Back in the Saddle: 6.14 – 6.20

June 14, 2017

Taken on a different vacation by Andrea Hjelm. The first time on horseback in 30 years.

Well, I’m back in the saddle again, so to speak, after a brief interruption in posting when my vacation was involuntarily extended. All is good, and I’m looking forward to a week of great music from both visiting and resident artists. This Sunday is Father’s Day and that means that the Stone Arch Festival will be taking place all weekend. Besides booths of art, crafts, and food, there are plenty of artists performing, in genres ranging from classic rock and punk, to Americana and C&W, to even a bit of jazz, but I have to admit I know only a few. A schedule of performers can be found here. Have a great week. Remember music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 14

Candy Dulfer @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45), 9pm ($30, $35, $40) This Dutch saxophonist has played with Maceo Parker, Aretha Franklin, Lionel Richie, mavis Staples, Beyonce, Van Morrison and more, and has been name-checked by Prince. She’s had several number 1 hits in the US, and is a big draw at festivals around the world.

Gary LaRue & the Rat Pack Band @ Mancini’s, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (No Cover) If ever there was a great spot to hear the music of Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, and other swinging cats from the 50s, it’s the lounge at Mancini’s.

Thursday, June 15

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Tonight it’s the Wayne Horvitz Group: Horvitz, keys; Josh Granowski, bass; Davu Seru, drums, a combination of musicians who celebrate adventurous music making.

Lucia Newell & The Wolverines Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Newell is a wonderful singer who is conversant in all manner of jazz and Brazilian music (she spent two years singing there). She only plays selected dates each year, so this is a perfect opportunity to hear her, especially since she’ll be backed by the swinging Wolverines Trio. Here she is in her Brazilian mode.

Friday, June 16

Adam Booker @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Bassist Booker put out a fine recording, Unraveled Rival, on Shifting Paradigm records in 2015.  He has an extensive history with Duluth groups such as The New Orleans Hot Club, the Jazz Pharaohs, the Asylum Street Spankers, and others. This is his last Twin Cities appearance. After teaching at UMN- Duluth for many years, he heading to Appalachian State University where he’ll be Assistant Professor of Double Bass at the Hayes School of Music. Joining him are Levi Schwarzberg, vibes; and Ben Baldwin, drums.

Kevin Washington Quintet @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. 6pm (Free) Drummer Washington is a master of rhythms, whether playing with Nachito Herrera, Viva Brazil or any of a number of jazz luminaries, such as Anthony Cox, Roscoe Mitchell, James Carter, Fred Wesley or the David Murray Big Band. He’ll undoubtedly have some Twin Cities luminaries in his quintet. Pippi Ardennia and the PipJazz All Stars open this summertime outdoor event.

Saturday, June 17

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) As is often the case, the evening starts with a young group. Drummer Simon Petrick, who is a member of this year’s Dakota Combo will be leading a group at 7pm. Then at 8:30pm it’s How Birds Work, a quartet started during the heyday of the Artists’ Quarter and featuring Dean Granros, guitar; Peter Schimke, keyboards, Chris Bates, bass, and Kenny Horst, drums. They play high-quality, demanding jazz from the likes of Coltrane, Shorter, Hancock, and more.

Joel Shapira CD Release @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (No Cover) Guitarist Shapira has had an every other week solo early gig at the Vieux for almost two years now, and has developed a bit of a following there, members of whom have asked for a solo CD. Well, he’s delivered. The CD, In Essence, contains some gems from the Great American Songbook as well as modern jazz classics by Coltrane, Miles, and Monk, including his third recording of Bemsha Swing. In a recent interview with Tom Surowicz for the Highland Villager, Shapira said, “It’s a challenge, reducing piano music to the guitar.” Shapira is more than up to it.

Sunday, June 18

Nancy Harms @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, 425; $40, $50 Dinner Show) Though not exposed to jazz until she attended college, Ms Harms, a Clara City, MN native performs as if born to the role of jazz singer. She has an innate sense of time and phrasing and an ability to imbue songs with just the right amount of humanity to fully tell each song’s story. She is a uniquely gifted performer who has established herself in NYC and Europe. Her shows here in town are always well-attended, if not sold out, so be forewarned that the Dunsmore Room only seats 80.

Regina Marie Williams @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm )$17 – $22) You may have seen Williams in any number of roles at the Guthrie, Penumbra, Park Square, and Mixed Blood theaters. She’s a fine actress – she’s won an Ivey Award, was named City Pages Best Actress of 2016, and received the McKnight Theater Artist Award. She is also a great songstress, who can whisper as well as soar, as attested by roles where she’s played Dinah Washington and Nina Simone.

Monday, June 19

Jane Bunnett & Maqueque @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) Canadian saxophonist Jane Bunnett has been nominated twice for a Grammy and received a number of Canada’s music awards. She went to Cuba back in 1982 and fell in love with the sensual, yet intricate rhythms of the island. She’d often use them with her contemporary jazz performances, and recently assembled an all-star cast of female Cuban musicians to form Maqueque. Their second album, Odara, was released last fall.

Adam Astrup @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (!0, $5 w/Student ID)Though newly graduated from high school, guitarist Astrup as been impressing audiences in various groups for a couple of years now, including the Dakota Combo and two or three groups of his own. Tonight he and members of his quintet will be playing originals. Members include: Nick Benish, bass; Andrew Tomten, Sax; Patrick Adkins, keys; and Simon Petrick, drums. Here he is in a trio setting.

JT’s Jazz Implosion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm. ($8) This long running weekly event, curated by drummer JT Bates, always features forward thinking artists, whether from the Twin Cities or beyond. Tonight features The Jon Davis Quartet for set one: Davis, bass & woodwinds; Chuck Love trumpet, flute, melodica, & percussion, Bryan Nichols, keys; and Greg Schutte, drums. Performing set two is The George Marich Trio; Marich, drums, George Cartwright, saxes; and Josh Granowski, bass.

Tuesday, June 20

Jordan Anderson Group @ Walker West, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (free) This dazzling young pianist was a member of the Dakota Combo prior to attending the University of Michigan, where he was recruited by, and studies with, none other than Benny Green. I believe he’ll have talented contemporaries with him: Peter Goggin, saxophone; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Edmund Catlin, drums. Here he is while still a HS student, with a different group

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, June 14

Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders @ Como Park Conservatory, Saint Paul. 6pm (Free) Pack up a picnic and head out the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory to  boogie down to the amped up blues, country, and roots music from the guitarist/songwriter who’s the pride of Anoka  Plus there’s a climbing wall, bouncy tent and other distractions for the wee ones.

The Dollys on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The Dollys are Joanna Jahn, Kari Shaw, and Megan Shaw, or are all enamored of the three-part harmonies of EmmyLou Harris, Dolly Parton, and Linda Ronstadt. They also perform songs by other female country artists as well as their own versions of folk and Americana hits. Tune in to Harold’s House Party at 5pm, and if you like what you hear, head over to the 331 Club to see them in person.

Butch Thompson & Pat Donahue @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15; $40 for Dinner Show) A creative pairing of legendary, excellent musicians. Pianist Thompson and Fingerstyle Guitarist Donahue mine classic blues and jazz, that is from the 20s and 30s, with an occasional original that fits the style. The Dunsmore Room provides a quiet, intimate space to fully appreciate their musicianship, craftsmanship, and easy-going banter. Here’s a track from the album the duo made, featuring Thompson on clarinet.

Robert Earl Keen @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($40 Advance, $45 Door) Regular listeners of Jackson Buck’s Freewheelin’ show know that every Christmas he plays Keen’s Merry Christmas from the Family, a description of a blended family at Christmas time. No matter what your background, this tale of a family gathering will include something that’s funny and familiar. It’s a perfect example of his wit and powers of observation, as his his take on modern life called Wireless in Heaven. He’s been writing songs for over three decades and continues to sharpen his wit and entertain folk, and was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012, while a couple of years ago he became the first recipient of BMI’s Troubadour Award. Keen takes a few minutes to introduce the band before singing on this video.

Thursday, June 15

Doug Little’s Seven Steps to Havana @ Arlington Hills Library, Saint Paul. 7pm – 8:30pm (Free) This septet led by flutist/saxophonist Doug Little features musicians from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Ethiopia, and the US. Their hip-swaying music uses the fiery rhythms of salsa and the rich harmonies of jazz.

Mikkel Beckmen w/Martin Devaney @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Percussionist Mikkel Beckmen’s weekly residency is always a great place to stop after work and down a pint in a friendly setting while Beckmen invites guests to share the stage. This week he has Martin Devaney, hard working guitarist and prolific songwriter working on his seventh full length album. Here’s Devaney.

Steve Clarke Quartet w/Patty Peterson @ Seven Steak House, Minneapolis. 7pm (No cover?) It seems that Seven Steak House at 7th & Hennepin has new management, and has decided to bring in music on Thursdays. Tonight Steve Clarke brings his swinging saxophone to the venue, along with guest vocalist Patty Peterson, who is equally at home in jazz and R&B. Not sure if you have to order a meal or can hang at the bar, so you may want to call to get particulars.

Friday, June 16

Garland Jeffreys @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) Brooklyn native Jeffreys has been creating urban rock since the 60s, first hitting with Wild in the Streets back in the 70s. His songs have been covered by punkers and neo-folkies, and he’s worked with folks ranging from John Cale, Lou Reed, U2,  and Dr. John to Stan Getz and Sonmny Rollins. Jeffrey’s latest two albums, The King of In Between from 2011, and Truth Serum in 2013 received great reviews and his latest, the newly-released 14 Steps to Harlem, is sure to bring him new fans, at least based on the three songs I’ve heard.

Celtic Rock Night @ Celtic Junction, Saint Paul. 8pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) These days Celtic music is more than fiddles and whistles, and tonight in an event sponsored by the MN Music Coalition, will certainly prove that out. Performing are The Sweet Colleens, a quintet of multi-instrumentalists playing high-energy fiddle and accordion-driven Celtic Americana who just released their 5th album; Belfast-born Leslie Rich a guitarist singer who has played with The Hounds of Finn and Leslie Rich & the Rocket Soul Choir since emigrating to the US, and The Tim Malloys, who fuse traditional Irish music with pub rock and the sensibility (and sound) of Minneapolis punk rock.

Lowland Lakers @ The Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7 Advance, $10 Door) It’s a seated show of Americana as this trio, with roots in Duluth, play their last gig with Dr. Matt Donoghue on bass – he’s taking a position as Emergency Medicine Resident. Opening is the talented Rachel Hanson, who’s a north country artist herself. Then the Last Jackson will close out the evening.

Paul Cebar @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) Milwaukee native Paul Cebar has been at this songwriting/singing/playing thing for decades, always finding ways to incorporate irresistible rhythms into his songs that provide a modern touch to old R&B ideas. For instance, you’ll be dancing along to something funky, when all of a sudden there’s a calypso break. No wonder legions of dancers come out for every performance.

Malamanya @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($10 advance, $15 Door) Late night salsa dancing to this Twin Cities band that with the bona fides to perform classic Cuban music.

Saturday, June 17

Class Action @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($25) For three years in the late 70s and early 80s, Class Action was just about the most popular dance band in the Twin Cities. No wonder – look at their talented members: Rockie Robbins, who later had seven charting singles as a solo artist; Patty Peterson, who continues to sparkle as a jazz/R&B singer here in town; Ricky Perterson, the wizard keyboard player who played with David Sanborn for 20 years and countless other artiits; Candy Anderson Cretoekos, who started singing in church, and worked with Wayne Cochran & the CC Riders throughout the nation. She moved to Los Angeles from Minneapolis and returned to her church roots, performing throughout California; Stephen Faison, performer for hundreds of jingles and soundtracks and staff writer for recording studios, who worked withThe Coasters, Drifters, Walter Trout and Aretha Franklin and teaches here in town; Rick Cornish, who performed with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and who had one of his compositions premiered by the LA Philharmonic, and winner of numerous national and international awards; Rick Houle, who played in Passage and the Doug Maynard Band before moving to Seattle in 1984. Since then he’s worked with Ernestine Anderson, and is currently a member of a 12 piece group that plays the music of Steely Dan; finally there Glenn Swanson, who was a staff drummer at Creation Audio, who after Class Action went on to work with Sheila Raye Charles (daughter of Ray), including serving as emcee for a Japanese tour, and more recently produced vocalist Pippi Ardennia. Wow!

International Reggae All Stars @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($??) Here’s a chance for east-siders to hear the reggae sound of the All Stars outside of their weekly gig at Bunkers.

Rena Haus Trio @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Dusty’s is tiny, though a more upscale description would say intimate. Nevertheless it provides a great setting as guitarist/songwriter Rena Haus, her bassist brother Bob, and under-appreciated guitarist Ed Petsche will regale you with Rena’s original song stories and great covers of blues songs. Here she is solo.

Monday, June 19

Frankie Lee & Friends @ The Turf Club’s Clown Lounge, Saint Paul. 7pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) Lee has the June residency for Monday nights at the rec room inspired Clown Lounge. He’s a country/folk singer whose debut album American Dreamer, was released in 2015 on London’s Loose Records. It promptly became well played on Europe’s radio stations, making many “best of” lists from the continent. It was released in America in the summer of 2016, earning him more praise from NPR, among others. Don’t know which friends will show up, but they include Michael Lewis bass, sax; Jeremy Ylvisaker, guitar; and JT Bates, drums, who appeared on his first EP.

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.


Winter Music: 1.20 – 1.26

January 21, 2016

imagesThis week’s post is a bit less detailed than usual, in part because I lost internet service on Monday, and can’t get anyone to come out until after I return from vacation next week. Plus, I was mostly in transit yesterday, so I didn’t get this published for Wednesday.  I’m sure you all have the ability to further investigate these shows before going out. Not a bad idea, since every once in a while, I get the wrong date. In fact last week, I managed to call the Black Dog the Black Hawk! Next week’s newsletter will also be smaller.

At any rate, have a great week.

Jazz

Wednesday, January 20

Pete Whitman Presents Shellgame @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Here’s a new group from Pete Whitman: Scott Agster, trombone; Pete Whitman, saxophones; Brian Ziemniak, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Pete Henning,drums. They’ll be playing original tunes from the band members.

Thursday, January 21

35th Annual Martin Luther King Concert Tribute featuring Pippi Ardennia @ Ted Mann Concert Hall, Minneapolis. 6pm – 7:30pm (Free) Celebrate the life of Martin Luther King with this free concert featuring a cappella group Committed, who won NBC’s Sing Off, as well as vocalists Pippi Ardennia and Sheri Hixon. Here’s an example of Pippi’s singing.

Give Get Sistet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10)The Give Get Sistet is an expandable improvisational chorus of Twin Cities women with ties and influences from around the world. The use both a cappella singing and vocal improvisation to explore music made by African American women, from the days of slavery until today.

Brian Gallagher Quartet w/Julius Collins @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover)  Gallagher, sax; Yohannes Tona, bass; Pete Hennig, drums; Brian Ziemniak, keys; Collins, vocals.

Friday, January 22

Debbie Duncan Sings Natalie Cole @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Duncan certainly has the chops to deliver the music of Natalie Cole while still retaining her own voice and personality. It’s a Friday, so things will be poppin’. Get there early for a seat/table close to the stage. Here she is doing a ballad made famous by Dinah Washington.

Happy Apple @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($12)  Erik Fratzke, electric bass; Michael Lewis, sax; and Dave King, drums, get together for an increasingly rare appearance. It’s a chance to hear their slightly off-kilter instrumentals, watch Lewis roam the stage, and listen to King’s stream-of-conciousness patter covering all things pop culture. And of course, their energetic music.

Saturday, January 23

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) at  7pm: Jazz impresario Steve Kenny has been using the first set of these regular Saturday Night sessions to introduce us to new bands, and especially some of the young (we’re talking high school) bands in the area. Tonight, we’ll hear the college students of Dave Hagedorn, vibist extraordinaire. I’m assuming that the band will be delightful. Then at 8:30pm Chris Bates’ Good Vibes Trio takes the stage with Bates, bass; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; and Phil Hey, drums. Good Vibes is such an appropriate name, as these three gentlemen delight in playing together, it’s a joy that is quickly picked up by the audience.

John Raymond CD Release @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) New York musician and native Twin Citizen Raymond has been catching the ears of many a reviewer. He’s latest CD, Real Feels, is being released on the Twin Cities label Shifting Paradigm Records, and he’s returning to town to celebrate. Downbeat Magazine said of Raymond, “…with his mix of modern sounds and old fashioned feeling, Raymond is steering jazz in the right direction.”

Billy Peterson Birthday Concert @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($12) The eternally youthful Mr Peterson will be celebrating another birthday by playing with members of his musical clan. He’ll also have a special guest from Iceland, vocalist Anna Mijoll. Here’s Billy with Jerry Bergonzi.

Monday, January 25

Rachel Holder & Rick Carlson: In the Crook @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm ($15 Minimum) A singer and a piano player. The singer stands “in the crook” of the piano, for close communication with the piano player. Tonight, chanteuse Rachel Holder and pianist Rick Carlson, a sensitive accompanist and player in his own right, hold forth in the listening room at Crooners.  Here she is with a three piece, though it features a lot of duetting between Rachel and bassist Gordy Johnson.

Thomas Nordlund @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) Set 1: JT Bates, drums; Anthony Cox, bass; Paul Metzger, banjo, guitars. Set 2: Thomas Nordlund,  electric baritone guitar; Ben Abrahamson, guitars; Kevin Gastonguay, keys; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Andrew Foreman, bass; Lars-Erik Larson, drums.

Tuesday, January 26

Dave Karr Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Crooners, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm ($15 Minimum) The Dunsmore Room has become a premium listening room for jazz, with reasonable prices on food and drink, and a great sound. Tonight, jazz sax master Dave Karr brings a quartet to the room, to fill its space with gorgeous sound. I’m not sure, but believe he will have Kenny Horst, drums; Billy Peterson, bass; and Steve Kenny, flumpet.

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, January 20

DLs Cajun Band w/Mary DuShane on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) While listening to them at home, you may find yourself involuntarily moving to the insistent beats of DLs Cajun Band. Adding to the mix is talented fiddler Mary DuShane, a longtime participant in country & western, folk, and Cajun bands in the area.

Willie Murphy @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Here’s a chance to get over humpday with some rockin’ blues, R&B, and an occasional beautiful ballad in a trio format. Though this isn’t a trio, it’s still a good example of Murphy’s work.

Red Barraat @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) A high energy brass band from Brooklyn, playing Bhangra – Indian music – in an engaging and exciting manner.

John Beach Trio @ The Eagles Club #34, Minnapolis. ($5?) Pianist Beach is an old school West Banker with a long resume, whose trio was thoroughly delightful last time at the club. He’ll be joined by jazzman Paul Harper on sax; and Kory Badertsher on drums. Special guest Mary Leinfelder will do some singing as well.

Friday, January 22

Davina & the Vagabonds @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($10?) An early evening dose of pianist/vocalist Davina should get you high enough to make it through the weekend.

Nicholas David @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($30, $40) He was a finalist on the Voice about three years ago, but by then had already earned a reputation as a soulful singer and musician, having gained national exposure from his albums.

Saturday, January 23

Swamp Pop Extravaganza @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm Fundraiser for 2nd Harvest. The Swamp Poppas as backup band with expanded horn section and backup singers. Featuring guest stars Tom Lieberman, Becky Thompson, Rich Lewis, Dan Rowles, Lucinda Plaisance and possibly Ernie Batson and Curtiss A.

Seven Steps to Havana @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Things may be warming up, comparatively speaking, but you can experience tropical level heat at Seven Steps to Havana brings their Cuban/Latin grooves to the Dakota stage.

Sunday, January 24

Garland Jeffreys & Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Classic rock from a Brooklyn native who first had a hit with Wild in the Streets back in the 70s. His songs have been covered by punchers and neo-folkes, and he’s worked with folks ranging from John Cale and Dr. John to Stan Getz and Sonmny Rollins. Jeffrey’s latest two albums, The King of In Between from 2011, and Truth Serum in 2013 received great reviews and talk of a second wave to his career.

Monday, Tuesday, January 25, 26

War @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $50), 9pm ($35, $45) The Dakota is funkin’ it up for two nights. War was a  dominant figure on the charts and the dance floor during the 70s, with songs like Low Rider, Gypsy Man, Cisco Kid, Why Can’t We Be Friends and more. Here’s video of the band back in the day.

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.


Post-Election Music: 11.5 – 11.11

November 5, 2014

Unknown-3Well, the election is over and we don’t have to go out just to avoid obnoxious political advertising. Whether you want to celebrate or drown your sorrows, there are plenty of opportunities to hear music while you do so. Choose from a number of outstanding visiting artists, as well as intriguing sets from resident artists for your entertainment pleasure. Have a good week. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, November 5
The PBR Street Gang @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Anthony Cox has put together another intriguing group for his monthly gig at JC. This time the bassist brings along Dave King, drums; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Dean Granros, guitar to liven things up.

Wednesday, Thursday, November 5,6
Hiromi @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45), 9pm ($35) Hiromi is a highly gifted and virtuostic pianist who has such a good time she almost floats above her bench. In 2010 she played the Dakota four times in a 12 month period with four different ensembles, including two of her own and a duo and trio appearance with Stanley Clarke. Tonight she’s appearing with Anthony Jackson on Contrabass guitar, and Steve Smith on drums. You might want to take advantage of the free earplugs available as you enter.

Thursday, November 6
Nina Simone Tribute @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Sarah M. Greer will be singing the songs of Nina Simone, with help from BLU-7: John Iden, bass; Jim Ouska, guitar; Doug Rohde, and Dean White, drums.

Cartwright, Kinney, Seru, & Evans @ The Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Given the caliber of this line-up of George Cartwright, sax; Michelle Kinney, cello; Davu Seru, drums & percussion; and Elaine Evans, trumpet, I’d venture that there will be some extraordinary, adventurous music being played tonight.

Friday, November 7
Maryann Sullivan and Corner Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11pm (Donation – $5 – $20 suggested) When it comes to singing, Ms Sullivan can do sophistication and turn around and deliver some sly humor. Backing her will be David Martin, guitar; Trevor Haining, drums; Tom Pieper, bass, and Doug Haining, sax.

Steve Kenny Quartet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 9:30pm ($10) Steve and his crew take the stage at 9:30, but it will be worth your while to get there early. There’s a young performers showcase at 6f:30, followed by Struck Percussion at 7:30, Zeitgeist with Nimala Rajasekar at 8:30. It’s all part of the Zeitgeist Cabaret Series, once of the best opportunities you’ll have to see a variety of interesting music.

Saturday, November 8
Source Code @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. ($10) 9:30pm Drummer extraordinaire Eric Kamau Gravatt and his crew take the stage at 9:30pm, preceded by Zeitgeist at 8:30, the ANCIA Saxophone Quartet @ 7:30, and the Young Performer Showcase at 6:30. The young performer showcase features bassist Charlie Lincoln, a student of Gravatt’s, with his group consisting of Levi Schwartzberg, vibes, Peter Goggin, sax, and Joey Hays, Alex Browne, and Sam Stroup filling out the rhythm section. I know three of these performers and they are very talented. You’ll be happy you stopped by to see them.

Sunday, November 9
Charles Lazarus Quartet w/guest Tonia Hughes and the MN Orchestra @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 2pm ($25 – $65) Minnesota Orchestra trumpeter Lazarus has been stepping out into the jazz world quite a bit over the last year or so, to very positive reception. Here’s a chance to hear him in the acoustic confines of Orchestra hall, with the backing of the full orchestra.

Yohannes Tona @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Tonight, the Zeitgeist Cabaret brings in this talented bass player and his group, preceded by Zeitgeist at 8pm, and Skeleton Crew at 7pm.

Monday, November 10
Jon Weber @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Weber is a virtuoso pianist with what must be a photographic memory, and an encyclopedic knowledge of music, its history, and the slightest facts about performers. He also throws in facts about history and the world at large. Oh yeah, he plays anything from ragtime to 21st Century jazz.

Doug Haining @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The swingin’ sax player returns to Jazz Central as a featured artist, rather than with a big band or ensemble. The Monday night featured artists always play outside their usual “box” so who knows what you will hear. No doubt, however, that it will be enjoyable.

Tony Malaby @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($15) Saxophonist/Composer Malaby was recently named by Downbeat as One of the “80 Coolest Things in Jazz.” Since arriving in New York in the early 90s, he’s led many of his own projects and has revealed his talent in bands like the Paul Motian Electric Be-Bop Band, Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra, Chris Lightcap’s Bigmouth, and similarly adventurous groups. For tonight’s show he’ll be playing wiith Anthony Cox, bass; and JT Bates, drums.

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 Police, Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, November 5
San Souci on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM) and 7pm (331 club – Tip Jar) The acoustic roots revolution has been in full swing for a number of years now, fueled by Midwest groups such as San Souci, a quintet that uses traditional instruments in an untraditional manner to create a progress blend of bluegrass and folk rock. They released their third full-length album, On the Line, earlier this year. Tune in to hear them perform live in the studio and then head over to the 331 Club to hear them in person.

Thursday, November 6
Suzzy Roche & Lucy Wainwright @ the Gingko Coffeehouse, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($25) Suzzy Roche is a singer/songwriter and founding member of the Roches. She’s recorded over 15 albums and has written a children’s book and a novel. Lucy Wainwright Roche is the daughter of Suzzy and Loudon Wainwright III, and has recorded four albums. Mother and daughter have just released a new recording, Fairytale and Myth, which has just been nominated for Best Folk/Singer/Songwriter Album of the Year by the Independent Music Awards.

Friday, November 7
Garland Jeffreys @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) This classic rocker and Brooklyn native burst into the public’s consciousness with his single Wild in the Streets back in 1973. Jeffreys proceeded to release a string of albums to critical acclaim and some commercial success, though he never became huge star. Mining rock, reggae, blues, and soul to create his own sound, he hadn’t released a record in a dozen years when he came out with The King of In Between in 2011 and Truth Serum in 2013 to raves about the “second wave” of his career. Martin Devaney – the musical mayor of Saint Paul – opens.

Jack Potts & the Astronauts of Rhythm & Souls @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm. ($5) Well yeah, the name is a bit of a tongue twister, but the members of this band are well known to fans of Americana and roots rock n’ roll. Consider the membership: Paul Bergen (Hillbilly Voodoo Dolls), Erik Koskonen (Molly Maher, his own band), Ray Barnard (Copperheads, now solo), and David Huckfelt and Michael Rossetto (The Pines). Bergen will be opening at 7pm, along with some friends, and the Astronauts will take the stage at 9pm. They are also promising surprise guests.

Charlie Parr @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 8pm ($15) Though Parr is originally from Austin, MN, the country bluesman started his career in Duluth, singing his own songs as influenced by such stellar musicians as Charlie Patton, Bukka White, and Reverend Gary Davis. His plaintive, emotional singing, combined with his prowess on resonator guitar, banjo, and 12-String, have earned him a huge legion of fans. Opening are The Wild Hands and Matt Ray.

Saturday, November 8
Bebel Gilberto @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $60), 9pm ($30 – $50) For the longest time, Gilberto, a daughter of bossa nova royalty, brought contemporary sounds, including jazz and pop influences, to Brazilian music. A couple of her albums have even been remixed. On her latest, Tudo, Gilberto takes a more nuanced approach to music, and includes a surprising version of Neil Young’s Harvest Moon.

DJ Brian Engel @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm (No cover) Brian is a DJ about town, appearing at Hipshaker, Hot Pants, and Worldwide Discoteque. After an evening of Brazilian music join Brian as he spins world music and who knows what else for late night.

Sunday, November 9
Capital Cities @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 7pm. ($25) 21+ This Los Angeles electro pop duo hit with an upbeat melodic tune called Safe and Sound, which launched them on a tour of South America in 2011. After Capitol Records signed them in 2013 and released A Tidal Wave of Mystery in June of that year, the song reached number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. See the delightful official video here I’ve a vinyl 12-inch EP with that song and others that is in fairly steady rotation on my spinning gigs. They’ve now played on four continents, at Coachella and Bonnaroo, and toured with Kate Perry. Opening are Cherub and The Night Terrors of 1927.

Tuesday November 11
Quintron & Miss Pussycat @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 8pm ($12) though New Orleans has long been known as the birthplace of jazz and a hotbed of R&B, it has also been an incubator of rock n’ roll and a number of genre-bending bands. Case in point is Quintron & Miss Pussycat, whose act can be described as Swamp-Noise-Tech with puppets. Quintron is an organist who plays a distorted B-3 and a number of electronic inventions. He was even nominated for songwriting for Chatterbox, which he recorded as a guest with Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys. Miss Pussycat is a singer/puppeteer who plays maracas and creates puppet shows that are appropriate to late night dancing in bars. Their latest is Spellcaster II – Death in Space. With Babes, a New Orleans punkish group that seems to have spent time in the swamps, and the Twin Cities own Honeystick, a keyboard/synth driven band with a predilection for 70s soul and a touch of British invasion harmonies.

Julie Johnson: This Middle Place @ Antonello Hall, MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Pay as Able – $10 Suggested) This is an original multimedia show that includes the work of four Minnesota visual artists and writers—Patrick Kemal Pryor, David Sollie, Cheri Johnson, and Sean Hill. Flautist Julie Johnson has written pieces exclusively for the show. She’ll be using amplified flute, bass flute, stompbox, and live looping pedals as part of the performance, which will feature both recorded and live performances by some of the artists.

Tuesday, Wednesday, November 11, 12
Loudon Wainwright III @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Wainwright is a singer/songwriter/actor with twenty albums to his credit including the Grammy-winning High Wide & Handsome from 2009. Three of his children are singer/songwriters, including daughter Lucy, who appeared at the Gingko with her mother this Thursday (see Suzzy Roche and Lucy Wainwright, above). He was a character on MASH for three years, and more recently, composed music for the movie Knocked Up, in which he also appeared in a supporting role, and has appeared on the TV shows Parks and Recreation and Person Of Interest. It is, however, his witty, often self-mocking songs that provide the reason for seeing him.

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.


Music for 11.13 – 11.19

November 13, 2013

Well, we’ve another busy week here in the Twin Cities. While one can talk about the quality of the shows you’ve seen, a measure of the music here is the quality of the shows you don’t get to see, simply because you’re at another venue. For all the shows I list, there is usually an equal number that are worthwhile attending. We are lucky.

Solomon Parham teaching at a free workshop for young msuicians, put on by DFJE. Photo by Andrea Canter.

Solomon Parham teaching at a free workshop for young musicians, put on by DFJE. Photo by Andrea Canter.

Now, for a short commercial break. Many of you have already received e-mails about Give to the Max Day, which is tomorrow. I’d like to ask that you support two non-profits in particular. The first is the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education (DFJE), which is dedicated to inspiring young audiences about jazz, and helping aspiring young jazz musicians in their studies. We have a match for the first $2500, so you can essentially double your money if you donate early. To donate, got to DFJE’s GiveMN site. The second non-profit I’m particularly jazzed about is KFAI Fresh Air Radio, where I have had a weekly jazz radio show called Rhythm and Grooves for the past 11 years. Find their site here. Now, back to our regular program.

Jazz

Wednesday, November 13

Valve Meets Slide @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Recall the days of JJ Johnson & Kai Winding, as two fine trombonists – Brad Bellows on valve, and Dave Graf on slide bring us some swingin’ tunes, ably backed by Peter Schimke, piano, Gordy Johnson, bass, and Mac Santiago, drums. Late night club goers get two-for-one admission after 11pm.  Here’s an example of their work.

Thursday, November 14

Gershwin in Paris: Bruce Henry, Irv Williams, & Others @ the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 3675 Arboretum Dr, Chaska. 7pm ($35) A celebration of a true American original – George Gershwin. First, you get his Rhapsody in Blue plus An American in Paris  done as Gershwin arranged them, with two pianos and four hands. Then, you get other Gershwin tunes, such as I’ve Got Rhythm, and Embraceable You, as done by vocalist Bruce Henry, saxophonist Irv Williams, accordionist Dan Newton, and others. Tickets were selling briskly, so you be advised to call for a reservation at (952) 443-1400, or reserve on-line here.

Five by Design

Five by Design

Five By Design @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis 8:30 – 9:30pm ($10?) This Minnesota vocal quintet is well known outside our borders, but rarely appears in town. There close harmonies and well-rehearsed stage presence make them favorites in halls around the country.

The Jesters @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) The Jesters are another all-star combination of Twin Cities musicians. Pete Whitman, sax; Chris Olson, guitar; Laura Caviani, piano; Gary Raynor, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger, drums.

Friday, November 15

Brad Bellows and Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) This time out, Brad Bellows is playing his valve trombone in a “freer” environment, with sax master Donald Washington goosing the music along. Their music is sometimes challenging, but always surprising.

Friday, Saturday, November 15, 16

Lew Tabackin Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($20)  A long-time friend of the AQ, Tabackin returns for one last time before the end of the year and the AQ’s closing. An outstanding artists on flute and tenor sax, Tabackin knows his musical history, yet has a sound that’s all his own. Here he is.

Saturday November 16

Charmin & Shapira @ Midtown Global Market, Minneapolis. 12:30 – 2:30pm. (Free) You’ve got the honeyed tones of Charmin Michelle backed by the subtle, elegant guitar of Joel Shapira. A calming break from shopping at the market.

Laura Caviani & Pete Whitman @ Jazz @ St. Barney’s, Plymouth. 7pm ($10) This saintly jazz series at St. Barnabas Lutheran Church turns to duo who each have impressive resumes. More importantly, they are inventive, imaginative musicians. Pianist Caviani has received numerous accolades for her sparkling work at the keyboards, as a leader, as a member of groups such as JazzMN, Pete Whitman’s X-Tet, Karryn Allison’s band, and for her own CDs, of which there are four. Pete Whitman’s sax can be soothing or fiery. His X-Tet CD received four stars in Downbeat, and he has performed with folks like Jack McDuff, Curtis Fuller, and the Woody Herman Orchestra. They’ve worked together many times, developing a musical relationship that is akin to mental telepathy.

Musical Tribute to Oscar Peterson @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) Tanner Taylor and Richard Johnson, two sublime piano players, will each bring a trio to Studio Z to pay hommage to the late Oscar Peterson. Each trio will do a set and then there will be a two-piano finale. Johnson will be backed by bassist Jeremy Boettcher, and drummer Adrian Suarez. Taylor will have Adam Linz on bass, and Trevor Hainig on drums.

Unknown-1Steve Cole CD Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm.   Saxophonist Cole has been recording as a leader for about 15 years now. Along the way he’s garnered a few radio hits, thanks to his R&B-meets-jazz approach. He’s also worked with Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Boz Scaggs, Larry Carlton, Jeff Lorber, Freddie Cole, and Cyrus Chestnut among others.  He’ll be backed by a number of friends from the Peterson Family – Patty, Ricky, Paul and Jason Peterson DeLaire, along with Bobby Vandell and Billy Franze.

Tuesday, November 19

Dave Brattain & Friends @ the Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Saxophonist Brattain takes over the Tuesday night slot for a change. The friends on Tuesday nights change from week to week.

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, November 13

Jonathan Richman @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30 ($16) Conversational lyrics, often about mundane matters, but with a slightly skewed outlook, have endeared Richman to many. Though he first made a splash in the late 70s and early 80s, he’ll likely concentrate on newer material.

Women’s Singer/Songwriter Showcase @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 6:30pm – Midnight. (No Cover) Wow, here is a chance to see a dozen singer-songwriters (who happen to be women) in action. Half-hour sets form the likes of Courtney Yasmineh, Katy Vernon, Liz Squires, and more. Jessie Rae Armstrong starts at 6:30 and the fun continues all night long. The Driftwood’s low key atmosphere is just right for this evening.

Thursday, November 14

imagesJimmy Webb @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45-$40) A master songwriter, Webb wrote some of the biggest hits of the 60s and 70s for folks like The Fifth Dimension, Glen Cambell, and Isaac Hayes, among others. He received several Grammys and his songs continue to be recorded. Opening is Robin Spielberg, a pianist/composer and storyteller who has sold a million CDs, and is touring in support of a new memoir.

Jacox, Della Selva, Craft, & DuBois @ Washington Square, White Bear Lake. 8pm – 11pm (No Cover) The East Metro area gets to hear a bevy of highly skilled musicians do their thing. Maurice Jacox, vocals, flute, and sax; John Della Selva, guitar; Jason Craft, keys; and Mike DuBois, drums.

The Wesley Center

The Wesley Center

Flatt Foot Rollers @ A Benefit for Wesley Center, 1st & Grant, Minneapolis.  7pm (Donation)  The Rollers are a seven-piece band that serves up old school R&B and Funk in a dance-o-licious way.They’re playing this benefit for the Wesley Center, home to a Meals program which serves hundreds of hot meals to the poor and needy each Saturday. The 122 year-old pink granite church located next to the Minneapolis Convention Center has been designated a historic site.

Friday, November 15

Seven Steps to Havana @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Reed player Doug Little heads up this septet, brining us Cuban sons, guajiras, and other Latin sounds.

Garland Jeffreys @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($35)  This passionate rock n’ roller shows influences of R&B, Reggae, blues and dance music in his performances. Brooklyn-born Jeffreys has been recording since the 70s, when his single of Wild in the Streets first brought him success. Along the way he’s earned the respect of peers like Lou Reed and Bruce Springsteen, and David Johansen, and has an international following. Jake Clemmons, nephew of the E-Street saxman Clarence Clemmons, opens. Here’s Garland doing a song from his latest album.

Saturday, September 16

Freedy Johnston & Darden Smith @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15/$20) Two singer-songwriters performing round-robin style. Johnston has been recording for some 25 years, having been named Best Songwriter of 1994 by Rolling Stone. BTW, Kurt Cobain and Sam Philips came in 2nd and 3rd. In 2009 Johnston released the well-received Rain on the City, and in 2012 recorded and toured with the Hobar Brothers  Lil’ Sis. His current tour is a preview and warm-up for his upcoming CD, Neon Repairman.

Willie Murphy’s 70th Birthday Party @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis ($?)  Ahh, just like the rest of us, Willie Murphy is getting older. His actual birthday is Sunday the 17th, but this will serve as a fine blow-out to celebrate all those years on this mortal coil. Murphy’s dance-friendly R&B and Rock n’ Roll will fill the wooden floor at the Eagles, and while many celebrants are sure to share an affinity for grey hair, you can bet that some younger folk will be bustin’ some moves as well. Here he is in one of his mellower, though not necessarily romantic, moments.

Sunday November 17

Tim Sparks & Phil Heywood @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Okay, we’ve got two national finger-picking guitarists at work tonight. Together, their styles encompass blues, jazz, classical, and world music. In writing of Tim Sparks, Guitar Player Magazine called his music “Fresh, exotic and totally cool.” Heywood, who also sings in a warm baritone, was hand-picked by Leo Kottke to tour with him. Expect an evening of sublime music when these two get on stage together. Here’s an example of how they work together.

Monday, November 16

Joe Fingers & His So-Called Friends @ Dunn Brothers on Grand, Saint Paul. 7:30 pm (Donation) This is the first of two Monday night shows that will benefit Second Harvest Heartland. Joe Fingers is a national finger-picking champion. Don’t know Joe? He and his So-Called Friends have spent some time on Prairie Home Companion.

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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