Ignore the Snow! Music: 4.4 – 4.10

April 4, 2018

What happened to March – Out Like a Lamb?

Oh boy, we’ve gotten dumped on by snow and now will have a week or so of well-below-average temperatures, with the prospect of another snow on the way next week. TV stations are reporting on how tired we are of this, but also on those hardy enough to still find ways to enjoy the weather, especially those of you who cross-country ski. Getting inside to enjoy music is another way to deal with the weather. Here are some ideas. Music Lifts the Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, April 4

Claudia Schmidt, w/Laura Caviani @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($12, $15) Vocalist Schmidt is a folkie who moves easily into jazz, especially when accompanied by someone as talented as pianist Caviani.

Noah  Ophoven-Baldwin Duo w/Michelle Kinney @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Trumpeter/Cornetist Ophoven-Baldwin has a perfect foil for his often sweet tone in cellist Kinney.

Dead King Mother @ The Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15, $10/Students and Seniors) Fifty years after the assassination of Martin Luther King, percussionist Davu Seru tells the story of an almost forgotten incident in North Minneapolis that occurred as a result. The Capri is located in the same neighborhood where the incident occurred. This musical story will be presented by Zeitgeist and special guests, and will be followed by a panel discussion.

Brian Courage Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Bassist Courage is back in town for a bit, so you’ll see him appearing as a special guest at some gigs, and heading the Black Dog on Saturday. Tonight he leads a quartet with musicians that he played with while living here in the early teens: Chris Thomson, saxophones; Park Evans, guitar; and Jay Epstein, drums

Thursday, April 5

Jana Nyberg w/Sean Turner @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) It’s been three months since vocalist/flutist Nyberg gave birth to a baby boy, and she’s raring to get out and perform. Tonight she has an excellent accompanist in pianist Sean Turner. Here she is in a group setting.

Southside Aces’ Fats Waller Night @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) The Aces are a brass-heavy band who will be taking on the music of the irrepressible Fats Waller, who delivered his music with a sly wink and knowing grin.

Pool Party, Round 6 @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Erik Fratzke, bass; Carley Olson, clarinets; Adam Zahller, vox/recorders; with special guest, Brian Courage, bass.

Friday, April 6

Reynold Philipsek CD Release @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($12) This intimate cafe in the western ‘burbs is perfect for appreciating the nuanced technique of guitarist Philipsek, who often plays gypsy jazz, ala Django Reinhardt. The first 40 patrons (essentially a full house) will get a free copy of his new CD, Picture This. He’ll be accompanied by Matt Senjem, bass; and Michael Bisonette, drums.

Donnie Norton Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Norton, who teaches at Mankato, was a student of Von Freeman and Jerry Bergonzi, which should be more than enough to whet your curiosity about his music. Norton, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Saturday, April 7

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7:00 Opening Set : Carter Pearson Quartet: Carter Pearson, Drums; Abebi Stafford, Piano; Graydon Peterson, Bass; and Bruce Acosta, Guitar. At 8:30 pm its Courageous Endeavors: ​Brian Courage, Bass; Nelson Devereaux, Saxophones; Joe Strachan, Piano; and Miguel Hurtado, Drums.

Sunday, April 8

Emmett Cohen Trio w/Tootie Heath @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm ($30, $40), 8:30pm ($25, $40) Cohen is a relatively young, imaginative, and often impish piano player who believes in the intergenerational transfer of artistic knowledge. He has been seeking out holder players to record and perform with, and tonight, he has drummer Tootie Heath (youngest of the Heath Brothers) as his older compatriot. Heath’s career includes stints with a pantheon of jazz greats, including Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, Milt Jackson, Wes Montgomery, Cedar Walton… The list goes on. Grammy and Emmy nominated bassist Russell Hall will join them.  BTW, I’m being honored with an award from the Jazz Journalists Association at the beginning of the 6:30 show.

Monday, April 9

Emmett Cohen @ Dual Citizen Brewing, 725 Raymond Avenue, Saint Paul. 7pm ($25 suggested donation) This benefit for the Twin Cities Jazz Festival is being held at a new brewery, just South of University on Raymond Avenue. If you didn’t catch Cohen at Crooners last night, you can hear him as a soloist tonight.

Tuesday, April 10

Moonshine Rhythm Club @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($6) This lively group hails from Nashville, and are adept at old school swing, and gypsy jazz: Josh Irwin – Lead Guitar; Billy Jewell – Trumpet; Charles Kay – Saxophone; Eddie Rutland – Rhythm Guitar; and Thomas Altman – Bass.

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 4

Papa John Kolstad & the Perfect Phitts on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Papa John’s good natured swing and blues are complemented by the slide guitar of Gary Powell, and the harmonica of Bill Smith. Hence the name.

Willie Murphy @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6pm (Free) Bluesman/rocker/soulster Murphy is solo as part of the Hook’s Free Wednesday series.

Thursday, April 5

The Butanes @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) You can’t go wrong by seeing the multiple award winning blues band on a Thursday night.

Friday, April 6

Lowertown Classics @ Lowertown Lofts, 255 Kellogg Blvd, Saint Paul 8pm (Suggested Donation $10) Those of you looking for a bit more informal approach to classical music should enjoy this regular event, which takes place in the buildings’ third floor atrium, among art, and with refreshments. Tonights’ program includes music by Bach, Bartok, Karg-Elert, Seiber, Pixinghina, di Majo and more, performed by: Eva Beneke, guitar; Catherine Ramirez, flute; Richard Kreihn, mandolin; Gary Raynor, bass. With Special Guest soprano Maria Jette. Enter through the alley.

Craig Clark Band @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis8:30pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Clark brings his tasty licks and love of the blues to this Southside bar.

Saturday, April 7

Renee Austin Album Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.7pm ($20, $25) Austin is a six time Minnesota music Award winner who calls her mix of classic soul, gospel, and R&B “Roadhouse Soul.” Hers is a miraculous story: after gaining fame in the early part of this century, the Texas-born singer lost her voice after a medical procedure in 2005, only to have it come back in 2015. Now she has a new album, Songbirds and Angels, which she’ll be singing tonight.

Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) In Lil’ Ed you get a highly energized band leader, a dynamite slide guitar player, and a Chicago master of the endless boogie. You’ll be sweating by the end of the show.

Sunday, April 8

Song for Juliet @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7pm ($9 Advance/$12 Door) Singer/songwriter and ukelelest Katy Vernon put together this show to raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and to honor her mum, who died of Lymphoma. Besides Vernon, the show will feature Mary Bue, and the Homefires (Sarah Morris & Vicky Emerson).

Road to Memphis Solo/Duo Challenge @ Coon Rapids VFW Post #9625, 1919 Coon Rapids Blvd NW, Coon Rapids. 1pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s time once again to pick a solo or duo act to represent Minnesota in the International Blues Challenge. Judges will have to choose among the following; Donnie Sauve; Tim Reigstad; Trevor Marty; Tony Cuchetti & Joe Filipiovich; Wain McFarlane & Kurt Graham; and the Phil Kitzke Acoustic Band.

Sunday, Tuesday, April 8, 10

The English Beat @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 9pm Sunday, 7pm Tuesday ($35, $42) Back in the early 80s, the English Beat helped animate the ska revival of the time, though their music also ventured into punk, reggae and soul. They had a string of hit singles, including Mirror in the Bathroom, and Save it for Later, and toured the world with the likes of David Bowie, The Clash, and Talking Heads, among others. At the time, the band had two lead vocalists, Ranking Roger, and Dave Wakeling. It appears this version of the group is led by Wakeling, as they’re preparing to release a new album in May.

Monday, April 9

Ana Moura @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.7pm ($45, $55, $65) The Portuguese music called Fado has been likened to the blues, due to its emphasis on facing and surviving life’s vicissitudes. Vocalist Moura, whose voice is luxurious and passionate may be the most well-known of the proponents of this music, which almost died out before a renewed interest by the younger generation of Portuguese artists.

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.


Looking Back, Moving Forward: 11.8 – 11.14

November 8, 2017

We’ve a week of live music that reminds us of where we’ve been and points to ways forward, whether with visiting artists such as Kamasai Washington, Ann Hampton Calloway, John Primer, and Tom Rush. or resident artists like Graydon Peterson, Travis Anderson, or The Good, The Bad, The Funky. Whether you want to dance, snap your fingers, or let music wash over you, we have plenty of opportunities to learn how Music Lifts Your Spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, Nov 8

Connie Evingson & Andrew Walesch @ Crooners’ Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 5pm – 7pm?) It’s a delightful happy hour as chanteuse Evingson teams up with pianist Walesch to entertain during happy hour. I wonder if they’ll do any duets?

Ann Hampton Calloway @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $45) This pianist/vocalist, perhaps the best known of today’s cabaret singers, combining jazz and pop to tell her stories. She has long been a champion of the Great American Songbook, and tonight will celebrate The Centennial of Ella Fitzgerald’s birth with Ella Century, including new, fresh arrangements of some of Fitzgerald’s signature tunes.

Thursday, Nov 9

Kamasai Washington @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 10pm ($30 Advance/$35 Door) It’s fitting that saxophonist Washington, who has been lauded for his 3 Volume release Epic, should play First Avenue, as his work (especially with Kendrick Lamar) has been embraced by many young people who had previously not been hip to jazz. If you are too old to stand for a couple of hours, you may have to arrive early (doors at 7pm) in order to secure a spot at one of the Ave’s few tables.

Bill Evans: Time Remebered @ The Heights Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) This is a very special event – the Minnesota premier of “Bill Evans Time Remembered – The Life and Music of Bill Evans.” The film was 8 years in the making with over 40 interviews and over 30 archival photographers. The Larry McDonough Quartet will perform a set of material of Bill Evans; followed by the new documentary about Evans by Bruce Spiegel; and finishing with an interview of Evans by legendary jazz journalist Leigh Kamman. Here’s a trailer for the film.

Also: Southside Aces @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5)

Friday Nov 10

Graydon Peterson Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9pm ($12, $15) Graydon Peterson is a first-call bassist on the Twin Cities jazz scene, whether accompanying singers, playing in the Adam Meckler Orchestra, or providing the foundational rhythm for a number of groups. He also composes and will be playing some of his originals tonight, with bandmates Adam Meckler, trumpet; Joe Strachan, piano; and Adrian Suarez on drums

Saturday, Nov 11

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7:00 Opening Set – Roseville HS Combo 1: Liam Traynor, trumpet; Aran Koob, alto sax; Emily Dorr, piano; Karl Koob, guitar, James Klinkenberg, bass; Ben Martin, drums. 8:30 pm – Michael Shults Group: Michael Shults & Aaron Hedenstrom, Saxophones; Javi Santiago, Piano; Chris Bates, Bass; Miguel Hurtado, Drums.

Also: Jay Young & Lyric Factory @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10)

Sunday, Nov 12

Harvey Diamond Quartet Featuring Melissa Stoudt @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 4pm ($12) This early show features pianist Harvey Diamond, who has been a mainstay of the Boston jazz scene since the mid-60s, and is also a regular performer in NYC venues. He’s performed with Sheila Jordan, Dave Liebman, Art Farmer, and a host of other Jazz Masters. He recently released is first CD as a leader and is touring behind it. He’ll be joined by Melissa Stoudt, a TwinCities saxophonist and composer who regularly performed with the late Eddie Berger, and is currently lead tenor with the Maple Grove Big Band. Here he is with a slightly different quartet.

Catherine Russell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) This vibrant singer of classic jazz & blues is a native of NYC, whose father was Louis Armstrong’s long-time musical director, and whose mother played with the legendary International Sweethearts of Rhythm. She has been a back-up vocalist for folks like David Bowie, Steely Dan, Paul Simon, Levon Helm, Al Kooper, and others. Her sixth album, Harlem on My Mind, features songs originally done by Ethel Waters, Billie Holiday, Etta James, and Dinah Washington, as well as other artists who played at the Apollo Theater in Harlem.

Sunday, Monday, Nov 12, 13

Emmet Cohen Mini-Tour:   Emmet Cohen Trio @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25); Emmet Cohen B3 Organ Duo @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($20, $10 w/valid student ID) You have two chances to see irrepressible pianist Emmet Cohen, in two different settings. On Sunday night he’ll be at the Dunsmore Room with Russell Hall on bass and Evan Sherman on drums. His last appearance at the Dunsmore Room was delightful, with Cohen and his bandmates performing high-level improvisations and playfully quoting jazz standards. He’ll have Hall & Sherman with him at the Dunsmore. Then on Monday night at Jazz Central, he and drummer Sherman perform as a B3 organ duo, bringing some greasy funk to the basement club.

Tuesday, Nov 14

Travis Anderson Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) Pianist Anderson, along with bassist Steve Pikal and drummer Nathan Norman, always swing.

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, Nov 8

Dustin Arbuckle & the Damnations on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) After 15 years in the Deep Blues/Progressive Roots outfit Moreland and Arbuckle the two parted amicably to pursue other roads forward. Dustin Arbuckle is now exploring traditional music by the likes of Charley Patton as well as the musical roots represented by The Band, Stax Records, Johnny Cash, and the Allman Brothers, among others. Tune in to check them out, and head over to the 331 to see Arbuckle and his band in person.

Craig Clark @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Craig Clark has most recently been seen giving added oomph to the Dee Miller Band. He’s performed with Big Brother and The Holding Company, The Mississippi Mass Choir with Reverand James Cleveland, Jimmie Van Zant, and Big John Dickerson, among others.

Also: Hula Peppers @ The Schooner, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar)

Thursday, Nov 9

MIkkel Beckmen & Jeff Ray @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Percussionist Beckmen brings slide guitar master Ray to the little stage at The Dubliner for some after work musical workouts.

Tom Rush @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50) If you’ve any interest in folk music, this is the place to be this week. Singer/guitarist Rush has been a major influence on American music since the folk revival of the 60s. He’s championed songs by artists like Joni Mitchell, Jackson Brown, and James Taylor, and has brought people like Nanci Griffith and Shawn Colvin to wider audiences in the beginning of their careers. Both Taylor and Garth Brooks name him as a major influence.

Colin Campbell & the Shackletons and Others @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($8) This is actually a four-band showcase of up and coming area bands. Colin Campbell & The Shackletons are a rock/blues band influenced by the “Minneapolis Sound.” The Grape Whales use long-form song structures to create mediative, bouncy psychedelic rock and roll. Fragile Canyons are a folk/rock quartet inspired by the Grateful Dead and Joni Mitchell, among others. Basement Apartment, which has been around in a number of iterations since 2001 released their third self-titled album in 2014.

Friday, Nov 10

Nikki Roux & Rich Rue @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (No Cover) From blues to folk-rock to originals, Nikki’s charming vocals and Rich’s ace guitar playing satisfy.

John Primer @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Seems we haven’t heard enough from Chicago bluesmen (or women) of late, but John Primer will fix that. He’s a guitarist/vocalist who honed his chops as bandleader and lead guitarist for Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, and Magic Slim & the Teardrops. He’s been nominated for a Grammy twice and has received a Lifetime Achievment Award, though neither of those accolades do justice to his guitar playing.

Friday, Saturday, Nov 10, 11

The Good, The Bad, The Funky 20 Year Celebration @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) GBF, as they are sometimes known, are celebrating the 20th Anniversary of their first gig, which was held at the MMC. The dance-inducing horn band are celebrating with two nights of dance-floor filling music.

Saturday, Nov 11

Kildahl, Voderharr & Gravlin @ The Mudd Room, Mendota Heights. 8pm (No Cover) The “speakeasy” under Lucky’s 13 will reverberate with the blues tonight.

Willie Walker @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9:00pm ($12) I believe this is a first appearance at the Vieux for Walker and his band. The gritty soul man has been on a tear. After winning two Living Blues Music Awards for his 2016 album If Nothing Ever Changes, he recently released a new album, After A While, with the Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra, the group that backed him on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise last month.

Also: Comotown Cajun Trio @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 12pm (No cover)

Hurricane Harold’s All-Star Blues Revue @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul,. 8pm (Tip Jar)

Monday, Nov 13

Joe Fingers & His So-Called Friends @ Dunn Brothers on Grand, Saint Paul. (Tip Jar) Fingers is a champion finger-picking guitarist and vocalist whose So-Called Friends are equally skillful, though it’s hard to know which ones will show up

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


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