Grammys, Birthdays, and More: 8.15 – 8.21

August 15, 2018

The Rebirth Brass Band won a Grammy in 2012

This week we’ve got a few Grammy winners visiting us, and a slew of talented resident artists, as well as a guitar festival anda couple of fiery guitar players, including a five-time Grammy nominee. Whew! Music lifts the Spirit!


Jazz

Wednesday, August 15

Pete Whitman Presents New Boundaries @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis.8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Pete Whitman, saxes; Chris Olson, guitars; Ted Olsen, bass; Dave Schmalenberger, drums.

Oscar Peterson’s Birthday, w/The Tanner Taylor Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($10, $15) Taylor, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; Mac Santiago, drums.

Friday, August 17

Javier Santiago; Eli Zukor Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 for both shows) Opening at 7pm are emerging artists, the Eli Zukor Quartet: Zukor, sax; Jackson Wheeler, guitar; Carter Pearson, drums; and Jorgen Linne, bass. At 8:30 it’s Javier Santiago and his group: Santiago, piano; Omar Abdulkarim, trumpet; Ted Olsen, bass; and James Johnson, drums.

Sinatra! The Andrew Walesch Big Band @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25, $30) Though they’ve expanded the main room at Crooners, it might still be difficult to get in without a reservation – vocalist/pianist Walesch’sSinatra show is that popular.

Torch & Swing w/Tina Schlieske @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. ($30, $34, $38) Subtitled Sinatra to Simone, Ms Schlieske, of Tina and the B-Sides, for those of you old enough to remember the late 80s and early 90s, takes on grown-up songs.

Saturday, August 18

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm (TBA), 8:30pm Life-Force: Rich Manik, woodwinds; Dave Graf, trombone; Javier Santiago, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; Kenne Thomas, drums.

Peter Schimke Trio @ The Lexington’s Williamsburg Room, Saint Paul. (No Cover) Given the noise level of everybody talking, it’s best to sit close to pianist Schimke and his cohorts if you want to appreciate Schimke’s fine piano playing. Essentially, it’s music that does way more than provide ear candy for conversations.

Sunday, August 19

Maud Hixson & Rick Carlson @ St. Albert the Great, 2836 33rd Av S, Mpls.1pm ($20) Once again, Ms Hixson and Mr Carlson will be making a joyful noise in this south Mpls church. This time they’re performing Songs of the Silver Screen.

Monday, August 20

Eliane Elias @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.7pm ($30, $35, $40), 9pm ($20, $25, $30) Pianist/vocalist Eliane Eliascombines her Brazilian roots with fierce virtuosity at the piano, and a warm, alluring voice. Elias has won multiple Grammys, including 2017’s Best Latin Jazz album. She’s currently touring in support of her recent release, Man of La Mancha. Here’s a track from the album.

Hunter Delikowski Quartet @ The Amsterdam Bar, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) Hunter Delikowski is a drummer that’s new to the area. He’s enlisted three talented young musicians for tonight’s performance: Jordan Anderson, piano; Peter Goggin, alto sax; and Tyler Wagner, bass. You can expect they’ll be pushing some boundaries, whether in genres or compositions.

Tuesday, August 21

Irv William’s 99th Birthday @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20 Reserved, Pay What You Can for General Admission) It’s Mr Smooth’s 99th Birthday. Don’t know if he’ll play but there will be a band helping him celebrate. Proceeds will help fund a scholarship for next year’s Dakota Combo.

Tuesday, Wednesday, August 21, 22

Ben Sidran’s 75th Birthday @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm ($25, $30) Pianist/vocalist Ben Sidranstarted playing boogie woogie as a child. He played with Steve Miller and Boz Scaggs while in school at Madison, got a PhD in England, where he was a session player for Eric Clapton, The Rolling stones, and Peter Frampton, joined Miller’s band in California, appearing on four albums, and eventually recorded over 30 albums under his own name, bringing jazz to the masses. He hosted a number of jazz radio programs for NPR, a show for VH1, and has written four books, including one of interviews with musicians like Miles Davis and Art Blakey. He’s a renaissance man who’s comfortable living in Madison, and we’re lucky he does shows here with some regularity. Sidran will be accompanied by his son Leo on drums, Billy Peterson on bass, and Kenni Holmen on reeds. Here he is doing a Dylan song.

For more listings, KBEM has a calendar of jazz and some roots music. Jazz Police features commentary, reviews, and previews jazz in the Twin Cities and beyond.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, August 15

Ben Cook-Feitz on The House Party (KFAI), and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3fm), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Cook-Feitz is a singer, songwriter, drummer, and pianist whose observational lyrics and melodies can sometimes recall the music of the 60s and 70s.

Wednesday, Thursday, August 15, 16

Ana Popovic @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $35) Bruce Springsteen calls Serbian born, L.A. – based Popovic“One helluva guitar player.” She’s touring in support of Trilogy, her 2016 3-disc album of blues funk, and jazz, with production by Grammy award winners Warren Riker (Lauren Hill, Carlos Santana), and Tom Hambridge (Buddy Guy), as well as Delfeayo Marsalis.

Thursday, August 16

Big Wu Family Reunion Pre-Party @ The Hook& Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Advance/$12 Door) Jam Band fans will want to prepare for the Family Reunionthis weekend with El Dub, Pat Ferguson, Space Junk, and more,  including a super jam.

Mark Healey @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($8) Bassist/guitarist Healeywas a key member of Badfinger during that band’s late 80s and early 90s reunion and touring. The Wisconsin native still occasionally tours with one of the competing Badfinger bands, but tonight you can see him in the intimate, 40-seat 318 Cafe.

Friday, August 17

Dee Miller Band @ The Mudd Room, Mendota. 8pm ($10 Guaranteed Seat) Ms Miller’sexplosive voice and danceable blues will likely pack the basement speakeasy. She and the band are winners of the 2018 Road to Memphis Challenge, and will be representing Minnesota at the next International Blues Challenge in Memphis

Saturday, August 18

Lowertown Guitar Festival @ Como Lakeside Pavillion, Saint Paul. Noon – 9pm (Free) Siama Matuzungidi, Lonesome Dan Case, Jake Hanson & James Buckley, Paul Metzger, & more…. Performances will take place in a number of different areas, from the Hamm’s Waterfall, to a floating stage, a dockside stage, and the Pavillion’s Main Stage.

Jeff Ray & The Altered Stakes @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) This is a different version of The Stakes than usual – Jeff Rayguitar & vocals; Harold Tremblay, harp; Donald “Hye Pockets” Robertson, hand drums; and Josh Granowski, bass.

Sunday, August 19

Phil Heywood @ Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm (Tip Jar) Enjoy some stellar picking and Heywood’ssmooth baritone on a late Sunday afternoon in the comfy confines of the Dubliner.

Rebirth Brass Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.7pm ($40), 9pm ($35) These Dakota regulars from New Orleans have been playing play modern day brass band music for the last 30 years. In 2012, Rebirthbecame the first Brass Band to win a Grammy.

Robben Ford @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($35, $45) Fordis a 5-time Grammy nominee who has lent his blues guitaristry to concerts and recordings by the likes of Miles Davis, George Harrison, Barbra Streisand, KISS, Greg Allman, Phil Lesh, and more.

For more blues (and some roots), the MN Blues Society has a comprehensive calendar. For all things Cajun and Zydeco, check out the calendar of the Krewe de Walleye


Mardis Gras and Music: 2.22 – 2.28

February 22, 2017

images-1Well, Mardis Gras season is now in full swing, with a number of events planned for the coming week, which actually ends on Mardis Gras, or Fat Tuesday, which is the day before Lent begins. Whether you celebrate or not, there is still ample opportunity to enjoy music here at the north end of the Mississippi River, from both visiting and resident artists. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, February 22

Thomasina Petrus @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Thomasina Petrus has lit up local stages with her acting and singing talent, including a notable turn as the star of “Lady Day, Live at the Emerson Bar & Grille.” Tonight she takes the stage in the large room at Crooners to belt out jazz standards, along with a bit of blues and R&B, not to forget some songs of Billie Holiday.

Maud Hixson @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Ms Hixson knows how to pick a song that’s just right for her warm, enchanting vocals, whether from the pre-Songbook era of her latest CD, or the music of the under-apprecieated composer Mickey Leonard, or classics from Cole Porter and the Gershwins. It will be an evening of intimate songs, as Hixson is accompanied by Rick Carlson, piano; and Chris Bates, bass. Here’s Maud at a Jazz at Lincoln Center event, with an introduction by Rex Reed.

Leigh Kamman’s Interviews with Eddie Berger @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 7 pm (Donation) The Leigh Kamman Legacy Project has stores and stores of Kammen’s interviews in their archive, and once a month will be sharing interviews and music at the Black Dog. Tonight, the subject is saxophonist Eddie Berger, a Twin Cities Bebop giant who passed in 2008. Read Berger’s obituary here.

Thursday, February 23

Joel Shapira, Midnight Love @ Vieux Carré,  Saint Paul. 6pm (Shapira – No Cover) 8pm (Midnight Love-$7) Guitarist Shapira starts things off during the dinner hour with his always tasteful licks. Then at 8, Midnight Love takes the stage to deliver classic hard bop as practiced by Blue Note artists of the 50s and 60s, throwing in some 60s and 70s pop ala hard bop along the way. The group consists of: Peter Vircks, sax; Brian Ziemniak, keys; Matt Darling, trombone; Patrick Nelson, bass; Greg Schutte, drums.

Thursday Night Jazz: Zacc Harris’ American Reverie @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Zacc Harris is a versatile guitarist who always plays interesting lines, whether its 21st Century jazz with the Atlantis Quartet, soul jazz with Vital Organ, or in this case, a jazzy take on Americana. That’s what you’ll get with the American Reverie Trio, which is dedicated to classic tunes and songs like Shenendoah and Tennessee Waltz, as well as some oldies, and perhaps a contemporary tune or two. Joining him are Matt Peterson, bass, and Lars-Erik Larson, drums. Here is Harris with a different trio, performing a standard.

Friday, February 24

Jeremy Walker, Southside Aces @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Walker – No Cover), 9pm (Aces – $10) It’s another double header of jazz, this time featuring the often contemplative piano playing of Jeremy Walker to start the evening, and following that with the joyous sounds of traditional New Orleans jazz, as played by the six-piece Southside Aces.  Robert Bell, guitar; Dave Michael, drums; Erik Jacobson, sousaphone; Zack Lozier, trumpet; Tony Baluff, clarinet; and Steve Sandburg, trombone, will help you celebrate Mardis Gras a few days early. Here are the Aces performing a classic.

St. Peter Street Stompers @ Bistro LaRoux, 9372 Lexington NE, Circle Pines. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Not only can you celebrate Mardis Gras a bit early by listening to the Stompers do traditional New Orleans music from Louis Armstrong, Kid Thomas Valentine, and others; but you can dine on New Orleans dishes like jambalaya, gumbo, and beignets. The Stompers include: Chuck DeVore on tenor, trumpet, and trombone; Eddie Sekula, bass; Dave Wilkeining guitar; and Jason Berg, drums.

Saturday, February 25

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Julian Manzara Quartet is a group of college age musicians performing Manzara’s original jazz and fusion compositions. They start at 7pm with Manzara on guitar, Drew Stinson, Bass; Levi Schwartzberg, keys; and Geo Randall on drums. With a name like the Minnesota Hard Bop Collective, it’s obvious that the 9pm group celebrates Hard Bop, that 50s style that leavened the technical ferocity and intellectuality of BeBop with the rhythms and emotions of gospel. The Collective features drummer Jesse Simon; and includes Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Ted Olsen, bass; Ted Godbout, piano; and Aaron Hedenstrom, sax. Here’s a slightly different line-up of the group.

Julian Lage and Chris Eldrige @ Hopkins Center fo the Arts, Hopkins. 7pm social hour, 8:30pm concert ($27) Two Grammy nominated guitarists get together to explore the intersection of jazz, folk and bluegrass. Lage was a child prodigy who at 20, has become a highly respected performer through both his solo efforts and work with Gary Burton’s New Quartet and gigs with folks like Pat Methany, Toots, Thielemans, Jim Hall, Ambrose Akinmusire, Fred Hersch, and others. He’s also played with mandolinist David Grisman and banjoist, Bela Fleck, so a duo with bluegrass guitarist Chris Eldridge is not as uncommon as it might seem. Eldrige was a member of the Punch Brothers, and has worked with Fiona Apple, Paul Simon, Jerry Douglas, Del McCoury, and Elvis Costello.

John Scofield @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.  7pm ($35, $40, $45) 9pm ($25, $30, $35) When guitarist Scofield played the Twin Cities Jazz Festival a few years back, the area if front of the stage’ was completely filled with jam band fans and guitarists wanting to see how he composes his licks. They recognized his genius at unfolding guitar lines that fall somewhere between funky jazz, rock, and R&B. He genius was recognized at the Grammy’s, where his most recent album Country for Old Men, won two awards last week. The album is an homage to such greats as George Jones, Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, James Taylor, and Hank Williams, among others. Scofield plays alongside accomplished colleagues Steve Swallow, Larry Goldings and Bill Stewart. Here’s a cut from the album.

Monday, February 27

Ted Olsen Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Olsen is a talented bassist who can be found in many groups around town. Tonight he leads his own quartet, which isn’t listed on the Jazz Central Calendar. However, a few weeks ago the group included pianist Javi Santiago; saxophonist Aaron Hedenstrom; and drummer Miguel Hurtado. Here is Ted in a trio setting.

Tuesday, February 28

Mardis Gras w/Patty & the Buttons @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, but $10 for reserved seat) It’s officially Fat Tuesday, and Patty and the Buttons will help you celebrate in style.

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, February 22

Andy Cohen on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Guitarist Andy Cohen is a country blues musician, musicologist, and folk and blues historian. Besides featuring dazzling guitar work, his shows are filled with stories about classic bluesmen, the folks he’s hung with, like Wiggins and Cephas, Elizabeth Cotton, Etta Baker, Ted Bogan, Honeyboy Edwards, and others. He lives in Memphis, and only gets up here every couple of years. Well worth tuning in to hear him, and heading over to the 331 to see him. He’ll be accompanied by Mary Dushane and another friend or two from the area.

Lev, Olga, and the Band @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) I have to admit I’ve not heard this band, but you have to be curious about a band that claims to play a mix of Russian, Ukrainian, and English retro rock and jazz music.

Thursday, February 23

SPCO @ Icehouse, Minneapolis. 6pm doors, 7pm showtime ($20, drink included) The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Icehouse are teaming up to present chamber music, specialty cocktails and gourmet food at the bar/restaurant. Tonight’s program includes Mozart’s Divertimento in D; Villa-Lobos’ The Jet Whistle for Flute and Cello; Mozart’s Quartet in D for Flute, Violin, Viola, and Cello; and Strum by the emerging American Composer Jesse Montgomery.

Rockin Pinecones @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5) Get into the Mardis Gras Spirit as the Pinecones deliver New Orleans R&B from the 50s and 60s, along with a spicy helping of Cajun and Zydeco tunes.

Curtis Blake’s Birthday Party @ Holihan’s Pub, 2160 3rd Street, White Bear Lake. 7pm (Tip Jar) Harpmeister Curtis Blake is having a birthday and he’s inviting all of us to celebrate with him as he plays the blues with Greazy Gravy.

Friday, February 24

Winter Blues Shakedown @ The Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10 Advance/$12 Door) Kent Burnside & New Generation, Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders, and the Rena Haus Trio will have the dance floor bouncing at the Hook. Headliner Kent Burnside is the grandson of the late, great master of Hill Country Blues, RL Burnside, and the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree. Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders are the Twin Cities acolytes of stripped-down blues, while Rena Haus Trio can be equally compelling covering the Allman Brothers as performing her own compositions. This video may be dark, but you certainly get a taste of Burnside’s music.

Thursday, Friday, Sunday, February 23, 24, 26

Everett Smithson Band Mardis Gras Parties @ Famous Dave’s (Thursday 7pm), Wilebski’s (Friday 6pm), and Neumann’s (Sunday 4pm) Everett Smithson and his cohorts play swamp pop, Zydeco, and other music inspired by the Mississippi River, and they’re taking advantage of the Mardis Gras season to show off their skills at getting folks to dance.

Saturday, February 25

Bluegrass Saturday Morning 35th Anniversary Party @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 3pm – 8pm ($10) It’s now 35 years that Twin Citizens have had coffee, read the newspaper, and done their Saturday morning errands to the sound of Bluegrass Saturday morning and its genial, and knowledgeable host Phil Nussbaum. Host station KBEM is celebrating the event with a stellar line-up: The High 48s; Phil Nusbaum and Sherry Minnick; King Wilkie’s Dream; Adam Kiesling; The AJ Srubas Group; Chris and Ari Silver; and Sawtooth.

Kaiser’s Boogie Woogie Ball w/Radio Joe & the Jazzbos @ The Germanic American Institute, 301 Summit Ave, Saint Paul. 6pm ($5) The party-lovin’ folks at the Germanic American Institute are having a Ball featuring the ever-swinging Radio Joe & the Jazzbos, who have convinced them to let in non-members for this event. There will definitely be beer.

Sunday, February 26

Phil Heywood @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11am – 2pm (No Cover) Acoustic guitar lovers can have brunch while enjoying ace fingerpicking from Heywood. His fine, plain-spoken baritone vocals are put to good use as well. Here is Heywood on Wisconsin TV about 25 years ago.

Church of Cash @ The Hook and Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Today is the anniversary of Johnny Cash’s birth. What better way to celebrate than with this tribute band that goes deep into his repertoire. They’ll be taking requests all night long. Check them out.

One World Consort w/guest Laura  MacKenzie @ Celtic Junction, Saint Paul. 7pm ($16 Advance, $20 Door) One World Consort will be performing special arrangements of Celtic-inspired music, along with their usual diverse repertoire of musical traditions. The addition of Laura MacKenzie, makes it that much more special. If you aren’t aware of OWC, their musicians include: Dave Milne, sax & woodwinds; Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Eric Graham, bass; Craig hare, drums and percussion, and the Four Voices String quartet. Here is MacKenzie on concertina.

Sunday, Monday, February 26, 27

Ana Popovic @ Dakota Jazz Club, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) While many cultures around the world have their unique form of the blues, the American style of blues has found adherents in all cultures. Case in point: Serbian born guitarist/vocalist Ana Popovic  who grew up listening to her dad’s jam sessions and records and picked up a guitar at 15. Twenty-five years later her blistering finger work and strong vocals have catapulted her to international stardom. She’s appeared at blues, jazz, and rock festivals, and in the process has received nominations for five Blues Music Awards, and regularly reaches the top five in Blues charts. She’s currently touring around her recently released Trilogy, a 3 volume set of music.

Tuesday, February 28

Swamp Kings @ Dixies on Grand, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) If you didn’t make it to any of the last week’s celebration of Mardis Gras you can still actually celebrate on Fat Tuesday (today!). The three members of the Swamp Kings will have you dancing in between tables, as customers enjoy Louisiana cuisine, King Cakes, a shrimp boil and hurricane cocktails.

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.


Mid-December Music: 12.9 – 12.15

December 9, 2015
Drink to the reunion of Rio Nido

Here’s to the reunion of Rio Nido!

Hard to believe we’re approaching the middle of December and we haven’t been hit with either a major snowstorm or temps below 20 degrees. Not to complain, however, since such weather makes it easier to get out and about – we don’t need to plan for an extra 20 minutes just to get properly dressed. At any rate, we have some great music in store for this week, including a long awaited reunion of Rio Nido, a couple of outstanding visiting artists, and some more holiday celebrations. It’s all good. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, December 9

Gary LaRue Quartet @ Mancini’s, Saint Paul. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) LaRue and his Rat Pack Band (a trio) will perform songs by Sinatra, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, and others of that era and time. Throw in the layout and atmosphere of Mancini’s bar, and it shouldn’t be hard to feel transported to a lounge in on the Jersey Turnpike during the 60s.

Framework @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Chris Olson, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums; are three veteran musicians with a vast wealth of experience between them. They mesh well as a unit, to create swirling sounds that range from Americana-like swing to aural soundscapes.

Wednesday, Thursday, December 9, 10

Ramsey Lewis: The Sound of Christmas @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50), 9pm ($30, $40) With over 80 albums and three Grammys  to his credit, pianist/composer Lewis knows how to connect with an audience. He’ll be applying his sprightly, swinging style to tunes of the season for this appearance.

Thursday, December 10

Vicky Mountain Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Mountain has a fairly extensive performing resume that includes touring South America with a show band many years ago. Nowadays, she’s a vocal teacher at MacPhail Center for Music and occasionally gets lets her talent shine on stage, where she sings originals as well as her own arrangements of hip pop tunes and standards. Tonight she’s accompanied by Chris Lomheim, piano; and Jim Chenoweth, bass. Here’s a video of her singing at a house concert.

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Trumpeter Meckler brings his 16 piece big band to the basement boîte. His compositions and arrangements take full advantage of the colors and palettes of the group’s instruments, as you can see and hear in this video.

Friday, December 11

Rio Nido @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Perhaps you got to see the article about this group in Sunday’s Star Tribune. It’s been 35 years since they performed together at a commercial venue, and many folks are eagerly awaiting the return of this swinging trio. Back then, their tight harmonies on tunes from the thirties and forties provided a refreshing break from the Blues, Punk, R&B, and cover bands that were sprouting all over the Twin Cities. Here’s an example of why they had such great appeal.

Bill Simenson Quintet @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar)  Simenson, on trumpet, leads a big band in town. He’ll be joined by a talented mix of the areas best:  Nathan Hanson, sax; David Martin, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; JT Bates, drums. Preceded at 7pm by the Mac Wilms Quartet, a group of secondary students appearing as part of the monthly JazzInk Youth Showcase.

Saturday,December 12

Andrew Walesch Big Band: Frank Sinatra Centennial @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Lines were out the door last time Walesch presented his Frank Sinatra show at Crooners. Since today is the Centennial anniversary of Sinatra’s birth, I suspect the demand will be even greater, so be forewarned if you want a seat.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Steve Kenny continues to find both upcoming and veteran bands to play each Saturday night. Opening set by the Cadenza All Stars. At 8:30 it’s the King/Fletcher/Woods CD Release, with Jeff King, saxes; Charles Fletcher, bass; and Eron Woods, drums.

Peter Kogan Quartet @Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) The tympanist from the Minnesota Orchestra takes out a smaller set of drums and is joined by Brian Grivna, sax and woodwinds; Phil Aaron, piano; and Anthony Cox, bass; to play songs from both Cornucopia and his latest, Some Monsterful Wonderthing. If you scroll down past this post, you’ll find a short review of the new album. Here’s one track from the album.

Sunday, December 13

Got any chips?

Got any chips?

Fuzzy Math CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) Mark Vandermyde, keys; Eric Graham, bass; Andrew Schwandt, sax; and Haralds Bondaris, drums; celebrate the release of their second album, Pass the Guacamole. Their first, released in 2012, resulted in the band being named, “best jazz band for people who don’t like jazz,” or something to that effect.

Monday, December 14

George Cartwright’s PAL @ Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Drummer JT Bates has been exploring the use of electronics as part of his performing, which may be one of the reasons saxophonist George Cartwright, who is quite adventurous himself, tapped him for this group. They’ll be joined by Andrew Broder, guitar; and Josh Granowski, bass; for an evening of thrilling music.

Monday, Tuesday, December 14, 15

New York Voices @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45), 9pm ($35, $40) This vocal quartet  as been around for about 27 years now, and, with close harmonies and tight arrangements, seamlessly blend jazz, R&B, Brazilian, and classical sounds into their repertoire.  Check out this acapella version of a Beatle’s song.

Tuesday, December 15

Katia’s Holiday Special @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Here’s a chance to get some holiday cheer without attending a large hall. Katia Cardenas has the pipes to get over an R&B tune, but also has the instincts and subtlety to handle jazz standards. Tonight she’ll tackle some seasonal favorites as well.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, December 9

The RAMM Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Twin Cities guitar hero Paul Mayasich leads this trio (Hye Pockets, drums; & John Iden, bass) through a program of R&B, Funk, and rock n’ roll.

Thursday, December 10

Mikkel Beckmen with Pop Wagner @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Wind down from work and prepare for the weekend with Beckmen’s weekly residency, this week featuring the esteemed Pop Wagne  on vocals, guitar, fiddle, and perhaps a lasso trick or two. Whether he’s singing cowboy songs, forgotten tin pan alley gems of the 30s and 40s, or telling stories, Wagner will set your toes to tapping and tickle a funny bone or two.

Ms Quiroz, leader of Samba Meu, and shaker of Shakeres

Ms Quiroz, leader of Samba Meu, and shaker of Shakeres

Samba Meu and Snap Frost! @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Acoustic Brazilian roots and pop music, performed by Karen Quiroz, vocals; David Martin, guitar; Tim O’Keefe, percussion, and special guest Pat O’Keefe, clarinet. There will be an intermission set by SnapFrost!, the sisterhood of the shakere, the dried gourd with beads that helps create unrelenting rhythms.

Friday, December 11

Hurricane Harold’s All-Star Blues Revue Holiday Part @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($?) Harold Tremblay’s harp playing is so sharp he has no problem recruiting players for his All Star Blues Revue. Tonight he’ll be joined by Keith Boyles, bass; Bruce McCabe, piano; Doug Otto and Mark “Good Time Willy” Williams, gutars; and Allen “Captain” Kirk on drums. Besides celebrating the holidays, this show will be recorded for future release, so a noisy crowd is a welcome crowd. Here’s Harold with another version of the All-Stars.

Jack Knife & the Sharps @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Rockabilly, roots, and a bit of Western sound from a trio that’s been around in various groupings for a long, long time. Check out this example of their work.

Saturday, December 12

The Fattenin’ Frogs @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) This sextet performs roots music – the stuff you would hear in juke joints, tent revivals, and medicine shows of years past years, upping the energy by using electrified instruments. The Bayport will soon be ending its presentation of music, so here’s one of your last chances to chow down on some mighty fine ‘Q while listening to live music.

JT at work

JT at work

JT Bates’ Grain Trio @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($15) The Jazz at Studio Z Series has started up once again. Since tonight’s group is an organ trio playing the genre’s hits from the 60s, I thought to put it under blues and roots. Tonight, drummer JT Bates  Zacc Harris, guitar; and Kevin Gastonguay, organ; to the stately listening room. As usual, there’s a workshop at 6pm, followed by the group’s performance at 7pm.

Sunday, December 13

Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 3pm (No Cover) Charanga Tropical was the first American band to play at the Danzon Festival in Havana, held biannually in June, and also recorded in the fames EGREM studios while there. Look for the resulting album in early 2016. In the meantime, hear them live this afternoon.

Phil Heywood @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm (Tip Jar) With its wooden chairs and tables, The Dubliner is about a comfy a neighborhood bar as you can find, even if it is located along the Green Line LRT on University Avenue. It’s a perfect place to listen to the relaxed, warm vocals and mighty fine finger-picking of guitarist Heywood.

Marcia Ball @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($40) Rollicking swamp pop, Texas blues, and second line rhythms from the always entertaining Ms Ball  Whether singing about doomed relationships, life on the Mississippi, or backyard barbecues, Ms Ball delivers party music, plain and simple. While on her website, check out Marcia’s recipe for emergency chicken gumbo.

Monday, December 14

Doug Otto & Friends, featuring Nikki Roux and Rich Rue @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 10pm (Tip Jar) Admittedly, these are two of my favorite roots acts. Otto is an often mournful, evocative singer, while Nikki’s vocals are sprightly. All three are strong guitar players.

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.

 


It’s the 4th! Music: 7.1-7.7

July 1, 2015

Unknown-2Well, the day got away from me, so this post doesn’t contain videos, but I think anyone reading this can find videos if you want to hear what an artist sounds like. Anyway,  the defining event of the summer is upon us, and with the 4th of July celebration, we find that music, is not as plentiful as during other weeks of the year. Nevertheless, the weekend brings some celebrations that include music and fireworks, and there are a couple of long-term residencies that you can check out.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 1

Charles Lloyd @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $50), 9pm ($30, $40) If you are a jazz fan, you have to here this master saxophonist at least once in your life. Lloyd’s career goes back to the 60s, when he won many young fans by playing the Fillmore in San Francisco.

Andrew Walesch Quartet @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No cover) This young singer/pianist is excellent with both of his instruments. He also understands the need to engage the audience as an entertainer. Tonight he’ll be accompanied by Gary Raynor, bass; Pete Johnson, drums; and special guest Adam Meckler on trumpet.

Vector Families @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Yet another project from bassist Anthony Cox, with Brandon Wozniak, sax; Dean Granros, guitar; Dave King, drums; and Cox on cello and bass.

Thursday, July 2

Travis Anderson Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) It’s another foodie night at the Dakota, with no cover, wine specials, and a terrific band. Anderson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums; give new life to standards

Friday, July 3

Thomas Bruce @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Sublime vocals in the cozy lounge of a D’Amico restaurant.

Jay Young’s Lyric Factory @ The icehouse, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12) Bassist Young has been honing his tribute to Herbie Hancock and Earth, Wind, & Fire, to create an entertaining, groovin’ and jazzful evening.

Hanson, Roessler, & Anderson @ Sweet 17, 308 Prince Street, Suite 317, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Here’s an under the radar gig if there ever was one. It’s essentially a house concert with Nathan Hanson, sax; Doan Roessler, bass; and Marc Anderson, percussion. It’s a BTOB affair. Doors at 8:30

Saturday, July 4

Big Bands and Fireworks @ City Parks.  Here’s a trio of big bands, each capable of producing their own musical fireworks, providing the entertainment before the holiday fireworks. Whether you live near these towns, or are willing to travel a bit, it’s a musical way to celebrate our country’s Independence Day.

1: St. Croix Jazz Orchestra @ Minnesota Pioneer Park, Stillwater. 7pm (Free) With Andrew Walesch on vocals.

2: Wolverines Big Band @ Excelsior Commons, Excelsior. 7pm – 10pm (Free)  Featuring Judi Vinar, Maude Hixson, and Jason Richards on vocals.

3: Roseville Big Band @ Central Park, Roseville. 7pm – 9pm (Free)

Sunday, July 5

Saints of Swing @ Como Dockside Pavilion, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm (Free) Here’s another big band gig, this time it’s lakeside at Como Lake, and the new Como Dockside is right there to serve drinks and food.

Zacc Harris Trio @ The Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) There’s a good reason this trio has had a long running residency at the Wine Bar. Harris’ tasteful guitar, along with Pete Hennig’s drumming and Matt Peterson’s bass, provide music that’s just right for drinking the venue’s wide selections of wine and food.

Monday, July 6

Irv Williams CD Release Part @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) Irv Williams is 95 and still churning out CDs. This one, Pinnacle, is perhaps his third or fourth since announcing his “retirement” some years back. Always worth seeing. How the man keeps such a gorgeous tone is something every budding young sax player should learn.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, July 1

Midwest Paul Cook on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar)

Thursday, July 2

Butanes @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (No Cover) Another weekly gig. The Butanes played the New Orleans Jazz Festival with Earl King, and most assuredly have earned the title of the best blues band in the Twin Cities.

The Droppers @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover) If you’re a fan of the Meters and Booker T. and the MGs, then you’ll appreciate this instrumental band of Chris Beaty, guitar; Jim Anton, bass; Noah Levy drums; and Tommy Barbarella, organ. They’ve played together in various groups for over 25 years, and are tight!

Friday, July 3

Booker T. Jones @ the Dakota, Mpls. 7pm ($42), 9pm ($35) He had a hit with Green Onions when he was just 16 and he and the MGs were the house band for Stax Records. Many hits followed and many performances, during which their place in the pantheon of rock n’ roll was secured. Nowadays, with the passing of two of the original members of the group, Jones has worked with established rock bands, winning yet another Grammy Potato Hole, his 2010 album with the Drive By Truckers, and for 2012’s The Road From Memphis with The Roots.

Willie Murphy Blues Trio @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11:30pm Murphy returns to the Black Dog, this time with his blues trio in tow.

Sweet Tea @ The Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Funky blues for your dancing pleasure on the eve of the 4th.

Freewheelin’ First Friday @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5?) Nikki & the Rue-Mates open at 7pm, followed by the Honky-Tonk/Fok/Roots of Wilkinson James at 9pm.

Patty Peterson & Friends w/Melanie Rosales @ Bunker’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Vocalist Peterson likes to straddle the line between jazz and R&B, as do her friends, which tonight includes Melanie Rosales, which long time Twin Citizens may remember from The Doug Maynard Band of the late 70s.

Saturday, July 4

Armadillo Jump @ Lakeside Park, Hudson, WI. 1:30 – 4:30pm. (Free) Head across the Saint Croix for an afternoon of jump blues and general holiday activity, including a hot dog eating contest, a kids tract pull, food stands, and a beer garden, as well as later entertainment by Ponzi Scheme and Uncle Chunk. No fireworks, though.

Booker T. Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($42) One show only tonight, so everyone can get out and see fireworks afterwards.

Sunday, July 5

Phil Heywood @ Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7:45pm (Tip Jar) Ace fingerpicking and fine vocals from Heywood provide a comfortable, yet adventurous end to the weekend.

Vinicius Cantuaria @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) This soft-voiced Brazilian brings bossa novas into the 21st Century, imbuing the music of Jobim and Gilberto Gil with hints of electronica while staying decidedly acoustic. He’s collaborated with Brian Eno, Bill Frisell, David Byrne, Laurie Anderson and similar forward thinking musicians, and has

Tuesday, July 7

Church of Cash @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Another foodie night, this one sponsored by the Minnesota Music Coalition, and bringing this quintet’s love of Johnny Cash to the masses.

Mayo, Jacox, and Eckstrand @ The Station, White Bear Lake. 8pm – 11pm (No Cover) Paul Mayasich holds down the guitar chair at the Station (formerly Manitou Station) every Tuesday night, bringing in all sorts of friends to complement his playing. Tonight he has Bobby E. (Eckstrand), an under appreciated guitarist, as well as vocalist extraordinaire Maurice Jacox.

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.


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.

 


Outdoors, Indoors. Music and More: 9.3 – 9.9

September 3, 2014

The Forecast calls for mostly pleasant weather for the next week, which is great, as there are still a few outdoor events to occur, including the Concrete and Grass Festival, and a play set amongst sculpture, both of which I’ve listed. Of course there is other music that’s worth your while. Don’t be afraid to check some out. After all, music lifts the spirit.

Jazz…

Wednesday, September 3

images-2Anthony Cox Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Cox provides an interactive experience for the audience, drawing listeners in by asking questions of the audience re: their listening experience and answering questions as well. He’s joined by Peter Shimke, piano; Solomon Parham, trumpet; Brandon Wozniak, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums.

Mississippi, Cory Wong Group, & Les Exodus @ Calhoun Square, Minneapolis. 7:00pm (Free) This is a production of the Mobile Jazz Project, though instead of performing at a park, they’re at Calhoun Square. Mississippi is the Pete Whitman-led quartet that includes Kevin Washington on drums, Peter Schimke on piano, and Jeff Bailey on bass.  Guitarist Cory Wong,  who also is a producer and composer, will have a couple of talented musicians that he often works with: Yohannes Tona on bass and Petar Janjic on drums. Les Exodus has been helping Minnesotans groove to reggae group for over 26 years now.

Thursday, September 4

Vicky Mountain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Vicky is one of the area’s finest singers. In fact, many singers go to her for lessons. Tonight she’ll be singing new songs, a few she hasn’t sung for a while, and some old favorites. She’ll be joined by James Allen on guitar and Jim Chenoweth on bass.

Nichols, Bates, & Bates @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Not a law firm, but rather a trio of versatile musicians performing original music. Bryan Nichols  piano, Chris Bates  bass, and JT Bates  drums, are prime examples of the creativity found in the Twin Cities jazz community. Another evening of great original music that’s part of the All Originals Jazz Series.

Merciless Ghost @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Grand Ave, just west of Snelling, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) George Cartwright, sax; Josh Granowski, bass; and Davu Seru, percussion make up this group, which is dedicated to group improvisation. Wine, beer, and small plates are available.

Friday, September 5

Anthony Cox & Peter Schimke @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Cox on bass and Schimke on piano are two of the area’s very talented musicians. Tonight they join forces for an evening of intimate, imaginative jazz.

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Mears Park, Saint Paul. 8:30pm (Free) This big band of young lions has just released a very fine CD of Meckler’s original music. They were rained out of the Jazz Festival in June, so now is your chance to hear them outdoors. This is part of the Concrete and Grass Festival (see below). In the meantime, here’s a sample of their work.

Fall of the House of Usher @ the Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5, $10, $20 Suggested for Tip Jar) Chris Cunningham, guitar; Greg Schutte, drums; Chris Bates, bass; Elliott Wachs, bari sax; Nathan Hanson, tenor sax; Adam Svec, vocals; Ivan Cunningham, sax.

Sunday, September 7

Maud Hixson @ the Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 11am – 2pm (No Cover – $?) The cool-yet-warm vocals of Ms Hixson will help you greet a Sunday morning, all the while giving you a view of downtown Minneapolis across the river. Plus, she’s accompanied by a great band: Rick Carlson, piano; Billy Peterson, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums.

Monday, September 8

Reuben Ristrom @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Ristrom is a guitarist with an unerring sense of swing. He’ll be joined by Jazz Central stalwarts for an evening of jazz standards and more.

Jazz Implosion @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) Two sets of music for this weekly gig of adventurous music. First set will feature saxophonist Josh Smith of San Francisco, joined by Michael Lewis and JT Bates. Second set is DD7, with Anthony Cox, JT Bates, Brandon Wozniak, Michael Lewis, and Steve Kenny.

Tuesday, September 9

Cedar Avenue Big Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Still going strong after 25 years, the CABB is populated by a combination of veterans and emerging musicians. Always exciting.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, September 3

A Special Evening With Habaneros @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) This clarinet/string quintet is composed of members of the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba. This event is an open dress rehearsal for their upcoming North American tour. In addition to playing, they will share stories, photos, and film about Cuba and their music, which will include classical and Latin pieces. Reservations recommended.

Thursday, September 4

Mikkel Beckman and Bill Patten @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm. Here’s a laid-back after work gig, especially for those of you who live or work in the Capital City. Mikkel is the acoustic/roots percussionist of choice in town, and host of this weekly series. Today, his guest is singer/guitarist Bill Patten.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, September 4, 5, 6

Concrete & Grass Festival @ Mears Park, Saint Paul. 7pm Thurs; 5pm Fri; 4pm Sat (Free) Three days of a wide variety of music  including a Chamber Ensemble of the SPCO performing Beethoven’s Septet in E-Flat, followed by the “Music Mayor of Saint Paul,” Martin Devaney. On Friday, there’ll be performances by Prairie Fire Lady Choir, Salsa del Soul, and the Adam Meckler Orchestra (see Jazz, above). Saturday begins with the Ancia Saxophone Quartet, presented by The Schubert Club, followed by the Minnesota Opera, Breaking Brass, and Joey Molland’s Badfinger.

Cast members on one of the Franconia's sculptures.

Cast members on one of the Franconia’s sculptures.

The Tempest on Franconia Island @ Franconia Sculpture Park, 29836 St. Croix Trail, Franconia. 6pm each night. ($10 Adults, $5 10 & under) Here’s an adventurous bit of play-making as Shakespeare’s Tempest is performed in and amongst a sculpture park. The classic tale is made larger-than-life by the monumental-scale sculptures at Franconia, several of which will serve as sets for the play. Attendees will be escorted to each set by Franconia staff, and beverages will be available for purchase before everyone sets out across the park for the performance. More information is available at: http://www.franconia.org/tempest.html

Friday, September 5

Flamin’ Ohs Kinda Unplugged @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) The Ohs had well-recieved (at least locally) albums in the early 1980s, and reunited in 1997, more than a decade after their breakup. Since then these classic rockers have performed every once in a while. Tonight they’ll be playing their more reflective tunes during the first set, and then amp it up in the second set with rockers and favorites. Here they are doing a Stones’ tune.

Swamp Poppas @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis.  7pm.($5) KFAI’s Jackson Buck once again presents some cool music for the First Friday of the month. Tonight the Swamp Poppas will entertain with a mix of music from Southwest Louisiana and its environs, including swamp pop, Zydeco, Cajun, blues, and Louisiana rock n’ roll. I’ll bet some dancing will break out. Gabe Barnett opens.

Friday, Saturday, September 5, 6

So Blue @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10/$5 Seniors) With a band led by Wain McFarlane, and some powerful singing from Pippi Ardennia as Victoria Spivey and Patricia Lacy as Big Mama Thornton, among others, this musical production by the Urban Spectrum Theater presents classic blues from the 20s to the 40s, as remembered by a couple of bar owners in the 50s. It’s a charming production, complete with some fine dancers.

Saturday, September 6

Brass Messengers Family Dance Party @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 11am. ($10 Adults, $5 ages 3-12, free for 2 and under) What a fun concept. The 10-piece Messengers have as much fun playing as any band. Their infectious rhythms and raucous sound are just the thing to engage adults and kids. There will be plenty of space for young and old alike to dance their hearts out. Here’s a taste of their sound.

Armadillo Jump @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) The Station has a small dance floor, but that doesn’t stop the mostly middle-aged crowd from filling it and then some, especially when a band like Armadillo Jump is playing their rockin’ rhythm and blues.

The Last Revel & The May North @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 9pm ($?) If you are looking for an evening of high energy roots/Americana this is the place to be. The Last Revel are a trio with traditional instruments (guitar, banjo, bass) and a bit of a rowdy, rock attitude. The May North is a quartet (electric bass, fiddle, guitar  banjo) that also likes to ramp up the energy, though at times, they take more laid-back, acoustic Grateful Dead approach to their songs.

Sunday, September 7

John Paul Keith & Molly Maher @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) Keith is a Memphis-based roots rocker and witty songwriter whose sound occasionally evokes Buddy Holly, Creedence Clearwater, and other classic rockers, though there is no doubt that his sound is all his own. Maher is our own Twin Cities Treasure, equally adept at guitar playing, songwriting, and singing. Admission includes the Bayport’s terrific BBQ Buffet, so there’s no need for supper beforehand. Cash only, drinks extra.

MNSka Shakedown @ the Nomad, Minneapolis. 8pm ($?) Get ready for some skankin’ as five bands take the stage to deliver high-energy ska and more, featuring Chris Murray, from Los Angeles, The Prizefighters  the Hennepin County Millionaires Club, the Skruffians, and Pee Wee Dread.

Tuesday, September 9

Phil Heywood @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (No Cover) Ace fingerpicking from one of the best  while you enjoy a cocktail or Cafe Maude’s 3 course, $20 meal.

Nikki & the Rue-Mates @ The Amsterdam, Saint Paul. 9pm (No Cover) Folk-rock blues, with touches of psychedelia, from a woman with a beautiful, clarion voice, an ace guitarist, and rock solid rhythm section. Here’s a performance sans drummer.

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.


Outdoor Music and More. 7.9 – 7.15

July 9, 2014

Unknown-2 2We have a big week of music in the Twin Cities. With summer in full swing there are plenty of outdoor events and performances from which to choose, as well as a healthy measure of events at bars and clubs. Get out and enjoy. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 9

Latvian Cat Circus @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Kameron Markworth and his band-mates Kevin Gastonguay on piano, and Lars-Erik Larson on drums have chosen a name which gives a hint of the spontaneity and unpredictable nature of their music.

Thursday, July 10

Glen David Andrews @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25), 9pm ($20) The trombonist/vocalist is a force of nature. At one Dakota appearance Andrews had the floors and the balcony shaking, as folks stomped their feet and danced. His music includes a healthy mixture of traditional New Orleans Jazz with funk and a touch of gospel thrown in for good measure. Andrews’ latest CD, Redemption, was released at the end of April and debuted at #8 on the Blues charts.

images-3All Originals Jazz Series: The Illicit Sextet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) All Originals is a new weekly jazz concert series at Studio Z featuring select outstanding local jazz ensembles playing their original jazz compositions. Tonight, the Illicit Sextet, which does nothing but its members original compositions, is the featured artist. Steve Kenny, trumpet; Paul Harper, tenor saxophone; David Roos, guitar; Chris Lomheim, piano; Tom Pieper, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums.

Kristen Sponcia @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Sponcia is a pianist/vocalist who taught at MacNally Smith until last Fall, when she enrolled in a doctorate program in Jazz Vocal Performance at Champaign, IL. She’s back for the summer, and will be joined tonight by Chris Olson, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Dave Stanoch on drums.

Friday, July 11

Pete Whitman’s X-Tet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Ten of the best players in the Twin Cities were brought together back in 2001. Since then, a 2002 CD was well received and the band played a monthly gig at the Artists’ Quarter until the club closed. It’s a delight to have a chance to see them again. They play mostly original tunes or original arrangements. Check out their music from this video.

Mill City Hot Club @ Dulano’s Pizza, 607 W. Lake St, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm (No Cover) Dean Harrington, one of the area’s unsung guitar masters, will be joined by Mark Kreitzer, guitar and mandolin; Tom Schaefer, violin; and Chuck Kreitzer, bass. They’ll be playing the music of Django Rheinhardt and Hank Williams, plus, plenty o’ pizza.

Steve Kenny Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11pm. (Tip Jar) Between the Illicit Sextet, Group 47, and this group, trumpeter Steve Kenny is staying quite busy these days. Tonight he’s joined by Chris Bates, bass; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Babatunde Lea, drums & Percussion. I’m told there will be lotsa Monk, and at least one open improvisation in an homage to Free Jazz.

Friday, Saturday, July 11, 12

The Crosby-Clooney Story @ Chanhassen Dinner Theaters, Chanhassen. Friday, 8pm, Saturday 1pm ($40, $55) Hmm, Bing Crosby, so there’s no doubt Arne Fogel will be taking that part. His long time singing partner Maud Hixson, will take on Rosemary Clooney, and both will be ably supported by the Wolverines Trio. Expect music from the Great American Songbook, including tunes from the movie White Christmas, two duet albums, and radio and concert appearances of the subject singers. Here are some samples of Fogel and Hixson doing this show.

Saturday, July 12

The Atlantis Quartet at last years Wine & Jazzfest

The Atlantis Quartet at last years Wine & Jazzfest

Jazz Fest @ St. Croix Vineyard, 6428 Manning Ave N, Stillwater. 11am – 6pm (Free) Here’s a wonderful little jazz festival at a local vineyard, featuring a fine line-up of area musicians and a former Minnesotan who is now based in NYC. 11:10am –  Bryan Nichols Trio; 12:20pm – Nancy Harms; 1:30pm – Ticket to Brasil Septet; 2:40pm – Babatunde Lea Quintet; 3:50pm Patty Peterson Band; 5pm – Atlantis Quartet. There will be some food and drink available at this family-friendly event, but you’re welcome to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the music.

Sunday, July 13

Stan Bann’s Big Bone Band @ Como Park Pavillion, Saint Paul. 7pm – 8:30pm (Free) Black Bear Crossing may be closing down at the end of the year, but it’s still open and especially handy for those attending the concerts at the Pavillion, such as this one. Stan Bann is a composer, trombonist, orchestrator, and conductor and brings out a bevy of ‘bone players for this band.

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday July 13, 14, 15

Irv Williams Trio @ The Dakota Patio, 6:30pm – 9:30pm (No Cover) Irv Williams is in his 90s, but his sound on the tenor sax is quite youthful, with warm notes seeming to float out of his saxophone. He’s releasing a new CD with Steve Blons on guitar and Billy Peterson on bass, though it’s not quite ready yet. Anyway, this patio performance is a perfect way to spend an early evening, whether dining or drinking.  Here he is a couple of weeks ago, performing for the Jazz Festival.

Tuesday, July 15

Rockin’ Rondo Jazz Quartet @The Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Free) The History Center’s Nine Nights of Music is back. Though I don’t know who is in the quartet, I do know that Debbie Duncan will be singing with them, which is a vote of confidence if I ever saw one. The Half Pintz Drill Team will kick off the evening.

Explosion Big Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. ($10 Suggested Donation) This band is co-led by Scott Agster, trombone; and Doug Haining, sax. They were rained out at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, and are more than rarin’ to go.

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.

Roots, Blues, Other…

Wednesday, July 9

Cafe Accordion Orchestra @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon- 1pm, (Free) Stop by with a lunch, or buy one at the Landmark, then gather round for French Musettes, and other infectious music from this Dan Newton-led group.

Black Diet @ Como Zoo Conservatory, Saint Paul. 6 – 8pm (Free) What do you get when you cross the soulfulness of Memphis R&B with the energy of early garage bands? Black Diet  an up-and-coming Twin Cities band. Bring a picnic and enjoy this outdoor concert on the lawn of the conservatory. Adult beverages, as well as hot dogs, are available for sale.

Tinsley Ellis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) If you like yer bluz rockin’ then head on down to the Dakota, where Ellis  who’s been on the blues scene since the late 80s, will be dazzling listeners with blistering guitar work in a trio setting.

Thursday, July 10

Boogie Wonderland @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. 6pm (Free) Get out your bell bottoms and take your disco dancing outdoors to the music of the 70s. Dance lessons start and 6pm, and music at 7:15.

Hurricane Harold’s Blues Revue @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Harold Tremblay may be the most connected bluesman in town, which means he always has a passle of great players with him.

Budos Band @ The Fine Line, Minneapolis. 9pm ($17, $30) Fans of Daptone recording artists already know about this band, which describes itself as playing “Staten Island Instrumental Afro-Soul” music. They’ve toured the world with their serious, horn-heavy, and somewhat mysterious sounding grooves. Here’s an example of that sound.

Friday, July 11

Big George Jackson @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover)  With a voice that would make a foghorn vibrate, Big George can put down the boogie a la John Lee Hooker, and otherwise get your mojo working. Jeremy Johnson and Phil Schmid provide guitar backing worthy of someone who is a star in Europe.

Tim's latest CD

Tim’s latest CD

Tim Sparks & Phil Heywood @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Two champions of the National Fingerpicking competition team up for an evening of country blues, world music, and jazz. For fans of the acoustic guitar, it doesn’t get any better than this.

Sol Flower Collective @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) New grooves, futuristic R&B, and post-classic soul from this talented septet of young performers. Check them out on YouTube:

Saturday, July 12

Charlie Lawson & Friends @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm 5pm – 7pm ($10) Lawson’s passionate guitar playing and spirited vocals on classic blues provide the right enhancement to the enjoyment of the food and drink at this BBQ roadhouse.

Big Daddy Cade: Tribute to BB King @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($6) Cade has the only BB King tribute that’s endorsed by King himself, but that’s only one set in a show. He’s a more than capable guitarist who can venture into R&B, soul, and funk as well.

Sunday, July 13

The Brass Messengers at a previous Bastille Day celebration.

The Brass Messengers at a previous Bastille Day celebration.

Bastille Day Block Party @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 3pm – 10pmm (Free) This annual event always has something more than music – roller derby girls, circus acts, and more. The music is a great draw as well, with a combination of veteran and up-and coming bands: Black Diet, Cloak Ox, Heiruspecs, Brass Messengers, and GRRRL PRTY. As the poster says, “Cake Will Be Served.”

Dengue Fever @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($18) A California-based band that have taken ‘60s Cambodian pop as inspiration and blended it with psychedelic rock and indie sounds. They’ve gained considerable recognition among established rock musicians, including Peter Gabriel, who licensed their third release, Venus on Earth, for worldwide distribution in 2008. They’ve also appeared on Jools Holland’s TV show, toured Europe and have appeared at a number of festivals in the US.  Here’s a YouTube video:

 

 

Monday, July 14

Lamont Cranston @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) After decades of playing, Pay Hayes and the Cranstons will be rockin’ the Dakota with classic R&B and their own original blues.

Tuesday, July 15

Patty & the Buttons @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Swinging R&B-ish accordion playing from Patty and his band. Get a seat at the bar if you can, or ask to be seated near the band.

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

 


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