World Sounds and Jazz: 3.1 – 3.7

March 1, 2017

 

imagesIt’s March 1st, which means the vernal equinox, with its promise of new growth, cannot be far behind. We even have a celebration of the month at the Amsterdam on Sunday, as I have listed below. We also have some unique jazz experiences to look forward to, including visiting artist Bob Dorough. With the weather being un-March like, it will be easy to get out and let music lift your spirits.

Jazz

Wednesday, March 1

Phil Hey/Pat Moriarity Duo @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Phil Hey  drums; and Pat Moriarty  sax; put out a duo record back in 1977 that was striking in its originality and free improvisation. Their ability to communicate and respond to each other has only grown since then, thanks to collaboration with other artists, and the occasional duo gig, which doesn’t happen very often. In fact they’ve only played as a duo three times in the last ten years. If you’re at all curious about free improvisation, this is the gig to see. Here they are in a quartet setting.

Larry McDonough Quartet: “Bill Evans and Tony Bennett” @ Vieux Carré,  Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) Pianist Bill Evans rarely accompanied singers, but in Tony Bennett he found an extraordinary collaborator. The two albums they did together showed Evans’ skill in accompanying a vocalist while adding the complexities that he displayed in his solo and ensemble performances, and exhibited Bennett’s expressive range from bold and commanding to soft and delicate. Tonight, McDonough will take on both roles, often beginning with just voice and piano, and being joined by other members of his quartet: sax player and award-winning poet Richard Terrill; bassist Greg Stinson; and drummer Dean White. Here’s Larry with an impromptu version of a song recorded by Evans and Bennett.

Thursday, March 2

Thursday Night Jazz: Mancrush @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Tonight’s attraction is Mancrush, a band with standard instrumentation for a jazz quartet, though their sound is leaner and more sparse than you might expect. Members are: Bryan Nichols, keys; Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and leader Lars-Erik Larson on drums.

Jana Nyberg Group @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover or $10 Reserved Seat) Nyberg is a singer who uses her jazz chops on originasl, jazz, and pop songs to great effect. She and her tight-knit group swing mightily, with: Sean Turner, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Rodney Ruckus, drums. Here she is with a different version of her group.

Carl Franzen @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Singer/songwriter Franzen is making his debut appearance at Jazz Central. The former advertising copywriter is a gifted lyricist, with an ability to paint pictures and tell stories with skill and wit. He’ll be accompanied by guitarist Chris Beatty, a vet of many bands including the Droppers and Kate Lynch.

Friday, March 3

Patty Peterson Presents the Jazz Women All Stars @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20), 9pm ($20) While Patty Peterson’s shows are always filled with spirit and energy, her work with the Jazz Women All Stars, at least as demonstrated at the Winter Jazz Fest, seems to have given her a shot of new energy. This is a band of amazing musicians, each of whom has established their bona fides and creativity many times over. Members are: Peterson and Ginger Commodore, vocals; Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Joan Griffith, bass & guitar; Jendeen Forberg, drums; and Kathy Jensen, saxophone.

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Source Code @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) If it seems I write about this gig once a month, I believe you may be correct. Here in the Twin Cities, Gravatt should be heralded from the rafters as the nationally recognized monster drummer he is, having played with Weather Report, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Pharaoh Sanders, and McCoy Tyner, among others, including early work with the legendary Twin Cities fusion band Natural Life.

North Central University @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 10 pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Stick around after Source Code (above) or simply show up to hear the next generation of jazz players, as NCU’s Jazz Workshop performs. The Workshop was under the direction of pianist Bobby Peterson until his untimely death in 2002. Since then, one of Peterson’s protégés, Peter Shu, has helmed the group.

Saturday, March 4

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Tonight’s opening set is by the piano-less Pete Snell Trio: Snell, who plays saxophone, has been jobbing around the Twin Cities for many years, as have his musical cohorts: Phil Aaron, piano; and Tom Lewis, bass.  8:30 Set by the JC Sanford QuartetSanford  is a trombonist/composer who was a protégé of the the great Bob Brookmeyer, and has worked with many high-profile artists. Tonight he is joined by Zacc Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Greg Schutte, drums.

Cedric Fuller & Global Sound @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Jazz Central doesn’t often have music on Saturdays, but this special event is deserving of your interest. Drummer Cedric Fuller has pulled together a group of talented musicians to perform his originals as well as songs in a variety of styles, from jazz, to soul, R&B, and Hip-Hop. Global Sounds includes: the amazing violinist Ernest Bisong; Steven Hobert, keys; Tomas Simpson, guitar; Kenneth P. Garnier, bass; and Caitlynn Daniels, vocals.

Sunday, March 5

The Great Tap Dancers @ Chanhassen Dinner Theater, Chanhassen. 3pm ($12) Film Archivist Bob DeFlores presents films of some of the great tap dancers from 1929 through the 70s, including folks like Bill Bojangles Robinson; Sammy Davis, Jr; Eleanor Powell, Shirley Temple, the amazing Nicholas Brothers; Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers; Buddy Ebsen, Donald O’Conner, and many more.

JelloSlave @ The Como Park Conservatory, Saint Paul. 4:30 – 6:30pm. Chamber Jazz in the Conservatory’s fabulous Sunken Garden. Jelloslave is a highly original and interesting band consisting of Michelle Kinney and Jaqueline Ultan on cellos; Gary Waryan on tables; and Greg Schutte on drums. Their music will also be piped in to the Palm Dome and the North Garden. Beer and wine available to purchase.

JazzMN Orchestra: Next Gen Jazz @ Hopkins HS Auditorium, 2400 Lindberg Drive, Hopkins. 3pm ($31 – $35, $10-$20 for Students) Jazz is alive and well, especially here in the Twin Cities, as you’ll be able to tell by listening to The Dakota Combo and other youth bands that will be performing before the JazzMN Orchestra, which will have social guest artists form LA’s Urban Renewal Project, which melds jazz, pop, and hip-hop.

Monday, Tuesday, March 6,7

Bob Dorough @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm – 9pm ($25, $50 Dinner Show) Dorough is one of the hippest and wittiest singers around. He recorded two vocals with Miles Davis, including the wry Blue Xmas, set multiplication tables to music for Schoolhouse Rock, and played 22 workshops and concerts in 13 cities in 6 countries as a jazz ambassador for the State Department. Now in his 90s, Dorough continues to write and record, his latest being Eulalia, which among other great songs, features him singing the Webster’s Dictionary definition of love.

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, March 1

Mitch Kashmar on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) West Coast Blues harmonica player Kashmar is in town for the Blues Harmonica Blast (see below), and is warming up with an appearance on Harold’s House Party and at the 331. He’s got a big fat sound that is equally at home invoking Chicago and Delta blues, developed in part through playing with folks like John Lee Hooker, Big Joe Turner, Lowell Fulsom, and other blues greats. He’ll be backed by the stellar line-up of the House Party All Stars: Jeremy Johnson guitar; Bill Black, bass; and Victor Span, drums.

Salif Keita @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($30 Advance, $35 Door) Keita is an Afro-pop singer/songwriter from Mali who was cast out of his family at an early age because he’s albino, a sign of bad luck in Mali. Upon moving to Paris at 25 in 1985, he began combining traditional West African musical styles with American and European influences. He’s recorded about 20 albums, some of which have included guests like Joe Zawinal and Wayne Shorter, as well as Carlos Santana, and percussionist Bill Summers. His latest album is Talé, released in 2012, is dance-floor friendly, with appearances by Manu Dibango, Bobby McFerrin, and Esperanza Spalding. Opening for Keita is our own Siama, who helped to popularize Soukous with his sensuous guitar lines.

Thursday, March 2

Butanes’ Tardis Gras @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (tip jar) The Butanes do a “late” Mardis Gras party as part of their Thursday night residency. There is always a surprise guest or two that sits in for a song with the Twin Cities Best Blues Band.

Friday, March 3

Blues Harmonica Blast @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm ($?) It’s a summit meeting of harp masters with West Coast guest Mitch Kashmar (see Wednesday, above), and resident harmonica players Paul Barry, Boom Boom Stevie V; Big George Jackson; Curtis Blake; and Hurricane Harold; all backed by an all-star group of Twin Cities musicians. Chicago Blues? Yep! Delta Blues? No Doubt! West Coast Blues? Most Certainly! Dancing? You Bet!

Joyann Parker Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Joyann Parker has been making her mark on the Twin Cities Blues scene for the last few years, representing Minnesota in the 2015 International Blues Challenge. Her 2015 album, On the Rocks, was named Best Self-Produced Album by the MN Blues Society, and has been nominated for Best Independent Blues Music Award. She has a powerful blues and R&B voice that’s just right for the TGIF crowd at Crooners.

Mbongwana Star w/ZuluZuluu @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($28) Imagine, if you will, the punk/DIY ethos of 80s NYC, where anger, boredom, and the need to simply get by resulted in a burst of creativity as punk, gay, and whatnot bands would share a bill and more importantly, the ability to express themselves by subverting the music they knew. Now consider the city of Kinshasha, in the Republic of Congo, where war, corruption and chaos brought the citizenry down. It was in the streets of Kinshasah, where everybody was eking by, that Mbongwana Star was born, creating their own take on Afrobeat, soukous, and rumba. They’ve upped the rhythms, increased the energy, and created their own sound, which I’m at somewhat of a loss to describe. Check out their videos on their website. Opening is ZuluZuluu a Twin Cities Afro-futuristic hip-hop/funk/soul group that uses deep grooves to get across their uplifting message songs. The six member collaborative has been working with each other for years, but didn’t come together as a group until the last couple of years. Their debut disc, What’s the Price? was released last summer.

Lowertown Classics presents Claude Bolling’s Picnic Suite @ Lowertown Lofts, 225 Kellogg Blvd East, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10 Suggested Donation) If you’re looking for some high-class, low-cost classical music, this is the place to be. Eva Beneke, guitar; Ted Godbout, piano; Bethany Gonella, flute & piccolo; and Scott Horey, drums & percussion; will perform the 7 pieces in Bolling’s Suite, as well as some other pieces which, as they said, “we don’t even know about yet.” BTW, the entrance is in an alley between 4th Street and Kellogg Blvd.

Saturday, March 4

Freezer Jam @ Lake Calhoun’s Thomas Beach, Minneapolis. Noon – 7pm (No Cover) This is an outdoor concert as part of the Minneapolis Polar Plunge to benefit The Special Olympics. There will be beer, cider, and other beverages, as well as food and fireworks. Of course you’ll be able to watch folks plunge into cold water as part of the event, which features the Midwest rockers 4 on the Floor, the bluegrass/Americana of The Last Revel; the rockin’ cover band Viva Kneivel, and the hot country sounds of Maiden Dixie. There will be shuttles from Cowboy Slim’s in uptown and the Lake Calhoun Center.

Carnaval Brasiliero Masquerade Ball @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20 Advance/$30 Door) This is the 15th Annual Carnaval, presented by guitarist/vocalist Robert Everest and his ten-piece band Beira Mar Brasil. Joining them from Brazil is the extraordinary samba dancer Dandara Odara, as well as the percussion ensembles Batucada Do Norte and Drumheart, as well as professional samba dancers and Minnesota’s Brazilian martial arts group Omulu Capoeira. Authentic Brazilian Carnaval masks will be available for sale, and the adventurous can have their face and body painted. There will be food and drink as well. I’ll have Robert Everest on my show Saturday morning at about 10:45am.

Sunday, March 5

Benefit for Bronco @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 3pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Saxophonist Merlin “Bronco” Brunkow would take solos with Willie & the Bees that would explore the outer reaches of jazzy R&B. He’s also played with Lamont Cranston, and more recently, the Big Wu. Well, it seems he fell and broke his hip, and as a result, can’t play and make any money, so a bunch of his friends are getting together to play and raise funds – it’s what bands do here in the Twin Cities. Featuring: The Butanes; Willie Murphy; The Groove Merchants; Renee Austin; Lonnie Knight; Maurice Jacox; Jellybean Johnson, and more…..

Marenitsa @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 5-9pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) Marenistsa is not a band, but rather an annual Balkan celebration of Spring. Orkestar Bez Ime and the Mila Vocal Ensemble are presenting this Bulgarian Bacchanallia, as they call it, featuring music form Bulgaria, Macedonia, and surrounding areas. This year they’ll have as guests Traki, a Twin Cities based ensemble that features traditional and evolving  Bulgarian folk music. The Mila Vocal Ensemble consists of eleven women singing “chords that Lutherans do not have in them” as Garrison Keillor noted.  Rest assured, once Orkestar Bez Ime takes the stage, this will become a raucous dance party as their careening, infectious music makes it hard to stand still.

Monday, March 6

Marcia Ball @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.  7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Pianist Marcia Ball is the recipient of ten Blues Music Awards, nine Living Blues Awards, five Grammy nominations, and has been inducted into both the Gulf Coast and Louisiana Hall of Fame. Her rollicking blues and emotional ballads draw from New Orleans R&B, Swamp Pop, and Gulf Coast blues, with the occasional spiciness of Tex-Mex polkas and zydeco two-steps. I’ve seen her at least a half-dozen times over the years and have never been disappointed.

Steve Clarke & The Working Stiffs @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) It’s swing night at Famous Dave’s and saxophonist Steve Clarke and the gang will deliver the goods: swing, jump blues, jazz, and jive.

Tom Paxton and the Don Juans @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($30 Advance/$35 Door) Guitarist/vocalist/storyteller Tom Paxton has been singing folk songs and telling stories on stage since the flowering of the folk movement in 60s Greenwich Village. In the years since he has earned a Grammy Liferime Achievement Award. Tonight he teams up with the Don Juans  Don Henry, guitar/vocals, uke, and banjo; and Jon Vezner, piano, vocals, uke, guitar, and more. Between Paxton and the Juans, they’ve had songs recorded by Harry Belafonte, John Mellencamp, Ray Charles, Neil Diamond, Nancy Griffith, Judy Collins, Blake Shelton, Bob Dylan and many, many more. Their appearance at Crooners about a year or so ago was a delight.

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.


The Heart of Winter: 2.1 – 2.7

February 1, 2017
It's Winter Carnival in Saint Paul

It’s Winter Carnival in Saint Paul

Happy February! Well, we seem to have gotten through what is normally the coldest week of the year without any adverse weather events. We now have a week featuring a winter carnival, the crazy (stupid?) Crashed Ice, and some great music. With temperatures above normal for this time of year, its easy to get out and find strength and inspiration in music. After all, music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, February 1

Nellie McKay: The Life and Times of Billy Tipton @ The Dakota, Minnepolis. 7pm ($35, $45, $50) McKay is a vocalist/pianist whose charm, whimsy, and  satirical wit have earned her many fans among jazz, pop, and cabaret audiences. For this appearance she’ll be performing “A Girl Named Bill,” a “revue-with-dialogue” about a fairly successful pianist from the 50s and 60s by the name of Billy Tipton. Tipton was thought to be a man, and wasn’t discovered as a woman until her death. If there is anyone who can make a compelling, yet witty case for this musician, it’s McKay.

Zack Lozier Three @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Talented trumpeter Zack Lozier has spent time in the Doc Severeinson Orchestra; The Jack brass Band, Havana Hi-Fi; Southside Aces, Davina & the Vagabonds and a number of other bands. He’s an in-demand kind of guy, who also has this great trio with Steve Pikal, bass; and Stephen Hobart, piano, the group explores some of Lozier’s favorite songs, including tunes by Louis Armstrong.

SPAT @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) A group of college age musicians that will likely be the next generation of star players in town: Sam Worthington, bs; Patrick Adkins, pno; Andrew Tomten, sax; Tarek Abdelqader, drums

Thursday, February 2

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Tonight features a great trio, Red Planet, a group that knows how to successfully create jazz fusion without bombarding listeners with overbearing drum beats. That’s because drummer Jay Epstein, whose background includes a stint with the rock band Gypsy, is one of the more tasteful drummers around. It certainly helps that his bandmates, Dean Magraw on guitar, and Chris Bates on bass, also have taste and chops galore.

Cox, Nichols, & Seru @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Anthony Cox, bass; Bryan Nichols, keys; and Davu Seru, drums/percussion, have formed a group called Suffer the Children. They are three advanced musicians who can play it straight, or go out there. I suspect that tonight will lean towards going out there, which should prove to be exciting.

Friday, February 3

Davell Crawford’s B3 Organ Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.  7pm ($30, $40) New Orleans native and keyboard player Davell Crawford has become a favorite at the Dakota. He comes from a musical family, essentially absorbing traditional jazz, gospel, funk, and R&B in his veins to the point where he is the new ambassador of the New Orleans piano tradition. Tonight, however, he’s heading for the Hammond B3, which should increase his music’s fun factor by several degrees.  Here he is on piano.

Jana Nyberg Group @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Vocalist/flutist Jana Nyberg has a unique take on music, effortlessly blending and integrating jazz and pop with panache and grace. She also happens to have a great band: husband Adam Meckler on trumpet and flugelhorn, as well as Sean Turner, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Rodney Ruckus on drums.

Friday, Saturday, February 3, 4

Todd Harper & Friends @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($12/night, $20 for both) Pianist Todd Harper used to do an annual series with Carei Thomas and Paul Cantrell called Keys Please each year. This year, he’s doing something a bit different. These two evenings will be devoted to the compositions of Carei Thomas & Todd Harper.  Friday night will feature a quartet of Todd Harper, piano; Eric Coursen, drums; Aaron Kerr, electric cello; and Nathan Hanson, soprano and tenor saxophones. Saturday night will have two components: an exploratory/lyrical trio with Todd Harper, Eric Coursen, and bassist Keith Yanes, and the release of Harper’s solo piano CD, Metaphorsisis. Harper was my guest on this past Saturday’s Rhythm and Grooves. if you want to hear the interview, go to the link and click on the appropriate icon.

Saturday, February 4

Davell Crawford Deep in the Heart of New Orleans @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40) Crawford (see Friday, above) returns to the piano for this evening that will explore the music of the Big Easy.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Holy Shamoley, as cartoon characters sometimes say. Tonight we have The Atlantis Quartet, area leading lights of 21st Century jazz, as the opening act at 7pm. Zacc Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Pete Hennig, drums, will have you alternately rockin’ and swingin’. Then at 8:30, The Ben Allison Trio, with Ben Allison  bass; Steve Cardenas, guitar; and Allison Miller, drums take the stage. Allison has recorded eleven albums as a leader and has been a sideman on recording by folks like Ted Nash, Curtis Stigers, Frank Kimbrough, Lee Konitz and others. Earlier in the day, from 1pm – 2:30pm, the trio will conduct a free clinic on improvisation at the McNally Smith College of Music auditorium for high school and college-aged students and young professional musicians, and will include a live performance by Ben Allison’s Trio, and an interactive clinic with featured demonstration group, the Dakota Combo. Here is Allison with a different trio.

Monday, February 6

Bruce Barth Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($25, $50 w/Dinner Show) Pianist Barth is a favorite of Tony Bennett and in fact, has accompanied him a number of times. Barth arrived in NYC in 1988 and soon joined Stanley Turrentine, with whom he played for over a decade. He toured with Nat Adderley, as well as Vincente Herring, and was a member of Terence Blanchard’s band, where he recorded six CDs and appeared as a piano player in Spike Lee’s film Malcolm X. He’s been recorded on about one hundred albums, including ten as a leader. The California born pianist has had extended collaborations with folks such as Tony Bennett,  Terell Stafford, Karrin Allyson, and David Sanchez. And he has performed with a host of other jazz giants, including James Moody, Phil Woods, Freddie Hubbard, Tom Harrell, Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, and the Mingus Big Band.

Tuesday, February 7

Dean Magraw & Davu Seru @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) The always amazing duo of guitarist Dean Magraw and drummer/percussionist Davu Seru can be counted on to take you to unexpected, yet highly enjoyable music places.

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, February 1

Dan Rumsey on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar)  Dan Rumsey is a guitarist, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist whose singing and playing evoke 70s rock and singer/songwriters. I’ll be hosting the House Party today, so tune in to KFAI and get over to the 331 Club if you like what you hear.

Erica West Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Take a soulful, sensuous singer, add in her guitarist husband to lead the band, and you have a tight unit that creates jazzy R&B and pop.

Thursday, February 2

Home Fires @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6:00pm (No Cover)  Sarah Morris and Vicky Emerson are a couple of accomplished singer/songwriters who were scheduled to appear as the Home Fires last month, though Ms Emerson had to stay home to care for a sick child. The two singers have often appeared on the same bill and have a lot in common: both are excellent songsmiths; both have an affinity for Americana/alt country; and both can deliver heartfelt ballads and romping uptempo tunes with equal verve.

Jake Hanson Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Hanson is an inventive guitarist who makes good use of pedal effects to create surf sounds, Ventures music, blues, 50s rock, and more. He’s a sought after musician who has played with a variety of high-profile Minnesota artists, including Halloween Alaska, Mason Jennings, Solid Gold, Haley Bonar, The Pines and many more. It will be fun to see him playing for the Friday night crowd at Crooners. Here is Hanson in a duo setting.

Danny B. Harvey & His Cats @ The Hook & Ladder Theater and Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:00pm ($7 Advnce/$10 Door) Here’s a night of rockabilly from Danny B. Harvey, best known as the guitarist for the super group HeadCat (a band he formed with Lemmy from Motorhead and Slim Jim Phantom from Stray Cats), he was also a founding member of the the original neo-rockabily band The Rockats. Danny has also produced, recorded and performed with Wanda Jackson, Nancy Sinatra, Johnny Ramone, and Lee Rocker. Joining Danny on vocals is Annie Marie Lewis, niece of pioneering rock n’ roller Jerry Lee Lewis, and the daughter of Linda Gale Lewis, as well as a cousin of Mickey Gilley. They’ll be joined by special guests Noah Levy on drums and Tommy Vee, bass. I understand that Lori Barbero of Babes in Toyland may join them for a few songs. The Bad Companions open.

Jaedyn James & the Hunger @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) This is a somewhat raw, but exciting 10 piece R&B/Soul band, with a leader/vocalist who brings on the energy with no restraint. They promote fun with a passion, and are certain to keep people from staring at their phones during a performance. They will, in fact, delight anyone who is into danceable R&B.

Friday, February 3

Davina & the Vagabonds @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($??) Ms Davina is a force of nature when it comes to singing, while the Vagabonds can match her note for note. With a repertoire that’s inspired by New Orleans, and a backbeat just made for swing dancers, I expect this will be a fun-filled show.

Ben Cook-Feltz and…  Friends? @ Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7) This show will feature guest performances from some of the finest talent the Twin Cities has to offer, who happen also to be some of Ben’s best friends on the scene, including Jillian Rae, Sarah Morris, Mother Banjo, Doug Otto, Kari Arnett and Art Vandalay. Some will be sitting in with Cook-Feltz and the band, others will perform their own songs.

Maurice Jacox @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley, 7:30pm (No Cover) R&B, Soul, Jazz, and standards from the under-recorded Maurice Jacox on vocals and occasional sax, as well as Thomas West, keys; Mike Cramer, guitar; and award winning drummer Robb Stupka.

Saturday, February 4

Saturday Salons @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 3pm ($20) The folks at Crooners are starting a new series for those who enjoy classical music, with the inimitable Marie Jette as host. This matinee series will feature a wide panoply of the world’s chamber music from early Renaissance and Baroque pieces to Mosart, Debussy, and music of the 21st Century. Today, performers will be presenting music from the Love Song Waltzes of Johannes Brahms in solos, duets, and quartets for four singers and two pianists. Today’s musicians are: Maria Jette, soprano; Victoria Vargas, mezzo-soprano; Dan Dressen, tenor; Michael Jorgensen, bass baritone; with pianists Mary Jo Gothmann and Tadeusz Majewski.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo @ The State Theater, Minneapolis. 8pm ($29.50 – $49.50) Can it really be 50 years since South Africa’s Joseph Shabala had a dream about the music he would make with 8 other male singers? The deep sonority of their acapella voices, combined with their storytelling, dancing, and messages of peace, love, and harmony can still strike a chord deep within us. The membership of the group has changed over the years, as a younger generation replaces older singers, yet their message and sound remains the same.

Undervud @ The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis. 7pm ($17 Members, $20 General, 4 or more/$15 per ticket) The wonderfully curated and laid-out Museum of Russian Art continues to bring in liver performers of all stripes. Tonight they’ve got the leaders of a popular Russian rock band called Undervud, formed in the late 90s by two medical students who quit school after a couple of hits and moved to Moscow. They’ve since recorded seven albums. This will be an acoustic performance by the founding members of the band. Opening is Roman Lugovykh, leader of the band Romario, which had a sold out performance at the museum in September.  Here’s Undrvud – the full band.

Mini Blues Fest @ Whiskey Junction, Minneapolis. 8pm ($??) It’s a midwinter blues respite, with an evening devoted to three different blues acts, Featuring harpist Paul Barry with his trio the Ace Tones with vocalist Lila Ammons at 8pm, octogenarian pianist (and father of Jimmy Jam) Cornbread Harris at 9:30pm and finishing up with The Cobras at 11pm, with Washtub James, aka Pat Dawson, bass; Elliot “Mojo: Harris, drums; Brian Duke, guitar & vocals; and Tom Ferring, vocals and harmonica.

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.


Visiting and Resident Musicians, Oh My! 10:19 – 10.25

October 19, 2016

unknown-1Along with some wonderful Fall weather, we have another week of outstanding music, including some iconic, as well as up and coming visiting musicians, three nights of instantly improvised jazz in Lowertown, and a number of fun shows from resident musicians. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 19

Mississipppi @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) After their album release last week at the Dakota, Mississippi makes another appearance, taking advantage of the brief visit of Peruvian guitarist Andres Prado  who graced the Twin Cities for a  few years and became a highly respected member of our music scene. The group includes Kevin Washington, drums; Jeff Bailey, bass; Peter Schimkie, piano; and Pete Whitman, sax. They’ll have a number of special guests as well.

Sophia Shorai/Rhonda Laurie @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Shorai – No Cover) 8pm ($5) The evening starts off with the sweet sounds of vocalist/pianist Shorai for the dinner hour. Then at 8pm vocalist Rhonda Laurie brings her sophisticated sound to the club, focusing tonight on gypsy jazz tunes as Reynold Philipsek, guitar; Gary Schulte, violin; and Matt Senjem, bass, accompany her.

Thursday, Friday, October 20, 21

McCoy Tyner w/Gary Bartz @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45), 9pm ($35, $40) The legendary pianist returns to the club where he first appeared in 1988, when it was in Saint Paul. Those familiar with jazz history know that Tyner came to prominence in at the age of 17 when he was in the John Coltrane Quartet, touring and recording with Coltrane between 1961 and 1965, and playing on such landmark albums as Live at the Village Vanguard, ballads and the exquisite A Love Supreme. His bands have won three Grammys, and in 2002 he was named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts. Tyner will be joined by saxophonist Gary Bartz, who played with Miles Davis, Jackie McClean, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach, in addition to Tyner and leading his own groups. A couple of other outstanding musicians round out the group: Gerald Cannon on bass; and Francisco Mela (artistic director of the Twin Cities Jazz Festival) on drums.

Thursday, October 20

Rhonda Laurie @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) If you didn’t catch Rhonda Laurie last night at the Vieux, here’s another chance to see her, this time in a more intimate setting, solely accompanied by guitarist Dean Magraw.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, October 21, 22, 23

Free Jazz in Saint Paul’s Lowertown. That’s free jazz as in freely improvised, not cost-free, and what better neighborhood to listen than the art center of Saint Paul. The stars have aligned to have three nights with four different groups, as follows:

Thursday: Spring Roll @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15) This French free-jazz quartet is led by composer/flautist Sylvaine Helary  They use flutes, sax, clarinet, piano, and a perfusion of percussion, mostly bells, or keyboards, as well as an anagogic synthesizer, a loop modulator, and the manipulation of magnetic bands. Their music shows influences of Ornette Coleman and Harry Partch, and Captain Beefheart.

Friday: Donald Washington @ The Black Dog. 8pm (Tip Jar) Donald Washington: sax, flutes, clarinet, and bells; is joined by son Kevin Washington on drums; and Richard Studer on bass to create music on the spot.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog. 7pm (Tip Jar) John Devine and Bill Lang & Co. open at 7pm, Douglas Ewart & Quasar: Jaqueline Ultan, cello; Stephen Goldstein, computer and sound engineer; Carei Thomas, piano; Donald Washington, reeds & percussion, Douglas Ewart, didjeridu, various horns, voice, percussion; and a spoken word artist and dancer.

Friday, October 21

Heather Masse @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($20) Singer-Songwriter Masse came to prominence as a member of the popular folk group Wailin’ Jennys, though her early interest was jazz. She was a frequent guest on Prairie Home Companion, where she met trombone master Roswell Rudd. When they realized they lived a few miles from each other in upstate NY, they decided to collaborate. The resulting album, August Love Song, was released on Red House Records, which is producing this concert. It received a rave review on AllMusic where the reviewer said it “feels simultaneously modern and classic.”

CC Septet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Original music from Larry Neumann, Sax, Flute: Paul Peterson, Sax, Clarinet; Scott Snyder, Trumpet; Ralph Brindle, Trombone; Tim Lackas, Keyboards; Greg Stinson, Bass; and Brett Smith, Percussion.

Jon Pemberton/Jana Nyberg Group @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Pemberton – No Cover), 9pm (Nyberg – $10) Pianist, trumpeter, and composer Jon Pemberton provides music for the dinner hour, then vocalist Nyberg and her group, which always includes hubby and master trumpeter Adam Meckler, take the stage for an evening of jazz/pop, including some of Nyberg’s fine originals and interesting covers.

Friday, Saturday, October 21, 22

Matt Slocum Trio @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm, 10pm ($18 Advance/$20 Door) Born in Saint Paul and raised in western Wisconsin, drummer Matt Slocum brings his NYC based trio to town, including Dayna Stephens on saxophones and Steve Cardenass on guitar. Their latest album Trio Pacific, Vol. 1, is filled with surprises. Modern Drummer Magazine said of Slocum, “The young drummer constantly surprises, embracing the kit as a reactive and explorative multi-percussion whole. A fresh voice.” Here’s Slocum with a different trio, from his appearance at the AQ four years ago.

Saturday, October 22

Pippi’s 3rd Annual Birthday Bash @ The Bedlam, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 9:30pm ($20, $25, including Dinner) For the 3rd year in a row, vocalist Pippi Ardennia is celebrating her birthday at the Bedlam, and as usual, she’s being joined by many musicians, including the PipJazz SX band, which includes Margo Brevik bass; Faye Washington, flute; Maureen Siebert, clarinet; Cymphony Jaxon, piano; and Glory Yard, drums. She’ll also call on current and past members of the PipJazz All Stars including Lee Tran, sax; DeVante Jackson, sax; Yonci Jamison, bass clarinet; DeCarlo Jackson, bass & trumpet; Bobby Rosson, drums; John Henry, bass; and Walter Hampton, piano & sax. Ardennia always puts young artists through their paces, calling out tunes and rhythms on the fly, and consequently bringing out the best in new musical voices.

Sunday, October 23

Rudresh Mahanthappa – Bird Calls @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. ($35) The Vieux is changing it up this week, opening on a Sunday in order to feature an outstanding visiting artist. Saxophonist Mahanthappa incorporates the sonic possibilites of music from his culture (India) with the influence of Charlie Parker’s music to create what many critics call a new path in jazz. His last recording was Bird Calls in 2015, which was called album of the year by both Downbeat magazine and NPR’s Music Critics Poll. The New York Times described him has having “a roving intellect and a bladelike articulation.”

Monday, October 24

Bobby Lyle & Billy Peterson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $25, $60Dinner) Pianist Lyle started his career over three decades ago, as a sixteen-year old playing in Minneapolis clubs. After moving to Los Angeles, he met Jazz Crusader Wayne Henderson, who got him signed to Capitol Records and produced his first record. He’s played all over the world and has served as music director for Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, and Bette Midler. He’ll be joined by bassist Billy Peterson  whose own musical career also knows few boundaries, having worked with Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Les Paul, Ben Sidran, and Steve Miller, among others. Their appearance at the Dunsmore Room last May was a delight.

Tuesday, October 25

Brian Claxton Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) The Wisconsin-born, Colorado based Claxton is a drummer who got his start when his folks bought him a toy drum at the age of one, twenty-nine years ago. He eventually taught himself to play by ear and was able to earn a spot at UW Eau Claire, where one of the ensembles he worked with got a Downbeat award. While attending school, he’d take part in the Twin Cities music scene, where he played with John Raymond, Aaron Hedenstrom, and Nachito Herrera.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, October 19

Ilka/Ward Duo on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Jake Ilka and Joel Ward have been playing all kinds of music together for over 10 years – blues, soul, Americana, folk and more, using a mix of keys, guitars, and pedal steel to play both originals and covers. Tune in at 5pm and then head over to the 331 Club to hear more.

Charles Lazarus & Mary Jo Gothman @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40w/Dinner) Trumpeter Lazarus is a member of the Minnesota Orchestra and has played with his own jazz group on a number of occasions. Lazarus made his Carnegie Hall solo debut with the New York String Orchestra at the age of 19 while still a student at The Juilliard School.  Since then, he has appeared as a soloist with numerous orchestras throughout North America, performed with the Empire Brass, New York Philharmonic Principal Brass, London Brass, Barry White, and opened for Tony Bennett. Pianist Mary Jo Gothman currently, works with talented young singers at The Minnesota Opera and plays chamber music with friends from the St Paul Chamber Orchestra. She’s worked with a number of opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera and the Santa Fe Opera.

Morgan James @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35), 9pm ($25, $30) The vocalist/songwriter is a Idaho native who studied at Julliard, and has appeared in Motown, the Musical (as Teena Marie), and in star-making roles in Wonderland and Godspell. Berry Gordy introduced James to a couple of hit-makers in Los Angeles, and her debut recording was released in 2014. Much of her music falls into the Slow Jam category of R&B, as songs such as Call My Name start out slow and sensuous and build until James unleashes her powerful voice.

Thursday, October 20

Pat Donahue @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) If championship finger-picking and witty songs are your pleasure, check out acoustic guitarist Pat Donahue  known for being a regular on Prairie Home Companion for years. His songs have been recorded by the likes of Suzy Boguss, Chet Atkins, Kenny Rogers, and more.

Courtney Yasmineh Tour Kickoff, w/Joyann Parker @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($7) Courtney Yasmineh left Chicago as a teenager and held up in Northern Minnesota, where she studied the music of Bob Dylan while developing her own songwriting skills. Moving to the Twin Cities she further developed her craft and in the last decade has begun to record and release both albums and EPs. Along the way she has toured the States, and Europe, doing all the booking and arrangements herself. She writes rock and roll songs for adults, with an honesty that draws from life’s victories and vicissitudes: bittersweet, blistering, fanciful, and hopeful. Opening is Joyann Parker, who, with her band Sweet Tea, won the right to represent Minnesota at the 2015 International Blues Challenge.

Deano & the Dinosaurs @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) It’s Dress Like Deano Day at Dusty’s as guitarist Dean Mikkelson leads Dean Harrington, guitar; Keith Boyles, bass; and Diehl Gallagher, drums through an evening of gypsy jazz, swing, and some blues. If you want to Dress Like Deano (Mikkelson), wear a plaid flannel shirt and colorful high-tops to get the essence of his style.

Friday, October 21

Willie Walker, w/Greazy Gravy @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($10?) It’s good to be able to see the original soul man in town again, since has been touring overseas a lot lately, due in part to the enthusiastic response to his album If Nothing Ever Changes, for which he won two Living Blues Music Awards. Opening is Greazy Gravy, featuring the harmonica of Curtis Blake. Here’s Willie in Norway.

Davina & The Vagabonds @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) Though Davina and her intrepid Vagabonds continue to tour the US and overseas on a regular basis, it’s good to have her stop and perform at a bar with a dance floor here at home.

Saturday, October 22

Jeff Ray & The Stakes @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Ray is an extraordinary slide guitarist and songwriter, who can take a blues or rock song and create his own version of the blues. He’ll be appearing with Harold Tremblay on harmonica, with whom he has great musical rapport, and other guests.

Sarah Morris & Vicky Emerson Tour Send Off @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Morris and Emerson are both moms as well as Americana singer songwriters. They are hitting the road in a Highways and Heartstrings Tour of the Midwest, kicking off the tour this evening. They’ll share the stage swapping stories and songs from their respective albums.

Sunday, October 23

Ladies Night @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 4pm ($15, $10 for Ladies) Well it’s not exactly night when this starts, and it’s not a Ladies drink free night, but you get the idea. This is a Fundraiser for Discover Music, a program that encourages songwriting among teenagers. The Show will feature women performers such as Joyann Parker, Jennifer Grimm, Annie Mack, Katia Cardenas, and Rose Duffy.

Javier Matos @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 5pm (Free) Guitarist Matos plays the blues – swingin, shuffles, 12 bar, bottleneck, and more. He was in the Blue Shadows with two members of the Blasters, had songs in Breaking Bad and Friday Night Lights, and even made the cover of Billboard magazine. And you get to see him for free! (If you haven’t been there, the Dockside stage is actually an outdoor pavilion next to Como Lake, so dress appropriately)

Monday, October 24

Metro Cajun Ensemble @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 10;20pm ($8) If it’s Monday, there must be Cajun and/or Zydeco music at the Eagles Club. Be prepared to dance.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, October 24, 25, 26

O’Conner Family Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) Mark O’Conner is a Grammy winning multi-instrumentalist, equally at home on fiddle, guitar, and mandolin. His unique career has seen him collaborating with such country & bluegrass superstars as Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, George Jones, Bill Monroe, and Earl Scruggs, as well as with jazz greats Bobby McFerrin and Wynton Marsalis, along with cellist Yo-Yo Ma. He’s also written a number of violin concertos, which he’s performed hundreds of times with major symphonies around the world, and has appeared on over 500 albums. The O’Conner Family Band features a three-violin front line of O’Conner, his wife Maggie, and Kate Lee, fiancé of Mark’s son Forrest, who plays mandolin. They’re joined by Joe Smart, a championship flat picker on guitar, and Geoff Saunders, on bass, who hold down a tight groove, no matter what the pace.

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.


The Week in Music: 9.21 – 9.27

September 21, 2016

cartoon3423Well, it appears that I wrote last weeks newsletter without mentioning the Fall Pledge Drive at KFAI, the little community station that could. I didn’t realize that my show would only air once during the pledge drive and that happened last Saturday. It would please me greatly if a half-dozen or so of you who read this blog would pledge to my show on-line at www.kfai.org. Simply click on the Donate Now icon, follow instructions and when asked to Specify a Show, write in Rhythm and Grooves. Thank you.

Now that the commercial is out of the way, here’s some of the great music that’s being performed around town this week. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, September 21

Chris Lomheim Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm, ($10, $5w/Student ID) Pianist Lomheim usually leads a trio, so it’s a treat to have him leading a quintet tonight, adding the sax of Pete Whitman and the trumpet of Adam Rossmiller to his arrangements and originals. Jay Young on bass, and Dave Schmalenberger on drums, round out the group.

 

Thursday, September 22

Kenny Horst Trio: Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Since the AQ closed, owner/drummer has been free to play with a number of different bands. Tonight though, he’s leading the group, which includes his compadres Billy Peterson on bass; and Dean Magraw on guitar.

Erin Livingston @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm, ($10, $5w/Student ID) It’s Vocal Night at Jazz Central, and tonight Ms Erin Livingston does the honors, with Matt Senjem on bass and Mark Zee on piano. She’s worked extensively with guitarist Robb Henry and the Parisota Hot Club, where she’s tackled standards and the Beatles.

Friday, September 23

Pete Whitman @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis, 8 – 10pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Fridays are reserved for Jazz Masters at Jazz Central, and saxophonist Whitman certainly qualifies. He’s performed with such renowned artists as Al “TNT” Braggs, Rosemary Clooney, Jack McDuff, Dave Stryker, Curtis Fuller, and the Woody Herman Orchestra, teaches at McNally Smith and leads the X-tet, a 10 piece band whose 2004 album Where’s When got a 4 star review in Downbeat. He recently returned from a tour of China.  I don’t know who he’ll have in the group, but here’s a video from a previous appearance at Jazz Central.

Jeremy Walker/Southside Aces @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (Walker 0 no cover), 9pm (Aces – $10) Pianist Jeremy Walker is back at this monthly gig during dinner hour, and tonight is followed by the Southside Aces, bringing brass band happiness to the New Orleans-themed basement club.

All Original Jazz Series: Larry McDonough Quartet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Pianist McDonough and his group have been busy as of late, performing tributes to Bill Evans and Tony Bennett, as well as Chet Baker and Miles Davis. Tonight they play originals, as the title of the series states. McDonough favors odd meters, so you will hear songs performed in 7/4, 5/4, 12/4, and even 11/4. The quartet includes: Larry McDonough, piano and vocals; Richard Terrill, saxes; Greg Stinson, bass; and Dean White, drums.

Quirkestra @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11pm (Tip Jar) I’m intrigued by this quintet, which plays a blend of jazz, reggae, swing, 60s R&B, and other music in a “quirky” manner.

Saturday, September 24

Patty Peterson & the Jazz Women All-Stars @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($15) This group made their debut at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival this past June and got a rousing response. Vocalist Patty Peterson has gathered together a group of the area’s finest musicians. They happen to be women: Debbie Duncan, vocals: Linda Peterson, keys and vocals; Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Joan Griffith, bass; Sheila Earley, drums; and Mary Petrich, sax. Here’s a promo she did for the show.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Tonight starts out with a set from Merciless Ghost, with George Cartwright, sax; Josh Granowski, bass; and Davu Seru, drums. Headliner at 8:30pm is What Would Monk Do? with Kenny Horst, drums; Billy Peterson, bass; Peter Schimke, piano; and Steve Kenny, Flumpet.  If you substitute Steve Kenny for Brandon Wozniak, you’ll have the group in this video.

Sunday, September 25

Jana Nyberg Group: Brunch @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis 10am – 1pm  (No Cover) You’ll need a reservation at this popular Sunday brunch spot, but in addition to the food and drink of the Kitchen, you’ll be treated to the pop/jazz stylings of the delightful vocalist Ms Nyberg.

Paul Renz Quartet @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Guitarist Renz has recorded a half dozen CDs, but doesn’t gig out too much here in the Twin Cities, as he spends much time teaching. The Berklee grad does tour every once in a while, to the East Coast, where he’s especially well received. Not only will you hear great jazz, but its in a wonderful setting, with the Minneapolis skyline in the background.

Sunday, Monday, September 25, 26

Brad Mehldau and Joshua Redman @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $50), 9pm ($25 – $40) Jazz fans are very excited about this pairing. These proponents of 21st Century progressive jazz first played together in the 90s, in Redman’s quartet. Since then pianist Mehldau and saxophonist Redman have both developed successful careers. With just the two of them, the music will undoubtedly take flight.

Tuesday, September 27

Chris Lomheim/JT Bates GRAIN Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (Lomheim – No cover), 8pm (Bates – $6) Pianist Lomheim will serenade you during the dinner hour, after which drummer Bates and his B3 trio, with Kevin Gastonguay, B3; and Zacc Harris, guitar; will bring the greasy funk that makes B3 trios so much fun.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, September 21

Ian Alexy on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Ian Alexy  s a versatile guitarist and songwriter who explores the byways of Americana – folk, jazz, and rock n’ roll. He and brother Teague form The Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank. Tune in and listen (it’s pledge drive time), and head to the 331 afterwards.

James Hunter Six @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $45), 9pm ($30 – $40) British Soul and R&B from an engaging performer. Guitarist/singer Hunter clearly enjoys playing original soul music that invokes classic 60s soul without aping it, earning the high praise of Van Morrison in the process. The infectiousness of his joy easily communicates to audiences, who can’t help but enjoy the experience.

SK Kakraba and Palenke Soul Tribe @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free, but reservations recommended) This is part of the Cedar’s Global Roots Festival. SK Kakraba Lobi is a Master Xylophonist from Ghana. He plays the Gyil, a Ghanaian Xylophone and the primary instrument of the Lobi, Sisala, and Dagara people of Northern Ghana. The LA-based Colombian band, Palenke Soultribe  have taken electronic music to new heights by deconstructing Afro-Colombian rhythms and blending them with electronic beats and exploratory synthesizer sounds.

Thursday, September 22

Joe & Vicki Price @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) This Blues Couple from Decorah, Iowa delivers the blues as if they were from Clarksdale Mississippi. Every couple of months they come up here and do a mini-tour of the area. If you don’t catch them tonight, they’ll be at the Viking on Saturday.

The Rockin’ Pinecones @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5) Get out those dancin’ shoes, mama, cuz the Pinecones will be delivering the hipshakin rhythms of New Orleans R&B, along with Cajun and Zydeco tunes that will add a bit of spice to the proceedings on the wooden dance floor at the Eagles Club.

Molly Maher & Her Best Men: Songs from the Heart Til Death Do Us Part @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Ms Maher, singer, guitarist, guitar-tech extradinaire Molly Maher is getting married, and rather than a bachelorette party, she’s throwing a gig, so we all can attend. She’ll be singing her excellent roots/folk rock/alt country songs backed by her band of “Best Men.” Opening is Gabriel Douglas, while the Belfast Cowboys will close out the night.

Friday, September 23

Paul Filipowicz @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($??) Wisconsin bluesman Filipowicz first burst on the scene back in the early 80s, playing rip-roaring Chicago blues, and appearing in this area a couple of times. Raised in Illinois, the guitarslinger was taken under the wings of such stalwarts as Luther Allison and Jimmy “Fast Fingers” Dawkins. After taking a decade or so off to raise a family, he retuned in the late 90s, recording for Texas’ Gila Records. He subsequently appeared in the Top 15 of Texas Blues New Releases for two years in a row. He’s now in his sixties, and judging by his latest release, Go for the Throat, he still has fire in his belly and in his guitar.

Oh What A Night @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25, $75) Hear old school R&B sung by five terrific singers:  Ronn Easton, Wee Willie Walker, Maurice Young, Jerry Esckridge and Maurice Jacox, backed by an equally terrific band. Last time this show played the Parkway it sold out.

Willie Murphy @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Just because you can see Murphy a couple of times a month doesn’t mean you shouldn’t actually get out to one of his gigs, where you’ll hear this charter member of the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame perform old time rock n’ roll, R&B, and funk in his own inimitable way. The Viking was, of course, the site of his Monday night jam sessions for many years, so it’s a treat to have him back there.

Saturday, September 24

Ty Stone’s James Brown Experience @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20, $30) Stone is an R&B veteran, having performed with such acts as Jackie Wilson and later Johnny Taylor, Tyrone Davis, The Dells, The Staple Singers, Ernie Terrell and others. He’ll be performing hits from throughout 4 decades of Brown’s career, complete with costume changes, a 12 piece backup band and go-go dancers.

Movits! @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15 Advance, $18 Door) Imagine, if you will, a European hip hop group that goes to number one on iTunes and Amazon after appearing on the Steve Colbert show. Then, at a backyard party they hear Sing, Sing, Sing by Benny Goodman and are blown away. Now, they’ve managed to combine swing beats and hip hop beats in a way that totally works. And…. they only sing/rap in Swedish, their native language. There you have Movits! Added attraction: Danami & the Blue, a Motown inspired hip-hop soul singer.

Charlie Lawson Combo w/guest Curtis Blake @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 9pm (tip jar) Guitarist Lawson and his band are starting a monthly residency at this friendly and comfy Irish bar. Tonight he’s bringing in harpist Curtis Blake as a guest. Blake performs with Greazy Gravy and Don Scott when he’s not cooking up gumbo on his job.

Sunday, September 25

Oudyano @ The Black Dog, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm (Tip Jar) Oudyano is Steven Hobert, piano; and Issam Rafea on Oud. Rafea, from Syria, and Hobert, from the Twin Cities, are simpatico artists who are mutually sensitive players. They play a blend of Arabic classical tradition and American jazz and roots, creating music that is ethereal, hopeful, and joyous. If you miss them and are willing to stay up a bit late, you can catch them at the Icehouse on Monday night.

Monday, September 26

Steve Clarke & The Working Stiffs @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Saxophonist Clarke leads his troupe through the decades, playing dance music from the 30s to the 50s. You’ll jump, you’ll swing, you may even bop to songs from Count Basie and Fats Waller, to Elvis Presley, Bill Haley, and Louis Jordan. It’s music that goes over especially well in the large lounge at Crooners.

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.


Let’s Go! Music: 7.27 – 8.2

July 27, 2016

 

Unknown-3Lots of great music this week, so let’s just get to it. Music lifts your spirits.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 27

Dave King Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20) After having a CD release at Vieux Carre for his five-piece Trucking Company last weekend, drummer Dave King brings bassist Billy Peterson and pianist Bill Carrothers to Crooners’ Dunsmore Room. King is well known for his stints with Happy Apple, Bad Plus, and the aforementioned Trucking Company, groups that traffic in avant/indie/experimental approaches to jazz. However, this trio, which has received rave reviews in the New York Times and on NPR, mines a treasure trove of standards from jazz and the Great American Songbook, bringing a fresh interpretation to songs each time they play.

Illicit Sextet 25th Anniversary of Chapter One Release @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) It’s 25 years or so since the Illicit Sextet  Minnesota’s first Jazz Composers Collective, released their debut album, Chapter One. Sooo, to celebrate, attendees will get a download card with admission, along with a printed package of original liner notes, design elements, and a number of reviews. Tonight’s shows will include selections from Chapte One, as well as from Chapter Eleven, the group’s second album, and music from the third, to be released in late Fall.

Graham O’Brien @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5/Student ID) O’Brien is a drummer and electronic music producer and composer from Saint Paul. For this interesting gig, he’ll be performing new music written for solo live performance in which he uses a custom electric-drum set.

Thursday, July 28

Jana Nyberg @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Nyberg’s easy facility with both jazz and pop have helped gain her numerous fans since she moved back to the Twin Cities in 2008. She’s recorded 3 CDs and appeared on season 10 of American Idol. She’s always backed by a stellar band, which includes her husband, trumpeter Adam Meckler.

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) The evening starts off at 7pm with VVG, which stands for Very Very Groovy, and considering the young lions in the group, should very well live up to the billing:  Josh Johnson, sax; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Ben Beyene, drums; DeCarlo Jackson, bass. At 9pm Ruckus! appears, led by drummer Rodney Ruckus, who is celebrating his first year of living in the Twin Cities with three shows this week. He’ll be joined by international trumpeter Aaron Janik; young pianist Will Kjeer; veteran bassist Ron Evanuik; newcomer Jabari Powell on sax; and featuring Haylee Dee on Vocals.

Friday, July 29

Debbie Duncan with Ava McFarlane @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm (Free) Brian Horst, owner of Details Salon and Boutique in downtown Saint Paul, is the person behind the successful Music in Mears events on Thursdays each summer. He’s now branched out with Rhythm in Rice, 10 weeks of globally inspired musicians, including tonight’s artist, Debbie Duncan  who will bring a jazz and R&B bent to the evening, with an emphasis on dancing. Ava McFarlane opens after dance lessons.

Pete James Johnson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5/Student ID) Young Lions, progressive young masters, whatever you call them, this is a talented group of young musicians, of which none, I’m fairly sure, are over 30. They have a lot to communicate, including originals and their own arrangements of jazz standards. The group includes: Aaron Hedenstrom, saxes; Joe Strachan, piano; Dan Carpel, bass; and leader Pete James Johnson on drums.

Will Kjeer Summer Band @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Pianist Will Kjeer will be in town for a few more weeks before returning to college. In the meantime, he’s playing around with a number of groups, including this one which he leads, with Graydon Peterson, bass; Rodney Ruckus, drums (he sure is busy this week); Jake Baldwin, trumpet; and Stephanie Wielseler, recently returned to town, on sax. Here’s Will with a school group from a year ago.

Jeremy Walker Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8 cash only) Composer/pianist Walker and bassist Anthony Cox have put together a new group: The Port Arthur Quartet, along with Corey Healy on drums, and Brandon Wozniak on sax. Walker has collaborated with TU Dance and Zenon Dance, and written (and performed) 7 Psalms, for choir and jazz combo. Cox has been on over 100 recordings by internationally known musicians, including Geri Allen, Dewey Redman, John Scofield, and Joe Lovano, among others. Here’s Jeremy, in a typically contemplative mood, playing solo a couple of years ago.

Friday, Saturday, July 29, 30

Jazz Town Hall: Black Music in the Twin Cities @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. Noon – 4pm (Free??)  Registration, Noon – 4pm. First hour is devoted to registration, then from 1pm – 4pm various presentations about Black Music in the Twin Cities, especially the marginalization of Black Jazz Artists, from Solomon Parham and Rodney Ruckus, hosts, Eric Kamau Gravatt, and others.

Saturday, July 30

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Steve Kenny Trio opens at 7pm, followed by the second of Rodney Ruckus’ shows this week, with a slightly different line-up than Thursday night at the Reverie (above): Aaron Janik, trumpet; Will Kjeer, piano; Jax Ravel, bass; and Ruckus on drums.

PipJazz Women of Jazz Band @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm ($20) Vocalist Pippi Ardennia  athers up some outstanding musicians who happen to be female for this presentation. They include: Faye Washington, flute; Marilyn Parker, sax; Margo Brevik, bass; and three young musicians: Yonci Jameson, bass clarinet; Cymphony Jackson, piano; and Glory Yard, drums. Look for appearances from special guests Breanna Less, spoken word; and Heather McElrath, vocals. Here’s a news report about Pippi, with a little bit from Will Kjeer (see Friday).

Sunday, July 31

Jazz in the Vineyard with the Doug Little Quartet @ Alexis Bailey Vineyard, Hastings. 1:30pm (Free) I can really get behind the trend of wineries having jazz on Sunday afternoons. Saxophonist/flautist Doug Little brings a quartet to this, one of the first vineyards in Minnesota, to entertain while you taste wines and have some food, either from your own picnic, or from the vineyards store.

Monday, August 1

Rodney Ruckus @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5/Student ID) In case you didn’t see him on Thursday at the Reverie or Saturday at the Black Dog, here’s your last chance to see drummer Ruckus and his group with visiting international trumpeter Aaron Janik. Aside from having Jax Ravel on bass; the lineup is the same as Thursday’s at the Reverie (above).

Tuesday, August 2

Sean Turner Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Here’s something that doesn’t happen very often, a no-cover show in the Dunsmore Room. With a trio of outstanding musicians: Sean Turner, piano; Gary Raynor, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, July 27

Jillian Rae & Eric Martin @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. noon – 1pm (Free) Violinist/Vocalist/Songwriter Jillian Rae knows how to write a country-pop song with a hook that draws you in and keeps you there. See for instance, her song Heartbeat, which is also the title tune for her CD of a couple of years back. Rae is also proficient on guitar and piano, and teaches about 40 students at The Music Lab, her own music school, in addition to playing in a number of other bands besides her own. Today she’ll be performing with husband/guitarist Eric Martin in the sunny confines of the cortile of the Landmark Center.

Stephanie Niles on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Niles is a classically trained pianist (and cellist) who performed on NPR three times by the age of seventeen. After graduating from the Cleveland Institute of Music she landed in NYC, where she began writing and developing her barrelhouse/jazz punk style. She currently makes New Orleans her home, when she’ not out touring and gigging 150 shows a year.

Radio Joe & The Jazzbos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Guitarist/crooner/songwriter Joe Demko and his swingin’ band of Jazzbos – Bruce Wintervold, vibes; Tony Guscetti, drums; Keith Boyles, bass – play music for dancing, whether it’s the “businessman’s bounce,” a simple foxtrot, or swing dancing.

Marcia Ball @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Pianist/vocalist/songwriter Ball has been nominated for a Grammy five times, and for Blues Music Awards 44 times, winning 10 of those, as well as 9 Living Blues Awards, in addition to being inducted intto the Gulf Coast Music Hall of Fame in 2010, and the Louisiana Music Hall of ‘Fame in 2012. She delivers a rollicking set of blues, R&B, and Gulf Coast inspired originals and covers. I’ve seen her more than a half dozen times, in crowded, sweaty clubs, on the Dakota’s tony stage, and at festivals, and even on a steam boat, and she delivers every time.

Thursday, July 28

Boom Boom Stevie V & the Knockouts @ Neumann’s Bar, North Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Blues harpist/vocalist Steve Vonderhar has plenty of heart. He and the Knockouts will shuffles that will have the crowd at Neumann’s trying to dance among the tables.

Friday, July 29

Soul Tight Committee @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) A ten-piece horn band that draws from 70s R&B, but will occasionally play songs from the 80s as well. Great for dancing.

Ronnie Baker Brooks @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($??) As the son of fiery blues guitarist Lonnie Brooks, Ronnie Baker Brooks  a fine guitarist in his own right, grew up watching and absorbing the sounds of some of the finest blues and R&B artists of a previous era. He’s added a bit of rock and hip-hop to his influences and playing, proving that he can keep tradition while also looking towards the future. For his latest CD, “The Torch”, he worked with producer Jellybean Johnson, the Minneapolis guitarist who collaborated with Prince and Janet Jackson (and who, BTW, has a weekly Tuesday Night gig at MMC).

Aaron Kamm & the One Drops @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($10 Advance/$12 Door) Aaron Kamm and the One Drops,  from Saint Loui,) manage to merge Roots Reggaie, Delta Blues, and soulful vocals while sometimes veering into jam-band territory. Natty Nation  from Madison, is another original band playing reggae and dub. Trichrome opens.

Saturday, July 30

Hurricane Harold’s All Star Revue @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Harold Tremblay is one of the acknowledged harpmeisters of the blues in town, with a rolodex (or phone directory) filled with blues and roots players from the area and beyond. Once a month or so, he gathers up a bunch of them to play in the All Star Revue. No matter who is playing, the band, and the audience, has fun. Here’s one edition of the All Stars.

Jimmy Thackery & The Drivers @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapoils. 9pm ($10) Rockin’ Blues guitarist Thackery is a road warrior of the first order. He played with Muddy Waters and was the co-founder of the Nighthawks, recording and performing with them between 1972 and 1987, when he left to form his own group. He put together the three-piece Drivers in 1992, and started doing 300 shows a year. Though he tours less, his fiery guitar playing still thrills blues lovers everywhere.

PaviElle @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($8 Advance, $10 Door) Vocalist PaviElle French grew up in Saint Paul’s Rondo neighborhood, and in the last couple of years has become an advocate of black soul music for the Millenial generation. She’s a fairly prolific songwriter, who has collaborated with bassist/producer/composer Casey O’Brien for this project, which was named one of First Avenue’s Best New Bands of 2015. You’ll hear her originals and a couple of surprising covers, all done with a contemporary outlook and echoes of 70’s R&B.

Sunday, July 31

Siama Matuzungidi @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Here’s a late afternoon dose of uplifting music from Congalese guitarist Siama  one of the architects of Soukous, a sensuous rhythm that fills dance floors. He’ll be joined by Dallas Johnson on vocals and percussion, and the ubiquitous washboard man, Mikkel Beckman.

Miss Myra & the Moonshiners @ Palmer’s, Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) Vintage, often sassy, jazz and barrelhouse blues, including originals by this group  featuring vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Miss Myra, who has studied with Papa John Kolstad and Dean Harrington, and the Moonshiners: Zane Fitzgerald Palmer, guitar; Dolly Dagger, drums; and Ike Heath, tuba.

Monday, Tuesday, August 1, 2

Marc & Ted Broussard Acoustic Duo @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $45) Marc Broussard is a Louisiana born singer/songwriter who is at heart, a soul singer, doing original songs. Drawing on blues, funk, and R&B, his singing and songs reflect his Southern roots. He’ll be accompanied by his father Ted.

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.


Music for Lovers and More: 2.10 – 2.16

February 10, 2016
Making a mixtape - once very romantic in some circles

Making a mixtape – once very romantic in some circles

If you want to treat your Valentine to more than a mixtape, there are a plethora of Valentine’s Day events this week, including one or two that recognize anti-Valentine sentiments. Some of them feature dinners, which certainly ups the cost, but then, Valentine’s Day is special – just ask greeting card and candy companies. Additionally, there are certainly plenty of other opportunities to hear some great music around town. I’ve just scratched the surface with these ideas. Music lifts the spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, February 10

Mary Louise Knutson/New Shoes @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm ($5 after 8pm) Sublime solo piano from Ms Knutson during the dinner hours, followed at 8pm by the former Guys All Star Shoe Band from Prairie Home Companion. They’ll be stretching out from their radio gig, as Richard Kriehn, fiddle and mandolin; Gary Raynor, bass; Joe Savage, pedal steel guitar; and Peter Johnson on drums present originals, Americana, and perhaps a few jazz tunes.

Chris Bates @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Bassist Bates is playing a series of monthly dates at Jazz Central with Joe Strachan, piano; and Matt Buckner, drums; in anticipation of recording their originals live and releasing them digitally within the next few months.

Thursday, February 11

Mack Avenue Super Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $50), 9pm ($35 – $45) Mack Avenue Records has been featuring a band of its recording artists at the Detroit Jazz Festival for the last few years. Now we get to hear them in our own town. Listen to this lineup. First off, you have the Christian McBride Trio with Christian Sands, piano; and Carl Allen, drums. Add in Gary Burton, vibes; Sean Jones, trumpet; and Tia Fuller, sax;  and you do indeed, have a Super Band.

Melody Mendis @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Mendis performs jazz, r&b, pop, blues, and international songs. She’ll be accompanied by Tom Lewis, bass; Jon de Vaal drums; and Tim Graham, piano.

Dean Magraw & Steven Hobert @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($12) Here’s a chance for folks in the western suburbs to hear the incredible artistry of guitarist Magraw and pianist Hobert. Between Hobert’s flights of fancy, and Magraws sonic improvisations, this should be a winning performance.

Lila Ammons @ The Bad Waitress, 2 East 26th Street, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm (No Cover) Andy Cohen, owner of the Bad Waitress, is also a guitarist, and he’s brought Ammons in once before. He’ll be accompanying the vocalist, along with Peter Schimke,keys; and Jim Chenowith, bass.

Friday, February 12

Friday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) The old Nicollet Cafe has been relaunched as the Reverie, but it still features jazz on Friday nights. Tonight it’s No Room for Squares, with James “Jimmyapolis” Wallace, sax; Bill Stieger, drums; Jon Pemberton, trumpet; Mikkel Romstad, piano; and Adam Tucker, bass.

Maud Hixson Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No cover) Sit in the lounge and enjoy the oh so cool, yet evocative vocals of Ms Hixson.

Peter Schimke Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($10) Pianist Schimke has toured, performed, and/or recorded with artists such as Billy Preston, Art Farmer, Tom Harrell, Mark Murphy, Frank Morgan, and many, many, more. Here he is in a quartet setting.

Saturday, February 13

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Jazz Word Jazz is a different kind of show for this series, featuring musical improvisation and poetry, a combination that’s been around almost as long as jazz itself. The band consists of Chris Bates, bass; Nathan Hanson, sax; Greg Schutte, drums; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; and Will Jensen. The poets are Jim Larson, Amy Nash and Richard Broderick. Starts at 7:00 with an instrumental set, and then the headliner sets will add the poets.

Saturday, Sunday, February 13, 14

The Crosby Clooney Story @ The Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm Saturday,  3pm Sunday ($20) Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney were best of friends. They starred in White Christmas in 1954, did three duo albums together, and performed in concert together. She was a frequent guest on his TV shows, and they hosted the Crosby Clooney show in 1960 and ’61. Crooner Arne Fogel is a well respected authority on Crosby, and often performs with Maud Hixson. They’ve done this show before to appreciative audiences, and you have two chances to catch it.

Sunday, February 14

Debbie Duncan @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 5:30pm (Dinner Show), 7:30pm – 9:30pm (No Cover) The folks at Crooners have put together a special show for Valentine’s Day. At 5:30, Debbie Duncan will appear in the Dunsmore Room. You’ll have to order dinner to hear her there. However, at 7:30pm she’ll move to the lounge, where there is no cover, and dancing will occur.

Jana Nyberg Group @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 5:30pm (3 Course Dinner Show: $50 – $55) Whether Nyberg is singing a pop ditty about buying romaine for her partner, or caressing a ballad like The Nearness of You, she imparts a youthful, and lively enthusiasm for romance, which makes her a perfect performer for couples wanting a special evening for Valentine’s Day.

Monday. February 15

Lucia Sarmiento @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Sarmiento is a saxophonist from Peru who has been studying at McNally Smith for the past couple of years and has been appearing around town in various groups. tonight, she’ll lead her own band. Here’s a promo video of her and her band.

The Jazz Implosion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis.9:30pm ($8) First set: Witch Hunt: a Tribute to Wayne Shorter, with Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Chris Bates, bass; Ted Godbout, piano; Adam Harder Nussbaum, drums; Michael Shulte, sax. Second set: Deveraux/Bates Duo: Nelson Devereaux, sax; JT Bates, drums.

Tuesday, February 16

Bill Carrothers @ The Dunsmore Room at Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($20 Minimum) Call it coincidence if you will, but Carrothers  a wonderful, almost luminous pianist, is now playing this room for the third time since it opened a couple of months ago. The clarity of the room’s 9 foot Bosendorfer piano, and the attentive quiet of the listening room audience, are no doubt part of the room’s appeal.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, February 10

Jon Rodine with Paul Bergen and Friends @ KFAI and the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Rodine is an under-appreciated singer of Blues, Americana, and R&B whose last album of originals, Last Star, has been getting some notice around the country. He’ll be joined by guitarist/vocalist Paul Bergen and his band. Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton will be join them along with Becky Kapell, and Max Ray on saxophone.

Thursday, February 11

Siama’s Afrobilly @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Once again, percussionist Mikkel Beckmen brings the singing guitar of Siama Matuzungidi to his Thursday afternoon acoustic gig. Matuzungidi’s guitar is featured on a number of soukous hits out of Africa. He’s played on four continents for a wide variety of audiences, all of whom have swayed to the sound of his evocative guitar. Dallas Johnson will join in on percussion and occasional vocals.

Friday, February 12

What’s Love Got To Do With it @ the University Club, 420 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Free, Donations accepted) A Valentine revue, led by Richard Broderick, with a cast of actors, poets, singers, storytellers, and belly dancers, with guest appearances by such famous romantics as Lord Byron and Cleopatra.

Saturday, February 13

Maurice Jacox Valentine’s Event @ The Normandy Kitchen, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Reservations are always recommended for this intimate venue, which reminds me of a midtown Manhattan bar in the 60s. Tonight, the sterling vocalist will be accompanied by two excellent guitarists: Bobby E, who may add some backing vocals from time to time, and Deano Mikkelson.

14th Annual Carnaval Brasileiro @ International Market Square, Minneapolis. 9pm ($30 Advance, $40 Door) It’s a masquerade ball, complete with Brazilian music, drummers, professional samba dancers from Sao Paulo, and artisans. New this year is the addition of Badi Assad, who will also be appearing at the Dakota tomorrow night (see below). Here’s an example of what you might encounter.

The Badinovs @ Palmer’s Bar, Minneapolis.  10pm (No Cover) This Beatles-inspired group hasn’t played out in almost a year, and it’s taken a wedding reception (open to the public) for Larry & Rachel Becker to get them on stage. There will be two or three other bands during the evening, which starts at 7pm. Word is a very special guest will play before the Badinovs. Whether you know the Beckers or not, you can take part in the reception. No gifts are needed, and you sure won’t hear the Hoky Poky or the Cha Cha Slide.

Lady Heat - They know their way around turntables

Lady Heat – They know their way around turntables

Lady Heat’s “Love Me, Love Me Not” Dance Party @ Clubhouse Jaeger, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Three lady Deejays spinning vinyl. Though the evening will be rooted in soul and funk, they are conversant with other genres and are sure to mix up “love” and “anti-love” jams for your dancing pleasure.

Sunday, February 14

The Love Show: Deluxe Edition @ O’Shaughnessy at St. Catherine’s, Saint Paul. 3pm ($28) Kevin Kling, Dan Chouinard, Bradley Greenwald, Prudence Johnson, Simone Perrin, Claudia Schmidt, and Dane Stauffer in a show that recalls the Saturday Night Variety shows from the early days of television. Here’s a recording of Chouinard and Prudence Johnson.

Willie Walker and We “R” at There Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 4pm – 8pm (No cover) Walker has been nominated for three Blues Awards for his outstanding album, If Nothing Ever Changes. His sandpaper voice gives a bit of oomph to the more romantic songs that he sings, like You Send Me. Word is, that Maurice Jacox will be joining on baritone sax for a few numbers.

Badi Assad @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm (4 Course Dinner Show: $102); 9pm (Cocktail Show: $42)  Assad is a Brazilian singer/songwriter as well as a brilliant guitarist, and percussionist, who was most recently in town at the Cedar Cultural Center las Fall. She blends pop, jazz, and world influences with traditional Brazilian music to create exciting performances, as she showed at the Dakota a couple of years ago. Her latest album, Hatched, features her take on songs by Lorde, Skillrex, and Mumford and Sons, among other contemporary artists. Twin Cities guitarist Robert Everest opens.

Music By Lovers 6th Annual Valentine’s Show @ Shaw’s Bar & Grill, NE Minneapolis. 6pm ($30/couple) Billy Larson & Lisa Wenger came up with this  concept of couples performing romantic tunes for couples. Featuring, Billy Larson & Lisa Wenger; Deb Brown & Brian Z; Peter Hennig & Rachel Holder-Hennig; and Tamara & Phil Barnett. The cover includes a sweet tasting and a glass of wine.

If I but knew the words that would unlock your heart

If I but knew the words that would unlock your heart

Victorian Poetry Slam @ James J. Hill House, 240 Summit, Saint Paul. 6pm, 7:30pm ($12) Classic 19th Century poetry performed in the drawing room of the mansion overlooking downtown Saint Paul. Actors Craig Johnson, Laura Salveson, and Ann Daly will be dressed in 1890s evening wear. Audience members are invited to bring along a Victorian poem to read aloud. Light refreshments and tours of the house will follow the performance.

Monday, February 15

Hot Club of Cowtown @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm  ($30, $35) This trio plays Western Swing with original compositions that reflect both Django Rheinhardt and early jazz, as well as Bob Wills. They’ve toured with Bob Dylan and played the Grand Ol’ Opry, as well as having appeared on Praire Home Companion.

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

 


Visitors and Friends. Music: 11.18 – 11.24

November 18, 2015
No need to gather round the radio at night just yet

No need to gather round the radio at night just yet

I’m sure that eventually, we’ll get some Minnesota-worthy winter weather, but for right now, the moderate temps we’ve been experience is just fine. One reason is that it’s easier to get out and enjoy our incredible music scene, which this week encompasses visiting artists, old friends, and new groups. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, November 18

Arne Fogel  & the Wolverines Trio @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Whether he’s singing the songs from the Great American Songbook, or those of Der Bingle and Ol Blues Eyes, Fogel will transport you back to the heyday of Martinis and cool cats in tuxedos, and what better place to hear him, accompanied by Rick Carlson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Jendeen Forberg, drums.

Sisters @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Ahh, irony as found in band names. The Sisters are actually the trumpet duo of Jake Baldwin and Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, two young lions who will explore all the tonalities and improvisational capabilities of the trumpet.

Thursday, November 19

Ron Miles & the Atrium Jazz Ensemble @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm Jeremy Walker continues the Jazz in the Atrium program at Orchestra Hall with “Looking East: New York Looms Large,” featuring the music of Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, and others who lived in New York. His special guest is NYC resident Ron Miles on trumpet, who is joined by  Jeremy Walker, piano; Chris Thomson, sax; Jeff Brueske, bass; Tim Zhorne, drums. Here is Miles with his own Quartet

Cardenas & Zuther Sing Tapestry @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Young vocalists Katia Cardenas and Sheridan Zuther both perform jazz and R&B with aplomb and style. Tonight, they are taking on the music of Carole King, specifically the Tapestry album. It was King’s first solo album, and though she was known in the industry for her songwriting skills, with hits too numerous to mention, Tapestry catapulted King to fame. They’ll be trading off songs, and doing occasional duets, accompanied by pianist Steven Hobert.

The X-Tet in Peru

The X-Tet in Peru

McNally Smith X-Tet @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Saxophonist Pete Whitman has taken his students at MacNally Smith and formed a crack band, and though it’s called an X-Tet, there are more than ten members. They’ve toured Peru, and have performed in various venues in the Twin Cities, Madison, and Chicago, while also taking first place at the Eau Claire Jazz Festival.

Friday, Novmeber 20

Founder’s Celebration @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 4pm – 11pm. (No Cover) It was a year or so ago that Crooners opened, and since then they have done a fine job of booking a winning combination of straight ahead jazz, crooners, R&B dance bands, and roots music performers. Today they gather some of their regulars and throw in the busiest international band in the Twin Cities. Things start off with singer Mia Dorr  at 4pm and continue with Patrick Allen,  Gary LaRue,  Andrew Walesch  and Debbie Duncan, with Davina & the Vagabonds taking the stage at 8pm. Check out Davina.

Cox, Greer, Healy, & Schimke @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Here’s a new combination of some of the area’s fine artists: Anthony Cox, bass; Sarah M. Greer, vocals; Corey Healy, drums, and Peter Schimke on piano.

Jana Nyberg Group @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Motherhood doesn’t seem to have slowed down Ms Nyberg too much. The teacher/vocalist brings her group, which includes trumpeter/hubby Adam Meckler, to the Vieux for an evening of jazz, pop, and R&B. He she is from a couple of years ago.

Saturday, November 21

Mama Digdown’s Brass Band and the Southside Aces @ Pepito’s Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($16.50) It’s a night of New Orleans’ music at the Chicago Avenue theater. The Aces take on traditional jazz, such as that of Louis Armstrong, along with their own versions of Duke Ellington tunes. They’ll be joined by special guests, the Beaujolais Sisters, who will pay homage to the music of the Boswell Sisters, and by chanteuse Vieno Paurus, who was well received at last year’s event. Mama Digdown, from Madison, take the brass band concept and infuse it with funky, modern beats. It’s an approach that has earned them worldwide tours and acclaim.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($Tip Jar) Things get off to a swinging start at 7pm with the youngish Evan Benidt Group with Benidt, sax; Ted Olsen, bass; Lars-Erik Larson, drums. At 8:30pm it’s time for the return of What Would Monk Do?, the AQ group that wowed everyone a couple of weeks back: Kenny Horst, drums; Peter Schimke, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Steve Kenny, Flumpet.

JazzMN Orchestra @ Hopkins High School, 2400 Lindbergh Drive, Minnetonka. 7:30pm ($35, $37. Students $10, $20) This big band, with highly talented musicians, will provide as history of jazz and an overview of its styles and genres as they perform Jazz Through the Decades

Sunday, Monday, November 22, 23

Karrin Allyson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40), 9pm ($25, $30) Vocalist Allyson can sing bop, bossa novas, blues, standards, and Coltrane, but right now, she’s concentrating on the music of Rogers and Hammerstein. Her latest album, “Many A New Day,” contains her version of their songs from productions such as South Pacific, Oklahoma, and The King & I. She’s accompanied on the album, which received a four star review in Downbeat, by Kenny Barron on piano and John Patitucci on bass. Listen to a cut from the album.

Tuesday, November 24

Dave Karr Quartet @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7p,m (No Cover) Outstanding Bebop and Straight Ahead Jazz from a master of the saxophone and flute. He’ll be accompanied by the crack rhythm section of Chris Lomheim, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, 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.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, November 18

Rockin’ Johnny & Jeremy Johnson on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The House Party is presenting Chicago guitarist Rockin’ Johnny Burgin, along with resident guitarist/drummer Jeremy Johnson. Rockin’ Johnny has toured with Sam Lay and Pinetop Perkins, recorded for Delmark, and has become an in-demand guitarist for recordings by such folk as Billy Boy Arnold, Tail Dragger, Paul DeLay and others. Johnson may be best known in town for his incisive playing with Big George Jackson. Tune in and if you like what you hear, then head over to the 331 Club. Here’s what he sounds like.

Lonesome Dan Kase @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (No cover) The Vieux is doing a good job of bringing in solo and duet artists early in the evening, while some folks may be dining on gumbo, muffalettas, or po boys. Case in point is Lonesome Dan Kase  performing traditional blues and hollers, and fingerpicking Piedmont style.

Thursday, November 19

Rockin Pinecones @ The Eagles Club, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 10:30pm ($5) The Pinecones present New Orleans R&B, along with some Cajun, Zydeco, and Swamp Pop, for your dancing pleasure.

Carminho and Sara Tavares @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45 – $55) A double bill of world music. Sara Tavares is a singer-songwriter from Cape Verdean, while Carminho is a fado singer from Portugal. Both have beautiful voices capable of stirring your emotions. Here’s Carnimho.

Unknown-3International Reggae All-Stars @ JJ Hill Library, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) The beautiful reading room at JJ Hill will reverberate with the snaky beats of Reggae. The International Reggae All-Stars, with members from Venezuela, Trinidad, Liberia, St. Croix, and Jamaica, come over to Saint Paul perform in the second of a series of world music concerts.

Friday, November 20

Cactus Blossoms @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($25) Red House Records presents the Cactus Blossoms  who perform close-knit harmonies that could only come from brothers, of original country songs you would swear were released in the 50s or 60s, along with a few that are actually from that era.

Saturday, November 21

Willy Murphy and Curtiss A & Dark Click @ Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. 6pm ($5) A double-bill of bluesy, rockin’ veterans sure to get your blood pumping in the best of ways. Murphy is on at 6pm, while the “Dean of Scream” and his blues-oriented Dark Click perform at 8pm. Listen to Curtiss and the Click

Kelly Hunt @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25), 9pm ($20) This piano playing blueswoman is so popular here in the Twin Cities that she’s performing here on a regular basis. The Kansas City native can tell a heckuva story in song, and her high energy piano playing rollicks with the best of them.

Sambra Oilor: the Music of Romania @ Celtic Junction, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15) The debut performance of a new band featuring Katrina Mundinger playing a taregot, an Eastern European woodwind instrument that’s integral to Romanian music. There will be dance lessons at 7:30, followed by live music at 8:15. Mundinger is a founding member of Orkestar Bez Ime, so there’s a good possibility the dancing will be lively, if not downright raucous.

John Nemeth @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Soul Blues from harp-slinger Nemeth, an award-winning Memphis musician who brings a fresh, energized perspective to his music.

Ready for Rhythm

Ready for Rhythm

Paul Cebar’s Tomorrow Sound @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) The Neon Lights, the Wooden Dance Floor, the Elvis Liquor Bottles. They all provide the perfect ambience for enjoying the highly danceable mixture of R&B, Latin Rhythms, and witty wordplay of Paul and his bandmates.

Sunday, November 22

Pat Donahue & Dan Newton @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 4pm (Free) Here’s a delightful way to spend a Sunday afternoon, with ace guitarist Pat Donahue and ace accordion player Dan Newton  Both are quite versatile and adapt at a number of styles, so it’s hard to say what they’ll be doing, but they’ll probably play some blues, some swing, and even some country, but rest assured, it will be fun.

Tuesday, November 24

fDeluxe @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) This benefit for the Southdale YMCA give you a chance to dig the classic Minneapolis Sound of fDeluxe, which started out as The Family some 30 years ago. They only  performed one concert, and recorded one album back then, yet had two worldwide smashes, while Sinead O’Conner had a 1990 hit with their tune Nothing Compares 2U.  They reunited in 2009 with a new name, and have played a number of high profile gigs since then. Members include: Susannah Melvoin, Paul Peterson, Eric Leeds, and Jellybean Johnson.

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


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