Close to Home: 1.31-2.6

January 31, 2018

“Prince Night” on Nicollet Mall. Photo by Star Tribune.

Well the months of anticipation are behind us and we get to enjoy (or survive) the Super Bowl and its crowds, some of which can be seen in the photo from the Star Tribune on the right. While there are lots of music events featuring visiting and resident artists around town, which you can learn about here, the abundance of musical talent in our area can also be enjoyed in other, less crowded locations. Whether you’re a fan of the event, or to paraphrase former Mpls Mayor RT Rybeck, you feel like a bartender at the wedding of your ex who dumped you, you can still have your spirits lifted by enjoying live music from musicians who are performing close to home.

Larry

Jazz

Wednesday, Jan 31

Fake Accent @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid StudentI D) Erik Fratzke, guitar; Nathan Hanson, sax; Cooper Doten, bass; Cory Healey, drums. Given that Wednesdays at Jazz Central are given over to experimental music, I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is a new group. Fratzke plays bass with Happy Apple, as well as guitar in a heavy metal band, and for other jazz projects. Hanson is known for playing “outside” but has also appeared ion the horn section of bigger bands. Healy has his Beautiful Sunshine Band, and can be found as a sideman in numerous gigs. Doten is an unknown for me. Should be an interesting evening.

Thursday, Feb 1

Arne Fogel & the Wolverines Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) Here’s a group and vocalist that swings with the ease of a kid on a swing set and is as dependable as Big Ben.

Also: Davu Seru, Mankwe Ndosi, & Douglas Ewart @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul.9pm ($5)

Friday, Feb 2

Jake Baldwin Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Talented trumpeter Jake Baldwin seems to be playing everywhere these days, as a sideman and leading various groups, from a trio at the Lexington, to this quintet, which includes: Nelson Deveraux, sax; Joe Strachan, piano; Ted Olsen, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. Here’s Baldwin at the 2013 National Trumpet Competition, where he took 2nd place in the jazz solos division.

Bottomless Pit @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul.  8pm ($10) What do you get when you bring four excellent veteran musicians together? Well, if that quartet includes Joel Shapira, guitar; Pete Whitman, sax; Tom Lewis, base, and the amazing Eric Kamau Gravatt on drums, you get a group with a virtuosic level of improvisation, making for an inspired evening of music.

Framework @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9:00pm ($10) Guitarist Chris Olsen, bassist Chris Bates, and drummer Jay Epstein were favorites at the old Artist’s Quarter, and no wonder, considering the high level of their playing.

Saturday, Feb 3

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Another in a long line of double bills that surprise and delight, starting at 7pm with the Steve Kenny Quartet: Kenny, trumpet; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Ted Olsen, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. Then, at 8:30pm it’s the chamber jazz of Lulu’s Playground: Adam Meckler, trumpet; Steven Hobert, accordion; Cory Grossman, cello; and Ben Abrahamson, guitar. Here they arefron a few years ago.

Southside Aces, feat Butch Thompson @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $12 for Guaranteed Seat) Toe-tapping traditional New Orleans jazz of the Aces, augmented by the piano and clarinet of Butch Thompson.

Also: Pete Whitman Trio @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (TipJar)

Monday, Feb 5

Chris Bates’ Red5  @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Bassist Bates gathers up some musical compatriots to play his original compositions. The include: JT Bates ,drums and cymbals; Thomas Nordlund, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, saxophone; Chris Thomson, saxophone; Jake Baldwin,  trumpet; and JC Sanford, trombone.

Tuesday, Feb 6

Fuzzy Math @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm (Free) Check out the Amsterdam’s bar and Dutch-inspired food, while listening to accessible jazz, featuring original compositions and arrangements from: Mark Vandermyde (composer / keys), Andrew Schwandt (sax), Haralds Bondaris (drums), Matt Peterson / Eric Graham (bass).

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, Jan 31

Boxstore Bird on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Americana, bluegrass, and storytelling from veteran Americana artist Drew Peterson, guitar and songs; and Mandy Fassett, fiddle, cello, and mandolin.

Willie Murphy’s Singer/Songwriter Showcase w/Rena Haus @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($10) Multi-instrumentalist and composer/vocalist Willie Murphy has moved his Singer/Songwriter series to the initimate confines of the Dunsmore Room, bringing in Rena Haus for the series debut in the listening room. Haus is a singer/songwriter with a strong bent for the blues, who writes songs that are funny, political (sometimes both), sensitive, and earthy. Here’s Rena with her trio.

Thursday, Feb 1

Nooky Jones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9:30pm ($15, $20, $25) If you can make it through the crowds, the swat teams, and the armored Humvees, you will be rewarded for your efforts with some modern R&B (with jazz influences) by this band which is making a name for itself throughout the Midwest,.

Javier Matos @ The Basement Bar, Minneapolis. (No Cover) If you haven’t been to the Basement Bar yet, tonight is a good time, as you’ll get to hear guitarist/vocalist Matos, an outstanding guitar-slinger who can swing the blues and plays searing slide guitar.

Also: The Surfer Bowl w/The Surf Riders @ Dayblock Brewing, Minneapolis.9pm (No Cover) Get your fill of twang, reverb, and echo.

Friday, Feb 2

Pat Donahue & Richard Kriehn @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($20) Even if you don’t live in the western suburbs, it’s easily worth the drive to hear ace fingerpicker Donahue with his Prairie Home Companion band-mate, mandolinist Richard Kriehn in this very small, 40 seat venue.

The Butanes @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) Stepping out from the dark stage of Shaw’s on Thursday nights, the Twin cities’ best blues band will light up the stage for the Friday night crowd in the lounge at Crooners.

Friday, Saturday, Feb 2, 3

26th Annual Songs of Freedom @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($18 Advance, $25 Door) The Songs of Bob Marley, with The International Reggae All Stars, with special guest Innocent. Here they are at the 2011 celebration.

Saturday, Feb 3

Maurice Jacox Trio @ The Normandy Kitchen, Minneapolis. (No Cover) Somewhat on the downton edge of Superbowl Madness, where there might, just might be some on-street parking, the Normandy Kitchen will provide respite in the form of Maurice Jacox, vocals, sax, & flute, Thomas West, keys; and in-demand drummer Rob Stupka. Unfortunately, free parking in the Normandale’s lot will not be available, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the soulful sounds of Jacox and his band-mates.

Bill Patten Trio @ Dusty’s, Minneapolis. 9:45pm (Tip Jar) Fuzzed-up rock’ roll versions of the Great American Songbook as well as originals.

Sunday, Feb 4

Corpse Reviver @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 3-5pm (Tip Jar) Before sitting down to see the big game, check out msongs from the Harry Smith Anthology of Music, as performed by Corpse Reviver: Mikkel Beckman, percussion, Jillian Rae, fiddle and vocals; and Adam Kiesling, guitar, banjo, and vocals.

Dan Chouinard w/Maria Jette @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm ($10, $15) Superbowl Sunday is often a good day for shopping if you aren’t a football fan, since Target and other big box stores are spookily empty during the game. If you don’t want to go shopping, however, you can catch pianist Dan Chouinard and vocalist Maria Jette as they perform songs written and/or performed by artists who have birthdays this month.

Also: The Combo @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) Stop by after the game to celebrate, commiserate, or to simply enjoy great dance music.

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.


Veteran and Emerging Artists: 4.26 – 5.2

April 26, 2017

At Twelve – Lizzie Wortham’s winning poster for the Saint Paul Art Crawl

Well, it’s Art Crawl Weekend in Saint Paul, and if you take part in any of it, you are bound to see dance, music, and spoken word performances at a number of the Art Crawl sites throughout town. For more info, go here. Of course, there are plenty of other chances to see and hear live music, some of which I’ve listed below. We have a number of visiting artists in both jazz and roots n’ blues, as well as performances from highly talented resident artists, some of whom are national stars in their own right. Regular readers will note that I’ve added a new feature, Early Alert, to highlight performances from the next week’s Wednesday and Thursday that require reservations. BTW, you can find addresses for most of these venues, as well as see videos of many of these artists by going to www.rhythmandgrooves.net.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 26

Connie Evingson and Jon Webber @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley, 7pm ($20, $45 w/Dinner) Vocalist Evingson and pianist Webber will be celebrating the music of Ella Fitzgerald, since this week marks the 100th Anniversary of Fitzgerald’s birth. Saxophonist Dave Karr and bassist Gordy Johnson will be on hand as well. Here she is with a larger group.

The Jazz Image Through the Decades @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm (No Cover) Here’s an intriguing event for fans of the late broadcaster. The Leigh Kammen Legacy Project  helmed by Brad Bellows, has a vast archive of interviews Kammen conducted during more than 70 years in broadcasting. Once a month, Bellows brings out some of those interviews, along with associated recordings, and airs them at the Black Dog. Tonight, he’ll have Kammen’s interviews with a number of female artists, including such legends as Carmen McCrae, Abbey Lincoln, Dinah Washington, Betty Carter, and others. You can once again enjoy the sound of Kammen’s voice, while gaining some insight into the lives and musical philosophies of these artists.

Gary La Rue & His Rat Pack Band @ Mancini’s, Saint Pul. 7:30pm (No Cover) With its red booths and a dance floor, Mancini’s is a throwback to lounges of the 60s, making it a great place to hear LaRue and his Rat Pack Band do invoke Las Vegas with songs by Sinatra, Dean Martin, and their cronies.

Wednesday, Thursday, April 26, 27

Sisters of Swing: The Story of the Andrew Sisters @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) The Dakota is partnering with the History Theater to present the story of LaVerne, Maxene, and Patty, from Mound MN. The Andrew Sisters were the most popular female singing group of the first half of the 20th Century. It’s a production that’s been performed in over 30 cities around the country and the world.

Thursday, April 27

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Michael O’Brien Quartet. O’Brien is a Minnesota native who moved to the Big Apple some years back and has been playing and touring regularly ever since. The stand-up bassist is back visiting and is joined by Zacc Harris, guitar; Steve Kenny Flumpet; Greg Schute, drums. Here is O’Brien in a duo setting.

Matthew Rahaim and Jon Lion @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Here’s a very intriguing performance at a place that specializes in adventurous music. Rahaim is an associate professor of musicology and ethnomusicology at the U of MN, and is a vocalist who has been performing Hindustani music in both India and North America since 2000, though he also plays a few instruments and other kinds of singing. Jon Lion is a guitarist who has played the Kyber Pass many times, in a variety of configurations.

Huge If True @ Dayblock Brewing, 1103 Washington Avenue So, Minneapolis. 8pm (No Cover) Washington Avenue’s Dayblock Tap Room features jazz once a month. I’m unfamiliar with the players, so I believe this is a chance to hear a relatively new band in town: Michelle Mastrianni, Lead Vocals; Robert Hest, Keys; Rob Higgins, Bass/Vocals; Jack Sloan, Guitar; Elliott Bonner, Sax/Vocals; and Brice DeGrand, Drums.

Friday, April 28

Arne Fogel @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm (No Cover) Fogel is a vocalist who is equally adept at performing the songs of Der Bingle and Ol Blue Eyes and the Great American Songbook. Hell’s Kitchen is a busy, and often noisy place, so you may want reservations if you want to be close to the stage or, you can sit at the bar.

Southside Aces @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) The Aces are back at the Vieux for a Friday night of traditional New Orleans jazz and brass band music. With a diverse repertoire that includes Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Bix Beiderbecke, and originals, they are a party band that will leave dancers sweaty and the rest of the audience uplifted. Here they are at the Eagles Club, another venue where they’re regulars.

Saturday, April 29

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Curator/producer Steve Kenny has been putting together this weekly series for over 140 perform ances thus far. He usually has a relatively new, or young band open, and then a veteran group at 8:30. Tonight, the Brian Handeland Quartet begins at 7pm with: Handeland, sax; Park Evans, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Trevor Haining, drums. At 8:30, it’s the A-list members of Bottomless Pit, with: Joel Shapira, guitar; Pete Whitman, saxes; Tom Lewis, bass; and Eric Kamau Gravatt, drums

Bill Charlap Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30), 9pm ($20, $25) Charlap is one of the finest pianists of our time, with the ability to swing, and an imaginative approach that gets to the nub of a song. He’s recorded albums featuring the music of Hoagy Carmichael, Leonard Bernstein, and George Gershwin, and has produced several concerts for Jazz at Lincoln Center, and an evening of George Gershwin’s music at the Hollywood Bowl. He and Tony Bennett received a Grammy for their 2015 release, The Silver Lining: The songs of Jerome Kern. His fine trio, which has been together for about 20 years, includes Peter Washington on bass, and the unrelated Kenny Washington on drums.

Sunday, April 30

Bruce Henry: Stevie Wonder Unplugged @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40w/Dinner) Bruce Henry is the kind of singer who can tackle a Freddie Hubbard or John Coltrane tune and turn around and deliver some exquisite R&B. Tonight he’ll treat us to the songs of Stevie Wonder, which lately have been receiving deserved attention from jazz artists. He’ll be accompanied by Sean Turner, piano; Jeff Bailey, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums.

Monday, May 1

Delfeayo Marsalis @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($25, $50w/Dinner) Marsalis is, of course, a member of the famed New Orleans musical family. He’s a trombonist, educator, producer, and arranger who’s released six CDs, all of which exhibit the warmth and imagination of his playing. Here’s a chance to hear him in the intimate, 80-seat “listening room” at Crooners. He’ll be accompanied by pianist Rick Carlson, bassist Steve Pikal, and drummer Nathan Norman.

Tuesday, May 2

O’Brien, Lomheim, & Epstein @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley, 7pm ($10, $35w/Dinner) If you didn’t catch former Twin Citizen O’Brien playing bass with a quartet this past Thursday (see above), you can catch him in a trio setting with two of the area’s finest musicians: pianist Chris Lomheim and drummer Jay Epstein. It’s a treat.

Early Alert

5.3 Regina Carter @ The Dakota

5.3, 5.4 Randy Brecker @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Roo

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 26

Curtis Blake on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Harpmeister Curtis Blake stops by Harold’s House Party along with ace guitarist/drummer Jeremy Johnson, for some swingin’ blues. Tune in, and then head over to the 331 Club, where the two will play from 7-9pm.

Willie Murphy @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Veteran blues/R&B/rock n’ roller Murphy takes a solo turn at the Schooner, armed with nothing more than a guitar, keyboard, and songs that range from romantic doowop to rockin’ protest numbers. He’s not promising any guests, but you can never tell who may show up.

Thursday, April 27

Mikkel Beckmen & Jeff Ray @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) Percussionist-about-town Beckmen holds down a Thursday residency at the warm, friendly bar on University, bringing in a different guest each week. Today it’s the slide guitar master Jeff Ray, who often brings new life to traditional blues and surprises with bluesified rock covers.

Rena Haus @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Singer/songwriter Haus has a sustainable farm in Saint Michael, where she supplies food to local groceries and finds inspiration for original songs. Together with her brother Bob on bass and the under-appreciated guitar virtuoso Ed Petche, she creates highly entertaining performances, whether singing tunes by the Allman Brothers, or humorous originals about relationships, farm animals, or the political and economic climate. If you can’t make it tonight, you can also catch her in the dinner hour atVieux Carré tomorrow, and for brunch at Hell’s Kitchen on Saturday.

Friday, April 28

Richie Furay @ The Dakota, Minneapolis 7pm, 9:30pm ($35, $40) This Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer helped bring country rock into our consciousness as a founding member of Buffalo Springfield, Poco and the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band. Furay then went on to form his own band. He’ll be playing songs from throughout his career, with an opening by his daughter, Jesse Furay Lynch, performing The Songs of Laurel Canyon.

Lowertown Classics @ Lowertown Lofts, 225 Kellogg Blvd East, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10 suggested Donation) It’s Art Crawl weekend in Saint Paul and Lowertown Classics has brought in German guitarist Nora Buschmann as the featured artist this weekend. Buschmann has won numerous competitions, and performed a great number of solo concerts at places like the Frankfurt and Nürnberg opera houses, the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn and NDR-Funkhaus Hannover, and has appeared with a number of orchestras in Germany. She has made radio recordings with the Norddeutscher Rundfunk and the Bayrischer Rundfunk, and is a regular performer at guitar festivals around the world. Buschmann will preceded by the McNally Smith Guitar Quartet, a group of four guitarists with varying backgrounds. Enter through the alley

Slovczech @ The Black Dog Cafe, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Eastern European folk-rock party music, just in case you want to get rejuvenated after touring countless artists studios during Art Crawl.

John Nemeth @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Nemeth is an ace harmonica player and an award-winning soul/blues vocalist currently based in Memphis, where his music fits in like the proverbial glove. Whether he’s singing the blues, or projecting the emotional release of soul music, fans of either style will find much to admire.

Friday, Saturday, April 28, 29

KFAI Celebration @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) It’s a Listener Appreciation Party and New Antenna Celebration to thank listener members for a pledge drive that helped the “little station that could” retire much of the costs of a new antenna. Friday features Jillian Rae, Boiled in Lead, The yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers and more, while Saturday’s stage will be occupied by Rank Strangers, C. Kostra, The Ronnie Buxtons and others. Both evenings will feature a Super Secret headliner that has yet to be announced.

Saturday, April 29

Saturday Salon: Sambas and Sonatinas @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 3pm ($20) The witty and charming Maria Jette hosts this weekly series that brings chamber music into a relaxed, cabaret style “listening room” where small plates and a full bar will be available during the concert. Today’s program, Sambas and Sonatinas, features music from Russia and the Americas, performed by Clea Galhano, recorder; Tom Rosenberg, cello; and Olg Levin, piano. The program includes selections from Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Felix Mendelssohn, Astor Piazzola, and others.

4th Annual Pickin’ for Autism @ Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 7pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) Three folk and bluegrass bands will be playing to support Lionsgate Academy, a school dedicated to the education of students with autism spectrum disorders. The evening will feature music from Pert Near Pert (members of Pert Near Sandstone), and well as Luke Warm and the Cool Hands, and the Lowland Lakers.

Bossa Soul Trio @ Hennepin Steam Room, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) This weekly show can feature more than a trio, as various musicians are recruited to create Brazilian sounds, including sensuous sambas, Brazilian pop, bossa novas, and Latin Jazz. Both experienced and would-be dancers flock the small dance floor to sway to the bubbling rhythms.

Annie Mack & Joyann Parker @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Two of the area’s dynamic blues and R&B singers take to the stage at the tiny, but charming Aster. Both Joyann Parker, who starts at 9pm, and Annie Mack, 10 pm, write and perform compelling originals and gritty covers.

Tuesday, May 2

Joe Ely @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) Songwriter/guitarist Ely plays outlaw country music, Americana, and Texas honky tonk . He was a member of the original Flatlanders and Los Super Seven, and sang backup for The Clash, recently winning The Americana Music Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Opener Jason Eady is a country singer with a direct approach to singing.

The Pines @ Hopkins Center of the Arts, Hopkins. 7pm ($25) Though now based out of the Twin Cities, The Pines’ Benson Ramsey and David Huckfelt share a common musical language rooted in the songs and songwriters of their native Iowa. Each has a distinct voice and an ability to evoke the sparse, rural communities of the Great Plains with cinematic language. The combination of acoustic instruments, rich warm vocals, and an eye (and ear) for detail has helped them gain fans around the country. A social hour begins at 6pm, with the concert beginning at 7pm.

Early Alert

5.3 Kinky Friedman @ The Turf Club

5.4 Edgar Winter @ The Dakota

 

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.


Happy New Year! 12.28 – 1.3

December 28, 2016

unknownIt’s time to put this year behind us. Though some of us have experienced triumphs and celebrations during the year, many would agree that it’s been a year filled with fear, loathing, and sadness. There is plenty of music to send 2016 on its way, from talented resident artists of many genres to a couple of visiting artists. There are, of course, many other options than those I’ve listed, for NYE, but be sure to check with venues, as some of the NYE events I’ve listed may be sold out by the end of the week. Have a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.

Jazz

Wednesday, December 28

Rio Nido @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) A beloved trio, Rio Nido came out of the West Bank music scene of the late 70s, with their unique blend of voices and a repertoire of songs from the 30s and 40s. After a decades long hiatus, they started returning to performing a year or so ago, welcomed so much that a third show was added for this gig. Prudence JohnsonTom Lieberman  and Tim Sparks are successful performers in their own right:, Johnson as a singer with more than a dozen recordings to her credit, as well as extended appearances on Prairie Home Companion; Lieberman as a producer and songwriter, and Sparks as an award-winning guitarist who’s equally at home with folk, jazz, country blues, and gospel.

Patrick Harrison/Larry McDonough Quartet’s Twisted Holidays @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Harrison – No Cover), 8:30pm (McDonough) The evening starts with button accordionist Patrick Harrison playing for the dinner hour. Then at 8:30 pm Larry McDonough and his quartet put uncommon meters, rhythms, and harmonies to a selection of seasonal songs as well as some originals and songs from Chet Baker, Bill Evans, Led Zeppelin, Spinal Tap, Paul Simon, and others.

Wednesday, Thursday, December 28, 29

Connie Evingson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40 Dinner Show) Connie Evingson can sing bebop, blues, bossa novas, the Beatles, Peggy Lee, and Gypsy Jazz with equal ease. Her pitch is perfect, her tone is slightly husky and a bit sensuous, and her timing is impeccable. She’s had ten CDs in the top fifty in both the US and Canada, and has appeared with the Minnesota Orchestra, Prairie Home Companion, Jazz at Lincoln Centyer and at other high profile venues. Her holiday CD, The Secret of Christmas, gets lots of play on my system each year. If we’re lucky, she’ll sing the Petit Nutcracker Suite, a 7 minute distillation of Tchaikovsky’s score for the classic Christmas ballet.

Thursday, December 29

No Exit: Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Drummer Luke Peterson leads this young group, which tonight has a couple of special guests who are veteran players. Performing tonight are:  Brandon Wozniak, Sax; Jack Courtright, trombone; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Adam Astrup, guitar; and Graydon Peterson, bass.

Will Schmid Quartet @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7:30 – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) Seems I had the wrong date last week for this Reverie debut of another group of up and coming  players on holiday leave from college. Will Schmid, guitar; Patrick Adkins, piano; Alma Engebretson, bass; Jesse Thorson, drums.

Vicky Mountain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) The ever versatile Ms Mountain can heartily swing a bebop tune, and turn around and deliver a soothing ballad, or hip R&B tune. The excellent voice teacher will be accompanied by Dave Martin on guitar for an intimate evening of music.

Friday, December 30

Jeremy Walker/Pat Mallinger Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Walker – No Cover), 9pm ($12 Cash only) Pianist Jeremy Walker starts things off during the dinner hour. Then The Pat Mallinger Quartet, with: Chris Lomheim, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums takes the stage at 9pm. Mallinger is a saxophonist who grew up in Saint Paul and now lives in Chicago, where he is co-leader of Sabertooth, a group that’s been performing till the wee wee hours each week at the city’s Green Mill since 1992. He also plays with the Chicago Jazz Ensemble, the Bobby Lewis Quintet, the Arty Hoyle Quintet, and his own Quartet, and is a jazz educator of note in the Chicago school system.

TK Wallace’s Hard Bop Playhouse @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) It’s college night at Jazz Central, and things kick off with this group of students who are home for the holidays: Jordan Anderson, piano; Tyler Wagner, bass; Peter Goggin, sax; and Edmund Catlin, drums. They’ll be playing tunes by Wayne Shorter, Thelonious Monk,a nd more, followed by two more college groups.

Saturday, December 31

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 5pm (Tip Jar) This may be the first time that the Black Dog is open until the New Year’s countdown, as past years they’ve had an early, family-friendly countdown. The celebration starts with Todd Harper, keys; Eric Coursen, drums; and Aaron Kerr on electric cello playing from 5pm to 7:30pm. Then at 8:30, Hoaxer, the college-age band, takes the stage: Will Kjeer, piano; Charlie Lincoln, bass; Peter Goggin, alto; and Edmund Catlin, drums. Topping things off will be an all-star jam session anchored by Steve Kenny and Dave Brattain, beginning at 10:30pm and going until the new year.

SouthSide Aces, w/Patty & the Buttons @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($22 Advance, $25 Door) It’s a New Years Eve Dance party at the Eagles, as the Aces and Patty & the Buttons take to the small stage with a big dance floor. Both groups draw mostly on music from the 30s and 40s. While the Aces mine traditional New Orleans music, Patty & the Buttons use Gypsy Jazz and popular songs of those decades to successfully entice dancers.

NYE at Parma, with Arne Fogel & The Benny Weinbeck Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 6pm (Fogel); 9pm (Benny Weinbeck Trio) Arne Fogel sings for dinner-time festivities (6 till 9pm) with Rick Carlson, piano; and Gordy Johnson, bass. Then Benny Weinbeck takes over with his trio, Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. Sadly, Parma is discontinuing Singers Night on Fridays, though Weinbeck and his trio will continue to perform Saturdays.

Sunday, January 1

Twin Cities Hot Club @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Maybe you chose to stay home for NYE, but are now itching for music. Or maybe you simply enjoy the acoustic, romantic, and swinging music of artists Django Rheinhardt, Stephane Grapelli, and other proponents of Gypsy Jazz, such as the Twin Cities Hot Club: Robert Bell and Reynold Philipsek, guitars; Gary Schulte, violin; and Matt Peterson, bass.

Monday, Tuesday, January 2, 3

Terence Blanchard Live Recording @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45, $50) New Orleans born trumpeter/composer Terence Blanchard has a beautiful tone, and creates music is often cinematic in scope, as exemplified by the over 50 soundtracks he’s composed, including Blanchard’s beautifully heartbreaking score for A Tale of God’s Will, Spike Lee’s documentary on Hurricane Katrina. Blanchard’s 2015 release, Breathless, finds him playing with a group called the E-Collective in a genre-crossing groove-laden fusion of jazz, funk, and R&B. He’ll be joined by them at the Dakota, and recording the event for inclusion in his next album.

Tuesday, January 3

Thompson, Balluff, Pikal @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Well, if you’re a fan of traditional jazz from the early part of the 20th Century, you’ll do no better than to hear Butch Thompson, piano; Tony Balluff, clarinet; and Steve Pikal, bass, play this evening.

Tuesday, Wednesday, January 3, 4

Dick Oatts Quartet @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $45 Dinner), 9pm ($15) Iowa born and raised, alto saxophonist Dick Oatts began his professional music career in the Twin Cities in 1972, and moved to NYC in 1977 where he became a member of the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra. He has since worked with such big bands as the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Lester Bowie, Joe Lovano, Paquito D’Rivera, Tito Puente, Kenny Wheeler, and Gunther Schuller as well as a number of big bands from Europe. He’s also recorded and toured with small groups led by Red Rodney, Bob Brookmeyer, Mel Lewis, Fred Hersch, and others, and has a dozen and a half albums as a leader. Tonight he’ll be backed by a stellar line-up: Bill Carrothers, piano; Billy Peterson, bass, and Joe Pulice, 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 PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, December 28

The Eddies on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) It’s a rare day in December when this “almost acapella” group crosses the river from Saint Paul to Minneapolis, but they’re now at it annually for the House Party show between Christmas and New Years. Their repertoire includes songs of life, work, and death, from traditional mountain songs to sea shanties, and tunes by Bob Marley, and The Rolling Stones.  Be aware that KFAI has had problems broadcasting due to the recent ice storm snapping its hardware, so you may need to tune in to http://www.kfai.org to stream the show.

Thursday, December 29

Mayasich Mayhem @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Guitar master Paul Mayasich is joined by his brothers Mark and Greg, as well as John Iden and Joe Luoma, for the final Hot Seat at Crooners.

Curtiss A & The Cold Cold Hearts Sing Hank Williams @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8 Advance, $10 Door) Rocker Curtiss A does a John Lennon tribute each year; has a blues band (The Dark Click); leads a rock band (The Jerks of Fate); and occasionally does an Elvis Presley show. Tonight, however, he’s performing his annual Hank Williams tribute, a warm tribute to the classic country singer/songwriter. Bonus: Curtiss A’s sometimes rambling, often hilarious commentary.

Thursday, Friday, December 29, 30

The New Standards @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($30, $40) Give these musicians credit, where credit is due. While jazz musicians have always drawn from pop music, only a few have embraced post-60s rock, notably Miles Davis, with the Cyndi Lauper tune Time After Time, and The Bad Plus, who featured songs from Blondie and Queen amongst their originals. About ten years ago, Chan Poling, keys (The Suburbs); John Munson, bass (Trip Shakespeare, SemiSonic); and Steve Roehm, vibes (Billygoat, Electropolis); formed The New Standards to concentrate on acoustic, jazzy versions of post 60s rock. They became national and international stars as a result. If you didn’t catch their annual holiday extravaganza this year, you can see them as a trio in the comfier confines of the Dakota, bringing new life to songs from Lou Reed, the Outkasts, Britney Spears, T Rex, and their own bands.

Friday, December 30

Rena Haus Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 10AM – 1PM (Tip Jar) It’s a special Pre-New Years Brunch at Hell’s Kitchen, and they’ve brought in the very special Rena Haus Trio just for the day: Rena Haus, guitar and vocals; Bob Haus, bass; and Ed Petsche, guitar. Rena’s originals are often highly amusing, sometimes racy, and occasionally political, with appearances by classic blues songs. Brunches at the Kitchen can be mighty crowded, so you may want to get a reservation to ensure you’re close to the band.

Willie Walker and the We R Band @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) It’s a good night to warm up for NYE with both Willie Walker and Willie Murphy (below) playing, though it gives us a good problem of whom to see. Walker is the winner of two awards in the 2016 Living Blues Critic’s Poll: Comeback Artist of the Year and Best Blues Album of 2015 for his release If Nothing Ever Changes, a well deserved award. He is most assuredly a Twin Cities Treasure.

Willie Murphy & The Angel-Headed Hipsters @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapoils. 8pm ($7) Many folks who party hearty all year round, or who have had enough to last a lifetime, think of NYE as amateur night, and stay home. Willie Murphy is similarly inclined, and chooses to celebrate on the eve of NYE. Whether you want to stay home NYE, or have the energy to party two nights in a row, be sure to bring your dancing shoes, as Murphy’s brilliant arrangements of both his own songs and others that you know and love will have you gyrating before you can say Happy New Year.

Nooky Jones + Dem Atlas @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($10 Advance, $12 Door) Nooky Jones has been around the Cities for a couple of years now, spreading smooth neo-soul with hearty elements of jazz and R&B. Among its members: Cameron Kinghorn, vocals/trumpet; Adam Meckler, trumpet; and Kevin Gastonguay, keys. Opening is rapper/hip-hop artist Dem Atlas  who signed with Rhymesayers Entertainment in 2013 and toured a number of festivals opening for Atmosphere. He recorded with the French group Ursus Minor last year and is about to drop a new CD in 2017.

Saturday, December 31

The Good, The Bad, and the Funky @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Get down, Get Funky, and Dance to this ten-piece band (including a five-piece horn section) covering both old-school and new-school funk and soul.

Hot Pants/Hipshaker 45RPM Dance Party @ The Kitty Cat Club, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) The two best Dance Parties in town once again team up to present rare, original Funk and Soul 45s from the collections of Brian, George, Greg, Ben for New Year’s Eve. They get some extra special help from the distaff point of view as special guests Elizabeth Christian and Paula Carrillo join them. This event is always a hit, so arrive early to avoid disappointment.

The Last Revel @ Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) This acoustic trio describes their sound as Front Porch Americana, which seems about right, especially if you like to party on said porch. They are talented multi-instrumentalists, who bring the acoustic guitar, upright bass, fiddle, 5-string banjo, harmonica, kick drum and three-part vocal harmonies to their performances, whether they’re singing delicate ballads or high energy stompers. Special guest: Richard Hanson.

Papa John Kolstad: Masquerade Party @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) Lately, Papa John has been playing with the New Phits: Bill “Wailin’ Willie” Smith, harmonica/vocals: Gary Powell, aka Tiny Gene Pool, slide guitar/vocals; Mark “Rizz” Rizzardi, bass/vocals. Papa John will be playing 12-string guitar, singing, and adding amusing anecdotes and political musings to the mix, as well as bringing in trombonist/bassist Sam Fiske to play. Expect some four-part harmonies from the group, as well as Morris Dancers, a piper to bring in the New Year, and a Celtic blessing, not to mention bubbly at midnight and people in costumes.

Joyann Parker @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($30) With a voice that combines the emotion of the blues with the fire of rock, Joyann Parker has been making her mark on the Twin Cities Blues scene for the last few years, representing Minnesota in the 2015 International Blues Challenge. Her 2015 album, On the Rocks, was named Best Self-Produced Album by the MN Blues Society, and has been nominated for Best Independent Blues Music Award. The guitarist/pianist and songwriter has become a regular at Vieux Carré, drawing more fans with each appearance.

Hookers $ Blow @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($25) If you’re looking to dance to some 70s R&B, then H$B are the band to hear. This group of stellar musicians led by Adam Levy will be delivering the goods in the Cafe’s River Room, which is standing room only tonight. Call for reservations if you want dinner beforehand.

Charlie Lawson & Friends @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 10pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Lawson is taking on NYE for a fun-filled evening with: Jim Ouska, guitar; Lorent “Slasher” Dwyer, bass; Marty Bryduck, drums. With Special Guests Langer’s Ball, the husband and wife team of Michael and Hannah Sturm playing punk Irish music.

Sunday, January 1

Corpse Reviver @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 3pm – 5:30pm (Tip Jar) Maybe you need the Corpse Reviver classic cocktail after last night, but it’s most likely you need a shot of the group that plays music from the classic Harry Smith Anthology of Folk Music. It’s especially noteworthy that today’s edition of Corpse Reviver includes: Mikkel Beckman, percussion; Jillian Rae, fiddle, and Charlie Parr, guitar. Here are two of the three musicians.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.


A Harvest of Music: 9.17 – 9.23

September 17, 2014

It’s a busy week ahead, with jazz, blues, and roots for most every taste. Thanks to the Arts Midwest conference that’s in town, there’s an unusual number of visiting artists for us to choose among. And for those of you who love world music, not to mention R&B, jazz, Cajun,  folk, and more, please note that KFAI is having its Fall Pledge Drive. Unknown-2You may have read how they are facing a financial squeeze and that this is an especially important pledge drive. I ask you to help us raise $70,000 (or more) from 1000 donors. I’d really appreciate it if you would make a pledge (ph: 612-375-9030, web: kfai.org) for my show Rhythm and Grooves on Saturday, September 20, from 10:30am – Noon. Thank you.

Remember, music is good for your body and soul.

Jazz

Wednesday, September 17

Kevin Gastonguay, Jana Nyberg Group, & Mississippi @ Calhoun Square, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Three bands whose members collectively cross a number of generations. All are talented, and well worth the time of any jazz-loving music fan.

Graydon Peterson Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Peterson leads this group through originals: Adam Meckler, trumpet; VincentRose, guitar; Adrian Suarez, drums. Here’s a video that starts out charming and quickly becomes exciting.

Thursday, September 18

Katia Cardenas @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Cardenas was raised in a musical family. Both her mom and dad perfumed with many of the major funk and soul bands of the 70s and 80s, so she’s been surrounded by music all her life. Though she’s been a vocalist in theater, cabaret, and more, Cardenas is now returning to jazz. Check her out.

Pippi's Facebook Photo

Pippi’s Facebook Photo

Pippi Ardennia @ The Bedlam Theater, Saint Paul. 7pm – 8:30pm ($5) Pippi is stepping out from her concert series, and here’s a great place to hear her with a crack band: Brian Neilsen, keys; Billy Peterson, bass; and Glen Swanson, drums.

The Drexel Project @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm.  A collaboration between Chicago and Twin Cities musicians, which had its genesis when Bryan Nichols was studying and playing in Chi-town. Kurt Schweitz, bass; Bryan Nichols, keys;  Brandon Wozniak, sax;  Andre Beasley, drums; Andre Trim, guitar; Candace Washburn, vocals.

Friday, September 19

Monk in Motion @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) After last week’s two-guitar Friday night, Zacc Harris is back with another guitarist: Park Evans. They’ll be joined by Brandon Wozniak and Scott Fultz on saxophones; as well as Matt Peterson on bass and Cory Healy on drums, for a piano-less evening of music by Thelonious Monk.

Connie Evingson Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Connie needs no introduction to Twin Cities audiences. She was/is a member of Moore by Four, and has shown an immense talent for interpreting songs, whether they’re from The Great American Songbook, the Beatles, or Django Rheinhardt. Here she is singing a song that’s long been one of my favorites, albeit with a large combo.

Saturday, September 20

Mary Louise Knutson Trio @ Jazz at St. Barney’s, Plymouth. 7pm ($10) Long before she started regularly touring with Doc Severinson, Knutson was known hereabouts as a pianist with taste and imagination. She’ll be appearing with Geoff Brennan, bass; Greg Schutte, drums. Knutson

JoAnn Funk @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 6pm – 9pm (Free) Pianist Joann Funk and bassist Jeff Brueske are back at the lobby bar on Saturdays until November, when they’ll add Fridays to their schedule. Funk plays and sings jazz standards, the Great American Songbook, as well as music from such diverse artists as Dan Penn, Blossom Dearie, and Nat King Cole. Sophisticated fare, well suited to entertaining the hotel’s guests and a number of regulars. Their usual time is 7:30 – 11pm, but tonight’s show is earlier due to a private party taking place in the lobby.

Judi Donaghy Vinar and the Wolverines Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Donaghy Vinar has been singing professionally for a few decades, now, working with folks like Janis Siegel, Rhiannon, Garrison Keillor, YoYo MA, and on more than 30 CDs, including two of her own. She’s also sung with the Wolverines Orchestra, so this gig with the trio should be quite delightful. Just remember to sit in front of the stage, since the Kitchen can get quite noisy. Here she is swingin’ with the big band.

Steve Hobert CD Release @ The Friends Meeting House, 1725 Grand Ave, Minneapolis. 6:30pm – 8:30pm Hobert is the highly expressionistic young pianist who has played with Lulu’s Playground (accordion), the Adam Meckler Orchestra, Zack Lozier, and in numerous other groups around town, including his own. Tonight he’s celebrating the release of Ocean Eyes, a solo piano outing in which he let’s inspiration take him down a number of pleasant avenues.  To give you an idea, here’s a bit of improvisation from him.

Monday, September 22

Larry McDonough Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) McDonough is a pianist whose impressionistic compositions are often soothing and inspiring. Monday nights at Jazz Central are given over to letting musicians experiment, so this should be fun.

Horst, Peterson, Schimke, & Whitman @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) Kenny Horst on drums and Billy Peterson on bass are long time rhythm mates; Peter Schimke on piano; and Pete Whitman on sax more than fill out this band of veterans.

Tuesday, September 23

Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Exciting, rhythmic big band music. This is usually a bit of a rehearsal, so it’s a good way to understand how bands put their music together.

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, September 17

At a previous House Party gig

At a previous House Party gig

Rena Haus Trio on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM) and 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Ms Haus comes down to the cities from her farm every once in a while to regale us with songs about farming, mechanics, chickens, big business, and more.

Nellie McKay & The Turtle Island String Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6:30pm ($40, $45), 8:30pm ($30, $35)  McKay is the delightfully quirky jazz/cabaret singer/songwriter  who always surprises with her witty, often insightful songs and highly individual interpretations of other’s songs. The Grammy winning Turtle Island String Quartet was the first chamber music ensemble to go beyond the music of dead white Europeans. Taken together, this promises to be a fun-filled, entertaining evening. Note the early start times. Here’s a video of the collaboration along with some commentary.

Thursday, September 18

Red Baraat  @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($30) A Brooklyn octet that combines Bollywood and North Indian rhythms with jazz, go-go, and funk rhythms to deliver the drive and energy of a New Orleans brass band. Sounds raucous, to say the least. Again, there is an early start time. Here’s an example of their joyous noise.

Lee Fields & the Expressions @ the Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($18) While he was part of the original soul explosion of the late 60s (he first record in ’69) Fields isn’t content with simply rehashing the sound. He and the Expressions take it forward, while retaining its authenticity. Check out the way he brings out the inherent soulfulness of JJ Cale’s Magnolia, below.  Black Diet opens. They are best described as a soul garage band. Think Memphis meets Soma Records.

Augie Meyers at the Real-Phonic Radio Hour @ James J Hill Library, Saint Paul. 8pm ($25)  You first heard Meyers as part of the Sir Douglas Quintet. The somewhat cheesy sound of his Vox Continental keyboard helped propel She’s About a Mover and Mendocino up the charts, was was then echoed in the music of a number of British Invasion groups. He continued to tour and record with Doug Sahm, and  recorded with Bob Dylan and the Grammy Award winning Texas Tornados as well. The Broke-Down Dollys open. Here’s Augie on the squeezebox.

Global Get Down Soiree@ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) Two more groups with an international outlook fill out the evening at the Dakota. Emel Mathlouthi is a singer/composer/guitarist from Tunisia who now lives in France. One of her songs was sung in the streets of Tunis during the Arab Spring. The second group appearing at this late show is the Tsuumi sound System, an eight-piece modern folk band from Finland.

Friday, September 19

Dee Miller Band @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 6pm ($?) Another early evening blues show for people of a certain age, or anyone who likes the blues. In addition to featuring guitarist Jimi Primetime Smith as a regular member of the band, Miller will have special guest singer Shawne Baccari.

Sena Ehrhardt CD Release @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) Ehrhardt is gaining lots of praise from the blues press as a dynamic, incendiary performer, opening concerts for the likes of Rober Cray, Dickey Betts, BB King, and Greg Allman. Her new release is entitled Live My Life, and is produced by David Z, who has worked with a plethora of artists from Prince to Jonny Lang. She’ll be featuring guests Bruce McCabe & Jimi Prime Time Smith

Matuto @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($15) If you can imagine North American folk songs set to the rhythms of Northern Brazil, then you have a good idea of what Matuto sounds like. As part of this presentation, DJ don Cuco of New York will be spinning a variety of Latin and African rhythms. Here’s a video that previews some of their music.

Saturday, September 20

Art & Artists Celebration feat. Cafe Accordion & Pee Wee Dread @ Franconia Sculpture Park, 29836 St. Croix Trail, Franconia. 10am – 9pm ($5 parking) This all day event is an opening reception of sorts for two new sculptures. There’s music, theater, pedal-powered spin art (and other family art), guided tours, and a chance for people to create their own sand molds for an iron pour ($25 for a 6” mold, $40 for an 8” mold).  The day ends with a performance iron pour of the North Star and eight other stars. Besides CAO and Pee Wee, the days music will include the electric hillbilly of Scalded Hounds, and rock from Platypus. For more information, go to: http://www.franconia.org/artandartists.html

The Freewheelin’ House Party @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 2pm – 10pm It’s a Pledge Drive Party for the little station that could, which actually needs your help. Performers include Steve maul & Mikkel Beckmen, Crankshaft, Javier & the Innocent Sons, The Liquor Pigs, Jeff Ray & Hurricane Harold, The Farmhouse Band, and Adam Kiesling of pert Near Snadstone.

Willie Murphie & Band @ The Schooner Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm ($?) Murphy describes the Schooner as REAL, “not a ferny bar full of TVs and loud sonic wallpaper.” This unassuming place filled with regulars and music lovers has just the right atmosphere for Murphy’s music, which often reflect everyday problems and concerns. Rock n’ Roll, R&B, and Blues for everyman, served up with way more skill and soul than might be expected in the Schooner’s modest confines.

Sunday, September 21

Adieu Summer Concert @ Como Lake Pavillion, Saint Paul. 3pm – 6:30pm  ($10) This annual multicultural family event celebrates the end of our short summers by bringing together a number of bands performing music from around the world. Today features sambas, flamenco, Bossa Novas, African drumming and dance, and World Jazz:   A Touch of Spain, The World Jazz Collegium, The Voice of Culture West African Drum and Dance troupe, and host band, Ticket to Brasil. Here is Ticket to Brasil at last year’s concert.

Living Colour @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($50, $60) During the 90s, Living Colour was among the first bands to blend genres, fusing rock, punk, funk, and jazz on their way to winning several Grammys, including one for Hard Rock Performance. Y(ou may want to make use of the free ear plugs available at the club’s entrance.) The opening act is Ill Chemistry, area duo of Desdamona and Carnage the Executioner. Between Desdamona’s soulful vocals both rapping and singing, and Carnage’s extraordinary beat box abilities, you can expect a Old School Hip-Hop sound addressing today’s world. Here’s a video with almost 10 millions views.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar. Dancers might want to check out the U Wanna Dance Calendar.

 

 

 


Holidazed: Music: 12.18 – 12.24

December 18, 2013
Santa got hip

Santa got hip

Well, the holidays are certainly upon us as there are special performances throughout the week. I’ve listed seven, and I’m sure you can find many more. Along with holiday specials are a few unique performances from both visiting and resident artists that are worth your while.  Of course, there is the whole finding time conundrum, which is especially difficult for many this time of year. At any rate, have a good week, and if you’re overwhelmed, remember, live music can lift the spirit.

Jazz…

Wednesday, December 18

Radio Joe & the Jazzbos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Joe leads his group through swinging love songs, some jump blues, and a few holiday favorites for those of you who like dancing with your jazz.

Snowblind w/Dave Hagedorn @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Since its inception in 2005, Snowblind has become a formidable ensemble of relatively young players, in part because they rehearse so much, and in part because the AQ has provided them with regular gigs. Tonight they join forces with vibist Dave Hagedorn to perform the music of Dave Holland. Members of the group include: Adam Rossmiller, trumpet; Scott Agster, trombone; Shilad Sen, tenor; Graydon Peterson, bass; Reid Kennedy, drums. Should be a memorable evening.

Thursday, December 19

Larry McDonough CD Release @ The Artists’ Quarter. 9pm ($5) Pianist McDonough has gathered some of his favorite holiday songs in a new CD entitled, “Angels, Kings, and My Favorite Things.” He uses a variety of band formats, as well as odd time signatures and always interesting harmonies to have the listener hear such songs as My Favorite Things, and Scarborough Fair with new ears.  Here he is with a quartet.

George Maurer’s Big Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Pianist/composer/producer Maurer brings 14 other musicians with him to play some music for the holidays.

Friday, December 20

Vicky Mountain @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30 – 10pm (No Cover)  Though some readers may equate going to Bloomington with a road trip, it is definitely worthwhile to hear Vicky sing, made all the better by the fact that she’ll be accompanied by Chris Lomheim on piano and Matt Peterson on bass.

Heather Masse – Red House Live! @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 7:00pm ($15) Masse isn’t necessarily known as a jazz singer. After all, she was part of the Wailing Jennys, a folk duo that made the Billboard charts. However, she grew up listening to the Great American Songbook (her mom was a pianist), and a collaboration with pianist Dick Hyman on Prairie Home Companion led to the two of them recording the CD “Lock My Heart,” which has been well received in the jazz press, thanks in large part to her warm voice. She’ll be performing songs from the album, and perhaps a holiday chestnut or two.  BTW, I’ll be hosting.  Here she is doing a song that is definitely not of this season.

Watch out for these oung cats!

Watch out for these young cats!

Young Beasts @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm (Donation) Jazz is definitely not dead. It’s alive and well. The proof? This evening of music from three high school and college combos: The Farmington Quintessential Quintet; The Eau Claire Ice Bergh Combo; and The Will Kjeer Combo. Stick around for the jam that takes place during the second set.   

Friday, Saturday, December 20, 21

Eric Alexander & David Hazeltine @ the Artists’ Quarter, 9pm ($20) A couple of NYC stalwarts of the AQ return for one more performance before owner Kenny Horst calls it quits. Alexander has a big-toned, meaty sound on the sax and is a standard bearer for hard bop and post-bop jazz. Hazeltine‘s piano is a perfect match, as shown on a number of collaborations. They’ll be joined by Billy Peterson on bass and Kenny Horst on drums. Here’s an example of their playing from a few years ago.

Saturday, December 21

Let It Snow: Maud Hixson, the Wolverines Trio, & Dave Karr  @ Bloomington Center for the Arts, 1800 West Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington. 7:30pm ($25) Maud, the Wolverines, and Dave visit classic carols and songs from vintage films, with the special help of film clips from the collection of Bob DeFlores.

Sunday, December 22

Doug Little Quartet @ Eat Street Social, Minneapolis. 8pm –  10:30pm (No Cover) A great way to end the weekend. Little is a reed player of immense talent, with a predilection for Latin rhythms. Listen while partaking of the room’s special cocktails.

Sunday, Monday, December 22, 23

The New CD

The New CD

Karrin Allyson’s Yuletide Hideaway @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($35) Ms Allyson has long had a large contingent of fans from the area, since she spent some of her formative singing years here. She has a warm voice and cool delivery, which she uses with equal aplomb on bossa novas, blues, and bop. The Wall Street Journal, in describing her newest, Yuletide Hideaway, said, “Even “Winter Wonderland” and “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” seem darker and moodier than ever before.” I’ll be doing a phone interview with her Saturday morning.

Monday, December 23

Jake Baldwin vs. B3 Organ @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Baldwin is a young trumpet player who has been making his mark around town in a number of group settings. Tonight promises a new adventure, as he is joined by two of the guiding lights of Jazz Central, Tanner Taylor on Hammond B3 (!) and Mac Santiago on drums.

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, December 18

Jeff Ray & the Stakes on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI – 90.3 & 106.7FM) an 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Ray is a guitarist who can put a new spin on old traditions, whether playing a Chicago-style blues, Bob Dylan, or the Grateful Dead. He’ll be accompanied by Nick Salisbury, bass; Mikkel Beckman, percussion, and Hurricane Harold, harmonica.

Thursday, December 19

images-2Louisiana Rhythms Christmas Party @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30 ($? – probably $5, but maybe more) Okay, lots of Cajun, Zydeco, and New Orlean’s bands play the Eagles Club on Mondays and Thursdays. Louisiana Rhythms’ host Karl Smelker is gathering many of them to play Christmas tunes as well as other favorites. Of special note, Adam Kiesling of Pert Near Sandstone, Corpse Reviver, and the Tune Jerks among others, will do a reading of Christmas Eve on the Big Bayou.

Holiday Rhapsody @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free, but donations are welcome) Now for something completely different. This is a concert of two piano duets, featuring classical favorites such as An American in Paris, Rhapsody in Blue, the Nutcracker Suite, and Russian Rhapsody, all performed on two grand pianos. Featured artists are Denis Evstuhin, Anton Melnichenko & Ivan Konev, with special guests, The Partners in Praise Girls Choir and Soloists from the Academy of Russian Ballet.

Johnny Rawls @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7pm – 10pm ($10?)  Rawls is a journeyman soul singer who deserves wider recognition. He knows how to work the crowd, teasing the ladies, getting the men to dance and altogether delivering a soul-satisfying show. No wonder: he’s played for ZZ Hill and Joe Tex, and led the bands of OV Wright and Little Johnny Taylor before going solo.

Bethany Larson & the Bees Knees and Alicia Kay & the Changeups @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. ($6) Larson, with her sweet voice, bittersweet country-ish lyrics, and highly supportive band, opens at 9pm sharp. The Changeups are scheduled at 10pm playing Americans with country and rock overtones.  Reservations are always a good idea at this cozy spot overlooking the river and downtown.

Friday, December 20

Winter Soulstice: Black Market Brass @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm (Free) It’s the shortest night of the year, and time for a soulful evening of music featuring: soul revivalists Black Diet; the Grolar Bears, large band film scorers; and Afrobeat champs Black Market Brass  Between set music provide by DJ Rambo Salinas.

Steve Clarke & Blue Book @ Thunder Valley Bar & Grille, 3809 Highway 13 West, Burnsville. Swinging saxophonist Clarke has a new band, at least for tonight, and he’s invited a number of musicians to sit in, including Maurice Jacox. So, without knowing any more than the fact that Clarke is leading the band and Jacox will be singing, you have more than enough reasons to venture to Burnsville.

Saturday, December 21

Ms Haus

Ms Haus

Brunch with the Rena Haus Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 10am – 1pm (Free) You’ve got tasty food, tasty libations, and the ever-so-tasty country blues of Ms Haus, singing about chickens, mechanics, and fools in power.

Hotpants 45RPM Record Party @ The Nomad, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Get out those dancing shoes to celebrate the fact that days are gonna get longer. Deejays Brian Engel and Ben Mena party down with rare 45s, all of which will give you that itchy twitchy feeling.

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.


Jazz, Blues, and Roots, Oh My! Music: 4.4 – 4.11

April 4, 2012

This week we’ve got some unexpected combinations of musicians, as well as a stellar line-up of Twin Cities artists. Some nights feature a plethora of good choices. We’re lucky.

By the way, Big Thanks to those of you who pledged during my show on KFAI Community Radio. If you missed that opportunity, you can still go to the KFAI website and pledge. Just be sure to mention Rhythm and Grooves as the show you want to receive your pledge.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 4

Chris Thomson Quartet @ Café Maude, Minneapolis.  7pm. (No cover) The neighborhood bistro that could continues to showcase great jazz. Tonight it’s Chris Thomson, sax; Sean Carey drums; James Buckley, bass; and Patrick Harrison on accordion. If you can find a seat at the bar you can hang there. Otherwise it’s best to get a reservation and ask for a table near the music.

Thursday, April 5

Larry McDonough Quartet DVD Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) McDonough is a pianist of considerable skill and sensitivity who sometimes takes an “offbeat” approach to his music.  He and his quartet (Richard Terrill, saxes, lyrics; Craig Matarrese, bass; Chaz Draper, drums) have filmed “Live at the Music Connection” for public television. They perform poetry as well as odd-metered jazz based on melodies from children with disabilities, as well as from composers as disparate as Betthoven, Brubeck, and Spinal Tap. BTW, it’s foodie night at the Dakota.  Here’s a preview.

Friday, April 6

Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric and Tim O’Keefe’s Batucada do Norte @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Tim O’Keefe brings a seven piece version of the Brazilian percussion ensemble Batucade do Norte to the Studio to join with Clouser’s electric jazz group. The results should be invigorating, to say the least.

What song was Ophelia singing that shocked her parents so?

Naughty Songs for Nice Girls @ The Bryant Lake Bowl Theater, Minneapolis. 10pm – doors at 9:30pm ($12 – $10 for TCS members) Is this an attention-getting concept or what? Sassy songs, double-entendred and innocent, all expressing female views on femininity and sexuality, as sung by Rhonda Laurie and Bobbi Miller. Expect tunes from the likes of Dinah Washington (the dentist song?), Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe, and others.

Friday, Saturday, April 6, 7

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Source Code @ The Artists Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Don’t miss a chance to see this drum master at work. Miles Davis wanted Gravatt, but Gravatt went with Weather Report instead. He’s also played with Joe Henderson, and still tours with McCoy Tyner from time to time. Working with Gravatt is Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Ron Evaniuk, bass, and Gene Rush, piano.

Saturday, April 7

Lila Ammons Trio @ The Red Stag, NE Minneapolis. 10:30pm (No Cover) Chicago-born, Minneapolis-based Ammons has strong roots in jazz and blues. Her grandfather was boogie woogie pianist Albert Ammons, and her uncle was the monster sax player Gene Ammons. Since 2008 she’s been touring Europe alot, playing clubs and festivals throughout the continent.  She’s finishing up her debut jazz CD, so expect some previews. If you want to hear what she sounds like, tune in to my show Saturday morning on KFAI, 90.3 and 106.7FM, at 10:30AM.

Sunday, April 8

Charmin & Shapira @ The Red Stag, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (No cover) Cool jazz from Charmin Michelle on vocals and Joel Shapira on guitar. Their CD is delightful.

Monday, April 9

Dave Karr and Dave Shmalenberger @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9pm. (Donation, BYOB) As usual, Jazz Central is featuring a couple of cool cats for its Monday night performance & jam. Karr plays just the right notes, whether he’s on tenor, baritone, or flute. Shamlenberger is a well respected drummer/percussionist who’s played with the JazzMN big band, The Fifth Dimension, Steve Turre, a number of local artists, and a host of others.

Tuesday April 10

Peña @ Southwest HS, 3414 W. 48th St., Minneapolis. 7pm. ($10/$8/$5) The Twin Cities Jazz Society presents this seven-piece ensemble that led by guitarist Cory J. Wong and cajón specialist Chico Chavez. The group emphasizes the cajón, a box-like percussion instrument that is at the center of Afro-Peruvian music. They will be playing unique song forms such as Festejos and Landos. The SW High Jazz Ensemble, led by music director Keith Liuzzi, will open the show.

McNally Smith X-Tet w/Gary Smulyan @ The Artists Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) X-Tet is actually a nisnomer, as Pete Whitman (who is on the faculty at McNally Smith College of Music) has put together a 17 piece jazz band. They’ll be playing with Smulyan, a NYC-based, award winning baritone sax player. Smulyan’s playing is muscular, fluid, and imaginative, as heard on his recent release “Smul’s Paradise,” a B3 organ romp.

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, check out the Bebopified Calendar, here.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, April 4

Rena Haus on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, NE Minneapolis. 5pm on KFAI (90.3 7 106.7 FM) and 7pm at the 331 Club (Tip Jar). Haus may be the only artists that has been heard on both Prairie Home Companion and on Car Talk (for her deliciously risque Mechanic’s tune). She’s got a directness to her blues that keeps many (including me) coming back for more.

Davina & the Vagabonds @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm Davina and the guys continue to tour around the states, with the occasional European trip. They’ll be performing on the Blues stage at the New Orleans Jazz Fest, where they’ll be exposed to a whole new set of fans. They fill the Dakota on weekends, where there’s little space to dance. These monthly mid-week sojourns take care of that, what with swing dance lessons at 8pm, and a spacious dance floor.

Thursday, April 5

Kari, Lisa, friend, and instruments

Ditch Lilies @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm. (No Cover) What a nice surprise to see this talented duo appearing at the Kitchen. Lisa and Kari play all sorts of acoustic instruments and blend their voices quite well on originals, Western Swing, and old time tunes. Down home, front porch music for old friends and new ones.

Javier & the Innocent Sons w/guest Hurricane Harold @ Washington Square, White Bear Lake. 8-11pm. (No cover) Javier ramps up his rootsy, swinging music with the addition of harpmaster Harold. Washington Square isn’t particularly big, so you may have to hang at the bar until diners leave. But hey, good choices in all beverage departments.

Friday, April 6

Thomas Dolby @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) In the 80s Dolby hit it big with a couple of tunes, including “She Blinded Me With Science,” recently heard on a local TV stations weather segment. But being on top of the charts was nothing compared to his next move – creating a Silicon Valley tech company that built the ringtone synthesizer found in over 3 billion phones around the world. He’s retired, and once again returned to the world of music. His first studio album in 20 years, Floating City, has been launched coincidentally with his transmedia game of the same name. Think web, phones, I-pads all taking part in real time. Anyway, he’s back and should provide an interesting, if not eye-opening experience at the Cedar.

Yodel A Go Go @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm The Schooner is a neighborhood hole-in-the-wall with a good beer list at 29th St and 27th Avenue South – directly east of Target. Dan Peterson’s little group plays rockabilly and danceable country. with guitarist Clay Williams providing tasteful fills and leads. Jennifer Markey used to sing with the group, and word is she’ll be dropping by for a song or two.

Saturday, April 7

Dough Bros @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm. (No cover) When Paul Mayasich and Andy Dee get out their resonator guitars (also known as Dobros), the results are mesmerizing. Not so mesmerizing that you won’t order another drink, or even dance a little jig, but mesmerizing nonetheless. Hear examples on their MySpace site.

Lamont Cranston @ The Narrows Blues Saloon, Navarre. 9pm (No cover) Over in the Western part of the Twin Cities area, Pat Hayes and his band will be delivering butt-rockin’ blues.

What’s Going On? @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($15) It’s the annual celebration of the music of Marvin Gaye, and what could be sweeter? Some of the musicians that will be performing include Julius Collins, Jay Bee, Lynval Jackson, Yohannes Tona, and Daryl Boudreaux, among others. As Marvin once sang, “How Sweet It iis.”

1/2 Birthday, Saturday.

Big Fat Love: John Prine’s 1/2 Birthday @ The 331 Club, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (tip jar) Well, 1/2 birthday, or Saturday, do you really need an excuse to celebrate the creativity of Mr. Prine? Tonight’s program is hosted by Mother Banjo and Art Vandalay, with guests Dan Newton, Caitlin Robertson, Jon Rodine and more.

Sunday, April 8

Willie Walker @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 4pm (No Cover)  Okay, here’s an alternative to a fancy Easter celebration. Willie Walker is a soul singer who can fill your heart and move your feet, not to mention other parts of your body. Plus, you can indulge your need for good bar food.

Zydeco Benefit for Second Harvest Heartland @ The Half Time Rec, Saint Paul. 8pm (Donation) It’s the Faux Playboys, JJ’s Zydeco Paydirt, and Dan Newton Plays Clifton, all for a good cause. You’d have to go to Louisiana to get this kind of music and fun, as folks of all ages will be dancin’ spinnin’ circlin’ and more.

Monday, April 9

Cactus Blossoms @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Fans of classic country (Hank Williams, Hank Thompson, George Jones) are discovering the brotherly harmonies and and down home appeal of this talented quintet. Their Monday night residency at the Turf is attracting dancers of all stripes, which resulted in about a 1/2 dozen couples waltzing on the Turf’s dance floor. Waltzing. Probably hasn’t happened since the heyday of the Turf as a C&W bar many moons ago.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues and roots, see the calendar of the Minnesota Blues Society.

For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar.


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