Cold Weather. Hot Music; 1.7 – 1.13

January 7, 2015
These people know how to party - the Ice Music Festival of Norway

The Ice Music Festival of Norway

A cold, wintry greetings and salutations;

The wind chill may be cold enough to close schools, but hey, we’re Minnesotans, so we’ll go out to hear music and dance, even when it’s cold. Of course some of us are lucky enough to go somewhere warm for at least a few days each winter, but wherever it is, I’ll bet they don’t have as good a music scene as we do here in the Twin Cities.

If I may, I’d like to draw your attention to a special event occurring Tuesday evening, January 13th. It’s a benefit, with no cover charge, for the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education, an organization that brings working musicians into schools to encourage and support jazz as part of a young persons education. More information is found below. Now, put on your layers of clothing, just like the folks in the above picture, and enjoy the talent found in our cities. Music is good for the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, January 7

Chomsky and Thomas Nordlund @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s a double-bill, double bass night at Jazz Central. Bassist Andrew Foreman will start out the evening with his new group Chomsky, which includes Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Thomas Nordlund, guitar; and Zach Schmidt on drums. Then, with a bit of reconfiguration, Thomas Nordland and group will play new music from his forthcoming EP of baritone guitar music: Nordlund, baritone guitar; Andrew Foreman, bass; Lars-Erik Larson, drums; and Kevin Gastonguay, keyboards.

Wednesday, Thursday, January 7, 8

Ramsey Lewis Electic Band w/Philip Bailey @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45 – $70), 9pm ($35 – $60) Back in 1974 Ramsey Lewis was a bit tired of his acoustic approach to jazz and wanted to liven things up a bit. He reunited with Maurice White, who had been in his band and was now leading Earth, Wind, and Fire, and created an up to date sound featuring members of that group. the resulting album and its singles shot up the charts, hitting number 1 on both the Black charts and Jazz charts of the time. Philip Bailey  also of EWF, contributed vocals, and he’s back with Lewis for this tour, which I suspect will feature soaring vocals, and some funky funky jazz.

Thursday, January 8

Radio Joe Demko @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Radio Joe brings his swing-centric band, together with their tangos, ballads, and other groovy music, to the basement club.

Le Percheron @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Bassist Adam Linz has put together this band, which has only played a handful of gigs to date, but what a band! Brandon Wozniak on sax; Cory Healey on drums; and the young, but very talented Levi Schwartzberg on vibes. The first set will consist of duets, and the second set will feature the full band. Wine, beer, and small plates are available.

Friday, January 9

Joel Shapira/Dean Granros CD Release @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Last June guitarists Shapira and Granros performed at the Black Dog as part of the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, and recorded the results, now being released as Jazz Guitar Duets. It’s a delightful compendium of songs plucked on steel and nylon strings, with tunes ranging form Ornette Coleman compositions to standards.

JT Bates Organ Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) I’ll admit I’m a sucker for B3 groups. If the soulful, greasy sound of guitar, organ and drums gets your fingers snapping, your toes tapping, and your head bobbing, head over to Jazz Central to catch JT Bates, drums; Kevin Gastonguay, organ, and Zacc Harris on guitar.

Jerod Kaszynski

Jerod Kaszynski

Jerod Kaszynski Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 10pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s a double header at JC tonight with saxophonist Kaszynski, a native of the Twin Cities currently living and teaching in Eau Claire taking the second spotlight. Tonight’s show has a literary bent. Author Miri Francis haas written (and will read) a love story, with accompaniment by Kaszynski and his band, including: Josh Huot-Gallus, trombone; Josh Gallagherm, piano; Sam Olson, bass, and Adam Nussbaum, drums.

Saturday, January 10

Bill Carrothers Trio @ Jazz at Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) I know of many Twin Cities jazz fans who are salivating over this date. In a rare appearance with his own trio, pianist Carrothers returns to his home town of Saint Paul. He’s recorded 17 albums as a leader, and has worked with artists ranging from Buddy DeFranco and Curtis Fuller to Lee Konitz, Dewey Redman, and Gary Peacock. He’s bringing a couple of Irish musicians with him: drummer Kevin Brady, and bassist David Redmond. There will be a short master class at 6pm, included in the admission price.

Mancrush @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Mancrush is Lars-Erik Larson, drums; Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Bryan Nichols, piano. Opening set by Tommy Bentz Quartet at 7pm.

Connie Evingson w/The Parisota Hot Club @ Jazz at St. Barney’s, Plymouth. 7pm ($10) Vocalist Evingson recently received a positive  review in Downbeat for her album “All the Cats Join In.” Tonight, she’s performing songs from the album, with the Parisota Hot Club and special guest, the ever-youthful octogenarian saxophonist Dave Karr. Here’s a selection from the album.

Monday, January 12

Adam Meckler @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Trumpeter Meckler leads his own 17 piece band, is a key member of the Jana Nyberg Group, leads a quintet, and is a member of a few other groups as well. Tonight he gets to step out on his own, playing originals and original arrangements of other songs.

Ryan Franesconi and JT Bates & Michael Lewis @ the Icehouse, Minnepolis. 9;30pm )$10) Guitarist Franesconi, 1st set. Bates (drums) & Lewis (sax), 2nd set. Franesconi is a Portland based guitarist and composer whose way with stringed instruments from Eastern Europe qualifies him as a multi-instrumentalist obsessed with Balkan Folk Music. Bates and Lewis are 2/3 of Fat Kid Wednesdays, with enough imagination between the two of them to grab your attention and hold it tight.

Tuesday, January 13

This year's Dakota Combo

This year’s Dakota Combo

Dakota Combo & Kevin Washington Group @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Though there is no cover, this is a fundraising benefit for the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education, which brings working jazz musicians into area schools to work with student musicians, provides free-metro wide workshops for young musicians, and gives out scholarships to summer jazz camps and members of the Dakota Combo. This year’s edition of the Dakota Combo will perform, as well as a group comprising Kevin Washington  drums; Jeff Bailey, bass; Mary Louise Knutson, piano; and Solomon Parham, trumpet.

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, January 7

Reina Del Cid on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM) 7pm (331 club – Tip Jar) Reina Del Cid is coming into her own as a folk-rock singer/songwriter with a great back up band. She recently performed well-recieved sets at CMJ – New York, Summerfest in Milwaukee and The Underground Music Showcase in Denver. Part of the band’s appeal is flat-picking guitarist Toni Lindgren, who always surprises with her choice of licks.

Lisa Wenger & Her Mean, Mean Men @ Shaws, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Wenger’s direct approach to singing the blues appeals to hard-core blues fans as well as more casual fans, say those who may be just going out with their spouse or date. She’s got an excellent band as well.

Friday, January 9

Malamanya @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12) It’s Latin night at the Cedar, as Malamanya brings their hip-swaying, toe-tapping, salsa dancing melodies and traditional Cuban rhythms to the concert/dance hall. Opening act Alma Andina goes further South for their inspiration, performing music of the Andes and Latin America.

Ronnie Baker Brooks @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($20) The son of the late Lonnie Brooks, guitarist  Ronnie  is proof that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, yet he is moving beyond what his father did by occasionally incorporating funk rhythms and a bit of hip hop into his musical mix. As he put it, “It’s a hip hop world right now, but I want to bring a little blues to the party.”  His latest CD, The Torch, was produced by Minneapolis producer/guitarist Jellybean Johnson.

Saturday, January 10

Daisy Dillman CD Release @ The Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hopkins. 7pm ($24) Thirty-four years after their last album, these Minnesota country rockers from the 70s and 80s are back with a new CD, Radio. the current lineup features four of the original five members, who charted in the Billboard Hot 100 and toured with bands like Asleep at the Wheel, Jerry Jeff Walker, Bonnie Raitt, the Allman Brothers and many others. They

The Groove Merchants w/Jimi “Prime time” Smith @ Holihan’s Pub, White Bear Lake. 8pm (No Cover) The Groove Merchants are aptly named, as the late Big Walter Smith built them into a funky blues group that easily inspires dancers. Since his death, they’ve recruited talented guitarist Jimi Prime Time Smith as a front man, a good decision on their part.

Sunday, January 11

Road to Memphis Fundraiser @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 2pm – 6pm ($10?) Okay, this is the last fundraiser to help this year’s Minnesota representatives to the International Blues Challenge pay their way to Memphis. Today’s performers include  Jimmi & the Band of Souls, and Brother Sun, Sister Moon, both of which are this year’s representatives, as well as  the Annie Mack Band, Tampa Spatz, The Black Water Band, and the IBC All-Stars, made of of past participants.

Mikkel Beckmen & Charlie Parr @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5:30 pm. Mikkel is celebrating a birthday, and he’s got Charlie Parr to help him out. An irish Bar. Minnesota’s nationally recognized bluesman. Mikkel’s always fun percussion. Sounds like a heck of a party.

Dobet Gnahoré @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($20 – $45) Gnahoré is one of Africa’s premier contemporary vocalists and talents. She stunned at her appearance at the Dakota in November of 2011, for which I wrote a brief review which you can find here. Prior to the show, at 6:30, there will be a discussion on Afro-pop with Janis Lane-Ewart, drummer Sowah Mensah, and Doug Cain, of KFAI’s Global Beat.

Monday, January 12

Marshall Crenshaw Solo @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Back in the 80s, Crenshaw was all over the place, performing in the off Broadway production of Beatlemania, playing Buddy Holly in the Richie Valens biopic, and hitting the charts with songs long Something’s Gonna Happen, and Someday, Someway, which became a hit for Robert Gordon. With 13 albums and hundreds of songs recorded over three decades, Crenshaw has proven to be a master of melody and songwriting. His songs have been recorded by folks like Bette Midler, Rlonnie Sp;ector, Kelly Willis, and the Gin Blossoms. Tonight it’s just Crenshaw and his guitar. Opening is Kevin Bowe, the Twin Cities own prolific songwriter.

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.


Dance, Dance, Dance. Music: 4.30 – 5.6

April 30, 2014
Back-flips are optional

Back-flips are optional

This seems to be an especially good week for folks who like to dance, whether they swing dance, do the two step, or hit the dance floor to cajun & zydeco, or Latin music. We’ve five events dedicated to dancers and a few others where dancing could erupt. We’ve also got a fine selection of listening events, including a Women in Jazz workshop aimed at young female musicians. All, in all, another good week of music in the Twin Cities. Music can lift your spirits.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 30 – International Jazz Day

Friends of Foreman @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30 – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) That’s friends of bassist Andrew Foreman, including Dave Feily guitar; Zach Schmidt, drums; and Dan Musselman on piano. They improvise on modern Jazz, indie-rock, and alt-pop, as well as original compositions.

Kevin Gastonguay Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 11:00pm ($10 Donation)  Pianist Gastonguay has garnered acclaim at festivals in Detroit Lakes and Sioux Fall, as well as at the 2010 Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Here in town, he’s played with Cory Wong, Kevin Washington, Jay Young, and mangy others. He’ll be joined by Zacc Harris, guitar; Greg Schutte, drums; and Andrew Bergmann, bass.

Evans Courage Hennig @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Late night music from a new trio, though each of them have been playing around town for years. Park Evans is a guitarist with taste, who can bring the fire any time he wishes. Brian Courage has become a go-to guy on bass since his arrival in town a few years ago. Hennig is the drummer for modern jazz group Atlantis Quartet, as well as the punk/blues band Crankshaft and the Grinders. Will make for an interesting evening at this uptown bistro.

Thursday, May 1

Moonlight Serenaders @ Wabasha Caves, Saint Paul. 7pm ($7) Here’s your mid-week big band fix, complete with swing dancers of all ages, a venue with a haunted past, and Lee Engele, a “canary” (as female big band singers were once known) who can swing with ease. Here’s the band, with Lee singing a classic number, at the Caves.

Friday, May 2

Kenny in action. Photo by Andrea Canter

Kenny in action. Photo by Andrea Canter

Kenny Horst & Friends @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Donation) Though he may have closed the Artists’ Quarter, drummer Kenny Horst doesn’t appear ready to fully retire. He’s gathered Brandon Wozniak, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Brian Courage, bass; to back him as he returns to performing. It will be a swingin’ evening of straight-ahead jazz.

Illicit Sextet @ TheBlack Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Six imaginative improvisers who only play their own, original music. Consider their membership:  Steve Kenny, trumpet and fluegelhorn; Paul Harper, sax; David Roos, guitar; Chris Lomheim, piano; Tom Pieper, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums.

Byron Jonson-Blanchard Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10 Donation) Drummer Johnson-Blanchard’s quartet comes to the late night show at JC. The young percussionist (a 2008 grad of McNally Smith) plays around town in various groups, most steadily with the R&B horn band High and Mighty. Tonight he’s joined by cohorts David Hirsch, sax; Thomas Nordlund guitar; and Andrew Foreman, bass.

Saturday, May 3

Women In Jazz Workshop & Concert @ Maplewood Community Center, Maplewood. 2-4:30 workshop (free) 7pm concert ($20/adult, $10/student, free w/workshop) Pippi Ardennia’s non-profit, PipJazz and the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education are teaming up to present a workshop introducing young female musicians to the women who have contributed to the growth of jazz as performers, composers, and bandleaders. The workshop will feature a history of women in jazz and end with an open jam session. then at 7pm the women leading the workshop will perform an evening concert. Participants include vocalists Pippi Ardennia and Patty Peterson, Kathy Jensen, sax; Laura Caviani, piano; Joan Griffith, bass, and drummer Sheila Earley. A special guest will be saxophonist Ebony Rainwater, a student at Sibley High School. Register for the workshop at: http://pipjazz.org

Paul Renz Quartet @ Rosemount Steeple Center, 14375 S. Robert Trail, Rosemount. 7pm ($5) Guitarist Paul Renz  uietly goes about teaching, regularly records, and tours the East Coast every now and then. This is a rare area performance by Renz, who is joined by Baltimore pianist Alan Blackman; Josh Granowski, bass; and Jessie Lesmeister, drums.

Monday, May 5

Peter Vircks Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Vircks is a busy sax-man about town, recording and performing with groups ranging from Doug Little to Moveable Feast, Park Evans, and the percussive dance group Rhythmic Circus. His recent album What You Believe is True, has received praise from critics and musicians alike. He’ll be joined by Kevin Washington, drums; Ron Evaniuk, bass; and Brian Ziemniak, piano. Here he is performing a classic in a guitar/sax duo.

 

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, April 30

Radio Joe & the Jazzbos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. ($5) Guitarist Joe Demko and his quartet play romantic music, as well as swing, boogie boogie, and jump blues. It’s perfect for the swing dancers and folks who, to quote a Sinatra song, know that “what is dancin’ but making love set to music, playing.” Here’s an example.

 

Lisa Wenger & Her Mean, Mean Men @ Shaws, Minneapolis. 8pm (No cover) Vocalist Wenger has sung the blues at area festivals, on the national blues circuit, and at Sturgis. Her approach to blues singing is direct, and appeals to a wide variety of listeners. She surrounds herself with a talented band, too.

Thursday, May 1

UnknownKate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows Present a Dinner Dance @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Music only, $45 Music + 3 course Prix Fixe dinner).  Here’s an fun concept presented by a group that brings a fresh approach to jazz and pop from the 1920s to the 1950s. There’s a dinner set starting at 7pm, then at 8pm there’s be an abbreviated dance lesson for folks who need a refresher in basic dance steps, followed at 8:15 by a dance set from the band. Think of it as a “wedding dance without the wedding.”

 

Swamp Poppas @ the Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 10:30pm ($5) Karl Smelker leads this quartet in an evening of, what else, Swamp Pop, that mixture of Cajun music with Rock n’ Roll and the R&B of New Orleans. The resulting plaintive ballads and uptempo numbers will fill the dance floor with swing dancers, Cajun two-steppers, and couples who take delight in simply gliding around the dance floor.

Friday, May 2

Chico Chavez & Guayaba @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm ($7) Twin cities based Peruvian percussionist Chico Chavez has put together an 8-piece band to play Andean and Amazonian music known as “chicha.” It’s mostly a mix of mid-tempo Cumbia rhythms and slightly psychedelic guitars, with some songs that touch on other tropical rhythms. Get a taste of their music on their website

Steve Kaul & The Brass Kings @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($6) It’s another Freewheelin’ Friday from KFAI’s Jackson Buck, tonight featuring Steve Kaul & the Brass Kings, with opener Dave Babb & Friends. Kaul plays fingerpicks a resonator guitar, and with the backing of the Brass Kings (Mikkel Beckman, washboard, found objects; Brad Ptacek, washtub bass; Jillian Rae, country/psychedelic fiddle) takes the music far beyond your typical acoustic realms. The evening starts of with Dave Babb, of the Liquor Pigs, and some of his friends. Of course, there’ll be a food truck available. Let’s hope the weather allows the warehouse doors to be open.

A new fashion trend?

M.O.R.T sporting a new fashion trend

Mystic Order of Reverb & Twang @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) M.O.R.T brings a batch of rockabilly and reverb-heavy surf music to the east metro. The middle-aged crowd at the Station is perhaps more used to the likes of Motown & bluesy rock, but the insistent bass and cheeky guitars of M.O.R.T. is sure to have them crowding the small dance floor.

Ray Bonneville CD Release @ The Aster Cafe, Minnapolis. 9pm ($12) Bonneville is known as a “roaming musician” who records for Saint Paul’s Red House Records. He’s Canadian by birth, is a Vietnam vet, drove a taxicab, and served as a bush pilot in Canada. He’s an acoustic bluesman who has won awards for his work and is heavily influenced by the music of New Orleans, where he spent time in the 1980s. The new CD is entitled “Easy Gone.” Here’s a video of Bonneville in action.

 

Saturday, May 3

For Pete’s Sake @ The Fitzgerald Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($30) Pete Seeger would have been 95 on this date, and Minnesota singer/songwriter Larry Long, a long-time friend, has brought together a colorful cast of musicians, activists and narrators to celebrate all the phases of Pete’s life through song, stories, and spoken narratives. The cast ranges from former Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayle-Belton and Poet Louis Alemayehu, to musicians such as Robert Robinson, Prudence Johnson, Tony Glover, Estaire Godinez, Chastity Brown, Peter Ostroushko, Long himself, and many, many more. Seeger is known as the “Father of American folk music” and influenced the likes of Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Bruce Springsteen and thousands of budding musicians. Governor Dayton has proclaimed May 3 as “Pete Seeger Day” in Minnesota.

Unknown-3Sonny Knight & the Lakers Record Release @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 7pm Door. ($10 Advance/$15 Door) Knight is another story of a “rediscovered” soul singer. He finally has a debut album after recording his first single over 50 years ago. The album, I’m Still Here, is a slice of funk and soul that will surely appeal to both boomers and today’s hipsters. This is going to be a big bash, what with the Honeydogs and Southside Desire opening.

Dad Horse Experience @ Bayport BBQ & Nashville Hot Chicken, Bayport. 8pm ($8) Owner Chris Johnson has added Nashville hot chicken to his BBQ, and continues to bring us outsider music that’s accessible in its own weird way. Example number one: Dad Horse Experience, a one-man band (banjo, kazoo, bass pedal) from Bremen, Germany, playing Gospel music that you’d never hear in a church. He sings and howls as if alone in a dark basement, desperately seeking redemption from a life of hard, hard sin. Definitely the under-the-radar gig of the week. Check out this video to see what I mean.

 

 

Sunday, May 4

Paul Thorn @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($23) Some guys are just able to sing the truth. Thorn is one of them – a former boxer who’s dad was a Pentacosal minister, and who had an uncle who was a pimp. Their advice and influence forms the basis for his bluesy Americana. He also does a terrific and often funny job of introducing his songs. Here’s an example.

 

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.

 


Lotsa Ladies. Music: 7.31 – 8.6

July 31, 2013

Unknown-2Seems there are quite a few female vocalists – jazz, roots, & rockers – in this week’s selection of mostly under-the-radar gigs. Then we have some up and coming artists, as well as a couple of veteran performers. Plus there are a few gigs outside the core downtowns of these Twin Cities. All of which makes for a wonderful week of music.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 31

UnknownAnthony Cox’s Happy Spirits Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Cox has gathered Peter Schimke, piano; Kevin Washington, drums; and Solomon Parham, trumpet, to create modern, post bop jazz. They cooked at the recent Jeremy Walker benefit, laying down complex rhythms and melodies that swung.

 

Opus @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) This Milwaukee group has been together for 35 years, playing both straight ahead jazz and their own brand of fusion. They’ve played with the Milwaukee Symphony and won a WAMI, for Wisconsin’s best jazz group.

Thursday, August 1

Jana Nyberg Group Tour Kick-Off @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Jana and the guys have some new tunes under their belts and they’re ready for their annual tour to Door County and Eastern Wisconsin, where they’ll be playing a festival in Appleton. Jana is a fun vocalist, and whether she’s singing originals, standards, or new interpretations of recent pop fare, she’ll have you thinking about songs in a new light.

Young Lions Night, Part 1 @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) Anyone who thinks jazz is dead is not aware of the steady growth of young players in this area. Thanks to the folks at Jazz Police, the monthly Young Artists series continues at the AQ, tonight featuring Joe Suihkonen, trumpet; Sam Wildenauer, bass; and Ermerson Hunton, drums. All three are recent grads of South High in Minneapolis. Suikhonen and Hunton have just completed their first year at Oberlin Conservatory. Wildenauer has been working as a free-lance bassist and playing free jazz.

Young Lions Night, Part 2 @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul.  9pm ($5) Stick around for a slightly older generation of musicians, as Miguel Hurtado, drums; Javier Santiago, piano; and James Buckley, bass, take the stage. Hurtado  and Santiago have been playing in various groups for years now. As far as I know, this is the first time they’re featured with Buckley, the old man of the group. He has been playing professionally in the Twin Cities since 1999, and was profiled in City Pages in 2009.

Friday, August 2

Connie Olson & Marie Louise Knutson @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Ms Olson has sung with the Peter Duchin Big Band, and musicians from the bands of Prince, Madonna, and Brian Setzer, and you have undoubtedly heard her on any number of commercials. Tonight, she’s singing with the wonderful pianist Mary Louise Knutson, who has her own impressive list of credits, including numerous stints with Doc Severinsen, in the lounge area of Parma 8200, a D’Amico restaurant in an office tower. It’s quite a nice little spot.

Vicky Mountain @ Kelly Park, 6855 Fortino Street, Apple Valley. 6pm – 9pm (Free) Summer certainly brings out music in the parks, in the suburbs as well as in the core cities. Tonight, vocalist Vicky Mountain is joined by James Allen, guitar; Tom Pieper, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums. Food and drink are available for sale and there will be some give-aways as well. 

Saturday, August 3

Nichola Miller @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Whether you’re dining at the Kitchen, or looking for a cocktail before heading out on the town, Ms Miller will provide a sophisticated soundtrack for an early evening rendezvous. Her singing will make your Martinis seem drier and your Cosmos seem sweeter.

Horst, Whitman, Hagedorn, and Bates @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Kenny Horst continues to find ways to bring together new combinations of musicians. Pete Whitman, sax; and Dave Hagedorn, vibes; have played together in Pete’s X-Tet, and Chris Bates, bass; has played with Kenny before, but I think this is a first time for this combination. Given the melodic strengths of Whitman and Hagedorn, and the rhythmic strengths of Horst and Bates, this should be a night of great music.

Linda and Patty Peterson @ The Ivy Hotel, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) The siblings of Minnesota’s first family of music sing alone and together, while Linda tickles the ivories at this new, cozy destination for Saturday Night Jazz.

Saturday, Sunday, August 3, 4

Aakash Mittal CD Release Party @ Dakota Late Night, and The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11:30pm (Saturday, Dakota – $5), and 7pm (Sunday, The Icehouse – $7) Two opportunities to see Mittal, an alto saxophonist from Denver who is exploring new territory in jazz by incorporating elements of music from India, his parent’s birthplace. The results are imaginative and energizing, key ingredients in jazz, as seen in this video.

Monday, August 5

Minnesota Jazz All Stars @ The Old Log Theater, Greenwood. 7:30pm ($24) Here’s a chance for those in the western burbs to hear some of the best jazz Minnesota has to offer in their own back yard. This group of veterans includes Cliff Brunsell, violin; Tanner Taylor, piano; Irv Williams and Dave Karr, on saxes; Clyde Anderson, bass; Reuben Ristrom, guitar; and Mac Santiago, drums. Charmin Michelle is the guest vocalist. Nuff said.

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

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, July 31

Cafe Accordion Orchestra @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Ahh, Berets and Bongos, Musette music and a bit of swing. If the accordion is a natural instrument in a land of Scandinavians and Germans, then credit Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton with showing us it’s possibilities in a variety of genres, from blues to cajun/zydeco, to rock n’ roll and swing. This noontime performance is sure to rejuvenate you for an afternoon of work. Bring a lunch or get one at the Center’s cafe.

SAMSUNGRadio Joe & the JazzBos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm. ($5) Do some swing dancing on a great dance floor as Radio Joe lays down classic boogie woogie, the occasional Sinatra-type swing number, and then hug your honey as he sings and plays I Only Have Eyes for You. You can also catch him on Friday at the Minnehaha Falls Pavillion (7:30) where the dancing is a bit harder on dirt and grass.

Thursday, August 1 – Sunday, August 11

Minnesota Fringe Festival @ various venues around town.  (Times, $, Varies) Normally, I wouldn’t write about something so large, but there are a few shows here that are worth noting: Standing on the Hollow features music by flutist Julie Johnson and dance by Tamara Ober; five appearances @ Intermedia Arts. Bump in the Night, written by bluegrass comedienne Courtney McLean, features dancing and adult language; five appearances  @ U of M Rarig Auditorium. The Education of Murray Sanderson @ Theater in the Round is a comedy about four parents stuck in parent/teacher conferences. Naturally, there’s much, much more. Check out the Fringe Festival website for a complete schedule and rundown of performances.

Unknown-1Javier & the Innocent Sons, featuring Hurricane Harold @ Washington Square, White Bear Lake. 8pm (No Cover) If we had out-of-the-way roadhouses, or back alley joints in the Twin Cities, Javier & the guys would be the perfect house band, with their clean, swinging blues, and the potent guitars of Javier Matos and Dan Scwalbe. They’ll be joined tonight by harpmaster Hurricane Harold, whose playing adds new spice to an already hot recipe for fun.

Friday, August 2

Reina del Cid & the Cidizens @ 318 Cafe, Excelsior, 8pm ($6) Reina del Cid is more than a singer/songwriter, she’s a storyteller whose tales of heartbreak and social ills seem the product of someone who is way older than 24. If you’re of a similar age and have any thoughts of writing songs, listening to Reina will cause you to either change professions, or double down on your efforts. The Cidizens, her backing band, are coming into their own as well. Here they are doing a Van Morrison song.

Dee Miller Band featuring Jimi “PrimeTime” Smith @ School II Bistro, Chanhassen. 8pm – 11pm. ($7) Head further south and a bit to the west to this wine bar in a shopping center to hear the Duchess of the Blues. Miller sings with the authority of a woman that won’t brook any BS. Smith plays guitar to match.

The Meadows @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 9 -11pm (Tip Jar) Together, Pete Linman, Wendy Lewis, andJeff Waryan, have played and performed with a number of bands over the years, ranging from North Equator Nine, to the Bad Plus, to Curtiss A. Now, they’re playing together, and the results are folkish, noirish, and darkish, and delish.

imagesBernard Allison @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) When people say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, they are thinking of someone like Allison, the guitar slinging progeny of Luther Allison. Like his dad, he plays the blues with rock n’ roll energy, but without blues-rock excess. David Z produced his 2011 album the Otherside, and managed to bring in a contemporary sound while displaying Allison’s stinging guitar and R&B vocals.

Saturday, August 3

Papa John & the Cool Club of East Lake @ St Anthony Village Beer Garden, 35th & Silver Lake Road, Saint Anthony Village. 4pm – 7pm. (Free) Papa John will have the usual suspects on hand: Sam on trumpet, Deano on guitar, and Bill Grenke on bass. Outdoors at a beer garden. Sounds great. And if you don’t catch them there, check out Merlins on East Lake, from 8:30pm – 12:30am.

Silvertones @ Kenny SummerFest, Kenny Park, 1328 58th St, W, Minneapolis. 6:30pm – 9:00pm (Free) It’s a neighborhood festival in southwest Minneapolis, with sno-cones, mini-donuts, and other foods, a car show from 5-7pm, and bike and stroller parade, and fun for the whole family. Opening, from 5:15 – 6:15 are Dynamaxium & the Cosmic Troubadors. Then come the Silvertones, whose cover tunes will entertain moms and dads of all ages.

The Eddies @ Cafe Amore, Saint Paul. 7pm – 10pm. A rare chance to catch the almost-acapella purveyors of sea shanties and work songs in their natural habitat – Saint Paul’s WestSide neighborhood (I know, I know, it’s South of downtown – just let it go). Head up the High Bridge to Smith and Anapolis, where they are performing as part of “Art on the Avenue” a neighborhood art crawl.

Eilen Jewel @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20) The Queen of the Minor Key uses rockabilly, alt-country, and folk as starting points for slyly written tunes that will have you bouncing in your seat, if not stompin’ on the non-existent dance floor of the Dakota. Here she is singing the song that earned her that nickname.

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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