Fishing, Mother’s Day, and Music: 5.10 – 5.16

May 10, 2017

Plenty to do this week, even if you don’t land a big one.

This weekend is the Fishing Opener, as the Hula Poppers (not to be confused with the Hula Peppers, below) celebrated back in the 80s with their fun single, and many Minnesotans are anxious to get out on a lake and land a a big one. It’s also Mother’s Day, which means that some folks will have to choose between their first shot at fishing for the season and treating Mom to a nice Brunch or Dinner, of which there are plenty – I shouldn’t have to tell you about them. However, there is plenty of music on other days and evenings, including some outstanding visiting artists in jazz, roots, and world music, and our own bevy of talent to entertain you. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 10

Katz and Dogs @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) Jive, jazz, and soul from Steve Katz, bass/vocals; Peter Vircks, sax; Matt Darling, trombone; Park Evans, guitar, and Ken Goldman on drums.

Zacc Harris Group @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Advance, $15 Door) This is another performance in the Jazz at Studio Z series. Guitarist Harris will be accompanied by Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and JT Bates, drums. There will be a master class at 6pm for a high school music class field trip from Winnipeg, Canada, but it is open to the public.

Thursday, May 11, Sunday, May 14

Keiko Matsui @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. Thursday: 7pm ($35, $45), 9pm ($30, $40) Sunday: 6pm ($35, $45), 8pm ($30, $40) Japanese born pianist Keiko Matsui create contemporary jazz that blends Eastern and Western influences. Over the course of 27 albums in 32 years her music has ranged from smooth jazz to East/West fusion, to jazz fusion, worldbeats, and funky grooves. Her latest, 2016’s well-received Journey to the Heart, uses a Cuban rhythm section, Peruvian guitarist, a Venezuelan percussionist and strings to weave Afro-Cuban rhythms, Latin jazz, a bit of chamber jazz, and French cafe music into a seamless whole.

Thursday, May 11

Twin Cities Hot Club w/Naomi Uyama @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) The Twin Cities Hot Club was formed in 2004 and has been dazzling audiences ever since with their takes on acoustic swing, gypsy jazz, bossa novas, and the occasional musettes. Members are: Robert Bell and Reynold Philipsek, guitars; Gary Schulte, violin; and Matt Peterson, bass. Tonight, however, they’re joined by vocalist Naomi Uyama  a NYC-based singer who also specializes in teaching the Lindy Hop and leads her own band.  Here’s the group playing for some very good dancers, including Uyama.

Mill City Jazz @ Dayblock Brewing, Minneapolis. 8pm (No Cover) It’s a monthly evening of cocktails and jazz, with a new round of gin cocktails for audience members to enjoy while listening to this group. Wish I knew who they were.

Friday, May 12

Steve Coleman @ The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($32) Alto saxophonist Steve Coleman grew up on the South Side of Chicago, where played in a James Brown cover band as a teenager, and later discovered Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins and John Coltrane while in college. He was introduced to Von Freeman, Bunky Green, and Sonny Stitt, all of whom he credits with influencing his approach to music. Once he moved to NYC in the late 70s he began playing in big bands, and co-founded M-Base, a self-help organization for Black musicians. His spontaneous, fluid playing has been heard with Dave Holland’s group, as well as in his own Five Elements. Tonight he heads up a chamber-jazz hybrid of a group, to explore spontaneous composition and group improvisation. Members are: Matt Mitchell, piano; Greg Chudzik bass; Roman Filiu, tenor; Rane Moore; clarinet; Jonathan Finlayson, trumpet; Kristin Lee; Violin and Jen Shu, voice. Here he is in a completely different setting.

Jeremy Walker/Cedric Fuller & Global Sound @ Vieux Carré  Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Walker, no cover), 9pm (Fuller, $10) Pianist Walker starts off the evening during the dinner hour, and then at 9pm Cedric Fuller and his band takes over: Cedric Fuller, drums; Ernest Bisong, violin; Steven Hobert, piano; Tomas Simpson, guitar; and Kenneth P. Garnier, bass. Here’s Fuller with a number of those players.

Saturday, May 13

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Tonight starts out with young Jazz Ensembles from Walker West Music Academy at 7 pm. Open Story is on at 8:30. It a new group with well-known, and highly talented members: Dean Magraw, guitar; Bryan Nichols, piano; and Jay Epstein, drums

Sunday, May 14

Despejada @ Zorongo Flameco Dance Studio, 3012 Minnehaha Ave S, Minneapolis. 5pm ($10) Pianist/accordionist Steven Hobert  who is always involved in interesting projects, has a new trio, featuring Krissy Bergmark on tabla; and Ben Abrahamson on flamenco guitar. As Steven describes the group, “We draw and blend inspiration from the traditions of Flamenco, Hindustani and Jazz.”

Monday, May 15

Dave Graf @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Trombonist Graf seems to spend quite a bit of time in various pit bands for musical shows at the Ordway and other venues about town. Make no mistake, however, he’s an accomplished jazz musician, always being called on to fill out a group and provide the burnished tone of his axe. Tonight he gets to play originals and original arrangements. As always, a jam session follows at 10pm. Here’s an example of Graf’s talent.

Karrin Allyson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($30) Vocalist Karrin Allyson has long been a favorite of Twin Citizens, ever since she lived here for a few years in the 90s. After thirteen albums, and four Grammy nominations during her time with Concord Records, she has moved on to Motema, another important jazz imprint, where she received a 2016 Grammy nomination for Many A New Day, an album of Rogers and Hammerstein songs. For this visit, her show is entitled Allyson Sings Allison, as in Mose Allison. She has often included one of Mose’s tunes in her albums and shows, and is putting together a whole album of his songs. Luckily, we get a preview. Here she is doing one of Allison’s classics.

Monday, Tuesday, May 15, 16

Dave King Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $45w/Dinner), 8:30pm ($12) Drummer Dave King unites once again with pianist Bill Carrothers, and bassist Billy Peterson for an evening of exquisite music. King of course, is well known for his work with The Bad Plus, Happy Apple, and countless other bands. Carrothers is an outside-the-box improviser, which isn’t to say he plays “free jazz” but that his playing always takes unexpected, and often delightful turns. Peterson is simply a monster bass player who has played or recorded with BB King, Leo Kottke, and Les Paul, among others. His 20+ years on the road with rocker Steve Miller didn’t affect his ability to play inside, outside, and in the pocket – just hear his work with Ben Sidran, Bob Rockwell, or this trio.

Tuesday, Wednesday, May 16, 17

Marcus Roberts Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40), 9pm ($25, $35) Pianist Roberts, who has been blind since he was about 5 years old, is a virtuosic player who played with Wynton Marsalis as well as with large symphonies. He founded his trio in 1995, based on the philosophy that bass, drums, and piano are all featured equally. Roberts recorded output includes solos, duets, and trio arrangements of jazz standards, original suites, and original arrangements for large ensembles, and symphonies.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, May 10

Siama’s Afrobilly Trio on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Siama Matsuzugidi is an African guitarist who  has lived in Uganda, Kenya, Dubai and Japan and has performed with some of the biggest names in soukous, playing on hundreds of recordings. In 2014 he received a McKnight Fellowship, which allowed him to launch a solo career here in Minnesota. His Afrobilly Trio combines the singular sound of his cascading guitar lines with the rootsy percussion of Mikkel Beckmen (an in-demand accompanist to Charlie Parr, Corpse Reviver, and other performers), in addition to incorporating the vocals and percussion of Dallas Johnson. As usual, tune in and head over to the 331 if you want to hear more.

Hula Peppers @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) The music of the 1930s was often hopeful and light-hearted – a response to the Great Depression, when people had little money, and even less hope. The Hula Peppers specialize in the music of the 30s, and also throw in some music from the booming 20s, and an Hawaiian tune or two. It’s blues, swing and novelty songs from the golden age of 78s, delivered with sly winks and a generous helping of loving humor. The Peppers are Papa Gasket (Dan Newton) on accordion; with Tiny Gene Pool on Hawaiian guitar; Mysterious Mo, ukulele and saw; Professor Wheat, guitar; Lotta Miles, ukulele; and Rock Bottom, bass.

Wednesday, Thursday, May 10, 11

Davina & the Vagabonds @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. (No Cover, but $10 for a reserved table) If you’ve not heard this rowdy, sassy singer of guitar-less blues, here’s a great opportunity, and Davina and the band will undoubtedly fill the place. The Vagabonds are a brassy group that’s equal to Davina’s strength as a singer and composer.

Friday, May 12

Trailer Trash @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($10?) The Blues Saloon becomes Honky-Tonk Heaven, as these purveyors of traditional country music will fill the dance floor with rockabilly, honky-tonk, and old time rock n’ roll, all perfect for swing dancing, or free-form dancing, whatever you choose. Trailer Trash has been at it for over 22 years now, so they’ll easily fill the commodious dance floor at the Blues Saloon.

Amy Helm & Cindy Cashdollar @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($33 – $38) Singer/songwriter Helm is the daughter of Levon Helm, of The Band, and Libby Titus, writer of Love Has No Pride. When she appeared with her Dad at the Fitzgerald Theater some years back, she was already a formidable vocalist. She’ll have another formidable artist in her group – Cindy Cashdollar  the Austin-based dobro and steel-guitarist who as worked with Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Dave Alvin, Marcia Ball, Leon Redbone, and others. In 2011 Cashdollar became the first female inducted into the Texas Stel Guitar Hall of Fame, and was then inducted into the Texas Music Hall of Fame in 2012. the husband/wife team of Fife and Drom open with their originals, as well as Delta and Chicago blues.

Steve Clarke & the Working Stiffs @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Steve Clarke and his roaring saxophone leads an 8-piece group through a heady mix of jump, jive, and swing, from Fats Waller and Count Basie to Louis Jordan, Bill Haley, and Elvis Presley. You’ll end up either snapping your fingers or cutting the rug on the Eagles wonderful dance floor.

Worldwide Discotheque Fifth Anniversary @ The Nomad Pub, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) It’s already five years since this Pan-Tropical Vinyl Dance Party was started by Deejays Brian Engel and Steely Dan. It’s been mentioned in the New York Times not only for its infectious music that ranges from Afrobeat and Soukous to Calypso, Reggae, and Cumbia, but for its pan-generational and pan-gendered fans. Deejay Steely Dan, who moved back to his home state of Michigan last year, will be returning to the Twin Cities for this special evening. For examples of the kind of music you may hear, visit this site.  You can also check out this video, made back before the event outgrew Clubhouse Jaeger.

Saturday, May 13

Cariba Days Film & Music Fest @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 2pm – Midnight ($15) The day starts with a free film La Vie Est Belle, featuring guitarist Papa Wembe, and continues (with paid admittance) with Pimento & Hot Pepper, a Jamaican film about Mento music at 4pm, an 11 minute short at 5:30 on life in Pinnacle Jamaica, and then at 6:15, a screening of Hip Hop Colony, a film from Kenya. The last two films will have a Q&A with the director of each after the screening. Music starts at 8:30 with the Soukous Fusion of Siama’s Afrobilly Trio, followed at 9:30 by the Afrobeat of Black Market Brass  and closing the night, the vintage Cuban sounds of Malamanya. Steady Rock Sound DJs will provide music between sets.

Saturday Salon: Dancing Keys @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 3pm ($20) This afternoon’s “chamber concert in a cabaret setting” features one piano and four hands. Michael and Kyung Kim will be playing pieces from JS Bach; Mozart; Grieg; Brahms; and Ravel. Drinks and small plates are available until 4:30 pm, when the dinner menu takes over. Here is half of the duo.

Nikki Roux & Rich Rue/Hurricane Harold’s All-Star Blues Revue @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6:30 (Nikki & Rich, no cover), 9pm (All-Stars, $8) The Vieux’s practice of featuring a dinner hour performer and an evening performer can sometimes result in odd couplings of genres, but often results in worthy double-bills, such as this one that features the folk/rock and country blues of Nikki Roux & Rich Rue to start the evening, and Harp-master Hurricane Harold’s collection of some of the best blues players in town. The All-Star Blues Revue will have the place jumpin’ though they’ll also throw in a slow blues or two to let folks catch their breath.

Festival au Desert: Caravan of Peace @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25 Advance, $30 Door) The Ali Farka Toure Band and Terakaft bring the Desert Blues to the Twin Cities as part of The Festival au Desert, which has been banned from it’s homeland in Mali. Though Ali Farka Toure passed ten years ago, The Ali Farka Turi Band consists of musicians who traveled the world with him, including singer Afel Bocoum and master guitarist Mahmadou Kelly. Terakaft is a Tuareg band from Mali that combines Western high-tech with earthy African roots.

Sunday, May 14

Salsa Cafe @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Well, there’s not too much information about whether this includes a live band or a deejay. Suffice it to say, if you want to get your week started with some lively dancing, this is the place to be.

Left Lane Cruiser @ The Hook & Ladder Theater and Lounge, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7 Advance, $10 Door) Though the Roots, Rock, & Deep Blues Festival isn’t until July, the Hook & Ladder is already ramping things up with Left Lane Cruiser  area favorites since their appearance at the original Deep Blues Festival some years back. This high-energy, jet-fueled duo takes the Mississippi Hill Country Blues and growls and snarls it up with punk rock energy. Also on the bill: Liquor Beats Winter, a Mpls quartet that describes itself as the love child of The Dead Kennedys and Captain Beefheart, and the relatively new trio, Snarles Bukkakeski, with DJ Rock the Monkey providing between music between sets.

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

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Autumn Music: 10.12 – 10.18

October 12, 2016

unknown-1We’ve a busy Fall weekend coming up, what with the Prince Memorial concert on Thursday (it’s also being proclaimed Prince Day by Mayor Chris Coleman); the Saint Paul Art Crawl in Lowertown and elsewhere, the MN Blues Society Hall of Fame Awards, and just a lot of good music all around. Enjoy the change of seasons and get out to hear music – it lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 12

Sophia Shorai/Butch Thompson & Dean Magraw @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (Shorai – No Cover), 8:30pm (Thompson & Magraw – $5) The Vieux presents yet another two-fer of jazz tonight. Sophia Shorai’s piano-playing and honey-laced vocals take the spotlight during the dinner hour. Then it’s the wonderful combination of Butch Thompson on piano and clarinet and Dean Magraw on guitar. They’ve been playing somewhat regularly lately, and the long time vets of the West Bank music scene seem to delight in their music.

Chris Bates Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Bassist Chris Bates joins up with a couple of younger players: Joe Strachan, piano; and Miguel Hurtado, drums, for a night of originals and original arrangements.

Thursday, October 13

Emily Jane Davis @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) It’s vocal night at Jazz Central and Emily Jane Davis is bringing in a trio + special guest to accompany her. Here she is with just a guitar accompaniment.

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Tonight, bassist Adam Booker brings his band Hip-Gnosis to the Reverie. Members are: Zacc Harris, guitar; Pete Whitman, saxes; and Jay Epstein, drums. Here’s Booker with a different band.

Issam Rafea and Chris Cunningham @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Rafea is a Kuwaiti-born oud player now based in Chicago. He is the Chair of the Arabic Music Department at High Institute of Music in Damascus and the principal conductor of Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music. Twelve String guitarist Chris Cunningham has collaborated on stages and in studios with artists such as: including Marianne Faithfull, John Lurie’s Lounge Lizards, The Contortions, Gavin Friday, Boukman Eksperyans, Marshall Crenshaw, Richie Havens, John Zorn, and others. In the Twin Cities he currently leads the group Fall of the House of Usher (FOTHOU), as well as composing for and improvising with The Cherry Spoon Collective and Coloring Time. There will be solo sets by each, culminating in a set of duos by the pair.

 

Friday, October 14

Katia Cardenas @ Public Kitchen & Bar, Saint Paul. 9pm – Midnight (Tip Jar) With its big couches and limestone walls, the basement at Public feels a bit like a secret place, all the better to hear songbird Cardenas go through her repertoire of standards, jazz, and pop/jazz tunes. She’ll be aided by Chris Lomheim, piano; and Matt Senjem, bass, to complete the intimate feel, though admittedly, it’s always a good idea to sit close to the band, since the stone walls help create a loud environment.

Saturday, October 15

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Two very interesting bands are on tap for this evening, starting off with The Jazz Bridge Project: Roger Johnson, guitar; Eric Kamau Gravatt, drums; Javi Santiago, keys; Ron Evaniuk bass; and Rajiah Johnson, flute. Headlining is the dynamic drummer/conguero Babatunde Lea  with Solom Parham, trumpet; Phil Aaron piano, and others. Lea always brings top-notch talent to his groups, so don’t worry if only two members are identified. Here’s an example.

Sunday, October 16

Laura Caviani/Lux String Quartet @ Lowertown Classics, 255 Kellogg Blvd E, 3rd Floor Atrium. 5pm ($10 Suggested Donation) After a weekend of the Art Crawl, enjoy a bit of jazz and classical music at this low-key event. You’ll hear the music of pianist Laura Caviani as well as the Lux String Quartet in this Artists Loft. To further entice you there will be a complementary wine tasting from Revival Wine, Beer, and Spirits. Regular readers probably know the music of Caviani, so here’s the Lux String Quartet with a song for the season.

Painting Joni Mitchell @ The Ordway Concert Hall, Saint Paul. 5pm ($33 – $53) It’s a celebration of Joni Mitchell’s music, courtesy of four excellent singers and an equally excellent rhythm section. Vocalists Judi Donaghy Vinar  Lori Dokken (also on piano); Jacey Pelstring; and Rachel Holder Hennig  ill bring out new meanings in Mitchell’s music, with the help of Dan Caton, guitar; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Peter Hennig, drums. The acoustics of the Concert Hall are perfect for this kind of show.

Huntertones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Funky jazz from a Brooklyn-based sextet that, like many young bands, is melding a number of genres to create exciting music. You’re as likely to hear elements of Afrobeat, rock, and funk as you are new takes on jazz standards. At times during a performance, they break down to a trio of sax; sousaphone; and beatbox! To get an idea of their music, watch this.

Monday, October 17

Mississippi Album Release @ The Dakota, Minnapolis. 7pm ($15) Mississippi is a group centered on Peruvian guitarist Andres Prado  who graced the Twin Cities for a  few years and became a highly respected member of our music scene. The group includes Kevin Washington, drums; Jeff Bailey, bass; Peter Schimkie, piano; and Pete Whitman, sax. Bassist Jeff Bailey described their sound, “Much of Andres’ recorded material is centered in the traditional Peruvian styles of Festejo, Lando, etc. Our collective sound tries to allow for more interweaving of traditions: Jazz, Neo-soul, Peruvian Festejo, R&B, and more.” Here’s an example.

Miguel Hurtado @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Drummer Hurtado brings in a quintet to play the music of Wayne Shorter: Aaron Hedenstrom, sax; Park Evans,  guitar; Joe Strachan, piano; and Dan Carpel on bass.

Tuesday, October 18

Basement Society @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm ($8, $35 w/Dinner) Javi Santiago will be playing the new, 9 foot Steinway, while Dan Carpel plays the bass and Pete James Johnson plays drums.

Harold Lopez-Nussa @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($22) This Cuban-born pianist received a musical education from his French grandparents, starting, as many pianists do, with classical music. At age 20 Lopez-Nussa shifted to Cuban jazz and then toured with the Buena Vista Social Club as well as with singer Omara Portuondo. His most recent album, El Viaje, received 4 stars from Downbeat, adding to the accolades he’s received while performing at festivals around the world. He’ll be accompanied by his brother Ruy Adrian Lopez-Nussa on drums and percussion and Sengalese vocalist and bassist Alune Wade.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, October 12

Mark Cameron Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Mark Cameron and his band-mates are the winners of the Road to Memphis competition, and will be representing Minnesota in the band category of the International Blues Challenge in Memphis this winter. You get to hear them on the radio and in person to discover why they’ve been chosen by the Minnesota Blues Society to represent us in Memphis.

Hula Peppers @ Schooners, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) When these guys (and occasional gal) play old-timey music, it’s not tunes of Appalachia, but rather pop tunes from the 20s and 30s, with some Hawaiian tunes thrown in for good measure. The combination of swing, blues, and novelty tunes makes for an enjoyable, comfortable show, especially in the low-key environs of Schooners.

Thursday, October 13

Mikkel Beckmen with Jeff Ray @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Beckmen’s weekly showcase has been going on for a couple of years now. Today, you can sit down in the unassuming Irish bar, order up a beverage, and enjoy the fantastic, often bluesy guitar playing of Jeff Ray as Beckmen does his thing on various percussion instruments.  This video takes a minute or two for the music to get started.

Prince Tribute @ The Xcel Center, Saint Paul. 7pm ($Lots) I normally wouldn’t talk about a show where some tickets are over $300, but it’s the Prince Tribute, with Stevie Wonder, Morris Day and The Time, Chaka Khan, Mint Condition, Anita Baker, Liv Warfield, and many more. There are a few lower priced single seats left as of this writing, as well as some of the high buck seats, but expect to have a wad of cash on hand if you end up buying from scalpers. Things start off with a free, preshow party at 4pm, so you can enjoy that even if you don’t go to the concert.

Friday, October 14

Uke Fest Five @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Singer/Songwriter and ukelele player Katy Vernon has put together a “really big shew” as a benefit for ARC and the Minnesota Music Coalition. This year she’s gathered over 16 acts who play ukeleles in a number of styles to entertain you, including Jake Rowan, Dean Johnson, The Hula Peppers, Niki Becker, Hot Date, and more.

Samba Meu @ Squirrel Haus Arts, 3450 Snelling Ave, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm ($5) The Brazilian music band returns to performing, this time with a 9-piece band, all the better to create the sensuous rhythms of Brazil: chorros, forks, sambas, and more. There will even be dance lessons in case you want to learn how to swivel your hips like Samba Dancers. Squirrel Haus is not a bar, so BYOB.

Saturday, October 15

Harriet Brewing October Blues Fest @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 5pm. (No Cover?) Prepare for the Blues Hall of Fame ceremony tomorrow by checking out these bands at the Tap Room: the Cobras, Cornbread Harris, Paul Barry and the Acetones featuring Lila Ammons, and Flatwater Mississippi.  

Papa John Kolstad and the Phits @ The Roots Cellar Concert Series at University Baptist Church, 1219 University Ave SE. 7pm ($15, $10 Seniors & Students) You’ll have to go down to the basement for this concert, featuring Papa John Kolstad  master of the 12-string guitar. The Byrds made the 12-string popular, though nowadays, you just don’t see too many guitarists playing the difficulty instrument. Well here’s your chance as Papa John is joined by “Wailin’ Willie” Bill Smith on harmonica and vocals, and Gary Powell on lap steel guitar. There will likely be a bass player as well. They’ll perform Blues, and folk songs from pre-WWII, as well as some more contemporary songs covering swing,  standards,  and even some humorous topics, which will fit in well with Papa John’s story telling and wry political humor.

Sunday, October 16

MN Blues Hall of Fame Ceremony @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 2pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This is the 10th Annual Blues Hall of Fame Ceremony, and once again, some of the talented musicians of our community are being honored. Today will honor: Paul Mayasich (Performer), Steve “Boom Boom” Vanderharr (Sideman), Wilbur Cole (Legend), Gary Eckhart (Arts, Literature, Media), RJ Mischo (Composition), Mike Shaw (Supportive of the Blues), Bobby Johnson and his sister Lavern “Lady Blue” Johnson (Legacy Honors). Arrive early and partake of Pepito’s Brunch for an additional cost (and hear Maurice Jacox while you’re there). There will be live music all day, from the winners and others.

Captain Gravitone and His String Theory Orchestra @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 4pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Take a break from politics, or even football, and dig the fun sounds of this acoustic/rootsy sextet, capable of turning a Pink Floyd song into a bluegrass rave-up.

Tuesday – Sunday, October 18 – 25

STOMP! @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($44 – $74) This groundbreaking show has been showing the world how anything can be used as an instrument for 25 years now, using brooms, barrels, garbage can covers, and more in an invigorating display of physical stamina, resourcefulness, and creativity.

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.


Hot August Nights: 8.10 – 8.16

August 10, 2016
Long before the Pavilion became a hot spot

Long before the Pavilion became a hot spot

There are more outdoor music events this week, including music at the Como Park Pavilion (see photo). We also have a number of intriguing events in bars and restaurants, with visiting artists from New Orleans, San Francisco, New York City, and Chicago, along with our own talented resident musicians. Music lifts your spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 10

Jazzy Women Singer/Songwriters @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($12, $35 Dinner) Lucia NewellJudi Vinar, and Vicky Mountain are three of the finest jazz singers around. Here’s a chance to hear them singing their original songs in the intimate Dunsmore Room, accompanied by a couple of fine instrumentalists, Phil Aaron on piano and Graydon Peterson on bass.

Zack Lozier Three @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Trumpeter Zack Lozier has the chops to pay proper respect to Louis Armstrong. Together with Steven Hobert on piano and Steve Pikal on bass, they play the music of Armstrong and other early jazz musicians, while changing things up with other jazz standards.

Thursday, August 11

MN Hardbop Collective @ The Bakken Museum, Minneapolis. 5:30pm – 9pm, ($10/free for members) Drummer Jesse Simon has put together this quintet to pay homage to the R&B.Gospel inspired music of the 50s and 60s. The group features promising trumpeter Omar Abdulkarim: Javier Santiago on piano; Daniel Carpel, bass; and Joe Mayo on sax.

Midnight Love @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($7) A new group formed by some veterans: Greg Schutte, drums; Peter Vircks, sax; Brian Ziemniack, piano and organ; Matt Darling, trombone; and Patrick Nelson, bass.

Le Percheron @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) It’s the semi-regular appearance of this forward thinking group led by bassist Adam Linz, and including young lions Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Corey Healy, drums; and Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, trumpet.

Jazzland Wonderband & Mississippi Hot Club @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8 advance, $10 Door) These two bands have done a number of double-bill shows lately, as they complement each other quite well. The Mississippi Hot Club  plays acoustic swing and gypsy jazz, featuring: Joshua Parlanti, lead guitar; Alissa Jacobsen violin; Luke Zupan and Ian Stenlund, rhythm guitars; and Joseph Downing, upright bass. Jazzland Wonderband blends traditional New Orleans jazz and second line music with R&B of a more recent vintage. Cameron Kinghorn, trumpet and vocals; Nelson Deveraux, reeds; Keith Holson, trombone; Andres Crovetti, drums; and Evan Clark, tuba.

Friday, August 12

Estaire Godinez w/Jose James Sr. @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm (Free) Percussionist Godinez brings her Latin rhythms to Saint Paul’s downtown park for an evening of outdoor dancing. Lessons at 6, followed by music.

Glen David Andrews @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($20) Trombonist Andrews in a force of nature, whose New Orleans heritage has taught him how to grab hold of an audience from the time he enters the stage until he leaves them spent at the end of a show.

Saturday, August 13

Jazz Alley @ Golden’s Deli, Saint Paul. 11am – 1pm (No Cover) Jazz Alley members are: vocalists Sarah M. GreerMaryann Sullivan  and Katia Cardenas  along with Ted Godbout on keys and Jim Chenoweth on bass. This group and brunch gig came about after this year’s “Singers’ Scatt Off” during the recent Twin Cities Jazz Festival. There will be two sets each Saturday through August.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) The young guns take the stage as headliners tonight with Hoaxer: Will Kjeer, piano; Charlie Lincoln, bass; Edmund Caitlin, drums; and Peter Goggin on alto sax. This is a talented group of musicians, and in ten years or so, you’ll brag “I saw them when…” Opening is the Joel Shapira/Dean Granros duo, bringing you some exquisite guitar playing.

Rebirth Brass Band & Cha Wa @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 10pm ($35) Rebirth has been a part of New Orleans’ brass band revival for about 30 years now, and have been appearing at the Dakota once or twice a year for a few years now. They are upping the excitement level, if that’s possible, by bringing Cha Wa, a Mardis Gras Indian tribe, along for this trip. Bring some white handkerchiefs to wave as you second line around the club. Here’s Cha Wa.

Sunday, August 14

Bob DeFlores’ Legends of Jazz @ Chanhassen Dinner Theater, Chanhassen. 3pm ($12) Film Historian Bob DeFlores unpacks some of his rare movie clips of artists such as Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Fats Waller, and others.

Monday, August 15

Naomi & Her Handsome Devils @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Singer Naomi Uyama began her love affair with classic jazz as a 16 year old swing dancer. She’s won international awards for her dancing and taught, eventually taking up singing and putting together a band to play for other swing dancers.  Here’s hoping some tables are moved to make room for dancing.

Tuesday, August 16

Irv Williams’ 97th Birthday Celebration @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Saxophonist Irv Williams can outlast that Energizer bunny. He’s been performing in the Twin Cities since 1942. Before moving to the Twin Cities, Williams played in bands alongside such notable jazz stars as Ella Fitgerald, Fletcher Henderson, Mary Lou Williams, and Billy Eckstine.  He chose to stay in the Twin Cities despite invitations to join the orchestras of such luminaries as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, and Louis Armstrong. Not only will “Mr Smooth,” who still has a great sound, be celebrating his 97th Birthday, but he will be awarded as the first inductee into the newly formed Minnesota Jazz Hall of Fame.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, August 10

Nathan Miller & The Unstoppable Co. on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90,3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Miller plays a lap slide guitar, imbuing it and his voice with a soulful sound, whether redoing Stagger Lee as a ballad or rocking out.  It’s host Harold Tremblay’s birthday, so let the celebration begin!

Thursday, August 11

The New Standards @ Music in Mears, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Free) The Standards play rock songs from the 80s and beyond, recast in acoustic, jazzy settings by Chan Poling, piano; John Munson, bass; and Steve Roehm, vibes. John Swardson and Bad Blood open. Half dozen food trucks, beer from Tin Whiskers and Summit Brewing.

Friday, August 12

The Claudettes @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($10) The Claudettes perform a mash-up of Windy City Blues and the energy of rockabilly and punk, along with some echoes of the jazz age. Founder/pianist Johnny Iguana is a member of two Grammy-nominated groups: Chicago Blues – A Living History, and the Muddy Waters 100 Band. He’s joined by bassist/singer Zach Verdoorn, drummer Matt Torre, and singer Berit Ulseth, returning to her home town where she first sang as a teenager.

Lydia Pense & Cold Blood @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm (??) Lydia Pense & Cold Blood were one of the high-flying R&B horn bands of the late 60s and early 70s, who, along with Tower of Power, exemplified East Bay Grease. After appearing at the Fillmore West, Bill Graham immediately signed them to his label, and they subsequently achieved national fame. Pense and the sextet are still performing and still releasing new music, the latest offering being Soul of the Gypsy from 2015. Twin Cities harpmeister Curtis Blake & Greazy Gravy opens.

Saturday, August 13

Lisa Wenger Band @ Crooners’ Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Wenger’s soulful, sweet, and gritty vocals have been belting the blues and blues-based roots music for years now, entertaining folks throughout the Twin Cities and the Midwest and as far afield as The Bitter End in NYC and BB Kings in Orlando. Here’s a chance to see her entertaining a crowd in Crooners’ lounge, with no cover, to boot.

No Limits the B-Side Band @ Lucky’s 13 Pub, 3000 Harbor Lane North, Plymouth. 9pm (No Cover) R&B grooves from yesterday and today, delivered by a sharp band and three different vocalists.

Sunday, August 14

Charanga Tropical Summer CD Release Party @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 5:30 – 7pm (Free) This is what Twin Cities summers are for: Hanging out by a lake, having a picnic, or picking up food from a lakeside restaurant, and listening to some very fine music. Charanga Tropical were in Cuba last year, and while there, recorded an album at the Aireto Studios, where countless classic Cuban musicians have recorded, as well as folks like Nat King Cole, Josephine Baker, and Frank Sinatra (before 1959, of course). In Cuba, as it’s called is a delightful album filled with lush Danzons, a Cha Cha or two, and music that will transport you to Cuba, even while watching sailboats in Minneapolis.

Renee Austin @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 5:00pm – 8:15pm ($15, $40 Dinner)  Blues singer Austin lost her voice after thyroid surgery in 2005, a crushing blow for someone whose voice has been compared to Etta James. She couldn’t sing, and could only talk in a whisper until one day, eleven months later, her voice came back, though she still couldn’t sing until 2011, when she was asked to perform in her church. Now, she’s performing again, playing clubs and festivals, and singing in her five-octave voice. She’ll be accompanied by piano, guitar, and drums, for an intimate evening of originals, including some new songs.

Monday, August 15

Hula Peppers @ Como Dockside, Como Park, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) You can pick up some food and beverages in the restaurant and sit back and enjoy the breeze off Como Lake, while the Hula Peppers perform music from the 20s and 30s, with an Hawaiian melody thrown in every now and then for good measure. The Hula Peppers are: Dan Daddy Squeeze Newton, accordion; Gary Powell, Hawaiian guitar; Dave Furmiss, resonator guitar; Corey Mohan, ukeleles and musical saw. They are often joined by Lauren Asheim, a chanteuse with a Betty Boop quality that’s entirely endearing.

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.


Live Music and a Pledge Drive, Week 2. Music: 3.18 – 3.24

March 18, 2015

imagesWell, it’s week two of KFAI’s Spring Pledge Drive and we’re about to celebrate the Vernal Equinox and the arrival of spring this Friday at 5:45pm here in the Twin Cities. As James Brown once put it, “Please, Please, Please” pledge to KFAI during my show on Saturday morning (10:30 – Noon) or online at www.kfai.org.

That message isn’t meant to distract from the myriad of music offerings we have here, from Saturday night jazz in Lowertown, to old folkies, young Afrobeat adherents, and resident musicians performing the music of Hawaii and Scandanavia. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, March 18

Pete Whitman Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Tenor saxophonist Whitman is a teacher, the leader of the X-Tet and the McNally Smith Big Band, and an in-demand sideman around town. Tonight he brings his leadership and playing skills to bear on a quintet of stellar musicians, with Chris Lomheim, piano; Chris Olsen, guitar; Jay Young, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger, drums.

Thursday, March 19

Harmonic Convergence @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s not a line-up in the sky, but rather a six-piece vocal ensemble from Iowa, directed by Lucas Mattson, son of arranger Phil Mattson.

Friday, March 20

Ms Mountain

Ms Mountain

Vicky Mountain Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No cover) It’s well worth a trip to Bloomington to hear the singing’ and swingin’ Ms Mountain, accompanied by the ever tasteful duo of Phil Aaron, piano; and Matt Peterson, bass.

Donald Washington Trio @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Multi-instrumentalist Washington is always a revelation when he plays, whether the compositions are standards or composed on the spot. With Brian Roessler, bass; and Davu Seru, drums.

Jake Baldwin Group @ The Nicollet, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar?) Baldwin is the fine trumpet player who has been gigging around town as a sideman and with his own groups. Tonight, he’s leading a pack of young lions, including Nelson Deveraux, sax; Ryan Hayes, bass; and Lars-Erik Larson on drums.

Clarke & Louis

Clarke & Louis

Louis & Clarke @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Steve Clarke and Louis Sinclair celebrate the release of their first CD: “three of one.” With Clarke, an eleven time winner of the Minnesota Music Award, on soprano sax, Sinclair on Chapman Stick (a tall, guitar-like instrument with ten strings) and Michael Bisonette on drums and percussion, they are using 19th and 20th century instruments to create 21st century jazz.

Actually, they are visible

Actually, they are visible

Invisible Guy + Metzger, Lewis, Cox, & Bates @ Icehouse, MInneapolis. 10pm ($8) Hamir Atwal, drums; Ben Goldberg, clarinet; and Michael Coleman, piano, are currently from the Bay area, and now driving around the Midwest to various gigs. Each comes from a varied background that ranges from Klezmer and Classical to mainstream and exploratory jazz. As a trio, they are in strict pursuit of a beautiful melody. Also on the bill is the exploratory music of Paul Metzger, guitar and built instruments; Michael Lewis, sax; Anthony Cox, bass; and JT Bates, drums.

Saturday, March 21

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Opening is King Fletcher Woods, with Jeff King, Charles, Fletcher, Eron Woods, drums. Illicit Sextet at 8:30pm with Chris Lomheim, piano; Paul Harper, sax; David Roos, guitar; Tom Pieper, bass; Nathan Norman, drums; and Steve Kenny, flumpet.

Dave Hagedorn Quintet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) Dave Hagedorn is an extraordinary vibes player, who recorded two albums with the George Russell Living Time Orchestra, and who gigs regularly with the Phil Hey Quartet. Tonight he’s teaming up with guitarist Zacc Harris to pay homage to the Milt Jackson/Wes Montgomery album Bags Meets Wes. The band is rounded out with Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Corey Healey, drums. Sure to be a treat. Here’s a clip of Hagedorn in action with the Phil Hey Quartet.

Scott Horey @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 10pm ($10) Horey is a solo percussionist who specializes in drums and marimba. Aside from performing a couple of actual solo pieces, he will be joined in a program of originals and new classical music by Bethany Gonella flute; Trent Baarspul, guitar; Ted Godbout, keyboards; Karen Kozak, electric fiddle; Douglas Brown, bass; and Charlie Engen, drums. I recently did an interview with him, which you can hear on my show Saturday morning, or read the post just prior to this one.

Monday, March 23

The Adam Meckler Quintet + Zacc Harris Group @ Icehouse, Minneapolis. ($8) Expect an evening with lots of original music. As Meckler himself describes his group – Adam Meckler: Trumpet/Fleugal/Pen/Paper; Nelson Devereaux: Tenor/Alto/Soprano/Hair; Zacc Harris: Guitar/Birthday; Graydon Peterson: Bass/Kung Fu; Greg Schutte: Drums/George Clooney. First up is the Zacc Harris Group playing Harris originals: Harris, guitar; Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and JT Bates, drums. Here’s Adam doing his thing.

Monday, Tuesday, March 23, 24

Steve Tyrell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($42), 9pm ($30) Tyrell always delivers an evening of swinging romantic music, calling upon standards and pop songs from the last half century. He started out as a producer at Scepter Records in the 60s, working with Bacharach & David, and producing a number of hits over the years. Eventually Tyrell was producing music for a number of hit films, and in the 90s sang “The Way You Look Tonight” for the movie Father of the Bride. It launched his singing career, in which he evokes the era of Sinatra, Dean Martin and the like, though with more charm, a rasp in his voice, and less braggadocio.

Tuesday, March 24

Dave Stanoch @ McNally Smith Auditorium, Saint Paul. 5pm (Free) Stanoch is a versatile drummer who has played with the likes of Sheryl Crow, George Clinton, Jack McDuff and Ben Sidran, among others. He currently teaches at McNally Smith, plays in a half-dozen groups around town, is a contributor to Modern Drummer magazine, and has written a drumset method book, Mastering the Tables of Time, Vol. 1. McNally Smith students will perform in the lobby at 5pm, followed by Stanoch (& friends?) in the auditorium at 6pm.

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, March 18

Joe & Vicki Price on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3, 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) As part of KFAI’s Spring Pledge Drive, Harold Tremblay has brought in an Iowa duo with a big fan base in the Twin Cities. Joe and Vicki visit our towns with some regularity, playing blues that sound more at home in the southern reaches of the Mississippi River than in Northern Iowa. Listen, and head to the 331 Club if you like what you hear.

Haley Bonar @ Rock the Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($20 – $25 ) The folks at the Ordway are doing a great job of celebrating the new concert hall by bringing in a wide variety of acts. Haley Bonar is a case in point. In the last decade, the Twin Cities by way of Rapid City and Duluth singer has released eight albums and increasingly earned acclaim for her alt roots/alt folk/alt rock music. Bonar has gained the respect and collaboration of many area musicians, such as Dave King and Andrew Bird, and always has a top-notch band, which might include musicians such as Jake Hanson, Jeremy Ylvisaker, and Mike Lewis.

Wednesday, Thursday, March 18, 19

Tom Paxton & Janis Ian @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) The Greenwich Village Folk Scene may be a thing of the past, but two of its participants are at the Dakota to give us a taste of that time and the intervening years. Back in the day Paxton was known for his protest songs, but he also wrote songs about love and humor, including a few that became folk standards, including “Ramblin’ Boy” and the “Last Thing on My Mind.” Ian was only 15, when “Society’s Child,” her hit song of interracial romance, came out about 1967. It was provocative for the time, to say the least. She then received a Grammy in the mid-70s for “At Seventeen,” a song with great insight into teen musings. They’ll appear on stage together, swapping stories and songs, for most of the show.

Thursday, March 19

Joe & Viki Price @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) In case you missed them at the 331 Club last night, Joe & Vicki will be the featured guests of washboard/percussionist Mikkel Beckman. Given the relaxed atmosphere at the Dubliner, this happy hour gig is about as good as it gets.

Friday, March 20

Tinsley Ellis @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) Like many other guitarists who grew up in the late 60s and early 70s, Ellis’ blues have always veered towards the rockin’ side, though he is capable of emotional fire as well. Though often called a better guitarist than vocalist, his last album In From the Cold has him in good voice. The Rhythm Roosters open.

Black Market Brass @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) The folks at Secret Stash Records are presenting another evening of their artists. The headliners, Black Market Brass, play original Afrobeat as well as their interpetations of Afrobeat classics. Secret Stash’s house band is The Lakers, who honed their chops touring and recording as the backing band for Sonny Knight. Gospel Machine is a garage-gospel group from NE Minneapolis, featuring Jayanthe Kyle, of Black Audience, on vocals.

Saturday, March 21

Drew Druckry & the Dharma Hounds @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($6) Drew Druckry (North Country Bandits, Julie Johson & the No-Accounts) has a new band, whose members have toiled in a number of groups ranging from the Kung Fu Hippies to Jason Dixon Line, White Iron Band,  and Root City. The Dharma Hounds concentrate on blues, New Orleans funk, and Southern Rock. Opening are a highly compatible group, the Swamp Kings, who’ve been purveyors of New Orleans Funk, and Cajun boogie for almost ten years now.

Hula Peppers @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Celebrate the Equinox with the Mid-Winter Luau. Hawaiian themed garb is encouraged, and will be welcome as you dance, dance, dance to the old-time and Hawaiian sounds of the Hula Peppers. Also on hand will be Patty & the Buttons, so it will be an accordion-centric Luau.

Scandinavian Music Showcase @ The Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) This caught my eye despite the fact that I know little about most of the performers, who include, Kari Tauring, Bob & Lynne Dixon, The Twin Cities Hardanger Fiddle Group, The Nordic Bees and more. When it comes to music, there’s always more to learn.

The Good, The Bad, & The Funky @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?)  One of the regular appearances for this 10-piece band at MMC. There’s always a dancing crowd, which isn’t surprising given the band’s funkiness and the bar’s commodious dance floor.

Mama Digdown’s Brass Band @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) The Digdown guys are an 8-piece band based in Madison, though a couple of their members hail from the Twin Cities. Lots of fun, whether playing a Jackson Five song or traditional New Orleans number.

Sunday, March 22

Battle of the Blues Bands @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 5pm – 8pm (No Cover) It’s a take-no-prisoners battle for bragging rights and a chance to play the Lowertown Blues Festival this summer. Attend, listen, and vote for one of the following: Dee Miller Band; Prior Avenue, Bluedog, and Squishy Mud.

Tuesday, March 23

Paul Mayasich & Big George Jackson @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 8:30pm (tip Jar?) Ooh, the guitar playing skills of Mayasich and the deep vocals of Big George, together at the WBL watering hole.

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.


Halloween & Daylight Savings Music: 10.29 – 11.4

October 29, 2014

images-2What a weekend! We have Halloween on Friday and the end of Daylight Savings time on Sunday. I’ve included a few Halloween night gigs, as well as a couple that don’t require costumes. Whether you’re trying on an alter ego or living with your normal one, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy music. Have a good week.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 29

Wolverines Trio w/Judy Donaghy Vinar @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm. (No Cover) Vocalist Donaghy Vinar teaches at MacNally Smith, has worked with The Girls, and the Wolverines Big Band, as well as with Bobby McFerrin’s Voicestra. She’s appeared on over 30 CDs, and has also worked with YoYo Ma, Carole King, and Janis Siegal of the Manhattan Transfer. The Wolverines Trio are one of the finest trios in town, and are especially good at accompanying singers.

Endeavors, feat: Miguel Hurtado @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested donation)  Three young musicians who have been making a name for themselves: Joe Strachan, piano; Nelson Deveraux, sax; Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Thursday, October 30

Jason Weisman Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Jason is a credible crooner and a valued saxophonist on the TC Jazz scene who also leads the Jazztronauts and other bands, and has played with Steeling Dan, Jack McDuff, Wynton Marsalis, and Lamont Cranston, among others.  Ask for a table in front of the stage, since the Kitchen can get quite noisy. Here’s Jason in a quartet setting.

Hanna Cesario @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Cesario sings the jazz standards from the 20s to the 50s, often accompanying herself on the ukelele.

Zach Lozier Three @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Steven Hobert, piano, Steve Pikal, bass. Trumpeter Lozier presents some exciting music in an easy-going manner, singing the occasional Louis Armstrong chestnut, re-inventing traditional songs, and displaying considerable power and panache on the trumpet. Here they are doing an older song.

TriOleo @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm – 10:00pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation)  Here’s an intriguing trio for a Thursday evening. Joel Shapira, guitar; Bruce Heine, bass; Dave Schmalenberger, drums. All of them are veterans of many bands and many performances. Each can be nuanced in their approach, and turn around and deliver a breath-taking solo.

Friday, October 31

B3 Organ Duo & The Atlantis Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Things start out with Mac Santiago, drums; and Kevin Gastonguay, B3; as a duo, and then proceed to the Atlantis Quartet reprising their version of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme. Costumes encouraged, and debauchery promised. Here is the Atlantis Quartet doing an original.

Skeleton Crew @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11pm  (Tip Jar) This group is described as a mixed chamber ensemble, which seem about right, considering that they’ll be performing works by Philip Glass, Wendy Carolos, Radiohead, and Rod Temperton, in addition to some Halloween-themed songs. Members are: Julie Sweet, keyboards; Sean O’Hea, percussion; Jake Fisher, bassoon; Scott Fultz, sax.

Patty Peterson & Friends: Halloween Party @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 9pm (No Cover) Well, given that it’s Halloween the folks at Parma 8200 are using the atrium of their building to hold this party. No word on whether there will be a costume contest, though the event is sure to be playful. Music and dancing will take place until Midnight. Patty’s friends will include Jason Peterson, piano, sax, vocals; Bobby Vandell, drums, vocals; Billy Franze, bass, vocals; and Cory J. Wong on guitar & vocals. If you’re planning on eating first, reservations are suggested.

Saturday, November 1

What Would Monk Do? @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The wonderful Saturday Night Jazz continues at the Black Dog. It features well established Twiin Cities groups, many of which played regularly at the Artists’ Quarter. Though original music usually is prevalent, tonight’s group draws it’s inspiration from Thelonious Monk, playing his compositions and interpreting others with his style in mind. The group features Kenny Horst, drums; Peter Schimke, piano; Billy Peterson, bass; and Steve Kenny, trumpet.

Pig’s Eye Jazz Band @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm ($6) Trad jazz for your post-Halloween evening. It’s danceable, too.

Monday, November 3

Pete Enblom @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) A veteran of 40 years as a professional trombone player, Enblom played lead trombone for Buddy Rich, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, the Arties Shaw Orchestra, and the Brian Setzer Orchestra. He’s also played in bands for such legends as Frank Sinatra, Harry Connick, Jr, and Aretha Franklin. Here, he steps out from the big bands in an intimate setting.

Lews, Johnson, & Bates @ The Icehouse, MInneapolis. 10pm ($8) That’s Mike Lewis, sax; Gordon Johnson, bass; and JT Bates, on drums. Johnson has recorded as a sideman on over 150 recordings, ranging from blues and R&B, bluegrass, and folk to jazz, where he’s been featured with artists like Stacey Kent, Maynard Ferguson, and Paul Winter. While Bates and Lewis have played together quite a bit, especially in Fat Kid Wednesdays, I’m aware of only one other instance where they played as a trio with Johnson, and it was great fun.

Tuesday, November 4

Dean Magraw and Davu Seru @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. (Tip Jar) it’s the first Tuesday of the month, so guitarist Magraw and percussionist/drummer Seru will work their magic at the Black Dog once again.

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, October 29

Hula Peppers on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI-90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Dan Newton’s paen to the music of the 20s and 30s, not to forget Hawaii, is lots of fun, that’s for sure.  Beside Newton on accordion, the Peppers  nclude Gary Powell on Hawaiian guitar; Dave Furniss on resonator guitar, and Corey Mohan on ukes and musical saw. Extra spice is added when chanteuse Lauren Asheim joins in for a song.

Mystic Order of Reverb & Twang @ Schooner’s Pub, Minneapolis. 8pm. (Tip Jar) The Schooner is about as unpretentious as a bar can be, though it still has a decent beer selection, just right to quaff as you listen (or even dance) to these fine proponents of  Rockabilly, proto R&B, all things twangy, and even a bit of Western Swing. They take the stage at 8pm sharp, according to the bar clock, which, as you know, is always 10-15 minutes fast.

Osaka Monorail @ The Cedar Cutlural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($20) The funkiest aggregation out of Japan, the Osaka Monorail has been going strong for 20 years now. Taking their sartorial cues from the funk bands of the early 60s, they not only lay down the funk, but do it with matching choreography and a frontman/vocalist who is clearly inspired by the early dance moves of James Brown. The 9-piece symphonic funk band Grolar Bears open. check them out.

Thursday, October 30

Big George Jackson, Ray Barnard, & Rena Haus @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 8:45pm ($5) It’s a triple release party by a trio of highly talented artists. Ray Barnard used to be in the Americana/rock band The Copperheads, though he’s become more of a blue-eyed soul singer since then, as evidenced on his new CD, Where Would I Be Without YouBig George Jackson has a bass voice that will rattle the plates in your cupboard, and writes songs that chug along with the power of a locomotive, as evidenced on Back At It, his new CD. Rena Haus creates songs with wit and wisdom, and comes into town from her farm to play some blues and celebrate her latest, Out of the Blues

Devlish Dances @ The Bedlam Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($25) The Minnesota Music Company presents it’s inaugural production. They are using The Fiddler’s Tale, by Wynton Marsalis, along with prose by Stanley Crouch, and theater and dance by Live Action set. The music will be performed by musicians from the Minnesota Orchestra, The MacPhail Center for Music, and St. Olaf College. The devil seduces a female violinist and band leader with the promise of easy fame, untold, wealth and the glamor of the music industry.

Siama Matuzungidi w/Mikkel Beckmen and Dallas Johnson @ The Nicollet, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm (Tip jar) I realize I posted about this group last week, but since then I’ve had a chance to see them, and came away even more impressed than I thought I would. For a three-piece acoustic group, they do some fine jamming and getting folks onto the dance floor, which is quite nice at the Nicollet.

International Novelty Gamelan @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) The traditional gamelan ensemble uses percussive instruments, such as metallophones and hand played drums to create beautiful, yet moving music. This ensemble uses the instruments to explore new music. To hear some of their music, go here.

Friday, October 31

Davina & The Vagabonds @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Though they don’t do goth, zombies, or vampires, but Davina and the Vagabonds are still a great party band for Halloween – their musical fun knows no bounds, whether Davina is singing an original or a Fats Domino tune. There’s a reason she regularly sells out the Dakota and fills many other venues around town – she’s that good at good time music – even when she’s singing threats to guys who’ve done her wrong.

The Nephews

The Nephews

Halloween Show: The Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank w/Jillian Rae @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8/advance, $10/door) Ian and Teague Alexy grew up in New Jersey, studied music on different coasts, and settled in Northern Minnesota, where they formed the Hobo Nephews to play in the burgeoning roots/Americana scene along with Charlie Parr and Trampled by Turtles. They’ve released four albums and have toured the nation. Talented vocalist/fiddler Jillian Rae will be releasing a new song, Heart in a Jar, about a zombie in love with a living person. Dressing up is encouraged, with a prize for best costume.

Disco Ritual @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 9pm ($7) Get your Haloween dancing shoes on and join Worldwide Discoteque and DJ Don Cuco as they present Funky International Dance Music, a costume contest and a free photo booth for ghosts, goblins, zombies, and other dressed up folk.

Saturday, November 1

Captan Gravitone & the String Theory Orcestra @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) this Southern Minnesota trio mixes genres as deftly as a bartender mixing an old fashioned. They create tangos about Walmart, and songs about being a philosophy major, as well as music by Dave Brubeck, Willie Dixon, and the Zombies.

Badinovs @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Fans of Beatles-style pop rock will want to check out the Badinovs  who will be playing new material as a way to say goodbye to daylight savings time. Opening at 8pm are the Fuggs, a cover band from Dassel, MN, followed by a short set from Mike Nilles’ guitar students.

Sunday, November 2

Nikki & the Ruemates @ Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Here’s an early Sunday evening show worth your while, especially if you’re a fan of late 60s folk/rock and a bit of blues. Nikki’s clarion vocals still thrill, while the Ruemates’ instrumental prowess still cooks.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Officially Spring! Music: 4.23 – 4.29

April 23, 2014
Painting by Ta-coumba Aiken. To be exhibited at Artist Mercantile.

Painting by Ta-coumba Aiken. To be exhibited at Artist Mercantile.

We have finally passed the vernal equinox, and it’s the weekend for the Saint Paul Art Crawl, so it’s now official: Spring is here, even if it’s a little chillier than we’d like.

Lots of great music from Twin Cities artists this week, as well as a few notable visiting artists. Special events include a blues competition that promises to be lively, a birthday celebration for an octogenarian musician, and a special live broadcast of a radio drama. Though the cover charge for area artists is often relatively low, don’t forget to order a drink or menu item, as the band generally gets the door, while the venue depends on your purchases to make having a band profitable. Music can lift your spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 23

Lila Ammons @ Zeke’s Unchained Animal, East Lake Street, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Zeke’s is a funky little place on East Lake Street, more or less kitty-corner from Merlin’s Rest. They have about a dozen interesting beers on tap as well as some nice wines, and an imaginative menu. Lila is equally at home with jazz or classic blues, so if you want to hear some fine vocals whilst dining and drinking, this would be a good place to be.

Ghost Tour @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested donation) Graydon Peterson, bass; Adrian Suarez, drums; and Jacob Park Evans, guitar. Inventive musicians, all.

Thursday, April 24

Charmin Michelle @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This is the debut appearance at Jazz Central for Ms Michelle, whose swinging phrasing evokes a modern Billie Holiday.

Friday, April 25

Atlantis Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 9:30pm ($10 suggested donation) This Minnesota Modern jazz quartet can get kind of funky, kind of ballad, and swinging. And no wonder. Its members include Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris Bates, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums.

Saturday, April 26

Augsburg College Jazz Band @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 3pm (Free) Augsburg has a worthy jazz program, and for this gig they have a guest artist: Julie Johnson on flute doing a performance of Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango.

JazzMN Orchestra w/guest Miguel Zenon @ Hopkins High School, 400 Lindberg Drive, Minnetonka. 7:30pm ($28, $30, $18 Student) Not only has alto saxophonist Miguel Zenon been nominated for a Grammy multiple times, he’s been awarded Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships. Last seen here with the SFJAZZ Collective (of which he is a founding member), the Puerto Rico native makes music that makes you dance. The JazzMN Orchestra is made up of some of the best musicians in town, so this promises to be an evening to remember.

Sunday, April 27

KBEM’s Jazz Noir @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 4pm ($43), 7pm ($53) This is an original radio drama that will be broadcast live on KBEM 88.5FM at 7pm. It’s called the Black Hand Side That Feeds You, and centers around the jazz scene on Minneapolis’ Near North Side during the 1960s and juxtaposes it with the civil rights movement of the time. The 7pm show includes a three course dinner, while the 4pm rehearsal show includes a sweet and savory set menu.

One World Consort & Friends

One World Consort & Friends

One World Consort @ Lake Harriet Spiritual Community, 4401 Upton, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) This a a concert in celebration of Earth Day and includes music from cultures and traditions from around the world, in addition to pieces by resident artists. The performers of One World Consort are: David Milne (saxes, flutes, etc); Mary Louise Knutson (piano); Eric Graham (acoustic and electric bass); and Craig Hara (drumset, percussion, wavedrum). They’ll be joined by the Four Voices String Quartet– Laurie Petruconis and Allison Ostrander (violin); Susan Janda (viola); and Rebecca Arons (cello).

Monday, April 28

images-1Joe Lovano’s Us5 @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($25) Lovano is a searching, innovative saxophonist who started out playing with Tom Jones, Jack McDuff and Woody Herman. He’s led a variety of ensembles, from duets to a nonet, recording over 25 albums, including a tributes to Frank Sinatra and Enrico Caruso. Tonight he brings his two-drummer quintet, Us5, featuring James Weidman, piano; Peter Slavov, bass; and Otis Brown III and Fransciso Mela on drums.

No Coast Quintet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30 ($8) The No Coast Quintet is a new group featuring some up and coming musicians: Nelson Devereaux, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Brian Courage, bass: and Lars Larson on drums, in addition to veteran Zacc Harris on guitar.

Tuesday, April 29

Acme Jazz Company CD Release @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30 – 11:00pm (Suggested Donation – $10) The Acme Jazz Company has been around since 2008, and has just released its debut album, which has climbed to number 16 on CDBaby’s big band jazz chart. The band features the multi-talented Arne Fogel on vocals.

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, April 23

Cornbread Harris’ 88th Birthday on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) 87? 88? Who really knows? The legendary octogenarian can still tear up a piano, whether he’s playing solo, trio, or in a quartet. He’s got several weekly gigs around town, but this is the only gig at which he’s celebrating his birthday.

Thursday, April 24

Walter Trout Benefit @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Guitarist Trout should be celebrating his 25th year as a solo artist. Instead he’s at the UCLA Medical Center awaiting a liver for a transplant. Blues communities around the country are helping to raise money for his care. Tonight you get to hear Lamont Cranston at 7pm, Davina & the Vagabonds at 8:15pm, and Alex Rossi & the Root City at 9:30, all in support of Trout.

Friday, April 25

The Brass Messengers @ Sweet 317, Northern Warehouse, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) It’s an Art Crawl After-Party of sorts, in suite 317 of the Northern Warehouse. The Messengers will deliver New Orleans Second Line, Balkan Brass Music, and other raucous sounds from around the globe. Since it’s an artist loft, there is limited space (about 50-60), and it’s a BYOB.

Nikki & the Rue-Mates @ Dusty’s Bar, NE Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) This hole-in-the-wall is more-or less kitty corner from the old Grain Belt Brewery on Marshall in Nordeast. Nikki & Friends will be occupying the “booth stage” and playing psychedelic folk-rock and blues, led by Nikki’s clarion vocals and Rich Rue’s slide guitar.

Saturday, April 26

Sol Bock Revival @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 1pm – 10 pm (Free) Here’s an event made for Spring. Harriet Brewing celebrates the release of a number of seasonal brews with a festival featuring live art, food trucks, and four acoustic bands. It’s as close to the back porch of a home brewer as you’ll get. Music includes: No Man’s String Band – 2pm; The Dead Pigeons – 4pm; The Roe Family Singers – 6pm, and the Evergreen Grass Band – 8pm. Here’s a video of the Roe Family Singers.

 

Film Production Kickstarter Launch Party w/music @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 5pm ($15) Here’s your chance to hear a variety of quality music while supporting a crowdsourcing campaign for a Minnesota Film Production Company to be called Don’t Mind If I Do Films.  The festivities begin at 5pm with the Zacc Harris Trio (Jazz); 6:45pm Ham Dog (Folk/Americana) later on, pop/rock from Kadet,w/Adam Hurlburt of Solid Gold and Maggie Morrisonm of Lookbook; and The Commanders with Zach Coulter of Solid Gold and Cecil Otter of Doomtree.

Mark Hummel, Corky Siegel, & Billy Boy Arnold @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($30) You won’t see any harmonica playing in the audience for this event, though there will no doubt be plenty of fans of the “Mississippi saxophone.”  This is billed as the Blues Harmonica Blowout, and is it ever. Harmonica swing master Hummel organized this annual event in 1991 and has been hard at it ever since. Corky Siegel gained fans as part of the Seigel Schwall band back in the 70s. Arnold is a contemporary of James Cotton, and helped create the “Bo Diddley” sound with Bo himself. He’s one of the last survivors of the 50s Chicago blues scene.

Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Searing slide guitar. High energy,. foot-stompin’  performances. Unfiltered Chicago Blues. Nothin’ but fun. For more on Ed, read this, or you can just watch the video.

Sunday, April 27

Road to Memphis Group Competition @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 1pm – 7pm. ($10) The Minnesota Blues Society holds the competition to send an area band to the 2015 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Groups vying for the honor include The Swamp Kings, the Mark Cameron Band, the Gopher Tones, the Rhythm Roosters, Jimmi & the Band of Souls, Phil Kitze & the Resonators, and Bluedog. Support your local blues bands. (Full disclosure: I’ll be one of the judges)

The Hula Peppers @ The Happy Gnome (Upstairs), Saint Paul. 2-5 pm (Free?) If you are old enough to remember R.Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders, you’ll be familiar with the 78 RPM inspired zany combination of blues, swing, Hawaiian music, and novelty songs performed by Dan Newton, accordion; Gary Powell, Hawaiian guitar; Dave Furniss, resonator, and Corey Mohan on ukuleles and musical saw. Lighthearted and fun, with occasional Betty Boop-ish vocals from Lauren Asheim.

Pop Trans-Atlantic w/Dan Chouinard @ Alliance Francais, 113 First Street No., Minneapolis. 3pm ($20) There have been a number of songs that have crossed the Atlantic in either direction, and with new lyrics, have become hits in languages other than their original. Pianist/accordionist Dan Chouinard  often heard on that big-time public radio variety show, will lead sing-a-longs for some of these songs, combining a little learning with a lot of fun.

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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