Shows of Note: 8.20 – 9.10

August 18, 2017

Greetings and Salutations;

Design by Tim Nyberg, based on my photo

I’ve been heartened by the kind words and concern from everyone I’ve met while getting out the last few weeks. As an update, I can report that my health continues to improve. I’ve been spending much time with my own kind of “music therapy,” playing whole albums from start to finish and letting the music wash over me and improve my sense of well-being.

I realize I’m not being very consistent in releasing these occasional newsletters, but they’re coming as I have the time to put them together. So… here you are with some notable shows in the next few weeks, including links to find free shows (once you pay admission) at the State Fair. BTW, Thanks to Tim Nyberg for the photo. Get out and enjoy music, because I can certainly attest – Music Lifts the Spirit.

Jazz

Sunday, Monday, August 20, 21

Lee Konitz & Dan Teper @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 5pm & 7pm Sunday, 7pm & 9pm Monday ($30, $55w/Dinner) Alto saxophonist Konitz was part of Miles Davis’ ground-breaking Birth of the Cool Sessions in the late 40s, and has successfully performed in a wide variety of jazz styles since then, including bebop, cool jazz, and avant-garde jazz. He was an influence on both Paul Desmond & Art Pepper. Pianist-composer Dan Teper’s 2011 album Goldberg Variations/Variations received high praise from both the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. As a composer, he received a Charles Ives Fellowship form the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  He’s worked extensively with Konitz, so this evening should demonstrate the unique communication between the two.

Monday, August 21

Steven Hobert Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) The imaginative pianist performs with a number of different configurations  this one is a quartet with Pete Whitman, sax; Yohannes Tona, bass; and LA Buckner on drums. Special guest tonight is the tasteful guitarist John Penny. This clarity of this video isn’t great (duh!) but you can get an idea of what the quartet sounds like.

Sunday August 27

Aurora Nealand & Tom McDermott @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $45w/Dinner) Here’s an evening of traditional New Orleans Jazz, helmed by saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer Nealand, who served in the Panorama Jazz Band, VaVaVoom, and the New Orleans Moonshiners before forming her own Traditional Jazz Band – the Royal Roses. She also is the leader/frontwoman for the rackabillly band Rory Dander and the Danger Dangers, and was seen as herself in Treme. McDermott moved to New Orleans in 1984 after earning a Masters Degree in Muisc and writing music journalism for his home town morning newspaper in Saint Louis. He has since assimilated and made his own the unique styles of New Orleans.

Javier Santiago, featuring Proper-T @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm ($8) Pianist Santiago has been playing quite a bit in San Francisco of late, but continues to play around town. He is a prolific composer, as well as a teacher, arranger, and producer, performing an eclectic blend of Jazz, R&B, Rock, Hip Hop and everything in between. Vocalist Proper-T has performed all over town, most recently as a member of ZuluZulu and supporting Minneapolis artists such as Tickle Torture and Caroline Smith.

Wednesday, August 30

Lonnie Smith @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) An authentic master of the B3 organ, Smith may be the last of the first generation of soul-jazz B3 artists, having been at it for 50 years. He’s been recorded on over 70 albums, and has covered everyone from the Beatles and Sylistics, to the Eurythmics, including tribute albums to Hendrix, Coltrane, and Beck! This year he received the NEA Jazz Masters Award.

Friday, September 1

Henry Butler’s Jambalaya Band @ The Dakota, Minnapolis. 7pm $30, $35), 9pm ($25, $30) Pianist Butler is considered one of the best exponents of New Orleans Jazz and Blues piano tradition, building not the work of Professor Longhair, James Booker, Fats Domino, and Allen Toussaint. His music is an amalgam of all the musics that can be found in New Orleans – jazz, classical, Caribbean, blues, pop, and R&B. For fans of New Orleans music, this is a must-see performance.

September 9

Selby Avenue Jazz Festival, Selby & Milton, Saint Paul. Noon – 8pm (Free) This comfy neighborhood festival always features Twin Cities artists with a national touring artist as the headliner. This year’s headliner is Motor Soul Collective, a nine-piece group (featuring three vocalists) whose members have worked with folks like Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, Brian McKnight, Toni Braxton, Aaron Copeland, Sheila E, and the Sounds of Blackness, among others. Also on hand is the New Sound Underground, Salsa del Sol, Walker West’s Legends of Jazz, and the Selby Avenue Brass Band. Of course there will be the usual collection of food and crafts to help you through the day.

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Bassist/vocalist Lynch and her fellows – Chris Beatty, guitar; Steve Wagner, trumpet; Michael Nelson, trombone; and Ken Chastain, drums – are beginning a nine month residency at the Aster on the second Saturday of each month. Regular readers know I like this group quite a bit. The swing, and create fun versions of songs from the 30s through the 50s – a time when cocktails were new, and there was no question that dancing was part of the evening. Lynch also relates each song to what was happening at the time they were first released. The Aster has a small (almost non-existent) dance floor, which doesn’t seem to stop 4-6 couples from squeezing together to swing dance. BTW, I’ll have Lynch and her Fellows on my show on the 9th, so tune in at 10:30am to KFAI, 90.3 & 106.7 FM or at http://www.kfai.org, to hear what they sound like.

Weekly

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Blackdog, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 recommended donation) Steve Kenny curates this weekly event featuring two bands, the first at 7pm and the second at 8:30pm. He’ll be featuring his own quintet on the 26th, the free jazz trio of George Cartwright, Josh Granowski, and Dave King on September 2nd, and Snowblind on September 8. Go to http://www.saturdaynightjazzattheblackdog.info/about-the-venue.html for a complete listing of what is coming up.

Roots, Blues, & Other

Sunday, August 20

Tito Puente Jr @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20 Advance, $25 Door) Salsa fans will be out in droves to hear the son of the great Tito Puente. Puente Jr has his fathers passion for music and has been receiving praise from both Tropical and Latin Jazz crocs for his latest release: Got Mambo? As an added treat for the evening, the opening slot is being filled by Charanga Tropical, led by Doug Little, and featuring stately Charangas as well as high energy salsas.

Tuesday, August 22

Orkestar Bez Ime @ The Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Free) Here’s another show in the Nine Nights Of Music Program at the History Center. Orkestar Bez Ime plays high energy Balkan party music. It’s fast, frantic, and fun.

Wednesday, August 23

Uplugged with Willie Murphy, featuring Dean Magraw @ Crooners Dunmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40w/Dinner) From the folk/blues classic album Running, Jumping, Standing Still, through his work with Willie & the Bees, the Angel-headed Hipsters, and his solo shows, multi-instrumentalist Murphy has shown how to keep blues, R&B, and Rock n’ Roll exciting and new. Tonight he’s playing “unplugged” and has recruited the “Heavy Meadow” guitarist Dean Magraw as his partner for the evening. Between Magraw’s thorough facility with a number of styles, and Murphy’s reinvention of classic tunes, this should provide a satisfying evening of music. Here’s Willie in a jam at the Richfield American Legion Club.

August 24 – September 4

Minnesota State Fair @ State Fairgrounds, Saint Paul. (Various times and venues) There is lots of free entertainment once you get into the Fairgrounds, featuring some nationally known acts such as George Clinton, the Pointer Sisters, and Tanya Tucker, and a cornucopia of resident musicians. Check out the calendar on the State Fair’s site, for stages and performers, and to find acts appearing at various venues around the Fairgrounds, go to the listing that the MN Blues Society has compiled: http://www.mnbs.org/statefairgigs2017.html

Friday, August 25

Wayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) High energy zydeco from a scion of one of the more influential zydeco families in Louisiana (and consequently the world). Dopsie and the Hellraisers have been consistently named as the best zydeco band by Offbeat Magazine, and was named Best Zydeco Band of 2016 by the Big Easy Entertainment Awards. Insistent, infectious music, and sure to bring out dancers.

Friday, Saturday, August 25, 26

Hipshaker 15th Anniversary Weekender @ The Kitty Cat Klub, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Hard to believe, but Hipshaker turns fifteen this August, with two special nights at the Kitty Cat Klub!!! On Friday the 25th, Greg, Brian, and George will be be joined by San Antonio’s DJ Brian Poust for a night of rare Soul and Deep Funk bangers – all on 7 inch 45 RPM records! Then on Saturday the 26th, they’ll present the popular James Brown vs Motown showdown! I dare you to not dance.  BTW, Brand new t-shirts and mix tapes will be available both nights, while they last.

Sunday, August 27

David Bromberg Quintet @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($30 General Admission/$40 Center Section) Young Americana fans may not be cognizant of Bromberg, though they absolutely need to have his music in their libraries. Older music fans know that multi-instrumentalist Bromberg has been a solid performer of blues and other roots music since the 70s. He’s collaborated with Dylan, George Harrison, Emmylou Harris, The Grateful Dead, the Eagles, and countless other artists. His latest release, on Saint Paul’s Red House Records – The Blues, The Whole Blues, and Nothing But the Blues – was awarded Blues Album of the Year by the Downbeat Critic’s Poll. It contains Bromberg’s unique takes on songs by Robert Johnson, Bobby Charles, Ray Charles, and Sonny Boy Williamson among others.

Sunday, Monday,August 27, 28

Brian McKnight 4 @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($60, $70, $80), 9pm ($50, $60, $70) Vocalist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist McKnight has been a solid R&B performer since his debut album in 1992. Though he’s never had a number one hit, he’s consistently on the charts. A master of mellow music, McKnight’s ballads have helped him place 10 albums in the top ten, while selling 30 million records worldwide and receiving 16 Grammy nominations. As an aside, he was out of the music scene in the mid-aughts, as he played basketball for the ABA’s Ontario Warriors.

Wednesday, August 30

Saint Paul Ballet @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) Here’s what the ballet promo says about this event: “Featuring old favorites and enticing new work an evening of elegant and compelling entertainment awaits!”

Saturday, September 2

Hurricane Harold’s All-Star Revue @ Vieux Carré,  Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Harold Tremblay, host of Harold’s House Party on KFAI, has managed to be the most connected blues guy in town, knowing every roots and blues player in the area, and a surprising number from around the nation. His All-Star Revue always has A-List blues players, and is always fun. Here’s an example of past all-stars.

Thursday, September 7

Joga Bola @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm (Usually between $5 – $10) Groovy, often sensuous music from Brazil during it’s “golden age” of the 60s and 70s, played by a diverse, rotating cast of musicians, including: Mina Moore, Karen Quiroz, Adam Levy, John Munson, Tim O’Keefe, Andrew Gillespie, Charlie Peterson, Lucia Sarmiento

Sunday, September 10

Blues Fest @ Tally’s Dockside (Polar Lake Park), White Bear Lake. 11am – 7pm ($20 Advance, $30 Door, $40VIP Advance, $50 VIP Door) Here’s a chance to hear five of the area’s fine blues bands. It appears that Sunday is the second day of a BBQ and Craft Beer Showdown as well. Bands start at 11am with the Soulmates, and continue with Paul Mayasich, The Scottie Miller Band, Joyann Parker, and Inside Straight closing things out at 5:30pm

In the meantime 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. For a quick look at what’s happening around town check out:

KBEM Calendar (covers jazz & roots): http://www.jazz88.fm/live-music-calendar/

JazzINK (as complete a live jazz calendar as you’ll find): http://www.jazzink.com

Minnesota Blues Society: http://www.mnbs.org/gigs.html

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Music Galore: 6.24 – 6.30

June 24, 2015

illustration of music background in doodle style

The Twin Cities Jazz Festival is upon us, with more opportunities to hear free music than I could possibly list. You can always find a complete schedule for the Jazz Festival here.

Of course, there is much more music to be found in town, including some visiting blues and roots artists of note, as well as The Pride Festival, the Midwest Harmonica Workshop, the Twin Cities Bass Camp concerts from Saturday through Tuesday, and some post-festival music at the Dakota. Here is just a brief sampling. Music lifts the spirit

Jazz

Wednesday, June 24

Lila Ammons @ Tangiers, Minneapolis. 8pm (No Cover) The Tangiers is a great spot to hear vocalist Ammons  what with its glitzy decor, and generally low key style on Wednesday evenings.

Ted Olson Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Olson, who graduated from high school in 2010, is studying music and composition at Luther College, and the University Of Northern Colorado, where he recently graduated. He’s been gigging around town as a sideman, and leads his own group, as he will this evening. You can hear some tracks by him here.

Thursday, June 25

Dirty Dozen Brass Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($25) What with Marci Ball tomorrow night, and Dr. John at the Jazz Festival on Saturday, we have a bit of a New Orleans weekend going on. The Dirty Dozen are responsible for blowing new life into the brass band tradition about 30 years ago or so, by incorporating both pop and jazz standards into their repertoire, and spawning groups like Rebirth Brass Band and more. They are still a band to be reckoned with. Here they are at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Nicole Carey & Hanna Cesario @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Two up and coming vocalists, each with a distinct voice. Carey gets her inspiration from Judy Garland, Fleetwood Mac, Strayhorn, and Gershwin, among others. Cesario creates her own arrangements of jazz standards on ukulele. They will be joined by Doug Rhode on piano.

Friday, June 26

Maurice Jacox Trio @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover)  If you aren’t taking in the Jazz Festival, but still want to hear some jazz, head up Central Avenue to a mile or two north of 694, to catch the veteran vocalist who is at home with jazz standards and Nat King Cole as he with stripped down Blues and R&B.

Saturday, June 27

Esperanza Spalding’s Emily’s D+Evolution @ Mill City Nights, Minneapolis. 9pm ($29) Bassist/Singer/Songwriter Spalding  appeared at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival a few years back, when Prince famously listened in his limo and then invited her to jam at Paisley Park until the wee hours.   She went on to appear at the Dakota a couple of times and win a Grammy as Best New Artist, a first for a jazz artist. Since then she’s been growing as an artist and trying out different approaches to her music. Her latest project revolves around her childhood interest in theater, poetry and movement. Like Chamber Music Society, this performance is part theater, part music.

Sunday, June 28

John Pizzarelli @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $45), 9pm ($25, $35) Pizzarelli is a charming raconteur and formidable guitarist who can breathe new life into songs that have been done hundreds of times. His singing and scatting adds to the pleasure of a performance, as you can see and hear in this video.

Monday, June 29

TC Bass Camp Party @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Tonight’s edition of JT’s Jazz Implosion is part of a series of concerts from the Twin Cities Bass Camp. The evening starts with a duo set by bassists  Jeff Harshberger and Doan Roessler. For the second set they’ll be joined by Pete Hennig and Martin Dosh, drums; Nathan Hanson, sax; and Erik Fratzke, guitar

Tuesday, June 30

Charles Lloyd @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50), 9pm ($30, $40) If you are a jazz fan, you have to here this master saxophonist at least once in your life. Lloyd’s career goes back to the 60s, when he won many young fans by playing the Fillmore in San Francisco. He is a musical force, a titan of jazz. Here, for example, is his ethereal take on a Brian Wilson song.

Francois Rabbath @ Benson Great Hall, Bethel University, Saint Paul. 7pm ($20/$15 for seniors & students) Rabbath is a French master bassist whose work with the double bass is considered as important as Paganini’s on violin. He has blown folks away in previous appearances in town, notably at the Minnesota Sur Seine festivals some years back. He will be accompanied by his son Sylvain on piano. Expect a night of exquisite, uplifting music

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, June 24

Rockin’ Pinecones @ Como Park Conservatory, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (Free) Get some hot Cajun music to go with the warm weather we’ve been having, as another season of Groovin’ in the Garden kicks off with the Rockin’ Pinecones  There’ll be activities for kids and (I believe) wine and beer for adults.

Wayne “The Train” Hancock @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($15) Whether you call him alt-country, the keeper of the classic country sound, or a honky-tonker, guitarist/singer Hancock puts such energy into old songs that they sound new again, and creates new songs that fit right alongside the classics. Hank Williams III has recorded a couple of his songs, and the two recorded a duet together. He’s now on Bloodshot Records the alt-country label that can get him more exposure among young rockabilly and alt-country fans. Opening by Ross Kleiner & the Thrill.

Thursday, June 25

Hurricane Harold & Friends @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) I believe this may be the first time Harold has headlined at the downtown watering hole & kitchen. His raucous harp playing will surely catch the attention of the after-work crowd, and he always has an interesting mix of friends with whom he plays.

Icicles @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No cover) Jake Hanson, guitars; Jim Anton, bass; and Jeremy Hanson, drums explore the sonic possibilities of a reverb-loving trio.

Friday, June 26

Marcia Ball @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($35), 10pm ($30) I’ve seen Ms Ball at least 8-10 times, and she always creates a rollicking good time. As a pianist she channels Professor Longhair, Clifton Chenier, and Fats Domino into her own musical stew of music that celebrates life. Here she is on A Prairie Home Companion.

Buddy Guy @ The Minnesota Zoo Amphitheater, Apple Valley. 7:30pm ($65) It’s been about 30 years since you could catch Guy at the old Blues Saloon for about $10, but times change, artists, and their reputations grow, and the amphitheater at the Zoo is decidedly larger, and offers more comfort than the old saloon (if it doesn’t rain). Guy is one of the few surviving blues musicians from the 50s/60s flowering of Chicago Blues, and is a recipient of Kennedy Center Honors. He can play like any rock guitar god, if he feels the audience is looking for that, but he’ll surely provide explosive blues guitar that is both moving and satisfying.

Rockin’ Johnny @ Holihan’s Pub, White Bear Lake. 8pm (Tip Jar) San Francisco harpslinger Aki Kumar is in town for the Midwest Harmonica Workshop  and tonight he’s joining with Jeremy Johnson, guitar; Bill Black, bass; and Richard Medek, drums to perform. Come see why he’s one of the featured teachers at the workshop.

Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) The dance floor at Dave’s will be filled with zydeco dancers, twirling, spinning, and generally having a good ol’ time. Dopsie is a member of a storied zydeco family (his father was Rockin’ Dopsie), and he certainly knows the tradition, but he infuses his zydeco with touches of soul, blues, and more, creating a higher than usual energy quotient. For zydeco, that’s saying’ something.

Erik Koskinen Band @ the Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Alt-country singer/guitarist Koskinen writes well-crafted songs about the vagaries of life. He’s releasing a new album, Live at the Real-Phonic Radio Hour, recorded at the JJ Hill Library during the monthly series. Opening by Leo Rondeau, a Texas by way of North Dakota singer/songwriter.

Saturday, June 27

Dale Watson @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) The honky-tonkin’ Watson has a  New Album, Call Me Insane, on Saint Paul’s Red House Records. Known as Austin’s King of Country, Watson writes songs that are populated with characters he’s met while performing around the country.  Opening by Doug Otto & the Getaways.

Black-Eyed Snakes @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) This electric blues band from Duluth is led by Frontman Alan Sparks of LOW and the Retribution Gospel Choir. They’ve toured the US with Charlie Parr, using jagged guitars for an occasional foray into psychedelia, all in the name of bringing raw emotions to the fore.

NextNotes Concert 2015 @ Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, Macalester College, Saint Paul. 8pm – 9pm (Free) Six up and coming composers from around the country will present their original compositions. Each is a winner of NextNotes, an American Composer Forum competition for High School composers. Music will range from string and brass ensembles to pop/rock and electronic compositions.

Sunday, June 28

Javier & the Innocent Sons: Blues and Brews @ Nicollet Island Pavillion, Minneapolis. ($50) Sure it’s a bit more than you’d expect to pay for these resident bluesmen  but it’s a fundraiser, with the money raised going to a good cause. It will go to Canvas Health, an organization that provides mental health services and suicide prevention phone lines and text lines. There will be craft beer poured by local breweries along with food pairings. Plus, for those of you who enthusiastically partake of all the offered brews, Dry Drivers will get you and your car home safely with a free ride.

Monday, June 29

Becca Stevens @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Stevens is a vocalist/guitarist who has been getting great reviews around the country and has collaborated on a wide variety of projects across musical genres. The NY Times calls her “New York’s best kept secret,” and Kurt Elling, who knows a thing or two about singing, heralds her talent.

 

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


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