Resident Musicians and More: 1.3 – 1.9

January 3, 2018

Some of our resident musicians are appearing at this event

Given our winter weather, it’s no surprise that we don’t have many visiting artists this week, though we’ll be inundated in a couple of weeks when Super Bowl activities begin. We’re fortunate, however, that many of our resident musicians have experience on national tours and in national venues, so we don’t have to wait for visitors to have great music experiences. After all, Music Lifts the Spirit



Wednesday, January 3

Jason Richards & the Wolverines Jazz Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, but $10 Reserved seat) Vocalist Richards would seem to be a natural for this club, as he’s been influenced by Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Tony Bennett. He’ll be accompanied by the Wolverines Trio, who are masters at providing excellent backing for vocalists.

Rose Lewis & Friends @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Trombonist Lewis is a graduate of Lawrence University, where she was a member of the school’s Downbeat Award winning Jazz Ensemble. She’s taught elementary and high school bands, and in the 90s, performed with groups like the Stan Bann Big Band, The Ringling Brothers Shrine Circus, the Jerry O’Hagan Big Band, The Wolverines Classic Jazz Orchestra, and a host of other ensembles. She was sidelined with illness for sixteen years and is now re-entering the music scene, creating and performing original compositions. She’ll be joined by Greg Lewis, trumpet; David Milne, sax; Nathan Hanson, sax; Will Schmid, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Edmund Catlin, drums.

Also: Travis Anderson Trio w/Connie Evingson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($8)

Thursday, January 4

Southside Aces “Hall Brothers Night” w/Special Guest Charlie Devore @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, but $15 for a reserved seat) For 25 years cornetist Charlie Devore let the Hall Brothers Band as the house band for the Emporium of Jazz in Mendota. The Hall Brothers performed and celebrated the early jazz of New Orleans, which makes Devore the perfect guest for the Southside Aces, who also explore the genre with verve, élan, and joy.

Will Schmid Group @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Though guitarist Schmid is a relatively young musician, he has been gigging around the Twin Cities for the past five years, and with fellow guitarist Adam Astrup, has played at the Twin Cities Jazz Fest (winter and summer editions), and the Iowa City Jazz Festival. He’s currently in college in Cleveland, but we’re lucky enough to have him perform before returning to school. He’ll be accompanied by Jake Baldwin, tpt; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jesse Thorson, drums. Here’s Will with Adam Astrup at the Winter Jazz Fest.

Also: Vicky Mountain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID)

Friday, January 5

Pete Whitman’s Mississippi @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9:00pm ($12) Saxophonist Pete Whitman brings his quality quartet to the listening room at Crooners, where he’ll be accompanied by Peter Schimke, piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums. Here they are with the addition of Andres Prado on guitar.

Solomon Parham Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Tonight features the excellent trumpeter Solomon Parham, with a group of outstanding players, including: Eric Kamau Grávátt, drums; Ron Evaniuk bass: Andy Nelson, saxophones; and Phil Aaron, piano.

Friday, Saturday, Jan 5, 6

Rebirth Brass Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9:30pm ($35) Once the Dirty Dozen Brass Band began redefining Brass band music back in the 80s, other, younger bands started up, incorporating contemporary music into their repertoire. Rebirth was one of the first to do so, and has been a part of New Orleans’ brass band revival for about 30 years now. They’ve been appearing at the Dakota once or twice a year for a few years now, where there always welcomed for bringing the energy and fun of New Orleans to our cold end of the Mississippi.

Saturday, January 6

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar – $10 Suggested Donation) The evening opens with a JazzINK Youth Showcase, this week featuring Liquid Vinyl: Nicholas Adams, drums; Ethan Bogle, piano; Bruce Acosta, guitar; Harry Menken, bass; Leighton Tuenge, trumpet; Thoger Boyum, alto; and Charley Menken, tenor. Then the featured group will perform at 8:30pm it’s Steve Kenny’s Group 47, and intergenerational group with Kenny, Flumpet; Thomas Strommen, tenor; Will Kjeer, piano; Adam Tucker, bass; and Alex Burgess, drums.

Tuesday, January 9

Maud Hixson: She Said/She Said @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Hixson’s cool-yet slightly sultry approach to singing brings to mind performers such as June Christy and Chris Conner, yet she always makes a song her own. She is also good at finding new ways to explore songs through special performances, as she’ll do tonight, exploring the songs of classic female songwriters. Here she is performing a song with words by Carolyn Leigh

JT Bates’ GRAIN Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) If you are new in town, you may not know that drummer JT Bates has the ability to play jazz, Americana, and pop rock. He regularly performs with bands that range from Fat Kid Wednesdays to The Pines, Alpha Consumer, Andrew Bird, and the French Cellist Didier Petit. Tonight starts a January residency for his B3 organ trio, featuring Kevin Gastonguay on B3, and the ever-reliable Zacc Harris on guitar.

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, January 3

The Hula Peppers w/Special Guest Remco Houtman, aka Ukelelezaza on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Vintage Tin Pan Alley, Jazz, and Hawaiian music, from the Peppers, with guest Houtman, from Ghent, Belgium, one of the top ukelele instrumentalists in the world. Houtman is a well-known and much sought out workshop teacher and performer in Europe, Scandinavia, the U.K., Japan, Australia and beyond.

Siama Matuzingidi @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6pm (Free) Siama Matuzingidi has lived in Uganda, Kenya, Dubai, and Japan, and has performed with some of the biggest names in Soukous, playing melodic, dance-inducing guitar on hundreds of recordings. In 2014 he received a McKnight Fellowship, which allowed him to launch a solo career here in Minnesota. He’ll be accompanied by his partner Dallas Johnson on additional vocals and percussion, and David Tullis, of Black Market Brass on drums

Also: Paul Metsa @ The Green Lantern, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) It appears that guitarist/raconteur Metsa will be playing a rare solo gig tonight.

Thursday, January 4

Bobby E and Friends @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Bobby Eckstrand is admired by many of the area’s other guitarists, whether they play jazz, country, or rock. He’s a first Thursday regular at Dusty’s, bringing friends from all genres together to play in the big booth in the small room.

Also: Lonesome Dan Case @ The Basement Bar, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (Tip Jar?) Lonesome Dan’s blues from the 30s are as down and out as you can get

Friday, January 5

Davina & The Vagabonds @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($10? $15?) Davina and her crew regularly fill the Dakota, but the Dakota lacks a proper dance floor, so here’s a chance to fill Wilebski’s commodious space with some terpsichorean moves and gyrations. Plus, it’s early, so those of us of a certain age can get home in time for nighttime news.

Saturday, January 6

Cafe Accordion Orchestra w/Special Guest Ukelelezaza @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($18 Advance/$20 Door) CAO’s annual January concert at the Cedar will feature music from their 10 recordings, including French Musettes, Gypsy Swing, Cumbias, Movie music, and more. Opening is Remco Houtman, aka Ukelelezaza (see Wednesday’s entry) who will be collaborating with CAO as well.

Also: Cajun Jam @ The Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 11am – 1pm (tip jar

Sunday, January 7

Road to Memphis Fundraiser @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 1pm – 6pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Help to send Javier Matos and the Ken Valdez Band to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge. A host of performers will help encourage you to take part in a bake sale and 50/50 Raffle. Performers include the two acts going to Memphis as well as past participants, including Mike Munson and Mikkel Beckmen, the Mark Cameron Band, Scottie Miller Jimmi Langemo, Annie Mack, Davina Lozier, Sugar Chuck Lacey and the IBC All Star Band.

Also: Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 5pm – 7pm ($7) Late afternoon salsas and charangas for your dancing pleasure.

Monday, January 8

Cactus Blossoms Residency @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm ($15) The tight musicianship and brotherly harmonies of the Cactus Blossoms bloomed at the Turf Club during an 18 month residency back in the day. Folks of all ages would stop by to dance to the groups take on country music of the 50s and 60s. Since then they’ve toured with some of the bigger stars in today’s country music and released a well received album on Red House Records, which includes a track featured on the new Twin Peaks. Now they’re back at the Turf for the month of January.

Also: New Riverside Ramblers Cajun Dance @ The Eagles Club, #34, Minnapolis. 7:30pm ($8)

Monday, Tuesday, January 8, 9

We Can Be Heroes: David Bowie Tribute @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35, $40) This tribute to the trail-blazing musician and champion of self-expression by a bevy of talented Twin Cities musicians features the excellent vocals of Julius Collins; as well as drummer Michael Bland; guitarists Jeremy Ylvisaker and Ryan Smith; Cory Eischen on keys; along with Katie Gearty and Rachel Holder on vocals.

Early Alert: Wednesday, January 10

Eric Clapton: Life in Twelve Bars @ The Trylon Microcinema, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12) The film traces his career through The Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith, Derek and the Dominos and his solo years, telling the stories behind his through archival footage and interviews with folks such as his grandmother, former wife Patti Boyd, George Harrison, and others. Since this is a small venue, its’ recommended to make reservations ahead of time. Here’s the trailer.

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.

Seasonal Songs and More: 12.7 – 12.13

December 7, 2016
Talk about a tough gig!

Talk about a tough gig!

Well, as the temperatures plummet, and we begin to have weather that really reflects the season, we’ve plenty of shows to warm your heart, whether they’re seasonal specials or just good music. We’ve got visiting artists in both jazz and country music, and resident artists to keep your feet tapping, or even headed to a dance floor. Additionally, we have some small-scale classical music and the 37th Annual John Lennon Tribute. Have a great week. Music lifts the spirit.


Wednesday, December 7

Erin Schwab Holiday Show @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm (Nice: $15, $40w/Dinner), 9pm (Naughty: $10) Vocalist Schwab is a veteran of cabaret, theater, and jazz stages, where she sings with groups like the Wolverines Trio and Big Band, as well as The Twin Cities Hot Club. She’s also a member of both the Ensemble Dapartment and Voice Department Faculty at McNally Smith College of Music. The late show reveals a more naughty approach to the holidays.

Thursday, December 8

Tim Warfield’s Jazzy Christmas @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40), 9pm ($25, $30) This is going to be a swingin’ affair, as saxophonist Warfield  who has played with Nicholas Payton, Terrell Stafford, and Christian McBride, among others, brings along pianist Cyrus Chestnut, who appeared at last year’s Winter Jazz Fest, and vibist Stefon Harris, last seen here with the SF Jazz Collective. You can expect holiday favorites including a few lesser-known gems such as Snowfall, and The Driedel Song.

Erin Livingston @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/student ID) Vocalist Livingston can often be heard singing with Robb Henry’s Parisota Hot Club, as well as solo in various venues around town. She’s currently working on an homage to Billie Holiday, so don’t be surprised if you hear a tune or two from that source, as well as jazz standards to warm you up. I’ll let her tell you about it. Then click on the inset video.

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Granowski, Horton, Seru, and Gray. An exciting new group, which doesn’t have a name yet. Members are Josh Granowski, bass; Joe Horton, spoken word, Davu Seru, drums and percussion, and Devon Gray, keyboards. Horton’s spoken words have an instrument-like impact on the music, which is freely improvised, as passages veer from noisy funk to whispery soundscapes.

Le Percheron @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) This is becoming a regular gig for this quartet led by bassist Adam Linz; along with vibist-about-town Levi Schwarztberg, Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, cornet; and Corey Healey, drums.

Friday, December 9

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Source Code @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/student ID) It’s not very often you can see an artist as accomplished as drummer Gravatt for only ten bucks. He’s been in Weather Report and toured extensively with McCoy Tyner, and has gathered some of the area’s finest musicians to play with him.

Saturday, December 10

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Tonight, it’s a celebration of the release of “The Twin Cities Jazz Sampler, Volume 2,” featuring three bands who are on the sampler. At 7pm it’s the Illicit Sextet, that six piece writer’s collaborative, followed at 8:30 by Cory Healey’s Beautiful Sunshine Band, and at 10pm, Mississippi.

Kate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12 Cash only) Stand up bassist and vocalist Lynch is settling in to a monthly residency at Vieux Carré, where the speakeasy vibe meshes well with her band’s repertoire: songs from the 30s, 40s, and 50s. Okay, so maybe she does a song or two from the 60s as well. Thing is, this is a group that reflects the instrumentation of 30s small groups, yet performs with an energy that’s completely contemporary. Bonus: swing dancers tend to show up, even if the dance floor won’t accommodate more than a few couples at a time. Here’s a sampling of their work.

Sunday, December 11

Capri Big Band @ The Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 3pm (Free) The Twin Cities’ Biggest Big Band, led by Faye Washington, boasts twenty-five members of various generations sex, and ethnicites. You have veterans sitting next to novices, passing along what they’ve learned to new generations of musicians. They’ll be performing classic big band arrangements, along with some holiday fare.

Tuesday, December 13

Judy Carmichael w/Chris Flory @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($30, $65 Dinner). 9pm ($20) Pianist/vocalist Carmichael was given the nickname Stride by no less than Count Basie, who recognized her mastery of the demanding piano style. She’s played the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice, as well as Carnegie Hall, and was the first jazz musician sponsored by the US government to tour China. She’s a fine singer as well, with the ability to sing of all of life’s vagaries with panache.

JT Bates’ Grain Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) Time was the old Artists Quarter had B3 night every Tuesday, with many folks dropping in just to join the trio for a song or two. Now drummer Bates brings his trio in once a month, and they deserve more attention. If you like soul jazz, or B3 music, this is the place to be as Bates is joined by Kevin Gastonguay on organ and Zacc Harris on guitar for some smoking’ music.

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, December 7

Sabyre Rae on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Sabyre Rae is a singer/songwriter who has fronted an original roots/blues/country/jazz band in the Minneapolis area since 2008. She’s also played ukelele with Jack Klatt and the Cat Swingers, and was on their album “Mississippi Roll,” and also performed with Dakota Dave Hull. She points to Memphis Minnie, Peggy Lee and Lil Green as inspirations, and is celebrating the release of her first EP tonight. Sabyre Rae: Acoustic Guitar and Semi Hollow Electric Guitar, Vocals, and songwriter; Jason Madieros, lead guitar; Michael Carvale, upright bass; and Chris Hepola, drums. Here’s a cut from the new EP.

Thursday, December 8

Curtiss A’s 37th Annual John Lennon Tribute @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. ($16 Advance, $18 Door) 7pm Doors. It’s been thirty six years since John Lennon was killed. Curtiss A brought together some friends that night for what has become an annual tradition, sometimes with changing costumes to reflect the changing music of Lennon and the Beatles. If you like the early stuff you better get there early, as they’ll be playing the songs chronologically. Here’s a video from 5 years ago.

Friday, December 9

Rich Lewis Band & Guests @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($6) Lewis is a long time player in the Twin Cities area, having played with the funky Explodo Boys of the 70s. You can expect New Orleans R&B, classic soul, and some soulful rock, ala Van Morrison. The band will be alternating with guests, as yet to be announced.

Maria Jette/Skeleton Crew @ Lowertown Classics, 255 Kellogg Blvd, East, 3rd Floor Atrium. 8pm ($10 suggested Donation) As the Lowertown Classics newsletter writes, this is a show for “friends of classical music in obscure places,” though the regularity of these shows may make the the space less obscure. Tonight, the versatile lyric soprano Maria Jette will be joined by Dan Chouinard on keys, and Richard Kriehn on mandolin and violin. As those who have heard her on Prairie Home Companion know, Jette is as likely to sing contemporary music as well as excerpts from classic operas. Skeleton Crew is the second act on the bill. They are a mixed chamber ensemble, anchored by piano keyboards and drums/percussion, with additional artists, depending on availability, joining them on expected as well as surprising instruments.

Hannah Von der Hoff & Lucky Dutch @ Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($6) Van der Hoff has a soulful voice, well suited to blues, roots, rock, and R&B. Tonight, she’s kicking off a Kickstarter campaign to record an album. Opening is Lucky Dutch, a roots/rock quartet from Chicago.

Hurricane Harold’s All Star Revue Annual Holiday Party @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10 pm ($6) Free Buffet, 5-7pm. Harold Tremblay brings together a bunch of his blues buddies for an annual holiday show. It’s a revue, where everybody takes turns fronting the band. Hurricane Harold Harmonica/Vocals; Allen Kirk Drums/ Vocals; Mark “Good Time Willy” Guitar/Vocals; Doug Otto Guitar/Vocals: Chris Johnson Bass/ Vocals; Tim Wick Keys/Vocals.

Saturday, December 10

Maurice Jacox @ Crooner’s Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Jacox can croon, swing, or belt the blues. He’s versatile enough to tackle Nat King Cole, Tyrone Davis, and the latinate songs of Doc Pomus, not to forget a few tunes for the season. He’ll be joined by award winning drummer, Robb Stupka; Thomas West on keys; and John Della Selva, guitar.  Saturday nights are usually packed, so get there early to get a seat at either the bar or a stage-side table.

Asleep at the Wheel @ Hopkins Center for the Arts, 1111 Main Street, Hopkins. 7pm Social Hour, 8pm show ($39) Grammy-winning Asleep at the Wheel has been keeping Western Swing, that 40s amalgamation of country and jazz in our minds since the early 70s. They revere Bob Wills, of course. In fact they’ve released three albums that pay homage to him. Along the way they’ve collaborated with Willie Nelson, Manhattan Transfer, Lyle Lovett, Merle Haggard, and Johnny Gimble, a member of Wills’ Texas Playboys. AATW has also released a few Christmas albums, from which they’ll be drawing some of their tunes tonight.

Dee Miller Band & Kendra Glenn @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7 – includes a free drink) It’s being billed as Twin Cities Women of the Blues, a title that couldn’t be any more apt. Ms Miller’s powerful delivery and tight band will fill the dance floor. Kendra Glenn has been making a name for herself in town. The Chicago born singer started in church choir at the age of 10, and is the “real deal.” She’s worked with R-Factor, the Maxx band, Vic Volare and others.

Kinky Kristmas 6 with Kinda Kinky & Friends @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10, $5 with Food Donation. The music of the Kinks, and a benefit for a food charity.

Claudia Schmidt @ University Baptist Church,1219 University Avenue SE, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Long time Twin Cities favorite Claudia Schmidt is a folk (and sometimes jazz) singer with an engaging stage presence, a fine taste in songs, and a delivery that touches your heart.

Sunday, December 11

Mother Banjo & BenCook-Feltz Holiday EP Release @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 5pm ($8 Advance/$10 Door) Ellen Stanley, aka Mother Banjo  and Ben Cook-Feltz are married singer/songwriters with their own band. They’ve recorded a holiday CD, and celebrating its release tonight. You can expect some traditional Christmas music, as well as some originals, with members of both bands participating, as well as special guests Jon Rodine and Vicky Emerson.

Tuesday, Wednesday

Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder @ The Dakota, MInneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40, $50), 9pm ($25, $30, $40) Skaggs is a 14-time Grammy Award winning country/bluegrass musician who got his first paycheck at the age of 7 for playing with Flatt & Scruggs on their TV Show. He’s been playing professionally since 1971, when he was only 17, when he played with Ralph Stanley. He was the youngest musician inducted into the Grand Old Opry in 1982, and dominated country charts in the 80s with 12 number 1 hits. A must see for fans of country and bluegrass.

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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