A Rich Tapestry of Music: 5.9 – 5.15

May 9, 2018

Well, maybe Spring is upon us for a few days, giving us an opportunity to get out without bulky clothes.  This week we have three visiting jazz artists (as well as Tony Bennett at the State on Thursday) and six visiting artists in blues and roots. Of course we also have resident artists such as the Atlantis Quartet and Wee Willie Walker, who are known throughout our nation, as well as in some parts of the world, and others who could be, with the right promotion. All of which makes for a rich tapestry of music for the coming week.   Music Lifts the Spirit!


Wednesday, May 9

Peter Hennig Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Hennig, drummer for the Atlantis Quartet and other groups in town, will have Brian Ziemniak on keys, and Cody McKinney on bass.

Thursday, May 10

Laura Caviani & David Milne @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($12-$15) Pianist Laura Caviani is busy these days, having released two Cds with her trio, taking on more responsibility teaching at St. Olaf, and appearing in other projects, such as this collaboration with saxophonist David Milne. Milne is a Professor of Music and director of Jazz Ensembles at the U of WI-River Falls. Here’s Laura with the title song from her latest CD.

Friday, May 11

Nathan Hanson’s Five Times Golden @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Saxophonist Hanson is an adventurous musician who has played in far-flung places from Pittsburg to Slovenia, in addition to playing in numerous Twin Cities venues. He’ll be accompanied by long-time collaborator Doan Roessler on bass, as well as Devon Gray on piano, and Kismat Shrestha, drums. Her;’s Nathan with Dean Roessler.

Saturday, May 12

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Paul Harper’s Chordless Quartet starts things off at 7pm with; Harper, sax; Ted Olsen, bass; Steve Kenny, trumpet; and Pete Hennig, drums. Hennig returns to the stage at 8:30 with The Atlantis Quartet, whose other members include: Chris Bates, bass; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Brandon Wozniak, sax.

The Music of Bill Evans @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. (Tip Jar) The MN Hard Bop Collective is reduced to a trio tonight as Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jesse Simon drums, join with the sensitive, yet swinging pianist Phil Aaron to perform the exquisite compositions of Bill Evans. Here’s Aaron with another classic.

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) This is the last event of a nine-month monthly residency for Ms Lynch and her Fellows. It’s vintage vocal jazz, with a few old pop tuns thrown in for good measure, delivered in front of a window facing the Minneapolis skyline. Though there is no dance floor as such, a few brave couples will occasionally respond to the groups; swingin’ tunes.

Monday, May 14

Arturo Sandoval @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45, $50), 9pm ($30, $35, $40) Trumpeter Sandoval was a one-time protege of Dizzy Gillespie and a founding member of the explosive, Grammy winning Cuban group Irakere. He left the group in the early 80s, and moved to Miami in the early 90s. Since then he’s earned 4 Grammys, 6 Billboard Awards, and an Emmy. His brilliance is evident whether performing Latin, Jazz, or Classical music.

World Jazz Collegium @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Guitarist pavel Jany heads up this quartet, which includes John Croarkin, Dan Weston, and Beth Varela, along with special guest, pianist Steven Hobert. They meld elements of different world musics with jazz and classical music.

Tuesday, May 15

Lynne Arriale Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25) Pianist Arriale has a new CD to, her 14th as a leader, and she’ll be celebrating its release with resident musicians Chris Bates on bass and Cory Healy on drums. The CD, “Give Us These Days,”was recorded in the Netherlands with a couple of Dutch musicians, and includes six originals and three arrangements, all of which reflect her sense of wonder and showcase her rich imagination and peerless playing.

Tuesday, Wednesday, May 15, 16

Terrance Blanchard & The E-Collective @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($25) The last time trumpeter Blanchard & the E Collective was in town, they were recording songs in cities where conflicts have arisen over police shootings of African Americans. They chose the Twin Cities after the death of Philando Castille. Now they’re touring on the April release of Live!, which features seven powerful songs from that tour. They stress that the project condemns all gun violence, whether against profiled persons of color or law enforcement.

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, May 9

Gentlemen’s Anti-Temperance League on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The onset of Prohibition in 1920 coincided with with the rise of jazz. The GATL celebrates the music of the time with enthusiasm and virtuosity.

Suzanne Vega @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $50, $60) Vocalist Vega  is often credited with starting the folk revival of the 80s. Tonight she’ll be performing both her 1987 album Solitude Standing and her 1992 album 99.9F in full.

Thursday, May 10

The Banjo Hour w/Captain Gravitone & the String Theory Orchestra @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) Eli Hoehn, of Captain Gravitone, will host this two-hour music variety show. Its loosely based on a talk show format, and will include Mother Banjo, banjoists Phil Nusbaum and Tom Nechville, an announcer, several features, and music by the house band.

Friday, May 11

Big Sandy & The Fly-Rite Boys @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12, $15) The Los Angeles – based rockabilly/roots singer and guitarist returns to his favorite Twin Cities venue, where he’ll likely mix in some Western Swing and L.A. doo-wop into his repertoire. The roomy dancefloor will undoubtedly be filled.

Saturday, May 12

New Orleans Suspects, Honey Island Swamp Band @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($25 Advance/$30 Door) If you didn’t make it to the New Orleans Jazz Festival, you can still enjoy the music of that town, with these two groups of outstanding musicians, and special guest Camille Baudoin, formerly of the Radiators. Arrive early, and with a bit more cash, and you can take part in a Crawfish Boil (6-8pm, $45 Advance/$50 Door, includes concert)

The Greatest Generation @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($28, $38, $48) The Oratorio Society of Minnesota presents the premier of The Greatest Generation: An American Oratorio. This ground-breaking work combines the great popular tunes of the Second World War era with new original compositions and arrangements to craft and pay homage to the American family at war. Songs will include: As Time Goes By, Embraceable You, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, and In The Mood

California Honeydrops @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($17 Advance/$20 Door) The CA Honeydrops are celebrating ten years together with the release of their 7th album, the double disc Call It Home: Vol 1&2. The album showcases their deep love and understanding of classic R&B, New Orleans rhythms, Memphis Soul, and the blues. Tad Selzer and I will be doing a phone interview with founder Lech Wierzynski at about 3pm Wednesday, May 8 on The Rockhouse. Tune in live or listen to it on the archives.

Commander Cody @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9:30pm ($25) Back in the early 70s, Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen had a hit with a revival of Hot Rod Lincoln. Using a mix of boogie woogie, rock n’ roll, and country music they revived old barn-burners and sang hippie anthems as well as send ups of familiar themes: Mama Hated Diesels, the Kentucky Hills of Tennessee, and Seeds and Stems (Again). Cody and his current band continue to play foot-stomping, good-time music.

Sunday, May 13

Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 5pm ($5) A late afternoon’s worth of Cuban Dance music, so you can dance off you Sunday dinner.

Wee Willie Walker @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 5pm ($?) If you aren’t aware of Walker, see the article  in this past Monday’s Star Tribune.

Monday, May 14

JJ’s Zydeco Paydirt @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5?, $8?) Get out those dancin’ shoes and enjoy the insistent, “its got a good beat” music from Southern Louisiana. It’s an early start, just right for a “school night.”

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.



Longer Days, Night Time Music: 2.27 – 3.5

February 27, 2013


Soon to be a memory, we hope.

Soon to be a memory, we hope.

Gosh, February has just sped past. Spring (well the vernal equinox) is about three weeks away and the days are definitely getting longer. As usual, we have a fine selection of music to lift us up. But you need to get out for that to happen. Have a fun week.


Wednesday, February 27

Vital Organ @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm (No Cover) Zacc Harris on guitar, Jason Croft, on organ, and Pete Hennig on drums provide the sometimes greasy, always creative sounds. Vocalist Katie Gearty‘s soulful vocals add just the right touch.

Valve Meet Slide @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm. ($5) Could it be that the trombone doesn’t get enough respect? Check out this group, featuring Brad Bellows on valve trombone and Dave Graf on slide, and you’ll be mightily impressed. Tonight they’re playing the music of Bob Brookmyer, from the 50s and 60s. Other members of the group are Chris Lomheim, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Mac Santiago on drums.

Thursday, February 28

John Devine & Friends @ Loring Pasta Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm (free) Adventurous, passionate, and highly inventive, Devine is a sax player to be reckoned with, and he always has a fine group of friends to match his talents.

Illicit Sextet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) A group, or collective, if you will, of composers, all creating pieces inspired by hard bop groups of the mid-20th Century. It’s a talented group of musicians: Paul Harper, sax; Steve Kenny, trumpet; David Roos, guitar; Chris Lomheim, piano; Tom Pieper, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums. Check out this video from a couple of years ago:

Friday, March 1

Tim Patrick & his Blue Eyes Band @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($?) Shades of Sinatra, and the rest of the Rat Pack. Like Ol’ Blue Eyes, Patrick has a comfortable way with swingin’ songs, and a ten-piece brassy band to swing the songs with verve and panache.

Friday, Saturday, March 1,2

Chris Bates’ Red5 @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Chris released the only jazz CD to make the 2021 top ten list put together by the music pooh-bahs of the local dailies. It’s full of Chris’ good tunes and exemplary playing from Zack Lozier, trumpet; Chris Thomson tenor and soprano sax; Brandon Wozniak, tenor and alto sax and brother JT on drums rounds out the group. Fans of Star Wars will get the connection. Here’s a video.

Saturday, March 2

James Wallace @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 10pm (Free) Jimmyapolis, as he is sometimes known, brings his warm tenor sax to Red Stag, home of truffled popcorn and other late-nite delights to go with Jimmy & his excellent little band.

Sunday, March 3

Phil Grenadier, with the Dakota Combo and MacPhail Faculty (Adam Linz, and JT Bates) @ MacPhail Center for Music, 501 S. 2nd St, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20/$15 Seniors) This concert is the culmination of a day long festival and workshops for high school combos. For the first set, trumpeter Grenadier, who has appeared on 50 CDs, will be playing with the Dakota Combo, an open-audition group of eight HS students who have been studying under Adam Linz since the beginning of the school year. Then Grenadier will play with MacPhail faculty, including Adam Linz on bass, and JT Bates on drums. I’m guessing that Bryan Nichols may be on keys, since he’s on the faculty, and will be among those conducting workshops.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Thursday, February 28

DownloadedFileSavanna & the Saviors @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip jar) Pay no attention to the fact that Savanna has been called one of the sexiest singers in the Twin Cities. Concentrate instead on her voice, which is soulful, and her trio, which gives her a firm foundation for her growls, moans, and rock n’ roll singing.

Papa John Kolstad and Rena Haus @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8pm (tip jar) It’s one of Papa John’s Acoustic Blues Nights, and he’s brought the extraordinarily talented singer & songwriter Ms Haus along for the evening. With Papa John on six and twelve-string, and Rena on her own acoustic guitar, it should be an evening of warmth, humor, and terrific playing and singing.

Friday, March 1

Lucy Kaplansky, Claudia Schmidt, & Heather Masse @ O’Shaugnessy Auditorium, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($18-$35) It’s the 30th Anniversary of Red House, and they’re celebrating in style with the concert featuring three outstanding artists. Kaplansky was part of the Greenwich Village folk Renaissance back in the day, and since 1994 has released a six albums with Red House. Schmidt was one of the first on Red House and has long been a folk music favorite around the country. She’s even successfully sung jazz. Masse is known as a singer with the Wailin Jennys, and has recently released a jazz album with Dick Hyman. Quite the celebration.

Hounds of Finn CD Release Party @ Crooked Pint Ale House, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Irish music with a folk-rock attitude, and American roots music with an Irish attitude. The Hounds are: Leslie Rich, who is originally from Belfast, and contributes vocals, guitar, bousouki, and much of the groups’ songwriting; Michelle MacGregor, fiddle, Pete McCauley, who has also recorded a couple of solo CDs, and brings vocals, mandolin, & guitar to the group; and David Draeger, of the Irish Brigade, who plays the drum-like bodhran and percussion. The Hounds are on at 9, followed by guests Reina del Cid and the Cidizens. Here are the Hounds performing the title track from the new CD.

Hotpants East @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul 10pm (No cover) The Hotpants deejays bring their rare soul and funk 45s to the Amsterdam for your dancing pleasure.

Melody & the Dramatics @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) Slightly sultry, always creative, Melody Mendis, leader of the group, does a great job of making other songs her own, from Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “I Put a Spell on You,” to Gloria Jones’ “Tainted Love,” to favorites from Motown and 80s New Wave.

Saturday, March 2

imagesHoney Island Swamp Band @ Famous Dave’s, Uptown Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) These four musicians from New Orleans got together when they were in San Francisco after Katrina, and decided to play their own brand of swamp music encompassing the classic country of folks like George Jones, as well as the R&B of New Orleans, and the blues of the Delta. The result drips and oozes with an undercurrent of wariness, if not dread. It’s been described as “Bayou Americana,” which is as good a description as any.

Monday, March 4

Reina del Cid & the Cidizens @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul 9pm (tip jar) This is a singer and a group to watch. Reina crafts terrific songs, and the Cidizens include a female guitar player that improves by leaps and bounds with every show – in fact her solos are becoming crowd favorites.

Tuesday, March 5

Paul Metsa and Willie Walker @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 7-9pm (tip jar) Paul and Willie Walker have been doing a number of gigs together. They’re always comfortable affairs, with Paul supplying guitar and Willie putting his heart on the line as only a soul singer can do. Just made for a cozy spot like the Driftwood.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.

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