Autumn Music: 10.18 – 10.24

October 18, 2017

Well it’s another week with a wide variety of musical events, from visiting jazz and blues musicians, to a Tom Petty Tribute, a CD release party, and a ukelele festival! Resident artists remind us of why we have such a vibrant music scene. It appears we have a mostly pleasant stretch of weather in the coming week, with nighttime lows chill enough for a jacket, but not so low to discourage going out. Music Lifts the Spirit.


Wednesday, Oct 18

Kevin Gastonguay/Rhonda Laurie @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Gastonguary: No Cover), 8:00pm (Laurie: $6) Pianist Gastonguay starts things off for this double bill of jazz. He has been spending the last eight years gigging around town with his own groups as well as gigging as a sideman in numerous groups. Vocalist Rhonda Laurie is a New York native who has studied with Judy Niemack, Sheila Jordan and Jay Clayton. Whether singing gypsy jazz, straight ahead standards, or cabaret, her smooth vocals are modern and fresh

Chris Lomheim Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Pianist Lomheim goes beyond his usual solo and trio outings to bring a quartet: Pete Whitman, sax; Jay Young, bass, and Dave Schmalenberger will help Lomheim provide an evening of sometimes wistful, always intriguing music

Also: Travis Anderson Trio w/Special Guest Steve Roehm @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($8) You know Roehm from the New Standards.

Thursday, Oct 19

Arturo Sandoval @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($0, $50), 9pm ($30, $40) This Cuban-born, high-flying trumpet player was mentored by Dizzy Gillespie, whom he mentions at every performance. He was an original member of the internationally acclaimed Cuban group Irakere, before emigrating to the states. This is a must-see for jazzers, though it wouldn’t be unusual for others to be taken with the virtuosity of Sandoval.

Wycliffe Gordon @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($30) Trombone player Wycliffe is a valuable member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, but has also played with Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Henderson, Branford Marsalis,Lionel Hampton, Tommy Flanagan, and Shirley Horn, among others. He’s an admirer of Louis Armstrong, JJ Johnson, and Jack Teagarden, yet he brings a modern sound to his playing as well.

Ikeda, Gnitka, & Newell @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Alden Ikeda, Percussionist;  Steve Gnitka, guitar; and Scott Newell, sax & vocals = Free jazz from associates of  Milo Fine.

Also: Jen Bluhm @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. ($10, $5w/Student ID) Original music from the pianist/ukelele-ist/vocalist

Friday, Oct 20 

Mindi Abair @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (432, $40), 9pm ($22, $30) Saxophonist Abair has had ten #1 radio hits, along with six top 5 spots on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz charts. Bluesman Keb Mo said of her, “Mindi Abair’s saxophone speaks to all of our souls.”

Phil Hey Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9pm ($15) One of the longest running jazz combos in town, drummer Hey and his quartet have achieved that ability to instantly communicate with each other, anticipating changes in rhythm, chord changes, and intensity on tunes from Ornette Coleman, Chick Corea, and other modern jazz masters. Supporting Hey are Phil Aaron, piano; Dave Hagedorn, vibes: and Tom Lewis, bass.

Also: JazzMN Orchestra w/Wycliffe Gordon and Yolande Bruce @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7 :30pm ($15 – $45)

Saturday, Oct 21

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) The Steve Kenny Trio opens at 7pm: Kenny, Flumpet; Ted Olsen, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. At 8:30, the Atlantis Quartet takes the stage with their modern take on jazz: Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris Bates, bass; and Peter Hennig, drums.

Sarah Greer & Dean Magraw @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Sarah Greer is a vocalist that other vocalists turn to for lessons in jazz singing and scatting. Dean Magraw is a boundary-less guitarist with chops and taste galore.

BZ3 Organ Trio @ The Mudd Room, Mendota Heights. 7pm (No Cover) Brian Ziemniak, B3 organ; Troy Norton, guitar; and Kevin Washington, drums; deliver funky, greasy, soul-jazz just made for this basement “speakeasy.

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, Oct 18

Babb, Johnson, & Paul on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) To quote Hurricane Harold Tremblay, “Front Porch Swinging Liquor Pig Dave Babb and his Friday night partner at Palmer’s, Tony Paul of the Reggae All Stars (the Mayor of MPLS West Bank), join forces with Nordeast Country Blues/Folkie Baby Grant Johnson for a night of debauchery and mayhem.” Sounds like great fun to me

Thursday, Oct 19

Comotown Cajun Trio @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Get your dancing shoes out to trip the light fantastic, Cajun style.

Friday, Oct 20

Lil Ed & The Blues Imperials @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) I’m not sure if Lil’ Ed is still up to jumping off the stage and creating mayhem with some of his antics, as he did in the 80s, but after decades of playing blistering slide guitar, I’m sure that even an older Lil’ Ed will create a fiery evening of music.

Molly Maher/Dusty Heart @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 7pm ($20) Singer/songwriter/guitar tech Molly Maher has been called the Queen of the Twin Cities Music Scene. This Americana artist plays bar rooms, concert halls, and festivals. Those events, as well as her CDs, all benefit from her relatable lyrics and soulful voice. Dusty Heart is Barbara Jean and Molly Dean, two songwriters recognized in their own right for their poetic lyrics and distinct vocal styles that when combined create a powerful and haunting sound. Of their sound, City Pages wrote: “Barbara Jean and Molly Dean of Dusty Heart have that rural campfire chemistry that can make you lose all tension in your jaw”

Paul Cebar w/Jon Rodine @ The Hook & Ladder, MInneapolis. 8pm ()$12 Advance/$15 Door) Paul Cebar and his fans will turn the Hook into a regular dance party, as Cebar throws out funky R&B, combined with tropical rhythms, to keep butts moving in their chairs and energetic dancers filling the commodious space at the Hook. John Rodine is an excellent openener for this gig. Here’s a classic from Paul.

Also: Trombone Shorty @ The Palace Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($42, $79.50)

Saturday, Oct 21

Jillian Rae Vinyl & CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($10 Advance/$$14 Door) Fiddler/singer/songwriter Rae grew is releasing a 4-song EP entitled Wanderlust, on both CD and as a 45RPM EP. Rae grew up on the Iron Range, where she absorbed musical influences from country, pop, blues, and rock to yes indeed, polkas. She writes tunes with hooks that stay with you and teaches at her own music school – The Music Lab. When not fronting her own band, she can be heard with any number of other bands around town, including Corpse Reviver, Steve Kaul & the Brass Kings, and the Blackberry Brandy Boys, among others. Her she is a few years back.

Tom Petty Tribute @ Dayblock Brewing, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Local songwriter Ben Cook-Feltz and Day Block Brewing present an evening honoring the life and music of the late Tom Petty, one day after what would have been the iconic rocker’s 67th birthday. Several local artists and hardcore Tom Petty fans will be on-board to play their favorite songs. All proceeds will be donated to Rock The Earth, an organization Petty contributed to throughout his career. Rock The Earth is a national environmental advocacy organization dedicated to protecting and defending natural resources through partnerships with the music industry.

Ukefest 2017 @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6:30pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) A night dedicated to the ukelele, an instrument that has been gaining popularity of late. Plectorists who will be appearing include Katy Vernon, Marlowe Teichman, Corey Mohan, Dave Randall, Jake Rowan, Lady Date, Niki Becker, Eric Carranza, Mary Bue, and more! Folks are encouraged to bring their ukes and join the Ukelele Army. As usual with these annual events, it’s benefit, this time for Arc GTC, & The Minnesota Music Coalition

Dee Miller Band @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9:00pm ($10) The self-styled “Duchess of the Blues” just won a Blues Society Hall of Fame award for Leopard Skin Dress, the song she co-wrote with Jimi Prime Time Smith. Her performance at the Awards show was full of fire, as will undoubtedly be her performance at the Vieux.

Also: The Good, The Bad, The Funky @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?)

Monday, Oct 23

Irma Thomas, Blind Boys, & Preservation Hall Legacy Quintet @ The Guthrie, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($35 – $65) Irma Thomas is The Queen of New Orleans Soul. She’ll be joined by the exceptional gospel group the Blind Boys of Alabama, as well as a group representing the Legacy of Preservation Hall Bands.

Monday, Tuesday, Oct 23, 24

Badfinger Straight Up, feat: Joey Molland @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40) It’s the 45th Anniversary of the release of Straight Up, by Badfinger, and Joey Molland – guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist for Badfinger, is touring with his band to celebrate the event. For those of you of a younger age, Badfinger was one of the first bands signed to the Beatle’s Apple Records. They had hits with Come and Get It, No Matter What, Day After Day, and Baby Blue. Mariah Carey had a hit in 1994 with their song, Without You. Boomer or not, if you like classic pop, you will enjoy this 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.


Thanks for Music: 11.23 – 11.29

November 23, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all;

Arlo Guthrie may have the most famous Thanksgiving Day story of all: Alice's Restaurant

Arlo Guthrie’s tale, Alice’s Restaurant, may be the most famous contemporary Thanksgiving Day story of all.

It will be a day of food consumption for many, and a weekend of leftovers and stuffed bellies. But don’t fear, there are opportunities to dance off your lethargy over the weekend, and others where just listening to music will help calm a stuffed stomach. Let music be something we’re all thankful to have in our lives. Music lifts the spirit.


Wednesday, November 23

Dave King Trio @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $55 dinner show) This is the second of a two night stand for drummer Dave King and this trio. King is best known for his work with The Bad Plus and Happy Apple,though he also seems to have a dozen or so other projects, many of which explore the outer edges and realms of jazz and rock. Tonight, though, he gathers the fine talents of bassist Billy Peterson and pianist Bill Carrothers to mine the richness of jazz standards and create some beautiful music. Here’s a longish video of a performance.

Dorado Schmitt & the Django Festival All-Stars @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40), 9pm ($20, $30) Guitarist Dorado Schmitt grew up in the same region where Django Rheinhardt lived. He was born of Roma parents and grew up surrounded by Gypsy Jazz, though, like other teenagers, he emulated Carlos Santana and Jimi Hendrix before turning to the music fo his heritage. Back in the mid-2000s, he appeared in town as part of the Minnesota Sur Seine Festival, and has become the star of New York’s annual Django Festival. He’ll be accompanied by his son, guitarist Amati Schmitt; as well as accordionist Ludovic Beier, and violinist Pierre Blanchard.

Thursday, November 24

Thanksgiving with Debbie Duncan @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. Noon – 3pm  (No Cover, but Dinner) If you don’t want to cook, and are looking for some music with your Thanksgiving Meal, then you’re in luck, as Ms Duncan sings jazz standards, the Great American Songbook, and some occasional R&B.

Thanksgiving with Robert Robertson @ The Dakota, Minnepaolis. 7pm ($30) Get righteous, and not in arguments with your crazy uncle, but by listening to the gospel sounds of the incredible Robert Robertson, as soulful a singer as you will ever find.

Friday, November 25

Zacc Harris/Cafe Accordion Orchestra @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Harris – No Cover), 9pm (CAO – $10) Perhaps you’ve spent the day shopping. If so, relax with the dinner hour performance of guitarist Zacc Harris, followed at 9:00 by the Cafe Accordion Orchestra, whose album entitled Berets and Bongos pretty much sums up their approach to music.

Good Trouble @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Good Trouble is a septet from Appleton, WI, which includes both past and present students at Lawrence University. Members of the band include: Ben Phillips – Trumpet; Will Fraser Alto Saxophone; Carson Caldart – Tenor Saxophone; Matt Blair – Piano; Sam Genualdi – Guitar; Jakob Heinemann – Bass; and Jack Lussenden – Drums. Listen to them here.

Friday, Saturday, November 25, 26

Third Annual Dave King Takeover @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($12) Drummer Dave King is busy this week. After two nights at Crooners early in the week, he’s taking over late night at the Icehouse to feature two more bands of which he’s a member. Friday night it’s the Dave King Trucking Company: Erik Fratzke, guitar; Chris Morrissey, bass; Chris Speed and Brandon Wozniak on saxes; and King on drums. Then on Saturday night it’s Happy Apple, the trio named after a toy: Erik Fratzke, Fender bass; Michael Lewis, sax; and King on drums. This is the place to be for young jazz fans home for Thanksgiving, as well as older ones who can stay up late enough to dig these sounds.

Saturday, November 26

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Riley Swain Jazz Ensemble at 7pm, followed by the Atlantis Quartet at 8:30pm. The Riley Swain Ensemble is presented as part of the JazzInk Youth Showcase, which features talented high school students playing jazz. The Atlantis Quartet is Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris Bates, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums. They’ve been around about 10 years now, spreading the gospel of 21st Century jazz.

Sunday, November 27

Geoffrey Keezer and Gillian Margot @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20 – $35, $65 w/Dinner) Pianist Keezer is a native of Eau Claire, who spent his 20s working with Joshua Redman, Benny Golson, and Ray Brown. Now in his 40s, he’s performed and recorded in all sorts of musical combinations, and of late, has been doing solo gigs and recording. He’s performed with both Diana Krall and Diane Reeves, and now with singer Gillian Margot, who manages to avoid the usual cliches of jazz singers while delivering original interpretive delivery.

Monday, November 28

David Martin/Martin Doolin CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Guitarists Martin and Doolinb are releasing Dark Star, their third collaboration. It’s a fusion fueled CD, with guitar sounds that range from fuzzed-out to crystalline, and acoustic, punctuated with some funky drumming. Tonight they’re joined by Jim Chenoweth, bass; Shai Hayo, percussion; and Pete Hennig, drums.  I’ll have David Martin, and perhaps Doolin, on my show Saturday morning the 26th (10:30am – Noon, KFAI: 90.3 and 106.7FM)

George Maurer Quartet feat Ann Michels @ The Dakota, MInneapolis. 7pm ($12) Pianist Maurer is a versatile performer, composer and collaborator, having worked with Eric Clapton, scored films, and creating compositions for his nine-piece band. He’s based in Saint Cloud, so doesn’t get to the Twin Cities very often, making this a special event, and doubly so, since he’ll have just a quartet, as well as vocalist Ann Michels. Here’s Maurer accompanying a different singer: Rachel Holder.

Monday, Tuesday, November 28, 29

Jennifer Grimm’s Christmas with Family & Friends @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm  – 8:30pm ($22, $47 Dinner Show) Ms Grimm is a talented singer who is equally at home on a theater stage or in a bar. Either way, she’s an engaging performer, and with her family and friends, provides a highly entertaining evening.

Tuesday, November 29

Bill Evans New Orleans Jazz Band @ Bennett’s Rail & Chop House, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) If it’s the last Tuesday of the month, then it’s time for a shot of early New Orleans jazz, with a rotating cast of musicians led by Bill Evans.

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, November 23

Nikki & the RueMates on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) It’s become an annual tradition for Harold Tremblay to feature Nikki & the RueMates on the night before Thanksgiving. Tune in during the 5 o’clock hour to hear them perform some blues, 60s style folk-rock, and originals, all featuring Nikki’s clarion voice and the deft guitar of Rich Rue.

The Swamp Pop Extravaganza @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 11:30pm. A cast of thousands, well maybe tens, brings you the finest in Swamp Pop entertainment. Rich Lewis, Dan Rowles, Lucinda Plaisance, Richard Kriehn, Bill and Ernie Batson, Jon Rodine, Dan Newton and the Rockin’ Pinecones, members of the New Riverside Ramblers, plus several other featured guests. All backed by the mellifluous noodlings of the Swamp Poppas Enhanced Big Band! All in a Benefit for Second Harvest Food Shelf.

Maurice Jacox Acoustic Trio @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) Balladeer, bluesman, crooner, jazzman. All apply to vocalist Maurice Jacox, who will turn the slightly divey Schooner Tavern into a hip lounge tonight with the help of guitarists Bobby E and John Cravens.

Seun Kuti and Egypt 80 @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($35) The youngest son of Fela Kuti continues voicing the political and social concerns  of his father, adding traditions from various African cultures and reflecting on the struggles of peoples throughout the continent. Expect a floor filled with writhing, dancing bodies as Kuti and the band create rhythms that connect with your innermost being.

Thursday, November 24

Deano & the Dinosaurs @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – Midnight. It’s the man in plaid with the colorful hi-tops keeping up Merlin’s tradition of Thanksgiving Night music: Dean (or Deano) Mikkelson on guitar, along with pals Dean Harrington, guitar; Tom Lewis, bass; and Del Gallagher, drums, will play jazzy acoustic music.

Butanes @ Shaw’s, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Maybe you don’t like Turkey. Head over to Shaw’s for some BBQ and Blues as the Butanes take to the stage. If you’re stuffed with turkey, you can surely find a little space to dance as well.

Socaholix @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) Bunkers has a pretty good size dance floor for a bar, and it will undoubtedly be filled as the Socaholix play a lively mix of Soca (soul + Calypso) and other high-energy Caribbean rhythms.

Friday, November 25

Daisy Dillman Acoustic @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm – 10:30pm ($15) This is the “unplugged” version of the band started in the late 70s by four guys from Excelsior. You’ll undoubtedly hear some of their hits from two nationally charting albums, as well as new material, all with three part harmonies.

The Pines @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($18 Advance/$20 Door) The cover of the Pines latest full release, Above the Prairie, features a star filled sky over a couple of ramshackle shacks set among open spaces. Their music evokes that openness, with both moments of stillness and moments of beauty, much like the plains of their native Iowa. They’ll be releasing a new EP tonight, entitled Pasture II, the second installment in a series of EPs that explore the timeless tradition and passage of the American folk songs. Frankie Lee opens.

Hipshaker Dance Party @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Shake off your turkey-induced doldrums by dancing to rare funk and soul 45s.

Saturday, November 26

Feeling All Right: A Tribute to Joe Cocker @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) Mick Sterling has gathered 13 musicians, including 4 drummer/percussionists for this tribute to the English white guy with the raspy voice of a Southern Soul singer. The late pianist/singer/composer Leon Russell led Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour, so you can expect some of his tunes as well.

Luke Warm & the Cool Hands CD Release @ The Hook & Ladder Theater and Lounge, Minneapolis. 8pm ($8) It’s an evening of progressive string music and general pickin’ and grinnin’ as Luke Warm & the Cool Hands celebrate the release of What Makes You Happy? The evening begins at 8pm with The Gentlemen’s Anti-Temperance League playing music of the Prohibition era, updated for the 21st Century, then at 9pm its Luke Warm and the guys, including Ryan Young of Trampled by Turtles, followed at 11pm by The Stringdingers

New Riverside Ramblers @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) High energy Cajun dance music, transplanted from the bayous of Louisiana to the frozen plain of Minnesota, though performed within the warm confines of the Hamm Building’s basement. There will be waltzes, two-steps, and blues galore.

Saturday, Sunday, November 26, 27

Ronnie Spector @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $65, $75) While the Ronettes may not have been the first girl group, or the most popular, they were the most iconic, thanks to beehive hairdos, eyeliner, and Ronnie Spector’s thrilling voice, at one child-like and wise. She was inspired by Frankie Lymon, and in turn, inspired Amy Winehouse. She’ll undoubtedly sing Sleigh Ride, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, and Frosty the Snowman, given that her versions are always among the most played songs at Christmas time. We’ll also hear Be My Baby, Baby I Love You, and perhaps a few songs from her tribute to British Bands, which came out last year. Here’s an older video of her.

Sunday, November 27

Gang of Mischief @ Neumann’s Bar, North Saint Paul. 4pm (Tip Jar) Make your way to North Saint Paul’s main street to catch the ever-changing line-up of the Gang of Mischief, acoustic players of the blues and related music. Though membership varies, there are a few members you can depend upon: Papa John Kolstad, guitar and vocals, Harold Tremblay, harmonica, and Doug Otto, guitar and vocals.

Molly Maher & Her Disbelievers @ Aster Cafe’s River Room, Minneapolis. ($12) Molly Maher is an excellent guitarist and songwriter who’s been called the Queen of Twin Cities Americana. Her songs ring true, as she uses country rock, with a bit of blues swagger, to support her soulful singing. She’s backed by The Disbelievers, and excellent band consisting of guitar ace Erik Koskinen; Paul Bergen on guitar; Steve Murray, bass; and Richard Medek, drums. This is in the River Room, where there is bar service only.

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.

The 4th and More: 6.29 – 7.5

June 29, 2016

Unknown-1We’ve got the 4th of July coming up and a great line-up of music to choose from in the days leading up to it, including visits from outstanding jazz and blues artists, not to forget the talented musicians of our area. Have a good week. As for the 4th, well there are celebrations that include live music, though you’ll have to check you local paper to find them, since their main attraction will undoubtedly be fireworks. Music lifts the spirit.

Wednesday, June 29
Zosha Warpeha & Dean Magraw @ the Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. (Tip Jar) Zosha Warpeha is a young violinist and vocalist who has been studying at the New School in NYC for the past couple of years. She was already very, very good when she played with the Dakota Combo a few years back, and has played with guitarist Dean Magraw in Pippi Ardennia’s band, where their compatibility is evident.

Thursday, June 30
Marquis Hill & The Blacktet @ The Dakota, Minnenapolis. 7pm ($25) Hill  as a performer at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival a few years back, before he won the 2014 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition. He uses a warm tone on both trumpet and fluegelhorn to create melodic tunes that synthesize jazz and elements of hip-hop. After seeing the band perform, Jazz critic Nate Chinen wrote in Jazz Times that he “came away marveling at the intuitive coordination between the players, the rare level of on-th-spot composure that only a serious working band can attempt.”

Sara Greer & BLU 7 @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5 w/studentID) Greer is a remarkable singer, whose ability to improvise and scat has earned her many admirers among the very talented singers of the Twin Cities.

Headspace @ Dayblock Brewing, Minneapolis. 8pm (No Cover) Rob Dewey, keys, Aaron Rupar, drums; and Matt Senjem, bass, have been playing together for years. This is a monthly gig for them, and often features specialty cocktails.

Parisota Hot Club @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) Guitarist Robb Henry leads this group  which brings the sound of Django Rheinhardt and Stephane Grapelli into the 21st Century with music from those masters, as well as more modern composers like Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton. Henry, guitar; Jim Plattes, violin, Jim Chenoweth, bass; Jay Epstein, drums, and Erin Livingston, vocals.

Chris Bates’ Good Vibes Trio @ The Reverie Coffee & Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Chris Bates  bass; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; and Phil Hey, drums, recently released an outstanding CD, The Good Vibes Trio. Of course, this is an outstanding band, with three of the best players in town tackling originals and standards with style, aplomb, and excitement.

Friday, July 1
Maryann Sullivan and Corner Jazz @ Public Kitchen and Bar, Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) A bit of swing music in the grotto-like basement of Public, with Ms Sullivan on vocals, Ted Godbout on piano, and Jim Chenoweth on bass.

Black Violin @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45), 9pm ($35, $40) Classical music meets R&B as this classically trained violin duo meld jazz, R&B, pop, roots, and rap into a sound all their own.

Jazzland Wonderband @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Here’s a relatively young jazz band that can start an audience dancing with their blend of traditional New Orleans jazz and second line music with R&B of a more recent vintage. Cameron Kinghorn, trumpet and vocals; Nelson Deveraux, reeds; Keith Holson, trombone; Andres Crovetti, drums; and Evan Clark, tuba.

Saturday, July 2
Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Curator Steve Kenny continues to give exposure to young groups with this series. The evening begins at 7pm with fusion from theDark Blue Quartet: Thomas Strommen, sax; Alex Burgess drums; Dylan Nelson, guitar; and Jason McLean, bass. The Junior Ranger Expanded Ensemble goes on at 8:30, featuring Joe Suihkonen, trumpet; Nathan Hanson, saxes; Eric Krouse, Fender Rhodes; Noah Gershwin guitar; Ted Olsen, bass; and Emerson Hunton, drums.

Sunday, July 3
Jazz Brunch w/the James Buckley Trio @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 11am – 2pm (No Cover) This may be a jazz brunch, but James Buckley, bass; Michael Lewis, sax; and Miguel Hurtado, drums; will deliver anything but “wallpaper music.”

Lisa Fischer & Grand Baton @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $60), 9pm ($30 – $50) Ms Fischer and her band are becoming regulars at the Dakota, having appeared at least three times in the last year. After forty years of singing background vocals, Ms Fischer has broken out into a club act that leaves you awe-struck.

Monday, July 4 
Happy 4th!

Tuesday, July 5
Chick Corea Trilogy @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($75 – $110), 9pm ($60 – $95) Well, the price is a little steep, but the only other place you will hear this trio is a concert hall. Tonight you get a chance to hear three of the most gifted jazzers of this century: NEA Jazz Master, Downbeat Hall of Famer, and 22-time Grammy winner Chick Corea playing piano, along with the highly talented Christian McBride on bass; and Brian Blade, who has drummed with Bob Dylan, Bill Frisell, and Emmylou Harris, among others.  Here’s what they sound like.

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, June 29
Adam Kiesling and Mikkel Beckmen on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7 FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Duo Roots, from Kiesling, the bass player for Pert Near Sandstone and Corpse Reviver, and Beckmen, who has recorded and toured with Charlie Parr, the Brass Kings, Jeff Ray & the Stakes, and Corpse Reviver.

Golden State Lone Star Blues Revue @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 8pm. ($25) Towering blues from Texas and California, featuring harpmeisterMark Hummel, swingin’ guitarists Anson Funderberg and Charlie Baty, and a rhythm section of Wes Starr on drums and RW Grigsby on bass. Their appearance at the Dakota last year was highly entertaining. The Midwest Record Review rightly called them “a total modern blues super group.”

Doug Deming & The Jewel Tones w/Dennis Gruening @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Members of The Minnesota Blues Society have teamed up with the Minnesota Music Cafe to bring a fabulous night of jump blues. They’re keeping the price low to introduce the blues to as many people as possible.Deming is a vocalist and guitarist who has played with Kim Wilson, Lazy Lester, and AC Reed, among others. Harp player Gruening incorporates the style and tradition of swingin’ saxophones into his harmonica playing.

Thursday, June 30
MMC Fiscal New Year’s Eve Party @ Summit Brewing, 910 Montreal Circle, Saint Paul. 5pm – 9pm (Free) The Minnesota Music Coalition is about to end it’s fiscal year and is celebrating with this party featuring the bluegrass of the Sawtooth Brothers, acoustic pop songwriter Katy Vernon, and the genre-bending Channeling Grey trio. And if you want to support MMC, you can bid on silent auction items. Even better, you can support them when you buy some beer, since 50% of all beer sales will benefit the MMC>

Big George Jackson @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) A pleasure to once again have the big voice of Big George booming the blues in the re-opened Viking.

Friday, July 1
Paul Mayasich & The Benderheads @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. 6pm (Free) Mayasich brings his four-piece band to the park across from the Landmark Center for outside dancing. Celestial Blue opens

Joe Cruz & Jennifer Grimm @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($10) It’s a bit of a trek from White Bear Lake to Excelsior for Cruz & Grimm, but folks from the west suburbs will surely enjoy WBL stalwarts Cruz on guitar and Grimm on vocals.

Trailer Trash @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Let’s go Honky-Tonkin’ at the Viking with this six piece band that’s been entertaining Twin Citizens with retro-country and swing dance music for 22 years. Here they are doing a song from one of their annual Christmas shows.

Saturday, July 2
The Butanes @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Here’s a chance to have a bigger dance floor than the one found at the Butanes’Thursday night gigs at Shaws in NE Mpls. Curt Obeda, guitar, John Lundberg, bass; Virgil Nelson, keys; and Robb Stupka, drums deliver the blues like no one else in town, it’s that simple.

Javier & The Innocent Sons @ Washington Square Bar & Grill, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Between Javier’s bottleneck slide, and Dan Schwalbe’s searing guitar solos, backed by the solid foundation of Greg Wibben’s upright bass and Dave Larson’s drums, this band can rock the blues as well as swing them.

Sunday, July 3
Molly Maher & Her Assorted Malcontents @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Maher may well be the Queen of the Twin Cities roots scene. the guitar tech is a singer and songwriter with depth and soul. This is the start of a Sunday night residency for the month. Given her wide circle of musical friends, its’ hard to say just who the assorted malcontents will be, but they will undoubtedly be talented. Here’s an example of her songwriting, as she sings with her regular band, the Disbelievers.

Monday, July 4
Happy 4th!

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

A Busy Week for Arts and Music: 6.5 – 6.11

June 5, 2013
Downtown Saint Paul, a hub of music and arts this week.

Downtown Saint Paul, a hub of music and arts this week.

Not to put too fine a point on things, but this week will be hopping in downtown Saint Paul, as two summer series get their start and an all-night art festival takes place during the weekend. Over in Minneapolis, there’s  an acoustic music festival on Saturday, and we’ll be treated to visiting artists from New Orleans, South Africa, and New York. To top things off, we’ve got a couple of Woodstock-era artists visiting town, tempting those of a certain age to get out and spend some of their children’s inheritance. Live music is good for the soul. Have a great week.


Wednesday, June 5

Sister Swing @ the Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) This is the start of the annual Music in the Cafe Series at the Landmark every Wednesday through July. Maryann Sullivan and Rhonda Laurie sing and swing some standards, abetted by Doug Haining, sax; Steve Pikal, bass, and Robert Bell, guitar. Get yourself some lunch at Anita’s Cafe in the atrium (where the concert takes place) or brownbag it.

Body Omara @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Jazz informed by the Desert Blues of Mali. Body Omara is Robert Damman, guitar and compositions; Tom Reichert, bass; and Davu Seru, drums & percussion.

Photo by John Whiting

Photo by John Whiting

Phil Hey/Pat Moriarty Duo and Round Trip @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Drummer Hey and alto saxophonist Moriarty have been playing together for forty years. Playing as a duo, their ability to communicate so well allows them to create free music that is exciting and much more accessible than you would think. They’ll also be doing some sets with their Ornette Coleman repertory band, Round Trip, which includes Chris Thomson on tenor and Tom Lewis on bass. Jazz fans of many stripes will not want to miss this.

Thursday, June 6

Rebirth Brass Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($20) From New Orleans comes this Brass Band that started out on the streets 30 years ago, and now travels the world spreading joy. Music that’s visceral, yet celebrates the pure joy of being alive.  Check out this video.

Southside Aces @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 8pm Foodtruck: Cajun 2 Geaux. More New Orleans music, this is of the traditional kind, performed by a band from the area. If the weather is nice, the warehouse doors will be open and you can do some swing dancing, or just enjoy the music while you’re outside.

Byron Johnson-Blanchard Trio @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Jazz standards and originals from this recent grad of MacNally Smith. Byron is the drummer for High and Mighty, so you know he’ll be in the pocket.

Friday, Saturday, June 7,8

How Birds Work @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) A quartet of musicians who consistently deliver exciting performances. Dean Granros, guitar, Chris Bates, bass; Peter Schimke, piano; and Kenny Horst on drums can mesmerize and inspire as they play “standards” from folks like Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane, and Herbie Hancock, while throwing in some originals for good measure. They only play a few times a year, so it’s a treat to have them for a weekend.

Saturday, June 8

Courageous Endeavors and Lars Larson’s Mancrush @ Jazz at Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm/doors at 6:30 ($10) It’s Young Lions night for this final show of this season’s Jazz at Studio Z series. Courageous Endeavors is led by Brian Courage on bass, quickly becoming a bassist-about-town, and features recent University grad Joe Strachan on piano; with Nelson Deveraux on sax; and Miguel Hurtado on drums. Mancrush features drummer Lars Larson, with relatively young veterans Zacc Harris on guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Bryan Nichols on Fender Rhodes.

Lomheim, Jany, & Weston @ Porter & Frye Jazz Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm – Midnight (No Cover) A new spot for jazz, at least for the rest of June. Chris Lomheim, piano; Pavel Jany, guitar, and Dan Weston, bass. It’s located in the lower level of Porter & Frye, in the Hotel Ivy.

Sunday, June 9

Jazz on the Prairie Big Band Festival @ Staring Lake Amphitheater, 14800 Pioneer Trail, Eden Prairie. 2pm – 6pm (Free) Six community big bands, including The River City Jazz Orchestra, The Good News Big Band, The Just Friends Big Band, the Acme Jazz Company, w/vocalist Arne Fogel, The Bend in the River Big Band, and the Jazz on the Prairie Big Band. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. The Eden Prairie Rotary Club are sponsoring a Ribfest in case you get hungry. More information is available here.

Connie Evingson: Songs by Dave Frishberg @ The Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm, 7:30pm ($25) w/Jon Weber, piano; Dave Karr, sax; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. The music of Dave Frishberg is always hip. Heck, he’s even got a great little song called “I’m Hip,” as well as “Peel Me a Grape,” “My Attorney Bernie,” and more. Evingson did a whole album of his tunes, and she’s got a hip backing band as well. Here’s a video someone put together from Connie’s album of Frishberg songs.

Tuesday, June 11

images-2Hugh Masekela and Larry Willis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($25) Trumpet/piano duets from two musicians who attended the Manhattan School of Music together in the 60s. Since graduating, Masekela had a few pop hits (Grazing in the Grass, anyone?) and then went on to concentrate on the politics of his native South Africa. Previous appearances at the Dakota with a full band had him performing uplifting, vital music. Willis was a force on the avante-garde scene of NYC in the sixties, and also recorded with such stalwarts as Lee Morgan, Stan Getz, and Jackie McLean, not to forget Blood, Sweat, and Tears, Alphonse Mouzon, Carla Bley and a host of others. More recently, he’s recorded with Erik Alexander, released well-received CDs on High Note Records, and was recently featured with the Steve Davis Quintet on a live recording from Smalls in NY.

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, June 5

Crenshaw with a copy of his 80s album.

Crenshaw with a copy of his 80s album.

Marshall Crenshaw, the Bottle Rockets @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20-Advance, $30 – Door, $40 – VIP)  A double-bill that’s worth your while. Marshall Crenshaw is a power pop singer/songwriter who scored pretty big with “Someday, Someway” back in the 80s. He’s had four of his songs covered by Ronnie Spector and others covered by folks ranging from Austin songstress Lou Ann Barton to Freedy Johnston and Bette Medler. Crenshaw has appeared in the touring show of Beatlemania, played Buddy Holly in the Richie Valens biopic La Bamba and published “Hollywood Rock: A Guide to Rock n’ Roll in the Movies.” He currently hosts a radio show on the fabled WFUV in New York, featuring his own collection of records. On the other hand, The Bottle Rockets, from Saint Louis, have been around since 1992, creating a rockin’ body of work that reflects the views of everyman.

Thursday, June 6

Dan Israel & the Cultivators, Martin Devaney @ Music in Mears, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm (Free) Lowertowns annual summer music series opens with Dan Israel, who just celebrated the ambitious release of “Danthology,” and “Live On.” Danthology is a two LP vinyl set of 25 of what he considers his best songs from 20 years and a dozen CDs, while Live On is his latest CD. Singer/songwriter Martin Devaney, who’s no slouch when it comes to both, opens.

images-4Joan Baez @ The Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley. 7pm ($47) The first show of this season’s Music in the Zoo will open without the presence of the event’s founder, Sue McLean, who passed away a couple of weeks ago. Joan Baez came to fame at the Newport Folk Festival in 1959, hung out with Bob Dylan, played Woodstock, recorded over 30 albums, garnered a few gold records, and received a lifetime achievement award at the 2007 Grammy’s. Her crystalline voice moved more than a few anti-war protesters back in the day. As always with this series, it’s wise to buy your tickets ahead of time.

Friday, June 7

Molly Maher, Erik Koskinen @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. (No Cover) Maher and Koskinen in a rare appearance outside of their weekly Wednesday night Aster Cafe gig. Erik Koskinen, who opens at 7pm, is a talented roots/Americana singer and guitarist often called upon to tour with national artists. He’ll be followed at 9pm by Molly Maher and Her Disbelievers, an alt-country, rootsy group that delivers heartbreak in a winning way, thanks to Maher’s soulful vocals. Neither artists gets enough attention. Food Truck: Tollefson Family Pork

Charanga Tropical & DJ Fatty @ Northrup Plaza, U of M, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10:30pm (Free) DJ Fatty spins Salsa until 8pm, when the nine-piece latin band takes over. Charanga Tropical includes three violins, a flute and a latin rhythm section, including musicians from Cuba, Brazil, and Mexico. There is sure to be plenty of dancing under the stars on the large plaza of the U’s Northrup auditorium. Food and drinks will be available for sale. Here’s an excerpt featuring their string section.

New, Live, & Local @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 8pm – Midnight ($5) Here’s a chance to see a wide variety of music in one evening, including the Symbiosis Drum & Dance Ensemble; Srahalys, performing music from Eastern Europe and Central Asia; Bella Duo, two cats from the Spaghetti Western Company; and Caravan Music and Dance, performing classical and contemporary music from the Middle East.

Saturday, June 8

Loring Park Acoustic Music Festival @ Loring Park, Minneapolis. Noon – 8pm (Free) Spend your Satuday havin a picnic and lolling on the grass while you listen to the cream of the area’s acoustic musicians, including the DL Cajun Trio; Jack Klatt & the Cat Swingers; Mikkel Beckmen and Steve Kaul; the Town Hall Stompers, and the Roe Family Singers, among others. There’ll be a couple of food trucks available, naturally, but a couple of neighborhood restaurants are a short walk away, should you want different take-out.

The Good, The Bad and the Funky @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($?) Always funky, never bad, except when bad means good. This ten-piece horn band plays funk, soul, and R&B. Whether you’re 21 or 61, their infectious, old school approach to R&B will lure you to the dance floor.

Saturday-Sunday, June 8-9

Northern Spark Festival @ Lowertown, Saint Paul. 9pm Saturday – 5am Sunday (Free) A panoply of art and music (almost 80 projects) with performances and demonstrations ranging from the Ananya Dance Theater to the Shubert Club, saxman Steve Clark, DeeJay Rambo Salinas (ex-Hot Pants), and shape note singing, to Zeitgeist. It all takes place at the Union Depot, along the river, and throughout Lowertown. The evening opens with a concert by Mayda in the Union Depot and closes with yoga at Lower Landing. The full schedule of events can be found here. Be sure to take your “disco nap” on Saturday.

Sunday, Monday, June 9, 10

John Sebastian @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($36) Holy Woodstock! First we have Joan Baez, now John Sebastian in the same week. There will be lots of graybeards in the audience for this show, but don’t be surprised if members of other generations show up as well. With a friendly voice and well-written songs, Sebastian has been an inspiration to numerous singer/songwriters. He was responsible for the Lovin’ Spoonful having seven songs in the top ten. After Woodstock, he took to writing for television and films, scoring with “Welcome Back,” for Welcome Back Kotter, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. Welcome Back, Indeed. Here’s a song you may have forgotten.

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.

Mayday Music and More: 5.2 – 5.8

May 2, 2012

Wow, May already. This coming week brings the 38th Annual May Day Parade from the Heart of the Beast Puppet Theater to South Minneapolis on Sunday. It’s a parade and festival full of dancing and music, from roots, to Ukrainian, and more. We also have a plethora of artists – both visiting and resident – performing around town. There are often evenings when it is hard to choose where to go, even if you have the stamina and time to squeeze in more than one show. These are but a few suggestions.


Wednesday, May 2

Carl Franzen with Rahita Ren and Jeff Carver @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm. (Tip Jar) An intriguing evening, as composer/lyricist Franzen is a songwriter who has written a number of notable and recognizable jingles, as well as introspective songs for you the listener. Tonight he’ll be joined by Rahita Ren on piano, and Jeff Carver on trumpet. Here’s what they sound like.

Michael Gold Quintet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Michael Gold, bass; Dave Graf, trombone; Don Stille, piano; Doug Haining, saxes; Nathan Norman, drums. Gold has worked with Lee Konitz, Al Cohen, and Sheila Jordan, among others. Given the other members of this quintet, I expect this will be a pretty swinging evening.

Thursday, May 3

Keith Karns Big Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30 – 10:30pm. This sounds very interesting, and should be cozy in the Jazz Central space.  Karns is a trumpeter who is a student of the music of Stan Kenton and Maria Schneider, among others. He’s just released a new CD, Thought and Memory, and is touring the Midwest in support of it. Here’s a recent video of the group.

Good Vibes Trio @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Having caught their last appearance at the AQ, I can say that Chris Bates, bass; Dave Hagedorn, vibes, and Phil Hey, drums, create music that’s complex, yet accessible. And why shouldn’t they, with their talent.

Friday, May 4

Charmin Michelle @ The Lexington, Saint Paul. 6:30pm. Classy room. Classy singer. Michelle is one of those singers who is so effortless when she sings, that you think you can do it. Mmm, no. Be aware, there may be a minimum if you sit at the tables.

Todd Clouser @ The Aster Cafe, St. Anthony Main, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) Guitarist Clouser is going beyond his Love Electric group with a couple of performances here in different settings. First set will be a duo with Trevor Elrod. Second set a Trio with Hope Tonic: Greg Schutte on drums, and Chris Bates on bass.

Friday, Saturday, May 4,5

Magraw, Nichols, Peterson, Horst @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10)  The guitar wizardry of Dean Magraw, and the imaginative piano of Bryan Nichols, combined with what is becoming the oh-so-versatile house rhythm section of Billy Peterson and Kenny Horst.

Saturday, May 5

Le Jazz Cool All-Stars @ Vincent A Restaurant, Minneapolis. 10:30 pm (no cover) Late night jazz at the tony French Restaurant, with Mary Louise Knutsen on piano, and three members of the Minnesota Orchestra: Peter Kogan, drums and leader; David Williamson, bass; Chuck Lazarus, trumpet.

Sunday, May 6

Pancho Sanchez & His Latin Jazz Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Sanchez is a master conga player who puts his stamp on jazz, soul, bebop, funk, and more. Here he is doing a salsa number.

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

Roots, Blues, Other

Wednesday, May 2

Carolina Chocolate Drops @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm. ($30) This African-American string band won a grammy in 2010 in the traditional folk category for their album Genuine Negro Jigs. They’re back with an expanded line-up, but still manage to easily convey their joy in playing old-time fiddle and banjo music. Canadian duo Po’ Girl opens.

Wax Museum @ Palmers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No cover) Open vinyl night. Deejays and vinyl lovers sign up for a 20 minute set to play whatever they want – reggae, film soundtracks, goth, soul, doo wop, psychedelic, early rock n’ roll, in any vinyl format – 12 inches remixes, LPs, 45s, eps, or even 78s (if you bring along your own turntable). Makes for an ear-opening evening at this West Bank institution.

Friday, May 4

Dred I Dred, Prizefighters, Upper Cuts @ Wild Thymes, Saint Paul. 80m (Tip Jar) Modern Reggae from PeeWee & Dred I Dred; Ska & Rocksteady and a little Soul from the 7-pice Prizefighters;  and Punk, Rock, n Roots from the Upper Cuts.

Papa John Kolstad @ The Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10)  Head east until you smell the great ‘que coming from this 2012 City Pages Best Blues Club for a somewhat rare occurrence. Papa John is getting out his 12 string to play some blues, accompanied by Bill Smith on harmonica and Scott Sansby on rubboard. The Bayport isn’t very large, so best to call ahead to see if it’s sold out. 651-955-6337

Big Villain CD Release @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm (Hall Stage – $10) This is an interesting project, crossing hip-hop and jazz. Big Villain uses clever, often humorous lyrics over tuneful melodies with catchy choruses, all backed by some well-traveled jazz musicians. Toussaint Morrison, vocals; Maria Stukey, backup vocals; Phil Aaron, keyboards; Zach Schmidt, keyboards; Vinnie Rose, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass;  Reid Kennedy, drums. Opening acts include: Sheeped, and West of Aldine

Saturday May 5

James Loney CD Release, w/ Gini Dodds, & Curtiss A. @ Wild Thymes, Saint Paul. 8pm (tip jar) A rockin’ night of music. Loney fronted the House of Mirrors in the 80s and quit in the 90s to concentrate on songwriting. That paid off with songs in a couple of hit movies. Now he’s back with a new CD filled with local luminaries like Scott Sansby, Gini Dodds, and Curtiss A. Gini Dodds & the Dahlias open at 8pm, followed by Curtiss A. and the Jerks of Fate at 9:30, and Loney at 11pm.

Malamanya & Radio Pocho DJs @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Malamanya, that highly danceable acoustic Cuban ensemble. I know Cinco de Mayo is Mexican, not Cuban, but hey, there will be plenty of dancers, and the Radio Pocho DJs will help you get down and in the spirit.

Molly Maher & Her Disbelievers and Hookers & Blow Rock the Cure @ O’Gara’s, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) A chance to hear two fine bands and benefit research into Breast & Ovarian Cancer. Maher and her band rock out in a very rootsy manner, doing her originals and some choice covers. Hookers & Blow play highly danceable tunes from a “more permissive era”, i.e., the late 70s.

Monday, May 7

Al’s Rockabilly Quartet @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 8pm (No cover) On Mondays, the tables are moved ad chairs set up on each side of the expanded dance floor. Get to Dave’s at about 7:15 for a dance lesson from Bill & Shannon, and then practice your moves with the slap bass, surf, & rockabilly sounds of Al Subola and the boys.

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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