Solstice Music and More: 12.14 – 12.20

December 14, 2016
Druids celebrating the Winter Solstice at Stonehenge

Druids celebrating the Winter Solstice at Stonehenge

We are in the midst of the holiday season: Christians, Jews, Atheists, Mayans, Buddhists, Muslims, Native Americans Neopagans, and Zoroastrians all have some significant celebrations during this month. In fact, this coming Tuesday is Solstice, which has been celebrated in various ways since before the time of Christ. Whether or not you celebrate a holiday, anyone who appreciates the power of music has plenty to celebrate, as this sample of musical happenings demonstrates. Music lifts the Spirit

Jazz

Wednesday, December 14

BZ3 Organ Trio Holiday Show @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12 door) Git down, Santa! You say you’re looking for a holiday show that’s a bit out of the ordinary? Well, Brian Ziemniak, B3 organ; Troy Norton, guitar; and Kevin Washington, drums; have just the thing: funky, greasy, soul jazz versions of your favorite holiday tunes and even some that are unfamiliar, like a James Brown tune. To help them present this funk filled night they’ve enlisted vocalists Maurice Jacox, Deb Brown, and Jody Hanks.

Randy Sabien Holiday CD Release Party @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7pm ($20, $45w/Dinner) Renowned violinist Sabien can be bluesy, jazzy, swingin’ and funky. He’s got a new holiday CD entitled, Meet Me under the Misteltoe, and he’s celebrating its release tonight. Joining him will be Gary Raynor, bass; Greg Byers, cello; Andy Dee and Dan Caton, guitars; Ben Kroeger, violin; Dave Schmalenberger, drums; and special guest Erin Schwab on vocals! Here he is doing a Grateful Dead tune.

Joe Strachan Trio @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 W/Student ID) Pianist Joe Strachan is proving to be a versatile performer. He plays salsa and charangas with Charanga Tropical – even traveled to Cuba with them; has laid down some Afrobeats with area bands, and of course, plays some mighty fine jazz in groups like the Adam Meckler Orchestra and Pete Whitman’s X-tet. Tonight he’s got a trio with Ted Olson, bass; and Patrick Marshke, drums. Here’s Joe with a different trio.

Thursday, December 15

Thursday Night Jazz:Hip-Hop Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Young drum master, multi-instrumentalist, and fireplug Rodney Ruckus has put together a show featuring two bands led by fellow drummer LA Buckner and himself. I don’t know who is playing in which band, but the line-up includes CJ Pitts, vocals; Russell Evans, piano Rob Coleman, aux piano; Omid Huttur, guitar; Jax Reval, bass, Javier Santiago, piano; and Omar AbdulKarim, trumpet. Sound like an evening featuring new approaches to jazz. Here’s Buckner on drums, and Ruckus on piano.

The Holiday FUN Show w/Cardenas, Zuther, & Carey @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 W/Student ID) It’s Vocal Night at Jazz Central, and Katia Cardenas,  Sheridan Zuther, and Nicole Carey have put together a special show featuring touching holiday stories, delightful sing-alongs, inspired solos, and exquisite harmonies. With accompaniment by pianist Ted Godbout and bassist Andrew Foreman, and the additional enticement of holiday treats and a hot cocoa “bar!” Light food and beverage will also be available for purchase from Vanessa.

Aaron, Cox, & Hey @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Three fine musicians gather for an evening of free improvisation. Phil Aaron  piano; Anthony Cox, bass; and Phil Hey, drums are masters of melodic improvisation.

Friday, December 16

Kronick Quintet @ Public Kitchen + Bar, Saint Paul. 9pm (tip Jar) Bassist Richard Kronick leads Aaron Tafoya, percussion; Tony Guscetti, drums; Scott Ives, guitar; and Dennis Landeen sax, through an evening of soulful jazz, in the basement lounge at Public.

Saturday, December 17

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) The evening starts out at 7pm with a JazzINK youth showcase performance by Below Zero, a group from MacPhail Center for Music, featuring Noah Wilhite, tenor; Jacob Rochell-share, trombone; August McKinney, piano; Jorgen Linne, bass; and Nick Adams, drums. Then at 8:30pm it’s The Ruckus, led by drummer Rodney Ruckus, and featuring Anthony Cox, bass; Javier Santiago, piano; Steve Kenny, Flumpet.

Babatunde Lea Sextet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 6pm (Masterclass – $10), 7pm (show $10Advance/$15 Door) This is part of the Jazz at Studio Z series. Attend the Masterclass, which will be podcast, and get the $10 price. Tonight, drummer/conguero Babatunde Lea premiers a new suite, “New Rituals of Unity,” co-composed by Lea and guitarist Zacc Harris. It’s based on a series of traditional West African chants. Joining them will be Brandon Wozniak, tenor; JC Sanford, trombone; Phil Aaron, piano; and Graydon Peterson, bass. Here he is with a quartet.

Sunday, December 18

The Peterson Family’s Jam Before Christmas @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 2:30, 6pm, 8pm ($25) Santa must have a tough time figuring out gifts for the talented Peterson family, since the gift of their talent is so unforgettable. I don’t have room to list all their bonafides, but Patty, Linda, Billy, Ricky, Paul, and Linda’s son Jason will all be on stage, sharing their musical gifts with us lesser mortals.

Monday, December 19

Andrew Walesch & Debbie Duncan: It Must Be Christmas @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12) Here’s a combination of vocalists that’s sure to please even the grinches amongst us. Andrew Walesch is a pianist/crooner who can sing pop, jazz, and classic Sinatra. Vocalist Debbie Duncan can get down with some bluesy R&B, and turn around a kill on a jazz standard. They’ll be ably abetted by veteran saxophonist Dave Karr.

Zacc Harris Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Guitarist Zacc Harris is a go-getter who plays in a number of bands and produces the Jazz at Studio Z series. The most prominent group that he plays with is the Atlantis Quartet, which has toured the upper Midwest, NYC, and even London. Tonight he’s joined by: Chris Bates, bass; Bryan Nichols, piano; and JT Bates, drums.

Tuesday, December 20

Winter Solstice: The Laura Caviani Trio @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. ($10, $35 w/Dinner) With the advent of Solstice the days will once again be getting longer, if slowly so. You can celebrate without going outside by hearing pianist, and occasional vocalist Laura Caviani. She has two holiday CDs, so there will be plenty of seasonal songs as you sit overlooking Moore Lake. She’ll be accompanied by the masterful musicians Chris Bates on bass; and Phil Hey on drums. Here’s a recent interview and performance.

Tuesday, Wednesday, December 20, 21

Nachito Herrera & The Universals @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $45) Even if you’ve seen the dazzling Cuban American pianist Nachito Herrera before, you likely haven’t seen him in this setting. He has gathered a number of world famous musicians for the Universals, including violinist Karen Briggs, who has worked for many years with Yanni, and can go from classical to gypsy jazz on a dime; Saxophonist Mike Phillips has worked with Prince and Steve Wonder; while Cuban drummer Raul Pineda and Senegal bassist Cheikh Nkoye provide the groups’ thundering heartbeat. All have deep resumes, are supremely conversant in a number of styles, and will no doubt create exhilarating music.

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, December 14

Charlie Parr on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) this is the 12th year in a row that Parr has appeared on the House Party. In fact, he was on the very first show, so this is always a special event. Expect the 331 Club to be packed to hear Parr’s traditional blues and originals, often done in Piedmont style. Here’s a video that includes a humorous story.

Thursday, December 15

Mikkel Beckmen w/Siama @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (Tip Jar) The lilting, sensuous guitar lines of soukous guitarist Siama Matuzungidi is supported by the unerring rhythmic instincts of Mikkel Beckmen, percussionist and host of this weekly guest series at the ever comfortable Irish pub.

Louisiana Rhythms Swamp Pop Christmas @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis.  7lpm (Donations) It’s a Fais Do Do Ho-Ho-Ho, as this celebration of a Louisiana Christmas has become an annual tradition, with the proceeds going to Second Harvest Heartland. The Swamp Poppas will be playing, as well as backing Tom Leiberman, Rich Lewis, Jon Rodine and Lucinda Plaisance. There will be readings and explanations of Louisiana traditions, such as how, in the bayou, Santa uses a pirogue pulled by alligators. Other special guests and readers still to be announced.

Friday, December 16

Davina & The Vagabonds @ the Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) With a repertoire that encompasses originals, as well as Fats Domino, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Tom Waits, and more, Davina & the Vagabonds create new fans wherever they play, whether its the stages of the Monterrey Jazz Festival, European concert halls, or bars and lounges around the world. It’s hard to beat the sheer musicianship, energy, and powerful vocals of this tight ensemble.

Ian Alexy & the Deserters @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Guitarist and singer/songwriter Ian Alexy is known for his work with the folk troubadours Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank. He has a new EP, inspired in part by the music of groups like The Pretenders, Tom Petty, and Thin Lizzy, with R n’ R grit delivered by the Deserters: Dave Mehling, from Minneapolis group The Fontanelles on Keyboards and guitars; while drummer Mike Cini and bassist Johnnie Timm are best known for their work with superstar vocalist Nicholas David. Also on the bill: The Federales, the Lowland Lakers, and Teague Alexy.

Friday, Saturday, December 16, 17

Sonny Knight & the Lakers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25), 9pm ($20) The new album from Sonny Knight & the Lakers burns, seethes, and simmers, from the opening title track, Sooner or Later, to the closing Oh, Mary. The Lakers’ backing is spot on, with tight, melodic horn arrangements, and solid rhythm section. This annual spotlight gig always fills up the Dakota, so be forewarned.

Saturday, December 17

A Merry 50s Christmas with the Holy Rocka Rollaz @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15) Here is a show for those of a certain age, as well as younger folks who appreciate the unbounded energy of 50s rockabilly and rock n’ roll. This family-friendly show features a charming trio steeped in the music of Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash and other rockabilly and early rock n’ roll favorites. The Holy Rocka Rollaz will be backing Tommy Alsup, of Buddy Holly’s Crickets, at the Surf Ballroom this February, so you know they’ve got the right attitude, touch, and talent for this show. The band is: Mark Flora, hollow-body Gretsch guitar; Lisa Lynn, upright bass; and Matt Alexander, hard hitting snare drum. They’ll  be visiting such classics as Rockin Around the Christmas Tree, Run, Rudolph Run, Jingle Bell Rock, and other jumpin’ songs of the era.

Smokey Robinson @ Mystic Lake Casino, 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd, Prior Lake. 8pm ($69, $80, $109) I usually don’t list casino shows, but it’s Smokey Robinson! Poet Laureate of Motown, inspiration for Bob Dylan; beautiful singer, writer of hits for his own Miracles, the Temptations, Mary Wells, and others, including his own solo work. And let’s not forget the iconic Ooh, Baby, Baby. He recently received the well-deserved Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. There are still tickets left, and given our weather, there may be some cancellations, so check with the Casino before making the trip to Prior Lake. Here’s one of his solo hits.

Southside Desire @ The Hexagon Bar, Minneapolis. 10pm ($??) Southside Desire describe themselves as “Femme-Fronted Northern Soul, sprung from the littered alleyways of South Minneapolis,” which is a fairly accurate description. I’d add that touches of Stax and girl-group sounds also make their way into their sound. They’re releasing a seven-inch, which you can listen to here. Also on the bill: the minimal space funk of Moors Blackmon; the sugary grunge-pop of Ahem; and the city rock of Private Interests.

Sunday, December 18

Joe & Vicky Price @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11AM (No Cover) It’s a brunch gig for this couple, who play the Delta Blues by way of Northeast Iowa.

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.


From Jazz Masters to New Takes on Tradition: 10:5 – 10.11

October 6, 2016
Food for the Food Opera!

Food for the Food Opera!

This week we’ve a couple of great pianists visiting town, as well as a visiting ten-piece jazz band. In addition, we’ll be treated to some hot swing, acoustic blues, new R&B, and new takes on traditional music from Columbia and the Nordic countries, as well as a record release party, a scat-off, and a food opera! Not to mention the talented musicians who live and perform in our Twin Towns. Get out. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, October 5

Kenny Barron Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($354, $40), 9pm ($30, $35) A rare chance to see the elegant and lyrical pianist Barron. The Philadelphia native  moved to New York in 1962 at the age of 19 and began playing with the likes of Lee Morgan, Roy Haynes, and James Moody. He was a member of Dizzy Gillespie’s Orchestra, and performed with other masters such as Stanley Turrentine, Freddie Hubbard, and Milt Jackson. He taught at Rutgers from ’73 until 2000 and is now teaching at Julliard. Barron has won numerous awards and accolades from Downbeat, Jazz Times, and Jazzis magazines, as well as from the Jazz Journalists association.

Debbie Duncan @ Crooner’s Dunsmore Room, Fridley. &pm ($10, $35 w/Dinner) Tonight the highly respected Ms Duncan explores the music of Billie Holiday. Classic songs by a classic singer.

Anthony Cox Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Cox brings another sterling group to his once-a-month-curated gig. This time the bassist is accompanied by Brandon Wozniak, sax; Peter Schimke, piano; and Rodney Ruckus, drums. Expect great originals and cool interpretations of jazz standards.

Thursday, October 6

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Bassist Brian Courage is back in town, and appearing with his quartet, which includes: Brandon Wozniak, sax; Luke Polipnick, guitar; and Pete James Johnson on drums. Here’s a video of Courage and two other bassists – he’s in the middle – or you can get an idea of what the band sounds like here.

Connie Evingson w/Travis Anderson Trio @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7) This looks like a winning combination. The Travis Anderson Trio  with Anderson, piano; Steve Pikal, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums, can swing standards with the best of them. Ms Evingson has fans from across the nation, thanks to her straightforward, always fresh, and yet sensuous interpretations of Peggy Lee, the Beatles, Dave Frishberg, bossa novas, and hot club tunes.

Dean Magraw & Davu Seru @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) You may have read about Khyber Pass and this Thursday night series in the Strib a week or so back. Tonight guitarist Magraw and drummer Seru bring their close communication and always interesting improvisations to the small restaurant. Here’s a video of the two of them with guest Dave Graf.

Friday, October 7

Chris Misch-Bloxdorf Dectet @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10) Originally from Wisconsin, trombonist Misch-Bloxdorf brings a ten-piece group to the basement club to play his original chamber jazz, which features elements of hip-hop, metal, electronic, and indie-rock. After graduating from Lawrence in WI (which is turning out excellent musicians), he recently received his masters from NYU, studying with Kenny Werner, among others. You can listen to some of his music here.

Xibaba @ SW Craft Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (tip Jar) Get a hit of Brazilian jazz, Bossa Novas, Sambas, Forros, and Choros from Mira and Tom Kehoe and friends.

Saturday, October 8

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Steve Kimmel, mallet percussion; and Greg Byers, cello, perform the opening set, followed at 8:30 by the Park Evans Quintet, with Evans, guitar; Evan Benidt, sax; Steve Kenny, Flumpet, Ted Olson, bass, and Greg Schutte, drums.

Singers Scat-Off @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15, $5 w/Student ID) Some of you who went to the Jazz Festival this past June may remember an event at Golden’s where various singers scatted, both solo, in duos, trios, and in a Scat-Off featuring all the singers. That was so well received that some of the participants put together this show, hosted by Maryann Sullivan, and featuring Dorothy Doring, Sarah M. Greer, Jana Nyberg, and Jason Peterson DeLaire. The audience will be invited to choose a champion after seeing all of them in action.

Sunday, October 9

Sunday B3 Jam Session @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 4pm – 6pm ($5) Guitarist Cole Mahlum hosts this jam session, the success of which, is at least partially up to who shows up to play. It can get greasy, funky, and out there.

Benny Green Solo @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 5pm ($30, $65w/dinner) The Dunsmore Room has a new Steinway piano, chosen with the help of Fred Hirsch, and Benny Green is here to christen it with a solo performance. Green can be called a “keeper of the flame” for hard bop as he passes on the lessons he learned from Betty Carter, Art Blakey, and Ray Brown to a younger generation. He  was last in town in October when he gave a sparkling performance at the Dakota.

Tuesday, October 11

Chris Lomheim, Shapria/Granros duo @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (Lomheim, no cover), 8pm (Shapira/Granros, $5) Another two-fer night at the Vieux, starting with pianist Chris Lomheim, followed by an interesting guitar duo. Joel Shapira plays both jazz and classical music on his nylon-stringed guitar, and can be heard with vocalist Charmin Michelle and other groups about town. Dean Granros, who can often be heard with How Birds Work, among other groups, can play fairly straight as well as “out” with great facility and imagination. They’ve an excellent album recorded at the 2014 Twin Cities Jazz Festival.

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, October 5

Bingham & Thorne on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) I always look forward to this duo’s annual visit to the House Party and the 331 Club. Bob Bingham and Gordon Thorne are great storytellers, whether in song or in-between patter. They are accomplished guitarists on both six and twelve-strings, with Thorne also bringing out a mandolin from time to time. They’re even bringing in a special guest, acclaimed fiddler Randy Sabien! Whether playing festivals, libraries, or dive bars, Bingham and Thorne are always fun. Tune in to the House party and then head over to the 331 Club.

Thursday, October 6

Paul Mayasich’s Hot Seat w/Big George Jackson and Jeremy Johnson @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Guitarist Mayasich always brings in compatible players who help stretch his usual wizardry. Tonight he’s got the singer/harpist with a booming voice, Big George Jackson, along with Jackson’s ever-present cohort, guitarist/drummer Jeremy Johnson.

Thursday, Friday, Saturday, October 6,7,8

Saint Paul Food Opera @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 11am, 12: 30pm Thursday and Friday, 5:30pm, 7:30pm Friday, Saturday ($35 lunch, $70 Dinner) Here’s a way to combine your gustatory experience with an aural experience. Zeitgeist composer Ben Houge, and a number of outstanding Saint Paul chefs are teaming up to mix musical and culinary arts. As described Delectable dishes will be paired with evocative music to enhance the experience of both. Composer Houge is creating a set of musical works for Zeitgest, the new music ensemble of piano, woodwinds, and two percussionists. The music will be paired with dishes prepared by chefs from Tongue in Cheek, Saint Dinette, The Handsome Hog, Golden’s Lowertown, Izzy’s Ice Cream, and Brake Bread. Houge’s music is beautiful, with a meditative quality that nevertheless has little surprises scattered throughout each composition, much as a dish might have a number of different flavors. This isn’t the first time Houge has created food operas, as you can read here.

Friday, October 7

Armadillo Jump @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm ($5)The five-piece Armadillo Jump will have the commodious dance floor at Wilebski’s filled with blues lovers who like to dance.

Erik Koskinen and Randy Weeks @ The Hook & Lander Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($12 Advance, $15 Door) Koskinen is a sharp guitarist and songwriter, who uses the vernacular of classic country music to write about personal issues and comment on American life, whether small town values, or tracking. Windom-born, Texas-based Randy Weeks is another observant songwriter, whose music can meld surf rock with folk rock, and Americana with pop. He happens to be the writer of Lucinda Williams’ hit Can’t Let Go, from her Grammy winning album Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. Here’s a video of Weeks.

Friday, Saturday, October 7, 8 

Squirrel Nut Zippers @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40 – $50), 9pm ($35 – $45) Back in the mid-90s, the Zippers were part of a swing revival that was sweeping the nation creating a retro, yet definitely hot sound that hearkened back to hot jazz of New Orleans, as well as swing of the 30s. They sold over a million copies of Hot, their second album. This is their first tour since 2009, and band founders Jimbo Mathus and Chris Phillips have recruited some New Orleans musicians to spice up their sound, as well as singer Ingrid Lucia of the Flying Neutrinos.

Saturday, October 8

Dee Miller Band @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Saturday night tends to be party night at Crooners. Case in point: Ms Miller, who, together with a tight band, can raise the roof and cause folks to push tables aside and dance.

Sonny Knight & The Lakers Record Release @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 7pm ($15, Advance,. $17 Door) It’s a funky, funky night at First Avenue, as Sonny Knight and the Lakers release their second studio album, Sooner or Later. From the uptempo title tune, to the slow building finale of Oh Mary, Knight’s emotional singing and the Lakers’ tight playing create a satisfying slab of soul that moves well beyond any attempt at retro R&B. Duluth horn band Big Dave Wave & the Ripples will start the party, followed by the deep grooves of Nooky Jones, before Knight & the Lakers take the stage.

Sunday, October 9

Henrencia de Timbiqui @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $35) This group from Columbia takes traditional folkloric music of their country and play it with modern instruments. What makes this group especially interesting is that Timbiqui, the town they come from, has deep African as well as Columbian roots, so you’ll hear those influences as well as elements of contemporary urban music.

Monday, October 10

King @ The Dakota, Minnapolis. ($27, $35) This female R&B vocal trio is made up of twins Paris and Amber Strother (originally from Minneapolis), and their musical sister, Anita Bias (from Los Angeles). They’ve received numerous accolades, are selling out venues around the US, and collaborated on the Grammy winning Move Love by Robert Glaspar, from his album Black Radio.

Tuesday, October 11

Nordic Fiddlers Block @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15 Advance, $18 Door) Take highly accomplished fiddlers from Norway, Sweden, and the Shetland Islands, have them focus on traditional music from each of their countries, add in rich harmonies and bass lines, and you have a trio that’s more than the sum of its parts. Their 2011 eponymous debut received acclaim from around the world, and they’re now touring behind a new release entitled Deliverance.

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.


New Year, New Music: 12.30.15 – 1.5.16

December 30, 2015

imagesThe end of the year provides us with a chance to celebrate another orbit around the sun, and look forward to a new year of challenges, disappointments, hopes, and accomplishments. Whether you celebrate with a nice dinner at home, dancing, or otherwise partying, you will have plenty of options, a few of which I’ve listed. In the meantime, check out some of the shows by young musicians back in town from college, as well as those from the veterans that are performing in the first days of the new year. Have a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.

Jazz

Wednesday, December 30

Luke Peterson Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) A number of Dakota Combo alumni, as well as other young lions on the music scene are back in town from college for the holiday break. Tonight you can hear five of them: Luke Peterson, drums; Jack Courtright, trombone; Peter Goggin, alto sax; Charlie Lincoln, bass; Will Kjeer, piano.

Thursday, December 31

Jazzland Wonderband NYE Dinner Show @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 5:30 – 8pm ($45, includes 3 course dinner) Trad jazz and early swing from JLWB, as they’re called on their website  Cameron Kinghorn, trumpet & vocals; Nelson Devereaux, reeds; Keith Holdon, trombone; Andres Crovetti, drums; Evan Clark, tuba.

Debbie Duncan @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 6:30 – 9:30pm ($75 for a 4 course dinner) Here’s another early evening show for those of you who would rather be home when the clock strikes twelve tonight. Ms Duncan will provide her usual outstanding vocals. I’m not sure if you will be required to order the dinner, so call and make a reservation.

JoAnn Funk @ St Paul Hotel Lobby Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm -11pm (No Cover) Start off your New Year’s Eve with a visit to the Lobby Bar, where you can hear Ms Funk and her cohort Jeff Brueske on bass as they perform elegant, and often witty, jazz versions of songs from a wide variety of talented songwriters. Tonight they’ll be doing a tribute to Frank Sinatra, with special guest Steven Marking on vocals.

AQ NYE Reunion @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 9pm ($65, $100 VIP) New Year’s Eve at the Artists’ Quarter was always a warm, family affair, whether the family was related by blood or community. A couple of the long-time supporters of the club have put together a reunion, this time in a different basement. You’ll hear the wonderful Carole Martin on vocals, supported by her son-in-law Kenny Horst on drums; Chris Bates on bass; Phil Aaron on piano; and Dean Magraw on guitar. There will be a couple of guests sitting in as well. Complementary hors d’oeuvres are part of the offering, and reservations are recommended. More information and reservations can be found here.

Friday, January 1

Siama Matuzungidi @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 10am – 1pm (No Cover) Start off 2016 with brunch, accompanied by the Soukous stylings of Africa’s legendary Siama, guitar; Dallas Johnson, vocals; Tim O’Keefe, percussion.

Sound Skirmish @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Here’s another quartet of young lions taking advantage of the holidays to play together, this time doing original music. Patrick Adams, piano; Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Drew Stinson, bass; Ben Ehrlich, drums.

Saturday, January 2

Will Schmid Duos @ 318 Cafe, Excelsior, 8pm ($5) This evening will include two duos led by high school student and guitarist Will Schmid. He’ll be joined by another guitarist, Adam Aastrup, who is currently in the Dakota Combo. Then Schmid will join rock/pop vocalist Kalli Anderson for second set of music. Who says Jazz is dead?

Patty Peterson @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) The legendary Ms Peterson brings her mix of jazz and R&B to the spacious lounge at Crooners.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening at 7pm is a talented group of high school students performing as Trap Tube: Jordan Anderson, piano; Gerhardt Robinson, sax; Alma Engebretson, bassist; Simon Petrick, drums. at 8:30, a special edition of Central Standard Time, with a mix of veterans and young lions, performs: Steve Kenny, flumpet; Brandon Wozniak sax; and JT Bates, drums; are the veterans, while Levi Schwartzberg, vibes; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Will Kjeer, piano; are all college students.

Monday, January 4

Will Kjeer Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Young pianist Kjeer spent a year at Interlachen  in Michigan, and is now attending the California Institute of the Arts. Even before leaving town, however, Kjeer was gigging professionally, with Steve Kenny’s Group 47 and his own Blue Heaven. Tonight he’s joined by some rising stars of the Twin Cities music scene, none of whom are more than ten years older than Will:Nelson Deveraux, sax; Graydon Peterson, bass; and Miguel Hurtado, drums.

Tuesday, January 5

Chris Lomheim @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover) Elegant piano musings inspired by Bill Evans, but solely Chris Lomheim.

Butch Thompson @ The Dunsmore Room at Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($15 Minimum) Traditional jazz and blues, played on the room’s 9 ft piano, along with Thompson’s edifying commentary on tunes.

Phil Aaron Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($5) A third piano gig for the evening, this time featuring the always tasteful Emmy-winning composer Phil Aaron. He’ll be joined by Gary Raynor on bass, and Jay Epstein on drums. A winning combination. Here he is with a slightly different trio.

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, December 30

The Eddies on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 and 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club, Tip Jar) Perhaps the last tradition of the year. Saint Paul’s Eddies cross the river to appear on Harold Tremblay’s House Party and then head over to the 331 Club to sing 5 part a cappella harmonies on sea chanties, and easy-to-sing-along favorites, from the Rolling Stones to Billy Joe Royal, and Bob Marley.

Willie Walker & The We R Band @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10?) It’s been a good year for Willie. He’s put out an excellent CD, produced by Rick Estrin of Little Charlie and the Nightcats, and has toured Brazil, Italy, California, and most recently, played Switzerland with this band. If you don’t like to go out on New Year’s Eve, this NYE Eve party might be just the ticket.

Lonesome Dan Kase @ Palmer’s, Minneapolis. 11pm (No Cover) A man and his guitar  channeling the ghost of bluesmen from the 30s by playing traditional finger-picking blues and hollers for your listening pleasure.

Thursday, December 31

Davina & the Vagabonds @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 6pm ($112 includes 6 course dinner), 10:30pm ($94) If you’re up for a big celebration, this would be the one. Davina will be raising the roof.

Hookers $ Blow @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15) Dance the year away to the sounds of this highly talented band led by Adam Levy  playing 70s covers, or as they call it “music from a more permissive era.”

Hipshaker/Hot Pants New Year’s Eve @ The Kitty Kat Club, Minneapolis. 9pm ($20) It’s a rare funk n’ soul bonanza and the deejays behind Hipshaker and Hot Pants combine to ring out the year with floor stomping rare 45s. Here’s an example of the kind of music you’ll hear.

Friday, January 1

Butanes @ Shaw’s, Minneapolis. 9:30pm (No Cover) Guitarist Curt Obeda realizes that not everyone enjoys “amateur night,” as NYE is often known, so the Butanes are moving their weekly gig by one day, which allows them to start off the year in the best possible way – playing the blues.

Sweet Tea @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 8pm ($8) This up and coming band is heading to Memphis to represent Minnesota at the International Blues Challenge in January. The band is driven by the passionate vocals of Joyann Parker, the rest of the band provides the power that excites dancers and listeners alike. Mark Lamoine, guitar (Dee Miller, Perfectly Loud), Nick Zwack, drums (Armadillo Jump); Mick Zampogna , keys; and Michael Caravale, bass (Lamont Cranston, Davina & the Vagabonds)

Saturday, January 2

Hurricane Harold Duo @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm (No Cover) Harpist Hurricane Harold excels, whether playing with a full band or a duo, which may include such collaborators as Doug Otto or Jeff Ray, with each of whom he’s recorded fun albums. Here he is with Doug Otto.

Sunday, January 3

Phil Heywood @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11am (No Cover) His upcoming gig with Dean Magraw and Tim Sparks in Hopkins is sold out, but you can still hear this fine fingerpicker while enjoying brunch.

Charanga Tropical @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 3pm – 6pm (No Cover) This eleven piece band  who performed and recorded in Havana last June, provides some mid-day Latin dance music to get your blood circulating and your pheromones bouncing.

Doug Otto & Friends @ Dusty’s, Minneapolis. 5pm (Tip Jar) This NE bar is so tiny that musicians have to use a booth to perform. The result is a perfectly intimate show featuring guitarist/vocalist Otto, and some of his very talented friends.

Sunday, Monday, January 3,4 

Tribute to James Brown w/Sonny Knight & Lakers, Fred Wesley, and Jabo Starks @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25, $35), 9pm ($20, $30). When Sonny & the Lakers recently performed at the Dakota, Sonny’s voice was strong, and the Lakers tore through their songs, much in the way that the Godfather of Soul would conduct his shows. So it makes sense to have them team up with a couple of original members of the JBs – trombonist Fred Wesley  who has appeared at the Dakota before, and the “original funky drummer” Jabo Starks – to perform Brown’s songs.

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.


Dance, Dance, Dance. Music: 4.30 – 5.6

April 30, 2014
Back-flips are optional

Back-flips are optional

This seems to be an especially good week for folks who like to dance, whether they swing dance, do the two step, or hit the dance floor to cajun & zydeco, or Latin music. We’ve five events dedicated to dancers and a few others where dancing could erupt. We’ve also got a fine selection of listening events, including a Women in Jazz workshop aimed at young female musicians. All, in all, another good week of music in the Twin Cities. Music can lift your spirits.

Jazz

Wednesday, April 30 – International Jazz Day

Friends of Foreman @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30 – 9:30pm (Tip Jar) That’s friends of bassist Andrew Foreman, including Dave Feily guitar; Zach Schmidt, drums; and Dan Musselman on piano. They improvise on modern Jazz, indie-rock, and alt-pop, as well as original compositions.

Kevin Gastonguay Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – 11:00pm ($10 Donation)  Pianist Gastonguay has garnered acclaim at festivals in Detroit Lakes and Sioux Fall, as well as at the 2010 Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Here in town, he’s played with Cory Wong, Kevin Washington, Jay Young, and mangy others. He’ll be joined by Zacc Harris, guitar; Greg Schutte, drums; and Andrew Bergmann, bass.

Evans Courage Hennig @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Late night music from a new trio, though each of them have been playing around town for years. Park Evans is a guitarist with taste, who can bring the fire any time he wishes. Brian Courage has become a go-to guy on bass since his arrival in town a few years ago. Hennig is the drummer for modern jazz group Atlantis Quartet, as well as the punk/blues band Crankshaft and the Grinders. Will make for an interesting evening at this uptown bistro.

Thursday, May 1

Moonlight Serenaders @ Wabasha Caves, Saint Paul. 7pm ($7) Here’s your mid-week big band fix, complete with swing dancers of all ages, a venue with a haunted past, and Lee Engele, a “canary” (as female big band singers were once known) who can swing with ease. Here’s the band, with Lee singing a classic number, at the Caves.

Friday, May 2

Kenny in action. Photo by Andrea Canter

Kenny in action. Photo by Andrea Canter

Kenny Horst & Friends @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Donation) Though he may have closed the Artists’ Quarter, drummer Kenny Horst doesn’t appear ready to fully retire. He’s gathered Brandon Wozniak, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; and Brian Courage, bass; to back him as he returns to performing. It will be a swingin’ evening of straight-ahead jazz.

Illicit Sextet @ TheBlack Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) Six imaginative improvisers who only play their own, original music. Consider their membership:  Steve Kenny, trumpet and fluegelhorn; Paul Harper, sax; David Roos, guitar; Chris Lomheim, piano; Tom Pieper, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums.

Byron Jonson-Blanchard Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($10 Donation) Drummer Johnson-Blanchard’s quartet comes to the late night show at JC. The young percussionist (a 2008 grad of McNally Smith) plays around town in various groups, most steadily with the R&B horn band High and Mighty. Tonight he’s joined by cohorts David Hirsch, sax; Thomas Nordlund guitar; and Andrew Foreman, bass.

Saturday, May 3

Women In Jazz Workshop & Concert @ Maplewood Community Center, Maplewood. 2-4:30 workshop (free) 7pm concert ($20/adult, $10/student, free w/workshop) Pippi Ardennia’s non-profit, PipJazz and the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education are teaming up to present a workshop introducing young female musicians to the women who have contributed to the growth of jazz as performers, composers, and bandleaders. The workshop will feature a history of women in jazz and end with an open jam session. then at 7pm the women leading the workshop will perform an evening concert. Participants include vocalists Pippi Ardennia and Patty Peterson, Kathy Jensen, sax; Laura Caviani, piano; Joan Griffith, bass, and drummer Sheila Earley. A special guest will be saxophonist Ebony Rainwater, a student at Sibley High School. Register for the workshop at: http://pipjazz.org

Paul Renz Quartet @ Rosemount Steeple Center, 14375 S. Robert Trail, Rosemount. 7pm ($5) Guitarist Paul Renz  uietly goes about teaching, regularly records, and tours the East Coast every now and then. This is a rare area performance by Renz, who is joined by Baltimore pianist Alan Blackman; Josh Granowski, bass; and Jessie Lesmeister, drums.

Monday, May 5

Peter Vircks Quartet @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) Vircks is a busy sax-man about town, recording and performing with groups ranging from Doug Little to Moveable Feast, Park Evans, and the percussive dance group Rhythmic Circus. His recent album What You Believe is True, has received praise from critics and musicians alike. He’ll be joined by Kevin Washington, drums; Ron Evaniuk, bass; and Brian Ziemniak, piano. Here he is performing a classic in a guitar/sax duo.

 

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, April 30

Radio Joe & the Jazzbos @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. ($5) Guitarist Joe Demko and his quartet play romantic music, as well as swing, boogie boogie, and jump blues. It’s perfect for the swing dancers and folks who, to quote a Sinatra song, know that “what is dancin’ but making love set to music, playing.” Here’s an example.

 

Lisa Wenger & Her Mean, Mean Men @ Shaws, Minneapolis. 8pm (No cover) Vocalist Wenger has sung the blues at area festivals, on the national blues circuit, and at Sturgis. Her approach to blues singing is direct, and appeals to a wide variety of listeners. She surrounds herself with a talented band, too.

Thursday, May 1

UnknownKate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellows Present a Dinner Dance @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Music only, $45 Music + 3 course Prix Fixe dinner).  Here’s an fun concept presented by a group that brings a fresh approach to jazz and pop from the 1920s to the 1950s. There’s a dinner set starting at 7pm, then at 8pm there’s be an abbreviated dance lesson for folks who need a refresher in basic dance steps, followed at 8:15 by a dance set from the band. Think of it as a “wedding dance without the wedding.”

 

Swamp Poppas @ the Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30 – 10:30pm ($5) Karl Smelker leads this quartet in an evening of, what else, Swamp Pop, that mixture of Cajun music with Rock n’ Roll and the R&B of New Orleans. The resulting plaintive ballads and uptempo numbers will fill the dance floor with swing dancers, Cajun two-steppers, and couples who take delight in simply gliding around the dance floor.

Friday, May 2

Chico Chavez & Guayaba @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 9pm ($7) Twin cities based Peruvian percussionist Chico Chavez has put together an 8-piece band to play Andean and Amazonian music known as “chicha.” It’s mostly a mix of mid-tempo Cumbia rhythms and slightly psychedelic guitars, with some songs that touch on other tropical rhythms. Get a taste of their music on their website

Steve Kaul & The Brass Kings @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($6) It’s another Freewheelin’ Friday from KFAI’s Jackson Buck, tonight featuring Steve Kaul & the Brass Kings, with opener Dave Babb & Friends. Kaul plays fingerpicks a resonator guitar, and with the backing of the Brass Kings (Mikkel Beckman, washboard, found objects; Brad Ptacek, washtub bass; Jillian Rae, country/psychedelic fiddle) takes the music far beyond your typical acoustic realms. The evening starts of with Dave Babb, of the Liquor Pigs, and some of his friends. Of course, there’ll be a food truck available. Let’s hope the weather allows the warehouse doors to be open.

A new fashion trend?

M.O.R.T sporting a new fashion trend

Mystic Order of Reverb & Twang @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) M.O.R.T brings a batch of rockabilly and reverb-heavy surf music to the east metro. The middle-aged crowd at the Station is perhaps more used to the likes of Motown & bluesy rock, but the insistent bass and cheeky guitars of M.O.R.T. is sure to have them crowding the small dance floor.

Ray Bonneville CD Release @ The Aster Cafe, Minnapolis. 9pm ($12) Bonneville is known as a “roaming musician” who records for Saint Paul’s Red House Records. He’s Canadian by birth, is a Vietnam vet, drove a taxicab, and served as a bush pilot in Canada. He’s an acoustic bluesman who has won awards for his work and is heavily influenced by the music of New Orleans, where he spent time in the 1980s. The new CD is entitled “Easy Gone.” Here’s a video of Bonneville in action.

 

Saturday, May 3

For Pete’s Sake @ The Fitzgerald Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($30) Pete Seeger would have been 95 on this date, and Minnesota singer/songwriter Larry Long, a long-time friend, has brought together a colorful cast of musicians, activists and narrators to celebrate all the phases of Pete’s life through song, stories, and spoken narratives. The cast ranges from former Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayle-Belton and Poet Louis Alemayehu, to musicians such as Robert Robinson, Prudence Johnson, Tony Glover, Estaire Godinez, Chastity Brown, Peter Ostroushko, Long himself, and many, many more. Seeger is known as the “Father of American folk music” and influenced the likes of Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Bruce Springsteen and thousands of budding musicians. Governor Dayton has proclaimed May 3 as “Pete Seeger Day” in Minnesota.

Unknown-3Sonny Knight & the Lakers Record Release @ First Avenue, Minneapolis. 7pm Door. ($10 Advance/$15 Door) Knight is another story of a “rediscovered” soul singer. He finally has a debut album after recording his first single over 50 years ago. The album, I’m Still Here, is a slice of funk and soul that will surely appeal to both boomers and today’s hipsters. This is going to be a big bash, what with the Honeydogs and Southside Desire opening.

Dad Horse Experience @ Bayport BBQ & Nashville Hot Chicken, Bayport. 8pm ($8) Owner Chris Johnson has added Nashville hot chicken to his BBQ, and continues to bring us outsider music that’s accessible in its own weird way. Example number one: Dad Horse Experience, a one-man band (banjo, kazoo, bass pedal) from Bremen, Germany, playing Gospel music that you’d never hear in a church. He sings and howls as if alone in a dark basement, desperately seeking redemption from a life of hard, hard sin. Definitely the under-the-radar gig of the week. Check out this video to see what I mean.

 

 

Sunday, May 4

Paul Thorn @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($23) Some guys are just able to sing the truth. Thorn is one of them – a former boxer who’s dad was a Pentacosal minister, and who had an uncle who was a pimp. Their advice and influence forms the basis for his bluesy Americana. He also does a terrific and often funny job of introducing his songs. Here’s an example.

 

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.

 


Musical Abundance: 11.6 – 11.12

November 6, 2013
Much to choose from

Much to choose from

You would think this is harvest week, what with the abundance of music from visiting and resident artists, including a couple of shows that pay homage to music pioneers (Ellington, Tito Puente, Basie’s vocalists), as well as a couple of pioneers themselves (Blind Boys of Alabama, Allen Toussaint). Various combinations of musicians are combining to bring us new arrangements and new music. All in all, we’re very lucky here in the Twin Cities. Just remember to get out, especially to the Artists’ Quarter, which we may lose around the first of the year.

Jazz

Wednesday, November 6

Marcus Roberts Trio w/Rodney Jordan & Jason Marsalis @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Roberts is a pianist whose style owes much to stride, with a bit of Monk thrown in, yet he’s got his own way with a tune. His trio with Jordan and Marsalis are known for reinvigorating the piano trio format with their effortless communication. Here’s an example:

Brandon Wozniak & Friends @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Wozniak wields his sax like a painter: soft strokes here; gauzy backgrounds there; and giant splashes of bold color when it suits the composition. He plays in the Atlantis Quartet and the Dave King Trucking Company, among other configurations, so it’s no telling who will show up as his friends for the evening.

Thursday, November 7

UnknownPatricia Barber @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($30) Barber is an adventurous pianist with a smoky, yet cool voice with an understated elegance. She composes songs that are poems in the best sense of the word, and is the first songwriter to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship. Except for a long-running weekly residency at the Green Mill in Chicago, she seems to play out only just enough to keep folks interested. We’re lucky to have her here, perhaps because she’s got a history with the Dakota that dates back to the nineties.

Foreman, Feily, Schmidt, and Musselman @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm – 9:30pm (tip jar) No, it’s not a law firm but rather four friends who improvise to a variety of genres. Andrew Foreman, bass; Dave Feily, guitar; Zach David, drums; and Dan Musselman, piano.

Dave Karr @ The Artsits’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Old school bebop, along with lovely ballads from this 80-something master of both the tenor and the baritone sax.

Thursday, November 7 – Sunday, November 10
Zeitgeist’s New Music Cabaret @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 6:30pm Thurs, Fri, 7:30pm Sat, 7pm Sun ($10/evening) Four nights of music including a jazz headliner each evening, along with selections from Zeitgeist and others. Thursday, it’s Red Planet, Friday, Zacc Harris, Saturday, it’s Davu Seru’s Mother of Masks, and Sunday it’s the Nathan Hanson Saxophone Choir. Always an invigorating, and wonderfully surprising series.

Friday, November 8

Bryan Nichols Quartet @ the Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul.  ($12) This is part of a two-night stand for composer/pianist Nichols, with tonight dedicated to quartet performances and Saturday to a Quintet. Nichols’s abilities as a jazz composer have been recognized with a residency at the Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program at Kennedy Center, a grant from the American Composers forum and a McKnight Fellowship. Tonight he’s joined by Brandon Wozniak, sax; James Buckley, bass; & Coy Heally on drums. Here’s the quartet with Mike Lewis on sax. He’ll be joining the group tomorrow night.

Saturday, November 9

JazzMN Orchestra Tribute to Tito Puente @ Hopkins High School, Hopkins. 7:30pm ($30, $34, w/$10student rush) The 18-piece orchestra featuring the Twin Cities’ best brings in a couple of extra percussionists as they pay homage to the timbales master who was so adept at integrating big band jazz and latin rhythms. Special guest Lucia Newell will be on hand to sing a couple of numbers as well. Percussionist Ray Rivera was my guest this past Saturday on Rhythm and Grooves. You can listen to the interview and a couple of Tito’s numbers here.

Bryan Nichols Quintet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Nichols uses a quintet for the second night of his gig at the AQ, with Michael Lewis joining Brandon Wozniak on saxophones; JT Bates sitting in the drum chair, and James Buckley holding down the bass.

Saturday, Sunday, November 9, 10

Knights in Harlem @ The Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm Saturday, 3pm Sunday ($25) A celebration of the unsung baritones that fronted the Basie band, with the Wolverines Trio (celebrating 40 years) backing Dennis Spears and Stephen Faison. Spears and Faison will be bringing us the songs of Joe Williams, Billy Eckstine, Johnny Hartman, and Arthur Prysock.

Sunday, November 10

A young Duke

A young Duke

Connie Evingson: Ellingtonia @ The Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm & 7:30pm ($25) Connie continues to find interesting themes for her Jazz at the Jungle series. This time the cool singer is tackling the music of Duke Ellington, which should provide excellent material, whether well-known, or obscure. Check with the Jungle on seat availability, as some of these performances sell out. Joining Connie will be: Dave Karr (tenor sax), Doug Haining (alto sax), Preston Haining (trumpet), Tanner Taylor (piano), Gordy Johnson (bass) and Trevor Haining (drums).

Tuesday, Wednesday, November 12, 13

Roy Hargrove @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Trumpeter Hargrove is a two-time Grammy Winner who is constantly searching, whether playing with Cuban musicians, or strings, recording with jazz icons like Herbie Hancock, or delving into the worlds of hip-hop and neo-soul. In the course of an evening, you can expect him to explore rhythms, original and standard melodies, and moods, all to thrilling effect. Here he is from a few years ago.

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, November 6

Unknown-1Moonlight Duo on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI – 90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) I’ll be hosting this edition of the House Party, with Moonlight duo – Mary Dushane and Nicholas Jordan as my guests. Mary Dushane is a master fiddler, adept at Cajun, Appalachian, Western Swing, and Irish reels, among other genres. Guitarist Nicholas Jordan supplies the knowing vocals. Tune in and then head over to the 331 Club in NE Minneapolis to hear them in person.

Sonny Knight & The Lakers @ The Eagles Club#34, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) To celebrate the release of Sugar Man a Secret Stash 45, soul man/funkster Sonny Knight is taking up a month-long residency every Wednesday at the Eagles. Sugar Man is a slowish cover of the Rodriguez song, propelled along by congas and other percussion, wonderfully accentuated by mournful horns. The flip, Hey Girl, is a funk rave-up with all the touchstones you’d expect: Knight’s gritty voice and the Lakers supplying insistent guitar, sax, and trombone solos to create a rhythm that should have dancers shakin’ their bacon

Thursday, November 7

John Beach, Mary Leinfelder, & Friends @ Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 5pm – 7pm (tip jar)  Well darn, if I weren’t spinning, I’d be sure to check out John and Mary, a piano player and singer who go together like Jameson & Ginger Ale. Whether you drink cocktails, Guiness, or Grain Belt, you’ll enjoy their music.

Blind Boys of Alabama @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapoils. 7:30pm ($30/$35) The Blind Boys continue to expand their audience by recording with a variety of musicians. Their latest CD, I’ll Find A Way, features collaborations with some of today’s brightest pop/rock stars. But it’s the Blind Boys emotional and musical power, grounded in gospel, that sets them apart. Here they are, along with Mavis Staples.

Miller, Neale, Schnitzer, Weigand and Sansby @ Holihans Pub, White Bear Lake. 8pm – 11pm (tip jar) Here we have a more-or-less all star band of Twin Cities Musicians. Scottie Miller, piano (Scottie Miller Band, Ruthie Foster); Dan Neale, guitar (Bo Diddley, Martin Zellar, Prairie Home Companion); Bobby Schnitzer, guitar (Lipps, Inc., Taj Mahal, Al Jarreau); Larry Wiegand, bass (Crow, Pacific Gas & Electric, Bobby Vee); and percussionist/drummer Scott Sansby (Willie Murphy, Scottie Miller) gather together to make some big fun music.

Friday, November 8

Luke Warm & the Cool Hands, Jillian Rae Band @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5)  Luke Warm is a jug band, but apparently is looking for a juggist, which is either someone who can play a jug, or someone who does bad juggling. At any rate their repertoire ranges from bluegrass and folk to the occasional polka. Jillian Rae, on the other hand, is a complete musician unto herself, though she uses a band. She can sing, fiddle, and write with well-deserved self-assuredness.

John Mark Nelson, Simonet & Young, and The Ericksons @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12) It’s an acoustic-y night at the Cedar as up and coming singer-songwriter Nelson (of Minnetonka) is joined by Simonett and Young of Trampled by Turtles, and the talented sister duo, The Ericksons.

Worldwide Discoteque @ Club Jaeger, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Multi-cultural music encompassing Afrobeat, Sambas, Highlife, Latin, Cumbia, Reggae, Funk, Tropical Boogie, and who knows what else. What is certain is that you won’t be able to stand still as DeeJays Steely Dan, Brian Engel, and friends spin vinyl. Here’s an example of some of the music, along with some images of the dancers.

Saturday, November 9

Allen Toussaint @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45 – $40), 9pm ($40-$35) The gentlemanly architect of New Orleans R&B returns to the Dakota, touring behind his latest CD, Songbook, recorded live in 2009 during his residency at Joe’s Pub in New York, and featuring many of his songs – tunes he does in concert.

Eddies @ The Hat Trick Lounge, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11pm ($7) This Saint Paul almost-acapella quintet has become somewhat of an institution at the Trick, filling the music room with fans and harmonies that stretch from sea shanties to the Rolling Stones and Bob Marley.

The Gated Community @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 8pm (Tip Jar) A six-piece band where country meets bluegrass, electric meets acoustic, and Love and Art meet Politics and Science.

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.

%d bloggers like this: