Visitors and Special Events: 2.15 – 2.21

February 15, 2017

unknown-1There are lots of interesting gigs this week, some of which required a long explanation, while I’ve covered others with just a few sentences. We’ve a couple of high-profile visitors and a few special events to pique our interests and bring us musical pleasure. Whatever you choose, just remember that music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, February 15

Ambrose Akinmusire and Kool A.D. @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul 7:30pm ($20) The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra’s Liquid Music Series commissions new projects presented in unique venues. Such is the case tonight, when young jazz trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire partners with rapper Kool A.D.to create a brand new chamber music work. Akinmusire won both the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competiton and the Carmine Caruso International Jazz Trumpet Solo Competition back in 2007, when he was 25. He has since put out three albums and was a sideman on about 25 albums, including CDs by Vijay Iyer, Esperanza Spalding, Roy Hargrove Big Band, Jack DeJohnette, and Steve Coleman, among others. Kool A.D. is the nom de rap of Victor Vasquez. The rapper’s work was described by Mother Jones magazine as:  “a thoughtful effort to deconstruct and rearrange cultural objects in ways that challenge our deepest assumptions.” Special guests include The Mivos String Quartet along with pianist Sam Harris and drummer Justin Brown

Jeremy Walker Songtet, featuring Jason Harms @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6 Cash only) Pianist Jeremy Walker is a musical explorer, who delves into musical styles and creates haunting compositions. This new group is about great songs. He’s enlisted Jason Harms, who was heard in Walker’s epic 7 Psalms, to work with the Songtet interpreting great songs, whether Walker originals, or from Dylan, Ellington, or the Great American Songbook. Joining Walker and Harms are two other frequent collaborators: Jeff Brueske, bass; and Tim Zhorne, drums.

Thursday, February 16

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10, $5 w/MMEA Badge) Meckler is a trumpeter-about-town who is a gifted composer and teacher. He’ll be doing a workshop at the MMEA conference Friday afternoon, working with the band from Spring Lake Park High School. He’s bringing his 18 piece orchestra to the Dakota to provide MMEA participants and others with a preview of his work.

Maria Schneider Orchestra @ O’Shaughnessy Auditorium, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($35 – $65; Discounts for students, seniors, military, MPR) Five-time Grammy winner Maria Schneider grew up in Windom, attended the U and essentially redefined the sound of a jazz orchestra. Schneider is one of the leading lights of jazz these days, and was recently on the cover of Downbeat, when her album The Thompson Fields was named the best of the year in the magazine’s Readers Poll. The evocative, gorgeous album, named for the fields near her Windom home, won the 2016 Grammy for Best Large Jazz Ensemble. Students can get a 2-4-1 discount by using the code WWMA.

David Rempis @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Rempis is a free jazz saxophonist who isn’t afraid to do solo performances. With a background that includes studying African music in Ghana, years with Chicago’s Vandermark Sound, numerous collaborations, and as an organizer of Chicago’s indie-rock Pitchfork Festival, Rempis will be performing one set solo tonight, as well as a set with Levi Schwartzberg, vibes and piano; and Davu Seru, drums and percussion.

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) The Ruckus Trio spent most of January touring, so tonight’s show should be quite tight, featuring Ruckus on drums; Javi Santiago on piano; and Greg Byers on bass and cello. Though this video from just a few weeks ago is dark, the sound is good.

Friday, February 17

The Jazz Bridge Project @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7 suggested donation) Here’s a relatively new project featuring the father-son team of Roger Johnson, guitar; and Rajah Johnson on flute; as well as Ron Evanuik, bass; Eric Kamau Gravatt, drums; and Abebi Stafford, keys.

Jay Young & the Lyric Factory @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00[pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Bassist Jay Young brings his funky, jazzy R&B to the basement club, featuring music from Blondie, Tina Tuner, Steely Dan, and Bobby Brown. The band consists of Jay Young, piccolo bass; Ian Young, bass; Theo Harris, drums; Tom West, keys; Ernest Bisong, violin; Haylee Dee, vocals; and Caitlynn Daniels, vocals.

Saturday, February 18

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) JazzINK once again presents an young opening act for this series: Liquid Vinyl, led by Nick Adams. Headliners are What Would Monk Do? with Peter Schimke, piano; Ted Olsen, bass; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; and Kenny Horst on drums.

Sunday, February 19

Kaki King @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $42) It’s difficult to slot guitarist Kaki King into any genre, or even describe her music. She’s worked with bands like the Foo Fighters and Timbaland, contributed to film and TV soundtracks, and sometimes performs with a NYC-based string quartet ETHEL. She also performed a Carnegie Hall premiere of a classical pice commissioned by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer David Lang. Tonight, she’s presenting “The Neck is a Bridge to the Body” in a multi-media performance.

Patty Peterson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40 Dinner Show) Singer Patty Peterson is celebrating the anniversary of the aortic tear which almost ended her life about ten years ago. Thankfully, she’s still with us, and still sounding great, as she proved at the Winter Jazz Fest a couple of weeks ago. She’ll be performing songs that celebrate life and love. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Minneapolis Heart Institute.

Monday, February 20

MVP Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20, $30), 9pm ($25) Bobby Watson  sax; Donald Brown, piano; Ray Drummond, bass; and Marvin “Smitty” Smith, drums; are the MVP Quartet. They have played together in various combinations and bands since these veterans were young. Both Watson and Brown were in Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, though at different times. Drummond and Smith both have extensive resumes. Here’s Watson with a standard.

Mary Louise Knutson Trio @ Crooners Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner Show) I suspect that I mention Mary Louise quite a bit, but she’s such a great pianist, I feel more folks should know about her. After all, she’s the first call pianist for Doc Severensen when he tours the Midwest. She’ll be joined by Chris Bates, bass; and Phil Hey, drums, in Crooners’ listening room. Here’s what she sounds like.

Tuesday, February 21

UW Eau Claire Jazz Ensemble w/Michael Davis @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (No Cover) The Jazz Studies program at UW Eau Claire has been doing a great job of turning out musicians. Tonight they’ve invited NYC-based trombonist Michael Davis to sit in with their Jazz Ensemble. The bone-man is widely known as the trombonist for the Rolling Stones since 1994. He toured and recorded with Frank Sinatra from 1988 to 1994, released 9 solo CDs, composed over 150 works, authored 10 books and appeared on over 500 CDs and motion picture soundtracks. He’s worked with scores of high-profile musicians, including Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan, Aerosmith, Tony Bennett, Sarah Vaughan, Sting, Branford Marsalis, David Sanborn, Terence Blanchard and others.

MVP Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($30) After playing at the Dakota lat night (see above), this all-star quartet is moving over to the Vieux.

Tuesday, Wednesday, February 21, 22

Aaron Diehl Presents Jelly & George @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm  ($40 – $55), 9pm ($24 – $45) Pianist Aaron Diehl turns the spotlight on the music of rag time pianist Jelly Roll Morton, and popular composer George Gershwin. There is certainly plenty of wonderful material to explore, and Diehl has picked out both classic tunes as well as little-known gems for further exploration. He’ll be joined by  pianist Adam Birnmaum, who has played with Al Foster, Wallace Roney, Eddie Gomez, and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra as well as young contemporary artists. Vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant is the icing on the cake, so to speak, with her ability to unearth new interpretations of standards and long-forgotten, yet worthwhile tunes.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, February 15

Joe & Vicki Price on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Joe and Vicki have such a fan base here in the Twin Cities that they could almost move here from their Decorah, Iowa home. Listen in during the 5 o’clock hour to catch their spare, but effective blues.

Masters of Hawaiian Music @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $42) Here we have three masters of slack key guitar – a distinctly Hawaiian style of open tunings. George Kahumoku Jr, Kawika Kahiapo, & Nathan Aweau are masters of the instrument who have produced four Grammy-winning CDs.

Maurice Jacox @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Here’s a chance to hear a vocal master of R&B, soul, blues, and even some crooning in the comfy confines of this “dive-ish” bar with friendly staff.

Aaron Kerr’s Dissonant Creatures @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Original compositions from electric cellist Aaron Kerr  along with Jeff Crandall, guitar; Toni Tinetti, cello; Justin DeLeon, drums; Matt Kanive, bass; Mike Nordgy, mandolin & percussion; and Brett Hansen, guitar.

Thursday, February 16

International Novelty Gamelan @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) A gamelan is a traditional music ensemble from Indonesia that typically uses bronze percussive instruments. The ING may not be Indonesian, but it’s six members have taken the music of that far-off land to heart, and learned to create their own songs as well. Their music is drone-like, and can be very abstract, which makes it perfect for the cauldron of progressive music presented at Khyber Pass.

Friday, February 17

Dee Miller Band @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($??) The Duchess of the Blues, singing and playing for your early evening dancing pleasure.

Dobet Gnahoré @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) 9pm ($25, $30) This singer, dancer, and percussionist from the Ivory Coast is likely to stun you with the sheer physicality of her dancing, though her singing (in a variety of African languages) and time-keeping are nothing to sneeze at. Gnahoré has a warm, powerful voice, and a commanding stage presence, sure to hold you in wonder.

Slimabration @ The Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20 Advance, Donation at Door) It’s been five years since Bob “Slim” Dunlap experienced the stroke that sidelined him from playing music, and racked up some significant medical expenses. Slim’s friends and family decided to mark the occasion with a celebration of Bob and his music, featuring solo and band performances from the likes of Dan Baird, of the Georgia Satellites; John Eller & Friends; Curtiss A, Frankie Lee, Whale in the Thames, and many more. There will be craft food and beverages available.

John Primer @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7, includes a free beverage) Primer served as bandleader and lead guitarist for Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon and Magic Slim and the Teardrops. He’s received two Grammy nominations, including a 2017 nomination as Best Traditional Blues Artist (Male). In other words, when it comes to the blues, Primer is the real deal.

Saturday, February 18

Ling-Ju Lai: The Saturday Salon @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 3pm ($20) Host Maria Jette has lined up an impressive array of artists to perform for the somewhat informal Saturday Salon series. Though Ms Jette’s commentary and quick wit keep things light, the audience is as rapt as possible in this listening room. Today features pianist Ling-Ju Lai  a native of Taiwan who has gained an international reputation for her creative interpretations of Baroque music. From the venue’s description: “Highlights of the 2016-17 season include appearances in notable concert series such as the Aula de Música at the University of Alcalá in Spain, the PianoForte Foundation Salon Series in Chicago, and Brookline Library Music Association Concert Series in Massachusetts presenting The Goldberg Variations by J. S. Bach.”

Freaker’s Ball 2017 @ The Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) Let your Freak Flag Fly as the White Iron BandKung Fu Hippies, and trumpeter Willie Waldman take you on a trip through various stomp-your-feet permutations of roots, jam band, psychedelic, and free form music.

Silvertones @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) The Silvertones are a cover band that features rock and R&B from the sixties, for that evening when you just want to sing along and (for older folks) perhaps relive your youth.

Sunday, February 19

Bad Companions @ The Como Zoo Conservatory, Saint Paul. 4:30pm – 6:30pm (Free) Two guitars, a stand-up bass, and drums are just what is needed to play roots-rock that encompasses Rockabilly, R&B, Country, and the Blues. Al Subola (Vibro Champs), guitar; Dan Gaarder (Trailer Trash), guitar; W.E. Keefe (Vibro Champs), bass; and Hayden Grooms (Hillions) are the Bad Companions  providing the sounds in the Sunken Garden of the Margorie McNeely Conservatory. Beer and wine is available and the music is piped into the North Garden and Palm Dome so you can keep up with the music as you enjoy the plants and humidity of the Conservatory. Here they are with the addition of a saxophonist.

Tuesday, February 21

Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) Latin sounds by the first American Group to be invited and appear at the International Danzon Festival in Havana. Leader Doug Little will have just returned from Cuba, so I imagine he will be pumped.

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.

 


Resident and Visiting Artists: 9.7 – 9.13

September 7, 2016
The Selby Jazz Fest

The Selby Jazz Fest

I’m happy to bring you the news of some great shows for our area, from both visiting and resident artists, including a couple of home-grown festivals, some wizard guitar work, great jazz, Tuvan throat singers, and a classical music ensemble playing music from the middle east and around the world. There is surely something going on that will appeal to your curiosity. Remember, music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, September 7

Ben Sidran Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Billy Peterson, bass; Ricky Peterson, organ; Leo Sidran, drums; Ben Sidran, piano, vocals. The friendship between Ben Sidran and the Petersons goes back a long, long way. Sidran is as hip a musician as you can find. With a deep knowledge of jazz tradition, and an ability to riff on a story and its theme, Sidran once hosted a long running show on NPR and has recorded dozens of albums. This group’s last appearance at the Dakota was a winner.

New Shoes @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Former members of the Guys All Star Shoe Band, of Prairie Home Companion, are now performing as New Shoes, playing in the lounge tonight, for your listening pleasure.

George Marich Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Anthony Cox curates one Wednesday a month, often bringing in groups that he’s a part of, or in this case, a trio that’s simply billed as experimental. Adventurous listeners will be rewarded.

Thursday, September 8

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) It’s an evening of gospel/R&B flavored 60s jazz from the Minnesota Hard Bop Collective, led by drummer Jesse Simon and including a number of relatively young players: Omar AbdulKarim, trumpet; Clay Pufahl & Joe Mayo, saxophones; Javier Santiago, piano; Ted Olsen, bass.

Mindi Abair @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40), 9pm ($20, $30) Abair is a pop saxophonist who has toured with Aerosmith since 1973, and played with Bruce Springsteen, joined Paul Shaffer on the Late Show, and appeared at the Grand Ole Opry. That’s in addition to releasing 7 albums, and having 10 #1 radio hits, on the contemporary jazz charts, as well as Grammy nominations in 2014 and 2015. She’s already appeared at the Dakota as a guest musician a couple of times, though I believe this may be her first star stint at the club.

 

Suzanne Paris @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Selections from the Great American Songbook by Paris, who burst on the jazz scene at the age of 19 and was soon invited to appear at the JVC Jazz Festival in Japan. After a few years she dropped out to raise a family, and after fifteen years, has begun performing again.

Friday, September 9

Zacc Harris/Charmin & Shapira & Friends @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (Harris – No Cover), 9pm (Charmin & Shapira -$8) Guitarist Zacc Harris performs for the dinner hour set, followed by the elegant stylings of vocalist Charmin Michelle and guitarist Joel Shapira  as well as a few of their friends, perfuming songs by Thelonious Monk, the Gershwins, and others.

Ramtrak @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Energetic originals and improvisation from Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Lars Erik-Larson, drums; and Thomas Nordland, guitar.

Saturday, September 10

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening set at 7pm by the Growlers: Joel Shapira, guitar; David Martin, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums. Then, at 8:30, uber drummer Dave King brings out another of his numerous groups – Vector Families, with: Brandon Wozniak, sax; Dean Granros, guitar; and Anthony Cox, bass.

JoAnn Funk @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) With the unofficial end of summer having passed, the Saint Paul Hotel will once again feature JoAnn Funk on vocals and piano; accompanied by Jeff Brueske, bass, on Saturday evenings. Always a delight.

Debbie Duncan @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) The Twin Cities own “First Lady of Song” performs a mix of jazz and R&B-ish tunes.

Selby Avenue Jazz Fest @ Selby & Milton, Saint Paul. 11am – 8pm (Free) This neighborhood jazz festival features free music all day long, with both resident and visiting musicians. It also features “state fair food with a soul twist,” as well as art and a family fun zone, all in a neighborhood reunion setting. The day starts out art 11am with a second line-type parade through the neighborhood by the Selby Avenue Brass Band, featuring musician’s from Dick and Jane’s Brass band, a jazz fest tradition since 2002. It continues with performances by the Walker West Music Academy’s Legends of Jazz; the 50-piece Brio Brass; a set by the expanded Selby Avenue Brass band with guests Maurice Jacox and Thomasina Petrus; the 11-piece mens chorus Men of New Hope; pianist and Saint Paul native Anthony Walker, who’s appeared on numerous TV shows and the White House; ending with Grammy winner Kirk Whalum, whose gospel roots in Memphis and nightclub experience in Houston shaped his winning sound. Bring a chair, choose some food from the various vendors, sit down and relax while hearing some great music from around the corner and around the nation.

Monday, September 12

Acme Jazz Company @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) One of the premier big bands of the area gathers each month to thrill fans with their original arrangements, including the vocal stylings of master crooner Arne Fogel.

Tuesday, September 13

Chris Lomheim/Ted Godbout Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (Lomheim – No Cover), 8pm (Godbout – $5) Another Vieux Carre two-fer of jazz, this time pairing two pianists for the evening. Lomheim is a pianist who gently takes you on flights of fancy. Godbout is making a name for himself among Twin Cities vocalists as an accompanist for Katia Cardenas, Gary Larue, and PaviElle, in addition to being a member of Bill Simonsen’s Big Band and other groups, including his own trio, which performs tonight. Here’s Godbout in a different trio.

For more listings, 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 7

Kent DuChaine on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Those of you of a certain age who were living in the Twin Cities in the late 60s/early 70s may remember Aces, Straights, and Shuffles, one of the popular R&B/blues bands of the era. Kim Wilson played harp, and DuChaine played guitar. Since then DuChaine has played and toured solo, with close to 100 tours of Europe.

Curtiss A & the Dark Click @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Curtiss A may be best known for his screaming rock n’ roll, but every once in a while he brings out Dark Click to play the blues in his own inimitable way.

Thursday, September 8

Mikkel Beckmen & Crankshaft @ The Dubliner Pub, Minneapolis. 5pm (Tip Jar) So today you get the minimalist “punk blues” of guitarist Crankshaft  along with the scrub board rhythms of host Mikkel Beckmen, for a late afternoon/early evening jolt of fun.

Friday, September 9

Scottie Miller @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Miller’s rousing piano playing, with its hints of both Professor Longhair and the E Street Band, will have the lounge jumping.

Eddies @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 5pm – 6:30pm (Free) There’s no charge for sitting in the pavilion and enjoying lake breezes while listening to the almost acapella sounds of the Eddies  Order New Orleans food and drink inside and they’ll bring it out to you – you have a wider choice than simply using the pavilion bar.

Alash Ensemble @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($18 advance, $20 door) The members of this trio are masters of Tuvan throat singing, that ancient Asian technique for singing multiple notes at the same time. They also incorporate some modern sounds, and have collaborated with the likes of Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, the Sun Ra Orchestra, and other musicians across the musical spectrum.

Saturday, September 10

Summit Backyard Bash @ Summit Brewing, 910 Montreal Circle, Saint Paul. Noon- 8pm ($30 Advance, $40 gate) It’s another day featuring a wide range of music for this annual event. Headlined by Bob Mould of Husker Du, it will also feature deM atlaS, Bad Bad Hats, Bully, Apollo Cobra, Nooky Jones, and Hot Pants deejays.  A portion of proceeds goes to the Minnesota Music Coalition.

Renee Austin @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Though raised in Texas, Austin moved to the Twin Cities to attend college and burst onto the local music scene in 1997 with her first album, Dancin’ with Mr. Blue. It snagged six Minnesota Music awards. After recording an album for Blind Pig Records, it was discovered that she had thyroid cancer. The operation was a success, but she couldn’t talk above a whisper, no less sing. One of her vocal chords was paralyzed. She dropped out of music in 2005 and worked for a Saint Paul non-profit, where one day she answered the phone and heard her own voice. It took some time and training, but she got her singing voice back and for the last year or so has been performing her wide range of blues, R&B, and gospel.

Jillian Rae & Sarah Morris @ Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10 advance/$12 Door) Jillian Rae  the singer/songwriter/fiddler who can go from pop to rock to folk to bluegrass, will be appearing with her band to preview music from her soon-to-be-release Wanderlust. Opening is Sarah Morris  composer/writer of smart Americana, opens.

Sunday, September 11

NRBQ vs Los Straitjackets @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45) Two of the country’s premier bar bands face off. I’m not sure if it’s an old fashioned battle of the bands, but it will be fun. Los Straitjackets is an instrumental band that likes to wear Mexican wrestling masks as they play. NRBQ has gone through a number of personnel changes over 50 years but Terry Adams still leads with a child-like glee that results in a wonderfully crazy mix of tunes, including some by Thelonious Monk.

Sonny Landreth & Cindy Cashdollar @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($32, $38) This is a guitar-lover’s night, that’s certain. Landreth is a slide guitar wizard from Louisiana, while Cashdollar is known as Austin’s sweetheart of the steel guitar (she also plays a mean dobro). He’s collaborated with folks like John Hiatt, Jimmy Buffett, Mark Knopfler and Eric Clapton, while she has played with Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Rod Stewart and others.

Monday, September 12

Joe Fingers @ Dunn Brothers on Grand, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip jar) Championship guitar picking whilst you sip coffee or tea and maybe munch on a pastry or two. Sit close, because some people would rather talk than listen.

Tuesday, September 13

Rose Ensemble @ Merriam Park Library, 1831 Marshall Ave, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free, but limited seating)  Here’s a program just made for people who are curious about music from around the world. The vocal Ensemble will perform Sufi songs, Latin and Yemenite Chants, Hebrew Cantillations, and Arab Spiritual music. Guest musicians include Israeili violinist and oud player Yair Dalal, Palestinisian instrumentalist Zafer Tawl, and Israeli-born percussionist Dror Sinai. The Ensemble’s artistic director Jordan Sramek will speak.

New Primitives @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Reggae and Rock for a Tuesday evening.

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.


Summer’s End: 8.31 – 9.6

August 31, 2016

STATE_FAIR_MUSICWell, as we approach the Labor Day weekend, I’ve learned that the AFL-CIO booth at the Fair seems to have lots of jazz. You can find out the schedule, as well as what’s on other stages, here. .The Minnesota Blues Society has kindly put together a list of blues and some roots performances on a daily basis, which you can find here. If you aren’t heading to the Fair, there is plenty of other music around to help you bring the summer to an end, whether you’re looking for visiting artists or some of our own resident artists. Thanks to Tim Nyberg for his reworking of a photo of mine from a past fair. Have fun, music lifts your spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 31

Jane Monheit and Nicholas Payton @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7-m ($35, $45), 9pm ($25, $35) Vocalist Monheit and trumpeter Payton are calling this show Ella and Louis revisited. Since her beautiful voice vaulted her to stardom in 1998’s Thelonious Monk competition, Monheit has released nine albums and has guested on a number of others. The 39 year old still has a terrific voice, as exemplified in her latest release, The Songbook Sessions: Ella Fitzgerald. It was produced by New Orleans native and fantastic trumpeter Nicholas Payton, so I guess it seemed natural that they collaborate on this project. If they can have half as much fun as Ella and Louis Armstrong, it will be a great show.

Patrick Adkins @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/student ID) This Edina HS grad is currently studying piano at Lawrence University in Wisconsin. The former member of the Dakota Combo will play a solo set and then be joined by Thomas Strommen, sax; and Aidan Sponheim, trumpet, for the second set.

Steve Kenny Quartet @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Veteran Steve Kenny once again surrounds himself with some outstanding 20-ish musicians: Jabari Powell, saxophones; Ted Olsen, bass; and Rodney Ruckus, drums. Kenny will be playing his signature Flumpet, and combination fluegelhorn/trumpet.

Thursday, September 1

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) It’s a guitar-lovers evening at the Reverie as Tall Tales, which includes two of the Twin Cities most adventurous guitarists takes the stage. Zacc Harris & Dean Granros, guitars; with the outstanding support of Chris Bates, bass; Jay Epstein, drums. Here’s an example of what they sound like.

Thursday, Friday, September 1,2

Barbara Morrison w/Houston Person @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $40) No one else can perform jazz and blues with the verve and innate talent of Morrison, who has recorded with the Crusaders, the Clayton-Hamilton Orchestra, Ray Charles, Johnny Otis, Kenny Burrell and Doc Severinson. She’s recorded 20 of her own albums and has been nominated for Grammys. Back in 2004 she appeared at the Dakota and recorded a fine album with Houston Person, that big-toned, soulful sax player who can caress a ballad or put grit on a blues. The two of them are back, for a show that will surely be enjoyable.  Here’s Person.

Friday, September 2

Jon Pemberton/Peter Kogan Quintet @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (Pemberton – no cover), 9pm (Kogan – $10) Enjoy the music of pianist/trumpeter Jon Pemberton, who may have a musical partner, from 6 to 8pm, then stick around for Kogan’s quintet, playing his original music: Kogan, drums; Pete Whitman, just back from China, sax; Phil Aaron, piano; Anthony Cox, bass.

Jason and the Q @ Hells Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Jason Weismann is a saxophonist and crooner whose vocals and sound harken back to the 50s, though his playing is certainly modern. Bonus: he always has stellar musicians in the Q.

Saturday, September 3

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) After two years of shows, this series has settled into a groove. The opening act is generally a young, or newer band, to give the audience a chance to discover new talent, while the headlining band is generally, but not always, a well established group of veterans who play two sets. Tonight’s opener at 7pm Lars-Erik Larson Trio: Larson, drums; Kam Markworth, bass; Aaron Hedenstrom sax; with special guest Steve Kenny, flumpet. Headlining at 8:30pm is the Paul Harper Bardo Band: Harper, saxes; Phil Aaron, piano; Tom Lewis bass; Nathan Norman, drums.

Sunday, September 4

Jazz Brunch w/James Buckley Trio @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 10am (No Cover) It’s Sunday brunch. It’s jazz. What else do you need to know? Oh yes, Buckley, bass; Nelson Devereaux, sax; JT Bates, drums

Sunday Jam Session w/Cole Mahlum @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 2pm – 4pm (Tip Jar??) Spontaneous collaboration is the essence of jazz. Todays session is hosted by guitarist Cole Mahlum, and focuses on the soul jazz sound of the Hammond B3, played by Abebi Stafford, with drumming by Jesse Simon, leader of the MN Hard Bop Collective.

Davell Crawford @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $40) Pianist Crawford is often called the Prince of New Orleans. He certainly comes from a royal musical background, as his grandfather was guitarist Sugarboy Crawford, the first artist to record Jock-A-Mo (Iko Iko), and is the godson of Roberta Flack. At ten years old, he was accompanying gospel choirs in New Orleans, giving him a foundation for everything he currently plays, which can range from classic R&B to B3 Soul Jazz to jazz and ballads.

Monday, September 5

LaValle Jazz Cats Little Big Band @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) This ten-piece little big band does music by Basie, Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Miles, Sonny Rollins, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, and some contemporary artists like Michael Buble, Chick Corea, and Harry Connick Jr.

Tuesday, September 6

Todd Clouser’s Future Dance @ Crooners’ Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Guitarist Clouser has earned rave reviews in the national press for his guitar playing, which is heavily based in jazz but, as a relatively young musician, also includes influences from funk and rock. With this new trio, Clouser; Greg Schutte, drums; and from Paris, Warren Walker, sax; form a groove heavy trio performing a collection of original music and de-arrangements of artists from the Motown era to create danceable jazz. After all, jazz was originally played for dancing. Here’s Clouser with his other project, A Love Electric, showing his funk influence.

For more listings, 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, August 31

House Party’s 10 Year Anniversary, with the RAMM Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Can it really be ten years since Harold Tremblay began the House Party? The Blues and Roots show features live artists every week, followed by an appearance at the 331 Club. To Celebrate, Harold is bringing in the RAMM Band. It’s Real American Made Music, filled with classic Motown, funk, and rock n’ roll, performed by three very fine musicians: Paul Mayasich, guitar; John Iden, bass; and Donald “Hye Pockets” Robertson.

Maurice Jacox Band @ The Mill City Museum, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm ($5, free for museum members) Is this a cool gig or what? The courtyard of the Mill City Museum lets you be outdoors, yet surrounded by some very old stone walls. Plus, vocalist Jacox has a quartet to back him, rather than a duo, or even trio, which will make for some fine ballads, blues, jazz, and R&B. They are: Thomas West, keys; John Della Selva, guitar; Charles Fletcher, bass; and Rob Stupka on drums. Plus, your $5 ticket gets you into the museum between 4pm and 9pm.

Kari Arnett & Laney Jones and the Spirits @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) An evening of Americana at the Aster. Arnett is a guitarist and singer/songwriter who, much like Gillian Welch, Lucinda Williams, or Emilylou Harris, draws her inspiration from older forms of country and folk music. Her 2105 EP Midwestern Skyline has drawn praise from around the country. She’ll be accompanied by a four-piece band. Laney Jones is a 24 year old multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter who was raised in rural Florida, and began songwriting while in college. She then went to Berklee, where she majored in Songwriting. Since then, she’s been featured on PBS, and named as one of Ten Country Artists You Need to Know by Rolling Stone. In March she released a self-titiled album which leans a bit more towards pop, with the dance-happy Allson as her first single, and has been touring the nation since then backed by her band The Spirits.

Thursday, September 1

Nikki Roux & Rich Rue @ Golden’s Lowertown, 275 East 4th Street, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar?) Golden’s, the little restaurant with the walk-up window across from Saint Paul’s Farmer’s Market, has a stage and small room dedicated to music, much of which covers folk/Americana, though the occasional jazz group turns up. Tonight they have the folk-rock/blues of Nikki Roux and Rich Rue, who’ve been gathering Saint Paul fans with regular appearances at the Vieux Carre.

Swamp Poppas @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 11pm ($5??) The dance floor at the Eagles Club will be filled as the Poppas perform their blend of Southern Louisiana music: R&B, Swamp Pop, and a bit of Cajun/Zydeco.

Paul Barry & The Ace Tones w/Lila Ammons @ Famous Daves, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No cover) Some west coast and jump blues from harpist Paul Barry, along with Jon Pederson, guitar; Vince Hyman, piano & vibes; Scott Soule, bass; and Doug Hill, drums. They’ll be joined by special guest Lila Ammons, who can sing the blues with verve and style.

Friday, September 2

The Pluto Trio @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) The Pluto Trio is bassist Paul Kammeyer, percussionist Josh Smith, and keyboardist John Kammeyer. They describe their music as mostly original compositions, is in the vein of Booker T and the MGs, Medeski, Martin, and Wood, or Tortoise, with a dash of new wave and electronica for good measure.

An Evening with Charlie Parr, w/Lianne Smith Opening @ the Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8 Advance, $10 Door) Freewheelin’ First Fridays moves to the new Hook & Ladder Lounge in the space formerly occupied by Patrick’s Cabaret. Doors open at 8pm and Lianne Smith opens. Some may remember Smith from the late 80s band Safety Last, which featured Gary Louris and Rusty Jones, among others. Nowadays she lives in Brooklyn and writes about making decisions, adventurous bicycle riding, and saying goodbye to Summer, for which this gig is highly appropriate. Duluth bluesman Charlie Parr is the star, and will undoubtedly pack the place, as he plays his stripped down Delta style blues with the conviction (and experience) of a man who can do nothing but be on the road and sing songs.

Willie Walker & the We R Band @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) Just returned from Brazil, our own original soul man and his band take over the MMC stage on a Friday night for your dancing pleasure. A good way to kick off the Labor Day Weekend.

Saturday, September 3

Dee Miller Band @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Ms Miller and her band will be belting out the blues in this south side neighborhood joint. The small dance floor will undoubtedly be filled, thanks to Ms Miller’s choice of material and vibrant voice.

Joe Cruz & Jennifer Grimm @ Washington Square, White Bear Lake. 9pm (Tip jar?) Vocalist/songwriter Grimm had Manitou Station hopping on Sunday nights for years, until the Station, as it’s now called, decided to stop featuring music. You can catch her tonight in a slightly more intimate duo set with well-respected guitarist Joe Cruz.

Willie Murphy & the Angel Headed Hipsters @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Murphy is one of three charter members of the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, along with Dylan and Prince, and he delivers rousing rock n’ roll and R&B. Though the dance floor is much smaller than many places Murphy has played, the energy is still full-on fun.

Sunday, September 4

Porktoberfest II @ Dayblock Brewing, Minneapolis. Noon – 2am ($5 advance/$10door) Music and pork products galore, including Pork Shanks, Beer Brats, Pork Belly sliders, and bacon, bacon, bacon! Music starts at 2pm, and includes Private Oates, Rolling Stoners, Marah in the Mainsail, Brass and Bodyworks, and the School of Rock. Pretzels, veggie sandwiches, and corn on the cob will also be available at this family-friendly, but no pets allowed, event.

Katy Vernon Band @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 5:30pm – 7pm (Free)  The London-raised, Minnesota-based Vernon is a singer/songwriter who creates charming folk-pop. Though her lyrics may speak of sad and melancholy topics, she surrounds them with light-hearted music, thanks in part to her use of the ukelele, as well as her ace band. Bring a picnic and a blanket, or stake out a space on the benches in front of the bandshell and get some food from the The Bread and Pickle restaurant next to the bandshell, and listen while kids frolic at the nearby beach, sailboats cross the lake, and airplanes fly overhead. A glorious way to spend part of the Labor Day Weekend.

Monday, September 5

Jose Feliciano @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $55), 9pm ($35 – $45) Eight Grammys, over forty-five gold and platinum records, Feliciano is a virtuosic guitarist with a musical imagination that can rework  all kinds of songs into a blend of Latin, jazz, pop, rock, and even a nod or two to classical music. His last appearance at the Dakota a few years back was a delightful evening of mixed media, storytelling, and great music.

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


Rhythm – Groovy & Global: 5.11 – 5.17

May 11, 2016
Plenty of opportunities to dance this week, including the Worldwide Discoteque, with Deejay Steely Dan (above), and Deejay Brian Engel

Plenty of opportunities to dance this week, including the Worldwide Discoteque, with Deejay Steely Dan (above), and Deejay Brian Engel

Despite the clouds during this May week, we’ve got plenty of music to lift our spirits. I’m always pleasantly surprised at the variety of jazz, blues, and roots music here in the Twin Cities. Tonight we have an outstanding visiting jazz pianist, while the rest of the week brings us intriguing music from resident jazz artists. This weekend seems to be a big one for ska lovers with both The English Beat in town, and a festival of ska music, film, and even Jamaican food at the Parkway Theater. We’ve got some visiting artists from New Orleans and Great Britain as well, and two dance parties celebrating music from other nations. Need I say more? Get out and enjoy the richness of Twin Cities music.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 11

Bill Charlap Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($27 – $35), 9pm ($20 – $25) Wow! When it comes to piano trios, it’s hard to top pianist Charlap and his band mates, bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny Washington, and no, they aren’t related. Charlap’s latest album, The Songs of Jerome Kern, has him playing while Tony Bennett sings, and the results have been lauded throughout the jazz community.

Magica Improvisada @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Bassist Chris Bates started this monthly concept with the idea of creating several new bands over the course of the year. However, the chemistry with Joe Strachan on piano and Matt Buckner on drums was so good, that they’ve jelled as a group and are committed to playing together as much as they can, performing originals from each member.

Thursday, May 12

Authentic Violet: Melody & Jon Duo @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5 Student ID) That’s Melody as in vocalist Melody Mendis and Jon as in pianist Jon De Vaal. The two have lots of fun performing together

Zacc Harris Quartet @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) The Vieux continues to do a good job of booking resident talent from our jazz and roots scene. Tonight, it’s jazz, with a quartet of Twin Cities modern jazzers: Zacc Harris, guitar; Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and and JT Bates, drums.

Friday, May 13

Nathan Hanson/Doan Brian Roessler @ the Walker West Music Academy, 760 Selby Avenue, Saint Paul. 8pm  ($15) Hanson and Roessler have been playing together for over twenty years, developing a rapport that helps to move music along with no seeming effort, even when completely improvising. Tonight, they’ll be previewing their soon-to-be-released album that takes a more orchestral approach to their music. Joining saxophonist Hanson and bassist Roessler are: Laura Harada, violin; Cole Pulice, tenor and baritone; and Christopher McGuire, drums. Here are Hanson & Roessler.

Todd Harper & Possibilities @ SW Craft Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11pm (No Cover) Pianist Harper runs up the street to the SW Craft Bar (formerly Señor Wongs) after his Friday happy hour gig at the Black Dog to lead a quintet with Eric Coursen, drums; Bill Grenke, bass; Chris Hagedorn, tenor; and a special guest. Here he is with some of his other friends.

Saturday, May 14

Duke n’ Donuts @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 4pm ($20 Suggested Donation) A fundraiser for Hopewell Music Cooperative  f North Minneapolis, the only music school in North Minneapolis. The event will include performance and presentations on Duke Ellington and the importance of music education, including performances from theHopewell Student Jazz Ensemble and Faculty Trio. Also, there will be donuts.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Steve Kenny Quartet, featuring the veteran horn man and a trio of young lions, opens at 7pm with: Kenny, Flumpet; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Ted Olsen, bass; and Rodney Ruckus, drums. At 8:30 it’s the Dave King/George Cartwright Duo, with King on drums and percussion and Cartwright on sax. Here’s a long video of them at Radio K.

Sunday, May 15

Maurice Jacox Sings Nat King Cole @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40 Dinner) The R&B/jazz vocalist has sporadically performed his Nat King Cole show for a number of years. He’ll be accompanied by Reuben Ristrom, guitar; and Ron Seaman on piano. Here’s a chance to see and hear this show in a listening venue other than a theater. Here’s a promo piece for the more involved tribute that Jacox has done in the past.

Monday, May 16

Jazz Implosion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Tonight trumpeter Bill Simenson will lead a quintet featuring: Nathan Hanson, sax; Chris Bates, bass; Dave Martin, guitar; and JT Bates on drums. Simenson leads his own 17-piece big band, so it will be interesting to see what he does with this quintet.

Tuesday, May 17

Mary Louise Knutson Trio @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm – 9pm ($10, $35 Dinner) Ms Knutson returns to the quiet of the Dunsmore Room to enchant us with her piano playing. She’ll be joined by Gordon Johnson, bass; and Greg Schutte, drums. Here’s a recording of the title tune from her last album.

Michael O’Brien’s Triage @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) NYC based bassist Michael O’Brien left the Twin Cities for the Big Apples some years ago, and has since toured the world with various groups and gigged around Manhattan and Brooklyn. He is back in town for a few performances, including tonight’s which features Chris Lomheim on piano and Jay Epstein on drums. Here’s O’Brien with the Kyoko Oyobe Quartet at the Kitano in NYC>

For more listings, 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 11

Don Scott & Curtis Blake on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM0, 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) It’s a pleasure to have Don “Scotty” Scott  ack in the state, as he spends his winters in warmer climes. The guitarist has found a great collaborator in harmonic wiz Curtis Blake  and together they deliver fine set of acoustic blues, with Rosanne Licciardi on percussion and a few surprising covers thrown in to keep your interest high. As usual, tune in to Harold’s House Party to hear them play, then head over to the 331 Club.

Sonny & Ray & the Rotations @ Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) A collaboration between a couple of resident soul heavyweights: Sonny Knight and Ray Barnard. In the last few years, Sonny and his band the Lakers have headlined festivals both here and in Europe. “Course before then he was Little Sonny Knight back in 1965, and then sang with the legendary Haze. Ray led the roots/rock Copperheads for 12 years before striking out on his own, and recording two well-recieved albums. The duo will be performing soul & roots tunes, with a bit of influence from country, most of which were written by Graham Bramblett, who will joining them on a few. Here’s Sonny in an acoustic environment.

Thursday, May 12

Samba Meu @ the Reverie Cafe, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5) Samba Meu  brings roots music and social dance from various regions of Brazil to the cafe and bart at Nicollet & Franklin. If you only think of bossa novas when thinking of Brazilian music, here’s a chance to hear many regional styles, including sambas, chorus, batucadas, maracatu, and more. Here’s an example of a batucada.

Friday, May 13

Tom Hunter Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) You can often catch Hunter performing at Willie Murphy’s Monday night jams, but his resume is far bigger than that: playing with Big John Dickerson, touring with Mary Cutrufello as the opening act for the Allman Brothers 30th Anniversary tour, playing and recording with Bernard Allison, and putting out three of his own albums. Catch him performing with his own group in the big room at this Fridley lounge.

Radio Joe & The Jazzbos @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($10) Radio Joe Demko brings his romantic swing to the Western suburbs. This 40 seat cafe, with a varied wine and beer list, is the perfect intimate setting for hearing Joe do his Nat King Cole tribute during the first set. The second set will undoubtedly feature some of Joe’s fine originals as well as swing inspired by the Benny Goodman Quintet.

Worldwide Discoteque 4th Anniversary @ Nomad World Pub, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) The tropical dance party celebrates four years of bringing together the music of Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean in a trans-generational, trans-ethnic celebration that has even been cited in the NY Times. Since that mention a couple of years ago they’ve moved to the larger confines of the Nomad, so let the dancing begin!

Friday, Saturday, May 13, 14

The English Beat @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($40 – $45) The English Beat were one of the most popular and influential bands of the Two-Tone Ska Movement in England in the late 70s and early 80s. They released three acclaimed albums and toured with folks like David Bowie, the Clash, and the Talking Heads, among others. After calling it quits as a band, members went on to form General Public, Fine Young Cannibals, and others. They reunited in 2003 and have been enjoying a renaissance since then by continuing to play their energizing mix of ska, soul, reggae, and rock.

Cariba Fest @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 5pm – 1am Friday, 11am – 1am Saturday ($10/event or $20 all day). Six different films about Jamaica, six different bands playing ska, reggae, and steel pan, and a dozen roots deejays will be appearing, with Ska Legends Stranger Cole and Patsy Todd performing with our own Prizefighters   Jerksican food will be available all weekend in Pepito’s, attached to the theater. As an added attraction there will be Brunch with Stranger Cole and Patsy Todd on Sunday, from 1am – 2pm.

Saturday, May 14

Yolande Bruce’s Birthday Concert @ Crooners, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Bruce is an original member of Moore by Four, and has appeared in productions at the Guthrie, Penumbra Theater, and other stages around town. Tonight the R&B/jazz singer celebrates her birthday with a few friends, including: Gary Gratz. piano; Jay Young, bass; Steve Faison, drums; and others that will undoubtedly be known to her fans.

Nikki Roux & Rich Rue/Hurricane Harold’s All-Star Revue @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (Nikki & Rich – No Cover) 9pm ( Hurricane – $8) Here’s another two-fer of roots from the Vieux. Nikki & Rich form the heart of Nikki & the Rue-mates, and together, play the blues and folk-rock. Hurricane Harold Trembley is host of the House Party on KFAI, where he brings in roots artists to play every week. As a result, he has a large rolodex of musicians to choose for various incarnations of the All-Stars. Whoever he has, they will likely be A-list roots musicians, and include a couple of vocalists.

New Orleans Suspects @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10 Advance, $15 Door) Some of the finest R&B musicians to come out of New Orleans, the Suspects are: Mean Willie Green, who has drummed for the Neville Brothers since the 80s; Reggie Scanlan, who played bass with James Booker, Professor Longhair, and for 33 years, the Radiators; guitarist Jake Eckert cut his teeth with Derek Trucks before joining the Dirty Dozen; CR Gruver, on piano, is classically trained, and played with many of the city’s well known musicians as well as leading his own band, Funkifry’d; while tenor saxist Kevin Harris is a founding member of the Dirty Dozen who has also played with folks ranging from Elvis Costello, to Norah Jones. Our own Butanes open at 9:30 and the Suspects perform from 10:30 – 1am. As an added bonus, for an additional $15 you can attend a Crawfish Boil on the Joint patio next door.

All Asian Nation Dance Party @ The Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 9:30pm ($7, $10 after 11pm) Here’s a chance to experience and dance to an evening of Asian Hits, from K-Pop (Korea) to Bollywood (India), as well as several Asian musical genres you may not have heard. If the music moves you, get on the dance floor. Though there will be appearances by Drag Queen Sunny Kiriyama and Drag King Sum Yung Wang, along with multi-musician/artist/producer Miggy Smalls Slice, there is no dress code. For an example of K-pop, here’s a video that’s gotten over 100 million views on YouTube.

Sunday, Monday, May 15, 16

James Hunter Six @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $45) Hunter is a fine proponent of updated soul and R&B. In fact, Mojo Music Magazine of England, declared him “UKs’ best soul singer.” In person he’s a delightful performer, backed by a great band. His latest album, “Hold On” has been released on Brooklyn’s hipster/funk label Daptone, which only adds to his pedigree. Highly recommended if you have any interest in soul music, whether its contemporary or classic.

 

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.


Music for Lovers and More: 2.10 – 2.16

February 10, 2016
Making a mixtape - once very romantic in some circles

Making a mixtape – once very romantic in some circles

If you want to treat your Valentine to more than a mixtape, there are a plethora of Valentine’s Day events this week, including one or two that recognize anti-Valentine sentiments. Some of them feature dinners, which certainly ups the cost, but then, Valentine’s Day is special – just ask greeting card and candy companies. Additionally, there are certainly plenty of other opportunities to hear some great music around town. I’ve just scratched the surface with these ideas. Music lifts the spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, February 10

Mary Louise Knutson/New Shoes @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm ($5 after 8pm) Sublime solo piano from Ms Knutson during the dinner hours, followed at 8pm by the former Guys All Star Shoe Band from Prairie Home Companion. They’ll be stretching out from their radio gig, as Richard Kriehn, fiddle and mandolin; Gary Raynor, bass; Joe Savage, pedal steel guitar; and Peter Johnson on drums present originals, Americana, and perhaps a few jazz tunes.

Chris Bates @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Bassist Bates is playing a series of monthly dates at Jazz Central with Joe Strachan, piano; and Matt Buckner, drums; in anticipation of recording their originals live and releasing them digitally within the next few months.

Thursday, February 11

Mack Avenue Super Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $50), 9pm ($35 – $45) Mack Avenue Records has been featuring a band of its recording artists at the Detroit Jazz Festival for the last few years. Now we get to hear them in our own town. Listen to this lineup. First off, you have the Christian McBride Trio with Christian Sands, piano; and Carl Allen, drums. Add in Gary Burton, vibes; Sean Jones, trumpet; and Tia Fuller, sax;  and you do indeed, have a Super Band.

Melody Mendis @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Mendis performs jazz, r&b, pop, blues, and international songs. She’ll be accompanied by Tom Lewis, bass; Jon de Vaal drums; and Tim Graham, piano.

Dean Magraw & Steven Hobert @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($12) Here’s a chance for folks in the western suburbs to hear the incredible artistry of guitarist Magraw and pianist Hobert. Between Hobert’s flights of fancy, and Magraws sonic improvisations, this should be a winning performance.

Lila Ammons @ The Bad Waitress, 2 East 26th Street, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm (No Cover) Andy Cohen, owner of the Bad Waitress, is also a guitarist, and he’s brought Ammons in once before. He’ll be accompanying the vocalist, along with Peter Schimke,keys; and Jim Chenowith, bass.

Friday, February 12

Friday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) The old Nicollet Cafe has been relaunched as the Reverie, but it still features jazz on Friday nights. Tonight it’s No Room for Squares, with James “Jimmyapolis” Wallace, sax; Bill Stieger, drums; Jon Pemberton, trumpet; Mikkel Romstad, piano; and Adam Tucker, bass.

Maud Hixson Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No cover) Sit in the lounge and enjoy the oh so cool, yet evocative vocals of Ms Hixson.

Peter Schimke Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($10) Pianist Schimke has toured, performed, and/or recorded with artists such as Billy Preston, Art Farmer, Tom Harrell, Mark Murphy, Frank Morgan, and many, many, more. Here he is in a quartet setting.

Saturday, February 13

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Jazz Word Jazz is a different kind of show for this series, featuring musical improvisation and poetry, a combination that’s been around almost as long as jazz itself. The band consists of Chris Bates, bass; Nathan Hanson, sax; Greg Schutte, drums; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; and Will Jensen. The poets are Jim Larson, Amy Nash and Richard Broderick. Starts at 7:00 with an instrumental set, and then the headliner sets will add the poets.

Saturday, Sunday, February 13, 14

The Crosby Clooney Story @ The Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm Saturday,  3pm Sunday ($20) Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney were best of friends. They starred in White Christmas in 1954, did three duo albums together, and performed in concert together. She was a frequent guest on his TV shows, and they hosted the Crosby Clooney show in 1960 and ’61. Crooner Arne Fogel is a well respected authority on Crosby, and often performs with Maud Hixson. They’ve done this show before to appreciative audiences, and you have two chances to catch it.

Sunday, February 14

Debbie Duncan @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 5:30pm (Dinner Show), 7:30pm – 9:30pm (No Cover) The folks at Crooners have put together a special show for Valentine’s Day. At 5:30, Debbie Duncan will appear in the Dunsmore Room. You’ll have to order dinner to hear her there. However, at 7:30pm she’ll move to the lounge, where there is no cover, and dancing will occur.

Jana Nyberg Group @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 5:30pm (3 Course Dinner Show: $50 – $55) Whether Nyberg is singing a pop ditty about buying romaine for her partner, or caressing a ballad like The Nearness of You, she imparts a youthful, and lively enthusiasm for romance, which makes her a perfect performer for couples wanting a special evening for Valentine’s Day.

Monday. February 15

Lucia Sarmiento @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Sarmiento is a saxophonist from Peru who has been studying at McNally Smith for the past couple of years and has been appearing around town in various groups. tonight, she’ll lead her own band. Here’s a promo video of her and her band.

The Jazz Implosion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis.9:30pm ($8) First set: Witch Hunt: a Tribute to Wayne Shorter, with Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Chris Bates, bass; Ted Godbout, piano; Adam Harder Nussbaum, drums; Michael Shulte, sax. Second set: Deveraux/Bates Duo: Nelson Devereaux, sax; JT Bates, drums.

Tuesday, February 16

Bill Carrothers @ The Dunsmore Room at Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($20 Minimum) Call it coincidence if you will, but Carrothers  a wonderful, almost luminous pianist, is now playing this room for the third time since it opened a couple of months ago. The clarity of the room’s 9 foot Bosendorfer piano, and the attentive quiet of the listening room audience, are no doubt part of the room’s appeal.

For more listings, 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, February 10

Jon Rodine with Paul Bergen and Friends @ KFAI and the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Rodine is an under-appreciated singer of Blues, Americana, and R&B whose last album of originals, Last Star, has been getting some notice around the country. He’ll be joined by guitarist/vocalist Paul Bergen and his band. Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton will be join them along with Becky Kapell, and Max Ray on saxophone.

Thursday, February 11

Siama’s Afrobilly @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Once again, percussionist Mikkel Beckmen brings the singing guitar of Siama Matuzungidi to his Thursday afternoon acoustic gig. Matuzungidi’s guitar is featured on a number of soukous hits out of Africa. He’s played on four continents for a wide variety of audiences, all of whom have swayed to the sound of his evocative guitar. Dallas Johnson will join in on percussion and occasional vocals.

Friday, February 12

What’s Love Got To Do With it @ the University Club, 420 Summit Avenue, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Free, Donations accepted) A Valentine revue, led by Richard Broderick, with a cast of actors, poets, singers, storytellers, and belly dancers, with guest appearances by such famous romantics as Lord Byron and Cleopatra.

Saturday, February 13

Maurice Jacox Valentine’s Event @ The Normandy Kitchen, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Reservations are always recommended for this intimate venue, which reminds me of a midtown Manhattan bar in the 60s. Tonight, the sterling vocalist will be accompanied by two excellent guitarists: Bobby E, who may add some backing vocals from time to time, and Deano Mikkelson.

14th Annual Carnaval Brasileiro @ International Market Square, Minneapolis. 9pm ($30 Advance, $40 Door) It’s a masquerade ball, complete with Brazilian music, drummers, professional samba dancers from Sao Paulo, and artisans. New this year is the addition of Badi Assad, who will also be appearing at the Dakota tomorrow night (see below). Here’s an example of what you might encounter.

The Badinovs @ Palmer’s Bar, Minneapolis.  10pm (No Cover) This Beatles-inspired group hasn’t played out in almost a year, and it’s taken a wedding reception (open to the public) for Larry & Rachel Becker to get them on stage. There will be two or three other bands during the evening, which starts at 7pm. Word is a very special guest will play before the Badinovs. Whether you know the Beckers or not, you can take part in the reception. No gifts are needed, and you sure won’t hear the Hoky Poky or the Cha Cha Slide.

Lady Heat - They know their way around turntables

Lady Heat – They know their way around turntables

Lady Heat’s “Love Me, Love Me Not” Dance Party @ Clubhouse Jaeger, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Three lady Deejays spinning vinyl. Though the evening will be rooted in soul and funk, they are conversant with other genres and are sure to mix up “love” and “anti-love” jams for your dancing pleasure.

Sunday, February 14

The Love Show: Deluxe Edition @ O’Shaughnessy at St. Catherine’s, Saint Paul. 3pm ($28) Kevin Kling, Dan Chouinard, Bradley Greenwald, Prudence Johnson, Simone Perrin, Claudia Schmidt, and Dane Stauffer in a show that recalls the Saturday Night Variety shows from the early days of television. Here’s a recording of Chouinard and Prudence Johnson.

Willie Walker and We “R” at There Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 4pm – 8pm (No cover) Walker has been nominated for three Blues Awards for his outstanding album, If Nothing Ever Changes. His sandpaper voice gives a bit of oomph to the more romantic songs that he sings, like You Send Me. Word is, that Maurice Jacox will be joining on baritone sax for a few numbers.

Badi Assad @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm (4 Course Dinner Show: $102); 9pm (Cocktail Show: $42)  Assad is a Brazilian singer/songwriter as well as a brilliant guitarist, and percussionist, who was most recently in town at the Cedar Cultural Center las Fall. She blends pop, jazz, and world influences with traditional Brazilian music to create exciting performances, as she showed at the Dakota a couple of years ago. Her latest album, Hatched, features her take on songs by Lorde, Skillrex, and Mumford and Sons, among other contemporary artists. Twin Cities guitarist Robert Everest opens.

Music By Lovers 6th Annual Valentine’s Show @ Shaw’s Bar & Grill, NE Minneapolis. 6pm ($30/couple) Billy Larson & Lisa Wenger came up with this  concept of couples performing romantic tunes for couples. Featuring, Billy Larson & Lisa Wenger; Deb Brown & Brian Z; Peter Hennig & Rachel Holder-Hennig; and Tamara & Phil Barnett. The cover includes a sweet tasting and a glass of wine.

If I but knew the words that would unlock your heart

If I but knew the words that would unlock your heart

Victorian Poetry Slam @ James J. Hill House, 240 Summit, Saint Paul. 6pm, 7:30pm ($12) Classic 19th Century poetry performed in the drawing room of the mansion overlooking downtown Saint Paul. Actors Craig Johnson, Laura Salveson, and Ann Daly will be dressed in 1890s evening wear. Audience members are invited to bring along a Victorian poem to read aloud. Light refreshments and tours of the house will follow the performance.

Monday, February 15

Hot Club of Cowtown @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm  ($30, $35) This trio plays Western Swing with original compositions that reflect both Django Rheinhardt and early jazz, as well as Bob Wills. They’ve toured with Bob Dylan and played the Grand Ol’ Opry, as well as having appeared on Praire Home Companion.

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

 


Warm Days, Musical Nights: 9.30 – 10.6

September 30, 2015

1dd9e618-0e04-4a3b-86e7-e0f9683ab9ccWell, the leaves haven’t popped just yet: the days are warm and the nights require a jacket. But soon we’ll be in the midst of full-fledged Fall, thinking about keeping warm. You can do so by clapping and whooping it up for the musicians enriching your lives through their performances. We have a week featuring lots of different artists plying jazz, blues, roots, and world music, and even a performance with a painter creating to music. Get out and support creativity in its many forms. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, September 30

Steve Hobert and Dean Magraw @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The ever-imaginative pianist Steve Hobert teams up with the ever-creative guitarist Dean Magraw for a special evening of music.

Thursday, October 1

UnknownJayanthi Kyle and Miss Pennie’s Microphone @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation)  Kyle is an up and coming vocalist who has been heard in a number of different groups in town, including the gospelized Black Audience, the R&B-ish Bain, and others. She’ll be accompanied by David Crittenden on classical guitar and Bryan Nelson on violin.

Friday, October 2

Pete Enblom Sextet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Enblom is a 40 year veteran, having played lead trombone, for the Buddy Rich band, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and the Artie Shaw Orchestra. He currently is lead trombone for the Brian Setzer Orchestra, and has played behind such legendary artists as Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, The Temptations, and Frank Sinatra. Tonight he leads the following: Bob Bowman, bass; Clay Pufahl, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Peter Schimke, piano; and Mac Santiago, drums.  

Dark Blue Quartet: Live Painting Experience @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10 Suggested Donation) A combination of performing and visual arts as Tim Nyberg paints while the Dark Blue Quartet plays. Dark Blue is a quartet of relatively young players: Dylan Nelson, guitar; Alex Burgess, drums; Thomas Strommen, sax; and Jason McLean bas.

Saturday, October 3

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Blackdog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm  ($10 Suggested Donation)  Opening at 7pm: Debut performance of a group of young players to watch: The Jordan Anderson Group with Adam Astrup, guitar; Ben Beyene, drums; Isaac Ash, bass; and Jordan Anderson, piano. at 8:30pm: The Deconstruction Zone playing an evening of deconstructed jazz standards and a few original compositions. Anthony Cox, bass & cello; Bryan Nichols, piano; Davu Seru, percussion, Steve Kenny, brass; plus special guests.

JazzMN Orchestra w/Wayne Bergeron @ Hopkins High School, 2400 Lindberg Drive, Hopkins. 7:30pm ($34) Trumpeter Bergeron is popular with this Orchestra and its audience. His featured solos can be heard on a number of films and TV shows.

Sophia Shorai @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No cover) The lounge at Crooners may prove to be a perfect setting for the sweet vocals of Ms Shorai, who is likely to include some of her own pop-oriented originals in her program tonight.

Bob Bowman & Michael Shults Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10 Suggested Donation)  Bowman, from Kansas City, is a bassist who has played with the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, the Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band, and with singers Carmen McRea and Karrin Allyson. He’s been coming up here quite frequently to play with Laura Caviani as well. Michael Shults is a first-call saxophonist in Kansas City, and is a featured soloist on the well-received Bobby Watson CD, The Gates BBQ Suite from 2010. They’ll be joined by Dan Leahy on piano and Mac Santiago on drums.

Sunday, October 4

Solomon’s Sessions @ Bedlam Theater Lowertown, Saint Paul. 7pm – 10pm ($5) Trumpeter Solomon Parham and cohorts from MacNally Smith and elsewhere hold forth at the Bedlam, jamming on jazz standards, playing an original or two, and inviting select friends to join in at various times during the evening. Here’s a brief preview.

Tuesday, October 6

Butch Thompson @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Tables will be placed on the dance floor to turn the lounge into a listening room so the audience can fully appreciate Thompson’s piano playing. He’ll tell stories of early jazz and perhaps play his clarinet as well. Here he is, in case you’ve never heard him.

Steve Kenny Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm (?) Once again, veteran brass player Steve Kenny joins up with players who are his junior by 20 years or more: Javi Santiago, piano; Ted Olson, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. This trio regularly plays together, so the addition of Kenny on FLUMPET™ should cause some very interesting musical sparks.

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 jazz in the Twin Cities, check out these blogs: Jazz Police, Jazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, September 30

Burns, Hayes, & Hayes on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – tip Jar) Old school blues from three guys who have been at it in various groups since the dawn of the first blues revival. Harpist Tom Burns currently plays with Mississippi Driftwood, and in the past has played with the Joel Johnson Band, the Blue Diamonds, and with Queen Sylvia. Guitarist Larry Hayes was an original member of Lamont Cranston and went on to form the Tonearms. Brother Brian Hayes was with the Alley Katz back in the day, and currently performs solo. Tune in, and if you like what you hear, head to the 331.

Hannah Von Der Hoff & the Dangertones @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10 pm ($6) Von Der Hoff is a soulful singer with serious pipes, who does a fine job updating 60s soul music from Aretha Franklin, et al, and then ups the ante with her own originals.

Thursday, October 1

Maria Muldaur @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) So, Muldaur is at a point where she can do the multi-media approach to regaling us with tales of her career while singing her hits and current faves.

Willie Murphy and Rena Haus @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Here’s a fun combination of singer/songwriters, with an emphasis on acoustic blues. Murphy is the legendary singer/songwriter/pianist/guitarist/producer who chose to continue to live in the Twin Cities rather than move to the coasts to record and produce after the 1969 release of Running Jumping, Standing Still with Spider John Koerner. Rena Haus is a singer/guitarist/songwriter who lives on a farm NE of the Twin Cities and comes to town to regale us with songs about chickens, mechanics, big business, and the vicissitudes of love.

Brian Gallagher Quartet w/Julius Collins @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover) Brian Gallagher, sax; Brian Ziemniak, piano; Pete Hennig, drums; Yohannes Tona;  bass. Julius Collins on vocals. Add this group to the list of performers to watch, as this is their debut performance. Each of the players all has scads of experience, in large part thanks to their imaginative playing. The addition of Collins, with his versatile voice, is icing on the cake. Here’s a clip of Collins.

Friday, October 2

Ginger Commodore & GCQ @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Vocalist Commodore has a resume that spans genres and is very long: Sounds of Blackness; the Minnesota Opera; Mixed Blood; Penumbra; The Chiffons; Moore by Four; and much more.

JW Jones @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) This Canadian guitar slinger and vocalist tours constantly and with his singing and playing has earned praise from the Dan Ackroyd, and American Blues Revue magazine, in addition to his being nominated for a Juno Award (Canada’s Grammy). He’s released 8 albums, and his guitar playing has been compared to a combination of T-Bone Walker, Johnny Guitar Watson, and Clarence Gatemouth Brown.

Maurice Jacox @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Well respected vocalist Jacox brings his smooth baritone to a program of Nat King Cole meets acoustic Motown with a shot of R&B to the basement club.

Davina & the Vagabonds @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($12) An increasingly rare opportunity to see Davina and the guys let loose for dancers.

Saturday, October 3

Vieux Farka Tourre @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($30) The connection between African music and the Blues may become evident when you hear Touré play the guitar. This Malian musician has earned gushing praise from both Rolling Stone and the LA Times.

The Good, The Bad, and the Funky @ The Narrows Blues Saloon, Wayzata. 8:30pm (No Cover) A chance for dancers in the Western suburbs to get down to funky horn bad.

The Swamp Kings @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Let the Bon Tons Roulet! This trio is entirely appropriate for the New Orleans themed basement club, as they play a rollicking mix of Cajun, Zydeco, and New Orleans R&B.

Sunday, October 4

Viva Brazil @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 5pm ($10) sensuous rhythms, beguiling vocals, and spot-on musicianship from this septet of international musicians will have you dancing in your seat, if not on the dance floor.\

Afro-Cuban All Stars @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50), 9pm ($45) Dazzling percussion and intricate rhythms explode wit excitement when it’s group takes the stage. No doubt there will be salsa dancing in the aisles

Tuesday, October 6

Fat Chance Jug Band and Friends @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm (Tip Jar) To say that jug band music is casual is an understatement. The combination of homemade and acoustic instruments is effective for a back porch jam, or in this case, a gathering of the always-reliable Fat Chancers and their like-minded guests in a friendly setting.

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


Back to School: 9.9 – 9.15

September 9, 2015

UnknownAs the summer draws to a close and school begins (at many levels), we can look forward to another week of terrific music here in the Twin Cities, from a bluegrass festival in an art park, to a community jazz festival and a couple of visiting artists of note. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, September 9

Dean Magraw @ The American Swedish Institute, 2600 Park Ave, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) As part of the American Swedish Institute’s salute to the Hagström guitar (“Amp Up!, The Hagström Guitar Sensation), ASI is bringing the Hagström guitar to Minneapolis and putting it in the hands some of the Twin Cities’ best players as part of their “2015 Ballroom Music Series.” Tonight, the always versatile Dean Magraw will be putting it to the test, with, I am sure, great results.

Good Vibes Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Anytime I see this group, they generate such joy playing together that the audience becomes part of their fun. Chris Bates, bass; Phil Hey, drums; and Dave Hagedorn, vibes.

Friday, September 11

Michael O’Brien & Jeremy Walker @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (No cover) Bassist Michael O’Brien is back in town from his current base in NYC for a few days, picking up a number of gigs. Tonight he joins with pianist Jeremy Walker for a fine early evening show.

Christian Scott @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm, ($20) Scott is a New Orleans raised trumpeter who now makes NYC his home. He’s been turning heads in the jazz world for his forthright attitude about social ills and his ability to engage modern rhythms and genres into his own sound called Stretch Music.

Sophia Shorai @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm – 11:55pm ($8) The intimate space of the Vieux will be warmed by the vocals of Ms Shorai  Whether performing standard chestnuts or her original music, she can communicate both heartbreak and joy with the slightest inflection of her honey-sweet voice.

Michael O’Brien Trio @ Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm, (Tip Jar – $10 Suggested Donation) Michael O’Brien and Jeremy Walker head to the Nicollet after finishing up at the Vieux Carre earlier this evening. At the Nicollet they’ll be joined by drummer Tim Zhorne. Tomorrow O’Brien will  be conducting a class at Jazz Central from noon – 2pm ($25)

Saturday, September 12

Selby Avenue Jazz Festival @ Selby & Milton, Saint Paul. Noon – 8pm (Free) It’s the 14th Annual community celebration, this year including Dick and Jane’s Brass Band, leading a parade through the area to start the day off, as well as The Lex-Hamm Community Band, the Urban Legends of Walker West, and Salsa del Soul. The Jazz Heritage Showcase will once again feature music from jazz’s great golden age, performed by area artists in period costume. Eric Kamau Gravatt and Source Code will be playing as well. Headlining is saxman Walter Chancellor, Jr, who has played on records by Prince, Chaka Khan, Maceo Parker, Candi Dulfer, and Bobby Lyle, among others. There will be food stands, food trucks, and vendors and organizations from the community.

JoAnn Funk @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm – 11pm (No Cover) Well, one good thing about the end of summer is that we get to hear JoAnn Funk sing and play at the Lobby Bar. Funk’s most recent CD, Jazz in the Lobby Bar, has been getting great reviews and has become a favorite of jazz lovers in Japan.

Peterson Family Tribute @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm – 11pm. The Peterson Family pays tribute to their late matriarch, Jeanne Arland Peterson. Linda Peterson, piano, vocals; Patty Peterson, vocals; Paul Peterson, bass, piano, vocals; Jason Peterson DeLaire, sax, piano, vocals, and Very Special Guest, Kenny Horst, on drums. All proceeds will be donated to the Jeanne Arland Peterson Scholarship for Jazz Studies at the U of MN.

Mr. Pemberton on trumpet

Mr. Pemberton on trumpet

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. ($10 Suggested Donation) 7pm. First up is the Post Atomic Trio, with David Hamilton, piano; Ademola Adegun, bass; and Derrin Pinto, drums. Then at 8:30pm it’s time for trumpeter Jon Pemberton’s Tribute to Lee Morgan, with Dave Brattain, sax; Mikkel Romstad, piano; Tom Lewis, bass; and Cory Healey, drums.

Sunday, September 13

Paul Renz Quartet @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Guitarist Paul Renz is a well-honed craftsman who, though based in the Twin Cities, performs here only occasionally. He does do an extensive tour of the East Coast every year. For this performance of original music he’ll be joined by Wes Ruelle, piano; Jonathan Thams, bass; and Jessie Lesmeister, drums.

Sunday, Monday, September 13, 14

Bill Carrothers Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 9pm Sunday, 7pm – 10pm Monday (No Cover) The Saint Paul native and Michigan-based pianist returns to the Twin Cities, and jazz fans couldn’t be happier, especially since there is no cover charge. He’s worked with the likes of Lee Konitz and Dewey Redman, and has recorded 17 albums as a leader. These two evenings will be full of sublime, inventive music, with many surprising twists and turns.

Tuesday, September 15

Tommy O’Donnell Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) The veteran pianist leads a trio for jazz listening in the restaurant’s music room, a place just made for his Errol Garner-ish playing.

Dean Magraw & Butch Thompson @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Guitarist Magraw and pianist/clarinetist Thompson are both long time members of the Twin Cities music scene, going back to the late seventies or earlier. I don’t know if they’ve played together before, but both are consummate musicians with an affinity for the blues and jazz. Of course, in Magraw’s case, he has an affinity for many kinds of music, so there could be some real surprises tonight.

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 9

Crankshaft on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Tune in during the 5 o’clock hour to hear Crankshaft’s adrenaline-fueled blues, then head over to the 331 club, where  a celebration of Kathy Schwalbe’s Birthday will be taking place while Crankshaft amps up the atmosphere. I’m fairly certain members of the Blues Society and various bands will be in attendance to cheer him on and wish Kathy a happy birthday.

Hula Peppers @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) This could be the low-key gig of the week. The Peppers play Tin Pan Alley jazz from the 20s and 30s. It’s old time, as opposed to old-timey, music, and it’s delightful.

Lee “Scratch” Perry @ The Cedar Culutral Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($25) Here is a musical maven who is so offbeat that some call him a genius while others call him insane. Perry’  approach to production and dub defined reggae music, and his work with Bob Marley and the Wailers, the Upsetters, and the Congos certainly helped their rise to success, while his more recent work under his own name has been mystifying, to say the least. He’ll be performing the legendary Super Ape album in its entirety. Subatomic Sound System opens.

La Santa Cecilia @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) This Los Angeles band of Latino rockers was last in town to celebrate the opening of the new theater at the Ordway. There infectious mix of cumbers, Tex-Mex, and rock n’ roll had the audience jumping in their seats. We’ll see if they can get a Dakota crowd up and dancing.

Thursday, September 10

Chuck Prophet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Singer/Songwriter Chuck Prophet first came to attention as a member of the 80s psychedelic band Green on Red. He released his first solo album, Brother Aldo, in 1990, and started to be compared to folks like Ray Davies, Leonard Cohen, Tom Petty, and Alex Chilton. He’s collaborated with a wide range of folks, from Warren Zevon to Jim Dickinson and Lucinda Williams. Opening is Holly Hansen, of the Twin Cities own Zoo Animal.

Friday, September 11

RAMM Band @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Paul Mayasich brings the Real American Made Music trio to the modest south side dive bar. Expect fleet fingering from guitarist Mayasich, backed by the solid foundation of John Iden, bass; and Hye Pockets, drums, playing a mix of Motown, R&B, Blues, and Rock n’ Roll.

Saturday, September 12

Summit Backyard Bash @ Summit Brewing, 910 Montreal Circle, Saint Paul. Noon – 7pm ($20) Once again, Summit Brewing opens up their “back yard” to a big party featuring many of the area’s most exciting acts. Performers include Hotpants DJs, Blackmarket Brass, Al Church, Toki Wright, Gramma’s Boyfriend, and headliners the Suburbs.

Shangoya Reunion @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 10pm ($13) Shangoya was the first reggae band in the Twin Cities. Back in the early 80s their combination of reggae and calypso filled clubs, ballrooms, and street festivals with riotous dancers, and quite a few musicians came up through their ranks. Tonight many of those musicians will perform, as  a Tribute to the band’s founder Peter Nelson, who died some years back. Opening: Socaholix.

Sunday, September 13

Bluegrass Festival @ The Caponi Art Park, 1220 Diffey Road, Eagan. Noon – 6pm. ($20) Listen to a variety of bluegrass(y) sounds amongst the trees of the park’s amphitheater Theater in the Woods. things start out with a jam session until 2pm, when the Sawtooth Brothers perform, followed by the jug band and rag-timey bluegrass of Jack Norton and the Mullet River Boys at 3pm. The Wild Goose Chase Cloggers then take the stage at 4pm, to show off their foot-stomping dance moves accompanied by Rooster Riot, and a 5pm Monroe Crossing, inductees of the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, close things out.

DVRG Redefined @ The Icehouse, Minnapolis. 5pm ($8) Devon R Gray is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, arranger, and composer who is perhaps best known as dVRG in the live rap/hip hop band Heiruspecs. He’s done many cross-genre collaborations and his influences range from classical music to the R&B of Shuggie Otis. Tonight he’ll be singing, and joined by James Everest, guitar; and Davu Seru on drums.

Jack Klatt @ The Como Dockside Pavillion, Saint Paul. 5:30pm (Free) Klatt is a singer/songwriter and finger-picking guitarist who draws inspiration from the hokum blues of the 1920s, the Appalachian sounds of country music’s roots, and acoustic swing. Just the thing for a late summer outdoor gig.

Monday, September 14

Maurice Jacox @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Regular readers may gather that I really like vocalist/saxophonist/flautist Jacox, and that would be true. He’s a versatile singer, equally at home with blues, jazz, Motown, and Tin Pan Alley. Consequently, I want let readers know whenever he’s performing in a new situation, as with foodie night at the Dakota, where there’s no cover, menu specials, and $10 bottles of wine.

Tuesday, September 15

Kate Davis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) This young multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter has been gaining critical attention since she moved to NYC from her native Portland Oregon in 2009. Davis‘ lyrics are in turn heartfelt, witty, perceptive, and cliche-free.

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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