It’s Snow! Music: 12.6 – 12.12

December 6, 2017

Photo of Tuesday’s traffic from the Star Tribune

Happy Snowfall everyone!

With the advent of this past Monday’s snowfall, we learned once again, that Minnesotans tend to forget how to drive in snow once it’s stopped in the Spring (see photo at right). Maybe it’s because many of us have come here from warmer climates. Or, to be as charitable as possible, maybe the slowest going among us have been in accidents before, or have recently experienced traumatic events and losses. My own theory is that weather forecasters and news directors are from out of town, and don’t have a history of dealing with snow, and consequently treat every snowstorm as a major event. To be sure, we have to be careful in bad road conditions, but we certainly don’t need to be discouraged from going out in the winter to enjoy music. After all, as Minnesotans we should scoff at snow. Enough ranting. Go out. Listen to music. Get your spirits lifted. Here are some ideas for the week.

Larry

Jazz

Wednesday, Dec 6

Joey DeFrancesco @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40), 9pm ($20, $30) Hard bopping B3 player DeFrancesco may be the preeminent organist of the jazz world. He grew up in Philadelphia, where Don Patterson and Jimmy Smith were influences, and put out his debut album at 17, which resulted in working with Miles Davis and, a few years later, John McLaughlin. He’s been recording and touring for almost 30 years, and is at the top of his game, now touring with a quartet (including a vocalist) in supper of this recent release, Project Freedom.

Laura Caviani Trio CD Release @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) While recording her recent CD Mysterious Thelonious, Caviani’s bandmates, bassist Chris Bates and drummer Dave Schmalenberger noted that she had a lot of original material, so they decided to record that material as well. The CD, Confluences, includes a suite of five songs inspired by the work of Shakespeare. I had Laura on my show this past Saturday, to talk about the CD and play a couple of tracks. You can hear the interview and the songs at http://kfai.org/rhythmandgrooves. The interview starts about one hour into the show, after the Leigh Kammen 45 of the week.

Thursday, Dec 7

Jennifer Lund & Lori Bloomberg @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($10, $5w/valid student ID) Here’s a chance to hear some newcomers on the jazz vocal scene as Lund & Bloomberg perform an evening of standards. To add to the evening’s merriment, they’ll be joined by Vicky Mountain for a few songs.

Music Formally Known As Jazz @ Khyber Pass, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) An evening of adventurous jazz, featuring some masters of the genre: Pat O’Keefe, woodwinds;  Douglas Ewart, wind instruments; & Steve Hirsh, drums. The event is subtitled A Continuing Coversation with J Otis Powell?! reflecting their past performances with the late poet, which leaves one to only guess what musical paths the group will travel.

Friday, Dec 8

Javier Santiago Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9pm ($10) Santiago is an imaginative pianist who has been on a bit of a roll, playing clubs in San Francisco lately. Tonight, he teams up with long-time friends and bandmates Ted Olsen on bass and Miguel Hurtado on drums for Friday Night Jazz in Crooners’ listening room.

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Source Code @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($10, $5w/valid student ID) We’re so lucky to have drummer extraordinaire Gravatt living in the Twin Cities. He’s a veteran of Weather Report and numerous tours with McCoy Tyner, and deserving of our support any time he plays. Plus, it sounds like he’ll soon be moving East, so here’s a chance to see him before he leaves. Tonight Gravatt will be joined by long-time musical partner Ron Evanuik on stand up bass; as well as Aaron Kippola & Dean Brewington on alto saxophones, and Solomon Parham on trumpet, which will make for an exhilarating sonic experience. Here he is with some masterful jazz cats – McCoy Tyner, Bill Frisell, and Gary Bartz.

Saturday, Dec 9

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) This weekly series has begun to occasionally feature vocalists for the opening act at 7pm. Tonight it’s the Lila Ammons Quartet, featuring Ammons, who, in addition to being a fine jazz interpreter, is classically trained, and a singer of classic blues (think Bessie Smith and Alberta Hunter). Such an approach seems natural when you consider her family heritage, which includes saxophonist Gene Ammons as an uncle and boogie boogie pianist Albert Ammons as a grandfather. At 8:30 The Ruckus Touring Group will play. Talented drummer Rodney Ruckus lived in the Twin Cities for a couple of years and is now based out of San Francisco, where he’s regularly playing and backing visiting musicians. This group includes Javier Santiago on piano, who has been traveling to SF on a regular basis to play with Ruckus, along with Jonathan Greenstein, tenor sax; and Jax Ravel on bass.

Nachito Herrera & the Universals @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9:30pm ($35, $45) Cuban born, Twin Cities based Herrera is a force of nature on piano, with outstanding technique and an improvisational mind-set that incorporates the music of Cuba, as well as jazz, classical music, and world music. The Universals reflect those influences, with the outstanding Karen Briggs on violin; Raul Pineda, drums; Mile Phillips, sax; and Cheikh Ndoye, bass. Their resumes include work with Stanley Clarke, Diana Ross, Chucho Valdes, Stevie Wonder, Prince, Kazumi Watanabi, and Randy Brecker, among others.

Sunday, Monday, Dec 10, 11

Benny Green @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. Sunday: 5pm and 7:30pm ($30), Monday 7pm ($30), 9pm ($25)  This hard bopping pianist learned from the best, having played in the bands of Oscar Peterson, Art Blakey, Betty Carter, Freddie Hubbard, and Ray Brown. If you want to be conversant in the jazz of today, you need to be familiar with Green.

Tuesday, Dec 12

Andrew Walesch Big Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 8pm (No Cover, but $15 for Guaranteed Seat) Walesch is a fine singer and piano stylist who has a particularly good way with the Great American Songbook. He’ll be celebrating the 102nd anniversary of Frank Sinatra’s birth tonight, backed by a dynamite 10 piece band. His shows with the band often sell out, so get there early, or go to Crooner’s website to reserve your seat. Here he is with a more contemporary standard.

Also: Chris Lomheim/Tony Balluff Big Three Play Fats Waller @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Lomheim – No Cover), 8pm (Balluff – $?)

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, Dec 6

Javier Matos on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Matos is a guitar ace who can swing the blues, play searing slide guitar, and generally make you feel good as he performs. As Hurricane Harold says on The House Party, “You know the drill.” Tune in to hear him play live, and if you like what you hear, head over to the 331 to see him play in person.

No Tent w/Reina Del Cid @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free, 21+) No Tent is a bluegrass band formed by Reina del Cid featuring guitarist extraordinaire Toni Lindgren, who plays in del Cid’s main band, as well as a rotating cast of characters from the Minneapolis-St. Paul folk scene. Together, they play a mix of old-time traditionals, bluegrassified covers, and a few roots inspired originals.

Also: Curtiss A & Dark Click @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Blues from the “Dean of Scream

Thursday, Dec 7

Louisiana Rhythms Christmas Party & Benefit for Second Harvest Heartland @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 11pm (Donation of cash, check, or food ) Eric, Mo and Karl may no longer be on the air, but tonight they’re presenting all the fun of their late, well missed show, only this time they have a dance floor. They’ll be hosting an evening of seasonal music done Louisiana style, with The Swamp Poppas provide the backup for guest stars Rich Lewis, Lucinda Plaisance, Max Ray and others. A feature of the night will be French and English recitations of “Christmas Eve on the Big Bayou.”

Friday, Dec 8

Annie Mack & Joyann Parker @ Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) An evening of R&B and Blues from two singers that share a musical mindset. It appears that both are appearing without their respective bands, though they are strong singers, so the lack of a full band shouldn’t inhibit them. Parker opens at 9pm, and Mack takes the stage at 10pm.  Here’s Mack with her band.

Otis Redding Tribute w/David James Carlson @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Carlson is an actor, musician, and songwriter with over 500 songs and five albums to his credit. He’s put together a tribute/play about Otis Redding, the great soul singer whose life ended in a plane crash in Madison 50 years ago. Tonight he’ll feature some actors performing excerpts from the play, along with a full band to perform some of Redding’s music.

Saturday, Dec 9

Tom Hunter’s Blue Christmas @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 8pm (No cover, but $10 will guarantee a seat in front of the stage) Pianist Hunter can often be found at Willie Murphy jam sessions. He’s played or recorded with folks like Bernard Allison, Big John Dickereson, and Little Sammy Davis, and has toured with Mary Cutrufello as the opening act for the Allman Brothers. He can bring a soulful outlook to songs by Billy Joel and Tom Waits, and has released three albums. No doubt it will be a soulful, blue Christmas. Here he is doing an old R&B/Rock n’ Roll classic.

Trailer Trash: A Trashy Little Christmas @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($20 Advance/$25 Door) It’s about 24 years since Trailer Trash, those purveyors of honky-tonk, traditional country, and swinging rock n’ roll began this annual tradition of bringing their trashy view of the holidays into our lives. If you haven’t attended for a while, this might just be the time to dance, frolic, and take part in Candy Cane hi-jinks.

Also: Jaedyn James & The Hunger @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Horn-driven funk n’ soul with an attitude

Sarah Morris & Her Sometimes Elves Holiday Show @ The Vieux Carré,  Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) An authentic, powerful singer/songwriter takes on the holidays.

Sunday, Dec 10

Dan Rein CD Release @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12 Advance/$15 door) Dan Rein is the long time host of Century’s Song on KFAI, a world music show that truly lives up to the stations motto of Radio Without Boundaries. He’s releasing a CD, Just One Breath, singing the poetry of Omar Khyyam in Persian and English, accompanied by special guests Mikkel Beckmen, washboard; Liz Draper, upright bass; Adam Kiesling, banjo; and Andy McCormick, musical saw(?).

Stokely Williams Sonic Healer Tour @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($37 – $67) As the lead singer and studio drummer of the highly popular Mint Condition, the Saint Paul native has played to sold out crowds both here and throughout the nation. Now, he’s released a solo album, Introducing Stokely, and has mounted this tour in support of the release. Though he’s already played successful shows in Chicago, NYC, and Washington DC, this is a homecoming for Williams, who has resisted the music industry’s siren call to relocate to either of the coasts.

Tuesday, Dec 12

Peter Asher @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) Asher has been touring with various versions of his story for about 4 years now. Though some parts are the same, he keeps things interesting enough to go back a second time to hear about Paul McCartney as his roommate, his ownership of the gallery where John met Yoko, his discovery of James Taylor, work with Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, Emmy Lou Harris and more. Plus, you get him singing his Peter and Gordon hits (with Gordon on video).

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.


Monk and More: 10.11 – 10.17

October 11, 2017

This week’s selection of music around town features a couple of events celebrating the music of Thelonious Monk, pictured on a Time magazine cover from the early 60s. The pioneering pianist has inspired musicians of all stripes (Terry Adams, of NRBQ, released an album of his music recently). We also have a number of visiting musicians from around the country, and solid contributions to our culture from resident musicians. Remember: Music Lifts Your Spirit

Jazz

Wednesday, Oct 11

Chick Corea/Steve Gadd Sextet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, ($75, $90, $100), 9pm ($65, $80, $90) As I wrote last week, Holy Buckets, what a group! Besides Corea on keyboards, and Gadd, who has played on hundred of albums, on drums, we have Lionel Louecke, last seen here at the MN Zoo with Herbie Hancock, as well as bassist Carlitos del Puerto, an original member of pioneering cuban group Irakere, saxophonist Steve Wilson, and Argentine percussionist Luisto Quintero.

Thursday, Oct 12

Minnesota Jazz Orchestra @ Wabasha Street Caves, Saint Paul. 7pm ($8 – Cash Only) It’s Swing Night at the Wabasha Street Caves and the big band sounds of the MJO will have neophytes and veterans twirling partners and holding them close on the slow songs. Dance lesson starts at 6:15.

Friday, Oct 13

Craig Russo Latin Jazz w/Doug Little @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9:00pm ($10) Percussionist/drummer Craig Russo and saxophonist/flautist Doug Little have both traveled to Cuba to study the islands music and rhythms. Russo has worked with Little’s group Charanga Tropical, some of whose members will fill out the rest of tonight’s group. Here’s what they sound like.

Davu Seru’s No Territory Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) For the second Illicit Workshop Production at Jazz Central we have percussionist/drummer Seru, who put together this band a year or so ago to play his own original compositions. His co-conspirators in the band include Pat O’Keefe, clarinet; Nathan Hanson, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; and Levi Schwartzberg, vibes.

Saturday, Oct 14

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Featuring Sophia Shorai at 7pm, and Firebell at 8:30pm. Vocalist Shorai can communicate heartache and joy with her sweet, yet-somtimes-vulnerable voice. Firebell will bring on the heat with Park Evans, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums.

Ron Evaniuk Trio featuring Eric Gravatt @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) Bassist Ron Evaniuk plays with the Classic Jazz Orchestra, the JazzMN Orch, and his own quartet, in addition to his long-standing work as part of Source Code. Source Code’s lead, Eric Gravatt is on the drum kit tonight, so no matter who the third member of the trio is, there will be musical fireworks.

Laura Caviani w/Karrin Allyson: 100 Years of Thelonious Monk @ The Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hopkins. 8pm ($25) Pianist Laura Caviani worked a lot with vocalist Karrin Allyson during the years that Allyson lived in the Twin Cities. Tonight, Allyson will be a special guest in celebrating the music of Thelonious Monk, whose 100th birth anniversary was a few days ago. Caviani has even recruited a new trio for this project: Chris Bates on bass; and Dave Schmalenberger on drums. They’ve recorded a CD featuring brand new arrangements of Monk’s music, which will be available after the performance. Here’s Laura and a previous trio doing a Monk tune.

Sunday, October 15

Joey Alexander Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm, 8pm ($35, $45, $50) Fourteen-year old pianist Joey Alexander is also honoring Monk, with a surprise release of Joey. Monk. Live!  If you didn’t catch him at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival in June, you can get to hear him tonight, and wonder how a fourteen-year old can have such talent.

John Raymond @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley, 7pm ($15) Trumpeter Raymond is originally from the Twin Cities. He has collaborated with musicians such as Billy Hart, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Orrin Evans, Linda Oh, and Ethan Iverson, among others. Hislatest album, Real Feels has received critical acclaim from the New York Times, Downbeat Magazine and others

Monday, Oct 16

Sam Miltich & Friends @ Crooner’s Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley, 7pm (No Cover, but $10 will guarantee a seat stage-side) Miltich is a self-taught guitarist from the woods of Northern Minnesota who broke out as a member of the Hot Club of San Francisco, before forming his own band, the Clearwater Hot Club. He’s toured extensively, and has backed folks like Connie Evingson, Charmin Michelle, and the Dutch violin master Tim KlipHuis. No matter what friends he brings on stage, the results are always swinging and satisfying. Here he is with some of his friends.

Tuesday, Oct 17

Lawrence University Factulty Ensemble @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6:30pm ($30) Here’s a chance for young musicians to check out the jazz faculty at Lawrence University. Jazz fans of any age are sure to enjoy this show, which features musicians with vast resumes in jazz, pop, and R&B. There will be special guest performances by two alumni: Laura Caviani and Adam Meckler. For more information and tickets:  http://www.lawrence.edu/conservatory/performance_series/faculty-jazz-quartet

 

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, Oct 11

Dustin Arbuckle on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Dustin Arbuckle, of Alligator recording artists Moreland and Arbuckle, steps out with a side project he’s had for about seven years. The Haymakers’ influences range from Doc Watson, Johnny Cash, and Bill Monroe to Old & In the Way, the Byrds, Sonny Terry, and Gilliam Welch. I’ve a feeling this isn’t your grandparents bluegrass.

Thursday, October 12

New Orleans Suspects @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $35) So… what we have here is a collection of funky, funky, New Orleans musicians, including “Mean” Willie Green on drums; Charlie Wooten; Jake Eckert; CR Gruver; and Jeff Watkins. Between them, they’ve played with bands ranging from The Neville Brothers, to James Brown, and Leo Nocentelli, among others. Let the Good Times Roll!

Southside Aces @ The Eagles Club, #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) If you’re looking for some traditional New Orleans jazz that’s danceable, then look no further than this six-piece band: Robert Bell, guitar; Dave Michael, drums; Erik Jocobson, sousaphone; Zack Lozier, trumpet; Steve Sandberg, trombone; and leader Tony Balluff on clarinet.

Friday, October 13

Lone Star Revue @ The Hook & Ladder, Minnapolis. 7:30pm ($15 Advance/$20 Door) Grammy-nominated harpist Mark Hummel, is joined by ace guitarist Anson Funderberg, as well as guitarists Mike Keller (a Fargo native); bassist RW Grigsby; and drummer Wes Starr. Though Hummel and Funderberg may be the best known of these Texas bluesmen, Keller, Grigsby, and Starr have worked with the likes of The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Double Trouble, Jimmy Vaughan, Earl King, James Cotton, Carlene Carter, and more.

Crankshaft & The Gear Grinders @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) Call it stripped-down, revved-up rockabilly, call it punk blues, or, as bassist Keith Boyles tried to describe it, “It’s like psycho-billy swamp punk country blues”

Lonesome Dan Case Duo @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 5pm (Free) Well, Lonesome Dan has a partner for this late afternoon gig, though he still sings classic blues of the 20s and 30s like he was born to them.

Saturday, October 14

Blues Hall of Fame @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 5pm – 8pm ($15, $20) Annie Mack & Tom Kochle will perform from 4-5pm, before the awards show. The Minnesota Blues Society is once again honoring our own – resident musicians and others who keep the blues flame alive. This year’s inductees include Scottie Miller, Blues Performer; drummer Rob Stupka, sideman; Dee Miller & Jimi Primetime Smith for the blues song, Leopard Print Dress, and Willie Walker for the album If Nothing Ever Changes. There’s also a Legacy Award for Dave Ray, and awards for non-performers Sue McClean & Associates; KBEM, and “Famous” Dave Anderson. It’s a fun event with performances from some past & present winners. You might even stick around, since at 9pm Chicago Bluesman Toronzo Cannon will take the stage.

Big George Jackson @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Jackson’s big, brawny voice and solid harp playing should shake the timbers of this old bar. If you like blues that swaggers and has a hint of menace, you’ll be pleased when you stop in.

Monday, Oct 16

Candace @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7:30pm($10) This Portland trio’s sound is dense, mysterious, slightly psychedelic, and brooding. They started out in the Twin Cities as Is/Is in 2009 with members Sarah Rose, guitar, bass, moog, casio, vocals; Sarah Nienaber, guitar, bass, piano, vocals; and Mara Appel DesLauriers, drums, percussion, vocals. After Mara (the drummer) moved to Portland in 2011 the Sarahs performed and recorded with three different drummers, but decided in 2015 to move to Portland to reunite with Mara. They subsequently released New Future in 2016, rebranding themselves as Candace to acknowledge their new-found strength and outlook. Opening is Friendless Passenger and DJ Martha Weir.

Resist! A Group Sing Event @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Donation for a Local Non-Profit) This sounds intriguing, at least for those who lean towards resisting the actions of our country’s current administration. Resist! is a group singing event to share songs of resistance, protest, labor, and struggle. It occurs every 3rd Monday of the month.

Tuesday, Oct 17

Kline, Bergmark, & Abrahamson @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (TipJar) Zack Kline, violin; Krissy Bergmark, tabla; and Ben Abrahamson, nylon and 12 string guitars, bring a wide range of musical experience to this evening of (often) original music

For a quick look at what’s happening around town check out: the MN Blues Society calendar and the KBEM Calendar (covers jazz & roots): http://www.jazz88.fm/live-music-calendar/ For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.

You can find a fairly comprehensive list of links to venues that present Jazz, Blues, & Roots at this page on my website: https://rhythmandgrooves.net/twin-cities-music-venues/ Be aware that venues change their music policies often enough that it’s hard to stay current.

 


Solstice Music and More: 12.14 – 12.20

December 14, 2016
Druids celebrating the Winter Solstice at Stonehenge

Druids celebrating the Winter Solstice at Stonehenge

We are in the midst of the holiday season: Christians, Jews, Atheists, Mayans, Buddhists, Muslims, Native Americans Neopagans, and Zoroastrians all have some significant celebrations during this month. In fact, this coming Tuesday is Solstice, which has been celebrated in various ways since before the time of Christ. Whether or not you celebrate a holiday, anyone who appreciates the power of music has plenty to celebrate, as this sample of musical happenings demonstrates. Music lifts the Spirit

Jazz

Wednesday, December 14

BZ3 Organ Trio Holiday Show @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12 door) Git down, Santa! You say you’re looking for a holiday show that’s a bit out of the ordinary? Well, Brian Ziemniak, B3 organ; Troy Norton, guitar; and Kevin Washington, drums; have just the thing: funky, greasy, soul jazz versions of your favorite holiday tunes and even some that are unfamiliar, like a James Brown tune. To help them present this funk filled night they’ve enlisted vocalists Maurice Jacox, Deb Brown, and Jody Hanks.

Randy Sabien Holiday CD Release Party @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $45w/Dinner) Renowned violinist Sabien can be bluesy, jazzy, swingin’ and funky. He’s got a new holiday CD entitled, Meet Me under the Misteltoe, and he’s celebrating its release tonight. Joining him will be Gary Raynor, bass; Greg Byers, cello; Andy Dee and Dan Caton, guitars; Ben Kroeger, violin; Dave Schmalenberger, drums; and special guest Erin Schwab on vocals! Here he is doing a Grateful Dead tune.

Joe Strachan Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 W/Student ID) Pianist Joe Strachan is proving to be a versatile performer. He plays salsa and charangas with Charanga Tropical – even traveled to Cuba with them; has laid down some Afrobeats with area bands, and of course, plays some mighty fine jazz in groups like the Adam Meckler Orchestra and Pete Whitman’s X-tet. Tonight he’s got a trio with Ted Olson, bass; and Patrick Marshke, drums. Here’s Joe with a different trio.

Thursday, December 15

Thursday Night Jazz:Hip-Hop Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Young drum master, multi-instrumentalist, and fireplug Rodney Ruckus has put together a show featuring two bands led by fellow drummer LA Buckner and himself. I don’t know who is playing in which band, but the line-up includes CJ Pitts, vocals; Russell Evans, piano Rob Coleman, aux piano; Omid Huttur, guitar; Jax Reval, bass, Javier Santiago, piano; and Omar AbdulKarim, trumpet. Sound like an evening featuring new approaches to jazz. Here’s Buckner on drums, and Ruckus on piano.

The Holiday FUN Show w/Cardenas, Zuther, & Carey @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 W/Student ID) It’s Vocal Night at Jazz Central, and Katia Cardenas,  Sheridan Zuther, and Nicole Carey have put together a special show featuring touching holiday stories, delightful sing-alongs, inspired solos, and exquisite harmonies. With accompaniment by pianist Ted Godbout and bassist Andrew Foreman, and the additional enticement of holiday treats and a hot cocoa “bar!” Light food and beverage will also be available for purchase from Vanessa.

Aaron, Cox, & Hey @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Three fine musicians gather for an evening of free improvisation. Phil Aaron  piano; Anthony Cox, bass; and Phil Hey, drums are masters of melodic improvisation.

Friday, December 16

Kronick Quintet @ Public Kitchen + Bar, Saint Paul. 9pm (tip Jar) Bassist Richard Kronick leads Aaron Tafoya, percussion; Tony Guscetti, drums; Scott Ives, guitar; and Dennis Landeen sax, through an evening of soulful jazz, in the basement lounge at Public.

Saturday, December 17

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) The evening starts out at 7pm with a JazzINK youth showcase performance by Below Zero, a group from MacPhail Center for Music, featuring Noah Wilhite, tenor; Jacob Rochell-share, trombone; August McKinney, piano; Jorgen Linne, bass; and Nick Adams, drums. Then at 8:30pm it’s The Ruckus, led by drummer Rodney Ruckus, and featuring Anthony Cox, bass; Javier Santiago, piano; Steve Kenny, Flumpet.

Babatunde Lea Sextet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 6pm (Masterclass – $10), 7pm (show $10Advance/$15 Door) This is part of the Jazz at Studio Z series. Attend the Masterclass, which will be podcast, and get the $10 price. Tonight, drummer/conguero Babatunde Lea premiers a new suite, “New Rituals of Unity,” co-composed by Lea and guitarist Zacc Harris. It’s based on a series of traditional West African chants. Joining them will be Brandon Wozniak, tenor; JC Sanford, trombone; Phil Aaron, piano; and Graydon Peterson, bass. Here he is with a quartet.

Sunday, December 18

The Peterson Family’s Jam Before Christmas @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 2:30, 6pm, 8pm ($25) Santa must have a tough time figuring out gifts for the talented Peterson family, since the gift of their talent is so unforgettable. I don’t have room to list all their bonafides, but Patty, Linda, Billy, Ricky, Paul, and Linda’s son Jason will all be on stage, sharing their musical gifts with us lesser mortals.

Monday, December 19

Andrew Walesch & Debbie Duncan: It Must Be Christmas @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12) Here’s a combination of vocalists that’s sure to please even the grinches amongst us. Andrew Walesch is a pianist/crooner who can sing pop, jazz, and classic Sinatra. Vocalist Debbie Duncan can get down with some bluesy R&B, and turn around a kill on a jazz standard. They’ll be ably abetted by veteran saxophonist Dave Karr.

Zacc Harris Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Guitarist Zacc Harris is a go-getter who plays in a number of bands and produces the Jazz at Studio Z series. The most prominent group that he plays with is the Atlantis Quartet, which has toured the upper Midwest, NYC, and even London. Tonight he’s joined by: Chris Bates, bass; Bryan Nichols, piano; and JT Bates, drums.

Tuesday, December 20

Winter Solstice: The Laura Caviani Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. ($10, $35 w/Dinner) With the advent of Solstice the days will once again be getting longer, if slowly so. You can celebrate without going outside by hearing pianist, and occasional vocalist Laura Caviani. She has two holiday CDs, so there will be plenty of seasonal songs as you sit overlooking Moore Lake. She’ll be accompanied by the masterful musicians Chris Bates on bass; and Phil Hey on drums. Here’s a recent interview and performance.

Tuesday, Wednesday, December 20, 21

Nachito Herrera & The Universals @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $45) Even if you’ve seen the dazzling Cuban American pianist Nachito Herrera before, you likely haven’t seen him in this setting. He has gathered a number of world famous musicians for the Universals, including violinist Karen Briggs, who has worked for many years with Yanni, and can go from classical to gypsy jazz on a dime; Saxophonist Mike Phillips has worked with Prince and Steve Wonder; while Cuban drummer Raul Pineda and Senegal bassist Cheikh Nkoye provide the groups’ thundering heartbeat. All have deep resumes, are supremely conversant in a number of styles, and will no doubt create exhilarating music.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, December 14

Charlie Parr on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) this is the 12th year in a row that Parr has appeared on the House Party. In fact, he was on the very first show, so this is always a special event. Expect the 331 Club to be packed to hear Parr’s traditional blues and originals, often done in Piedmont style. Here’s a video that includes a humorous story.

Thursday, December 15

Mikkel Beckmen w/Siama @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) The lilting, sensuous guitar lines of soukous guitarist Siama Matuzungidi is supported by the unerring rhythmic instincts of Mikkel Beckmen, percussionist and host of this weekly guest series at the ever comfortable Irish pub.

Louisiana Rhythms Swamp Pop Christmas @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis.  7lpm (Donations) It’s a Fais Do Do Ho-Ho-Ho, as this celebration of a Louisiana Christmas has become an annual tradition, with the proceeds going to Second Harvest Heartland. The Swamp Poppas will be playing, as well as backing Tom Leiberman, Rich Lewis, Jon Rodine and Lucinda Plaisance. There will be readings and explanations of Louisiana traditions, such as how, in the bayou, Santa uses a pirogue pulled by alligators. Other special guests and readers still to be announced.

Friday, December 16

Davina & The Vagabonds @ the Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) With a repertoire that encompasses originals, as well as Fats Domino, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Tom Waits, and more, Davina & the Vagabonds create new fans wherever they play, whether its the stages of the Monterrey Jazz Festival, European concert halls, or bars and lounges around the world. It’s hard to beat the sheer musicianship, energy, and powerful vocals of this tight ensemble.

Ian Alexy & the Deserters @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Guitarist and singer/songwriter Ian Alexy is known for his work with the folk troubadours Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank. He has a new EP, inspired in part by the music of groups like The Pretenders, Tom Petty, and Thin Lizzy, with R n’ R grit delivered by the Deserters: Dave Mehling, from Minneapolis group The Fontanelles on Keyboards and guitars; while drummer Mike Cini and bassist Johnnie Timm are best known for their work with superstar vocalist Nicholas David. Also on the bill: The Federales, the Lowland Lakers, and Teague Alexy.

Friday, Saturday, December 16, 17

Sonny Knight & the Lakers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25), 9pm ($20) The new album from Sonny Knight & the Lakers burns, seethes, and simmers, from the opening title track, Sooner or Later, to the closing Oh, Mary. The Lakers’ backing is spot on, with tight, melodic horn arrangements, and solid rhythm section. This annual spotlight gig always fills up the Dakota, so be forewarned.

Saturday, December 17

A Merry 50s Christmas with the Holy Rocka Rollaz @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15) Here is a show for those of a certain age, as well as younger folks who appreciate the unbounded energy of 50s rockabilly and rock n’ roll. This family-friendly show features a charming trio steeped in the music of Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash and other rockabilly and early rock n’ roll favorites. The Holy Rocka Rollaz will be backing Tommy Alsup, of Buddy Holly’s Crickets, at the Surf Ballroom this February, so you know they’ve got the right attitude, touch, and talent for this show. The band is: Mark Flora, hollow-body Gretsch guitar; Lisa Lynn, upright bass; and Matt Alexander, hard hitting snare drum. They’ll  be visiting such classics as Rockin Around the Christmas Tree, Run, Rudolph Run, Jingle Bell Rock, and other jumpin’ songs of the era.

Smokey Robinson @ Mystic Lake Casino, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd, Prior Lake. 8pm ($69, $80, $109) I usually don’t list casino shows, but it’s Smokey Robinson! Poet Laureate of Motown, inspiration for Bob Dylan; beautiful singer, writer of hits for his own Miracles, the Temptations, Mary Wells, and others, including his own solo work. And let’s not forget the iconic Ooh, Baby, Baby. He recently received the well-deserved Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. There are still tickets left, and given our weather, there may be some cancellations, so check with the Casino before making the trip to Prior Lake. Here’s one of his solo hits.

Southside Desire @ The Hexagon Bar, Minneapolis. 10pm ($??) Southside Desire describe themselves as “Femme-Fronted Northern Soul, sprung from the littered alleyways of South Minneapolis,” which is a fairly accurate description. I’d add that touches of Stax and girl-group sounds also make their way into their sound. They’re releasing a seven-inch, which you can listen to here. Also on the bill: the minimal space funk of Moors Blackmon; the sugary grunge-pop of Ahem; and the city rock of Private Interests.

Sunday, December 18

Joe & Vicky Price @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11AM (No Cover) It’s a brunch gig for this couple, who play the Delta Blues by way of Northeast Iowa.

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.


Autumn Music: 10.12 – 10.18

October 12, 2016

unknown-1We’ve a busy Fall weekend coming up, what with the Prince Memorial concert on Thursday (it’s also being proclaimed Prince Day by Mayor Chris Coleman); the Saint Paul Art Crawl in Lowertown and elsewhere, the MN Blues Society Hall of Fame Awards, and just a lot of good music all around. Enjoy the change of seasons and get out to hear music – it lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 12

Sophia Shorai/Butch Thompson & Dean Magraw @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (Shorai – No Cover), 8:30pm (Thompson & Magraw – $5) The Vieux presents yet another two-fer of jazz tonight. Sophia Shorai’s piano-playing and honey-laced vocals take the spotlight during the dinner hour. Then it’s the wonderful combination of Butch Thompson on piano and clarinet and Dean Magraw on guitar. They’ve been playing somewhat regularly lately, and the long time vets of the West Bank music scene seem to delight in their music.

Chris Bates Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Bassist Chris Bates joins up with a couple of younger players: Joe Strachan, piano; and Miguel Hurtado, drums, for a night of originals and original arrangements.

Thursday, October 13

Emily Jane Davis @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) It’s vocal night at Jazz Central and Emily Jane Davis is bringing in a trio + special guest to accompany her. Here she is with just a guitar accompaniment.

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Tonight, bassist Adam Booker brings his band Hip-Gnosis to the Reverie. Members are: Zacc Harris, guitar; Pete Whitman, saxes; and Jay Epstein, drums. Here’s Booker with a different band.

Issam Rafea and Chris Cunningham @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Rafea is a Kuwaiti-born oud player now based in Chicago. He is the Chair of the Arabic Music Department at High Institute of Music in Damascus and the principal conductor of Syrian National Orchestra for Arabic Music. Twelve String guitarist Chris Cunningham has collaborated on stages and in studios with artists such as: including Marianne Faithfull, John Lurie’s Lounge Lizards, The Contortions, Gavin Friday, Boukman Eksperyans, Marshall Crenshaw, Richie Havens, John Zorn, and others. In the Twin Cities he currently leads the group Fall of the House of Usher (FOTHOU), as well as composing for and improvising with The Cherry Spoon Collective and Coloring Time. There will be solo sets by each, culminating in a set of duos by the pair.

 

Friday, October 14

Katia Cardenas @ Public Kitchen & Bar, Saint Paul. 9pm – Midnight (Tip Jar) With its big couches and limestone walls, the basement at Public feels a bit like a secret place, all the better to hear songbird Cardenas go through her repertoire of standards, jazz, and pop/jazz tunes. She’ll be aided by Chris Lomheim, piano; and Matt Senjem, bass, to complete the intimate feel, though admittedly, it’s always a good idea to sit close to the band, since the stone walls help create a loud environment.

Saturday, October 15

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Two very interesting bands are on tap for this evening, starting off with The Jazz Bridge Project: Roger Johnson, guitar; Eric Kamau Gravatt, drums; Javi Santiago, keys; Ron Evaniuk bass; and Rajiah Johnson, flute. Headlining is the dynamic drummer/conguero Babatunde Lea  with Solom Parham, trumpet; Phil Aaron piano, and others. Lea always brings top-notch talent to his groups, so don’t worry if only two members are identified. Here’s an example.

Sunday, October 16

Laura Caviani/Lux String Quartet @ Lowertown Classics, 255 Kellogg Blvd E, 3rd Floor Atrium. 5pm ($10 Suggested Donation) After a weekend of the Art Crawl, enjoy a bit of jazz and classical music at this low-key event. You’ll hear the music of pianist Laura Caviani as well as the Lux String Quartet in this Artists Loft. To further entice you there will be a complementary wine tasting from Revival Wine, Beer, and Spirits. Regular readers probably know the music of Caviani, so here’s the Lux String Quartet with a song for the season.

Painting Joni Mitchell @ The Ordway Concert Hall, Saint Paul. 5pm ($33 – $53) It’s a celebration of Joni Mitchell’s music, courtesy of four excellent singers and an equally excellent rhythm section. Vocalists Judi Donaghy Vinar  Lori Dokken (also on piano); Jacey Pelstring; and Rachel Holder Hennig  ill bring out new meanings in Mitchell’s music, with the help of Dan Caton, guitar; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Peter Hennig, drums. The acoustics of the Concert Hall are perfect for this kind of show.

Huntertones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Funky jazz from a Brooklyn-based sextet that, like many young bands, is melding a number of genres to create exciting music. You’re as likely to hear elements of Afrobeat, rock, and funk as you are new takes on jazz standards. At times during a performance, they break down to a trio of sax; sousaphone; and beatbox! To get an idea of their music, watch this.

Monday, October 17

Mississippi Album Release @ The Dakota, Minnapolis. 7pm ($15) Mississippi is a group centered on Peruvian guitarist Andres Prado  who graced the Twin Cities for a  few years and became a highly respected member of our music scene. The group includes Kevin Washington, drums; Jeff Bailey, bass; Peter Schimkie, piano; and Pete Whitman, sax. Bassist Jeff Bailey described their sound, “Much of Andres’ recorded material is centered in the traditional Peruvian styles of Festejo, Lando, etc. Our collective sound tries to allow for more interweaving of traditions: Jazz, Neo-soul, Peruvian Festejo, R&B, and more.” Here’s an example.

Miguel Hurtado @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Drummer Hurtado brings in a quintet to play the music of Wayne Shorter: Aaron Hedenstrom, sax; Park Evans,  guitar; Joe Strachan, piano; and Dan Carpel on bass.

Tuesday, October 18

Basement Society @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm ($8, $35 w/Dinner) Javi Santiago will be playing the new, 9 foot Steinway, while Dan Carpel plays the bass and Pete James Johnson plays drums.

Harold Lopez-Nussa @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($22) This Cuban-born pianist received a musical education from his French grandparents, starting, as many pianists do, with classical music. At age 20 Lopez-Nussa shifted to Cuban jazz and then toured with the Buena Vista Social Club as well as with singer Omara Portuondo. His most recent album, El Viaje, received 4 stars from Downbeat, adding to the accolades he’s received while performing at festivals around the world. He’ll be accompanied by his brother Ruy Adrian Lopez-Nussa on drums and percussion and Sengalese vocalist and bassist Alune Wade.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, October 12

Mark Cameron Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Mark Cameron and his band-mates are the winners of the Road to Memphis competition, and will be representing Minnesota in the band category of the International Blues Challenge in Memphis this winter. You get to hear them on the radio and in person to discover why they’ve been chosen by the Minnesota Blues Society to represent us in Memphis.

Hula Peppers @ Schooners, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) When these guys (and occasional gal) play old-timey music, it’s not tunes of Appalachia, but rather pop tunes from the 20s and 30s, with some Hawaiian tunes thrown in for good measure. The combination of swing, blues, and novelty tunes makes for an enjoyable, comfortable show, especially in the low-key environs of Schooners.

Thursday, October 13

Mikkel Beckmen with Jeff Ray @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Beckmen’s weekly showcase has been going on for a couple of years now. Today, you can sit down in the unassuming Irish bar, order up a beverage, and enjoy the fantastic, often bluesy guitar playing of Jeff Ray as Beckmen does his thing on various percussion instruments.  This video takes a minute or two for the music to get started.

Prince Tribute @ The Xcel Center, Saint Paul. 7pm ($Lots) I normally wouldn’t talk about a show where some tickets are over $300, but it’s the Prince Tribute, with Stevie Wonder, Morris Day and The Time, Chaka Khan, Mint Condition, Anita Baker, Liv Warfield, and many more. There are a few lower priced single seats left as of this writing, as well as some of the high buck seats, but expect to have a wad of cash on hand if you end up buying from scalpers. Things start off with a free, preshow party at 4pm, so you can enjoy that even if you don’t go to the concert.

Friday, October 14

Uke Fest Five @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Singer/Songwriter and ukelele player Katy Vernon has put together a “really big shew” as a benefit for ARC and the Minnesota Music Coalition. This year she’s gathered over 16 acts who play ukeleles in a number of styles to entertain you, including Jake Rowan, Dean Johnson, The Hula Peppers, Niki Becker, Hot Date, and more.

Samba Meu @ Squirrel Haus Arts, 3450 Snelling Ave, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm ($5) The Brazilian music band returns to performing, this time with a 9-piece band, all the better to create the sensuous rhythms of Brazil: chorros, forks, sambas, and more. There will even be dance lessons in case you want to learn how to swivel your hips like Samba Dancers. Squirrel Haus is not a bar, so BYOB.

Saturday, October 15

Harriet Brewing October Blues Fest @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 5pm. (No Cover?) Prepare for the Blues Hall of Fame ceremony tomorrow by checking out these bands at the Tap Room: the Cobras, Cornbread Harris, Paul Barry and the Acetones featuring Lila Ammons, and Flatwater Mississippi.  

Papa John Kolstad and the Phits @ The Roots Cellar Concert Series at University Baptist Church, 1219 University Ave SE. 7pm ($15, $10 Seniors & Students) You’ll have to go down to the basement for this concert, featuring Papa John Kolstad  master of the 12-string guitar. The Byrds made the 12-string popular, though nowadays, you just don’t see too many guitarists playing the difficulty instrument. Well here’s your chance as Papa John is joined by “Wailin’ Willie” Bill Smith on harmonica and vocals, and Gary Powell on lap steel guitar. There will likely be a bass player as well. They’ll perform Blues, and folk songs from pre-WWII, as well as some more contemporary songs covering swing,  standards,  and even some humorous topics, which will fit in well with Papa John’s story telling and wry political humor.

Sunday, October 16

MN Blues Hall of Fame Ceremony @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 2pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This is the 10th Annual Blues Hall of Fame Ceremony, and once again, some of the talented musicians of our community are being honored. Today will honor: Paul Mayasich (Performer), Steve “Boom Boom” Vanderharr (Sideman), Wilbur Cole (Legend), Gary Eckhart (Arts, Literature, Media), RJ Mischo (Composition), Mike Shaw (Supportive of the Blues), Bobby Johnson and his sister Lavern “Lady Blue” Johnson (Legacy Honors). Arrive early and partake of Pepito’s Brunch for an additional cost (and hear Maurice Jacox while you’re there). There will be live music all day, from the winners and others.

Captain Gravitone and His String Theory Orchestra @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 4pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Take a break from politics, or even football, and dig the fun sounds of this acoustic/rootsy sextet, capable of turning a Pink Floyd song into a bluegrass rave-up.

Tuesday – Sunday, October 18 – 25

STOMP! @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($44 – $74) This groundbreaking show has been showing the world how anything can be used as an instrument for 25 years now, using brooms, barrels, garbage can covers, and more in an invigorating display of physical stamina, resourcefulness, and creativity.

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 Full Week: 9.28 – 10.4

September 28, 2016

imagesIt’s another jam-packed week of music, including shows that I haven’t listed because they’re sold out. Whether you’re looking for straight ahead jazz, something more adventurous, the blues, roots, or even theatrical dance, there’s something in the Twin Cities for you this week. Don’t get too excited about Eric Burdon or John Mayall, however, since those shows at the Dakota are sold out. Music lifts the spirit

Jazz

Wednesday, September 28

Linda Peterson @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) Linda Peterson is a vocalist and pianist; a daughter of the Peterson clan who spent much of a lifetime successfully singing her way into the hearts of Southern Californians. She’s been back in town for a few years now, performing with her siblings and doing the occasional solo show. Listen for some of her clever songwriting.

Arne Fogel @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) It’s a given that Fogel  the pre-eminent crooner of the Twin Cities, appears at Crooners. He’s there monthly with the Acme Jazz Company, but tonight, the spotlight is his, with some help from the swinging Rick Carlson on piano; Keith Thomas Boyles on bass; and Jendeen Forberg on drums.

Peter Hennig @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm  ($10, $5 w/Student ID) The talented and in-demand drummer Pete Hennig will lead a quartet consisting of: Brandon Wozniak- Saxophone; Cody Mckinney-Bass; and Brian Ziemniak, piano.

Thursday, September 29

Thursday Night Jazz: Rodney Ruckus @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Drummer Rodney Ruckus is once again bringing in a guest artist to play with him for a few gigs. Tonight it’s Lito Hernandez, an internationally known saxophonist who is currently from Santa Barbara CA. Also joining Ruckus will be Abebi Stafford, piano; and Ron Evanuik, bass. If you can’t make it to the Reverie, the group will be at the Black Dog on Saturday.

Nicole Carey w/Doug Rohde @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm  ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Vocalist Carey is a cabaret artist and actor known for her smooth delivery. She and pianist Doug Rohde will be performing a variety of songs from folks ranging from Cole Porter and Carole King to Billy Joel and Eva Cassidy.

The Tiptons Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($10 Advance, $12 Door)  The Tiptons  re an internationally renowned all-female saxophone quartet with drums co-founded by Amy Denio in 1988, and have played many festivals worldwide including as North Sea Jazz Festival and TAKTLOS, in Zurich, Switzerland.  The members are based in Seattle, New York, and Eau Claire, WI (Sue Orfield). Their name honors Billy Tipton, a saxophonist and pianist in the late 20th Century, who was born a woman, but lived her entire adult life as a man. Their genre-busting sound ranges from micro-Big Band to Gospel, Bluegrass to Balkan, whimsical Jazz to Nocturnal Funk to Free Jazz.

Twin Cities Seven @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8:30pm (No Cover) Seven swinging musicians doing standards, led by saxophonist Doug Haining. Plus, featuring the vocals of Maryann Sullivan, she of the soothing voice, whether on the radio or on stage.

Friday, September 30

Patty and the Buttons @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Swing and sway the accordion way. Patty plays button accordion, and with the Buttons providing backing on bass, guitar; and clarinet, they delve into dance songs from the 20s and 30s. Traditional jazz from New Orleans, Gypsy melodies, ragtime, and blues are mixed into a danceable evening.

All Originals Jazz @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. ($10) 7pm It an evening of bands that have mallet players.  The evening begins with – Quo Vadis, featuring: Gary Shulte, violin & viola; Greg Byers, cello, upright bass; Steve Kimmel, mallets, piano, & percussion. At 8:30pm – Davu Seru’s No Territory Band takes the stage, with: Tyler Cessor, tenor; Cole Pulce, baritone sax; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; and Davu Seru, drums, percussion.

Saturday, October 1

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening set by the Julius Manzara Quartet, with: Drew Stinson, bass; Levi Schwartzberg on keys (rather than his usual vibes); Dan May, drums, and Manzara on guitar. 8:30 set by Rodney Ruckus and his group (see Thursday listing, above)

Terrence Blanchard with the JazzMN Orchestra @ The Ordway Concert Hall, Saint Paul. 7pm ($42 – $52) The season’s opening concert for JazzMN is a winner. Born in New Orleans, 5 time Grammy Winner Blanchard  came to prominence in the 80s, playing trumpet with Lionel Hampton, and then as a member of Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers. He’s become known for his soundtrack work with Spike Lee, composing the scores for all of Lee’s films since 1991, including the haunting score for When the Levee Breaks, a documentary about the devastation from Hurricane Katrina. He and the JazzMN Orchestra will be doing works by Basie, Gil Evans, and a Wynton Marsalis arrangement of A Love Supreme. Additionally, Connie Evingson will be paying tribute to Toots Thielman and Shirley Horn.

Tuesday, October 4

Claudia Schmidt & Laura Caviani @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35w/Dinner) So… tonight we have a unique pairing of artists. Claudia Schmidt is the storytelling, folk singer/songwriter who has successfully delved into jazz on a number of occasions. Laura Caviani is melodic pianist and composer who plays with her a number of groups including her own trio and the X-Tet, as well as being Karryn Allyson’s go-to pianist when she plays here.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, September 28

Joe Capoccia & Derek McSwain on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This duo from the state of Washington is making their debut in the Twin Cities. They play guitar/mando duets with power and drive, creating sweet vocal harmonies on bluegrass/old-time songs, nice originals, and edgy covers.

Karla Bonoff @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40) Bonoff is best known as a songwriter, but she is also noted for her hit recording of Personally, which became a #19 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 as well as #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart in the summer of 1982.Though she didn’t write that one, others that she’s written have been recoded by Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, Wynona Judd, and Lynn Anderson.

Leon Bridges @ The Orpheum Theater, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($35 – $45) While Bridges’ style has been called retro soul, that’s a bit unfair. Though there’s no doubt that gospel and soul influences play a big part in his sound, the singer/songwriter looks at life through a contemporary lens. His debut album, Coming Home, reached number 6 in the charts last year. The demo version of the song was released on SoundCloud and brought him to the attention of record companies. The fully produced version became a viral hit when it was released on Spotify, and was used in a commercial for the IPhone 6. It’s too band that he’s already catapulted to theaters, as his intimate style would certainly work well in nightclubs.

Thursday, September 29

Cafe Accordion Orchestra CD Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) If you’ve been following this fun band for any time during it’s 22 year existence, you probably know this is their 10th album, hence the name CAO 10. It’s full of the usual mix waltzes, swing, and Latin tunes mining the music of France, Brazil, and Columbia, and includes some Dan Newton originals as well. Though the Dakota isn’t set up for dancing, I’m sure a few folk will find some space to do so.

Thursday, September 29 – Sunday, October 2

Jawaahir Dance Company: Shoma @ The Lab Theater, 700 North 1st Street, Minneapolis. 8pm (Thurs, Fri, Sat), 2pm (Sat, Sun) $30, $50) This is described as a Storytelling Dance Theater Journey, set during a bridal henna party in Saudi Arabia. It’s an extravaganza, with 25 actors/dancers and 7 musicians, sure to appeal to your imagination.

Friday, September 30

Paul Cebar @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($???) A number of Paul’s Twin Cities fans have been following Paul Cebar for 20 years or more, and perhaps might welcome an early show, but really, once you hear him and his band, The Fine Rude Thing, you’ll understand why folks of a certain age turn up to join younger fans at late shows. Definitely, definitely bring dancing shoes.

Charles Walker Band @ The Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm ($8) Saxophonist/Vocalist Charles Walker studied at the UW Eau Claire Jazz program, and was a stand up and improvisational comedian. He and his band, including vocalist/conguero Porsche Carmon, create neo-funk, inviting comparisons to Prince, James Brown, and Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings. Other members of the band are: Nathan P, guitar; Brian Kennedy, bass; and Josh McHatten, drums.

Crankshaft & The Gear Grinders @ The Hook and Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($6, $9) The former Patrick’s Cabaret has been slightly remodeled, allowing for more people in the audience, which is good, because Crankshaft and his colleagues will bring folks in to hear their high energy, stripped down blues.

Octoberfest with the World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11pm (Tip jar?) The band that held down a weekly spot at the late, lamented Nye’s will be filling the Black Dog with polkas and other musical delights from Europe. Meantime, the Black Dog will be offering beer specials, pretzels, and Bavarian delights.

Saturday, October 1

Steve Katz @ the Unitarian Universalist Church of Minnetonka, Minnetonka. 7:30pm – 10:pm ($20) Formerly of The Blues Project, founding member of Blood, Sweat and Tears, and producer of Lou Reed’s live album, Rock and Roll AnimalSteve Katz has written a memoir entitled Blood, Sweat and My Rock n’ Roll Years: Is Steve Katz a Rock Star? Tonight he presents a combination of blues, folk, spoken work, and Steve’s own highly regarded songs. It’s being called a living memoir of one of the most fascinating periods in the history of American music.

Front Porch Swingin’ Liquor Pigs w/Cooker John @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Gather round for songs about drinking and other rock n’ roll topics as the loosey goosey, always fun Front Porch Swingin’ Liquor Pigs (the full band) return to their old haunt. Cooker John will be ending the night, starting about 11:30.

Saturday, Sunday, October 1,2

Cabaret Fest @ Phoenix Theater, 2605 Hennepin Avenue So, Minneapolis. Spotlight: 5-9pm Saturday, ($15); Workshop & Soiree, 2-6pm Sunday, ($15) ($25 for both days) The Twin Cities Cabaret Artists Network (TCCAN) is a volunteer group of professional singers, accompanists, and directors who are creating a cabaret scene in the Twin Cities. Saturday will feature over 20 singers, each taking 10 minutes to sing songs and tell stories, while the workshop on Sunday will concentrate on what it takes to create and present a cabaret performance. Singers such as Dorothy Doring, Vicky Mountain, and Rhonda Laurie will be taking part.

Sunday, October 2

Corpse Reviver @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 3 – 5:30pm (Tip Jar) Mikkel Beckmen, percussion; Jillian Rae, fiddle, and Adam Riesling, guitar and banjo, are Corpse Reviver  They have been holding down this afternoon gig for quite a few years now. They play music from the Bible of folkies: The Harry Smith Anthology of American Folk Music. It’s a gig that’s as rootsy as you can get.

Monday, October 3

Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($20 advance/$25 door)  This seven piece band and dancer are from Salento, located on the heel of Italy’s boot, in Puglia. They are considered the leading exponents in a new wave of young performers re-inventing Southern Italy’s Pizzica musical and dance traditions for today’s global audience. They play the traditional dance music of Salento called pizzicato, or taranta. It’s high energy music, full of passion and almost trance-inducing. Opening is Firefly Forest, Steven Hobert’s whimsical world music/folk group.

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.


Close to Spring: 3.9 – 3.15

March 9, 2016
A hint as to where I am

A hint as to where I am

This is the first of three weekly blog entries that will be somewhat less informative than usual, as I will be out of town for a couple of weeks, with sporadic access to the interweb. You may want to check with venues to ensure that a) I have the right information; and b) the bookings haven’t change. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, March 9

Dean Harrington @ The Tangiers, Minneapolis. 6:30 – 9:30 (No Cover) Superb guitar playing. Will probably have a trio.

Parisota Hot Club @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) A little acoustic jazz and swing, with some pop/Beatles thrown in for good measure.

Tuba Skinny @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 7:30 door, 8:00 show ($16) Old-time Brass Band from New Orleans playing Depression-era blues, ragtime, and traditional jazz..

Chris Bates Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm Bates, bass; Joe Strachan, piano; Matt Buckner, drums. A monthly meeting of this trio, preparing for a recording with new music.

Thursday, March 10

Vicky Mountain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) One of the masters of vocal singing in town, whether drawing from the 50s, 60s, or the Great American songbook.

Le Percheron @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Five-piece, including the young vibist Levi Swartzberg, led by bassist Adam Linz

Friday, March 11

Friday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar)  Featured artist: The Steve Hobert Dean Magraw Duo, with Hobert on keys, and Magraw on guitar. At 7:00, the JazzINK Youth Jazz Showcase will feature the  MacPhail  Student Jazz Ensemble, directed by Greg Keel

U of M Morris Jazz Ensemble with the Chris Bates Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) I’m guessing the 18 piece band from Morris will do a set, and the Chris Bates, Bryan Nichols, and JT Bates take the stage.

Saturday, March 12

Tierney Sutton Master Class @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 10:30AM – 1:30PM ($50 Adults, $25 Students) Sutton has a gorgeous way with vocals. She’ll be appearing with the JazzMN orchestra on Sunday.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening is the Byron Johnson-Blanchard Trio, with Byron Johnson-Blanchard on drums; Park Evans, guitar; and Josh Granowski on bass; at 8:30pm it’s Bottomless Pit, with Eric Kamau Gravatt, drums; Joel Shapira, guitar; Pete Whitman, sax; and Tom Lewis, bass.

Sunday, March 13

Tierney Sutton with the JazzMN Orchestra @ Hopkins High School, Hopkins. 3pm ($18 – $33) Tierney has been nominated for a Grammy seven times as both a vocalist and arranger.

FuzzyMath @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 4pm – 6pm (Tip Jar) The quartet has a new CD, Pass the Guacamole. It’s another winner.

Dan Chouinard and Ann Reed @ The Dunsmore Room, Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($25 Minimum) Dan does his Birthday Club, performing songs by composers whose birthdays are this month, with folkie Ann Reed in the listening room at Crooners. Reservations always recommended.

Sunday, Monday, March 13, 14

Dee Dee Bridgewater & Irvin Mayfield @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. Vocalist Bridgewater’s latest album is an homage to New Orleans, recorded with trumpeter Mayfield’s New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.

Monday, March 14

Rodney Ruckus @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) This dynamic young drummer was well received when he played with the Steve Kenny Solomon Parham Quintet at the Winter Jazz Fest.

Tuesday, March 15

Laura Caviani @ The Dunsmore Room, Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($20 Minimum) Caviani is a pianist whose compositions and arrangements are graceful and swinging.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, March 9

Maurice Jacox & Bobby E on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Soulful vocals with very tasty supporting guitar from Bobby E.

New Sound Underground Tour Kick-off @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($10) Funk Jazz outfit gets ready to tour, with supporting artists Mike Daum, Nimo The Hooligan, and DJ Elsewhere. Plus, you can play the “jamstick at the interactive guitar booth.

Thursday, March 10

Argent Blue @ the JJ Hill Center, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($10 Advance, $15 Door) Funk, Rock, Jazz, and Hmong classics from this 5-piece band.

Friday, March 11

John Nemeth @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7, includes a free beverage) Nemeth can sing soul, blues, and soul-bloues with verve and élan.

Del McCoury Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $55), 9pm ($25 – $45) Grammy winning bluegrass legend.

Worldwide Discoteque Dance Party @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Afro-Latin-Caribbean all-vinyl dance party

Soul Tight Committee @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9:30pm ($?) This largish horn band is celebrating St Patrick’s Day a bit early, by playing R&%B, funk, and other highly danceable tunes.

Saturday, March 12

Ky Ngo Band, Charanga Tropical, Ryan Daniel Band @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Drummer Ky Ngo is 9 years old, yet he’s already played the 7th Street Entry at 8, the Mall of America Rotunda at 4, and has backed South American, Latin, and Cuban musicians. He’ll be featured tonight with his own band, as well as with Charanga Tropical, the reggae/hip hop Ryan Daniel Band, Kevin Washington, and others.

R&B Cadets @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm Boy, I’m sorry I’m missing these guys. John Sieger, Paul Cebar, Robyn Pleur and friend used to fill dance floors throughout the Twin Cities. Nice to have them back after what, 20 years?

Willie Walker @ Crooner’s Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Twin Cities own soul legend, singing his heart out.

Sunday, March 13

Mary Dushane @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Spend a Sunday afternoon with this fine fiddler, who has been a vital part of the West Bank music scene since way before there was a West Bank Music Scene.

Katy Vernon @ The Icehouse, Minnapolis. 7pm ($10) The sweet folk pop of Ms Vernon will fill the Icehouse. Opening is Tim Houlihan

Joe Fingers @ Dunn Brothers on Grand, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) National finger picking champ, taking a busman’s vacation of sorts.

Monday, March 14

Steve Clarke & The Working Stiffs @ Crooner’s Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Jump blues, Swing, and more from the saxman and his cohorts.

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.


Long Nights for Music: 12.16 – 12.22

December 16, 2015

Greetings to one and all;

UnknownWe’re approaching the Winter Solstice, that time when the day is shortest and the night is longest. It’s part of our Mid-Winter holidays, and though we may have some cold days ahead, we’ll have increasing daylight. Meantime, we’re deep into holiday shows this week, with offerings from Larry McDonough, Laura Caviani, the Peterson Family, and the folks from Louisiana Rhythms, in addition to having performances that showcase young talent and veterans. Though I manage to avoid most of the stressful parts of this season, I admit to getting a warm feeling from wishing people well at this time of year. At any rate, whether you celebrate or not, you can certainly lift your spirits by going out to hear live music. Have a good week.

Jazz

Wednesday, December 16

Jake Baldwin Presents @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, Students free w/valid ID) Baldwin is a relatively young trumpet player who has won a number of awards and plays around town in a variety of groups. It will be interesting to see who he taps to accompany him tonight, as he plays with both young lions and seasoned veterans.

McNally Smith Jazz Night @ The Amsterdam Bar + Hall, Saint Paul. 8pm (Free) A showcase for the jazz talent of MacNally Smith. 8pm – The X-Tet Big Band, led by Pete Whitman; 8:45 – The Jazz III Combo, directed by Steve Jennings; 9:30 – The Jazz II Combo, directed by Chris Olson; 10:15 – Advanced Combo, directed by Peter Schimke; 11:00 – The Serbian Music ensemble, directed by Petar Janjic; and 11:45 – the Fusion Ensemble, directed by Adam Meckler.

Thursday, December 17

Larry McDonough Quartet: Angels, Kings, My Favorite Things” @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm ($5) See listing below for Tuesday, the 22nd.

Laura Caviani @ The Dunsmore Room at Crooners, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm ($15 minimum) The folks at Crooners are taking their Lakeside Room and turning it into a listening room a couple of times a week. Instead of charging a cover charge, they’re asking for a $15 minimum purchase of food or drink, which would be covered by drink and appetizer. To enhance the audience’s listening experience, they’ve been lucky enough to obtain a 9-foot Bosendorfer piano for the room. Tonight Laura Caviani brings her holiday show to this pre-opening performance, undoubtedly playing selections from her lovely holiday album, Angels We Haven’t Heard. Reservations are recommended at: 763-571-9020.

Jennifer Grimm & Joe Cruz @ Jazz Central, MInneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, Students free w/valid ID) Grimm is a vocalist who has performed at Carnegie Hall and shared the stage with Michael Buble and Martina McBride, among others. She has also appeared in a variety of musicals around town, and has proven adept at interpreting holiday favorites. She’ll be joined by guitarist Joe Cruz is a versatile, sought-after  guitarist who also plays the mandolin, Puerto Rican cuatro, Cuban tres, and dobro.

Friday, December 18

Dakebreoda featuring Dave Brattain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, Students free w/valid ID) This quartet is led by saxophonist Brattain, a 20 year veteran of the Cedar Avenue Big Band, who has played with a number of groups around town and currently teaches at Wayzata High School. He will be joined by Kevin Dale, guitar; Bruce “Pooch” Heine, bass; and Dave Stanoch, drums; to play most originals and a few obscure jazz standards.

Peter Vircks Quartet @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Saxophonist Vircks leads this group of top-notch players:  Ron Evaniuk, bass; Kevin Washington, drums; and Brian Zeimniak, piano.

Saturday, December 19

Deck the Halls @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm – 11pm. (No Cover) Jo Ann Funk  piano; and Jeff Brueske, bass, expand their repertoire and bring in Gary Schulte, master of the violin; and baritone vocalist Steve Marking for an evening of holiday music fringing from O Holy Night sung in French, to Santa Baby, and the David Bowie/Bing Crosby version of Little Drummer Boy. Here’s JoAnn doing one of her more secular songs with some help from a different violin player.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) This evening starts with HEADSPACE, featuring: Rob Dewey, piano; Aaron Rupar, drums; Matt Senjem, bass; and Steve Kenny on Flumpet. At 8:30 it’s Tall Tales, the two-guitar quartet led by Dean Granros  with Zacc Harris on 2nd guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. Given how crowded it can get, reservations ($20) can be made by going here.

Sunday, December 20

Peterson Family Jam Before Christmas @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 5pm, 7:30pm ($25) Globe-trotters, national players, and Twin Cities heroes, members of the Peterson clan have performed with Ben Sidran, Bob Dylan, David Sanborn, Bobby Lyle, Paula Abdul, Prince, Jonny Lang, and more. Linda, Billy, Ricky, Patty, and Paul, are joined by third generation musician Jason Peterson Delaire to share their music for the holidays. Here’s Patty, Ricky, and Jason, with some friends, a couple of whom are likely to be in the band.

Monday, December 21

Nachito Herrera and the Universals @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $35), 9pm ($20, $30) Dazzling pianist Nachito Herrera is joined by a quartet of equally fiery players. Karen Briggs  on violin, played for years with Yanni, and can switch genres as easily as Herrera. Saxophonist Mike Phillips has worked with Prince and Stevie Wonder. Grammy nominated bassist Riccardo Fierabracci has toured with Chick Corea’s Electrik Band, Billy Cobham’s Spectrum, King Crimson, and others, while drummer Raul Pineda’s latin rhythms earned him a Grammy working with Chucho Valdes. Their appearance at the Dakota this past summer earned rave reviews.

Cherry Spoon Collective @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) With a roster that includes over 15 musicians, the Collective is a multi-generational group of improvising musicians whose members come from some of the most interesting scenes our music community, including Zeitgest, JelloSlave, Orange Mighty Trio, George Cartwright’s PAL, and more. The performance will feature newly commissioned and improvised music.

Phil Cook w/Lewis and Bates @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Guitarist Cook  along with saxophonist/bassist Mike Lewis and drummer JT Bates, were the rhythm section on an album by the Blind Boys of Alabama. This is the first time the three will play as a band. Opening is Joe Dunn, Demitri Rallis of Frogleg, a jam/reggae band that’s popular around town.

Tuesday, December 22

Larry McDonough Quartet @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 7pm – 10pm ($5) The East Metro appearance of pianist McDonough and his holiday show. McDonough, piano, vocals; Richard Terrill, saxes, poetry; Greg Stinson, bass; Dean White, drums. Will include music from Angels, Kings, My Favorite Things, as well as a McDonough arrangement of Le Marseillaise, a medley of two French tunes, and songs by Spinal Tap, Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, Dave Brubeck, and more. Of special note is a new arrangement of “It’s Love, It’s Christmas,” based on a copy of the original Bill Vans manuscript given to McDonough by Evan’s widow.

Dave King Trio @ The Dunsmore Room at Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($15 Minimum) This is the official opening of the Dunsmore Room, and it’s hard to think of a better band for the occasion, especially given that Bill Carrothers will be playing the room’s Bosedorfer piano. Dave King, drums, Billy Peterson, bass; and Bill Carrothers, piano, have received many plaudits for their album, “I’ve Been Ringing You” and their week-long appearance at the Village Vanguard a couple of years ago. Though King is known for his work with unique groups like the Bad Plus,  this trio sticks with standard fare, yet is anything but boring. Of note is that the national and NYC press characterized both Carrothers and Peterson as Upper Midwesterners with an underground reputation. One listen and you’ll likely be thinking that this group deserves wider recognition. Here’s a longish segment of one of their concerts.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, December 16

The Fiddle Heirs on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club, Tip Jar) The Fiddle Heirs are an all fiddle, all-star group, featuring members of Trampled by Turtles, Corpse Reviver, Pert Near Sandstone, Pocahontas County, and Boys ’N’ the Barrels. If you’re wondering what an all-fiddle band sounds like, tune in and check them out.

Willie Murphy & Dean Magraw @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Willie Murphy  blues singer, rock n’ roller, songwriter, and R&B maven, will be joined by the multi-genre guitarist extraordinaire Dean Magraw  Murphy says he’s hoping to keep up with Magraw.

Thursday, December 17

Louisiana Rhythms Annual Christmas Party @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Cash, check or food donation) This is an annual Benefit for Second Harvest Heartland. Tonight’s show features the Swamp Poppas, Dan Rowles, The Rockin’ Pinecones, Rich Lewis and more. Dance and do good at the same time. Here’s a video from the Swamp Poppas.

Thursday, Friday, December 17, 18

J2J

J2J

J2J @ MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 7:30pm Thursday, 8pm Friday ($15) Jacqueline Ultan  cello and effects pedals; and Julie Johnson  flute, bass flute, live looping pedals;  present a program of all original music, with compositions by each of them, as well as the premier of a new piece by both of them. Both have extensive experience in genre-crossing performances.

Friday,December 18

Kid Dakota and Hot Date @ Public Kitchen + Bar, 229 E. 6th St, Saint Paul 8pm (No Cover) Darren Jackson had a group called Kid Dakota and the Tumbleweeds while he was living in Rhode Island in 1998. Though the group disbanded, he kept the name Kid Dakota  recording four full-time albums as well as a Leonard Cohen tribute. Hot Date is the Lowertown duo of Eric Carranza and Nora O’Brien and specializes in songs “For Lovers” as their album is called. Hot Date comes on first, followed by Kid Dakota. Listen to this cut from one of his albums.

Willie Murphy & the Angel Headed Hipsters @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7) Mr Murphy makes a rare second appearance here on the same week. This time he has his full band with him, so you know the rhythms will be rockin’ the knees will be knockin’, hips will be shakin’ and the dance floor will be quaking’.

Friday, Saturday, December 18, 19

Sonny Knight & the Lakers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25), 9pm ($20) After performing (and headlining) some international music festivals over the summer, R&B powerhouse Sonny Knight  nd the soul-stirring Lakers return to the stage where they recorded a live album last year. Though Knight recorded locally back in the 60s, this is not simply a retro-loving group, but rather a collection of creative musicians who bring new life to classic soul and funk, while Knight performs with the energy of performers half his age. They’ve been working up some new, exciting tunes which you can get to hear tonight.

Saturday, December 19

Javier and the Innocent Sons and Drew Druckry’s Dharma Hounds @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) KFAI’s Jackson Buck has put together a potent double bill for the Holiday edition of Jackson’s Juke Joint. Getting things started at 7pm is Drew Druckry’s Dharma Hounds, playing a mix of blues, New Orleans Funk, and Southern Rock. Then at 9pm Javier and the Innocent Sons rip it up with jumping blues.

Captain Gravitone & The String Theory Orchestra @ Dulano’s Pizza, Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) Not your usual string band, Captain Gravitone is a Mankato folk-rock quintet that can easily segue from tangos to Irish drinking songs to driving jam-grass.

Sunday, December 20

Corpse Reviver @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 3pm – 5:30pm (Tip Jar) Mikkel Beckmen, percussion; JIllian Rae, fiddle; and Adam Kiesling, guitar and banjo; will be joined by folk/Americana singer songwriter Amanda Standalone to explore music from the Anthology of American Folk Music.

The Gentlemen’s Anti-Temperance League @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($5) A string quartet that revisits classic swing tunes from Prohibition, bringing them into the 21st Century. The Aster can get crowded, so reservations are recommended.

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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