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.


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.


Eat. Drink. Music. 11.27 – 12.3

November 27, 2013

Well, I thought readers might enjoy a little levity about Thanksgiving.  I realize that not everyone overeats or even goes shopping on Thanksgiving, which is once more upon us. Gathering with friends and family is a great tradition, and we can even find a way to enjoy meals without meltdowns over politics, religion or lifestyles. Please take note of the Brass Bash at the Amsterdam on Sunday. There will be lots of good music, and the proceeds go to KFAI. Would love to see you there. In the meantime, have a good holiday, and if you get stressed out, take some time to let music lift your spirits. There is certainly plenty of it around.


Wednesday, November 27

Davu Seru Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (donation) Davu Seru, percussion, Josh Granowski, bass; and Park Evans, guitar. Seru is a drummer/percussionist who is equally at home playing straight ahead jazz, free jazz, and desert blues, among others. Park Evans and Josh Granowski are equally versatile.

Phil Hey Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) A long-running quartet that doesn’t seem to appear outside of monthly AQ performances, Phil Hey, drums; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Tom Lewis, bass; and Phil Aaron, piano. Expect a very high level of performance of tunes by Coletrane, Coleman, Mingus, and more. Here they are a few years ago, doing a standard.

Friday, November 29

Talking Strings @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip jar) Pavel Jany, guitar; Gary Schulte, violin; and Andrew Foreman, bass; playing global jazz – French jazz, bossa novas, gypsy jazz, and more.

Atlantis Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($8) Some late night modern jazz. The Atlantis Quartet has built a strong following in the Twin Cities based on the stellar playing of Zacc Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; Brandon Wozniak, tenor sax; and Pete Hennig, drums.

Friday, Saturday, November 29,30

Pat Mallinger & the Bill Carrothers Trio @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Mallinger (sax) and Carrothers (piano) are Saint Paul talents who have made good and now live in Chicago and Upper Michigan, respectively. When they’re in town, they head to the AQ, where their combined talent makes for a very special show. Here’s Pat hard at work.

Saturday, November 30

George Maurer Group @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12) Maurer may be the most talented Minnesota musician you haven’t heard about, since he resides in Saint Cloud and only sporadically performs in the Twin Cities. He’s a pianist/composer/producer who has collaborated with musicians ranging from Prudence Johnson to Eric Clapton. Tonight he brings a septet, including two horns, to the Dakota. Check out their take on a Beatles tune.

Maryann Sullivan & Dave Martin@ Mendoberri Cafe & Wine Bar, Mendota. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Here’s a low-key way to eat out at a casual restaurant and hear some fine jazz. Vocalist Sullivan and guitarist Martin will be swinging some standards and a holiday tune or two.

Sunday, December 1

KFAI’s Brass Bash @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 6pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This is a benefit I’ve put together for KFAI, featuring three bands with brass instruments. First up at 6:30 is The Jana Nyberg Group. Jana swings and sings with taste, and with the help of husband/trumpeter Adam Meckler, brings new life to bossa novas, jazz chestnuts, and contemporary pop. At 7:30pm it’s Parham, Schimke, Anderson, Boettcher, and Washington. This quintet represents some of the best of Twin Cities Jazz. Solomon Parham, trumpet; Peter Schimke, piano; Kevin Washington, drums; Jeremy Boettcher, bass; and up and coming new guy in town, Tyler Anderson on tenor sax. Suffice to say, the place will be swinging. Then, to close things up at 8:30 or so, we have the Jack Brass Band, whose infectious music encompasses  traditional brass band tunes, jazz standards like  Night in Tunisia and songs by Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, Bobby Brown and more. They’ve been together for a dozen years or so and have enough street cred to be featured in New Orleans’ Offbeat Magazine, march in a Mardis Gras Parade, and play for WWOZ.  Here’s the Jana Nyberg Group in the KFAI studios.

Monday, December 2

Joey DeFrancesco Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30)  Today’s Hammond organ giant was playing with Miles Davis as a teenager, and also played with John McLaughlin. Last seen here at the MN Zoo with Dave Sanborn, DeFrancesco will put on a smokin’ show of soul-jazz. Check out his take on a song that’s heavily identified with Sinatra.

Tuesday, December 3

Dean Magraw and Davu Seru @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (tip jar) This monthly gig is always impressive, as Magraw on electric guitar, and Seru on drums and percussion use their vast knowledge of jazz, rock, and world musics to create enlightening and inspiring music.

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, November 27

UnknownNikki & the Rue-Mates on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5-ish (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – tip jar)  I’ve been a fan of Nikki’s crystaline voice for years. She’s turned into a fine writer and guitar player as well, ably assisted by Rich Rue on resonator guitar and Jon Larsen on bass. With any luck, she’ll have a drummer along to add some kick to the proceedings.

photoSonny Knight & Lakers and The Rich Lewis Band @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($5) Knight started out in the 60s when he was a teenager, and eventually sang with the legendary Twin Cities band Haze in the 70s. His appearance on the Secret Stash compilation of Twin Cities Soul & Funk has re-energized him and he’s put together a seven-piece horn and organ band to provide some funky backing. They’ve been doing a residency at the Eagles Club for the last month, creating good vibes and building an audience. Tonight’s bash features the Rich Lewis Band, purveyors of funky good times in their own right, albeit with a New Orleans bent to the music. The bash is in the big room, with plenty of space for dancers.

Thursday, November 28

Davina & the Vagabonds @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Not a lot to do on Thanksgiving night, but if you want something that will appeal across generations, you can’t go wrong with the highly unique, energetic blues, R&B, and jazz of Ms Davina and the highly polished Vagabonds.

Doug Otto & the Getaways @ Ray J’s Northeast, 500 Central Ave, Minneapolis. 9:30pm Doug’s mournful voice is perfect for the old timey roots music that he prefers. The Getaways include Josh Granowski, Alberto Castro Perez, Jr., and Chris Gray.

Friday, November 29

TAKK @ Juxtaposition Arts’ Moja Gallery, 1108 Broadway, Minneapolis. 7pm, performances at 8pm & 9pm (Free) TAKK is a dance project with video installation that looks at relationships through the lens of sports. There promises to be much interactivity during the dance performances.

Dee Miller Band @ Shaw’s, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) The Duchess of the Blues, helping you to dance off the Thanksgiving meal pounds.

The Butanes and the Marbles Acoustic Band @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5 after 8pm) The Marbles Acoustic Band, an octet, start things off with their jam-ish versions of 60s and 70s folk-rock. Then The Butanes come on at 9 to take you down blues alley.

Saturday, November 30

MetsaWalkerPosterPaul Metsa & Willie Walker CD Release Party @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 5pm – 7pm. (No Cover) The other great singer/songwriter to come out of the Iron Range has been playing with soulman Willie Walker for a few years now. The combination of Paul’s sterling guitar playing and Willie’s angelic, yet soulful voice makes for good chemistry and great music. The CD is called Live from Highway 55.

Trashy Little Christmas Show @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20) It’s a Christmas Tradition. Trailer Trash begins their annual weekly residency bringing musical mayhem

Black Market Brass, Brass Messengers, and Body Omara @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Looking for some Afrobeat, world brass, and desert blues? You will want to be at the Nomad tonight.

Big George Jackson @ The Schooner, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Big George has a seemingly bottomless voice that is equal parts scary and comforting. Just right for the Delta-inspired blues that he sings. He has a crack band behind him as well. Here he is.

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.

Back from the Brink. Music: 10.16 – 10.22

October 16, 2013

imagesIf you, like me, have had enough of the hyperventilating chattering class, going on and on about the machinations in DC, then you can relax by going out and listening to some music – always good for lifting the spirits. On a more positive fiscal note, many of you may have joined KBEM during it’s recent pledge drive. Well, KFAI is now up and asking for your support as well. In particular I’d be thrilled if some of you would make a pledge to my Saturday morning show: Rhythm and Grooves. You can do it on Saturday by phoning in during the show (612-375-9030) or you can go online and make a pledge here. Mention Rhythm and Grooves in the comments section. KFAI (Fresh Air Radio) is a community station that provides a refreshing alternative to commercial radio. All of the program hosts volunteer their time and efforts. Thank you. end of commercial.


Wednesday, October 16

UnknownLucia Newell @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Lucia is one of the Twin Cities’ pure jazz singers. She can scat, compose, and sing with the best of them. And, if fact, she has some of the best of them to accompany her:Tanner Taylor, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Kenny Horst, drums. And oh yes, as regulars know, Vanessa shows up with $2 tacos and cake for late night noshing whilst listening.

Thursday, October 17

McNally X-Tet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (No Cover) Listen to some young players in a large-ish band, with no cover charge.

Dave Karr Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) The multi-reed octogenarian can still blow a mean sax, and throw in a wise quip as well. Bebop for these times, tempered with some beautiful melodies.  Here’s a hint of what he sounds like.

Friday, October 18

Sophia Shorai @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Her sweet, yet clarion voice will carry over the crowd at Hell’s Kitchen, but I’d still recommend sitting at the bar or closer to fully appreciate her way with a tune.

George Marich Jazz Quartet @ Zeke’s Unchained Animal, East Lake Street, Minneapoils. 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Zeke’s seems to be finding under the radar groups to play its room. Tonight’s group is such a case. Though I’ve not seen Marich, I can tell you he’s a drummer who has studied with Dave King, and recorded and studied with Anthony Cox. Burgers, pizzas, a nice selection of beer, and some jazz. Sounds like a pretty good combination to me.

525828_419758354760810_495163577_nCafe Societe @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 9pm ($?) French Cafe music and bossa novas, along with some American pop and jazz, sung by Amelia Rivera with accompaniment by Mark Chergosky, keyboards; and Mike Chergosky,  mandolin and viola, all in the intimate confines of the Hat Trick’s music room.

Friday, Saturday, October 18, 19

Foreign Motion CD Release @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. ($15) Jazz funk/fusion from some of the bright lights of the Twin Cities jazz scene: Cory Washington, guitar; Yohannes Tona, bass; Kevin Gastonguay, piano; and Peter Janjic, drums. Together, they have a wealth of experience with various national artists in various and sundry jazz, funk, gospel, and pop outfits. Check out this video.

Saturday, October 19

Lila Ammons Jazz Quintet @ Honey, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($7). There’s some considerable talent at work here, from the lithe vocals of Ammons to Dean Brewington, sax; Tim Zhome, drums; Tom West, keyboards; and Ron Evaniuk, bass. Expect standards, bossas, and the occasional blues.

Kelly Rossum Quartet + Marimba @ Antonello Hall, MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25, $15 students/seniors)  It’s been a while since Rossum left the Twin Towns for other environs, so it’s great to have him, his trumpet, and his sly approach to music back. He’ll be accompanied by some of his former bandmates: JT Bates, drums; Chris Bates, bass; and Bryan Nichols, piano; as well as Annie Stevens, Marimba. Dr. Annie Stevens is Professor of Percussion at Virginia Tech. The concert will include all new music composed by Rossum to show off the unique sound and percussive properties of the marimba. Here’s a video of Rossum & Stevens.

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, October 16

Charlie Parr on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI), 7pm – 9pm (331 – Tip jar) Minnesota’s favorite country blues troubadour shows up for the station’s pledge drive. Parr’s fans go way beyond the Midwest – He’s had songs featured in an Australian ad and a tv show. Whether he’s playing a 12 string guitar or a resonator, he’ll capture your imagination.

Steve Clarke & The Working Stiffs @ The Eagles Club, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5-$10) Looking for the kind of music to which you can do the Lindy, West Coast Swing, and other fun dances? Well, saxman Clarke is just the guy to deliver. Add in the wooden dance floors at the Eagle, and your in jump jive heaven.

Friday, October 18

Courtney Yasminah CD Release Party @ Bunkers, Minneapoils. 9pm ($6) This alt pop/rocker uses clever lyrics, fire in her gut, and head-bopping, toe-tapping arrangements to showcase her imaginative writing.

Friday, Saturday, October 18, 19

Dave Mason @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($45) The Dakota continues it’s winning programming of bringing in artists that appeal to boomers, Gen X-ers and younger folk. Tonight it’s Dave Mason, originally of Traffic, whose songs like 40,000 Headmen, and Feelin’ Alright were background for many a stoner party in the early 70s. His solo hits included Only You Know and I Know, and his biggest, We Just Disagree. He played with all the heavies, and even did an album with Mama Cass.

Saturday, October 19

Food Truck Rally @ Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. Noon – 10pm (free before 8pm) Body Omara, Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders, Charlie Parr, Jeff Ray & the Stakes; After party at 8pm, featuring Big Tree Bonsai. ($5 for afterparty, unless you have a wristband from the day)

Jeff Ray & Hurricane Harold @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. ($10) The ace guitarist and his hot-blowin harmonic buddy are joined by special guest Hilary Thavis on vocals. And, if you choose, you get to have some mighty fine BBQ.

The Badinovs @ The Eagles Club, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($5)  Music inspired by Lennon & McCartney, not Boris & Natasha, or even Rocky & Bullwinkle. Always a treat. Fine for dancing. Opening set at 8:30 by troubadour and inspired tunesmith Mike Ryan, and a short set of music from the Brazilian hinterlands by Os Masters de Amazonia.

Sunday, Monday, October 20, 21

Unknown-1Aimee Mann @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($60, $50, $40) It’s songwriter night at the Dakota, with a nod towards the 80s in the form of Ms Mann, who led Til Tuesday for three albums, before going solo in the mid 80s. She’s a talented songwriter, whose latest, Charmer, received favorable reviews and it’s videos show a sly humor. Ted Leo, another singer/songwriter, opens.

Tuesday, Wednesday, October 22, 23

Still Tuxedoed after all these years

Still Tuxedoed after all these years

Jack Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($65, $55, $45) Still singing after all these years, Jones is from the heyday of tuxedoed crooners in classy nightclubs and still sounds good. Though not as popular as Sinatra or Bennett, he nevertheless won a couple of grammys and sells out theaters around the world.

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.

Let’s Get Started. Music for 1.2.13 – 1.8.13

January 2, 2013
The "Dancing Congress" of Vienna.

The “Dancing Congress” of Vienna.

Forget the tired old references to resolutions. Simply go out and support live music. It has the power to elevate us, inspire us, bring us together as a community. Come to think of it, maybe Congress needs to have some soul-satisfying concerts that all would attend. Can you imagine them singing along with Garnet Rogers, dancing to Jack Klatt, or bopping to Spiral Visions? (All noted below)  But I digress. There’s plenty of good music in town, and here’s a few ideas.


Thursday, January 3

Sue Oatts & Tanner Taylor @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm (Donation) While Sue’s singing seems oh so natural, that’s the beauty of it. Her phrasing, rhythmic sense, and sensitivity takes singing miles beyond what many of us could attempt. Tanner’s piano playing is a wonder, and perfect when it comes to accompanying vocalists.

Dean Harrington and the Mill City Hot Club @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Guitarist Harrington brings the gypsy jazz of Django Reinhardt to the cozy little bar/cafe with a big tea list and skyline views.

Friday, January 4

At the Iowa City Jazz Festival. Photo by Andrea Canter

At the Iowa City Jazz Festival. Photo by Andrea Canter

Koplant No @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($5) This midwest quartet started out in Iowa City with a vision of combing jazz and electronics. Others have tried such an experiment, but to my mind, no one has succeeded quite so well, as those who saw them at last summer’s Twin Cities Jazz Festival can attest. Atmospheric electronics serve as a bed and accents for the improvisations of Joel Vanderhyden, tenor sax; Brian Lewis Smith, trumpet, keys, and drum programming; Drew Morton, bass, synths, and french horn; and Rob Banier, drums. They’ll have a new CD available.

Friday, Saturday, January 4, 5

Spiral Visions @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Dave Milne, sax; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Phil Aaron, piano; Tom Lewis, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. Five outstanding musicians pay homage to the Bobby Hutcherson/Harold Land Quintet of the late 60s. Expect some soulful hard bop.

Saturday, January 5

JelloSlave @ Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) With a repertoire that ranges from JS Bach to Led Zeppelin and Aster Piazolla, and rhythms that incorporate African, Caribbean, and Middle Eastern influences, Michelle Kinney and Jacqueline Ultan, cellos; Gary Waryan, tablas; and Greg Schutte, drums, create compelling improvisational music that defies easy categorization..

Rossum when he lectured a MacPhail - a few hairstyles ago.

Rossum when he lectured a MacPhail – a few hairstyles ago.

The Kelly Rossum/Jeremy Walker Quartet @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11pm ($5) We haven’t heard adventurous trumpeter Rossum for a couple of years. He’s now Jazz Director at Christopher Newport University in Virginia, where he shares his modern approach to the trumpet with students. His past projects here in town included the electric jazz/funk outfit Electropolis, as well as a few terrific CDs. Pianist Walker is gathering many kudos for his compositions and his warm playing. Should be an evening of stellar original jazz.

Sunday, January 6

Fuzzy Math @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 9pm (Free) Swingin’ contemporary material from composer/pianist Mark Vandermyde and Jason Parvey, sax; Keith Friede, bass; and Harald Bondaris on drums. City Pages named them a runner up in 2012 for “Best Jazz Act for People Bored with Jazz.”

Tuesday, January 8

Bill Evans’ New Orleans Jazz Band @ Bennett’s Chop & Railhouse, 1305 West 7th, Saint Paul. 7pm (no cover) On the second Tuesday of every month, trombonist Bill Evans brings six of his musical compadres to Bennett’s to celebrate the polyphonic, syncopated traditional jazz of New Orleans. They’ll be filling the small neighborhood restaurant with a joyous sound. Tonight, KBEM will be recording the group for future broadcast.

More listings for Twin Cities jazz can be found at KBEM and at Jazz Police. Jazz Police also features jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, January 2

White Iron Band Unplugged on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90’s .3 FM & 106.7 FM) and 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This six-piece band that started in Ely uses blues, country, and roots influences to sing about everyday people – though the everyday people are more honky-tonk than Sly Stone, that’s for sure. They’re going acoustic for this date, which starts with an appearance on Harold Tremblay’s House Party on KFAI, and moves over to the 331 Club.

Thursday, January 3

Nikki & the Rue-Mates @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm (No cover) NIkki’s been playing a bit more electric guitar lately, which makes her folk-rock compositions all the more interesting. She and the guys (Rich Rue, Resonator and slide; Jon Larson, bass; Jimmy T, drums) are at the Driftwood the first Thursday of every month. Here’s a video of them sans drummer.

Josh Granowski & Patrick Harrison @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm  (no cover)  Bassist Granowski and button accordionist Harrison create late night music featuring their own arrangements of songs from the movies.

Friday, January 4

Jack Klatt & the Cat Swingers @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free)  Jackson Buck of KFAI moves his popular Freewheelin’ First Friday series to an early evening spot, which is better for folks of a certain age. To kick things off, Jackson has a trio of rootsy players: Tom Feldman will start at 7pm, followed by Dave Babb w/Sneaky Pete Bauer at 8:15 and Jack Klatt and the Cat Swingers at 9:30pm.

Garnet Rogers @ Celtic Junction, Saint Paul. 8pm ($18) Canadian-born Rogers started singing with his older brother Stan during the 70s. Garnet’s deep baritone, together with his ability to write highly descriptive and literate lyrics have made him a favorite among fans of folk music.

Saturday, January 5

Papa John Kolstad & the Hot Club of East Lake Street @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – Midnight (Tip Jar) First: If you want to drink adult beverages in this neighborhood bar, be sure to bring an ID, no matter what your age. Second: You have a large selection of Scotch, Irish Whiskey, and beer to choose from, as well as some classic British Pub Food. And Last, but certainly not least: Papa John and the Hot Club will have your feet tapping, your grin showing, and even a few folks dancing as they play acoustic swing that includes standards and gypsy jazz.

Monday, Tuesday, January 7, 8

Nellie McKay @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Read some reviews of singer/pianist/ukelele player McKay and a number of same words pop up all the time: Quirky, idiosyncratic, charming, disarming, and the like. Onstage it seems as if whatever her brilliant mind thinks comes out of her mouth without a filter, whether she’s espousing feminism in her own sly way, or commenting on world affairs. The result is always a winning performance. Here’s a link to a video showcasing two sides of her singing.

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.

Veterans, Emerging Artists and more: 9.27 – 10.2

September 27, 2012

We’ll get to our regularly scheduled program after this message:  The KFAI Pledge drive is only one week this year. That’s right, you only have one week to pledge your support to KFAI, and only one day when I’ll be broadcasting my show in particular (Rhythm and Grooves).

Go to: and follow the instructions for pledging. Alternatively, you can call 612-375-9030 during Rhythm and Grooves from 10:30 – Noon on Saturday. Whatever you choose, I thank you for your support. BTW, Jana Nyberg will be dropping by Saturday to talk about her Tuesday gig at The Artists Quarter.

On to the week. It’s another good one for people who enjoy live music. You can choose to see young artists, veteranss, or new combinations of artists in jazz. Or, you can check out blues and roots musicians in a variety of settings. Of course, there are always more artists and more opportunities than I can describe. Just be thankful we have such a rich offering of talented musicians.


Wednesday, September 26

Courageous Endeavors @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) A new group in town, though some of the players are familiar, if young. Miguel Hurtado, who holds down the drum seat, first made his mark in town as a teenager at the turn of the century. He’s back from studies at the Manhattan School of Music and is proving to be a great addition to our jazz community. Brian Courage is on bass. He recently moved to town and is quickly establishing himself. Pianist Joe Strachan was a member of the Dakota Combo some years ago. Saxophonist Nelson Devereaux rounds out the group. Watch out for these guys.

Wednesday, Thursday, September 26, 27

Chick Corea & Gary Burton @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($80-$70) and 9pm ($60-$50) The price may seem a bit high, but you get the chance to the crystalline interplay of Corea on piano and Burton on vibes in the intimacy of the Dakota. Their first LP of duets came out forty years ago, while their latest, “Hot House,” which features a pop, Broadway, jazz and Brazilian tunes was recently released.

Thursday, September 27

Pete Whitman’s X-Tet @ the Artists’s Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Here’s a chance to catch ten of the Twin Cities finest jazz musicians for less than a buck a musician. Just remember that in this case, price doesn’t correlate with quality. The X-Tet, with charts by Whitman and others, swings like crazy.

Robert Bell & Naomi Uyama @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (Free) Bell is a guitar player whose interest lies in early jazz (both American and European), as well as gypsy jazz. Noami Uyama is a jazz vocalist who has danced her way around the world and studied in New York. Have some moules, frites, and wine and enjoy their music.

Friday, September 28

Dan Musselman Quartet with Hermon Mehari @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11pm ($5) Musselman is a pianist who plays regularly with Cory Wong and has recorded a great duet album with singer Rachel Holder. He studied with Craig Taborn and Kenny Werner in New York, and has developed a strong style of his own. Mehari is a young trumpeter who has studied with Terrell Stafford, Bobby Watson, and Jaleel Shaw, among others. I saw him last week playing with Yohanes Tona and realized he’s a talented musician worth following.

Friday, Saturday, September 28, 29

Nichols, Lewis, Wozniak, Fratzke, & Bates @ The Artsits’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Here’s another combination of artists that have worked with each other in various other configurations. Bryan Nichols on piano; Michael Lewis and Brandon Wozniak on saxophones; Eric Fratzke on bass; and JT Bates on drums and percussion. All are versatile performers thoroughly capable of inspiring each other to improvisatory heights.

Saturday, September 29

Maude Hixson @ Parma 8200, 5600 West 83rd St, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm. This is a new venue for jazz, and I have to admit I’ve not been there. But it’s a D’Amico restaurant and bar, and the few artists that have appeared already are high quality performers. Tonight, Hixson will be joined by Vincent Rose on guitar and Keith Boyles on bass. Hixson has a voice that is sometimes cool, yet also gives off some warmth. She can imput meaning to lyrics with the slightest change in her voice.

Connie Evingson Trio @ the Lexington, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 10:30pm. If you don’t want to travel to Bloomington, you can head to Saint Paul to hear the always elegant Connie Evingson. Her recent CD, “Sweet Happy Life” reached the top ten on the jazz charts and just got a very postive review in JazzTimes.

Tuesday, October 2

Todd Clouser & Bryan Nichols @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 10:30pm. Clouser’s electric guitar is sometimes closer to rock than jazz, but he’s a more than capable jazz player. Nichols’ sensitive, sometimes airy piano will provide interesting counterpoint.

More listings for Twin Cities jazz can be found at Jazz Police. It also features jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, September 26

Cornbread Harris @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 10:30pm. (No Cover) Have a little boogie woogie and R&B with your dinner as Cornbread tickles the ivories and sings in that raspy voice of his.

Radio Joe & the JazzBos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5?) Swing dancers will be out to hear Joe & his band play standards and a few originals.

Thursday, September 27

Bethany Larson & the Bees Knees @ James J. Hill Library, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15, gen. $10 members Friends of the Library) Not to be confused with the Real-Phonic Hour, this concert is part of the Book It series sponsored by the library.  across from Rice Park.It starts off at 7:15 with an hour of music trivia. Then Bethany and the band will take the stage to deliver original folk-rockish song. Get a free beer with a library card & ID.

Friday, September 28

Friday Hipshaker Dance Party @ The KittyKat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) After ten years of weeknight spinning, Brian and Greg are moving to Friday night at the KittyKat. Still plenty of good 45s to be played for your dancing pleasure.

Patty Peterson & Friends @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30 ($10) Tonight, Patty’s friends include Ricky Peterson on organ and Steve Cole on sax. It’s bound to be a cookin’ evening with Patty concentrating more on the R&B side of her repertoire.

Joe & Vicki Price @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm (tip jar) These Iowan bluesmasters are on a mini-tour of the Twin Cities this week. Here’s your chance to hear stripped down, delta style blues. Here’s a video to give you a idea of their sound.

Saturday, September 29

Peter Ostroushko, Dean Magraw & Dan Chouinard @ The Church of St. Joan of Arc, 4537 Third Ave So., Minneapolis. 8pm ($25.00)  Here’s a chance to hear three outstanding musicians, in a benefit organized by Ostroushko for his sister-in-law, who had a brain tumor removed. Benefit or not, it isn’t often that you get to hear one of the country’s outstanding violinists and mandolinist, along with a great guitarist (Magraw) and keyboardist (Choinard)

Rauchfest @ Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. 1pm – 1am ($10 advance/$15 gate) Beer, music, art, and food. What else do ya want? Well, let’s look at who is performing: Ten bands including the Zack Lozier Trio, Electric Children, Mary Cutrufello, Nick the Feelin’ and The Big Wu. There’ll be four food trucks, eight different beers on tap, and a dozen or so artists and artisans, including a local beer artist, whatever that might be.

Badinovs @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 9pm. ($7) To borrow a phrase, it’s Pure Pop for Now People, from this band that has arisen from the ashes of Smart Alex and Swing Set, two much loved, if under-recorded Twin Cities bands. The Badinovs haven’t played in about two years, but they’ve got a new song, Midway Joe, that’s been getting lots of play on MySpace. The paen to Joe Mauer is catchy, with a sing along chorus that should be reverberating throughout Target Field. It’s part of a new CD, Fess Up, that will be available, even though this isn’t an official CD release party.

Sunday, September 30

Brunch with Rena Haus @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 10am – 1pm (No Cover) You’ll have new appreciation for the eggs in your breakfast when you hear Rena sing of her adventures with a chicken on her farm. She’ll sing about other subjects as well, like car mechanics and the economy. It’s blues with a feeling, that’s true.

Big Walter Smith Fundraiser @ Famous Dave’s, Uptown Minneapolis. 3pm – 8pm. (Donation) Big Walter Smith was 82 when he passed in July. He was a mentor and friend to many young musician’s in town. This benefit is to help pay for medical and funeral expenses. Hosted by Jacquie Maddox (Lady J) of KFAI’s Rollin and Tumblin show, the day will feature the Soul Mates, The Groove Merchants w/Jimi Primetime Smith, Sweet Papa Dave & the Private Reserve (from Duluth) and Insider Straight

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.

Memorial Weekend and More: 5.23 – 5.29

May 23, 2012

Well, here we are on the cusp of summer. Since 1968, we have reserved the last weekend in May to remember and honor those who have served our country. There will be some quiet moments, some high-flown speeches, and gatherings of friends and family in backyards, parks, and around outdoor grills. Hopefully, you’ll enjoy your time together as much as the folks at Renoir’s Luncheon, above. It’s also a weekend with a rich choice of musical options, including a New York sax player, two CD release parties, and some familiar, and entertaining friends. Take some time to recognize and remember those who have served. Then get out the barbeque, and don’t forget to enjoy and support the wonderful musicians in our area.


Wednesday, May 23

JBB in New Orleans

Jack Brass Band on KFAI’s House Party (5pm) and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (tip jar) I’ve extolled the virtues of JBB before – the clarion trumpets of Zack Lozier and Adam Meckler, the supple trombone of Scott Agster, the booming bass drum of Mike Olander, and the pure musicianship of the other members of the band. Not to forget their material, which ranges from traditional New Orleans tunes to Mardis Gras favorites to funk n’ soul hits. Listen in to KFAI, 90.3 or 106.7 FM at 5pm and then head over to the 331 Club to hear them in person.

Dave Karr Quartet @ The Artists Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) It’s a monthly gig for Karr and his quartet, but that doesn’t mean they play the same ol’ same ol. Though in his 80s, Karr still brings fleet fingers and a vivid imagination to his sax solos. Always worth a listen. Here’s a sample:

Thursday, May 24

Santiago, Hurtado, & Smith @ The Artists Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) A new generation of jazzers is coming up, and they’re hot. Case in point: Javier Santiago, piano; Miguel Hurtado, drums, and Chris Smith, bass. I recall introducing them at the Hot Summer Jazz Festival when they were still in high school some years back. Now, they’ve completed study at some of the nations’ top music schools and each of them is making a name for himself. Santiago and Smith are both working with some of New York’s hot talents, with Hurtado has returned to the Twin Cities, where he’s been working with Davina and the Vagabonds and others.

Friday, May 25

Nichola Miller @ Hells’ Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm (No Cover) Begin your weekend with the sass and sophistication of Miller’s vocals, delivering standards with panache.

Saturday, May 26

Jazz Front @ The Nicollet, Minneapolis. 7pm – 8pm . Jeffrey Dunitz, drums, Vince Hyman, vibes, Eric Graham, bass. A quick set at the coffeehouse for this trio of talented players.

Young Lions Showcase @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) This is final show of the season for Jazz at Studio Z, and it’s a showcase of three bands, which will assure you that the future of jazz in the Twin Cities is in good hands. Hear the Adam Meckler Quintet, the Miguel Hurtado Group, and the Max Corcoran Project.

Saturday, Sunday, May 26, 27

Eric Alexander @ The Artists Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($18) A Memorial weekend visit to the AQ is an annual event for Alexander, whose warm tone on his tenor saxophone has earned him praise and fans. Whether blowing as a sideman or a leader, Alexander’s hard bop approach to playing is always imaginative and melodic.

Sunday, May 27

Jazz Mass @ Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist, Portland & Kent, Saint Paul. 10AM. Here’s a way to get a double dose of spirituality, at least if you consider listening to jazz a spiritual experience. Tanner Taylor, piano & keys; Mac Santiago, drums; Chris Bates, bass; and Evan Montgomery, guitar will be providing the music.

Zacc Harris Trio 5th Anniversary @ The Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. (Tip Jar) if the weather is nice, you can bet this trio will be out on the patio. Harris, Matt Peterson (bass) and Pete Hennig (drums) create music that rewards the listener, even with the distractions of dog walkers, cyclists, and cars going by, not to mention folks chatting over their wine and tasty treats. They’ve been doing this weekly gig for five years now, and you’d be hard pressed to find a more perfect way to enjoy an early summer evening.

Paul Renz Quartet w/Anders Bostrum @ Brit’s Pub Long Room, Minneapolis. 7pm. ($15) Renz is a prolific recording artist whose way with a guitar has earned him fans both here and up and down the East Coast. Tonight, Renz is bringing in long-time friend and cohort, Anders Bostrum, an in-demand flute player on Broadway. They’ll be backed by Renz’s rhythm section of Andy Shuster on bass, and Nathan Fryett on drums.

Monday, May 28

Scott Agster @ Jazz Central, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm. End your holiday weekend with trombonist-around-town Agster, the featured artist at the club that’s “for cats by cats.”

Tuesday, May 29

Vicky Mountain Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Vicky has the history and chops to successfully take on all manner of material, from bebop scatting, to Fats Waller, Ray Charles, and the Clovers. She’ll have Chris Lomheim on piano, Jim Chenoweth on bass and Kenny Horst on drums. Sure to be fun for both the audience and the musicians. Listen to her music here.

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.

Roots, Blues, Other…

Wednesday, May 23

Anders Osborne @ The Varsity Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm. ($20) Originally from Sweden, Osborne has lived in New Orleans since 1985, soaking up in music and becoming a favorite around Town. He’s an accomplished composer, penning a #1 country hit for Tim McGraw, and a couple of tunes on a grammy winning album for Keb Mo. New Orleans’ Offbeat Magazine named the guitarist/composer/performer Best Guitar Player two years in a row, and featured him on its cover last year. “Black Eye Galaxy,” his latest on Alligator Records, ranges from raging to unabashedly confessional to hopeful. At times, it’s reminiscent of the best of 70s rock, with a bit of heavy metal (i.e., Black Tar) thrown in for good measure.

Thursday, May 24

Trio Bossa Nova @ The Red Stag, NE Minneapolis. 10pm (No cover) Three members of Ticket To Brazil deliver sensuous sounds for your late night.

Friday, May 25

Willie Murphy Solo @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11pm. (Donation – $5 suggested) The highly talented, sometimes irascible, but always entertaining Murphy playing and singing songs he likes – rock n’ roll, R&B, blues, doo wop, standards, and originals. By the time he’s done, you’ll like them too.

Patty Peterson & Friends @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Patty is equally at home with jazz and R&B. Expect a bunch of the latter tonight as she’s joined by brother Ricky Peterson on Hammond B-3 and saxophonist Steve Cole, who’s played with Boz Scaggs and Larry Carlton, among others, and records for Universal. Patty’s usual cohorts include Paul Peterson on bass, Billy Franze on guitar and Bobby Vandell on drums.

Saturday, May 26

Papa John & the Cool Club of East Lake Street @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) Blues, Swing, Jazz, Standards. With Sam Fiske, trumpet, Tom Lewis, bass, Deano Mikkelson, guitar. Relaxed music doesn’t need to mean boring. Case in point: Papa John and his crew. They can swing a standard, have fun with gypsy jazz, and include friends who sit in, while still creating imaginative riffs, melodies, and solos. This neighborhood bar has no TVs, but you must bring an ID if you want alcohol.

Jack Klatt & the Cat Swingers CD Release @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15)  Klatt and his band take  country blues, swing, and ragtime and creates a highly entertaining blend of traditional and original music. On the new CD, “Mississippi Roll,” Klatt pulls in an older generation of musicians – Cornbread Harris, Spider John Koerner, Dakota Dave Hull, and Charlie Parr – to collaborate on a few of the numbers. Cornbread and Dakota Dave will be making guest appearances tonight. The Cactus Blossoms open with their terrific take on classic country music.

Sunday, May 27

Grolar Bears Vinyl Release Party @ The Triple Rock Social Club, Minneapolis. 8pm  ($5) Interest in older musical forms continues with this Blaxploitation Funk Band, anchored by a trio, but ballooning at times to 19 people!. “Cos: The Original Motion Picture Score” is the product being released. It draws on early 70s Blaxploitation scores and soundtracks for inspiration. “Lucious Fox,” the radio single from the album, features all of the earmarks of the genre: funky drums n’ bass, hypnotic Rhodes electric piano, strings, and chorus. Perfect to run under a collage clip of some anti-hero’s day/night in the heart of the city. In fact, you can see a cheesy ten minute trailer for this imaginary film at:    The evening will be helped along by the Hipshaker deejays  spinning soul 45s in between opening acts The Max Corcoran Project and Saltee.

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.

Welcoming the New Year. Music for Dec 28 – Jan 3

December 28, 2011

It’s that odd time between Christmas and New Year’s. Lots of reunions as folks return to their nests and then seek out friends after family time. Where to go. What to do. Then, whoops, it’s New Year’s. Amateur night to some. A grand chance to celebrate for others, whether the past year was good or bad. There are many, many choices for New Year’s Eve, and I couldn’t begin to give them all, though I’ve a suggestion or two, especially in jazz, since there are but a few options. Whether you choose a night out, dinner with friends, or the comfort of your own home, have a healthy and prosperous New Year.


Wednesday, Dec 28

Minnesota Youth Jazz Band @ The Artists Quarter, Saint Paul. 7pm. (No cover). The Twin Cities Jazz Society provides an opportunity for various young bands to perform from time to time. Hear’s your chance to hear the next generation of jazz musicians.

She Swingeth, Indeed

Nichola Miller @ Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5). Nichola has a take-no-prisoners attitude when it comes to singing torch songs. Tonight she will be accompanied by the Tanner Taylor Trio, making this gig doubly enjoyable. Word is, her latest CD, “Thou Swingeth,” will be reviewed in Downbeat. To hear some of her singing, go here.

Thursday, Dec 2

Dave Hagedorn and Dan Cavanagh @ The Artists Quarter. 9pm ($5). Hagedorn is the vibist/percussionist who plays in the Phil Hey Quartet and Pete Whitman’s X-Tet, in addition to his duties teaching at St. Olaf. Dan is a pianist/composer and former student of Dave’s who has won a number of awards and commissions for his compositions. Should be a heady evening of improvisation.

Friday, Dec 30

Rick Germanson Trio @ The Artists Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Rick returns for his annual stint at the AQ. He’s a winning pianist, with technique and taste, and a penchant for Latin rhythms. He’s played with Elvin Jones, Wynton Marsalis, and Marlena Shaw, as well as being a part of Louis Hayes’ Cannonball Adderley Legacy Band.

Saturday, Dec 31

Open Season @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 6pm  – 8:30pm (tip jar) An early bird celebration with Todd Harper, piano; Nathan Hanson, sax; Cory Grossman, cello; and Pete Hennig, drums.

Maude Hixson & Rick Carlson @ Honey, NE Minneapolis. 6:30pm – 8:30pm  ($15) A cabaret/dinner show for those who want to get an early start on the evening. Hixson on vocals, and Carlson on piano – a perfect match.

JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul 8pm – Midnight (no cover). Great cocktails and appetizers, and elegant music from pianist/vocalist Funk and bassist Brueske.

Carole Martin @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm. ($45) An annual tradition at the AQ, Martin has a warm, yet sophisticated singing style that creates an appropriately celebratory vibe for New Years. She’ll be accompanied by Dave Karr on sax, Rick Germanson on piano (see above), Graydon Peterson on bass, and Kenny Horst on drums.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz in the Twin Cities, go to the KBEM Calendar, here. For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz check out the blogs Bebopified, Jazz Ink, and Jazz Police.

Monday, January 2

Saint Paul Live! featuring Lucia Newell and Pete Whitman’s X-Tet on KBEM (88.5 FM)  7pm – 8pm During the Summer and early Fall I was mentioning performances that were being recorded for KBEM. Well, the results of those recordings are being broadcast every Monday at 7pm starting on January 2nd. Each one hour show will feature two artists. The inaugural show features the sublime Lucian Newell and the exciting X-Tet.

Roots, Blues, Other….

Wednesday, December 28

The Eddies on KFAI & @ The 331 Club, NE Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip jar). Tune in to KFAI at 90.3FM or 106.7FM at 5pm to catch the Eddies,  Saint Paul’s favorite almost acapella group. Then head over to the 331 in NE Mpls to catch them live.

Thursday, Dec 29

Butanes @ Shaws, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (No cover) Whether they are backing national stars, heading up a revue, or simply laying it down in a neighborhood bar like Shaws, nobody plays the blues like Curt Obeda and the gang. Here’s a video of the Butanes at Famous Dave’s this past April, with both Willie Walker and Maurice Jaycox on vocals.

Havana Hi-Fi @ Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9:00pm ($10) A six-piece combo playing Cuban dance music and more. Featuring the trumpet sounds of Zack Lozier.

Friday, Dec 30

We were all young once.

Cats Under the Stars Reunion @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9pm The legendary Iron Range turned Minneapolis band might be considered the first jam band in the area, with their blend of blues, bluegrass, reggae, and original songs. They were in heavy rotation in area roadhouses like The Cabooze, the Union, and the Uptown, and are the band that brought singer/songwriter/author Paul Metsa to the Twin Cities. This is their first reunion in three years.

Salsa del Soul @ Crooked Pint Ale House, 501 Washington, Minneapolis. 10pm ($5) Looking to get some exercise and enjoy good music at the same time. The pulsing rhythms of Salsa del Soul will get you up and dancing, even if you’ve two left feet.

Jeffrey Broussard & the Creole Cowboys @ The Eagles Club #34, 25th & 25th, Minndapolis. 8pm ($12) Button accordionist Broussard plays that infectious music known as zydeco, and puts a slightly contemporary spin on it. The results had the NY Times dance critic full of praise for Broussard. This event is put on by the folks at Krewe de Walleye, so you know there’ll be dancin’ a plenty, with lessons starting at 7pm.

Saturday, Dec 31

Soul, Gypsy Jazz, & Daddy Squeeze @ Crooked Pint Ale House, Minneapolis. 6pm. (No Cover) The evening starts with Paul Metsa & Willie Walker at 6pm, continues with the Big 3 Gypsy Jazz Trio at 8pm, and then Dan Newton & Daddy Squeeze come out to finish out the evening at 9:30. The Big Screen will feature the Times Square Ball Drop, as well as movie clips throughout the night.

Davina & Vagabonds @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm & 10pm. ($75) This is the big ticket item of my suggestions, though it’s hard to find a more appropriate group for a night of celebration and partying. Davina and the gang have been tearing it up throughout the nation and Europe, where her lively approach to traditional New Orleans jazz and rhythm & blues is well appreciated. Her latest CD, “Black Cloud,” made one of the Strib’s Top Ten for 2011. The early show includes dinner, while the late show includes a champagne toast and $20 food & beverage credit. Check out one of her originals with this video.

Hipshaker @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) For this special 45RPM rare funk n’ soul dance party, the Hipshaker guys will be joined by the Hot Pants crew for an evening of soul shakin, hip gyratin, dancing. This goes until 2am, for the party animals out there.

Sunday, January 1

Beverly McLellan CD Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm. ($25 – $40) McLellan was one of four finalists on the smash tv show, “The Voice.” A powerful, soulful  singer and multi-instrumentalist, who sing originals, and well as songs from singers that range from Ani DeFranco to Etta James. McLellan has the smarts and ability to keep her power in check, and then unleashes it to great effect. The new CD is produced by multi-platinum winner David Z, who has worked with Johnny Lang, the Time, and Prince, among others.

Monday, January 2

GrossMan Draper @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Liz Draper on upright bass (Black Blondie, Cactus Blossoms, Niki & the Rue-mates), and Cory Groossman on cello & percussion. Improvised chamber music.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar.

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