All Kinds of Music: 1.18 – 1.24

January 18, 2017

 

Everybody plays (See Peter & the Wolf listing, below)

Everybody plays (See Peter & the Wolf listing, below)

It’s a good time, and the Twin Cities is a good place, for folks who enjoy live music. In the coming week, we’ve got performances from some outstanding visiting artists and a few nationally known resident artists. Additionally, we have a couple of fundraisers, each featuring a variety of artists, and two chances to hear chamber music: a production of Peter and the Wolf, and a chamber music quartet interpreting A Love Supreme. Music lifts the Spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, January 18

Pete Whitman Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 W/Student ID) Saxophonist Pete Whitman brings another group to the basement club, this time with: Adam Rossmiller, trumpet; Chris Olsen, guitar; Jay Young, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger, drums.

Wednesday, Thursday, January 18, 19

Roy Hargrove With Roberta Gambarini @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $45), 9pm ($25, $35) What great possibilities lie in this show. Hargrove is among the best trumpet players of his generation, and has won two Grammys, one with his Cuban-based bans Crisol; and another with Herbie Hancock and Michael Brecker. He’s recorded over twenty albums, including an album of ballads with strings, and a hip-hop album, in addition to recordings with his quintet. Italian-born and NYC-based Roberta Gambarini is a magnificent vocalist with a supple, multi-octave range. You can read an interview I did with her in 2011 here. Here are the two artists with a big band doing a Latin number.

Thursday, January 19

Nichola Miller & The Wolverines Trio @ Crooner’s Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Ms Miller has been taken up with raising a little boy these past few years, which has cut down on her gigging, so get out and see her while you can. She has pipes galore, an unerring sense of time, clear enunciation, and swings like mad, helped along by the Wolverines Trio. Her style is classic – in fact, listening to her may inspire you to order a classic cocktail like a Martini or Manhattan.

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Peter Vircks is a fine saxophonist, whose improvisational skills add to any group, whether he’s playing for The Rhythmic Circus dance troupe or as a sideman. Tonight he’ll be joined by Brian Ziemniak, keys; Ron Evaniuk, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums.

Feathermucker @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) The weekly series at Khyber Pass always features adventurous music to go with its small plates and drinks. Tonight’s group will be performing The Dream Project, with music by Ted Moore  and text by Timothy Otte, featuring Alyssa Anderson, voice; Joe Spoelstra, guitars; and Ted Moore on electronics.

Friday, January 20

Adam Meckler & Cory Grossman @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Trumpeter Adam Meckler and Cellist Cory Grossman have shown how the sonically different instruments can work together in Lulu’s Playground and other groups. Tonight, they explore the possibilities of the instruments with an evening of duets.

Saturday, Jantuary 21

Bryan Nichols: The Art of Solo Piano @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 6pm workshop ($10), 7pm concert ($15) Nichols is a pianist, composer, and educator often found playing jazz and improvised music, but at home in a variety of musical worlds. He leads and composes for his own trio, quintet, and nonet in addition to performing, recording, and touring with forward-thinking artists like Nicole Mitchell, Ron Miles, and Olga Bell, and groups like the Gang Font, Dead Man Winter, and Halloween, Alaska. Tonight, however, he’ll be playing solo, with songs from his release of last May, Looking North, as well as some other originals.

 

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Things start off at 7pm with the JazzINK Youth Showcase, which features  the Simon Petrick Group, a quartet of young musicians ranging from HS seniors to college juniors: Petrick, drums; Adam Astrup, guitar; Sam Worthington, bass; Levi Schwartzberg, Vibes. Headlining at 8:30pm is Chris Bates’ Red 5, a group that doesn’t play out much, since all of its members are busy in other groups as well. With Chris Bates  bass; JT Bates, drums; Thomas Nordlund, guitar; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Brandon Woznicak, tenor; JC Sanford, trombone.

Benny Weinbeck Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) Benny Weinbeck  piano; Gordon Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums, are consummate veterans who produce piano jazz of the highest order.

Sunday, January 22

Parisota Hot Club @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Guitarist Robb Henry started the Parisota Hot Club as a quartet back in 2002. Since then, he’s developed a collective of musicians that he can call upon, depending on the needs of the venue. Tonight he brings a trio, with a violin (likely Gary Schulte) and bass to the Aster.

Monday, January 23

Turtle Island String Quartet Plays A Love Supreme @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $45) 9pm ($25, $35) This classical chamber quartet  as won multiple Grammys for Best Classical Crossover Album. They are able to take the esthetic of classic chamber music and apply it to contemporary styles, breaking tradition, and finding new audiences. Tonight they tackle John Coltrane’s iconic music on meditation and spirituality: A Love Supreme. Here they are doing another song that’s often associated with Coltrane.

Brian Handeland @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID)  Brian Handeland doubles on sax and woodwinds. He’s attended UW-Eau Claire, and went to grad school at the well known University of North Texas. Between both schools, he played in a number of DownBeat award winning ensembles. He was part of a 7-month tour with Flashdance, the musical, and performs around town with a number of jazz, rock, and ska groups.

Tuesday, January 24

Sean Turner Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) The folks at Crooners are taking an unusual step to ensure that people have a chance to discover the music of pianist Sean Turner by having no cover charge for the quiet listening experience of the Dunsmore Room. Turner heads the Keyboard Department at McNally Smith and composes music for films and commercials. He studied with famed pianist JoAnn Brackeen, thanks to a Study Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, and currently plays around town in various groups. Tonight, he heads a trio with the always reliable veterans Gary Raynor on bass; and Jay Epstein on drums.

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 18

Munson & Beckmen Go To IBC on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Bluesman and slide guitarist Mike Munson teamed up with percussionist about town Mikkel Beckmen to win the contest to represent Minnesota in the solo/duo category at the International Blues Challenge. Now they have to raise money to get there, and this is one of a number of events toward that end. Tune in to Harold’s House party about 5pm and then head over to the 331 Club to hear and support this winning duo.

Thursday, January 19

Celebrating 20 Years of the Dakota Dave Hull Show @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6:30 – 11pm ($15 Suggested Donation) Dakota Dave Hull  has been doing his ultra rootsy show on KFAI for 20 years, and is handing in his headphones and going out in style by bringing along some friends to celebrate and raise funds for KFAI. Dale Connelly will host the event, which features special guests Lonnie Knight, Jack Klatt, Patty Harison, Adam Kiesling, Jay Peterson, Papa John Kolstad & Bill Smith and more! There’ll be a “meet and greet” at 6:30 and the music will get going about 7:30. Suggested donation of at least $15, though nobody will be turned away, with all proceeds going to KFAI Fresh Air Community Radio. Tune in to KFAI from 10am to Noon for the last show, and show up for an evening of great folk/Americana. Here’s Dave on A Prairie Home Companion.

Twilight Hours @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) The Twilight Hours are the brainchild of John Munson, bass & vocals; and Matt Wilson, guitar, drums, & vocals, who played together in Trip Shakespeare some twenty odd years ago and have played together off and on since then. Twilight Hours is a rock band, but one they describe as “thoughtful, sometimes introspective, sometimes full of rejoicing.” Sounds a bit like folk-rock to me. I don’t know who else they’ve rounded up for this gig, but Steve Roehm, Munsons band-mate in The New Standards, has been known to take part in their musical proceedings.

Friday, January 20

Tribute Night @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) It’s another night of dancing at the Eagles Club with three bands doing three different types of music: The Saddle Sores, with Clay Williams on guitar, will be doing Country Duets; Hornucopia will be digging into the past to perform the songs of rock-era horn bands; and Looking Bacharach, a group described as “doing songs by Burt what’s-his-name.”

ACLU Benefit @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 6pm ($20, $10 Student/Hardship) Here’s a benefit for the American Civil Liberties Union, which is featuring a host of terrific players each doing a 20-30 minute set:  Dakota Dave Hull, The Beavers, Greg Herriges, Matt Sowell, Siama Matuzungidi, Leslie Rich, Charley Dush. 100% of the cover goes to ACLU.

Boom Boom Stevie V & The Knockouts @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Steve Vonderhaar is a knockout harpist with an appropriately named blues band. Back in 2012, he and guitarist Kit Kildahl represented Minnesota in the International Blues Challenge.

Nicolas David & Vic Volare @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($30, $40)  Before he began his storied run to become a finalist on The Voice in 2012, Nicolas David gained fans around town as Nick the Feelin’. Of course, he had already released five well-recieved albums and received national airplay for his alternative soul music before his appearance on the show. His dynamic vocals and insightful songwriting have only improved since then, and tonight, he’s teaming up with crooner and retro swingster Vic Volare for a unique evening of music.

Saturday, January 21

Peter and The Wolf @ MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 10AM, 11AM (Free) This is part of MacPhail’s Free Family Music Series, and is a chamber music version of “Peter and the Wolf,” the symphonic tale for children by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev. It’s a one-movement narrated story with each character being represented by a different instrument of the orchestra. This arrangement is based on the original one-piano arrangement made by the composer. Performers all come from MacPhail’s faculty, and include: Daniel Abdon, Narrator; Stella Anderson, Violin (Peter); Julie Johnson, Flute (The Bird); Carrie Vecchione, Oboe (The Duck); Greg Kajiwara, Clarinet (The Cat); Thea Groth, Bassoon (Grandpa); and Pinar Başgöze and Susana Pinto Piano Duo (The Wolf, Hunters

New Riverside Rambler Trio @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. Noon- 2pm (No Cover)  Cajun music for brunch, performed by a trio from one of the busier Cajun bands in town.

 

Jeff Ray & the Stakes and Paul Mayasich’s RAMM Band @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10 Advance, $12 Door) It’s an evening of roots and R&B at The Hook. Jeff Ray and the Stakes are driven by Ray’s slide guitar and vocals, and propelled forward by Mikkel Beckmen’s foot stomping and percussion; Nick Salisbury’s bass and home made foot-shaker contraption, and Harold Tremblay’s gritty harp playing. The RAMM band, led by guitar master Paul Mayasich, plays American Music, from Motown to R&B, rock n’ roll, and the blues. Here’s 3/4 of Jeff & the Stakes

Big George Jackson @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Big George Jackson has a voice that rumbles with the authority of an oncoming train. It’s well suited to the blues and boogie that he plays on harp, ably accompanied by Jeremy Johnson on guitar, and others.

Last Waltz Tribute @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12, $15) The Last Waltz is a Martin Scorsese movie documenting the last concert at The Band in 1976. Scores of top acts performed, from Dylan and Muddy Waters, to Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, The Staple Singers, and more. Over twenty of the area’s musicians are gathering to honor the film by presenting the songs featured in the film.

Sunday, January 22

Road to Memphis Fundraiser @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 1pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s another fundraiser to help send Minnesota musicians to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Featuring The Mark Cameron Band, and Mike Munson & Mikkel Beckmen, this year’s Minnesota entries in the group and duo categories, along with Colin Campbell  the Shackletons, and past winners of the Road to Memphis in an all-star jam.

Hot Club of Cowtown @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) Here we have three excellent musicians from Texas who integrate the acoustic jazz of Django Rheinhardt with the Western Swing of Bob Wills. With talent galore, the trio bring joy and excitement to the music, and have gained worldwide fans through tours with Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan and tours to Europe, the UK, and State Department sponsored tours to places like Armena, Azerbijan, and the Sultanate of Oman.

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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Music for Hot Summer Nights & Blistering Days: 8.28 – 9.3

August 28, 2013
One way to cool off at the Fair. Photo from Twin Cities.com

One way to cool off at the Fair. Photo from Twin Cities.com

Well, the late summer heat wave may be keeping some folks from the State Fair, but those who are going will still have plenty of opportunity to hear some terrific music. Blues lovers should check out the calendar of the Minnesota Blues Society (link below) to see the daily line-up of talent at the Fair. Jazz lovers may also find the occasional gig, though that may be a bit harder to find. Note Radio Joe, listed below. At any rate, once the sun and the temps go down, there are opportunities galore for music in the Twin Cities. Here are but a few.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 28

Mountain King @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Three bassists, Graydon Peterson, Brian Courage, and Jeremy Boettcher, play together, creating memorable music.

Lucia Newell @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) When Lucia wraps her voice around a song, you know your listening to a jazz singer. She’s showing some fine talent as a songwriter as well. This is a great chance to hear her in her natural habitat, as you can see in this video.

Thursday, August 29

Nichola Miller & Tanner Taylor @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30 pm (Donation) The vivacious vocalist and sophisticated piano player go together like two straws in a coke. Parenthood has made it a bit more difficult for them to perform together, so take advantage of this opportunity while you can.

Ben Sidran @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) His latest CD, Don’t Cry for No Hipster, is full of Sidran‘s wry commentary, rhythmic playing, and groove-centered jazz. One cut, Back Nine, is getting lots of play on Sirius radio.  Here’s the video for the title tune of his latest CD.

Phil Hey Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) This quartet makes jazz look easy, even when they’re performing songs by Ornette Coleman or Charles Mingus. Of course, they’ve all been playing a long time, and playing together a long time as well. Phil Hey, drums; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Tom Lewis, bass; and Phil Aaron, piano. If you haven’t seen them, go. If you have, go again. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, August 29, 30, 31

UnknownRadio Joe & the Jazzbos @ The State Fair, Saint Paul. (Free with Admission).  Guitarist Joe Demko brings his swinging little group to the AFL-CIO Pavillion from 4-6pm Thursday, and to the Ramberg Stage Friday at 10:30am, 11:45am, and 1:00pm, and Saturday at 3:15pm, 4:30pm, and 5:45pm. There will be swing dance demos at the Ramberg Stage performances.

Friday, August 30

Arne Fogel @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) The swingin’ Mr. Fogel is an expert on both Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, and he wears their influences well when he sings. This intimate lounge in a large restaurant is just right for his interpretations of the Great American Songbook.

Kevin Washington Quintet @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) Washington is a drummer who is master of a number of world rhythms. For instance, listen to him play with Nachito Herrera to see how well he handles a variety of Cuban rhythms. As for his jazz bonafides, well, he did study with Max Roach.

Friday, Saturday, Aug 30, 31

JazzMN Big Band @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($20) This is a rare opportunity to see this 17-piece big band in a club, since they usually appear in big auditoriums. It’s a stellar group of seasoned musicians from the area, and they’ll knock your socks off, as the saying goes, in the relatively small confines of the AQ.  Here they are with a James Bond Medley.

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, August 28

Doug Otto & the Getaways @ KFAI and the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Otto’s melancholy voice is perfect for the blues and classic country of this group. Tune in to KFAI (90.3FM & 106.7FM) at 5pm to hear them and then head over to the 331 Club. Here they are doing a CCR tune at the Fine Line.

Thursday, August 29

Prophets of Peace @ Palmers, Minneapolis. 10pm ($5) With the help of Hotpants Deejays, the folks at Secret Stash Records struck gold when they released a compilation of Twin Cities funk from the 60s and early 70s. Their Soul Revue has been playing to packed houses, and now the Prophets of Peace, one of the bands from the compilation, is back and playing with a vengeance. Hear them at one of the best dive bars in town, with Ben Mena and Dale Burback, two of the deejays that led the rediscovery of these guys, spinning between sets. Here’s an example of their old school sound.

Friday, August 30

Butanes 30th Anniversary @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Often named the Best Blues Band in the Cities, the Butanes have played at birthday parties, anniversaries, and other life-changing events for blues lovers in town. They’ve also backed Earl King at the Jazz Festival, played the Mother-in-law lounge, toured and recorded with Zydeco’s great Al Rapone, and currently hold down a weekly gig at Shaw’s, where folks like Davina Sowers, Jellybean Johnson, and others have dropped in. Led by the irascible, opinionated, and very funny Curt Obeda on guitar, the rest of the band includes Virgil Nelson on Hammond B-3, Rob Stupka on drums, and John Lindberg on bass.

Friday, Saturday, August 30, 31

Rosie Flores, Kenny Neal, Robert Randolph & the Family Band @ The State Fair Leinie Stage, Saint Paul. (Free w/Cover) It seems to be roots day at the Leinie Stage and if you can stand the heat, you can get to see the rockabilly and rockin’ country of Rosie Flores during the day, followed by guitarist Kenny Neal playing swamp blues. At night, Robert Randolph and the Family Band bring the sounds of sacred steel to the Fair. For times, etc., go here.

Saturday, August 31

Janiva Magness @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) Magness has been cultivating a loyal fan base in the Twin Cities for a few years now. She’s had a turbulent life, and is Stronger For It, as her album from last year proved. “I Wont’ Cry,” from that album, was awarded Song of the Year and she also won her fourth award as Contemporary Female Blues Artist.  Check out her singing on this video.

John Nemeth @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm   Nemeth is an up and coming bluesman with a penchant for soul. This year he was nominated by Living Blues Magazine as Most Outstanding Blues Singer, and by Blues Blast for Male Blues Artist of the Year. He’s entertaining and definitely soulful on stage.

Sunday, September 1

Oliver Mtukudzi & The Black Spirits @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:20pm (Free, while tickets last)  Here’s a chance to broaden your appreciation of world music for free, or at least while tickets last. Mtukudzi is a guitarist, vocalist, and composer from Zimbabwe. His music is inspired by the rhythms of the thumb piano, and he uses South African, Zimbabwe pop, and traditional drumming in his performances, and he has a big fan in Bonnie Raitt, who recorded one of his songs.

Monday, September 2

15th Annual Laughing Waters Bluegrass Festival @ Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis. 1pm – 6:30 pm (Free) Spend Labor Day enjoying the Falls and the music of The Pride of the Prairie, Copper Creek, The Middle Spunk Creek boys, Platte Valley Boys, Sawtooth Bluegrass, and Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands.

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.


Lotsa Ladies. Music: 7.31 – 8.6

July 31, 2013

Unknown-2Seems there are quite a few female vocalists – jazz, roots, & rockers – in this week’s selection of mostly under-the-radar gigs. Then we have some up and coming artists, as well as a couple of veteran performers. Plus there are a few gigs outside the core downtowns of these Twin Cities. All of which makes for a wonderful week of music.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 31

UnknownAnthony Cox’s Happy Spirits Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Cox has gathered Peter Schimke, piano; Kevin Washington, drums; and Solomon Parham, trumpet, to create modern, post bop jazz. They cooked at the recent Jeremy Walker benefit, laying down complex rhythms and melodies that swung.

 

Opus @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) This Milwaukee group has been together for 35 years, playing both straight ahead jazz and their own brand of fusion. They’ve played with the Milwaukee Symphony and won a WAMI, for Wisconsin’s best jazz group.

Thursday, August 1

Jana Nyberg Group Tour Kick-Off @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Jana and the guys have some new tunes under their belts and they’re ready for their annual tour to Door County and Eastern Wisconsin, where they’ll be playing a festival in Appleton. Jana is a fun vocalist, and whether she’s singing originals, standards, or new interpretations of recent pop fare, she’ll have you thinking about songs in a new light.

Young Lions Night, Part 1 @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) Anyone who thinks jazz is dead is not aware of the steady growth of young players in this area. Thanks to the folks at Jazz Police, the monthly Young Artists series continues at the AQ, tonight featuring Joe Suihkonen, trumpet; Sam Wildenauer, bass; and Ermerson Hunton, drums. All three are recent grads of South High in Minneapolis. Suikhonen and Hunton have just completed their first year at Oberlin Conservatory. Wildenauer has been working as a free-lance bassist and playing free jazz.

Young Lions Night, Part 2 @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul.  9pm ($5) Stick around for a slightly older generation of musicians, as Miguel Hurtado, drums; Javier Santiago, piano; and James Buckley, bass, take the stage. Hurtado  and Santiago have been playing in various groups for years now. As far as I know, this is the first time they’re featured with Buckley, the old man of the group. He has been playing professionally in the Twin Cities since 1999, and was profiled in City Pages in 2009.

Friday, August 2

Connie Olson & Marie Louise Knutson @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Ms Olson has sung with the Peter Duchin Big Band, and musicians from the bands of Prince, Madonna, and Brian Setzer, and you have undoubtedly heard her on any number of commercials. Tonight, she’s singing with the wonderful pianist Mary Louise Knutson, who has her own impressive list of credits, including numerous stints with Doc Severinsen, in the lounge area of Parma 8200, a D’Amico restaurant in an office tower. It’s quite a nice little spot.

Vicky Mountain @ Kelly Park, 6855 Fortino Street, Apple Valley. 6pm – 9pm (Free) Summer certainly brings out music in the parks, in the suburbs as well as in the core cities. Tonight, vocalist Vicky Mountain is joined by James Allen, guitar; Tom Pieper, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums. Food and drink are available for sale and there will be some give-aways as well. 

Saturday, August 3

Nichola Miller @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Whether you’re dining at the Kitchen, or looking for a cocktail before heading out on the town, Ms Miller will provide a sophisticated soundtrack for an early evening rendezvous. Her singing will make your Martinis seem drier and your Cosmos seem sweeter.

Horst, Whitman, Hagedorn, and Bates @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Kenny Horst continues to find ways to bring together new combinations of musicians. Pete Whitman, sax; and Dave Hagedorn, vibes; have played together in Pete’s X-Tet, and Chris Bates, bass; has played with Kenny before, but I think this is a first time for this combination. Given the melodic strengths of Whitman and Hagedorn, and the rhythmic strengths of Horst and Bates, this should be a night of great music.

Linda and Patty Peterson @ The Ivy Hotel, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) The siblings of Minnesota’s first family of music sing alone and together, while Linda tickles the ivories at this new, cozy destination for Saturday Night Jazz.

Saturday, Sunday, August 3, 4

Aakash Mittal CD Release Party @ Dakota Late Night, and The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11:30pm (Saturday, Dakota – $5), and 7pm (Sunday, The Icehouse – $7) Two opportunities to see Mittal, an alto saxophonist from Denver who is exploring new territory in jazz by incorporating elements of music from India, his parent’s birthplace. The results are imaginative and energizing, key ingredients in jazz, as seen in this video.

Monday, August 5

Minnesota Jazz All Stars @ The Old Log Theater, Greenwood. 7:30pm ($24) Here’s a chance for those in the western burbs to hear some of the best jazz Minnesota has to offer in their own back yard. This group of veterans includes Cliff Brunsell, violin; Tanner Taylor, piano; Irv Williams and Dave Karr, on saxes; Clyde Anderson, bass; Reuben Ristrom, guitar; and Mac Santiago, drums. Charmin Michelle is the guest vocalist. Nuff said.

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, July 31

Cafe Accordion Orchestra @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Ahh, Berets and Bongos, Musette music and a bit of swing. If the accordion is a natural instrument in a land of Scandinavians and Germans, then credit Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton with showing us it’s possibilities in a variety of genres, from blues to cajun/zydeco, to rock n’ roll and swing. This noontime performance is sure to rejuvenate you for an afternoon of work. Bring a lunch or get one at the Center’s cafe.

SAMSUNGRadio Joe & the JazzBos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm. ($5) Do some swing dancing on a great dance floor as Radio Joe lays down classic boogie woogie, the occasional Sinatra-type swing number, and then hug your honey as he sings and plays I Only Have Eyes for You. You can also catch him on Friday at the Minnehaha Falls Pavillion (7:30) where the dancing is a bit harder on dirt and grass.

Thursday, August 1 – Sunday, August 11

Minnesota Fringe Festival @ various venues around town.  (Times, $, Varies) Normally, I wouldn’t write about something so large, but there are a few shows here that are worth noting: Standing on the Hollow features music by flutist Julie Johnson and dance by Tamara Ober; five appearances @ Intermedia Arts. Bump in the Night, written by bluegrass comedienne Courtney McLean, features dancing and adult language; five appearances  @ U of M Rarig Auditorium. The Education of Murray Sanderson @ Theater in the Round is a comedy about four parents stuck in parent/teacher conferences. Naturally, there’s much, much more. Check out the Fringe Festival website for a complete schedule and rundown of performances.

Unknown-1Javier & the Innocent Sons, featuring Hurricane Harold @ Washington Square, White Bear Lake. 8pm (No Cover) If we had out-of-the-way roadhouses, or back alley joints in the Twin Cities, Javier & the guys would be the perfect house band, with their clean, swinging blues, and the potent guitars of Javier Matos and Dan Scwalbe. They’ll be joined tonight by harpmaster Hurricane Harold, whose playing adds new spice to an already hot recipe for fun.

Friday, August 2

Reina del Cid & the Cidizens @ 318 Cafe, Excelsior, 8pm ($6) Reina del Cid is more than a singer/songwriter, she’s a storyteller whose tales of heartbreak and social ills seem the product of someone who is way older than 24. If you’re of a similar age and have any thoughts of writing songs, listening to Reina will cause you to either change professions, or double down on your efforts. The Cidizens, her backing band, are coming into their own as well. Here they are doing a Van Morrison song.

Dee Miller Band featuring Jimi “PrimeTime” Smith @ School II Bistro, Chanhassen. 8pm – 11pm. ($7) Head further south and a bit to the west to this wine bar in a shopping center to hear the Duchess of the Blues. Miller sings with the authority of a woman that won’t brook any BS. Smith plays guitar to match.

The Meadows @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 9 -11pm (Tip Jar) Together, Pete Linman, Wendy Lewis, andJeff Waryan, have played and performed with a number of bands over the years, ranging from North Equator Nine, to the Bad Plus, to Curtiss A. Now, they’re playing together, and the results are folkish, noirish, and darkish, and delish.

imagesBernard Allison @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) When people say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, they are thinking of someone like Allison, the guitar slinging progeny of Luther Allison. Like his dad, he plays the blues with rock n’ roll energy, but without blues-rock excess. David Z produced his 2011 album the Otherside, and managed to bring in a contemporary sound while displaying Allison’s stinging guitar and R&B vocals.

Saturday, August 3

Papa John & the Cool Club of East Lake @ St Anthony Village Beer Garden, 35th & Silver Lake Road, Saint Anthony Village. 4pm – 7pm. (Free) Papa John will have the usual suspects on hand: Sam on trumpet, Deano on guitar, and Bill Grenke on bass. Outdoors at a beer garden. Sounds great. And if you don’t catch them there, check out Merlins on East Lake, from 8:30pm – 12:30am.

Silvertones @ Kenny SummerFest, Kenny Park, 1328 58th St, W, Minneapolis. 6:30pm – 9:00pm (Free) It’s a neighborhood festival in southwest Minneapolis, with sno-cones, mini-donuts, and other foods, a car show from 5-7pm, and bike and stroller parade, and fun for the whole family. Opening, from 5:15 – 6:15 are Dynamaxium & the Cosmic Troubadors. Then come the Silvertones, whose cover tunes will entertain moms and dads of all ages.

The Eddies @ Cafe Amore, Saint Paul. 7pm – 10pm. A rare chance to catch the almost-acapella purveyors of sea shanties and work songs in their natural habitat – Saint Paul’s WestSide neighborhood (I know, I know, it’s South of downtown – just let it go). Head up the High Bridge to Smith and Anapolis, where they are performing as part of “Art on the Avenue” a neighborhood art crawl.

Eilen Jewel @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) The Queen of the Minor Key uses rockabilly, alt-country, and folk as starting points for slyly written tunes that will have you bouncing in your seat, if not stompin’ on the non-existent dance floor of the Dakota. Here she is singing the song that earned her that nickname.

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.


Music Matters: 5.29 – 6.4

May 29, 2013

imagesNot many visiting artists in this week’s preview. But then, many of our resident artists are visiting artists elsewhere, known throughout the country, and even internationally. We have a deep pool of talent in this region. It has often been said that music creates community, and that it can move and uplift our souls. I hope that is true for you. Have a good week.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 29

The cover of Maud's new CD.

The cover of Maud’s new CD.

Maud Hixson CD Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) Hixson is a singer with a voice that is cool, but certainly not detached, and inviting, but proper. Her new album, Don’t Let A Good Thing Get Away, is full of tunes composed by Mickey Leonard, best known for ‘I’m All Smiles” and “Why Did I Choose You.” Leonard, who is still working, has partnered with a number of lyricists over the course of his life to create little gems of melody and storytelling, including a couple that haven’t been recorded before this venture. You can hear my phone interview with Maud, as well as a couple of tunes from the album, in the archive for my show on May 25. The interview starts at about 15 minutes into the program.

Phil Mattson Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Pianist Mattson is a choral music maestro, arranger, and conductor who has arranged for the Manhattan Transfer, the Four Freshmen, and others. He has been a busy guy since locating to the area, what with teaching at MacPhail, leading the Phil Mattson Singers, recording with Dorothy Doring, and accompanying a number of Twin Cities singers. Tonight he brings a new project to the fore, with a team of veteran players including Dale Mendenhall on sax; Tom Lewis on bass; and Nathan Norman on drums. They’ll be playing old and new standards.

Thursday, May 30

Pete Whitman’s X-Tet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Ten musicians, young, old, male and female, professionals all, playing bracing music, much of it written especially for the group by its members.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, May 31, June 1, June 2

Happy Apple @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm, Fri, Sat; 8pm Sun. ($15) Count this trio among the coterie of relatively young artists from the area who group up with rock n’ roll, then discovered Coltrane, Mingus, and Ornette Coleman, among others. Dave King, drums; Mike Lewis, sax; and Eric Fratzke, electric bass; play with intensity, originality, and power, yet they can caress a ballad as well. They’ve been playing together since 1996, have an international following, and have received raves in the New York Times.  Here they are, playing at Lawrence University last year.

Friday, May 31

Irv Williams & Peter Schimke @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 4:30pm – 6:30pm (free) Start your weekend with some lovely music from 93 year old saxophonist Williams, and his piano partner Schimke, who is decades younger.

Nichola Miller @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No cover) After giving birth to a baby boy, Miller is back singing, giving out sass where sass is due.

Kevin Washington Quintet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($5) With teachers like Max Roach and Roy Brooks, and travels to Latin countries to learn their rhythms, Washington is a drummer to be reckoned with. He teaches at McNally Smith and Walker West Academy, and plays with Nachito Herrera and Bruce Henry. I’m not sure who he’ll have with him, but given the quality of past shows and performances, this show is an excellent way to end an evening.

Monday, June 3

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Let’s hope the weather finally clears up for this outdoor concert by an 17 piece band. Meckler is a trumpet-player about town who has been arranging his own compositions (mostly) for this young big band. The band may be a traditionally sized big band, but Meckler’s orchestrations are influenced by modern composers such as Maria Schneider and Bob Brookmyer. Bring your brown bag lunch or get something from a nearby food truck and enjoy the big sounds of this band.

Will Kjeer @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Will is still in high school, yet he’s a giant talent on the piano, as he has shown when performing with the Dakota Combo. At their annual concert, Will took a Chick Corea tune and created an imaginative arrangement for the 8 piece band. He’ll be joined by the Jazz Central stalwarts tonight.  Even if you aren’t planning on attending tonight, check out this video of the Dakota Combo playing Will’s arrangement. Will has a fine solo starting at about 4:30 minutes.

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, May 19

Andra Suchy & Spare Change on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm hour (KFAI – 90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Red House recording artist Andra Suchy is an Americana/Twang/folk singer/songwriter. She’s appeared on Prairie Home Companion and on recordings with artists ranging from mandolinist Peter Ostroushko to blues rocker Jonny Lang.

Thursday, May 30

Unknown-1Trio Bossa Nova & Friends @ The Blackdog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm – 10pm (tip jar) An evening of Bossa Novas and Sambas with Brazilian artists Joyce Perez, Natania Kamin, and Josue Alfaro. They’ll be joined by guitarist Pavel Jany and bassist Dan Weston.

Scottie Miller Band @ Washington Square Bar & Grill, White Bear Lake. 8pm (No cover) Pianist Miller was touring as a member of Bo Diddley’s band when he met popular singer/songwriter Ruthie Foster, with whom he now regularly tours. He’s got his own band and his own recordings, on which he exhibits his Professor Longhair-meets-Bruce Springsteen style of playing. Here’s a chance to see him in an intimate setting.

Saturday, June 1

Rum Cullies Brunch @ the Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 11AM – 1PM (No Cover) Here’s a trio of Twin Cities musicians playing old time string band music for your brunch. Matt Neil, fiddle, Liz Draper, bass, and Adam Kiesling, guitar play slow waltzes, fast fiddle tunes, and everything in between.

Lonesome Dan Case; Nikki & the Rue-Mates @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 3pm (Lonesome Dan); 4:30pm (Nikki) Lonesome Dan plays Guitar Rags, Hollers, and Blues, including originals that sound like they were written in the 1930s as well as knowing interpretations of songs from that time. Nikki & the Rue-Mates use the psychedelic sounds of the late 60s as inspiration for the folk-a-delic gems given life by Nikki’s crystaline voice.

Sunday, June 2

Mother Banjo @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Bluegrass at the tony Dakota? Well, Yeah! Throw in a little gospel, a bunch of originals, and some folky tunes, and you’ve got Mother Banjo a group led by Ellen Stanley, who knows her way around a banjo.

Monday, June 3

Cactus Blossoms @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 6pm door, 7pm music ($5) The Blossoms play country music that’s as natural as it comes, that is, the kind of traditional C&W that you heard before Nashville started “countrypolitan” music and then moved to being mostly rock n’ roll with a steel guitar. Bring dancing shoes and a partner, or find a partner at the club.

Tuesday, June 4

Chris Mann @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($45 – $35) Mann was a finalist on the second season of The Voice, and his subsequent album, Roads, went to the top of both the pop and classical charts. He’s been on the Today Show, Jay Leno, Conan, and has had his own PBS Special. Here’s your chance to see him up close and personal.

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.


Master Musicians. Music: 3.6 – 3.12

March 6, 2013
Really!

Really??

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

Jazz

Thursday, March 7

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

Friday March 8

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

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

Friday, Saturday, March 8, 9

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

Saturday, March 9

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

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

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

Sunday, Monday, March 10, 11

At a previous Dakota appearance

At a previous Dakota appearance

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

Monday, March 11

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

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, March 6

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

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

Thursday, March 7

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

Friday, March 8

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

Saturday, March 9

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

Sunday, March 10

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

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

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


This weeks Music Ideas: 11.28 – 12.4

November 28, 2012

Whether you are actually staying out later or not, there’s already a couple of shows to celebrate the season, as well as a show devoted to the music of Monk, an album release party, Brazilian trailblazers, and, as is often the case, many talented area musicians performing in the clubs.

Jazz

Wednesday, November 28

A genius at workWhat Would Monk Do? @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Steve Kenny, trumpet; Peter Schimke, piano; Billy Peterson, bass; and Kenny Horst, drums, give their own answers to the question, drawing on Monk’s repertoire, which, historians note, was not immediately accepted when he came on the scene in the late 40s and early 50s. Many of his tunes, like Round Midnight, and Well, You Needn’t, are now part of every jazz musicians book.

Dan Musselman Trio @ Red Stag, NE Minneapolis. 10pm (no cover) Dan is a sensitive and inventive pianist, who plays around town in various configurations and teaches at McNally Smith. He just completed his masters in composition and is now working on a doctorate.

Thursday, November 29

Dakota Combo @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free)  Here’s a chance to catch some young talent stretching their musical muscles. Each year a new edition of the Combo is formed from open auditions. This year’s combo features eight talented high school students who have been rehearsing under the tutelage of bassist Adam Linz, jazz coordinator at MacPhail. This concert is part of the Young Artists Series of the Twin Cities Jazz Society. Stick around for the Pete Whitman X-Tet at 9pm.

Ms Miller loves to laugh

Nichola Miller & Tanner Taylor @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm. (Donation)  The musicians hang-out is hosting the irrepressible singer, Ms Miller and her pianist beau, the talented Mr. Taylor. With the musicality inherent in both of them, this will be a fairly sublime experience.

Friday, November 3

Mother of Masks @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($5-$10 suggested donation)  This appears to be the inaugural performance in the new Bedlam space across from the Union Depot. Mother of Masks is Davu Seru, percussion; poet Louis Alemayehu; vocalist Mankwe Ndosi; saxophonist Donald Washington; and bassist Anthony Cox. The performance will combine jazz improvisation, poetry, singing and storytelling. According to Seru, the name “The Mother of Masks” is a reference to the Dogon of Mali (a group that, due to their sophisticated cosmogony and resistance to cultural imperialism has, for decades now, been the source of much pride among Black Americans interested in Africa.

Friday, Saturday, November 30, December 1

Atlantis Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris Bates, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums; have been working out some new tunes, and to celebrate, they’re returning to the club that’s become somewhat of a home for them. They’ve been named the best jazz artists in the Twin Cities, and have earned well deserved kudos from jazz periodicals. This is what 21st Century jazz sounds like.

Monday, December 3

Embezzler & Fat Kid Wednesdays @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($5)  Embezzler is Paul Metzger, Adam Linz, and JT Bates. Bates & Linz will be joined by Michael Lewis to become Fat Kid Wednesdays for the second set.

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, November 28

Reina del Cid on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI 90.3, 106.7FM) and 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – tip jar) I’ve had a couple of musician friends tell me that Reina is a very talented singer and songwriter, and a view of her videos show that it’s true. Tune in to KFAI to find out and then follow up with a visit to the 331. Check her out.

Thursday, November 29

Irma Thomas @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($60 – $50) 9:00pm ($50 – $40) The Soul Queen of New Orleans is a class act. No histrionics. No meltdowns. Just emotionally strong singing and a welcoming stage presence. Before Katrina, her cozy bar was one of the required stops for any music fan visiting New Orleans, in large part due to her warm and inviting manner. Here she is doing one of her early hits.

Carl Franzen, Rahjita Ren, & Antonio Monerroso @ The 3rd Floor, 579 Selby, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($?) Franzen is an introspective songwriter with a gift for words. That gift has served him as a successful ad man, writing some award winning jingles, and as a writer of On the Road, recorded by Michael Johnson and John Denver. He’s also recorded a couple of albums for RCA/Novus, and received a gold record as a producer of Najee’s Theme by the reedman. Tonight he’ll be accompanied by pianist Ren and guitarist Monerroso.

Friday, November 30

Os Mutantes @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25/door, $20/advance) Brazilian band Os Mutantes formed in the 60s, combining sambas, bossa novas, and psychedelic music. They were an influential band that helped birth the Tropicalia movement before breaking up. They reunited in 2006, released an album of new material in 2009, and are back touring the world. Here’s an early recording.

Silvertones @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Sometimes you just want to dance to some music you know. For those of a certain age, the Silvertones will do the trick. Just a band having fun playing older songs with verve so you can dance your heart out.

Saturday, December 1

Farmhouse Band & Pistol Whippin’ Party Penguins @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 6pm (Farmhouse Band), 9pm (PWPP) (No cover) Acoustic roots music and freshy brewed beer. What a combo. Here’s a cute video of a PWPP song.

Eddies Annual Yulefest, w/Bara and HiBs @ The Hat Trick, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 11:00pm ($15 Donation – ALL Proceeds to the Emergency Foodshelf Network) This is the fourth or maybe fifth year that the Eddies are doing this at the Hat Trick, Proceedings begin with the ceili music of Bara, followed by the HiBs, a duo playing flute, whistle and fiddle who were a hit at the Irish Fair this year. The Eddies close things off with their combination of sea chanties, and songs of work, and death, with a few pop tunes thrown in for good measure.

Capturing the fun of Deep Blues & BBQ

Deep Blues Fest Album Release Party @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) Deep Blues is an outgrowth of stripped-down Hill Country Blues, with (mostly) younger artists using elements of punk, folk, rock n’ roll and Americana to get their songs across. Tonight the Bayport will celebrate the release of “Alive at the Deep Blues Fest,” featuring seven bands that performed at the festival last summer, including Left Lane Cruiser and John The Conquerer. The bands all record for Alive Naturalsound, out of L.A. and hover around the rock n’ roll wing of Deep Blues, playing with a fire and urgency that will lift you off your seats. To celebrate, owner Chris Johson is bringing in Lee Baines III & the Glory Fires, who are on the album, with Eleganza opening.

Papa John & the Hot Club Quartet @ Merlin’s Rest. 8pm (tip jar) Acoustic swing from Papa John Kolstad, guitar; Deano Mikkelson, guitar; Sam Fiske, trumpet; and Liz Draper, bass. Papa John always surrounds himself with talented musicians. Tonight, Liz Draper (Black Blondie, Lucy Michelle & the Velvet Lapelles, Nikki & the Rue-Mates, among others) brings her swinging bass to the group.

Sunday, December 2

MN Blues Society Holiday Party, w/Kildahl & Vondehaar, and Crankshaft @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 1:30 – 4:30pm. (Donation) This is also the Society’s Annual Meeting, so there’ll be a business meeting and elections before music by these two bands that are headed to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge.

Barbara LeShoure @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 7pm Though she now lives in this area, LeShoure is a member of the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame. She sings the blues as well as anyone, but can also throw in a standard or two from the Great American Songbook, using a bit of scat singing to get her point across.

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.


Beautiful Weekend. Cool Music. 8.15 – 8.21

August 15, 2012

Maybe your weekend won’t be as cool (both literally and figuratively) as this pooch, but it will be another beautiful weekend, with more festivals and more music. Festivals are usually well promoted, so I don’t always mention them, though I have four listed for this week. Enjoy.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 15

Battlecat @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Well, I guess you should at least buy a drink and/or an appetizer. But hey, Maude has a good selection of both. Anyway, Battlecat is Park Evans, guitar, Cody McKinney on bass, and Greg Schutte on drums, and they all are veteran cats from jazz and other genres, which means you’ll hear some great music. If you call for reservations, ask for a table near the music, especially during the first hour, as the noise of everyone enjoying their meal can get quite loud.

Thursday, August 16

Charmin & Shapira & Friends @ The Dakota, MInneapolis. 7pm (No Cover)  Vocalist Charmin Michelle and guitarist Joel Shapira make great music together. Her liquid vocals work well with Joel’s understated but always inventive guitar playing. They’ll be joined by Tom Lewis, bass; Dave Brattain, sax; and Nathan Norman on drums.

Chris Lomheim Trio: Bill Evans Birthday @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Bill Evans would be 83 were he still alive. Chris Lomheim is a great admirer, a sensitive and imaginative pianist. He’ll be joined by Gordy Johnson on bass and Jay Epstein on drums for an evening of exquisite jazz.

Friday, August 17

Nichola Miller @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm (Free) Miller is a no-nonsense vocalist, interpreting the standards with such confidence you’ll feel like you’re in a Mad Men episode. Bartender, I’ll have a Martini, please, extra olives.

Friday, Saturday, August 17, 18

Gravatt, Linz & Wozniak @ the Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Their first gig at the Icehouse a few weeks ago was quite incendiary, as Eric Gravvat, drums, Adam Linz, bass, and Brandon Wozniak, sax, tore through standards and compositions by modern jazz masters.

Saturday, August 18

Randy Brecker

Burnsville Art and All That Jazz Festival Featuring Randy Brecker @ Nicollet Commons Park, Burnsville. Noon – 9:30pm. (Free) A very good line-up for this free outdoor event featuring an outstanding nationally known artist. The young artists of the Dakota Combo start things off at noon, followed by The Hot Swing Combo including Robert Bell on guitar and Erin Schwab on vocals, the nine-piece Charanga Tropical led by Flautists/Saxophonist Doug Little, the fusion of the Super Pilots, whose members met at the Berklee College of Music, and hard bop sounds of trumpeter Randy Brecker, a four-time Grammy nominee.

Dorothy Doring, with Phil Mattson & Greg Byers @ The Lexington, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 10:30pm. (No Cover, but there may be a minimum for some tables)  The parade of excellent vocalists at the Lex continues. Tonight, Ms Doring brings her considerable skills, including a bit of scatting, and charming stage personality to the library-like room.

Jake. Photo by Andrea Canter

Jake Baldwin Quartet @ Late Night at The Dakota, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) Baldwin is a young trumpeter about to enter his last year at the New England Conservatory of Music. He also made his own trumpet, which has a couple of extra valves so he can hit some quarter notes. Imaginative in his soloing, Baldwin has a clean sound, and is well worth checking out by the late night crowd.

Monday, August 20

B3 Night with Zacc Harris @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Jazz Central’s B3 has hardly been used, and they’re raising funds for some minor repairs. Tonight, Tanner will be sitting down and playing it, with Zacc Harris playing guitar. Zacc is no stranger to B3 combos, so this should be a soulful, fun evening.

Tuesday, August 21

Doug Haining/Scott Agster Big Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Two swinging musicians have put together a big band. Can’t wait to see this.

A more comprehensive calendar for the Twin Cities can be found at Jazz Police. They feature jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink, which also features Andrea Canter’s fine photography.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, August 15

Boys N’ the Barrels and Sister Shaw @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 7pm (Boys), 9:30pm (Sister) (Tip Jar)  The Boys give out their unique take on blue/new/neo grass, while Sister Shaw tackles classic Americana, from the Carter Family to Gillian Welch. You can catch the Boys on KFAI (90.3 and 106.7 FM) at 5pm before heading over to the 331.

Thursday, August 16

Reina Del Cid and the Cidizens @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip jar) Reina is a singer/songwriter whose honest declarations on love, heartache, and social commentary will charm you. After all, she’s already gotten about million views just for this video on YouTube.

Friday, August 17

The Dollys @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) The Dollys are three talented female singers who mine the music of the Trio (Dolly Parton, Emmy Lou Harris and Linda Ronstadt) as well as other female country singers of the 80s and 90s.

Paul Cebar & Tomorrow Sound @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) The dancing faithful will be out, I’m sure, to hear Paul’s amalgam of funk, soul, R&B, and Caribbean rhythms.

Guitar Shorty @ Famous Dave’s BBQ, Calhoun Square, Minneapolis. 9pm ($6) Shorty was a member of Ray Charles’ band at 16, and later a member of the house band at the Dew Drop Inn in New Orleans, where he backed numerous R&B and blues greats. He was Jimi Hendrix’s brother-in-law and friend, and recorded for Black Top, Evidence, and Alligator, where he received a couple of Blues Award nominations. Back in the day, Shorty used to do flips to celebrate some of his solos. He’s now 73, so I doubt we’ll see flips. What you will see and hear is a guitarist who plays long, classic blues lines, and has a flair for showmanship.

Janiva Magness @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) Magness was here about six months ago to celebrate the release of Stronger for It, which has been called one of the best blues albums of the year. Just ask some of her many fans from the area, which she has cultivated during years of bringing her soulful vocals to town.

Friday, Saturday, August 17, 18

Hipshaker 10th Anniversary Celebration @ the Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm – 2am ($5) Yes, it’s true, Deejays Greg and Brian have been carrying the torch for funk n’ soul 45s for ten years, bringing out dancing crowds on the 3rd Thursday of the month. To celebrate, they’re taking two weekend nights, so those of you who usually have work on Friday morning can take part. Special guest deejays will keep the surprises coming. Bring some talc to put on the floor – it’s so helpful for those spins, you know.

Saturday, August 18

Music Festival @ Christ The King Lutheran Church, White Bear Lake, 8600 Fremont Ave, Bloomington. 3pm – 9-ish. Bring a blanket and a picnic. Jack Brass Band kicks things off at 3pm, followed by Debbie Duncan, pop singer Alison Scot, and R&B frontman Mick Sterling.

West Bank Music Festival @ Cedar Avenue, Minneapolis. 3pm. ($5) Ten stages, thirty bands, including poverty Hash, Brass Messengers, Malamanya, L’Assassins, the Belfast Cowboys, and many, many more.

Backyard Bonfire @ The Cabooze Plaza, Minneapolis. 4pm ($20/Advance, $25/Gate) Here’s a party for those of you who are into the sounds of new bluegrass and classic country, as it features Pert Near Sandstone, Dead Man Winter, Lucy Michelle & the Velvet Lapelles, Cactus Blossoms, Pistol Whippin’ Party Penguins, Sans Souci Quartet and the Farm House Band. There’ll be stompin’ and a’ jumpin’ and a jamboree.

A Flamenco Fiesta @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11pm. ($5 suggested donation) For a change of pace from roots and blues, catch Sendero Flamenco as they perform the percussive and sensuous dance. There will also be an open stage to allow for collaboration and experimentation with musicians and dancers.

Sunday, August 19

Cajun Dancers @ The Rec

Al Berard @ Half-Time Rec, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Cajun dancers will be out in force to spin, duck, and trip the light fantastic to fiddler Al Berard, who has been nominated for a Grammy and won a half dozen or more Cajun music and fiddle awards. He’ll be backed by a variety of top-flight musicians from the Twin Cities.

Tuesday, Wednesday, August 21, 22

The Spinners. Waaay back in the day.

The Spinners @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($55 – $70), 9pm ($45 – $60) Yes, indeed, the Spinners. Though their big hits were years ago, two of the original members keep the flame going with the help of some newer, though no less polished, members. Twelve Gold Albums. Lots of hits, like It’s a Shame, Could It Be I’m Falling in Love, The Rubberband Man, and others. The soul faithful will be out.

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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