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.


Resident and Visiting Artists: 4.29 – 5.5

April 29, 2015

Unknown-1Spring is finally busting out with buds on the trees, and grass getting greener. With the weather getting nicer, it will be easier to get out in the evenings to continue Spring Rejuvenation with some music. this week I’m highlighting eight visiting artists in both jazz and roots/blues, as well as a talented bunch of resident artists, including a few with national reputations. Have a good week. Music lifts your spirits.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 29

Ben Abrahamson Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) With apologies to Paul Mayasich, Jazz Central seems to be having a Guitar-a-thon this evening as features two other guitarists in his trio: Nich Champeau and Jacob Park Evans. Abramason can be seen around town playing with Lulu’s Playground and the Thomas Nordlund Quintet.

Andrew Walesch Quartet @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Today is the anniversary of Duke Ellington’s Birthday and is also Andrew Walesch’s birthday, so to celebrate, vocalist/pianist Walesch is performing the songs of Ellington. He’ll be ably supported by Dave Graf, trombone, Bob Parsons, woodwinds; Mac Santiago, drums, and Gary Raynor, bass. Here’s Walesch doing a solo number

Wednesday, Thursday, April 29, May 30

Madeline Peyroux @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $60), 9pm ($30 – $50) Hard to believe that it’s almost 20 years since this boho-jazz chanteuse released her first album in 1996. Peyroux retreated from her original success by returning to busking in the streets of Paris, nor releasing her second album until 2004. Now she’s touring behind a greatest hits collection on Saint Paul’s Red House Records, which includes the title song “Keep Me in Your Heart” includes the previously unreleased title track from the movie Union Square. Her somewhat small, Billie Holiday-like voice, combined with unique interpretations from songs across genres, makes her an audience favorite.

Thursday, April 30

Debbie Duncan: International Jazz Day @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Ahh, it’s a celebration of jazz that takes place all around the world, and Ms Duncan and the folks at Jazz Central are doing their part.

Friday, May 1

Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra & the Anoka Ramsey College Jazz Ensemble @ the Performing Arts Center, Anoka Rmsey Comm College, Coon Rapids. 7pm (Free) Here’s a chance to hear a hot big band that specializes in Latin Rhythms as well as a student ensemble. And it’s free!

Framework @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (tip jar) Chris Olson, guitar; Chris Bates  bass; and Jay Epstein, drums, are each worthy of leading their own groups, and they sometimes do, but tonight they collaborate, to create 21st Century jazz.

Saturday, May 2

Andrew Kolker w/Chris Bates’ Good Vibes Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Kolker is a saxophonist/composer/arranger who has 7 CDs as a leader and has worked with Ray Barretto, Maria Schneider, Billy Hart and others. He’ll be playing with Chris Bates, bass; Phil Hey, drums; and Dave Hagedorn, vibes. Considering the close communication and interplay of the trio, this should be a killer of a show.

Jason Moran and Rober Glasper @ The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. 8pm (Sold Out), 10:30pm ($28) These two contemporary pianists are not only helping to define jazz piano for the 21st Century, but are friends from high school in Houston. They’ll be mixing classic boogie boogie, Thelonious Monk, Wayne Shorter, and hip-hop tunes in duets such as those that were ecstatically received at the 75th anniversary of Blue Note Records.

Unknown-2Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm. ($5-$20 Suggested Donation) Dave Brattain Group w/Mac Santigo on drums opening at 7pm. Featured artist is Anthony Cox’s DD7, featuring Cox on bass, JT Bates on drums, Brandon Wozniak on sax, and Steve Kenny on trumpet/flumpet.

James Buckley Trio @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($5-$20 suggested Donation) Buckley is the bassist who works with a variety of jazz, indie-rock, and folk-rock groups. Working with Bryan Nichols on keys and JT Bates on drums, Buckley and his bandmates create modern, original, sometimes ethereal, and always accessible jazz. Here they are with the title song from their last CD.

Sunday, May 3

University of MN Jazz Ensemble I & II @ Ted Mann Concert Hall, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm (Free) The ensembles will be playing the music of Woody Herman and Count Basie.

Monday, May 4

Scott Agster @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The trombone player cooks, whether he’s in a salsa band, or co-leading the Explosion Big Band. Thought the lighting is bad, here’s a video of a previous Jazz Central performance.

Tuesday, May 5

Bill Evans New Orleans Jazz Band @ Bennett’s Chops and Railhouse, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) Here’s the place to go when you’re looking for traditional New Orleans Jazz. Don’t be surprised if one of the older listeners starts a parade around the small chophouse.

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, April 29

Jake Manders on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip jar) Singer/songwriter/guitarist Manders just released his second acoustic/rootsy album, Acousitc Frequency. Whether performing under his own name (often with fiddler Greta Huntstiger) or with the alt-blugerass Pistol Whippin’ Party Penguins, Manders’ songs reveal an undercurrent of hope even in the most mournful times. Tune in at 5pm and head over to the 331 Club at 7.

Charanga Tropical @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Free, Donations Accepted) The Charanga is an elegant dance from Cuba, always played with a small violin section. This group  led by saxophonist Doug Little, also plays lively salsas. They are the first American group to be invited to the Danzon Festival in Cuba, which takes place at the end of June, and are now working to raise the money for the trip. They’ve got a Kickstarter program, and are performing a series of concerts to publicize the program and raise funds.

Thursday, April 30

American Pleasure Dome @ Grumpy’s NE, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (No Cover) This indie-rock quartet caught my attention in part because of the presence of guitarist Park Evans, who also plays with the New Primitives and a score of area jazz groups, and bassist/vocalist Brenda Shepard of the Rebel Queens. The group is led by songwriter Hans Schumacher, and also features Joel Arlpin on drums.

Friday, May 1

Charlie Parr Jumpstumper Release @ The Varsity Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($18) The unassuming, simple living Parr has amassed a great deal of fans over the course of 12 albums of old-sounding blues and roots music. Jumpstumper is his latest album, and his debut on Red House Records. It’s also the first solo album in which he has a backing band, and they serve him well, proving an effective foil to his declamatory songs and stories. Hear cuts from the new album here.

Joe Louis Walker @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) Bluesman Walker grew up in the Bay area and at a young age had already played with John Lee Hooker, Thelonious Monk, and Steve Miller. He was a roommate to Mike Bloomfield for a few years, whose death prompted Walker to change his lifestyle, enroll in college and perform with a gospel group. In 1985 he returned to the Blues, and has been hard at it ever since. The sharp guitar lines of this Blues Hall of Fame inductee (2013) can range from rockin’ to soulful.

Saturday, May 2

The Pines EP Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $30), 9pm ($20-$25) The Pines are another roots music act that has been steadily increasing their fan base through steady touring. Though David Huckfeldt and Benson Ramsey are both natives of Iowa, they met in a Mexican barrio in Arizona, relocated to Minneapolis, and released their first album in 2004. Since then they’ve managed to blend roots and blues with indie-rock proclivities to national acclaim while remaining true to an acoustic aesthetic. Here’s a performance from about 18 months ago.

Davina & the Vagabonds @ The Crooked Pint Ale House, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover?) This is one of Davina’s dance gigs, and though the dance floor isn’t very big, it will undoubtedly be filled.

home-image-3High & Mighty @ Narrows Blues Saloon, Navarre. 9pm ($?) This ten-piece horn band has three vocalists and a repertoire that ranges from Lady Gaga and Mayer Hawthorne to the Ohio Players, Aretha Franklin, and Kool & the Gang. In other words, they’ve got your dancing jones covered.

Sunday, May 3

Paul Thorn @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($36) Thorn is an entertaining roots-rock storyteller and songwriter whose life has had enough twists and turns to provide provide endless fodder for his songwriting. While previous albums have featured stories drawn from his life, his latest CD, Too Blessed to be Stressed is an intentional effort to write songs that not only have universal truths, but make people feel good. Once you get through the introduction to this video, you’ll get a taste of his outlook and his new music.

Tuesday, May 5

Salsabrosa and Alma Andina @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15) It’s Cinco de Mayo and some salsa dancing is in order. Alma Andina opens with some Andean-inspired folkloric music, followed by a couple of dance lessons and the sounds of Salsabrosa with special guest Esti Price singing some Mexican classics.

Tuesday, Wednesday, May 5, 6

The English Beat @ The Dakota, Minneapolis ($35-$40) The English Beat were one of the pillars of the  British Two-Tone ska movement in the early eighties, with their message of love, unity, inclusion and dancing. After disbanding in ’83, members went on to form General Public, International Beat, and Fine Young Cannibals. A reunion in 2003 reinvigorated the group, and they’ve remastering their old albums and rereleasing them with bonus tracks and DVDs, the latex of which is Special Beat Service. I’d be might surprised if some Gen Xers don’t find room to dance.

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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