State Fair Music, Part 2: 8.29 – 9.4

August 29, 2018

The Leinie Lodge Stage has many concerts during the Fair

So it’s the second week of The Minnesota State Fair. I’ve noted some of the acts on the free stages separately after Blues, Roots, and Other listings. Besides the music of the Fair, we have a few visiting artists of note, and our talented musicians to lift our spirits and cause us to dance. It’s true. Music lifts the Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, August 29

Butch Thompson & Pat Donahue @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20) Pianist/clarinetist Thompsonand guitarist/vocalist Donahuehave an easy camaraderie, with a bit of humor thrown in every once in a while, making for a delightful evening of traditional jazz and blues.

Will Kjeer Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) I believe this is the last of Kjeer’s monthly summer residency at the Vieux. Joining the talented pianist are Graydon Peterson, bass; and Pete James Johnson, drums.

Big Peach @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Big Peach is Patrick Adkins,piano; Benjamin Beyenne, drums; and sam Worthington, bass.  All were members of the Dakota Combo a few years ago, and continue to grow as artists.

Thursday, August 30

Julian Manzara & Graydon Peterson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis.8pm ($10) Guitarist/vocalist Manzarawill be joined by bassist Peterson for Vocal Night at the basement venue.

Regional Jazz Trio @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9:30pm ($5-10) Their understated name belies the vast amount of talent and creativity in this group:JT Bates, drums; Anthony Cox, bass; and Michael Lewis, saxophones.

Friday, August 31

Aja Parham’s Tribute to Sarah Vaughn @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Classically trained vocalist Parhamis equally adept at show tunes, jazz, R&B, and Motown. Tonight she concentrates on jazz, as she sings the music of Sarah Vaughn.

Saturday, September 1

Travis Anderson Trio @ The Normandy Kitchen & Bar, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Travis Anderson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums; bring their creative interpretations of standards to the intimate bar.

Sunday, September 2

Geoffrey Keezer Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm ($30, $35) Pianist Keezerwas already working with Art Blakey by the time he was 18. He’s collaborated with Sting, Wayne Shorter, and Christian McBride, among others, recorded with Diana Krall and Dianne Reeves, has been nominated for a Grammy a number of times, and notably, played with Ray Brown for a few years. He’s bringing special guest vocalist Gillian Margotwith him. She’s studied with Oscar Peterson and Freddy Cole, and sung with Sting, Kathleen Battle, Kevin Mahogany, Robert Glasper and a number of classical orchestras. They’ll be joined by our own stars, Jaff Bailey, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums.

Tuesday, September 4

Acme Jazz Company w/Arne Fogel @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm ($8, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) The newly enlarged lounge at Crooners will reverberate with big band sounds, with special guest vocalist Arne Fogel.

For more listings, KBEM has a calendar of jazz and roots events, while the Jazz Police features commentary, reviews, and previews of jazz in the Twin cities and beyond.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, August 29

Erik Brandt & The Urban Hillbilly Quartet on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM),7pm (3312 Club – Tip Jar) The Urban Hillbilly Quartethas  been playing together for 18 years now, developing a mix of country, bluegrass, and rock n’ roll that would make the Flying Burrito Brothers and Gram Parsons proud. The show is being broadcast from the State Fair Education Building, after which the band will head to the 331 Club, where you can catch them live.

Salsa Del Soul @ Mill City Museum, Minneapolis. 6pm ($6) Includes museum admission from 4pm – 9pm. Listeners in the Museum’s courtyard will have a hard time sitting still as Salsa del Soulbrings various Latin rhythms to the courtyard’s stage.

Radio Joe & the JazzBo’s @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm ($6) Vintage swing, boogie-woogie, and jump blues to keep heads bopping, feet tapping, and the dance floor filled.

Thursday, August 30

Roosevelt Collier @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) Collierplays pedal and steel guitar, having come up playing “sacred steel” with his uncle and cousins in the Lee boys in Florida. He’s lent his talents to the Allman Brothers, Buddy Guy, The String Cheese Incident, Los Lobos, and more.

High & Mighty @ Lord Fletcher’s on the Lake, Spring Park. 6-9pm (No Cover) Head out to party central on Lake Minnetonka to catch this R&B/soul/pop horn band.

Erik Koskinen @ Music at Mears, Mears Park, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Free) For the last show of the season, the folks at Music in Mears brings vocalist/guitarist/composer Koskinenand his unflinching country music to the delightful series. Jake Jones opens, with a blend of Americana, Rock n’ Roll, and Blues.

Friday, August 31

Joyann Parker @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12, $15) Talented vocalist/multi-instrumentalist, and composer Parker’s record, Hard to Love, recently received a very favorable review in DownBeat magazine, while Parker herself has been nominated as a Rising Star for the Blues Blast Awards.

Saturday, September 1

Maurice Jacox @ Lola’s on the Lake, 3000 East Calhoun Blvd, Minneapolis. 4-7pm (Free) As the late afternoon sets over Bde Maka Ska, enjoy the wings, fish, and other soulful food while vocalist Maurice Jacox delivers a mix of soul, jazz, R&B, and even some acoustic Motown. Should make for a lovely evening.

Sunday, September 2

5th Annual Minnesota Salsa Festival @ the Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15 Advance/$20 Door) Things get started with DJs spinning salsa hits, then it’s time for a salsa lesson at 7:30 and live music at 8pm. Bands include Charanga Tropical, and the 18-piece La Gran Charanga, featuring members from Malamanya, Salsa del Soul, Seven Steps to Havana and other Twin Cities bands. Also performing: Craig Russo and Vivana Pintado.

Monday, September 3

Miss Myra & the Moonshiners @ Harriet Lake Bandshell, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) Vintage, often sassy, jazz and barrelhouse blues, including originals by the group featuring Miss Myra, vocals & guitar; and the Moonshiners: Zane Fitzgerald Palmer, guitar; Dolly Dagger, drums; and Ike Heath, tuba.

Tuesday, Wednesday, September 3,4

Ronnie Spector & The Ronettes @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50, $80, $70) Excuse me if I geek out about Ms Spector, one of my favorite rock n’ roll singers from my youth. Their song Walking in the Rain won a Grammy in 1965. The Ronettes were inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 2007, and their huge hit Be My Baby, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1992. I recall seeing Ronnie and the original Ronettes at a Bronx bowling lane with Murray the “K” even though they didn’t perform. Previous appearances at the Dakota have shown her be as exciting a performer as when she appeared at the Brooklyn Fox more than 50 years ago.

For more blues (and some roots), The MN Blues Society’s calendar is quite omprehensive. For all things Cajun and Zydeco, check out the calendar of the Krewe de Walleye.

State Fair Music (Free w/Admission to the Fair)

Wednesday, August 29 

Ticket To Brasil @ The International Bazaar Stage. 10:45am, Noon, 1:15pm

Randy Sabien & the Fiddlehead Band @ The Schell’s Stage. 3pm, 4pm, 5pm

Doug Otto & the Getaways @ The Ramberg Music Stage. 3:15, 4:30, 5:45pm

Annie Mack @ the International Bazaar Stage. 3:15, 4:30,5:45pm

Boom Boom Stevie V & the Knockouts @ RC’s BBQ. 6pm

Thursday, August 30

Ticket To Brasil @ The International Bazaar Stage. 10:45am, Noon, 1:15pm

Randy Sabien & the Fiddlehead Band @ The Schell’s Stage. 3pm, 4pm, 5pm

Doug Otto & the Getaways @ The Ramberg Music Stage. 3:15, 4:30, 5:45pm

Annie Mack @ the International Bazaar Stage. 3:15, 4:30,5:45pm

Boom Boom Stevie V & the Knockouts @ RC’s BBQ. 6pm

Friday, August 31

Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots @ The Leinie Lodge Stage. 10:30am, 11:45am

Martin Devaney @ The Ramberg Music Stage. 10:30am, 11:45am; 1pm

MBOTMA presents the Minnesota Americana Roots Contest @ The Schell’s Stage. 11:30am – 2:15pm Featuring close-harmony duos

Saturday, September 1

Sunpie & the Louisiana Sunspots @ The Leinie Lodge Stage. 10:30am, 11:45am

MBOTMA presents the Minnesota Americana Roots Contest @ The Schell’s Stage. 11:30am – 2:15pm Featuring bluegrass groups

Martin Devaney @ The Ramberg Music Stage. 3:15, 4:30, 4:45pm

Sunday, September 2

Terrance Simein & the Zydeco Experience @ The Leinie Lodge Stage. 3:30pm,4:45 pm

Har Mar Superstar @ The Leinie Lodge Stage. 8:30pm

Monday, September 3

Terrance Simein & the Zydeco Experience @ The Leinie Lodge Stage. 3:30pm,4:45 pm

Har Mar Superstar @ The Leinie Lodge Stage. 8:30pm


August Already: 8.1 – 8.7

August 1, 2018

The Harriet Band shell is always a sweet place for music.

As Captain Obvious would say, “It’s August!”  Don’t worry. We still have many outdoor music events taking place besides those I’ve listed for this week. We also have a CD release party, two visiting guitar masters, as well as two guitar masters from the area, Cajun music from Louisiana, an Early Music festival and a tent revival of sorts (in a jazz club) featuring gospel greats The Blind Boys of Alabama.  Music lifts the Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, August 1

Matt Trice/Steve Hirsh Duo @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8;30pm ($10, $5w/validstudent ID) Drummer Steve Hirsh is a founder of the free-jazz group Le Voyage. Saxophonist Matt Trice was mentored by Pete Whitman and was a member of the last class to receive a B.M. in performance from McNally Smith before it closed. They’ll be joined by bassist Pat keen for the second set.

Judi Vinar & Rick Carlson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($12) This show is titled The Great Melodies, and with Vinar on vocals and Carlson on piano, they should indeed be great.

Thursday, August 2

Will Kjeer Quintet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Kjeer, piano; Brandon Wozniak, tenor sax; Adam Meckler, trumpet; Graydon Peterson, bass; Miguel Hurtado, drums. Pianist Kjeer may still be studying in college, but he’s already talented enough to head up a group of veterans from the TC jazz scene. This is part of the All Originals JazzSeries, highlighting resident ensembles playing their own compositions.

Aerosol Pike @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9:30pm ($5) Free improvisation from a trio formed in late 2007 by Philip Mann and Ryan Reber, along with their longtime friend and collaborator, Rick Ness.

Friday, August 3

Hoaxer, Bruce Acosta Organ Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) It’s an evening of young, emerging artists as two groups of college-age musicians take the stage. At 7pm it’s the Bruce Acosta Trio with: Acosta, guitar; Abeb Stafford, organ; and Ben Erlich, drums. At 8:30 – Hoaxer: Will Kjeer, piano; Peter Goggin, alto; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Edmund Catlin, drums.

Saturday, August 4

Maurice Jacox Trio @ The Normandy Kitchen, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) This classic cocktail lounge will reverberate with vocalist/saxophonist Jacox’s mix of Jazz, Blues, and R&B. He’ll be accompanied by Thomas West, piano; and Robb Stupka, drums.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (TipJar) At 7pm: Northing, with: Aaron Hedenstrom, alto; Mara Syman, alto; Nick Syman, trombone; Josh Becker, Bass Trombone; Pete James Johnson, drums. 8:30pm: The Zacc Harris Group: Harris, guitar; Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris bates, bass; Pete James Johnson, drums.

MN Hard Bop Collective @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) This time around, drummer Jesse Simon and his band take on the compositions of African American trumpeters. Besides Simon, the band includes: Omar Abdulkarim, trumpet; Jeff Rinnear, trombone; Jordan Anderson, piano; and Ted Olsen, bass.

Sunday, August 5

Sarah M. Greer CD Release Party @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm ($15) Ms Greer is releasing her debut CD, “What the Music Says, Do.” It reveals Greer as a singular talent at writing, singing, and arranging, as shown in songs whose subjects range from hope and inspiration to love and social consciousness. She’ll be joined by Anthony Cox, bass; Steven Hobert, piano; and Nathan J. Greer, drums; as well as guests Dean Magraw, guitar; and vocalists Jayanthi Kyle and Mankwe Ndosi of the Give Get Sistet, all of whom appear on the CD.

Monday, August 6

Brian Handeland @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/valid student ID) Brian Handeland plays sax, clarinet, and flute in bands that range from The JazzMN Orchestra and The Twin cities Latin Jazz Orchestra, to the Brass Barn Polka Band and Machinery Hill. Tonight he plays music of his own choosing, followed by the weekly Monday Night jam session.

Tuesday, August 7

Nels Cline 4 @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 7pm ($35 Table, $30 Bar), 9pm ($30 Table, $25 Bar) Guitar enthusiasts will be checking out Cline and band mate Julian Lage, with whom he recorded the two-guitar album Roomin 2014. The album was so well received that they put together this free-wheeling quartet with Scott Colley, bass; and Tom Rainey, drums. Rolling Stone listed Cline, who is also the leader of Wilco, as one of “100 Greatest Guitarists.”

For more listings, KBEM has a calendar of jazz and roots events, while the Jazz Police features commentary, reviews, and previews of jazz in the Twin cities and beyond.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, August 1

Lonesome Dan Case on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI -90.3FM), 7pm(3321 Club – Tip Jar) Guitarist/vocalist Dan Case heard artists like Reverend Gary Davis and Robert Johnson on the radio when he was a teenager, and the budding guitarist was hooked. Since then he’s immersed himself in country blues, to the point where his singing and playing sound as if he’s a blues troubadour of long ago.

Paul Thorn & Blind Boys of Alabama @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $52, $60), 9pm ($35, $42, $50) Paul Thorn, a singer/songwriter, raconteur, and the son of a Southern preacher-man, is touring in support of his old-school gospel recording, Don’t Let The Devil Ride. He describes its blend of soul, rock, & gospel as being “like taking a six-pack to church.” Besides his rock band, Paul will be accompanied by the Grammy-winning Blind Boys of Alabama. No wonder he calls the show Mission Temple Fireworks Revival.

Thursday, August 2

The Best of Second City @ the Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($30, $38) The long-running satirical comedy/sketch troupe that was a launching pad for the likes of Tina Fey, Steven Colbert, Gilda Radner, Bill Murray and more brings the best sketches from its history to the Cedar.

Jillian Rae, Brian Just @ Music in Mears, Mears Park, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Free) Classically trained violinist Jillian Rae is the go-to musician for many bands looking to sweeten, or add some old-time flavor to their sounds. The vocalist/composer also leads her own quartet in an amalgam of pop/rock/roots. Brian Justopens, which is fitting, since Rae once played in his psych/pop quintet.

Friday, August 3

Rich Lewis Band @ Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Guitarist/singer Lewis was a founding member of the fabled Explodo Boysback in the 70s. Today he and his cohorts – the number of which vary from gig to gig – play originals, old-school R&B, and even some classic rock, though often in a more R&B-ish way.

Gina Forsyth & The Mid-City Aces @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) Doors at 7pm, Dance Lesson at 7:15pm. This New Orleans trio performs the traditional Cajun music as found in Lafayette, LA. Members are: Cameron Dupuy, The Accordion king of New Orleans; his father Michael Dupuy, guitar; and Forsyth, fiddle& vocals.

Friday, Saturday, August 3,4

Shelby J @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50, $60) You’ve likely seen Shelby J with Prince during his outstanding 2007 Super Bowl half-time show. Since then, she and her neo-soul band have toured with Mary J. Blige, D’Angelo, Santana, Larry Graham, and others.

Saturday, August 4

Twin Cities Early Music Festival Concerts @ Saint Paul Conservatory Music Concert Hall, 1524 Summit Ave, Saint Paul. 6:30pm,  8pm ($20 adult, $10 Student for 1 ticket, $35 Adult, $125 Student for 2 concert tickets) There will be two concerts tonight in the former church near Snelling Avenue. The first, at 6:30pm, features Dance Music of the French Courts, performed by the Twin Cities Early Music Collective, while the second, at 8pm features French Music from Medieval to Baroque, as performed by Ensemble Spezzatura. For more information, about these performances and others in this series, go to; https://www.tcearlymusic.org

Belfast Cowboys @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) A large rock band playing the music of Van Morrison and others, while sailboats glide by in the distance and planes fly overhead.

Sunday, August 5

Natania & Ticket to Brazil @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 5:30 – 7pm (Free) Hot Sambas, Cool Bossa Novas, Brazilian Jazz, and you, enjoying a picnic and a warm summer night.

Tuesday, August 7

Curt Obeda & Camille Baudoin @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Twin Cities bluesman Curt Obeda and New Orleans guitarist/singer Camille Baudoin (ex-Radiators) were friends long before Baudoin decided to move to Minnesota after the Radiators broke up. You can tell by their easy camaraderie and musical communication.

For more blues (and some roots), The MN Blues Society has a fairly comprehensive calendar. For all things Cajun and Zydeco, check out the calendar of the Krewe de Walleye.


Spring and Music – Just Around the Corner: 3.21-3.27

March 21, 2018

You can’t stop the signs of Spring

Well, though there is still snow on the ground, and perhaps a bit more in the coming week, it actually is Spring, and sunshine and warmth can’t be far behind. Celebrate by getting out to some live music and letting it lift your spirit.

Larry

Jazz

Wednesday, March 21

Connie Evingson: George & Ira @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($20, $25) The sublime music of the Gershwin Brothers, delivered by Ms Evingson, with the talented help of Tanner Taylor, piano; Dave Karr, sax & flute; and Gordy Johnson, bass.

Clay Pufahl Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Original compositions and arrangements froufahl, soloing with the Cedar Avenue Big Band.

Thursday, March 22

Dorothy Doring @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Whether she’s singing bebop, standards, or the blues, During approaches each song with élan.

JC Sanford’s Triocracy @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Trombonist JC Sanford retuned to the Twin Cities after 16 ears of establishing himself in NYC. Since then he’s taken on a number of projects, including a big band. Tonight it’s chamber jazz with Sandford and saxophonists Brandon Wozniak and Bruce Thornton.

Friday, March 23

Acoustic Concussion and Shells @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) at 8pm it’s Acoustic Concussion: Chris Bates, bass; Lars Erik-Larson, drums; Joe Strachan, piano; and Brad Holden, saxes, playing the music of Sam Rivers, Lee Konitz, Ornette Coleman and others. At 10:30pm, a young group called Shells will perform, whose members include: Kevin Kim, Tenor Sax; Brandon Xue, Piano; Tyler Wagner, Bass; and Simon Petrick, Drums.

Saturday, March 24

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening set by the intriguing Smashing Carp: George Cartwright, Saxophones; Michelle Kinney, Cello; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, Trumpet; Joe Horton, Vocals, and Davu Seru, Drums. At 8:30pm it’s the Steve Kenny Quintet, a pan-generational group featuring: Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Aaron Hedenstrom, sax; Charlie Lincoln, bass; Babatunde Lea, percussion; and Kenny on trumpet. Here is Smashing Carp.

Max Weinberg’s Jukebox @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55, $65) Older readers may remember the Johnny Carson feature “Stump the Band,” where audience members would name a tune and the Tonight Show Band would attempt to play it. Well, Weinberg, drummer for Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band, is bringing a quartet to the Dakota and inviting audience members to call out requests, which results in an entertaining evening that can take many twists and turns, depending on the taste of the audience.

Maurice Jacox @ The Mudd Room, Mendota. 8pm (Tip Jar) Vocalist/saxophonist Jacox is equally at home with the Great American Songbook, the songs of Nat King Cole, and acoustic versions of Motown. The speakeasy vibe of the Mudd Room, along with a fine selection of food and drink and an engaged audience, makes for a lively evening. He’ll be joined by Thomas West on keys and Rob Stupka, drums.

Sunday, March 25

Sam Miltich & Friends @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 6:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) Hot guitar from the self-taught Miltich, who has very talented friends.

Prudence Johnson & Dan Chouinard: A Night of Gershwin @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) A second night of Gershwin this week, this time by the oh-so-creative duo of Dan Chouinard on keys; and Prudence Johnson on vocals. Here’s an example.

Tuesday, March 27

Atlantis Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($12, $15) This quartet of outstanding musicians has been creating 21st Century jazz for 10 years. Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris Bates, bass; and Peter Hennig, drums; all have serious chops, imaginative improvising skills, and heady compositional talents. Here’s a chance to hear them in a small listening room.

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, March 21

Barbaro on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Barbaro is a 5-piece progressive bluegrass band that’s been around for 2 years now. They describe themselves as playing music for films about cooking, with spicy instrumentals, savory harmonies, and to-the-point songwriting. Tune in to hear them and head to the 331 to see them in person.

Also: Graham Nash @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($75-$115) Good luck getting a ticket, as this pricey but unique show is sold out.

Thursday, March 22

New Orleans Suspects @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) the members of this New Orleans “supergroup” have played with The Neville Bros, James Brown, The Dirty Dozen, Bonerama, and Leo Nocentelli, among others. Needless to say, they can lay down a second line beat, New Orleans funk, or any other danceable tunes you can imagine.

Buckethead @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($22) This guitar shredder and jam band favorite has performed across many genres, including progressive metal, funk, blues, and avant-garde music. He’s released over 300 studio albums , written scores for a number of movies, and performed with such artists as Guns N’ Roses, Les Claypool, Bernie Worrell, and Bootsy Collins. Tonight he will be performing solo tonight, with no band.

Thursday – Sunday, March 22-25

Zeitgeist Early Music Festival @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm Th-Sat, 2pm Sun  ($15 / $10 students & seniors / $40 festival pass) This four-day event celebrates the music of African-American minimalist composer Julius Eastman. Dozens of artists will perform over the four days, with pieces for four percussion, flour pianos, mixed ensembles, two flutes, and more. For more information and the program for each show, go here. Here’s an example of his music by a different ensemble.

Friday, March 23

Jeffrey Broussard & The Creole Cowboys @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm ($?) The Krewe de Walleye once again brings a Louisiana guest to town. This time it’s Jeffrey Broussard, who was a member of the legendary Zydeco Force. He and his Creole Cowboys take a contemporary approach to Creole classics and modern zydeco tunes, so be sure to deck yourself out in dancing’ duds.

The Claudettes Album Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($17 – $22) This Chicago group mashes up all sorts of music, from the piano blues of Chi-town, to punk rock, 60s soul, jazz-age burlesque, and rockabilly music. In other words, they are hard to describe. Led by piano-pounder Johnny Iguana, the group includes Berit Ulseth, vocals; Zach Verdoom, bass & vocals; and Matt Torre, drums.

Saint Paul Soul & Salsa 4 Puerto Rico @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. ($10 Suggested Donation) A benefit for El Fondo Boricua Hurricane Relief, featuring Maria Isa and other Twin Cities artists of Afro Latin Jazz & Soul. Deejay Cana Brava will spin tunes for salsa dancers.

Also: Curtis Blake & Greazy Gravy @ Schooner’s, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar)

 

Saturday, March 24

Flamin’ Ohs & Trash Street @ The Hook  & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($9 Advance/$12 Door) The Oh’s were pioneers of rock videos back in the day, producing hard-edged, Midwest rock that got them to Max’s Kansas City and the Peppermint Lounge in NYC. Since reforming in1997, the group has released three albums, including a live session at Moby Dick’s in the 80s. Opening is Trash Street, purveyors of simple melodies, blazing guitars, and pounding drums.

Dance ’Til You Drop @ The History Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm as well as 2pm Mar 31 & Apr 7, ($25-$40, $15 Student) This production, created in collaboration with Collide Dance Theater, looks at the Dance Marathon fad of the 1930s, when times were so desperate that folks were willing to try to dance for days on end to win cash prizes. Presented Thursday through Saturday until April 15. For more information, go here.

Also: Willie Walker @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $12 for Guaranteed Seat)

Sunday, March 25

Gang of Mischief @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 4pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Wile away a Sunday afternoon in the oldest continually operating bar in the state, enjoying blues and roots music as played by Harpmaster Harold Tremblay, along with Rena Haus, guitar & vocals; Dan Schwalbe, guitar; and Mark Rizzardi, bass; and a special guest in the “hot seat.”

An Evening with Altan @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis.7:30pm ($27 Advance, $30 Door) Altan is a traditional Irish band that has been winning awards and entertaining audiences around the world ever since they were the first Irish band of their kind to be signed to a major label (Virgin), back in 1996.

Tuesday, March 27

Meshell Ndegeocello @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55), 9pm ($35, $45) Ndegeocello is an R&B original who has just released her 12th album, entitled Ventriloquism. It’s a fine album of 80’s tunes, in which she recasts songs from her youth, such as Atomic Dog, in which she uses a slightly down & dirty blues guitar and an ethereal choir to reveal the foundations of the song. Other songs include Smooth Operator, where its Caribbean underpinnings have been replaced with a rhythm that approaches drum & bass, and Sometimes it Snows in April, which is slowed down even more than the original by Prince.

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.


Close to Home: 1.31-2.6

January 31, 2018

“Prince Night” on Nicollet Mall. Photo by Star Tribune.

Well the months of anticipation are behind us and we get to enjoy (or survive) the Super Bowl and its crowds, some of which can be seen in the photo from the Star Tribune on the right. While there are lots of music events featuring visiting and resident artists around town, which you can learn about here, the abundance of musical talent in our area can also be enjoyed in other, less crowded locations. Whether you’re a fan of the event, or to paraphrase former Mpls Mayor RT Rybeck, you feel like a bartender at the wedding of your ex who dumped you, you can still have your spirits lifted by enjoying live music from musicians who are performing close to home.

Larry

Jazz

Wednesday, Jan 31

Fake Accent @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid StudentI D) Erik Fratzke, guitar; Nathan Hanson, sax; Cooper Doten, bass; Cory Healey, drums. Given that Wednesdays at Jazz Central are given over to experimental music, I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is a new group. Fratzke plays bass with Happy Apple, as well as guitar in a heavy metal band, and for other jazz projects. Hanson is known for playing “outside” but has also appeared ion the horn section of bigger bands. Healy has his Beautiful Sunshine Band, and can be found as a sideman in numerous gigs. Doten is an unknown for me. Should be an interesting evening.

Thursday, Feb 1

Arne Fogel & the Wolverines Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) Here’s a group and vocalist that swings with the ease of a kid on a swing set and is as dependable as Big Ben.

Also: Davu Seru, Mankwe Ndosi, & Douglas Ewart @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul.9pm ($5)

Friday, Feb 2

Jake Baldwin Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Talented trumpeter Jake Baldwin seems to be playing everywhere these days, as a sideman and leading various groups, from a trio at the Lexington, to this quintet, which includes: Nelson Deveraux, sax; Joe Strachan, piano; Ted Olsen, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. Here’s Baldwin at the 2013 National Trumpet Competition, where he took 2nd place in the jazz solos division.

Bottomless Pit @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul.  8pm ($10) What do you get when you bring four excellent veteran musicians together? Well, if that quartet includes Joel Shapira, guitar; Pete Whitman, sax; Tom Lewis, base, and the amazing Eric Kamau Gravatt on drums, you get a group with a virtuosic level of improvisation, making for an inspired evening of music.

Framework @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9:00pm ($10) Guitarist Chris Olsen, bassist Chris Bates, and drummer Jay Epstein were favorites at the old Artist’s Quarter, and no wonder, considering the high level of their playing.

Saturday, Feb 3

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Another in a long line of double bills that surprise and delight, starting at 7pm with the Steve Kenny Quartet: Kenny, trumpet; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Ted Olsen, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. Then, at 8:30pm it’s the chamber jazz of Lulu’s Playground: Adam Meckler, trumpet; Steven Hobert, accordion; Cory Grossman, cello; and Ben Abrahamson, guitar. Here they arefron a few years ago.

Southside Aces, feat Butch Thompson @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $12 for Guaranteed Seat) Toe-tapping traditional New Orleans jazz of the Aces, augmented by the piano and clarinet of Butch Thompson.

Also: Pete Whitman Trio @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (TipJar)

Monday, Feb 5

Chris Bates’ Red5  @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Bassist Bates gathers up some musical compatriots to play his original compositions. The include: JT Bates ,drums and cymbals; Thomas Nordlund, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, saxophone; Chris Thomson, saxophone; Jake Baldwin,  trumpet; and JC Sanford, trombone.

Tuesday, Feb 6

Fuzzy Math @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm (Free) Check out the Amsterdam’s bar and Dutch-inspired food, while listening to accessible jazz, featuring original compositions and arrangements from: Mark Vandermyde (composer / keys), Andrew Schwandt (sax), Haralds Bondaris (drums), Matt Peterson / Eric Graham (bass).

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, Jan 31

Boxstore Bird on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Americana, bluegrass, and storytelling from veteran Americana artist Drew Peterson, guitar and songs; and Mandy Fassett, fiddle, cello, and mandolin.

Willie Murphy’s Singer/Songwriter Showcase w/Rena Haus @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($10) Multi-instrumentalist and composer/vocalist Willie Murphy has moved his Singer/Songwriter series to the initimate confines of the Dunsmore Room, bringing in Rena Haus for the series debut in the listening room. Haus is a singer/songwriter with a strong bent for the blues, who writes songs that are funny, political (sometimes both), sensitive, and earthy. Here’s Rena with her trio.

Thursday, Feb 1

Nooky Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9:30pm ($15, $20, $25) If you can make it through the crowds, the swat teams, and the armored Humvees, you will be rewarded for your efforts with some modern R&B (with jazz influences) by this band which is making a name for itself throughout the Midwest,.

Javier Matos @ The Basement Bar, Minneapolis. (No Cover) If you haven’t been to the Basement Bar yet, tonight is a good time, as you’ll get to hear guitarist/vocalist Matos, an outstanding guitar-slinger who can swing the blues and plays searing slide guitar.

Also: The Surfer Bowl w/The Surf Riders @ Dayblock Brewing, Minneapolis.9pm (No Cover) Get your fill of twang, reverb, and echo.

Friday, Feb 2

Pat Donahue & Richard Kriehn @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($20) Even if you don’t live in the western suburbs, it’s easily worth the drive to hear ace fingerpicker Donahue with his Prairie Home Companion band-mate, mandolinist Richard Kriehn in this very small, 40 seat venue.

The Butanes @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) Stepping out from the dark stage of Shaw’s on Thursday nights, the Twin cities’ best blues band will light up the stage for the Friday night crowd in the lounge at Crooners.

Friday, Saturday, Feb 2, 3

26th Annual Songs of Freedom @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($18 Advance, $25 Door) The Songs of Bob Marley, with The International Reggae All Stars, with special guest Innocent. Here they are at the 2011 celebration.

Saturday, Feb 3

Maurice Jacox Trio @ The Normandy Kitchen, Minneapolis. (No Cover) Somewhat on the downton edge of Superbowl Madness, where there might, just might be some on-street parking, the Normandy Kitchen will provide respite in the form of Maurice Jacox, vocals, sax, & flute, Thomas West, keys; and in-demand drummer Rob Stupka. Unfortunately, free parking in the Normandale’s lot will not be available, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the soulful sounds of Jacox and his band-mates.

Bill Patten Trio @ Dusty’s, Minneapolis. 9:45pm (Tip Jar) Fuzzed-up rock’ roll versions of the Great American Songbook as well as originals.

Sunday, Feb 4

Corpse Reviver @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 3-5pm (Tip Jar) Before sitting down to see the big game, check out msongs from the Harry Smith Anthology of Music, as performed by Corpse Reviver: Mikkel Beckman, percussion, Jillian Rae, fiddle and vocals; and Adam Kiesling, guitar, banjo, and vocals.

Dan Chouinard w/Maria Jette @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm ($10, $15) Superbowl Sunday is often a good day for shopping if you aren’t a football fan, since Target and other big box stores are spookily empty during the game. If you don’t want to go shopping, however, you can catch pianist Dan Chouinard and vocalist Maria Jette as they perform songs written and/or performed by artists who have birthdays this month.

Also: The Combo @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) Stop by after the game to celebrate, commiserate, or to simply enjoy great dance music.

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


Music, Music: 7.5 – 7.11

July 5, 2017

I hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th. Once again we have a great combination of visiting and resident artists performing in our fair Twin Cities. Here are just a few of the many music offerings over the next week. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 5

Maud Hixson @ Vieux Carré,  Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Here’s Ms Hixson in a slightly different musical setting than we usually see this warm, compelling vocalist. Though often accompanied by a pianist, tonight she’ll be accompanied by guitarist David Singley and bassist Kent Saunders as she sings songs from the Great American Songbook and more.

Radio Joe & the Jazzbos @ Mancini’s, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (No Cover) Grab yourself one of the big red booths, and get out on the dance floor as guitarist/vocalist Joe Demko, aka Radio Joe, and his crew pay homage to the music of Tony Bennett and Diana Krall.

Thursday, July 6

Acme Jazz Company, w/Arne Fogel @ Crooners’ Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Though it’s name may evoke Road Runner cartoons, this aggregation is anything but your every day band. The Acme Jazz Company had a regular gig here during previous incarnations of the club, and still sounda exciting. Added bonus: Crooner Arne Fogel.

Lavelle Jazz Cats Little Big Band @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) With seven horns, a rhythm section  and vocalist, the Lavelle Jazz Cats perform classic tunes by Basie, Sinatra, Ella, Dean Martin, Miles, Sonny Rollins, Ellington, and more, included more recent works by Michael Buble, Harry Connick Jr, and others.

Pool Party” @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) With three adventurous musicians: JT Bates, drums; Jacqueline Ultan, cello; and Chris Cunningham, guitar. The Pool Party is described as: “a randomized number of improvisors are selected at random from a selected pool to converge on a selected Thursday.”

Friday, July 7

Illicit Sextet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) This composer’s collective always has interesting, well executed musical ideas. The evening has the aptly ironic title of The Greatest Hits. Members of the band are: Paul Harper, saxophones; Chris Lomheim, Piano; Nathan Norman, Drums; Dave Roos, Guitar; Tom Pieper, Bass; and Steve Kenny, Flumpet. Here’s an old video.

BZ3 Organ Trio @ The Mudd Room, 1352 Highway 13, Mendota. 8pm (No Cover) The Mudd Room is a new “speakeasy” located under Lucky’s 13 in the village of Mendota. Enter through the street and you have to pick up a phone to get the entry code. Or you can go into Lucky’s and use either a staircase or elevator to get to the stonewall lined room. It’s a long narrow room, so sit up front to better hear the band. Tonight it’s Brian Zimniek, organ; Troy Norton, guitar; and Kevin Washington on drums. They swing, they groove.

Saturday, July 8

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Headlining at 8:30pm is a band whose members exhibit sheer joy at playing together – Chris Bates’ Good Vibes TrioBates, bass; Phil Hey, drums; Dave Hagedorn, vibes. Opening – The Cole Mahlum Quartet: Mahlum, guitar; Ted Olson, bass; Will Kjeer, piano; Miguesl Hurtado, drums.

Sunday, July 9

Parisota Hot Club @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. ($6) 8pm – 10pm Guitarist Robb Henry leads this collective of musicians who play Hot Jazz, or as it’s sometimes known, gypsy jazz. Founded in 2002, they were the first group in the area to concentrate on the music of Django Rheinhardt and Stephane Grapelli. However, they play more than the acoustic swing standards of the 30s and 40s, sprinkling their repertoire with occasional Beatles songs, as well as more contemporary fare. Tonight, they’ll be in trio format.

Monday, July 10

Teri Roiger @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10 – $35w/Dinner) NYC vocalist Roiger was at the Dunsmore Room last June and provided a great evening of music. Her singing has been cooled “smooth but heady,” (All About jazz), “powerfully moving: and impressively deep (JazzTimes), and “made for those who still understand the meaning of the term the real thing” (Stanley Crouch). Roiger can express much with the slightest turn of a phrase, and has a voice that sounds wonderful in the listening environment of the Dunsmore Room. She’ll be celebrating the release of Shades of Lady Day, a collection of tunes associate with Ms Holiday. With husband John Menegon, bass; Phil Aaron, piano; and Phil Hey, drums.

Fuzzy Math @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9:30pm (No Cover) One of the few jazz groups that play the Amsterdam, Fuzzy Math has been called “best jazz act for people bored with jazz” in a Best of MN listing. They play original material as well as creative covers.

Tuesday, Wednesday July 11, 12

Connie Evingson Sings Ellington @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20 – $45w/Dinner) Given that she performs quite regularly in the area, it’s easy to forget that vocalist Evingson has appeared at festivals and venues around the nation and in Europe and Japan. She’s been a guest artist at Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis, Michael Feinstein and Vince Giordano, Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion, the Minnesota Orchestra and Toronto Symphony conducted by Doc Severinsen, the JazzMN Orchestra and Vocalessence, among others. Her ten CDs have all charted in the top 50. Whether singing the songs of Peggy Lee, Django Rheinhardt, The Beatles, Dave Frishberg, or Norman Gimbel, her slightly smoky, always articulate voice is always a delight. The intimate Dunsmore Room is a perfect place to hear her, as she’s accompanied by Jon Weber, piano, Dave Karr, sax; and Gordy Johnson, bass.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, July 5

The Two Shoes on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) To understand the name, you have to recall the Guys All Star Shoe Band from the old Prairie Home Companion. Mandolinit Richard Kriehn and guitarist Pat Donohue were both long time members of the band, so their interaction will undoubtedly be as close as two peas in a pod.

Dustbowl Revival @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25-$35) So here’s a new term I’ve seen, that’s actually pretty good at describing the eight-piece  Dustbowl Revival – Americana Swing. Using a couple of horns, tougher with acoustic guitars and a fiddle, not to mention a take-no-prisoners attitude, they give a mighty kick to country blues, early jazz, folk, and originals.W/Jack Klatt Opening.

Thursday,July 6

Graveyard Club @ Music in Mears, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Free) This quartet got their start a few years back recording their first album in a 19th Century Summit Avenue mansion that was possibly haunted. Some of the houses creaks and sounds were incorporated into the recording, which got quite a bit of airplay in Europe. Their synth-laden sounds harken back to the the 80s and the recordings of New Order and the Cure. Candid Kid opens, and food trucks will be on hand.

Bill Kirchen @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($18 Advance/$20 Door) Guitarist Bill Kirchen is a Master of the Telecaster, to use a somewhat cliched term, but in this case it’s well deserved for this artist who performs hot rod and truck-driving songs that he calls “Dieselbilly” music. We first heard of him back in the early 70s when his lightning licks propelled Hot Rod Lincoln, by Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen. Nowadays, he often uses the song to show off a number of styles, from Les Paul to Jimi Hendrix.

Lowland Lakers, Mother Banjo, and Jillian Rae @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Here you have three bands fronted by women of substance, performing traditional folk, bluegrass, and Americana, as well as originals. Jillian Rae opens at 9:30, followed by Mother Banjo at 10:30, and the Lowland Lakers at 11:30.

Friday, July 7

Selby Avenue Brass Band @ Rhythm in Rice, Rice Park, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm (Free) The Selby Avenue Brass Band play raucous “street music” made for second-line dancing. They’ll have special guest vocalists Thomasina Petru and Maurice Jacox along to help. Opening is Pippi Ardennia & the Pip Jazz All-Stars.

Paul Barry & the Ace Tones and Squishy Mud @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Two of the best from the Battle of the Bands, conducted to get an opening spot at the Lowertown Blues and Funk Festival later this summer.

Saturday, July 8

The Drifters @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($22 – $57) If you want to hear the hits of The Drifters  a group that had at least five different lead singers during its heyday, then this will be a rewarding experience. Thanks to a string of hits during the 50s and 60s, the Drifters were the first African American group to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Don’t expect to hear any of the original members, however. After all, many of them have passed or retired. You can read the story of the multiple Drifters groups at the link above. The Drifters name was always owned by music entrepreneur George Treadwell, who has managed to keep groups performing under the name, so no matter who is in the group, you’ll hear the hits. Here’s what you might hear.

Jennifer Grimm @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, but $10 to Guarantee seat) Ms Grimm is a talented singer who is equally at home on a theater stage of in a bar. Either way, she’s an engaging performer, and with her family and friends, provides a highly entertaining evening, as she proved she could do in a long-time weekly residency at the old Manitou Station in White Bear Lake.

Sunday, July 9

Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 5pm – 7pm (No Cover) Charangas, danzons, and salsa for a late afternoon Sunday.

Los Texmaniacs @ The Dakota, Minnapolis. 7pm ($25, $30, $40) Los Texmaniacs have been anointed the New Kings of Tex-Mex, by no less than Flaco Jimenez, of The Texas Tornados and numerous other groups. Founder Max Baca (bajo sexton and vocals) has participated in eleven Grammy winning projects.

Dan Chouinard w/Maria Jette @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15 – $40w/Dinner) Dan Chouinard’  Birthday Club series brings the keyboardist together with various guest vocalists to toast musical birthdays and anniversary of  the month. Tonight’s guest is soprano Maria Jette  whose repertoire ranges from baroque classics to Tin PanAlley. The two have worked together many times, so close musical communication, as well as witty repartee, will be on exhibit. Added bonus: Revenue will go to Center for Victims of Torture

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.


TC Jazz Fest and More: 6.21 – 6.27

June 21, 2017

Greetings everyone;

It’s the big weekend for jazz fans as the Twin Cities Jazz Festival takes place from Thursday through Saturday. Great headliners and about 300 resident artists will be appearing on stages all over town. Besides Mears Park, Rice Park, and the Union Depot, downtown venues include the Black Dog Cafe, Golden’s Deli, the Green Lantern (Public Restaurant), the Hat Trick Lounge, The Amsterdam, and others. Don’t forget the piano-centric acts at Vieux Carré, with its late night jam, and the stage in the tpt building featuring vocalists all weekend. There are also performances at venues outside of downtown at venues like the Como Dockside and the Episcopal homes. I’ve got the link to the schedule below. Fans of blues and roots also have reasons to be happy, as I’ve listed. Remember, music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 21

Lee Engele @ The Merriam Park Library, 1831 Marshall Ave, Saint Paul. 6pm – 7pm (Free) A preview gig for the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Vocalist Engele has a particularly good way with acoustic swing aka gypsy jazz, though she handles standards and the occasional bossa nova with elegance and ease, especially with such stellar accompaniment as Reynold Philipsek on guitar and Matt Senjem on bass. .

Lindsay Pedalty Trio @ The Green Lantern (Public Restaurant), Saint Paul. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Vocalist Pedalty’s voice has just a bit of an edge, which she often uses to give a slyly sardonic reading to the Great American Songbook, though she’s adept at pop as well. She’ll be accompanied by her dad Bruce, a veteran of the Senders, Mojo Buford, and several area big bands, as well as Gary Miller on bass.

Christian Sands @ The Dakota, Minneapolls. 7pm ($20) Sands is an up and coming pianist who has already arrived in some sense. He’s been a key member of Christian McBride’s Trio for a number of years, was nominated for five Grammys, and was mentored by pianist Billy Taylor. He recently released his debut recording, Reach.

JT Bates Grain Trio @ Vieux Carré  Saint Paul 8:00pm ($6) Get your B3 organ fix as drummer Bates brings Kevin Gasonguey, B3, and Zacc Harris, guitar, to the basement club. Things will be cookin!

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, June 22, 23, 24

Twin Cities Jazz Festival  @ Saint Paul locations. (Free) It’s about the most anticipated event of the year for area jazz fans, though fans of R&B, funk, and world music also get to hear some of their favorite bands for free. You can find the schedule here. Needless to say, headliners Anat Cohen, Terrance Blanchard, McCoy, and others are well worth your while, but get to Mears Park early to also hear folks like Emmet Cohen, Bobby Lyle, and our own Eric Kamau Gravatt and Source Code in opening slots. The Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education Youth Showcase at Union Depot has been expanded to both Friday and Saturday, with the McNally Smith Vocal Ensemble headlining on Friday, and the Dakota Combo headlining on Saturday.

Friday, Saturday, June 23, 24

Django Festival All Stars @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($20) Honoring the “hot jazz” (aka gypsy jazz) of Django Rheinhardt, this sextet brings their own creativity to the swinging style. Author and critic Will Friedwald, said of them, “the collective talent pool on the bandstand is larger than the Arc de Triomphe.”

Sunday, June 25

Maud Hixson & Rick Carlson @ The Church of Saint Albert, East 29th Street & 32 Ave, Minneapolis. 1pm – 3pm ($20) Part of a monthly music series examining the music of the 20, 30s, 40s, and 50s. Today it’s the music of the 1930s. Both vocalist Hixson and pianist Carlson excel at this sort of thing.

Zacc Harris Trio @ The Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) If you aren’t quite ready to give up the spirit of the jazz fest, you can continue your jazz jones with the ever-inventive guitarist Zacc Harris and his trio.

Monday, June 26

Ashen Fir @ Jazz Central, Minnapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Cellist Greg Byers leads this quartet: Jack Barrett, keys; Charlie Bruber, bass; and Pete Quirsfeld, drums.

Tuesday, June 27

Richard Johnson Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15 – $45/wDinner) Pianist Johnson lived in the Twin Cities for a few years, entertaining us with his lovely playing. Then he became the Musical Director for some high-end hotels in the Middle East, where he’s been playing a booking jazz. He’s been a member of Wynton Marsalis’ Septet and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and has also been a member of the groups of Russel Malone and Irvin Mayfield. He has a unique program for 7-17 year olds called Reach afar, to educate them about elements of jazz in hip-hop.

Tuesday, Wednesday, June 27, 28

Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton @The Dakota, MInneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($40, $50, $60) Fischer was the stand-out performer in the documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, about background singers. Until the last year or so she was on every Rolling Stones tour since 1989 and has also toured with Sting, Luther Vandross, Tina Tuner, and Nine Inch Nails. In performance, Fischer takes well known pop/rock songs and completely makes them her own, using her supple voice to bring new meaning to them. She’s performed here about twice a year in the last three years and her shows often sell out, or come close to it. Be forewarned.

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, June 21

Cafe Accordion Orchestra @ the Northurp Auditorium Plaza, U of MN, Minneapolis. Noon (Free) Grab a baguette, some cheese and fruit, and if you keep it hidden, perhaps a bottle of wine, and have a picnic while enjoying the music of this “bongos and berets” group, playing French musettes, a cumbia or two, and some old standards.

Cooker John Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Guitarist Cooker John learned to fingerpick from Artie Traum in NYC during the folk boom of the 60s. Since then he’s traveled the country, has played in numerous bands, and for the past few decades has played solo, or with one or two others. I recall hearing about him playing the Midwest back in the 80s. Tonight he’ll be accompanied by Randall Webb, Ben Kaplan, and John Vizard. Listen in and head over to the 331 Club if you want to hear more.

Paul Bergen & the Astronauts of Rhythm & Sound @ The Hook & Ladder, Minnapolis. 7pm (No cover) Honky-tonkin’ swamp country blues from members of the Hillbilly Voodoo Dolls, Real-Phonic Radio Hour, Curtss A’ band and others. This is part of a June residency that takes place in H&L’s lounge.

Jillian Rae & Hannah von der Hoff @ The Aster Cafe, Minnapolis. 8pm ($6) Fiddler/singer/songwriter Jillian Rae has a Wednesday night June residency at the Aster, bringing her band along to help while she sings her own originals as well as some tasty covers. Tonight she has guitarist/singer/songwriter Hannah von der Hoff along for the ride. Here’s Hannah!

Thursday, June 22

Mikkel Beckmen w/Jeff Ray @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Washboard percussionist Beckmen has slide guitar master Jeff Ray as his guest at this after work gig.

Maurice Jacox @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, but $10 for a reserved seat in front) Soul, R&B, and ballads from a master vocalist.

Jonatha Brooke @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) Brooke has released nine albums of literate adult pop and two live discs, all of which were well received by critics if not exactly big sellers, and has used crowd funding on her last two albums. Though born in Boston, and having lived in Los Angeles and New York, Brooke relocated to Minneapolis last year, home to her husband/manager. She’s happy with the move, and has been having fun calling on resident talent to fill her bands here. Tonight, she’ll be accompanied by Kevin Gastonguay on keys; Jeff Bailey, bass; Joey van Phillips, drums; Aby Wolf, vocals; Rebecca Arons, cello; and Sean Driscoll, guitar.

Friday, June 23

Willie Walker @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, but $10 for a reserved seat in front) He was known as Wee Willie Walker during the 60s and 70s Soul Explosion, and still goes by that name on his website, but the name doesn’t account for his sonorous voice, with a bit a whiskey gravel to it, and an interpretive ability that defines soul.

Charlie Parr @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) It’s nine months since this blues vagabond opened the H&L, so apparently it’s time to have him back. Matt Arthur and the Bratlanders open.

Saturday, June 24

Big George Jackson @ Big Daddy’s Barbecue, Saint Paul. 4pm (Free) The ribs at Big Daddy’s will get an extra helping of funky soulfulness as the big-voiced blues belter Big George Jackson performs as part of the the Twin Cities Jazz Festival.

Papa John Kolstand & the Perfect Phitts @ Merlins, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 12:30am. Singer, raconteur, and guitarist Papa John Kolstad brings his wit, wisdom, and sense of fun to Merlins, the best neighborhood bar in Minneapolis. The Phitts are Bill Smith, harmonica and vocals; Gary Powell, National Steel and vocals; and Bill Grenke, bass. There is a reason they’re called the Perfect Phitts as they play seamlessly and perform some three part harmonies.

Sunday, June 25

The Funky United @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 3pm – 5pm (Tip Jar) I may be mistaken, but this appears to be a new group, though it’s members have been around for a while: Scott Glaser, bass; Dev Jana, guitar; Chris Kellick, keys; Tim Moran, drums; and Mick Sterling, vocals.. They play original funky soul.

Gang of Mischief @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 4pm – 6pm (Tip Jar) It’s the last Sunday of the month, so the Gang once again holds court at the oldest continually operating bar in MN. Today, Papa John Kolstad will be in the hot seat, playing with Bill Greinke, bass; Rena Haus and Dan Schwalbe, guitars; and Hurricane Harold Tremblay on harmonica.

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.


Old Friends, New Favorites: 5.24 – 5.30

May 24, 2017

This week brings lots of old friends out to play and some new favorites as well. Note: I wrote this up before leaving on vacation, so you may want to check calendars and venues before heading out. Just go out and listen to some music. After all, music lifts the spirit.

Wednesday, May 24

Jeremy Walker Songet, featuring Jason Harms @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) The Songtet is dedicated to performing great songs, whether written by Ellington, Dylan, The Gershwins, Cole Porter, or pianist-composer-arranger Jeremy Walker himself. Tonight, Walker celebrates great songs by adding vocalist Jason Harms to his  trio with Tim Zhorne, drums; and Chris Bates, bass.

Thursday, May 25

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Pete Hennig Quartet: Brandon Wozniak, tenor; Brian Ziemniak, keys; Cody McKinney, bass; Pete Hennig  drums.

Davu Seru & Douglas Ewart @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Dynamic percussionist Davu Seru and multi-instrumentalist Douglas Ewart (saxes, clarinets, bassoon, digerderoo, and more!), join forces for an evening of highly creative, often spontaneous music.

Friday, May 26

Greg Lewis/Will Schmid Ensemble @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Last year this group was formed as the Greg Lewis/Will Schmid Quartet. This year they’ve expanded to become a multi-generaltional band performing two sets of original compositions. TC Jazz Veterans Greg Lewis, trumpet/woodwinds; and Rose Brzenzinski Lewis, trombone/woodwinds; will be joined by the college-aged musicians returning for the summer: Will Schmid, guitar; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Edmund Catlin, drums.

Saturday, May 27

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm – The Selby Avenue Brass Band: Larry Sims, trumpet; Chris Fulton, trombone; Marilyn Parker, sax; Tonm Wells, Tuba; and Trenon Graham, drums. At 8:30pm: Park Evans Quintet, w.Evans, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, tenor; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; and Greg Schutte, drums. Bass TBD

Jana Nyberg 5 @ Vieux Carré,  Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) As is befitting of a vocalist of her talent, Ms Nyberg has gathered some A-List musicians to back her as she sings jazz, pop, and jazz pop at this gig: Sean Turner, piano; Adam Meckler, trumpet; Kevin Washington, drums; and Graydon Peterson, bass.

BDP @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7)  In which a group of forward thinking young musicians apply their many talents to create a fusion of soul and jazz music. Members of the group include: Cameron Kinghorn, vocals; Jake Baldwin, Trumpet; Ted Godbout, Piano; Ted Olsen, Bass; and Andres Crovetti on Drums).

Sunday, May 28

Sam Miltich & Dave Karr Play Lester Young @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 w/Dinner) Sam Militich’s instinctive and fluid guitar playing has graced hundreds of stages, from his hometown in Northern Minnesota to New York’s Lincoln Center. He fronts the Clearwater Hot Club, but tonight is backing octogenarian saxophonist Dave Karr, a bebopper from way back, though he’s also an accomplished sideman for Connie Evingson, the Pete Whitman X-tet, MNJazz Orchestra, among others. Tonight they will be concentrating on the music of the great saxophonist Lester Young.

Regina Marie Williams Sings Nina Simone @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($17 – $22) Vocalist Williams is a terrific actor who has been seen around town in productions at The Guthrie, Mixed Blood, Penumbra, and Park Square theaters, among others. She’s done Dinah Washington and Nina Simone in some of her roles, and tonight will sing the music of Nina Simone, a singer who wasn’t afraid to face the truth and tell it. In case you need any more, consider that actor Angela Basset called Williams “the best singer you never heard” in an interview with Entertainment Weekly

Tuesday, May 30

Erin Schwab @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($?) Schwab is a talented singer who is a member of both the Ensemble and Voice Departments at MacNally Smight. She is equally at home in cabaret, musical theater, and jazz settings. Tonight she’s celebrating the music of both Judy Garland and Bette Midler.

Washington/Studer/Hirsch @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Saxophonist and educator Donald Washington is joined by Dick Studer, bass; and Steve Hirsh, drums, for an evening of improvised and spontaneous music.

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, May 24

Katy Bellville & Those S.O.Bs on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Singer/songwriter Bellville grew up with old timey and bluegrass music always playing in the background. Her own music reflects that, though she puts a modern sensibility into her songs, and occasionally will cover someone like Gillian Welch. Tune in and listen.

Shemekia Copeland @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) Two time Grammy nominee Shemekia Copeland has opened for the Rolling Stones, headlined the Chicago Blues Festival (and others around the world), and performed at the White House for the Obamas. The daughter of bluesman Johnny Copeland, she’s carrying on the tradition of blues singers like Ruth Brown, Etta James, and Koko Taylor. Taylor’s daughter even gave her Taylor’s crown, and both the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois have proclaimed Copeland “Queen of the Blues.”

Paul Bergen’s Astronauts of Rhythm and Sound @ The Hook & Ladder Theater and Lounge, Minneapolis. 6pm (Free) Led by Paul Bergen, this group features members of the Hillbilly Voodoo Dolls, Real-Phonic Radio Hour, Molly Maher and Eric Koskinen’s band, Curtiss A’s band, Certain General and many other regional roots artists. You can expect to hear swamp blues, country classics, and other truck driving music. It’s a Wednesday residency through June for this group, which will set up in the cozy Hood and Ladder Lounge. Special guests will also be featured each week.

Thursday, May 25

Butanes @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) The Butanes have been voted as the Twin Cities Best Blues Band numerous times. This weekly gig often feature guests like Jellybean Johnson or Maurice Jacox, who drop by and sit in. But the real attraction is the Butanes.

Rockin’ Pinecones @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5) If it’s Thursday night, you’re bound to see some folks dancing to Cajun and Zydeco at the Eagles Club. Tonight they also get a bit of New Orleans R&B to test out their dancing shoes. members of this quintet are: Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton, accordion; Dick Danaher, sax & rub board; Dehl Gallagher, drums; Rusty Jones, bass; and Tim Mauseth, guitars.

Friday,May 26

Pure Prairie League @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45), 9pm ($35, $40) These country-rock favorites were formed in 1969, named after a women’s temperance league in a 1939 movie. Pure Prairie League built up a following in their native Ohio before landing a contract with RCA a year later. During the 70s and 80s they had a number of top 40 hits before breaking up in the mid-80s only to reunite in 1998. Though none of the founding members remain, they still keep up the PPL sound.

Maurice Jacox @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for guaranteed seat in front) R&B/Jazz vocalist has become somewhat of a regular at Crooners, thanks to his smooth baritone and unerring taste in songs, whether acoustic versions of Motown hits, the under-appreciated songs of Doc Pomus, or Nat King Cole’s ballads.

Power of 10 @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) As might be inferred from it’s name, this is a ten-piece band  heavy on horns, which makes it the perfect group to play classic and contemporary soul, whether it’s the music of Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder, or Bruno Mars. They are versatile enough to be a favorite for weddings and corporate events.

Pat Donohue & Richard Kriehn @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($20) Together, ace guitarist Pat Donohue and mandolinist Richard Kriehn have over 20 years experience working on A Prairie Home Companion, though they have played many other gigs in many other bands as well. Tonight you have a chance to see the two of them in the very intimate 318 Cafe, which only seats about 40. You may be wise to get a reservation.

Saturday, May 27

Saturday Salon @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 3pm ($20) Today’s intimate concert is entitled: MIGHTY UNDERDOGS! Mozart & Ewazen for clarinet, viola & piano. Here’s a chance to hear the under-appreciated flute and viola together, playing Mozart, and Eric Ewazen. Performers are: Karen Hansen, clarinet; Sue Ruby, piano; and Steve Staruch, viola.

New Sound Underground @ Surly Brewing, Minneapolis. 4pm – 6:30 (No Cover) This is a young, seriously funky horn band that uses funk, R&B, soul, and jazz to deliver original foot-stomping, hip-shaking music. Plus, it’s at the seriously beer-laden (and food laden) Surly Brewing in SE Minneapolis. What a way to wile away an afternoon.

Steamboat Bill, Jr, with Dreamland Faces @ The Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery, Lake & Cedar, Minneapolis. 7pm Gates, Movie at dusk  – about 8:30pm ($10) Buster Keaton’s classic silent film comedy will be accompanied live by music from the Dreamland Faces  who feature accordion and musical saw, and regularly accompany silent films, including many by Keaton. Bring your own blankets or chairs. Refreshments will be on sale during the movie.

Nachito Herrera @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Dazzling piano work from Cuban-born Herrera  who’s been living in the Twin Cities since the turn of the century. He was music director at the famed Tropicana in Havana, toured with the Afrro-Cuban All-Stars, and has played with the Havana Symphony Orcestra, as well as Cubanissmo. One never knows what he’ll play – a classical piece, something from Earth, Wind, & Fire, or a rhythmic explosion of Cuban sounds.

Sunday, May 28

National Tap Dance Day @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 2-4pm (Free) If you’ve ever been astonished by some of the YouTube Videos of tap dancers, here’s the chance to see the real thing. Keane Sense of Rhythm is a tap dance school that specializes in training young dancers. See the results while enjoying the lakeside venue, and perhaps having food or drink from Como Dockside.

West Bank Reunion Show @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($?) Many folks of a certain age will be making their way to Payne Avenue just of East 7th in Saint Paul for this show, which recalls the glory days of West Bank R&B during the 70s and early 80s. Willie Murphy will be there with his band, as will Curt Obeda and the Butanes, and in a nod toward younger West Bankers, Jack Knife & the Sharps. With a big dance floor, solid sound system, and fair priced drinks, the place will be jumpin.

Monday, May 29

Jack Brass Band @ Como Zoo, Saint Paul. 10:30am, 11:45am, & 12:40pm (No Cover) With the coming of Memorial Day, the Jack Brass Band will start up their weekly gig providing second line parades around the Como Zoo. Feed Sparky the Seal, check out the big cats, and ride the carousel. Just don’t jump the fence to get a better look, as a couple of doofusses did a few weeks ago at the giraffe exhibit.

 

Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $50, $60), 9pm ($35, $40, $50) Here’s your chance to see a 60s legend in a club setting. Felix Cavaliere was a co-founder and leader of the Rascals, often thought of as the best blue-eyed soul group of the 60s, when they had a string of hits like Good Lovin, I’ve Been Lonely Too Long, the #1s Groovin, and People Got to be Free. In the early 70s they moved toward a more jazz-influenced sound before disbanding in 1972. Cavaliere then came out with a number of excellent solo albums, including 2008 and 2010 collaborations with Stax guitar legend Steve Cropper.

Como Town Hotshots @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($8) Cajun Dancing to start off your week, with Shawn Glidden, Accordion; Gary Powell and Marie Stier on Fiddles; Maurine McCort, Guitar; Tom Lewis, Bass; and Dehl Gallagher on Drums.

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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