Post-Election Music: 11.5 – 11.11

November 5, 2014

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

Jazz

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Music for an Early Spring: 3.21 – 3.27

March 21, 2012

Minnesota Spring. Photo by Ellen Empson (www.ellenempson.com)

Well, Spring has officially arrived, though the warm weather we’ve had makes it seem that perhaps we’ve skipped Spring entirely. Not many are complaining. Though the outdoors beckon, there are many good reasons to go indoors and hear music this week, including an open rehearsal, and a modern big band performance, some touring artists, a couple of CD release parties, and a benefit with some very unique combinations of musicians.  Have fun.

Jazz

Wednesday, March 21

Good Vibes @ Cafe Maude, South Minneapolis. 7pm (No cover)  The diners at Cafe Maude will get a special treat tonight. Chris Bates, bass; Phil Hey, drums; and Dave Hagedorn, vibes, perform sometimes intricate, often beautiful music. Call for reservations and say you’d like to be near the music.

Thursday, March 22

Nick Haas Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm. An early evening gig from Haas, a guitarist/composer with good taste in both originals and standards.

Chris Lomheim Trio @ The Artists Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Piano jazz the way you want it, tasteful, yet exciting. That’s not a paradox in Lomheim’s case.

JelloSlave @ Barbette, Uptown Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) JelloSlave has been using the combination of two cellos, tablas, and trapset for a few years now, creating a highly unique combination of drones, groans, and moans for originals, pop tunes, and classical numbers.

Sons of Daughters @ Jazz Central, NE Minneapolis. 10pm. (Donation)  Word is getting out to musicians that Jazz Central is a great venue for DIY performances. Sons of Daughters are an avant-garde jazz trio from New York City, though all three members are originally from Washington. They’re touring in support of their latest album, “Beyond Animals.” You can hear some of their music on their myspace page. BTW, at Jazz Central, it’s always BYOB.

Friday, Saturday, March 23, 24

Bruce Henry @ The Artists Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) The master vocalist may now live in Chicago, but he does return a few times a year. His singing is informed by a thorough knowledge of all types of African American music. Whether he’s doing Marvin Gaye or Freddie Hubbard, the results are worth going out of your way to hear. Luckily, The AQ is smack in the middle of downtown Saint Paul.

Saturday, March 24

James Allen & Tom Peiper @ First Course Bistro, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (No Cover). This tiny place is hosting Allen, a guitarist whose combination of single lines and chords brings out much in his instrument. With Peiper on bass the two will be treating diners to acoustic jazz, bossa novas, and sambas.

Sunday, March 26

Chris Bates Quintet Open Rehearsal @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 4pm – 6pm (Donation – $5 encouraged).  This is the third of three open rehearsals for the band before heading into the recording studio. After working on arrangements over the last few weeks, they’ll be playing new songs in their entirety. Chris Bates, bass; JT Bates, drums; Brandon Wozniak, alto sax; Chris Thomson, tenor sax; Zac Lozier, trumpet.

Sunday, Monday, March 25, 26

Hiromi: The Trio Project @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($35, $25) Okay. Hiromi has blinding technique, but there is much, much more, such as the pure joy that she emanates when at the keyboard. Her imaginative playing has attracted the likes of Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and others with whom she’s played and toured. A recent Downbeat review of The Trio’s performance spoke of “a remarkably high level of intense-but-controlled energy.”

Monday, March 26

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ O’Gara’s, Saint Paul. 8pm – 9:30pm ($7). Adam is bringing an 18 piece big band to O’Gara’s Shamrock room. They play Adam’s original music, and will be premiering two new pieces. I saw this exciting group at their last O’Gara’s appearance. Anyone with an interest in big bands should check them out.

For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz in the Twin Cities, go to the Bebopified Calendar, here.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Thursday, March 22

Camille Baudoin w/the Butanes @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (No Cover) You may know Baudoin as the guitarist for the long lived-but-no-longer extant Radiators out of New Orleans. Winner of Offbeat Awards for his 2011 acoustic album “Old Bayou Blues,” he’s in town for a couple of gigs, including the Sunday benefit listed below. Tonight he’s playing with Curt Obeda and the Butanes, the award-winning blues group that’s versatile enough to tackle all sorts of rhythms and blues with equal elán.

Friday, March 23

Steve Kaul & The Brass Kings CD/LP Release @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10). Take a washtub (played by Brad Ptacek) and a washboard (Mikkel Beckman) from the laundry room. Add a broom and rope to the tub as per the diagram. Bring in a guitarist (Kaul) who is especially effective on Resonator, and who can write old sounding songs about contemporary life, and you’ve got the formula for an engaging trio. On “Machine,”the new CD/LP, and for tonight’s performance, the crew expands with the addition of fiddler Jillian Rae from the Killer Hayseeds.

Bethany Larson & the Bee’s Knees, Joey Ryan & the Inks, and Communist Daughter @ The Varsity, Minneapolis. 7pm ($8) Three young bands that feature excellent writing and vocals, fine musicianship and a sunny sound that sometimes hints at darker concerns.

Saturday, March 24

Janiva Magness CD Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) Aside from Koko Taylor, Janiva is the only woman to receive the BB King Entertainer of the Year Award. A man is the target of some particularly tough words on her latest CD, “Stronger for It,” though that shouldn’t stop guys from listening or attending this show. After all, it’s the blues. Mighty fine blues, goosed along by Janiva’s soulful singing. Here’s a video of her doing a song from the new album.

Hot Pants @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm – 2am ($5) Soul. Funk. Vinyl. 45s. Dancing. Lots, and lots, and lots of Dancing.

Sunday, March 25

Brunch w/Javier & the Innocent Sons @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 10am – 1pm. (No cover) More bracing than the hair of the dog, easier to take than a Rocky Balboa health drink, the swinging country blues of Javier & the boys will go well with the Kitchen’s famed breakfast dishes.

Never Let Your Fire Go Out: Benefit or Karl Bremer @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. Doors at Noon, Music 2pm – 9pm. ($25) Members of the New Orleans Radiators, The Butanes, the Cats Under the Stars Acoustic Trio, along with Willie West, Tony Glover, Gene LaFond and more. This is a unique and extraordinary gathering of veteran musicians. Well worth the entry, PLUS, it’s going to benefit Karl Bremer, founder of the Krewe of Dads, music writer, former Brewmeister of St. Croix Brewing,and author of “The Madness of Michelle Bachman” (2011, John Wiley & Sons).

Maurice Jaycox Band @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul 4pm (No Cover) This talented singer/instrumentalist has a long history with a number of highly popular bands. He’s also done a Nat King Cole tribute show, and of late has been sitting in at various venues around town. Jaycox has particularly good rapport with guitarists Bobby E. and Dean Mikkelson, who he’s been playing with lately. Hope they are with him for this late afternoon show. Well worth taking some time out of a sunny day.

Tuesday, March 27

Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.  7pm ($30) Back when pop music was in love with psychedelic guitars, obtuse words, and overblown suites, along came the witty acoustic swing of Dan Hicks & his Hot Licks, providing a refreshing blend of folk, jazz, and country music and retro/nouveau hipsterism. He still concocts deliciously funny lyrics, and still swings. Here’s an example of his droll humor.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar.

For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.


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