Visiting and Resident Musicians, Oh My! 10:19 – 10.25

October 19, 2016

unknown-1Along with some wonderful Fall weather, we have another week of outstanding music, including some iconic, as well as up and coming visiting musicians, three nights of instantly improvised jazz in Lowertown, and a number of fun shows from resident musicians. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 19

Mississipppi @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) After their album release last week at the Dakota, Mississippi makes another appearance, taking advantage of the brief visit of Peruvian guitarist Andres Prado  who graced the Twin Cities for a  few years and became a highly respected member of our music scene. The group includes Kevin Washington, drums; Jeff Bailey, bass; Peter Schimkie, piano; and Pete Whitman, sax. They’ll have a number of special guests as well.

Sophia Shorai/Rhonda Laurie @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Shorai – No Cover) 8pm ($5) The evening starts off with the sweet sounds of vocalist/pianist Shorai for the dinner hour. Then at 8pm vocalist Rhonda Laurie brings her sophisticated sound to the club, focusing tonight on gypsy jazz tunes as Reynold Philipsek, guitar; Gary Schulte, violin; and Matt Senjem, bass, accompany her.

Thursday, Friday, October 20, 21

McCoy Tyner w/Gary Bartz @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40, $45), 9pm ($35, $40) The legendary pianist returns to the club where he first appeared in 1988, when it was in Saint Paul. Those familiar with jazz history know that Tyner came to prominence in at the age of 17 when he was in the John Coltrane Quartet, touring and recording with Coltrane between 1961 and 1965, and playing on such landmark albums as Live at the Village Vanguard, ballads and the exquisite A Love Supreme. His bands have won three Grammys, and in 2002 he was named a Jazz Master by the National Endowment for the Arts. Tyner will be joined by saxophonist Gary Bartz, who played with Miles Davis, Jackie McClean, Charles Mingus, and Max Roach, in addition to Tyner and leading his own groups. A couple of other outstanding musicians round out the group: Gerald Cannon on bass; and Francisco Mela (artistic director of the Twin Cities Jazz Festival) on drums.

Thursday, October 20

Rhonda Laurie @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) If you didn’t catch Rhonda Laurie last night at the Vieux, here’s another chance to see her, this time in a more intimate setting, solely accompanied by guitarist Dean Magraw.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, October 21, 22, 23

Free Jazz in Saint Paul’s Lowertown. That’s free jazz as in freely improvised, not cost-free, and what better neighborhood to listen than the art center of Saint Paul. The stars have aligned to have three nights with four different groups, as follows:

Thursday: Spring Roll @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($15) This French free-jazz quartet is led by composer/flautist Sylvaine Helary  They use flutes, sax, clarinet, piano, and a perfusion of percussion, mostly bells, or keyboards, as well as an anagogic synthesizer, a loop modulator, and the manipulation of magnetic bands. Their music shows influences of Ornette Coleman and Harry Partch, and Captain Beefheart.

Friday: Donald Washington @ The Black Dog. 8pm (Tip Jar) Donald Washington: sax, flutes, clarinet, and bells; is joined by son Kevin Washington on drums; and Richard Studer on bass to create music on the spot.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog. 7pm (Tip Jar) John Devine and Bill Lang & Co. open at 7pm, Douglas Ewart & Quasar: Jaqueline Ultan, cello; Stephen Goldstein, computer and sound engineer; Carei Thomas, piano; Donald Washington, reeds & percussion, Douglas Ewart, didjeridu, various horns, voice, percussion; and a spoken word artist and dancer.

Friday, October 21

Heather Masse @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($20) Singer-Songwriter Masse came to prominence as a member of the popular folk group Wailin’ Jennys, though her early interest was jazz. She was a frequent guest on Prairie Home Companion, where she met trombone master Roswell Rudd. When they realized they lived a few miles from each other in upstate NY, they decided to collaborate. The resulting album, August Love Song, was released on Red House Records, which is producing this concert. It received a rave review on AllMusic where the reviewer said it “feels simultaneously modern and classic.”

CC Septet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Original music from Larry Neumann, Sax, Flute: Paul Peterson, Sax, Clarinet; Scott Snyder, Trumpet; Ralph Brindle, Trombone; Tim Lackas, Keyboards; Greg Stinson, Bass; and Brett Smith, Percussion.

Jon Pemberton/Jana Nyberg Group @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Pemberton – No Cover), 9pm (Nyberg – $10) Pianist, trumpeter, and composer Jon Pemberton provides music for the dinner hour, then vocalist Nyberg and her group, which always includes hubby and master trumpeter Adam Meckler, take the stage for an evening of jazz/pop, including some of Nyberg’s fine originals and interesting covers.

Friday, Saturday, October 21, 22

Matt Slocum Trio @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm, 10pm ($18 Advance/$20 Door) Born in Saint Paul and raised in western Wisconsin, drummer Matt Slocum brings his NYC based trio to town, including Dayna Stephens on saxophones and Steve Cardenass on guitar. Their latest album Trio Pacific, Vol. 1, is filled with surprises. Modern Drummer Magazine said of Slocum, “The young drummer constantly surprises, embracing the kit as a reactive and explorative multi-percussion whole. A fresh voice.” Here’s Slocum with a different trio, from his appearance at the AQ four years ago.

Saturday, October 22

Pippi’s 3rd Annual Birthday Bash @ The Bedlam, Saint Paul. 6:30 – 9:30pm ($20, $25, including Dinner) For the 3rd year in a row, vocalist Pippi Ardennia is celebrating her birthday at the Bedlam, and as usual, she’s being joined by many musicians, including the PipJazz SX band, which includes Margo Brevik bass; Faye Washington, flute; Maureen Siebert, clarinet; Cymphony Jaxon, piano; and Glory Yard, drums. She’ll also call on current and past members of the PipJazz All Stars including Lee Tran, sax; DeVante Jackson, sax; Yonci Jamison, bass clarinet; DeCarlo Jackson, bass & trumpet; Bobby Rosson, drums; John Henry, bass; and Walter Hampton, piano & sax. Ardennia always puts young artists through their paces, calling out tunes and rhythms on the fly, and consequently bringing out the best in new musical voices.

Sunday, October 23

Rudresh Mahanthappa – Bird Calls @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. ($35) The Vieux is changing it up this week, opening on a Sunday in order to feature an outstanding visiting artist. Saxophonist Mahanthappa incorporates the sonic possibilites of music from his culture (India) with the influence of Charlie Parker’s music to create what many critics call a new path in jazz. His last recording was Bird Calls in 2015, which was called album of the year by both Downbeat magazine and NPR’s Music Critics Poll. The New York Times described him has having “a roving intellect and a bladelike articulation.”

Monday, October 24

Bobby Lyle & Billy Peterson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $25, $60Dinner) Pianist Lyle started his career over three decades ago, as a sixteen-year old playing in Minneapolis clubs. After moving to Los Angeles, he met Jazz Crusader Wayne Henderson, who got him signed to Capitol Records and produced his first record. He’s played all over the world and has served as music director for Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, and Bette Midler. He’ll be joined by bassist Billy Peterson  whose own musical career also knows few boundaries, having worked with Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Les Paul, Ben Sidran, and Steve Miller, among others. Their appearance at the Dunsmore Room last May was a delight.

Tuesday, October 25

Brian Claxton Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner) The Wisconsin-born, Colorado based Claxton is a drummer who got his start when his folks bought him a toy drum at the age of one, twenty-nine years ago. He eventually taught himself to play by ear and was able to earn a spot at UW Eau Claire, where one of the ensembles he worked with got a Downbeat award. While attending school, he’d take part in the Twin Cities music scene, where he played with John Raymond, Aaron Hedenstrom, and Nachito Herrera.

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, October 19

Ilka/Ward Duo on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Jake Ilka and Joel Ward have been playing all kinds of music together for over 10 years – blues, soul, Americana, folk and more, using a mix of keys, guitars, and pedal steel to play both originals and covers. Tune in at 5pm and then head over to the 331 Club to hear more.

Charles Lazarus & Mary Jo Gothman @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($15, $40w/Dinner) Trumpeter Lazarus is a member of the Minnesota Orchestra and has played with his own jazz group on a number of occasions. Lazarus made his Carnegie Hall solo debut with the New York String Orchestra at the age of 19 while still a student at The Juilliard School.  Since then, he has appeared as a soloist with numerous orchestras throughout North America, performed with the Empire Brass, New York Philharmonic Principal Brass, London Brass, Barry White, and opened for Tony Bennett. Pianist Mary Jo Gothman currently, works with talented young singers at The Minnesota Opera and plays chamber music with friends from the St Paul Chamber Orchestra. She’s worked with a number of opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera and the Santa Fe Opera.

Morgan James @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35), 9pm ($25, $30) The vocalist/songwriter is a Idaho native who studied at Julliard, and has appeared in Motown, the Musical (as Teena Marie), and in star-making roles in Wonderland and Godspell. Berry Gordy introduced James to a couple of hit-makers in Los Angeles, and her debut recording was released in 2014. Much of her music falls into the Slow Jam category of R&B, as songs such as Call My Name start out slow and sensuous and build until James unleashes her powerful voice.

Thursday, October 20

Pat Donahue @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) If championship finger-picking and witty songs are your pleasure, check out acoustic guitarist Pat Donahue  known for being a regular on Prairie Home Companion for years. His songs have been recorded by the likes of Suzy Boguss, Chet Atkins, Kenny Rogers, and more.

Courtney Yasmineh Tour Kickoff, w/Joyann Parker @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($7) Courtney Yasmineh left Chicago as a teenager and held up in Northern Minnesota, where she studied the music of Bob Dylan while developing her own songwriting skills. Moving to the Twin Cities she further developed her craft and in the last decade has begun to record and release both albums and EPs. Along the way she has toured the States, and Europe, doing all the booking and arrangements herself. She writes rock and roll songs for adults, with an honesty that draws from life’s victories and vicissitudes: bittersweet, blistering, fanciful, and hopeful. Opening is Joyann Parker, who, with her band Sweet Tea, won the right to represent Minnesota at the 2015 International Blues Challenge.

Deano & the Dinosaurs @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) It’s Dress Like Deano Day at Dusty’s as guitarist Dean Mikkelson leads Dean Harrington, guitar; Keith Boyles, bass; and Diehl Gallagher, drums through an evening of gypsy jazz, swing, and some blues. If you want to Dress Like Deano (Mikkelson), wear a plaid flannel shirt and colorful high-tops to get the essence of his style.

Friday, October 21

Willie Walker, w/Greazy Gravy @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($10?) It’s good to be able to see the original soul man in town again, since has been touring overseas a lot lately, due in part to the enthusiastic response to his album If Nothing Ever Changes, for which he won two Living Blues Music Awards. Opening is Greazy Gravy, featuring the harmonica of Curtis Blake. Here’s Willie in Norway.

Davina & The Vagabonds @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) Though Davina and her intrepid Vagabonds continue to tour the US and overseas on a regular basis, it’s good to have her stop and perform at a bar with a dance floor here at home.

Saturday, October 22

Jeff Ray & The Stakes @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Ray is an extraordinary slide guitarist and songwriter, who can take a blues or rock song and create his own version of the blues. He’ll be appearing with Harold Tremblay on harmonica, with whom he has great musical rapport, and other guests.

Sarah Morris & Vicky Emerson Tour Send Off @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) Morris and Emerson are both moms as well as Americana singer songwriters. They are hitting the road in a Highways and Heartstrings Tour of the Midwest, kicking off the tour this evening. They’ll share the stage swapping stories and songs from their respective albums.

Sunday, October 23

Ladies Night @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 4pm ($15, $10 for Ladies) Well it’s not exactly night when this starts, and it’s not a Ladies drink free night, but you get the idea. This is a Fundraiser for Discover Music, a program that encourages songwriting among teenagers. The Show will feature women performers such as Joyann Parker, Jennifer Grimm, Annie Mack, Katia Cardenas, and Rose Duffy.

Javier Matos @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 5pm (Free) Guitarist Matos plays the blues – swingin, shuffles, 12 bar, bottleneck, and more. He was in the Blue Shadows with two members of the Blasters, had songs in Breaking Bad and Friday Night Lights, and even made the cover of Billboard magazine. And you get to see him for free! (If you haven’t been there, the Dockside stage is actually an outdoor pavilion next to Como Lake, so dress appropriately)

Monday, October 24

Metro Cajun Ensemble @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 10;20pm ($8) If it’s Monday, there must be Cajun and/or Zydeco music at the Eagles Club. Be prepared to dance.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, October 24, 25, 26

O’Conner Family Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40, $45) Mark O’Conner is a Grammy winning multi-instrumentalist, equally at home on fiddle, guitar, and mandolin. His unique career has seen him collaborating with such country & bluegrass superstars as Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, George Jones, Bill Monroe, and Earl Scruggs, as well as with jazz greats Bobby McFerrin and Wynton Marsalis, along with cellist Yo-Yo Ma. He’s also written a number of violin concertos, which he’s performed hundreds of times with major symphonies around the world, and has appeared on over 500 albums. The O’Conner Family Band features a three-violin front line of O’Conner, his wife Maggie, and Kate Lee, fiancé of Mark’s son Forrest, who plays mandolin. They’re joined by Joe Smart, a championship flat picker on guitar, and Geoff Saunders, on bass, who hold down a tight groove, no matter what the pace.

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.


Culture, Heritage, Music: 9.7 – 9.13

October 7, 2015
The Jamaican National Dance Theater, performing at the Jamaica Expo on Sunday

The National Dance Theater of Jamaica, performing at the Jamaica Heritage Expo on Sunday

It’s another week of great music from resident and visiting artists alike, including Hawaiian music as performed by a chamber vocal ensemble, world jazz, reggae, and of course, the blues. Music lifts the spirit. Have fun!

Jazz

Wednesday, October 7

Katia Cardenas @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Cardenas is a vocalist who is versatile enough to sing jazz, soulful R&B, and the occasional pop song.

Vector Families (aka PBR Street Gang) @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Anthony Cox takes over Jazz Central one Wednesday a month. Tonight he’s joined by Brandon Wozniak, sax; Dean Granros, guitar; and Dave King, drums. It’s a stellar cast of musicians, capable of playing difficult rhythms while still swinging.

Thursday, October 8

Suzanne Paris @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s vocal night at Jazz Central, and Ms Paris, who has been raising a family for the last 15 years, is returning to performing. She was mentored by Buddy Montgomery, and performed as both a soloist and as a background vocalist for major recording artists such as Dave Mason and Jeff “Skunk” Baxter of Steely Dan and the Doobie Brothers. Her repertoire runs from pop to standards. Here she is doing a blues.

Atrium Jazz Ensemble: Confluence @ Target Atrium of Orchestra Hall, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($?)  Pianist Jeremy Walker kicks off a new season of jazz in the atrium with the music of Hoagy Carmichael, Bob Dylan, and Walker’s suite “A River Like a Train” featuring Wes “Warmdaddy” Anderson from New Orleans, alto sax; Chris Thomson, tenor sax; Jeremy Walker, piano; Jeff Brueske, bass; and Tim Zhorne, drums. Here is Anderson fronting his own band.

Trumpet Night @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) It’s always an adventure at this small venue that features wine, beer, and a few food items for these late night soirees. First set is a duo with Steve Kenny and Adam Linz. Second set is a trumpet trio with Noah Baldwin, Jake Baldwin and Elaine Evans.

Friday, October 9

Bob Parsons Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10 suggested Donation) Parsons is a saxophonist/arranger who spent 15 years in the Big Apple, appearing on over 30 records for Blue Note, Verve, and Steeplechase Records. Since returning to the Twin Cities in 2008, he’s created arrangements for both the Acme Jazz Company and the Andrew Walesch project 100 Years of Sinatra. He’ll be join by Chris Lomheim, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Mac Santiago, drums.

Bottomless Pit and Live Painting @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm. Tim Nyberg will once again be painting to live music, this time performed by the A-list of Eric Kamau Gravatt, drums; Joel Shapira, guitar; Pete Whitman, sax; and Tom Lewis, bass. Tim even has a video showing how he paints to music.

Saturday, October 10

Black Violin @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($42), 9pm ($35) Classically trained Will B and Kev Marcus play violin and viola, and use those instruments to deliver a blend of classical, hip-hop, and R&B, with a tip of the hat to bluegrass music once in a while. They’ve played the President’s Inaugural Ball, backed Alicia Keys at the 2004 Billboard Awards, and have collaborated with Kanye West, 50 Cent, Tom Petty, Aretha Franklin, and other legendary acts. Listen as they turn the Brandenburg Concerto into a hip-hop jam.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm ($Tip Jar) Central Standard Time takes the stage at 7pm, featuring Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Ted Olson, bass; Steve Kenny, Flumpet; and Matthew Buckner, drums. They’ll be followed at 8:30 by Low Blows, a trio consisting of Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Chris Bates, bass; and JT Bates, drums.

Mauilotus: The Marilyn Allysum Group @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($15 advance/$20 Door) Global Jazz from the group formally known as Quintessence. Mauilotus uses a variety of Chinese, Indian, Tibetan, and Western instruments to weave the musical traditions of East and West into a unique soundscape. Allysum, piano, flute, Gu Zheng, and voice; Charles Fletcher, bass; guitars; Mike Hurley, drums and percussion; and David Wolfe, Persian harp.

Monday, October 12

Charmin and Shapira and Friends @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No cover) Charmin Michelle’s voice is sweet and smooth as whipping cream, while Joel Shapira’s guitar provides a light, yet swinging accompaniment. They’ll be joined by friends Paul Harper on sax; Tom Lewis on bass; and Nathan Norman on drums.

Tuesday, October 13

Phil Hey Quartet @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) This might be the best jazz group in the Twin Cities, and that’s saying something, given the talent in town. This is their debut at Crooners, and the dance floor will be filled with tables for a listening audience. Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Tom Lewis, bass; Phil Aaron, piano; and Phil Hey, drums; play the music of Ornette Coleman, Chick Corea, Don Cherry, and others.

Rhonda Laurie @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) Born and bred in New York City, vocalist Laurie  started out as a Manhattan cabaret singer and studied jazz with Judy Niemack, Sheila Jordan and others. Whether singing gypsy jazz, straight-ahead, or cabaret, Laurie always satisfies.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. 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, October 7

Bingham & Thorne on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis.  5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – tip Jar) These veteran guitarists (Thorn also plays mandolin) deliver anecdotes, humor, and philosophy as well as the blues. They’re equally at home playing on a porch, in a club, or at a festival. They’ll be joined by fiddle master Randy Sabien, and no doubt harpist/host will join in on a tune or two. Tune in at 5pm, and if you like what you hear, which is likely, catch them live at the 331 Club.

Mark Lickteig’s Original Soul Revue @ The Pourhouse, 10 South 5th St, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Mark Lickteig and the Vicious Licks (horns and Hammond B-3), with special guest Ali Washington. You probably know vocalist/intsrumentalist Lickteig from his work with bands like Mick Sterling and the Stud Brothers, the R Factor, Free and Easy, and his weekly appearances with Mambo’s Combo (The Combo) at Bunker’s. He’s got a powerful voice that holds it own against horn bands and communicates soulful emotion. He’s finally released a CD of his own, Workin’ , backed by the cream of Twin Cities jazz and R&B players.

Thursday, October 8

Portland Cello Project @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($20) Chamber music that stretches boundaries and appeals to all demographics. The group can range in size from a quartet to a 12 piece accompanied by chorus and orchestras. They’ve collaborated with folks like the Dandy Warhols and Trampled by Turtles, and have played symphony halls, NYC loading docks, and Prairie Home Companion.

Thursday, Friday, October 8, 9

Dave and Phil Alvin and the Guilty Ones @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $40) Back together again, after the success of Common Ground, their album of Big Bill Broonzy Songs, the brothers Alvin  of The Blasters, celebrate the music of James Brown, Leadbelly, Willie Dixon, Big Joe Turner, and other inspirations on their latest, Lost Time. Here they are performing a Big Bill Broonzy song.

Friday, October 9

Unknown-2Armadillo Jump @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($5) Get jumpin’ with this unassuming rockin’ R&B quintet  They just want folks to dance, and are very successful at doing that. Guitarist Johnny Coburn leads the group and provides some original songs, but their playlist includes songs by Larry Garner, Susan Tedeschi, J Geils, ZZ Top, and even Norah Jones. Monica Louise provides powerful vocals, Mike Brisson, bass; and Nick Zwak drums; provide the foundation, while Rose Duffy provides both sweetening and strength on sax.

John Primer @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Primer’s is a classic blues story: as a Mississippi born child he created a homemade guitar by nailing broom wire to the wall of a house; inspired by Muddy Waters, Little Milton, and BB King songs he heard on the radio; migrated to Chicago and played West side clubs, and became a member of the house band at Theresa’s on the South Side, playing with the likes of Jr Well,s Buddy Guy, and Lonnie Brooks; and working in the bands of Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, and Magic Slim. I’ve said it of others, but there is not doubt that he’s the real deal.

The Rose Ensemble: The Last Queen of Hawaii @ Ted Mann Concert Hall, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15 – $37) Here in the Midwest we rarely learn much about Hawaii’s heritage and history, so this performance gives us a peek at Hawaii’s music and dance heritage as this vocal chamber group performs an ancient chant, Victorian Parlor tunes, missionary hymns, and cowboy tunes. It ends with the imprisonment of Queen Lilli’uokalani, composer of the famous Aloha ‘Oe. Listen.

Friday, Saturday, October 9, 10

UkeFest @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) The oft-maligned ukelele is celebrated at this Fourth Annual Ukefest, which now takes up two evenings, and features members of the Hula Peppers, the Meteor Bos, and The Lau Hawaiian Collective, as well as the festivals’ founder Katy Vernon, and Lynn O’Brien, Jake Rowan, and many more. Ukeleles are welcome for the sing-along at the end of the night.

Saturday, October 10

The Butanes @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) The Twin Cities best blues band makes its debut at the northern suburb lounge (about a mile north of 694 on Central) with a dance floor. Here they are with an instrumental.

Roundhouse on Tap, featuring Davina & The Vagabonds @ The Jackson Street Roundhouse, 193 Pennsylvania Avenue East, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($20) Rowdy music at the Roundhouse, with a tour of the museum, some history, and beer thrown in for good measure. Learn more, including how to take part in an optional vintage bus tour and beer tasting at Urban Growler, by going here.

Jeff Ray & Stakes CD Release Party @ Golden’s Deli, 275 4th Street East, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) Golden’s Deli is a Lowertown spot that features occasional music and poetry to go with its soups, salads, beer, and wine. Jeff Ray and the Stakes (Hurricane Harold Tremblay, harmonica; Nick Salisbury, bass; Mikkel Beckmen, percussion) have a new CD, entitled Valhalla, brimming with lively acoustic blues, including Ray originals and tunes from the Grateful Dead, Bobby Blue Bland, and Mississippi Fred McDowell. As an added bonus, they have the great guitarist Pat Donahue as a special guest. Here’s Jeff, Harold, and Mikkel.

Sunday, October 11

MN Blues Hall of Fame Celebration @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 12:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This annual event celebrates the best of Minnesota Blues. Today’s inductees include Big George Jackson, John Beach, and Donald “Hye Pockets” Robertson. There will be speeches and lots of blues music.

Jamaica Heritage Expo feat. Marcia Griffiths @ The Cowles Center, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($40) Expo begins at 4pm, featuring special performances by National Dance Theater of Jamaica. At 8:30pm Marcia Griffiths (The Empress of Reggae) takes the stage. Here’s a chance to learn more about true culture and heritage of this Caribbean nation. Then, at 8:30, thrill to music from Ms Griffiths, who started her career with Byron Lee and the Dragonaires, went out to perform as a member of the I-Threes (backing Bob Marley), recorded and performed with Bob Andy as Bob and Marcia, and has had her own successful solo career. Her version of Electric Boogie started the Electric Slide dance craze (you’ve seen it at weddings), becoming the highest selling single of any female reggae singer.

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.


Labor Day Weekend and More: 9.2 – 9.8

September 2, 2015

images-3Well, along with many other writers, I suppose I could lament the ending of summer, now that Labor Day weekend is fast approaching, yada, yada, yada.

I’ll mention instead a couple of things that are promising for jazz lovers. First, Walker West Music Academy is to be congratulated on their monthly 8 O’Clock Jump Series. The first two shows: Nicole Mitchell Quartet on Sept 6, Ron Carter Trio on Sept 11; are already sold out, but you can still get tickets for upcoming shows by going to their website. The other good news is that Crooners Lounge and Supper Club has instituted Jazz Tuesdays, with a fine line-up each week in September. I’ve listed Dave Karr’s Tuesday appearance below. They are also featuring jazz on other nights, with occasional R&B acts as well.

There is some great roots and blues this week as well. Check out what you can. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, September 2

Anthony Cox Presents @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) On the first Wednesday of each month, bassist Cox brings in a small group or ensemble from different disciplines to collaborate with each other. He’s open to questions and dialogue with the audience, which often creates an insight into the creative process.

Wednesday thru Saturday

Sheridan Zuther @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 4:30 – 6:30pm (No Cover) Crooners seems to be having an artists of the week for happy hour. This week it’s Sheridan Zuther, a vocalist whose strong voice and engaging personality will add even more happiness to your happy hour.

Thursday, September 3

Rhonda Laurie Trio @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7-10pm (No Cover) Vocalist Laurie’s assured way with swing and gypsy jazz will both calm your nerves and brighten your evening.

Vicky Mountain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Mountain, who teaches vocalists at MacPhail Center for Music, shows off her ability to find the jazz nub in a variety of tunes ranging from Fats Waller to Lieber & Stoller. Here’s just a taste of this hip singer.

Friday, September 4

Jon Weber: From Joplin to Jarrett @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Weber may be one of the most talented pianists in the country, able to play any song in any style and then tell you about its origins. Here’s a sample of what he knows.

Andrew Schwandt Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Schwandt is a saxophonist who has played cruise ships and all manner of bands, from Steeling Dan and Big Walter Smith to Fuzzy Math. He’s joined by Chris Lomheim, piano; Matt Peterson, bass; Karl Koopmann, guitar; Mac Santiago, drums. Here he is performing an original song with another one of his groups, Story City.

Zacc Harris Quartet @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) An A-list of pro musicians: Zacc Harris, guitar; Phil Aaron, piano; Matt Peterson, bass; Jay Epstein, drums.

Saturday, September 5

Jana Nyberg Group @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) The flautist/vocalist brings her group, including trumpeter/hubby Adam Meckler, to the club located about 3/4 of a mile north of 694 on Central.

Adam Booker CD Release @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Booker is a Duluth bassist whose fine CD, Unraveled Rival, is being released on the Twin Cities label Shifting Paradigm. He’ll have a sextet backing him: Ryane Frane, piano; Adam Meckler, trumpet; Pete Whitman, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Pete Hennig drums.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Blackdog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) This Saturday night series continues to showcase new bands along with established bands. Tonight at 7pm it’s VVG, the debut performance of a young band featuring Josh Johnson, sax; DeCarlo Jackson, bass; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; and Ben Beyene, drums. Then at 8:30pm it’s What Would Monk Do?, with Steve Kenny, flumpet; Billy Peterson, bass; Peter Schimke piano; and Kenny Horst drums.

Sunday, September 6

Connie Evingson sings Dave Frishberg  @ The Jungle Theater, MInnenapolis.  4pm, 7pm ($25)  Evingson continues her successful series of themed concerts at the Jungle Theater. This time she’s taking on the songs of Dave Frishberg, known for Peel Me a Grape, My Attorney Bernie, and more. She has Jon Weber, piano; Dave Karr, sax; and Gordy Johnson on bass to supply stellar support.  Here she is singing a samba.

Monday, September 7

Convergence Trio @ Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm – 10pm (Tip Jar). Bassist Michael O’Brien is in town for a few days. He has joined with Joel Shapira, guitar; and Eric Kamau Gravatt, drums, to create this trio of seasoned players who are well versed in jazz standards.

Monday, Tuesday, September 7,8 

Victor Wooten @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($30) Bassist Wooten has won five Grammy, and is known for both his solo work and as a member of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.

Tuesday, September 8

Dave Karr Quartet @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Crooners has started Tuesday Night Jazz, a weekly series featuring some of the most accomplished musicians in the area. Tonight the 80-something Karr brings his quartet to the lounge. The veteran saxman (and flautist) can blow bebop licks and turn around and caress a ballad with his wonderful tone. I don’t know who he’ll have, but it will be fine, to say the least. Here’s an example.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. 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, September 2

CM81ui5UsAASgEw“Suds for Slim” @ The Nightingale, Minneapolis. 4pm – 2pm. (Free) Rush River Brewery and the Nightingale are teaming up to release Suds for Slim, a special brew, with the proceeds going to guitarist Slim Dunlap and family. Deejays Mark Trehus will spin from 4pm – 7pm, when DJ Fathertime (Mike Elias) takes over. I’ll command the wheels of steel from 10pm til closing.

Lonesome Dan Case & the Hoppers on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM) 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – tip Jar). Case is a bluesman influenced by Rev Gary Davis, Robert Johnson, and jug bands of the 20s and 30s. His voice has a lonesome quality (hence the name), earned no doubt, as he honed his craft traveling around the country. He’ll be joined by a new backup duo, The Hoppers.

Steve Clarke & the Working Stiffs @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm – 10pm (No Cover) Get out your dancing shoes and prepare to move to jump blues, jive, and swing as saxophonist Clarke and his septet take the stage.

Thursday, September 3

Asleep at the Wheel @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) 9pm ($30) In an era of country music that’s increasingly pop and rock oriented, this septet celebrates Western Swing, that combination of swing and country music that found it’s biggest star in Bob Wills. Since the band was founded in West Virginia over 40 years ago, they’ve had nine Grammies, 20 studio albums and 20 singles on the country charts.

Friday, September 4

Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials @ Famous Daves, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) Lil’ Ed is one of the most exciting blues players on today’s circuit. His fiery slide guitar, along with strong vocals and high energy, have consistently rewarded audiences around the world.

Boogie Wonderland @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($?) Get out the platform shoes, glitter and shiny shirts.  It’s time to boogie down to as this six piece disco tribute band treats you to music from the 70s and early 80s.

images-4Jailhouse Rock @ Raspberry Island, Saint Paul. 8:30pm (Free) Early Elvis at his best, with the titled dance scene often cited as his greets moment on screen. Grab a blanket or a chair (and some picnic fixings if you like) and make your way to Raspberry Island (under the Wabasha Bridge) for this screening of the 1957 rocker. The title song is listed at #67 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. Film begins at dusk.

The April Fools @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) It’s roots music night at the Taproom, as KFAI’s Jackson Buck presents Wilkinson James at 7pm followed by the April Fools at 9pm. The Fools are Brian Drake, guitars/vocals; Clay Williams, guitar/lap steel; Ben Kaplan, drums/percussion; and Scott Hreha, bass.

Saturday, September 5

reggae-625x350Reggae Fest @ Harriet Brewing Taproom, Minneapolis. 1pm – close (Free) The day starts with DJs spinning reggae and ska vinyl through the Prizefighter Hi-Fi Sound System, built just like the reggae-fueld sound systems of Jamaica. At 2pm, the Non-Prophets, a new band in town, will take the stage, followed at 4:30 by the Prizefighters, playing ska, roacksteady, and early reggae. Headliners Dred I Dread come on at 6pm and DJs close out the evening once more. There will be Caribbean food trucks available all day.

Coco Montoya @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25), 9pm ($20) Montoya was at the Minnesota Music Cafe in May, and now he’s visiting the other side of the metro area. He’s a southpaw, playing left-handed and upside down like Albert King, and having learned his technique from years of playing with Albert Collins.  As a world-class road warrior, Montopya has received high praise from such places as The Boston Globe, The Village Voice, and Guitar One magazine.

Saddle Sores @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7) Classic country from the 50s-70s, along with plenty of dancing. Drinking too, if you like.

Sunday, September 6

David Grisman Bluegrass Experience @ The Fitzgerald Theatrer, Saint Paul. 8pm ($40 – $50) Mandolin pioneer Grisman has long been a formidable force in acoustic music, able to combine and integrate a number of music forms and traditions, including jazz, bluegrass, country rock, and world music. Jerry Garcia gave Grisman’s music the name “Dawg Music.” Originally scheduled for The Dakota, it was moved to the Fitzgerald to handle the response for tickets. Here is Grisman playing with Sam Bush.

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 calendar for U Wanna Dance.

 


Summertime Blues, Jazz, and More: 8.19 – 8.25

August 19, 2015
Boating has always been popular on our lakes, as this vintage postcard of Como Lake attests.

Boating has always been popular on our lakes, as this vintage postcard of Como Lake attests.

Whether you bike, kike, swim, or boat, summertime offers many options to Twin Cities residents, including many music options this week, with some terrific visiting artists as well as some unique events featuring resident musicians. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 19

New Music Wednesday  @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30  ($10 Suggested Donation) at 8:30 it’s the Lucia Sarmiento Quintet. Sarmiento, from Lima, Peru, is a talented saxophonist who is studying at McNally Smith under the mentorship of Pete Whitman. Her band consists of a number of young players: Trevor Wiest, guitar; Ry Dill, bass; Will Kjeer, piano; and Blake Huebl, drums. Their wide-ranging repertoires includes contemporary jazz and funky twists to Afro-Peruvian music. At 9:45pm, The Blue take the stage, with Adrian Larkin, alto; Trevor Wiest, guitar; Eric Clifford, bass; and Tyler Kloewer, drums.

Kami Lyle @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($12) Lyle is a singer/songwriter and trumpeter/pianist who has appeared on CDs by Patty Griffin, Julie Miller, and NRBQ, among others, and has had songs on a number of TV and film soundtracks. Although born in Mpls, she now lives on Cape Cod, and will be playing with longtime friend Dean Magraw on guitar, and her nephew, the talented young bassist Charlie Lincoln. Steve Katz will open.

Jack Brass Band @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Ahh, some New Orleans brass funk, from traditional second line tunes to brass band versions of contemporary pop hits, by a group of highly talented musicians.

Thursday, August 20

Joel Shapira and Chris Lomheim @ Vieux Carré, Minneapolis. 5:30 – 8pm (No Cover) The Vieux’s concept of having solo and duo acts early some evenings is creating some fun combinations of musicians, such as tonight’s duo. Gutiarist Shapira and pianist Lomheim are two musicians who can trade bop licks with ease, while turning around and performing airy, sensitive pieces.

Reuben and Dan Ristrom @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This Father/Son Duo have been performing together since Dan was a young boy. Rueben  on guitar and Dan on vocals are celebrating the release of a new CD, “70/30,” so named since 70% of the album is with a jazz band and 30% is just the two of them. Here they are doing an American version of a French song.

Rhonda Laurie @ Public, Saint Paul. 8-10pm (No Cover) The downstairs lounge at Public Restaurant has been having music of late. Tonight it’s the vocal stylings of Ms Laurie, who has a propensity for singing lesser known songs, and is equally adept at interpreting gypsy jazz and standards.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, August 20, 21, 22

Adam Meckler Quintet Live Recording Project @ Various Venues, Minneapolis & Saint Paul. Trumpeter Meckler and his Quintet will be playing for three nights in a row, and recording each night. On Thursday, they are at Studio Z in Saint Paul at 8pm ($10). Friday finds them moving to the Nicollet Cafe in Minneapolis for a 9pm show (Donation), and finally, on Saturday, they finish up at the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar at 8:30pm. Here’s are some samples of their songs, prepared for this project.

Friday, August 21

Bob Bowman Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8 – 10pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Bowman is from Kansas City and has come to town a number of times with Karrin Allyson as well as playing some dates with Laura Caviani. He’s a heavy hitter, having played with the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, The Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band, and Carmen McRae. Joining him tonight are Daniel Leahy on piano, and Mac Santiago on drums. Here’s an example of his playing (and composing).

Saturday, August 22

Andrew Walesch Big Band: The Songs Of Sinatra @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30 – 10:30pm (No Cover) Pianist/vocalist Walesch  who is playing at Crooners a lot these days, ups the ante with nine additional members for his band, as they honor Ol’ Blues Eyes during the centennial year of his birth.

Siskind, Harms, & Pino @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($12) Pianist/composer Jeremy Siskind explores the concept of what it means to be “Home” in his latest recorded project, Housewarming. This is the second release for Siskind and his partners in this project: vocalist and former Twin Citizen Nancy Harms  who has been working steadily in both Europe and NYC, where she’s now based, and reed player Lucas Pino  who has worked with Dave Brubeck, Curtis Fuller, Benny Green, Christian McBride, David Sanborn, and a host of others. Exquisite chamber jazz. Here they are from a house concert a few years ago.

Sunday, August 23

Louis & Clarke (and Bisonette)

Louis & Clarke (and Bissonette)

Louis & Clarke @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8-10pm ($10) Saxophonist Steve Clarke,  an eleven time recipient of the MN Music Award, gets experimental tonight with collaborator Louis Sinclair  aka Rundio, who plays the chapman stick. They’ll add some looping, and processing technology, along with drummer/percussionist Michael Bissonette. The result is 21st Century jazz.

Monday, August 24

Joe Mayo Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) They’ve gone from being an opening act to featured act: Joe Mayo, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar, Lars-Erik Larson, drums; and Andrew Foreman, bass.

Reichert, Glenn, & Roach @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) An evening of improvised music from three multi-instrumentalists: Tom Reichert, guitar, bass; Tim Glenn, percussion, Stephen Roach.

Tuesday, August 25

Cyrus Chestnut Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30) Chestnut thrilled the audience when he headlined the Twin Cities Jazz Festival a couple of years back. Whether he’s doing the songs of Elvis Presley or jazz standards, his gospel-infused improvisations evoke Jay McShann, Count Basie, yet are thoroughly modern. His music reverberates with all manner of listeners.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar. 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, and Other…

Wednesday, August 19

The piano player himself

The piano player himself

John Beach Trio on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Pianist/vocalist Beach is a long time fixture on the Twin Cities music scene, playing with groups like Willie & the Bees, Dave Ray & Bamboo, Snake, the Mill City Hearts, Three Bedroom Rambler, Joel Johnson, and the Blackburn Beach Blues Band. He’s a blues and R&B player, but goes beyond those as well when needed. Liz and I had him play for our wedding reception many years ago.

Willie Murphy & Claudia Schmidt @ Schooners, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Murphy holds this songwriter night once a month, inviting others to exchange music with him. Tonight the guitarist/bassist/pianist/vocalist/songwriter brings out Ms Schmidt  who has been delighting folks with her stories and songs for a number of decades now.

Afrobilly, with guest Jacqueline Ultan @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 8-10pm (Tip Jar) Washboard percussionist Mikkel Beckmen has been having such a ball playing with Zairean soukous guitarist/vocalist Siama Matuzungidi and vocalist/percussionist Dallas Johnson that they’ve formalized the group with the name Afrobilly. Tonight they are joined by the imaginative cellist Jacqueline Ultan, of JelloSlave and many other boundary-pushing groups. Here is Mikkel and Siama.

Thursday, August 20

Pop Remix @ Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. 6-10pm. It’s a free evening at the Walker, and you can hang out on the patio, where the Robert Everest Expedition will be playing world jazz, Deejay Paul Harding will be spinning world music, and there will be a screening of Pulp Pop Clips.

Jerry Douglas @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40-$50), 9pm ($30-$40) Lots of plectorists will be in the audience to watch Douglas  considered to be the best dobro player in the world, due in part to groundbreaking work Allison Kraus, Elvis Costello, and on over 2000 recordings by folks like James Taylor, Ray Charles, Lyle Lovett, Garth Brooks, Bill Frisell, and Phish! He’s recently released Traveler, his first solo recording in six years, featuring guests like Eric Clapton, Mumford & Sons, Keb Mo, Dr. John, Bela Fleck and more. Whew!

Friday, August 21

Harmonica Hoedown @ Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Attention Blues Lovers! Two mighty blues harpist are on the bill tonight. First up is Boom Boom Steve Vonderharr & the Knockouts, followed by Curtis Blake and Don Scott at 9pm.

The Pines @ Lake Harriet Bandshell, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free) It’s summer in Minnesota, time to listen to the rootsy sounds of The Pines  Sit back and relax on the band hell’s benches, or score a spot on the rise north of the bandshell and enjoy a picnic while listening.

He Sings! He Dances! (more or less)

He Sings! He Dances! (more or less)

Farewell Milwaukee & Young Frankenstein @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) It’s a back to the 70s night. Start the evening with the Midwest folk-rock sounds of Farewell Milwaukee, whose music is shaped by artists from the late 60s and early 70s. Then, sit back and laugh at the 1975 Mel Brooks picture, Young Frankenstein. Oh yeah, you can order food and drinks from the bar inside.

Saturday, August 22

Nikki Roux and Rich Rue Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6 – 8pm. (No Cover) Nikki & Rich (of Nikki & the Rue-Mates  perform folk-rock in a manner inspired by the late 60s. Nikki’s clarion vocals and Rich’s inspired slide playing make for an entertaining early evening experience.

Saturday, Sunday, August 22, 23

Nye’s Outdoor Tent Party @ Nye’s Polonaise Room, Minneapolis. 3pm (Saturday), 2pm (Sunday) If you’ve never been to Nye’s, here’s your last chance to see some of the acts that have performed there over the years, both in the Piano Bar and in the Old Side. Daina DePrez, The World’s Most Dangerous Polka Band, St. Dominic’s Trio, Doug Otto & the Getaways, The New Primitives, and Molly Maher are all on the bill.

Sunday, August 23

Gaby Moreno @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) This may be the Under-The-Radar Gig of the Week. Moreno  s a Guatemalan-born singer/songwriter who won the Grand Prize at the John Lennon Songwriting Contest with her song “Escondidos.” She’s been touring the world, appearing at festivals, and collaborating with a who’s who of stars.  The New York Times says she has “A tangy, bluesy voice with the feistiness of Edith Piaf.”

Monday, August 24

Bettye LaVette @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $45) LaVette is one of the few soul singers from the 60s who is still performing. In fact, she’s doing better now than in the 60s, due in large part to her ability to infuse any song with the right amount of emotion and pleading. When she pours herself into a song, it’s done to expose the truth of the song, rather than to impress with her pipes. LaVette is touring behind her latest CD, Worthy, which contains her versions of songs by Dylan, Jagger/Richards, Lennon/McCartney, and producer Joe Henry, among others.

Tuesday, August 25

Tinariwen @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) NPR calls Tinariwen “just about the best guitar based rock band of the 21st Century.” Natives of the Saharan desert, Tinariwen was formed in Tuareg camps in Libya, where the nomadic people gathered to find new work outside of their native Mali. After their music was passed around via bootlegs, western musicians discovered them in the late 1990s and they’ve been delivering the aching beauty and restless energy of their music to worldwide audiences. Body Omara, with Joseph Damman, guitar, Tom Reichert, bass; and Davu Seru on percussion, opens, playing Damman’s own compositions, which are influenced by Ali Farka Toure, as well as American folk and jazz 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. Dancers might want to check out the calendar for U Wanna Dance.


Art and Music: 4.22 – 4.28

April 22, 2015

blog-post-art-and-musicWell it’s Art Crawl Weekend in Saint Paul and Lowertown especially will be crawling with hipsters, would-be hipsters, folks looking for that perfect piece of art to match a sofa, and more. Music lovers will be hopping between the Black Dog, Studio Z, The Bedlam, PUBLIC, and The Hat Trick. There may even be a few more. That’s not to say that you won’t find plenty of music on the west side of the Mississippi, as you can tell from the ideas I’ve put forth below. Have a good week. Music lifts your spirits.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 22

Danilo Perez @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm($30), 9pm ($20) Perez is one of the premier pianists of his generation, earning accolades from the likes of Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, anymore. He’s the founder and artistic director of the Panama jazz Festival in his own country,m and tours with the wonderful rhythm section of Ben Street on bass and Adam Cruz on drums. His 2014 release, Panama 500, celebrates the five hundredth anniversary of the first permanent European settlement in Panama, yet incorporates jazz and classical music, as well as folk music from throughout Latin America.

Lila & Axel

Lila & Axel

Butch Thompson, Axel Zwingenberger & Lila Ammons @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10 – $20) It’s an evening of early jazz, classic boogie boogie, and the blues, featuring our own pianist/clarinetist Butch Thompson, boogie boogie pianist Zwingenberger, and internationally acclaimed blues singer Lila Ammons, who is no slouch when it comes to jazz either. Zwingenberger and Ammons have toured Europe extensively for the last eight year.

Thursday, April 23

Fireside Five & Friends @ The Underground Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Five amazing musicians who you would expect to hear in a jumping’ nightclub rather than a wood-paneled coffeehouse (though beer and wine is served). Tom Ashworth, euphonium; Brian Grivna, sax; Phil Aaron, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. Plus, they bring in some very talented friends.

Rhonda Laurie & Phil Mattson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) The always-swingin’ smoky-voiced Ms Laurie on vocals and pianoman/arranger Mr. Mattson will be exploring standards and more this evening. Here’s Rhonda with a bit different accompaniment.

Cartwright-Kinney-Lewis-Evans @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Michelle Kinney, cello; Michael Lewis, sax; George Cartwright, sax; Elaine Evans, pocket Trumpet. Adventurous improvised music from a quartet of musicians whose resumes run from Lou Reed, Alex Chilton, and Andrew Bird to Ornette Coleman and Happy Apple.

Friday, April 24

Endeavors @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Suggested Donation) A quintet with some great young players, including: Miguel Hurtado, drums; Nelson Devereaux, sax; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Joe Strachan, Piano; and Ryan Hays, bass. They have coalesced into a tight, passionate unit.

James Wallace Quartet @ Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Wallace has been playing sax in the area for a long, long time. In fact when the folks at Secret Stash Records were putting together a revue to celebrate the funk music of 40 years ago, they recruited Wallace as one of the players of the time. He’s joined by a group of slightly younger veterans: Steve Kenny, trumpet; Ron Evanuik, bass; and Alden Akeda on drums.

The Dakota Combo -  Image by Andrea Canter

The Dakota Combo – Image by Andrea Canter

Dakota Combo Spring Concert @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This octet of high school players is strong in talent, technique, and execution. A couple of them even write. Despite their age, this is no novelty act, but rather a group of young musicians whose ability transcends their age. There will be some treats afterwards.

Saturday, April 25

Katia Cardenas & Joe Strachan @ PUBLIC Kitchen & Bar, Saint Paul.7pm – 9pm (No Cover) This is part of a new effort by the folks at PUBLIC to feature weekend music in their downstairs bar & lounge. Cardenas is a vocalist who is equally at home in jazz, R&B, and pop. Strachan is a pianist who is equally at home in jazz, Afro-Cuban music, and funk. Should be a fun pairing.

Bob Mintzer w/JazzMN Orchestra @ Hopkins High School, 2400 Lindberg Drive, Minnetonka. 7:30pm ($32 – $34. Discounts for Students) As a saxophonist, MIntzer is a pretty versatile guy. He’s a composer, arranger, big band leader and a member of the storied fusion band, The Yellowjackets. His current project is an R&B big band featuring the music opt Sly Stone, the Isleys, James Brown and more. You’ll be hearing some of those tunes tonight, as well as some music from vocalist Patty Peterson.

Mancrush, with Jon Wood and Iron Chops @ Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:00pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Wood is a guitarist celebrating a CD release at 7pm. He’ll be joined by Dave Brattain, sax; Javi Santiago, keys; Graydon Peterison, bass; and Dave Schmalenberger, drums. At 8:30 Mancrush, takes the stage, featuring Lars Erik-Larson on drums; Zacc Harris, guitar; Bryan Nichols, keys; Brandon Wozniak, sax.

Saturday, Sunday, April 25, 26

Legend Series with Irv Williams and Debbie Duncan @ The Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm Saturday, 3pm Sunday ($25) Williams is 95 and still deserving of his nationally known nickname, Mr. Smooth. The sass and swing of vocalist Ms Duncan will be complemented by the romantic sound os Williams’ saxophone.

Sunday, April 26

Jazz Noir @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 5pm, 8pm ($25) Kevin Barnes at KBEM is once again bringing live radio drama to the airwaves, this time at the old Artists’ Quarter in Saint Paul, which is slowly being transformed in anticipation of a late June opening. This is the third in a series of commissioned plays about jazz in the Twin Cities. With an original music score composed and performed by Chris Bates, bass; Steven Hobert, piano; and Solomon Parham, trumpet, tonight’s play is an original called Morning Follows Night, and follows a decorated WWII hero who is an ex-con trying to find out who double-crossed him. It takes place over a ten-year period in the jazz clubs of the Near North Side. The 8pm show will be broadcast live on KBEM (88.5FM).

Monday, April 27

Doug Haining @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Haining may well be the most swinging sax/clarinet player in town. He’s played with the Wolverine, Echoes of Ellington, JazzMN Orchestra, Charmin Michelle, and his own swinging septet the TC Seven, as well as being a co-leader of the Explosion Big Band

Tuesday, April 28

Paul Renz Quartet @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 5pm (No Cover) though it’s only been open as Crooners for five months, the folks there are digging right into the local jazz scene to feature artists from the area. Tonight it’s the great guitarist Paul Renz and his group. Renz may not be a familiar name, but rest assured, he’s well known on the East Coast, where he regularly tours, and is well-respected by his many students.

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 PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

 

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, April 22

A Night at the Opera @ The Museum of Russian Art, 5500 Stevens Avenue, Minneapolis. 7pm – 8:30pm ($30) If you have any inclinations toward classical compositions and opera, this will be a treat, as Russian baritone Vladislav Sulimsky will be joined by pianist Denis Evsthin to perform popular operatic arias and art songs by Verdi, Puccini, Tchaikovsky, and Rachmaninoff. The museum itself is a lovely place with good acoustics, not to mention extraordinary art. Go to the museum’s website to register.Malamanya,

Malamanya @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($10) Every time I see these proponents of Afro-Cuban and Latin rhythms, they get stronger and hotter. The chairs and tables will be cast aside at the Icehouse, so dancers can twirl and do their sexy thing.

 

Thursday, April 23

Mother Banjo @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No cover) The Minnesota Music Coalition is a sponsor of Foodie Nights at the Dakota and tonight is featuring Ellen Stanley and her band for an evening of indie folk/gospel music. Stanley has received accolades for her original lyrics and haunting vocals.

 

Friday, April 24

Schubert Club Mix @ Bedlam Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($30) Tonight the Schubert Club presents pianist Stephen Prutsman in a program of Bach. Prutsman was an Artistic Partner of the SPCO in the mid-2000s, served as Artistic Director of the Cartegena International Festival of Music from 2009 – 2012, and has collaborated with the Kronos Quartet, creating over 40 arrangements and compositions for the Grammy winning chamber ensemble.

Hipshaker Dance Party @ The Kitty Cat Klub, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Rare 45s with the kind of beat that makes it easy to dance. Just ask the mostly young crowd that fills every edition of this dance night.

Hold Tight Dance Party @ Bedlam Theater, Lowertown. 10pm (No Cover) Bedlam employees will be scurrying to remove the piano from the Schubert Club program (see above) while things get set up for Hold Tight deejays Booka, Sam, and Del, who are bringing in another Deejay Crew, the guys from Wants vs Needs, for a dance night rooted in funk but likely to go anywhere.

Carnage Record Release Party @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 11:30pm ($8) Warm, personable hip-hop artist Carnage has been called “The best drummer in town” because his vocal beat box skills are so right on. He’s celebrating the release of a new CD, “Up Close and Personal.”

Saturday, April 25

James McMurty and Max Gomez @ The Fine Line Music Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20) McMurty is an Austin, TX songwriter/singer who mines Americana and occasional folk-rock to help him tell his stories of hard characters facing life’s myriad challenges. Village Voice critic Robert Cristgau called his 2005 protest song, “We Can’t Make It Here” the best song of the 2000s. His recently released album “Complicated Game” continues his streak of well received releases. Opening set by promising young singer/songwriter Max Gomez, of Taos.

UnknownCasablanca Orchestra @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) Whether performing 80s new wave, old-school funk, classic Motown, or new music like Uptown Funk or All About that bass, his ten-piece show band will have dancers out on the commodious dance floor at MMC.

PaviElle and Nooky Jones @ The Ichouse, Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($10) It’s an evening of 21st Century Soul. PaviElle French has quickly caught the ears and hearts of Twin Citizens since returning to the stage about a year ago. She sings with a bit of flavor of Sly Stone and even Bill Withers, with a band that can jam out a-la Parliament Funkadelic when the feeling arises. Nooky Jones features a fine vocalist in Cameron Kinghorn, backed by Adam Meckler, trumpet; Ryan Christianson, trombone; Kevin Gastonguay, dyes; Andrew Foreman, bass; and Reid Kennedy, drums. They are all first rate jazz musicians who create a smooth, jazz flavored danceable R&B behind Kinghorn.

Sunday, April 26

Road to Memphis Band Challenge @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 1pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s another event sponsored by the Minnesota Blues society to pick a band that will represent us in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis next January. Contestants include: Bludog, Sweet Tea, RAMM Band, Squishy Mud, Fattenin’ Frogs, Jimmi & the Band of Souls

Nellie McKay @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) The quirkily delightful Ms McKay will once again bring her quit wit and often insightful satirical lyrics to the Dakota. She can skewer war and feminism with equal aplomb, and turn around and deliver a Dinah Shore ballad.

Monday, April 27

Hot Club of Cowtown @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $30) This trio plays Western Swing with original compositions that reflect both Django Rheinhardt and early jazz, as well as Bob Wills. Much fun.

Tuesday, April 28

Labaja @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($22) This Nigerian Afrobeat artist differentiates himself by using  traditional Yoruba drums to establish a dance floor rhythm, creating a light, though still insinuating groove. Singing in Yoruba, English, and a blend of the two, he wears a mask as an icon of man’s facelessness.

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 calendar for U Wanna Dance.


Jazz, Blues, Country, Folk. Music: 5.28 – 6.3

May 28, 2014
A little humor from the Zits comic strip

A little humor from the Zits comic strip

We don’t have many visiting artists this week, but the few that are visiting are outstanding, from jazz pianist Bill Charlap to music insider Peter Asher. A passing glance at the resident artists appearing around town will show that we have more than enough high quality talent of our own. However, we have to remember to support our resident artists by attending their shows. As we encounter life’s challenges, we all need to refresh, and music certainly lifts the spirit. Have a good week.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 28

Wolverines Trio w/Maud Hixson @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm The ever-tasteful Wolverines, together with Ms Hixson’s clear voice and impeccable diction will win out over the Kitchen’s sometimes noisy environment. It always helps to sit close to the stage.

Dean Magraw & Praire Rhythm Section@ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7)  With Gary Raynor, bass; and Peter Johnson, drums. Dean Magraw is arguably the most versatile guitarist in town, able to go from psychedelia to John Coltrane to Irish jigs and Indian ragas all in the course of a couple of songs. No wonder he’s been a favorite of Mr. Keillor. Tonight he has a couple of other Prairie Home regulars backing him up.

Graydon Peterson Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Peterson is a first-call bassist in town, and has been a sideman in a variety of configurations, from trios to big bands. He’s recently been writing his own music, and has gathered Adam Mecler, trumpet; Vinnie Rose, guitar; and Adrian Suarez on drums to give voice to his melodies.

Thursday, May 29

Bill Charlap Trio @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30), 9pm ($20, $25) W/Peter Washington, bass; Kenny Washington, drums. Pianist Charlap is known for his interpretations of The Great American Songbook, and though he’s imaginative, he also gets to the essence of a song. His trio with the non-related Washington’s is rock solid.

 

Rhonda Laurie @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Thursday Night is Vocal Night at Jazz Central, and Ms Laurie is a prime example of the wealth of vocal talent in town. She can swing gypsy jazz, straight ahead, and modern material with equal ease.

Friday, May 30

Eric Kamau Gravatt @ Jazz Central, MInneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) If you’ve been paying attention to Twin Cities Jazz for a few years, you probably know of Gravatt’s stints with Weather Report and McCoy Tyner, among others. Tonight he’s joined by Brandon Wozniak, sax; Charles Lincoln, bass; and Zacc Harris, guitar.

Davu Seru and Song Click @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) w/Donald Washington, sax; Nathan Hanson, sax; Brian Courage, bass; Marc Anderson, percussion. A great gathering of musicians who are master improvisers, whether they’re working with variations on written pieces or freely improvising.

Saturday, May 31

Benny Weinbeck Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Weinbeck, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Phil Hey, drums, have been delivering weekly doses of high quality music for the d’Amico Brothers for years, first at the Chambers Hotel, and now at this Italian restaurant in the SW quadrant of 494 & 100. They appear in the restaurant’s cocktail lounge, where you are still free to order dinner or one of the smaller plates from the bar menu.

Sunday, June 1

Zacc Harris Trio @ The Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 7:30pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Zacc, Matt Peterson, and Peter Hennig have been playing Sunday Nights at the Riverview for quite a while now. All three are such great players that they continually surprise, and have yet to fall into a rut.

Monday, June 2

Tom Rainey & Ingrid Laubrock @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) Germany-born Ingrid Laubrock now lives in Brooklyn, where she composes and plays soprano and tenor sax. She and drummer Tom Rainey have recorded an album  of ten improvisations entitled And Other Desert Towns. They’ve played together in various bands since 2009, when Laubrock arrived in Brooklyn, yet this is their first duo record. Expect closely communicated, freely improvised music. Here they are in a trio format:

 

Tuesday, June 3

Dean Magraw & Eric Kamau Gravatt @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Well, if you missed Dean at the Dakota and Eric at Jazz Central, you now have a chance to see them both playing off each other, and having a good time.

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, May 28

Unknown-1Jimmi & the Band of Souls @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm ($5?) Jimmi & the band are an energetic quartet that plays blues that stick in your head. They’re going to the 2015 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, representing Minnesota. This evening they’re celebrating the release of a new album, Live From the Park Theater, by bringing in a couple of special guests for this early evening show.

Thursday, May 29

New Riverside Ramblers @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5?) Here in Minnesota you’d be hard pressed to find a Cajun group with a history as long as the Ramblers. They’ve been together for twenty years or so, and have studied or performed with many of the genre’s veterans. So get out your dancing shoes and twirl, spin, and dip to your heart’s content.

Friday, May 30

Falderals CD Release @ The Aster Cafe, Minnepolis. 9pm ($10) This husband and wife team of Andrew and Rebecca Andestic met in Armenia, where they were both serving in the Peace Corps. Since then they’ve busked on the streets of Chicago, and have performed regularly around the Twin Cities. They write deeply felt, melodic folk songs (with a touch of folk-rock) that resonate with all ages. The CD is called Witness, and includes Shane Akers, dobro; Jim McGuinn, lapsteel & keys; and Derek McCullum on ukelele; all of whom will be special guests tonight.

Pistol Whippin’ Party Penguins CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($8) A five piece string band that updates that traditional sound with original songs as well as creative arrangements of traditional bluegrass tunes, and untraditional tunes from folk, rock, and blues. They’re celebrating the release of their third studio album, Way Back Home.  Opening is The Last Revel, a passionate trio using three-part folk harmonies supported by an attitude that borrows freely from rock n’ roll rebels.

Saturday, May 31

Moe’s Folk & Blues Festival @ Moe’s, 2400 Highway 10, Moundsview. 3pm – Midnight (No Cover) Okay, you’ve got Paul Mayasich, Randy Webb & Dave Baab, Gene LaFond, Spider John Koerner, Paul Metsa & Sonny Earl, and inside, The Scottie Miller Trio to round out the evening. Who knew the West Bank has moved up to Mounds View?

Hurricane Harold’s All Star Blues Revue @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar) Well the All Stars vary according to whoever is in town, but don’t worry, Harold’s been at this so long he can always find simpatico players.

Sunday, June 1

Sherwin Linton @ Famous Dave’s, MInneapolis. 10am – 2pm (No cover) How ‘bout some country music to go with those biscuits, gravy, waffles and rib tips? Linton has been performing for some 58 years now, bringing an unmatched authenticity to classic country and rockabilly. Check out his version of Tennessee Stud:

Samantha Harlow @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul., 4pm – 6pm (Tip Jar) This Saint Paul native spent a decade pouring drinks in a Nashville honky tonk, and countless nights touring and singing as a solo act. All that work has helped Harlow  learn how to write classic country tunes.

Jimages-2oe Ely @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($27, $35) Rockin’ honky tonk from Texas, by a guy who has played with Springsteen, Uncle Tupelo, The Chieftains, Lyle Lovett, and John Hiatt. Early on, he and his band toured with The Clash, and he even supplied background vocals on Should I Stay or Should I Go. Plus, he wrote the music for The Horse Whisperer. He and guitar slinger Jeff Plankenhorn will be performing mostly acoustic versions of Ely’s songs.

Tuesday, Wednesday, June 3,4

Peter has every reason to smile.

Peter has every reason to smile.

Peter Asher @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45) Asher is the ultimate music industry insider, from the days his sister was dating Paul McCartney, to his own singing career with Peter & Gordon, to producing records for a wide variety of artists (two Grammys), as well as musicals, PBS features, and various award shows. He’ll share his story, sing a few songs, and generally be one of the most entertaining dinner guests you’ll ever run across.

 

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.

 

 


Blues Rhythm Jazz. Music: 3.19 – 3.25

March 19, 2014

images

The Twin Cities continues to jump with music, and just like the ol’ Moondog, the pioneering Alan Freed, we’ve got Blues, Rhythm, and Jazz. We also have a visiting honky tonk inventor, a charming singer/songwriter, a gig with a trio of funky sounds and even a noontime classical concert. Get out and enjoy yourself. Music has the power to lift your spirits.

Jazz…

Wednesday, March 19

Ms Oatts

Ms Oatts

Sue Oatts with the Woverines Trio @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Sue has a winning way with lyrics, and the ever-steady, and always ready Wolverines are masters of accompaniment, and pretty mean players by themselves.

Zacc Harris Trio @ Café Maude, Minneapollis. 7pm (No Cover) Guitarist Zacc & his mates (Matt Peterson on bass and Pete Hennig on drums) travel a bit westward to play at this popular restaurant. Ask for a table near the band or sit at the bar.

Byron Johnson-Blanchard Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (tip Jar) Byron is a young drummer who plays with High & Mighty and other groups and is beginning to regularly gig around town with his quartet featuring David Hirsch, sax; Thomas Nordlund, guitar, and Andrew Foreman, bass.

Jazz Finest Big Band w/Special Guest Lila Ammons @ the Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 9pm – 11pm ($12) This is a project of tenor sax man James “Jimmyapolis” Wallace and his wife Pennie, and features Jim TenBensel directing the band. I’ve written about Ammons before, a singer of classic blues and boogie woogie as well as jazz. There’ll be dance lessons from 8-9pm.

Thursday, March 20

Jazz @ Christos w/Alicia Renee & Chris Lomheim, Union Depot, Saint Paul. 6:00pm – 8:00pm  Stick around downtown after work to enjoy the vocals of the talented Ms Renee, and the piano artistry of Chris Lomheim.

Barbara Meyer & Liz Lupien @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($10 suggested donation) Vocalist Meyer and pianist Lupien shares songs about travel from the Great American Songbook in a cabaret show entitled, “Let’s Get Away!”

Friday, March 21

The Bridge Series @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($10 – Suggested Donation) This series is designed to “bridge” the absence of the Artists’ Quarter. This week features the Adam Meckler Quintet, with Adam Meckler, trumpet; Kevin Gastonguay, piano; Zacc Harris, guitar; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Greg Schutte, drums. I expect the musicianship will be high and the creativity overflowing.

Unknown-2Rhonda Laurie Trio @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover)  Sophisticated vocals from Laurie in a sophisticated, yet comfortable setting, accompanied by the wonderful pianist Mary Louise Knutson, just off a tour with Doc Severinson, and Steve Pikal, the happiest bassist around, who is just off a tour with the Barbary Coast Show Band.

Courageous Endeavors @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11:30 ($5) New original music from a quartet of young musicians who are creating jazz for the 21st Century. Nelson Devereaux, sax; Brian Courage, bass; Joe Strachan, piano; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. Here they are performing Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage:

Sunday, March 23

Butch Thompson & Pat Donahue @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) A couple of Minnesota Treasures. Thompson is a marvelous piano player as well as clarinet player, whose command of early styles is legendary. Grammy winning guitarist Donahue is a master finger-picker, which was proven when he won the National Championship some year back. Their recent album, Vicksburg Blues, is a delight.

Monday, March 2

Chris Olson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Guitarist Olson teaches at both McNally Smith and MacPhail, and his facile fretwork is well displayed in the trio Framework and the quartet Meantime. Tonight he’ll be joined by Tanner Taylor, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Adrian Suarez, drums. Here is Chris with Framework:

Joel Shapira & Dean Magraw @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (Free) Cool guitar music for this late night happy hour spot. Shapira is a master of the nylon string, while Magraw is always full of musical ideas, whether he’s playing Celtic music, worldbeats, jazz fusion, or straight ahead swing.

Tuesday, March 25

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ The Amsterdam, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Trumpeter Meckler writes interesting arrangements as well as interesting compositions, and he’s managed to snag 18 talented musicians to play them.  These guys are close to raising their Kickstarter goal to record an album. You can get a preview by attending tonight.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz, go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar and the KBEM Calendar, which also features some blues and roots listings. For further commentary of Twin Cities Jazz, go to Jazz Police, Bebopified, and JazzInk.

Blues, Roots, and Other…

Wednesday, March 19

Junior Brown @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) Brown’s standing as one of the best guitarists in country music has been long established. The inventor of the guit-steel, a double-neck hybrid combining a steel and six-string guitar is more honky-tonk and rock n’ roll than countrypolitan, which may be why he’s been lauded by rock critics as well as older country fans.

PaviElle & Band

PaviElle & Band

PaviElle @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($5) PaviElle is a young soul singer who uses modern rhythms to support her old school singing. She’s got a crack band that provides fine support, whether she’s recasting a Fleetwood Mac song in soulful terms, singing an original, or jamming a la Funkadelic.

Thursday, March 20

The Schubert Club Courtroom Concert @ Room 317, Landmark Center, Saint Paul. Noon (Free) Two Duos. Baritone Steve Marking and pianist Donald Livingston perform songs by both Charles Ives and Lee Hoiby, while Kairos – Preston Duncan on saxophone and Ann DuHamel on piano – perform Sonata by William Albright and Klonos by Piet Swerts

Charlie Lawson & Mikkel Beckman @ the Dubliner, University & Vandalia, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (No Cover) Lawson is a bluesman with a ferocious attack as a vocalist and guitarist. Beckman, who hosts a weekly show here,  plays the rub board, small percussion, and any other down-home utensil he can find, including a refrigerator door, which I’m told will be on hand tonight. Whether it’s a full-size refrigerator, or a dorm-sized one, we’ll have to wait and see.

Ashleigh & Michael, of Fathom Lane

Ashleigh & Michael, of Fathom Lane

Fathom Lane, Communist Daughter, and Taj Raj @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($12) A concert sure to appeal to music lovers with wide tastes. Communist Daughter, the indie rock band that’s garnered national attention and just returned from South by Southwest is headlining. Fathom Lane, with their chamber-folk meets Gram Parsons music is second, while the rootsy Taj Raj uses elements of 70’s, from pop. to country, to folk-rock.

Friday, March 21

imagesBeverly McClellan @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($35) Last time in town, McClellan charmed the audience with her forthright personality, raspy voice, and direct lyrics. She was one of the final four on tv’s The Voice, and is deserving of wider recognition. There is no doubt she’ll get it.

Nick Moss Band @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm ($10?) Moss plays a blend of classic Chicago blues and jam-oriented blues rock, using his firery guitar playing to win over jam-band lovers to the blues, and blues fans to the jam-band esthetic. Wilebeski’s early shows allows those of us of a certain age to get some sleep, while younger listeners can catch more music.

Saturday, March 22

Banjo Songwriter Night with Mother Banjo & Anthony Ihrig @ the 318 Café, Excelsior. 8pm ($7) Who knew the banjo could be used to create original songs? Mother Banjo & Anthony Ihrig, for two. Anthony will be accompanied by Dan Christensen-Cowan on the upright acoustic bass, while Mother Banjo will be joined by Dan Gaarder on guitar as each duo demonstrates the use of this much maligned instrument as a songwriter’s tool. The 318 is an intimate space with limited seating, so reservations are recommended at 952-401-7902.

New Sound Underground, Black Market Brass, & Pho @ The Triple Rock, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) New Sound Underground is an six piece instrumental funk band whose members have played in jazz, reggae, funk, and salsa bands. Black Market Brass is a 10 piece that performs Afrobeat, that irresistible combination of funk and African rhythms, while Pho is a nine piece that mines jazzy funk, neo-soul, and underground hip-hop. Here’s a video of New Sound Underground.

Barely Bros Records Grand Opening Party, 763 Raynmond Avenue, Saint Paul. 10am – 9pm.  Vinyl aficionados are rejoicing over another store devoted to both new and old LPs and 45s. To celebrate, owners Mike Elias and Spencer Brooks are bringing in the following bands:

The way teens used to buy records

The way teens used to buy records

Matt Arthur & the Bratlanders at 12:00, Jon Rodine at 2:00, Brian Drake & the April Fools at 3:00, CP Lawson at 4:00, Nikki & the Ruemates at 5:00, M.O.R.T (The Mystic Order of Reverb and Twang) at 6:00, and Eleganza at 7:00

Monday, March 24

Millie & the Mill City Cajun Heavyweights @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5) Well it’s been a couple of weeks since the Mardis Gras celebrations, and some folks are itching to do some Cajun Two-steps, Waltzes, and twirls. Millie and the boys will help you do just that.

Tuesday, March 25

L.P. Music @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8 Advance/$10 door) It’s a Minnesota All-Star group playing improvised funk: Erik Leeds, sax, flute, vocals; Paul Peterson, bass, guitar; Peter Schimke, keys; and Stokely Williams, drums, percussion, & vocals.

Beijing Punk and Indie Rock on Film @ The Bryant Lake Bowl, Minneapolis. 7pm ($8advance/$10door) Two Beijing groups will be performing in Mpls in a couple of days, so this is a chance to get some background on the punk and indie rock subculture of China. There will be a 2010 feature documentary entitled “Beijing Punk” as well as an award winning 2013 short, and short films, as well as a Q&A with Danny Sigelman, local DJ and writer who deejayed in Bejing.

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


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