Well, in spite of the snowstorm of the last few days, Spring is approaching, days are getting longer, and Daylight Savings Time will begin this weekend. We have a good balance of visiting and resident artists appearing for our pleasure, a special Birthday residency by a jazz legend, and three nights of Latin Dancing on the calendar. Soo… get out and hear some music – it lifts our spirits.
Wednesday, March 7
Cecile McLoren Salvant @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $45), 9pm ($30, $37) Vocalist Salvant sings unique and often little known songs, from the early 20s onward, to her own originals. Singing in English, French, and Spanish, she has an elastic voice and unerring improvisation, as well as a command of various styles, and seems to be in line to build on the legacies of Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn, and Ella Fitzgerald.
Red Planet w/Bill Carrothers @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15, $22) Bill Carrothers is a highly regarded pianist who grew up in Saint Paul and now lives in the UP of Michigan, close enough to perform at the Dunsmore Room every few months. Red Planet is a fusion trio that brings taste and imagination to the genre, thanks to members Dean Magraw, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. The four released an album late last summer that received four stars from Downbeat.
Thursday – Sunday
Charles Lloyd’s 80th Birthday Residency @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($55 – $125) This may be the hot ticket of the year, as sax master Charles Lloyd leads three different groups over the course of four nights. Britt Robson wrote an enlightening article in Tuesday’s Star Tribune describing the groups and how Lloyd chose the Dakota to celebrate his 80th birthday. You can read it here. Here is one of the groups – appearing Friday and Saturday.
Thursday, March 8
Erin Livingston @ Jazz Central, Minnreapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Vocalist Livingston, who sometimes appears with the Parisota Hot Club, will be performing jazz standards accompanied by her music director Marc Ziegenhagen on piano.
Le Percheron @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Le Percheron is led by bassist Adam Linz, and features up and coming young lions Levi Schwartsberg on vibes; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin on cornet, and Corey Healy on drums. They create music that is at once accessible and adventurous.
Friday, March 9
Wall Smashers Organ Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) This is a new trio led by the fine multi-keyboardist Steven Hobert, with Jax Ravel, bass; and LA Buckner, drums.
Saturday, March 10
Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7:00pm Opening Set: Three Faces: Joe Mayo, saxes; Dave Graf, trombone; Michael Gold, bass, and Rick Nair on drums. Headlining at 8:30 pm: The Jax Ravel Gang: Jax Ravel, bass: Joe Strachan, Piano; Nelson Devereaux, saxes, and Miguel Hurtado, drums. Here’s Ravel with some bass soloing.
JazzMN Orchestra: The Commission Project @ Hopkins High School, 2400 Lindbergh Drive, Minnetonka. 7:30pm ($31,$38) The JazzMN Orchestra is a 7- piece band, with a number of the area’s best musicians. Tonight’s program is The Commission Project, featuring the premier of new works by John Wasson – A Minnesota native and award-winning composer, conductor and performer, whose arrangement of “Caravan” was featured in the movie Whiplash; David Berger – Conductor and arranger for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in NYC; and resident artists Dean Sorenson, Director of Jazz Studies at the U of MNH; and Adam Meckler, a vibrant trumpeter, educator, and leader of the Adam Meckler Orchestra. The evening also includes guest vocalist Andrew Walesch. Here’s the Orchestra with a classic.
Tuesday, March 13
Maud Hixson: Moon River & Mercer @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Once again, Ms Hixson has hit upon a perfect theme to showcase her warm, sophisticated vocals, this time celebrating the music of Johnny Mercer, lyricist and composer responsible for such songs as Fools Rush In, That Old Black Magic, the lyrics to Skylark, Satin Doll, Summer Wind, and of course, Moon River. She’ll be joined by her frequent pianist, the ever tasteful Rick Carlson. Here she is doing a song from early 20th Century.
Melissa Aldana @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 7pm ($20) Tenor Saxophonist Aldana left her native Chile in 2007 to study at Berklee school of music. In 2009 she moved to New York, where she apprenticed with Greg Osby and George Coleman, among others. In 2013 she became the first female instrumentalist (and the first South American) to win the Thelonious Monk Competition. Her influences include Sonny Rollins, Don Byas, Gene Ammons, and Chris Potter. She’ll be appearing with her chordless trio – Pablo Menares, bass; and Jochen Ruekert, drums.
Tuesday, Wednesday, March 12, 13
Jose James: Lean On Me @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $0, $5) Soulful, elegant vocalist, and Minneapolis native, James is a rising star in the jazz firmament. He’s flexible enough to have performed with performed with Chico Hamilton and the electronica artist Flying Lotus, and has released four well-received albums, including a tribute to Billie Holiday. For this show, he celebrates the music of Bill Withers (with Withers blessing) accompanied by his band: Brad Allen Williams, guitar; Sulllivan Fortner, keys; Ben Williams, bass, and Nate Smith, drums, all of whom have stellar resumes.
Blues, Roots, Other…
Wednesday, March 7
Pistol Whippin’ Part Penguins on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This 5-piece string band features 2 guitars, a mandolin, a bucket of fiddles, an upright bass, a banjo, and a 4 part vocal harmony. They’re preparing to record their fourth album of folk, rock, blues, and bluegrass. Listen in and head to the 331 Club if you like what you hear.
Thursday, March 8
Brazlian Night @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($10, $15) The Dunsmore Room will be taken over by the sensuous rhythms of Brazilian music as performed by Lucia Newell, a vocalist who spent two years performing with Brazilian artists in Rio, accompanied by Clea Galhano, a renowned recorder player from Brazil, Joan Griffith on guitar, and Gordy Johnson on bass. A rare opportunity.
Joanne Shaw Taylor @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($40 Advance/$45 Door) The UK’s hot blues rock guitarist/singer finally makes her way to the U.S. and Twin Cities after touring world-wide and breaking out with appearances on Jools Holland’s TV show and rave reviews for her album Wild.
Friday, March 9
Salsa del Soul @ Dayblock Brewing, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) I‘m not sure if this is in the tap room or upstairs in the ballroom, which seems a more appropriate place to handle the outpouring of dancers whenever this 9-piece band plays its repertoire of Latin rhythms.
Saturday, March 10
Chino Latino Jazz Project @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7-10pm ($12, $7w/Student ID) This 7 -piece Latin Jazz ensemble will turn the basement club into a dance studio, with a free latin dance lesson at the beginning of the evening, and a special dance demonstration by professionals from the Arthur Murray dance studio.
RRDB Fest Pre-Party @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($9 Advance, $12 door) It’s a night of blues-stompin’music as the Hook unveils the line-up for the 8th Annual Roots, Rock, and Deep Blues Festival taking place July 14th. Tonight’s line-up features alumni of past RRDB Festivals, including resident stalwarts Javier Matos, and Jeff Ray & Hurricane Harold, Colimbia MOs punk blues trio The Flood Brothers, and Kent Burnside, singer/songwriter and grandson and keeper of the flame of RL Burnside and his music.
Dee Miller Band @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Foot Stompin’ good time blues from Ms Miller and band, two time winners of the Minneapolis Battle of the Blues Bands.
Sunday, March 11
Heatwave & Landman @ Como Park Conservatory, Saint Paul. 4:30pm – 6:30pm (Free) Heawave is Chris “Heatwave” Holm, and Landman is Mark “Landman” Larson, both of whom were the original rhythm section for 4ontheFloor. Today they’ll fill the warm wonderfully humid confines of the conservatory with Delta blues, British invasion pop, and a bit of garage rock.
Tuesday, March 13
Charanga Tropical @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) This is the third Latin Dance gig in five days, this time featuring Cuban Danzones, as well as well as modern salsa, originals, and other Latin dance rhythms. The Icehouse usually removes tables to make room for the dancers that flock to this band.
Wednesday, March 14
D.O.A.: A Rite of Passage @ Trylon Microcinema, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) This 1980 Rockumentary about the beginning of punk follows the 1978 American tour of the Sex Pistols, (after which they broke up) and also includes fiery performances by X-Ray Spex, Generation X with Billy Idol, Sham 69, and the Dead Boys. It also includes one of the last interviews recorded with Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen, three months before their deaths. Here’ the film’s trailer.