Twin Cities Jazz, Roots, and Blues: 2.4 – 2.10

February 4, 2015
The Conservatory at Como Zoo, where you can treat your skin to humidity during the winter, and see some music on Sunday (see Blues & Roots, below).

The Conservatory at Como Zoo, where you can treat your skin to humidity during the winter, and see some music on Sunday (see Blues & Roots, below).

Greetings and salutations to one and all;

Happy to report that I’m back from a fun-filled week of jazz while sailing in the Caribbean, and though the weather is cold the music here is hot. We’re lucky to have some very talented jazz musicians of our own to see this week, as well as some great blues and roots music, including two powerhouse performers from the 70s who are still delivery vital music. Note too, how the music community is coming together for a couple of benefits. Music can certainly lift your spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, February 4

Anthony Cox and Riotous N @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation)  Featuring Jonathan Penny, guitar; Davu Seru, drums, Cox on Bass, and special guest Sarag Greer on vocals. Cox always brings an interesting crew to first Wednesdays at Jazz Central. What’s more, he opens up the stage (so to speak) to questions, making this an interactive event.

Thursday, February 5

Ready to cure your ills

Ready to cure your ills

The Sound Doctors @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) An a cappella quintet with Dorian Chalmers, Dennis Curley, Greg Eiden, Geoff Thompson, and Sheridan Zuther. Jazz and Pop Vocals from Singers Vocalists and musical theater professionals who have sung with Phil Mattson Singers, Shoop!, Five by Design, the Church Basement Ladies and others.

Frog Stew, a Low Country Boil

Frog Stew, a Low Country Boil

Stew Frog @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) No, Khyber Pass Cafe isn’t serving a Low Country Boil  but rather Scott Fultz, sax; Dean Granros, guitar; and Steve Goldstein on laptop will be performing. This certainly sounds like a night of exploratory jazz, what with the ability of Fultz and Granros to freely improvise combined with the sonic possibilities that Goldstein’s laptop most certainly contains.

Friday,February 6

Phil Hey Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Phil Hey, drums; Tom Lewis bass; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; and Phil Aaron, piano. A long-standing quartet that plays tunes from Bill Evans, Ornette Coleman, and other advanced composers. Followed at 9:30 by a group of players who studied with Phil. Here they are at their old stomping grounds.

Friday, Saturday, February 6,7

Weekend at Keys Please @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Carei Thomas,  Todd Harper,  and Paul Cantrell  with special guest Nathan Hanson. Started in 2002, this mid-winter tradition has become a staple of the Twin Cities new music calendar. The annual concert takes on musics of diverse genres, including free improvisation,  popemmetry and “weather permitting,” whatever they are, and both new and old compositions. Special guest, saxophonist Nathan Hanson is known for composing as well as improvising.

Saturday, February 7

Kenny Horst & Friends @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) It’s great to see Kenny playing drums without the pressures of running a club. Tonight his friends include Tom Lewis, bass; Pete Whitman, sax; and Steve Kenny, trumpet. Opening act is the Jon Pemberton Trio at 7pm. Jon plays piano and trumpet, and is well worth arriving early.

7 Cats Swing Band @ Crooners Lounge, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) This group plays charts from Gershwin, Ellington, Glen Miller, and other jazz and swing standards. Crooners Lounge has a dance floor and good sight lines from both the bar and tables.

Saturday, Sunday, Feb 7, 8

Bruce Henry: Afro Blue: The Drum, The Journey, the Song @ The Capri Theater, 2027 W. Broadway, Mpls. 7pm Sat, 3pm Sun. Though he’s now living in Chicago, Henry often returns to the Twin Cities for special projects. Tonight and tomorrow the singer with a three-octave range presents a musical journey exploring African drums and their connection to spirituals, jazz, and the Great American Songbook.

Monday, February 9

Firebell @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Last year, this trio released a CD that was at the top of a number of best-ofs in the area. Here the original compositions from Impossible Vacation, as well as whatever else Park Evans, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums, decide to play. Check them out.

Solomon Parham @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) With a clear, bell-like tone, and considerable imagination, Parham is a trumpeter to watch. The Detroit native has played with Delfeayo Marsalis, Roy Hargrove, Eric Kamau Gravatt, and Christian McBride, to name a few.

Javier Santiago EP Release @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) The NYC based pianist has come back to town for a while, and we’re treated to his playing. Tonight he celebrates the release of an EP entitled Year of the Horse, featuring Proper T and Miguel Hurtado. For the second set he’ll be joined by Cory Wong, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Yohannes Tona, bass; Miguel Hurtado, drums, and T. Anthony, vocals.

Tuesday, February 10

A Chris Olson Project @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Olson is a guitarist with a fluid style and always interesting improvising skills. BTW, he’s also an composer, and teaches at McNally Smith and a few jazz camps around town.

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, February 4

IMG_1320Doug Otto & The Getaways CD Release Party on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Doug and the guys have a new CD, entitled Nine Trick Pony, and they’re celebrating its release. Expect a mix of blues and country-ish songs. Tune in at 5pm and head to the 331 Club afterwards.

ToP's front line at work

ToP’s front line at work

Wednesday – Saturday, February 4-7

Tower of Power @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45 – $70), 9pm ($35 – $60) Old School R&B of the highest order, with a horn section that just won’t quit. Tower of Power has been funkifying lives since 1968, and five of the ten members of this powerhouse band are original members. Their last few appearances at the Dakota have been full of energy and immensely satisfying. They now have a new lead singer, Ray Greene, who seems to be kicking the band to a higher level, if that’s possible.

Thursday, February 5

Hurricane Harold Trio @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 8pm (Free) Take the whirlwind harmonica blowing of Hurricane Harold, and join it to the blues-full vocals of Doug Otto and edgy guitar of Albert Perez and you’ve got some fun goin’ on. Here’s two of the three.

Friday, February 6

Moses Oakland and Paul Holland w/Rena Haus Trio @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($6) It’s a bluesy Freewheelin’ First Friday, as KFAI’s Jackson Buck presents singer/songwriter Rena Haus and her trio opening at 7pm. Then at 9pm, venerable bluesman/jam host Moses Oakland takes the stage, accompanied by Paul Holland.

Armadillo Jump @ Manitou Station Pub, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Though the dance floor is small, it still allows East metro folk  to dance to the ever swingin’ rockin’ blues of the Jumpsters.

Friday, Saturday, February 6,7

Bob Marley 70th Birthday Celebration @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($18) Marley was part Natural Mystic, part Rebel, Rastafarian, and the most popular world music artist of the late 70s and until he passed in ’81. This annual celebration has turned into a two day affair for the 70th anniversary of his birth. The International Reggae All Stars came together as a Marley tribute band in the early 90s. They and Innocent will lead the celebration, joined by many friends. Here’s what to expect.

Saturday, February 7

Harriet Brewing’s 4th Anniversary @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15) Featuring country inflected rock n’ roll from the American Sacarecrows; more country writing and guitar playing from Erik Koskinen and his Band; and lively Nouveau Hillbilly music from The Last Revel. Harriet brewing will fill the beer taps with a number of their brews as well.

KFAI Benefit w/Mighty Mofos, X-boys, Flamin’ Ohs, Michael Yonkers, DJ Danny Sigelman @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm ($12) Lots of Gen Xers will relive their youth, while Millennials will discover the power of 70s and early 80s punk/pop. Tickets are going fast, so you may want to buy/reserve early. Here’s something from the vaults featuring the Ohs.

Sunday, February 8

33rd Annual Battle of the Jug Bands @ The Cabooze, 12:00 Noon, ($5 Suggested Donation) Will dozens of jug bands, some of whom were formed just for the contest, get up and perform? Will long time friends greet each other with warmth? Will a large potluck ensue? And will the waffle iron prize once again be stolen? Whadda you think?

Urban Hillbilly Quartet @ the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, Como Zoo, Saint Paul. 4:30pm – 6:30 pm (Free) Though often cited for their eclecticism, the UHB mines some of the same country/rock genre as bands such as the Flying Burrito Brothers, The Jayhawks, Uncle Tupelo, and even David Grisman. Can’t think of a nicer, warmer, or more skin-welcoming humid place to hear them than the Conservatory (see photo above), though limited space means you might want to listen to them in a part of the conservatory that doesn’t have direct sight lines to the band.

Barbara Le Shoure Benefit @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 5pm ($10 Donation) Blueswoman Barbara LeShoure  a member of both the Chicago and Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame, had a third stroke a few months back, and though she’s been improving with physical therapy, she needs help with daily expenses and medical bills. The music community is rallying around, so you’ll be able to hear the Maxx Band, Annie Mack, Jimmy Prime Time Sith, Kendra Glenn, Wain MacFarlane, Pippi Ardennia, more.

Monday, February 9

Tommy & The Liebermen @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No cover) Lieberman is a singer/songwriter with a fine way with words and an entertaining way with a crowd. His songs can be insightful as well as funny. It’s a foodie night, so there’s no cover, $10 bottles of wine and a special menu.

Tuesday, February 10

Phil Heywood @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. (No Cover) If you’re looking for ace fingerpicking and a more than pleasant baritone to go with your dinner, this is the place to be tonight. Be sure to ask for a table near the singer, since Cafe Maude can get crowded and noisy.

Tuesday, Wednesday, February 10,11

Dave Mason’s Traffic Jam @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50 – $60) Hmm, how much needs to be said about Mason  at least for anyone over 50. Okay, he’s in the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame. He’s recorded with Hendrix, the Stones, and George Harrison, and his band Traffic featured Steve Winwood. He had hits with Only You Know and I Know, and Feelin’ Alright, which was later made a bigger hit by Joe Cocker. Mason even recorded with Mama Cass! These shows will feature songs from Traffic’s1967 and 1968 albums. Is that enough?

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.

 


State Fair Fair Music and More: 8.20 – 8.26

August 20, 2014

DSC01997This week brings many opportunities for hearing music, including the Minnesota State Fair, where, in addition to food-on-a-stick, you’ll have a number of opportunities to see, and dance to, visiting and resident musicians.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 20

Mountain King @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This is the last appearance of this bass trio, since Brian Courage is moving to New York. Catch em’ While you can. Jeremy Boettcher, Graydon Peterson, Brian Courage. Who says people don’t listen during a bass solo?

Thursday, August 21

Unknown-3Maryann Sullivan @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Sullivan is usually curating this vocal series, but tonight she’s stepping out front. She’s a singer who knows how to swing Peggy Lee, Blossom Dearie, and more. With Doug Haining, on reeds, and David Martin on guitar.

Group 47 @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) I’ve written a bit about this band in the past few months, given their new album, Straight To Vinyl. Like the other bands in this Thursday night series, Group 47 play original compositions, though I wouldn’t be surprised if they throw in a jazz standard or two. Led by trumpeter Steve Kenny, the group includes some young lions: Will Kjeer, piano; Thomas Strommen, sax; Adam Tucker, bass; and Alex Burgess, drums.

Topher Dunlap Jazz Trio @ Mattie’s on Main, Minneapolis. 9pm (Free) Mattie’s is a new venue located in St. Anthony Main. It seems a bit strange as a venue for jazz – a self-styled “modern day saloon” with 16 beers on tap, an eclectic bar menu, TVs with sports, and a fine stage. They also feature karaoke, as well as other types of bands. I know little about this group, except that Topher helps out at Jazz Central, but it’s certainly worth checking out.

Friday, August 22

Phil Hey Quartet and Stefan Kac’s Band of No Return @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The Phil Hey Quartet is a known entity here in the Twin Cities: marvelous, well-played jazz. They’ll be starting at 7:30pm. Along about 9:30 or 10pm, Stefan Kac’ Band of No Return will take the stage. Kac is a tuba player and composer who is originally from the area and currently based in Los Angeles. The award-winning composer will be joined by Geoff Senn, trumpet; Shilad Sen, tenor; and Pete Hennig, drums.

Saturday, August 23

They actually face the audience when they play

They actually face the audience when they play

Lulu’s Playground @ FunArt Studio, Stillwater. 2pm – 4pm (Free – entrance at 9030 Fairy Falls Road, Stillwater) Chamber jazz performed on the patio of Tim Nyberg’s studio overlooking the Saint Croix River. Lulu’s Playground has not played much this past year since guitarist Evan Montgomery has been studying in Los Angeles. He’s back for a short while and taking advantage of the opportunity to play with his mates: Adam Meckler, trumpet; Steven Hobert, accordion; and Cory Grossman, cello. Bring a beverage and a lawn chair and watch as Nyberg draws inspiration from the music as he paints. In case of rain, the concert (and painting) will move indoors

Sunday, August 24

Pavel Jany & the Talking Strings @ Alexis Bailly Vineyard, 18200 Kirby Ave S, Hastings. 1pm – 4pm (Free) Take in a wine tasting, have a little picnic on the Vineyard’s patio, and listen to East European Gypsy music, French jazz, and Brazilian bossa novas, as well as other world music and originals from this group. Pavel Jany, guitar; Gary Shulte, violin, and Dan Weston, bass.

Monday, August 25

Jazz Central All-Stars @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Tanner Taylor, piano; Dave Graf, trombone; Graydon Peterson, bass; Zach Lozier, trumpet; Doug Haining, reeds; and Mac Santiago on drums. Tanner returns for an evening with this group that’s been bringing it’s music to parks and auditoriums around the state.

Mike, left, and Dave

Mike, left, and Dave

Dave Martin/Mike Doolin Group and Courageous Endeavors @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) It’s a two-fer night as Twin Cities guitarist Dave Martin and Portland, Oregon guitarist Mike Doolin celebrate the release of their CD Tough Commute. They’ll be joined by Chris Bates on bass and Pete Hennig on drums. Then Courageous Endeavors will perform what I believe is their last gig before Brian Courage leaves for New York. Joe Strachan, piano; Nelson Deveraux, sax; Miguel Hurtado, drums. Brian Courage, bass;

Tuesday, August 26

Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) They wowed at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, with a big, big, rhythmic sound. It’s more or less an open rehearsal, so you may get some insight into how a song is arranged.

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, August 20

Stephanie Nilles @ KFAI and The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 1206.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Nilles is a classically trained barrelhouse piano player from New Orleans, who has sung with Bobby McFerrin at Carnegie Hall and has performed at official showcases at SXSW and the International Folk Alliance. As Hurricane Harold would say, “You know the drill,” tune in and get to the 331.

Thursday, August 21

Rich Lewis Band @ Como Lakeside Pavillion, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) What a great way to spend a summer evening. Lewis and the band play New Orleans R&B,vintage rock n’ roll, soul music, and even standards, not to forget their own originals. Always a good time, especially if you like to dance.

Orkestar Bez Ime @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Raucous Balkan party music, for movers and shakers, whether you’re in your chair or on a dance floor.

Thursday, Friday, August 21, 22

Rockin’ Pinecones @ the Schell’s Stage, MN State Fair. 2pm, 3pm (Free w/$13 Fair admission) Lots of good music at the Fair this year, including the sweat-inducing Cajun and Zydeco of the Pinecones.

Blood, Sweat, & Tears @ the Leine Bandshell, MN State Fair. 8:30pm (Free w/$13 Fair admission) Guilty pleasure of the week. Even though none of the current members of the band were in the original configuration of the 70s, all play in a myriad of other rock, soul, and jazz bands when not on the road with BS&T. They’re professional through and through and though David Clayton-Thomas may not be singing lead, Bo Bice, runner-up in the fourth season of American Idol, is sure to handle the chore with aplomb.

Friday, August 22

Aretha Franklin & The Four Tops @ the Grandstand, MN State Fair. 7:30pm ($45 + $13 Fair admission) The Queen of Soul returns to Minnesota after an absence that’s lasted far too long. Though the hit-making Four Tops had its original line-up for 44 years, death has reduced the band to original member Duke Fakir, along with three other singers.

Don Scott & Curtis Blake @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($6) Guitar/harp blues duo with interesting arrangements of songs you know and even more interesting originals.

The Original Wailers @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20 advance/$25Door) It doesn’t get much heavier in reggae than the sound of the group that backed Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer all those years ago.

Friday, Saturday, August 22, 23

Hipshaker 12th Anniversary Party @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm – 2am ($5) Rare soul and funk 45s from Brian, George, and Greg, along with special guests, shaking the dance floor at the Kitty Kat.

Saturday, August 23

Alejandro Escovedo & Joe Ely @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $50) If you’re looking for literate songwriting, this is the place tonight. Escovedo and Ely are a couple of Texas music legends getting together for an evening of music. Both have long careers spanning genres from country to punk. Ely appeared at the Dakota in May, putting on an engaging performance.

Cedar’s 25th Anniversary Party @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm (Free)  It’s a Latin night at the Cedar, with Making Movies (Kansas City);  De La Buena (Milwaukee);  and deejays from Worldwide Discotheque (Minneapolis).

Prophets of Peace @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Funk & Soul from this tight ensemble that reformed after the success of the Twin Cities Funk & Soul record compilation.

Saturday, Sunday, August 23, 24

Paul Cebar and Tomorrow Sound @ The Leine Bandshell, MN State Fair. 8:30pm (Free w/$13 Fair admission) Cebar is moving up to the larger stage and two night, bringing along his talented band and highly literate originals as calypsos, R&B, and soul music just right for dancing.

Monday, August 25

Happy Together Tour 2014 @ The Grandstand, MN State Fair ($21 + $13 Fair Admission) It’s a nostalgic night for boomers, with the under-rated Turtles (w/Flo & Eddie), as well as Chuck Netron of # Dog Night, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad, and the explosive Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels.

Tuesday, August 26

Vinyl Voices @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (Free) A group of vinyl junkies from KFAI have started this weekly gig, which generally features two KFAI volunteers spinning LPs and 45s. This week it’s DJ Steely from Kinda Cloudy and Miguel Vargas from Radio Pocho spinning a mix of international records, including Latin, soul, and other genres. The O’Cheeze food truck will be on hand.

Tuesday, Wednesday, August 26, 27

DakhaBrahka @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $32) This Ukrainian quartet dubs their music “ethnic chaos.” It’s a highly theatrical troupe using costumes, a variety of instrumentation and uncompromising vocals to create a mesmerizing music and a circus-like atmosphere. LOTT opens.

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

 


Music for Hot Summer Nights & Blistering Days: 8.28 – 9.3

August 28, 2013
One way to cool off at the Fair. Photo from Twin Cities.com

One way to cool off at the Fair. Photo from Twin Cities.com

Well, the late summer heat wave may be keeping some folks from the State Fair, but those who are going will still have plenty of opportunity to hear some terrific music. Blues lovers should check out the calendar of the Minnesota Blues Society (link below) to see the daily line-up of talent at the Fair. Jazz lovers may also find the occasional gig, though that may be a bit harder to find. Note Radio Joe, listed below. At any rate, once the sun and the temps go down, there are opportunities galore for music in the Twin Cities. Here are but a few.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 28

Mountain King @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Three bassists, Graydon Peterson, Brian Courage, and Jeremy Boettcher, play together, creating memorable music.

Lucia Newell @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) When Lucia wraps her voice around a song, you know your listening to a jazz singer. She’s showing some fine talent as a songwriter as well. This is a great chance to hear her in her natural habitat, as you can see in this video.

Thursday, August 29

Nichola Miller & Tanner Taylor @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30 pm (Donation) The vivacious vocalist and sophisticated piano player go together like two straws in a coke. Parenthood has made it a bit more difficult for them to perform together, so take advantage of this opportunity while you can.

Ben Sidran @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) His latest CD, Don’t Cry for No Hipster, is full of Sidran‘s wry commentary, rhythmic playing, and groove-centered jazz. One cut, Back Nine, is getting lots of play on Sirius radio.  Here’s the video for the title tune of his latest CD.

Phil Hey Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) This quartet makes jazz look easy, even when they’re performing songs by Ornette Coleman or Charles Mingus. Of course, they’ve all been playing a long time, and playing together a long time as well. Phil Hey, drums; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Tom Lewis, bass; and Phil Aaron, piano. If you haven’t seen them, go. If you have, go again. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, August 29, 30, 31

UnknownRadio Joe & the Jazzbos @ The State Fair, Saint Paul. (Free with Admission).  Guitarist Joe Demko brings his swinging little group to the AFL-CIO Pavillion from 4-6pm Thursday, and to the Ramberg Stage Friday at 10:30am, 11:45am, and 1:00pm, and Saturday at 3:15pm, 4:30pm, and 5:45pm. There will be swing dance demos at the Ramberg Stage performances.

Friday, August 30

Arne Fogel @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) The swingin’ Mr. Fogel is an expert on both Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, and he wears their influences well when he sings. This intimate lounge in a large restaurant is just right for his interpretations of the Great American Songbook.

Kevin Washington Quintet @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) Washington is a drummer who is master of a number of world rhythms. For instance, listen to him play with Nachito Herrera to see how well he handles a variety of Cuban rhythms. As for his jazz bonafides, well, he did study with Max Roach.

Friday, Saturday, Aug 30, 31

JazzMN Big Band @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($20) This is a rare opportunity to see this 17-piece big band in a club, since they usually appear in big auditoriums. It’s a stellar group of seasoned musicians from the area, and they’ll knock your socks off, as the saying goes, in the relatively small confines of the AQ.  Here they are with a James Bond Medley.

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, August 28

Doug Otto & the Getaways @ KFAI and the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Otto’s melancholy voice is perfect for the blues and classic country of this group. Tune in to KFAI (90.3FM & 106.7FM) at 5pm to hear them and then head over to the 331 Club. Here they are doing a CCR tune at the Fine Line.

Thursday, August 29

Prophets of Peace @ Palmers, Minneapolis. 10pm ($5) With the help of Hotpants Deejays, the folks at Secret Stash Records struck gold when they released a compilation of Twin Cities funk from the 60s and early 70s. Their Soul Revue has been playing to packed houses, and now the Prophets of Peace, one of the bands from the compilation, is back and playing with a vengeance. Hear them at one of the best dive bars in town, with Ben Mena and Dale Burback, two of the deejays that led the rediscovery of these guys, spinning between sets. Here’s an example of their old school sound.

Friday, August 30

Butanes 30th Anniversary @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Often named the Best Blues Band in the Cities, the Butanes have played at birthday parties, anniversaries, and other life-changing events for blues lovers in town. They’ve also backed Earl King at the Jazz Festival, played the Mother-in-law lounge, toured and recorded with Zydeco’s great Al Rapone, and currently hold down a weekly gig at Shaw’s, where folks like Davina Sowers, Jellybean Johnson, and others have dropped in. Led by the irascible, opinionated, and very funny Curt Obeda on guitar, the rest of the band includes Virgil Nelson on Hammond B-3, Rob Stupka on drums, and John Lindberg on bass.

Friday, Saturday, August 30, 31

Rosie Flores, Kenny Neal, Robert Randolph & the Family Band @ The State Fair Leinie Stage, Saint Paul. (Free w/Cover) It seems to be roots day at the Leinie Stage and if you can stand the heat, you can get to see the rockabilly and rockin’ country of Rosie Flores during the day, followed by guitarist Kenny Neal playing swamp blues. At night, Robert Randolph and the Family Band bring the sounds of sacred steel to the Fair. For times, etc., go here.

Saturday, August 31

Janiva Magness @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) Magness has been cultivating a loyal fan base in the Twin Cities for a few years now. She’s had a turbulent life, and is Stronger For It, as her album from last year proved. “I Wont’ Cry,” from that album, was awarded Song of the Year and she also won her fourth award as Contemporary Female Blues Artist.  Check out her singing on this video.

John Nemeth @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm   Nemeth is an up and coming bluesman with a penchant for soul. This year he was nominated by Living Blues Magazine as Most Outstanding Blues Singer, and by Blues Blast for Male Blues Artist of the Year. He’s entertaining and definitely soulful on stage.

Sunday, September 1

Oliver Mtukudzi & The Black Spirits @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:20pm (Free, while tickets last)  Here’s a chance to broaden your appreciation of world music for free, or at least while tickets last. Mtukudzi is a guitarist, vocalist, and composer from Zimbabwe. His music is inspired by the rhythms of the thumb piano, and he uses South African, Zimbabwe pop, and traditional drumming in his performances, and he has a big fan in Bonnie Raitt, who recorded one of his songs.

Monday, September 2

15th Annual Laughing Waters Bluegrass Festival @ Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis. 1pm – 6:30 pm (Free) Spend Labor Day enjoying the Falls and the music of The Pride of the Prairie, Copper Creek, The Middle Spunk Creek boys, Platte Valley Boys, Sawtooth Bluegrass, and Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands.

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


Out and About. Music: 5.15 – 5.21

May 15, 2013

Unknown-2Monday we went from the mid-sixties at 11am to 98 degrees by 5pm. The temps will be moderating, but we finally have some pleasant weather. It’s just right for a memorial celebration tonight, as well as a birthday celebration, and Art-A-Whirl this weekend, which are a few of  the many opportunities to get out and about.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 15

Michael O’Brien & Triage @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) It’s about ten years since O’Brien went off to the Big Apple, where he’s been working steadily, even touring Europe. O’Brien recently recorded Tunes I Like To Play, which includes standards as well as three originals. On it, O’Brien shows his talent at bowing, improvisation, and laying a great foundation for the tunes.

Wednesday, Thursday, May 15, 16

imagesJane Monheit @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($25) Monheit’s voice is an incredible instrument. Touted as the next big thing in jazz vocals when she started about 13years ago. In the years since, she has matured, married, had a child and generally gone past the hype to establish her own way. She just released her ninth album, a collection of standards and pop songs entitled “The Heart of the Matter” to warm reviews.

Thursday, May 16

Robert Bell & Emily Jane Davis @ Honey & Barbette, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 9:30pm (Honey – $5), 10pm – 12:30am (Barbette – Free) You’ve two chances to hear guitarist Bell and vocalist Davis perform swing, bossa novas, & jazz standards. Pay a bit at the intimate and cozy Honey, if you want an early show, or go to Barbette to partake of an excellent happy hour as well as excellent music.

2012-1013 Dakota Combo. Photo by Andrea Canter

2012-1013 Dakota Combo.   Photo by Andrea Canter

The Dakota Combo @ Antonello Hall, MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 8pm. The Seventh edition of the Dakota Combo, an open-audition group of the area’s best high school musicians, will perform its last concert of the school year season. The octet, which includes vibes and violin, has been rehearsing and performing since last Fall under the direction of bassist Adam Linz, jazz coordinator at MacPhail. They’ve also participated in clinics with pianist Lynne Arriale, trumpeter Phil Grenadier, and percussionist Francisco Mela. Alumni of previous editions of the combo have gone on to schools like the Brubeck Institute, The Berklee School of Music, Julliard and other renowned music programs. Many are now completing studies and becoming professional musicians. This is the future of jazz.

Friday, Saturday, May 17,18

Phil Hey 60th Birthday Weekend @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) The master of the trapset is the drummer of choice for many visiting musicians. He studied with the great Ed Blackwell, toured with Dewey Redman, is the drummer of choice for Stacy Kent, recorded with Von Freeman, as well as numerous Twin Cities artists, and leads a serious quartet that isn’t afraid to have fun. This is bound to be a high-energy performance. Here’s a video of the Phil Hey Quartet in a swinging, relaxed mode.

Saturday, May 18

Jana Nyberg Group @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Jana and the gang have been doing some recording of late. Not sure if they’ll be playing any of those tunes, but it’s a bet you’ll hear her singing some well crafted versions of jazz standards, a pop song or two, and some originals.

Lila Ammons Jazz Quintet @ Honey, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9:30pm ($7) After a tour of Germany, Austria, Chicago and Texas with her trad jazz project, Ammons returns to the Twin Cities for some straight ahead jazz, with a band that includes Dean Brewington, sax; Tom West, keys; Ron Evaniuk, bass; and Tim Zhorne, drums. I did an interview with Lila last year. Read it here.

Sunday, May 19

UnknownIllicit Sextet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($12/$10 UCJS members) This is part of the Twin Cities Jazz Society’s Jazz from A to Z series. The Illicit Sextet is a composing collective that was one of the area’s most popular ensembles in the late 80s and early 90s. After a 15 year sabbatical, they reunited in 2009 and started performing again. Tonight they’ll be performing music (as they always do) from their long-anticipated second album, Chapter Eleven. Members of the group include Steve Kenny, trumpet; Paul Harper, sax; Tom Pieper, bass; Chris Lomheim, piano; David Roos, guitar; and Nathan Norman, drums.

Monday, May 20

Nate Shaw, Chris Bates, & JT @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7?) The Bates brothers reunite with the keyboard player from their old band Motion Poets.

Tuesday, May 21

Charles Lazarus Quartet w/ Connie Evingson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) It’s a night of Summer Samba from trumpeter Lazarus and Ms Evingson. Lazarus has a background in classical and jazz idioms, and has performed at the Montreal Jazz Festival and has performed with the New York Big Brass, the London Brass, and the Montreal Symphony and has been a soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra, The oregon Symphony, the Bach Society and others. Ms Evingson is a superb singer, and a long time favorite in the Twin Cities.

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, May 15

Celebration of Dave “Cool Breeze” Brown @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 suggested donation) Includes Bruce McCabe, Lynwood Slim, Mick Sterling,Everett Smitson, Jimi “Prime Time” Smith, and Tommy Burnevik and the Bees Knees Big Band. What a line-up. A blues fan could hardly ask for more. It’s a testament to the high regard in which the late guitarist for the Senders and other groups, Dave “Cool Breeze” Brown, was held. More information can be found at: http://coolbreezememorial.com/

Thursday, May 16

Willie Murphy @ The Belmore Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm (No cover) Willie has taken up a residence at this relatively new place on 4th Street in downtown, near where Nate’s Clothing used to be. Expect the usual gaggle of folks sitting in. It’s always enjoyable to hang with Mr. Murphy.

Friday, Saturday, May 17, 18

Art-A-Whirl, NE Minneapolis.  It’s the annual studio crawl (or bus) in NE Minneapolis, and there will be music all around. Some examples: The 331 Club has music Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (schedule here).while Grumpy’s NE has music all day Saturday (schedule here). Flutist Julie Johnson, in the Thorp Building, will be hosting the art of Cheri Johnson and a reading by Marge Barrett, as well playing solo on Friday, starting about 6:30 (info).

Friday, May 17

Unknown-1Don Scott & Curtis Blake @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) If you didn’t catch them at the 331 Club Wednesday (7pm) you have another chance tonight. A lifetime or so ago, guitarist Don Scott headed up the DustBowl Blues Band. If he didn’t spend winters in Mexico (where I met him a few years ago) and New Orleans, we might know him better. Harpmaster Curtis Blake heads up Greezy Wheels, and has played with a number of area performers. Together, they recorded and released Sure Thing, a great sounding round-up of traditional blues and a new song or two. Hear an example of the duo’s prowess here.

Tom Robinson: Music from Brasil, Minnesota, & Elswhere @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 8pm. ($?) Tom is a guitarist and aficianado of Brazilian music. He’ll give new (and truer) translations to some well-known songs, and with his band, can get folks dancing to jazz as well as sambas and bossa novas.

Saturday, May 18

Bethany Larson & the Bees Knees @ Harriet Brewing Taproom, Minneapolis. 9pm (Free) with Sarah Morris (7pm) Finally, the weather is just right for opening the warehouse doors at the Taproom and hanging out while listening to some great music. Larson’s songwriting is about heartbreak, but won’t cause you to want to drown in your beer, of which there is plenty at the Taproom. Midnord Empanadas will have a food truck available. Read more about the show here.

Sunday, May 19

Big George Jackson @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 10AM – 1PM (No cover) Get your brunch, blues, n’ boogie on as Big George delivers his ferocious, low down vocals. Check out this video.

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.


Comin’ Up on Fat Tuesday. Music: 2/6 – 2.12

February 6, 2013
A classic album from The Wild Tchoupitoulas, a Mardis Gras Indian tribe in New Orleans

A classic album from The Wild Tchoupitoulas, a Mardis Gras Indian tribe in New Orleans

We’re coming up on Fat Tuesday, which means many are looking for Mardis Gras shows before they calm down for Lent. Or maybe folks just want another reason to party. Anyway, I’ve listed a couple, and there’ll be at least one Brazilian style Carnaval next weekend. But right now, you have lots of music for the week. Have fun!

Jazz

Wednesday, February 6

Connie Evingson @ The Women’s Club Lounge, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm. ($10) Tanner Taylor on piano, and Dave Karr on sax will accompany Ms Evingson in the cozy confines of the Women’s Club Lounge. Open to non-members. Cocktails and appetizers are available.

DownloadedFileEvan Montgomery Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($7) Evan Montgomery is a guitarist who uses clean lines and a fertile imagination to create original music as well as arrangement of Radiohead covers, Bill Frisell tunes, and others. Expect some guitar fireworks as he is joined by Park Evans, another creative guitarist. Other members of the quintet are Adam Meckler, trumpet; Matt Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums.

Thursday, February 7

Fuzzy Math @ 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($6) The 318 Cafe is a cozy space, with room for about 40 people or so. It’s a bit of a trip to get out there if you’re a city-dweller, but omnivorous music fans who find their way to Excelsior will be rewarded with jazz-oriented music that has swing, funk, and latin influences.

Photo of Phil by Andrea Canter

Photo of Phil by Andrea Canter

Phil Hey Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5,  2-4-1 cover after 11pm) Simply the best jazz ensemble in town. Their repertoire includes tunes by Bobby Hutcherson, Ornette Coleman, Mingus, and Trane. It’s heady music by veterans who could swing the National Anthem, if called upon. The ringleader is Phil Hey on drums, with significant contributions by Dave Hagedorn on vibes, Phil Aaron on piano, and Tom Lewis on bass.

Friday, Saturday, February 8,9

Bryan Nichols Trio @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Includes the Bates Brothers Pianist/composer/teacher Nichols creates intriguing tunes and improvisations. Tonight he’s joined by Chris Bates on bass, and JT Bates on drums. This combination is a good at communicating as any trio, creating lots of unexpected twists and turns.

Patty Peterson & Friends @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10  )  Patty is bringing along special guests Steve Cole on sax and Ricky Peterson on B3, not to mention regular friends including Paul Peterson on bass,  Billy Franze on guitar, and Bobby Vandell on drums. Patty is just as likely to dip into an R&B mode as jazz, but it’s all good, as they say. Given the venue, I’m sure some tunes will provoke dancing.

Saturday, February 9

Thomson Harris Collective @ Studio Z, Lowertown Saint Paul. 5pm Workshop (Free), 7pm Performance ($10) Chris Thomson on sax, and Zacc Harris, guitar, are collaborating on a new group, which includes a rotating cast of rhythm players, which tonight includes two younger players, Brian Courage on bass and Miguel Hurtado on drums. Thomson will hold a free workshop at 5pm on Melody Matters: the Common Pitfalls of Jazz Improvisation. Attendees get $2 off the 7pm show.

Monday, February 11

Dave Graf Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapols. 8:30pm (Donation) Dave Graf is one of the premier trombone players in town. His warm, burnished sound is equally at home in Latin, jazz, or show settings. He’ll be accompanied by Chris Lomheim, piano; Matt Peterson, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums. The results are sure to be uplifitng.

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.

Roots, Blues, Other…

Thursday, February 7

Jack Klatt Send-off and CD Release @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5:30pm – 7:30pm Klatt is going South on a solo tour for many months, but before he does, he’ll be picking up copies of his new solo CD and playing at the Dubliner, along with his pal Mikkel Beckman on washboard. Expect some blues, rags, early Americana, and maybe a bit of swing.

Medicinal Jazz Band @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (Tip Jar) Jazz, Klezmer, and Dixieland from Noah Strom on accordion and keys and Sam Ryan on guitars and vocals.

Friday, February 8

The Valdons doing their thing

The Valdons doing their thing

Funk & Soul All-Stars and Derobe Dance Band @ Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($10) The Secret Stash Records guys are upping the ante, bringing out the Funk & Soul All-Stars one more time, featuring Maurice Jacox and the Valdons. The Derobe Dance Band is another Secret Stash band, playing danceable Afrobeat rhythms. After the reception that the All-Stars got a the Current shindig at First Avenue, it’s expected there will be a crowd, and the folks at the Icehouse are taking the chairs and tables out, so be forewarned.

Paul Cebar @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) The Dance-Happy folks who’ve been following Paul for twenty years along with new converts, will turn Lee’s dance floor into a writhing mass of joy.

Saturday, February 9

Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders CD & Vinyl Release Party @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($6) The new album of all-original tunes was recorded in the hayloft of a barn in St. Francis, and the acoustics perfectly fit Crankshaft’s rockin’ roots/blues. A couple of tunes feature horns, giving them a New Orleans vibe. Kudos to Crankshaft and his Gear Grinders, Keith Boyles on bass and Pete Hennig on drums.

Monday, February 11

Vusi Mahlasela @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) He’s simply known as “The Voice” in his home country of South Africa. At times you can hear sweet traces of Sam Cooke, though Vusi has his own take, which includes optimistic, and sometimes intense readings of songs about liberation and freedom. Here’s a video of one of his songs.

Tuesday, February 12

Down in New Orleans

Down in New Orleans

Jack Brass Band @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm. (Tip Jar)  It’s Fat Tuesday, traditionally the final night of Mardis Gras as folks do the last of their celebrating before Lent begins. The Amsterdam not only has JBB, a too-much-fun group that marched in a New Orleans Mardis Gras parade this year, but they’ll be serving Abita Beer, from Louisiana, and they’ll have a crawfish boil as well.

Sixth Annual Mardis Gras @ the Eagles Club, Minneapolis. 7pm – 11pm. ($12) In the other half of the Twin Cities, you can celebrate Fat Tuesday with four bands covering the whole spectrum of Louisiana music as well as Cajun Cuisine. In order of appearance, you get The Faux Playboys, Mister Rowles, The Southside Aces, and the always Rockin’ Pinecones.

Paul Collins’ Beat @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) If you aren’t looking for a Mardis Gras celebration, you want to check out the American rock and power pop of Paul Collin’s Beat. Collins started The Beat in Los Angeles back in the late 70s, and resurrected the band as the Paul Collins’ Beat in 2006. With the Magnolias and the Pinsch.

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.


Bossas, Blues, Bebop, and More. 10.24 – 10.30

October 24, 2012

Photo by Pat Cameron

It may be a gray day outside as this is being written, but the opportunities for listening to music provide a sunny outlook. I know that figure of speech is a stretch, but work with me here. Halloween celebrations will be in full force this weekend, and I’ll let others give you the lowdown on where to see the most outrageous/sexiest/goriest/funniest costumes. Anyway, ffrom large orchestras to duos; from Desert Blues to elegant bossas, you have many choices when it comes to stimulating your brains with music. Have a good week.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 24

Phil Hey Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Here’s a mid-week pick-me-up for jazz fans; just the thing to get you over “hump day.” Drummer Hey leads a group of highly accomplished musicians, whose long-term relationship allows them to communicate almost telepathically to the twists and turns of songs by Bobby Hutcherson, John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, and more. Besides Phil Hey on drums, there is Phil Aaron on piano, Dave Hagedorn on vibes, and Tom Lewis on bass.

Friday, October 26

Lila Ammons Quartet @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No cover) Ammons is a vocalist with a strong pedigree – her uncle was Gene Ammons, and her grandfather was pianist Albert Ammons. Lila Ammons, however studied and performed classical music before turning to jazz. Read an interview I did with her earlier this year here. She’ll be joined by saxman Dean Brewington, among others.

Connie Evingson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12) There’s a reason she’s one of the area’s favorite vocalists. Whether she’s singing standards, the Beatles, Peggy Lee, or the music of Norman Gimbel, Evingson swings. Tonight she’s backed by a terrific group of musicians: Tanner Taylor, piano; Dave Karr; sax & flute; Terry Burns, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums.

Friday, Saturday, October 26,27

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Source Code @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Drummer Gravatt turned down Miles Davis to play with Weather Report. He’s also played with Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, and other illustrious jazz folk. Lucky for us he lives in the area, though that doesn’t mean he’s a ubiquitous presence on our jazz scene. He’s joined by Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Ron Evanuik, bass; and Gene Rush on piano.

Saturday, October 27

Maurice Jacox @ Eat Street Social, Minneapolis. 1:30 – 3:30pm (free) Take a break this afternoon to hear Jacox apply his considerable vocal skills to soul standards and the Great American Songbook. It’s an intimate affair, and if you’re not going to have a cocktail, you may want to try an egg cream. Just ask that they don’t use ice, in order to get the true flavor.

Benny Weinbeck Trio @ D’Amico Kitchen at Chambers Hotel, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 11:30pm (free) Well, it would be good if you ordered a drink or food, which are bound to be well-crafted. Of course the music is well-crafted as well, as Weinbeck, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums; provide music that goes way-beyond the cocktail lounge.

Sunday, October 28

Donald Thomas Birthday Bash & Benefit @ Baystreet Grill and Pub, 731 Randolph, Saint Paul. 3:00pm – 7:00pm ($10 Donation)  The donation includes a free drink and a free taco bar. Lincoln Berry on organ will be leading a trio. Thomas had open heart surgery this summer, so this is the perfect time to celebrate the singer and drummer and help raise some funds to help him through his recovery.

Monday, October 29

Chris Bates Red5 @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($5) It’s the Jazz Implosion at Icehouse, tonight featuring the music of Chris Bates, notably from the group’s CD, New Hope. The group features Zack Lozier, trumpet; Chris Thomson tenor and soprano sax; Brandon Wozniak, tenor and alto sax. Brother JT on drums rounds out the group.

Tuesday, Wednesday, October 30, 31

Maria Schneider Orchestra @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($60 – $40) Nineteen musicians on the Dakota stage, with two Grammys and nine nominations. Whatever I can say about Schneider, who is originally from Windom, would pale in comparison to the raves she has received for her compositions.

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.

Roots, Blues, Other

Wednesday, October 27

Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric Does Brian Eno @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis 7pm – 10pm. (No cover) Wow! Clouser’s electric guitar playing has enthralled audiences from Prague to New York to our own Twin Cities. Tonight he’s interpreting the music of Brian Eno, from ambient scores to the Talking Heads and way beyond. Good food and cocktails as well. Just be sure to ask for a table near the music.

Friday, October 26

Trio Bossa Nova @ 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($10) For those of you in the Western suburbs, the tiny 318 Cafe offers a chance to hear music up close and personal. Guitarist Pavel Jany leads this subset of Ticket to Brasil in a program of sultry bossa novas and originals. You may want to get a reservation.

Mother Banjo @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11pm ($5) Charmingly dark songs, along with some bluegrass gospel, make up the repertoire of Mother Banjo, aka Ellen Stanley of KFAI’s Womenfolk.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, October 26, 27, 28

Barebones Puppet Extravaganza @ Hidden Falls Park, Saint Paul 7pm. (donation) Spectacle. Larger-than-Life Puppets. Stilting, Fire, Song & Dance. The annual extravaganza is equal parts entertaining and thoughtful, including a public naming ceremony, where the audience is invited to honor the memories of those who have passed by saying their names out loud. The Brass Messengers will be playing afterward on Friday and Sunday. A Ukranian band will play on Saturday.

Saturday, October 27

Everett Smithson Band @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm. ($?) Everett & Kathy Smithson and their band play the kind of party music you might hear in Southern Louisiana: a bit of swamp, zydeco, blues, and rockabilly. Backing them up is a team of veteran Twin Citizens: Phil Schmid on guitar, Jeremy Johnson on drums, and Bill Black on upright bass. Early birds may want to take advantage of Wilebski’s free buffet from 5pm – 7pm.

Tinariwen @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($35) Formed in the Southern Sahara Touareg rebel camps about 30 years ago, this Grammy-winning group uses electric guitars to create trance-like, blues-laden sounds to back their poetic lyrics about he lives of Touareg refugees. Tinariwen has earned praise from Elvis Costello and Carlos Santana, among others. Call it Desert Blues or Desert Rock, their hypnotic sounds will draw you in and have you clapping along. Here’s a video of them.

Sunday, October 28

Malone Brothers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Dave Malone (of the Subdudes) and Russell Malone (of the Radiators) are touring together after the Radiators have broken up and while the Subdudes are on hiatus. This is New Orleans rock at it’s best – a mixture of blues, zydeco, and country roots.

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.


Summer’s End. Music: 8.29 – 9.4

August 29, 2012

One of the aerial rides at the Minnesota State Fair.

Where did the summer go? We’re looking at Labor Day this weekend. I hope you have been able to enjoy the summer. With the State Fair upon us, and school starting up, we’ll start to see fewer outdoor events, though a couple are on hand in the next week or two. in the meantime, we have some unique combinations of jazz players, a few significant birthday celebrations, and  two blues acts from Texas hitting town.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 20

Thomson, Johnson, & Ikeda @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7:30pm. That’s Chris Thomson, sax; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Alden Ikeda, drums, bringing jazz to the neighborhood bistro at 54th & Penn. It’s jazz that can stand up to careful listening as well as being in the background. If you go for the music, be sure to reserve a table near the band.

Thursday, August 30

Photo by Bruce Christianson

John Devine & Friends @ Loring Pasta Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm (No cover) Devine has been playing his saxophone at this venue for ohh, about twenty or more years. He’s a singular player, who has won awards, fellowships, and commissions from foundations, and has played with R&B bands and classical ensembles, in addition to improvisational groups. You can never tell who will show up to play with Devine, but rest assured, they will be among the most talented musicians in town.

Birthday Celebration for Jeanne Arland Peterson, Irv Williams, and Cliff Brunzell @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 10:30pm. Here is a chance to honor and respect some of the musical elders in our midst. Peterson on piano, is 91, as is violinist Brunzell. Williams is 93. Each still plays with verve and imagination.

Friday, Saturday, August 31, September 1

Phil Hey Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Okay, so you’re staying in town for the Labor Day weekend, and you’ve exhausted your appreciation for the State Fair. Here’s an opportunity to hear some jazz from musicians that more than hold their own with any group in the nation. Hey is on drums, with Dave Hagedorn on Vibes, Tom Lewis on bass, and Phil Aaron on piano. They usually appear at the AQ on weeknights, so here’s a chance for those of you who have school, work, etc. during the week to see this great band.

Saturday, September 1

Steve Hobart’s Hot Club @ the Harriet Brewing Tap Room. 4:30pm – 6:30pm (Free) Here’s an afternoon stop that will pick you up. Steve Hobert is a pianist/accordionist about town who’s been perking up ears in various ensembles. He’s bringing some gypsy jazz to the Tap Room this afternoon. Sounds like a great destination for a bike ride. Music. Beer. And food from Potter’s Pasties

Sunday, September 2

Photo by Andrea Canter

Leigh Kamman’s 90th Birthday Celebration @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 6pm. Another nonagerian in the jazz community. Kammen set vivid scenes and regaled listeners with many stories on Saturday nights as he broadcast the Jazz Image on MPR for so many years. Musical guests include Pete Whitman’s X-Tet, Brad Bellows, Carole Martin and more.

Dean Harrington Trio @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 9pm (No cover) Harrington is a relatively unsung jazz guitarist  who can swing standards and Django Rheinhardt tunes with equal aplomb. Tonight he’s joined by Dean “Many Notes” Mikkelson on guitar and Matt Senjem on bass.

Tuesday, September 4

Nichols, Peterson, & Horst @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) No, it’s not a law firm, but rather Bryan Nichols, piano; Billy Peterson, bass; and Kenny Horst, drums. A Tuesday night that promises moments of sublime taste as well as effortless flights of imagination.

A more comprehensive calendar for the Twin Cities can be found at Jazz Police. They feature jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Roots, Blues, Other…

Wednesday, August 29

617 Band @ Groovin in the Garden, Como Park Conservatory, Saint Paul. 6pm (Free) The 617 Band creates highly danceable R&B, Latin, and rock grooves with creative covers and a few originals. Grab a blanket or camp chairs, bring a picnic and have a fun evening on the lawn of the conservatory. A cash bar and lawn games will be available.

Albert Lee @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Not to be confused with Alvin Lee of Ten Years After, Albert Lee is a revered guitarist with a country/rockabilly bent. He’s played with The Everly Brothers, Eric Clapton, Emmy Lou Harris, Jerry Lee Lewis, Joe Cocker, and BB King, to name a few. Considered by many (including Clapton) to be one of the finest guitarists on the planet. Here’s a video of Lee doing his thing.

Thursday, August 30

Andrew Jr. Boy Jones @ Famous Daves Uptown, Minneapolis. 9pm. (No Cover). Texas Guitarist Jones was a member of Freddy King’s band twice, in the 60s (when Jones was 16) and again in the 70s. He’s also worked with the Louisiana soul singer Bobby Patterson, as well as Johnny Taylor, appeared on Katie Webster’s album Swamp Boogie Queen, and recorded three albums with Charlie Musselwhite, winning a WC Handy Award in 1995. He’s recorded five of his own albums since then, getting a WC Handy nomination for Watch What You Say on Rounder. In other words, the deep voiced Mr. Jones is the real deal, and for fans of the blues, is well worth seeing.

Friday, August 31

Jeff Ray & Hurricane Harold @ the Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm (free) Jeff plays dynamite guitar, Harold blows a mean harp. Together they produce energetic acoustic blues. Freshly tapped beers and the Anchor Fish & Chips Food truck are a plus.

Mary Cutrufello @ Cajun Potuck, 5936 Lexington Ave, Shoreview. 7pm – 9pm. Cajun Potluck is an unassuming little cafe that specializes in one Louisiana dish each day, and sells all sorts of authentic ingredients for those who want to try their own hand at Cajun and Creole cooking. While I’ve recommended Mary Cutrufello in the recent past, a chance to hear her singing solo while having Jambalaya is unique, and worthy of your attention. Though no alcohol is served, you certainly don’t need it to enjoy Mary’s country-rock.

Carolyn Wonderland @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) Wonderland is an Austin, Texas multi-instrumentalist and composer with a soulful voice that’s tough enough for the blues, and a guitar style to fit. She’s pretty good at singing country and gospel as well.

Sunday, Monday, September 2, 3

Big Sam’s Funky Nation and Bettye Lavette @ The Leinie Lodge Bandshell, MN State Fair, Saint Paul. 3:30 & 4:45 (Big Sam) 8:30pm (Bettye)  (Free with $12 Admission to the Fair) Okay, arrive early in the day and catch New Orleans’ Big Sam who used to be top trombonist in the Dirty Dozen, and his brass heavy funk band. If you’re not familiar with them, check out the video, below. Have some dinner, check out the produce hall, or the sales pitches under the grandstand, and come back to see soul legend Bettye Lavette, a singer who gets inside a song like no one else. Her performances will wring the soul out of you – in the best way possible.

Monday, September 3

Laughing Waters Bluegrass Festival @ Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis. 1pm – 6:30pm. (Free) This is the 14th year for this family-friendly outdoor festival. Twin Cities bands  Ivory BridgeSawtooth, The Platte Valley Boys, and the Middle Spunk Creek Boys, will be joined by up and coming guitarist/singer/composer Nora Jane Struthers will be providing the music. Nearby Sea Salt can provide food and drink, while there will no doubt be other vendors around as well. Stop by while traversing the bikeways, or make a day of it.

Duke Robillard

Duke Robillard and Davina & the Vagabonds @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20-$25) Here’s a two-fer that’s sure to be entertaining, not to mention a bargain. You’ve got vocal powerhouse Davina & the Vagabonds, who bring down the house whether playing a festival in the neighborhood or Switzerland. Robillard is the guitarist who started Roomful of Blues, and has played with folks ranging from Pinetop Perkins to Bob Dylan. His jump blues playing has always included some jazz elements, and in fact, he’s put out a few albums of very swinging standards and originals.

Tuesday, September 4

Jack Klatt @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7:30 pm (no cover) Klatt can co a Western swing number and turn around and play some bluegrass.

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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