The Heart of Winter: 2.1 – 2.7

February 1, 2017
It's Winter Carnival in Saint Paul

It’s Winter Carnival in Saint Paul

Happy February! Well, we seem to have gotten through what is normally the coldest week of the year without any adverse weather events. We now have a week featuring a winter carnival, the crazy (stupid?) Crashed Ice, and some great music. With temperatures above normal for this time of year, its easy to get out and find strength and inspiration in music. After all, music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, February 1

Nellie McKay: The Life and Times of Billy Tipton @ The Dakota, Minnepolis. 7pm ($35, $45, $50) McKay is a vocalist/pianist whose charm, whimsy, and  satirical wit have earned her many fans among jazz, pop, and cabaret audiences. For this appearance she’ll be performing “A Girl Named Bill,” a “revue-with-dialogue” about a fairly successful pianist from the 50s and 60s by the name of Billy Tipton. Tipton was thought to be a man, and wasn’t discovered as a woman until her death. If there is anyone who can make a compelling, yet witty case for this musician, it’s McKay.

Zack Lozier Three @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Talented trumpeter Zack Lozier has spent time in the Doc Severeinson Orchestra; The Jack brass Band, Havana Hi-Fi; Southside Aces, Davina & the Vagabonds and a number of other bands. He’s an in-demand kind of guy, who also has this great trio with Steve Pikal, bass; and Stephen Hobart, piano, the group explores some of Lozier’s favorite songs, including tunes by Louis Armstrong.

SPAT @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) A group of college age musicians that will likely be the next generation of star players in town: Sam Worthington, bs; Patrick Adkins, pno; Andrew Tomten, sax; Tarek Abdelqader, drums

Thursday, February 2

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Tonight features a great trio, Red Planet, a group that knows how to successfully create jazz fusion without bombarding listeners with overbearing drum beats. That’s because drummer Jay Epstein, whose background includes a stint with the rock band Gypsy, is one of the more tasteful drummers around. It certainly helps that his bandmates, Dean Magraw on guitar, and Chris Bates on bass, also have taste and chops galore.

Cox, Nichols, & Seru @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Anthony Cox, bass; Bryan Nichols, keys; and Davu Seru, drums/percussion, have formed a group called Suffer the Children. They are three advanced musicians who can play it straight, or go out there. I suspect that tonight will lean towards going out there, which should prove to be exciting.

Friday, February 3

Davell Crawford’s B3 Organ Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.  7pm ($30, $40) New Orleans native and keyboard player Davell Crawford has become a favorite at the Dakota. He comes from a musical family, essentially absorbing traditional jazz, gospel, funk, and R&B in his veins to the point where he is the new ambassador of the New Orleans piano tradition. Tonight, however, he’s heading for the Hammond B3, which should increase his music’s fun factor by several degrees.  Here he is on piano.

Jana Nyberg Group @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Vocalist/flutist Jana Nyberg has a unique take on music, effortlessly blending and integrating jazz and pop with panache and grace. She also happens to have a great band: husband Adam Meckler on trumpet and flugelhorn, as well as Sean Turner, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Rodney Ruckus on drums.

Friday, Saturday, February 3, 4

Todd Harper & Friends @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($12/night, $20 for both) Pianist Todd Harper used to do an annual series with Carei Thomas and Paul Cantrell called Keys Please each year. This year, he’s doing something a bit different. These two evenings will be devoted to the compositions of Carei Thomas & Todd Harper.  Friday night will feature a quartet of Todd Harper, piano; Eric Coursen, drums; Aaron Kerr, electric cello; and Nathan Hanson, soprano and tenor saxophones. Saturday night will have two components: an exploratory/lyrical trio with Todd Harper, Eric Coursen, and bassist Keith Yanes, and the release of Harper’s solo piano CD, Metaphorsisis. Harper was my guest on this past Saturday’s Rhythm and Grooves. if you want to hear the interview, go to the link and click on the appropriate icon.

Saturday, February 4

Davell Crawford Deep in the Heart of New Orleans @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40) Crawford (see Friday, above) returns to the piano for this evening that will explore the music of the Big Easy.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Holy Shamoley, as cartoon characters sometimes say. Tonight we have The Atlantis Quartet, area leading lights of 21st Century jazz, as the opening act at 7pm. Zacc Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Pete Hennig, drums, will have you alternately rockin’ and swingin’. Then at 8:30, The Ben Allison Trio, with Ben Allison  bass; Steve Cardenas, guitar; and Allison Miller, drums take the stage. Allison has recorded eleven albums as a leader and has been a sideman on recording by folks like Ted Nash, Curtis Stigers, Frank Kimbrough, Lee Konitz and others. Earlier in the day, from 1pm – 2:30pm, the trio will conduct a free clinic on improvisation at the McNally Smith College of Music auditorium for high school and college-aged students and young professional musicians, and will include a live performance by Ben Allison’s Trio, and an interactive clinic with featured demonstration group, the Dakota Combo. Here is Allison with a different trio.

Monday, February 6

Bruce Barth Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($25, $50 w/Dinner Show) Pianist Barth is a favorite of Tony Bennett and in fact, has accompanied him a number of times. Barth arrived in NYC in 1988 and soon joined Stanley Turrentine, with whom he played for over a decade. He toured with Nat Adderley, as well as Vincente Herring, and was a member of Terence Blanchard’s band, where he recorded six CDs and appeared as a piano player in Spike Lee’s film Malcolm X. He’s been recorded on about one hundred albums, including ten as a leader. The California born pianist has had extended collaborations with folks such as Tony Bennett,  Terell Stafford, Karrin Allyson, and David Sanchez. And he has performed with a host of other jazz giants, including James Moody, Phil Woods, Freddie Hubbard, Tom Harrell, Branford Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, and the Mingus Big Band.

Tuesday, February 7

Dean Magraw & Davu Seru @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) The always amazing duo of guitarist Dean Magraw and drummer/percussionist Davu Seru can be counted on to take you to unexpected, yet highly enjoyable music places.

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, February 1

Dan Rumsey on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar)  Dan Rumsey is a guitarist, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist whose singing and playing evoke 70s rock and singer/songwriters. I’ll be hosting the House Party today, so tune in to KFAI and get over to the 331 Club if you like what you hear.

Erica West Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Take a soulful, sensuous singer, add in her guitarist husband to lead the band, and you have a tight unit that creates jazzy R&B and pop.

Thursday, February 2

Home Fires @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6:00pm (No Cover)  Sarah Morris and Vicky Emerson are a couple of accomplished singer/songwriters who were scheduled to appear as the Home Fires last month, though Ms Emerson had to stay home to care for a sick child. The two singers have often appeared on the same bill and have a lot in common: both are excellent songsmiths; both have an affinity for Americana/alt country; and both can deliver heartfelt ballads and romping uptempo tunes with equal verve.

Jake Hanson Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Hanson is an inventive guitarist who makes good use of pedal effects to create surf sounds, Ventures music, blues, 50s rock, and more. He’s a sought after musician who has played with a variety of high-profile Minnesota artists, including Halloween Alaska, Mason Jennings, Solid Gold, Haley Bonar, The Pines and many more. It will be fun to see him playing for the Friday night crowd at Crooners. Here is Hanson in a duo setting.

Danny B. Harvey & His Cats @ The Hook & Ladder Theater and Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:00pm ($7 Advnce/$10 Door) Here’s a night of rockabilly from Danny B. Harvey, best known as the guitarist for the super group HeadCat (a band he formed with Lemmy from Motorhead and Slim Jim Phantom from Stray Cats), he was also a founding member of the the original neo-rockabily band The Rockats. Danny has also produced, recorded and performed with Wanda Jackson, Nancy Sinatra, Johnny Ramone, and Lee Rocker. Joining Danny on vocals is Annie Marie Lewis, niece of pioneering rock n’ roller Jerry Lee Lewis, and the daughter of Linda Gale Lewis, as well as a cousin of Mickey Gilley. They’ll be joined by special guests Noah Levy on drums and Tommy Vee, bass. I understand that Lori Barbero of Babes in Toyland may join them for a few songs. The Bad Companions open.

Jaedyn James & the Hunger @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) This is a somewhat raw, but exciting 10 piece R&B/Soul band, with a leader/vocalist who brings on the energy with no restraint. They promote fun with a passion, and are certain to keep people from staring at their phones during a performance. They will, in fact, delight anyone who is into danceable R&B.

Friday, February 3

Davina & the Vagabonds @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($??) Ms Davina is a force of nature when it comes to singing, while the Vagabonds can match her note for note. With a repertoire that’s inspired by New Orleans, and a backbeat just made for swing dancers, I expect this will be a fun-filled show.

Ben Cook-Feltz and…  Friends? @ Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7) This show will feature guest performances from some of the finest talent the Twin Cities has to offer, who happen also to be some of Ben’s best friends on the scene, including Jillian Rae, Sarah Morris, Mother Banjo, Doug Otto, Kari Arnett and Art Vandalay. Some will be sitting in with Cook-Feltz and the band, others will perform their own songs.

Maurice Jacox @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley, 7:30pm (No Cover) R&B, Soul, Jazz, and standards from the under-recorded Maurice Jacox on vocals and occasional sax, as well as Thomas West, keys; Mike Cramer, guitar; and award winning drummer Robb Stupka.

Saturday, February 4

Saturday Salons @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 3pm ($20) The folks at Crooners are starting a new series for those who enjoy classical music, with the inimitable Marie Jette as host. This matinee series will feature a wide panoply of the world’s chamber music from early Renaissance and Baroque pieces to Mosart, Debussy, and music of the 21st Century. Today, performers will be presenting music from the Love Song Waltzes of Johannes Brahms in solos, duets, and quartets for four singers and two pianists. Today’s musicians are: Maria Jette, soprano; Victoria Vargas, mezzo-soprano; Dan Dressen, tenor; Michael Jorgensen, bass baritone; with pianists Mary Jo Gothmann and Tadeusz Majewski.

Ladysmith Black Mambazo @ The State Theater, Minneapolis. 8pm ($29.50 – $49.50) Can it really be 50 years since South Africa’s Joseph Shabala had a dream about the music he would make with 8 other male singers? The deep sonority of their acapella voices, combined with their storytelling, dancing, and messages of peace, love, and harmony can still strike a chord deep within us. The membership of the group has changed over the years, as a younger generation replaces older singers, yet their message and sound remains the same.

Undervud @ The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis. 7pm ($17 Members, $20 General, 4 or more/$15 per ticket) The wonderfully curated and laid-out Museum of Russian Art continues to bring in liver performers of all stripes. Tonight they’ve got the leaders of a popular Russian rock band called Undervud, formed in the late 90s by two medical students who quit school after a couple of hits and moved to Moscow. They’ve since recorded seven albums. This will be an acoustic performance by the founding members of the band. Opening is Roman Lugovykh, leader of the band Romario, which had a sold out performance at the museum in September.  Here’s Undrvud – the full band.

Mini Blues Fest @ Whiskey Junction, Minneapolis. 8pm ($??) It’s a midwinter blues respite, with an evening devoted to three different blues acts, Featuring harpist Paul Barry with his trio the Ace Tones with vocalist Lila Ammons at 8pm, octogenarian pianist (and father of Jimmy Jam) Cornbread Harris at 9:30pm and finishing up with The Cobras at 11pm, with Washtub James, aka Pat Dawson, bass; Elliot “Mojo: Harris, drums; Brian Duke, guitar & vocals; and Tom Ferring, vocals and harmonica.

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

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The Song Remains the Same: 1.25 – 1.31

January 25, 2017
Music may be the one thing that unites us.

Music may be the one thing that unites us.

Well, the new administration in the White House may be talking about, and making, big changes, but one thing remains the same: the quality of the music here in the Twin Cities area. Whether you’re concerned about the current state of affairs, or looking forward to change, live music will give you some hours of enjoyment and a chance to commune with others who enjoy music as well. After all, music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, January 25

Yohanes Tona @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Ethiopian bassist Yohanes Tona will be celebrating there release of 13 Months of Sunshine as part of the American Composer’s Forum Landmark to Lowertown Series. Ethiopia is the only country that uses the 13-month Coptic Calendar, and the album celebrates the sound and the equatorial climate of that nation. Ethiopian food will be for sale.

Leigh Kamman Interviews w/Mose Allison @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) The Leigh Kamman Legacy Project will present at least four interviews that Kamman had with Allison during the course of their careers. The interviews are taken from tapes of Kamman’s shows that are part of his archives accumulated during 70 years of broadcasting. Selections from Allison’s recordings will be played during the intervals between dialog.

Keston & McKinney @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Here’s an evening of what sounds like adventurous music. Cody McKinney  bass/composition; and Jon Keston, electronics and sound design; present Sound/simulacra: A monthly series they describe as a “fateful and intentionally distorted” representational process. Sound/simulacra will bring together some of the Twin Cities most unique voices to recreate, distort, and create the hyperreal.”

Thursday, January 26

Maryann Sullivan and Corner Jazz @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Vocalist Sullivan is celebrating a birthday, and helping her out are: Phil Aaron, piano; Jim Chenoweth, bass; and Trevor Haining, drums. It will be a swingin’ birthday party.

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Featuring the WISE quartet: Pete Whitman, saxes; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; Jay Young, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. They’re a hard-charging group of some of the best musicians in the area.

Friday, January 27

Peter Kogan’s Monsterful Wonderband @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Drummer Kogan has been having a ball with jazz since retiring as the Tympanist at the Minnesota Orchestra. His two recordings show a musician that’s conversant in bebop, hard bop, post-bop, and mainstream jazz. He’s joined by Pete Whitman, sax; Adam Rossmiller, trumpet; Scott Agster, trombone; Chris Olson, guitar; Phil Aaron, piano; and Gary Raynor, bass. He and the band will also be appearing at the Winter Jazz Fest Sunday afternoon (see below for link) Here’s what they sound like.

Steve Cole Superband @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Saxophonist Steve Cole has been celebrated for his catchy singles, earning him the respect and adulation of smooth jazz fans, though he far exceeds the limitations of that term. He’s worked with artists such as Junior Wells, Buddy guy, Freddie Cole, Cyrus Chestnut, Larry Carlton, and Boz Scaggs, among others. In addition to his touring quartet, Cole will be joined by Patty Peterson on vocals, and Ricky Peterson on organ and keyboards.

Somi @ The Ordway Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($27 – $37) Somi is an American born vocalist whose parents came from Rwanda and Uganda. After spending 18 months in Lagos, Nigeria, she recorded The Lagos Music Salon, a CD that reached #1 on US Jazz Charts. The album includes guest artists Angelique Kidjo, Common, and Ambros Akinmusire, and integrates jazz, pop, R&B, and her own insightful lyrics. She’ll be performing music from the album and previewing new music from an upcoming album about Harlem.

Saturday, January 28

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) This performance is part of the Winter Jazz Fest, and features the Tommy Bentz Quartet opening, with Bentz, guitar; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; Jason McLean bass; and Alex Burgess on drums. at 8:30pm The Ruckus returns to the Twin Cities after a tour, featuring Greg Byers, Cello; Javier Santiago, piano; and Rodney Ruckus, drums.

Bruce Henry @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Former Minneapolitan Bruce Henry now lives in Chicago, which is close enough that he can get up here every few months. He is a master vocalist, with a voice that floats over octaves, whether he’s invoking Nina Simone, Al Jarreau, or Stevie Wonder. His musical imagination has earned him fans throughout the United States and Europe. Backing him will be Jay Young, bass; Daryl Boudreaux, percussion; Dean Magraw, guitar; Sean Turner, keys; and Kevin Washington, drums.

Jesse Simon’s B3Q @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Drummer Jesse Simon has put together a B3 Quartet, hence the moniker. It includes Evan Benidt, tenor; Cole Mahlum, guitar; and Abebi Stafford on the Hammond B3. Their repertoire includes rarely heard hard bop by the likes of Wes Montgomery, Dexter Gordon, and Hank Mobley.

Saturday, Sunday, January 28, 29

Twin Cities Winter Jazz Festival @ Various Venues, Downtown Saint Paul.  5pm Saturday ($25); 1:30pm Sunday ($35) ($50 for both days) This year’s Winter Jazz Fest is headlined by New Orleans trumpeter Nicholas Payton on Sunday night, with performances by Patty Peterson, Jon Weber, Andrew Walesch, John Penny, The Dakota Combo, and more. Saturday’s events start at the tpt Street Stage, where film archivist Bob DeFlores partners with the Leigh Kammen Legacy Project to present rare and historical films, as well as interviews by Leigh Kammen from throughout his career. Later on there will be music at Golden’s, Vieux Carré,  and the Black Dog. Sunday features shows at various performance spaces in the Saint Paul Hotel. For a complete schedule, go here.

Sunday, January 29

Tuck & Patti @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm & 8pm ($30, $35) This vocal/guitar duo has been creating magical musical moments for about four decades. The extraordinary voice of Patti and the virtuosic guitar playing of Tuck crosses genres, and creates breath-holding, spell-binding moments using complex guitar work within minimalist arrangements.

Monday, January 30

Matty Harris Double Septet CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Harris is a multi-instrumentalist (mostly reeds) and composer who grew up in Edina and went to school in Southern California, where he assembled a group of 13 other musicians to record his compositions. Tonight, I am assuming he’s recruited Twin Cities musicians to perform in this CD release party (Vinyl also available). He describes his music as “somewhat avant-garde jazz-rock fusion,” or “psychedelic chamber jazz.” You can hear examples of his work here.

Tuesday, January 31, Wednesday, February 1

Nellie McKay: The Life and Times of Billy Tipton @ The Dakota, Minnepolis. 7pm ($35, $45, $50) McKay is a vocalist/pianist whose charm, whimsy, and  satirical wit have earned her many fans among jazz, pop, and cabaret audiences. For this appearance she’ll be performing “A Girl Named Bill,” a “revue-with-dialogue” about a fairly successful saxophonist from the 50s and 60s by the name of Billy Tipton, who wasn’t discovered to be a woman until his death. If there is anyone who can make a compelling, yet witty case for this musician, it’s McKay. Here’s an example of her satire.

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, January 25

LukeWarm and the Cool Hands on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Pickin’ and Grinnin’ from a six-piece string band that’s been entertaining folks with bluegrass/folksy/jugband sounds since 2009.

Dieselfitters @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm Rootsy rock, rockabilly, vintage country, and rhythm and blues, fired up by Clay Williams dazzling guitar work, and built on the sold foundation of Dan Peterson’s bass; and Mike Sandell on drums.

Thursday, January 26

FireFall @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $45), 9pm ($30, $40) With a musical history that spans four decades, FireFall has had three gold albums, two Platinum albums, and eleven chart-topping singles, bringing mellow rock and country rock to fans around the world.

Rockin’ Pinecones @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5) This quintet plays the highly infectious music of Southern Louisiana, from R&B to Cajun & Zydeco, delivered by Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton, accordion; Dick Danaher, sax & rub board; Dehl Gallagher, drums; Rusty Jones, bass; and Tim Mauseth, guitars; for dancers of varying stripes.

Friday, January 27

Jayanthi Kyle @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) Here’s a real treat. Kyle is a terrific gospel and soul singer who has been heard around town in a number of bands, including Black Audience, and Gospel Machine, while also singing backup for Romantica and Ben Kyle. She and guitarist We Burdine composed a song entitled “Hand in Hand” for the Million Artist Movement that has since become the unofficial anthem of the Minneapolis Black Lives Matter movement.

The Dead of Winter @ The Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($98 Advance/$10 Door) Deadheads Unite! It’s an evening of psychedelic and Grateful Dead music, featuring the Jef Cierniak Triptet. Cierniak spent 8 months working with Grateful Dead keyboard player Vince Welnick and also played on two tours with Melvin Seals and JGB (The Jerry Garcia Band). The show also features The Jones Gang  a GD Tribute band since 1996; and LazyLightning420  featuring Erik Berry of Trampled By Turtles, and March Gartman of Two Many Banjos and Glitteratti. They often perform entire Grateful Dead concerts.

Saturday, January 28

Malamanya and Siama Matuzungidi @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) Here’s an evening of music that is anything but Minnesotan, though it is made by Minnesotans. Siama Mtuzungidi is a Congolese guitarist now living in the Twin Cities, who played on many Souskous hits in Africa. Malamanya features the highly danceable vintage sound of Cuban and Latin rhythms and melodies, delivered with verve and élan.

Charles Lawson w/John Beach & Mary Leinfelder @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Lawson continues his monthly residency at the comfortable, Irish pub. Tonight, he and his band will have a couple of special guests: Twin Cities legend, pianist John Beach; and vocalist Mary Leinfelder, a strong performer who is happy just sitting in with area bands from time to time.

Samba Social Club @ Squirrel Haus Arts, 3450 Snelling Avenue, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10-pm ($5) Dance lesson, prizes, and the twelve-piece Samba Meu band playing Brazilian roots music. Squirrel Haus Arts isn’t a bar, so it’s BYOB (alcoholic or not). You can chill out or dance.

Inside straight Blues Band @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7, includes a free drink) Inside Straight has been around for decades, bringing the blues to the metro area and occasionally beyond. Members include: Kurt Koehler on Guitar; Bill Swanson on Keys;’ Mark Zmuda on Bass; and Greg Mans on Drums. Tonight they’ll be joined by the Big Horns: Steve Clarke and Rand Evenson.

Monday, January 30

Tom Hunter @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Pianist Tom Hunter’s background includes recording and touring with Bernard Allison, as well as touring with Mary Cutrufello in support of an Allman Brothers Tour. A hard working musician, Hunter plays about 300 gigs a year, including a weekly church gig at United Methodist Church in Minnetonka. He’s versatile enough to play jazz or Billy Joel, but his forte is the blues. Hunter will be taking off on a weeklong tour of Alaska tomorrow, so stop by and wish him well.

Tuesday, January 31

Beijing Bamboo Orchestra @ Sundlin Hall, 1531 Hewitt Avenue, Saint Paul. 7pm – 8:30pm (Free, Reservations required) Here’s a very unique concert, being held in the music hall of Hamline University. Over twenty musicians will perform Chinese and western classical music on newly invented strings, winds, and percussion instruments all made of bamboo. For reservations: yyou@hamline.edu or call 651-523-2459. Here’s a video – it takes about a minute to get to the 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.


A Harvest of Music: 9.17 – 9.23

September 17, 2014

It’s a busy week ahead, with jazz, blues, and roots for most every taste. Thanks to the Arts Midwest conference that’s in town, there’s an unusual number of visiting artists for us to choose among. And for those of you who love world music, not to mention R&B, jazz, Cajun,  folk, and more, please note that KFAI is having its Fall Pledge Drive. Unknown-2You may have read how they are facing a financial squeeze and that this is an especially important pledge drive. I ask you to help us raise $70,000 (or more) from 1000 donors. I’d really appreciate it if you would make a pledge (ph: 612-375-9030, web: kfai.org) for my show Rhythm and Grooves on Saturday, September 20, from 10:30am – Noon. Thank you.

Remember, music is good for your body and soul.

Jazz

Wednesday, September 17

Kevin Gastonguay, Jana Nyberg Group, & Mississippi @ Calhoun Square, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Three bands whose members collectively cross a number of generations. All are talented, and well worth the time of any jazz-loving music fan.

Graydon Peterson Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Peterson leads this group through originals: Adam Meckler, trumpet; VincentRose, guitar; Adrian Suarez, drums. Here’s a video that starts out charming and quickly becomes exciting.

Thursday, September 18

Katia Cardenas @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Cardenas was raised in a musical family. Both her mom and dad perfumed with many of the major funk and soul bands of the 70s and 80s, so she’s been surrounded by music all her life. Though she’s been a vocalist in theater, cabaret, and more, Cardenas is now returning to jazz. Check her out.

Pippi's Facebook Photo

Pippi’s Facebook Photo

Pippi Ardennia @ The Bedlam Theater, Saint Paul. 7pm – 8:30pm ($5) Pippi is stepping out from her concert series, and here’s a great place to hear her with a crack band: Brian Neilsen, keys; Billy Peterson, bass; and Glen Swanson, drums.

The Drexel Project @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm.  A collaboration between Chicago and Twin Cities musicians, which had its genesis when Bryan Nichols was studying and playing in Chi-town. Kurt Schweitz, bass; Bryan Nichols, keys;  Brandon Wozniak, sax;  Andre Beasley, drums; Andre Trim, guitar; Candace Washburn, vocals.

Friday, September 19

Monk in Motion @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) After last week’s two-guitar Friday night, Zacc Harris is back with another guitarist: Park Evans. They’ll be joined by Brandon Wozniak and Scott Fultz on saxophones; as well as Matt Peterson on bass and Cory Healy on drums, for a piano-less evening of music by Thelonious Monk.

Connie Evingson Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Connie needs no introduction to Twin Cities audiences. She was/is a member of Moore by Four, and has shown an immense talent for interpreting songs, whether they’re from The Great American Songbook, the Beatles, or Django Rheinhardt. Here she is singing a song that’s long been one of my favorites, albeit with a large combo.

Saturday, September 20

Mary Louise Knutson Trio @ Jazz at St. Barney’s, Plymouth. 7pm ($10) Long before she started regularly touring with Doc Severinson, Knutson was known hereabouts as a pianist with taste and imagination. She’ll be appearing with Geoff Brennan, bass; Greg Schutte, drums. Knutson

JoAnn Funk @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm (Free) Pianist Joann Funk and bassist Jeff Brueske are back at the lobby bar on Saturdays until November, when they’ll add Fridays to their schedule. Funk plays and sings jazz standards, the Great American Songbook, as well as music from such diverse artists as Dan Penn, Blossom Dearie, and Nat King Cole. Sophisticated fare, well suited to entertaining the hotel’s guests and a number of regulars. Their usual time is 7:30 – 11pm, but tonight’s show is earlier due to a private party taking place in the lobby.

Judi Donaghy Vinar and the Wolverines Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Donaghy Vinar has been singing professionally for a few decades, now, working with folks like Janis Siegel, Rhiannon, Garrison Keillor, YoYo MA, and on more than 30 CDs, including two of her own. She’s also sung with the Wolverines Orchestra, so this gig with the trio should be quite delightful. Just remember to sit in front of the stage, since the Kitchen can get quite noisy. Here she is swingin’ with the big band.

Steve Hobert CD Release @ The Friends Meeting House, 1725 Grand Ave, Minneapolis. 6:30pm – 8:30pm Hobert is the highly expressionistic young pianist who has played with Lulu’s Playground (accordion), the Adam Meckler Orchestra, Zack Lozier, and in numerous other groups around town, including his own. Tonight he’s celebrating the release of Ocean Eyes, a solo piano outing in which he let’s inspiration take him down a number of pleasant avenues.  To give you an idea, here’s a bit of improvisation from him.

Monday, September 22

Larry McDonough Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) McDonough is a pianist whose impressionistic compositions are often soothing and inspiring. Monday nights at Jazz Central are given over to letting musicians experiment, so this should be fun.

Horst, Peterson, Schimke, & Whitman @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) Kenny Horst on drums and Billy Peterson on bass are long time rhythm mates; Peter Schimke on piano; and Pete Whitman on sax more than fill out this band of veterans.

Tuesday, September 23

Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Exciting, rhythmic big band music. This is usually a bit of a rehearsal, so it’s a good way to understand how bands put their music together.

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.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, September 17

At a previous House Party gig

At a previous House Party gig

Rena Haus Trio on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM) and 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Ms Haus comes down to the cities from her farm every once in a while to regale us with songs about farming, mechanics, chickens, big business, and more.

Nellie McKay & The Turtle Island String Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6:30pm ($40, $45), 8:30pm ($30, $35)  McKay is the delightfully quirky jazz/cabaret singer/songwriter  who always surprises with her witty, often insightful songs and highly individual interpretations of other’s songs. The Grammy winning Turtle Island String Quartet was the first chamber music ensemble to go beyond the music of dead white Europeans. Taken together, this promises to be a fun-filled, entertaining evening. Note the early start times. Here’s a video of the collaboration along with some commentary.

Thursday, September 18

Red Baraat  @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($30) A Brooklyn octet that combines Bollywood and North Indian rhythms with jazz, go-go, and funk rhythms to deliver the drive and energy of a New Orleans brass band. Sounds raucous, to say the least. Again, there is an early start time. Here’s an example of their joyous noise.

Lee Fields & the Expressions @ the Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($18) While he was part of the original soul explosion of the late 60s (he first record in ’69) Fields isn’t content with simply rehashing the sound. He and the Expressions take it forward, while retaining its authenticity. Check out the way he brings out the inherent soulfulness of JJ Cale’s Magnolia, below.  Black Diet opens. They are best described as a soul garage band. Think Memphis meets Soma Records.

Augie Meyers at the Real-Phonic Radio Hour @ James J Hill Library, Saint Paul. 8pm ($25)  You first heard Meyers as part of the Sir Douglas Quintet. The somewhat cheesy sound of his Vox Continental keyboard helped propel She’s About a Mover and Mendocino up the charts, was was then echoed in the music of a number of British Invasion groups. He continued to tour and record with Doug Sahm, and  recorded with Bob Dylan and the Grammy Award winning Texas Tornados as well. The Broke-Down Dollys open. Here’s Augie on the squeezebox.

Global Get Down Soiree@ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) Two more groups with an international outlook fill out the evening at the Dakota. Emel Mathlouthi is a singer/composer/guitarist from Tunisia who now lives in France. One of her songs was sung in the streets of Tunis during the Arab Spring. The second group appearing at this late show is the Tsuumi sound System, an eight-piece modern folk band from Finland.

Friday, September 19

Dee Miller Band @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 6pm ($?) Another early evening blues show for people of a certain age, or anyone who likes the blues. In addition to featuring guitarist Jimi Primetime Smith as a regular member of the band, Miller will have special guest singer Shawne Baccari.

Sena Ehrhardt CD Release @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) Ehrhardt is gaining lots of praise from the blues press as a dynamic, incendiary performer, opening concerts for the likes of Rober Cray, Dickey Betts, BB King, and Greg Allman. Her new release is entitled Live My Life, and is produced by David Z, who has worked with a plethora of artists from Prince to Jonny Lang. She’ll be featuring guests Bruce McCabe & Jimi Prime Time Smith

Matuto @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($15) If you can imagine North American folk songs set to the rhythms of Northern Brazil, then you have a good idea of what Matuto sounds like. As part of this presentation, DJ don Cuco of New York will be spinning a variety of Latin and African rhythms. Here’s a video that previews some of their music.

Saturday, September 20

Art & Artists Celebration feat. Cafe Accordion & Pee Wee Dread @ Franconia Sculpture Park, 29836 St. Croix Trail, Franconia. 10am – 9pm ($5 parking) This all day event is an opening reception of sorts for two new sculptures. There’s music, theater, pedal-powered spin art (and other family art), guided tours, and a chance for people to create their own sand molds for an iron pour ($25 for a 6” mold, $40 for an 8” mold).  The day ends with a performance iron pour of the North Star and eight other stars. Besides CAO and Pee Wee, the days music will include the electric hillbilly of Scalded Hounds, and rock from Platypus. For more information, go to: http://www.franconia.org/artandartists.html

The Freewheelin’ House Party @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 2pm – 10pm It’s a Pledge Drive Party for the little station that could, which actually needs your help. Performers include Steve maul & Mikkel Beckmen, Crankshaft, Javier & the Innocent Sons, The Liquor Pigs, Jeff Ray & Hurricane Harold, The Farmhouse Band, and Adam Kiesling of pert Near Snadstone.

Willie Murphie & Band @ The Schooner Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm ($?) Murphy describes the Schooner as REAL, “not a ferny bar full of TVs and loud sonic wallpaper.” This unassuming place filled with regulars and music lovers has just the right atmosphere for Murphy’s music, which often reflect everyday problems and concerns. Rock n’ Roll, R&B, and Blues for everyman, served up with way more skill and soul than might be expected in the Schooner’s modest confines.

Sunday, September 21

Adieu Summer Concert @ Como Lake Pavillion, Saint Paul. 3pm – 6:30pm  ($10) This annual multicultural family event celebrates the end of our short summers by bringing together a number of bands performing music from around the world. Today features sambas, flamenco, Bossa Novas, African drumming and dance, and World Jazz:   A Touch of Spain, The World Jazz Collegium, The Voice of Culture West African Drum and Dance troupe, and host band, Ticket to Brasil. Here is Ticket to Brasil at last year’s concert.

Living Colour @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50, $60) During the 90s, Living Colour was among the first bands to blend genres, fusing rock, punk, funk, and jazz on their way to winning several Grammys, including one for Hard Rock Performance. Y(ou may want to make use of the free ear plugs available at the club’s entrance.) The opening act is Ill Chemistry, area duo of Desdamona and Carnage the Executioner. Between Desdamona’s soulful vocals both rapping and singing, and Carnage’s extraordinary beat box abilities, you can expect a Old School Hip-Hop sound addressing today’s world. Here’s a video with almost 10 millions views.

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 U Wanna Dance Calendar.

 

 

 


Let’s Get Started. Music for 1.2.13 – 1.8.13

January 2, 2013
The "Dancing Congress" of Vienna.

The “Dancing Congress” of Vienna.

Forget the tired old references to resolutions. Simply go out and support live music. It has the power to elevate us, inspire us, bring us together as a community. Come to think of it, maybe Congress needs to have some soul-satisfying concerts that all would attend. Can you imagine them singing along with Garnet Rogers, dancing to Jack Klatt, or bopping to Spiral Visions? (All noted below)  But I digress. There’s plenty of good music in town, and here’s a few ideas.

Jazz

Thursday, January 3

Sue Oatts & Tanner Taylor @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm (Donation) While Sue’s singing seems oh so natural, that’s the beauty of it. Her phrasing, rhythmic sense, and sensitivity takes singing miles beyond what many of us could attempt. Tanner’s piano playing is a wonder, and perfect when it comes to accompanying vocalists.

Dean Harrington and the Mill City Hot Club @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Guitarist Harrington brings the gypsy jazz of Django Reinhardt to the cozy little bar/cafe with a big tea list and skyline views.

Friday, January 4

At the Iowa City Jazz Festival. Photo by Andrea Canter

At the Iowa City Jazz Festival. Photo by Andrea Canter

Koplant No @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($5) This midwest quartet started out in Iowa City with a vision of combing jazz and electronics. Others have tried such an experiment, but to my mind, no one has succeeded quite so well, as those who saw them at last summer’s Twin Cities Jazz Festival can attest. Atmospheric electronics serve as a bed and accents for the improvisations of Joel Vanderhyden, tenor sax; Brian Lewis Smith, trumpet, keys, and drum programming; Drew Morton, bass, synths, and french horn; and Rob Banier, drums. They’ll have a new CD available.

Friday, Saturday, January 4, 5

Spiral Visions @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Dave Milne, sax; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Phil Aaron, piano; Tom Lewis, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. Five outstanding musicians pay homage to the Bobby Hutcherson/Harold Land Quintet of the late 60s. Expect some soulful hard bop.

Saturday, January 5

JelloSlave @ Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) With a repertoire that ranges from JS Bach to Led Zeppelin and Aster Piazolla, and rhythms that incorporate African, Caribbean, and Middle Eastern influences, Michelle Kinney and Jacqueline Ultan, cellos; Gary Waryan, tablas; and Greg Schutte, drums, create compelling improvisational music that defies easy categorization..

Rossum when he lectured a MacPhail - a few hairstyles ago.

Rossum when he lectured a MacPhail – a few hairstyles ago.

The Kelly Rossum/Jeremy Walker Quartet @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11pm ($5) We haven’t heard adventurous trumpeter Rossum for a couple of years. He’s now Jazz Director at Christopher Newport University in Virginia, where he shares his modern approach to the trumpet with students. His past projects here in town included the electric jazz/funk outfit Electropolis, as well as a few terrific CDs. Pianist Walker is gathering many kudos for his compositions and his warm playing. Should be an evening of stellar original jazz.

Sunday, January 6

Fuzzy Math @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 9pm (Free) Swingin’ contemporary material from composer/pianist Mark Vandermyde and Jason Parvey, sax; Keith Friede, bass; and Harald Bondaris on drums. City Pages named them a runner up in 2012 for “Best Jazz Act for People Bored with Jazz.”

Tuesday, January 8

Bill Evans’ New Orleans Jazz Band @ Bennett’s Chop & Railhouse, 1305 West 7th, Saint Paul. 7pm (no cover) On the second Tuesday of every month, trombonist Bill Evans brings six of his musical compadres to Bennett’s to celebrate the polyphonic, syncopated traditional jazz of New Orleans. They’ll be filling the small neighborhood restaurant with a joyous sound. Tonight, KBEM will be recording the group for future broadcast.

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, January 2

White Iron Band Unplugged on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90’s .3 FM & 106.7 FM) and 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This six-piece band that started in Ely uses blues, country, and roots influences to sing about everyday people – though the everyday people are more honky-tonk than Sly Stone, that’s for sure. They’re going acoustic for this date, which starts with an appearance on Harold Tremblay’s House Party on KFAI, and moves over to the 331 Club.

Thursday, January 3

Nikki & the Rue-Mates @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm (No cover) NIkki’s been playing a bit more electric guitar lately, which makes her folk-rock compositions all the more interesting. She and the guys (Rich Rue, Resonator and slide; Jon Larson, bass; Jimmy T, drums) are at the Driftwood the first Thursday of every month. Here’s a video of them sans drummer.

Josh Granowski & Patrick Harrison @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm  (no cover)  Bassist Granowski and button accordionist Harrison create late night music featuring their own arrangements of songs from the movies.

Friday, January 4

Jack Klatt & the Cat Swingers @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free)  Jackson Buck of KFAI moves his popular Freewheelin’ First Friday series to an early evening spot, which is better for folks of a certain age. To kick things off, Jackson has a trio of rootsy players: Tom Feldman will start at 7pm, followed by Dave Babb w/Sneaky Pete Bauer at 8:15 and Jack Klatt and the Cat Swingers at 9:30pm.

Garnet Rogers @ Celtic Junction, Saint Paul. 8pm ($18) Canadian-born Rogers started singing with his older brother Stan during the 70s. Garnet’s deep baritone, together with his ability to write highly descriptive and literate lyrics have made him a favorite among fans of folk music.

Saturday, January 5

Papa John Kolstad & the Hot Club of East Lake Street @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – Midnight (Tip Jar) First: If you want to drink adult beverages in this neighborhood bar, be sure to bring an ID, no matter what your age. Second: You have a large selection of Scotch, Irish Whiskey, and beer to choose from, as well as some classic British Pub Food. And Last, but certainly not least: Papa John and the Hot Club will have your feet tapping, your grin showing, and even a few folks dancing as they play acoustic swing that includes standards and gypsy jazz.

Monday, Tuesday, January 7, 8

Nellie McKay @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Read some reviews of singer/pianist/ukelele player McKay and a number of same words pop up all the time: Quirky, idiosyncratic, charming, disarming, and the like. Onstage it seems as if whatever her brilliant mind thinks comes out of her mouth without a filter, whether she’s espousing feminism in her own sly way, or commenting on world affairs. The result is always a winning performance. Here’s a link to a video showcasing two sides of her singing.

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.


Winter Music: Jan 25 – Jan 31

January 25, 2012

Back when it was cold enough for ice sculptures and even an ice castle.

It’s time for the Saint Paul Winter Carnival, featuring parades, pageants, an art show, a cat show, a beer tasting, and more. What more proof do we need that Winter doesn’t keep us from going out, especially when it’s been so mild we don’t even have ice sculptures?

For music lovers, this week holds an embarrassment of riches, From elegant jazz to elegant blues, with some joyful noise for all. We’ve got jazz with African influences, Brazilian music with jazz influences, new compositions, and traditional tunes. Music for dancing, and music for listening. These suggestions are but a few ways you can take part, one way or another.

Jazz

Wednesday, Jan 25

Babatunde Lea, Adam Linz, & Zacc Harris @ Cafe Maude, 54th & Penn, Minneapolis. 7pm. Lea brings a sense of joy to his African percussion, Linz holds down the groove, and Harris supplies some tasty licks. As usual at Cafe Maude, it’s a good idea to get reservations for dinner, and tell them if you want to sit near the band.

Friday, Jan 27

Merciless Ghost @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (tip jar). More adventurous music at the Dog, from Merciless Ghost, a jazz trio dedicated to group improvisation: George Cartwright, sax; Josh Granowski, bass; and Davu Seru, drums.

Friday, Saturday, Jan 27, 28

Bryan Nichols Quintet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) I know I wrote about Nichols‘ performance of the music of Keith Jarrett a couple of weeks ago, but this time they’ll be doing his originals. And what a band. If you want to know the Young Turks of the Twin Cities music scene, these are the guys: MIke Lewis & Brandon Wozniak, saxes, James Buckley, bass, and JT Bates, drums.

Saturday, Jan 28

Monk in Motian @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm. ($10) Bassist Matt Peterson will have his work cut out for him as he supports three drummers (Pete Hennig, Davu Seru, and JT Bates), two saxes (Scott Fultz, Brandon Wozniak), and two guitars (Zacc Harris, Park Evans). Inspired by drummer Paul Motian, they’re tackling the music of pianist Thelonious Monk, which is adventuresome to start with, and using a piano-less lineup to add their own doses of creativity to the mix. This is part of the Jazz @ Studio Z series. Here’s a video of an earlier version of the band.

Saturday, Sunday, Jan 28, 29

Great Guitars (Joan Griffith, Sam Miltich) w/ guest Connie Evingson @ Bloomington Center for Arts,  Bloomington. 7:30pm Saturday, 2pm Sunday ($18/$16)  Griffith is a master of Brazilian guitar styles.  Miltich is a fast rising star with an affinity for acoustic swing. They’ll be playing sambas, chorros, and other music from Brazil, with Griffith playing the mandolin and Brazilian cavaquinho as well. Throw in some tunes by Django Reinhardt and Cole Porter, an original or two, and Evingson on guest vocals and be prepared for a sublime evening of music

Monday, Jan 30

Moonlight Serenaders and Pippi Ardennia with Irv Williams on Saint Paul Live!, KBEM 88.5FM. 7pm – 8pm. The big band sound of the Serenaders at Wabasha Caves and Irv Williams delightedly playing with Pippi Ardennia at The Landmark Center. Both recorded live this past Summer and Fall.

Phil Aaron @ Jazz Central, 407 Central Av, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm. (Donation) Elegant piano playing from Aaron as the featured player this week while house pianist Tanner Taylor takes a break. The basement recording studio/rehearsal space “by cats, for cats” is always fun. It’s BYOB. You can hear some of Phil’s music here.

Tuesday, Jan 31

Brassin' at the Driftwood

Jack Brass Band @ Driftwood Char Bar, 44th & Nicollet, Minneapolis. 9pm (tip jar) Alway fun, this New Orleans style brass band can strut the traditional stuff, but will throw in songs by Marvin Gaye, Hugh Masakela, the Tempts, and Dizzy Gillespie. The Driftwood is a beer & wine joint, with pretty good bar food.

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

Roots, Blues, Other…

Wed, Jan 25

Nikki & The Rue-Mates @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm (tip jar) I know a number of my readers are big fans of this group, and would want to know of this appearance, which is in a relatively new place for them.  A little bit of psychedelic folk, a little bit of country blues, and a whole lot of terrific playing and singing.

Radio Joe & the JazzBos @ the Eagles Club #34, 25th & 25th, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Guitarist and vocalist Joe Demko (Willie & the Bees, Bruce Henry) leads this quartet in and evening of swing, boogie-woogie, and jump blues for your listening and dancing pleasure. Other members of the band include Bruce Wintervold, vibes, Keith Boyles, bass, and Tony Gusetti, drums. Twirl, jump, and dip to your hearts delight.

Wed, Thursday, Jan 25, 26

Nellie McKay @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35)  The always witty, always literate Ms McKay presents a new show, “I Want to Live” based on the story of Barbara Graham, the third woman to be executed in the gas chamber at San Quentin. Leave it to the irrepressible McKay to weave humor, pathos, and entertainment into such a story.

Friday, Jan 27

Lil’ Ed & Blues Imperials @ Famous Dave’s, Uptown Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) I wouldn’t be surprised if Calhoun Square begins to glow with the heat generated by this slide guitarist, who ably carries on the tradition of his uncle, JB Hutto.

Charlie Parr with The Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport   A two-fer of songwriting excellence that exemplifies the roots explosion here in Minnesota. The Nephews chuggin, folk rock approach contrasts nicely with the stark acoustic blues of Charlie Parr. Plus, you’ve got some pretty good que.

Sunday, Jan 29

Gang of Mischief @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 4pm (tip jar)  It’s the last Sunday of the month, and harpmeister Hurricane Harold is gathering up a group of musical friends for an afternoon of playing. The Gang’s roster changes from time to time, but often includes folks like Papa John Kolstad, Mike Caravale, Dan Schwalbe, Good Time Willy, Steve Kaul… You get the idea.

Monday, Jan 30

Eric Bibb @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) If there is such a thing as elegant acoustic blues, then singer Bibb more than fits the bill. He’s a soulful performer and storyteller, and as a result has been nominated for a Grammy and five Blues Music awards.

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


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