Music Abounds: 9.26 – 10.2

September 26, 2018

This week’s music offerings include two highly accomplished jazz pianists – one is an NEA Jazz Master, while the other is undoubtedly on his way to earning that title. We also have a 70’s singer/songwriter icon, some swamp music, and chamber blues. We’re blessed to have so many opportunities to enjoy the uplifting power of music in many forms. Music Lifts the Spirit

Larry

Jazz

Wednesday, September 26

Madeline Peyroux @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($55, $65, $75) Vocalist Peyroux has come a long way since her days of busking in the streets of Paris. Her latest album, Anthem!, received a glowing review in DownBeat, which called it “…a finely polished production, each performance in crisp servitude to the song.” Here she is doing a Lee Dorsey song.

Cyrus Chestnut Trio feat: Buster Williams, Lenny White @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 7pm ($35, $40), 9pm ($30, $35) Oh my! Pianist Chestnut is a draw all by himself, called “The best jazz pianist of his generation” by Time magazine, with a sound that reflects a gospel background, but tonight he’s joined by the master bassist Buster Williams and the formidable Grammy-winning drummer Lenny White.

Connie Evingson: Irving Berlin @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25) Ms Evingson continues to explore the Songbook series of Ella Fitzgerald. Tonight she tackles the songs of Irving Berlin.

Friday, September 28

Generic Vibes @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Despite their name, this group is anything but generic. Young musicians Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Adam Tucker, bass; and Alex Burgess, drums will be performing originals and original arrangements.

Saturday, September 29

Harvey Diamond Quartet, feat Melissa Stoudt @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 3pm ($15, $20) Boston pianist Harvey Diamond was one of the last students of the revered pianist Lennie Tristano. Diamond has performed in fabled clubs in both NYC and Boston, alongside NEA Jazz Masters and a multitude of jazz icons. Flutist/saxophonist Melissa Stoudt studied with Diamond as well as with the late Eddie Berger, with whom she also played. Stoudt currently plays with The Moonlight Serenaders, and the Maple Grove Big Band, in addition to composing for theatrical productions.

Jana Nyberg Group @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($20) Though vocalist Nyberghas been known to throw in the occasional pop and R&B song into her performance, she is backed by a group of outstanding jazz musicians: Sean Turner, piano; Adam Meckler, trumpet; Kenny Watson, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums.

Monday, October 1

Acme Jazz Company @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm ($8, $10 to guarantee seat) The sound of this 18-piece big band will fill the big lounge at Crooners, with vocal help from the Twin Cities preeminent crooner, Arne Fogel.

Byron Johnson-Blanchard Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30 ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Drummer Byron Johnson-Blanchard heads a few different trios, each of which features original music. Tonight he’s joined by Brad Holden, alto sax; and Keith Yanes, bass.

Jane Monheit @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45), 9pm ($30, $35, $40) Vocalist Monheit released her first album in 2000 to much acclaim for the beauty and purity of her voice. She recently released her tenth album, The Songbook Sessions, in which, with the producing and musical help of Nicholas Payton, she takes an updated approach to songs from Ella Fitzgerald.,

Kenny Barron Solo Piano @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($40, $45), 9pm ($30) Seventy-five year old pianist Kenny Barron is an NEA Jazz Master. At 19, he moved to NYC from his hometown of Philadelphia and began working with the likes of Roy Haynes, Lee Morgan, and James Moody. Since then he’s collaborated with a whole constellation of jazz luminaries, released dozens of albums, and has been nominated for a Grammy eleven times. His latest album, released earlier this year, is Concentric Circles, a quintet affair on Blue Note, though this evening you get to hear him in a solo setting.

For more listings, KBEM has a calendar of jazz and roots events, while the Jazz Police features commentary, reviews, and previews ofnjazz in the Twin cities and beyond.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, September 26

Pat Donohue & the Prairie All-Stars on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) I featured this group last week, playing at Crooners. Listen in if you didn’t get to hear them.  As I said – You heard them on Prairie Home Companion, or you may have seen them on local stages.  Either way, you know guitarist Donahue leads a talented band that can take on the blues, jazz, folk, and pop, and will leave you musically satisfied.

Thursday September 27

Rita Coolidge @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($40, $50) During the 70s and 80s, vocalist Coolidge was all over the charts. She won two Grammys for duet albums with then-husband Kris Kristofferson, backed-up Delaney & Bonnie and numerous other acts, had four consecutive top 25 hits, co-wrote the coda on Layla, and, during Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen Tour, became the inspiration for Leon Russell’s song Delta Lady. Her autobiography, Delta Lady: A Memoir, was published in 2016.

Jake Manders & Friends @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) Singer/songwriter/guitarist Manders  brings his folky bluegrass/Americana to Merlin’s every fourth Thursday. The Popdooksopen at 8, followed by Manders & his band at 9:30.

The Skruffians @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) The Skruffians play a mix of ska, reggae, soul, and jazz, inspired by the Skatalites and other Jamaican musicians who happened to play jazz before they were recruited to play ska.

Thursday, Friday, September 27, 28

Nooky Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm Thursday ($20, $25, $30), 7pm  Friday ($20, $25, $30), 9pm  Friday ($15, $20, $25) This six piece neo-soul group includes a number of jazzers among its membership, making it easy for them to mix up a blend of jazz, R&B, and funk into a warm, inviting, groove-oriented sound using intricate horn arrangements and intimate vocals.

Friday, September 28

Back2School Cool @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul.7pm-11pm ($10, or $5w/New School Supplies) This is a fundraiser for Frogtown’s community radio station, WFNU 94.1, and Feeding Frogtown. Musical acts include Uncle T, The Nighthowlers, and Just Wulf, as well as a special guest, and DJ sets from the station’s deejays.

Saturday, September 29

Honey Island Swamp Band @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis 8pm ($18 Advance/$20 Door) This New Orleans group play their own brand of swamp music encompassing classic country, New Orleans R&B, Delta blues, and artists ranging from the Band, to Taj Mahal and Gram Parsons. It’s been described as “Bayou Americana,” which is as good a description as any.

Hadden Sayers @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20) Red hot, high energy guitarist Sayers is a native Texan currently living in Columbus Ohio. He brings a modern touch to the blues without descending into blues-rock territory. His latest album, Dopamine Machine, was released earlier this month.

Sunday, September 30

Road to Memphis @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 1pm – 6pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s once again time for a fundraiser to send some of Minnesota’s best blues acts to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis this coming January. Six acts will perform, including Harrison Street, Boom Boom Stevie V, and Annie Mack, as well as this year’s entrants, The C-Notes, Tony & Joe, and the Dee Miller Band. 

Corky Siegal & Randy Sabien @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 5pm ($20) Chicago based harmonica player Corky Siegel first came to prominence in the late 60s and early 70s as part of the Seigel Schwall Blues Band. In ’73 they released Three Pieces for Blues Band and Symphony Orchestra, with the San Francisco Symphony. Since then Siegel has continued to explore the intersections of blues with classical music. Tonight he’s joined by versatile jazz violinist Randy Sabien, for an evening of “chamber blues.”

Monday, October 1

Bad Companions @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Get out your dancing shoes, practice up with some swing dance lessons at 7pm, and jump to the rockabilly sounds of Al Subola and The Bad Companions. 

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.


From Jazz Masters to New Takes on Tradition: 10:5 – 10.11

October 6, 2016
Food for the Food Opera!

Food for the Food Opera!

This week we’ve a couple of great pianists visiting town, as well as a visiting ten-piece jazz band. In addition, we’ll be treated to some hot swing, acoustic blues, new R&B, and new takes on traditional music from Columbia and the Nordic countries, as well as a record release party, a scat-off, and a food opera! Not to mention the talented musicians who live and perform in our Twin Towns. Get out. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 5

Kenny Barron Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($354, $40), 9pm ($30, $35) A rare chance to see the elegant and lyrical pianist Barron. The Philadelphia native  moved to New York in 1962 at the age of 19 and began playing with the likes of Lee Morgan, Roy Haynes, and James Moody. He was a member of Dizzy Gillespie’s Orchestra, and performed with other masters such as Stanley Turrentine, Freddie Hubbard, and Milt Jackson. He taught at Rutgers from ’73 until 2000 and is now teaching at Julliard. Barron has won numerous awards and accolades from Downbeat, Jazz Times, and Jazzis magazines, as well as from the Jazz Journalists association.

Debbie Duncan @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. &pm ($10, $35 w/Dinner) Tonight the highly respected Ms Duncan explores the music of Billie Holiday. Classic songs by a classic singer.

Anthony Cox Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Cox brings another sterling group to his once-a-month-curated gig. This time the bassist is accompanied by Brandon Wozniak, sax; Peter Schimke, piano; and Rodney Ruckus, drums. Expect great originals and cool interpretations of jazz standards.

Thursday, October 6

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Bassist Brian Courage is back in town, and appearing with his quartet, which includes: Brandon Wozniak, sax; Luke Polipnick, guitar; and Pete James Johnson on drums. Here’s a video of Courage and two other bassists – he’s in the middle – or you can get an idea of what the band sounds like here.

Connie Evingson w/Travis Anderson Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) This looks like a winning combination. The Travis Anderson Trio  with Anderson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums, can swing standards with the best of them. Ms Evingson has fans from across the nation, thanks to her straightforward, always fresh, and yet sensuous interpretations of Peggy Lee, the Beatles, Dave Frishberg, bossa novas, and hot club tunes.

Dean Magraw & Davu Seru @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) You may have read about Khyber Pass and this Thursday night series in the Strib a week or so back. Tonight guitarist Magraw and drummer Seru bring their close communication and always interesting improvisations to the small restaurant. Here’s a video of the two of them with guest Dave Graf.

Friday, October 7

Chris Misch-Bloxdorf Dectet @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Originally from Wisconsin, trombonist Misch-Bloxdorf brings a ten-piece group to the basement club to play his original chamber jazz, which features elements of hip-hop, metal, electronic, and indie-rock. After graduating from Lawrence in WI (which is turning out excellent musicians), he recently received his masters from NYU, studying with Kenny Werner, among others. You can listen to some of his music here.

Xibaba @ SW Craft Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (tip Jar) Get a hit of Brazilian jazz, Bossa Novas, Sambas, Forros, and Choros from Mira and Tom Kehoe and friends.

Saturday, October 8

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Steve Kimmel, mallet percussion; and Greg Byers, cello, perform the opening set, followed at 8:30 by the Park Evans Quintet, with Evans, guitar; Evan Benidt, sax; Steve Kenny, Flumpet, Ted Olson, bass, and Greg Schutte, drums.

Singers Scat-Off @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15, $5 w/Student ID) Some of you who went to the Jazz Festival this past June may remember an event at Golden’s where various singers scatted, both solo, in duos, trios, and in a Scat-Off featuring all the singers. That was so well received that some of the participants put together this show, hosted by Maryann Sullivan, and featuring Dorothy Doring, Sarah M. Greer, Jana Nyberg, and Jason Peterson DeLaire. The audience will be invited to choose a champion after seeing all of them in action.

Sunday, October 9

Sunday B3 Jam Session @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 4pm – 6pm ($5) Guitarist Cole Mahlum hosts this jam session, the success of which, is at least partially up to who shows up to play. It can get greasy, funky, and out there.

Benny Green Solo @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 5pm ($30, $65w/dinner) The Dunsmore Room has a new Steinway piano, chosen with the help of Fred Hirsch, and Benny Green is here to christen it with a solo performance. Green can be called a “keeper of the flame” for hard bop as he passes on the lessons he learned from Betty Carter, Art Blakey, and Ray Brown to a younger generation. He  was last in town in October when he gave a sparkling performance at the Dakota.

Tuesday, October 11

Chris Lomheim, Shapria/Granros duo @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (Lomheim, no cover), 8pm (Shapira/Granros, $5) Another two-fer night at the Vieux, starting with pianist Chris Lomheim, followed by an interesting guitar duo. Joel Shapira plays both jazz and classical music on his nylon-stringed guitar, and can be heard with vocalist Charmin Michelle and other groups about town. Dean Granros, who can often be heard with How Birds Work, among other groups, can play fairly straight as well as “out” with great facility and imagination. They’ve an excellent album recorded at the 2014 Twin Cities Jazz Festival.

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, October 5

Bingham & Thorne on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) I always look forward to this duo’s annual visit to the House Party and the 331 Club. Bob Bingham and Gordon Thorne are great storytellers, whether in song or in-between patter. They are accomplished guitarists on both six and twelve-strings, with Thorne also bringing out a mandolin from time to time. They’re even bringing in a special guest, acclaimed fiddler Randy Sabien! Whether playing festivals, libraries, or dive bars, Bingham and Thorne are always fun. Tune in to the House party and then head over to the 331 Club.

Thursday, October 6

Paul Mayasich’s Hot Seat w/Big George Jackson and Jeremy Johnson @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Guitarist Mayasich always brings in compatible players who help stretch his usual wizardry. Tonight he’s got the singer/harpist with a booming voice, Big George Jackson, along with Jackson’s ever-present cohort, guitarist/drummer Jeremy Johnson.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, October 6,7,8

Saint Paul Food Opera @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 11am, 12: 30pm Thursday and Friday, 5:30pm, 7:30pm Friday, Saturday ($35 lunch, $70 Dinner) Here’s a way to combine your gustatory experience with an aural experience. Zeitgeist composer Ben Houge, and a number of outstanding Saint Paul chefs are teaming up to mix musical and culinary arts. As described Delectable dishes will be paired with evocative music to enhance the experience of both. Composer Houge is creating a set of musical works for Zeitgest, the new music ensemble of piano, woodwinds, and two percussionists. The music will be paired with dishes prepared by chefs from Tongue in Cheek, Saint Dinette, The Handsome Hog, Golden’s Lowertown, Izzy’s Ice Cream, and Brake Bread. Houge’s music is beautiful, with a meditative quality that nevertheless has little surprises scattered throughout each composition, much as a dish might have a number of different flavors. This isn’t the first time Houge has created food operas, as you can read here.

Friday, October 7

Armadillo Jump @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm ($5)The five-piece Armadillo Jump will have the commodious dance floor at Wilebski’s filled with blues lovers who like to dance.

Erik Koskinen and Randy Weeks @ The Hook & Lander Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) Koskinen is a sharp guitarist and songwriter, who uses the vernacular of classic country music to write about personal issues and comment on American life, whether small town values, or tracking. Windom-born, Texas-based Randy Weeks is another observant songwriter, whose music can meld surf rock with folk rock, and Americana with pop. He happens to be the writer of Lucinda Williams’ hit Can’t Let Go, from her Grammy winning album Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. Here’s a video of Weeks.

Friday, Saturday, October 7, 8 

Squirrel Nut Zippers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $50), 9pm ($35 – $45) Back in the mid-90s, the Zippers were part of a swing revival that was sweeping the nation creating a retro, yet definitely hot sound that hearkened back to hot jazz of New Orleans, as well as swing of the 30s. They sold over a million copies of Hot, their second album. This is their first tour since 2009, and band founders Jimbo Mathus and Chris Phillips have recruited some New Orleans musicians to spice up their sound, as well as singer Ingrid Lucia of the Flying Neutrinos.

Saturday, October 8

Dee Miller Band @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Saturday night tends to be party night at Crooners. Case in point: Ms Miller, who, together with a tight band, can raise the roof and cause folks to push tables aside and dance.

Sonny Knight & The Lakers Record Release @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15, Advance,. $17 Door) It’s a funky, funky night at First Avenue, as Sonny Knight and the Lakers release their second studio album, Sooner or Later. From the uptempo title tune, to the slow building finale of Oh Mary, Knight’s emotional singing and the Lakers’ tight playing create a satisfying slab of soul that moves well beyond any attempt at retro R&B. Duluth horn band Big Dave Wave & the Ripples will start the party, followed by the deep grooves of Nooky Jones, before Knight & the Lakers take the stage.

Sunday, October 9

Henrencia de Timbiqui @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $35) This group from Columbia takes traditional folkloric music of their country and play it with modern instruments. What makes this group especially interesting is that Timbiqui, the town they come from, has deep African as well as Columbian roots, so you’ll hear those influences as well as elements of contemporary urban music.

Monday, October 10

King @ The Dakota, Minnapolis. ($27, $35) This female R&B vocal trio is made up of twins Paris and Amber Strother (originally from Minneapolis), and their musical sister, Anita Bias (from Los Angeles). They’ve received numerous accolades, are selling out venues around the US, and collaborated on the Grammy winning Move Love by Robert Glaspar, from his album Black Radio.

Tuesday, October 11

Nordic Fiddlers Block @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15 Advance, $18 Door) Take highly accomplished fiddlers from Norway, Sweden, and the Shetland Islands, have them focus on traditional music from each of their countries, add in rich harmonies and bass lines, and you have a trio that’s more than the sum of its parts. Their 2011 eponymous debut received acclaim from around the world, and they’re now touring behind a new release entitled Deliverance.

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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