Valentines Day and More: 2.14 – 2.20

February 14, 2018

Today is Valentines Day, or as some people put it, Single Awareness Day. Whether you are coupled up or not there is music out there to enjoy on this day and for the rest of the week, with more visiting artists than we’ve had for the last month or so, as well as some special appearances by resident artists. Just get out and let the music lift your spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, Feb 14

Chris Bates Presents: Astrologers @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Chris Bates, bass; John Keston, keys; and Randy Kramer, drums gather to perform sonic experiments. Plus, for this night only, V-Lo will have her famous tacos available.

Thursday, Feb 15

Greer & Magraw @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Vocalist Sarah Greer and guitarist Dean Magraw are both sensitive and imaginative artists who should produce some fine music together.

Manhattan Transfer & Take 6 @ The Ordway Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30 ($27 – $89) Vocal Harmonies will abound with this meeting of two long-running groups: the acappella Take 6, and the jazz-centric Manhattan Transfer. They’ll each perform their own songs, and sing about a dozen songs together.

Friday, Feb 16

Babatunde Lea & Ensemble CHOMBO @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Master drummer-percussionist-conguero Babatunde Lea has gathered a new group of musicians to play some Latin Jazz, at least that’s what I get from looking at ther line-up: Trèveris Arteaga, trumpet/percussion/vocals; Viviana, piano/vocal; Jax Ravel, bass; Kevin Washington; timbales/percussion; and Lea; congas/percussion.  Here’s Lea with a different band.

James Buckley Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9:00pm ($10) Bassist Buckley has been called the “hardest working musician in the Twin Cities” by City Pages. He’s appeared on Steven Colbert’s show with Lizzo, tours and records with the Pines, and the Blenders, and has appeared at Coachella with the Gayngs, in addition to leading this trio, with the equally talented Bryan Nichols on piano, and JT Bates on drums. Here’s the Trio at the old Artists’ Quarter.

Saturday, Feb 17

Love Songs with Debbie Duncan & Friends @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm ($12 – $20) Featuring William Duncan III on Hammond B3 Organ, and Adi Yehsaya on piano. If you were too late top see a Valentine’s Day, or perhaps celebrated at home, you can still celebrate the joys of love with Ms Diuncan and friends.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) You can hear the future of jazz at 7pm, thanks to the monthly JazzINK Youth Showcase, which tonight features the group Elevator Jazz, with: Eli Zukor-Zimmermann,  sax; Jackson Wheeler, – guitar; Lasse Corson, piano; Jon Butler, bass; and Carter Pearson on drums. Headlining at 8:30pm is the Sam Miltich Quartet featuring Dave Karr, sax; Chris Bates, bass; Jay Epstein, drums, and the amazing Miltich on guitar. Here’s Miltich with a different group.

Jazz from the Americas and Beyond @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:00pm ($10, $5w/Valid StudentI D) This is a monthly series that features area musicians exploring jazz from around the world. Tonight features Chino Latino, a 7-piece Latin Jazz Ensemble playing a variety of dance styles including salsa, cha-cha, and merengue, among others. A free salsa dance lesson will start off the evening.

Monday, Tuesday, Feb 19, 20

Stanley Jordan Solo @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm Mon, Tues ($25), 9pm Mon ($20) Guitarist Jordan revolutionized gutar playing with his “touch technique” back in 1985. Since then, he’s had a storied career, performing in over 60 countries, collaborating with everyone from Art Blakey and Sharon Ibsin, to Christian McBride, Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead, the Dave Mathews Band, and Regina Carter. A must see for guitarists and guitar lovers.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Feb 20, 21

Connie Evingson: Horn Heroes @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20, $25) Ms Evingson is a sterling vocalist who certainly knows how to create performance concepts to keep things interesting. For these shows, she and her musical cohorts:  Dave Karr, sax; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Tanner Taylor, piano; will celebrate such horn players as Gerry Mulligan, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, and more.

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, Feb 14

Miss Becky Kapell & Friends on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) While Ms Kapell may have started out as a folk singer, she has evolved into a singer of classic country from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. She’ll be helped out by Ray Bernard and Paul Bergen, of the Astronauts of Rhythm and Sound.

Music by Lovers @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (No Cover) This annual event, put on by Lisa Wenger & Billy Larson, has been held in a variety of venues over the past few years. This year’s other performers are: Phil & Tamar Barnett, and Joe Cruz & Jennifer Grimm. The club is also offering a $35 feast for two lovers for this event.

Jorma Kaukonen @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($40 Advance/$35 Door) Spend your Valentine’s evening with a founding member of both Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, which was last at The Dakota a few years back. Kaukonen is also a member of the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame, and a Grammy nominee, and is known for his fine guitar work, both electrically and acoustically. As a solo artist, he brings new arrangements to old blues song, and creates his own Americana tunes.

Thursday, Feb 15

Masters of Hawaiian Music @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) It’s a mini slack key guitar festival, with three masters, featuring George Kahumoku Jr, who is known as a raconteur on stage, as well as for leading the Annual Maui Slack Key and Ukelele Workshop for 15 years. Led Kapana has been one of Hawaii’s most influential musicians for forty years or so, while Jeff Peterson is known for his versatility, having worked with Eric Clapton, James Galway, Aaron Neville, Boz Scaggs, and the Honolulu Symphony.

TC Jammers @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (6$) Back in the 80s, the Jammers were one of the hottest blues/funk bands around. This reformed version of the band features Annie Mack, vocals; Joe Elliot, guitar; Donnie La Marca, keys; Patrick Nelson, bass/vocals; Sam Kuusisto, vocals/guitar; and Bobby Vandell, drums/vocals. Don’t be surprised if some guests sit in.

Friday, Feb 16

Kelly Hunt @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25), 9pm ($20) Blueswoman Kelly Hunt is a piano pounder from Kansas City  who has found an adoring audience in the Twin Cities, thanks to her good humor, a story-telling way with lyrics, and a strong left hand on the piano. Her latest CD, The Beautiful Bones, has garnered much praise. I did an interview with her back in December of 2011, which you can find here.

Saturday, Feb 17

Vieux Farka Touré @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($32, $38) Born in Mali, the son of legendary guitarist Ali Farka Touré, took up guitar in spite of his father’s misgivings about the life of a musician. His fluid playing has earned him fans around the world since his first recording in 2005. Touré’s third album, from 2011, features Dave Mathews, John Scofield, and Derek Trucks, a testament to his ability to blend genres. Subsequent albums expand on that promise. Expect genre-bending and at the very least, a nod to the blues rock of Malian groups like Tinariwen.

Marimba Bullies @ Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) From the website: The Marimba Bullies is a Twin Cities-based marimba ensemble playing upbeat, high-energy music based on the rhythmically complex music of the Zimbabwe mbira tradition. The Bullies’ repertoire consists of traditional African songs as well as arrangements of contemporary music performed in the lively, danceable, and just plain fun style that is unmistakably the Marimba Bullies.

Eddies CD Release @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 7:30 (No Cover) This “almost a cappella group is releasing their second album, called A Hard Way To Go, with fifteen songs they have sung over the years, with an emphasis on the “work” and “death” categories of their song list, including Sympathy for the Devil, Long Black Veil, and Lawyers, Guns, and Money. Thed Dubliner will have beer and wings specials to help the celebration.

Sunday, February 18

2nd Annual Retirement Party @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 2pm ($10) It was about a year ago, that Dee Miller held a belated party to celebrate her retirement from the 9-5 world of work. She had so much fun, she’s doing it again. This time, in addition to performing with her own Dee Miller Band, she’s bringing along both Boom Boom Stevie V & the Knockouts, and Who Nu.

FLOWTUS @ Como Park Conservatory, Saint Paul. 4:30pm – 6:30pm (Free) The Conservatory has a great winter series, which takes place in the sunken garden, and is piped into the Palm Dome and the North Garden, so you can hear the music while strolling through or sitting in those parts of the Conservatory. Today the featured group is FLOWTUS, a four-piece group that draws they influences from blues, country, punk, and folk music. Beer and wine are available for purchase.

Steve Page & the Art of Time Ensemble @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm, 8pm ($30, $40, $45) Pop-oriented chamber music for the 21st Century, featuring re-imagined versions of songs by Randy Newman, Elvis Costello, Radiohead, and others, including Barenaked Ladies (Steve Page was a co-founder and former lead singer), by Page and the highly inventive Art of Time Ensemble.

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.


Celebrations and Visitations. Music: 7.8 – 7.14

July 8, 2015
The Brass Messengers will bring their antics to Bastille Day in Minneapolis.

The Brass Messengers will bring their antics to Bastille Day in Minneapolis.

We’ve got another weekend of outdoor music celebrations this weekend, what with Bastille Day Celebrations in both Minneapolis and Saint Paul, as well as a hip-hop festival and a one-day jazz festival at a vineyard. We also have some very interesting visiting musicians, a CD release party, and some stellar combinations of resident musicians. All in all, a good week for music lovers. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 8

Connie Evingson w/Patty and the Buttons @ The Woman’s Club, 410 Oak Grove, Minneapolis. 6-8pm ($10) Patty and the Buttons bring their happy rhythms and swinging influences (gypsy jazz, ragtime, American Popular song, to the music of Ms Evingson  To quote the sublime vocalist, “I love singing with these guys!”

Capri Big Band @ Minnehaha Falls Pavilion, Minneapolis. 7-9pm (Free) The Capri Big Band is an intergenerational band led by saxophonist Donald Washington will be swinging for visitors to the park, providing much more than just background music for those waiting in line for fish tacos at Sea Salt.

Chris Bates’ Magica Improvisada @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Chris Bates, bass; Corey Healy, drums; and Peter Schimke, piano; bring their considerable talent to bear on originals and jazz standards.

Thursday, July 9

Christine Hitt @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pianist/vocalist Hitt established herself in the Saint Louis jazz scene, recording and working for MAXJAZZ records and performing with the likes of Ugonna Okegwo, Hubert Laws, Slide Hampton and others. Tonight she is joined by Eric Hitt, bass; Dave Schmalenberger, drums; and Brian Handeland, sax.

James Buckley Trio & Jacob Hanson@ Studio Z, Saint Paul. ($10) The All Originals Jazz Series returns for another season. Opening the season this year is the James BuckleyTrio, featuring Bryan Nichols, piano; JT Bates, drums, and Buckley on bass. Their imaginative swinging sounds will be augmented by guitarist Jacob Hanson, who plays in a number of high profile groups including The Pines, Haley Bonar, Solid Gold, and more. Hanson’s approach to the guitar is informed by blues, surf music, 50s pop, and more, as he uses technique and pedals to create intriguing soundscapes.

Friday, July 10

Judy Donaghy Vinar & the Wolverines Quartet @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Crooners is a fine club/lounge, with a small dance floor and a comfortable stage. Vocalist Vinar will be joined by Jendeen Forberg, drums; Rick Carlson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Doug Haining on clarinet and reeds. Here she is with the big band version of the Wolverines.

Milwaukolis@ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The name implies a combination of musicians from Milwaukee and Minneapolis. Nelson Devereaux, sax; paul Westfahl, drums, and Cody Steinmann, guitar; play music rooted in tradition but also drawing inspiration from modern pop, hip-hop, and rock music.

Dean Granros’ Tall Tales @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) This two-guitar jazz group features Zacc Harris, as well as leader Dean Granros on guitars, with Chris Bates on bass, and Jay Epstein on drums providing a formidable foundation. They have a new CD out on Shifting Pardigm records, and blew folks away at their CD Release parties a couple of months back.

Jordan Anderson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) If you’ve had a chance to see the Dakota Combo or the Walker West Jazz Band, you’ve seen this young pianist (16) in action. I’m not sure if he’ll be performing solo or with other musicians, but either way, he’s already a seasoned, imaginative performer and soloist.

Saturday, July 11

Jazz Fest @ Saint Croix Vineyards, 6428 Manning Ave No., Stillwater. Noon – 6pm. (Free) Here are four very good reasons to while away a pleasant afternoon. You get to hear the Javi Santiago Quartet at noon, the Andrew Walesch Trio at 1:30, the Adam Meckler Orchestra at 3pm, and Doug Little’s Seven Steps to Havana at 4:30. Bring a picnic basket, or buy some food while there. Wine (of course) and non-alcoholic beverages are always available.

Bastille Day in Saint Paul @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 2pm – 8pm ($10, kids under are free) Outdoor on the West 7 Place Mall. Music by French Jazz Band Lo’Jo, as well as Twin Cities based Francine Roche Trio, with The New Standards capping the day. Then go inside to hear Connie Evingson and the Parisota Hot Club in the newly refurbished Vieux Carre.

Jacob Teichroew Quintet w/guest Adam Meckler @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Saxophonist and composer Jacob Teichroew has studied classical sax with Stephen Jordheim, jazz with Antonio Hart, and contemporary improvisation with Vijay Iyer. All those influences are part of his music. He’ll be joined by members of his group: Syberen van Munster, guitar; Jarrett Cherner, keys; Christopher Nolte, bass; and Shawn Baltazor, drums; as well as trumpeter Adam Meckler, no slouch himself when in comes to playing or composing.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5-$20 Suggested Donation) Here is another combination of a new group and some fine veterans performing on a Saturday night. Opening at 7pm King/Fletcher/Woods: Jeff King, sax; Charles Feltcher, bass; Eron Woods, drums. At 8:30, the highly talented pianist Laura Caviani takes the stage, accompanied by the ever inventiveJay Epstein, drums; and rock solid Gordy Johnson on bass.  Here’s Laura celebrating Monk.

Sunday, July 12

Stan Bann’s Big Bone Band @ Como Dockside Pavilion, Saint Paul. 3-5pm (Free) Ahh, Sunday afternoon under the exposed pavilion at Como Lake, with victuals and beverages available from Como Dockside, the new bar/restaurant from Jon Oulman, of the 331 Club and the Amsterdam Bar & Hall. Trombonist/composer/arranger Bann brings his band, with seven trombones, a euphonium, tuba, and rhythm section, to the pavilion for your listening pleasure

Monday, July 13

Jacob Teichroew Quintet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. ($8) Another chance to see this New York sax player (see Saturday)

Tuesday, July 14

Katia Cardenas @ Vieux Carre Grand Opening, Saint Paul. 7pm ($?) A year and a half after the Artists’ Quarter closed, Vieux Carre (view ma-ray) will finally have its grand opening in the space. They’ve had some pop-up events during the last six months, but now, all the furniture has been replaced, there’s a new sound system, new paint and images on the black walls, the carpeting has been taken up, some walls removed, and a small kitchen installed. And… they’ve got up and coming vocalist Cardenas for the official opening. She is well versed in jazz, and R&B, and a bit of pop as well. She’ll be joined by Kevin Gastonguay, piano; Andrew Foreman, bass; and Zach Schmidt, drums.

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.

Roots, Blues, Other…

Wednesday, July 8

Mother Banjo @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. noon – 1pm (Free) Ellen Stanley, aka Mother Banjo  has been gaining fans and friends around the country with her unique blend of Americana and “pub gospel.” I’ll be hosting this noontime show that’s perfect for taking a break from work.

Gang of Mischief on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The Gang of Mischief is a loose aggregation of old blues guys and younger adherents. This time around the gang includes, Rena Haus, Doug Otto, Josh Granowski, Papa John Kolstad, Dan Schwalbe, and Hurricane Harold. Stick around for Firefly Forest at 9:30pm – they’re a world/folk group led by Steven Hobart, with a mischievous bent of their own.

Carolyn Wonderland CD Release Party @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) The daughter of a band singer, blues/country/folk singer Wonderland combines the vocal prowess of Janis Joplin with guitar slinging reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughn, and other influences such as Doug Sahm, and Angela Strehli, which is only natural, considering she comes Texas. She’s touring behind her latest release, Miss Understood, which includes her own compositions, as well as some by JJ Cale and Rick Derringer.

Thursday, July 9

Jones Family Singers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Five sisters, two brothers, and their father were playing the Gulf Coast gospel music circuit when they ended up at South by Southwest, where their readings of gospel songs (complete with elements of vintage soul and R&B – duh!) caught the attention of fans and promoters alike. Now we get to hear their joyful noise between appearances at the Newport and Winnipeg Folk Festivals.

Friday, July 10

Mingo Fishtrap @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) This five-time winner of Austin Texas Music Awards, Mingo Fishtrap is an eight-piece funk n’ soul band with punchy horns and relentless rhythms.

Raw Oyster Cult w/The Butanes @ Bunker’s Music Bar & Grill, Minneapolis. 9:30pm  ($25) Raw Oyster Cult is a supergroup of New Orleans musicians, with lead vocalists in Radiators guitarist Dave Malone and Papa Grows Funk’s John Gros, who also plays B-3. They are joined by  The Rads’ Camille Baudoin on guitar, drummer Frank Bua Jr, and bassist Dave Pomerleau. They’ll be reimagining some Radiators’ songs and adding originals and some of their favorite older tunes. The Butanes, of course, are the Twin Cities favorite blues band.

Saturday, July 11

For the Love: A Community Celebration @ Union Depot, Bedlam, and Black Dog, Saint Paul. 3pm – 10pm. (Free) This is a celebration of hip-hop music featuring 15 artists (most doing 20 minute sets), including the return of the Kanser crew, celebrating their 20h anniversary, and headlined by Saint Paulite Ashely Dubose from 8:50 to 10pm. It also features 15 deejays at the Bedlam Theater from 2pm to 2am, which will turn into an 18+ nightspot after 10pm. Even youngsters have their own stage, at the Black Dog from 2pm – 7pm, where demonstrations of emceeing, breakdancing, beatboxing, and more will occur. Note that 50% of the performers/hosts are female. To add to the festivities, live graffiti painting will take place during performances and Metro Transit is providing free transit to the show.

Maurice Jacox Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) I’ve written enough about vocalist Jacox for regular readers to know of his versatility in singing blues, R&B, jazz, and acoustic Motown. Tonight he’s joined by Thomas West, piano; John Della Selva, guitar; and Poncho Lopez, percussion at a venue that seems made for his music.

Doug MacLeod w/Jeff Arundel @ The Aster Cafe, MInneapolis. 9pm ($15) Here’s a chance to see a blues artist that rarely makes it to these parts. MacLeod is a perennial Blues Music Award nominee, having won the 2014 Award for Acoustic Artist of the Year and Acoustic Album of the year, and the 2013 Award for Male Artist of the Year. He’s a prolific singer and songwriter, with tunes that are full of smart remarks and keen observation.

Willie Walker CD Release @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) The Twin Cities own Original Soul Man is out with a new album, If Nothing Ever Changes, produced by Rick Estrin, the often-comic singer from the Nite Cats. Willie recorded with Goldwax Records in Memphis, and even released some sides on Chess back in the 60s. The new CD is a slab of solid soul, including a moving reading of a country song, “Not that I Care,” and great versions of a couple of Eddie Hinton songs: “Everybody Meets Mr. Blue” and “Hymn for Lonely Hearts.” Not that this is a retro record; it’s contemporary, yet oh, so soulful.

Sunday, July 12

Bastille Day Block Party @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 3pm – 10pm (Free) PaviElle, Toki Wright & the Big Cats, Gramma’s Boyfriend, The Brass Messengers, Kate Lynch, MC Foxy Tann, street entertainers, and much, much more.

Monday, July 13

Jon Cleary @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Cleary is a New Orleans-based Englishman who, according to his website, has been studying, as he put it, “the musical culture and life of New Orleans” for over twenty years,. He’s a terrific, accomplished pianist, a soulful vocalist, and a multi-instrumentalist who has added his touch to music by Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, BB King, India Arie, and most recently John Scofield, on the album Piety Street. A must-see gig for fans of New Orleans music.

Tuesday, July 14

Bruce Henry Band @ The Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) Henry and his band will be doing Motown and more on the outside terrace. There will be prizes at intermission for the most fashionable hat, based on the Center’s current exhibit, 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair. Dance lessons at 6:30. Pack a picnic or buy from vendors on site.

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.


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