Visiting Artists Galore: 9.12 – 9.18

September 12, 2018

Nancy Harms – photo by Lisa Venticinque

Well, this week over half of my suggestions are for visiting artists, though two of them have Twin cities roots. That’s not to say that resident musicians should be ignored, since many go on to achieve some national renown, such as Nancy Harms. It’s all good, since Music Lifts the Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, September 12

A Sound Decision @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10/$5 with Student ID) Another of Chris Bates’ new collaborations, featuring: Thomas Nordlund, guitar; Joe Strachan, piano; Kismat Shrestha, drums; Kristy Bergmark, tablas; and Chris Bates on basses.

Thursday, September 13

Marilyn Scott & the West Coast All-Stars @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35, $40) Vocalist Scott has been performing and recording for over four decades, as both leader and collaborator. She’s worked with folks like Spyro Gyra, The Yellowjackets, Tower of Power, Bobby Womack, and Etta James. There’s a good reason her band is called the West Coast All-Stars: she’ll be accompanied by pianist Russell Ferrante, of the Yellowjackets; ex-Yellowjacket Jimmy Haslip on bass; as well as well-traveled musicians guitarist James Harrah and drummer Gary Novak.

Kind Folk CD Release @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($15, $10w/Student ID) Kind Folk is a group of musicians who have all received praise from the NY Times, Downbeat, Jazz Times, and other reviewers. Together, they make up Kind Folk: Trumpeter/ fleugelhonist John Raymond, a Twin Cities native; NYC based artists Alex LoRe, alto; Noam Wiesenberg, bass; and Colin Stranahan, drums. Their new CD features mostly original compositions by group members.

Saturday, September 15

Saturday Night Jazz @ the Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm: JazzINK Youth showcase, with Below Zero – Noah Wilhiter, tenor sax; Jacob Rochelle-Share, trombone; August McKinney, piano; Jorgen Linne, bass; Nick Adams, drums. 8:30pm: The Joan Hutton Jazz Project – Joan Hutton & David Milne, woodwinds; Joan Griffith, bass; Laura Caviani, piano; and Jendeen Forberg, drums.

Pete Whitman’s Urban Nature @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door)   This is the opening performance of the Jazz at Studio Z series, tonight featuring saxman Pete Whitman’s new group, and it’s a great one: with Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Chris Lomheim, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Phil Hey on drums. There will be two sets, as well as a free master class led by Whitman at 6pm. Advance tickets here.

Nancy Harms @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20, $25) Vocalist Harms, who graced the Twin Cities with her music for a few years before moving to NYC, returns with a concert of original music, including songs from SHE, her upcoming album, as well as songs she wrote in Denmark during one of her recent tours.

Sunday, September 16

The Hot Sardines @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm, 8pm ($35, $40, $45) The Hot Sardines mine the “Hot Jazz” tradition with verve and panache. With a four-piece horn section, a sense of humor, energy to burn, occasional French songs, and plenty of bluesy licks, they’re much fun and will leave you wanting more.

Sunday, Monday, September 16, 17

Ethan Iverson & Mark Turner @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm Sunday, 7:30pm Monday ($25, $30) Two pre-eminent jazz musicians collaborate on the intimate stage at the Dunsmore Room. Pianist, composer, and writer Ethan Iverson may be best known for his 17 years with The Bad Plus, but also regularly works with jazz masters such as Billy Hart, Tootie Heath, and Ron Carter. Saxophonist Turner moved to NYC after graduating from Berklee in 1990. He quickly became a sought-after collaborator and sideman, and recorded 5 albums as a leader between 1995 and 2001. Though he took time off from recording for parenthood, he still performed and collaborated, returning to recording in 2013. He released the well-received Lathe of Heaven last year, with Avishai Cohen, trumpet; Joe Martin, bass; and Marcus Gilmore, drums.

Monday, September 17

Nelson Devereaux @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm *$10, $5w/Student ID) Saxophonist Nelson Devereaux is a bright light on the Twin Cities music scene, appearing in a number of bands, and leading his own combos as he is tonight, when he’ll be joined by Joe Strachan, piano; Ted Olsen, bass; Miguel Hurtado, drums, and from Long Beach CA, saxophonist Eric Hirschorn.

Tuesday, September 18

Butch Thompson & Dean Magraw @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) Just because they play the Vieux with some regularity, doesn’t mean you should put off seeing these two masters tonight. Thompson  on piano and clarinet, and Magraw on guitar are among the finest, and most popular musicians in town.

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

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, September 12

RJ Mischo on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The “King of the Mighty Good Time” will help you forget your troubles as he sings and plays a mean, mean harp. If you can’t make it to the 331 Club, catch Mischo at Famous Dave’s on Saturday. Here’s a video with Jeremy Johnson on guitar, who will be accompanying Mischo on both drums and guitar.

Jesse Colin Young @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. ($45, $55, $65) “C’mon people now, smile on your brother, everybody get together, try to love one another right now.”  Hear that song and many others from Young’s 15 solo albums and 40-odd years in music.

Thursday, September 13

David Babb & Mikkel Beckmen Folk It Up@ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 8pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist/singer Babb, of the Front Porch Swinging Liquor Pigs, and washboard percussionist Beckmen, host of Thursday afternoons at the Dubliner and member of numerous bands, will entertain this afternoon.

Friday, September 14

Joyann Parker Band @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Parker is a multi-instrumentalist blues singer whose recent album, Hard to Love, has been well received by reviewers at Blues Magazine, Cashbox, Living Blues, and Downbeat, more signs of her rising star power.

Saturday, September 15

Wanaku @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11am (No Cover) Have brunch and enjoy the melodic, rhythmic, and sensuous/swaying music of guitarist Wanaku, who grownup in KOM, a tribal kingdom in the grassfield highlands of the Adamawa range in West Africa. With dozens of tribes the region, Wanaku was exposed to multi-cultural traditions growing up, from which he draws inspiration, as reflected his songs, sung  in a number of different languages.

Chuck Brodsky @ The Gingko, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15) Guitarist/singer/songwriter Brodsky has worked as a migrant fruit picker, ice cream truck driver, laborer at an Israeli Kibbutz, bank courier, and street singer. All of which has given him an ability to write songs which have a down to earth, quirky, character filled with keen observations.

Ben Glaros @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) From his 80s days in the new wave Tone Poets, to recent work with Fathom Lane, versatile guitarist Glaros has incorporated influences from Jimi Hendrix and Paul Westerberg, to John Coltrane and Gram Parsons into his work. In 2016 he released three EPs – the power pop Celebrated Summerteenth and two furious punk rockers with his trio Dump Trunk. Glaros is re-emerging after taking over a year time to woodshed and write, and will be performing new songs and new sounds.

Hoven Droven w/Aar Maanta @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($30) To open its Annual Global Roots Festival, the Cedar has brought in one of the Twin Cities favorite Cedar artists – Hoven Droven. This Swedish band melds folk music melodies from Sweden with the energy and intensity of a power pop/heavy metal band. They even recorded an album there, Jumping at the Cedar, which was nominated for a Swedish Grammy. Opening is the Cedar’s Resident Artist, Aar Maanta, a Somali singer who makes for a combination just right for the beginning the Cedar’s 30th Season.

Monday, September 17

Harold Lopez-Nussa Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) Cuban-born Lopez-Nussa is one of a long line of amazing Cuban pianists. He was featured on the album Ninety Miles, with David Sanchez, Christian Scot, and Stefon Harris. He holds a dual citizenship in both Cuba and France, while his latest album, Un Dia Cualqueria, was recorded in the U.S. and includes influences from both our country and his.

Tuesday, Wednesday, September 18, 219

John Oates @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $50, $55) You may know Rock N’ Roll Hall of Famer John Oates as half of Hall & Oates, but you probably don’t know of his love for Americana music. He’ll demonstrate his love for the genre with songs from the recently released album Arkansas, backed by The Good Road Band: Russ Paul, pedal steel; Guthrie Trapp, guitar; Steve Mackey, bass; and Josh Day, drums.

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.

 

 

 


A Week Filled with Music: 6.20 – 6.26

June 20, 2018

Well this is a big week for jazz lovers as the Twin Cities Jazz Festival takes place this weekend. There are links to my guide and the Jazz Fest official schedule in today’s post. Blues and roots fans have plenty to be happy about as well, what with the Devon Allman Project coming to town, along with Jesse Colin Young, and the Verve Pipe. Enjoy yourself. Music Lifts the Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, June 20

Mateusz Smoczynski Solo @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($15, $ w/Valid Student ID) Smoczynski has been touring the world with the Turtle Island Quartet, playing violin and baritone violin. He was named the best jazz violinist of 2017 by Jazz Forum, European Magazine, and is currently touring behind his album, Metamorphoses, which contains his original compositions inspired by classical music, jazz, and both Polish and American folk music.

Jim Rotondi/Eric Alexander & Dave Hazeltine Quintet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($30) Shades of the old Artist’s Quarter! Trumpeter Rotondi, saxophonist Alexander, and pianist Hazeltine were all regulars at the AQ, and are reuniting with AQ owners Kenny Horst on drums and Billy Peterson on bass. Expect a bunch of hard bop staples along with a few originals. Here are Rotondi, Alexander, and Hazeltine in the group one For All.

Ghost-Note @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35, $40) Robert Spot Starlight and Nate Werth have won multiple Grammys, and are known for their work with Snarky Puppy. For this project, they’ve enlisted some friends with vast experience in some funky groups to present music influenced by James Brown, J Dilla, and grooves from West Africa, Brazil, and Afro-Cuban sources.

Thursday, June 21

Sam Miltich  & Briand Morrison @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Advance/$12 Door) Two guitar masters interweave lead and rhythm parts while swinging Traditional and Gypsy Jazz.

Thursday – Saturday, June 21-23

Twin Cities Jazz Festival @ Various Stages and Venues, Saint Paul. This year’s headliners are well-established mainstream acts: Saxophonist Houston Person w/The Emmett Cohen Trio on Friday (see my interview with Emmett Cohen at http://jazzpolice.com. Saturday’s headliners start with Saxophonist Tia Fuller, who has received accolades for her playing, composing, and teaching, and also happens to be Beyonce’s music director. Vocalist Dee Dee Bridgwater closes out the Main Stage on Saturday, performing the music of Memphis, her home town. She’s won three Grammys and a Tony, and in 2017 was named a Jazz Master. You should’ve received my guide in Tuesday’s email, or you can check it out on-line here. Of special note is Javier Santiago, appearing on the Main Stage Friday at 4pm. This performance marks the release of his CD Phoenix. The official schedule, along with bios on the headliners and all other performers can be found here.

Friday, June 22

Jake Baldwin Trio @ The Lexington, Saint Paul. 7pm (No cover) Trumpeter Baldwin is a “young lion” of the area’s jazz community, though the music that he plays at the Lex is well-suited to an audience that’s just looking for background music, those who pay a little attention will be delighted.

Saturday, June 23

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 4pm It’s a whole day’s worth of Jazz at the Black Dog as part of the Jazz Fest. See the Fest’s schedulefor details.

Sunday, June 24

MN Hard Bop Collective @ 56 Brewing, Minneapolis. 4pm – 7pm (Tip Jar?) Drummer Jesse Simon rounds up some like-minded players to perform new interpretations of hard bop standards from the 50s and 60s.,

Connie Evingson: Ella Fitzgerald’s Johnny Mercer Songbook @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 5pm ($20) This time Evingson uses her silken voice to interpret Johnny Mercer songs from the Ella Fitzgerald songbook.

Monday, June 25

Hoaxer @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) This collective quartet of young musicians includes Will Kjeer, piano; Peter Goggin, alto; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Edmund Caitlin, drums. Their 2017 debut album, Crash Test, shows a musical maturity beyond their years, withinfluences that range from jazz standards to rock, avant-garde, electronica and more. Here’s a short clip of Peter Goggin soloing with the band.

Tuesday, June 26

Will Kjeer Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) Though he’s only 20 years old, pianist Will Kjeer has been playing professionally since high school, building a solid reputation as an improvisor and composer. He’ll be accompanied by two other sterling young musicians; Charlie Lincoln bass; and Ben Erlich, drums.

Joey DeFrancesco @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25-$40) The best organ player on the planet returns to Crooners, this time in the enlarged lounge space. The Chicago Tribune said of DeFrancesco  “He has dominated the instrument and the field as no one of his generation has.”

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

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, June 20

Cooker John Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Folkie/Bluesman Cooker John plays solo, or occasionally in a duo setting nowadays, but back in the 90s he played in a band with Ben Kaplan, Dan Neale, and Bill Grenke, who are reuniting with John for this appearance.

Crankshaft & The Gear Grinders @ Como Park Observatory, Saint Paul. 6pm (Free) Picnic on the grass outside the Conservatory while Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders play adrenalin-fueled blues. Plenty for kids to do, as well.

Thursday, June 21

Steeling Dan @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) If you didn’t make it to Steely Dan at the Excel last Friday, you can catch this 13 piece band, which is what it takes to present the music.

Friday, June 22

The Music of Carole King, Joni Mitchell, & Carly Simon @ Crooners’ Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25, $30) Three excellent singers – Deb Brown, Rachel Holder, and Jana Anderson – tackle some classic tunes by three outstanding female singer/songwriters.

The Verve Pipe Acoustic @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) This Michigan-based, multi-platinum alt rock band scored a #1 hit with The Freshmen in 1996, and also charted with the radio hits, Photograph, HeroHappiness Is, and Never Let You Down. They’ve released 8 albums, including two family/kids records, as well as a couple of EPs and compilation albums. This acoustic performance is a rarity for a club.

Blue Book @ Nielsen’s Sports Bar & Grill, 4851 West 123rd Street, Savage. 9pm (No Cover) If you cross the Minnesota River and head to Savage tonight, you’ll get to see a new blues band put together by Steve Clarke, sax & vocals. It features John Della Selva, guitar; Maurice Jacox, sax and vocals; John Kozoil, piano; Dik Hedlund, bass; and Brad Steine, drums. Their repertoire includes classic blues and soul.

Saturday, June 23

The Devon Allman Project w/Duane Betts @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($40,$45, $55) So what we have here are the sons of Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts giving us the next generation of Southern Rock: two guitars, burbling percussion, and a heavy blues and soul influence. Our very own Nicholas David is part of this tour, which generally includes some Allman Brothers tunes in the encore.

Sunday, June 24

Gang of Mischief @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 4pm-8pm (Tip Jar) This all-acoustic aggregation consists of Papa John Kolstad, Doug Otto, Albert Perez, and Dan Schwalbe on guitars; Mike Caravale, upright bass; and Hurricane Harold, harmonica.

Phil Heywood & Tim Sparks @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6:30pm – 9pm ($20 Suggested donation to the artists) Two Championship Fingerpickers get together, with stunning results.

Tuesday, June 26

Jesse Colin Young @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55, $65) “Come on People Now, Smile on Your Brother, Everybody Get Together, Try to Love One Another Right Now.” Jesse Colin Young is known for more than that anthem from 1967 – he has prospered and received acclaim as a singer/songwriter – but for those who were active during the Summer of Love, Get Together, by the Youngbloods, with Young singing lead, will always be the song that comes to mind when his name is mentioned. The sentiment of the song is still relevant some 51 years later.

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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