Unique, Remarkable Music: 10.4 – 10.10

October 4, 2017

What every household needs!

Well, just like the “modern housewife,” as pictured, we have a unique and remarkable set of opportunities to hear revitalizing music. We have three new series taking place: Friday Nights @ The Dunsmore; Illicit Jazz Workshop @ Jazz Central; and the monthly Forge at Bryant Lake Bowl. We also have an all-star jazz group visiting our town, a pioneering Stax musician, and a group from Mali. And there’s a celebration of John Lennon’s birthday, a benefit concert, and some unique combinations of resident musicians. Music lifts the spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, Oct 4

Dave King Trio @Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $25) If you’re a Twin Cities jazz fan, you have undoubtedly heard drummer King in one of his numerous groups. Tonight he’s joined by Bill Carrothers, piano; and Billy Peterson, bass.  Here they are doing their unique arrangements of a couple of standards.

Zacc Harris/Katia Cardenas @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Harris – No Cover), 8pm ($6) Start out with guitarist Zacc Harris, whose clean lines can often be hear with the Atlantis Quartet, as well as in a trio at the Riverview Wine Bar Sunday nights, Vital Organ and other groups. Then at 8pm it’s Jazz & R&B from vocalist Cardenas who will be joined by Ted Godbout, Graydon Peterson & Zach Schmidt, and “The NoDak Girls” Andrina Brogden & Sheridan Zuther.

Forge: Maryam Ershadi Yusefzadeh & Thomas Nordlund @ Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) Forge is a new series celebrating creative music, performed on the stage at Bryant Lake Bowl. This month, singer Maryam Ershadi Yusefzadeh and guitarist Thomas Nordlund present a view into “Migration”, their debut collaboration. It is a collection of reimagined traditional Persian folk songs and original compositions inspired by that musical language. Vocalist Yusefzadeh had her early musical training in Tehran and received a BFA in Art, Music, and Dance performance from the UofMN. She studied jazz with Roberta Davis. Guitarist Nordland can be found as a sideman with any number of Twin Cities artists in a number of genres. He released his debut full length album Divide Avenue, in 2015

Wednesday, Thursday, Oct 4, 5

Savion Glover & Marcus Gilmore @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50, $65, $75), 9pm ($35, $50, $60) It’s a percussive extravaganza as Glover, perhaps the best tap dancer performing today, partners with drummer Gilmore, who has worked with Chick Corea, Vijay Iyer, Nicholas Payton, and others, and BTW, is the grandson of the great Roy Haynes.

Thursday, Oct 5

Joel Shapira/Maud Hixson @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Shapira: no cover), 8pm (Hixson: $6) It’s a double dose of jazz as guitarist Joel Shapira delivers solo numbers before Maud Hixson takes the stage, accompanied by Rick Carlson, piano; and Chris Bates, bass. Expect an evening of cool, yet simmering standards.

Friday, Oct 6

Jazz Women All Stars @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm   Patty Peterson, Ginger Commodore, Lucia Newell, Linda Peterson, Joan Griffith, Jendeen Forberg, Kathy Jensen. Need I say more

Le Percheron @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10?) Trumpeter Steve Kenny is always on the lookout for new places to produce live music. Now, through Illicit Productions, he is curating Friday Nights at Jazz Central. To kick things off, he’s got Adam Linz’s terrific group: Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, Cornet; Levi Schwartzberg, Vibes; Cory Healey, drums; and Linz, bass.

Bryan Nicols Quintet @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley, 9pm ($15) The Dunsmore Room is trying a new tactic – Friday night jazz curated by Zacc Harris, and at the same time as music in the main lounge. The Dunsmore’s quiet acoustics (and audience) should make this work. For the first show they have: Nichols, piano; Mike Lewis & Brandon Wozniak, saxes; Eric Fratzge, bass; JT Bates, drums.

Saturday, October 7

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Ahmed & the Creators at 7pm, followed by Jax Revel Gang at 8:30pm: Jax bass; Matt Trice, sax; Javi Santiago, piano; Blake Huebl, drums

MN Hard Bop Collective: Joe Henderson @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7-9pm (Tip Jar) The Collective returns to Boom Island with another of their shows celebrating past masters. Although saxophonist Henderson’s earliest recordings were marked by a strong hard-bop influence, his playing encompassed not only the bebop tradition, but rhythm and blues, latin, and avant-garde as well. Tonight the Collective includes:  Dave Brattain, Jeff Rinear, Chris Olson, Kameron Markworth and Jesse Simon

Sunday, Oct 8

Katie Thiroux Trio @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20) NYC-based Thiroux’s latest album Offbeat (her 2nd) shows the triple threat (bass, vocals, compositions) carrying on the swing tradition of Ray Brown and John Clayton when playing mainstream jazz.

Monday, Tuesday, Oct 9, 10

Connie Evingson & Jon Weber @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20) Ms Evingson is celebrating the centennial of Ella Fitzgerald’s birth with a series of concerts from Ella’s Songbook series. This time around it’s the music of Rogers & Hart. She and pianist Jon Weber will be joined by Dave Karr, sax; and Gordy Johnson, bass.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Oct 10, 11

Chick Corea/Steve Gadd Sextet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, ($75, $90, $100), 9pm ($65, $80, $90) 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.

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 4

Pushing Chain on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Boyd Blomberg guitar & vocals; and Adam  Moe, fiddle & vocals; have been performing together in various configurations since 1997, and as Pushing Chain since 2012. They call their music Folky-Tonk, with stron vocals and melodies.

Thursday, Oct 5

Mikkel Beckmen, Jon Rodine, & Dan Gaardner @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (tip jar) Resident percussionist often has only one guest each Thursday, but tonight is special with Jon Rodine, a vocalist who should be  better known in town, and guitarist Dan Gaardner of Trailer Trash.

Swamp Poppas @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Wad’ya get when Cajun teenagers in the 50s and 60s heard rock n’ roll? Swamp Pop – Rock n’ Roll with a Cajun accent. You can hear examples of the genre by listening (and dancing) to the Swamp Poppas.

Butanes @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) The Best Blues Band in the Twin Cities continues their weekly residency at Shaw’s, led by guitarist Curt Obeda, and featuring a number of musicians who sit in for a song or two, such as Camille Boudoin, of the Radiators, Jelly Bean Johnson, Maurice Jacox, and Willie Walker.

Friday,Oct 6 

Willie Walker @ Crooner’s Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, or $10 for a reserved seat in front of the stage)  Walker’s been doing a lot of recording over the past few years. The Soul Man’s latest is After A While, with the Anthony Paule Soul Orchestra, the group that’s backing him on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise later this month.

Belfast Cowboys @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($7 Advance/$10 Door) The Cowboys are one of the most popular bands in town, delivering sprightly versions of Van Morrison tunes and other gems. This is the first of three monthly gigs at the Hook.

Saturday, Oct 7

Songhoy Blues @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) The Songhoy people were once one of the most prominent ethnic groups in Mali, though the now live on the margins of that West African country. After a number of musicians made their way to Bamako as refugees, they decided to start a band that celebrates the displaced people and their culture, playing desert blues, Malian grooves, and American guitar licks. Opening is Brasszilla, a quartet consisting of Hal Longley, sousaphone; Zach Zins, trombone; Bob DeBoer, trumpet; Andy Deckard, drums.

Sunday, Oct 8

Boom Boom Stevie V & the Knockouts @ Neumann’s Bar, North Saint Paul. 4pm – 6pm (Tip Jar) Spend a Bluesy Autumn afternoon enjoying the sounds of Harpmeister Boom Boom, and his Knockouts.

Doug Otto & Friends @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 5pm – 8pm (Tip Jar) This tiny, NE dive bar has been bought by the owners of the Nightingale, who are generally happy with the music line-up there. Guitarist/vocalist Doug Otto explores the blues and Americana, with a voice so mournful, you might find yourself crying. He calls upon a number of friends to help him on these “brunch gigs for working musicians.”

General B & The Wiz, The Plott Hounds, & Rlgdppl @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7 Advance/$10 Door) The Hook presents an evening of live music to benefit the recovery of hurricane victims in Puerto Rico! $1 Per Ticket will be donated by the bands and matched by The Hook and Ladder to PROJECT HOPE. General B plays psychedelic/IndieBlues; The Plott Hounds like 70s Southern rock as they play alt-country blues, and the music of Rlgdppl is rooted in Rhythm & Blues.

Monday, Oct 9

Curtiss A Celebrates John Lennon’s 77th @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) It’s not the annual tribute show, but is bend called Return to the Cavern. That’s the Cavern Club in Liverpool where, upon returning for their Hamburg sojourn, the Beatles made 292 appearances between 1961 and 1963, with their last appearance occurring just after they recorded She Loves You. I expect this show will include the rock n’ roll favorites of John Lennon

Sunday, Monday, Oct 8,9

Booker T Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm & 8pm Sunday, 7pm Monday ($35, $40, $50) The pioneering Stax organ star may run through Green Onions a bit quicker than usual, but after all, it’s been 55 years since that grooving piece of funk was laid down by Jones and his compatriots in the MGs. He still manages to deliver the hits and the newer pieces from his last few years as a solo artist.

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.

Advertisements

The Power of Music: 11.16 – 11.22

November 16, 2016

 

If serfs could find time to dance, so can we

If serfs could find time to dance, so can we

Life continues apace, and no matter what your political affiliation, it’s safe to say that things won’t be the same. Except for music. Music has the power to voice our fears, to call us to action, celebrate our commonalities, call out hypocrisy, inspire us, heal our spirit, lift us up, and perhaps, just perhaps, bring us together. While musicians undoubtedly enjoy playing, music is much more powerful when it is a shared experience. If you are part of the audience, you are part of the music, whether in a concert hall, a dive bar, or a church. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, November 16

Babatunde Lea Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID)  Though he’s listed on the JC website as a drummer, Lea is much more, as he not only plays a trap set, but often plays congas or other percussion instruments at the same time, incorporating African, Caribbean, and Latin rhythms into the mix. He has an outstanding group of musicians in this band: Solomon Parham, trumpet; Pete Whitman, sax; Phil Aaron, piano; and Chris Bates, bass.

Butch Thompson and Dean Magraw @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Two music veterans from the old West Bank music era who have gone way beyond the music of that time. Pianist and clarinetist Butch Thompson is internationally known for his traditional jazz and ragtime stylings. Guitarist Dean Magraw has traveled the world playing acoustic and electric instruments to create fine jazz, fusion, and world music.

Thursday, November 17 

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) The Chris Lomheim Quartet, with Pete Whitman, saxes, Jay Young bass; Dave Schmalenberger, drums; led by Chris Lomheim on piano. Here is Chris in a trio setting.

Le Percheron @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Le Percheron is bassist Adam Linz’s group, and features Levi Schwartsberg on vibes; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin on cornet, and Corey Healy on drums. While Khyber Pass specializes in music that’s a bit (or sometimes very) out there, this quartet creates music that is at once accessible and adventurous. Linz is a veteran, the other three are powerful young musicians still in their twenties.

Dorothy Doring and Marc Ziegenhagen @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Doring is a warm, engaging vocalist who can sing classic R&B, jazz standards, cabaret, and scat. Versatile indeed.

Joel Shapira/Midnight Love @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6:30 (Shapira, No Cover), 9pm (Midnight Love – $7) Guitarist Shapira  rings his jazz and classical chops to the dinner hour, followed at 9pm by Midnight Love  a band that plays funky soul jazz and rare grooves. They have a fondness for Lou Donaldson, but which will bring in music by Ruby & the Romantics, Leon Russell and Roberta Flack, among others. Midnight Loves is: Greg Schute, drums; Peter Vircks, sax; Brian Ziemniak, organ; Matt Darling, trombone; and Patrick Nelson, bass.

Friday, November 18

Bruce Henry @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Crooners is celebrating Founder’s Weekend – its second anniversary – and former Twin Cities vocalist Henry is in town to start things off with a combination of jazz, R&B, Motown and other swinging sounds.

Swing Sisterhood Big Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5 W/Student ID) There are many talented musicians in the area who happen to be female. A bunch of them have created the Swing Sisterhood Big Band, which is made its Jazz Central Debut last March. Afterwards, there will be a jazz jam for High School students.

Saturday, November 19

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar)  Ahmed & the Creators open at 7pm. The group includes, Ahmed Abdul Karim, trumpet; Batume, drums; James “Jimmyapolis” Wallace, tenor; Ron Evaniuk, bass. At 8:30pm it’s the The Steve Kenny Quartet Tour Conclusion performance, with Javiaer Santiago, piano; Ted Olsen, bass; Rodney Ruckus, drums; and Steve Kenny, Flumpet.

JazzMN: New Orleans Night @ Hopkins HS, 2400 Lindbergh Dr., Minnetonka. 7:30pm $31-$33 Advance, $35-$37 Door, (Students, $10-$18 Advnce, $10-$20 Door) It’s a tribute to the Big Easy as the JazzMN Orchestra takes on traditional jazz, second line brass bands, New Orleans jazz standards, a bit of Cajun fun, and some blues, to create a fun night of music. Orchestra musicians include such outstanding stalwarts as Pete Whitman, Dave and Kathy Jensen, Dave Carr, Mary Louise Knutson, and many other talented musicians. Here they’re performing a Tito Puente tune.

Adam Meckler Quintet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) It’s been a while since trumpeter Meckler has performed with a small group. He and his group  released a new album entitled Wander on Shifting Paradigm Records, but haven’t played much since.  Tonight he has a special guest in saxophonist Tony Barba from Madison. Also in tonight’s group: Zacc Harris, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Greg Schutte, drums.

Sunday, November 20

Firebell @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Park Evans, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums all have extensive experience in multiple bands. Their music is both swinging and cerebral.

Tuesday, November 22

Dave King Trio @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $55 dinner show) Uber drummer Dave King is best known for his work with The Bad Plus and Happy Apple,though he also seems to have a dozen or so other projects, many of which explore the outer edges and realms of jazz and rock. Tonight, though, he gathers the fine talents of bassist Billy Peterson and pianist Bill Carrothers to mine the richness of jazz standards as well as some moody work from the tunes of Bill Evans and Paul Bley. The last appearance of this trio had a number of beautiful moments. Here’s their complete performance at the Village Vanguard a few years ago.

Brian Gallagher Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8 Advance, $10 door) This project is a commemorative effort to honor the life and music of the late Twin Cities based saxophonist Brian Gallagher. The band features Brian Ziemniak on keyboards, Yohannes Tona on bass, Peter Hennig on drums and Brian’s longtime collaborator Julius Collins adding vocals to a few songs, the night before Brian’s 53rd birthday. In addition to the members of the quartet, special guests performances will include saxophonists David Eiland, Peter Vircks, Brandon Wozniak, trombonist Michael Nelson, vocalist Jody Hanks and many others to be announced.

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, November 16

Poor Howard Stith on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Poor Howard  s a 12 string blues guitarist who gave Papa John Kolstad his nickname. He’s influenced by Leadbelly, Blind Willy McTell, and Dave Ray, and tells delightful shaggy dog stories.

Flatlanders @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50, $60) When the Flatlanders were formed and recorded in the early 70s, Joe Ely, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and Butch Hancock had each returned to Lubbock Texas after having spent time elsewhere. In 1973 they recorded an album with their unique take on traditional country music. Entitled Jimmie Dale & the Flatlanders, it was released only on 8-track, without a distribution deal, though truth be told, you could find it in Southern variety stores and truck stops. Naturally, it went nowhere and the group drifted apart. By the end of the 70s, Ely and Hancock had become cult symbols thanks to their solo albums, and Gilmore’s songwriting resulted in his being a hip name to drop by music critics and the like. They reunited on a few occasions and in the late 90s had a song in the film The Horse Whisperer. They released a second album in 2002 and have released four since then.

Pat Donahue & Dan Newton @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40 Dinner Show) Guitarist Donahue was a National Fingerpicking Champion almost 40 years ago, and spent 20 years coming up with songs on a weekly basis for the Prairie Home Companion. He has a pleasant voice, and he can write some very witty lyrics, but his killer app, so to speak, is his fleet fingering, which has only gotten better since that long ago championship. He has a perfectly compatible partner in Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton, the accordion ace who taught himself how to play and is equally at home with the blues, jazz, French Musettes, and Cumbias.

Thursday,November 17

Peter Wolf & the Midnight Travelers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55, $65) Wolf was the lead singer for the J. Geils Band, that raucous group that brought rockin’ rhythm and blues to the airways and many a house party in the 70s and early 80s, when they topped the singles charts with Freeze Frame, Love Stinks, and Centerfold. Wolf’s commanding presence on stage and record was a big reason for the group’s success.

Friday,November 18

Red House Live: Chastity Brown @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($20) Chastity Brown began to turn heads and open ears as soon as she arrived in Minnesota from Tennessee where she grew up and was influenced by roots music from an early age. Her music encompasses roots, soul, rock, blues, and country. Much of her writing describes and talks of the experience of marginalized people in our society. At the invitation of Ani DiFranco, Brown spent much of 2016 on tour with DiFranco. She has signed with Red House Records and will be releasing a new album early in 2017. The show was close to selling out as of this writing, so you may have to call the Landmark Center to ascertain availability of tickets.

Dee Miller Band @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm ($??) Wilebski’s continues its policy of having early evening shows on Friday night, so those of us of a certain age can get home and get some sleep after dancing their hearts out. Others will simply be energized by Ms Miller’s tough vocals and tight band and find someplace else to go at 10pm.

Saturday, November 19

CJ Chenier @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25), 9pm ($20) The Dakota continues to bring the music of Louisiana to the northern end of the Mississippi River. It’s hard to get any more rootsier than accordionist Chenier  the son of Clifton Chenier, the late King of Zydeco. CJ learned his art by being in his father’s band, and expanded the sound of zydeco by recording with Paul Simon as well as the Gin Blossoms.

Davina & The Vagabonds @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley (No Cover, $10 reserved seat) Get there early if you want a seat and didn’t reserve one. Davina  nd the Guys will pack the big room at the Lounge.

Sunday, November 20

Phil Heywood @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Heywood is another of what seems to be a plethora of National Fingerpicking Champions in town. He’s got a deep baritone voice that’s a nice foil to his precise, melodic playing.

Monday, November 21

Joe Fingers @ Dunn Brothers on Grand, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) This is the second installment of a Food Shelf Benefit that “Fingers” puts on each year. He is a former National Fingerpicking champion who used to perform as part of a highly popular radio variety show. He and some of his “So Called Friends” from that radio show are performing their Annual Food Shelf Benefit tonight, so bring a bit more $$ than you usually do for a tip jar show.

Tuesday, November 22

Midwest Paul Cook and Crankshaft @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) A couple of blues/roots performers who can mine the depths of despair with their own songs, and well as songs from the Great Depression. Listen to Cook here. Learn about Crankshaft here.

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.


Summer Nights: 8.12 – 8.18

August 12, 2015
As the sun sets earlier each day, we can check out indoor music.

As the sun sets earlier each day, we can check out indoor music.

Greetings and Salutations to one and all;

While I am sure you can find some outdoor events around town (Movies & Music in the parks, Bandshell concerts, etc.), this week finds us with many indoor events worth your perusal and time. Especially since, dare I say it, we are beginning to see darkness around 9pm or so, when many indoor events take place. Whatever your inclination, get out and hear some of the great talent we have in our towns. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 12

Kameron Markworth’s Claw Machine @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This is a new trio, headed by bassist Kameron Markworth  who is originally from SE Wisconsin, and is now based out of Mpls after five years in Indiana, Philly, and NYC. Markworth plays with the Adam Meckler Orchestra, the Zacc Harris Trio, and the Bill Simenson Orchestra, among others. Joining him in Claw Machine is Trent Baarspul, guitar; and Lars-Erik Larson, drums. Her is Markworth in another setting.

Axis Mundi World Jazz Quintet @ Starring Lake Park, 14800 Pioneer Trail, Eden Prairie. 7pm – 8:30pm (Free) Here is a group playing mainstream jazz interpreted using a variety of rhythms from around the world. Glen Helgeson, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; Gary Schulte, violin; Dave Stanoch, drums; and Daryl Boudreaux, percussion

Thursday, August 13

Ted Olsen and Joe Strachan @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (No cover) Two of the town’s young lions – bassist Ted Olsen and pianist Joe Strachan play for the early evening/suppertime crowd at the Vieux.

about_singersShoop! @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Shoop! (with the exclamation mark) is a five piece vocal group operating in the style of the Manhattan Transfer and New York Voices, singing jazz and the occasional pop song (hence the name). Three females (two sopranos and an alto) and two males, accompanied by trumpet, reeds, and a rhythm section.

Michael Janisch’s Paradigm Shift Quartet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Bassist Michael Janisch was raised in Minnesota but is now based in London. He brought an outstanding New York Quartet to Studio Z last year and now returns to perform with some of our own talent – 3/4 of the Atlantis Quartet: Brandon Wozniak, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Peter Hennig, drums. An excellent evening of music. Her is Janisch with another of his groups.

Le Percheron and Sound Skirmish @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Another weekly installment in the Khyber Pass Thursday night jazz series. Sound Skirmish opens. I wrote about them last week: Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Patrick Adkins; Drew Stinson; and Ben Ehrlich. Le Percheron is: Adam Linz, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Corey Healey, drums; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, trumpet; and Levi Schwartzberg, vibes. Listen to Sound Skirmish.

Friday, August 14

Zacc Harris & Michael Janisch @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (No cover) Guitarist about town Zacc Harris teams up with the well respected bassist Michael Janisch after last night’s performance at Studio Z (see above).

UnknownAnthony Cox Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Cox is one of the nationally prominent artists who happen to live in the Twin Cities. He’s played with Joe Lovano, Dewy Redman, Dave Douglas, Pat Metheny and many more. Don’t know who will accompany him, but he certainly has good taste in sidemen.

Steve Kenny’s Group 47 @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Steve Kenny, a veteran musician, has taken a page from Art Blakey and in this group surrounds himself with a number of young, very talented musicians. This will be the final performance of this group until pianist Will Kjeer is back in town from college. Along with Steve on flumpet; there is Thomas Strommen, saxophones, Adam Tucker, bass; and Alex Burgess, drums. Here they are with a Will Kjeer original.

Healey, Baldwin, & Bates @ SW Craft Bar, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) Formerly known as Señor Wong’s the SW Craft Bar on 4th Street in downtown Saint Paul is experimenting with live jazz on a regular basis. Tonight drummer Corey Healey is working with Jake Baldwin, trumpet, and Chris Bates, bass, to play originals and a few standards.

Saturday, August 15

Chris Lomheim @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (No cover) Though he is inspired by Bill Evans, pianist Lomheim has his own natural, relaxed sound. A great booking for dinner hour at the Vieux.

Saturday Night Jazz @ the Blackdog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Jazz continues at the Black Dog with the Will Kjeer Summer Band opening at 7pm. Besides Will on piano, the band will feature his uncle, the hard driving Kenny Horst on drums, and Dave Brattain on sax, as well as a number of special guests. Following Will and his band at 8:30pm are the Larry McDonough Quartet, a group that has played together for a number of years now. It includes McDonough on piano and occasional vocals; Richard Terrill on sax; Greg Stinson, bass; and Dean White, drums. Their first set will be acoustic, with music by Jobim, Cole Porter, Bill Evans, and others, while the second set will be electric jazz-rock fusion by the likes of Sting, Spinal Tap, Steely Dan, and others. Here’s McDonough and his quartet.

Charmin Michelle @ Normandy Kitchen, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Ms Michelle brings her honey-coated voice to the intimate space that feels a bit like a small NYC bar of the 60s, right down to its popovers. Reservations are recommended, since it only has about 10 tables and seating for another 10 or so at the bar.

Sunday, August 16

Andrew Walesch @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley, 11am – 2pm (No Cover) Pianist and vocalist Walesch will be leading the brunch crowd through standards and Sinatra-esque songs. He’ll have a couple of A-Listers helping him: Gordy Johnson on bass and Jay Epstein on drums.

Monday, August 17

Eric Harland and Rude Unkal @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15 – $20) Drummer Eric Harland is only 36, yet he’s been on almost 200 recordings, and has been nominated for a Grammy multiple times. He’s played with veteran artists like McCoy Tyner, Michael Brecker, Terence Blanchard, both Branford and Wynton Marsalis, Dave Holland, and Charles Lloyd, as well as with new artists like Esperanza Spalding, Julian Lage, and Jane Monheit. Tonight he gathers six funky players to perform what he terms “garage jazz.” To get an idea of what he means by that, listen to this YouTube cut of the Buddy Miles song, “Them Changes.” There’s a bit of an interview with Harland that lasts about two minutes before the music begins.

Tuesday, August 18

Jana Nyberg Group @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5) The singer/flautist is once again performing after having a baby boy a few months back, Nyberg and her group, which includes husband/trumpeter Adam Meckler, do a fine job of presenting original music, as well as interesting arrangements of jazz standards and occasional pop songs. Here they are doing an original.

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, August 12

Katy Vernon Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Raised in London, and based in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, Vernon is a guitarist/ukelelist and singer/songwriter who uses folk and country stylings for her often sad, but always heartfelt songs. She’s got a top notch band backing her up. As Harold would say, you know the drill – tune in and then head to the 331 Club. BTW, I’ll be sitting in for Harold on the show and at the 331 Club.

Black Diet @ Mill City Museum Courtyard, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm ($5) If you like the music that emanated from STAX Records in the 60s and early 70s, AND you also liked the garage band sounds of the 60s, then Black Diet  s the band for you. They take the musical forms of STAX, and add the energy and attitude of garage bands to create a jumpin’ bumpin’ swirl of music that will make you dance. It takes place in a most unusual venut: the ruins courtyard of the Mill City Museum on the Minneapolis riverfront.

Thursday, August 13

Tab Benoit @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($15 Advance, $20 Door) Born in Baton Rouge, Benoit plays Cajun-influenced blues, blending the music of the swamp and that of East Texas. He learned the blues by playing alongside legends like Tabby Thomas, Raful Neal, and Henry Gray. He’s also a founder of Voice of the Wetlands Foundation, dedicated to preserving Louisiana’s wetlands and swamps. Benoit has recorded about 17 albums, and in 2007 was received the BB King Entertainer of the Year award.

Friday, August 14

Original Wailers @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) Okay, the name is a bit strange, since this group contains no members of the Wailers prior to Marley going solo in the late 70s. However, it is led by guitarist Al Anderson, who played on No Woman, No Cry, Dem Belly Full, and other hits. He’s also played with Peter Tosh, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Steel Pulse, Aswad, and the Rolling Stones. If you keep your expectations in check, this will be a very Irie concert. Dred I Dread Opens.

Paul Metsa and Willie Walker w/Sonny Earl and the Sisters of Mercy @ The Dakota, Minneapoils. 8pm ($10) Paul and Willie are a known, terrific factor. Paul and singer/harpist Sonny Earl have also done a number of highly satisfying performances together. The unknown factor is the Sisters of Mercy, which I’m inclined to think will be much fun, given Paul’s track record.

Worldwide Discoteque @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Deejays Steely Dan and Brian Engel are moving their monthly pan-tropical vinyl dance party from Clubhouse Jaeger to the larger space of the Nomad World Pub. You’ll hear (and dance to) it all, from Afrobeat and Hi-Life to reggae, sambas, salsas, cumbias, and festejos. Tonight’s special guest is Rambo Salinas, whose collection undoubtedly includes Tex-Mex and Norteno music.

Saturday, August 15

Blues, Brews, & BBQs @ Mt Olivet Lutheran Church, 12235 Old Rockford Rd, Plymouth. 4pm – 10pm ($15) Here’s a blues-influenced roots music festival that benefits Habitat for Humanity, and Prism, of Golden Valley. As the name states, there will be beer from three different brewers (as well as wine), BBBQ from Mr. Pig Stuff, Von Hanson’s, and The Chuck Wagon, and blues: Jacy Pelstring at 4pm; The Lisa Wenger Band at 5:30 and 7:30, The Soul Tight Committee at 6:15, and Lamont Cranston at 8:30. Here’s Wenger and her band.

PaviElle @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($10) PaviElle performs modern soul music, but don’t be surprised if she throws in her own version of a Fleetwood Mac song. Listeners may be reminded of Bill Withers at some point, and her band can easily launch into an extended jam a-la Parliament/Funkadelic.

Sunday, August 16

Tinsley Ellis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) When talking about Southern blues-rocker Ellis  the words, fiery, searing, and incendiary often come to mind. But then, he was born in Atlanta, grew up in Southern Florida, and was inspired by a BB King performance as a teenager. Ellis averages over 150 live shows a year, and as a result, he’s honed his chops to the point where Rolling Stone Magazine says he rivals Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton.

Jesse Lége, Joel Savoy, and Kelli Jones-Savoy @ The Eagles #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($12) When it comes to Cajun music, this trio is the real deal. Lége grew up in rural Louisiana without electricity, learned the accordion from relatives and neighbors, and has earned many awards from the Cajun French Music Association (CFMA). Joel Savoy is the son of Marc and Ann Savoy, Cajun Music Royalty, and grew up in the midst of the Cajun renaissance of the 80s. Savoy and his wife Kelli had a South Louisiana hit a couple of years back with their version of a Ray Price country song from 1954: I’ll Be There (If You Ever Want Me). This is a Krewe de Walleye event, and as such there will be dance lessons during the break.

Monday, August 17

Minneapolis Fire Collective Pre-Burning Man Performance @ Powderhorn Park, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 8:30pm (Dry Run rehearsals), 8:30 – 10pm (Burn) (Donations Accepted) Here is an intriguing event that’s not a music performance, yet will certainly get your attention. The Minneapolis Fire Collective will be heading to the Burning Man Conclave in the Nevada desert at the end of the month to take part in the Great Circle just prior to the Conclave-ending Burn of the Man.  They are making their dress rehearsal a public performance. I’m not sure what it entails, though I’m sure it involves burning a lot of something. Here’s an example.

Tuesday, August 18

New Riverside Ramblers @ The Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 8:30pm (Free) Cajun dancing fueled by the twin fiddles of Eric Mohring and AJ Srubas, and goosed along by the Cajun accordion of John Terr. Karen Kleinspehn, on rhythm guitar; Doug Lohman, bass; and Paul Loughridge, drums, complete the mix. There will be dance lessons at 6:30, and refreshment will be available. Of course, you can pack a picnic.

Robert Cray, w/Sonny Landreth @ the Weesner Family Amphitheater, MN Zoo. ($45 – if not sold out) An outstanding double bill. Cray’s soulful blues have earned him five Grammys, recordings with John Lee Hooker, and his name on a signature model of the Telecaster. In 2011 he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. Landreth is a guitarist who deserves more fame. He first played in Clifton Chenier’s band, and then with John Hiatt as well as John Mayall. His penchant for slide guitar and the zydeco influence in his playing have earned him the nickname of “King of Slydeco.” Eric Clapton says he’s one of the most advanced and most under-appreciated guitarist in the world, and has had Landreth play at a number of the Crossroads Guitar Festivals. Here’s an example of Landreth at work.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar. Dancers might want to check out the calendar for U Wanna Dance.


Cold Weather. Hot Music; 1.7 – 1.13

January 7, 2015
These people know how to party - the Ice Music Festival of Norway

The Ice Music Festival of Norway

A cold, wintry greetings and salutations;

The wind chill may be cold enough to close schools, but hey, we’re Minnesotans, so we’ll go out to hear music and dance, even when it’s cold. Of course some of us are lucky enough to go somewhere warm for at least a few days each winter, but wherever it is, I’ll bet they don’t have as good a music scene as we do here in the Twin Cities.

If I may, I’d like to draw your attention to a special event occurring Tuesday evening, January 13th. It’s a benefit, with no cover charge, for the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education, an organization that brings working musicians into schools to encourage and support jazz as part of a young persons education. More information is found below. Now, put on your layers of clothing, just like the folks in the above picture, and enjoy the talent found in our cities. Music is good for the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, January 7

Chomsky and Thomas Nordlund @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s a double-bill, double bass night at Jazz Central. Bassist Andrew Foreman will start out the evening with his new group Chomsky, which includes Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Thomas Nordlund, guitar; and Zach Schmidt on drums. Then, with a bit of reconfiguration, Thomas Nordland and group will play new music from his forthcoming EP of baritone guitar music: Nordlund, baritone guitar; Andrew Foreman, bass; Lars-Erik Larson, drums; and Kevin Gastonguay, keyboards.

Wednesday, Thursday, January 7, 8

Ramsey Lewis Electic Band w/Philip Bailey @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45 – $70), 9pm ($35 – $60) Back in 1974 Ramsey Lewis was a bit tired of his acoustic approach to jazz and wanted to liven things up a bit. He reunited with Maurice White, who had been in his band and was now leading Earth, Wind, and Fire, and created an up to date sound featuring members of that group. the resulting album and its singles shot up the charts, hitting number 1 on both the Black charts and Jazz charts of the time. Philip Bailey  also of EWF, contributed vocals, and he’s back with Lewis for this tour, which I suspect will feature soaring vocals, and some funky funky jazz.

Thursday, January 8

Radio Joe Demko @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Radio Joe brings his swing-centric band, together with their tangos, ballads, and other groovy music, to the basement club.

Le Percheron @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Bassist Adam Linz has put together this band, which has only played a handful of gigs to date, but what a band! Brandon Wozniak on sax; Cory Healey on drums; and the young, but very talented Levi Schwartzberg on vibes. The first set will consist of duets, and the second set will feature the full band. Wine, beer, and small plates are available.

Friday, January 9

Joel Shapira/Dean Granros CD Release @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Last June guitarists Shapira and Granros performed at the Black Dog as part of the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, and recorded the results, now being released as Jazz Guitar Duets. It’s a delightful compendium of songs plucked on steel and nylon strings, with tunes ranging form Ornette Coleman compositions to standards.

JT Bates Organ Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) I’ll admit I’m a sucker for B3 groups. If the soulful, greasy sound of guitar, organ and drums gets your fingers snapping, your toes tapping, and your head bobbing, head over to Jazz Central to catch JT Bates, drums; Kevin Gastonguay, organ, and Zacc Harris on guitar.

Jerod Kaszynski

Jerod Kaszynski

Jerod Kaszynski Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 10pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s a double header at JC tonight with saxophonist Kaszynski, a native of the Twin Cities currently living and teaching in Eau Claire taking the second spotlight. Tonight’s show has a literary bent. Author Miri Francis haas written (and will read) a love story, with accompaniment by Kaszynski and his band, including: Josh Huot-Gallus, trombone; Josh Gallagherm, piano; Sam Olson, bass, and Adam Nussbaum, drums.

Saturday, January 10

Bill Carrothers Trio @ Jazz at Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) I know of many Twin Cities jazz fans who are salivating over this date. In a rare appearance with his own trio, pianist Carrothers returns to his home town of Saint Paul. He’s recorded 17 albums as a leader, and has worked with artists ranging from Buddy DeFranco and Curtis Fuller to Lee Konitz, Dewey Redman, and Gary Peacock. He’s bringing a couple of Irish musicians with him: drummer Kevin Brady, and bassist David Redmond. There will be a short master class at 6pm, included in the admission price.

Mancrush @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Mancrush is Lars-Erik Larson, drums; Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Bryan Nichols, piano. Opening set by Tommy Bentz Quartet at 7pm.

Connie Evingson w/The Parisota Hot Club @ Jazz at St. Barney’s, Plymouth. 7pm ($10) Vocalist Evingson recently received a positive  review in Downbeat for her album “All the Cats Join In.” Tonight, she’s performing songs from the album, with the Parisota Hot Club and special guest, the ever-youthful octogenarian saxophonist Dave Karr. Here’s a selection from the album.

Monday, January 12

Adam Meckler @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Trumpeter Meckler leads his own 17 piece band, is a key member of the Jana Nyberg Group, leads a quintet, and is a member of a few other groups as well. Tonight he gets to step out on his own, playing originals and original arrangements of other songs.

Ryan Franesconi and JT Bates & Michael Lewis @ the Icehouse, Minnepolis. 9;30pm )$10) Guitarist Franesconi, 1st set. Bates (drums) & Lewis (sax), 2nd set. Franesconi is a Portland based guitarist and composer whose way with stringed instruments from Eastern Europe qualifies him as a multi-instrumentalist obsessed with Balkan Folk Music. Bates and Lewis are 2/3 of Fat Kid Wednesdays, with enough imagination between the two of them to grab your attention and hold it tight.

Tuesday, January 13

This year's Dakota Combo

This year’s Dakota Combo

Dakota Combo & Kevin Washington Group @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Though there is no cover, this is a fundraising benefit for the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education, which brings working jazz musicians into area schools to work with student musicians, provides free-metro wide workshops for young musicians, and gives out scholarships to summer jazz camps and members of the Dakota Combo. This year’s edition of the Dakota Combo will perform, as well as a group comprising Kevin Washington  drums; Jeff Bailey, bass; Mary Louise Knutson, piano; and Solomon Parham, trumpet.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, January 7

Reina Del Cid on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM) 7pm (331 club – Tip Jar) Reina Del Cid is coming into her own as a folk-rock singer/songwriter with a great back up band. She recently performed well-recieved sets at CMJ – New York, Summerfest in Milwaukee and The Underground Music Showcase in Denver. Part of the band’s appeal is flat-picking guitarist Toni Lindgren, who always surprises with her choice of licks.

Lisa Wenger & Her Mean, Mean Men @ Shaws, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Wenger’s direct approach to singing the blues appeals to hard-core blues fans as well as more casual fans, say those who may be just going out with their spouse or date. She’s got an excellent band as well.

Friday, January 9

Malamanya @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12) It’s Latin night at the Cedar, as Malamanya brings their hip-swaying, toe-tapping, salsa dancing melodies and traditional Cuban rhythms to the concert/dance hall. Opening act Alma Andina goes further South for their inspiration, performing music of the Andes and Latin America.

Ronnie Baker Brooks @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($20) The son of the late Lonnie Brooks, guitarist  Ronnie  is proof that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, yet he is moving beyond what his father did by occasionally incorporating funk rhythms and a bit of hip hop into his musical mix. As he put it, “It’s a hip hop world right now, but I want to bring a little blues to the party.”  His latest CD, The Torch, was produced by Minneapolis producer/guitarist Jellybean Johnson.

Saturday, January 10

Daisy Dillman CD Release @ The Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hopkins. 7pm ($24) Thirty-four years after their last album, these Minnesota country rockers from the 70s and 80s are back with a new CD, Radio. the current lineup features four of the original five members, who charted in the Billboard Hot 100 and toured with bands like Asleep at the Wheel, Jerry Jeff Walker, Bonnie Raitt, the Allman Brothers and many others. They

The Groove Merchants w/Jimi “Prime time” Smith @ Holihan’s Pub, White Bear Lake. 8pm (No Cover) The Groove Merchants are aptly named, as the late Big Walter Smith built them into a funky blues group that easily inspires dancers. Since his death, they’ve recruited talented guitarist Jimi Prime Time Smith as a front man, a good decision on their part.

Sunday, January 11

Road to Memphis Fundraiser @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 2pm – 6pm ($10?) Okay, this is the last fundraiser to help this year’s Minnesota representatives to the International Blues Challenge pay their way to Memphis. Today’s performers include  Jimmi & the Band of Souls, and Brother Sun, Sister Moon, both of which are this year’s representatives, as well as  the Annie Mack Band, Tampa Spatz, The Black Water Band, and the IBC All-Stars, made of of past participants.

Mikkel Beckmen & Charlie Parr @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5:30 pm. Mikkel is celebrating a birthday, and he’s got Charlie Parr to help him out. An irish Bar. Minnesota’s nationally recognized bluesman. Mikkel’s always fun percussion. Sounds like a heck of a party.

Dobet Gnahoré @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($20 – $45) Gnahoré is one of Africa’s premier contemporary vocalists and talents. She stunned at her appearance at the Dakota in November of 2011, for which I wrote a brief review which you can find here. Prior to the show, at 6:30, there will be a discussion on Afro-pop with Janis Lane-Ewart, drummer Sowah Mensah, and Doug Cain, of KFAI’s Global Beat.

Monday, January 12

Marshall Crenshaw Solo @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Back in the 80s, Crenshaw was all over the place, performing in the off Broadway production of Beatlemania, playing Buddy Holly in the Richie Valens biopic, and hitting the charts with songs long Something’s Gonna Happen, and Someday, Someway, which became a hit for Robert Gordon. With 13 albums and hundreds of songs recorded over three decades, Crenshaw has proven to be a master of melody and songwriting. His songs have been recorded by folks like Bette Midler, Rlonnie Sp;ector, Kelly Willis, and the Gin Blossoms. Tonight it’s just Crenshaw and his guitar. Opening is Kevin Bowe, the Twin Cities own prolific songwriter.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar. Dancers might want to check out the U Wanna Dance Calendar.


Adapting to Winter. Music: 11.12 – 11.18

November 12, 2014

SAMSUNGOkay, so winter is here, said Mr. Obvious. After a few days we’ll adapt our driving and have all of our warm clothes out of storage. Then we’ll be ready to enjoy the rich nightlife of the Twin Cities, no matter what the weather. This week we have the debut (or near debut) of a couple of jazz groups, a couple of CD release parties, a “birthday in blue” from Willie Murphy, and a number of well known visiting artists gracing area stages. Have a good week. Music will lift your spirits, even in winter. Even when there’s lots of snow.

Jazz

Wednesday, November 12

Corey Healy’s Beautiful Happy Sunshine Deathsquad Experience @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Drummer Healy heads up this aggregation, which will be playing his originals, as well as new arrangements of jazz standards. Members include: Zacc Harris, guitar; Erick Fratzke, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Jake Baldwin, trumpet.

Thursday, November 13

Joyce Meets Carmen: Joyce Lyons @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Ms Lyons brings along Phil Aaron, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums; as she visits the music of Carmen McCrae in an “intimate conversation.”  Listen to her doing Love Me or Leave Me.

The band is named for a draft horse, originally from France.

The band is named for a draft horse, originally from France.

Le Percheron @ the Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Bassist Adam Linz has a new group, and this is their debut performance. It includes: Cory Healey, drums; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; and Brandon Wozniak, sax. They already have some dates in France for next year.

Friday, November 14

The Gentle Assassins of Sound @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 5:30 – 7:30pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) This is a piano/cello duet between Friday happy hour regular, pianist Todd Harper, and his guest, cellist Aaron Kerr. What makes this a unique cello/piano duet is that one or both of the artists will be playing electric.

Dutz/Wabich Duo @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Brad Dutz and Chris Wabich are percussionists with long and varied resumes. Their work can be heard on several TV shows, including King of the Hill and American Idol. Individually, Dutz’s work can be heard on the soundtracks of the Bourne Legacy, and Anchorman, as well as on CDs with Alanis Morrisette, Willie Nelson, and KISS. Wabich has recorded with artistes such as Ludacris, Alex Acuna, and Jeff Hamilton. “Together they use a plethora of percussion instruments to blend improvisation, high art, and comedy. Here’s an example of their inventiveness.

Barbara Meyer/Phil Mattson CD Release @ The Nicollet, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Vocalist Meyer & pianist Mattson have created a winning combination by recording the music of Harold Arlen. They are celebrating the release of Down and Up With Love: The Music of Harold Arlen, at this dance-friendly coffeehouse that also serves wine and beer.

Saturday, November 15

Mary Louise Knutson & Gary Raynor @ Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 5701 Eden Prairie Rd, Minnetonka. 7pm – 8:30pm (Free) The graceful pianist and Prairie Home Companion bassist collaborate for an art opening.

Travis Anderson Trio @ Normandy Kitchen, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover). Anderson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; Nathan Norman, drums. Fresh interpretations of standards and more – from Chopin to the Mario Brothers. Reservations are recommended, as the Kitchen has a relatively small bar.

Dean Granros Group @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 6pm workshop (free), 7pm performance. ($10) Another in the Jazz at Studio Z series. Guitarist Granros is joined by Zacc Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. Since the mid-60s, Granros has been mixing up genres such as blues, rock n’ roll, classical music, western swing and a host of world musics into his own cauldron of bubbling jazz. He’ll conduct a free master class on blues concepts in contemporary improvisation at 6pm.

Unknown-2Dean Magraw Solo @ Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15)  Well, I’m listing this under jazz, but Magraw is a guitarist who draws from a number of genres and plays them all equally well, whether Irish, World music, R&B, jazz fusion, or who knows what else. This is a rare opportunity to hear him solo. Plus, you have the opportunity to try some of the Riverview’s many wine flights.

Monday, November 17

Charlie Lincoln Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested Donation) Lincoln is the young bassist who has been studying (and occasionally playing) with Eric Kamau Gravatt. Joining him will be a number of other young jazzmen: Ben Beyene, drums; Gavin Brehm, trumpet; Peter Goggin, sax; Levi Schwartzberg, piano; and Sam Stroup, electronics.

Firebell CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Jacob Park Evans, he of the clean guitar lines, joins forces with Graydon Peterson, bass master; and Jay Epstein, drummer extraordinaire, in Firebell. They’re releasing their first CD and are celebrating tonight.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, November 12

Dead Pigeons on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The Pigeons have been around for a few years now, with frontman/songwriter Drew Peterson providing them with sardonic, mordant, and often witty lyrics. Though their instrumentation is old-timey, their approach to music is anything but, as they create rough-hewn music that might, at times, be mistaken for acoustic punk. Drew Peterson, lead singer, songwriter, guitar, banjo; Ryan Douglas Canyon, mandolin and backing vocals; Gretta Hunstiger, fiddle and backing vocals; Andy Carroll and John Reinhart, bass; Daryn Christensen – drums and percussion.

Thursday, November 13

Kate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows: Foxtrot @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (Given the venue and the time, I guess you can call this a dinner dance. Ms Lynch  on bass, and her cohoes play music that swings easily. It’s often in a rhythm called the Businessman’s Bounce, which means just about anybody can get up and dance with a partner. Dressed down jazz and pop hits from the 20s – 70s. The Most Excellent Fellows include: Chris Beaty, guitar; Ken Chastain, drums; Michael Nelson, trombone, Greg Lewis, trumpet.

Friday, November 14

Little River Band @ The Medina Ballroom, Hamel. 7:30pm ($29-$49) Well the Little River Band  as sold more than 25 million records, had one gold and two platinum selling albums, and then had six top ten singles between 1978 and 1981, the biggest of which was Reminiscing (#3). Originally from Australia, be warned that the current lineup has no original members, though bassist/vocalist Wayne Nelson has been with the band for all but four years since 1980. Kurt Jorgenson opens.

Love TKO: Tribute to Teddy Pendergrass @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20, $25 reserved) How many articles of underwear have been discarded while couples have listened to Teddy Pendergrass. The mind boggles. Johnnie Brown will be recreating some of those signature sounds tonight, with Kathleen Johnson singing the music of Etta James for good measure.

Friday, Saturday, November 14, 15

Shawn Colvin @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45-$50) This singer/songwriter won Grammys for Record of the Year and song of the year (Sunny Came Home) in 1998, after winning Best Contemporary Folk Album for her debut album in 1991. Colvin continues to produce folk with a pop influence, and since the turn of this century has been doing a lot of collaborating with folks like Emmylou Harris, Bela Fleck, James Taylor, and Allison Krauss. Her latest album, All Fall Down, was produced by Buddy Miller and includes contributions from Bill Frisell, Brian Blade, and Jakob Dylan, among others.

Saturday, November 15

It's his birthday!

It’s his birthday!

Willie Murphy w/the Liquor Pigs @ The Eagles Club #34, MInneapoils. 8pm ($?) It’s Willie’s Birthday, so you know he’ll be knocking’ the music out of the park, so to speak. the Liquor Pigs, with their ragged yet rockin’ approach to acoustic rock/blues open. Willie’s friends and fans will be out in force, with bells on and dancing shoes.

Joe & Vicki Price @ The Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5?) The Iowa natives with the deep South blues style are once again visiting our fair cities. Tonight they’re bringing their music to the tap room, where you can drown your sorrows in a variety of beers.

Sunday, November 16

MN Blues Society Road to Memphis Benefit @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 4:30pm  ($10 Suggested Donation) With Lisa Wenger & Bruce McCabe, Jimmi & the Band of Souls, Del Vincents, & More. Every year the Minnesota Blues Society sends a group and a duo to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. This year they are sending Jimmi & the Band of Souls and Brother Sun, Sister Moon, and today are having a fundraiser to help compensate for the bands’ travel expenses.

Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 8pm ($12, $15) Adrenaline-fueled Southern Gothic Swamp boogies from a band that doesn’t do murder ballads, “they do murder boogies” as the publicity for Bloodshot Records states.

Todd Rundgren @ Mill City Nights, Minneapolis. ($40, $42) Rundgren first came to the public’s attention in 1967 or so as a member of Nazz. Then he went solo with his album Runt in 1970 and earned a gold record for the double LP Something/Anything in 1972 and recorded A Wizard: A True Star in 1973, which led to the creation of Utopia, a biggish prig-rock band. He’s continued to record, rather prolifically, but has also been a producer for numerous groups, including the Paul Butterfield Blues Band to the New York Dolls, XTC, Cheap Trick, and Hall & Oates, among others.

John McEuen & John Carter Cash @ The Dakota, MInneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50) Back in the 70s John McCuen and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band pretty much started the interest blue/newgrass/Americana roots genre when they put out Will The Circle Be Unbroken, an homage to the music of Mother Maybelle Carter and family. Cash  as you might guess, is the only progeny of June Carter and Johnny. They’ll be celebrating the music of the Carter Family and Johnny Cash. So, here’s a chance for young (and old) fans of roots music have to see artists with true connections to the genre.

Tuesday, November 18

Malamanya @ Honey, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) 18+ This popular Cuban/Salsa six-piece just began a weekly residency at the basement club under Jitters. Bring your dancing shoes.

Tuesday, Wednesday, November 18, 19

Suzanne Vega @ The Dakota, Minneapoils. 7pm ($35, $45) Whether you call it New folk, Neo-Folk, or Contemporary Folk, Vega is often credited with creating the style in the 80s. Her 1987 album Solitude Standing, reached the top ten in many international markets and produced two hit singles: Luka, and Tom’s Diner, which was originally a cappella, but remade as a 1990 dance track in Britain. After eight album (the latest released this year) Vega remains an impressive storyteller who uses music to get her stories across.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar. Dancers might want to check out the U Wanna Dance Calendar.


%d bloggers like this: