More Than Elevator Fare. Music: 3.4 – 3.10

March 4, 2015

Unknown-3Ahh, if March is here can Spring be far behind? I know, you can never tell here in the North, where we’ve been known to have April blizzards. Things are looking up for the weekend, with forecasts in the 40s, so you can take advantage of the fertile musical offerings to be found this week: a couple of shows that might be called nostalgic; some visiting jazzers that will awe and inspire you; African and Jamaican superstars; and resident artists who are rich in talent. Music lifts the spirit, although Gary Larson’s cartoon might indicate at least one instance where that doesn’t happen.


Wednesday, March 4

Pedrito Martinez Group @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($27), 9pm ($17) If you didn’t catch conguero/percussionist Pedrito Martinez June you missed a virtuoso display of Afro-Cuban music. Since arriving in North America in 1998, Martinez has established himself as both a bandleader and an important sideman, playing complex rhythms for such artists as Eddie Palmieri, Bebo Valdes, Bruce Springsteen, Cassandra Wilson, Joe Lovano, and Sting, among others. He was recently featured as one of the “80 Coolest Things in Jazz Today” in Downbeat’s 80th anniversary issue.

Chomsky & Thomas Nordlund Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s New Music Night at Jazz Central, and they’ve a double bill for jazz fans. Andrew Foreman’s group Chomsky will start things off. Besides Foreman on bass, the group includes Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Thomas Nordlund, guitar; and Zach Schmidt, drums. Then Nordlund switches instruments, to a Baritone guitar; and is joined by Ben Abrahamson, guitars; Kevin Gastonguay, keys; Foreman on bass; and Lars-Erik Larson on drums. Together they’ll play new music from Nordlund’s upcoming EP of baritone guitar. Here is one of his originals.

Thursday, March 5

UnknownDouglas Ewart @ The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. 6pm  (Free) Ewart is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, improviser, and maker of both masks and instruments. He plays a variety of reed and percussion instruments, as well as the digideroo, and has collaborated with The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Yusef Lateef, Cecil Taylor, and many Chicago heavyweights. HIs appearance is part of the Walker’s Sound Horizon series, exploring the spaces between sound and visual art.

Travis Anderson Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) It’s Foodie Night at the Dakota, with some swingin’ music to boot, brought to you by Travis Anderson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums.

Katia Cardenas @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Cardenas is a talented jazz & R&B singer, who has been showing up a various venues around town of late, including the Dakota, the Nicollet Cafe, Honey, and Bedlam Lowertown. She has an expressive voice, and is wise enough to reveal her power in small portions. Tonight she’ll be singing the songs of Ella Fitzgerald.

Merciless Ghost @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9:30pm ($5) George Cartwright is an adventurous explorer of saxophonic sounds, and tonight he is joined by Josh Granowski, bass; and drummer/percussionist Davu Seru.

Friday, March 6

Musical comrades

Musical comrades

Magraw/Gravatt @ the Nicollet, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20/reserved seats, No Cover, General Admission) Guitarist Magraw and drummer Eric Kamau Gravatt have a natural ability to communicate on a deeply personal musical level. Their recent CD on Red House Records, has been well received nationally as well as regionally. Reserved seating, available here  guarantees a table near the stage, and is recommended.

Raisin’ Cane: A Harlem Renaissance Odyssey @ The O’Shaughnessy, Saint Paul. 7:30pm. ($25 – $55) This is a multi-media show about the literary and artistic blossoming of Harlem in the years after WWI, featuring actor/songstress Jasmine Guy & the Avery Sharpe Trio. Sharpe was the bassist for the McCoy Tyner Trio for 18 years, recording 10 albums with Tyner, and has released seven albums as a leader. There’s an interview with Guy in Tuesdays Star Tribune. Here’s a bit of a preview.

JT Bates B3 Organ Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Kevin Gastonguey, B3 Organ; Zacc Harris, guitar; JT Bates, drums. Oooh, things in the basement will get down and greasy with some B3 jazz from excellent musicians.

Saturday, March 8

DD7 & Charlie Lincoln Group @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) It’s an evening of young whippersnappers at 7pm, and seasoned veterans at 98:3-0pm. Bassist Charlie Lincoln is still in high school. He’s a member of the Dakota Combo and has been musically growing by leaps and bounds in the last year or so. His group includes Aiden Sponheim, trumpet; and Peter Goggin, alto; (both also in this year’s Dakota Combo) and Levi Schwartzberg, piano (of last year’s Dakota Combo). At 8:30 the “oldsters” of DD7 will perform. They are Anthony Cox, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Mike Lewis, sax; Steve Kenny Flumpet; JT Bates, drums.

Monday, March 9

David Sanchez Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($20) The Grammy-winning and five-time nominee is a tenor saxophonist from Puerto Rico with a rich sound. He worked with Dizzy Gillespie for a number of years, as well as Charlie Haden, Eddie Palmieri, and others. Sanchez’s latest project, Baboula, follows the evolution of various West African and Caribbean rhythms to their use in the music of New Orleans and modern jazz.

Joan Griffith @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Griffith is a bassist/guitarist who is particularly adept at Brazilian rhythms. Griffith has recorded with Prudence Johnson, Laura Caviani, and Lucia Newell, and is director of the Macalester College Big Band.

Tuesday, March 10

Cassandra Wilson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $60) It can easily be argued that Cassandra Wilson’s wholly fresh take on vocal jazz has changed the music. She has taken standards, folk songs, pop songs, and Delta Blues to new places by changing tempos, the way words are emphasized, and, from time to time, the utilization of unexpected instruments. She’s now touring behind a new album that’s an homage to Billie Holiday, another singer who changed the public’s perception of jazz singing.

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.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, March 4

Jaybone Bell and Restless Light on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) High energy, melodic roots rock & bluegrass from Winona. Jason Ziebell (Jaybone) is the chief writer. He’s joined by jazz masters Kelly Blau on electric guitar & mandolin and Jase Ginkel on bass & harmonica, along with Steve Jones, drums; and Isaac Sammis, banjo.

The Wailers @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20) What more can be said about these reggae veterans who backed Bob Marley? They’ve sold over 250 million records worldwide, and though their charismatic leader died years ago, they carry on, led by bassist Aston, “Family Man” Barrett, who played with Lee Perry’s Upsetters before joining Marley in 1969.

Thursday, March 5

Records and beer  for an early Thursday evening.

Records and beer for an early Thursday evening.

The Return of Vinyl Tap @ Tin Whiskers Brewing Tap Room, 125 East 9th St., Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm (Free) I usually leave my own spinning gigs to the sidebar, but this one deserves a bit more attention. Vinyl Tap is the gig where I ask the audience to play name that tune about every 20 minutes or so. Winners get a prize (hint, it’s a tap room). I had been doing this at the Amsterdam until about a year ago, and so I’m happy to be able to do this at downtown Saint Paul’s brewery.

Benfest @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) A surfeit of Bens, songwriting Bens. All of them well versed in verses. Ben Kyle (Romantica); Ben Lubeck (Farewell Milwaukee); Ben Cook-Feltz; Ben Miller (the Federales) and Ben Tucker. All will share songs and stories together on one stage. And did I mention they’re all named Ben

Friday, March 6

Jake Manders CD Release @ Patrick’s Cabaret, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Manders has a voice that sounds both weary and hopeful, which is just right for his easygoing, rootsy music. He’s celebrating a new CD, Acoustic Frequency, on which Greta Hunstiger provides substantial violin, nicely goosing along the faster numbers, and Daryn Chrystensen plays piano and percussion. The first fifty to pay at the door will get a copy. Barron, of Farewell Milwaukee, will open, with DJs David & Laura from Hymie’s providing additional music. Here’s a song on the CD.

Janie Miller and the Square Roots @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($6) Janie Miller is well known for her Patsy Cline shows. She sometimes shows up at Bobby Eckstrand gigs, to share her voice which is just about perfect for singing other country songs. Square Roots with special guest harmonica ace Curtis Blake, open at 7pm.

Saturday, March 7

Unknown-3Caprice Saxophone Quartet: Undercurrents @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($10) Four saxophone players performing miminalist music by Reich, Torke, Labodie, and Rosenhaus, with drummer Steve Horey joining them for an arrangement of Paranoid Android, by Radiohead.

Hugh Masekela & Vusi Mahlasela @ the Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:00pm ($20 – $47) Oh boy! the Ordway is having a host of cool events during March. This one celebrates the music of South Africa. Masekela is the trumpeter who hit the top 40 back in the 60s  with Grazin’ in the Grass. His live shows are joyful affairs, with hip-swinging rhythms and songs that mine both traditional and urban African themes. Vusi Mahlasela has a gentle, gorgeous voice, at times reminiscent of Sam Cooke both in its timbre, and in the way he uses it to inspire hope. This show celebrates the 20th anniversary of the end of Apartheid. Here’s a video of Mahlasela.

Silvertones @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm. (No Cover) When you want to dance to the music of the 60s, this is the band to call upon. This isn’t a band that slavishly plays note-for-note recreations of the hits: these are obviously and utterly devoted to the songs, but more importantly, they have fun.

Sunday, March 8

Ricky Nelson Remembered @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($35), 8pm ($30) Rick Nelson became a Teen Idol and rock n’ roller in large part because he was featured on his parent’s show, Ozzie and Harriet every week. But give him his props, he had a good ear, recognized good tunes, and was able to hire James Burton as his guitarist. He sold over 130 million records, an as he aged he was able to keep his cred, creating country rock (with Bernie Leadon, who would later join the Eagles) before anyone else, and releasing a very good late album of rockers by John Fogerty, Graham Parker, and John Hiatt, among others. His sons Andrew and Gunnar had their own number one hit in 1990 as NELSON giving the family three generations with number one records (Ozzie led a big band before the TV show). Here’s a preview of the program.

George Kahumoku Jr, with Da “Ukulele Boyz @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Some music from Hawaii to help you forget winter. Kahumoku is a slack key guitarist who is has won multiple Grammys and hosts a weekly show of slack key guitar in Maui. Da Ukulele Boyz are a duo whose relaxed approach on stage belies their talent on ukelele.

Unknown-4British Invasion 50th Anniversary Tour @ Pantages Theatre, Minneapoli. 7pm ($48.50 – $58.50) For folks of a certain age, and fans of pure pop, this is a cornucopia of talent. Peter Asher, of Peter and Gordon, will serve as host/emcee. He should do a dandy job of it, based on his storytelling/singing at the Dakota during his last two visits. Denny Laine  served as a member of both the Moody Blues and Paul McCartney’s Wings, Chad & Jeremy, with their folk-rock harmonies, had 6 or 7 Top 40 songs here in the US, while Billy J. Kramer had about 5 entries, Mike Pender of The Searchers was their lead singer for a number of hits. Terry Sylvester replaced Graham Nash in the Hollies and was with them during their heyday, and also sang in the Swinging Blue Jeans.

Tuesday, March 10

Courtney Yasminah @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm (Free) The former Wayzata housewife who eschewed that life for one of a rockin’ singer/songwriter has now moved to NYC and is contemplating her tenth tour of Europe. Yasminah’s latest album, Red Letter Day,” is receiving high praise for its exuberance, songwriting, and general rockitude.

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 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.


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.

Twin Cities Music Ideas: 2.15 – 2.21

February 15, 2012

All kinds of jazz. All kinds of roots music.


Wed Feb 15

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

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

Thursday, Feb 16

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

Friday, Feb 17

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

Friday, Saturday, Feb 17, 18

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

Saturday, Feb 18

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

Sunday Feb 19

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

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

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

Monday, Feb 20

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

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


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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wed, Feb 15

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

Wed, Thur, Feb 15, 16

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

Thursday, Feb 16

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

Sat, Feb 18

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

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

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

Sunday, Feb 19

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

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

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

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