Shows of Note: 8.20 – 9.10

August 18, 2017

Greetings and Salutations;

Design by Tim Nyberg, based on my photo

I’ve been heartened by the kind words and concern from everyone I’ve met while getting out the last few weeks. As an update, I can report that my health continues to improve. I’ve been spending much time with my own kind of “music therapy,” playing whole albums from start to finish and letting the music wash over me and improve my sense of well-being.

I realize I’m not being very consistent in releasing these occasional newsletters, but they’re coming as I have the time to put them together. So… here you are with some notable shows in the next few weeks, including links to find free shows (once you pay admission) at the State Fair. BTW, Thanks to Tim Nyberg for the photo. Get out and enjoy music, because I can certainly attest – Music Lifts the Spirit.

Jazz

Sunday, Monday, August 20, 21

Lee Konitz & Dan Teper @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 5pm & 7pm Sunday, 7pm & 9pm Monday ($30, $55w/Dinner) Alto saxophonist Konitz was part of Miles Davis’ ground-breaking Birth of the Cool Sessions in the late 40s, and has successfully performed in a wide variety of jazz styles since then, including bebop, cool jazz, and avant-garde jazz. He was an influence on both Paul Desmond & Art Pepper. Pianist-composer Dan Teper’s 2011 album Goldberg Variations/Variations received high praise from both the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. As a composer, he received a Charles Ives Fellowship form the American Academy of Arts and Letters.  He’s worked extensively with Konitz, so this evening should demonstrate the unique communication between the two.

Monday, August 21

Steven Hobert Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) The imaginative pianist performs with a number of different configurations  this one is a quartet with Pete Whitman, sax; Yohannes Tona, bass; and LA Buckner on drums. Special guest tonight is the tasteful guitarist John Penny. This clarity of this video isn’t great (duh!) but you can get an idea of what the quartet sounds like.

Sunday August 27

Aurora Nealand & Tom McDermott @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $45w/Dinner) Here’s an evening of traditional New Orleans Jazz, helmed by saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer Nealand, who served in the Panorama Jazz Band, VaVaVoom, and the New Orleans Moonshiners before forming her own Traditional Jazz Band – the Royal Roses. She also is the leader/frontwoman for the rackabillly band Rory Dander and the Danger Dangers, and was seen as herself in Treme. McDermott moved to New Orleans in 1984 after earning a Masters Degree in Muisc and writing music journalism for his home town morning newspaper in Saint Louis. He has since assimilated and made his own the unique styles of New Orleans.

Javier Santiago, featuring Proper-T @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm ($8) Pianist Santiago has been playing quite a bit in San Francisco of late, but continues to play around town. He is a prolific composer, as well as a teacher, arranger, and producer, performing an eclectic blend of Jazz, R&B, Rock, Hip Hop and everything in between. Vocalist Proper-T has performed all over town, most recently as a member of ZuluZulu and supporting Minneapolis artists such as Tickle Torture and Caroline Smith.

Wednesday, August 30

Lonnie Smith @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) An authentic master of the B3 organ, Smith may be the last of the first generation of soul-jazz B3 artists, having been at it for 50 years. He’s been recorded on over 70 albums, and has covered everyone from the Beatles and Sylistics, to the Eurythmics, including tribute albums to Hendrix, Coltrane, and Beck! This year he received the NEA Jazz Masters Award.

Friday, September 1

Henry Butler’s Jambalaya Band @ The Dakota, Minnapolis. 7pm $30, $35), 9pm ($25, $30) Pianist Butler is considered one of the best exponents of New Orleans Jazz and Blues piano tradition, building not the work of Professor Longhair, James Booker, Fats Domino, and Allen Toussaint. His music is an amalgam of all the musics that can be found in New Orleans – jazz, classical, Caribbean, blues, pop, and R&B. For fans of New Orleans music, this is a must-see performance.

September 9

Selby Avenue Jazz Festival, Selby & Milton, Saint Paul. Noon – 8pm (Free) This comfy neighborhood festival always features Twin Cities artists with a national touring artist as the headliner. This year’s headliner is Motor Soul Collective, a nine-piece group (featuring three vocalists) whose members have worked with folks like Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, Brian McKnight, Toni Braxton, Aaron Copeland, Sheila E, and the Sounds of Blackness, among others. Also on hand is the New Sound Underground, Salsa del Sol, Walker West’s Legends of Jazz, and the Selby Avenue Brass Band. Of course there will be the usual collection of food and crafts to help you through the day.

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Bassist/vocalist Lynch and her fellows – Chris Beatty, guitar; Steve Wagner, trumpet; Michael Nelson, trombone; and Ken Chastain, drums – are beginning a nine month residency at the Aster on the second Saturday of each month. Regular readers know I like this group quite a bit. The swing, and create fun versions of songs from the 30s through the 50s – a time when cocktails were new, and there was no question that dancing was part of the evening. Lynch also relates each song to what was happening at the time they were first released. The Aster has a small (almost non-existent) dance floor, which doesn’t seem to stop 4-6 couples from squeezing together to swing dance. BTW, I’ll have Lynch and her Fellows on my show on the 9th, so tune in at 10:30am to KFAI, 90.3 & 106.7 FM or at http://www.kfai.org, to hear what they sound like.

Weekly

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Blackdog, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 recommended donation) Steve Kenny curates this weekly event featuring two bands, the first at 7pm and the second at 8:30pm. He’ll be featuring his own quintet on the 26th, the free jazz trio of George Cartwright, Josh Granowski, and Dave King on September 2nd, and Snowblind on September 8. Go to http://www.saturdaynightjazzattheblackdog.info/about-the-venue.html for a complete listing of what is coming up.

Roots, Blues, & Other

Sunday, August 20

Tito Puente Jr @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20 Advance, $25 Door) Salsa fans will be out in droves to hear the son of the great Tito Puente. Puente Jr has his fathers passion for music and has been receiving praise from both Tropical and Latin Jazz crocs for his latest release: Got Mambo? As an added treat for the evening, the opening slot is being filled by Charanga Tropical, led by Doug Little, and featuring stately Charangas as well as high energy salsas.

Tuesday, August 22

Orkestar Bez Ime @ The Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Free) Here’s another show in the Nine Nights Of Music Program at the History Center. Orkestar Bez Ime plays high energy Balkan party music. It’s fast, frantic, and fun.

Wednesday, August 23

Uplugged with Willie Murphy, featuring Dean Magraw @ Crooners Dunmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40w/Dinner) From the folk/blues classic album Running, Jumping, Standing Still, through his work with Willie & the Bees, the Angel-headed Hipsters, and his solo shows, multi-instrumentalist Murphy has shown how to keep blues, R&B, and Rock n’ Roll exciting and new. Tonight he’s playing “unplugged” and has recruited the “Heavy Meadow” guitarist Dean Magraw as his partner for the evening. Between Magraw’s thorough facility with a number of styles, and Murphy’s reinvention of classic tunes, this should provide a satisfying evening of music. Here’s Willie in a jam at the Richfield American Legion Club.

August 24 – September 4

Minnesota State Fair @ State Fairgrounds, Saint Paul. (Various times and venues) There is lots of free entertainment once you get into the Fairgrounds, featuring some nationally known acts such as George Clinton, the Pointer Sisters, and Tanya Tucker, and a cornucopia of resident musicians. Check out the calendar on the State Fair’s site, for stages and performers, and to find acts appearing at various venues around the Fairgrounds, go to the listing that the MN Blues Society has compiled: http://www.mnbs.org/statefairgigs2017.html

Friday, August 25

Wayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) High energy zydeco from a scion of one of the more influential zydeco families in Louisiana (and consequently the world). Dopsie and the Hellraisers have been consistently named as the best zydeco band by Offbeat Magazine, and was named Best Zydeco Band of 2016 by the Big Easy Entertainment Awards. Insistent, infectious music, and sure to bring out dancers.

Friday, Saturday, August 25, 26

Hipshaker 15th Anniversary Weekender @ The Kitty Cat Klub, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Hard to believe, but Hipshaker turns fifteen this August, with two special nights at the Kitty Cat Klub!!! On Friday the 25th, Greg, Brian, and George will be be joined by San Antonio’s DJ Brian Poust for a night of rare Soul and Deep Funk bangers – all on 7 inch 45 RPM records! Then on Saturday the 26th, they’ll present the popular James Brown vs Motown showdown! I dare you to not dance.  BTW, Brand new t-shirts and mix tapes will be available both nights, while they last.

Sunday, August 27

David Bromberg Quintet @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($30 General Admission/$40 Center Section) Young Americana fans may not be cognizant of Bromberg, though they absolutely need to have his music in their libraries. Older music fans know that multi-instrumentalist Bromberg has been a solid performer of blues and other roots music since the 70s. He’s collaborated with Dylan, George Harrison, Emmylou Harris, The Grateful Dead, the Eagles, and countless other artists. His latest release, on Saint Paul’s Red House Records – The Blues, The Whole Blues, and Nothing But the Blues – was awarded Blues Album of the Year by the Downbeat Critic’s Poll. It contains Bromberg’s unique takes on songs by Robert Johnson, Bobby Charles, Ray Charles, and Sonny Boy Williamson among others.

Sunday, Monday,August 27, 28

Brian McKnight 4 @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($60, $70, $80), 9pm ($50, $60, $70) Vocalist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist McKnight has been a solid R&B performer since his debut album in 1992. Though he’s never had a number one hit, he’s consistently on the charts. A master of mellow music, McKnight’s ballads have helped him place 10 albums in the top ten, while selling 30 million records worldwide and receiving 16 Grammy nominations. As an aside, he was out of the music scene in the mid-aughts, as he played basketball for the ABA’s Ontario Warriors.

Wednesday, August 30

Saint Paul Ballet @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) Here’s what the ballet promo says about this event: “Featuring old favorites and enticing new work an evening of elegant and compelling entertainment awaits!”

Saturday, September 2

Hurricane Harold’s All-Star Revue @ Vieux Carré,  Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Harold Tremblay, host of Harold’s House Party on KFAI, has managed to be the most connected blues guy in town, knowing every roots and blues player in the area, and a surprising number from around the nation. His All-Star Revue always has A-List blues players, and is always fun. Here’s an example of past all-stars.

Thursday, September 7

Joga Bola @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm (Usually between $5 – $10) Groovy, often sensuous music from Brazil during it’s “golden age” of the 60s and 70s, played by a diverse, rotating cast of musicians, including: Mina Moore, Karen Quiroz, Adam Levy, John Munson, Tim O’Keefe, Andrew Gillespie, Charlie Peterson, Lucia Sarmiento

Sunday, September 10

Blues Fest @ Tally’s Dockside (Polar Lake Park), White Bear Lake. 11am – 7pm ($20 Advance, $30 Door, $40VIP Advance, $50 VIP Door) Here’s a chance to hear five of the area’s fine blues bands. It appears that Sunday is the second day of a BBQ and Craft Beer Showdown as well. Bands start at 11am with the Soulmates, and continue with Paul Mayasich, The Scottie Miller Band, Joyann Parker, and Inside Straight closing things out at 5:30pm

In the meantime you can find a fairly comprehensive list of links to venues that present Jazz, Blues, & Roots at this page on my website: https://rhythmandgrooves.net/twin-cities-music-venues/ Be aware that venues change their music policies often enough that it’s hard to stay current. For a quick look at what’s happening around town check out:

KBEM Calendar (covers jazz & roots): http://www.jazz88.fm/live-music-calendar/

JazzINK (as complete a live jazz calendar as you’ll find): http://www.jazzink.com

Minnesota Blues Society: http://www.mnbs.org/gigs.html

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Spring into Music: 3.22 – 3.28

March 22, 2017

Spring has now officially arrived, and we’ve a surfeit of talent to catch in clubs and restaurants, as well as in bigger venues, though arenas and theaters are not usually the subject of these weekly missives. Anyway, we do have some visiting artists that may get your attention as well. So start getting out that springtime wear, though here in Minnesota it’s always a good idea to keep winter wear handy until May. Just let music lift our spirits.

PS: The Spring Pledge Drive at KFAI goes until Friday. You can still pledge your support for my show by going to http://www.kfai.org and pledging on-line

Jazz

Wednesday, March 22

Dean Magraw & Butch Thompson @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Guitarist Dean Magraw shows up in these newsletters quite often, since he’s so damn versatile that he plays in a variety of settings. Tonight, he’s teaming up with pianist (and occasional clarinetist) Butch Thompson  whose knowledge of, and forays into, traditional and New Orleans jazz are formidable.

Debbie Duncan & Margaret Cox @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40 Dinner show) Here’s an intriguing match-up of two vocalists. Duncan is well-known in jazz circles for her very able, and sometimes sassy, interpretations of standards and blues. Cox  on the other hand, is better known to Prince aficionados, having recorded numerous unreleased songs with him. She is also a featured singer with Mambo’s Combo (aka The Combo) at Bunkers. Back in the day she sang with the Doug Maynard Band and the TC Jammers among others, and then led Ta Mara and the Scene, a Jesse Johnson-produced example of the Minneapolis sound of the 80s. She always kills it during Combo appearances, and will provide a strong foil to Duncan. Here’s a video for one of the few Prince songs that was released.

Sound/Simulacra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 Student w/ID) Each month John Keston  sound design; and Cody McKinney, bass, composition; bring together improvising musicians to attack music from several directions. This week’s special guest is violinist Leah Ottman, aka LOTT (Wind in the Willows), who has brought her classical experiments music to both roots and rock bills around town.

Thursday, March 23

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) A classic piano trio led by the inimitable Peter Schimke  whose chops have been honed in a variety of settings and recordings. He’ll be accompanied by Chris Bates, Bass; and Cory Healey on Drums. Here is Schimke solo.

Paris Chansons @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) Julia Kantor, a sultry Ukranian songstress, together with her husband Jacob, from Russia, and Max Cohen, from Morocco, perform jazz standards and other classics in French, Russian, Italian, and other languages. The singers of the Los Angeles based Paris Chansons will be backed by their five piece band.

Peter Kogan Quintet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Former Minnesota Orchestra tympanist Kogan has been keeping busy performing jazz since his retirement a couple of years ago. Tonight, his group consists of: Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Pete Whitman sax; Phil Aaron, piano; Jeff  Bailey, bass ; with Kogan on drums. It may be a classic hard bop line-up but Kogan’s compositions explore many more avenues in jazz.

Friday, March 24

Sophia Shorai @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm-9pm (Tip Jar)

Shorai’s honey-sweet vocals, when combined with her ability to convey heartache with the slightest crack of her voice, are reasons to sit close to the stage at this somewhat noisy place.

Wozniak, Adkins, Peterson, Peterson @ Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Tonight a couple of up and coming musicians: Patrick Adkins, piano, compositions; Luke Peterson, drums, compositions; perform with a couple of veterans: Graydon Peterson, bass; and Brandon Wozniak, sax; .

Kneedelus @ the Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapoils. 8pm ($28) A Live Collaboration between Kneebody and Daedelus  Many in the jazz community find Kneebody’s music, which is certainly based in jazz, to be unclassifiable, though they’ve collaborated with musicians in a number of genres, even getting a Grammy nomination for their work interpreting the music of Charles Ives. According to Nate Chine in the New York Times, the music of Kneebody  “uses a common jazz instrumentation to make a somewhat less common amalgam of urban-signifying genres, from electro-pop to punk-rock to hip-hop.” Tonight they are playing with Daedelus, a producer with 18 solo albums to his credit, as well as EPs and dozens of remixes for other artists. Their work together ranges from chill mediations to explosive grooves.

Saturday, March 25

Dorothy Doring: Roaring 20s Cabaret @ Eagan Community Center, 1501 Central Parkway, Eagan. 2pm ($15 Adults, $10 under 12 – Cash or Check only) Doring is an engaging, soulful vocalist who will be performing a one hour show as a scholarship fundraiser for her teacher sorority – Alpha Delta Kappa.  (The ECC is located off 494 & Pilot Knob Road)

4th Annual Jazz at Studio Z Festival @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 5pm – 9pm ($12 Advance, $16 Door) Zacc Harris and his JASZ associates have presented a consistently good monthly series at Studio Z, using both straight-ahead and forward looking groups. Things kick off today with Real Bulls, the JT Bates/Dave King drum duo, and continues with Dean Granros’ guitar-driven Tall Tales; The Adam Meckler Quintet, featuring Meckler’s intriguing compositions; and closes with  Drobka/Weller, a drums/sax duo from Milwaukee & Chicago who are about to release a CD.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm is the Shapira/Granros duo, featuring guitarists Joel Shapira and Dean Granros. At 8:30pm it’s The Ruckus Birthday Tour Conclusion w/ Rodney Ruckus, drums; Jonathon Greenstein, sax, Adam Meckler, trumpet; and others TBD

Sunday, March 26

Katia Cardenas’ Birthday Bash @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 5pm ($8 Advance, $10 Door) Vocalist Cardenas has been very busy of late, with auditions and workshops for various shows and a number of part-time jobs, in addition to preparing for this show. Last year’s debut CD, I’ll Be Seeing You, does a good job of spotlighting her versatility and commanding vocals. She’ll be doing songs from the Great American Songbook, as well as songs by Carole King, Amy Winehouse, and other contemporary singers.

Monday, Tuesday, March 27, 28

David Sanborn @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50, $60, $70), 9pm ($40, $50, $60) Sanborn is a talented saxophonist who can appeal to dance-floor R&B fans as well as a listening-only jazz audience. He’s won six gold records, and one platinum record, and eight Grammys, and hosted a TV show. He’s played with David Bowie, Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, James Brown, The Stones, The Butterfield Blues Band, and more.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, March 22

Lowland Lakers on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Folk/bluegrass/Americana from this trio with roots in Duluth. Tune in, listen, and BTW, pledge.

Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes @ the Dakota, Minnapolis. 7pm ($45-$60) Rowdy, passionate, bar band R&B from Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes. Johnny is an alumni of bars on the Jersey Shore, where he and friends Bruce Springsteen and Steve Van Zandt came up before hitting the big time, a few decades back. He more than satisfied with his performance at the Dakota last year around this time.

Thursday, March 23

Battle of the Blues Bands @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Famous Dave’s in Uptown is once again having a weekly showcase for blues bands. Tonight, the bands vying for a slot at the Lowertown Blues Festival are: Crooked DiceVibronautsMonny Ray & Triple Trouble; and the Mark Cameron Band.

Las Cafeteras @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm  ($27, $32) Las Cafeteras are an East Los Angeles band of “immigrant children,” as they call themselves. They mash up punk, hip-hop, cumbia, and rock to deliver socially conscious messages inspired by the communities in which they live. Resident artists Alma Andina open with a modern take on music from indigenous cultures of the Andes.

John McCutcheon @ the 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 9pm ($30 Tickets here) The folk veteran makes a rare appearance in this area. He’s recorded 34 albums and has thoroughly toured the US and the world. McCutcheon’s latest album, Trolling for Dreams, was released in February. This small room, with a capacity of less than 50, will provide an intimate setting for his music.

Rose Ensemble: Musique et Masqueray @ The Saint Paul Cathedral, Saint Paul. 7:30pm. ($15 – $38) Architect Emmanuel Masqueray (1861-1917) designed a number of outstanding places of worship in the area, and for four nights, the Rose Ensemble will be performing French Baroque music in them. Tonight kicks off the series at the Cathedral of Saint Paul, with guest artists Patricia Halverson, viola da gamba; Scott Pauley, theorbo; and Bruce Jacobs, organ; sitting in as the Rose Ensemble performs works by Charpentier, Cosperio, and others. On subsequent nights, the music will be performed at Saint Francis Catholic Church in Benson; (Friday), the Basilica of Saint Mary in Minneapolis (Saturday), and the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas in Saint Paul (Sunday).

Friday, March 24

Cory Stevens @ Flat Earth Brewing, 688 Minnehaha Ave East, Saint Paul. 7pm ($15 includes one standard brew) Sample the brews of Flat Earth while listening to Stevens, a blues-based guitarist and singer/songwriter who early on (in the 90s) was compared to Stevie Ray Vaughn, but has since developed his own rockin’ sound. Flat Earth is located in the historic Hamm’s Brewery complex.

Dee Miller Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 Reserved table) Powerhouse vocalist Ms Miller  aka The Duchess of the Blues, does real well with the weekend crowd at Crooners. Her uptempo tunes, duets with harpist Paul Meja, and choice covers often have people dancing in the aisles.

Nikki & the Ruemates @ Dusty’s Bar, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Under the Radar gig of the week, though the band’s fans (and there are many) are likely aware of this monthly gig. As regular readers may remember, Nikki & the Rue-mates play folk/rock and blues, drawing on inspiration for their originals from the late 60s and early 70s, though they’re also exploring vocal group harmony. Dusty’s is a hole-in-the-wall bar, so much so that Nikki, Rich, and Jon set up in a booth, while fans line the bar and fill up the few tables that are available.

Hipshaker 45 RPM Dance Party @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm – 2am ($5) Hipshaker deejays Brian Engel, Greg Waletski, and George Rodriguez continue to entice college students and young graduates, along with a smattering of Gen Xers and the occasional Boomer with their collections of rare soul and funk 45s. Tonight they have a guest sitting in with some rare tunes: DJ Jameson.

Friday, Saturday, March 24, 25

Al Stewart Plays Year of the Cat @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55, $65) Scottish singer/songwriter Stewart first took up guitar when he was swept up in Britain’s skiffle boom of the late 50s. He took guitar lessons from Robert Fripp (who would later lead King Crimson); roomed with Paul Simon in London (before Sounds of Silence was a hit); and had future Yardbird Jimmy Page playing guitar on his first single in 1966. It wasn’t until 1975 that Stewart came into his own, however, with the release of Year of the Cat, with the title song becoming a top ten hit around the globe. He followed that with Time Passages, another hit album. He’s not been able to reproduce that success, though he has continued to record and tour ever since, and in 2005 EMI records released a 5 CD box set. He’ll be performing The Year of the Cat, and more with backing from Marc Macisso and the Empty Pockets Band.

Saturday, March 25

Upper Mississippi Cajun Trio @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. Noon – 2pm (No Cover) The Como Dockside is now featuring Saturday lunch music, featuring mostly Cajun groups. Today it’s a trio that I believe has performed under other names, but includes Shawn Glidden, Doug Lohman, and Marie Stier.

Saturday Salon: Eva Beneke @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 3pm ($20) The delightful, Saturday afternoon chamber music series at the Dunsmore Room continues with guitarist Eva Beneke  The McNally Smith teacher has performed at international guitar festivals in the China, Peru, and throughout the US, Canada, and Europe. Her performances have been broadcast internationally, and on NPR, and include a live-televised performance with Carrie Underwood at the 2010 American Country Music Awards.

Minneapolis Music Showcase @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12 Advnce, $15 Door) Here’s a chance to see four up and coming bands in one venue and still get out early enough for another show or a good night’s sleep. Headliners Sawyer’s Dream is a 7-piece band w/4 part harmonies, performing original songs inspired by Mark Twain, and the harmonies of bands like the Mamas and Papas and ABBA. The River High features the male/female vocals of Justin Law and Rena Carlson Rasmussen, along with fuzzed out guitars and a strong rhythm section. The Friendly Beers is a blue-collar rock band from Saint Paul, and Jeromy Darling is a songwriter and actor.

Soul Tight Committee @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 8pm ($8 Advance/$10 Door) Get out your dancing shoes and head to downtown Saint Paul where this ten-piece band will be laying down old school R&B, mostly from the 70s.

Charlie Lawson Band w/Guest Larry Hayes @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Lawson continues his monthly residency at this warm pub. Tonight, he and his band will be joined by guitarist Larry Hayes, a founding member of Lamont Cranston, and composer/writer of “Excuse Moi, Mon Cheri” for the Blues Brothers. Hayes has won a number of MN Music Awards and is a favorite of other Twin Cities guitarists. He’s helmed the very excellent Larry Hayes and the ToneArms and currently performs with Mississippi Driftwood

Sunday, March 26

Greazy Gravy @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 3pm – 7pm (No Cover) It’s a matinee performance for this blues band featuring harp master Curtis Blake  Members of this band have been laying down blues licks for decades, so their blend of BB King, Albert Collins, a little Eric Clapton, and Chicago Blues goes down very easy.

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.


Happy New Year! 12.28 – 1.3

December 28, 2016

unknownIt’s time to put this year behind us. Though some of us have experienced triumphs and celebrations during the year, many would agree that it’s been a year filled with fear, loathing, and sadness. There is plenty of music to send 2016 on its way, from talented resident artists of many genres to a couple of visiting artists. There are, of course, many other options than those I’ve listed, for NYE, but be sure to check with venues, as some of the NYE events I’ve listed may be sold out by the end of the week. Have a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.

Jazz

Wednesday, December 28

Rio Nido @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) A beloved trio, Rio Nido came out of the West Bank music scene of the late 70s, with their unique blend of voices and a repertoire of songs from the 30s and 40s. After a decades long hiatus, they started returning to performing a year or so ago, welcomed so much that a third show was added for this gig. Prudence JohnsonTom Lieberman  and Tim Sparks are successful performers in their own right:, Johnson as a singer with more than a dozen recordings to her credit, as well as extended appearances on Prairie Home Companion; Lieberman as a producer and songwriter, and Sparks as an award-winning guitarist who’s equally at home with folk, jazz, country blues, and gospel.

Patrick Harrison/Larry McDonough Quartet’s Twisted Holidays @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Harrison – No Cover), 8:30pm (McDonough) The evening starts with button accordionist Patrick Harrison playing for the dinner hour. Then at 8:30 pm Larry McDonough and his quartet put uncommon meters, rhythms, and harmonies to a selection of seasonal songs as well as some originals and songs from Chet Baker, Bill Evans, Led Zeppelin, Spinal Tap, Paul Simon, and others.

Wednesday, Thursday, December 28, 29

Connie Evingson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40 Dinner Show) Connie Evingson can sing bebop, blues, bossa novas, the Beatles, Peggy Lee, and Gypsy Jazz with equal ease. Her pitch is perfect, her tone is slightly husky and a bit sensuous, and her timing is impeccable. She’s had ten CDs in the top fifty in both the US and Canada, and has appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra, Prairie Home Companion, Jazz at Lincoln Centyer and at other high profile venues. Her holiday CD, The Secret of Christmas, gets lots of play on my system each year. If we’re lucky, she’ll sing the Petit Nutcracker Suite, a 7 minute distillation of Tchaikovsky’s score for the classic Christmas ballet.

Thursday, December 29

No Exit: Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Drummer Luke Peterson leads this young group, which tonight has a couple of special guests who are veteran players. Performing tonight are:  Brandon Wozniak, Sax; Jack Courtright, trombone; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Adam Astrup, guitar; and Graydon Peterson, bass.

Will Schmid Quartet @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7:30 – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Seems I had the wrong date last week for this Reverie debut of another group of up and coming  players on holiday leave from college. Will Schmid, guitar; Patrick Adkins, piano; Alma Engebretson, bass; Jesse Thorson, drums.

Vicky Mountain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) The ever versatile Ms Mountain can heartily swing a bebop tune, and turn around and deliver a soothing ballad, or hip R&B tune. The excellent voice teacher will be accompanied by Dave Martin on guitar for an intimate evening of music.

Friday, December 30

Jeremy Walker/Pat Mallinger Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Walker – No Cover), 9pm ($12 Cash only) Pianist Jeremy Walker starts things off during the dinner hour. Then The Pat Mallinger Quartet, with: Chris Lomheim, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums takes the stage at 9pm. Mallinger is a saxophonist who grew up in Saint Paul and now lives in Chicago, where he is co-leader of Sabertooth, a group that’s been performing till the wee wee hours each week at the city’s Green Mill since 1992. He also plays with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, the Bobby Lewis Quintet, the Arty Hoyle Quintet, and his own Quartet, and is a jazz educator of note in the Chicago school system.

TK Wallace’s Hard Bop Playhouse @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) It’s college night at Jazz Central, and things kick off with this group of students who are home for the holidays: Jordan Anderson, piano; Tyler Wagner, bass; Peter Goggin, sax; and Edmund Catlin, drums. They’ll be playing tunes by Wayne Shorter, Thelonious Monk,a nd more, followed by two more college groups.

Saturday, December 31

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 5pm (Tip Jar) This may be the first time that the Black Dog is open until the New Year’s countdown, as past years they’ve had an early, family-friendly countdown. The celebration starts with Todd Harper, keys; Eric Coursen, drums; and Aaron Kerr on electric cello playing from 5pm to 7:30pm. Then at 8:30, Hoaxer, the college-age band, takes the stage: Will Kjeer, piano; Charlie Lincoln, bass; Peter Goggin, alto; and Edmund Catlin, drums. Topping things off will be an all-star jam session anchored by Steve Kenny and Dave Brattain, beginning at 10:30pm and going until the new year.

SouthSide Aces, w/Patty & the Buttons @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($22 Advance, $25 Door) It’s a New Years Eve Dance party at the Eagles, as the Aces and Patty & the Buttons take to the small stage with a big dance floor. Both groups draw mostly on music from the 30s and 40s. While the Aces mine traditional New Orleans music, Patty & the Buttons use Gypsy Jazz and popular songs of those decades to successfully entice dancers.

NYE at Parma, with Arne Fogel & The Benny Weinbeck Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 6pm (Fogel); 9pm (Benny Weinbeck Trio) Arne Fogel sings for dinner-time festivities (6 till 9pm) with Rick Carlson, piano; and Gordy Johnson, bass. Then Benny Weinbeck takes over with his trio, Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. Sadly, Parma is discontinuing Singers Night on Fridays, though Weinbeck and his trio will continue to perform Saturdays.

Sunday, January 1

Twin Cities Hot Club @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Maybe you chose to stay home for NYE, but are now itching for music. Or maybe you simply enjoy the acoustic, romantic, and swinging music of artists Django Rheinhardt, Stephane Grapelli, and other proponents of Gypsy Jazz, such as the Twin Cities Hot Club: Robert Bell and Reynold Philipsek, guitars; Gary Schulte, violin; and Matt Peterson, bass.

Monday, Tuesday, January 2, 3

Terence Blanchard Live Recording @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45, $50) New Orleans born trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard has a beautiful tone, and creates music is often cinematic in scope, as exemplified by the over 50 soundtracks he’s composed, including Blanchard’s beautifully heartbreaking score for A Tale of God’s Will, Spike Lee’s documentary on Hurricane Katrina. Blanchard’s 2015 release, Breathless, finds him playing with a group called the E-Collective in a genre-crossing groove-laden fusion of jazz, funk, and R&B. He’ll be joined by them at the Dakota, and recording the event for inclusion in his next album.

Tuesday, January 3

Thompson, Balluff, Pikal @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Well, if you’re a fan of traditional jazz from the early part of the 20th Century, you’ll do no better than to hear Butch Thompson, piano; Tony Balluff, clarinet; and Steve Pikal, bass, play this evening.

Tuesday, Wednesday, January 3, 4

Dick Oatts Quartet @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $45 Dinner), 9pm ($15) Iowa born and raised, alto saxophonist Dick Oatts began his professional music career in the Twin Cities in 1972, and moved to NYC in 1977 where he became a member of the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra. He has since worked with such big bands as the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Lester Bowie, Joe Lovano, Paquito D’Rivera, Tito Puente, Kenny Wheeler, and Gunther Schuller as well as a number of big bands from Europe. He’s also recorded and toured with small groups led by Red Rodney, Bob Brookmeyer, Mel Lewis, Fred Hersch, and others, and has a dozen and a half albums as a leader. Tonight he’ll be backed by a stellar line-up: Bill Carrothers, piano; Billy Peterson, bass, and Joe Pulice, drums.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, December 28

The Eddies on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) It’s a rare day in December when this “almost acapella” group crosses the river from Saint Paul to Minneapolis, but they’re now at it annually for the House Party show between Christmas and New Years. Their repertoire includes songs of life, work, and death, from traditional mountain songs to sea shanties, and tunes by Bob Marley, and The Rolling Stones.  Be aware that KFAI has had problems broadcasting due to the recent ice storm snapping its hardware, so you may need to tune in to http://www.kfai.org to stream the show.

Thursday, December 29

Mayasich Mayhem @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Guitar master Paul Mayasich is joined by his brothers Mark and Greg, as well as John Iden and Joe Luoma, for the final Hot Seat at Crooners.

Curtiss A & The Cold Cold Hearts Sing Hank Williams @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8 Advance, $10 Door) Rocker Curtiss A does a John Lennon tribute each year; has a blues band (The Dark Click); leads a rock band (The Jerks of Fate); and occasionally does an Elvis Presley show. Tonight, however, he’s performing his annual Hank Williams tribute, a warm tribute to the classic country singer/songwriter. Bonus: Curtiss A’s sometimes rambling, often hilarious commentary.

Thursday, Friday, December 29, 30

The New Standards @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($30, $40) Give these musicians credit, where credit is due. While jazz musicians have always drawn from pop music, only a few have embraced post-60s rock, notably Miles Davis, with the Cyndi Lauper tune Time After Time, and The Bad Plus, who featured songs from Blondie and Queen amongst their originals. About ten years ago, Chan Poling, keys (The Suburbs); John Munson, bass (Trip Shakespeare, SemiSonic); and Steve Roehm, vibes (Billygoat, Electropolis); formed The New Standards to concentrate on acoustic, jazzy versions of post 60s rock. They became national and international stars as a result. If you didn’t catch their annual holiday extravaganza this year, you can see them as a trio in the comfier confines of the Dakota, bringing new life to songs from Lou Reed, the Outkasts, Britney Spears, T Rex, and their own bands.

Friday, December 30

Rena Haus Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 10AM – 1PM (Tip Jar) It’s a special Pre-New Years Brunch at Hell’s Kitchen, and they’ve brought in the very special Rena Haus Trio just for the day: Rena Haus, guitar and vocals; Bob Haus, bass; and Ed Petsche, guitar. Rena’s originals are often highly amusing, sometimes racy, and occasionally political, with appearances by classic blues songs. Brunches at the Kitchen can be mighty crowded, so you may want to get a reservation to ensure you’re close to the band.

Willie Walker and the We R Band @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) It’s a good night to warm up for NYE with both Willie Walker and Willie Murphy (below) playing, though it gives us a good problem of whom to see. Walker is the winner of two awards in the 2016 Living Blues Critic’s Poll: Comeback Artist of the Year and Best Blues Album of 2015 for his release If Nothing Ever Changes, a well deserved award. He is most assuredly a Twin Cities Treasure.

Willie Murphy & The Angel-Headed Hipsters @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapoils. 8pm ($7) Many folks who party hearty all year round, or who have had enough to last a lifetime, think of NYE as amateur night, and stay home. Willie Murphy is similarly inclined, and chooses to celebrate on the eve of NYE. Whether you want to stay home NYE, or have the energy to party two nights in a row, be sure to bring your dancing shoes, as Murphy’s brilliant arrangements of both his own songs and others that you know and love will have you gyrating before you can say Happy New Year.

Nooky Jones + Dem Atlas @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($10 Advance, $12 Door) Nooky Jones has been around the Cities for a couple of years now, spreading smooth neo-soul with hearty elements of jazz and R&B. Among its members: Cameron Kinghorn, vocals/trumpet; Adam Meckler, trumpet; and Kevin Gastonguay, keys. Opening is rapper/hip-hop artist Dem Atlas  who signed with Rhymesayers Entertainment in 2013 and toured a number of festivals opening for Atmosphere. He recorded with the French group Ursus Minor last year and is about to drop a new CD in 2017.

Saturday, December 31

The Good, The Bad, and the Funky @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Get down, Get Funky, and Dance to this ten-piece band (including a five-piece horn section) covering both old-school and new-school funk and soul.

Hot Pants/Hipshaker 45RPM Dance Party @ The Kitty Cat Club, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) The two best Dance Parties in town once again team up to present rare, original Funk and Soul 45s from the collections of Brian, George, Greg, Ben for New Year’s Eve. They get some extra special help from the distaff point of view as special guests Elizabeth Christian and Paula Carrillo join them. This event is always a hit, so arrive early to avoid disappointment.

The Last Revel @ Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) This acoustic trio describes their sound as Front Porch Americana, which seems about right, especially if you like to party on said porch. They are talented multi-instrumentalists, who bring the acoustic guitar, upright bass, fiddle, 5-string banjo, harmonica, kick drum and three-part vocal harmonies to their performances, whether they’re singing delicate ballads or high energy stompers. Special guest: Richard Hanson.

Papa John Kolstad: Masquerade Party @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) Lately, Papa John has been playing with the New Phits: Bill “Wailin’ Willie” Smith, harmonica/vocals: Gary Powell, aka Tiny Gene Pool, slide guitar/vocals; Mark “Rizz” Rizzardi, bass/vocals. Papa John will be playing 12-string guitar, singing, and adding amusing anecdotes and political musings to the mix, as well as bringing in trombonist/bassist Sam Fiske to play. Expect some four-part harmonies from the group, as well as Morris Dancers, a piper to bring in the New Year, and a Celtic blessing, not to mention bubbly at midnight and people in costumes.

Joyann Parker @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($30) With a voice that combines the emotion of the blues with the fire of rock, Joyann Parker has been making her mark on the Twin Cities Blues scene for the last few years, representing Minnesota in the 2015 International Blues Challenge. Her 2015 album, On the Rocks, was named Best Self-Produced Album by the MN Blues Society, and has been nominated for Best Independent Blues Music Award. The guitarist/pianist and songwriter has become a regular at Vieux Carré, drawing more fans with each appearance.

Hookers $ Blow @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($25) If you’re looking to dance to some 70s R&B, then H$B are the band to hear. This group of stellar musicians led by Adam Levy will be delivering the goods in the Cafe’s River Room, which is standing room only tonight. Call for reservations if you want dinner beforehand.

Charlie Lawson & Friends @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 10pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Lawson is taking on NYE for a fun-filled evening with: Jim Ouska, guitar; Lorent “Slasher” Dwyer, bass; Marty Bryduck, drums. With Special Guests Langer’s Ball, the husband and wife team of Michael and Hannah Sturm playing punk Irish music.

Sunday, January 1

Corpse Reviver @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 3pm – 5:30pm (Tip Jar) Maybe you need the Corpse Reviver classic cocktail after last night, but it’s most likely you need a shot of the group that plays music from the classic Harry Smith Anthology of Folk Music. It’s especially noteworthy that today’s edition of Corpse Reviver includes: Mikkel Beckman, percussion; Jillian Rae, fiddle, and Charlie Parr, guitar. Here are two of the three musicians.

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.


Halloween, Hot Jazz, and More: 10.26 – 11.1

October 26, 2016

unknown-1Ed Note: Updated Saturday, October 29.

Well, we have a Halloween weekend coming up, with many more special events and appearances than I’ve listed. If you don’t feel the need to don a different identity and celebrate, there’s still plenty of fine, fine, superfine music to enjoy including some hot jazz, a winner from America’s Got Talent, stompin, rompin’ blues and some music from Lousiana. Remember, music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 26

The Niska’s @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40 Dinner Show) This vocal trio were the focus of Five by Design, which has toured the world for 26 years using close-knit harmonies to feature pop, jazz, and the occasional folk songs. There are still harmonies, only they are three part, fueled by two brothers, Terry and Kurt Niska. They’ll be backed by pianist Steven Hobert, a veteran of Five By Design tours, and guitarist Vinnie Rose.

Tri0 @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Intiguing trio, with John Keston, electronics, Graham O’Brien, drums, and Cody McKinney on bass. I suspect that the electronics, whether synthesizers, sequencers, loopers, or whatnot, will determine the direction of this trio.

Thursday, October 27

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Bottomless Pit, with Eric Kamau Gravatt, drums; Joel Shapira, guitar; Pete Whitman, sax; Tom Lewis, bass. A gathering of veteran players, who between them, have traveled the world performing jazz. Note especially Eric Kamau Gravatt, who has toured with both Weather Report and McCoy Tyner.

Hot Sardines @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $45), 9pm ($30, $40) Hot is the appropriate adjective here, as this 8-piece band plays music from New Orleans, Paris, and New York during the period from the Great Depression to WW II. You’ll hear songs from Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Mamie Smith, Billie Holiday, and more. It’s foot stomping, heart pounding music that earned them 15 straight sold-out shows at Joe’s Pub in NYC and appearances at the Montreal Jazz Festival, and the Boston Symphoy.

Niny Salem @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) As far as I know, Salem is a relative newcomer to our jazz scene, and is described as follows: “With Southeast Asian roots and life experiences from four different continents, Salem brings her understanding and love of culture, music, and languages when she performs.” She’ll be joined by Jon de Vaal on piano and Steve Pikal on bass, for an evening entitled “My Life Story in Songs.”

Friday, October 28

MN Hard Bop Collective Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Jesse Simon, drums; Javi Santiago, piano; and Ted Olsen, bass perform the jazz of the 60s that successfully combined jazz, gospel, and blues to create foot-tapping, exciting music.

Jazzland Wonderband @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) This quintet takes traditional New Orleans jazz, a bit of second line, and just a hint of contemporary R&B to create a danceable mix that’s sure to get you moving your body and bring a smile to your face. The group consists of Cameron Kinghorn, trumpet and vocals; Nelson Devereaux, reeds; Keith Hilson, trombone; Andres Crovetti, drums; and Evan Clark, tuba.

Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $42) Vocalist Murphy was washing cars for a living when he auditioned for America’s Got Talent, and made it all the way to the top, winning with the biggest vote total in the first six seasons of the show. As a result, he signed with Columbia and had his debut album produced by Grammy winner Steve Tyrell. The crooner has sold out over 100 concerts across three continents.

Saturday, October 29

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm: JazzINK Youth Showcase, featuring the Roseville HS Combo. You can always count on an impressive performance from each year’s combo, as their instructor is saxophonist Pat Moriarty. Following at 8:30pm is Pat Moriarty/Ellen Lease  with Pat Moriary, saxes; Ellen Lease, piano; Chris Bates, bass; Davu Seru, Drums. This is a group that produces accessible, yet freely improvised music, a testament to their communication skills, which can almost seem like the “mind-melding” of Star Trek’s Spock. They may also do a few of Moriarty’s through composed pieces. Here’s an example of Pat and Ellen with a slightly different lineup.

Jazz at Studio Z w/Aaron Hedenstrom Quintet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 6pm (workshop), 7pm ($10advance, $15 door, 12 and under: free) This is the kick-off for this season’s Jazz at Studio Z series. Aaron Hedenstrom, recently returned to Minnesota, is a saxophonist/composer who will be joined by pianist Bryan Nichols; guitarist Zacc Harris; bassist Graydon Peterson; and drummer Miguel Hurtado. Hedenstrom has has performed across the United States as a performer, clinician, and composer, having written numerous big band works, string arrangements, small group pieces, and chamber works. He’s appeared at jazz venues and festivals throughout the country including Snug Harbor in New Orleans, the Scat Jazz Lounge in Fort Worth, and the Dakota. His workshop at 6pm will cover Strategies for Improvising on Complex  Chord Structures. Here is Hedenstrom in a duo context.

Christian Howes w/Jazz Ensembles I & II @ Ted Mann Concert Hall, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) Violinist Christian Howes is in town for a residency at the U, and is performing with two of the U’s jazz ensembles. He has toured the Ukraine and Montenegro for the State Department. His 2012 release, Southern Exposure received high praise from the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, Downbeat, and Jazz Times, and resulted in a six-night run at Lincoln Center, while his 2015 release, American Spirit, garnered a “Best of 2015” award from Huffington Post.

Sunday, October 30

Jennifer Grimm @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Vocalist Ms Grimm is starting a new weekly series at Crooners, bringing her considerable talent, as well as talented family and friends, to the lounge stage. Note how well she does with a noisy State Fair crowd.

Monday, October 31

U of MN Combo, featuring Christian Howes @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID)  Christian Howes, one of the best jazz violinists currently active, is in town for a residency at the U. Tonight he is playing with the U’s Combo, which is directed by Phil Hey. Howes has toured the Ukraine and Montenegro for the State Department. His 2012 release, Southern Exposure received high praise from the NY Times, the Wall Street Journal, Downbeat, and Jazz Times, and resulted in a six-night run at Lincoln Center, while his 2015 release, American Spirit, garnered a “Best of 2015” award from Huffington Post. See the Tuesday listing below for additional performances. Here he is doing a song by a James Brown sideman, as popularized by Jaco Pastorius.

Tuesday, November 1

Patrick Harrison/Sophia Shorai @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (Harrison, No Cover), 8pm (Shorai, $5) For the dinner hour you get Harrison playing blues and swing on the button accordion, followed at 8 by vocalist/pianist Sophia Shorai and her trio.

Christian Howes w/Jazz Ensembles I & II @ Ted Mann Concert Hall, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) Violinist Howes (see Monday listing above) is performing with two of the U’s jazz ensembles.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, October 26

Bernie King & the Guilty Pleasures on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Rootsy Guitarist/songwriter/singer King and the band  perform originals that show influences of Johnny Cash, Tom Waits, and Greg Brown. Together with the Guilty Pleasures – John Kurtis Lead Guitar, mandolin, and Vocals; Julie King- Washboard, and percussion; Bradley Smith- string Bass – he’s released two well-received albums and garnered many fans.

Radio Joe & the Jazzbos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) Start with a singer/songwriter who can compose romantic, swinging’ tunes in addition to being a fine guitarist. Add a vibraphone, bass and drums, and you’ve got the makings of a great little band with a lush sound reminiscent of quartets from the 40s, just right for playing jump tunes, boogie woogie, and vintage swing.

Thursday, October 27

Rockin’ Pinecones @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. ($5) Dance music from Louisiana, including New Orleans rhythms, Cajun, and Zydeco sounds from Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton and his band of fun-makers.

Friday, October 28

Sena Erhardt Band @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($?) Erhardt  is often touted as a rising star on the blues scene, a reputation that’s buoyed by her incendiary performances. She’s released three albums, all of which have earned accolades and nominations for blues awards. If you want to hear some rockin’ blues, you’ll want to be here.

Saturday, October 29

Tex Pistols @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Cool name, though they certainly aren’t from Texas. This quintet is from right here in the land of 10,000 Lakes. They play Boomer music – Neil Young, Eagles, John Hiatt, the Beatles – with verve and excitement.

New Orleans Suspects & Raw Oyster Cult @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($30) Wow! Here’s a combination of New Orleans bands that will definitely help you celebrate Halloween, or whatever you want to celebrate. The New Orleans Suspects are Mean Willie Green on drums, from the Neville Brothers; Jake Eckert, original guitarist for The Dirty Dozen; keyboard player CR Gruver who has been a sideman for Leo Nocentelli; and saxophonist Jeff Watkins, who spent twelve years leading the James Brown Band. Raw Oyster Cult includes Radiators alumni Dave Malone, Camile Baudoin, and Frank Bua Jr., along with John Gros from Papa Grows Funk and Dave Pomerleau from Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes. Hey Pockey Way, indeed!

Boogie Wonderland Monster Mash @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm (?) Okay, the band already dresses up as escapees from a 70s disco, so a Halloween bash is a no-brainer. Add the fact that they nail so many of the songs from the disco era, and you’re ready to Get Down Tonight!

Hipshaker Halloween @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 9:30 (Suggested donation, $5, to $???) Well the Bedlam is going to close on November 2, unless they can come up with some serious bucks, and what better way to send them off then with a Halloween Dance Party featuring the funky 45s of Brian Engel and friends. All proceeds go towards paying off the debts of the club/theater. Note that it would help if the club to get rid of all their beverages and food before closing, so you may want to depend on Uber, Lyft, sober friends, or the LRT to take you home.

Sunday, October 30

Reverend Raven & the Chain Smoking Altar Boys @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 3pm ($?) Reverend Raven was born in Chicago, and what he does is play traditional Chicago-style blues with great passion. It works, as he and his band have been nominated for a number of awards, including a Grammy nomination, and has been voted the Best Blues Band in Milwaukee in 2012, 2014, and 2015. As an added attraction, Stevie V & the Knockouts will open.

Monday, October 31

Davina & The Vagabonds Halloween Show @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($15) Davina and her band may not be the first band you think of for Halloween, but in actuality, they can put together a show for any holiday, Davina’s impassioned vocals and honky tonk-ish piano playing, together with the raucous sounds of the Vagabonds, make any day a party day.

Tuesday, Wednesday, November 1,2 
Booker T. Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55) 9pm (Wednesday Only, $32, $42) Jones was only a teenager when he began hanging out at Stax Records and recorded Green Onions with the MGs, essentially serving as the house band during the subsequent explosion of soul music in the 60s. He’s a member of the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, The American Musicians Hall of Fame, and has received the Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Whether you’re a baby boomer who grew up with his music, or a millennial who appreciates soul music, you will be thrilled by 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.


Penultimate Summer Music: 8.24 – 8.30

August 24, 2016

2015-09-07 15.50.34Can it be that it’s time for the State Fair already? Oh the time goes by so quickly when you’re having fun, and we certainly do that every summer here in Minnesota and the Twin Cities. There is music everyday at the Fair, and not just in the Grandstand, which has some noteworthy attractions this year, as do the free outdoor stages at the West End, the Leinie Lodge, and the Intenational Bazaar. I’ll let you check the Fair’s website. I can’t say there’s jazz, but there’s lots of other kinds of music. The Minnesota Blues Society has kindly put together a list of performances on a daily basis, which you can find here. In the meantime, there’s lots of jazz around town. Have fun, music lifts your spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 24

Pat Donahue and Dean Magraw @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm A guitar-lovers dream as Donahue, a finger-picking champion, and Magraw, a genre-shifting magician, play together in a listening room where they can be best appreciated.

SH4 @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) This is the newest group from pianist Steve Hobert  whose playing can often be described as sparkling, etherial, and downright full of wonder. He’ll be joined by Johannes Tona, bass; LA Buckner on drums; and Jabari Powell, a newcomer to town, on alto sax. They’ll be performing jazz and R&B standards from folks like Duke Ellington, Nina Simone, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, and Kendrick Lamar.

 

JelloSlave @ Mill City Museum, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm ($5) This is a “new music” quartet, with quotation marks, in that they have been around long enough that they aren’t new, but rather play new compositions. With two cellos, tabla, and a drum kit, they play classical compositions, as well as pop/rock compositions, sometimes combining them into one piece. Michelle Kinney, cello; Jaqueline Ultan, cello; Gary Waryan, tables; and Greg Schutte, drums, don’t play that often as JelloSlave  so see them while you can, especially considering the unique venue of the outdoor plaza at the Mill City Museum.

Thursday, August 25

Andrew Walesch Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Walesch is a talented pianist/vocalist with a predilection for the Great American Songbook and a singing style that evokes crooners of the past. Tonight he’ll be performing songs about the fleeting passing of summer, with help from the venerable Dave Karr on sax; the always swinging Billy Peterson on bass; and ace timekeeper Pete James Johnson on drums.

Friday, August 26

Jeremy Walker; Southside Aces @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Walker – No Cover); 9pm (Aces – $10) The folks at Vieux Carré have hit on a winning formula: bringing in terrific solo artists for the 6pm dinner show, and equally terrific groups for the 9pm shows. Tonight, pianist/composer Walker will play during the dinner hour, then at 9pm, the six-piece Southside Aces will heat things up with traditional New Orleans jazz. With a sousaphone!

 

Adam Booker’s Hip-Gnosis @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/studentID) Adam Booker is a bass player who currently teaches at the UofMN-Duluth. He has an extensive history with groups such as The New Orleans Hot Club, the Jazz Pharaohs, the Asylum Street Spankers, and others. He’ll be joined by Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Aaron Hedenstrom, tenor; and Ben Baldwin, drums.

Boo Boo’s Last Birthday @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 10pm ($10, $5w/studentID) This is the last event in this summer series, as each of these young musicians head back to their respective colleges. Edmund Catlin, drums; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Levi Schwartzberg, vibes, have been performing a Thelonious Monk album every other week at Jazz Central this summer. See what they’ll play for their last performance.

Saturday, August 27

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) A couple of younger bands tonight, starting with Amythest 3: Byron Johnson-Blanchard, drums; Josh Granowski, bass; and Park Evans, guitar. Followed at 8:30 or so by No Exit, a group of post high-school students who will all be going back to college in the next week or so: Peter Goggin, alto; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Adam Astrup, guitar; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Luke Peterson, drums.

Nicole Mitchell @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10/$15) Wow! Kudos to whomever booked Mitchell  a jazz flautist, who has consistently won Downbeats award for rising flautist before awards as an established flautist during the last decade. She formerly served as the first female to be president of Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, and is the founder of a number of groups, including: The Black Earth Ensemble, Black Earth Strings, and Sonic Projections. tonight, she’s accompanied by Bryan Nichols, piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Davu Seru, drums.

Sunday, August 28

The Peterson Family: Songs Our Mother Loved @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm ($15, $40 w/Dinner) For the 95th anniversary of the birth of the late Jeanne Arland Peterson, her children, all of whom have been highly successful in the music business, have prepared a special show. Patty Peterson on vocals, Linda Peterson on keys and vocals; Billy Peterson on bass; grandson Jason Peterson DeLaire on saxophone and piano. Jeanne Arland was named an Arts Midwest Jazz Master in 1998, and was the second woman named to the Minnesota Hall of Fame, after Judy Garland. This is sure to be a warm, loving, and entertaining tribute to “The Matriarch of Minnesota Jazz.”

Connie Evingson @ The Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm, 7:30pm ($30) Ms Evingson continues her regular appearances at the Jungle. This time she’s singsong from the Ella Fitzgerald songbooks, backed by the ace trio of Tanner Taylor, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Dave Karr, sax. The afternoon show is about sold out, but fans can still find seats for the 7:30 show.

Monday, August 29

Return of Born to Be Kind of Blue @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.8pm ($10) Larry McDonough and his septet keep filling up the Dakota with this show featuring the music of Chet Baker and early 60s era Miles Davis. If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s your chance. Larry McDonough, piano and vocals; Steve Kenny, flumpet; Richard Terrill, tenor and soprano saxes; Jeff King, alto and baritone saxes;  Jim Bierma, bass; Dean White, drums; and Guest: Carol Bergquist, flute

Bill Carrothers and Anna Mjoll @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($12, $40 w/Dinner) Pianist Carrothers must really like the Dunsmore Room, since he travels from Michigan’s Upper Penisula regularly to play there. This time the internationally known pianist is bringing an Icelandic singer with him. Mjöll grew up in a musical household (her parents had a successful band and a TV show), and after competing in the Eurovision singing contest, toured the world with Julio Iglesias.

Tuesday, August 30

Pat Mallinger & Bill Carrothers @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm – 9pm ($15) A concert in which two Saint Paul natives return to the Twin Cities. They’re both monsters of their respective instruments: the piano for Carrothers, appearing for the second night in a row, and the saxophone for Mallinger. This should be fun!

Chris Lomheim/JT Bates GRAIN Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Lomheim – No Cover), 8pm (GRAIN – $6) Another complete evening of jazz at the Vieux. Pianist Chris Lomheim creates luminous, dreamy moments as he plays for a dinner crowd. Then the highly active drummer JT Bates brings his organ trio to the stage, with Kevin Gastonguay on B3, and Zacc Harris on guitar. It’ll be a jazz party!

Aaron Hedenstrom Big Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Saxophonist/composer recently finished up his PhD in music and has moved to the Twin Cities, where he’s been playing in various groups. HIs is a big band gig, which will likely be more like an open rehearsal. It will be interesting to hear Hedenstrom’s take on big band music.

Tuesday, Wednesday, August 30, 31

Jane Monheit and Nicholas Payton @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7-m ($35, $45), 9pm ($25, $35) Vocalist Monheit and trumpeter Payton are calling this show Ella and Louis revisited. Since her beautiful voice vaulted her to stardom in 1998’s Thelonious Monk competition, Monheit has released nine albums and has guested on a number of others. The 39 year old still has a terrific voice, as exemplified in her latest release, The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald. It was produced by New Orleans native and fantastic trumpeter Nicholas Payton, so I guess it seemed natural that they collaborate on this project. If they can have half as much fun as Ella and Louis Armstrong, it will be a great show.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, August 24

Hounds of Finn @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. noon – 1pm (Free) This trio performs music based on the roots of Celtic and American traditions, that is music inspired by Celtic, Americana, Blugrass and other folk and roots music from around the world. Its members are Pete McCauley, on vocals, mandolin, and guitar; Michelle MacGregor on fiddle and bodhran (that skinny drum often played with a small double headed stick); and Lojo Russo on vocals, guitar, mandolin, bodhran, and bass.

Kildahl & Vonderharr Trio on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Kit Kildahl, guitar; Boom Boom Steve Vonderharr (aka Stevie V) on harp; and Dave Pengra, bass guitar; all hail from the Mankato area. Kildahl and Vonderharr put out a fine blues album a few years back called Working Without A Net, featuring some snappy originals and a few choice covers. Tune in during the 5 o’clock hour, and then head over to the 331 Club.

Mehmet Polat Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Three virtuoso practitioners of instruments that are definitely not European. Mehmet Polat was born and raised in Turkey, and studied Ottoman music in Istanbul, where his approach to playing the oud eventually landed him in Amsterdam. There he studied and immersed himself in the music of a number of other cultures, including Persian, Flamenco, and African music. He formed a trio, whose other members are pekin Basar, who plays the Ney, an end-blown flute that may be the oldest kind of instrument still in use, and Victor Sims, on ngoni and percussion. I believe there’s also a Kora, a 21 string instrument from West Africa, in the mix. The resulting music is, at times, contemplative, and spicy.

Thursday, August 25

The Honeydogs @ Music in Mears, Saint Paul. 6pm (Free) This is the last performance of this year’s Music in Mears series, and the organizers are presenting us with one of the finest rock/pop bands in the area. Under the leadership of frontman/guitarist/songwriter Adam Levy, they’ve produced 10 albums and a Best of compilation since their 1995 debut on Mercury records. No less an artist than Al Kooper is a fan, as is the mayor of Saint Paul. The Latin Billies, a sextet that performs in both English and Spanish, open.

Dan Tedesco w/Hannah Von Der Hoff @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) If you’re looking for a lower key evening, this double bill of singer/songwriters might just fill the bill. Headliner Tedesco, who hails from Des Moines these days, is a guitarist/singer songwriter whose influences range from Van Halen and Pete Townsend to George Benson and Wes Montgomery, though he admits that the rock n’ roll side is dominant. Von Der Hoff is a bluesy, soulful singer/songwriter who sometimes leads an R&B-ish band, though tonight she’s flying solo.

Friday, August 26

Soul Tight Committee w/Ginger Apocalypse @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm (Free) As summer winds down, so do some of the outdoor series we’ve been enjoying. This is the last performance in the Rhythm in Rice series, featuring the tight, ten-piece R&B horn band Soul Tight Committee. Opening is Ginger Apocolypse, for whom it is hard to find information. It might be an electronic/metal band or a horde of red-haired, freckle-faced, pale skinned zombies.

Buffy Sainte-Marie @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $50) Those of you of a certain age may remember her songs “Universal Soldier,” or “Until It’s Time for You To Go.” If you’ve followed her closely, you know that she co-wrote “Up Where We Belong” with Joe Cocker. And, she was on Sesame Street for five years in the mid-70s. Her songs have been covered by The Indigo Girls, Janis Joplin, Neko Case, Dottie West, Glen Campbell; Andy Williams, Barbra Streisand, Sweet Honey in the Rock, Donovan, and many more. Sainte-Marie has a new album out, Power in the Blood, with a batch of new songs, some of which cover social criticism, while others are love songs and one is a blues rocker. Here them now before they get covered.

Malamanya Album Release @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) If you missed their performance at the Icehouse last week, have no fear. Even if you caught it, this is a CD release party, so the energy and excitement will be even more pronounced for these purveyors of classic Cuban sons, energetic salsas, and other Latin rhythms.

Friday, Saturday, August 26, 27

Hipshaker 14th Anniversary Party @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5?) Now one of the longest running funk soul dance nights in the country, Hipshaker is celebrating its 14th Anniversary as a 45RPM Dance Night with a two night blowout. Friday night is dedicated to Hipshaker favorites, while Saturday night will be a showdown between Motown and James Brown. Dance, Dance, Dance.

Saturday, August 27

Nikki Roux & Rich Rue/Erica West Band @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Nikkie & Rich – No Cover), 9pm (Erica West $8) Again we have a one-two punch at the Vieux, with Nikki & Rich providing bluesy folk and folk-rock during the early evening, and the Erica West Band starting at 9pm. West is a sultry, powerful singer with a six-piece back up band. West and the band perform blues, R&B, and jazzy versions of standards.

Wenso Ashby Live! @ the Penumbra Theater, 270 Kent Street, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm ($10 general, $15 Reserved) Ashby is a keyboard player who started out as a producer in hip-hop and has had some significant success in the smooth jazz area, though he calls it Contemporary Jazz With Soul. He’s released six albums, often featuring a female singer, and tonight he’ll be presenting music from a singer/songwriter point of view. The show also features K Jay The Comedian, and proceeds will be donated to the Hallie Q Brown Food Shelf.

Sunday, August 28

Lonnie Knight Cancer Fight @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 1pm ($10 Donation at Door) Veteran guitarist/singer Lonnie Knight started as a folk singer back in the antediluvian days and was part of the burgeoning Twin Cities rock scene in the early 60s. He’s since gone on to record and perform with a slew of better known, if no more talented, performers. Of late, hes been fighting off cancer, but still needs help with medical expenses. A number of friends are helping out by performing, including Mick Sterling, the Lisa Wenger Band, Mary Jane Alm, James Loney and Lolo’s Ghost, anmd the Smokin’ Section, in addition to Knight himself. There’ll be an All-Star Jam, and well as a live auction and raffle.

Tuesday, August 30

Cajun Crawfish Hotdish @ Sea Salt, Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm (Tip Jar) Cajun Crawfish Hotdish is not a new offering from the popular restaurant, but rather a seven-piece group that lays down the Southern Louisiana sounds that make people get up and dance. You can even dance a step or two while waiting in line for Sea Salts signature dishes of crawfish, fish tacos, oysters, and gumbo.

 

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.


New Year, New Music: 12.30.15 – 1.5.16

December 30, 2015

imagesThe end of the year provides us with a chance to celebrate another orbit around the sun, and look forward to a new year of challenges, disappointments, hopes, and accomplishments. Whether you celebrate with a nice dinner at home, dancing, or otherwise partying, you will have plenty of options, a few of which I’ve listed. In the meantime, check out some of the shows by young musicians back in town from college, as well as those from the veterans that are performing in the first days of the new year. Have a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.

Jazz

Wednesday, December 30

Luke Peterson Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) A number of Dakota Combo alumni, as well as other young lions on the music scene are back in town from college for the holiday break. Tonight you can hear five of them: Luke Peterson, drums; Jack Courtright, trombone; Peter Goggin, alto sax; Charlie Lincoln, bass; Will Kjeer, piano.

Thursday, December 31

Jazzland Wonderband NYE Dinner Show @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 5:30 – 8pm ($45, includes 3 course dinner) Trad jazz and early swing from JLWB, as they’re called on their website  Cameron Kinghorn, trumpet & vocals; Nelson Devereaux, reeds; Keith Holdon, trombone; Andres Crovetti, drums; Evan Clark, tuba.

Debbie Duncan @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 6:30 – 9:30pm ($75 for a 4 course dinner) Here’s another early evening show for those of you who would rather be home when the clock strikes twelve tonight. Ms Duncan will provide her usual outstanding vocals. I’m not sure if you will be required to order the dinner, so call and make a reservation.

JoAnn Funk @ St Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm -11pm (No Cover) Start off your New Year’s Eve with a visit to the Lobby Bar, where you can hear Ms Funk and her cohort Jeff Brueske on bass as they perform elegant, and often witty, jazz versions of songs from a wide variety of talented songwriters. Tonight they’ll be doing a tribute to Frank Sinatra, with special guest Steven Marking on vocals.

AQ NYE Reunion @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 9pm ($65, $100 VIP) New Year’s Eve at the Artists’ Quarter was always a warm, family affair, whether the family was related by blood or community. A couple of the long-time supporters of the club have put together a reunion, this time in a different basement. You’ll hear the wonderful Carole Martin on vocals, supported by her son-in-law Kenny Horst on drums; Chris Bates on bass; Phil Aaron on piano; and Dean Magraw on guitar. There will be a couple of guests sitting in as well. Complementary hors d’oeuvres are part of the offering, and reservations are recommended. More information and reservations can be found here.

Friday, January 1

Siama Matuzungidi @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 10am – 1pm (No Cover) Start off 2016 with brunch, accompanied by the Soukous stylings of Africa’s legendary Siama, guitar; Dallas Johnson, vocals; Tim O’Keefe, percussion.

Sound Skirmish @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Here’s another quartet of young lions taking advantage of the holidays to play together, this time doing original music. Patrick Adams, piano; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Drew Stinson, bass; Ben Ehrlich, drums.

Saturday, January 2

Will Schmid Duos @ 318 Cafe, Excelsior, 8pm ($5) This evening will include two duos led by high school student and guitarist Will Schmid. He’ll be joined by another guitarist, Adam Aastrup, who is currently in the Dakota Combo. Then Schmid will join rock/pop vocalist Kalli Anderson for second set of music. Who says Jazz is dead?

Patty Peterson @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) The legendary Ms Peterson brings her mix of jazz and R&B to the spacious lounge at Crooners.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening at 7pm is a talented group of high school students performing as Trap Tube: Jordan Anderson, piano; Gerhardt Robinson, sax; Alma Engebretson, bassist; Simon Petrick, drums. at 8:30, a special edition of Central Standard Time, with a mix of veterans and young lions, performs: Steve Kenny, flumpet; Brandon Wozniak sax; and JT Bates, drums; are the veterans, while Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Will Kjeer, piano; are all college students.

Monday, January 4

Will Kjeer Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Young pianist Kjeer spent a year at Interlachen  in Michigan, and is now attending the California Institute of the Arts. Even before leaving town, however, Kjeer was gigging professionally, with Steve Kenny’s Group 47 and his own Blue Heaven. Tonight he’s joined by some rising stars of the Twin Cities music scene, none of whom are more than ten years older than Will:Nelson Deveraux, sax; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Tuesday, January 5

Chris Lomheim @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) Elegant piano musings inspired by Bill Evans, but solely Chris Lomheim.

Butch Thompson @ The Dunsmore Room at Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($15 Minimum) Traditional jazz and blues, played on the room’s 9 ft piano, along with Thompson’s edifying commentary on tunes.

Phil Aaron Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) A third piano gig for the evening, this time featuring the always tasteful Emmy-winning composer Phil Aaron. He’ll be joined by Gary Raynor on bass, and Jay Epstein on drums. A winning combination. Here he is with a slightly different trio.

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, December 30

The Eddies on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club, Tip Jar) Perhaps the last tradition of the year. Saint Paul’s Eddies cross the river to appear on Harold Tremblay’s House Party and then head over to the 331 Club to sing 5 part a cappella harmonies on sea chanties, and easy-to-sing-along favorites, from the Rolling Stones to Billy Joe Royal, and Bob Marley.

Willie Walker & The We R Band @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) It’s been a good year for Willie. He’s put out an excellent CD, produced by Rick Estrin of Little Charlie and the Nightcats, and has toured Brazil, Italy, California, and most recently, played Switzerland with this band. If you don’t like to go out on New Year’s Eve, this NYE Eve party might be just the ticket.

Lonesome Dan Kase @ Palmer’s, Minneapolis. 11pm (No Cover) A man and his guitar  channeling the ghost of bluesmen from the 30s by playing traditional finger-picking blues and hollers for your listening pleasure.

Thursday, December 31

Davina & the Vagabonds @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($112 includes 6 course dinner), 10:30pm ($94) If you’re up for a big celebration, this would be the one. Davina will be raising the roof.

Hookers $ Blow @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Dance the year away to the sounds of this highly talented band led by Adam Levy  playing 70s covers, or as they call it “music from a more permissive era.”

Hipshaker/Hot Pants New Year’s Eve @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20) It’s a rare funk n’ soul bonanza and the deejays behind Hipshaker and Hot Pants combine to ring out the year with floor stomping rare 45s. Here’s an example of the kind of music you’ll hear.

Friday, January 1

Butanes @ Shaw’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover) Guitarist Curt Obeda realizes that not everyone enjoys “amateur night,” as NYE is often known, so the Butanes are moving their weekly gig by one day, which allows them to start off the year in the best possible way – playing the blues.

Sweet Tea @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) This up and coming band is heading to Memphis to represent Minnesota at the International Blues Challenge in January. The band is driven by the passionate vocals of Joyann Parker, the rest of the band provides the power that excites dancers and listeners alike. Mark Lamoine, guitar (Dee Miller, Perfectly Loud), Nick Zwack, drums (Armadillo Jump); Mick Zampogna , keys; and Michael Caravale, bass (Lamont Cranston, Davina & the Vagabonds)

Saturday, January 2

Hurricane Harold Duo @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (No Cover) Harpist Hurricane Harold excels, whether playing with a full band or a duo, which may include such collaborators as Doug Otto or Jeff Ray, with each of whom he’s recorded fun albums. Here he is with Doug Otto.

Sunday, January 3

Phil Heywood @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11am (No Cover) His upcoming gig with Dean Magraw and Tim Sparks in Hopkins is sold out, but you can still hear this fine fingerpicker while enjoying brunch.

Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 3pm – 6pm (No Cover) This eleven piece band  who performed and recorded in Havana last June, provides some mid-day Latin dance music to get your blood circulating and your pheromones bouncing.

Doug Otto & Friends @ Dusty’s, Minneapolis. 5pm (Tip Jar) This NE bar is so tiny that musicians have to use a booth to perform. The result is a perfectly intimate show featuring guitarist/vocalist Otto, and some of his very talented friends.

Sunday, Monday, January 3,4 

Tribute to James Brown w/Sonny Knight & Lakers, Fred Wesley, and Jabo Starks @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $35), 9pm ($20, $30). When Sonny & the Lakers recently performed at the Dakota, Sonny’s voice was strong, and the Lakers tore through their songs, much in the way that the Godfather of Soul would conduct his shows. So it makes sense to have them team up with a couple of original members of the JBs – trombonist Fred Wesley  who has appeared at the Dakota before, and the “original funky drummer” Jabo Starks – to perform Brown’s songs.

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.


Outdoors. Indoors. Music: 7.22 – 7.28

July 22, 2015
Lowertown Blues Festival. One opportunity for outdoor music

Lowertown Blues Festival. One opportunity for outdoor music

It’s Summertime, and there are many outdoor events featuring great music. I’ve included a few here. But don’t forget some of the indoor venues as well. We abound with opportunities to lift our spirits through music. Take advantage of them. And if you’re going to an outdoor event, take a picnic.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 22

Steve Kenny’s Group 47 @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5) Trumpeter Kenny has assembled a group of excellent young players to play with him. The result is invigorating jazz. Thomas Strommen, sax, is in his third year of studies at UW River Falls; pianist Will Kjeer was a member of the Dakota Combo and led his own groups before graduating high school and going off to study at Interlachen in Michigan for a year; Adam Tucker, bass, slightly older, but still in his 20s, and has worked with the Adam Meckler Orchestra, and the Jana Nyberg Group, in addition to being a producer; Drummer Alex Burgess is also a student at UW-river Falls. this is what they sound like.

Andrew Walesch Quartet @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7-m (No Cover) This is becoming a regular gig for young Mr. Walesch  and he deserves it. The singer/pianist always has stellar accompanists who help him swing so well that couples are inspired to dance.

APE:Adrian Peterson Ensemble @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Adrian Suarez, drums; Joe Strachan, keys; and Graydon Peterson, bass will present some surprising versions of unlikely songs. It’s bound to be a playful evening of jazz.

Thursday, July 23

Zack Lozier Three @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 5:30pm – 7:30pm (No Cover) Lozier  on trumpet and vocals; Steve Pikal, bass; and Steven Hobert, piano provide a bunch of Louis Armstrong and New Orleans jazz for the dinner hour at the new Saint Paul venue.

John Raymond’s New York Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) It’s been about 10 years since Raymond  a Minneapolis native, left to study at Eau Claire, and six years since he relocated to NYC, where the young trumpeter has successfully integrated himself into the music scene. He plays with Orrin Evans Big Band at Smoke, as well as with Ethan Iverson and Linda Oh, leads his own quartet, and was recently profiled in Downbeat. Tonight he’s celebrating his second CD, Foreign Territory, an album of mostly originals. He’ll be accompanied by Dan Tepfer, piano; Chris Tordini, bass; and Jay Sawyer, drums. I did a phone interview with him this past Saturday (the 18th) which you can hear at http://kfai.org/rhythmandgrooves. The interview starts at about 23 minutes into the show.

Erin Livingston @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Livingston is equally at home with gypsy jazz, the blues, the Great American Songbook, or the Beatles. She’s been singing a lot with the Parisota Hot Club.

Nichols/Bates/Bates @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Bryan Nichols  piano; Chris Bates  bass; and JT Bates, drums. They’ve been friends and musical collaborators for many years. Expect originals and very interesting takes on jazz standards.

Friday, July 24

Zacc Harris & Javi Santiago @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 5:30pm – 7:30pm (No Cover) The folks at Vieux Carré are wisely featuring early evening music for those who want to sample their New Orleans – inspired food, as well as early evening music fans. Tonight its pianist Javi Santiago, whose becoming a mainstay in the area, along with guitarist Zacc Harris.

Jon Pemberton’s Tribute to Lee Morgan @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Pemberton is a composer, pianist, and trumpeter. It’s the last artistry that he’ll be employing tonight as he and his cohorts present an evening of music by and dedicated to trumpeter Lee Morgan. He’ll be joined by Dave Brattain, tenor sax’ Mikkel Romstad, piano; Tom Lewis, bass, and Jay Epstein, drums.

Friday Night @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The fun begins with Mississippi, a quartet of intense players whose interests range from modern jazz to Peruvian festijos, to hip hop. Members are: Peter Schimke, piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; Pete Whitman, saxes; and Kevin Washington, drums. Then at 9:30 Six Families Presents: Piss Lasso will take over. It’s a large experimental group whose music includes minimalist drones. Members include: JT Bates, Cory Healey, Jake Baldwin, Andrew Thoreen, Adam Zahller, Cole Pulice, Joseph Strachan, Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, Nelson Devereaux, and Michelle Kinney, among other

Atrium Jazz Trio @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 10pm – 11pm (Free) This group is led by Jeremy Walker on piano, and often includes JT Bates on drums, and Anthony Cox on bass. It’s an after-concert performance, presented as part of Orchestra Hall’s Sommerfest

Saturday, July 25

Sophia Shorai @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Sit close to hear the sweet vocals of Ms. Shorai.

Corey Healey Beautiful Sushine Band @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5-$20 Suggested Donation) Rather than going with two different bands, tonight’s band will do two sets. The band is led by Corey Healey, drums; and includes Erik Fratzke, bass; Zacc Harris guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax. Two sets

Jazz @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. (Free) More Sommerfest Jazz in the Atrium:  JT Bates Trio performs from 6pm – 7:45pm, and the Chris Lomheim Trio performs from 10pm – 11pm.

Monday, July 27

Lindsay Pedalty Trio @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Vocalist Pedalty doesn’t play out enough, as far as I’m concerned, though I’m sure she’s inhibited by her day job. At any rate, she’s got a fresh sound, a great sense of rhythm, and impeccable backing from her dad, pianist Bruce Pedalty, who has long played jazz and blues around town. His song If Nothing Ever Changes, was chosen as the title track for the new Willie Walker album.

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, July 22

Lynn O’Brien and Steven Hobert @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Lynn O’Brien is a singer/songwriter with a charming way with words and music. Steven Hobert is a jazz pianist around town, though he occasionally takes side trips into other genres. Together, they’re a promising duo that will surprise.

I Like You on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This six-piece band creates Sunshine Pop for the 21st Century, incorporating bits of world music into their upbeat sounds.

James Cotton Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $45) The 80 year old Grammy winning blues harpist is among the last of the original Chicago Blues legends of the 50s and 60s. Though Cotton has been playing since he was 9, and his voice is just a hoarse croak, and he leaves the singing to Darell Nullisch, a fine blues singer in his own right, as evidenced from his time with Anson Funderburgh and the Rockets. Hoars or not, Cotton still blows a mighty strong harp.

Thursday, July 23

Big George Jackson @ Big Daddy’s Old Fashioned BBQ, University & Dale, Saint Paul. 3pm – 6pm (No Cover) While away the afternoon with Big Daddy’s Blues on the Patio series, today featuring Big George  a singer/harpist whose booming voice will shake the ground on which you’re standing.

Papa John Kolstad @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8pm – 11pm. (Tip Jar) Papa John returns to his neighborhood haunt, aka, Best Neighborhood Bar in Mpls, to entertain with his dry wit, excellent guitar playing, and vast repertoire of blues and acoustic swing.

Womenfolk Live @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($8) This benefit for KFAI features Vicky emerson, Mother Banjo, Katy Vernon, and Sarah Morris, a quartet of talented singer/songwriters having fun with the proceeds going to KFAI, where Mother Banjo (Ellen Stanley) hosts Womenfolk.

Friday, July 24

Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders & Zoo Animal @ Music in Mears, Saint Paul. 6pm. (Free) The annual Thursday night series ion Lowertown’s park continues with the minimalist grunge of Zoo Animal (opening) and Crankshaft’s “pork net” style of stripped down, raucous blues at about 7:15 or 7:30. Followed by a film.

Hipshaker Dance Party @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Next month will be a big blowout as the Hipshaker deejays celebrate another anniversary of this long-running 45rpm dance party. Rare and not often heard funk and soul for your dancing pleasure from Greg, Brian, and George, though there may be a guest deejay.

Friday, Saturday, July 24, 25

Palmfest @ Palmer’s Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm Friday, 2pm Saturday. This annual event at the “Best Dive Bar in the US” (Esquire) always features a wide variety of roots, rock, and blues and this year is no different, with Friday bands ranging from the Liquor Pigs and duet of Spider John Koerner and Charlie Parr to Wain McFarlane, while Saturday’s line up starts with the Palmerceuticals, and features The Changeups,  Rising Side, Cadillac Kolstad, McNasty Brass Band, Eleganza, Sister Claypso, and more.

Saturday, July 25

Lowertown Blues Festival @ Mears Park, Saint Paul. Noon – 10pm (Free) Main Stage: McNally Smith FunkHeads; Dee Miller Band; Lisa Wenger & Her Mean Mean Men; Jimmi & the Band of Souls; Walter Trout; Elvin Bishop. Juke Joint Stage & Food Court: Jimi Prime Time Smith and Big George Jackson. At 10pm head to the after-parties at various clubs around Lowertown, including Willie Murphy @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar.

Butanes @ Big Daddy’s BBQ, Saint Paul. 4:30 – 7:30pm (No Cover) Meanwhile, you don’t have to go to downtown Saint Paul to catch some blues, as Big Daddy’s continues their Blues on the Patio events with Curt Obeda and his talented cohorts.

Battle of the Garages! @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm ($20) Rock your socks off to the sounds of headlining garage band legends the Pandoras, and all-female band from LA, and the Lyres of Boston. Of course our own Mighty Mofos, L’Assasins, and Beebe Gallini, will get the evening started right. Here are the Pandoras in the 80s.

Sunday, July 26

Cafe Accordion Orchestra @ Roseville Central Park, Roseville. 6:30pm (Free) Bring a picnic and recall (or imagine) time in Paris as Dan Newton and his pals play musettes, tangos, and French favorites in the outdoors

Eleni Mandell @ Treehouse Records, Minneapolis, and The Turf Club, Saint Paul Noon (Treehouse – Free) 7pm (Turf Club – $12) Mandell is a successful indie singer/songwriter who peppers her songs with hints of jazz and country, and who writes smart lyrics, whether about motherhood or wanting to be a mistress. She’s currently touring behind Dark Lights Up, a brand new release on Yep Roc Records She’s played more in-stores at Treehouse than any other artist. Then in the evening she’ll appear at the Turf Club, with Courtney Marie Andrews opening.

Tuesday, July 28

Scottie Miller @ Lowell Park, Stillwater. 6pm (Free) Another outdoor event for music lovers, this one featuring Scottie Miller  that singing piano player whose music has touches of New Orleans, rock n’ roll, and Americana. Don’t forget your picnic.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar. Dancers might want to check out the calendar for U Wanna Dance


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