Resident Musicians and More: 1.3 – 1.9

January 3, 2018

Some of our resident musicians are appearing at this event

Given our winter weather, it’s no surprise that we don’t have many visiting artists this week, though we’ll be inundated in a couple of weeks when Super Bowl activities begin. We’re fortunate, however, that many of our resident musicians have experience on national tours and in national venues, so we don’t have to wait for visitors to have great music experiences. After all, Music Lifts the Spirit

Larry

Jazz

Wednesday, January 3

Jason Richards & the Wolverines Jazz Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, but $10 Reserved seat) Vocalist Richards would seem to be a natural for this club, as he’s been influenced by Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Tony Bennett. He’ll be accompanied by the Wolverines Trio, who are masters at providing excellent backing for vocalists.

Rose Lewis & Friends @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Trombonist Lewis is a graduate of Lawrence University, where she was a member of the school’s Downbeat Award winning Jazz Ensemble. She’s taught elementary and high school bands, and in the 90s, performed with groups like the Stan Bann Big Band, The Ringling Brothers Shrine Circus, the Jerry O’Hagan Big Band, The Wolverines Classic Jazz Orchestra, and a host of other ensembles. She was sidelined with illness for sixteen years and is now re-entering the music scene, creating and performing original compositions. She’ll be joined by Greg Lewis, trumpet; David Milne, sax; Nathan Hanson, sax; Will Schmid, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Edmund Catlin, drums.

Also: Travis Anderson Trio w/Connie Evingson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($8)

Thursday, January 4

Southside Aces “Hall Brothers Night” w/Special Guest Charlie Devore @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, but $15 for a reserved seat) For 25 years cornetist Charlie Devore let the Hall Brothers Band as the house band for the Emporium of Jazz in Mendota. The Hall Brothers performed and celebrated the early jazz of New Orleans, which makes Devore the perfect guest for the Southside Aces, who also explore the genre with verve, élan, and joy.

Will Schmid Group @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Though guitarist Schmid is a relatively young musician, he has been gigging around the Twin Cities for the past five years, and with fellow guitarist Adam Astrup, has played at the Twin Cities Jazz Fest (winter and summer editions), and the Iowa City Jazz Festival. He’s currently in college in Cleveland, but we’re lucky enough to have him perform before returning to school. He’ll be accompanied by Jake Baldwin, tpt; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jesse Thorson, drums. Here’s Will with Adam Astrup at the Winter Jazz Fest.

Also: Vicky Mountain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID)

Friday, January 5

Pete Whitman’s Mississippi @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9:00pm ($12) Saxophonist Pete Whitman brings his quality quartet to the listening room at Crooners, where he’ll be accompanied by Peter Schimke, piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums. Here they are with the addition of Andres Prado on guitar.

Solomon Parham Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Tonight features the excellent trumpeter Solomon Parham, with a group of outstanding players, including: Eric Kamau Grávátt, drums; Ron Evaniuk bass: Andy Nelson, saxophones; and Phil Aaron, piano.

Friday, Saturday, Jan 5, 6

Rebirth Brass Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9:30pm ($35) Once the Dirty Dozen Brass Band began redefining Brass band music back in the 80s, other, younger bands started up, incorporating contemporary music into their repertoire. Rebirth was one of the first to do so, and has been a part of New Orleans’ brass band revival for about 30 years now. They’ve been appearing at the Dakota once or twice a year for a few years now, where there always welcomed for bringing the energy and fun of New Orleans to our cold end of the Mississippi.

Saturday, January 6

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar – $10 Suggested Donation) The evening opens with a JazzINK Youth Showcase, this week featuring Liquid Vinyl: Nicholas Adams, drums; Ethan Bogle, piano; Bruce Acosta, guitar; Harry Menken, bass; Leighton Tuenge, trumpet; Thoger Boyum, alto; and Charley Menken, tenor. Then the featured group will perform at 8:30pm it’s Steve Kenny’s Group 47, and intergenerational group with Kenny, Flumpet; Thomas Strommen, tenor; Will Kjeer, piano; Adam Tucker, bass; and Alex Burgess, drums.

Tuesday, January 9

Maud Hixson: She Said/She Said @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) Hixson’s cool-yet slightly sultry approach to singing brings to mind performers such as June Christy and Chris Conner, yet she always makes a song her own. She is also good at finding new ways to explore songs through special performances, as she’ll do tonight, exploring the songs of classic female songwriters. Here she is performing a song with words by Carolyn Leigh

JT Bates’ GRAIN Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) If you are new in town, you may not know that drummer JT Bates has the ability to play jazz, Americana, and pop rock. He regularly performs with bands that range from Fat Kid Wednesdays to The Pines, Alpha Consumer, Andrew Bird, and the French Cellist Didier Petit. Tonight starts a January residency for his B3 organ trio, featuring Kevin Gastonguay on B3, and the ever-reliable Zacc Harris on guitar.

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, January 3

The Hula Peppers w/Special Guest Remco Houtman, aka Ukelelezaza on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Vintage Tin Pan Alley, Jazz, and Hawaiian music, from the Peppers, with guest Houtman, from Ghent, Belgium, one of the top ukelele instrumentalists in the world. Houtman is a well-known and much sought out workshop teacher and performer in Europe, Scandinavia, the U.K., Japan, Australia and beyond.

Siama Matuzingidi @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6pm (Free) Siama Matuzingidi has lived in Uganda, Kenya, Dubai, and Japan, and has performed with some of the biggest names in Soukous, playing melodic, dance-inducing guitar on hundreds of recordings. In 2014 he received a McKnight Fellowship, which allowed him to launch a solo career here in Minnesota. He’ll be accompanied by his partner Dallas Johnson on additional vocals and percussion, and David Tullis, of Black Market Brass on drums

Also: Paul Metsa @ The Green Lantern, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) It appears that guitarist/raconteur Metsa will be playing a rare solo gig tonight.

Thursday, January 4

Bobby E and Friends @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Bobby Eckstrand is admired by many of the area’s other guitarists, whether they play jazz, country, or rock. He’s a first Thursday regular at Dusty’s, bringing friends from all genres together to play in the big booth in the small room.

Also: Lonesome Dan Case @ The Basement Bar, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (Tip Jar?) Lonesome Dan’s blues from the 30s are as down and out as you can get

Friday, January 5

Davina & The Vagabonds @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($10? $15?) Davina and her crew regularly fill the Dakota, but the Dakota lacks a proper dance floor, so here’s a chance to fill Wilebski’s commodious space with some terpsichorean moves and gyrations. Plus, it’s early, so those of us of a certain age can get home in time for nighttime news.

Saturday, January 6

Cafe Accordion Orchestra w/Special Guest Ukelelezaza @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($18 Advance/$20 Door) CAO’s annual January concert at the Cedar will feature music from their 10 recordings, including French Musettes, Gypsy Swing, Cumbias, Movie music, and more. Opening is Remco Houtman, aka Ukelelezaza (see Wednesday’s entry) who will be collaborating with CAO as well.

Also: Cajun Jam @ The Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 11am – 1pm (tip jar

Sunday, January 7

Road to Memphis Fundraiser @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 1pm – 6pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Help to send Javier Matos and the Ken Valdez Band to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge. A host of performers will help encourage you to take part in a bake sale and 50/50 Raffle. Performers include the two acts going to Memphis as well as past participants, including Mike Munson and Mikkel Beckmen, the Mark Cameron Band, Scottie Miller Jimmi Langemo, Annie Mack, Davina Lozier, Sugar Chuck Lacey and the IBC All Star Band.

Also: Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 5pm – 7pm ($7) Late afternoon salsas and charangas for your dancing pleasure.

Monday, January 8

Cactus Blossoms Residency @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm ($15) The tight musicianship and brotherly harmonies of the Cactus Blossoms bloomed at the Turf Club during an 18 month residency back in the day. Folks of all ages would stop by to dance to the groups take on country music of the 50s and 60s. Since then they’ve toured with some of the bigger stars in today’s country music and released a well received album on Red House Records, which includes a track featured on the new Twin Peaks. Now they’re back at the Turf for the month of January.

Also: New Riverside Ramblers Cajun Dance @ The Eagles Club, #34, Minnapolis. 7:30pm ($8)

Monday, Tuesday, January 8, 9

We Can Be Heroes: David Bowie Tribute @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35, $40) This tribute to the trail-blazing musician and champion of self-expression by a bevy of talented Twin Cities musicians features the excellent vocals of Julius Collins; as well as drummer Michael Bland; guitarists Jeremy Ylvisaker and Ryan Smith; Cory Eischen on keys; along with Katie Gearty and Rachel Holder on vocals.

Early Alert: Wednesday, January 10

Eric Clapton: Life in Twelve Bars @ The Trylon Microcinema, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12) The film traces his career through The Yardbirds, Cream, Blind Faith, Derek and the Dominos and his solo years, telling the stories behind his through archival footage and interviews with folks such as his grandmother, former wife Patti Boyd, George Harrison, and others. Since this is a small venue, its’ recommended to make reservations ahead of time. Here’s the trailer.

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.


Picnics, Dancing, and Listening. Music: 7.23 – 7.29

July 23, 2014
Dining outdoors while listening to music is good for all ages.

Dining outdoors while listening to music is good for all ages.

Another week with plenty of opportunities to picnic while listening to bands. Take advantage of these opportunities while you can. Speaking of opportunities, though the closing of the Artist Quarter closed off performance opportunities for many area bands, artists are taking a do-it-yourself attitude and finding new venues or in some cases creating a whole series of jazz events. It’s another sign of the abundance of talent here in the Twin Cities. Get out, picnic to music or hang out in new, non-traditional venues. Wherever you listen, music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 23

Tyler Anderson Trio @ Joey Nova’s Pizza, Excelsior. (No Cover) Here’s a chance for those of you who live in the Western ‘burbs to have some jazz with your pizza. Tyler Anderson, sax; Matt Peterson, bass; Adrian Suarez, drums; playing a mix of jazz standards.

Unknown-3Charmin, Shapira & Friends, @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Charmin Michell’s voice is a thing of understated beauty. She’s can put an intense, yet slow burn on a torch song and in the next song turn around a spit out some fast lyrics with clarity. Joel Shapira’s nylon-stringed guitar provides just the right accompaniment, as does the various friends who step onto the stage.

Framework @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Original music from a trio that’s been playing together for 18 years or so: Chris Olson, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and the ever-dapper Jay Epstein, drums.

Thursday, July 24

Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm (Free) The Ordway outdoor dance series ends with O’Hagan’s big band. Dance instructors from the Cinema Ballroom will be on hand to help you learn or brush up on your swing dance and foxtrot moves.

World Jazz Collegium @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7-9pm (Tip Jar) Dan Weston, bass/percussion; Pavel Jany, guitar; Josue Alfaro, percussion & vocals. I’ll admit I don’t know much about this particular group, but any group with Pavel Jany in it deserves our attention.

Sarah M. Greer & Blu-7 @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Sarah is a vocal improviser who sings with a number of groups, including Jay Young’s Lyric Factory. She will be paying tribute to Nina Simone in one set and singing standards in a second set. Blu-7 includes John Iden, bass; Jim Ouska, guitar; Doug Rohde, piano; and Dean White on drums.

Rebirth Brass Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($25) Rebirth is celebrating 30 years of re-imagining R&B tunes for a funky brass band, though, of course, they’re completely familiar with the traditional oeuvre as well.  A couple of years ago they became the first brass band to win a Grammy. Not bad for a group that started out playing on the street corners of New Orleans.

Zacc Harris Group @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) This is the third of a ten-week long weekly series of original music by area groups. The fact that we have so many that can perform two sets of original music is a testament to our area’s talent. Tonight Zacc Harris, who has been gaining much praise for his guitar work, both locally and nationally,  brings his group to Studio Z. Besides harris, the group (at least on the album) includes the brothers Bates – Chris on bass, and JT on drums; as well as Brandon Wozniak on sax and Bryan Nichols on keyboards.

Friday, July 25

Laura Caviani Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Caviani is a high quality pianist/composer and educator who can also sing when the moment moves her. We don’t get to see her trio often enough, so treat this as a relatively rare opportunity, especially given the intimate setting of Jazz Central.

Kronick Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Bassist/vocalist Richard Kronick leads this group, which plays tightly arranged jazz, including bop, swing, soul-jazz, and Kronick’s own compositions.

Saturday, July 26

Unknown-3Irv Williams’ CD Release Party @ The Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($25, members, $30, non-members) Williams is about to turn 95 and still sounds wonderful. He’s celebrating by coming out with a new CD, Then was Then, Now is Now, in which he’s joined by Steve Blons, guitar, and Billy Peterson on bass. I’ve heard the title track, and all I can say is, what a gorgeous sound!  The museum is delight as well, with exhibits that are consistently high quality, much like William’s music.

Monday, July 28

Steve Kenny’s Group 47 Vinyl Release Party @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) This band features four college-age musicians whose talent belies their youth, and their leader/facilitator, veteran trumpeter Kenny. Will Kjeer, piano; Alex Burgess, drums; Thomas Strommen, sax; and Adam Tucker, bass; bring passion, talent, and compositions to the group. The new release, Straight to Vinyl, was recorded to tape old school style, with the musicians all facing each other and no overdubbing or “creative editing” of the result. And, just like the jazz records of the 60s and 70s, the album even has a potential “hit single” in iFlower, a hard-boppish tune that can inspire dancing.

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, July 23

Cafe Melange @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm. (Free) The husband and wife duo of Brian and Sheralyn Barnes perform a mixture of music: French Musettes, Gypsy Waltzes, Latin Tangos, Jazz standards… Well you get the idea. Bring a lunch or buy one in the cafe, and sit in the light-filled cortile of the Landmark Center for a thoroughly relaxing lunchtime experience.

Southside Desire @ The Como Zoo & Conservatory Courtyard, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm. (Free) Girl Group Harmonies meet Garage Rock energy with this sextet. It’s a sound that will resonate with the young, and those of us who, umm, remember the groups that inspired this sound. KFAI deejay Miguel Vargas will be spinning sounds before and between sets.

Rich Lewis Band @ Minnehaha Falls Bandstand, Minneapolis. 7pm – 8:30pm (Free) Rich Lewis was a founding member of the legendary Explodo Boys, and has been playing music for 35 years. The band plays a mix of classic rock n’ roll, soul music, New Orleans R&B, country, and standards, with some originals thrown in for good measure. Bring a picnic, or get there very early and stand in line for some food from the Sea Salt Eatery.

Thursday, July 24

Beatles Show @ Marketfest 3rd Street Stage, White Bear Lake. 6pm – 9pm (Free) Well it’s 50 years since the Beatles first performed on American Soil and The Silver Hammer Quartet is going celebrate with an evening of Beatle songs. Mike Ryan, vocals, guitar, harmonica; Andy Richards, vocals, bass; Mike Nilles, vocals, guitar; Doug Salmela drums, percussion, bass guitar. With special guest Matthew Richards on drums.

Rockin’ Pinecones @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 10pm ($5?) Get ready to spin, twirl, and two-step on the dance floor as the Pinecones bring another night of infectious Cajun and Zydeco music to the Eagles Club.

Friday, July 25

Black Diet @ The Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) If you missed them at the Roots, Rock Festival, or Como Zoo in the past week, you’ve got a chance to catch them at the Bandshell. Their sound strikes me as being based in Memphis soul of the late 60s and 70s, with a bit more rock to the backing. At any rate, they are a great accompaniment for a summer picnic in the park.

Hookers $ Blow @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm They claim to play your favorites from “a more permissive era.” They’re talking about the 70s and the great soul, funk, and dance music of that time.

Hipshaker 45 RPM Dance Party @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Still going strong, the Hipshaker DJs play rare soul and funk 45s for your dancing pleasure.

Saturday, July 26

Lowertown Blues Festival @ Mears Park, Saint Paul. 3pm – 10pm (Free) The wonderful Mears Park provides a great setting for a festival, and this time it’s the blues. We have hard rockin’ Sena Ehrhardt at 3pm; veterans Lamont Cranston at 4:30pm; Hamilton Loomis at 6:30pm; newly crowned Queen of Chicago Blues Shemekia Copeland rounding out the day at 8:30pm.

Davina & the Vagabonds and More @ Christ the King Lutheran Church Music Festival, 8600 Fremont Ave So, Bloomington. 4pm – 9pm (Free) This family-friendly music festival features three outstanding performers from the area. Starting at 4pm is a group led by pianist Will Kjeer, just out of high school and already leading his own groups and playing with others such as Steve Kenny’s Group 47. At 5:30, it’s Salsa Del Soul, with their hot Latin sounds that are sure to bring out dancers. Davina & the Vagabonds take the stage at 7:30, showcasing Davina’s high energy modern interpretations of classic blues and jazz. Bring a blanket or lawn chair. Food is available from Famous Dave’s, and Fat Lorenzo’s, with ice cream from Culver’s.

Saturday, Sunday, July 26, 27

Palmfest @ Palmer’s Bar, Minneapolis. 1pm – 1am Sat, 2pm – 1am Sun (Free) Recently listed as one of the best bars in the United States by Esquire, Palmer’s annual weekend festival celebrates the music, drinks, and general downscale bonhomie of the West Bank institution. Saturday’s line-up includes: Corpse Reviver, Spider John Koerner, Poverty Hash, and others, with Cadillac Kolstad closing out the night. Sunday look for The Farmhouse Band, McNasty Brass Band, Southside Desire, and more.

Sunday, July 27

Hula Peppers @ Boyd Park, Saint Paul. 3pm – 5pm (Free) Boyd Park is just a couple of blocks east of the Saint Paul Cathedral, on Selby Avenue. The Peppers will delight with their mix of classic tunes from the 20s and 30s, and the occasional Hawaiian tune, just cause they can. Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton, accordion, Gary Powell, Hawaiian guitar; Dave Furniss, resonator guitar; and Corey Mohan, ukuleles and musical saw. Vocalist Lauren Asheim joins in on some tunes. Her operatic training belies her 20s-style delivery (think Betty Boop), which perfectly fits the songs.

Monday, July 28

Other Country Ensemble @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Here in the U.S.A., we have our own brand of country music. This ensemble, however, plays music from other countries, infusing various music from around the world with some improvisatory jazz. It’s quite the group, with Mark Black and Stephen Spaise on percussion; Steve Clarke, reeds; Greg Herriges and Scott Nieman, bouzoukis; Louis “Rundio” Sinclair, chapman stick; David Stenshoel, violin, sax; and Laurie Knutson, flutes, clarinet, and sax.

Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $42) Stuart toured with Lester Flatt as a teenager in the 70s, followed that with six years playing with Johnny Cash, and then became a Grammy winning solo artist in the 90s, garnering five to date. He is the kind of country artist that can appeal to young hipsters, since he  loves and plays the roots of the genre: bluegrass, gospel, and especially honky-tonkin’ rockin’ hillbilly music. When he and his fleet-fingered guitarist Kenny Vaughn get to twin-playing, other guitarists look on in complete delight. Check them out in this video.

Tuesday, July 29

Secret Sisters, with Jillian Rae @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) The Secret Sisters are really sisters, a fact which is not so secret. They were discovered in 2010 and released their second album, Put Your Needle Down, in April. They sing traditional country music, and originals. Resident fiddler Jillian Rae opens. The title song & video from her album Heartbeat perfectly express the rush of infatuation and the fantasies it inspires.

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.


A Busy Week for Arts and Music: 6.5 – 6.11

June 5, 2013
Downtown Saint Paul, a hub of music and arts this week.

Downtown Saint Paul, a hub of music and arts this week.

Not to put too fine a point on things, but this week will be hopping in downtown Saint Paul, as two summer series get their start and an all-night art festival takes place during the weekend. Over in Minneapolis, there’s  an acoustic music festival on Saturday, and we’ll be treated to visiting artists from New Orleans, South Africa, and New York. To top things off, we’ve got a couple of Woodstock-era artists visiting town, tempting those of a certain age to get out and spend some of their children’s inheritance. Live music is good for the soul. Have a great week.

Jazz

Wednesday, June 5

Sister Swing @ the Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) This is the start of the annual Music in the Cafe Series at the Landmark every Wednesday through July. Maryann Sullivan and Rhonda Laurie sing and swing some standards, abetted by Doug Haining, sax; Steve Pikal, bass, and Robert Bell, guitar. Get yourself some lunch at Anita’s Cafe in the atrium (where the concert takes place) or brownbag it.

Body Omara @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Jazz informed by the Desert Blues of Mali. Body Omara is Robert Damman, guitar and compositions; Tom Reichert, bass; and Davu Seru, drums & percussion.

Photo by John Whiting

Photo by John Whiting

Phil Hey/Pat Moriarty Duo and Round Trip @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Drummer Hey and alto saxophonist Moriarty have been playing together for forty years. Playing as a duo, their ability to communicate so well allows them to create free music that is exciting and much more accessible than you would think. They’ll also be doing some sets with their Ornette Coleman repertory band, Round Trip, which includes Chris Thomson on tenor and Tom Lewis on bass. Jazz fans of many stripes will not want to miss this.

Thursday, June 6

Rebirth Brass Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($20) From New Orleans comes this Brass Band that started out on the streets 30 years ago, and now travels the world spreading joy. Music that’s visceral, yet celebrates the pure joy of being alive.  Check out this video.

Southside Aces @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 8pm Foodtruck: Cajun 2 Geaux. More New Orleans music, this is of the traditional kind, performed by a band from the area. If the weather is nice, the warehouse doors will be open and you can do some swing dancing, or just enjoy the music while you’re outside.

Byron Johnson-Blanchard Trio @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Jazz standards and originals from this recent grad of MacNally Smith. Byron is the drummer for High and Mighty, so you know he’ll be in the pocket.

Friday, Saturday, June 7,8

How Birds Work @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) A quartet of musicians who consistently deliver exciting performances. Dean Granros, guitar, Chris Bates, bass; Peter Schimke, piano; and Kenny Horst on drums can mesmerize and inspire as they play “standards” from folks like Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane, and Herbie Hancock, while throwing in some originals for good measure. They only play a few times a year, so it’s a treat to have them for a weekend.

Saturday, June 8

Courageous Endeavors and Lars Larson’s Mancrush @ Jazz at Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm/doors at 6:30 ($10) It’s Young Lions night for this final show of this season’s Jazz at Studio Z series. Courageous Endeavors is led by Brian Courage on bass, quickly becoming a bassist-about-town, and features recent University grad Joe Strachan on piano; with Nelson Deveraux on sax; and Miguel Hurtado on drums. Mancrush features drummer Lars Larson, with relatively young veterans Zacc Harris on guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; and Bryan Nichols on Fender Rhodes.

Lomheim, Jany, & Weston @ Porter & Frye Jazz Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm – Midnight (No Cover) A new spot for jazz, at least for the rest of June. Chris Lomheim, piano; Pavel Jany, guitar, and Dan Weston, bass. It’s located in the lower level of Porter & Frye, in the Hotel Ivy.

Sunday, June 9

Jazz on the Prairie Big Band Festival @ Staring Lake Amphitheater, 14800 Pioneer Trail, Eden Prairie. 2pm – 6pm (Free) Six community big bands, including The River City Jazz Orchestra, The Good News Big Band, The Just Friends Big Band, the Acme Jazz Company, w/vocalist Arne Fogel, The Bend in the River Big Band, and the Jazz on the Prairie Big Band. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. The Eden Prairie Rotary Club are sponsoring a Ribfest in case you get hungry. More information is available here.

Connie Evingson: Songs by Dave Frishberg @ The Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm, 7:30pm ($25) w/Jon Weber, piano; Dave Karr, sax; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. The music of Dave Frishberg is always hip. Heck, he’s even got a great little song called “I’m Hip,” as well as “Peel Me a Grape,” “My Attorney Bernie,” and more. Evingson did a whole album of his tunes, and she’s got a hip backing band as well. Here’s a video someone put together from Connie’s album of Frishberg songs.

Tuesday, June 11

images-2Hugh Masekela and Larry Willis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($25) Trumpet/piano duets from two musicians who attended the Manhattan School of Music together in the 60s. Since graduating, Masekela had a few pop hits (Grazing in the Grass, anyone?) and then went on to concentrate on the politics of his native South Africa. Previous appearances at the Dakota with a full band had him performing uplifting, vital music. Willis was a force on the avante-garde scene of NYC in the sixties, and also recorded with such stalwarts as Lee Morgan, Stan Getz, and Jackie McLean, not to forget Blood, Sweat, and Tears, Alphonse Mouzon, Carla Bley and a host of others. More recently, he’s recorded with Erik Alexander, released well-received CDs on High Note Records, and was recently featured with the Steve Davis Quintet on a live recording from Smalls in NY.

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, June 5

Crenshaw with a copy of his 80s album.

Crenshaw with a copy of his 80s album.

Marshall Crenshaw, the Bottle Rockets @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20-Advance, $30 – Door, $40 – VIP)  A double-bill that’s worth your while. Marshall Crenshaw is a power pop singer/songwriter who scored pretty big with “Someday, Someway” back in the 80s. He’s had four of his songs covered by Ronnie Spector and others covered by folks ranging from Austin songstress Lou Ann Barton to Freedy Johnston and Bette Medler. Crenshaw has appeared in the touring show of Beatlemania, played Buddy Holly in the Richie Valens biopic La Bamba and published “Hollywood Rock: A Guide to Rock n’ Roll in the Movies.” He currently hosts a radio show on the fabled WFUV in New York, featuring his own collection of records. On the other hand, The Bottle Rockets, from Saint Louis, have been around since 1992, creating a rockin’ body of work that reflects the views of everyman.

Thursday, June 6

Dan Israel & the Cultivators, Martin Devaney @ Music in Mears, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm (Free) Lowertowns annual summer music series opens with Dan Israel, who just celebrated the ambitious release of “Danthology,” and “Live On.” Danthology is a two LP vinyl set of 25 of what he considers his best songs from 20 years and a dozen CDs, while Live On is his latest CD. Singer/songwriter Martin Devaney, who’s no slouch when it comes to both, opens.

images-4Joan Baez @ The Minnesota Zoo, Apple Valley. 7pm ($47) The first show of this season’s Music in the Zoo will open without the presence of the event’s founder, Sue McLean, who passed away a couple of weeks ago. Joan Baez came to fame at the Newport Folk Festival in 1959, hung out with Bob Dylan, played Woodstock, recorded over 30 albums, garnered a few gold records, and received a lifetime achievement award at the 2007 Grammy’s. Her crystalline voice moved more than a few anti-war protesters back in the day. As always with this series, it’s wise to buy your tickets ahead of time.

Friday, June 7

Molly Maher, Erik Koskinen @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. (No Cover) Maher and Koskinen in a rare appearance outside of their weekly Wednesday night Aster Cafe gig. Erik Koskinen, who opens at 7pm, is a talented roots/Americana singer and guitarist often called upon to tour with national artists. He’ll be followed at 9pm by Molly Maher and Her Disbelievers, an alt-country, rootsy group that delivers heartbreak in a winning way, thanks to Maher’s soulful vocals. Neither artists gets enough attention. Food Truck: Tollefson Family Pork

Charanga Tropical & DJ Fatty @ Northrup Plaza, U of M, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10:30pm (Free) DJ Fatty spins Salsa until 8pm, when the nine-piece latin band takes over. Charanga Tropical includes three violins, a flute and a latin rhythm section, including musicians from Cuba, Brazil, and Mexico. There is sure to be plenty of dancing under the stars on the large plaza of the U’s Northrup auditorium. Food and drinks will be available for sale. Here’s an excerpt featuring their string section.

New, Live, & Local @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 8pm – Midnight ($5) Here’s a chance to see a wide variety of music in one evening, including the Symbiosis Drum & Dance Ensemble; Srahalys, performing music from Eastern Europe and Central Asia; Bella Duo, two cats from the Spaghetti Western Company; and Caravan Music and Dance, performing classical and contemporary music from the Middle East.

Saturday, June 8

Loring Park Acoustic Music Festival @ Loring Park, Minneapolis. Noon – 8pm (Free) Spend your Satuday havin a picnic and lolling on the grass while you listen to the cream of the area’s acoustic musicians, including the DL Cajun Trio; Jack Klatt & the Cat Swingers; Mikkel Beckmen and Steve Kaul; the Town Hall Stompers, and the Roe Family Singers, among others. There’ll be a couple of food trucks available, naturally, but a couple of neighborhood restaurants are a short walk away, should you want different take-out.

The Good, The Bad and the Funky @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($?) Always funky, never bad, except when bad means good. This ten-piece horn band plays funk, soul, and R&B. Whether you’re 21 or 61, their infectious, old school approach to R&B will lure you to the dance floor.

Saturday-Sunday, June 8-9

Northern Spark Festival @ Lowertown, Saint Paul. 9pm Saturday – 5am Sunday (Free) A panoply of art and music (almost 80 projects) with performances and demonstrations ranging from the Ananya Dance Theater to the Shubert Club, saxman Steve Clark, DeeJay Rambo Salinas (ex-Hot Pants), and shape note singing, to Zeitgeist. It all takes place at the Union Depot, along the river, and throughout Lowertown. The evening opens with a concert by Mayda in the Union Depot and closes with yoga at Lower Landing. The full schedule of events can be found here. Be sure to take your “disco nap” on Saturday.

Sunday, Monday, June 9, 10

John Sebastian @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($36) Holy Woodstock! First we have Joan Baez, now John Sebastian in the same week. There will be lots of graybeards in the audience for this show, but don’t be surprised if members of other generations show up as well. With a friendly voice and well-written songs, Sebastian has been an inspiration to numerous singer/songwriters. He was responsible for the Lovin’ Spoonful having seven songs in the top ten. After Woodstock, he took to writing for television and films, scoring with “Welcome Back,” for Welcome Back Kotter, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. Welcome Back, Indeed. Here’s a song you may have forgotten.

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.


%d bloggers like this: