Dads, Solstice, Music: 6.15 – 6.21

June 15, 2016
It's Back to the 50s at the State Fairgrounds

It’s Back to the 50s at the State Fairgrounds

We’ll be celebrating Solstice next Tuesday, the longest day of the year. It’s also Make Music Day in the Twin cities, as I note below. Coming up this weekend is Father’s Day and the Stone Arch Bridge Festival, with car shows and music, and The Back to the 50s Car Show at the State Fairgrounds. Lotsa reasons to get out and about. Have a good week and remember, Music Lifts the Spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 15

Chieli Minucci & Special EFX, featuring Eric Marienthal and Lao Tizer @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35), 9pm ($25, $30) Guitarist Chieli MInucci and drummer George Jinda started Special EFX, a world fusion group, for want of a better term, that, with the help of guest artists, created radio-friendly jazz into the late 90s. Jinda died in 2001 and Minucci carries on, this time with the help of saxophonist Eric Marienthal, who was a member of the Chick Corea Elektric Band for 6 CDs, and has performed with any number of superstars. Keyboardist Lao Tizer provides a modern take on jazz fusion ala Return to Forever and the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

Thursday, June 16

Wolverines Trio @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 7pm – 11:30pm. ($5) The folks at the new Viking are creating the occasional surprise in booking, as with this date, when the Wolverines Trio will get on the expanded stage and play.

Photos by Andrea Canter

Photos by Andrea Canter

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) What Would Monk Do?, Modern interpretations of Thelonious Monk, with Peter Schimke, piano; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; Billy Peterson, bass; and Kenny Horst, drums.

 

Friday, June 17

Jon Pemberton @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) Pemberton is a pianist and trumpeter who will provide music during dinner hour, rather than “dinner music.” After all, the New Orleans vibe, not to mention the food, calls for some playfulness.

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) This version of the Fellows is simply a trio, with Lynch on bass and vocals, Chris Beaty on guitar, and Peter Vircks on saxophone. Music from the 30s to 60s, delivered with élan in the lounge of a D’Amico restaurant.

Donald Washington Group @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Reed Master Donald Washington is joined by trumpeter Ryan Nether, bassist Dick Studer, and drummer Kevin Washington for thoughtful improvised music.

Dean Magraw & Marcus Wise @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 Student ID) Guitarist Magraw and tabla player Wise have been musical partners for over 30 years, creating music that is sublime, no matter what the rhythm.

Wozniak/Harris Quartet @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Zacc Harris, guitar; and Brandon Wozniak, sax; step back from many of the 21st Century groups in which they play, and pay attention to the standards that instilled in them a love of jazz. No word on who else will be in the band, but given their circle of musical partners, the results will be oh so fine.

Saturday, June 18

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) At 7pm it’s an opening band courtesy of the JazzINK Youth Showcase: The young but very capable band of the Will Schmid Group with Schmid, guitar; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Ben Ehrich, drums. At 8:30, it’s the Babatunde Lea Group led by the  conguero/drummer/percussionist.

Hard Bop Collective @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID)  The Hard Bop Collective: Pete Whitman, sax; Geoff Senn, trumpet; Levi Schwartzberg, piano; Shigefumi Tomita, bass; Jesse Simon, drums will deliver the music of folks like Benny Golson, Cedar Walton, Hank Mobley and others.

Isak Gaines Group featuring DeCarlo Jackson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9pm, – 11pm ($1-, $5 w/Student ID) New York based Isak Gaines has played at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Paramount theater in Seattle, land jazz festivals in Italy and France. He recently toured Brazil with the New York Youth Symphony Jazz Band. His 8-piece group recently won the Downbeat Student Music Award for their debut recording Bits and Pieces. Playing with the group tonight is our very own fine young trumpeter/bassist DeCarlo Jackson, who has been gigging around town after a couple of years studying at the University of Manitoba.

Sunday, June 19

NY Meets MN @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Two groups: The Will Kjeer Summer Band features Kjeer on piano, along with Stephanie Wieseler on sax; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. I’m lucky enough to have recently heard each of these talented young musicians, though not together. From New York we have the Lucas Kadish Collective, with Kadish, guitar; Devon Gillingham on bass and Connor Parks on percussion, with special guest Zosha Warpeha on violin. Though Zosha is from Pine City, she, like her fellow New Yorkers, has been studying at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. I believe this will be a fine evening of jazz.

Monday, June 20

David Hazeltine & Eric Alexander @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $50 Dinner), 9pm ($15, $45 Dinner) So, we have two of the most respected jazz artists in the country stopping by to play for us. Who knows what will ensue when a brilliant pianist (Hazeltine) and outstanding bebopper (Alexander on tenor) meet in a listening room overlooking a lake?

Canadian Girlfriend @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 Student) Well, the Calendar for Jazz Central says Canadian Girlfriend, but the description is for Improvestra, a local improvising orchestra with some real heft. They draw from a pool of 150 played to create a group of 10 to 25 for each performance. Further, their music is “groove oriented with a slight variation into the classical and cinematic worlds.” Really, that’s what the description said. So I don’t know if Canadian Girlfriend is the name of the show, an opera, or an opus, but it sounds intriguing

Tuesday, June 21

David Hazeltine/Eric Alexander Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $50 Dinner), 9pm ($15, $45 Dinner) After Hazeltine and Alexander warmed up last night (see above), they’re adding Billy Peterson on bass; and Kenny Horst on drums. What 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, June 15

Machinery Hill on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 70m (331 Club – Tip Jar) There hasn’t been much farm machinery on the State Fair’s Machinery Hill for decades now, but the quintet named for the areal carries on, with its mix of old time folk music, along with touches of ska, klezmer, celtic and other musics.

Crankshaft & The Gear Grinders @ Como Conservatory, Saint Paul. 5:30pm (Free) You want roots rock, blues, & even some country, delivered up with the kind of energy once reserved for punk bands. There are activities for kids, while grownups can spread a blanket and have a picnic while gearing up for Crankshaft.

Thursday, June 16

Paul Mayasich Hot Seat w/Bruce McCabe, John Franken, and John Iden @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley (No Cover) Mayasich is a talented and well-respected guitar player, who invites other musicians to share the stage and play some music together. Tonight it’s Bruce McCabe on keys; John Franken on guitar; and John Iden on bass. I don’t think they’ll have much trouble catching the attention of the audience.

Friday, June 17

Jon Rodine & Friends @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 9:00pm ($5) Rodine is such a fine singer that he never has any trouble finding excellent players to back him up. Paul Bergeron opens.

Saturday, June 18

Roots Double Header @ The Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover), 9pm ($12) Nikki Roux and Rich Rue provide clarion vocals and stinging slide guitar to blues, folk, and folk-rock numbers at 6pm, while finger-picker Pat Donahue, who is one of the many fine fingerpickers in this region, not to forget he’s also a fine and composer, gets on stage at 9pm

Lucky Losers @ Shaws, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Phil Berkowitz and Cathy Lemons are Bay Area musicians who took to working together in 2012. Harpist/Vocalist Berkowitz covers a broad swath of sales, from West Coast Swing to New Orleans R&B and even a bit of country blues. Vocalist Lemons recording with Anson Funderburgh while she was coming up in Dallas, and has worked with john Lee Hooker, Tommy Castro, and others. She’s released four albums. This is their first tour of the Upper Midwest, and they’ll have a trio playing guitar, bass & drums with them.

Sunday, June 19

Charlie Parr @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (17, $22) Blues from Minnesota, that sounds like it’s been sucked up the Mississippi from the Delta. Parr has put more that 200,000 miles on his Kia, doing 250 shows a year. He’s possessed, in a totally good way, with blues lovers as beneficiaries.

Monday, Tuesday, June 20, 21

Edgar Winter @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $65, $75) Edgar Winter’s White Trash, the songs Frankenstein, Free Ride. This of you of a certain age may have flashbacks on hearing the songs, which dominated the airwaves in 1973, thanks to the album They Only Come Out At Night, which hit number 3 on the charts. With his brother Johnny Winter, Edgar learned much about music growing up in Texas, and still has plenty to say.

Tuesday, June 21

Make Music Twin Cities@ Various Locations. All Day. (No Cost) Make Music Day is a worldwide celebration of music, in which music makers of all stripes play in various places throughout a city, not necessarily in nightclubs or coffeehouses. For instance, at the Lake Phalen Amphitheater, there will be a toddler’s music class from 5pm – 6pm, and a group harmonica lesson in the blues from 6:30pm – 7pm. Meanwhile in Nordeast Mpls, Sarah Jane’s Music School will have a group guitar jam from 7:30 – 8pm, and at Pedro Park in downtown Saint Paul, there will be a noontime Gutiar Jam. For information, go to: http://makemusicday.org/twincities/

 

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 80s, Chicago Jazz, and more. Music: 11.4 – 11.10

November 4, 2015

imagesIt’s another good week for jazz in the Twin Cities, and though we only have one visiting artist (Joey DeFrancesco), we do have a couple of Chicago artists who perform hear regularly. We also have many outstanding players who would welcome your presence. On the blues and roots side of things, we have a couple of musicians who defined that 80s sound, some long time Twin Cities bluesmen, and some classical music as performed by a small choir.  Music Lifts the Spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, November 4

Anthony Cox: Continuum Series @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The first Wednesday of each month, crack bassist Anthony Cox hosts a group of musicians, and sometimes artists from other disciplines. They play, interact, and sometimes Cox opens it up for the audience to ask questions and take part.

Thursday, November 5

Jon Pemberton @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No cover) The pianist/trumpeter will be accompanied by bassist Matt Peterson, for dinner music that’s much more than dinner music. Here’s Jon in a trio format.

Zacc andCory, getting real. Photo by Andrea Canter

Zacc andCory, getting real. Photo by Andrea Canter

Cory Healey’s Beautiful Sunshine Band @ Groundswell, 1340 Thomas Avenue, Saint Paul. 7pm ($7) It’s a three act evening as drummer Cory Healey brings his band to this corner coffeehouse. Besides Healey on drums, the band includes Erik Fratzke, bass; Zacc Harris guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax. Also playing this evening: Graham O’Brien (unknown to me) and a group called And…And…End, featuring Noah Ophoven-Baldwin on trumpet; and Cole Pulice, sax.

Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) You won’t find a more compatible duo than singer Maud Hixson, whose June Christy cool voice belies a warm execution, and pianist Rick Carlson, whose economical playing says so much with so little.

Jana Nyberg @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Jana takes a holiday from the Jana Nyberg Group and sings with some other stellar musicians: Chris Lomheim, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. Here she is doing a classic Ellington song.

Friday, November 6

Bruce Henry @ Crooner’s Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Henry, who now lives in Chicago, is back for a visit. He isn’t a crooner, though he could be if he wanted. Instead, he sings jazz and R&B songs like Freddie Hubbard’s Red Clay and Coltane’s Equinox, as well as Motown numbers that will make you dance.

Joel Shapira Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No cover) Joel Shapira combines his own supple guitar work with the brass of Pete Whitman’s stellar sax, and Tom Lewis’s fine bass. Here is Joel in a solo mood.

Jay Young’s Lyric Factory @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Whether he’s channeling Herbie Hancock, Earth Wind and Fire, or Michael Jackson, bassist Young and his Lyric Factory always satisfies.

Graydon Peterson Quartet CD Release @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. (Tip Jar) The Graydon Peterson Quartet is releasing a fine little CD entitled, oddly enough, Duets. It features nine tracks of original compositions played as duets between various member  of the quartet: Peterson, bass; Adam Meckler, trumpet; Joe Strachan, keys; and Adrian Suarez, drums. Here’s one of the numbers.

Saturday, November 7

Butch Thompson Trio @ Jazz at St. Barney’s, 15600 Old Rockford Road, Plymouth. 7pm – 8pm ($10) Pianist Butch Thompson, together with Tony Balluf, clarinet; and Steve Pikal, bass, play a combination of old time jazz and occasional blues. You couldn’t find a better trio in town for this music. Here’s Butch with a different trio.

Steve Cole @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($20) The Chicago native has released 15 albums since his debut in 1998. With a saxophone sound that can be greasy or “smooth” Cole has recorded with Jr. Wells, Buddy Guy, Larry Carlton, Freddy Cole, and Boz Scaggs, among others. Special guest will be our very own Patty Peterson.

Babatunde Lea Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm (tip Jar) Master drummer and conguero Lea has played with Pharoah Sanders and Stan Getz, among others, and had the first release of Motema Records. Tonight he leads Zacc Harris, guitar; Geoff Brennan, bass; and Phil Aaron, piano, in an evening of exciting music. Opening tonight at 7pm is the clever Exquisite Corps, with Dave Roos, guitar; Eron Woods, Drums; and Peter Susag, bass. All of their songs have a body part in the title.

Sunday, November 8

Paul Renz Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) He might be better known on the East Coast than here in town, but Renz  s a guitarist that you should hear. His writing and playing are both melodic and inventive.

Monday, November 9

Joey DeFrancesco @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($32), 9pm ($22) Since the death of DeFrancesco’s mentor, Jimmy Smith, DeFrancesco has become the leading light of B3 Organ music. I’ve seen him a half dozen times at least, and he’s always satisfying.

Tuesday, November 10

Unknown-2Mary Louise Knutson Trio @ Crooner’s Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Though I wrote about Mary Louise playing solo at the Vieux Carre last week, this week she’s joined by Gordy Johnson, bass, and Phil Hey, drums. Pardon the bad grammar, but to put it simply, it don’t get no better!

Phil Aaron Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5)  Aaron, piano; Gary Raynor, bass; Jay Epstein, drums. Another stellar trio, this time playing for those who want to hang in the city. Aaron can swing like mad, and makes difficult charts look like child’s play.

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 4

Unknown-3John Beach Trio on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 club – Tip Jar) At this point, John Beach is often described as Legendary John Beach. He’s been a fixture on the Twin Cities music scene of years, playing piano for Willie Murphy, Bob Dylan, Bonnie Raitt, Bo Diddley, and more… Tune in to find out who is playing with him.

Joe Jackson @ the Fitzgerald Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($40 – $67.50) Musical wanderer Jackson has been all over the place, deftly picking up genres and disposing of them as soon as he’s conquered them. He first made a splash with the new-wavy Is She Really Going Out with Him in 1979 and subsequently explored reggae, salsa, jump blues, R&B and Jazz, film scores, and contemporary classical music,as well as a 2012 horn-free release celebrating Duke Ellington, but nevertheless including a duet with Iggy Pop.  He’ll open the show with a short solo piano set before bringing on a full band. DJ Jake Rudh will spin pre-show music. Here’s a song from Joe’s recently released album.

Friday, November 6

Captain Gravitone & the String Theory Orchestra @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Vocalist/banjo picker Eli Hoehn leads this Americana sextet, through a repertoire that emphasizes acoustic instruments with a bit of rock undercurrents. Their new CD, A Real Fine Day (when the circus comes to town) features four brass and a violin as well, but I don’t know if they’ll be in the show.

Madeline Peyroux @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $60), 9pm ($30 – $50) With a low-key style and a voice that evokes Billie Holiday, Peyroux has tackled a wide variety of material. She recently released a Best Of compilation on Rounder Records which includes songs from her 20[-year career including some Atlantic and Decca/Emarcy releases.

Hymnos Vocal Ensemble: Lowertown Classics @ Lowertown Lofts, 255 Kellogg Blvd East, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Here’s an under-the-radar gig for those who appreciate classical music. In fact, you have to enter the artists’  building via its back alley, and make your way to the third floor atrium. Hymnos is a choir of 8-12 highly select mixed voices that has been performing a wide range of music, from Renaissance to contemporary, since being founded in 2011 by Eric Sorum. They will be joined by Jennifer Parker, voice, Eva Bnenke, classical guitar; and Chris Olson, guitar. There will be wine, coffee, pastries and candy.

Papa John Kolstad and the Hot Club of East Lake Street @ Merlins, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 12:30am. Papa John returns to Merlins on a Saturday night. John’s guitar playing, wry humor, and sly political asides, together with Sam Fiske, trumpet; Deano Mikkelson, guitar; and Bill Grenke, bass, makes for an entertaining evening. Bring your ID if you want adult beverages, and get there a bit early to get a good seat.

Saturday, November 7

Scottie Miller @ Crooner’s Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Miller has a new album, Reciprocation, and as with his last one, he’s rockin’ out a bit, though his New Orleans/Barrelhouse piano, and R&B beats still shine through.

Hurricane Harold’s All-Stars @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Though it’s slightly tonier than his usual haunts, Hurricane Harold, and his All-Star band of Twin Cities Bluesers will fit in just fine at the basement club. Plus, it won’t be hard to move tables when the dancing bug hits. Check out the Scottie Miller video above for one version of the All-Stars.

Monday, November 9

A very different Joe Fingers.

A very different Joe Fingers.

Joe Fingers @ Dunn Brothers on Grand, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Joe Fingers is an ace fingerpicker, one of a number of champions that live in the area. Once in a while, though he may be ignored by Latte-drinkes perusing the internet, he just likes to play.

Tuesday, November 10

Howard Jones @ The Fine Line, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $75) Another act that blossomed in the 80s and, in fact, helped define the synth-pop sound of that decade. He had 15 top 40 singles between 1983 and 1992 and have never stopped performing, still releasing albums (including podcasts) and writing.

TheSubdudes @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40-$45), 9pm ($35 – $40) The Subdudes deliverNew Orleans soulfulness, delivered with acoustic guitars, fine harmonies, and good songwriting.

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.


Festival Season Takes Hold: 6.17 – 6.23

June 17, 2015
Maybe you'll see a car like this around the Twin Cities this weekend

Maybe you’ll see a car like this around town this weekend

It’s Fathers Day weekend, with the Stone Arch Festival taking place on and Saturday and Sunday, including a car show and four stages of music each day. And it’s the Annual Back To The 50s Car Show at the State Fairgrounds.  Though the Twin Cities Jazz Festival takes place next weekend, we’re already seeing some pre-festival events around Saint Paul. All in all, it’s a good week for music, and music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 17

The trio at work/play

The trio at work/play

Chris Bates good Vibes Trio @ Hamline Library, 1558 Minnehaha Ave, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 8:30pm (Free) The Twin Cities Jazz Festival is producing a number of pre-festival warm-up events, including this one, in which you’ll get to see a highly developed trio of musicians having fun as they play. Besides Bates on bass, there is Dave Hagedorn on vibes and Phil Hey on drums.

Pete Whitman Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Saxman Whitman is a veteran of numerous sideman gigs with artists ranging from Frank Sinatra and Rosemary Clooney to Dave Stryker and Jack McDuff. He’s also led a few excellent groups such as the X-Tet. He’ll be joined tonight by Chris Lomheim, piano; Gary Raynor, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger, drums.

Thursday, June 18

Minnesota Jazz Orchestra @ Rock Island Swing Bridge, Inver Grove Heights. 6pm – 9pm (Free) You can catch this band once a month at the Wabasha Caves, but tonight they’re playing a swing dance for a swing bridge, as the Rock Island Swing Bridge is being dedicated as part of a trail.

Bob Fantuzzo & Katia Cardenas @ The Kingfield Porchfest, 4515 1st Ave So. Minneapolis. 6pm (Free) Both amateur and professional musicians who live in the Kingfield neighborhood will be featured on the porches of over 20 homes, allowing residents and visitors to roam the neighborhood and hear music. Most of the other artists come from genres other than jazz.

Ottmar Liebert & Luna Negra @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $45), 9pm ($32 – $37) Liebert is credited with creating the Nouveau Flamenco style of guitar, incorporating traditional flamenco music into a modern context, creating a smooth, sensual sound in the process. Since his debut release in 1989 he’s released 25 albums, received five Grammy nominations, and reached 38 gold or platinum levels of sales here in the United States, not to mention sales around the world.

Friday, June 19

Bill Frisell Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($30) There are few, if any, electric guitarists who are as eclectic and successful in their recording and playing as Frisell  He’s worked in mainstream and experimental jazz, as well as folk, classical, Brazilian, soundtrack, and pop realmsd. Whether doing covers of John Lennon tunes, playing with Dave Holland and Elvin Jones, or recording old country tunes, Frisell brings imagination and an instantly recognizable sound to the fore. His latest CD, Guitar in the Space Age, celebrates the twangy, reverberating sounds of songs from the late 50s and early 60s. Tonight he’ll be playing with a different group than in previous visits: Tony Scher, bass; and Rudy Royston, drums.

Jon Pemberton Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pemberton is a triple threat: composer, pianist, and trumpet player. And, he’s excellent in all three roles. He’ll be joined by two other excellent musicians: Matt Peterson on bass, and Corey Healey on drums. Here he is at the piano with a different trio.

Dakota Combo and Dean Granros’ Tall Tales @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) Eight very talented high school musicians who have been studying with Adam Linz, in one of their last performances for the year. (They’ll also be at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival and the Iowa City Jazz Festival.) If you ever hear anyone say jazz is dead, point them to the excitement that these young players generate. Stick around at 9pm for some veterans: Dean Granros and Zacc Harris, guitars; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums.

Steve Hobert & Steve Pikal @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s two Steve’s swingin’ as Hobert (keys) and Pikal (bass) take to the stage. The two have worked together in the Zack Lozier Three, and go together as easily as red beans and rice.

Saturday, June 20

Adam Meckler Quintet @ Episcopal Homes, 1850 University Ave W, Saint Paul. 1:30pm – 3:30pm (Free) Here’s a pre-festival event featuring trumpeter Meckle  and his group performing Meckler originals. He’s joined by Graydon Peterson, bass; Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Greg Schutte, drums.

Doug Haining’s Twin Cities 7 @ Episcopal Homes, 1850 University Ave W, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (Free) The fun continues at Episcopal Homes as saxophonist Doug Haining brings his swinging septet to the stage. I’m sure that residents of the Homes willing be happily tapping their feet, and if they aren’t actually dancing, they’ll be dancing in their heads.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (tip Jar) Featuring John Penny & Jay Epstein (7pm) and the Phil Hey Quartet at 9pm.  Tonight, the weekly jazz performance starts out with the bound to be satisfying duo of Penny on guitar and Epstein on drums. Then Phil Hey and his quartet take the stage to perform flawless interpretations of jazz standards by the likes of Chick Corea and Ornette Coleman. Besides Hey on drums the quartet includes Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Tom Lewis, bass; and Phil Aaron on piano. They’ve been working together many, many years, and it shows.

Sunday, June 21

Francisco Mela Trio @ The Downtown Central Library, Saint Paul. 2pm – 4pm (Free) Mela is the relatively young drummer/percussionist who is serving as the Musical Director for the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. He’s toured and/or recorded with the like of Joe Lovano, Kenny Barron, and McCoy Tyner. Mela’s debut CD was called one of the best albums of the year in 2006 by All About Jazz, and was picked as the best debut by the Village Voice.

Monday, June 22

Sarah M Greer & BLU-7 @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No cover) Greer is a versatile vocalist who is particularly adept at improvisational singing. She leads a regular vocal workshop in spontaneous singing called Songtaneous, and has appeared in a variety of venues around town.

Kurt Elling @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($30) Elling is one of the finest jazz vocalists around, specializing in vocalese as well as scat singing, and bringing new interpretations to a song, whether it’s from Sam Cooke or Charlie Parker. His rich emotive voice has earned him a number of accolades, including the Downbeat Critics Poll 14 years in a row.

Geoff Senn @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Trumpeter Senn can be seen around town in a number of bands around town, including the Explosion Big Band, as well as with Steve Kenny. Tonight he stretches out.

Tuesday, June 23

Lila Ammons @ Highland Stage, 730 Cleveland Ave S, Saint Paul. 7-8:30pm (Free) Another Pre-Festival event, this time in Highland area of Saint Paul, and featuring songstress Ammons, who is equally at home with jazz and blues.

Tuesday, Wednesday, June 22, 23

Cecile McLorin Salvant @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.7pm ($35, $40), 9pm ($25, $30) Vocalist Salvant’s career is rising fast. She seems to specialize in unique reinterpretations of long forgotten early jazz tunes. She’s earned high praise from Wynton Marsalis and the NY Times, and has appeared at numerous festivals around the world. Her last appearance at the Dakota was packed with cheering fans.

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, June 17

Mother Banjo Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) It seems that Gospel music is coming into its own in a couple of genre bending bands. There are a couple of “garage gospel” groups, and then there is Ellen Stanley, aka Mother Banjo  who plays “pub gospel” on her third CD, The Devil Hasn’t Won. She’s won praise for her songwriting from artists such as John Gorka and Josh Ritter.

The Blasters @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($22) Phil Alvin is leading this version of the Blasters without his brother Dave, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a high energy evening of rock n’ roll and rockabilly. There will be a packed house, I’m sure, that will be warmed up by Javier and the Innocent Sons.

Thursday, June 18

Reggae Sunsplash w/The Meditations @ The University Club of Saint Paul, Summit & Ramsey Hill. 5:30pm – 10pm. ($25 door) So we’ve got the Meditations as well as Irie Sol featuring Junior Williams, and a Reggae DJ and Jamaican Buffet ($10), all taking place poolside at the University Club on top of Ramsey Hill in Saint Paul. Advance tickets are available, including a VIP ticket ($55) with a drink and meet and greet. In case of rain, the concert will be held in downtown Saint Paul at the St. Paul Athletic Club.

Hmm, what should I play?

Hmm, what should I play?

Jillian Rae, with Pasadena 68 @ Mears Park, Saint Paul. 6pm (Free) The weekly Music In Mears series is now in its 12th year of presenting bands on Thursday nights. All I know about Pasadena 68 is that it’s a rock n’ roll quartet. I can tell you about Jillian Rae  however, a talented fiddler/vocalist, who isn’t afraid of mixing up pop, rock, and old time music. She’s also a talented writer of original songs. There will be a number of food trucks available, as well as some adult beverages.

Birdstriking @ The Kitty Cat Klub, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) This quartet from Beijing China is one of three bands on the bill. They are high energy, fierce rockers, with smart writing and arrangements, and hints of punk and psychedelia in their approach The other two bands for the night are Flavor Crystals and Magic Castles. From the Kitty Kat’s website, it appears that Birdstriking is the middle group, but one can never tell.

Saun and Starr @ The Bedlam Theater, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Saun and Starr have served as back-up singers to Sharon Jones and are now touring with Sharon and taking side gigs to promote their own new album on Daptone Records. Like Jones, they bring a contemporary perspective to their influence – medium tempo 60s soul. The evening also features Twin Cities own Gospel Machine and Tarik Thornton on the turntables.

Friday, June 19

Sweet Tea @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 6:30pm – 10pm ($?) This quintet has been growing its fan base like crazy, as well they should. Lead vocalist Joy Ann has a strong voice, and is backed by an equally strong quartet of deep-rooted veterans led by guitarist Mark Lamoine.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, June 19, 20, 21

Drop the Mic ! @ Cowles Center, Minneapolis. Friday, Saturday, 7:30pm, Sunday, 2pm ($25) A cross-genre blend of dance, with live music, and DJing. The artists of Curio Dance will perform contemporary, traditional, and classical dance to live jazz trumpet, Latin congas, contemporary piano and a breakbeat DJ.

Saturday, June 20

The Tenderness Sessions @ Pepitos Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. Doors at 7pm, music at 8pm.  ($15 advance/$25 door) Soul music, both sweet and sweaty, as first performed by the likes of Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, and Wilson Picket. And who better to perform such music than resident soulmen Mick Sterling, Maurice Jacox, and Willie Walker. If you purchase tickets at the door, $10 of the price will go to saxophonist Pat Mackin, injured in a car accident last December.

Johnson, Babb, & Paul, with Mary Cutrufello @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm. ($?) It’s hard to get rootsier than this group of artists. Cutrufello rocks out at 9pm, with her tear-in-your-beer story songs and rockin’ guitar, preceded by bluesman Baby Grant Johnson, along with Dave Babb (of the Liquor Pigs), and the sly “mayor of the West Bank,” percussionist Tony Paul as 7pm openers.

Rich Lewis Band @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 11:30pm (Tip Jar) Boomers and others who appreciate R&B, New Orleans, and Motown music can catch Lewis and his band at one of the best neighborhood bars in the Twin Cities. Get there early for a seat, and bring an ID if you want adult beverages. They’ve got a great selection of beers from Great Britain, Scotch and Irish whiskey, and British food, including Scotch eggs.

Sunday, June 21

Martha Davis & the Motels @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $40) Here’s a show for Gen Xers and late boomers. The Motels burst on the music scene in 1982 with their LP All Four One, which produced a top ten song in Only The Lonely, and had three other singles reach the charts. The next year they again reached the Top Ten with Suddenly Last SummerMartha Davis has  been touring with various musicians as The Motels since the late 90s. Judging by recent videos, Davis’ voice remains strong, with a rueful tone which goes well with her songs.

Tuesday, June 23

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue @ Cabooze Plaza, Minneapolis. Doors 5:30/show 6:30pm ($35) Perhaps one of the most exciting young R&B musicians you may see in a long time, Trombone Shorty is a dynamic performer who knows how to work a crowd. He got his name as leader of a band at age six! He also plays trumpet and can acknowledge New Orleans jazz history and play contemporary funk and R&B at the same time, which has led to him having the closing show at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Today’s show also features Willie Murphy & the Angel-Headed Hypsters, and the Jack Brass Band.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar. Dancers might want to check out the calendar for U Wanna Dance.


Summer Days, Summer Nights. Music: 8.1 – 8.7

August 1, 2012

Night Time is the Right Time

Okay, so I guess you can say we’re halfway through the summer. Hope you’ve been having a good one and have been able to attend some of the many outdoor events that we try to squeeze in here in the Twin Cities. If you’ve not gotten out much, don’t despair. There is more to come, including music at a brewery tap room, some neighborhood celebrations, and more festivals. These are just a few of your music options for the coming week.

Jazz

Wednesday, Thursday, August 1,2

DeFrancesco, Coryell, and Cobb: A Tribute to Jimmy Smith and Wes Montgomery @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($25)  The Jimmy Smith/Wes Montgoemery recordings of the 60s set a high bar for organ trios. The music was soulful and highly inventive, yet never lost its groove. Joey DeFrancesco was an acolyte of Smith’s. Coryell has his own clean way with the guitar. Joining them is Jimmy Cobb on drums, the last surviving member of the Miles Davis “Kind of Blue” recording. This is as good as it gets.

Peter Schimke Trio @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Peter is a talented pianist, who can go from swing to latin rhythms at the drop of a beat. Cafe Maude is a neighbohood bistro with inventive food and top-notch cocktails. Tell them you’d like a seat near the music.

Thursday, August 2

Zack Lozier’s Jazz Night @ The Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 9pm (No cover) The Brewpub on Minnehaha just south of Lake has developed an adventurous booking policy in a short time, with music ranging from jazz to folk to rock, country, and the occasional deejay. Trumpeter-about-town Lozier brings his formidible attack to the Tap Room every month with different sidemen. Tonight it’s Adrian Suarez on drums and Chris Bates on bass. Chris is threatening to break out the electronics.

Friday, August 3

Pat Mallinger Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Born and raised in Saint Paul, and living in Chicago, Mallinger has developed into a powerhouse sax player. He’s toured with the orchestras of Cab Calloway and Artie Shaw, and regularly plays with Kurt Elling. Every week for almost twenty years, he and his band Sabertooth have played  the Green Mill in Chi-town, starting at Midnight and going until the wee hours. I did an interview with him a couple of years ago which you can read here.

Saturday, August 4

Jon Pemberton Trio @ Loring Pasta Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm. (No Cover) An early evening show featuring composer/trumpeter/pianist Pemberton. Whether he’s interpreting a Lee Morgan piece on trumpet, or a Monk piece on piano, Pemberton is always lyrical, always melodic.

“Serious” musicians.

Atlantis Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) This tight quartet with serious chops has been “laying in the weeds” lately, as guitarist Zacc Harris put it. Well, they’ve all been busy with other projects but have still found the time to work up some new tunes. See what they’re up to with a visit to the AQ.

Tuesday, August 7

Jazz Implosion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis 9:30 and 11:30pm ($5) JT Bates is doing the curating, and he puts together interesting combinations of players. Sometimes he doesn’t get it done until the last minute. Nevertheless, I can say that whoever he books for Monday night will provide a satisfying take on 21st Century jazz.

A Note: Pamela Espeland has recently stopped publishing a calendar of upcoming jazz events at Bebopified, though she continues her insightful commentary and interviews. The calendar is a mighty effort, and I thank her for her work on it, since I often used the calendar myself. Happily, Jazz Police will take up the slack with a calendar, in addition to continuing their excellent commentary on jazz in the Twin Cities and elsewhere.  Other blogs that feature jazz commentary for the Twin Cities include the aforementioned Bebopified, and Jazz Ink, which also features previews and interviews, in addition to Andrea Canter’s fine photography.

Roots, Blues, Other….

Wednesday, August 1

Hair Club for Cowboys on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm hour (KFAI – 90.3 & 106.7 FM) and 7pm (331 Club) Free. Jay Peterson is back in town for a visit and he’s gathered some friends to play, including Dan Newton on Accordion, Rusty Jones on bass, Dan Gaarder of Trailer Trash on guitar, and Dehl Gallagher on drums. Jay especially likes Western Swing. Listen on KFAI and then head over to the 331 Club.

Friday, August 3

Musicpalooza w/Mary Cutrufello, Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 5pm – Close.  Also including Mary Elias and the Young Relics, and the Jonards. Don’t know about the other acts, but Cutrufello is a powerful singer with a country bent who is in the midst of a Midwest tour with a full band. Crankshaft does raw blues like no one else in the area.

Saturday, August 4

Past Barfest

Red House Barnfest in Red Wing. 1pm -7:30pm ($30 at the gate) Get in the car and head down to Red Wing for a day of folk and roots music. Performers include: Lucy Kaplansky, Bill Staines, Dean Magraw and John Williams, Drew Nelson, Natalia Zukerman, The High 48s, Black Audience, and Jon Rodine. A family friendly event that’s a perfect way to spend a summer day. For more information, including driving directions, go to: http://www.redhouserecords.com/barnfest.html

Seward Co-op 40th Anniversary Party @ East River Flats Park, Minnenapolis. Noon to 8pm. (Free) If you’re not up for a drive to Red Wing, you can help celebrate the 40th Anniversary of one of the oldest co-ops in the area, with over 8,000 members. The line-up includes the family-friendly Bunny Clogs, The Brass Messengers, Malamanya, and Willie Murphy and the Angel-Headed Hipsters. Expect food trucks and more. FMI: http://www.seward.coop/celebrate-seward-co-ops-40th-anniversary

Sunday, August 5

Camile Baudoin & Curt Obeda @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 2pm ($15) After 33 years as a member of New Orleans’ Radiators, Baudoin has issued a solo country/folk album, Old Bayou Blues, which features songs from his boyhood on the bayou. He now tours with various sidemen, and often pairs with Twin Cities bluesman Curt Obeda (of the Butanes) when he’s in this area. The Bayport BBQ is a cash-only place that serves the real thing – smoked meat that melts in your mouth along with the classic sides for ‘Q. Here’s a video of their March appearance at the Bayport. Curt is taking vocals on this one.

Jake Manders @ Merlins’ Rest, Minneapolis. 4pm – 6pm (No Cover)  Jake is joined by Mikkel Beckman on washboard and percussion and Gretta Hunstiger on vocals and guitar for an afternoon of folky-rootsy music. Bring an ID if you want adult beverages.

Sunday, Monday, August 5,6

Dan Penn @ The Dakota, MInneapolis. 7pm ($35) With his relaxed demeanor, it’s sometimes hard to believe that Penn was responsible for hits like The Letter,  Cry Like a Baby, I’m Your Puppet, Do Right Woman, not to mention, numerous hits for Aretha Franklin, James Carr, Solomon Burke, Percy Sledge Ronnie Milsap, and others. It’s a special night whenever he performs, especially in an intimate, yet elegant setting like The Dakota.

Tuesday, August 7

Ahh, summer at the bandshell

Alison Scott @ The Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 7:30pm. (Free) A talented young pianist/singer performing original, soulful tunes on a beautiful bandshell stage in a park on a lake. Picnic areas close by, sailboats in the background, the occasional plane overhead, and the sound of kids enjoying a swim. This is the summer we love.

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


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