Jazz, Folk, and Blues: 9.16 – 9.22

September 16, 2015
The Capri Big Band. Photo by Andrea Canter

The Capri Big Band. Photo by Andrea Canter

What a stellar week ahead! We have three old school folkies visiting town, as well as a couple of great jazz vocalists, a Nepalese rock band, and both a jazz and a rockin’ blues festival on Saturday. Music lifts the spirit

Jazz

Wednesday, September 16

Lila Ammons @ Tangiers, Minneapolis. 8pm (No Cover) Vocalist Ms Ammons is getting ready to head off for another tour of Europe during late September through October. Stop by and see her perform jazz and blues standards at this lounge with comfy, large booths and leather sofas.

Asher Kurtz @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested Donation) This young guitarist is only 22 and already making a name for himself. After recently graduating from Berklee College of Music, he toured Europe with Terri Lyne Carrington, and has settled in NYC. Here’s a video of him with a group including Twin Cities trumpeter Jake Baldwin.

Thursday, September 17

Jason Weismann & The ‘Q’ @  Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Weismann is an emerging saxophonist active in a number of groups as well as a vocalist in the crooning tradition with his own band. With The “Q” he performs songs by Sinatra, Chet Baker, Mel Torme, and similar jazz vocalists. Plus, he can get into a funky groove as well.

Patricia Barber @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Cool, erudite, and adventurous, Barber is a pianist, vocalist, and composer who may be one of the most individual jazz artists on the scene today. Her own songs are poetic, filled with unforgettable imagery and imagination. The New York Times says of her, “This is the kind of art we need to be on the lookout for everywhere.”

Lund, Paris, & Scofield @ Jazz Central, MInneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Three vocalists for the price of one. Jennifer Lund has sung mezzo-soprano with the Minnesota Chorale for the last 14 years, and began studying jazz a few years ago. She’s a student of Vicky Mountain. Suzanne Paris made her debut with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Jazz Unlimited Series, and has sung backup to many recording artists. Susan Scofield has been singing since the age of 5, has performed with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Swing Beat Big Band, and is currently a member of Vocal Essence.

Friday, September 18

Evan Benidt Quintet @ Jazz Central, MInneapolis. 8:00pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Saxophonist Benidt and his group: Joe Mayo, sax; Javi Santiago, piano; Greg Byers, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums – will feature jazz blues, and rock, from jazz standards to Joe Satriani.

Bryan Nichols Quartet @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Pianist Nichols spent four years in Chicago honing his craft and playing with such heavyweight musicians as  Nicole Mitchell, Von Freeman, and Hamid Drake. Nichols plays in a number of groups around town in addition to leading his own, but tonight he is bringing up some friends from Chicago: Kurt Schweitz, bass; Jim Gailoreto, sax; and Jon Deltemyer, drums. Her is Nichols with  a quartet of Twin Cities’ musicians

Saturday, September 19

Freedom Jazz Festival @ Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis. Noon – 6pm (Free) Often called “The best little jazz festival in town,” this year’s lineup includes The George Scott Trio: The Tangents; Three Women of Jazz: Debbie Duncan, Yolande Bruce, & Linda Sloan; The Minneapolis Jazz Workshop; jam sessions; the Capri Big Band; and more, as well as art and family activities.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) . The Zeb Cruikshank Band opens: Cruikshank  guitar; Dan Musselman, piano; Brent Wallace, bass; and Byron Johnson-Blanchard, drums. They’re followed at 8:30 by Paul Harper’s Show and Tell, featuring saxophonist Harper  a member of the Illicit Sextet, among other bands; Charlie Riddle, bass; Mike Cramer, guitar; and Pete Hennig, drums.

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Ms Lynch is an excellent bassist and engaging vocalist, and her Excellent Fellows provide the support she needs as they play songs from the 30s to the 60s. Many of her songs are fox-trots, the kind of music to which almost anyone can dance, or medium tempo swing numbers. Here she is doing a number by the Ink Spots.

Monday, September 21

The Potash Twins @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Trumpeter Adeev and Trombonist Ezra have settled into the Twin Cities for a while after recording their eponymously titled album here produced by Steven Greenberg of Funkytown fame. Though both are only 21, they’ve managed to play and study with an extraordinary coterie of musicians, including Wynton Marsalis and Jon Baptiste, the music director for Steven Colbert’s new show. they’ve also performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center, South by Southwest, Birdland, and Warren Buffet’s Annual Shareholder’s meeting. Their music is jazz wrapped up in pop sensibilities, or as guitar ace Cory Wong puts it, their music falls “someplace between Katy Perry and Miles Davis.” A CD release party earlier this summer was sold out at the Icehouse. Here they are talking about their music.

Tuesday, September 22

Chris Lomheim Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Sometimes subtle, often inspired, and always ear-pleasing, pianist Lomheim leads a trio through some cool tunes.

Connie Evingson & The Parisota Hot Club @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Robb Henry, Matt Senjum, and Jay Epstein, aka The Parisota Hot Club  along with special guest Dave Karr on sax, provide the support as Ms Evingson explores Django Rheinhardt-inspired tunes.

Tuesday, Wednesday, September 22, 23

Lizz Wright @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50) Wright was a preacher’s kid, and sang in church during most services. That start certainly informs her music, but she is also able to integrate blues, soul, pop, and jazz into her performances. Freedom & Surrender  Is her fifth album since her debut in 2003. It features a number of songs she co-wrote with folks like Jesse Harris (Norah Jones), and JD Souther (Linda Ronstadt & lots more), and just received a four-star review in Downbeat, which said, “Well played and expertly sung, Freedom & Surrender shows Wright continuing to mature and developing her distinctive voice.” Here’s a recent video

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, September 16

BB King Birthday Bash with Ray Covington @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10 pm (No Cover) BB King was, perhaps, the most jazz-oriented of all blues musicians, so having Covington, who can easily traverse jazz, blues, and old school R&B, perform some of King’s music is practically a no-brainer. Here he is doing a slow jam.

Heritage Blues Orchestra @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45), 9pm ($35) This aggregation is dedicating to showcasing the power and possibilities of African American music. They combine the energy of gospel, the emotion of the blues, and the power of field hollers, and gospel music to create something new, getting rave reviews from the Wall Street Journal, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and Downbeat in the process.

Thursday, September 17

Paul Cebar’s Tomorrow Sound @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10?) Cebar’s eclectic taste in music can be heard on his Wednesday morning radio show on WMSE in Milwaukee (www.wmse.org), where he plays a mix of deep soul and R&B, as well as Brazilian, Cuban, African, classic ska & reggae, and other pan-tropical songs. He takes these influences and creates infectious, highly rhythmic tunes that will have you getting your dancing shoes out of the closet to spin, twirl, and bop on the commodious dance floor at the MMC. Here’s a fun video that features the band playing as well Paul talking about music.

Friday, September 18

Archie Fisher @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($25, $20 advance) When Fresh Air Radio first started back in the late 70s and early 80s, Fisher was a favorite of the station’s folk programs, and still is on their playlists. The Scottish troubadour will be celebrating the release of his first album in seven years, A Silent Song, on Red House Records, which has also had a long association with Fresh Air.

Al Stewart @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($35) Not only do we have Scottish Troubadour Archie Fisher in town tonight, but we have Scottish folk rocker, Al Stewart, who came to prominence in the late 70s with the top ten The Year of the Cat and its platinum follow up, Time Passages. He makes use use of historical references and literary sources in his songwriting, with The Lord of the Rings providing inspiration for his very first single in 1966, and has never stopped recording or touring. His latest album, Uncorked, has received very postive reviews. It is a live venture that showcases the breadth of Stewart’s writing yet stays away from the obvious hits of his career. Here’s what you can expect.

Saturday, September 19

Annual Rockin’ Music Fest @ Shaw’s Bar & Grill, NE Minneapolis. 4pm – close. (No Cover) The Brian Naughton Band will be starting the festivities at 4pm. Naughton will be especially rockin’ since he’s celebrating a birthday. At 8:00, Shannon Curfman will take the stage. The exciting guitarist has sold a quarter million albums and has been Kid Rock’s duet partner, background singer, and guitarist since 2010. At 10pm things move inside when Paul Mayasich and the RAMM Band take to the stage. Here’s Curfman doing a classic from the 70s.

Dee Miller Band @ Holihan’s Pub, White Bear Lake. 8pm (Tip Jar) Get yourself some earth-shakin’ blues with Ms Miller and her cohorts, who will pack the tiny club and deliver your blues jones with gusto.

Sunday, September 20

7.8 Rock the Rubble featuring Albatross @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 1pm – 5pm ($20-$35 Advance, $40 Door) Nepal suffered through twin devastating earthquakes this past Spring – one at 7.8 and the other at 7.3, with over 400 aftershocks. Nine thousand died, and over 22,000 were injured. This show featuring Albatross, a Nepalese rock band, is a fundraiser for Earthquake relief in Nepal. Albatross is a four piece with crunchy guitars, and though their lyrics are Nepalese, their sound, whether on rockers or ballads, will be familiar to anyone with a passing interest in metal and hard rock. Hot Date, folk duo specializing in love songs, and This Mad Future, a quintet from Saint Cloud, open. Here’s Albatross.

Matuto and Daddy Squeeze @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) Matuto is a New York group that uses a plethora of Brazilian instruments to play Appalachian and traditional blues combined with the rhythms of Northern Brazil. Daddy Squeeze, which opens, is another of accordionist Dan Newton’s groups that plays a swinging mix of blues, Cajun, Tex-Mex, and French rhythms. Here’s Matuto with a unique cover of Beyonce.

Sunday, Monday, September 20, 21

Mambo’s Combo @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) Be prepared to dance as Mambo’s Combo brings the groove to the North Loop. They’ve been playing this weekly gig since 1987, covering rhythmic rock and R&B tunes with panache and grit. Visiting and resident musicians will often sit in for a tune or two.

Monday, September 21

Tom Paxton w/Joe Vezner & Don Henry @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) What with Archie Fischer and Al Stewart in town this week, Tom Paxton makes it a trifecta of folk music. In 2009, he received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for his work, which spans more than 50 years. Paxton has written songs with enduring appeal, like The Last Thing On My Mind, Bottle of Wine (a hit for the Fireballs in the 60s), and Ramblin Boy, as well as topical protests songs about current events, like Talking Watergate, Without DeLay, about the former congressman, and Train for Auschwitz, about the holocaust. While Crooners might not be a typical venue for Paxton, it is a good listening room for the intimacy of Paxton’s performance. Check out this topical number about banks.

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.


So Much Music, So Little Time: 7.29 – 8.4

July 29, 2015

imagesI am continuously amazed at the amount of music found in our fair cities. For instance, there are ten different places having jazz on Friday, and much more featuring Blues and Roots music almost every night of the week, not to mention outdoor events. So, it’s summer and we have to take advantage of the weather, vacations, and the opportunity to support artists of all kinds and lift our spirits at the same time. Enjoy the week.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 29

Lila Ammons @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) With a blues-based approach to jazz, vocalist Ammons is a natural fit for the confines of the Supper Club just North of 694 and NE Minneapolis.

images-1Mountain King @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Three Basses! Brian Courage is back in town for a while, so he, Jeremy Boettcher, and Graydon Peterson are reprising their three-bass music. How low can you go

Shoop! @ The Village, Mendota Heights. 6:30pm (Free) Five part harmonies from three women and two men, featuring jazz standards and the occasional pop song.

Thursday, July 30

Mississippi @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Here’s a band that throws some Peruvian Lando music into its rich stew of jazz. It’s A-list members include Pete Whitman, sax; Peter Schimke, piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums.

da-ke-breo-da @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) The All Originals Jazz Series continues with this group named with syllables from the names of each of its members: Dave Brattain, sax; Kevin Daley, guitar; Bruce “Pooch” Heine, bass;  Dave Stanoch, drums.

Charmin & Shapira @ Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pmn (Tip Jar) The silken voice of Charmin Michelle and tasty guitar of Joel Shapira go together as tastefully as burgundy and brownies, both of which are available at the Black Dog.

Friday, July 31

Charlie Lincoln Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The young bassist is having a busy summer before he heads off to Berklee in Boston. This may be the last performance of this particular group, which includes Aiden Sponheim, trumpet; Peter Coggin, alto; Levi Schwartzburg, vibes and/or piano; and Joey Hayes, drums. Here they are with a different trumpeter:

Rare Medium @ Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10 Suggested Donation)  The popular jazz funk group is back from a performing hiatus. Members include Jaim Zuber, guitar; Jesse Mueller, keys; Aaron McCabe, trumpet; Joan Hutton, sax, bass clarinet, and flute; Joshua Stallings, bass; and Ryan Johnson on something called the H-Dial.

Kogan and friends at rehearsal

Kogan and friends at rehearsal

Peter Kogan CD Release @ Orchestra Hall Atrium, Minneapolis. 10:15pm (Free) Kogan  a drummer with the Minnesota Orchestra, is releasing his second jazz record. His first, 2013’s Cornucopia, was a delight. The new CD, Some Monsterful Wonderthing, promises to be even more so, with a group that includes Cory Wong, guitar; Pete Whitman, sax; Sean Turner, piano, Charles Lazarus, trumpet; Brian Courage, bass; and Scott Agster, trombone.

Saturday, August 1

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Opening at 7pm is Joe Smith AM Trio with Smith on sax; Dick Studer on bass; and Kenny Horst on drums. at 8:30, it’s the Babatunde Lea  Quintet, with Lea on drums and congas; Phil Aaron, piano; Zacc Harris, guitar, and more. Here is Lea in a quartet setting.;

Sunday, August 2

Doug Little @ Alexis Bailey Vineyard, Hastings. 1:30pm (Free) If you’re looking for a little drive and a pleasant afternoon, head down to Hastings to check out the Bailey Vineyard and the music of saxophonist Doug Little of Charanga Tropical, Seven Steps to Havana, and other Latin bands. Pack a picnic or buy some food, and sit on the deck listening to great music and enjoying the fruits of the vineyard. Here he is at the Vineyard a couple of years ago.

Minneapolis Latin Jazz All Starz @ Arnellia’s, Saint Paul. 6:30pm & 8pm ($5) Latin Jazz you can dance to (is there any other kind?), featuring Jimmieapolis (Jimmy Wallace) on saxophone, by a band dedicated to Augie Garcia.

Solomon’s Sessions @ Bedlam Theater, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm ($5) Trumpeter Solomon Parham leads a jam session featuring a number of students from McNally Smith, so you can expect some contemporary rhythms and songs along with standards. A little bit of Parham

Boney James @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45 – $65), 9pm ($35 – $65) After working with the Isley Brothers, Morris Day, Randy Crawford, and Teena Marie, saxman James released his first album in 1992. Since then he’s received 4 Grammy nominations, and a Soul Train Award, along with selling 3 million CDs and receiving four gold album awards. James calls his latest CD Futuresoul, as he uses modern production and the melodic and rhythmic trappings of vintage soul.

Monday, August 3

Courageous Endeavors @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) As noted in Wednesday’s listing, Brian Courage is in town for a bit and tonight is playing with the band he started. Courage, bass; Miguel Hurtado, drums; Nelson Deveraux, sax; Joe Strachan, piano.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, July 29

Steve Sullivan & the Factory @ Como Park Zoo, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (Free) Grab the kiddies and head over to the zoo where you can catch Sullivan and his band, playing blues and rock n’ roll that draws from Tom Waits as well as Jimi Hendrix.

Pure Praire League @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) During the 70s and 80s, PPL  as a steady presence on both country and pop charts with their easy-going lyrics, Eagles-type harmonies, and tap your toes rhythms. After disbanding in the mid 80s they reunited in 1998, and though they’ve experienced personnel changes through the years, they still deliver their distinctive sound. Here they are doing a Lowell George tune.

Nikki & the Ruemates @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5) The underground vibe of the new Vieux is a good setting for the intimate folk/rock sounds of Nikki & the Ruemates. Here they are in a noisier environment.

Thursday, July 30

Three Minute Hero with Church of Cash @ Music in Mears, Saint Paul. 6pm (Free) First, get yourself some stripped down country/rockabilly with the Church of Cash, playing the music of the Man in Black. Stick around for some energizing ska from the 8-piece Three Minute Hero, and then watch The Unearthing, a film about misfit teenagers in Stillwater. Check out the Church of Cash

Friday, July 31

John Beach @ Big Daddy’s BBQ, Saint Paul. 4:30pm (No Cover) With his gravelly voice and a long history of playing R&B keyboards, Beach’s patio performance at Big Daddy’s will be a great accompaniment for the BBQ.

Secret Stash Records Revue @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 8pm doors ($20) Secret Stash Records is a Twin Cities label that has made some impact with its releases of obscure funk from around the world and the Twin Cities. In fact, the release of old Twin Cities funk has led to the formation of a number of bands including Sonny Knight and the Lakers, and Black Market Brass, both part of tonight’s all star show featuring Cameron Kinghorn of Nooky Jones and the Adam Meckler Orchestra, Black Market Brass, Maurice Jacox, Pavielle French, Wanda Davis, and headliners, Sonny Knight & the Lakers.

Romantica @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12) Romantica frontman and leader Ben Kyle is an immigrant Irishman who uses American country and folk music to underly his songs about his homeland. Their initial release, Your Weakness, received tons of play on Twin Cities commercial and non-commercial stations and received numerous MN Music Awards in the early aughts. Kyle’s solo effort in 2013 also received much praise, including an article in the Huffington Post. Opening are Jayanthi Kyle and Wes Burdine of Gospel Machine.

Saturday, August 1

Choro Borealis @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($5) Choro Borealis plays Choro (pronounced SHOW-doo), high energy music that was popular in Brazil prior to the Bossa Nova craze of the 60s. The highly talented musicians in the group include guitarist Robert Everest, who is well schooled in many world rhythms, as well as multi-instrumentalist Pat O’Keefe, and percussionist Tim O’Keefe.

Eric Gales @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) It’s a guitar fanatic’s night at Famous Daves tonight. Gales was a child prodigy on guitar, picking it up at the age of four, and learning from older siblings. The Memphis native has recorded 14 albums as a leader since 1991, and has appeared on dozen of others. Gales is a Hendrix disciple, though he can draw all kinds of sounds from his guitar, as evidenced on his work on tributes to Led Zeppelin, Eric Clapton, and others.

Sunday, August 2

dfd49e_8d4b20a8925040a0b60cc622cab0ad5f.jpg_srb_p_1343_754_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srbViva Brazil @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 5pm ($10) The members of this eight-piece band hail from Rio, Bahia, Missouri, Maryland, Detroit, and upstate NY, though they all live in the Twin Cities. The group includes Altimair Coelo, director, bass; Keving Washington, drums; Josue Alfaro, percussion; Dan Musselman, piano; David Feily, guitars; Cory Wong, guitars; Eliezer Freitas Santos, percussion and Will Lopes, lead vocals. There’s no doubt you’ll be swaying to the insinuating rhythms of bossa novas, sambas, and more.

Tuesday, August 4

Kong/Shu Project @ MN History Center, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 8:30pm (Free) The History Center always includes one or two world music groups in its lineup for Nine Nights of Music each summer. This time they have The Kong/Shu Project, two brothers from North Carolina who perform a hybrid of folk, 80s rock, and pop in Hmong. They are appearing in conjunction with the History Center’s exhibit Hmong in Minnesota which had the largest opening day numbers in the Center’s history.

Bombino @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm $22 – Desert Blues from another guitar master. Omar “Bombino” Moctar released Nomad in April of 2013. It was produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys, and debuted at #1` on the Billboard World Music Charts. Rolling Stone calls Bombino, member of a nomadic Tuareg tribe, a guitar hero. American Cream opens.

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


Music Galore: 6.24 – 6.30

June 24, 2015

illustration of music background in doodle style

The Twin Cities Jazz Festival is upon us, with more opportunities to hear free music than I could possibly list. You can always find a complete schedule for the Jazz Festival here.

Of course, there is much more music to be found in town, including some visiting blues and roots artists of note, as well as The Pride Festival, the Midwest Harmonica Workshop, the Twin Cities Bass Camp concerts from Saturday through Tuesday, and some post-festival music at the Dakota. Here is just a brief sampling. Music lifts the spirit

Jazz

Wednesday, June 24

Lila Ammons @ Tangiers, Minneapolis. 8pm (No Cover) The Tangiers is a great spot to hear vocalist Ammons  what with its glitzy decor, and generally low key style on Wednesday evenings.

Ted Olson Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Olson, who graduated from high school in 2010, is studying music and composition at Luther College, and the University Of Northern Colorado, where he recently graduated. He’s been gigging around town as a sideman, and leads his own group, as he will this evening. You can hear some tracks by him here.

Thursday, June 25

Dirty Dozen Brass Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($25) What with Marci Ball tomorrow night, and Dr. John at the Jazz Festival on Saturday, we have a bit of a New Orleans weekend going on. The Dirty Dozen are responsible for blowing new life into the brass band tradition about 30 years ago or so, by incorporating both pop and jazz standards into their repertoire, and spawning groups like Rebirth Brass Band and more. They are still a band to be reckoned with. Here they are at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Nicole Carey & Hanna Cesario @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Two up and coming vocalists, each with a distinct voice. Carey gets her inspiration from Judy Garland, Fleetwood Mac, Strayhorn, and Gershwin, among others. Cesario creates her own arrangements of jazz standards on ukulele. They will be joined by Doug Rhode on piano.

Friday, June 26

Maurice Jacox Trio @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover)  If you aren’t taking in the Jazz Festival, but still want to hear some jazz, head up Central Avenue to a mile or two north of 694, to catch the veteran vocalist who is at home with jazz standards and Nat King Cole as he with stripped down Blues and R&B.

Saturday, June 27

Esperanza Spalding’s Emily’s D+Evolution @ Mill City Nights, Minneapolis. 9pm ($29) Bassist/Singer/Songwriter Spalding  appeared at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival a few years back, when Prince famously listened in his limo and then invited her to jam at Paisley Park until the wee hours.   She went on to appear at the Dakota a couple of times and win a Grammy as Best New Artist, a first for a jazz artist. Since then she’s been growing as an artist and trying out different approaches to her music. Her latest project revolves around her childhood interest in theater, poetry and movement. Like Chamber Music Society, this performance is part theater, part music.

Sunday, June 28

John Pizzarelli @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $45), 9pm ($25, $35) Pizzarelli is a charming raconteur and formidable guitarist who can breathe new life into songs that have been done hundreds of times. His singing and scatting adds to the pleasure of a performance, as you can see and hear in this video.

Monday, June 29

TC Bass Camp Party @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Tonight’s edition of JT’s Jazz Implosion is part of a series of concerts from the Twin Cities Bass Camp. The evening starts with a duo set by bassists  Jeff Harshberger and Doan Roessler. For the second set they’ll be joined by Pete Hennig and Martin Dosh, drums; Nathan Hanson, sax; and Erik Fratzke, guitar

Tuesday, June 30

Charles Lloyd @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50), 9pm ($30, $40) If you are a jazz fan, you have to here this master saxophonist at least once in your life. Lloyd’s career goes back to the 60s, when he won many young fans by playing the Fillmore in San Francisco. He is a musical force, a titan of jazz. Here, for example, is his ethereal take on a Brian Wilson song.

Francois Rabbath @ Benson Great Hall, Bethel University, Saint Paul. 7pm ($20/$15 for seniors & students) Rabbath is a French master bassist whose work with the double bass is considered as important as Paganini’s on violin. He has blown folks away in previous appearances in town, notably at the Minnesota Sur Seine festivals some years back. He will be accompanied by his son Sylvain on piano. Expect a night of exquisite, uplifting music

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, June 24

Rockin’ Pinecones @ Como Park Conservatory, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (Free) Get some hot Cajun music to go with the warm weather we’ve been having, as another season of Groovin’ in the Garden kicks off with the Rockin’ Pinecones  There’ll be activities for kids and (I believe) wine and beer for adults.

Wayne “The Train” Hancock @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($15) Whether you call him alt-country, the keeper of the classic country sound, or a honky-tonker, guitarist/singer Hancock puts such energy into old songs that they sound new again, and creates new songs that fit right alongside the classics. Hank Williams III has recorded a couple of his songs, and the two recorded a duet together. He’s now on Bloodshot Records the alt-country label that can get him more exposure among young rockabilly and alt-country fans. Opening by Ross Kleiner & the Thrill.

Thursday, June 25

Hurricane Harold & Friends @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) I believe this may be the first time Harold has headlined at the downtown watering hole & kitchen. His raucous harp playing will surely catch the attention of the after-work crowd, and he always has an interesting mix of friends with whom he plays.

Icicles @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No cover) Jake Hanson, guitars; Jim Anton, bass; and Jeremy Hanson, drums explore the sonic possibilities of a reverb-loving trio.

Friday, June 26

Marcia Ball @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($35), 10pm ($30) I’ve seen Ms Ball at least 8-10 times, and she always creates a rollicking good time. As a pianist she channels Professor Longhair, Clifton Chenier, and Fats Domino into her own musical stew of music that celebrates life. Here she is on A Prairie Home Companion.

Buddy Guy @ The Minnesota Zoo Amphitheater, Apple Valley. 7:30pm ($65) It’s been about 30 years since you could catch Guy at the old Blues Saloon for about $10, but times change, artists, and their reputations grow, and the amphitheater at the Zoo is decidedly larger, and offers more comfort than the old saloon (if it doesn’t rain). Guy is one of the few surviving blues musicians from the 50s/60s flowering of Chicago Blues, and is a recipient of Kennedy Center Honors. He can play like any rock guitar god, if he feels the audience is looking for that, but he’ll surely provide explosive blues guitar that is both moving and satisfying.

Rockin’ Johnny @ Holihan’s Pub, White Bear Lake. 8pm (Tip Jar) San Francisco harpslinger Aki Kumar is in town for the Midwest Harmonica Workshop  and tonight he’s joining with Jeremy Johnson, guitar; Bill Black, bass; and Richard Medek, drums to perform. Come see why he’s one of the featured teachers at the workshop.

Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) The dance floor at Dave’s will be filled with zydeco dancers, twirling, spinning, and generally having a good ol’ time. Dopsie is a member of a storied zydeco family (his father was Rockin’ Dopsie), and he certainly knows the tradition, but he infuses his zydeco with touches of soul, blues, and more, creating a higher than usual energy quotient. For zydeco, that’s saying’ something.

Erik Koskinen Band @ the Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Alt-country singer/guitarist Koskinen writes well-crafted songs about the vagaries of life. He’s releasing a new album, Live at the Real-Phonic Radio Hour, recorded at the JJ Hill Library during the monthly series. Opening by Leo Rondeau, a Texas by way of North Dakota singer/songwriter.

Saturday, June 27

Dale Watson @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) The honky-tonkin’ Watson has a  New Album, Call Me Insane, on Saint Paul’s Red House Records. Known as Austin’s King of Country, Watson writes songs that are populated with characters he’s met while performing around the country.  Opening by Doug Otto & the Getaways.

Black-Eyed Snakes @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) This electric blues band from Duluth is led by Frontman Alan Sparks of LOW and the Retribution Gospel Choir. They’ve toured the US with Charlie Parr, using jagged guitars for an occasional foray into psychedelia, all in the name of bringing raw emotions to the fore.

NextNotes Concert 2015 @ Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, Macalester College, Saint Paul. 8pm – 9pm (Free) Six up and coming composers from around the country will present their original compositions. Each is a winner of NextNotes, an American Composer Forum competition for High School composers. Music will range from string and brass ensembles to pop/rock and electronic compositions.

Sunday, June 28

Javier & the Innocent Sons: Blues and Brews @ Nicollet Island Pavillion, Minneapolis. ($50) Sure it’s a bit more than you’d expect to pay for these resident bluesmen  but it’s a fundraiser, with the money raised going to a good cause. It will go to Canvas Health, an organization that provides mental health services and suicide prevention phone lines and text lines. There will be craft beer poured by local breweries along with food pairings. Plus, for those of you who enthusiastically partake of all the offered brews, Dry Drivers will get you and your car home safely with a free ride.

Monday, June 29

Becca Stevens @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Stevens is a vocalist/guitarist who has been getting great reviews around the country and has collaborated on a wide variety of projects across musical genres. The NY Times calls her “New York’s best kept secret,” and Kurt Elling, who knows a thing or two about singing, heralds her talent.

 

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


Veterans and Up and Comers: 5.5 – 5.12

May 6, 2015

imagesSunday is Mother’s Day. Call your Mom, taker her to a musical brunch (there are more than I can mention), make her a special CD or mixtape, or simply remember her.

The Twin Cities music community continues to evolve, with new groups coming together, veterans playing with young turks, and musicians of all stripes blending genres in pursuit of musical nirvana (that’s with a lower case “n”). As audience members and fans, we get the benefit. Be sure to support live music. It lifts the spirit

Jazz

Wednesday, May 6

Lila Ammons Quartet @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Smokey jazz and cool blues from vocalist Ammons  with an occasional nod to boogie boogie, all served up in the somewhat posh setting of the former Shoreview. The early evening programming at Crooners concentrates on the music, not the drinking, though they have a good selection of cocktails and other adult beverages.

Thursday, May 7

Hanson, Roessler, & Seru @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) That’s Nathan Hanson, sax; Brian Doan Roessler, bass; and Davu Seru, drums and percussion. Freewheeling improvised music by a trio with almost ESP-like communication when it comes to the music.

Friday, May 8

Red Planet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Dean Magraw  guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums; deliver fusion without the bombast, drawing from Coltrane and Hendrix.

President Flow @ The Nicollet, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) A relatively new group, made up of veteran players Joe Mayo, sax; Dave Brattain, sax; Park Evans, guitar; Rick Nair, drums; Josh Granowski, bass.

Shoo bop shoop pop

Shoo bop shoop pop

Shoop! @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 8pm ($?) Vocal jazz from this quintet (plus band) that draws inspiration for its tight harmonies from Manhattan Transfer as well as some of the girl group songs of the 60s.,

Ron Miles @ Target Atrium, Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 10:30pm – 11:30pm ($25) Trumpeter Miles has released nine well-recieved albums as a leader. The Denver native (a resident musician at MSU Denver) comes to town to perform with Bryan Nichols, piano; Anthony Cox, bass/cello; JT Bates, drums.

Saturday, May 9

Just as sweet as the music

Just as sweet as the music

Kate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Patisserie 46, Minneapolis. 2pm (Free) Though the music is free, you are sure to be tempted by the wonderful creations at this Southside bakery. Bassist Lynch and her Fellows will provide finger snapping, fun music while you devour petit fours, napoleons, bon bons, or other French confections.

Cory Healey Beautiful Sunshine Band @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Another relatively new band that’s getting much attention. Erik Fratzke, bass; Zacc Harris guitar; Brandon Wozniak, saz; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; and Cory Healey, drums.

Sunday, May 10

Mother’s Day Big Band Blowout @ Como Dockside Pavillion, Saint Paul. 2pm – 8pm (No Cover) Mother’s Day and Music overlooking Como Lake. 2pm: Dirty Shorts Brass Band; 3:30pm: Bend in the River Big Band; 5pm: 1st Things First (7 singers, 7 piece band); 6:30pm: Acme Beg Band. Dance Floor.

images-1Prudence Johnson & Dan Chouinard: A Night of Gershwin @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $35) Johnson & Chouinard have remixed their 2003 Gershwin album and added another six songs, so they’re celebrating tonight. Special guest tonight is pianist/clarinetist Butch Thompson. This will be as tasteful and fun as you can get.

Monday, May 11

images-2The People’s Music: Jazz in Saint Paul @ Penumbra Theater, 270 N. Kent St, Saint Paul. (Free) 6:15 Reception, 7pm Program. This is part of a Labor History series presented by the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library. It will look at how jazz was nurtured in Saint Paul, and explore its history with live performances from The Tommy Robinson Trio, the Capitol Hill Jazz Band from Capitol Hill Jr HS, and student musicians from Roseville High School.

Tim Berne’s Snakeoil @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) This gig has many area musicians very excited. Berne is an alto saxophonist known for his singular, sharp sound and work in the creative music scene in New York. He was inspired (and mentored) by Julius Hemphill, and cites Hemphill as a significant influence on his work. Snakeoil is his bass-less quartet, featuring Oscar Noriega, clarinet & bass clarinet; Matt Mitchell, piano; and Chris smith, drums and percussion.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, May 6

The English Beat @ The Dakota, Minneapolis ($35-$40) The English Beat were one of the pillars of the  British Two-Tone ska movement in the early eighties, with their message of love, unity, inclusion and dancing. After disbanding in ’83, members went on to form General Public, International Beat, and Fine Young Cannibals. A reunion in 2003 reinvigorated the group, and they’ve remastering their old albums and rereleasing them with bonus tracks and DVDs, the latex of which is Special Beat Service. I’d be might surprised if some Gen Xers don’t find room to dance.

Erik Koskinen @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10:00pm ($8) True American music: a gumbo of folk, country, and rock n’ roll, with some blues thrown in for extra flavor. Koskinen’s writing is hard to beat, as is his guitar playing.

Thursday, May 7

King Wilkie’s Dream @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($6) A bluegrass band that chugs along with the energy of the Dead, blending “hillbilly jazz,” a bit of rock, tin pan alley, swing, classic bluegrass, and more.

Friday, May 8

Coco Montoya @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($?) Montoya started out in the 70s as a drummer for Albert Collins, who taught the young Montoya his “Icy hot” guitar style. Since then he’s played with John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, and the Cate Brothers. He’s released nine albums under his own name in the last 20 years, and is a world-class road warrior. Opening is Greazy Gravy, featuring harmonica maestro Curtis Blake.

Paul Cebar and Tomorrow Sound@ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($12) The Milwaukeean continues to draw out crowds to his highly danceable mix of R&B, Caribbean, and funk rhythms.

Unknown-3Trio Brasileiro @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) It’s an evening of Brazilian chorus, sambas, and bossa novas. Trio Brasileiro are Brazilian masters of choro, that fast, happy Brazilian genre. Opening is Pavel Jany and Natania Kamin, of Ticket to Brasil.

Saturday, May 9

Gospel Machine @ The Dakota, Minnepolis. 8pm ($10) Gospel Machine describe themselves as a “garage gospel” act, which has it’s own implications. Expect echoes of soul singers past, with a slightly harder instrumental edge than Booker T, with vocals from Jayanthi Kyle (Black Audience, Romantica) always threatening to break out of control.

Ramones Mania: Benefit for American Cancer Society @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 8pm. ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Loud, fast, short sets from a dozen or so bands, all in the name of supporting the work of the American Cancer Society.

#MPLS, PaviElle, and Proper-T & the Sol Flower Collective @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Here’s a collection of modern R&B groups from the area. #MPLS seeks to combine classic Minneapolis sound with current hip-hop sensibilities, creating cool harmonies, and generally funky sounds. PaviElle is an outstanding soul singer with a modern edge, and Proper-T & the Sol Flower Collective works the neo-soul groove as well.

Sunday, May 10

Willie Walker @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 4pm (No Cover) Spend Mother’s Day afternoon basking in the warm glow of Walker’s soulful voice. He’s just recorded a terrific album produced by Rick Estrin (Night Cats), and though this isn’t a CD release (that’s to come), there’s no reason to wait to hear him.

Monday, May 11

Hula Peppers @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7 – 8:30pm The newly refurbished restaurant at the Como Pavilion is now being run by the same team that runs the 331 Club and the Amsterdam. I suspect the music offerings may be a bit more adventurous than in the past, though the Peppers, purveyors of music from the 20s and 30s, would have fit in during the previous incarnation.

Nachito Herrera w/Horatio “El Negro” Hernandez @ the Dakota, Saint Paul. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($20) You may want to wear fireproof clothing as outstanding pianist Herrera is bringing in percussionist Hernandez for an evening of blazing hot Cuban rhythms. Hernandez is a leader in his own right, after having played with Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Carlos Santana (1999’s Supernatural), Eddie Palmieri, Gary Burton, and Roy Hargrove. Here’s a video of Hernandez.

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


Art and Music: 4.22 – 4.28

April 22, 2015

blog-post-art-and-musicWell it’s Art Crawl Weekend in Saint Paul and Lowertown especially will be crawling with hipsters, would-be hipsters, folks looking for that perfect piece of art to match a sofa, and more. Music lovers will be hopping between the Black Dog, Studio Z, The Bedlam, PUBLIC, and The Hat Trick. There may even be a few more. That’s not to say that you won’t find plenty of music on the west side of the Mississippi, as you can tell from the ideas I’ve put forth below. Have a good week. Music lifts your spirits.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 22

Danilo Perez @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm($30), 9pm ($20) Perez is one of the premier pianists of his generation, earning accolades from the likes of Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, anymore. He’s the founder and artistic director of the Panama jazz Festival in his own country,m and tours with the wonderful rhythm section of Ben Street on bass and Adam Cruz on drums. His 2014 release, Panama 500, celebrates the five hundredth anniversary of the first permanent European settlement in Panama, yet incorporates jazz and classical music, as well as folk music from throughout Latin America.

Lila & Axel

Lila & Axel

Butch Thompson, Axel Zwingenberger & Lila Ammons @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10 – $20) It’s an evening of early jazz, classic boogie boogie, and the blues, featuring our own pianist/clarinetist Butch Thompson, boogie boogie pianist Zwingenberger, and internationally acclaimed blues singer Lila Ammons, who is no slouch when it comes to jazz either. Zwingenberger and Ammons have toured Europe extensively for the last eight year.

Thursday, April 23

Fireside Five & Friends @ The Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Five amazing musicians who you would expect to hear in a jumping’ nightclub rather than a wood-paneled coffeehouse (though beer and wine is served). Tom Ashworth, euphonium; Brian Grivna, sax; Phil Aaron, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. Plus, they bring in some very talented friends.

Rhonda Laurie & Phil Mattson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The always-swingin’ smoky-voiced Ms Laurie on vocals and pianoman/arranger Mr. Mattson will be exploring standards and more this evening. Here’s Rhonda with a bit different accompaniment.

Cartwright-Kinney-Lewis-Evans @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Michelle Kinney, cello; Michael Lewis, sax; George Cartwright, sax; Elaine Evans, pocket Trumpet. Adventurous improvised music from a quartet of musicians whose resumes run from Lou Reed, Alex Chilton, and Andrew Bird to Ornette Coleman and Happy Apple.

Friday, April 24

Endeavors @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) A quintet with some great young players, including: Miguel Hurtado, drums; Nelson Devereaux, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Joe Strachan, Piano; and Ryan Hays, bass. They have coalesced into a tight, passionate unit.

James Wallace Quartet @ Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Wallace has been playing sax in the area for a long, long time. In fact when the folks at Secret Stash Records were putting together a revue to celebrate the funk music of 40 years ago, they recruited Wallace as one of the players of the time. He’s joined by a group of slightly younger veterans: Steve Kenny, trumpet; Ron Evanuik, bass; and Alden Akeda on drums.

The Dakota Combo -  Image by Andrea Canter

The Dakota Combo – Image by Andrea Canter

Dakota Combo Spring Concert @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This octet of high school players is strong in talent, technique, and execution. A couple of them even write. Despite their age, this is no novelty act, but rather a group of young musicians whose ability transcends their age. There will be some treats afterwards.

Saturday, April 25

Katia Cardenas & Joe Strachan @ PUBLIC Kitchen & Bar, Saint Paul.7pm – 9pm (No Cover) This is part of a new effort by the folks at PUBLIC to feature weekend music in their downstairs bar & lounge. Cardenas is a vocalist who is equally at home in jazz, R&B, and pop. Strachan is a pianist who is equally at home in jazz, Afro-Cuban music, and funk. Should be a fun pairing.

Bob Mintzer w/JazzMN Orchestra @ Hopkins High School, 2400 Lindberg Drive, Minnetonka. 7:30pm ($32 – $34. Discounts for Students) As a saxophonist, MIntzer is a pretty versatile guy. He’s a composer, arranger, big band leader and a member of the storied fusion band, The Yellowjackets. His current project is an R&B big band featuring the music opt Sly Stone, the Isleys, James Brown and more. You’ll be hearing some of those tunes tonight, as well as some music from vocalist Patty Peterson.

Mancrush, with Jon Wood and Iron Chops @ Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:00pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Wood is a guitarist celebrating a CD release at 7pm. He’ll be joined by Dave Brattain, sax; Javi Santiago, keys; Graydon Peterison, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger, drums. At 8:30 Mancrush, takes the stage, featuring Lars Erik-Larson on drums; Zacc Harris, guitar; Bryan Nichols, keys; Brandon Wozniak, sax.

Saturday, Sunday, April 25, 26

Legend Series with Irv Williams and Debbie Duncan @ The Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm Saturday, 3pm Sunday ($25) Williams is 95 and still deserving of his nationally known nickname, Mr. Smooth. The sass and swing of vocalist Ms Duncan will be complemented by the romantic sound os Williams’ saxophone.

Sunday, April 26

Jazz Noir @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 5pm, 8pm ($25) Kevin Barnes at KBEM is once again bringing live radio drama to the airwaves, this time at the old Artists’ Quarter in Saint Paul, which is slowly being transformed in anticipation of a late June opening. This is the third in a series of commissioned plays about jazz in the Twin Cities. With an original music score composed and performed by Chris Bates, bass; Steven Hobert, piano; and Solomon Parham, trumpet, tonight’s play is an original called Morning Follows Night, and follows a decorated WWII hero who is an ex-con trying to find out who double-crossed him. It takes place over a ten-year period in the jazz clubs of the Near North Side. The 8pm show will be broadcast live on KBEM (88.5FM).

Monday, April 27

Doug Haining @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Haining may well be the most swinging sax/clarinet player in town. He’s played with the Wolverine, Echoes of Ellington, JazzMN Orchestra, Charmin Michelle, and his own swinging septet the TC Seven, as well as being a co-leader of the Explosion Big Band

Tuesday, April 28

Paul Renz Quartet @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 5pm (No Cover) though it’s only been open as Crooners for five months, the folks there are digging right into the local jazz scene to feature artists from the area. Tonight it’s the great guitarist Paul Renz and his group. Renz may not be a familiar name, but rest assured, he’s well known on the East Coast, where he regularly tours, and is well-respected by his many students.

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 PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

 

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, April 22

A Night at the Opera @ The Museum of Russian Art, 5500 Stevens Avenue, Minneapolis. 7pm – 8:30pm ($30) If you have any inclinations toward classical compositions and opera, this will be a treat, as Russian baritone Vladislav Sulimsky will be joined by pianist Denis Evsthin to perform popular operatic arias and art songs by Verdi, Puccini, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninoff. The museum itself is a lovely place with good acoustics, not to mention extraordinary art. Go to the museum’s website to register.Malamanya,

Malamanya @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($10) Every time I see these proponents of Afro-Cuban and Latin rhythms, they get stronger and hotter. The chairs and tables will be cast aside at the Icehouse, so dancers can twirl and do their sexy thing.

 

Thursday, April 23

Mother Banjo @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No cover) The Minnesota Music Coalition is a sponsor of Foodie Nights at the Dakota and tonight is featuring Ellen Stanley and her band for an evening of indie folk/gospel music. Stanley has received accolades for her original lyrics and haunting vocals.

 

Friday, April 24

Schubert Club Mix @ Bedlam Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($30) Tonight the Schubert Club presents pianist Stephen Prutsman in a program of Bach. Prutsman was an Artistic Partner of the SPCO in the mid-2000s, served as Artistic Director of the Cartegena International Festival of Music from 2009 – 2012, and has collaborated with the Kronos Quartet, creating over 40 arrangements and compositions for the Grammy winning chamber ensemble.

Hipshaker Dance Party @ The Kitty Cat Klub, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Rare 45s with the kind of beat that makes it easy to dance. Just ask the mostly young crowd that fills every edition of this dance night.

Hold Tight Dance Party @ Bedlam Theater, Lowertown. 10pm (No Cover) Bedlam employees will be scurrying to remove the piano from the Schubert Club program (see above) while things get set up for Hold Tight deejays Booka, Sam, and Del, who are bringing in another Deejay Crew, the guys from Wants vs Needs, for a dance night rooted in funk but likely to go anywhere.

Carnage Record Release Party @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($8) Warm, personable hip-hop artist Carnage has been called “The best drummer in town” because his vocal beat box skills are so right on. He’s celebrating the release of a new CD, “Up Close and Personal.”

Saturday, April 25

James McMurty and Max Gomez @ The Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20) McMurty is an Austin, TX songwriter/singer who mines Americana and occasional folk-rock to help him tell his stories of hard characters facing life’s myriad challenges. Village Voice critic Robert Cristgau called his 2005 protest song, “We Can’t Make It Here” the best song of the 2000s. His recently released album “Complicated Game” continues his streak of well received releases. Opening set by promising young singer/songwriter Max Gomez, of Taos.

UnknownCasablanca Orchestra @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) Whether performing 80s new wave, old-school funk, classic Motown, or new music like Uptown Funk or All About that bass, his ten-piece show band will have dancers out on the commodious dance floor at MMC.

PaviElle and Nooky Jones @ The Ichouse, Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($10) It’s an evening of 21st Century Soul. PaviElle French has quickly caught the ears and hearts of Twin Citizens since returning to the stage about a year ago. She sings with a bit of flavor of Sly Stone and even Bill Withers, with a band that can jam out a-la Parliament Funkadelic when the feeling arises. Nooky Jones features a fine vocalist in Cameron Kinghorn, backed by Adam Meckler, trumpet; Ryan Christianson, trombone; Kevin Gastonguay, dyes; Andrew Foreman, bass; and Reid Kennedy, drums. They are all first rate jazz musicians who create a smooth, jazz flavored danceable R&B behind Kinghorn.

Sunday, April 26

Road to Memphis Band Challenge @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 1pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s another event sponsored by the Minnesota Blues society to pick a band that will represent us in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis next January. Contestants include: Bludog, Sweet Tea, RAMM Band, Squishy Mud, Fattenin’ Frogs, Jimmi & the Band of Souls

Nellie McKay @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) The quirkily delightful Ms McKay will once again bring her quit wit and often insightful satirical lyrics to the Dakota. She can skewer war and feminism with equal aplomb, and turn around and deliver a Dinah Shore ballad.

Monday, April 27

Hot Club of Cowtown @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $30) This trio plays Western Swing with original compositions that reflect both Django Rheinhardt and early jazz, as well as Bob Wills. Much fun.

Tuesday, April 28

Labaja @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($22) This Nigerian Afrobeat artist differentiates himself by using  traditional Yoruba drums to establish a dance floor rhythm, creating a light, though still insinuating groove. Singing in Yoruba, English, and a blend of the two, he wears a mask as an icon of man’s facelessness.

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


Good Weather. Great Music: 12.10 – 12.16

December 10, 2014
Last year, we had this for weather during this week. This year we'll have no snow.

Thank goodness we don’t have this to look forward to, which was what we had last year at this time.

It seems we’re in for a warming trend this weekend, with temps in the 40s and 50s, so the weather should be no barrier to attending holiday parties and shows. Once again we’ve a few visiting artists worth your time and money, as well as our usual plethora of resident musicians who will help lift your spirits. Have a good week.

Jazz

Wednesday, December 10

Lila Ammons @ The Tangiers, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm (No Cover) A classically trained vocalist, Ms Ammons tackles jazz and blues with authority and verve to spare at this warehouse district nitespot on North 1st Avenue.

Magica Improvisada @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This is bassist Chris Bates’ once-a-month series at JC. Tonight, it’s all basses on deck for a Bass Summit, featuring, besides Chris, Casey O’Brian, Brian Roessler, Charles Fletcher, Chris Hunnicut, and more.

Thursday, December 11

Give Get Sistet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Sara M. Greer gathers up some like-minded female vocalists to improvise holiday classics and wintry favorites a-capella style. With Aimee K. Bryant, Mankwe Ndosi, Libby Turner Opanga, & Alicia Steele.

Jack Brass Band @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) Whether they’re playing traditional New Orleans jazz, The Temptation, or the more modern R&B of Keith Sweat & Bobby Brown, the JBB’s infectious rhythms and joie de vivre will have you bouncing in your seats or taking to the dance floor.

Friday, December 12

Connie Evingson @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm The dulcet, swinging tones of Ms Evingson will waft through the lounge at this Italian restaurant. Whether singing gypsy jazz, The Beatles, or Peggy Lee, Evingson always bring a lush sound to her singing. Tonight, she’s joined by Rick Carlson, piano; Gary Raynor, bass; and that bebopper with a way with ballads, Dave Karr on sax.

Tanner Taylor @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Versatile pianist Tanner Taylor is back in town for a bit, and will be joined by pals Graydon Peterson, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums, for an evening of holiday favorites, and, I’m sure, other tunes.

College Night @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm – 11:30pm (Donation) Here’s a chance to listen to the next generation of jazz players, as members of  North Central University’s Jazz Workshop show off their chops. The evening ends with a jam session.

Saturday, December 13

Chris Bates’ Red 5 @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Saturday Night Jazz continues to draw the jazz faithful to the Black Dog, this time for Chris Bates’ quintet playing his original music. Chris Bates, bass; JT Bates, drums; Zack Lozier, trumpet; Brandon Wozniak & Chris Thomson, saxes. With an opening set by Dark Blue. Here’s the Red5 doing a tune from their CD.

PipJazz Live Holiday Program @ Maplewood Community Center Theater, 2100 White Bear Avenue, Maplewood. 7pm ($25, $5 for Students) Featured Youth Artist: Charlie Lincoln, bass. Pippi Ardennia presents her holiday show of jazz & R&B, with featured youth artist Charlie Lincoln, who is studying with Eric Kamau Gravatt, and already shows great talent and promise.

Sunday, December 14

Maud Hixson & the Wolverines Trio w/Dave Karr @ the Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 2pm – 4pm. ($25, $15/Student, child, $20 Senior) It’s a musical excursion of holiday tunes through the years, featuring the delightful Ms Hixson, with firm support from the Wolverines Trio and the extraordinary Dave Karr on sax. Nationally recognized film collector Bob DeFlores will be showing rare films of holiday songs as performed by Big Crosby, Judy, Garland, Spike Jones, Gene Autry, and others.

Charles Lazarus All Brass Big Band: Merry & Bright @ St. Joan of Arc Church, 4537 3rd Ave S. Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($?) Trumpeter Lazarus takes a break from his MN Orchestra duties to present a different take on holiday tunes, from Latin to loungem, groove to gospel. With Tommy Barbarella, piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; Dave Schmalenberger, drums, and the Lazarus Brass, as well as special guest vocalists Bruce Henry & Tonia Hughes.  This video isn’t holiday music, but it gives you a good idea of Lazarus at work.

Monday, December 15

Kevin Gastonguay B3 w/Clay Pufahl @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Ahh, the funky sounds of a B3 organ, responsible for bringing soulful jazz to the people in small clubs across the nation. Tonight Kevin Gastonguay will be at the keys and foot pedals, with accompaniment by saxophonist Clay Pufahl, and drummer Mac Santiago.

George Cartwright’s PAL @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) It’s the always adventurous Jazz Implosion, tonight featuring Saxophonist Cartwright, together with multi-instrumentalist Andrew Broder, bassist Josh Granowski, and JT Bates.

Monday, Tuesday, December 15, 16

Roberta Gambarini @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Ms Gambarini is a highly talented singer who brings her great sense of swing and ability to scat to the Great American Songbook. Mentored by James Moody, Benny Carter, and Hank Jones, she’s received two Grammy nominations. Ms Gambarini is appearing with a seasoned band of all-stars, including Jimmy Cobb, drums (the only living member of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue recording; Ray Drummond, bass; Sullivan Fortner, piano; and Justin Robinson, sax. I did an interview with Ms Gambarini back in 2011, which you can read here. She explains her approach before singing in this video.

Tuesday, December 16

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Their recently released album is a winner, with original tunes and arrangements by Meckler. Read a review of the album here. As many of you may know, Jazz Central isn’t very big, so you’ll be able to see and hear this 16 piece band up close and personal.

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 10

Cooker John on the House Party and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI-90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Cooker John learned fingerpicking from Artie Traum in Manhattan back in the early 60s. Afterwards he played in various bands around NYC, opening for folks like Chuck Berry, The Lovin’ Spoonful, and Crazy Horse. Since 1990 or so, he’s been gigging around the Midwest, mostly working solo to bring his blues and folk music to the masses. Tonight he’ll be joined by Nick Salisbury on bass and Ben Kaplan on drums. Tune in, and if you like what you hear, head over to the 331.

Wednesday, Thursday, December 10,11

Lisa Fischer @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50 – $60), 9pm ($40, $50) The last time she was in town, both shows sold out. This time Fischer is here for six shows (two occurred last night), and it may still be hard to get a good seat. Fischer was the stand-out performer in the documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, about background singers. She’s been 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.

Thursday, December 11

McNally Smith Emerging Artists @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Free) Here’s a chance to hear some young musicians strut their stuff. The McNally Smith staff has been doing a great job of teaching and mentoring the students at the school. Tonight you can hear Improv, Composition, Funky Blues, and two Modern Rock bands. And did I mention it’s free?

The Icicles @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover) Jake Hanson, guitar, Jeremy Hanson, drums, and Jim Anton, bass, play reverb instrumental music: surf music, dub, and pop instrumentals.

Friday, December 12

Basalt @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5-$20 Suggested Donation) Okay, here’s a combination that you don’t see much. James W. Anton provides funky bass for The Droppers, and can be heard as a sideman in a number of jazz bands. Jeremy Ylvisaker plays his guitar as a member of Cloak Ox, Alpha Consumer, and Andrew Bird’s band, among others; while JT Bates is a drummer about town, playing with The Pines, Molly Maher & Erick Koskinen, and jazz projects like Fat Kid Wednesdays, and Chris Bates’ Red5, not to forget the fact that he curates the Jazz Implosion every Monday at the Icehouse. It appears this may be a jazz trio, but with such varied backgrounds, there’s no telling what they’ll play.

Africans in the Snow @ Patrick’s Cabaret, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10) Members of the Cottman Jazz Family present storytelling, dance, and music to present stories connecting culture and art. Dancer Kenna Cottman serves as curator. Auntie Beverly is a griot who will share stories, and Roboday Drums will present music from Haitian Culture. Warm drinks and spicy food will also be available.

Curtiss A. and Dark Click @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Fresh off his 35th Annual John Lennon tribute, Curtiss A explores the blues with this particular group.

People Brothers Band @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9pm doors, 10pm show ($10) The People Brothers are an octet from Madison who lay down some might invigorating “rhythm and soul,” as they call it, with originals and covers from bands ranging from the Talking Heads to The Allmans. Twin Cities artists I Like You open, along with A Round of Horseshoes.

6th Annual Holiday Shindig Benefit for Kill Kancer @ the Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. ($10)  Resident singer/songwriters (and newlyweds) Ben Cook-Feltz and Mother Banjo are teaming up to present this annual benefit featuring Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton, who’s getting around a lot these days; Molly Dean, Jon Rodine, and Natalie Lovejoy. They’ll be taking turns singing seasonal originals and holiday favorites, with all proceeds going to Kill Kancer, started by Marty Beth Mueller after losing her husband Karl Mueller of Soul Asylum to esophageal cancer.

Saturday, December 13

Tribute to Doug Sahm @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 4-6pm (No Cover) Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton teams up with Jon Rodine, Rusty Jones, Tim Mauseth and other guests for a tribute to the music of Doug Sahm, Augie Meyers, Freddy Fender,and other great Texas stars!

The Eddies’ Seventh Annual Yulefest @ Celtic Junction, 836 Prior Ave N., Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15) Celtic Music, songs of love and death, food, wine, a silent auction and more from the Eddies, along with Barra, the Hi Bs, and Patsy O’Brien, raise money for th Food Group (formerly the Emergency Foodshelf Network).

Sunday, December 14

Medeski, Scofield, Martin, & Wood @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. ($30) This groove-steady combination of musicians features guitarist John Scofield, and the younger trio of MM&W. They’ve been joining up for gigs and recordings for about 17 years, and have just released their third studio recording together, a celebration of rhythms from Brazil, the Carribean, and Latin America, including that soul/Latin hybrid, the boogaloo.

Marcia Ball @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($30) Hm, Hm, Hm. Steady as the Mississippi, as fun as a Mardis Gras party, the rollicking, rocking Ms Ball always delivers her Texas/Louisiana brand of blues, R&B, Boogie Woogie, and Zydeco with verve and good humor. Her latest album, the danceable Tatooed Lady & the Alligator Man, has been receiving great reviews.

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.

 

 


Lotsa Music: 9.10 – 9.16

September 10, 2014
The Selby Jazz Festival attracts dancers.

The Selby Jazz Festival attracts dancers.

Well as the temps drop a bit, and we’re reminded that Fall is on the way, there are plenty of opportunities to hear music. You will note that we are blessed with multiple ideas on some nights, whether you’re into jazz, blues, roots, or a combination thereof. With the variety of music at hand, there is surely something for you to get out and see. Music lifts the spirit. Have a great week.

Jazz

Wednesday, September 10 

Evan Christopher’s Clarinet Road: Tribute to Sydney Bechet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Clarinetist Evan Christopher calls his music “contemporary early jazz,” which, I guess is a fairly accurate description. While his repertoire includes many songs from the early 20th Century, Christopher’s playing is anything but stodgy. He swings with ease and is very imaginative when it comes to soloing. Tonight he’ll be paying homage to Sydney Bechet, one of the first important soloists in jazz, even beating Louis Armstrong to the recording studio by a few months. Here’s a video of him doing a Bechet tune.

Kevin Washington Group, Pippi Ardennia All-Stars, & Cory Wong Group @ Calhoun Square, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Another presentation of three fine groups by the Mobile Jazz Project. It takes place in the parking lot at Calhoun Square.

Enormous Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation). Chris Bates, bass; Chris Thompson, sax; Park Evans, guitar; Joey Van Phillips, drums. Bright stars all, this quartet of talented players have long been friends and have long played together, as a quartet and in various combinations. Expect some terrific soloing as they push each other to discover new ways of communicating via music.

Lila Ammons @ the Tangiers, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) With it’s red color scheme and lighting The Tangiers’ posh booths, leather couches, and lavish chandeliers make it a lux nightclub, though the prices are reasonable. They serve flatbreads, salads, and small plates, and on Wednesday nights feature jazz.  Tonight it’s vocalist Lila Ammons, whose signature combination of jazz and blues cannot be beat.

Thursday, September 11

Colleen Raye @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The versatile vocalist performs jazz and cabaret  tunes with ease. Raye will be accompanied by Gary Raynor, bass; Chris Lomheim, piano; as they record live in the relaxed setting of this basement club.

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) The last show in the All Originals Jazz Series features the largest band – the 17 piece Adam Meckler Orchestra. They are preparing for the official release of their very fine CD, and will be premiering a new piece this evening. Here’s a video of a tune from the new album.

Fuzzy Math @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm – 10pm ($6) Mark Vandermyde, piano; Andrew Schwandt, sax; Matt Peterson, bass; and Harald Bondaris, drums, play some jazz for West Metro fans. As I’ve mentioned before, the 318 only holds about 40 people, so reservations are a good idea.

Corey Healy, Adam Linz, and Jake Baldwin @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Thursday night musical adventures continue at the Khyber pass. The first set is Corey Healy on solo percussion. The second set features Healy, along with Adam Linz, bass; and Noah Baldwin, trumpet.

Friday, September 12

Guitarmageddon @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Well, guitarmageddon might be an over-reach, but we do have two excellent guitarists, Dean Granros and Zacc Harris, joining with Chris Bates on bass and Jay Epstein on drums, for an evening of fine music.

Saturday, September 13

Selby Jazz Festival @ Selby & Milton, Saint Paul. 11am – 8pm. (Free) This annual event is featuring superstar drummer Harvey Mason, and resident saxophonist Dave Kusz, who has a new album out with a bit of an edge for someone identified with “smooth jazz.” Dick & Jane’s Brass Band will open the proceedings with a second line stroll through the neighborhood, then add a few more instruments and vocalist Maurice Jacox for the Jazz Heritage Showcase. Other acts include The Walker West Legends of Jazz, Jason Weisman & Q, and the 50-piece strong Brio Brass.

John Raymond’s Roots Trio @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($15) Here’s a chance to see a NYC-based group in the intimate confines of Studio Z. Raymond is a Minnesota native has received praise in the NY Times for his trumpet playing and performed as a leader at clubs like Smalls, the Blue Note, and Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola. He’ll be in town to record with his Roots Trio, which includes Gilad Hekselman on guitar, and Colin Stranahan on drums. Here is Raymond with a quartet.

Monday, September 15

Steve Kenny @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The trumpeter continues to find new groups with which to express himself. Tonight he’s joined by Ted Goudbout, piano; Adam Tucker, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums. As always on a Monday night, a jam session occurs about 10pm.

Jazz Implosion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) Another evening with two groups. First up is Jacob Hanson, guitar; James Buckley, bass; and JT Bates, drums. Second set is double drum group Real Bulls, consisting of JT Bates and Dave King on drums.

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, September 10

Crankshaft on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm hour (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Dig In Magazine states that Crankshaft’s amalgam of blues, country, swing, rock n’ roll, and surf “could not have been imagined prior to the early punk scene.” He’s got enough energy to run a Tesla, and a sense of humor to boot. Tune in during the 5 o’clock hour, and if you like what you hear, see him in person starting at 7pm. BTW, it’s also a birthday party for Kathy Schwalbe (the wife of guitarist Dan Schwalbe), so the room will have an extra punch of energy. Here’s an example of Crankshaft at work.

Vieux Farka Toure @ the Cedar Cultural Center, Minnapolis. 7:30pm ($20) Malian guitar giant Toure has been hailed as “The Hendrix of the Sahara.” He’s the son of the late Ali Farka Toure, who discouraged his son from becoming a musician due to the pressures Ali had experienced. Eventually, Vieux received his blessing before Ali passed. Known for his speed and dexterity on the guitar, Toure is also able to connect the blues to his native music (much like his father did), as evidenced in his 2011 album, The Secret, recorded with Dave Matthews, Derek Trucks, and John Scofield. Guitarist Kenn Wanaku, of West Africa, but now living in Minneapolis opens, and DJ Brian Engel spins before and between sets.

Thursday, September 11

Lisa Fischer @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, ($40 – $50) 9pm ($35 – $45) I’m afraid both shows are sold out. Read about her in this past Sunday’s Star Tribune.

The Droppers @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover) Soulful, funky, instrumental rock, evoking Booker T & the MsGs, The Meters, The Raybeats, and others.

Friday, September 12

The Butanes @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($?) While the site of the original Blues Saloon may be under the wrecking ball, the new (ish) location still features the blues early on Friday evenings. Just made for folks of a certain age to be able to get out and dance and still get home well before midnight. Tonight the oft-elected Twin Cities best blues band plays for your dancing pleasure.

Black Market Brass & Malamanya @ The Triple Rock, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Oh Boy! Here’s a great evening for folks who love world music. You get the Afrobeat funk of Black Market Brass and the sensuous Latin rhythms of Malamanya. I’m thinking the place will be crowded. Here’s Black Market Brass at a recent festival.

The Silvertones @ The Schooner Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Sometimes you just want to hear a band play some good old tunes from way back in the day, like maybe the 60s. Maybe you’ll be inspired to get up a dance a bit between sips on your favorite beverage. This is the band. It’s hard not to have fun when they’re playing.

Saturday, September 13

Luke the Uke’s Cartoon ExtravaGonzo @ Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis. 11:30am – 1pm. ($8m $5 for 12 and under) Luke the Uke (aka Tom Lieberman) mines the cartoon archives, and along with his friends DJ Mr. Gosh on the Ancient MixMaster and Lady Miss Ian on vintage laptop, provides a morning’s worth of fun and silliness. Special musical guests The Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers. Grownups bring kids! Kids bring grownups!

Sunday, September 14

Daddy Squeeze, Pat Donohue, and Richard Kriehn @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 4pm – 6pm (Tip Jar) Well, here’s an afternoon delight for fans of acoustic roots music. Daddy Squeeze will deliver all you expect and a whole lot more out of his accordion. Pat Donohue will delight finger-picking fans, and Richard Kriehn will add the sound of a mandolin to the proceedings.

Tim Sparks & Phil Heywood @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($10) As the old chewing gum commercial went, Double Your Pleasure, Double Your Fun. At least if you’re a fan of fingerpicking guitar, since Tim and Phil are two of the best. Period. Of course, if you were at the Amsterdam earlier today, you would have seen another great finger-picker in Pat Donohue.

Tuesday, September 16

New Ruckus Composer Night @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm. (Free) If you ever wondered what new music (contemporary classical music) is, then tonight’s the night for you, as new music will be presented and the composers will be present to chat with the audience. Zeitgeist and the Caprice Saxophone Quartet will be performing music from Zeitgeist’s call for scores. Zeitgeist will perform Three Portraits for Clarinet and Piano by Linda Tuts Haugen and Karel Suchy’s Inner Voices. The Caprice Saxophone Quartet will perform Marc Phillip Aune’s Wedding Recessional No. 2, and Sitting on Freud’s Lap by David Evan Thomas.

Meshell Ndgeocello @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $45) Ndegeocello is an original who stays true to herself while collaborating with writers and musicians, and drawing from a variety of genres. The groove-laden songs on her latest album Comet Come to Me, includes a cover of Leonard Cohen and another from the seminal hip-hop group Whodini.

Doug Otto & the Getaways, Fattenin’ Frogs, and Business Man @ The Amsterdam Bar and Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) It’s a night of rootsy rock n’ roll at the Amsterdam. The six-pice Fattenin’ Frogs will open at 9pm with their bluesy, rock n’ roll approach to traditional music, followed by Doug and the boys at 10 with music that evokes Robert Johnson, Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams, and Buddy Guy, among others. Business Man closes at 11. They’re a quartet with drums, bass, guitar and violin.

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.

 

 


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