The Week in Music: 9.21 – 9.27

September 21, 2016

cartoon3423Well, it appears that I wrote last weeks newsletter without mentioning the Fall Pledge Drive at KFAI, the little community station that could. I didn’t realize that my show would only air once during the pledge drive and that happened last Saturday. It would please me greatly if a half-dozen or so of you who read this blog would pledge to my show on-line at www.kfai.org. Simply click on the Donate Now icon, follow instructions and when asked to Specify a Show, write in Rhythm and Grooves. Thank you.

Now that the commercial is out of the way, here’s some of the great music that’s being performed around town this week. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, September 21

Chris Lomheim Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm, ($10, $5w/Student ID) Pianist Lomheim usually leads a trio, so it’s a treat to have him leading a quintet tonight, adding the sax of Pete Whitman and the trumpet of Adam Rossmiller to his arrangements and originals. Jay Young on bass, and Dave Schmalenberger on drums, round out the group.

 

Thursday, September 22

Kenny Horst Trio: Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Since the AQ closed, owner/drummer has been free to play with a number of different bands. Tonight though, he’s leading the group, which includes his compadres Billy Peterson on bass; and Dean Magraw on guitar.

Erin Livingston @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm, ($10, $5w/Student ID) It’s Vocal Night at Jazz Central, and tonight Ms Erin Livingston does the honors, with Matt Senjem on bass and Mark Zee on piano. She’s worked extensively with guitarist Robb Henry and the Parisota Hot Club, where she’s tackled standards and the Beatles.

Friday, September 23

Pete Whitman @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis, 8 – 10pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Fridays are reserved for Jazz Masters at Jazz Central, and saxophonist Whitman certainly qualifies. He’s performed with such renowned artists as Al “TNT” Braggs, Rosemary Clooney, Jack McDuff, Dave Stryker, Curtis Fuller, and the Woody Herman Orchestra, teaches at McNally Smith and leads the X-tet, a 10 piece band whose 2004 album Where’s When got a 4 star review in Downbeat. He recently returned from a tour of China.  I don’t know who he’ll have in the group, but here’s a video from a previous appearance at Jazz Central.

Jeremy Walker/Southside Aces @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (Walker 0 no cover), 9pm (Aces – $10) Pianist Jeremy Walker is back at this monthly gig during dinner hour, and tonight is followed by the Southside Aces, bringing brass band happiness to the New Orleans-themed basement club.

All Original Jazz Series: Larry McDonough Quartet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Pianist McDonough and his group have been busy as of late, performing tributes to Bill Evans and Tony Bennett, as well as Chet Baker and Miles Davis. Tonight they play originals, as the title of the series states. McDonough favors odd meters, so you will hear songs performed in 7/4, 5/4, 12/4, and even 11/4. The quartet includes: Larry McDonough, piano and vocals; Richard Terrill, saxes; Greg Stinson, bass; and Dean White, drums.

Quirkestra @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11pm (Tip Jar) I’m intrigued by this quintet, which plays a blend of jazz, reggae, swing, 60s R&B, and other music in a “quirky” manner.

Saturday, September 24

Patty Peterson & the Jazz Women All-Stars @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($15) This group made their debut at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival this past June and got a rousing response. Vocalist Patty Peterson has gathered together a group of the area’s finest musicians. They happen to be women: Debbie Duncan, vocals: Linda Peterson, keys and vocals; Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Joan Griffith, bass; Sheila Earley, drums; and Mary Petrich, sax. Here’s a promo she did for the show.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Tonight starts out with a set from Merciless Ghost, with George Cartwright, sax; Josh Granowski, bass; and Davu Seru, drums. Headliner at 8:30pm is What Would Monk Do? with Kenny Horst, drums; Billy Peterson, bass; Peter Schimke, piano; and Steve Kenny, Flumpet.  If you substitute Steve Kenny for Brandon Wozniak, you’ll have the group in this video.

Sunday, September 25

Jana Nyberg Group: Brunch @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis 10am – 1pm  (No Cover) You’ll need a reservation at this popular Sunday brunch spot, but in addition to the food and drink of the Kitchen, you’ll be treated to the pop/jazz stylings of the delightful vocalist Ms Nyberg.

Paul Renz Quartet @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Guitarist Renz has recorded a half dozen CDs, but doesn’t gig out too much here in the Twin Cities, as he spends much time teaching. The Berklee grad does tour every once in a while, to the East Coast, where he’s especially well received. Not only will you hear great jazz, but its in a wonderful setting, with the Minneapolis skyline in the background.

Sunday, Monday, September 25, 26

Brad Mehldau and Joshua Redman @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $50), 9pm ($25 – $40) Jazz fans are very excited about this pairing. These proponents of 21st Century progressive jazz first played together in the 90s, in Redman’s quartet. Since then pianist Mehldau and saxophonist Redman have both developed successful careers. With just the two of them, the music will undoubtedly take flight.

Tuesday, September 27

Chris Lomheim/JT Bates GRAIN Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (Lomheim – No cover), 8pm (Bates – $6) Pianist Lomheim will serenade you during the dinner hour, after which drummer Bates and his B3 trio, with Kevin Gastonguay, B3; and Zacc Harris, guitar; will bring the greasy funk that makes B3 trios so much fun.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, September 21

Ian Alexy on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Ian Alexy  s a versatile guitarist and songwriter who explores the byways of Americana – folk, jazz, and rock n’ roll. He and brother Teague form The Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank. Tune in and listen (it’s pledge drive time), and head to the 331 afterwards.

James Hunter Six @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $45), 9pm ($30 – $40) British Soul and R&B from an engaging performer. Guitarist/singer Hunter clearly enjoys playing original soul music that invokes classic 60s soul without aping it, earning the high praise of Van Morrison in the process. The infectiousness of his joy easily communicates to audiences, who can’t help but enjoy the experience.

SK Kakraba and Palenke Soul Tribe @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free, but reservations recommended) This is part of the Cedar’s Global Roots Festival. SK Kakraba Lobi is a Master Xylophonist from Ghana. He plays the Gyil, a Ghanaian Xylophone and the primary instrument of the Lobi, Sisala, and Dagara people of Northern Ghana. The LA-based Colombian band, Palenke Soultribe  have taken electronic music to new heights by deconstructing Afro-Colombian rhythms and blending them with electronic beats and exploratory synthesizer sounds.

Thursday, September 22

Joe & Vicki Price @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) This Blues Couple from Decorah, Iowa delivers the blues as if they were from Clarksdale Mississippi. Every couple of months they come up here and do a mini-tour of the area. If you don’t catch them tonight, they’ll be at the Viking on Saturday.

The Rockin’ Pinecones @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5) Get out those dancin’ shoes, mama, cuz the Pinecones will be delivering the hipshakin rhythms of New Orleans R&B, along with Cajun and Zydeco tunes that will add a bit of spice to the proceedings on the wooden dance floor at the Eagles Club.

Molly Maher & Her Best Men: Songs from the Heart Til Death Do Us Part @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Ms Maher, singer, guitarist, guitar-tech extradinaire Molly Maher is getting married, and rather than a bachelorette party, she’s throwing a gig, so we all can attend. She’ll be singing her excellent roots/folk rock/alt country songs backed by her band of “Best Men.” Opening is Gabriel Douglas, while the Belfast Cowboys will close out the night.

Friday, September 23

Paul Filipowicz @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($??) Wisconsin bluesman Filipowicz first burst on the scene back in the early 80s, playing rip-roaring Chicago blues, and appearing in this area a couple of times. Raised in Illinois, the guitarslinger was taken under the wings of such stalwarts as Luther Allison and Jimmy “Fast Fingers” Dawkins. After taking a decade or so off to raise a family, he retuned in the late 90s, recording for Texas’ Gila Records. He subsequently appeared in the Top 15 of Texas Blues New Releases for two years in a row. He’s now in his sixties, and judging by his latest release, Go for the Throat, he still has fire in his belly and in his guitar.

Oh What A Night @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25, $75) Hear old school R&B sung by five terrific singers:  Ronn Easton, Wee Willie Walker, Maurice Young, Jerry Esckridge and Maurice Jacox, backed by an equally terrific band. Last time this show played the Parkway it sold out.

Willie Murphy @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Just because you can see Murphy a couple of times a month doesn’t mean you shouldn’t actually get out to one of his gigs, where you’ll hear this charter member of the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame perform old time rock n’ roll, R&B, and funk in his own inimitable way. The Viking was, of course, the site of his Monday night jam sessions for many years, so it’s a treat to have him back there.

Saturday, September 24

Ty Stone’s James Brown Experience @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20, $30) Stone is an R&B veteran, having performed with such acts as Jackie Wilson and later Johnny Taylor, Tyrone Davis, The Dells, The Staple Singers, Ernie Terrell and others. He’ll be performing hits from throughout 4 decades of Brown’s career, complete with costume changes, a 12 piece backup band and go-go dancers.

Movits! @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15 Advance, $18 Door) Imagine, if you will, a European hip hop group that goes to number one on iTunes and Amazon after appearing on the Steve Colbert show. Then, at a backyard party they hear Sing, Sing, Sing by Benny Goodman and are blown away. Now, they’ve managed to combine swing beats and hip hop beats in a way that totally works. And…. they only sing/rap in Swedish, their native language. There you have Movits! Added attraction: Danami & the Blue, a Motown inspired hip-hop soul singer.

Charlie Lawson Combo w/guest Curtis Blake @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 9pm (tip jar) Guitarist Lawson and his band are starting a monthly residency at this friendly and comfy Irish bar. Tonight he’s bringing in harpist Curtis Blake as a guest. Blake performs with Greazy Gravy and Don Scott when he’s not cooking up gumbo on his job.

Sunday, September 25

Oudyano @ The Black Dog, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm (Tip Jar) Oudyano is Steven Hobert, piano; and Issam Rafea on Oud. Rafea, from Syria, and Hobert, from the Twin Cities, are simpatico artists who are mutually sensitive players. They play a blend of Arabic classical tradition and American jazz and roots, creating music that is ethereal, hopeful, and joyous. If you miss them and are willing to stay up a bit late, you can catch them at the Icehouse on Monday night.

Monday, September 26

Steve Clarke & The Working Stiffs @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Saxophonist Clarke leads his troupe through the decades, playing dance music from the 30s to the 50s. You’ll jump, you’ll swing, you may even bop to songs from Count Basie and Fats Waller, to Elvis Presley, Bill Haley, and Louis Jordan. It’s music that goes over especially well in the large lounge at Crooners.

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.


Twin Cities Jazz, Roots, and Blues: 2.4 – 2.10

February 4, 2015
The Conservatory at Como Zoo, where you can treat your skin to humidity during the winter, and see some music on Sunday (see Blues & Roots, below).

The Conservatory at Como Zoo, where you can treat your skin to humidity during the winter, and see some music on Sunday (see Blues & Roots, below).

Greetings and salutations to one and all;

Happy to report that I’m back from a fun-filled week of jazz while sailing in the Caribbean, and though the weather is cold the music here is hot. We’re lucky to have some very talented jazz musicians of our own to see this week, as well as some great blues and roots music, including two powerhouse performers from the 70s who are still delivery vital music. Note too, how the music community is coming together for a couple of benefits. Music can certainly lift your spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, February 4

Anthony Cox and Riotous N @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation)  Featuring Jonathan Penny, guitar; Davu Seru, drums, Cox on Bass, and special guest Sarag Greer on vocals. Cox always brings an interesting crew to first Wednesdays at Jazz Central. What’s more, he opens up the stage (so to speak) to questions, making this an interactive event.

Thursday, February 5

Ready to cure your ills

Ready to cure your ills

The Sound Doctors @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) An a cappella quintet with Dorian Chalmers, Dennis Curley, Greg Eiden, Geoff Thompson, and Sheridan Zuther. Jazz and Pop Vocals from Singers Vocalists and musical theater professionals who have sung with Phil Mattson Singers, Shoop!, Five by Design, the Church Basement Ladies and others.

Frog Stew, a Low Country Boil

Frog Stew, a Low Country Boil

Stew Frog @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) No, Khyber Pass Cafe isn’t serving a Low Country Boil  but rather Scott Fultz, sax; Dean Granros, guitar; and Steve Goldstein on laptop will be performing. This certainly sounds like a night of exploratory jazz, what with the ability of Fultz and Granros to freely improvise combined with the sonic possibilities that Goldstein’s laptop most certainly contains.

Friday,February 6

Phil Hey Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Phil Hey, drums; Tom Lewis bass; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; and Phil Aaron, piano. A long-standing quartet that plays tunes from Bill Evans, Ornette Coleman, and other advanced composers. Followed at 9:30 by a group of players who studied with Phil. Here they are at their old stomping grounds.

Friday, Saturday, February 6,7

Weekend at Keys Please @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Carei Thomas,  Todd Harper,  and Paul Cantrell  with special guest Nathan Hanson. Started in 2002, this mid-winter tradition has become a staple of the Twin Cities new music calendar. The annual concert takes on musics of diverse genres, including free improvisation,  popemmetry and “weather permitting,” whatever they are, and both new and old compositions. Special guest, saxophonist Nathan Hanson is known for composing as well as improvising.

Saturday, February 7

Kenny Horst & Friends @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) It’s great to see Kenny playing drums without the pressures of running a club. Tonight his friends include Tom Lewis, bass; Pete Whitman, sax; and Steve Kenny, trumpet. Opening act is the Jon Pemberton Trio at 7pm. Jon plays piano and trumpet, and is well worth arriving early.

7 Cats Swing Band @ Crooners Lounge, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) This group plays charts from Gershwin, Ellington, Glen Miller, and other jazz and swing standards. Crooners Lounge has a dance floor and good sight lines from both the bar and tables.

Saturday, Sunday, Feb 7, 8

Bruce Henry: Afro Blue: The Drum, The Journey, the Song @ The Capri Theater, 2027 W. Broadway, Mpls. 7pm Sat, 3pm Sun. Though he’s now living in Chicago, Henry often returns to the Twin Cities for special projects. Tonight and tomorrow the singer with a three-octave range presents a musical journey exploring African drums and their connection to spirituals, jazz, and the Great American Songbook.

Monday, February 9

Firebell @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Last year, this trio released a CD that was at the top of a number of best-ofs in the area. Here the original compositions from Impossible Vacation, as well as whatever else Park Evans, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums, decide to play. Check them out.

Solomon Parham @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) With a clear, bell-like tone, and considerable imagination, Parham is a trumpeter to watch. The Detroit native has played with Delfeayo Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Eric Kamau Gravatt, and Christian McBride, to name a few.

Javier Santiago EP Release @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) The NYC based pianist has come back to town for a while, and we’re treated to his playing. Tonight he celebrates the release of an EP entitled Year of the Horse, featuring Proper T and Miguel Hurtado. For the second set he’ll be joined by Cory Wong, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Yohannes Tona, bass; Miguel Hurtado, drums, and T. Anthony, vocals.

Tuesday, February 10

A Chris Olson Project @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Olson is a guitarist with a fluid style and always interesting improvising skills. BTW, he’s also an composer, and teaches at McNally Smith and a few jazz camps around town.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, February 4

IMG_1320Doug Otto & The Getaways CD Release Party on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Doug and the guys have a new CD, entitled Nine Trick Pony, and they’re celebrating its release. Expect a mix of blues and country-ish songs. Tune in at 5pm and head to the 331 Club afterwards.

ToP's front line at work

ToP’s front line at work

Wednesday – Saturday, February 4-7

Tower of Power @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45 – $70), 9pm ($35 – $60) Old School R&B of the highest order, with a horn section that just won’t quit. Tower of Power has been funkifying lives since 1968, and five of the ten members of this powerhouse band are original members. Their last few appearances at the Dakota have been full of energy and immensely satisfying. They now have a new lead singer, Ray Greene, who seems to be kicking the band to a higher level, if that’s possible.

Thursday, February 5

Hurricane Harold Trio @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 8pm (Free) Take the whirlwind harmonica blowing of Hurricane Harold, and join it to the blues-full vocals of Doug Otto and edgy guitar of Albert Perez and you’ve got some fun goin’ on. Here’s two of the three.

Friday, February 6

Moses Oakland and Paul Holland w/Rena Haus Trio @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($6) It’s a bluesy Freewheelin’ First Friday, as KFAI’s Jackson Buck presents singer/songwriter Rena Haus and her trio opening at 7pm. Then at 9pm, venerable bluesman/jam host Moses Oakland takes the stage, accompanied by Paul Holland.

Armadillo Jump @ Manitou Station Pub, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Though the dance floor is small, it still allows East metro folk  to dance to the ever swingin’ rockin’ blues of the Jumpsters.

Friday, Saturday, February 6,7

Bob Marley 70th Birthday Celebration @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($18) Marley was part Natural Mystic, part Rebel, Rastafarian, and the most popular world music artist of the late 70s and until he passed in ’81. This annual celebration has turned into a two day affair for the 70th anniversary of his birth. The International Reggae All Stars came together as a Marley tribute band in the early 90s. They and Innocent will lead the celebration, joined by many friends. Here’s what to expect.

Saturday, February 7

Harriet Brewing’s 4th Anniversary @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15) Featuring country inflected rock n’ roll from the American Sacarecrows; more country writing and guitar playing from Erik Koskinen and his Band; and lively Nouveau Hillbilly music from The Last Revel. Harriet brewing will fill the beer taps with a number of their brews as well.

KFAI Benefit w/Mighty Mofos, X-boys, Flamin’ Ohs, Michael Yonkers, DJ Danny Sigelman @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm ($12) Lots of Gen Xers will relive their youth, while Millennials will discover the power of 70s and early 80s punk/pop. Tickets are going fast, so you may want to buy/reserve early. Here’s something from the vaults featuring the Ohs.

Sunday, February 8

33rd Annual Battle of the Jug Bands @ The Cabooze, 12:00 Noon, ($5 Suggested Donation) Will dozens of jug bands, some of whom were formed just for the contest, get up and perform? Will long time friends greet each other with warmth? Will a large potluck ensue? And will the waffle iron prize once again be stolen? Whadda you think?

Urban Hillbilly Quartet @ the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, Como Zoo, Saint Paul. 4:30pm – 6:30 pm (Free) Though often cited for their eclecticism, the UHB mines some of the same country/rock genre as bands such as the Flying Burrito Brothers, The Jayhawks, Uncle Tupelo, and even David Grisman. Can’t think of a nicer, warmer, or more skin-welcoming humid place to hear them than the Conservatory (see photo above), though limited space means you might want to listen to them in a part of the conservatory that doesn’t have direct sight lines to the band.

Barbara Le Shoure Benefit @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 5pm ($10 Donation) Blueswoman Barbara LeShoure  a member of both the Chicago and Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame, had a third stroke a few months back, and though she’s been improving with physical therapy, she needs help with daily expenses and medical bills. The music community is rallying around, so you’ll be able to hear the Maxx Band, Annie Mack, Jimmy Prime Time Sith, Kendra Glenn, Wain MacFarlane, Pippi Ardennia, more.

Monday, February 9

Tommy & The Liebermen @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No cover) Lieberman is a singer/songwriter with a fine way with words and an entertaining way with a crowd. His songs can be insightful as well as funny. It’s a foodie night, so there’s no cover, $10 bottles of wine and a special menu.

Tuesday, February 10

Phil Heywood @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. (No Cover) If you’re looking for ace fingerpicking and a more than pleasant baritone to go with your dinner, this is the place to be tonight. Be sure to ask for a table near the singer, since Cafe Maude can get crowded and noisy.

Tuesday, Wednesday, February 10,11

Dave Mason’s Traffic Jam @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50 – $60) Hmm, how much needs to be said about Mason  at least for anyone over 50. Okay, he’s in the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. He’s recorded with Hendrix, the Stones, and George Harrison, and his band Traffic featured Steve Winwood. He had hits with Only You Know and I Know, and Feelin’ Alright, which was later made a bigger hit by Joe Cocker. Mason even recorded with Mama Cass! These shows will feature songs from Traffic’s1967 and 1968 albums. Is that enough?

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.

 


Dance, Dance, Dance. Music: 4.30 – 5.6

April 30, 2014
Back-flips are optional

Back-flips are optional

This seems to be an especially good week for folks who like to dance, whether they swing dance, do the two step, or hit the dance floor to cajun & zydeco, or Latin music. We’ve five events dedicated to dancers and a few others where dancing could erupt. We’ve also got a fine selection of listening events, including a Women in Jazz workshop aimed at young female musicians. All, in all, another good week of music in the Twin Cities. Music can lift your spirits.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 30 – International Jazz Day

Friends of Foreman @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30 – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) That’s friends of bassist Andrew Foreman, including Dave Feily guitar; Zach Schmidt, drums; and Dan Musselman on piano. They improvise on modern Jazz, indie-rock, and alt-pop, as well as original compositions.

Kevin Gastonguay Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 11:00pm ($10 Donation)  Pianist Gastonguay has garnered acclaim at festivals in Detroit Lakes and Sioux Fall, as well as at the 2010 Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Here in town, he’s played with Cory Wong, Kevin Washington, Jay Young, and mangy others. He’ll be joined by Zacc Harris, guitar; Greg Schutte, drums; and Andrew Bergmann, bass.

Evans Courage Hennig @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Late night music from a new trio, though each of them have been playing around town for years. Park Evans is a guitarist with taste, who can bring the fire any time he wishes. Brian Courage has become a go-to guy on bass since his arrival in town a few years ago. Hennig is the drummer for modern jazz group Atlantis Quartet, as well as the punk/blues band Crankshaft and the Grinders. Will make for an interesting evening at this uptown bistro.

Thursday, May 1

Moonlight Serenaders @ Wabasha Caves, Saint Paul. 7pm ($7) Here’s your mid-week big band fix, complete with swing dancers of all ages, a venue with a haunted past, and Lee Engele, a “canary” (as female big band singers were once known) who can swing with ease. Here’s the band, with Lee singing a classic number, at the Caves.

Friday, May 2

Kenny in action. Photo by Andrea Canter

Kenny in action. Photo by Andrea Canter

Kenny Horst & Friends @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Donation) Though he may have closed the Artists’ Quarter, drummer Kenny Horst doesn’t appear ready to fully retire. He’s gathered Brandon Wozniak, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Brian Courage, bass; to back him as he returns to performing. It will be a swingin’ evening of straight-ahead jazz.

Illicit Sextet @ TheBlack Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Six imaginative improvisers who only play their own, original music. Consider their membership:  Steve Kenny, trumpet and fluegelhorn; Paul Harper, sax; David Roos, guitar; Chris Lomheim, piano; Tom Pieper, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums.

Byron Jonson-Blanchard Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10 Donation) Drummer Johnson-Blanchard’s quartet comes to the late night show at JC. The young percussionist (a 2008 grad of McNally Smith) plays around town in various groups, most steadily with the R&B horn band High and Mighty. Tonight he’s joined by cohorts David Hirsch, sax; Thomas Nordlund guitar; and Andrew Foreman, bass.

Saturday, May 3

Women In Jazz Workshop & Concert @ Maplewood Community Center, Maplewood. 2-4:30 workshop (free) 7pm concert ($20/adult, $10/student, free w/workshop) Pippi Ardennia’s non-profit, PipJazz and the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education are teaming up to present a workshop introducing young female musicians to the women who have contributed to the growth of jazz as performers, composers, and bandleaders. The workshop will feature a history of women in jazz and end with an open jam session. then at 7pm the women leading the workshop will perform an evening concert. Participants include vocalists Pippi Ardennia and Patty Peterson, Kathy Jensen, sax; Laura Caviani, piano; Joan Griffith, bass, and drummer Sheila Earley. A special guest will be saxophonist Ebony Rainwater, a student at Sibley High School. Register for the workshop at: http://pipjazz.org

Paul Renz Quartet @ Rosemount Steeple Center, 14375 S. Robert Trail, Rosemount. 7pm ($5) Guitarist Paul Renz  uietly goes about teaching, regularly records, and tours the East Coast every now and then. This is a rare area performance by Renz, who is joined by Baltimore pianist Alan Blackman; Josh Granowski, bass; and Jessie Lesmeister, drums.

Monday, May 5

Peter Vircks Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Vircks is a busy sax-man about town, recording and performing with groups ranging from Doug Little to Moveable Feast, Park Evans, and the percussive dance group Rhythmic Circus. His recent album What You Believe is True, has received praise from critics and musicians alike. He’ll be joined by Kevin Washington, drums; Ron Evaniuk, bass; and Brian Ziemniak, piano. Here he is performing a classic in a guitar/sax duo.

 

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, April 30

Radio Joe & the Jazzbos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. ($5) Guitarist Joe Demko and his quartet play romantic music, as well as swing, boogie boogie, and jump blues. It’s perfect for the swing dancers and folks who, to quote a Sinatra song, know that “what is dancin’ but making love set to music, playing.” Here’s an example.

 

Lisa Wenger & Her Mean, Mean Men @ Shaws, Minneapolis. 8pm (No cover) Vocalist Wenger has sung the blues at area festivals, on the national blues circuit, and at Sturgis. Her approach to blues singing is direct, and appeals to a wide variety of listeners. She surrounds herself with a talented band, too.

Thursday, May 1

UnknownKate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows Present a Dinner Dance @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Music only, $45 Music + 3 course Prix Fixe dinner).  Here’s an fun concept presented by a group that brings a fresh approach to jazz and pop from the 1920s to the 1950s. There’s a dinner set starting at 7pm, then at 8pm there’s be an abbreviated dance lesson for folks who need a refresher in basic dance steps, followed at 8:15 by a dance set from the band. Think of it as a “wedding dance without the wedding.”

 

Swamp Poppas @ the Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 10:30pm ($5) Karl Smelker leads this quartet in an evening of, what else, Swamp Pop, that mixture of Cajun music with Rock n’ Roll and the R&B of New Orleans. The resulting plaintive ballads and uptempo numbers will fill the dance floor with swing dancers, Cajun two-steppers, and couples who take delight in simply gliding around the dance floor.

Friday, May 2

Chico Chavez & Guayaba @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm ($7) Twin cities based Peruvian percussionist Chico Chavez has put together an 8-piece band to play Andean and Amazonian music known as “chicha.” It’s mostly a mix of mid-tempo Cumbia rhythms and slightly psychedelic guitars, with some songs that touch on other tropical rhythms. Get a taste of their music on their website

Steve Kaul & The Brass Kings @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($6) It’s another Freewheelin’ Friday from KFAI’s Jackson Buck, tonight featuring Steve Kaul & the Brass Kings, with opener Dave Babb & Friends. Kaul plays fingerpicks a resonator guitar, and with the backing of the Brass Kings (Mikkel Beckman, washboard, found objects; Brad Ptacek, washtub bass; Jillian Rae, country/psychedelic fiddle) takes the music far beyond your typical acoustic realms. The evening starts of with Dave Babb, of the Liquor Pigs, and some of his friends. Of course, there’ll be a food truck available. Let’s hope the weather allows the warehouse doors to be open.

A new fashion trend?

M.O.R.T sporting a new fashion trend

Mystic Order of Reverb & Twang @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) M.O.R.T brings a batch of rockabilly and reverb-heavy surf music to the east metro. The middle-aged crowd at the Station is perhaps more used to the likes of Motown & bluesy rock, but the insistent bass and cheeky guitars of M.O.R.T. is sure to have them crowding the small dance floor.

Ray Bonneville CD Release @ The Aster Cafe, Minnapolis. 9pm ($12) Bonneville is known as a “roaming musician” who records for Saint Paul’s Red House Records. He’s Canadian by birth, is a Vietnam vet, drove a taxicab, and served as a bush pilot in Canada. He’s an acoustic bluesman who has won awards for his work and is heavily influenced by the music of New Orleans, where he spent time in the 1980s. The new CD is entitled “Easy Gone.” Here’s a video of Bonneville in action.

 

Saturday, May 3

For Pete’s Sake @ The Fitzgerald Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($30) Pete Seeger would have been 95 on this date, and Minnesota singer/songwriter Larry Long, a long-time friend, has brought together a colorful cast of musicians, activists and narrators to celebrate all the phases of Pete’s life through song, stories, and spoken narratives. The cast ranges from former Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayle-Belton and Poet Louis Alemayehu, to musicians such as Robert Robinson, Prudence Johnson, Tony Glover, Estaire Godinez, Chastity Brown, Peter Ostroushko, Long himself, and many, many more. Seeger is known as the “Father of American folk music” and influenced the likes of Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Bruce Springsteen and thousands of budding musicians. Governor Dayton has proclaimed May 3 as “Pete Seeger Day” in Minnesota.

Unknown-3Sonny Knight & the Lakers Record Release @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 7pm Door. ($10 Advance/$15 Door) Knight is another story of a “rediscovered” soul singer. He finally has a debut album after recording his first single over 50 years ago. The album, I’m Still Here, is a slice of funk and soul that will surely appeal to both boomers and today’s hipsters. This is going to be a big bash, what with the Honeydogs and Southside Desire opening.

Dad Horse Experience @ Bayport BBQ & Nashville Hot Chicken, Bayport. 8pm ($8) Owner Chris Johnson has added Nashville hot chicken to his BBQ, and continues to bring us outsider music that’s accessible in its own weird way. Example number one: Dad Horse Experience, a one-man band (banjo, kazoo, bass pedal) from Bremen, Germany, playing Gospel music that you’d never hear in a church. He sings and howls as if alone in a dark basement, desperately seeking redemption from a life of hard, hard sin. Definitely the under-the-radar gig of the week. Check out this video to see what I mean.

 

 

Sunday, May 4

Paul Thorn @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($23) Some guys are just able to sing the truth. Thorn is one of them – a former boxer who’s dad was a Pentacosal minister, and who had an uncle who was a pimp. Their advice and influence forms the basis for his bluesy Americana. He also does a terrific and often funny job of introducing his songs. Here’s an example.

 

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

 


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