Jazz, Cambodian Pop, Chamber Blues, and More: 1.6 – 1.12

January 6, 2016
Dengue Fever, appearing at the Ordway

Dengue Fever, appearing at the Ordway

Good music this week, from around the world (see photo) and perhaps, around the block. Get out and hear some. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, January 6

Anthony Cox: Deconstruction/Reconstruction @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Bassist Anthony Cox  ethinks the roles of different instruments and orchestration. He’ll be joined by Steve Kenny, trumpet; Davu Seru, drums; and Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; to perform new compositions, and engage in dialogue with the audience. Here’s an example of how Cox approaches a song, with a slight change in the lineup.

Thursday, January 7

Jon Pemberton @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) I don’t know if this is a solo gig or if pianist Pemberton will have any accompaniment. In either case, Pemberton’s playing is well worth a listen.

Erin Livingston @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Ms Livingston has been singing a lot with The Parisota Hot Club, proving she can swing the standards, pump up the blues, and caress a Beatles tune. Tonight she performs with Marc Z on piano.

Jack Brass Band CD Release @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) These purveyors of both traditional and contemporary New Orleans Brass Band music have a new CD, For Your Soul, and they’re celebrating with a performance tonight. And what better place to celebrate than the gumbo and po-boy haven in downtown Saint Paul. Here’s a video of the band from Wednesday morning.

Friday, January 8

Ted Olsen & Joe Strachan @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) Bassist Olsen and pianist Strachan are relatively young players who serve up some tasty licks and imaginative improvisations.

Denny Malmberg Trio w/Charmin Michelle @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) The accordionist used to play behind chanteuse Charmin Michelle at the Fireside Pizza on a weekly basis. That gig ended some months ago, so it’s a delight to have them together again, this time will the help of Tom Lewis on bass. Listen to them with a drummer.

Pete Whitman X-Tet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) They’re back! Saxophonist/leader Whitman has been concentrating on the McNally Smith big band that he leads, so it’s fun to have the X-Tet, formed in 2001, they received glowing review for their only CD, playing mostly original compositions from the members: Clay Pufahl, saxes, flute; Gus Sandberg, baritone sax, flute’ Adam Meckler, trumpet & flugelhorn; Jake Baldwin, trumpet & flugelhorn; Jeff Rinnear, trombone; Laura Caviani, piano; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Chris Bates, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. Here they are with Whitman’s arrangement of the old chestnut, Good Night Ladies.

Saturday, January 9

Zacc Harris Guitar Recital @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) It’s listed as a recital, so I’m assuming guitarist Harris  will be performing solo, given that he’ll be playing in a trio later in the evening. This is a chance to clearly hear his clean, rhythmic lines.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) The Pete Snell Trio opens, with Snell, saxes; Phil Aaron, piano; and Tom Lewis, bass. At 8:30 it’s Golden Circle, with outstanding musicians Davu Seru  drums; Dean Granros, guitar; Chris Bates, bass.

JT Bates’ Grain @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8)  Get down and a bit greasy with this B3 Organ trio led by the chameleonic drummer JT Bates, with Kevin Gastonguay, B3; and Zacc Harris, guitar.

Sunday, January 10

The Birthday Club w/Dan Chouinard & Friends @ The Dunsmore Room, Crooners, Fridley. 6pm – 8pm ($20 Minimum) The folks at Crooners are starting a new residency with keyboardist Dan Chouinard in which he and an invited guest celebrate the music of a particular songwriter. He has a long history of doing informative and edifying shows. For this first appearance, he’s bringing along a long time collaborator, singer Prudence Johnson  Her recent appearance with Rio Nido at the Dakota showed that she’s got chops aplenty when it comes to interpreting songs. Here’s something from their Gershwin album.

Monday, January 11

Colleen Raye @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) The singer/actress will be performing songs from women songwriters of the 40s and 50s. Raye is somewhat of an expert here, having produced and starred in shows such as Sirens of the 60s, Belting Babes, Girl Singers of the Hit Parade, and others that feature songs from women. She’ll be accompanied by Gary Raynor, bass; and Ted Godbout, piano. Listen to her on an old Nat King Cole Song.

Tuesday, January 12

Peter Kogan Quartet @ The Dunsmore Room, Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($15 Minimum) Kogan is a former tympanist from the Minnesota Orchestra, who was able to explore his jazz side during the organization’s strike, and came up with a couple of winning CDs, including his latest, Some Monsterful Wonderthing, which exhibits his skill at composing and leading a band. From classic bebop to New Orleans rhythms, Kogan writes it all.  Look at who he has in this quartet: Pete Whitman, sax; Phil Aaron, piano; and Anthony Cox, bass. Here’s a cut from the album.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, December 6

Andra Suchy Trio on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Classically trained and a veteran of musical theater, Suchy is a regular performer on Prairie Home Companion, and has recorded with a wide variety of indie, rock, blues, and folk acts, including the Honeydongs, Peter Ostroushko, and Dave Perner of Soul Asylum. She’s a Red House recording artist, with a folky style that fits the label’s sound.

Dee Miller Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) The joint will be jumpin’ as powerhouse vocalist Ms Miller and her band deliver exciting and danceable blues. Extra reason to be excited: Jimi “Primetime” Smith on guitar. I’m thinking this might be a crowded place tonight.

Thursday, January 7

Pat Donahue & The Prairie All Stars @ Golden’s Deli, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($8 for reserved stage area seating) Grammy-winning finger style guitarist Donahue has many fans, including the late Chet Atkins, and of course, Garrison Keillor, who featured Donahue and company at the house band on Prairie Home Companion for many years. Golden’s has a stage area off the main dining area, and serves beer and wine, in addition to sandwiches and soups. The band includes Dan Newton, accordion; Gary Raynor, bass; Richard Kriehn, mandolin and fiddle; and Peter Johnson on drums. Here he is with some of the band.

Potash Twins @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) The “Twin Horns of Joy” are a couple of young musicians from Omaha who have been guided by folks like Wynton Marsalis, Jon Faddis, and a host of other music luminaries. Adeev, trumpet; and Ezra, trombone; have studied in New York, and appeared at places ranging from Birdland to the Field Museum and the MN State Fair Grandstand. They play a very jazz-oriented pop that reaches across generations.

Friday, January 8

Worldwide Discoteque @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Pan-tropical vinyl, producing irresistibly funky dance sounds from Afrobeat to Island jams, to sambas, cumbias, and more for a multi-culti audience. Special guest deejay ILana Percheri will be alternating with host deejays Steely Dan and Brian Engle. Here’s an example of what you might hear.

Saturday, January 9

Dengue Fever @ The Ordway Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($25 – $27) Take Cambodian pop music. Add hints of Ethiopian jazz, psychedelica, garage band music, Latin grooves, and the British Invasion and you have this thoroughly intriguing and fun six-piece group. Their music has been featured in TV and films, including CSI: Las Vegas, Weeds, The Hangover 2, and City of Ghosts.

Sunday, January 10

Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues, w/Ernie Watts @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Siegel  known back in the day for his incisive harp playing as part of the Seigel-Schwall Blues Band, has been collaborating with classical musicians for quite some time now. This particular act features the West End String Quartet, as well as Frank Donaldson on world percussion, and sax master Ernie Watts  creating a blend of classical and blues styles in a chamber music setting.

Charlie Parr @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Advance) Parr is unique among today’s blues performers, with 13 albums to his credit and a huge following among the younger set. He sounds and looks like an itinerant picker, and in some respects is, but there’s an intelligence to his lyrics and playing (guitar, dobro, banjo) that goes way beyond his often-disheveled appearance. MN based singer/songwriter Amanda Standalone opens.

Tuesday, January 12

Kate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) I’ll admit that I really like the approach of bassist/vocalist Lynch to performing. She takes on old songs – pop tunes from the 20s to the 60s, and puts them in context before she and her Most Excellent Fellows hit a downbeat that brings out swing dancers. Though there’s no real room for dancing at the Dakota, I wouldn’t put it past some of her fans to push some table aside to create a small dance floor.

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.


Summertime Blues, Jazz, and More: 8.19 – 8.25

August 19, 2015
Boating has always been popular on our lakes, as this vintage postcard of Como Lake attests.

Boating has always been popular on our lakes, as this vintage postcard of Como Lake attests.

Whether you bike, kike, swim, or boat, summertime offers many options to Twin Cities residents, including many music options this week, with some terrific visiting artists as well as some unique events featuring resident musicians. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 19

New Music Wednesday  @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30  ($10 Suggested Donation) at 8:30 it’s the Lucia Sarmiento Quintet. Sarmiento, from Lima, Peru, is a talented saxophonist who is studying at McNally Smith under the mentorship of Pete Whitman. Her band consists of a number of young players: Trevor Wiest, guitar; Ry Dill, bass; Will Kjeer, piano; and Blake Huebl, drums. Their wide-ranging repertoires includes contemporary jazz and funky twists to Afro-Peruvian music. At 9:45pm, The Blue take the stage, with Adrian Larkin, alto; Trevor Wiest, guitar; Eric Clifford, bass; and Tyler Kloewer, drums.

Kami Lyle @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) Lyle is a singer/songwriter and trumpeter/pianist who has appeared on CDs by Patty Griffin, Julie Miller, and NRBQ, among others, and has had songs on a number of TV and film soundtracks. Although born in Mpls, she now lives on Cape Cod, and will be playing with longtime friend Dean Magraw on guitar, and her nephew, the talented young bassist Charlie Lincoln. Steve Katz will open.

Jack Brass Band @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Ahh, some New Orleans brass funk, from traditional second line tunes to brass band versions of contemporary pop hits, by a group of highly talented musicians.

Thursday, August 20

Joel Shapira and Chris Lomheim @ Vieux Carré, Minneapolis. 5:30 – 8pm (No Cover) The Vieux’s concept of having solo and duo acts early some evenings is creating some fun combinations of musicians, such as tonight’s duo. Gutiarist Shapira and pianist Lomheim are two musicians who can trade bop licks with ease, while turning around and performing airy, sensitive pieces.

Reuben and Dan Ristrom @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This Father/Son Duo have been performing together since Dan was a young boy. Rueben  on guitar and Dan on vocals are celebrating the release of a new CD, “70/30,” so named since 70% of the album is with a jazz band and 30% is just the two of them. Here they are doing an American version of a French song.

Rhonda Laurie @ Public, Saint Paul. 8-10pm (No Cover) The downstairs lounge at Public Restaurant has been having music of late. Tonight it’s the vocal stylings of Ms Laurie, who has a propensity for singing lesser known songs, and is equally adept at interpreting gypsy jazz and standards.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, August 20, 21, 22

Adam Meckler Quintet Live Recording Project @ Various Venues, Minneapolis & Saint Paul. Trumpeter Meckler and his Quintet will be playing for three nights in a row, and recording each night. On Thursday, they are at Studio Z in Saint Paul at 8pm ($10). Friday finds them moving to the Nicollet Cafe in Minneapolis for a 9pm show (Donation), and finally, on Saturday, they finish up at the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar at 8:30pm. Here’s are some samples of their songs, prepared for this project.

Friday, August 21

Bob Bowman Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8 – 10pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Bowman is from Kansas City and has come to town a number of times with Karrin Allyson as well as playing some dates with Laura Caviani. He’s a heavy hitter, having played with the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, The Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band, and Carmen McRae. Joining him tonight are Daniel Leahy on piano, and Mac Santiago on drums. Here’s an example of his playing (and composing).

Saturday, August 22

Andrew Walesch Big Band: The Songs Of Sinatra @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Pianist/vocalist Walesch  who is playing at Crooners a lot these days, ups the ante with nine additional members for his band, as they honor Ol’ Blues Eyes during the centennial year of his birth.

Siskind, Harms, & Pino @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($12) Pianist/composer Jeremy Siskind explores the concept of what it means to be “Home” in his latest recorded project, Housewarming. This is the second release for Siskind and his partners in this project: vocalist and former Twin Citizen Nancy Harms  who has been working steadily in both Europe and NYC, where she’s now based, and reed player Lucas Pino  who has worked with Dave Brubeck, Curtis Fuller, Benny Green, Christian McBride, David Sanborn, and a host of others. Exquisite chamber jazz. Here they are from a house concert a few years ago.

Sunday, August 23

Louis & Clarke (and Bisonette)

Louis & Clarke (and Bissonette)

Louis & Clarke @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8-10pm ($10) Saxophonist Steve Clarke,  an eleven time recipient of the MN Music Award, gets experimental tonight with collaborator Louis Sinclair  aka Rundio, who plays the chapman stick. They’ll add some looping, and processing technology, along with drummer/percussionist Michael Bissonette. The result is 21st Century jazz.

Monday, August 24

Joe Mayo Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) They’ve gone from being an opening act to featured act: Joe Mayo, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar, Lars-Erik Larson, drums; and Andrew Foreman, bass.

Reichert, Glenn, & Roach @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) An evening of improvised music from three multi-instrumentalists: Tom Reichert, guitar, bass; Tim Glenn, percussion, Stephen Roach.

Tuesday, August 25

Cyrus Chestnut Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Chestnut thrilled the audience when he headlined the Twin Cities Jazz Festival a couple of years back. Whether he’s doing the songs of Elvis Presley or jazz standards, his gospel-infused improvisations evoke Jay McShann, Count Basie, yet are thoroughly modern. His music reverberates with all manner of listeners.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, and Other…

Wednesday, August 19

The piano player himself

The piano player himself

John Beach Trio on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Pianist/vocalist Beach is a long time fixture on the Twin Cities music scene, playing with groups like Willie & the Bees, Dave Ray & Bamboo, Snake, the Mill City Hearts, Three Bedroom Rambler, Joel Johnson, and the Blackburn Beach Blues Band. He’s a blues and R&B player, but goes beyond those as well when needed. Liz and I had him play for our wedding reception many years ago.

Willie Murphy & Claudia Schmidt @ Schooners, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Murphy holds this songwriter night once a month, inviting others to exchange music with him. Tonight the guitarist/bassist/pianist/vocalist/songwriter brings out Ms Schmidt  who has been delighting folks with her stories and songs for a number of decades now.

Afrobilly, with guest Jacqueline Ultan @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 8-10pm (Tip Jar) Washboard percussionist Mikkel Beckmen has been having such a ball playing with Zairean soukous guitarist/vocalist Siama Matuzungidi and vocalist/percussionist Dallas Johnson that they’ve formalized the group with the name Afrobilly. Tonight they are joined by the imaginative cellist Jacqueline Ultan, of JelloSlave and many other boundary-pushing groups. Here is Mikkel and Siama.

Thursday, August 20

Pop Remix @ Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. 6-10pm. It’s a free evening at the Walker, and you can hang out on the patio, where the Robert Everest Expedition will be playing world jazz, Deejay Paul Harding will be spinning world music, and there will be a screening of Pulp Pop Clips.

Jerry Douglas @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40-$50), 9pm ($30-$40) Lots of plectorists will be in the audience to watch Douglas  considered to be the best dobro player in the world, due in part to groundbreaking work Allison Kraus, Elvis Costello, and on over 2000 recordings by folks like James Taylor, Ray Charles, Lyle Lovett, Garth Brooks, Bill Frisell, and Phish! He’s recently released Traveler, his first solo recording in six years, featuring guests like Eric Clapton, Mumford & Sons, Keb Mo, Dr. John, Bela Fleck and more. Whew!

Friday, August 21

Harmonica Hoedown @ Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Attention Blues Lovers! Two mighty blues harpist are on the bill tonight. First up is Boom Boom Steve Vonderharr & the Knockouts, followed by Curtis Blake and Don Scott at 9pm.

The Pines @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) It’s summer in Minnesota, time to listen to the rootsy sounds of The Pines  Sit back and relax on the band hell’s benches, or score a spot on the rise north of the bandshell and enjoy a picnic while listening.

He Sings! He Dances! (more or less)

He Sings! He Dances! (more or less)

Farewell Milwaukee & Young Frankenstein @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) It’s a back to the 70s night. Start the evening with the Midwest folk-rock sounds of Farewell Milwaukee, whose music is shaped by artists from the late 60s and early 70s. Then, sit back and laugh at the 1975 Mel Brooks picture, Young Frankenstein. Oh yeah, you can order food and drinks from the bar inside.

Saturday, August 22

Nikki Roux and Rich Rue Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6 – 8pm. (No Cover) Nikki & Rich (of Nikki & the Rue-Mates  perform folk-rock in a manner inspired by the late 60s. Nikki’s clarion vocals and Rich’s inspired slide playing make for an entertaining early evening experience.

Saturday, Sunday, August 22, 23

Nye’s Outdoor Tent Party @ Nye’s Polonaise Room, Minneapolis. 3pm (Saturday), 2pm (Sunday) If you’ve never been to Nye’s, here’s your last chance to see some of the acts that have performed there over the years, both in the Piano Bar and in the Old Side. Daina DePrez, The World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band, St. Dominic’s Trio, Doug Otto & the Getaways, The New Primitives, and Molly Maher are all on the bill.

Sunday, August 23

Gaby Moreno @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) This may be the Under-The-Radar Gig of the Week. Moreno  s a Guatemalan-born singer/songwriter who won the Grand Prize at the John Lennon Songwriting Contest with her song “Escondidos.” She’s been touring the world, appearing at festivals, and collaborating with a who’s who of stars.  The New York Times says she has “A tangy, bluesy voice with the feistiness of Edith Piaf.”

Monday, August 24

Bettye LaVette @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $45) LaVette is one of the few soul singers from the 60s who is still performing. In fact, she’s doing better now than in the 60s, due in large part to her ability to infuse any song with the right amount of emotion and pleading. When she pours herself into a song, it’s done to expose the truth of the song, rather than to impress with her pipes. LaVette is touring behind her latest CD, Worthy, which contains her versions of songs by Dylan, Jagger/Richards, Lennon/McCartney, and producer Joe Henry, among others.

Tuesday, August 25

Tinariwen @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) NPR calls Tinariwen “just about the best guitar based rock band of the 21st Century.” Natives of the Saharan desert, Tinariwen was formed in Tuareg camps in Libya, where the nomadic people gathered to find new work outside of their native Mali. After their music was passed around via bootlegs, western musicians discovered them in the late 1990s and they’ve been delivering the aching beauty and restless energy of their music to worldwide audiences. Body Omara, with Joseph Damman, guitar, Tom Reichert, bass; and Davu Seru on percussion, opens, playing Damman’s own compositions, which are influenced by Ali Farka Toure, as well as American folk and jazz musicians.

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.


Valentines Day. Mardis Gras. Celebratory Music: 2.11 – 2.17

February 11, 2015

UnknownOkay, we’ve got two special occasions this week. For the romantics out there we have Valentine’s Day. For those who just want to party we have Mardis Gras. Take your pick, or take both, each of which is a good reason to get out and listen to music. There are other reasons as well, just check out the possibilities below. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, February 11

Trio PKD @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) George Cartwright, sax; Chris Bates, bass; JT Bates, drums. Chris Bates always brings interesting musicians to Jazz Central on the second Wednesday of the month. Tonight he’s teaming up with brother JT on drums and, for the first time, the exploratory sax of George Cartwright.

Thursday, February 12

UnknownJennifer Grimm @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Grimm’s musical theater background, her sense of sing and her weekly shows at Manitou Station, along with appearances at Carnegie Hall, the Ordway, and Prairie Home Companion attest to her versatility. With Joe Cruz accompanying on guitar, this promises to be an intimate evening. I suspect there will be quite a few love songs in the repertoire.

Friday, February 13

Irv Williams and Mary Louise Knutson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 4:30pm – 6:30pm (No Cover) Mr Smooth, aka Irv Williams, has had a number of different partners for his Friday afternoon happy hour gigs, but this may be the first time he’s accompanied by the accomplished pianist, Mary Louise Knutson  Her bonafides are well established: she’s Doc Severinson’s pianist for his mid-nation tours, her most recent CD In the Bubble, hit the top ten in Jazz Week, and was in the top 50 for 19 weeks, and she’s performed with musicians ranging from Diane Reeves to Nicholas Payton, and Randy Brecker. This should be a delightful pairing.

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Friends @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Gravatt’s powerhouse drumming has propelled Weather Report and McCoy Tyner’s groups. Tonight he brings Brandon Wozniak, sax; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Zacc Harris, guitar; to the basement club in near Northeast. Here’s a video of Gravatt with Wozniak and bass player Adam Linz.

College Night @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm  featuring North Central University’s Jazz Workshop. There will be sets from two different ensembles, followed by a jam session.

Friday, Saturday, February 13, 14

Isn’t It Romantic: Jazz in the Lobby Bar @ the Saint Paul Hotel, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm (No Cover) Sure, the lobby can be a bit noisy and distracting, but Joann on piano and Jeff on bass are very good at keeping your attention. They are bringing in a special guest, Saxman Pete Whitman, for these evenings of romantic songs.

Saturday, February 14

Kate & the Fellows

Kate & the Fellows

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Patissiere 46, Minneapolis. 3pm – 5pm.  (No Cover) Bassist/vocalist Lynch is calling this Sweet Tunes for the Sweet Toothed. She and the Fellows will be playing tunes from the 30s through the 50s, and maybe even a tune or two from the 60s, all in that toe-tapping rhythm. There may be no cover, but you will definitely end up buying one of the beautiful French pastries at what is arguably the best pastry shop in the state. Their creations are colorful, sculptural, delicious, and sweet – a perfect complement to the tunes of Kate and the band. Here she does a li

Connie Evingson @ The Cabaret at Camp Bar, 490 Robert, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm ($20, $25) Ms Evingson takes a lighthearted look at romance in a show called “This Funny Thing Called Love?” Helping her answer that question are: Adi Yeshaya, piano; Gary Raynor, bass; Dave Karr, sax; and Mac Santiago drums.

Ready to Sing!

Ready to Sing!

The Girls: This Thing Called Love @ Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hopkins. 7pm – 10pm  ($24, Discounts for seniors, students, and members) It’s an evening celebrating all things romantic, with the cream of Twin Cities vocalists: Patty Peterson, Lori Dokken, Debbie Duncan, Judy Donaghy-Vinar, Rachel Holder-Henning, and Erin Schwab.

Paul Harper Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) It’s not a Valentine’s Day Event, but if your sweetie likes jazz, tonight’s groups will help you get nice and cozy. Opening at 7pm: Central Standard Time: Charlie Lincoln, bass; Dave Roos, guitar; Alex Burgess, drums; Steve Kenny, flumpet. Followed by Harper, sax; Mike Cramer, guitar; Charlie Riddle, bass; Nathan Norman, drums at 8:30pm.

Monday, February 16

Iron Chops, feat: Jon Wood and Dave Brattain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Wood is an area guitarist who is a member of both the Cedar Avenue Big Band and the Jazz on the Prairie Big Band. He also plays around town in in various venues and and genres and is currently recording a CD. He’s joined tonight by Dave Brattain on sax, who also plays in the Cedar Avenue Big Band, as well as the JazzMN Big Band. They’ll be playing compositions from Wood’s upcoming CD.

Unknown-2Enormous Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) Chris Bates is one busy bassist. Tonight he’s joined by Chris Thomson, sax; Park Evans, guitar; and Joey Van Philips, drums.

Tuesday, Wednesday, February 17, 18

David Sanborn @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45 – $70) Sanborn is a rare saxophonist, one who can appeal to a dance-oriented R&B crowd, and a listening audience of jazz aficionados. He has won six Grammys, had eight gold albums, and one platinum, has hosted his own excellent TV show, and recorded with a host of artists, from Eric Clapton to Christian McBride and Bill Frisell. His appearance at the Zoo a couple of years back had the crowd roaring with delight. Don’t be surprised if Ricky Peterson shows up on keys, as in this video.

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, February 11

MATRA @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Sometimes we have to be reminded that the vibraphone and the marimba are both percussion instruments. Tonight’s your chance, as Andres Crovetti, vibes; Jenny Klukken, marimba; Krissy Bergmark, tablas; and Mathew Solace, drums play accessible arrangements of world and jazz influenced music.

Thursday, February 12

It's more like MeMeMeMeMe

It’s more like MeMeMeMeMe

MeMeMe with Little Star @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($5) If you liked the voice of Jon Anderson from Yes, you might appreciate the vocals of MeMeMe’s lead vocalist Casidy Anderson. The rest of the band evokes folks from Weezer to Neil Young. Opening for the evening is Little Star  who delivers something completely different – a guitar duo featuring Jayme Clifton Halbritter and Olivia Marie Quintanilla. The results are, as might be expected, quietly pretty, little dreamlike wisps of imagination.

The Eddies @ The Underground Music Cafe, 1575 Hamline Ave, Saint Paul. 7pm – 8:30pm ($5 Suggested Donation) The always fun Eddies are featured for this month’s Celtic Music Showcase, and though there is a definite Celtic bent to what this almost acapella group sings, there are 19th and 20th Century songs of love, death, and work as well.

Friday, February 13

The Assad Brothers and Romero Lubambo @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $45), 9pm ($25 – $35) Guitar players and lovers of guitar music will converge on the Dakota tonight to hear the Brazilian-born Assad Brothers  whose virtuosity in classical and other genres have led to them being called the best two-guitar team in existence by the Washington Post. Romero Lubambo  another Brazilian guitarist, melds Brazilian styles and rhythms with the American jazz tradition, leading to his performing and recording with such artists as Diane Reeves, Michael Brecker, Diane Krall and others.

On Love @ the Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) With Lynn O’Brien and Steven Hobert, PaviElle, and Sankophoenix. Three female singers take to the Cedar’s stage to explore the manifestations of love, often using a groove to move their messages forward. PaviElle has been getting lots of good press recently for her neo-soul work. Lynn O’Brien is a singer/songwriter with a soulful voice who has found a kindred spirit in imaginative pianist Steven Hobert. Sankophoenix calls her approach to singing neo-jazz, integrating jazz and neo-soul in her singing. Here’s PaviElle doing a Tom Petty song.

Saturday, February 14

Freewheelin’ Mardis Gras @ The Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 6pm (No Cover) I’ll be spinning Mardis Gras music and more from 4:30 – 6pm, prior to the start of this event featuring The Rockin’ Pinecones, Scottie Miller, and The New Riverside Ramblers.

Maurice Jacox @ The Normandy Kitchen, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No cover) Though vocalist Jacox is well known for his work with Willie & the Bees, The Butanes Soul Revue, and the Soul Tight Committee, he is also an excellent interpreter of standards, and stripped down Motown. Things get intimate tonight in the tiny bar at Normandy Kitchen, as Jacox performs with Thomas West on keys, and Grammy winner Robb Stupka on drums. Reservations recommended.

North America Super Stars @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Here’s a unique Valentine’s day concert, performed by a collective of Somali artists who appear in various configurations around the Twin Cities and beyond. It’s Somali pop, with perhaps, a bit of hip hop as well.

Sunday, February 15

Finn Hall @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 6pm (Donation) Talk about old-time music! With mandolin, violin, nyckelharpa, and two accordions, this quartet will take set the Wayback machine to the turn of the last century as they play  waltzes, schottisches, polkas, mazurka, humppa and other traditional music as played in Finnish-American dance halls. Here they are with some guests.

S.O.S. Band @ Mill City Nights, Minneapolis. ($25) The S.O.S. band hit big in 1980 with the single Take Your time (Do It Right), which sold over two million copies. Other hits followed after they hooked up with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis as producers. It will be a night of funk with opening acts The Maxx Band and the West Side Band

Bridge City Hustle @ the Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm (No cover) This modern soul quintet from Brooklyn caught my ear when I heard one of their tracks on KFAI. They handle slow grooves and uptempo numbers with equal aplomb.  w/Sonic Intension, a neo-soul group that uses a touch of rock, and DJ Tarik Thornton, who always spins interesting and danceable grooves. Here’s a video of Bridge City Hustle.

Monday, February 16

Blues at the Crossroads @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6:30pm ($50 – $75), 9pm ($40 – $65) Wow, this is a good old fashioned Soul Revue. Featuring the wonderful Irma Thomas  Soul Queen of New Orleans; journeyman soul singer Lee Fields, who should be as well known as Sharon Jones or Charles Bradley;  Eric Krasno, of Soulive and Lettuce; and new singer Alecia Chakour, who’s been getting dynamite press. Speaking of which, The Dynamites, who provided butt-shaking backing on the excellent Charles Walker album, provide the backing for everyone. Here’s Lee Fields.

Tuesday, February 17

Swamp Kings @ Dixie’s on Grand, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) You just know that Dixie’s has to have some appropriate music for Mardis Gras, and they’ve found it with the Swamp Kings  This quartet of bass, drums, accordion, and electric guitar does a more than credible job of laying down the Cajun, New Orleans, funk and blues sounds of Louisiana.

The New Riverside Ramblers

The New Riverside Ramblers

8th Annual Louisiana Rhythms Mardis Gras Party @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. ($12) Whether you do Cajun Dancing, Zydeco, Swing, or freestyle, The Swamp Poppas, Southside Aces, New Riverside Ramblers, and the Rockin’ Pinecones will be providing music from New Orleans and South Louisiana for your dancing pleasure. Plus, there will be Gumbo, Jambalaya, and Red Beans and Rice!

Jack Brass Band: Naughty Gras @ The Amsterdam, Saint Paul. 9pm($15, $50 for 2-top tables, $100 for 4-top tables)  They’re pulling out the stops for this one, folks. Besides the always fun JBB  they’ve got side show acts presented by Musette the Mistress of Mischief and burlesque from Sassy Von Straddler, as well as a crawfish boil, Abita beer and circus aerialists. My. My. My.

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.

 


Good Weather. Great Music: 12.10 – 12.16

December 10, 2014
Last year, we had this for weather during this week. This year we'll have no snow.

Thank goodness we don’t have this to look forward to, which was what we had last year at this time.

It seems we’re in for a warming trend this weekend, with temps in the 40s and 50s, so the weather should be no barrier to attending holiday parties and shows. Once again we’ve a few visiting artists worth your time and money, as well as our usual plethora of resident musicians who will help lift your spirits. Have a good week.

Jazz

Wednesday, December 10

Lila Ammons @ The Tangiers, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm (No Cover) A classically trained vocalist, Ms Ammons tackles jazz and blues with authority and verve to spare at this warehouse district nitespot on North 1st Avenue.

Magica Improvisada @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This is bassist Chris Bates’ once-a-month series at JC. Tonight, it’s all basses on deck for a Bass Summit, featuring, besides Chris, Casey O’Brian, Brian Roessler, Charles Fletcher, Chris Hunnicut, and more.

Thursday, December 11

Give Get Sistet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Sara M. Greer gathers up some like-minded female vocalists to improvise holiday classics and wintry favorites a-capella style. With Aimee K. Bryant, Mankwe Ndosi, Libby Turner Opanga, & Alicia Steele.

Jack Brass Band @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) Whether they’re playing traditional New Orleans jazz, The Temptation, or the more modern R&B of Keith Sweat & Bobby Brown, the JBB’s infectious rhythms and joie de vivre will have you bouncing in your seats or taking to the dance floor.

Friday, December 12

Connie Evingson @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm The dulcet, swinging tones of Ms Evingson will waft through the lounge at this Italian restaurant. Whether singing gypsy jazz, The Beatles, or Peggy Lee, Evingson always bring a lush sound to her singing. Tonight, she’s joined by Rick Carlson, piano; Gary Raynor, bass; and that bebopper with a way with ballads, Dave Karr on sax.

Tanner Taylor @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Versatile pianist Tanner Taylor is back in town for a bit, and will be joined by pals Graydon Peterson, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums, for an evening of holiday favorites, and, I’m sure, other tunes.

College Night @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm – 11:30pm (Donation) Here’s a chance to listen to the next generation of jazz players, as members of  North Central University’s Jazz Workshop show off their chops. The evening ends with a jam session.

Saturday, December 13

Chris Bates’ Red 5 @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Saturday Night Jazz continues to draw the jazz faithful to the Black Dog, this time for Chris Bates’ quintet playing his original music. Chris Bates, bass; JT Bates, drums; Zack Lozier, trumpet; Brandon Wozniak & Chris Thomson, saxes. With an opening set by Dark Blue. Here’s the Red5 doing a tune from their CD.

PipJazz Live Holiday Program @ Maplewood Community Center Theater, 2100 White Bear Avenue, Maplewood. 7pm ($25, $5 for Students) Featured Youth Artist: Charlie Lincoln, bass. Pippi Ardennia presents her holiday show of jazz & R&B, with featured youth artist Charlie Lincoln, who is studying with Eric Kamau Gravatt, and already shows great talent and promise.

Sunday, December 14

Maud Hixson & the Wolverines Trio w/Dave Karr @ the Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 2pm – 4pm. ($25, $15/Student, child, $20 Senior) It’s a musical excursion of holiday tunes through the years, featuring the delightful Ms Hixson, with firm support from the Wolverines Trio and the extraordinary Dave Karr on sax. Nationally recognized film collector Bob DeFlores will be showing rare films of holiday songs as performed by Big Crosby, Judy, Garland, Spike Jones, Gene Autry, and others.

Charles Lazarus All Brass Big Band: Merry & Bright @ St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537 3rd Ave S. Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($?) Trumpeter Lazarus takes a break from his MN Orchestra duties to present a different take on holiday tunes, from Latin to loungem, groove to gospel. With Tommy Barbarella, piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; Dave Schmalenberger, drums, and the Lazarus Brass, as well as special guest vocalists Bruce Henry & Tonia Hughes.  This video isn’t holiday music, but it gives you a good idea of Lazarus at work.

Monday, December 15

Kevin Gastonguay B3 w/Clay Pufahl @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Ahh, the funky sounds of a B3 organ, responsible for bringing soulful jazz to the people in small clubs across the nation. Tonight Kevin Gastonguay will be at the keys and foot pedals, with accompaniment by saxophonist Clay Pufahl, and drummer Mac Santiago.

George Cartwright’s PAL @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) It’s the always adventurous Jazz Implosion, tonight featuring Saxophonist Cartwright, together with multi-instrumentalist Andrew Broder, bassist Josh Granowski, and JT Bates.

Monday, Tuesday, December 15, 16

Roberta Gambarini @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Ms Gambarini is a highly talented singer who brings her great sense of swing and ability to scat to the Great American Songbook. Mentored by James Moody, Benny Carter, and Hank Jones, she’s received two Grammy nominations. Ms Gambarini is appearing with a seasoned band of all-stars, including Jimmy Cobb, drums (the only living member of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue recording; Ray Drummond, bass; Sullivan Fortner, piano; and Justin Robinson, sax. I did an interview with Ms Gambarini back in 2011, which you can read here. She explains her approach before singing in this video.

Tuesday, December 16

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Their recently released album is a winner, with original tunes and arrangements by Meckler. Read a review of the album here. As many of you may know, Jazz Central isn’t very big, so you’ll be able to see and hear this 16 piece band up close and personal.

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, December 10

Cooker John on the House Party and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI-90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Cooker John learned fingerpicking from Artie Traum in Manhattan back in the early 60s. Afterwards he played in various bands around NYC, opening for folks like Chuck Berry, The Lovin’ Spoonful, and Crazy Horse. Since 1990 or so, he’s been gigging around the Midwest, mostly working solo to bring his blues and folk music to the masses. Tonight he’ll be joined by Nick Salisbury on bass and Ben Kaplan on drums. Tune in, and if you like what you hear, head over to the 331.

Wednesday, Thursday, December 10,11

Lisa Fischer @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50 – $60), 9pm ($40, $50) The last time she was in town, both shows sold out. This time Fischer is here for six shows (two occurred last night), and it may still be hard to get a good seat. Fischer was the stand-out performer in the documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, about background singers. She’s been on every Rolling Stones tour since 1989 and has also toured with Sting, Luther Vandross, Tina Tuner, and Nine Inch Nails. In performance, Fischer takes well known pop/rock songs and completely makes them her own, using her supple voice to bring new meaning to them.

Thursday, December 11

McNally Smith Emerging Artists @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Free) Here’s a chance to hear some young musicians strut their stuff. The McNally Smith staff has been doing a great job of teaching and mentoring the students at the school. Tonight you can hear Improv, Composition, Funky Blues, and two Modern Rock bands. And did I mention it’s free?

The Icicles @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover) Jake Hanson, guitar, Jeremy Hanson, drums, and Jim Anton, bass, play reverb instrumental music: surf music, dub, and pop instrumentals.

Friday, December 12

Basalt @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5-$20 Suggested Donation) Okay, here’s a combination that you don’t see much. James W. Anton provides funky bass for The Droppers, and can be heard as a sideman in a number of jazz bands. Jeremy Ylvisaker plays his guitar as a member of Cloak Ox, Alpha Consumer, and Andrew Bird’s band, among others; while JT Bates is a drummer about town, playing with The Pines, Molly Maher & Erick Koskinen, and jazz projects like Fat Kid Wednesdays, and Chris Bates’ Red5, not to forget the fact that he curates the Jazz Implosion every Monday at the Icehouse. It appears this may be a jazz trio, but with such varied backgrounds, there’s no telling what they’ll play.

Africans in the Snow @ Patrick’s Cabaret, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10) Members of the Cottman Jazz Family present storytelling, dance, and music to present stories connecting culture and art. Dancer Kenna Cottman serves as curator. Auntie Beverly is a griot who will share stories, and Roboday Drums will present music from Haitian Culture. Warm drinks and spicy food will also be available.

Curtiss A. and Dark Click @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Fresh off his 35th Annual John Lennon tribute, Curtiss A explores the blues with this particular group.

People Brothers Band @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9pm doors, 10pm show ($10) The People Brothers are an octet from Madison who lay down some might invigorating “rhythm and soul,” as they call it, with originals and covers from bands ranging from the Talking Heads to The Allmans. Twin Cities artists I Like You open, along with A Round of Horseshoes.

6th Annual Holiday Shindig Benefit for Kill Kancer @ the Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. ($10)  Resident singer/songwriters (and newlyweds) Ben Cook-Feltz and Mother Banjo are teaming up to present this annual benefit featuring Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton, who’s getting around a lot these days; Molly Dean, Jon Rodine, and Natalie Lovejoy. They’ll be taking turns singing seasonal originals and holiday favorites, with all proceeds going to Kill Kancer, started by Marty Beth Mueller after losing her husband Karl Mueller of Soul Asylum to esophageal cancer.

Saturday, December 13

Tribute to Doug Sahm @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 4-6pm (No Cover) Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton teams up with Jon Rodine, Rusty Jones, Tim Mauseth and other guests for a tribute to the music of Doug Sahm, Augie Meyers, Freddy Fender,and other great Texas stars!

The Eddies’ Seventh Annual Yulefest @ Celtic Junction, 836 Prior Ave N., Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15) Celtic Music, songs of love and death, food, wine, a silent auction and more from the Eddies, along with Barra, the Hi Bs, and Patsy O’Brien, raise money for th Food Group (formerly the Emergency Foodshelf Network).

Sunday, December 14

Medeski, Scofield, Martin, & Wood @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. ($30) This groove-steady combination of musicians features guitarist John Scofield, and the younger trio of MM&W. They’ve been joining up for gigs and recordings for about 17 years, and have just released their third studio recording together, a celebration of rhythms from Brazil, the Carribean, and Latin America, including that soul/Latin hybrid, the boogaloo.

Marcia Ball @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($30) Hm, Hm, Hm. Steady as the Mississippi, as fun as a Mardis Gras party, the rollicking, rocking Ms Ball always delivers her Texas/Louisiana brand of blues, R&B, Boogie Woogie, and Zydeco with verve and good humor. Her latest album, the danceable Tatooed Lady & the Alligator Man, has been receiving great reviews.

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.

 

 


Lotsa Music: 6.18 – 6.24

June 18, 2014

Well, we’ve got quite a busy week ahead, with many notable gigs, especially in jazz, and it’s still a week until the TC Jazz Festival. Let’s hope the weather holds for those outdoor gigs, though many have inside alternatives. Have a great week, and support live music.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 18

Bryan Nichols Quartet @ St. Anthony Park Library, Como Avenue, Saint Paul. 6:30pm – 9pm (Free) Pianist Nichols and his quartet (JT Bates, drums; James Buckley, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax) will be presenting  New Forms: Original Works from Jazz’s Past to Future.

Mississippi, featuring Andres Prado @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested Donation) Sax player Pete Whitman leads this band, which includes resident jazz heavyweights Peter Schimke, piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums. The original edition of this group included guitar master Andres Prado, of Peru, who moved back home. Now, however, he’s returned for a few weeks, giving us this rare opportunity to hear him.

Unknown-2Ginger Baker’s Jazz Confusion @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($42 – $50) Baker is best known, of course, as the drummer for Cream and Blind Faith back in the late 60s early 70s, but he spent considerable time in Africa soaking in African rhythms, and even played with Fela Kuti. However, he started as a jazz drummer in the early 60s and got quite a bit of recognition in the UK at that time. He’s always considered himself a jazz drummer, and on his first album in umpteen years tackles numbers like Wayne Shorter’s Footprints and  Sonny Rollins’ St. Thomas. He’ll be using a double bass drum set up, and will be accompanied by Pee Wee Ellis (James Brown alum) on sax; Alec Dankworth on bass, and Abass Dodoo on percussion.

Thursday, June 19

Laura Underwood Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Underwood is a versatile singer, who can handle obscure folk and blues from the early 20th century, as well as class swing and jazz, and a few selected tunes from contemporary singer/songwriters.  Here’s an example of her singing.

The Third Thursday @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Part of the new Thursday night free improvisation series at the Afghan cafe owned by Emil Sherzad of KFAI’s Radio Duende. Tonight features Milo Fine on drum set, electric piano, and B Flat Clarinet, and Bryce Beverlin II on percussion and voice.

Friday, June 20

Connie Olson Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Singer Olson has performed with the Peter Graves Orchestra, the Peter Duchin Big Band, and musicians from a wide variety of bands, ranging from the Manhattan Transfer to Prince & Madonna. Her debut CD, “Daydreaming” is an homage to Doris Day, and showcases her winning voice and interpretive skills.

Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) This monthly gig is always a delight as Washington, on sax, proves adept at creating improvised music that connects with an audience, no matter who is with him. Tonight, it’s  Eric Jackobson, tuba; Brian Roessler, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums.

Saturday, June 21

Improvisation Encounter with Jin Hi Kim @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($10) Free improvisation featuring McKnight visiting composer Jin Hi Kim on the Korean Zither (the comungo), along with Twin Cities improvisers Pat O’Keefe and Nathan Hanson (winds); Scott Miller and Steve Goldstein (electronics); and Dean Granros, guitar.

Davu Seru and DeVon Gray @ Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Here’s a new pairing of musicians that I haven’t seen. Davu Seru is a drummer/percussionist at ease with free improvisation and most any rhythm you throw at him. DeVon Gray is a talented pianist who played with the hip-hop collective Heiruspecs, has accompanied vocalists such as Sophia Shorai, and has occasionally had his own jazz quartet.

Jack Brass Band CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($8) The Jack Brass Brand recently received a second positive mention in Offbeat, the monthly music magazine of New Orleans. They deserve it as both keepers of the Brass Band tradition, and proponents of contemporary music within that tradition. What hip-hop or New Jack Swing song will they next add to their repertoire? Opening is Lulu’s Playground, a chamber jazz group that includes guitar, cello, accordion, and a trumpet player they share with JBB. Here’s the JBB at one of their regular gigs.

Sunday, June 22

Connie Evingson: The Best of the Ella Fitzgerald Songbook @ the Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm, 7:30pm ($25) With Jon Weber (host of NPR’s Piano Jazz) and Gordon Johnson. An exquisite singer, singing exquisite songs with exquisite accompaniment. Did I say it will be exquisite?

They enjoy singing together

They enjoy singing together

Retro Swing Sisters: Swing Dance Sundays @ Richfield American Legion, Richfield. 5pm – 7pm ($5) Maryann Sullivan and Rhonda Laurie (aka: Retro Swing Sisters) begin a weekly gig entitled Swing Dance Sundays. Joining them will be Big Bob Scoggins, guitar; Doug Haining, sax; Keith Boyles, bass and Trevor Haining, drums. There’s a big dance floor, bar, and pizza is available. And, you can still get home in plenty of time to rest up for the week ahead.

James Carter Organ Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($32), 9pm ($22)  Sax virtuoso James Carter is terrific on a variety of saxophones. He’s won awards for his baritone playing and consistently exhibits a searching, imaginative way with his music. Take this gig, for instance, in which the Detroit native will be joined by Leonard King, drums; and Gerard Gibbs, B3. It’s not enough that they’ve got a soul-jazz sound pat. They’re tackling the music of Django Rheinhardt, using the sax as a substitute for Rheinhardt’s lead guitar. Here’s an example.

Monday, June 23

Javier Santiago @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Uber-talented pianist Santiago is back in town from NYC. He’ll be backed by Dad Mac Santiago, and the rest of the JC rhythm section.

Tuesday, June 24

images-2Diane Schuur @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($30) It was 35 years ago that Schuur was “discovered” at the Monterey Jazz Festival by Stan Getz, who took her under his wing. Two Grammys, three additional nominations and numerous #1 listings have resulted. Now she has a new album dedicated to Stan and Frank Sinatra, and it looks like this vocalist is headed to the top of the jazz charts once again.

Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested Donation) Expect an occasional stop and start as the band works on its often explosive, always rhythmic charts, since this is more of an open rehearsal than performance. Don’t let that stop you from attending and enjoying the music and the experience.

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, June 18

Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders @ Como Conservatory Visitor Center Lawn, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (Free) It’s time for another Groovin’ in the Garden Series at the Como Zoo and Conservatory. Kicking this season off is wild man Alex “Crankshaft” Larson, whose potent mix of honky tonk, R&B and rockabilly makes for a fun evening. He’s wisely chosen bassist Keith Boyles and drummer Pete Hennig to back him in the Gear Grinders.

Tim Sparks CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10, $42 Dinner & Show) Guitar fans rejoice. Sparks is one of the most versatile finger-pickers in town, and that’s saying a mouthful in this area. His latest, Chasin’ The Boogie, sparkles with blues takes on tunes from Paul McCartney, Roy Orbison, and others, as well as a traditional tune or two and some originals. Special guests include Tom Lieberman and Phil Heywood. Here is Sparks doing one of the songs on the new album:

Thursday, June 19

Ray Covington and the Maxx Band @ Rice Park, Saint Paul (Free) 6pm Dance Lesson, 7:15 music.  An outdoor evening of old school soul and funk, just right for dancing and Steppin’ and if you don’t know how to Step, there’ll be folk from the TC Steppers to instruct you starting at 6pm. Food and drink will also be available. Moved to the Ordway in the event of rain.

Aaron Neville @ the Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley. 7pm ($45, $57.50) Neville came to prominence in the early 60s and had a million selling hit with Tell It Like It Is in 1967. He’s recorded with his brothers, won a couple of Grammys for duets with Linda Ronstadt, had hits on the Adult Contemporary Charts, regularly sang in the gospel tent at the New Orleans Jazz Festival, and recently recorded the top-ten album My True Story, a dozen doo-wop songs from his youth, co-produced by Keith Richards, who also contributed guitar. If you go, you’ll hear a man with the voice of an angel under the stars. Northwoods blues/soul/roots singer Cory Chisel opens. Check out Aaron’s version of Stand By Me:

Millie & the Mill City Cajun Heavyweights @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5) Millie Biere, John Terr, Shawn Glidden, Eric Mohring, AJ Srubas,and Vaughn Asselstine will be laying down those Cajun rhythms for your dancing pleasure.

Friday, June 20

images-3Mary Jane Alm @ 318 Cafe, 318 Water Street, Excelsior. 8pm ($11) Those of you old enough to recall the late 70s and 80s will recall vocalist Alm, one of the highest profile singers in the area. The country-ish singer has had a professional life full of near misses – potential contracts that never arrived, development deals that went nowhere, and rejections by labels as “too country” or “not country enough.” She’s got a great voice and has developed into a darn good songwriter. She usually has a couple of accompanists playing with her, but whatever the configuration, she’ll shine in this intimate listening room.

Black Diet @ Minnehaha Falls Bandstand, Minneapolis. 7pm (free) This garage soul quintet won a trip to SXSW when they won this year’s “Are you Local?” contest. They describe themselves as a garage/soul band that sounds like a Baptist Church service held at a punk house. That’s a pretty fair description of a groove-laden band that uses an organ and soulful riffs and vocals to get their point across. Here’s a video with a couple of their songs.

Tuesday, June 24

Delhi 2 Dublin @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($25) New urban party music, with plenty of electronic beats, mashing & intersecting Indian Bhangra, Celtic Dub, Reggae and Rock. To quote the band, “Delhi 2 Dublin is way more indie that all this other indie bands cause some of us are actually from India.”

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 Walley calendar.


Mardis Gras Music & More: 2.26 – 3.4

February 26, 2014

imagesWith Lent approaching next Wednesday, we’re ready to celebrate Mardis Gras, or Fat Tuesday if you will, by listening and dancing to music from less frigid areas of the world. If you aren’t up for celebrating on Tuesday, there are a few warm-up events this week. Additionally, we have some excellent jazz artists visiting during the next week, and some good opportunities to dance.  Have a safe and warm week. Remember, music lifts the spirit.

Jazz…

Wednesday, February 26

Bobby Watson & Horizon @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) For the second time in a week of graduate of the Art Blakey Jazz Messengers will be appearing at the Dakota. The saxophone player was, in fact, the music director for the Messengers. Once on his own, he formed Horizon, which is reuniting for this 30th Anniversary tour. The group includes Victor Lewis, drums; Terrel Stafford, trumpet; Edward Simon, piano; and Essiet Essiet, bass. All have become band leaders and stars in their own right. Here’s an early version of Horizon with Roy Hargrove on trumpet.

Graydon Peterson’s Ghost Tour @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Bassist Peterson has provided the rhythmic backbone of many a group and jazz vocalist here in the Twin Cities. Recently, he’s begun to create tunes that have been featured in his own quartet, and now, in a trio setting, with Park Evans on guitar, and Adrian Suarez on drums.

Thursday, February 27

Stanley Clarke Presents School Days @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($35 & $50) Four time Grammy winning fusion/R&B bassist Clarke will be presenting all of of his 1976 album School Days, as well as other selected material.

Talking Strings @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 9:30pm (tip Jar) The trio of Pavelle Jany, guitar; Gary Schulte, violin; and Dan Weston, bass & percussion, blend jazz, classical, and folk into a variety of international music. Here they are doing a Django Rheinhart number.

JoAnn Funk Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Pianist JoAnn Funk, along with bassist Jeff Brueske, and drummer Nathan Norman cross the river from their normal haunt at the St. Paul Hotel to bring the music of Blossom Dearie, Nat King Cole, Dan Penn, Leonard Cohen, and more to the Dakota stage.

Friday, February 28

Jack Brass Band Mardis Gras in Bloomington @ the Bloomington Center for the Arts, 18900 W. Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington. 7pm – 10pm The guys give us a bit of oral and musical history of Mardi Gras music and Brass Band music in this special performance.

The Bridge Series @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 suggested donation) The idea behind this series is to feature artists who used to appear at the now closed Artists’ Quarter. Tonight, guitarist Zacc Harris is joined by Dave Hagedorn on vibes, as well as Brian Courage, bass; and Twin Cities newcomer Corey Healey, drums. A nice cross-section of generations with the promise of some pretty great music recalling the outings of Milt Jackson and Wes Montgomery.

Saturday, March 1

Pigs Eye Jass Band @ The Eagles, #34, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm ($6) This traditional jazz band will be playing for happy feet in the North Hall of the Eagles Club. Consider this a warm-up for Fat Tuesday.

Bach and Jazz Concert @ The History Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 9:30pm   This is the third collaboration between the the Bach Society of Minnesota and Framework: Chris Olson, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. The last one was about a month or so ago, when they explored baroque music. This time they’re adding saxman Pete Whitman to the mix as they explore the music of Bach.

Davu Seru & Andrew Lafkas @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8:pm ($10) Studio Z continues to come up with intriguing, genre-crossing events that makes us listen to music with new ears. This one is the inaugural event in the Crow With No Mouth Series. Percussionist Davu Seru and bassist Andrew Lafkas will be presenting a duo piece. Chicago based electronicist (is that a real word?) Mykel Boyd will present a solo set of electronics and location recordings.

Sunday, March 2

The 2013-2014 Dakota Combo. Photo by Andrea Canter

The 2013-2014 Dakota Combo. Photo by Andrea Canter

Dave King Trucking Company w/ the Dakota Combo @ MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 5pm ($10) Dave King is an internationally known drummer with a penchant for playing in many bands, including The Bad Plus and Happy Apple. The Trucking Company includes Adam Linz, bass; Eric Fratzke, guitar; and Brandon Wozniak, sax. Opening will the The Dakota Combo, a group of highly, highly talented high school students who will have received a clinic from King. He’ll also sit in with them for a number or two. This is a chance  (Full Disclosure: I chair the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education, which sponsors the Dakota Combo. Though I may be biased about the talent of the combo, other, more neutral folks are also enthusiastic about them.)

Monday, March 3

Jazz Implosion featuring Dave Karr @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm. the first Monday of the month features veteran saxophonist Dave Karr at the Implosion, usually playing with JT Bates on drums and Adam Linz on bass. While Karr’s bebop leanings may seem out of place with the sometimes outside playing of Linz and Bates, the three work well together, and have done so for a number of years. Sometimes there’s a second group, though I’m not sure of who it might be. Here’s a video of Dave with Adam and JT.

Monday, Tuesday, March 3,4

Manhattan Transfer @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($60, $55, $50), 9pm ($50, $45, $40) This quartet was quite eye-opening when, back in the 70s, they first introduced their four part harmonious blend of bebop, doo woo, Latin, and pop. It was a refreshing change from the hard rock and disco of the time. The Ten-time Grammy winning group still provides an aural respite from the pop music of today, singing with panache and élan.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar and the KBEM Calendar, which also features some blues and roots listings. For further commentary of Twin Cities Jazz, go to Jazz Police, Bebopified, and JazzInk.

Blues, Roots, and Other…

Wednesday, February 26

Rockin’ Pincecones on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis.  5pm (KFAI), 7pm (331 club – Tip Jar) Cajun & Zydeco music to get you in the mood for Fat Tuesday. The 331 Club can get pretty crowded, but I’m sure a few folks will try to dance. Followed by jamrooots band Enchanted Ape at 9:30 and Pocketful ‘A’ Change and their Americana/roots music at 10:30.

Thursday, February 27

Scottie Miller Band @ Washington Square, White Bear Lake. 8pm (No Cover) “Bones” Miller is an excellent piano player, well versed in Professor Longhair and Allen Topussaint, but with his own distinctive style. Just ask Ruthie Foster, which whom he frequently tours. He and his band, the Re-Uptake Inhibitors, take on Southern Soul, blues, New Orleans, and the occasional Caribbean rhythms. This is a small room, but it has an ever changing selection of 20 beers on tap.

Friday, February 28

Prophets of Peace @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) The Twin Cities funk band was reunited for last year’s Twin Cities Funk n’ Soul compilation, and has found a new audience in young folk who weren’t born when they were playing back in the early 70s. The Schooner is set up quite for music, with high-top tables in front of the small stage and small dance floor. Plus you get good value on drinks.

Orkestar Bez Ime @ Hells’ Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No cover) Hell’s Kitchen is a favorite stop for bachelorette parties, and when it is, party music is the order of the day. Well, this band’s Balkan dance music will surely fill the bill, resulting in a highly entertaining start to your evening, whether or not the bachelorettes are in attendance. Check them out in this video.

The Eddies Unplugged @ Jerabek’s,  Winifred & Stryker, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm  What’s that you say, aren’t the Eddies always unplugged? Well, almost, but this time there’s no sound system, and no electrified guitar. Plus, this gig is in the beer-less and wine-less Jerabek’s New Bohemian Coffeehouse on the West side, which means that the quality of their performance won’t be affected by the amount to alcohol you consume. Nevertheless, you’ve got the additional lure of a wonderful selection of baked goods and a chicken pot pie that’s so good, it’s sold in fancy food boutiques.

Seven Steps to Havana @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Sax and Flute player Doug Little’s excursions into the music of Cuba are always enjoyable, as this ensemble plays with the heart of soul of musicians who love the music. Here they are.

Saturday, March 1

Hookers & Blow @ The Crooked Pint Ale House, Minneapolis. 9pm ($?) Adam Levy has put together a rotating cast of some of the best Twin Cities’ rockers from various groups to perform R&B from the 60s and 70s. It’s fun. It’s fabulous. It’s a dance party.

Freewheelin’ Mardis Gras @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 3pm – 11pm ($6 after 5pm) KFAI’s Jackson Buck has put together a splendid line-up to celebrate Mardis Gras in beer-drinking style. Starting at 3pm it’s the Southside Aces, followed by the Rockin’ Pinecones at 4:30, the New Riverside Ramblers at 7pm, and Scottie “Bones” Miller Band at 9:30pm. Appropriate food from the Cajun 2 Geaux food truck.

UnknownTuesday, March 4 – Fat Tuesday

Swamp Kings @ Dixie’s, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) If you’re looking to celebrate Fat Tuesday with Louisiana dishes, some Abita beers, and music, then Dixie’s on Grand may fill your bill, as the three-piece Swamp Kings play that New Orleans and Swamp Pop sound.

Mardis Gras @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12) Mardis Gras at the Eagles is a festive event, with many participants in beads and costume. There will be free food, Cajun and Zhydeco dancin’ a’plenty, and some New Orlean’s R&B thrown in for good measure. Tonight’s bands include Ana & the Bel-Tones, Mr. Rowles, The Southside Aces, and the Rockin’ Pinecones.

Naughty Gras @ The Amsterdam, Saint Paul. 9pm  ($12) The Jack Brass Band has a regular gig at the ‘Dam, but tonight, for those who appreciate the uh, “bawdier” elements of Mardis Gras, they’re joined by a Burlesque show, magic, and more, including a a Crawfish Boil and Abita Beer.

Socaholix @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($7) If your Fat Tuesday celebrations run more towards Carnaval than Mardis Gras, this is the place to be as Socaholix present Island rhythms for your dancing pleasure.

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


Comin’ Up on Fat Tuesday. Music: 2/6 – 2.12

February 6, 2013
A classic album from The Wild Tchoupitoulas, a Mardis Gras Indian tribe in New Orleans

A classic album from The Wild Tchoupitoulas, a Mardis Gras Indian tribe in New Orleans

We’re coming up on Fat Tuesday, which means many are looking for Mardis Gras shows before they calm down for Lent. Or maybe folks just want another reason to party. Anyway, I’ve listed a couple, and there’ll be at least one Brazilian style Carnaval next weekend. But right now, you have lots of music for the week. Have fun!

Jazz

Wednesday, February 6

Connie Evingson @ The Women’s Club Lounge, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm. ($10) Tanner Taylor on piano, and Dave Karr on sax will accompany Ms Evingson in the cozy confines of the Women’s Club Lounge. Open to non-members. Cocktails and appetizers are available.

DownloadedFileEvan Montgomery Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($7) Evan Montgomery is a guitarist who uses clean lines and a fertile imagination to create original music as well as arrangement of Radiohead covers, Bill Frisell tunes, and others. Expect some guitar fireworks as he is joined by Park Evans, another creative guitarist. Other members of the quintet are Adam Meckler, trumpet; Matt Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums.

Thursday, February 7

Fuzzy Math @ 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($6) The 318 Cafe is a cozy space, with room for about 40 people or so. It’s a bit of a trip to get out there if you’re a city-dweller, but omnivorous music fans who find their way to Excelsior will be rewarded with jazz-oriented music that has swing, funk, and latin influences.

Photo of Phil by Andrea Canter

Photo of Phil by Andrea Canter

Phil Hey Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5,  2-4-1 cover after 11pm) Simply the best jazz ensemble in town. Their repertoire includes tunes by Bobby Hutcherson, Ornette Coleman, Mingus, and Trane. It’s heady music by veterans who could swing the National Anthem, if called upon. The ringleader is Phil Hey on drums, with significant contributions by Dave Hagedorn on vibes, Phil Aaron on piano, and Tom Lewis on bass.

Friday, Saturday, February 8,9

Bryan Nichols Trio @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Includes the Bates Brothers Pianist/composer/teacher Nichols creates intriguing tunes and improvisations. Tonight he’s joined by Chris Bates on bass, and JT Bates on drums. This combination is a good at communicating as any trio, creating lots of unexpected twists and turns.

Patty Peterson & Friends @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10  )  Patty is bringing along special guests Steve Cole on sax and Ricky Peterson on B3, not to mention regular friends including Paul Peterson on bass,  Billy Franze on guitar, and Bobby Vandell on drums. Patty is just as likely to dip into an R&B mode as jazz, but it’s all good, as they say. Given the venue, I’m sure some tunes will provoke dancing.

Saturday, February 9

Thomson Harris Collective @ Studio Z, Lowertown Saint Paul. 5pm Workshop (Free), 7pm Performance ($10) Chris Thomson on sax, and Zacc Harris, guitar, are collaborating on a new group, which includes a rotating cast of rhythm players, which tonight includes two younger players, Brian Courage on bass and Miguel Hurtado on drums. Thomson will hold a free workshop at 5pm on Melody Matters: the Common Pitfalls of Jazz Improvisation. Attendees get $2 off the 7pm show.

Monday, February 11

Dave Graf Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapols. 8:30pm (Donation) Dave Graf is one of the premier trombone players in town. His warm, burnished sound is equally at home in Latin, jazz, or show settings. He’ll be accompanied by Chris Lomheim, piano; Matt Peterson, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums. The results are sure to be uplifitng.

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.

Roots, Blues, Other…

Thursday, February 7

Jack Klatt Send-off and CD Release @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5:30pm – 7:30pm Klatt is going South on a solo tour for many months, but before he does, he’ll be picking up copies of his new solo CD and playing at the Dubliner, along with his pal Mikkel Beckman on washboard. Expect some blues, rags, early Americana, and maybe a bit of swing.

Medicinal Jazz Band @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (Tip Jar) Jazz, Klezmer, and Dixieland from Noah Strom on accordion and keys and Sam Ryan on guitars and vocals.

Friday, February 8

The Valdons doing their thing

The Valdons doing their thing

Funk & Soul All-Stars and Derobe Dance Band @ Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($10) The Secret Stash Records guys are upping the ante, bringing out the Funk & Soul All-Stars one more time, featuring Maurice Jacox and the Valdons. The Derobe Dance Band is another Secret Stash band, playing danceable Afrobeat rhythms. After the reception that the All-Stars got a the Current shindig at First Avenue, it’s expected there will be a crowd, and the folks at the Icehouse are taking the chairs and tables out, so be forewarned.

Paul Cebar @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) The Dance-Happy folks who’ve been following Paul for twenty years along with new converts, will turn Lee’s dance floor into a writhing mass of joy.

Saturday, February 9

Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders CD & Vinyl Release Party @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($6) The new album of all-original tunes was recorded in the hayloft of a barn in St. Francis, and the acoustics perfectly fit Crankshaft’s rockin’ roots/blues. A couple of tunes feature horns, giving them a New Orleans vibe. Kudos to Crankshaft and his Gear Grinders, Keith Boyles on bass and Pete Hennig on drums.

Monday, February 11

Vusi Mahlasela @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) He’s simply known as “The Voice” in his home country of South Africa. At times you can hear sweet traces of Sam Cooke, though Vusi has his own take, which includes optimistic, and sometimes intense readings of songs about liberation and freedom. Here’s a video of one of his songs.

Tuesday, February 12

Down in New Orleans

Down in New Orleans

Jack Brass Band @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm. (Tip Jar)  It’s Fat Tuesday, traditionally the final night of Mardis Gras as folks do the last of their celebrating before Lent begins. The Amsterdam not only has JBB, a too-much-fun group that marched in a New Orleans Mardis Gras parade this year, but they’ll be serving Abita Beer, from Louisiana, and they’ll have a crawfish boil as well.

Sixth Annual Mardis Gras @ the Eagles Club, Minneapolis. 7pm – 11pm. ($12) In the other half of the Twin Cities, you can celebrate Fat Tuesday with four bands covering the whole spectrum of Louisiana music as well as Cajun Cuisine. In order of appearance, you get The Faux Playboys, Mister Rowles, The Southside Aces, and the always Rockin’ Pinecones.

Paul Collins’ Beat @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) If you aren’t looking for a Mardis Gras celebration, you want to check out the American rock and power pop of Paul Collin’s Beat. Collins started The Beat in Los Angeles back in the late 70s, and resurrected the band as the Paul Collins’ Beat in 2006. With the Magnolias and the Pinsch.

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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