Ignore the Snow! Music: 4.4 – 4.10

April 4, 2018

What happened to March – Out Like a Lamb?

Oh boy, we’ve gotten dumped on by snow and now will have a week or so of well-below-average temperatures, with the prospect of another snow on the way next week. TV stations are reporting on how tired we are of this, but also on those hardy enough to still find ways to enjoy the weather, especially those of you who cross-country ski. Getting inside to enjoy music is another way to deal with the weather. Here are some ideas. Music Lifts the Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, April 4

Claudia Schmidt, w/Laura Caviani @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($12, $15) Vocalist Schmidt is a folkie who moves easily into jazz, especially when accompanied by someone as talented as pianist Caviani.

Noah  Ophoven-Baldwin Duo w/Michelle Kinney @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Trumpeter/Cornetist Ophoven-Baldwin has a perfect foil for his often sweet tone in cellist Kinney.

Dead King Mother @ The Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15, $10/Students and Seniors) Fifty years after the assassination of Martin Luther King, percussionist Davu Seru tells the story of an almost forgotten incident in North Minneapolis that occurred as a result. The Capri is located in the same neighborhood where the incident occurred. This musical story will be presented by Zeitgeist and special guests, and will be followed by a panel discussion.

Brian Courage Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Bassist Courage is back in town for a bit, so you’ll see him appearing as a special guest at some gigs, and heading the Black Dog on Saturday. Tonight he leads a quartet with musicians that he played with while living here in the early teens: Chris Thomson, saxophones; Park Evans, guitar; and Jay Epstein, drums

Thursday, April 5

Jana Nyberg w/Sean Turner @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) It’s been three months since vocalist/flutist Nyberg gave birth to a baby boy, and she’s raring to get out and perform. Tonight she has an excellent accompanist in pianist Sean Turner. Here she is in a group setting.

Southside Aces’ Fats Waller Night @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) The Aces are a brass-heavy band who will be taking on the music of the irrepressible Fats Waller, who delivered his music with a sly wink and knowing grin.

Pool Party, Round 6 @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Erik Fratzke, bass; Carley Olson, clarinets; Adam Zahller, vox/recorders; with special guest, Brian Courage, bass.

Friday, April 6

Reynold Philipsek CD Release @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($12) This intimate cafe in the western ‘burbs is perfect for appreciating the nuanced technique of guitarist Philipsek, who often plays gypsy jazz, ala Django Reinhardt. The first 40 patrons (essentially a full house) will get a free copy of his new CD, Picture This. He’ll be accompanied by Matt Senjem, bass; and Michael Bisonette, drums.

Donnie Norton Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Norton, who teaches at Mankato, was a student of Von Freeman and Jerry Bergonzi, which should be more than enough to whet your curiosity about his music. Norton, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Saturday, April 7

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 7:00 Opening Set : Carter Pearson Quartet: Carter Pearson, Drums; Abebi Stafford, Piano; Graydon Peterson, Bass; and Bruce Acosta, Guitar. At 8:30 pm its Courageous Endeavors: ​Brian Courage, Bass; Nelson Devereaux, Saxophones; Joe Strachan, Piano; and Miguel Hurtado, Drums.

Sunday, April 8

Emmett Cohen Trio w/Tootie Heath @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 6:30pm ($30, $40), 8:30pm ($25, $40) Cohen is a relatively young, imaginative, and often impish piano player who believes in the intergenerational transfer of artistic knowledge. He has been seeking out holder players to record and perform with, and tonight, he has drummer Tootie Heath (youngest of the Heath Brothers) as his older compatriot. Heath’s career includes stints with a pantheon of jazz greats, including Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, Milt Jackson, Wes Montgomery, Cedar Walton… The list goes on. Grammy and Emmy nominated bassist Russell Hall will join them.  BTW, I’m being honored with an award from the Jazz Journalists Association at the beginning of the 6:30 show.

Monday, April 9

Emmett Cohen @ Dual Citizen Brewing, 725 Raymond Avenue, Saint Paul. 7pm ($25 suggested donation) This benefit for the Twin Cities Jazz Festival is being held at a new brewery, just South of University on Raymond Avenue. If you didn’t catch Cohen at Crooners last night, you can hear him as a soloist tonight.

Tuesday, April 10

Moonshine Rhythm Club @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($6) This lively group hails from Nashville, and are adept at old school swing, and gypsy jazz: Josh Irwin – Lead Guitar; Billy Jewell – Trumpet; Charles Kay – Saxophone; Eddie Rutland – Rhythm Guitar; and Thomas Altman – 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, April 4

Papa John Kolstad & the Perfect Phitts on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Papa John’s good natured swing and blues are complemented by the slide guitar of Gary Powell, and the harmonica of Bill Smith. Hence the name.

Willie Murphy @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6pm (Free) Bluesman/rocker/soulster Murphy is solo as part of the Hook’s Free Wednesday series.

Thursday, April 5

The Butanes @ Shaw’s, NE Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Tip Jar) You can’t go wrong by seeing the multiple award winning blues band on a Thursday night.

Friday, April 6

Lowertown Classics @ Lowertown Lofts, 255 Kellogg Blvd, Saint Paul 8pm (Suggested Donation $10) Those of you looking for a bit more informal approach to classical music should enjoy this regular event, which takes place in the buildings’ third floor atrium, among art, and with refreshments. Tonights’ program includes music by Bach, Bartok, Karg-Elert, Seiber, Pixinghina, di Majo and more, performed by: Eva Beneke, guitar; Catherine Ramirez, flute; Richard Kreihn, mandolin; Gary Raynor, bass. With Special Guest soprano Maria Jette. Enter through the alley.

Craig Clark Band @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis8:30pm (Tip Jar) Guitarist Clark brings his tasty licks and love of the blues to this Southside bar.

Saturday, April 7

Renee Austin Album Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.7pm ($20, $25) Austin is a six time Minnesota music Award winner who calls her mix of classic soul, gospel, and R&B “Roadhouse Soul.” Hers is a miraculous story: after gaining fame in the early part of this century, the Texas-born singer lost her voice after a medical procedure in 2005, only to have it come back in 2015. Now she has a new album, Songbirds and Angels, which she’ll be singing tonight.

Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) In Lil’ Ed you get a highly energized band leader, a dynamite slide guitar player, and a Chicago master of the endless boogie. You’ll be sweating by the end of the show.

Sunday, April 8

Song for Juliet @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7pm ($9 Advance/$12 Door) Singer/songwriter and ukelelest Katy Vernon put together this show to raise funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and to honor her mum, who died of Lymphoma. Besides Vernon, the show will feature Mary Bue, and the Homefires (Sarah Morris & Vicky Emerson).

Road to Memphis Solo/Duo Challenge @ Coon Rapids VFW Post #9625, 1919 Coon Rapids Blvd NW, Coon Rapids. 1pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s time once again to pick a solo or duo act to represent Minnesota in the International Blues Challenge. Judges will have to choose among the following; Donnie Sauve; Tim Reigstad; Trevor Marty; Tony Cuchetti & Joe Filipiovich; Wain McFarlane & Kurt Graham; and the Phil Kitzke Acoustic Band.

Sunday, Tuesday, April 8, 10

The English Beat @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 9pm Sunday, 7pm Tuesday ($35, $42) Back in the early 80s, the English Beat helped animate the ska revival of the time, though their music also ventured into punk, reggae and soul. They had a string of hit singles, including Mirror in the Bathroom, and Save it for Later, and toured the world with the likes of David Bowie, The Clash, and Talking Heads, among others. At the time, the band had two lead vocalists, Ranking Roger, and Dave Wakeling. It appears this version of the group is led by Wakeling, as they’re preparing to release a new album in May.

Monday, April 9

Ana Moura @ The Dakota, Minneapolis.7pm ($45, $55, $65) The Portuguese music called Fado has been likened to the blues, due to its emphasis on facing and surviving life’s vicissitudes. Vocalist Moura, whose voice is luxurious and passionate may be the most well-known of the proponents of this music, which almost died out before a renewed interest by the younger generation of Portuguese artists.

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.


State Fair Music and More, Pt II: 8.27 – 9.2

August 27, 2014

STATE_FAIR_MUSIC

First, my thanks to Tim Nyberg of Octane Creative for his witty redesign of the image I used last week. The Labor Day Weekend is upon us, with it’s “end of summer” designation, as school begins in earnest, and the long weekend finds folks visiting cabins and otherwise going Up North. For those of who stay in town, the State Fair is still offering many music attractions, a few of which I’ve included. On a personal note, if you’re in town Sunday, you can join me at the Nightingale, where I’ll be spinning soul and funk for Sunday Brunch. In the meantime, have a good week. Music lifts your spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 27

Byron Johnson-Blanchard Quartet @ Minnehaha Falls Bandshell, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Here’s a fine way spend a lovely evening – checking out some jazz while enjoying a picnic, or, if you’re willing to get there early and get in line, a meal from Sea Salt.  Either way, drummer Johnson-Blanchard, who plays with High & Mighty, as well as this group, will satisfy your craving for jazz.

Photo by Andrea Canter

Davu Seru Photo by Andrea Canter

Davu Seru Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Percussionist Seru is highly versatile, able to freely improvise, play Desert Blues, and jazz standards. He’ll be joined by Scott Fultz, sax; Tom Reichert, guitar; and Josh Granowski on bass.

Thursday, August 27

The Atlantis Quartet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) The All Originals Jazz Series continues with a group that’s been named Best Jazz Band in the Twin Cities by City Pages, as well as a number of fans, and no wonder – their originals are full of spark and fire, and their members are among the best in town. Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris Bates, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums.

Arne Fogel @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Fogel is one of the best male vocalists in town. He’s a master at interpreting Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. He’s also good at putting together performances that showcase particular composers and themes such as movie songs. Always a pro, always enjoyable.

Dean Granros @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) We have a surfeit of excellent jazz guitarists in town. Case in point: Mr. Granros, who will be playing solo tonight at the cafe with authentic Afghan cuisine, some of which will be available, along with beer and wine.

Friday, August 28

Eric Kamau Gravatt & Source Code @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm, ($10 Suggested Donation) I’ve mentioned Gravatt about every time he plays, since he deserves to be heard here in his home town. After all, he’s good enough to have recorded and toured with Weather Report, and has toured with McCoy Tyner, among other jazz giants. He’ll be joined by other Twin Cities musicians that are worthy of his skill and leadership: Dean Magraw, guitar; Dave Graf, trombone; Solomon Parhan, trumpet; and Ron Evaniuk, bass. Here’s a video that features Gravatt’s drum solo on a McCoy Tyner performance.

Reynold Philipsek, Matt Senjem, & Michael Bissonnet @ the 318 Cafe, Excelsior; 8pm ($10) The 318 is a fairly intimate room – about 40 seats, including the bar, so it’s a good idea to call and get reservations. Philipsek, on guitar, Senjem on bass, Bissonet on percussion. This performance is being filmed for a video project, so you can say you were there.

Saturday, August 30

Mike Doolin Guitar Making/Repair Workshop & Concert, and Tough Commute CD Release @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 3pm (Workshop/Concert), 8pm (CD Release) ($10 for workshop is also good for CD Release). Mike Doolin is a guitar maker from Portland, Oregon who has released a CD with David Martin. At the workshop, Doolin will discuss the construction and repair of various guitars he has made and then perform on some of them along David Martin, with whom he’s made the CD Tough Commute. I interviewed David Martin on my show this past Saturday (the 23rd), which you can listen to here. Their performance at the Icehouse Monday night was very, very good. Attend the workshop and CD release for one price.

Foreign Motion featuring Patty Peterson @ The Icehouse,Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($10Advance/$15Door) Guitarist Cory Wong leads Foreign Motion through some original jazz for the 21st Century. I suspect, however, that there will be some standards and contemporary songs for Patty Peterson to sing as well. (Wong regularly plays in her group). Other members of Foreign Motion include Yohannes Tona, bass; Kevin Gastonguay, keys; and Peter Janjic, drums. Here’s an example of Foreign Motion’s work.

Sunday, August 31

Connie Evingson & Jon Weber: More from Ella Fitzgerald’s Songbooks@ The Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm, 7:30pm ($25) Here’s a noteworthy duo. Evingson is at ease singing anything from standards to Peggy Lee, the Beatles, and Gypsy Jazz. Weber  s a virtuoso pianist with an encyclopedic knowledge of music and the ability to play almost anything. You may know him from his annual appearances at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. They did the first round round of Ella Fitzgerald classics in June and are returning with more.

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, August 27

Jack Klatt & the Cat Swingers on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Klatt & the Cat Swingers perform acoustic swing and blues, as well as a bit of ragtime. In other words they’re lots of fun. Check them out on the radio, and if you like em’ head over to the 331 Club.

Lake Street Dive w/Southside Desire @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 9pm (7:30 doors), ($20) Lake Street Dive came together in Boston where they were attending the New England Conservatory and were named by their trumpet/guitar player Mike Olson, who is from Minneapolis. Their acoustic, slowed down version of I Want You Back went viral and garnered over a million views, catapulting them to some fame and into a recording studio for a full-length album full of garage pop-soul. Southside Desire, with their girl group meets garage band/Stax sound is the perfect opening act.

Radio Joe & the Jazzbos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Radio Joe Demko plays guitar, sings, and leads this excellent small swing outfit: Bruce Wintervold, vibes; Keith Boyles, bass; Tony Guscetti, drums. Expect some Swing, Tango, Calypso, Rhumba,. jump blues, boogie boogie & more. In other words, get your dancing shoes out. Here’s proof of their effect on dancers.

Thursday, August 28

Siama Matuzungidi @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (tip jar) Matuzungidi is an African guitarist who has played on over 100 popular singles from the golden era of soukous. He’s lived in Minneapolis since 1995, and regularly performs with Socaholix, Marimba Africa, and Cyril Paul, and has recently received a McKnight Fellowship. Lately, he’s been performing acoustically. Tonight he’ll be accompanied by Scott Fultz on flute, sax, and guitar, as well as a percussionist. Here he is at the Harriet Bandshell.

Liv Warfield & NPG Hornz @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm. ($75, $60) 10pm ($45) This is Paisley Park production featuring Warfield, who is a Prince protoge. The NPG Horns add a blast of pure energy, as evidenced in this video from the Jimmy Fallon show.

Tony Allen & the Chicago Afrobeat Project @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9pm, ($15) Allen was the drummer for most of Fela’s incendiary music – a true architect of Afrobeat. He’s appearing with the Chicago Afrobeat Project, a band that has thoroughly infused the sound into their bloodstreams.

Friday, August 29

Sonny Knight & the Lakers @ The International Bazaar Stage, MN State Fair. 7:30pm, 8:45pm (Free w/$13 Fair Admission) Funkin’ up the International Bazaar, Knight and his crew continue to work as hard as possible to spread the gospel of not-so-retro funk.

Buckwheat Zydeco @ the Leinie Bandshell, MN State Fair. 8:30pm  (Free w/$13 Fair Admission) Propulsive, high-powered Zydeco music from one of the few zydeco artists to achieve mainstream success. The New York Times say he leads “one of the best bands in America.” ‘Nuff said.

Rick Estrin & the Nightcats @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) Blues with a broad sense of humor. However, don’t laugh so hard that you miss out on Estrin’s harp playing.  Plus, as the kids used to say, It’s got a good beat. You can dance to it.

Sunday, Monday, August 31, September 1

RAMM Band with Horns @ The International Bazaar Stage, MN State Fair. 3pm – 7pm (Free w/$13 Fair Admission) Paul Mayasich and his friends will be tearing up the stage at the Fair. Good thing there’s room for dancing.

Marcia Ball @ The Leinie Stage, MN State Fair. 3:30pm, 4:45pm  (Free w/$13 Fair Admission) Ahhh, Long Tall Marcia Ball  The honky-tonkin’ boogie boogie piano player never disappoints, whether she’s singing about backyard barbecues, the Mississippi flood, newlyweds, or playing with your “poodle.”

Monday, September 1

Salif Keita @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($50) The Golden Voice of Africa is a direct descendant of the founder of the Mali Empire. Keita’s rhythmic, sensuous music and supple voice has helped him become pretty big around the rest of the world as well, earning him the respect of many big stars. Guest artists like Carlos Santana, Wayne Shorter, and Joe Zawinul have appeared on his albums.

Tuesday, September 2

Vinyl Voices @ Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (Free) This is a weekly gig in which KFAI-certified deejays spin vinyl while you enjoy the Tap Room’s beer and food truck edibles. Tonight I’ll be spinning funky jazz, New Orleans R&B, and a bit of R&B from elsewhere. I’ll be trading off with Emily Krumberger, who will be spinning R&B, Soul, and hip-hop. Stop on by.

Fat Chance Jug Band & Jug Band Jam @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 6pm (Tip Jar)  Fat Chance has this good-time, homemade music  thing pretty well in hand, since they’ve been at it so long. Stick around for a bit of a jam. Maybe you can even learn how to make a washboard bass.

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.


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