Well, after spending the last couple of weeks noting the lack of visiting artists, we have a a nice influx of visitors this week, including stellar jazz artists, as well as artists from Guinea, West Africa, Siberia, California, and Russia. Luckily, their visits, and performances from talented resident artists, coincide with a slight warm-up in weather, so that’s helpful as well. Remember: Music Lifts the Spirit!
Wednesday, January 17
Elaine Burt w/KWSB @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Valid StudentID) with Elaine Burt, trumpet; Pete Whitman, saxophones; Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums. This is another of Pete Whitman’s monthly presentations of groups with new compositions.
Roy Hargrove Quintet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $30) 9pm ($35, $25) Most jazz lovers need no introduction to Hargrove, the Grammy-winning trumpeter returning to the Dakota to thrill jazz-lovers with music that often cut across genres, whether it’s groove-oriented, Afro-Cuban, or hard bop. He is, quite simply, one of the best trumpeters around.
Thursday, January 18
Rachel Holder w/The Wolverines Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) The Wolverines Trio can turn any evening into a swinging affair, whether they are featured, or accompanying a vocalist, which is this case is Ms Holder, who often performs in tribute concerts, but doesn’t perform nearly enough as a featured artist. It’s understandable, since she does have mom duties, and is currently working on two different recording projects. Here she is with pianist George Maurer.
Friday, January 19
Open Story @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) This is a new trio of veteran players: Bryan Nichols, piano; Dean Magraw, guitar; and Jay Epstein, drums.
Aaron Hedenstrom Quintet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9:00pm ($15) Saxophonist/composer Hedenstrom brings four of his performing partners together to play Hedenstrom’s original music. The band includes: Zacc Harris, guitar; Ted Godbout, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Pete James Johnson, drums. Should be a stellar evening of music.
Also: Fode & Sana Bangoura with Resident Jazz Musicians @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15 Advance/$18 Door) See listing under Blues, Roots, Other, below
Saturday, January 20
Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening at 7pm, it’s the Sightless Quartet featuring: Cody Steinmann, guitar; Javier Santiago, piano; Ted Olsen, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums. Headlining at 8:30pm is The Zacc Harris Group: Zacc Harris, guitar; Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and JT Bates, drums.
Jazz from the Americas and Beyond @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) This is a new monthly series exploring jazz from around the world. Tonight’s featured artist is the Robert Everest Expedition, led by Everest, the multi-instrumentalist who can sing in seven languages. Opening set by North Central University’s Jazz Workshop.
Also: Levi Schwartzberg Trio @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Vibes – led trio
Sunday, Jan 21
Django Reinhardt’s Birthday w/Sam Miltich @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm ($15) Guitarist Miltich was already a young lion of gypsy jazz when he burst into our jazz scene as a teenager, so it’s only natural that he honors Reinhardt’s birthday. The self-taught Miltich is versatile enough to accompany such accomplished vocalists as Connie Evingson and Charmin Michelle, and often performs with saxophonist Dave Karr and Dutch swing violinist Tim Kliphuis.
Sunday, Monday, Jan 21, 22
Roberta Gambarini & Cyrus Chestnut @The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm, 8pm Sunday, 7pm Monday ($25, $30, $40) Ms Gambarini is a highly talented singer who brings her great sense of swing and ability to scat to the Great American Songbook. Born and raised in Italy, Gambarini was singing in clubs at the age of 17, and received a scholarship to the New England Conservatory in 1998. Since then she’s been mentored by James Moody, Benny Carter, and Hank Jones, which gives you an idea of how those masters viewed her talent. Tonight she’s performing with pianist Cyrus Chestnut, whose playing is often informed by gospel, as well as Jay McShann and Count Basie. I did an interview with Ms Gambarini back in 2011, which you can read here.
Monday, Jan 22
JT’s Jazz Implosion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) JT Bates continues his adventurous Monday night programming with two groups tonight. The first set features Really Big Shoe, featuring the dual saxophones of Joe Mayo and Clay Pufal; as well as Ted Olsen, bass; and Joey Van Phillips. Those who stay for the second set will be treated to Hanson, Fratzke, & Van Philips: Nathan Hanson, reeds; Erik Fratzke, bass; and Joey Van Phillips, drums.
Blues, Roots, Other…
Wednesday, January 17
Mike Munson & Adam Kiesling on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Munson is a blues musician from Winona, whose album Live at Ed’s has received praise for Munson’s slide guitar and wry delivery of his originals. Adam Kiesling is a guitarist who can be heard with Pert Near Sandstone, The Town Hall Stompers, and a number of other resident groups. Here’s video of Munson.
Orkestar Bez Ime @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) The small dance floor at the Schooner will undoubtedly be filled with writhing, jumping bodies tonight, thanks to the raucous, energizing Balkan party music of Ordestar Bez Ime.
Thursday, January 18
Tracy Nelson & The Bel-Airs @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.7pm ($30, $35) What a fine double-bill! Powerhouse vocalist Tracy Nelson may be best known for leading Mother Earth, a country-rock band out of San Francisco during its musical heyday in the late 60s and early 70s. She started singing blues and R&B in Madison, where she grew up and went to college, appearing in an R&B band that included Ben Sidran. Since Mother Earth, she has had hits on both country and blues charts and recorded with Willie Nelson, Irma Thomas, and Marcia Ball. The Bel Airs are a blues trio that have been performing together for over 30 years, and have been Twin Cities fan favorites since appearing at Mama D’s in Dinkytown decades ago. They are a unique blues outfit, in that brothers Dave and Dick Pruitt have developed a harmony style that’s all their own, resulting in one reviewer calling them “The Everly Brothers of the Blues.” Here’s Nelson in a country mode.
And here are the Bel Airs
Friday, January 19
Fode & Sana Bangoura: Guinea – The Music We Are @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15 Advance/$18 Door) Brothers Fode & Sana Bangoura, of Guinea, West Africa, will explore the musical heritage of their country. They’ll go from hand-held percussive instruments, through centuries-old Guinean music and dance popularized by Les Ballet African. They’ll use resident jazz musicians to bring the music into the present, including: Nelson Devereaux, sax; Omar Abdul Karim, trumpet; Javier Santiago, piano; Jax Ravel, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums.
Nicholas David & The Feelin Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($30, $40) In 2012, Nicholas David, who had already recorded 5 albums, finished in the top three of TV’s The Voice. The Chicago Tribune said of him, “a mix of the growl of Dr John with the wild of Marvin Gaye.” His emotional approach to singing, together with great melodies and thoughtful lyrics, reflect a soulful approach to performing that reflects his early billing as Nick the Feelin.
Saturday, January 20
Brass Lassie Album Fundraiser@ Celtic Junction, Saint Paul. 7:30pm-9:30pm (Free) This ten-piece brass band was started by multi-instrumentalist Laura MacKenzie, and they’re holding a celebration to begin fundraising for an album. The group combines traditional Scottish, Irish, and French music with modern horn lines, using a four-piece horn section, a couple of fiddles, flutes, pipes, and a rhythm section. Donations are readily accepted, but not required.
Huun Hur Tur @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40) Huun Hur Tur perform Tuvn Throat-Singing, music that comes from the high pastures of Siberia and creates slightly phlegmy overtones that are at once mesmerizing, energizing, and revelatory. Huun Hur Tur is a quartet that uses traditional instruments in addition to modern influences such as 20th Century composers, funky rhythms, and a wee bit of electronica. If you are at all curious about new sounds, you owe it to yourself to check out this group.
Also: Hurricane Harold, Willie Walker @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Hurricane Harold – No Cover), 9pm (Willie Walker – $12)
Sunday, January 21
Siama’s Congo World Quartet @ Como Park Conservatory, Saint Paul. 4:30pm – 6:30pm (Free) Siama brings his Congo World Quartet to the Music Under Glass Series, featuring: Jaqueline Ultan on cello; Tim O’Keefe on percussion; and Dallas Johnson on vocals and percussion. They’ll be playing traditional Congolese music and songs from the fun dance halls of East Africa. Their music will be broadcast throughout the conservatory, since seating can be problematic in the performance space. Beer and wine are available for purchase. Here they are from last year’s appearance.
Dangerous Man 5th Anniversary Bash and Afterparty @ The Cedar and the Nomad, Minneapolis. 7pm, Cedar ($15) The Cedar will be jumping with the sounds of Good Morning Bedlam, Yohannes Tona, New Sound Underground, and The Unknown Prophets, while its tap lines are filled with favorites and new creations from Dangerous Man Brewing. Afterwards, join DJ Steely Dan for a special edition of World Wide Discoteque at the Nomad.
Denis Evstuhin and Helen Chang Haertzen @ The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 members, $30 non-members) Evstuhin is a Russian pianist who has appeared on numerous stages around the world, including with the Minnesota Orchestra. Vioiinist Haertzen is a member of the Minnesota Orchestra’s first violin section and the Isles Ensemble. Special guest Anastasiya Nyzkodub is a Ukrainian-born clarinetist completing a Doctorate of Music Arts at the U of MN.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Jan 23, 24
Al Jardine @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($65, $70, $75) Many Boomers will want to see Al Jardine, a founding member of the fabled Beach Boys, as he joins the storytelling trend of rock stars performing solo and in small groups while sharing stories about their career. The Beach Boys had 80 charting hits around the world, 36 Top 40 hits in the US, and four number one hits. He’ll be accompanied by his son Matt and tell the tale of “America’s Band,” from their first hit Surfin’ on through Help Me Rhonda, and Sloop John B, to Jardine’s recent solo release, A Postcard from California. Don’t expect much about the trials and tribulations of the band, however. The Fun, Fu, Fun stuff should be entertaining enough. Here’s a video with Brian Wilson introducing Jardine.