Mostly Residents: 11.14 – 11.20

November 14, 2018

The Legendary R&B singer Swamp Dogg appears at the Turf Club Thursday

It seems that resident artists make up most of this week’s ideas for music, which is a testament to the richness and strength of our music scene. Music lovers should also be aware that the Sound Unseen Music Festivalruns from tonight through Sunday. Films cover punk, hardcore, jazz, soul, blues, rand more genres, as well as record labels, the famous, and the forgotten. See the schedule here. Music Lifts Your Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, November 14

Chris Bates’ 48th Birthday @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) You can help bassist Bates celebrate with this very special event. First, Chris and Cody will play Steve Reich’s Piano Phase for Two Electric basses, followed by a series of jams with special guests, including: Anthony Cox; JT Bates; Dave Seru; Cody McKinney, James Patrick, and others, playing in a series of duos, trios, and larger groups. James Patrick will be live mixing the whole shebang.

Thursday, November 15

Swing Sisterhood Swing Band & The Sensational 6 @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Vocalist Sarah M. Greer brings a large band and five  other vocalists  to JazzCentral for an evening of swingin’ vocal jazz. Besides Greer, the Sensational 6 includes vocalists Jen Bluhm; Lisa Harrigan; Jana Nyberg; Barbara Meyer; and Yolanda Williams.

Friday, November 16

The Snaps @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 8pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) At 7pm The Emerging Artists Series presents The Snaps: David Kaiser – Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Leader; Erik Jacobson – Tenor Sax; Ryan Devens – Guitar; Ben Von Korff – Keyboards; Riki Olson – Bass; and Jake Kaukola – Drums. This is the third time at Jazz Central for this young group that plays standards, contemporary jazz, and a few covers of well-known soul and pop music.

Michelle Kinney’s What Have We Here @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 10:30pm ($10) Cellist/composer Michelle Kinney brings her adventurous spirit and like-minded musicians to the basement club, with: Adam Zahller – voice; Pat O’Keefe – reeds; Laura Harada – violin; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin – cornet; and Greg Schutte – drums

Saturday, November 17

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar)  At 7pm the Opening Set is part of the monthly JazzINK Youth Jazz Showcase, this week featuring Nick Adams’ Liquid Vinyl, with a line-up TBA. At 8:30 pm it’s No Room For Squares, with ​Bill Stieger – Drums;  Omar AbdulKarim – Trumpet; James Wallace – Saxophones; Adam Tucker – Bass; and Dale Alexander – Piano

Mary Louise Knutson Trio: Jazz @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($12 Advance, $15 door) Pianist Knutson can often be heard supporting vocalists and regularly tours with Doc Severinson. Here’s a chance her compositions and her warm and inventive piano playing as she’s accompanied by Gary Raynor, bass; and Phil Hey on drums.

Sunday, November 18

Paula Lammers @ MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 3pm (Free) Vocalist Lammers used a grant from the McKnight Foundation to create 10 new jazz arrangements under the mentorship of pianist/composer Mary Louise Knutson. She’ll be sharing the results today, accompanied by Knutson, as well as Steve Pikal, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. Here she is from a couple of years ago, with Knutson on piano.

Julian Manzara Quartet @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7) Enjoy the downtown skyline as a backdrop as guitarist Manzara plays originals and standards, and occasionally sings. Manzara plays chords and leadmlines reminiscent of Wes Montgomery, but is steadily developing his own style.

Monday, November 28

Dean Magraw’s Red Planet @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) This monthly gig from Dean Magraw  guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums, is always enlightening and entertaining – jazz fusion as it’s meant to be.

Monday, Tuesday, November 19, 20

Dee Dee Bridgewater @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45, $50), 9pm ($35, $40, $45) Vocalist Bridgewater has three Grammys and a Tony Award, and for 23 years had her own syndicated radio show, Jazz Set. During previous appearances at the Dakota she celebrated African music, the music of Billie Holiday, and French music (from living Paris). This time she’ll be celebrating the music she heard growing up in Memphis, including songs from Al Green, Carla Thomas, Ann Peebles, and Elvis.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, November 14

Mike Munson on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Blueslinger Mike Munson plays with the driving strength of the trains that barrel through his home town of Winona, MN. His blues influences include Fred McDowell, Jack Owens, and Jesse Mae Hemphill – who all hailed from areas of rural Mississippi that Munson visits often. Note that his album, Rose Hill, was recorded in Bentonia, MS at the Blue Front Cafe, the oldest juke joint in Mississippi.

Sarah Streitz Band @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Singer/songwritermSteitz took up guitar six years ago and started writing. the mother of four and a former teacher had no background in music, yet by 2015, she’d progressed enough that area stalwart Nick Salisbury produced her debut album, with Greg Schutte engineering. Schutte produced and engineered her recent album, Yesterday’s Child. Streitz’ voice has a mid-western twang that easily communicates impatience and pain, giving authenticity to her Americana/Alt-country songs. She’ll have a full band with her, which will likely include Salisbury on bass and Schutte on drums.

Wednesday, Thursday, November 14, 15

Shabby Road Orchestra: The White Album @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15 Advance, $18 Door) It’s been 50 years since the Beatles released their 30 – song White Album. Hear song like While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Blackbird, Back in theUSSR, Helter Skelter and all the other songs from the album, as it’s performed in its entirety by this ad hoc group of veteran TC musicians: John Eller, Adam Levy, Dave Foley, Jacquelin Ultan, and others.

Thursday, November 15

Swamp Dogg @ The Turf Club, Sant Paul. 8pm ($10 Advance, $15 Door)  I would call this the under-the-radar gig of the week, if it weren’t for the fact that Chris Riemenschneider had a story about Swamp Dogg on the front page of today’s Variety section in the Strib.  Back in 1970, Jerry Williams was a successful songwriter and producer (Doris Duke, Irma Thomas, and others), but wasn’t getting enough credit for his work, so he adopted the alter ego of Swamp Dogg, singing what might be called irascible soul, creating a series of album that touched on psychedelia, while displaying his hard-edged wit. Last year he took part in Bon Iver’s Eaux Claires music festival. Subsequently, Ryan Olson of Polica, and Bon Iver gave his new album, entitled Love, Loss & Autotune, a “modernized” sound in which they applied electronics and AutoTtne to Swamp Dogg’s vocals. Dogg’s songs often take a weird and idiosyncratic turn, so this treatment fits right in. See the results tonight, with MMYYKK as opener, and Har Mar Superstar with a deejay set. Here’s a video from the album.

Thursday, Friday, November 15, 16

Melvin Seals & JGB @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $40 Thurs, $25, Friday) Organist/keyboardist Melvin Seals was a member of the Jerry Garcia Band from 1980 until Garcia’s death in 1995. Seals took charge of the band, and continues to pay homage to Garcia and the jam band ethos by playing his tunes, including rare numbers from the JGB catalog. Friday’s show includes another jam band fave, Mark Joseph and The American Soul.

Friday, November 16

Henry, Duncan & Matthews: Looking Bacharach @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($30) Wow! A trio of very fine performers take on the music of Burt Bacharach. Bruce HenryDebbie Duncan  and Gwen Matthews all have the vocal chops, personality, and imagination to bring lots of life to songs like the Look of Love, I Say a Little Prayer, My Little Red Book, Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head, and others from Bacharach’s long, successful career.

Chris Koza @ The Weyerhauser Auditorium, Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($20) Singer/songwriter Chris Koza has six albums of his own, as well as a number of albums with his band, Rogue Valley. He’s written film scores, composed for a multi-media piece, written original liturgy settings and a fair share of commercial work. Koza has headlined First Avenue and rocked every major venue in town. Though his solo performances are clearly rooted in Americana music, his influences draw from folk, classic rock, The Beatles, and electro-pop.

Saturday, November 17

Robin Pluer & John Sieger@ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) A couple of Milwaukee’s finest artists come to town to be greeted by fans both old and new. Both Robin and John were in the R&B Cadets, that fabled dance-inducing band of the 80s. Robin was also in Paul Cedar and the Milwaukeeans, and appears annually at Bastille Day Celebrations in Milwaukee & Madison. John Sieger led the R&B Cadets, as well as Semi-Twang and the Subcontinentals. His songs have been recorded by the likes of Dwight Yoakam,  Flaco Jimenez, Jerry Harrison (of Talking Heads), The Persuasions, The BoDeans, Etta James, Paul Cebar, and Claudia Schmidt. Adding to the fun factor, and making this a duet night at Nikki Matteson & Rich Rue as the opening act. Here’s Robin & John with the R&B Cadets.

John Gorka @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25 Advance, $28 Door) Singer/songwriter/folkie Gorka has recorded fourteen albums, including this year’s True In Time, on from Compass Records, which acquired his old label Red House records, last year.It includes special guests, Jonatha Brooke, Lucy Kaplansky, Eliza Gilkyson, Kathleen Johnson, and Germain Brooks. His 2010 album with Kaplansky& Gilkyson waste of the most played folk albums of that year.

Ginger & Dennis: The Music of Lieber & Stoller @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Jerry Leiber and Mike Stollercame of age in the 50s and became one of the most prolific, successful songwriting teams ever. Their song list includes hundreds of chart busters like Hound Dog, Love Potion #9, Spanish Harlem, I’m a Woman, On Broadway, Kansas City, and a host of hits for the Coasters.Dennis Spearsand Ginger Commodoreare the perfect pair to bring their music to audiences, with: Sanford Moore, music director & keys; Jay Young, bass; Daryl Boudreux, percussion, and Brandon Commodore, drums.

Sunday, November 18

Dan Chouinard & Prudence Johnson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Keyboardist Dan Chouinard and vocalist Prudence Johnson combine their talents to celebrate the birthdays of musicians and singers who were born this month.

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.


Awash in Music: 6.22 – 6.28

June 22, 2016

imagesIt’s once again time for Saint Paul’s Twin Cities Jazz Festival  Executive Director Steve Heckler and his staff and volunteers have  put together a great weekend of music that will appeal to a wide variety of listeners. It features a number of great headlining musicians: Delfeayo Marsalis and piano phenom Joey Alexander on Thursday, Ellis Marsalis on Friday, and Russell Malone and John Pizzarelli on Saturday. Additionally, over 300 musicians from the area will perform in over a dozen venues and four outdoor stages, and best of all, it’s free. I will be sending out a short guide to the Festival in a separate e-mail, but you can get more information, including the whole schedule here. In the meantime, here’s a listing of other music ideas for the coming week. Music lifts the spirit.

Larry

Jazz
Wednesday, June 22
Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Vocalist and bassist Ms Lynch is building a following as she makes her way through a number of venues in the area. She’s backed by some truly excellent musicians, including guitarist Chris Beaty, trumpeter Greg Lewis, and trombonist Michael Nelson. Kate & the Fellows play music from the 30s to the 60s, and it’s always an entertaining performance.

Katia Cardenas EP Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Advance, $12 Door) Ms Cardenas will be backed by her working trio: Ted Godbout, piano; Ted Olsen, bass; and Zach Schmidt, drums. At 10pm it’s  Jazzoneando, a Latin Jazz Trio from Mexico: Alberto “Yamil” Vazquez, piano, leader, arranger; Aaron Romo, bass, vocals; Kimani Carranzana, percussion, vocals. PS: If you want to hear a couple of tunes from the EP, you can listen to an interview I did with Katia this past Saturday (the 18th) by going here and clicking on one of the listen icons for June 18. The interview starts about 20 minutes into the show.

David Hazeltine & Billy Peterson CD Release Party @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $50 w/Dinner), 9pm ($15, $45 w/Dinner) Here we have the 3rd of three special nights at the Dunsmore Room, where two musicians who have a 40 year musical history release their first CD, NEXT DOOR. Pianist Hazeltine is a major player, and is especially well regarded in NYC and Japan. Raised in Milwaukee, he was encouraged by Chet Baker to go to NYC, where his Charlie Parker-influenced playing was welcomed. He’s well known as a composer and arranger, and for taking contemporary tunes and making them into “standards.” Our own Billy Peterson is equally at home with R&B and rock music as he is with jazz, having toured for decades with the Steve Miller Band. He received notable praise for his appearance with Bill Carrothers and Dave King at the Village Vanguard a few years back, and regularly tours with Ben Sidran. This CD release party will include a few well-chosen covers as well as some originals. Here’s an example of Hazeltine’s work.

Balluff/Pikal/Thompson Trio @ The Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) Traditional jazz, well served by Tony Balluff, clarinet; Steve Pikal, bass; and Butch Thompson  piano and clarinet. It’s a new combination that’s hard to beat.

Thursday, June 23
Chris Bates’ Red5 @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 10pm (Tip Jar) Two late night sets from bassist Bates and his crew, doing originals by Bates. Chris Bates, basses; Thomas Nordlund, guitar; Jt Bates, drums; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Brandon Wozniak, tenor; Chris Thomson, tenor and soprano. Check them out after the Mears Park main stage performances.

Friday, June 25
Dennis Spears Quartet @ Crooners’ Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Spear’s smooth baritone is a pleasure to hear, whether he’s performing R&B, pop, or jazz.

Saturday, June 26
Brad Bellows & Friends @ Boom Island Brewing Tap Room, 2014 North Washington, Minneapolis. (No Cover) If you don’t want to head to downtown Saint Paul for Jazz Fest, this is a chance to hear some jazz while taking in the current taps at Boom Island Brewing. Valve trombonist Brad Bellows can be depended on for having talented friends and creating great music.

Sunday, June 26
Paula Lammers @ The Eagan Art Festival, Central Park, Eagan. 2:30pm (Free) Ms Lammers and her supple voice close out the entertainment at this community art fair. And with accompanists such as  Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Greg Byers, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums, you may even be inspired to make a last minute purchase.

Zacc Harris Trio @ The Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) After three days of crowds at the TC Jazz Fest, you may want the comfort of a small wine bar to take in the tasty sounds of guitarist Harris and his trio. Here he is with his quartet.

Monday, June 27
Charmin Michelle & Rick Carlson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35w/Dinner) This is part of a series called In the Crook, whereby a vocalist is situated in the “crook” of a piano. In this case, you have the buttery, elegant singing of Charmin Michelle, accompanied by the spare, ever tasteful piano stylings of Rick Carlson.

Jazzoneando @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5/w student ID) If you missed them at the Icehouse Wednesday, or the Jazz Fest on Saturday, you can still catch this trio from Mexico, as they apply all sorts of Latin rhythms to jazz.

Monday, Tuesday, June 27, 28
The Rad Trads @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) The Rad Trads: Take a three horn front line, add a rock rhythm section, and an additional drummer/percussionist, stir with music that ranges from traditional jazz to blues from Chicago and the Delta, add in a touch of New Orleans R&B, and season with a bit of rock n’ roll, and you get lively, celebratory music.

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 22
The Beavers on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This all-female Americana group started as a jam band, but whether they’re covering John Prine or performing one of their originals, their light-hearted approach to folk and country (or whatever) is sure to bring a smile to your face.

Samba Meu @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) A bit of Brazil comes to the newly expanded Black Dog. The party starts with a dance lesson after which you can dance to sambas and forros from Karen Quiroz and Samba Meu, and be entertained by SnapFrost!, a group of women with Shakeres, that beaded gourd that, in the hands of this group, creates irresistible rhythms.

Thursday, June 23
Rockin’ Pinecones @ the Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 10pm. The Pinecones will fill the wonderful dance floor at the Eagles Club with folks twirling, spinning, and two-stepping to the R&B of New Orleans R&B, as well as some Cajun and Zydeco.

Friday, June 24
Nachito Herrera @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) It’s always difficult to know where to place Nachito in these listings, as he is equally conversant in Classical, pop, jazz, and Cuban music (he is, after all, from Havana). Whatever he plays, it will leave the audience breathless.

Fathom Lane @ The Warming House, 4001 Bryant Ave So, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 – $15) The Warming House is a new basement listening room in South Minneapolis, just right for the ethereal and fragile-seeming music of Fathom Lane. They released two well-recieved albums, which reveal a hard -to-define sound, that implies influences ranging from Gram Parsons to The Velvet Underground. Seth Michael Davin opens.


Dee Miller Band featuring Jimi “Prime Time” Smith @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) With strong vocals, dynamite guitar courtesy of “Prime Time” and a driving rhythm section, Ms Miller and her compradres offer up a blast of the blues.

Mary Cutrufello Band @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($5) This FedEx driver has a voice that’s been honed with sandpaper, a Telecaster that she rocks with abandon, and a predilection for Texas twang and country tales. In short, Cutrufello goes against all the stereotypes a Yale graduate from Connecticut might engender.

Saturday, June 25
Honky Tonk Fest VI @ Grumpy’s Northeast, 2200 4th St. NE, Minneapolis. 1:30pm – 10pm Sixth annual country music benefit for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Minnesota, featuring six bands, a ticket raffle, cakewalk, and Hee-Haw photo booth! 1:30 PM sound check by Country Mike; 2:00 Trailer Trash; 3:15 The Beavers; 4:30 Katy Bellville & The Sonsabitches; 5:45 The Hillions; 7:00 Doug Otto & the Getaways; 8:15 Leo Rondeau (from Austin, TX)

Charles Lawson & the Crazy Snakes All-Stars @ Barely Brothers Records, Saint Paul. 2pm – 4pm (Free) Waay back in the day, Lawson fronted a blues band called the KingSnakes, which would cover under appreciated songs to incite dancing wherever they played. Then, he and Ed Pesche held down a weekly gig at the old incarnation of the Viking for a few years. I don’t know who he’s got with him today, but it will be fun. And, if you can’t make it to this gig, he’s got another at the Dubliner tomorrow from 5-7pm with the Slender Men.

Cactus Blossoms & Eelpout Stringers @ Franconia Sculpture Park, Franconia. 2pm – 6pm (Fee – $5 to park) Looking for a short road trip to an interesting place? The Franconia Sculpture Park might be just the ticket. Pack a picnic and listen to the acoustic string tunes of the Eelpout Stringers, followed by The Cactus Blossoms, purveyors of modern songs inspired by the classic Country & Western performers of the 50s.

Erik Koskinen Band @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8 Advance/$12 Door) Koskinen is a fine guitarist and writer/composer of tales from America’s main street, sung with much affection for traditional C&W.

Céu @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $45) Céu is a singer/songwriter with a voice as sensuous as the rhythms of her country. She creates beautiful Brazilian electro-pop, encompassing Afrobeat, jazz, and, as might be expected, a number of Brazilian rhythms. Kauf, a Los Angeles singer/songwriter who uses electronics to good effect, opens.

Sunday, June 26
Captain Gravitone @ The Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul 11am – 1pm (Tip Jar) Banjo-led Americana, along with a touch of humor while you have brunch, and after all, isn’t the banjo an easy punch line for many jokes. Consider just a couple of the songs of Captain Gravitone: “Daydreaming Out of the 9 to 5 Corporate Office Window,” and “Hula-hoop Girl on Bourbon Street.”

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.


Summer Begins: 3.25 – 3.31

May 25, 2016

Unknown-1Well, the unofficial start of summer is upon us. As the touring season for musicians kicks into high gear, we have more choices for music events from both visiting and resident artists, only a few of which I list each week. Like an overflowing picnic basket, we have more than enough to satisfy us. Have a great week. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 25

Larry McDonough: Born To Be Kind of Blue @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Pianist McDonough has been doing shows about trumpeters Chet Baker and Miles Davis of late. Hollywood recently released films about both trumpeters, so it seems the next step for McDonough is to combine both shows. McDonough’s voice has the same “cool” quality as Baker, so he’s got that covered, and he’s brought in the talented Steve Kenny on trumpet. Other members of the group include Paul Peterson, tenor; Doug Haining, alto; Jim Bierna, bass; and Dean White, drums. Here’s McDonough doing a standard.

Bobby Lyle w/Billy Peterson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($25, $50 Dinner), 9pm ($20) The Minneapolis native started playing piano in clubs at the age of 15, and hit the road as a full time musician after two years at Macalester. In the more than three decades since then he’s acquired an impressive resume, recording for Capitol, Atlantic, Three Keys, and Heads Up, and serving as musical director for Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, and Bette Midler. His 2005 album Straight and Smooth appeared on both the Smooth Jazz and Traditional Jazz charts for Billboard. He’ll be joined by bassist Billy Peterson, whose own musical career also knows few boundaries, having worked with Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Les Paul, Ben Sidran, and Steve Miller, among others.

Thursday, May 26

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) The Lucia Sarmiento Group is tonight’s attraction, and attraction is certainly the right word. Sarmiento is a young sax player from Peru who has been studying at MacNally Smith and increasingly gigging around town. She’s a strong player and a creative improviser. Joining her are a number of other young and youngish players: Will Kjeer, piano; Ethan Elseth, guitar; Andrew Foreman, bass; and Zach Schmidt, drums. Here she is from a few years ago.

Paula Lammers @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Vocalist Lammers and guitarist David Martin have been exploring the music of singer/songwriters of the 70s, when the form exploded on the radio and pop charts. Ex[pect to hear music from Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Rickie Lee Jones, Carole King, and more. Here she is doing an Ellington tune.

Friday, May 27

Jeremy Walker & Ted Nash @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (No Cover) Wow! Walker is a fine pianist and composer, well worth a visit to the Vieux. He’s a long time friend of saxophonist Ted Nash, who is coming through town and will be sitting in with Walker. Nash is a member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and co-founded the NYC based Jazz Composers Collective. He will soon be releasing Presidential Suite, based on great political speeches of the 20th Century.

Southside Aces @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Here’s a band that’s just made for the room, allowing you to enjoy gumbo, a po’ boy, or oysters while The Aces play traditional New Orleans jazz from the likes of Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, and Bix Beiderbecke, among others. The group includes: Tony Baluff, clarinet; Erik Jacobson, sousaphone; Steve Sandberg, trombone; Zack Lozier, trumpet; Robert Bell, guitar; and Dave Michael, drums. And what’s more New Orleans than Little Liza Jane?

Maud Hixson @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30 (No Cover) Ms Hixson brings her elegant vocals to the lounge at the Italian eatery in the office warrens in the southeast corner of the 100/494 interchange. She’ll be joined by Gordy Johnson on bass and Rick Carlson on piano, two musicians whose restraint and taste are a good fit for Ms Hixson. Her latest project is a CD with songs mentioned in the Betsy-Tacy books, a series from the early 20th Century about life in Mankato. Here’s a sample.

Saturday, May 28

Selby Avenue Syncopaters @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Hot jazz from early in the 20th Century, played by Tom Zosel, clarinet/tenor sax; Harold Longley, tuba; Tim Altmann, trumpet; Chris Wiley, trombone; Tom Lyseng, drums; and Jeffrey Dunitz, banjo/guitar. Here’s what they sound like.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) The new kitchen is open at the Black Dog, so while you’re enjoying music in the expanded space, you can have a burger or banh mi sandwich, among other offerings. At 7pm it’s the Evan Benidt Trio: Benidt, sax; Park Evans, guitar; Lars-Erik Larson, drums. The Peter Vircks Quartet starts sometime between 8:30 and 9:: Vircks, sax; Ron Evaniuk, bass; Kevin Washington, drums; Brian Ziemniak, piano

Sunday, May 29

Joel Shapira @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 4pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) So, you’re hanging around town for the weekend, and if the forecast of rain on Friday and Saturday is correct, by Sunday afternoon, you’ll be looking for some diversion. Guitarist Joel Shapira might do the trick. The garage doors to the tap room will be open, so you can enjoy being on the patio.

 

Sergio Mendes @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm, 8pm  ($60 – $80) While Stan Getz may have had the first “bossa nova” hit with Desafinado, it was Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66 that really brought Brazilian music to the world 50 years ago. He adapted songs like The Look of Love, Fool on the Hill, and Scarborough Fair to the sensuous rhythms of Brazil, and took Mas Que Nada, sung entirely in Portugese, to the pop charts. He’s released 55 albums, and continues to meld pop instrumentation with Brazilian rhythms, maintaining his cool factor all these years. Here’s an example of just how cool he is – playing with the Black Eyed Peas

Tuesday, May 31

Dave Karr Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) Saxophonist Karr moved to the Twin Cities in the 50s and began gigging around. In the intervening years created an award winning jingle agency, continued to gig, and has become an elder statesman in jazz, with an ever-inventive ability to caress a sweet melody or improvise a bebop line. He’ll be playing with Chris Lomheim, piano; Keith Boyles, bass; and Phil Hey, drums.

Southern Minnesota REAL Big Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/student ID) This Waseca-based group is made up of the region’s top jazz musicians. About half are band directors, while the others come from a variety of occupations. They’ve got standard, 18-piece instrumentation, and play music from Ellington, Basie, Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson, Gordon Goodwin and others.

 

Steve Kenny’s Group 47 @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) This may be the first appearance at the Vieux for this group, though they originally started when the place was the Artists’ Quarter. Initially, all members would play as part of Kenny’s early evening Tuesday night jam, until they coalesced as a group, with Kenny as the veteran playing with young lions. Besides Kenny on Flumpet_, the group includes Will Kjeer, piano; Thomas Strommen, sax; Adam Tucker, bass; and Alex Burgess, drums. Listen.

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, May 25

Moonlight Duo on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The Moonlight Duo are Mary DuShane and Nick Jordan. DuShane is a fiddler with a long history in the Twin Cities folk and roots scene. She’s appeared on Prairie Home Companion as a member of the Powdermilk Biscuit Band, currently plays with the DL Cajun Band, and has been in a number of country, folk, and roots bands over the decades. Nick Jordan plays finger-picked guitar (he flat picks as well), mandolin, and flute/whistle, in addition to singing. It will be an evening of old time, Appalachian, and Irish songs.

The April Fools @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) This is a quartet of rock n’ roll loving guys who know how to put the country in country rock. Each has played in a plethora of bands before this collaboration, which was supposed to be a one-off project. They enjoyed working together so much that they became a band. Brian Drake, vocals, guitars; Clay Williams, guitars, lap steel, and pedal steel; Ben Kaplan, drums & percussion; and Scott Hreha, bass.

Thursday, May 26

Rockin’ Pinecones @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) Swing dancers and Cajun dancers unite! You have nothing to lose but calories from spinning, twirling, two-stepping, and generally dancing the night away to this seasoned group and their repertoire of New Orleans R&B, Cajun, & Zydeco music.

 

Charles Bradley @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 8pm doors ($20) There will be plenty of both young and old fans of funk n’ soul at the former bus depot tonight. Bradley spent years doing James Brown covers before he was discovered by the soul-loving folks at Daptone Records. He’s been given the sobriquet “Screamin’ Eagle of Soul” thanks to the intensity of his singing, which leans toward slow and medium tempos, though he explodes with passion on the occasional fast number.

Jaunito Pascual New Flamenco Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20-$25) Born in Minneapolis, Jaunito Pascual  as been recognized in both Spain and throughout the US for his creativity and virtuosity on the guitar. He’s been hailed by NPR and the Boston Globe, performed on a Prairie Home Companion Cruise, and appeared in Steve Martin’s Pink Panther 2.

Friday, May 27

JD Souther @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45 – $52) Billed as an “Intimate Evening,” it will be just Souther on stage. The singer/songwriter was a critical source for songs during the flowering of California country/rock in the early 70s, having hits with Linda Ronstadt, the Eagles, Jackson Browne, and others. He had his own massive hit in 1979, with You’re Only Lonely, which hit #1 on the Adult Contemporary charts. Souther has admitted that his songs are often depressing, which may explain why they are popular with country stars like George Strait, Trisha Yearwood, Brooks and Dunn, and others. His latest album, Tenderness, finds him, like many other his age, exploring the Great American Songbook. Those of you of a certain age will remember this song, a hit for the Eagles.

Minneapolis Guitar Quartet @ The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis. 7pm – 8pm ($20, $18 members) Doors at 6:30 and limited seating, in one of the nicest unexpected venues in town. Sit amongst stunning examples of 20th Century Realism, and listen to this extraordinary quartet, one of the few guitar ensembles in the country that performs its pieces from memory. You’ll hear music from J.S. Bach, Astor Piazzolla, Hiromi Uehara, Maria Kalaniemi, Alberto Ginastera, and Modest Mussorgsky. Don’t think this is on the program, but it’s a fine version.

North Country Bandits @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) The band was on hiatus for a while, so it’s good to have them back, performing  a heap of stompin’ blues, a bit of country, good ol’ rock n’ roll, and killer harmonies. The front line is Matt Pudas, Drew Druckery, and Doug Otto on guitars and vocals, along with Rich Casey bass; Chris Gray, drums, Joanna John, keys; and Nick “The Feelin’” Mrozinski on vocals and keys.

Riverside Swing Band EP Release @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Though the lounge has a small dance floor, it will undoubtedly be jumping as this quartet celebrates the release of “Songs from the 30s,” a collection of six vintage swing tunes.

Saturday, May 28

Boom Boom Stevie V & the Knockouts @ Neumann’s Bar, North Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Harpman and vocalist Steve Vondehaar, aka Boom Boom Steve, plays the Mississippi Saxophone with considerable skill. He’s been at it ever since buying a Tony Glover instruction book as a teenager. He and the Knockouts will have Neumann’s jumping.

Urban Flavor @ Famous Dave’s Uptown, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Funk n’ soul from a band of seasoned musicians, a few of whom were instrumental in the MPLS Sound of the 70s and 80s. Ben Locke was Alexander O’Neal’s drummer, while Charles and Donald Berry were cofounders of Quiet Storm, featured in the book/CD Purple Snow: Forecasting the Minneapolis Sound. Members of other bands from the era will be present, though it’s hard to say who may join the band for the evening.

Pat Hayes Band @ Shaw’s NE, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist/harpist/vocalist Pat Hayes isn’t exactly shedding his Lamont Cranston skin, just putting it aside for this gig, which will undoubtedly still feature an LC tune or two in a new configuration. I’m unsure of who he’ll have with him, except for Tim Wick, who will be playing organ.

Saturday, Sunday, May 28, 29

Memory Lanes Block Party @ Memory Lanes, 25th & 26th Ave So, Minneapolis. 9:30 – 2am Saturday, 3pm – 10 pm Sunday ($5/day) Deejays and bands galore, with Saturday featuring mostly (insert hyphenated genre here) rock bands, while on Sunday there are a few roots and blues bands of note, including: Jaedyn James & The Hunger at 4:30, Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders at 8:20, the Legendary Shack Shakers at 9:30, and Davina & The Vagabonds indoors at 10:45.

 

Sunday, May 29

Ecuador Manta @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) Based in Saint Paul since they began in 1992, Ecuador Manta is originally from the tiny village of Atahulapa, Ecuador. They combine traditional rhythms from Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Columbia with contemporary Latin and Caribbean rhythms to create a unique form of Andean music.

 

Tuesday, May 31

Siama: Rivers – From the Congo to the Mississippi CD Release @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) If the swaying rhythms of Congolese guitarist Siama Matuzungidi doesn’t make you want to move, you better check your pulse. Siama was a prolific studio musician during the golden era of soukous music (70s-’80s) and his distinctive guitar style is featured on over 100 hit songs, several of which he composed. He’s been a resident of the Twin Cities for a number of years now, slowly but steadily building a fan base and connections with other musicians in cross-genre projects. From the Congo to the Mississippi is one such project, featuring musicians such as Joe Savage, pedal steel; Jacqueline Ultan, cello; Tim O’Keefe, percussion; Brian Ziemniak, keys; Mikkel Beckmen, washboard, JD Steele, vocals, and others, all of whom will be on hand. You’re invited to contribute an instrument in the lobby for distribution by Vega Productions to aspiring young musicians.

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


Another Good Week. Music: 5.7 – 5.13

May 7, 2014

images-1From young jazz musicians to boomer rockers, an oratorio on slavery and some mighty fine blues, we are privileged to be able to choose from a rich palette of music here in Minneapolis/Saint Paul. Music certainly lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 7

Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Two acoustic guitars + Jazz + Bluegrass + Two creative minds + Two virtuosos = Fireworks for guitar lovers.

O'Brien at play

O’Brien at play

Michael O’Brien Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Donation) Minneapolis bassist O’Brien has been based in Brooklyn for a few years now, and lately has been traveling (and playing) around the world. He’ll be joined tonight by Brandon Wozniak, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Tanner Taylor, piano; and Mac Santiago, drums; to rework some of his old arrangements and play songs from his fine CD, Tunes I Like to Play, which you can sample on his website.

Thursday, May 8

Charmin & Shapira & Friends @ The Dakota. 7pm (No Cover) When the sweet vocals of Charmin Michelle are combined with the tasteful, swinging sounds of Joel Shapira’s acoustic guitar, the results are sublime. Tonight they’re joined by friends on sax, bass & drums to round out an engaging evening of music.

Maurice Jacox @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Donation) Maurice brings his vocal chops to the “basement family room” of jazz. Thomas West will accompany him on the JC piano.

The Dakota Combo @ Antonello Hall, MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 8pm (Free) In September of each year, an open audition is held for high school students to study and perform as part of the Dakota Combo. They study with bassist Adam Linz, jazz coordinator at MacPhail, and then perform at various venues and schools during the school year. This marks the Spring concert for the group, which is as talented a group of young musicians as you can find. Full disclosure: I chair the organization that sponsors the group.

Friday, May 9

Paula Lammers @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Lammers, a sweetly swinging vocalist, teams up with Phil Aaron on piano and Ray Siegel on bass to deliver an evening of standards seasoned with some under-recorded gems. Here she is doing No Moon at All.

Will Kjeer/Levi Schwartzberg Duo @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm (Donation) Here are two high school seniors who are members of the Dakota Combo and who also have been playing professionally around town. Pianist Will Kjeer has been playing with his own group, Blue Haven, as well as with veterans such as Steve Kenny, Dave Brittain, & Jana Nyberg. Levi Schwartzberg plays both vibes and piano in bands such as Blue Haven, Sound Skirmish, and the Cosmic Troubadours. Both are finishing their second year with the Dakota Combo and will be heading off to college next fall.

Courageous Endeavors CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm, ($8) Four twenty-somethings, each of whom has been making his mark in Twin Cities jazz, are releasing Prototype, their debut album of original songs. Though the use of a Fender Rhodes gives it a slightly 70s vibe, the time signatures and melodies are 21st Century. The group includes Nelson Devereaux, saxes; Joe Strachan, Fender Rhodes; Brian Courage, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Saturday, May 10

Photo by Andrea Canter

Photo by Andrea Canter

Group 47 @ Sweet 317, Northern Warehouse, 308 Prince Street, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Trumpeter (Flumpeter?) Steve Kenny has gathered some of the best young talent around for this group: pianist Will Kjeer is finishing up his senior year in high school; Thomas Strommen, sax, is a sophomore at UW-River Falls; drummer Alex Burgess also studies at River Falls; while bassist Adam Tucker has been playing and recording music in the Twin Cities for a number of years. Though their new album, Straight to Vinyl, won’t be out for another month, you can hear some previews in the comfy confines of a house concert. For tickets and more info, go to http://Sweet317.com.

Monday, May 12

Brian Grivna @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Donation) Tenor sax player Grivna is a veteran of the Buddy Rich Orchestra, the Guthrie. He’s toured with the Minnesota Orchestra and with Bobby McFerrin and the SPCO. He continues to work with both the Orchestra and SPCO, as well as in the pit band for touring shows. His appearances at Jazz Central are always a delight.

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, May 7

Erik Koskinen Band @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) If anyone ever asks how to define Americana music, point them to Koskinen’s recordings. With his writing and singing, Koskinen has a way of connecting with the hopes and fears of both toilers and dreamers. His incisive guitar playing draws from rock n’ roll, country and even some classic folk.

Thursday, May 8

Cooker John & Mikkel Beckmen @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Mikkel Beckmen, of the rub board and found percussion, brings in a different guest each week for a genial gathering of business folk, old hippies, and young fans of roots music. This week he’s invited fingerpicker/acoustic blues singer Cooker John to share the stage.

Youngblood Brass Band @ The Triple Rock, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12)  Madison is about as unlikely a place for a New Orleans Brass Band as Minneapolis, but these guys have made it work. YBB has collaborated with hip-hop artists, sold out dates in over 20 countries and continue to stretch boundaries and gain fans. Twin Cities trumpeter Adam Meckler has been playing with them on their recent tour through the west, which has also included a number of workshops in elementary and high schools. Opening is Mpls rapper Botzy.

 

Friday, May 9

Dee Miller Band @ The Sherwood Lounge, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) This venue has remained under the radar as far as I know. Not so The Dee Miller Band, with the potent combination of Miller on take-no-prisoners vocals and Jimi “Primetime” Smith on guitar.

Friday, Saturday, May 9, 10

Kelly Hunt @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) The piano-pounding sassy singer from Kansas City has been appearing at the Dakota so often, she’s probably sampled most of their dinners. She has a new CD, The Beautiful Bones, about to be released, and it’s already garnering praise, so expect some new material.

Saturday, May 10

Unknown-2TU Dance 10th Anniversary Concert @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($23 – $48) It’s been ten years since Toni Pierce-Sands and Uri Sands, both veterans of the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, started their own troupe. They are marking the anniversary with the premiere of Hikari, an Ordway-commissioned pice created by Uri Sands in collaboration with master wood block print artist Hiroki Morinoue. Uri Sands will also perform Alvin Ailey’s Twin Cities with special guest Laurel Keen, and the troupe will also perform Lady, a signature piece for the company, and the Minnesota premiere of Uri Sands’ One. All in all, a very special evening for fans of dance.

Let My People Go! A Spiritual Journey Along the Underground Railway @ Hamline United Methodist Church, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($20, $30) This is a concert-length oratorio featuring T. Mychael Rambo and Aimee K. Bryant in the roles of narrator, and the 75-voice Oratorio Society Chorus. It’s presented by the Oratorio Society of Minnesota. In essence, the piece by composer Dolnald McCulloug interweaves spirituals into a script that explores the ingenuity of America’s slaves, who created “coded” messages within much of their music.

Boom Boom Steve & The Knockouts @ Holihan’s Pub, White Bear Lake. 8pm (Tip Jar) This small East Metro club provides an intimate space for listening to the passionate harp playing of Boom Boom Steve, with John Franken, guitar; John Shroeder, bass; and Dwight Dario on drums. One or two couples can also dance.

Sunday, May 11

Pat Donahue & Daddy Squeeze @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 5pm (Tip jar) Both Donahue and Dan Newton are expertly conversant in a number of genres. The master finger-picking guitarist and wizard of the “stomach Steinway” combine for an evening of music that may range from blues to gypsy jazz to polkas.

Sultans of String @ The Fine Line, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15) This Canadian quartet of two guitars, bass, and fiddle has received raves wherever they go, with their blend of gypsy jazz, Spanish flamenco, Arabic folk, and other genre-blending sounds.

Flamin’ Groovies @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 8pm ($25) Comning out of San Francisco in 1965, The Groovies played what would eventually become known as power pop, using a two-guitar attack to rock up some r&b, classic rock n’ roll, and originals. They were mostly ignored, and certainly outsold by the more psychedelic bands of the time. After the inevitably splintering, quitting, they became cult favorites. After finally reuniting a couple of years ago, they are on the move and on tour. They still rock out, as you can see in the video below. Might Mofos open.

 

Monday, May 12

Willie Murphy’s Blue Monday Jam @ Richfield American Legion, Richfield 7pm (Tip Jar) Willie’s been doing a Blue Monday Jam for  decades, though the location has changed from time to time, as when the old Viking Bar closed. You never know who will show up and take part, but you do know it will be fun, as Willie goes through a repertoire that includes old rock n’ roll, blues, and originals.

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.

 


The Living is Easy (and warm). Music: 7.17 – 7.23

July 17, 2013
Don't complain about the heat, we'll get snow soon enough

When you’re feeling warm, remember last winter.

We’ve got a hot week ahead. Luckily, there is plenty of music outdoors as well as air-conditioned venues to help us seek relief. When the heat gets you down, remember the cold. Have a good week.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 17

Evans, Fultz, & Seru @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30 – 8:30pm. Elaine Evans, violin & pocket trumpet; Scott Fultz, sax; and Davu Seru, drums & percussion, will explore the outer boundaries of American musical expression.

Thursday, July 18

PaulaUnknown Lammers & Tanner Taylor @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm (Donation) It’s vocal night at Jazz Central, and Paula Lammers will be delivering a swinging set of heartfelt tunes, ably abetted by pianist Tanner Taylor.

Stanley Jordan @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($22) The collective jaws of many of the world’s guitarists dropped when Jordan released his Blue Note debut album in 1975. His unique tapping technique allowed him to play chords and melody simultaneously, much like a piano. His 2011 Mack Avenue album, Friends, features Kenny Garrett, Christian McBride, and Nicholas Payton. Here he is early in his career, when David Letterman actually had hair.

Kristin Sponcia and Friends @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Sponcia is a pianist and vocalist who teaches at MacNally Smith and has played with a number of national artists.

Friday, Saturday, July 19, 20

Laura Caviani Trio @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Whether accompanying Karrin Allyson, playing in Pete Whitman’s X-Tet, or leading her own groups, pianist Caviani plays with taste and style. Here she is at the AQ a few years back.

Saturday, July 20

Musselman, Jany, & Weston @ The Hotel Ivy, Minneapolis. 9pm – Midnight (No Cover) Pianist Dan Musselman just released a gorgeous CD of music that’s spiritual in the way that A Love Supreme is spiritual. This is actually guitarist Pavel Jany’s gig, but I suspect some of Dan’s music will be played. They’ll be joined by bassist Dan Weston.

Fall of the House of Usher @ The Belmore, 25 North 4th St, Minneapolis. 10pm ($5) A new project featuring Chris Cunningham, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; Chris Thomson, Adrian Larkin, and Elliot Wachs, saxophones; with Greg Schutte guesting on drums, as well as Jon Davis on bass clarinet. Chihuahua City opens at 10pm, FoTHoU at 11pm.

Tuesday, July 23

Capri Big Band @ The Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) Set against a background of downtown Saint Paul, the History Center’s music series is one of the reasons summer is so much fun in the Twin Cities. Tonight, the Capri Big Band, a talented collection of old, young, professional, and newer players, takes the stage. Dancing is encouraged.

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

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, July 17

The Ericksons on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Sisterly harmonies and Appalachia-meets-folk songwriting make for compelling roots music.

Thursday, July 18

Curtis Blake & Greasy Gravy & the Tex Pistols @ Mears Park, Saint Paul. 6:00pm (Free) A double bill of blues, roots, and Americana. Curtis Blake is a superb blues harpmaster, and together with Greasy Gravy, delivers the goods when it comes to blues you can dance to. The Tex Pistols mine rock and country, from Neil Young and Steve Earle to the Beatles (not to forget their originals). The setting is as mellow as you could want.

Orkestar Bez Ime @ the Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm. (Top Jar) These purveyors of Balkan party music will undoubtedly have the audience moving tables and chairs to dance with abandon.

Friday, July 19

Terrence Simien & the Zydeco Express @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) A highly respected, 8th generation Creole, Grammy winner Simien serves as an ambassador of zydeco music, bringing the infectious music to audiences throughout the world. One measure of his popularity: he’s performed at the New Orleans Jazz Festival for 27 years in a row. Let’s hope the Dakota clears some room for dancing, because you cannot sit still to his music.

slide.001Shagagogo @ Crooked Pint Ale House, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5?) This four-piece plus two go-go dancers takes off on the pop psychedelic outlook of Austin Powers, playing songs from the likes of 60s pop & garage rockers; 70s soul, pop, & disco; and 80s dance. It’s a veritable time machine of hits, with costumes and shtick to match.

Sunday, July 21

Armadillo Jump @ Highland Fest, Saint Paul. Noon. (Free) Rockin’ blues, the kind that makes you wanna holler, dance, and shout.  There’s lots more going on at this neighborhood festival, but this is definitely a way to start your day.

Saturday, July 20

Junior Brown @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($40) Brown is one of the best guitarists in country music. His brand of country is more honky-tonk and rock n’ roll then it is countrypolitan, resulting in kudos fromthe likes of No Depression magazine and rock critics. He played with Asleep At the Wheel back in the 60s and in 1985 invented the guit-steel, a double-neck hybrid of guitar and steel guitar, which has helped him win a number of awards. Check out this video.

Sunday, July 21

Trombone Shorty & Mavis Staples @ the Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley. 7pm ($56) What a double bill! Mavis Staples is an iconic singer of the 20th Century, whose vocals with the Staple Singers inspired hope and dedication to a whole generation. With his combination of funk, traditional New Orleans music, and a bit of jazz, Trombone Shorty has become one of the top performers of New Orleans, as evidenced by his placement as the closing artist at this year’s jazz fest. He may or may not be the new “hardest working man in show business,”  but it’s a sure thing that he knows how to work a crowd.

Monday, July 22

The Cactus Blossoms Last Dance @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11pm ($5) After an 18 month residency at the Turf Club, the Blossoms are going to free up time to play venues in Minneapolis as well as Saint Paul. As I’ve previously noted, imagine the Everly Brothers doing the early songs of George Jones, and you may have an idea of what the Cactus Blossoms sound like. Stop by to wish them well, and perhaps take a spin on the dance floor

Tuesday, July 23

Unknown-3Badi Assad @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40) w/ Choro Borealis. This inventive singer and guitarist from Brazil cannot be categorized, as she seamlessly mixes jazz, pop, and Brazilian sounds. She’s technically brilliant, yet innovative, on guitar, and yet embraces emotionalism as well. Choro Borealis is the new trio of Robert Everest, guitar; Pat O’Keefe on b flat clarinet and bass clarinet, and Tim O’Keefe on mandolin and percussion. They explore the origins Brazilian music – pre-samba, and pre-bossa nova.

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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