From Jazz Masters to New Takes on Tradition: 10:5 – 10.11

October 6, 2016
Food for the Food Opera!

Food for the Food Opera!

This week we’ve a couple of great pianists visiting town, as well as a visiting ten-piece jazz band. In addition, we’ll be treated to some hot swing, acoustic blues, new R&B, and new takes on traditional music from Columbia and the Nordic countries, as well as a record release party, a scat-off, and a food opera! Not to mention the talented musicians who live and perform in our Twin Towns. Get out. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 5

Kenny Barron Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($354, $40), 9pm ($30, $35) A rare chance to see the elegant and lyrical pianist Barron. The Philadelphia native  moved to New York in 1962 at the age of 19 and began playing with the likes of Lee Morgan, Roy Haynes, and James Moody. He was a member of Dizzy Gillespie’s Orchestra, and performed with other masters such as Stanley Turrentine, Freddie Hubbard, and Milt Jackson. He taught at Rutgers from ’73 until 2000 and is now teaching at Julliard. Barron has won numerous awards and accolades from Downbeat, Jazz Times, and Jazzis magazines, as well as from the Jazz Journalists association.

Debbie Duncan @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. &pm ($10, $35 w/Dinner) Tonight the highly respected Ms Duncan explores the music of Billie Holiday. Classic songs by a classic singer.

Anthony Cox Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Cox brings another sterling group to his once-a-month-curated gig. This time the bassist is accompanied by Brandon Wozniak, sax; Peter Schimke, piano; and Rodney Ruckus, drums. Expect great originals and cool interpretations of jazz standards.

Thursday, October 6

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Bassist Brian Courage is back in town, and appearing with his quartet, which includes: Brandon Wozniak, sax; Luke Polipnick, guitar; and Pete James Johnson on drums. Here’s a video of Courage and two other bassists – he’s in the middle – or you can get an idea of what the band sounds like here.

Connie Evingson w/Travis Anderson Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) This looks like a winning combination. The Travis Anderson Trio  with Anderson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums, can swing standards with the best of them. Ms Evingson has fans from across the nation, thanks to her straightforward, always fresh, and yet sensuous interpretations of Peggy Lee, the Beatles, Dave Frishberg, bossa novas, and hot club tunes.

Dean Magraw & Davu Seru @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) You may have read about Khyber Pass and this Thursday night series in the Strib a week or so back. Tonight guitarist Magraw and drummer Seru bring their close communication and always interesting improvisations to the small restaurant. Here’s a video of the two of them with guest Dave Graf.

Friday, October 7

Chris Misch-Bloxdorf Dectet @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Originally from Wisconsin, trombonist Misch-Bloxdorf brings a ten-piece group to the basement club to play his original chamber jazz, which features elements of hip-hop, metal, electronic, and indie-rock. After graduating from Lawrence in WI (which is turning out excellent musicians), he recently received his masters from NYU, studying with Kenny Werner, among others. You can listen to some of his music here.

Xibaba @ SW Craft Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (tip Jar) Get a hit of Brazilian jazz, Bossa Novas, Sambas, Forros, and Choros from Mira and Tom Kehoe and friends.

Saturday, October 8

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Steve Kimmel, mallet percussion; and Greg Byers, cello, perform the opening set, followed at 8:30 by the Park Evans Quintet, with Evans, guitar; Evan Benidt, sax; Steve Kenny, Flumpet, Ted Olson, bass, and Greg Schutte, drums.

Singers Scat-Off @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15, $5 w/Student ID) Some of you who went to the Jazz Festival this past June may remember an event at Golden’s where various singers scatted, both solo, in duos, trios, and in a Scat-Off featuring all the singers. That was so well received that some of the participants put together this show, hosted by Maryann Sullivan, and featuring Dorothy Doring, Sarah M. Greer, Jana Nyberg, and Jason Peterson DeLaire. The audience will be invited to choose a champion after seeing all of them in action.

Sunday, October 9

Sunday B3 Jam Session @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 4pm – 6pm ($5) Guitarist Cole Mahlum hosts this jam session, the success of which, is at least partially up to who shows up to play. It can get greasy, funky, and out there.

Benny Green Solo @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 5pm ($30, $65w/dinner) The Dunsmore Room has a new Steinway piano, chosen with the help of Fred Hirsch, and Benny Green is here to christen it with a solo performance. Green can be called a “keeper of the flame” for hard bop as he passes on the lessons he learned from Betty Carter, Art Blakey, and Ray Brown to a younger generation. He  was last in town in October when he gave a sparkling performance at the Dakota.

Tuesday, October 11

Chris Lomheim, Shapria/Granros duo @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (Lomheim, no cover), 8pm (Shapira/Granros, $5) Another two-fer night at the Vieux, starting with pianist Chris Lomheim, followed by an interesting guitar duo. Joel Shapira plays both jazz and classical music on his nylon-stringed guitar, and can be heard with vocalist Charmin Michelle and other groups about town. Dean Granros, who can often be heard with How Birds Work, among other groups, can play fairly straight as well as “out” with great facility and imagination. They’ve an excellent album recorded at the 2014 Twin Cities Jazz Festival.

For more listings, 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, October 5

Bingham & Thorne on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) I always look forward to this duo’s annual visit to the House Party and the 331 Club. Bob Bingham and Gordon Thorne are great storytellers, whether in song or in-between patter. They are accomplished guitarists on both six and twelve-strings, with Thorne also bringing out a mandolin from time to time. They’re even bringing in a special guest, acclaimed fiddler Randy Sabien! Whether playing festivals, libraries, or dive bars, Bingham and Thorne are always fun. Tune in to the House party and then head over to the 331 Club.

Thursday, October 6

Paul Mayasich’s Hot Seat w/Big George Jackson and Jeremy Johnson @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Guitarist Mayasich always brings in compatible players who help stretch his usual wizardry. Tonight he’s got the singer/harpist with a booming voice, Big George Jackson, along with Jackson’s ever-present cohort, guitarist/drummer Jeremy Johnson.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, October 6,7,8

Saint Paul Food Opera @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 11am, 12: 30pm Thursday and Friday, 5:30pm, 7:30pm Friday, Saturday ($35 lunch, $70 Dinner) Here’s a way to combine your gustatory experience with an aural experience. Zeitgeist composer Ben Houge, and a number of outstanding Saint Paul chefs are teaming up to mix musical and culinary arts. As described Delectable dishes will be paired with evocative music to enhance the experience of both. Composer Houge is creating a set of musical works for Zeitgest, the new music ensemble of piano, woodwinds, and two percussionists. The music will be paired with dishes prepared by chefs from Tongue in Cheek, Saint Dinette, The Handsome Hog, Golden’s Lowertown, Izzy’s Ice Cream, and Brake Bread. Houge’s music is beautiful, with a meditative quality that nevertheless has little surprises scattered throughout each composition, much as a dish might have a number of different flavors. This isn’t the first time Houge has created food operas, as you can read here.

Friday, October 7

Armadillo Jump @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm ($5)The five-piece Armadillo Jump will have the commodious dance floor at Wilebski’s filled with blues lovers who like to dance.

Erik Koskinen and Randy Weeks @ The Hook & Lander Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) Koskinen is a sharp guitarist and songwriter, who uses the vernacular of classic country music to write about personal issues and comment on American life, whether small town values, or tracking. Windom-born, Texas-based Randy Weeks is another observant songwriter, whose music can meld surf rock with folk rock, and Americana with pop. He happens to be the writer of Lucinda Williams’ hit Can’t Let Go, from her Grammy winning album Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. Here’s a video of Weeks.

Friday, Saturday, October 7, 8 

Squirrel Nut Zippers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $50), 9pm ($35 – $45) Back in the mid-90s, the Zippers were part of a swing revival that was sweeping the nation creating a retro, yet definitely hot sound that hearkened back to hot jazz of New Orleans, as well as swing of the 30s. They sold over a million copies of Hot, their second album. This is their first tour since 2009, and band founders Jimbo Mathus and Chris Phillips have recruited some New Orleans musicians to spice up their sound, as well as singer Ingrid Lucia of the Flying Neutrinos.

Saturday, October 8

Dee Miller Band @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Saturday night tends to be party night at Crooners. Case in point: Ms Miller, who, together with a tight band, can raise the roof and cause folks to push tables aside and dance.

Sonny Knight & The Lakers Record Release @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15, Advance,. $17 Door) It’s a funky, funky night at First Avenue, as Sonny Knight and the Lakers release their second studio album, Sooner or Later. From the uptempo title tune, to the slow building finale of Oh Mary, Knight’s emotional singing and the Lakers’ tight playing create a satisfying slab of soul that moves well beyond any attempt at retro R&B. Duluth horn band Big Dave Wave & the Ripples will start the party, followed by the deep grooves of Nooky Jones, before Knight & the Lakers take the stage.

Sunday, October 9

Henrencia de Timbiqui @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $35) This group from Columbia takes traditional folkloric music of their country and play it with modern instruments. What makes this group especially interesting is that Timbiqui, the town they come from, has deep African as well as Columbian roots, so you’ll hear those influences as well as elements of contemporary urban music.

Monday, October 10

King @ The Dakota, Minnapolis. ($27, $35) This female R&B vocal trio is made up of twins Paris and Amber Strother (originally from Minneapolis), and their musical sister, Anita Bias (from Los Angeles). They’ve received numerous accolades, are selling out venues around the US, and collaborated on the Grammy winning Move Love by Robert Glaspar, from his album Black Radio.

Tuesday, October 11

Nordic Fiddlers Block @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15 Advance, $18 Door) Take highly accomplished fiddlers from Norway, Sweden, and the Shetland Islands, have them focus on traditional music from each of their countries, add in rich harmonies and bass lines, and you have a trio that’s more than the sum of its parts. Their 2011 eponymous debut received acclaim from around the world, and they’re now touring behind a new release entitled Deliverance.

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.


Dads, Solstice, Music: 6.15 – 6.21

June 15, 2016
It's Back to the 50s at the State Fairgrounds

It’s Back to the 50s at the State Fairgrounds

We’ll be celebrating Solstice next Tuesday, the longest day of the year. It’s also Make Music Day in the Twin cities, as I note below. Coming up this weekend is Father’s Day and the Stone Arch Bridge Festival, with car shows and music, and The Back to the 50s Car Show at the State Fairgrounds. Lotsa reasons to get out and about. Have a good week and remember, Music Lifts the Spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 15

Chieli Minucci & Special EFX, featuring Eric Marienthal and Lao Tizer @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35), 9pm ($25, $30) Guitarist Chieli MInucci and drummer George Jinda started Special EFX, a world fusion group, for want of a better term, that, with the help of guest artists, created radio-friendly jazz into the late 90s. Jinda died in 2001 and Minucci carries on, this time with the help of saxophonist Eric Marienthal, who was a member of the Chick Corea Elektric Band for 6 CDs, and has performed with any number of superstars. Keyboardist Lao Tizer provides a modern take on jazz fusion ala Return to Forever and the Mahavishnu Orchestra.

Thursday, June 16

Wolverines Trio @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 7pm – 11:30pm. ($5) The folks at the new Viking are creating the occasional surprise in booking, as with this date, when the Wolverines Trio will get on the expanded stage and play.

Photos by Andrea Canter

Photos by Andrea Canter

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) What Would Monk Do?, Modern interpretations of Thelonious Monk, with Peter Schimke, piano; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; Billy Peterson, bass; and Kenny Horst, drums.

 

Friday, June 17

Jon Pemberton @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) Pemberton is a pianist and trumpeter who will provide music during dinner hour, rather than “dinner music.” After all, the New Orleans vibe, not to mention the food, calls for some playfulness.

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) This version of the Fellows is simply a trio, with Lynch on bass and vocals, Chris Beaty on guitar, and Peter Vircks on saxophone. Music from the 30s to 60s, delivered with élan in the lounge of a D’Amico restaurant.

Donald Washington Group @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Reed Master Donald Washington is joined by trumpeter Ryan Nether, bassist Dick Studer, and drummer Kevin Washington for thoughtful improvised music.

Dean Magraw & Marcus Wise @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 Student ID) Guitarist Magraw and tabla player Wise have been musical partners for over 30 years, creating music that is sublime, no matter what the rhythm.

Wozniak/Harris Quartet @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Zacc Harris, guitar; and Brandon Wozniak, sax; step back from many of the 21st Century groups in which they play, and pay attention to the standards that instilled in them a love of jazz. No word on who else will be in the band, but given their circle of musical partners, the results will be oh so fine.

Saturday, June 18

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) At 7pm it’s an opening band courtesy of the JazzINK Youth Showcase: The young but very capable band of the Will Schmid Group with Schmid, guitar; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Ben Ehrich, drums. At 8:30, it’s the Babatunde Lea Group led by the  conguero/drummer/percussionist.

Hard Bop Collective @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID)  The Hard Bop Collective: Pete Whitman, sax; Geoff Senn, trumpet; Levi Schwartzberg, piano; Shigefumi Tomita, bass; Jesse Simon, drums will deliver the music of folks like Benny Golson, Cedar Walton, Hank Mobley and others.

Isak Gaines Group featuring DeCarlo Jackson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9pm, – 11pm ($1-, $5 w/Student ID) New York based Isak Gaines has played at Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Paramount theater in Seattle, land jazz festivals in Italy and France. He recently toured Brazil with the New York Youth Symphony Jazz Band. His 8-piece group recently won the Downbeat Student Music Award for their debut recording Bits and Pieces. Playing with the group tonight is our very own fine young trumpeter/bassist DeCarlo Jackson, who has been gigging around town after a couple of years studying at the University of Manitoba.

Sunday, June 19

NY Meets MN @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Two groups: The Will Kjeer Summer Band features Kjeer on piano, along with Stephanie Wieseler on sax; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. I’m lucky enough to have recently heard each of these talented young musicians, though not together. From New York we have the Lucas Kadish Collective, with Kadish, guitar; Devon Gillingham on bass and Connor Parks on percussion, with special guest Zosha Warpeha on violin. Though Zosha is from Pine City, she, like her fellow New Yorkers, has been studying at the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. I believe this will be a fine evening of jazz.

Monday, June 20

David Hazeltine & Eric Alexander @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $50 Dinner), 9pm ($15, $45 Dinner) So, we have two of the most respected jazz artists in the country stopping by to play for us. Who knows what will ensue when a brilliant pianist (Hazeltine) and outstanding bebopper (Alexander on tenor) meet in a listening room overlooking a lake?

Canadian Girlfriend @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 Student) Well, the Calendar for Jazz Central says Canadian Girlfriend, but the description is for Improvestra, a local improvising orchestra with some real heft. They draw from a pool of 150 played to create a group of 10 to 25 for each performance. Further, their music is “groove oriented with a slight variation into the classical and cinematic worlds.” Really, that’s what the description said. So I don’t know if Canadian Girlfriend is the name of the show, an opera, or an opus, but it sounds intriguing

Tuesday, June 21

David Hazeltine/Eric Alexander Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $50 Dinner), 9pm ($15, $45 Dinner) After Hazeltine and Alexander warmed up last night (see above), they’re adding Billy Peterson on bass; and Kenny Horst on drums. What fun!

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, June 15

Machinery Hill on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 70m (331 Club – Tip Jar) There hasn’t been much farm machinery on the State Fair’s Machinery Hill for decades now, but the quintet named for the areal carries on, with its mix of old time folk music, along with touches of ska, klezmer, celtic and other musics.

Crankshaft & The Gear Grinders @ Como Conservatory, Saint Paul. 5:30pm (Free) You want roots rock, blues, & even some country, delivered up with the kind of energy once reserved for punk bands. There are activities for kids, while grownups can spread a blanket and have a picnic while gearing up for Crankshaft.

Thursday, June 16

Paul Mayasich Hot Seat w/Bruce McCabe, John Franken, and John Iden @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley (No Cover) Mayasich is a talented and well-respected guitar player, who invites other musicians to share the stage and play some music together. Tonight it’s Bruce McCabe on keys; John Franken on guitar; and John Iden on bass. I don’t think they’ll have much trouble catching the attention of the audience.

Friday, June 17

Jon Rodine & Friends @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 9:00pm ($5) Rodine is such a fine singer that he never has any trouble finding excellent players to back him up. Paul Bergeron opens.

Saturday, June 18

Roots Double Header @ The Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover), 9pm ($12) Nikki Roux and Rich Rue provide clarion vocals and stinging slide guitar to blues, folk, and folk-rock numbers at 6pm, while finger-picker Pat Donahue, who is one of the many fine fingerpickers in this region, not to forget he’s also a fine and composer, gets on stage at 9pm

Lucky Losers @ Shaws, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Phil Berkowitz and Cathy Lemons are Bay Area musicians who took to working together in 2012. Harpist/Vocalist Berkowitz covers a broad swath of sales, from West Coast Swing to New Orleans R&B and even a bit of country blues. Vocalist Lemons recording with Anson Funderburgh while she was coming up in Dallas, and has worked with john Lee Hooker, Tommy Castro, and others. She’s released four albums. This is their first tour of the Upper Midwest, and they’ll have a trio playing guitar, bass & drums with them.

Sunday, June 19

Charlie Parr @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (17, $22) Blues from Minnesota, that sounds like it’s been sucked up the Mississippi from the Delta. Parr has put more that 200,000 miles on his Kia, doing 250 shows a year. He’s possessed, in a totally good way, with blues lovers as beneficiaries.

Monday, Tuesday, June 20, 21

Edgar Winter @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $65, $75) Edgar Winter’s White Trash, the songs Frankenstein, Free Ride. This of you of a certain age may have flashbacks on hearing the songs, which dominated the airwaves in 1973, thanks to the album They Only Come Out At Night, which hit number 3 on the charts. With his brother Johnny Winter, Edgar learned much about music growing up in Texas, and still has plenty to say.

Tuesday, June 21

Make Music Twin Cities@ Various Locations. All Day. (No Cost) Make Music Day is a worldwide celebration of music, in which music makers of all stripes play in various places throughout a city, not necessarily in nightclubs or coffeehouses. For instance, at the Lake Phalen Amphitheater, there will be a toddler’s music class from 5pm – 6pm, and a group harmonica lesson in the blues from 6:30pm – 7pm. Meanwhile in Nordeast Mpls, Sarah Jane’s Music School will have a group guitar jam from 7:30 – 8pm, and at Pedro Park in downtown Saint Paul, there will be a noontime Gutiar Jam. For information, go to: http://makemusicday.org/twincities/

 

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.


May and Music are Upon Us: 5.5 – 5.10

May 5, 2016
Trees are flowering. Photo from Bill Lindeke's blog

Trees are flowering. Photo from Bill Lindeke’s blog

I’m a day late in posting this. Sometimes life gets in the way of what we’re doing. Anyway, we have a week filled with music coming up, only a portion of which I’ve listed. We have visiting artists from Malaysia, Atlanta, and Chicago, in addition to shows by a number of our own outstanding resident artists. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Thursday, May 5

Dorothy Doring @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5 w/studentID) Versatile vocalist Doring will be performing various jazz favorites, including, I imagine, some from her 3 excellent albums. She’ll be accompanied by pianist March Ziegenhangen on piano.

Friday, May 6

Rio Nido @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) It may be nigh unto impossible to score tickets to see this beloved vocal trio  They rose out of the West Bank music scene in the 70s to become Twin Cities favorites through the mid-eighties by performing classic jazz from the 30s and 40s. After successful solo careers, Prudence Johnson, Tim Sparks, and Tom Lieberman had successful solo careers, and recently rediscovered the joys of performing together again. Here’s what they sound like.

Peter Kogan’s Monsterful Wonderband @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Kogan  former tympanist with the Minnesota Orchestra, has been bringing his jazz chops to the fore since his retirement last year. He’s already released two fine albums, with music that touches on many aspects of the jazz continuum. The drummer’s band includes: Goeff Senn, Trumpet; Pete Whitman, Sax; Scott Agster, Trombone; Chris Olson, Guitar; Sean Turner, Piano; Graydon Peterson, Bass

 

Saturday, May 7

The MN Hard Bop Collective @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Saxophonist Andrew Schwandt is relocating from the Twin Cities, so this group is playing a farewell concert for him. Besides Schwandt, members include: Ryan Nyther, trumpet; Javier Santiago, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jesse Simon, drums. They’ll be playing a classic hard bop repertoire, that music popularized by Art Blakey, Horace Silver, Hank Mobley, and Lee Morgan, among others. It’s a style that has both gospel and R&B influences, yet never strays from jazz.

Sophia Shorai @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley 7:30pm (No Cover) Here’s a date night opportunity if their ever was one. Shorai  s a singer who can go from sweet to heartbroken with ease. She has been performing in the area for over 10 years, producing five self-released albums covering bossa nova, the Great American Songbook, some modern classics, and her own compositions. She has a knack for picking stellar sidemen as well. Here’s a clip that showcases her way with a ballad.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Tonight’s opening act is the Plus One Trio, with Anthony Bloch, drums; Nate Baumeister, saxophones; Benjamin Allen, trombone; and Jason Mclean, bass. At 8:30, it’s Witch Hunt, a tribute to Wayne Shorter’s Speak No Evil album. Members include: Adam Nussbaum, drums; Joy Mayo, saxophones; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; Ted Godbout, piano; and Ted Olsen, bass.

Phillip Greenlief @ Jazz at Studio Z, Saint Paul. ($10 Advance, $15 Door) The San Francisco-based saxophonist comes to town to play with Nathan Hanson, sax; Chis Bates, bass; and Davu Seru, drums. Greenlief has been making a name for himself since the 1970s, performing and playing with a varied group of musicians in the post jazz, improvisational community, including Fred Firth, Meredith Monk, and They Might be Giants. As always, there is a free master class at 6pm. Those who come for the master class and stay for the concert only pay $10. Here’s an example of his approach to playing.

Sunday, May 8

Hanging Hearts – Chris Weller @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/student ID) This Chicago based trio integrates jazz, rock, and experimental music into their performances. They’ve toured internationally, appeared at the Chicago Jazz Festival, and will be heading into the studio in June with Dave King producing. Chris Weller, tenor; Cole DeGenova, keys; Devin Drobka, drums & percussion. Here they are performing in Slovakia.

Monday, May 9

Joe Mayo & Dave Brattain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w./student ID) Two heavy hitting saxophonists in town get together to play music they don’t usually play in big bands.

Jazz Implosion @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) 1st set – JT Bates,  2nd set – Hanging Hearts (Chicago). If you didn’t get to see them yesterday at Jazz Central, here’s another chance:  Chris Weller, sax; Devin Drobka, drunms; Cole DeGenova, keys.  While Chris and Cole grew up in Chicago, playing professionally in jazz and blues clubs by the age of 15, the trio was completed at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where all three members graduated. The trio’s repertoire consists of their original compositions.

Tuesday, May 10

Stu Katz and Friends @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) 1st set solo, 2nd set with son Steven, bass & vocals; Jay Epstein, drums. Over his long career, Chicagoan Stu Katz has performed in numerous public venues with young and old bebop luminaries including Gene Ammons, Kenny Burrell, Joey DeFrancesco, Dexter Gordon, Bunky Green, Roy Haynes, Milt Jackson, “Philly” Joe Jones, Clifford Jordan, Russell Malone, James Moody, Zoot Sims, Sonny Stitt, Ira Sullivan and Phil Woods. Here he is back in 1985 at the Chicago Jazz Festival with Doc Cheatham.

For more listings, 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…

Thursday, May 5

Rare Medium @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Is it jazzy funk or funky jazz? I’m never quite sure where to list this six-piece band that crosses genres to get people shaking their booty while using appealing jazz harmonies.

Walter Trout @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) As fans of this master of rockin’ blues guitar know, Trout was diagnosed with life-threatening liver failure and hepatitis C in 2013, and received a liver transplant in 2014. His last album, Battle Scars, was filled with stories of his fight to stay alive, while the soon-to-be-released Alive in Amsterdam, is a celebration of his return. Expect some blues-filled fireworks. The under-appreciated guitarist Ken Valdez, who has played with everyone from Dr. John and Michael Franti to The Wallflowers, Marshall Crenshaw, and Maceo Parker, opens at 7pm.

Friday, May 6

Bruce Hamm & Marcus Wise @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/student ID) Hmm, we have here the first presentation of North Indian classical music at this jazz venue. Many in the Twin Cities know tabla player Marcus Wise for his work with the likes of Dean Magraw, Anthony Cox, and Peter Schimke. He’s also worked with Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, John Densmore of the Doors, and Steve Tibbets. Tonight he’s working with Hamm, one of America’s top sarod players, with whom he’s performed many times. Here’s a short video of the two of them in a trio setting.

The Butanes @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Often named the Best Blues Band in the Twin Cities, this four-piece tears it up, and will no doubt create a lively scene in the supper club’s lounge. Check out their instrumental chops.

Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) With a style that heavily rooted in blues, country, and soul, and propelled by the energy of early rock n’ roll, Alex “Crankshaft” Larson and his band deliver hard driving deep blues and roots music.

Boom Boom Stevie V & the Knockouts @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Boom Boom delivers emotion-fueled harmonica blues, and with the Knockouts, provides an evening of fun.

Saturday, May 7

Hurricane Harold Duo and Lisa Wenger @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (Hurricane – No Cover), 9pm (Wenger – $8) It’s a double dose of bluesy roots at the Vieux tonight. Harmonica whiz Hurricane Harold Trembley always has interesting partners in his duos, and will provide great music while you dine on the room’s New Orleans-inspired food. Then at 9pm Blueswoman Lisa Wenger will bring her gritty-yet-sweet soulfully inspired vocals to the room.

Classic country, classic duds

Classic country, classic duds

Saddle Sores @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5?, $10?) Classic country from the 50s, 60s, and 70s. The Saddle Sores are: Jenny Russ, vocals; Jimmy Kennedy, guitar & vocals; Randy Venaas, bass; Mo Engel, drums; and Tyler Christenson on pedal steel guitar.

 

The awkwardness of finding a date for the prom

The awkwardness of finding a date for the prom

Opening: A Night in Olympus @ Illusion Theater, Cowles Center for the Arts, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25 – $42) Runs through June 4 (Sundays at 7pm) After their success with the musical Glensheen, Chan Poling is once again partnering with playwright Jeffrey Hatcher and writer Bill Corbett for A Night in Olympus, a musical about an awkward teenager who gets her wish to become so beautiful that she scores a date with the hottest guy in school. As might be expected, things don’t work out as planned in what promises to be a musical evening filled with silliness, though rest assured, there’s a happy ending. Poling is a founding member of the Suburbs and tours with The New Standards. Hatcher’s plays have been seen on Broadway and he’s done the screenwriting for Mr. Holmes, the Duchess, and Casanova. Corbett is one of the writers and performers of Mystery Science Theater 3000.   BTW, I’ll have Chan Poling as my guest on Rhythm and Grooves on Saturday, May 7. The show runs from 10:30am – Noon. Poling will be out in the latter part of the 11am hour. Find out more about the production here.

Joey Ryan & the Inks CD Release @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Ryan crafts pop songs that recall the “sunshine pop” of California, though he leavens his music with a bit of sadness. The new CD, Young Afternoon, was crafted during a period when all members of the band welcomed additions to their family, and the songs reflect that new responsibility. Opening acts are BBGun, with Al Church, Neal Perbix, and drummer Jeremy Hanson, and solo singer/songwriter Eric Mayson.

Sunday, May 8

Yuna, with BOSCO @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($18 Advance/$20 Door) Yuna is an R&B singer from Malaysia, whose 2012 breakthrough hit, “Live Your Life” was produced by Pharrell Williams, the guy behind “Happy” and Daft Punk’s last album. Her new album, “Nocturnal” is being released on Verve Records. Opening is Atlanta’s BOSCO, another up and coming female R&B artist.

Monday, May 9

Paul Mayasich & The RAMM Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Get a dose of Real American Made Music, i.e., Motown, rock n’ roll, R&B, funk, and more from Mayasich and his bandmates. Here they are in an acoustic setting.

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

 


A Full Calendar of Music: 9.24 – 9.30

September 24, 2014

UnknownWe’ve quite the week coming up as we transition into Fall. The jazz calendar is chock full of outstanding artists – both visiting and resident bands. In the meantime, the blues, roots, and other calendar has a free festival, a movie, an exciting benefit, and more. A great week for music lovers.

Jazz

Wednesday, September 24

Byron Johnson-Blanchard Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation)  Johnson-Blanchard brings his hard-hitting drums to the Black Dog, along with his pals David Hirsch on sax; Thomas Nordlund on guitar; and Andrew Foreman on bass; for an evening of jazz standards and originals.

Chick Corea & The Vigil @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($70 – $95), 9pm ($55 – $80) Holy cow! And I’m not talking about the prices. Corea is a 20-time Grammy Winner and NEA Jazz Master. The Vigil is his latest project, featuring a band from the 2013 album of the same name: Charles Altura, guitar; Carlitos Del Puerto, bass; Tim Garland, reeds, Marcus Gilmore, drums, and Luisito Quintero, percussion. Expect rewordings of a number of Corea classics as well as new music.

Thursday, September 25

The Cookers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $42) This is an all-star septet featuring both long established veterans, and a couple of second generation hard boppers: Billy Hart, drums (Herbie Hancock); George Cables, piano (Dexter Gordon, Art Pepper); Cecil McBee, bass; Eddie Henderson, trumpet (Herbie Hancock); Billy Harper on Tenor Sax (Lee Morgan, Max Roach, Art Blakey); and David Weiss, trumpet; Donald Harrison on alto sax. All but Harrison and Weiss started in the 50s and 60s, and all have led their own groups. Their recent album, Time and Time Again is a burner.

Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Washington’s appearances at the Black Dog are always filled with surprise and wonder as he tackles standards in ways you’ve never heard, along with a large bit of free improvisation. He’ll be joined by Brian Roessler, bass; Tery Cherner, trumpet; and son Kevin Washington on drums and piano.

Friday, September 26

Photo by Andrea Canter

Photo by Andrea Canter

Adam Meckler Orchestra CD Release Party @ Antonello Hall, MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($10) It’s a little over a year since the 17-piece AMO made its debut. Now after many a monthly gig, Meckler and the band is set to officially celebrate the release of When the Clouds Look Like This, an album of great depth, strength, and beauty.

Kronick Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Bassist/vocalist Richard Kronick leads this group, which plays tightly arranged jazz, including bop, swing, soul-jazz, and Kronick’s own compositions.

Saturday, September 27

How Birds Work @ the Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Another season, another jazz series. This time it’s curated by Steve Kenny and held at the Black Dog. To kick off the series, he’s bringing in How Birds Work, the quartet of imaginative veterans formerly based at the Artists Quarter. It should be a heck of an evening. Dean Granros, guitar; Peter Schimke, piano; Billy Peterson, bass; and Kenny Horst, drums.

Sunday, September 28

Maud Hixson & French 75 @ Bloomington Center for the Arts, Bloomington. 2pm ($16 – $26)  Cafe Society: From Piaf to Coward, featuring clarinetist Tony Balluff; saxophonist Gus Sandberrg; guitarist Robert Bell; bassist Steve Pikal; and drummer Nathan Norman. Of course, there’s the cool yet vibrant vocals of Ms Hixson.

Monday, September 29

Jon Weber and Mela Fransisco @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Regular attendees at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival know Weber as the highly talented piano player with an encyclopedic knowledge of songs and the stories around them. He is the host of Piano Jazz on NPR had has been called a virtuosic pianist with outstanding technique. Francisco Mela is a Cuban drummer/percussionist who has played with McCoy tuner, Joe Lovano, and John Scofield, among others, and has appeared at the TC Jazz Festival for the last two years. In fact, he’s in town on Festival business since he’s been named it’s artistic director. There will be some special announcements about the festival during the evening’s intermission. Here’s Mela, playing with Kenny Barron.

Framework w/Pete Whitman @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) The shimmering music of Chris Olson, guitar; Chirs Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums is enhanced, if that’s possible, with the addition of Pete Whitman on saxophone. Nice.

Tuesday, September 30

Coryell, Bailey, & White @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($25) Jazz rock fans rejoice! Three of the genres pioneers are gathering to prove that blistering improvisation and rock rhythms are not mutually exclusive. Larry Coryell on guitar has been called the inventor of the  genre, though he can play delicate soothing lines, as well as fiery electric work. Victor Bailey took over the bass spot in Weather Report when Jaco Pasorius left the group. Drummer Lenny White played in Return to Forever and on the Miles Davis Bitches Brew recordings.

Acme Jazz Company @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) this 19-piece band was formed in 2008 to perform original music as well as arrangement by band members. They released a CD in April that gotten some good reviews. At the cozy, intimate Jazz Central they’ll be a force to be reckoned with.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, September 24

Scottie Miller on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) When Pianoman Miller plays you can hear traces of Professor Longhair’s mambos, barrelhouse piano, and good ol’ rock n’ roll. He’s a heckuva player who writes great songs and regularly tours with Ruthie Foster. Listen in and then head over to the 331 Club. BTW, it’s still Fall Pledge Drive at KFAI, so you may want to bring extra cash or a credit card to the 331, cuz Hurricane Harold will have some forms ready for you to fill out.

Thursday, September 25

Courtney Yasmineh @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm – 11pm ($10) After spending the summer recording in New York, Courtney and her band will soon be taking off on a small club tour of Europe and the (still) United Kingdom in support of her new album being released in Europe next week. She’s called an alt-rock/indie pop singer, but labels aside, she simply rocks, throwing in the odd folk or gospel tune for flavoring.

Friday, September 26

Opening of Take Me To the River @ Landmark Theaters. Various times and places. Anyone who saw Otis Clay at the Dakota this past year will remember that he brought out a young rapper to do a song with him. He first did so for this film, which celebrates the inter-generaltional influence of Memphis music. It features artists like Clay, Bobby Blue Bland, Mavis Staples, Bobby Rush, and Charlie Musselwhite interacting and recording with artists like Snoop Dog, Lil P-Nut, and Yo Gotti. Runs for a week. Here’s the trailer.

Pablo Ziegler’s New Tango Ensemble @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $42) Pianist Ziegler is one of Astor Piazzola’s foremost portages, playing with him in the Piazzolla’s New Tango Quartet.  He’s also played with Gary Burton and collaborated with Emmanuel Ax and the Paul Taylor Dance Company, as seen below.

 

Lovesick Blues: A Tribute to Hank Williams & Benefit for Slim Dunlap @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) This benefit features Curtiss A and the Cold Cold Hearts. The “Dean of Scream” does a surprisingly good homage to Williams as he’s demonstrated at the Dakota a couple of times in the last year or so. Also on the bill is Nate Dungan of Trailer Trash, Molly Maher, Janie Miller and more. Plus, it’s a benefit for guitarist Slim Dunlap, everyone’s favorite rocker.

Saturday, September 27

Rauchfest @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. Noon – 10pm (Free) 2 Stages, 3 Food Trucks, 10 beers, 10 bands, and more, featuring all kinds of music from the likes of The Fattenin’ Frogs, Frogleg, The Jones Gang, Dan Israel, Mikel Wright & the Wrongs and Steez, among others. Here’s a video of the Fattenin’ Frogs.

A Progressive SoundScape Evening @ Old Arizona, 2821 Nicollet, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) A Trio of rock acts, including percussionist (marimaba, drums) Scotty Horey: RisingSide, a hard driving progressive rock act, and Harakiri, who recently released a CD. It’s set up so you can listen or dance.

Tom Robinson Band @ Mattie’s on Main, 43 Main Street SE, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Robinson and his band have been on a hiatus for the last year or so, so for fans of Brazilian music it’s a treat to have him back. He uses a his tasty guitar as well as a vast knowledge of different Brazilian styles to present an evening of sensuous and swaying music. Make sure to sit in the stage area as Mattie’s can be a bit noisy if crowded.

Unknown-2Chicago Cajun Aces @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 Suggested Donation) The Krewe de Walleye is bringing the Aces up from Chicago to provide dance music for their John Hugelen Cajun Music Scholarship Dance and Fundraiser. The event actually starts at 5:30pm with a Cajun dance, silent auction, and performances by scholarship winners. Rug cutting’ goes from 8pm – 11pm.

Sweethearts of the Rodeo @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm – 11pm ($10) Frankie Lee hosts this evening of performances by three ladies – Molly Maher, Lydia Liza (of Boba de Luz), and Lael Neale, singing songs of heartbreak, love, and declarations of independence.

Monday, September 29

Div Son @ The Blackdog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Here’s a change of pace well suited for those of you who travel to Mexico. Div Son is a three piece band featuring Cadence Nelson and and Israel Vega on Jarochas – guitar-like instruments from Vera Cruz. They are accompanied by Nickolai Kolarov on cello as they play the regional folk music of Vera Cruz.

Tuesday, September 30

Paul Mayasich with Bingham & Thorne @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Mayasich is a bit of a guitar god around these parts, equally at home with a dobro or electric slide, while Bingham & Thorne are a couple of fingerpicking aces. Sounds like a heck of an evening.

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

 

 


End of the Year Music: 12.26 – 1.1

December 26, 2012

imagesWell it’s another relatively quiet week, though Friday and Saturday offer a number of choices. Perhaps it’s all in anticipation of the big night next Monday, for which there are numerous musical and party choices. The big shows are easy to find, so I’ve included a few no cost/low cost choices. Have a safe and happy New Year’s Eve.

Jazz

Wednesday, December 26

DownloadedFile-1Moore by Four @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm. Glorious harmonies from a group that has been thrilling Twin Cities audiences since the 80s. Now they only perform a few times a year since Sandford Moore, piano; and vocalists Dennis Spears, Connie Evingson, Yolande Bruce, and Ginger Commodore are all successful solo performers.

Boot Camp @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Pianist Jeremy Walker gathers together Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris Bates, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums; to create sublime and exciting music.

Thursday, December 27

Donald Thomas and Rick Carlson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm (donation) Thomas is a vocalist/drummer with a smooth baritone singer who can take on jazz standards and rhythm and blues with equal ease. Pianist Carlson is a favored foil for many vocalists, given his Basie-esque approach to playing and an ability to know when to accent and when to lay out.

DownloadedFile-1Thursday, Friday, Saturday, December 27, 28, 29

Bad Plus @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm & 9pm. ($40) Since their first post-Christmas appearance at the old Dakota about 12 or 13 years ago, this chamber jazz trio with a rock n’ roll attitude has become a favorite of festivals and clubs around the world. It’s a grand opportunity to see them in a relatively small club.

Friday, Saturday, December 27, 28

Pat Mallinger Quartet w/Bill Carrothers @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Saint Paul born and Chicago based, Mallinger makes his annual return to the AQ, bringing pianist Carrothers along with him, as well as Chris Bates on bass and Kenny Horst on drums. Mallinger and Carrothers made an excellent live album entitled Home on Richmond. Expect to hear some things from that as well as other post-bop inspired material. I did an interview with him last year, which you can read here.

Saturday, December 29

Connie Evingson @ The Lexington, Saint Paul. 6:30pm – 10:30pm ($30 minimum) Sophisticated thrush Ms Evingson brings Tanner Taylor (piano) and Dave Karr (reeds) along to serenade diners at the Saint Paul institution. The restaurant’s web site touts the minimum, but you may want to check, as I’ve found that arriving for the later sets hasn’t tripped that trigger.

DownloadedFile-2Peterson Family New Year’s Concert @ Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hopkins. 8pm  ($45) Though it’s been announced that Jeanne Arland Peterson, the Matriarch of the talented Peterson clan, is retiring, she recently recorded album with Grammy Winning producer Bruce Swedien, so there may be another concert or two for the 90-something. This show, however,  will be her last performance with the whole family, which includes Patty, Linda, Billy, Ricky, and Paul, as well as members of the third generation.

New Year’s Eve 

Jon Pemberton Trio @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis 10:30pm (Free) Pemberton is a trumpeter/piano player/composer with serious chops, no matter what his instrument. Ring in the year with him and and have the added bonus of being able to order good cocktails and tasty goodies from the Red Stag’s kitchen.

Fat Kid Wednesdays & Friends @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 6:30pm ($?) Okay, if you want to go whole hog in celebrating, you can go for the Prix Fixe Dinner with wine, beer or whiskey pairings, or you can show up late to ring in the new year, in which case the cover should be relatively small. The music starts and 6pm and includes a number of musicians from the Kid’s wide range of jazz, rock, and rootsy musical projects.

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, December 26

The Eddies on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI) 7p, (331 Club – Tip jar) I’m a big fan of this group, which is unique in the Twin Cities. I mean, where else will you get sea shanties, whaling songs, Appalachian death ballads, and Bob Marley, all delivered by a five-man group, with only an occasional guitar or accordion as accompaniment. Tune in to 90.3 or 106.7FM at about 5pm to hear them live, then head over to the 331 Club for this annual between-holidays gig.

Radio Joe & the Jazzbos @ The Eagles Club, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Vintage boogie-woogie, swing tunes, and jump blues. Plus you have a wonderful dance floor and value-priced drinks. Get out the dancing shoes.

Saturday, December 29

Phil Heywood @ Cafe Maude at Loring, Minneapolis. 9pm (no cover) I don’t know what’s in the water here, but over the years a number of finger-pickin’ champions have come from this area, including Heywood, who has a bluesy bent to his playing. The folks at Cafe Maude have put him in regular rotation between the two locations, all the better for us.

The Butanes w/Camile Baudoin @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) The area’s hardest working (and often cited as best) blues band brings along guitarist/vocalist Baudoin, who spent 33 years with New Orleans’ Radiators. Baudoin recently recorded an album of country blues that he grew up with in Louisiana and has been doing some duo gigs with the Butanes Curt Obeda. Even though Christmas has passed, you may be able to get Curt to loosen things up with his version of Back Door Santa.

K-Libre @ The Amsterdam, Saint Paul. 10pm ($10) Calling all salsa dancers, though most are probably already aware of this gig.  K-Libre is an eleven piece band that  keeps the rhythms and the dancers flowing. BTW, this show is being recorded by KBEM for its series, Saint Paul Live!.

DJ Brian Engel @ The 3rd Floor, 579 Selby, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11pm (free) The home of all things chocolate, The Chocolate Chateau, has this sweet little bar up on the third floor (duh!), where you can find chocolate cocktails, chocolate bourbon, dark beers, and a few light dishes. Tonight, you’ll also find DJ Brian (Hipshaker, Hot Pants, Worldwide Discotek) spinning a variety of jazz, soul, and world sounds.

imagesSunday, December 30

Rena Haus @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 10am – 1pm (free) A rootsy, bluesy accompaniment to go with your brunch & bloody marys. Rena is a singer-songwriter of considerable skill, with an ear for (sometimes humorous) detail and a winning way with a guitar.

New Year’s Eve

Paul Mayasich @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (free) You’ll have to make a reservation if you want dinner (served until 10pm) but otherwise Paul and the RAMM band will be playing for your dancing pleasure, whether you’re on the tiny dance floor, or boogying between tables.

Papa John Kolstad @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8pm (tip jar) Papa John’s sly observations and storytelling, along with some swinging guitars, and top-notch players make this a relaxed, and family-friendly gig. Merlin’s is full of bonhomie, as well as an impressive array of single malt scotch, Irish Whiskey and beer. Make sure you have your ID, though, or you won’t be served adult beverages.

Roe Family Singers & Doug Otto & the Getaways @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis 9pm (tip jar) The Roe Family Singers are a loose congregation of folks that play Quillan Roe’s songs as well as some real old-timey tunes. Doug Otto’s voice is as world-weary as any hard-scrabble farmer’s. You can’t get a more rootsier New Year’s Eve than this one.

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.


Out and About in the Twin Cities: June 6 – 12

June 6, 2012

This week we have a blues festival, a vineyard concert, a couple of visiting jazz artists, and a few unique combinations. Get out and hear some live music. Hope to see you out and about.

Jazz…

Wednesday, June 6

Black Heralds Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) A young band that plays mostly originals, and features trumpeter Sten Johnson, who also performs with groups like the Jack Brass Band and the Nova Jazz Orchestra. Hear what they sound like at:  http://www.myspace.com/blackheraldsquartet

Thursday, June 7

Zack Lozier @ The Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 10pm.  Zack, Joey Van Phillips, and Chris Bates explore the electric jazz of the 60s and 70s.

Thursday, Friday, June 7, 8

Rachelle Ferrell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) & 9pm ($35) Though she got started in contemporary R&B, Ferrell has become better known for her jazz singing, ably abetted by a six-octave range.

Saturday, June 9

Wozniak, Linz, & Gravatt @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm. ($10) Whew! a high powered trio sure to have you searching for appropriate words to describe them. Brandon Wozniak is a busy sax player who brings modern ideas to whatever group he’s in. Adam Linz held down the bass chair in Fat Kid Wednesdays for years and years, earning the delighted appreciation of jazz fans both here and in France. Eric Kamau Gravatt played with Weather Report, tours with McCoy Tyner, and has been an inspiration to any number of drummers.

Ginger Commodore Quintet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm. ($10)  For the last five months or so, Ginger has been playing Motormouth Maybelle in the Chanhanssen Theater’s version of “Hairspray.” Now she’s back to playing herself, one of the area’s fine, fine singers. She’ll be backed by GCQ –  Adi Yeshaya, piano; Mark Weisberg, bass; Kathy Jensen, sax; Daryl Boudreaux, percussion; and Bobby Commodore holding down the drumset.

Sunday, June 10

Pippi Ardennia & Barbara Leshoure @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 5pm ($20 – $10 for students under 18 and college ID) Having attended a number of shows in this series, I can safely say that Pippi never approaches a song the same way twice. That’s part of the charm of this series, along with a welcoming attitude towards the audience and guests. Tonight’s guest is singer Barbara Leshoure, whose blues were shaped by visitors to her childhood home – folks like John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, and Howlin’ Wolf. The Student Guest is trumpeter Joe Suihkonen, of Minneapolis South HS and the Dakota Combo.

Connie Evingson CD Release @ The Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm & 7:30pm ($25) Connie’s got a new album, “Sweet Happy Life,” which features the songs of Norman Gimbel. Who? Norman Gimbel, the lyricist behind the English versions of Girl From Ipanema and other bossas, not to mention Killing Me Softy and I will wait for you. She does her usual stellar job of finding nuance and harmonies that escape many listeners, not to mention other musicians. Food and drink in the lobby after each performance.

Firebell @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (No cover) Park Evans, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; Jay Epstein, drums. If you’re up for staying out late on a Sunday night, Barbette has good happy hour prices on wine and appetizers. But that’s just icing on the cake since this band of experience players will transport you

Sunday, Monday, June 10, 11

Roy Hargrove @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) & 9pm ($25) Given the cost of many shows, this is an absolute steal in terms of talent per dollar.  Hargrove is an inquisitive, exciting trumpet player – among the best of the young(er) breed. He’s explored the music of Cuba, hip-hop, and post-bop jazz with grace and imagination. He always has top-notch players with him as well.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, June 6

Papa John Kolstad @ the Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm. (Free) The Landmark Center is bringing back Music in the Cafe this season, and kicking it off with Papa John. This is a rare solo appearance, in which he’ll be playing 6 string and 12 string guitar.

Don Scott & Curtis Blake on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI) 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – tip jar) Here we have a couple of kindred spirits having fun and letting the rest of us join in. Scott is a singer/guitarist/composer who was the guiding light behind the Dustbowl Blues Band back in the day. Lately he’s been traveling between here, Mexico, and New Orleans, playing (and gaining fans) in unlikely restaurants and coffeehouses. Blake is a WC Handy Award winner for his harpwork and is known for playing with Greazy Gravy as well as the Brothers Curtis. Fun indeed.

Friday, June 8

Charlie Parr @ Falconer Vineyards, Red Wing. 7pm ($15) Taste some wines from Falconer Vineyards, order a wood-fired pizza, and enjoy the rootsy blues of Mr. Parr performing on the vinter’s covered deck overlooking their vineyard. Cool.

Willie Murphy & the Angel Headed Hipsters w/Willie Walker @ The Minnesota Music Cafe. 9pm ($10?) Not sure on the price, you’ll have to contact the club. At any rate, Murphy & Walker go way back, I think to a group called the Valdons, though I may be mistaken.  Nevertheless, you’ve got a great band with Murphy, and a terrific soul singer with Walker, and a big dance floor at MMC. The combination seems unbeatable.

Bethany Larson & the Bees Knees @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11pm. ($5) Larson is a preacher’s kid who studied classical music in college. She sings with a country-ish voice leavened with a touch of pop. The Bees Knees provide just the right backing. Here’s a video.

Saturday, June 9

Famous Dave’s BBQ & Blues Festival @ Nicollet, between 3rd & 4th St, Minneapolis. Noon – 10:30pm. The festival is moving riverward for this year, but you still get ten acts on two stages. Charlie Parr plays twice (6:30 & 8:30) at the Juke Joint Stage. Other acts to be sure to see include Johnny Rawls at 3pm, Davina & the Vagabonds at 5pm, and Charlie Musselwhite at 7pm. For complete schedule, etc., go here.

Doug Otto & the Getaways @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11pm. ($5) Americana, including early blues and country. Otto’s way with a song will have you believing he’s lived every downtrodden word he sings. The Getaways bring intensity, space, and depth to each song. Listen to some of their songs here.

Sunday, June 10

Howlin’ Wolf’s Birthday, with Fattenin’ Frogs @ Palmers, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5)  The Frogs take traditional American music from country, blues, R&B, bluegrass, etc., and turn it up a notch. You can say that’s how rock n’ roll got it’s start, and you’d be right. You’ll be stompin’ your feet, clapping your hands, and singing along.

Tuesday, June 12

Mayasich, Kolstad, & Schulte @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 8pm (Free) Now, this is a combination you’ll rarely see. Uber guitarist Paul Mayasich holds forth at the Station on a weekly basis these day, bringing in different guests each week. This week’s guests are Papa John Kolstad and violinist Gary Schulte, bringing a taste of swing to Paul’s slide and dobro playing.

Wednesday, June 13

Cadillac Kolstad @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm. Another early notice. The natural echo of the Landmark’s Cortile will reverberate with Cadillac’s pounding piano.

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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