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.

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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.


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