American Music: 7.4 – 7.10

July 4, 2018

Happy 4thof July! Traditional fireworks may not be happening in Saint Paul, and rain (or the threat of it) may keep you from attending other celebrations, but there are plenty of musical explosions coming to stages in our Twin Cities. We’ve got some young lions of jazz at play, as well as respected veterans, and visitors from Chicago, New Orleans, and Idaho. Have a safe and happy 4th, as well as the rest of the week. Music lifts the Spirit.


Wednesday, July 4

Adkins/Lincoln/Marich @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/valid student ID) Most folks may be celebrating the 4th with outdoor celebrations & fireworks, but fireworks of a musical kind will be going on at Jazz Central, as a trio of young lions – Patrick Adkins, piano; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and George Marich, drums – take the stage.

Thursday, July 5 

Bernadette Brownrigg Spray w/Owen Finch @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Brownrigg Spray is a 17year old vocalist with the esteemed Roseville HS jazz combo and ensemble. She’s participatedm in the MacPhail Jazz camp a couple of times now, and has already appeared at Crooner’s, the Black Dog, and the Twin Cities Jazz Festival as a member of the Dakota Foundation’s Experience Jazz Combo. She’ll be accompanied by young pianist Owen Finch.

Friday, July 6

Omar Abdulkarim Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Talented trumpeter Omar Abdulkarim has been increasingly gigging around town, performing both as a sideman, and as a leader, as he is tonight, with: Peter Schimke, piano; Billy Peterson, bass; and Rodney Ruckus, drums. Here he is with a trio.

Gin & Jazz Outdoors @ Day Block Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (Free) The parking lot behind Day Bock will be filled with the sounds of the 8-piece brass band Brass & Bodyworks.

Saturday, July 7

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm: KBT Trio, with Will Kjeer, piano; Alex Burgess, drums, and Adam Tucker, bass. 8:30pm: No Room for Squares: Dale Alexander, piano; James Wallace, tenor; Omar Abdulkarim, trumpet; Adam Tucker, bass; and Bill Steiger, drums.

Sunday, July 8

Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra w/Charmin Michelle @ Cinema Ballroom, Saint Paul. 7pm ($12, $8 students) There’s a free dance lesson at 6:15, so you can be prepared to dance to the big band sounds of O’Hagan, swinging vocalist Charmin Michelle, and their cohorts. Here they are with guest pianist Clinton Clark.

Monday, July 9

Joyce Lyons: Jerome Kern @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($12, $15) As a singer and actress, Lyons has played the Emcee in Cabaret in Denver, performed onstage in NYC, and even performed for the Supreme Court, in addition to working with Joe Beck, Bucky Pizzarelli, and Jay Leonhart. Tonight she performs the songs of Jerome Kern in the intimate Dunsmore Room. Here she is at the Metropolitan Room in NYC.

Tuesday, July 10

Lucia Newell Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($10, $12) Vocalist Lucia Newell has a warm, expressive voice. Her extended sojourn in Brazil during her younger days forms the basis for this evening’s Songs of Summer & Brazil. She’ll be accompanied by A-list musicians Phil Aaron, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums.

Atlantis Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) Since its inception in 2006, The Atlantis Quartet’s blend of complexity, accessibility, and originality has made them one of the most popular jazz groups in town, receiving both area and national praise along the way. Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris bates, bass; and Peter Hennig, drums; are all highly skilled, inventive, and inspired in their pursuit of 21st Century jazz..

Wednesday, July 11

Lee Engele @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Enjoy lunch while listening to vocalist Engele swing her way through standards.

For more listings, KBEM has a a calendar of jazz and roots events, while The Jazz Police features commentary, reviews, and previews of jazz in the Twin Cities and beyond.

Blues, Roots, & Other…

Wednesday, July 4

Doug Otto & Hurricane Harold on KFAI (90.3FM) and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis.5pm (KFAI), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Before you head out for fireworks, catch this blues duo on the radio and at the 331 Club.

Daddy Squeeze: Hankerin’ for Fats @ Como Lakeside Pavillion, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm (Free) Accordionist Dan Newton plays and sings the songs of both Hank Williams and Fats Domino.

Curtiss A & Dark Click @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Rocker and vocal force of nature Curtiss A explores the blues

Thursday, July 5 

Eilen Jewell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) She’s known as “The Queen of the Minor Key,” thanks to the bluesy Americana songs she writes and performs. Though her voice is relatively small, Jewell uses it effectively on country, folk, and rockabilly tunes, whether they’re original, or her own versions of songs by Johnny Kidd & the Pirates, Loretta Lynn, or Memphis Minnie.

Bobby E & Friends @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Bobby Has lots of friends, from Americana vocalist Kathy Mother, to drummer Erin woods, his band mates in Exotica A Go Go, and Maurice Jacox, so it’s hard to say who’ll be at this gig. His latest CD, Buzz Cauldron, is a fine slice of guitar tunes done with Eron Woods on drums, Tom Cravens on electric guitar, and Bobby on acoustic.

Friday, July 6

Mary Bue & Katy Vernon @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm – 11pm ($8) It’s another singer/songwriter night at The Aster, as guitarist Mary Bue, who’s recorded seven albums, and ukelelist Katy Vernon  who’s just returned from her second tour of the UK, take the stage with the Mpls skyline as a backdrop.

Saturday, July 7

Jarrod Lawson Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20, $25) Vocalist/pianist Lawson has a voice that’s a perfect vehicle for the songs of such soul stars as Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross, and Donny Hathaway, and brings a contemporary touch to his own songs.

Claudettes @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15 Advance/$20 Door) The Claudettes were at the Dakota in May, and now they’re bringing their piano-based high-energy blues across the river to Saint Paul. Founder Johnny Iguana came by his piano-pounding proclivities playing with Junior Wells, Otis Rush, Buddy Guy and other proponents of Chicago blues. Vocalist Beth Ulseth complements his playing on both rockin’ tunes and ballads.

Tuesday, July 10

Soul Tight Committee @ MN History Center, Saint Paul.6;:30pm – 9pm. Once again the History /center is presenting live bands on Tuesday nights during the Summer. It’s called Bands on the Boulevardand will feature music of the 60s to coincide with their 1968 Exhibit. Tonight it’s the Soul Tight Committee, an R&B horn band that’s loved by dancers.

Tuesday, Wednesday, July 10, 11

Davell Crawford & The Dirty Dozen Brass Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35, $40), 9pm ($25, $30, $35) It’;s a double dose of ‘Nawlins music, as pianist/vocalist Davell Crawford, the “Piano Prince ofNew Orleans,” and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band light up the stage.

Wednesday, July 11

Tim Sparks & Phil Heywood @ Northrup Plaza, UofM Campus, Minneapolis. (Free) Grab a lunch and picnic on the plaza as two fingerpicking guitar champions play for your picnic.

For more blues (and some roots) listings, the MN Blues Society has a very useful calendar. For a comprehensive listing of all things Cajun and Zydeco, see the Krewe of Walleye’s calendar.

TC Jazz Fest and More: 6.21 – 6.27

June 21, 2017

Greetings everyone;

It’s the big weekend for jazz fans as the Twin Cities Jazz Festival takes place from Thursday through Saturday. Great headliners and about 300 resident artists will be appearing on stages all over town. Besides Mears Park, Rice Park, and the Union Depot, downtown venues include the Black Dog Cafe, Golden’s Deli, the Green Lantern (Public Restaurant), the Hat Trick Lounge, The Amsterdam, and others. Don’t forget the piano-centric acts at Vieux Carré, with its late night jam, and the stage in the tpt building featuring vocalists all weekend. There are also performances at venues outside of downtown at venues like the Como Dockside and the Episcopal homes. I’ve got the link to the schedule below. Fans of blues and roots also have reasons to be happy, as I’ve listed. Remember, music lifts the spirit.


Wednesday, June 21

Lee Engele @ The Merriam Park Library, 1831 Marshall Ave, Saint Paul. 6pm – 7pm (Free) A preview gig for the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Vocalist Engele has a particularly good way with acoustic swing aka gypsy jazz, though she handles standards and the occasional bossa nova with elegance and ease, especially with such stellar accompaniment as Reynold Philipsek on guitar and Matt Senjem on bass. .

Lindsay Pedalty Trio @ The Green Lantern (Public Restaurant), Saint Paul. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Vocalist Pedalty’s voice has just a bit of an edge, which she often uses to give a slyly sardonic reading to the Great American Songbook, though she’s adept at pop as well. She’ll be accompanied by her dad Bruce, a veteran of the Senders, Mojo Buford, and several area big bands, as well as Gary Miller on bass.

Christian Sands @ The Dakota, Minneapolls. 7pm ($20) Sands is an up and coming pianist who has already arrived in some sense. He’s been a key member of Christian McBride’s Trio for a number of years, was nominated for five Grammys, and was mentored by pianist Billy Taylor. He recently released his debut recording, Reach.

JT Bates Grain Trio @ Vieux Carré  Saint Paul 8:00pm ($6) Get your B3 organ fix as drummer Bates brings Kevin Gasonguey, B3, and Zacc Harris, guitar, to the basement club. Things will be cookin!

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, June 22, 23, 24

Twin Cities Jazz Festival  @ Saint Paul locations. (Free) It’s about the most anticipated event of the year for area jazz fans, though fans of R&B, funk, and world music also get to hear some of their favorite bands for free. You can find the schedule here. Needless to say, headliners Anat Cohen, Terrance Blanchard, McCoy, and others are well worth your while, but get to Mears Park early to also hear folks like Emmet Cohen, Bobby Lyle, and our own Eric Kamau Gravatt and Source Code in opening slots. The Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education Youth Showcase at Union Depot has been expanded to both Friday and Saturday, with the McNally Smith Vocal Ensemble headlining on Friday, and the Dakota Combo headlining on Saturday.

Friday, Saturday, June 23, 24

Django Festival All Stars @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($20) Honoring the “hot jazz” (aka gypsy jazz) of Django Rheinhardt, this sextet brings their own creativity to the swinging style. Author and critic Will Friedwald, said of them, “the collective talent pool on the bandstand is larger than the Arc de Triomphe.”

Sunday, June 25

Maud Hixson & Rick Carlson @ The Church of Saint Albert, East 29th Street & 32 Ave, Minneapolis. 1pm – 3pm ($20) Part of a monthly music series examining the music of the 20, 30s, 40s, and 50s. Today it’s the music of the 1930s. Both vocalist Hixson and pianist Carlson excel at this sort of thing.

Zacc Harris Trio @ The Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) If you aren’t quite ready to give up the spirit of the jazz fest, you can continue your jazz jones with the ever-inventive guitarist Zacc Harris and his trio.

Monday, June 26

Ashen Fir @ Jazz Central, Minnapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Cellist Greg Byers leads this quartet: Jack Barrett, keys; Charlie Bruber, bass; and Pete Quirsfeld, drums.

Tuesday, June 27

Richard Johnson Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15 – $45/wDinner) Pianist Johnson lived in the Twin Cities for a few years, entertaining us with his lovely playing. Then he became the Musical Director for some high-end hotels in the Middle East, where he’s been playing a booking jazz. He’s been a member of Wynton Marsalis’ Septet and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and has also been a member of the groups of Russel Malone and Irvin Mayfield. He has a unique program for 7-17 year olds called Reach afar, to educate them about elements of jazz in hip-hop.

Tuesday, Wednesday, June 27, 28

Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton @The Dakota, MInneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($40, $50, $60) Fischer was the stand-out performer in the documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, about background singers. Until the last year or so she was on every Rolling Stones tour since 1989 and has also toured with Sting, Luther Vandross, Tina Tuner, and Nine Inch Nails. In performance, Fischer takes well known pop/rock songs and completely makes them her own, using her supple voice to bring new meaning to them. She’s performed here about twice a year in the last three years and her shows often sell out, or come close to it. Be forewarned.

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, June 21

Cafe Accordion Orchestra @ the Northurp Auditorium Plaza, U of MN, Minneapolis. Noon (Free) Grab a baguette, some cheese and fruit, and if you keep it hidden, perhaps a bottle of wine, and have a picnic while enjoying the music of this “bongos and berets” group, playing French musettes, a cumbia or two, and some old standards.

Cooker John Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Guitarist Cooker John learned to fingerpick from Artie Traum in NYC during the folk boom of the 60s. Since then he’s traveled the country, has played in numerous bands, and for the past few decades has played solo, or with one or two others. I recall hearing about him playing the Midwest back in the 80s. Tonight he’ll be accompanied by Randall Webb, Ben Kaplan, and John Vizard. Listen in and head over to the 331 Club if you want to hear more.

Paul Bergen & the Astronauts of Rhythm & Sound @ The Hook & Ladder, Minnapolis. 7pm (No cover) Honky-tonkin’ swamp country blues from members of the Hillbilly Voodoo Dolls, Real-Phonic Radio Hour, Curtss A’ band and others. This is part of a June residency that takes place in H&L’s lounge.

Jillian Rae & Hannah von der Hoff @ The Aster Cafe, Minnapolis. 8pm ($6) Fiddler/singer/songwriter Jillian Rae has a Wednesday night June residency at the Aster, bringing her band along to help while she sings her own originals as well as some tasty covers. Tonight she has guitarist/singer/songwriter Hannah von der Hoff along for the ride. Here’s Hannah!

Thursday, June 22

Mikkel Beckmen w/Jeff Ray @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Washboard percussionist Beckmen has slide guitar master Jeff Ray as his guest at this after work gig.

Maurice Jacox @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, but $10 for a reserved seat in front) Soul, R&B, and ballads from a master vocalist.

Jonatha Brooke @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) Brooke has released nine albums of literate adult pop and two live discs, all of which were well received by critics if not exactly big sellers, and has used crowd funding on her last two albums. Though born in Boston, and having lived in Los Angeles and New York, Brooke relocated to Minneapolis last year, home to her husband/manager. She’s happy with the move, and has been having fun calling on resident talent to fill her bands here. Tonight, she’ll be accompanied by Kevin Gastonguay on keys; Jeff Bailey, bass; Joey van Phillips, drums; Aby Wolf, vocals; Rebecca Arons, cello; and Sean Driscoll, guitar.

Friday, June 23

Willie Walker @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, but $10 for a reserved seat in front) He was known as Wee Willie Walker during the 60s and 70s Soul Explosion, and still goes by that name on his website, but the name doesn’t account for his sonorous voice, with a bit a whiskey gravel to it, and an interpretive ability that defines soul.

Charlie Parr @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) It’s nine months since this blues vagabond opened the H&L, so apparently it’s time to have him back. Matt Arthur and the Bratlanders open.

Saturday, June 24

Big George Jackson @ Big Daddy’s Barbecue, Saint Paul. 4pm (Free) The ribs at Big Daddy’s will get an extra helping of funky soulfulness as the big-voiced blues belter Big George Jackson performs as part of the the Twin Cities Jazz Festival.

Papa John Kolstand & the Perfect Phitts @ Merlins, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 12:30am. Singer, raconteur, and guitarist Papa John Kolstad brings his wit, wisdom, and sense of fun to Merlins, the best neighborhood bar in Minneapolis. The Phitts are Bill Smith, harmonica and vocals; Gary Powell, National Steel and vocals; and Bill Grenke, bass. There is a reason they’re called the Perfect Phitts as they play seamlessly and perform some three part harmonies.

Sunday, June 25

The Funky United @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 3pm – 5pm (Tip Jar) I may be mistaken, but this appears to be a new group, though it’s members have been around for a while: Scott Glaser, bass; Dev Jana, guitar; Chris Kellick, keys; Tim Moran, drums; and Mick Sterling, vocals.. They play original funky soul.

Gang of Mischief @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 4pm – 6pm (Tip Jar) It’s the last Sunday of the month, so the Gang once again holds court at the oldest continually operating bar in MN. Today, Papa John Kolstad will be in the hot seat, playing with Bill Greinke, bass; Rena Haus and Dan Schwalbe, guitars; and Hurricane Harold Tremblay on harmonica.

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.

Seasonal Music and Much, Much, More: 12.17 – 12.23

December 17, 2014

Unknown-2Greetings to one and all;

Though the music calendar for the coming week may contain many shows for the holiday season, there is enough music for those who don’t celebrate to have a great time as well. After all, one way or another, music lifts the spirit.



Wednesday, December 17

George Maurer Christmas Show @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Maurer is a pianist/composer who is well known outside of Minnesota as well as in the state. He’s composed movie scores, has collaborated with a number of artists, including Eric Clapton, leads his own groups, and is a desired accompanist for many vocalists. He’ll be leading a sextet with a vocalist for this holiday show.

Thursday, December 18

Fuzzy Math @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm. (No cover) This fine four piece has been cooking up some new tunes to add to its mix of original jazz and creative arrangements of other tunes. With Mark Vanderhyde, keys; Andrew Schwandt, sax; Matt Peterson, bass; and Harald Bondaris, drums.

Lee Engele & Reynold Philipsek @ Cupcake/Mason Jar, 1565 Cliff Road, Eagan. 7pm – 9pm (No cover) Engele (vocals) and Philipsek (guitar) go together like two straws in a coke, performing standards and occasionally dipping into gypsy jazz arrangements.

Mike Lewis Solo @ the Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Lewis is a first rate sax player, who can play inside or outside, depending on the situation. He’s best known perhaps, for his work with Happy Apple and Fat Kid Wednesdays, though his work with Bon Iver and his bass playing with pop/folk star Andrew Bird has also earned him kudos. Tonight he takes a solo turn, as shown in this video.

Friday, December 19

Dean Granros Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Granros is one of the elders of jazz guitar in this town, having inspired many other players in the past few decades. Bandmate and fellow guitarist Zacc Harris has proven to be a jazz entrepreneur and top-notch player since arriving in town some years ago. They’ll be joined by Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums.

Jingle Bell Doc @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 8pm ($30 – $75) It’s become a tradition for Doc Severinson  of the Tonight Show Band, and former Pops Conductor at Orchestra Hall, to come to down with a holiday show. The ageless, colorfully dressed  trumpeter can still blow a mean horn. He’ll have a band that includes a number of Twin Cities musicians, and will also have the Minnesota Chorale and Twin Cities Bronze, a handbell ensemble, as part of the celebration. The band will likely sound like the one in this video.

The Power’s Project @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 9pm (No cover) If you’re looking for something that’s under the radar, this is it. Frankly, I don’t know too much about this group other than the fact that they feature a female singer and the price is right.

Saturday, December 20

JoAnn Funk: Deck The Halls @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30 – 11pm, (No Cover) Pianist Funk & bassist Jeff Brueske celebrate the holidays with seasonal songs, abetted by special guests Gary Schulte, violin; and Steven Marking, baritone vocals.

Twin Cities Jazz Sampler CD Release Party @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Steve Kenny has put together a compilation CD that proves how much talent we have in the Twin Cities jazz community. There are tracks from the Zacc Harris Quartet, Chris Bates’ Red5, Jana Nyberg. Chris Lomheim, The Illicit Sextet, Bryan Nichols, Adam Meckler Orchestra and more. The evening’s celebration includes live performances by the Atlantis Quartet, Chris Bates’ Good Vibes Trio, and Steve Kenny’s Group 47. Steve will be a guest on my radio show, Rhythm and Grooves, Saturday morning about 10:45am. Here’s a video of the Good Vibes Trio.

Sunday, December 21

Jingle Bell Doc @ Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 2pm ($30 – $70) See Friday for a description.

Sunday, Monday, December 21, 22

Karrin Allyson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($40), 8pm ($25) Allyson, a one-time Twin Cities resident returns with her sublime voice and impeccable taste. She is a four-time Grammy nominee who will be singing selections from Yuletide Hideaway, her gorgeous CD from last year, featuring holiday favorites and originals. Listen to her do a favorite of Twin Cities audiences.

Monday, December 22

Javier Santiago @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Javi, as he is known, was a member of the Dakota Combo back in 2007. Since then he’s been part of an award-winning Brubeck Institute jazz Quintet and received his bachelor degree in performance (2011) from the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in NYC. He has been making his way in New York since, and returns home for the holiday. He is a virtuoso pianist, as well as a producer, educator, composer, and arranger.  I’m not sure if he’ll have a group with him or not, but if so, it will certainly contain his old running partner, Miguel Hurtado on drums. Here he is with fellow schoolmates, performing one of his tunes at his Senior Recital at the New School.

Regional Jazz Trio @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Anthony Cox  bass; leads this trio, which includes Michael Lewis, sax; and JT Bates, drums. JT and Lewis are long-time mates from Fat Kid Wednesdays. Occasionally, they play with other bassists, and the result always takes an unexpected turn from their FKW work. Tonight, they join Cox, who made a national name for himself while living in NYC for years before returning to the Twin Cities.

Tuesday, December 23

Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Here’s the ticket if you’re looking for something other than holiday offerings, mainstream, or free jazz. The TCLJO, as the name suggests, is a big band with big rhythm. This event tends to be an open rehearsal, with the band sometimes repeating sections. It’s a fascinating peek into the arranging process, as well as an exciting listening experience.

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, December 17

Charlie Parr on KFAI and @The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90,3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) It’s the 10th Anniversary of Harold Tremblay’s House Party on KFAI, and to celebrate, he’s bringing in the first artist to have appeared on his show, Duluth’s Charlie Parr a practitioner of Piedmont style blues who has garnered a national reputation. check him out.

Thursday, December 18

You don't have to go to the Bayous to celebrate a Louisiana Christmas

You don’t have to go to the Bayous to celebrate a Louisiana Christmas

A Louisiana Christmas @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($?) It’s a Christmas Party and Benefit for Second Harvest Heartland. Helping you celebrate will be the Rockin’ Pinecones, The Southside Aces, the Swamp Poppas, Rich Lewis, Lucinda Plaisance, and many more. Bring some food and/or money for the food shelf and don’t forget those dancing shoes!

Thursday, Friday, December 18, 19

Sonny Knight & the Lakers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm (Thurs), 7pm, 9:30pm (Friday) ($20) It’s been a heckuva year for the comeback soulman of Minneapolis. After a weekly residency at the Eagle Club early in the year, Knight and his young band have coalesced into a tight funk/soul outfit, touring touring the world, from South by Southwest to Europe. They’ve been writing some new material and will be recording these sessions for a new record. Friday’s late show is at 9:30 to give the Dakota staff time to clear out tables so people can dance. Here they are putting their own stamp on a Beatles tune.

Friday, December 19

Hurricane Harold’s All-Star Blues Revue Holiday Party @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($10?) Blues Harpist Hurricane Harold knows all the players in town, and when he puts together a revue, it’s always outstanding. You can hear Harold’s playing at:

Jackson’s Juke Joint Holiday Party @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) Crankshaft at 7pm. Javier & the Innocent Sons at 9pm. I’m not sure if holiday songs will be included in this party, but you will have the chance to shake your money-maker as Crankshaft plays his high-energy, often funny blues and Javier & The Innocent Sons swing out.

Claudia Schmidt @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($20) Schmidt has been an area favorite for about 40 years now, using her four octave range to present folk, blues and the occasional jazz number with her charming humor. She’s released 16 albums, the latest of which New Whirled Order, is on Red House Records.

Radio Joe & the Jazzbo’s @ Crooners, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Crooners is the old Shorewood on Central Avenue. I’m told the new owners have expanded the stage a bit, and judging by their calendar, will be featuring singers that fit the new name. Radio Joe Demko is perfect for this place, with songs that range from Tangos to swing, to belly grinders, all delivered with stylish élan.

Friday, Saturday, Tuesday, December 19, 20, 23

Trashy Little Christmas @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20) It’s time once again for Trailer Trash  purveyors of honky-tonk, traditional country, and swinging rock n’ roll to bring their trashy view of the holidays to Lee’s. It’s the 21st year for these Candy Cane hi-jinks, and if you haven’t attended for a while, this might just be the time. Saturday’s show is sold out, so you’ll have go on Friday, or stay up late on Christmas Eve’s Eve.

Saturday, December 20

Ukelele Alley Cartoon ExtravaGONZO @ Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis. Noon – Doors at 11am ($8, $5 for kids 12 and under) Luke the Uke (aka Tom Lieberman) and Deejay Mr Gosh (of spinning 78s) have mined some cartoon archives to present classic animation with music, laughter, and more. Child-safe and family friendly.

Singer/Songwriter Showcase @ Patrick’s Cabaret, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($10) Four singer/songwriters gather to share their songs and stories, including Mother Banjo (aka Ellen Stanley), George Scot (Hookers $ Blos, Ipso Facto), Doug Otto (The Getaways, Hurricane Harold’s All-Stars, The No-Accounts), and Nikki Roux (Nikki & the Rue-Mates).

Maurice Jacox Trio @ The Normandy Kitchen, Minneapolis. 7 pm – 10pm (No Cover) Versatile vocalist Jacox will be joined by guitarists Bobby E and Dean Mikkelson for what promises to be a delightful evening of stripped down R&B, Motown, and songs from the Great American Songbook. The Normandy Kitchen is somewhat small, so reservations are always a good idea.

Sunday, December 21

The principals of BAIN

Jayanthi, Davis, & Erick

BAIN @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm (No cover) BAIN is Davis Bain, vocals & production; Erick “Afrokeys”Anderson, keys; and Jayanthi Kyle, vocals. Tonight they celebrate the release of Love In Blue, an album (CD & LP) filled with groovy, hypnotic, often down-tempo music featuring both male and female vocals. The live band includes Matt Stevens, bass; Anslem Pierre, guitar; Zack Lozier, trumpet; Walter Chancellor Jr., sax; and Greg Schutte, drums. I’ve been playing tracks from Love in Blue on some of my DJ gigs and getting good response. Ashley Gold will open, and DJ Fourfeet will spin between sets.

Obviously a long tradition

The combination has been around for a long, long time

The Accordion/Banjo Xmas @ Underground Music Cafe, 1579 Hamline Ave, Falcon Heights. 7pm – 9pm. Oh boy, this is an event that’s ripe for jokes about the two most maligned instruments in modern music. However, there is no joking about the skills of Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton on accordion or Mark Kreitzer on banjo, who will be duetting on some of your favorite holiday songs and more.

Tuesday, December 23

L.P. Music @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30 ($10) L.P. Music plays funky, groove oriented music with a proclivity for improvisation, featuring Grammy winning saxophonist Eric Leeds; bassist (and multi-instrumentalist) Paul Peterson, pianist Peter Schimke, and drummer Stokely Williams. Given the resumes of these musicians (from Prince to Mark Murphy to Mint Condition), this should be a stellar performance.

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.

Spring is in the Air. Music: 3.12 – 3.18

March 12, 2014

Unknown-1Spring is in the air. I don’t know about you, but I want to dance. This week finds us with a plethora of resident artists vying for your attention and goodness knows, we should support our Twin Cities artists as much as possible. We do have a few very interesting visiting artists as well, to bring us a new perspective or two. Given that everyone has their own St. Patrick’s Day traditions, I’ve only mentioned one St. Patrick’s Day event, and that’s not even on St. Patrick’s Day. Get out and enjoy. Music lifts the spirit.


Wednesday, March 12

Boozy Ballads & Temperance Tunes @ Maplewood Library, 3025 Southlawn Drivce, Maplewood. (Free) An educational moment that sounds like lots of fun. Singer Lee Engele, bassist Steve Pikal, and keyboard player Jon de Vaal will be playing music that shows the divide between boisterous bar songs as usually sung in pubs and bars and the songs of the temperance movement, which appealed to family and patriotism.

Mountain King @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) The first bass trio in the Twin Cities was formed last summer and have disproven the old adage that no one listens during a bass solo. Graydon Peterson, Jeremy Boettcher, and Brian Courage

Thursday, March 13

Dorothy Doring and Phil Mattson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:00pm – 9:00pm  (Donation) Their recent duet album of Ellington and Strayhone composieitons received a good, well-deserved review on the Jazz Times website. Now you can see them in the intimate confines of Jazz Central for vocal night. Here’s a video:

Friday, March 14

Peter Schimke Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($10 – Suggested Donation) Continuing the Bridge Series, this week featuring Peter Schimke piano; Brandon Wozniak, tenor; Zacc Harris, guitar, Graydon Peterson, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums.

Connie Evingson Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) It’s just Connie’s nuanced voice, Tanner Taylors soulful piano, and Gordy Johnson’s sympathetic bass. Well worth the trip to Bloomington.

Jazz Crew @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pnm (Donation) This quintet of high school students is appearing as part of Jazz Central’s commitment to provide a performance space for young bands. @ the Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30 ($5) Guitarist Robert Bell, who performs with groups like the Southside Aces and Café Accordion, teams up with singer/songwriter Andriana Lehr to present old and new standards from Ella to Joni to the Smiths.

Saturday, March 15

DVRG Redefined @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10:30pm (No Cover) DeVon Gray, a classically trained pianist, can churn out jazz as easily as the hip hop riffs he’s played with Heiruspecs and Brother Ali, or the blues riffs he’s played behind Chastity Brown. Tonight he’s by himself and trying out something new.

Sunday, March 16

JazzMN Orchestra W/the New York Voices @ Hopkins High Performing Arts Center, Hopkins. 3pm ($34) Like the Manhattan Transfer, the New York Voices are a four part harmony group known for close voicings. The 25 year old group won a Grammy for their 1996 collaboration with the Count Basie Orchestra, so today’s performance with the talented musicians of the JazzMN Orchestra should be terrific. Here’s an acapella performance:

Lindsay Pedalty Trio @ Cannon River Winery, Downtown Cannon Falls. 5pm – 8pm (Free) Pedalty can traverse jazz and pop with equal ease, and together with dad Bruce on keyboards and Gary Miller on bass, will provide a charming afternoon of music while you sample wines.

Cafe Accordion Orchestra @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) C’est Chic! Dan Newton dons a beret and takes his accordion to France, playing gypsy jazz, French musettes, ballads, and the occasional tango, along with Eric Mohring on mandolin and violin; Erik Lilleston, bass; Robert Bell, guitar; and Joe Steinger, percussion.

Monday, March 17

Joe Strachan: Tribute to Sonny Clark @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) The young pianist has his inspirations right. Clark was a hard bop pianist of note. Strachan surrounds himself with other young, hungry, and talented musicians. Definitely not a St. Paddy’s Day celebration.

Lulu’s Playground & Fat Kid Wednesdays @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm. ($8) The playground kids are at it again with their chamber jazz, odd instrumentation (cello, accordion, guitar, & trumpet) and even have an Irish reel for the evening. FKW brings their combination of out there music and tender ballads to the stage for the second set. Here’s a Fat Kid Wednesdays performance:

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar and the KBEM Calendar, which also features some blues and roots listings. For further commentary of Twin Cities Jazz, go to Jazz Police, Bebopified, and JazzInk.

Blues, Roots, and Other…

Wednesday, March 12

RJ Mischo @ KFAI & The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI – 90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The former Twin Citizen and harp powerhouse is making his annual visit home, playing a bunch of gigs around town. You know how it works by now. Tune in and check him out, and if you like what you hear, head over to the 331 Club.

Friday, March 14

Pearl Brothers @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) Back in the 80s, this quartet put out a groovy little new wave single, I’m the One That Wants You, with a flip side, You Don’t Really Love Me, that had hints of what we now know as Northern Soul. They’re still at it, playing a mix of pop, rock, and soul from the 50s to the 80s, though nowadays they take advantage of their experience and professionalism to play weddings and corporate gigs. You’ll be singing along, and probably dancing between tables.

Friday, Saturday, March 14, 15

Raw Oyster Cult @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($25) Rising from the remains of New Awlins’ Radiators, Raw Oyster Cult features Dave Malone, Camile Baudoin, and Frank Bua, Jr., from that group, as well as Jon Gros, from Papa Grows Funk, and Dave Pomerleau from Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes. Expect some Rad tunes, new songs, and a new spin on older favorites of band members.

Saturday, March 15

Silver Swan Vocal Chamber Ensemble: Choral Music from the Russian Imperial Collection @ The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis.  7pm – 8:30pm ($25 Members/$30 non-members) The five member Silver Swan Vocal Chamber Ensemble will be augmented with three more voices to perform unaccompanied choralal music from the person libraries of the Russian Imperial family. Presented in conjunction with the current exhibition on Imperial Russia. Seating is limited at this wonderful little museum.

Boiled in Lead St. Paddy’s Party @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) BiL has been rockin’ out reels and other global dance rhythms for thirty years now. Tonight they’ll deliver a Saint Patrick’s celebration that’s saner, though more rocking, than those attended by many with Kiss Me I’m Irish buttons.

Hot Pants 45 rpm Dance Party:Spring Edition @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) It’s been a while since I’ve posted about this monthly event. In some respects, it’s completely different from the St. Paddy’s Party across the street, though dancing will still rule the evening. Brian and Ben welcome deejay Laurent Reus from France by way of Portugal, to bring you even rarer music than usual.

Sunday, March 16

Jim Ouska and John Iden, w/special guest Paul Mayasich @ Happy Gnome, Saint Paul. 11am – 2pm (Free) Two guitars and a bass. Jim and John have been holding down this spot for years, providing some musical pleasure for brunchers (and those who like a huge selection of beer). Today they’re joined by uber-guitarist Paul Mayasich.

Peter Lang @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 2pm (Free) Presented by the MN Guitar Society. Lang is a Twin cities guitar legend, having been discovered by John Fahey in 1972 and subsequently recording for Fahey’s Takoma label. He’s recorded, toured, and performed with a who’s who of guitar players and performers, and was nominated for a Grammy in 1976. The performing space at Studio Z is a perfect environment for his acoustic playing.

Lady Heat Hot Soul Party @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) A trio of young women with good taste spinning soul, funk, and other danceable tunes on vinyl.

Tuesday, March 18

L.P. Music @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8 Advance/$10 door)  It’s a Minnesota All-Star group playing improvised funk: Erik Leeds, sax, flute, vocals; Paul Peterson, bass, guitar; Peter Schimke, keys; and Stokely Williams, drums, percussion, & vocals

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots), see the Minnesota Blues Society Calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun, Zydeco, and Swamp Pop events, see the Krewe de Walleye Calendar.

New Traditions in Music: 12.19 – 12.25

December 19, 2012
Toy Trains - A Christmas Tradition for Many

Toy Trains – A Christmas Tradition for Many

To paraphrase a well-known storyteller, it’s a quiet week here in the Twin Cities, what with Christmas on Tuesday.  No matter what your tradition, or what you celebrate, or even if you don’t celebrate at all, I hope this finds you in good spirits. Unfortunately, we’ve been soundly reminded that this season isn’t always a happy one for many. Keep your heart open, and your thoughts and actions kind. And let music move your spirits.


Thursday, December 19

DownloadedFile-1Maude Hixson & French 75 @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No cover) Continental jazz with the ever-so-cool vocals of Ms Hixson. Continental jazz as in songs from the Great American Songbook that actually have pedigrees from Britain, France, and other countries. Since it’s foodie night at the Dakota, you can be sure both performers and the restaurant will be working to make things tres chic. Eh, what.

Maryann Sullivan & Tanner Taylor @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm (Donation) Charming vocals from Ms Sullivan, who recently celebrated the release of her CD Coffee Time, and tasteful, and often exciting, accompaniment by Taylor.

Laura Underwood @ The 3rd Floor, 579 Selby, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5?) Underwood is a vocalist who can put a fine interpretation on a much recorded jazz song, and turn around and give new life to a blues standard.

Friday, December 21

Irv Williams and Peter Schimke @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 4pm – 6pm (Free) Once you’re through with some of your last minute shopping on Nicollet Mall, head over to the Dakota for the often soothing, but always imaginative sounds of 93 year old Irv Williams on saxophone, accompanied by the younger, but equally talented Peter Schimke on piano.

Friday, Saturday, December 21, 22

imagesLee Engele’s Hot Christmas @ The Black Box Theater, Bloomington Center for the Arts. 7:30pm Friday, 2:00pm Saturday ($20) Vocalist Engele gathers Reynold Philipsek and Joan Griffith on guitar, along with Gary Schulte on violin, to create a program of  jazz and holiday standards using jazz, Latin, and gypsy jazz rhythms.

Dave Karr Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Whether he’s playing tenor, flute, or baritone, the octogenarian Karr shows no sign of slowing down. He can always be depended upon to pull a bebop gem out of his axe.

Saturday, December 22

Deck the Halls with JoAnn Funk @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm – 11pm (Free) JoAnn Funk (vocals, piano) and Jeff Brueske (bass) are joined by Gary Shulte (violin) and baritone Steve Marking, who will be singing O Holy Night and some other carols. JoAnn will stick to the lighter side of Christmas songs, and some gems from her usual repertoire of jazz standards, Blossom Dearie, and a few surprise choices.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, December 19

Graham Parker & Rumour @ Fitzgerald Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($37) The pub rocker from the 70s returns with his original group and their first album in 31 years – Three Chord Good. Parker was always a snarling singer, but one who knew how to craft melodies that would grab you, and a good ear for a soulful cover like “Hold Back the Night.” He plays himself in “This is 40,” Judd Aptow’s new move, where he sings a duet and with his group. The movie is being released Friday.

Thursday, December 20

Fathom Lane, Bethany Larson & the Bees Knees, and Actual Wolf @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 advance/$15 door) A trio of country-rockish performers. Bethany Larson’s gorgeous voice and directness in songwriting power her country/folk-rock quartet. Actual Wolf is appearing solo, singing his songs that evoke early Dylan and 70s country rock. Fathom Lane is the creation of Michael Ferrier, formerly of the electro-jazz group Electropolis. With the help of Ashleigh Still (vocals, keys), Brian Roessler (bass), and Pete Hennig (drums) among others, he’s created a album of haunting tunes.

Friday, December 21

Chicago Afrobeat Project & Malamanya @ 7th Street Entry, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) An evening of outstanding music. The Chicago Afrobeat Project is an 8 piece group that melds the dense sound of Afrobeat with its own take on the Chicago music scene. Opener Malamanya has set many a feet to dancing with its take on Cuban dance beats.

Cool Disposition’s Final Gig @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 9pm After thirteen years, three CDs, a trip to the International Blues Challenge, and numerous bar and festival appearances, this is the last time you’ll get to hear the Dispos. Mickey Bauer, vocals; Hurricane Harold Tremblay, harmonica; Greg Beach, bass, Dan Scwalbe, guitar; and Marty Bryduck drums; have provided the Twin Cities with some jumpin’ and swingin’ blues over the years, and this is where it happened most. The fact that it’s the end of the Mayan calendar has nothing to do with this being their last gig.

Saturday, December 22

DownloadedFileDee Miller Band w/Jimi Primetime Smith @ Holihans Pub, White Bear Lake. 7pm (No Cover) The room is small, the bar is full, but it’s worth a crowd to hear Ms. Miller belt the blues, especially when the talented Mr. Smith is providing guitar fills and solos.

King Baron @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 10:30pm (No Cover) Take a couple of guys from the Brass Messengers (Paul Fonfara and Scotty Anderson), and add Andy Hakala from the Southside Aces, and you get some Dixielandish street music.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.

New Jazz, World Music and more for 9.12 – 9.18

September 12, 2012

Where to find some music.

In the  coming week we can look forward to a new release by the in-demand bassist Chris Bates and his three-horn group, as well as visits from some established artists from across the country and around the world.  Not to forget the work of Twin Cities area artists as well.


Wednesday, September 12

Lulu’s Playground @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) I’m excited to see this band, making their debut at the AQ tonight. Adam Meckler on trumpet, Evan Montgomery on guitar, Cory Grossman on cello, and Steven Hobert on accordion. They’re all terrific jazz players, but are comfortable in pop, rock, and even salsa. It’s an intriguing combination, made doubly so by the fact that all four have been playing together since college. Here they are doing a Dave Douglas tune.

Rhonda Laurie Trio @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (Free) Rhonda has been playing a number of events outside the metro area, bringing her show about the Uplifting Songs of the Greatest Generation to the suburbs and rural areas, where she’s been warmly welcomed. No wonder. She gets inside the songs, and delivers them with enough swing to jog long ago memories and create new ones for younger listeners. Always worth your while. Plus, Barbette has great happy hour deals for weekday late nights.

Thursday, September 13

Lee Engele & Reynold Philipsek @ Centennial Lakes Farmers Market, 75th & France, Edina. 4pm – 6pm. (Free) Here’s a late afternoon treat for those of you living or working in the inner ring suburbs south of Minneapolis. vocalist Lee and guitarist Reynold are regular performing partners, with the ability to anticipate each other’s musical moves and the experience to make everything swing.

Black Heralds @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) A relatively new group on the scene, with Sten Johnson, trumpet; Kevin Gastonguay, keys; Andy Schuster, bass; and Jay Augspurger on drums. Original music that melds 21st Century grooves and 20th Century influences.

Jack Brass Band @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10:30pm. ($5) Sure, it’s a late night gig on a school night, but if you’ve the energy to make it there, you’ll be energized for the ride home. JBB‘s ability to encompass the musical traditions of early jazz (no charts, improvised arrangements and singing) as well as modern era R&B (M. Gaye and R. Kelly) are the result of hard work and lots of talent.

Friday, September 14

Steven Hobert & Brian Courage @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (free) Though the ambient noise is quite loud during the dinner hour, this is a chance to see and appreciate Hobert’s thoughtful, inventive piano playing. He’s been playing with a wide variety of groups, and is always a positive contributor to whatever aggregation he’s in. I have to admit I don’t know bassist Brian Courage, but given Hobert’s taste, I’m sure the music will take flight. Just be sure to get a table near the stage.

Friday, Saturday, September 14, 15

Chris Bates Red 5 CD Release @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Then name of the CD is New Hope and the music is original, mostly penned by by bassist Chris Bates. The group features three horns: Zack Lozier, trumpet; Chris Thomson tenor and soprano sax; Brandon Wozniak, tenor and alto sax. Brother JT on drums rounds out the group. You’ll note there is no piano and no guitar. You can hear a couple of the tunes and my interview with Chris here. The music and interview start at about 20 minutes into the show.

Saturday, September 15

Mike Salovich Trio @ The Loring Pasta Bar, Minneapolis. 6-9pm (no cover) World beat guitarist Mike Salovich is joined by Marc Anderson, percussion, and Larry McDonough on piano performing some of Salovich’s originals and more.

Certain Standards: Arne Fogel & Tanner Taylor @ Jazz @ St. Barney’s, 15600 Old Rockford Rd, Plymouth. 7pm ($10) If you were lucky enough to be listening to KBEM at about 8:30am during the past year, your day was made brighter by a segment that featured Minnesota singers performing classic standards. Fogel conceived and produced the segments which included background on each song, while pianist Tanner Taylor provided subtle, knowing accompaniment. Tonight, Fogel will be singing those songs himself, and really, is there any other male vocalist in town that can deliver the same mix of romance and ruefulness.

Dan Musselman Trio @ Red Stag, Minneapolis. 10:30pm (free) With Zach Schmidt and Andrew Foreman. Musselman is a talented, melodic pianist with an album in his own name and another with vocalist Rachel Holder. He also plays and records with Cory Wong, teaches at MacNally Smith, and is working on a doctorate in composition. Talented, indeed.

Tuesday, September 18

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm. (Suggested donation – $7) There’s been a change of plan, and Adam’s Orchestra, which usually plays the last Tuesday of the month, is playing tonight since he’ll be on the road. The talented trumpet player has been busy writing original compositions and charts for a band that’s about 18 members strong and includes a number of talented young artists. Jazz Central is located across the street from the Aveda Institute on Central, NE. Look for the glass doors at 407 Central, walk down the hall and turn left down some stairs. BYOB. To hear what they sound like, go here.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, September 12

Crankshaft on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM) and 7pm (331 Club – tip jar) It is said that Crankshaft‘s approach to the blues and roots music wouldn’t be possible before punk music came along. That may be right, but don’t let the idea keep you from checking out this high-energy one-man band. You probably know the drill: tune in to KFAI during the 5:00 hour and listen, then head on down to the 331 Club to get a full blast of Crankshaft’s music.

Friday, September 14

Nikki & the Rue-Mates @ The Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm. Freshly brewed beer and freshly written tunes. It’s a 21st century version of classic blues along with a touch of folk-rock. A winning combination.

Friday, Saturday, September 14, 15

Joan Osborne @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45/$40) Inspired by Etta James and Tina Turner, Osborne has gone way past her 90s hit “(What if God Was) One of Us,” to embrace soul and R&B. She can burn through the Slim Harpo hit, “Shake Your Hips,” and turn around and kill “What Becomes of the Broken Hearted.” Should be an evening of foot stomping and hand clapping, at the very least.

Saturday, September 15

Cactus Blossoms @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($?) Classic country. Fiddle, acoustic guitars, and pedal steel. I’m talking the kind of stuff that made it to the pop charts in the 50s and 60s, with unforgettable brotherly harmonies (think of the Louvins, Delmores, or the Everlys), done up to encourage dancing. The Eagles Club features cheap drinks, just the thing for crying in your beer songs, and ruminations on modern life. For a review of their album from No Depression, click here.

Uke-Fest 2012 @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($6) Well the ukelele keeps popping up in pop and folk music. It’s even got a superstar in Jake Shmabukuro, who’s appeared at both The Dakota and The Cedar Cultural Center. While he won’t be at the Aster tonight, a half-dozen or so players will be in attendance, including Katy Vernon, Kim Sueoka, Savanna Smith, the Meteor Boys, and the Broken Bicycles.

Sunday, September 16

Faux Playboys w/guest Eric Mohring @ The Half Time Rec, Saint Paul. 8pm. ($8) Show up by 7:30 and get a free lesson in Cajun dancing. The Playboys play all sorts of Louisiana music, but given that they have fiddler Mohring with them, I am sure that they’ll concentrate on Cajun and Zydeco tonight.

Saturday, Sunday, September 15,16

Namaste! Slalnte! @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm Sat, 2:30pm Sun ($15)  Here’s an intriguing change of pace. A concert of original music influenced by the Indian and Irish Traditions with Michelle Kinney (cello), Nirmala Rajasekar (veena), Thanjavur Murugaboopathi (Mridangam Drums), Graham O. Brien (Drums).

Tuesday, September 18

International Reggae All-Stars @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($6) Thought all reggae was the same? Check out this band. Its members hail from Trinidad, Ghana, Venezuela, and Jamaica. With Lival Jackson on vocals, and Tony Paul on percussion, the All-Stars deliver a wide range of reggae, from roots, to lovers rock and dance hall. Hear their songs on their MySpace page.

JPP & Trio Brasileiro @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) The Cedar kicks off it Global Roots Festival with a Finnish fiddle group and a Brazilian trio. Both heavily rely on strings: JPP has been playing their “Wave of Fiddles” for 30 years, and are on their 11th tour of the US. Trio Brasileiro is an acoustic group playing choro and other Brazilian music.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar.  For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.

The Livin’ is Easy. Music for 7.4 – 7.11

July 3, 2012

Well, we had a cornucopia of festivals last weekend, with the Twin Cities Jazz Festival presenting hundreds of artists from the area and beyond. The Saturday evening show of The Bad Plus with Joshua Redman attracted such a large crowd that vendors ran out of beer. By all accounts, the Deep Blues Festival and Honky Tonk Festival were also successful. Given that, and the 4th, it seems natural that there’s a slowdown in the presentation of music this week. It’s as if we’ve had a big meal, and now just have a truffle or two for dessert. Enjoy the 4th, and enjoy your dessert.


Wednesday, July 4

Robb Henry Trio @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 10pm. (No Cover) After you check out the fireworks on the river, head on over to the Red Stag for a quieter, but no less impressive display, this time of the guitar variety, as Henry mines 60s pop, Django Rheinhardt, Mancini, and more. Here’s a low-light video of Henry performing a jazz classic:

Friday, July 6

Nichola Miller @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (Free) Standards will be sung and swung. Cocktail music of the highest order.

Brad Bellows/Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm. (tip Jar) Freely improvised music from Bellows on valve trombone, Washington on reeds, and friends.

Saturday, July 7

Debbie Duncan @ The Lexington, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 10:30pm. (No Cover) Sass and soul from the queen of Twin City jazz singers.

Sunday, July 8

PipJazz Sunday with Dean Magraw & Marcus Wise @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 5pm ($20) Singer Pippi Ardennia is truly spontaneous in her singing, working a vamp that she likes, letting musicians stretch out, and bringing in guest artists and students. This month’s guests are Dean Magraw and Marcus Wise. It will be especially interesting to see how the guitar/tabla duo are integrated into the bluesy jazz of Ardennia and the PipJazz All-Stars.

Monday, Tuesday, July 9, 10

Victor Wooten @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40) Bassist Wooten is a five-time Grammy Winner who is known mainly for his work with Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, though he’s also worked with Chick Corea’s Elecktrik Band and others.

Tuesday, July 10

Cory Wong Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) Cory is a versatile guitar player, whose playing is always full of surprises.

Wednesday, July 11

Lee Engele @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) A lunch time treat  from Ms Engele, who manages to swing even if accompanied by just a guitar, as she likely will be this day.

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, July 4

Midnight Mo Experience @ Burger Moe’s, Saint Paul 2pm – 5:30pm. So you live in an apartment, or perhaps don’t want to be around a grill on a hot afternoon.  Prepare for Saint Paul’s fireworks on the river by checking out the Motown & More of Midnight Mo at Burger Moe’s.

Thursday, July 5

Davina & The Vagabonds & Armadillo Jump @ Marketfest, White Bear Lake, 6pm-9pm. Marketfest is a weekly event featuring two different music stages as well as food, arts & crafts, and a car show in downtown White Bear Lake. Tonight Davina will be on the Gazebo Stage and the Texas-style blues of Armadillo Jump will be featured on the 3rd Street stage.

Friday, July 6

Nikki & the Rue-Mates CD Release Party @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 10pm (tip jar) Fans have been eagerly awaiting another slab of semi-psychedelic folk rock from the clarion voice of Nikki and the crying slide guitar of Rich Rue. Fellow Rue-Mates Liz Draper, Jon Olson, and drummer Jimmy T (Tollesrud) help give the music a kick that will give old hippies flash-backs and younger folk goose bumps. With Matt Latterell.

Kelley Hunt @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) Piano pounding blues singer Hunt has become a Twin Cities favorite through repeated visits to the area. She’s a good writer and impassioned story-teller, with a gospel tinge to her playing. I did an interview with her last November, which you can find here.

Sunday, July 8

Lindsay Pedalty Duo @ the Amsterdam, Bar & Hall, Saint Paul 11AM – 1PM (Free) Take the Sunday paper to the ‘Dam, order some hash browns and a Bloody Mary, and enjoy the singing of Pedalty, who has an appealing voice with a bluesy edge that gives a different spin to her pop leanings in the group Pine Deluxe. She’ll be accompanied by her dad, pianist Bruce Pedalty, who has spent time playing with Mojo Buford, The Senders, and a couple of area big bands.

Opera on Tap @ Honey, Minneapolis 6pm – 8pm ($5) Opera singers in a bar!

Havana Hi-Fi @ The Aster, Minneapolis, 9pm ($5) It’s Salsa night at the tiny bar/restaurant/tea room overlooking the river and downtown Minneapolis.

Tuesday, July 10

Phil Heywood @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (Free) finger style pickin’ just doesn’t get any tastier. Neither do neighborhood bistros. Good cocktails too.

Orchestra Poly-Ritmo @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis, 7:30 ($35) The late Peter Nelson, leader of Shangoya, would often declare, “You don’t need special steps to dance to this music.” That holds especially true for the music of this 10-piece, horn driven band from the tiny West African nation of Benin. Percolating Afrobeat, Latin, and Voodoo rhythms will have even the most staid Minnesotan moving their hips, if not other body parts. Here’s a sample of their music.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar

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