Some August Shows of Note: 8.8 – 8.27

August 7, 2017

Greetings to one and all;

Thanks to all for the support, prayers, and positive vibrations being sent my way, which I’m sure continue to be helpful. My doctor is pleased with my progress so far, but this is a long-haul health issue, so we’ll just have to see how things progress.

At any rate, the Dog Days of August are upon us, and if you can’t find a pool or lake in which to swing, you can at least check out some exceptional music.  There are so many great shows on the horizon that I just had to list a few, though certainly not all. I’ll try to post again by the end of August, but in the meantime, you can use the calendar links at the bottom of this missive to find out other opportunities.

Jazz

Tuesday, August 8

Cyrille Aimee @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $30) As a teenager, she would sneak out of her home in the town where Django Rheinhardt lived out his life and hang at gypsy camps. As a college music student on a scholarship, she was the only vocalist SUNY Purchase, in the schools program, and spent lots of time absorbing the way instrumentalists soloed. She’s won a number of vocal competitions, and has toured the world, incorporating Brazilian and other influences along the way. Not to be missed.

Tuesday, Wednesday, August 8,9

Kevin Mahogany @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $50w/Dinner) It’s been many a year since big-voiced Mahogany has sung in the Twin Cities. Whether he’s fronting a big band, a B3 Organ Trio, reharmonizing Motown, or singing his own compositions, he always delivers. He’ll be accompanied by some of the brightest stars in the Twin Cities Jazz Firmament – Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Gordy Johnson, bass; and Bobby Commodore, drums.

Friday, August 11

Babatunde Lea Quintet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) We are lucky to have conguero/trap drummer Lea in our town. He’s been playing for 50 years, and during that time has worked with Leon Thomas, Stan Getz, McCoy Tyner, Van Morrison, and Oscar Brown Jr, among others, and was a co-founder of Motema Records, which has established itself as a solid jazz label in this time when record companies are floundering. Tonight his quintet includes Zacc Harris, guitar; Matt Trice, alto sax; Will Kjeer, piano; and Ted Olsen, acoustic bass.

Jana Nyberg5 CD Release @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($12, $37w/Dinner) The always entertaining and inspiring Ms Nyberg has a new album Set On You, recorded with hubby Adam Meckler, pianist Sean Jones, bassist Matt Peterson, and drummer Rodney Ruckus. It’s an album of mostly ballads, along with a couple of gospel numbers and the original title tune. They’ll be performing the album in it’s entirety and add a couple of other songs to complete the evening.

Saturday, August 13 

Irv Williams 98th Birthday Party @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15) Mr Smooth is still performing, and if he doesn’t quite hit some notes on his tenor sax, he finds a way to finesse the situation. He’s been having these birthday parties, each of which threatens to be the last, for at least 10 years now, and has proven to have more energy, and much better rhythm, than that ubiquitous bunny.

Monday, Tuesday, August 14, 15

Bob Rockwell Quartet w/David Hazeltine, Billy Peterson, & Kenny Horst @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($25, $50w/Dinner), 9pm ($15) Though saxophonist Rockwell had a solid reputation and resume as a NYC player, but decided to leave the Big Apple for Copenhagen since 1983. Since then, he often found time to visit the old Artists’ Quarter whenever he was in the States. Pianist Hazeltine has recorded 35 albums as a leader and hundreds more as a sideman. He’s recognized throughout the jazz community as a master of improvisation, technique, composition, and arranging. Bassist Peterson and drummer Horst are well known to those of us lucky enough to have been regulars at the AQ. Should be a stirring night of music.

Tuesday, August 15

Phil Aaron Trio w/Joyce Lyons @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) Emmy-winning composer/pianist Phil Aaron’s day job is composing for film, television, and advertising, but Twin Cities jazz fans know him for his tasteful, imaginative playing, whether leading his own group, as a sideman, or accompanying vocalists. Tonight, he, Gary Raynor bass; and Jay Epstein, drums, will feature special guest vocalist Joyce Lyons, whose singing philosophy is “lyric is everything.” You can expect a night of sparkling music.  Here’s Joyce Lyons performing at the Metropolitan Room in NYC.

Wednesday, August 16

Ben Sidran @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Jazz fans most likely know about pianist/vocalist Sidran, whose interviews on the radio shows he hosted on NPR proved he had the insight and knowledge to ask probing questions of the most reluctant jazz musician. He’s a songwriter as well as interpreter of songs from Monk to Dylan , and someone who would-be hipsters could take as a role model. Not only is he a great jazz musician, but his philosophical between-song ruminations on life make you think as well as laugh. Now that’s hip.

Wednesday, August 16

Ben Sidran @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Jazz fans most likely know about pianist/vocalist Sidran, whose interviews on the radio shows he hosted on NPR proved he had the insight and knowledge to ask probing questions of the most reluctant jazz musician. He’s a songwriter as well as interpreter of songs from Monk to Dylan , and someone who would-be hipsters could take as a role model. Not only is he a great jazz musician, but his philosophical between-song ruminations on life make you think as well as laugh. Now that’s hip.

Now Through August 20

The Holler Sessions @  The Dowling Studio, Guthrie Theater, Minneapolis. 7:30pm, 1pm August 20 ($9) Jazz aficionados will want to check out this one-man play about an obsessed Kansas City jazz deejay. He tells some interesting stories about jazz musicians and plays music from Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Ben Webster, and others. The play has a run time of 80 minutes, but you’ll want to stick around another half-hour or so for after-play activities.

Now Through August

The Young Lions Summer Vacation @ Various Venues. In case you haven’t noticed it, a number of young musicians who have been out of high school a few years and attending college are home for the summer and booking gigs. Should you see any gigs featuring Peter Goggin, Adam Astrup, Charlie Lincoln, Will Schmid, Jordan Anderson, Luke Peterson, and Will Kjeer, among others, be sure to check them out, as they and their friends are having a ball this summer showing off the skills they’re acquiring in school. One gig I’ll mention is HOAXER, who put out a fine CD earlier this summer. They’ll be appearing at Vieux Carré on Friday, August 18. The group includes Kjeer, piano; Lincoln, bass; and Goggin, sax; as well as Edmund Caitlin on drums.

Roots, Blues, & Other

Friday, August 11

Centavrus & DJ Miguel Vargas @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15 Advance/$18 Door) Centavrus is a quartet that uses electronic rhythms to reinterpret the traditional form of Mexican Corridas, which are often romantic stories sung in ballad form. As they do so, they also reinterpret the present idea of what it is to be Mexican. DJ Miguel Vargas is host of Radio Pocho on KFAI, where he crosses borders and genres as he presents Bachata, Cumbia, Funk, Merengue, Reggae, and much, much more.

Sunday, August 13

SSingSSing @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15 Advance/$18 Door) It seems that many young musicians around the world are blending the traditional music of their countries with electronic beats and modern instruments. As described by the Cedar, SSingSSing is a sextet from Korea that combines rock music with typically authentic somewhat oscillating vocals f rom Korean folk songs. They also include ballads, pop music and shamanistic rituals into the mix. Daniel and the Real Feels, with roots in Fergus Falls, perform rock n’ roll and power pop inspired by the likes of the Stones, Bowie, Queen,and T Rex.

Monday, August 14

Ruthie Foster @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $45) You can’t get as down-home comfortable with any other artist the way you can with this wise, often funny, singer songwriter, who draws from gospel, R&B, and even pop to get her messages across.

Tuesday, August 15

Rockin’ Pinecones @ The MN History Center, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Free) One of the nicer places in town to see an outdoor show is the courtyard of the Minnesota History Center, where you can overlook downtown Saint Paul, while listening and dancing to Cajun, Zydeco, Swamp Pop, and New Orleans R&B of Dan Newton and the Rockin’ Pinecones. Dance lessons start at t6:30pm. Bring a blanket or chairs, and a bit of a picnic, or buy food and refreshments from vendors at the event.

Friday, August 18

Willie Murphy & the Angel Headed Hipsters @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 8pm ($7) Somebody can correct me, but I don’t recall Murphy and the Hipsters ever playing at Lee’s. It’s ideal for them, with it’s paneled walls, interesting bric-a-brac, and a commodious dance floor, which should bring dancers out.

Saturday, August 19

George Porter Jr Trio, Jon Cleary Trio, & More @ Como Dockside, Saint Paul. 4pm ($25 Advance/$30 Door/$50VIP) It’s an evening of New Orleans Funk & R&B! George Porter Jr. is the bassist for the legendary Meters, who just celebrated their 50th anniversary with a performance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. He’ll be bringing his own trio to the Dockside’s covered pavilion to funk things up. Jon Cleary may be a native of Britain, but he has spent decades in New Orleans soaking up its music. He recently won a Grammy, and spent a number of years as a member of Bonnie Raitt’s band, where he also collaborated with her on songwriting. Past appearances in the area have been thoroughly entertaining. They’ll be joined by area stalwarts Frogleg, who will be celebrating a new album release, Busy Checking In, as well as opening “funksion” group The Jaden Carlson band, from Boulder, Colorado.

Tuesday, August 22

Orkestar Bez Ime @ The Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 6:30pm (Free) Here’s another intriguing show at the History Center. Orkestar Bez Ime plays high energy Balkan party music. It’s fast, frantic, and fun.

Sunday, August 27

David Bromberg Quintet @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($30 General Admission/$40 Center Section) Young Americana fans may not be cognizant of Bromberg, though they absolutely need to have his music in their libraries. Older music fans know that multi-instrumentalist Bromberg has been a solid performer of blues and other roots music since the 70s. He’s collaborated with Dylan, George Harrison, Emmylou Harris, The Grateful Dead, the Eagles, and countless other artists. His latest release, on our own Red House Records, is The Blues, The Whole Blues, and Nothing But the Blues, was awarded Blues Album of the Year by the Downbeat Critic’s Poll. It contains Bromberg’s unique takes on songs by Robert Johnson, Bobby Charles, Ray Charles, and Sonny Boy Williamson among others.

In the meantime you can find a fairly comprehensive list of links to venues that present Jazz, Blues, & Roots at this page on my website: https://rhythmandgrooves.net/twin-cities-music-venues/ Be aware that venues change their music policies often enough that it’s hard to stay current. For a quick look at what’s happening around town check out:

KBEM Calendar (covers jazz & roots): http://www.jazz88.fm/live-music-calendar/

JazzINK (as complete a live jazz calendar as you’ll find): http://www.jazzink.com

Minnesota Blues Society: http://www.mnbs.org/gigs.html

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A Full Week of Music: 8.17 – 8.23

August 17, 2016

imagesOur cup is overflowing with a full week of music ahead of us,. We have visiting pianists, blues artists, and a great bluegrass band coming to town. Of course, we have our own roster of resident musicians whose talent is truly worthy of our support. We’ve got jazz, Americana, blues, and Latin music, with a Japanese Lighting Festival just for fun. Music lifts your spirits.

Jazz

Wednesday, August 17

Tributary, featuring Adam Meckler and Brian Courage @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($10, $35 Dinner Show) This is a group made up of musicians who all met at Lawrence University in Wisconsin, which has produced a number of very good musicians. Besides Meckler on trumpet, and Brian Courage, who used to live here and is now based in NYC on bass, the group includes Aaron Hedenstrom, of numerous groups and leading his own big band on tenor; Greg Woodside, of Boston, on piano; and Derek Dreier, of Des Moines, on drums.

Dean Magraw & Eric Kamau Gravatt @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) One of the most versatile guitarists on the planet (Magraw), and an internationally known powerhouse drummer (Gravatt) come together for a tuneful evening that can go in any direction.

Monseur Periné @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 – $32) Columbia has a thriving music scene, and Monseur Perine is a big part of it. They take acoustic swing, gypsy jazz, and add Latin percussion, for a fresh approach to the music.

Capri Big Band @ Minnehaha Falls Park, Minneapolis. 7pm – 8:30pm (Free) This intergenerational big band can swing with the best of them. What a great way to hear them, at the pavilion at Minnehaha Falls, with perhaps, some food and drink from the nearby Sea Salt Cafe.

Thursday, August 18

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Vocalist Pippi Ardennia sings For Peace, accompanied by a trio of young artists that she’s taken under wing: Jo Schad, piano & vocals; Luke Pickman, cello & flute; and Beth Varela, drums.

Kandace Springs @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($20) Pianist/vocalist Ms Springs recently received a glowing review in Jazz Times for her Blue Note album Soul Eyes. The reviewer called her pop-jazz sound “a bewitching amalgam of Dusty Springfield’s caliginous, cream-filled soulfulness and Nancy Wilson’s sensual sophistication, with distinct shades of Michael Jackson.” Springs is a Prince protege, and this is a chance for you to say, “I saw her when…”

Dorothy Doring @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) It’s vocal night at Jazz Central, and tonight, the well-regarded Ms Doring is center stage, with her inviting blend of jazz and a bit of the blues.

Friday, August 19

Sophia Shorai @ Crooner’s Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm – 10:30pm (No Cover) Hoo boy! You might think that Ms Shorai’s honey-sweet, and sometimes coquettish vocals could easily be lost in the loud conversations that accompany a TGIF night at Crooners, but have no fear, she has enough grit, not to mention an abundance of talent, to capture the attention of almost anyone celebrating the end of the week.

Lulu’s Playground @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Their music is charming and inventive, and while the members of Lulu’s Playground may call their music “chamber jazz,” truth is, their music is hard to define, though their instrumentation does imply such a label. Their music includes tangos, jazz, waltzes, and even some free improvisation. Members are: Adam Meckler, trumpet; Steven Hobert, accordion; Corey Grossman, cello; and Ben Abrahamson, guitar.  and

Rodney Ruckus @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) This is part of the All Originals Jazz Series at Studio Z, not to be confused with Jazz at Studio Z. We’re lucky to have two different jazz series at this location. At any rate, drummer Rodney Ruckus has put together a new group to play a live version of A Love Supreme, along with some new compositions. Rodney Ruckus, drums; Will Kjeer, piano; Steve Kenny Flumpet; and Ron Evaniuk, bass.

Saturday, August 20

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) It’s another night of two bands and a tip jar. Opening set is by the Mitch Rand Quartet: Mitch Rand, saxes; Dillon Nelson, guitar; Andrew Nelson, electric bass; and Noah Kittelson, drums. then at 8:30, Steve Kenny celebrates 100 weeks of Saturday Night Jazz with Group 47, Will Kjeer, piano; Thomas Strommen, tenor; Adam Tucker bass; Alex Burgess, drums; and the veteran Steve Kenny, Flumpet.

Ethan Iverson Masterclass & Performance @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $50 w/Dinner) Masterclass: 4-6pm included with 7pm show. Though Iverson is best known as one third of The Bad Plus, with whom he’s played venues as varied as The Village Vanguard and Bonnaroo, he also plays with the Billy Hart Quartet and with jazz elders such as Albert “Tootie” Heath, and Ron Carter. Time Out New York called him, “Perhaps NYC’s most thoughtful and passionate student of jazz tradition—the most admirable sort of artist-scholar.” In concert he’ll be playing a diverse selection of jazz piano pieces, including numbers from James P. Johnson and Mary Lou Williams. While the masterclass is meant for piano players, everyone is welcome.

Kate Lynch & Her Most Excellent Fellows @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Bassist/vocalist Ms Lynch brings her Most Excellent Fellows back to the Vieux. this time around the Fellows include Chris Beaty, guitar; Dan Eickmier, trumpet; Richard Medek, drums; and Peter Enblom, trombone. As the ensemble performs hits from the 30s, 40s, and even the 50s, dancing will be encouraged, but certainly not required.

Monday, August 22

Rick Germanson @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($12, $40w/Dinner) NYC-based pianist Germanson moved to the Big Apple from his hometown of Milwaukee in 1996, and soon established himself as a go-to-pianist for many national acts. He’s released three very-well received albums and has appeared at major clubs and festivals around the world. He’s no stranger to the Twin Cities, having appeared at the old Artists’ Quarter a number of times, and recorded with Carol Martin. He currently tours with the Cannonball Legacy Project, led by drummer Louis Hayes, as well as with Kyle Eastwood.

Javier Santiago & Friends @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Pianist Javier Santiago has been playing some modern rhythms and riffs of late, dipping his oh so talented fingers into neo-soul, in addition to giving a contemporary touch to old standards. His friends include Dan Carpel, bass; Miguel Hurtado, drums; and Proper T on vocals.

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, August 17

Willie Walker on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) the Twin Cities own original soul man is not only still going, but has had a boost in his career from last year’s release of If Nothing Ever Changes, which was produced by Rick Estrin, formerly of Little Charlie and the Night Cats. The CD received Blues Award nominations in three categories. Walker doesn’t even need a full band to work his magic. Tonight he’ll be accompanied by guitarist Scott Ives.

Dakota Dave Hull @ Schooner’s Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Hull is an international guitar star, at least for those who follow finger-picking. He gets his suits made in Thailand when touring Asia, and is a frequent visitor to Great Britain and Europe. As a result, we don’t get to see him perform in town very much, so this is a rare opportunity, especially given the price.

Malamanya @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) They’ll be clearing away tables to allow for salsa dancing at the Icehouse as the seven members of Malamanya work their magic with vintage Cuban sons and other Afro-Caribbean rhythms.

Thursday, August 18

Erik Koskinen and Rogue Valley @ Music in Mears, Saint Paul 6pm (Free) It’s Americana Night at Mears Park. Erik Koskinen is a singer/songwriter and excellent guitarist who deserves to be known throughout the nation, both for his playing, and his slice of life songs that evoke the classic country music of the 50s and 60s. Rogue Valley is a quintet led by singer/songwriter Chris Koza. A couple of years back they released four albums in one year, each dedicated to one of the seasons. More recently, they released radiate/dissolve. As usual, Music in Mears will feature a half-dozen food trucks, and beer from Lake Monster Brewing and Summit Brewing.

Doug Otto & The Getaways @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) If you’ve never made it to NE Mpls to catch Doug and the guys at Nye’s or the 331 Club, here’s a chance to catch them in the newly redesigned Black Dog, which now boasts a full bar and a real kitchen. Soulful, mournful blues of various stripes.

Guitar Shorty @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm ($10) In a five-decade performing career, Guitar Shorty has been credited with influencing both Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Guy. We’re not likely to see the hard-hitting performer do flips on stage, as he once did, but the blazing fingering and fiery bursts of notes are still there.

Friday, August 19

Frogleg w/Bailey Hubbs @ Rice Park, Saint Paul 6pm – 9pm (Free) Headliners Frogleg can usually be heard performing their jam-bandish blend of R&B, Reggae, Funk, and rock at Bunker’s on Thursdays. Tonight they cross the river for some outdoor dancing. Hubbs is a talented sixteen year old from Saint Paul currently recording her original music in Nashville.  Food trucks and beverage sellers will be available.

Jaedeyn James & The Hunger @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) This ten-piece horn band has lots of fun on stage, playing high energy original R&B and selected covers with a brashness usually found in punk bands. Listen to them on their BandCamp page.

Saturday, August 20

John Jorgenson Bluegrass Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $35) Jorgenson may be one of the most talented guitarists around. He’s spent years touring with Elton John, started the country-rock band Desert Rose, and helped kick-start the gypsy jazz revival of the last decade or so. He’s a virtuoso player who also plays mandolin. Tonight he’s showcasing one of his three bands – J2B2, featuring Herb Pederson on banjo, guitar, and vocals (Byrds, Desert Rose, Flying Burrito Brothers); as well as Jon Randall on guitar (Emmylou Harris, Nash Ramblers); and Mark Fain on bass (Ricky Skaggs, Kentucky Thunder).

BrassZilla @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (Tip Jar) Just in case you haven’t had enough brass in your life, along comes BrassZilla: Hal Longley, sousaphone; Zach Zins, trombone; Bob DeBoer, trumpet; and Jeffrey Dunitz, drums. With their originals and brass band versions of songs you know, BrassZilla will be easily heard in the somewhat noisy confines of Hell’s Kitchen.

Sunday, August 21

Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival @ Como Zoo & Conservatory, Saint Paul. 3pm – 9pm ($5) The 18th annual Como Park Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival is a family-friendly event, reminiscent of Japan’s annual Obon holiday.  In the Japanese Garden at the Conservatory, you will find bonsai, martial arts, Ikebana, singing, dancing, drumming, food and other aspects of Japanese culture.The day will culminate at dusk with the main event—the lantern lighting. Stone lanterns as well as hundreds of floating paper lanterns throughout the Japanese Garden pond and the Frog Pond will create a vision of peacefulness and harmony.

Phil Heywood @ Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7:45pm (Tip Jar) A helluva finger-picking guitarist  with a pleasant baritone voice to boot, performing in the welcoming confines of this “Irish in Saint Paul” pub.

Shemekia Copeland @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) What we have here is proof that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Ms Copeland is the daughter of the late blues guitarist Johnny Copeland, and there’s no doubt she’s learned much from her father.With a powerful, soulful voice, she’s headlined the Chicago Blues Festival and others around the world, performed at the White House, and shared the stage with folks like Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, BB King, and Buddy Guy.

Monday, Tuesday, August 22, 23

Ruthie Foster @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) It’s a testament to Foster’s talent that she can fill the Dakota whenever she performs, which seems to be a couple of times a year. With her warm on-stage presence, and knack for storytelling, Foster is an ideal purveyor of folk blues. Folks notice: she’s won numerous awards from Living Blues, including Female Blues Artist of the Year. Jack Broadbent opens

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.


Dancing, Romancing, and Singing. Music: 2.12 – 2.18

February 12, 2014

imagesValentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year, making for many an opportunity to hear great music while spending time with your sweetie. We also have some terrific jazz singers coming to town, as well as outstanding blues singers, and a retro/modern soul singer. Then we have some visiting jazz artists, the celebration of a new jazz record label, and a couple of vinyl nights, not to forget my own Valentine’s Day Funky Friday. Remember music can lift your spirit.

Jazz…

Wednesday, February 12

Chris Bates 1 year anniversary of Magica Improvisado @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 11pm (Donation). 2nd Wed of each month. To celebrate, Chris has gathered a number of young musicians, including: Chris Bates – bass; Cory Healy – drums; Joe Strachan – piano; and Jake Baldwin – trumpet. They’ll be performing mostly original music.

Note: This gig has been postponed, since both artists are stranded in Atlanta as a result of the snowstorm there.  Dionne Farris and Russell Gunn @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm & 9pm ($32) Farris is known as a pop and soul singer, with a couple of Grammy nominations to her credit, as well as contributing vocals for Tennesse, the hit single from hip-hops Arrested Development. Gunn is a trumpeter/multi-instrumentalist who first gained attention playing on the Wynton marsalis album Blood on the Fields.  He’s also received a Grammy nomination for  the first album in his Ethnomusicology series. After Gunn and Farris worked together for a performance in Atlanta, the two recorded an album together, Dionne, Get Your Gunn, recasting the pop/soul songs of Farris as jazz numbers. The results have been well reviewed. Here’s a preview of what they will sound like.

Thursday, February 13

Kurt Elling @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40), 9pm ($25) There wouldn’t be much of an argument among jazz fans that Elling may be the best male jazz singer out there at the moment. He’s got a rich baritone and is about as hip a singer as can be. Chek him out.

Valentine Eve’s Revue w/Retro Swing Sister @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 donation) Maryann Sullivan and Rhonda Laurie bring their sophisticated swing from the 30s through the 50s to the basement room for a pre-Valentine’s evening. They’ll have Doug gaining, sax; Matt Peterson, bass; and Kent Saunders, drums; to provide the music for their vocals.

Saturday, February 15

Shifting Paradigm Records Launch Party @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 5p-10p. ($10) It’s a mini-jazz-fest of sorts, featuring five powerhouse acts on this new label label, with sets by Fat Kid Wednesdays, Atlantis Quartet, Bryan Nichols Quartet, Graydon Peterson Quartet, & the Zacc Harris Group. That’s five top notch jazz groups in one evening, all for just $10. In addition, there will be special promotions on CDs at the show. It’s being hyped as the biggest night of Twin Cities Jazz this Winter, and that is very likely true.

Sunday, February 16

Gregory Porter @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $42)  Porter is an up and coming jazz singer with a talent for writing groove laden, direct songs that go straight to the heart and the head. He’s been profiled in Jazz Times and the Wall Street Journal, nominated for a couple of Grammys, and will be at a number of jazz festivals this summer. Catch him on the way up.

Monday, February 17

Adam Meckler @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($5) Trumpeter Meckler takes time out from his various projects for a turn as a soloist with the JC rhythm section. There’ll be some standards and originals, and a friendly jam at about 10pm.

Illicit Sextet @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8?) The always exciting Sextet brings their original music to the Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse. They’ll play one set, followed by a new ensemble from Adam Linz, which is another reason to attend.

Tuesday, February 18

Benje Daneman Quartet & the Jana Nyberg Group @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) In case you missed Adam Meckler last night, he’ll be performing with his wife Jana Nyberg tonight. He’ll also guest on a couple of tunes by his middle school buddy, trumpeter Benje Daneman, who is currently on a midwest tour with his quartet: Chicago-based pianist Rob Clearfield; drummer Christian Euman; and NYC bassist Sam Weber. Of course there are the sultry vocals of Ms Nyberg also calling to listeners.  Here’s a video for one of Daneman’s ethereal compositions.

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 Police, Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, and Other…

Wednesday, February 12

Definitely Old School

Definitely Old School

Foghorn String Band & the Cactus Blossoms @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. ($15) Portland’s Foghorn String band plays the kind of music you would hear on Southern radio in the 1930s, playing in front of a single microphone. Of course, this being 2014, they play with lots of energy. The Twin Towns own Cactus Blossoms bring their traditional sounding original country music to the stage as openers. 

Thursday, February 13

Mayer Hawthorne @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($25) The Ann Arbor musician knows his way around Motown, Philly, and other Northern Soul genres, which are, at the very least, implied in his original compositions, making for highly danceable albums. Here’s an example.

The Valentine’s Day Heart and Soul Happening @ Clubhouse Jaeger, Minneapolis. 9pm – 2am. ($?) Here’s a chance to slow dance the night away, and it isn’t a wedding. Deejays Rambo Salinas, Dale Burback, and Freddy Fresh will be spinning sweet soul 45s, along with some Chicano rolls. Special guest Bob Abrahamian will be coming up from Chicago where he hosts “Sitting in the Park” on WHPK.

Friday, February 14

Lucy Michelle’s Valentine Mixtape: C&W Edition @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7pm ($14 advance, $16 day of show) So the age of digital music on our phones and other tiny devices seems to have left the old idea of mix tapes behind, though the truly romantic music nerds among us will still come up with one from time to time. tonight songstress Lucy Michelle curates an evening of country & western music for Valentines day, featuring Frankie Lee and the Decade and Lucy singing with the Blackberry Brandy Boys. John Mark Nelson and the Cactus Blossoms will also make appearances. Whether you are with someone special or not, you are encouraged to bring your ideal Valentine’s Day Mixtape to swap with other attendees, or, who knows, you may find someone special who deserves your gift.

Worldwide Discoteque Afro Latin Valentine’s Dance @ Clubhouse Jaeger, Minneapolis. 10pm ($5) Deejays Steely Dan and Brian Engel will be spinning vinyl artifacts from around the world to get you heart pumping, your feet jumping, and body moving. Bring a date, find a date, or simply groove the night away to sounds form Brazil, the Caribbean, Africa, and Central and South America.

The Ericksons @ the Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($10) This late night showcase may be just the thing to round out a Valentine’s evening. The sisterly harmonies of the Ericksons can make the darkest subjects seem light. Rachel Reis opens.

Saturday, February 15

Dean Magraw & Peter Ostroushko @ The Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 8pm – doors @ 7:30  ($15) A Dynamic Duo if there ever was one. Magraw on guitar and Ostroushko on mandolin and fiddle will raise the roof on the small wine bar.

Unknown-1The Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank @ the Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($8 advance/$10 door) Teague and Ian Thomas Alexy have created a roots music project that features their distinctively MN outlook, even though their first CD was recorded in Brooklyn. They’ve been on the road and it’s good to have them back, now with a new album, Number lone Contender, recorded in the North Woods. This is part of a new Tap Room Concert Series, which tonight features Collen Myhre as an opening act,.

John Nemeth @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Nemeth is a singer and harp player who has been gaining lots of attention. His fans include RJ Mischo, Charlie Musselwhite and Junior Watson. He’s been nominated for a bunch of blues awards this year, including best Male Blues Artist, Best Soul blues Album (Soul Live), and Most Outstanding Blues Singer. Esquire magazine will be featuring a cut from his upcoming album Memphis Grease for their readers. If you missed Stevie Ray Vaughn when he played the old Union Bar, get out to hear Nemeth – he’s got the same potential for blowing you away.

Sunday, February 16
Cafe Accordion Orchestra at McNeely Conservatory, Como Park, Saint Paul. 4:30 – 6:30 (Free) Soak in the humidity of the Conservatory and dance to the music of CAO, including French Musettes, Columbian Cumbias, and music from other exotic climes.

Eclectic Tuba @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 7pm doors ($10) Here’s a new kind of tuba-based instrumental group, one that is psychedelic, funky, whose performance is described as “trippy lights, ripping synthesizers, funky tuba loops, latin percussion grooves, and soaring saxophone solos.” You can see a video with samples here. Opening acts are Surgery at the Hands of Machines, described as electronic instrumental Arabian Desert Pop, and Good Diction, a rhythm and blues-grass sextet!

Unknown-2Monday, February 17

Eric Bibb & Ruthie Foster @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($37 – $42), 9pm ($30 – $40) What a great pairing. Two highly personable performers of folk-blues, both of whom are also great storytellers. From blues to soul to gospel, expect a spirited, joyful evening.

For a more comprehensive listing 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.


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