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.



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.

New, Obscure, and Established venues – Music Suggestions for January 18th to the 24th

January 18, 2012

Rhythm and Roots will be heard at the James J. Hill Library this week.

It is heartening to see music being performed in venues that aren’t known for presenting music, like the James J. Hill Library (See Jan 19 listing under Roots). This week’s venues range from said historic  library, to a new club, small restaurants and coffee shops, a classic jazz joint, a classy restaurant/club, a high school, and a couple of small bars that feature a variety of musical genres.  We’ve a CD release by a jazz group and a vinyl LP re-release of a 60s soul singer. In between, you can hear from veteran musicians of all stripes as well as some talented musicians of high school age. Please support those who perform live music wherever they may appear.


Wednesday, January 18

Parker Paisley CD Release @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm. (no cover) Park Evans, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Adam Wozniak, bass; Pete Hennig, drums. Quite the line-up here. Though Evans moved here to study classical guitar and composition, his musicality has landed him in about eight or nine different groups ranging from jazz to rock to world music. Expect modern jazz, with a bit of reggae, latin and other world  influences. Reservations are recommended if you want dinner.

Phil Hey, Tanner Taylor, James Buckley @ The Nomad World Pub, Minneapolis. 9pm – 11pm (No cover). Drummer Phil Hey is the veteran of the group, though pianist Tanner Taylor and bassist James Buckley both have impressive resumes of their own. I suspect that musical fireworks will ensue.

Thursday, Jan 19

7th Annual South High Singer Showcase @ South High School, 3131 19th Ave South, Minneapolis. 5pm dinner ($20 w/show) 7pm show ($8). South High has an excellent jazz program, though its vocal program usually concentrates on theatrical and pop singing. This year singer Rhonda Laurie has been working with some of the young performers as shown at left.  Tonight’s program will showcase 5 or 6 singers each performing a song with the Jazz Ensemble. Connie Evingson will then join the Ensemble and  sing a few songs as well.

Snowblind @ The Artists Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm. ($5) With a three-horn frontline of Shilad Sen, sax; Adam Rossmiller, trumpet; and Scott Agster, trombone; together with Graydon Peterson on bass, and Reid Kennedy on drums, Snowblind produces a sound as full-bodied as a California Cabernet, while their grooves, improvisation, and rhythmic excitement provide some memorable spice.

Friday, Jan  20

Katie Gearty & Nichola Miller @ The Crooked Pint Ale House, 501 Washington, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) It’s a two-chanteuse night at the spacious Crooked Pint (with room to dance) on Washington. As singers, Katie and Nichola are not your sweet naive things. They sing songs for grownups and have the chops to put most any song in its place. Plus, they’re backed by the Tanner Taylor Trio. A fun date. Here’s a video of Nichola at the Farmer’s Market last summer.

 Saturday, Jan 21

Kenny Lewis & the Barflyz @ The Artists Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Guitarist/bassist/vocalist Kenny Lewis was a touring member, producer, and writer for the Steve Miller Band since 1982. Other credits include working with folks like BB King, Dave Mason, Boz Scaggs, and Brian Wilson, among others. Wouldn’t be surprised if former bandmate Billy Peterson is part of this group.

Sunday, Jan 22

No Room For Squares Benefit for Ann Cirelli @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 5pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Ann Cirelli (wife of drummer Bill Steiger) is recovering from Meningitis and facing a lifetime of disability. Hence this fundraiser to help with expenses. No Room for Squares is an impressive group, featuring the powerful Sue Orfield on sax; supreme bassist Billy Peterson; lyrical Chris Lomheim, piano; inventive Steve Kenny, trumpet; and Stieger on drums. You’ll have a fun evening and be helping someone out at the same time.

Tuesday, Jan 24

Maryann Sullivan @ The Nicollet Coffeehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm. (tip jar). The swingin’ Ms Sullivan is host of a couple of shows on KBEM and a fine singer in her own right. No doubt she’ll be backed by a combo that makes it easy for dancers to take advantage of the roomy wooden floor of The Nicollet.

For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink. For a comprehensive listing of Jazz in the Twin Cities, go to the KBEM Calendar, here.

Roots, Blues, Other

Wednesday, January 18

Molly Maher & Erik Koskinen @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($4)  Moving a couple of blocks from Nye’s where she held down a residency for many years, Molly & Erik now perform in this intimate, comfortable space overlooking the downtown skyline. There is now a small cover charge. Well worth it to hear their soulful Americana.

Thursday, Jan 19

Paul Cebar and Dana Thompson @ The James J. Hill Library, downtown Saint Paul. 8pm. ($25) This is part of a roots music series put on by Real-Phonic Radio. It’s a great family-friendly event that’s broadcast live on the internet and then podcast. Cebar and his group are purveyors of genre-bending dance music, with influences from the Caribbean, Africa, 60s and 70s soul, and who knows what else. Singer/Songwriter Thompson has been in a number of bands, including the Strawdogs and Hot Head fiasco, been named Best Female Vocalist by City Pages, and has toured with her own band in support of her critically acclaimed album, Ox.

Friday, Jan 20

Mike Fugazzi & Friends @ The Hat Trick Lounge. 9pm ($7). Fugazzi is a rock harpist with a blues bent and a mission – to play hard, but with imagination. He’ll have you kicking up your heels. The intimate obscure Hat Trick is just the place for him to kick up the jams.

Saturday, Jan 21

Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) Jump/Swing/Retro Blues from San Francisco. Though her album covers make good use of Smith‘s “charms” the fact is she has a good voice and a cookin’ seven-piece band backing her up. In fact, Smith’s last album, “Everybody’s Talkin’ Bout Miss Thing” received 4.5 stars in Downbeat.

Mickey Murray @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis 8pm ($15). A soul singer who had a million seller in 1968 with Otis Redding’s “Shout Bamalama,” Murray was signed to King Records, ostensibly to replace the departing James Brown. His debut LP, “People Are Together,” hardly made it to the shelves, as a result of King being sold, and the title track being deemed too racially sensitive by black deejays in the South. Now, local crate diggers Secret Stash Records are re-releasing the LP and celebrating with this show. Deejays Bill DeVille and Jim McGuinn from the Current will open.

Sunday, Jan 22

Get Out of Town Fundraiser @ the Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 3pm    Good Time Willy, Boom Boom Steve, John Franken, Davina & Vagabonds, Scottie Miller, Papa John Kolstad, Jeff Ray & Hurricane Harold, Javier & the Innocent Sons, Annie Mack, and more.  The Minnesota Blues Society has put together this show to raise funds to send bands to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis.

Sunday, Monday, Jan 22, 23

Meshell Ndgeocello @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40) Meshells been nominated for a Grammy 10 times. Her bass playing and mix of jazz, funk, and African roots music, combined with personal and political lyrics is energetic, to say the least. She’s a musical explorer who can be in your face (If That’s Your Boyfriend, He Wasn’t Last Night), or take a quieter approach, as on her latest album, “Weather.” Give a listen.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues events, see the Minnesota Blues Society calendar.

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