Autumn and Music: 10.14 – 10.20

October 14, 2015

IMG_2915Can it really be the middle of October already? Whatever the time of year may be, we’ve got more music than a person can attend in a week, and are lucky for it. New combinations of Twin Cities musicians, music from around the world, and visiting musicians of note. Get out and enjoy it. Music lifts the spirit.


Wednesday, October 14

Debbie Duncan: Billie Holiday Tribute @ Crooner’s Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) This year marks the centennial of Billie Holiday’s birth, and so we’ve seen a couple of modern tribute albums, and, in other cities, tribute concerts, so this one might be consered as overdue for the Twin Cities. Duncan is an excellent vocalist and interpreter, and I expect she’ll be in top form for this performance. It’s also the 97th birthday of Crooners’ owner Mary T’s mom, just to add even more levity to the celebration.

There has to be a recording studio around here somewhere

There has to be a recording studio around here somewhere

Red Planet invites Bill Carrothers @ Creation Audio, 2543 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($25) First, Red Planet, which is Dean Magraw, Chris Bates, and Jay Epstein, will make a recording with pianist Bill Carrothers  Then the four of them will hold a concert. Tickets for this amazing collaboration, if still available, and more information, can be had here.

Thursday, October 15

Amina Figurova @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) This internationally known pianist/composer and bandleader was born in Azerbaijan, spent many years in Rotterdam, and now lives in NYC with her husband and musical partner flautist Bart Platteau. They’ll be joined by Ernie Hamnes, trumpet; Mark Mommaas, tenor; Jeroen Vierdag, bass; and Chris Strik, drums; all of whom are on her latest release. She and her band have won critical acclaim at the Newport Jazz Festival, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and all over the world, including the Twin Cities Jazz Festival some years ago.

Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) This is one of the few times you can see this big band outside of Jazz Central open rehearsals. They are sure to fill the club with sound, and may even fill it with dancers (at least between the tables).

Friday, October 16

Donald Washington Trio @ the Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) For those willing to stray beyond standards, reedman Washington always provides a refreshing blast of musicality, no matter how improvised his music might be. He’ll be joined by son Kevin Washington on drums and Jimmie Wallace on sax. Here’s Washington (center) with a different group.

Joyce Lyons @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) We’re lucky to have this nationally recognized jazz vocalist in town. Enjoy her singing at this southern suburb’s Italian lounge with Phil Aaron, piano; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Jay Epstein on drums.

Yolande Bruce Group @ Walker West Academy, Saint Paul. 8pm ($15) Bruce is appearing as part of the Walker’s Eight O’Clock Jump series. She is known for her work with Moore by Four, and has been active in a solo career, as well as in theater productions at Penumbra, Illusion, Guthrie and the Ordway Theaters.

JT Bates’ GRAIN @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Drummer JT Bates has put together a B3 trio, which seems just right for this basement club, featuring the talents of Kevin Gastonguay, B3; and Zacc Harris, guitar.

Seru, Bates, and Granros @ The Nicollet Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) That’s Davu Seru, percussion, Chris Bates, bass; and Dean Granros, guitar, combining for a night of original jazz and cool versions of jazz standards.

Saturday, October 17

Ms Funk and Mr. Brueske

Ms Funk and Mr. Brueske

JoAnn Funk @ The Saint Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Vocalist/pianist Ms Funk is back at the Saint Paul Hotel, entertaining guests and visitors with songs by artists ranging from Blossom Dearie and Nat King Cole to Dan Penn and Leonard Cohen. As always, she’s accompanied by the versatile Jeff Brueske on bass, and occasional guests.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. (Tip Jar) Another stellar line-up of music for this popular Saturday Night series. At 7pm it’s the Chris Olson Group with Olson, guitar and Greg Byers on Cello mixing and matching tonalities. Then at 8:30pm, Le Percheron plays mostly 21st Century jazz, with Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Noah Ophoven-Baldwin, trumpet; Cory Healy, drums; and leader Adam Linz on bass. Bound to be a bit crowded, so get there early.

Sunday, October 18

Solomon Parham. Photo by Andrea Cantrer

Solomon Parham. Photo by Andrea Cantrer

Solomon’s Sessions @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 7pm ($5) Trumpeter Solomon Parham collects some colleagues and students from MacNally Smith and presents an opportunity for selected musicians to try out their chops in different configurations. It’s a controlled version of a jam session, with participants selected beforehand. Whoever plays, you are sure to hear modern rhythms as well as some long accepted jazz standards.

Monday, October 19

Twin Cities Seven @ Crooner’s Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) There is no doubt that this is a swinging aggregation  that will set your toes to tappin’, your sacroiliac to gyrating, and your mouth to humming. There’ll be some dancing as well. It’s led by saxophonist/clarinetist Doug Haining, and features Dave Graf, Trombone; Steve Wright, trumpet; Kent Saunders, guitar; Rick Carlson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Dick Bortolussi, drums. Maryann Sullivan provides the charming vocals.

Junior Ranger @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) Emerson Hunton, drums; Joe Suihkonen, trumpet; Noah Gershwin, guitar; Eric Krouse, piano. Hunton and Suihkonen are both alumni of the Dakota Combo. Based in Oberlin, Ohio and exploring non-traditional orchestration, free improvisation, and firm compositional structures, they spent a month in Amsterdam studying Dutch improvisation and will soon release their debut album, Monster Masks.

Fall of the House of Usher CD Release @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) This is a large aggregation, releasing Icehouse & Elsewhere, an album of both live and studio recordings. Members include: Greg Schutte, Chris Bates, Cole Pulice, Adrian Larkin, Chris Thompson, Chris Cunningham, Ivan Cunningham, Charlie Lincoln, Nathan Hanson, Adam Conrad, Elliott Wachs, Jon Davis, Adam Svec, and many other extremely talented musical voices that roam the sonic free-range of the Twin Cities.

Tuesday, October 20

Laura Caviani Trio @ Crooner’s Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Caviani is a pianist of wit and taste who also sings from time to time. Tuesday night jazz at Crooners is a fine opportunity to experience her talent.

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 14

Bernie King and the Guilty Pleasures on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 club – Tip Jar) Once again, host Harold Trembley has booked a blues/roots group for your listening pleasure. King’s original songs evoke Johnny Cash and Tom Waits, using washboard, bass, guitars, and tom toms. Once you hear him singing “Drinking with the Lord,” you may want to get baptized.

Thursday, October 15

Alma Andina @ The World Live! at the Hill, JJ Hill Library, downtown Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Advance/$15 Door) The JJ Hill Library is producing a new series of world musics in collaboration with Fresh Air Radio. Tonight kicks off the series with Alma Andina performing Andean and Latin American music, with a decidedly modern bent, though there is not doubt that Andean flutes will be involved. There’s likely to be a small dance floor, not to forget some adult beverages and a chance to hear how the library can help entrepreneurs.

Deano and the Dinosaurs @ Dusty’s, NE Minneapolis. 8pm (Tip Jar) Described as uncomfortably disturbing yet harmless, it’s Dress Like Deano Day, celebrating the birthday of Dean Mikkelson, a superb guitarist. He’ll be joined by Dean Harrington, guitar; Tom Lewis, upright bass; and Dehl Gallagher, drums. Don’t be surprised to see special guests. As to dressing like Deano, get some Converse Chuck Taylors and a cabin shirt, and you’ll be set. Prizes for best costume, dirty joke, and Deano-ism.

Friday, October 16

John Lennon Tribute @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. ($5) 5:30 – 11pm  Featuring The Lanes, Steve West and the Northern Stars, The Totems, Roady Tate, Laurie Leigh, Charle Dush, and a host of special guest artists.

Scottie Miller Band CD Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Keyboard player Miller is releasing his 9th CD, Reciprocation. At times, his piano playing evokes the New Orleans sound of Professor Longhair, the Chicago blues of Otis Spann, and the Mississippi piano of Pinetop Perkins, though he own style, influenced by rock n’ roll, always shines through. Miller is an inductee into the Minnesota Blues Hall of Fame, has received a Blues Music Award, and is the touring keyboard player for Ruthie Foster.

Hot Pants 45 RPM Dance Party @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($5) The rare funk n’ soul dance party moves to the paneled dance floor at Lee’s.

Reina Del Cid @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($8) Del Cid is a singer/songwriter and guitarist with a great way with words, and inspired covers. She has a great band, especially guitarist Toni Lindgren, whose work turns the literary mindfulness of Del Cid’s songs into engaging pop rock. Opening are The Meadows: Pete Linham, Wendy Lewis, and Jeff Waryan.

Saturday, October 17

Edgar Winter @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45 – $75) Back in the 70s, the heavy sound of The Edgar Winter Group’s synth-driven Frankenstein was all over the radio. Previous to that, his lesser known, but still successful group White Trash made some noise as as a hard charging R&B horn band. My guess is that some members of the audience may want to use the ear plugs available at the club’s entrance while rockin’ out.

Tim Sparks and Phil Heywood @ The Riverview Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($13) We have a number of fine finger-pickers in the Twin Cities, and tonight two of them (each of whom won the National Fingerpicking Championship – in different years). Heywood has a pleasant baritone voice as well, which he puts to good use every once in a while.

BB King Tribute @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10 – $15) A passel of Twin Cities musicians gather to celebrate the music of bluesman BB King, including Detroit Don King, John Franken, Paul Mayasich, Jeremy Johnson, Jim Anton, Rob Stupka, and others.

Flamin’ Oh’s Record Release Party @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9pm. ($10) Another record release party, this time from that Twin Cities 80s favorite the Flamin’ Oh’s. The Groove open at 9pm, followed by the Oh’s at 10:15, and Little Man at midnight. Here’s one of the Ohs better known songs.

Sunday, October 18

Pedrito Martinez Group @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($23) Conguero/percussionist Martinez appeared at the Dakota last March, and at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival the summer before last. He’s a Cuban-born virtuoso, who has supplied rhythms for folks like Eddie Palmieri, Bebo Valdes, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, and Joe Lovano, among others. There will be a dance floor, and a discussion of Cuban-American cultural exchanges at 6:30.

Tuesday, October 20

Paul Mayasich and guests Maurice Jacox and Bobby E. @ The Station, White Bear Lake. 8pm (No Cover) Their collaboration at the Station a few months ago was delightful, so Paul asked Maurice and Bobby back for another night of soulful vocals and stunning guitar work.

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.

Cold Weather Music: 2.18 – 2.24

February 18, 2015

UnknownThough the weather report for the next week seems to call for alternating between bone-chilling and I’m-Freezing-My-Face-Off, there are plenty of opportunities to warm up from music and dancing.  Remember, music lifts the spirit.


Wednesday, February 18

David Sanborn @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45 – $70) I mentioned this last week, but it bears repeating.  Sanborn is a rare saxophonist, one who can appeal to a dance-oriented R&B crowd, and a listening audience of jazz aficionados. He has won six Grammys, had eight gold albums, and one platinum, has hosted his own excellent TV show, and recorded with a host of artists, from Eric Clapton to Christian McBride and Bill Frisell. His appearance at the Zoo a couple of years back had the crowd roaring with delight.

Unknown-4Noah Ophoven-Baldwin Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Trumpet player Ophoven-Baldwin has been playing around town in both pop groups and adventurous jazz groups since getting his degree from the UofM, receiving good reviews in the process. Tonight he’s joined by Joe Strachan, piano; and Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Thursday, February 19

Maud Hixson @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Vocalist Hixson has received high praise from the likes of Rex Reed and Michael Feinstein, among others, for her warm voice and ability to get to the heart of classic pop and jazz songs of the twentieth century. This seems to be an ideal spot to hear her.

Cameron Kinghorn @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Kinghorn is a trumpeter/vocalist who has been playing (and singing) with the Adam Meckler Orchestra. Here’s a chance to see him solo.

Dean Granros @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Guitar master Granros is often heard playing in various combos around town. Tonight he performs two sets of solo guitar improvisations in the intimate space of the Cafe. For example:

Friday, February 20

Eastside CD Release @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Guitarist Reynold Philipsek and harmonica master Clint Hoover formed Eastside about six years ago with Michael Bisonnet on percussion and Matt Senjem on bass. The idea was to  take the “soul jazz” of the Blue Note era and combine it with their interpretation of Nuevo Tango. Though Hoover now lives in Pittsburg, they have managed to record their second album, Astoria, and will be having a release party at Hell’s Kitchen.

Chris Lomheim Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pianist Lomheim’s strong yet sometimes dreamy melodies are buoyed by the impressive rhythm section of Gordy Johnson on bass and Jay Epstein on drums.

Maryann Sullivan & Corner Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) The engaging and delightful singer is joined by Reynold Phillipsek, guitar; Doug Haining, sax; Trevor Haining, drums; Jim Chenoweth, bass, for some swinging music.

Saturday, February 21

Winter Jazz Festival @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 3pm – 9pm ($15) Presented by Jazz at Studio Z and Shifting Paradigm Records, which is celebrating the anniversary of their website  the Winter Jazz Fest will feature six of the area’s most exciting modern jazz groups: The Atlantis Quartet; Nichols, Bates & Bates; The Adam Meckler Orchestra; The Graydon Peterson Quartet, Endeavors; and Lars Larson’s Mancrush. Here’s the Adam Meckler Orchestra, in warmer times (watch for the gorilla).

Glen David Andrews @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($25) Andrews is a trombonist and vocalist is an electrifying performer who brings the history of New Orleans R&B, jazz, gospel, and blues to life with a jolt of energy that could light up the Superdome. He typically has the audience on its feet within seconds of hitting the stage, and they stay there throughout the performance.

Maurice Jacox Tribute to Nat King Cole @ Jazz at St. Barneys, 15600 Old Rockford Rd, Plymouth. 7pm ($10/$5 Students) From Willie & the Bees to Nachito Herrera and the Cuban National Symphony, Jacox is a vocalist who can deliver. Though he is well known in the Twin Cities, he should be wider known, but at least we get to claim him as our own. His Nat King Cole tribute is rarely done in this area, so it’s your chance to hear him use his smooth voice to sing such chestnuts as Mona Lisa, Too Young, and Paper Moon.

Chris Bates’ Good Vibes Trio @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($5-$20 Suggested Donation) Bates on bass; Dave Hagedorn on vibes, and Phil Hey on drums perform music that is disciplined, yet flows freely from idea to idea. They have so much fun on stage that you will find yourself smiling with them.

Sunday, February 22

Lulu’s Playgound & The Paul Dietrich Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 3-5pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Chamber jazz, often played with a bit of whimsy, from Lulu’s Playground  Adam Meckler, trumpet; Cory Grossman, cello; Ben Abrahamson, guitar; and Steve Hobert, accordion. They all attended Lawrence University in Wisconsin, as did trumpeter Paul Dietrich  whose Chicago-based quintet is on a short Midwest Tour. They recently released We Always Get There on the Blujazz label.

Monday, February 23

Chris Bates Red 5 & Cory Healey’s Beautiful Sunshine Band @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) It’s a double dose of quintets for late night listening. Chris Bates’ Red5: Bates  bass; Zach Lozier, trumpet; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris Thomson, sax; and JT Bates on drums. Cory Healey’s Beautiful Sunshine Band: Healey  drums; Erick Fratzke, bass; Zacc Harris, guitar; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; and Brandon Wozniak, sax.

Tuesday, February 24

Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Take the hot rhythms of salsa, mambos, and Afro-Cuban music and put them behind the sonic power of a big band and you’ve got music to move you out of your seats. These performances are essentially rehearsals, so you will get to hear the development of the band’s repertoire.

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, February 18

Randy Sabien on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Sabien’s website describes him as a jazz violinist, which would make him a somewhat unlikely choice for the bluesy/rootsy music heard on Harold’s House Party and at the 331. However, Sabien is a fan of the kind of music made by Bob Wills as well as the Grateful Dead, so his playing goes way beyond that expected of a jazz player. He’ll have Jim Ouska and Andy Dee on guitars and Jim Chenoweth on bass. Tune in and hear for yourself, then head to the 331 Club if you like what you hear. Here he is doing Stella Blue.

Willie Murphy & Rena Haus @ Schooners, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Murphy has been doing a soloist + guest night at the Schooner for a few months now, with he and a guest taking solo turns and then playing together. Tonight the gruff yet romantic bluesman is joined by ace songwriter and guitar picker Rena Haus, which should make for great music.

Friday, February 20

Hurricane Harold’s All Stars @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($??)  It’s an early show for the ubiquitous harpist, who gathers another group of players from his vast rolodex for an evening of satisfying, danceable blues.

Firefly Forest @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (tip Jar) Jazz keyboardist Steven Hobert  as a mischievous streak, which comes out with this acoustic group that explores a variety of quiet world rhythms. You can hear the groups songs on this site.

Scottie Miller Trio @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm – 10:30pm ($10) The Western burbs get a chance to hear Miller’s trio explore his rockin’ originals, as well as Miller’s New Orleans-inspired R&B piano playing. It’s a small, intimate room with about 40 seats, and a nice selection of beer, wine, and food. Here he is with a quartet.

Saturday, February 21

John Lee Hooker, from Black & White Blues, the photos of Marc Norberg

The cover of Black & White Blues,

Cold Snap Blues @ Icebox Gallery, 1500 Jackson St, #443, NE Minneapolis 6-9pm. If you’ve ever gone to the Dakota, you’ve undoubtedly seen the stunning photos of some the artists that have performed there. Those pictures were taken by Marc Norberg. This is the opening reception for an exhibit of thirty-three photos of blues musicians by Marc, taken during the 80s and 90s. This exhibit also marks the 20th Anniversary of the publishing of Marc’s book Black & White Blues, which contains a total of 78 images of blues artists. There will be music by bluesman/guitarist Javier Matos, while Miss Sara Oxton of KFAI’s Rockhouse, and Lolly Obeda, from KFAI’s Sugar Shop, will be spinning music by artists whose photos are on display.

Left Lane Cruiser @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) This rockin’ blues duo have been regular visitors to this area since their appearance at the Deep Blues Festival some years back. Their sound is obviously inspired by the blues of the Mississippi Hill Country (think RL Burnside), though their hard-charging performances have the energy of punk rockers. Check this out.

Carnaval Brasilero 2015 Masquerade Ball @ International Market Square, Minneapolis. 9pm ($30) The celebration of Mardis Gras, or Carnaval if you will, continues, this time with a Brazilian theme. This annual event has grown to encompass 3 performance stages, Brazilian guest artists, including Dandara and Samba Dancers Edilson Lima and Vanessa Luiz. Additionally, over 80 area musicians will perform including: Beira Mar Brasil; Batucada Do Norte, and Drumheart. There’s a family matinee from 3pm – 6pm for $15 at the door.

Batucada du Norte

Batucada du Norte

Sunday, February 22

Blues & BBQ @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul (Donation) This is a benefit for Johnson Como Peewee Youth Hockey, which has been invited to play in Australia. Naturally, they have to raise a bunch of $$$, so Ted Wilebski, with the help of the Blues Society, is bringing in Hurricane Harold, Dee Miller, Jimmi & the Band of Souls, Brother Sun Sister Moon, and some young folk. Here’s JImmi & the Band of Souls.

Not Done Yet: A Musical Celebration @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 4pm – 9pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Multi-instrumentalist Bruce Jackson has performed around the Twin Cities with Ipso Facto, Dr. Mambo’s Combo, Doug Maynard, Crossover, The New Primitives, and Willie Murphy, as well as his most recent gigs with the Moondogs88 band. He was diagnosed with Peritoneal Mesothelioma in 2008 and has struggled since then but has not worked since last August. This is a benefit to celebrate his life and music and many of his long time musical friends will be performing, with Bruce sitting in. Among the performers will be Ipso Facto, The New Primitives, The Dreadlock Cowboys, and an all-star Finale.

Cafe Accordion Orchestra @ the Como Zoo Conservatory, Saint Paul. 4:30 – 6:30pm. (Free) Waltzes, French musettes, ballads, tangos, and other assorted rhythms, delivered with French flare by Dan Newton, master of the stomach Steinway, and his compatriots.

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.

A Full Calendar of Music: 9.24 – 9.30

September 24, 2014

UnknownWe’ve quite the week coming up as we transition into Fall. The jazz calendar is chock full of outstanding artists – both visiting and resident bands. In the meantime, the blues, roots, and other calendar has a free festival, a movie, an exciting benefit, and more. A great week for music lovers.


Wednesday, September 24

Byron Johnson-Blanchard Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation)  Johnson-Blanchard brings his hard-hitting drums to the Black Dog, along with his pals David Hirsch on sax; Thomas Nordlund on guitar; and Andrew Foreman on bass; for an evening of jazz standards and originals.

Chick Corea & The Vigil @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($70 – $95), 9pm ($55 – $80) Holy cow! And I’m not talking about the prices. Corea is a 20-time Grammy Winner and NEA Jazz Master. The Vigil is his latest project, featuring a band from the 2013 album of the same name: Charles Altura, guitar; Carlitos Del Puerto, bass; Tim Garland, reeds, Marcus Gilmore, drums, and Luisito Quintero, percussion. Expect rewordings of a number of Corea classics as well as new music.

Thursday, September 25

The Cookers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $42) This is an all-star septet featuring both long established veterans, and a couple of second generation hard boppers: Billy Hart, drums (Herbie Hancock); George Cables, piano (Dexter Gordon, Art Pepper); Cecil McBee, bass; Eddie Henderson, trumpet (Herbie Hancock); Billy Harper on Tenor Sax (Lee Morgan, Max Roach, Art Blakey); and David Weiss, trumpet; Donald Harrison on alto sax. All but Harrison and Weiss started in the 50s and 60s, and all have led their own groups. Their recent album, Time and Time Again is a burner.

Donald Washington Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Washington’s appearances at the Black Dog are always filled with surprise and wonder as he tackles standards in ways you’ve never heard, along with a large bit of free improvisation. He’ll be joined by Brian Roessler, bass; Tery Cherner, trumpet; and son Kevin Washington on drums and piano.

Friday, September 26

Photo by Andrea Canter

Photo by Andrea Canter

Adam Meckler Orchestra CD Release Party @ Antonello Hall, MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 7pm – 9pm ($10) It’s a little over a year since the 17-piece AMO made its debut. Now after many a monthly gig, Meckler and the band is set to officially celebrate the release of When the Clouds Look Like This, an album of great depth, strength, and beauty.

Kronick Quartet @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Bassist/vocalist Richard Kronick leads this group, which plays tightly arranged jazz, including bop, swing, soul-jazz, and Kronick’s own compositions.

Saturday, September 27

How Birds Work @ the Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Another season, another jazz series. This time it’s curated by Steve Kenny and held at the Black Dog. To kick off the series, he’s bringing in How Birds Work, the quartet of imaginative veterans formerly based at the Artists Quarter. It should be a heck of an evening. Dean Granros, guitar; Peter Schimke, piano; Billy Peterson, bass; and Kenny Horst, drums.

Sunday, September 28

Maud Hixson & French 75 @ Bloomington Center for the Arts, Bloomington. 2pm ($16 – $26)  Cafe Society: From Piaf to Coward, featuring clarinetist Tony Balluff; saxophonist Gus Sandberrg; guitarist Robert Bell; bassist Steve Pikal; and drummer Nathan Norman. Of course, there’s the cool yet vibrant vocals of Ms Hixson.

Monday, September 29

Jon Weber and Mela Fransisco @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) Regular attendees at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival know Weber as the highly talented piano player with an encyclopedic knowledge of songs and the stories around them. He is the host of Piano Jazz on NPR had has been called a virtuosic pianist with outstanding technique. Francisco Mela is a Cuban drummer/percussionist who has played with McCoy tuner, Joe Lovano, and John Scofield, among others, and has appeared at the TC Jazz Festival for the last two years. In fact, he’s in town on Festival business since he’s been named it’s artistic director. There will be some special announcements about the festival during the evening’s intermission. Here’s Mela, playing with Kenny Barron.

Framework w/Pete Whitman @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) The shimmering music of Chris Olson, guitar; Chirs Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums is enhanced, if that’s possible, with the addition of Pete Whitman on saxophone. Nice.

Tuesday, September 30

Coryell, Bailey, & White @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($25) Jazz rock fans rejoice! Three of the genres pioneers are gathering to prove that blistering improvisation and rock rhythms are not mutually exclusive. Larry Coryell on guitar has been called the inventor of the  genre, though he can play delicate soothing lines, as well as fiery electric work. Victor Bailey took over the bass spot in Weather Report when Jaco Pasorius left the group. Drummer Lenny White played in Return to Forever and on the Miles Davis Bitches Brew recordings.

Acme Jazz Company @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) this 19-piece band was formed in 2008 to perform original music as well as arrangement by band members. They released a CD in April that gotten some good reviews. At the cozy, intimate Jazz Central they’ll be a force to be reckoned with.

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, September 24

Scottie Miller on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) When Pianoman Miller plays you can hear traces of Professor Longhair’s mambos, barrelhouse piano, and good ol’ rock n’ roll. He’s a heckuva player who writes great songs and regularly tours with Ruthie Foster. Listen in and then head over to the 331 Club. BTW, it’s still Fall Pledge Drive at KFAI, so you may want to bring extra cash or a credit card to the 331, cuz Hurricane Harold will have some forms ready for you to fill out.

Thursday, September 25

Courtney Yasmineh @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm – 11pm ($10) After spending the summer recording in New York, Courtney and her band will soon be taking off on a small club tour of Europe and the (still) United Kingdom in support of her new album being released in Europe next week. She’s called an alt-rock/indie pop singer, but labels aside, she simply rocks, throwing in the odd folk or gospel tune for flavoring.

Friday, September 26

Opening of Take Me To the River @ Landmark Theaters. Various times and places. Anyone who saw Otis Clay at the Dakota this past year will remember that he brought out a young rapper to do a song with him. He first did so for this film, which celebrates the inter-generaltional influence of Memphis music. It features artists like Clay, Bobby Blue Bland, Mavis Staples, Bobby Rush, and Charlie Musselwhite interacting and recording with artists like Snoop Dog, Lil P-Nut, and Yo Gotti. Runs for a week. Here’s the trailer.

Pablo Ziegler’s New Tango Ensemble @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $42) Pianist Ziegler is one of Astor Piazzola’s foremost portages, playing with him in the Piazzolla’s New Tango Quartet.  He’s also played with Gary Burton and collaborated with Emmanuel Ax and the Paul Taylor Dance Company, as seen below.


Lovesick Blues: A Tribute to Hank Williams & Benefit for Slim Dunlap @ The Cabooze, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10) This benefit features Curtiss A and the Cold Cold Hearts. The “Dean of Scream” does a surprisingly good homage to Williams as he’s demonstrated at the Dakota a couple of times in the last year or so. Also on the bill is Nate Dungan of Trailer Trash, Molly Maher, Janie Miller and more. Plus, it’s a benefit for guitarist Slim Dunlap, everyone’s favorite rocker.

Saturday, September 27

Rauchfest @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. Noon – 10pm (Free) 2 Stages, 3 Food Trucks, 10 beers, 10 bands, and more, featuring all kinds of music from the likes of The Fattenin’ Frogs, Frogleg, The Jones Gang, Dan Israel, Mikel Wright & the Wrongs and Steez, among others. Here’s a video of the Fattenin’ Frogs.

A Progressive SoundScape Evening @ Old Arizona, 2821 Nicollet, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) A Trio of rock acts, including percussionist (marimaba, drums) Scotty Horey: RisingSide, a hard driving progressive rock act, and Harakiri, who recently released a CD. It’s set up so you can listen or dance.

Tom Robinson Band @ Mattie’s on Main, 43 Main Street SE, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Robinson and his band have been on a hiatus for the last year or so, so for fans of Brazilian music it’s a treat to have him back. He uses a his tasty guitar as well as a vast knowledge of different Brazilian styles to present an evening of sensuous and swaying music. Make sure to sit in the stage area as Mattie’s can be a bit noisy if crowded.

Unknown-2Chicago Cajun Aces @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12 Suggested Donation) The Krewe de Walleye is bringing the Aces up from Chicago to provide dance music for their John Hugelen Cajun Music Scholarship Dance and Fundraiser. The event actually starts at 5:30pm with a Cajun dance, silent auction, and performances by scholarship winners. Rug cutting’ goes from 8pm – 11pm.

Sweethearts of the Rodeo @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm – 11pm ($10) Frankie Lee hosts this evening of performances by three ladies – Molly Maher, Lydia Liza (of Boba de Luz), and Lael Neale, singing songs of heartbreak, love, and declarations of independence.

Monday, September 29

Div Son @ The Blackdog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5 – $20 Suggested Donation) Here’s a change of pace well suited for those of you who travel to Mexico. Div Son is a three piece band featuring Cadence Nelson and and Israel Vega on Jarochas – guitar-like instruments from Vera Cruz. They are accompanied by Nickolai Kolarov on cello as they play the regional folk music of Vera Cruz.

Tuesday, September 30

Paul Mayasich with Bingham & Thorne @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Mayasich is a bit of a guitar god around these parts, equally at home with a dobro or electric slide, while Bingham & Thorne are a couple of fingerpicking aces. Sounds like a heck of an evening.

For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar. Dancers might want to check out the U Wanna Dance Calendar.



Mardis Gras Music & More: 2.26 – 3.4

February 26, 2014

imagesWith Lent approaching next Wednesday, we’re ready to celebrate Mardis Gras, or Fat Tuesday if you will, by listening and dancing to music from less frigid areas of the world. If you aren’t up for celebrating on Tuesday, there are a few warm-up events this week. Additionally, we have some excellent jazz artists visiting during the next week, and some good opportunities to dance.  Have a safe and warm week. Remember, music lifts the spirit.


Wednesday, February 26

Bobby Watson & Horizon @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) For the second time in a week of graduate of the Art Blakey Jazz Messengers will be appearing at the Dakota. The saxophone player was, in fact, the music director for the Messengers. Once on his own, he formed Horizon, which is reuniting for this 30th Anniversary tour. The group includes Victor Lewis, drums; Terrel Stafford, trumpet; Edward Simon, piano; and Essiet Essiet, bass. All have become band leaders and stars in their own right. Here’s an early version of Horizon with Roy Hargrove on trumpet.

Graydon Peterson’s Ghost Tour @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Bassist Peterson has provided the rhythmic backbone of many a group and jazz vocalist here in the Twin Cities. Recently, he’s begun to create tunes that have been featured in his own quartet, and now, in a trio setting, with Park Evans on guitar, and Adrian Suarez on drums.

Thursday, February 27

Stanley Clarke Presents School Days @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($35 & $50) Four time Grammy winning fusion/R&B bassist Clarke will be presenting all of of his 1976 album School Days, as well as other selected material.

Talking Strings @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 9:30pm (tip Jar) The trio of Pavelle Jany, guitar; Gary Schulte, violin; and Dan Weston, bass & percussion, blend jazz, classical, and folk into a variety of international music. Here they are doing a Django Rheinhart number.

JoAnn Funk Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Pianist JoAnn Funk, along with bassist Jeff Brueske, and drummer Nathan Norman cross the river from their normal haunt at the St. Paul Hotel to bring the music of Blossom Dearie, Nat King Cole, Dan Penn, Leonard Cohen, and more to the Dakota stage.

Friday, February 28

Jack Brass Band Mardis Gras in Bloomington @ the Bloomington Center for the Arts, 18900 W. Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington. 7pm – 10pm The guys give us a bit of oral and musical history of Mardi Gras music and Brass Band music in this special performance.

The Bridge Series @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 suggested donation) The idea behind this series is to feature artists who used to appear at the now closed Artists’ Quarter. Tonight, guitarist Zacc Harris is joined by Dave Hagedorn on vibes, as well as Brian Courage, bass; and Twin Cities newcomer Corey Healey, drums. A nice cross-section of generations with the promise of some pretty great music recalling the outings of Milt Jackson and Wes Montgomery.

Saturday, March 1

Pigs Eye Jass Band @ The Eagles, #34, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm ($6) This traditional jazz band will be playing for happy feet in the North Hall of the Eagles Club. Consider this a warm-up for Fat Tuesday.

Bach and Jazz Concert @ The History Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 9:30pm   This is the third collaboration between the the Bach Society of Minnesota and Framework: Chris Olson, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums. The last one was about a month or so ago, when they explored baroque music. This time they’re adding saxman Pete Whitman to the mix as they explore the music of Bach.

Davu Seru & Andrew Lafkas @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8:pm ($10) Studio Z continues to come up with intriguing, genre-crossing events that makes us listen to music with new ears. This one is the inaugural event in the Crow With No Mouth Series. Percussionist Davu Seru and bassist Andrew Lafkas will be presenting a duo piece. Chicago based electronicist (is that a real word?) Mykel Boyd will present a solo set of electronics and location recordings.

Sunday, March 2

The 2013-2014 Dakota Combo. Photo by Andrea Canter

The 2013-2014 Dakota Combo. Photo by Andrea Canter

Dave King Trucking Company w/ the Dakota Combo @ MacPhail Center for Music, Minneapolis. 5pm ($10) Dave King is an internationally known drummer with a penchant for playing in many bands, including The Bad Plus and Happy Apple. The Trucking Company includes Adam Linz, bass; Eric Fratzke, guitar; and Brandon Wozniak, sax. Opening will the The Dakota Combo, a group of highly, highly talented high school students who will have received a clinic from King. He’ll also sit in with them for a number or two. This is a chance  (Full Disclosure: I chair the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education, which sponsors the Dakota Combo. Though I may be biased about the talent of the combo, other, more neutral folks are also enthusiastic about them.)

Monday, March 3

Jazz Implosion featuring Dave Karr @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm. the first Monday of the month features veteran saxophonist Dave Karr at the Implosion, usually playing with JT Bates on drums and Adam Linz on bass. While Karr’s bebop leanings may seem out of place with the sometimes outside playing of Linz and Bates, the three work well together, and have done so for a number of years. Sometimes there’s a second group, though I’m not sure of who it might be. Here’s a video of Dave with Adam and JT.

Monday, Tuesday, March 3,4

Manhattan Transfer @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($60, $55, $50), 9pm ($50, $45, $40) This quartet was quite eye-opening when, back in the 70s, they first introduced their four part harmonious blend of bebop, doo woo, Latin, and pop. It was a refreshing change from the hard rock and disco of the time. The Ten-time Grammy winning group still provides an aural respite from the pop music of today, singing with panache and élan.

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, February 26

Rockin’ Pincecones on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis.  5pm (KFAI), 7pm (331 club – Tip Jar) Cajun & Zydeco music to get you in the mood for Fat Tuesday. The 331 Club can get pretty crowded, but I’m sure a few folks will try to dance. Followed by jamrooots band Enchanted Ape at 9:30 and Pocketful ‘A’ Change and their Americana/roots music at 10:30.

Thursday, February 27

Scottie Miller Band @ Washington Square, White Bear Lake. 8pm (No Cover) “Bones” Miller is an excellent piano player, well versed in Professor Longhair and Allen Topussaint, but with his own distinctive style. Just ask Ruthie Foster, which whom he frequently tours. He and his band, the Re-Uptake Inhibitors, take on Southern Soul, blues, New Orleans, and the occasional Caribbean rhythms. This is a small room, but it has an ever changing selection of 20 beers on tap.

Friday, February 28

Prophets of Peace @ The Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) The Twin Cities funk band was reunited for last year’s Twin Cities Funk n’ Soul compilation, and has found a new audience in young folk who weren’t born when they were playing back in the early 70s. The Schooner is set up quite for music, with high-top tables in front of the small stage and small dance floor. Plus you get good value on drinks.

Orkestar Bez Ime @ Hells’ Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No cover) Hell’s Kitchen is a favorite stop for bachelorette parties, and when it is, party music is the order of the day. Well, this band’s Balkan dance music will surely fill the bill, resulting in a highly entertaining start to your evening, whether or not the bachelorettes are in attendance. Check them out in this video.

The Eddies Unplugged @ Jerabek’s,  Winifred & Stryker, Saint Paul. 7pm – 9pm  What’s that you say, aren’t the Eddies always unplugged? Well, almost, but this time there’s no sound system, and no electrified guitar. Plus, this gig is in the beer-less and wine-less Jerabek’s New Bohemian Coffeehouse on the West side, which means that the quality of their performance won’t be affected by the amount to alcohol you consume. Nevertheless, you’ve got the additional lure of a wonderful selection of baked goods and a chicken pot pie that’s so good, it’s sold in fancy food boutiques.

Seven Steps to Havana @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Sax and Flute player Doug Little’s excursions into the music of Cuba are always enjoyable, as this ensemble plays with the heart of soul of musicians who love the music. Here they are.

Saturday, March 1

Hookers & Blow @ The Crooked Pint Ale House, Minneapolis. 9pm ($?) Adam Levy has put together a rotating cast of some of the best Twin Cities’ rockers from various groups to perform R&B from the 60s and 70s. It’s fun. It’s fabulous. It’s a dance party.

Freewheelin’ Mardis Gras @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 3pm – 11pm ($6 after 5pm) KFAI’s Jackson Buck has put together a splendid line-up to celebrate Mardis Gras in beer-drinking style. Starting at 3pm it’s the Southside Aces, followed by the Rockin’ Pinecones at 4:30, the New Riverside Ramblers at 7pm, and Scottie “Bones” Miller Band at 9:30pm. Appropriate food from the Cajun 2 Geaux food truck.

UnknownTuesday, March 4 – Fat Tuesday

Swamp Kings @ Dixie’s, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) If you’re looking to celebrate Fat Tuesday with Louisiana dishes, some Abita beers, and music, then Dixie’s on Grand may fill your bill, as the three-piece Swamp Kings play that New Orleans and Swamp Pop sound.

Mardis Gras @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12) Mardis Gras at the Eagles is a festive event, with many participants in beads and costume. There will be free food, Cajun and Zhydeco dancin’ a’plenty, and some New Orlean’s R&B thrown in for good measure. Tonight’s bands include Ana & the Bel-Tones, Mr. Rowles, The Southside Aces, and the Rockin’ Pinecones.

Naughty Gras @ The Amsterdam, Saint Paul. 9pm  ($12) The Jack Brass Band has a regular gig at the ‘Dam, but tonight, for those who appreciate the uh, “bawdier” elements of Mardis Gras, they’re joined by a Burlesque show, magic, and more, including a a Crawfish Boil and Abita Beer.

Socaholix @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($7) If your Fat Tuesday celebrations run more towards Carnaval than Mardis Gras, this is the place to be as Socaholix present Island rhythms for your dancing pleasure.

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.

Music Matters: 5.29 – 6.4

May 29, 2013

imagesNot many visiting artists in this week’s preview. But then, many of our resident artists are visiting artists elsewhere, known throughout the country, and even internationally. We have a deep pool of talent in this region. It has often been said that music creates community, and that it can move and uplift our souls. I hope that is true for you. Have a good week.


Wednesday, May 29

The cover of Maud's new CD.

The cover of Maud’s new CD.

Maud Hixson CD Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) Hixson is a singer with a voice that is cool, but certainly not detached, and inviting, but proper. Her new album, Don’t Let A Good Thing Get Away, is full of tunes composed by Mickey Leonard, best known for ‘I’m All Smiles” and “Why Did I Choose You.” Leonard, who is still working, has partnered with a number of lyricists over the course of his life to create little gems of melody and storytelling, including a couple that haven’t been recorded before this venture. You can hear my phone interview with Maud, as well as a couple of tunes from the album, in the archive for my show on May 25. The interview starts at about 15 minutes into the program.

Phil Mattson Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Pianist Mattson is a choral music maestro, arranger, and conductor who has arranged for the Manhattan Transfer, the Four Freshmen, and others. He has been a busy guy since locating to the area, what with teaching at MacPhail, leading the Phil Mattson Singers, recording with Dorothy Doring, and accompanying a number of Twin Cities singers. Tonight he brings a new project to the fore, with a team of veteran players including Dale Mendenhall on sax; Tom Lewis on bass; and Nathan Norman on drums. They’ll be playing old and new standards.

Thursday, May 30

Pete Whitman’s X-Tet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) Ten musicians, young, old, male and female, professionals all, playing bracing music, much of it written especially for the group by its members.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, May 31, June 1, June 2

Happy Apple @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm, Fri, Sat; 8pm Sun. ($15) Count this trio among the coterie of relatively young artists from the area who group up with rock n’ roll, then discovered Coltrane, Mingus, and Ornette Coleman, among others. Dave King, drums; Mike Lewis, sax; and Eric Fratzke, electric bass; play with intensity, originality, and power, yet they can caress a ballad as well. They’ve been playing together since 1996, have an international following, and have received raves in the New York Times.  Here they are, playing at Lawrence University last year.

Friday, May 31

Irv Williams & Peter Schimke @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 4:30pm – 6:30pm (free) Start your weekend with some lovely music from 93 year old saxophonist Williams, and his piano partner Schimke, who is decades younger.

Nichola Miller @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No cover) After giving birth to a baby boy, Miller is back singing, giving out sass where sass is due.

Kevin Washington Quintet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 10:30pm ($5) With teachers like Max Roach and Roy Brooks, and travels to Latin countries to learn their rhythms, Washington is a drummer to be reckoned with. He teaches at McNally Smith and Walker West Academy, and plays with Nachito Herrera and Bruce Henry. I’m not sure who he’ll have with him, but given the quality of past shows and performances, this show is an excellent way to end an evening.

Monday, June 3

Adam Meckler Orchestra @ Rice Park, Saint Paul. Noon – 1pm (Free) Let’s hope the weather finally clears up for this outdoor concert by an 17 piece band. Meckler is a trumpet-player about town who has been arranging his own compositions (mostly) for this young big band. The band may be a traditionally sized big band, but Meckler’s orchestrations are influenced by modern composers such as Maria Schneider and Bob Brookmyer. Bring your brown bag lunch or get something from a nearby food truck and enjoy the big sounds of this band.

Will Kjeer @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (Donation) Will is still in high school, yet he’s a giant talent on the piano, as he has shown when performing with the Dakota Combo. At their annual concert, Will took a Chick Corea tune and created an imaginative arrangement for the 8 piece band. He’ll be joined by the Jazz Central stalwarts tonight.  Even if you aren’t planning on attending tonight, check out this video of the Dakota Combo playing Will’s arrangement. Will has a fine solo starting at about 4:30 minutes.

More listings for Twin Cities jazz can be found at KBEM and at Jazz Police. Jazz Police also features jazz commentary as well, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, May 19

Andra Suchy & Spare Change on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm hour (KFAI – 90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Red House recording artist Andra Suchy is an Americana/Twang/folk singer/songwriter. She’s appeared on Prairie Home Companion and on recordings with artists ranging from mandolinist Peter Ostroushko to blues rocker Jonny Lang.

Thursday, May 30

Unknown-1Trio Bossa Nova & Friends @ The Blackdog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm – 10pm (tip jar) An evening of Bossa Novas and Sambas with Brazilian artists Joyce Perez, Natania Kamin, and Josue Alfaro. They’ll be joined by guitarist Pavel Jany and bassist Dan Weston.

Scottie Miller Band @ Washington Square Bar & Grill, White Bear Lake. 8pm (No cover) Pianist Miller was touring as a member of Bo Diddley’s band when he met popular singer/songwriter Ruthie Foster, with whom he now regularly tours. He’s got his own band and his own recordings, on which he exhibits his Professor Longhair-meets-Bruce Springsteen style of playing. Here’s a chance to see him in an intimate setting.

Saturday, June 1

Rum Cullies Brunch @ the Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 11AM – 1PM (No Cover) Here’s a trio of Twin Cities musicians playing old time string band music for your brunch. Matt Neil, fiddle, Liz Draper, bass, and Adam Kiesling, guitar play slow waltzes, fast fiddle tunes, and everything in between.

Lonesome Dan Case; Nikki & the Rue-Mates @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 3pm (Lonesome Dan); 4:30pm (Nikki) Lonesome Dan plays Guitar Rags, Hollers, and Blues, including originals that sound like they were written in the 1930s as well as knowing interpretations of songs from that time. Nikki & the Rue-Mates use the psychedelic sounds of the late 60s as inspiration for the folk-a-delic gems given life by Nikki’s crystaline voice.

Sunday, June 2

Mother Banjo @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm (No Cover) Bluegrass at the tony Dakota? Well, Yeah! Throw in a little gospel, a bunch of originals, and some folky tunes, and you’ve got Mother Banjo a group led by Ellen Stanley, who knows her way around a banjo.

Monday, June 3

Cactus Blossoms @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 6pm door, 7pm music ($5) The Blossoms play country music that’s as natural as it comes, that is, the kind of traditional C&W that you heard before Nashville started “countrypolitan” music and then moved to being mostly rock n’ roll with a steel guitar. Bring dancing shoes and a partner, or find a partner at the club.

Tuesday, June 4

Chris Mann @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($45 – $35) Mann was a finalist on the second season of The Voice, and his subsequent album, Roads, went to the top of both the pop and classical charts. He’s been on the Today Show, Jay Leno, Conan, and has had his own PBS Special. Here’s your chance to see him up close and personal.

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.

Summer In The City. Music: 8.8 – 8.14

August 8, 2012

Another summer weekend. More Festivals, including the Bayfront Blues Festival in Duluth and the Square Lake Festival in Square Lake. If you are sticking around, there’s more than enough music for listening, dancing, and inspiration. Here are some ideas.


Wednesday, August 8

Give Him the Ooh La La: a Tribute to Blossom Dearie by JoAnn Funk @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Though she has a style of her own, JoAnn‘s approach to singing owes a bit to Blossom Dearie, the coquettish singer of the 50s and 60s. Dearie often sang light-hearted tunes that were heavy on wit and dry in humor. The pianist/vocalist will be accompanied by Jeff Brueske on bass, and Nathan Norman on drums. It’s an early show, so you can catch some tunes and be home in time to get a good night’s rest.

Thursday, August 9

McNally Smith Venue Night @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 8pm (Free) Here’s a chance to hear up and coming young musicians and three jazz ensembles from McNally Smith take to the AQ’s stage. There will be two ensembles under the direction of saxophonist Chris Thomson and one under the tutelage of pianist/vocalist Kristin Sponcia. It’s another early show.

Friday, August 10

Tommy Bruce @ The Lexington, Saint Paul. 6:30pm  With Phil Mattson on piano, and Steve Pikal on bass. (no cover, though a minimum may be charged at some tables)  I don’t know if this is Phil’s gig or Bruce’s, but it really doesn’t matter as you’ll hear a fine male vocalist (Bruce) accompanied by a piano player who’s legendary in these parts.

Friday, Saturday, August 9, 10

Anthony Cox Group @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Cox was playing bass with Eddie Berger’s group oh, so many years ago, before moving to New York and gaining an international reputation playing with folks like Stan Getz, Joe Lovano, and Ed Blackwell, not to mention numerous recordings by other forward thinking players. Since returning to the Twin Cites in the early aughties he’s been in a number of interesting projects, and will be bringing a new one to the AQ tonight.

Saturday, August 11

Dave King Trucking Company @ The Dakota, Minneapolis 8pm ($12) A highly inventive drummer and wit, King has founded or co-founded nine different ensembles, including Happy Apple and the Bad Plus. His bandmates for this expressive, thoroughly modern outfit include Adam Linz, bass; Eric Fratzke, guitar; and saxophonists Brandon Wozniak and Chris Speed (of New York). You can find a review of their album here.

Sunday, August 12

Jimmy Wallace Trio @ Alexis Bailey Vinyards, 18200 Kirby Avenue, Hastings. 1pm (Free) Here is an example of a growing and welcome trend – jazz in the vineyards. You don’t even have to try the wines to enjoy the music, but hey, you may as well. Saxman “Jimmyapolis” Wallace will be leading a trio that includes Brock Thorsen on bass and pianist/Trumpeter Jon Pemberton.

PipJazz Sunday w/guest Yolande Bruce and youth artist Jake Baldwin @ Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 5pm ($20) Pippi Ardennia once again works her vocal magic, this time bringing guest Yolande Bruce to the stage in the Weyerhauser Auditorium Bruce may be best known as a member of Moore by Four, but she’s performed in musicals, and on stages throughout the world. Jake Baldwin is a young trumpet player, just graduated from two years in the Dakota Combo and will be studying at the New England Conservatory of music. Pippi’s ace backing band is The PipJazz Experience.

Connie Evingson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10) An elegant singer in an elegant room. Plus, Evingson has an all-star backing band, including long time cohort Dave Karr on sax and flute; Phil Aaron on piano; Gordy Johnson on bass; and Phil Hey on drums.

Monday, Augusts 13

Dave Hagedorn @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis 8:30pm (donation) Hagedorn is the vibist/teacher whose skills with the mallets make him a first call musician in the Twin Cities and beyond. He’s a featured player with both the X-Tet and the Phil Hey Quartet, making the difficult repertoire of those groups seem easy. Tonight he’ll join the Jazz Central all-stars for what promises to be a night of invigorating music. Here’s a video of Dave with Phil Hey and Chris Bates.

Chris Bates Red 5 @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis 9:30 & 11:30 ($5) If you go out to hear jazz, you’ve undoubtedly heard bassist Chris Bates playing in the Atlantis Quartet, Framework, or Red Planet. Perhaps you’ve seen him solo at the Clown Lounge or Rogue Buddha, or as a sideman in any number of one-off gigs. Well, he’s put together a quintet and they’re working on an album to be released in September. Get a preview as Chris is joined by brother JT on drums, Chris Thomson and Brandon Wozniak on saxes, and Zack Lozier on trumpet.

A more comprehensive calendar for the Twin Cities can be found at Jazz Police. They feature jazz commentary, as do Bebopified, and Jazz Ink, which also features Andrea Canter’s fine photography.

Roots, Blues, Other...

Wednesday, August 8

Scottie Miller on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), and 7-9pm (331 Club – No cover) A first class pianist, more than worthy of touring with Ruthie Foster, Miller can plan New Orleans, Chicago, and other styles of piano with elan. He’ll be Harold Tremblay’s guest on the House Party on KFAI and then head over to the 331 Club. It’s Harold’s birthday, so it should be a fun night, as the musical mayhem continues with Harold and Jeff Ray at 9:30 and the Farmhouse Band at 11:00

Groovin’ in the Garden with Detroit Don King @ Como Park Conservatory, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm. The Como Zoo & Conservatory just keeps getting groovier and groovier. This performance by gritty bluesman Detroit Don King is part of a weekly series through Sept 5, highlighting Twin Cities artists. It’s on the visitor center lawn outside the conservatory. Pack a picnic, spread out a blanket and enjoy the evening. Beverages (both adult and otherwise) will be available for purchase.

Thursday, August 9

Lost Marbles @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 8pm (No cover) An eight-piece folk-rock jam band with two drummers, horns, and the usual instruments rockin’ out at the Tap Room, influenced by the Dead, Tom Waits, Neil Young and other bands from the 60s and 70s. Outdoor seating if it’s nice, a selection of freshly brewed beers, and a food truck in the early part of the evening.

Hootenany @ The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. 8pm. (Free) This is part of the Walker’s Open Field series. It’s stripped-down music from Jim Walsh, Lianne Smith, Chris Osgood, and Chan Poling. Here’s your chance to hear some Twin Cities favorites from the 80s in a relaxed, outdoor setting.

Friday, August 10

The Senders @ Schooner Tavern, 29th & 27th Ave South, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) The Schooner is a neighborhood bar with small dance floor, though I’m betting the Senders will have you shaking it and swingin’ with abandon. A prime example of a jump blues band. Check them out in this video.

Saturday, August 11

Hotpants 45rpm Dance Party @ The Nomad. 9pm – 2am. ($5) Another sweaty evening dancing to rare soul and funk served up by a quartet of guys who scour thrift shops, estate sales, e-bay and other sources to find great dancing music.

Bethany & two of the Knees

Bethany Larson & the Bees Knees @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis 10:30pm (No cover) The somewhat winsome, sometimes edgy voice of Bethany Larson will appeal to folks who like Patsy Cline and Lucinda Williams. The Bees Knees provide just the right folkish/rockish backing to illuminate and punctuate her songs.

Dylan Hicks @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis 11:30pm ($5) For a while in the 90s Hicks was the most literate songwriter around. Then he became a published writer, penning reviews and articles for City Pages, the Village Voice and the NY Times. Now he’s a newly published author with a novel, but is taking time from book appearances to perform his witty songs for a few venues. Welcome back.

Tuesday, August 14

Paul Metsa & Cats Under the Stars @ The Minnesota History Center, Saint Paul. 6:30pm – 8:30pm. (Free) Dance lessons at 6:30. Music starts at 7pm. This is the last night of this series, and they’ve got a good un’ for ya. Metsa is the troubador who’s played with many a big name star. He & the Cats play danceable tunes that are somewhat jam-oriented. You won’t be under the stars, but rather under the setting sun overlooking downtown Saint Paul.

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