Ignore the Snow! Music: 4.4 – 4.10

April 4, 2018

What happened to March – Out Like a Lamb?

Oh boy, we’ve gotten dumped on by snow and now will have a week or so of well-below-average temperatures, with the prospect of another snow on the way next week. TV stations are reporting on how tired we are of this, but also on those hardy enough to still find ways to enjoy the weather, especially those of you who cross-country ski. Getting inside to enjoy music is another way to deal with the weather. Here are some ideas. Music Lifts the Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, April 4

Claudia Schmidt, w/Laura Caviani @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($12, $15) Vocalist Schmidt is a folkie who moves easily into jazz, especially when accompanied by someone as talented as pianist Caviani.

Noah  Ophoven-Baldwin Duo w/Michelle Kinney @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Trumpeter/Cornetist Ophoven-Baldwin has a perfect foil for his often sweet tone in cellist Kinney.

Dead King Mother @ The Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15, $10/Students and Seniors) Fifty years after the assassination of Martin Luther King, percussionist Davu Seru tells the story of an almost forgotten incident in North Minneapolis that occurred as a result. The Capri is located in the same neighborhood where the incident occurred. This musical story will be presented by Zeitgeist and special guests, and will be followed by a panel discussion.

Brian Courage Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Bassist Courage is back in town for a bit, so you’ll see him appearing as a special guest at some gigs, and heading the Black Dog on Saturday. Tonight he leads a quartet with musicians that he played with while living here in the early teens: Chris Thomson, saxophones; Park Evans, guitar; and Jay Epstein, drums

Thursday, April 5

Jana Nyberg w/Sean Turner @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) It’s been three months since vocalist/flutist Nyberg gave birth to a baby boy, and she’s raring to get out and perform. Tonight she has an excellent accompanist in pianist Sean Turner. Here she is in a group setting.

Southside Aces’ Fats Waller Night @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) The Aces are a brass-heavy band who will be taking on the music of the irrepressible Fats Waller, who delivered his music with a sly wink and knowing grin.

Pool Party, Round 6 @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Erik Fratzke, bass; Carley Olson, clarinets; Adam Zahller, vox/recorders; with special guest, Brian Courage, bass.

Friday, April 6

Reynold Philipsek CD Release @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($12) This intimate cafe in the western ‘burbs is perfect for appreciating the nuanced technique of guitarist Philipsek, who often plays gypsy jazz, ala Django Reinhardt. The first 40 patrons (essentially a full house) will get a free copy of his new CD, Picture This. He’ll be accompanied by Matt Senjem, bass; and Michael Bisonette, drums.

Donnie Norton Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Norton, who teaches at Mankato, was a student of Von Freeman and Jerry Bergonzi, which should be more than enough to whet your curiosity about his music. Norton, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Saturday, April 7

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7:00 Opening Set : Carter Pearson Quartet: Carter Pearson, Drums; Abebi Stafford, Piano; Graydon Peterson, Bass; and Bruce Acosta, Guitar. At 8:30 pm its Courageous Endeavors: ​Brian Courage, Bass; Nelson Devereaux, Saxophones; Joe Strachan, Piano; and Miguel Hurtado, Drums.

Sunday, April 8

Emmett Cohen Trio w/Tootie Heath @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm ($30, $40), 8:30pm ($25, $40) Cohen is a relatively young, imaginative, and often impish piano player who believes in the intergenerational transfer of artistic knowledge. He has been seeking out holder players to record and perform with, and tonight, he has drummer Tootie Heath (youngest of the Heath Brothers) as his older compatriot. Heath’s career includes stints with a pantheon of jazz greats, including Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, Milt Jackson, Wes Montgomery, Cedar Walton… The list goes on. Grammy and Emmy nominated bassist Russell Hall will join them.  BTW, I’m being honored with an award from the Jazz Journalists Association at the beginning of the 6:30 show.

Monday, April 9

Emmett Cohen @ Dual Citizen Brewing, 725 Raymond Avenue, Saint Paul. 7pm ($25 suggested donation) This benefit for the Twin Cities Jazz Festival is being held at a new brewery, just South of University on Raymond Avenue. If you didn’t catch Cohen at Crooners last night, you can hear him as a soloist tonight.

Tuesday, April 10

Moonshine Rhythm Club @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($6) This lively group hails from Nashville, and are adept at old school swing, and gypsy jazz: Josh Irwin – Lead Guitar; Billy Jewell – Trumpet; Charles Kay – Saxophone; Eddie Rutland – Rhythm Guitar; and Thomas Altman – Bass.

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, April 4

Papa John Kolstad & the Perfect Phitts on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Papa John’s good natured swing and blues are complemented by the slide guitar of Gary Powell, and the harmonica of Bill Smith. Hence the name.

Willie Murphy @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6pm (Free) Bluesman/rocker/soulster Murphy is solo as part of the Hook’s Free Wednesday series.

Thursday, April 5

The Butanes @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) You can’t go wrong by seeing the multiple award winning blues band on a Thursday night.

Friday, April 6

Lowertown Classics @ Lowertown Lofts, 255 Kellogg Blvd, Saint Paul 8pm (Suggested Donation $10) Those of you looking for a bit more informal approach to classical music should enjoy this regular event, which takes place in the buildings’ third floor atrium, among art, and with refreshments. Tonights’ program includes music by Bach, Bartok, Karg-Elert, Seiber, Pixinghina, di Majo and more, performed by: Eva Beneke, guitar; Catherine Ramirez, flute; Richard Kreihn, mandolin; Gary Raynor, bass. With Special Guest soprano Maria Jette. Enter through the alley.

Craig Clark Band @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis8:30pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Clark brings his tasty licks and love of the blues to this Southside bar.

Saturday, April 7

Renee Austin Album Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.7pm ($20, $25) Austin is a six time Minnesota music Award winner who calls her mix of classic soul, gospel, and R&B “Roadhouse Soul.” Hers is a miraculous story: after gaining fame in the early part of this century, the Texas-born singer lost her voice after a medical procedure in 2005, only to have it come back in 2015. Now she has a new album, Songbirds and Angels, which she’ll be singing tonight.

Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) In Lil’ Ed you get a highly energized band leader, a dynamite slide guitar player, and a Chicago master of the endless boogie. You’ll be sweating by the end of the show.

Sunday, April 8

Song for Juliet @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7pm ($9 Advance/$12 Door) Singer/songwriter and ukelelest Katy Vernon put together this show to raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and to honor her mum, who died of Lymphoma. Besides Vernon, the show will feature Mary Bue, and the Homefires (Sarah Morris & Vicky Emerson).

Road to Memphis Solo/Duo Challenge @ Coon Rapids VFW Post #9625, 1919 Coon Rapids Blvd NW, Coon Rapids. 1pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s time once again to pick a solo or duo act to represent Minnesota in the International Blues Challenge. Judges will have to choose among the following; Donnie Sauve; Tim Reigstad; Trevor Marty; Tony Cuchetti & Joe Filipiovich; Wain McFarlane & Kurt Graham; and the Phil Kitzke Acoustic Band.

Sunday, Tuesday, April 8, 10

The English Beat @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 9pm Sunday, 7pm Tuesday ($35, $42) Back in the early 80s, the English Beat helped animate the ska revival of the time, though their music also ventured into punk, reggae and soul. They had a string of hit singles, including Mirror in the Bathroom, and Save it for Later, and toured the world with the likes of David Bowie, The Clash, and Talking Heads, among others. At the time, the band had two lead vocalists, Ranking Roger, and Dave Wakeling. It appears this version of the group is led by Wakeling, as they’re preparing to release a new album in May.

Monday, April 9

Ana Moura @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.7pm ($45, $55, $65) The Portuguese music called Fado has been likened to the blues, due to its emphasis on facing and surviving life’s vicissitudes. Vocalist Moura, whose voice is luxurious and passionate may be the most well-known of the proponents of this music, which almost died out before a renewed interest by the younger generation of Portuguese artists.

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


Autumn Music: 10.18 – 10.24

October 18, 2017

Well it’s another week with a wide variety of musical events, from visiting jazz and blues musicians, to a Tom Petty Tribute, a CD release party, and a ukelele festival! Resident artists remind us of why we have such a vibrant music scene. It appears we have a mostly pleasant stretch of weather in the coming week, with nighttime lows chill enough for a jacket, but not so low to discourage going out. Music Lifts the Spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, Oct 18

Kevin Gastonguay/Rhonda Laurie @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Gastonguary: No Cover), 8:00pm (Laurie: $6) Pianist Gastonguay starts things off for this double bill of jazz. He has been spending the last eight years gigging around town with his own groups as well as gigging as a sideman in numerous groups. Vocalist Rhonda Laurie is a New York native who has studied with Judy Niemack, Sheila Jordan and Jay Clayton. Whether singing gypsy jazz, straight ahead standards, or cabaret, her smooth vocals are modern and fresh

Chris Lomheim Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Pianist Lomheim goes beyond his usual solo and trio outings to bring a quartet: Pete Whitman, sax; Jay Young, bass, and Dave Schmalenberger will help Lomheim provide an evening of sometimes wistful, always intriguing music

Also: Travis Anderson Trio w/Special Guest Steve Roehm @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($8) You know Roehm from the New Standards.

Thursday, Oct 19

Arturo Sandoval @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($0, $50), 9pm ($30, $40) This Cuban-born, high-flying trumpet player was mentored by Dizzy Gillespie, whom he mentions at every performance. He was an original member of the internationally acclaimed Cuban group Irakere, before emigrating to the states. This is a must-see for jazzers, though it wouldn’t be unusual for others to be taken with the virtuosity of Sandoval.

Wycliffe Gordon @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($30) Trombone player Wycliffe is a valuable member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, but has also played with Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Henderson, Branford Marsalis,Lionel Hampton, Tommy Flanagan, and Shirley Horn, among others. He’s an admirer of Louis Armstrong, JJ Johnson, and Jack Teagarden, yet he brings a modern sound to his playing as well.

Ikeda, Gnitka, & Newell @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Alden Ikeda, Percussionist;  Steve Gnitka, guitar; and Scott Newell, sax & vocals = Free jazz from associates of  Milo Fine.

Also: Jen Bluhm @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. ($10, $5w/Student ID) Original music from the pianist/ukelele-ist/vocalist

Friday, Oct 20 

Mindi Abair @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (432, $40), 9pm ($22, $30) Saxophonist Abair has had ten #1 radio hits, along with six top 5 spots on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz charts. Bluesman Keb Mo said of her, “Mindi Abair’s saxophone speaks to all of our souls.”

Phil Hey Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9pm ($15) One of the longest running jazz combos in town, drummer Hey and his quartet have achieved that ability to instantly communicate with each other, anticipating changes in rhythm, chord changes, and intensity on tunes from Ornette Coleman, Chick Corea, and other modern jazz masters. Supporting Hey are Phil Aaron, piano; Dave Hagedorn, vibes: and Tom Lewis, bass.

Also: JazzMN Orchestra w/Wycliffe Gordon and Yolande Bruce @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7 :30pm ($15 – $45)

Saturday, Oct 21

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) The Steve Kenny Trio opens at 7pm: Kenny, Flumpet; Ted Olsen, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. At 8:30, the Atlantis Quartet takes the stage with their modern take on jazz: Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris Bates, bass; and Peter Hennig, drums.

Sarah Greer & Dean Magraw @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Sarah Greer is a vocalist that other vocalists turn to for lessons in jazz singing and scatting. Dean Magraw is a boundary-less guitarist with chops and taste galore.

BZ3 Organ Trio @ The Mudd Room, Mendota Heights. 7pm (No Cover) Brian Ziemniak, B3 organ; Troy Norton, guitar; and Kevin Washington, drums; deliver funky, greasy, soul-jazz just made for this basement “speakeasy.

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 18

Babb, Johnson, & Paul on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) To quote Hurricane Harold Tremblay, “Front Porch Swinging Liquor Pig Dave Babb and his Friday night partner at Palmer’s, Tony Paul of the Reggae All Stars (the Mayor of MPLS West Bank), join forces with Nordeast Country Blues/Folkie Baby Grant Johnson for a night of debauchery and mayhem.” Sounds like great fun to me

Thursday, Oct 19

Comotown Cajun Trio @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Get your dancing shoes out to trip the light fantastic, Cajun style.

Friday, Oct 20

Lil Ed & The Blues Imperials @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) I’m not sure if Lil’ Ed is still up to jumping off the stage and creating mayhem with some of his antics, as he did in the 80s, but after decades of playing blistering slide guitar, I’m sure that even an older Lil’ Ed will create a fiery evening of music.

Molly Maher/Dusty Heart @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 7pm ($20) Singer/songwriter/guitar tech Molly Maher has been called the Queen of the Twin Cities Music Scene. This Americana artist plays bar rooms, concert halls, and festivals. Those events, as well as her CDs, all benefit from her relatable lyrics and soulful voice. Dusty Heart is Barbara Jean and Molly Dean, two songwriters recognized in their own right for their poetic lyrics and distinct vocal styles that when combined create a powerful and haunting sound. Of their sound, City Pages wrote: “Barbara Jean and Molly Dean of Dusty Heart have that rural campfire chemistry that can make you lose all tension in your jaw”

Paul Cebar w/Jon Rodine @ The Hook & Ladder, MInneapolis. 8pm ()$12 Advance/$15 Door) Paul Cebar and his fans will turn the Hook into a regular dance party, as Cebar throws out funky R&B, combined with tropical rhythms, to keep butts moving in their chairs and energetic dancers filling the commodious space at the Hook. John Rodine is an excellent openener for this gig. Here’s a classic from Paul.

Also: Trombone Shorty @ The Palace Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($42, $79.50)

Saturday, Oct 21

Jillian Rae Vinyl & CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($10 Advance/$$14 Door) Fiddler/singer/songwriter Rae grew is releasing a 4-song EP entitled Wanderlust, on both CD and as a 45RPM EP. Rae grew up on the Iron Range, where she absorbed musical influences from country, pop, blues, and rock to yes indeed, polkas. She writes tunes with hooks that stay with you and teaches at her own music school – The Music Lab. When not fronting her own band, she can be heard with any number of other bands around town, including Corpse Reviver, Steve Kaul & the Brass Kings, and the Blackberry Brandy Boys, among others. Her she is a few years back.

Tom Petty Tribute @ Dayblock Brewing, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Local songwriter Ben Cook-Feltz and Day Block Brewing present an evening honoring the life and music of the late Tom Petty, one day after what would have been the iconic rocker’s 67th birthday. Several local artists and hardcore Tom Petty fans will be on-board to play their favorite songs. All proceeds will be donated to Rock The Earth, an organization Petty contributed to throughout his career. Rock The Earth is a national environmental advocacy organization dedicated to protecting and defending natural resources through partnerships with the music industry.

Ukefest 2017 @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6:30pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) A night dedicated to the ukelele, an instrument that has been gaining popularity of late. Plectorists who will be appearing include Katy Vernon, Marlowe Teichman, Corey Mohan, Dave Randall, Jake Rowan, Lady Date, Niki Becker, Eric Carranza, Mary Bue, and more! Folks are encouraged to bring their ukes and join the Ukelele Army. As usual with these annual events, it’s benefit, this time for Arc GTC, & The Minnesota Music Coalition

Dee Miller Band @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9:00pm ($10) The self-styled “Duchess of the Blues” just won a Blues Society Hall of Fame award for Leopard Skin Dress, the song she co-wrote with Jimi Prime Time Smith. Her performance at the Awards show was full of fire, as will undoubtedly be her performance at the Vieux.

Also: The Good, The Bad, The Funky @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?)

Monday, Oct 23

Irma Thomas, Blind Boys, & Preservation Hall Legacy Quintet @ The Guthrie, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($35 – $65) Irma Thomas is The Queen of New Orleans Soul. She’ll be joined by the exceptional gospel group the Blind Boys of Alabama, as well as a group representing the Legacy of Preservation Hall Bands.

Monday, Tuesday, Oct 23, 24

Badfinger Straight Up, feat: Joey Molland @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40) It’s the 45th Anniversary of the release of Straight Up, by Badfinger, and Joey Molland – guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist for Badfinger, is touring with his band to celebrate the event. For those of you of a younger age, Badfinger was one of the first bands signed to the Beatle’s Apple Records. They had hits with Come and Get It, No Matter What, Day After Day, and Baby Blue. Mariah Carey had a hit in 1994 with their song, Without You. Boomer or not, if you like classic pop, you will enjoy this music.

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

 


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