Musical Traditions: 11.22 – 11.28

November 22, 2017

Greetings Fellow Music Fans;

Taken from their Christmas album

Well the Holiday season is upon us, often bringing families together in a variety of traditions, some of which are long standing, some of which are from the various cultures that make up our country, and some of which are new. Here in the Twin Cities there are a number of music traditions taking place, such as annual Thanksgiving Eve shows, and the return of musicians who grew up here but are now residing elsewhere. Like Tony Bennett and the Count Basie Band, music brings us together, and though there may be few shows on Thanksgiving, we’re blessed with an active music scene with musicians who support one another and through their music, Lift Our Spirits. Whatever traditions you follow, have a good Thanksgiving

Larry

Jazz

Wednesday, Nov 22

Acme Jazz Company, Feat: Arne Fogel @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Solid big band music with the Twin Cities preeminent male jazz vocalist.

Stu Katz Quartet @ Vieux Carré  Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Katz is one of the last original proponents of bebop piano, having been a working musician on both piano and vibes for more than 55 years. He’s performed with folks like Gene Ammons, Kenny Burell, Dextor Gordon, and numerous other bright lights in the jazz world. He has been a long time collaborator with Ira Sullivan, with whom he released a live recording in 2011. Besides Katz on vibes/piano, he’ll be accompanied by some of our own bright lights in jazz; Chris Bates, bass; Dean Magraw, guitar; and Jay Epstein, drums, aka Red Planet. Here is Katz back in 1985, playing with Doc Cheatham.

Thursday, Nov 23

No jazz tonight, as far as I can tell, though there are a couple of jazzy blues events (see listing in Blues & Roots, below)

Friday, Nov 24

Hoaxer @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9pm ($12) One tradition of the holiday season is that young musicians return to town from college and perform for a few days. Tonight we’ll hear from the collective quartet known as Hoaxer. Their influences include jazz of course, as well as avant-garde, rock, and electronic music. They released their well-received debut album last summer. The group includes Will Kjeer, piano; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Peter Goggin, sax; and Edmund Caitlin on drums.

Fall of the House of Usher @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/valid Student ID) Founder/guitarist Chris Cunningham has gathered a bunch of like-minded musicians for this project, including: Ivan Cunningham, Saxophones; Michelle Kinney, Cello; Greg Schutte, Drums; Chris Bates, Bass; Adam Svec, Vocals; Noah Ophoven Baldwin, Trumpet; Jared Jarvis, Saxophones; and Riley Swain, Baritone Saxophone. Cunningham has played with John Lurie’s Lounge Lizards, the Contortions, The Golden Palaminos, Rich Havens, Marshall Crenshaw, and a host of NYC’s adventurous musicians.He and his fellow musicians mine the world’s deepest grooves from East, West, and North African, 80’s No Wave skronk, early 70’s Miles, Sun Ra, and New Orleans Funk.

Also: Swingbeat Big Band @ Wabasha Caves, Saint Paul. 7pm ($8) Swing Night is moved to Friday this week

Saturday, Nov 25

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar)  7:00 Opening Set: Luke Peterson Trio Plays Ornette Coleman – Peter Goggin,sax; Charlie Lincoln, bass; Luke Peterson, drums.- three college students (and former members of the Dakota Combo) who only get better as they progress in their studies.   At 8:30, it’s Central Standard Time: Steve Kenny, FLUMPET; Dave Brattain, Saxophones; Will Kjeer, Piano; Ron Evaniuk, Bass; Eric Kamau Grávátt, Drums.

Pat Mallinger Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) Another tradition of late is that the Saint Paul born and raised saxophonist returns for the holidays, and we’re the luckier for it. He’s the co-leader of Sabertooth, the mainstay band at Chicago’s Green Mill since 1992! He’s also an educator and mentor for Ramsey Lewis’ Ravinia Jazz Mentor Program, and the Louis Armstrong Legacy Project.

Valve Meets Slide @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5w/valid student ID) Brad Bellows, valve trombone; and Dave Graf, slide trombone, and their band-mates play originals as well as the music of Bob Brookmyer. You’ll also get to hear an interview that Leigh Kamman did with Brookmeyer back in 1981.

Also: Omar Abdulkarim Trio @ The Lexington’s Williamburg Room, Saint Paul. 7 – 11:30pm (No Cover)

Sunday, Nov 26

25 Years of Jazz Originals @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 3pm – 6pm ($10 Advance/$15 Door) After 25 Years, pianist/clarinetist/music historian Butch Thompson is stepping down from producing his KBEM radio show, Jazz Originals, though he will still perform here and around the world. Jazz Originals delightfully celebrated vintage jazz and the musicians that made it, with thoughtful, though not overly scholarly, analysis and comments from Thompson. The Southside Aces will be performing original jazz, and will have some special surprise guests.

Monday, Nov 27

Fat Kid Wednesdays @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($16) This is a rare appearance by Adam Linz, bass; Michael Lewis, sax; and JT Bates, drums; who have been playing together since they were teenagers about 25 years ago. They started the Jazz Implosion at The Turf’s old Clown Lounge and managed to create an “underground” jazz scene here. Then they toured internationally, appeared on the cover of France’s jazz magazine, and generally blew people away ever since. Richard Brody, of The New Yorker, wrote, “their exhilarating performance revealed both the depth of their individual artistry and the symbiotic wonder of their interplay.”

Tuesday, Nov 28

Karrin Allyson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50) This is a benefit for The Leigh Kamman Legacy Project, which preserves and shares the vast archive of audio, visual, and written resources, including hundreds of recorded interviews of legendary broadcaster Leigh Kamman. Allyson, who lived here for a while early in her career, will be accompanied by a great rhythm section: pianist Laura Caviani; bassist Gordy Johnson, and drummer Phil Hey.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.  For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, Nov 22

Nikki & the Ruemates Annual Thanksgiving Eve Show on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Nikki & the Ruemates will give you plenty to be thankful for, as they play their original folk/rock & blues, along with their versions of songs by other artists. If you’ve never heard Nikki & the Ruemates, tune in the KFAI at 5pm when they’ll play live in the studio before heading to the 331Club. Here’s Nikki playin with band-mate Rich Rue.

Thursday, Nov 23

Deano & The Dinosaurs @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8pm – 11pm (Tip Jar) So, maybe you’ve stuffed yourself, or maybe you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in a traditional manner, or you’ve watched all the football you want, but have a hankering for something more. Well, guitarist Dean Mikkelson is leading a group of musicians that can help. He and his merry band of musicians – Dean Harrington, guitar, Tom Lewis, bass; and Del Gallagher on percussion — will deliver jazzy, bluesy tunes for your pleasure. You’ll need an ID for adult beverages.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Nov 23, 24, 25

Davina & The Vagabonds @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20, Thurs, $25 Fri, Sat) If Davina’s combination of jazz, blues, and New Orleans R&B doesn’t wake you from the mythical triyptophan slumber, nothing will. Whether you attend Thanksgiving night, or one of the weekend gigs, you’ll walk away smiling.

Friday, Nov 24

Erik Koskinen EP Release @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20 reserved seats, $15 Standing Room) Koskinen has rightfully been called the best country singer in Minnesota, thanks to his keen eye for observing rural life and a plain-spoken approach to writing. His fine guitar playing adds another layer of texture to his old-school approach to country music. This is a release party for Cruising Paradise, a six-song EP.  Opening is Dana Thompson a “Girl from the North Country.”

Also: Johnny Rawls @ Shaws, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Real deal Chicago blues from a journeyman professional.

Saturday, Nov 25

Ace-Box Blues Band @ The Dubliner Pub & Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) A new band, consisting of veteran blues players led by multiple Blues Award winners Curtis Blake, harp, vocals; and Greg Schuck on drums.

Hurricane Harold’s All Star Blues Revue @ The Basement Bar, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover) There’s a new music venue in town. The Basement Bar is located under the newly launched NOLO Restaurant in the North Loop. Live blues and roots music is presented a couple of nights each week. It has a food-truck style offerings, a silent arcade area, and a stage, where well-connected harpmeister Hurricane Harold will bring along some talented friends to entertain you. Here he is with one version of the All Stars.

Also: High & Mighty @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($?) Horn driven, R&B dance band.

Sunday, Monday, Nov 26, 27

Melissa Manchester @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm, 8pm (Sunday), 7pm (Monday) ($35, $40, $45) Pop vocalist Manchester worked as a backup singer for Bette Midler and Barry Manilow before finding success in a solo career, hitting the charts in the mid-70s with hits like Midnight Blue, Don’t Cry Out Loud, and You Should Hear How She Talks About You. She has continued to achieve success in songwriting, composing for films, and theater work. After forty years in the business, she still draws well, as demonstrated by the fact she’s doing three shows.  Here’s a song she did for Ice Castles, the 1978 film shot here in the Twin Cities, with scenes shot at Mariucci Arena. (I recall being in the audience for this shooting.

Also: Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, 5pm – 7pm ($5) A matinee performance for those who like Latin dancing but have to go to work Monday morning.

Big George Jackson & Jeremy Johnson @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm (Tip Jar) It sounds like down home Delta Blues, but these two are Twin Citizens.

Monday, Nov 27

JJ’s Zydeco Paydirt @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($8) They’ve been filling dance floors by playing Zydeco music since the turn of this century.

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.


1.22 – 1.28

January 22, 2014
You can stay home and listen to music, but better yet, you can get out and listen to it live.

You can stay home and listen to music, but better yet, you can get out and listen to it live.

I didn’t get to post last week because I had a computer problem – a black screen – on Wednesday morning, when I was about to post. I bought a new computer, took a few days and some hours on the phone to transfer information, and am now up and running, so let’s get to it. Though the Artists’ Quarter is shuttered, we’ve still got some venues presenting jazz of all kinds, though I worry about groups like Snowblind and the Illicit Sextet finding regular gigs. This week there are worthwhile performances at Jazz Central, Studio Z, and the Icehouse, among others. Blues and roots gigs also provide plenty of distraction and uplift for your spirits. Have a good week.

Jazz

Wednesday, January 22

Firebell @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Park Evans is a tasteful, and often exciting guitarist who has shown his skills in jazz, rock, and reggae settings; Graydon Peterson is a stalwart on bass; and Jay Epstein is the well-dressed veteran on drums.

Jimmy Wallace @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 10pm (No cover) Wallace plays tenor sax with a rich tone and some funky asides. Figures, since he’s been a sax player about town since at least the heyday of Twin Cities Funk back in the 70s.

Thursday, January 23

Michael Janisch’s Purpose Built Quintet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm  ($15) Bassist/producer Michael Janish is originally from Wisconsin, though he’s been living in New York and Europe for the last fifteen years. Tonight he’ll be performing his original music with an all-star NYC quintet: guitarist Matthew Stevens (Christian Scott, Dr. Lonnie Smith): alto saxophonist Patrick Cornelius (Lionel Loueke, Carl Allen); trumpeter Philip Dizack (Nicholas Payton, Tim Warfield); and the legendary drummer Clarece Penn (Michael Brecker, Gonzalo Rubalcaba). They’ll be playing music from Janish’s critically acclaimed albums Purpose Built and Banned in London. A free workshop will take place at 6pm. Here’s a promo video for his latest album. While it doesn’t feature tonight’s quartet, you can get an idea of what Janisch does.

Friday, January 24

UnknownKatie Gearty Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10;30pm (No Cover) Katie has a soulful voice and a sure sense of timing. She’ll put these skills to good use in this somewhat intimate suburban lounge with a great bar menu.

Saturday, January 25

Zacc Harris Trio @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – Midnight (Tip Jar) Here’s a chance to catch Zacc and friends outside of their Sunday night gig at the Riverview. Sit close to hear the music, as it can get noisy. And make sure to bring an ID if you want an adult beverage.

Saturday, Sunday, January 25, 26

Century College Jazz Festival with Butch Miles @ Century College, White Bear Lake. 8pm Saturday, 3pm Sunday ($20 – adults, $10 – Students) The Century College Jazz Ensemble will be goosed along by drummer Butch Miles, who has played with Count Basie, Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Dave Brubeck, Mel Torme, and others. He’s also an educator and is currently on the faculty of Texas State University. Charmin and Shapira perform in the lobby one hour before the performance. Here’s a video overview of the career of Butch Miles.

Monday, January 27

Unknown-1Fat Kid Wednesdays @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Mike Lewis, sax; Adam Linz, bass; and JT Bates on drums are favorites of French jazz fans. They’re also favorites of a substantial number of Twin Cities jazz fans, who supported them through a weekly gig at the Clown Lounge for what – 17 years or so. Now, of course, JT is curating the Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse, and though FKW isn’t playing every week, it’s a pleasure to be able to hear them on a semi-regular basis.

UnknownSteve Kenny Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (donation) Lately, in addition to playing with the Illicit Sextet, trumpeter Kenny has been leading Group 47, a quintet that features a number of young cats. Which is a roundabout way of saying I’m not sure who will be on this gig, though it’s likely to be the house band (Tanner Taylor, Mac Santiago, & bass). Given Kenny’s talent, and the talent of those with whom he works, I’m sure it will be an evening of outstanding music.

Tuesday, January 28

Tom McDermott w/Patty & the Buttons @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) This is a combination that’s worked so well the Dakota is bringing it back. McDermott may be the finest, if not among the finest, piano player in New Orleans. He was a member of the Dukes of Dixieland, founded the New Orleans Nightcrawlers Brass Band, and has written for the theater and TV. Patty & the Buttons are a fun-loving Twin Cities aggregation, playing music that would be right at home in a 30s speakeasy or 40s nightclub. The combination of McDermott & the Buttons is sure to have folks clapping, and even  dancing, with glee.  Here’s McDermott doing Tipitina.

Jason Weisman @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm (No Cover) Weisman is a saxophone player and vocalist who favors crooners. He is busy with a number of bands in the Twin Cities, including Steeling Dan, the Jazztronauts, and his own quartet and quintet.

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, January 22

Unknown-2Pat Donahue and the Prairie Band @ KFAI and the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI) 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Pat, the lead guitarist from Prairie Home Companion is an accomplished musician in his own right, with compositions recorded by Chet Atkins and Kenny Rogers, a 2005 Grammy, a number of Minnesota Music Awards, and the 1983 Finger-Picking Guitar Championship. He’ll have members of the Prairie Band with him tonight.

Thursday, January 23

Papa John Kolstad @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8pm (tip Jar) Papa John returns for one of his Blues nights at Merlins. Don’t know who his guest will be but it’s always a fun night, even though the neighborhood pub can get noisy at times.

Friday, January 24

Benefit for Victims of New Year’s Day Fire @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 6pm ($20) Performers include: Spider John Koerner; The Brass Messengers; Martin Devaney; Southside Desire; Phil Heywood; Jon Rodine; Augsburg JIVE (Augsburg student ensemble); DJ Go Getta with SYAV (Somali Youth Against Violence) and more.

images-1Hipshaker Dance Party @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Hipshaker is right. Deejays Brian, Greg, and George keep the dance floor filled as they play rare soul and funk 45s. Get there relatively early to stake out a spot.

Flatt Foot Rollers @ School II Bistro, Chanhassen. 8pm (No cover?) For those of you in the Southwest suburbs or thereabouts, here’s a chance to get out your dancing shoes for this group that plays old school R&B, including harmony vocals.

Saturday, January 25

Hurricane Harold’s Blues Revue @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 9pm (tip jar) Harold Tremblay has become a powerhouse of a harp player, and a blues/roots lynchpin of sorts, connecting with all kinds of players through his weekly radio show where he books an act to play live on the air every week. Consequently, when he puts together a band, revue, or show, you know it will have some of the best talent available. Here’s one version of the Blues Revue.

Sunday, Monday, January 26, 27

Mambo’s Combo @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) Though they’ve been at it for 20 years or so, the Combo never fails to entertain. Dancers fill the floor for old school R&B, and a few new songs as well. It doesn’t hurt that guests, including visiting artists, sit in.

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.


Master Musicians. Music: 3.6 – 3.12

March 6, 2013
Really!

Really??

What a week to be a jazz fan, what with three major jazz players coming to town (two on the same night!), and a slew of interesting gigs from resident artists. Fans of blues and roots music also have many good choices this week, of which I’ve only listed a few. Be sure to take advantage of our area’s rich palette of music. By the way, it’s time once again for Daylight Savings Time, originally passed in 1918 to give farmers an extra hour to work the fields.

Jazz

Thursday, March 7

Nichola Miller and Tanner Taylor @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm (Suggested Donation) The sassy Ms Miller and the classy Mr. Taylor are quite the couple. Her take-no-prisoners approach to some songs is equally matched by Taylor’s piano playing, which can go from stride to bebop to romantic, all in the space of a solo. Miller is expecting a baby soon, and warns this may be the last chance to hear her for a while. Here’s a video of Tanner at Jazz Central.

Friday March 8

Ginger Commodore & GCQ @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Bobby Commodore is turning 60, so the Commodore Family is featured tonight, beginning with Ginger & the Quintet (Bobby, drums; Lee Blaske, piano; Mark Wesburg, bass; Deevo, guitar; and Kathy Jensen on sax), followed by BoomBox @ Dakota Late Night, ($5) with Brandon Commodore on drums, Ashley Commodore on vocals, and Jess Larson, guitar/vocals; Beeph, vocals; Avid Bilingsley, keys; and Yohannas Tona, bass. Ginger takes on the old gospel/Ben E. King hit in this video.

DownloadedFileGreg Byers Recital, featuring Lucia Newell @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm Greg Byers on cello; Andrew Fleser, piano; Lucia Newell, vocals; Chris Olson, guitar; Kristin Sponcia, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Dave Stanoch on drums. This is Greg’s final recital for his Masters in Music degree from MacNally Smith. There will be three sets: the first featuring music from Argentine composers of the 20th Century; the second featuring bossa novas and ballads, with Lucia Newell singing; and the third featuring Byers’ original compositions using a latop to create a mixture of electronic and acoustic music.

Friday, Saturday, March 8, 9

Dave King Trio @ the Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul, 9pm ($15) What a powerhouse trio. King on drums, Billy Peterson on bass, and Bill Carotthers on piano. They’ve recently played at the Blue Note in New York. Lucky us that King and Peterson live here, and Carotthers, born in the Twin Cities, lives close enough (Michigan) to easily returen for a gig here. There 2012 album, I’ve Been Ringing You, is mostly standards, and has been getting good reviews.

Saturday, March 9

DownloadedFile-1Fat Kid Wednesdays @ Jazz at Studio Z, Studio Z, Saint Paul. 5pm workshop (free), 7pm performance ($10) Adam Linz, bass; Michael Lewis, sax; and JT Bates, drums, have been playing together as Fat Kid Wednesdays since the three were teenagers. Though many might call their music free jazz, they actually play composed music, and are well known and adored in France as well as here in the Twin Cities. All three are crazy about Ornette Coleman’s music and will be performing it tonight. Attendees at the workshop receive a $2 discount for the show.

Randy Brecker w/JazzMN Orchestra @ Hopkins HS Performing Arts Center, Hopkins. 7:30pm ($33/$29, $10 students) Trumpeter Brecker is at the top of his career nowadays, and the JazzMN Orchestra is lucky to have him. You can share that luck by going to see him. Here he is in another guest artist performance.

McCoy Tyner Quartet with Special Guest Gary Bartz @ the Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hopkins. 8pm ($36)  Tyner has been with us a long time, having gained some fame even before playing with John Coltrane. He’s a 5 Time Grammy Winner and NEA Jazz Master, so if you’ve never seen him, now’s the time. Another reason is saxophonist Bartz, who first met Tyner in the 60s when Bartz was a member of Charles Mingus’ Jazz Workshop. Bartz was in Tyner’s band in 1968, and went on to perform with max Roach and record for Miles Davis on Live-Evil.

Sunday, Monday, March 10, 11

At a previous Dakota appearance

At a previous Dakota appearance

Charles Lloyd Sky Trio w/Gerald Clayton @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45), 9pm ($35) Sax player Lloyd was one of the jazz artists that had some commercial success during the late 60s and early 70s, playing the Monterrey Jazz Festival, San Francisco’s Fillmore and similar venues. His late 60’s quartet included Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette, and Cecil McBee. Since the 80s, he’s been recording for ECM. The Sky Trio includes Reuben Rogers on bass and Eric Harland on drums. Special guest, pianist Gerald Clayton, is no stranger to the Dakota, having played here in a number of bands.

Monday, March 11

Andrew Foreman Trio @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Foreman is a versatile bass player, able to tackle Latin, soul, jazz, and rock, with groups such as Parker Paisley, The Max Corcoran Project, the Dan Musselman Trio, Shoop, and Ticket to Brasil. I’m inclined to think this will be a jazz outing, but whatever it is, Foreman’s music will only enhance Barbette’s already great late night happy hour.

More listings for Twin Cities jazz can be found at KBEM and at Jazz Police. Jazz Police also features jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, March 6

Wax Museum @ Palmers Bar, Minneapolis. 9:30pm  This is an open deejay night. Anyone can sign up to spin records of your choice for 20 minutes. Of course, the later you arrive, the fewer spots are open. The last 20 minutes are usually a round robin, with the hard-core participants spinning only one or two records at a time. Music can range from classic country of the 50s, to Swedish death metal, Turkish disco, reggae, and garage bands.

Derobe Dance Band and Black Market Brass @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($6) It’s a double dose of Twin Cities Afrobeat. The Secret Stash guys have re-issued so many Afrobeat recordings that it seems to have seeped into their blood. The Derobe Dance Band is the result, and it lives up to its name, with irresistible rhythms, pulsing horns, and a playlist that draws on 1970s West African tunes. The Black Market Brass Band will add some Afrobeat flavoring to the evening.

Thursday, March 7

Nikki & the Rue-Mates @ the Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. (Tip jar) Nikki’s bell-like voice and Rich Rue’s ringing guitar once again grace the stage of this South Minneapolis neighborhood bar. Don’t put off seeing them.

Friday, March 8

Willie Murphy & the Angel-Headed Hipsters @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($?) Willie loves to play the Eagles, because there’s a good, wooden dance floor, with plenty of room for dancers  to shake it to rock n’ roll, funk n’ soul, and whatever else Willie decides to put down.

Saturday, March 9

Maurice Jacox Band @ Holihans Pub, White Bear Lake. 7pm – 11pm (No Cover) With John Della Selva on guitar; Thomas West on keys & keeping the bass; and Rob Stupka on drums, Maurice and his band will be keepin’ the energy high at this smallish, friendly place. There is a (small) dance floor and free street parking.

Sunday, March 10

Secret Stash Soul Revue & More @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 3pm – all night. ($10 donation) This is a benefit for James “Creeper” Vasquez, the original drummer for Band of Thieves in the 70s, who has Pancreatic cancer. Besides the Soul Revue, which has been packing clubs whenever they play, we’ll hear from Willie Walker and Maurice Jacox with their own groups, as well as the Unknown Prophets, DJ Espada, and Jimi Primetime Smith. Plenty of danceable music.

The Ericksons, Barbara Jean, & Molly Maher @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) It seems to be Woman’s Night a the Turf, but it’s just as easily billed as Roots Night. However you choose to look at it, three talented artists will be performing. The Ericksons are a sister duo, who also perform with a band. The create beautiful, spare tunes with roots in Americana. Singer/songwriter Barbara Jean plays violin and banjo, and has appeared on the Mountain Stage radio show. Molly Maher is a soulful singer and guitar player who writes great songs that are grounded in Americana.  Here is the Ericksons’ official video for Gone Blind, from their recent CD Wild.

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.


And the Days Grow Short. Music: 8.23 – 8.28

August 23, 2012

You may need umbrellas before the weekend.

It’s been a busy week, and so I’m a day behind in this post. We’ve got some much needed rain in the forecast, which will certainly put a damper on outdoor events. That won’t stop intrepid folks from going to the State Fair, where there’s some mighty fine music taking place on the free stages, as well as Bonnie Raitt and Mavis Staples in the grandstand on opening night.

Jazz

Thursday, August 23

Capri Big Band @ The Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) The Capri Big Band is one of the  positive stories of Minneapolis’ North Side. It has proven to be a great training ground for young musicians as well as a place for older musicians to keep their chops up while mentoring students. You’ve got the lake, sailboats, cyclists riding by, grills, and picnic grounds. As long as the weather is good, it makes for a perfect summer evening.

Snowblind’s Tribute to Blue Note Records @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Blue Note has long been recognized for its stellar jazz recordings of the 50s and 60s which set the standard for jazz. In fact, much of what we consider mainstream jazz today is directly descended from the hard bop that was brought to the public’s attention by Blue Note. Tonight, Snowblind, a collective ensemble with a predilection for grooves, will perform some of the label’s hits, and perhaps a few misses. The group consists of Scott Agster, trombone; Shihad Sen, sax; Adam Rosmiller, trumpet, Graydon Peterson, bass; and Reid Kennedy, drums. Fine musicians all.

Friday, August 24

Boot Camp @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) Pianist Jeremy Walker (aka Boot) moved to NYC for a couple of years to compose and play in the Big Apple. Since returning, he’s put together a number of projects to play his thoughtful music including this group: Walker, piano; Chris Bates, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Saturday, August 25

Lucia Newell @ the Lexington, Saint Paul 6:30pm – 10:30pm (No cover) Ada Ashaya, piano, and Jeff Bailey, bass. Around here, other singers come out to see Lucia perform. You should too, especially since the setting is so warm and clubby. There may be a minimum at some of the tables, but given the quality of the food and drinks at the Lex, it should be easy to meet.

Whitman, Schimke, Lewis & Horst @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Kenny Horst continues to feature new groupings of players at the AQ. This time we’ve got a swinging saxophonist/composer (Pete Whitman); a pianist who is equally at home with the swing, jazzy R&B, and Latin music (Peter Schimke), a journeyman bassist who can be depended upon for a firm foundation (Tom Lewis) and Kenny Horst himself on drums. Sounds like some great jazz is in the offing.

Culbertson, Sanborn

Dave Sanborn & Brian Culbertson @ Burnsville Performing Arts Center, Burnsville. 7:30pm ($48 ) Sanborn is one of the most influential successful sax players on the planet (take that, Kenny G), winning six Grammys, eight Gold Records, and one Platinum. He’s a passionate player, who tempers his commercial, danceable, R&B with improvisation and surprising forays into projects like a TV series where he played with guests ranging from Sonny Rollins and Sun Ra, as well as a recording project with Avant Gardist Tim Berne and a recent album with Joey DeFrancesco and Steve Gadd. Keyboardist & trombone player Culbertson has been called jazz lite, which is too bad, because his jazz is a funky as can be. It’s allowed him to amass a considerable fan base.Patty Peterson & Friends open. Check out a video of his below. I interviewed Patty on my show this past Friday. You can hear the interview here.

Monday, August 27

Gypsy Mania Trio w/special guest Patrick Harrison @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm – Midnight (No cover) Folks who like Gypsy jazz know  Glen Helgeson on guitar, Matt Senjem on bass, and Patrick Harrison on accordion can swing with taste and finesse. Those looking for food and drink late at night know that Barbette has a great late night happy hour. Sounds like a great combination.

From a European Tour a few years ago.

Fat Kid Wednesdays @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30 & 11:30pm. ($5) Mike Lewis (sax), Adam Linz (bass), and JT Bates (drums) have been so busy with numerous other projects that the three friends (since high school) haven’t played much in the last year or so. See why they’re popular in France and  hear them deconstruct ballads, bebop, and tunes from the likes of Ornette Coleman. The first show gets pretty crowded, and rowdy, but that’s part of the fun.

Tuesday, August 28

Cory Wong Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul 7pm – 9pm. (No Cover) Wong’s recent release, Quartet/Quntet, has moved into the top ten on the CMJ Jazz Charts. He was recently featured on the Voice of America as well. Check out his guitar wizardry at this early show. It’s a weekly thing, but that doesn’t mean you should put off going. Besides, this performance is being recorded by KBEM for its series Saint Paul Live!, so head down and add to the atmosphere.

A more comprehensive calendar for the Twin Cities can be found at Jazz Police. They feature jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, August 22

Julie Johnson & The No-Accounts on KFAI , Minneapolis. 5pm on KFAI, and 7pm – 9pm at the 331. (Free – tip jar @ 331) Okay, you’ve missed this but it’s still available in archive. I was the host on Harold’s House Party this afternoon from 4pm – 6pm, so I invited Julie and the guys to be my in studio guests during the 5pm hour. They play historic folk songs from Minnesota and Wisconsin, with Julie playing flute and Doug Otto and Drew Druckery on guitar, mandolin, and vocals. They played three songs live in the studio, which you can listen to here.

Thursday, August 23

Brooklyn Rider with Bela Fleck @ The Washington County Historic Courthouse, Stillwater. 7:30pm (Adults: $25, Students: $10) This is the final concert in the Stillwater Music Festival, organized by Brooklyn Rider, a string quartet from Brooklyn with Minnesota roots. They are certainly not your father’s string quartet, as they are unafraid of pushing the boundaries of the genre. If you didn’t see them at the Cedar or in other Stillwater Music Festival appearances earlier in the week, here’s your chance. Their special guest for this evening is virtuoso banjo player Bela Fleck, who has been known to cross a genre or two himself.

Deadstring Brothers @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($8) Deadstring Brothers bring to mind the Rolling Stones of Exile on Main Street – a bit raw, a bit ragged, a bit country, and a lot of hard rock n’ roll. Dirt Road Ramblers start the evening, followed by Cannon’s North celebrating a CD release before Deadstring takes the stage to close off the evening.

Friday, August 24

Ronn Easton’s All Star Soul Revue @ Famous Dave’s, Calhoun Square, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) If you want to hear some old school music from Motown, the O’Jays, Ohio Players and more check out Che nine-piece revue. Make sure to bring your dancing shoes.

Cool Disposition @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 9pm (No cover) Dan Schwalbe’s guitar, Harold Tremblay’s harp, and Mickey’s vocals are just a few of the forces driving this band’s combination of jump, Chicago, and West Coast blues. There isn’t much room for dancing at the oldest continually operating bar in the state, but that just adds to the fun.

Saturday, August 25

Mother Banjo @ The Saint Paul Farmer’s Market, Saint Paul. 9AM (Free) Listen to the sounds of traditional folk, gospel, and alt-country from Ellen Stanley (aka Mother Banjo) as you roam the aisles of the market picking up fresh basil, fruit, and (if you are so inclined) some meat that was on the hoof a couple of days ago.

Maurice Jacox @ Hollihan’s Pub, White Bear Lake. 7pm (Free) Jacox recently sang some gospel tunes for a church service. He’s equally at home with soul music (naturally), and jazz standards, including Nat King Cole’s songs. I suspect this gig will fine him in an R&B/Blues vein.

Jennifer Markey & the Tennesee Snowpants @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Markey sings country. Not the country of Nashville today, but country that sounds like it was written in little towns, hollers, and even on the plains. Plus, they’re originals.

Saturday, Sunday, August 25, 26

Robby Vee, Jeffrey Broussard, and The Fabulous Thunderbirds @ The Minnesota State Fair Leinie Stage, Saint Paul. (free with $12 Fair Admission) Get there early, fill up at the milk truck, take in some animal barns (you may want to avoid the swine barn) and check out Robby Vee and his Rock n’ Roll Caravan at 10:30 and 11:45am. Test your Zydeco and Cajun dance steps with Jeffrey Broussard & His Creole Cowboys at 3:30 or 4:45, and top your day off with the butt-rockin’ blues of the Fabulous Thunderbirds at 8:30. Grab some desert-on-a-stick and head home, tired and spent.

Monday, Tuesday, August 27, 28

Their first album.

Desert Rose Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) Wow. Chris Hillman (guitar), founding member of the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers, along with Herb Pederson (banjo.guitar) who played with both of those groups as well as Jerry Garcia and David Grisman, John Jorgenson (guitar), a wizard who can go from bluegrass to Beatles in the blink of an eye, and Bill Bryson (bass) who played with Ry Cooder. The Desert Rose Band combined Bakersfield honky-tonk with country rock to cause a sensation in country music during the late 80s and 90s. I’ve got two of their first albums on vinyl and play them a lot.

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.


It’s Officially Summer. Music for 6.20 – 6.26

June 20, 2012

Summer Solstice is upon us. Heat is upon us. Rains are upon us. And we have a new music venue in town. The Icehouse in the Whittier neighborhood is presenting jazz late night on Mondays, and from 8:30 – 10:30 weekends. Other nights feature soul & funk deejays, and acoustic, rootsy music. Around the corner, The Eat Street Social is beginning to have afternoon music on Saturdays. We have some stellar artists performing this week. The Twin Cities Jazz Festival is next week. Life is good.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 20

Off the Map @ The Clown Lounge. Photo by Howard Gittelson

Off The Map @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm. (Tip jar) Brandon Wozniak, alto; Bryan Nichols, keyboards; and Jay Epstein, drums. This bass-less trio used to perform more often, but each of them is so busy with other projects that this is a rare appearance.

Maude Hixson and French 75 @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Maude and her sextet perform “foreign-born offerings from 20th Century songwriters.” Maude’s cool, inviting voice is the perfect vehicle for evoking smoky clubs with a distingue clientele.

Friday, June 22

Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric and Adam Meckler Orchestra @ The Ritz Theater, NE Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) This is a CD Release Party for A Love Electric’s 2nd CD on Royal Potato Records. The Adam Meckler Orchestra is proving to be an exciting aggregation, playing Meckler’s original compositions and premiering his arrangement of one of Clouser’s tunes.

Jeremy Boettcher and Phil Aaron @ The Icehouse, 2528 Nicollet, Minneapolis. 8pm (No Cover) Boettcher is a young, up and coming bassist. Aaron is a seasoned piano player with exquisite taste. The Icehouse is a new restaurant/music venue.

Friday, Saturday, June 22, 23

Dave King Trucking Company @ The Artists Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) This group was originally put together for the celebration of drummer King’s music at the Walker a couple of years ago. They’ve proven to be popular enough to play and tour regularly, adding another component to King’s plethora of groups. Erik Fratzke, guitar; Adam Linz, bass, Brandon Wozniak and Chris Speed, saxes.

Saturday, June 23

Linda Peterson @ The Lexington, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Another talented member of the Peterson clan, Linda is an accomplished composer and pianist with slightly smoky vocals.

Monday, June 25

Fat Kid Wednesdays @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30 & 11:30 ($5) Wow, it’s been a long time since Mike Lewis, sax; Adam Linz, bass; and JT Bates, drums, performed at the Clown Lounge. This time around they’re playing a venue with a wide variety of drinks and an appealing bar menu. If you’ve never seen FKW, expect adventurous forays into originals and jazz standards. For a review of a NYC appearance of a few years ago, click here.

Tuesday, June 26

Clouser & Buckley @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7:00pm (No Cover) Todd Clouser is the inventive guitarist who has been touring both nationally and internationally with his band A Love Electric. James Buckley plays bass in a number of aggregations, including some whose music strays far from jazz. If you’re going for music, get there early to find a seat at the bar. If you want to eat at this popular neighborhood bistro, make sure to get reservations and ask to be near the music.

Emily Singin’ for Swing Dancers

Emily Green @ The Nicollet, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Green is a nuanced vocalist with an easy way with swing. Just right for the couples that come out to dance at this coffeehouse. Hear examples of Emiy’s singing on her myspace page.

Magraw, Nichols, Peterson, & Horst @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) The AQ continues to find new combinations of musicians. This time the “house rhythm section” of Billy Peterson, bass; and Kenny Horst, drums; is joined by guitarmaster Dean Magraw and ever-busy pianist Bryan Nichols.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, June 20

Dustin Hatzenbuhler @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (free) Hatzenbuhler goes for the nerdy look, which you’ll forget once he starts singing, as he has a soulful voice and is a good songwriter, with a penchant for covers of Marvin Gaye and Adele, among others.

Cactus Blossoms on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, NE Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI), 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – tip Jar). With their brotherly harmonies (think of the Everlys or the Delmore Brothers), and ability to write country tunes that sound 60 years old, I’m thinking the patrons at the 331 may do some waltzes and two steps among the tables. You may dance at home as well when they play live on KFAI (90.3 & 106.7FM).

Dale Watson @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($15) Watson is a huge honky-tonk hero in Europe and pockets of the US, deplores the current state of country music, and loves Lee’s enough to have written a song about the place. Rachael and the Ranch Hand Resistance open, with dance lessons at 8pm. Here’s an example of his honky-tonk/Bakersfield country music.

Thursday, June 21
Booker T. Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) 9pm ($30) With the recent passing of “Duck” Dunn, we won’t be seeing Booker T with the MGs anymore. Nevertheless, Jones is an architect of American soul music, and has released two well-received solo projects in recent years, collaborating first with the Drive-By Truckers ( Grammy winner), and then with the Roots band. A genuine, soulful force on the Hammond B-3.

Friday, June 22

Old Californio and Steve Kaul & the Brass Kings @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($6) Old Californio is a Pasadena quintet with a sound that evokes a number of country-rock, slightly psychedelicized bands, from the New Riders of the Purple Sage, to Canned Heat and the Byrds. Yet their recent release, Sundrunk Angels, shows they’re more than throwbacks. They’ll appeal to today’s young audience for Americana and roots as well as to those of a certain age. Steve Kaul and the boys (correction: they’ve added fiddler Jillian Rae) explore Americana in highly unexpected ways, weaving jug band music into ragas and back again.

617 Band @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) A versatile quintet of seasoned musicians that have fun playing originals and dance tunes from a variety of genres – Latin, Rock, R&B, and more. They’ve got the grooves that will free any aversion to dancing.

Sunday, June 24

Henry’s Funeral Shoe @ The Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) This UK brothers act plays blues that’s been re-filtered through the Who and The Clash, among others. One of their songs is featured in a funny commercial from Fiat. Reservations: 651-955-6337

Saturday, June 23

Hootenanny VI @ Tuttles, 107 Shady Oak Rd, Hopkins. 2pm – 2AM. ($15 Suggested donation) A benefit for the wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone, MN, an organization that provides homes for wild animals that had previously been held as pets. It’s not a zoo, but a place where wild cats can live out their days. It’s a day filled with Americana, Bluegrass, and jamgrass stylings. String Theory starts the proceedings at 2pm. Other bands include: Shotgun Ragtime Band  (A Grateful Dead tribute band), Brady Perl, Boys N’ the Barrels, Moss Piglets, and Drew Peterson, among others.

Sunday, June 24

Havana Hi-Fi @ the Aster Cafe, St. Anthony Main, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) The Aster has a tiny dance floor, but the joyous sensuous Latin sound of this group will undoubtedly move listeners to squeeze into the space. Don’t dance? Then simply enjoy the food, wine and tea list, and view of DT Minneapolis across the river.

Tuesday, Wednesday, June 26, 27

Les Nubians @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) This sister act from Paris sings pan-global music in a variety of languages, both aural and musical. Expect elements of Afrobeat, Ella Fitzgerald, Edith Piaf, soul, and hip-hop. Here’s a video.

Wednesday, June 27

Mother Banjo @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (free) Early warning for this untraditional traditionalist.

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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