Visiting and Resident Musicians, Oh My! 10:19 – 10.25

October 19, 2016

unknown-1Along with some wonderful Fall weather, we have another week of outstanding music, including some iconic, as well as up and coming visiting musicians, three nights of instantly improvised jazz in Lowertown, and a number of fun shows from resident musicians. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 19

Mississipppi @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) After their album release last week at the Dakota, Mississippi makes another appearance, taking advantage of the brief visit of Peruvian guitarist Andres Prado  who graced the Twin Cities for a  few years and became a highly respected member of our music scene. The group includes Kevin Washington, drums; Jeff Bailey, bass; Peter Schimkie, piano; and Pete Whitman, sax. They’ll have a number of special guests as well.

Sophia Shorai/Rhonda Laurie @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Shorai – No Cover) 8pm ($5) The evening starts off with the sweet sounds of vocalist/pianist Shorai for the dinner hour. Then at 8pm vocalist Rhonda Laurie brings her sophisticated sound to the club, focusing tonight on gypsy jazz tunes as Reynold Philipsek, guitar; Gary Schulte, violin; and Matt Senjem, bass, accompany her.

Thursday, Friday, October 20, 21

McCoy Tyner w/Gary Bartz @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45), 9pm ($35, $40) The legendary pianist returns to the club where he first appeared in 1988, when it was in Saint Paul. Those familiar with jazz history know that Tyner came to prominence in at the age of 17 when he was in the John Coltrane Quartet, touring and recording with Coltrane between 1961 and 1965, and playing on such landmark albums as Live at the Village Vanguard, ballads and the exquisite A Love Supreme. His bands have won three Grammys, and in 2002 he was named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts. Tyner will be joined by saxophonist Gary Bartz, who played with Miles Davis, Jackie McClean, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach, in addition to Tyner and leading his own groups. A couple of other outstanding musicians round out the group: Gerald Cannon on bass; and Francisco Mela (artistic director of the Twin Cities Jazz Festival) on drums.

Thursday, October 20

Rhonda Laurie @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) If you didn’t catch Rhonda Laurie last night at the Vieux, here’s another chance to see her, this time in a more intimate setting, solely accompanied by guitarist Dean Magraw.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, October 21, 22, 23

Free Jazz in Saint Paul’s Lowertown. That’s free jazz as in freely improvised, not cost-free, and what better neighborhood to listen than the art center of Saint Paul. The stars have aligned to have three nights with four different groups, as follows:

Thursday: Spring Roll @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15) This French free-jazz quartet is led by composer/flautist Sylvaine Helary  They use flutes, sax, clarinet, piano, and a perfusion of percussion, mostly bells, or keyboards, as well as an anagogic synthesizer, a loop modulator, and the manipulation of magnetic bands. Their music shows influences of Ornette Coleman and Harry Partch, and Captain Beefheart.

Friday: Donald Washington @ The Black Dog. 8pm (Tip Jar) Donald Washington: sax, flutes, clarinet, and bells; is joined by son Kevin Washington on drums; and Richard Studer on bass to create music on the spot.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog. 7pm (Tip Jar) John Devine and Bill Lang & Co. open at 7pm, Douglas Ewart & Quasar: Jaqueline Ultan, cello; Stephen Goldstein, computer and sound engineer; Carei Thomas, piano; Donald Washington, reeds & percussion, Douglas Ewart, didjeridu, various horns, voice, percussion; and a spoken word artist and dancer.

Friday, October 21

Heather Masse @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($20) Singer-Songwriter Masse came to prominence as a member of the popular folk group Wailin’ Jennys, though her early interest was jazz. She was a frequent guest on Prairie Home Companion, where she met trombone master Roswell Rudd. When they realized they lived a few miles from each other in upstate NY, they decided to collaborate. The resulting album, August Love Song, was released on Red House Records, which is producing this concert. It received a rave review on AllMusic where the reviewer said it “feels simultaneously modern and classic.”

CC Septet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Original music from Larry Neumann, Sax, Flute: Paul Peterson, Sax, Clarinet; Scott Snyder, Trumpet; Ralph Brindle, Trombone; Tim Lackas, Keyboards; Greg Stinson, Bass; and Brett Smith, Percussion.

Jon Pemberton/Jana Nyberg Group @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Pemberton – No Cover), 9pm (Nyberg – $10) Pianist, trumpeter, and composer Jon Pemberton provides music for the dinner hour, then vocalist Nyberg and her group, which always includes hubby and master trumpeter Adam Meckler, take the stage for an evening of jazz/pop, including some of Nyberg’s fine originals and interesting covers.

Friday, Saturday, October 21, 22

Matt Slocum Trio @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm, 10pm ($18 Advance/$20 Door) Born in Saint Paul and raised in western Wisconsin, drummer Matt Slocum brings his NYC based trio to town, including Dayna Stephens on saxophones and Steve Cardenass on guitar. Their latest album Trio Pacific, Vol. 1, is filled with surprises. Modern Drummer Magazine said of Slocum, “The young drummer constantly surprises, embracing the kit as a reactive and explorative multi-percussion whole. A fresh voice.” Here’s Slocum with a different trio, from his appearance at the AQ four years ago.

Saturday, October 22

Pippi’s 3rd Annual Birthday Bash @ The Bedlam, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 9:30pm ($20, $25, including Dinner) For the 3rd year in a row, vocalist Pippi Ardennia is celebrating her birthday at the Bedlam, and as usual, she’s being joined by many musicians, including the PipJazz SX band, which includes Margo Brevik bass; Faye Washington, flute; Maureen Siebert, clarinet; Cymphony Jaxon, piano; and Glory Yard, drums. She’ll also call on current and past members of the PipJazz All Stars including Lee Tran, sax; DeVante Jackson, sax; Yonci Jamison, bass clarinet; DeCarlo Jackson, bass & trumpet; Bobby Rosson, drums; John Henry, bass; and Walter Hampton, piano & sax. Ardennia always puts young artists through their paces, calling out tunes and rhythms on the fly, and consequently bringing out the best in new musical voices.

Sunday, October 23

Rudresh Mahanthappa – Bird Calls @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. ($35) The Vieux is changing it up this week, opening on a Sunday in order to feature an outstanding visiting artist. Saxophonist Mahanthappa incorporates the sonic possibilites of music from his culture (India) with the influence of Charlie Parker’s music to create what many critics call a new path in jazz. His last recording was Bird Calls in 2015, which was called album of the year by both Downbeat magazine and NPR’s Music Critics Poll. The New York Times described him has having “a roving intellect and a bladelike articulation.”

Monday, October 24

Bobby Lyle & Billy Peterson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $25, $60Dinner) Pianist Lyle started his career over three decades ago, as a sixteen-year old playing in Minneapolis clubs. After moving to Los Angeles, he met Jazz Crusader Wayne Henderson, who got him signed to Capitol Records and produced his first record. He’s played all over the world and has served as music director for Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, and Bette Midler. He’ll be joined by bassist Billy Peterson  whose own musical career also knows few boundaries, having worked with Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Les Paul, Ben Sidran, and Steve Miller, among others. Their appearance at the Dunsmore Room last May was a delight.

Tuesday, October 25

Brian Claxton Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) The Wisconsin-born, Colorado based Claxton is a drummer who got his start when his folks bought him a toy drum at the age of one, twenty-nine years ago. He eventually taught himself to play by ear and was able to earn a spot at UW Eau Claire, where one of the ensembles he worked with got a Downbeat award. While attending school, he’d take part in the Twin Cities music scene, where he played with John Raymond, Aaron Hedenstrom, and Nachito Herrera.

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, October 19

Ilka/Ward Duo on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Jake Ilka and Joel Ward have been playing all kinds of music together for over 10 years – blues, soul, Americana, folk and more, using a mix of keys, guitars, and pedal steel to play both originals and covers. Tune in at 5pm and then head over to the 331 Club to hear more.

Charles Lazarus & Mary Jo Gothman @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40w/Dinner) Trumpeter Lazarus is a member of the Minnesota Orchestra and has played with his own jazz group on a number of occasions. Lazarus made his Carnegie Hall solo debut with the New York String Orchestra at the age of 19 while still a student at The Juilliard School.  Since then, he has appeared as a soloist with numerous orchestras throughout North America, performed with the Empire Brass, New York Philharmonic Principal Brass, London Brass, Barry White, and opened for Tony Bennett. Pianist Mary Jo Gothman currently, works with talented young singers at The Minnesota Opera and plays chamber music with friends from the St Paul Chamber Orchestra. She’s worked with a number of opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera and the Santa Fe Opera.

Morgan James @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35), 9pm ($25, $30) The vocalist/songwriter is a Idaho native who studied at Julliard, and has appeared in Motown, the Musical (as Teena Marie), and in star-making roles in Wonderland and Godspell. Berry Gordy introduced James to a couple of hit-makers in Los Angeles, and her debut recording was released in 2014. Much of her music falls into the Slow Jam category of R&B, as songs such as Call My Name start out slow and sensuous and build until James unleashes her powerful voice.

Thursday, October 20

Pat Donahue @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) If championship finger-picking and witty songs are your pleasure, check out acoustic guitarist Pat Donahue  known for being a regular on Prairie Home Companion for years. His songs have been recorded by the likes of Suzy Boguss, Chet Atkins, Kenny Rogers, and more.

Courtney Yasmineh Tour Kickoff, w/Joyann Parker @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($7) Courtney Yasmineh left Chicago as a teenager and held up in Northern Minnesota, where she studied the music of Bob Dylan while developing her own songwriting skills. Moving to the Twin Cities she further developed her craft and in the last decade has begun to record and release both albums and EPs. Along the way she has toured the States, and Europe, doing all the booking and arrangements herself. She writes rock and roll songs for adults, with an honesty that draws from life’s victories and vicissitudes: bittersweet, blistering, fanciful, and hopeful. Opening is Joyann Parker, who, with her band Sweet Tea, won the right to represent Minnesota at the 2015 International Blues Challenge.

Deano & the Dinosaurs @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) It’s Dress Like Deano Day at Dusty’s as guitarist Dean Mikkelson leads Dean Harrington, guitar; Keith Boyles, bass; and Diehl Gallagher, drums through an evening of gypsy jazz, swing, and some blues. If you want to Dress Like Deano (Mikkelson), wear a plaid flannel shirt and colorful high-tops to get the essence of his style.

Friday, October 21

Willie Walker, w/Greazy Gravy @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($10?) It’s good to be able to see the original soul man in town again, since has been touring overseas a lot lately, due in part to the enthusiastic response to his album If Nothing Ever Changes, for which he won two Living Blues Music Awards. Opening is Greazy Gravy, featuring the harmonica of Curtis Blake. Here’s Willie in Norway.

Davina & The Vagabonds @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) Though Davina and her intrepid Vagabonds continue to tour the US and overseas on a regular basis, it’s good to have her stop and perform at a bar with a dance floor here at home.

Saturday, October 22

Jeff Ray & The Stakes @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Ray is an extraordinary slide guitarist and songwriter, who can take a blues or rock song and create his own version of the blues. He’ll be appearing with Harold Tremblay on harmonica, with whom he has great musical rapport, and other guests.

Sarah Morris & Vicky Emerson Tour Send Off @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Morris and Emerson are both moms as well as Americana singer songwriters. They are hitting the road in a Highways and Heartstrings Tour of the Midwest, kicking off the tour this evening. They’ll share the stage swapping stories and songs from their respective albums.

Sunday, October 23

Ladies Night @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 4pm ($15, $10 for Ladies) Well it’s not exactly night when this starts, and it’s not a Ladies drink free night, but you get the idea. This is a Fundraiser for Discover Music, a program that encourages songwriting among teenagers. The Show will feature women performers such as Joyann Parker, Jennifer Grimm, Annie Mack, Katia Cardenas, and Rose Duffy.

Javier Matos @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 5pm (Free) Guitarist Matos plays the blues – swingin, shuffles, 12 bar, bottleneck, and more. He was in the Blue Shadows with two members of the Blasters, had songs in Breaking Bad and Friday Night Lights, and even made the cover of Billboard magazine. And you get to see him for free! (If you haven’t been there, the Dockside stage is actually an outdoor pavilion next to Como Lake, so dress appropriately)

Monday, October 24

Metro Cajun Ensemble @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 10;20pm ($8) If it’s Monday, there must be Cajun and/or Zydeco music at the Eagles Club. Be prepared to dance.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, October 24, 25, 26

O’Conner Family Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) Mark O’Conner is a Grammy winning multi-instrumentalist, equally at home on fiddle, guitar, and mandolin. His unique career has seen him collaborating with such country & bluegrass superstars as Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, George Jones, Bill Monroe, and Earl Scruggs, as well as with jazz greats Bobby McFerrin and Wynton Marsalis, along with cellist Yo-Yo Ma. He’s also written a number of violin concertos, which he’s performed hundreds of times with major symphonies around the world, and has appeared on over 500 albums. The O’Conner Family Band features a three-violin front line of O’Conner, his wife Maggie, and Kate Lee, fiancé of Mark’s son Forrest, who plays mandolin. They’re joined by Joe Smart, a championship flat picker on guitar, and Geoff Saunders, on bass, who hold down a tight groove, no matter what the pace.

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.


Master Musicians. Music: 3.6 – 3.12

March 6, 2013
Really!

Really??

What a week to be a jazz fan, what with three major jazz players coming to town (two on the same night!), and a slew of interesting gigs from resident artists. Fans of blues and roots music also have many good choices this week, of which I’ve only listed a few. Be sure to take advantage of our area’s rich palette of music. By the way, it’s time once again for Daylight Savings Time, originally passed in 1918 to give farmers an extra hour to work the fields.

Jazz

Thursday, March 7

Nichola Miller and Tanner Taylor @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm (Suggested Donation) The sassy Ms Miller and the classy Mr. Taylor are quite the couple. Her take-no-prisoners approach to some songs is equally matched by Taylor’s piano playing, which can go from stride to bebop to romantic, all in the space of a solo. Miller is expecting a baby soon, and warns this may be the last chance to hear her for a while. Here’s a video of Tanner at Jazz Central.

Friday March 8

Ginger Commodore & GCQ @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Bobby Commodore is turning 60, so the Commodore Family is featured tonight, beginning with Ginger & the Quintet (Bobby, drums; Lee Blaske, piano; Mark Wesburg, bass; Deevo, guitar; and Kathy Jensen on sax), followed by BoomBox @ Dakota Late Night, ($5) with Brandon Commodore on drums, Ashley Commodore on vocals, and Jess Larson, guitar/vocals; Beeph, vocals; Avid Bilingsley, keys; and Yohannas Tona, bass. Ginger takes on the old gospel/Ben E. King hit in this video.

DownloadedFileGreg Byers Recital, featuring Lucia Newell @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm Greg Byers on cello; Andrew Fleser, piano; Lucia Newell, vocals; Chris Olson, guitar; Kristin Sponcia, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Dave Stanoch on drums. This is Greg’s final recital for his Masters in Music degree from MacNally Smith. There will be three sets: the first featuring music from Argentine composers of the 20th Century; the second featuring bossa novas and ballads, with Lucia Newell singing; and the third featuring Byers’ original compositions using a latop to create a mixture of electronic and acoustic music.

Friday, Saturday, March 8, 9

Dave King Trio @ the Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul, 9pm ($15) What a powerhouse trio. King on drums, Billy Peterson on bass, and Bill Carotthers on piano. They’ve recently played at the Blue Note in New York. Lucky us that King and Peterson live here, and Carotthers, born in the Twin Cities, lives close enough (Michigan) to easily returen for a gig here. There 2012 album, I’ve Been Ringing You, is mostly standards, and has been getting good reviews.

Saturday, March 9

DownloadedFile-1Fat Kid Wednesdays @ Jazz at Studio Z, Studio Z, Saint Paul. 5pm workshop (free), 7pm performance ($10) Adam Linz, bass; Michael Lewis, sax; and JT Bates, drums, have been playing together as Fat Kid Wednesdays since the three were teenagers. Though many might call their music free jazz, they actually play composed music, and are well known and adored in France as well as here in the Twin Cities. All three are crazy about Ornette Coleman’s music and will be performing it tonight. Attendees at the workshop receive a $2 discount for the show.

Randy Brecker w/JazzMN Orchestra @ Hopkins HS Performing Arts Center, Hopkins. 7:30pm ($33/$29, $10 students) Trumpeter Brecker is at the top of his career nowadays, and the JazzMN Orchestra is lucky to have him. You can share that luck by going to see him. Here he is in another guest artist performance.

McCoy Tyner Quartet with Special Guest Gary Bartz @ the Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hopkins. 8pm ($36)  Tyner has been with us a long time, having gained some fame even before playing with John Coltrane. He’s a 5 Time Grammy Winner and NEA Jazz Master, so if you’ve never seen him, now’s the time. Another reason is saxophonist Bartz, who first met Tyner in the 60s when Bartz was a member of Charles Mingus’ Jazz Workshop. Bartz was in Tyner’s band in 1968, and went on to perform with max Roach and record for Miles Davis on Live-Evil.

Sunday, Monday, March 10, 11

At a previous Dakota appearance

At a previous Dakota appearance

Charles Lloyd Sky Trio w/Gerald Clayton @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45), 9pm ($35) Sax player Lloyd was one of the jazz artists that had some commercial success during the late 60s and early 70s, playing the Monterrey Jazz Festival, San Francisco’s Fillmore and similar venues. His late 60’s quartet included Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette, and Cecil McBee. Since the 80s, he’s been recording for ECM. The Sky Trio includes Reuben Rogers on bass and Eric Harland on drums. Special guest, pianist Gerald Clayton, is no stranger to the Dakota, having played here in a number of bands.

Monday, March 11

Andrew Foreman Trio @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Foreman is a versatile bass player, able to tackle Latin, soul, jazz, and rock, with groups such as Parker Paisley, The Max Corcoran Project, the Dan Musselman Trio, Shoop, and Ticket to Brasil. I’m inclined to think this will be a jazz outing, but whatever it is, Foreman’s music will only enhance Barbette’s already great late night happy hour.

More listings for Twin Cities jazz can be found at KBEM and at Jazz Police. Jazz Police also features jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, March 6

Wax Museum @ Palmers Bar, Minneapolis. 9:30pm  This is an open deejay night. Anyone can sign up to spin records of your choice for 20 minutes. Of course, the later you arrive, the fewer spots are open. The last 20 minutes are usually a round robin, with the hard-core participants spinning only one or two records at a time. Music can range from classic country of the 50s, to Swedish death metal, Turkish disco, reggae, and garage bands.

Derobe Dance Band and Black Market Brass @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($6) It’s a double dose of Twin Cities Afrobeat. The Secret Stash guys have re-issued so many Afrobeat recordings that it seems to have seeped into their blood. The Derobe Dance Band is the result, and it lives up to its name, with irresistible rhythms, pulsing horns, and a playlist that draws on 1970s West African tunes. The Black Market Brass Band will add some Afrobeat flavoring to the evening.

Thursday, March 7

Nikki & the Rue-Mates @ the Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. (Tip jar) Nikki’s bell-like voice and Rich Rue’s ringing guitar once again grace the stage of this South Minneapolis neighborhood bar. Don’t put off seeing them.

Friday, March 8

Willie Murphy & the Angel-Headed Hipsters @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($?) Willie loves to play the Eagles, because there’s a good, wooden dance floor, with plenty of room for dancers  to shake it to rock n’ roll, funk n’ soul, and whatever else Willie decides to put down.

Saturday, March 9

Maurice Jacox Band @ Holihans Pub, White Bear Lake. 7pm – 11pm (No Cover) With John Della Selva on guitar; Thomas West on keys & keeping the bass; and Rob Stupka on drums, Maurice and his band will be keepin’ the energy high at this smallish, friendly place. There is a (small) dance floor and free street parking.

Sunday, March 10

Secret Stash Soul Revue & More @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 3pm – all night. ($10 donation) This is a benefit for James “Creeper” Vasquez, the original drummer for Band of Thieves in the 70s, who has Pancreatic cancer. Besides the Soul Revue, which has been packing clubs whenever they play, we’ll hear from Willie Walker and Maurice Jacox with their own groups, as well as the Unknown Prophets, DJ Espada, and Jimi Primetime Smith. Plenty of danceable music.

The Ericksons, Barbara Jean, & Molly Maher @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) It seems to be Woman’s Night a the Turf, but it’s just as easily billed as Roots Night. However you choose to look at it, three talented artists will be performing. The Ericksons are a sister duo, who also perform with a band. The create beautiful, spare tunes with roots in Americana. Singer/songwriter Barbara Jean plays violin and banjo, and has appeared on the Mountain Stage radio show. Molly Maher is a soulful singer and guitar player who writes great songs that are grounded in Americana.  Here is the Ericksons’ official video for Gone Blind, from their recent CD Wild.

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


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