Mild Weather, Hot Music: 11.29 – 12.5

November 29, 2017

Some more holiday shows are on the horizon this week, as well as interesting shows from both visiting and resident artists. The weather continues to be unseasonably mild, so even if the temps drop some, as shown on the AccuWeather map above, it’s still easy to get out and hear some live music.  On to a couple of personal notes, I’ll be retiring from my radio show, Rhythm & Grooves, at the end of the year. My last show will be December 30, though hopefully, I’ll show up occasionally as a sub for other programs. I am continuing this blog and my newsletter. Secondly, the treatment regimen for my health issues goes amazingly well. Thank you for all your positive thoughts, prayers, and well wishes. Now get out and take part in a live music experience, which certainly can lift your spirits.

Larry

Jazz

Wednesday, Nov 29

Patrick Adkins Sextet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Here’s a young group worth watching: Patrick Adkins – Piano; Tarek Abdelqader – Drums; Levi Schwartzberg – Vibes; Aidan Sponheim – Trumpet; Drew Stinson – Bass; Thomas Strommen – Saxophone

Thursday, Nov 30

Vicky Mountain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) With Reuben Ristrom, guitar; Larry Hillman, sax; Jim Chenoweth, bass; and David Schmalenberger, drums.

Also: George Cartwright’s Smashing Carp @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Cartwright, saxophones; Heather Barringer, Vibraphone; Noah Ophoven-Baldwinm, trupmpet; and Michelle Kinney, Cello. Smashing is right.

Sophia Shorai Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) Underneath her sunny voice there is heartbreak waiting to be unleashed.

Friday, Dec 1

Kronick Quintet @ The Green Lantern (Public), Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) Five veteran musicians playing jazz will entertain in the basement bar at Lowertown’s Public Restaurant.

Omar Abdulkarim Trio @ The Lexington’s Williamsburg Room, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) A young trumpeter with beautiful tone has veterans Peter Schimke, piano; and Billy Peterson, bass accompanying him.

Friday, Saturday, Dec 1,2

Earl Klugh @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45), 9pm ($32, $37, $42) Acoustic guitarist Klugh cites Chet Atkins as being his most important influence, yet he has recorded with jazz artists, and his work is sometimes listed as New Age, or smooth jazz. He has a pretty tone and deft fingering, which come to the fore in his last album, Handpicked, a mostly solo outing, with two duets – one with Bill Frisell on Blue Moon and another with ukelelist Jake Shimabukuiro on Hotel California. 

Saturday, Dec 2

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Le Voyage opens at 7pm, featuring Matt Rice, alto sax; Donald Washington, saxophones; Richard Studer bass, and Steve Hirsh, drums. At 8:30, Peter Kogan’s Monsterful Wonderband will take the stage;: Geoff Senn, tpt; Pete Whitman, sax; Scott Agster, trombone; Chris Olsonm, guitar; Joe Strachan piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Peter Kogan, drums. While there are no videos of the band performing, here’s a slightly different version of the band from their recording.

Also: Lindsay Pedalty Trio @ The Green Lantern, Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) a charming, unaffected vocalist.

Sunday, Dec 3

Katia Cardenas @ Can Can Wonderland, 755 Prior Ave North, Saint Paul. 7pm – 10pm (No cover) I’ve yet to make it to this funhouse/bar/restaurant with indoor mini-golf and other attractions, but the siren call of Cardenas’ vocals on jazz and occasional pop tunes just might do the trick. She’ll be accompanied by Ted Gadbout, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Zach Schmidt, drums.

Alley Cats Jazz Jam @ The Basement Bar, Minneapolis. 8pm – 11pm  (No Cover) This jam is headed up by guitarist Joel Shapira, for a New York Jazzers Open Jam, though rules apply for participation.

Sunday, Monday, Dec 3, 4

Brad Mehldau Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $50), 9pm ($25, $30, $40) Whether improvising on rock n’ roll standards, a Charlie Parker blues, or the Great American Songbook, pianist Mehldau and bandmates bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard create intimate, often contemplative, music on their 2016 release Blues and Ballads. I can’t describe their music any better than Brit Robson did in the Star Tribune the other day, “Heres’s a group that manages to be cerebral and sentimental all at once.”

Tuesday, Dec 5

The Crosby/Clooney Story w/Hixson & Fogel @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20) Arne Fogel and Maud Hixson are reprising their popular show featuring the tunes and stories of the long friendship and working relationship between Bing Crosby & Rosemary Clooney. They’ll be aided by pianist Rick Carlson and bassist Steve Pikal. Here’s a video that shows Crosby and Clooney singing together.

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, Nov 29

Matt Woods on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Guitarist/vocalist Woods is a native of Iowa who performs traditional American roots music in all its guises, from traditional delta, hill country and urban electric blues, to gospel, country and folk music.  

Radio Joe & the JazzBos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) Joe Demko’s romantic streak is evident in many of the swinging loves songs that he and the JazzBos play. He promises to debut a theme song tonight. Bring your dancing shoes and your dancing moves.

Turkuaz @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($15 – $18) Brooklyn based funksters Turkuaz have a stage show described as combining influences from Sly and the Family Stone to Talking Heads into an explosive auditory and visual circus, a full-frontal assault on the senses. Opening are the Suffers, an 8-piece ensemble from Houston who play “Gulf Coast Soul.” They’ve done a tiny desk concert for NPR (which you can see here , and have appeared on the Daily Show with Trevor Noah and the Jimmy Kimmel Show.

Thursday, Nov 30

Willie Walker @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Here’s a chance to see this Walker, who was part of the original soul explosion in the 60s, in a fancy setting. During the past couple of years he’s experienced an uptick in overseas gigs, and has won two awards from Living Blues – Comeback Artist of the Year and Best Blues Album of 2015 for his recording Nothing Ever Changes. Whether singing originals, or classics by Sam Cooke and Otis Redding, Walker has never sounded better.

Also: Javier Matos @ The Basement Bar, 511 Washington Ave North, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Master of the bottleneck slide guitar, purveyor of the blues.

Friday, Dec 1

Church of Cash Holiday Show @ the Hook & Ladder, Minneapoills. 6:30pm ($10 Advance/$15 Door) You get a band that does a terrific job of honoring Johnny Cash while celebrating the holidays. What’s not to like?

Friday, Saturday, Dec 1, 2

Christmas Reggae Weekend @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($?) Expect Christmas music Yard Style and Soca Style, With Socaholix and The International Reggae All-Stars laying down the heavy bass. Wonder if they’ll do Sensimilla to the tune of the Hallelujah Chorus? Here the All Stars tackle Purple Rain.

Saturday, Dec 2

18th Annual Jeff Arundel Holiday Show @ 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($10) His show at the Aster Cafe is sold out, so you’ll have to head west to take part in this holiday tradition: With Special Guests Kathleen Johnson, Paul the Beatle, Fred and Anne Vagle, Steele Arundel, and The Swedish Men’s Whistling Team

The 99ers and The Black Widows @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 10pm (Tip Jar) Pop punk from the 99s and the all woman Black Widows.

Also: Willie Murphy & The Angel-Headed Hipsters @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 8pm (No cover)

Sunday, Dec 3

Switched at Birth CD Release Party @ The Hook & Ladder, Saint Paul. 4PM ($7 Advance/$10 Door) Switched at Birth has been playing their genre-defying acoustic music since 1998, with a repertoire that includes, bluegrass, folk, blues, Cajun, Irish,m and rock n’ roll music – Whew! They are celebrating the release of their third studio recording A Labor of Love. Members are Rick Anderson, guitar, banjo, vocals; Pam Kolupailo (Pam K of KFAI), guitar, vocals; Mark Briere, Mandolin, vocals; Mark Rizzardi, bass, vocals; and Catie Jo Pidel, fiddle. Opening act Cousin Dad is another acoustic band with a surprising song list, including Latin, country buds, fiddle tunes, Motown, and more. Here’s Switched at Birth with a classic rock tune.

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.


Unique, Remarkable Music: 10.4 – 10.10

October 4, 2017

What every household needs!

Well, just like the “modern housewife,” as pictured, we have a unique and remarkable set of opportunities to hear revitalizing music. We have three new series taking place: Friday Nights @ The Dunsmore; Illicit Jazz Workshop @ Jazz Central; and the monthly Forge at Bryant Lake Bowl. We also have an all-star jazz group visiting our town, a pioneering Stax musician, and a group from Mali. And there’s a celebration of John Lennon’s birthday, a benefit concert, and some unique combinations of resident musicians. Music lifts the spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, Oct 4

Dave King Trio @Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $25) If you’re a Twin Cities jazz fan, you have undoubtedly heard drummer King in one of his numerous groups. Tonight he’s joined by Bill Carrothers, piano; and Billy Peterson, bass.  Here they are doing their unique arrangements of a couple of standards.

Zacc Harris/Katia Cardenas @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Harris – No Cover), 8pm ($6) Start out with guitarist Zacc Harris, whose clean lines can often be hear with the Atlantis Quartet, as well as in a trio at the Riverview Wine Bar Sunday nights, Vital Organ and other groups. Then at 8pm it’s Jazz & R&B from vocalist Cardenas who will be joined by Ted Godbout, Graydon Peterson & Zach Schmidt, and “The NoDak Girls” Andrina Brogden & Sheridan Zuther.

Forge: Maryam Ershadi Yusefzadeh & Thomas Nordlund @ Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) Forge is a new series celebrating creative music, performed on the stage at Bryant Lake Bowl. This month, singer Maryam Ershadi Yusefzadeh and guitarist Thomas Nordlund present a view into “Migration”, their debut collaboration. It is a collection of reimagined traditional Persian folk songs and original compositions inspired by that musical language. Vocalist Yusefzadeh had her early musical training in Tehran and received a BFA in Art, Music, and Dance performance from the UofMN. She studied jazz with Roberta Davis. Guitarist Nordland can be found as a sideman with any number of Twin Cities artists in a number of genres. He released his debut full length album Divide Avenue, in 2015

Wednesday, Thursday, Oct 4, 5

Savion Glover & Marcus Gilmore @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50, $65, $75), 9pm ($35, $50, $60) It’s a percussive extravaganza as Glover, perhaps the best tap dancer performing today, partners with drummer Gilmore, who has worked with Chick Corea, Vijay Iyer, Nicholas Payton, and others, and BTW, is the grandson of the great Roy Haynes.

Thursday, Oct 5

Joel Shapira/Maud Hixson @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Shapira: no cover), 8pm (Hixson: $6) It’s a double dose of jazz as guitarist Joel Shapira delivers solo numbers before Maud Hixson takes the stage, accompanied by Rick Carlson, piano; and Chris Bates, bass. Expect an evening of cool, yet simmering standards.

Friday, Oct 6

Jazz Women All Stars @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm   Patty Peterson, Ginger Commodore, Lucia Newell, Linda Peterson, Joan Griffith, Jendeen Forberg, Kathy Jensen. Need I say more

Le Percheron @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10?) Trumpeter Steve Kenny is always on the lookout for new places to produce live music. Now, through Illicit Productions, he is curating Friday Nights at Jazz Central. To kick things off, he’s got Adam Linz’s terrific group: Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, Cornet; Levi Schwartzberg, Vibes; Cory Healey, drums; and Linz, bass.

Bryan Nicols Quintet @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley, 9pm ($15) The Dunsmore Room is trying a new tactic – Friday night jazz curated by Zacc Harris, and at the same time as music in the main lounge. The Dunsmore’s quiet acoustics (and audience) should make this work. For the first show they have: Nichols, piano; Mike Lewis & Brandon Wozniak, saxes; Eric Fratzge, bass; JT Bates, drums.

Saturday, October 7

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Ahmed & the Creators at 7pm, followed by Jax Revel Gang at 8:30pm: Jax bass; Matt Trice, sax; Javi Santiago, piano; Blake Huebl, drums

MN Hard Bop Collective: Joe Henderson @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7-9pm (Tip Jar) The Collective returns to Boom Island with another of their shows celebrating past masters. Although saxophonist Henderson’s earliest recordings were marked by a strong hard-bop influence, his playing encompassed not only the bebop tradition, but rhythm and blues, latin, and avant-garde as well. Tonight the Collective includes:  Dave Brattain, Jeff Rinear, Chris Olson, Kameron Markworth and Jesse Simon

Sunday, Oct 8

Katie Thiroux Trio @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20) NYC-based Thiroux’s latest album Offbeat (her 2nd) shows the triple threat (bass, vocals, compositions) carrying on the swing tradition of Ray Brown and John Clayton when playing mainstream jazz.

Monday, Tuesday, Oct 9, 10

Connie Evingson & Jon Weber @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20) Ms Evingson is celebrating the centennial of Ella Fitzgerald’s birth with a series of concerts from Ella’s Songbook series. This time around it’s the music of Rogers & Hart. She and pianist Jon Weber will be joined by Dave Karr, sax; and Gordy Johnson, bass.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Oct 10, 11

Chick Corea/Steve Gadd Sextet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, ($75, $90, $100), 9pm ($65, $80, $90) Holy Buckets, what a group! Besides Corea on keyboards, and Gadd, who has played on hundred of albums, on drums, we have Lionel Louecke, last seen here at the MN Zoo with Herbie Hancock, as well as bassist Carlitos del Puerto, an original member of pioneering cuban group Irakere, saxophonist Steve Wilson, and Argentine percussionist Luisto Quintero.

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, Oct 4

Pushing Chain on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Boyd Blomberg guitar & vocals; and Adam  Moe, fiddle & vocals; have been performing together in various configurations since 1997, and as Pushing Chain since 2012. They call their music Folky-Tonk, with stron vocals and melodies.

Thursday, Oct 5

Mikkel Beckmen, Jon Rodine, & Dan Gaardner @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (tip jar) Resident percussionist often has only one guest each Thursday, but tonight is special with Jon Rodine, a vocalist who should be  better known in town, and guitarist Dan Gaardner of Trailer Trash.

Swamp Poppas @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Wad’ya get when Cajun teenagers in the 50s and 60s heard rock n’ roll? Swamp Pop – Rock n’ Roll with a Cajun accent. You can hear examples of the genre by listening (and dancing) to the Swamp Poppas.

Butanes @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) The Best Blues Band in the Twin Cities continues their weekly residency at Shaw’s, led by guitarist Curt Obeda, and featuring a number of musicians who sit in for a song or two, such as Camille Boudoin, of the Radiators, Jelly Bean Johnson, Maurice Jacox, and Willie Walker.

Friday,Oct 6 

Willie Walker @ Crooner’s Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, or $10 for a reserved seat in front of the stage)  Walker’s been doing a lot of recording over the past few years. The Soul Man’s latest is After A While, with the Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra, the group that’s backing him on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise later this month.

Belfast Cowboys @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($7 Advance/$10 Door) The Cowboys are one of the most popular bands in town, delivering sprightly versions of Van Morrison tunes and other gems. This is the first of three monthly gigs at the Hook.

Saturday, Oct 7

Songhoy Blues @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) The Songhoy people were once one of the most prominent ethnic groups in Mali, though the now live on the margins of that West African country. After a number of musicians made their way to Bamako as refugees, they decided to start a band that celebrates the displaced people and their culture, playing desert blues, Malian grooves, and American guitar licks. Opening is Brasszilla, a quartet consisting of Hal Longley, sousaphone; Zach Zins, trombone; Bob DeBoer, trumpet; Andy Deckard, drums.

Sunday, Oct 8

Boom Boom Stevie V & the Knockouts @ Neumann’s Bar, North Saint Paul. 4pm – 6pm (Tip Jar) Spend a Bluesy Autumn afternoon enjoying the sounds of Harpmeister Boom Boom, and his Knockouts.

Doug Otto & Friends @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 5pm – 8pm (Tip Jar) This tiny, NE dive bar has been bought by the owners of the Nightingale, who are generally happy with the music line-up there. Guitarist/vocalist Doug Otto explores the blues and Americana, with a voice so mournful, you might find yourself crying. He calls upon a number of friends to help him on these “brunch gigs for working musicians.”

General B & The Wiz, The Plott Hounds, & Rlgdppl @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7 Advance/$10 Door) The Hook presents an evening of live music to benefit the recovery of hurricane victims in Puerto Rico! $1 Per Ticket will be donated by the bands and matched by The Hook and Ladder to PROJECT HOPE. General B plays psychedelic/IndieBlues; The Plott Hounds like 70s Southern rock as they play alt-country blues, and the music of Rlgdppl is rooted in Rhythm & Blues.

Monday, Oct 9

Curtiss A Celebrates John Lennon’s 77th @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) It’s not the annual tribute show, but is bend called Return to the Cavern. That’s the Cavern Club in Liverpool where, upon returning for their Hamburg sojourn, the Beatles made 292 appearances between 1961 and 1963, with their last appearance occurring just after they recorded She Loves You. I expect this show will include the rock n’ roll favorites of John Lennon

Sunday, Monday, Oct 8,9

Booker T Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm & 8pm Sunday, 7pm Monday ($35, $40, $50) The pioneering Stax organ star may run through Green Onions a bit quicker than usual, but after all, it’s been 55 years since that grooving piece of funk was laid down by Jones and his compatriots in the MGs. He still manages to deliver the hits and the newer pieces from his last few years as a solo artist.

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.


Awash in Music: 6.22 – 6.28

June 22, 2016

imagesIt’s once again time for Saint Paul’s Twin Cities Jazz Festival  Executive Director Steve Heckler and his staff and volunteers have  put together a great weekend of music that will appeal to a wide variety of listeners. It features a number of great headlining musicians: Delfeayo Marsalis and piano phenom Joey Alexander on Thursday, Ellis Marsalis on Friday, and Russell Malone and John Pizzarelli on Saturday. Additionally, over 300 musicians from the area will perform in over a dozen venues and four outdoor stages, and best of all, it’s free. I will be sending out a short guide to the Festival in a separate e-mail, but you can get more information, including the whole schedule here. In the meantime, here’s a listing of other music ideas for the coming week. Music lifts the spirit.

Larry

Jazz
Wednesday, June 22
Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Vocalist and bassist Ms Lynch is building a following as she makes her way through a number of venues in the area. She’s backed by some truly excellent musicians, including guitarist Chris Beaty, trumpeter Greg Lewis, and trombonist Michael Nelson. Kate & the Fellows play music from the 30s to the 60s, and it’s always an entertaining performance.

Katia Cardenas EP Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Advance, $12 Door) Ms Cardenas will be backed by her working trio: Ted Godbout, piano; Ted Olsen, bass; and Zach Schmidt, drums. At 10pm it’s  Jazzoneando, a Latin Jazz Trio from Mexico: Alberto “Yamil” Vazquez, piano, leader, arranger; Aaron Romo, bass, vocals; Kimani Carranzana, percussion, vocals. PS: If you want to hear a couple of tunes from the EP, you can listen to an interview I did with Katia this past Saturday (the 18th) by going here and clicking on one of the listen icons for June 18. The interview starts about 20 minutes into the show.

David Hazeltine & Billy Peterson CD Release Party @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $50 w/Dinner), 9pm ($15, $45 w/Dinner) Here we have the 3rd of three special nights at the Dunsmore Room, where two musicians who have a 40 year musical history release their first CD, NEXT DOOR. Pianist Hazeltine is a major player, and is especially well regarded in NYC and Japan. Raised in Milwaukee, he was encouraged by Chet Baker to go to NYC, where his Charlie Parker-influenced playing was welcomed. He’s well known as a composer and arranger, and for taking contemporary tunes and making them into “standards.” Our own Billy Peterson is equally at home with R&B and rock music as he is with jazz, having toured for decades with the Steve Miller Band. He received notable praise for his appearance with Bill Carrothers and Dave King at the Village Vanguard a few years back, and regularly tours with Ben Sidran. This CD release party will include a few well-chosen covers as well as some originals. Here’s an example of Hazeltine’s work.

Balluff/Pikal/Thompson Trio @ The Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) Traditional jazz, well served by Tony Balluff, clarinet; Steve Pikal, bass; and Butch Thompson  piano and clarinet. It’s a new combination that’s hard to beat.

Thursday, June 23
Chris Bates’ Red5 @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 10pm (Tip Jar) Two late night sets from bassist Bates and his crew, doing originals by Bates. Chris Bates, basses; Thomas Nordlund, guitar; Jt Bates, drums; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Brandon Wozniak, tenor; Chris Thomson, tenor and soprano. Check them out after the Mears Park main stage performances.

Friday, June 25
Dennis Spears Quartet @ Crooners’ Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Spear’s smooth baritone is a pleasure to hear, whether he’s performing R&B, pop, or jazz.

Saturday, June 26
Brad Bellows & Friends @ Boom Island Brewing Tap Room, 2014 North Washington, Minneapolis. (No Cover) If you don’t want to head to downtown Saint Paul for Jazz Fest, this is a chance to hear some jazz while taking in the current taps at Boom Island Brewing. Valve trombonist Brad Bellows can be depended on for having talented friends and creating great music.

Sunday, June 26
Paula Lammers @ The Eagan Art Festival, Central Park, Eagan. 2:30pm (Free) Ms Lammers and her supple voice close out the entertainment at this community art fair. And with accompanists such as  Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Greg Byers, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums, you may even be inspired to make a last minute purchase.

Zacc Harris Trio @ The Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) After three days of crowds at the TC Jazz Fest, you may want the comfort of a small wine bar to take in the tasty sounds of guitarist Harris and his trio. Here he is with his quartet.

Monday, June 27
Charmin Michelle & Rick Carlson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35w/Dinner) This is part of a series called In the Crook, whereby a vocalist is situated in the “crook” of a piano. In this case, you have the buttery, elegant singing of Charmin Michelle, accompanied by the spare, ever tasteful piano stylings of Rick Carlson.

Jazzoneando @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5/w student ID) If you missed them at the Icehouse Wednesday, or the Jazz Fest on Saturday, you can still catch this trio from Mexico, as they apply all sorts of Latin rhythms to jazz.

Monday, Tuesday, June 27, 28
The Rad Trads @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) The Rad Trads: Take a three horn front line, add a rock rhythm section, and an additional drummer/percussionist, stir with music that ranges from traditional jazz to blues from Chicago and the Delta, add in a touch of New Orleans R&B, and season with a bit of rock n’ roll, and you get lively, celebratory 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, June 22
The Beavers on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This all-female Americana group started as a jam band, but whether they’re covering John Prine or performing one of their originals, their light-hearted approach to folk and country (or whatever) is sure to bring a smile to your face.

Samba Meu @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) A bit of Brazil comes to the newly expanded Black Dog. The party starts with a dance lesson after which you can dance to sambas and forros from Karen Quiroz and Samba Meu, and be entertained by SnapFrost!, a group of women with Shakeres, that beaded gourd that, in the hands of this group, creates irresistible rhythms.

Thursday, June 23
Rockin’ Pinecones @ the Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 10pm. The Pinecones will fill the wonderful dance floor at the Eagles Club with folks twirling, spinning, and two-stepping to the R&B of New Orleans R&B, as well as some Cajun and Zydeco.

Friday, June 24
Nachito Herrera @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) It’s always difficult to know where to place Nachito in these listings, as he is equally conversant in Classical, pop, jazz, and Cuban music (he is, after all, from Havana). Whatever he plays, it will leave the audience breathless.

Fathom Lane @ The Warming House, 4001 Bryant Ave So, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 – $15) The Warming House is a new basement listening room in South Minneapolis, just right for the ethereal and fragile-seeming music of Fathom Lane. They released two well-recieved albums, which reveal a hard -to-define sound, that implies influences ranging from Gram Parsons to The Velvet Underground. Seth Michael Davin opens.


Dee Miller Band featuring Jimi “Prime Time” Smith @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) With strong vocals, dynamite guitar courtesy of “Prime Time” and a driving rhythm section, Ms Miller and her compradres offer up a blast of the blues.

Mary Cutrufello Band @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($5) This FedEx driver has a voice that’s been honed with sandpaper, a Telecaster that she rocks with abandon, and a predilection for Texas twang and country tales. In short, Cutrufello goes against all the stereotypes a Yale graduate from Connecticut might engender.

Saturday, June 25
Honky Tonk Fest VI @ Grumpy’s Northeast, 2200 4th St. NE, Minneapolis. 1:30pm – 10pm Sixth annual country music benefit for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Minnesota, featuring six bands, a ticket raffle, cakewalk, and Hee-Haw photo booth! 1:30 PM sound check by Country Mike; 2:00 Trailer Trash; 3:15 The Beavers; 4:30 Katy Bellville & The Sonsabitches; 5:45 The Hillions; 7:00 Doug Otto & the Getaways; 8:15 Leo Rondeau (from Austin, TX)

Charles Lawson & the Crazy Snakes All-Stars @ Barely Brothers Records, Saint Paul. 2pm – 4pm (Free) Waay back in the day, Lawson fronted a blues band called the KingSnakes, which would cover under appreciated songs to incite dancing wherever they played. Then, he and Ed Pesche held down a weekly gig at the old incarnation of the Viking for a few years. I don’t know who he’s got with him today, but it will be fun. And, if you can’t make it to this gig, he’s got another at the Dubliner tomorrow from 5-7pm with the Slender Men.

Cactus Blossoms & Eelpout Stringers @ Franconia Sculpture Park, Franconia. 2pm – 6pm (Fee – $5 to park) Looking for a short road trip to an interesting place? The Franconia Sculpture Park might be just the ticket. Pack a picnic and listen to the acoustic string tunes of the Eelpout Stringers, followed by The Cactus Blossoms, purveyors of modern songs inspired by the classic Country & Western performers of the 50s.

Erik Koskinen Band @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8 Advance/$12 Door) Koskinen is a fine guitarist and writer/composer of tales from America’s main street, sung with much affection for traditional C&W.

Céu @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $45) Céu is a singer/songwriter with a voice as sensuous as the rhythms of her country. She creates beautiful Brazilian electro-pop, encompassing Afrobeat, jazz, and, as might be expected, a number of Brazilian rhythms. Kauf, a Los Angeles singer/songwriter who uses electronics to good effect, opens.

Sunday, June 26
Captain Gravitone @ The Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul 11am – 1pm (Tip Jar) Banjo-led Americana, along with a touch of humor while you have brunch, and after all, isn’t the banjo an easy punch line for many jokes. Consider just a couple of the songs of Captain Gravitone: “Daydreaming Out of the 9 to 5 Corporate Office Window,” and “Hula-hoop Girl on Bourbon Street.”

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


A Good Week for Music: 4.13 – 4.19

April 13, 2016

largeIt’s a good week for music. There is much vital jazz going on the Twin Cities, of which I’ve only listed a few things. Then there’s the blues and roots scene, which seems to birth a new band every week. We have some visiting artists, as well as a plentiful supply of resident artists to spark our imagination and lift our spirits. Have a great week.

 

Jazz

Wednesday, April 13

Mary Louise Knutson @ Vieux Carré,, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) Knutson is an inventive pianist with a lyrical touch who plays the dinner hour at the basement club pretty regularly. She also plays with Doc Severinson, various orchestras, accompanying vocalists such as Connie Evingson, and with her own trio. Have some gumbo, ribs, or a muffaletta and wonder at how lucky you are to hear such talent.

Chris Bates and Al Vorse @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Two well-regarded bassists about town play mostly acoustic solo material, some of which will be augmented with special effects. Bates promises it will be fantastic! Here he is doing a solo piece.

Thursday, April 14

Keiko Matsui @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($32 – $42), 9pm ($22 – $32) Keyboardist Matsui has been thrilling fans of smooth jazz, jazz fusion, jazz pop, and new age music over the course of four decades, melding genres, as well as Western and Eastern musical influences over the course of twenty albums. She was an invited performer at the second International jazz Day concert, held in Istanbul in 2013, and has worked alongside such luminaries as Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, and Hugh Masakela, and is a starch supporter of a number of humanitarian programs.

Sarah M. Greer @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Thursdays are vocal nights at Jazz Central, and tonight’s presentation is entitled The Sound of Her Own Voice. Ms Greer, who teaches as well as performs, will be accompanied by Anthony Cox, bass; and Dean Magraw, guitar. She’s celebrating the joy of singing, as well as a birthday. Here she is leading a spontaneous sing.

Friday, April 15

A Weaving of Traditions @ Hamiline University’s Sundlin Hall, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15 Advance, $20 Door) This is a tribute to jazz musicians with Native American roots.The concert will include music of  Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk and other jazz musicians with Native roots arranged for Native American style flute by Bob Fantauzzo  He’ll be joined by Lyz Jaakola, on traditional Anishinaabe vocals and percussion; Anthony Cox, bass; Javi Santiago, piano; and Mac Santiago, drums and percussion. Mr Smooth, saxophonist Irv Williams will make a special guest appearance. Here’s Bob with a cellist.

Jeremy Walker/Katia Cardenas @ The Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Walker – No Cover) 9pm (Cardenas – $8) It’s another full evening of jazz, from the sometimes introspective piano playing of Jeremy Walker  who creates stunning original music, to the strong vocals of Ms Cardenas, who can tackle a wide variety of songs with ease. She’s been recording an EP, and is coins some crowd funding to finish it up. Cardenas will be accompanied by Ted Godbout, piano; Andrew Foreman, bass; and Zach Schmidt,drums.

Maryann Sullivan and Corner Jazz @ Parma 8200, Bloomington (No Cover) The former radio host and current voice talent Ms Sullivan displays her talent as a winning songstess of the Great American Songbook, with Phil Aaron, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; Trevor Haining, drums. Listen to her with a slightly different group.

Friday Night Jazz in Exile @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Donation) At 7:30pm, the evening starts with the Ancia Saxophone Quartet a group that received a standing ovation this past January at the Winter Jazz Fest. Then at 8:30pm or so, Rare Medium  the jazz-funk outfit whose appeal crosses generations and genres, will perform. Her’s the Ancia Quartet.

Saturday, April 16

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) This promises to be an outstanding night of music, though both groups are relatively new. At 7pm: D’Sievers Quartet, w/Steve Sawyer, bass; Jon Davis, piano; Alec Tackmann, drums; John Sievers, trombone, followed at 8:30pm by the debut performance of the Free Range Jazz Quartet: Jabari Powell, saxophones; Ryan nether, trumpet; Anthony Cox, upright bass; and Rodney Ruckus, drums.

Kate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Vieux Carré,, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Young swing dancers will be moving a table or two as they strut their stuff to the engaging sounds of bassist Ms Lynch and her group. Even if you don’t dance, you will enjoy Kate’s historical perspective on the songs she plays which range from the 30s to the 60s. I’ve posted this video before, but it’s worth seeing again.

Court’s in Session Jazz Ensemble with Courtney Burton @ Studio 2 Cafe, 818 West 46th St, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (No Cover – Tip jar?) Here we have a quintet of musicians from Beasley’s Big Band playing with Ms Burton in a Southside coffee shop. Her creamy voice is well suited to jazz with blues overtones, as found in many of the standards they perform.

Sunday, April 17

Connie Evingson: Gypsy in my Soul @ The Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. ($25) Evingson has done three different albums of Gypsy Jazz. She’ll be drawing the evenings repertoire from those as well as adapting other songs to the style. She’s ably abetted by Patrick Harrison, accordion; Dean Harrington, guitar; Mark Kreitzger, guitar; Jopsh Granowski, bass; and Dave Karr, sax.

Monday, April 18

Jazz Implosion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Cory Healey’s Beautiful Sunshine Band just released a new album featuring Healy’s thoroughly modern original compositions. Besides Healey on drums, the group includes some of the area’s top musicians: Erik Fratzke, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; and Zacc Harris, guitar. Listen to a cut from their album.

Tuesday, April 19

Steve Hobert/Mill City Hot Club @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Hobert – No Cover), 8pm (Hot Club – $5) An early-in-the-week two-fer of jazz. Pianist Steve Hobert’s compositions and improvisations are delightfully playful, while the Mill City Hot Club will provide some acoustic swing and Gypsy Jazz. Guitarist Dean Harrington leads the quintet, whose membership varies among a core group of players.  Here are some of them.

Lizz Wright @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $55) As a preacher’s kid in Georgia, Ms Wright grew up singing gospel music, which, along with jazz, folk, and the blues, informs her singing. Her latest album, Freedom and Surrender, has been well received by critics and fans alike, as have her previous four.

Irv Williams @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) Williams is 96 years old and still sounding great, with a tone so smooth and beautiful, that it’s coveted by sax players half his age. He’ll be joined by Dave Graf, sax; Phil Aaron, piano; and Gordy Johnson, drums in the intimate, 80-seat listening space.

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, April 13

Zack Lozier Three on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI – 90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club, Tip Jar) Trumpeter Lozier can be heard with brass bands, the Doc Severinson Orchestra, the Southside Aces, Davina & the Vagabonds and with this trio, which includes Steve Hobert on keys and Keith Boyles on bass. Expect some traditional New Orleans jazz as well as some untraditional, but nevertheless swinging, takes on some classics.

Spider John Koerner @ The Happy Gnome, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) Saint Paulites are in for a treat, as Spider John sets up in the Fireside Room of this unique neighborhood beer hall – well it does have 89 taps and a plethora of bottled and canned beers, as well as 250 brands of scotch. Anyway, no one can play traditional American folk and blues like Koerner, and it’s always a pleasure to hear him. Spider John plays at 7pm, followed by the Cincinatti duo Dawg Yawp at 8:30. Here’s Koerner doing a classic folk song.

Thursday, April 14

Music in Movies @ MStP International Film Festival, Saint Anthony Main Theater, Minneapolis. Mad Tiger , a film about the breakup of the Asian rock group Peelander-Z, screens at the Uptown Theater at 10pm.

Big Fat Love: John Prine’s 1/2 Birthday @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Once again, Mother Banjo and Art Vandalay present an evening of the music of John Prine, with additional performances from Doug Otto, The Eddies, Katey Bellville, Nikki & The Ruemates,  and more!

Lonesome Dan Kase/Pat Donahue with Daddy Squeeze Quartet @ Vieux Carré,, Saint Paul. 6pm (Lonesome Dan – No Cover), 9pm (Pat & Daddy Squeeze – $8) The Vieux does a nice job of pairing dinner hour performers with evening acts, such as this two-fer. I’ve long been a fan of Lonesome Dan’s plaintive singing and channeling of itinerant bluesmen from the 30s. Donahue is a versatile guitarist, whose championship finger-picking style is right at home with the accordion-based music of Dan Newton, aka Daddy Squeeze. Here’s Lonesome Dan.

Friday, April 15

KFAI Listener Appreciation Night @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) There will be three rooms of music, featuring regional artists that support the station, like Dan Newton and the Cafe Accordion Orchestra, the Swamp Poppas, Mark Joseph of Big Wu, Phil Heywood, Mother Banjo, Doug Otto & Hurricane Harold, Papa John Kolstad, and more.

Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $30) Soulful Americana from a couple who have backed Dylan (Campbell spent 8 years on the Never Ending Tour), Little Feat, Hot Tuna, Emmylou Harris, Mavis Staples and Levon Helm, among others. A special treat is the opening act, Donny Fritts  an architect of the Muscle Shoals sound, whose songs have been recorded by The Box Tops, Dolly Parton, Charlie Rich, Waylon Jennings, and more. He’s also been Kris Krisofferson’s keyboard player for over 40 years.

Saturday, April 16

Johnny Clegg Band w/Jesse Clegg @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($40 Advance, $45 Door)Singer/guitarist Johnny Clegg was born in England and grew up in Zimbabwe. He joined with African artist Sipho Mchunu to form the mixed-race group Juluka in the late 70’s and went on to record two platinum and five gold albums. He also recorded a million-seller with the band Savuka in the 80s, and in 2010 celebrated his 30th anniversary as a performer with a solo album called Human. He recently became a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE). His son Jesse, a platinum selling artist in his own right, opens. Here’s Clegg. The music begins at about 20 seconds.

KFAI Listener Appreciation Night #2 @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Night Two takes a turn toward more raucous music, with Charlie Parr, the April Fools, Kinda Kinky, The Bad Companions, Blurring Agent, and more, including an open jam.

Sunday, April 17

Phil Heywood @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm (Tip Jar) Late afternoon finger picking, with occasional singing, from Heywood, a master of the form.

The Residents Present Shadowland @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($40 Advance, $45 Door) Since their formation over 40 years ago, the membership of this experimental group has been cloaked in anonymity, as they always appear in masks (often their trademark eyeball helmet), and don’t talk. They don’t give interviews either. Nevertheless, the Residents have released over 60 albums, often deconstructing popular music, or creating conceptual pieces, such as Shadowland, being performed tonight. There will be music from the Resident’s extensive catalog, interspersed with short videos about birth, rebirth, reincarnation and near death experiences. The program kicks of the a film called The Theory of Obscurity.

Monday, April 18

Music in Movies @ MStP International Film Festival, Saint Anthony Main Theater, Minneapolis. Various prices, and times. It’s another night of music at Saint Anthony Main as The World Has No Eyedea, the film about the Twin Cities freestyle rapper screens at 7pm, and Mad Tiger, about the breakup of Peelander-Z, and Asian rock band, screens at 9:50pm.

Tuesday, April 19

Lil’Smokies, with Last Revel @ Dayblock Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7 advance/$10 Door) The Last Revel is a trio that uses three part harmonies and a rebellious attitude, along with a touch of traditional folk, to liven up a crowd. The Lil’ Smokies are from Missoula MT, and have been hard at work for six years, creating a progressive acoustic sound. Their hard work paid off when they recently won the 2015 Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition.

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


A Jazz Festival, Gamelans, Americana, and More: 1.27 – 2.2

January 27, 2016
You don't have to go outside to hear winter jazz

You don’t have to go outside to hear winter jazz

I’m still on vacation for another day, so this newsletter is also a bit short. That doesn’t mean there isn’t plenty of music to hear out there, including a gamelan orchestra, a one day jazz festival, and some great Americana. There’s more, but I haven’t had the time to fully explore everything. Remember, Music Lifts the Spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, January 27
Jake Baldwin Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) The young trumpeter always has simpatico musicians in his band. This time he has Ted Olson on bass, and Matt Buckner on drums.
Dean Magraw & Butch Thompson @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($?) Quite the combination. Thompson, of course is our very own expert on traditional jazz, with a light touch on both the piano and the clarinet.  Dean Magraw is as versatile a guitar player that you will ever find, from the music of India, Ireland, and other  countries, to jazz-rock fusion, bebop, and more.

Thursday, January 28
Katia Cardenas @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) The powerhouse young singer can do mighty justice to the songs of Aretha Franklin, Amy Winehouse, and Ella Fitzgerald. She’ll be accompanied by Ted Godbout, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Trevor Hainig, drums.
Saturday, January 30
Saturday Night Jazz @ the Blackdog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Last week I mentioned that Steve Kenny often has young bands as opening acts for these Saturday Night jazz sets. Here’s one of them, The Nextet, a group of very talented high school students: Jordan Anderson, piano; Alma Engebretson, bass; Will Schmid, guitar; and Luke Westemeyer, drums. At 8:30, a special performance of the Dave Karr Group: Karr, saxophones; Kenny Horst, drums; Billy Peterson, bass; and Steve Kenny Flumpet.
Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) It’s dance time at Crooners, as Ms Lynch brings her unique take on songs from the 20s to the 60s to the lounge.
Tim Patrick and His Blue Eyes Band @ The Eagles Club #34, Minnapolis. 8pm ($12) Patrick has a way with crooning the songs of Sinatra and friends that brings out the swing dancers.

Sunday, January 31
Cyrus Chestnut Clinic @ MacNally Smith College of Music Auditorium, Saint Paul noon- 1pm (Free) Pianist Chestnut will be playing later in the day at the Winter Jazz Festival, but is starting out the day with a clinic aimed at high school students, but open to the public.
Twin Cities Winter Jazz Fest @ Saint Paul Hotel, Saint Paul. 2pm – 8:30pm ($30 advance, $35 Door) Three stages with a surfeit of talent. On the Summit Room Stage: 2pm – The Dakota Combo, in their first appearance of the year; 3pm – John Penny, was scheduled, but is unable to perform after an accident. No word on a replacement yet. On the M Street Cafe Stage: 4pm Patty Peterson with Dave Karr; 5:30pm – Solomon Parham with Steve Kenny. On the Ballroom Main Stage: 2pm – Acme jazz Company; 3pm, Ancia Saxophone Quartet; 4:30pm – JoAnn Funk; 5pm Jazz Central All Stars featuring Debbie Duncan; 6:45pm – Cyrus Chestnut with Francisco Mela and Gerald Cannon

Tribute to Natalie Cole @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm  Ginger Commodore, Yolanda Bruce, Tonia Hughes-Kendrick, Dennnis Spears, Ash Smash. With Brian Ziemniak, keys; Jay Young, bass; Deevo Dee, guitar; Daryl Boudreaux, perc; Bobby Commodore, drums.
Monday
Tuesday, February 2
Charles Lloyd & Friends @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50, $70) The Jazz Master brings his saxophone back to the Dakota, this time with some esteemed friends: Bill Frisell,guitar; Reuben Rogers, bass; and Eric Harland. Both Frisell and Lloyd leave plenty of room in their playing, creating an almost meditative quality to their performance.

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, January 27
JT Bates & Friends @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) JT Bates is a versatile drummer. Some folks know him as the guy who often plays with the Pines and on Prairie Home Companion. Others know him as a jazz drummer about town, playing with Fat Kid Wednesdays, Zacc Harris, his brother Chris, and curating the Jazz Implosion on Monday nights. Some may have discovered him as the funky drummer in the soul jazz organ group GRAIN. Tonight he invites some friends to play the music of New Orleans with him. Those friends include: Joel Schaan, guitar & vocals; Jim Anton, bass; and Kevin Gastonguay, organ. Here he is with a different set of friends.

Wednesday, Thursday, January 27, 28
Eric Bibb and Corey Harris @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) Modern acoustic blues that seems to have wafted up from the Delta from a couple of relatively young masters. Bibb is an intimate performer and fine story teller. With a foundation in traditional blues and an ear for contemporary blues, Harris received a MacArthur “Genius Grant” back in 2007.

Thursday, January 28
Swamp Kings @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5?) You’ll definitely feel the Louisiana vibe as this trio brings blues, swamp pop, and Cajun rhythms to the basement shrine to New Orleans.

Americana Showcase @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Rice County Records is a little label from Northfield. They’ve been holding weekly showcases of their talent and tonight will feature: The Holy Broke at 9; Matt Arthur & the Bratlanders at 10; and Golden Valley at 11.
International Novelty Gamelan @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Gamelan is a term used in Bali and Java to describe a number of instruments, including gongs, xylophones, and a variety of percussion instruments. What sets it apart is that the instruments are built and tuned to be played together. This local sextet has been playing together for over 13 years, composing their own music, which is drone-like in its approach. Beer, wine, and small plates are available for the Thurday night music series at Khyber Pass.
Friday, January 29
John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band @ The Dakota, Minnapolis. 7pm ($30) Jorgenson is an amazingly versatile guitarist. He spent more than 5 years on the road with  Elton John, co-founded the Desert Rose Band, a stellar country rock outfit, with Chris Hillman; collaborated with Sting and Billy Joel; and was a pioneer of the America’s gypsy jazz revival the last couple of decades. Tonight he explores bluegrass.

Scottie Miller @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Pianist/vocalist Miller will be performing boogie-woogie, soul, funk, and blues. HIs rollicking playing, with it’s echoes of New Orleans and classic rock, will have the joint jumpin’. 
New Sound Underground and The Heard @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10 advance, $12 door) Modern day horn-oriented funk from a couple of Twin Cities groups. New Sound Underground is a sextet with at least three players who are well respected in the Twin Cities jazz scene. The Heard is a seven piece group with a 3-person horn section.

Sunday, January 31
Pop Wagner @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Some might call Wagner a folkie, but those in the know would describe him as an old-time country singer, and by old time, I’m talking the 30s. He’s also mighty handy with a lasso. Here’s Pop with a very witty song.

Charlie Parrr @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Parr is playing out quite a bit these days. He has enough fans that most venues fill up. Tonight he’s joined by  Wild Hands, a North Dakota quartet who’s music covers the usual Americana bases.
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.

Summer Days, Summer Nights. Music:8.5 – 8.11

August 5, 2015
The Lowertown Guitar Festival

The Lowertown Guitar Festival

It’s been a great summer for music so far. This weekend, those of you who aren’t attending the Bayfront Blues Festival will have a chance to hear hot guitars at the Lowertown Guitar Festival, which features guitarists from a number of genres. We also have a jazz artist celebrating his 96th birthday and music and movies in the parks at Como Dockside on Friday, and at Loring Park on Monday (see below). Though I didn’t list them, the Powderhorn Art Fair, the Uptown Art Fair, and the Loring Park Art Festival will all have performance stages as well. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 5

Gypsy Mania Hot Club @ Wolf Park, Saint Louis Park. 7pm – 8:30pm (Free) Pack a picnic and head to this close-in Western suburb of Minneapolis to catch Gypsy Mania: Greg Helgeson, guitar; Greg Schulte, violin; Reynold Philipsek, guitar; and Matt Senjem, bass, and the play hot club swing music that seems fitting for a warm summer night.

Elephant Crossing @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This is a new band, led by medical resident Ari  Nahum on piano. He’s joined by Adam Meckler, trumpet; Gus Sandberg, sax; Ryan Hayes, bass; and Zack Schmidt, drums.

Thursday, August 6

George Brooks Bombay Jazz w/Larry Coryell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Saxophonist George Brooks gathers forces with guitar legend Larry Coryell  Ronu Majumdar, a master of the Indian bamboo flute; and tabla virtuoso Aditya Kayanpur to create a blend of Indian classical music and American jazz. Given that the classical music of India features improvisation, rich melodies, and dynamic rhythms in non-American time signatures, this should make for a very interesting and  solid evening of jazz. Here’s Brooks and Coryell.

Katia Cardenas @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Cardenas recently impressed many at the opening of Vieux Carre. Now she’s back at Jazz Central, where she and Andrew Foreman, bass; Ted Godbout, piano; and Zach Schmidt, keys will be trying new things with songs by Amy Winehouse, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin and others.

Graydon Peterson Quartet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Bassist Peterson started this quartet a few years back with Adam Meckler, trumpet; Joe Strachan, piano; and Adrian Suarez, drums, and finally released a very well received CD last year. Tonight they’ll be performing Peterson’s original compositions as part of the Jazz Original Series at Studio Z.

Friday, August 7

Atlantis Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($8) The Atlantis Quartet returns to the space where they recorded their 2011 release, Lines in the Sand and where they last played about two years ago, though now, there’ve been a few changes, including ownership and the name.  What isn’t changed is the quartet’s ability to improvise and perform the thoroughly modern jazz that is their hallmark.

Public Music for Friday @ Public Kitchen + Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (No Cover) The Public is a relatively new restaurant and lounge facing Mears Park in Saint Paul. They’ve slowly been adding music to their late nights in the downstairs lounge/bar. Tonight, starting at 8pm, it’s Donald Washington, sax; Doan Roessler, bass; Nathan Hanson, sax, and Tim Duroche, drums. Then at 10pm it’s the Orchestra for Ants, a three guitar outfit with a humorous bent. 

Saturday, August 8

Jeremy Walker Trio & the Ted Olsen Trio @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog, featuring two trios. The first is the Ted Olsen Trio at 7pm: Olsen, bass; Javi Santiago, keys; and Miguel Hurtado, drums; followed by Walker’s trio at 8:30pm: Jeremy Walker, keys; Jeff Brueske, bass, and Tim Zhorne, drums.

Sunday, August 9

Irv Williams 96th Birthday Party @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) Like the Energizer Bunny, “Mr Smooth” just keeps going and going. Unlike the drumming Bunny, Williams is a superb saxophonist, who doesn’t seem to have lost his ability to create romantic music. May we all be able to create such great, happy moments at his age. Here’s a video from earlier this year.

Monday, August 10

Sound Skirmish and Drift @ The Acadia Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) Sound Skirmish is a young group, some of whose members have yet to reach 21, yet their talent is undeniable. Members include Patrick Adkins, piano; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes, Ben Ehrlich, drums; and Drew Stinson, bass. The Acadia only features artists who play original compositions. While Sound Skirmish will be playing jazz, Drift is a singer/songwriter duo consisting of Ryan Hedblom and Madelyn Hirschuber.

Will Kjeer @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s been a year since young Mr. Kjeer, a fabulously talented pianist, graduated from high school, during with time he studied (mostly classical) piano at Interlachen School for the Arts in Michigan. He’s been playing around town this summer, but will soon be heading out to Cal Arts in Southern California, so catch while you can and hear his original compositions.

Tuesday, August 11

Javier Santiago Trio @ Vieux Carre Saint Paul. 7pm ($5) Pianist Santiago has been playing a lot around town, in groups that range from neo R&B to salsa, to straight ahead jazz. Tonight he’s joined by Miguel Hurtado on drums, and bassist Ted Olson, two other talented players in their early 20s.

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, August 5

Indeed Brewing Fundraiser for KFAI @ Indeed Brewing, 711 15th Ave NE, Minneapolis. 3pm – 11pm. Okay, I don’t normally publicize a fundraiser without a band, but this has a live broadcast and a singer for part of a show, and the proceeds of all sales for the day will go to KFAI, where I have my radio show. Both Jackson Buck’s Freewheelin’ and Harold Tremblay’s House Party will be broadcasting live, with Harold featuring barrelhouse pianist & vocalist Stephanie Nilles during the 5 o’clock hour, so you can watch broadcasting and a live performance while enjoying the beverages of Indeed Brewing. She’ll then head over to the 331 Club to perform from 7pm – 9pm.

Jillian Rae Band @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5) The acoustic music fiddler and vocalist with a bent for rock n’ pop will be performing at the Vieux for the first time. Opening will be talented singer/songwriter Brianna Lane, whom Jim Walsh, of the STRIB, called a “star in the making.”

Thursday, August 6

MNSKA Presents @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar?)  The neighborhood bar on Nicollet & 44th will be jumping to the sounds of three ska bands tonight, with the Skruffians, and Rat Rod Ruckus, and from Rochester, New York, Mrs Skannotto. Here is Mrs. Skannotto.

Swamp Poppas @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Get your fill of Cajun, Zydeco, and Swamp Pop tunes from our very own Swamp Poppas. Bring Dancing Shoes, cuz the Eagles Club has one of the best wooden dance floors around.

Friday, August 7

Patio Party featuring IDK @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 4pm – 9pm (No Cover) Taps and music on the Black Dog Patio on a summer night. Oh, and food available from inside. IDK is a band led by Ukelelest (?) Keldon Ancheta, and includes drummer Aaron Tafoya.

Right Track Vinyl Dance Party Anniversary @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 9pm (Free) DJs Benjamin Mena, Mike Elias, and Brian Engel have been hosting this First Friday Vinyl dance party for a year now, spinning soul, blues, R&B, and more.

Saturday, August 8

Lowertown Guitar Festival @ Mears Park, Saint Paul. 2pm – 10pm. (Free) McNally Smith College of Music is presenting the 3rd Annual Festival, today featuring bluesman Greg Koch, jazz rocker Johnny A., Nashville session guys JD Simo and Guthrei Trapp, and two National Fingerstyle Guitar Champions: Muriel Anderson and our own Tim Sparks. That’s on the Main Stage. On the Sixth Street stage there will be sets by Park Evans, Toni Lingren, Jerry Kosak, and more. There’s an after party at the Vieux Carré, featuring the Astronauts of Rhythm and Sound, and very likely, some jamming.

Summer of Love @ Harriet BrewingTap Room, Minneapolis. 3:30 – 5pm:  Recall those days of yesteryear, when pot was way illegal and much less potent, folks were discovering meditation, Indian gurus, LSD, and peace, love, and harmony, beginning with a split set of 60s folk songs by Roady Tate and Dan Israel; 5:15: Steve West and the Northern Stars perform 60s folk, pop, and rock. 6pm British and America Rock, Garage, Animals, Steve West and Friends; 7:15: 60s British and Amierican Pop and Rock by the Lanes; and finally, at 9pm: 60s Psych and Rock by the Tommy Bentz Band.

Sunday, August 9

Support Live Music Summer Jam @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 1pm – 10pm ($10) Here’s an event that’s easy to get behind. MMC is featuring a whole day of many of it’s regular performers, including Mary Elias, The School of Rock, Willie Walker and We R, w/guest Maurice Jacox, The Chris Lawrence Band, JayBee and the Routine, Boogie Wonderland, and who knows who else. The MMC has been highly supportive of Twin Cities musicians for years, providing a space for fundraisers many times each year. The club, and its owner Karen Palm, are even talked about in the book Invisible Prey, by John Sandford, copies of which are always on sale at the club along with lots of other merchandise. Check out Jaybee & the Routine.

Monday, August 10

All Tomorrow’s Petty & Batman @ Loring Park, MInneapolis. 7pm (Free) Holy Moley! Pack a picnic, grab a blanket, and head to Loring Park for Movies and Music in the Park. Tonight it’s All Tomorrow’s Petty, a loose-knit group of musicians from a number of Twin Cities bands see their FaceBook page) who give a 21st Century spin on Tom Petty songs. They’ll be followed at about 8:45 by the very first Batman movie from the 60s, wherein Batman (Adam West) and Robin (Burt Ward) take on your favorite bad guys: The Penguin, Catwoman, the Joker, and the Riddler.

Mystic Order of Reverb & Twang @ Schooners, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) Get your surf/rockabilly/R&B fix for the week with this very twangy trio, aka M.O.R.T, with special guest Shannon McDonough on vocals.

Tuesday, August 11

Javier Matos & Bill Bateman @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 6pm ($15 includes dinner) Here’s a very rootsy gig for an early week dinner. Blues guitarist Matos takes a night off from his band Javier & the Innocent Sons to bring his bottleneck playing and more to the Bayport BBQ. Bateman was the original drummer for the Blasters. They met while Matos was in Los Angeles early this century and performed together in the Blue Shadows.

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.


More Than Elevator Fare. Music: 3.4 – 3.10

March 4, 2015

Unknown-3Ahh, if March is here can Spring be far behind? I know, you can never tell here in the North, where we’ve been known to have April blizzards. Things are looking up for the weekend, with forecasts in the 40s, so you can take advantage of the fertile musical offerings to be found this week: a couple of shows that might be called nostalgic; some visiting jazzers that will awe and inspire you; African and Jamaican superstars; and resident artists who are rich in talent. Music lifts the spirit, although Gary Larson’s cartoon might indicate at least one instance where that doesn’t happen.

Jazz

Wednesday, March 4

Pedrito Martinez Group @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($27), 9pm ($17) If you didn’t catch conguero/percussionist Pedrito Martinez June you missed a virtuoso display of Afro-Cuban music. Since arriving in North America in 1998, Martinez has established himself as both a bandleader and an important sideman, playing complex rhythms for such artists as Eddie Palmieri, Bebo Valdes, Bruce Springsteen, Cassandra Wilson, Joe Lovano, and Sting, among others. He was recently featured as one of the “80 Coolest Things in Jazz Today” in Downbeat’s 80th anniversary issue.

Chomsky & Thomas Nordlund Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s New Music Night at Jazz Central, and they’ve a double bill for jazz fans. Andrew Foreman’s group Chomsky will start things off. Besides Foreman on bass, the group includes Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Thomas Nordlund, guitar; and Zach Schmidt, drums. Then Nordlund switches instruments, to a Baritone guitar; and is joined by Ben Abrahamson, guitars; Kevin Gastonguay, keys; Foreman on bass; and Lars-Erik Larson on drums. Together they’ll play new music from Nordlund’s upcoming EP of baritone guitar. Here is one of his originals.

Thursday, March 5

UnknownDouglas Ewart @ The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. 6pm  (Free) Ewart is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, improviser, and maker of both masks and instruments. He plays a variety of reed and percussion instruments, as well as the digideroo, and has collaborated with The Art Ensemble of Chicago, Yusef Lateef, Cecil Taylor, and many Chicago heavyweights. HIs appearance is part of the Walker’s Sound Horizon series, exploring the spaces between sound and visual art.

Travis Anderson Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) It’s Foodie Night at the Dakota, with some swingin’ music to boot, brought to you by Travis Anderson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums.

Katia Cardenas @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Cardenas is a talented jazz & R&B singer, who has been showing up a various venues around town of late, including the Dakota, the Nicollet Cafe, Honey, and Bedlam Lowertown. She has an expressive voice, and is wise enough to reveal her power in small portions. Tonight she’ll be singing the songs of Ella Fitzgerald.

Merciless Ghost @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9:30pm ($5) George Cartwright is an adventurous explorer of saxophonic sounds, and tonight he is joined by Josh Granowski, bass; and drummer/percussionist Davu Seru.

Friday, March 6

Musical comrades

Musical comrades

Magraw/Gravatt @ the Nicollet, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20/reserved seats, No Cover, General Admission) Guitarist Magraw and drummer Eric Kamau Gravatt have a natural ability to communicate on a deeply personal musical level. Their recent CD on Red House Records, has been well received nationally as well as regionally. Reserved seating, available here  guarantees a table near the stage, and is recommended.

Raisin’ Cane: A Harlem Renaissance Odyssey @ The O’Shaughnessy, Saint Paul. 7:30pm. ($25 – $55) This is a multi-media show about the literary and artistic blossoming of Harlem in the years after WWI, featuring actor/songstress Jasmine Guy & the Avery Sharpe Trio. Sharpe was the bassist for the McCoy Tyner Trio for 18 years, recording 10 albums with Tyner, and has released seven albums as a leader. There’s an interview with Guy in Tuesdays Star Tribune. Here’s a bit of a preview.

JT Bates B3 Organ Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Kevin Gastonguey, B3 Organ; Zacc Harris, guitar; JT Bates, drums. Oooh, things in the basement will get down and greasy with some B3 jazz from excellent musicians.

Saturday, March 8

DD7 & Charlie Lincoln Group @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) It’s an evening of young whippersnappers at 7pm, and seasoned veterans at 98:3-0pm. Bassist Charlie Lincoln is still in high school. He’s a member of the Dakota Combo and has been musically growing by leaps and bounds in the last year or so. His group includes Aiden Sponheim, trumpet; and Peter Goggin, alto; (both also in this year’s Dakota Combo) and Levi Schwartzberg, piano (of last year’s Dakota Combo). At 8:30 the “oldsters” of DD7 will perform. They are Anthony Cox, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Mike Lewis, sax; Steve Kenny Flumpet; JT Bates, drums.

Monday, March 9

David Sanchez Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($20) The Grammy-winning and five-time nominee is a tenor saxophonist from Puerto Rico with a rich sound. He worked with Dizzy Gillespie for a number of years, as well as Charlie Haden, Eddie Palmieri, and others. Sanchez’s latest project, Baboula, follows the evolution of various West African and Caribbean rhythms to their use in the music of New Orleans and modern jazz.

Joan Griffith @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Griffith is a bassist/guitarist who is particularly adept at Brazilian rhythms. Griffith has recorded with Prudence Johnson, Laura Caviani, and Lucia Newell, and is director of the Macalester College Big Band.

Tuesday, March 10

Cassandra Wilson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $60) It can easily be argued that Cassandra Wilson’s wholly fresh take on vocal jazz has changed the music. She has taken standards, folk songs, pop songs, and Delta Blues to new places by changing tempos, the way words are emphasized, and, from time to time, the utilization of unexpected instruments. She’s now touring behind a new album that’s an homage to Billie Holiday, another singer who changed the public’s perception of jazz singing.

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.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, March 4

Jaybone Bell and Restless Light on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) High energy, melodic roots rock & bluegrass from Winona. Jason Ziebell (Jaybone) is the chief writer. He’s joined by jazz masters Kelly Blau on electric guitar & mandolin and Jase Ginkel on bass & harmonica, along with Steve Jones, drums; and Isaac Sammis, banjo.

The Wailers @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20) What more can be said about these reggae veterans who backed Bob Marley? They’ve sold over 250 million records worldwide, and though their charismatic leader died years ago, they carry on, led by bassist Aston, “Family Man” Barrett, who played with Lee Perry’s Upsetters before joining Marley in 1969.

Thursday, March 5

Records and beer  for an early Thursday evening.

Records and beer for an early Thursday evening.

The Return of Vinyl Tap @ Tin Whiskers Brewing Tap Room, 125 East 9th St., Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm (Free) I usually leave my own spinning gigs to the sidebar, but this one deserves a bit more attention. Vinyl Tap is the gig where I ask the audience to play name that tune about every 20 minutes or so. Winners get a prize (hint, it’s a tap room). I had been doing this at the Amsterdam until about a year ago, and so I’m happy to be able to do this at downtown Saint Paul’s brewery.

Benfest @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) A surfeit of Bens, songwriting Bens. All of them well versed in verses. Ben Kyle (Romantica); Ben Lubeck (Farewell Milwaukee); Ben Cook-Feltz; Ben Miller (the Federales) and Ben Tucker. All will share songs and stories together on one stage. And did I mention they’re all named Ben

Friday, March 6

Jake Manders CD Release @ Patrick’s Cabaret, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Manders has a voice that sounds both weary and hopeful, which is just right for his easygoing, rootsy music. He’s celebrating a new CD, Acoustic Frequency, on which Greta Hunstiger provides substantial violin, nicely goosing along the faster numbers, and Daryn Chrystensen plays piano and percussion. The first fifty to pay at the door will get a copy. Barron, of Farewell Milwaukee, will open, with DJs David & Laura from Hymie’s providing additional music. Here’s a song on the CD.

Janie Miller and the Square Roots @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($6) Janie Miller is well known for her Patsy Cline shows. She sometimes shows up at Bobby Eckstrand gigs, to share her voice which is just about perfect for singing other country songs. Square Roots with special guest harmonica ace Curtis Blake, open at 7pm.

Saturday, March 7

Unknown-3Caprice Saxophone Quartet: Undercurrents @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($10) Four saxophone players performing miminalist music by Reich, Torke, Labodie, and Rosenhaus, with drummer Steve Horey joining them for an arrangement of Paranoid Android, by Radiohead.

Hugh Masekela & Vusi Mahlasela @ the Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:00pm ($20 – $47) Oh boy! the Ordway is having a host of cool events during March. This one celebrates the music of South Africa. Masekela is the trumpeter who hit the top 40 back in the 60s  with Grazin’ in the Grass. His live shows are joyful affairs, with hip-swinging rhythms and songs that mine both traditional and urban African themes. Vusi Mahlasela has a gentle, gorgeous voice, at times reminiscent of Sam Cooke both in its timbre, and in the way he uses it to inspire hope. This show celebrates the 20th anniversary of the end of Apartheid. Here’s a video of Mahlasela.

Silvertones @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm. (No Cover) When you want to dance to the music of the 60s, this is the band to call upon. This isn’t a band that slavishly plays note-for-note recreations of the hits: these are obviously and utterly devoted to the songs, but more importantly, they have fun.

Sunday, March 8

Ricky Nelson Remembered @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($35), 8pm ($30) Rick Nelson became a Teen Idol and rock n’ roller in large part because he was featured on his parent’s show, Ozzie and Harriet every week. But give him his props, he had a good ear, recognized good tunes, and was able to hire James Burton as his guitarist. He sold over 130 million records, an as he aged he was able to keep his cred, creating country rock (with Bernie Leadon, who would later join the Eagles) before anyone else, and releasing a very good late album of rockers by John Fogerty, Graham Parker, and John Hiatt, among others. His sons Andrew and Gunnar had their own number one hit in 1990 as NELSON giving the family three generations with number one records (Ozzie led a big band before the TV show). Here’s a preview of the program.

George Kahumoku Jr, with Da “Ukulele Boyz @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Some music from Hawaii to help you forget winter. Kahumoku is a slack key guitarist who is has won multiple Grammys and hosts a weekly show of slack key guitar in Maui. Da Ukulele Boyz are a duo whose relaxed approach on stage belies their talent on ukelele.

Unknown-4British Invasion 50th Anniversary Tour @ Pantages Theatre, Minneapoli. 7pm ($48.50 – $58.50) For folks of a certain age, and fans of pure pop, this is a cornucopia of talent. Peter Asher, of Peter and Gordon, will serve as host/emcee. He should do a dandy job of it, based on his storytelling/singing at the Dakota during his last two visits. Denny Laine  served as a member of both the Moody Blues and Paul McCartney’s Wings, Chad & Jeremy, with their folk-rock harmonies, had 6 or 7 Top 40 songs here in the US, while Billy J. Kramer had about 5 entries, Mike Pender of The Searchers was their lead singer for a number of hits. Terry Sylvester replaced Graham Nash in the Hollies and was with them during their heyday, and also sang in the Swinging Blue Jeans.

Tuesday, March 10

Courtney Yasminah @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm (Free) The former Wayzata housewife who eschewed that life for one of a rockin’ singer/songwriter has now moved to NYC and is contemplating her tenth tour of Europe. Yasminah’s latest album, Red Letter Day,” is receiving high praise for its exuberance, songwriting, and general rockitude.

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.

 

 


%d bloggers like this: