, Feb 8

Adam Meckler Trio & MacPhail Student Combos @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:00pm ($5) This evening features two MacPhail combos directed by trumpeter Adam Meckler, who is working with the groups even though MacPhail left both students and teachers in the lurch when it closed. Afterward, Meckler will be joined by Park Evans, guitar, and Reid Kennedy, drums, to finish off the evening with a program of jazz standards. Here is Meckler in a quintet setting.

Friday, Feb 9

JC Sanford Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9:00pm ($12) Sanford, a Minnesota native and trombonist/composer recently moved back home after spending 16 years in NYC. He’s a long time student of the great Bob Brookmyer and has performed with Danilo Perez, Matt Wilson, and Danny McCaslin, in addition to conducting large groups including the Alice Coltrane Orchestra, the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, and the Frank Carllberg Large Ensemble. He’ll be joined by guitarist Zacc Harris and two other members of the Twin Cities jazz scene.  Here is Sanford with a different quartet.

Really Big Shoe @ Jazz Central, Minnreapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Saxophonists Joe Mayo and Clay Pufahl created this quartet in 2015 to play original compositions and modern interpretations of contemporary and relevant tunes. They are joined by Ted Olsen, bass; and Joey Van Phillips, drums.

Saturday, Feb 10

MN Hard Bop Collective’s “Soul Station” Quartet @Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) Drummer Jesse Simon really likes the music of Hank Mobley, as this is the third concert of Mobley’s music by the MN Hard Bop Collective, this time featuring Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Aaron Hedenstrom, sax; Ted Olsen, bass; and Simon on drums. Here’s a Mobley track.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Things start out with the John Devine Quartet, with Devine and Bill Lang on saxophones: Brock Thorson, bass; and Alden Ikeda, drums. At 8:30pm it’s a combination of seasoned veterans and Young Turks in the Jazz Bridge Project: Brian Handeland, sax; Rajiah Johybson, flute; Roger Johnson, guitar; Mark Vandemyde, piano; Steve Kenny, trumpet; Ron Evanuik, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Sunday, Feb 11

Mary Lou Williams’ Music for Peace: Re-Imagined @ Aquinas Chapel U of St Thomas, Saint Paul. 2pm (Free?)  Commonly known as “Mary Lou’s Mass,” this sacred jazz music of legendary composer/pianist Mary Lou Williams was her testimony to the healing power of music at the close of the Civil Rights Era. The work will be presented in new arrangements by Laura Caviani and Kari Musil, and performed by jazz vocalists with the Swing Sisterhood Big Band. Here is the wonderful Alvin Ailey Dance Theater in collaboration with Ms Williams.

Patty Peterson and the Jazz Women All-Stars @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 5pm, 7:30pm (No Cover, $25 for Guaranteed Seat) This isn’t a group that’s guided by the novelty of being female, but rather a group of jazz musicians whose gender has little to do with their talent: Ginger Commodore, vocals; Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Joan Griffith, bass and guitar; Shelia Earley, drums; Kathy Jensen, sax; and, of course, Patty Peterson on vocals.

Monday, Tuesday, Feb 12, 13

Dave King Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20, $25) Note: Cocktail Service only on Monday. Drummer Dave King usually uses the trio format to explore the Great American Songbook. Tonight, however, in addition to bassist Billy Peterson, he has NYC pianist Matt Mitchell in the group, whose CV includes groups such as Tim Berne’s Snakeoil, The Dave Douglas Quintet, Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Bird Calls, Michael Attias’ Spun Tree, and other boundary-breaking groups, so look for the aforementioned standards to receive even more contemporary treatments than usual.

Tuesday, Feb 13

Mardis Gras w/South Side Aces and The All Souls Brass Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15) Celebrate Fat Tuesday with the traditional New Orleans Jazz of the South Side Aces, and what appears to be a new brass band for this area.,

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, Feb 7

Gang of Mischief w/Richard Kriehn on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This band normally plays on the last Sunday afternoon of the month at Neumann’s in North Saint Paul, so here’s your chance to hear them on the radio and see them within the city limits. Harpmaster Harold Tremblay, along with Rena Haus, guitar & vocals; Dan Schwalbe, guitar; and Mark Rizzardi, bass; will be joined by mandolinist Richard Kriehn in the “hot seat,” the designation for their special guests’ place in the band.

Thursday, Feb 8

Poppy.Computer Tour 2018 @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($230 Advance, $25 Door) As an older person who nevertheless tries to stay somewhat abreast of culture, I’m completely perplexed by Poppy, a YouTube sensation whose 10 minute video, I’m Poppy, has been viewed over 14 million times. This waif-like female has numerous videos in which she asks obvious questions, eats things, and makes odd statements, generally delivered with an android-like voice, all of which has gained her followers on YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram. She has many shorter videos as well, including 3:36. Importantly for this performance, Poppy also sings, and has an EP entitled Bubblebath with four catchy tunes.

Friday, Feb 9

The 70s Magic Sunshine Band @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($?) From Kung Fu Fighting and American Pie to Crocodile Rock, Lido Shuffle, and Love Train, this quintet just loves AM Radio hits of the 70s.

Saturday, Feb 10

Boom Boom Stevie V & the Knockouts @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Blues from Harpist Steve Vonderharr and his band. Vonderharr was inducted into the MN Blues Hall of Fame in 2016. The Knockouts include fellow Hall of Fame member guitarist Dan Schwalbe. It will be a jumpin’ evening.

Mardis Gras @ The Hook & and Ladder, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Celebrate Mardis Gras (Fat Wednesday) with no worries about work in the morning. The Brass Messengers start things off with their joyous takes on brass music from New Orleans, Eastern Europe, and other far-flung places. The Butanes are no strangers to the music of Louisiana, having backed Earl King at the Jazz and Heritage Festival. What’s more, they’ll have special guest Camille Baudin of the Radiators sitting in. Scottie Miller’s take on New Orleans piano giants is just the thing to end the evening.

Terence Simien & the Zydeco Experience @ the Ordway Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($27, $32) This two-time Grammy-winner has appeared at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival for 30 years in a row. He’s brought his infectious music to exuberant fans around the world, and will have you dancing in your seat, if not the aisles.

Sunday, Feb 11

Dusty Heart @ Como Park Conservatory, Saint Paul. (Free) Barbara Jean and Molly Dean are highly respected singer/songwriters who together, create music that blends roots, indie, and folk genres. The duo creates rich vocal harmonies that solidify their poetic lyrics. Get there early to find a seat and enjoy the humidity and greenery.

Sonny Landreth @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($35 Advance, $40 Door) Here’s a guitarist that should be better known. Landreth started out with Clifton Chenier, and since then the ace slide guitarist has collaborated with the likes of Eric Clapton, Mark Knopfler, Derek Trucks and others, and has recorded with artists ranging from John Mayall to John Hiatt. A must-see performer for guitar lovers.

Tuesday, Feb 13

Swamp Kings Annual Fat Tuesday Celebration @ Dixie’s, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) This trio can lay down Louisiana rhythms with style and much energy – apropos accompaniment for the Southern menu at Dixies.

Mardis Gras w/Davina and the Vagabonds @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. ($20 Advance, $25 Door) Whether she’s singing Fats Domino, Etta James, or her originals, Davina and the guys are never far from the music of New Orleans, which makes her appearance at the New Orleans-themed basement club so right.

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.


Solstice Music and More: 12.14 – 12.20

December 14, 2016
Druids celebrating the Winter Solstice at Stonehenge

Druids celebrating the Winter Solstice at Stonehenge

We are in the midst of the holiday season: Christians, Jews, Atheists, Mayans, Buddhists, Muslims, Native Americans Neopagans, and Zoroastrians all have some significant celebrations during this month. In fact, this coming Tuesday is Solstice, which has been celebrated in various ways since before the time of Christ. Whether or not you celebrate a holiday, anyone who appreciates the power of music has plenty to celebrate, as this sample of musical happenings demonstrates. Music lifts the Spirit

Jazz

Wednesday, December 14

BZ3 Organ Trio Holiday Show @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12 door) Git down, Santa! You say you’re looking for a holiday show that’s a bit out of the ordinary? Well, Brian Ziemniak, B3 organ; Troy Norton, guitar; and Kevin Washington, drums; have just the thing: funky, greasy, soul jazz versions of your favorite holiday tunes and even some that are unfamiliar, like a James Brown tune. To help them present this funk filled night they’ve enlisted vocalists Maurice Jacox, Deb Brown, and Jody Hanks.

Randy Sabien Holiday CD Release Party @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $45w/Dinner) Renowned violinist Sabien can be bluesy, jazzy, swingin’ and funky. He’s got a new holiday CD entitled, Meet Me under the Misteltoe, and he’s celebrating its release tonight. Joining him will be Gary Raynor, bass; Greg Byers, cello; Andy Dee and Dan Caton, guitars; Ben Kroeger, violin; Dave Schmalenberger, drums; and special guest Erin Schwab on vocals! Here he is doing a Grateful Dead tune.

Joe Strachan Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 W/Student ID) Pianist Joe Strachan is proving to be a versatile performer. He plays salsa and charangas with Charanga Tropical – even traveled to Cuba with them; has laid down some Afrobeats with area bands, and of course, plays some mighty fine jazz in groups like the Adam Meckler Orchestra and Pete Whitman’s X-tet. Tonight he’s got a trio with Ted Olson, bass; and Patrick Marshke, drums. Here’s Joe with a different trio.

Thursday, December 15

Thursday Night Jazz:Hip-Hop Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Young drum master, multi-instrumentalist, and fireplug Rodney Ruckus has put together a show featuring two bands led by fellow drummer LA Buckner and himself. I don’t know who is playing in which band, but the line-up includes CJ Pitts, vocals; Russell Evans, piano Rob Coleman, aux piano; Omid Huttur, guitar; Jax Reval, bass, Javier Santiago, piano; and Omar AbdulKarim, trumpet. Sound like an evening featuring new approaches to jazz. Here’s Buckner on drums, and Ruckus on piano.

The Holiday FUN Show w/Cardenas, Zuther, & Carey @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 W/Student ID) It’s Vocal Night at Jazz Central, and Katia Cardenas,  Sheridan Zuther, and Nicole Carey have put together a special show featuring touching holiday stories, delightful sing-alongs, inspired solos, and exquisite harmonies. With accompaniment by pianist Ted Godbout and bassist Andrew Foreman, and the additional enticement of holiday treats and a hot cocoa “bar!” Light food and beverage will also be available for purchase from Vanessa.

Aaron, Cox, & Hey @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Three fine musicians gather for an evening of free improvisation. Phil Aaron  piano; Anthony Cox, bass; and Phil Hey, drums are masters of melodic improvisation.

Friday, December 16

Kronick Quintet @ Public Kitchen + Bar, Saint Paul. 9pm (tip Jar) Bassist Richard Kronick leads Aaron Tafoya, percussion; Tony Guscetti, drums; Scott Ives, guitar; and Dennis Landeen sax, through an evening of soulful jazz, in the basement lounge at Public.

Saturday, December 17

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) The evening starts out at 7pm with a JazzINK youth showcase performance by Below Zero, a group from MacPhail Center for Music, featuring Noah Wilhite, tenor; Jacob Rochell-share, trombone; August McKinney, piano; Jorgen Linne, bass; and Nick Adams, drums. Then at 8:30pm it’s The Ruckus, led by drummer Rodney Ruckus, and featuring Anthony Cox, bass; Javier Santiago, piano; Steve Kenny, Flumpet.

Babatunde Lea Sextet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 6pm (Masterclass – $10), 7pm (show $10Advance/$15 Door) This is part of the Jazz at Studio Z series. Attend the Masterclass, which will be podcast, and get the $10 price. Tonight, drummer/conguero Babatunde Lea premiers a new suite, “New Rituals of Unity,” co-composed by Lea and guitarist Zacc Harris. It’s based on a series of traditional West African chants. Joining them will be Brandon Wozniak, tenor; JC Sanford, trombone; Phil Aaron, piano; and Graydon Peterson, bass. Here he is with a quartet.

Sunday, December 18

The Peterson Family’s Jam Before Christmas @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 2:30, 6pm, 8pm ($25) Santa must have a tough time figuring out gifts for the talented Peterson family, since the gift of their talent is so unforgettable. I don’t have room to list all their bonafides, but Patty, Linda, Billy, Ricky, Paul, and Linda’s son Jason will all be on stage, sharing their musical gifts with us lesser mortals.

Monday, December 19

Andrew Walesch & Debbie Duncan: It Must Be Christmas @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12) Here’s a combination of vocalists that’s sure to please even the grinches amongst us. Andrew Walesch is a pianist/crooner who can sing pop, jazz, and classic Sinatra. Vocalist Debbie Duncan can get down with some bluesy R&B, and turn around a kill on a jazz standard. They’ll be ably abetted by veteran saxophonist Dave Karr.

Zacc Harris Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Guitarist Zacc Harris is a go-getter who plays in a number of bands and produces the Jazz at Studio Z series. The most prominent group that he plays with is the Atlantis Quartet, which has toured the upper Midwest, NYC, and even London. Tonight he’s joined by: Chris Bates, bass; Bryan Nichols, piano; and JT Bates, drums.

Tuesday, December 20

Winter Solstice: The Laura Caviani Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. ($10, $35 w/Dinner) With the advent of Solstice the days will once again be getting longer, if slowly so. You can celebrate without going outside by hearing pianist, and occasional vocalist Laura Caviani. She has two holiday CDs, so there will be plenty of seasonal songs as you sit overlooking Moore Lake. She’ll be accompanied by the masterful musicians Chris Bates on bass; and Phil Hey on drums. Here’s a recent interview and performance.

Tuesday, Wednesday, December 20, 21

Nachito Herrera & The Universals @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $45) Even if you’ve seen the dazzling Cuban American pianist Nachito Herrera before, you likely haven’t seen him in this setting. He has gathered a number of world famous musicians for the Universals, including violinist Karen Briggs, who has worked for many years with Yanni, and can go from classical to gypsy jazz on a dime; Saxophonist Mike Phillips has worked with Prince and Steve Wonder; while Cuban drummer Raul Pineda and Senegal bassist Cheikh Nkoye provide the groups’ thundering heartbeat. All have deep resumes, are supremely conversant in a number of styles, and will no doubt create exhilarating music.

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, December 14

Charlie Parr on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) this is the 12th year in a row that Parr has appeared on the House Party. In fact, he was on the very first show, so this is always a special event. Expect the 331 Club to be packed to hear Parr’s traditional blues and originals, often done in Piedmont style. Here’s a video that includes a humorous story.

Thursday, December 15

Mikkel Beckmen w/Siama @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) The lilting, sensuous guitar lines of soukous guitarist Siama Matuzungidi is supported by the unerring rhythmic instincts of Mikkel Beckmen, percussionist and host of this weekly guest series at the ever comfortable Irish pub.

Louisiana Rhythms Swamp Pop Christmas @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis.  7lpm (Donations) It’s a Fais Do Do Ho-Ho-Ho, as this celebration of a Louisiana Christmas has become an annual tradition, with the proceeds going to Second Harvest Heartland. The Swamp Poppas will be playing, as well as backing Tom Leiberman, Rich Lewis, Jon Rodine and Lucinda Plaisance. There will be readings and explanations of Louisiana traditions, such as how, in the bayou, Santa uses a pirogue pulled by alligators. Other special guests and readers still to be announced.

Friday, December 16

Davina & The Vagabonds @ the Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) With a repertoire that encompasses originals, as well as Fats Domino, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Tom Waits, and more, Davina & the Vagabonds create new fans wherever they play, whether its the stages of the Monterrey Jazz Festival, European concert halls, or bars and lounges around the world. It’s hard to beat the sheer musicianship, energy, and powerful vocals of this tight ensemble.

Ian Alexy & the Deserters @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Guitarist and singer/songwriter Ian Alexy is known for his work with the folk troubadours Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank. He has a new EP, inspired in part by the music of groups like The Pretenders, Tom Petty, and Thin Lizzy, with R n’ R grit delivered by the Deserters: Dave Mehling, from Minneapolis group The Fontanelles on Keyboards and guitars; while drummer Mike Cini and bassist Johnnie Timm are best known for their work with superstar vocalist Nicholas David. Also on the bill: The Federales, the Lowland Lakers, and Teague Alexy.

Friday, Saturday, December 16, 17

Sonny Knight & the Lakers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25), 9pm ($20) The new album from Sonny Knight & the Lakers burns, seethes, and simmers, from the opening title track, Sooner or Later, to the closing Oh, Mary. The Lakers’ backing is spot on, with tight, melodic horn arrangements, and solid rhythm section. This annual spotlight gig always fills up the Dakota, so be forewarned.

Saturday, December 17

A Merry 50s Christmas with the Holy Rocka Rollaz @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15) Here is a show for those of a certain age, as well as younger folks who appreciate the unbounded energy of 50s rockabilly and rock n’ roll. This family-friendly show features a charming trio steeped in the music of Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash and other rockabilly and early rock n’ roll favorites. The Holy Rocka Rollaz will be backing Tommy Alsup, of Buddy Holly’s Crickets, at the Surf Ballroom this February, so you know they’ve got the right attitude, touch, and talent for this show. The band is: Mark Flora, hollow-body Gretsch guitar; Lisa Lynn, upright bass; and Matt Alexander, hard hitting snare drum. They’ll  be visiting such classics as Rockin Around the Christmas Tree, Run, Rudolph Run, Jingle Bell Rock, and other jumpin’ songs of the era.

Smokey Robinson @ Mystic Lake Casino, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd, Prior Lake. 8pm ($69, $80, $109) I usually don’t list casino shows, but it’s Smokey Robinson! Poet Laureate of Motown, inspiration for Bob Dylan; beautiful singer, writer of hits for his own Miracles, the Temptations, Mary Wells, and others, including his own solo work. And let’s not forget the iconic Ooh, Baby, Baby. He recently received the well-deserved Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. There are still tickets left, and given our weather, there may be some cancellations, so check with the Casino before making the trip to Prior Lake. Here’s one of his solo hits.

Southside Desire @ The Hexagon Bar, Minneapolis. 10pm ($??) Southside Desire describe themselves as “Femme-Fronted Northern Soul, sprung from the littered alleyways of South Minneapolis,” which is a fairly accurate description. I’d add that touches of Stax and girl-group sounds also make their way into their sound. They’re releasing a seven-inch, which you can listen to here. Also on the bill: the minimal space funk of Moors Blackmon; the sugary grunge-pop of Ahem; and the city rock of Private Interests.

Sunday, December 18

Joe & Vicky Price @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11AM (No Cover) It’s a brunch gig for this couple, who play the Delta Blues by way of Northeast Iowa.

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.


The Power of Music: 11.16 – 11.22

November 16, 2016

 

If serfs could find time to dance, so can we

If serfs could find time to dance, so can we

Life continues apace, and no matter what your political affiliation, it’s safe to say that things won’t be the same. Except for music. Music has the power to voice our fears, to call us to action, celebrate our commonalities, call out hypocrisy, inspire us, heal our spirit, lift us up, and perhaps, just perhaps, bring us together. While musicians undoubtedly enjoy playing, music is much more powerful when it is a shared experience. If you are part of the audience, you are part of the music, whether in a concert hall, a dive bar, or a church. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, November 16

Babatunde Lea Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID)  Though he’s listed on the JC website as a drummer, Lea is much more, as he not only plays a trap set, but often plays congas or other percussion instruments at the same time, incorporating African, Caribbean, and Latin rhythms into the mix. He has an outstanding group of musicians in this band: Solomon Parham, trumpet; Pete Whitman, sax; Phil Aaron, piano; and Chris Bates, bass.

Butch Thompson and Dean Magraw @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Two music veterans from the old West Bank music era who have gone way beyond the music of that time. Pianist and clarinetist Butch Thompson is internationally known for his traditional jazz and ragtime stylings. Guitarist Dean Magraw has traveled the world playing acoustic and electric instruments to create fine jazz, fusion, and world music.

Thursday, November 17 

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) The Chris Lomheim Quartet, with Pete Whitman, saxes, Jay Young bass; Dave Schmalenberger, drums; led by Chris Lomheim on piano. Here is Chris in a trio setting.

Le Percheron @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Le Percheron is bassist Adam Linz’s group, and features Levi Schwartsberg on vibes; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin on cornet, and Corey Healy on drums. While Khyber Pass specializes in music that’s a bit (or sometimes very) out there, this quartet creates music that is at once accessible and adventurous. Linz is a veteran, the other three are powerful young musicians still in their twenties.

Dorothy Doring and Marc Ziegenhagen @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Doring is a warm, engaging vocalist who can sing classic R&B, jazz standards, cabaret, and scat. Versatile indeed.

Joel Shapira/Midnight Love @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6:30 (Shapira, No Cover), 9pm (Midnight Love – $7) Guitarist Shapira  rings his jazz and classical chops to the dinner hour, followed at 9pm by Midnight Love  a band that plays funky soul jazz and rare grooves. They have a fondness for Lou Donaldson, but which will bring in music by Ruby & the Romantics, Leon Russell and Roberta Flack, among others. Midnight Loves is: Greg Schute, drums; Peter Vircks, sax; Brian Ziemniak, organ; Matt Darling, trombone; and Patrick Nelson, bass.

Friday, November 18

Bruce Henry @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Crooners is celebrating Founder’s Weekend – its second anniversary – and former Twin Cities vocalist Henry is in town to start things off with a combination of jazz, R&B, Motown and other swinging sounds.

Swing Sisterhood Big Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5 W/Student ID) There are many talented musicians in the area who happen to be female. A bunch of them have created the Swing Sisterhood Big Band, which is made its Jazz Central Debut last March. Afterwards, there will be a jazz jam for High School students.

Saturday, November 19

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar)  Ahmed & the Creators open at 7pm. The group includes, Ahmed Abdul Karim, trumpet; Batume, drums; James “Jimmyapolis” Wallace, tenor; Ron Evaniuk, bass. At 8:30pm it’s the The Steve Kenny Quartet Tour Conclusion performance, with Javiaer Santiago, piano; Ted Olsen, bass; Rodney Ruckus, drums; and Steve Kenny, Flumpet.

JazzMN: New Orleans Night @ Hopkins HS, 2400 Lindbergh Dr., Minnetonka. 7:30pm $31-$33 Advance, $35-$37 Door, (Students, $10-$18 Advnce, $10-$20 Door) It’s a tribute to the Big Easy as the JazzMN Orchestra takes on traditional jazz, second line brass bands, New Orleans jazz standards, a bit of Cajun fun, and some blues, to create a fun night of music. Orchestra musicians include such outstanding stalwarts as Pete Whitman, Dave and Kathy Jensen, Dave Carr, Mary Louise Knutson, and many other talented musicians. Here they’re performing a Tito Puente tune.

Adam Meckler Quintet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) It’s been a while since trumpeter Meckler has performed with a small group. He and his group  released a new album entitled Wander on Shifting Paradigm Records, but haven’t played much since.  Tonight he has a special guest in saxophonist Tony Barba from Madison. Also in tonight’s group: Zacc Harris, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Greg Schutte, drums.

Sunday, November 20

Firebell @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Park Evans, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums all have extensive experience in multiple bands. Their music is both swinging and cerebral.

Tuesday, November 22

Dave King Trio @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $55 dinner show) Uber drummer Dave King is best known for his work with The Bad Plus and Happy Apple,though he also seems to have a dozen or so other projects, many of which explore the outer edges and realms of jazz and rock. Tonight, though, he gathers the fine talents of bassist Billy Peterson and pianist Bill Carrothers to mine the richness of jazz standards as well as some moody work from the tunes of Bill Evans and Paul Bley. The last appearance of this trio had a number of beautiful moments. Here’s their complete performance at the Village Vanguard a few years ago.

Brian Gallagher Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8 Advance, $10 door) This project is a commemorative effort to honor the life and music of the late Twin Cities based saxophonist Brian Gallagher. The band features Brian Ziemniak on keyboards, Yohannes Tona on bass, Peter Hennig on drums and Brian’s longtime collaborator Julius Collins adding vocals to a few songs, the night before Brian’s 53rd birthday. In addition to the members of the quartet, special guests performances will include saxophonists David Eiland, Peter Vircks, Brandon Wozniak, trombonist Michael Nelson, vocalist Jody Hanks and many others to be announced.

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, November 16

Poor Howard Stith on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Poor Howard  s a 12 string blues guitarist who gave Papa John Kolstad his nickname. He’s influenced by Leadbelly, Blind Willy McTell, and Dave Ray, and tells delightful shaggy dog stories.

Flatlanders @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50, $60) When the Flatlanders were formed and recorded in the early 70s, Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Butch Hancock had each returned to Lubbock Texas after having spent time elsewhere. In 1973 they recorded an album with their unique take on traditional country music. Entitled Jimmie Dale & the Flatlanders, it was released only on 8-track, without a distribution deal, though truth be told, you could find it in Southern variety stores and truck stops. Naturally, it went nowhere and the group drifted apart. By the end of the 70s, Ely and Hancock had become cult symbols thanks to their solo albums, and Gilmore’s songwriting resulted in his being a hip name to drop by music critics and the like. They reunited on a few occasions and in the late 90s had a song in the film The Horse Whisperer. They released a second album in 2002 and have released four since then.

Pat Donahue & Dan Newton @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40 Dinner Show) Guitarist Donahue was a National Fingerpicking Champion almost 40 years ago, and spent 20 years coming up with songs on a weekly basis for the Prairie Home Companion. He has a pleasant voice, and he can write some very witty lyrics, but his killer app, so to speak, is his fleet fingering, which has only gotten better since that long ago championship. He has a perfectly compatible partner in Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton, the accordion ace who taught himself how to play and is equally at home with the blues, jazz, French Musettes, and Cumbias.

Thursday,November 17

Peter Wolf & the Midnight Travelers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55, $65) Wolf was the lead singer for the J. Geils Band, that raucous group that brought rockin’ rhythm and blues to the airways and many a house party in the 70s and early 80s, when they topped the singles charts with Freeze Frame, Love Stinks, and Centerfold. Wolf’s commanding presence on stage and record was a big reason for the group’s success.

Friday,November 18

Red House Live: Chastity Brown @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($20) Chastity Brown began to turn heads and open ears as soon as she arrived in Minnesota from Tennessee where she grew up and was influenced by roots music from an early age. Her music encompasses roots, soul, rock, blues, and country. Much of her writing describes and talks of the experience of marginalized people in our society. At the invitation of Ani DiFranco, Brown spent much of 2016 on tour with DiFranco. She has signed with Red House Records and will be releasing a new album early in 2017. The show was close to selling out as of this writing, so you may have to call the Landmark Center to ascertain availability of tickets.

Dee Miller Band @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm ($??) Wilebski’s continues its policy of having early evening shows on Friday night, so those of us of a certain age can get home and get some sleep after dancing their hearts out. Others will simply be energized by Ms Miller’s tough vocals and tight band and find someplace else to go at 10pm.

Saturday, November 19

CJ Chenier @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25), 9pm ($20) The Dakota continues to bring the music of Louisiana to the northern end of the Mississippi River. It’s hard to get any more rootsier than accordionist Chenier  the son of Clifton Chenier, the late King of Zydeco. CJ learned his art by being in his father’s band, and expanded the sound of zydeco by recording with Paul Simon as well as the Gin Blossoms.

Davina & The Vagabonds @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley (No Cover, $10 reserved seat) Get there early if you want a seat and didn’t reserve one. Davina  nd the Guys will pack the big room at the Lounge.

Sunday, November 20

Phil Heywood @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Heywood is another of what seems to be a plethora of National Fingerpicking Champions in town. He’s got a deep baritone voice that’s a nice foil to his precise, melodic playing.

Monday, November 21

Joe Fingers @ Dunn Brothers on Grand, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) This is the second installment of a Food Shelf Benefit that “Fingers” puts on each year. He is a former National Fingerpicking champion who used to perform as part of a highly popular radio variety show. He and some of his “So Called Friends” from that radio show are performing their Annual Food Shelf Benefit tonight, so bring a bit more $$ than you usually do for a tip jar show.

Tuesday, November 22

Midwest Paul Cook and Crankshaft @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) A couple of blues/roots performers who can mine the depths of despair with their own songs, and well as songs from the Great Depression. Listen to Cook here. Learn about Crankshaft here.

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.


Halloween, Hot Jazz, and More: 10.26 – 11.1

October 26, 2016

unknown-1Ed Note: Updated Saturday, October 29.

Well, we have a Halloween weekend coming up, with many more special events and appearances than I’ve listed. If you don’t feel the need to don a different identity and celebrate, there’s still plenty of fine, fine, superfine music to enjoy including some hot jazz, a winner from America’s Got Talent, stompin, rompin’ blues and some music from Lousiana. Remember, music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 26

The Niska’s @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40 Dinner Show) This vocal trio were the focus of Five by Design, which has toured the world for 26 years using close-knit harmonies to feature pop, jazz, and the occasional folk songs. There are still harmonies, only they are three part, fueled by two brothers, Terry and Kurt Niska. They’ll be backed by pianist Steven Hobert, a veteran of Five By Design tours, and guitarist Vinnie Rose.

Tri0 @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Intiguing trio, with John Keston, electronics, Graham O’Brien, drums, and Cody McKinney on bass. I suspect that the electronics, whether synthesizers, sequencers, loopers, or whatnot, will determine the direction of this trio.

Thursday, October 27

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Bottomless Pit, with Eric Kamau Gravatt, drums; Joel Shapira, guitar; Pete Whitman, sax; Tom Lewis, bass. A gathering of veteran players, who between them, have traveled the world performing jazz. Note especially Eric Kamau Gravatt, who has toured with both Weather Report and McCoy Tyner.

Hot Sardines @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $45), 9pm ($30, $40) Hot is the appropriate adjective here, as this 8-piece band plays music from New Orleans, Paris, and New York during the period from the Great Depression to WW II. You’ll hear songs from Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Mamie Smith, Billie Holiday, and more. It’s foot stomping, heart pounding music that earned them 15 straight sold-out shows at Joe’s Pub in NYC and appearances at the Montreal Jazz Festival, and the Boston Symphoy.

Niny Salem @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) As far as I know, Salem is a relative newcomer to our jazz scene, and is described as follows: “With Southeast Asian roots and life experiences from four different continents, Salem brings her understanding and love of culture, music, and languages when she performs.” She’ll be joined by Jon de Vaal on piano and Steve Pikal on bass, for an evening entitled “My Life Story in Songs.”

Friday, October 28

MN Hard Bop Collective Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Jesse Simon, drums; Javi Santiago, piano; and Ted Olsen, bass perform the jazz of the 60s that successfully combined jazz, gospel, and blues to create foot-tapping, exciting music.

Jazzland Wonderband @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) This quintet takes traditional New Orleans jazz, a bit of second line, and just a hint of contemporary R&B to create a danceable mix that’s sure to get you moving your body and bring a smile to your face. The group consists of Cameron Kinghorn, trumpet and vocals; Nelson Devereaux, reeds; Keith Hilson, trombone; Andres Crovetti, drums; and Evan Clark, tuba.

Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $42) Vocalist Murphy was washing cars for a living when he auditioned for America’s Got Talent, and made it all the way to the top, winning with the biggest vote total in the first six seasons of the show. As a result, he signed with Columbia and had his debut album produced by Grammy winner Steve Tyrell. The crooner has sold out over 100 concerts across three continents.

Saturday, October 29

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm: JazzINK Youth Showcase, featuring the Roseville HS Combo. You can always count on an impressive performance from each year’s combo, as their instructor is saxophonist Pat Moriarty. Following at 8:30pm is Pat Moriarty/Ellen Lease  with Pat Moriary, saxes; Ellen Lease, piano; Chris Bates, bass; Davu Seru, Drums. This is a group that produces accessible, yet freely improvised music, a testament to their communication skills, which can almost seem like the “mind-melding” of Star Trek’s Spock. They may also do a few of Moriarty’s through composed pieces. Here’s an example of Pat and Ellen with a slightly different lineup.

Jazz at Studio Z w/Aaron Hedenstrom Quintet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 6pm (workshop), 7pm ($10advance, $15 door, 12 and under: free) This is the kick-off for this season’s Jazz at Studio Z series. Aaron Hedenstrom, recently returned to Minnesota, is a saxophonist/composer who will be joined by pianist Bryan Nichols; guitarist Zacc Harris; bassist Graydon Peterson; and drummer Miguel Hurtado. Hedenstrom has has performed across the United States as a performer, clinician, and composer, having written numerous big band works, string arrangements, small group pieces, and chamber works. He’s appeared at jazz venues and festivals throughout the country including Snug Harbor in New Orleans, the Scat Jazz Lounge in Fort Worth, and the Dakota. His workshop at 6pm will cover Strategies for Improvising on Complex  Chord Structures. Here is Hedenstrom in a duo context.

Christian Howes w/Jazz Ensembles I & II @ Ted Mann Concert Hall, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) Violinist Christian Howes is in town for a residency at the U, and is performing with two of the U’s jazz ensembles. He has toured the Ukraine and Montenegro for the State Department. His 2012 release, Southern Exposure received high praise from the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, Downbeat, and Jazz Times, and resulted in a six-night run at Lincoln Center, while his 2015 release, American Spirit, garnered a “Best of 2015” award from Huffington Post.

Sunday, October 30

Jennifer Grimm @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Vocalist Ms Grimm is starting a new weekly series at Crooners, bringing her considerable talent, as well as talented family and friends, to the lounge stage. Note how well she does with a noisy State Fair crowd.

Monday, October 31

U of MN Combo, featuring Christian Howes @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID)  Christian Howes, one of the best jazz violinists currently active, is in town for a residency at the U. Tonight he is playing with the U’s Combo, which is directed by Phil Hey. Howes has toured the Ukraine and Montenegro for the State Department. His 2012 release, Southern Exposure received high praise from the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, Downbeat, and Jazz Times, and resulted in a six-night run at Lincoln Center, while his 2015 release, American Spirit, garnered a “Best of 2015” award from Huffington Post. See the Tuesday listing below for additional performances. Here he is doing a song by a James Brown sideman, as popularized by Jaco Pastorius.

Tuesday, November 1

Patrick Harrison/Sophia Shorai @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (Harrison, No Cover), 8pm (Shorai, $5) For the dinner hour you get Harrison playing blues and swing on the button accordion, followed at 8 by vocalist/pianist Sophia Shorai and her trio.

Christian Howes w/Jazz Ensembles I & II @ Ted Mann Concert Hall, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) Violinist Howes (see Monday listing above) is performing with two of the U’s jazz ensembles.

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, October 26

Bernie King & the Guilty Pleasures on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Rootsy Guitarist/songwriter/singer King and the band  perform originals that show influences of Johnny Cash, Tom Waits, and Greg Brown. Together with the Guilty Pleasures – John Kurtis Lead Guitar, mandolin, and Vocals; Julie King- Washboard, and percussion; Bradley Smith- string Bass – he’s released two well-received albums and garnered many fans.

Radio Joe & the Jazzbos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) Start with a singer/songwriter who can compose romantic, swinging’ tunes in addition to being a fine guitarist. Add a vibraphone, bass and drums, and you’ve got the makings of a great little band with a lush sound reminiscent of quartets from the 40s, just right for playing jump tunes, boogie woogie, and vintage swing.

Thursday, October 27

Rockin’ Pinecones @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. ($5) Dance music from Louisiana, including New Orleans rhythms, Cajun, and Zydeco sounds from Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton and his band of fun-makers.

Friday, October 28

Sena Erhardt Band @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($?) Erhardt  is often touted as a rising star on the blues scene, a reputation that’s buoyed by her incendiary performances. She’s released three albums, all of which have earned accolades and nominations for blues awards. If you want to hear some rockin’ blues, you’ll want to be here.

Saturday, October 29

Tex Pistols @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Cool name, though they certainly aren’t from Texas. This quintet is from right here in the land of 10,000 Lakes. They play Boomer music – Neil Young, Eagles, John Hiatt, the Beatles – with verve and excitement.

New Orleans Suspects & Raw Oyster Cult @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($30) Wow! Here’s a combination of New Orleans bands that will definitely help you celebrate Halloween, or whatever you want to celebrate. The New Orleans Suspects are Mean Willie Green on drums, from the Neville Brothers; Jake Eckert, original guitarist for The Dirty Dozen; keyboard player CR Gruver who has been a sideman for Leo Nocentelli; and saxophonist Jeff Watkins, who spent twelve years leading the James Brown Band. Raw Oyster Cult includes Radiators alumni Dave Malone, Camile Baudoin, and Frank Bua Jr., along with John Gros from Papa Grows Funk and Dave Pomerleau from Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes. Hey Pockey Way, indeed!

Boogie Wonderland Monster Mash @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm (?) Okay, the band already dresses up as escapees from a 70s disco, so a Halloween bash is a no-brainer. Add the fact that they nail so many of the songs from the disco era, and you’re ready to Get Down Tonight!

Hipshaker Halloween @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 9:30 (Suggested donation, $5, to $???) Well the Bedlam is going to close on November 2, unless they can come up with some serious bucks, and what better way to send them off then with a Halloween Dance Party featuring the funky 45s of Brian Engel and friends. All proceeds go towards paying off the debts of the club/theater. Note that it would help if the club to get rid of all their beverages and food before closing, so you may want to depend on Uber, Lyft, sober friends, or the LRT to take you home.

Sunday, October 30

Reverend Raven & the Chain Smoking Altar Boys @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 3pm ($?) Reverend Raven was born in Chicago, and what he does is play traditional Chicago-style blues with great passion. It works, as he and his band have been nominated for a number of awards, including a Grammy nomination, and has been voted the Best Blues Band in Milwaukee in 2012, 2014, and 2015. As an added attraction, Stevie V & the Knockouts will open.

Monday, October 31

Davina & The Vagabonds Halloween Show @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($15) Davina and her band may not be the first band you think of for Halloween, but in actuality, they can put together a show for any holiday, Davina’s impassioned vocals and honky tonk-ish piano playing, together with the raucous sounds of the Vagabonds, make any day a party day.

Tuesday, Wednesday, November 1,2 
Booker T. Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55) 9pm (Wednesday Only, $32, $42) Jones was only a teenager when he began hanging out at Stax Records and recorded Green Onions with the MGs, essentially serving as the house band during the subsequent explosion of soul music in the 60s. He’s a member of the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, The American Musicians Hall of Fame, and has received the Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Whether you’re a baby boomer who grew up with his music, or a millennial who appreciates soul music, you will be thrilled by seeing him.

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.


It’s All Good Music: 4.20 – 4.26

April 20, 2016

Unknown-1It’s another good week to be an ominiverous music fan. We have a few highly anticipated jazz artists in town, as well as some great blues and a battle of the blues bands, and some fine resident artists at work. Music lifts the spirit. Have a great week.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 20

Nathan Hanson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Saxophonist Hanson leads Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, Cornet; Erik Fratzke, electric bass; and Davu Seru, drums and percussion; through a program of Nathan’s originals, as well as tunes from Carla Bley, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, and some spontaneously composed works.

Bernstein, Goldings, & Stewart Organ Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($22 – $30) This isn’t your father’s classic organ trio, though it’s a hard-charging group that’s taking the format in new directions. Guitarist Peter Bernstein has been a NYC institution since 1989, playing with legendary drummer Jimmy Cobb, Joshua Redman’s band, Diana Krall, Tomn Harrell, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Sonny Rollins, and more. Larry Goldings is the organ player in the group, though he’s equally at home with other keyboards, enough so that’ he’s been nominated for a Grammy and has playd with folks like Norah Jones, Madeleine Peyroux, Charlie Haden, Herbie Hancock, and Elton John. He’s got 18 albums as a leader, and hundreds more as a sideman. Drummer Bill Steward is another versatile veteran, having performed with Maceo Parker, John Scofield, Joe Lovano, james Brown, and Pat Metheny.

Thursday, April 21

Andrew Walesch Big Band: The Sounds of Sinatra @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) If you want to see this group I recommend getting there early, as pianist/vocalist Walesch has certainly hit on a popular concept. Though it’s not exactly a big band, the group does have ten members, giving it significant heft to support Walesch’s vocals.

Thursday, Friday, Sunday, April 21, 22, 24

Davina & The Vagabonds CD Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($15) The hardest working musician in the Twin Cities is releasing a live album entitled Nicollet & 10th. She and the band (trumpet, trombone, upright bass and drums) will soon be heading to the San Francisco Jazz Festival, then out East for a plethora of appearances, including a couple of blues festivals, before returning to the Monterrey Jazz Festival once again, where they’ll perform on two different stages. Later this summer they head to Europe. If you’ve never seen her and wonder what it’s all about, the best I can say is that Davina has a powerful voice, and a kick-*ss band, which does not include a guitar. Her music straddles lines between New Orleans R&B, traditional jazz, blues, and the occasional standard. The high-energy combination works, as she gains new and rabid fans wherever she plays.

Friday, April 22

Father & Son Pancake Breakfast @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Not what you think, but rather a trio featuring the father/son team of Javi Santiago on piano and Mac Santiago on drums, joined by Anthony Cox on bass. No word on whether Vanessa will be selling pancakes.

Saturday, April 23

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm: Steve Kimmel Trio w/Steve Kimmel, piano; Margo Beivik, bass; and Trevor Haining, drums. 8pm Javi Santiago Trio: Miguel Hurtado, drums; Dan Carpel, bass;  and Santiago on piano. Here’s Javi in a solo piece.

Adam Meckler Quintet CD Release @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) opening is Jack Lion, electronic modern Jazz from Iowa. Then its’ tha AMQ: Meckler, trumpet; Graydon Peterson, bass; Zacc Harris, guitar; Greg Shulte, drums, Joe Mayo, sax. Here they are at the Black Dog.

Andy Martin & Bob McChesney w/the JazzMN Orchestra @ Hopkins High School, 2400 Lindberg Dr, Hopkins. 7:30pm ($$10 – $33) The show is called Slide by Slide, since both Martin and McChesney are veteran trombonists – both have appeared on hundreds of soundtracks and TV scores. They’ve also been featured performers with the likes of Natalie Cole, Michael Buble, and Gordon Goodwin. Here they are with the Carl Saunders band.

Superstitious Thriller: A Tribute to Stevie Wonder & Michael Jackson @ The Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Jay Young and his Lyric Factory have been presenting some of the music of Wonder and Jackson as part of larger shows over the last few years. Now he just concentrates on the two Motown Stars, bringing jazz arrangements to their songs. Though groups are always a bit flexible, past versions of the Lyric Factory have included Jay on piccolo bass; his son Ian on regular bass; Kevin Washington, on drums, and Thom West on keys. Various and sundry singers take over the vocal duties.

Sunday, April 24

The Elders @ Minnesota Historical Society, Saint Paul. 2pm ($20 Adults, $16 MNHS members, $10 5-7 yrs old) Patty Peterson host this event, which includes live music and conversation with jazz elders from the area. Guests include gospel singer Tom Tipton, and saxophonist/composer/arranger Dave Karr.

 

Superstitious Thriller: A Tribute to Stevie Wonder & Michael Jackson @ The Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 3pm ($25) Jay Young and his Lyric Factory have been presenting some of the music of Wonder and Jackson as part of larger shows over the last few years. Now he just concentrates on the two Motown Stars, bringing jazz arrangements to their songs. Though groups are always a bit flexible, past versions of the Lyric Factory have included Jay on piccolo bass; his son Ian on regular bass; Kevin Washington, on drums, and Thom West on keys. Various and sundry singers take over the vocal duties.

Lucia Newell & Phil Aaron @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm – 9pm ($8, $35 Dinner) Ms Newell is a chanteuse whose knowledge of Brazilian songs comes from having lived there some years (decades?) back. She and Phil Aaron on piano will be performing some new material along with the Brazilian and American jazz standards that she favors. There will likely be some songs of spring as well for this intimate show.

Monday, April 25

Nancy Harms @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $40 Dinner), 9pm ($15) NYC-based, Minnesota-native Nancy Harms reruns to the Twin Cities for the local release of her highly anticipated album “Ellington at Night”. Judging from the videos released in anticipation of the album, Harms continues to find new emotion and strength in well known standards, this time from the Ellington songbook. Nancy will be appear with pianist Jeremy Siskind, a frequent collaborator with a light touch; as well as bassist Gordy Johnson and drummer Jay Epstein. Noted jazz writer Will Friedwald says of her  “…What makes ‘Ellington at Night’ so remarkable is the way that Nancy Harms and chief collaborator Jeremy Siskind have found a whole new way to sing Ellington, one that’s perfectly in keeping with the Ellington tradition, yet, at the same time, fresh and original.”

JAWS @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) I doubt you’ll hear the scary music from the movie, but one never can tell. This is a young outfit, co-led by pianist Jordan Anderson and guitarist Will Schmid, with Drew Stinson on bass, and Ben Beyene on drums. Anderson is now in his second year on the Dakota Combo, and was recently accepted into the jazz program at the University of Michigan, where he’ll study with Beeny Green. Schmid plays with the Minnesota Youth Jazz Band, and leads his own groups, in addition to playing in a guitar duo with Adam Astrup – the two got a warm reception at the Winter Jazz Fest.

Jazz Implosion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) The first set is guitarist Jeremy Ylvisaker & drummer JT Bates performing  “A Musical Tribute to US Bank Stadium,” which sounds like it could be anything. The second set feature – Mancrush – Lars-Erik Larson, Brandon Wozniak, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Bryan Nichols, keyboards. Here are Jeremy and JT playing in Alpha Consumer.

Tuesday, April 26

John Raymond Quartet @ Crooners Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40 Dinner) Young trumpet ace John Raymond is back in town and appearing with Bryan Nichols, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and JT Bates, drums at the Dunsmore Room Crooner’s listening room, where people keep quiet in order to fully appreciate the music being presented. The quartet will be doing Raymond’s original music from his two albums.

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, April 20

Joe T. Cook on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI – 90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Though he moved to the Pacific Northwest 10 years ago, Joe is fondly remembered around here, as well he should be. A winner of multiple blues awards and accolades from our own Blues Society, this harmonica player/vocalist/composer is in town for only two shows. He’ll be joined by Joe Franken on guitar and what is promised as a “killer rhythm section.” Tune in and get to the 331 Club for the show.

Malamanya @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) The Icehouse will become a veritable whirlpool of salsa dancers who enjoy the Cuban sons and other latin dance music of Malamanya.

Thursday, April 21

Papa John Kolstad and the Perfect Phits @ Vine Arts Center, 2637 27th Ave So, Minneapolis 6pm – 9pm (Free) Well, here’s Papa John in a place you don’t normally associate with the blues or acoustic swing – an art gallery. But then, John’s wife Susan Horns Kolstad is one of the artists whose work is on display, along with the work of C. Kim Pickering and Cecilia Schiller. Don’t know anything about the Perfect Philts, but since tonight’s event is sponsored by KBEM as part of its Gallery Grooves series, I trust they’ll play some great music.

Orkestar Bez Ime @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 9:30pm (tip Jar) The raucous sounds of this Balkan party band will reverberate through the Northern Warehouse as dancers set aside tables and grab partners. If you’re lucky, some choral singers will show up to add another dimension to the music.

Thursday, Friday, April 21, 22

Music in Movies @ MStP International Film Festival, Saint Anthony Main Theater, Minneapolis. Various prices, and times. During this week there are a few music films being shown during the Festival. On Thursday, cellist Yo Yo Ma is the subject of a film at 7:15, while Twin Cities rapper Eyedea is featured at a 9:20 screening, both at Saint Anthony Main Theater. On Friday, the film about Gypsy will be shown at 9:20 at the same theater.

Friday, April 22

XTC: An All Star Tribute @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($20) This tribute to the British Pop giants XTC will feature a cast of dozens of regional stars, including Leslie Ball, Chris Beaty, Paul Boblett, Al Church, Adam Levy, John Munson, and many more. It’s a benefit for the Pay It Forward Cancer Fund at the Ridgeview Medical Center, which helps breast and women’s cancer patients pay basic living expenses while undergoing treatment.

Hipshaker Dance Party @ The Kitty Cat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Brian, Greg, and George get out the little records with the big holes and spin them in a dance-inducing way.

Saturday, April 23

Willie Walker & We “R” @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) As the summer sneaks up on us Willie Walker is preparing to travel to Brazil, Argentina, and northern Europe. His recent album, “If Nothing Ever Changes” is a solid slab of soul singing for the 21st Century. In fact, Walker has received three nominations from the Blues Foundation: Album of the Year, Soul Blues Album, and Soul Blues Artist. Well deserved, and we are lucky enough to be able to see him up close in the large room at Crooners. Here’s Walker in Brazil.

Graham Parker/Brinsley Schwarz Duo @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($40 – $45) Parker came to the fore as a punkish soul singer with sharp writing skills from Britain during the late 70s and early 80s, when he led Rumour. Schwarz was in the Rumour and also led his own aggregation. Schwarz has often played with Parker on post-Rumour records, and recently the two have been selling out theaters around Europe playing some of Parker’s more recent music as well as some well-known “hits.”

Sunday, April 24

Road to Memphis Band Competition @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 3pm ($10) So the solo/duo competition was a couple of weeks ago, and now it’s time to choose a band to represent Minnesota at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis next January. Today’s challengers include The Mark Cameron Band, The Lisa Wenger Band, The Gopher Tones, and Harrison Street. It’s a great way to get a sampling of some of the best blues around.

Tuesday, April 16

Paul Mayasich @ The Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Mayasich has a weekly gig at the Station, bringing in guests each week for a different take on guitar based rock, blues, and who knows what else. Tonight you can experience Mayasich Mayhem (according to his website) as Paul brings in Mark and Greg Mayasich to help him and listeners have fun.

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.


Winter Music: 1.20 – 1.26

January 21, 2016

imagesThis week’s post is a bit less detailed than usual, in part because I lost internet service on Monday, and can’t get anyone to come out until after I return from vacation next week. Plus, I was mostly in transit yesterday, so I didn’t get this published for Wednesday.  I’m sure you all have the ability to further investigate these shows before going out. Not a bad idea, since every once in a while, I get the wrong date. In fact last week, I managed to call the Black Dog the Black Hawk! Next week’s newsletter will also be smaller.

At any rate, have a great week.

Jazz

Wednesday, January 20

Pete Whitman Presents Shellgame @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Here’s a new group from Pete Whitman: Scott Agster, trombone; Pete Whitman, saxophones; Brian Ziemniak, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Pete Henning,drums. They’ll be playing original tunes from the band members.

Thursday, January 21

35th Annual Martin Luther King Concert Tribute featuring Pippi Ardennia @ Ted Mann Concert Hall, Minneapolis. 6pm – 7:30pm (Free) Celebrate the life of Martin Luther King with this free concert featuring a cappella group Committed, who won NBC’s Sing Off, as well as vocalists Pippi Ardennia and Sheri Hixon. Here’s an example of Pippi’s singing.

Give Get Sistet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10)The Give Get Sistet is an expandable improvisational chorus of Twin Cities women with ties and influences from around the world. The use both a cappella singing and vocal improvisation to explore music made by African American women, from the days of slavery until today.

Brian Gallagher Quartet w/Julius Collins @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover)  Gallagher, sax; Yohannes Tona, bass; Pete Hennig, drums; Brian Ziemniak, keys; Collins, vocals.

Friday, January 22

Debbie Duncan Sings Natalie Cole @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Duncan certainly has the chops to deliver the music of Natalie Cole while still retaining her own voice and personality. It’s a Friday, so things will be poppin’. Get there early for a seat/table close to the stage. Here she is doing a ballad made famous by Dinah Washington.

Happy Apple @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($12)  Erik Fratzke, electric bass; Michael Lewis, sax; and Dave King, drums, get together for an increasingly rare appearance. It’s a chance to hear their slightly off-kilter instrumentals, watch Lewis roam the stage, and listen to King’s stream-of-conciousness patter covering all things pop culture. And of course, their energetic music.

Saturday, January 23

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) at  7pm: Jazz impresario Steve Kenny has been using the first set of these regular Saturday Night sessions to introduce us to new bands, and especially some of the young (we’re talking high school) bands in the area. Tonight, we’ll hear the college students of Dave Hagedorn, vibist extraordinaire. I’m assuming that the band will be delightful. Then at 8:30pm Chris Bates’ Good Vibes Trio takes the stage with Bates, bass; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; and Phil Hey, drums. Good Vibes is such an appropriate name, as these three gentlemen delight in playing together, it’s a joy that is quickly picked up by the audience.

John Raymond CD Release @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) New York musician and native Twin Citizen Raymond has been catching the ears of many a reviewer. He’s latest CD, Real Feels, is being released on the Twin Cities label Shifting Paradigm Records, and he’s returning to town to celebrate. Downbeat Magazine said of Raymond, “…with his mix of modern sounds and old fashioned feeling, Raymond is steering jazz in the right direction.”

Billy Peterson Birthday Concert @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($12) The eternally youthful Mr Peterson will be celebrating another birthday by playing with members of his musical clan. He’ll also have a special guest from Iceland, vocalist Anna Mijoll. Here’s Billy with Jerry Bergonzi.

Monday, January 25

Rachel Holder & Rick Carlson: In the Crook @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm ($15 Minimum) A singer and a piano player. The singer stands “in the crook” of the piano, for close communication with the piano player. Tonight, chanteuse Rachel Holder and pianist Rick Carlson, a sensitive accompanist and player in his own right, hold forth in the listening room at Crooners.  Here she is with a three piece, though it features a lot of duetting between Rachel and bassist Gordy Johnson.

Thomas Nordlund @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) Set 1: JT Bates, drums; Anthony Cox, bass; Paul Metzger, banjo, guitars. Set 2: Thomas Nordlund,  electric baritone guitar; Ben Abrahamson, guitars; Kevin Gastonguay, keys; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Andrew Foreman, bass; Lars-Erik Larson, drums.

Tuesday, January 26

Dave Karr Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Crooners, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm ($15 Minimum) The Dunsmore Room has become a premium listening room for jazz, with reasonable prices on food and drink, and a great sound. Tonight, jazz sax master Dave Karr brings a quartet to the room, to fill its space with gorgeous sound. I’m not sure, but believe he will have Kenny Horst, drums; Billy Peterson, bass; and Steve Kenny, flumpet.

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 20

DLs Cajun Band w/Mary DuShane on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) While listening to them at home, you may find yourself involuntarily moving to the insistent beats of DLs Cajun Band. Adding to the mix is talented fiddler Mary DuShane, a longtime participant in country & western, folk, and Cajun bands in the area.

Willie Murphy @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Here’s a chance to get over humpday with some rockin’ blues, R&B, and an occasional beautiful ballad in a trio format. Though this isn’t a trio, it’s still a good example of Murphy’s work.

Red Barraat @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) A high energy brass band from Brooklyn, playing Bhangra – Indian music – in an engaging and exciting manner.

John Beach Trio @ The Eagles Club #34, Minnapolis. ($5?) Pianist Beach is an old school West Banker with a long resume, whose trio was thoroughly delightful last time at the club. He’ll be joined by jazzman Paul Harper on sax; and Kory Badertsher on drums. Special guest Mary Leinfelder will do some singing as well.

Friday, January 22

Davina & the Vagabonds @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($10?) An early evening dose of pianist/vocalist Davina should get you high enough to make it through the weekend.

Nicholas David @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($30, $40) He was a finalist on the Voice about three years ago, but by then had already earned a reputation as a soulful singer and musician, having gained national exposure from his albums.

Saturday, January 23

Swamp Pop Extravaganza @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm Fundraiser for 2nd Harvest. The Swamp Poppas as backup band with expanded horn section and backup singers. Featuring guest stars Tom Lieberman, Becky Thompson, Rich Lewis, Dan Rowles, Lucinda Plaisance and possibly Ernie Batson and Curtiss A.

Seven Steps to Havana @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Things may be warming up, comparatively speaking, but you can experience tropical level heat at Seven Steps to Havana brings their Cuban/Latin grooves to the Dakota stage.

Sunday, January 24

Garland Jeffreys & Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Classic rock from a Brooklyn native who first had a hit with Wild in the Streets back in the 70s. His songs have been covered by punchers and neo-folkes, and he’s worked with folks ranging from John Cale and Dr. John to Stan Getz and Sonmny Rollins. Jeffrey’s latest two albums, The King of In Between from 2011, and Truth Serum in 2013 received great reviews and talk of a second wave to his career.

Monday, Tuesday, January 25, 26

War @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $50), 9pm ($35, $45) The Dakota is funkin’ it up for two nights. War was a  dominant figure on the charts and the dance floor during the 70s, with songs like Low Rider, Gypsy Man, Cisco Kid, Why Can’t We Be Friends and more. Here’s video of the band back in the day.

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.


New Year, New Music: 12.30.15 – 1.5.16

December 30, 2015

imagesThe end of the year provides us with a chance to celebrate another orbit around the sun, and look forward to a new year of challenges, disappointments, hopes, and accomplishments. Whether you celebrate with a nice dinner at home, dancing, or otherwise partying, you will have plenty of options, a few of which I’ve listed. In the meantime, check out some of the shows by young musicians back in town from college, as well as those from the veterans that are performing in the first days of the new year. Have a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.

Jazz

Wednesday, December 30

Luke Peterson Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) A number of Dakota Combo alumni, as well as other young lions on the music scene are back in town from college for the holiday break. Tonight you can hear five of them: Luke Peterson, drums; Jack Courtright, trombone; Peter Goggin, alto sax; Charlie Lincoln, bass; Will Kjeer, piano.

Thursday, December 31

Jazzland Wonderband NYE Dinner Show @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 5:30 – 8pm ($45, includes 3 course dinner) Trad jazz and early swing from JLWB, as they’re called on their website  Cameron Kinghorn, trumpet & vocals; Nelson Devereaux, reeds; Keith Holdon, trombone; Andres Crovetti, drums; Evan Clark, tuba.

Debbie Duncan @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 6:30 – 9:30pm ($75 for a 4 course dinner) Here’s another early evening show for those of you who would rather be home when the clock strikes twelve tonight. Ms Duncan will provide her usual outstanding vocals. I’m not sure if you will be required to order the dinner, so call and make a reservation.

JoAnn Funk @ St Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm -11pm (No Cover) Start off your New Year’s Eve with a visit to the Lobby Bar, where you can hear Ms Funk and her cohort Jeff Brueske on bass as they perform elegant, and often witty, jazz versions of songs from a wide variety of talented songwriters. Tonight they’ll be doing a tribute to Frank Sinatra, with special guest Steven Marking on vocals.

AQ NYE Reunion @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 9pm ($65, $100 VIP) New Year’s Eve at the Artists’ Quarter was always a warm, family affair, whether the family was related by blood or community. A couple of the long-time supporters of the club have put together a reunion, this time in a different basement. You’ll hear the wonderful Carole Martin on vocals, supported by her son-in-law Kenny Horst on drums; Chris Bates on bass; Phil Aaron on piano; and Dean Magraw on guitar. There will be a couple of guests sitting in as well. Complementary hors d’oeuvres are part of the offering, and reservations are recommended. More information and reservations can be found here.

Friday, January 1

Siama Matuzungidi @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 10am – 1pm (No Cover) Start off 2016 with brunch, accompanied by the Soukous stylings of Africa’s legendary Siama, guitar; Dallas Johnson, vocals; Tim O’Keefe, percussion.

Sound Skirmish @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Here’s another quartet of young lions taking advantage of the holidays to play together, this time doing original music. Patrick Adams, piano; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Drew Stinson, bass; Ben Ehrlich, drums.

Saturday, January 2

Will Schmid Duos @ 318 Cafe, Excelsior, 8pm ($5) This evening will include two duos led by high school student and guitarist Will Schmid. He’ll be joined by another guitarist, Adam Aastrup, who is currently in the Dakota Combo. Then Schmid will join rock/pop vocalist Kalli Anderson for second set of music. Who says Jazz is dead?

Patty Peterson @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) The legendary Ms Peterson brings her mix of jazz and R&B to the spacious lounge at Crooners.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening at 7pm is a talented group of high school students performing as Trap Tube: Jordan Anderson, piano; Gerhardt Robinson, sax; Alma Engebretson, bassist; Simon Petrick, drums. at 8:30, a special edition of Central Standard Time, with a mix of veterans and young lions, performs: Steve Kenny, flumpet; Brandon Wozniak sax; and JT Bates, drums; are the veterans, while Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Will Kjeer, piano; are all college students.

Monday, January 4

Will Kjeer Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Young pianist Kjeer spent a year at Interlachen  in Michigan, and is now attending the California Institute of the Arts. Even before leaving town, however, Kjeer was gigging professionally, with Steve Kenny’s Group 47 and his own Blue Heaven. Tonight he’s joined by some rising stars of the Twin Cities music scene, none of whom are more than ten years older than Will:Nelson Deveraux, sax; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Tuesday, January 5

Chris Lomheim @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) Elegant piano musings inspired by Bill Evans, but solely Chris Lomheim.

Butch Thompson @ The Dunsmore Room at Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($15 Minimum) Traditional jazz and blues, played on the room’s 9 ft piano, along with Thompson’s edifying commentary on tunes.

Phil Aaron Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) A third piano gig for the evening, this time featuring the always tasteful Emmy-winning composer Phil Aaron. He’ll be joined by Gary Raynor on bass, and Jay Epstein on drums. A winning combination. Here he is with a slightly different trio.

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, December 30

The Eddies on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club, Tip Jar) Perhaps the last tradition of the year. Saint Paul’s Eddies cross the river to appear on Harold Tremblay’s House Party and then head over to the 331 Club to sing 5 part a cappella harmonies on sea chanties, and easy-to-sing-along favorites, from the Rolling Stones to Billy Joe Royal, and Bob Marley.

Willie Walker & The We R Band @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) It’s been a good year for Willie. He’s put out an excellent CD, produced by Rick Estrin of Little Charlie and the Nightcats, and has toured Brazil, Italy, California, and most recently, played Switzerland with this band. If you don’t like to go out on New Year’s Eve, this NYE Eve party might be just the ticket.

Lonesome Dan Kase @ Palmer’s, Minneapolis. 11pm (No Cover) A man and his guitar  channeling the ghost of bluesmen from the 30s by playing traditional finger-picking blues and hollers for your listening pleasure.

Thursday, December 31

Davina & the Vagabonds @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($112 includes 6 course dinner), 10:30pm ($94) If you’re up for a big celebration, this would be the one. Davina will be raising the roof.

Hookers $ Blow @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Dance the year away to the sounds of this highly talented band led by Adam Levy  playing 70s covers, or as they call it “music from a more permissive era.”

Hipshaker/Hot Pants New Year’s Eve @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20) It’s a rare funk n’ soul bonanza and the deejays behind Hipshaker and Hot Pants combine to ring out the year with floor stomping rare 45s. Here’s an example of the kind of music you’ll hear.

Friday, January 1

Butanes @ Shaw’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover) Guitarist Curt Obeda realizes that not everyone enjoys “amateur night,” as NYE is often known, so the Butanes are moving their weekly gig by one day, which allows them to start off the year in the best possible way – playing the blues.

Sweet Tea @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) This up and coming band is heading to Memphis to represent Minnesota at the International Blues Challenge in January. The band is driven by the passionate vocals of Joyann Parker, the rest of the band provides the power that excites dancers and listeners alike. Mark Lamoine, guitar (Dee Miller, Perfectly Loud), Nick Zwack, drums (Armadillo Jump); Mick Zampogna , keys; and Michael Caravale, bass (Lamont Cranston, Davina & the Vagabonds)

Saturday, January 2

Hurricane Harold Duo @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (No Cover) Harpist Hurricane Harold excels, whether playing with a full band or a duo, which may include such collaborators as Doug Otto or Jeff Ray, with each of whom he’s recorded fun albums. Here he is with Doug Otto.

Sunday, January 3

Phil Heywood @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11am (No Cover) His upcoming gig with Dean Magraw and Tim Sparks in Hopkins is sold out, but you can still hear this fine fingerpicker while enjoying brunch.

Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 3pm – 6pm (No Cover) This eleven piece band  who performed and recorded in Havana last June, provides some mid-day Latin dance music to get your blood circulating and your pheromones bouncing.

Doug Otto & Friends @ Dusty’s, Minneapolis. 5pm (Tip Jar) This NE bar is so tiny that musicians have to use a booth to perform. The result is a perfectly intimate show featuring guitarist/vocalist Otto, and some of his very talented friends.

Sunday, Monday, January 3,4 

Tribute to James Brown w/Sonny Knight & Lakers, Fred Wesley, and Jabo Starks @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $35), 9pm ($20, $30). When Sonny & the Lakers recently performed at the Dakota, Sonny’s voice was strong, and the Lakers tore through their songs, much in the way that the Godfather of Soul would conduct his shows. So it makes sense to have them team up with a couple of original members of the JBs – trombonist Fred Wesley  who has appeared at the Dakota before, and the “original funky drummer” Jabo Starks – to perform Brown’s songs.

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


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