What is Hip? 11.15 – 11.21

November 15, 2017

What is Hip? Well, Tower of Power is here this week to answer that question, but you know that here in the Twin Cities, we’re blessed with a surfeit of hip music. This week we have a wide variety of music genres, from the funk of Tower of Power, to the grease of a couple of organ trios, to African music, Latin music, Grateful Dead music, and jazz with odd rhythms. It’s all quite invigorating, and as I’ve said many times before, Music Lifts Your Spirit. Get out and enjoy some.

Jazz

Wednesday, Nov 15

Kandace Springs @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) Pianist and singer/songwriter Springs assimilates soul, jazz and pop while creating music that is distinctly her own. She started out in R&B/hip-hop, but found more comfort in jazz, citing folks like Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, & Roberta Flack as inspirations. When Prince heard her interpretation of Sam Smith’s Stay With Me, he invited her to perform with him at Paisley Park for the 30th Anniversary of Purple Rain.

Also: Rick Carlson and Thompson & Magraw @ Vieux Carré  Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) followed by Butch Thompson & Dean Magraw at 8pm ($5)

Thursday, Nov 16

The Casualties: Bates, Castino, & Gastonguay @ Vieux Carré  Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) The band: JT Bates, drums; Chris Castino, guitar; Kevin Gastonguay, keys. Chris Castino has been writing songs for the Twin Cities jam band Big Wu. for 20 years. However, his latest songs have a folk bent. I assume we’ll hear some of them tonight.

Maryann Sullivan: The Music of Fats Waller @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Fats Waller had the ability to be joyful, irreverent, insightful, and slightly bawdy, which is why, some 80 or 90 years later, his songs are an integral part of the jazz standards repertoire. Tonight Maryann Suillivan takes on his songs, with the help of Ted Godbout, piano; Preston Haining, trumpet; Amy Golen, vocals; and Jim Chenoweth, bass.

Also: Twin Cities Trumpet Ensemble @ Ives Auditorium, Burnsville. 7:30 – 9:30pm ($15) Jazz, Classical, and modern works from 24, yes 24 Trumpets!

Friday, Nov 17

Dorothy Doring & the Jazz Standards @The Undergound Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Ms Doring sings jazz standards accompanied by a quartet at this warm coffeehouse that serves beer and wine.

Nachito Herrera: Gershwin Meets Lacuona @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15, $20) Herrera takes a mostly solo turn playing the music of George Gershwin and the “Cuban Gershwin,” Ernesto Lacuona, best known in the States for the song Malaguena. He’ll be assisted in a few songs by daughter Merdalys. I had him on my show this past Saturday to talk about the event. You can hear it at: http://kfai.org/rhythmandgrooves. The interview starts at about the 15 minute mark. Here’s what he sounds like with a trio.

Also: Bruce Henry and The Atlantis Quartet @ Crooner’s Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. Bruce Henry in the main lounge at 7:30 (No Cover) and the Atlantis Quartet in the Dunsmore Room at 9pm ($12, $15) Jazz for the 21st Century

Saturday, Nov 18

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) At 7pm the JazzINK Youth Showcase presents the The Tamberwood Quartet: Charlie Menken, saxophones; Robert Dean, piano; Harry Menken, bass; Nick Adams, drums. They will be followed at 8:30pm with two sets by Chris Bates Red 5: Chris Bates, Bass; Davu Seru, Drums; Chris Thomson & Brandon Wozniak, Saxophones; JC Sanford, Trombone; Thomas Nordland, Guitar; and Steve Kenny, Trumpet. While the Red5 is expanded to 7 tonight, here’s a video of the group as a quintet.

Hecho en Cuba Opening Reception, with Charanga Tropical @ Squirrel Haus Arts, 3450 Snelling Avenue So, Minneapolis. 3pm – 11pm (Free) This opening reception for an exhibition of Cuban art is presented in parallel to the Walker Art Center who, and includes photography, posters, folk art painting, small sculptures ad more. Charanga Tropical will be playing music from 8-11pm and I will be spinning rare Cuban Vinyl before and between sets.

Sunday, Nov 19

Brubeck Brothers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm & 8pm  ($30, $35, $40) Dave Brubeck’s sons Dan, drums; and Chris; bass & trombone; join with bandmates Mike DeMicco, guitar; and Chuck Lamb, piano; for A Tribute to Dave Brubeck. Though the quartet’s style is “straight ahead,” they have the same ability to explore odd time signatures as the late pianist. All About Jazz wrote: There’s really nothing out there that comes close to their unique brand of inventiveness.”

Monday, Nov 20

Benny Benack @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20) NYC-based Benack is a dual threat on trumpet and vocals. He’s played in the Christian McBride Big Band, the Mingus Big Band, the Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Sars, the Jimmy Heath Big Bandm, and Bobby Snabria’s Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra. He’s also been the trumpet soloist on Josh Groban’s tour, and headlined Birdland alongside Anne Hampton Callaway, in addition to headlining at a number of the big apple’s prestigious jazz rooms.

GRAIN B3 Trio @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Get your fill of soul jazz served up with a side of grease with JT Bates’ Trio: Kevin Gastonguay, B3, Zacc Harris, guitar, and JT Bates, drums.

Tuesday, Nov 21

Trapset @ Vieux Carré,  Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) Trapset w/Joe Wong feat. Eric Kamau Gravatt, Lori Barbero, Gordy Knudtson, Todd Trainer 7pm, no cover

Also: Harvey Diamond & Melissa Stoudt @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 8pm – 10pm (Tip Jar) See last week’s listing for Nov 12, or go to my blog.

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, Nov 15

Charlie Parr on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) I bet many folks won’t wait to hear Parr on Hurricane Harold’s House Party, but will go to the 331early to get a seat. The place will be packed to hear Parr’s heartfelt and plaintive original folk blues and traditional spirituals.

Thursday, Nov 16

Sandra Bernhard @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($45; $55 and $80 seats are sold out) This is a show that definitely falls under “Other” as the multi-talented Bernhard brings her observational comedy to the Cedar. The comedian/actress/singer calls this show Sandra Monica Boulevard: Coast to Coast. In its review of this show, Variety wrote, “…within every keenly observed pop-culture rant, there’s an element of piercing truth. Bernhard remains as brash and brazen as she was in the 1970s.” The following clip includes some words that are not suitable for work.

Friday, Nov 17

High 48s & Jillian Rae @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 7pm ($20 Advance/$25 Door) The sprightly bluegrass rhythms of the High 48s will have you tapping your foot and nodding your head, as they sing of Bank Robbers, trains, and the vicissitudes of life. Jillian Rae’s fiddle playing and pop/folk approach to both classic rocks songs and her originals will leave you smiling at her talent and lyrics.

Grateful Dead Tribute @ Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7Advance/$10 Door) Deadheads unite! Dance and sway to Grateful Dead tunes and jams by JFLAD & Friends, Winterland, and headliner: The Shotgun Ragtime Band (w/Camile Baudoin of the Radiators)

Bobcat @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Bobcat is Bobby E, a great, but underappreciated guitarist, and Cathy Mosher, a fine singer well known for her Patsy Cline show

Also: New Riverside Ramblers @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) For all the Cajun Dancers out there.

Saturday, Nov 18

April Fools Album Release @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 9pm ($9 Advance/$12 Door) This quartet plays a wide spectrum of music, from straight-up country to Brit-pop, blue-eyed soul, and more. Besides Drake, the band includes Clay Williams, guitar; Scott Hreha, bass; and Ben Kaplan, drums. Tonight they’re celebrating the release of Colorwheel, their first release on Blackberry Way Records. Joining in the celebration are Rich Mattson & the Northstars, and The Magnolias, for a great evening of Minnesota music.

 

Saturday, Sunday, Nov 18, 19

Café Flamenco @ Park Square Theater’s Boss Stage, Saint Paul. 8pm Saturday, 5pm Sunday ($25) The basement stage at Park Square will become Flamenco Central, as the Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theater Company presents a concert of traditional flamenco dance and music, featuring special guests including singer José Cortés Fernanez, guitarist Chuscles, and dancer Jesus Munoz.

Sunday, Nov 19

Blues Aid @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 1pm – ? This fundraiser is for hurricane relief in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, which are still in dire straits more than seven weeks after being completely battered by Hurricane Maria. This day is billed as an “Epic Blues Jam” with Armadillo Jump serving as the Jam Host Band. There will be a Silent Auction as well

Phil Heywood @ Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) The Dubliner takes on an especially cozy ambience when finger-picking champion Phil Heywood takes the stage. In addition to his formidable talent as a guitarist, Heywood’s pleasant baritone will soothe your aches and revive your spirit.

Monday, Nov 20

Elage Diouf @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15 Advance/$18 Door) Here’s a show for world music fans, as the Sengalese born singer/songwriter and master percussionist creates a blend of pop, world, blues, and asiko music, which has its roots in West African street drumming. He’s known for the warmth of his voice and his ability to engage audiences in his performance.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Nov 20, 21, 22

Tower of Power @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50, $65, $70), 9pm ($40, $55, $60) This horn band has been delivering Oakland funk since the 70s, and no one does it better, whether they’re delivering a James Brown homage or their hits like What Is Hip, You’re Still a Young Man, or Down to the Nightclub (Bump City). Always great fun.

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.


A Good Week for Music: 4.13 – 4.19

April 13, 2016

largeIt’s a good week for music. There is much vital jazz going on the Twin Cities, of which I’ve only listed a few things. Then there’s the blues and roots scene, which seems to birth a new band every week. We have some visiting artists, as well as a plentiful supply of resident artists to spark our imagination and lift our spirits. Have a great week.

 

Jazz

Wednesday, April 13

Mary Louise Knutson @ Vieux Carré,, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) Knutson is an inventive pianist with a lyrical touch who plays the dinner hour at the basement club pretty regularly. She also plays with Doc Severinson, various orchestras, accompanying vocalists such as Connie Evingson, and with her own trio. Have some gumbo, ribs, or a muffaletta and wonder at how lucky you are to hear such talent.

Chris Bates and Al Vorse @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Two well-regarded bassists about town play mostly acoustic solo material, some of which will be augmented with special effects. Bates promises it will be fantastic! Here he is doing a solo piece.

Thursday, April 14

Keiko Matsui @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($32 – $42), 9pm ($22 – $32) Keyboardist Matsui has been thrilling fans of smooth jazz, jazz fusion, jazz pop, and new age music over the course of four decades, melding genres, as well as Western and Eastern musical influences over the course of twenty albums. She was an invited performer at the second International jazz Day concert, held in Istanbul in 2013, and has worked alongside such luminaries as Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, and Hugh Masakela, and is a starch supporter of a number of humanitarian programs.

Sarah M. Greer @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Thursdays are vocal nights at Jazz Central, and tonight’s presentation is entitled The Sound of Her Own Voice. Ms Greer, who teaches as well as performs, will be accompanied by Anthony Cox, bass; and Dean Magraw, guitar. She’s celebrating the joy of singing, as well as a birthday. Here she is leading a spontaneous sing.

Friday, April 15

A Weaving of Traditions @ Hamiline University’s Sundlin Hall, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15 Advance, $20 Door) This is a tribute to jazz musicians with Native American roots.The concert will include music of  Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk and other jazz musicians with Native roots arranged for Native American style flute by Bob Fantauzzo  He’ll be joined by Lyz Jaakola, on traditional Anishinaabe vocals and percussion; Anthony Cox, bass; Javi Santiago, piano; and Mac Santiago, drums and percussion. Mr Smooth, saxophonist Irv Williams will make a special guest appearance. Here’s Bob with a cellist.

Jeremy Walker/Katia Cardenas @ The Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Walker – No Cover) 9pm (Cardenas – $8) It’s another full evening of jazz, from the sometimes introspective piano playing of Jeremy Walker  who creates stunning original music, to the strong vocals of Ms Cardenas, who can tackle a wide variety of songs with ease. She’s been recording an EP, and is coins some crowd funding to finish it up. Cardenas will be accompanied by Ted Godbout, piano; Andrew Foreman, bass; and Zach Schmidt,drums.

Maryann Sullivan and Corner Jazz @ Parma 8200, Bloomington (No Cover) The former radio host and current voice talent Ms Sullivan displays her talent as a winning songstess of the Great American Songbook, with Phil Aaron, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; Trevor Haining, drums. Listen to her with a slightly different group.

Friday Night Jazz in Exile @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Donation) At 7:30pm, the evening starts with the Ancia Saxophone Quartet a group that received a standing ovation this past January at the Winter Jazz Fest. Then at 8:30pm or so, Rare Medium  the jazz-funk outfit whose appeal crosses generations and genres, will perform. Her’s the Ancia Quartet.

Saturday, April 16

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) This promises to be an outstanding night of music, though both groups are relatively new. At 7pm: D’Sievers Quartet, w/Steve Sawyer, bass; Jon Davis, piano; Alec Tackmann, drums; John Sievers, trombone, followed at 8:30pm by the debut performance of the Free Range Jazz Quartet: Jabari Powell, saxophones; Ryan nether, trumpet; Anthony Cox, upright bass; and Rodney Ruckus, drums.

Kate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Vieux Carré,, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Young swing dancers will be moving a table or two as they strut their stuff to the engaging sounds of bassist Ms Lynch and her group. Even if you don’t dance, you will enjoy Kate’s historical perspective on the songs she plays which range from the 30s to the 60s. I’ve posted this video before, but it’s worth seeing again.

Court’s in Session Jazz Ensemble with Courtney Burton @ Studio 2 Cafe, 818 West 46th St, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (No Cover – Tip jar?) Here we have a quintet of musicians from Beasley’s Big Band playing with Ms Burton in a Southside coffee shop. Her creamy voice is well suited to jazz with blues overtones, as found in many of the standards they perform.

Sunday, April 17

Connie Evingson: Gypsy in my Soul @ The Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. ($25) Evingson has done three different albums of Gypsy Jazz. She’ll be drawing the evenings repertoire from those as well as adapting other songs to the style. She’s ably abetted by Patrick Harrison, accordion; Dean Harrington, guitar; Mark Kreitzger, guitar; Jopsh Granowski, bass; and Dave Karr, sax.

Monday, April 18

Jazz Implosion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Cory Healey’s Beautiful Sunshine Band just released a new album featuring Healy’s thoroughly modern original compositions. Besides Healey on drums, the group includes some of the area’s top musicians: Erik Fratzke, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; and Zacc Harris, guitar. Listen to a cut from their album.

Tuesday, April 19

Steve Hobert/Mill City Hot Club @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Hobert – No Cover), 8pm (Hot Club – $5) An early-in-the-week two-fer of jazz. Pianist Steve Hobert’s compositions and improvisations are delightfully playful, while the Mill City Hot Club will provide some acoustic swing and Gypsy Jazz. Guitarist Dean Harrington leads the quintet, whose membership varies among a core group of players.  Here are some of them.

Lizz Wright @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $55) As a preacher’s kid in Georgia, Ms Wright grew up singing gospel music, which, along with jazz, folk, and the blues, informs her singing. Her latest album, Freedom and Surrender, has been well received by critics and fans alike, as have her previous four.

Irv Williams @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) Williams is 96 years old and still sounding great, with a tone so smooth and beautiful, that it’s coveted by sax players half his age. He’ll be joined by Dave Graf, sax; Phil Aaron, piano; and Gordy Johnson, drums in the intimate, 80-seat listening space.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, April 13

Zack Lozier Three on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI – 90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club, Tip Jar) Trumpeter Lozier can be heard with brass bands, the Doc Severinson Orchestra, the Southside Aces, Davina & the Vagabonds and with this trio, which includes Steve Hobert on keys and Keith Boyles on bass. Expect some traditional New Orleans jazz as well as some untraditional, but nevertheless swinging, takes on some classics.

Spider John Koerner @ The Happy Gnome, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) Saint Paulites are in for a treat, as Spider John sets up in the Fireside Room of this unique neighborhood beer hall – well it does have 89 taps and a plethora of bottled and canned beers, as well as 250 brands of scotch. Anyway, no one can play traditional American folk and blues like Koerner, and it’s always a pleasure to hear him. Spider John plays at 7pm, followed by the Cincinatti duo Dawg Yawp at 8:30. Here’s Koerner doing a classic folk song.

Thursday, April 14

Music in Movies @ MStP International Film Festival, Saint Anthony Main Theater, Minneapolis. Mad Tiger , a film about the breakup of the Asian rock group Peelander-Z, screens at the Uptown Theater at 10pm.

Big Fat Love: John Prine’s 1/2 Birthday @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Once again, Mother Banjo and Art Vandalay present an evening of the music of John Prine, with additional performances from Doug Otto, The Eddies, Katey Bellville, Nikki & The Ruemates,  and more!

Lonesome Dan Kase/Pat Donahue with Daddy Squeeze Quartet @ Vieux Carré,, Saint Paul. 6pm (Lonesome Dan – No Cover), 9pm (Pat & Daddy Squeeze – $8) The Vieux does a nice job of pairing dinner hour performers with evening acts, such as this two-fer. I’ve long been a fan of Lonesome Dan’s plaintive singing and channeling of itinerant bluesmen from the 30s. Donahue is a versatile guitarist, whose championship finger-picking style is right at home with the accordion-based music of Dan Newton, aka Daddy Squeeze. Here’s Lonesome Dan.

Friday, April 15

KFAI Listener Appreciation Night @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) There will be three rooms of music, featuring regional artists that support the station, like Dan Newton and the Cafe Accordion Orchestra, the Swamp Poppas, Mark Joseph of Big Wu, Phil Heywood, Mother Banjo, Doug Otto & Hurricane Harold, Papa John Kolstad, and more.

Larry Campbell & Teresa Williams @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $30) Soulful Americana from a couple who have backed Dylan (Campbell spent 8 years on the Never Ending Tour), Little Feat, Hot Tuna, Emmylou Harris, Mavis Staples and Levon Helm, among others. A special treat is the opening act, Donny Fritts  an architect of the Muscle Shoals sound, whose songs have been recorded by The Box Tops, Dolly Parton, Charlie Rich, Waylon Jennings, and more. He’s also been Kris Krisofferson’s keyboard player for over 40 years.

Saturday, April 16

Johnny Clegg Band w/Jesse Clegg @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($40 Advance, $45 Door)Singer/guitarist Johnny Clegg was born in England and grew up in Zimbabwe. He joined with African artist Sipho Mchunu to form the mixed-race group Juluka in the late 70’s and went on to record two platinum and five gold albums. He also recorded a million-seller with the band Savuka in the 80s, and in 2010 celebrated his 30th anniversary as a performer with a solo album called Human. He recently became a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE). His son Jesse, a platinum selling artist in his own right, opens. Here’s Clegg. The music begins at about 20 seconds.

KFAI Listener Appreciation Night #2 @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Night Two takes a turn toward more raucous music, with Charlie Parr, the April Fools, Kinda Kinky, The Bad Companions, Blurring Agent, and more, including an open jam.

Sunday, April 17

Phil Heywood @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm (Tip Jar) Late afternoon finger picking, with occasional singing, from Heywood, a master of the form.

The Residents Present Shadowland @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($40 Advance, $45 Door) Since their formation over 40 years ago, the membership of this experimental group has been cloaked in anonymity, as they always appear in masks (often their trademark eyeball helmet), and don’t talk. They don’t give interviews either. Nevertheless, the Residents have released over 60 albums, often deconstructing popular music, or creating conceptual pieces, such as Shadowland, being performed tonight. There will be music from the Resident’s extensive catalog, interspersed with short videos about birth, rebirth, reincarnation and near death experiences. The program kicks of the a film called The Theory of Obscurity.

Monday, April 18

Music in Movies @ MStP International Film Festival, Saint Anthony Main Theater, Minneapolis. Various prices, and times. It’s another night of music at Saint Anthony Main as The World Has No Eyedea, the film about the Twin Cities freestyle rapper screens at 7pm, and Mad Tiger, about the breakup of Peelander-Z, and Asian rock band, screens at 9:50pm.

Tuesday, April 19

Lil’Smokies, with Last Revel @ Dayblock Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7 advance/$10 Door) The Last Revel is a trio that uses three part harmonies and a rebellious attitude, along with a touch of traditional folk, to liven up a crowd. The Lil’ Smokies are from Missoula MT, and have been hard at work for six years, creating a progressive acoustic sound. Their hard work paid off when they recently won the 2015 Telluride Bluegrass Festival band competition.

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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