Music for Strange Times: 10.31 – 11.6

October 31, 2018

So..we begin this week with actual Halloween, and end it with Election Day, which, seems somewhat appropriate in these very strange times. We’ve a good variety of music available to help us through the week from adventurous jazz to Cajun, soul music, or good ol’ rock n’ roll. Whatever your mood, you can let the music wash over you or you can dance. After all, Music Lifts Your Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, October 31

NIU Jazztet @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) This six-piece group from Northern Illinois University has performed at Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola in NYC, as well as at festivals in Iowa City, Lima Peru, NYC, and Bogota, Columbia, among others. Stop in to see the latest edition of the group.

Thursday, November 1

Paula Cole @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. ($40, $45) It is twenty-one years since vocalist Paula Cole released her breakthrough album This Fire, which contained two Billboard-charting singles, and was nominated for seven Grammys, resulting in Cole’s win as Best New Artist of the Year. Since then she has sold over three million albums, and has worked with a wide variety of artists, from Peter Gabriel and Dolly Parton to Herbie Hancock and Burt Bacharach.

Friday, November 2

Mike Wolter Trio @ Dayblock Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Since guitarist Wolter relocated here from Chicago in 2016, he’s collaborated and performed with a number of the area’s musicians, including Josh Granowski, Brandon Wozniak, George Marich, and Nathan Hanson. Tonight he performs original works with his trio featuring bassist Cody McKinney and drummer Cory Healey. Note:This is definitely not a listening room.

Jake Baldwin Trio @ The Lexington’s Williamsburg Room, Saint Paul.7:30pm – 10pm (No Cover) I don’t know who he has with him, but trumpeter Jake Baldwin is worth hearing in his own right. Just be sure to sit close enough to hear him over the room’s conversations.

Merciless Ghost @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Adventuresome music from George Cartwright, leader & sax; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, cornet; Josh Granowski, bass; and Davu Seru, percussion.

Saturday, November 3

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm: The Carlton College Jazz Chamber Group, which studies with pianist Laura Caviani and features: Dan Clipper, tenor sax; Amelia Papajohn, voice; Marco Bommarito, piano; Joey Castaneda, electric bass; Jorge Banuelos, drums; and Russell Star-Lack, guitar. At 8:30pm, their teacher takes the stage with her own group: The Laura Caviani Quartet – Caviani, piano; Dave Milne, saxophones; Chris Bates, bass; Dave Schmalenberger, drums.

Jay Young & Lyric Factory @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) I don’t know what Jay Young and his Lyric Factory will be playing, though he’s done shows on Stevie Wonder, Earth, Wind, & Fire, Herbie Hancock, and others, bringing jazz arrangements to pop songs and new arrangements to jazz standards. Though his group’s membership is somewhat fluid, past versions of the Lyric Factory have included Jay on piccolo bass; his son Ian on regular bass; Kevin Washington, on drums, and Thom West on keys. Various and sundry singers take over the vocal duties.

Sunday, November 4

Cameron Graves Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30, $35) Pianist Cameron Graves met saxophonist and current “big thing” in jazz and spiritual jazz Kamasai Washingtonwhen both were in high school in Los Angeles. They’ve played together in many configurations since then, notably on Washington’s 2015 opus The Epic. Graves recently released his own album, Planetary Prince, which has been described as an “almost unbelievable combination of modal jazz, romantic era European classical music, and mathematical death metal,” by Washington. I’ll let you read the tea leaves in that quote.

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Since its formation in 2011, the Adam Meckler Orchestra (AMO) has steadily increased their repertoire and fan bass. Their 2014 album, When The Clouds Look Like This was released to to critical acclaim and was listed by iTunes as one of the best jazz releases of that year. Meckler has since become one of the leading voices in trumpet, big band, and arranging in the Twin Cities. Tonight the AMO will perform some of the new compositions from their upcoming album, and will feature a number of special guests.

Tuesday, Wednesday, November 6, 7

Davell Crawford & Charmaine Neville @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) It’s two nights of New Orleans music royalty, as pianist/vocalist Davell Crawford’s  grandfather was guitarist Sugar Boy Crawford, the first artist to record Jock-A-Mo(aka Iko Iko), and he is the godson of Roberta Flack. Vocalist Charmaine Neville is a daughter of one of the Neville Brothers. Lots of jazz and R&B will undoubtedly be on tap.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, October 31

Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12, $15) Guitarist/singer Big Sandy is a Los Angeles – based rockabilly/roots singer who often adds a bit of Western Swing and L.A. doo-wop into his energetic repertoire. The roomy dance floor will undoubtedly be filled.

Miss Myra and The Moonshiners @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Miss Myra and her band serve up a bracing helping of barrelhouse blues and hot jazz for a Halloween evening.

Orgone @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 8pm ($17 Advance, $20 Door) California soul from an octet that pulls and pushes you onto the dance floor with their insistent rhythms and dirty funk. McNasty Brass Bandopens.

Thursday, November 1

The Banjo Hour with Captain Gravitone & the String Theory Orchestra @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($12 advance/$15 Door) This is a two hour, vaudeville-style music variety show, with music, magic and comedy, hosted by magician/comedian Michael Callahan, featuring the music of Captain Gravitone & the String Theory OrchestraPhil Nussbaum, banjo maker Tom Nechville, and special guest Steve Kaul.

Friday, November 2

Erik Brandt & The Urban Hillbilly Quartet @The Underground Music Cafe, Falcon Heights. 7pm (Tip Jar) Highly diverse Americana from this long-lived group that seems to be guided by the same musical impulses as the Jayhawks, the Flying Burrito Brothers, and other eclectic acts.

King Kustom & The Cruisers @ Dusty’s Bar, NE Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) High octane 50s rock n’ roll, as done by the Batson brothers of the Hypsterz and the Mighty Mofos.

Vicky Emerson & Mother Banjo Double Release Party @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12 Advance, $20 Door) Americana singer/songwriter Vicky Emerson will release Steady Heart as a much anticipated follow up to her triumphant 2016 effort, Wake Me When the Wind Dies Down, which reached #58 on the US Americana Charts and soared to #5 on the European Americana Chart. Mother Banjo is releasing Eyes to the Sky, the follow-up to her highly successful gospel album The Devil Hasn’t Won. The new album features both solo tracks by Ellen Stanley (aka Mother Banjo), as well as tracks with the Mother Banjo band. Hayley Rydell, of the Lowland Lakers, opens.

Saturday, November 3

Love TKO II @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20, $25) Vocalist Johnnie Brown did so well with his first version of a tribute to Teddy Pendergrass that he’s back for a second time, for another evening of soaring vocals and seductive ballads.,

New Riverside Ramblers CD Release @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, Admission and download – $20) After 25 years together, the  Ramblers continue to create high-energy, Cajun dance music. In fact, they’ve earned a couple of Prix Dehors awards from the Cajun French Music Association, given for the best Cajun recording by a band from outside Louisiana. Now they have a new recording, Lache pas la Patate (Don’t Drop the Potato) and will be celebrating by filling the fine dance floor at the Eagles club. Happily, Papa John Kolstad & the Perfect Phittsopen.

Dos Santos @ La Doña Cerveceria, 241 Fremont Ave N, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12, $15) Dos Santos is a Chicago quintet somehow manages to include Cumbia, jazz, punk, and Latinx influences in their sound. They’re being presented as part of the brewery’s multi-day Dia de los Muertoscelebration.

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.


Celebrations and Visitations. Music: 7.8 – 7.14

July 8, 2015
The Brass Messengers will bring their antics to Bastille Day in Minneapolis.

The Brass Messengers will bring their antics to Bastille Day in Minneapolis.

We’ve got another weekend of outdoor music celebrations this weekend, what with Bastille Day Celebrations in both Minneapolis and Saint Paul, as well as a hip-hop festival and a one-day jazz festival at a vineyard. We also have some very interesting visiting musicians, a CD release party, and some stellar combinations of resident musicians. All in all, a good week for music lovers. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 8

Connie Evingson w/Patty and the Buttons @ The Woman’s Club, 410 Oak Grove, Minneapolis. 6-8pm ($10) Patty and the Buttons bring their happy rhythms and swinging influences (gypsy jazz, ragtime, American Popular song, to the music of Ms Evingson  To quote the sublime vocalist, “I love singing with these guys!”

Capri Big Band @ Minnehaha Falls Pavilion, Minneapolis. 7-9pm (Free) The Capri Big Band is an intergenerational band led by saxophonist Donald Washington will be swinging for visitors to the park, providing much more than just background music for those waiting in line for fish tacos at Sea Salt.

Chris Bates’ Magica Improvisada @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Chris Bates, bass; Corey Healy, drums; and Peter Schimke, piano; bring their considerable talent to bear on originals and jazz standards.

Thursday, July 9

Christine Hitt @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pianist/vocalist Hitt established herself in the Saint Louis jazz scene, recording and working for MAXJAZZ records and performing with the likes of Ugonna Okegwo, Hubert Laws, Slide Hampton and others. Tonight she is joined by Eric Hitt, bass; Dave Schmalenberger, drums; and Brian Handeland, sax.

James Buckley Trio & Jacob Hanson@ Studio Z, Saint Paul. ($10) The All Originals Jazz Series returns for another season. Opening the season this year is the James BuckleyTrio, featuring Bryan Nichols, piano; JT Bates, drums, and Buckley on bass. Their imaginative swinging sounds will be augmented by guitarist Jacob Hanson, who plays in a number of high profile groups including The Pines, Haley Bonar, Solid Gold, and more. Hanson’s approach to the guitar is informed by blues, surf music, 50s pop, and more, as he uses technique and pedals to create intriguing soundscapes.

Friday, July 10

Judy Donaghy Vinar & the Wolverines Quartet @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Crooners is a fine club/lounge, with a small dance floor and a comfortable stage. Vocalist Vinar will be joined by Jendeen Forberg, drums; Rick Carlson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Doug Haining on clarinet and reeds. Here she is with the big band version of the Wolverines.

Milwaukolis@ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The name implies a combination of musicians from Milwaukee and Minneapolis. Nelson Devereaux, sax; paul Westfahl, drums, and Cody Steinmann, guitar; play music rooted in tradition but also drawing inspiration from modern pop, hip-hop, and rock music.

Dean Granros’ Tall Tales @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) This two-guitar jazz group features Zacc Harris, as well as leader Dean Granros on guitars, with Chris Bates on bass, and Jay Epstein on drums providing a formidable foundation. They have a new CD out on Shifting Pardigm records, and blew folks away at their CD Release parties a couple of months back.

Jordan Anderson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) If you’ve had a chance to see the Dakota Combo or the Walker West Jazz Band, you’ve seen this young pianist (16) in action. I’m not sure if he’ll be performing solo or with other musicians, but either way, he’s already a seasoned, imaginative performer and soloist.

Saturday, July 11

Jazz Fest @ Saint Croix Vineyards, 6428 Manning Ave No., Stillwater. Noon – 6pm. (Free) Here are four very good reasons to while away a pleasant afternoon. You get to hear the Javi Santiago Quartet at noon, the Andrew Walesch Trio at 1:30, the Adam Meckler Orchestra at 3pm, and Doug Little’s Seven Steps to Havana at 4:30. Bring a picnic basket, or buy some food while there. Wine (of course) and non-alcoholic beverages are always available.

Bastille Day in Saint Paul @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 2pm – 8pm ($10, kids under are free) Outdoor on the West 7 Place Mall. Music by French Jazz Band Lo’Jo, as well as Twin Cities based Francine Roche Trio, with The New Standards capping the day. Then go inside to hear Connie Evingson and the Parisota Hot Club in the newly refurbished Vieux Carre.

Jacob Teichroew Quintet w/guest Adam Meckler @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Saxophonist and composer Jacob Teichroew has studied classical sax with Stephen Jordheim, jazz with Antonio Hart, and contemporary improvisation with Vijay Iyer. All those influences are part of his music. He’ll be joined by members of his group: Syberen van Munster, guitar; Jarrett Cherner, keys; Christopher Nolte, bass; and Shawn Baltazor, drums; as well as trumpeter Adam Meckler, no slouch himself when in comes to playing or composing.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5-$20 Suggested Donation) Here is another combination of a new group and some fine veterans performing on a Saturday night. Opening at 7pm King/Fletcher/Woods: Jeff King, sax; Charles Feltcher, bass; Eron Woods, drums. At 8:30, the highly talented pianist Laura Caviani takes the stage, accompanied by the ever inventiveJay Epstein, drums; and rock solid Gordy Johnson on bass.  Here’s Laura celebrating Monk.

Sunday, July 12

Stan Bann’s Big Bone Band @ Como Dockside Pavilion, Saint Paul. 3-5pm (Free) Ahh, Sunday afternoon under the exposed pavilion at Como Lake, with victuals and beverages available from Como Dockside, the new bar/restaurant from Jon Oulman, of the 331 Club and the Amsterdam Bar & Hall. Trombonist/composer/arranger Bann brings his band, with seven trombones, a euphonium, tuba, and rhythm section, to the pavilion for your listening pleasure

Monday, July 13

Jacob Teichroew Quintet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. ($8) Another chance to see this New York sax player (see Saturday)

Tuesday, July 14

Katia Cardenas @ Vieux Carre Grand Opening, Saint Paul. 7pm ($?) A year and a half after the Artists’ Quarter closed, Vieux Carre (view ma-ray) will finally have its grand opening in the space. They’ve had some pop-up events during the last six months, but now, all the furniture has been replaced, there’s a new sound system, new paint and images on the black walls, the carpeting has been taken up, some walls removed, and a small kitchen installed. And… they’ve got up and coming vocalist Cardenas for the official opening. She is well versed in jazz, and R&B, and a bit of pop as well. She’ll be joined by Kevin Gastonguay, piano; Andrew Foreman, bass; and Zach Schmidt, drums.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Roots, Blues, Other…

Wednesday, July 8

Mother Banjo @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. noon – 1pm (Free) Ellen Stanley, aka Mother Banjo  has been gaining fans and friends around the country with her unique blend of Americana and “pub gospel.” I’ll be hosting this noontime show that’s perfect for taking a break from work.

Gang of Mischief on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The Gang of Mischief is a loose aggregation of old blues guys and younger adherents. This time around the gang includes, Rena Haus, Doug Otto, Josh Granowski, Papa John Kolstad, Dan Schwalbe, and Hurricane Harold. Stick around for Firefly Forest at 9:30pm – they’re a world/folk group led by Steven Hobart, with a mischievous bent of their own.

Carolyn Wonderland CD Release Party @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) The daughter of a band singer, blues/country/folk singer Wonderland combines the vocal prowess of Janis Joplin with guitar slinging reminiscent of Stevie Ray Vaughn, and other influences such as Doug Sahm, and Angela Strehli, which is only natural, considering she comes Texas. She’s touring behind her latest release, Miss Understood, which includes her own compositions, as well as some by JJ Cale and Rick Derringer.

Thursday, July 9

Jones Family Singers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Five sisters, two brothers, and their father were playing the Gulf Coast gospel music circuit when they ended up at South by Southwest, where their readings of gospel songs (complete with elements of vintage soul and R&B – duh!) caught the attention of fans and promoters alike. Now we get to hear their joyful noise between appearances at the Newport and Winnipeg Folk Festivals.

Friday, July 10

Mingo Fishtrap @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) This five-time winner of Austin Texas Music Awards, Mingo Fishtrap is an eight-piece funk n’ soul band with punchy horns and relentless rhythms.

Raw Oyster Cult w/The Butanes @ Bunker’s Music Bar & Grill, Minneapolis. 9:30pm  ($25) Raw Oyster Cult is a supergroup of New Orleans musicians, with lead vocalists in Radiators guitarist Dave Malone and Papa Grows Funk’s John Gros, who also plays B-3. They are joined by  The Rads’ Camille Baudoin on guitar, drummer Frank Bua Jr, and bassist Dave Pomerleau. They’ll be reimagining some Radiators’ songs and adding originals and some of their favorite older tunes. The Butanes, of course, are the Twin Cities favorite blues band.

Saturday, July 11

For the Love: A Community Celebration @ Union Depot, Bedlam, and Black Dog, Saint Paul. 3pm – 10pm. (Free) This is a celebration of hip-hop music featuring 15 artists (most doing 20 minute sets), including the return of the Kanser crew, celebrating their 20h anniversary, and headlined by Saint Paulite Ashely Dubose from 8:50 to 10pm. It also features 15 deejays at the Bedlam Theater from 2pm to 2am, which will turn into an 18+ nightspot after 10pm. Even youngsters have their own stage, at the Black Dog from 2pm – 7pm, where demonstrations of emceeing, breakdancing, beatboxing, and more will occur. Note that 50% of the performers/hosts are female. To add to the festivities, live graffiti painting will take place during performances and Metro Transit is providing free transit to the show.

Maurice Jacox Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) I’ve written enough about vocalist Jacox for regular readers to know of his versatility in singing blues, R&B, jazz, and acoustic Motown. Tonight he’s joined by Thomas West, piano; John Della Selva, guitar; and Poncho Lopez, percussion at a venue that seems made for his music.

Doug MacLeod w/Jeff Arundel @ The Aster Cafe, MInneapolis. 9pm ($15) Here’s a chance to see a blues artist that rarely makes it to these parts. MacLeod is a perennial Blues Music Award nominee, having won the 2014 Award for Acoustic Artist of the Year and Acoustic Album of the year, and the 2013 Award for Male Artist of the Year. He’s a prolific singer and songwriter, with tunes that are full of smart remarks and keen observation.

Willie Walker CD Release @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) The Twin Cities own Original Soul Man is out with a new album, If Nothing Ever Changes, produced by Rick Estrin, the often-comic singer from the Nite Cats. Willie recorded with Goldwax Records in Memphis, and even released some sides on Chess back in the 60s. The new CD is a slab of solid soul, including a moving reading of a country song, “Not that I Care,” and great versions of a couple of Eddie Hinton songs: “Everybody Meets Mr. Blue” and “Hymn for Lonely Hearts.” Not that this is a retro record; it’s contemporary, yet oh, so soulful.

Sunday, July 12

Bastille Day Block Party @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 3pm – 10pm (Free) PaviElle, Toki Wright & the Big Cats, Gramma’s Boyfriend, The Brass Messengers, Kate Lynch, MC Foxy Tann, street entertainers, and much, much more.

Monday, July 13

Jon Cleary @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Cleary is a New Orleans-based Englishman who, according to his website, has been studying, as he put it, “the musical culture and life of New Orleans” for over twenty years,. He’s a terrific, accomplished pianist, a soulful vocalist, and a multi-instrumentalist who has added his touch to music by Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal, BB King, India Arie, and most recently John Scofield, on the album Piety Street. A must-see gig for fans of New Orleans music.

Tuesday, July 14

Bruce Henry Band @ The Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) Henry and his band will be doing Motown and more on the outside terrace. There will be prizes at intermission for the most fashionable hat, based on the Center’s current exhibit, 50 Years of Ebony Fashion Fair. Dance lessons at 6:30. Pack a picnic or buy from vendors on site.

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. Dancers might want to check out the calendar for U Wanna Dance.


Festival Season Takes Hold: 6.17 – 6.23

June 17, 2015
Maybe you'll see a car like this around the Twin Cities this weekend

Maybe you’ll see a car like this around town this weekend

It’s Fathers Day weekend, with the Stone Arch Festival taking place on and Saturday and Sunday, including a car show and four stages of music each day. And it’s the Annual Back To The 50s Car Show at the State Fairgrounds.  Though the Twin Cities Jazz Festival takes place next weekend, we’re already seeing some pre-festival events around Saint Paul. All in all, it’s a good week for music, and music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 17

The trio at work/play

The trio at work/play

Chris Bates good Vibes Trio @ Hamline Library, 1558 Minnehaha Ave, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 8:30pm (Free) The Twin Cities Jazz Festival is producing a number of pre-festival warm-up events, including this one, in which you’ll get to see a highly developed trio of musicians having fun as they play. Besides Bates on bass, there is Dave Hagedorn on vibes and Phil Hey on drums.

Pete Whitman Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Saxman Whitman is a veteran of numerous sideman gigs with artists ranging from Frank Sinatra and Rosemary Clooney to Dave Stryker and Jack McDuff. He’s also led a few excellent groups such as the X-Tet. He’ll be joined tonight by Chris Lomheim, piano; Gary Raynor, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger, drums.

Thursday, June 18

Minnesota Jazz Orchestra @ Rock Island Swing Bridge, Inver Grove Heights. 6pm – 9pm (Free) You can catch this band once a month at the Wabasha Caves, but tonight they’re playing a swing dance for a swing bridge, as the Rock Island Swing Bridge is being dedicated as part of a trail.

Bob Fantuzzo & Katia Cardenas @ The Kingfield Porchfest, 4515 1st Ave So. Minneapolis. 6pm (Free) Both amateur and professional musicians who live in the Kingfield neighborhood will be featured on the porches of over 20 homes, allowing residents and visitors to roam the neighborhood and hear music. Most of the other artists come from genres other than jazz.

Ottmar Liebert & Luna Negra @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $45), 9pm ($32 – $37) Liebert is credited with creating the Nouveau Flamenco style of guitar, incorporating traditional flamenco music into a modern context, creating a smooth, sensual sound in the process. Since his debut release in 1989 he’s released 25 albums, received five Grammy nominations, and reached 38 gold or platinum levels of sales here in the United States, not to mention sales around the world.

Friday, June 19

Bill Frisell Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($30) There are few, if any, electric guitarists who are as eclectic and successful in their recording and playing as Frisell  He’s worked in mainstream and experimental jazz, as well as folk, classical, Brazilian, soundtrack, and pop realmsd. Whether doing covers of John Lennon tunes, playing with Dave Holland and Elvin Jones, or recording old country tunes, Frisell brings imagination and an instantly recognizable sound to the fore. His latest CD, Guitar in the Space Age, celebrates the twangy, reverberating sounds of songs from the late 50s and early 60s. Tonight he’ll be playing with a different group than in previous visits: Tony Scher, bass; and Rudy Royston, drums.

Jon Pemberton Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pemberton is a triple threat: composer, pianist, and trumpet player. And, he’s excellent in all three roles. He’ll be joined by two other excellent musicians: Matt Peterson on bass, and Corey Healey on drums. Here he is at the piano with a different trio.

Dakota Combo and Dean Granros’ Tall Tales @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) Eight very talented high school musicians who have been studying with Adam Linz, in one of their last performances for the year. (They’ll also be at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival and the Iowa City Jazz Festival.) If you ever hear anyone say jazz is dead, point them to the excitement that these young players generate. Stick around at 9pm for some veterans: Dean Granros and Zacc Harris, guitars; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums.

Steve Hobert & Steve Pikal @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s two Steve’s swingin’ as Hobert (keys) and Pikal (bass) take to the stage. The two have worked together in the Zack Lozier Three, and go together as easily as red beans and rice.

Saturday, June 20

Adam Meckler Quintet @ Episcopal Homes, 1850 University Ave W, Saint Paul. 1:30pm – 3:30pm (Free) Here’s a pre-festival event featuring trumpeter Meckle  and his group performing Meckler originals. He’s joined by Graydon Peterson, bass; Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Greg Schutte, drums.

Doug Haining’s Twin Cities 7 @ Episcopal Homes, 1850 University Ave W, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (Free) The fun continues at Episcopal Homes as saxophonist Doug Haining brings his swinging septet to the stage. I’m sure that residents of the Homes willing be happily tapping their feet, and if they aren’t actually dancing, they’ll be dancing in their heads.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (tip Jar) Featuring John Penny & Jay Epstein (7pm) and the Phil Hey Quartet at 9pm.  Tonight, the weekly jazz performance starts out with the bound to be satisfying duo of Penny on guitar and Epstein on drums. Then Phil Hey and his quartet take the stage to perform flawless interpretations of jazz standards by the likes of Chick Corea and Ornette Coleman. Besides Hey on drums the quartet includes Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Tom Lewis, bass; and Phil Aaron on piano. They’ve been working together many, many years, and it shows.

Sunday, June 21

Francisco Mela Trio @ The Downtown Central Library, Saint Paul. 2pm – 4pm (Free) Mela is the relatively young drummer/percussionist who is serving as the Musical Director for the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. He’s toured and/or recorded with the like of Joe Lovano, Kenny Barron, and McCoy Tyner. Mela’s debut CD was called one of the best albums of the year in 2006 by All About Jazz, and was picked as the best debut by the Village Voice.

Monday, June 22

Sarah M Greer & BLU-7 @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No cover) Greer is a versatile vocalist who is particularly adept at improvisational singing. She leads a regular vocal workshop in spontaneous singing called Songtaneous, and has appeared in a variety of venues around town.

Kurt Elling @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($30) Elling is one of the finest jazz vocalists around, specializing in vocalese as well as scat singing, and bringing new interpretations to a song, whether it’s from Sam Cooke or Charlie Parker. His rich emotive voice has earned him a number of accolades, including the Downbeat Critics Poll 14 years in a row.

Geoff Senn @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Trumpeter Senn can be seen around town in a number of bands around town, including the Explosion Big Band, as well as with Steve Kenny. Tonight he stretches out.

Tuesday, June 23

Lila Ammons @ Highland Stage, 730 Cleveland Ave S, Saint Paul. 7-8:30pm (Free) Another Pre-Festival event, this time in Highland area of Saint Paul, and featuring songstress Ammons, who is equally at home with jazz and blues.

Tuesday, Wednesday, June 22, 23

Cecile McLorin Salvant @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.7pm ($35, $40), 9pm ($25, $30) Vocalist Salvant’s career is rising fast. She seems to specialize in unique reinterpretations of long forgotten early jazz tunes. She’s earned high praise from Wynton Marsalis and the NY Times, and has appeared at numerous festivals around the world. Her last appearance at the Dakota was packed with cheering fans.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, June 17

Mother Banjo Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) It seems that Gospel music is coming into its own in a couple of genre bending bands. There are a couple of “garage gospel” groups, and then there is Ellen Stanley, aka Mother Banjo  who plays “pub gospel” on her third CD, The Devil Hasn’t Won. She’s won praise for her songwriting from artists such as John Gorka and Josh Ritter.

The Blasters @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($22) Phil Alvin is leading this version of the Blasters without his brother Dave, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be a high energy evening of rock n’ roll and rockabilly. There will be a packed house, I’m sure, that will be warmed up by Javier and the Innocent Sons.

Thursday, June 18

Reggae Sunsplash w/The Meditations @ The University Club of Saint Paul, Summit & Ramsey Hill. 5:30pm – 10pm. ($25 door) So we’ve got the Meditations as well as Irie Sol featuring Junior Williams, and a Reggae DJ and Jamaican Buffet ($10), all taking place poolside at the University Club on top of Ramsey Hill in Saint Paul. Advance tickets are available, including a VIP ticket ($55) with a drink and meet and greet. In case of rain, the concert will be held in downtown Saint Paul at the St. Paul Athletic Club.

Hmm, what should I play?

Hmm, what should I play?

Jillian Rae, with Pasadena 68 @ Mears Park, Saint Paul. 6pm (Free) The weekly Music In Mears series is now in its 12th year of presenting bands on Thursday nights. All I know about Pasadena 68 is that it’s a rock n’ roll quartet. I can tell you about Jillian Rae  however, a talented fiddler/vocalist, who isn’t afraid of mixing up pop, rock, and old time music. She’s also a talented writer of original songs. There will be a number of food trucks available, as well as some adult beverages.

Birdstriking @ The Kitty Cat Klub, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) This quartet from Beijing China is one of three bands on the bill. They are high energy, fierce rockers, with smart writing and arrangements, and hints of punk and psychedelia in their approach The other two bands for the night are Flavor Crystals and Magic Castles. From the Kitty Kat’s website, it appears that Birdstriking is the middle group, but one can never tell.

Saun and Starr @ The Bedlam Theater, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Saun and Starr have served as back-up singers to Sharon Jones and are now touring with Sharon and taking side gigs to promote their own new album on Daptone Records. Like Jones, they bring a contemporary perspective to their influence – medium tempo 60s soul. The evening also features Twin Cities own Gospel Machine and Tarik Thornton on the turntables.

Friday, June 19

Sweet Tea @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 6:30pm – 10pm ($?) This quintet has been growing its fan base like crazy, as well they should. Lead vocalist Joy Ann has a strong voice, and is backed by an equally strong quartet of deep-rooted veterans led by guitarist Mark Lamoine.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, June 19, 20, 21

Drop the Mic ! @ Cowles Center, Minneapolis. Friday, Saturday, 7:30pm, Sunday, 2pm ($25) A cross-genre blend of dance, with live music, and DJing. The artists of Curio Dance will perform contemporary, traditional, and classical dance to live jazz trumpet, Latin congas, contemporary piano and a breakbeat DJ.

Saturday, June 20

The Tenderness Sessions @ Pepitos Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. Doors at 7pm, music at 8pm.  ($15 advance/$25 door) Soul music, both sweet and sweaty, as first performed by the likes of Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, and Wilson Picket. And who better to perform such music than resident soulmen Mick Sterling, Maurice Jacox, and Willie Walker. If you purchase tickets at the door, $10 of the price will go to saxophonist Pat Mackin, injured in a car accident last December.

Johnson, Babb, & Paul, with Mary Cutrufello @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm. ($?) It’s hard to get rootsier than this group of artists. Cutrufello rocks out at 9pm, with her tear-in-your-beer story songs and rockin’ guitar, preceded by bluesman Baby Grant Johnson, along with Dave Babb (of the Liquor Pigs), and the sly “mayor of the West Bank,” percussionist Tony Paul as 7pm openers.

Rich Lewis Band @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 11:30pm (Tip Jar) Boomers and others who appreciate R&B, New Orleans, and Motown music can catch Lewis and his band at one of the best neighborhood bars in the Twin Cities. Get there early for a seat, and bring an ID if you want adult beverages. They’ve got a great selection of beers from Great Britain, Scotch and Irish whiskey, and British food, including Scotch eggs.

Sunday, June 21

Martha Davis & the Motels @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $40) Here’s a show for Gen Xers and late boomers. The Motels burst on the music scene in 1982 with their LP All Four One, which produced a top ten song in Only The Lonely, and had three other singles reach the charts. The next year they again reached the Top Ten with Suddenly Last SummerMartha Davis has  been touring with various musicians as The Motels since the late 90s. Judging by recent videos, Davis’ voice remains strong, with a rueful tone which goes well with her songs.

Tuesday, June 23

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue @ Cabooze Plaza, Minneapolis. Doors 5:30/show 6:30pm ($35) Perhaps one of the most exciting young R&B musicians you may see in a long time, Trombone Shorty is a dynamic performer who knows how to work a crowd. He got his name as leader of a band at age six! He also plays trumpet and can acknowledge New Orleans jazz history and play contemporary funk and R&B at the same time, which has led to him having the closing show at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Today’s show also features Willie Murphy & the Angel-Headed Hypsters, and the Jack Brass Band.

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. Dancers might want to check out the calendar for U Wanna Dance.


Friends, Families, and Celebrations. Music: 4.3 – 4.9

April 3, 2013
I often play vinyl on Rhythms and Grooves. Photo by Tom Trow

I often play vinyl on Rhythms and Grooves. Photo by Tom Trow

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know that a couple of times a year I ask that you support KFAI Radio, where I broadcast my jazz show, Rhythm and Grooves, each Saturday morning from 10:30-Noon. Once again I will only have one chance to gather support for my show and ask that you phone in (this Saturday, April 6) at 612-375-9030 during those hours and pledge. You can also go online at: www.kfai.org and pledge.

Enough of the commercial. This week’s shows include a couple of celebrations of contemporary music that stretches boundaries, as well as some rootsy genre-bending and some 21st Century examples of jazz, blues, and folk. Maybe you’ll be inspired to stretch your own musical boundaries. Have a good week.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 3

Madeline Peyroux @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($65), 9pm ($50) Peyroux’s latest album, “Blue Room” is an homage to Ray Charles and his “Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music.” Blue Room debuted at number one on ITunes and Amazon and has already received a number of accolades, and now is at the top of all jazz charts. Peyroux sheds new light on some of Charles’ reinventions, and adds a few new twists of her own to others. Tonight she has a string quartet with her to add just the right amount of sweetening. Here’s a video of her doing a Buddy Holly song from the new album.

Lila's Grandfather, the one and only Albert Ammons

Lila’s Grandfather, the one and only Albert Ammons

A Tribute to Albert Ammons: Butch Thompson, Lila Ammons, & Axel Zwingenberger @ Schmitt Music, 2906 W. 66th, Edina. 7pm – 8:30pm. ($10) Here’s a special show which advance reservations are needed. Lila Ammons is the granddaughter of the late boogie-woogie pianist Albert Ammons. Classically trained as an opera singer, she has nevertheless chosen to pursue jazz and blues, touring Europe extensively with renowned German pianist Axel Zwingenberger, who has over 30 albums to his credit. The inclusion of Butch Thompson to the evening provides some icing on the cake.  Call 612-238-9941 for reservations.

Evan Montgomery Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm. (Donation) Jazz Central expands its role as a place for musicians to hang and try out new material. Tonight, Guitarist Evan Montgomery is joined by second guitarist Park Evans; Matt Peterson, bass; Cory Grossman, cello; and Jay Epstein, drums. Sounds like a night of inventive music, played by imaginative musicians.

Thursday, April 4

Triosé +1 Live Recording @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Guitarist Vinnie Rose leads Triosé, which includes Jeremy Boettcher on bass and Adrian Suarez on drums. Tonight, they’re adding up and coming trumpeter John Raymond, back home for a visit from Brooklyn.

Friday, April 5

Two Trumpets, Two Vocals @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 11:30pm (Donation) Adam Meckler and Jana Nyberg are one trumpet and vocal. Benje Daneman and Ashley Gonzalez comprise the second set. Adam and Benje met in 1999 and have kept in touch though taking differing, but similar paths, marrying jazz vocalists, and ending up in The Twin Cites and NYC, respectively. These “jazz families” will each perform a set and then join together at the end of the evening. They’ll be backed by Brian Courage, bass; Evan Montgomery, guitar; and Zach Schmidt, drums.

Friday, Saturday, April 5,6

DownloadedFileBilly Holloman & Friends @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10? – $15?) Billy Holloman’s B-3 playing anchored the AQ’s Tuesday Night Organ Night for ten years, building a huge following here in the Twin Cities. Many of the Cities’ finest musicians would often sit in, and I expect you may see more than a few turn up for this gig. The place will be packed, so be forewarned and get there early if you want a seat.

Saturday, April 6

Vicky Mountain & Her Swingers @ Social Dance Studio, 3742 23rd Ave S, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 12:30am ($10/$8) Free dance lessons at 7:30. Music starts at 8:30. Vicky swings tunes from Ella to Van Morrison, with Chris Lomheim, piano; Doug Haining, sax; Bill Grenke, bass; and Bruce Wintervold, drums.

Sunday, April 5

John Zorn @ St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, 519 Oak Grove Street, Minneapolis. 12am  – 1am (Free) Avant Garde composer, musician, and producer John Zorn is celebrating his 60th birthday by capping off a day of three concerts with six bands at the Walker Art Center with a free, solo organ concert across the street.

DownloadedFile-1Steve Davis @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7) Davis is a well-traveled trombonist who has worked as a sideman with Larry Willis, Freddie Hubbard and The New Jazz Composers Octet, Slide Hampton and The Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All­-Star Big Band, The Jimmy Heath Big Band, Cecil Payne, and Horace Silver, among others. He is a member of the One for All Collective withEric Alexander, Jim Rotondi, David Hazeltine, John Webber and Joe Farnsworth, which has released 12 critically acclaimed CDs since the late 90s. First set will be with the James Buckley Trio. Second set with Friends.

Monday, Tuesday, April 8, 9

John Scofield Hollowbody Band w/Mike Stern @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($42) 9pm ($32) In spite of the name, both Scofield and Stern will be playing solid body guitars, but that really doesn’t matter. Both played with Miles Davis, and both have gone on to establish themselves as top-notch players. Scofield is seen as a bit of a guitar god with jam band fans as well as with jazz fans, due in no small part to his ability to seamlessly move between the genres. Stern, for his part, was named Best Jazz Guitarist of the Year in 1993 (Guitar Player Magazine) and was nominated for a Grammy for his 2009 Album, Big Neighborhood. Watch out for drooling guitar players in the audience.

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

Thursday, April 4

Rahsaan Patterson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40) Head bobbing, dance-floor inducing neo-soul and contemporary R&B from a singer who who isn’t as well known as he should be. Here’s a video.

Javier & the Innocent Sons @ Washington Square, White Bear Lake. 8pm – 11pm. (No cover)  East Metro denizens have a chance to check out some high powered, well delivered, rootsy, bluesy, and rockin’ sounds. The Innocent Sons will get an extra boost from Hurricane Harold Tremblay on harp.

Friday, April 5

Fattenin’ Frogs CD Release Party w/Awkward Sorrows @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Yes, it’s free, but the taproom only holds about 70 folks, so unless the weather is warm, and the loading door is open, get there early to get a seat. What you’ll hear are the Frogs performing rock n’ roll, blues, and country music from the first half of the 20th Century, using mostly acoustic instruments. They’re celebrating the release of a CD single, “Coming Home.” The Awkward Sorrows, who open, complement the Frogs, in that they use bluegrass instrumentation to play some classic country, a bit of rock n’ roll, and originals. This is part of Jackson Buck’s Freewheelin’ First Fridays series. Here are the Frogs (with the Lily Pads backup singers)

Gordon Bok @ Bethel Lutheran Church, 4120 17th Ave S, Minneapolis. ($20) Bok grew up in maritime Maine, where sea chanties, as well as classic country and traditional music from various European countries were part of his life’s soundtrack. Since his first album in 1965, he’s recorded a few dozen albums, with those songs, as well as originals that revolve around myths and truths about boat culture, life on sea, and the fisherman who make their living there.

Bethany Larson & the Bees Knees @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) Though Larson has a voice that can do justice to standards, she keeps it in the Emmy Lou Harris/Patsy Cline range when she sings her original songs of heartbreak and determination.

DownloadedFile-2Galactic @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9pm ($27) With Nigel Hall Band. These jazz/funksters from New Orleans can serve up a second line and turn around and jam til the patchouli incense has dropped its last ash.

 

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, April 5, 6, 7

Zeitgeist Early Music Festival @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm, Fri, Sat, 2pm Sun ($10) The members of Zeitgeist examine the impact of the electronic signal on music. They’ll perform minimalist works from Steve Reich, and the electronic/rock group The Silver Apples, as well as works from contemporary music pioneers such as John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen. For more information on each night’s program go here.

Saturday, April 6

Mother Banjo’s 6th Annual John Prine Tribute @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis.  10pm – 1am (Tip jar) Ellen Stanley, aka Mother Banjo, is once again celebrating John Prine’s 1/2 Birthday by bringing together a bevy of artists to sing his songs, including Dana Thompson, Baby Grant Johnson, Brianna Lane, Ben Cook-Felta, Art Vandalay, and of course, the Mother Banjo Band. There’ll be prizes and general hoo-ha galore.

Sunday, April 7

Tim Eriksen and the Trio de Pumpkintown @ Gingko Coffeehouse, Saint Paul. ($15) Love songs of the sea, fiddle tunes, ballads, shape-note and Afro/Celtic gospel! Tim is joined by Peter Irvine on percussion and Zoe Darrow on fiddle.

 

Blues Women International @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 1pm. ($10) This event is raising funds for Blues Women International, an organization that supports and encourages female blues musicians. What a line-up: Bluedog, Dee Miller Band, Annie Mack, Lisa Wenger Band, Liz Cummings, Davina & the Vagabonds & Rena Haus. If you can’t have a good time today, you may want to check your pulse.

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.


Bossas, Blues, Bebop, and More. 10.24 – 10.30

October 24, 2012

Photo by Pat Cameron

It may be a gray day outside as this is being written, but the opportunities for listening to music provide a sunny outlook. I know that figure of speech is a stretch, but work with me here. Halloween celebrations will be in full force this weekend, and I’ll let others give you the lowdown on where to see the most outrageous/sexiest/goriest/funniest costumes. Anyway, ffrom large orchestras to duos; from Desert Blues to elegant bossas, you have many choices when it comes to stimulating your brains with music. Have a good week.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 24

Phil Hey Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Here’s a mid-week pick-me-up for jazz fans; just the thing to get you over “hump day.” Drummer Hey leads a group of highly accomplished musicians, whose long-term relationship allows them to communicate almost telepathically to the twists and turns of songs by Bobby Hutcherson, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, and more. Besides Phil Hey on drums, there is Phil Aaron on piano, Dave Hagedorn on vibes, and Tom Lewis on bass.

Friday, October 26

Lila Ammons Quartet @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No cover) Ammons is a vocalist with a strong pedigree – her uncle was Gene Ammons, and her grandfather was pianist Albert Ammons. Lila Ammons, however studied and performed classical music before turning to jazz. Read an interview I did with her earlier this year here. She’ll be joined by saxman Dean Brewington, among others.

Connie Evingson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12) There’s a reason she’s one of the area’s favorite vocalists. Whether she’s singing standards, the Beatles, Peggy Lee, or the music of Norman Gimbel, Evingson swings. Tonight she’s backed by a terrific group of musicians: Tanner Taylor, piano; Dave Karr; sax & flute; Terry Burns, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums.

Friday, Saturday, October 26,27

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Source Code @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Drummer Gravatt turned down Miles Davis to play with Weather Report. He’s also played with Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, and other illustrious jazz folk. Lucky for us he lives in the area, though that doesn’t mean he’s a ubiquitous presence on our jazz scene. He’s joined by Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Ron Evanuik, bass; and Gene Rush on piano.

Saturday, October 27

Maurice Jacox @ Eat Street Social, Minneapolis. 1:30 – 3:30pm (free) Take a break this afternoon to hear Jacox apply his considerable vocal skills to soul standards and the Great American Songbook. It’s an intimate affair, and if you’re not going to have a cocktail, you may want to try an egg cream. Just ask that they don’t use ice, in order to get the true flavor.

Benny Weinbeck Trio @ D’Amico Kitchen at Chambers Hotel, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 11:30pm (free) Well, it would be good if you ordered a drink or food, which are bound to be well-crafted. Of course the music is well-crafted as well, as Weinbeck, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums; provide music that goes way-beyond the cocktail lounge.

Sunday, October 28

Donald Thomas Birthday Bash & Benefit @ Baystreet Grill and Pub, 731 Randolph, Saint Paul. 3:00pm – 7:00pm ($10 Donation)  The donation includes a free drink and a free taco bar. Lincoln Berry on organ will be leading a trio. Thomas had open heart surgery this summer, so this is the perfect time to celebrate the singer and drummer and help raise some funds to help him through his recovery.

Monday, October 29

Chris Bates Red5 @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($5) It’s the Jazz Implosion at Icehouse, tonight featuring the music of Chris Bates, notably from the group’s CD, New Hope. The group features Zack Lozier, trumpet; Chris Thomson tenor and soprano sax; Brandon Wozniak, tenor and alto sax. Brother JT on drums rounds out the group.

Tuesday, Wednesday, October 30, 31

Maria Schneider Orchestra @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($60 – $40) Nineteen musicians on the Dakota stage, with two Grammys and nine nominations. Whatever I can say about Schneider, who is originally from Windom, would pale in comparison to the raves she has received for her compositions.

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.

Roots, Blues, Other

Wednesday, October 27

Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric Does Brian Eno @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis 7pm – 10pm. (No cover) Wow! Clouser’s electric guitar playing has enthralled audiences from Prague to New York to our own Twin Cities. Tonight he’s interpreting the music of Brian Eno, from ambient scores to the Talking Heads and way beyond. Good food and cocktails as well. Just be sure to ask for a table near the music.

Friday, October 26

Trio Bossa Nova @ 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($10) For those of you in the Western suburbs, the tiny 318 Cafe offers a chance to hear music up close and personal. Guitarist Pavel Jany leads this subset of Ticket to Brasil in a program of sultry bossa novas and originals. You may want to get a reservation.

Mother Banjo @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11pm ($5) Charmingly dark songs, along with some bluegrass gospel, make up the repertoire of Mother Banjo, aka Ellen Stanley of KFAI’s Womenfolk.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, October 26, 27, 28

Barebones Puppet Extravaganza @ Hidden Falls Park, Saint Paul 7pm. (donation) Spectacle. Larger-than-Life Puppets. Stilting, Fire, Song & Dance. The annual extravaganza is equal parts entertaining and thoughtful, including a public naming ceremony, where the audience is invited to honor the memories of those who have passed by saying their names out loud. The Brass Messengers will be playing afterward on Friday and Sunday. A Ukranian band will play on Saturday.

Saturday, October 27

Everett Smithson Band @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm. ($?) Everett & Kathy Smithson and their band play the kind of party music you might hear in Southern Louisiana: a bit of swamp, zydeco, blues, and rockabilly. Backing them up is a team of veteran Twin Citizens: Phil Schmid on guitar, Jeremy Johnson on drums, and Bill Black on upright bass. Early birds may want to take advantage of Wilebski’s free buffet from 5pm – 7pm.

Tinariwen @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($35) Formed in the Southern Sahara Touareg rebel camps about 30 years ago, this Grammy-winning group uses electric guitars to create trance-like, blues-laden sounds to back their poetic lyrics about he lives of Touareg refugees. Tinariwen has earned praise from Elvis Costello and Carlos Santana, among others. Call it Desert Blues or Desert Rock, their hypnotic sounds will draw you in and have you clapping along. Here’s a video of them.

Sunday, October 28

Malone Brothers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Dave Malone (of the Subdudes) and Russell Malone (of the Radiators) are touring together after the Radiators have broken up and while the Subdudes are on hiatus. This is New Orleans rock at it’s best – a mixture of blues, zydeco, and country roots.

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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