Purple Reigns: 4.19 – 4.25

April 19, 2017

Unless you’ve been living in a cave this past week, you’ve undoubtedly been reminded that it’s been a year since Prince joined the majority, as they used to say in Victorian times. There are many shows this week that will be celebrating his memory, including deejayed dance parties, Paisley Park productions, and shows with various of his associates. I’ve listed a few, but Chris Riemenschneider of the Star Tribune captured them all in an article this past Monday. Many of the VIP tickets for shows are sold out, but as he notes, there are less expensive tickets available for numerous shows. At any rate, whether or not you’re a Prince fan, there is plenty of music to lift your spirits and soothe your soul this week, including those below.

 

Jazz

Wednesday, April 19

Steven Hobert Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) The ruminative piano style of Steven Hobert joins forces with the imaginative playing of saxman Pete Whitman, and a solid foundation from Johannes Tona, bass; and LA Buckner, drums.  Here’s Hobert in a slightly different setting.

Red Planet & Bill Carrothers @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40w/Dinner) Bill Carrothers is a highly regarded pianist who has drawn raves from New York City to Europe for his highly inventive ways with a melody. He grew up in Saint Paul but lives in the UP of Michigan. That’s close enough that he comes to town every few months to perform, lately at the Dunsmore Room.  Red Planet is a jazz-rock trio that brings taste and imagination to the genre. Members Dean Magraw, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums; have collaborated with Carrothers on a new album, and are celebrating its release these two evenings. Carrothers and each of the members of jazz Red Planet will undoubtedly bring new colors and sonorities to jazz standards and originals.

Thursday, April 20

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) A double header of jazz, with Fermentation at 9pm: Dave Atchison – Guitar, Ryan Billig – Drums, William Melton – Bass/Trombone, Armond Reginald Neal – Flute/misc.. Then at 10:30pm it’s Large Marge: Chris Hepola, drums, and Josh Granowski, bass.

Lizz Wright @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50, $60) Vocalist Wrigh  is a preacher’s kid from a small town in Georgia, where she often sang during Sunday services. It’s against that background that she can weave jazz, pop, and the blues into a personal perspective that resonates with audiences around the world. She particularly asked to perform here this week, given that Prince stopped by to see & visit with her the last time she was in town, two nights before he passed.

Friday, April 22

Ashen Fir and Below Zero @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID). Friday nights are given over to Jazz Masters and emerging Artistsd at Jazz Central. First up tonight is Ashen Fir, a quartet led by Greg Byers, cello; along with Jack Barrett, keys; Charlie Bruber, bass; and Pete Quirsfeld, drums. Followed by Below Zero, a HS-aged combo directed by Greg Keel. Here is Ashen Fir.

Paula Cole @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) It is twenty years since vocalist Paula Cole released her breakthrough album This Fire, which contained two Billboard-charting singles, and was nominated for seven Grammys, including the first Grammy for Producer of the Year for a female. Cole won as Best New Artist of the Year. Since then she has worked with a wide variety of artists, from Peter Gabriel and Dolly Parton to Herbie Hancock and Burt Bacharach. She has sold over three million albums and has had her songs recorded by folks like Hancock, Annie Lennox, and Jo Jo.

Saturday, April 22

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) The evening starts out with the Abebi Stafford Experience, with Stafford, piano, and Joel Pruitt, drums. Then it’s on to Chris Bates  Red5, affectionately named after the call sign from an X-Wing fighter in Star Wars. The band includes: Bates, bass; JT Bates, drums; Thomas Nordlund, guitar; Steve Kenny, trumpet; Aaron Hedenstrom & Pete Whitman, saxes; and JC Sanford, trombone. Here’s the group in a slightly different configuration.

Sunday, April 23

Bowdog @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) KC Bassist Bob Bowman used to play in town with Karrin Allyson when she was based out of Kansas City. Back in the day he was a member of the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, as well as the Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabakin Big Band. He’s also toured with Carmen McCrae, and has toured with Freddie Hubbard and other notables. Bowman leads this quartet, with Hermon Mehari; Peter Schlamb; Johan Kizilamut.

Sheila Jordan @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 5pm, 8pm ($25, $50w/Dinner)  Octogenerian Sheila Jordan is a jazz singer without peer whose main influences have always been instrumentalists, beginning with Charlie Parker. In the early 50s she moved to NYC, hung out in that fertile music scene, married Parker’s pianist Duke Jordan, and studied with Lennie Tristano, but didn’t begin recording until the 60s. Her 2015 album, Sheila’s Back in Town, reveals her to be in full control of her voice, with thoughtful, yet often unexpected changes in pitch, vocalizations of classic instrumental solos, and highly musical scatting.

Dirty Dozen Brass Band 40th Anniversary @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($30, $35), 8pm ($25, $30) Forty years ago a group of talented New Orleans musicians decided to try a different approach to Brass Band music. While still acknowledging a classic repertoire, they added contemporary funk and R&B to their playlist, as well as classic bebop and other jazz that went way beyond traditional brass band music. DDDB’s high energy renditions of tunes like the Moose the Mooch, Blue Monk, and the Flintstones theme earned them fans around the world. They’re still at it, recording music by Rhianna, as well as their own version of Marvin Gaye’s landmark album What’s Going On.

Monday, April 24

Ernest Bisong @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Ever since he enrolled at McNally Smith a few years back, Nigerian violinist has been pleasing ears and turning heads with playing. Now a grad student, Bisong plays around town in various groups and teaches at a few different schools. Tonight he explores his own compositions and arrangements.

John Raymond @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. $15, $40w/Dinner) John Raymond is a NYC-based, Minneapolis born trumpeter who has recently received rave reviews in both Downbeat and Jazz Times for his most recent album, Real Feels, Vol. 1. He was recently selected as a Rising Star in Trumpet by Downbeat’s Critics Poll, and is recognized as a sterling educator, conducting workshops around the country.

Monday, Tuesday, April 24, 25

SF Jazz Collective Plays Miles Davis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40), 9pm ($25, $30) The SF Jazz Collective  consists of eight outstanding musicians. Though the group changes some personnel every year or so, their mission remains the same – to create new arrangements of songs by a selected artist each year and create new compositions inspired by that composer. Past years have seen the celebration of music by Ornette Coleman, Chick Corea, Stevie Wonder, and Michael Jackson, among others. This year they celebrate the music of Miles Davis. This year’s octet has an international flavor, with Miguel Zenon, alto; David Sanchez, tenor; Warrn Wolf, vibes; Sean Jones, trumpet; Robin Eubanks, trombone; Edward Simon, piano; Matt Penman, bass; and Obed Calvaire, drums.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, April 19

Alicia Kay & the ChangeUps on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Americana – country, rock, and blues from Ms Kay and the ChangeUps: Alicia Kay, Singer/Songwriter/Acoustic Guitar; Jimmy Baker, Electric guitar/Songwriter/Banjo; Aaron Rosener, Drums/Percussion; Jeff Ellington/Gerran, Bass; and Wendy Tangen-Foster, Violin/Fiddle. Tune in, and if you like what you hear, head over to the 331, where the show will end in plenty of time to get home and get enough rest for work the next day.

Wednesday, Thursday, April 19, 20

Shelby J Album Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 10pm ($40, $50, $60) Shelby J is a Prince protege who auditioned for, and got a spot in the New Power Generation Band back in 2006. She then took part in the Purple One’s 2007 Super Bowl half-time performance  and has since toured with Mary J. Blige, D’Angelo, Santana, Roy Hargrove, and Larry Graham. Her March appearance at the Dakota with Judith Hill and Liv Warfield received rave reviews. She’ll undoubtedly be singing songs from her brand new album.

Thursday, April 20

The 4/20 (Rock n’) Roll Show @ The Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm )$6 Advance/$9 Door) April 20 is something of a counterculture holiday, commemorating 4:20 as an ideal time to light up a doobie, I guess, and celebrated in places like San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, Boulder, and Montreal. Fulton Brewing is sponsoring this rock-oriented show where, instead of Grateful Dead covers, you’ll get an evening of punk-metal and garage blues., with The Dead Man Boy’s Choir, 20 Watt Tombstone, and Jesse D. Revel. Don’t expect to be lighting up on the dance floor, however.

Friday, April 21

Lush Country @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 8pm (No Cover, but $10 guaranteed seat) Here you have a line-up of Twin Cities all-stars recreating classic country tunes from the 50s. The group includes Dan ChouinardPrudence Johnson  Gary Rue, Richard Kriehn, Gary Raynor, Pete Johnson, and Joe Savage.

PaviElle @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($10) PaviElle is a powerful R&B singer who, with her six-piece band, was named as one of First Avenue’s best new bands of 2015. She’s received other honors as well, including an Upper Midwest Emmy, and a Sage Award. PaviElle French, which is her full name, grew up in Saint Paul’s Rondo neighborhood, and in the last couple of years has become an advocate of black soul music for the Millenial generation. Along with her band, she’s crafted some fine songs and performs intriguing arrangements of surprising covers.

Saturday, April 22

Saturday Salon @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley 3pm ($20) Here’s a chance to hear chamber music in a cabaret setting as soprano Maria Jette hosts a different combination of performers and repertoire at this delightful weekly event. Today, Clara Osowski  mezzo; and Casey Farn, piano; perform selections from Barok, Poulenc, Sebelius, Grieg and more in a presentation with the theme The Ways of the World.

Cornbread Harris’ 90th Birthday Party & CD Release @ the Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) Pianist Cornbread Harris opened for Elvis, appeared on MN’s first recorded rock & roll record with Augie Garcia, and has received numerous awards. And yes, he’s Jimmy Jam’s dad. Thing is, at 90, Cornbread still holds down regular gigs across the Twin Cities, while also playing weddings, churches, and old folks homes. He’s a special character in our artist-rich community and is not only celebrating his birthday, but the release of a CD recorded over two nights at the Hook.

Rich Lewis Band @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($6)Guitarist/singer Lewis has a fondness for R&B, Motown, and the music of New Orleans, all delivered with “a good beat – you can dance to it.” He was a founding member of the fabled Explodo Boys back in the late 70s, and nowadays appears with some regularity at the Eagle’s dance hall. Always a treat.

Sunday, April 23

Road to Memphis Blues Band Challenge @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 1pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Here’s a chance to hear a number of area blues bands while also supporting the Minnesota Blues Society and their efforts to send someone to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis next January. The band’s vying for that honor today include: Slim Willie & The Ride; Bluedog; Ken Valdez; Harrison Street; Jim Stairs & Squishy Mud; and Paul Barry & The Ace Tones. The order of playing will be determined immediately prior to the event, so show up early to ensure you hear your favorite band.

Monday, April 24

DL Cajun Band @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($8) Here at the north end of the Mississippi River, many residents seem to have a bit of a connection to the music of South Louisiana. In fact, you can find Cajun dances with some regularity, especially at this Southside club and dance hall. The DL Cajun Band, as the name suggests, performs traditional Cajun music, including 2-steps, waltzes, blues, and other staples of the genre. Band members are Doug Lohman, guitar; Shawn Glidden,Cajun accordion; and Marie Stier, fiddle; Dawn Doering, triangle & snare. Oh, and their vocals are often in Cajun French.

Peter Mawanga and The Amaravi Movement @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15 Advance, $18 door) Fusing the rock outfit of drums-bass-guitar with the traditional sounds of Malawi’s marimba, thumb piano, and percussion, Mawanga’s Afro-vibes is a modern African sound that is intrinsically Malawian. He has the premier band in Malawi to boot who has been making headlines ever since their debut release Paphiri ndi Padambo (2009). Traditional melodies and rhythms form the backbone of original songs orchestrated with modern and traditional instruments, a sound Mawanga terms Afro-vibes.

Kasano & the Vybes @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 8pm (tip Jar) Kasano has been on Twin Cities’ stages as an actor and dancer, but is also a singer, songwriter, and recording artist who performs funk, soul, and contemporary rhythm & blues. He was born in Lusaka, Zambia, where his father was a guitarist, and was mostly raised in Minnesota. He’s backed by The Vybes: Sweets, guitar; Aaron Rosell, drums; Seth Lienard, bass; and Becky Shaheen, keys.

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.


Indoors, Outdoors, Summer Celebrations. Music: 7.30 – 8.5

July 30, 2014

Unknown-4The outdoor (and often free) music events just keep on coming. That’s no reason to ignore events at the usual gaggle of indoor venues. It’s all good. Here in the Twin Cities we’re blessed to have such a wide variety of musical experiences available to us. Take advantage of them. Music lifts the spirit.

 Jazz

Wednesday, July 30

Kinghorn/Baldwin, Inc. @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Cameron Kinghorn, vocals; Jake Baldwin, trumpet & trombone; Ted Godbout, piano; Matt Peterson, bass; Andres Crovetti, drums. A mix of jazz standards, originals, and soul tunes.

Thursday, July 31

Unknown-6Judi Donaghy Vinar & Rick Carlson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Vocalist Vinar and Pianist Carlson are two treasures of the Twin Cities jazz scene. They rarely perform together, though Carlson’s Basie-fied approach to piano will match up quite will with Vinar’s strong voice.

Tierney Sutton & Mark Summer @The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($30) Six-time Grammy Nominee Sutton is one of the finest singers out there. Summer is a Grammy winning Cellist. They’ll be joined by Parisian guitarist Serge Merlaud to celebrate the music of Joni Mitchell, as well as songs from the Great American Songbook. Sutton’s latest album, After Blue, is a stunning performance of Mitchell songs. Here she is doing one of those songs.

Red Planet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Dean Magraw, guitar; Chris Bates, acoustic bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. For my money, Red Planet is what jazz fusion should sound like – electrified, but not bombastic. Bates’ acoustic bass and Epstein’s tasteful drumming provide just the right rhythmic bed for Magraw’s sonic explorations. Part of the All Originals Jazz Series. I’ll post an interview with Steve Kenny, curator of the series, later today.  Here’s an example.

Friday, August 1

No Coast Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) A group of young players who are building a reputation for creativity with both originals and jazz standards. Nelson Devereaux, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Brian Courage, bass; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Lars-Erik Larson, drums. It might even be a quintet,

Saturday, August 2

Dennis Gonzalez Quintet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Dallas trumpeter Gonzalez has composed hymns based on American, South African, and Norwegian religious melodies, using the hymns as a structure for ensemble improvisation. Joining him tonight are four of the area’s finest improvisors: Brandon Wozniak and Nathan Hanson, saxes; Chris Bates, bass; Pete Hennig, drums.

Jake Baldwin Quartet @ Dakota Late Night, MInneapolis. 11:30pm ($5) Baldwin is becoming a trumpet man about town, showing his versatility in a number of groups. I’m not sure who is in his quartet, but it will likely include Joe Strachan, piano; Brian Courage, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. It might even be a quintet, with the addition of Nelson Deveraux on sax. Here is Jake at the 2013 National Trumpet competition.

Monday, August 4

Tommy & The Liebermen @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Lighthearted pop and jazz from a guitarist/vocalist who was a member of the seminal jazz trio Rio Nido.

Geoff Senn & Brian Perez @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Trumpeter Senn and saxophonist Perez are the featured players for this Monday Night performance and jam.

Thomson, Bergmann, Bates & Bates @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) JT Bates has put together another interesting combination of area musicians for this late night hang. Chris Thomsom, sax: Bill Bergmann, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; & JT Bates, drums.

Tuesday, August 5

Tim Patrick & his Blue Eyes Band @ the Minnetonka Amphitheater, Minnetonka. 7pm – 8:30pm (Free) For some singing and swinging a la the Rat Pack, check out Tim Patrick in an outdoor setting. BTOPicnic.

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 30

Joey Ryan @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Ryan composes and sings sunny melodies, and isn’t averse to covering classic pop like the Everly Brothers.

Doug Otto & Hurricane Harold on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) With Doug’s mournful voice and Harold’s biting harp play, you have a duo that can evoke the sound of Chicago’s Maxwell Street as well as the sounds of the Delta. As it is, Doug and Harold are celebrating the release of Blues at Barkin’ Jacks. Tune in to hear them at 5pm and then head over to the 331 Club in NE Minneapolis.

Groove Worldwide @ Union Depot Plaza, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm (Free) A world music event featuring Amit Singh, Estifanos, Viviana Pintado, and Alma Andina. BYOP (Bring your Own Picnic) Portando is a Cuban pianist who often plays with Doug Little, but is mighty exciting on her own. Alma Andina plays the music of Chile. I’m unfamiliar with the other two artists, though a brief internet search makes it appear that Amit Singh is an East Asian singer, and Estifanos is Eritrean. This looks like a very interesting show, no matter who plays. Check out the sound of Alma Andina.

Thursday, July 31

Wenger, Franken, Schnitzer, Wiegand, & Sansby @ Hollihan’s, White Bear Lake. 8pm (Tip Jar) This is part of a weekly performance anchored by Bobby Schnitzer, guitar; Larry Wiegand, bass; and Scott Sansby, drums. Tonight they’re joined by John Franken, guitar, and Lisa Wenger on vocals.

Friday, August 1

Everett Smithson Band @ The Washington County Fair, Lake Elmo. 1pm (Free for seniors until 1pm, $7) Smithson will bring a bit of Louisiana party music to Washington County. The band is anchored by Bill Black, standup bass and Jeremy Johnson, drums. Add in Phil Schmid, guitar, Kathy Smithson plays the button accordion and rub board, while Everett handles vocals and harp. He’ll be giving harp lessons to kids after the performance.

Javier & the Innocent Sons @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm. ($5?) It’s the first Friday of the month so Freewheelin’ Jackson Buck of KFAI has put together another great show to welcome the weekend. Cooker John opens at 7pm. The singer/guitarist learned fingerpicking from Artie Traum way back in the day. Javier & the Innocent Sons are on at 9pm with bluesy roots music by Javier, guitar, vocals, harmonica; and Grant Wibben, upright bass; Dan Schwalbe, guitar; Dave Larson, drums.

Bernard Allison @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10 – $15) Bluesman Allison is the guitar-slinging son of the late Luther Allison, and as they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Saturday, Sunday, Aug 2,3

Blues on the Chippewa @ Memorial Park, Durand, WI. (Free) If you’re willing to drive about 90 minutes SE of Minneapolis, you can catch this Free festival featuring bands like Armadillo Jump, Sue Orfield and Bernard Allison on Saturday (start time – Noon), and Annie Mack, Davina & the Vagabonds, and Kelley Hunt on Sunday (Start time – 1pm). Monetary donations or non-perishable food items are accepted for the local food pantry. Find out the full schedule here.

Sunday, August 3rd

Second Annual Phillips Music Festival @ Phillips Community Center, 23rd & 11th Ave South, Minneapolis. 11am – 10pm. Musical guests include Malamanya, Sol Flower Collective, Nelson Valdes, Manny Phesto, the Afro Brazilian Capoeira Association and much, much more.

Red Stag In Cahoots Party @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 2pm – 8pm (Free) Another outdoor summer celebration. This one features E.L.No, Shiro Dame, Frankie Lee, Alpha Consumer, Romantica, and Sonny Knight & the Lakers.

Who Nu @ McCarron’s Pub, 1986 Rice Street, Saint Paul. 3pm (No cover) It’s a funky afternoon at this place on the border of Saint   Paul and Maplewood. Today is extra special because Dee Miller, who regularly sings a few songs with the group, is celebrating her marriage to Mike DuBois. Dorothy Doring and Donald Thomas will also be sitting in for a few songs.

Tuesday, August 5

Unknown-5Vinyl Voices Kickoff @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm  (Free) So a group of vinyl fans at KFAI have formed a coalition to spin vinyl at KFAI events, including every Tuesday at the Tap Room from 6pm – 9pm. For this first event, six of them will take part, spinning music that will include Detroit Rock (Pattie Walsh);  Midwest Rock (Liberty Finch & Izzy), Detroit Soul (myself), funk n’ soul (Tarik Thornton),  funky worldbeats (Steely Dan), and Mod & Ska (Mr Gosh, aka Greg Carr).  As usual, a food truck will be on hand, along with fresh beer.

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.

 


Record Store Day and More. Music: 4.17. 4.23

April 17, 2013
Mr Spock knows the power of vinyl

Mr Spock knows the power of vinyl

Can we finally be welcoming Spring? One sure sign is Record Store Day this Saturday. It’s a day to visit your independent record store where you’ll find special releases, and at some, performances by area artists. Flip through racks of vinyl and CDs. Check with stores like Eclipse in Saint Paul, and Hymie’s, Treehouse, the Electric Fetus, and Roadrunner Records in Minneapolis to see what they have in store for the day. And once you’ve obtained some recorded product, make sure you support the musicians by going out and hearing them perform. We’ve got some notable jazz artists visiting our fair cities, and many resident artists worthy of your attention. Have a good week.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 17 Zacc Harris Trio @ Cafe Maude, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm  (Free) Harris on guitar brings New York bassist Ryan Berg and drummer Lars Larson to the South Minneapolis neighborhood bistro. Good food, terrific cocktails, and outstanding music. If you make reservations, which is always recommended, ask for a table near the band.

Thursday, April 18

DownloadedFileTalking Strings @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) This is a new configuration of players that is worth getting excited about. Pavel Jany is the guitarist behind Ticket to Brasil. He’s versatile in a number of genres, including jazz, Latin, and classical settings. Gary Schulte on violin is likewise a master of his instrument. He’s played with David Byrne, Ballet of the Dolls, Klezmerica, and in gypsy jazz and occasional blues settings. Andrew Forman provides the foundation on bass. Another versatile musician, he’s played with Max Corcorn Project, Ticket To Brasil, Paisley Parker, and any number of jazz, Latin, and soul aggregations.

Francisco Mela @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm (Free) Cuban born percussionist Mela will be conducting a free workshop, including performances with Tanner Taylor, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Brandon Wozniak, sax;  An interesting evening for music fans as well as musicians, sponsored by the Twin Cities Jazz Society.

Friday, April 19

Brad Bellows/Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (tip jar) Bellows plays valve trombone. Washington plays reeds. Together with Chis Bates on bass; and Pete Hennig on drums, this groups creates free jazz, as in music that isn’t written or planned beforehand. You need lots of experience and good communication to make such musicianship work, and this group has it in spades.

Friday, Saturday, April 19, 20

David Hazeltine @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Pianist Hazeltine is known as a “musician’s musician.” The man can play. He’s an inventive, 21st Century player who’s well grounded in the classics. This is a show that jazz fans will not want to miss. For an example of his playing, check out this video of him playing a Monk tune.

Sunday April 21 DownloadedFile-1

Red Planet @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 4pm ($15) The Twin Cities Jazz Society is presenting this trio in The Spirit of Trane. it may seem strange to have a guitar trio take on the music of John Coltrane, but  Dean Magraw  guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein on drums successfully treat Coltrane’s material with imagination and verve.

JoAnn Funk w/The Roseville Strings @ Concordia Academy, 2400 North Dale, Roseville. 3:30pm (Free) The Roseville String ensemble will be performing a few classical numbers (Tartini, Handel) and then feature JoAnn as a guest soloist on “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” a classic by Duke Ellington. Pre-concert discussion at 3pm.

Tuesday, April 23

Dave Karr Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Dave Karr brings his quartet to the AQ on a different night than usual. The music won’t be affected, of course. Karr and his bandmates (Chris Lomheim, pno; Billy Peterson, bs; and Kenny Horst, drums) will still deliver standards, bebop, and more.

Molly Ringwald @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Yes, that Molly Ringwald, of Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club, and Sixteen Candles. When she was a little girl, she wanted to sing like Bessie Smith. Her dad was a jazz musician, and her film career more or less got in the way of a singing career. She’s just released an album with songs from The American Songbook, as well as a few surprises. Listen to this cut from her album.

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…

Thursday, April 18 Droppers @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($5) The Droppers are a quartet of musicians who’ve played with Greazy Meal, Beat the Clock, The BoDeans, and Prince, among others. Chris Beaty, guitar; Tommy Barbarella, keys; Jim Anton, bass; and Noah Levy on drums create a pop/soul sound featuring originals and covers from the likes of Booker T and others.

Friday, April 19 Reverend Raven & the Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Milwaukee’s hard-touring, hard-working Reverend has become a regular fixture around here, visiting a few times a year, during which time he’s gained numerous fans for his blues, delivered like a shot of whiskey – straight up – with the same results hitting you in the gut and the head. Check out him and the band.

Gene LaFond and the Wild Unknown @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No cover) LaFond is one of those legendary singers that you never heard of. He first heard Bob Dylan when Dylan was playing coffeehouses here in the Twin Cities. Eventually, Gene started writing and singing his own uplifting songs, thanks to his friendship and musical partnership with the late Larry Kegan, befriending Dylan and opening for him. They were flown to San Francisco by Neil Young to open for him at a benefit with 20,000 in the audience. The Wild Unknown, LaFond’s first CD, was produced by Willie Murphy. Kegan has also opened for folks like Ramlin’ Jack Elliot and Kinky Friedman. This is a rare chance to hear LaFond and his band. Here they are with Scarlet Rivera on violin, doing a Dylan tune.

Grolar Bears & Friends @ Cause, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Grolar Bears is a large (>12 pieces) funk band that recorded a neo-blaxploitation soundtrack which ended up on a few best-of lists in the Twin Cities. Opening are Golden Bubbles, who admire Disco music, and the lo-fi Soul sounds of Black Diet. Funkateering Deejay Brian Engel will spin vinyl between sets.

Saturday, April 20

Cornbread Harris 86th Birthday Party @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 3pm The blues piano man is still tickling the ivories. Stop by to help him and a number of musicians celebrate his birthday.

Dee & the Band

Dee & the Band

Dee Miller Band @ Shaw’s, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) The Duchess of the Blues knows when to let loose, and when to simmer. She’s got a tight band, featuring Jimi “Prime Time” Smith. Butt-rockin’ blues, but not rock-blues.

Hot Pants @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) This monthly celebration of the 45rpm record just keeps bringing out the dancers – both young and old.

Monday, April 22

Reina Del Cid & Martin Devaney @ the Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) Young songwriter Del Cid leads an excellent little band playing her excellent songs. Martin Devaney is a singer/songwriter who has been producing great music for well over a decade now. The “mayor of saint paul” has shared a stage with dozens of national acts, and continues to create well-crafted songs.

Neighborhood Trio @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm. Steve Roehm, vibes; Andrew Foreman, bass; and Dan Schwartz, guitar & vocals, provide laid back, atmospheric tunes.

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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