Visiting Artists Galore: 9.12 – 9.18

September 12, 2018

Nancy Harms – photo by Lisa Venticinque

Well, this week over half of my suggestions are for visiting artists, though two of them have Twin cities roots. That’s not to say that resident musicians should be ignored, since many go on to achieve some national renown, such as Nancy Harms. It’s all good, since Music Lifts the Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, September 12

A Sound Decision @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10/$5 with Student ID) Another of Chris Bates’ new collaborations, featuring: Thomas Nordlund, guitar; Joe Strachan, piano; Kismat Shrestha, drums; Kristy Bergmark, tablas; and Chris Bates on basses.

Thursday, September 13

Marilyn Scott & the West Coast All-Stars @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35, $40) Vocalist Scott has been performing and recording for over four decades, as both leader and collaborator. She’s worked with folks like Spyro Gyra, The Yellowjackets, Tower of Power, Bobby Womack, and Etta James. There’s a good reason her band is called the West Coast All-Stars: she’ll be accompanied by pianist Russell Ferrante, of the Yellowjackets; ex-Yellowjacket Jimmy Haslip on bass; as well as well-traveled musicians guitarist James Harrah and drummer Gary Novak.

Kind Folk CD Release @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($15, $10w/Student ID) Kind Folk is a group of musicians who have all received praise from the NY Times, Downbeat, Jazz Times, and other reviewers. Together, they make up Kind Folk: Trumpeter/ fleugelhonist John Raymond, a Twin Cities native; NYC based artists Alex LoRe, alto; Noam Wiesenberg, bass; and Colin Stranahan, drums. Their new CD features mostly original compositions by group members.

Saturday, September 15

Saturday Night Jazz @ the Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm: JazzINK Youth showcase, with Below Zero – Noah Wilhiter, tenor sax; Jacob Rochelle-Share, trombone; August McKinney, piano; Jorgen Linne, bass; Nick Adams, drums. 8:30pm: The Joan Hutton Jazz Project – Joan Hutton & David Milne, woodwinds; Joan Griffith, bass; Laura Caviani, piano; and Jendeen Forberg, drums.

Pete Whitman’s Urban Nature @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door)   This is the opening performance of the Jazz at Studio Z series, tonight featuring saxman Pete Whitman’s new group, and it’s a great one: with Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Chris Lomheim, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Phil Hey on drums. There will be two sets, as well as a free master class led by Whitman at 6pm. Advance tickets here.

Nancy Harms @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20, $25) Vocalist Harms, who graced the Twin Cities with her music for a few years before moving to NYC, returns with a concert of original music, including songs from SHE, her upcoming album, as well as songs she wrote in Denmark during one of her recent tours.

Sunday, September 16

The Hot Sardines @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm, 8pm ($35, $40, $45) The Hot Sardines mine the “Hot Jazz” tradition with verve and panache. With a four-piece horn section, a sense of humor, energy to burn, occasional French songs, and plenty of bluesy licks, they’re much fun and will leave you wanting more.

Sunday, Monday, September 16, 17

Ethan Iverson & Mark Turner @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm Sunday, 7:30pm Monday ($25, $30) Two pre-eminent jazz musicians collaborate on the intimate stage at the Dunsmore Room. Pianist, composer, and writer Ethan Iverson may be best known for his 17 years with The Bad Plus, but also regularly works with jazz masters such as Billy Hart, Tootie Heath, and Ron Carter. Saxophonist Turner moved to NYC after graduating from Berklee in 1990. He quickly became a sought-after collaborator and sideman, and recorded 5 albums as a leader between 1995 and 2001. Though he took time off from recording for parenthood, he still performed and collaborated, returning to recording in 2013. He released the well-received Lathe of Heaven last year, with Avishai Cohen, trumpet; Joe Martin, bass; and Marcus Gilmore, drums.

Monday, September 17

Nelson Devereaux @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm *$10, $5w/Student ID) Saxophonist Nelson Devereaux is a bright light on the Twin Cities music scene, appearing in a number of bands, and leading his own combos as he is tonight, when he’ll be joined by Joe Strachan, piano; Ted Olsen, bass; Miguel Hurtado, drums, and from Long Beach CA, saxophonist Eric Hirschorn.

Tuesday, September 18

Butch Thompson & Dean Magraw @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) Just because they play the Vieux with some regularity, doesn’t mean you should put off seeing these two masters tonight. Thompson  on piano and clarinet, and Magraw on guitar are among the finest, and most popular musicians in town.

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

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, September 12

RJ Mischo on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The “King of the Mighty Good Time” will help you forget your troubles as he sings and plays a mean, mean harp. If you can’t make it to the 331 Club, catch Mischo at Famous Dave’s on Saturday. Here’s a video with Jeremy Johnson on guitar, who will be accompanying Mischo on both drums and guitar.

Jesse Colin Young @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. ($45, $55, $65) “C’mon people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another right now.”  Hear that song and many others from Young’s 15 solo albums and 40-odd years in music.

Thursday, September 13

David Babb & Mikkel Beckmen Folk It Up@ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 8pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist/singer Babb, of the Front Porch Swinging Liquor Pigs, and washboard percussionist Beckmen, host of Thursday afternoons at the Dubliner and member of numerous bands, will entertain this afternoon.

Friday, September 14

Joyann Parker Band @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Parker is a multi-instrumentalist blues singer whose recent album, Hard to Love, has been well received by reviewers at Blues Magazine, Cashbox, Living Blues, and Downbeat, more signs of her rising star power.

Saturday, September 15

Wanaku @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11am (No Cover) Have brunch and enjoy the melodic, rhythmic, and sensuous/swaying music of guitarist Wanaku, who grownup in KOM, a tribal kingdom in the grassfield highlands of the Adamawa range in West Africa. With dozens of tribes the region, Wanaku was exposed to multi-cultural traditions growing up, from which he draws inspiration, as reflected his songs, sung  in a number of different languages.

Chuck Brodsky @ The Gingko, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15) Guitarist/singer/songwriter Brodsky has worked as a migrant fruit picker, ice cream truck driver, laborer at an Israeli Kibbutz, bank courier, and street singer. All of which has given him an ability to write songs which have a down to earth, quirky, character filled with keen observations.

Ben Glaros @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) From his 80s days in the new wave Tone Poets, to recent work with Fathom Lane, versatile guitarist Glaros has incorporated influences from Jimi Hendrix and Paul Westerberg, to John Coltrane and Gram Parsons into his work. In 2016 he released three EPs – the power pop Celebrated Summerteenth and two furious punk rockers with his trio Dump Trunk. Glaros is re-emerging after taking over a year time to woodshed and write, and will be performing new songs and new sounds.

Hoven Droven w/Aar Maanta @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($30) To open its Annual Global Roots Festival, the Cedar has brought in one of the Twin Cities favorite Cedar artists – Hoven Droven. This Swedish band melds folk music melodies from Sweden with the energy and intensity of a power pop/heavy metal band. They even recorded an album there, Jumping at the Cedar, which was nominated for a Swedish Grammy. Opening is the Cedar’s Resident Artist, Aar Maanta, a Somali singer who makes for a combination just right for the beginning the Cedar’s 30th Season.

Monday, September 17

Harold Lopez-Nussa Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) Cuban-born Lopez-Nussa is one of a long line of amazing Cuban pianists. He was featured on the album Ninety Miles, with David Sanchez, Christian Scot, and Stefon Harris. He holds a dual citizenship in both Cuba and France, while his latest album, Un Dia Cualqueria, was recorded in the U.S. and includes influences from both our country and his.

Tuesday, Wednesday, September 18, 219

John Oates @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $50, $55) You may know Rock N’ Roll Hall of Famer John Oates as half of Hall & Oates, but you probably don’t know of his love for Americana music. He’ll demonstrate his love for the genre with songs from the recently released album Arkansas, backed by The Good Road Band: Russ Paul, pedal steel; Guthrie Trapp, guitar; Steve Mackey, bass; and Josh Day, drums.

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.


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