April and Snow – Music: 3.28-4.3

March 28, 2018

Enough Already!

We’re heading into April, and just as the Prince song says, Sometimes It Snows in April, at least that’s what seems to be forecast for the next week. At any rate, it doesn’t appear to be enough snow to hinder our ability to get out and enjoy the visiting and resident musicians who are appearing around town. Remember, Music Lifts the Spirit.



Wednesday, March 28

Patricia Barber @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40) Artful jazz from pianist/vocalist/songwriter Barber, whose low voice and slow delivery could be heard as sultry, there is more thought than seduction in her songs. It’s been a while since she appeared here in the Twin Cities, where she has many fans who are sure to welcome her back.

Thursday, March 29

JC Sandford Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) JC Sanford, trombone, compositions; Zacc Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums

Aja Parham Group @ Jazz Central, Minnreapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Nice to see such a fine vocalist performing after a while out of the spotlight. She’ll be supported by Kenneth Garner, bass; Steven Hobert, piano; Ben Boussieres, guitar; and Trenon Graham, drums.

ColLaboratory@ Khyber Pass, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Matt Rahaim (South Indian music); Scott Currie (saxophone, wind instruments); Maja Radovanlija (classical guitar); Jay Afrisando (indonesian instruments, electronics,etc.); Mike Duffy (electronics); Joey Crane (cello); Adam Zahler (multiintrumentalist); Noah OB (trumpet); Paul Metzger (banjo)

Thursday – Sunday, March 29-31

The Drowsy Chaperone @ The Lab Theater,  700 North 1st St, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Augsburg’s Music Theater Club is presenting this “loving send-up of the jazz age.” It won five Tonys for its show stopping songs and dance numbers, including Best Book, and Best Original score. For more information and tickets, go here. Here’s one of the songs from Sutton Foster.

Friday, March 30

Michelle Kinney’s What We Have Here @ Jazz Central, Minnreapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Michelle Kinney, cellist & composer; Pat O’Keefe, clarinet and sax; Laura Harada, violin; Noah Ophoven Baldwin, Cornet; Greg Schutte, drums; Adam Zahller, voice. (With special guests Ivan & Chris Cunningham). Original compositions and an arrangement of Bon Iver’s Flume.

Friday, Saturday, March 30, 31

Debbie Duncan Album Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) If you’ve been around the Twin Cities jazz scene for any time, you know what a treasure we have in vocalist Debbie Duncan. She’s got a new album and is celebrating its release with this two-night stand. Roane Shepperly, writing for Mid-West Jazz, describes her thusly: “Her voice, like the garments she often wears, is full of shimmering gold threads, intricately woven around rich dark textures and warm honey tones.”

Saturday, March 31

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar)  7:00pm: It’s a two-fer of Joel Shapira music, featuring the Charmin & Shapira Quartet at 7pm: Charmin Michelle, Vocals; Joel Shapira, Guitar; Tom Lewis, Bass; and Nathan Norman, Drums. At 8:30pm it’s The Joel Shapira Quartet: ​Joel Shapira, Guitar; Pete Whitman, Saxophones; Tom Lewis, Bass, and Phil Hey, Drums, along with some special guests

Monday, April 2

Jon Weber @ Dual Citizen Brewing, 725 Raymond Avenue, Saint Paul. 7pm ($25 suggested donation) This benefit for the Twin Cities Jazz Festival is being held at a new brewery, just South of University on Raymond Avenue. Weber is a Jazz Fest regular who skill at playing any kind of piano style is matched by his command of musical trivia. Always a delight.

Le Voyage @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Two sets of music freely composed on the spot from Le Voyage: Donald Washington, reeds; Matt Trice, alto sax; Dick Studer, bass; and Steve Hirsh, 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, March 28

Switched at Birth on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Formed in 1998, Switched at Birth is a five-piece acoustic group that plays bluegrass, folk, blues country, Cajun, Irish, and rock n’ roll music. Whew!

The Beavers @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6-8pm (Free) This quintet of women will charm you with their quick wit and humor as they play bluegrass and old-timey music.

Thursday, March 29

Koch-Marshall Trio/with guest David Grissom @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15 Advance/$20 Door) The Koch-Marshall trio is a blues-based organ trio that delivers echoes of funk, jazz, rock, and country over heavy grooves. Guitarist David Grissom is a heavy hitter who’s played with Joe Ely, John Mellencamp, Buddy Guy, the Allmans, Dixie Chicks, Ringo Starr and more.

Shemekia Copeland and Carolyn Wonderland@ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45) It’s a twosome of strong blueswomen. Copeland is a two-time Grammy nominee, whose big voice and her way with the blues seems to come naturally. After all, she’s the daughter of the late Johnny Copeland. Though Wonderland is a bit of a multi-instrumentalist, she’s best known for her soulful vocals and her ability to plumb the Texas blues tradition with her fierce, original guitar playing. Here’s Wonderland in Des Moines a few days ago.

Los Amigos Invisibles @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($20 Advance/$25 Door) Originally from Venezuela, Los Amigos create a dance-til-you-drop mix of Latin and funk rhythms. At their last appearance at the Cedar, they packed the place with smiling, twirling, and dancing fans.

Friday, March 30

Big George Jackson @ Schooner’s, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Big George is a big-voiced bluesman who can sing low down as well as boogie with the best.

The Committee @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?)   The Committee is composed of vocalists Maurice Jacox, Deb Brown, and Aisha Baker, who performed together in the Soul Tight Committee. They’ll be backed by a seven-piece horn band to perform “Old School R&B” from the likes King Floyd, Freda Payne, Taste of Honey, The Spinners, Al Green, Jackson 5, and Aretha Franklin, among others.

Sunday, April1

Natania & Ticket To Brasil @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 6pm ($8 Advance/$10 Door) Hot Sambas, cool jazz, and sensuous bossa novas from this septet, with the extra added attraction of vocalist Natania, a Brazilian native now living in Saint Paul.

Tuesday, April 3

Curt Obeda & Camille Baudoin @ Schooner’s, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Left-handed guitarist Obeda might just be the most awarded bluesman in Minnesota, while Camille Baudoin, formerly of New Orleans’ Radiators, provides perfect counterpoint in this meeting of musical talents. Here thy are with Peter Ostrousko and Newport Slim.

Lush Country @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $15 for Guaranteed Seat) Classic country from the 50s and 60s, as performed by vocalist Prudence Johnson, Dan Chouinard, piano; Gary Rue, guitar; Gary Raynor, bass; Richard Kriehn, mandolin; Joe Savage, pedal steel; and Peter Johnson, drums.

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.


Jazz, Folk, and Blues: 9.16 – 9.22

September 16, 2015
The Capri Big Band. Photo by Andrea Canter

The Capri Big Band. Photo by Andrea Canter

What a stellar week ahead! We have three old school folkies visiting town, as well as a couple of great jazz vocalists, a Nepalese rock band, and both a jazz and a rockin’ blues festival on Saturday. Music lifts the spirit


Wednesday, September 16

Lila Ammons @ Tangiers, Minneapolis. 8pm (No Cover) Vocalist Ms Ammons is getting ready to head off for another tour of Europe during late September through October. Stop by and see her perform jazz and blues standards at this lounge with comfy, large booths and leather sofas.

Asher Kurtz @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested Donation) This young guitarist is only 22 and already making a name for himself. After recently graduating from Berklee College of Music, he toured Europe with Terri Lyne Carrington, and has settled in NYC. Here’s a video of him with a group including Twin Cities trumpeter Jake Baldwin.

Thursday, September 17

Jason Weismann & The ‘Q’ @  Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Weismann is an emerging saxophonist active in a number of groups as well as a vocalist in the crooning tradition with his own band. With The “Q” he performs songs by Sinatra, Chet Baker, Mel Torme, and similar jazz vocalists. Plus, he can get into a funky groove as well.

Patricia Barber @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Cool, erudite, and adventurous, Barber is a pianist, vocalist, and composer who may be one of the most individual jazz artists on the scene today. Her own songs are poetic, filled with unforgettable imagery and imagination. The New York Times says of her, “This is the kind of art we need to be on the lookout for everywhere.”

Lund, Paris, & Scofield @ Jazz Central, MInneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Three vocalists for the price of one. Jennifer Lund has sung mezzo-soprano with the Minnesota Chorale for the last 14 years, and began studying jazz a few years ago. She’s a student of Vicky Mountain. Suzanne Paris made her debut with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Jazz Unlimited Series, and has sung backup to many recording artists. Susan Scofield has been singing since the age of 5, has performed with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Swing Beat Big Band, and is currently a member of Vocal Essence.

Friday, September 18

Evan Benidt Quintet @ Jazz Central, MInneapolis. 8:00pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Saxophonist Benidt and his group: Joe Mayo, sax; Javi Santiago, piano; Greg Byers, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums – will feature jazz blues, and rock, from jazz standards to Joe Satriani.

Bryan Nichols Quartet @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Pianist Nichols spent four years in Chicago honing his craft and playing with such heavyweight musicians as  Nicole Mitchell, Von Freeman, and Hamid Drake. Nichols plays in a number of groups around town in addition to leading his own, but tonight he is bringing up some friends from Chicago: Kurt Schweitz, bass; Jim Gailoreto, sax; and Jon Deltemyer, drums. Her is Nichols with  a quartet of Twin Cities’ musicians

Saturday, September 19

Freedom Jazz Festival @ Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis. Noon – 6pm (Free) Often called “The best little jazz festival in town,” this year’s lineup includes The George Scott Trio: The Tangents; Three Women of Jazz: Debbie Duncan, Yolande Bruce, & Linda Sloan; The Minneapolis Jazz Workshop; jam sessions; the Capri Big Band; and more, as well as art and family activities.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) . The Zeb Cruikshank Band opens: Cruikshank  guitar; Dan Musselman, piano; Brent Wallace, bass; and Byron Johnson-Blanchard, drums. They’re followed at 8:30 by Paul Harper’s Show and Tell, featuring saxophonist Harper  a member of the Illicit Sextet, among other bands; Charlie Riddle, bass; Mike Cramer, guitar; and Pete Hennig, drums.

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Ms Lynch is an excellent bassist and engaging vocalist, and her Excellent Fellows provide the support she needs as they play songs from the 30s to the 60s. Many of her songs are fox-trots, the kind of music to which almost anyone can dance, or medium tempo swing numbers. Here she is doing a number by the Ink Spots.

Monday, September 21

The Potash Twins @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Trumpeter Adeev and Trombonist Ezra have settled into the Twin Cities for a while after recording their eponymously titled album here produced by Steven Greenberg of Funkytown fame. Though both are only 21, they’ve managed to play and study with an extraordinary coterie of musicians, including Wynton Marsalis and Jon Baptiste, the music director for Steven Colbert’s new show. they’ve also performed at Jazz at Lincoln Center, South by Southwest, Birdland, and Warren Buffet’s Annual Shareholder’s meeting. Their music is jazz wrapped up in pop sensibilities, or as guitar ace Cory Wong puts it, their music falls “someplace between Katy Perry and Miles Davis.” A CD release party earlier this summer was sold out at the Icehouse. Here they are talking about their music.

Tuesday, September 22

Chris Lomheim Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Sometimes subtle, often inspired, and always ear-pleasing, pianist Lomheim leads a trio through some cool tunes.

Connie Evingson & The Parisota Hot Club @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Robb Henry, Matt Senjum, and Jay Epstein, aka The Parisota Hot Club  along with special guest Dave Karr on sax, provide the support as Ms Evingson explores Django Rheinhardt-inspired tunes.

Tuesday, Wednesday, September 22, 23

Lizz Wright @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50) Wright was a preacher’s kid, and sang in church during most services. That start certainly informs her music, but she is also able to integrate blues, soul, pop, and jazz into her performances. Freedom & Surrender  Is her fifth album since her debut in 2003. It features a number of songs she co-wrote with folks like Jesse Harris (Norah Jones), and JD Souther (Linda Ronstadt & lots more), and just received a four-star review in Downbeat, which said, “Well played and expertly sung, Freedom & Surrender shows Wright continuing to mature and developing her distinctive voice.” Here’s a recent video

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, September 16

BB King Birthday Bash with Ray Covington @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10 pm (No Cover) BB King was, perhaps, the most jazz-oriented of all blues musicians, so having Covington, who can easily traverse jazz, blues, and old school R&B, perform some of King’s music is practically a no-brainer. Here he is doing a slow jam.

Heritage Blues Orchestra @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45), 9pm ($35) This aggregation is dedicating to showcasing the power and possibilities of African American music. They combine the energy of gospel, the emotion of the blues, and the power of field hollers, and gospel music to create something new, getting rave reviews from the Wall Street Journal, Vintage Guitar Magazine, and Downbeat in the process.

Thursday, September 17

Paul Cebar’s Tomorrow Sound @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10?) Cebar’s eclectic taste in music can be heard on his Wednesday morning radio show on WMSE in Milwaukee (www.wmse.org), where he plays a mix of deep soul and R&B, as well as Brazilian, Cuban, African, classic ska & reggae, and other pan-tropical songs. He takes these influences and creates infectious, highly rhythmic tunes that will have you getting your dancing shoes out of the closet to spin, twirl, and bop on the commodious dance floor at the MMC. Here’s a fun video that features the band playing as well Paul talking about music.

Friday, September 18

Archie Fisher @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($25, $20 advance) When Fresh Air Radio first started back in the late 70s and early 80s, Fisher was a favorite of the station’s folk programs, and still is on their playlists. The Scottish troubadour will be celebrating the release of his first album in seven years, A Silent Song, on Red House Records, which has also had a long association with Fresh Air.

Al Stewart @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($35) Not only do we have Scottish Troubadour Archie Fisher in town tonight, but we have Scottish folk rocker, Al Stewart, who came to prominence in the late 70s with the top ten The Year of the Cat and its platinum follow up, Time Passages. He makes use use of historical references and literary sources in his songwriting, with The Lord of the Rings providing inspiration for his very first single in 1966, and has never stopped recording or touring. His latest album, Uncorked, has received very postive reviews. It is a live venture that showcases the breadth of Stewart’s writing yet stays away from the obvious hits of his career. Here’s what you can expect.

Saturday, September 19

Annual Rockin’ Music Fest @ Shaw’s Bar & Grill, NE Minneapolis. 4pm – close. (No Cover) The Brian Naughton Band will be starting the festivities at 4pm. Naughton will be especially rockin’ since he’s celebrating a birthday. At 8:00, Shannon Curfman will take the stage. The exciting guitarist has sold a quarter million albums and has been Kid Rock’s duet partner, background singer, and guitarist since 2010. At 10pm things move inside when Paul Mayasich and the RAMM Band take to the stage. Here’s Curfman doing a classic from the 70s.

Dee Miller Band @ Holihan’s Pub, White Bear Lake. 8pm (Tip Jar) Get yourself some earth-shakin’ blues with Ms Miller and her cohorts, who will pack the tiny club and deliver your blues jones with gusto.

Sunday, September 20

7.8 Rock the Rubble featuring Albatross @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 1pm – 5pm ($20-$35 Advance, $40 Door) Nepal suffered through twin devastating earthquakes this past Spring – one at 7.8 and the other at 7.3, with over 400 aftershocks. Nine thousand died, and over 22,000 were injured. This show featuring Albatross, a Nepalese rock band, is a fundraiser for Earthquake relief in Nepal. Albatross is a four piece with crunchy guitars, and though their lyrics are Nepalese, their sound, whether on rockers or ballads, will be familiar to anyone with a passing interest in metal and hard rock. Hot Date, folk duo specializing in love songs, and This Mad Future, a quintet from Saint Cloud, open. Here’s Albatross.

Matuto and Daddy Squeeze @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) Matuto is a New York group that uses a plethora of Brazilian instruments to play Appalachian and traditional blues combined with the rhythms of Northern Brazil. Daddy Squeeze, which opens, is another of accordionist Dan Newton’s groups that plays a swinging mix of blues, Cajun, Tex-Mex, and French rhythms. Here’s Matuto with a unique cover of Beyonce.

Sunday, Monday, September 20, 21

Mambo’s Combo @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) Be prepared to dance as Mambo’s Combo brings the groove to the North Loop. They’ve been playing this weekly gig since 1987, covering rhythmic rock and R&B tunes with panache and grit. Visiting and resident musicians will often sit in for a tune or two.

Monday, September 21

Tom Paxton w/Joe Vezner & Don Henry @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) What with Archie Fischer and Al Stewart in town this week, Tom Paxton makes it a trifecta of folk music. In 2009, he received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for his work, which spans more than 50 years. Paxton has written songs with enduring appeal, like The Last Thing On My Mind, Bottle of Wine (a hit for the Fireballs in the 60s), and Ramblin Boy, as well as topical protests songs about current events, like Talking Watergate, Without DeLay, about the former congressman, and Train for Auschwitz, about the holocaust. While Crooners might not be a typical venue for Paxton, it is a good listening room for the intimacy of Paxton’s performance. Check out this topical number about banks.

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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