Dancing, Romancing, and Singing. Music: 2.12 – 2.18

February 12, 2014

imagesValentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year, making for many an opportunity to hear great music while spending time with your sweetie. We also have some terrific jazz singers coming to town, as well as outstanding blues singers, and a retro/modern soul singer. Then we have some visiting jazz artists, the celebration of a new jazz record label, and a couple of vinyl nights, not to forget my own Valentine’s Day Funky Friday. Remember music can lift your spirit.

Jazz…

Wednesday, February 12

Chris Bates 1 year anniversary of Magica Improvisado @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 11pm (Donation). 2nd Wed of each month. To celebrate, Chris has gathered a number of young musicians, including: Chris Bates – bass; Cory Healy – drums; Joe Strachan – piano; and Jake Baldwin – trumpet. They’ll be performing mostly original music.

Note: This gig has been postponed, since both artists are stranded in Atlanta as a result of the snowstorm there.  Dionne Farris and Russell Gunn @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm & 9pm ($32) Farris is known as a pop and soul singer, with a couple of Grammy nominations to her credit, as well as contributing vocals for Tennesse, the hit single from hip-hops Arrested Development. Gunn is a trumpeter/multi-instrumentalist who first gained attention playing on the Wynton marsalis album Blood on the Fields.  He’s also received a Grammy nomination for  the first album in his Ethnomusicology series. After Gunn and Farris worked together for a performance in Atlanta, the two recorded an album together, Dionne, Get Your Gunn, recasting the pop/soul songs of Farris as jazz numbers. The results have been well reviewed. Here’s a preview of what they will sound like.

Thursday, February 13

Kurt Elling @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($25) There wouldn’t be much of an argument among jazz fans that Elling may be the best male jazz singer out there at the moment. He’s got a rich baritone and is about as hip a singer as can be. Chek him out.

Valentine Eve’s Revue w/Retro Swing Sister @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 donation) Maryann Sullivan and Rhonda Laurie bring their sophisticated swing from the 30s through the 50s to the basement room for a pre-Valentine’s evening. They’ll have Doug gaining, sax; Matt Peterson, bass; and Kent Saunders, drums; to provide the music for their vocals.

Saturday, February 15

Shifting Paradigm Records Launch Party @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 5p-10p. ($10) It’s a mini-jazz-fest of sorts, featuring five powerhouse acts on this new label label, with sets by Fat Kid Wednesdays, Atlantis Quartet, Bryan Nichols Quartet, Graydon Peterson Quartet, & the Zacc Harris Group. That’s five top notch jazz groups in one evening, all for just $10. In addition, there will be special promotions on CDs at the show. It’s being hyped as the biggest night of Twin Cities Jazz this Winter, and that is very likely true.

Sunday, February 16

Gregory Porter @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $42)  Porter is an up and coming jazz singer with a talent for writing groove laden, direct songs that go straight to the heart and the head. He’s been profiled in Jazz Times and the Wall Street Journal, nominated for a couple of Grammys, and will be at a number of jazz festivals this summer. Catch him on the way up.

Monday, February 17

Adam Meckler @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($5) Trumpeter Meckler takes time out from his various projects for a turn as a soloist with the JC rhythm section. There’ll be some standards and originals, and a friendly jam at about 10pm.

Illicit Sextet @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8?) The always exciting Sextet brings their original music to the Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse. They’ll play one set, followed by a new ensemble from Adam Linz, which is another reason to attend.

Tuesday, February 18

Benje Daneman Quartet & the Jana Nyberg Group @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) In case you missed Adam Meckler last night, he’ll be performing with his wife Jana Nyberg tonight. He’ll also guest on a couple of tunes by his middle school buddy, trumpeter Benje Daneman, who is currently on a midwest tour with his quartet: Chicago-based pianist Rob Clearfield; drummer Christian Euman; and NYC bassist Sam Weber. Of course there are the sultry vocals of Ms Nyberg also calling to listeners.  Here’s a video for one of Daneman’s ethereal compositions.

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 Police, Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, and Other…

Wednesday, February 12

Definitely Old School

Definitely Old School

Foghorn String Band & the Cactus Blossoms @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. ($15) Portland’s Foghorn String band plays the kind of music you would hear on Southern radio in the 1930s, playing in front of a single microphone. Of course, this being 2014, they play with lots of energy. The Twin Towns own Cactus Blossoms bring their traditional sounding original country music to the stage as openers. 

Thursday, February 13

Mayer Hawthorne @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($25) The Ann Arbor musician knows his way around Motown, Philly, and other Northern Soul genres, which are, at the very least, implied in his original compositions, making for highly danceable albums. Here’s an example.

The Valentine’s Day Heart and Soul Happening @ Clubhouse Jaeger, Minneapolis. 9pm – 2am. ($?) Here’s a chance to slow dance the night away, and it isn’t a wedding. Deejays Rambo Salinas, Dale Burback, and Freddy Fresh will be spinning sweet soul 45s, along with some Chicano rolls. Special guest Bob Abrahamian will be coming up from Chicago where he hosts “Sitting in the Park” on WHPK.

Friday, February 14

Lucy Michelle’s Valentine Mixtape: C&W Edition @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($14 advance, $16 day of show) So the age of digital music on our phones and other tiny devices seems to have left the old idea of mix tapes behind, though the truly romantic music nerds among us will still come up with one from time to time. tonight songstress Lucy Michelle curates an evening of country & western music for Valentines day, featuring Frankie Lee and the Decade and Lucy singing with the Blackberry Brandy Boys. John Mark Nelson and the Cactus Blossoms will also make appearances. Whether you are with someone special or not, you are encouraged to bring your ideal Valentine’s Day Mixtape to swap with other attendees, or, who knows, you may find someone special who deserves your gift.

Worldwide Discoteque Afro Latin Valentine’s Dance @ Clubhouse Jaeger, Minneapolis. 10pm ($5) Deejays Steely Dan and Brian Engel will be spinning vinyl artifacts from around the world to get you heart pumping, your feet jumping, and body moving. Bring a date, find a date, or simply groove the night away to sounds form Brazil, the Caribbean, Africa, and Central and South America.

The Ericksons @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($10) This late night showcase may be just the thing to round out a Valentine’s evening. The sisterly harmonies of the Ericksons can make the darkest subjects seem light. Rachel Reis opens.

Saturday, February 15

Dean Magraw & Peter Ostroushko @ The Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 8pm – doors @ 7:30  ($15) A Dynamic Duo if there ever was one. Magraw on guitar and Ostroushko on mandolin and fiddle will raise the roof on the small wine bar.

Unknown-1The Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank @ the Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($8 advance/$10 door) Teague and Ian Thomas Alexy have created a roots music project that features their distinctively MN outlook, even though their first CD was recorded in Brooklyn. They’ve been on the road and it’s good to have them back, now with a new album, Number lone Contender, recorded in the North Woods. This is part of a new Tap Room Concert Series, which tonight features Collen Myhre as an opening act,.

John Nemeth @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Nemeth is a singer and harp player who has been gaining lots of attention. His fans include RJ Mischo, Charlie Musselwhite and Junior Watson. He’s been nominated for a bunch of blues awards this year, including best Male Blues Artist, Best Soul blues Album (Soul Live), and Most Outstanding Blues Singer. Esquire magazine will be featuring a cut from his upcoming album Memphis Grease for their readers. If you missed Stevie Ray Vaughn when he played the old Union Bar, get out to hear Nemeth – he’s got the same potential for blowing you away.

Sunday, February 16
Cafe Accordion Orchestra at McNeely Conservatory, Como Park, Saint Paul. 4:30 – 6:30 (Free) Soak in the humidity of the Conservatory and dance to the music of CAO, including French Musettes, Columbian Cumbias, and music from other exotic climes.

Eclectic Tuba @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm doors ($10) Here’s a new kind of tuba-based instrumental group, one that is psychedelic, funky, whose performance is described as “trippy lights, ripping synthesizers, funky tuba loops, latin percussion grooves, and soaring saxophone solos.” You can see a video with samples here. Opening acts are Surgery at the Hands of Machines, described as electronic instrumental Arabian Desert Pop, and Good Diction, a rhythm and blues-grass sextet!

Unknown-2Monday, February 17

Eric Bibb & Ruthie Foster @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($37 – $42), 9pm ($30 – $40) What a great pairing. Two highly personable performers of folk-blues, both of whom are also great storytellers. From blues to soul to gospel, expect a spirited, joyful evening.

For a more comprehensive listing 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.


Music for Autumn… 10.17 – 10.23

October 17, 2012

It’s a busy week coming up, with some outstanding jazz from visiting and resident artists, a couple of drummer-led groups, a new jazz venue, two chances to hear Brazilian music, a couple of 45rpm dance parties, and choice roots music. Pick and choose, it’s hard to lose.

Jazz

Wednesday, Thursday, October 17, 18

Bela Fleck and the Marcus Roberts Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($65 – $50), 9pm ($50 – $40) Fleck turned the jazz world on its ear when he and his group The Flecktones started tackling all manner of jazz compositions. He has been called the best banjo player in the world by folks who should no. Marcus Roberts played piano with Wynton Marsalis before going out on his own. His trio includes Jason Marsalis on drums and Rodney Jordan on bass. This is an event. But more than an event, it’s a chance to see and hear some strikingly original voices in jazz.

Thursday, October 18

Jazz on the Line @ Mai Village, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 10:00pm. Mira and Tom Kehoe & Friends perform jazz, Brazilian, and World music. Mira and Tom are part of the Brazilian music group, Xibaba. This is part of a series to bring people to various restaurants and businesses along the Central Corridor during construction. Mai Village has been hit particularly hard and faces eviction at the end of the month. Buy dinner and/or drinks as you enjoy the music.

Maryann Sullivan @ The Third Floor, Dr. Chocolate’s Chateu, 579 Selby Avenue, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 9:30pm. ($3) An early start makes this new place for jazz just right for a little chocolate dessert along with wine or beer while you enjoy the swinging vocals of Ms Sullivan, accompanied by guitarist Joel Shapira and Saxophonist Doug Haining.

Friday, October 19

Patty Peterson/Bobby Lyle Dual CD Release Party @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Both Peterson and Lyle have new CDs, and since Lyle is a guest on Patty’s CD, they are both featured this evening. Lyle’s CD is an organ trio affair, while Peterson’s reflects her pop/jazz/R&B repertoire. Both groups will play during each of the two sets tonight.

Friday, Saturday, October 19, 20

Dave King, Bill Carrothers, and Billy Peterson @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul ($15) The month of drummer-led combos continues at the AQ. This time Bill Carrothers on piano, who was magnificent last weekend with Ari Hoenig, is playing with local tubmaster Dave King, and veteran bassist Billy Peterson. An inspired grouping.

Babatunde Lea, Adam Linz, & Zacc Harris @ Cafe Maude at Loring Park, 1612 Harmon Place, Minneapolis. 9pm (no cover) This group has played a number of times at the original Cafe Maude, where they were well received in spite of the fact that most folks were there for food. Don’t know if the same vibe will be at the new place, but I can say that multi-percussionist Lea was simply amazing at the AQ a couple of weeks ago.

Tuesday, October 23

Kurt Elling @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($25) Elling is perhaps the best male vocalist in jazz. Heck the best male vocalist, period. He’s touring behind his latest CD, 1619 Broadway, an homage to the last of the professional songwriters, most of whom carried out their craft in the Brill Building at that address. Expect songs from Lieber & Stoller, Goffen & King, and Bacharach & David, among others. Here’s one of the songs from the new album.

Rebirth of the Cool @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($7 suggested donation) The Birth of the Cool album, performed live, from the beginning to end, featuring: Adam Rossmiller, trumpet; Doug Haining, Alto sax; Tara Hochstatter, French Horn; Scott Agster, trombone; Greg Keel, bari sax; John Tranter, tuba; Tanner Taylor, piano; Matt Peterson, bass; Mac Santiago, drums.

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.

Roots, Blues, Other…

Wednesday, October 17

Ditch Lilies on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm hour (KFAI – 90.3 & 106.7), 7pm (331 Club – tip jar) Ace picking and two part harmonies from Lisa Schultz and Kari Larson. Pulling from old timey, bluegrass, western swing and other old genres, Lisa and Kari deliver the goods on what’s become known as Americana. They don’t get up here too often (they live in Maiden Rock), so this is a good time to catch em.

Thursday, October 18

Orkestar Bez Ime @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar)  Wild Balkan party music. Push back the tables and chairs and dance as if no one is watching.

Sambo Makti @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10:35pm. ($5) They say they’re a funk band, but I’ll be darned if most of the players are usually found in jazz groups. I’m betting they’ll definitely be putting some funk in your rump. Scott Fultz, alto sax; Clay Pufal, tenor & bari; Matt Darling, trombone; Tom Reichert, guitar; Nick Salisbury, bass; and Joey Van Phillips, drums.

Friday, October 19

Hipshaker @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($5) The move to Friday nights has not hurt the Hipshaker dance party at all. In fact, more folks are coming out to dance to the rare funk, soul, and R&B that Greg and Brian spin. Special guest is DJ Father Time (Mike Elias).

Mill City Hot Club @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 9pm Guitarist Deano Mikkelson is celebrating a big birthday by playing with Dean Harrington, Bill Grenke, and Joe Steinger. Extra added attraction is Nikki Matteson on guest vocals. Gypsy jazz and swing.

Saturday, October 20

Samba Meu & Friends @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 2pm – 4pm (tip jar) An afternoon of Brazilian music that goes way beyond bossa novas. Enjoy contemporary and roots music from the land of sambas and batucadas, as done by Karen Quiroz, vocals; Tim O’Keefe, percussion; and James Allen and David Martin, guitars. Special guests will add to the mix. You can hear Karen singing here.

Commander Cody @ Famous Dave’s, Uptown Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) Those of a certain age and predilection will remember the faux country weeper from the early 70s, (Down to) Seed and Stems Again, as well as the rushing rockabilly of Hot Rod Lincoln and others. It’s country music that rocks.

Hot Pants 45 rpm Dance Party @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) If you didn’t get enough rare funk n’ soul last night, or perhaps didn’t get out, you’ve got a rare second chance in one weekend.

Phil Heywood @ Riveriew Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm ($13) Another evening of ace fingerpicking from Heywood, winner of two National Fingerpicking Championships.

Sunday, October 21

Acoustic Africa: Afropean Women featuring Dobet Gnahore @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($30) I’m excited about the return of Dobet Gnahore, who put on an enthralling show at the Dakota the last time she was here. See my review of that performance here. She’ll be joined by Manou Gallo, bassist for Zap Mama, and Karece Fotso, a Cameroonian singer.

Monday, October 22

Viva Power Trio @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Viva DeConcini was featured in Guitar Player magazine in 2009. She’s produced burlesque and variety shows at Joe’s Pub in NYC, played in a Brazilian group, as well as with drag queens and strippers, and has even played at Bonaroo and the Monterrey Jazz Festival. Her songs are full of energy and commentary, whether singing about love or shopping. Should be a rockin’ house at the Driftwood.

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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