What is Hip? Well, Tower of Power is here this week to answer that question, but you know that here in the Twin Cities, we’re blessed with a surfeit of hip music. This week we have a wide variety of music genres, from the funk of Tower of Power, to the grease of a couple of organ trios, to African music, Latin music, Grateful Dead music, and jazz with odd rhythms. It’s all quite invigorating, and as I’ve said many times before, Music Lifts Your Spirit. Get out and enjoy some.
Wednesday, Nov 15
Kandace Springs @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) Pianist and singer/songwriter Springs assimilates soul, jazz and pop while creating music that is distinctly her own. She started out in R&B/hip-hop, but found more comfort in jazz, citing folks like Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, & Roberta Flack as inspirations. When Prince heard her interpretation of Sam Smith’s Stay With Me, he invited her to perform with him at Paisley Park for the 30th Anniversary of Purple Rain.
Also: Rick Carlson and Thompson & Magraw @ Vieux Carré Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) followed by Butch Thompson & Dean Magraw at 8pm ($5)
Thursday, Nov 16
The Casualties: Bates, Castino, & Gastonguay @ Vieux Carré Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) The band: JT Bates, drums; Chris Castino, guitar; Kevin Gastonguay, keys. Chris Castino has been writing songs for the Twin Cities jam band Big Wu. for 20 years. However, his latest songs have a folk bent. I assume we’ll hear some of them tonight.
Maryann Sullivan: The Music of Fats Waller @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Fats Waller had the ability to be joyful, irreverent, insightful, and slightly bawdy, which is why, some 80 or 90 years later, his songs are an integral part of the jazz standards repertoire. Tonight Maryann Suillivan takes on his songs, with the help of Ted Godbout, piano; Preston Haining, trumpet; Amy Golen, vocals; and Jim Chenoweth, bass.
Also: Twin Cities Trumpet Ensemble @ Ives Auditorium, Burnsville. 7:30 – 9:30pm ($15) Jazz, Classical, and modern works from 24, yes 24 Trumpets!
Friday, Nov 17
Dorothy Doring & the Jazz Standards @The Undergound Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Ms Doring sings jazz standards accompanied by a quartet at this warm coffeehouse that serves beer and wine.
Nachito Herrera: Gershwin Meets Lacuona @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15, $20) Herrera takes a mostly solo turn playing the music of George Gershwin and the “Cuban Gershwin,” Ernesto Lacuona, best known in the States for the song Malaguena. He’ll be assisted in a few songs by daughter Merdalys. I had him on my show this past Saturday to talk about the event. You can hear it at: http://kfai.org/rhythmandgrooves. The interview starts at about the 15 minute mark. Here’s what he sounds like with a trio.
Also: Bruce Henry and The Atlantis Quartet @ Crooner’s Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. Bruce Henry in the main lounge at 7:30 (No Cover) and the Atlantis Quartet in the Dunsmore Room at 9pm ($12, $15) Jazz for the 21st Century
Saturday, Nov 18
Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) At 7pm the JazzINK Youth Showcase presents the The Tamberwood Quartet: Charlie Menken, saxophones; Robert Dean, piano; Harry Menken, bass; Nick Adams, drums. They will be followed at 8:30pm with two sets by Chris Bates Red 5: Chris Bates, Bass; Davu Seru, Drums; Chris Thomson & Brandon Wozniak, Saxophones; JC Sanford, Trombone; Thomas Nordland, Guitar; and Steve Kenny, Trumpet. While the Red5 is expanded to 7 tonight, here’s a video of the group as a quintet.
Hecho en Cuba Opening Reception, with Charanga Tropical @ Squirrel Haus Arts, 3450 Snelling Avenue So, Minneapolis. 3pm – 11pm (Free) This opening reception for an exhibition of Cuban art is presented in parallel to the Walker Art Center who, and includes photography, posters, folk art painting, small sculptures ad more. Charanga Tropical will be playing music from 8-11pm and I will be spinning rare Cuban Vinyl before and between sets.
Sunday, Nov 19
Brubeck Brothers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm & 8pm ($30, $35, $40) Dave Brubeck’s sons Dan, drums; and Chris; bass & trombone; join with bandmates Mike DeMicco, guitar; and Chuck Lamb, piano; for A Tribute to Dave Brubeck. Though the quartet’s style is “straight ahead,” they have the same ability to explore odd time signatures as the late pianist. All About Jazz wrote: There’s really nothing out there that comes close to their unique brand of inventiveness.”
Monday, Nov 20
Benny Benack @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20) NYC-based Benack is a dual threat on trumpet and vocals. He’s played in the Christian McBride Big Band, the Mingus Big Band, the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Sars, the Jimmy Heath Big Bandm, and Bobby Snabria’s Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra. He’s also been the trumpet soloist on Josh Groban’s tour, and headlined Birdland alongside Anne Hampton Callaway, in addition to headlining at a number of the big apple’s prestigious jazz rooms.
GRAIN B3 Trio @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Get your fill of soul jazz served up with a side of grease with JT Bates’ Trio: Kevin Gastonguay, B3, Zacc Harris, guitar, and JT Bates, drums.
Tuesday, Nov 21
Trapset @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) Trapset w/Joe Wong feat. Eric Kamau Gravatt, Lori Barbero, Gordy Knudtson, Todd Trainer 7pm, no cover
Also: Harvey Diamond & Melissa Stoudt @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 8pm – 10pm (Tip Jar) See last week’s listing for Nov 12, or go to my blog.
Blues, Roots, Other…
Wednesday, Nov 15
Charlie Parr on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) I bet many folks won’t wait to hear Parr on Hurricane Harold’s House Party, but will go to the 331early to get a seat. The place will be packed to hear Parr’s heartfelt and plaintive original folk blues and traditional spirituals.
Thursday, Nov 16
Sandra Bernhard @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($45; $55 and $80 seats are sold out) This is a show that definitely falls under “Other” as the multi-talented Bernhard brings her observational comedy to the Cedar. The comedian/actress/singer calls this show Sandra Monica Boulevard: Coast to Coast. In its review of this show, Variety wrote, “…within every keenly observed pop-culture rant, there’s an element of piercing truth. Bernhard remains as brash and brazen as she was in the 1970s.” The following clip includes some words that are not suitable for work.
Friday, Nov 17
High 48s & Jillian Rae @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 7pm ($20 Advance/$25 Door) The sprightly bluegrass rhythms of the High 48s will have you tapping your foot and nodding your head, as they sing of Bank Robbers, trains, and the vicissitudes of life. Jillian Rae’s fiddle playing and pop/folk approach to both classic rocks songs and her originals will leave you smiling at her talent and lyrics.
Grateful Dead Tribute @ Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7Advance/$10 Door) Deadheads unite! Dance and sway to Grateful Dead tunes and jams by JFLAD & Friends, Winterland, and headliner: The Shotgun Ragtime Band (w/Camile Baudoin of the Radiators)
Bobcat @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Bobcat is Bobby E, a great, but underappreciated guitarist, and Cathy Mosher, a fine singer well known for her Patsy Cline show
Also: New Riverside Ramblers @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) For all the Cajun Dancers out there.
Saturday, Nov 18
April Fools Album Release @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 9pm ($9 Advance/$12 Door) This quartet plays a wide spectrum of music, from straight-up country to Brit-pop, blue-eyed soul, and more. Besides Drake, the band includes Clay Williams, guitar; Scott Hreha, bass; and Ben Kaplan, drums. Tonight they’re celebrating the release of Colorwheel, their first release on Blackberry Way Records. Joining in the celebration are Rich Mattson & the Northstars, and The Magnolias, for a great evening of Minnesota music.
Saturday, Sunday, Nov 18, 19
Café Flamenco @ Park Square Theater’s Boss Stage, Saint Paul. 8pm Saturday, 5pm Sunday ($25) The basement stage at Park Square will become Flamenco Central, as the Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theater Company presents a concert of traditional flamenco dance and music, featuring special guests including singer José Cortés Fernanez, guitarist Chuscles, and dancer Jesus Munoz.
Sunday, Nov 19
Blues Aid @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 1pm – ? This fundraiser is for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, which are still in dire straits more than seven weeks after being completely battered by Hurricane Maria. This day is billed as an “Epic Blues Jam” with Armadillo Jump serving as the Jam Host Band. There will be a Silent Auction as well
Phil Heywood @ Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) The Dubliner takes on an especially cozy ambience when finger-picking champion Phil Heywood takes the stage. In addition to his formidable talent as a guitarist, Heywood’s pleasant baritone will soothe your aches and revive your spirit.
Monday, Nov 20
Elage Diouf @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15 Advance/$18 Door) Here’s a show for world music fans, as the Sengalese born singer/songwriter and master percussionist creates a blend of pop, world, blues, and asiko music, which has its roots in West African street drumming. He’s known for the warmth of his voice and his ability to engage audiences in his performance.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Nov 20, 21, 22
Tower of Power @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50, $65, $70), 9pm ($40, $55, $60) This horn band has been delivering Oakland funk since the 70s, and no one does it better, whether they’re delivering a James Brown homage or their hits like What Is Hip, You’re Still a Young Man, or Down to the Nightclub (Bump City). Always great fun.