Not-Quite-Winter Music: 11.28 – 12.4

November 28, 2018

It may not be officially winter yet, but it is beginning to sound a lot like Christmas, or any of the other29 or so holidays celebrated by a number of the world’s religions this time of year. Both visiting and resident artists are beginning to include holiday music in their shows, though it’s easy enough to find alternatives if you’re not quite ready for prime-time holiday songs. Music Lifts Your Spirit!


Jazz

Wednesday, November 28
Evan Christopher’s Clarinet Road @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($30, $35) The clarinet seems to be gaining more gravitas in jazz these days, thanks in part to musicians like Anat Cohen, Ken Peplowski, and Evan Christopher, whose grounding in early Creole clarinetists provides the foundation for New Orleans music that honors tradition without being a slave to it.

Thursday, November 29

ACME Jazz Company Holiday Show @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($5, $10) Though you may hear some musical explosions from this 18-piece big band featuring vocalist Arne Fogel, you won’t hear the beep beep sounds of the Roadrunner after the aforementioned eruptions.

Becky King and Jon DeVaal @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Vocalist King sings jazz standards from the 1920 to the 1960s, accompanied by pianist Jon DeVaal.

Friday, November 30

Acoustic Concussion @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Acoustic Concussion: Chris Bates, bass; Lars Erik-Larson, drums; Joe Strachan, piano; and Brad Holden, saxes, playing the music of Sam Rivers, Lee Konitz, Ornette Coleman and others.

Saturday, December 1

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Mike Wolter Trio at 7pm: Wolter, guitar;mCody McKinney, bass; and Cory Healey, drums. At 8:30, it’s Babatunde Lea & Rhythm’s Mama: Omar AbdulKarim, trumpet; Joe Strachan, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; Kevin Washington, drums & percussion; Taj Maalik Hill, percussion; and Lea, drums/congas.

Nate Wood’s fOUR, w/JT Bates solo @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis.m8pm(?$15 Advance, $18 Door) drummer & multi-instrumentalist Nate Wood is a founding member of the Grammy-nominated experimental cross-genre group. fOUR is a solo project in which he layers drums, synths, electric bass and voice with no overdubs or pre-recorded backing tracks. Drummer JT Bates will be using his drum set and electronics to create a new set of music just for this show.

Zacc Harris’ American Reverie @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis.(No Cover) The Icehouse changes up their dinner music tonight by having Zacc Harris’ Reverie play: Harris, guitar; Matt Peterson, bass; Lars-Erik Larson, drums. It’s a quiet group, so you’re still advised to sit close since the restaurant’s happy diners can be noisy.

Saturday, Sunday, December 1,2 

The Freddy Cole Quartet: Cole at Christmas @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. Sat, 6pm, 8pm  ($45, $50), Sunday, 5pm ($30, $35), 7pm  ($35, $40) Freddy Cole returns to the Dunsmore Room to begin a year-long celebration of older brother Nat King Cole’s centennial. One of Nat’s biggest hits is the perennial favorite, The Christmas Song, which Freddy is very likely to perform.

Monday, December 3

Carmen Lundy @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $20, $35) Carmen Lundy is much more than a fine jazz singer. She’s written over 60 compositions in jazz, blues, soul, samba, and pop music. Jazz Times says she has “excelled as a vocalist, composer, lyricist, arranger, guitarist and keyboardist for more than three decades.”

Tuesday, December 4

Christmas with Joey DeFrancesco @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm ($30, $35), 9pm ($20, $25) He may well be as advertised, the best B3 player on the planet, but Joey DeFrancesco is also a worthy trumpet player and smooth crooner. He’s doing this Christmas show in the big room.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday,  November 28

Scottie Miller @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6pm (Free) singer/pianist, and songwriter Scottie Miller just received another Blues Society Hall of Fame Award, this time for his song Sweet Cream Sugar Delight. He couldn’t be at the ceremony because he was touring once again with Ruthie Foster. You can hear that winning song tonight, as Miller solos in this free show (though I’m sure tips will be gratefully accepted).

Jon Rodine w/Paul Bergen and Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) There’s no doubt that Rodine, a singer of originals, and a fine interpreter of other’s songs, deserves a wider audience. Fellow musician and KFAI deejay Ellen Stanley called Rodine “Authentic, unpretentious…funky, heartbreaking.” Tune in, and if you like what you hear, support live music by heading to the 331Club.

Honky-Tonk Jump @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) It’s Swing Dance Night at Lee’s, with dance lessons starting at 7pm. The honky tonk tunes, Texas dancehall music, and Western Swing that’ll get dancers on the floor will be provided by the 5-piece Honky Tonk Jump.

Thursday, November 29

Jeremy Ylvisaker & Friends @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($8) Jeremy Ylvisakeris an imaginative and versatile guitarist and multi instrumentalist who has played and recorded with artists ranging from John Prine and Bon Iver, to Swamp Dogg and the Suburbs. Tonight he’ll rejoined by rocker Venus DeMars; violinist Gaelynn Lea; cellist Jacqueline Ultan, and others.

Friday, November 30

Anne Hills @ Gingko’s Coffeehouse, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15) Pennsylvania native Anne Hills may be a perfect example of a pure folk singer. She has a beautiful, clarion voice, and writes straightforward lyrics. One indication of her talent: Tom Paxton is a big fan. He’s said of her, “For me, Anne’s writing, in songs like ‘Follow That Road’ and many others, is as direct, melodic and deep as any work being done today. She is quite simply one of my absolute favorite songwriters.”

Cedric Burnside @ the Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($28 Advance, $20 Door, $40 Meet & Greet at 6:30pm) Cedric Burnside is the grandson of legendary Hill Country Bluesman RL Burnside. Cedric’s 2015 release, Descendants of Hill Country, was nominated for a Grammy, and he’ll be at the Hook to celebrate the release of his latest, Benton County Relic. Opening is another Twin Cities favorite, Chicago guitarist Nick Moss and his band, featuring harpman Dennis Gruenling. FMI on the Meet & Greet, go here.

Tommy Bentz Band @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Jazzy blues, originals, and covers by Bentz, guitar; Jason McLean, bass; and Alex Burgess, drums. All also sing.

Saturday, December 1

Nachito Herrera: Afro-Latin Renaissance @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($22 – $42) Dynamic Cuban-born pianist Nachito Herrera once again brings a spectacular show to the Ordway, using a12-piece band; four vocalists; the MinnesotanYouth Symphony; The St.Peter AME Church Choir; and two different dance troupes to showcase classical Afro-Latin jazz and its roots. If you arrive at            6:30, you can hear Congolese guitarist Siama Matuzungidi and his group in the atrium, and also peruse the visual art of a number of Cuban artists.

Sunday, December 2

Ginger Commodore Celebrates Aretha Franklin @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm  ($20) Ginger Commodore has the chops and the soul to  do justice to the late and forever Queen of Soul. Commodore was a long time member of the Grammy-winning Sounds of Blackness, has theatrical credits both musicals and dramas, toured Britain as a member of The Chiffons, and currently appears with Moore by Four.

Tuesday, December 4

Kenny Latimore @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40,$45, $50), 9pm ($35, $40, $50) It’ll be a romantic holiday evening, courtesy of  Latimore a “modern soul man” as he was called by the NY Times, to the Dakota.  His sweet harmonies and memorable melodies helped his 1997 song For You become an instant top ten hit. He’s also lent his vocals to recordings for artists such as Brian Culbertson, Nancy Wilson, Musiq Soulchild and Rachelle Ferrel. Additionally, Kanye West sampled Latimore’s Lately for a track.

Curt Obeda & Brian Z @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Blues guitarist/vocalist Curt Obeda, leader of the award winning Butanes, and Brian Ziemniak, of the BZ3 Organ Trio and Vintage Raggs on keys, should make for a fun night of music, including lots of Ray Charles numbers.

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 Cornucopia of Music: 11.1 – 11.7

November 1, 2017

As we finally get into Fall, with Daylight Savings Time ending on Sunday, we have a number of special shows from both visiting and resident artists. We’ve got great jazz, blues, and roots musicians performing in various venues, along with a couple of special events. Music lifts your spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, Nov 1

Joyce Lyons: The Music of Carmen McCrae @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm  ($12)  Vocalist Lyons has worked with the late Joe Beck, as well as Bucky Pizzarelli, Jay Leonhart, and Lou Marini among others, appeared at jazz clubs and festivals around the nation. She can swing, and she can be sultry, which fits right in with the music of McCrae.

Thursday, Nov 2

Joel Shapira/Larry McDonough’s Saint Paul CD Release @ Vieux Carré,  Saint Paul. 8:00pm  ($10) Guitarist Shapira plays jazz and the occasional classical piece for the dinner hour. Then McDonough and his group take the stage for the East Metro CD release party for Alice in Stonehenge, a 2 CD album with one CD electric, and the second acoustic. The opening track on the second CD is a mashup of Spinal Tap’s Stonehenge and Bill Evan’s Alice in Wonderland, and gives the CD its title. Tonight he has his usual group: Richard Terrill, tenor & soprano sax; Greg Stinson, acoustic an electric bass; and Dean White, drums, with special guest Steve Kenny on Flumpet.

Friday, Nov 3

Django Festival All-Stars Featuring Dorado Schmitt @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45), 9pm ($35, $40) Guitarist/Violinist Dorado Schmitt seems to visit the Twin Cities every few years since what I believe was his first appearance at the Minnesota Sur Seine Festival in the aught. The outstanding French guitarist/violinist was born to gypsy parents and grew up surrounded by Roma music and Gypsy jazz. Schmitt and the All-Stars will celebrate the music of Django Rheinhardt, and play some of their own compositions in that style.

Dean Granros ’58 Belvedere @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) virtuosic guitarist Dean Granros leads this trio that includes Patrick Kuehn, bass; and Dave Power, drums.

Also: Cory Healy’s Beautiful Sunshine Band @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9pm

Saturday, Nov 4

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm: Julian Manzara Quartet: Manzara, guitar; Drew Stinson, bass; Levi Schwartzberg, piano; Tarek Abdelqader, drums. 8:30pm Steve Kenny Quartet CD Preview. Steve Kenny, Flumpet; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Ted Olsen, bass, Miguel Hurtado, drums. Here are three members of the quartet.

Sunday, Nov 5

Lizz Wright @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50, $60) Vocalist Wright has just released a new album, Grace, produce buh Joe Henry, who has done fine work with Allen Toussaint and Mavis Staples, among others. A Southern preacher’s kid, Wright’s warm voice gives depth to spare, lovely tunes with touches of gospel and R&B, including Stars Fell on Alabama and Southern Nights.

Phil Markowitz & Zach Brock: Brockowitz @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30 ($20) Pianist Phil Markowitz, whose resume includes stints with of Chet Baker and Toots Thiememans and Zach Brock, who has woken with Snarkey Puppy and Stanley Clarke, have teamed up to create a new repertoire for violin and piano. They draw on various jazz traditions. Markowitz’s roots in Eastern Europe and Brock in Appalachia influence their repertoire, which includes various jazz traditions and contemporary classical music

Also: Milo Fine Trio @ Studio Toile d’Angles (Season Finale), 910 Morgan Avenue North, Minneapolis

Rio Nido @ The Aster Cafe River Room, Minneapolis. 6pm ($30 Advance/$35 Door)

Tuesday, Nov 7

Sam Miltich & Dave Karr @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($12) Ace guitarist Mitiich and veteran saxophonist Karr explore the music of Lester Young. Just right for a listening room.

Phil Aaron Trio Featuring Joyce Lyons @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) Pianist Phil Aaron composers film scores by day and plays jazz at night, as a vocal accompanist to some of the area’s best vocalist, as a sideman in various groups, and leading his own trio with Gary Raynor, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. Tonight he bring along special guest Joyce Lyons (See listing for Nov 1, above) for some vocals. Here’s Phil with a trio from a few years back. Don’t know who will be with him tonight.

Also: Dean Magraw & Eric Kamau Gravatt @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (tip Jar)

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 1

Bernie King & the Guilty Pleasures on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Guitarist/vocalist King and his band – John Kurtis, lead guitar mandolin, vocals; Julie King, washboard and Percussion; and Bradley Smith, string bass – perform original blues and Americana as composed by King. Tune in Harold’s House Party to hear them, and once you’ve decided you need more, head to the 331 Club

Memphis R&B Revue @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($60, $80, $90) It’s an evening of Soul and R&B nirvana as the legendary  Hi Rhythm Section, together with a group of all-star Memphis musicians take the stage to back a trio of legendary performers. William Bell wrote and performed a number of his for Stax Records, and won a Grammy for his 2016 release, This Is Where I Live. Harmonica master Charlie Musselwhite has been inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, and has won a number of Blues Music Awards, in addition to a Grammy for his album with Ben Harper in 2012. The ageless Bobby Rush is always full of vim and vinegar, delivering the blues with a sly wink. There will be a few collaborations with a young Memphis performers, bringing the evening full circle.

Also: Paul Metsa @ The Green Lantern, Saint Paul. 8 – 10:30pm (Tip Jar)

Curtiss A & Dark Click @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar

Thursday, Nov 2

Kenny Latimore @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45, $50), 9pm ($35, $40, $45) Singer/Songwriter Latimore has been called a “modern soul man” by no less than the New York Times. His sweet harmonies and memorable melodies helped his song For You become an instant top ten hit. His mid-90s solo debut went gold and had two top ten hits, including the aforementioned For You. He’s also lent his vocals to recordings for artists such as Brian Culbertson, Nancy Wilson, Musiq Soulchild and Rachelle Ferrel. Additionally, Kanye West sampled Latimore’s Lately for a track. Here’s the video for For You.

Debbie Duncan & Margaret Cox @ Crooners’ Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, but $10 will get you a guaranteed seat at a table in front of the stage) When vocalists Duncan and Cox played the Dunsmore Room some months back the results were delightful. Cox sings with Mambo’s Combo, for about 30 years now, and before that was known as Ta Mara, in an 80s funk/pop band under the direction of Prince. She was also a backup singer for Doug Maynard. Duncan, of course, is known to many Twin Citizens for her ability to blend jazz & R&B.

Also: Harrison Street Band @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover)

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Nov 2, 3, 4

Crocus Hill Ghost Story @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm($15, $10 Students & Seniors) This is the second weekend of shows, where the folks at Studio Z have turned the space into a Victorian mansion for this collaboration between Zeigeist, composer/flutist Julie Johnson, writer Cheri Johnson, and filmmaker/actor DJ Mendel. Their presentation is described as a macabre tale of a house possessed. Note that it has adult themes and language, and may not be suitable for children under 14. Members of he Twin Cities Paranormal Society will talk about their work after the Saturday performance.

Friday, Saturday, Nov 3, 4

Luther Vandross Tribute @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($12) A passel of Twin Cities artists celebrate the music of Luther Vandross. Performers include: Fred Steele, James “Jay Bee” Brown, Kennedy Barber, Erica West, Yohannes Tona, and Brian Kendrick plus Brian Ziemniak, Troy Norton, and many special guests

Saturday, Nov 4

Festival de Las Calaveras @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 6:30pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door, $8 Children 3-12) This multi-media show starts off with Aztec Dancers and life size puppets on stilts at the Cedar’s Plaza. There will also be performances by headliner Maria Issa, as well as Lady Midnight, Javier Trejo, See More Perspective, and Twin Cities newcomer Ahmed Anzaldua with Cardenche Community Sing. Food trucks will be on hand to offer Mexican and Argentinean favorites.

The Hillbenders play Tommy: A Bluegrass Opry @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35, $40) 9pm ($25, $30, $35) Now this is an interesting gig. The Who’s rock opera Tommy sold 20 million copies, is listed at number 96 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Now, the Hillbenders perform the album with banjo, dobro, mandolin, bass, and guitar. You’ll get rock vocals with virtuosic playing, for a new perspective on this rock opera.

Also: Willie Murphy & The Angel-Headed Hipsters @ Crooner’s Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 8pm No cover, but $10 for a guaranteed seat in front of the stage.

Tuesday, Nov 7

New Primitives @ Shaw’s Bar & Grill, NE Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($6) Get your reggae and jam band jones fulfilled with this quintet.

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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