Monk and More: 10.11 – 10.17

October 11, 2017

This week’s selection of music around town features a couple of events celebrating the music of Thelonious Monk, pictured on a Time magazine cover from the early 60s. The pioneering pianist has inspired musicians of all stripes (Terry Adams, of NRBQ, released an album of his music recently). We also have a number of visiting musicians from around the country, and solid contributions to our culture from resident musicians. Remember: Music Lifts Your Spirit

Jazz

Wednesday, Oct 11

Chick Corea/Steve Gadd Sextet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, ($75, $90, $100), 9pm ($65, $80, $90) As I wrote last week, Holy Buckets, what a group! Besides Corea on keyboards, and Gadd, who has played on hundred of albums, on drums, we have Lionel Louecke, last seen here at the MN Zoo with Herbie Hancock, as well as bassist Carlitos del Puerto, an original member of pioneering cuban group Irakere, saxophonist Steve Wilson, and Argentine percussionist Luisto Quintero.

Thursday, Oct 12

Minnesota Jazz Orchestra @ Wabasha Street Caves, Saint Paul. 7pm ($8 – Cash Only) It’s Swing Night at the Wabasha Street Caves and the big band sounds of the MJO will have neophytes and veterans twirling partners and holding them close on the slow songs. Dance lesson starts at 6:15.

Friday, Oct 13

Craig Russo Latin Jazz w/Doug Little @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9:00pm ($10) Percussionist/drummer Craig Russo and saxophonist/flautist Doug Little have both traveled to Cuba to study the islands music and rhythms. Russo has worked with Little’s group Charanga Tropical, some of whose members will fill out the rest of tonight’s group. Here’s what they sound like.

Davu Seru’s No Territory Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) For the second Illicit Workshop Production at Jazz Central we have percussionist/drummer Seru, who put together this band a year or so ago to play his own original compositions. His co-conspirators in the band include Pat O’Keefe, clarinet; Nathan Hanson, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; and Levi Schwartzberg, vibes.

Saturday, Oct 14

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Featuring Sophia Shorai at 7pm, and Firebell at 8:30pm. Vocalist Shorai can communicate heartache and joy with her sweet, yet-somtimes-vulnerable voice. Firebell will bring on the heat with Park Evans, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums.

Ron Evaniuk Trio featuring Eric Gravatt @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) Bassist Ron Evaniuk plays with the Classic Jazz Orchestra, the JazzMN Orch, and his own quartet, in addition to his long-standing work as part of Source Code. Source Code’s lead, Eric Gravatt is on the drum kit tonight, so no matter who the third member of the trio is, there will be musical fireworks.

Laura Caviani w/Karrin Allyson: 100 Years of Thelonious Monk @ The Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hopkins. 8pm ($25) Pianist Laura Caviani worked a lot with vocalist Karrin Allyson during the years that Allyson lived in the Twin Cities. Tonight, Allyson will be a special guest in celebrating the music of Thelonious Monk, whose 100th birth anniversary was a few days ago. Caviani has even recruited a new trio for this project: Chris Bates on bass; and Dave Schmalenberger on drums. They’ve recorded a CD featuring brand new arrangements of Monk’s music, which will be available after the performance. Here’s Laura and a previous trio doing a Monk tune.

Sunday, October 15

Joey Alexander Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm, 8pm ($35, $45, $50) Fourteen-year old pianist Joey Alexander is also honoring Monk, with a surprise release of Joey. Monk. Live!  If you didn’t catch him at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival in June, you can get to hear him tonight, and wonder how a fourteen-year old can have such talent.

John Raymond @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley, 7pm ($15) Trumpeter Raymond is originally from the Twin Cities. He has collaborated with musicians such as Billy Hart, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Orrin Evans, Linda Oh, and Ethan Iverson, among others. Hislatest album, Real Feels has received critical acclaim from the New York Times, Downbeat Magazine and others

Monday, Oct 16

Sam Miltich & Friends @ Crooner’s Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley, 7pm (No Cover, but $10 will guarantee a seat stage-side) Miltich is a self-taught guitarist from the woods of Northern Minnesota who broke out as a member of the Hot Club of San Francisco, before forming his own band, the Clearwater Hot Club. He’s toured extensively, and has backed folks like Connie Evingson, Charmin Michelle, and the Dutch violin master Tim KlipHuis. No matter what friends he brings on stage, the results are always swinging and satisfying. Here he is with some of his friends.

Tuesday, Oct 17

Lawrence University Factulty Ensemble @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6:30pm ($30) Here’s a chance for young musicians to check out the jazz faculty at Lawrence University. Jazz fans of any age are sure to enjoy this show, which features musicians with vast resumes in jazz, pop, and R&B. There will be special guest performances by two alumni: Laura Caviani and Adam Meckler. For more information and tickets:  http://www.lawrence.edu/conservatory/performance_series/faculty-jazz-quartet

 

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, Oct 11

Dustin Arbuckle on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Dustin Arbuckle, of Alligator recording artists Moreland and Arbuckle, steps out with a side project he’s had for about seven years. The Haymakers’ influences range from Doc Watson, Johnny Cash, and Bill Monroe to Old & In the Way, the Byrds, Sonny Terry, and Gilliam Welch. I’ve a feeling this isn’t your grandparents bluegrass.

Thursday, October 12

New Orleans Suspects @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $35) So… what we have here is a collection of funky, funky, New Orleans musicians, including “Mean” Willie Green on drums; Charlie Wooten; Jake Eckert; CR Gruver; and Jeff Watkins. Between them, they’ve played with bands ranging from The Neville Brothers, to James Brown, and Leo Nocentelli, among others. Let the Good Times Roll!

Southside Aces @ The Eagles Club, #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) If you’re looking for some traditional New Orleans jazz that’s danceable, then look no further than this six-piece band: Robert Bell, guitar; Dave Michael, drums; Erik Jocobson, sousaphone; Zack Lozier, trumpet; Steve Sandberg, trombone; and leader Tony Balluff on clarinet.

Friday, October 13

Lone Star Revue @ The Hook & Ladder, Minnapolis. 7:30pm ($15 Advance/$20 Door) Grammy-nominated harpist Mark Hummel, is joined by ace guitarist Anson Funderberg, as well as guitarists Mike Keller (a Fargo native); bassist RW Grigsby; and drummer Wes Starr. Though Hummel and Funderberg may be the best known of these Texas bluesmen, Keller, Grigsby, and Starr have worked with the likes of The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Double Trouble, Jimmy Vaughan, Earl King, James Cotton, Carlene Carter, and more.

Crankshaft & The Gear Grinders @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) Call it stripped-down, revved-up rockabilly, call it punk blues, or, as bassist Keith Boyles tried to describe it, “It’s like psycho-billy swamp punk country blues”

Lonesome Dan Case Duo @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 5pm (Free) Well, Lonesome Dan has a partner for this late afternoon gig, though he still sings classic blues of the 20s and 30s like he was born to them.

Saturday, October 14

Blues Hall of Fame @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 5pm – 8pm ($15, $20) Annie Mack & Tom Kochle will perform from 4-5pm, before the awards show. The Minnesota Blues Society is once again honoring our own – resident musicians and others who keep the blues flame alive. This year’s inductees include Scottie Miller, Blues Performer; drummer Rob Stupka, sideman; Dee Miller & Jimi Primetime Smith for the blues song, Leopard Print Dress, and Willie Walker for the album If Nothing Ever Changes. There’s also a Legacy Award for Dave Ray, and awards for non-performers Sue McClean & Associates; KBEM, and “Famous” Dave Anderson. It’s a fun event with performances from some past & present winners. You might even stick around, since at 9pm Chicago Bluesman Toronzo Cannon will take the stage.

Big George Jackson @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Jackson’s big, brawny voice and solid harp playing should shake the timbers of this old bar. If you like blues that swaggers and has a hint of menace, you’ll be pleased when you stop in.

Monday, Oct 16

Candace @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7:30pm($10) This Portland trio’s sound is dense, mysterious, slightly psychedelic, and brooding. They started out in the Twin Cities as Is/Is in 2009 with members Sarah Rose, guitar, bass, moog, casio, vocals; Sarah Nienaber, guitar, bass, piano, vocals; and Mara Appel DesLauriers, drums, percussion, vocals. After Mara (the drummer) moved to Portland in 2011 the Sarahs performed and recorded with three different drummers, but decided in 2015 to move to Portland to reunite with Mara. They subsequently released New Future in 2016, rebranding themselves as Candace to acknowledge their new-found strength and outlook. Opening is Friendless Passenger and DJ Martha Weir.

Resist! A Group Sing Event @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Donation for a Local Non-Profit) This sounds intriguing, at least for those who lean towards resisting the actions of our country’s current administration. Resist! is a group singing event to share songs of resistance, protest, labor, and struggle. It occurs every 3rd Monday of the month.

Tuesday, Oct 17

Kline, Bergmark, & Abrahamson @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (TipJar) Zack Kline, violin; Krissy Bergmark, tabla; and Ben Abrahamson, nylon and 12 string guitars, bring a wide range of musical experience to this evening of (often) original music

For a quick look at what’s happening around town check out: the MN Blues Society calendar and the KBEM Calendar (covers jazz & roots): http://www.jazz88.fm/live-music-calendar/ For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.

You can find a fairly comprehensive list of links to venues that present Jazz, Blues, & Roots at this page on my website: https://rhythmandgrooves.net/twin-cities-music-venues/ Be aware that venues change their music policies often enough that it’s hard to stay current.

 


April 12, 2017

The beauty of living in the Twin Cities, at least for people interested in the arts, is that there is often more opportunities to see, hear, and discover high quality artists of every type. Unlike larger cities, however, you stand a very reasonable chance of getting tickets. This week we have visiting artists from NYC, Wisconsin, California, Columbia, and the United Kingdom. We also have resident artists who have come here from other cities and other countries, and we have home-grown artists that have achieved international stature. So, pick and choose from this somewhat limited list of opportunities to let music lift our spirits. Take advantage of them. BTW, you can see videos of many of these artists by going to www.rhythmandgrooves.net.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 12

Bates and Friends will be playing while Stephane Cattaneo paints.

Magica Improvisada @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) This is bassist Chris Bates’ evening for something new and improvisational. He’ll have Stephane Catteneio, a visual artist from France, paint during the performance, for which he’s gathered a strikingly excellent group of musicians, including: Chris Bates & Josh Granowski, Basses; Davu Seru, Pete Hennig, Chris Hepola,  & Martin Dosh, Drums and Percussion; Nathan Hanson and Jared Jarvis, Saxophones; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, Trumpet; and Park Evans on Guitar. Sounds like a memorable evening.

Dennis Spear’s Birthday Cabaret @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40 w/Dinner) Dennis Spears first became well-known among Twin Cities music fans some umpty years ago, as the male voice of Moore By Four. Since then he’s performed at various venues and theaters in the Twin Cities, as a singer and actor, notably in the Penumbra piece about Nat King Cole, which was reprised at the Kennedy Center in the Spring of 2011. Whether he’s singing solo, or with any of his many musical friends, including the occasional Moore by Four reunion, Spears, with his smooth baritone, is always entertaining. Tonight he’ll be backed by Rick Carlson, piano; and Steve Pikal on bass.

Thursday, April 13

Looking Bacharach @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) As might be expected from their name, this six-piece group  including two vocalists, will perform songs from throughout Bur Bacharach’s career, including both classics and some overlooked treasures. Memb era of the group include; Jimmy Kennedy on Keys & Guitar; Joe Weisman,  Bass, Guitar, & Ukelele; Mo Engel, Drums; Mike Silva, Tenor Sax & Flute; Emily Vilano and Kevin Thomas, Vocals.

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Davu Seru’s No Territory Band: You may have seen Britt Robson’s piece on Seru in the past Friday’s edition of the Star Tribune. It provides a good background, and clearly lays out why you should check out Seru and his band. Look at this interesting line-up for the evening. Besides Seru on percussion, he has Jake Baldwin,  trumpet; Pat O’Keefe, Nathan Hanson, and Scott Fultz; saxophones; and Levi Schwartzberg, on Vibes. With special guest from France, Stephanie Cattaneo, who will do some live, improvisational painting while the band plays.

Charmin & Shapira @ Friends @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) Charmin Michelle’s buttery vocals and conversational style, coupled with Joel Shapira’s tasty guitar, are a wonderful match, whether tackling a Monk tune or something from the Great American Songbook. Then, when they add some friends, things really get swinging, as tonight, when they’ll be joined by Paul Harper, sax; tom Lewis, bass; and Nathan Nortman on drums.

Friday, April 14

Fall of the House of Usher @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) It’s a full evening of music as guitarist Chris Cunningham brings his group and special guests to the basement club. Besides FOTHOU  there will be an opening set by the virtuoso Syrian oud player Issam Rafea, and rare vinyl grooves during breaks from Overzealous Sound System (aka DJ Chad Nelson). Performing with FOTHOU include: Chris Cunningham, Guitars; Ivan Cunningham, Saxophones; Michelle Kinney, Cello; Greg Schutte, Drums; Chris Bates, Bass; Adam Svec, Vocals; Noah Ophoven Baldwin, Trumpet; Jared Jarvis, Saxophones; Riley Swain, Baritone Saxophone; and special guest John Keston on keyboards. They’ve got a dense sound, to say the least.

Saturday, April 15

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Aaron Hedenstrom Trio: Hedenstrom  saxes; Kameron Markworth, bass; and Lars Erik-Larson, drums. 8:30pm it’s Peter Kogans’ Monsterful Wonderband, with Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Pete Whitman sax; Scott Agster, trombone; Chris Olson, guitar; Sean Turner, piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Kogan on drums. Listen below.

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Source Code @ Jazz at Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Advance, $15 Door) People around the country often pay much, much more to see powerhouse drummer Gravatt  and it’s often in large halls, rather than the intimate Studio Z. He drummed for Weather Report from 1972 – 1974, has toured with McCoy Tyner, and has also played with heavyweights such as Byard Lancaster, Wayne Shorter, John Scofield, Charled Mingus, Paroah Saunders, and many others. His band Source Code features bassist Ron Evanuik, and other A-list musicians from the area. Here’s an old video:

Sunday, April 16

Fuzzy Math @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 4pm – 6pm (Tip Jar) Mark Vandermyde leads this group, which performs original jazz compositions that draw from a variety of genres: progressive, swing, funk, blues, boogie and Latin. Vandermyde is joined by Andrew Schwandt, sax; Haralds Bondaris, drums; and Matt Peterson, bass.

Mark Kreitzer’s ’53 Swingbillies @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($6) Kreitzer is a guitarist who teaches at Carlton College and plays with Patty and the Buttons, among other bands. Tonight he’s leading what is essentially an acoustic four piece (guitar, violin, bass, drums) in some swinging jazz.

Monday, April 17

Jim Campilongo Trio w Chris Morrissey & Josh Dion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($20) Campilongo  s a formidible NY guitar player, who’s contributed to recordings by Martha Wainwiright as well as the Little Willies, a band he has with Norah Jones. He’s recorded or performed with folks as disparate as JJ Cale, Nels Cline, Peter Townsend, Burning Spear, and others. His playing reveals a regular gumbo of influences, from blues to rock, country, jazz, and R&B. He’ll be playing with the Brooklyn-based Minnesota native Chris Morrisey on bass, and vocalist/drummer Josh Dion, who is conversant in jazz, Americana, and rock n’ roll.

Raul Madon @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) Had guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Raul Madon been around in the 70s, he would have been at the forefront of the jazz soul movement of the time. He’s got a smooth baritone and a percussive playing style that go equally well with folks like Bill Withers and Al Jarreau (with whom he’s worked), as well as the CTI artists of the time. He’s toured internationally, performed with artists as diverse as Sting, Ravi Coltrane, and Red Barat, and demonstrated his unique playing style at TED talks. Audiences especially dig his “mouth trumpet” where he uses nothing but his lips to create be-boppish trumpet lines. Madon just released a new album appropriately entitled Bad Ass and Blind. The New York Times said, “He’s a one man band who turns a guitar into an orchestra and his voice into a chorus”

Tuesday, Wednesday, April 18, 19

Red Planet & Bill Carrothers @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40w/Dinner) Bill Carrothers is a highly regarded pianist who has drawn raves from New York City to Europe for his highly inventive ways with a melody. He grew up in Saint Paul but lives in the UP of Michigan. That’s close enough that he comes to town every few months to perform, lately at the Dunsmore Room.  Red Planet is a jazz-rock trio that brings taste and imagination to the genre. Members Dean Magraw, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums; have collaborated with Carrothers on a new album, and are celebrating its release these two evenings. Carrothers and each of the members of jazz Red Planet will undoubtedly bring new colors and sonorities to jazz standards and originals. Here they are some years ago.

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, April 12

Miss Becky Kapell on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Miss Becky Kapell is a Minnesota native who moved to Portland Oregon in the 80s and began singing country music. Fast forward through a move back to MN, marriage, divorce, and raising kids, and in 2007 she began practicing guitar, eventually recording an album entitled For Now with her Portland band mates. Now the singer/songwriter sings in the style of classic country artists front he 50s and 60s – straightforward, with lyrics that are sometimes plaintive, sometimes heartbreaking, and sometimes humorous. Her band, The Fat 6, features Paul Bergen on guitar, and Ray Barnard on bass and backing vocals, as well as others from a rotating cast of musical friends. Listen to her during Harold’s House Party, and if you like what you hear, head over to the 331 to listen in person.

Thursday, April 13

Maurice Jacox Band @ Crooner’s Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 Reserved Table) R&B/jazz vocalist Jacox has been plying his trade for over 40 years, appearing in bands such as Willie & the Bees and The Butanes Soul Revue, as well as sitting in with numerous bands and fronting his own trios, and performing a Nat King Cole show. He’s somewhat of a regular at Crooners, in both the big room and the Dunsmore Room. Since he’s in the big room tonight, which means his songs will be a bit more uptempo than in the Dunsmore Room, thanks to the backing of: Thomas West, keys; Mike Dubois, drums; and George Parrish, guitar. Jacox will likely pick up a sax or flute sometime during the evening as well.

Dave Mason @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($45 General) This is a seated show with the center and VIP sections already sold out. That’s because Guitarist/Vocalist Mason is a cultural icon for anyone who lived through the Woodstock and Vietnam era. Mason is a 2004 inductee into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame as a founding member of Traffic, in which he had a hit with “Feelin’ Alright,” which subsequently become a monster hit for Joe Cocker. He had another hit as a solo artist with “We Just Disagree,”  recorded an album with Mama Cass Elliot, and went on to perform and/or record with Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Michael Jackson, Steve Winwood, Fleetwood Mac, Leon Russell, Delaney Bramlett, and, most recently, Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, among others – whew! He’ll be performing his album Alone Together in its entirety, and a second set of his other songs.

Friday, April 14

Hail, Hail, Rock n’ Roll @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) For Chuck Berry’s 60th Birthday Party, Keith Richards brought in Robert Cray, Joey Spampinato (of NRBQ), Eric Clapton, and long-time Berry pianist Johnnie Johnson for a show which also featured Etta James, Linda Ronstadt and Jullian Berry. The resulting concert was filmed as Hail, Hail Rock n’ Roll, which will be shown tonight to acknowledge his passing and his influence on rock n’ roll and essentially every guitarist that came after him. After the screening a quintet of Twin Cities rockers will discuss his influence: Kurt Nelson (the Pistons, Simba, Others); Curtiss A (Hmm, let’s just say numerous); Johnny Rey (Flamin’ Ohs, Johnny Rey Band); Steve Brantseg (Suburbs, others); and Cindy Lawson (Clams). The discussion will be emceed by Rob Chapman, who just released a new book about The New Barbarians, the side band of Keith Richards and Ron Wood.

Bernie King & the Guilty Pleasures CD Release @ The Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7 Advance/$10 Door) Bernie King & The Guilty Pleasures got their start at the annual Twin Cities Jug Band competition back in 2010. Since then, they have steadily become a formidable force in the local blues/bluegrass/Americana scene. They are  increasingly known for crafting their own impressionable original songs along side the band’s arrangements of classics and contemporary covers. Also playing tonight will be local artist/musician Jake Manders (of Pistol Whippin’ Party Penguins) and his band, as well as singer-songwriter Brady Perl, and, undoubtedly, a few more of King’s musical friends.

Friday, Saturday, April 14, 15

Bodeans: Stripped Down & Acoustic @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($40, $50, $60) This quartet from neighboring Wisconsin first hit the charts back in the mid-80s with their adult-ish, mainstream rock songs like Closer to Free, She’s a Runaway, Idaho, Fadeaway, and a number of others, which propelled them to winning Rolling Stone’s Reader’s Poll for Best New American Band in 1987. The BoDeans then toured with the likes of David Bowie, Bob Dylan, and Tom Petty, appeared on SNL and Letterman, and have had ten songs and twelve albums on the charts. For this tour, they’re playing stripped-down versions of classic BoDean songs.

Saturday, April 15

Sexy Delicious & Apollo Cobra @ The Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7 Advance/$10 Door)  Gangster Jazz. Quasi-Bohemian retro-pop. These are a couple of the terms used to describe Sexy Delicious, which depends upon a generous helping of sly rhythms, and a dash of dry wit to win over fans. Apollo Cobra is a power trio that uses analog synthesizers, drum machines, bass guitars, samples, vocals and huge beats to create infectious, dance-inducing music. Listen to them here. Note: they don’t use laptops.

The Eddies @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8:30 (No Cover) You get a fine selection of whiskeys and beers, very good pub food (including bangers and mash and fish and chips), and a convivial atmosphere in which to hear the “almost acapella” vocals of the Eddies singing sea shanties, Appalachian murder ballads, and the occasional song from the late 20th Century. Bring an ID if you want adult beverages.

Samba Meu @ Hennepin Steam Room, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Check out the new music venue in the warehouse district, located north of Washington on First Avenue. Tonight they’re featuring the sensuous rhythms of Brazilian roots and pop music, as performed by: David Martin, guitar and bass; Tim O’Keefe,  percussion; and Karen Quiroz, vocals.

Sunday, April 16

Doug Otto & Friends @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 5pm (Tip Jar) It’s the musician’s “brunch time” as Otto, with a voice that seems to carry the weight of the world, and his friends gather at the NE dive bar to explore Americana, country, classic blues of the 30s and 40s, and originals.

Tuesday, April 18

Henrecia de Timbiqui @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $42) Latin roots music from the coastal foothills of Columbia. This eleven piece group incorporates African and Columbian sounds using both traditional instruments like the Marimba, bajo, and folk drums, as well as guitar, sax, and trumpet.

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.


Thanksgiving 2014. Music: 11.26 – 12.2

November 26, 2014

My apologies for the late posting. My modem died early this afternoon, and my wife had the car at work. All is well now.

As might be expected, there’s a noticeable lack of music on Thursday. Happily, however, there are a number of worthwhile events for your entertainment on Wednesday and throughout the rest of the weekend.

UnknownAs we enter a happy season, yet one that eventually brings to mind the questions “did you make it through?” and “did you survive?” it may do us well to remember that some folks don’t have the worries of shopping lists, enduring crowds for Black Friday or the difficult choice of whose family to visit for the holidays. Check out the work of Listening House in Saint Paul, and St. Stephen’s Shelter in Minneapolis, two of the many organizations working with the homeless population of our towns.  Note also that there are a few fundraisers for food shelves listed this week. Have a happy Thanksgiving.

Jazz

Wednesday, November 26

Enormous Quartet @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) The Enormous Quartet is led by Chris Bates, bass; Chris Thomson, sax; Park Evans, guitar; and Joey Van Phillips, drums. This is a group whose members have played together many times in various combinations, creating an easy rapport which results in outstanding music.

Geoff Bouchier Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 10:30pm. ($10 Suggested Donation) Bouchier is a guitarist who draws from R&B, funk, and jazz in playing music that ranges from the Great American Songbook to pop of the past 40 or 50 years. He’ll be accompanied by Doug White, bass, and Mac Santiago, drums.

Wednesday, Thursday, November 26, 27

Unknown-2Davina & The Vagabonds @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) If you are looking for jazz on Thursday night, Davina just might be the only game in town, though it’s a game you’d likely enjoy no matter what the date. If you aren’t napping, watching football, walking off dinner, or engaged in other family pursuits, you can shake off your tryptophan to Davina’s powerhouse vocals and modernized old-time jazz and blues.

Friday, November 28

Davu Seru Trio @ the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($5 – $20 suggested Donation) The Black Dog has become the new place to see resident jazz musicians, such as this talented trio. Drummer/percussionist Seru will be joined by Chris Bates, bass; and Steve Kenny, flumpet.

Graydon Peterson Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Peterson is an A-list bass player in town, providing a strong and melodic rhythmic sense to any number of groups. Here he steps out as leader and composer with Adam Meckler, trumpet; Vincent Rose, guitar; and Adrian Suarez on drums.

Tony London Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) London is a crooner in the Sinatra/Martin vein, nicely interpreting standards from the Great American Songbook while you enjoy the bar food and drinks at this restaurant/bar in an office tower. Trumpeter Zack Lozier will be part of his trio. Here’s an example of his art.

Saturday, November 29

Gypsy Mania Hot Club Quartet @ The White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church, 328 Maple Street, Mahtomedi. 7:30pm ($15, $20, $25) Bringing us a mix of traditional Roma music and acoustic swing jazz, The Gypsy Mania Quartet taps into the jazz traditions of Paris in the early 1930s. The group consists of some of the best players in town: Gary Shulte, violin; Matt Peterson, bass; Glen Helgeson, and Reynold Philipsek, guitars.

Emerson Hunton Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm. This is a bit of a homecoming for Emerson, a young drummer now in his third year of studies at Oberlin Conservatory. He played in the Dakota Combo in 2010-2011, and graduated from South High in 2012. He’s bringing along schoolmates Nathan Rice on sax and Noah Gershwin on guitar, and adding Jake Baldwin on trumpet, and former mentor Adam Linz on bass.

Courageous Endeavors @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) Courageous Endeavors is Nelson Devereaux, saxophone; Joe Strachan, Rhodes and piano; and Miguel Hurtado on drums. I don’t know if they’ve gotten a replacement for Brian Courage on bass, but they are proving to be inventive and melodic in their approach to originals and jazz standards.

Monday, December 1

Zack Lozier @Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8;30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Zack has been a featured trumpet player in the area for some time now, playing and touring with a number of groups, including The Jack Brass Band, Davina & the Vagabonds, Chris Bates’ Red5, and Doc Severinson. Here’s a chance to see him in the casual setting, playing new material.

Joey DeFrancesco Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($20) DeFrancesco is probably the best B-3 player out there these days. The Grammy-nominated player is no slouch on trumpet either, and will sometimes play the trumpet while still using the keyboards and foot pedals of the B-3.

Tuesday, December 2

images-2Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra w/Wynton Marsalis @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($25 – $96) Trumpeter Marsalis has been a lightning rod for many in the jazz community, but there’s no mistaking his talent and technique. The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, which he directs, consists of the best of the best. This concert is further enhanced with the appearance of Cecile McLorin Salvant, who mightily impressed everyone when she sang at the Dakota last Spring.

Nash, Printup, & Gardner and the Atrium Jazz Ensemble @ Orchestra Hall Atrium, Minneapolis. 10pm??? ($50) Pianist Jeremy Walker & the folks at Orchestra Hall have come up with a new four-concert jazz series which will occur after shows in the main hall. Walker, together with bassist Anthony Cox and drummer JT Bates are billed as the Atrium Jazz ensemble, providing the rhythm section for visiting artists, in this case, Ted Nash, sax; Marcus Printup, trumpet; and Vincent Gardner, trombone. All three are members of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, which will be playing the main hall earlier in the evening (see above). Wynton Marsalis will make opening remarks. I’ll have Jeremy and Anthony Cox on my show on Saturday, the 29th.

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

Roots, Blues, Other…

Wednesday, November 26

Nikki & the Rue-Mates on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) It’s become an annual beginning to the Thanksgiving weekend. Nikki & the guys play Harold’s House Party and head over to the 331 Club where a packed house dances when they can, but always enjoys Nikki’s bell-like vocals, and Rich Rue’s searing slide guitar.

images-4Paul Metsa’s Acoustic Soul & Blues Revue @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 + non-perishable food item) Metsa, the guitarist/songwriter/author/music impresario, has come up with a great show to raise funds for a couple of organizations that feed the hungry – Grateful Turkeys and Horizons Unlimited. There will be a distinctly New Orleans vibe when vocalist Willie West takes the stage, while Willie Walker provides some Memphis grit. Rounding out the evening’s fun will be Mari Harris, an amazing gospel singer, and Metsa’s virtuoso harp-mate Sonny Earl.

Thanksgiving It Back @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapoils. 7:30pm – 11pm ($10, or $5 with canned good) Here’s another acoustic/rootsy way to support local food shelves. Daddy Squeeze, Jack Klatt, the Hampton Rounders, and the Roe Family Band will all be performing in a benefit for Second Harvest Food Shelf.

Butanes Soul Revue @ the Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) The Cabooze is celebrating 40 years of presenting music, and bringing back some classic bands every once in a while. In the late 80s and early 90s, Curt Obeda and his 10 piece Butanes Soul Revue tore up the place every Wednesday night. They still get together every once in a while for a special occasion, and this certainly qualifies

Corpse Reviver @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 9:30pm ($10) Corpse Reviver is the trio of Mikkel Beckman, washboard & percussion; Jillian Rae, fiddle & vocals; and Adam Kiesling, guitar & banjo. They specialize in “old, weird America,” performing songs from Harry Smith’s legendary 1952 compilation, Anthology of American Folk Music. Don’t expect Peter Paul & Mary. This is music from mostly unknown and almost forgotten artists such as Colley Jones, Uncle Eck Dunford, and Buell Kazee, to name a few. Here’s a chance for East Metro folks to hear them without going to the 331 Club where they play with some regularity. With Sister Species opening and Dave Hoeneck of Hymies spinning.

Friday, November 28

Beaverdance!! @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 7pm ($18, $35 with Dinner) Here’s a way to laugh off the overindulgence of yesterday’s repast. Dancing, singing beavers threatened by Ojibwe, Voyageurs, and Capitalists (who of course, want the skin off their backs), sequined costumes, and Karl Marx as a time-traveling Santa Claus. This sounds wacky enough that I just had to include it. Dinner theater tickets get you Vegas-style cabaret seating and a four-course Minnesota menu. Show-only tickets get you a seat. Dinner seating and photos with Santa Marx start at 5:30pm Dinner at 6pm, and the show starts at 7pm. It plays Thursdays through Sunday through December 21st

images-3Papa John Kolstad @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm ($3) Papa John and friends, plus one of his students, check out the stage at the Nicollet. Papa John, playing 6 & 12 string guitar, will be joined by Sam Fiske on Fat New Orleans Trumpet; Zane Palmer, Jazz Guitar; and Bill Grenke, Bass. Vocalist Myra Burnette will be a special guest, singing blues, swing, and jazz. There’s a bit of a dance floor at the Nicollet, favored by swing dancers, who will have no trouble twirling and boppin’ to the music of Papa John and company.

Lisa Wenger CD Release w/Bruce McCabe @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapoils. 9pm ($5) Blues singer Wenger is releasing a new CD, Simple As That, which she made with the help of a number of friends, in the blues community, including such stalwarts as Bruce McCabe, Jeremy Johnson, Andra Lee Suchy and Billy Larson. There are more, to be sure, but the aforementioned will be with her tonight. Opening is that dynamic blues duo, Kildahl and Vonderharr. Here’s Lisa doing a slower number.

Astronauts of Rhythm and Sound @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) Former members of the Hillbilly Voodoo Dolls, Real-Phonic Radio Hour, Curtiss A, and Certain General create swamp country blues and truck driving music, with Ray Bernard on vocals.

Saturday, November 29

Patty & the Buttons CD Release Party @ The Heights Theater, Columbia Heights. 1pm ($20) Button accordionist Patrick Harrison and his swinging cohorts in the Buttons are releasing their second CD, Mercury Blues, and they are doing it up with panache. This Family-Friendly event is being billed as a “Spectacular” and it may well be one. Besides the old-timey yet modern music from Patty & the band, the show features some silent film shorts, music performed on the 16 pipe Wurlitzer organ, a duet set from Davina Sowers and Zack Lozier, and more. Attendees are encouraged to wear 1920s attire and leave their phones at home. Admission includes a copy of the new album.

Nachito Herrera Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) The blazing piano player is a force to be reckoned with. His huge show at the Ordway this Fall showed his mastery over classical, Latin, and jazz genres. Tonight Herrera is back to just a trio and his daughter Mirdalys, who is maturing into a fine singer, but be assured, the power of his playing will not be diminished.

Opening of A Christmas Story: The Musical @ The Ordway Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30 tonight. Times vary during its run, through December 28. ($36 – $110) Like many other folks, I find the original movie on which this is based to be charming, to say the least. Ralphie wants that perfect Christmas present – a Red Ryder BB Gun, and Jean Shepard’s story about that quest reveals the wonder and innocence of a time when a triple dare among elementary schoolers just couldn’t be ignored. BTW, a number of Twin Cities artists are involved in this production of the Tony-winning show.

The Pines @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25)  David Huckfelt and Benson Ramsey front an indie-rock/Americana group that blossomed from a duo to a full band once they arrived in Minneapolis from Iowa. The Pines’ 2007 album on Red House, Sparrows in the Bell was named one of the top roots releases by Q magazine, and then they wowed crowds at 2008’s South by Southwest, gaining them a growing national audience. They’ve just returned from a 25 city tour and are ready to play for the home town crowd once again. Poet/Activist/Recording artist John Trudell opens.

Saturday, Sunday, November 29, 30

Lucinda Williams @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 8pm($30) I’m not sure if Williams makes beautiful music depressing, or depressing music beautiful. Her voice conveys the ache of a broken heart like few other singers. There is no doubt, however, about her artistry and her way with words. She’s a big favorite of the Twin Cities, and will likely fill both nights at downtown’s rock palace. With the Kenneth Brian Band opening.

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

 


State Fair Music and More, Pt II: 8.27 – 9.2

August 27, 2014

STATE_FAIR_MUSIC

First, my thanks to Tim Nyberg of Octane Creative for his witty redesign of the image I used last week. The Labor Day Weekend is upon us, with it’s “end of summer” designation, as school begins in earnest, and the long weekend finds folks visiting cabins and otherwise going Up North. For those of who stay in town, the State Fair is still offering many music attractions, a few of which I’ve included. On a personal note, if you’re in town Sunday, you can join me at the Nightingale, where I’ll be spinning soul and funk for Sunday Brunch. In the meantime, have a good week. Music lifts your spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 27

Byron Johnson-Blanchard Quartet @ Minnehaha Falls Bandshell, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Here’s a fine way spend a lovely evening – checking out some jazz while enjoying a picnic, or, if you’re willing to get there early and get in line, a meal from Sea Salt.  Either way, drummer Johnson-Blanchard, who plays with High & Mighty, as well as this group, will satisfy your craving for jazz.

Photo by Andrea Canter

Davu Seru Photo by Andrea Canter

Davu Seru Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Percussionist Seru is highly versatile, able to freely improvise, play Desert Blues, and jazz standards. He’ll be joined by Scott Fultz, sax; Tom Reichert, guitar; and Josh Granowski on bass.

Thursday, August 27

The Atlantis Quartet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) The All Originals Jazz Series continues with a group that’s been named Best Jazz Band in the Twin Cities by City Pages, as well as a number of fans, and no wonder – their originals are full of spark and fire, and their members are among the best in town. Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris Bates, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums.

Arne Fogel @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Fogel is one of the best male vocalists in town. He’s a master at interpreting Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. He’s also good at putting together performances that showcase particular composers and themes such as movie songs. Always a pro, always enjoyable.

Dean Granros @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) We have a surfeit of excellent jazz guitarists in town. Case in point: Mr. Granros, who will be playing solo tonight at the cafe with authentic Afghan cuisine, some of which will be available, along with beer and wine.

Friday, August 28

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Source Code @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm, ($10 Suggested Donation) I’ve mentioned Gravatt about every time he plays, since he deserves to be heard here in his home town. After all, he’s good enough to have recorded and toured with Weather Report, and has toured with McCoy Tyner, among other jazz giants. He’ll be joined by other Twin Cities musicians that are worthy of his skill and leadership: Dean Magraw, guitar; Dave Graf, trombone; Solomon Parhan, trumpet; and Ron Evaniuk, bass. Here’s a video that features Gravatt’s drum solo on a McCoy Tyner performance.

Reynold Philipsek, Matt Senjem, & Michael Bissonnet @ the 318 Cafe, Excelsior; 8pm ($10) The 318 is a fairly intimate room – about 40 seats, including the bar, so it’s a good idea to call and get reservations. Philipsek, on guitar, Senjem on bass, Bissonet on percussion. This performance is being filmed for a video project, so you can say you were there.

Saturday, August 30

Mike Doolin Guitar Making/Repair Workshop & Concert, and Tough Commute CD Release @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 3pm (Workshop/Concert), 8pm (CD Release) ($10 for workshop is also good for CD Release). Mike Doolin is a guitar maker from Portland, Oregon who has released a CD with David Martin. At the workshop, Doolin will discuss the construction and repair of various guitars he has made and then perform on some of them along David Martin, with whom he’s made the CD Tough Commute. I interviewed David Martin on my show this past Saturday (the 23rd), which you can listen to here. Their performance at the Icehouse Monday night was very, very good. Attend the workshop and CD release for one price.

Foreign Motion featuring Patty Peterson @ The Icehouse,Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($10Advance/$15Door) Guitarist Cory Wong leads Foreign Motion through some original jazz for the 21st Century. I suspect, however, that there will be some standards and contemporary songs for Patty Peterson to sing as well. (Wong regularly plays in her group). Other members of Foreign Motion include Yohannes Tona, bass; Kevin Gastonguay, keys; and Peter Janjic, drums. Here’s an example of Foreign Motion’s work.

Sunday, August 31

Connie Evingson & Jon Weber: More from Ella Fitzgerald’s Songbooks@ The Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm, 7:30pm ($25) Here’s a noteworthy duo. Evingson is at ease singing anything from standards to Peggy Lee, the Beatles, and Gypsy Jazz. Weber  s a virtuoso pianist with an encyclopedic knowledge of music and the ability to play almost anything. You may know him from his annual appearances at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. They did the first round round of Ella Fitzgerald classics in June and are returning with more.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, August 27

Jack Klatt & the Cat Swingers on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Klatt & the Cat Swingers perform acoustic swing and blues, as well as a bit of ragtime. In other words they’re lots of fun. Check them out on the radio, and if you like em’ head over to the 331 Club.

Lake Street Dive w/Southside Desire @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 9pm (7:30 doors), ($20) Lake Street Dive came together in Boston where they were attending the New England Conservatory and were named by their trumpet/guitar player Mike Olson, who is from Minneapolis. Their acoustic, slowed down version of I Want You Back went viral and garnered over a million views, catapulting them to some fame and into a recording studio for a full-length album full of garage pop-soul. Southside Desire, with their girl group meets garage band/Stax sound is the perfect opening act.

Radio Joe & the Jazzbos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Radio Joe Demko plays guitar, sings, and leads this excellent small swing outfit: Bruce Wintervold, vibes; Keith Boyles, bass; Tony Guscetti, drums. Expect some Swing, Tango, Calypso, Rhumba,. jump blues, boogie boogie & more. In other words, get your dancing shoes out. Here’s proof of their effect on dancers.

Thursday, August 28

Siama Matuzungidi @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (tip jar) Matuzungidi is an African guitarist who has played on over 100 popular singles from the golden era of soukous. He’s lived in Minneapolis since 1995, and regularly performs with Socaholix, Marimba Africa, and Cyril Paul, and has recently received a McKnight Fellowship. Lately, he’s been performing acoustically. Tonight he’ll be accompanied by Scott Fultz on flute, sax, and guitar, as well as a percussionist. Here he is at the Harriet Bandshell.

Liv Warfield & NPG Hornz @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm. ($75, $60) 10pm ($45) This is Paisley Park production featuring Warfield, who is a Prince protoge. The NPG Horns add a blast of pure energy, as evidenced in this video from the Jimmy Fallon show.

Tony Allen & the Chicago Afrobeat Project @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9pm, ($15) Allen was the drummer for most of Fela’s incendiary music – a true architect of Afrobeat. He’s appearing with the Chicago Afrobeat Project, a band that has thoroughly infused the sound into their bloodstreams.

Friday, August 29

Sonny Knight & the Lakers @ The International Bazaar Stage, MN State Fair. 7:30pm, 8:45pm (Free w/$13 Fair Admission) Funkin’ up the International Bazaar, Knight and his crew continue to work as hard as possible to spread the gospel of not-so-retro funk.

Buckwheat Zydeco @ the Leinie Bandshell, MN State Fair. 8:30pm  (Free w/$13 Fair Admission) Propulsive, high-powered Zydeco music from one of the few zydeco artists to achieve mainstream success. The New York Times say he leads “one of the best bands in America.” ‘Nuff said.

Rick Estrin & the Nightcats @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) Blues with a broad sense of humor. However, don’t laugh so hard that you miss out on Estrin’s harp playing.  Plus, as the kids used to say, It’s got a good beat. You can dance to it.

Sunday, Monday, August 31, September 1

RAMM Band with Horns @ The International Bazaar Stage, MN State Fair. 3pm – 7pm (Free w/$13 Fair Admission) Paul Mayasich and his friends will be tearing up the stage at the Fair. Good thing there’s room for dancing.

Marcia Ball @ The Leinie Stage, MN State Fair. 3:30pm, 4:45pm  (Free w/$13 Fair Admission) Ahhh, Long Tall Marcia Ball  The honky-tonkin’ boogie boogie piano player never disappoints, whether she’s singing about backyard barbecues, the Mississippi flood, newlyweds, or playing with your “poodle.”

Monday, September 1

Salif Keita @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($50) The Golden Voice of Africa is a direct descendant of the founder of the Mali Empire. Keita’s rhythmic, sensuous music and supple voice has helped him become pretty big around the rest of the world as well, earning him the respect of many big stars. Guest artists like Carlos Santana, Wayne Shorter, and Joe Zawinul have appeared on his albums.

Tuesday, September 2

Vinyl Voices @ Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (Free) This is a weekly gig in which KFAI-certified deejays spin vinyl while you enjoy the Tap Room’s beer and food truck edibles. Tonight I’ll be spinning funky jazz, New Orleans R&B, and a bit of R&B from elsewhere. I’ll be trading off with Emily Krumberger, who will be spinning R&B, Soul, and hip-hop. Stop on by.

Fat Chance Jug Band & Jug Band Jam @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm (Tip Jar)  Fat Chance has this good-time, homemade music  thing pretty well in hand, since they’ve been at it so long. Stick around for a bit of a jam. Maybe you can even learn how to make a washboard bass.

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


Lotsa Music: 6.18 – 6.24

June 18, 2014

Well, we’ve got quite a busy week ahead, with many notable gigs, especially in jazz, and it’s still a week until the TC Jazz Festival. Let’s hope the weather holds for those outdoor gigs, though many have inside alternatives. Have a great week, and support live music.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 18

Bryan Nichols Quartet @ St. Anthony Park Library, Como Avenue, Saint Paul. 6:30pm – 9pm (Free) Pianist Nichols and his quartet (JT Bates, drums; James Buckley, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax) will be presenting  New Forms: Original Works from Jazz’s Past to Future.

Mississippi, featuring Andres Prado @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested Donation) Sax player Pete Whitman leads this band, which includes resident jazz heavyweights Peter Schimke, piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums. The original edition of this group included guitar master Andres Prado, of Peru, who moved back home. Now, however, he’s returned for a few weeks, giving us this rare opportunity to hear him.

Unknown-2Ginger Baker’s Jazz Confusion @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($42 – $50) Baker is best known, of course, as the drummer for Cream and Blind Faith back in the late 60s early 70s, but he spent considerable time in Africa soaking in African rhythms, and even played with Fela Kuti. However, he started as a jazz drummer in the early 60s and got quite a bit of recognition in the UK at that time. He’s always considered himself a jazz drummer, and on his first album in umpteen years tackles numbers like Wayne Shorter’s Footprints and  Sonny Rollins’ St. Thomas. He’ll be using a double bass drum set up, and will be accompanied by Pee Wee Ellis (James Brown alum) on sax; Alec Dankworth on bass, and Abass Dodoo on percussion.

Thursday, June 19

Laura Underwood Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Underwood is a versatile singer, who can handle obscure folk and blues from the early 20th century, as well as class swing and jazz, and a few selected tunes from contemporary singer/songwriters.  Here’s an example of her singing.

The Third Thursday @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Part of the new Thursday night free improvisation series at the Afghan cafe owned by Emil Sherzad of KFAI’s Radio Duende. Tonight features Milo Fine on drum set, electric piano, and B Flat Clarinet, and Bryce Beverlin II on percussion and voice.

Friday, June 20

Connie Olson Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Singer Olson has performed with the Peter Graves Orchestra, the Peter Duchin Big Band, and musicians from a wide variety of bands, ranging from the Manhattan Transfer to Prince & Madonna. Her debut CD, “Daydreaming” is an homage to Doris Day, and showcases her winning voice and interpretive skills.

Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) This monthly gig is always a delight as Washington, on sax, proves adept at creating improvised music that connects with an audience, no matter who is with him. Tonight, it’s  Eric Jackobson, tuba; Brian Roessler, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums.

Saturday, June 21

Improvisation Encounter with Jin Hi Kim @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($10) Free improvisation featuring McKnight visiting composer Jin Hi Kim on the Korean Zither (the comungo), along with Twin Cities improvisers Pat O’Keefe and Nathan Hanson (winds); Scott Miller and Steve Goldstein (electronics); and Dean Granros, guitar.

Davu Seru and DeVon Gray @ Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Here’s a new pairing of musicians that I haven’t seen. Davu Seru is a drummer/percussionist at ease with free improvisation and most any rhythm you throw at him. DeVon Gray is a talented pianist who played with the hip-hop collective Heiruspecs, has accompanied vocalists such as Sophia Shorai, and has occasionally had his own jazz quartet.

Jack Brass Band CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($8) The Jack Brass Brand recently received a second positive mention in Offbeat, the monthly music magazine of New Orleans. They deserve it as both keepers of the Brass Band tradition, and proponents of contemporary music within that tradition. What hip-hop or New Jack Swing song will they next add to their repertoire? Opening is Lulu’s Playground, a chamber jazz group that includes guitar, cello, accordion, and a trumpet player they share with JBB. Here’s the JBB at one of their regular gigs.

Sunday, June 22

Connie Evingson: The Best of the Ella Fitzgerald Songbook @ the Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm, 7:30pm ($25) With Jon Weber (host of NPR’s Piano Jazz) and Gordon Johnson. An exquisite singer, singing exquisite songs with exquisite accompaniment. Did I say it will be exquisite?

They enjoy singing together

They enjoy singing together

Retro Swing Sisters: Swing Dance Sundays @ Richfield American Legion, Richfield. 5pm – 7pm ($5) Maryann Sullivan and Rhonda Laurie (aka: Retro Swing Sisters) begin a weekly gig entitled Swing Dance Sundays. Joining them will be Big Bob Scoggins, guitar; Doug Haining, sax; Keith Boyles, bass and Trevor Haining, drums. There’s a big dance floor, bar, and pizza is available. And, you can still get home in plenty of time to rest up for the week ahead.

James Carter Organ Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($32), 9pm ($22)  Sax virtuoso James Carter is terrific on a variety of saxophones. He’s won awards for his baritone playing and consistently exhibits a searching, imaginative way with his music. Take this gig, for instance, in which the Detroit native will be joined by Leonard King, drums; and Gerard Gibbs, B3. It’s not enough that they’ve got a soul-jazz sound pat. They’re tackling the music of Django Rheinhardt, using the sax as a substitute for Rheinhardt’s lead guitar. Here’s an example.

Monday, June 23

Javier Santiago @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Uber-talented pianist Santiago is back in town from NYC. He’ll be backed by Dad Mac Santiago, and the rest of the JC rhythm section.

Tuesday, June 24

images-2Diane Schuur @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($30) It was 35 years ago that Schuur was “discovered” at the Monterey Jazz Festival by Stan Getz, who took her under his wing. Two Grammys, three additional nominations and numerous #1 listings have resulted. Now she has a new album dedicated to Stan and Frank Sinatra, and it looks like this vocalist is headed to the top of the jazz charts once again.

Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested Donation) Expect an occasional stop and start as the band works on its often explosive, always rhythmic charts, since this is more of an open rehearsal than performance. Don’t let that stop you from attending and enjoying the music and the experience.

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

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, June 18

Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders @ Como Conservatory Visitor Center Lawn, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (Free) It’s time for another Groovin’ in the Garden Series at the Como Zoo and Conservatory. Kicking this season off is wild man Alex “Crankshaft” Larson, whose potent mix of honky tonk, R&B and rockabilly makes for a fun evening. He’s wisely chosen bassist Keith Boyles and drummer Pete Hennig to back him in the Gear Grinders.

Tim Sparks CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10, $42 Dinner & Show) Guitar fans rejoice. Sparks is one of the most versatile finger-pickers in town, and that’s saying a mouthful in this area. His latest, Chasin’ The Boogie, sparkles with blues takes on tunes from Paul McCartney, Roy Orbison, and others, as well as a traditional tune or two and some originals. Special guests include Tom Lieberman and Phil Heywood. Here is Sparks doing one of the songs on the new album:

Thursday, June 19

Ray Covington and the Maxx Band @ Rice Park, Saint Paul (Free) 6pm Dance Lesson, 7:15 music.  An outdoor evening of old school soul and funk, just right for dancing and Steppin’ and if you don’t know how to Step, there’ll be folk from the TC Steppers to instruct you starting at 6pm. Food and drink will also be available. Moved to the Ordway in the event of rain.

Aaron Neville @ the Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley. 7pm ($45, $57.50) Neville came to prominence in the early 60s and had a million selling hit with Tell It Like It Is in 1967. He’s recorded with his brothers, won a couple of Grammys for duets with Linda Ronstadt, had hits on the Adult Contemporary Charts, regularly sang in the gospel tent at the New Orleans Jazz Festival, and recently recorded the top-ten album My True Story, a dozen doo-wop songs from his youth, co-produced by Keith Richards, who also contributed guitar. If you go, you’ll hear a man with the voice of an angel under the stars. Northwoods blues/soul/roots singer Cory Chisel opens. Check out Aaron’s version of Stand By Me:

Millie & the Mill City Cajun Heavyweights @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5) Millie Biere, John Terr, Shawn Glidden, Eric Mohring, AJ Srubas,and Vaughn Asselstine will be laying down those Cajun rhythms for your dancing pleasure.

Friday, June 20

images-3Mary Jane Alm @ 318 Cafe, 318 Water Street, Excelsior. 8pm ($11) Those of you old enough to recall the late 70s and 80s will recall vocalist Alm, one of the highest profile singers in the area. The country-ish singer has had a professional life full of near misses – potential contracts that never arrived, development deals that went nowhere, and rejections by labels as “too country” or “not country enough.” She’s got a great voice and has developed into a darn good songwriter. She usually has a couple of accompanists playing with her, but whatever the configuration, she’ll shine in this intimate listening room.

Black Diet @ Minnehaha Falls Bandstand, Minneapolis. 7pm (free) This garage soul quintet won a trip to SXSW when they won this year’s “Are you Local?” contest. They describe themselves as a garage/soul band that sounds like a Baptist Church service held at a punk house. That’s a pretty fair description of a groove-laden band that uses an organ and soulful riffs and vocals to get their point across. Here’s a video with a couple of their songs.

Tuesday, June 24

Delhi 2 Dublin @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($25) New urban party music, with plenty of electronic beats, mashing & intersecting Indian Bhangra, Celtic Dub, Reggae and Rock. To quote the band, “Delhi 2 Dublin is way more indie that all this other indie bands cause some of us are actually from India.”

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 Walley calendar.


Jazz, Blues, Country, Folk. Music: 5.28 – 6.3

May 28, 2014
A little humor from the Zits comic strip

A little humor from the Zits comic strip

We don’t have many visiting artists this week, but the few that are visiting are outstanding, from jazz pianist Bill Charlap to music insider Peter Asher. A passing glance at the resident artists appearing around town will show that we have more than enough high quality talent of our own. However, we have to remember to support our resident artists by attending their shows. As we encounter life’s challenges, we all need to refresh, and music certainly lifts the spirit. Have a good week.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 28

Wolverines Trio w/Maud Hixson @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm The ever-tasteful Wolverines, together with Ms Hixson’s clear voice and impeccable diction will win out over the Kitchen’s sometimes noisy environment. It always helps to sit close to the stage.

Dean Magraw & Praire Rhythm Section@ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7)  With Gary Raynor, bass; and Peter Johnson, drums. Dean Magraw is arguably the most versatile guitarist in town, able to go from psychedelia to John Coltrane to Irish jigs and Indian ragas all in the course of a couple of songs. No wonder he’s been a favorite of Mr. Keillor. Tonight he has a couple of other Prairie Home regulars backing him up.

Graydon Peterson Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Peterson is a first-call bassist in town, and has been a sideman in a variety of configurations, from trios to big bands. He’s recently been writing his own music, and has gathered Adam Mecler, trumpet; Vinnie Rose, guitar; and Adrian Suarez on drums to give voice to his melodies.

Thursday, May 29

Bill Charlap Trio @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30), 9pm ($20, $25) W/Peter Washington, bass; Kenny Washington, drums. Pianist Charlap is known for his interpretations of The Great American Songbook, and though he’s imaginative, he also gets to the essence of a song. His trio with the non-related Washington’s is rock solid.

 

Rhonda Laurie @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Thursday Night is Vocal Night at Jazz Central, and Ms Laurie is a prime example of the wealth of vocal talent in town. She can swing gypsy jazz, straight ahead, and modern material with equal ease.

Friday, May 30

Eric Kamau Gravatt @ Jazz Central, MInneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) If you’ve been paying attention to Twin Cities Jazz for a few years, you probably know of Gravatt’s stints with Weather Report and McCoy Tyner, among others. Tonight he’s joined by Brandon Wozniak, sax; Charles Lincoln, bass; and Zacc Harris, guitar.

Davu Seru and Song Click @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) w/Donald Washington, sax; Nathan Hanson, sax; Brian Courage, bass; Marc Anderson, percussion. A great gathering of musicians who are master improvisers, whether they’re working with variations on written pieces or freely improvising.

Saturday, May 31

Benny Weinbeck Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Weinbeck, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums, have been delivering weekly doses of high quality music for the d’Amico Brothers for years, first at the Chambers Hotel, and now at this Italian restaurant in the SW quadrant of 494 & 100. They appear in the restaurant’s cocktail lounge, where you are still free to order dinner or one of the smaller plates from the bar menu.

Sunday, June 1

Zacc Harris Trio @ The Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Zacc, Matt Peterson, and Peter Hennig have been playing Sunday Nights at the Riverview for quite a while now. All three are such great players that they continually surprise, and have yet to fall into a rut.

Monday, June 2

Tom Rainey & Ingrid Laubrock @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Germany-born Ingrid Laubrock now lives in Brooklyn, where she composes and plays soprano and tenor sax. She and drummer Tom Rainey have recorded an album  of ten improvisations entitled And Other Desert Towns. They’ve played together in various bands since 2009, when Laubrock arrived in Brooklyn, yet this is their first duo record. Expect closely communicated, freely improvised music. Here they are in a trio format:

 

Tuesday, June 3

Dean Magraw & Eric Kamau Gravatt @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Well, if you missed Dean at the Dakota and Eric at Jazz Central, you now have a chance to see them both playing off each other, and having a good time.

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

 

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, May 28

Unknown-1Jimmi & the Band of Souls @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm ($5?) Jimmi & the band are an energetic quartet that plays blues that stick in your head. They’re going to the 2015 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, representing Minnesota. This evening they’re celebrating the release of a new album, Live From the Park Theater, by bringing in a couple of special guests for this early evening show.

Thursday, May 29

New Riverside Ramblers @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5?) Here in Minnesota you’d be hard pressed to find a Cajun group with a history as long as the Ramblers. They’ve been together for twenty years or so, and have studied or performed with many of the genre’s veterans. So get out your dancing shoes and twirl, spin, and dip to your heart’s content.

Friday, May 30

Falderals CD Release @ The Aster Cafe, Minnepolis. 9pm ($10) This husband and wife team of Andrew and Rebecca Andestic met in Armenia, where they were both serving in the Peace Corps. Since then they’ve busked on the streets of Chicago, and have performed regularly around the Twin Cities. They write deeply felt, melodic folk songs (with a touch of folk-rock) that resonate with all ages. The CD is called Witness, and includes Shane Akers, dobro; Jim McGuinn, lapsteel & keys; and Derek McCullum on ukelele; all of whom will be special guests tonight.

Pistol Whippin’ Party Penguins CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($8) A five piece string band that updates that traditional sound with original songs as well as creative arrangements of traditional bluegrass tunes, and untraditional tunes from folk, rock, and blues. They’re celebrating the release of their third studio album, Way Back Home.  Opening is The Last Revel, a passionate trio using three-part folk harmonies supported by an attitude that borrows freely from rock n’ roll rebels.

Saturday, May 31

Moe’s Folk & Blues Festival @ Moe’s, 2400 Highway 10, Moundsview. 3pm – Midnight (No Cover) Okay, you’ve got Paul Mayasich, Randy Webb & Dave Baab, Gene LaFond, Spider John Koerner, Paul Metsa & Sonny Earl, and inside, The Scottie Miller Trio to round out the evening. Who knew the West Bank has moved up to Mounds View?

Hurricane Harold’s All Star Blues Revue @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) Well the All Stars vary according to whoever is in town, but don’t worry, Harold’s been at this so long he can always find simpatico players.

Sunday, June 1

Sherwin Linton @ Famous Dave’s, MInneapolis. 10am – 2pm (No cover) How ‘bout some country music to go with those biscuits, gravy, waffles and rib tips? Linton has been performing for some 58 years now, bringing an unmatched authenticity to classic country and rockabilly. Check out his version of Tennessee Stud:

Samantha Harlow @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul., 4pm – 6pm (Tip Jar) This Saint Paul native spent a decade pouring drinks in a Nashville honky tonk, and countless nights touring and singing as a solo act. All that work has helped Harlow  learn how to write classic country tunes.

Jimages-2oe Ely @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($27, $35) Rockin’ honky tonk from Texas, by a guy who has played with Springsteen, Uncle Tupelo, The Chieftains, Lyle Lovett, and John Hiatt. Early on, he and his band toured with The Clash, and he even supplied background vocals on Should I Stay or Should I Go. Plus, he wrote the music for The Horse Whisperer. He and guitar slinger Jeff Plankenhorn will be performing mostly acoustic versions of Ely’s songs.

Tuesday, Wednesday, June 3,4

Peter has every reason to smile.

Peter has every reason to smile.

Peter Asher @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) Asher is the ultimate music industry insider, from the days his sister was dating Paul McCartney, to his own singing career with Peter & Gordon, to producing records for a wide variety of artists (two Grammys), as well as musicals, PBS features, and various award shows. He’ll share his story, sing a few songs, and generally be one of the most entertaining dinner guests you’ll ever run across.

 

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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