Valentines Day and More: 2.14 – 2.20

February 14, 2018

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

Jazz

Wednesday, Feb 14

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

Thursday, Feb 15

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

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

Friday, Feb 16

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

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

Saturday, Feb 17

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

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

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

Monday, Tuesday, Feb 19, 20

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

Tuesday, Wednesday, Feb 20, 21

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

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

 

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, Feb 14

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

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

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

Thursday, Feb 15

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

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

Friday, Feb 16

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

Saturday, Feb 17

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

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

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

Sunday, February 18

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

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

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

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


Music for 10.31 – 11.6 – The Post-Hurricane, Pre-Election Edition

October 31, 2012

The river off Clason Point, the Bronx, just after the worst of Sandy had passed. Photo by Maribel Mercado/City Limits

Like many of you, I’ve been focusing on the superstorm and its devastation of the East Coast. The area where I grew up in the Bronx (about two short blocks from the East River) was one of those where folks were evacuated, though they escaped the destruction of Breezy Point, Brooklyn, and the power outages of lower Manhattan. It was during my teenage years in the Bronx that I became besotted with rock n’ roll and got my first deejay job at a Friday night church dance. Speaking of which, I’ll be inaugurating a deejay night Saturday at a new venue in town, The Third Floor. They have jazz on Thursday nights and are trying to see if a deejay night will work on Saturdays. I’m hoping that some of you will drop by. More details here.

But back to what’s happening in live music. One result of the storm was that the Maria Schneider shows at the Dakota have been postponed. Nevertheless, we’ve lots of music to enjoy, including a show by a few members of Maria’s orchestra tonight, and a number of vocalists performing jazz this week, as well as some great Americana and blues. Have a great week. And don’t forget to vote.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 31

Hurricane Relief @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm. (Donation to Hurricane Relief) Though Superstorm Sandy prevented most of Maria Schnieder’s 17 piece band from getting here, four did arrive, including trumpeter Ingrid Jensen and drummer Clarence Penn. With the help of a couple of all-star Twin Citizens (Gordy Johnson on bass and Peter Schimke on piano), they are performing anyway. Sophia Shorai will also play a short set. Donations can be made at the door or on your check, and will be given to the Red Cross Hurricane Relief Fund. All proceeds from a Hurricane Relief cocktail will be included. Those who attended last night report that the music was first rate, as you might expect.

Thursday, November 1

Photo by Andrea Canter

Vicky Mountain @ The Third Floor, 579 Selby, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($5) Vocalist extraordinaire Vicky Mountain is joined by guitarist James Allen and a bassist in this new venue on the third floor of Dr. Chocolates’ Chocolate Chateu. Ten beers on tap, a few wine selections, and some fancy cocktails, as well as chocolate. Unfortunately, this unique space is not handicap-accessible, but it does have a parquet dance floor for those who want to dance to Vicky’s swingin’ tunes.

Arne Fogel @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm (donation) Jazz Central is starting to have vocalist nights on Thursdays and who better to kick things off than that vocalist-about-town Arne Fogel. Fogel and his fedora will be swinging classic tunes by Sinatra, Crosby, and other stalwarts from the 30s to the 60s.

Valve Meets Slide @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Brad Bellows (Valve) and Dave Graf (Slide) go mano-a-mano in trombone competition, accompanied by Chris Lomheim, piano; Matt Peterson, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums.

Friday, November 2

Their 1977 Album.

Pat Moriarty & Phil Hey @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm. Moriarty (sax) and Hey (drums) put out an outstanding album way back in 1977. Since then, they’ve played together so much that their communication can seem telepathic, as each adjusts to the twists and turns in the other’s playing. It’s free jazz, but that’s no reason to be afraid, since it’s free of pre-conceived composition, but not free of melody and rhythm.

 

Whitman, Schimke, Peterson & Horst @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) The AQ has put together another group of world-class musicians to explore the nuances of jazz. Though the way I have them listed makes them sound like a law firm, make no mistake, these musicians have played with the best. Expect some wit and fireworks.

Saturday, November 3

Charmin Michelle @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No cover) Charmin Michelle’s tender yet knowing voice will work well in the small bar that’s part of this D’Amico restaurant. Good cocktails, comfy chairs, and a bruschetta that will make you re-think your opinion of the ubiquitous appetizer.

Sunday, November 4

Connie Evingson sings Peggy Lee @ The Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm, 7pm ($25) Cool, yet often smoldering, that’s Peggy Lee, and an apt description of Connie Evingson, who’ll be joined by Tanner Taylor, piano; Dave Karr, sax; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Joe Pulice, drums. The smallish Jungle Theater is an intimate venue for Ms Evingson’s stylings. Here she is at one of last year’s Jungle Theater shows.

Monday, November 5

Vinnie Rose & Jeremy Boettcher @ Jazz Central, Minnapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Guitarist Rose and bassist Boettcher will be tearing things up at the little jazz club that could. It’s a jazz musician’s “hang,” so there’ll be some jammin’ after Rose and Boettcher play.

More listings for Twin Cities jazz can be found at KBEM and at Jazz Police. Jazz Police also features jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Roots, Blues, Other…

Wednesday, October 31

Radio Joe & the JazzBos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm. ($5) In case you haven’t had enough of Halloween parties, here’s a chance to attend one that’s bound to be neighborly, not to mention having cash prizes for the top three costumes. Radio Joe Demko plays music that’s equal parts swing, boogie woogie, and jump blues, which is just fine with his swing-dancing fans. Always a treat, costumes or not.

Thursday, November 1

Jon Rodine & Mother Banjo @ the Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm (Free) A double dose of Americana. Mother Banjo often plays solo, bringing gospel, folk, and an alt-country mindset to her songs. Rodine is a soulful singer who can channel funky Americana and soulful country into a sound that’s all his own.

Jorma Kaukonen @ The Dakota Jazz Club, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40)  Kaukonen was a founding member of both Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, with whom he still tours. In the process he morphed from a electric guitar star to an acoustic blues/bluegrass fingerpicker of some reknown, appreciated as a teacher as much as a performer. A much anticipated show.

Friday, November 2

Pill Hill CD Release Party @ the Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($6) Dan Fowlds was active in the 90s with the post-grunge band, Bump. After taking a sabbatical from music, he’s returned with a new band, Pill Hill, and a new, self-titled CD with tunes that are alternately melancholy, declamatory, and rocking. Fowlds isn’t afraid to add a banjo, organ, or violin to the sound of his Les Paul.  Opening acts are Hello Blue and Wizards Are Real. Hear some examples of Pill Hill’s songs here.

Ian Thomas Alexy CD Release & Day of the Dead Party @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 10pm (Free) Alexy, of the Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank, was Born on the Day of the Dead, so it’s only natural that he calls his CD by that name, and celebrates his birthday with a CD Release party. He’s got a new band, the Deserters, and will be serving up Americana and Old Timey music.

Saturday, November 3

Baroque to Beatboxing @ MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20/$15 Youth & Seniors) Here’s a chance to check out a few different musical styles. Tonight’s performance is all about music and dance. Performers include Julie Johnson on electric flute, playing a new piece created with choreographer/dancer Tamara Ober. Other performers include Jeff Lambert on guitar, Bryan Nichols on piano, and Saltee (Jacqueline Ultan, cello; Mike Michel, guitar; & Carnage the Executioner, beatbox).  The Saltee set will also include break dancers!

Jeff Ray & the Stakes @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 8pm (No cover)  In which guitarist extraordinaire Jeff Ray is joined by Hurricane Harold, harp; Nick Salisbury, bass; and Mikkel Beckman, percussion.  Delta blues and more.

Sunday, November 4

Spider John Koerner and Charlie Parr @ Palmer’s Bar, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) Holy cow! Wonderful interpretations of classic folk songs from Koerner, and original stripped down blues from Parr. Plus, they’ll do a few songs together. Afterwards, another legend, Willie Murphy will take the stage. And it’s all at the West Bank’s favorite dive bar.

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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