Residents and Visitors: 6.27 – 7.3

June 27, 2018

Third World, visiting the Cedar Cultural Center on Saturday

This week we’re being visited by artists from NYC, L.A., New Orleans, and Jamaica, as well as being treated to music from young musicians returning from college for the summer, and of course, a variety of talented Twin Cities artists. Music lifts the Spirit!


Wednesday, June 27

Sheila Jordan and Cameron Brown @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25, $30) Vocalist Jordan was in her early teens when she heard a Charlie Parker record and decided to sing jazz for the rest of her life. She’s now 89, and continues to sing, with a unique ability to improvise lyrics. See my article in the Star Tribune.

Elijah Michael @ the Como Lakeside Pavillion, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 10pm (Free) Young guitarist Elijah Michael is joined by Sean Turner, piano; Tony Axtell, bass; and Michael Pilhofer, drums.


Violinist/Vocalist Zosha Warpeha @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/valid student ID)

Thursday, June 28

Aja Parham @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20, $5 w/valid student ID) Being both a mother and educator, vocalist Parham doesn’t get out to sing as much as she (or her fans) would like. She’s performed with the Minnesota Opera, Penumbra Theater, and the Ordway, as well as alongside saxophonists James Carter and Wessell Anderson, and trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis.

John Saint Pelvyn & Matt Rahaim @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Hindustani vocalist Matt Rahaim and guitarist & theraminist John Saint-Pelvyn will each perform a solo set before performing a duet.

Friday, June 29

King Cartwright Granowski @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening set at 7pm by Improvisational Invitational: Steve Kenny, tpt; Scott Fultz, bari; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Chris Hepola, drums. KCG at 8:30pm is: Dave King  drums; George Cartwright, saxes; and Josh Granowski, bass. Sounds like an evening of adventurous music.

Saturday, June 30

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Fuzzy Math at 7pm: Mark Vandemyde, keys; Joe Mayo, sax; Curtis Lucky, trumpet; Eric Graham, bass; Harald Bondaris, drums. At 8:30pm it;’s The Pat Moriarty/Ellen Lease Quartet: Moriarty, saxes; lease, piano; Chris Bates, bass; Pete Hennig, drums.  Here are Moriartyand Lease with a different quartet.

Still Dreaming: Redman, Miles, Colley & Blade @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45), 9pm ($35, $40) Still Dreamingis a quartet of some of today’s best players: Joshua Redman sax; Ron Miles, trumpet; Scott Colley, bass; and Brian Blade, drums. These highly imaginative players will interpret the music of the Old and New Dreams Quartet of the 70s and 80s, a highly regarded quartet of Ornette Coleman alumni, including Joshua’s dad, Dewey Redman. In addition to Ornette Coleman compositions, the group will also play originals.

Sunday, July 1

Zosha Warpeha & Dean Magraw  @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 2pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Magraw is a musical chameleon who can play Irish music, jazz fusion, R&B, or duos with Claudia Schmidt (see Friday under Blues,Roots, below) and Warpeha, a young lioness on violin and vocals.

Monday, July 2

Nick Videen Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Nick Videen, alto sax, started in the Twin cites jazz scene of the 90s, and is now based in NYC, where he’s toured and/or recorded with Beyonce and other R&B stars. He’s the co-founder of the Grammy-winning horn section The Superpower Horns. Videen will be joined by Bryan Nichols, keys; Jeremy Boettcher, bass; and Pete James Johnson, drums.

Monday, Tuesday, July 2, 3

Thomasina Petrus: Lady Day @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) Coming off weeks of an often-sold out performance of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, Petrus reprises her uncanny ability to sound like Billie Holiday a la 1959’s Lady in Satin, singing songs from the show with the excellent backup of the show’s musicians; Thomas West, piano; Ron Evanuik, bass; and Kevin Washington, 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 Police and Bebopified.


Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, June 27

JulyDa @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon- 1pm (Free) Have some music with your lunch, at least if you’re working in downtown Saint Paul. Julyda is the husband-wife duo of Julida Alter, voice and cello; and Sean Alter, guitar, bass, and percussion. Their pop-rock songs are stress-free, just the thing for a mid-day respite from work.

The 44s on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The 44s are a Los Angeles-based, award-winning blues band that plays muscular, tough blues. It’s no wonder they’re often referred to as Los Angeles’ best blues band. Our own Javier Matos has often played with them, so don’t be surprised if he shows up for a song or two.

Vinicius Cantuaria @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) Vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Cantuaria will bring his subtle, soothing, “post-electronica acoustic” approach to Brazilian songs to downtown Minneapolis. Anyone who’s been seduced by Brazilian music will want to be there.


Continental Ballet Company @ Como Lakeside Pavillion, Saint Paul. 5:30-6:30pm (Free)

The April Fools: Groovin in the Garden  @ The Como Park Conservatory, Saint Paul 6pm-8pm (Free)

Thursday, June 28

Maria Jette w/Sonja Thomson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Soprano Maria Jette can sing opera, art songs, and songs from the Great American Songbook with equal ease. Her charm and quick wit only add to the pleasure of her singing. She’ll be accompanied by pianist Sonja Thomson in this benefit for the Nonviolent Peaceforce.

Peter Himmelman @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) From his early days with Shangoya, where he contributed a couple of songs and rock guitar to island rhythms, through Sussman Lawrence and its over-the-top live shows, to a solo career that’s included film & TV scores, Himmelman has always written with honesty and true emotion.


New Primitives @ Como Lakeside Pavillion, Saint Paul. 7-9pm (Free)

TC Jammers @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($5)

Friday, June 29 

From Bach to Beatbox @ Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis. 7pm (Doors at 6pm), 9pm (Doors at 9pm) ($14 Advance/ $16 Door) Here’s an intriguing gig, dedicated to the 18th Century rock star of improvisation – JS Bach. Beat-boxing virtuoso Terrell Woods, classical folk duo The OK Factor, and keyboardist Samuel Rosenstone will examine the links between different genres and styles.

Big Sam’s Funky Nation @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35) With Big Sam’s Funky Nation,The Dakota continues its policy of booking lots of New Orleans’ fine musicians. Trombonist/vocalist Big Sam Williams leads this quintet through ”Noladelic Powerfunk,” a heady blend of funk, jazz, rock, and hip-hop. Their recently-released Songs in the Key of Funk, Vol. 1, has echoes of classic 80s funksters like The Dazz Band, Zapp, Parliament/Funkadelic, and others.

PaviElle @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($10, $12) A powerful R&B singer, PaviElle was voted Best R&B Vocalist 0f 2015 by City Pages. She’s also won an Upper Midwest Emmy, as well as a Sage award. She performs soul music for the millennial generation, though those of us of a certain age will find much to like in her singing, songwriting, and arrangements of others’ songs.

Claudia Schmidt  & Dean Magraw @ Ginko Coffeehouse, Saint Paul. ($20) Schmidt & Magraw have been performing together in both duo and group settings for many years, making for easy communication between the two, whether performing folk or jazz tunes.


Malamanya @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door)

Dream on Nilsson: A Tribute to Harry Nilsson @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 Advance/$18 Door)

Saturday, June 30

Johnny Rawls @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($10, $12) This journeyman soul singer’s 2008 release, Red Cadillac, was #1 on the Living Blues chart. His 2009 release Ace of Spades, reached #4, and was in the top 20 for three months, earning him a Blues Foundation award for Best Soul Blues Album of the Year.  Rawls is a professional who may just have some folks dancing in the table-filled lounge.

Third World @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($28 Advance, $30 Door) Third Worldhas been around for 43 years, delivering crossover Reggae hits using a mix of elements from R&B, funk, pop, and rock, and getting 10 Grammy nominations in the process. Opening is our own ska champions, The Skruffians.


Willie Murphy @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($?)

Tuesday, July 3

Ticket to Brazil @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($8 Advance/$10 Door) Bossa Novas and Brazilian Jazz from guitarist Pavel Jany and his cohorts, who have released four albums and played a number of national and international jazz events. Of special note is Brazilian vocalist Natania Kamin, who sings with the band and is currently living in Saint Paul.

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.


Art, Music. Music, Art. 5.13 – 5.19

May 13, 2015

UnknownThe lusty month of May, as it’s called in the musical Camelot, is busting with buds and greenery. All the better to get out and enjoy Art-A-Whirl in NE Minneapolis, or some of the great music found in our Twin Cities. From a couple of former Minnesotans visiting once again, to a CD release and some mighty fine visiting artists, we have much to choose from. Music lifts the spirit.


Wednesday, May 13

11205940_1401797490143620_650124457_nCasey O’Brien @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) O’Brien is a talented bassist/guitarist/arranger who has been heard around town in both jazz and R&B groups, including PaviElle and a number of Secret Stash groups. He’s released a jazz CD with Nathan Hanson, sax; and Davu Seru, drums entitled Ghost Dance and tonight will be joined by the duo as well as Ted Gadbout on keys.

Nick Videen Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) Videen is a NYC-based sax player who grew up in Cambridge, MN. He’s toured and/or recorded with Beyonce and a number of other high-profile R&B stars and leads the Superpower Horns, a grammy-winning horn section. I expect he’ll be drawing on Twin Cities Talent for tonight’s quartet.  He’s featured in this video:

Thursday, May 14

Dick and Janes Brass Band w/guest Thomasina Petrus @ Loring Pasta Bar, Minneapolis. 9:30 – 11:30pm (No Cover)  This five-piece brass band will have you parading around the dance floor at the Loring. Tonight they’re joined by vocalist Petrus, known for producing and staring in the Billie Holiday play Live at the Emerson Bar.

Le Percheron is named after a work horse

Le Percheron is named after a work horse

Le Percheron @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Bassist Adam Linz has put together a quintet of players who are strong on melodic improvisations: Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, trumpet; and Corey Healey, drums. The will be an opening set by Pandemonium Defender, whom I know nothing about, though, judging by the name, it just might be another Linz creation.

Friday, May 15

Irv Williams and Mary Louise Knutson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 4:30pm – 6:30pm. (Free) Irv Williams is proof that music can keep you young. The 92-year old saxophonist is joined today by the expressive pianist Ms. Knutson, a featured member of Doc Severinson’s midwest touring group when she isn’t playing around town.

Michael O’Brien Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist O’Brien is a former Twin Citizen who moved to NYC some years back where he has flourished. He’s played with a wide array of artists, ranging from Ruben Blades and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, to Gene Ptney, Matt Wilson, Sashal Vasandani, and Wessell Anderson. He’s been in town for a few gigs and tonight is joined by pianist Chris Lomheim and drummer Jay Epstein for what will surely be some transcendent music.

JoAnn-JazzLobbyBar-coverMDJazz in the Lobby Bar CD Release @ the Saint Paul Hotel, Saint Paul. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Pianist/vocalist JoAnn Funk and bassist Jeff Brueske have been holding down weekends at the Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar for seven years, building an audience that appreciates their arrangements of standards as well as unexpected gems from songwriters in many genres. They’ve finally released a CD and are celebrating by moving the party to the Hotel’s ballroom, and inviting guest artists Richard Kriehn, mandolin, violin; Pete Whitman, sax; Nathan Norman, drums; to join in the fun. I interviewed JoAnn on my show this past Saturday (May 9), which you can listen to, along with a couple of cuts from the new CD, by going here.

Saturday, May 16

Dean Magraw & Eric Kamau Gravatt @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) Talk about a dynamic duo! Guitarist Magraw and drummer Gravatt take you places you wouldn’t imagine. They can go inside, outside, and be funky as you wanna, while exploring all the sonic possibilities of their instruments.

Charlie Lincoln Group @ Elias Metal Studio, 1129 Van Buren Street, NE Minneapolis. 1pm. (Free) This is part of Art-A-Whirl, and features the “punk jazz” of Lincoln’s Physical Memory Dump featuring Peter Goggin, alto sax; Joey C. Hays, drums; and Charlie Lincoln, bass.

Fall of the House of Usher @ Elias Metal Studio, 1129 Van Buren Street, NE Minneapolis. 3pm (Free) This exciting band is led by Chris Bates, bass; and includes Chris Cunninham, guitar; Greg Schutte, drums and a four-pice horn section consisting of Nelson Devereaux; Adrean Larkin; Elliot Wachs; and Jon Davis.

Monday, May 18

Adam Rossmiller & Aaron Hedenstrom @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Trumpeter Rossmiller has played with Doc Severinson, Jason Marsalis, Natalie Cole, and Eric Alexander, among others. Aaron Hedenstrom is a composer/saxophonist with a recent fine CD, A Moment of Clarity, and his own big band. Tonight they’ll be playing what they want.

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm. Though I recently featured bassist/vocalist Lynch at an afternoon gig, I’m once again listing her since she’ll have a new band and be playing in this relatively new nightclub. Kate’s repertoire ranges from the 20s and 30s to an occasional tune from the 60s, all delivered with a sly bit of sass. Her version of Tiptoe Thru the Tulips suggests way more than Tiny Tim could have imagined.

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

Blues, Roots, Other….

Wednesday, May 13

Siami plays guitar

Siami plays guitar

Mikkel & Siami on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip jar) Siami Matuzungidi is an internationally renowned guitarist from Zaire, whose liquid playing helped establish Soukous in the mid-70s. He now lives in Minneapolis, and has found, in Mikkel Beckman,  a simpatico percussionist for his hip-swaying sounds. Beckmen is well-known in the roots community for his work with Charlie Parr and Corpse Reviver, among others. Tune in at 5pm, and head over to the 331 Club to hear more.

Thursday, May 14

American Composers Forum 40th Anniversary @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 9:30pm, (Free) Through grants, commissions, and performance opportunities, the ACF supports composers of all stripes in developing audiences for their music. They are celebrating with National Composers Night Out, linking composers thought the nation via social media, and by presenting a number of groups including VocalEssence, the “maverick chamber music” of Orange Mighty Trio, the chamber jazz of JelloSlave, and more.

Eric Bibb @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25 – $30) Bibb is a blues singing acoustic finger-picker, whose smooth voice, excellent guitar playing, and storytelling skills set him apart in the best possible way. Blues fans will not want to miss him.

Friday, May 15

Jimmi & the Band of Souls @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($TBD) Though they didn’t win big at the International Blues Challenge this year, Jimmi & the Band of Souls won the heart of Miss Ella, a nationally known reviewer and one of the judges, who highly praised their album The Devil You Know. You can hear their high-energy original blues at tonight’s early show.

Hyentyte @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) They’ll have to move a few tables for the dancing that will surely take place when this six-piece jam/rock band takes the stage. If the doors are open, so much the better for dancers as well as those taking advantage of the beer offerings of the Tap Room.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Art-A-Whirl in NE Minneapolis. Various hours (Free)   Lots of music throughout NE Minneapolis during these three days. Get a rundown of music here. A couple of bands of note on Saturday: Gospel Machine and Southside Desire at Anchor Fish & Chips starting at 6pm; Black Market Brass and Black Diet at Bauhaus Brew Labs starting at 7pm; Grant Hart and Cactus Blossoms at Grumpy’s NE starting at 7:15pm.

Saturday, May 16

Willie Walker & the We R Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Crooners has been featuring jazz vocalists during the week and more R&B oriented acts on the weekends, when the small dance floor fill up, as it will surely do tonight with the soulful sounds of Walker.

Sub-Commandos @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. Doors at 7pm music at 9? ($15) It’s a Twin Cities Punk/New Wave Revival as aging rockers show that they still have what it takes to set First Avenue vibrating. The Sub-Commandos feature members of the Suburbs, Suicide Commandos, and Wallets. Also on hand: Yipes!, from Wisconsin; the New Spooks featuring Curtiss A; Hypstrz; and Flamingo

Sunday, May 17

Urban Pioneers @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) This duo (Liz Sloan, fiddles/vocals; and Jared McGovern, bass/vocals/clawhammer banjo) from San Francisco play rootsy, Appalachian style music, which actually should sound quite good at the Lakeside Pavillion. Opening is Beneath the Crow, a five-piece who describe their music as Southern Goth Folk.

Inti-Illimani and Los Llaneros @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($30) This evening of Latin American music is a benefit for a Chilean Music and Arts School called Sol Del Illimani. Inti-Illimani are a legendary Chilean group who has been thrilling audiences with a blend of poetic and political music for over 40 years. Their talent is staggering, as they deftly move among 30 or more instruments. Los Llaneros perform the music of the plains (Llanos) around the Orinoco River in Colombia and Venezuela. Here’s Inti-Illimani.

Monday, May 18

Willie Murphy @ the Richfield American Legion, 6500 Portland Avenue, Richfield.  7pm (Tip Jar?) Murphy holds forth on this jam every Monday. Who knows who will stop by to participate. One thing is for sure. Willie will be the ringmaster, bringing out the best in everyone.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar. Dancers might want to check out the calendar for U Wanna Dance.

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