Back in the Saddle: 6.14 – 6.20

June 14, 2017

Taken on a different vacation by Andrea Hjelm. The first time on horseback in 30 years.

Well, I’m back in the saddle again, so to speak, after a brief interruption in posting when my vacation was involuntarily extended. All is good, and I’m looking forward to a week of great music from both visiting and resident artists. This Sunday is Father’s Day and that means that the Stone Arch Festival will be taking place all weekend. Besides booths of art, crafts, and food, there are plenty of artists performing, in genres ranging from classic rock and punk, to Americana and C&W, to even a bit of jazz, but I have to admit I know only a few. A schedule of performers can be found here. Have a great week. Remember music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 14

Candy Dulfer @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45), 9pm ($30, $35, $40) This Dutch saxophonist has played with Maceo Parker, Aretha Franklin, Lionel Richie, mavis Staples, Beyonce, Van Morrison and more, and has been name-checked by Prince. She’s had several number 1 hits in the US, and is a big draw at festivals around the world.

Gary LaRue & the Rat Pack Band @ Mancini’s, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (No Cover) If ever there was a great spot to hear the music of Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, and other swinging cats from the 50s, it’s the lounge at Mancini’s.

Thursday, June 15

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Tonight it’s the Wayne Horvitz Group: Horvitz, keys; Josh Granowski, bass; Davu Seru, drums, a combination of musicians who celebrate adventurous music making.

Lucia Newell & The Wolverines Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Newell is a wonderful singer who is conversant in all manner of jazz and Brazilian music (she spent two years singing there). She only plays selected dates each year, so this is a perfect opportunity to hear her, especially since she’ll be backed by the swinging Wolverines Trio. Here she is in her Brazilian mode.

Friday, June 16

Adam Booker @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Bassist Booker put out a fine recording, Unraveled Rival, on Shifting Paradigm records in 2015.  He has an extensive history with Duluth groups such as The New Orleans Hot Club, the Jazz Pharaohs, the Asylum Street Spankers, and others. This is his last Twin Cities appearance. After teaching at UMN- Duluth for many years, he heading to Appalachian State University where he’ll be Assistant Professor of Double Bass at the Hayes School of Music. Joining him are Levi Schwarzberg, vibes; and Ben Baldwin, drums.

Kevin Washington Quintet @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. 6pm (Free) Drummer Washington is a master of rhythms, whether playing with Nachito Herrera, Viva Brazil or any of a number of jazz luminaries, such as Anthony Cox, Roscoe Mitchell, James Carter, Fred Wesley or the David Murray Big Band. He’ll undoubtedly have some Twin Cities luminaries in his quintet. Pippi Ardennia and the PipJazz All Stars open this summertime outdoor event.

Saturday, June 17

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) As is often the case, the evening starts with a young group. Drummer Simon Petrick, who is a member of this year’s Dakota Combo will be leading a group at 7pm. Then at 8:30pm it’s How Birds Work, a quartet started during the heyday of the Artists’ Quarter and featuring Dean Granros, guitar; Peter Schimke, keyboards, Chris Bates, bass, and Kenny Horst, drums. They play high-quality, demanding jazz from the likes of Coltrane, Shorter, Hancock, and more.

Joel Shapira CD Release @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (No Cover) Guitarist Shapira has had an every other week solo early gig at the Vieux for almost two years now, and has developed a bit of a following there, members of whom have asked for a solo CD. Well, he’s delivered. The CD, In Essence, contains some gems from the Great American Songbook as well as modern jazz classics by Coltrane, Miles, and Monk, including his third recording of Bemsha Swing. In a recent interview with Tom Surowicz for the Highland Villager, Shapira said, “It’s a challenge, reducing piano music to the guitar.” Shapira is more than up to it.

Sunday, June 18

Nancy Harms @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, 425; $40, $50 Dinner Show) Though not exposed to jazz until she attended college, Ms Harms, a Clara City, MN native performs as if born to the role of jazz singer. She has an innate sense of time and phrasing and an ability to imbue songs with just the right amount of humanity to fully tell each song’s story. She is a uniquely gifted performer who has established herself in NYC and Europe. Her shows here in town are always well-attended, if not sold out, so be forewarned that the Dunsmore Room only seats 80.

Regina Marie Williams @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm )$17 – $22) You may have seen Williams in any number of roles at the Guthrie, Penumbra, Park Square, and Mixed Blood theaters. She’s a fine actress – she’s won an Ivey Award, was named City Pages Best Actress of 2016, and received the McKnight Theater Artist Award. She is also a great songstress, who can whisper as well as soar, as attested by roles where she’s played Dinah Washington and Nina Simone.

Monday, June 19

Jane Bunnett & Maqueque @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) Canadian saxophonist Jane Bunnett has been nominated twice for a Grammy and received a number of Canada’s music awards. She went to Cuba back in 1982 and fell in love with the sensual, yet intricate rhythms of the island. She’d often use them with her contemporary jazz performances, and recently assembled an all-star cast of female Cuban musicians to form Maqueque. Their second album, Odara, was released last fall.

Adam Astrup @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (!0, $5 w/Student ID)Though newly graduated from high school, guitarist Astrup as been impressing audiences in various groups for a couple of years now, including the Dakota Combo and two or three groups of his own. Tonight he and members of his quintet will be playing originals. Members include: Nick Benish, bass; Andrew Tomten, Sax; Patrick Adkins, keys; and Simon Petrick, drums. Here he is in a trio setting.

JT’s Jazz Implosion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm. ($8) This long running weekly event, curated by drummer JT Bates, always features forward thinking artists, whether from the Twin Cities or beyond. Tonight features The Jon Davis Quartet for set one: Davis, bass & woodwinds; Chuck Love trumpet, flute, melodica, & percussion, Bryan Nichols, keys; and Greg Schutte, drums. Performing set two is The George Marich Trio; Marich, drums, George Cartwright, saxes; and Josh Granowski, bass.

Tuesday, June 20

Jordan Anderson Group @ Walker West, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (free) This dazzling young pianist was a member of the Dakota Combo prior to attending the University of Michigan, where he was recruited by, and studies with, none other than Benny Green. I believe he’ll have talented contemporaries with him: Peter Goggin, saxophone; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Edmund Catlin, drums. Here he is while still a HS student, with a different group

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, June 14

Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders @ Como Park Conservatory, Saint Paul. 6pm (Free) Pack up a picnic and head out the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory to  boogie down to the amped up blues, country, and roots music from the guitarist/songwriter who’s the pride of Anoka  Plus there’s a climbing wall, bouncy tent and other distractions for the wee ones.

The Dollys on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The Dollys are Joanna Jahn, Kari Shaw, and Megan Shaw, or are all enamored of the three-part harmonies of EmmyLou Harris, Dolly Parton, and Linda Ronstadt. They also perform songs by other female country artists as well as their own versions of folk and Americana hits. Tune in to Harold’s House Party at 5pm, and if you like what you hear, head over to the 331 Club to see them in person.

Butch Thompson & Pat Donahue @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15; $40 for Dinner Show) A creative pairing of legendary, excellent musicians. Pianist Thompson and Fingerstyle Guitarist Donahue mine classic blues and jazz, that is from the 20s and 30s, with an occasional original that fits the style. The Dunsmore Room provides a quiet, intimate space to fully appreciate their musicianship, craftsmanship, and easy-going banter. Here’s a track from the album the duo made, featuring Thompson on clarinet.

Robert Earl Keen @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($40 Advance, $45 Door) Regular listeners of Jackson Buck’s Freewheelin’ show know that every Christmas he plays Keen’s Merry Christmas from the Family, a description of a blended family at Christmas time. No matter what your background, this tale of a family gathering will include something that’s funny and familiar. It’s a perfect example of his wit and powers of observation, as his his take on modern life called Wireless in Heaven. He’s been writing songs for over three decades and continues to sharpen his wit and entertain folk, and was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012, while a couple of years ago he became the first recipient of BMI’s Troubadour Award. Keen takes a few minutes to introduce the band before singing on this video.

Thursday, June 15

Doug Little’s Seven Steps to Havana @ Arlington Hills Library, Saint Paul. 7pm – 8:30pm (Free) This septet led by flutist/saxophonist Doug Little features musicians from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Ethiopia, and the US. Their hip-swaying music uses the fiery rhythms of salsa and the rich harmonies of jazz.

Mikkel Beckmen w/Martin Devaney @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Percussionist Mikkel Beckmen’s weekly residency is always a great place to stop after work and down a pint in a friendly setting while Beckmen invites guests to share the stage. This week he has Martin Devaney, hard working guitarist and prolific songwriter working on his seventh full length album. Here’s Devaney.

Steve Clarke Quartet w/Patty Peterson @ Seven Steak House, Minneapolis. 7pm (No cover?) It seems that Seven Steak House at 7th & Hennepin has new management, and has decided to bring in music on Thursdays. Tonight Steve Clarke brings his swinging saxophone to the venue, along with guest vocalist Patty Peterson, who is equally at home in jazz and R&B. Not sure if you have to order a meal or can hang at the bar, so you may want to call to get particulars.

Friday, June 16

Garland Jeffreys @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) Brooklyn native Jeffreys has been creating urban rock since the 60s, first hitting with Wild in the Streets back in the 70s. His songs have been covered by punkers and neo-folkies, and he’s worked with folks ranging from John Cale, Lou Reed, U2,  and Dr. John to Stan Getz and Sonmny Rollins. Jeffrey’s latest two albums, The King of In Between from 2011, and Truth Serum in 2013 received great reviews and his latest, the newly-released 14 Steps to Harlem, is sure to bring him new fans, at least based on the three songs I’ve heard.

Celtic Rock Night @ Celtic Junction, Saint Paul. 8pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) These days Celtic music is more than fiddles and whistles, and tonight in an event sponsored by the MN Music Coalition, will certainly prove that out. Performing are The Sweet Colleens, a quintet of multi-instrumentalists playing high-energy fiddle and accordion-driven Celtic Americana who just released their 5th album; Belfast-born Leslie Rich a guitarist singer who has played with The Hounds of Finn and Leslie Rich & the Rocket Soul Choir since emigrating to the US, and The Tim Malloys, who fuse traditional Irish music with pub rock and the sensibility (and sound) of Minneapolis punk rock.

Lowland Lakers @ The Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7 Advance, $10 Door) It’s a seated show of Americana as this trio, with roots in Duluth, play their last gig with Dr. Matt Donoghue on bass – he’s taking a position as Emergency Medicine Resident. Opening is the talented Rachel Hanson, who’s a north country artist herself. Then the Last Jackson will close out the evening.

Paul Cebar @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) Milwaukee native Paul Cebar has been at this songwriting/singing/playing thing for decades, always finding ways to incorporate irresistible rhythms into his songs that provide a modern touch to old R&B ideas. For instance, you’ll be dancing along to something funky, when all of a sudden there’s a calypso break. No wonder legions of dancers come out for every performance.

Malamanya @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($10 advance, $15 Door) Late night salsa dancing to this Twin Cities band that with the bona fides to perform classic Cuban music.

Saturday, June 17

Class Action @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($25) For three years in the late 70s and early 80s, Class Action was just about the most popular dance band in the Twin Cities. No wonder – look at their talented members: Rockie Robbins, who later had seven charting singles as a solo artist; Patty Peterson, who continues to sparkle as a jazz/R&B singer here in town; Ricky Perterson, the wizard keyboard player who played with David Sanborn for 20 years and countless other artiits; Candy Anderson Cretoekos, who started singing in church, and worked with Wayne Cochran & the CC Riders throughout the nation. She moved to Los Angeles from Minneapolis and returned to her church roots, performing throughout California; Stephen Faison, performer for hundreds of jingles and soundtracks and staff writer for recording studios, who worked withThe Coasters, Drifters, Walter Trout and Aretha Franklin and teaches here in town; Rick Cornish, who performed with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and who had one of his compositions premiered by the LA Philharmonic, and winner of numerous national and international awards; Rick Houle, who played in Passage and the Doug Maynard Band before moving to Seattle in 1984. Since then he’s worked with Ernestine Anderson, and is currently a member of a 12 piece group that plays the music of Steely Dan; finally there Glenn Swanson, who was a staff drummer at Creation Audio, who after Class Action went on to work with Sheila Raye Charles (daughter of Ray), including serving as emcee for a Japanese tour, and more recently produced vocalist Pippi Ardennia. Wow!

International Reggae All Stars @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($??) Here’s a chance for east-siders to hear the reggae sound of the All Stars outside of their weekly gig at Bunkers.

Rena Haus Trio @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Dusty’s is tiny, though a more upscale description would say intimate. Nevertheless it provides a great setting as guitarist/songwriter Rena Haus, her bassist brother Bob, and under-appreciated guitarist Ed Petsche will regale you with Rena’s original song stories and great covers of blues songs. Here she is solo.

Monday, June 19

Frankie Lee & Friends @ The Turf Club’s Clown Lounge, Saint Paul. 7pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) Lee has the June residency for Monday nights at the rec room inspired Clown Lounge. He’s a country/folk singer whose debut album American Dreamer, was released in 2015 on London’s Loose Records. It promptly became well played on Europe’s radio stations, making many “best of” lists from the continent. It was released in America in the summer of 2016, earning him more praise from NPR, among others. Don’t know which friends will show up, but they include Michael Lewis bass, sax; Jeremy Ylvisaker, guitar; and JT Bates, drums, who appeared on his first EP.

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 Music and More: 10.28 – 11.3

October 28, 2015

OF-Halloween-Pumpkin-Joke-Well good grief, it’s Halloween! This time showing up on a Saturday night. There are many public events taking place, of which I’m only listing a few. Have fun, and remember that music lifts the spirit.

 

Jazz

Wednesday, October 28

Southside Aces @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Looking for a brassy band with a tuba? Want to dance? The Aces have you covered, with members who are well-versed in the New Orleans tradition” Rob erg Bell, guitar; Erik Jacobson, sousaphone; Steve Sandberg, trombone; Tony Galluff, clarinet; Zack Lozeir, trumpet; and Dave Michael, drums.  New Orleans Traditional Jazz Quarterly called them “A true, authentic New Orleans dance-hall style band.”

Canadian Girlfriend and The Fables Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Canadian Girlfriend is led by cellist Greg Byers  who recently graduated from McNally Smith with a Master of Music in Performance: Other members of the band are Elliot Wachs, Hayden Fihn, Frank Merchlewitz, and Lars Johnson. The Fables Trio is Kevin Gastonguay, keyboards; Andrew Foreman, bass; and Lars Larson, drums.

Thursday, October 29

Emily-GreenEmily Green’s Tribute to the 30s @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Vocalist Green and pianist Chris Lomheim are joined by Graydon Peterson on bass; and Reid Kennedy on drums to celebrate songs of the 30s.

Charmin & Shapira @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) An exquisite pairing of vocals and guitar, that shine on both jazz standards by the like of Thelonious Monk and the Great American Songbook.

Friday, October 30

Todd Harper Piano Fridays @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 56:30 – 7:30pm (Tip Jar) You may not be in the mood for any Halloween hijinks. In that case head to the Black Dog where pianist Todd Harper will be joined by bassist Keith Yannes and drummer Eric Courson for an early evening of reflective, delicate, and decidedly un-devilish music on “Devil’s Night.”

Photo by Andrea Canter

Photo of Jeremy Walker by Andrea Canter

Jeremy Walker @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (No Cover) The pianist/composer is back at the Vieux to provide late happy hour/dinner music that’s far, far better than what you’d expect at this time of day.

 

Magraw, Wells, & Bisong: a Benefit for Music Students in Guyana @ Walker West Music Academy, 760 Selby Avenue, Saint Paul. 8pm (Donation) Tuba player Tom Wells, who plays with Dick and Jane’s Brass Band, and with Maurice Jacox on occasion, will be playing with the fabulous guitarist Dean Magraw, and Ernest Bisong, a young jazz violinist from Guyana. Wells worked with the Guyana Lutheran Music Academy  for a few weeks last year and will be retuning this year. Any money raised will go to sponsor 15 Guyana students who took lessons last year but are unable to do so this year without some sponsorship. In lieu of tickets, donations will be accepted at the door.

Hipster Farm Supply Company/Basement Society @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10 Suggested Donation) No matter what the group is called, it’s led by Pete James Johnson, recently returned from Los Angeles, where he spent a number of years playing with folks like Bob Mintzer, Russ Ferrante, Rufus Reid, and Ambrose Akinmusire and more. He’ll be joined by Javi Santiago on piano, and Dan Carpel on bass.

Park Evans, of Battle Cat and other groups. Photo by Andrea Canter

Park Evans, of Battle Cat and other groups. Photo by Andrea Canter

Battle Cat @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) This edition of Friday Night jazz at the Nicollet features Park Evans, guitar; Greg Schutte, drums; and Cody McKinney, bass. Each of these musicians could lead their own band. The combination is sure to spark some musical fireworks.

Saturday, October 31

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm, 8:30pm (Tip Jar) It’s a combination of young guns and seasoned veterans tonight. At 7pm it’s the Will Schmid Trio, featuring Schmid, piano; Alma Engebretson, bass; and Simon Petrick, drums. At 8:30 How Birds Work will perform. This group was a monthly feature back at the Artists’ Quarter, so it’s great to be able to hear them once again: Kenny Horst, drums; Dean Granros, guitar; Peter Schimke, piano; and Chris Bates, bass.

Monday, November 2

U of MN Jazz Ensemble II and Combos @ Ted Mann Concert Hall, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (No Cover) Head over to the west bank campus of the U to hear the future of jazz as college students in the Jazz Ensemble II and various combos play for you.

Real Bulls and Enormous Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Real Bulls is the dynamic drumming duo of JT Bates and Dave King, both of whom create a pantheon of sounds on their instruments. Second act up is The Enormous Quartet: Park Evans, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; Chris Thompson, sax; and Joey Van Philips, drums.

Tuesday, November 3

Mary Louise Knutson @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (No Cover) Another early evening of exquisite music, this time from pianist Mary Louise Knutson  whose album In the Bubble spent considerable time at the top of the jazz charts, and who regularly tours with the Doc Severinsen big band.

Travis Anderson Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) It’s a very jazz night at the Vieux, as this swinging combination of musicians take the stage after Mary Louise Knutson. Travis Anderson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums; bring lots of energy and chops to their performances.

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, October 28

Katey Belleville on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Americana, Bluegrass, and Folk, from a singer/songwriter/guitarist  ho performs originals, traditional tunes, and contemporary tunes from artists like Gillian Welch. Tune in during the 5pm hour, and head over to the 331 to hear her live. She’ll be joined by friends Zach Gusa, guitar and vocals; Justin Bruhn, upright bass; and Mike Hedding on various stringed instruments.

Leon Bridges @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($22) Well, it’s sold out, but if you can get in, you’ll hear contemporary R&B that evokes, but doesn’t copy the likes of Sam Cooke. Bridges is an excellent songwriter with a voice that’s sweet, yet sure.

Hannah Von Der Hoff & the Dangertones: Humpy’d Halloween @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8, $5 with Costume) Work the kinks out of your costume with this early Halloween special featuring Von Der Hoff, a singer who does a modern take on 60s R&B. She’s got a strong voice that’s well suited to soulful sounds, and a band that serves her well.

Thursday, October 29

Big George Jackson and Jeremy Johnson @ Washington Square, White Bear Lake. 3pm (No Cover) Make your way to the tony NE village for a dose of the blues from gravel voiced Jackson and his guitarist/drummer cohort Johnson. Here he is with a full band.

Badi Assad @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($35) Assad is a Brazilian singer/songwriter as well as a brilliant guitarist, and percussionist. She blends pop, jazz, and world influences with traditional Brazilian music to create exciting performances, as she showed at the Dakota a couple of years ago. Her latest album, Hatched, features her take on songs by Lorde, Skillrex, and Mumford and Sons, among other contemporary artists.

Friday, October 30

Paul Metsa is Going to the Dogs @ Darby’s Pub and Grill, 315 5th Ave N, Minneapolis. $10 Suggested Donation) Singer/composer, guitarist, and author Paul Metsa is celebrating his 60th birthday with a benefit for Homeward Bound Dog Rescue. Paul knows many folks throughout the music industry, so don’t be surprised if some stop by and even perform a song or two.

Devil’s Night at the Black Forest Inn, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10 – $15 Suggested Donation) It’s an evening of solo, duo, and mixed chamber works featuring The Skeleton Crew chamber ensemble, as well as guest artists Eric Struve on upright bass; and Julie Johnson on concert flute, bass flute, and looping pedals, as well as mixed media visual artists Krista Pumroy, Beth Lowe, and Tom Siler. Here’s Julie Johnson in a different collaborative context. Here is Johnson on flute.

Friday, Saturday, October 31, 31

Ana Popovic @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) Born in Belgrade, Serbia, Popovic grew up in a home where her father’s record collection and nightly jam sessions inspired her to take up guitar at the age of fifteen. She eventually moved to the United States and began playing and touring, winning over fans with her electric funk, slide guitar, and jazzy blues. She’s been the only female performer on the Experience Hendrix tours and has been nominated for five Blues Music Awards.

Raw Oyster Cult @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($25) Celebrate the Halloween weekend with the music of New Orleans’ Raw Oyster Cult  featuring members of the Radiators, Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, and Papa Grows Funk: Dave Malone, vocals and guitar; Camile Baudoin, guitar; Frank Bua, drums, John “Papa” Gros, vocals, keys; and David Pomerleau, bass. Saturday’s show will feature the Krewe of DADs 30th Annual Masquerade Ball: “I Walked With Zombies.” Here’s an example of the Cult .

Saturday, October 31

Jeremy Messersmith & Friends present The Undead Masquerade @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Billed as an Evening of Music and the Macabre, this show will feature Messersmith’s 2010 CD, “The Reluctant Graveyard” (Named by NPR as one of the Top Ten Albums of the year) in its entirety, as well as an assortment of ghoulish tunes. Guests include Chris Koza, Aby Wolf, Lydia Hoglund (Bomba De Luz), and Natalie Lovejoy. Prizes will be awarded for best costumes.

Lamont Cranston Halloween Party @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 11pm. Pat Hayes has been carrying on and leading this band since 1969, and as a result, knows how to fill a dance floor and get the party going, whether for New Year’s, Halloween or any other occasion. Lamont Cranston has been named Best Twin Cities Blues Band a number of times, served as the inspiration for Dan Ackroyd’s Blues Brothers,and served as the opening band for a leg of a Rolling Stones tour. Here’s one of their instrumental workouts.

Patty & the Buttons @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Yes, yes, yes. More costume and Halloween frivolity as Patty and the Buttons bring their button-accordion-fueled swing the the basement club.

Sunday, November 1

Daddy Squeeze joins Corpse Reviver @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 3 – 5:30pm (Tip Jar) Dan Newton, master of the “Stomach Steinway” sits in with Corpse Reviver: Adam Kiesling, playing a new Banjo; Mikkel Beckmen, washboard and prcussion; and Jillian Rae, fiddle; for a spirited afternoon of music from the Anthology of American Folk Music!  Here’s a lighthearted version of a classic.

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.


Out Like A Lamb? Music: 3.25 – 3.31

March 25, 2015
Snow? Really?

Snow? Really?

Thanks to all who pledged to KFAI. The calendar tells us we’re moving into April, and though we had snow last night, it’s already melted on the streets, so getting out for music should be easy and as always, fun. This week we have a number of notable visiting artists in jazz, roots, and world music, as well as a couple of very young jazz bands, a couple of big bands and more. Hooray for us! Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, March 25

Levi at work

Levi at work

Levi Schwartzberg Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Talk about a band of young lions! Schwartzberg is the vibraphone player who was in the Dakota Combo for the last two years. He’s now a freshman at the UofMN, and plays in a number of bands in addition to leading this quintet, which includes Peter Goggin, alto; Aiden Sponheim, trumpet, Charlie Lincoln, double bass, and Ben Oni, on drums and cymbals. They’ll be playing some of Scwartzberg’s originals as well as improvised compositions.

Ellis Marsalis & Delfeayo Marsalis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $50), 9pm ($30 – $40) This is a must-see event for jazz lovers. The whole Marsalis family has been named Jazz Masters, but it’s patriarch Ellis, the pianist, who deserves the credit for instilling his sons with a love for jazz, and the desire to play it well. Ellis and Delfeayo, the trombonist, have recently released The Last of the Southern Gentlemen, a first time collaborative effort that’s an acknowledgement of love and respect for all people. Here’s Delfeayo, featured in a number with other members of the clan, including Ellis.

Enormous Quartet @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Here’s a chance for denizens of SW Minneapolis to hear some great talent without straying into either downtown. The quartet consists of Chris Bates, bass; Chris Thomson, sax; Park Evans, guitar; and Joey Van Philips, drums. Though there is no cover, Cafe Maude features a three course meal for $20 as well as a fine selection of potables from the bar. Request a seat where you can hear the band.

Thursday, March 26

Delfeayo at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival a couple of years back.

Delfeayo at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival a couple of years back.

Delfeayo Marsalis & Davell Crawford @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40-$50), 9pm ($30 – $40) Ellis Marsalis is unable to make the second night of this two night gig, so Delfeayo is bringing in Crawford, The Prince of New Orleans. In a town that’s filled with wonderful piano players, Crawford has distinguished himself as both a player and vocalist. Of course, Crawford also has his lineage as an inspiration: James Sugar Boy Crawford was in grandfather, and his godmother is Roberta Flack.

Fireside Five & Friends @ The Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) This is an under-the-radar gig that is worthwhile checking out, featuring five veteran jazz cats who swing like crazy: Tom Ashworth, trombone; Brian Grivna, sax; Phil Aaron, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. After the first set they invite equally talented friends to join them and jam. Be warned. It’s a small venue and seats fill up early.

Maryann Sullivan & Sarah Greer @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s a double dose of vocalists tonight at the basement club, featuring music that ranges from swinging classics from Peggy Lee and Billie Holiday, to more contemporary fare from the Beatles, Cyndi Lauper, and originals. Accompanying Ms Sullivan: Larry McDonough on vocals. With Sarah Greer: John Iden, bass; Jim Oujska, guitar; Doug Rohde, piano; and Dean White, drums.

Friday, March 27

Phil Aaron Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) For the second night in a row, Aaron is playing at an “underground” venue, though this time he’s the leader, with Zacc Harris, guitar; Matt Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. High quality music. Phil is really swingin’ on this video.

How Birds Work @ Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Another night, another band of excellent musicians. How Birds Work used to play the Artists’ Quarter with some welcome regularity, given that drummer Kenny Horst owned the club. The group, which also includes Peter Schimke, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Dean Granros, guitar; swings, whether they’re playing the music of Coltrane and Wayne Shorter, or their own originals.

Preservation Hall Jazz Band @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 8pm ($30 – $70) It’s been about five years since this 8-piece purveyor of original New Orleans Jazz came to town. It’s been a New Orleans institution for over 50 years, performing at its namesake hall and touring the world. Though its original members played with the likes of Buddy Bolden and Bunk Johnson, the current membership does a remarkable job of keeping the joyous sounds of traditional jazz alive.

Saturday, March 28

The 2014 - 20-15 Dakota Combo. Photo by Andrea Canter

The 2014 – 20-15 Dakota Combo. Photo by Andrea Canter

Dakota Combo & the Daley/Brattain Report @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Combo), 8:30pm (Daley/Brattain) ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Tonight’s Saturday Jazz at the Black Dog features both youngsters and veterans. The Dakota Combo is an open audition group that studies with Adam Linz. This year’s group includes: Peter Goggin, alto; Aiden Sponheim, trumpet; Jordan Anderson, piano; Charlie Lincoln, bass; Adam Astrup, guitar; Jack Courtright, trombone, and Sam Roberto, tenor; and Luke Peterson, drums. They’ll be followed at 8:30 by the Daley/Brattain Report: Dave Brattain, sax; Kevin Dal;ey, Bruce Heine, bass; David Stanoch, drums.

Sidewalk Cafe @ the 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm – 10:30pm ($10) Guitarist Reynold Philipsek has been playing for over fifty years, and is strongly influenced by Django Rheinhardt, as well as Wes Montgomery and Pat Martino. He regularly accompanies some of the area’s fine singers, and plays throughout the area, including this gypsy jazz gig, which includes the other members of Sidewalk Cafe  master violinist Gary Schulte, and the excellent Jeff Brueske on bass.

Sunday, March 29

Tierney Sutton: the Joni Mitchell Project @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($35), 8pm ($25) Tierney Sutton is an often subtle,  ethereal, and always thrilling singer, who immerses herself in a lyric. She’s received six Grammy nominations including one for her 2013 release, After Blue, which casts the music of Joni Mitchell in a new light. She’ll be accompanied by cellist Mark Summer of the Turtle Island String Quartet and French guitarist Serge Merlaud in an intimate evening of Mitchell’s music.

Century Jazz Orchestra @ Jethro’s Char-House and Pub, 3140 Century Avenue North, Mahtomedi. (3pm? 7pm,? Free?) I was unable to confirm times in time for this newsletter, so if you want to hear a much much better than average college big band, you’ll have to call the venue to confirm times and cover. The number at the Char House is 651-770-2443.

Monday, March 30

Bob Bowman – Doan Roessler Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Kansas City Bassist Bowman has visited town a number of times as a member of Karryn Allison’s band, where he provided an inventive, steady foundation for her singing. Before settling in Kansas City he was a member of the Thad Jones-Mel lewis Orchestra, the ToshikoAkiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band, and accompanied Carmen McCrae. Tonight he’s joining up with fellow bassist Doan Brian Roessler, pianist Peter Schimke, and percussionist Marc Anderson for what promises to be an evening of imaginative, exciting music. Here’s bowman

International Novelty Gamelan Record Release w/The Drone Band @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Monday nights at the Icehouse are given over to JTs Jazz Implosion, which always presents exciting jazz. Tonight’s a bit different, as International Novelty Gamelan celebrates the release of a CD. In their own words, ING explores new music using the instruments of a Javanese Gamelan Orchestra. The Drone Band explores sonic possibilities in minute changes in tone and timbre, and includes Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Evan Clark, tuba; Cory Healey drums; Noah Ophoven Baldwin, trumpet; Jim Pfeffer, bass; Cole Pulice, sax.

Tuesday, March 31

Eliane Elias Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $40), 9pm ($25 – $35) Brazilian born Elias is a pianist of great technique and passion and a vocalist who knows how to raise temperature with a cool, tempting voice. She’s lived in the U.S. for over thirty years, recording over 20 albums and recieveing five Grammy nomninations. Her latest album, Made in Brazil is, as might be expected from the title, a return to her Brazilian roots. Here’s a taste of her music.

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Regular readers may note that I often list this band quite regularly. I do so because: 1) Adam Meckler creates modern, yet highly accessible charts; 2) He’s gathered some of the finest young musicians in town to play; 3) They only play about once a month; and 4) Jazz Central is an intimate space where you can get blown away by the power of this 17 piece band

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, Jazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, March 25

Stringer Bell @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Vocalist Yasmina Moore-Foster and pianist Ted Godbout perform Top 40 hits, jazz standards, maybe a bit of R&B.

Thursday, March 26

Benjamin Booker @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist Booker is only 25 years old, yet the New Orleans native a rock has quickly become a hot ticket since the release of his debut album last summer. It didn’t hurt that he toured with Jack White. He’s got a raspy voice that’s well suited to his band’s dense sound, which hearkens back to the attitude of early rock n’ roll, when the guitars of Chuck Berry, James Burton, and Bo Diddley produced “dangerous” dance music. Olivia Jean opens.

Dumpy Jug Bumpers @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis.  10pm  (Tip Jar) With all the interest in roots and old timey music, it seems only natural that a band would draw upon the kazoo, which was featured in a number of songs in the 20s, as well as Jesse Fuller’s 1962 recording of San Francisco Bay Blues, and Eric Clapton’s version of that song. It’s a regular feature of jug bands of course, hence it’s use by the Jug Bumpers: Drew Temperante, resonator guitar, mandolin-banjo, kazoo, vocals; Tom Phelan, harmonica, vocals; Muskrat, parlor guitar, jug, kazoo, vocals; Liz Draper, upright bass.

The Icicles @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm (No cover) David Lynch meets Surf Pop in the instrumental music of Jake Hanson, guitars; Jim Anton, bass; and Jeremy Hanson, drums.

Friday, March 27

The Ericksons @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Sisterly harmonies from the Ericksons  who released a well-recieved album last year. Their folky, rootsy music was incubated in a time of darkness and loss, but the new album reveals a brighter outlook and love of family. Opening is Barbara Jean, a country-ish singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who also released a well-reviewed album last year.

Harold’s House Party @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, 7pm ($5) Just as he does on his weekly radio show, Harold Tremblay presents a mix of blues, both old & new, along with some roots/Americana music. Nathan Miller, 7pm; Doug Otto & Hurricane Harold, 8:15pm; Hula Peppers, 9pm.

Hipshaker Dance Party @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Ahh, the Hipshaker Crew once again combs  their record collections for rare funk n’ soul 45s that will have folks dancing with joy. Here’s an example of the kind of music they play.

Saturday, March 28

Otis Clay @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Otis Clay  s an original soul man, and you can bet the faithful will be out tonight. Though born in Mississippi, where he started singing in gospel groups, he moved to Chicago in the 50s, and in the 60s became a soul singer to be reckoned with. His first recordings on One-derful were recently released as part of a compilation on Secret Stash, and show that, if anything, his passionate singing is as strong as ever. After One-derful he went to Cotillion, and then scored hits on Memphis’ Hi Records with Tryhing to Live My Life Without You and If I Could Reach Out. He’s been coming to the Twin Cities off and on for the last thirty years or so and we’re lucky to know him.

Jimmi & the Band of Souls @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Whether they’re performing originals or covers of songs by Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, or even Bob Dylan and the Beatles, Jimmi and the band deliver a lively set of blues, which earned them the right to represent Minnesota at the International Blues challenge in Memphis this year.

Scottie Miller Band @ Washington Square Bar & Grill, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Miller is a piano player/songwriter whose music can evoke  both Professor Longhair and Bruce Springsteen, among others, though he is, no doubt, his own man when it comes to performing.

Monday, March 30

Ibeyi w/Flo Morrissey @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15) Ibeyi are French Cuban twins who perform in both English and Yoruban, from the Cuban culture of Yoruba. Naomi Dian plays percussive instruments, while Lisa plays piano. Their music reflects both the Cuban culture of their father, percussionist Ana Diaz, as well as the R&B of modern music. English singer Flo Morrissey opens.

Tuesday, March 31

Castro, Sabien, & Dunn @ Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) That’s Gaby Castro, Randy Sabien, and Joe Dunn, three multi-instrumentalists, each with their own take on roots and Americana. After getting her start in San Francisco, Castro moved to the Twin cities to attend McNally Smith College of Music, where Dunn is also a student. Sabien started the string department there (and at Berklee) and continues to teach there. They’ll be playing original music on acoustic instruments in various combinations.

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


A Full Calendar of Music: 9.24 – 9.30

September 24, 2014

UnknownWe’ve quite the week coming up as we transition into Fall. The jazz calendar is chock full of outstanding artists – both visiting and resident bands. In the meantime, the blues, roots, and other calendar has a free festival, a movie, an exciting benefit, and more. A great week for music lovers.

Jazz

Wednesday, September 24

Byron Johnson-Blanchard Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation)  Johnson-Blanchard brings his hard-hitting drums to the Black Dog, along with his pals David Hirsch on sax; Thomas Nordlund on guitar; and Andrew Foreman on bass; for an evening of jazz standards and originals.

Chick Corea & The Vigil @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($70 – $95), 9pm ($55 – $80) Holy cow! And I’m not talking about the prices. Corea is a 20-time Grammy Winner and NEA Jazz Master. The Vigil is his latest project, featuring a band from the 2013 album of the same name: Charles Altura, guitar; Carlitos Del Puerto, bass; Tim Garland, reeds, Marcus Gilmore, drums, and Luisito Quintero, percussion. Expect rewordings of a number of Corea classics as well as new music.

Thursday, September 25

The Cookers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $42) This is an all-star septet featuring both long established veterans, and a couple of second generation hard boppers: Billy Hart, drums (Herbie Hancock); George Cables, piano (Dexter Gordon, Art Pepper); Cecil McBee, bass; Eddie Henderson, trumpet (Herbie Hancock); Billy Harper on Tenor Sax (Lee Morgan, Max Roach, Art Blakey); and David Weiss, trumpet; Donald Harrison on alto sax. All but Harrison and Weiss started in the 50s and 60s, and all have led their own groups. Their recent album, Time and Time Again is a burner.

Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Washington’s appearances at the Black Dog are always filled with surprise and wonder as he tackles standards in ways you’ve never heard, along with a large bit of free improvisation. He’ll be joined by Brian Roessler, bass; Tery Cherner, trumpet; and son Kevin Washington on drums and piano.

Friday, September 26

Photo by Andrea Canter

Photo by Andrea Canter

Adam Meckler Orchestra CD Release Party @ Antonello Hall, MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($10) It’s a little over a year since the 17-piece AMO made its debut. Now after many a monthly gig, Meckler and the band is set to officially celebrate the release of When the Clouds Look Like This, an album of great depth, strength, and beauty.

Kronick Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Bassist/vocalist Richard Kronick leads this group, which plays tightly arranged jazz, including bop, swing, soul-jazz, and Kronick’s own compositions.

Saturday, September 27

How Birds Work @ the Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Another season, another jazz series. This time it’s curated by Steve Kenny and held at the Black Dog. To kick off the series, he’s bringing in How Birds Work, the quartet of imaginative veterans formerly based at the Artists Quarter. It should be a heck of an evening. Dean Granros, guitar; Peter Schimke, piano; Billy Peterson, bass; and Kenny Horst, drums.

Sunday, September 28

Maud Hixson & French 75 @ Bloomington Center for the Arts, Bloomington. 2pm ($16 – $26)  Cafe Society: From Piaf to Coward, featuring clarinetist Tony Balluff; saxophonist Gus Sandberrg; guitarist Robert Bell; bassist Steve Pikal; and drummer Nathan Norman. Of course, there’s the cool yet vibrant vocals of Ms Hixson.

Monday, September 29

Jon Weber and Mela Fransisco @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Regular attendees at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival know Weber as the highly talented piano player with an encyclopedic knowledge of songs and the stories around them. He is the host of Piano Jazz on NPR had has been called a virtuosic pianist with outstanding technique. Francisco Mela is a Cuban drummer/percussionist who has played with McCoy tuner, Joe Lovano, and John Scofield, among others, and has appeared at the TC Jazz Festival for the last two years. In fact, he’s in town on Festival business since he’s been named it’s artistic director. There will be some special announcements about the festival during the evening’s intermission. Here’s Mela, playing with Kenny Barron.

Framework w/Pete Whitman @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) The shimmering music of Chris Olson, guitar; Chirs Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums is enhanced, if that’s possible, with the addition of Pete Whitman on saxophone. Nice.

Tuesday, September 30

Coryell, Bailey, & White @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($25) Jazz rock fans rejoice! Three of the genres pioneers are gathering to prove that blistering improvisation and rock rhythms are not mutually exclusive. Larry Coryell on guitar has been called the inventor of the  genre, though he can play delicate soothing lines, as well as fiery electric work. Victor Bailey took over the bass spot in Weather Report when Jaco Pasorius left the group. Drummer Lenny White played in Return to Forever and on the Miles Davis Bitches Brew recordings.

Acme Jazz Company @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) this 19-piece band was formed in 2008 to perform original music as well as arrangement by band members. They released a CD in April that gotten some good reviews. At the cozy, intimate Jazz Central they’ll be a force to be reckoned with.

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…

Wednesday, September 24

Scottie Miller on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) When Pianoman Miller plays you can hear traces of Professor Longhair’s mambos, barrelhouse piano, and good ol’ rock n’ roll. He’s a heckuva player who writes great songs and regularly tours with Ruthie Foster. Listen in and then head over to the 331 Club. BTW, it’s still Fall Pledge Drive at KFAI, so you may want to bring extra cash or a credit card to the 331, cuz Hurricane Harold will have some forms ready for you to fill out.

Thursday, September 25

Courtney Yasmineh @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm – 11pm ($10) After spending the summer recording in New York, Courtney and her band will soon be taking off on a small club tour of Europe and the (still) United Kingdom in support of her new album being released in Europe next week. She’s called an alt-rock/indie pop singer, but labels aside, she simply rocks, throwing in the odd folk or gospel tune for flavoring.

Friday, September 26

Opening of Take Me To the River @ Landmark Theaters. Various times and places. Anyone who saw Otis Clay at the Dakota this past year will remember that he brought out a young rapper to do a song with him. He first did so for this film, which celebrates the inter-generaltional influence of Memphis music. It features artists like Clay, Bobby Blue Bland, Mavis Staples, Bobby Rush, and Charlie Musselwhite interacting and recording with artists like Snoop Dog, Lil P-Nut, and Yo Gotti. Runs for a week. Here’s the trailer.

Pablo Ziegler’s New Tango Ensemble @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $42) Pianist Ziegler is one of Astor Piazzola’s foremost portages, playing with him in the Piazzolla’s New Tango Quartet.  He’s also played with Gary Burton and collaborated with Emmanuel Ax and the Paul Taylor Dance Company, as seen below.

 

Lovesick Blues: A Tribute to Hank Williams & Benefit for Slim Dunlap @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) This benefit features Curtiss A and the Cold Cold Hearts. The “Dean of Scream” does a surprisingly good homage to Williams as he’s demonstrated at the Dakota a couple of times in the last year or so. Also on the bill is Nate Dungan of Trailer Trash, Molly Maher, Janie Miller and more. Plus, it’s a benefit for guitarist Slim Dunlap, everyone’s favorite rocker.

Saturday, September 27

Rauchfest @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. Noon – 10pm (Free) 2 Stages, 3 Food Trucks, 10 beers, 10 bands, and more, featuring all kinds of music from the likes of The Fattenin’ Frogs, Frogleg, The Jones Gang, Dan Israel, Mikel Wright & the Wrongs and Steez, among others. Here’s a video of the Fattenin’ Frogs.

A Progressive SoundScape Evening @ Old Arizona, 2821 Nicollet, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) A Trio of rock acts, including percussionist (marimaba, drums) Scotty Horey: RisingSide, a hard driving progressive rock act, and Harakiri, who recently released a CD. It’s set up so you can listen or dance.

Tom Robinson Band @ Mattie’s on Main, 43 Main Street SE, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Robinson and his band have been on a hiatus for the last year or so, so for fans of Brazilian music it’s a treat to have him back. He uses a his tasty guitar as well as a vast knowledge of different Brazilian styles to present an evening of sensuous and swaying music. Make sure to sit in the stage area as Mattie’s can be a bit noisy if crowded.

Unknown-2Chicago Cajun Aces @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 Suggested Donation) The Krewe de Walleye is bringing the Aces up from Chicago to provide dance music for their John Hugelen Cajun Music Scholarship Dance and Fundraiser. The event actually starts at 5:30pm with a Cajun dance, silent auction, and performances by scholarship winners. Rug cutting’ goes from 8pm – 11pm.

Sweethearts of the Rodeo @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm – 11pm ($10) Frankie Lee hosts this evening of performances by three ladies – Molly Maher, Lydia Liza (of Boba de Luz), and Lael Neale, singing songs of heartbreak, love, and declarations of independence.

Monday, September 29

Div Son @ The Blackdog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Here’s a change of pace well suited for those of you who travel to Mexico. Div Son is a three piece band featuring Cadence Nelson and and Israel Vega on Jarochas – guitar-like instruments from Vera Cruz. They are accompanied by Nickolai Kolarov on cello as they play the regional folk music of Vera Cruz.

Tuesday, September 30

Paul Mayasich with Bingham & Thorne @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Mayasich is a bit of a guitar god around these parts, equally at home with a dobro or electric slide, while Bingham & Thorne are a couple of fingerpicking aces. Sounds like a heck of an evening.

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.

 

 


A Busy Week for Arts and Music: 6.5 – 6.11

June 5, 2013
Downtown Saint Paul, a hub of music and arts this week.

Downtown Saint Paul, a hub of music and arts this week.

Not to put too fine a point on things, but this week will be hopping in downtown Saint Paul, as two summer series get their start and an all-night art festival takes place during the weekend. Over in Minneapolis, there’s  an acoustic music festival on Saturday, and we’ll be treated to visiting artists from New Orleans, South Africa, and New York. To top things off, we’ve got a couple of Woodstock-era artists visiting town, tempting those of a certain age to get out and spend some of their children’s inheritance. Live music is good for the soul. Have a great week.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 5

Sister Swing @ the Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) This is the start of the annual Music in the Cafe Series at the Landmark every Wednesday through July. Maryann Sullivan and Rhonda Laurie sing and swing some standards, abetted by Doug Haining, sax; Steve Pikal, bass, and Robert Bell, guitar. Get yourself some lunch at Anita’s Cafe in the atrium (where the concert takes place) or brownbag it.

Body Omara @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Jazz informed by the Desert Blues of Mali. Body Omara is Robert Damman, guitar and compositions; Tom Reichert, bass; and Davu Seru, drums & percussion.

Photo by John Whiting

Photo by John Whiting

Phil Hey/Pat Moriarty Duo and Round Trip @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Drummer Hey and alto saxophonist Moriarty have been playing together for forty years. Playing as a duo, their ability to communicate so well allows them to create free music that is exciting and much more accessible than you would think. They’ll also be doing some sets with their Ornette Coleman repertory band, Round Trip, which includes Chris Thomson on tenor and Tom Lewis on bass. Jazz fans of many stripes will not want to miss this.

Thursday, June 6

Rebirth Brass Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($20) From New Orleans comes this Brass Band that started out on the streets 30 years ago, and now travels the world spreading joy. Music that’s visceral, yet celebrates the pure joy of being alive.  Check out this video.

Southside Aces @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 8pm Foodtruck: Cajun 2 Geaux. More New Orleans music, this is of the traditional kind, performed by a band from the area. If the weather is nice, the warehouse doors will be open and you can do some swing dancing, or just enjoy the music while you’re outside.

Byron Johnson-Blanchard Trio @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Jazz standards and originals from this recent grad of MacNally Smith. Byron is the drummer for High and Mighty, so you know he’ll be in the pocket.

Friday, Saturday, June 7,8

How Birds Work @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) A quartet of musicians who consistently deliver exciting performances. Dean Granros, guitar, Chris Bates, bass; Peter Schimke, piano; and Kenny Horst on drums can mesmerize and inspire as they play “standards” from folks like Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane, and Herbie Hancock, while throwing in some originals for good measure. They only play a few times a year, so it’s a treat to have them for a weekend.

Saturday, June 8

Courageous Endeavors and Lars Larson’s Mancrush @ Jazz at Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm/doors at 6:30 ($10) It’s Young Lions night for this final show of this season’s Jazz at Studio Z series. Courageous Endeavors is led by Brian Courage on bass, quickly becoming a bassist-about-town, and features recent University grad Joe Strachan on piano; with Nelson Deveraux on sax; and Miguel Hurtado on drums. Mancrush features drummer Lars Larson, with relatively young veterans Zacc Harris on guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Bryan Nichols on Fender Rhodes.

Lomheim, Jany, & Weston @ Porter & Frye Jazz Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm – Midnight (No Cover) A new spot for jazz, at least for the rest of June. Chris Lomheim, piano; Pavel Jany, guitar, and Dan Weston, bass. It’s located in the lower level of Porter & Frye, in the Hotel Ivy.

Sunday, June 9

Jazz on the Prairie Big Band Festival @ Staring Lake Amphitheater, 14800 Pioneer Trail, Eden Prairie. 2pm – 6pm (Free) Six community big bands, including The River City Jazz Orchestra, The Good News Big Band, The Just Friends Big Band, the Acme Jazz Company, w/vocalist Arne Fogel, The Bend in the River Big Band, and the Jazz on the Prairie Big Band. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. The Eden Prairie Rotary Club are sponsoring a Ribfest in case you get hungry. More information is available here.

Connie Evingson: Songs by Dave Frishberg @ The Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm, 7:30pm ($25) w/Jon Weber, piano; Dave Karr, sax; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. The music of Dave Frishberg is always hip. Heck, he’s even got a great little song called “I’m Hip,” as well as “Peel Me a Grape,” “My Attorney Bernie,” and more. Evingson did a whole album of his tunes, and she’s got a hip backing band as well. Here’s a video someone put together from Connie’s album of Frishberg songs.

Tuesday, June 11

images-2Hugh Masekela and Larry Willis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($25) Trumpet/piano duets from two musicians who attended the Manhattan School of Music together in the 60s. Since graduating, Masekela had a few pop hits (Grazing in the Grass, anyone?) and then went on to concentrate on the politics of his native South Africa. Previous appearances at the Dakota with a full band had him performing uplifting, vital music. Willis was a force on the avante-garde scene of NYC in the sixties, and also recorded with such stalwarts as Lee Morgan, Stan Getz, and Jackie McLean, not to forget Blood, Sweat, and Tears, Alphonse Mouzon, Carla Bley and a host of others. More recently, he’s recorded with Erik Alexander, released well-received CDs on High Note Records, and was recently featured with the Steve Davis Quintet on a live recording from Smalls in NY.

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

Wednesday, June 5

Crenshaw with a copy of his 80s album.

Crenshaw with a copy of his 80s album.

Marshall Crenshaw, the Bottle Rockets @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20-Advance, $30 – Door, $40 – VIP)  A double-bill that’s worth your while. Marshall Crenshaw is a power pop singer/songwriter who scored pretty big with “Someday, Someway” back in the 80s. He’s had four of his songs covered by Ronnie Spector and others covered by folks ranging from Austin songstress Lou Ann Barton to Freedy Johnston and Bette Medler. Crenshaw has appeared in the touring show of Beatlemania, played Buddy Holly in the Richie Valens biopic La Bamba and published “Hollywood Rock: A Guide to Rock n’ Roll in the Movies.” He currently hosts a radio show on the fabled WFUV in New York, featuring his own collection of records. On the other hand, The Bottle Rockets, from Saint Louis, have been around since 1992, creating a rockin’ body of work that reflects the views of everyman.

Thursday, June 6

Dan Israel & the Cultivators, Martin Devaney @ Music in Mears, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm (Free) Lowertowns annual summer music series opens with Dan Israel, who just celebrated the ambitious release of “Danthology,” and “Live On.” Danthology is a two LP vinyl set of 25 of what he considers his best songs from 20 years and a dozen CDs, while Live On is his latest CD. Singer/songwriter Martin Devaney, who’s no slouch when it comes to both, opens.

images-4Joan Baez @ The Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley. 7pm ($47) The first show of this season’s Music in the Zoo will open without the presence of the event’s founder, Sue McLean, who passed away a couple of weeks ago. Joan Baez came to fame at the Newport Folk Festival in 1959, hung out with Bob Dylan, played Woodstock, recorded over 30 albums, garnered a few gold records, and received a lifetime achievement award at the 2007 Grammy’s. Her crystalline voice moved more than a few anti-war protesters back in the day. As always with this series, it’s wise to buy your tickets ahead of time.

Friday, June 7

Molly Maher, Erik Koskinen @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. (No Cover) Maher and Koskinen in a rare appearance outside of their weekly Wednesday night Aster Cafe gig. Erik Koskinen, who opens at 7pm, is a talented roots/Americana singer and guitarist often called upon to tour with national artists. He’ll be followed at 9pm by Molly Maher and Her Disbelievers, an alt-country, rootsy group that delivers heartbreak in a winning way, thanks to Maher’s soulful vocals. Neither artists gets enough attention. Food Truck: Tollefson Family Pork

Charanga Tropical & DJ Fatty @ Northrup Plaza, U of M, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10:30pm (Free) DJ Fatty spins Salsa until 8pm, when the nine-piece latin band takes over. Charanga Tropical includes three violins, a flute and a latin rhythm section, including musicians from Cuba, Brazil, and Mexico. There is sure to be plenty of dancing under the stars on the large plaza of the U’s Northrup auditorium. Food and drinks will be available for sale. Here’s an excerpt featuring their string section.

New, Live, & Local @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 8pm – Midnight ($5) Here’s a chance to see a wide variety of music in one evening, including the Symbiosis Drum & Dance Ensemble; Srahalys, performing music from Eastern Europe and Central Asia; Bella Duo, two cats from the Spaghetti Western Company; and Caravan Music and Dance, performing classical and contemporary music from the Middle East.

Saturday, June 8

Loring Park Acoustic Music Festival @ Loring Park, Minneapolis. Noon – 8pm (Free) Spend your Satuday havin a picnic and lolling on the grass while you listen to the cream of the area’s acoustic musicians, including the DL Cajun Trio; Jack Klatt & the Cat Swingers; Mikkel Beckmen and Steve Kaul; the Town Hall Stompers, and the Roe Family Singers, among others. There’ll be a couple of food trucks available, naturally, but a couple of neighborhood restaurants are a short walk away, should you want different take-out.

The Good, The Bad and the Funky @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($?) Always funky, never bad, except when bad means good. This ten-piece horn band plays funk, soul, and R&B. Whether you’re 21 or 61, their infectious, old school approach to R&B will lure you to the dance floor.

Saturday-Sunday, June 8-9

Northern Spark Festival @ Lowertown, Saint Paul. 9pm Saturday – 5am Sunday (Free) A panoply of art and music (almost 80 projects) with performances and demonstrations ranging from the Ananya Dance Theater to the Shubert Club, saxman Steve Clark, DeeJay Rambo Salinas (ex-Hot Pants), and shape note singing, to Zeitgeist. It all takes place at the Union Depot, along the river, and throughout Lowertown. The evening opens with a concert by Mayda in the Union Depot and closes with yoga at Lower Landing. The full schedule of events can be found here. Be sure to take your “disco nap” on Saturday.

Sunday, Monday, June 9, 10

John Sebastian @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($36) Holy Woodstock! First we have Joan Baez, now John Sebastian in the same week. There will be lots of graybeards in the audience for this show, but don’t be surprised if members of other generations show up as well. With a friendly voice and well-written songs, Sebastian has been an inspiration to numerous singer/songwriters. He was responsible for the Lovin’ Spoonful having seven songs in the top ten. After Woodstock, he took to writing for television and films, scoring with “Welcome Back,” for Welcome Back Kotter, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. Welcome Back, Indeed. Here’s a song you may have forgotten.

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.


Not Quite a Guitarathon. Music: 11.14 – 11.20

November 14, 2012

You might say it’s a bit of a guitar-centered week, with some gypsy jazz players, as well as a couple of slide guitar wizards coming to town.  There’s also a terrific opportunity to hear a variety of music with a four-night New Music Cabaret, as well as some horn-centered bands. Another good week in the Twin Cities.

Jazz

Wednesday, November 14

Fuzzy Math @ The 318 Club, Excelsior. 8pm ($6) Original, contemporary jazz that swings quite nicely, with touches of Latin and world music just to make things a bit more interesting. The 318 is a small club, so reservations are recommended.

Caravan of Thieves @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) This group is known for playing Gypsy jazz, but they play much more: acoustic jump blues, and swing, wrapped in vocal harmonies & intriguing songs, including covers of artists such as the Talking Heads and Queen. The Gypsy Mania Quartet opens. Here’s a video:

Thursday, November 15

Phil Mattson Singers @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm (Donation)  Phil Mattson has gathered six very good singers and arranged a number of songs with six part, jazzy harmonies. Hear them tonight in the comfy confines of Jazz Central.

Friday, November 16

Jana Nyberg Group @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm. (No Cover) Jana and the guys have been keeping quite busy doing tours of the Midwest, from Wisconsin to Chicago, to Missouri and Omaha. They’re invited back to clubs in no small part because of Jana’s easy, yet knowing vocals, but don’t discount the solid backing she gets from band stalwarts hubby Adam Meckler on trumpet and Evan Montgomery on guitar.

Brad Bellows/Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (tip jar) Washington is the guy that taught saxophonist James Carter.Bellows plays valve trombone around town. Together they create music that goes to the edge, but never falls off. Their ability to communicate with each other is the trick, as each follows and anticipates the other with ease.

B3 Organ Night, with Guest David Martin @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7-9pm (donation) Tanner and Mac are taking the organ out of the storeroom for a night of groovalicious jazz. Martin is a versatile guitarist, just as home with Brazilian rhythms as he is accompanying vocalists or trading licks with a B3.

Friday, Saturday, November 16, 17

How Birds Work @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Peter Schimke, piano; Dean Granros, guitar; Billy Peterson, bass; and Kenny Horst, drums. It’s been a while since we’ve heard from this exciting quartet, and it’s good to welcome them back. They play adventurous originals as well as compositions by folks such as Coltrane and Wayne Shorter with assurance and imagination, throwing hints of rock and funk into a post-bop mix.

Monday, November 19

Dorado Schmitt and the Gypsy Jazz All-Stars @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($27), 9pm ($20) Last time Schmitt was in town was a few years back for the Minnesota Sur Seine Festival, where he wowed the audience with his guitar wizardry. He’s a favorite of the annual Django Reinhardt Festival in NYC, and has played with folks like Oscar Peterson, Philip Catherine, Paquito D’Rivera, and James Carter.

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…

Wednesday, November 14

Sound System Sabotage @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Live Reggae Dub. Haunting sounds that float above a righteous rhythm, all produced by a trio – keyboards, bass, drums, with an occasional trombone

Sonny Landreth with Charlie Parr @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30 pm ($30) Landreth came to prominence playing in Clifton Chenier’s band. He has since become well known among guitarists, if less known among those of us who simply listen (or dance) to music. He’s a master of the slide guitar, and has contributed to recordings and music by Dr. John, Maria Muldaur, Government Mule and others. Bonus opening act: Charlie Parr, he of the stripped down blues. Here’s a video of Sonny talking and demonstrating his skills.

Thursday, November 15

Crankshaft @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm (Free) If anyone can crack the noise at Hell’s Kitchen, then Crankshaft can, with his raw, hyper energy, all in the cause of playing the blues. It’s more Hill Country than Chicago, or even the Delta. Hang on tight.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, October 15, 16, 17, 18

New Music Cabaret @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm (Thursday, Friday) 5:30pm (Saturday), 2:00pm Sunday ($10/night or $25 for all) The New Music Cabaret is now in it’s fourth year, and it continues to prove to be a great sampler of Twin Cities music. From Baroque to the 21st Century. From Big Band to world fusion. From new classical music, to new pop/fusion. From 21st Century jazz to free improvisation. See the Zeitgeist website for a complete rundown.

Friday, Saturday, November 16, 17

CJ Chenier @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25)  The only thing keeping the Dakota from being overrun during these shows is the lack of a dance floor. CJ carries on the zydeco tradition of his dad Clifton, with a modern touch or two, nothing however that will keep you from moving, even if you’re in a chair.

Saturday, November 17

Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials @ Famous Dave’s Uptown, Minneapolis. 9pm ($6) Explosive Slide Guitar from Lil’ Ed. Chicago blues of the highest order. The Alligator Records veteran is  getting a bit older, so I don’t know if he still jumps off the stage and does splits during some of his solos, but never fear, the fire in his guitar will get you going.

Greazy Gravy & Swamp Kings @ Cherokee Tavern, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) A two-fer of danceable blues and Louisiana rhythms up Smith Street from the High Bridge. Greazy Gravy is a blues aggregation headed up by Harmonica Curtis Blake, while Tom Harkness and his trio stir up the swamp sounds.

Willie Murphy & the Angel-Headed Hipsters @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5?) Willie is celebrating his birthday, so you know the dance floor will be filled with folks shufflin’ and scufflin, movin’ and groovin’ and bumpin’ some rumps, as Willie and the band blast R&B, Soul, and a little Rock n’ Roll your way. Here’s a clip from the Minnesota Original show.

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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