Music for Autumn… 10.17 – 10.23

October 17, 2012

It’s a busy week coming up, with some outstanding jazz from visiting and resident artists, a couple of drummer-led groups, a new jazz venue, two chances to hear Brazilian music, a couple of 45rpm dance parties, and choice roots music. Pick and choose, it’s hard to lose.


Wednesday, Thursday, October 17, 18

Bela Fleck and the Marcus Roberts Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($65 – $50), 9pm ($50 – $40) Fleck turned the jazz world on its ear when he and his group The Flecktones started tackling all manner of jazz compositions. He has been called the best banjo player in the world by folks who should no. Marcus Roberts played piano with Wynton Marsalis before going out on his own. His trio includes Jason Marsalis on drums and Rodney Jordan on bass. This is an event. But more than an event, it’s a chance to see and hear some strikingly original voices in jazz.

Thursday, October 18

Jazz on the Line @ Mai Village, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 10:00pm. Mira and Tom Kehoe & Friends perform jazz, Brazilian, and World music. Mira and Tom are part of the Brazilian music group, Xibaba. This is part of a series to bring people to various restaurants and businesses along the Central Corridor during construction. Mai Village has been hit particularly hard and faces eviction at the end of the month. Buy dinner and/or drinks as you enjoy the music.

Maryann Sullivan @ The Third Floor, Dr. Chocolate’s Chateu, 579 Selby Avenue, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 9:30pm. ($3) An early start makes this new place for jazz just right for a little chocolate dessert along with wine or beer while you enjoy the swinging vocals of Ms Sullivan, accompanied by guitarist Joel Shapira and Saxophonist Doug Haining.

Friday, October 19

Patty Peterson/Bobby Lyle Dual CD Release Party @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Both Peterson and Lyle have new CDs, and since Lyle is a guest on Patty’s CD, they are both featured this evening. Lyle’s CD is an organ trio affair, while Peterson’s reflects her pop/jazz/R&B repertoire. Both groups will play during each of the two sets tonight.

Friday, Saturday, October 19, 20

Dave King, Bill Carrothers, and Billy Peterson @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul ($15) The month of drummer-led combos continues at the AQ. This time Bill Carrothers on piano, who was magnificent last weekend with Ari Hoenig, is playing with local tubmaster Dave King, and veteran bassist Billy Peterson. An inspired grouping.

Babatunde Lea, Adam Linz, & Zacc Harris @ Cafe Maude at Loring Park, 1612 Harmon Place, Minneapolis. 9pm (no cover) This group has played a number of times at the original Cafe Maude, where they were well received in spite of the fact that most folks were there for food. Don’t know if the same vibe will be at the new place, but I can say that multi-percussionist Lea was simply amazing at the AQ a couple of weeks ago.

Tuesday, October 23

Kurt Elling @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($25) Elling is perhaps the best male vocalist in jazz. Heck the best male vocalist, period. He’s touring behind his latest CD, 1619 Broadway, an homage to the last of the professional songwriters, most of whom carried out their craft in the Brill Building at that address. Expect songs from Lieber & Stoller, Goffen & King, and Bacharach & David, among others. Here’s one of the songs from the new album.

Rebirth of the Cool @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($7 suggested donation) The Birth of the Cool album, performed live, from the beginning to end, featuring: Adam Rossmiller, trumpet; Doug Haining, Alto sax; Tara Hochstatter, French Horn; Scott Agster, trombone; Greg Keel, bari sax; John Tranter, tuba; Tanner Taylor, piano; Matt Peterson, bass; Mac Santiago, drums.

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.

Roots, Blues, Other…

Wednesday, October 17

Ditch Lilies on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm hour (KFAI – 90.3 & 106.7), 7pm (331 Club – tip jar) Ace picking and two part harmonies from Lisa Schultz and Kari Larson. Pulling from old timey, bluegrass, western swing and other old genres, Lisa and Kari deliver the goods on what’s become known as Americana. They don’t get up here too often (they live in Maiden Rock), so this is a good time to catch em.

Thursday, October 18

Orkestar Bez Ime @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar)  Wild Balkan party music. Push back the tables and chairs and dance as if no one is watching.

Sambo Makti @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10:35pm. ($5) They say they’re a funk band, but I’ll be darned if most of the players are usually found in jazz groups. I’m betting they’ll definitely be putting some funk in your rump. Scott Fultz, alto sax; Clay Pufal, tenor & bari; Matt Darling, trombone; Tom Reichert, guitar; Nick Salisbury, bass; and Joey Van Phillips, drums.

Friday, October 19

Hipshaker @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($5) The move to Friday nights has not hurt the Hipshaker dance party at all. In fact, more folks are coming out to dance to the rare funk, soul, and R&B that Greg and Brian spin. Special guest is DJ Father Time (Mike Elias).

Mill City Hot Club @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 9pm Guitarist Deano Mikkelson is celebrating a big birthday by playing with Dean Harrington, Bill Grenke, and Joe Steinger. Extra added attraction is Nikki Matteson on guest vocals. Gypsy jazz and swing.

Saturday, October 20

Samba Meu & Friends @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 2pm – 4pm (tip jar) An afternoon of Brazilian music that goes way beyond bossa novas. Enjoy contemporary and roots music from the land of sambas and batucadas, as done by Karen Quiroz, vocals; Tim O’Keefe, percussion; and James Allen and David Martin, guitars. Special guests will add to the mix. You can hear Karen singing here.

Commander Cody @ Famous Dave’s, Uptown Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) Those of a certain age and predilection will remember the faux country weeper from the early 70s, (Down to) Seed and Stems Again, as well as the rushing rockabilly of Hot Rod Lincoln and others. It’s country music that rocks.

Hot Pants 45 rpm Dance Party @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) If you didn’t get enough rare funk n’ soul last night, or perhaps didn’t get out, you’ve got a rare second chance in one weekend.

Phil Heywood @ Riveriew Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm ($13) Another evening of ace fingerpicking from Heywood, winner of two National Fingerpicking Championships.

Sunday, October 21

Acoustic Africa: Afropean Women featuring Dobet Gnahore @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($30) I’m excited about the return of Dobet Gnahore, who put on an enthralling show at the Dakota the last time she was here. See my review of that performance here. She’ll be joined by Manou Gallo, bassist for Zap Mama, and Karece Fotso, a Cameroonian singer.

Monday, October 22

Viva Power Trio @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Viva DeConcini was featured in Guitar Player magazine in 2009. She’s produced burlesque and variety shows at Joe’s Pub in NYC, played in a Brazilian group, as well as with drag queens and strippers, and has even played at Bonaroo and the Monterrey Jazz Festival. Her songs are full of energy and commentary, whether singing about love or shopping. Should be a rockin’ house at 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.

Summer In The City. Music: 8.8 – 8.14

August 8, 2012

Another summer weekend. More Festivals, including the Bayfront Blues Festival in Duluth and the Square Lake Festival in Square Lake. If you are sticking around, there’s more than enough music for listening, dancing, and inspiration. Here are some ideas.


Wednesday, August 8

Give Him the Ooh La La: a Tribute to Blossom Dearie by JoAnn Funk @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Though she has a style of her own, JoAnn‘s approach to singing owes a bit to Blossom Dearie, the coquettish singer of the 50s and 60s. Dearie often sang light-hearted tunes that were heavy on wit and dry in humor. The pianist/vocalist will be accompanied by Jeff Brueske on bass, and Nathan Norman on drums. It’s an early show, so you can catch some tunes and be home in time to get a good night’s rest.

Thursday, August 9

McNally Smith Venue Night @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 8pm (Free) Here’s a chance to hear up and coming young musicians and three jazz ensembles from McNally Smith take to the AQ’s stage. There will be two ensembles under the direction of saxophonist Chris Thomson and one under the tutelage of pianist/vocalist Kristin Sponcia. It’s another early show.

Friday, August 10

Tommy Bruce @ The Lexington, Saint Paul. 6:30pm  With Phil Mattson on piano, and Steve Pikal on bass. (no cover, though a minimum may be charged at some tables)  I don’t know if this is Phil’s gig or Bruce’s, but it really doesn’t matter as you’ll hear a fine male vocalist (Bruce) accompanied by a piano player who’s legendary in these parts.

Friday, Saturday, August 9, 10

Anthony Cox Group @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Cox was playing bass with Eddie Berger’s group oh, so many years ago, before moving to New York and gaining an international reputation playing with folks like Stan Getz, Joe Lovano, and Ed Blackwell, not to mention numerous recordings by other forward thinking players. Since returning to the Twin Cites in the early aughties he’s been in a number of interesting projects, and will be bringing a new one to the AQ tonight.

Saturday, August 11

Dave King Trucking Company @ The Dakota, Minneapolis 8pm ($12) A highly inventive drummer and wit, King has founded or co-founded nine different ensembles, including Happy Apple and the Bad Plus. His bandmates for this expressive, thoroughly modern outfit include Adam Linz, bass; Eric Fratzke, guitar; and saxophonists Brandon Wozniak and Chris Speed (of New York). You can find a review of their album here.

Sunday, August 12

Jimmy Wallace Trio @ Alexis Bailey Vinyards, 18200 Kirby Avenue, Hastings. 1pm (Free) Here is an example of a growing and welcome trend – jazz in the vineyards. You don’t even have to try the wines to enjoy the music, but hey, you may as well. Saxman “Jimmyapolis” Wallace will be leading a trio that includes Brock Thorsen on bass and pianist/Trumpeter Jon Pemberton.

PipJazz Sunday w/guest Yolande Bruce and youth artist Jake Baldwin @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 5pm ($20) Pippi Ardennia once again works her vocal magic, this time bringing guest Yolande Bruce to the stage in the Weyerhauser Auditorium Bruce may be best known as a member of Moore by Four, but she’s performed in musicals, and on stages throughout the world. Jake Baldwin is a young trumpet player, just graduated from two years in the Dakota Combo and will be studying at the New England Conservatory of music. Pippi’s ace backing band is The PipJazz Experience.

Connie Evingson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) An elegant singer in an elegant room. Plus, Evingson has an all-star backing band, including long time cohort Dave Karr on sax and flute; Phil Aaron on piano; Gordy Johnson on bass; and Phil Hey on drums.

Monday, Augusts 13

Dave Hagedorn @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis 8:30pm (donation) Hagedorn is the vibist/teacher whose skills with the mallets make him a first call musician in the Twin Cities and beyond. He’s a featured player with both the X-Tet and the Phil Hey Quartet, making the difficult repertoire of those groups seem easy. Tonight he’ll join the Jazz Central all-stars for what promises to be a night of invigorating music. Here’s a video of Dave with Phil Hey and Chris Bates.

Chris Bates Red 5 @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis 9:30 & 11:30 ($5) If you go out to hear jazz, you’ve undoubtedly heard bassist Chris Bates playing in the Atlantis Quartet, Framework, or Red Planet. Perhaps you’ve seen him solo at the Clown Lounge or Rogue Buddha, or as a sideman in any number of one-off gigs. Well, he’s put together a quintet and they’re working on an album to be released in September. Get a preview as Chris is joined by brother JT on drums, Chris Thomson and Brandon Wozniak on saxes, and Zack Lozier on trumpet.

A more comprehensive calendar for the Twin Cities can be found at Jazz Police. They feature jazz commentary, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink, which also features Andrea Canter’s fine photography.

Roots, Blues, Other...

Wednesday, August 8

Scottie Miller on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), and 7-9pm (331 Club – No cover) A first class pianist, more than worthy of touring with Ruthie Foster, Miller can plan New Orleans, Chicago, and other styles of piano with elan. He’ll be Harold Tremblay’s guest on the House Party on KFAI and then head over to the 331 Club. It’s Harold’s birthday, so it should be a fun night, as the musical mayhem continues with Harold and Jeff Ray at 9:30 and the Farmhouse Band at 11:00

Groovin’ in the Garden with Detroit Don King @ Como Park Conservatory, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm. The Como Zoo & Conservatory just keeps getting groovier and groovier. This performance by gritty bluesman Detroit Don King is part of a weekly series through Sept 5, highlighting Twin Cities artists. It’s on the visitor center lawn outside the conservatory. Pack a picnic, spread out a blanket and enjoy the evening. Beverages (both adult and otherwise) will be available for purchase.

Thursday, August 9

Lost Marbles @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 8pm (No cover) An eight-piece folk-rock jam band with two drummers, horns, and the usual instruments rockin’ out at the Tap Room, influenced by the Dead, Tom Waits, Neil Young and other bands from the 60s and 70s. Outdoor seating if it’s nice, a selection of freshly brewed beers, and a food truck in the early part of the evening.

Hootenany @ The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. 8pm. (Free) This is part of the Walker’s Open Field series. It’s stripped-down music from Jim Walsh, Lianne Smith, Chris Osgood, and Chan Poling. Here’s your chance to hear some Twin Cities favorites from the 80s in a relaxed, outdoor setting.

Friday, August 10

The Senders @ Schooner Tavern, 29th & 27th Ave South, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) The Schooner is a neighborhood bar with small dance floor, though I’m betting the Senders will have you shaking it and swingin’ with abandon. A prime example of a jump blues band. Check them out in this video.

Saturday, August 11

Hotpants 45rpm Dance Party @ The Nomad. 9pm – 2am. ($5) Another sweaty evening dancing to rare soul and funk served up by a quartet of guys who scour thrift shops, estate sales, e-bay and other sources to find great dancing music.

Bethany & two of the Knees

Bethany Larson & the Bees Knees @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis 10:30pm (No cover) The somewhat winsome, sometimes edgy voice of Bethany Larson will appeal to folks who like Patsy Cline and Lucinda Williams. The Bees Knees provide just the right folkish/rockish backing to illuminate and punctuate her songs.

Dylan Hicks @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis 11:30pm ($5) For a while in the 90s Hicks was the most literate songwriter around. Then he became a published writer, penning reviews and articles for City Pages, the Village Voice and the NY Times. Now he’s a newly published author with a novel, but is taking time from book appearances to perform his witty songs for a few venues. Welcome back.

Tuesday, August 14

Paul Metsa & Cats Under the Stars @ The Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 6:30pm – 8:30pm. (Free) Dance lessons at 6:30. Music starts at 7pm. This is the last night of this series, and they’ve got a good un’ for ya. Metsa is the troubador who’s played with many a big name star. He & the Cats play danceable tunes that are somewhat jam-oriented. You won’t be under the stars, but rather under the setting sun overlooking downtown Saint Paul.

Twin Cities Music Ideas: 2.15 – 2.21

February 15, 2012

All kinds of jazz. All kinds of roots music.


Wed Feb 15

Red Planet @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm (No cover) James Buckley has been putting together a varied menu of jazz for the Wednesday night jazz series at the club. Tonight he’s scored a minor coup, as this band doesn’t play out too much, given the other projects of each of it’s members: Dean Magraw, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. Electrified jazz that encompasses Hendrix, Coltrane, and more.

Valves Meet Slide @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) It’s a trombone throw-down, with Brad Bellows and Dave Graf “battling” it out, with the help of Peter Schimke, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums.

Thursday, Feb 16

Dave Karr Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm. ($5) Karr has been peforming in the Twin Cities for about six decades now, and is still going strong, contributing thoughtful, melodic solos to Pete Whitman’s X-Tet, the JazzMN Big Band, and a number of vocalists around town. He’s joined tonight by Chris Lomheim, piano; Billy Peterson, bass; and Kenny Horst on drums. Here they are doing Zoot Walks In.

Friday, Feb 17

Bruce Henry @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12) Though Henry now lives in Chicago, the former Twin Citizen still manages to get back here a couple of times a year, and this is our lucky week. The  smooth baritone has a firm grasp on the history of African American music, and it shows in his performances, which can include standards, bebop,  blues, and Motown. Whatever he sings, the results are all Henry.

Friday, Saturday, Feb 17, 18

Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric CD Release @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) This buzzed-about band is lead by guitarist Clouser, who is from Minneapolis but is based in Baja, Mexico. His all-Twin Cities ensemble includes Bryan Nichols, piano; Greg Shutte, drums; Adam Meckler, trumpet; and Chris Bates, bass. Clouser has been touring Europe and is celebrating the release of “20th Century Folk Selections,” which includes songs that range from “Little Boxes” by Malvina Reynolds, to “the Needle and the Damage Done” by Neil Young, with stops at the Beastie Boys and Nirvana in between. Reviews of the band and the release include terms like “blistering neo-jazz,” “Frisell with some Hendrix,” and “takes its cues from fuzzed out acid rock and vintage funk.” I’ll have Clouser on my show Saturday morning.

Saturday, Feb 18

Kurt Elling and Lizz Wright: Be My Valentine @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 8pm.  ($25 – $55) The premier male vocalist of jazz and a rising star.

Sunday Feb 19

Mary Louise Knutson @ Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, 285 Dale St. No, Saint Paul. 4pm (Free Will Offering). Knutson is top-tier piano player. Doc Severinson knows it, as he has her in his band whenever he comes to town. Her latest CD, “In the Bubble,” has hit the top ten in the jazz charts. This performance is part of the Concerts and Compline series at the church. Mary Louise will be performing her own compositions as well as others.

Music for your mind and humidity for your skin here in the sunken garden

Robb Henry Trio The Como Park Conservatory, Saint Paul. 5pm – 8pm. Henry and his Trio perform new interpretations of Django Reinhardt classics as well as pop melodies of the 60s in the warm, humid confines of the Conservatory. It’s part of their Music Under Glass Series, and is quite delightful, though truth be told, there’s not a lot of seating. Adult beverages are available, as well as some sandwiches and other snacks.

Monday, Feb 20

Debbie Duncan and Jef Lee Johnson on Saint Paul Live! on KBEM (88.5FM) 7pm. Debbie performing with the Tuesday Night Band at the AQ last Summer, and extraordinary guitarist Jef Lee Johnson with Michael Bland on drums and Yohannes Tona on bass, performing at the Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar this past Fall.

Didier Petit @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (tip jar)  Petit is an avante-garde cellist last seen here trilling audiences during the Minnesota Sur Seine Festival a few years back. He’ll be playing solo and in a trio format with Nathan Hansen on sax and Brian Roessler on bass.


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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wed, Feb 15

Koerner & Glover @ The 400 Bar, Minneapolis. 8pm doors ($5) Spider John weaves traditional folk songs like nobody’s business. Tony Glover’s harpwork is sharp and to the point. Just because they are local institutions doesn’t mean you shouldn’t catch them while you can. Local Thief opens.

Wed, Thur, Feb 15, 16

Hugh Masakela @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($30). A special event, as the South African trumpeter brings his music to the Twin Cities. He’s touring behind a new CD, “Jubalan,” which is full of the joyous sounds.

Thursday, Feb 16

Charles Bradley @ The Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20) Though he’s only become known is the last few years, Bradley is no Johnny -come -lately to soul music. He’s toiled in the trenches for over thirty years, honing his act. Bradley last appeared with the Budos Band, his label-mates from Brooklyn’s Daptone Records, and lived up to his nickname as “The Screaming Eagle of Soul.”  Openers are Little Barrie, a hot trio from England that plays stripped down rock n’ roll.

Sat, Feb 18

Joe & Vicki Price @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip jar) The little joint in South Minneapolis provides an intimate setting for the foot-stomping, stripped down, electrifying blues of the Iowa couple.

Freewheelin’ Presents the 2nd Annual Reckless Valentine’s Ball @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) If you have a little attitude about Valentine’s Day, this just might be your ticket. Heck, you’ll especially want to be there if you love fire-breathing rockabilly and danceable roots music. KFAI’s Jackson Buck brings the Restless Ones, Javier & the Innocent Sons, and Ross Kleiner & the Thrill to Lee’s. Get out the hair pomade and shine up those dancin’ shoes. The fun begins with dance lessons @ 8.

Hotpants 45RPM Dance Party @ The Nomad, Minneapolis.  9pm ($5) It’s the Belated Valentine’s edition, and the guys with the funky 45s are making up for being late by having a free Photo Booth so you and your sweetie can take some fun pictures.

Sunday, Feb 19

Anders Osborne & Karl Denson’t Tiny Universe Perform Sticky Fingers @ The Fine Line, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25)   Here is one way for the torch to be grabbed, if not passed. Osborne is an award winning guitarist from New Orleans who will join Karl Denson and his band for a song-by-song interpretation of the Rolling Stone’s classic album. Osborne will also open the show with a solo performance of songs from his highly acclaimed CD, “American Patchwork.”

Tuesday, Feb 21
Mardis Gras @ The Eagles Club, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Four bands playing N’Awlins R&B, Swamp Pop, Traditional Jazz, Zydeco, and Cajun to help you party: The Faux Playboys, Mister Rowles, Southside Aces, and the Rockin’ Pinecones. Whether you wear a mask or not is up to you.

For a complete list of blues (and some roots) events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar.

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