Happy Thanksgiving: 11.21 – 11.27

November 21, 2018

We’ve a cornucopia of performances this weekend, from Thanksgiving Eve through Sunday, with a nice balance of visiting and resident musicians, both young and mature, to help you celebrate, commiserate, and even dance off some of your Thanksgiving stuffing.

On a sad note, I want to acknowledge the passing of Ted Wilebski, founder of Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, and a driver in presenting the blues here in the Twin Cities. He was a lovable character, and if he wasn’t always the most astute businessman, his devotion to the blues was undeniable. He brought artists like Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy, Etta James, Little Johnny Taylor, Clarence Carter, Pee Wee Crayton, Bobby Blue Bland, and many more to the Twin Cities, enriching our lives in the process. Many nights at his Frogtown club were filled with overwhelming joy, proving once again, that Music Lifts Your Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, November 21

Cosmic Troubadours Reunion @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) A group of recently graduated college students and friends reunite in a band that they had at Southwest High in Mpls: Denny Carlson, alto; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Ryan Rosik, tenor; Drew Stinson, bass; and Ben Ehrlich, drums.

Thursday, November 22

Regina Marie Williams @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm($25, $30) The actress/vocalist is equally home with the jazzy R&B of Dinah Washington as she is with show tunes. Ms Williiams will have a number of special guests along to help celebrate the holiday: Rajane Katurah; Greta Oglesby; Thomasina Petrus, and others.

Friday, Nov 23

Jennifer Eckes@ Honey, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 9:30pm. ($5) Ms Eckes is bringing a “Black Friday Cabaret” o the basement club in NE Mpls, with accompaniment by pianist Andrew Walker.

Andrew Walesch Big Band: Sinatra! @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25, $30) Pianist/vocalist Walesch continues to mine the vast repertoire of Frank Sinatra, with an all-star 12-piece band. Reservations recommended, as these shows often sell out.

Ashen Fir @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Pianist/composer Jack Barrett has put together this group, using a rotating cast of musicians, to play Barrett’s original music: Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Charlie Bruber, bass; Murphy Janssen, drums.

Atlantis Quartet Album Release @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10, $15) Since 2006, four of the area’s most exciting jazzers have united as the Atlantis Quartetto helped to define modern jazz. They continue to showcase their originality with the release of their fifth album, Hello Human. Previous albums have been acclaimed by Jazz Times, City Pages, and the Star Tribune. With: Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, tenor; Chris Bates, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums.

Saturday, November 24

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Take a few musicians who recently graduated from college: Peter Goggin, alto; Sam Worthington, bass; Luke Peterson, drums; and add Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, trumpet; who’s been out of school for a number years  and you have Friends & Neighbors, opening at 7pm. At 8:30pm, Master drummer Phil Hey brings his exciting quartet with Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Phil Aaron, piano; and Tom Lewis, bass; to the stage.

Sunday, November 25

Chris Speed Trio w/Chris Tordini & Dave King @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $25), 9pm ($15) Tenor saxist and clarinet player Chris Speed is a major player in the left-of-center jazz scene in NYC, so it’s no wonder he’s hooked up with drummer Dave King and bassist Chis Tordoni, who’s played with left-stream as well as mainstream artists, and even a few modern R&B artists. They’ve just finished a European tour and are now playing selected U.S. gigs. Here’s a chance to see this adventurous trio in an intimate room.

Monday, November 26

Peter Kogan CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm  ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Drummer Peter Kogan has really been exercising his jazz chops since leaving the Minnesota Orchestra a few years ago. Tonight he and his Monsterful Wonderband celebrate the release of The Green Album. Members of the band are: Omar AbdulKarim, trumpet; Chris Thompson, sax; Dave Graf, trombone; Zacc Harris, guitar; Abbi Stafford, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Kogan on drums.

Javier Santiago @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Pianist Santiago is leaving for California, and this may well be his last appearance in town. He’ll be accompanied by Omar AbdulKarim on trumpet; Chris Graham, guitar; Ted Olsen, bass; and Pete James Johnson, drums. Here he is with a song from his album Phoenix.

Monday, Tuesday, November 26, 27

Manhattan Transfer @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55, $65), 9pm ($35, $45, $55) The four-member close harmony group does what it’s alway done in its decades-long history: deliver an intriguing and entertaining mix of jazz standards, originals, and jazzy interpretations of pop songs.

Tuesday, Wednesday, November 27, 28

Evan Christopher’s Clarinet Road @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($30, $35) The clarinet seems to be gaining more gravitas in jazz these days, thanks in part to musicians like Anat Cohen, Ken Peplowski, and Evan Christopher, whose grounding in early Creole clarinetists provides the foundation for New Orleans music that honors tradition without being a slave to it.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, November 21

Nikki & The Ruemates on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) It’s the annual pre-Thanksgiving show with Nikki & the Rue-mates. They’ll supply a bunch of originals, as well as some folk-rock favorites, and perhaps a jazz tune or two.

Willie Walker @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($12, $15) Get a soulful start to your weekend with Walker and his band.

The Good, The Bad, & The Funky @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($??) Get out your dancing shoes – it’s Funksgiving, with all your favorites from the 70s, 80s, and today at the club on the edge of downtown Saint Paul with a big dance floor.

Thursday, November 22

Deano & The Dinosaurs @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) It’s the annual Thanksgiving show for guitarist Dean Mikkelson and his band of Dinosaurs: Dean Harrington, guitar; Tom Lewis, bass; and Dehl Gllagher, drums. You’ll hear some very tasty guitar while recovering from you turkey-induced napiness.

Socaholix @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Shake off the results a Thanksgiving dinner by dancing to this high-energy band that specializes in the music of the Caribbean, with an emphasis on reggae and ska.

Friday, November 23

Brass Messengers Live Recording @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free w/RSVP) This ten-piece raucous street band draws its inspiration from the music of Africa, the Caribbean, and the Balkans, bringing joy and spontaneity to its performances by leading sing-a-longs, playing unusual covers, or creating wild dance tunes. They’re recording tonight, with opening help from Siama Matuzungidi, the African soukous guitarist who creates joyous music of his own.  RSVP here.

Bernard Allison @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15) The son of the late Luther Allison, bluesman Bernard Allison has formed his own path, though astute listeners will hear echoes of his father’s soulful voice and guitar skills. He honed those skills playing with Koko Taylor and further learned from friendships with Stevie Ray Vaughn and Johnny Winter before heading out on his own in the early 90s.

Saturday, November 23

Band of Friends Salute Rory Gallagher @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) A power trio of blues-rockers celebrating the music of the late Irish blues rocker. It’s more than a tribute band, however, as all three played with Gallagher and helped define his sound.

Willie West @ Bistro LaRoux, Circle Pines. 7pm(Tip Jar) It may be a bit of a drive if you don’t live in the north metro, but where else are you gonna hear West, a New Orleans artist (displaced by Katrina) while dining on a variety of Cajun and Creole dishes?

Sunday, November 25

Coco Montoya @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.7pm ($30, $35, $40) Montoya cut his teeth on the blues touring as a drummer with Albert Collins. In the early 80s, after Montoya picked up the guitar, John Mayall hired him for a new version of the Bluesbreakers. He released his solo album in 1995, and since then has fulfilled his promise as a soulful, emotional string-bender and singer.

African Diaspora Music Showcase @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) Here’s a chance other some of the artists from our immigrant community, as The Cedar continues to embrace the East African community that surrounds it. Three resident artists will perform this free concert as part of the East African Diaspora Artists Initiative: Nigerian singer/songwriter Carolyne Naomi, R&B and Alternative artist and producer Temezgen; and poet/hip-hop artist Amjet Kemet.

Tuesday, November 27

Rena Haus Trio @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) Farmer/musician Rena Haus plays guitar, writes witty and insightful blues-based songs, re-defines some classic rock, and generally creates a good time, with brother Bob on bass; and guitarist-you-should-know Ed Petsche providing fills and leads.

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.


Dancin’ in the Streets: 7.11 – 7.17

July 11, 2018

Summer’s here and the time is right…

Well, there’s a slew of outdoor festivals and events this week, as befitting July, so there’s bound to be some dancing in the streets. We also have visiting artists from Africa, Cuba, and around our nation, as well as some fascinating combinations of jazz musicians to pique your musical interest. This week’s list is a bit longer than usual, but that means it will be a fun week all around. Music lifts the Spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, July 12

Lee Engele @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Enjoy lunch while listening to vocalist Engele swing her way through standards.

Pat Donahue & Dean Magraw @ Crooners’ Dunmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15, $20) Acoustic guitar magic will unfold as these peerless players take the stage in the intimate Dunsmore Room.

Thursday, July 12

Adam Linz, Goggberg @ Khyber Pass, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) 1st Set: Adam Linz solo bass. 2nd set: Goggberg, which features some young lions ready to roar – Peter Goggin, alto;  Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Sam Worthington, bass; Edmund Caitlin, drums. Here’s Goggin doing a solo with Hoaxer, another group of young musicians.

Friday, July 13

Peter Kogan Quintet @ Orchestra Hall Atrium, Minneapolis. 6pm – 7:45pm (Free) Jake Baldwin, tpt; Pete Whitman, sax; Phil Aaron, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Peter Kogan,  drums; will be performing before the opening of Sommerfest, which will feature six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald with the Minnesota Orchestra.

Josh Granowski’s Special Music @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Valid student ID) Bassist Josh Granowski brings a unique group of fine musicians to the basement club: Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, cornet; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; and Davu Seru, drums. Here’s Granowski with a different group.

Saturday, July 14

Saturday Night Jazz @ the Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm JazzInk Youth Showcase, 8:30pm – Babatunde Lea & CHOMBA: Omar Abdulkarim, trumpet; Will Kjeer, piano; Graydon Peterson bass; Kevin Washington, timbales; Taaji Malik-Hill, bongos/percussion; and Babatunde Lea,drums/congas.

Saturday, Sunday, July 14, 15

Nachito Herrera & His Afro Cuban Jazz Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30,$35) The passionate, explosive pianist has been drawing crowds to the Dakota since his arrival here in 2001. For these shows, he’ll be accompanied by Daymar Calvario, bass; and Edgar Martinez, percussion to examine a rich heritage of Afro Cuban jazz. Here’s a video of Herrera with two other Cuban musicians.

Sunday, July 15

Twin Cities Composer’s Workshop @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15) This is the inaugural showcase concert by this 17-piece composer’s orchestra. They’ll play new works by Aaron Hedenstrom, Asuka Kakitani, Adam Meckler, Kari Musil, JC Sanford, and Dave Stamps.

Monday, July 16

Davu Seru & the No Territory Band @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10)  Drummer/Composer Davu Seru has been on a creative tear of late, and has now released a new record, There’s a Hole in the Wall in the Bucket. He and the band are about to make their European debut at Festival Kind of Belou in Treignac, France. The band includes Twin Cities stars Pat O’Keefe, clarinets; Nathan Hanson, saxes; JC Sanford, trombone; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Scott Fultz, baritone sax; and Levi Schwartzberg, vibes.

Tuesday, July 17

Regina Williams w/Sanford Moore: Nina Simone @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25, $30) Vocalist Williams has performed as an actress and singer on many theater stages in town, from the Ordway, to Penumbra, The Guthrie, and Chanhasssen Dinner Theater, where she recently appeared in Sister Act. Tonight she performs the songs of the great Nina Simone, with piano accompaniment by the excellent Sanford Moore.

Thomas Nordlund Quartet @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) The Shifting Paradigm Records summer residency continues with guitarist Thomas Nordlund, who released his second album “Miles Left Behind,” in May. He’ll joined by Ben Abrahamson, banjo; Doan Roessler, bass; and Zach Schmidt, drums.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, July 11

Miss Myra & the Moonshiners on KFAI (90.3FM) and @ The 331 Club, NE Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI), 7pm (331 Club, Tip Jar) This gig could also be listed under jazz, given that Miss Myra and her cohorts play hot jazz from the1920s and later. With two horns, bass, drums, and Miss Myra on guitar and vocals, this band has energy to burn, and will bring a smile to your face, and get your toes to tappin’.

Chartreuse String Trio @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm ($8 Advance, $10 Door) Also Saturday, July 15 @ Studio Z, Saint Paul (7pm, $10) The Chartreuse String Trio consists of Violinists Myra Hinrichs of Chicago and Carrie Frey of NYC along with cellist Helen Newby, of San Francisco. They commission new works, and have thrilled audiences across the U.S. and in Norway.

Davell Crawford & The Dirty Dozen Brass Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35, $40), 9pm ($25, $30, $35) It’;s a double dose of ‘Nawlins music, as pianist/vocalist Davell Crawford, the “Piano Prince ofNew Orleans,” and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band light up the stage

Thursday, July 12

Dusty Heart and Martin Devaney @ Music in Mears, Mears Park, Saint Paul. 6-10pm (Free) Bring along some chairs, visit the food trucks and beverage vendors, and enjoy an evening of folkish singing/songwriting from Martin Devaney, opening, and the rich vocal harmonies of Barbara Jean and Molly Dean – Dusty Heart

The Ukuladies@ The 331 Club, NE Minneapolis. 9:30pm (Tip Jar) The Ukuladies are two young women, with two ukuleles, and two voices in bright harmony.

Friday, July 13

Erik Koskinen LP Release @ The Hook & Ladder, Mpls. 8pm ($15 Advance, $20 Door) Guitarist/songwriter Koskinen has been called “The best country songwriter in Minnesota” by the Star Tribune. Though Cruising Paradise was first released in 2017 on CD, three new songs have been added for the LP release. Also on the bill are Randy Weeks, who grew up in Windom, but has spent three decades in Los Angeles, where he helped launched the Americana movement, and Iowan singer/songwriter Dave Moore.

Paul Cebar & Tomorrow Sound @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 Advance, $15 door) Danceable rhythms will abound as Paul and the band’s music brings dancers to the commodious dance floor at Lee’s.

Saturday, July 14

K1 De Ultimate @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25 Advance/$30 Door) With a career that spans 40 years, Nigerian King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal, aka K1 De Ultimate  is responsible for the the globalization of a number of forms of Fuji Music, a drum-heavy polyrhythmic, and quick-tempoed genre that’s a combination of several musical styles. Marshal has headlined at a number of musical festivals around the world, and will be coming here following an appearance at the Square Roots Festivalin Chicago. You will undoubtedly be sweating after this performance. Here’s the shortest videoI could find.

North American Roots Festival @ MN Waldorf School, 70 County Road B East, Saint Paul. 10:15am – 8pm ($27 adults, $17 children 5-14) This family-friendly event is a fundraiser for Waldorf School. It features eight different acts, from Sarah M. Greer’s Give Get Sistetto gospel powerhouse Robert  Robinson, and the headliners, Monroe Crossing. FMI, including a complete schedule, go here.

Roots, Rock, & Deep Blues Festival @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 2pm til… ($20 Advance, $25 Door) This year, the annual indoor/outdoor festival will feature Charlie Parras headliner, along with such area favorites as Davina & the Vagabonds, Willie Murphy, Crankshaft & the Gear Grinders, Big George Jackson, and a host of others, including visiting artists like Kent Burnside, Left Lane Cruiser, and Duluth’s Black Eyed Snakes. FMI, go here.

Sunday July 15

Bastille Day @ Meritage, Saint Paul. 12pm – 6pm (Free) This outdoor event takes place at Landmark Plaza, kitty-corner from Meritage. It’s presented in partnership with Alliance Francais, and will feature music from the Francine Roche Trio, Ghanian drummer Fatawu Sayibu, and the Jack Brass Band. Additionally, there’ll be a wine class at 12:30, five minute French lessons, vintage French cars, and French fare from Meritage.

Mother Banjo Band @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 2pm – 3:30pm. (Free) Have a picnic, take a dip in the lake, and chill out watching planes overhead and while away the afternoon listening to the soulful Americana of Mother Banjo

Bastille Day @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 3pm -10pm (Free) On the Mpls side of the river you can attend this annual festival, featuring Jeremy Messersmith, the Doula Soul CollectiveLe Folies Risque, the Brass Messengers, Circus Juventas, and more. They note this is a hot asphalt event, so please leave dogs at home.

Bombino @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($22 Advance/$25 Door) Tuareg desert blues guitarist Bombino practiced guitar as a teenager while working as a herder in the Saharan Desert. Since the release of his first album in 2011, he has received worldwide acclaim. His 2013 release, Nomad, was produced by Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys. Bombino introduced a new style he calls “Tuareggae ‘ on his third album, and then returned to Africa for his latest, Deran. The NY Times called him “The Sultan of Shred.”

Monday, July 16

West Side Story – The Film @ Como Lakeside Pavillion, Saint Paul. 9pm (free) Whether or not you’ve seen the Guthrie’s version of this iconic musical that’s currently running, or last year’s Ordway’s version, here’s your chance to see the Oscar-winning 1961 film version, whose themes of young love and the acceptance of immigrants still resonates today.

Tuesday, July 17

Saddle Sores @ MN History Center, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 9pm (Free) Enjoy some classic country while overlooking Saint Paul’s Skyline.

For more blues (and some roots) listings, the MN Blues Society has a very useful calendar. For a comprehensive listing of all things Cajun and Zydeco, see the Krewe of Walleye’scalendar.

 

 


Old Friends, New Favorites: 5.24 – 5.30

May 24, 2017

This week brings lots of old friends out to play and some new favorites as well. Note: I wrote this up before leaving on vacation, so you may want to check calendars and venues before heading out. Just go out and listen to some music. After all, music lifts the spirit.

Wednesday, May 24

Jeremy Walker Songet, featuring Jason Harms @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) The Songtet is dedicated to performing great songs, whether written by Ellington, Dylan, The Gershwins, Cole Porter, or pianist-composer-arranger Jeremy Walker himself. Tonight, Walker celebrates great songs by adding vocalist Jason Harms to his  trio with Tim Zhorne, drums; and Chris Bates, bass.

Thursday, May 25

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Pete Hennig Quartet: Brandon Wozniak, tenor; Brian Ziemniak, keys; Cody McKinney, bass; Pete Hennig  drums.

Davu Seru & Douglas Ewart @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Dynamic percussionist Davu Seru and multi-instrumentalist Douglas Ewart (saxes, clarinets, bassoon, digerderoo, and more!), join forces for an evening of highly creative, often spontaneous music.

Friday, May 26

Greg Lewis/Will Schmid Ensemble @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Last year this group was formed as the Greg Lewis/Will Schmid Quartet. This year they’ve expanded to become a multi-generaltional band performing two sets of original compositions. TC Jazz Veterans Greg Lewis, trumpet/woodwinds; and Rose Brzenzinski Lewis, trombone/woodwinds; will be joined by the college-aged musicians returning for the summer: Will Schmid, guitar; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Edmund Catlin, drums.

Saturday, May 27

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7pm – The Selby Avenue Brass Band: Larry Sims, trumpet; Chris Fulton, trombone; Marilyn Parker, sax; Tonm Wells, Tuba; and Trenon Graham, drums. At 8:30pm: Park Evans Quintet, w.Evans, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, tenor; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; and Greg Schutte, drums. Bass TBD

Jana Nyberg 5 @ Vieux Carré,  Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) As is befitting of a vocalist of her talent, Ms Nyberg has gathered some A-List musicians to back her as she sings jazz, pop, and jazz pop at this gig: Sean Turner, piano; Adam Meckler, trumpet; Kevin Washington, drums; and Graydon Peterson, bass.

BDP @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7)  In which a group of forward thinking young musicians apply their many talents to create a fusion of soul and jazz music. Members of the group include: Cameron Kinghorn, vocals; Jake Baldwin, Trumpet; Ted Godbout, Piano; Ted Olsen, Bass; and Andres Crovetti on Drums).

Sunday, May 28

Sam Miltich & Dave Karr Play Lester Young @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 w/Dinner) Sam Militich’s instinctive and fluid guitar playing has graced hundreds of stages, from his hometown in Northern Minnesota to New York’s Lincoln Center. He fronts the Clearwater Hot Club, but tonight is backing octogenarian saxophonist Dave Karr, a bebopper from way back, though he’s also an accomplished sideman for Connie Evingson, the Pete Whitman X-tet, MNJazz Orchestra, among others. Tonight they will be concentrating on the music of the great saxophonist Lester Young.

Regina Marie Williams Sings Nina Simone @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($17 – $22) Vocalist Williams is a terrific actor who has been seen around town in productions at The Guthrie, Mixed Blood, Penumbra, and Park Square theaters, among others. She’s done Dinah Washington and Nina Simone in some of her roles, and tonight will sing the music of Nina Simone, a singer who wasn’t afraid to face the truth and tell it. In case you need any more, consider that actor Angela Basset called Williams “the best singer you never heard” in an interview with Entertainment Weekly

Tuesday, May 30

Erin Schwab @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($?) Schwab is a talented singer who is a member of both the Ensemble and Voice Departments at MacNally Smight. She is equally at home in cabaret, musical theater, and jazz settings. Tonight she’s celebrating the music of both Judy Garland and Bette Midler.

Washington/Studer/Hirsch @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Saxophonist and educator Donald Washington is joined by Dick Studer, bass; and Steve Hirsh, drums, for an evening of improvised and spontaneous music.

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, May 24

Katy Bellville & Those S.O.Bs on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Singer/songwriter Bellville grew up with old timey and bluegrass music always playing in the background. Her own music reflects that, though she puts a modern sensibility into her songs, and occasionally will cover someone like Gillian Welch. Tune in and listen.

Shemekia Copeland @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) Two time Grammy nominee Shemekia Copeland has opened for the Rolling Stones, headlined the Chicago Blues Festival (and others around the world), and performed at the White House for the Obamas. The daughter of bluesman Johnny Copeland, she’s carrying on the tradition of blues singers like Ruth Brown, Etta James, and Koko Taylor. Taylor’s daughter even gave her Taylor’s crown, and both the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois have proclaimed Copeland “Queen of the Blues.”

Paul Bergen’s Astronauts of Rhythm and Sound @ The Hook & Ladder Theater and Lounge, Minneapolis. 6pm (Free) Led by Paul Bergen, this group features members of the Hillbilly Voodoo Dolls, Real-Phonic Radio Hour, Molly Maher and Eric Koskinen’s band, Curtiss A’s band, Certain General and many other regional roots artists. You can expect to hear swamp blues, country classics, and other truck driving music. It’s a Wednesday residency through June for this group, which will set up in the cozy Hood and Ladder Lounge. Special guests will also be featured each week.

Thursday, May 25

Butanes @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) The Butanes have been voted as the Twin Cities Best Blues Band numerous times. This weekly gig often feature guests like Jellybean Johnson or Maurice Jacox, who drop by and sit in. But the real attraction is the Butanes.

Rockin’ Pinecones @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5) If it’s Thursday night, you’re bound to see some folks dancing to Cajun and Zydeco at the Eagles Club. Tonight they also get a bit of New Orleans R&B to test out their dancing shoes. members of this quintet are: Dan “Daddy Squeeze” Newton, accordion; Dick Danaher, sax & rub board; Dehl Gallagher, drums; Rusty Jones, bass; and Tim Mauseth, guitars.

Friday,May 26

Pure Prairie League @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45), 9pm ($35, $40) These country-rock favorites were formed in 1969, named after a women’s temperance league in a 1939 movie. Pure Prairie League built up a following in their native Ohio before landing a contract with RCA a year later. During the 70s and 80s they had a number of top 40 hits before breaking up in the mid-80s only to reunite in 1998. Though none of the founding members remain, they still keep up the PPL sound.

Maurice Jacox @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for guaranteed seat in front) R&B/Jazz vocalist has become somewhat of a regular at Crooners, thanks to his smooth baritone and unerring taste in songs, whether acoustic versions of Motown hits, the under-appreciated songs of Doc Pomus, or Nat King Cole’s ballads.

Power of 10 @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) As might be inferred from it’s name, this is a ten-piece band  heavy on horns, which makes it the perfect group to play classic and contemporary soul, whether it’s the music of Otis Redding, Stevie Wonder, or Bruno Mars. They are versatile enough to be a favorite for weddings and corporate events.

Pat Donohue & Richard Kriehn @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($20) Together, ace guitarist Pat Donohue and mandolinist Richard Kriehn have over 20 years experience working on A Prairie Home Companion, though they have played many other gigs in many other bands as well. Tonight you have a chance to see the two of them in the very intimate 318 Cafe, which only seats about 40. You may be wise to get a reservation.

Saturday, May 27

Saturday Salon @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 3pm ($20) Today’s intimate concert is entitled: MIGHTY UNDERDOGS! Mozart & Ewazen for clarinet, viola & piano. Here’s a chance to hear the under-appreciated flute and viola together, playing Mozart, and Eric Ewazen. Performers are: Karen Hansen, clarinet; Sue Ruby, piano; and Steve Staruch, viola.

New Sound Underground @ Surly Brewing, Minneapolis. 4pm – 6:30 (No Cover) This is a young, seriously funky horn band that uses funk, R&B, soul, and jazz to deliver original foot-stomping, hip-shaking music. Plus, it’s at the seriously beer-laden (and food laden) Surly Brewing in SE Minneapolis. What a way to wile away an afternoon.

Steamboat Bill, Jr, with Dreamland Faces @ The Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Memorial Cemetery, Lake & Cedar, Minneapolis. 7pm Gates, Movie at dusk  – about 8:30pm ($10) Buster Keaton’s classic silent film comedy will be accompanied live by music from the Dreamland Faces  who feature accordion and musical saw, and regularly accompany silent films, including many by Keaton. Bring your own blankets or chairs. Refreshments will be on sale during the movie.

Nachito Herrera @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Dazzling piano work from Cuban-born Herrera  who’s been living in the Twin Cities since the turn of the century. He was music director at the famed Tropicana in Havana, toured with the Afrro-Cuban All-Stars, and has played with the Havana Symphony Orcestra, as well as Cubanissmo. One never knows what he’ll play – a classical piece, something from Earth, Wind, & Fire, or a rhythmic explosion of Cuban sounds.

Sunday, May 28

National Tap Dance Day @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 2-4pm (Free) If you’ve ever been astonished by some of the YouTube Videos of tap dancers, here’s the chance to see the real thing. Keane Sense of Rhythm is a tap dance school that specializes in training young dancers. See the results while enjoying the lakeside venue, and perhaps having food or drink from Como Dockside.

West Bank Reunion Show @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($?) Many folks of a certain age will be making their way to Payne Avenue just of East 7th in Saint Paul for this show, which recalls the glory days of West Bank R&B during the 70s and early 80s. Willie Murphy will be there with his band, as will Curt Obeda and the Butanes, and in a nod toward younger West Bankers, Jack Knife & the Sharps. With a big dance floor, solid sound system, and fair priced drinks, the place will be jumpin.

Monday, May 29

Jack Brass Band @ Como Zoo, Saint Paul. 10:30am, 11:45am, & 12:40pm (No Cover) With the coming of Memorial Day, the Jack Brass Band will start up their weekly gig providing second line parades around the Como Zoo. Feed Sparky the Seal, check out the big cats, and ride the carousel. Just don’t jump the fence to get a better look, as a couple of doofusses did a few weeks ago at the giraffe exhibit.

 

Felix Cavaliere’s Rascals @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $50, $60), 9pm ($35, $40, $50) Here’s your chance to see a 60s legend in a club setting. Felix Cavaliere was a co-founder and leader of the Rascals, often thought of as the best blue-eyed soul group of the 60s, when they had a string of hits like Good Lovin, I’ve Been Lonely Too Long, the #1s Groovin, and People Got to be Free. In the early 70s they moved toward a more jazz-influenced sound before disbanding in 1972. Cavaliere then came out with a number of excellent solo albums, including 2008 and 2010 collaborations with Stax guitar legend Steve Cropper.

Como Town Hotshots @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($8) Cajun Dancing to start off your week, with Shawn Glidden, Accordion; Gary Powell and Marie Stier on Fiddles; Maurine McCort, Guitar; Tom Lewis, Bass; and Dehl Gallagher on Drums.

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.


Jazzy Women, Rootsy Men. Music for 3.7 – 3.13

March 7, 2012

Well, it wasn’t planned, but it seems that in the jazz world at least, I’m highlighting a number of women performers this week, and International Women’s Day is Thursday, March 8. Hence the above picture of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, a pioneering big band of the 40s.

Fact is, you don’t need a special day to appreciate the role of women in jazz or any of the other arts. Just support their efforts. As for the guys, well support them too. Art in all its guises enriches our lives and gives us a different way of looking at the world.

Ed note: I now have a page with addresses, phone numbers, and short descriptions of most of the venues i cover in the Twin Cities. Access it above. I’ll be adding to the list as I can. Now to this week’s suggestions.

Jazz

Wednesday, March 7

Benny Golson Quartet featuring Nnenna Freelon @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm & 9pm. ($35) Golson, at 83, is one of the last of the hard bop generation. He played with Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton, and co-founded the Jazztet. He’s responsible for such jazz standards as Stablemates, Along Came Betty, Killer Joe, and almost 300 more compositions. Nnenna Freelon is simply a terrific jazz singer – she’s been nominated for six grammys. Here’s Golson performing Killer Joe.

Thursday, Mar 8

Dakota Combo @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 7pm (No cover). The Twin Cities Jazz Society presents another in its Young Artists Series, featuring high school students that will surprise you with their jazz chops. Tonight it’s the Dakota Combo. This group changes every school year as students audition for the opportunity to study with Adam Linz at the MacPhail Center. Afterwards, stick around for Peter Schimke, Billy Peterson, and Kenny Horst at 9pm.

Friday, Mar 10

Lee Engele and James Allen @ The Wine Market in The Village, Mendota Heights. 5:30 – 7:30pm (Free) Well, it’s free as long as you don’t succumb to temptation and buy wine. This unusual gig is part of a wine tasting and sale taking place at the market. Allen is an accomplished guitarist, who has become an in-demand accompanist for vocalists, especially those who know how to swing, as Ms Engele so ably does.

Joe & Roxy Cruz @ Ingredients, White Bear Lake. 7pm – 10pm. Jazz standards and good food. Joe’s been pickin’ his guitar around the Twin Cities for 15 years or so. Roxy sings with the Minnesota Opera, but is flexible enough to handle bossas, swing, and bop, with a bit of scatting along the way.

Friday, Saturday, Mar 9, 10

Manhattan Transfer @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($75) & 9pm ($50) Not sure what I can say about this legendary group that hasn’t already been said. If you’ve not listened to any music for the last 40 years or so you may have missed them. With two females and two male singers, this quartet has the flexibility and vocal chops to bring four-part harmonies to  bebop, doowop, Latin, pop, and more.

Saturday, March 10

Charmin Michelle @ The Lexington, Saint Paul 6:30 – 10:30pm (No cover) The wood lined walls of the Lex’s Williamsburg room are the perfect setting for Ms Michelle’s cool, yet swingin’ vocals. She’ll be accompanied by Phil Mattson on piano and Bruce Heine on bass. Belly up to the bar or get a close-by table and order some of the Lex’s fabled food.

Sunday, Mar 11

PipJazz Sunday @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul 5pm – 7pm.  ($20). Pippi Ardennia starts up a new season of monthly concerts in the Weyerhauser Auditorium. Each concert features Pippi as singer/host and a special guest as well as young musicians. Today’s special guest is saxophonist Jason Delaire, from L.A., while high school sax player Devante Jackson will be the young guest. Also on hand will be M-Theory, a vocal ensemble from MacNally Smith College of Music. I interviewed some of these young artists last Saturday (March 3). You can hear the interview here. It starts about 15 minutes into the program. BTW, Student tickets are free. Check out the link above for details.

Monday, March 12

Regina Marie Williams CD Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10)  Besides acting at at the Guthrie, Mixed Blood, Penumbra, and in New York, Williams successfully portrayed Dinah Washington in Dinah Was at the Ordway. None other than Angela Basset called her “the best singer you’ve never heard.” Well here’s your chance. The new CD is called When A Woman Loves A Man. In it, Williams renders her own effective renditions of well-known standards and a surprise or two. I’ll have her as a guest on my show Saturday, March 10, at 10:45.

Tuesday, March 13

Framework @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (tip jar) Framework is Chris Olson, guitar, Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. Pretty tasty stuff.

For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz check out the blogs Jazz PoliceBebopified, and Jazz Ink.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz in the Twin Cities, go to the Bebopified Calendar, here.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Thursday, Mar 8

Joe & Vicki Price @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 7pm (tip jar) The Iowa blues duo are coming North once again. This time they’re joining Harold Tremblay as part of Harold’s All Stars. It’s an early show at the oldest continually operating bar in the state. If you miss ’em, they’ll be at Hell’s Kitchen in Minneapolis for another early show on Saturday (6:30pm).

Hipshaker @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover) Rare funk n’ soul. Head hipshaker DJ Greg won’t be there, but DJ Steely of KFAI’s Kinda Cloudy will step up to help DJ Brian, along with special guest Ryan Cameron, owner of the late, lamented Let It Be Records.

Friday, March 9

Swamp Kings @ Shaws, NE Minneapolis 9pm (No Cover). The Swamp Kings successfully channel Louisiana rhythms into a three-piece format. Shaws may not have a lot of room in front of the stage, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time there.

Saturday, March 10

Hot Tuna @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 5pm and 9pm Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady started Hot Tuna as an acoustic spinoff of Jefferson Airplane back in the heady days of the 70s. Their rootsy approach to music struck a chord before anyone called it roots music. They are now touring in support of “Steady as She Goes,” their first studio album in 20 years.

Tab Benoit’s Swampland Jam @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20) Guitarist Benoit was born on the bayous and has been recognized and praised for his work to protect the wetlands of his native Louisiana. His playing respects tradition, but also acknowledges modern influences. Tonight, he brings along Michael Doucet of Beausoleil as well as Chubby Carrier to create a foot stompin’ propulsive evening of tunes.

Sunday, March 11

Paul Manske Tribute @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 1pm doors, music: 2pm ($10) The late bassist Paul Manske was well loved by all in the local music scene. He played with The Boogiemen, Hillbilly Voodoo Dolls, and others, and was a booking agent and manger for many bands. His sudden death was a shock to all. There will be a surfeit of his musical friends appearing, from the Swamp Twisters and the Dough Bros, to the Butanes, Jack Brass Band, and Hillbilly Voodoo Dolls. Proceeds to his wife Karen to defray medical expenses. Exciting music for a good cause.

John Oates @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50-$40) The mustached half of Hall & Oates has long left his facial hair behind and has been releasing solo material for ten years or so. His latest is “Mississippi Mile,” an exploration of his early influences, as well as pop music.

Monday Mar 12

Peter Hennig and His Bluegrass Bandits @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm. (tip jar) Peter is a busy jazz drummer around town. Who knew that he also had inner yearnings for the high lonesome sound of bluegrass? Or that he played banjo? Find out tonight.

Tuesday, Mar 13

James Blood Ulmer Solo @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) Guitar geeks will be filling the Dakota to catch this 70 year old performer, who started out playing in organ combos, eventually blazed a trail with Ornette Coleman, played with Pharoah Sanders, led Punk-jazz groups, and generally creates blues so greasy you’ll be looking for that dinner napkin you were using with your chicken wings.  Check out this video.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues 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: