Nowadays the sun isn’t going down until after 8pm, and we’re all enjoying pleasant weather. While it’s certainly fun to enjoy the sun, much pleasure can be had from early evening shows as well, and we have plenty of them. They’re a boon for those of us who aren’t 35, unencumbered and don’t have to be at work til noon. We can choose from any number of early jazz, blues, and roots shows this week. Music Lifts the Spirit!
Wednesday, April 25
Leigh Kammen Legacy Project Presents: Larry McDonough Quartet and Local Damaging Winds @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm. (Donation) The rarely seen Locally Damaging Winds will be playing at this fundraiser for there Leigh Kammen Legacy Project. Locally Damaging Winds includes: Peter Enblom, Dave Graf, Brad Bellows, and Wade Clark, with the Larry McDonough Trio rhythm section. Pianist McDonough and his Quartet will open, playing the music of Bill Evans.
Christian Sands Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($20 Advance/$25 Door) Pianist Sands is a rising star in jazz, having been mentored by Billy Taylor, served in Christian McBride’s trio for a number of years, and been nominated for five Grammys. His latest release, Reach, has been well received.
Thursday, April 26
Vicky Mountain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:00pm ($10, $5 w/Valid Student ID) Whether she’s scatting be-bop lines or re-imagining rock n’ roll and jazz standards, vocalist Mountain exhibits sheer musicality. She’ll be accompanied by guitarist Martin, with whom she’s performed a number of times. The addition of Jim Chenoweth on bass adds to both music and fun factor.
Music Without Borders @ Calvary Lutheran Church, 3901 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Cash Donation at Door) Here’s an excellent example of how music transcends boundaries and generations. Students from the Urban Arts Academy, playing hand-made drums, will perform with Douglas R. Ewart, didgeroo, flutes; Bob Fantuzzo, Native American style flutes; Mankwe Ndosi, vocals; Davu Seru, percussion; and Jacqueline Ultan, cello.
Friday, April 27
No Room for Squares @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Valid Student ID) Another band of cross-generational musicians: Bill Steiger, drums; Omar AbdulKarim, trumpet; James “Jimmyapolis” Wallace, sax; Adam Tucker, bass; andDale Alexander, piano.=
Rio Nido @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) The talented trio of Tim Sparks, Prudence Johnson,and Tom Lieberman first gained fans back in the late 70s with swingin’ songs from the Depression and WWII. After separating to each create a successful career, they reunited a few years back and have added new songs to their repertoire without losing their gorgeous three-part harmonies and sense of swing.
Saturday, April 28
Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Starting at 7pm, it’s Chronic Ice Cream, which includes: Macalester Wilms, tenor; Matthew E. Tice, alto; Cody Leduc, trombone; Lee ran, saxes; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes & keys; Drew Stinson, bass; and Bobby T Rossen, drums. The Graydon Peterson Quartet headlines @8:30pm: Peterson, bass; Adam Meckler, trumpet; Joe Strachan, piano; and Adrian Suarez, drums.
Monday, April 30
Silverback Trio & OKnice @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul.9:30pm (Free) Ok, I’m conflicted about where to place this notice, since the show combines a hip-hop rapper and a jazz trio. The Silverback Trio plays two sets beginning about 9:30. They play original songs, using atmospheric electronics and high-energy melodies to create jazz for the 21st Century. Its members are: David Hirsch, electronics and sax; Brent Wallace, bass; and Byron Johnson-Blanchard, drums. OKnice hits the stage about 11:15. He is described as performing rap that both die-hard fans and casual listeners can enjoy.
Jax Ravel’s Benefit & Birthday @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($12) Drummer/percussionist Jax Ravel was one of the McNally Smith teachers left high and dry (along with students), when the school closed just before Christmas. Since it’s his birthday, musician friends are coming together to raise funds for him by playing tonight. They include the Graydon Peterson Quartet; the Yohannes Tona Band; the Steven Hobert Group, and Ravel’s own Jax Ravel Gang.
Eliane Elias @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35, $45), 9pm ($20, $24, $35) The Brazilian-born, multi Grammy-winning pianist is touring behind her just-released album, Music from Man of La Mancha, which was actually recorded some years ago and co-produced by Elias and the late Mitch Leigh, who composed the music for both stage and screen. Leigh commissioned the recording to specifically have Elias create an instrumental Latin Jazz album of his music. Here’s Elias singing and playing a Brazilian classic.
Blues, Roots, Other…
Wednesday, April 25
Bobcats on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) The Bobcats are Bobby E, a guitarist that should be known to more; Kathy Mosher, a vocalist that Bobby regularly accompanies; along with Tom Craven, bass; and Eron Woods, drums.
Issam Rafea and Gao Hong Album Release @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($20 Advance/$25 Door) Rafea is a Syrian Oud Master who has been seen around town playing with a variety of partners, including pianist Steven Hobert. Gao Hong is a Chinese Pipa Master. They only play improvisations and are celebrating the release of Life As Is: The Blending of Ancient Souls fromSyria and China, on Innova Records. Both Issam’s instrument, the Arabic lute called the oud, and Gao Hong’s instrument, the Chinese four-stringed lute called the pipa, originated from the same ancient instrument – the Persian barbat.
Dusty Heart Vinyl Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Here’s a case where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Barbara Jean and Molly Dean are two poetic singer/songwriters who are recognized for their own work , but discovered that together, they create a whole new, harmony-laden sound. They’ll be accompanied by the ace musicians Jeremy Ylvisaker, guitar; Michael Lewis, bass & sax; and JT Bates, drums.
Thursday, April 26
Nick Moss Band Feat. Dennis Gruenling @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($12 Advance $15 Door, $18 Reserved) Blues guitarist Nick Moss is riding high with his recent Alligator release, The High Cost of Low Living sitting at #1 on the Living Blues chart and #3 on Billboard. He’ll have superb harmonica player Dennis Gruenling along for this gig, making it a must-see for blues fans. Pianist Scottie “Bones” Miller opens.
Cadillac Kolstad @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat) Piano pounder Cadillac Kolstad’s rockabilly/R&B is very popular in Germany, where he seems to tour a couple of times a year. Hear him in the enlarged lounge at Crooner’s.
Phil Heywood @ Waldmann Brewery & Wurstery, Smith Ave, Saint Paul. 7:30-9:30pm (Tip Jar?) Fingerpicking champ & vocalist Phil Heywood makes his debut at this new brewery in one of the oldest buildings in Saint Paul. The brewery specializes in German-style beers and serves a variety of sausages and sides.
Also: Vicky Emerson Band with Mother Banjo @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis.8pm
Friday, April 27
Joe & Vicky Price, Ray & Hurricane @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7 Advance, $10 Door) It’s a duo of blues duos tonight as Jeff Ray & Hurricane Harold (guitar/vocals & harp, respectively) share the stage with Joe & Vicky Price, whose take on the blues is both traditional and unique. Just to make things even more interesting, there will be wood-fired pizza, craft beer, and a huge selection of craft whiskey.
Missy Andersen Duo @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm- 11:30pm (Tip Jar) Any blues fan that checks out the videos at the Black Dog entry for this duo will try to see them. Missy Andersen’s gospel-tinged vocals are complemented by husband Heine Andersen’s guitar work in which he plays lead, rhythm, and bass lines simultaneously.
Also: Nikki & The Ruemates @ Dusty’s Bar, NE Minneapolis. 9:45pm
Saturday, April 29
Charlie Parr @ The 331 Club, NE Minneapolis. 3pm-5pm (Tip Jar) No matter the weather, the 331 will be filled with fans of Parr, whose original folk-blues and spirituals reflect both the music of the Delta and his life.
Also: Willie Walker @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover, $10 for Guaranteed Seat)
Saturday, Sunday, April 28, 29
Lisa Fischer @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($40, $50, $60 Sat, $35, $45, $55 Sun) Fischer was a featured performer in 20 Feet from Stardom, the documentary about background singers. She’s an absolute pro, having spent over 20 years touring with the Stones. She also toured with Luther Vandross, Tina Turner, Sting, and Nine Inch nails. She uses her experience, and her considerable pipes to recast well-known pop/rock songs and make them her own. Be forewarned – her shows often sell out.
Sunday, April 29
Honky-Tonk Jump @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($8) Western Swing and Texas Dance Hall music from this “Daddy Squeeze” aggregation, with: Dan Newton, accordion & vocals; Tom Schaefer, fiddle; Dan Lowinger, guitar; Vaughn Asseltine, bass; and Deal Gallagher, drums.
Tuesday, May 1
KFAI 40th Anniversary Live Broadcast at Walker Church and Concert @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 7pm at the H&L (Donation) Can it really be 40 years since the Ten-Watt Big Shot (as it was sometimes called) went on the air? Now at 900 Watts (90.3 & 106.7FM), the station returns to its first home, Walker Methodist Church, for a day-long live broadcast before heading over to the Hook & Ladder, where Clockwerks Brewing will release KFAIBock and live music will commence from The Prizefighters, Trash Street,. Beebe Gallini, Theo, and thyself. I’ll be stopping by the Walker between 10AM and noon to chat with Jackson Buck about the station and spin some music from Streetlight Serenade and Shakeup Southside.