Lovers and Music: 2.8 – 2.15

February 8, 2017
Clearly thinking: Valentines Day - Meh!

Clearly thinking: Valentines Day – Meh!

Well, Valentine’s Day is upon us, and I only have a few things for those of you who have yet to make reservations for the evening. Of course, maybe, like a grumpy cat, you’re not celebrating this year, which is fine. Anyhow, we still have good music to enjoy during the week. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, February 8

Schmidt, Magraw & Nichols @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40 w/Dinner) Though Claudia Schmidt has amassed a great following during her four decades as a singer/songwriter, and charming storyteller, she has primarily worked as a folk singer. However, she would often include a standard or two in her concerts, and has successfully stepped out as a jazz singer on a number of occasions. She’s worked with guitarist Dean Magraw many times, but this is the first time in over ten years that she has worked with pianist Bryan Nichols as well as Magraw. Here are Claudia and Dean doing a folky number.

Bates, Nordlund, & Sanborn @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) It’s another evening where bassist Chris Bates brings together some musicians for a night of fine jazz, including both originals from the group, and jazz standards. JT Bates may add his drums to the mix.

Thursday, February 9

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Tonight’s featured act is the Phil Hey Quartet, with Hey on drums; and Phil Aaron, piano; Dave Hagedorn, vibes: and Chris Bates, bass. This is a swinging group of veterans who have played together for years, attacking the music of Ornette Coleman, Chick Corea, and others with verve and panache.

Rachel Holder & The Wolverines @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 (No Cover) Vocalist Holder was studying classical music at the U when she heard a jazz performance and switched to McNally Smith, where she studied with Judi Donaghy Vinar, Debbie Duncan, and Pete Whitman, among others. About ten years later, she now teaches at McNally as well as at Macalester, and gigs around town, as a soloist and featured singer with folks like Bruce Henry, the George Mauer Group, Vital Organ, The Girls, and others. With a supple voice that’s a bit throaty and sensuous, she’ll be accompanied by the always swinging Wolverines Trio: Rick Carlson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Jendeen Forburg, drums. Here she is with George Mauer.

Katia Cardenas @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Cardenas is an energetic, hard working vocalist whose debut CD, I’ll Be Seeing You, has been well-received, with much airplay on KBEM. She has a natural, soulful sound, that she uses to great affect on jazz standards and the occasional pop/R&B number by Amy Winehouse or Beyonce.

Friday, February 10

Shaun Johnson Big Band Experience @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) This isn’t your father’s (or grandfather’s) big band experience. Johnson creates modern day mixes that cross genres. Johnson attended Saint John’s University and settled in Saint Cloud, where he started his career with Tonic Sol-fa, the vocal quintet that’s sold two million records. He’s still an active member of that group, but decided to bring a new approach to big band music, honoring folks like Frank Sinatra, while acknowledging Michael Buble, and performing songs from across the music spectrum. Here’s an example.

Saturday, February 11

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) It’s UW Eau Claire Jazz night, with an opening set at 7pm by the UW Eau Claire Jazz Combo 1, and the Michael Shults Quintet at 8:30pm. Shults, a saxophonist who teaches at Eau Claire, will be joined by Aaron Hedenstrom, sax, who did his undergraduate work at Eau Claire; as well as  Chris Bates, bass; Javier Santiago, piano, and a drummer TBA.  Here’s a slightly different version of the quintet.

Sunday, February 12

Cole Mahlum Jam @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 4pm – 6pm ($5) Get your dose of Hammond B3 music as guitarist Cole Mahlum leads a jam session.

Monday, February 13

Acme Jazz Company @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) It’s the Acme Company’s monthly gig, bringing you big band music and the vocals of Arne Fogel.

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, February 8

Doug Otto & the Getaways on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Mournful, down home sounds from Doug and the guys, performing music that ranges from originals, to Merle Haggard, Hank Williams, Buddy Guy, and Robert Johnson. Here’s a video from their residency at the late Nyes.

Thursday, February 9

Anda Union @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20 Advance/$25 Door) Formed in 2000, Anda Union is a ten-piece band of Mongolians who come from differing ethnic nomadic cultures of Mongolia. They bring together a wide range of musical instruments and vocal styles (including throat singing) from tribal and music traditions throughout Inner Mongolia, finding their inspiration in old and almost forgotten songs.

Quirkestra @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul 8pm (Tip Jar)  A five-piece band playing a blend of Americana, 60s R&B, Reggae, Swing, & Jazz.

Lonesome Dan Case @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Ahh, with his trademark fedora and fleet guitar, Lonesome Dan is a man who evokes the blues of the 30s blues and wraps them in the trials and tribulations of modern day society.

Friday, February 10

Paul Cebar & Tomorrow Sound @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($10??) Gifted songwriting, rhythms that span New Orleans, Chicago, Africa, and the Caribbean, and a rhythm section that will have the soles of your dancing shoes light up from friction. Milwaukee guitarist/songwriter/singer Paul Cebar has not only earned a rabid following, but has managed to keep it over the last three decades.

The Pachanga Society, with Dan Newton @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($18 Advance/$20 Door) The Pachanga Society  alls from the Saint Cloud area, and has been in existence for 15 years. Tonight, they present “Crossing Borders: An (im)migration story in words, images, and Woody Guthrie songs.” Using searing guitar, haunting wooden flute and pan-flutes, charango, Cuban tres, keyboards, bass and tight, world-beat percussion, they have built a repertoire that includes classic songs from all over the Caribbean and Latin America, new arrangements of some Rock and Country standards, and a good, steady dose of original compositions.

Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials @ Famous Daves, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) Lil’ Ed  s an electrifying, raucous slide guitarist who learned from one of the best – his uncle Homesick James. You’ll be hard pressed to find any blues guitarist who will fire you up so much with his stage presence.

Joyann Parker & Annie Mack @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) So, we’ve got Joyann Parker and Annie Mack on the bill. They are two of the area’s fine female blues performers for one night. Both are equally at home writing their own material as they are singing classic blues and R&B.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, February 10, 11, 12

Be My Nasty Valentine @ Bryant-Lake Bowl, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Advance, $15 Door) Here’s a non-traditional look at Valentine’s Day, as this show is subtitled Songs of Love and Liberation. As described, Mistress Ginger is “gonna sing and dance her way into your hears and inter your pant, saving the world while she’s at it.” Mistress Ginger will be accompanied by Lori Dokken, piano; Dustin Jensen, drums; and Noah Welter, on bass. Here is Mistress Ginger with the Wolverines Trio.

Saturday, February 11

Cate Fierro Sings Sade @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15 Advance, $20 Door) The show is actually titled “Stronger Than Pride: The Passionate Songs of Sade.” It was about a year ago that Fierro, an in-demand soul singer around town, debuted her tribute to Nigerian-born English singer Sade to much acclaim. She’ll be doing 22 songs from Sade’s catalog, spanning the albums Diamond Life (1984) to Lover’s Rock (2000), and using her soulful voice to good effect on the slow-burn intensity of Sade’s numbers. Here she is, tackling a standard.

Soul Tight Committee @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7, includes a free drink) Old, Old School R&B from a ten-piece horn band for those who simply want to dance.

The Eddies @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 7:30 – 10:30pm (Tip Jar) The weather on Saturday is supposed to be relatively mild, just right for getting out to hear songs of life, love, death, and work. Now a quartet, the Eddies are a friendly, charming group of men who sing songs they remember, from old ballads of walking among cemeteries, to Bob Marley, and Sympathy for the Devil. Sometimes they even change up a word or two in order to make a mild political statement, but whatever they sing, they end the night walking through the bar and toasting all who are present.

Sunday, February 12

35th Annual Battle of the Jug Bands @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. Doors: 12:30pm. Ends 8pm ($5 Suggested Donation) It’s the annual battle for the coveted Holliwood Waffle and Pancake Irons, that is, if they don’t get hijacked by dastardly losers. The rules are plain. Kitchen instruments, so to speak, and no rehearsals. An intriguing or funny name helps, but is no guarantee.  Proceeds are donated to the Dave Ray/Bill Hinkley Memroial Fund. Though it’s not a very good video, this 2013 performance will give you an idea of what occurs.

Kelly Hunt @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25 – $30) It would be easy to call Kelly Hunt a boogie-woogie piano player, but that wouldn’t begin to encompass her gifts. Even the record charts list her in multiple genres – blues, Americana, and Adult Alternative, among others. Hunt is a piano-pounder, for sure, but this powerful singer will entrance and delight with her stories, all the while keeping your kiester moving as she lays out a ferocious beat with her left hand.

Monday, February 13

Maceo Parker @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $50), 9pm ($25 – $40) Saxophonist Maceo Parke  was just another hard-working sideman in James Brown’s band until Brown said “Maceo, I Want You to Blow” during I Got You (I Feel Good). Since then, his name has become synonymous with funk, though he is also a skilled jazzman. Back in 2011 I managed to get an interview with him which you can read here.

Tuesday, February 14

Michael Monroe @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 7pm ($20)  Monroe is a charming singer/songwriter who has been performing for forty years, charming audiences with his wit and songwriting. He’s a self-taught musician who plays guitar, ukelele, and glass bamboo flutes who can be as romantic as necessary for this day.

Third Annual Valentine’s Day Variety Show @ O’Shaughnessy Auditorium, Saint Paul. 7pm ($29 – w/various discounts) Storyteller extraordinaire Kevin Kling, brings together some musical friends for an evening of “dynamic duos, tender trios, and oh solo-me-ohs” on love. Musical friends include Dan Chouinard, Bradley Greenwald, Prudence Johnson, Simone Perrin, Claudia Schmidt and Dane Stauffer, along with special guest writer/director Ali Selim, known for the movie Sweet Land.  Here’s an example of Kling’s storytelling abilities.

Music for Lovers @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25, $65 Dinner Show) This annual event put together by Lisa Wenger and Billy Larson has been presented at a number of venues around town, though I don’t think the option of a 3-Course Dinner has been offered before. Celebrate the date with Lisa Wenger + Billy Larsobn; Deb Brown + Brian Z; Sena Ehrhardt + Cole Allen; Jennifer Grimm + Joe Cruz; and Tamara Barnett + Phil Barnett. Don’t have any videos of the couples, but here’s one of Lisa Wenger.

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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It’s Officially Spring! Music: 4.23 – 4.29

April 23, 2014
Painting by Ta-coumba Aiken. To be exhibited at Artist Mercantile.

Painting by Ta-coumba Aiken. To be exhibited at Artist Mercantile.

We have finally passed the vernal equinox, and it’s the weekend for the Saint Paul Art Crawl, so it’s now official: Spring is here, even if it’s a little chillier than we’d like.

Lots of great music from Twin Cities artists this week, as well as a few notable visiting artists. Special events include a blues competition that promises to be lively, a birthday celebration for an octogenarian musician, and a special live broadcast of a radio drama. Though the cover charge for area artists is often relatively low, don’t forget to order a drink or menu item, as the band generally gets the door, while the venue depends on your purchases to make having a band profitable. Music can lift your spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 23

Lila Ammons @ Zeke’s Unchained Animal, East Lake Street, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Zeke’s is a funky little place on East Lake Street, more or less kitty-corner from Merlin’s Rest. They have about a dozen interesting beers on tap as well as some nice wines, and an imaginative menu. Lila is equally at home with jazz or classic blues, so if you want to hear some fine vocals whilst dining and drinking, this would be a good place to be.

Ghost Tour @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested donation) Graydon Peterson, bass; Adrian Suarez, drums; and Jacob Park Evans, guitar. Inventive musicians, all.

Thursday, April 24

Charmin Michelle @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This is the debut appearance at Jazz Central for Ms Michelle, whose swinging phrasing evokes a modern Billie Holiday.

Friday, April 25

Atlantis Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 9:30pm ($10 suggested donation) This Minnesota Modern jazz quartet can get kind of funky, kind of ballad, and swinging. And no wonder. Its members include Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris Bates, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums.

Saturday, April 26

Augsburg College Jazz Band @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 3pm (Free) Augsburg has a worthy jazz program, and for this gig they have a guest artist: Julie Johnson on flute doing a performance of Astor Piazzolla’s Libertango.

JazzMN Orchestra w/guest Miguel Zenon @ Hopkins High School, 400 Lindberg Drive, Minnetonka. 7:30pm ($28, $30, $18 Student) Not only has alto saxophonist Miguel Zenon been nominated for a Grammy multiple times, he’s been awarded Guggenheim and MacArthur fellowships. Last seen here with the SFJAZZ Collective (of which he is a founding member), the Puerto Rico native makes music that makes you dance. The JazzMN Orchestra is made up of some of the best musicians in town, so this promises to be an evening to remember.

Sunday, April 27

KBEM’s Jazz Noir @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 4pm ($43), 7pm ($53) This is an original radio drama that will be broadcast live on KBEM 88.5FM at 7pm. It’s called the Black Hand Side That Feeds You, and centers around the jazz scene on Minneapolis’ Near North Side during the 1960s and juxtaposes it with the civil rights movement of the time. The 7pm show includes a three course dinner, while the 4pm rehearsal show includes a sweet and savory set menu.

One World Consort & Friends

One World Consort & Friends

One World Consort @ Lake Harriet Spiritual Community, 4401 Upton, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) This a a concert in celebration of Earth Day and includes music from cultures and traditions from around the world, in addition to pieces by resident artists. The performers of One World Consort are: David Milne (saxes, flutes, etc); Mary Louise Knutson (piano); Eric Graham (acoustic and electric bass); and Craig Hara (drumset, percussion, wavedrum). They’ll be joined by the Four Voices String Quartet– Laurie Petruconis and Allison Ostrander (violin); Susan Janda (viola); and Rebecca Arons (cello).

Monday, April 28

images-1Joe Lovano’s Us5 @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($25) Lovano is a searching, innovative saxophonist who started out playing with Tom Jones, Jack McDuff and Woody Herman. He’s led a variety of ensembles, from duets to a nonet, recording over 25 albums, including a tributes to Frank Sinatra and Enrico Caruso. Tonight he brings his two-drummer quintet, Us5, featuring James Weidman, piano; Peter Slavov, bass; and Otis Brown III and Fransciso Mela on drums.

No Coast Quintet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30 ($8) The No Coast Quintet is a new group featuring some up and coming musicians: Nelson Devereaux, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Brian Courage, bass: and Lars Larson on drums, in addition to veteran Zacc Harris on guitar.

Tuesday, April 29

Acme Jazz Company CD Release @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30 – 11:00pm (Suggested Donation – $10) The Acme Jazz Company has been around since 2008, and has just released its debut album, which has climbed to number 16 on CDBaby’s big band jazz chart. The band features the multi-talented Arne Fogel on vocals.

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, April 23

Cornbread Harris’ 88th Birthday on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) 87? 88? Who really knows? The legendary octogenarian can still tear up a piano, whether he’s playing solo, trio, or in a quartet. He’s got several weekly gigs around town, but this is the only gig at which he’s celebrating his birthday.

Thursday, April 24

Walter Trout Benefit @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Guitarist Trout should be celebrating his 25th year as a solo artist. Instead he’s at the UCLA Medical Center awaiting a liver for a transplant. Blues communities around the country are helping to raise money for his care. Tonight you get to hear Lamont Cranston at 7pm, Davina & the Vagabonds at 8:15pm, and Alex Rossi & the Root City at 9:30, all in support of Trout.

Friday, April 25

The Brass Messengers @ Sweet 317, Northern Warehouse, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) It’s an Art Crawl After-Party of sorts, in suite 317 of the Northern Warehouse. The Messengers will deliver New Orleans Second Line, Balkan Brass Music, and other raucous sounds from around the globe. Since it’s an artist loft, there is limited space (about 50-60), and it’s a BYOB.

Nikki & the Rue-Mates @ Dusty’s Bar, NE Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) This hole-in-the-wall is more-or less kitty corner from the old Grain Belt Brewery on Marshall in Nordeast. Nikki & Friends will be occupying the “booth stage” and playing psychedelic folk-rock and blues, led by Nikki’s clarion vocals and Rich Rue’s slide guitar.

Saturday, April 26

Sol Bock Revival @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 1pm – 10 pm (Free) Here’s an event made for Spring. Harriet Brewing celebrates the release of a number of seasonal brews with a festival featuring live art, food trucks, and four acoustic bands. It’s as close to the back porch of a home brewer as you’ll get. Music includes: No Man’s String Band – 2pm; The Dead Pigeons – 4pm; The Roe Family Singers – 6pm, and the Evergreen Grass Band – 8pm. Here’s a video of the Roe Family Singers.

 

Film Production Kickstarter Launch Party w/music @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 5pm ($15) Here’s your chance to hear a variety of quality music while supporting a crowdsourcing campaign for a Minnesota Film Production Company to be called Don’t Mind If I Do Films.  The festivities begin at 5pm with the Zacc Harris Trio (Jazz); 6:45pm Ham Dog (Folk/Americana) later on, pop/rock from Kadet,w/Adam Hurlburt of Solid Gold and Maggie Morrisonm of Lookbook; and The Commanders with Zach Coulter of Solid Gold and Cecil Otter of Doomtree.

Mark Hummel, Corky Siegel, & Billy Boy Arnold @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($30) You won’t see any harmonica playing in the audience for this event, though there will no doubt be plenty of fans of the “Mississippi saxophone.”  This is billed as the Blues Harmonica Blowout, and is it ever. Harmonica swing master Hummel organized this annual event in 1991 and has been hard at it ever since. Corky Siegel gained fans as part of the Seigel Schwall band back in the 70s. Arnold is a contemporary of James Cotton, and helped create the “Bo Diddley” sound with Bo himself. He’s one of the last survivors of the 50s Chicago blues scene.

Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Searing slide guitar. High energy,. foot-stompin’  performances. Unfiltered Chicago Blues. Nothin’ but fun. For more on Ed, read this, or you can just watch the video.

Sunday, April 27

Road to Memphis Group Competition @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 1pm – 7pm. ($10) The Minnesota Blues Society holds the competition to send an area band to the 2015 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Groups vying for the honor include The Swamp Kings, the Mark Cameron Band, the Gopher Tones, the Rhythm Roosters, Jimmi & the Band of Souls, Phil Kitze & the Resonators, and Bluedog. Support your local blues bands. (Full disclosure: I’ll be one of the judges)

The Hula Peppers @ The Happy Gnome (Upstairs), Saint Paul. 2-5 pm (Free?) If you are old enough to remember R.Crumb and his Cheap Suit Serenaders, you’ll be familiar with the 78 RPM inspired zany combination of blues, swing, Hawaiian music, and novelty songs performed by Dan Newton, accordion; Gary Powell, Hawaiian guitar; Dave Furniss, resonator, and Corey Mohan on ukuleles and musical saw. Lighthearted and fun, with occasional Betty Boop-ish vocals from Lauren Asheim.

Pop Trans-Atlantic w/Dan Chouinard @ Alliance Francais, 113 First Street No., Minneapolis. 3pm ($20) There have been a number of songs that have crossed the Atlantic in either direction, and with new lyrics, have become hits in languages other than their original. Pianist/accordionist Dan Chouinard  often heard on that big-time public radio variety show, will lead sing-a-longs for some of these songs, combining a little learning with a lot of fun.

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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