It’s Snow! Music: 12.6 – 12.12

December 6, 2017

Photo of Tuesday’s traffic from the Star Tribune

Happy Snowfall everyone!

With the advent of this past Monday’s snowfall, we learned once again, that Minnesotans tend to forget how to drive in snow once it’s stopped in the Spring (see photo at right). Maybe it’s because many of us have come here from warmer climates. Or, to be as charitable as possible, maybe the slowest going among us have been in accidents before, or have recently experienced traumatic events and losses. My own theory is that weather forecasters and news directors are from out of town, and don’t have a history of dealing with snow, and consequently treat every snowstorm as a major event. To be sure, we have to be careful in bad road conditions, but we certainly don’t need to be discouraged from going out in the winter to enjoy music. After all, as Minnesotans we should scoff at snow. Enough ranting. Go out. Listen to music. Get your spirits lifted. Here are some ideas for the week.

Larry

Jazz

Wednesday, Dec 6

Joey DeFrancesco @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40), 9pm ($20, $30) Hard bopping B3 player DeFrancesco may be the preeminent organist of the jazz world. He grew up in Philadelphia, where Don Patterson and Jimmy Smith were influences, and put out his debut album at 17, which resulted in working with Miles Davis and, a few years later, John McLaughlin. He’s been recording and touring for almost 30 years, and is at the top of his game, now touring with a quartet (including a vocalist) in supper of this recent release, Project Freedom.

Laura Caviani Trio CD Release @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) While recording her recent CD Mysterious Thelonious, Caviani’s bandmates, bassist Chris Bates and drummer Dave Schmalenberger noted that she had a lot of original material, so they decided to record that material as well. The CD, Confluences, includes a suite of five songs inspired by the work of Shakespeare. I had Laura on my show this past Saturday, to talk about the CD and play a couple of tracks. You can hear the interview and the songs at http://kfai.org/rhythmandgrooves. The interview starts about one hour into the show, after the Leigh Kammen 45 of the week.

Thursday, Dec 7

Jennifer Lund & Lori Bloomberg @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($10, $5w/valid student ID) Here’s a chance to hear some newcomers on the jazz vocal scene as Lund & Bloomberg perform an evening of standards. To add to the evening’s merriment, they’ll be joined by Vicky Mountain for a few songs.

Music Formally Known As Jazz @ Khyber Pass, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) An evening of adventurous jazz, featuring some masters of the genre: Pat O’Keefe, woodwinds;  Douglas Ewart, wind instruments; & Steve Hirsh, drums. The event is subtitled A Continuing Coversation with J Otis Powell?! reflecting their past performances with the late poet, which leaves one to only guess what musical paths the group will travel.

Friday, Dec 8

Javier Santiago Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9pm ($10) Santiago is an imaginative pianist who has been on a bit of a roll, playing clubs in San Francisco lately. Tonight, he teams up with long-time friends and bandmates Ted Olsen on bass and Miguel Hurtado on drums for Friday Night Jazz in Crooners’ listening room.

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Source Code @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($10, $5w/valid student ID) We’re so lucky to have drummer extraordinaire Gravatt living in the Twin Cities. He’s a veteran of Weather Report and numerous tours with McCoy Tyner, and deserving of our support any time he plays. Plus, it sounds like he’ll soon be moving East, so here’s a chance to see him before he leaves. Tonight Gravatt will be joined by long-time musical partner Ron Evanuik on stand up bass; as well as Aaron Kippola & Dean Brewington on alto saxophones, and Solomon Parham on trumpet, which will make for an exhilarating sonic experience. Here he is with some masterful jazz cats – McCoy Tyner, Bill Frisell, and Gary Bartz.

Saturday, Dec 9

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) This weekly series has begun to occasionally feature vocalists for the opening act at 7pm. Tonight it’s the Lila Ammons Quartet, featuring Ammons, who, in addition to being a fine jazz interpreter, is classically trained, and a singer of classic blues (think Bessie Smith and Alberta Hunter). Such an approach seems natural when you consider her family heritage, which includes saxophonist Gene Ammons as an uncle and boogie boogie pianist Albert Ammons as a grandfather. At 8:30 The Ruckus Touring Group will play. Talented drummer Rodney Ruckus lived in the Twin Cities for a couple of years and is now based out of San Francisco, where he’s regularly playing and backing visiting musicians. This group includes Javier Santiago on piano, who has been traveling to SF on a regular basis to play with Ruckus, along with Jonathan Greenstein, tenor sax; and Jax Ravel on bass.

Nachito Herrera & the Universals @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9:30pm ($35, $45) Cuban born, Twin Cities based Herrera is a force of nature on piano, with outstanding technique and an improvisational mind-set that incorporates the music of Cuba, as well as jazz, classical music, and world music. The Universals reflect those influences, with the outstanding Karen Briggs on violin; Raul Pineda, drums; Mile Phillips, sax; and Cheikh Ndoye, bass. Their resumes include work with Stanley Clarke, Diana Ross, Chucho Valdes, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Kazumi Watanabi, and Randy Brecker, among others.

Sunday, Monday, Dec 10, 11

Benny Green @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. Sunday: 5pm and 7:30pm ($30), Monday 7pm ($30), 9pm ($25)  This hard bopping pianist learned from the best, having played in the bands of Oscar Peterson, Art Blakey, Betty Carter, Freddie Hubbard, and Ray Brown. If you want to be conversant in the jazz of today, you need to be familiar with Green.

Tuesday, Dec 12

Andrew Walesch Big Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 8pm (No Cover, but $15 for Guaranteed Seat) Walesch is a fine singer and piano stylist who has a particularly good way with the Great American Songbook. He’ll be celebrating the 102nd anniversary of Frank Sinatra’s birth tonight, backed by a dynamite 10 piece band. His shows with the band often sell out, so get there early, or go to Crooner’s website to reserve your seat. Here he is with a more contemporary standard.

Also: Chris Lomheim/Tony Balluff Big Three Play Fats Waller @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Lomheim – No Cover), 8pm (Balluff – $?)

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, Dec 6

Javier Matos on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Matos is a guitar ace who can swing the blues, play searing slide guitar, and generally make you feel good as he performs. As Hurricane Harold says on The House Party, “You know the drill.” Tune in to hear him play live, and if you like what you hear, head over to the 331 to see him play in person.

No Tent w/Reina Del Cid @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free, 21+) No Tent is a bluegrass band formed by Reina del Cid featuring guitarist extraordinaire Toni Lindgren, who plays in del Cid’s main band, as well as a rotating cast of characters from the Minneapolis-St. Paul folk scene. Together, they play a mix of old-time traditionals, bluegrassified covers, and a few roots inspired originals.

Also: Curtiss A & Dark Click @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Blues from the “Dean of Scream

Thursday, Dec 7

Louisiana Rhythms Christmas Party & Benefit for Second Harvest Heartland @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 11pm (Donation of cash, check, or food ) Eric, Mo and Karl may no longer be on the air, but tonight they’re presenting all the fun of their late, well missed show, only this time they have a dance floor. They’ll be hosting an evening of seasonal music done Louisiana style, with The Swamp Poppas provide the backup for guest stars Rich Lewis, Lucinda Plaisance, Max Ray and others. A feature of the night will be French and English recitations of “Christmas Eve on the Big Bayou.”

Friday, Dec 8

Annie Mack & Joyann Parker @ Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) An evening of R&B and Blues from two singers that share a musical mindset. It appears that both are appearing without their respective bands, though they are strong singers, so the lack of a full band shouldn’t inhibit them. Parker opens at 9pm, and Mack takes the stage at 10pm.  Here’s Mack with her band.

Otis Redding Tribute w/David James Carlson @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Carlson is an actor, musician, and songwriter with over 500 songs and five albums to his credit. He’s put together a tribute/play about Otis Redding, the great soul singer whose life ended in a plane crash in Madison 50 years ago. Tonight he’ll feature some actors performing excerpts from the play, along with a full band to perform some of Redding’s music.

Saturday, Dec 9

Tom Hunter’s Blue Christmas @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 8pm (No cover, but $10 will guarantee a seat in front of the stage) Pianist Hunter can often be found at Willie Murphy jam sessions. He’s played or recorded with folks like Bernard Allison, Big John Dickereson, and Little Sammy Davis, and has toured with Mary Cutrufello as the opening act for the Allman Brothers. He can bring a soulful outlook to songs by Billy Joel and Tom Waits, and has released three albums. No doubt it will be a soulful, blue Christmas. Here he is doing an old R&B/Rock n’ Roll classic.

Trailer Trash: A Trashy Little Christmas @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($20 Advance/$25 Door) It’s about 24 years since Trailer Trash, those purveyors of honky-tonk, traditional country, and swinging rock n’ roll began this annual tradition of bringing their trashy view of the holidays into our lives. If you haven’t attended for a while, this might just be the time to dance, frolic, and take part in Candy Cane hi-jinks.

Also: Jaedyn James & The Hunger @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Horn-driven funk n’ soul with an attitude

Sarah Morris & Her Sometimes Elves Holiday Show @ The Vieux Carré,  Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) An authentic, powerful singer/songwriter takes on the holidays.

Sunday, Dec 10

Dan Rein CD Release @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12 Advance/$15 door) Dan Rein is the long time host of Century’s Song on KFAI, a world music show that truly lives up to the stations motto of Radio Without Boundaries. He’s releasing a CD, Just One Breath, singing the poetry of Omar Khyyam in Persian and English, accompanied by special guests Mikkel Beckmen, washboard; Liz Draper, upright bass; Adam Kiesling, banjo; and Andy McCormick, musical saw(?).

Stokely Williams Sonic Healer Tour @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($37 – $67) As the lead singer and studio drummer of the highly popular Mint Condition, the Saint Paul native has played to sold out crowds both here and throughout the nation. Now, he’s released a solo album, Introducing Stokely, and has mounted this tour in support of the release. Though he’s already played successful shows in Chicago, NYC, and Washington DC, this is a homecoming for Williams, who has resisted the music industry’s siren call to relocate to either of the coasts.

Tuesday, Dec 12

Peter Asher @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) Asher has been touring with various versions of his story for about 4 years now. Though some parts are the same, he keeps things interesting enough to go back a second time to hear about Paul McCartney as his roommate, his ownership of the gallery where John met Yoko, his discovery of James Taylor, work with Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, Emmy Lou Harris and more. Plus, you get him singing his Peter and Gordon hits (with Gordon on video).

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.


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.


World Sounds and Jazz: 3.1 – 3.7

March 1, 2017

 

imagesIt’s March 1st, which means the vernal equinox, with its promise of new growth, cannot be far behind. We even have a celebration of the month at the Amsterdam on Sunday, as I have listed below. We also have some unique jazz experiences to look forward to, including visiting artist Bob Dorough. With the weather being un-March like, it will be easy to get out and let music lift your spirits.

Jazz

Wednesday, March 1

Phil Hey/Pat Moriarity Duo @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Phil Hey  drums; and Pat Moriarty  sax; put out a duo record back in 1977 that was striking in its originality and free improvisation. Their ability to communicate and respond to each other has only grown since then, thanks to collaboration with other artists, and the occasional duo gig, which doesn’t happen very often. In fact they’ve only played as a duo three times in the last ten years. If you’re at all curious about free improvisation, this is the gig to see. Here they are in a quartet setting.

Larry McDonough Quartet: “Bill Evans and Tony Bennett” @ Vieux Carré,  Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) Pianist Bill Evans rarely accompanied singers, but in Tony Bennett he found an extraordinary collaborator. The two albums they did together showed Evans’ skill in accompanying a vocalist while adding the complexities that he displayed in his solo and ensemble performances, and exhibited Bennett’s expressive range from bold and commanding to soft and delicate. Tonight, McDonough will take on both roles, often beginning with just voice and piano, and being joined by other members of his quartet: sax player and award-winning poet Richard Terrill; bassist Greg Stinson; and drummer Dean White. Here’s Larry with an impromptu version of a song recorded by Evans and Bennett.

Thursday, March 2

Thursday Night Jazz: Mancrush @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Tonight’s attraction is Mancrush, a band with standard instrumentation for a jazz quartet, though their sound is leaner and more sparse than you might expect. Members are: Bryan Nichols, keys; Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and leader Lars-Erik Larson on drums.

Jana Nyberg Group @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover or $10 Reserved Seat) Nyberg is a singer who uses her jazz chops on originasl, jazz, and pop songs to great effect. She and her tight-knit group swing mightily, with: Sean Turner, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Rodney Ruckus, drums. Here she is with a different version of her group.

Carl Franzen @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Singer/songwriter Franzen is making his debut appearance at Jazz Central. The former advertising copywriter is a gifted lyricist, with an ability to paint pictures and tell stories with skill and wit. He’ll be accompanied by guitarist Chris Beatty, a vet of many bands including the Droppers and Kate Lynch.

Friday, March 3

Patty Peterson Presents the Jazz Women All Stars @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20), 9pm ($20) While Patty Peterson’s shows are always filled with spirit and energy, her work with the Jazz Women All Stars, at least as demonstrated at the Winter Jazz Fest, seems to have given her a shot of new energy. This is a band of amazing musicians, each of whom has established their bona fides and creativity many times over. Members are: Peterson and Ginger Commodore, vocals; Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Joan Griffith, bass & guitar; Jendeen Forberg, drums; and Kathy Jensen, saxophone.

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Source Code @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) If it seems I write about this gig once a month, I believe you may be correct. Here in the Twin Cities, Gravatt should be heralded from the rafters as the nationally recognized monster drummer he is, having played with Weather Report, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Pharaoh Sanders, and McCoy Tyner, among others, including early work with the legendary Twin Cities fusion band Natural Life.

North Central University @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 10 pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Stick around after Source Code (above) or simply show up to hear the next generation of jazz players, as NCU’s Jazz Workshop performs. The Workshop was under the direction of pianist Bobby Peterson until his untimely death in 2002. Since then, one of Peterson’s protégés, Peter Shu, has helmed the group.

Saturday, March 4

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Tonight’s opening set is by the piano-less Pete Snell Trio: Snell, who plays saxophone, has been jobbing around the Twin Cities for many years, as have his musical cohorts: Phil Aaron, piano; and Tom Lewis, bass.  8:30 Set by the JC Sanford QuartetSanford  is a trombonist/composer who was a protégé of the the great Bob Brookmeyer, and has worked with many high-profile artists. Tonight he is joined by Zacc Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Greg Schutte, drums.

Cedric Fuller & Global Sound @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Jazz Central doesn’t often have music on Saturdays, but this special event is deserving of your interest. Drummer Cedric Fuller has pulled together a group of talented musicians to perform his originals as well as songs in a variety of styles, from jazz, to soul, R&B, and Hip-Hop. Global Sounds includes: the amazing violinist Ernest Bisong; Steven Hobert, keys; Tomas Simpson, guitar; Kenneth P. Garnier, bass; and Caitlynn Daniels, vocals.

Sunday, March 5

The Great Tap Dancers @ Chanhassen Dinner Theater, Chanhassen. 3pm ($12) Film Archivist Bob DeFlores presents films of some of the great tap dancers from 1929 through the 70s, including folks like Bill Bojangles Robinson; Sammy Davis, Jr; Eleanor Powell, Shirley Temple, the amazing Nicholas Brothers; Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers; Buddy Ebsen, Donald O’Conner, and many more.

JelloSlave @ The Como Park Conservatory, Saint Paul. 4:30 – 6:30pm. Chamber Jazz in the Conservatory’s fabulous Sunken Garden. Jelloslave is a highly original and interesting band consisting of Michelle Kinney and Jaqueline Ultan on cellos; Gary Waryan on tables; and Greg Schutte on drums. Their music will also be piped in to the Palm Dome and the North Garden. Beer and wine available to purchase.

JazzMN Orchestra: Next Gen Jazz @ Hopkins HS Auditorium, 2400 Lindberg Drive, Hopkins. 3pm ($31 – $35, $10-$20 for Students) Jazz is alive and well, especially here in the Twin Cities, as you’ll be able to tell by listening to The Dakota Combo and other youth bands that will be performing before the JazzMN Orchestra, which will have social guest artists form LA’s Urban Renewal Project, which melds jazz, pop, and hip-hop.

Monday, Tuesday, March 6,7

Bob Dorough @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm – 9pm ($25, $50 Dinner Show) Dorough is one of the hippest and wittiest singers around. He recorded two vocals with Miles Davis, including the wry Blue Xmas, set multiplication tables to music for Schoolhouse Rock, and played 22 workshops and concerts in 13 cities in 6 countries as a jazz ambassador for the State Department. Now in his 90s, Dorough continues to write and record, his latest being Eulalia, which among other great songs, features him singing the Webster’s Dictionary definition of love.

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, March 1

Mitch Kashmar on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) West Coast Blues harmonica player Kashmar is in town for the Blues Harmonica Blast (see below), and is warming up with an appearance on Harold’s House Party and at the 331. He’s got a big fat sound that is equally at home invoking Chicago and Delta blues, developed in part through playing with folks like John Lee Hooker, Big Joe Turner, Lowell Fulsom, and other blues greats. He’ll be backed by the stellar line-up of the House Party All Stars: Jeremy Johnson guitar; Bill Black, bass; and Victor Span, drums.

Salif Keita @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($30 Advance, $35 Door) Keita is an Afro-pop singer/songwriter from Mali who was cast out of his family at an early age because he’s albino, a sign of bad luck in Mali. Upon moving to Paris at 25 in 1985, he began combining traditional West African musical styles with American and European influences. He’s recorded about 20 albums, some of which have included guests like Joe Zawinal and Wayne Shorter, as well as Carlos Santana, and percussionist Bill Summers. His latest album is Talé, released in 2012, is dance-floor friendly, with appearances by Manu Dibango, Bobby McFerrin, and Esperanza Spalding. Opening for Keita is our own Siama, who helped to popularize Soukous with his sensuous guitar lines.

Thursday, March 2

Butanes’ Tardis Gras @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (tip jar) The Butanes do a “late” Mardis Gras party as part of their Thursday night residency. There is always a surprise guest or two that sits in for a song with the Twin Cities Best Blues Band.

Friday, March 3

Blues Harmonica Blast @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm ($?) It’s a summit meeting of harp masters with West Coast guest Mitch Kashmar (see Wednesday, above), and resident harmonica players Paul Barry, Boom Boom Stevie V; Big George Jackson; Curtis Blake; and Hurricane Harold; all backed by an all-star group of Twin Cities musicians. Chicago Blues? Yep! Delta Blues? No Doubt! West Coast Blues? Most Certainly! Dancing? You Bet!

Joyann Parker Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Joyann Parker has been making her mark on the Twin Cities Blues scene for the last few years, representing Minnesota in the 2015 International Blues Challenge. Her 2015 album, On the Rocks, was named Best Self-Produced Album by the MN Blues Society, and has been nominated for Best Independent Blues Music Award. She has a powerful blues and R&B voice that’s just right for the TGIF crowd at Crooners.

Mbongwana Star w/ZuluZuluu @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($28) Imagine, if you will, the punk/DIY ethos of 80s NYC, where anger, boredom, and the need to simply get by resulted in a burst of creativity as punk, gay, and whatnot bands would share a bill and more importantly, the ability to express themselves by subverting the music they knew. Now consider the city of Kinshasha, in the Republic of Congo, where war, corruption and chaos brought the citizenry down. It was in the streets of Kinshasah, where everybody was eking by, that Mbongwana Star was born, creating their own take on Afrobeat, soukous, and rumba. They’ve upped the rhythms, increased the energy, and created their own sound, which I’m at somewhat of a loss to describe. Check out their videos on their website. Opening is ZuluZuluu a Twin Cities Afro-futuristic hip-hop/funk/soul group that uses deep grooves to get across their uplifting message songs. The six member collaborative has been working with each other for years, but didn’t come together as a group until the last couple of years. Their debut disc, What’s the Price? was released last summer.

Lowertown Classics presents Claude Bolling’s Picnic Suite @ Lowertown Lofts, 225 Kellogg Blvd East, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10 Suggested Donation) If you’re looking for some high-class, low-cost classical music, this is the place to be. Eva Beneke, guitar; Ted Godbout, piano; Bethany Gonella, flute & piccolo; and Scott Horey, drums & percussion; will perform the 7 pieces in Bolling’s Suite, as well as some other pieces which, as they said, “we don’t even know about yet.” BTW, the entrance is in an alley between 4th Street and Kellogg Blvd.

Saturday, March 4

Freezer Jam @ Lake Calhoun’s Thomas Beach, Minneapolis. Noon – 7pm (No Cover) This is an outdoor concert as part of the Minneapolis Polar Plunge to benefit The Special Olympics. There will be beer, cider, and other beverages, as well as food and fireworks. Of course you’ll be able to watch folks plunge into cold water as part of the event, which features the Midwest rockers 4 on the Floor, the bluegrass/Americana of The Last Revel; the rockin’ cover band Viva Kneivel, and the hot country sounds of Maiden Dixie. There will be shuttles from Cowboy Slim’s in uptown and the Lake Calhoun Center.

Carnaval Brasiliero Masquerade Ball @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20 Advance/$30 Door) This is the 15th Annual Carnaval, presented by guitarist/vocalist Robert Everest and his ten-piece band Beira Mar Brasil. Joining them from Brazil is the extraordinary samba dancer Dandara Odara, as well as the percussion ensembles Batucada Do Norte and Drumheart, as well as professional samba dancers and Minnesota’s Brazilian martial arts group Omulu Capoeira. Authentic Brazilian Carnaval masks will be available for sale, and the adventurous can have their face and body painted. There will be food and drink as well. I’ll have Robert Everest on my show Saturday morning at about 10:45am.

Sunday, March 5

Benefit for Bronco @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 3pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Saxophonist Merlin “Bronco” Brunkow would take solos with Willie & the Bees that would explore the outer reaches of jazzy R&B. He’s also played with Lamont Cranston, and more recently, the Big Wu. Well, it seems he fell and broke his hip, and as a result, can’t play and make any money, so a bunch of his friends are getting together to play and raise funds – it’s what bands do here in the Twin Cities. Featuring: The Butanes; Willie Murphy; The Groove Merchants; Renee Austin; Lonnie Knight; Maurice Jacox; Jellybean Johnson, and more…..

Marenitsa @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 5-9pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) Marenistsa is not a band, but rather an annual Balkan celebration of Spring. Orkestar Bez Ime and the Mila Vocal Ensemble are presenting this Bulgarian Bacchanallia, as they call it, featuring music form Bulgaria, Macedonia, and surrounding areas. This year they’ll have as guests Traki, a Twin Cities based ensemble that features traditional and evolving  Bulgarian folk music. The Mila Vocal Ensemble consists of eleven women singing “chords that Lutherans do not have in them” as Garrison Keillor noted.  Rest assured, once Orkestar Bez Ime takes the stage, this will become a raucous dance party as their careening, infectious music makes it hard to stand still.

Monday, March 6

Marcia Ball @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.  7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Pianist Marcia Ball is the recipient of ten Blues Music Awards, nine Living Blues Awards, five Grammy nominations, and has been inducted into both the Gulf Coast and Louisiana Hall of Fame. Her rollicking blues and emotional ballads draw from New Orleans R&B, Swamp Pop, and Gulf Coast blues, with the occasional spiciness of Tex-Mex polkas and zydeco two-steps. I’ve seen her at least a half-dozen times over the years and have never been disappointed.

Steve Clarke & The Working Stiffs @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) It’s swing night at Famous Dave’s and saxophonist Steve Clarke and the gang will deliver the goods: swing, jump blues, jazz, and jive.

Tom Paxton and the Don Juans @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($30 Advance/$35 Door) Guitarist/vocalist/storyteller Tom Paxton has been singing folk songs and telling stories on stage since the flowering of the folk movement in 60s Greenwich Village. In the years since he has earned a Grammy Liferime Achievement Award. Tonight he teams up with the Don Juans  Don Henry, guitar/vocals, uke, and banjo; and Jon Vezner, piano, vocals, uke, guitar, and more. Between Paxton and the Juans, they’ve had songs recorded by Harry Belafonte, John Mellencamp, Ray Charles, Neil Diamond, Nancy Griffith, Judy Collins, Blake Shelton, Bob Dylan and many, many more. Their appearance at Crooners about a year or so ago was a delight.

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.


A Week in Summer: 8.3 – 8.9

August 3, 2016
A summer tradition: Movies and Music in the Park. Photo: fasthorseinc.com

A summer tradition: Movies and Music in the Park. Photo: fasthorseinc.com

Holy Shamoley, have we got a week filled with outdoor fun, from a metal pour to a guitar festival, Afrobeat in a museum patio, a couple of block parties, and movies and music at Loring Park. Is summer in the Twin Cities great, or what! There is plenty of indoor entertainment as well, notably during the week, including some visiting Jazz artists, local veterans of many music genres, and a fairly indescribable group from the Ukraine. Music lifts your spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 3

Wolverines Jazz Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) It seems the Wolverines show up often in these newsletters, either in their own right, or accompanying some of the outstanding vocalists of the area. Rick Carlson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Jendeen Forberg, drums; are the ultimate pros in this area, able to hold the attention of the noisy, and sometimes rowdy crowd (Bachelorette parties anyone?) of Hell’s Kitchen, no matter what the occasion.

Sasha Masakowski @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($17 – $22) In 2009, vocalist Masakowski earned the Best Emerging Artist Award of the Big Easy Association. The daughter of Steve Masakowski, guitarist for New Orlean’s fabled Astral Project, she has played all around the nation and abroad. She’s earned kudos from both Vanity Fair and Downbeat, and currently leads three bands, performing music that  ranges from traditional New Orleans jazz, to contemporary jazz, world music, and experimental art-rock. Here she is with Irvin Mayfield’s Big Band.

Reuben Ristrom & Dan Ristrom @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley, 7pm (No Cover) Guitarist/banjo player Reuben Ristrom has been contributing his talents to swinging aggregations for five decades now. Tonight he and son Dan  who is a fine vocalist and bassist, will  be playing for folks in the lounge at Crooners.

Thursday, August 4

Sheridan Zuther & Jordan Anderson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Vocalist Zuther has an engaging way with songs and with her audiences. Expect songs from the Great American Songbook as well as some favorites of Zuther from her youth on the Central Plains of North Dakota. She’ll be accompanied by the talented young pianist Jordan Anderson, who has been active with a number of young combos as well as with some veterans, and will be heading off to college this Fall. Here’s Sheridan with a quartet.

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) It’s Steve Kenny’s Group 47 tonight, wherein veteran trumpet and Flumpet player Steve Kenny surrounds himself with some young musicians: Will Kjeer, piano; Thomas Strommen, sax; Adam Tucker, bass; and Alex Burgess, drums. Under Kenny’s aegis, they contribute tunes, energy, and imagination. Here’s a number by Will Kjeer that shows some hard bop influence.

Katia Cardenas @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($6) The talented Ms Cardenas returns to the Vieux, where her excellent pipes, as well as her excellent band, continues to gain fans for both her and the club.

Friday, August 5

Joel Shapira @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm There’s no cover at Parma 8200’s lounge, but you’re sure to be tempted by their drinks and their Italian menu. Guitarist Joel Shapira will be supplying tasty licks and more to entertain you while you sit at the bar or on the comfy couches.

Eric Kamau Gravatt and Sourcode @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Gravatt certainly deserves wider attention here in town. The drummer is an alumni of Weather Report as well as the bands of McCoy Tyner, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard and others. This band features a cross-generational mix of musicians: Solomon Parham, trumpet; Lucia Sarmiento, sax; Dean Magraw, guitar; and Ron Evniuk, bass. This. Is. Jazz. Here is Gravatt with a slightly different configuration of the group.

Saturday, August 6

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Trap Tube opens as part of JazzINK’s Youth Jazz Showcase: Gerhardt Robinson, saxes; Jordan Anderson, piano; Alma Engebretson, bass; and Simon Petrick on drums. 9pm: John Raymond Group: Trumpeter Raymond visits his hometown from NYC once again, and is joined by Bryan Nichols, piano; and Cory Healey, drums. Here’s Raymond with his New York group.

Monday, August 8

Marcus Miller @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $47), 9pm ($35 – $42) Though he’s a multi-instrumentalist, adept on keyboards and clarinet, he’s primarily known as an electric bassist, and genial stage presence. Miller is a two time Grammy winner, and composer/producer of ten albums. He also has over 500 recording credits as a sideman for folks such as Eric Clapton, George Benson, Wayne Shorter, Roberta Flack, Paul Simon, Aretha Franklin, Snoop Dogg, and many, many more. Here’s a bass workout of Miller’s from the North Sea Jazz Festival last year.

Tuesday, August 9

Tim Patrick & His Blue Eyes Band @ Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 6:30pm – 8:30pm (Free) Crooner Tim Patrick didn’t start singing in public until late in life, but over the last decade has certainly made up for that. He’s bringing the songs of Sinatra, Dean Martin, et al; to the Center’s outdoor patio, where a dance floor will undoubtedly be filled, as happens when he appears at the Eagles, Club, the Medina Ballroom, and other ballrooms in the area. Dance instruction from 6:30 – 7pm, and performance afterwards. Bring a picnic or buy food and beverages from a limited menu on the patio. In case it rains, the performance moves indoors, where seating is somewhat limited.

Sam Miltich @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) Militich is a guitarist born and raised in the North Woods of Minnesota and currently lives in Grand Rapids. After seeing Woody Allen’s movie “Sweet and Lowdown” he was inspired to study and perform the music of Django Rheinhardt. Over the last decade or so Militich has built a well-earned reputation as an excellent interpreter of Gypsy Jazz, Brazilian Choro, French Musettes and other traditional music, both with his band The Clearwater Hot Club, and in other groups with some of the area’s best musicians.

Tuesday, Wednesday, August 9, 10

Estaire Godinez & Friends @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Percussionist/vocalist Ms Godinez has played with Prince, Coke Escovedo, The Brothers Johnson, and George Benson. She brings her Latin rhythms to town for two nights and brings out all the folks who played with her while she lived here some years ago, including: Peter Schimke, piano; Eric Leeds, sax; Mike Scott, guitar; Stokely Williams, drums; and Serge Akou, bass. There will be a couple of special guests as well: JD Steele on vocals, and Enrique Toussaint on 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 PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, August 3

Acoustic Big Wu on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) An acoustic version of the band  hose influences include the Grateful Dead, The Band, Bob Marley, Pink Floyd, and Otis Redding. Expect lots of flowing improvisation and vocal harmonies. Their Annual Family Reunion is coming up and will feature folks like Leon Russell, Dean Magraw, and Peter Rowan, among others.

Black Market Brass @ the Mill City Museum, Minneapolis. 6pm ($5) Our very own purveyors of Afrobeat  will be laying down searing rhythms and exhilarating horn lines in the courtyard of the Mill City Museum. The ticket includes admission to the museum before and after the show. Food and drink will be available.

Thursday, August 4

Maurice Jacox @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) This classic NE bar, home of a sausage with a name that was an ethnic pejorative where I grew up, once again hosts the talented vocalist Maurice Jacox, this time with cohorts Bobby E, unsung guitar whiz of the Twin Cities, and Tom Cravens, another guitarist worth watching. Jacox is equally at home with the Blues, R&B, Soul, Jazz, and Gospel music, so the set list for the evening could be full of surprises.

Bettye Lavette @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($42 – $47) Nowadays, it takes a strong personality to be an interpreter of other people’s songs.  Bettye Lavette is such a person. She not only makes a song her own, but she gets so inside a song that she can make grown men cry, whether doing a song by British rockers, female composers, or a classic from the Great American Soul Book. To prove the point, here she is doing a Who song.

Friday, August 5

Klezmerica w/Robayat @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm (Free) It’s an evening of dance music with Middle Eastern origins. Klezmerica specializes in highly infectious klezmer music as well as the music of Jewish composers, including Gershwin and beboppers, with aplomb and energy. Their energy and skill entice folks, no matter what their religion, to dance. Robayat performs the indigenous music of Persia, Turkey and Central Asia.

Willie Murphy & the Angel Headed Hipsters @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Rock n’ Roll, and Rhythm and Blues, served up with the kind of fierce energy that will have the TGIF drinkers gettin’ down on the small dance floor in the lounge.

Charlie Parr @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 8pm ($8 Advance/$10 Door) It doesn’t get much better, or much more rootsy than guitarist/singer Parr, who creates his Delta style blues up North, but nevertheless has garnered enough attention to support tours throughout the United States and Europe. As an added bonus, Nikki Roux and Rich Rue open.

Friday, Saturday, August 5,6

Dakhabraka @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($45) It’s quite difficult to accurately describe this highly original Ukranian group  which comes off as part Folk, part rebellious rock, and always unexpected. Their music is based on Ukrainian folk melodies, but from there goes into a number of directions and tangents, using Indian, Arabic, Africa, Russian and Australian instruments, as well as vocal harmonies that at times, bring to mind Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, and Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, among others.

Saturday, August 6

Hot Metal Pour & Savage Aural Hotbed @ Franconia Scultpure Park, 29836 Saint Croix Trail, Franconia. Noon – 8pm ($5 parking) No, Hot Metal Pour is not the name of a heavy metal band, it’s an actual art event, in which recycled iron is heated to 2700° F, and poured into molds created by both experienced artists and community members. The results are cast iron sculpture. Sand molds are available for purchase and there’’s a public workshop from 10am – 2pm for those who want to learn about the process and create their own artwork. Savage Aural Hotbed, the found-object percussion group, will provide the soundtrack for the day. For more information, go to: http://www.franconia.org

Pizza Luce Block Party@ Pizza Luce, 119 N 4th St,  Minneapolis. Noon –  (Free) Featuring the School of Rock; Marah in the Mainsail; Megan Hamilton; everybody’s favorite bluesman Charlie Parr; Sean Anonymous; young garage punks Bruise Violet; Are You Local? champs Holidae; psych-rock faves from the 80s and 90s, Run Westy Run; Carnage the Executioner; and the exploding young star Lizzo. Also: Pizza, beer, and ice-cream from Izzy’s.

Lowertown Guitar Festival @ 7th Place West, Saint Paul. 1pm – 11pm (Free) At Vieux Carre, Wild Tymes, and Outdoor Palace Stage. Guitars, guitars, guitars, from different genres, and different styles. With Bo Ramsey, David Grier (bluegrass), Siama Matuzungidi (Soukous from Africa), Peter Lang, Molly Maher, and Zacc Harris’ American Reverie Trio

Blues, Brews n’ BBQs @ Mt Olivet Lutheran Church, 12235 Old Rockford Road, Plymouth . 4pm – 10pm ($12 – $18) Benefit for PRISM and Twin Cities Habitat, featuring live music from the Jimmys, Reverend Raven and the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys, Lisa Wenger, and Cole Allen, with food, drinks, and family events

Front Porch Swingin’ Liquor Pigs @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Here’s a gig that’s been a long time coming. For the first time in years and years, the full Front Port Swingning’ Liquor Pigs will be playing at full force. They’re back at the Viking, where up until the closure ten years ago, they held down the Friday evening spot for years. Songs about drinking, rock n’ roll, and carrying on. Welcome back!

Sunday, August 7 

Borough Block Party @ Borough, 730 Washington Ave N, Minneapolis. Noon – 8pm DJ Steez; Dig DeepPrivate OatesViva Knievel; The International Reggae All-Stars; and headliners  Chase and Ovation, billed as the world’s premier Prince tribute band.

Mosquito Bluegrass Jam @ Roseville Central Park, Roseville. 3pm – 8pm (Free) Start off with a beginner’s jam hosted by Bill Cagley at 3pm, followed by Porcupine Creek at 5pm and Sarah Mae and the Birkeland Boys at 6:30pm.

Ticket to Brasil @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 5:30pm (Free) Bring a picnic or grab something from the food stand and listen to the swaying, infectious sounds of Ticket to Brasil  while the sounds of children frolicking in the lake and nearby provide additional ambience. You may be tempted to dance.

Allison Scott @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley 7pm ($15) Vocalist/pianist Scott has gained a large following over the last eleven years as an independent artist, eschewing any attempt to reach hipsters old or young, and simply singing. She has released six albums, sells out the Dakota, and fills 500 seat auditoriums. The secret is her soulful voice and her personal music. The Pioneer Press likened her to Dusty Springfield circa Dusty in Memphis. Here’s a chance to hear her in a small room.

Monday, August 8

The Pines and Hairspray @ Loring Park, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Stark Americana/Roots music from the nationally recognized Pines  along with John Water’s classic film that brought Riki Lake into the public’s eye. Hairspray is about a “pleasantly plump” teenager in 1962, who fights for integration when she lands a spot on a local TV dance show. It features Sonny Bono, Ruth Brown, Debby Harry, and of course, Divine. The Los Angels Times called it “A film that combines nostalgic spoof with a social consciousness that’s as unexpected as it is smashingly effective.”

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.


Spring Cleaning Music: 4.8 – 4.14

April 8, 2015
Limpar-nódoas

Wine, lots of it, though I drink it and don’t apply it to the floors.

Well, at least one musician this week recognizes the importance of Spring Cleaning. After a day, or even a couple of hours of it, perhaps fueled by your favorite music, you might want to enjoy an evening of music without the cleaning, of which there are plenty of choices. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 8

Bossa Jazz Quartet @ Tangiers, Minneapolis. 8pm (No Cover) Sit back in one of the large couches or booths at Tangiers and enjoy some bossa novas and jazz.

He's doing Spring cleaning!

He’s doing some Spring cleaning!

Chris Bates’Spring Cleaning @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Holy cow! Chris must be trying out all kinds of arrangements he’s found while cleaning, as there will be five bass players and two drummers taking part. Cody McKinney – bass, Casey O’Brien – bass, Charles Fletcher – bass, Doan Brian Roessler – bass, Martin Dosh – piano, keys, percussion, Cory Healey – drums, percussion, Greg Schutte – drums, percussion, & Chris Bates

Thursday, April 9

Larry McDonough Quintet performs Chet Baker @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) As a singer, trumpeter Chet Baker’s cool, quiet singing style had lots of fans. Pianist Larry McDonough’s singing has often been compered to that of Baker, though his singing has always been a minor part of each performance. Tonight, McDonough will concentrate on singing. The first set will be songs sung by Baker. The 2nd set will be songs sung in Baker’s style. McDonough, piano; Steve Kenny, trumpet; Richard Terrill, sax; Greg Stinson, bass; and Dean White, drums.

Charmin & Shapira @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($5-$20 Suggested Donation) Vocalist Charmin Michelle and guitarist Joel Shapira go together like two straws in a coke, to borrow a phrase. Their performance is both sophisticated and warm. This is their debut appearance at the Black Dog.

Friday, April 10

Todd Harper: Piano Fridays @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 5:30 – 7-ish ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Harper often brings in friends to create interesting, and often fun, music for patrons stopping by after work or before heading out for the evening.

Eric Kamau Gravatt Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) We are blessed to have some very high quality musicians in our towns, including drummer Gravatt, who has played in the bands of Weather Report, McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, and others. Tonight he’s joined by Brandon Wozniak, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Ron Evanuik, bass.

Saturday, April 11

Saturday Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. ($5-$20 Suggested Donation) If it’s Saturday night, there is jazz at the Black Dog, starting at 7pm with the Solomon Parham Group, featuring Babatunde Lea on drums & congas. Then, at 8:30pm, it’s the Paul Harper Quartet, known known as “Paul Harper’s Show & Tell” with  Harper on sax; Mike Cramer, guitar; Charlie Riddle, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums.

Sunday, April 12

Zach Lozier Three @ The Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Both the venue and the group deserve more recognition. The UMC has been quietly building an eclectic music calendar for it’s cozy cafe. The Zach Lozier Three has been appearing around town of late, with Lozier on trumpet and vocals, Steven Hobert on keys, and Steve Pikal on bass. It’s a fun group.

Anat Cohen Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($20) Cohen is undoubtedly the visiting artist of the week. Cohen is a clarinetist who has been building an impressive fan base around the world with her virtuosity and warm approach to both originals and standards. Case in point is her brand new CD, Luminosa, which just received a featured, four star review in Downbeat. It’s a delightful collection of songs celebrating Latin American and Brazilian rhythms. She’ll be accompanied by a terrific group of musicians as well: Jason Lindner on piano; Linda Oh on bass, and Adam Cruz on drums.

Monday, April 13

Javi Santiago Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 6:30pm – 9pm (No Cover) Javi is a young piano player who spent some time in NYC after attending The Brubeck Institute and the New School. We’re lucky to have him back in town for a while. This early evening show will feature Javi with old chums Chris Smith on bass, who’s been touring with Jeff “Tain” Watt, and Miguel Hurtado on drums.

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 8

3 Good Samaritans on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Regular attendees at the annual jug band contest will be familiar with these past winners (Best Vocals, 2011; Waffle League, 2012, Winners 2014). This show is more or less a warm-up to the Music Therapy Conference taking place this week, and many of the musicians attending the conference will be on hand to sit in. It will be loose, and fun. You can tun in and head to the 331afterwards.

Friday, April 10

Willie Walker & the We “R” Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Crooners has chosen an outstanding singer as they take a slight turn towards R&B and Soul music on this night. Walker has been busing touring South America of late and is scheduled to go to Europe this summer. You can catch this original soul man in a venue with a nice, if slightly small, dance floor, not to forget the atmosphere of a modern day lounge.

Groove Merchants w/Jimi Primetime Smith @ Narrows Saloon, Navarre. 8pm (No Cover?) West Metro blues lover will be out in force to see and dance to this tight horn band with special guest Smith on guitar.

Jeffrey Broussard & the Creole Cowboys @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. ($15) Ahh, the sounds of the stomach steinway and zydeco rhythms will be filling the dance floor at the Eagles Club. Broussard was the accordionist, front man and vocalist for the legendary Zydeco Force, and now leads his own band in putting a contemporary voice to Creole Zydeco.

Worldwide Discoteque 3rd Anniversary @ Clubhouse Jaeger, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Can it be 3 Years since DJs Steely Dan and Brian Engle launched this monthly event spinning funky tunes from equatorial climes? It’s alway a joyous event as a multi-cultural and multi-generational crowd dance to Carribean, Afrobeat, Brazilian, Cuban, and Latin rhythms.

Saturday, April 11

Jorma Kaukonen @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($42), 9pm ($35) Jefferson Airplane. Hot Tuna. The Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. Guitarist Kaukonen has long established his credentials playing fierce rock n’ roll and acoustic finger-picking. Now he has a new album on on Saint Paul’s Red House Records, Ain’t In No Hurry, in which he performs blues, classic American Songs, and a couple of original rockers. Judging from his last couple of appearances at the Dakota, this will be a packed house.

Jeff Ray & Hurricane Harold @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 9pm (No cover) Guitarist Ray and harp master Harold combine forces in the best possible way to present Blues, Dylan, a little Dead, and some originals.

Sherwin Linton: Tribute to Johnny Cash @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) There is no better person alive to present a tribute to The Man in Black than Linton  who knew Cash, and carries on the tradition of heartfelt country music, unfettered by strings or rock guitars.

Sunday, April 12

Battle of the Blues Bands @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 1pm – 5pm (No Cover) Another chapter in the competition to find a band that will play at this year’s Lowertown Blues Festival. Vying for the spot are: Violet Sky; Yet Vox; Sweet Papa Dave Band; and Ramshackle Charmer.

Monday, April 13

Joe Fingers @ Dunn Brothers on Grand, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Fingers is an acclaimed acoustic guitarist who earned his name as a fierce finger picker. It’s a low-key, but highly entertaining gig.

Monday, Tuesday, April 13, 14

Robert Earl Keen @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $50) Keen is a Texas Troubadour whose ability to tell both raucous and sensitive stories through song has placed him squarely on the leading edge of alternative country. His song “Merry Christmas from the Family” is a hilarious tale of a blended (at best) family gathering, and is an annual, much requested feature of Jackson Buck’s Freewheelin’ show on KFAI. Opening are the brothers of The Roosevelts.

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.

 

 

 

 


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.


Twin Cities Talent (Mostly). Music: 10.23 – 10.29

October 23, 2013
It's the time of the season

It’s the time of the season

As Autumn’s colors brighten and fade, we have the luxury of many venues offering the fine talents of Twin Cities Artists. There are a few visiting artists this week, but mostly in larger venues. By the way, you may notice I’ve been listing many events at the Artists’ Quarter. Their announcement that they may have to close at the end of the year has brought some sense of dismay to many jazz fans. I know the Mayor’s office is working to come up with a plan, and other jazz fans are as well. In the meantime, visit the club – it can only help –  especially on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights, when very talented Twin City musicians are featured. So much for a soap box. Have a good week, and remember that music lifts the soul.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 23

UnknownGraydon Peterson Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) One of the first-call bassists in the Twin Cities, Peterson is also proving to be a fine composer and arranger. He’s put together this unique quartet to share his music: Vinnie Rose, guitar, Adam Meckler, trumpet, Adrian Suarez, drums.

Thursday, October 24

Pippi Ardennia CD Release Listening Party @ Faces, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 9:30pm (No cover) Pippi Ardennia is the joyful singer who puts her her signature on jazz and R&B tunes while being  backed by many of the Twin Cities best on her new CD, Love So Good 2. While the acoustics of the performance space in Faces leaves something to be desired, Pippi is having a listening party in a separate room. You can hear my October 19 interview with her on the KFAI archives at: http://kfai.org/rhythmandgrooves

Davu Seru & Friends @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm. Seru’s an imaginative time-keeper and percussionist, and he’s got some highly inventive friends: With Marc Anderson, percussion; Scott Fultz and Nathan Hanson, saxes; and Brian Roessler, bass.

Chris Lomheim Trio @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Lomheim may be a devotee of pianist Bill Evans, but he’s his own man when it comes to creating melodic and sensitive solos, whether he’s accompanying a vocalist or leading his own trio, as he is tonight.

Friday, October 25

Gypsy Mania @ The 318 Club, Excelsior. 8pm ($10) Folks in the Western burbs can hear some great gypsy jazz while enjoying the beer, wine, and food offerings of the 40-seat 318 Club. You’d be hard pressed to find any Twin Cities artists who can swing the music of Django Rheinhart and others as well as Glen Helgeson, guitar; Gary Schulte, violin; Reynold Phillipsek, guitar; Jeff Brueske, bass.

Friday, Saturday, October 25, 26

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Source Code @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) You’d be paying at least $25 and have a two-drink minimum to hear Gravatt in other clubs around the country. In stints with Weather Report, McCoy Tyner, and Joe Henderson, he’s shown himself to be a monster drummer, capable of nuance and thunder. Source Code includes a quartet of highly talented musicians: Dave Graf, trombone; Solomon Parham, trumpet; Dean Magraw, guitar; and Ron Evanuik, bass. Here’s an earlier version of the group.

Saturday, October 26

Unknown-1JoAnn Funk Trio @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul 7pm – 11pm (No Cover) JoAnn and bassist Jeff Brueske are joined by Nathan Norman on drums for a special night of jazz. JoAnn’s winsome and airy voice does justice to songs by Nat King Cole, Dan Penn, Blossom Dearie, and others.

Benny Weinbeck Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Weinbeck on piano, Gordy Johnson on bass, and Phil Hey on drums provide classy, swingin’ jazz to the Italian restaurant lounge.

Monday, October 28

Trirose @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) A late night happy hour, and the jazz of Vinnie Rose, guitar; Jeremy Boettcher, bass; and Adrian Suarez, on drums. They’ll deliver classic jazz standards, contemporary pop, and originals, while you try the wine and appetizers of Barbette.

Tuesday, October 29

imagesRick Carlson @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) With the taste and timing of Count Basie, and a hat full of musical ideas, Carlson in a pianist that’s in demand around the Twin Cities. I don’t know if he’ll be solo or have a bassist and drummer, but whatever he plays, you will enjoy.

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Modern big-band jazz, under the direction of trumpeter Meckler, who creates originals and arrangements that showcase the best of this band.

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, October 23

Unknown-2HIlary Thavis & Jim Ouska on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapoils. 5pm (KFAI), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar).  Thavis is a Minnesota-born, Italy-based blues singer, who has previously appeared on Harold’s House Party with her husband and musical partner as Gaia Groove. Ouska is a talented guitarist who is equally at home in jazz, blues, and acoustic music. Check them out during the 5 o’clock hour at 90.3 or 106.7 FM and then head over to the 331 Club to hear them in person.

Thursday, October 24

And the Professors CD Release @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. ($12) 7:30pm You may have read about Adam Levy’s latest project, an organic band of both rockers and classical string players, in the Star Tribune. The project has been a three-year collaboration, with Levy and the group drawing inspiration from Charles Ives, Randy Newman, and Beck, among others. Joining Levy’s band tonight are: Joey Van Phillips, Aby Wolf, deVon Gray), Bethany Larson, and members of the MN Opera. Opening are Ben Rosenbush and the Brighton, and Farewell Continental. Here’s an example of how they fully integrate strings into their performance.

Fode Bangoura @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm (Donation) A rare turn from jazz to world music for Jazz Central, though jazz drummers will no doubt be in attendance.  Bangoura is one of the world’s  greatest djembe drummers – that’s the goblet shaped drum played with the hands. Although he tours internationally, Bangoura is relatively unknown in the Twin Cities, where he currently lives. He’ll be appearing with Guinean drummers FaraTolno and Mandjou Mara, and Fode’s teenage son Fara, who is already a virtuosic drummer.

Chic Gamine @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) A female quartet that uses three-part backing harmonies over 21st century melodies and lyrics, accompanied only accompanied by percussion, for the most part. Sometimes girl-group, sometimes gospel, often intoxicating. Here’s an example.

Friday, October 25

Unknown-3RAMM Band @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Guitarist Paul Mayasich heads up this trio, with Paul Iden, bass; and Hye Pockets Robertson on drums. RAMM stands for Real American Made Music, as the band interprets Motown, R&B, funk, Americana, rock n’ roll, and blues.

Nikki & the Ruemates @ Dusty’s Bar, NE Minneapoils. 9:30pm (tip jar) This hole-in-the-wall provides a friendly setting for Nikki & her pals, as they play original blues, folk-rock, and the occasional psychedelic number. Jon Larson on bass, and Rich Rue on slide guitar, provide the perfect foundation for Nikki’s guitar and beautifully formed vocals. Check them out.

Hipshaker @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) This rare soul/funk 45rpm dance party is going strong. Get there early if you want to stake out a place to hang. Get there late if you want to watch scads of folk dancing themselves into a frenzy.

Saturday, October 26

Lowertown Boos Crawl and Costume Contest @ various Lowertown venues, Saint Paul. 7pm – Midnight. For $20 bucks you get a passport for a different drink at each of the participating Lowertown venues – Black Dog, Bulldog, Hat Trick, Senor Wong, Barrio, Golden’s Deli, and The Gopher Bar. There will be various costume contests and entertainment, including Gnarl’s chamber/jamband/jazz at The Black Dog, DJ Del Phinius at Senor Wong, and Scrapegoat’s folk-rock at the Hat Trick. Complete info at: http://blackdogstpaul.com/events/news-175.shtm

John Beach Trio @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – Midnight. (Tip Jar) Beach has been a mainstay of the West Bank Blues and R&B scene for over fifty years. He’s played piano with Bonnie Raitt, Willie & the Bees, the Mill City Hearts, Three Bedroom Rambler, and Blackburn Beach and at numerous jams and private functions, including the wedding reception for Liz and I. Though this is a trio gig, John has lots of friends, and who knows who may drop by and sit in.

Mama Digdown’s Brass Band @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) It’s a brass band night headlined by the Madison octet. They’ll be joined by the Kidd Jordan Second Line, and the Sousaphonic Five. Oh, and they will be free barbecue from 612 ‘Cue. Here’s a video of Mama Digdown playing for an Obama rally.

Tuesday, October 29

Courtney McClean & the Dirty Curls @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) X-rated bluegrass comedy, with songs about young boyfriends and ladyparts, all delivered with a smile and a wink by potty-mouthed McClean. With the Beavers and Daphne Lee Martin.

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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