Free Music and More: 7.18 – 7.24

July 18, 2018

The Lowertown Blues& Funk Fest is this weekend

It’s another week full of free music events, as well as exciting gigs from both visiting and resident artists. Note that the Aquatennial celebration goes from Wednesday to Saturday, though, as far as I can tell, there are no music events.  So… let’s get to it.  Music lifts the Spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 18

Pete Whitman: New Boundaries @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm 9$10, $5w/valid student ID) Saxophonist Whitman brings Chris Lomheim, piano; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Phii Hey, drums, to the basement club.

Thursday, July 19

Michelle Kinney and What Have We Here @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Original improvisatory music from cellist Michelle Kinney  as performed by Laura Harada, violin; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, Cornet; Pat O’Keefe, reeds; Adam Zahiler, voice, guitar, piano, recorders; and Greg Schutte, drums, with special guests Ivan Cunningham, alto sax; and Chris Cunningham, guitars.

Davu Seru & Donald Washington @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Exploratory, improvisational music from two masters of the form.

Friday, July 20

LA Buckner’s “Big Home” @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/valid student ID) Jacob Dodd, piano; Darnell Davis, keys/aux; Yonathan Bekure, bass; and LA Buckner, drums.

Saturday, July 21

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul.7pm (Tip Jar) opening set by Opus 11, with Walter Croll, viola; Dylan Nelson, guitar; Clark Thaldorf, bass; and Craig Hara, drums, playing original compositions. At 8:30, it’s Eric Siereveld’s Organic Quartet: Siereveld, trumpet & fluegelhorn; Brandon Wozniak, tenor; Zacc Harris, guitar; Kevin Gastonguay, B3 organ; and Pete James Johnson, drums.

Sam Miltich Quintet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Highly regarded guitarist Miltich explores the music of Bill Evans and Theloniuos Monk with his new group: Chris Lomheim, piano; Pete Whitman, sax; Steve Pikal, bass; and Trevor Hainig, drums.Here’s a video of Miltich playing a standard with Charmin Michelle. He takes about 2 minutes to introduce the song.

Sunday, July 22

Maud Hixson & Rick Carlson: Silver Screen Songs @Saint Albert the Great Church, 2836 33rd Ave S, Minneapolis. 1pm ($20) This is the third of four summer Sundays in which fine vocalist Maud Hixson and pianist Rick Carlson deliver melodies sung and danced by Fred Astaire, Judy Garland, Doris Day, and others.

Monday, July 23

Adam Meckler Quintet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) Trumpeter and composer/arranger about town Adam Meckler brings his fine quintet to the basement boîte. Members are:  Meckler, trumpet; Aaron Hedenstrom, saxes; Zacc Harris, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Greg Schutte, drums.

Greg Ward Trio, Nick’s Cousins @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($12) 1st set: Chicago-based tip featuring Greg Ward, alto sax; Dennis Carroll, bass; Greg Arty, drums. 2nd set: Nick’s Cousins: Matty Harris, sax; Eric Carranza, guitar; Roxy Schulze, bass; and Kismet Shrestha, Drums

Tuesday, July 24

John Pizzarelli @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $45), 9pm ($25, $35) His stories are as charming as his guitar playing is “madly creative,” as the LA Times called it. Pizzarelli is renowned around the world for his jazz guitartistly, and makes good use of the Great American Songbook, as well as Paul McCartney’s compositions. His latest project celebrates Sinatra’s album with Jobim.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, July 18

Pigs Lite on The House Party (KFAI, 90.3FM), and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Randy Webb and Dave Rabb of the Front Porch Swinging Liquor Pigs are joined by percussionist Tony Paul on Friday nights at Palmer’s. They make a rare, mid-week appearance tonight.

Jenny & the Mexicats @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($32, $37, $42) Cumbias, salsas, and other Mexican-oriented music (along with some songs in English) delivered with swing by a quartet led by a Spanish-speaking Brit who plays trumpet as well as sings. All delivered with a bit of cheekiness.

Wednesday, Thursday, July 18, 19

Cantus Summer Chamber Series @ American Swedish Institute, Wed, July 18, 7pm; Thursday, July19 @ The Museum of Russian Art, 7pm ($20 Adults, $10 Children for both performances) The eight-man ensemble presents Songs My Mother Taught Me: folk songs  that are an integral part of the American experience and our cultural heritage.

Thursday, July 19

Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders @ Music in Mears, Mears Park Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Free) High energy, “punkish” blues to enjoy within the lovely Mears Park. Opening by Tom, Dick, and Harry.

Mini Music Fest @ The Science Museum of Minnesota, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10 pm ($20, SCM & MPR Members, $25 Non-Members) Fourteen, count ‘em, 14 bands, performing on 5 stages, including such acts as Ben Cook-FeitzJames Rene of School for GirlsJaedyn James & the Hunger, Toussaint Morrison, and Nooky Jones. They are part of this Social Science event, as it’s called. You get music that ranges from rock to hip-hop, folk, and funk, while being surrounded by dinosaurs and other exhibits. FMI go here.

Thursday July19 – Sunday July 22

Marc Norberg’s book, Black & White Blues.

Black & White Blues by Marc Norberg @ Show Gallery Lowertown, 364 N. Sibley Street, Saint Paul. (Free) The Minnesota Museum of Art is presenting this show in conjunction with the Lowertown Blues and Funk Fest, featuring thirty of photographer Marc Norberg’s marvelous portraits of blues artists who played in the Twin Cities (mostly at Wilebski’s) between 1982 and 1995. There’s an opening reception on Thursday from 6-9pm, with a cash bar and live music by Erik Christenson at 7pm.

Friday, July 20

Reneé Austin @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15 Advance, $20 Door) Multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter Austin calls her mix of R&B, Soul, and Gospel influences “roadhouse soul.” She’s a six-time Minnesota Music Award winner, and a nominee for the WC Handy Award, thanks in part to a wide vocal range.

Friday, Saturday, July 20, 21

Lowertown Blues & Funk Fest @ Mears Park, Saint Paul.4:30 – 10pm Friday, Noon – 10pm Saturday (Free). Friday’s headliners are The Ohio Players  preceded by Free & Easy and High & Mighty. Saturday brings Scottie Miller, Chubby Carrier, rising bluesman Toronzo Cannon, and others to the stage before the two-fisted piano pounder, Long Tall Marcia Ball headlines at 8:30pm.

Sunday, July 22

Graham Parker, Belfast Cowboys @ Brit’s Pub, Minneapolis. 6pm (No Cover) It’s Fredstock at Brits, celebrating 90 year old Sir Freddie Manton, and Brits is bringing back British rock Legend Graham Parker for a solo show at 6, though he may be joined for a couple of songs by members of the Belfast Cowboys, who take the stage at 8pm. Arrive at 3pm, and you can catch the Actors Theater doing The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). It all takes place at the Pub’s rooftop garden.

Monday, July 23

Paul Barry & the Acetones @ The Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis.7:30pm (Free) There’ll be dancing in front of the stage as Master harp blower Paul Barry & band deliver sharp West Coast and Chicago Blues.

Tuesday, July 24

Ipso Facto @ MN History Center, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Free) Get into Jamaican riddims while enjoying an early summer evening overlooking downtown Saint Paul.

Wednesday, July 25

Kashimana @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Singer/songwriter Kashimana was born in Nigeria and moved to Kenya with her family when she was 8, where she lived until coming to the Twin Cities to go to college. She has a warm presence and sings catchy, simple songs in a soulful voice

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.

 

 


What A Week: 4.18 – 4.24

April 18, 2018

Well it’s certainly a busy week when it comes to music, so much so, that it’s nigh unto impossible to pick only 20 or so events to highlight. Of course the anniversary of Prince’s death has spawned a number of tributes and events, and then there’s Record Store Day on Saturday, where many of your favorite vinyl shops will feature live music. Add in 4/20 Day, visiting artists, and new combinations of resident artists, and you have a delightful week for music fans. Lucky us – Music Lifts the Spirit

 Jazz

Wednesday, April 18

Pete Whitman & Friends, feat: Peter Schimke @ Jazz Central, Minnreapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Saxophonist Whitman brings pianist Schimke and other stellar friends to the basement scene, including Zacc Harris, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; Omar Abdulkareem, trumpet; and Jay Epstein drums.

Thursday, April 19

Lucia Newell w/The Wolverines Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) Latin tunes, songs about spring and love by Rodgers and Hart, Jerome Kern, Billy Strayhorn, Thelonious Monk, Jimmy Van Heusen, Cole Porter and many more. Here’s Lucia with a different group.

Adam Larson Trio @ Jazz Central, Minnreapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Vocalists take a night off as NYC-based saxophonist Adam Larson visits Jazz Central with his cohorts: John Kizilarmut, drums; and Bob Bowman, who has played at Jazz Central before and often played at the Dakota with Karrin Allyson when she was based in Kansas City. Here’s Larson at a master class.

Friday, April 20

Cory Healy’s Beautiful Sunshine Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Drummer Cory Healy leads Nathan Hanson, saxes; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, cornet; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Erik Fratzke, bass; through an evening of his original compositions. Here’s a track from their album of a couple of years ago.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, April 20, 21, 22

BingSongs @ Bloomington Center for the Arts, Bloomington. 7:30pm Fri, 2pm, Sat, Sun ($22) Arne Fogel, Maude Hixson, and Jennifer Eckes will be accompanied by Rick Carlson on the ivories in this concert of Bing Crosby’s biggest hits, such as “I’ll be Seeing You”, “Accentuate the Positive”, and “Blue Hawaii”. There may be no better interpreters around. Here’s Arne and Jennifer interacting in a fun way.

Saturday, April 21

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) With over 200 performances, the Saturday Night Jazz series continues to feature both veteran and emerging artists. Tonight’s performances begin at 7pm with Amethyst 3: Byron Johnson-Blanchard, Drums; Park Evans, Guitar; and Josh Granowski, Bass; and continues at 8:30 with Chris Bates’ Red 5 featuring: ​Chris Bates, Bass; Thomas Nordlund, Guitar; Pete James Johnson, Drums; Jake Baldwin, Trumpet; JC Sanford, Trombone; and on saxophones, Chris Thomson and Brandon Wozniak.

MN Hard Bop Collective Plays Gigi Gryce @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7 & 8:30pm (No Cover) Clay Pufahl, alto; Jeff Rinnear, trombone; Ted Godbout, piano; Tom Lewis, bass; and leader Jesse Simon, drums; envision the music of the under appreciated saxophonist Gigi Gryce, a mainstay of hard bop recording sessions in the late 50s and 60s. Some of his compositions have become jazz standards. Here’s a cut from a session led by Gryce.

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($20 Advance/$25 Door) This 18-piece band features the trumpet and original compositions of Meckler, who has toured internationally with the Youngblood Brass Band and has served on the faculty of McNally Smith and MacPhail Center for Music. Additionally, the AMO features some of the Twin Cities’ finest musicians, including Nelson Deveraux, sax; Cameron Kinghorn, vocals and trumpet; and percussionist Adrian Suarez, with special guest: internationally renowned trumpeter Rex Richardson, who is in town to take part in the AMO’s new album.

Sunday, April 22

Jazz Legends @ The Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 2pm-3:30pm ($20 Adults, $10 for ages 5-17) Patty Peterson will host this event, and  reminisce with Twin Cities’ jazz legends who have achieved local and national acclaim. Among these notables are Ahmed AbdulKarim, Trumpet; Reuben Ristrom, Guitar; and others. These Jazz Legends will be accompanied by the Phil Aaron Trio, featuring Phil Aaron, piano; Graydon Peterson, Bass; and Phil Hey, Drums.

Gene Bertoncini & Gordy Johnson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 2:0pm ($15) Here’s an afternoon delight for guitar fans. Bertoncini has a fluid, lyrical style that has earned him the sobriquet “Segovia of jazz.” He’s played with a galaxy of stars, including Tony Bennett, Nancy Wilson, Lena Horne, Wayne Shorter, and more, and has earned rave reviews around the world. He’ll be accompanied by our own inestimable Gordy Johnson on bass.

Tuesday, April 24

John Scofield/Joe Lovano Quartet @ The Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hopkins.6pm Social Hour, 7pm Concert ($45) Grammy-winning saxophonist/composer Joe Lovano and the equally lauded guitarist/composer John Scofield are touring with Ben Street on bass and Bill Stewart on drums. Both Lovano and Scofield have appeared at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival in recent years.

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

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, April 18

Gabe Barnett & Them Rounders on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Minneapolis troubadour Barnett creates a crazy quilt of music evoking nostalgic Americana, folk, and jazz croonery, for a sound that’s completely his own. Tune in, listen, and see him in person.

Donna Grantis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, ($40, $45, $550, 9PM ($30, $35, $45) Canadian guitarist Grantis was the co-leader of Prince’s last band, 3RDEYEGIRL. She now lives in the Twin Cities and has recruited resident stalwarts Bryan Nichols, keys; and Cody McKinney, bass; along with Jason Thomas, from Snarky Puppy, drums; and MN-born, NYC-based Suphala on table to play fiery instrumentals of 70s-inspired jazz-rock fusion.

Thursday, April 19

Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35, $45) Hillman was a co-founder of the Byrds and helped bring them to country-rock. He went on to play with the Flying Burrito Brothers, Steven Stills & Manassas, and the Desert Rose Band, where he was joined by Herb Pedersen, who’s played with John Fogerty, Linda Ronstadt, Earl Scruggs, Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, and a host of others. I wouldn’t surprised to hear them play an old hit or two in the Bluegrass/Newgrass style that they’re now performing.

Night Before 20 @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($7 Advance/$10 Door) Though cannabis consumption is illegal in Minnesota, some people want to celebrate 4/20, which, besides being tomorrow’s date, is a bit of shorthand for cannabis culture. Tonight, you’ll hear bluegrass from the Burberries; Pink Floyd music from the Pink Floyd tribute band Dark Side of the Moon; country covers from The Rare Cuts; and psychedelic funk-rock Space Monster.

Friday, April 20

Liv Warfield @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($50, $60) This Prince protege toured with him as a backing singer for several years before breaking out with what she calls “alternative R&B Soul with a little bit of rock n’ roll.” She’s got a late show with special guests that’s sold out at 11:30, so try, if you can to get tickets for tonight’s early show. Note: she’s also appearing at a Purple Jam afterparty Saturday at 11:30 ($50 reserved, $40 GA)

Hot Pants 45 RPM Dance Party @The “Uptown” VFW, 2916 Lyndale South, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover) DJs Brian Engel and Ben Mena dip into their vast collections of highly danceable rare soul and funk 45s so you can get down. They’ll be joined by DJ Adrian Small from Germany.

Saturday, April 21

Willie West @ Bistro LaRoux, Circle Pines. 7pm (No Cover) Soul singer West sang with the Meters and worked with arranger Wardell Quezergue, Deacon John, and Allen Toussaint, and left New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and settled in Saint Cloud. Bistro LaRoux serves up Cajun and Creole dishes, making it a great spot to hear West, especially if you live in the north suburbs. For the rest of us, his voice is worth the drive.

Joyann Parker @ The Basement Bar, Minneapolis.9:30pm (No Cover) If weather kept you from seeing her at last week’s  CD release party, here’s a chance to see her in the comfy Basement Bar. Check out Jon Bream’s laudatory article in the last week’s Strib.

Sunday, April 22

Blues on the Chippewa Fundraiser @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 2pm ($10) The free annual festival needs some support in order to stay free. Giving their own support are: Five Finger Discount; the Dee Miller Band; Armadillo Jump; Little Wing; and the Gopher Tones.

Monday, April 23

Bad Companions @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) It’s Swing Dance Night at Dave’s, and the Companions will supply roots-rock music to inspire dancers. The band is Alan Subola (Vibro Champs), guitar & vocals; Dan Gaarder (Trailer Trash), guitar; Hayden Grooms (Hillions), drums; and W.E. Keefe (Vibro Champs), upright bass.

Tuesday, April 24

SPCO Trio @ Tne Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Ruggero Allifranchini, violin; May Papach, viola; and Julie Albers of the SPCO will be performing Beethoven’;s String Trio Op.9 No.1 in G Major and other works in the main gallery of this fine museum.

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.

 


Live Music and a Pledge Drive, Week 2. Music: 3.18 – 3.24

March 18, 2015

imagesWell, it’s week two of KFAI’s Spring Pledge Drive and we’re about to celebrate the Vernal Equinox and the arrival of spring this Friday at 5:45pm here in the Twin Cities. As James Brown once put it, “Please, Please, Please” pledge to KFAI during my show on Saturday morning (10:30 – Noon) or online at www.kfai.org.

That message isn’t meant to distract from the myriad of music offerings we have here, from Saturday night jazz in Lowertown, to old folkies, young Afrobeat adherents, and resident musicians performing the music of Hawaii and Scandanavia. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, March 18

Pete Whitman Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Tenor saxophonist Whitman is a teacher, the leader of the X-Tet and the McNally Smith Big Band, and an in-demand sideman around town. Tonight he brings his leadership and playing skills to bear on a quintet of stellar musicians, with Chris Lomheim, piano; Chris Olsen, guitar; Jay Young, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger, drums.

Thursday, March 19

Harmonic Convergence @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s not a line-up in the sky, but rather a six-piece vocal ensemble from Iowa, directed by Lucas Mattson, son of arranger Phil Mattson.

Friday, March 20

Ms Mountain

Ms Mountain

Vicky Mountain Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No cover) It’s well worth a trip to Bloomington to hear the singing’ and swingin’ Ms Mountain, accompanied by the ever tasteful duo of Phil Aaron, piano; and Matt Peterson, bass.

Donald Washington Trio @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Multi-instrumentalist Washington is always a revelation when he plays, whether the compositions are standards or composed on the spot. With Brian Roessler, bass; and Davu Seru, drums.

Jake Baldwin Group @ The Nicollet, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar?) Baldwin is the fine trumpet player who has been gigging around town as a sideman and with his own groups. Tonight, he’s leading a pack of young lions, including Nelson Deveraux, sax; Ryan Hayes, bass; and Lars-Erik Larson on drums.

Clarke & Louis

Clarke & Louis

Louis & Clarke @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Steve Clarke and Louis Sinclair celebrate the release of their first CD: “three of one.” With Clarke, an eleven time winner of the Minnesota Music Award, on soprano sax, Sinclair on Chapman Stick (a tall, guitar-like instrument with ten strings) and Michael Bisonette on drums and percussion, they are using 19th and 20th century instruments to create 21st century jazz.

Actually, they are visible

Actually, they are visible

Invisible Guy + Metzger, Lewis, Cox, & Bates @ Icehouse, MInneapolis. 10pm ($8) Hamir Atwal, drums; Ben Goldberg, clarinet; and Michael Coleman, piano, are currently from the Bay area, and now driving around the Midwest to various gigs. Each comes from a varied background that ranges from Klezmer and Classical to mainstream and exploratory jazz. As a trio, they are in strict pursuit of a beautiful melody. Also on the bill is the exploratory music of Paul Metzger, guitar and built instruments; Michael Lewis, sax; Anthony Cox, bass; and JT Bates, drums.

Saturday, March 21

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Opening is King Fletcher Woods, with Jeff King, Charles, Fletcher, Eron Woods, drums. Illicit Sextet at 8:30pm with Chris Lomheim, piano; Paul Harper, sax; David Roos, guitar; Tom Pieper, bass; Nathan Norman, drums; and Steve Kenny, flumpet.

Dave Hagedorn Quintet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) Dave Hagedorn is an extraordinary vibes player, who recorded two albums with the George Russell Living Time Orchestra, and who gigs regularly with the Phil Hey Quartet. Tonight he’s teaming up with guitarist Zacc Harris to pay homage to the Milt Jackson/Wes Montgomery album Bags Meets Wes. The band is rounded out with Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Corey Healey, drums. Sure to be a treat. Here’s a clip of Hagedorn in action with the Phil Hey Quartet.

Scott Horey @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 10pm ($10) Horey is a solo percussionist who specializes in drums and marimba. Aside from performing a couple of actual solo pieces, he will be joined in a program of originals and new classical music by Bethany Gonella flute; Trent Baarspul, guitar; Ted Godbout, keyboards; Karen Kozak, electric fiddle; Douglas Brown, bass; and Charlie Engen, drums. I recently did an interview with him, which you can hear on my show Saturday morning, or read the post just prior to this one.

Monday, March 23

The Adam Meckler Quintet + Zacc Harris Group @ Icehouse, Minneapolis. ($8) Expect an evening with lots of original music. As Meckler himself describes his group – Adam Meckler: Trumpet/Fleugal/Pen/Paper; Nelson Devereaux: Tenor/Alto/Soprano/Hair; Zacc Harris: Guitar/Birthday; Graydon Peterson: Bass/Kung Fu; Greg Schutte: Drums/George Clooney. First up is the Zacc Harris Group playing Harris originals: Harris, guitar; Bryan Nichols, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and JT Bates, drums. Here’s Adam doing his thing.

Monday, Tuesday, March 23, 24

Steve Tyrell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($42), 9pm ($30) Tyrell always delivers an evening of swinging romantic music, calling upon standards and pop songs from the last half century. He started out as a producer at Scepter Records in the 60s, working with Bacharach & David, and producing a number of hits over the years. Eventually Tyrell was producing music for a number of hit films, and in the 90s sang “The Way You Look Tonight” for the movie Father of the Bride. It launched his singing career, in which he evokes the era of Sinatra, Dean Martin and the like, though with more charm, a rasp in his voice, and less braggadocio.

Tuesday, March 24

Dave Stanoch @ McNally Smith Auditorium, Saint Paul. 5pm (Free) Stanoch is a versatile drummer who has played with the likes of Sheryl Crow, George Clinton, Jack McDuff and Ben Sidran, among others. He currently teaches at McNally Smith, plays in a half-dozen groups around town, is a contributor to Modern Drummer magazine, and has written a drumset method book, Mastering the Tables of Time, Vol. 1. McNally Smith students will perform in the lobby at 5pm, followed by Stanoch (& friends?) in the auditorium at 6pm.

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, March 18

Joe & Vicki Price on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3, 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) As part of KFAI’s Spring Pledge Drive, Harold Tremblay has brought in an Iowa duo with a big fan base in the Twin Cities. Joe and Vicki visit our towns with some regularity, playing blues that sound more at home in the southern reaches of the Mississippi River than in Northern Iowa. Listen, and head to the 331 Club if you like what you hear.

Haley Bonar @ Rock the Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($20 – $25 ) The folks at the Ordway are doing a great job of celebrating the new concert hall by bringing in a wide variety of acts. Haley Bonar is a case in point. In the last decade, the Twin Cities by way of Rapid City and Duluth singer has released eight albums and increasingly earned acclaim for her alt roots/alt folk/alt rock music. Bonar has gained the respect and collaboration of many area musicians, such as Dave King and Andrew Bird, and always has a top-notch band, which might include musicians such as Jake Hanson, Jeremy Ylvisaker, and Mike Lewis.

Wednesday, Thursday, March 18, 19

Tom Paxton & Janis Ian @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) The Greenwich Village Folk Scene may be a thing of the past, but two of its participants are at the Dakota to give us a taste of that time and the intervening years. Back in the day Paxton was known for his protest songs, but he also wrote songs about love and humor, including a few that became folk standards, including “Ramblin’ Boy” and the “Last Thing on My Mind.” Ian was only 15, when “Society’s Child,” her hit song of interracial romance, came out about 1967. It was provocative for the time, to say the least. She then received a Grammy in the mid-70s for “At Seventeen,” a song with great insight into teen musings. They’ll appear on stage together, swapping stories and songs, for most of the show.

Thursday, March 19

Joe & Viki Price @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) In case you missed them at the 331 Club last night, Joe & Vicki will be the featured guests of washboard/percussionist Mikkel Beckman. Given the relaxed atmosphere at the Dubliner, this happy hour gig is about as good as it gets.

Friday, March 20

Tinsley Ellis @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) Like many other guitarists who grew up in the late 60s and early 70s, Ellis’ blues have always veered towards the rockin’ side, though he is capable of emotional fire as well. Though often called a better guitarist than vocalist, his last album In From the Cold has him in good voice. The Rhythm Roosters open.

Black Market Brass @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) The folks at Secret Stash Records are presenting another evening of their artists. The headliners, Black Market Brass, play original Afrobeat as well as their interpetations of Afrobeat classics. Secret Stash’s house band is The Lakers, who honed their chops touring and recording as the backing band for Sonny Knight. Gospel Machine is a garage-gospel group from NE Minneapolis, featuring Jayanthe Kyle, of Black Audience, on vocals.

Saturday, March 21

Drew Druckry & the Dharma Hounds @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($6) Drew Druckry (North Country Bandits, Julie Johson & the No-Accounts) has a new band, whose members have toiled in a number of groups ranging from the Kung Fu Hippies to Jason Dixon Line, White Iron Band,  and Root City. The Dharma Hounds concentrate on blues, New Orleans funk, and Southern Rock. Opening are a highly compatible group, the Swamp Kings, who’ve been purveyors of New Orleans Funk, and Cajun boogie for almost ten years now.

Hula Peppers @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Celebrate the Equinox with the Mid-Winter Luau. Hawaiian themed garb is encouraged, and will be welcome as you dance, dance, dance to the old-time and Hawaiian sounds of the Hula Peppers. Also on hand will be Patty & the Buttons, so it will be an accordion-centric Luau.

Scandinavian Music Showcase @ The Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) This caught my eye despite the fact that I know little about most of the performers, who include, Kari Tauring, Bob & Lynne Dixon, The Twin Cities Hardanger Fiddle Group, The Nordic Bees and more. When it comes to music, there’s always more to learn.

The Good, The Bad, & The Funky @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?)  One of the regular appearances for this 10-piece band at MMC. There’s always a dancing crowd, which isn’t surprising given the band’s funkiness and the bar’s commodious dance floor.

Mama Digdown’s Brass Band @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) The Digdown guys are an 8-piece band based in Madison, though a couple of their members hail from the Twin Cities. Lots of fun, whether playing a Jackson Five song or traditional New Orleans number.

Sunday, March 22

Battle of the Blues Bands @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 5pm – 8pm (No Cover) It’s a take-no-prisoners battle for bragging rights and a chance to play the Lowertown Blues Festival this summer. Attend, listen, and vote for one of the following: Dee Miller Band; Prior Avenue, Bluedog, and Squishy Mud.

Tuesday, March 23

Paul Mayasich & Big George Jackson @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 8:30pm (tip Jar?) Ooh, the guitar playing skills of Mayasich and the deep vocals of Big George, together at the WBL watering hole.

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


Music for Variable Weather: 4.16 – 4.22

April 16, 2014

UnknownThe title says all I want to say about the weather. Easter is this weekend, which may account for the lack of events on Sunday, but here are some ideas for the rest of the week.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 16

Pete Whitman @ Jazz Central, MInneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) With Chris Olson, guitar; Chris Lomheim, piano; Gary Raynor, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. A cast with chops a-plenty, able to tackle the difficult with aplomb, and the sublime with beauty.

Thursday, April 17

Lucia Newell w/Phil Aaron @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Newell is an outstanding vocalist, one of the best, if not the best, in the area. Her singing owes a bit of a debt to Betty Carter, and she’s become a darn good songwriter as well. Here’s a video from a few years ago.

 

 

Hamilton, Thorson, & Tubbs @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 7pm ($20 advance, $30 door) This is the inaugural concert of The Palace of Jazz Performance, a group headed by Robert “Pops” Montgomery, leader of the Senior Jazz Band of Minnesota. The performance will feature David Hamilton on piano; Brock Thorson on bass; and Kelli Rae Tubbs on drums.  More information can be found here.

Christopher McBride Quintet @ Eden Prairie HS, Eden Prairie. 7pm – 9:30pm ($15 adults/$10 Students) McBride is an alto sax player with an elegant sound. The parents at Eden Prairie HS are bringing he and his quartet in for a workshop with students and this fundraiser. In the evening, they’ll perform with the students and then conduct their own performance. All funds raised will go to the school’s band.

Friday, April 18

Maud Hixson Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) The chanteuse with the cool, yet smoldering voice will be accompanied by Rick Carlson, piano; and the ever-smiling Steve Pikal on bass. Listen to her.

 

 

Counterclockwise B3 Organ Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm  ($10 Suggested Donation) Tanner Taylor, B3; Zacc Harris, guitar; Jay Epstein, drums. This is a rare chance to hear Tanner Taylor, a terrific pianist, on organ. Should be a swingin’ evening.

Saturday, April 19

Corey Healey 4tet @ Jazz at Studio Z, Saint Paul. 6pm workshop (free), 7pm performance ($10) Healey is an Iowa raised drummer who has spent time in Chicago and NY, playing with the likes of Fareed Haque, Kenny Wheeler, David Berkman, and Dr. Lonnie Smith. Tonight he’ll be joined by Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Zacc harris guitar; and Eric Fratske, bass; for an evening of Heley originals as well as songs from Charlie Parker, Tony Williams, Bob Dylan, and more.

Unknown-1Steve Kenny Quartet @ Sweet 317, Saint Paul. 9pm – 11:30pm ($10) Trumpeter Kenny has been ultra-busy of late, what with his upcoming release Straight To Vinyl, with Group 47, and his work with the Illicit Sextet, and other groups. Tonight, he brings Brandon Wozniak, sax; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Babatunde Lea, drums & percussion, to a house concert. It’s located in the Northern Warehouse at 308 Prince Street in, quite naturally, Suite 317. Tickets are available on-line at brownpapertickets.com, and at the door.

Monday, April 21

Preston Hainig @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Trumpeter Preston comes from a musical family. Father Doug is a well-traveled saxophonist and arranger around town. Mom Maryann Sullivan is a fine vocalist, and older brother Trevor has established himself as an on-call drummer in the area. Preston is in his final year of study at the prestigious University of North Texas, and will be joined by brother Trevor on drums, Tanner Taylor on piano, and Graydon Peterson on bass.

Joey Van Phillips @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Drummer Van Phillips can be found in various aggregations around town, playing with Zacc Harris, Sophia Shorai, Dessa, and Leisure Valley, among others. He’ll be leading a group that’s either a trio or quartet.

Monday, Tuesday, April 21, 22

Steve Tyrell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45), 9pm ($30) After four decades on the production and songwriting side of the music industry, vocalist Tyrell was featured singing “The Way You Look Tonight” in the movie Father of the Bride. All of a sudden he became a popular singer of classic standards. He’s got the perfect voice for interpreting the Great American Songbook, slightly raspy, with a hint of sophisticated R&B.

 

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, Thursday, April 16, 17

Orquesta Aragon @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Oh boy, this is a coup for the Dakota. Think of the importance of Duke Ellington’s band to American music. Well, that’s the same kind of impact that Orquesta Aragon has had on Cuban music. They were started in 1939, and in the 50s were signed to RCA. Many of it’s members are sons, nephews, and grandsons of original members. Since the late 90s, they’ve appeared at Carnegie Hall, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, and the Zellerbach Theatre in Berkeley.

Friday, April 18

Oh What A Night @ The Parkway Theater, 48th & Chicago, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Vocalist and bandleader Ronn Easton has brought together four additional soulful singers to celebrate the music of the 50s, 60s, and 70s. And oh what a group! It includes Maurice Jacox, Willie Walker, Sonny Knight, and Maurice Young – veterans all, with distinctive voices and resumes too long to list. They’ll be harmonizing on songs by The Dells, The Drifters, The Stylistics, and the Temptations. Sure, it’s nostalgic for those of us of a certain age, but hearing voices this good sing such harmony is a treat for all ages.

Harold’s House Party @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) Harold Tremblay, of KFAI’s House Party brings three outstanding artists to the Tap Room. Guitarist Bob Bingham (7pm) played electric guitar with Lamont Cranston and Aces, Straights, and Shuffles, before turning to acoustic. Hilary Thavis (8pm) is Italian – born of Minnesota parents, and sings the blues with a clear, soulful voice. Jeff Ray & the Stakes (9pm) play the originals of Jeff as well as some unexpected covers. It’s a bluesy Americana style, which isn’t surprising, given the support of the Stakes: Nick Salisbury, bass; Mikkel Beckmen, washboard; and Hurricane Harold, harp.

John Primer @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Guitarist/singer Primer plays traditional electric blues from Chicago. He’s talented enough to have had a number of nominations for Blues Artist of the Year in the traditional category. In fact he won the award in 2010. It’s the real deal, as they say.

 

Saturday, April 18

Mary Cutrufello & Greg Schutte @ Moe’s, 2400 Highway 10, Moundsview. 9:30pm (No cover?) It’s been a while since singer/songwriter/guitarist Cutrufello has played with some regularity in the area. She’s a rocker with a natural feel for classic country, and easily turns her original songs into relatable tales. Cutrufello is just finishing up and album with a full band, though for this appearance she’ll be accompanied by Greg Schutte, a drummer about town who has worked with Cuturfello for many years. Together they create some rockin’ country.

 

Saturday, Sunday, April 18, 19

Brian McKnight @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($55 – $65), 9pm ($50 – $60) Modern soul music from a multi-talented performer with 16 Grammy nominations and sales of over 20 million albums. For this show, he’ll be appearing with a bassist and guitarist, and playing both hits and B-sides. (Those of you of a certain age will recognize that term)

 

Monday, April 20

Joe Fingers @ Grand Avenue Dunn Brothers, Saint Paul 7:30pm (tip jar) Joe Fingers is a “nom de Dunn” for one of the many fingerpickin’ aces we have in town. Grab a cup o’ joe and a pastry and settle in for some

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

 


Music for 11.13 – 11.19

November 13, 2013

Well, we’ve another busy week here in the Twin Cities. While one can talk about the quality of the shows you’ve seen, a measure of the music here is the quality of the shows you don’t get to see, simply because you’re at another venue. For all the shows I list, there is usually an equal number that are worthwhile attending. We are lucky.

Solomon Parham teaching at a free workshop for young msuicians, put on by DFJE. Photo by Andrea Canter.

Solomon Parham teaching at a free workshop for young musicians, put on by DFJE. Photo by Andrea Canter.

Now, for a short commercial break. Many of you have already received e-mails about Give to the Max Day, which is tomorrow. I’d like to ask that you support two non-profits in particular. The first is the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education (DFJE), which is dedicated to inspiring young audiences about jazz, and helping aspiring young jazz musicians in their studies. We have a match for the first $2500, so you can essentially double your money if you donate early. To donate, got to DFJE’s GiveMN site. The second non-profit I’m particularly jazzed about is KFAI Fresh Air Radio, where I have had a weekly jazz radio show called Rhythm and Grooves for the past 11 years. Find their site here. Now, back to our regular program.

Jazz

Wednesday, November 13

Valve Meets Slide @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Recall the days of JJ Johnson & Kai Winding, as two fine trombonists – Brad Bellows on valve, and Dave Graf on slide bring us some swingin’ tunes, ably backed by Peter Schimke, piano, Gordy Johnson, bass, and Mac Santiago, drums. Late night club goers get two-for-one admission after 11pm.  Here’s an example of their work.

Thursday, November 14

Gershwin in Paris: Bruce Henry, Irv Williams, & Others @ the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, 3675 Arboretum Dr, Chaska. 7pm ($35) A celebration of a true American original – George Gershwin. First, you get his Rhapsody in Blue plus An American in Paris  done as Gershwin arranged them, with two pianos and four hands. Then, you get other Gershwin tunes, such as I’ve Got Rhythm, and Embraceable You, as done by vocalist Bruce Henry, saxophonist Irv Williams, accordionist Dan Newton, and others. Tickets were selling briskly, so you be advised to call for a reservation at (952) 443-1400, or reserve on-line here.

Five by Design

Five by Design

Five By Design @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis 8:30 – 9:30pm ($10?) This Minnesota vocal quintet is well known outside our borders, but rarely appears in town. There close harmonies and well-rehearsed stage presence make them favorites in halls around the country.

The Jesters @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) The Jesters are another all-star combination of Twin Cities musicians. Pete Whitman, sax; Chris Olson, guitar; Laura Caviani, piano; Gary Raynor, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger, drums.

Friday, November 15

Brad Bellows and Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) This time out, Brad Bellows is playing his valve trombone in a “freer” environment, with sax master Donald Washington goosing the music along. Their music is sometimes challenging, but always surprising.

Friday, Saturday, November 15, 16

Lew Tabackin Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($20)  A long-time friend of the AQ, Tabackin returns for one last time before the end of the year and the AQ’s closing. An outstanding artists on flute and tenor sax, Tabackin knows his musical history, yet has a sound that’s all his own. Here he is.

Saturday November 16

Charmin & Shapira @ Midtown Global Market, Minneapolis. 12:30 – 2:30pm. (Free) You’ve got the honeyed tones of Charmin Michelle backed by the subtle, elegant guitar of Joel Shapira. A calming break from shopping at the market.

Laura Caviani & Pete Whitman @ Jazz @ St. Barney’s, Plymouth. 7pm ($10) This saintly jazz series at St. Barnabas Lutheran Church turns to duo who each have impressive resumes. More importantly, they are inventive, imaginative musicians. Pianist Caviani has received numerous accolades for her sparkling work at the keyboards, as a leader, as a member of groups such as JazzMN, Pete Whitman’s X-Tet, Karryn Allison’s band, and for her own CDs, of which there are four. Pete Whitman’s sax can be soothing or fiery. His X-Tet CD received four stars in Downbeat, and he has performed with folks like Jack McDuff, Curtis Fuller, and the Woody Herman Orchestra. They’ve worked together many times, developing a musical relationship that is akin to mental telepathy.

Musical Tribute to Oscar Peterson @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) Tanner Taylor and Richard Johnson, two sublime piano players, will each bring a trio to Studio Z to pay hommage to the late Oscar Peterson. Each trio will do a set and then there will be a two-piano finale. Johnson will be backed by bassist Jeremy Boettcher, and drummer Adrian Suarez. Taylor will have Adam Linz on bass, and Trevor Hainig on drums.

Unknown-1Steve Cole CD Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm.   Saxophonist Cole has been recording as a leader for about 15 years now. Along the way he’s garnered a few radio hits, thanks to his R&B-meets-jazz approach. He’s also worked with Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Boz Scaggs, Larry Carlton, Jeff Lorber, Freddie Cole, and Cyrus Chestnut among others.  He’ll be backed by a number of friends from the Peterson Family – Patty, Ricky, Paul and Jason Peterson DeLaire, along with Bobby Vandell and Billy Franze.

Tuesday, November 19

Dave Brattain & Friends @ the Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Saxophonist Brattain takes over the Tuesday night slot for a change. The friends on Tuesday nights change from week to week.

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, November 13

Jonathan Richman @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30 ($16) Conversational lyrics, often about mundane matters, but with a slightly skewed outlook, have endeared Richman to many. Though he first made a splash in the late 70s and early 80s, he’ll likely concentrate on newer material.

Women’s Singer/Songwriter Showcase @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 6:30pm – Midnight. (No Cover) Wow, here is a chance to see a dozen singer-songwriters (who happen to be women) in action. Half-hour sets form the likes of Courtney Yasmineh, Katy Vernon, Liz Squires, and more. Jessie Rae Armstrong starts at 6:30 and the fun continues all night long. The Driftwood’s low key atmosphere is just right for this evening.

Thursday, November 14

imagesJimmy Webb @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45-$40) A master songwriter, Webb wrote some of the biggest hits of the 60s and 70s for folks like The Fifth Dimension, Glen Cambell, and Isaac Hayes, among others. He received several Grammys and his songs continue to be recorded. Opening is Robin Spielberg, a pianist/composer and storyteller who has sold a million CDs, and is touring in support of a new memoir.

Jacox, Della Selva, Craft, & DuBois @ Washington Square, White Bear Lake. 8pm – 11pm (No Cover) The East Metro area gets to hear a bevy of highly skilled musicians do their thing. Maurice Jacox, vocals, flute, and sax; John Della Selva, guitar; Jason Craft, keys; and Mike DuBois, drums.

The Wesley Center

The Wesley Center

Flatt Foot Rollers @ A Benefit for Wesley Center, 1st & Grant, Minneapolis.  7pm (Donation)  The Rollers are a seven-piece band that serves up old school R&B and Funk in a dance-o-licious way.They’re playing this benefit for the Wesley Center, home to a Meals program which serves hundreds of hot meals to the poor and needy each Saturday. The 122 year-old pink granite church located next to the Minneapolis Convention Center has been designated a historic site.

Friday, November 15

Seven Steps to Havana @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Reed player Doug Little heads up this septet, brining us Cuban sons, guajiras, and other Latin sounds.

Garland Jeffreys @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($35)  This passionate rock n’ roller shows influences of R&B, Reggae, blues and dance music in his performances. Brooklyn-born Jeffreys has been recording since the 70s, when his single of Wild in the Streets first brought him success. Along the way he’s earned the respect of peers like Lou Reed and Bruce Springsteen, and David Johansen, and has an international following. Jake Clemmons, nephew of the E-Street saxman Clarence Clemmons, opens. Here’s Garland doing a song from his latest album.

Saturday, September 16

Freedy Johnston & Darden Smith @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15/$20) Two singer-songwriters performing round-robin style. Johnston has been recording for some 25 years, having been named Best Songwriter of 1994 by Rolling Stone. BTW, Kurt Cobain and Sam Philips came in 2nd and 3rd. In 2009 Johnston released the well-received Rain on the City, and in 2012 recorded and toured with the Hobar Brothers  Lil’ Sis. His current tour is a preview and warm-up for his upcoming CD, Neon Repairman.

Willie Murphy’s 70th Birthday Party @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis ($?)  Ahh, just like the rest of us, Willie Murphy is getting older. His actual birthday is Sunday the 17th, but this will serve as a fine blow-out to celebrate all those years on this mortal coil. Murphy’s dance-friendly R&B and Rock n’ Roll will fill the wooden floor at the Eagles, and while many celebrants are sure to share an affinity for grey hair, you can bet that some younger folk will be bustin’ some moves as well. Here he is in one of his mellower, though not necessarily romantic, moments.

Sunday November 17

Tim Sparks & Phil Heywood @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Okay, we’ve got two national finger-picking guitarists at work tonight. Together, their styles encompass blues, jazz, classical, and world music. In writing of Tim Sparks, Guitar Player Magazine called his music “Fresh, exotic and totally cool.” Heywood, who also sings in a warm baritone, was hand-picked by Leo Kottke to tour with him. Expect an evening of sublime music when these two get on stage together. Here’s an example of how they work together.

Monday, November 16

Joe Fingers & His So-Called Friends @ Dunn Brothers on Grand, Saint Paul. 7:30 pm (Donation) This is the first of two Monday night shows that will benefit Second Harvest Heartland. Joe Fingers is a national finger-picking champion. Don’t know Joe? He and his So-Called Friends have spent some time on Prairie Home Companion.

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


Music for an Icy Spring: 3.20 – 3.26

March 20, 2013

images-2It’s been a busy day and a busy week, and like many of you I’m gobsmacked by having single digit weather on the first day of Spring. But… Hope is eternal, and Spring will arrive eventually, though not soon enough for most of us. Nevertheless, put on those heavy coats and get out to hear some great music this week.

Jazz

Wednesday, March 20

Pete Whitman @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm  (Donation) Master saxophonist Whitman is combining forces with Chris Olson, guitar; Bruce Heine, bass, and Dave Schmalenberger, drums to perform original compositions by Whitman and Olson.

You don't have to dance like Fred & Ginger, just enjoy yourself.

You don’t have to dance like Fred & Ginger, just enjoy yourself.

Sister Swing @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($7/$5 students & seniors)  Maryann Sullivan and Rhonda Laurie are two singers about town who have an affinity for swing music, so they’re combining forces and performing at the Eagles, a place with a dance floor just perfect for any kind of dancing you want to do. Even if you don’t dance, it’s still a great place to visit with friends old and new while listening to some sweet harmonies and solo pieces. Backing them are Kent Saunders, guitar; Matt Peterson, bass; Doug Haining, sax.

Brian Courage Quartet @ the Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Brian is a relatively new bassist in town, and has already managed to corral Park Evans, guitar; Bryan Nichols, pianol; and Jay Epstein, drums into playing music by Thelonious Monk and Paul Motian. Sounds like a very interesting evening.

Thursday, March 21

Phil Mattson Singers with Richie Cole @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 8pm ($15) This should be quite the musical experience. Cole, the bebop alto player, could headline all by himself. This pairing, in which Cole is a guest playing with the Singers, makes sense in that Cole often played with Eddie Jefferson, one of the progenitors of vocalese, as well as with the Manhattan Transfer. Then there’s the fact that Cole and Mattson have worked together over the years since 1979.

Jon Pemberton Trio @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (Free) The Barbette’s late night happy hour is a good reason to visit. A great reason to visit is pianist/trumpeter/composer Jon Pemberton, who creates some mighty fine music, whether composing or improvising. This video gives you a taste of his talent, even though he’ll be using a keyboard at Barbette.

Friday, Saturday, March 22, 23

images-4Atlantis Quartet @ Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Their last album, Lines in the Sand, was recorded at the AQ, so it’s always a bit of a homecoming when the Atlantis Quartet perform there. Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris Bates, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums, are all talented improvisers and completely in communication with each other, which makes for thrilling playing, and accounts for their growing fan base.

Sunday, March 24

Nova Jazz Orchestra @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm. ($10) The 19 piece big band will be premiering WA Matheiu’s six-movement suite, Concerto for Big Band. Matheiu wrote and arranged for Stan Kenton, Duke Ellington, Maynard Ferguson, and others. Mathieu previously collaborated with Nova on the CD “Double Feature,” featuring 14 previously unrecorded orginals by Matheiu.

Tuesday, March 26

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Meckler is turning into a terrific composer as well as trumpet player. He’s assembled seventeen musicians to play his creations. Check them out.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, March 20

Paul Geremia on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM) and 7pm (331 – tip jar) If you didn’t get to see him at the Bayport BBQ this past week, you still have a chance to both hear and see him today.

Thursday, March 21

DownloadedFile-2Ronnie Baker Brooks @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm. Brooks is the son of Lonnie Brooks, and like his dad in the past, brings a contemporary Chicago Blues. After playing with his dad for twelve years, RBB, as he’s known, struck out on his own with the award-winning “Golddigger” in 1998. Whether adding some funky beats to a song, or a blistering solo on a blues-rock number, RBB will excite a crowd.

Friday, March 22

Blues Harmonica Blowout @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) Wouldn’t be surprised to see a number of the area’s harp men turning out to see Mark Hummel, Corky Siegel, and Billy Boy Arnold play in this harp extravaganza. West coaster Hummel started up this series in 1991 and has drawn a who’s who of the mouth organ to play each year. Corky Siegel earned a fierce reputation as a member of the Siegel-Schwall Blues Band in the 70s. Billy Boy Arnold got his start helping Bo Diddley define his signature sound by playing on “I’m A Man.” Arnold had his own good sized hit with “I Wish You Would.”

Saturday, March 23

Big George Jackson @ Holihan’s, White Bear Lake. 7pm. Jackson has the deepest blues voice in town, and he knows how to use it, whether he’s giving an extra kick to a John Lee Hooker-like boogie or getting low down. Always has sterling players with him as well.

The Duchess of the blues

The Duchess of the blues

Dee Miller Band w/Jimi Prime Time Smith @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (tip jar) The cozy, boozy space at Shaw’s will reverberate to the sound of Dee Miller’s vocals accompanied by  Prime Time Smith’s guitar playing. Dee follows in a long tradition of take-no-bull women who sing, growl, and have their way with the blues.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, March 26, 27, 28

Nanci Griffith @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($60/$50) Grammy-winning Texan native Griffith is a literate folk/country singer who can tell a satisfying story within a three or four minute song. Whether they are stories about families, loves, or economic conditions, her insightfulness rings true. Here she is singing one of her classic tales of lifelong love.

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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