Well it’s another week with a wide variety of musical events, from visiting jazz and blues musicians, to a Tom Petty Tribute, a CD release party, and a ukelele festival! Resident artists remind us of why we have such a vibrant music scene. It appears we have a mostly pleasant stretch of weather in the coming week, with nighttime lows chill enough for a jacket, but not so low to discourage going out. Music Lifts the Spirit.
Wednesday, Oct 18
Kevin Gastonguay/Rhonda Laurie @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 6pm (Gastonguary: No Cover), 8:00pm (Laurie: $6) Pianist Gastonguay starts things off for this double bill of jazz. He has been spending the last eight years gigging around town with his own groups as well as gigging as a sideman in numerous groups. Vocalist Rhonda Laurie is a New York native who has studied with Judy Niemack, Sheila Jordan and Jay Clayton. Whether singing gypsy jazz, straight ahead standards, or cabaret, her smooth vocals are modern and fresh
Chris Lomheim Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Pianist Lomheim goes beyond his usual solo and trio outings to bring a quartet: Pete Whitman, sax; Jay Young, bass, and Dave Schmalenberger will help Lomheim provide an evening of sometimes wistful, always intriguing music
Also: Travis Anderson Trio w/Special Guest Steve Roehm @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($8) You know Roehm from the New Standards.
Thursday, Oct 19
Arturo Sandoval @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($0, $50), 9pm ($30, $40) This Cuban-born, high-flying trumpet player was mentored by Dizzy Gillespie, whom he mentions at every performance. He was an original member of the internationally acclaimed Cuban group Irakere, before emigrating to the states. This is a must-see for jazzers, though it wouldn’t be unusual for others to be taken with the virtuosity of Sandoval.
Wycliffe Gordon @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($30) Trombone player Wycliffe is a valuable member of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, but has also played with Dizzy Gillespie, Joe Henderson, Branford Marsalis,Lionel Hampton, Tommy Flanagan, and Shirley Horn, among others. He’s an admirer of Louis Armstrong, JJ Johnson, and Jack Teagarden, yet he brings a modern sound to his playing as well.
Ikeda, Gnitka, & Newell @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Alden Ikeda, Percussionist; Steve Gnitka, guitar; and Scott Newell, sax & vocals = Free jazz from associates of Milo Fine.
Also: Jen Bluhm @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. ($10, $5w/Student ID) Original music from the pianist/ukelele-ist/vocalist
Friday, Oct 20
Mindi Abair @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (432, $40), 9pm ($22, $30) Saxophonist Abair has had ten #1 radio hits, along with six top 5 spots on the Billboard Contemporary Jazz charts. Bluesman Keb Mo said of her, “Mindi Abair’s saxophone speaks to all of our souls.”
Phil Hey Quartet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 9pm ($15) One of the longest running jazz combos in town, drummer Hey and his quartet have achieved that ability to instantly communicate with each other, anticipating changes in rhythm, chord changes, and intensity on tunes from Ornette Coleman, Chick Corea, and other modern jazz masters. Supporting Hey are Phil Aaron, piano; Dave Hagedorn, vibes: and Tom Lewis, bass.
Also: JazzMN Orchestra w/Wycliffe Gordon and Yolande Bruce @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7 :30pm ($15 – $45)
Saturday, Oct 21
Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) The Steve Kenny Trio opens at 7pm: Kenny, Flumpet; Ted Olsen, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums. At 8:30, the Atlantis Quartet takes the stage with their modern take on jazz: Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris Bates, bass; and Peter Hennig, drums.
Sarah Greer & Dean Magraw @ Boom Island Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Sarah Greer is a vocalist that other vocalists turn to for lessons in jazz singing and scatting. Dean Magraw is a boundary-less guitarist with chops and taste galore.
BZ3 Organ Trio @ The Mudd Room, Mendota Heights. 7pm (No Cover) Brian Ziemniak, B3 organ; Troy Norton, guitar; and Kevin Washington, drums; deliver funky, greasy, soul-jazz just made for this basement “speakeasy.
Blues, Roots, Other…
Wednesday, Oct 18
Babb, Johnson, & Paul on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) To quote Hurricane Harold Tremblay, “Front Porch Swinging Liquor Pig Dave Babb and his Friday night partner at Palmer’s, Tony Paul of the Reggae All Stars (the Mayor of MPLS West Bank), join forces with Nordeast Country Blues/Folkie Baby Grant Johnson for a night of debauchery and mayhem.” Sounds like great fun to me
Thursday, Oct 19
Comotown Cajun Trio @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Get your dancing shoes out to trip the light fantastic, Cajun style.
Friday, Oct 20
Lil Ed & The Blues Imperials @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) I’m not sure if Lil’ Ed is still up to jumping off the stage and creating mayhem with some of his antics, as he did in the 80s, but after decades of playing blistering slide guitar, I’m sure that even an older Lil’ Ed will create a fiery evening of music.
Molly Maher/Dusty Heart @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 7pm ($20) Singer/songwriter/guitar tech Molly Maher has been called the Queen of the Twin Cities Music Scene. This Americana artist plays bar rooms, concert halls, and festivals. Those events, as well as her CDs, all benefit from her relatable lyrics and soulful voice. Dusty Heart is Barbara Jean and Molly Dean, two songwriters recognized in their own right for their poetic lyrics and distinct vocal styles that when combined create a powerful and haunting sound. Of their sound, City Pages wrote: “Barbara Jean and Molly Dean of Dusty Heart have that rural campfire chemistry that can make you lose all tension in your jaw”
Paul Cebar w/Jon Rodine @ The Hook & Ladder, MInneapolis. 8pm ()$12 Advance/$15 Door) Paul Cebar and his fans will turn the Hook into a regular dance party, as Cebar throws out funky R&B, combined with tropical rhythms, to keep butts moving in their chairs and energetic dancers filling the commodious space at the Hook. John Rodine is an excellent openener for this gig. Here’s a classic from Paul.
Also: Trombone Shorty @ The Palace Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($42, $79.50)
Saturday, Oct 21
Jillian Rae Vinyl & CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($10 Advance/$$14 Door) Fiddler/singer/songwriter Rae grew is releasing a 4-song EP entitled Wanderlust, on both CD and as a 45RPM EP. Rae grew up on the Iron Range, where she absorbed musical influences from country, pop, blues, and rock to yes indeed, polkas. She writes tunes with hooks that stay with you and teaches at her own music school – The Music Lab. When not fronting her own band, she can be heard with any number of other bands around town, including Corpse Reviver, Steve Kaul & the Brass Kings, and the Blackberry Brandy Boys, among others. Her she is a few years back.
Tom Petty Tribute @ Dayblock Brewing, Minneapolis. 8pm ($5) Local songwriter Ben Cook-Feltz and Day Block Brewing present an evening honoring the life and music of the late Tom Petty, one day after what would have been the iconic rocker’s 67th birthday. Several local artists and hardcore Tom Petty fans will be on-board to play their favorite songs. All proceeds will be donated to Rock The Earth, an organization Petty contributed to throughout his career. Rock The Earth is a national environmental advocacy organization dedicated to protecting and defending natural resources through partnerships with the music industry.
Ukefest 2017 @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6:30pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) A night dedicated to the ukelele, an instrument that has been gaining popularity of late. Plectorists who will be appearing include Katy Vernon, Marlowe Teichman, Corey Mohan, Dave Randall, Jake Rowan, Lady Date, Niki Becker, Eric Carranza, Mary Bue, and more! Folks are encouraged to bring their ukes and join the Ukelele Army. As usual with these annual events, it’s benefit, this time for Arc GTC, & The Minnesota Music Coalition
Dee Miller Band @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9:00pm ($10) The self-styled “Duchess of the Blues” just won a Blues Society Hall of Fame award for Leopard Skin Dress, the song she co-wrote with Jimi Prime Time Smith. Her performance at the Awards show was full of fire, as will undoubtedly be her performance at the Vieux.
Also: The Good, The Bad, The Funky @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?)
Monday, Oct 23
Irma Thomas, Blind Boys, & Preservation Hall Legacy Quintet @ The Guthrie, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($35 – $65) Irma Thomas is The Queen of New Orleans Soul. She’ll be joined by the exceptional gospel group the Blind Boys of Alabama, as well as a group representing the Legacy of Preservation Hall Bands.
Monday, Tuesday, Oct 23, 24
Badfinger Straight Up, feat: Joey Molland @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $40) It’s the 45th Anniversary of the release of Straight Up, by Badfinger, and Joey Molland – guitarist, songwriter, and vocalist for Badfinger, is touring with his band to celebrate the event. For those of you of a younger age, Badfinger was one of the first bands signed to the Beatle’s Apple Records. They had hits with Come and Get It, No Matter What, Day After Day, and Baby Blue. Mariah Carey had a hit in 1994 with their song, Without You. Boomer or not, if you like classic pop, you will enjoy this music.